1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,948 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,948
Reviews: 966
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,554
Gots: 789 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Temptation Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,948 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of antilogic
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at O'brien's TION night in a 13oz Chimay.

I've had this in bottle (batch 003) on several occasions, and found that I didn't enjoy it on tap as much. The oak comes through, and the beer really lives up to its description (is it a beer? is it a wine?). Blonde in color, big white head lacing. Medium sourness, tart fruits, oak, lemon come through. Medium bodied, dry, refreshing. Very good.

antilogic, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of BeerStine
3.85/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Batch 003. Poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Cork comes off explosively. An aggressive pour produced a ton of white fluffy head. Color is yellowish tan with champagne like heavy carbonation. The smell of apple and chardonnay are amazing. Also the malts smell of tree bark. Smells kind of like a musky white wine. The taste of wine is the first thing that went through my head. Makes my cheeks tingle upon swallowing. Taste is also similar to the smell: apples and chardonnay. Doesn't really wonder on my tongue but maybe its not supposed to? Mouthfeel is great: heavily carbonated with a lighter body. Drinkablility is good. Just like champagne, I'm not so sure that I'd want to drink more than one bottle (unless it were new years eve).

Overall, a very well crafted beer. Russian River definitely broke the mold with this one.

BeerStine, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of paytoplay
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

World class brew. Chardonnay flavors meld well with beer. Great weight and texture. Silky, very easy to drink. Fun to drink. O'Briens 15th annv keg. Outstanding length to this beer. Distinct flavors and beautiful. The most femenin beer I've had. Also improves with age though the keg was a recent batch I believe. My #1 best RR beer aged in oak. Exceptional!

paytoplay, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of bbothen
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Summer 2008

Pours out into a chalice a pale straw color with a pillowy & fluffy 2 finger deep white head. The lacing is glue like on the glass.

The aroma. Wow. Funky, musty, requisite barnyard & horse blanket, faint wood, lemon, spicy. Unique to say the least.

Sour/tart puckering right up front, after the tartness subsides there are wonderful lemon, wood, bready, pear, acidic, apple flavors that are quite nice.

Dry, medium bodied, zesty carbonation, yeah zesty, refreshing.

A good entry level brew to American Wild style. Will be having again. No doubt.

bbothen, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of QuentinCompson
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12.7 oz bottle (Batch 003) into Orval chalice

A - 1.5 finger head into cm film; Golden, murky brew; inviting; random lacing

S - Wine, Brett yeast, peppery fruits, slight spice

T-M - Smooth, nicely carbed intro, sourness starts creeping in over malts; wild champagne taste; nose gets increasingly sour, but not too much at all; more fruit & champagne (not vinegary); nice notes from the Brett; awesome peppery finish, almost like a drop of Tabasco.

D - This beer is inspired. Amazing. May take some getting used to, but you cant deny its genius. Could drink it all night if I was so lucky.

QuentinCompson, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of laituegonflable
3.78/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden colour, cloudy appearance with steady bead feeding a decent snowy head that isn't hanging around for encores but is leaving a deliciously fragile lacing cradle. Great, for the lacing. Otherwise nothing exciting.

Really very delicious nose. Champagne characters with a slight sour fruit element but a lot of pleasant grapey aromas. Slight hint of a tang, not quite sherbety but sherbety is the closest I can come, linguistically.

Wow. And...wow. Okay, that taste really surprised the arse off of me. (If I'd known what this was, perhaps not quite as much, but still) Very, very mouth-puckering sour palate, but yes I was dead right about the tang because there it is loud and clear. It's very citrusy really, like lemon squash that's leant too heavily on the lemon. At the same time, a very rich, robust mid-palate, rather (I'd say) champagney again. Like the tang on the nose, it's kind of like poorly-hidden alcohol, only without the alcohol intensity. Just a rich billowy palate, like a cloud of octopus ink. Full marks, beer, for the surprise factor. And a fascinating palate to boot.

Not an everyday chugalug beer but an interesting, bold palate that grabs you by the balls and spits in your face "I am an interesting, bold palate." Mouthfeel is very puckering. I feel it killing my tastebuds with its acidity.

laituegonflable, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of kajerm
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 mL champagne bottle from Monk's, batch 003.

Pours straw-colored and slightly cloudy with two fingers of fluffy white carbonation that hangs around and even leaves a little lacing. I don't remember Supplication or Compunction having this kind of head retention. Carbonation is champagne-fine.

The aroma is sour, with vinegar notes just shy of compunction over the kind of complex background I've come to expect from these RR wild ales. There's apple cider and funk from the Brett, along with some wood and vanilla, and even a little citrus.

Tastes like it smells, opening up with lip-smacking acidity. Mixed citrus comes in mid-palate, with a character much more similar to Chardonnay than to hop-derived citrics. Some very light vanilla and bitterness in the finish, but oak and hops are definitely not the main event. Of the Russian River sour beers I've had, this is by far the most winelike, which works well with the heavy acidity. The balance is perfect.

Drinkability is phenomenal. In a world without heartburn, I could drink a case of this.

kajerm, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of CoolJosh
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jh1982 for the generous trade. Really anxious to try this, Cheers to my first Russian River experience.

A Hazy light yellow color, with a bleach white head similar to the head of a champagne. Head lasts the entire glass. Tons of activity, as carbonation comes rushes up the body of this elegant looking beer.

S As my sniffer closes in, I get a whiff of puckering green apple blended nicely with lemon, dry but flavorful white grape, and brett. Smells almost like a dry and sweet white wine, really pleasing.

T Mouth watering fresh lemon right from the start, the Sour tag is more then deserving. As the sourness wears it provides a great entry into white grapes and apple tastes, as foreseen in the scent. Incredibly acidic and fairly bitter, which leads to a lighter loftier taste. This would be perfect on a hot summer day.

CoolJosh, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My 600th review!!! Thanks to 011x0110 for this bottle.

Batch #003, corked and caged 12.7oz bottle. Poured into a Lost Abbey chalice. Emerges a dark golden color with a huge white head. The head is dense, foamy, rocky, and about three fingers in size. The lacing is unbelievable on this one as well.

Aroma is fruity and sour. Peppery as well. A big dose of lemon rind is in the nose. Some barnyard aromas but nothing too acrid or sour. A large dose of yeast aroma.

Puckeringly sour and tart. Slightly fruity but mostly the tartness and sourness come forward. A touch of lemon peel, some green pepper. Perhaps a touch of dry chardonnay near the finish. Not much oak or wine characteristics otherwise.

My first American Wild Ale and will NOT be my last. I am really starting to love the sour and funky beers and this might the best yet. Carbonation is perfect. Finishes pretty dry and crisp. Mouth pucker at the end. So easy to drink. A real treat!

SaCkErZ9, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 6/11/08. Batch #1 from Sputyen Duyvil. Pours a semi-clear orange with little head. Aroma of funk and sourness. Flavor of oak (very similar to oak-barrel aged Captain Lawrence beers), sour gueuze-like notes, sour apples. The oak is present but not overpowering and balances nicely with the sour notes. Has a strong palate to mesh with the oak barrel. Nice finish. Excellent beer.
7/4/9/4/16 (4.0/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of jojox
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - tons of white head. Big pop when opened but not really gushing - it should have stayed in the fridge a bit longer to cool down. Lots of CO2. Champagne like bubbles, poured into a small champagne flute.

s - Acid. Which? Some funky, slight oak hints. Smells good.

t - Mild sourness and oak is a strange mix. Tart but not super sour. It's really nice - RR does a great job. This is mild in terms of sourness and acid, but it has similar flavors. I do think Vinny has the best bugs.

m - sour, but mildly so. Nice and crisp and clean.

d - High. What sour? All day baby.

jojox, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of bifrostguard
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a hazy yellowish orange color with a tall white head that hangs around for awhile. Minimal lacing left and noticeably effervescent.

S - Sour, tart and lemony with a very mild oak scent in the background.

T - Not as sour as I expected from the smell. It's like taking a bite out of a lemon topped with salt. Tart and drying.

M - This one makes your mouth water in between sips. Highly carbonated and somewhat drying.

D - I really enjoyed this one. It was so well balanced and interesting that I found it difficult to put the glass down in between sips. I like it more each time I have it.

bifrostguard, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mfielden for this one!

12.70 oz. cork-caged bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

Opens with a loud "pop":

Pours golden with a large foamy white head that lasts, leaving foamy patches and broken rings of lacing.

The smell is sour/funky with yeasty breadiness and lemongrass.

The taste is sour and lemony - puckering. It has a vanilla/oak backing. Chardonnay comes through. Very wild/funky...barnyardy/musty. White wine character comes through as well. Finishes very dry.

Medium-bodied with carbonation giving an airy lightness.

A nice, well-done sipper. A power-house in the tart department. Very lemony and acidic, so as well-done as it is, it is a sipper - Try pairing with fish.

jwc215, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of treyrab
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to jac5084 for whipping this out...and to whoever the hell traded it to him! Poured into my tulip glass...

A: Murky pale yellow with a spritzy snowblind white head. The incredible rush of carbonation builds the head and leaves it lasting half the glass.

S: Tons of sour green apple and lemon mixture with tons of Brett and funk. Some slight white grapes and chardonnay scents are coming through as well.

T: Starts off like a lemon got squeezed into your mouth. Very sour up front, but then fades into more light grape and apple flavors. The initial flavors are very acidic and strong, while the latter flavors are more mild and light. Overall, incredibly tasty and refreshing.

This was my first "real" wild ale and it was incredible. Did it live up to my expectations? I'm not sure yet. But I know I want to try it again!

treyrab, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of ggoss3
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a) blonde crisp golden pale straw color

s) mostly ale flavored with the ting of brett on the nose, slightly sour, but hard to catch on the nose

t) layered ale flavor with hints of chardonnay... the puckerness of brett without the sourness of a ouid or lambic

m) thin but surprisingly complex... it doesnt fill your mouth, but also lets you know its there

d) wonderfully drinkable, gives you the frontal lobe punch that a nice brett beer will

ggoss3, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of mcallister
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden color with nice levels of carbonation. Actually the cork blew out of the bottle off my ceiling. Huge white head with chunky large heady foam. Retention is on and on.

Woody with enormous amounts of brett character fruity, grapes, luscious pineapple, pear, starfruit, more oak with a hint of grape, Very nice.

Sour mouthpuckering delicous brett induced goodness. Tart as hell with great fruit character and more tartness. The aging on burgundian oak really shows through. So much apricot, pear, honey suckle, oak with oak tannins really drying up the finish. So tart delicoius and pallate clearing. Could drink this all day all night.

mcallister, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of marksto
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a sour beer tasting with a buddy who had this one and Supplication - this one was my favorite.

Pours a hazy golden color with medium head of foam. Retention is good, a thin layer of foam continues to float atop as the glass is drained. Big funky aroma, with musty, lemony, and horseblanket elements on the nose. Flavor shows excellent complexity, which to me is the key to a good sour beer. Brightly sour. Brett funkiness and oakiness are evident. Also has a luscious lemony/chardonnay note in the background that interplays nicely with the sourness.

Overall, an excellent sour beer and the best RR I've had.

marksto, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of PatronWizard
4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

So I'm learning to appreciate the sour side. I had this on tap once at Stone, but, uh, don't remember too much from that day except it was a great day of beer hopping with friends.

Pours a semi-opaque sunshine hue of gold. Lots of action here. Head is big bubbled, frothy, and pops a lot. Had a crappy pour because the cork shot out at Mach2 and the beer welled up and gushed forth.

Smell is mouth wateringly sour. You know exactly what you're in for.

Taste is sour. Surprise. Sour oranges mostly. I remember liking this at Stone now! The sourness isn't overbearing like some others of the style. Pleasant. Like 'sour lite.'

Mouthfeel is a little harsh, but not rude. Probably the most drinkable sour I've had, as the style in general is masochistic.

Overall: good awa

PatronWizard, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of SaucyA
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003

A - Sniftered. Pours a slightly hazed golden with a ton of fast-flowing bubbles. The head is quite large and tight. Lacing.

S - Holy wine-barrel batman. Massive amounts of oak, wine, sour white grapes, brett. Flowery and perfumey...spicey.

T - Really remarkable. Tartness, but not overdone. Major wine notes, yet still obviously a beer. Starts tart with sour grapes and apples, and melts into a cacophony of tiny nuances. Brett here. Oak here. Wine here. Lemon juice. Sour up front, and dry on the finish.

M - Near champagne-like carbonation... very effervescent and crisp. Body is rather big for such a sparkly brew.

D - Wonderfully drinkable, and would be a joy in a 750.

Notes: Almost the last of my Russian River brews :( They really do live up to the hype.

SaucyA, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another of the many Russian River Brews JHenry04 sent me in a trade a little bit ago. I'm slowly working my way through them (rationing them actually), and enjoying every one of them. Thanks a lot Jason!

Batch #003

A cloudy, golden body that has a bunch of fast moving carbonation bubbles. Slightly hazy, not translucent, but not completely opaque either. A big, thick white head that has very good retention and leaves thick, sticky lacing along the glass. A couple of yeast particles also float around in the beer.

Smells excellent. Lots of tartness in the aroma, along with a tart green apple smell. Chardonnay definitely comes through here, along with an oaky smell.

Taste, as usual, is very similar to the smell. Very tart up front with the Brett coming through. Pear and green apple are noticeable. Chardonnay and oak notes come through in the middle, followed by some more fruits and sourness toward the finish. Before the finish there are also some grassy notes that are noticeable. The aftertaste reminds me of the candy Warheads. A complex and great version of an American Wild Ale.

Mouthfeel is slightly puckering and a litle bit dry at the same time. Highly carbonated. After drinking for awhile makes the mouth feel like a very sour candy (warheads for example) would. Once again a kind of lasting dry, puckering feeling that makes the tongue feel like it is covered in ridges. Interesting.

This beer is excellent, and the drinkability is no exception.

Hojaminbag, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of JoeMayo
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy, golden straw color with very little head.

S- Mild tart aroma. The intense brett smell that you find in the other RR sours is there, but more subtle. Notes of sweet grape and dry champagne are noted.

T- Moderate sourness. Brett and dry champagne along with the sweetness of fresh champagne grapes all balance one another.

M- Very crisp in spite of its sweetness.

D- Very drinkable for an American Wild.

JoeMayo, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of tprokop7
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium head that lingers for a while. Straw colored, with a bright sourness that lacks any of the earthy scents that were in the beatification. Sour cherries and grape tastes dominate. Lively in mouthfeel, and goes down with a pronounced acidic feeling.

tprokop7, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of drseamus
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice straw body with a decent white head. It nearly murdered Aerozeppl as he opened it though. With the cage removed but the bottle sitting there UNTOUCHED on the table, the cork erupted out and drilled him directly in the forehead. Fortunately though, no beer was lost.

S: The aroma is funky with a good amount of apple. I love the funk on the nose.

T: A very firm tart flavor with some dry dustiness from the Brett. There is a fruitiness to the beer which is typical of a wild ale. This is a kick ass beer.

M: Light bodied although the tartness does give it a bit of weight.

D: All day long baby. Seriously.

drseamus, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of rye726
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rich straw color with a silky off-white head. Excellent lacing.

The nose has a bouquet of tart fruits, sweet candy malts, white wine, oak and musty barnyard funk.

Taste is a complex yet perfectly balanced collection of sour citrus, fruity malts, manure, horseblanket, french oak barrels and chardonnay.

Crisp, delicate body matches the style perfectly. This is some delicious stuff. I wish I had a 750.

Edit 8/09: Now that they distribute to Colorado, I do have a 750, and it's just as good as I remember.

rye726, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
4.6/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7oz bottle

A- Corked and caged bottle. This bottle is under a lot of pressure from the carbonation, the cork nearly made a hole in the ceiling. The high carbonation also demanded a slow pour to avoid a foam over. Pours a dark golden yellow/orange color wtih a large off-white head that possesses amazing retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is a thing of beauty! The nose is dominated by a sour funkiness with some golden fruit and oak. Very complex and very "tempting". I'm looking forward to the taste. This is a great smelling beer and one I could easily sit and smell all evening.

T- The taste is extremely complex like the aroma with a good amount of sour flavors, but the sour is not completely overwhelming. The brett is really noticeable in both the aroma and taste giving it that signature earthy/funky character. I can also definitely pick up on a lot of the oak characterics from the French oak wine barrels that this beer ages in. Finally, the earthy finish is very dry.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation

D- Temptation is another world class beer from Russian River that I wish was more readily available so more people could experience this great brewery. Highly recommended.

cjgator3, Oct 28, 2008
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,948 ratings.