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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,742 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,742
Reviews: 954
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,530
Gots: 733 | FT: 43
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: 2,742 | Reviews: 954 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.43/5  rDev -0.7%

Poured into snifter. Batch 004X2. 2009

Pours a nice white head. Great retention. Nice splatted lace. Color is a clear golden straw yellow. Just what this beer should look like.

Aroma: sour with brett and barnyard flavors. Oak, lemon, and sour fruits. Pretty solid.

Taste: Hmmm, this is kind of interesting. A lot of brett here with some other sour bugs. Barnyard funk with lemons. Some nice oak flavors as well. Well done.

Mouthfeel: Sour and funky. Mouth puckering. Light to medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends very clear, a tad sour.

Overall, a solid heavy beer. Very well done. I really enjoyed this beer. Very drinkable. I'd like to try this with a few years on it. I think it could get even better.

12-25-2009 15:37:53 | More by mothman
Photo of wd40

New York

4.83/5  rDev +8.3%

Batch 004X4 from 2009 release I believe

Straw color appearance with bright lemon/citrus and fruit flavors and aromas like apple and pear. Oak flavor is well-balanced and the tartness of the Brettanomyces is really nice. It really does have some resemblance in flavor to a chardonnay with some funky hay, barn, and grassy undertones mixed with some sour acidity. Everything works really well together. Vinnie Cilurzo took all these individually gross flavors and made something totally amazing! I really don't know how he is able to integrate flavors so well together, but his beers really have a lot of depth.

The mouthfeel is typical Russian River, that is soft and perfect. There was quite a lot of foam even though I made a soft pour. Definitely a drinkable beer, in fact I almost went through the entire bottle without noticing. Definitely worth a try for anyone who's interested in sours, but I'm still a slightly bigger fan of Consecration.

Edit: this beer has lingered in my mind and become one of my all time favorites! I love the lightness and dryness of the beer and really can't get enough of it. "I can resist everything except temptation" - Oscar Wilde

12-21-2009 03:32:13 | More by wd40
Photo of gyllstromk


4.1/5  rDev -8.1%

Features a pale straw golden color with a touch of cloudiness and nice carbonation. Aroma is lemon marmalade with hints of other citrus, and a big tart element. Flavor is more lemon, melon, and sweet tarts. Girardin Gueueze comes to mind as the closest sibling, though Temptation has a thinner flavor and feel, and I'd prefer the Girardin, especially with the price tag. Still a very nice beer.

12-20-2009 22:06:23 | More by gyllstromk
Photo of portia99


4.47/5  rDev +0.2%

750ml corked and caged bottle (batch 004x5) received in trade from berkey. Thanks! Poured into a Russian River Belgian glass.

A - Poured carefully into the glass to yield a mildly hazy bright golden colored beer with two fingers of fluffy white head on top. An endless supply of carbonation bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass, a beautifully active and champagne like effervescence. Head lasts for a long time...doesn't seem like it wants to give it up.

S - A bit on the sweet side, plenty of brett funkiness. Lots of sour fruit, especially apples, some orangey citrus. Also a winelike light fruitiness is strongly present, obviously coming from the time in the barrels.

T - Taste closely matches the aroma. Distinctly sour and puckering, but quite flavorful and complex. Light citrusy fruit - lemons, oranges, sour apples. Lots of winelike character, though more pinot gris than chardonnay for me - this pairs really well with the other tart and fruity flavors in this beer. Only a touch of woody oak flavor comes into play, but this plays off of the brett character to blend nicely. Less funk in the flavor than the aroma although plenty prominant, probably will be more pronounced with some age on it.

M - On the thin side, as expected, and loaded with carbonation. Very prickly and a bit foamy on the tongue. Sour and tart, a bit puckering and quite drying after the swallow.

D - Extremely drinkable American Wild. Quite tart, but not overpowering - very refreshing on the tongue. Alcohol isn't overpowering at 7.25%. Very bright, fruity, tart with a touch of sweetness. A 750ml bottle is just the right amount for me. Glad to be able to try this one...gotta see about getting some more.

12-19-2009 00:53:59 | More by portia99
Photo of Kadonny


4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Poured from tap at Capones sour event into a smaller tasting glass.

A: A clear light gold color with a very thin white head. No glass lacing to speak of.

S: Tart smells with apple and fruit with a slight sugar sweetness.

T: Wow, this is damn sour. Tart flavors hit the tongue with flavors of sour apple, pear and some green grape. There is some slight woodiness and a nice grassiness to it from the hops with a slight sugar sweetness to slightly offset the tartness. Finish is all sour that makes your tongue curl for minutes afterwords. Crisp, clean, wow. This is much greener beer that is much sharper than that from an aged bottle.

M: Crisp, clean, tart, flavors linger. No traces of alcohol.

D: Suffered a bit because it was so young. The beer is mouth puckering but delicious.

Overall what more can I say. Spectacular, what a great beer that is infinitely more sour from tap when the flavors don't get to meld together. I think I like this more from bottle as it mellows, but this one is excellent when young and razor sharp also. Incredible.

12-11-2009 21:55:47 | More by Kadonny
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -7.4%

I had on tap at Capones. It was served in 9 ounce snifters, light, turbid orange in color with a little white head. The aroma was full of funk steeped with a fruity backbone. The flavors are somewhat vinous, and oaky. It is very dry and has some lemony zing to it. There is also a slight sourness there also. A very light bodied beer that leaves you dry. The acidity knocks down the drinkability for me, but an otherwise great beer.

12-10-2009 23:19:47 | More by bonkers
Photo of RoyalT


4.88/5  rDev +9.4%

I happened to be visiting the brewery as Vinnie had finished and bottled, not yet labeled, his first batch of Temptation many years ago. He wasn't happy with some aspects of it but after chatting about the brew process for half an hour or so he brought up a few unlabeled bottles.

For the life of me I couldn't see what he didn't like about it, but then again anyone who knows Vinnie knows that he is a perfectionist. After tasting this and another beer (which I don't think ever went to market) he gave me a couple of bottles to cellar. I've just now seen it for the first time in a bottle in a beer store so was excited to down a few. This is absolutely one of the best beers that I have ever had.

Appearance - This is a beautiful, light straw blond in color with a gorgeous head. It's not big and foamy like a giant Belgian or a Weizen of course, but the bubbles are so incredibly tight and even you almost hate to drink it. Almost.

Smell - This is the most refined sour aroma I have ever had the pleasure of smelling. It's neither harsh nor offensive yet is still potent and sharp. The light grains in the background are equally refined.

Taste - The sourness is definitely a home run here. It is exceptionally strong yet not harsh like so many other Wild Ales. There's just enough sweetness to tame the flavor.

I can pick up some light white wine notes, which I'm guessing after reading up on the beer from the RR site is the chardonnay that seeped into the barrels that they use to age this beauty shop. The grain again is like a delicious light blonde ale grain that ads to the airy feeling you get when drinking this beer.

Mouthfeel - This was my favorite part of the drink. It is definitely light-bodied with a mature and technically advanced sourness and that terrific grain backbone actually makes this sail through the mouth. The carbonation is pure perfection, again according to the website the beer is carbonated in the bottle. It's just an enjoyable, light, airy texture that makes you want to keep on drinking.

Drinkability - This is the most quaffable sour ale I've ever had. It goes down so smooth and is so refreshing. How he put this thing together I'll never know.

12-10-2009 03:23:40 | More by RoyalT
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Had this one on tap at TJ's anniversary party with my 2 best drinking buddies... capra12 and schen9202... served out of a snifter.

A: Poured a thin floating film. Brew is a pear and washed out cloudy lemon color. Lacing is patchy but ample.

S: Pear sourness, wood, funk, and a pleasant sweetness that I don't get in a lot of other sours.

T: Sour opening fades to sweet on the first sip and its all I can taste... ok... I'm used to this. Going in for a second... oaky at the start that develops into a pear or other green fruit (more on this soon...). A third sip yields a dissipating sour flavor that reveals green apples and grapes. The sourness then creeps back in towards the finish.

M: Light bodied, coarse, wet, and crisp. Finish is dry but not nearly as dry as some other sours. This one actually lingers a bit... out of style in my opinion... but it works.

D: Definitely would have this again as just like every other sour I've had, so complex and really a journey from beginning to end. Temptation does a couple of things different (presents a different set of flavors, not as dry, etc.) but all of it works and together create a truly worthy beer. I always thought I'd try this in the bottle before I'd get to have it on tap... but nevertheless... can't wait to have it again in the bottle!!!

12-06-2009 04:59:42 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of GbVDave


4.47/5  rDev +0.2%

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet.

Batch 004X5

A: Pours a hazed, golden straw color with 1 1/2 fingers of bright white head on top. Retention was fleeting and only a few splotches of lace were left behind.

S: Fantastic winey aromas of white grape, tangy green apple, funky barrel, sodden oak, and a bit of pear and peach.

T: Pretty much as above with more barrel flavors and a bit more funk as it warms. Tart grape and tangy apple with a mere kiss of vinegar.

M: I found this to be extremely balanced. The funk and sour weren't allowed to run wild. There are sweet, dry, and slick elements, too.

D: An incredibly drinkable AWA. This one lives up to the hype!

12-06-2009 00:32:59 | More by GbVDave
Photo of capra12

New York

4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

Reviewed with speedwayjim and stephy at TJ's returant and drinkery.

Appearance: tan in color and no head.

Smell: sour green fruit.

Taste: wow. Sour profiles are nicely balance. Sour green fruit and kind of bready. Leaving a malty aftertaste and green unripened fruit.

Mouthfeel: light bodied, mod carbonation and bubbly.

Drinkability: I would have this again and recommend this to a sour lover.

12-05-2009 23:04:36 | More by capra12
Photo of Pencible


4.13/5  rDev -7.4%

This poured a hazy gold with fluffy white head. It smelled like chardonnay grapes and fresh oak with lemon zest and bright funk and coriander. It tasted like tart and sour white grapes with light funk and spices, and some burnt sugar and lemon and orange zest. It was watery with some carbonation, and had a lasting sour aftertaste. Overall this had a great scent and taste with just enough funk but still very clean. It wasn't too overpowering, and the alcohol was well hidden, but this was still definitely a sipping beer. I still need more experience with brett and sour ales to fully enjoy this one, but I thought it was tart and terrific. I'm also very curious how this might age.

12-01-2009 16:26:49 | More by Pencible
Photo of DaveJanssen


4.08/5  rDev -8.5%

Split a 750 2 watys, poured into chouffe tulip. Batch 004X4

Ar: Sour, sweet fruity, horsey, strange sweet candy/sour mix, tropical fruit, waxy, vinegar

Ap: clear golden yellow, thick white head, good retention, lace

F: Much more sour than the smell leads you to believe, acetic acid, tropical fruit, citric acid, green tart apple, pear, pineapple, underripe fruit, dry and crisp like a sparkling wine, has the classic russian river sour character, slightly sweeter than expected, smooth prominant acids, neutral oak, earthy

M: high peppery carbonaiton, very tart dry warming acid, light alcohol

O: very tart, light residual sweetness, not a lot of "wild character", definitely makes sense as a deliberate controlled sour

11-26-2009 21:36:57 | More by DaveJanssen
Photo of Mistofminn


4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Got this bottle from nickd717 way back when, finally got a chance to crack it open tonight. Thanks Nick for the chance!

Batch 004X5. The most recent batch.

The first pour is clear golden color with an extremely lively carbonation. Subsequent pours are slightly hazy, which is what I love to see. Nice two finger of creamy white head is produced on the pour, and the retention is amazing. Leaves a ton of lacing all over.

The nose is a complex mixture of brett and sweet and sour, tart and juicy, there is some oakiness and lots of funkyness going on. Very impressive nose, and is pretty much everything I had hoped. You could call it a breath of fresh air.

The taste starts out sour and tart, cheek-puckeringly so, then gives way to a sweet fruitiness and smooth oakiness. Towards the end, nice funky brett characteristics come into play. Very vinous in nature.

Mouthfeel is light to medium, with a fine carbonation aiding the feathery light feel. Dry finish. Drinkability is awesome, I refuse to share the contents of this 750 ml.

Overall, a great intro to Russian River's sours for me. I've heard great things about all of them, and finally got a chance to try one. I'm very impressed and will seak this out in the future. Thanks Nick for the chance!

11-26-2009 02:08:44 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of Ineedabeerhere

Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

750mL Batch 4 bottle. Shared with friends on 8/22. from notes. Thanks for the bottle(s) Shane!

Pours a golden color with a wispy white head quickly seceding to a film.

Aroma is downright funky. Musty straw, barnyard flavors. Mixing with chardonnay grapes, a hint of white pepper and lemon zest. Acidic notes foreshadowing the flavor.

Tartness upfront with sour grapes, vinous notes. Chardonnay characters are well integrated. Funkiness also present. Not cheesy like some wild ales, but funk is abundant.

Well carbonated, not spritzer-like which you find in some wild ales that are bottle conditioned. It's got a proper level of carbonation that just excites the taste buds enough to deal with the acidity. Drinkability is great for a sour ale, although I suppose I am a bit biased considering my recent love for these styles. I liked batch 3 a bit more, but this one is a hit and I'm glad I have a few bottles for the cellar.

EDIT: Had this again recently and batch 4 is really coming along nicely. Great soft oaky notes with the acidity levels continuing to develop. +.5 App, +.5 Drink.

11-25-2009 03:03:18 | More by Ineedabeerhere
Photo of zeff80


4.48/5  rDev +0.4%

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden color with wispy white streaks of foaminess. It left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled funky with some farm house/horse blanket aromas. A yeasty spicy aroma with a touch of oak.

T - A nice funky/spicy taste that you expect from a wild ale with brett. It had touches of caramel and grains.

M - It was very crisp and smooth with an extremely dry finish. A light to medium-bodied ale.

D - This is a very good wild ale. Great tasting with a good dry oaky finish.

11-24-2009 05:56:27 | More by zeff80
Photo of Docer


4.4/5  rDev -1.3%

Picked up my first bottle/taste of this a couple months back... now cracking the bottle. Opened with a big pop... and large bubbles circulated the sediment all on its own... funny how they state a slow pour to leave the sediment in the bottle.... hard to do when its flowing around everywhere. Batch #004X1

- Straw yellow and golden... fizzy white head.. nice shallow layer that sticks around a bit as this seems to be a fizzing bubbly little monster.

- Just pouring it let loose a wild wine and sour aroma.... nice tart and sour white grape up front, slight hay funk, light sweet malt... nice woody oak notes...

- Very tasty sour... not at all vinegar-like which I love... rich undertones of white grape and currants.. riding along nicely on a woody oak blanket of sour and sweet light malts.... hints of spice show up long after the swallow. Light vinegar at the very end. What a well balanced and flavorful sour. Very well done.

- Tart, and spicy on the tongue.... leaves slightly dry, and watering all at the same time. Slight spice and oak left behind with an almost fresh wine and light olive finish,.

- Overall this is a fantastic sour, and one I wish I had another to let sit around even longer. Perhaps I will snag up another soon if they are still there.

11-23-2009 21:21:03 | More by Docer
Photo of callmescraps


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

Been tempted (heh) by this guy forever. Finally opening it to celebrate getting a job. Or at least the end of an interminable employment process.

It opens with a fantastic pop.

Appearance - A nice light gold/hay color. A couple inches of big foamy head. It settles very slowly lacing all the way down.

Smell - Lots of sour apple and vinegar. Very nice fruitiness and a hint of lemon. Definitely picking up the wine. Lots of oak. It's pretty funky with some wet hay as well.

Taste - Wow, very nice and tart. It has a real champagne dryness. The apple and oak also comes through. Maybe some pear as well. Pretty funky as well. There is a nice lemon. This is almost like a full bodied champagne.

Mouthfeel - Excellent carbonation. Light and crisp.

Drinkability - Good. The funkiness and carbonation make one enough. But it goes down pretty easy. Need to remember to savor.

This is another excellent RR wild. I thought Consecration brought a little more to the table, but this is also excellent. It's just a touch mellow, but nicely balanced.

11-23-2009 06:09:09 | More by callmescraps
Photo of Ezekiel81923


4.43/5  rDev -0.7%

Received this guy in a trade with EliottJW. Batch #004X1. Poured into a over-sized Tulip glass.

Appearance: Big white foamy head. Maybe too excited when I poured it. Nice and clear yellow/gold color with some active carbonation bubbles clinging to the side of the glass and streaming upward to maintain the head for a few minutes. Plenty of lacing down the glass.

Smell: Hints of oak sweetness and even fewer hints of chardonnay from the barrels. Some mild fruity aromas of apple and citrus. Mostly a sour aroma with a little vinegar and with limited funk.

Taste: My Goodness. A good amount of puckering sour flavor that is somewhat balanced by some sweetness from the oak. Not overly funky, more wine-like but better than any wine I've had. Citrus comes through and just a hint of the green apples.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation. Light to medium body. Lingering sweet and sour notes on the tongue.

Drinkability: I'd drink this everyday if I could. Phenomenal beer. Nothing about this beer limits its drinkability for me, except maybe the 7.25% ABV.

11-16-2009 19:01:36 | More by Ezekiel81923
Photo of number1bum


4.68/5  rDev +4.9%

Picked this up in San Francisco and lugged it home. Batch 4.

Pours a somewhat hazy golden color with about two inches of rich white head. Keeps a full, pretty thick lace and leaves some very nice rings of stick on the sides of the glass.

Smell has a good blast of tart and funk up front, layered with some oak. Also some floral fruit aromas. Even a hint of sweetness. It's a nice nose, but it's not super strong, and sometimes it's a struggle to take it in.

Taste starts off with a nice sourness that persists all the way through. Some tart tree fruit, oak and spice are the other primary flavors. Doesn't sound like a lot of characteristics but it's very complex, as each mouthful delivers a different combination of flavors. The peppery spiciness gets more pronounced as it warms, as does the oak. The funky sour character is ever present but never unpleasant. It's very flavorful, very well balanced, and just plain really good.

Mouthfeel is very crisp and dry in the finish, yet it has a creaminess to it that belies the carbonation. It's very smooth for a sour, and I'd even call it somewhat thirst quenching.

This is about as drinkable as I can imagine a sour being. It's so smooth and flavorful. Just a great beer.

11-15-2009 02:14:19 | More by number1bum
Photo of ScreamForMe


4.43/5  rDev -0.7%

I had this on tap a few days ago with a bottle sitting in the cellar waiting to be consumed soon.

Funk but very balanced. Something I'm coming to expect from RR sours/wilds.

Decent amount of lacing.

A sour blend of flavors that worked well. Alcohol is disguised as with other RR wilds.

A refreshing brew!

11-12-2009 01:55:42 | More by ScreamForMe
Photo of kzoobrew


4.88/5  rDev +9.4%

Batch 004X1

Golden body capped with the creamiest alabaster head. Retention is fantastic leaving a nice trail of lacing as it subsides.

Solid barn yard funk and plenty of tartness dominate the nose. There is incredible balance though between the two dominating aromas. Tart young grapes and green apple meld with rather earthy notes, oak and musty horse blanket.

First sip was an all on attack of puckering tartness. More of this is attributed to my lack of familiarity than the overall tartness of the brew. Assertive sour apple, lemon and wine like acidity. Peppery spiciness sits mid palate and clings to the tongue. Very subtle graininess and light earth grass flavor can be found as I search my palate.

Light to medium bodied. Sharp and crisp while the finish is smooth and dry.

Tremendously enjoyable. Very hard to find a weakness in this beer. As this is my first experience with the Russian River sours I can now say it is well worth the hype. Thank you to Spdkilz for providing such an awesome beer for review #150.

11-09-2009 23:02:09 | More by kzoobrew
Photo of Martin2D

New Jersey

4.93/5  rDev +10.5%

Thanks to fbm115 for sharing this one.

A - Soft yellow with a nice head and lots of carbonation

S - Funky, sour, fruity.

T - This is such an elegant beer. Perfectly balanced in sour, mild fruit flavors with a wood taste. Not much hop presence, but I couldn't think of a way to improve the flavor.

M - High carbonation and light in body.

D - Unbelievably drinkable. Not too sour, very refreshing and mind blowingly balanced.

11-08-2009 01:57:35 | More by Martin2D
Photo of ShadesOfGray


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

Had this last night at a local brewpub. Poured out of a 750ml bottle Heard about Temptation for a while, finally found it for a reasonable price. Pours pretty clear yellowish. White small head. Smells very strong of lemon/citrus. Definitely a tart amoma...but expected for this Sour/wild ale.
Tastes exactly like it smells. Kind of tart, but a pleasant sourness. Pretty easy to drink and refreshing. Aroma stays with you even hours after your last sip.
In my oppinion, it reminds me of Limoncello: just not as sugary and not as boozy. Easier to put down too.

11-07-2009 16:46:53 | More by ShadesOfGray
Photo of Intelligentsia


4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Poured from a 750-mL bottle into a chardonnay glass. Figured it was the most appropriate vessel.

Poured a beautiful chardonnay but a bit more orange color with a fluffy white head that I admired. Left some nice but not over-the-top lacing.

Smelled of oak, green apple, lemon, grass, wildness.

Tasted very similar to the nose, but with cherry. Delightful taste supplemented by high carbonation and a medium body. Good enough to have an entire bottle myself.

11-05-2009 00:51:11 | More by Intelligentsia
Photo of IronCitySteve


4.28/5  rDev -4%

Had while at the brewery.

A: A nice bright clean yellow/golden color. Very crisp. Provided a very thin white head that dissipates quickly. There is a moderate amount of lacing.

S: A very distinct tart and sour smell with some oak mixed in. The smell was very strong but not overwhelming.

T: Wow. Never really had a 'wild ale' prior, so this taste was very unique but quite enjoyable. A good amount of sour and citrus mixed in with a little oak. The oak flavor reminds me of the oak you may taste in a chardonnay.

M: A heavily carbonated light/medium bodied beer. It is quite balance and leaves a nice crisp dry taste on the palate.

D: I certainly enjoyed this beer but only had one regrettably. This beer certainly makes we want to try other Wild Ales. Easy to drink but not sessionable.

11-04-2009 12:49:47 | More by IronCitySteve
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,742 ratings.