Symposium Sour Brown Ale | Russian River Brewing Company

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Symposium Sour Brown AleSymposium Sour Brown Ale
Very Good
77 Ratings
Symposium Sour Brown AleSymposium Sour Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by womencantsail on 02-11-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 77 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of drummermattie02
2/5  rDev -49.1%

Photo of DJButters
3/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of Arbitrator
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub during its anniversary weekend. From notes.

A: Pours a hazy maroon body with a small, off-white head that doesn't rise very high or linger very long.

S: This reminds me of a Flanders Oud Bruin: notes of grain, toast, and an acetic note. It's not particularly complex. Reminds me of a starter sour, and it is more suggestive of a simplistic, broad-appeal Sierra Nevada approach than a Russian River one.

T: This is more complex than the nose suggested. Bits of oak, yeast, spice, and a touch of red wine are found. It's more acetic than lactic, though both flavors are found. Brett is mild. Nuts, grain, toast, and a touch of sulfur. This is like a rough, test batch of Supplication. The flavors aren't quite there; some flaws are found, even.

M: Not as dry as I was hoping. Carbonation is appropriate, but the finish leaves a little acetic sting.

O: Not worth getting a second glass of, or even chasing a bottle down.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Maroon body. Soft brett in the nose. Light aromas similar to an oud bruin (just a hint of malty sweetness blending with some sour).

Taste is fairly light and crisp. Minimal amount of lactic sourness and malt sweetness that leads into a vegetal bandaid bretty finish. The kellerweis yeast seemed to clean out most of the flavor and left the bugs with nothing to work with. The wine barrel is a little unnoticeable adding a slight leathery vinous and oak flavor.

This beer is pretty much exactly what you'd expect if Sierra Nevada did a sour. A traditional feel that caters a little to the average craft beer drinker. Seems a bit too average for such big name collaboration.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Thanks to Jason for opening the bottle.

A: Amber with a frothy white head.

S: Lactic and acetic with a lot of oak. Salty and lemony. Notes of ripe berry with a light earthy funk.

T: Oak and light vinegar. A low acetic acidity with lemon and berry. Finish is oak and fast fading.

M: Upper light body with less than desirable low carbonation. Mouthfeel is a little thin with a stickiness.

Overall: Somewhat bland to be honest, especially considering the two breweries involved. It comes off as rushed. Still, a decent beer.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.42/5  rDev -13%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to (Jeff) ipa247 for this one. Poured from a 375ml corked and caged bottle into a Duchess oversize wine glass. Shared with schen9303.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger frothy, creamy white head with great retention. Beer is a clear brown. Lacing is thin and stringy with good stick. One of the best looking beers of the style I've seen to date.

S: Nose is moderatly funky and simple. Strong Brett presence with notes of pineapple and sour cherries. Not a whole lot going on here but nothing really off either.

T: Opens tart cherries and raspberries with a bit of alcohol towards the middle. Brett presence creates a band-aid and cobweb taste. Plastic at the end with some sour tea leaves and a slight dried leaf bitterness in the aftertaste. Very simple but relatively clean.

M: light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth with but goes down rather smoothly. Finish is brief with a clean, non-sticky aftertaste. Appropriate.

O: Very simple at the moment but with a lot of potential. Symposium sour needs a bit of time to develop and get rid of a bit of booziness and the dried tea leaf presence at the finish. Can't wait to see what happens with this one.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.42/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thank you Amy Fowler for a chance to try this beer.

A - Pours a dark brown with a few floaties, there is a nice short white foam that left some lacing down the glass.
S - Nice sour aroma, green apple and sour cherry, some oak, like someone else commented, smells like the beginning of consecration and supplication. a mix between the two.
T - Very vinous taste, a very faint version of consecration, light oak and wine flavor but not much more else. Kind of disappointing.
M/D - thin bodied, nice carbonation, this beer seems unfinished, maybe rushed. Its good, but most likely not what it could have been.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of jh1982
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of mattmarka1
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of alano
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle generously shared by Tim. Thanks!

A: The pour is a light brown, call it amber, color with a minimal amount of off-white foam.

S: Really a strange aroma. It's a little bit salty at first, and there's a touch of sulfur. Lots of yeast and a fair amount of oak. Some dark fruit notes and a little bit of wine. There is some acidity, but it's not as strong as I would expect.

T: Really heavy on the oak and yeast. There is a decent enough tartness, and it's mostly green apple with a little bit of lemon. Some miscellaneous dark fruit notes, but they're sort of weak/faint.

M: Medium in body with a very high carbonation and a dry finish.

O: Fairly disappointing. This beer seems sort of rushed. It would be nice to have seen what this could have become with some more time in the barrels.

 796 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Body is a cloudy light brown. Poured in a pint glass with not much head, there is just a ring, and slight lacing.

Smells malty and sour. There wasn't a lot on the nose with this, due to being poured a bit cold.

Tastes mildly sour with a bitter undertone. Some wood and vanilla. Has a dry finish.

Body is light and the carbonation spritzy.

Overall, it was not a very impressive collaboration brew between Russian River and Sierra Nevada. IMO, not one of either's better efforts.

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Photo of largadeer
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy brown with purple highlights. Little head or lacing.

Smell: There's a huge cab barrel character to the noise. Very vinous and fruity, brett-heavy with a touch of lacto beneath the funk. Surprisingly, Sierra Nevada's kellerweiss yeast is very noticeable too, lending a little sulfur and spice.

Palate: Crisp, mild lactic sourness up front. Some bready brown malt, tons of cab barrel providing vinous fruitiness, and a hint of weissbier yeast. The kellerweiss yeast strain may not have been the best choice here, it's somewhat at odds with the bacteria and wine barrel. Very oaky, tannic finish, quite dry. Tastes a bit young, another 6 months in the barrel probably would have produced a better beer, but it's still very enjoyable.

Overall: Good, but not one of Russian River's better sours. It comes across as a rushed effort.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks for sharing this rarity yesterday, Mike.

Pouring a clear mahogany with reddish brown highlights, this beer is capped with a dense, light brown head. I guess this beer's benefited from time in the bottle, because to me, this smells great. A rather big vinous character is present, with fruity red wine, a touch of sweetness and a moderate acetic sourness. This is unusual for a RR sour in that the sourness here leans more heavily on the acetic and less on the cleaner lemony sourness. A moderate lactic character is present as well. Simple, but pretty nicely done, at least on the nose.
The palate opens with a moderate red wine character, with the light fruit character of a good rose and the more assertive berry character from a big Zin/Pinot Noir. A little thin on the finish, there's a rather scrubbing lactic sourness that doesn't entirely work with the flavors on the palate, causing this to feel a little underdeveloped. A touch too tannic as well, especially for the finish. Medium light in body with moderate carbonation, this is a good sour, one I'll drink again, but one not on the same level as some of Vinnie's other beers.

 1,150 characters

Photo of scottfrie
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sharing MrFootstones!

A: Pours a clear amber brown with a quarter inch light tan head that faded to collar. Spotty lace.
S: Clean brown ale nose with the addition of tart citrus. Light scents of raisins and red fruits come through beneath.
T: Like the nose, smooth brown ale flavors blend well with dry and tart flavors of citrus and apple juice. Raisin, amber malts, citrus juice, berries and a little bit of cherry and oak are present as well.
M: Bubbly and tingly carbonation, lightly greasy mouthfeel, mild tartness.
O: A bit underwhelming but there are no bad flavors to this beer, just muted. A very easy drinking and mild sour.

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Photo of corby112
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Monk's Cafe.

Pours a dark golden copper color that's almost brown with golden mahogany edges and a 1.5 finger off white head. Good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring.  Streaky spots of lace left behind.  

Slightly funky aroma with lots of sweet vinous dark fruit notes.  A good barrel character with hints of earthy oak and subtle creamy vanilla.  Slightly funky with Brett but pretty tame.  More vinous red wine notes than funk with lots of dark berries.  

Medium bodied and puckering with a nice tart presence that lingers into a slightly acetic dry finish.  Not as funky or sour as I expected.  The brown ale notes are almost completely overshadowed with only a faint malt presence.  Funky dry brett/bugs and lots of vinous dark fruit/red wine notes.  Lots of dark grape, sour cherry and other dark fruit.  Sweet with subtle funk without being overly sour.  Decent but the notes from the base beer are complety absent making it a bit one dimensional.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Toronado. Served in a tulip.

A - Plum brown body, with a finger of white foam that quickly settles to a thin collar and minimal lace.

S - It's a sour brown alright - lactic acidity, dry oak, green funk, some vinous and sour cherry character, and a bit of malt character.

T - Green funk, sour cherries, lactic sourness, some oak, over a light brown ale backdrop. The finish is a bit weak.

M - Medium body, pleasant carbonation, smooth texture, and no obvious alcohol. Surprisingly little tannic presence here.

D - Good stuff, but nothing special. I thought the additional age might help this beer, but it's a somewhat underwhelming offering from Russian River. With so many better offerings this was one and done.

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Photo of nataku00
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of levifunk
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle shared with the usual suspects.

a - cloudy brown with off-white head.

s - nose is pretty sour. reminds me a lot of la folie actually, but with a kick of funk.

t - green apple tartness and a white wine dry finish. not as big as i was expecting....but still good

m - a little light on the body. good carbonation. dry finish

overall a solid brew, but nothing special imo. always fun to tick.

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Photo of seeswo
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

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Symposium Sour Brown Ale from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 77 ratings