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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,935 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,935
Reviews: 965
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 9.19%
Wants: 1,553
Gots: 788 | FT: 43
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A blonde ale fermented with a special strain of yeast, then aged in French oak chardonnay barrels. Flavors of wine and oak absorb into the brew throughout twelve months of aging. During this aging process, a secondary fermentation occurs using a yeast strain disliked by most brewers and winemakers called Brettanomyces.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,935 | Reviews: 965 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank you Paul for this glorious wedding gift. I enjoyed it with Natalie and Alana. Thanks man!

a: Cloudy blonde body with a huge fluffy white head. Superb lacing, diehard head retention.

s: Sweet, sour and full of complexity. Notes of blanc de blanc champagne, lemon and grass.

t: Light malt, mildly funky brett sourness, and the spicy yeastiness you find in a. Like the nose, the flavor is very similar ro champagne. I think the lighter malt, soft brett and barrel aging lead to this champagne flavor. In any case, I LOVE IT. Excellent and unique take on the style.

m: Prickly carbonation provides a barrier between the beers body and your tongue. Again, think champagne.

d: Loving this beer. Could be the best sour I have had, but with bottles of supplication and saison with george brett in the fridge, I had better reserve my judgment. The ideal beer for introducing non-beerdrinking wine lovers to. I think any champagne enthusiast would have to appreciate this beer. I could drink it all night long, in fact, I partially regret sharing with my wife and dear friend. Maybe I am a Jack-Ass. maybe it's just that good.

Once again, thanks Paul.

BradLikesBrew, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of abfraser
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003

A: Cork comes off with a champagne-like pop. Pours straw yellow, hazy golden with loads of carbonation and a big white head.

S: Funky, musty, earthy, acetic, lemony

T/M: Sharp tartness that recedes quickly giving way to lemony apples and chardonnay. Very dry, highly carbonated, light bodied. Tastes like an amped up American-style gueuze. Excellent stuff.

D: Extremely drinkable given the light body, tartness and high carbonation. A very refreshing beer the doesn't overwhelm.

Awesome sour beer. It's even more expensive than some of the famous Belgian sours, but well worth it for a treat every once in awhile.

abfraser, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of jjayjaye
3.78/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy pale golden amber color with a big loose white head that fades fairly quickly leaving spotty patterns of lacing. The smell is aggressive and all about the chardonnay barrel treatment; earthy, very lemony, fruity and tart...way more character than the base blonde. The mouth feel was tangy and effervescent. Full flavored, the tart lemon character and barrel treatment tastes like drinking a chardonnay out right. Too tart for me and with a bit more wine character than i could appreciate at this sitting. I had the opportunity to consider this one with lunch at Hopmonk's Tavern in Sebastopol, CA.

jjayjaye, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of Monsone
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 3 corked and caged bottle poured into a chalice.

A - Pours hazy golden with a bright white head. Decent retention and lacing.

S - Funky, with lemon, lemongrass, and oaky chardonnay.

T - Sour lemon, apple and pear. Hints of an oaky chardonnay. Smooth and more subtle.

M - Medium with a creamy texture and high carbo.

D - Very drinkable for the style. If this was easier to obtain (and cheaper!) I would drink a lot of it.

Overall, great beer!

Monsone, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of waltonc
4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased from City Beer Store.

Appearance: hazy golden orange, whith a white head that is still present ten minutes after pouring.

Smell: Chardonnay is a good adjective to describe this smell, as well as sour apples. Pretty refreshing.

Taste: Tart, sour apple, lemon, yeasty, bread, and oak. Very good for this style.

Mouthfeel: Mouth puckering, medium bodied, with significant carbonation. Certainly not gulpable.

Drinkability: Also not highly drinkable. Too tart and sour to drink more than a glass of this at a time. But very good overall.

waltonc, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of Mauerhan
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

was lucky enough to score a few glasses of this at stone this past weekend.

poured a bright orange/yellow. nice white head that fizzles away very quickly.

smells strongly of green apples, grapes, and a slight bit of citrus.

taste is awesome. as if i had popped a nice sour jolly rancher in my mouth. this is by far the sourest beer that i have ever had. but i LOVED it. this beer is not for the weak of taste. the apples and grapes. awesome.

mouthfeel is very puckering. light bodied, but VERY sour.

i could drink a few of these. but i would say be careful the first time you have it. it will hit ya hard. its like getting a kick in the mouth.

Mauerhan, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of oakbluff
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3 bottle- appearance is a murky golden with three finger head and excellent lacing. Nose- sweet white grapes, lemon rinds. Taste- champagne like carbonation, blast of white grape sharpness and green apple sourness. Has a wood/ mineral like dryness to the finish. Really dries out the mouth. Having had the previous two batchs, the brett is definitely more prounounced each time out. Great stuff

oakbluff, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of mbrasi
4.58/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Overview: Batch 003 Pours golden with light white head. Aroma is oak and grapes like a white wine more than beer. Flavor is sour but well balanced with the oak and doesn't make you pucker after you drink. Finish is oak and sour but not lingering too long. Will review more when I get another in a trade.

mbrasi, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of beerphilosopher
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant medium gold color with a tall, bubbly white head of foam that seems ever expanding and long-lasting. Ample carbonation is visible rising up in the glass. A sight to behold. The nose is wonderfully complex and replete with brett character - slightly acidic and quite musty with the obligatory "horsey" notes for which these wild strains are famous. Hiding behind the marvelously funky notes are wisps of oak and citrus, making this beer an incredibly intricate and challenging subject. This just from the sight and smell. The palate is not to be outdone, of course. The fine, almost effervescent carbonation delivers a startlingly dry and exceedingly tart experience in the mouth. At the same time earthy, floral and citrusy with notes of dry white wine, wood and tree fruit. Nothing short of incredible. Medium bodied with a full, voluminous mouth feel and bone dry finish. Some residual tartness with hints of oak are left on the palate, but otherwise this beer finishes completely clean - almost astringent - and as tart as they come. The oak, rather than mellowing this beer, has accentuated the subtleties and only served to make the ale more complex than it was already destined to be. In every regard an incredible beer by a master craftsman. Vinnie, you do astounding work. With a tartness that might exclude some, this beer is a wonder in the wild ale classification and a must-drink experience for the senses. One of the very best I've sampled - be it from this country or another. Outstanding.

beerphilosopher, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(from notes taken early august 2008)

my brother obtained this in a trade with brewerb

batch 003. poured into small tulips

hazy, almost cloudy. bright golden straw color with slight orange hue. lots of foamy, rocky head that doesn't fade. some spotty lacing.

smells like champagne with brett funk. hints of cider vinegar, wood and yeast. whiffs of phenols and more fruitiness (white grape). note of grass, hay and barn.

flavor has tart cider vinegar character, with more champagne notes and slight farm funkiness. sour apple fruitiness finds some toasted malt to latch onto. mild, grassy bitterness from hops and woody tannins. all of which go into a pleasantly semi-tart, semi-dry finish.

not too thin. definitely some texture from acidity (and tannin?). moderate, refreshing carbonation.

decent, although still pricey for just 375 ml.

tai4ji2x, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks again to swnicholson for this in a trade.

A: Cloudy blonde color with minimal white head.

S: Sweetness with funk right there behind it. I would consider this a tight nose.

T: Really nice interplay of sweet and sour. Sharp tartness up front. The blonde ale is there but hidden behind the funk and tartness. Really good but in my head I thought it would be more complex.

M: Again like the beatification we had before this very crisp. These RR sours are surprisingly refreshing.

D:All day long. Super smooth. Damn shame these beers are so hard to obtain out here.

aerozeppl, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of brentk56
4.97/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden color with a huge head; the retention was very good and the beer left clumps of lace along the sides of the chalice

Smell: Except for the sour Brett tones, you would swear you were smelling an oaky chardonnay, with vanilla and white wine grapes influencing the tart green apple, apricot and sour cherry tones

Taste: Opens with a mouthful of fruit (pear and apricot) that moves in a tart, green apple direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, the tartness mellows and the more subtle fruit character (pear, melon, apricot) and oaky/vanilla elements represent themselves; unlike some of the other Wild Ales where the sour elements dominate, this one is much more subtle and complex

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body and quite creamy; medium to high carbonation

Drinkability: Another stunning achievement from Russian River; more subtle than some of the others and, in many ways, better, as a result

brentk56, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of nrbw23
4.13/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 003

A- Pours a hazy gold color with a nice bright white head that has great retention and leaves a ton of lacing.

S- Quite a bit of funk, also could pick up some lemon, corrainder spice, a wood smell, and kind of wine like. Very interesting.

T- Very sour at the beginning and some serious lemon. A touch of wood, and again wine like. Very different and very good tasting.

M- Medium body and high carbonation.

D- Once I got used to the sour bite of this one I really enjoyed it. Interesting and different.

nrbw23, Sep 06, 2008
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,935 ratings.