Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

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3,093 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,093
Reviews: 974
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 9.19%
Wants: 1,573
Gots: 823 | FT: 45
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: 3,093 | Reviews: 974 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StormKing47
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with cmurren25, Jwiss22, JayW73 and Lane23 at a little tasting, another example of artfully crafted beers here's why...

A- A very appealing and pleasing hazy golden color with a slightly pale yellow hue. A nice amount of carb leading up to a slight off-white head. A piece of living and breathing art. It's a masterpiece: inviting, appealing and down right gorgeous!

S- Wow an array of aromas greet me. A pronounced earthy mustiness from the Brett is awesome, but the real art work is the crazy undertones of the chardonay wine and soft oak. It's a wave of sweet fruits, dry wine, woody earth and subtle vanilla. I love it and just want to keep sniffing and not ruin the experience.

T- A nice burst and punch of sweet grapes, sour grapes and earthy must. It's incredibly complex and every sip invites a new level of flavor. A slight warming and there is the nice and simple sourness with a very clean vanilla taste and dry, fruit wine finish. Utter indulgence.

M- A very nice light and refreshing beginning with a prickly and fulfilling finish. The slight tingle, the simple and clean tartness and slightly sour pucker are awesome. Then the nice and dry finish puts this one in a class of it's own.

D- Ummm, hell yes. The carb pushes the flavors all over and lets the experience stick with you. Fruit esters, tart, sour, refreshing and dry. What's not to like. A masterpiece.

Another beauty from Vinnie. I love almost all of there beers and this is another example of a world class brewer producing a world class beer. More please!

Photo of Verecund
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #200.

Batch 05x01E. Opened on 01.09.2011.

Pours slightly cloudy, straw-golden-bodied with a soft half-finger head that settles to a thin film-like covering. Bubbles stream upwards to the surface.

Temptation frontloads with tons of lemony citrus, green apples, green grape, and orange, following with a light, dry woodiness. The brett funkiness takes a backseat, complementing the citric acid and Chardonnay at the fore. Very clean, pungent, and rich.

Taste is much of the same, leading with lime, green apple, and pear which lets way to hay and bretty earth notes. Letting this one sit in the mouth, you can just let it breathe to experience its progression. There's the tiniest hint of clove, but most of it is swallowed up by the tanginess. Temptation, as is usually the case in life, ends with a slight whimper - there's a bitterness coalescing with an almost-mute, odd mineral note. Otherwise, this one has a lot of finesse.

Silky, halfway-between-light-and-medium-bodied with above average carbonation. Dangerously drinkable, with just a hint of dryness on its finish. Delicious.

Photo of 321jeff
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hello, old friend. It's been awhile. It's nice to see you again. This one is a 375ml Batch 05X2E.

Pours a clear golden yellow with about a finger of fluffy white head. The head recedes pretty quickly recedes to a thin layer that is constantly replenished by the numerous streams of bubbles floating up from the bottom of the glass. It looks nice, but not really remarkable.

The aroma is much more interesting and complex. A mix of oak, green apples, wine and of course, funk. It's not quite as potent as I remember, but all the key components are there.

The taste is very clean and crisp and not overpoweringly sour. I get a mix of green apples and grapes. It's got a very dry and wine-like finish.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with tons of carbonation. Very dry overall. Russian River definitely has the American Wild category under control. Temptation is always a treat and I can't wait to have it again.

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

This is an old review that was stashed away in a notebook that I just recently found. Batch 003 (375ml) thanks to ThreeWiseMen. Sampled on 10/18/10 and poured into tulip.

Pours out a murky golden color. A white head emerges and then dissipates to virtually nothing. When compared to the Consecration we just sampled, don't see as much carbonation when held to the light. Body clears up a bit in light but still cloudy.

Much different from Consecration. This is much more white wine smelling and sour. There is a bit of spice here but I'm not sure what it could be.

This is very white wine heavy in the taste. Also has much for funk/sourness to it than Consecration. This is also isn't too complex, sort of a let down when compared to the Consecration. This is a great sour but perhaps the darker ones are the ones for me.

Good carbonation here and it feels much lighter to me than Consecration. I do think the carbonation works well for this but at times it felt a bit thin. Finishes with a white wine taste that I'm not sure I'm liking.

A very good, drinkable beer, but it is much different from Consecration. While I did enjoy this, I think that the darker sours are going to be what I end up liking a lot more. This is still a great example of the American Wild style and I'd pick it up.

4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12,68oz bottle into Bruges tulip. Thanks stoney73.
A: The body holds the bright noon sun hue, with a assertive white lace from this strong froth. 
S: The first waft of this brew shows the plentiful sour dosage and hints at a gummy undertone. Intensity of the nose is high and overall complex note develop throughout.
T/M: Smooth up front and citrus flavor project before a tRt sour in the middle to end of the body. Oak presences is great and Chardonnay is there as well. Mouthfeel is lush is flavor and still very light and drinkable. Lingering finish shows high sour levels and adds another layer of complexities. 
D: A light character while being a big, bold brew makes this one a very drinkable sour. 

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

Impressive clear golden color with a nice foamy white head.

Some nice funky & fruity aromas abound. These develop more in the taste with sour pear & apple being the dominant flavors alongside the yeasty funk.

Bubbly and almost champagne like, it has a similarly dry/bitter finish. Very interesting and well done beer. Would LOVE to drink more of this. EXCELLENT!

Photo of rowingbrewer
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received in a trade as an extra from sideswipe.

poured from a 375ml into a champagne glass

Poured a slightly hazey deep golden to almost orange color with a nice slightly off white head with good retention.

Forget what batch number I got but i think it was fresh and probably would have benefited from a little bottle conditioning. there was a mild amount of funk aroma, with the hints of wine coming through.

Definetly some sour fruit notes almost like unripened grapes. also could detect notes from the wine barrel.

Mouthfeel was perfect, highly carbonated very light, and an extremely drinkable beer,

As this one one of my first sours it was probably good to have a young one that hadn't developed to many strong funky smells and tastes, since I have heard that some people are put off when they try their first sour and its to intense

Photo of leakyfaucet12
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter I drank this one as soon as I opedned the Box (thanks makdeco)

a- Beautiful Beer, Orangish yellow color that is cloudy with a offwhite head.

s- funky smell, horse blanket, straw type notes. Some fruit is in there and hint of caramel

T- Funky and sour is everywhere. you can taste fruits and a leafy aftertaste!

M- I really enjoy the mouthfeel on this one. Like a good champagne. The carbonation is there although very faint. I really really enjoy this beer.

D- Great beer. Definately one of the best uses of brett that I have had!

Photo of Axic10
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at TJ's 7th Anniversary Event.

Appearance: Pale golden with little to no head.

Smell: Funky brett, oak and chardonnay.

Taste: Tart, funky brett, oak and some nice fruit notes.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and dry.

Drinkability: I can drink this all day and all night and not get sick of it at all. Very good beer.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy yellow to tan color, bubbly with a so-so head but very nice lacing.

Smells as funky as any beer I've had. Tart lemon and white cake icing are the two things that first come to mind. Really funky with plenty of sawdust and freshly sawed wood (that's a good thing, I like the smell of sawed wood although I realize it's a strange descriptor).

Taste... WOW. No shortage of that. Powerfully sour lemons almost like someone was making beer lemonade and forgot the sugar. Somewhat like a tart and dry white wine. Some crab apple notes. Woody like sawdust, like being in a large wood shop. Some metallic notes.

Strongly carbonated and medium bodied. Fairly dry. Leaves a lingering tart aftertaste.

Hard to rate drink since I think this is my first wild ale. Thus I'll rate it as to how bad I'd want it again and possibly edit later if need be. This would be an occasional sipper for a cold night of hiding out from the weather, watching TV. I'd definitely drink again multiple times.

Overall a bizarre but lovely beer that I really enjoyed.

Photo of tburus
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Perfect pop of the cork upon opening. Beautiful pale gold opaque liquid with a two finger head. Fairly rapid carbonation climbing through the beer. Lace remains solid throughout the session.

Smell: Smell of apple cider and faint citrus/hoppiness.

Taste: Wow! Incredibly strong and sharp taste of apple. As it wears off a hint of bourbon/liquor flavor hits the front of my tongue. The smell did not prepare me for how intense the apple flavor was going to be!

Mouthfeel: Wonderful flavor profile leftover. Faint cider taste, no bitterness or booziness or carbonation. Amazingly smooth.

Drinkability: I tried not to drink this one too fast because I'm sure it's the last one I'll have for awhile, but I probably could have put down a whole case of them if available. Delicious beer and absolutely no let down from the expectations I had. Simply outstanding!

Photo of corby112
4.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Belgian Cafe.

I've had several different batches of this on tap and in bottles and always prefer the bottle.

Pours a hazy golden yellowish orange color with golden yellow hues hen held to a light source and a half finger fizzy white head that immediately fades into a thin ring. No lacing.

Funky tart aroma with lots of dry bretty effervescence as well as some earthy oak and light fruit. Hints of grape, cherry, strawberry and other berries. A nice combination of sweet, funk, tart and earthy oak.

Medium bodied and very well balanced with a very nice combination of sour tart/funk notes, oak, vanilla and crisp, light fruit. Although this beer is puckering with a very prominent dry funky brett character, it is probably the most quaffable of the RR sours. Lighter and not acidic/acetic at all really. Plenty of oak and vanilla from the barrel aging but also vinous with hints of grape, cherry and other dark berries. Puckering, mouth-watering dry finish that leaves me salivating for another sip.

Photo of Murchmac
2.88/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Drank this with a wine friend of mine who really enjoyed Supplication and Consecration. I have been expanding into sours more and more and thought I was ready for this.

Pours like cloudy urine almost, water, golden champagne look to it.

Lemon, sour, wood in the nose,

Taste was of sour apples, cidery for me. Lemony I guess.

neither my friend or myself enjoyed this beer. That being said I can see how others really like this, my sour palate isnt there yet, ill check back next year.

Photo of kojevergas
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into an Irish (real) pint glass in high altitude Denver, CO, on December 21st, 2010.

A: Pours a pleasant clear gold with a thick, creamy, four finger head of very nice thickness, brilliant cream, and excellent retention. Remarkable and appealing.

Sm: Wow. Fresh but moderate. Notes of wine, ester, fruit, hops, and even yeast. Very complex, but balanced. Hopefully the taste is similar.

T: Yup. To a T. Smooth open, complex, incredibly well-built body, wine-ish climax, with a multinote finish. The notes in the body bleed into the aftertaste (past the finish). Russian river's done it again, and this beer supports my sentiment that they may be the best American brewery operating today. Hides its ABV very well.

Mf: Nice balance between coarseness and smootness, wetness and dryness, but I should say the wine gives it an unnatural fizziness that could be better refined. It's bold, and it works, so this complaint is minor.

Dr: I'm not the first guy to reach for this style, but I am the first guy to reach for Russian River, and for good reason. Even a stout lover like me will appreciate this beer. Definitely worth trying, especially if you don't like sour ales. Its taste lives up to its title, though it may only be a fleeting temptation at this price point.

Photo of Jayli
4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you to both G311 and stonequarrywest for this brew! Long time want so a big THANK YOU goes to both of them!
375mL Batch 5
Poured in to my Brooklyn Snifter

A: This beer pours a murky hay-straw color yellow with a 1.4 inch of sudsy white head that recedes immediately. Fine wisps of lacing are left on the glass.

S: Nose is grassy, hay, blanket, sour apple, and sour grapes.

T: Taste starts with a very hay like, grassy, barnyard type funk that just sits for a bit. One that moves away, a soured grapefruit citrus comes in to give a little tiny pucker before moving in to a soured grape note. The apple flavoring comes in lightly in the finish almost as an aftertaste.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, crisp, clean feel with a drier finish.

D: Goes down easily, pretty tasty, not filling, nice kick and decent representation of style. I may go for some of the other RR Wilds, but this one is nothing to sniff at!

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

Poured into a Chimay Goblet. Pours a nice golden color with a 1/2 inch head that quickly disappears into a small island in the middle of the goblet. Mild carbonation noticable.
Smells of pale, bready malts, grassy hops, chardonay grapes, oak and a nice bit of funk. A slight floral note as well.
Chardonay notes are right up front with bready malts. I also taste some lemon zest, grassy notes, and a touch of wood. The funk is noticable but not overwhelming. My only complaint is that it is super dry. Makes sense being that it's aged in wine barrels but still, super dry.
Despite the price it is amazingly drinkable. Top notch sour, wild ale from one of my favorite breweries.

Photo of BDJake
3.83/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- fizzy dark blonde with a white, fluffy crown of head that laced beautifully and retained well

S- smells of chardonnay, sour cherries, hay, and an acidity i can't put my finger on

T- lemon juice, ripe cherry, wet grassy hops, and a very mild malt base to balance the taste

M- high crbonation, dry, with a uniquely sour finish

D- although i'm not the biggest fan of the style, it was decent in it's enjoyability but one pint bottle at a time is enough for me

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

Batch 3

Pours a very clear straw yellow, so i hold it up to my computer screen, and am able to read the text through the glass, albeit upside down and backwards, lol. The lace is like a wall on the glass, like curtains closed around an actor. but the show is just starting this time.
Characteristic Brett funk, both in the aroma and mouth it comes and goes not subtly but not lingering or overpowering, much less sour then other RR sours i've had. The natural raw fruit and granny smith character plays out in a grassy and wet straw like way, like you threw them all together in a bag in the sun during a hot summer day, and that's your lunch salad, covered in vinegar.
The mouthfeel is light and quick with a dry finish that stops short of puckering, which makes this one very easy to drink, while this is only a 375ml, a 750 would be easy still.

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

We had a bottle of this donated to The Bier Brewery on 11-24-10 by Mike Sprinkle.

A- Light, golden pale color with a bit of haze. Small head and little retention.

S- Nice brett character, you can definitely tell it is a funk beer that has been aged in chardonnay barrels.

T- Absolutely amazing flavor profile. So many flavors and layers of flavors. Acidity and sourness nicely balanced with the base beer.

M- Light, almost refreshing mouthfeel, crisp and highly carbonated

D- Very, very drinkable, if you like balanced sours. Needs to be served in brandy snifter for full effect. This beer is one to be savored and enjoyed.

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

Batch 05x1F

A- A nice, dense white head forms over a moderately hazed golden ale. The sharp carbonation fizzles out quickly.

S- Lemon and sour citrus are the first aromas noted. Wet grass, moldy hay and some musty oak comprise the funky characteristics of the beer.

T- Lots of lemon, which works well with the sourness. Its a nice middle of the road level of sourness. Funky flavors come out behind after the lemon. Grass, damp hay, rotting wood, some notions of white wine, mostly in the dryness. There is something on the back that I can closely relate to hops and it very well might be hops. The citrus opens up to a white grapefruit acidity and juiciness.

M- Sharp carbonation moves into a fluffiness. Dry finish.

Photo of mrgnwlkr
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got some good news and decided to take my third journey into the world of sours. Batch 05x1F, bottled 7/6/2010. Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip (remember, collaboration, not litigation!).

Delightfully bright and clear, with a color that reminds me somewhat of apple juice, somewhat of rose gold. Persistent streams of champagne-like bubbles. Slight, white head with moderate lacing.

Smells: white wine, mineral, oak, granny smith apple peel, brett. I'm usually pretty meh about brett aroma, but here it's amazing. Not so much barnyard or funk, but leather and outdoors.

Taste is slightly less transcendent than the aroma, but still remarkable. Pleasantly sour, with green apple and some yogurt (or am I just imagining the lactic sourness?). If you're patient, there's a nice hop bitterness underneath/behind the sour. Finish is short, and slightly chalky. The malt reminds me of a communion wafer.

I believe there's only one brewery in the US that's capable of making a beer like this, and that's a crying shame. One can only hope that Vinnie Cilurzo is inspiring a whole new generation of brewers to follow and (dare I say it?) improve on his success. In the meantime, however, I'm seriously considering moving to Sonoma County.

Photo of Iceman
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this one very much. Poured it into a large wine glass(suggested by this site) and enjoyed the flavors that poured. You can definitly the sour and wine tastes. It does not over power. The only complaint, not a big enough bottle hahaha. Worth the money big time.

Photo of olmatty
4.18/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance-Pours a clean beer the color of apple juice with a thin white head.

Smell-Not getting much. A bit of acidity and a whiff of barrel.

Taste- Sour like a white wine. Negligible hop presence. Bitter seems to come from wood barrel tannins. Sour and dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Thin with a palate washing effect.

Drinkability- An absolute pleasure to sip. Not overwhelming in any way.

Photo of cbarrett4
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip from tap at Belmont Station in Portland.

Zowie! This is one great beer! A truly odd and wonderful little monster here. Pours with a light head (typical of this style). Shows a lot of citrus with a slight funky twang. Well worth a try for any fan of barrel aged ales.

Photo of thagr81us
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 05X3. Big thanks goes out to nyrangerfan for this one in a past trade! Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Poured a hazy deep yellow with a three finger pure white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, tart, nice sour, and a little funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, mild tart, nice sour, and a hint of funk on the followthrough. It had a medium feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this beer made me say, "Oh my God, yes!". Russian River was spot on with this brew. It was very well balanced on the flavor and had quite an excellent aroma to back up the flavor. Not very much missing in this brew at all. Any Cali traders out there who trade with me in the future, feel free to send this as an extra as this is a damn good beer!

Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,093 ratings.