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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,750 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,750
Reviews: 954
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,531
Gots: 734 | FT: 44
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: 2,750 | Reviews: 954 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SpdKilz


4.47/5  rDev +0.2%

Poured in my Russian River Stemmed Glass in celebration of completing my first week of my second year of law school (good excuse to try this!)

Appearance - When pouring this a brilliant golden/amber color emerges leaving a nice frothy finger of head which actually dissipates relatively fast. Additionally, there is minimal lacing. However, swirl the glass around a bit and I am able to obtain the initial head.

Smell - Overwhelming smell of tart fruits, the most apparent to me being green/sour apple with a hint of white grapes. I smell a hint of champagne emerge at the end.

Taste - Very pleasant. As soon as it touches my tongue I immediately taste the tart and tangy characteristic to this beer. I taste the sour apples, white grapes, some lemon/lime sourness, and some white wine/champagne like qualities. Honestly, this is pretty complex in tastes - I'm new to this whole style (overall) and it is already drawing me in.

Mouthfeel - Moderate/high carbonation that is reminiscent of champagne, with a moderate mouthfeel. Very crisp and refreshing after a 12 hour day of studying.

Drinkability - The more I drink this the more it keeps growing on me and after the initial taste I already loved it. This is highly drinkable and am going to run out and get another one or two tomorrow to cellar for a while. I previously tried an American Wild Ale which I loathed (extremely vinegary) and was afraid to open this up because of how expensive it was and for the fear I would not like it (though I would have forced myself to drink it). I was pleasantly surprised and am going to go get some of the cheeses and crackers out of my fridge right after I post this to pair it up with them and see what goes well with it. A very drinkable drink!

08-29-2009 01:29:34 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of DrewOSU


4.58/5  rDev +2.7%

Batch 003, 350 ml

A: Huge pop of the cork. Pours a dark yellow to light copper. Head is bright white with small tight bubbles. Lacing webs the side of the glass on the initial pour.

S: Apple, cherry, light funk and huge sour nose. Nothing disappointing on this glass.

M/T: Puckering sour on the first taste, followed by a huge rush of cherry, lemon and apple on the second wave. Finishes very dry and refreshing. A punch to the mouth with flavor.

D: This is my favorite beer of the year. I could drink this every night. There is nothing that is obnoxious about this beer. Big nose, huge taste and dry finishing. The lemon could make you reflux after a while, but other than that, flawless.

08-29-2009 01:24:12 | More by DrewOSU
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev -4%

750ml 2009 bottle received in a recent trade.

Appearance: Gorgeous frosted lemon body with a luciously frothy 2 finger white crown. Tons of retention and lacing. Seriously sexy!

Smell: Extremely nice mixture of tart lemon notes, pronounced brett, white wine / green grapes, and a hint of oak. I'm even getting a slightly smokey charred note from the barrel.

Taste: This ones opens with a nice tartness and continues on to show its grape / wine barrel quality, then finishes with a beautifully dry lemon drop tartness. This is so nice and sour with brett woven seemlessly in between the sour notes! This is seriously well crafted and I'm in awe of the brewmasters talent. Puts fresh Cuvee De Castleton to shame!

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and well carbonated but lacks a nice crispness or a nice softness!

Drinkability: Oh this one is acidic enough to limit my intake but its delicious every sip of the way.

Russian River is by far my favorite Brewery!

2/25/10 Batch 04x04 2009 750ml bottle aged for 6 months:

The flavor has lost a bit of its pungent citric goodness and the grapes are showing even more now.

08-28-2009 23:34:16 | More by koopa
Photo of boatshoes


4.43/5  rDev -0.7%

Bottle purchased at the Frontier Saloon (!) in Folsom. Surprised to see it there but very happy nonetheless!

Appearance- Pours a nice light golden color with a fair amount of carbonation and about a finger of very white head. Head fizzes for a bit and then dies down to a ring, with very little lacing left as I drink.

Smell- Mmm, very tart, vinous, and lactic. Lots of green apple and citrus backed up with a bit of grain and funk. Very much what I like in the nose of a wild ale or gueuze like this. Anticipating a biting tartness.

Taste- Very tart up front but not quite as much so as I was expecting. Rather than the tartness of granny smith apples, it is much more along the lines of a green grape tartness. Funk is present, but also more subdued than I was expecting. A touch of grain again as well behind the tart flavors. Much more subtle than I was expecting and less of a kick in the mouth but perhaps even better as a result.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Both of these are great on this better. Just the right level of carbonation and not overly thin despite the style. The tartness isn't mouth destroying either and really keeps you coming back for more. Excellent.

Overall, great offering from Russian River as usual. Had this one fresh and have another for aging. Look forward to seeing what happens to this one in the future. Highly recommended.

08-26-2009 15:56:20 | More by boatshoes
Photo of sholland119


4.1/5  rDev -8.1%

On tap at Teresa's Next Door

A-Pours a clear gold, with a very small white head and no lacing.

S-Moderately funky with some barnyard and vinegar; maybe a bit of a peppery hop also.

T-A rather subdued barnyard funk with some light phenolics. Just a bit sour, I will hope for more over time.

M-Light bodied, crisp and fairly dry.

D-As the sourness is not fully developed (or maybe this batch is designed to be less sour), it is quite easy drinking, even sessionable, for the style.


08-25-2009 17:49:57 | More by sholland119
Photo of DefenCorps


4.13/5  rDev -7.4%

Batch 004 on tap yesterday at Teresa's Next Door. I loved all the previous batches, and was looking forward to revisiting this batch as my previous experience with it was a little disappointing, which I'd attributed to my inebriation

A: Clear straw yellow with no head. Some carbonation is visible

S: Bretty, musty, barnyardy and woody. Vinous and grape character is present. The balance is excellent. As it warms up, a buttery Chardonnay character comes through

T: Opens sour with a clean lactic character before a vinous, grape-like character kicks in with a mild vanilla/oak character. Finishes tart and grapey. Good stuff

M: Light, crisp and refreshing. Excellent finihs

D: While not as enjoyable as previous batches, I enjoyed this and look forward to revisiting it with some time on it.

**Edit 22 March 2013**
My last bottle of batch 004. Le Sigh.

The brightness, the zest, and the vivaciousness are gone, but this beer is still a work of art. Beautiful chardonnay character with a perfect blend of soft, grass/hay Brett notes, though the wine is a little more dominant now. Verjus and mild spice. The palate is similar, though the finish is just a little thin, a touch watery. Beautiful lactic palate, well balanced with wine and Brett notes. This just might have been the best batch of Temptation ever. 4.5/4.5/4.5

08-24-2009 15:08:21 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of fiver29


4.6/5  rDev +3.1%

Shared with Miketd. Thanks for sharing this bottle Mike! Bottle batch #3 pours golden with a white head. Has a funky smell to it. The sour smells are wonderful. Musty. Mouthfeel is light with a lof of carbonation. Has a sour, tart, and yet sweet taste to it. All rolled into one. I like this one a little better than the depuration I just tried. Its a really nice brew. Thanks again.

08-21-2009 20:00:33 | More by fiver29
Photo of botham

New York

4.95/5  rDev +11%

on tap at Toronado in San Diego. pours a straw color ith a single finger of white head, poor retention and lo lacings.

aroma is vinous, with a vinegar like sweetnesss, a bit subtle, with notes of grapes, a bit of pale malts and some sour apple. phenomenal in the nose.

taste is more of the same with a wonderful vinegar sourness and a great semi-dry character. the fruit and malt dance behind the sourness on the palate. excellent!

mouthfeel is semi-dru and light bodied without any overtly-sweet note that tends to plague beers similar to this one. very refreshing and wonderful on the palate.

drinkability is perfect. mildly sour, refreshing and supremely drinkable. a great summer beer with a refreshing quality. cheers!

08-20-2009 14:05:31 | More by botham
Photo of srroos


4.35/5  rDev -2.5%

Poured from a 750mL bottle (Batch 004) into a snifter. Clear and golden with a huge white head. Large bubbles break quickly forming a thin cap. Smells tart (green apple) and oaky. Big tart punch up front (lemon, green apple) with an oaky finish. Very much like a chardonnay with carbonation. Very well carbonated in fact and feels very light in the mouth from it. Very easy drinking as well. Delicious!

08-20-2009 03:05:14 | More by srroos
Photo of mrkrispy


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%

Batch 004 in tap at Toronado SD, served in a small white wine glass.

Arrived cloudy and hazy, bit of white frothy head.

Funky stanky horsey fizzy aroma, the animal farm is busting out....reserved, not boisterous

Very balanced right now even though it is young, which means it should be more complex with some more time on the bugs.
White wine flavors very apparent. A bit sour, not puckering. I would like it a bit more sour, again....needs a bit more time. I find this one drinks a little more smoother than the 003 did at the same time. Some lemon, some green apple, citrus, very little malt. Bit of tartness as the glass goes down. Nice body, well carbed...almost like The Bubbly.

Pretty tasty, goes down well. Lacks a bit of the boldness of the other Russian River sours, but that is its niche - subtle complexity. I think 003 was a bit rough for the first 6 months and mellowed. The 004 seems fairly smooth, so it will be interesting to see how it ages.

08-19-2009 19:45:29 | More by mrkrispy
Photo of nectar14


4.18/5  rDev -6.3%

On tap, batch 004, at Toronado SD. Poured into little port glasses.

A: Golden/ yellow in color, slightly hazy, with a 1/2 finger white head that sticks around and leaves a nice lacing.
S: Complex as it warms up. The wet cardboard of brett is there, along with assertive lemon, green apple, white pepper, vanilla, and a touch of caramel. Projected, but without volatility. Do not get any whiff of alcohol. After the glass was empty, there was a distinct scent of empty chardonnay barrels (all that dead yeast, tartrate crystals, oxidized wine... which I recall from my days working in the winery when I cleaned chardonnay barrels after bottling).
T: Tart and puckery, with lemon, green apple, vanilla, wood, and slight malt. Long on the finish. Not heavy.
M: Medium body. Linear on the palate but the flavors are easy to pick out through the moderate carbonation and acidity.
D: Easy down the gullet for a beer of such character and complexity.

Glad I got to try this. Quite unique.

08-19-2009 19:36:05 | More by nectar14
Photo of MasterSki

Ontario (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +2.7%

Batch 004 on-tap at the Monk's Kettle in SF. Served in an oversized wine glass.

A - A finger of persistent egg-white foam with big bubbles. Opaque golden orange colored body, and nice lacing that sticks around. I suspect the appearance was hurt a little bit by the glass type.

S - Awesome aroma - wonderful blend of unripened green apples, horsey funk and mustiness, white wine and green grapes, light oakiness, and some other light fruit and spice notes.

T - Starts with graham crackery sweetness that morphes into a light sour finish that is surprisingly clean. Funk and unripened fruits predominate the complementary flavors. Excellent, but not quite as rich and complex as the aroma.

M - Dry finish, lively champagne-like carbonation that still imparts a soft texture. Some residual dry stickiness and cottonmouth sensations.

D - There is nary a trace of the 7.25% ABV - this could easily be a 4-5% geuze. It's actually a little reminscent of Deviation, but without the aggressive Beatification PH001 tartness element. However, it's also significantly cheaper...

08-18-2009 20:51:22 | More by MasterSki
Photo of froghop


3.9/5  rDev -12.6%

pours a semi-hazy yellow-orange with a large white fluffy head, and very good lacing.

smell is of sour malt, fruit, citrus, a little floral, and some yeast.

taste is tart, apricot, citrus fruits, orange, a little woodiness, some granny smith apple, and some sour malt.

08-18-2009 01:38:51 | More by froghop
Photo of ffejherb


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

On tap at Russian River on 7/17/09.

A - Hazy pale golden body with virtually no carbonation and a sturdy white, creamy head that retained very well and left moderate lace around the glass.

S - Slight band-aid notes with a sour funk, but not over-the-top at all. Surprisingly, there are also hints of citrus rind and bitter hop notes. Plenty of oaky character as well with a contrasting green apple sourness.

T - Really defined sour green apple flavor with a tart character and lots of oaky, woody tannins. A hint of earthy bitterness emerges in the finish, accompanied by even more tart notes.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and very dry, tart finish with plenty of sourness and astringency on the palate.

D - Fantastic sour ale... perhaps one of my new favorites! Really tasty and nicely done Wild Ale that doesn't totaly wreck the palate or melt the tastebuds. I think I enjoyed this even more than Consecration.

08-16-2009 23:31:42 | More by ffejherb
Photo of Mebuzzard


2.7/5  rDev -39.5%

On tap at Falling Rock:

Well, I like RR beers and the Temptation is a nice beer. However, while it produces a nice looking brew, and it's not horrible or bad, it's simply just a sour beer.
The taste has a touch of green pear to it, but for the most part this is only sour. Nothing complex, and I"m glad I had this on tap instead of paying the 24 bucks for a bottle.
Aroma is sour, with bits of clove and green apple. That's as far as it goes, though. Aged? sure doesn't come out in the aroma or taste.
A solid sour, but nothing special. I would think it's not worth the bottle price.

08-16-2009 06:53:01 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of berkey


4.47/5  rDev +0.2%

From last nights notes. 750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip. Batch 00473

Body is a fairly clean golden color with a slight haze. A robust pour creates a very good cream colered head, especially for the style. Carbonation appears to die down pretty quickly bringing the head down with it.

Aromas are funky, woody, and tart at first followed by very sour bread and dry white wine. A fair amount of citrus there but specifically citrus juice not the fruit or peel like I often mean in reviews. Lime then lemon.

Flavors are similar to the smell but even drier. Approaches the palate much like other, more, agressive, wild ales do causing me to anticipate a sour bacterial blood bath but somehow finishes like very clean yet dry white wine. Funkier than I expected, in a good way, but still extremely approachable. A great showcase for the sour and funky flavors in a package that even someone new to the style can appreciate. As this one warms (reaches wine drinking temperature?) it starts drinking much more like a wine than a wild beer.

Medium bodied, the carb I thought had died is still very much there on the feel complimenting the slight dry character. Extremely drinkable for the complexity. It took a lot of effort just to keep myself from gulping this down.

Overall another amazing beer. RR never ceases to amaze me. I'm going to pick up a few more of these ASAP.

08-16-2009 00:06:50 | More by berkey
Photo of carps12


4.08/5  rDev -8.5%

Batch 004x5 750ml. Poured into a Pinot noir wine goblet. Dark yellow. Amazing head for a sour. Frothy covering all surface area. Mild horse blanket, lemon rind, butter, vinous, and oak. I enjoy the balance in smell. I don't like when horse blanket dominates the nose. Taste is dry that fades quickly with little taste on the finish besides oak. The biggest taste is noticed at first sip with lemon and wine notes. I think this needs more time. A bitterness is also detected on the finish that wouldn't be so detectable if there were a sweetness to counter it. Beer is well carbonated leaving a good mouthfeel. A LOT of oak in this one.

08-15-2009 16:14:03 | More by carps12
Photo of Westsidebuddha


4/5  rDev -10.3%

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Pasadena, Calif.

Poured a light golden color into glass. Nice mellow sour smell with no head. Very nice sour taste with definite hints of fruits which escapes me at the moment (had a beer or two beforehand, doh). A good mouthfeel that wasn't overwhelming to the palate. Very good drinkability in which I could have made this my drink all night and be very satisfied. Glad they had this on tap.

08-14-2009 09:10:28 | More by Westsidebuddha
Photo of mikedashg


4.45/5  rDev -0.2%

750ml bottle of batch 004x2 all to my self, tee hee. I usually share this size bottle, but I really felt like a sour today for some reason, and it was a brand new bottle.

A- very cloudy golden yellow straw with a white foamy head into a stemed tulip.

S- A very nice sour apple, lemon and pear, oak,

T- Very complex. Again, sour tart apple, lemon, pear oak, also a little spice, white wine like, and a hint of mandarin orange. A little biscut/bread like. Surprisingly really balanced sourness and sweetness with a good amount of bitterness at the end. Not overly sour, not very funky or anything. I think a good amount of the sourness comes from the brett.

M- Very champagne like mouthfeel. Great carbonation (Bottle sure popped of it!). crisp, yet bitter finish.

D- Extremely drinkable sour and very balanced. Surprisingly very smooth too. Almost not as sour as I would have hoped for a RR wild ale, but luckily this fits a niche of a very drinkable wild ale

08-13-2009 02:37:43 | More by mikedashg
Photo of kbm


4.47/5  rDev +0.2%

On tap at Toronado. Two 8 oz pours. It is my third encounter with Temptation - first time on tap.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy straw. Little to no head (probably due to up-to-the-rim pour). Decent lacing.

Smell: Strong oak overtones. Sour fruit with tones of apple, white grapes and lemon.

Taste: Dry with moderate to extra tart sourness. Tones of sour fruit and lemon. I am definitely picking up the Chardonnay. After taste is sour apple with slight corn/grain. The tart resonates on the palate for a good while.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation with a light body.

Drinkability: It's a sipper but surprising drinkable.

Very refreshing on a warm day.

08-13-2009 01:28:44 | More by kbm
Photo of Beerisheaven


4.4/5  rDev -1.3%

Just picked up a 750ml bottle for my vacation. Fresh bottle from most recent batch. I will qualify this by saying that I am not the world's biggest sour fan, in fact, not a favorite of mine at all.

A - Pours a beautiful yellow color with a nice amount of carbonation. Creamy white head billows up from my tulip glass.

S - Delightful and somewhat expected from the vast amount of reviews on this beer. A slightly tart smell of brett and white grapes rises up to meet you. Not a nose puckering sourness for sure, just a slightly tart sensation.

T - Again, not the biggest sour fan so the fact that this beer does not overpower you made it very appealing to me. Tastes like a nice champagne is the best way that I can put it. Nice flavors of the white grapes and tart fruit.

M - Crisp, clear, and delightful

D - I drank more of the 750ml bottle than my wife so it drinks well, although this style is simply not my preferred. Splitting the 750ml and having the larger portion of the bottle was more than sufficient for me.

I liked this very much and went out and picked up another bottle before it vanishes from the shelves. Living in PA, the RR bottles show up infrequently (Damnation, Consecration, and now Temptation) so I picked one up to ensure that I could enjoy again later. Like I said, if you want to try a sour and are not the biggest fan, then seek this one out and give it a try. I think you will enjoy it.

08-12-2009 13:22:09 | More by Beerisheaven
Photo of beachbum1975


4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Thanks newtonty!

00X41 on the label - 750ml bottle.

Pours a cloudy, bright lemon with a creamy white head. Very nice...

Smells of the expected funk and sour, lemon funk.

I can definitely taste the oak and barrel in this one. The lemon zest sourness and mild funk is prevelant, but the barrel is the biggest part.

This is a very nice sour...I could drink this all night!

08-12-2009 02:09:24 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of rhinos00


4.4/5  rDev -1.3%

Thanks is in order for Jettanbass9, who hooked me up with this 750 mL bottle. Poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a radiant golden, straw yellow. Produced three fingers width of white head. Left some lacing as the beer was consumed.

S- If there was one aspect of this beer that wasn't the greatest this would be it. The brett is definitely at the forefront and creates a distinctive musty aroma. Given a swirl the oak comes forward along with distant smell of white grapes. Just a little too mellow and one dimensional for my liking.

T- The taste on this one just got better and better over time. Upfront a unique, white grape juice flavor kicks in...sweet and fruity. As the taste progresses, the beer becomes more sour and is cut off by brett and oak flavors. The beer finishes with a nice white grape tartness.

M- Light to medium bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation. Leaves a semi-dry feel on the palate.

D- Insanely drinkable...a tribute to the wine-like characteristics this beer had. I drank a 750 mL bottle with ease. Did I mention that the alcohol is virtually undetectable?

Overall, at first I wasn't too sure about this one. However, the flavors really came through over time. Truly does take on chardonnay charactersitics and is quite the delight. Hopefully I can land a few more bottles of this.

08-11-2009 20:40:30 | More by rhinos00
Photo of realmpel


4.38/5  rDev -1.8%

On tap at Father's Office in Culver City.

This is a great sour offering from Russian River. Pours a bright yellow color, hazy, with a foamy head.

The beer is delicious, with a bright sourness trailing into a mild grapefruit-like bitterness, eventually resolving into a light butterscotch flavor.

It's got a nice carbonation which seems to move the sourness around the mouth. I could drink a couple of these. Sadly, it's just about done on tap at FO; luckily I have a couple bottles tucked away for a sunny day.

08-11-2009 03:44:19 | More by realmpel
Photo of OlieIPA


4.15/5  rDev -7%

Opened this up with fellow BA...Mss. Aimstatus and poured into our Bruery glassware.

A: A nice golden hue with a big frothy 1-inch head...almost has a musky hefeweizen appearance. The only knock on the beer is the minimal lacing and head retention. Even with the lack of head retention, I was still able to re-create that initial 1-inch head with a heavy swirl or two.

S: Basically all tart sourness! A little bit of banana and perhaps green apple.

T: My first impression...SMOOOOTH! Robust tart sourness that seems to be prominent, but also subdued at the same time or balanced...whatever floats your boat. That blonde malt character also comes through a bit more, but again, the balance of sour and malt is superb. I also get a slight woody/oak in the middle and end of this beer.

M: Perfect carbonation and light on the palate...what you look for within the AWA style.

D: This is the perfect "session" beer! Several things are going on...and would pair nicely with BBQ or fish. I could literally drink this whole bottle within 30 minutes! Perfect!

Overall: If I were to rate this beer among the other RR sours, I would have to say..so far..that Supplication comes in first....followed by this and Consecration. A must try. Cheers!

08-10-2009 03:15:59 | More by OlieIPA
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,750 ratings.