Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

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TemptationTemptation

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

3,254 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,254
Reviews: 981
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,701
Gots: 858 | FT: 47
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,254 | Reviews: 981
Photo of jegross2
4.17/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Temptation (Batch 6) from Russian River Brewing Company.
Score: 92

Batch #6. Brewed on 05/10/09 and bottled on 08/08/11. Served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 03/20/12.

Appearance: Pours an incredibly hazy golden color with a half finger of bubbly white head that settles into a bubble ring around the glass. Above average lacing, poor retention. 4/5

Smell: Chardonnay, white wine, oak, fizzy light fruit, rose pedal, light "Brett" and only a hint of sweaty sock funk and vinegar once it reaches room temperature. Very light hint of yeast. Surprisingly pleasant. 4.5/5

Taste: Sweet white wine/Chardonnay flavor and fruit. Moderate tartness that grows as the beer warms. Some light wheat, oak and a growing modicum of sweet vinegar. There is a light "funk" when it hits room temperature, but this beer is surprisingly balanced. No real pucker or cringe, which I am enjoying. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, high carbonation. Smooth, sugary and crisp. 4.5/5

Overall: At least at this point in my beer journey, I hate sour. Alas, I legitimately enjoyed this beer. I would certainly come back to this one again. Thank you slvrmon82 and n00b BIF for hooking me with a sour I did not hate.

Recommendation: This is a good beer for fans of white wines and a good "starter sour" for folks like myself that despise sours.

Pairings: Chicken Parmesan.

Cost:$8.99 for a 355 ml bottle.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.41/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Photo of russwbeck
4.06/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 05X2F

A: Pours crystal clear with less than a finger of white head. The amount of bubbles racing to the top of my Russian River -tion glass is quite impressive. The bubbles hold the small amount of head in place forever, and the lacing is great.

S: The aroma is really focused on the sour end of the wile ale spectrum. Light, with some yeast, hay, and barnyard funk, the aroma certainly follows the idea of a sour blonde ale. I can't say, however, that I'm getting a lot of wine or notes from the barrel. A little too average for me.

T: The sour is there, but not in an overwhelming sense. The base blonde ale is the focus here, and is light with some funk as well. Lemon, some citrus, and grapes. I think I'm getting some of the barrel on the taste. Certainly some wine-like characteristics showing up, and probably some oak. It's very well balanced and clean drinking for a nice day out on the balcony.

MF: Light, with a lot of carbonation. Clean finish and very drinkable. The sour is just enough that it doesn't destroy the palate after putting down the whole bottle.

O: I really liked this. It won't blow you away like some of the other RR sours, but it's nothing to scoff at. Well thought out beer that I would certainly get again.

Photo of Holland
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: straw color, clear, minimal head and lacing

S: sourness, grape, apple, and other light fruit

T: sour, but not overpowering. Grape was next, some butter flavor (chardonnay barrels, they say), apple, and aftertaste of pear and light grain.

M: medium-high carbonation, medium body, great for the style.

O: great beer, but I'm not quite into wilds enough to fully get this beer. I'll have to come back to it.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Photo of tobelerone
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 006, caged and corked 375ml bottle.

Small white head that falls fast, leaving only a thin band on top. Hazy apricot color, sheets of creamy lace left behind clinging to the glass.

Tart, fruity aroma. Granny smith. Noticeable brett note. Musty, funky undertone. More than a hint of chardonnay.

Medium levels of tartness and sourness in the flavor, hints of oak, white grape, nice brett character, lemon, other citrus fruits. Very mildly sweet. A little puckering in the finish, but not too much. Bitterness emerges just a bit in the aftertaste. Again, the mustiness and funk is there but it's well integrated. Good white wine flavor, more than just chardonnay...white Bordeaux? It has that acidic green apple thing you get in certain tart white wines.

Spritzy carbonation, clean and crisp, with a dry finish. Quite refreshing. Overall a delicious and beautifully crafted beer with moderate sourness and funk characteristics.

Photo of Tucquan
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on 2011-12-03 in Paoli, PA at TJ's (from tasting notes). Had this again on 2015-06-28 at the brewery.

A - Very clear yellow-orange with a very short, white head and little lacing.

S - Mild fruit floral aromas and brett funk.

T - Delicious. Plenty of cherry/berry sourness with a delicalte light malt touch and some floral hops. Dries quickly. Perfect balance.

M - Light body and medium carbonation. Smooth, crisp, refreshing.

O - It has such a great balance that it is hard to break it down to component parts. A delicious sour.

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

Big thanks to JLindros for sharing this after I shared my Flora with him. Poured into a tulip. This is batch 005.

A - Pours a beautiful golden hue with a light one finger head that fades to leave a super thin cloud resting atop the golden hue.

S - Very mellow nose here. Light funk and must with some slight sweetness. As it warmed some light cherry and stone fruits began to come out.

T - Taste is good sour fruits, especially as it warmed. There is light mustiness and light wild ale funk. As it warms more sour fruits come out like cherries and peaches.

M - Smooth, light carbonation. Incredibly drinkable and a great sour finish.

O - Damn do I love Russian River. Very glad to have tried this beer. Super enjoyable and easy to put back. Wish Russian River was readily available.

Photo of stealth
4.85/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 006. Pours a murky orange with steady carbonation rising up the sides of the glass. Very little head, mostly due to the slow pour. Nice belgian ale aroma mixed with the brett funkiness. Sour citrus that gets the mouth watering. Like the other RR sours, this has lots of sour tartness and finishes real dry. Cherry and lime flavors mix to really make this one pop.

If you like sours, grab this asap.

Photo of KajII
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

[Best served in a Tulip glass]

The pour was a murky medium yellow with an average sized (1-2 finger) white frothy head that reduced to just a thin foamy film that hung to the sides of the glass thus producing some excellent sheeting of lace.

The aroma was harsh of a grain malt and a funky moldy yeast (Brett) with notes of peach, pears, lemon and a winey oak scent.

The taste was slightly sweet and tart with a note of peach in the beginning then quickly got extremely sour with a big dose of citrus and a hint of wine and wood at the end. The flavor stuck around for a good long while after the swallow with a nice sour citrusy taste left to lie on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was just a tad under medium in body with a nice dry creamy texture and an extremely lively carbonation.

Overall a seriously sour brew with great notes of citrus, wine and oak. Which all together make this a very delectable tasting beer.

Photo of Handbanana88
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've really been looking forward to trying this after having Supplication and Consecration! Poured into my CC snifter batch 006

A - Pours out a beautiful golden color with a small white head on the edges of the glass.

S - Just WOW! Everything you could hope for in a wine barrel aged sour. Lots of funk and sour with some chardonnay character, not as much wine in the nose as Supplication.

T - Doesn't quite match up to the intensity of the nose, but starts off sour and finishes dry and tart.

M - Light and bubbly carbonation, but not too thin.

O - Another fantastic sour from Russian River. Supplication is still my favorite sour by them, but Temptation is a very close second. Cheers!

Photo of WillCarrera
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle, batch 006, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy golden yellow color, capped with a finger of white head.

S- Loads of yeasty barnyard aromas, lemon, lots of white wine and grape skin.

T- Very tart up front, lemons and sour cherry, then white wine and some oak.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth crisp feel, tartness is a bit puckering.

O- A great beer, definitely try this one.

Photo of kmatlack
4.52/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a wine glass. Batch number 006. Had to drink this after trying Lost Abbey Cuvée de Tomme for the first and last time.

A- Pours a brilliant glowing yellow that is surprisingly clear and has a small film of creamy white foam. Not a whole lot of lacing on the glass.

S- Smells of white grapes, Brett funk, green apple peels, lemons, white wine, oak. Smells extremely refreshing, not as intense as supplication.

T- Front palate is very slightly sweet and extremely tart. Green apple and a bit of bitterness evident here. Mid palate is where the white wine/grapes really shine through. Back end is a lingering bitterness with a load of Chardonnay characteristics. Awesome.

M- Mouth puckering, dry, prickly carbonation, light mouthfeel. Perfect.

O- I am so glad I have regular access to this beer. Simply phenomenal.

Photo of TenHornsProud
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage

Pours a cloudy, light orange with a small white head that lingers and laces.

Smells of white wine, brett, some sweetness and subtle, floral notes. Really heavy white-wine grape scent that blends perfectly with the brett aroma. Can't imagine much more inviting than this.

Taste is up front puckering sour that holds through the middle giving notes of pineapple, apple, and the distinct brett funk. There is a white wine character...just damned perfectly balanced flavors. Think brett and white wine with floral notes.

High carbonation and lighter body are perfect. The high, mouth puckering sourness is just fantastic.

An utterly amazing and hugely sour beer.

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle 7,5% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Batch 006

This will be my first American Wild Ale, I cannot wait to see how they compare to my beloved Belgian Lambics! Thanks to futura123 for hooking me up!

Appearance: Temptation has a lightly hazed, golden-yellow body, topped by a good sized white head that displays good retention and leaves some patchy lace.

Smell: Tart fruits dominate the nose with lemons, white grapes and green apples. White wine is easily identifiable as is oak and musty brett. As the beer warms light spices (white pepper) and sweeter fruits (cooked apples and hints of sweet melon and orange) become apparent, as does the faintest floral/leafy note.

Taste: As with the nose, the taste is dominated by tart fruits (white grapes, lemons and green apples), musty brett and white wine (more prominent than in the nose and easily identified as Chardonnay). Oak, light spicing and a touch of sweetness are also noted. As the beer approaches room temperature the Chardonnay character increases dramatically. Perfect Abv. cover, this may as well be 5%.

Mouthfeel: This is the one department in which I think Temptation stands up to its lambic cousins! Medium bodied with stunningly smooth, expansive carbonation. I could literally gulp this down - pity this is not a 750ml bottle!
Nice acidic bite, but far from enough to pucker the mouth. The finish is quite wine like with a refined dryness.

Overall: Temptation is a solid sour with stunning white wine character, however I feel it lacks the power and depth of a true lambic (particularly in the nose). That said, I think it is for that very reason that it scores so well on BA!

Photo of seedsofchaos
3.71/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle had been aged for 2 years... A toast to a fallen friend...

Effervescent and golden straw in color, Temptation comes with perfect clarity. Apple cider vinegar, fermented berries, champagne, chardonnay and a touch of oak come through in the bouquet. A soft Brett character is carried throughout the flavor via the active carbonation bubbles that last throughout the tasting. Very wine like, this RR Sour is immediately reminiscent of a carbonated white wine that finishes dry. Oak follows through from the nose.

Though I admittedly am not a fan of sours for the most part, this was a toast to a friend who once did. Very drinkable and palatable. Would work well with a sharp white cheddar cheese if one would like to compliment.

Photo of phishgator
4.12/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Nice golden hue with a medium head, but solid carbonation. The aroma is of tart grapes and slight malted grain. The lacing is noticable and there is a bite of crisp and sharp flavors when sipping this one. It is a sipper unless you were born with an affinity to tartness. The alcohol is well hidden and the there is a heavy infusion of Chardonney from the aging process. I am quite impressed with my first sample from RR wild ale series.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 mL bottle poured into an RR -tion glass. Batch 006. Served a touch too cold at 45F.

Appearance - Remarkably clear golden yellow body. Not a lot of head. Biggish bubbles that settle quickly. The lacing is nice and bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass like champagne.

Smell - Chardonnay is most prominent. Oaky with a nice lemon tartness. Funky, but not like a lambic. Complex aroma, but it isn't overwhelming.

Taste - Again, complex without being overpowering. Initially tart, with a slight funk in the flavor. Lemony like the aroma. The tartness is immediately tamed by the chardonnay, which makes it one of the easiest-drinking sour ales I've ever had.

Mouthfeel - The chardonnay cuts any unpleasant harshness that may have arisen from the souring process. Light and bubbly. I could easily drink this too quickly, but I would be missing out.

Overall - Not intense like many other sours. A variety of subtle flavors that play nicely together. Something I definitely need more of.

Photo of BlastBeats
4.12/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL bottle of Russian River Temptation - batch number 6.

Appearance: this brew pours a vivid and unclouded blonde color with a pristine white head and no chill haze to be found.

Smell: if I were blindfolded while smelling this, I seriously might have guessed there was a glass of white wine under my nose.. the Chardonnay barrels are extremely pronounced.

Taste: the level of sourness that Temptation exhibited was a little higher than I was anticipating.. and it finishes much drier than Supplication. The back of the label reads "Is it beer, or is it wine?" "... Temptation is indeed beer." After taking my initial sips, this aforementioned question seems like a very reasonable one; the Chardonnay notes in this ale are uncanny. The funky brettanomyces characteristics (as well as lacto and pedio) are present, yet more restrained. There's a tad of French oakiness in the flavor as well.

Mouthfeel: pleasantly carbonated and medium bodied.. extremely dry.

Overall: of the three American wilds I've had from Russian River thus far, I'm putting Temptation in second place.. ahead of Consecration but behind Supplication. All of them are really unique and highly distinguishable.. this one being the most wine-like.

Photo of LittleDon
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Golden with a bit of haze. A surprisingly long lasting head for a sour with a fair amount of lace. Aroma has elements of sour fruit, oak, and a hint of barnyard. Light body and lively but not overpowering carbonation are dead on. Starts like a lager, but lots of interesting stuff happens middle through end. Slightly sour, somewhat oakey, with bit of smokiness. Bitterness builds after the finish. Batch 008

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

Russian RiverTemptation is an interesting and delicious wild ale. Some sourness, some chardonnay and some lemon.

A: Orange colour and 5 mm head. Looks great! 4.5

S: Chardonnay. There is also a weird funkiness. Lemon. 4

T: Sharp bitterness and some lemon flavour. The finish tastes of chardonnay flavour in the finish. Very interesting and delicious 4

M. Fine foam. 4.5

O. 4.

Photo of SkiBum22
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy Golden Straw, Light Foamy White Head, some Lacing

S - There is a strong white wine aroma with tart pears and grapes. Yeast aromas give the nose some funk. The aroma is definitely complex and I'm sure I could have spent more time discovering its intricacies.

T - This is pretty damn sour. Very tart citrus, white grape, and apple. Bretty funk taste. On the far back end, there is a bit of a harsh bitterness, like lemon peel, that lasts for thirty seconds or so after I swallow and detracts from an otherwise wonderful sour beer.

M -Medium-bodied with just the right amount of dry, sour character. A little more sweetness than some sours, which I appreciated.

O - A great sour for sure but it didn't quite live up to the hype that the other sours did for me from RR. I actually prefer Sanctification to this. Definitely glad I tried this.

Photo of drtth
4.73/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. This bottle is from Batch 006.

Appearance: As poured the beer is mostly clear with lots of active carbonation like a sparkling wine. The ½” white head covers a canary yellow liquid with a faint orange tinge to it. The head recedes very slowly leaving foam on the sides of the glass. Sipping creates nice leggy lacing, most of which clings to the side of the glass.

Smell: The aromas include the mild musty hay, along with barnyard and horse blanket, all of which show that the Bettanomyces has been at work here. In addition there is some oak with a bit of lemon and green apple in the background.

Taste: The flavors include some tart green apple with some mustiness that remains in the background. The tart acidity is tinged with some lemon zest and some of the green grape from the chardonnay. The contributions of the wine barrel aging are subtle and add layers of complexity with the oak and chardonnay.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and the carbonation is active and prickly. The finish is long and manages to be acidic, fruity and funky all at the same time but the final ending is a pleasant tartness that invites another sip.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: This is a sipping beer to enjoy slowly. And it is easy to keep on sipping until the glass is empty. I’ll certainly be having this one again, both to re-evaluate what I think I’m smelling and tasting, and for the simple enjoyment of a complex, subtle well balanced beer that continues to reveal additional dimensions of flavor as it warms from its starting temperature. My overall impression is that this one is a winner folks.

Note: Since writing this review I had the opportunity to drink all 12 bottles of the 2012 bottling spread out over 18 mod, with one evening being able to do a side-by-side with a second bottle of the 2011 bottling. On the whole I think this beer is outstanding for the first 2 years of its bottle life but in the future will want to not let it age more than 2 years from bottling date.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 05X1F
Served in Lost Abbey snifter

A: Pours a beautiful yellow orange clear color.  Tons of carbonation bubbles coming off the bottom of the glass.  Half finger of bright white head.  Bottle conditioning adds those tight bubbles.  Such a clean beer.  (pronounced pop)

S: Lots of "hay" and "horse blanket" scents.  Brett notes dominate.  White grape and green apple are there too.

T: Another amazing sip from Vinny.  I get a nice sour bite in the tip of the tongue, sourness.  Middle of the mouth I get that white grape and green apple and vinegar hints.  Nice dry white wine and or champagne finish.  Delicious beer.

M: Light and fruity and airy.  Bottle carbonation helps.

O: amazing good American sour

Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.31/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip, incredibly clarity. nice thin white head that dissipated, good lacing. the clarity of this beer is absolutely vivid.

oak, slight vinous character. generally funky with a mild acetic twinge.

pear, tropical fruit, touch of toast, funk, mild lactic acidity, touch of oak. complex but kinda straight forward. i get a little bit of a buttery flavor but nothing that really takes away from the beer. really enjoyable.

mouthfeel is pretty light and effervescent, really a nice beer. i had my doubts but this beer is very good.

Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,254 ratings.