Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
TemptationTemptation

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

972 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 972
Hads: 3,278
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.2%
Wants: 1,710
Gots: 864 | FT: 49
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
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Reviews: 972 | Hads: 3,278
Photo of KajII
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (923 characters)

Photo of Handbanana88
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
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! (692 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (393 characters)

Photo of kmatlack
4.52/5  rDev +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. (846 characters)

Photo of TenHornsProud
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (676 characters)

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
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! (1,690 characters)

Photo of seedsofchaos
3.71/5  rDev -15.5%
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. (740 characters)

Photo of phishgator
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
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. (460 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (993 characters)

Photo of BlastBeats
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
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. (1,222 characters)

Photo of LittleDon
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
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 (408 characters)

Photo of vandemonian
4.08/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (379 characters)

Photo of SkiBum22
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (851 characters)

Photo of drtth
4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (2,095 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
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 (726 characters)

Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (545 characters)

Photo of musicforairports
4.04/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 6.

Straw-colored and pretty clear. Small head. Kind of bubbly.

Smell is mostly barnyard aromas, some light sour notes and some green apples. I love the funk on this.

Smooth flavors, really. Light acidity underpins flavors of funk, white wine, green apple. Finishes dry and vinegar-y sour.

Light mouthfeel. Not very carbonated. Goes down like water.

This is a great, if underwhelming, sour. It doesn't smack you in the face, and I'd peg the ABV way lower than it is. But it's still a complex and well-made beer. (521 characters)

Photo of cmadd
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (791 characters)

Photo of beerdiety
4.12/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I don't normally like beer. But this beer is an exception. It was on tap at the beer shoppe.

Appearance wise, it looks like piss. Like the yellow color when you don't drink enough water. Well, maybe you had 3 glasses of water total.

Smell wise, I couldn't really put my finger on it. It smelled like the persian stew karafs which is basically celery stew. But seriously, the stew is yummy (make sure it's with beef).

Taste wise, oh this is special. It tastes like a big mac. For reals. Like dipping a piece of onion in the big mac sauce. But also, like taking a big bite of the actual burger. close second if your local mc donalds is closed.

As for mouthfeel, it was bubbly. That's all I have to say.

Overall, delicious drink. Go for it. (747 characters)

Photo of mithrascruor
3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle, poured into a chalice. Batch #006.

Appearance: Pours a nice golden color with a bit of haze/particles. Minimal white head dissipates in seconds to a small film.

Smell: Very mild sour/tart aroma, with a hint of sugar.

Taste: Fairly crisp tart flavor, with some oranges. Mild tart/sour aftertaste with a hint of chardonnay.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a pleasant moderate carbonation. Medium-bodied.

Drinkability: Moderate ABV for this style, good to drink.

I'm not a big fan of chardonnay, so I was a bit leery, but everything works well here. Not a whole lot going on in the flavor, but it is nice and fairly refreshing. (636 characters)

Photo of charlzm
2.08/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.5

Consumed Saturday, January 7, 2012 at Blue Palms Brewhouse, Hollywood, CA in a snifter.

Beer is a light golden color with a fine skin of white foam.

Aroma is nondescript with just a slight tart note.

Flavor is all sourness. Tastes like white grape juice mixed with a small amount of white vinegar. Winced all the way through this one. Try as I may, I get nothing but that one note. No bitterness, no malt, no sweetness, no wood, just white grapes and sourness.

Unremarkable mouthfeel.

Dislike. (498 characters)

Photo of TotallyHosed
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to rlee1390. Batch 05x1E

Pours with a big white head that dissipates quickly to a thin layer. The appearance reminds me of sparkling wine, however this is more opaque. The color is golden amber full of bubbles.

The nose is dominated by a variety of sour smells: sour fruit, sour barrel and tart fruit.

The sour taste is refreshingly mellow. There is just a hint of barrel in the flavor. I'm also detecting a little bit of white wine. All of this masks the alcohol very well.

The feel is light with some mild carbonation. It is very crisp and refreshing.

What I like about this brew is that it is a very approachable sour. The sour taste is not overwhelming, but completely hides the alcohol. This is an elegant example of its style. (749 characters)

Photo of sukwonee
4.56/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried a few sours before... and hated all of them (including RR's supplication).

This one, on the other hand, is much more drinkable and pleasant to drink. In fact, I actually liked it! If it was a bit cheaper, I would drink this more often.

Medium body, high carbonation, I love the bitterness at the beginning and dry finish like Saison... very tart throughout.

This is the best I can describe it. Not much head though. Best sour I had so far. (453 characters)

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.58/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Sugit.

A: 1/8" white head over cloudy straw coloured liquid.

S: Funk, oak, yeast, pears and sour apple.

T: Slight bitterness up front with flavours of oak, chardonnay, pears and sour apple. The aftertaste that lingers is somewhat funky.

M: Medium viscosity and a medium to high level of fine carbonation.

O: A very refreshing sour, this would be great in the summertime. (385 characters)

Photo of DrewZ926
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- golden orange hue with an inch of head that fades to a collar, ample carbonation apparent

S- lots of funk and hay, lemon rind and tart apricot, a hint of green apple

T- not overwhelming acidity, perfect amount, lots of funk and horseblanket and must, tart fruits are abundant

M- prickly yet full, lasting and evolving taste, a bit creamy

O- fantastic sour ale from RR, very similar to Ithaca Brute, wish I had year round access to it. if you like sour, seek this out with a vengeance. (493 characters)

Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 972 ratings.