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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,038 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,038
Reviews: 970
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 9.19%
Wants: 1,564
Gots: 799 | 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: 3,038 | Reviews: 970 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Anthony1
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass. The aroma is full of yeast along with light malts, tart fruit and some hops, plus the typical scent of oak barrel-aging. The taste is very tart and sour up front and on top of that escalates into a sharp bite, with flavors of yeast, lemon, green apples and some spice that lingers in the finish. There's a decent hops presence that brings some balance. The malt character is pretty thin. The after-taste is sour and slightly bitter. Smooth and very crisp, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, clean and very dry finish.

Anthony1, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of mkorpal
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on tap for $5 for 1/2 pint. Yet another beer that made me jump up and down for. Pours a crystal clear, straw color with a minimal head. it's really just a ring around the glass. There is a steady stream of carbonation bubbles rising up the glass. It could pass as a lager, but has so much more to it.

Smell is of mild barnyard funk, a bit of sour apple and grape, and a tinny bit of oak in the background. I may not have picked it up if I didn't know it was oak aged.

Taste is much more forward on the barnyard funk. I pick up more wine like notes in the taste. No oak in the taste, but it is still well rounded with the sour and the funk.

This beer is the definition of dancing on the tongue. Wow, it was by far the most interesting mouthfeel. The sourness hits you at first in the back of your mouth. But towards the end, a sudden burst of funk and carbon dioxide creates what I can almost describe as a chalky, alkaline feel on the tip of my tongue. I have never had something feel quite like this.

This beer isn't the most drinkable. But it is something I could enjoy drinking often. I was quite happy with this beer. yet another world class sour from Russian River.

mkorpal, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of bigfnjoe
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet. Batch 5x003.

A- pours a very cloudy golden/orange with a one finger white head. Lacing is the best I've ever seen, all the way up the glass...very foamy

S- FUNK~! Sour grapes. Getting a little bit of cherry too...probably from the barrels. Its great.

T- the sourness is actually pretty mild in this one...nowhere near as puckering as Supplication or Consecration. Its actually really light tasting...grapes dominate the flavor, but there's not a ton there. Mind you, its done very, very well.

M- carbonated perfectly, very light feel...I'd say the feel is perfect. You don't get too much of anything out of this.

D- hell yeah. Just enough sourness to get you going, not offputting at all. Flavors are nice and mellow...great beer

bigfnjoe, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of GilGarp
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 05X1E. 375 mL bottle with cork and cage.

After months of sitting on a previous batch 750mL bottle and waiting for the feeling to be right to open it, I finally see a little bottle of new Temptation on the shelf. Temptation is a funny thing.

Served cool into my Watou chalice. The cork is removed easily and makes a good pop. Temptation is a golden yellow color with a slight haze. The head is short and tight. It settles slowly as more effervescence rises to the top.

The aroma is sweet and fruity with definate sour undertones. It has a nice light tropical fruit character but it is immediately obvious this was aged in white wine barrels as it has a lot on common.

The flavor is intense but not overly sour. At first it seems light and sweet, maybe a little like a tripel, with citrus and pepper. Towards the middle I start to get the vanilla from the oak barrel, some of the chardonnay, and a bit of the four wild yeast strains. It's not until the end of each sip that the real sour qualities come through along with a strong, dry, tannic finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body, moderately carbonated and well-balanced. The sweet, sour, tart, and bitter flavors are all nicely integrated.

Overall an impressive wild ale and worthy of the accolades. And for seeking out!

GilGarp, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of jjh19
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright yellow appearance and fairly light.
Smell: Citrusey smells.
Taste: I got a lot of lemon and floral notes in my initial sips.
Mouthfeel: Pretty full mouthfeel. A little like white wine. Very interesting.
Drinkability: This is far from a session-able beer. At least for my tastes. But that's not the goal with a beer like this. I might not have another, but I'd recommend this beer to a friend who wanted to explore beer into this style.

jjh19, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of mklinger
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip. It poured a gorgeous deep golden that was crystal clear and highly carbonated. Nice firm white head. Great looking beer.

Aroma was all bright and lemony. Some nice wine-like elements in here, though no real sourness in the scent. Others report barnyard, but I didn't get much of that here -- Maybe a batch difference.

Taste was tart and sour with some wood in there -- very wine like in taste though there was some nice pils malt flavor, too. Crisp & very clean tasting for a wild ale.

Mouthfeel was light & bright, spritzy on the tongue. It would be ridiculously easy to drink several pints of this if it weren't very hard to get in Alabama and not so expensive. Great stuff.

mklinger, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of abuliarose
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter, revealing clear light gold bubbling body under a tall but quickly dissipating white head. Smells like fresh apricot, sour lemon, white grape, slight funk, some oak and a little tart cherry. Clean smells.

Tastes more little grainy and very smoothly sour compared to the older vintage I've had (this is the most recent). Pleasantly bitter. Nice gentle apricot presence along with some sweet white grape. Entirely delicious fresh and with age. Mouthfeel is tingly and a little dry, medium carbonation. Light to medium-bodied. Refreshingly drinkable.

I would have this beer every day if I could.

abuliarose, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of djbreezy
4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 375mL bottle.

Appearance - murky yellow, not much head, minor lacing

Smell - some oak and wine characteristics

Taste - dominate oak and Chardonnay notes until the beer warmed, moderate sourness

Mouthfeel - medium/heavy carbonation, medium body

Drinkability - a unique take on the style, nice complexity from the wine barrels

djbreezy, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of zoso1967
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served up a deep golden color without much of a head. I am thinking the lack of head is more the result of how it was poured than the beer. The little head that there is looks amazingly sticky, stays around forever and leaves frothy lace on the tulip.

The aroma is lactic and sour with some very nice apricot notes. It is sour, but not too in your face and has a complex aroma. Also present in the nose is sour candy, under-ripe raspberries, earthy oak and a sharp mineral character.

The flavor is quite interesting. Sour up front, but very complex in the middle. Barnyard funk, some skunkiness, lactic acid, apricot and full of unripe raspberry flavors. There is also a bit of citrus pith in the middle and some interesting sort of astringent mineral flavors in the finish. This beer is immensely enjoyable to savor, and has a flavor profile that is hard to describe.

The mouthfeel is medium and nice and dry. It is slightly sticky, but fairly clean leaving sour stone fruit flavors and citrus pith in its wake.

This beer is a trifecta of drinkable, refreshing and complex. I find most sour beers difficult to drink a lot of, but with this beer I could throw back a few and still enjoy. It seems to be the most sessionable of the "tion" sours I have had so far. Another big time win from Vinnie.

zoso1967, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of nataku00
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A recently released 375 ml bottle of batch 05X2F, poured into a Lost Abbey tulip glass. Hazy straw colored beer with an initial finger of white fluffy head. Nice small carbonation visible in the beer, which is nice to see after bottle conditioning. The head clings very tightly to the glass as I sip the beer, with little lacing as it remains in tight small bubble blotches.

Nose has a nice sourness to it, with some stone fruit (nectarine, apricot), passion fruit, and oak. A little bit of sour funk as well, but not quite as strong as the Supplication.

Taste is very nice, sour and funky (barn yard type of funk), with some of the fruit from the nose helping to balance it. The oak chardonnay barrels makes itself known mid tongue, leading to a nice buttery finish.

Medium body beer drinks very easily. The excellent carbonation combined with the oak makes for a good mouthfeel. Easily drinkable beer that can convert anyone into a wild ale fan.

nataku00, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of codewarrior
3.85/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cork and caged 375mL Singleton (Batch 05X1E), poured into a Balloon glass

Supplication is one of my favorite beers. It is simple, long (and well) aged, and gorgeous. At $12 for a 375, it is also expensive, but worth every penny.

Temptation .. is nearly $15 for a 375, at this price-point ... I expect sheer greatness.

L: Looks like champagne. Tiniest bit of head.

S: hearty and sour, with sweet and tart notes.

T: Starts sweet, fades into tartness, hints of licorish.

F: Light and bubbly on the palate

D: Good.

A damn good beer, but for the price, I'm still disappointed. Perhaps it needs time to open up? RR recommends cellaring for up to 5 years on all of their oak-aged beers, I will try that and come back to it.

codewarrior, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of crvcac
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Yellow and straw-like in color. Has the appearance of an English barley wine
Smell: White wine zin, grassy, hints of lemon
Taste: sour tartness, white wine grape,
Mouthfeel: puckering with nice carbonation. A comfortable sour.. not one of those off putting sours
Drinkability: Awesome

crvcac, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of Duhast500
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DaveJanssen for supplying me with this fantastic brew.

Poured from the 1pt. 9.4 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

The color is a glowing orange/yellow with a good amount of carbonation and three fingers of foamy white head. Some thick lacing on the glass.

The smell is funky at first. Some banana and a touch of clove. There is a green grape flavor that touches lightly on the nose and then comes back to let the sweet malt flavor shine.

The taste is like a jolly rancher or a sweet tart, very sweet and sugary that is sings in my mouth and brings about visions of green grape fun dip. It is a roller-coaster of flavors that hit me over and over and I really am amazed at how complex this beer is. Wow will not suffice.

The feel of this beer is light and really tart. The wild feel is welcoming and sweet to the taste buds. If you have this beer it is a pleasure of the senses. It really is what most brewers dream of achieving.

Duhast500, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This has always been one of my favorite sours. Pours a hazy strw orange color with a foamy white head and fine champagne like bubbles. On the nose you pick up granny smith apples, citrus with notes of oak and chardonnay. The palate is fantastic with apple flavors followed by oak, brett and small amoutn of baking spice. Overall this is a great beer, a must try for any sour beer nut.

WhatsNewinBooze, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, somewhat hazy, orange color, with a minimal amount of white foam on top. Not surprisingly, this one was a bit funky, but not particularly sour. Aromas of chardonnay, oak, green grapes and brett. On the palate, I get more of the same funky brett, green apples and oak. A very nice beer.

emmasdad, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of TheFightfan1
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought at the Trenton Road Takeout.Poured into a tulip. A slightly hazy color.Amazing look as the air bubbles start from the bottom and rapidly rise to the surface to add to it's lacing counterparts. Leaves very good lacing.

Smell is extremely dry like a fine wine. Crisp zesty lemon aroma's with a soft touch of grain and oak.

Taste is a grand slam. Extreme sour cherry slaps the taste buds, makes the lips smack and mouth water.

Mouth is lighter to medium in body. A heavy wine that wonders the palate and finishes crisp,sour and extremely bubbley.

Damn what can I say. I've had this on tap and now in a bottle and I can't choose which one is better. Amazing beer and one of my favortites from Russian River. Then again just about everything from RR is my favorite.

TheFightfan1, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of Brew33
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Temptation Batch 5

Temptation pours a soild gold color with a very thin white head. The aroma is good. Slightly sour, vinous, and I get a little bit of a cheesy aroma from the wild yeast. Almost Gueuze like.

The flavor is fantastic. Like all RR's wild ales the integration of flavors is masterful. Sour, but not too sour. This beer reminded me of Cantillon Iris a lot but it isn't nearly as sour as Iris. The white wine barrels impart a rather nice shot of wood into the beer. More so than in any other RR wild I've tried. The mouthfeel was PERFECT. Slightly creamy, medium bodied. The drinkability was off the charts. I could literally drink this all night.

All in all another fantastic beer from Russian River. An absolute home run.

Brew33, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near clear yellow with a two finger pale white head that dissipates to a small ring around the glass in a minute but never goes below that. Leaves some lacing down the glass. Smell is of sour apple, some green grapes.

Taste also has the sour apple and green grape notes, but is more complex, showing more of the oak and rounding into a nice faint bitterness that lingers along with the sour. The faint bitterness is the only noticeable remnant of the original blonde ale. Very very drinkable sour. Better than consecration, but a hair below supplication in my mind. Awesome brew.

HURTemHIZZY, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of Kaiser81
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005. 375 mL poured into a snifter glass

A -Hazy golden orange color with a very soft head...it dies quickly and leaves just a tiny bit of lacing on my glass.

S - Green grapes (probably from the chardonnay barrels) mixed with light funk and some sweetness. There may even be pears and apples in there. Very delightful, just not very pronounced.

T - Taste kind of follows the smell. Chardonnay flavors mixed with some light funk. Nothing over the top, but just all around very flavorful. Some light fruits, apples, and pears linger for a while.

M - High carbonation with a light body. Wish the carbonation was slightly lower, but it's nice.

D - Great sipping beer for any day. Though it seems fitting that I'm drinking this the last day of summer.

Kaiser81, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of Dspohn
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a corked and caged bottle, Batch 4 I believe

A. Pours a yellow to lighter orange with an abundance of tight little buddles. Decent head retention with some lacing.

S. A clean tart lemony smell that is followed by more pronounced horseblankety brett funk as it warms. Has some noticeable oak also. Quite intriguing smell, maybe could of used more of a tart punch.

T. Delicious. One of my favorite American Wild Ales. Its not super sour but has a very nice tart lemon/green apple flavor. Very bretty. Very funky. Very noticeable oak flavors. The brett/funkness is a little more evident than the sour light fruit flavor. There's also a nice bitter backing in the aftertaste. No apparent alcohol in the taste.

M&D. Nice refreshing mouthfeel, nothing crazy exceptional but quite solid. The muted sour aspect keeps this dangerously drinkable.

Note: I had this on tap at the brewery which inspired me to purchase this bottle. I must say I enjoyed the on tap version slightly more than the bottled version but did not want to review it while enjoying some beers with company at the brewery. However I may up the smell and mouthfeel slightly for the on tap version. Overall an excellent example of an American Wild Ale.

Dspohn, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of Offa
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an outstanding beer and in my opinion essentially a paradigmatic example of what a wild ale really should be like, very characterful yet restrained, complex, and exceedingly well-rounded and balanced.

Golden yellow, faintly hazy, it has a smallish but firm white head, slowly shrinking, and leaving nice lace.

Aroma is very much a wild ale, gueuze-like, strong yet not too strong, balanced and complex. It has faint sourness, strong yeastiness, light but definite funkiness in general, nice citric, acidic fruitiness.

Taste is very complex, very well-rounded and balanced, characterful and overall outstanding. The elements are firm yet gentle. Gently sour, citric, and yeasty with light juiciness, it has a light but very firm woodiness that takes over at the finish, developing into a long aftertaste predominantly characterised by fruit, mostly pear, and faintly yeasty grain.

Feel is firm but lively and light.

Offa, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a lightly veiled straw with a thick foam that expertly lingers at the brink of out-of-control. The head leaves a prodigious lattice-work of bubbles down the side of the glass that lasts for the rest of the evening and into tomorrow.

Light smells of lemon, biscuit, banana and oak are released by the foam.

Mouthfeel is appropriately light with vigorous carbonation that brings the tartness straight to the tip of your tongue.

The oak and white-wine flavors are at the forefront along with some lemon tartness that emerges late. There is very little of the barnyard-hay flavors that dominate other wild ales which makes this an accessible introduction to the style. The sour flavors are not allowed to dominate. The sourness fades out during a light, crisp finish. Those looking for a sour-bomb will be disappointed, but if you're looking for a pleasant, tart alternative to white wine that goes great with food, look no further.

On the pairing front, Temptation is a near-perfect complement to sushi. The subtle tartness melds well with the vinegar in the rice but is not strong enough to overwhelm some of the more delicate fish flavors.

chicagobeerriot, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of Stigs
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz pour from the tap at Cheeky Monk (Denver) - served in a chalice

A - bit over a finger of rich and bubbly white colored foam, retreats slowly and leaves random sticky lacing on the glass. the beer is slightly hazy, brigh golden in color.

S - rich and "floral" with a light (but very pleasant) touch of wild yeasty funk, lemony tartness, white grapes, oak, and cherries.

T - begins with both bright fruity and tart flavors of lemon and cherries balanced by a healthy live field and funky yeastiness. sweetness chimes in the second half with an abundant amount of oak and white grape meat. the wine flavors really come out here, moreso than maybe any other beer i've ever had.

M - meidum bodied with crisp yet subdued carbonation, allows the flavors to dance around nicely. just about perfectly dry in the finish, with some lingering sweetness and tart. a pleasure to drink.

D - its strongest suit is in its balance...sour and tart enough to ease a craving, yet not wearing or distracting. allows more of the subtle flavors to not only make an appearance but play around a bit as well, something other Wilds can suffer from. held up to my hearty and sweet breakfast, a great match.

Stigs, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of Gfunk720
3.8/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly fresh bottle of batch 5, shared with my buddy Nick. Consumed from my Harpoon LE glass.

A- Golden Straw colored, maybe a touch of amber. Pours with a light white head, not a lot of head and not much lacing.

S- Smells parfumey, with smells of funk and citrus. Touches of oakiness and wine.

T- Not as sour as I expected, more smooth and tart. Has a light touch of funk. The dominant tastes are oak and chardonnay, maybe even a touch of citrus

M-Quite smooth, with a touch of sourness. Has a nice tingly mouthfeel. Very nice and probably the most complex part of this beer.

D- Very drinkable, due to the lack of acidity/sourness that I am used to from RR's other sours. It's nice, and I drank it very quickly.

I had particularly high hopes for this one, as Supplication is one of my favorite sours. I feel like this was a good beer, but not quite exceptional. The sourness was there, but not really what I expect having had most of RR's other sours.

Have a few more bottles that I plan on aging, we'll see how it develops.

Gfunk720, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of gueuzer
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

App- Straw colored with beautiful lacing

SM- A small amount of funk,, balanced with lactic tartness, chardonnay and sweet blonde malts.

Ta- Ecstasy. The fruitiness of the Belgian blonde yeast plays off of the oakniess form the chardonnay barrels. The complexity of goat cheese and other funk flavors meld into the blonde malty goodness.

MF- Nice balanced carbonation. Low.

Dr- World class, this is one to be smelled savored and contemplated.

gueuzer, Sep 20, 2010
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,038 ratings.