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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
TemptationTemptation

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

3,084 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,084
Reviews: 972
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 9.19%
Wants: 1,569
Gots: 820 | FT: 48
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: 3,084 | Reviews: 972 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerhan
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 05X1E, 12.68 oz bottle.

Poured into a snifter, half an inch white head with lots of carbonation. Golden pour with a very opaque body.

Smells like delicious stinky funk. Very musty.

Tastes very much like a geuze in my opinion. Slightly sweet, very tart with a bit of raisin. A little grape and some oak. This was a rather fresh bottle and I feel like a little age may do this one some good. Not nearly tart enough for my standards but nonetheless delicious.

I was expecting a little more of a sour mouthfeel but this had about a champagne like feel to it.

Apart from the cost, this one mighty drinkable beer. I would like to get more to sample but in the meantime this will remain a rare treat.

Photo of ehammond1
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On Tap (2010)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A clear shimmering golden ale with beautiful carbonation and an appropriate thin white cap atop its head. Love it!

A biting aroma consisting of tart fruitiness along with some warm woodiness. Very nice.

Supremely sour and bitter; just about perfect! A biting tartness but with a surprising bitterness not usually found in other similar wilds. Balanced. tart, fruity, sweet, bitter: this sour has it all!

Thin to medium mouthfeel, plenty of carbonation, and some biting sourness--great!

Just about a perfect American wild. This one does everything right from the big things down to the little things. Leading with the out-of-this-world mouthfeel, the flavor and aroma aren't far behind. Spectacular!

Photo of Blanco
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

straw colored, minimal head, very little lacing. smells of funk, but pleasantly. slight vinegar notes. very dry and puckering in the flavor like sucking on a lemon. mouthfeel very "zingy." drinkability is as high as any of the russian river wilds. very nice, clean taste.

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

Got this 375mL from youbrewidrink in my last trade. Thanks, Joe! This is a batch 5 poured into my snifter.

Appearance - a hazy gold colour, with a finger of light head that drops pretty quickly, leaving a bit of lace just above the surface of the liquid, and a bit of a coating of small bubbles over top. I really like the colour a lot.

Smell - heavy on the lemon fragrances, with a good amount of barnyard smell, too. Little bits of oak poke through as well, but the lemon and the smell of clean stable dominate.

Taste - a lot of up-front lemon and oak, but the sourness is pleasant, not at all overdone.. The wild aspect of it isn't quite as dominant as I thought it would be. I like the balance. I expected a serious pucker when I took a sip, and I was happy (relieved?) to see that, while the funk and sourness are there, they don't overpower you. In addition to all that, there is a definite mineral character, and tastes of dill and thyme as well, which surprised me a great deal.

Mouthfeel - carbonation is champagne-like, and the acidity leaves the mouth waiting for another sip. I feel it in my cheeks and lips long after it's left my tongue. Very nice.

Drinkability - if I had another, I'd pop it open. I really enjoy this beer. Time to head back to the trading forums!

Photo of DoubleJ
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Show of hands: who wants Temptation tonight? Well, you ain't gettin' a sip of my 750 ml bottle from Batch 004x1, get yer own. This bottle has been in my possession for 18 months. On to the beer:

Bright sundrop yellow in color with lively carbonation and some haze in the body. The foam on top gracefully clings to the glass and continues to hover over the beer. One smell and already my salivatory glands are reacting. Big sour lemon is present, oak, a pinch of vanilla; very pungent at first but settles down in intensity.

The beer tickles the roof of the mouth as it enters the first few times. It's hard to pick out individual flavors, but I will attempt. Lemon (especially sticking to the lips), horse blanket, vanilla, oak, and modest acidity (for a sour ale) and pucker. The carbonation bubbles up in the mouth like a champagne, and it is extremely drinkable.

Que delicia! Chalk up another tally for Russian River beers that deserve to be talked about. But like the other Russian River sours, is nearly a dollar per ounce, so bring your piggy bank to the store.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.65/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle (05X1F) into snifter glass. Pours golden with a fluffy white head that leaves a ton of sticky lacing behind. Nose is funky, sour, tart, and fruity. Not as "wild" as the Supplication or Consecration. Tastes fruity and tart/sour with a nice oaky finish. Light mouthfeel. A dry, champagne-like, crispy finish. Lots of nice fizzy carbonation. A nice drinkable wild. Even more so the the Supplication and Consecration, because it's a little less "wild" and a little more "tame".

Photo of fastpass17
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork and Caged 375ml Batch 005x2F

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.

Photo of Luk13
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle 375ml batch 003, thanks to Glouglouburp. Beautiful peachy-gold body, lasting white head, nice ring and heavy lacing. Aroma of tropical fruits (pinneaples, citrus and passion fruits), some farmhouse, wet hay, brett and musty wood but not in excess. Close to perfect. Taste is sour upfront, some bitterness with a moderatly sweet fruity finish for the style. It's all about balance. Grapefruit skin and lemon rind, white wine and woody flavors. Awesome beer, I was tempted to give it a perfect score in every class because its beautiful balance and drinkability. The only flaw would be its sweetness. As I pour the remaining lees, the pinneaples seems to be more present. Damn, this rating is getting incoherent. Let's stop this.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden-orange color with a thin finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is full of white grape and other light fruits with some sourness and funk. There is also some oak as well as a bit of vanilla and some Brett.

T - Starts off with some sour white grape and other light fruits with some Brett funk and some tartness. Through the middle, the oak and vanilla come through with some more tartness and hay and other barnyard flavors. The finish is a mix of sour grape and chardonnay with some oak, Brett, funk, and tartness.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sour and dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nicely balanced sour. The barrel character comes through really nicely alongside all of the sour and funky flavors.

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

My second sour ever. Thanks to my girlfriend for helping me get a bottle.

Appearance:
A very clear yellow color with a single finger of head that dissipated in the time it took me to get to this sentence since clicking review. Carbonation bubbles.

Smell:
Kind of like white grapes. A champagne smell maybe, no hints of alcohol. Semi-sweet.

Taste:
More of that sourish white grape flavor, with hints of orange peel and lemony citrus. It's like a sour candy! Lots of character in this one. Slightly sweet malt flavor, definitely sour instead of bitter. I'd call it delicious.

Mouthfeel:
Thicker than I was expecting, and it kind of washes over your mouth and sticks to you. It leaves a bubbly sour film, which slowly slips away, leaving you feel like you've just eaten sour candy.

Drinkability:
Reasonably high. Due to the price and sourness (my tongue starts to hurt after too much sour), I couldn't drink several of them, but on the right night, I can definitely drink one and really enjoy it.

Photo of eagles22
4.93/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful clear light golden body with a 2 finger foamy white head.

Smell: White wine grapes and lemon on the nose with barnyard funk from the brett.

Taste: WOW! sweet white grapes up front with a nice tart finish of lemon and barnyard funk

Mouthfeel: very good carbonation on this brew. leaves you wanting more

Drinkability:off the charts

this is world class brew from RR

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

265th review on BA
Draft to chimay goblet

App- Soft golden yellow with a fast receding one finger head. Thin lacing down the goblet as it settles after sip.

Smell- Very tart with a subdued grape note and a muted oak note.

Taste- Soft sweet citrus. Not as tart as I would have thought it would be. Had a commanding taste with a nice white wine note. Didn't pick up too much of the Brett in this taste.

Mouth- I didn't find this one to be mouth puckering tart or sweet. A nice light/medium body with a high carbonation.

Drink- This was a good beer on tap. I was expecting a more puckering sweet beer but this was quite nice and drinkable. Dangerously so.

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
3.93/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this in an 110z. Belgian glass at the Russian River brewhouse.

Appearance: Golden yellow. Slightly unfiltered. It has little to no head that evaporates quickly.

Smell: White wine grapes. Faint balmy notes that are really overpowered by the Chardonnay barrels that the beer is aged in. Hints of bread. This beer gets better after a few initial sips as the ale notes begin to compete with the intial shock of the wine smell and taste:

Taste: This is a weird experience for me because I am not much of a wine drinker. I appreciate the idiosyncrasy of this beer and am willing to overlook its aging process. The belgian qualities of this beer become discernible if you concentrate hard enough. Banana esters develop with time in the cup.

Mouthfeel: Mediu bodied. Swishes well in the mouth. finishes well.

Drinkability: I am personally turned off by the wine taste but I do think this is a good ale. I'd reccomend it to people who like wine and would like to try a fine beer.

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

Pours golden in color with lots of carbonation through it. Fluffy clear head sits on top of the beer. Good head retention, with lots of lace on the sides of the glass.
Musty aromas of Brett, apple and pear.
Lots of funky barnyard flavors from the Brett. The beer also has some sweet fruit flavors of apple, pear, and white grapes from the chardonnay barreling.
Smooth mouthfeel with good fizz from the carbonation. The finish is slightly dry, tart, and refreshing.
This was a great beer, excellent balance, complex flavor. Russian River does not make a bad beer and this one is no exception to that.

Photo of Slatetank
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks so much to tenderbranson69 for bringing this to our wild ale tasting -poured from the 375 ml into a tulip chilled. Batch 05x1

The color is golden like sparkling apple juice with light haziness and thick band of white atop with tiny beads stacked upon each other. There are streamers of lace left adhering to the glass after the head settles. the aroma of malt and sour odors combine and are graced by the esters derived from the wine barrel which have wood notes and light fruit w/ mild hop aroma accompanying. the wild yeast scent is strong with both floral and fruit notes and acidic tangy smell is present in the aroma. Both mild hop in the feel and yeast texture which has lactic sourness and with tart aspect that are also fruity but not too forceful -delicate balance is shared between the bacteria and mild astringency w/ light touch of hop spice and alcohol. The wood provides a nice accent to the sour elements.

The wine action gives way to herbal and tannic tastes w/ a sour white wine grape flavor up front. I must say I didn't notice as much wine barrel contribution when I tasted this on tap, but it is pretty apparent in the bottle -not sure how long this one was cellaring. The slight tropical element is a nice addition to the vinous qualities in this with slight spiciness from the yeast and hops. The hop presence is more assertive than in other wild ales which I enjoy -it is just enough to add to the fruitiness from the bacteria and not too much. I found myself really holding this in my mouth longer to pick out more of the flavor until a semi dry finish as it is swallowed. This is truly great - A beer I could never get tired of -the hop, barrel and blend of wild yeast and bacteria are all playing and major part w/ lots of strong flavors, yet it is pretty easy to forget the abv and drink it like its juice. I appreciate the effort it takes to produce a quality brew like this.

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

Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a tulip. Batch 05X1E.

Appearance: With a slow pour to keep the yeast sediment out, Temptation pours a golden yellow color, slightly hazy with a modest white head. The head retains nicely and leaves a thick sheet of lace all the way down the glass.

Smell: Some barnyard funk, tons of oak, and great tart golden fruits. Tart apples, pear, and white grape are all present. A bit of grassy hops close out the aroma.

Taste: The sour flavors kick in right away. Sour green apple is the first flavor on the tongue, along with white grape. A huge acidic oaky flavor, from the Chardonnay barrels, complements the grape well. The Bretty funk and sour character builds and takes control after a brief grassy hop flavor toward the end of the sip. The finish is very sour, and the sour flavor lingers.

Mouthfeel: This definitely causes me to salivate profusely and my cheeks to pucker. Mostly crisp with a subdued smooth creaminess contained in the medium carbonation. The body feels a bit above medium. The oak definitely makes its presence known, and it is somewhat dry and quite acidic.

Drinkability: This is one of my first ventures into the realm of the true sours, and I enjoyed the trip. The nose and flavor are complex and interesting, and this may lead to a new obsession. The candidly sour flavor will not let you down this quickly, but it will be a fun glass.

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

batch # 05x1F pours a nice golden color with just a slight haze and a white head that really holds well and leaves lots of lace. surprising for an "american wild" ale. nose is sweeter than expected, with white grape, lemon, lemongrass, white pepper, cotton candy/bubblegum, and wet rock (and a touch of goat?). booya...! taste is tart and acidic, and this is where this beer is set apart from the rest of them. flavors are near perfectly balanced, and the flavor profile of the base beer seems to mimic a white wine, with flavors of bosc pear (among other fruits) and spice from the malts and yeast being harmonized with, then amplified by the flavors of chardonnay from the barrels, creating something that is for sure better than the sum of both of their parts. it is obvious that this is aged on chardonnay barrels, but at times it is not obvious which flavors are coming from the beer and what flavors are coming from the barrel. very very well done. seems like lemony acidity hits first to open the palate up for flavors of wood and fruit to slide down, leaving a distinct wet-rock and spice taste lingering for a second before a slight alcoholic warmth wraps it all up. medium body. long finish. virtually no aftertaste. this beer is elegant, well done and awesome. pure artistry. creative and innovative, and pushing the boundaries the way I would like them to go. I am hoping that in ten years, beers like this will be run-of-the-mill. thank you vinnie!!

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

375ml poured into a Russian River '-tion' glass. Much thanks to thedindaniel for this bottle, thanks Daniel!

Batch 05x1E

My second wild ale from Russian River, this changes the barrel to a Chardonnay variety. Also doesn't use the two souring bugs that were in Consecration (Lacto and Pedio).

A - Pours a pale straw color, and very carbonated. Builds about a finger, finger and a half's worth of head, but unlike Consecration, it doesn't immediately and noisily fizz away, but rather stays as a thick cap for a pretty long time. This great retention could be attributed to the very active carbonation; wave after wave of bubbles rise from every possible spot on the bottom of the glass to replenish the head. Lacing is thin and sporadic, yet certainly noticeable.

S - The smells is crisp, dry and refreshing, bringing notes of grass, lemon zest, grapes, and a bit of sourness as well to the mix. Definitely able to get the grape influence from the Chardonnay barrel, and smells eerily similar to a glass of wine.

T - The taste has me confused. Is this beer or wine? If it weren't for the slight carbonation and sourness, this could easily pass for Chardonnay. The grapes really pop here and linger throughout the entire taste and into the finish. The lemon comes through in the tartness as well along with the freshly cut grass. Not anywhere near the mouth-puckering sourness of Consecration, but it does hit with a good dose of tartness.

M - Mouthfeel is light-bodied with surprisingly low carbonation given the onslaught of bubbles that can be seen in the glass. Tart but not overwhelmingly so. Finish is moderate with hints of grape, lemons, and sourness.

D - Drinkability is high. This beer goes down extremely easily due to the lack of Pedio and Lacto that are so apparent in Consecration and honestly has the flavor and similarities to a bottle of middle of the line Chardonnay. Great to reserve for special occasions and if I lived anywhere near to a distribution channel for this I'd stock up for the cellar as well.

Photo of nniicckkww
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a chalice. Pleasant cork 'pop.' Fizzy with a hard pour with quickly dissipating head. No lacing on the glass. Yellow golden color with the slightest haze. Sour apple aroma very similar to a chardonnay (crisp, not the buttery kind).

Lively carbonation. Slight funk dominated by sour apple, lemony citrus and wine. Delicious. Clean, crisp finish. Almost more wine like than beer. I'm amazed that this doesn't have any grapes fermented in it and is composed of grain. The malt has been transformed into something that doesn't resemble malt based fermented beverages. I want a wine snob to try this. Utterly complex. No perceivable bitterness, but not sweet. Dry finish with a mouth smacking tannic undertone. Yum.

An amazing sour. My wife LOVES it as well.

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 05X3

Body is a clear yellow gold. Half-inch head pour dissipates quickly to a collar with no lacing.

Very much a white wine (chardonnay) aroma, with oak wood and vanilla, some barnyard funk and band-aid, and bready malt background.

Tastes of malt and white grapes up front, then lemony citrus, finally turning a little citrus peel bitterness in the dry finish. Has lots of acidity, but is not vinegary--more like a highly acidic wine, but definitely a lemony dimension.

Body is light and carbonation is fizzy, giving this a refreshing, crisp mouthfeel. Really scrubs the palate clean.

This is a delicious sour beer, low ABV, very drinkable. While this would pair with lots of food, I'd love to pair this with roast chicken with lemon, garlic, and rosemary and some frites.

Photo of drink1121
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nov 2009 Shared a bottle with kfsv034
A- Pours a light straw with a big white head. Bubbles coming up from Duvel laser cut glass.

S- Light oak and butter up front with some sour apple and grapes. Smells like sour dry champagne.

T-More sour taste than smell. I get some oak at the end. Fairly complex, but not crazy.

M-Pretty heavy carbonation, but not too much. Slippery mouthfeel, very base-like.

D- Great for a sour, I usually cant have more than one sour in a night, but I could have some more of this.

Feb 2011 Batch 4 x 4 poured into a wine glass.

A. Pours a straw yellow with light white head. Lacing down the glass. Pretty hazy, but yet pure.

S. Slight sour white wine. This beer is so vinous, but not in your typical red wine fashion, it's unreal. Tart apple, vanilla oak, and a decent amount of funk - like mildew stale dirt funk, but of course in a good way

T. Vinous in a white wine kind of way again. Very similar to smell with out that funk and a bit more sour. You don't get that stale earthy taste like in the smell. Kind of a bit more muted than the smell in terms of layers because the sourness dominates.

M- Moderate to heavy carbonation. Not thick nor thin, somewhere in between

D. I have had 2, 8 oz. pours already and will be revisiting after a porter to break it up. Love this beer and I mean love

Photo of morimech
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #1000

Batch 05X2E

Slightly hazy golden color with one finger of head that had good retention. The head slowly settles to a thin cap. Heavy sticky lacing is left on the glass.

Has a barnyard funk but it is not overpowered by it. The oak Chardonnay barrels play there part as well. A fruity undertone runs throughout the aroma.

Mildly tart and mildly funky. This allows the barrel aging to come out more. Slightly fruity and vinous. Finishes very dry.

Light and effervescent body. Love what Russian River do with their sour bodies.

Another amazing beer from Russian River. Not my favorite of theirs but well worth seeking out.

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

now i havent had many sour ales and i figured i would give this one a try as i was bottling my homebrew.
poured a light yellow. breat carbonation and oak notes. this one reminds me of consecration.
aromas are sour and chardnay like. very inviting and not offensive.
starts with a slight tart and carbanation buttles begin to help spread the flavors. hints of grapes and raison and some oak for sure. well balance. i enjoy the complete mouthfeel but i think it would do much better on a warm day paired with some fruit.

Photo of THECPJ
4.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 2/2/2011

A: golden yellow with a 1 finger white head, dissipates quickly, leaves some lacing but incnsistent

S: sour, grapes, and a slight floral undertone.

T: this almost resembles a wine or champagne, sour, grapes

M: mild carbonation, crisp

D: it's not bad, but not extraordinary, I would compare this to a carbonated chardonnay

Cheers!
The CPJ

Photo of andrewinski1
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks a bunch to nerd for hooking me up with this one and many more. Poured into a chalice. Light golden color with effervescence and a nice white head of about half an inch that leaves a bit of sticky lacing. The clarity is stunning; no haze at all.

Nice okay flavor with mild sweetness and a hint of vanilla. A nice dose of grapefruit and tart citrus follow. Really nicely balanced aroma.

The taste is identical to the aroma. Nice mellow oaky start that has a nice subtle malt sweetness to it. The finish is strong with lemon rind and tartness. Nice balance here; makes for an enjoyable drink all around.

The mouthfeel is sharp enough to have a champagne-like feel to it. Great drinkability for the style; none of the flavors dominate and work really well together.

Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,084 ratings.