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.

3,155 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,155
Reviews: 977
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,638
Gots: 859 | 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: 3,155 | Reviews: 977 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chalsk
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle shared with Leafs93. Pours a golden yellow color with a champagne like ultra thin white head. Has a tart aroma with hints of yeast. Has a sweet tart taste. Crisp. Very gentle bitters on the backend. Excellent brew. They know how to make sours.

Photo of billab914
4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 4 poured from a 750ml bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. It poured a pale golden color with a big and bubbly white foam filling half of the glass. It had excellent head retention and left some nice lacing as well.

The aroma is sharp with a good amount of tartness and funk to it. It's moderately acidic in the nose. A bit of a musty, basement like aroma comes through in the funkiness also. A bit of a sour grape, fruit flavor is present as well.

The taste has a bold sourness to it with more of a sour lemon citrusness coming through. It has a grape, apple, fruity and tartness to it as well. Towards the finish I get some of the earthiness to the Brett coming through. The sourness lingers for a while after the finish as well. Very nice and complex flavors to it overall.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with high carbonation. Drinkability is good, it had some great sour and tart flavors to it overall with some great depth. An excellent American Wild Ale overall.

Photo of movingtrain
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Staying in Philly for a few days, and stopped by Eulogy, a Belgian bar down the street. Grabbed this one to go.

12.68 ounce corked and caged bottle sampled from a hotel wine glass!

Pours a hazy yellow with a minimal, but steady head. Good carbonation throughout.

The aroma is quite sour...very earthy. Lots of goo funk in the smell. Hints of apples, sour grapes, funky yeast, light hops, and some really yeasty notes. There are some other complexities at play here, too. Lemon zest, cocoa powder, macadamia nuts, fresh cut grass, and wet leaves.

The taste is incredibly sour, but with a nice bittersweet finish. There are definitely notes of grape, cranberry bitterness, and something like a fruity, cake batter-esque flavor. It's a bit hard to define. It is aged in Chardonnay barrels, and there is some good winey notes to this beer, as well. It is complex, perfectlly sour, and delicious.

Overall, I'm glad I got to try this beer. I can't find any Russian River in Ohio, so this is a real treat. This is a perfect example of a finely-crafted sour beer. Well-rounded, flavorful, and drinkable.

Photo of grittybrews
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Batch 05x2E, poured a rich straw-gold into a tulip with a quick-receding finger of fluffy white head. Sweet aroma dominated by grapes with additional notes of apple, honey, melon, and slightly funky Belgian yeast.

Ample carbonation and a light, effervescent mouthfeel. Intense yet balanced flavor progression with slightly sweet and lemony blonde ale notes quickly overtaken by puckering lemon and green apple sourness. The lingering finish slowly transitions from sour to a more musky and slightly oaky profile and then, amazingly, back to a different dimension of sour again. I could try to pick out more flavors but I'd rather stop reviewing and just go enjoy this one.

Absolutely one of the more complex and rewarding beers I've tried. I wish I was able to have it more often, but price and availability make this one a special occasion brew.

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

Pours a pure golden hazed hue with a bright effervescent white head forming thick in my chalice. Aromatics offer up funky brett tones with hints of white wine acidity. Earthy herbal sour ale notes, this is something special for sure. Flavor has funky horse blanket, that coats the palate with acidity of the Chardonnay barrels. The brett and pedio are wild this ale is sour puckeringly so with barrel aged effects going on as well. Funky yogurt notes, barrel aged oak, sharp acidic tones this is pure sour ale. Mouthfeel is dry carbonation is effervescent body is in the medium range, I've had some nice sour ales recently this one is a bit rough with barrel aging but it works. Drinkability is fantastic the type of sour ale that puckers your mouth and gives you a full range of flavors during each sip. It's time to just make a pilgramage to the West Coast and visit Santa Rosa.

Photo of kiddynamite920
4.27/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very interesting color. Very vibrant orange with blonde highlights. Head is pure white and effervescent. Incredibly bright and vibrant looking.

S: Chardonnay grapes and funk. Who knew that would be such a lovely combination. Lemon and grassy citrus paired with some barnyard. The Brett aroma is just marvelous here. Balanced extraordinarily well with the crisp Chardonnay grape aromas. The citrus bite is very nice here.

T: Very citric, small puckering effect. The Brett plays very nicely here with the base beer. You sense some funk when the glass nears the mouth and enters the nose, but it doesn't come through exactly on the palate. Lemon, grass, white grapes. Just screams Chardonnay with a fantastic beer yeast.

M: Really like how the carbonation of this beer is high, lends itself well to the citrus quality on the palate. As it warms, it only gets more palatable. Great mouth on this beer.

D: Only wish I didn't have to shell out so much to enjoy this beer. Money aside, outstanding beer. Not a beer to be enjoyed often, but certainly to be enjoyed. The sour quality of this beer is not overwhelming which makes it a highly drinkable sour.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 375 mL corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter glass. Labelled Batch 05X2E. Served at room temperature.

Appearance: The first pour was nearly all head. After allowing it to settle, the second pour was about three fingers of pillowy white head with very good retention. Golden yellow in color and slightly cloudy.

Aroma: Sour lemon, some definite barnyard funk, some chardonnay-like fruit notes in there as well. Some tannic and woody notes in the background as well.

Taste: Not overpoweringly sour on the first sip. Lemon sourness is well balanced with the funk element. Some slightly bitter notes emerge as well near the end but are definitely not overpowering. The chardonnay gives this a nice fruitiness that counters the funk and sour notes nicely. Some oak notes also contribute but don't overwhelm. Very tasty and balanced.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and effervescent upfront, much like champagne. Slighlty dry on the finish.

Drinkability: The ABV really doesn't stand out and I wouldn't be able to guess it if I didn't know from the bottle. I could sip this all night.

Overall, another great Russian River beer and one of the best sours I've ever had personally. The balance of flavors and the subtly of all the components is brillant. Definitely seek this out.

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

750ml Batch 004

A- Opens with a super loud pop( i was half expecting this beer to be all over my living room table). Pours a hazy gold with a large thick white head.

S- Strong lemon smells come to mind with a good amount of barnyard funk, almost smells like grass.

T- Not as sour as i was expecting but thats not a bad thing. This beer tastes amazing. White grapes and sour apples come to mind but as it sits and warms the sourness dies down and more of the funky taste comes in.

M- Lots of carbonation with a nice light feeling. A little thicker than champagne .

D- Dangerously drinkable i could really drink this in session if it were readily available.

My second offering from Russian River and it was just as amazing as the first. I cant remember who i traded for this but if your out there, THANK YOU.

Photo of bohemiandonut
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My second time with this beer and I still don't know what to make of it. Other than this is the most I have ever spent per ounce on a beer and I'm damn likely to do it again.

Temptation pours out like liquid nitrogen or dry ice, heavy smoke-like vapors spilling out of the neck of the bottle. One gets the feeling he is about to imbibe liquid gold or diamond nectar.

Curse my mortal nose there is no recognition of this scent. It is lemony but sweet and funky, vinegared but not in a chemical way. Once it lets you in banana is there but nonchalantly. It all combines insanely to let you know you have entered the porous netherworld of shaven oak. This wins my prize for the most lo-fidelity of scents.

Sip after sip allows the strangeness of this beer to really sink in. In my opinion I am still being initialized into the flavor dimensions of sour ales and this is probably one monster of an initiation. I hate to admit that it is a bit much for me. I would like to taste a somewhat "toned down" version of this beer in order to see what's going on behind the acidic front. And without a doubt there is a LOT going on there. With Temptation more than any other beer I have tried (and I have tried a lot) I am able to taste the musky, the old-world, the decomposition of organics, and it is a dramatic, Biblical taste that fills your glass here. Take a moment to appreciate the microbiological aspect of this beverage. Okay now consume it.

It's hard to zoom out from the kaleidoscopic, mind-fuckedingness taste profile of this beer but it is worth doing. Temptation fills the mouth like no other. As alluded to by the snaking vapor that first met me from the open bottle, Temptation has a single place to go and that is everywhere. Picture writhing colonies of exponentially dividing shapes and cells. Yeah, you're drinking that. Go shit yourself.


Photo of scottfrie
4.36/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into Delirium Tremens glass. Batch 4x3 bottled 6/2/09.

A: Pours a hazy golden with a thick bubbly white head that slowly faded into a thick film that lasted the whole beer through and left an incredible fuzzy sheet of solid lacing down the glass. Beautiful.
S: Amazing notes of golden fruits, chardonnay, tart peaches, sour green apples and funky brett.
T: Follows the nose with complicated tart golden flavors, a touch of peach and melon, lemon zest and a delicate barnyard horse blanket funkyness. Aftertaste is full of woody oak and dry tannins that round out the flavors. The brett and oak are so well integrated into this beer that it is hard to describe. The vinous quality of this beer is also incredible. The chardonnay really took.
M: Wonderful mouthfeel with just the right amount of tartness to make this beer super refreshing but not overpoweringly sour. Medium bodied with medium-tingly carbonation. Finish is crazy dry.
D: One of most well-crafted beers that I've ever had and perhaps my favorite RR beer yet (other than Pliny...and maybe Consecration). This beer is so clean and drinkable it's scary. Over a year of aging has only dried this beer out and made it even more complicated. Well worth the price if you can get a bottle.

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

This much sought after golden ale pours a bright lemon yellow with high carbonation and a light, fizzy head. It's nearly translucent when held to light and sediment is almost non-existent (if it's there at all). It sort of reminds me of Squirt, but with much more body and the welcome addition of alcohol (of course).

Smells are a sour beer fan's dream. Lemon juice, a Bretty musk and the dankest of basements come to mind initially. There's also a slight milkiness that is most commonly found in Berliner Weisses, despite the fact that this beer is wheat free.

Flavor is oakey with a dry conclusion and a tart sting on the back of the tongue. Sweet cherry and some light spicing peak out as the beer warms. There's also enough lemon to give the cheeks a nice pucker. Yet, it somehow manages to be a subtle display of sour and if ample time isn't put into tasting, some of the delicate flavors could go unnoticed.

The 7.5 ABV is also quite hard to pick out, making this an easy drinking Wild Ale. While it may not be one of the most assertive of the Russian River beers, it's still a great effort that could benefit from more distribution (PLEASE!).

Photo of jpmclaug
3.6/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into my Lindeman's flute.

A - Clear, yellow body with a big white head on top.

S - Bretty funky aroma. Not especially pungent but you can certainly smell it.

T - Lightly sour taste but not much. A bit of brett but not much there. Light grape notes with a bit of oak. Real smooth and not nearly as sour as I was expecting

M - light bodied with a good amount of carbonation

D - Easily drinkable. Not nearly as sour as I was expecting and hoping for. A nice flavor but it just doesn't blow me away. I can go to the store and easily find several other sours that I would prefer over this one. I think I will revisit my other bottles at least a year in the future and hope they have developed nicely.

Photo of rwf08
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am not a fan of sours I found out recently. This beer however I find to be outstanding. I had supplication last night and did not review it because I passed it off to the girlfriend who loved it. This bottle is for me, I no share.

A: Dull yellow straw color. Looks like a macro lager. Thin white head that doesn't stick around.

S: Tart, acidic, and sour smells. Some oak in the back ground. Some white wine character, pear, sour apples, white grapes and some sweetness. Some funk but not too much.

T: Tart tannin rich and oaky. Pears, sour apples , white grapes and some light funk. This really isn't as funky as I'd of thought. So much acidic tartness rolls over the funk that would be there.

M: Thin and spritzy, dry finish and refreshing.

D: Great. I love this beer and want more...I mean this sucks and don't buy it. ;)

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a beer here... was super excited to try it, had it the other night with some friends in a huge tasting. This probably stuck out as most memorable for the night for me though.

Pours a somewhat pale yellow with moderate white head that recedes quickly. Smell is outrageous, big funky tart notes with a bit of oak and chardonnay coming out too.

Taste really kicks this one up. It's not super sour, but there's a sharp sour kick at the front, which moves into the oak and chardonnay notes, and finally melts into a creamy blonde ale with a lingering finish. Quite interesting, showcases all three components nicely throughout the palate. Very very good beer.

MF was pretty good, medium body with decent carbonation. It could maybe use a tad more carbonation, but that's about it. Coating, a bit of a dry finish, though not overwhelmingly so.

Good drinkability for a sour, it went away all too quickly.

Fantastic beer. Still a bit of a reach for $17 / 375 mL, but worth one try for sure. I'm a believer in all this RR stuff... but I guess I could pay $17 for a 750 of Cantillon and that would make me similarly happy.

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

I haven't been this excited to try a beer since PTE. So when I saw Temptation at the local wholefoods for $12.99 I immediatly
picked up three.

A: Very straw yellow color crystal clear with tons of effervesence. A very thin amount of eggshell color head.

S: Tons of sour oak in the nose. Definitely a dry chardonay aroma. Lots of Brett.

T: Not as sour as I was expecting. An almost cider like quality where you get some sweetness along with the tart. I do get some oak as it warms a bit. Not a ton of funk.

M: Very light and smooth. A very nice pillowy soft mouthfeel. Super easy to drink. Almost no sign of the 7.5%.

Overall: A verynice sour. Not as complex as a Supplication or Consecration but smoother and easier to drink. Not as sour as the other two either. I probably like this a little less then supplication but it's still a completely amazing beer from Russian River.

Photo of Douglas14
4.97/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Perfection has never tasted so good. And by perfection I refer to sour blondes. Then beer pours out a crystal clear straw color with a nice head that resides a little too quickly. In the nose, fruit, Chardonnay, slight oak and a perfect amount of funk from the Brett. The taste displays the same notes but the flavors are accentuated by the ultra-dry finish and slight bitterness. The refreshing lactic bite but nit overpowering sourness make Temptaion unbelievably drinkable. KILLER. BEER.

Photo of DennisD
3.9/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It poured from the bottle with a nice head. It is pale-yellow straw color. The aroma had sour and wine-like notes. Flavors included floral, lemon, maybe a touch of grass, and white wine characteristics. Smooth clean finish. Wow, what a great beer. Absolutely delicious. Very nice.

Photo of Anthony1
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of mkorpal
4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
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

Photo of GilGarp
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
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!

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.

Photo of mklinger
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of abuliarose
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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

Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,155 ratings.