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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

989 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 989
Hads: 3,376
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 16.78%
Wants: 1,755
Gots: 926 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Temptation Alström Bros
Reviews: 989 | Hads: 3,376
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Bruery tulip. 7.25% ABV, tulip serving shown, Batch 004x3. Purchased at Russian River.

A - Totally clear golden yellow with a dense white head, there is good retention and lace that covers the glass with thick fingers. It's very attractive.

S - Lemony golden citrus and floral hops with a massive, delicious funk! Light horse blanket and musty wheat has a great combination with a nice light sour finish. Mmm, Brett.

T - Thinner than expected, a bit of the lemon citrus comes through but the majority of the flavor is heavily wild ale with a thin horse blanket and nice barn yard funk to it.

M - Temptation is light-bodied with a funky sour finish that's right up my alley. Nice tart finish with a great clean and crisp texture to it.

D - Definitely a bottle worth sharing with people but probably not worth the $25 price tag. Very good beer with a nice wild kick to the finish.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

on tap at monks

Pours a fairly clear golden with orange hues. A light, bubbly head quickly fades leaving no lacing around the glass.

Very bright nose, with tangy sourness and assorted fruits (especially green apple) in the nose. So inviting.

Bitter and dry up front with some sweet touches. The beer is pleasantly sour throughout with apricot, apple, and wine grapes. A bit of citrus dashes through with oaky tart flavors, hints of Chardonnay, and some some soft funk. Finishes super long with tasty, lasting dry and sour notes.

Lighter body, tingly, and dry. Dances on the tongue with excellent flavor and feel. Goes down so easy you have to consciously slow yourself down to avoid drinking it too fast. A true delight and treasure from Russian River.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks very much to jedwards for sharing. 375ml bottle (batch #3). Served in my Allagash tulip. Poured a golden-orange with a quarter inch, bright white head that quickly dissipates into a fizzy skim that coalesces around the edges. Clarity is hazy/milky. Some lacing, but no legs. Nose is citrusy and buttery. Taste consistent with nose, some tartness, some green apple and some residual sweetness. Mouthfeel is light-medium, with a consistent background effervescence that falls just short of prickly. Great beer and, based on my limited exposure, what I would consider a classic example of the style. A truly excellent beer.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jeff for sharing this one with me. Pours a golden-yellow color, translucent with lots of light shining through the edges. The foamy white head lasts for a bit as it settles and leaves some big, wet lacing.

The aroma is thoroughly acidic and tart. Sour apple skins, pears, light vinegar, faint lactic aromas. There's a mild woodiness behind all of the tart fruits, but there's no denying that this is a sour bomb. I was a bit shocked to find that there was quite a big vinous character in the aroma, too, until I read that this was aged in chardonnay barrel. Makes sense now. Very tingly on the nostrils, this one's gonna be sour - no doubt.

And sure enough, it is. Temptation is very sour, front and center. We're talking puckering sour, not just "mildly tart". Lemons are huge, as are apples and pears. Wow, this is just so, so, so, SO tart. Each sip feels more tart than the last. It hits the edges and corners of your mouth and gets your face scrunched up in no time. Not as sour as Beatification, still pretty damn tart. Light vinous notes, as well as a mild oak flavor on the tail, but the beer has a mostly sweet finish once that godly tartness finally dies down. Medium bodied, heavily carbonated.

I've come to expect a lot from Russian River, and rightfully so. Temptation delivers. It's a sour motherfucker, that's for sure. If you like sours and you haven't had this yet - get some. Now.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle of this with a friend at the South Philly Tap Room

Poured into a small chalice, Temptation sits a cloudy golden yellow with a light and fluffy bone white cap. Head fades to form a thin collar.

Lemons, wet hay, peach, saddle leather and a strong presence of oak laying underneath. Reminds me more of a saison than a sour. Soft, but bright.

The palate is much like the aroma only I'll add sour green apple and white grapes. The oak also comes through much more in the flavor. Very nice. This isn't too wine like, the grapes/wine barrels add to the complexity and flavor, working with the brett as opposed to just existing in the concoction.

Very light and crisp with a dry, tart finish. I found this to be highly drinkable.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Comparison of Batch 1, 3, 4, and 5 12/4/10

Batch 5-fair bit of hops, juicy, hints of soap with notes of leathery brett up front. som dry oak, dustry, very light chardonney wine flavor. juicy dry oak, bright white grapes and slightly sour with a fairbit of grassy hops and some juicy citrus.

Batch 4-more sublte than 5, chardonney comes out slightly more and the hops are much more mild. flavors of integrated oak, white grapes, light brett presence and faint hops.

Batch 3-the hops have faded but the flavors are soft well integrated and subtle. the chardonney barrels really make a bright presence, juicy white grapes as the brett comes in behind. the brett is slightly sharp but still leans towards subtlty with some lemon and soft peach flavors in the back.

Batch 1-the brett has started to dominate and take over, the chardonney and juicy wine flavors have become much light and the sweetness now resides behind and underneath the strong brett presence.


Batch 004X4 reveiwed 3/1/10

A-pours a pale golden yellow color with a thin bubbly head, 2-3 full fingers, holding strongly to the side of the glass.

S-nice notes of oak and hints of vanilla start off this funky aroma. Wild yeasts take over giving it a fair amount of funk, sour grapes and green apples, notes of lemon zest and grass at the finish

T-tart cherries, sour white grapes, and notes of lemon zest are followed by a biscuity malt base. the oak is very faint in the taste as it comes in towards the back.

M-this is extremely smooth and crisp throught, sharp finish and very dry. medium body with a slight warming from the alcohol in the back with a lot of carbonation.

D-this is very sweet and tart. it brings huge flavors and an interesting taste from the barrel aging. Another intersting brew from RR.

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Photo of dar482
4.8/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The beer hits of white wine and a strong tartness in the front. It's very lemony and citrusy with a general theme of apricot. A light crackery malt in the middle along with a nice touch of cherries. After the citrus, the barrel gives some oak notes and drying.

A very tart, yet well balanced sour. One of my favorites from Russian River.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to Mikereaser and crushedvol for sending one of these each to me in recent BIFs. Now I dont feel too guilty about not sharing one of them, muahahaha! All mine! 375 mL bottle from batch 05X1F. Pours a clear golden color with a fast-dissolving white head. Leaves some clingy lace and a bubbly sheen.

Earthy brettanomyces hits the nose first, followed by some sour notes and a sweet, oaky presence. Light and fruity with the white wine definitely showing it's toothy grin.

Good balance of sourness and funky tart brett, leaning a bit to the brett side of things. Base beer is light and airy with some tannic wood and wine character. Not puckeringly sour, that is for sure. I was skeptical about aging this one, but after trying it I think it could age fairly gracefully as long as the bacteria can keep up with the brett. Pretty good sour here, I am surely glad I have another.

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Photo of champ103
4.61/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a clear golden/yellow color. A white head forms and leaves some lace.
S: Wonderful Brett aromas. Funky barnyard, hay, grass, and some yeast. Very tart and sour, though it is never overwhelming. Lots of fruity aromas as well. Awesome.
T: Funky barnyard, hay, grass Brett flavors that follow the nose. Fruity flavors and dry biscuit. Again, very complex and awesome.
M/D: A light to medium body that is crisp dry and very refreshing. Though not watery at all. I can drink this all day. So easy and smooth to drink. I can never get enough of this.

I have had the pleasure of trying this several times now. I just love it, and highly recommend.

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Photo of mltobin
3.97/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle from a trade with PinkFlag, thanks Brandon !

Appearance is a golden yellow tone which is nearly clear with a thin white head. The nose has apple, lemon peel, chardonnay, oak and funk. Its` taste is fairly similar to the nose , along with some grapes and more of the funk/brett. As others have noted, it has many characteristics similar to a sparkling wine. The mouthfeel does not have too much sour or too much of any characteristic really. It is nice and crisp, a very good wild ale that I had waited too long to try.

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Photo of drpimento
4.21/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sharing with friend Mike S. Poured at a good temperature with an average off white head that soon subsided and no lace. Color is a pale, slightly hazy amber with lots of bubble trails. Aroma is very good with sour and yeast on top, followed by oak, malt, wine and citrus. Flavor is not quite as complex with the brightness of the oaked sour malt with citrus; wine is in the background. Body and carbonation are exactly what they're supposed to be. Finish is like flavor, clean, balanced and refreshing. Nice picnic brew or for cooking.

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Photo of williamjbauer
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 6 served in Tap at the brewery a while ago

A. Pale gold with 1 finger frothy cream head with great retention and abundant lacing.

S. Chardonnay grapes, green apples, earthy funk, oak

T. Accurately described by many as a beer like wine with huge Chardonnay wine and oak character with brett funk and fruit notes. A slightly bitter and pretty sour finish.

M. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Smooth. Moderate etoh warming.

O. Really amazing wild, but I still love supplication the best.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.83/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. Label says 072712.

A- Pours a hazy gold color with a 3/4 inch white head that retains well before fizzling away to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a thin sheet of surface foam. Solid lacing. Wispy sediment is found suspended in the body.

S- Lemony, funky wild yeast aroma with a hint of barnyard must. Crisp but fumy.

T- Pow! Massive sourness of lactic acid assaults the palate leaving only traces of citrus fruit notes. Has that strange rubbery aftertaste that I haven't, as of yet, been able to determine what the cause of it is but it shows up in a lot of sours. Drinkable, but with small sips few and far between.

M- Incredibly dry and twangy with a tartness that doesn't let up. Medium-high carbonation and a lightish body.

O- It's a kick in the teeth right off the bat but, once you get into it, it's a pretty tasty sour if you like that sort of thing.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

drank this on friday night along side several other RR sours.

reviewed from notes.

Appearance: Brilliant yellow bodied beer with a nice tall 2 fingers head made of many small bubbles.

Smell: Lemon, citris, light hay.

Taste: lemon and citrus. Hay and a sour funk. White grapes and hints of an oak barrel. This is an elegant beer!

Mouthfeel: Light in body and high in carbonation. Dry finish that does tend to remind you of a champaigne.

Overall: man what a beer! This is my favorite beer from RR hands down! It is delicate, balanced, and complex. WOW!

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a brandy snifter. Batch 006. Brewed on 10 May 2010. Bottled on 8 August 2011.

A: It uncorks with an almighty pop. Very little head, but a few bubbles. Clear urine yellow. Combined with an initial whiff, this is not very appetising.

S: So it actually smells pretty great. Lots of Brettanomyces, but tempered and pleasant, perhaps due to the chardonnay barrels. Some vinegar, some light fruit, and some funky yeast.

T/M: Finally, a sour I can dig my teeth into and really appreciate! This is some good stuff. Not-quite-ripe grapes, strong white wine influence, very subtle tartness. A delicate mouthfeel accentuates the light fruits in the flavour -- bright citrus, fermented grapes, dry-sweet tropical fruits. Very little carbonation; wet and smooth.

O: I have oft claimed to "not like sours," which is largely true, but this something else altogether. Phenomenal! Truly amazing. Highly recommended. Will drink again. A beer to sip and to savour.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 05X3. Big thanks goes out to nyrangerfan for this one in a past trade! Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Poured a hazy deep yellow with a three finger pure white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, tart, nice sour, and a little funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, mild tart, nice sour, and a hint of funk on the followthrough. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this beer made me say, "Oh my God, yes!". Russian River was spot on with this brew. It was very well balanced on the flavor and had quite an excellent aroma to back up the flavor. Not very much missing in this brew at all. Any Cali traders out there who trade with me in the future, feel free to send this as an extra as this is a damn good beer!

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Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to cmaruschak for sharing. Batch 001: Pours hazy golden/orange with a medium thin and foamy ivory-colored head. Thick ring of lacing at the top of the glass, and spotty underneath. Tart, vinous aroma of chardonnay. Wine-like flavor, fruity and tannic. Oak is present, and there is some yeast in the background. The finish is zesty with tart fruit and a hint of sweetness. A unique beer to say the least, with some elements of a Lambic or Flemish Sour, yet still different enough to stand out. Refreshing and easy to drink too. Pretty good all around.

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Photo of maximum12
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to jessethehutt who sent me this beer...sometime during the second age of man. A long time ago. No idea why it's been gathering dust for so long except my wife isn't wild about wilds. Split with my wife. Batch 004x004.

Pours a bouncy, spry yellow for its age, lighting up the early Minnesota evening like a young version of our nearest star (no, not Randy Moss). The smell bumps along nicely. Low notes of wine & light yeast continue the theme of brightness against the onrushing winter. Please, please Tempation, hold back the rain!(tm)

Temptation's bottle talks about "wine or beer" & this definitely threads the needle. Light, breezy, I'd like to enjoy this on a warm spring day, lounging in a hammock in a sun dress. Um, the wine makes its presence known in a drying, light, pear-like smack in the jaw right away, before backing off & allowing the spritzy, Belgian blonde underneath to shuck off her winter shawl. Brett is present but subdued, announcing only with a bite, rather than aggressive sourness. Complex yet approachable, this is a 750 ML that might contain a single serving for me.

Excellent brew, & I'm not surprised, since Russian River seems to have figured out how to brew very good beer, across a spectrum, with amazing consistency. Here's just another example. My wild ale shy wife concurs; she thinks it's great. Winner!

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

Deliciously dry, complex sour. Temptation pours a bright yellow gold color with a wonderful blanket of fine bubbles. The bubbles stick around for a long time, too. The aroma is vinous with apples and a healthy dose of oak. There are some floral hops and the malt comes through a bit, too. The brett character is blends exceptionally well with the rest of the aromas. The flavor is wonderfully dry and oaky. There are a different fruit flavors layered throughout the beer. The best thing, though, is that the flavor stays full and round from the first taste to the finish. The brett, oak and fruit all come together. The sourness is restrained but still exerts some pucker. It's just a really good beer.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to melbatoast. Pours a lighter color, a straw golden color. I can smell the aroma from down the street. Huge sour grapes smell. In the taste, wow a bit sour, then it just goes away. Nice how it does not cling to the palate. Light body, but very bold taste. A truly great beer.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the 004 batch.

A - Cloudy yellow with a touch of amber, nice bubbly head with quick dissipation leaving no lacing. Pretty nice looking immediately off the pour.

S - Grapes, apricot, maybe a little bit of peach, mild yeast. Weak nose is actually kind of difficult to smell. Smells good, but needs some more body.

T - Wow, blows me away. Amazingly complex, you feel like this is going to get sweet and never does. Goes tart insteat in the middle, mild oaky finish reminds you of the barrel influence. Nice sour grape taste, very little yeast taste. This is outstanding.

M - Low carbonation, light body, nice dry finish. Just about perfect for this bear.

D - Super tastey and easy to drink. Can polish off the whole bottle and then pop open a second no problem. Love this beer.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

375ml bottle courtesy of largadeer, thanks a bunch for the opportunity. Beautiful, golden blonde color, cloudy. The smell is excellent and suggests sour and wine. The taste is pretty darn good and less sour than expected but still a pucker. This seems a little more subtle and complex compared to Supplication and Beatification but then maybe they aren't meant to be compared? There is not much funk to be found but all in all this is excellent. I've been skeptical about paying high prices for beer but these barrel-aged RR beers are worth it in my mind.

update 07/09/10

batch 004x2

This could take your eye out if you don't chill it first but it is delicious after a year in the bottle. It gushed at first but it smells awesome. Peach and citrus and a very subtle sourness, wow. I think this has actually improved since it was released because it tastes fantastic. I have never seen a cork shoot out so fast, good thing I know enough to treat corked beers carefully...

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

Thanks to Chico1985, who couldn't resist the temptation to bust this out at last nights tasting. Reviewed from notes.

A- Glorious golden yellow with a foamy white cap that has good retention for an aged beer. A nice cloud stays afloat and leaves a coat of lace and very sticky suds. One of the best looking sours I have seen.

S- Nothing stands out alone here but a nice balance. Grape and wine/vinous notes are probably the most forefront but there is some fruit and you can tell it will be sour. Slight funk from a simple, yet well balanced aroma.

T- Microbes had a party in this one, blonde ale turned very good. Sour vinous notes up front with some lemon acidity and fruit notes. Sour is great at a moderate-high level. A bit of funk but an overall balanced taste with nothing aggressive or overpowering. Some oak as well as acetic notes towards the end.

MF- Light but nicely creamy body with moderate carbonation. A coat of sour white wine vine on the palate. Great sour feeling on the tongue.

DB- Amazing balance of simple and complex flavors, nothing takes center stage and all of the taste can be appreciated. Reminds me of a gueuze a bit. Awesome vinous wine elements here as well. Gotta trade for it around here but like Supplication, it is totally worth it.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I happened to be visiting the brewery as Vinnie had finished and bottled, not yet labeled, his first batch of Temptation many years ago. He wasn't happy with some aspects of it but after chatting about the brew process for half an hour or so he brought up a few unlabeled bottles.

For the life of me I couldn't see what he didn't like about it, but then again anyone who knows Vinnie knows that he is a perfectionist. After tasting this and another beer (which I don't think ever went to market) he gave me a couple of bottles to cellar. I've just now seen it for the first time in a bottle in a beer store so was excited to down a few. This is absolutely one of the best beers that I have ever had.

Appearance - This is a beautiful, light straw blond in color with a gorgeous head. It's not big and foamy like a giant Belgian or a Weizen of course, but the bubbles are so incredibly tight and even you almost hate to drink it. Almost.

Smell - This is the most refined sour aroma I have ever had the pleasure of smelling. It's neither harsh nor offensive yet is still potent and sharp. The light grains in the background are equally refined.

Taste - The sourness is definitely a home run here. It is exceptionally strong yet not harsh like so many other Wild Ales. There's just enough sweetness to tame the flavor.

I can pick up some light white wine notes, which I'm guessing after reading up on the beer from the RR site is the chardonnay that seeped into the barrels that they use to age this beauty shop. The grain again is like a delicious light blonde ale grain that ads to the airy feeling you get when drinking this beer.

Mouthfeel - This was my favorite part of the drink. It is definitely light-bodied with a mature and technically advanced sourness and that terrific grain backbone actually makes this sail through the mouth. The carbonation is pure perfection, again according to the website the beer is carbonated in the bottle. It's just an enjoyable, light, airy texture that makes you want to keep on drinking.

Drinkability - This is the most quaffable sour ale I've ever had. It goes down so smooth and is so refreshing. How he put this thing together I'll never know.

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