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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: 16.78%
Wants: 1,755
Gots: 927 | 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: 3,377
Photo of frasergrove
4.36/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This review is for a very young bottle (corked 3 months ago): familiar light pale body, however with a good amount of haze (as the bugs and sediment haven't settled), huge billowing head. Light tartness on the nose, mixture of funk and some light earthiness. Very tart, pepper, Brett funk, minor astringency on the back of the tongue. Best to sit this batch's bottles down for a bit and bring the flavors together.

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Photo of Raj
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 6/18/14, consumed 11/20/15

A: Pours lovely golden, slight hazy with 1 finger dense creamy looking head.
S: tartness, green grape and apple, hay funk, floral, chardonnay
T: upfront slight tart, lemon, also green grape, rotten pineapple, light earthy funk but not overly so, slight wood note and wine like minerality. Mild palate get slightly sweet honey malt, kix cereal rain taste. Finishes dry with not a lot of lingering sourness.
M: creamy mouthful, not too carbonated, little warm boozy in the finish
O: pretty well balanced sour blond/brett beer. Enjoyed the wood and vinous notes. Not overly tart. Only problem I had was the the slight maltiness / kix cereal grain finish.

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

Had this on tap at RR and it was way to Bretty, band-aid, no bueno. Had a bottle a week ago and it rang much more true to what I expected. Light, crisp, tart, great flavor.

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Photo of ChrisP802
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just had a buddy move out to Cali and I hope he remembers that I'm his friend
Pour - I wish it was poured out into something nice, but it was poured into a solo cup. Light golden haze with a small white head and very small lacing
Smell - you can definitely smell the wine aged and yeast. Comes out strong, but not overpowering
Taste - minimal chardonnay with a sour aftertaste. very well balanced
Overall - Amazing find. Makes me happy I have friends who know I enjoy beer

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Photo of lochraneg
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: pours light with a noteworthy pale head approx 1-3" thick depending on your pour
S: yeast, citrus, sour
F: light and airy, subtle wine flavor
T: sour, very sour, but great, Chardonnay is not very present
O: another impressive beer from Russian River

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Photo of Catracho5
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a golden, honey orange, cloudy, bright white head, minimum head retention, lots of bubbles streaming up the side, lots of lacing, looks really good.

A: Tart, funk, green apples, cider, picking up wine, slight oak coming through, smells really good.

T: White grapes, chardonnay up front, oak is very noticeable, green apples, cider, lots of complexity. Aftertaste is of green apples, white grapes, pear, oak reemerges and lingers.

M: Light bodied with good amount of carbonation and a dry finish.

O: Love sour blondes, great balance of sour fruit notes, chardonnay, and oak. This maybe my favorite Russian River sour after Supplication, definitely going to pick up anytime I see this.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Was able to try this on tap at Russian River. Lovely wine barrel notes on this one and an all around refreshing BA wild offering from RR! Would love to try again!

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Photo of Golden303
4.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite sour beers. More tart than sour and very clean feel. Almost a tart golden ale full of flavor. I had a bottle from 2012 consumed 9/4/2015. Classic beer.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden color with a quickly dissipating light-colored head. Plenty of oak on the nose. Sweet, acidic taste with oak on the finish. Carbonation hits at the front of the mouthfeel and flattens out smoothly. Another home run from RR

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Photo of Hootie159
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a mimosa. Foam sticks well to edges. Smell is Chardonnay and champagne yeast. Get a little bit of the wine earthiness as well. Taste isn't as balanced as I expected. Oak overwhelms a bit although there is a nice Chardonnay taste in addition to some sweet fruit. Feel is both smooth and carbonated. Similar to a mild gueze.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden-yellow body, not much head.

S & T: Smells fairly sour, good funk, a wonderful realistic nuance of peach in there. Not sure how peach got here, but it was confirmed independently by my drinking buddy. Taste is decently sour (I always want more), some funk, and still some peach mixed with other light fruit (apples, rainier cherries). Not much chardonnay or wood notes to be seen, but maybe it's just invisibly well integrated.

F: Not even kidding, this is too drinkable. Even trying to restrain myself, it went by way too quickly for such a rare and rarely-well-made beer.

O: I was expecting RR to pull out all of the stops here, and they did it, but in a different way than I pictured. Instead of going full-force sour/funk, they instead made a restrained, balanced, stylistically and aesthetically solid beer. My own unbalanced over-the-top preference for intense sourness and funk notwithstanding, I do think they could spare some extra funk/earthiness. That being said, this beer is pretty impossible to bash, as long as one appreciates the style. Maybe with a few more years of experience and beer maturity I'll be able to better appreciate Russian RIver's relatively conservative execution.

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Photo of shadetree67
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on: 05/03/13
Drank: 08/13/15

A: Golden in color and highly effervescent. Head is a thin layer of white bubbles and some of the best lacing I've seen for a wild ale.

S: Lots of brett and some chardonnay.

T: The chardonnay barrels are very apparent in the taste and it is not as sour as I was expecting. White grapes , a hint of honey, and some green apple on the finish. Only slightly acidic.

F: Light to medium body with a lot of carbonation. Low to medium dryness. Slight heat on the back of the throat but it isn't bothersome. Quite coating

O: This was very good and complex, but I think I'd like to try a fresher bottle. The brett seems to have taken over. That said, the brett incorporates with the other flavors quite well.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Golden effervescence! The experience is champagne-like throughout. This is a well-balanced sour ale and much like Sanctification, represents an excellent introduction to the style. I prefer this one to Sanctification, though, as the influence of the chardonnay barrel seems to represent itself more distinctly and with corresponding higher ABV (7.50% here versus 6.75% in Sanctification). Sit back, relax and enjoy this one!

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Photo of James_Michaud91
4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is a reason people say Russian River brews some of the best sours in the country. This is a fantastic sour. The aromatics are absolutely killer: sour, funky, fruity, vinous and a touch of oak to finish things off. All of these flavors come through on the palate with the funk and sour being pretty much perfectly balanced. The vinous chardonnay/oak flavors are a great platform for the brett flavors and help to calm down the acidic streak of this beer.

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Photo of Auraan
4.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a cloudy golden body with a one finger bubbly white head that slowly receded. A very good looking sour ale, like a nice geuze. Scents of softly sweet Belgian malt, wild yeast funk with barnyard, horse blanket and lemon qualities and underlying notes of oak and chardonnay and light fruity aromas of citrus, white grape, apple and light pear. Overall impression of aroma is of a fine sour that showcases a wide array of aromas, both from yeast and the barrel-aging, resulting in a complex whole. Flavor begins sour and funky with notes of straw, grapefruit and lemon zest alongside light undercurrents of white grape and faint notes of honey, oak and dry white wine. Middle increases intensity of sourness continuing notes of grapefruit and lemon zest with light notes of white grape and faint hints of apple mingled with sour funk. Finish is dry and sour with notes of yeast funk, oak tannins, lemon zest and grapefruit upfront, with undertones of white wine and very light undercurrents of white grape and apple. Aftertaste is dry with oak and medicinal and herbal bitterness. Overall impression of flavor is of a very nice sour. It begins incredibly sour, but slowly reveals a great deal of underlying flavors resulting in a taste as complex as the aroma. Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with high, effervescent carbonation and a puckering, drying feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a very nice, true to form sour. Overall this is a fantastic barrel-aged sour ale. It has a wonderful complexity in aroma and flavor that adds a wonderful depth and is aided by its excellent mouthfeel. A wonderful gem.

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

Look: Pours a nice golden yellow color with a thin white head that leaves a little lacing

Smell: Grapes, white wine, hints of tartness

Taste: A nice refreshing tartness up front, a little white wine, some grapes, some light fruit

Feel: Light body, good carbonation

Overall: Another excellent brew from Russian River. World class

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.09/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Russian River Temptation on tap at South Philadelphia Taproom during Philly Beer Week, 8 oz for 8 bucks

Appearance: Crisp, bubbly, like a Prosecco at a white-girl bachelorette party.

Smell: apple cider, tartness, brightness, blue cheese, funk, cheap wine.

Taste: Very light, champagne, yeastiness, fermentation, sour pucker’s, apple juice. Refreshing, poundable. Wine cooler feel.

Mouth: Light body, good carbonation and bubbles, medium flavor. Could be heftier- dry, peppery finish.

Overall: Damn fine, but inferior to Consecration/Supplication. Super drinkable, though. Great for spring/summer weather.

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Photo of Corson
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle date 06/18/2014, aged about 10 months in bottle. Taken out of fridge and allowed to warm up. Poor a bright golden colour with lots of visible carbonation. Fruity smell, and dry fruity taste. Not too sour. Surprisingly carbonation seems to die down as warm up and don't get much drinking. Great beer, would love to get more of these.

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

From RRBC's reserve, batch 4, bottled in 2009, served to us in Bordeaux-style glassware at the brewpub. An unforgettable drinking experience. Champagne-like mouthfeel, with flavours of lemon curd, brioche, yogurt and green apple butter. Refreshing acidity that lingers for minutes. Complex, but so damn elegant. Perfect. If only I could bring a case of this back to Canada...

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.48/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Pours a clear golden color with a very nice head and good lacing.

Smell – Chardonnay, oak, brett, and just a touch of honey.

Taste – A very nice chardonnay, oak, and hint of lemon. Nice!

Mouthfeel – Good carbonation, dry, not too sour. A very good sour!

Drinkability – This is a very good sour. Went down fast and easy.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at Umberto's tasting.

This one pours a hazy golden yellow, with a one inch head, very fizzy, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like white wine, strong sourness, hay, lemon and green apple.

This is an absolutely delicious sour. There is a nice, big white wine character here, lemony and grainy, with a puckering tartness, and a little bit of oak from the barrels themselves. The beer feels alive in your mouth.

This is light bodied, with a very active and prickly amount of carbonation, and a crisp, tart, juicy mouthfeel.

This is absolutely excellent.

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Photo of aleigator
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%

Yields a sunny-yellow color, with a one finger broad, bubbly head.

The aromas reveal a tart sourness among wheat notes. It got an almost sweeter sparkling wine character with a noteable barrel infusion to it, which then turns into a more acidic direction. It picks up on the lactic chardonnay characteristic very well, the resulting tartness comes almost naturally to mind. The nose gets completed by hints of white lemon peel, adding a refreshing, fruity aspect.

While the sourness from the aromas was very well integrated into a complex interplay of smells, it shines through big time while tasting the beer. It rises from the sweeter, pungent sparkling wine qualities to unfold on the palate with an almost tongue numbing dryness. The sweeter aspect doesn't vanish from one moment to the other, but evolves during drinking and turns from sweet to sour, while the lively, soft carbonation turns visible. Funkiness is very well integrated, adding depth to the chardonnay lactic acid, without being recognizable on its own, otherwise defined by its typical barnyard qualities. Due to the high carbonation, the mouthfeel is almost sprizzy, fizzy - another well inserted sparkling wine aspect.

I am impressed, that this is still easily recognizable as a beer, while it features very thoughtful and effectively integrated sparkling wine constituents. Malts and hops play an important role, as they prevent the beer from becoming too sweet and fizzy. The subtle musty and earthy additions do the same, convincing me this is still beer. Finishes quite refreshing with a faint lemon fruitiness and an almost bitter, punching, dry sourness. This is incredibly complex and very convincing.

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

RR Share of all the Wild Ales. I enjoyed this beer the most. Found it somewhat funky and tart, but mostly just clean and easy to drink. This entire line of beers is great!

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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 hoppytobehere
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

375 ml bottle. Dated 06 18 14 (June 18, 2014)

A: God's urine. Gorgeous golden body. Not cloudy at all. 3 finger white head that sticks around for days.

S: Just keeps getting better and better as it warms up. Tart lemon, good amount of brett funk. Sour white grapes. Smells better than any chardonnay i've had.

T: Complex. My taste buds are on one hell of a ride right now. I've had pretty much all of the RR sours that get bottled and this one might be the best yet. Wow.

M: Soft, perfect amount of carbonation. No heat from the alcohol. Can't find any flaw here.

O: Exceeded my expectations. One of the best beers I've ever had, and I'm glad I have another bottle waiting for me.

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