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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,661 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,661
Reviews: 951
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 9.19%
Wants: 1,504
Gots: 711 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A blonde ale fermented with a special strain of yeast, then aged in French oak chardonnay barrels. Flavors of wine and oak absorb into the brew throughout twelve months of aging. During this aging process, a secondary fermentation occurs using a yeast strain disliked by most brewers and winemakers called Brettanomyces.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,661 | Reviews: 951 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aasher


4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I finally decided to open one of these. This bottle is from Batch 05X2F.

It pours a light bodied bright orange gold in color with little to no carbonation. It smells lactic, acidic, has definite California Chardonnay characteristics, and even a little butter. Oh wow, having had a lot of chardonnay lately this one is right up my alley. It really does smell like a tart chardonnay. It's very impressive. The flavors too are very acidic, lactic, and very heavy on vinous and slightly buttery California chardonnay. This beer puts "Russian River" in perspective, being in prime wine country this emulates the local wines and is really quite transcendiary. It is impressive through and through. This is my new favorite from Russian River and a phenomenal, world class beer. It has truly earned its reputation.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 02:39:26 | More by aasher
Photo of dcloeren


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

Split with my buddy JR

Poured a golden honey with a finger of fizzy white head. Reduced quickly into a thin film.

Smells of white grapes (the Chardonnay barrels shining through) granny smith apples, lemons, and some funk.

Tastes like day old Chardonnay but with some fresh carbonation... But in a good way. Crisp granny smith and lemons make up the rest.

Light and crisp mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. Drying wine like aftertaste.

Overall, this was a refreshing sour. Not too sour but just enough twang on each sip. Big thanks to SolomonGrundy for this bottle

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 01:00:26 | More by dcloeren
Photo of JayAre46


4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an active orange, light white fizzy head that moves to a thin ring in a stone specialty glass

A -some lemon and a little orange peel influence, definite wine presence some funk is here, Brett is here

T - I could crush this all summer...perfect Brett influence, I'm not a big white wine fan but this is done well the oak dryness battles some of the sweetness little lemon tart in the back...Im a huge fan of Brett.

M - very easy to drink, a really tight carbonation that is well done fizzy feel in a good way, good body

O - love it, my first "tion" was redemption and it was absolute shit IMO this one is great I need to try the others now, deftly want more, Thanks to the man D.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 00:56:03 | More by JayAre46
Photo of mltobin


3.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle from a trade with PinkFlag, thanks Brandon !

Appearance is a golden yellow tone which is nearly clear with a thin white head. The nose has apple, lemon peel, chardonnay, oak and funk. Its` taste is fairly similar to the nose , along with some grapes and more of the funk/brett. As others have noted, it has many characteristics similar to a sparkling wine. The mouthfeel does not have too much sour or too much of any characteristic really. It is nice and crisp, a very good wild ale that I had waited too long to try.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 23:47:29 | More by mltobin
Photo of crossovert


3.7/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml corked and caged bottle. Batch 05X1E.

It pours a brilliant yellowish orange with a nice foamy white head that leaves some nice lacing.

The smell is bretty and fruity. It isn't that potent of a smell though. I am getting a faint bit of pineapple and a faint sourness. There is also a bit of malt. Odd that I can't really smell this one, might just be me.

The flavor is nice though. It is not really sour but bretty. the brett shines in this brew, if you like it then you will like this brew. A bit of funk and lemon paired with a nice malt and a hit of oak and wine bill complete this brew.

A very nice one from Russian River.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 05:39:54 | More by crossovert
Photo of doughanson78


4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Golden straw color, with a lot of haze. One finger bright white, very thick head. Awesome retention and lacing.

S: Something upfront that I can't place. I will guess it's Chardonnay since I've never smelled it before. It's a tad buttery and bready. A medium funkiness and tartness. Oak comes through a little. A touch of apples.

T: Tart and citrusy. Light funkiness. Green apple along with some other fruits I can't place. It all kinda fades into what I would guess is the wine. Has a slight bitterness in the finish along with some oak notes.

M: Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Slight creaminess. Very smooth. Super dry finish.

O: I think this is the best of the Russian River Sours. I have yet to review Consecration, but have had it. The sour/tartness doesn't overpower but is totally perfect. Definitely a must try for entry into sours.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 03:59:21 | More by doughanson78
Photo of funkyaudio


4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Batch 3. 375ml. A huge POP upon uncorking the bottle. Golden color with a real thick off-white head and a nice foam remains on top until the last drop. Wow, what a great aroma, champagne, brett, chardonnay, lemon, yeast, flowers, nice nose. Flavors are tart, acidic and sour with a wonderful bretty dry numbing. Chardonnay and oak does show in the flavor with lemon, grapes and a bit of funk. What an amazing beer

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 13:20:17 | More by funkyaudio
Photo of Sideswipe


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

375ml bottle into a tulip. Batch 005x1E.

A- Hazy golden color with three fingers of dense white foam. Head recedes leaving a thin white coaster and a nice ring around the outside of the glass.

S- The nose is Chardonnay, tart grapes, and a bit of funk.

T- White wine, tart grapes and barnyard funk are softened mid-palate by oak and a very nice malt profile. Sourness kicks back in at the finish and the aftertaste is a lingering combination of tart funk.

M- Feel is light and refreshing with a high level of carbonation. ABV is undetectable in the melange of wonderful flavors present in the beer.

O- Another great beer from Russian River. I really like the oak and white wine characteristics combined with the tart funkiness of the brett. Recommended!

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 04:51:38 | More by Sideswipe
Photo of distantmantra


4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 ml. bottle poured into a flute glass. Batch 05X1E.

A: The beer poured a light golden color with a thick head of fluffy white foam. Numerous strands of bubbles are continuously racing to the top and there is strong lacing clinging to the sides of the glass.

S: Very tart and pungent aroma of fruit, vinegar and oak, similar to a white wine or champagne.

T: There is a wonderful initial tartness to this beer with sweet fruitiness reminiscent of a Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay or champagne. The oak is present but not overpowering. I get a touch of vinegar but it's extremely minimal.

M: The beer has a soft body, but there is a subtle heaviness to it, so I'd have to say light to medium overall. Extremely fizzy with fantastic carbonation. Very dry mouth feel.

O: This is an outstanding sour. It really reminds me of a champagne, and I'm sure you'd be able to convince people of this if you didn't tell them what it was.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 21:23:17 | More by distantmantra
Photo of Spider889


4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review #500!

Bottle traded to me by bobertkuekn. Outside of Beatification this was the last Russian River sour that I was really excited to get my hands on. Luckily I got two 375's, one for tonight, and one for a later date.

This is batch 05X1F, bottled on 7/06/2010. Just over a year of age on her.

Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip. Temptation is a bright golden honey color that has some of the best clarity and lacing I have ever seen on an American Wild. The head is white and sticky, with a nice short cap of foam that lasted the entire glass. Just stunning.

Smelled immediately of white wine, the minute the cork popped. On closer inspection buttery chardonnay and sweet golden grapes spring forth. Funky oak and juicy brett waft up at me, even at a distance. I am finding that I really enjoy sours aged in white wine barrels. This is the best Russian River beer I have had to date.

The taste explodes with all of the attractive qualities of a fine white wine. The beer is nice and sour, but not anything overpowering or enamel peeling. Oak and dusty attic funk round out the beer. The lasting finish is of a more mineral quality.

Dry with a nice oaky presence. Light body with moderate carbonation.

Overall an exceedingly excellent beer. Far better than I could have wished it to be. Now my appetite is truly wet for a taste of Beatification. The hunt is on!

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 09:25:29 | More by Spider889
Photo of Beejay


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch O51XE

A: It pours a light straw color, almost the color of a light pilsner. In the glass it is a slightly dusty pear or grapefruit color. The head looks very dense, but soft, and is white.

S: Tart, with a lot of acidic smells, the vinegar is really present in this. Some oak notes, and just a hint of a light fruitiness that reminds me of champaign. As I continue to smell it, there almost seems to be a hint of vanilla.

T: Very tart at first, with some light citrus flavors. A little bit of vinegar, but not the bomb I was expecting. Some light wine notes as well as a touch of oak. This is a gentle flavor, and not overpowering. There is a little something odd that clings in the finish, but overall I really enjoy it.

M: Medium to medium light in body, with a certain softness to it. Plenty of carbonation, with a decent tingle.

O: Overall I really like it, enough sour that you can get your kick, but not so overpowering that it wrecks your palate for the rest of the night.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 00:52:00 | More by Beejay
Photo of beerfan99


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

Batch 4x1 - 750 ml bottle - cellared since Fall 2009

A: Light golden in color and unfiltered. Carbonated well enough to create a lasting white head. Bubbles persist well after pouring.

S: Very sour, tart, and funky. The oak and wine aromas are the only things that make it past the brett.

T: Equally impressive to the smell. Oak flavors hit the palate, follow by the wine flavors. This is one very tart and sour beer, though not overdone.

M: Carbonation levels are on the high side, which is good because this provides a bubbly feel to the palate. Mouth feels coated with Temptation flavors long after swallowing. Very nice.

O: After being introduced to Temptation in 2009, this beer has been near the top of my list since. In my opinion Temptation is an excellent wild ale, that although is very sour and tart, remains very drinkable and is very smooth and easy to drink. The batch I reviewed is Batch 4 and is several years old with a couple remaining. I think the taste is changing a little, but still fantastic, from the bottle I opened several months ago.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 04:10:14 | More by beerfan99
Photo of jcartamdg


4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden 1 finger head into my ccb snifter, a lot of carbonation is present. Aroma of white wine, oak and green apples. Tastes follows the nose, a mix between apple cider, oak and white wine. Very smooth and drinkable. Very tasty, complex yet easy to drink and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 03:00:04 | More by jcartamdg
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

4.93/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a cloudy golden dark straw color with a small frothy white head. Not much lacing. Aroma is sour with loads of chardonnay. Wow. Tastes like Chardonnay and grapefruit. Acidic like a dry white wine with a pleasant citric flavor. Very drying. Lots of palate cleaning scrubbing bubbles. Incredible. So complex, bright and oddly refreshing! A Sour bretty masterpiece. Tingly feel and very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 05:00:13 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of philbe311


4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 05X1F

A - A full three fingers worth of pure white head that is tightly packed and whimsical... Very solid retention gives way to a slightly creamy froth of lacing... The color is a pale yet sleek golden yellow... There are an array of mixed sized moderate paced bubbles within...

S - The aroma is dominated by charming white wine and oak notes... White grapes... Golden raisins... Apples... Pears... Some yeasty notes... Just a very subtle muskiness... Complex, rich, and rewarding...

T - Woody and oak notes are the first to touch the palette... The white wine notes are undeniable... Apple... Pear... White grapes... Golden raisins... Just the slight tart notes on the back of the tongue... Just a touch of funkiness...

M - Regal and sophisticated... Very limited carbonation yet effervescent... Slightly lush to start... Slightly dry to finish... Sleek and smooth throughout...

D - This is the first Russian River "tion" that has liven up to the hype... Complexities galore... Sophistication galore... I could drink this endlessly... Wonderful concept... Excellent execution... A must try for all BAs, just to see what the upper limits of brewing really are...

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 02:25:02 | More by philbe311
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

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

05X1F in a Duvel tulip. Been staring at this one for a while ...after an exhausting weekend, on this warm late-summer evening, it's time.

Appearance. Pours a clear, light gold-amber with a fluffy white 2 fingers that lasts a while.

Smell. White wine, funky bret and wood. A little mixed tart fruits ...apples, pears, peaches.

Taste. Tart, green apple, pear and peaches. White wine and oak present, but less than the smell. Nice light funk and yeast. Very tart without vinegar qualitites. Alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel. Light body, especially considering abv. Medium, lively, fine carbonation.

Overall. Very nice. Drinking something sophisticated like this makes beer seem very serious. I'll drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2011 03:00:55 | More by Rutager
Photo of Stinkypuss


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

Russian River : Temptation

12oz corked and caged. Opens with a resounding pop, and pours a bright gold sporting a fierce, crackling white head. The aroma is full of brett, funk, and alittle grapey. Strong sour notes, almost mimicking lemon rind, but more bitter and sour than that. Musty, funky, and oaky tannins are present with some wood notes, mildly astringent but sour the whole way through. Mouthfeel is light bodied, very dry, yet quenching as well. Overall, this is a serious beer, for serious beer crusaders. Fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2011 16:58:14 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of nhudson


4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am sure my review will be like most others. This I savored this beer for over an hour. I wish I had a easier access to it. Served from a 375ml bottle into a Stone tulip glass. Bottle date was 05X1E.

a: Honestly I could have given this a 5, I didn't cause well I hope I never find a perfect beer... But the appearance is quite crystal clear. Golden to very light orange in color with noticeable carbonation throughout the drinking process. Head stuck around as well. I could look at this beer all day.

s: Along with looking at it, I spent 10 minutes just smelling the beer before I even took a drink. The smell of oak, grapes and chardonnay hit you at 1st, then the brett takes over which leaves you to smell again. Aroma is very complex.

t: Taste is just as complex as the aroma. Wine grapes, oak, earthy funkiness, melons, citrus some apple. The tartness of the beer hits you up front but then quickly give way to the complexity

m: Very carbonated, which is a good thing. Prickly on the tongue. Very dry finish which I love in a good beer.

o: I have to say that before I had this that Supplication was my favorite RR beer. That has been beaten by this. One if not the best beers I have ever drank, and wish I had access to all the time. I kind of hate myself for drinking it....

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2011 14:16:40 | More by nhudson
Photo of dirtylou


4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, Batch 05X1E

the elusive temptation - nobody ever sent you to me so I moved to the west coast to find you. well not really, but its good to have.

appearance: served in my ale asylum chalice, glowing pale golden body, bubbly carbonation

smell: instantaneously - ah yes, the chardonnay barrel...big oaky aroma, vinous white grapes, tart green apple, brett funk

taste: obviously exceptional - the undisputed (in my eyes) best american brewery really hits the mark with temptation. I guess a prerequisite to enjoying this beer is the appreciation of a nice oaked chardonnay. Oak, belgian sugars, tart green apple, white grape, funky brett bite, melon. Righteous.

mouthfeel: light, lively, well carbonated

overall: exceptional

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2011 03:41:51 | More by dirtylou
Photo of JimmyTango


4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite sour yet. Uncanny balance, layers and layers of grass, goat, saison-ish funk, lemons and other tasty tart-ness countered with chardonay style tropical flavors, baltant but not overstated oak, and custardy malt with hops all up front. Dry and lovely.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2011 20:52:06 | More by JimmyTango
Photo of notchucknorris


4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pale yellow color with a thin off-white head.

S: Chardonnay, wood, lemon and a touch of white vinegar.

T: Green apples, a punch of sourness and some apple cider vinegar on the finish. A definite touch of lemon as well. This is definitely the most delicate of the RR sours I've had but everything about it just works. Amazing.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2011 15:46:44 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

drank this on friday night along side several other RR sours.

reviewed from notes.

Appearance: Brilliant yellow bodied beer with a nice tall 2 fingers head made of many small bubbles.

Smell: Lemon, citris, light hay.

Taste: lemon and citrus. Hay and a sour funk. White grapes and hints of an oak barrel. This is an elegant beer!

Mouthfeel: Light in body and high in carbonation. Dry finish that does tend to remind you of a champaigne.

Overall: man what a beer! This is my favorite beer from RR hands down! It is delicate, balanced, and complex. WOW!

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2011 20:31:04 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of surlytheduff


4.1/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 05X1F into a Duvel tulip. A vigorous pour left a big pillowy white head that sat hissing atop a clear golden-straw colored body. Head didn't stick around long, and left small blotches of lace along the sides of the glass. Nose was white grape, oak, grass, apple and an overall light sour funkiness. Taste brought out a lemon component that I didn't get in the nose. The white wine presence was more noticeable in the taste than the smell. The tartness was relatively light in the taste, but pleasantly refreshing. Finish had a slight bitterness to it. Mouthfeel was light with a high amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Overall a tasty and refreshing beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 03:00:52 | More by surlytheduff
Photo of jamescain


4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml into a White Birch flute glass, thanks to jwjon1 for sending me this one

Appearance: Light yellow with small bubbles streaming to the top with a fluffy white head about two fingers thick that fades into a thin lacing over the top of the beer.

Aroma: A hint or lemon zest, tart apples and barnyard funk with a subtle fruitiness. Very complex and very enjoyable to just there and smell.

Taste: Sour and tart up front but incredibly complex. A touch of oak on the finish with, citrus, sour apples, and white grapes interwoven in the taste upfront.

Mouthfeel: Champagne like effervesce with a dry lingering sour finish.

Overall: So far this is the best sour/ wild ale I have had to date. Incredibly complex and very well blended. This is easily a beer I could drink all the time.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 14:28:27 | More by jamescain
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06 alongside a sanctification, supplication, and consecration.

much like the sanctification this one is straw yellow and with a thin bubbly head. the nose is sweet tart, apple, pear, but more green grape than sanctification. much better in the flavor as well. quite tasty...apple, pear, and green grape. mouth is nice, but nothing crazy. this was a great sour. i'm not a huge fan of sours, but this was one that i was very impressed with.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 02:48:21 | More by cosmicevan
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,661 ratings.