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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,664 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,664
Reviews: 951
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,507
Gots: 708 | FT: 38
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: 2,664 | Reviews: 951 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kerklein2


4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

batch 05X1E
poured into snifter

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

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

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

M: Well carbonated. Smooth.

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

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 02:34:30 | More by kerklein2
Photo of PerHops


4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

If ever there were a starter sour, I think this may take the cake. Not going to blow your mind with barnyard funk, but this is a phenomenal sour beer. Heffe meets Gueze? The finish says so much more. I like Sanctification's lemon zest and dryness better. I like Supplication's tart cherries and pinot barrels better. I like Consecration's sickly sweet tannins better. Somehow, this beer is still on the same level as all of those. PERFECTLY balanced. Amazing. Most definitely a temptress!

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 05:27:46 | More by PerHops
Photo of tewaris


3.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

27 IBUs
OG 1.062
Batch III. Blonde Ale aged in French oak chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces. 375 ml cork and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Honey golden and bright, with hues of ripe oranges in the snifter. A very good off white and creamy textured head with excellent retention and good lacing. 4.5/5

Aroma: Sweet malts at the very beginning, followed by soft fruit and unmistakable sharpness of a sour beer. Brett notes seemed absent at the beginning but emerge with warmth. Still very estery, and an accomplishment in the sense that the base beer is not lost at all. Strong aroma of Belgian ale is always felt in the background. Toasted fruit is strong, so are rum raisin and oak. 4/5

Taste: Light and sweet on the palate with tartness eclispsing the bitterness often felt towards the end of a beer, and evolving into a tannic, dry and clean finish. Superb! The sour character dominates many notes of the aroma, but does not demolish the palate. I feel that this one could have been more complex if all notes of the aroma came through. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium body, high-ish carbonation and a dry and long woody finish. 4.5/5

Overall, I quite like it. Like Supplication, subtly sour and never overpowering, but very very clean, refreshing, and enjoyable. 4.5/5

EDIT: Dammit, the -11.5% seems to indicate that I didn't like this beer enough. Far from truth. I love it. Perhaps not as much as Supplication, but I still loved it.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2011 08:15:52 | More by tewaris
Photo of deathcharms


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

5/12/11 - Poured from a bottle(Batch 05X1E)

Pours a nice goldenrod yellow, and it is very well carbonated. But of course, never had any carbonation with Russian River brews. The nose is an immediate waft of Brett which is always a pleasant scent to my nose at least. A little bit of that French Oak barrel comes out in the nose too. The initial taste is dry and sourness all at once. Upon more sips a nice oakiness comes out and melds nicely with the Brett tones. I know the beer is only 7.5% but there is absolutely no alcohol bite or any semblance that this actually has alcohol in it. I might be crazy but the after taste is just straight grapes to me, like I have been drinking a wine almost. The mouthfeel on this beer is good, but leaves the mouth a little dry like a tannic wine. Overall another yummy offering from Russian River.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2011 19:17:36 | More by deathcharms
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 05x1E, brewed 10/16/2009, bottled 7/6/2010 using Abbey Ale Yeast as the Primary yeast and Rockpile and Brettanomyces yeast at conditioning (all according to Russian River's Bottle Log tool on their website, I wish every brewer did this!)

Aromas are initially subtle with ripe golden fruits and the Chardonnay oakiness that was imparted by 12 month's contact with the barrels. As it warms you get a little Barnyard funkiness which is typical of the style. Sweet and sour seem to be in balance so far.

The tastes begin with wow, sourness in your face, did not see that much sourness coming (not noticeable in the aroma). Nice dry notes of oak and white vinous flavors. Lots of Brettanomyces puckery tang through and through. As it warms you get a little more of the fruitiness with apple and unripened stone fruit (plum and nectarine). You get a little grassiness and earth but it's in the background compared to the tart flavors.

The mouthfeel is super spot on with adequate carbonation. Finished spectacularly dry finish from the yeast and oak aging. Quite impressive. I am relatively new to enjoying/appreciating a good sour but I definitely know this is a winner.

Overall, yum... perfect for a hot summer day or just a warm spring day. I wouldn't enjoy this as much in the dead of winter so I am glad I was able to sample in the proper environment. Recommended for any sour lover; this brewery clearly knows how to make and barrel-age a great sour beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 21:03:37 | More by claspada
Photo of LiquidBread219


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

Batch 05x3

A: Cloudy in appearance, dark gold in color, thin lastig head, champagne like carbonation.

S: Dry white wine comes out first, subtle oak mixes cream then the brettanomyces comes out, finishes with a faint hint lemon zest.

T: Champagne like, apricots interweave with vanilla and oak, the brett is reserved and really enjoyable. Warms up really well in the glass.

M,D: This prickles the tongue in the start, becomes creamy in mid drink then finishes off crisply. The beer is very session worthy and, delicious.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 20:57:43 | More by LiquidBread219
Photo of csiewert


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

This beer pours a clear light golden color with little white bubbly head with no retention or lacing. The aroma is of sweet grapes and plum. The taste is also very sweet with some sour endings. The mouthfeel is nicely balanced. Overall a very unique beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 23:44:17 | More by csiewert
Photo of Rifugium


4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Wow! Beautiful beer. Poured a hazy golden color (though sometimes crystal clear) with a big fluffy cloud of a head that retains well and leaves some decent lacing. Packs a fruity punch right from the first time the aroma hits; citrus and white wine. Tasted a lot stronger than it was. Lots of fruit, both sweet and tart, pears and peaches, apricots, and apple peels, wine-soaked oak, with touches of vanilla bean and lemon, toasted grains hint to a solid malt base. Nice and complex, balanced, light-medium mouthfeel, very dry, and highly drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2011 18:57:58 | More by Rifugium
Photo of biglobo8971


4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one of the last few "tion" beers from RR that I had not tried. Shared this one with the wife after a blistering hot evening playing outside with the 3 year old.
Poured from bottle into a RR tulip and a GI tulip. Appearance is a slightly golden yellow. Poured very little head at all with no lacing. A slight carbonation pool was present in the middle of the glass.
The smell is extremely aromatic and floral. The aroma of apple and wine is very present and blends very well. There is a slight hint of spice that works very well with all the other flavors.
A very pleasing taste, you can definitely tast crisp apple as well as the hint of wine. This beer tastes exactly like it smells, crisp and clean.
Easy to drink. The mouthfeel just rounds out the experience. Very easy to drink.
Overall, I would rate this a very highly enjoyable beer. Not my favorite style, but is very enjoyable to say the least. Will seek this beer out again.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 01:42:52 | More by biglobo8971
Photo of Wisconsuds


3.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver during Colorado Beer Week (4/10/11). For a WI guy, the RR -tion fest was heaven on earth. Expertly poured into a RR tulip.

Appearance is a brilliant golden color. This beer WANTS you to drink it. Absolutely stunning look. A billowy cloud of white foam crackled at the top of the rim. Yes please.

Aroma is a blend of floral spices and fruity citrus, a little hop note dances around as well. A sour funk typical with RR beers is apparent.

Temptation, for me, had a sweet taste up front with a sour finish. A sweet then sour then, fruity progression almost defies logic. You're drinking a classy beer here, folks. An impossibly crisp ale.

A fizzy, bubbly carbonation fits this beer nicely. Lemony yeast tastes linger as well, but isn't annoying - but inviting.

Haven't had a beer like this ever - haven't had anything like it since. Overall a very new experience and would love to imbibe in again. An interesting, bold 'American Wild Ale'/

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2011 16:53:13 | More by Wisconsuds
Photo of MrKennedy


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

375ml bottle, batch 05x1E, split three ways and served into a 7oz glass. Huge thanks to mulder1010 for this long time want!

Deep golden colour verging on old gold. Pours with a modest soft, white head of foam that is retained throughout.

The funk is obvious, but inoffensive. Slight yeasty bread aroma, but otherwise it is funk and a little hint of coconut as well.

The taste is obviously sour as intended. Tiny bits of lemon citrus come through, the middle is where the chardonnay is noticeable, capturing all the delicate fruitiness of grapes and lacking any harshness. The finish has a small touch of oak, but is otherwise very well balanced given the sour nature of the beer.

The mouthfeel is smooth, silky at times, the alcohol is not anywhere near present, let alone there to burn. There is a nice softness to it, counteracted by the sourness.

Overall, a classy, refined, well balanced, but still sour ale that lived up to high expectations.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2011 08:31:59 | More by MrKennedy
Photo of dookiepower


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

Batch 005 375ml poured into my bruery tulip.

Appearance- Pours a golden tinted lemon color with a two finger head that left a good amount of lacing. It settled down into a ring around the outside of the glass with splotches in the middle.

Smell- It has a great barnyard funk that I've come to expect from RR sours. But also has a great white grape fruitiness to it. Also gets a bit of a vinegar note. More citrusy fruits after the white grape. A very layered smell that I really enjoyed.

Taste- Typical RR funk, barnyard, citrus. Where Temptation comes into it's own is the apple and grape fruitiness that you get from the white wine barrels. It has a lot of chardonnay qualities that it picked up from the barrels that are just excellent.

Mouthfeel- Very carbonated. It seemed to almost have a champagne carbonation where you could see bubbles pluming up the entire glass. It has a very good mouthfeel to it. A light to medium body.

Overall- One of my favorite RR sours. I think this one is a great example of how close we can get to beer with sours. This sour is on the sour side of the spectrum.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 19:40:00 | More by dookiepower
Photo of megahurts4


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

Russian River Temptation

Appearance: clear yellow, small head, and some good lacing.

Smell: sourness and grain.

Taste: bitter sourness, slight malt with faint grain, and a chardonnay grape finish.

Mouthfeel: medium and bitter.

This is a good sour. The flavors come in stages and deliver like a nice wine.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 04:21:56 | More by megahurts4
Photo of abraxel


4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF 5, courtesy of sholland119. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - A healthy golden orange, only slightly hazy, with a finger or two of pure white head. Not any lacing, it seems.

S - A touch of fruity Belgian yeast, a little bit of bready malt. Perhaps some citrus. Smells like a good Belgian pale ale, but the aroma is a bit weak.

T - Oops, not a pale ale! Lots of citrusy sourness and some yeasty funk. (I still can't confidently tell the difference between pure brett and spontaneously fermented sour/funk...) There's just enough sweet malt to keep it balanced, but the overall impression is dry and crisp, almost like a dry white wine. Really tasty.

M - Relatively smooth, with a lot of carbonation. It fits the beer really well.

Overall, awesome. This is really good and the glass is empty much faster than I expected it to be.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2011 23:56:26 | More by abraxel
Photo of wchollif

North Carolina

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

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

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2011 01:22:29 | More by wchollif
Photo of HuskyinPDX


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

375ml bottle Batch 5X1F
Poured into a Duvel Tulip.

Appearance - Honey, golden orange with a smooth white head that leaves good lacing on the glass.

Smell - Honey, grapes, spice, wood.

Taste - Sour grapes, champagne, and oak.

Drink - Lively carbonation - like you would find in Champagne.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2011 01:31:38 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of jibbyvonjibb


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

A: The color is gold.
S: Barnyard funk, citrus notes. Woody
T: Citrusy tartness. Alcohol level fits perfectly. Oak. Finishes dry, but with an orangey sweetness that lingers.
M: Quite dry. Light body, with velvety smoothness.
O: Close to many Gueuzes that I've tried. Perfectly balanced. Reminiscent to 3 Fonteinen Gueze. Overall, one of the most delicious and satisfying beers I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2011 03:09:36 | More by jibbyvonjibb
Photo of johnbjaeger


3.9/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a believer in Russian River. I like their labels. I like their beer. I hate them for being far away and not distributing to Chicago, but that's really not fair at the end of the day.

This one pours out and looks like frothy thoroughbred horse wizz. Ultimately, that's not as bad as it sounds, but it really was the first thing I thought of.

In fact, it also smells as I'd imagine thoroughbred horse wizz might smell. Not overly sulphuric and not altogether unpleasant, but not exactly something you want to smell unless you are expecting it. I pick up a little stale wine on the nose that reminds me a lot of how my wine bottles smell when I forget to rinse them out after using them.

As for the taste, it charges through the door like a magnificent gay friend yelling, "well hey, I brought the Chardonnay!" The most interesting thing about this after the wine slaps the palate around, is how damned balanced this brew is. The citrus notes, the sour, and just the right amount of fizz. I like this. I could drink this nightly.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2011 01:38:18 | More by johnbjaeger
Photo of stakem


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

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a perfectly clear golden yellow color with a fizzy white head that holds around the edge of the glass. Bubbles rise constantly through the body and a swirl revives a finger's worth of white head. As the cap fades, it leaves a leggy pattern of lace that sticks to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is lemony citrus mixed with a touch of plastic-like funk. There is a lactic smell and sourness of rinds. A light amount of alcohol is evident as the brew warms and it makes some smells evolve that smell funked and a little pukey.

The taste is lemony and lactic. There are some plastic notes mixed with mild fruits that are a little rindy. Seemingly toasted with some oak indications. The aftertaste includes some fusel alcohol that mixes with the oak to create a dryness to the finish. There is an afterthought reminiscent of nail polish remover. As the brew warms the aftertaste gets increasingly more grapey, vinous and solvent with alcohol.

This is a medium bodied brew with a high amount of fizzy carbonation. There is a big salivation factor with this brew and it is exceptionally easy drinking for 7.5% abv. These 375ml bottles are a complete tease. By the time I'm really into this beer and digging it, the glass is empty and I want more. Certainly an enjoyable brew, I just wish the price was more reasonable and I would drink it more often.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 19:00:56 | More by stakem
Photo of amcmaho1

New Mexico

5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I know, another super-superlative (oxymoron?) review...
Batch 5 poured into tulip glass
Thanks again JCDenver!

Appearance: Very nice honey-golden color, slightly cloudy though basically translucent. Sports a short lived fluffy white head, which quickly dissipates and clings in strange little patterns. Beautiful beer...

Smell: Definite funk, slight green apple, very faint "bandaid." There's a slight bit of mustiness which likely came from the barrel. This is obviously a very "natural" smelling beer. The initial sourness on the nose seems subdued, though is there regardless.

Taste: Initial pucker, leading into a fruity and earthy bitterness. I taste some apple and pear notes, along with some vinegar-like astringency, along with some more musty/earthy wood attributes. Incredibly complex beer here!!

Mouthfeel: Certainly mouth-watering, as well as drying; which while seeming paradoxical, is quite enjoyable. Everything about this beer exudes approachability...and re-approachability

Overall: A sentimental beer for me, for I was introduced to it as one of my first sours. It's not overly sour, nor overly funky, and still not overly tame. It is a well executed and exceptionally balanced barrel aged sour, and one which I hope to have again very soon...

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 04:18:23 | More by amcmaho1
Photo of schmoopsbeer


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

Served chilled into RR glass

batch 5

Color: Bright golden blonde. Very nicely carbonated, little to no lacing and it form a thin crisp whit head.

Nose: Plenty of white fruit: pear,apple, and not white, but present kiwi. A pleasant sourness hits the nose like a tidal wave.

Palate: Crisp, clean, bubbly, and soft. The light Tartness/sour dances on the tongue giving the mouth a pleasant tingle feeling.

Finish: Nothing short of long and emaculate! this beer wow's with greatness, artisitry, and elegance. Its a firework show alll the way down the hatch.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 06:38:05 | More by schmoopsbeer
Photo of gregshead


3.68/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a straw color. Trace amounts of head. Lots of carbonation bubbles.

S: Sawdust/barnyard aromas

T: Barnyard funk with a good deal of sweetness. A little bit lower on the sour/tart spectrum.

M: Lots of carbonation. Very light feel

O: An enjoyable sour. Probably a good entry level/beginners sour due to the less pronounced sour flavors. Probably would due well with a couple years of age on it.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 04:59:21 | More by gregshead
Photo of OddNotion

New Jersey

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

Batch 05X1F
Poured into my Russian River Belgian glass.

Appearance: Pours a semi transparent golden color with a one and a half finger white head. A lot of bubbles coming from the body of the beer, it is very active.

Smell: I can smell this beer from a good two feet away. A good amount of funk with some sourness on top of it. At times it smells very sweet and almost fruit like. Oak is not overly noticable.

Taste: Good tartness, fruity. Not overly sour. Relatively lighter taste. I feel like the Chardonnay barrel aging is shining through here. Very balanced. I really like the fruity flavors coming through here.

Mouthfeel: Decent thickness, well carbonated. Matches the taste very well.

Overall: I really like this beer. It is not in your face with any of its flavors. However, the balance is amazing and the flavors meld together in such a great way. Great beer and I would love to experience it again.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 02:52:17 | More by OddNotion
Photo of mavbrew


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

Poured into tulip, Batch 05X2E

A: The color is a hazy golden with a frothy, two finger thick white head that slowly dissipates.

S: Smells kind of similar to a wine, slight grape like scent to it with a sour scent as well. Hints of lemon and a bit of a yeast smell also.

T: Tastes pretty much like it smells, grape like flavor upfront, followed by the sour funk that is pretty tart, almost puckering. There is some lemon present as well as a little bit of yeast and citrus. Finish is dry and sour.

M: Light to medium bodied with average carbonation. Feel is sour, as expected.

D: This is one of the more drinkable sours I've tried, not too sour, nice citric flavor. This beer is much like a wine but has a sour kick to it. Overall, this is a pretty solid sour.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2011 20:21:37 | More by mavbrew
Photo of mondegreen


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

375ml bottle into a Russian River goblet. Batch 05X2E

Pours a slightly hazy golden with a tight white head. Lots of carbonation bubbles race to the top of the glass.

Smell is slightly funky, slightly tart, and heavy Chardonnay. This beer seems to have picked up a good bit of the barrel character.

Taste is somewhat lively. Nice funky overtones with elements of citrus, breast yeast, and a light tartness. The white wine character carries through from the nose.

Mouth is light and oh so dry. Lovely and refreshing.

Overall, this is a wonderful sour ale. Wilds are one of the final frontiers for American Craft Brewing, and Russian River is way ahead of the curve.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 23:16:16 | More by mondegreen
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,664 ratings.