Over the last year of reviewing beer, I've gotten to try some beers brewed with some strange things. Mate, coconut, habanero, raisins, and a lot more. One ingredient I would never think to put in a beer would be a pluot (a cross between a plum and an apricot). However, that's exactly what Russian River just did. I was lucky enough to try this on tap at O'Brien's the other day.
Compunction (defined as a "pricking of the conscience"), is another sour beer from Russian River. The beer pours a light brown and orange color with a little bit of haze to it and, just like their other sours, not much of a head. A few white spots of foam appear on the surface, but that's about it. The smell is pretty spot on with what I feel a good sour should smell like. I picked up some apricots, lemon, cherries, honey and, of course, some brett.
The taste starts with a blast of sourness, but this beer isn't by any means one dimensional. There's a hint of malt in the sourness and a touch of carbonation that keeps the sourness from being overwhelming. I wasn't picking up a lot of the plum element from the pluots, but apricot was definitely there along with some lemon on the long finish. Compared to some of their other sours, this one is much lighter and I think I like their heavier ones a little better. Still, I can only hope that Russian River continues to make more of these sours, because they're amazing.
Final Grade: B+