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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
TemptationTemptation

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

2,680 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,680
Reviews: 953
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,519
Gots: 714 | FT: 39
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: 2,680 | Reviews: 953 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A sour beer that is drinkable and not hard on the palate owing to good malting. Woody taste in there-something akin to a acidic chardonnay. Minerals, apples, saison like spice. Horse aroma. I am glad I tried it however this is not the greatest beverage I have had as some others claim. Thanks for sending Hopsalot.
Updated and upgraded, particulalry with improved aromas! on-tap 4.5 years later at the brewpub. Lemony chardonnay, with brett, is very enjoyable and unique. Natural carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2006 02:55:58 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

12-26-2012 23:32:28 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.1/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a clear golden color with a tan head that settles to nothing. Small streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some fruity and grain aromas. Taste is pretty much the same and there is an acidic quality on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good wild ale but I think this one smells better than it tastes.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2012 22:34:37 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

11-14-2011 20:44:49 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery in August 2009.

A: Pours a cloudy pale amber color with a large white head of foam.

S: Lots of tarness and sourness here, with a little bit of the oak coming through.

T: Lots of sourness coming into some tartness and a little bit of citrus.

M: Quite tart, fairly full for the style. Good amount of carbonation.

D: Drinkable for the style, but not my favorite of Russian River's Belgian styles.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2009 18:39:38 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"The only way to handle temptation successfully is to yield to it."

--French proverb

Batch 001. Temptation is precisely midway between lemon peel and ripe apricot. The highest compliment that I can pay the gorgeous, alabaster colored crown is to say that it would look at home on the finest Belgian ale. It becomes even more attractive as it slowly descends, leaving the glass positively coated with delicate lace.

Unlike some Brettanomyces-infused beer, the nose is full of barnyard funkiness without being completely dominated by it. It's easy to appreciate ripe golden fruit and the Chardonnay oakiness that was imparted by 12 month's contact with the barrels. 'Sublime' is the one word that keeps coming to mind whenever I put my nose over the glass.

How does Russian River manage to brew such amazing beer, again and again and again? The fact that Vinnie Cilurzo is the mastermind behind what I consider the best beer the world has ever seen (Pliny The Younger), yet is still able to create a stunningly complex Belgian-style ale like Temptation boggles the mind.

Even without the Brett, this would be an outstanding example of a golden ale. The fact that it's even possible to determine that is further evidence that the wild yeast doesn't steamroll everything in its path, but complements the beer in the best way possible.

The flavor profile consists of barely ripe apples, pears and peaches (complete with their natural sugars), a potpourri of spices (clove and white pepper especially), a surprising amount of sweetgrassy hoppiness and a perfect Brettanomyces puckery tang that wraps things up in a perfect ribbon of drinkability. Why oh why didn't they put this stuff in 750s?

Despite the label's advice to 'allow the natural yeast sediment to remain in the bottle', I'll do no such thing. The final pour clouds things up nicely and puts the already fandamntastic flavor into orbit. I can say without hesitation that Temptation is the best wild ale that has ever entered my glass.

The mouthfeel, while not up to the standards of Belgium's best, isn't far behind. Perfection would be easily achieved with a fraction more expansiveness. It's hard to argue with beer that is this lightly silky and this zestily carbonated.

I don't like to repeat myself, but it's a damn shame that this delicious ale isn't released in bigger bottles (I'm thinking jeroboams at least). It's also too bad that Russian River will no longer ship to us poor souls outside of Northern California who aren't able to otherwise experience the transcendence of their beer. I'm glad that I decided to yield to Temptation today.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 15:42:43 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy goldenrod yellow in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of chardonnay wine barrels are present in nose along with notes of sourness from the brett.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the sourness is a little stronger and there are also hints of oak.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a very nice balance between flavors of chardonnay and sourness that makes it both interesting and quite easy to drink.

Note: Batch 07-27-12

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2013 23:06:06 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.97/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden color with a huge head; the retention was very good and the beer left clumps of lace along the sides of the chalice

Smell: Except for the sour Brett tones, you would swear you were smelling an oaky chardonnay, with vanilla and white wine grapes influencing the tart green apple, apricot and sour cherry tones

Taste: Opens with a mouthful of fruit (pear and apricot) that moves in a tart, green apple direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, the tartness mellows and the more subtle fruit character (pear, melon, apricot) and oaky/vanilla elements represent themselves; unlike some of the other Wild Ales where the sour elements dominate, this one is much more subtle and complex

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body and quite creamy; medium to high carbonation

Drinkability: Another stunning achievement from Russian River; more subtle than some of the others and, in many ways, better, as a result

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2008 17:13:54 | More by brentk56
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -10.3%

11-03-2013 01:13:38 | More by nmann08
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a clear pale amber with a nice thick white frothy head. Carbonation was insane, tons of visible bubble streams coming off the bottom. Almost looked like, well it really did look like champagne. Bubbles everywhere.

S - Very strong pungent aroma comes off of this one. Huge smell of grapes, with a hint of alcohol. Maybe a hoppy presence trying to come through. Smells like wine.

M & T - First impression was very sour, and it tasted like a nice white wine. Lots of carbonation and great feel, very light, again almost like champagne.

D - Overall this was very intresting and a good one time try, but not really my cup of tea. Would not turn it down if it was offered, but would not go out of my way to purchase it, a nice novelty at least for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2007 01:05:24 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle (batch 1 drank in 2006): Poured a hazy/cloudy dirty yellow color ale with rather large white bubbly head with medium retention. Nose of farmhouse, chardonnay with a sourness resembling lambic. Taste is totally incredible with huge amount of farmhouse (there is probably a better word for this but it is the only I can think of right now), sour notes resembling a lambic and Brett, which is reminiscent of Orval. The Chardonnay barrel effect is maybe a bit too accentuated but still very interesting. Also, it might be a bit too acidic for my liking but it is still very much enjoyable. A more balance level of acid and this would have been a perfect score. Now, I just need to get my hand on some more of this.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2006 15:16:01 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Undoubtedly one of the most well-balanced funky Belgians out there. Temptation is basically what brettanomyaces would do to Duvel. ...but there's more....

Temptation pours with a deep canary yellow color and medium haze (a bit more than I expected). A large stark-white head carries a combination of tight and loosely-knit bubbles. The ever lasting head laced all along the glass as though it didn't want to leave- ever.

The nose is a balanced blend of acidic lemon notes and funky-dusty-musty aromas. Crab apples and under-ripe berries come into play, but the beer takes on a typical aroma of well-played Belgian-brett beers.

Flavors are much more complex and less intense than what I got from the nose. True malt flavors of pilsner and wheat varieties shine up front and set the stage with timid sweetness and moderate bready notes. Those lemon, berry, and apple flavors come in close behind and in most tart and acidic fashion. Stopping shy of sour or vinegar, this beer shows great control and restraint. Spicy with white pepper notes from the phenolic yeast do a great job of not showing any off-notes. Still, the tartness weaves in and out of musty characters of basements or attics and light horse blanket just beyond mid palate and just in front of the finish.

What is even more remarkable about the beer is how the wheat malts give a creamy, bready feel in the beginning but then the tartness nose-dives straight into a dry, acidic, and mildly warming finish. Again, shying away fron astringency, the tart acidity and moderate alcohols do all the work. The beer is fleeting and evaporative to the mouth, leaving a very clean aftertaste and leaving me begging for the next sip.

This is a masterpiece of a beer that has all the things that I love so much about Duvel but with added complexities and artfull assertion.

Thank you slayer3604!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 03:48:11 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -10.3%

12-20-2011 01:50:02 | More by acurtis
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A bottle from Batch 003 shared by Bobby yesterday (to compare with the new batch and with Depuration).

A: This one was explosively carbonated. A slight twist of the cork sent it flying through the air and to the ceiling. The beer itself is slightly hazed and straw colored with a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is not as overly "green" and tart as the servings of the newest batch have been. A nice level of Brett funk and dryness goes well with some tannic oak and a slight lactic and green apple tartness.

T: The flavor also is a bit heavier on the wild aspects and really has a nice mustiness to it. The tartness is not overpowering but provides a nice level of acidity and fruit (grapes, lemon, and apple).

M: The body feels a bit fuller than the newest batch, but that could be the high level of carbonation. The finish is nice and dry.

D: This batch seems to be quite superior to the newest batch and I see why people rave about Temptation so much. Great flavors and a really crisp, dry, and refreshing beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 18:51:34 | More by womencantsail
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

4/5  rDev -10.3%

11-15-2011 04:06:01 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

02-13-2012 00:36:02 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

02-13-2012 12:59:38 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

01-05-2014 02:59:08 | More by jaydoc
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

5/5  rDev +12.1%

11-15-2011 05:24:50 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 004 x 4; Pours a medium clear amber, white head that rapidly fades.

Bretanomyces nose is assertive, as are lemon, unripe pears and green apples. Lacto yeast also gives a pleasant "sour milk/yogurt" nose.

Mouthfeel is fresh and thin but this brew is sufficiently flavorful and tart as to make the thinner, cleaner mouthfeel desireable. Creaminess and a heavier or thicker mouth would be a fault in this beer.

Tart, citric and green apple flavors highlighted by the fresh, clean mouth. Layers of flavors of citrus, apples, pears and lime. Balanced, layered, complex, elegant and sophisticated. Nose grows more wine like of chardonnay; somewhat "white burgundian" in character, as do the flavors grow in chardonnay and white burgundy flavors as you drink it, especially in the back palate and finish.

Bret and lacto very noticeable and the characteristics are nice. Lacto comes out in the mid to back palate and finish as you drink it. ("Sour milk" character in a good, not a bad way). Very drinkable, pleasant.

Oak barrels finally come out in the nose and mouth after several minutes in the glass. Really nice and worth the wait. Complex!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 04:35:12 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Temptation pours out as a pretty typical looking blonde ale, golden yellow color with a bit of haze to it. The head was foamy and white leaving a bit of lacing. The smell of the beer smells a lot like Chardonnay with a bit of wild yeast coming through in the back end. The taste of the beer is actually pretty good. I was surprised that it really didn't give off much of a pucker factor after each sip. The flavors of white wine, tart grapes and some wheat are what I'm picking up here. The mouthfeel was pretty good, almost refreshing. Overall I was very impressed by this beer. The flavors and the other elements that it brings to the table were really good. I wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy this one but it turned out to be a success.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2011 17:08:25 | More by Knapp85
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden color with wispy white streaks of foaminess. It left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled funky with some farm house/horse blanket aromas. A yeasty spicy aroma with a touch of oak.

T - A nice funky/spicy taste that you expect from a wild ale with brett. It had touches of caramel and grains.

M - It was very crisp and smooth with an extremely dry finish. A light to medium-bodied ale.

D - This is a very good wild ale. Great tasting with a good dry oaky finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 05:56:27 | More by zeff80
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 003, thanks Jason for helping me acquire this!
First beer of 2010.

Poured into an Oerbier wine-style glass, it pours a bright honey gold with effervescent champagne streams. Lace is sticky and adheres itself well. The surface skim never really breaks.

Aroma from the glass is strangely different from the bottle. The bottle has a sweet acetic white wine vinegar and washed rind cheese thing going on. The glass has a very minerally, flinty wet stone nose, backed by hay and honey notes. As it warms there are some florals too. I'd give the bottle a 5 and the glass a 4, so 4.5 it is.

Temptation sings beautifully. It has elements of Chardonnay, tart and minerally, bright and puckering. Light on the palate yet full and complex. Not especially oaky, which is good. Dry and fruity with grapes, orange, lemon, and cheese. Very effervescent and dry like champagne. A wine-lovers conversion beer for sure. Off the charts drinkability.

Paired well with cheese, we had Capriole Wabash Cannonball and Delitia Taleggio.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 22:27:28 | More by emerge077
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

11-14-2011 17:53:09 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Rose & Crown, batch 004. Into a 10 oz snifter, Temptation is a bright golden color, pale and clear, with a rapidly receding white cap.

Lemony lactic sourness and tart Chardonnay dominate the aroma. There's ample barnyard funk behind it, which comes out more as the temperature rises.

The barrel comes through strongly in the taste, lending a big buttery Chardonnay character. Lactic and mild acetic sourness come through with equal strength. Tart white grape, vanilla, tannic oak and spice provide depth. Intensely flavorful but light-bodied, this is almost sessionable. It finishes with drying tannins, buttery oak and white grape. Very enjoyable, but I prefer the previous two batches over this one.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2010 01:14:29 | More by largadeer
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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,680 ratings.