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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

989 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 989
Hads: 3,377
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 9.07%
Wants: 1,755
Gots: 927 | FT: 61
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-19-2003

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Temptation Alström Bros
Reviews: 989 | Hads: 3,377
Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Sunshine orange mixes with light golden-blond.

S - Peach, musty sour green grapes. Aromas of peach blossoms.

T - Very sour. Lemons, unripe cox apples. Almost mouth-puckering. Not a huge amount of oakiness with a mildly astringent finish. The tartness overpowered the fruit and the funk from the brett.

M - Crisply carbonated which enhances its refreshingness. Body was medium and much less sparkling than champagne, for example.

O - Obviously expectations were fairly high with this one, and as is wont to happen from time to time, they were not met. I found the acidity ate away at the other characteristics which the beer might have offered. Not mind-blowing, and for this drinker, probably not worth the effort required to get hold of the bottled form. Will revisit in the future to see if my palate has changed.

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Photo of AdamF625
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-clear light golden, straw, 1 finger white head that clumps and fades
S-lemon, star fruit, some breadiness, sage, earthy/grassy
T- Brett funk, fresh squeezed lemon, ripe green apple, tart, chard, a bit of oak on the finish
M- medium body and bubbly carbonation, very fizzy clears the palate. Very tart.
O- Russian River never disappoints. Very clean and well blended. Tart and fruity with some dryness from the barrel.

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Photo of dar482
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The beer hits of white wine and a strong tartness in the front. It's very lemony and citrusy with a general theme of apricot. A light crackery malt in the middle along with a nice touch of cherries. After the citrus, the barrel gives some oak notes and drying.

A very tart, yet well balanced sour. One of my favorites from Russian River.

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Photo of thecommonman
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - A bright, golden orange. Nicely carbonated, very clean. Slight lacing along the glass, minimal head that stays.

S - Almost like Champagne, with a nice citrus and tropical aroma. This aroma is quite bright. Not much of a malt smell, but not necessary.

T - That oaky, barrel flavor hits first; it's a nice sweetness of slight vanilla. Then the citrus-orange-tropical flavor strikes the middle of your tongue and joins the oak. I get a slight sour grape/mild green apple there, too, as you go to the finish. The finale is nice and dry. You definitely get a tiny bit of bitterness from the hops, too, which is a surprise.

M - Medium, fizzy mouthfeel. Nothing too strong, though. Light bubbles, again, like champagne. Smooth and bubbly at once.

O - Probably the best-balanced, wild/sour ale I've ever had. It has a wine-ness that's pleasant at first, then a great, light-citrusy beer finishes you off with a fizz. It's very fresh tartness is balanced very well, and the whole beer in the glass is a top-notch experience from pouring to tasting.

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Photo of mikem0487
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 5/30/2013 and poured into goblet.

A-Bright Golden body with a head that quickly fell back into the beer and went missing. No lacing/retention. Clarity would be great for this beer but there is sediment floating throughout my glass. That was probably my fault due to my anticipation of wanting to try this for so long that I poured it a little to rough.

S-Vanilla, oak and a huge punch of freshly squeezed grapefruit mix together for a aroma that is different but intriguing and beautiful at the same time. The grapefruit is the from the sourness and also get some nice funky/musty notes with subtle peach aromas.

T-This is a sour beer and I love it. Mouth puckering goodness once you take it all in. Starts off as a simple belgian-esque beer and than you hit the middle and back palate and it shows you that it is a sour. Sourness turns into funky barnyard back into sourness with hints of that vanilla/oak from the barrels.

M-Medium-thin body, high carbonation and a super dry finish.

O-Enjoyable beer. Have had this cellaring for a couple months now and decided to take it out. Wish I had another one or two of these in my "cellar" so I could age them and see how they progress and change overtime. Lovely sour beer and cannot wait to have this one again. High price where I got it($20 for the 375mL) but happy with the purchase!

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Photo of Gambelli
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

375ml corked and caged bottle. Bottled on 5/30/2013 and poured into a "tion" beer Russian River
stemmed goblet.

A- Yellow-gold murky brew. A 1/2" head fades away to nothing quickly. Heavy carbonation as evidenced by the strong string of tiny bubbles arising from the bottom of the glass.

S- Sourness, tartness, mild acidic vinegar appears immediately in the nose, followed by a wine
aroma from the oak wine barrel aging. Tart cherry, peach, red grape, and a hint of citrus are all there, along with a bit of malt from the base beer.

T- The wine barrel taste is right there at first with the sharp, sour cherry and fruit tastes holding up their end nicely. A hint of malt base keeps the sourness in check, and makes for a great all around blend.

M- Tart and sour, but not overly so. Strong carbonation allows all facets of the beer to dance around on the tongue. Nothing overbearing here.

O- A well balanced wild ale. Like I'm diving into a glass of wine for a split second, then quickly into sour, tart and fruity goodness. I prefer a couple of the other RR sours, but would never turn this one away.

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Photo of markchristenson
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first experience with this, and quite an enjoyable one.

Poured into a Riedel Vinum Pinot Noir glass, it showed a sudsy, soapy head and a brilliant lemon/gold color. Smelled incredibly fresh and tangy, with citrus and hints of vanilla. The flavor was really good, but was a bit one-dimensional (I'm thinking of it compared to a Pliny the Elder that was consumed last night). Nice acidity, hoppiness, and vibrancy on the palate, with a clean aftertaste. Good stuff and I need to find some more :-)

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Photo of MCImes
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - who cares what a beer looks like?

S - Citrus citrus citrus. Lots of lemon aroma. A little funk, a little wood

T - When its cool-cold, its a lemon bomb. Not overly sour, but lots of lemon/citrus flavor, but not in a hoppy-citrus way. Its more of a tamed down lemon kind of citrus. As it warms up it improves, as with most sours. As it approaches 60* more wood and funk emerge.

M - medium-light body; what a bright sour should be.

O - Another very good -ation for RR. I have tried Supplication and Concecration also. In order, I prefer Supp, then Conc, then Temp, so its my least favorite of the -ation's that I've had, but its still a great beer. Im really splitting hairs. It mostly depends on what flavor profile you are in the mood for, as those 3 are all fairly different, so its not an entirely fair comparison.

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Photo of roger617
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into tulip.

A: Light golden, pours with 2 fingers of white head that reduces slowly and leave a little bit of lacing.
S: Citrus funky goodness. The aroma is well balanced, giving enough fruit notes to balance out the funk.
T: Very similar to aroma, but the sour punches through the citrus. The after taste is very mellow, making me crave even more.
M: Carbed very well, very similar to champagne, but not quite as much.
O: The balance and complexity of this beer is very well crafted. There aren't many sour beers (which I've had) that are all around this easy to drink. I'm slowly turning into a sour fan, and it's beer just like this one that is the reason why. With all the hype around super hops and bourbon barrel stouts, it's nice to have a world class beer like this that stands out in it own way.


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Photo of mc4z
4.71/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12.7 oz bottle. Pours a golden color, lots of yeast, and lots of bubbles rising to the top, keeping a nice head. The smell is super tart, lots of lemon. The taste is incredible. You can taste the Chardonnay and the citrus with a strong but pleasant sourness. One of the best balanced sours I've had. This beer is really carbonated and the drinkability is on the same level as Champagne. An excellent beer.

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle into tulip glass, batch 05X1E. Pours lightly cloudy bright golden amber color with a 2 finger dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big tart green apple, grape, pear, lemon zest, straw, hay, grass, oak, clove, pepper, white wine, vinegar, leather, funk, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with big complexity and great balance of yeast ester and wine barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of tart green apple, grape, pear, lemon zest, hay, straw, grass, honey, bread, oak, clove, pepper, white wine, vinegar, leather, funk, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy/fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of green apple, grape, pear, lemon zest, hay, straw, grass, honey, bread, white wine, oak, clove, pepper, leather, vinegar, funk, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and balance of malt, wine barrel, and yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/tartness balance with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly acidic mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding wild ale as expected. Tons of great complexity and well balanced flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.26/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Luminous tangerine-gold with a film of white froth that leaves big rings and a mist of floaties.
Nectar, a touch of horse blanket, apricot, marigold, sponge cake, and white grape skin - deep nose.
Honey on country loaf up front, some yellow apple, vinegar tang, kumquat tartness, a twist of lemon zest, some oaky vanilla, a hint of chalk, perhaps some Chardonnay gooseberry and a hint of spice.
Waxy starfruit finish and clean acidic linger.
Crisp, light to medium, some chew, lively.

OK, yeah, this is pretty damn good. The secret to this, I think, is a very good golden ale as a base. Oak, Brett and beer all in finely calibrated balance, opening it up to remarkable depth. No burn, and amazing how funky it isn't.

I'd probably need to taste other, less accomplished sours to appreciate how well this is done, but I'd drink this again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of Dope
4.07/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 05/30/13.

A: Cork nearly blinds me as it flies out immediately when I undo the cage. Pours a clear light amber. Tall frothy white head. Head fizzes out fairly quickly. Light and very fluffy lacing left behind. A surprising amount for a sour.

S: Oak and chardonnay for sure. Quite tart from the aroma. Has an acidic citrus component to it too. Maybe some sour apples?

T: Quite tart and sour. Lots of tart wine up front; distinctive chardonnay. Sour apples and citrus (mostly lemons I would say). Just a hint of a bready malt, it's almost graham cracker-like. Drying oak in the finish with more chardonnay and sour fruits. Between sips there is a decently strong leathery aspect as well.

M: Nice medium body. Dry. Quite dry.

O: Not bad. I am not a huge wine fan, especially chardonnay so I am biased unfortunately. Definitely adds some nice complexity at least. One of the better sours I've ever had.

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Photo of peensteen
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Liam.

Hazed bright golden blonde, ring of white head and a bit of lace. Smell is earthy with oak oak and a great deal of funk/acidity, lemony, citrus fruits as well as white wine, even more funky as it warmed. Tatse is initially a sharp acidity and quite sour, earthy and a bit of oak, sour fruit, lemon, white wine and incredibly dry finish, puckering aftertaste. Dry medium carbonation, medium bodied. Really good stuff, great mix of sour, white ine, oak and fruit here, would love to aquire a couple bottles of this.

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Photo of bpasquini
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Nice golden slight yellowish color, no head from the pour, slightly hazy, slow nucleation occurring as well

S: Lovely sour/tart fruit smell to it, very dominant, can also pick up some brett funk, faint bready malts, and a hint of honey as well, smells fantastic!

T: Sour/tart fruit dominate the flavor! Notice some bready malts and brett, the brett is not overpowering at all and is very light, slight sweetness at the end, the sourness level is just right, and the flavors mix together extremely well

M: Medium bodied, slightly syrupy, sticky, but finishes extremely well, after you take the drink everything is gone instantly, nothing lingers but the flavor of the fruit and that is minimal at best

O: Absolutely fantastic beer! One of the best feels to a beer I have ever tried, the sour/tart fruit flavor is outstanding, yet again RR, one of the best beers I have had, definitely get this beer!

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Photo of jbaker67
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy golden yellow with light white head. Aroma of lemon and light oak and funky smell. Taste of nice belgian malt with sour grapes and great carbonation up front, on the backend of the sip i get an oak and funky bret taste. The beer isn’t too acidic but leaves a marvelous citrus/grape refreshing aftertaste.

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Photo of pkalix
4.79/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

golden yellow, some sediment sustained in the liquid as if it were jello(?)... nice covering of the thin layer-foam when tilting the glass . . . .
smell is Belgian yeast rich, fruity. green apples? but you certainly know where you're going with the nose on this one....
slightly tart up front, slightly acidic and vinegar-y in the middle, and wine-y grape-y towards the end. not a wine, but not (quite) a beer either(?). a majestic 'fermentation', shall we say?
some sweetness somewhere in the middle of all this. I completely understand the incredibly high scores for this brew. I love this. I like sours, but this isn't totally 'there'. it's definitely a unique brew which Russian River just seems to be so capable of producing. now there IS a certain residual 'property' which lingers on the sides of the tongue as it builds up with continued draws... i'm not sure how to classify it, but it IS a 'residual' of some sort. not quite 'chemical'. not completely 'organic'. and not always present. this is certainly one of the great brews to have tasted... I completely bow down to Russian River for the successes... very rich, very pronounced properties. a little more difficult to acquire down here in orange county, and definitely one you need to grab if you ever find it on the shelf. IF you're open to a slightly sour brew... rescued the day!! compared to that Alaska mikkeller, this is heaven!!!!

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Photo of maDUECEgunner
4.91/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thank you Geuzedad for another gem.

Appearance: Deep hazy yellow. Pure white foamy head with good retention. Head dissipated rather quickly.

Smell: Grapes, chardonnay, oak, Belgian yeast.

Taste: Tastes like a mix of oak and chardonnay. Slightly lactic, very easy to drink. Way more mild of a sour than most others.

Mouthfeel. Not a puckering as most sours. Very well carbonated. I barely loosened the cork and it went flying across the room:)

Overall: It's hard to decide whether to give it a 5 or 4.75. It is absolutely amazing, yet kind of one dimensional. I wish I could drink this everyday. Russian River fails to disappoint.

Serving Type: Bottle 05/30/13 (I want another to age)

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Photo of dwagner003
4.86/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

What can you say about Temptation that hasn't already been said a million times? It's a masterpiece. Nearly flawless, with the exception of some personal preference towards appearance and mouthfeel. Even still, it gets incredibly high marks there. It's a wonderfully tart and refreshing beer with the most pleasantly subtle oaky chardonnay background. This is a prime example of how to use Brett in a beer. It's vinous and effervescent, and just awesome.

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Photo of MCain04
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to my good friend Ryan Dunn for splitting this bottle. Served into wine glasses.

Poured a hazy deep yellow, hint of orange, white head of a little less than a finger depth, good lacing, and great retention.

Smells of sour grapes, green apples, sour cherries, white wine, and oak. As to be expected, nothing surprising there.

Taste is pretty damn nice. There is a great sweet and sour vibe going on that balances the beer well. The taste is of sour tart grapes, apples, and cherries, but enough fruit flavor remains to put a nice sweetness to it. A touch oaky, very complimentary. A very strong presence of chardonnay in the taste, and it blends so damn well. Impressive.

Mouthfeel is medium to full. Carbonation is medium, spot on. Smooth and sticky but clean, just a really impressive feel to this beer, I love how every sip feels.

Overall I loved this beer, it was almost as good as consecration and supplication, certainly one of my favorite sours of all time. The wine barrel aging really makes this, as it does the other russian river sours. Well done, must try for everyone at some point.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.45/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle dated 7/27/2012, so its about a year and 2 months old. Poured into a Bell's snifter at Doug's today, 9/18/2013.

Pours a beautiful hazy straw colour, with a lovely 2cm white head with great retention. Looks so incredibly refreshing with a lot of great lacing as this one goes down- that's all I have to say about the appearance.

Smell is interesting and very aromatic, but a little one dimensional. I can definitely get the oak and chardonnay scent here, but its not particularly complex. It smells so refreshing though that I can't dock it too many points. I can tell that this is the base for the FfaC though.. a bit of that funkiness in that nose also, but not a ton. Definitely get a little bit of lactic acidity, like FfaC, but its not particularly acidic sour. One thing about this one is that it smells so clean.

Flavour is great, so refreshing, but not too complex. Its a combination of oak and tannins, lactic acidity and some sweetness which is more of that dry chardonnay sweetness combined with a little bit of citrus zest. Not a ton of funk in this one, like a good geuze, but its definitely a very, very palatable flavour. I think this is a great beginner's sour, honestly, even more so than Sanctification or Supplication.

Its a lighter bodied beer but it is so incredibly refreshing. I would definitely use this is a hot day-porch beer, or a palate cleanser. Its so pleasing, I can see this is a beginner sour. I would be able to drink a pitcher of this without any problems, its that great in disguising the 7.5% ABV booziness. Very drinkable, may quite possibly be the most drinkable of the RR sours.

Definitely worth trying; its not über complex but its got that good sour quotient and a bit of complexity to it. Russian River's other sour offerings are more complex and flavourful, but if you are new to sours, this is one I would definitely try first before all the other sours.

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Photo of StrongAleSkeptic
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on May 30, 2013

A - Pours a glowing light amber golden hue, initially clear, with a slight haze from the leftover yeasties.
S - Bright and aromatic with notes of grape, straw. Slight funk with a dominant Belgian brett yeast character. Clean but pungent. Marshmellow, ambrosia, pineapple poetry on the nose!
T - Delightful. Rich, full orange peel and lemongrass upfront that blends into a tart, succulent funkiness. Notes of grape and grape must with a tinge of oak tannin.
M - Fun and light on the palate but with a medium body to sustain through each flavor intricacy. Quite palatable -- I swear I could drink an entire pitcher of this and be in heaven (I promise to do it slowly, don't worry).
O - A pleasurably fun light ale with the Belgian twist. One of the more memorable sours I've enjoyed.

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Photo of stewart124
4.73/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed at Stone.

Pours golden with plenty of visible carbonation. Beautiful
Lacing right off the bat. Trails of bubbles.

Farmyard, horse blanket and grainy notes. Some lemon and tart cherries comes to mind.

Whoa! This packs a punch. Loaded with tart characters and finishes so dry. More lemon and tart cherries with biscuity/bread to back it up. So easy to sip. The bottle doesn't last nearly long enough.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.63/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This was one of those rare and perfect beers.

Pours a clear, vibrant gold color with a pretty orange hue. Streaming effervescence. Looks like a glass of white wine or champagne except for the fat head of white foam. Delicate, tight bubbles that cling to the glass and fall off slowly to a cap and thick ring. Couldn't be any prettier.

Nose is chardonnay wine. Has a nice crisp wine like scent with a touch of sour lemon. Brett and barnyard. Wet grass. The nose has just a touch of the oak and a dryness from the brett that also seems to be a little sour. The malt is faint on the nose and not much more than a breath of biscuit. As it warms the lemon becomes a little sweeter.

Taste is divine. It's tart and sour. The mouth waters from the first sip. it tastes of the chardonnay and oak. The bubbles make it sparkle on the tongue. It has a mineral quality and a it's a little edgy too. Bold and daring. The malt is light, fluffy and biscuity bread. The drink is dry and warming. So fruity, so juicy.

This is one of the best beers you will have. The chardonnay character and the brett go so well together. The oak is understated but adds depth and the malt is superbly light. Crisp, fresh, billowing and ample. This is a beer you can linger over and really appreciate it's indulgence.

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Photo of joe1510
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml Bottle
Russian River

Batch# 003

A big thanks goes out to errantnight for providing me with a few of the Russian River sours, thanks again Derek! Temptation's body is deep golden with a moderate haziness. Large carbonation bubbles explode to the surface from every inch of the glass. The carbonation kept the two finger micro bubbled head alive throughout the entire drink. I'm surprised to find it but chunky, sticky lacing is left behind after each drink. This is a great looking beer!

The nose is loaded with tart orchard fruits. Apricots and peaches are the first thing to jump out along with vinous qualities from the chardonnay barrels. All of these aromas bring tartness to the nose; green apple skins play a big role as well. The malt base is all about pale, semi sweet malts that allow the Brett to do its thing. The depth of this beer is outstanding and the fruitiness meshes perfectly.

The flavor follows closely in the footsteps of the aroma. Tart apricots fall away for the peaches to step forward upfront. The vinous qualities come through mid-palate along with green apple skins that leave behind a solid tartness that lingers after the swallow. The only addition to the aroma is a slight bready maltiness along with candi sugar-like sweetness toward the finish. This is a delicious beer from Russian River.

The body is medium but the lively carbonation makes the body feel airy. The dryness grows as I drink which accentuates the tartness on the swallow.

This beer is dangerously drinkable and should be bottled in 750s. 375ml is not near enough of this delicious beer for one sitting. I find myself not being able to set the glass down.

Temptation is one of my favorite sours to date. This is a fantastic beer in all aspects that I just can't get enough of. The tartness of this beer comes across ridiculously well. Thanks again for picking these up Derek!

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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 989 ratings.