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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

989 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 989
Hads: 3,378
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 16.78%
Wants: 1,754
Gots: 928 | FT: 61
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: 3,378
Photo of kerklein2
4.74/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

batch 05X1E
poured into snifter

A: Yellow to golden color, minimal head and good lacing

S: Funky, a little bit of grapes, slightly sweet, really nice.

T: Very much like a white wine with a nice refreshing tartness. Slightly fruity, well balanced, overall badass.

M: Well carbonated. Smooth.

O: Extremely refreshing, very well made beer. It doesn't get much better than this.

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Photo of thickerfreakness
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of two bottles bought online from RR. This is batch 003. The other sent off in a trade so I am savoring this one.

It pours a peachy amber color with a fluffy, white head and it leaves amazing lacing on the glass as I drink it. This smells absolutely incredible. It has a very nice subtle sourness and an extremely inviting sweetness behind it. I could smell this all day long. The taste is predominantly of sour fruits but it is not so overpowering as to cover up the nice oakiness and light malt sweetness. This is best described as subtle but amazing. At first I had the taste as a 4.5 but it just got even better as it warmed and had to change it to a 5. The mouthfeel is great for a sour,very dry and wine like. It is extremely drinkable and the alcohol is just non existent in the taste. I wish I had bought many more of these babies. Highly recommended.

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Photo of DrewOSU
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003, 350 ml

A: Huge pop of the cork. Pours a dark yellow to light copper. Head is bright white with small tight bubbles. Lacing webs the side of the glass on the initial pour.

S: Apple, cherry, light funk and huge sour nose. Nothing disappointing on this glass.

M/T: Puckering sour on the first taste, followed by a huge rush of cherry, lemon and apple on the second wave. Finishes very dry and refreshing. A punch to the mouth with flavor.

D: This is my favorite beer of the year. I could drink this every night. There is nothing that is obnoxious about this beer. Big nose, huge taste and dry finishing. The lemon could make you reflux after a while, but other than that, flawless.

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Photo of bmanning
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375mL bottle batch 003
Opens with a loud pop and pours hazy light gold with minimal head but good lacing.
Aroma has lemon, pear, apples, sour cherries, light barnyard funk and a hint of earthiness.
Taste is very tart lemons and orange with a perfect balance between sweet, sour, and funk. It is so very complex and I wish I could pinpoint all the amazing flavors I'm tasting.
Mouthfeel is wonderful and like a fine Champagne with flavors bursting on every surface of the mouth.
Overall this is another homerun barrel aged beer by Russian River that gets better and better with age.

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Photo of FreightTrain
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003. Poured into a wine glass.

Pours a beautiful hazy gold with champagne-like carbonation fizzing along the walls and a persistent one finger white head. Wisps and globs of lacing line the glass.

Nose is tart and cider-like with a whiff of white wine, cherries, and flowers.

Tart, crab apple sourness up front with sparkling, fluffy carbonation. A sublime aftertaste that is almost too good to describe: butterscotch, white grapes, warming alcohol, dry mead.

Creamy and very carbonated in the mouth; the bottle conditioning is perfect.

This is an unbelievably delicious beer. Pushes boundaries in multiple directions. The quality is impeccable. The care with which it is made is evident. The only thing hampering drinkability is price and availability.

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Photo of Reed415
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a light amber color with a thick head that maintains

S - Very sour smelling, tart, fruit

T - Very tart sour, fruity, very smooth but is very tart throughout

M - Medium bodied, Smooth, Puckering

D - Excellent beer, very unique experience but also very tasty

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

Poured from a corked and caged bottle, Batch 4 I believe

A. Pours a yellow to lighter orange with an abundance of tight little buddles. Decent head retention with some lacing.

S. A clean tart lemony smell that is followed by more pronounced horseblankety brett funk as it warms. Has some noticeable oak also. Quite intriguing smell, maybe could of used more of a tart punch.

T. Delicious. One of my favorite American Wild Ales. Its not super sour but has a very nice tart lemon/green apple flavor. Very bretty. Very funky. Very noticeable oak flavors. The brett/funkness is a little more evident than the sour light fruit flavor. There's also a nice bitter backing in the aftertaste. No apparent alcohol in the taste.

M&D. Nice refreshing mouthfeel, nothing crazy exceptional but quite solid. The muted sour aspect keeps this dangerously drinkable.

Note: I had this on tap at the brewery which inspired me to purchase this bottle. I must say I enjoyed the on tap version slightly more than the bottled version but did not want to review it while enjoying some beers with company at the brewery. However I may up the smell and mouthfeel slightly for the on tap version. Overall an excellent example of an American Wild Ale.

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

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Pasadena, Calif.

Poured a light golden color into glass. Nice mellow sour smell with no head. Very nice sour taste with definite hints of fruits which escapes me at the moment (had a beer or two beforehand, doh). A good mouthfeel that wasn't overwhelming to the palate. Very good drinkability in which I could have made this my drink all night and be very satisfied. Glad they had this on tap.

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Photo of nectar14
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap, batch 004, at Toronado SD. Poured into little port glasses.

A: Golden/ yellow in color, slightly hazy, with a 1/2 finger white head that sticks around and leaves a nice lacing.
S: Complex as it warms up. The wet cardboard of brett is there, along with assertive lemon, green apple, white pepper, vanilla, and a touch of caramel. Projected, but without volatility. Do not get any whiff of alcohol. After the glass was empty, there was a distinct scent of empty chardonnay barrels (all that dead yeast, tartrate crystals, oxidized wine... which I recall from my days working in the winery when I cleaned chardonnay barrels after bottling).
T: Tart and puckery, with lemon, green apple, vanilla, wood, and slight malt. Long on the finish. Not heavy.
M: Medium body. Linear on the palate but the flavors are easy to pick out through the moderate carbonation and acidity.
D: Easy down the gullet for a beer of such character and complexity.

Glad I got to try this. Quite unique.

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Photo of oceanman
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks wonderful. Pale orange color with bubbles actively rising, a thin, even, creamy head.

On the nose, obvious characteristics of chardonnay (apple, citrus) and oak (vanilla). A bit phenolic, some funk, and a hint of honey.

Sourness hits first then lets the fruit characteristics seep in. A bit of vanilla is felt on the finish.

Well-carbonated and balanced. Obviously has quite a drying effect on the palate.

High acidity limits the serving size, but the taste gets better through a bottle. Flavors are very well-integrated.

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Photo of nniicckkww
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a chalice. Pleasant cork 'pop.' Fizzy with a hard pour with quickly dissipating head. No lacing on the glass. Yellow golden color with the slightest haze. Sour apple aroma very similar to a chardonnay (crisp, not the buttery kind).

Lively carbonation. Slight funk dominated by sour apple, lemony citrus and wine. Delicious. Clean, crisp finish. Almost more wine like than beer. I'm amazed that this doesn't have any grapes fermented in it and is composed of grain. The malt has been transformed into something that doesn't resemble malt based fermented beverages. I want a wine snob to try this. Utterly complex. No perceivable bitterness, but not sweet. Dry finish with a mouth smacking tannic undertone. Yum.

An amazing sour. My wife LOVES it as well.

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Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.9/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from O'Briens. Cloudy gold color with good head and nice lacing. Smells very oaky with grapes and funk. Tastes pretty good, almost like a sour white wine. The mouthfeel is very dry with some fizziness. Good carbonation with a heavy acidic finsih.

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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 avaccani
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 05X2E 375ml Bottle

A - Cloudy golden yellow with a 1 finger tight white head.

S - Some yeast funk. Reminds me of a typical Belgian. Getting a subtle wine aroma as well.

T - Tartness hits me right off the bat. Very pleasent. Starts off as a tingle then progresses to a slight pucker. Finishes off with a dryness that makes you take another sip.

M - Smooth and silky. Perfect!

D - I wish I had another bottle. Could drink this everyday.

Overall for one of my first Sours this beer is fantastic. I hope I didn't spoil myself.

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Photo of Swimsum
3.95/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an old review that was stashed away in a notebook that I just recently found. Batch 003 (375ml) thanks to ThreeWiseMen. Sampled on 10/18/10 and poured into tulip.

Pours out a murky golden color. A white head emerges and then dissipates to virtually nothing. When compared to the Consecration we just sampled, don't see as much carbonation when held to the light. Body clears up a bit in light but still cloudy.

Much different from Consecration. This is much more white wine smelling and sour. There is a bit of spice here but I'm not sure what it could be.

This is very white wine heavy in the taste. Also has much for funk/sourness to it than Consecration. This is also isn't too complex, sort of a let down when compared to the Consecration. This is a great sour but perhaps the darker ones are the ones for me.

Good carbonation here and it feels much lighter to me than Consecration. I do think the carbonation works well for this but at times it felt a bit thin. Finishes with a white wine taste that I'm not sure I'm liking.

A very good, drinkable beer, but it is much different from Consecration. While I did enjoy this, I think that the darker sours are going to be what I end up liking a lot more. This is still a great example of the American Wild style and I'd pick it up.

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Photo of cmadd
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into three taster glasses for myself and two friends. Minimal head with no lacing. The body was light straw yellow, only slightly clouded.

S: Very light – barnyard and pleasant nipping sourness.

T: In many ways like a subtle champagne. It opens with a strong sour burst that immediately gives way to dryness. This is the most complex, layered and dynamic sour/dry interaction I've had. As far as tastes go, light sour grapes are present throughout and the finish is the beautiful lingering sour of Granny Smith apples.

M: Pleasant and well carbonated, not overly so, and just enough body to balance the sour and the dryness.

O: I've had very few beers that were this refined. This one managed to demand my attention through complexity, not just oomph. I'm totally blown away.

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

Batch 004x4. 750 ml split and in a tulip.

Aroma- mellow pleasing sour. pineapple, fresh tropical fruit. wax. citric acid. lemon. powder/chalk. floral. very subtle oak.

App- yellow/gold. clear. white foam. dissipates and laces nicely.

Taste- tart and sweet. lots of lactic. some spice in the finish. lots of tartness followed by a bready sugar sweetness. sourness is greater than the sweetness. tart green apple. grapefruit sourness (not cascade hops). mellow oak. more sour than in the smell.

Mouth- creamy high carb. minerally finish. lots of acids that are almost astringent. dry warming acid finish.

Overall- very good. clean finish. nice brett character. too sweet for my taste but i like the barrel sourness.

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Photo of Grohnke
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pale straw, light gold; slight cloudiness. Condensed white head has little staying power, leaving a thin film. Remarkable lacing forms.

Smells of bright, tart lemon and grapes (in the sense of white wine). Mild funk, mild sourness. Very light oak.

Lemon is strong initially while the beer is still chilled, and then the sour cherry takes center stage, all the while green apple is in the background. Subtle sourness, with a light lactic bite, tart.

Light bodied, but far from watery; High carbonation makes it fluffy, and effervescent. Finishes dry with a lingering soft mouth puckering and tingling sour note.

Though not immediately 'wowed' by this beer, i fell deeply in love with it during the session. Its subtle and delicate, yet bright and bold. Some great fruity notes, paired with some soft sourness. Being aged for nearly a year in oak barrels, i was expecting more wood in the aroma (very light) and finish (nonexistent). Stellar mouthfeel. I am very jealous of those whom have this at their local liquor stores throughout the year.

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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 wchollif
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

first temptation, batch 05x2F, saw that i had a few bottles and it seemed like a beer i should finally try. a perfect drink for a summer day. the color was pretty standard light blond, poured the entire bottle and no hint of cloudiness, maybe 1 finger of foam that settled a bit but lasted through the entire glass. smell was funky, obvious sour, nothing exciting, but nothing off putting either. taste was phenomenal. so clean and crisp. mostly lemons, very sour for the style. great carbonation and makes this beer incredibly drinkable. i wish I had more than 375ml.

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Photo of MVassar
2.77/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm a tad reluctant to submit my review since I'm clearly in the minority here. I've tried this beer twice, and had consistent notes each time.

Slightly cloudy, light gold color. Minimal head, which doesn’t last long. Looks (and behaves) like a glass of Martinelli’s cider. Scant lacing.

Smells of Martinelli’s, too. Lots of crisp apple scent, which is very pleasant. Not much else.

Would be hard pressed to identify this as beer. Tastes like a sour apple cider, with little depth. Tart apple, hints of sour cherry, and a touch of grapey Chardonnay flavors. Raw flavors. Unimpressive.

Very carbonated, (unpleasantly fizzy,) with an acidic finish. Clean texture, but a little difficult to get down.

Clearly, this isn't my style. Not one I'll be sipping again.

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

Poured from a 750-mL bottle into a chardonnay glass. Figured it was the most appropriate vessel.

Poured a beautiful chardonnay but a bit more orange color with a fluffy white head that I admired. Left some nice but not over-the-top lacing.

Smelled of oak, green apple, lemon, grass, wildness.

Tasted very similar to the nose, but with cherry. Delightful taste supplemented by high carbonation and a medium body. Good enough to have an entire bottle myself.

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Photo of crvcac
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Yellow and straw-like in color. Has the appearance of an English barley wine
Smell: White wine zin, grassy, hints of lemon
Taste: sour tartness, white wine grape,
Mouthfeel: puckering with nice carbonation. A comfortable sour.. not one of those off putting sours
Drinkability: Awesome

 297 characters

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

Served in a stemless crystal Chardonnay glass. Thanks Chickencoop!

Pours a brilliant gold into the glass, a light head rings the outside of the glass. Small bubbles float on a lake of beautiful pale yellow.

The smell wafts up, hitting me in the face. A puckering sour full of bright fruits, white grapes, muscadines, and a light barn-like flavor.

Taste is reserved and elegant. This beer knows what it's doing. The wine-like brightness and light sour blend in an amazing combination. A metallic bite on the end that has an earthiness to it, this beer is a gentle giant, a soft-spoken hulking behemoth.

Clearly this beer is over my head. I'm not sure I can pick out all the flavors, and I'm not entirely certain I ever could, no matter how much I had. I said a prayer silently thanking God and Vinnie for this thing of beauty. It's unfortunate, not sure other sours will ever be able to measure up.

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

On tap at Toronado. Two 8 oz pours. It is my third encounter with Temptation - first time on tap.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy straw. Little to no head (probably due to up-to-the-rim pour). Decent lacing.

Smell: Strong oak overtones. Sour fruit with tones of apple, white grapes and lemon.

Taste: Dry with moderate to extra tart sourness. Tones of sour fruit and lemon. I am definitely picking up the Chardonnay. After taste is sour apple with slight corn/grain. The tart resonates on the palate for a good while.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation with a light body.

Drinkability: It's a sipper but surprising drinkable.

Very refreshing on a warm day.

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