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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

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3,147 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,147
Reviews: 975
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,633
Gots: 855 | FT: 46
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-19-2003

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,147 | Reviews: 975 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bobheed
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 375 mL bottle

A: Poured a deep golden color, most comparable to tree sap. Very little head, but permanent lacing

S: Definitely sourness straightforward. When you smell it, it has that piercing sourness that hits you in the jowls, also kinda dusty if that makes sense

T: A very citrusy type of sourness, almost like a lemon balm, also has deep earthy characteristics

F: Very tingly and smooth. Very good carbonation, and again, hits you in the jowls on the finish

Overall, I really like this one. Can't say I've ever had a bad RR beer though. If you like wild ales and sours, this is the top one I would recommend. It was a very,, very complex beer though, so I will be revisiting it soon. Cheers, Russian River

Photo of Knapp85
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Temptation pours out as a pretty typical looking blonde ale, golden yellow color with a bit of haze to it. The head was foamy and white leaving a bit of lacing. The smell of the beer smells a lot like Chardonnay with a bit of wild yeast coming through in the back end. The taste of the beer is actually pretty good. I was surprised that it really didn't give off much of a pucker factor after each sip. The flavors of white wine, tart grapes and some wheat are what I'm picking up here. The mouthfeel was pretty good, almost refreshing. Overall I was very impressed by this beer. The flavors and the other elements that it brings to the table were really good. I wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy this one but it turned out to be a success.

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

Temptation, batch 05x1E

Served in GI silver goose white-wine glass. 

A: Pours clear straw with sparkling effervescence. The head lacks size, but makes up in retention. Great lacing. 

S: Brettanomyces makes its presence known immediately with barnyard and musty basement aromas. A little cheese rind, too. Some lactic acid and musty hay tickles the nose, as well. A bit of lemon zest and barrel?

T: Lactic acid sucker-punches palate. Then lemon zest, citric acid and musty hay come in. Less barnyard than expected, but it is still present, and gains strength in finish, which is crisp and dry. Medium acid. 

M: Medium body and carbonation, but relatively soft mouthfeel. 

O: Temptation drinks like an American Gueuze, if that makes sense. Nice balance of various wild yeasts and bacteria. Very good drinkability. 

Thanks hurfer for the assist!

Photo of AdamBear
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-golden with a thin head

S-sour lemons and white grapes. good strength

T-hits the tongue with a great tartness and slight hint of good funk. reminds me of lemon basil. some sour apple in there as well. it has a good lasting after-taste of lemon grass.

M-pretty good carbonation with a fairly dry finish

O-overall its more mild and average than i expected. it easy drinking. i almost swallowed it whole. something i wouldn't mind getting again if not for the price.

Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this brew several times now and have never reviewed it till now.

I poured this into my trusty DuClaw Colossus snifter.

A: I'll say that this is a burnt clear yellow color, with a mild 1/100 finger head that didn't want to give up... no matter how much I yelled at it.

S: Woody sourness for sure. Fruity notes and with a nice oaky disposition. Nothing too complex so far.

T: Subtle French oak. Sour, and with a big boost from my pal "Brett." Complex, with Granny Smith apple notes. However, I feel there is any sour readily accessible to the common RR drinker, this is the one!

M: Mild prickle from the carbonation, and very subdued in its sourness. This may have been due to the oak aging.

O: Great stuff, but definitely not my favorite sour by a long shot.

I want to thank my pal Huhzubendah for getting me interested in sours....

Photo of zrab11
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a cloudy gold color with a thin light off white foam head

S- smell is of dry fruit and oak. also has some floral and grassy aroma

T- Has a nice sourness up front followed by a nice fruityness and some lemon. Ends with a dry feel just like a wine

M-Medium bodied with great carbonation

O-Overall i didn't feel like i was drinking a beer. it felt like i was enjoying a nice glass of wine. I liked this very much and enjoyed drinking it but don't think ill seek it out for myself again. Maybe for my wife! Def. worth a try but hard to call a beer.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.61/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 375ml bottle.

A - Pours a perfect slightly pale golden color with some nice bright yellow hints. It is quite hazy but there is some translucence to it. There is a nice thin 0.5 inch head that is dense but recedes quickly to a nice thin film.

S - Nice fresh white grapes, buttery white wine with some nice mild tartness on teh back end of the nose. Nice funk with some nice woody oak notes that are very fresh. Quite delicious nose for this beer. There is some slight pear notes as well as apple and some good malty grain notes.

T & M - Wow! This beer is delicious. Dry woody notes, fresh yet funky yeast notes. There is some nice white grape juice and some nice pear and apple. Buttery white wine is tasted. The Chardonnay really pops in the taste but its quickly supplanted by some slight tartness that you think will explode but just gets sharp enough to peak your interest but not destroy your taste buds. There are some pretty nice yeast notes mixed in with the malt and slightly grainy notes of the beer. Awesome. Body is light and refreshing and CO2 is near perfection. Good brew.

O - Awesome RR Sour. Probably one of my favorites from RR. Really well crafted flavors and tempered sourness as well as some nice creativeness.

Photo of woosterbill
3.97/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle of Batch 5, poured into a tasting glass. Big thanks to Guy for sharing this solidly Top 100 brew.

A: Cloudy gold body with a thin wisp of fine off-white foam. Looks inviting enough.

S: Dry, winey fruit. Plenty of oak. Green, floral, and woody. Nice.

T: Much more sour than the nose, with rather prominent lactic sourness leading in to vanilla, lemon, and oak. Tasty.

M: Smooth, substantial without being sticky, and mildly carbonated. Pleasant.

O: I enjoyed this beer thoroughly, but really wasn't blown away like I have been by other RR sours. I'd really like to try an older bottle, and I'll definitely be holding on to my lone B5 bottle for a while. I hope it improves, but I'm sure it will be tasty regardless.


Photo of Viciousknishs
4.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a brilliant translucent golden color with a generous finger and a half of fluffy white head. Streaming champagne like carbonation is showcased. Amazing sticky glass coating lacing.

S- barnyard funk emminates from the glass with notes of horseblanket, goat and wet hay. Fruity esters blend with a soft chardonnay vineous oak and layered subtle acidity. A touch of dry biscuit malt with a slight hint of alcohol on the finish.

T- Tart and juicy fruitiness at first with a distinct white wine characteristic. Soft oak flavors drys out the spritzy start and adds some complexity. Slight phenolic edge with the bretty funk character coming through with a musty barnyard flavor. Ends with a dry biscuit malt caracter and smooth funky oak that lasts long into the aftertaste.

MF- rich smooth mouthfell with a medium body and fine champagne like carbonation.

D- extremely drinkable and complex.

Photo of kerklein2
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Photo of PerHops
4.64/5  rDev +4%
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!

Photo of tewaris
3.98/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Photo of deathcharms
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of claspada
3.85/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

Photo of LiquidBread219
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of csiewert
4.12/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Photo of Rifugium
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of biglobo8971
4.18/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

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'/

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.

Photo of dookiepower
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of megahurts4
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of abraxel
4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of wchollif
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,147 ratings.