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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,832 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,832
Reviews: 958
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,548
Gots: 763 | FT: 44
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: 2,832 | Reviews: 958 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of warmstorage
4.05/5  rDev -9.2%

Acquired in a great trade with urwatuh8. Thanks!

375ml bottle, states "Batch 003" but no other dating.

Appearance: pours a hazy bright golden orange. Light white head, moderately dense, dissipates rapidly, leaves lots of small lacing dots.

Aroma: sour and tangy, hints of citrus fruits, mostly lemon and maybe tart oranges.

Taste: sour sour sour! Lemon, very light hints of tangerine maybe. But the sourness is definitely the player here. The Brett comes through, though if I get another bottle at at some point, I'd like to see what it would be like in a year or two.

Mouth: Light and tingly, the Brett and sourness makes it slightly sharp. Limited to no alcohol warmth evident. Dry.

Overall: Very tasty, very drinkable beer, especially for the style, though I have to agree with others that it's a little one-dimensional. I'd buy it, but I'm not sure I'd pay the $13 it commands.

warmstorage, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
3.65/5  rDev -18.2%

12.7 oz. bottle, Batch 003

A: Pours a golden yellow, with a voluminous white head, with thick, sticky laicng and good retention.

S: Earthy brett jumps out at first, then lemongrass, honeysuckle flowers, and light sugar.

T: Big flavours of sour lemon juice hit first, white grape juice in there as well, but it is much more secondary. The dry brett comes in in the aftertaste giving a raw funk, but it has a certain lightness about it. The acidity is there all the time, but I feel it can take over the flavour profile at times and be too harsh.

M: Quite tart, and bone dry, and has a lingering acidity on the palate. Fairly light-bodied, and has a creaminess in all of the carbonation.

D: In the end a tasty wild ale, but not up there with Supplication, which I think is one of the best beers I've ever had, moderately complex, I'll buy it again next year and delve through it some more.

Halcyondays, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of Rzzzzz
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%

Batch 3

Poured into a wine glass, golden color, slightly cloudy with a creamy white head that could pass for whipped egg whites. Aroma of oak, grapes, apples and brett funkiness. Flavors include tart green apples, chardonnay, malt and oak--very well balanced. This blend of flavors combined with a refreshingly smooth, beery mouthfeel makes for a unique and very pleasant imbibing experience. That's fancy talk for "this stuff is damn good."

Rzzzzz, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of Lothore
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

A- Pours a nice tangerine color with a huge, frothy white head that reminds me of orval.

S- Smell is definitely has some sourness and barnyard funk but also carries with it some sweet fruits.

T-Taste is sweet and fruity at the beginning followed by deep oaky chardonnay flavor which then rolls into an intense sourness.

M- Very crisp and dry with quite a bit of carbonation.

D- Great one to just sit and sip on. Doesn't get old very fast. Flavor is not as complex as some of the other Russian river beers I have had (Deviation especially) but I like how you don't have to think about it. It just seems pretty straightforward.

Lothore, Apr 18, 2008
Photo of Tdizzle
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%

Batch 003 poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A- This beer pours a slightly cloudy straw color with a massive white head that takes a long time to settle, leaving sheets of web-like lacing on the glass.

S- Lots of funky sourness along with strong aromas of white wine and oak. There are grassy and floral notes in there too.

T- Very sour at first, with flavors of white grapes and lemon. The finish leaves a nice oak flavor on the palate. This beer leaves you wanting more after every sip.

M- A medium-bodied feel with lively carbonation, but the carbonation is light enough to give this a very smooth feeling in the mouth.

D- This is a pure joy to drink. The sourness is intense, but it's balanced out extremely well by the subtle oak flavors. The alcohol is masked very well too.

One of the best sour beers I've had. A must try.

Tdizzle, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of Overlord
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%

Very excited to try one of these Russian River barrel aged releases.

Pours a semi hazy golden cololr. Surprisingly robust white foam head that lingered for a good five or ten minutes. Like all RR brews, fantastic mouthfeel. Bubbling champagne-esque carbonation that really enhances and lightens the flavor.

The smell is biting and promises a delicious funkiness. Vinegar tones, a citrus zest you can almost taste through your nose, and a hint of yeast.

The taste is explosive. Sour funk, tart unripe applr and fruit, vinegar, and that difficult to explain zesty lemon

Overlord, Apr 11, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.68/5  rDev -17.5%

Rerate -
Gigantic 3 Liter bottle shared at tasting. Huge thanks for the chance to enjoy such a fantastic beer and so much of it! Pours a nice glowing orange color with a lasting foamy and bubly white head. Smell is slightly oak, some bret, and fresh dry citrus rind. Taste was mild, a slightly citrusy quality and very oaky with some mild sourness. Quick finish, and incredibly drinkable, I thought. Thanks again!!

JDV, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of bcm119
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%

Hazy straw color with a fizzy white head. Tart fruity aroma with bready yeast. Bright, tart fruit flavors. Vinous with very complex, musty yeast dimension. Lively on the tongue, with deep complexity yet light and bouncy mouthfeel. A champagne-like nutty creaminess mid-palate turns to a crisp and zippy finish, leaving green fruit and soft bitterness in the aftertaste. With warmth it becomes slightly less lively and a bit creamier, and the bready/nutty complexity increases. Overall very interesting and very well done, with all the right subtleties and absolutely no unwanted flavors.

bcm119, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of Mudpuppet
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%

Thanks to JeffKenner for the chance to try this.

A- Poured into a snifter from a 375ml corked and caged bottle noting it is from Batch #002. Pours a bright orange-yellow with a nice white pillowy head. Carbonation bubbles are rising up the beer as it sits. Beautiful beer.

S- This has a nice sour nose but not pungently sour. Some definite funk but not barnyardy. Citrus notes like lemon and orange with a slight grapey nose.

T- I got a hit of the chard grape in the beginning followed by some sour pedio and lacto notes. The finish get a drier and a bit more sour. You get the chard barrel leftovers in this beer very nicely. It isn't overpowering but just right. I get some Brett funk throughout this beer but at no point does it overwhelm the more subtle flavors. This is a great beer. I would like to try this without the wine notes too.

M- This is a really nice beer in the mouth. The carbonation makes it seem almost creamy when you are drinking it. I can see why they had to recork the bottles b/c this is about max carbonation I would want in a beer. It fits the style perfectly though.

D- This is another stellar offering from Russian River. I cannot wait to try more of their beers in the coming years. I could drink this beer all night.

Mudpuppet, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of willjschmidt
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%

Poured from a 375 ml bottle (marked batch #2) into the appropriate Russian River barrel aged beer glass.

A: Pours an orangish color with a big fluffy white head. There was a little bit of foaming when the cork was popped but nothing too bad. I did open it very cold as per the instructions on Russian River's site. Excellent lacing as well.

S: Quite a bit of funk in the nose as well as some light fruit.

T: As it usually goes with their brews, this one is entirely one of a kind. Quite complex and very unusual. Quite a bit of fruit: pears, apples, and white grapes. The finish is very tart and dry.

M: Medium bodied with very fine carbonation.

D: Probably my favorite and the most drinkable of Russian River's wild ales. Definitely worth trying for the unique example of what can be done in the wonderful world of brewing.

willjschmidt, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%

Batch 002
Pours a light golden in color. Has a nice thin head sitting atop.
Taste is almost the perfect combination of sourness and carbonation. This is really enjoyable. There is a definite impact from being aged in wine barrels. There are subtle hints of oak and wine. Nice and medium creamy on the mouthfeel. The Bret is perfectly done here. This is my first Russian River beer, and I'm quite impressed.

FtownThrowDown, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of seaoflament
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%

Bought a bottle at O'Brien's for $20. The bottle list said this was a 2006 vintage and the bottle stated this was Batch 002.

The beer couldn't wait to get into the Chimay chalice as the foam started gushing out of the bottle. Pours a pineapple juice/apricot color. Surprisingly there is very little foam once it was poured into the glass.

Aroma of pineapple, apple skins, peach, nectarine, strawberry, oak, and pale malt. Funkiness surrounds the entire aroma as well as a leathery combination. A little earthy as well.

The fruits are a little more subtle in the taste than in the aroma, at least at first. First sip revealed sourness upfront with some fruits--apple, peach, nectarine--in the finish. Slightly salty on the tongue. Mostly tart, maybe a little sour, but not lip-puckering sour. Tart cherries and a little vinous. Very good.

Well carbonated and somewhat thin on the finish, but I would call that refreshing. After-taste of apple and grape skins with some funk. Alcohol is very well hidden.

I was surprised to see this one listed and even at $20 it didn't take me long to decide to buy it. The only other wild ale I've had from Russian River is the Toronado 20th on tap and I really wanted to try their other bottled beers. I probably wouldn't buy this one again at this price but I'm really glad I tried it. If I could find this one at a more reasonable price I'd definitely take it.

seaoflament, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of Floydster
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

375 ml bottle purchased at Walnut Liquorette four months ago for eleven dollars, one of the two bottles they had left in the back

Poured into my Westvleteren chalice last night, sipped on it for about an hour

A-Pale murky yellow color, not much of a head considering the bottle fizzed everywhere when it was opened, very little retention, not much lacing either

S-Lots of brettanomyces, funkiness, faint amount of sour cherries, oak chips, chardonnay, sour apple, and vinegar

T-Lots of funky sourness, big tart right from the beginning, followed by some oak and a dry finish from the Chardonnay, hints of cherries but near as many as Supplication, yeast gave an interesting tarty taste as well, lots of things floating in the bottom of the glass towards the end, easier to drink as it warmed because it became more sweet and less sour, strong sparkling wine feel

M-Dry and sour mouthfeel, pretty thin body, long lasting taste, felt more like a wine of the palate, maybe too much carbonation

D-Could probably drink another bottle, smooth but leaves a dryness, somewhat heavy on the stomach from the overwhelming sweetness, ABV is pretty high for a wild ale as well

Not as great as I expected but still pretty damn good, never had a wild ale that tasted remotely close to this one, could probably use even more age than it had already, recommended

Floydster, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%

Batch 001. 375ml bottle. Pours into my tulip glass a deep golden yellow with nice clarity, fine active carbonation and a creamy white head. Aromas flow out of the glass with sun drenched grains and a fruity profile (green apple). The oak is there with a vinous aroma as well. Brett moves in with a noticeable sourness and an underlying funky, hay/barnyard aroma. Draws me in with its wonderful array of scents.

First sip brings a light sun dried malt with fruity flavors of lemon, citrus and grapes. Oak and woody tannin tones are met by a sourness that flows in. Hay, must and barnyard flavors mix in on the way down. Acidity is there but is well managed and never becomes too much. The Brettanomyces works in so well. Finishes a bit dry. Just an amazing beer.

Mouthfeel is medium to light and arid with mellow carbonation that rolls across the tongue perfectly. Incredibly refreshing and easy to drink. Just an amazing brew overall. I could easily sit down and enjoy a couple of bottles of this to myself and be in heaven. Yet another winner from Russian River, I only wish this wasn't my only bottle. Temptation is worth seeking out and enjoying.

orbitalr0x, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of illidurit
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%

Pours a pale apricot/straw shade with a billowy off-white head of tiny white bubbles, indicating yet another RR wild ale with impeccable carbonation. Several columns of bubbles stream upwards. The head leaves huge chunks of lacing on the glass.

Nose is full of a nice brett funkiness. In the background there are notes of fruity sweetness, champagne tartness, lemon, and a hint of the sour cherry found in Supplication.

Taste is very tart, almost sour. Unripe apple, lemon, lime, and white wine all make an appearance. Mouth puckering and exquisite.

Just as I thought, the carbonation is beautiful. Russian River is easily king of the Belgian style mouthfeel. Smooth, drying, tart finish.

If you can handle sour, this beer is very drinkable. I'm glad I have another in the fridge.

illidurit, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of genog
4.18/5  rDev -6.3%

Pours a sparkling golden color with a small amount of rocky head that fades away leaving a sparkling wine type beverage in my fingertips. Smell is all tart with cherry, apple, and wine type aromas. Taste is heavy on the sweetness with some sour notes toward the finish. Mouthfeeling is very dry reminding me more of a fine wine, and less of a beer. I've had some tart beers that are too overpowering this was not one of them. A very nice crisp, refreshing drink.

genog, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%

Murky blonde color with little head and little retention. Still very appealing.

Smell of Cherries and brettanomyces funkiness. Some oak notes as well

Taste: Cherry sweetness balanced by a white wine type flavor. A little funky sourness from the brettanomyces. Some dry bitterness come in the end to finish with some oak characteristics.

Dryness on the palate. Almost wine like in mouthfeelfeel.

One hell of an experimental brew.

jasonjlewis, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of franksnbeans
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Pours a dark murky blonde with a white head that retains nicely. The tartness comes out in the nose along with light fruit and oak. Tartness is hits you, a beautiful sour, I can actually make out a little chardonnay. Magnificant mouthfeel with a perfect tickle of carbonation. Extremely drinkable and a delightful treat.

franksnbeans, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of montageman
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%

Poured into a La Chouffe tulip.

This little gem cost me a bottle of Dark Lord 2007. Big ups to tangfoot on the trade (yes, it was quite a while ago). The appearance is a cloudy, bright yellow with a nice amount of carbonation, decent white head, and some yeast floating around. Sour grapes and lemon dominate the nose - overall, a very different smelling beer, intriguing to say the least. All kinds of complexity in the taste - white grapes, lemon, orange, and some hints of vanilla sweetness in the end. Totally awesome. Mouthfeel is perfect for this style - rich, creamy, and well carbonated. For as sour as this is, this is one incredibly easy to drink beer. Very tasty. I really wish this stuff was readily available in Michigan. Oh well, may have to start trading again! Highest recommendation.

montageman, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of alexgash
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%

Batch 001 corked and caged 375 ml very cool bottle thanks to todd1.

Slight haze suspended in a golden body with blonder, yellower edges. Solid finger of dense, pillowy, glass-crawling, soft white head with good retention. Vibrant complex nose of honeysuckle, lemon juice, chardonnay, wet oak, sweet-tart fruits, pears, sharp sour funk, and old hay. Wonderful; I could smell this all day!

Metallic, dry, cobwebby, acidic taste up front. Tart fruits and fruit skins follow with a citrus bitter sour edge. Pear and grape sweetness round out the palate. There's a pronounced funk throughout that goes very well. Oaky, vinous finish with some leftover fruits. Mostly dry. Medium body feels bigger due to lively carbonation and a very long aftertaste.

Wow. A fantastic beer that is well worth the price/trading/traveling. I would love to have easy access to this gem!

alexgash, Nov 06, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%

Batch 002. This is about a year since bottling, which I guess makes it about 2 years since it found it's way into the barrel for the first time. Foamed up just a bit after uncorking, as expected based on their website bottle log. Pours a pretty clear golden, but gets a bit hazy with the addition of some of the fine yeast particles. The bright white head foamy head didn't have much retention in my glass. The smell at first, when very cold is lots of wine-y chardonnay. As it warms up and if you release the aroma by swirling you can get an ever so slight barnyard funkiness to it. The taste is the classic brett sourness with a (for lack of better term because I know next to nothing about wine) a white wine type taste (I've had chardonnay before so I can see how it is similar). The barrel aging in chardonnay barrels really added a great quality to compliment the sourness of the brett.

The mouthfeel is great in this beer. Very light and plenty carbonated as it should be. Spritzy if you will. The drinkability is very good. The sourness doesn't limit it too much as I would say it does in the very good but very acidic Supplication that burns my throat. Once again a great sour beer by Russian River... they can't go wrong, even if they tried.

Batch 003.

Crystal clear gold, bubbly, lacy wispy foamy bright white head. Smell is tart and slightly fruity, faint strawberry. There is a mildly musty smell, like that you get from a blue cheese, which actually becomes quite prominent as the beer opens up. The taste starts out like the chardonnay barrels it was aged in, with a moderate tartness, and finishes very clean without puckering. A belgian yeast fruitiness is left in the aftertaste. The woody character seems pretty low.

MiScusi, Oct 10, 2007
Photo of
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

375ml bottle. Batch 001.

Slightly hazy, orange liquid. Looks like it glows! Small, off-white, creamy head. Not much lacing or legs.

Aroma conjured up citrus, aspirin and floral notes. Some musty/funk in there. Grapes and wine also come to mind.

Taste is tart/sour -- Hello, Brett! Citrus and lemon. Hint of something sweet in there, rather faint, back to the grapes/wine (chardonay). Very bitter finish/aftertaste, aspirin again. Alcohol is there, but not overdone.

Light to medium body. Medium + carbonation. Pretty dry, especially in finish and aftertaste. ABV warming is slow and steady.

I have not been a big fan of Brett/sour beers, but I think I'm starting to like these damn things. Maybe not on a regular basis, but they sure are a heck of a change up. Very complex, tart-but not dominating, a good beer for people who want to explore the sour stuff.

, Oct 08, 2007
Photo of Onibubba
4/5  rDev -10.3%

All hazy memories. Beautiful clear golden pour into a Duvel tulip with a slight fluffy head. Funk and sour aromas hit the nose. The cry goes out - "Horse Blanket!" Sharp and acidic tastes dominate. Cannot distinguish what is what. All I can compare this to is the Sanctification I had the same night. This is like a more concentrated version of that beer. Perhaps too much. Mouthfeel is fine, but the overpowering acidic tartness makes this much more of a sipping beer. Very nice, but I prefer the Sanctification.

Onibubba, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of Shaggy9356
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%

Temptation, Batch 002 - Been saving this for my birthday for about 6 months. Have high expectations for this little 375 ml corked beauty.

Pour: A quick fading champagnish head gives way to a gorgeous hazy golden orange body. Whisps of foam cling to the sides glass, some yeast percolates to the bottom.

Smell: Nose is one of apricots and sour grapes, with hints of the bret lurking in the background.

Taste: Definitelty no let down here! Crisp pineapple and orange citrus flavors explode upon the taste buds. Carbonation is exactly where it should be. Oak and chardonnay creep through and are met nicely with the bret which is does not dominate but provides enormous complexity to this beer. There is no barnyard funkiness here, rather the balance here is absolutely amazing. Everything is controlled yet I marvel at the depth of this brew.

Finish: This may be my ownly quip with this beer is that it leaves a sour funkiness in the mouth. Not a real clean finish here. Would need to rinse before swithing to a different brand as the taste lingers for a while

Vinny is true master of brewing and his creations have not disappointed. Temptation is a must for wild ale lovers and connoisseurs of craft beer.

Shaggy9356, Sep 29, 2007
Photo of errantnight
4.93/5  rDev +10.5%

Batch 003:

Well,that got better! Not that we were looking at a beer with a ton of room for improvement or anything, or perhaps it's just I like it better fresh or.... I dunno...

But the sourness is in perfect balance, the Chardonnay/white wine notes are less prominent and more integrated. Dry and refreshing, still with a solid mid-palate sweetness. Just a joy to drink.


A 4.0 S 5.0 T 4.5 M 4.0 D 5.0

Well I've been hanging on to this bottle for... well... too long. When I bought it I grabbed the last bottle of Supplication, but there were two bottles of Temptation, and I didn't buy the second. WHY?! Just because I don't have a great way to cellar? This is drinking great as it is!

Well, now I know.

Batch 002:

Pours a beautiful golden blonde with relatively thin, if frothy head, just a hint of haze.

Smells, as it warms, like goodness in a glass. The chardonnay characteristics/similarities are marked, but there's a little hint of spice and fruity warmth. This has been poured into a globe red wine glass, and it's heaven just below the rim.

First few sips are a bit disappointing, it's too cold. Flavor is crisp and refreshing, but thin and lacking depth. The beer's fault? No... mine.

After warming, the intriguing complexities come bursting forth... the oak is relatively muted, but the brew is incredibly vinous... the sourness, which I was expecting to be much more forward, is really only present in the very back of the palate, making this crisp and refreshing. If anything, I'm a bit disappointed by the carbonation, as I at points wish this sat more comfortably on the tongue (like wine) to allow more savoring. Balance is perfect, finishes clean and dry after a touch of sweetness up front... this isn't wacking you over the head with any big flavors, but the sum total is superb.

Would love to see 750s of this available more frequently... I had this at the end of an evening, but this would make an amazing aperitif, and would pair well with anything a good white wine would.

errantnight, Sep 20, 2007
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,832 ratings.