Symposium Sour Brown Ale | Russian River Brewing Company

very good
32 Reviews
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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.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 76
Photo of hobojon
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Russian River, this is the third time I have had it. On the chalkboard as CBC Sour Brown. OG: 1.048 ABV 6.2 BU 18

Aroma: mild sourness, some toasty malt with hints of chocolate. mild brett character, but has the house Russian River funk aroma. some tropical fruit.

Appearance: hazy brown with a small layer of off white foam that dissipates. laces a bit.

Taste: mild sourness, but assertive enough. tropical fruit (pineapple, mango) and citrus. citric and lactic sourness. some hints of berry. nice -bal character with vinous qualities. some tannic dryness.

Mouthfeel: dry, med high carb (good for draft). drying with some tannins or slight astringency. makes this beer more drinkable. smooth alcohol. unique for a beer because it is so dry and vinous.

Overall: I keep ordering it despite the Pliny or other -tion beers, so I must like it. It is complex in a way that is different that other Russian River beers, with more tannins, and less sourness but nice tropical brett funk. I would really like to try the bottle conditioned version to see how the carbonation difference effects the beer.

edit: After reading other reviews, I agree that this beer could have used more time (but not in the wine barrels).

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap last night at Russian River (so happy to see try this!). Pours a somewhat-murky brown color with a very small, off-white head. Scent is very delightful, with some great oak aromas. I get some tart cherry aromas as well as some red wine. The taste is very oaky and not as sour as I was expecting. Very delicious, however. The great oak flavors blended well with the red wine and tart brett flavors. There were some nice cherry flavors as well as some surprising nuttiness. Mouthfeel was nice and full bodied with some acidic, crisp qualities. I feel this was a good beer for a cold night, just as well as for a hot day. Drinkability was high. Overall, this beer was very tasty and I'm fortunate to have gotten to try it.

 730 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

 846 characters

Photo of Genghis22
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Notes, had on tap at the brew pub on Thursday, March 24.

A - Light amber brown, slightly hazy. Thin, off white head, with little lacing.

S - Nutty funk. Roasty brown ale goodness with touches of sour cherry.

T - Cherry up front. Not overly tart. Sweetness washes over the tongue. Then there is a dry nutty finishes. Aftertaste is bitterhops and sourness.

M - Nice full body, not too thick, but certainly not thin. Super tight carbonation, almost champagne like. Very nice.

O - Well made beer. Not as assetive or impressive as Supplication, which this beer reminded me of. Sort of seemed like a lighter version of Supplication. I would drink this again, but wouldn't go out of my way for it.

 700 characters

Photo of jethrodium
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the the Public House in San Francisco. Pours a hazy brown with a small white head that leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is strongly oak and the typical brett funkiness. There is also some red wine and raisin and a little bit of a mineral earthiness. The initial taste is tart lemon with a slight sweetness going into oaky red wine. The finish is acetic vinegar. A little bit more than I would have liked. A little bit astringent. Light-medium body. Medium carbonation. Overall a pretty solid beer. I found it to be similar to Consecration, but not quite as good.

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Photo of juhl31
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

-dark caramel brown in color. some fog to it, you cant see through it and not just because it's too dark in color. thin white head that leaves pretty quickly

-little bit of a sour note, with some vanilla in there as well. there is some malts that can be reached at the end of the sniff

-good subtle sour taste that doesnt make your teeth melt. can get some of the brown type malts through it all and again there seems to be a faint vanilla accent in there as well

-again, this is a great mouthy sour beer. it is really smooth and it doesnt make you want to lick the inside of your mouth afterwards

-a great drinking sour. it is really good and extremely easy drinking. if there wasnt more beers i wanted to drink at the event, i couldve kept coming back for 3 or 4, easy

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Symposium Sour Brown Ale from Russian River Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 76 ratings.
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