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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,747 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,747
Reviews: 954
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,530
Gots: 733 | FT: 44
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: 2,747 | Reviews: 954 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays


3.65/5  rDev -18.2%

12.7 oz. bottle, Batch 003

A: Pours a golden yellow, with a voluminous white head, with thick, sticky laicng and good retention.

S: Earthy brett jumps out at first, then lemongrass, honeysuckle flowers, and light sugar.

T: Big flavours of sour lemon juice hit first, white grape juice in there as well, but it is much more secondary. The dry brett comes in in the aftertaste giving a raw funk, but it has a certain lightness about it. The acidity is there all the time, but I feel it can take over the flavour profile at times and be too harsh.

M: Quite tart, and bone dry, and has a lingering acidity on the palate. Fairly light-bodied, and has a creaminess in all of the carbonation.

D: In the end a tasty wild ale, but not up there with Supplication, which I think is one of the best beers I've ever had, moderately complex, I'll buy it again next year and delve through it some more.

04-21-2008 04:03:45 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev -5.8%

Appearance: clear gold in color with a wispy head that remains as some surface bubbles. No lace develops.

Smell: woodiness and some funk are surprisingly pleasant on the nose.

Taste: big flavors here as biscuit, brett funkiness, oak, green grapes, and tart green apples are up front. There is a lingering chardonnay flavor that arrives late. Mild bitterness and some soft lemon citrus rounds it out. Hints of alcohol provide some warming.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp and very dry throughout. Long aftertaste as the funk and oak last a while.

Drinkability: this is a true slow sipping beer meant to be enjoyed over a long time period. It changes up as it warms, keeping it interesting.

09-22-2009 12:20:56 | More by Gavage
Photo of MarkyMOD


4/5  rDev -10.3%

10-04-2012 01:33:25 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of beernads


4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

11-18-2013 14:25:50 | More by beernads
Photo of kojevergas


4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Poured from a bottle into an Irish (real) pint glass in high altitude Denver, CO, on December 21st, 2010.

A: Pours a pleasant clear gold with a thick, creamy, four finger head of very nice thickness, brilliant cream, and excellent retention. Remarkable and appealing.

Sm: Wow. Fresh but moderate. Notes of wine, ester, fruit, hops, and even yeast. Very complex, but balanced. Hopefully the taste is similar.

T: Yup. To a T. Smooth open, complex, incredibly well-built body, wine-ish climax, with a multinote finish. The notes in the body bleed into the aftertaste (past the finish). Russian river's done it again, and this beer supports my sentiment that they may be the best American brewery operating today. Hides its ABV very well.

Mf: Nice balance between coarseness and smootness, wetness and dryness, but I should say the wine gives it an unnatural fizziness that could be better refined. It's bold, and it works, so this complaint is minor.

Dr: I'm not the first guy to reach for this style, but I am the first guy to reach for Russian River, and for good reason. Even a stout lover like me will appreciate this beer. Definitely worth trying, especially if you don't like sour ales. Its taste lives up to its title, though it may only be a fleeting temptation at this price point.

12-22-2010 06:05:11 | More by kojevergas
Photo of GClarkage


4.1/5  rDev -8.1%

12/25/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 375ml bottle, caged and corked from the first batch ever bottled. Poured into my Duchese chalice.

Appearance- Pilsner golden color with a nice clouded vision. A solid 3/4 inch head forms with a full 1/4 inch remaining all the way down. Beautiful lace kisses almost the enitire glass.

Smell- Ahh, more barnyard funk, with a touch of oak and hops!

Taste- Drank immeadiately after the Supplication and found the same tartness to be there, in fact more so. This time the sourness stays in the aftertaste and lingers a bit. Slight touches of vinous notes and maybe a wee bit of oak treat the pallete to a nice suprise. Hops are plentiful as you notice them immediately.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level, tart and sour to the back of the tongue.

Drinkability- Another winner from Mr. C. A different approach to a blonde ale to be sure, but a winner nonetheless.

12-25-2005 23:16:34 | More by GClarkage
Photo of imperialking


4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

12-19-2011 04:38:16 | More by imperialking
Photo of corby112


4.13/5  rDev -7.4%

On tap at The Belgian Cafe.

I've had several different batches of this on tap and in bottles and always prefer the bottle.

Pours a hazy golden yellowish orange color with golden yellow hues hen held to a light source and a half finger fizzy white head that immediately fades into a thin ring. No lacing.

Funky tart aroma with lots of dry bretty effervescence as well as some earthy oak and light fruit. Hints of grape, cherry, strawberry and other berries. A nice combination of sweet, funk, tart and earthy oak.

Medium bodied and very well balanced with a very nice combination of sour tart/funk notes, oak, vanilla and crisp, light fruit. Although this beer is puckering with a very prominent dry funky brett character, it is probably the most quaffable of the RR sours. Lighter and not acidic/acetic at all really. Plenty of oak and vanilla from the barrel aging but also vinous with hints of grape, cherry and other dark berries. Puckering, mouth-watering dry finish that leaves me salivating for another sip.

12-27-2010 07:22:23 | More by corby112
Photo of weeare138


4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Thanks to egajdzis for splitting a bottle of Batch 002 with me...
Appears a hazy, pale gold with a fluffy white cap that slowly fades out. Scattered spots of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of citrusy, funk, oak, vanilla, brett, and mild sugar.
Taste is of the same aromas in a wonderfully done brew. The flavors jump along the palate with glee. Highlights include the light funk mixed with wine, vanilla, and some sugary caramel. This is hardcore and it outdoes some of the counterparts overseas.
Mouthfeel is of a spritzy, nicely carbonated yet restrained brew that is smooth but bouncey with the CO2 giving rise to the vanilla esters riding along the sugary, chardonnay grapes.
Vinnie is an excellent brewer. He is at the top of the charts for American brewers IMHO. With the wine background, he has the experience to make this stuff work. This is no exception to the rule. Well done.

12-14-2006 21:05:06 | More by weeare138
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

On draft at the brewpub.

Pours a clearish light golden color with a wispy off white head. Aroma is initially vinous with mild brett. Grapes, apple, oak and lemon. Flavor is mildly fruity, with strong white wine and oak and a slightly funky finish. Medium bodied with a slightly sour, dry finish.

12-20-2011 20:17:13 | More by yourefragile
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.43/5  rDev -0.7%

It was quite a trek around the Bay Area for me to find one of these. Well, it was a profitable way to spend a Saturday.

Uncorks with a massive "thok". No gush, fortunately. Slightly cloudy with a little disturbed sediment, a nice yellow gold colour, with a wonderful thick head. Excellent lacing. Looks great.

Nose is redolent of white wine, massive oakiness and light sour overtones of must and fermentation. So much oak though - I love it. Deep and earthy, but with lighter fruitier notes shining through. Cherries, citrus and kaffir lime. Great. Just great.

Taste is huge, with a massive tongue-slicing of organic acidity. Green apples, young sauvignon blanc grapes, even tending towards the sourness of lemons and limes. Mouthfeel is quite smooth and full, lending some gravitas to the enormous spike of puckering acidity.

What an amazingly flavoursome beer. It sure packs a punch; easily as good as some of the Belgian Geuezes I've had the pleasure to try.

Amazingly drinkable and refreshing with a quite incredibly powerful taste profile. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

02-13-2009 07:43:09 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.47/5  rDev +0.2%

Thanks to RJ(Grabbin2nd) for sharing this one.
Poured a hazy golden color with a medium head white head. Nose is big and funky, as some would say "horseblanket" and "barnyard funk", lemon, tartness. Taste is like a big lemondrop, grassy and def sour. Mouthfeel has a very nice mouthfeel, very champagne like, sour but not to much, lemon, funk. Drinkability is very good.

01-01-2010 19:09:29 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of orangesol


4.4/5  rDev -1.3%

Served on-tap into a mini pint at TJ's 7th Anny. Party. Number three of three in my Russian River flight. An amazing party with amazing beers.

A - Pours pale yellow with a spotty white head leaving minimal lacing down the glass. Quite pale but very inviting.

S - Strong sour notes up front with a bit of sweetness. Some lemon, white grape, and a few other earthy notes. The sourness is strong but not overpowering.

T - Tart up front slowly giving way to bright citrus flavors, similar to the nose, finishing with a lingering biternes that fades after a short time. A very nice wild ale, tart but not overpowering. My favorite of the three.

M - Medium body and head with moderate carbonation. Overall dry feel with a good amount of sourness in the finish, not lingering on the pallet for very long.

D - Very high. While it is a bit dry the sourness helps to balance it all out. One of the most enjoyable wild's I have had. I am glad I have a few of these in the cellar.

12-05-2010 03:34:57 | More by orangesol
Photo of InspectorBob

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev -0.7%

On tap at Eulogy Belgian Tavern, Olde City during their sour week.

Poured into a tulip, a hazy golden/orange color with about one finger of off white hesd that dissipates quickly leaving little if any lacing.

Aroma is sour, earthy. Sour apples/grapes.

Taste is not overly sour. Fruity and tart flavor. You can pick up on the chardonnay fritiness from the barrels that it was aged in.

The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Dry on the finish.

Very drinkable. Becomes more funky as it warms. I like this beer...

11-28-2010 17:34:14 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.43/5  rDev -0.7%

Small bottle, caged and corked, enjoyed at Brooklyn's S.D. during their yeast fest. Pours cloudy apricot amber, long lasting near white head and leaving spotty lacing. Nose here is fruity, funky, herbal and funky. Creamy, smooth and funky brew. Smoky from a year in chardonnay barrels and slightly soured from an addition of Brettanomyces yeast. Flavorful, complex, luscious world class U.S. venture into the wonderful, yeasty, wild Ale/lambic world. Wish RR was more widely available in the NY/NJ/Ct. area

05-28-2006 17:10:33 | More by Billolick
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.55/5  rDev +2%

Newest batch, had on-tap at the RR pub. I've had this in the bottle in the past, with a fresh batch, on-tap, my initial impression is that this is quite dry, quite hoppy for the style, and quite oaky. Pours a cloudy golden with a thin head but superb lacing. Smells sour and slightly grainy with some lactic notes, green apples, herbal hops, and oak notes. The taste is a perfect balance between the oak barrel notes, sour green apple flavors, and light herbal hops. Tart and punchy, a very nice beer this batch.

09-13-2009 03:08:49 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of stakem


4.28/5  rDev -4%

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a perfectly clear golden yellow color with a fizzy white head that holds around the edge of the glass. Bubbles rise constantly through the body and a swirl revives a finger's worth of white head. As the cap fades, it leaves a leggy pattern of lace that sticks to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is lemony citrus mixed with a touch of plastic-like funk. There is a lactic smell and sourness of rinds. A light amount of alcohol is evident as the brew warms and it makes some smells evolve that smell funked and a little pukey.

The taste is lemony and lactic. There are some plastic notes mixed with mild fruits that are a little rindy. Seemingly toasted with some oak indications. The aftertaste includes some fusel alcohol that mixes with the oak to create a dryness to the finish. There is an afterthought reminiscent of nail polish remover. As the brew warms the aftertaste gets increasingly more grapey, vinous and solvent with alcohol.

This is a medium bodied brew with a high amount of fizzy carbonation. There is a big salivation factor with this brew and it is exceptionally easy drinking for 7.5% abv. These 375ml bottles are a complete tease. By the time I'm really into this beer and digging it, the glass is empty and I want more. Certainly an enjoyable brew, I just wish the price was more reasonable and I would drink it more often.

05-17-2011 19:00:56 | More by stakem
Photo of akorsak


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%

A 375 mL corked and caged bottle of Batch 003.

A: The ale is hazy, a mixture of orange juice and tang with some shots of cola throughout to darken it a bit. A decent head, amply carbonated, welled up on pour but did not lace.

S: The aroma is bitterly tart, sour with an abundance of green apple, pepper and lots of funk. The dry bite of the chardonnay is present as well.

T: The tartness is layered, exposing multiple elements with each sip. Fruit up front in the form of green apple, apricot and lemon. Later sips reveal more tartness, woody with a dry chardonnay finish. Ample carbonation clears the palate with most every sip, allowing new flavors to emerge each time. A sweet white grape finish reinforces the chardonnay. A deliciously complex ale.

M: Lots of fruit, funk and wood throughout. If you don't like sours, this one may be too much of a bite.

D: The woody, vinous finish keeps me coming back for more each time. A wonderous and wonderful brew.

Review of Batch 002:
A: 4.0; S: 4.5; T: 4.0; M: 4.5; D: 4.0
Total: 4.15, A-

06-16-2008 01:46:42 | More by akorsak
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +1.6%

Batch 072712

A: Pours a hazy pale golden yellow in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation at the surface of the beer and some apricot highlights. The beer has a quarter to half finger tall pillowy/soapy bright white head that reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of pale malts with stronger aromas of brett, barnyard funk, tartness/sourness, chardonnay, and oak.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of pale malts with some moderate to strong amounts of tartness/sourness. There is a strong presence of brett without it dominating or being overbearing and a nice light amount of funkiness. There are moderate flavors of chardonnay and oak towards the finish.

M: Just heavier than light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy with light amounts of acidic prickliness and some light to moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Extremely easy to drink and interesting due to the great balance of flavors/aromas with just enough complexity. Love the use of brett in this beer because it enhances and does not dominate.

06-07-2013 23:03:50 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.95/5  rDev +11%

(Served in a goblet)

big thanks to goodbyeohio for this brew (batch 001)

A- This beer has a hazy golden deep copper color with a thick pure white foam that last and last. The carbonation is wave of microbubbles swirling in the glass. The head turns into thick sheets that stick to the side of the glass after each sip and turn to lace in some parts.

S- The smell of tart wild yeast and wild mushroom has a very soft hint of light oak and fresh rain with a very light earthy decomposition note. The finish has a nice bright lemon zest note.

T- The taste of smooth slightly sweet pale malt has a faint tartness with a brightness almost like lemon to it. There is a very light oak taste that is smooth and really balances the sweet malt and tartness. On the exhale, after each sip there is a very faint ham note that is quite nice. As it warms notes of chardonnay start to come through nicely and a faint grapefruit note blends with it.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a nice pucker in the back of the jaws in the finish.

D- Wow. This beer is so complex and smooth yet too mysterious to describe it in words. The flavors of Bret and oak are soft enough to let the blonde ale shine through but strong enough to give it so much more depth and character. I was expecting a sharp "extreme" American punch in the mouth but instead I got a beer that taste like decades of craftsmanship in the making.

06-05-2006 01:13:48 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of drewone


4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

12-24-2013 07:03:49 | More by drewone
Photo of Zorro


4/5  rDev -10.3%

Pours a somewhat hazy golden colored beer. Not much head formation but that could easily be because of the care I took pouring this beer to make sure to not get any sediment in the glass.

Smell wine like with lemon and fruity scents much like a Chardonnay. There is a strong whiskey aroma to this. Vanilla and caramel from the oak barrels used most likely. Fairly sweet smell after your nose adapts a bit, but I can't say that it has a malty smell. Fairly spicy scent mostly black pepper.

Taste is fairly sour at the beginning but nowhere near lambic funk. The sweet and sour yin and yang here is somewhat like a Flanders Red. After three sips your taste buds adapt and the other flavors come out. Lime and oak mix with the caramel and vanilla flavors that comes out as some new wacky Mojito variant in your mouth.

Mouthfeel is good.

I have a hard time here deciding if I really like this or not. I hate sour beers as a rule but this isn't a jaw locking Lambic. Really interesting vanilla and caramel here that makes me think of a bourbon barrel beer. I guess I have to say that this isn't my first choice of the Russian River Beers.

03-26-2006 04:45:16 | More by Zorro
Photo of DoubleJ


4.68/5  rDev +4.9%

Show of hands: who wants Temptation tonight? Well, you ain't gettin' a sip of my 750 ml bottle from Batch 004x1, get yer own. This bottle has been in my possession for 18 months. On to the beer:

Bright sundrop yellow in color with lively carbonation and some haze in the body. The foam on top gracefully clings to the glass and continues to hover over the beer. One smell and already my salivatory glands are reacting. Big sour lemon is present, oak, a pinch of vanilla; very pungent at first but settles down in intensity.

The beer tickles the roof of the mouth as it enters the first few times. It's hard to pick out individual flavors, but I will attempt. Lemon (especially sticking to the lips), horse blanket, vanilla, oak, and modest acidity (for a sour ale) and pucker. The carbonation bubbles up in the mouth like a champagne, and it is extremely drinkable.

Que delicia! Chalk up another tally for Russian River beers that deserve to be talked about. But like the other Russian River sours, is nearly a dollar per ounce, so bring your piggy bank to the store.

03-02-2011 06:05:35 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of duceswild


4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

07-31-2012 14:38:35 | More by duceswild
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.43/5  rDev -0.7%

Poured into snifter. Batch 004X2. 2009

Pours a nice white head. Great retention. Nice splatted lace. Color is a clear golden straw yellow. Just what this beer should look like.

Aroma: sour with brett and barnyard flavors. Oak, lemon, and sour fruits. Pretty solid.

Taste: Hmmm, this is kind of interesting. A lot of brett here with some other sour bugs. Barnyard funk with lemons. Some nice oak flavors as well. Well done.

Mouthfeel: Sour and funky. Mouth puckering. Light to medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends very clear, a tad sour.

Overall, a solid heavy beer. Very well done. I really enjoyed this beer. Very drinkable. I'd like to try this with a few years on it. I think it could get even better.

12-25-2009 15:37:53 | More by mothman
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,747 ratings.