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.

3,122 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,122
Reviews: 975
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 9.19%
Wants: 1,600
Gots: 840 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Temptation Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,122 | Reviews: 975 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of masterhomebrewer
4.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A = Pours a light golden color with a white head of tight, small bubbles that fades quickly, leaving a short cover of about a half centimeter.

S = Green apples, bretty funk, vomit sour, white grapes, wood.

T = Dusty-leather brett, wet horse, white grapes, lemons, oak. Super complex.

M = Prickly carbonation and light body combine with dryness to make for a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel.

D = Wow. Really drinkable. Moderate alcohol, fantastic funky elements and sour all work together to create a supremely drinkable sour. Please trade me some!

Serving type: bottle

Photo of Swallows2much
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance- golden color

Smell- kind of a sour smell, no too strong though

Taste- oak, citrus, kind of a sour flavor but not too strong

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- It was pretty good. F'ing awesome sour. Holey shit balls I could drink this all day.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 004X1
Pours a clear / only slightly hazy blonde with a white head that sticks around for the duration.

Smell of funk , citrus, chardonnay, oak and an extremely faint hint of malt.

Taste of White grapes/ Chardonnay, oak, barnyard funk, light aged Saaz hop flavors, some caramelized sugars after letting it warm in your mouth and a dry highly carbonated champagne bubbly finish.

Overall a very tasty wild Blonde, highly drinkable and enjoyable. The Complexity of this beer is delicious rather than confusing

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JMoore50 on this one. 750 ml. bottle, corked and caged, poured into a Russian River stemmed glass.

A: Beautiful golden hue with very little haze. Head is thick and white, and retains nicely. lacing is sticky and concentrated.

S: Hops are almost non-existent on the nose, but the rest makes up for that. Citrus, white grape, and some grass show, along with some barnyard and just a hint of oak.

T: Flavors of this beer consist of citrus and white grape, along with grassy, herbal notes. Brett adds just the right amount of funk to it. The oak has mellowed this beer greatly, with just a tinge in the backround. The finish is dry, and very clean.

M&D: Medium bodied and very soft. While it is somewhat puckering, the beer is very thirst-quenching.Temptation is amazing stuff! Easy to drink, and very complex at the same time. It's a beer that I'll be searching for again in the new future.

Photo of samie85
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Originally reviewed 2/27/10. Consumed at Falling Rock Tap House.

A-Pours a pale slightly hazy golden hue with a light, white head.

S-Tart, acidic lemon and acidic vinegary cherry with vanilla and oak notes.

T-Taste follows the nose with acidic lemon and cherry with barely there vanilla and oak with a tobacco or soil/clay characteristic that rounds things out. This last part was pretty intriguing.

M-Very effervescent and light bodied, which really works for this beer.

D-This is a really easy drinking sour/wild ale. I wish I could get the RR "-tion" beers on a regular basis, but If I could, I'd probably be broke.

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

02.06.10 at City Beer

This was from the 3rd batch

A: light, like the color of straw

S: like bretts, with a frothy quality, that gives you the impression that it's fluffy and airy

T: yummy tart flavor with mild citrus and some oak on the end

M: surprisingly lacking in carbonation for the way it smelled

D: yes, yes, yes, I could have so much more of this

Also had it side by side with batch 4, with seems to have a clearer, tarter finish.

Photo of ppoitras
4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle received via Secret Santa 09 from vasdef42. Corked and caged, Batch 004x2. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a DFH tulip, formed a 1 1/4" bright white head over the slightly cloudy golden brew. Head continues to grow for awhile, snowconing above the rim, with thick coating lace. Aroma is tart with a touch of funk. Taste is tart from the moment it hits the tongue, coupled with some barnyard and sweetness throughout. Mouthfeel is smooth over the tongue, and drinkability is very good. Not as calm as my last one, but still a great sensory experience.

6/18/08 - 4/4.5/4/4.5/4.5
375ml bottle received via not sure when or from who, probably another I Want That BIF or something cool. Corked and caged, Batch 001. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" bright white head over the slightly cloudy golden brew. Head recedes sedately, with sticky lacing. Aroma is tart with a bit of funkiness rounding things out. Taste is surprisingly sweet to start, goes moderately tart in the middle, and hits a few more interesting flavors near the close, with the funk and barrel character. Mouthfeel is smooth esp for a wild brew, and drinkability is easy and refreshing. Moderated tartness at this point makes it almost a starter to the wild side.

10/26/07 - 4.5/4/4.5/4.5/5
375ml bottle received via I Want That BIF 2 from Lou91. Corked and caged, Batch 002. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 3/4" bright white head over the cloudy golden brew. Head falls slowly, with heavy coating lace. Aroma is lighly sweet with dominant tartness. Taste follows, delicate sweetness upfront, powerful tart in the middle, but with a strong oak and alcohol character at the close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are quite pleasing. Always an adventure, and I like these type of rides.

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

On Tap @ Monk's Cafe

Look: Bright golden color, slightly cloudy, thin head, and little lacing

Smell: Oak, vanilla, brett funk, lemon zest

Taste: Up Front: Lemon zest, white grape, malt. Finish: brett funk, oak at the end

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a light/medium carbonation. Like Consecration, it got creamier as it warmed up.

Drinkability: Incredibly smooth, crisp, and refreshing!

Overall Impression: This was a fantastic and complex ale. You could definitely pick up the aging in Chardonnay casks. Again, the brett was not over-the-top, but rather a compliment to its overall complexity. Methinks Russian River has this Wild Ale thing down! Regarding Newbeez: I think this would appeal to ladies more than dudes, due to its sophisticated wine-like qualities.

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

On-Tap at Monk's Cafe in a tulip glass. I've had this beer on draft several times now, I believe this is Batch 4.

Temptation holds a bright blonde golden look that's appealing, it sucks you in. Off the spicket a nice semi froth of white snow graces the top then fades. Not much lace at all from this.

Smells of California wine barrel Oak, barnyard scents from round back, a light fruitness and some brett. Lemon spritz, under that a blond ale in disguise but some faint malt. Lighter in funk on the nose with this batch.

The extreme sourness is not haywire like batch 3 (which I loved). It's there but muted at this young stage. It brings out the oak more with chardonnay plus light brett with horse blankets on. The wine influence is lovely. A small hit of fruit in the middle with minor tropic flavors followed by pale malt and light funk on the tounge.

Some funk, some sour, some acididy, lighter in this batch making it a bit more drinkable and approachable. Light to medium in texture and a spritzy carb going for it. While this is heavily wine influenced this felt like beer to me with a wine aftertaste. Easy to gulp down. While I enjoy the more funked up versions this is nice and mellow in it's youth.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Comparison of Batch 1, 3, 4, and 5 12/4/10

Batch 5-fair bit of hops, juicy, hints of soap with notes of leathery brett up front. som dry oak, dustry, very light chardonney wine flavor. juicy dry oak, bright white grapes and slightly sour with a fairbit of grassy hops and some juicy citrus.

Batch 4-more sublte than 5, chardonney comes out slightly more and the hops are much more mild. flavors of integrated oak, white grapes, light brett presence and faint hops.

Batch 3-the hops have faded but the flavors are soft well integrated and subtle. the chardonney barrels really make a bright presence, juicy white grapes as the brett comes in behind. the brett is slightly sharp but still leans towards subtlty with some lemon and soft peach flavors in the back.

Batch 1-the brett has started to dominate and take over, the chardonney and juicy wine flavors have become much light and the sweetness now resides behind and underneath the strong brett presence.


Batch 004X4 reveiwed 3/1/10

A-pours a pale golden yellow color with a thin bubbly head, 2-3 full fingers, holding strongly to the side of the glass.

S-nice notes of oak and hints of vanilla start off this funky aroma. Wild yeasts take over giving it a fair amount of funk, sour grapes and green apples, notes of lemon zest and grass at the finish

T-tart cherries, sour white grapes, and notes of lemon zest are followed by a biscuity malt base. the oak is very faint in the taste as it comes in towards the back.

M-this is extremely smooth and crisp throught, sharp finish and very dry. medium body with a slight warming from the alcohol in the back with a lot of carbonation.

D-this is very sweet and tart. it brings huge flavors and an interesting taste from the barrel aging. Another intersting brew from RR.

Photo of Schmaltzy
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml into Chimay Glassware.

A- Nice hazy golden pale color with loads of nice fine head that left thin lacing on my glass. Tons of carbonation.

S- Barnyard funk, the brett stands up in the front of the line, followed by lemon and green apple scents, nice sour grape scents and subtle hints of sweet oak.

T- Immediate puckering from the green apple and citrus notes, noticing a good amount of brett, nice light bready yeast flavors and good dry oaky chardonnay finish.

M- Light to medium body with a high amount of carbonation, carbonation was still present on the third day of tasting this beer. Very crisp and dry.

D- Easy drinking and leaves you wanting more, I enjoyed Supplication more because it had more flavor but this was very refreshing.

Photo of snpub540
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Live review:

Bottle opens with a pop and some nice gray wisps of smoke coming out of the neck. Pours into my tulip a light golden bronze hue with a generous amount of carbonation. Huge fluffy white head that has great hang time before turning into thin web like lacing on the glass.

Smell is a mixture of fruity and floral notes along with a slight vinegar sour aroma. Very nice. Can't quite put my nose on everything but definately an amazing smell.

Taste to me is absolutely perfect. Its crisp and dry and has fruity flavors of green apple. Also a very nice sourness upfront that is not mouth puckering. Tastes like a well balanced Champagne. Very vinous but definately the best sour ale I've ever had.

There is some nice body there and the amount of carbonation just makes for a very lively experience. I don't think it gets any better than this. Alcohol flavor is not present and this brew has alot of complexity while being balanced at the same time. My new favorite from Russian River.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Unibroue Tulip
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
BATCH: 004x4 (Corked & Caged 750ml)

This pours a light, crisp, golden straw color, with a light orange tint. A fluffy head of off-white colored foam sits on top. Retention is very good. Lacing is in thin strands, but is fairly sticky.

I'm getting loads of white grapes and a good, healthy dose of barnyard funk, along with a slight twang of sourness. A nice presence of oakiness. Tons of citrus notes, especially lemon, along with under-ripe stone fruits. Mild hint of yeastiness.
This smells damn good.

Sour citrus notes and some medium level of barnyard funk are the dominant presence here. There is also a good deal of oak. Right around the middle of the taste you start getting a light hint of chardonnay grapes, which builds towards the end, giving you a nice, chard-like, dry finish.

This is medium-bodied with a light-to-medium level of carbonation. Not quite sharp, but very crisp and clean. Refreshing.

Not something that I'd want to drink everyday, but as an every now and then kind of beer, it would be great. Nicely smooth and easy to drink.

Photo of mjn5036
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Temptation was poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into a large wine glass. It pours a beautiful bright golden yellow with a hefty white head that leaves a substantial amount lacing clinging joyfully all over the glass. Smells of brett, lemon, various citrus and funk, white wine and an oakiness - like that found in chardonnay. I don't even know how else to describe it. It is amazing. Best smelling beer I have had in quite some time. The taste is out of this world as well. It is fairly sour, but not overpowering. Very well balanced. This is how brett should treat a beer. The wine like qualities shine and the oak flavors add nice complexity. The mouth feel is medium and well carbonated. Again, this beer is so great because of its balance. Way too easy to drink and I am now wishing I had more in my glass. The alcohol is starting to show towards the end of the glass. An all around world class beer.

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

Undoubtedly one of the most well-balanced funky Belgians out there. Temptation is basically what brettanomyaces would do to Duvel. ...but there's more....

Temptation pours with a deep canary yellow color and medium haze (a bit more than I expected). A large stark-white head carries a combination of tight and loosely-knit bubbles. The ever lasting head laced all along the glass as though it didn't want to leave- ever.

The nose is a balanced blend of acidic lemon notes and funky-dusty-musty aromas. Crab apples and under-ripe berries come into play, but the beer takes on a typical aroma of well-played Belgian-brett beers.

Flavors are much more complex and less intense than what I got from the nose. True malt flavors of pilsner and wheat varieties shine up front and set the stage with timid sweetness and moderate bready notes. Those lemon, berry, and apple flavors come in close behind and in most tart and acidic fashion. Stopping shy of sour or vinegar, this beer shows great control and restraint. Spicy with white pepper notes from the phenolic yeast do a great job of not showing any off-notes. Still, the tartness weaves in and out of musty characters of basements or attics and light horse blanket just beyond mid palate and just in front of the finish.

What is even more remarkable about the beer is how the wheat malts give a creamy, bready feel in the beginning but then the tartness nose-dives straight into a dry, acidic, and mildly warming finish. Again, shying away fron astringency, the tart acidity and moderate alcohols do all the work. The beer is fleeting and evaporative to the mouth, leaving a very clean aftertaste and leaving me begging for the next sip.

This is a masterpiece of a beer that has all the things that I love so much about Duvel but with added complexities and artfull assertion.

Thank you slayer3604!

Photo of hophead247
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy hazy pale yellow color with a thin head on top. The aroma is extremely sour smelling with sweet grape fruity flavors coming through. There is also a decent amount of a 'funk' coming through in the nose as well with a distinct alcohol smell. The flavor profile is insanely sour and sweet. My taste buds were enjoying this for sure. Again, much of the aroma came through in the taste with sweet fruits and a definite alcohol character. The finish was nicely dry and enjoyable. Very nice.

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

Batch 003. Pours a cloudy deep gold with a full head comprised of finee bubbles resulting in moderate lace. Aromas of fruits such as grape and pineapple stick out along with a pleasant swirling of tart and sweet. The flavor is nicely sour and tart, acidic, with Chardonnay grape sweetness, touches of acetic acids, and a dry finish. Medium to light in body with a smooth, high carbonation. One of the classic American Wild Ales. Sour, smooth, funky, but easy to drink, fruity, and somewhat sweet.

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

Notes from tasting last night:

Bright golden color, 1/2 inch white head, somewhat lasting, nice lace. Aroma of light funk, leather, earthy, oak, and light white wine fruitiness. Taste is very tart and sour, notes of white grapes, lots of lemon and lasting dry finish. Yum yum! Mouthfeel is effervescent, but a few swrils of the tulip tones it down while also bringing out more aroma creating an overall more delightful beer in the process. This was great brew, ultra sour at first, but really becomes more developed as it warms. Good stuff, but I still haven't found a golden sour that can live up the greatness of Brute. This is a great beer though, and I thank SparklePants for sharing this one with me!

Photo of Patrick999
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 004X1. Had before at a tasting, but never had a full bottle to myself....now I do. Cork comes loose with a good deal of coaxing, loud pop. Diagram on the cork basically forbids me to pour into a pint glass. Don't worry, I wasn't going to. Cork smells strongly of acetic acid.

Poured into a tulip. Tons of wispy white foam, clear golden body. The foam leaves very good lacing as it recedes. Pretty outstanding appearance. Yeah, this looks pretty good to say the least.

Smells gueuze-y. I get tart chardonnay grapes right off the bat, a little sour apple, some sweet pear. Sweet-Tarts candy. Fleeting notes of plastic in and out. While the wet cork may smell like pure acetic acid, the beer itself doesn't. Excellent aromatics.

It's immediately mouth-puckering upon hitting the palate. I would say the level of sour is on the high side of moderate. As one would expect, the flavor profile is high on the chardonnay; very vinous with high acidity. Dank, leathery and woody without ever really bringing the funk. Hops at the back end, there's a little more bitterness than I'd expect with a beer like this. Pleasant oaky-white-wine finish and aftertaste.

While carbonation is obviously high, it doesn't really have that much bite to it. And that is a good thing, I think. It's more like a slow-burning flurry of smaller bubbles rather than something carbonated to the degree of annoyance.

For those who enjoy sours, drinkability is high, limited only by the state of your wallet and the ability of your stomach to continue handling the high acidity. I think of this as a gueuze, as good as any Belgium has to offer. In most cases, I'd say a 750ml bottle split with someone will be sufficient. It goes without saying that this would be a good one to give to wine afcionados, but I figured I'd say it anyway.

I knew this was a very good beer when I first had it at a tasting, but it has been fun to really get to know it over the course of a 750.

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

Purchased at total wine in tustin

A - Pours a hazy gold with lots of white head. Maybe 3-4 fingers. Dissipates slowly leaves behind some beautiful lacing. Carbonation is light-to-moderate.

S - Lacto, lemon, honey, and wild yeast funk.

T - The above and chardonnay grapes. There's also moderate citrus as well. It's really good.

M - Medium bodied, slightly malt dominated, and smooth.

D - Great beer. Very drnkable for a sour.

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

Looks wonderful. Pale orange color with bubbles actively rising, a thin, even, creamy head.

On the nose, obvious characteristics of chardonnay (apple, citrus) and oak (vanilla). A bit phenolic, some funk, and a hint of honey.

Sourness hits first then lets the fruit characteristics seep in. A bit of vanilla is felt on the finish.

Well-carbonated and balanced. Obviously has quite a drying effect on the palate.

High acidity limits the serving size, but the taste gets better through a bottle. Flavors are very well-integrated.

Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled in a chalice from a 750ml bottle carried back from Seattle.

A - Yellow with a hazy finish and a moderate white head. The head sticks around for a while and leaves a nice thick coat of lacing.

S - Funky with some fruit. Very little oak (which works for me).

T - Sour and tart from start to finish. It lingers nicely. The oak contribution is mild and I think it works well. I don't like it when the oak overpowers everything else.

M - A moderate consistency with a high carbonation of very fine bubbles. It's just right for the style.

D - This beer packs loads of flavor yet is very well balanced and drinkable. It's not priced as an everyday beer but it makes for a great treat.

Photo of somabeer
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

batch 03

Just popping from the cork, my nose is greeted with big whiff, reminding me of funky fresh goat cheese, with a light lemony zest in the background. It foams just to the top of the bottle, barely breaching the surface. Poured into the glass it has a big bone white head, with fair retention and some lacing. The taste is amazing, its very tart and dry with a nice citrus background. the finish is impeccable full of oak and butter, really drawing out the california chardonnay from the barrels. The buttery finish makes an odd sensation on the way down, but other that its very fizzy and very drinkable!

Photo of tdawgydog
3.68/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first SuperBowl beverage of the day...

A - Pours a nice cloudy yellow, looking quite a bit like your typical wheat weizen brew

S - Not sure if it's the brett or not but it has a little bit of a sweet scent, also a little bit of fruit is evident as well.

T - Eek, this is not my first sour beer, so the concept is not new to me. Will definitely say that this is not my preferred beverage. I guess it's well done for what it is, but I'm not sure how this style became popular.

D - I sucked it down, since I paid good $$ to get this shipped from CA to NY. Not my fave Russian River brew. I was glad once it was done.

M - Good body and feel. I can't fault anything in the brew itself, I'm just not a fan of the style.

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.9/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at Russian River Brewery as part of the sampler.

Appearance- golden color

Smell- kind of a sour smell, no too strong though

Taste- oak, citrus, kind of a sour flavor but not too strong

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- It was pretty good. It was the first sour beer for me so kind of hit me lol.

Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 3,122 ratings.