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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,632 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,632
Reviews: 949
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,497
Gots: 709 | FT: 40
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: 2,632 | Reviews: 949 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StormKing47


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with cmurren25, Jwiss22, JayW73 and Lane23 at a little tasting, another example of artfully crafted beers here's why...

A- A very appealing and pleasing hazy golden color with a slightly pale yellow hue. A nice amount of carb leading up to a slight off-white head. A piece of living and breathing art. It's a masterpiece: inviting, appealing and down right gorgeous!

S- Wow an array of aromas greet me. A pronounced earthy mustiness from the Brett is awesome, but the real art work is the crazy undertones of the chardonay wine and soft oak. It's a wave of sweet fruits, dry wine, woody earth and subtle vanilla. I love it and just want to keep sniffing and not ruin the experience.

T- A nice burst and punch of sweet grapes, sour grapes and earthy must. It's incredibly complex and every sip invites a new level of flavor. A slight warming and there is the nice and simple sourness with a very clean vanilla taste and dry, fruit wine finish. Utter indulgence.

M- A very nice light and refreshing beginning with a prickly and fulfilling finish. The slight tingle, the simple and clean tartness and slightly sour pucker are awesome. Then the nice and dry finish puts this one in a class of it's own.

D- Ummm, hell yes. The carb pushes the flavors all over and lets the experience stick with you. Fruit esters, tart, sour, refreshing and dry. What's not to like. A masterpiece.

Another beauty from Vinnie. I love almost all of there beers and this is another example of a world class brewer producing a world class beer. More please!

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 04:11:27 | More by StormKing47
Photo of iadler


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6. Reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a bright gold with a one finger head that dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing is left behind.

S- White grapes, oak, green apple skins with a hint of lemon and vinegar.

T- Lots of white grape, oak, green apple, lemon, hints of hay, vinegar, and lacto. There is a nice amount of sourness at the end.

M- Medium carbonation with a light crisp body that finishes dry.

O- Really impressed by this sour from rr. Lot's of wine qualities from the barrels and a nice amount of sourness that isn't overpowering. I'll take this over Beat B5 any day of the week.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2012 19:01:14 | More by iadler
Photo of realmpel


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Father's Office in Culver City.

This is a great sour offering from Russian River. Pours a bright yellow color, hazy, with a foamy head.

The beer is delicious, with a bright sourness trailing into a mild grapefruit-like bitterness, eventually resolving into a light butterscotch flavor.

It's got a nice carbonation which seems to move the sourness around the mouth. I could drink a couple of these. Sadly, it's just about done on tap at FO; luckily I have a couple bottles tucked away for a sunny day.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2009 03:44:19 | More by realmpel
Photo of mrkrispy


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 004 in tap at Toronado SD, served in a small white wine glass.

Arrived cloudy and hazy, bit of white frothy head.

Funky stanky horsey fizzy aroma, the animal farm is busting out....reserved, not boisterous

Very balanced right now even though it is young, which means it should be more complex with some more time on the bugs.
White wine flavors very apparent. A bit sour, not puckering. I would like it a bit more sour, again....needs a bit more time. I find this one drinks a little more smoother than the 003 did at the same time. Some lemon, some green apple, citrus, very little malt. Bit of tartness as the glass goes down. Nice body, well carbed...almost like The Bubbly.

Pretty tasty, goes down well. Lacks a bit of the boldness of the other Russian River sours, but that is its niche - subtle complexity. I think 003 was a bit rough for the first 6 months and mellowed. The 004 seems fairly smooth, so it will be interesting to see how it ages.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2009 19:45:29 | More by mrkrispy
Photo of rpstevens

New Hampshire

4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a white birch glass.

The beer pours a hazy golden/burnt orange color with a very thick, frothy white head. As the head fades the lacing is foamy and sticky on the sides of the glass. The beer is highly carbonated, a little gushing after I popped it.

The smell is earthy, fresh cut hops and a light graham cracker malt. There is a lot of oak in the nose, as well as a slight alcohol presence. As the beer warms the smell gets noticeably sweeter and the graham cracker really comes to the forefront.

The taste is a lot like a mild geuze... Very sour up front, with lemony citrus, fresh cut grass and a lot of earthy smells. The earthy funkiness and barrel flavors play off each other very well and the finish is crisp and dry, very reminiscent of a chardonnay. The barrel flavors partner with the sour and citrus from the beer and match each other note for note.

The beer is carbonated perfectly for the style and the mouthfeel is crisp and dry, leaving me craving more after each sip. The alcohol is more present than I expected, leaving a nice warming in the stomach.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 00:07:38 | More by rpstevens
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy golden straw, active, frothy head.

S- Complex whiffs of pear, sour apple, oak, white wine

T- Complex, again. Pear, sour apple, oak, white wine, slight hints of orange and coriander. Slighty breadyness from the yeast and malt. Great balance of sweet and sour. Not too "funky" from the brett.

M- Champagne... crisp, clean, dry

D- Pretty mellow flavors, nothing overpowers or dominated. Great balance of all the ingrediants. Still prefer its cousin Concecration for that little bit of added red wine umph.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2009 15:50:26 | More by rfgetz
Photo of biggied


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- An ever so slightly hazy blond liquid with a craggy white head that has excellent retention.

S- Extremely aromatic with boat loads of sour fruit, oak, and funk. Very crisp and enjoyable.

T- Sweet and sour. Funky and fruity. The sweet and sour bounce back and forth. Complex and tasty.

M- Acidic, dry, light, and clean. Very nice.

D- Very "simple" and funky. Refreshing and delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2010 03:19:06 | More by biggied
Photo of vkv822


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle into tulip.
batch 05x1F

Pours a hazy yet bright golden straw yellow with an incredibly long lasting foamy white head and great lacing. There is quite a bit of active carbonation visible, reminiscent of a champagne even.

The nose consists of notes of brett, oak and chardonnay.

The time in the chardonnay barrels really adds a strong white wine quality upfront with sour notes of green apple and light funk notes as a very nice compliment.

The mouth feel is medium bodied, and active yet soft carbonation.

Another delicious and well done beer by Russian River. I really enjoyed the subtleties of this beer, as it relied only on the beer itself and the barrel aging.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 04:35:12 | More by vkv822
Photo of IrishCowboy


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought two bottles of temptation batch 001 at the RR brewery in Nov 2005. Looks just like the pic above

Opened one up for New Years eve.

Appearance is nice. The golden ale appearance ,almost brass, is not subtle. There is a 3 finger head recieved from pouring into the RR glass I bought at the same visit. Head simmered down to a single finger and is just sitting there showing no signs of moving. Lacing is foamy and permanent. Halfway into drinking I still see thick foam rings at the top. YUMMY.

The smell is of a champagne or heavy chardonnay on the sour side but I am really liking the smell of this which is strange because I do not like to smell champagne or chard. Smelling wines is something you do for Cabbys (IMHO). Perhaps the beer is helping round this one out.

I love the taste of this beer. If I could get more of it easier I'd drink it regularly. I like the sour notes, not something I like in beer very much but this one is balanced (more so then supplication for me) and the carbonation in the taste and mouthfeel help the sour become something you want to taste as oppose to swallow quickly.

This is the most unique thing I have tasted in years. Russian River has a unique style and often I can taste the russian river signature in all of thier beers. Temptation has the russian river flavor without the piney aftertaste you find in some of thier other offerings that I often find over powers some of the better qualities of thier work.

My only complaint is that I wish the bottle was as big as the Damnation bottles.

If you are passing through Santa Rosa and also like champagne and Wine this beer offers a balance between the two worlds.

On a final note I'd say not to let the champagne/chardonnay-like part of the review scare you away from this one. Its a beer with similar qualities is all.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2006 08:57:54 | More by IrishCowboy
Photo of HuskyinPDX


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle Batch 5X1F
Poured into a Duvel Tulip.

Appearance - Honey, golden orange with a smooth white head that leaves good lacing on the glass.

Smell - Honey, grapes, spice, wood.

Taste - Sour grapes, champagne, and oak.

Drink - Lively carbonation - like you would find in Champagne.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2011 01:31:38 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of scottfrie


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into Delirium Tremens glass. Batch 4x3 bottled 6/2/09.

A: Pours a hazy golden with a thick bubbly white head that slowly faded into a thick film that lasted the whole beer through and left an incredible fuzzy sheet of solid lacing down the glass. Beautiful.
S: Amazing notes of golden fruits, chardonnay, tart peaches, sour green apples and funky brett.
T: Follows the nose with complicated tart golden flavors, a touch of peach and melon, lemon zest and a delicate barnyard horse blanket funkyness. Aftertaste is full of woody oak and dry tannins that round out the flavors. The brett and oak are so well integrated into this beer that it is hard to describe. The vinous quality of this beer is also incredible. The chardonnay really took.
M: Wonderful mouthfeel with just the right amount of tartness to make this beer super refreshing but not overpoweringly sour. Medium bodied with medium-tingly carbonation. Finish is crazy dry.
D: One of most well-crafted beers that I've ever had and perhaps my favorite RR beer yet (other than Pliny...and maybe Consecration). This beer is so clean and drinkable it's scary. Over a year of aging has only dried this beer out and made it even more complicated. Well worth the price if you can get a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 04:16:27 | More by scottfrie
Photo of bjohnson


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to ClockworkOrange for the chance to try this highly touted offering from RR. Batch 002.

A: Pours a very cloudy golden color with hints of grapefruit. Frothy champagnelike one finger white head has excellent retention. Amazing lacing all over the glass.
S: Woody oak notes coupled with chardonnay aromas. Floral presence with a sourness that overtakes the rest of the notes. Sour tartness gives the rest of the softs flavors a jolt.
T/M: Tart like sourness right from the get go. Chardonnay mixes in but isn't overly powerful. Wine notes aren't necessarily as big as the tart sourness. A tad woody floral and fruity notes. Lemon zest, orange and grapefruit rind, pears...very complex. Very smooth once it starts to warm up--almost too smooth. Medium bodied.
D: Somewhat drinkable--not because it's bad, but because it's so complex. this is definitely a sipping brew and one that needs to be discussed whilst doing so. Extremely happy I've had the chance to sample this.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2007 03:06:01 | More by bjohnson
Photo of ChanChan


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Temptation, Batch 006: Poured From bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Golden in color, little to no haziness, this, of course, is different than supplication and consecration.

Aroma: Great oak barrel. The distinct aroma or Bret as well as the other three bugs used comes through quite nicely, would have liked to pick up more of the grape aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and highly carbonated.

Taste: Puckering sour but not overwhelming,
closer to a supplication but not as developed. The chardonnay wine is not readily detectable in this beer. I plan to drink my other bottle in three years.

Overall: Another masterpiece from Russian River this one is not as complex as the Giant Consecration and Supplication but its still a great great sour!

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2011 06:40:56 | More by ChanChan
Photo of WeedKing4

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this at city beer store in San Francisco. They said this was batch 4. Pours a clear, bright yellow at first, then turns hazy on the second and third pour. Tastes nicely sour with oak notes coming through on the finish. Very refreshing and it has the right amount of sourness. This brewery is fucking awesome.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2012 16:00:45 | More by WeedKing4
Photo of Exiled


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle - Batch 004

Pours a golden color with a nice white head. Smell is sour lemons with some funk, grapes, oak, and some spices. Taste is sour with lemons, apples, yeast, brett, and oak. Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation, with a dry finish. Overall im glad I finally got to try this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2010 06:56:25 | More by Exiled
Photo of benclimbs


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours blonde beautiful with a one finger head that subsides within a few minutes.

smell is a mix of fruit and some wild, yeasty notes - big lemon, a little grapefruit, and apples in the nose....mmm, a little woody stuff in there too but not over powering.

taste is great for the style - bright, fruity, very sour and puckering but not too much - some woody, leather backbone in there too.

mouthfeel is great, smooth and then totally dry at the end, completely puckers your mouth out - but leaves you wanting more.

a very drinkable beer, but indeed hard to drink much as its so sour.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2010 00:20:24 | More by benclimbs
Photo of crvcac


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Yellow and straw-like in color. Has the appearance of an English barley wine
Smell: White wine zin, grassy, hints of lemon
Taste: sour tartness, white wine grape,
Mouthfeel: puckering with nice carbonation. A comfortable sour.. not one of those off putting sours
Drinkability: Awesome

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2010 16:58:06 | More by crvcac
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bruno for sharing this rare treat!

Lightly hazed yellow amber pour with a massive, dense, rocky-topped head of whipped froth that just stays forever, eventually falling to a 1/4 inch cap that remains. Lace is sticky and artfully applied.

Aroma is crisp golden fruits, pears and white grapes, tart wine, toasty oak, and tart funk that is similar to nearly fermented rotting apples laying in the dirt.

Flavor is complex and intriguing, bringing on notes of green apple, grapes, toasty vanilla oak, wine, and blanketed by sweet/tart rotting fruit and stinging Brett prickles. Funky and unique.

Body is medium, with a light airey texture and soft, mineral-laden mouthfeel. Irresistably sippable.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2006 02:11:14 | More by AlexJ
Photo of WorldWideStout


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had very limited experience with wild ales, and Warheads are much too sour for me. Thanks to Halley for picking me up this bottle when she was at the brewery!

A: Straw yellow body with a tinge of orange. Three-finger bone-white head that slowly dissipated over a few minutes, leaving some good legs. Slight streams of small bubbles slowly slip to the surface.

S: Barnyard aroma similar to some farmhouse ales I have tried, with sour citrus notes.

T: The sourness comes first, with tinges of apples and lemons. It does induce a slight mouth pucker, but is not as intense as I feared it might be. Oak is very evident in the middle, though it's not too strong either. A small note of wine is noticeable as well. The aftertaste is of a light sourness, with carbonation still tickling my tongue.

M: I thought the fairly high level of carbonation balanced the flavors well, keeping everything light, balanced, and refreshing.

D: Tasty, light, and a mere 7.25% abv equals a beverage that I could easily have another of.

I was quite pleasantly surprised by this beer. I haven't had nearly enough wild ales to know if I am a fan or not, but Temptation certainly gave my initial skepticism about this style a good thrashing. I certainly hope to acquire more of this for nights which demand a lighter beer than my customary malt bombs.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2010 06:15:57 | More by WorldWideStout
Photo of Goldstar81


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

batch 05X1 poured into a snifter

A: Yellow gold color

S: Chardonnay grapes, somewhat sour, a good beginners sour for someone who enjoys Chardonnay

T: Fruity, tart, refreshing, a good outdoorsy summer beer for fans of sours or someone who wants to expand their palate.

M: Well carbonated but not overly done so. The carbonation doesn't dissipate right away. Very pleasent.

O: This is my go-to sour for warm summer nights. Overall a wonderfully constructed RR sour but not my favorite. The lightest of the bottled RR sours.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 20:21:23 | More by Goldstar81
Photo of Azurescens


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375mL corked and caged bottle, batch number 05x1E poured into Maudite stemmed glass, reviewed on 4/21/11

A: Opens with a loud pop, clear pale gold in color with huge white head as a billion tiny bubbles rush to get to the surface. The head recedes leaving lace sticking to the sides of the glass.

S: Brettanomyces funk with a very distinct white whine aroma from the chardonnay barrels, a touch of pale malt, tart fruity sourness and some faint alcohol.

T: Moderately sour, not quite on the mouth puckering level. Funky barnyard notes from the brett some malty sweetness, chardonnay, some oak and a hint of alcohol.

M: Very smooth and somewhat sour. Slightly creamy feel, finish very dry.

O: Somewhere in between a Belgian ale and a champagne, this is a fantastic beer. The moderate sourness really lets you taste all of the complexities here without bombarding your mouth with lactic acid. Highly drinkable, very unique creation, will be keeping some bottles of this in the cellar to see what a few years can do.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2011 01:39:31 | More by Azurescens
Photo of davey101


4.39/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 ml C + C bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled 07/27/12 so nearly six months old at this point. Thanks Wes!

A - Pours an initially clear golden amber body. The second pour is obviously quite hazy with some sediment. Massive fluffy bone white head fills the rest of the glass but dies down quickly leaving behind a gorgeous one finger cap. Sticky and soapy lacing with long retention coats the glass after every sip.

S - Starts off with huge notes of brettanomyces. Barnyard musk, hay, and oak. Layers of fruit; mainly lemons, overripe pears and grape skins. The finish is powdery and dry with a touch of blue cheese. The white wine barrel adds such a great fruit character. Just phenomenal.

T - Crisp and lively. Sour lemons, ripe pear juice, and tart green grapes. Oak and a musk take over on the finish. Lactic and very tart. Finishes nearly dry. Not over the top sour.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation. Drinks very easily.

O - Very nice AWA. The aroma is just perfect. Definitely draws some parallels with brett heavy Belgian Pales and the Chardonnay barrel adds a subtle but well implemented angle.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 04:06:48 | More by davey101
Photo of Tele


4.39/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 5

A: 4.5 Slightly hazy golden yellow with a small off-white head that dissipates rather quickly.

S: 4.5 Lots of lemon and funk at first with some light pine and a touch of vanilla. Funk opens up a bit more with bringing some dry, aged cheese aromas; it sounds weird but it's really pleasant.

T: 4.25 Fairly tart with a little sweetness. Lost of lemon and orange, a good amount of funk, and some grassy earthiness. Not quite as much going on as the nose, but still very good. Vanilla and oak come through a bit later on. More citrus on the aftertaste along with some herbs, green apple, and more oak.

M: 4.5 Nice carbonation with a fairly light body. Has a very nice, dry finish.

O: 4.5 Great sour blond. Reminds me a lot of some classic Belgian guezes, with a bit less tartness and more citrus.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2014 01:28:19 | More by Tele
Photo of jvillefan


4.39/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden yellow with a white lace head.

S: Sour apples and sour grapes are in the front. Pleasant esters from the souring yeast and bacteria.

T: Sour apples with subtle sour grapes and oak. There is a very subtle sweet caramel flavor from the malts present as well.

M: Nice body and carbonation.

O: Great sour. One of the better ones out there.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2013 18:16:58 | More by jvillefan
Photo of peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.39/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2013 13:51:01 | More by peensteen
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,632 ratings.