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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

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3,133 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,133
Reviews: 975
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,604
Gots: 842 | FT: 46
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
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Ratings: 3,133 | Reviews: 975 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pmccallum86
4.57/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a effervescent straw color with a light white bubbly head.

Nice funky barnyard notes here, also some woody notes from the barrel aging. Quite a nice smell, I can already tell this beer is going to be tasty.

Barnyard funkiness, Belgian yeastiness, brett, earthy notes, and light malt all parade on the palate. Very nice tasting beer, one of my favorite sours from Russian River.

Very nicely carbonated, nice sour dry finish.

Super drinkable, it cannot get anymore drinkable than this for the style.

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

Thanks to BeerFMAndy for this one.

Bomber poured into Bruery tulip. Batch 004x3

A- Pours a nice golden with a good amount of haze due to getting the last pour out of the bottle. A half finger worth of head that recedes quickly but leaves spotty lacing.

S- A fairly decent amount of grapes, mainly green grapes. A little bit of funk and what seems like champagne yeast or sparkling wine. Some oak rounds out the nose.

T- A nice bit of oak, more present than in the nose. Some nice sourness and funk. I pick up hints of vanilla on the back end and just a touch of yeast.

M- Medium to light bodied. This one is a nice puckering sour. A great amount of carbonation that tickles the tongue as well. This brew, although sour, feels creamy on the tail end.

D- A very good beer that isn't overly sour and has really good balance. Another winner from RR.

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

750ml Bottle - Batch 004

Pours a golden color with a nice white head. Smell is sour lemons with some funk, grapes, oak, and some spices. Taste is sour with lemons, apples, yeast, brett, and oak. Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation, with a dry finish. Overall im glad I finally got to try this one.

Photo of craytonic
3.8/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bomber

Appearance: Pour is orange-apricot with great belgian head and lacing.

Smell: Full of bitter barnyard funk and must, chardonnay oak (more like a cheap chardonnay than a good one) and ripe golden fruit. I think it might have almost spent too long in barrels.

Taste: Bitter barnyard funk (with a cat piss element to it), chardonnay oak, and ripe fruits like apricots, pears, peaches, and apples. There is a bitterness to it that doesn't quite fit in. Just a bit too much oak. Actually I find more oak in the bottle than the on-tap version, along with more of a funkiness.

Mouthfeel: Not in love with the carbonation or coating aspect, but good

Drinkability: Drinkable enough but I am not crazy about this one; I admire Vinnie as a pioneer of this style in America but he just never caught up with the Europeans and has now been surpassed by several americans. The first doesn't always go the farthest, even though he sets the path.

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well holy crap my first rr. 750ml huge thanks to G311!!! Bottle pours hazy golden yellow with crisp white head, leaves lovely amount of lacing, actually crazy lacing, around the glass. Aroma of hay, grass, very light funk, pinapple. Very small amount of oak comes through with white wine. Taste of tropical fruit, white n green grapes, such an amazing balance of flavors! The chardonay oak is apparent, first time I've had a beer aged in a white wine barrel pulled off so well. The beer is tart and sour, but not as bracingly sour as I had expected. I imagine this is due to the quality and age of the barrels aged in imparting a smoother quality then more raw oak. This beer straight up fills your mouth with flavor on all sides. I could drink this everyday, I'm ruined.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Bruery tulip. 7.25% ABV, tulip serving shown, Batch 004x3. Purchased at Russian River.

A - Totally clear golden yellow with a dense white head, there is good retention and lace that covers the glass with thick fingers. It's very attractive.

S - Lemony golden citrus and floral hops with a massive, delicious funk! Light horse blanket and musty wheat has a great combination with a nice light sour finish. Mmm, Brett.

T - Thinner than expected, a bit of the lemon citrus comes through but the majority of the flavor is heavily wild ale with a thin horse blanket and nice barn yard funk to it.

M - Temptation is light-bodied with a funky sour finish that's right up my alley. Nice tart finish with a great clean and crisp texture to it.

D - Definitely a bottle worth sharing with people but probably not worth the $25 price tag. Very good beer with a nice wild kick to the finish.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.69/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to BeerFMAndy for bringing this one back from Cali and splitting it with us.

Split and poured into my tulip the beer is hazy golden yellow with about a finger of white head. A thin lace ring is left around the glass after settling.

The aroma is a rich boquet of spices and yeast. A good dose of sour grapes and apples mix with plenty of funk and barrel wood. Spot on wild ale.

The flavor is pretty much a mirror of the nose. Lots of tart fruit with loads of funky wood and straw. I've never tasted a horse blanket but I'm going to assume this is what one might resemble.

Medium bodied and not as dry as I had assumed it would be. Plenty of carbonation.

Overall another winner from RR. Wild ales are starting to become my favorite style. I could easily polish off the whole bottle myself.

Photo of Chico1985
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml (Batch 4x3) split with cbutova. I could not resist the..Temptation...much longer. Thanks to wavers1 for trading this.

Pours beautiful golden orange, nice white head and lacing that's not going anywhere. It is..dare I say it..tempting?

Smell is pretty much that average sour, funky scent you'd expect from a beer like this. Chardonnay and funk, a simple yet excellent smell.

...and a simple yet excellent taste as well. Sour chardonnay, funk, lemon. Oak and vanilla are present mostly in the aftertaste. Not as complex as Supplication, but simple and great in it's own right.

Mouthfeel is pretty spot-on for the style. Well-carbonated, no problems here.

Very drinkable, big price tag on this but I'd say it's deserved.

**more notes - 7/25/11**

Just finished a 375ml (Batch 5x2E), a little over a year old in the bottle. Great stuff! I think I liked it even better than the first batch I tried. Similar to a gueuze, had a great funky, farmy chardonnay vibe, extremely drinkable. I have one more bottle of this batch left and can't wait to try it around the 3-year old mark.


Just over 3 years in the bottle. Once again, great experience. Still great flavor and carbonation, maybe a bit tamer overall but very tasty and drinkable. This along with Consecration and Supplication all held up great after 3 years.

Photo of sweemzander
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and caged bottle split, poured into a tulip. Batch #4. Huge thanks to BeerFMAndy for sharing this one!

(A)- Pours a clear brilliant yellow color that produced a good pure white head that stuck around for a bit before dissipating. Left some lacing behind.

(S)- Funktastic! A dry oak spiciness with a light yet present fruitiness of lemon and apricot with maybe even a tiny bit of a peach/green apple thing. Seriously dry with a big hay/straw/grassy funk.

(T)- Pretty much just what the smell foretold. Tart and sour yet actually a little sweet fruits of lemon, apricot, and maybe even some banana in there. Super dry hay and straw funk with a light oaky spice. Definitely can detect the Chardonnay barrels in this.

(M)- A lively carbonation level that creates a party in the mouth. A good balance of sour yet sweet characteristics with a great dry funk typical of the style.

(D)- A great wild ale. Very Chardonnay-like in the background from the barrel aging. Great tartness and dryness. Funkier than I was expecting, but it was a welcomed surprise. Russian River knows their wilds!

Photo of cbutova
4.41/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chico1985, who couldn't resist the temptation to bust this out at last nights tasting. Reviewed from notes.

A- Glorious golden yellow with a foamy white cap that has good retention for an aged beer. A nice cloud stays afloat and leaves a coat of lace and very sticky suds. One of the best looking sours I have seen.

S- Nothing stands out alone here but a nice balance. Grape and wine/vinous notes are probably the most forefront but there is some fruit and you can tell it will be sour. Slight funk from a simple, yet well balanced aroma.

T- Microbes had a party in this one, blonde ale turned very good. Sour vinous notes up front with some lemon acidity and fruit notes. Sour is great at a moderate-high level. A bit of funk but an overall balanced taste with nothing aggressive or overpowering. Some oak as well as acetic notes towards the end.

MF- Light but nicely creamy body with moderate carbonation. A coat of sour white wine vine on the palate. Great sour feeling on the tongue.

DB- Amazing balance of simple and complex flavors, nothing takes center stage and all of the taste can be appreciated. Reminds me of a gueuze a bit. Awesome vinous wine elements here as well. Gotta trade for it around here but like Supplication, it is totally worth it.

Photo of bum732
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orangish yellow, good bubbly head. Smells of ripe melon, oak, barnyard funk, sour apple, some white grape, earthiness. Tastes of semi sweet melon-like malt followed by a fairly mild lemon sourness. Nice oak and wine sweetness permeates throughout, touch of vanilla as well. Solid crisp carbonation, moderate body.

A really special beer, not as sour as cantillon but still packed with flavor. A sessionable wild ale if it wasn't so expensive. The wine character didn't come through as much as i expected. Still a great beer, loved it.

Photo of david131
4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- An ever so slightly hazy blond liquid with a craggy white head that has excellent retention.

S- Extremely aromatic with boat loads of sour fruit, oak, and funk. Very crisp and enjoyable.

T- Sweet and sour. Funky and fruity. The sweet and sour bounce back and forth. Complex and tasty.

M- Acidic, dry, light, and clean. Very nice.

D- Very "simple" and funky. Refreshing and delicious. Really gives Jolly Pumpkin a run for its money.

For $25 for 750ml, this is much more pricey than it probably should be. But, it is very good and is an often hard to find style.

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

A: Pours a translucent dark golden, capped by a frothy two finger white head. Retention is good and it leaves massive lacing down the glass.

S: Lots of lemon zest and tartness up front, along with some white wine notes. Light funk lurks in the background, along with green apples and a bready base.

T: Lemony sourness up front - not mouthpuckering, more of a moderate level - gives way to green apples, light bread, and oak. Funk comes in strong towards the end, finishing with a blend of lemonzest, oak, and rustic funk.

M: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth on the tongue but finishes crisp.

D: Unbelievably drinkable for a wild ale. No sign of the ABV and ridiculously refreshing.

Photo of hawks10
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle poured into my Russian River tulip - Batch 004X2 - Bottled June 1st, 2009...

Pours a nice light golden yellow, a bit of haze gives this beer a glowing appearance as the sunlight comes through the beer...three fingers of soft, fluffy white head forms and lasts forever, after slowly receding, a thin layer of white film caps the brew, lacing is left all down the glass...

Initial smell of tart, sour fruit quickly gives way to a strong brett aroma, musty with definite barnyard funk. Tart and wine-like, chardonnay with a bit of the oak showing up as well...very complex, very inviting, very nice...

Tart, sour lemon acidity right from the get go, smooth and juice-like. Beer quickly becomes dry, flavors of oak and brett really start to come out giving this beer a whole different taste and feel than what was experienced initially. Becomes musty and grassy, an earthy dry feel takes hold on the bottom half of the glass...Incredibly complex but balanced, tart but smooth, puckering but insanely easy to drink...

Medium bodied with a lot of carbonation. Yet while being spritzy and tingly on the tongue, the beer still maintains a smooth feel. Some little scrubbing bubbles agitate the tongue and add to the dry finish...Only knock is that it may have a bit too much carbonation for me, as I have been constantly burping while writing this review...

Loved this beer, wish I could have it more often, but with the price and complete unavailability to me in Chicago, this one will remain a special treat when/if I try it again...

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

A - Slightly unfiltered, white head that lasts with great lacing. Light orange/dark yellow in color

S - Lots of "funk" from the Brett in this aroma. Tons of sour esters present that smell like lemon and white grapes. There's a slight oak smell in the background from the aging also.

T - VERY sour at the start with flavors of apple, lemon, white wine, and grapefruit. Other than sour/tartness there is a quick flavor of ripe oak right before the sour apple aftertaste.

M/D - Light to medium body with an extremely dry finish...almost champagne-like. Lots of carbonation from the in-bottle fermenting. The sour/dry nature of the brew make it a slow drinker with an awesome sparkling characteristic.

Photo of colts9016
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I bought this beer six months ago. I've been waiting to try it for my 600th review! I hope this beer isn't flat due to the bad publicity r&r has gotten. A sigh of relief, the beautiful pop of a cork. Poured into a tulip glass at 46 degrees.

The Appearance: A two finger foamy, creamy, bubbly white head. The head has moderate to great retention. The head leaves beautiful lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is a medium straw color with golden orange hues. The clarity of the beer is hazy. There is a lot of carbonation bubbles in the beer.

Nose:AH, (the Brett) a very pungent, bright aroma.The rich flavors of chardonnay, oak, orange, barnyard, lemon, butter, grapefruit, moldy straw, toasty, vanilla, morning dew, yeasty with a subtle sugary sweetness at the end.

Taste: The Brett and the chardonnay are the initial flavor on the first sip. The flavors are morning dew, moldy hay, and some light barnyard notes. The chardonnay has notes of butter, vanilla, oak, lemon, grass, and a subtle sweetness. Other flavors in the beer is orange, grapefruit, floral, a sour note, and yeast. The malt is slightly toasty.

The mouth feel of the beer is carbonated, subtle sourness, and clean.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. I am so surprised by this beer and how it taste. The Brett isn't overpowering, but plays equals roles in beer. I am just wowed by how amazing the flavors are, crisp, and very easy to drink. I am very glad that this was my 600th review.

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

I poured this one from a 750ml brown bottle (corked and caged) into a stemmed tulip glass.

A= This ale poured a mostly clear gold color with some orange highlights. Big foamy white head that was hard to keep under control while pouring (2+ inches). Effervescent carbonation put on a show. Good head retention.

S= Lots of funky sourness, must be some brett and a host of other wild bugs in this one. Occasionally a whif of malt came through as well as a winey fruit character.

T= Started off tart and just got more intense. Sort of a blend of cherry, oak, citrus, and musty funk that sounds strange but really worked. Less complexity than some other RR sours I have had, but tasty all the same. Finished puckeringly dry with a kiss of alcohol.

MF= Lighter side of medium bodied with a spritzy, effervescent feel.

D= A masterpiece of sourness and dryness - very refreshing. Kept me wanting that next sip until it was all gone.

Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of tart light fruits - pears mostly but with hints of apricots - along with solid amounts of funky aromas. As the beer warms very mild amounts of indistinct spices waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light fruit flavors - pears and apricots as with the aroma - kick things off that are equal parts sweet and tart. Soon afterward good amounts of funk permeate through the flavor profile and the flavors take a sour turn. Midway through the sip hints of spices temper the tartness and carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have a few more without any problems.

Overall I enjoyed this very much however I have to say it's my least favorite RR sour (the others I've had are Supplication and Consecration). Very well balanced and a lighter sour that would bring people into the fold nicely.

Photo of Shumista
4.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewpub. Wish I could have purchased a bomber to bring home but $25 was a little pricey. $6.75 on tap however is much more doable.

Bright, golden yellow with a small white head. Smells very citrusy, especially lemon, some oak, white wine and a little funky yeastiness. Tastes very unique. I don't think I've ever wanted to describe a beer that spent any time being barrel aged as bright, crisp, or refreshing but all of those seem to fit here. Taste is predominantly sour citrusy fruits, with subtle white wine, oak, yeast and funk. Well carbonated lively mouthfeel. Incredibly drinkable, very agreeable stuff. Its complexity probably means it should be sipper but I found myself taking large gulps and drinking it pretty quickly. Good thing after stopping at Russian River for lunch my girlfriend could take over driving duties for our road trip as I sober back up and review from my notes on my blackberry.

Photo of jeonseh
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003

A - Golden, hazy with a tint of brown. When first poured into the glass a nice white head formed which left lacing down the glass....tons of carbonation streaming upwards...looking at it, it looks champagne with but darker.

S- strong scent of sour cherries, oak, lemon, definitely some farmhouse funk

T - At first, there is oak, chardonnay and a bit of the brett that first hits. Next where there more sour flavors which included lemon, and cherry. The finish was tart and rested on the tongue for a while

MF - Nice carbonation to this that brings a tingle to the mouth that really fits well with the tart flavors within

D - This is one of those beers that challenges what a beer is. I could imagine taking it to a party and having people believe it was some sort of off champagne. Russian River does a great job with sours and this is a fine example. Very easy to drink and could pairing well with cheeses.

Photo of kaseydad
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery. Brought to the table with a small white foamy head sitting on top of a straw golden colored ale. Major lacing for lacing fans. The aroma is amazing! Floral (major rose), banana, pear, bubble gum and funk. A lot going on and it's all good! The taste has a sour barnyard funk with a spicy kick on the swallow. Not as sour as I thought it would be which makes it even more enjoyable. Awesome stuff. Nicely carbonated and a high drinkability though the sourness makes this a sipper. Overall I was very impressed with this drink. It has all the necessary characteristics needed for an unforgettable sour ale.

Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fro 4/25/10 notes. Poured from a 750 ML bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a murky golden color with two fingers of white head. Nice lacing and light carbonation.

s - Smells of wine, sour fruits including lemon, and some tart and funk from the brett. The chardonnay really comes through, as does smoe oak.

t - Taste again is sour fruit, chardonnay, and some funk. Oak is more prominent in the taste than it was in the smell.

m - Light body and high carbonation. Very crisp.

d - Pretty good. I thought the wine came through a little too much but it was still a very good wild ale from RR. Would try again.

Photo of largadeer
4.23/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Rose & Crown, batch 004. Into a 10 oz snifter, Temptation is a bright golden color, pale and clear, with a rapidly receding white cap.

Lemony lactic sourness and tart Chardonnay dominate the aroma. There's ample barnyard funk behind it, which comes out more as the temperature rises.

The barrel comes through strongly in the taste, lending a big buttery Chardonnay character. Lactic and mild acetic sourness come through with equal strength. Tart white grape, vanilla, tannic oak and spice provide depth. Intensely flavorful but light-bodied, this is almost sessionable. It finishes with drying tannins, buttery oak and white grape. Very enjoyable, but I prefer the previous two batches over this one.

Photo of BDLbrewster
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright golden amber with massive, champagne like visible carbonation and a medium sized fizzy head.

The smell is light and very non offensive. Very fruity on the nose, sour passion fruit, freshly cut lemongrass and an airy vibrant funk. Strong vinous chard notes as well.

The taste is much more reserved than I expected. Light vinegary lemon juice inoculated with mild brett flavors. Very vinous and almost cider-like. The oak is not showcased, but rather melds with the acidity to remove any heavier vinegar notes. Tangy, under ripe pear and lactic on the finish with no heat or alcohol flavors at all. Simple yet complex flavors work amazingly together.

The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied and the insane level of carbonation makes me feel like this brew could float right out of my glass.

Overall, it took a major event in my life to succumb to temptation. I was not let down. Another amazing beer from a brewery that never ceases to amaze me.

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

Picked this up at Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, just a few days ago, and felt it was time to make my first review. As with all the RR pint bottled beers it definitely has the crisp smell I've grown accustomed to. From the bottle it smells faintly of not yet ripe green apples, and then once it my glass you can really get that full orchard in the rain kinda smell. Very nice to see the constant stream of bubbles and well as the 1/3 inch of foam that never really goes away. At first taste it did remind me of RR's darker Consecration, which is one of my favorites. I can really taste the granny smith pearesc kinda taste. I do taste a little chardonnay as well. I am very happy to live in the same town as this brewery as I have spent many a night drinking the varieties they offer and this one will be purchased again for sure.

Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,133 ratings.