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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
TemptationTemptation

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

999 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 999
Hads: 3,442
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 9.07%
Wants: 1,767
Gots: 952 | FT: 67
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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
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Reviews: 999 | Hads: 3,442
Photo of Meerkey
3.73/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Hardly any head. Slightly cloudy gold. Tons of bubbles.

S: The smell of chardonnay is overpowering. Some sourness and a hint of grains that I'm probably imagining.

T: SO sour. Definitely taste the chardonnay barrels and grapes. Sharply sour with some kind of burnt toast aftertaste.

M: Clean and bubbly and nice.

O: Soso sour. I'm not huge on sour ales, so it's always hard for me to get used to them, but this is pretty good for one.

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Photo of cvm4
4.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #006

A - Pours golden wheat in color, almost champagne like. Little to no head.

S - Grass, funk, yeast, barnyard and a faint white grape smell.

T - Lemon peel, followed by tart lemon. Sour apple and funk. Finishes dry and a slight lip puckering.

M - Light body but effervescent. Really gets the flavors around your mouth.

O - Another fine sour from Russian River. I would rank Supplication slightly higher in sourness since Temptation is less intense.

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Photo of zeledonia
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drinking this in a motel room on a road-trip west. Batch 05X2E, whatever that means (RR batch finder was down last time I checked).

Pours clear pale yellow, champagne-like, with an eruptive dense foamy white head. Massive head, so much that I have to give it time to die down. Color is clean and sparkling, and really makes me want to drink it.

Smell is crisp and clean and sweet, but pungently sour at the same time. Smells absolutely delightful, as each sniff brings aromas in slightly different waves. Tart, clean, and dry. Yum. Edit: after tasting it, I can go back and find a bit of white wine grapes, but barely.

Flavor doesn't wow me as much. It's heavy on the chardonnay, with way more white grape than I picked up in the smell, and with a slightly biting dryness (the same thing that makes me pucker when I drink chardonnay). White grapes and oak, overpowering all of the subtle sour-sweet that was so dominant in the smell. I feel like I'm drinking a beerish white whine, rather than a beer.

Mouthfeel is delightful, and fits the beer really well. Like the appearance, it reminds me of champagne, with a huge burst of bubbles that fills the mouth and carries the flavors to every corner. Finish is very dry and slightly acidic.

On balance, this is a good beer. It's just unfortunate that the flavor is my least favorite part. It's dominated by the barrel in the same way that many rough bourbon-barrel-aged beers are. I want more beer, or more sour, and less chardonnay.

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

Batch 6

A - Bright gold, mostly clear, fluffy white head that retains and laces well.

S - Takes a nice vinous character from the barrel with oak and grape fruitiness, horse blanket, grass, hint of cherry, maybe even a little pine.

T - Woody barrel notes, green grape, vinous, strong yeast funk, brett earthiness, hay, sour, but not too overpowering. Long finish with lingering sourness.

M - Light side of a medium body, high carbonation, stays smooth and sour, with a bit of a pucker.

O - Splendid. Huge complexities, really opens up as it warms. Worth the price tag.

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Photo of phishsihq
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Temptation Batch 006 pours a hazy, straw color and is capped by a white, quickly disappearing head that leaves a light amount of lace. A rich bouquet of aromas burst out of the tulip including hints of oak, chardonnay, green apple and brettanomyces funk. The brew starts out with a fruitiness reminiscent of pears before a quaint oakiness leads other flavors like vanilla and chardonnay grapes into a tart and funky finish. A high level of carbonation dances across the tongue in this medium bodied ale. Maybe our new favorite sour, and that says a lot!

Cheers!

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 006. Poured from a bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Beautiful clear gold color with a rather small white head. On the nose I get some apple skins, pears, and a slight touch of barnyard funk.

Medium-bodied beer with a nice mellow fruity, tart flavor. The sour notes hit you immediately as the beer touches your tongue. Despite the fruit on the nose, there's not much sweetness to balance it out. What there is though, is a nice stony champagne-like dryness. There are fruity dry notes that linger well on the finish. Very appetizing beer.

This is not my favorite sour from Russian River (that is still Supplication), but this is an excellent beer. The combination of fruit, sour, and stony dryness makes this beer taste like a nice mellow gueuze. Fans of sours (and gueuzes) should definitely try to get this. It's wonderful that an American brewer is making such unique, distinctive beers, but it's criminal that they aren't distributed more widely. Here in KY, we have to trade for them. And when I say we ``have to'' trade, I mean we absolutely must. There's just nothing like these anywhere outside of California.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Paper thin head, light straw body. Nice lace.

Tart nose and really funky. Like, serious funk. Really faint melon maybe.

Taste isn't as intense as the nose, there's still a bunch of funk but it ends up pretty dry. It has a lot of chardonnay character, a bit of citrus.

Thinnish but not watery.

Good but pretty dry-- I don't love Chardonnay, but if you do, this would be pretty great.

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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 jmarsh123
4.27/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours light orange with a minimal white head and some smooth lacing.

Smells heavily of chardonnay. White grapes, some apple, a load of oak, butter and some brett.

White wine flavors abound. Buttery vinous flavor. Brett is more prevalent than the nose indicates, but still well integrated. Sour apple and cherry come out a bit more as warmed. Sourness is not strong up front but leaves the back of the tongue pucker.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Very pleasant beer. Well integrated complex flavors. I prefer this to its closest kin Sanctification.

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Photo of RedBeard88
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked this one up from a Whole foods in the South San Francisco Bay Area. The 350ml bottle came in a cage and cork arrangement. The glass was particularly heavy I'm guessing to facilitate Russian River's bottle fermented beers.

On with the review.

A- Beautiful, ususlly I love a cloudy golden coloring but this bright orange beer blew me away. The most interesting thing about the poor was that bits of barrel sediment made it through so the bubble cascade looked like falling stars ... unreal.

S- Striking. When popped the quark the first smell to come out was sweet, like root beer sweet. To which i had to respond "Well lets keep and open mind". But after the pour all sorts of intense citrus and mango and sweet orange came to the front. The famous sour cherry didn't seem to come till later on.

T- Like nothing else. Right now Russian River Brewing have the uncanny ability to bring to your pallet the sensation of something you have never tastes before. Cherry carbonation, mild wheat body, with a strong cherry finish. Not strange but unique and wonderful.

M- The first couple sips allow you to feel and explore the carbonation from barrel sediment which in this case is awesome. Later on at the beer warms and smooths out, not exceptionally drinkable but pleasant.

D- Majesty. Its beers like this that make me proud to be from California.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.68oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass. batch 5.

pours a luminous golden/straw yellow while yielding about a finger of white head; so-so retention that mostly recedes into a ring around the sides of the glass. decent lacing.

chardonnay leads the way in the aroma, followed by oak, fruits, and some subtle notes of both funk and tartness. first sip delivers that vinous quality up front with some oak and funk. as it warms more fruit characteristics (green apple, pear, lemon) open up, along with a touch of hoppiness and spices. a pleasant sourness courses throughout; a dry finish. easily one of the more interesting, original beer i've had to date. for my money the creme de la creme in its style (and i am rating with style heavily in mind here).

light-bodied, tangy mouthfeel, pretty well carbonated. one you'll want to nurse and savor.

original review on: 09-13-2010

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this at city beer store in San Francisco. They said this was batch 4. Pours a clear, bright yellow at first, then turns hazy on the second and third pour. Tastes nicely sour with oak notes coming through on the finish. Very refreshing and it has the right amount of sourness. This brewery is fucking awesome.

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Photo of zac16125
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a snifter
Batch 006
written from notes taking a few months ago

A: Pours a translucent yellow amber with just over 1 fingers width of snow white head. Head dissipates down to a thin film, but leaves a solid amount of lacing.

S: Funky yeast can be smelled as soon as you pop the cork. Sour apple and sour lemon with sweet aromas to balance out the sour, including banana and a subtle vanilla. The brett and sour characters are certainly present but there are also some traditional Belgium yeast aromas coming through. A grassy aroma as well, and even a peppery spice. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced so many different scents coming from one beer. Wow.

T: Sour apple and sour grape are noticed right away, followed by the chardonnay flavor. There is some of that belguim yeast banana flavor (that I love) that lingers in the after taste, and does a nice job of balancing out the sour. At one point I catch a hint of hop bitterness that I certainly wasn’t expecting. There is a champagne character to the beer as well. Its like a champagne/white wine/gueuze hybrid, and I like it. Doesn’t quite live up to the nose, as not as many flavors come out, but how could it. Still damn good though.

M/D: Light, crisp and refreshing. A lively mouth feel. Good drinkability as I could certainly drink more than 1 of these, and I can’t say that about all sours.

O: Overall, this is definitely a keeper. Damn expensive ($13.99 for a 375mL!) but worth it. Great job of creating the sour aura, but maintaining balance and drinkability. I would certainly recommend this beer to anyone who enjoys wild ales, sours, and to those who are just in the mood for something different and unique.

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Photo of riored4v
4.83/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured in to a Duvel tulip. Batch 004x4 from 2009 release I believe. 2.5 finger, frothy, egg-white like head. Beautifully clear, golden colored body. Good lacing.

Aroma had an excellent tart aroma to it. Some light musty Brett aroma. Cherries. Light notes of oak which some light acidity. Some light bready notes.

Taste was amazing. Solid tartness up front with a crisp finish that had a light lingering tartness. Mild acidity with some cherry notes. Light notes of oak. Some mellow fruity notes with a light bready flavor. Some noticeable musty, brett notes.

Mouthfeel was medium/light body, high carbonation with a super dry finish.

Overall this was an excellent beer. Wish I had more of it laying around. Amazing tartness with some great complexity behind it.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml corked and caged bottle batch 006 poured into tulip 17/4/12

A slight haze in a bright golden body, not a very lively pour with just a thin white cap, doesn't look like there's much carbonation in the glass but two rings of lace

S the funk is pretty mild but hard too miss, apple, pear, with lots oaked vinous notes, the funk comes out as it warms, smells great

T more vinegar and cider notes I didn't really pick up on in the nose, other then that thankfully it mimics the smell quite well, the barrel leaves its mark on this one and I'm loving it

M more bubbles then I would have guessed but could use just a few more but it's a minor issue, its sour but not turning my mouth inside-out, and just a faint aftertaste

O this bottle was nowhere near big enough, I smell, I sip, and before I know it I'm smelling an empty glass and bottle. although there's room for improvement I wouldn't change much

the more sours I drink the more I like them and this is a great example, I like the Chardonnay barrel choice it works quite well, once again I need to thank the most awesome Rutager for this one

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Photo of MadeInOregon
3.87/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first Russian River beer. Guess I'm officially a cool, beer snob now...

THE APPEARANCE of the Temptation ale (btw, 7.5% not 7.25%) was not impressive but not terrible. It's extremely effervescent with a 3/4-inch airy white foam head bubbling up to the top. It has virtually no lacing at all. Basically looks like apple cider or a heavily-filtered hefeweizen in color.

THE SMELL, wow, very pungent. I could smell this beer from several feet away after popping the cork and pouring it out. The aromas I picked up are champagne, chardonnay, green apples, apricot, and yeast.

THE TASTE is extremely vinegary. Cider vinegar is the main flavor with some mild hopping. It is a little peppery and there is a strong skunky, wild mushroom flavor also. Alcohol is hidden. The flavor is strong but it is really quite simple, and straightforward--which is kind of a shame considering the extra labor involved in creating this beer. Starting with a blonde ale was a wise choice for making this style; too much hoppyness would have made the tartness overwhelming (I once had a sour ale at Deschutes Brewery's pub that must have started with a fairly hoppy pale ale. It exemplified how NOT to make a sour ale. Might as well have drank vinegar).

THE FEEL of this odd ale is by far the high point. It's amazingly smooth, dry and sticky on the lips, with a fair amount of alcohol burn in the back of the throat. Altogether, these are odd sensations but are enjoyable and mild. Overall, this is a light beer.

CONCLUSION: This beer is not for everyone, obviously. I tend to agree with the low-end reviews for this brew more so than the high ones. Truthfully, it's mostly hype. The fancy bottle, complicated process, high price, and perceived exclusivity of Russian River's brews are great marketing but do nothing to enhance the taste of Temptation. The best thing this has going for it is that it's a great thirst quencher in the same vein as a Bavarian hefeweizen. On its own it's just a little one-sided and boring. I'd recommend treating it like wine and having it with food. On the other had, you could always just buy some wine...

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Photo of lurpy1
4.24/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Quite a conundrum this drink is. After a ho-hum pour, it's terrific, with a tartness that evokes grapes and lemons and gets your salivary glands going whether you want them to or not. Delicious. But what the hell is it? There's so much tart chardonnay it's crossed over from being a beer to being something else. It's as much wine as it is beer, and in many ways it's no more beer than a malternative is. Still, a great drink, but I've penalized the overall rating for the identity crisis.

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

Batch #6 Poured into Duvel glass

A: Half-finger white frothy head with good retention, clear light-golden color, good carbonation, small amount of nice lacing

S: Grapes (wine), earthy, oak, little bit of funkiness

T: Pleasant sourness, chardonnay, buttery, some lemon zest, vinegar, apple, same little bit of funkiness

M: Smooth and oily, good carbonation, medium-light bodied, good aftertaste

O: Very good and very drinkable

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Photo of jegross2
4.17/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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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 russwbeck
4.06/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of Holland
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 999 ratings.