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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

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3,178 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,178
Reviews: 977
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,648
Gots: 861 | 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: 3,178 | Reviews: 977
Photo of codewarrior
3.88/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

L: Looks like champagne. Tiniest bit of head.

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

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

F: Light and bubbly on the palate

D: Good.

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

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

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

Photo of Duhast500
4.82/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DaveJanssen for supplying me with this fantastic brew.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.87/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of emmasdad
4.08/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of Brew33
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Temptation Batch 5

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

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

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

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

Photo of Kaiser81
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 005. 375 mL poured into a snifter glass

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feel is firm but lively and light.

Photo of chicagobeerriot
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of Gfunk720
3.83/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of gueuzer
4.82/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

App- Straw colored with beautiful lacing

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

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

MF- Nice balanced carbonation. Low.

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

Photo of mwa423
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy golden color with a finger and a half of foamy white head with great retention. Great lacing all the way down the glass.

S - Lots of funk, very sour fruity aroma with sour cherries, grapes, and a bit of a yeasty note.

T - Excellent sour and tart flavors throughout such as the cherry and grape, lots of funk, a bit of yeastyness. The flavor is very dry and the aftertaste is light and tart.

M/D - Mouthfeel is tart and dry, but full and enjoyable. Reasonably drinkable wild ale that I wish made it to the midwest!

Photo of hughesm4
4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split a bomber brought back from Oregon.
a- A very hazy golden brown with a small amount of head that sticks around the edge of the glass.
s- Very sour upfront with a little fruit as well.
t- There are a bunch of flavor mixed together. The main fruit taste is of grapes with a hint of apple. It finishes extremely sour.
m/d- Very complex and full bodied. There is a very sour taste left in your mouth, but it is still a good drinker.

Photo of domtronzero
3.8/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 005x1E

A - Slightly hazy golden yellow with a long lasting whitish head. Quite fizzy with lots of lacing.

S - Slight sweet malts with some tropical fruits: pineapple and mango. Lite funk with a slight tart sour aroma.

F/M - Sweet pils malts, lots of tropical fruit flavors, again pineapple and mango. Lite barnyard funkiness is quite subdued compared to prior expectations. Medium body with moderately high carbonation. Prickly and lite on the tongue. Quite effervescent.

D - Good. Finishes clean with a refreshing quality. Full flavored and very enjoyable.

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at hulmeville in. In a giant ass goblet at that.

A- comes to me with a small cap of loose sudsy head that settles quickly to a thin ring and a few spots of lace. Glowing sunshine yellow with a hint of orange. Perfectly clear.

S- crisp tart green grapes and funky wood. Lemons and dry biscuits.

T- opens up tart and sour and roll into the grapes and oak. Wood is funky and bold. The grapes are mellower then in some batches but still haven't been completely hidden buy the funk.

M- less then medium in body and a nice crisp tingley carb. Dry finish but not as dry as an aged bottle.

D- this is my favorite beer every time I have it. Not totally sure on the batch but a killer one for sure. Buggy yes but I still want more. Party all the time, party all the time. Thank you eddie murphy.

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

On tap at Tony's Darts Away; poured into a goblet.

Ours a straw yellow with a pinky fingers worth of soft head; chill haze.

On the nose funky must, wood, fresh apricots and chardonnay grape sweetness; definitely a funky sour nose albeit slightly subdued.

Tartness reaches full volume on the taste in the middle, and ends slightly sweet giving way to a dry semi-lingering tartness. It is definitely less tart than I was anticipating. It is lightly effervescent, a touch creamy, and fizzles on the sides of your tongue; faintly tongue drying but closer to neutral. Pale malt sweetness, fresh grapes, funk, and some faint lemon acidity; I was expecting more acidity and I was pleasantly surprised. There is a peppery/wood component that I believe is flavor associated with barrel aging. In any event, it rounds out the flavor.

The drinkability is just excellent. The flavors are well balanced and integrated. A great sour.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a champagne flute.

Pale straw golden body. Quite clear with bubbles rushing to the top. Quarter inch of white tightly carbonated head. Great retention and lacing.

Smells of tart white grapes, barnyard funk. Gueze like, but much cleaner. Spicy oak.

Tastes of tart green apples and white grapes. Barnyard funk, spicy oak, and chardonnay. Fruity and delicate.

The mouthfeel is light and creamy with subtle yet prickly carbonation. Tart and dry, slightly spicy as well.

Super quaffable. A perfect summer/hot weather beer. Massively refreshing.

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

12.68oz bottle served in an oversized wineglass. batch 5.

pours a luminous golden/straw yellow with about a finger of white head; so-so retention that mostly recedes into a ring around the sides of the glass; decent lacing.

chardonnay leads the way in the aroma, followed by oak, fruits, and some subtle notes of both funk and tartness.

flavor - in addition to the wine, oak, and funk - opens up to more fruit characteristics (green apple, pear, lemon), a touch of hoppiness and spices. a pleasant sourness courses throughout; a dry finish. hands down the most interesting, original beer i've ever had. for my money the creme de la creme in its style (and i am rating with style heavily in mind here).

light-bodied, tangy mouthfeel, pretty well carbonated. one you'll want to nurse and savor.

Photo of davod23
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Batch 5. Poured from the bottle into a Russian River glass.

The pour is a beautiful light golden color, almost straw-like. A cap of white fizzy bubbles struggle against the acidity of the brew, but manage to hold a thin layer at the top.

Full sweet and unripe fruit with a prominent funky background. Pears, unripe apples, and apricots. The chardonnay barrels come through here a bit. Pineapple? Fantastic.

The taste follows the nose for the most part. A bit vinous, and not quite as sour as I'd like. In addition to the fruit component, there is a distinct grassy characteristic on the back end balancing out the light sweetness at the front. Slightly sour throughout. Slight tannins. The swallow is a bit astringent. This is very good, but I've had better from Russian River.

Mouthfeel is very good. Spritzy, but not overcarbonated. Very, very dry finish.

Drinkability is about as good as it gets. Can drink this all night.

This is an excellent beer. However, the Batch 3 Temptation that I had (thanks, Blake) was one of the best beers I have ever had in my life. The last two batches, while obviously very good, still do not match up to that batch. Highly recommended nonetheless.

Photo of Kshock
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite beer of all time. It just fits my palate perfectly.

A- Bright straw yellow color, nice white lavcing on the glass from the paper white head. The head retention is awesome on this beer, always has a decent head to it.

S- Dry citrus in the nose, with very slight hints of sour/vinegar. Smells like an amazing sour should. Lots of wood, with some hints of chardonnay.

T- This beer to me has an amazing flavor. The combination of the wood and the lactic acid make for a bright, sour, and dry flavor. Very refreshing and delicious.

D- I love this beer (as ive said earlier) but i feel dispite my bias that this beer drinks beautifully. it reminds me of an awesome gueuze you could drink everyday, especially on a warm day in the backyard with friends.

Photo of Soneast
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, golden color, throwing up a quarter inch, white, bubbly head that disappears quickly, leaving a whisp of carbonation on the surface of the beer.

The aroma is tart, green fruits, dry like a white wine and acidic with a touch of scumm. Mostly acidic, tart green fruit aromas though.

The flavor really packs a punch. Very tart, like a salted green apple. Also a sour reminiscent of an unripe lemon. Sour and tart. That said, there is a balancing sweetness, honey, pale malt-like in character. The finish is dry, leaving a sharp tartness at the very back of the throat.

I wish I could better communicate the flavors I'm tasting. There is just so much going on, and combined with the light, dry mouthfeel, makes for one intense brew! Definitely one of my favorite sours from RR.

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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,178 ratings.