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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,871 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,871
Reviews: 961
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 9.19%
Wants: 1,557
Gots: 780 | 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: 2,871 | Reviews: 961 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of _morandi_
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%

_morandi_, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of JoeMayo
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy, golden straw color with very little head.

S- Mild tart aroma. The intense brett smell that you find in the other RR sours is there, but more subtle. Notes of sweet grape and dry champagne are noted.

T- Moderate sourness. Brett and dry champagne along with the sweetness of fresh champagne grapes all balance one another.

M- Very crisp in spite of its sweetness.

D- Very drinkable for an American Wild.

JoeMayo, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of wisrarebeer
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Cloudskipper for the trade.

A: nice yellowish blond somewhat cloudy appearance
S: medium to strong brett, very good, some grapefruit also
T: in-your-face sourness, good oaky underlying qualities and not over the top sour but manageable, well-made
M: alive and spritzy
D: very drinkable, not too sour

wisrarebeer, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of spointon
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 750ml brown bottle (corked and caged) into a stemmed tulip glass.

A= This ale poured a mostly clear gold color with some orange highlights. Big foamy white head that was hard to keep under control while pouring (2+ inches). Effervescent carbonation put on a show. Good head retention.

S= Lots of funky sourness, must be some brett and a host of other wild bugs in this one. Occasionally a whif of malt came through as well as a winey fruit character.

T= Started off tart and just got more intense. Sort of a blend of cherry, oak, citrus, and musty funk that sounds strange but really worked. Less complexity than some other RR sours I have had, but tasty all the same. Finished puckeringly dry with a kiss of alcohol.

MF= Lighter side of medium bodied with a spritzy, effervescent feel.

D= A masterpiece of sourness and dryness - very refreshing. Kept me wanting that next sip until it was all gone.

spointon, May 18, 2010
Photo of willjschmidt
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375 ml bottle (marked batch #2) into the appropriate Russian River barrel aged beer glass.

A: Pours an orangish color with a big fluffy white head. There was a little bit of foaming when the cork was popped but nothing too bad. I did open it very cold as per the instructions on Russian River's site. Excellent lacing as well.

S: Quite a bit of funk in the nose as well as some light fruit.

T: As it usually goes with their brews, this one is entirely one of a kind. Quite complex and very unusual. Quite a bit of fruit: pears, apples, and white grapes. The finish is very tart and dry.

M: Medium bodied with very fine carbonation.

D: Probably my favorite and the most drinkable of Russian River's wild ales. Definitely worth trying for the unique example of what can be done in the wonderful world of brewing.

willjschmidt, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of mikereaser
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle on 11/30/09

A - pours a light golden yellow with an inch of white foam

S - slightly funky aroma, lemon and apple, light oak

T - brett sour throughout, lemon and some oak, with a nice funkiness to it

M - crisp, light, sour, puckery

D - very drinkable, just the right amount of tartness, light enough to not be overwhelming

mikereaser, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of chalsk
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle shared with Leafs93. Pours a golden yellow color with a champagne like ultra thin white head. Has a tart aroma with hints of yeast. Has a sweet tart taste. Crisp. Very gentle bitters on the backend. Excellent brew. They know how to make sours.

chalsk, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of billab914
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 4 poured from a 750ml bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. It poured a pale golden color with a big and bubbly white foam filling half of the glass. It had excellent head retention and left some nice lacing as well.

The aroma is sharp with a good amount of tartness and funk to it. It's moderately acidic in the nose. A bit of a musty, basement like aroma comes through in the funkiness also. A bit of a sour grape, fruit flavor is present as well.

The taste has a bold sourness to it with more of a sour lemon citrusness coming through. It has a grape, apple, fruity and tartness to it as well. Towards the finish I get some of the earthiness to the Brett coming through. The sourness lingers for a while after the finish as well. Very nice and complex flavors to it overall.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with high carbonation. Drinkability is good, it had some great sour and tart flavors to it overall with some great depth. An excellent American Wild Ale overall.

billab914, Oct 17, 2010
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.

ricke, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of TKEbeerman
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


A: Poured into my Duvel tulip, this brew pours a golden yellow hue with a white capped head that is a little too bubbly and quick to die off.

S: The aroma is complexly loaded with sour white grapes. Slight oak and very natural grassy/field-like aromas.

T: My favorite sour so far, this Ale has flavors of sour white grapes, cider, Belgium clove and spice; all rolled up into a nice tart ball of awesomeness.

MF: Mouthfeel is a little light for a Belgium inspired brew, but well carbonated and refreshing.

D: As far as sour Ales go, this one is very drinkable, well crafted, and not at all to tart.

TKEbeerman, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of mdaschaf
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice pop when I got the cork off. Pours a golden yellow color with a frothy white head on top with great retention and impressive lacing, very thick and sticky.

S: Nice and tart, but not overly sour. A little bit of light cherry, grass, oak, faint apple, and a slight mustiness.

T: Nice sourness level. Flavors of lemon, light oak, and a bit of chardonnay. I am surprised at how nicely the wine flavor comes through. There is a slight grassy component and some light fruit.

M: Light to medium bodied with lively carbonation and a great level of sourness.

O: Very easy drinking. Not overly sour and very approachable. A great beer to sip over a long evening.

mdaschaf, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of BillyB
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap from Monk's.

Aprearance is a hazy golden yellow. Thin whispy white head but not much.

Aromas of white wine, spices, pepper, lemon, grassy, wet hay, buttery oak.

Taste is light biscuity, cookie-like malt with strong citrussy, lemony, white wine character. Buttery oak and cookie flavors blend well with the sharp sour chardonnay character.

Mouthfeel is light, sharp and carbonic.

A very interesting beer. Quite drinkable.

BillyB, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of mikeale
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in the Secret Santa BIF 08 thanks, brandoman63

A. Blond, clear, white head and nice lacing.

S. Lemon, almost fruity, funk, brett,

T. I can taste the oak and wine barrel aging, sour, tart, refreshing

M. Light to medium body, high carbonation, tart finish.

D. I'm enjoying this, but not sure if I could drink this all the time. Not sure how rare this is either.

mikeale, May 06, 2009
Photo of Beejay
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch O51XE

A: It pours a light straw color, almost the color of a light pilsner. In the glass it is a slightly dusty pear or grapefruit color. The head looks very dense, but soft, and is white.

S: Tart, with a lot of acidic smells, the vinegar is really present in this. Some oak notes, and just a hint of a light fruitiness that reminds me of champaign. As I continue to smell it, there almost seems to be a hint of vanilla.

T: Very tart at first, with some light citrus flavors. A little bit of vinegar, but not the bomb I was expecting. Some light wine notes as well as a touch of oak. This is a gentle flavor, and not overpowering. There is a little something odd that clings in the finish, but overall I really enjoy it.

M: Medium to medium light in body, with a certain softness to it. Plenty of carbonation, with a decent tingle.

O: Overall I really like it, enough sour that you can get your kick, but not so overpowering that it wrecks your palate for the rest of the night.

Beejay, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle slowly into a tulip glass. Batch 006 listed.

A good solid pop on the cork, giving a small foamy off white one finger head that falls slowly. Very nice slightly cloudy lemon hued and light orange body, with some very slow rising carbonation. Looks nice.

Nose is a good brett, some oak buttery sense, and mild apple fruit. Quite nice.

Taste is incredibly refreshing. Slight chewy malt density, but then a crisp mild tart apple. Wine like viscosity and pleasing crisp carbonation. Finish has a slight drying sense, and a feeling of crisp bubblly. Very fruity, some mild hints of tropical such as pineapple, even some mild light baguette white bread.

Real nice brew, rather enjoyed this more than I expected. Also surprisingly very easy drinking for the style and full of flavor. Another nice job from Russian River.

smakawhat, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of Kaiser81
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005. 375 mL poured into a snifter glass

A -Hazy golden orange color with a very soft head...it dies quickly and leaves just a tiny bit of lacing on my glass.

S - Green grapes (probably from the chardonnay barrels) mixed with light funk and some sweetness. There may even be pears and apples in there. Very delightful, just not very pronounced.

T - Taste kind of follows the smell. Chardonnay flavors mixed with some light funk. Nothing over the top, but just all around very flavorful. Some light fruits, apples, and pears linger for a while.

M - High carbonation with a light body. Wish the carbonation was slightly lower, but it's nice.

D - Great sipping beer for any day. Though it seems fitting that I'm drinking this the last day of summer.

Kaiser81, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of Arenbeer
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz cork and caged thanks to arbitrator! Batch 05x2F

A- Pours a real nice golden yellow with a real soft creamy looking bright white head that's sticking around.

S- Smells more like a saison than a sour. Very sweet fruity like yeast with some nice pale malts. A lot of banana with that nice stinging finish of grapes from the chardonnay.

T- Tart and sour for sure. Nothing like the taste, very pale in body and flavor malt wise but has a decent subtle fruitiness from the yeast that is complimented nicely by the grapes.

M- Moderate carbonation being a newer batch, definitely noticeable. Real strong tartness on the tongue but finishes smooth.


Arenbeer, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of hopsaplenty
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml smoked green bottle, batch 001.

Sparkling flamed gold. Short head of fine, bright white bubbles that wilts to a dusting and a tall collar. Fine drapes of lace cling to the glass. Central spire of steady, small bubbled streams. Sweet, slightly brett laced aroma melded with some woodiness and white grapes. Brett funk and a lemon zest edge lead into a sweet and dry white wine-laced middle. Bright and fruity with moderate dryness, the finish has an ample amount of funk, but it does not linger long. The back corners of the mouth instead are grabbed by a refreshing crispness. There is a fair amount of sweetness beneath the surface. Medium body with a firm, slightly dry mouthfeel and fine bubbled carbonation. Nice overall and definitely drinkable.

hopsaplenty, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of tjfinkle
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have enjoyed this beer many times, but this is my first chance to review it. 375 mL bottle labeled as Batch 5 poured into my lost abbey stemware. The appearance is a nice straw color with decent carbonation in the form of very small bubbles that forms a very nice lacing on the glass.

The first thing I noticed on the nose was the nice funky brett smell with some slight sour cherry.

The initial taste is of sour cherries and white wine. The aging in chardonnay barrels has definitely left its mark on this beer. Definitely some citric acidity to this one, and a very strong brett finish, but not nearly as much as I was expecting from the nose.

This beer has a very dry mouthfeel which contributes to how similar it feels to a white wine. The carbonation could have been slightly greater, but not much or it would have overpowered the beer.

Overall a great drink. I could easily enjoy too much of this especially because it is just so refreshing which is very nice for a wild ale. This would be a great beer to enjoy on a hot summer afternoon, but unfortunately I am reviewing this in November...

tjfinkle, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of John_M
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a .375 bottle.

The beer pours an impressive, hazy gold color with impressive head retention and very good lacing. The nose on this beer is the best thing about it in my opinion, consisting of honey, citrus, white pepper, vanilla and some light sour funk. This beer smells very complex. However, considering the way this beer smells, I'm a bit surprised by the level of sour in this beer. There is a hint of honey and vanilla, but it's just about overwhelmed by the sour funk. As the beer sits in the glass the sour dies down a bit and blends in more with the other flavors. I get some more vanilla and even cherry now, which is interwoven with the sour funk. The beer is medium bodied, but there's a crispness in the finish that I really like, that helps to make this beer very refreshing and drinkable.

Very interesting beer. Not entirely my cup of tea, but it was fun to try nonetheless.

John_M, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of FosterJM
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

265th review on BA
Draft to chimay goblet

App- Soft golden yellow with a fast receding one finger head. Thin lacing down the goblet as it settles after sip.

Smell- Very tart with a subdued grape note and a muted oak note.

Taste- Soft sweet citrus. Not as tart as I would have thought it would be. Had a commanding taste with a nice white wine note. Didn't pick up too much of the Brett in this taste.

Mouth- I didn't find this one to be mouth puckering tart or sweet. A nice light/medium body with a high carbonation.

Drink- This was a good beer on tap. I was expecting a more puckering sweet beer but this was quite nice and drinkable. Dangerously so.

FosterJM, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 05x3

Appearance -- Pours a bright golden hue with a slim fizzy white head that is woefully short-lived. Slightly disappointing in the appearance. Great color, though.

Smell -- Biscuity malt, muscatel, vanillin, vinous oak, bright acetic character. The aroma is remarkably clean and, ignoring the acetic character, incredibly champagne-like.

Taste -- Very champagne-like with biscuit and white grape, floral vanillin, cellar must, and mild acetic tartness. As the beer warms more acetic brightness becomes apparent. Finish is firmly lactic with notes of vanilla and white grape.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with medium fluffy/prickly carbonation. Feels like a fine champagne. Quite good.

Drinkability -- Temptation is so clean, so delicate, and so refreshing that, in an ideal world, I could drink this every single day. Unlike so many other American Wilds, it's really quite remarkable for being so subtle and nuanced. I especially love how champagne-like it is. Most definitely a world-class beer.

yeahnatenelson, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of Schmaltzy
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml into Chimay Glassware.

A- Nice hazy golden pale color with loads of nice fine head that left thin lacing on my glass. Tons of carbonation.

S- Barnyard funk, the brett stands up in the front of the line, followed by lemon and green apple scents, nice sour grape scents and subtle hints of sweet oak.

T- Immediate puckering from the green apple and citrus notes, noticing a good amount of brett, nice light bready yeast flavors and good dry oaky chardonnay finish.

M- Light to medium body with a high amount of carbonation, carbonation was still present on the third day of tasting this beer. Very crisp and dry.

D- Easy drinking and leaves you wanting more, I enjoyed Supplication more because it had more flavor but this was very refreshing.

Schmaltzy, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of superspak
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

superspak, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of marksto
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a sour beer tasting with a buddy who had this one and Supplication - this one was my favorite.

Pours a hazy golden color with medium head of foam. Retention is good, a thin layer of foam continues to float atop as the glass is drained. Big funky aroma, with musty, lemony, and horseblanket elements on the nose. Flavor shows excellent complexity, which to me is the key to a good sour beer. Brightly sour. Brett funkiness and oakiness are evident. Also has a luscious lemony/chardonnay note in the background that interplays nicely with the sourness.

Overall, an excellent sour beer and the best RR I've had.

marksto, Nov 27, 2008
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,871 ratings.