Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

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TemptationTemptation

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

3,098 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,098
Reviews: 974
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 9.19%
Wants: 1,573
Gots: 823 | FT: 45
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A blonde ale fermented with a special strain of yeast, then aged in French oak chardonnay barrels. Flavors of wine and oak absorb into the brew throughout twelve months of aging. During this aging process, a secondary fermentation occurs using a yeast strain disliked by most brewers and winemakers called Brettanomyces.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,098 | Reviews: 974 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1.5 Liter olive colored bottle with batch #001 on the label. This bottle is 7.25% abv and barrel aged for 12 months. Poured into two Duvel glasses ... cheers to Vinnie for the big ass bottle.

A- Clear orange gold hue, etching in Duvel glass expresses a beautiful trail of bubbles that hold the white lace together. Speaking of the lace ... absolutely wonderful as it sticks all over the glass.

S- Farmy aroma with a goat-like white wine smell. Suggestions of lemons, sour cherries and wet grass. Hint of phenols and a refined fusel alcohol in the back.

T- Cherry tartness ... BANG! Underlying lime edge, a touch of mineral / salts. Biscuity bread crust maltiness, very dry. Very faint on the wood. Fruity all over with a hidden warming alcohol. Leafy hop character holds a restrained bitterness.

M- Creamy mouth feel, fluffy, light and dry.

D- So flavorful and interesting it is hard to put down. We could easily sip this all night long.

High marks for originality.

Photo of Todd
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of M-Fox24
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy golden, yellowish, orange-y color. Nice white head with little retention, and beautiful lacing

S: Notes of vanilla oak, tropical fruit, grapes, wine, pears, pineapple, lemon, brett, and funk. Great acidity, great sourness, and a great aroma

T: Very drinkable; sour, tartness, and acidity is just about to perfection. Superb blend of oak notes, grapes, lemon, orange, citrus, vanilla, and funk

M: Light to medium body, great carbonation, excellent finish. The tartness, acidity, brett, and oak due no harm here

O: The mouth-feel, the funkiness, and the complexity is superb; Temptation is an extremely well executed product

Photo of RoyalT
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I happened to be visiting the brewery as Vinnie had finished and bottled, not yet labeled, his first batch of Temptation many years ago. He wasn't happy with some aspects of it but after chatting about the brew process for half an hour or so he brought up a few unlabeled bottles.

For the life of me I couldn't see what he didn't like about it, but then again anyone who knows Vinnie knows that he is a perfectionist. After tasting this and another beer (which I don't think ever went to market) he gave me a couple of bottles to cellar. I've just now seen it for the first time in a bottle in a beer store so was excited to down a few. This is absolutely one of the best beers that I have ever had.

Appearance - This is a beautiful, light straw blond in color with a gorgeous head. It's not big and foamy like a giant Belgian or a Weizen of course, but the bubbles are so incredibly tight and even you almost hate to drink it. Almost.

Smell - This is the most refined sour aroma I have ever had the pleasure of smelling. It's neither harsh nor offensive yet is still potent and sharp. The light grains in the background are equally refined.

Taste - The sourness is definitely a home run here. It is exceptionally strong yet not harsh like so many other Wild Ales. There's just enough sweetness to tame the flavor.

I can pick up some light white wine notes, which I'm guessing after reading up on the beer from the RR site is the chardonnay that seeped into the barrels that they use to age this beauty shop. The grain again is like a delicious light blonde ale grain that ads to the airy feeling you get when drinking this beer.

Mouthfeel - This was my favorite part of the drink. It is definitely light-bodied with a mature and technically advanced sourness and that terrific grain backbone actually makes this sail through the mouth. The carbonation is pure perfection, again according to the website the beer is carbonated in the bottle. It's just an enjoyable, light, airy texture that makes you want to keep on drinking.

Drinkability - This is the most quaffable sour ale I've ever had. It goes down so smooth and is so refreshing. How he put this thing together I'll never know.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 001. Top notch presentation in a 12.7 ounce glass. Very unique bottle with a fantastic label. Cork and caged.

Pours a brilliant straw into long stem white wine glass. Carbonation is wildly disturbed by the shape of the glass causing a tidal clash of yeasty white head. The mountain of cream constantly dissolves and reforms each time I pick up the glass. This is a fun beer to play with. Carbonation streaming is flawless. I feel compelled to say that this is a perfect looking brew, a true 5.

Nose is a ballyhoo of citric zest but through that intensity spouts a surge of oak and then a second surge of vanilla. After a while this pandemonium blends into a nice cohesive chardonnay but that’s not all. Above the lemons and oak barrel aromas there is something much more important…Da Funk! That quality that one finds in a great lambic…yep, it’s here.

Taste/Mouthfeel: An initial blast of sour grapes is quite fun but a bit overpowering. Seconds later, however, the palate is well adjusted and the Chardonnay like subtleties become palpable. The ever-present sourness is my favorite aspect of the beer but it does not outshine all else, as is the case in some lambics. Within the sour frame and coalescing with vanilla flavors lies a buttery mouthfeel. It’s surprising and eminently pleasurable. Herein too we find a miscellany of citrus, pear, apricot, rotten hay, and white grape skins, all of which combines to form that wonderful funk that we all so enjoy.

Ingurgitate - To swallow greedily or in excessive amounts; gulp. Yep, that’s this beer to a T-funk. If I may add a new adjective to my beer reviewing vocabulary, this one is inguritatable.

Photo of Smokesnotes
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of tectactoe
4.54/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jeff for sharing this one with me. Pours a golden-yellow color, translucent with lots of light shining through the edges. The foamy white head lasts for a bit as it settles and leaves some big, wet lacing.

The aroma is thoroughly acidic and tart. Sour apple skins, pears, light vinegar, faint lactic aromas. There's a mild woodiness behind all of the tart fruits, but there's no denying that this is a sour bomb. I was a bit shocked to find that there was quite a big vinous character in the aroma, too, until I read that this was aged in chardonnay barrel. Makes sense now. Very tingly on the nostrils, this one's gonna be sour - no doubt.

And sure enough, it is. Temptation is very sour, front and center. We're talking puckering sour, not just "mildly tart". Lemons are huge, as are apples and pears. Wow, this is just so, so, so, SO tart. Each sip feels more tart than the last. It hits the edges and corners of your mouth and gets your face scrunched up in no time. Not as sour as Beatification, still pretty damn tart. Light vinous notes, as well as a mild oak flavor on the tail, but the beer has a mostly sweet finish once that godly tartness finally dies down. Medium bodied, heavily carbonated.

I've come to expect a lot from Russian River, and rightfully so. Temptation delivers. It's a sour motherfucker, that's for sure. If you like sours and you haven't had this yet - get some. Now.

Photo of ricke
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to brewdan for this one. Batch 3, 2009 vintage.

A: Slightly hazy yellow color with orange hues. A pretty big ivory-colored head leaves some lacings.

S: A nicely sharp smell full of character. Funky horse blanket and aged cheese. Lots of tart fruits (apples, pears, lemon) and general notes of berries. Notes of fermenting apples as well. Light hints of oak barrel and a nice touch of alcohol in the background. A very impressive smell.

T: The taste is semi-sweet at first, but then turns rather tart. The tartness isn't really mouth-wrecking, but feels genuine and robust. A wonderful combination of pleasant fruit aromas (green apples, gooseberries, lemon) and funky notes of barnyard and mud. A hint of wood. Nice bretty flavors. In the finish, there's a mild grassy bitterness, sweet and phenolic alcohol, a gentle leafy hop note and a dry tartness.

With the last poor (I let all the yeast go into the glass) the beer changes character a bit. The tartness is muted and notes of vanilla and nuts develop.

M: Light body with a refreshing cider-like carbonation.

D: A very good wild ale. This one could probably go head to head with some of the milder Belgian gueuzes. Very refreshing and enjoyable. Impressive.

Photo of DavyJones
3.5/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of jono0101
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of brownbeer
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Falling Rock.

Cloudy gold with solid white lacing.

Nose is delicate, light barnyard, lemon.

Perfectly sour and geuze-like. zesty lemon,light horseblanket, acidic citrus.

Light medium body with a dry, astringent finish.

This is a sessionable sour. I'm suprised how much of this they had.

Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of hotglassmama
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Dabeel
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy Golden Straw, Light Foamy White Head, some Lacing

S - There is a strong white wine aroma with tart pears and grapes. Yeast aromas give the nose some funk. The aroma is definitely complex and I'm sure I could have spent more time discovering its intricacies.

T - This is pretty damn sour. Very tart citrus, white grape, and apple. Bretty funk taste. On the far back end, there is a bit of a harsh bitterness, like lemon peel, that lasts for thirty seconds or so after I swallow and detracts from an otherwise wonderful sour beer.

M -Medium-bodied with just the right amount of dry, sour character. A little more sweetness than some sours, which I appreciated.

O - A great sour for sure but it didn't quite live up to the hype that the other sours did for me from RR. I actually prefer Sanctification to this. Definitely glad I tried this.

Photo of readicculus
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of drewkennedy
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of bdkucharski
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of newk340
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 001. 375ml bottle. Pours into my tulip glass a deep golden yellow with nice clarity, fine active carbonation and a creamy white head. Aromas flow out of the glass with sun drenched grains and a fruity profile (green apple). The oak is there with a vinous aroma as well. Brett moves in with a noticeable sourness and an underlying funky, hay/barnyard aroma. Draws me in with its wonderful array of scents.

First sip brings a light sun dried malt with fruity flavors of lemon, citrus and grapes. Oak and woody tannin tones are met by a sourness that flows in. Hay, must and barnyard flavors mix in on the way down. Acidity is there but is well managed and never becomes too much. The Brettanomyces works in so well. Finishes a bit dry. Just an amazing beer.

Mouthfeel is medium to light and arid with mellow carbonation that rolls across the tongue perfectly. Incredibly refreshing and easy to drink. Just an amazing brew overall. I could easily sit down and enjoy a couple of bottles of this to myself and be in heaven. Yet another winner from Russian River, I only wish this wasn't my only bottle. Temptation is worth seeking out and enjoying.

Photo of blitz134
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received from AKSmokedPorter...

I had about an once and a half of this at a beer tasting and thought it was amazing. I just had to have a full bottle for myself...

Hazy apricot in color. Quick disappearing white head. Only a small pool of bubbles sits on top. Aroma is tart apples and some white grapes. Again the tart apples and white grapes come through in the taste. Some hints of light oak work their way in. Smells much tarter than it actually is. Has some initial tartness on the tongue and a touch of spices. Very similar to a wine. Super clean palate on this one, nothing which seems 'off-flavored'.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but to style. Carbonation is evident. Finishes very dry. Super drinkable. A nicely constructed flavor that isn't overbearing.

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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,098 ratings.