1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,152 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,152
Reviews: 977
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,637
Gots: 858 | FT: 47
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Temptation Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,152 | Reviews: 977 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Luk13
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
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
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
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
4.26/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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
4.92/5  rDev +10.3%
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
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
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
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
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
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
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
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
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
4.55/5  rDev +2%
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
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
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
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
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
4.28/5  rDev -4%
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
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
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
4.15/5  rDev -7%
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


Photo of andrewinski1
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of ottovon
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

batch: 05X2E poured into my russian river belgian glass. shared with whiterascal.

A: pours out a clear, golden straw color with a thin white head. lots of carbonation running up the glass.

S: i get hints of the chardonnay wine and oak. has some acidity in the nose as well as some fruitiness (mango and hints of lemon). there is some bretty funk/musk as well leading to a nice earthy aroma.

T: i get a lot of chardonnay. it almost tastes as if i am drinking a chardonnay. it has a nice grade flavor with hints of lemon. you get a little bit of the oak in the flavor along with a nice earthiness and some acid.

M: it is light and carbonated. a very smooth beer at the same time.

D: i could literally drink this all night long.

Photo of veinless
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage: Batch 004

Appears hazy royal gold with ample pure white fluffy, lacy-beyond-belief head that crowns the glass and stays there as a half-finger cap.

Aroma is of sour melon, wood (from the oak I assume), funky yeast, floral notes, and lemon citrus. Smell keeps developing with time, with the lemon/flower scent coming through after the initial oak/melon.

Taste is intoxicating, with sour light fruit initially, and a woody finish, with plenty of others in between, including yeast funk, white wine, and a tart carbonation kick throughout.

Mouthfeel is fantastic, mainly due to that carbonation, as it rushes everything evenly around the palate. Beer is light while being well-bodied and leaves a nice dry coat around the mouth. Drinkability is really great for the style, probably because of how dry the finish is. This is a lot like a wine, and adds to it in so many different ways. Russian River just doesn't disappoint.

Photo of Casey10
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A great beer.

I cellared this for over a year and a half.

I decided to open it finally, wonderfull brew with some amazing taste, tart, champagne, all words that could be used to decribe this brew have been done.

Appearance clear yellow carbination like a champagne.

S - More wine like than typical beer amazing though your can really smell the grapes.

T - You can taste the tart garape like you would a wine but even better as it is beer.

A must have. If you can get this or trade for it you must do it so worth it great brew !!1

Photo of airohead2001
4.11/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Part I of epic RR tasting including Tempt, Sancti, Beati, Suppl, and Consec. Thanks to glazeman for contributing this one, as well as the other two rarities in the bunch.

The appearance of this one is a murky yellow, similar to most American wild ales I've seen. The smell is lemon with some booze, sour grapes, and funkiness to it. The smell is the best part of this brew - outstanding. The taste is sour grapes, lemon, and a ton of tasty oakiness in the finish. Very nice. Mouthfeel is appropriate for the style, and drinkability is very high. Not too sour, mut rather just some nice juicy grapes steeped with wood. I can drink this all night.

Photo of glazeman
4.34/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4

A: The beer pours a light, light, hazy orange with a 2 finger white head that has moderate retention and nice lacing.

S: The smell is of flowers, some berries, and acidity. There's a little bit of oakiness. Nice balance on the nose

T: The main flavors I get are sour grapes (although more sour than grapes), and some yeasty earthiness. There's a little bit of white wine, but I really don't get the "subtle oak" that's supposedly in here. Not as much balance as in the nose.

M: Perfect level of carbonation, and pretty good aftertaste. The viscosity is appropriate, though I found this beer a little viscous for the style.

D: I would have this again, but I'm not sure I would trade for it. It was interesting, but not mind blowingly special. It goes down easy.

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

Thanks to forgetfu for this awesome extra! Truly an awesome trader! 375mL brown glass cork and caged bottle. Batch 05X1E.

Pours crystal clear golden yellow hay color with some crackly white head.

Nose is light and sort of tropical. Very mellow, with some creamy oak aromas, and a little mango and lemon zest. Sort of like champagne.

Palate is light and fairly thin. Flavors of lemon-lime, funk, a little something like malolactic creaminess, roasted apple, a little earthiness (like chalk) and very similar on the palate to Grand Cru Blanc des blancs Champagne. Somewhat tart, but not scathingly sour - incredible balance despite the pale & light malt presence.

Notes: Fantastic and subtle. Really reminds me of champagne in a big way!

Photo of GabrielM
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There's not much I can say about this beer that hasn't been said already, so I'll just give the short and sweet. It looks, smells and tastes absolutely incredible. The mouthfeel is second to none and I could seriously drink this forever.

Outstanding beer.

Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,152 ratings.