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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

989 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 989
Hads: 3,375
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 16.78%
Wants: 1,756
Gots: 924 | FT: 60
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
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Reviews: 989 | Hads: 3,375
Photo of David1975
1/5  rDev -77.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Are you kidding? Are you calling this beer? Taste like champagne mixed with white wine with
bitter taste. It took me forever to finish drinking it. If you like nice gold or dark lager stay away from this "beer". It is hard to understand that so many people on Beer Advocate website like it.

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Photo of dfernandez77
1.99/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Bright and tart, slightly metallic; lemongrass and peaches, with notes of saddle leather, vanilla, fresh cut cedar, and wet hay. Reasonable promise here.

Very clear light gold, with a slight warmth. Pours with a light fine bubbled head that dissipates quickly leaving light lace. Appealing.

Dominated by a metallic sourness of a single focus. Lacking in complexity. Moderated by a warm fuzzy moldy summer fruit (peach like) funk. Finishes slightly astringent and papery. Completely fails to deliver on what small promise there was in the aroma and appearance.

A bit like diet soda, with a little slickness you might find in a light session ale with wheat. No redemption for the flavor.

Overall impression:
Perhaps I'm not the one to ask, because I've had many different lambic ales. Fruited, straight young and old, gueze. And I've had Rhodenbach and other Flemish red ales. That means I'll be bringing a higher standard to my evaluation than some others.

The Temptation is thin and one dimensional. It is very unsatisfying - especially considering the price. I've had Cantillon, Boon, Mort Subite, and Lindeman's that just blow the Temptation out of the box with great complexity and depth. I finished it because I couldn't bear throwing $10 down the drain.

If you asked me if I wanted another one of these - I would not be tempted.

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Photo of WCBCFrank
2.06/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Russian River's Temptation Blonde Ale pours off-yellow in a goblet or Chardonnay glass. There is a "whack in the head" lack of subtlety in the oak Chardonnay notes throughout the beer - sour apples, lots of oak, yeasty but not overwhelming. Well made, but beware of oak.

Personally: For my taste buds Russian River's Blonde Ale in oak barrels doesn't work...maybe my taste buds will grow to like it....

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Photo of charlzm
2.08/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.5

Consumed Saturday, January 7, 2012 at Blue Palms Brewhouse, Hollywood, CA in a snifter.

Beer is a light golden color with a fine skin of white foam.

Aroma is nondescript with just a slight tart note.

Flavor is all sourness. Tastes like white grape juice mixed with a small amount of white vinegar. Winced all the way through this one. Try as I may, I get nothing but that one note. No bitterness, no malt, no sweetness, no wood, just white grapes and sourness.

Unremarkable mouthfeel.


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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.66/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Falling Rock:

Well, I like RR beers and the Temptation is a nice beer. However, while it produces a nice looking brew, and it's not horrible or bad, it's simply just a sour beer.
The taste has a touch of green pear to it, but for the most part this is only sour. Nothing complex, and I"m glad I had this on tap instead of paying the 24 bucks for a bottle.
Aroma is sour, with bits of clove and green apple. That's as far as it goes, though. Aged? sure doesn't come out in the aroma or taste.
A solid sour, but nothing special. I would think it's not worth the bottle price.

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Photo of travolta
2.69/5  rDev -39%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: A hazy straw color. A little cloudy. The lacing is minimal but defined. Head retention is thin.

Nose: Crisp chardonnay with hints of lemon, citrus, melon, mineral, and alcohol.

Taste: Very crisp on the mouth. Very bitter, a crisp yeasty taste throughout. Very oaky, lots of citrus, bitter.

Notes: Great concept, great presentation, execution was disappointing. Vinnie, bring back some Blind Pig brews through Russian River!

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Photo of Hophazzard
2.75/5  rDev -37.6%

Wow! This is not what I consider beer. Like a super strong white wine or something. At $11 A bottle, it's priced like wine too. I'll stick to beer, thank you.

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Photo of MVassar
2.77/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm a tad reluctant to submit my review since I'm clearly in the minority here. I've tried this beer twice, and had consistent notes each time.

Slightly cloudy, light gold color. Minimal head, which doesn’t last long. Looks (and behaves) like a glass of Martinelli’s cider. Scant lacing.

Smells of Martinelli’s, too. Lots of crisp apple scent, which is very pleasant. Not much else.

Would be hard pressed to identify this as beer. Tastes like a sour apple cider, with little depth. Tart apple, hints of sour cherry, and a touch of grapey Chardonnay flavors. Raw flavors. Unimpressive.

Very carbonated, (unpleasantly fizzy,) with an acidic finish. Clean texture, but a little difficult to get down.

Clearly, this isn't my style. Not one I'll be sipping again.

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Photo of Murchmac
2.94/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Drank this with a wine friend of mine who really enjoyed Supplication and Consecration. I have been expanding into sours more and more and thought I was ready for this.

Pours like cloudy urine almost, water, golden champagne look to it.

Lemon, sour, wood in the nose,

Taste was of sour apples, cidery for me. Lemony I guess.

neither my friend or myself enjoyed this beer. That being said I can see how others really like this, my sour palate isnt there yet, ill check back next year.

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Photo of ibbjamin
3.3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Paid $12.99 for a 12.7 oz bottle from Monument Liquor in Concord, CA. Poured into a wine glass with a few pours. This is Batch 003 according to the bottle.

A very fizzy huge head from a soft pour but not sure of the carbonation levels at first glance. Nearly opaque from the cloudiness. This is a golden orange color reminiscent of a wheat/APA cross. The head retains at about a quarter inch and the lacing is thick, fizzy and slowly receding.

Smells very strong and yeasty. Carbonation detected in the nose. Hints of alcohol. Slightly spicy with earthy undertones. Hops somewhat evident, mainly of a perfumy/herbal variety. A warming sensation envelopes my head when getting a good whiff of this one - quite odd. I haven't figured if the aroma is pleasant to me, but I give it an A+ for originality - I've never smelled anything quite like it before.

Taste is so much different than the smell, it is incredible. First sip tells me - no this is terrible. It slowly gets better, but I'm still not sold on it I think. Again, like the smell, A+ for originality, but this one just doesn't trigger the pleasure part of my brain. Very funky yeast taste with some spiciness that was detected in the nose.

Highly carbonated and fizzy in the mouth. Light to medium bodied.

If you are looking for something that is drinkable and VERY different, this is your ticket. An experimental brew that is certainly worth trying and I commend the folks at Russian River for taking their precious time and energy to brew this one. I keep sipping it and am not sure if I like it - this one is confusing to me on all fronts - its misteriousness is intruguing.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.4/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I aged this for almost a year after purchase on a reccomendation from the beer manager at High times near newport beach. Popped the cork on a special occasion served in a small tulip.

Golden with Orange hue around the edges. Head and lacing are lacking.

First gulp reminded me of a chardonay. Big grape, sour, bitter, and some sweetness to finish. Some oak, wooded, earthy interior but mostly this brew reminded me of a fine chardonay with more carbonation and earthy tones to it.

I really think this should be aged a long long time. I aged it but it didn't settle down yet. Give this one a few years. For now its a glorified wine.

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Photo of Naerhu
3.4/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Hazy dark yellow, pure white head.
S - Slightly sour and slightly guezey chardonnay aromas
T - Extremely dry, quite bitter for the queze style. Lambicy, but none of the punishing sourness or any of the harshness.
M - Smooth and small carbonation. Delightful.
D - Interesting and tastey, but not refreshing.

Confirming my suspision that BAs are generally the finest people you will ever meet, I met with DonneBaby this evening, and had quite a good time. Thank you for bringing this beer all the way to Japan.

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Photo of squaremile
3.44/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Belmont Station in Portland. Pour a true gold, a bit of a fizzy head, and smells like a Pinot. Light mouthfeel, carb dances in the mouth a bit. Taste has a nice sour punch (like sour candy) and some funk and earthy notes, but I'm stuck on a chalky flavor that compromised the drinkability. Maybe it needs more time, maybe it's me.

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Photo of brystmar
3.52/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden color with almost zero head or lace. It's a sour: whaddya expect? Sour fruit, funky Brett yeast, oak barrels in the nose.

Tastes of mildly sour fruit and Bretty yeast, but little else. Much more bland than its RR peers and quite disappointing overall. Makes me appreciate Consecration even more.

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Photo of ChillMike
3.53/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy golden yellow color with a very active bubbly white head that recedes quite quickly and leaves only a trace of lacing.
S: Smells more of wine or cider than it does beer. Very floral smelling, along with sugary malts and a mix of spices.
T: Not exactly what I was expecting, very much like a white wine. It starts out with a bit of a sugary malt flavor, then pulls an optimus prime and completely transforms into another beast. As the bottle asks, "Is it beer or is it wine?" I think that's the problem it doesn't really ever make up it's mind. It's not bad but it's not really my thing.
MF: Very active on the tongue like a champaign, very carbonated but I think it's appropriate for this "style".
D: I think this is where this one suffers,the most, it is too much like a wine, and something that you really have to be in the mood for. Lastly it's a one and done not only because of the style but at $8.99 for 375ml it's pretty pricey. I'm glad I tried it and it'd definitely a different offering from a great brewery but I suppose it's just not my "glass o beer"

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.55/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as an extra from Imthatguy83. Thanks a lot man!

Batch 5.

Split with my wife on a cold, snowy, dark Sunday evening. I in my Lost Abbey Sinner's club glass and she in her Ithaca tulip glass... Hers ends up looking slightly better-- nicer retention.

A deep, slightly hazy, golden blonde with a soapy 1 finger head of loose, large, fizzy, off-white bubbles-- minimal spotty lacing. This isn't bad at all for the style-- but nothing really jumps out at me as being amazing...

Flowery notes arise and begin the bouquet... A champagne like zest plays nicely with soft white grapeskins, light hay, and oaky notes. Very pleasant aroma... Of course I love the tart acidic quality as well. The taste starts out light and sweet with big floral notes-- then it dries out a bit with done nice barnyard and hay notes... A crisp tartness is nice, but I think this will open up and become really impressive with some time in the cellar.

The body seems a tad overcarbonated-- which makes it feel thin, almost a bit like seltzer water... But a champagne quality is present as well.

This is not the best wild... But it isn't bad either-- the aging potential of this is something that interests me quite a bit. It is tasty enough to be enjoyed, but complex enough to age... I will update this review when I have an aged bottle.

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Photo of hoppymeal
3.55/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Light gold to straw in color and cloudy with a fairly effervescent white head that fades back quickly. Aroma is of tart green apples and honey, some floral and perfumy sweetness. Taste is a nice lemon tartness with a slight oaky dryness. Light in body with a dry finish that tingles in the back of the throat. An interesting beer, I am still experimenting with the sour beers and am still unsure how much i enjoy them, but I'll keep trying every so often. I did enjoy both the flavor and the dryness from the wood though.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.6/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 002. Bottle shared by MI2CA. Pours clear straw yellow with some nice white head. The nose comes off as tangy sour cream with a bit of fruit. The flavor is sort of yogurt-ish. I get some white wine character as well. Light body with sprite carbonation and a bone dry finish. Pretty good. stuff. Thanks for sharing Ted.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.6/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into my Lindeman's flute.

A - Clear, yellow body with a big white head on top.

S - Bretty funky aroma. Not especially pungent but you can certainly smell it.

T - Lightly sour taste but not much. A bit of brett but not much there. Light grape notes with a bit of oak. Real smooth and not nearly as sour as I was expecting

M - light bodied with a good amount of carbonation

D - Easily drinkable. Not nearly as sour as I was expecting and hoping for. A nice flavor but it just doesn't blow me away. I can go to the store and easily find several other sours that I would prefer over this one. I think I will revisit my other bottles at least a year in the future and hope they have developed nicely.

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Photo of far333
3.63/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Many thanks to Barleywinefiend for sharing this one. Served in a tulip glass.

Slightly hazed but clear straw yellow color with a bright white fluffy head that settles out slowly and leaves swirls of lace up the sides of the glass.

Aroma of green apple, kiwi, a bit musty, some mild yeastiness. Flavor is initially tart, some yeastiness rolls in, followed by white grape and some woody notes, morphing to cinnamon and ginger, ripe pear, and a subtle nutmeg linger.

Mouthfeel is crisp and dry, a bit puckery. Average drinkability for me as this one seems more like a specialty beer and not a quaffer.

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Photo of MNishCT77
3.64/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12.68 oz. (375 mL) bottle purchased super-overpriced at 1 West Dupont Liquors, bottled on 060814, poured into my Smoke & Barrel snifter glass, drank over 30 minutes

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Photo of tgbljb
3.65/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear golden color with massive with head. Great retention.
Smell is of tart fruit with distinct wine notes present.
Taste is wine meets beer, with a firm maltiness blended with wine flavors.
Leaves a somewhat tart taste in the mouth.
An OK beer. Did not live up to my expectations (or the price I paid for it)

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Photo of crossovert
3.66/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml corked and caged bottle. Batch 05X1E.

It pours a brilliant yellowish orange with a nice foamy white head that leaves some nice lacing.

The smell is bretty and fruity. It isn't that potent of a smell though. I am getting a faint bit of pineapple and a faint sourness. There is also a bit of malt. Odd that I can't really smell this one, might just be me.

The flavor is nice though. It is not really sour but bretty. the brett shines in this brew, if you like it then you will like this brew. A bit of funk and lemon paired with a nice malt and a hit of oak and wine bill complete this brew.

A very nice one from Russian River.

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Photo of jimilayne
3.67/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the first American Wild Ale I've ever had, so with no basis for comparison I will be as fair as possible. Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Golden yellow with a thin head that has staying power. Rests comfortably and consistently throughout the drink. There is a thin tornado-like strip of carbonation rising directly in the middle of the glass. Impressive.

Smell: The aroma does absolutely no justice to the beer. A bitter, dare I say, dry urine tinged smell.

Taste: As expected, a burst of chardonnay but not overwhelmingly or bitingly so. Sits on the tongue before lifting throughout the mouth. A touch sour and unusual (perhaps briny) to the untrained tongue but settles in nicely after a few sips rather than keeping you guessing. However it does bite the back jaw with the sourness the deeper you get into it.

Feel: Nice smooth finish with near perfect carbonation.

Very interesting. My quest to finish the top 100 opens up yet another door that I will be walking back through.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.67/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle (05X1F) into snifter glass. Pours golden with a fluffy white head that leaves a ton of sticky lacing behind. Nose is funky, sour, tart, and fruity. Not as "wild" as the Supplication or Consecration. Tastes fruity and tart/sour with a nice oaky finish. Light mouthfeel. A dry, champagne-like, crispy finish. Lots of nice fizzy carbonation. A nice drinkable wild. Even more so the the Supplication and Consecration, because it's a little less "wild" and a little more "tame".

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