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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

999 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 999
Hads: 3,446
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 16.78%
Wants: 1,768
Gots: 956 | FT: 67
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 999 | Hads: 3,446
Photo of DrJay
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden straw colour with a fluffy, bright white head. Constant streams of bubbles supported the cap of foam, which left clumpy lacing behind once it started to subside. The brett aroma was apparent across the table. White wine and grape notes as well, with some earthy woodiness. Citrusy sweetness with some acidity, similar to sweet tarts, hits up front. A more substantial, almost syrupy, sweetness follows. Solid bitterness with floral hops and a bit of spice in the finish. A bit of barnyard funk as well. The sweet tart character melds with a bit of oak in the lingering finish. Light dryness, medium bodied, with effervescent carbonation. This beer has plenty of character and goes down very easy. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Notes from 12/16/2006 (Batch 002): This beer produces tons of lacing. The aroma was a little funkier than before - some horseblanket, a little salty with some vinegar (almost like salt & vinegar chips) - but strangely appealing. Citrus flavour was more lemony and there was a little spicy alcohol character as well. Very dry. Again, a beer that I enjoyed quite a lot. I'm tempted to give it a "5" for Taste, but it just wasn't quite there. Maybe next time I try it.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thank you malto for this one.

Yeasty with a vinous nose this beer is a unique joy to drink. It's deep gold/ orange colour belies the different nuances that exist within its body. The Bret influence is there and so is the wine side but all in all what makes this so nice is the fact that drinkability is key to its makeup. fantastic

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Photo of UncleFlip
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle was passed around at a Free The Hops meeting. If this is what we're fighting for, pass my muzzle-loader.

Starts with a strong foamy tan head that tops a nice honey colour liquid. Head falls at medium pace, leaving a thick, wet lace.

Aroma is a swirling fruity-yeasty wonderland. Spice is very apparent, mixed in with grapefruit and strong banana.

Pungent fruit and spice hit up front. Very champagne like, tangy on the end. nice bit of yeastiness throughout.

Very wet feel, with a rough yet tight carbonation up top. Very nice.

VERY drinkable. complex, but not too assertive. Good session beer- but also good for an after-diner drink. Well done!

Be well

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Photo of UnionMade
4.63/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Perfectly clear gold, topped with a lasting, lacing white head. A plume of carbonation rises from the bottom. Loose sheets of lace cling to the glass. Brett aroma, heavy on the cheese, very much like sharp swiss cheese, somewhat farmy, with pale malt. Tart and fruity, big on the wildberry and grape. The flavor starts sweet and cheesy, immediately evoking swiss or mild bleu cheese, modest pale malt sweetness. Farmy and wild, flowery, with a pronounced brett quality throughout. Sour white grape and apricot. A touch of vanilla oakiness, mostly in the end. Finishes moderately sour, vivid wild grape, very dry and tart. Charged, blooming carbonation, lighter bodied, with a fluffy mouthfeel. Sharp swiss cheese aftertaste. Awesome.
Sessionable wild ale? Hell yes. Incredibly good. I'll jump on the chance of having this again. Please ditribute to CT...or MA.

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Photo of PatYoda
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 001.

Pours a clear sparkling peach color with a one finger white head that never goes away and leaves tons of lacing. The aroma is of fruit, white wine, and cobwebby mustiness. Intriguing.

The first taste just blows me away. A sharp tart character is followed by peachy fruitiness and a bunch of sweet, lightly toasted grain. Wow, what a combination. The finish is pretty dry and lingers forever with an oakiness and some malt. This is so incredibly balanced that none of the flavors win out over the others and the combination of them is really something special. This is what I was hoping Supplication was going to be.

The mouthfeel is perfect - just carbonated enough to be really smooth on the tongue, which really works to make the sourness less biting and more inviting. Drinkability is very high. I will definitely be tracking down more Temptation.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not a huge fan of this style as a general rule, but this interesting use of yeast made for a fine brew, quite complex and an overall enjoyable sipper.

Pours a straw golden in color, slightly cloudy with a robusy creamy head with excellent retention. Nose is markedly earthy, quite Belgian-like as one might expect. There are elements that remind of an aged cheddar cheese or the like as well, notes of wine as well. Taste is decidedly like a Belgian pale with a certain woody-earthiness which I would imagine is derived from the barrel aging process. Slightly sour, but still approachable, very well balanced and instantly likable. I enjoyed this one immensely.


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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a light golden apple juice color that was slightly foggy with a thin egg shell head sustained by sparse, slow moving bubbles.

Smelled of oak, sour cherries and turned milk, (Brett’s doing, I presume) with a backing of honey and golden raisins with a slight biscuit doughiness.

Tasted of a light and sweet apple and pineapple base that slowly picked up some grapefruit rind and then faded into a smooth, terribly under ripe fruit, a bit of woody oak and sour milk. The journey of this beer was stupendous that was made all the better by the coupling of the smell with the flavor.

The mouth feel was light, but the carbonation actually detracted from the flavor.

This is an extremely enjoyable sipper that takes your sense for a ride. Again, the compliments of the smells and flavors really was spectacular and the dynamics of the flavor were top notch.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.23/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazed gold with a thick white head that dissolves to a thinner one quickly.
very tart and a little funky smelling (the good funky). apples and white wine with some oak. lemony citrus.
the taste has a lot more complexity to it than the smell. the sour aromas cover up many of the more subtle aromas. tart and white wine like, with apples, white grapes, lemon, there's more fruit in the but it's hard to identify. oak and a little vanilla towards the finish with bourbon at the very end and aftertaste. it makes me wanna smack my lips. oh yeah, it's got a little funk too, it gets up in the sinuses.
medium-ish body with a wild sort of carbonation. nice and dry.
good drinkability considering, but maybe not for everyone.
thi is a very interesting experience, seek it out.

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Photo of frazbri
4.97/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Russian River's Temptation poured straw golden and slightly cloudy and visibly carbonated in my globe glass. The frothy white head stood tall in the glass. Lacing remained in the glass as the beer was drained. Much of the aroma had fruit notes like pear, orange, and lemon, but there were also earthy undertones and whiff of sea air. The first taste was tangy on the tongue, but was accompanied with a mild bitterness and a hint of tannin as I continued. Temptation was light in body and highly carbonated, almost spritzy.

I must thank my brother for bringing this to me. This was my first Russian River beer, and I am impressed. I want to go to Santa Rosa and live at the brewery, if only for a day or two! Thankfully, I've still got 3 other RR beers to try. Bravo!

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Photo of CRJMellor
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy 14K white gold color with a smallish bright white head. Minimal lace but alcoholic tannins visible
Aroma of oaky chardonnay and green apples, with all the complexity that can add. Now that I've learned what Brett smells like it seems very prevalent.
Flavors of sweet white grapes, some deeply oaked and flinty chardonnay along with some tart green apples are prevalent. Incredibly complex and beautifully emerged.
Mouthfeel is fully carbonated but relative light on the palate. Overall the beer glides effervescently down and seems to cover all of the different aspects of taste. Sweet, sour, salty, light bittering, spice . . . finishes with a decent tart kick.
Drinkability is amazing, wine lovers beer for sure but this one is just incredible. Not my favorite style but this one is so unique and delectable to almost be a work of art. Kudos to Vinnie.
Truly world-class.

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Photo of Zorro
4.02/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a somewhat hazy golden colored beer. Not much head formation but that could easily be because of the care I took pouring this beer to make sure to not get any sediment in the glass.

Smell wine like with lemon and fruity scents much like a Chardonnay. There is a strong whiskey aroma to this. Vanilla and caramel from the oak barrels used most likely. Fairly sweet smell after your nose adapts a bit, but I can't say that it has a malty smell. Fairly spicy scent mostly black pepper.

Taste is fairly sour at the beginning but nowhere near lambic funk. The sweet and sour yin and yang here is somewhat like a Flanders Red. After three sips your taste buds adapt and the other flavors come out. Lime and oak mix with the caramel and vanilla flavors that comes out as some new wacky Mojito variant in your mouth.

Mouthfeel is good.

I have a hard time here deciding if I really like this or not. I hate sour beers as a rule but this isn't a jaw locking Lambic. Really interesting vanilla and caramel here that makes me think of a bourbon barrel beer. I guess I have to say that this isn't my first choice of the Russian River Beers.

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Photo of numenor1
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy light golden straw. Fluffy white head, laces a well. Nose is loads of brett, lemons, grassy, tart grapes and whiffs of oak. Starts tart, and fluctuates with estery bananas, lemons, more tart grapes, hay, and fading into oak. Mouthfeel is light and feathery. Not poundable, but that's not an issue here. Incredible.

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

Absolutely brilliant! The oak is massive and the Brett is somewhat restrained. It's drier than might be expected. Poured carefully from a long-standing bottle it delivers a clear (I can see my fingerprints through the glass) dark gold body beneath a creamy head of white. The head retention is superb, and it leaves a solid wall of foam around the inside of the glass. The nose is bright with Brettanomyces (mineralish, leathery, acidic, musty, barnyard, "horseblanket") , tempered by oak, and sparked with a spritz of lemon. In the mouth it's very fine-bubbled, natural carbonation caresses the tongue with a delicate bristle. Medium bodied. The flavor is as the aroma suggests with a firm bitterness for support and a little more acidity. The label suggests that it picks up wine flavors from the oak barrels and I think that's true, there's a definite white grape flavor there. There are some other fruits in there as well, maybe some apricot; some mildly tart tangerine; a drop of pineapple; and even some grapefruit as well. It finishes with a flick of acidity that receeds to leave a citrus-rind bitterness behind. Remarkably refined and easy to drink for the style.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep golden with shades of amber. Carbonation rises slowly through the hazed body. The snow white head has great retention and lace ability. Aroma is lemony, a little acidic, orangey, biscuity and funky. Lemon tones hit me first upon sipping. Other citric fruits are present as well. And some funkiness. A little sourness, but it's quite reserved in this one. Oak and wine of course. And a thirst quenching dryness. Carbonation is gentle yet noticeable. Light body. This one grows on you.

Thanks yet again to TheLongBeachDweller for yet another stellar ale from Russian River.

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Photo of blitz134
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received from AKSmokedPorter...

I had about an once and a half of this at a beer tasting and thought it was amazing. I just had to have a full bottle for myself...

Hazy apricot in color. Quick disappearing white head. Only a small pool of bubbles sits on top. Aroma is tart apples and some white grapes. Again the tart apples and white grapes come through in the taste. Some hints of light oak work their way in. Smells much tarter than it actually is. Has some initial tartness on the tongue and a touch of spices. Very similar to a wine. Super clean palate on this one, nothing which seems 'off-flavored'.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but to style. Carbonation is evident. Finishes very dry. Super drinkable. A nicely constructed flavor that isn't overbearing.

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to BeerBeing for the trade. Pours a slightly cloudy golden yellow. Two inches of fluffy white foam sit atop. Nice lace. Smells sour, but it is balanced with grassy and vinous aromas. Malty as well.

Taste is incredible. Lemon cake, Brett, something sweet, barnyard character, must, oaky Chardonnay, this is ridiculous. Mouthfeel has Champagne style bubbles. Drinkability is limited by absolutely nothing.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to cmaruschak for sharing. Batch 001: Pours hazy golden/orange with a medium thin and foamy ivory-colored head. Thick ring of lacing at the top of the glass, and spotty underneath. Tart, vinous aroma of chardonnay. Wine-like flavor, fruity and tannic. Oak is present, and there is some yeast in the background. The finish is zesty with tart fruit and a hint of sweetness. A unique beer to say the least, with some elements of a Lambic or Flemish Sour, yet still different enough to stand out. Refreshing and easy to drink too. Pretty good all around.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.83/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to cmaruschak for the chance to sample this one.

Appearance: A cloudy straw colored pour emerges from the bottle. Visible carbonation noted throughout the body and terminates in the bone white head.

Smell: Oak, yeast, and cider apples. Very light and tart on the nose.

Taste: Chardonnay grapes, oak, a brush of alcohol, and some metallic sourness that normally would be off-putting but can only assume this comes from the Brett yeast strain. Interesting but I can see how this would fatigue the palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lively carbonation.

Drinkability: A little too much chardonnay wine like for me. Doesn't really scratch the beer itch at all. However, it's a very unique twist on a blonde ale. Nicely done.

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Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A sour beer that is drinkable and not hard on the palate owing to good malting. Woody taste in there-something akin to a acidic chardonnay. Minerals, apples, saison like spice. Horse aroma. I am glad I tried it however this is not the greatest beverage I have had as some others claim. Thanks for sending Hopsalot.
Updated and upgraded, particulalry with improved aromas! on-tap 4.5 years later at the brewpub. Lemony chardonnay, with brett, is very enjoyable and unique. Natural carbonation.

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Photo of gosurfobx
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12.7 oz corked bottle. Pours with a 1 inch head and a hazy blonde color. Bret is noticeable in the smell and taste of this beer. The acidic taste from the bret comes across very well. Wine flavors also present in this beer, as it was aged in oak barrels for a year before bottling. Good drinkablity, looking forward to every sip.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bruno for sharing this rare treat!

Lightly hazed yellow amber pour with a massive, dense, rocky-topped head of whipped froth that just stays forever, eventually falling to a 1/4 inch cap that remains. Lace is sticky and artfully applied.

Aroma is crisp golden fruits, pears and white grapes, tart wine, toasty oak, and tart funk that is similar to nearly fermented rotting apples laying in the dirt.

Flavor is complex and intriguing, bringing on notes of green apple, grapes, toasty vanilla oak, wine, and blanketed by sweet/tart rotting fruit and stinging Brett prickles. Funky and unique.

Body is medium, with a light airey texture and soft, mineral-laden mouthfeel. Irresistably sippable.

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Photo of jakester
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. It came with a wine glass.

Pours a cloudy blonde/gold with a rocky, one finger head of white foam. Carbonation looks medium. The head falls to islands and a ring, with minimal lacing.

Aroma is wonderful Belgian barnyard funk, spicy, sour, with notes of black pepper and other great spices. Hop character is very low. A light fruitiness lies just below the surface. Nice and complex smell.

Flavor is barnyard, sour, fruity, spicy, and really awesome. Hop character is very low, Aftertaste is sour and crisp. I am starting to love this Belgian funk WAY too much. I can't get enough.

Mouthfeel is clean and dry, with a tongue-tingling crispness. Carbonation is medium, adding to the feel. Finish is a long dry crispness.

This reminds me sort of like a saison, with wonderful spicy funkiness. This has to have Brett in it somewhere. Clean and dry, complex as hell; a great addition to RR's portfolio.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.78/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

If you want to see a great review for this beer, keep scrolling down another. However, I'm still goving my two cents worth. This can be a beer where you can convert not the light beer drinker, but rather the white wine drinker. It seemed like I was drinking a nice balanced beer followed by a chardonnay, hence the BA notes on its aging process. can't compare it to other sof this style but will continue to search for other Wild Ales. Wish I could get my hand on more Russian River brews, I just got lucky the other night.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle (batch 1 drank in 2006): Poured a hazy/cloudy dirty yellow color ale with rather large white bubbly head with medium retention. Nose of farmhouse, chardonnay with a sourness resembling lambic. Taste is totally incredible with huge amount of farmhouse (there is probably a better word for this but it is the only I can think of right now), sour notes resembling a lambic and Brett, which is reminiscent of Orval. The Chardonnay barrel effect is maybe a bit too accentuated but still very interesting. Also, it might be a bit too acidic for my liking but it is still very much enjoyable. A more balance level of acid and this would have been a perfect score. Now, I just need to get my hand on some more of this.

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Photo of clvand0
3.92/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color with almost no head at all and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma gives a swift kick of sourness with a little alcohol and fruit. Sourness dominates the aroma. The flavor is much less sour than the aroma would allow you to think. Actually, there isn't a ton of flavor in this one. At the beginning there is a small bit of fruitiness and some sour notes along with a large kick of wood, but the flavor quickly disappears. The mouthfeel is moderate and the drinkability is good, but I'd like to see some more substantial flavors.

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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 999 ratings.