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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,751 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,751
Reviews: 954
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,532
Gots: 734 | 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
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Ratings: 2,751 | Reviews: 954 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wadsey


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

Temptation, batch 05x1E

Served in GI silver goose white-wine glass. 

A: Pours clear straw with sparkling effervescence. The head lacks size, but makes up in retention. Great lacing. 

S: Brettanomyces makes its presence known immediately with barnyard and musty basement aromas. A little cheese rind, too. Some lactic acid and musty hay tickles the nose, as well. A bit of lemon zest and barrel?

T: Lactic acid sucker-punches palate. Then lemon zest, citric acid and musty hay come in. Less barnyard than expected, but it is still present, and gains strength in finish, which is crisp and dry. Medium acid. 

M: Medium body and carbonation, but relatively soft mouthfeel. 

O: Temptation drinks like an American Gueuze, if that makes sense. Nice balance of various wild yeasts and bacteria. Very good drinkability. 

Thanks hurfer for the assist!

07-04-2011 12:44:46 | More by Wadsey
Photo of thetomG


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

Impressive clear golden color with a nice foamy white head.

Some nice funky & fruity aromas abound. These develop more in the taste with sour pear & apple being the dominant flavors alongside the yeasty funk.

Bubbly and almost champagne like, it has a similarly dry/bitter finish. Very interesting and well done beer. Would LOVE to drink more of this. EXCELLENT!

01-04-2011 23:42:42 | More by thetomG
Photo of LiquidBread219


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

Batch 05x3

A: Cloudy in appearance, dark gold in color, thin lastig head, champagne like carbonation.

S: Dry white wine comes out first, subtle oak mixes cream then the brettanomyces comes out, finishes with a faint hint lemon zest.

T: Champagne like, apricots interweave with vanilla and oak, the brett is reserved and really enjoyable. Warms up really well in the glass.

M,D: This prickles the tongue in the start, becomes creamy in mid drink then finishes off crisply. The beer is very session worthy and, delicious.

06-11-2011 20:57:43 | More by LiquidBread219
Photo of ShadesOfGray


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

Had this last night at a local brewpub. Poured out of a 750ml bottle Heard about Temptation for a while, finally found it for a reasonable price. Pours pretty clear yellowish. White small head. Smells very strong of lemon/citrus. Definitely a tart amoma...but expected for this Sour/wild ale.
Tastes exactly like it smells. Kind of tart, but a pleasant sourness. Pretty easy to drink and refreshing. Aroma stays with you even hours after your last sip.
In my oppinion, it reminds me of Limoncello: just not as sugary and not as boozy. Easier to put down too.

11-07-2009 16:46:53 | More by ShadesOfGray
Photo of washburnkid

New York

4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

I better hurry up with this review, before my mouth starts watering uncontrollably. Thanks to sanatar for opening up this bottle.

Temptation is an opaque dark yellow to light golden. A small white head results from the pour and sticks around as a cap to accompany me on this sour adventure. Aromas are solidly funky and acidic. I wish there were more words to describe it all! Flavors are incredibly sour, and there is a heavy puckering effect on the sides of my tongue. The sourest of granny smith apples and white grapes/Riesling are very apparent. High carbonation brings out the tart flavors even more. It is a tongue tickler, without a doubt. I want more more more!

08-06-2009 04:35:31 | More by washburnkid
Photo of JimLetson

New York

4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

Got this 375mL from youbrewidrink in my last trade. Thanks, Joe! This is a batch 5 poured into my snifter.

Appearance - a hazy gold colour, with a finger of light head that drops pretty quickly, leaving a bit of lace just above the surface of the liquid, and a bit of a coating of small bubbles over top. I really like the colour a lot.

Smell - heavy on the lemon fragrances, with a good amount of barnyard smell, too. Little bits of oak poke through as well, but the lemon and the smell of clean stable dominate.

Taste - a lot of up-front lemon and oak, but the sourness is pleasant, not at all overdone.. The wild aspect of it isn't quite as dominant as I thought it would be. I like the balance. I expected a serious pucker when I took a sip, and I was happy (relieved?) to see that, while the funk and sourness are there, they don't overpower you. In addition to all that, there is a definite mineral character, and tastes of dill and thyme as well, which surprised me a great deal.

Mouthfeel - carbonation is champagne-like, and the acidity leaves the mouth waiting for another sip. I feel it in my cheeks and lips long after it's left my tongue. Very nice.

Drinkability - if I had another, I'd pop it open. I really enjoy this beer. Time to head back to the trading forums!

03-04-2011 05:59:22 | More by JimLetson
Photo of Soneast


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

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.

09-10-2010 21:48:23 | More by Soneast
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

[Best served in a Tulip glass]

The pour was a murky medium yellow with an average sized (1-2 finger) white frothy head that reduced to just a thin foamy film that hung to the sides of the glass thus producing some excellent sheeting of lace.

The aroma was harsh of a grain malt and a funky moldy yeast (Brett) with notes of peach, pears, lemon and a winey oak scent.

The taste was slightly sweet and tart with a note of peach in the beginning then quickly got extremely sour with a big dose of citrus and a hint of wine and wood at the end. The flavor stuck around for a good long while after the swallow with a nice sour citrusy taste left to lie on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was just a tad under medium in body with a nice dry creamy texture and an extremely lively carbonation.

Overall a seriously sour brew with great notes of citrus, wine and oak. Which all together make this a very delectable tasting beer.

02-13-2012 23:19:19 | More by KajII
Photo of emagana


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

now i havent had many sour ales and i figured i would give this one a try as i was bottling my homebrew.
poured a light yellow. breat carbonation and oak notes. this one reminds me of consecration.
aromas are sour and chardnay like. very inviting and not offensive.
starts with a slight tart and carbanation buttles begin to help spread the flavors. hints of grapes and raison and some oak for sure. well balance. i enjoy the complete mouthfeel but i think it would do much better on a warm day paired with some fruit.

02-04-2011 19:00:00 | More by emagana
Photo of andrewinski1

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

Thanks a bunch to nerd for hooking me up with this one and many more. Poured into a chalice. Light golden color with effervescence and a nice white head of about half an inch that leaves a bit of sticky lacing. The clarity is stunning; no haze at all.

Nice okay flavor with mild sweetness and a hint of vanilla. A nice dose of grapefruit and tart citrus follow. Really nicely balanced aroma.

The taste is identical to the aroma. Nice mellow oaky start that has a nice subtle malt sweetness to it. The finish is strong with lemon rind and tartness. Nice balance here; makes for an enjoyable drink all around.

The mouthfeel is sharp enough to have a champagne-like feel to it. Great drinkability for the style; none of the flavors dominate and work really well together.

02-03-2011 05:24:25 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of wyattshotmaker


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

poured into a tulip, incredibly clarity. nice thin white head that dissipated, good lacing. the clarity of this beer is absolutely vivid.

oak, slight vinous character. generally funky with a mild acetic twinge.

pear, tropical fruit, touch of toast, funk, mild lactic acidity, touch of oak. complex but kinda straight forward. i get a little bit of a buttery flavor but nothing that really takes away from the beer. really enjoyable.

mouthfeel is pretty light and effervescent, really a nice beer. i had my doubts but this beer is very good.

01-21-2012 03:52:32 | More by wyattshotmaker
Photo of capra12

New York

4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

Reviewed with speedwayjim and stephy at TJ's returant and drinkery.

Appearance: tan in color and no head.

Smell: sour green fruit.

Taste: wow. Sour profiles are nicely balance. Sour green fruit and kind of bready. Leaving a malty aftertaste and green unripened fruit.

Mouthfeel: light bodied, mod carbonation and bubbly.

Drinkability: I would have this again and recommend this to a sour lover.

12-05-2009 23:04:36 | More by capra12
Photo of ffejherb


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

On tap at Russian River on 7/17/09.

A - Hazy pale golden body with virtually no carbonation and a sturdy white, creamy head that retained very well and left moderate lace around the glass.

S - Slight band-aid notes with a sour funk, but not over-the-top at all. Surprisingly, there are also hints of citrus rind and bitter hop notes. Plenty of oaky character as well with a contrasting green apple sourness.

T - Really defined sour green apple flavor with a tart character and lots of oaky, woody tannins. A hint of earthy bitterness emerges in the finish, accompanied by even more tart notes.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and very dry, tart finish with plenty of sourness and astringency on the palate.

D - Fantastic sour ale... perhaps one of my new favorites! Really tasty and nicely done Wild Ale that doesn't totaly wreck the palate or melt the tastebuds. I think I enjoyed this even more than Consecration.

08-16-2009 23:31:42 | More by ffejherb
Photo of bbeane


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

A- Poured into an oversized DFH snifter... starts with a finger thick white fizzy head on top of a golden orange colored beer with some mild activity

S- First wiff is a bit funky and sour. After some swirls of the snifter, a hint of oak joins the sour funky aroma

T- Starts mild before becoming sour and funky tasting. The oak wine barrel aging ads a bit of flavor in the finish

M- Light bodied and slick... light/medium carbonation

O- I enjoyed as I do pretty much everything from Russian River, but this one has nothing on the Consecration imo


04-14-2011 00:05:19 | More by bbeane
Photo of pigc


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

A - Pours a light golden blond with white one finger head. Carbonation bubbles race to the top of the glass. Gorgeous.

S - Brett, some clove, banana, oak.

T - Initial taste of musty oak, sour funk. Mildly acidic fruitiness comes through with a mildly dry finish.

M - Light and carbonated.

O - Mildly sour ale with lots of complexity. Very drinkable and a good intro into sours.

10-15-2011 00:30:43 | More by pigc
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

"French oak chardonnay barrels", eh? I smell it once the cork comes out.

Lovely pale amber color, nearing orange, completely cloudy, witha thick, sturdy snowy cushion of foam above.

Potent aromatics, screaming sour from afar....on closer inspection, yup, that's tart, with citrus and spice squeaking in...deep, heady stuff....beautiful.

Sourness is the main game in the mouth, blasting the tongue, then fading gently. Bracingly tart. Then smooth, but never releasing the hold of the tart, accompanied by some fruit and a bit of spice. Nice.

Full-bodied and fresh. Zesty, snappy, tangy...quite an accomplishment, matching the quality of Belgian ales so well that if you didn't know, you'd swear this bottle crossed an ocean.

Fine and mellow, this tempting ale. Delightful. Delicious. D'lovely.

12-06-2005 07:15:10 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of pjwilson


4.33/5  rDev -2.9%

On label it says "Is it wine or is it beer?" Well, this is the closest tasting to wine beer i've ever had. Chardonnay flavors dominate this beer...but there's more than just that also a sourness..mild compared to some lambic. typical descriptions of malt and hops don't really work here. This one was served chilled and it's so darn drinkable...if it wasn't 8 dollars a bottle i could go through a 6 pack like nothing. maybe one of those 1.5 litter bottles would a fun way to spend a summer evening alone. a very different beer for sure. tastes alot like chardonnay. .. but's it's better :)

08-24-2005 07:01:44 | More by pjwilson
Photo of OStrungT


4.35/5  rDev -2.5%

This beer pours a cloudy orange color with a thin white head. The head fades slowly, leaving a decent lacing.

This beer has a sour aroma. Some spicy aroma is present. It smells citrusy also. Orange, and a touch of lemon. That pretty much dominates the aroma.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Mostly citrusy, with orange and lemon dominating. I think I taste just a touch of alcohol. It has a yeasty flavor also. It tastes quite sour, in a pleasent way.

This beer is quite refreshing. It is smooth. It leaves a sour aftertaste. It has less carbonation than I expected.

I dont think this beer would make a great session beer. It is a little too sour to be able to drink too many. It would become cloying. However one or two is great.

Overall: This beer is great. I think I will go back and buy more.

10-14-2006 23:38:49 | More by OStrungT
Photo of markchristenson


4.35/5  rDev -2.5%

My first experience with this, and quite an enjoyable one.

Poured into a Riedel Vinum Pinot Noir glass, it showed a sudsy, soapy head and a brilliant lemon/gold color. Smelled incredibly fresh and tangy, with citrus and hints of vanilla. The flavor was really good, but was a bit one-dimensional (I'm thinking of it compared to a Pliny the Elder that was consumed last night). Nice acidity, hoppiness, and vibrancy on the palate, with a clean aftertaste. Good stuff and I need to find some more :-)

01-06-2014 03:30:09 | More by markchristenson


4.35/5  rDev -2.5%

12,68oz bottle into Bruges tulip. Thanks stoney73.
A: The body holds the bright noon sun hue, with a assertive white lace from this strong froth. 
S: The first waft of this brew shows the plentiful sour dosage and hints at a gummy undertone. Intensity of the nose is high and overall complex note develop throughout.
T/M: Smooth up front and citrus flavor project before a tRt sour in the middle to end of the body. Oak presences is great and Chardonnay is there as well. Mouthfeel is lush is flavor and still very light and drinkable. Lingering finish shows high sour levels and adds another layer of complexities. 
D: A light character while being a big, bold brew makes this one a very drinkable sour. 

01-05-2011 19:34:25 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of mikey711

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev -2.5%

Batch 004x5

A: Yellowish gold in color with lots of bubbles traveling up from the bottle of the glass. Not much head here but a fine layer sits on top providing almost leg like lacing.

S: The very fine smell of brett is present. There is a very nice essence of sweet and sour playing off of each other. Some oakiness and fruitiness also pervade.

T: This one hits all the taste buds on my tongue. The mix of sweet and sour is excellent and extremely enjoyable. Very much like a chardonnay with a very dry finish and and the taste of white grapes. There is also a bit of a peppery note as well.

M: Dry and tart. No booziness though.

D: Sometimes I find that sours are a bit difficult to drink more than a few ounces of but this one left me wanting more.

09-14-2009 22:07:04 | More by mikey711
Photo of bditty187


4.35/5  rDev -2.5%

Lightly hazy, dull gold in hue with a sunshiny amber-coppery highlight; the liquid looks well enough but I’ve seen more eye-catching. The head was white in color, at the foams heights point the tinny bubbles bonded long enough to create one-finger of froth. Head retention was fair; it quickly subsided to a thin, soapy cap. About halfway through my slow sipping a thin, half collar was all that remained. I wish the head retention was better, something needed to liven-up the appearance. There wasn’t much subsequent lacing, only a few splashes of foam. I like how this beer looks but it is far from remarkable.

The nose is totally Belgian. Hardcore Belgian! [Note: I say Belgian but I realize that Brett and oak-aging and whatnot are not just Belgian things. Still, I can’t help but feel a Belgian connection… even if RR didn’t want one or not]. Lambic bloodlines, I bet the daddy’s name was Brett. It is funky. It is acidic. Lightly earthy but more so green apples, white grapes, and pears, hints of oak with some lemon zest. Sour candy. At the back are hints of white wine. Firm but yielding potency, the bouquet is very articulate. It is Belgium in a glass via Northern California... either that, or it is uniquely American via Russian River. The nose is inviting for me… but for you? I don’t know. The nose warns the weak and summons the brave. I am about to answer its call.

The first half sip was disappointing. It was clean. WTF? By the swallow, oh my… does this beer develop wonderfully. The lemony acidity with a sour underbelly is truly amazing. I’ve never had a beer with such an exposed soul. It is gentle but demanding. This little aspect is so flavorful. There is not much flash here; it is just some straightforward yeasty influences. There are dry white wine notes, oak, and acidic with some tangy candy, some fruitiness, wheat, and even some vanilla. The palate is complex but I think I can figure it out, which isn’t a good or bad thing. All in all, the flavor profile is stunning, especially the lemony aspects. That vibe alone makes this beer noteworthy. I want to call this beer clean… but I think what I’m feeling is just a very well put-together (and fresh) beverage. It is very tasty… I mean, scrumptious to the nth degree. Impressive, from first to last sip.

Medium in body, light but ticklish carbonation plays with the acidity to create a refreshing and enjoyable mouthfeel. There is a long aftertaste which is a culmination of everything detected on the palate. It is warm and a little raw on the throat but I would have never guessed this beer was over 7% abv. Wow.

Wow again. This beer is a drinkable beast. I need a thesaurus because I can’t stop calling this beer impressive. Tart. Acidic. Funky. Bitter. Citrusy. And truly brilliant! I haven’t had many beers like this, if any. As good as the palate is the drinkability is the shinning achievement here. It is refreshing, enjoyable, and complex but no to the point that it can’t be conquered. I am happy I purchased a bottle online from RR, it was worth every cent. Recommended.

Batch 001

09-13-2005 13:23:59 | More by bditty187
Photo of tobin


4.35/5  rDev -2.5%

On tap at the brew pub

Comes to the table a fairly clear golden with orange hues. A light, bubbly head quickly fades leaving no lacing around the glass.

Very bright nose, with tangy sourness and assorted fruits (especially green apple) in the nose. So inviting.

Bitter and dry up front with some sweet touches. The beer is pleasantly sour throughout with apricot, apple, and wine grapes. A bit of citrus dashes through with oaky tart flavors, hints of Chardonnay, and some some soft funk. Finishes super long with tasty, lasting dry and sour notes.

Lighter body, tingly, and dry. Dances on the tongue with excellent flavor and feel. Goes down so easy you have to consciously slow yourself down to avoid drinking it too fast.

01-17-2011 20:10:13 | More by tobin
Photo of nataku00


4.35/5  rDev -2.5%

A recently released 375 ml bottle of batch 05X2F, poured into a Lost Abbey tulip glass. Hazy straw colored beer with an initial finger of white fluffy head. Nice small carbonation visible in the beer, which is nice to see after bottle conditioning. The head clings very tightly to the glass as I sip the beer, with little lacing as it remains in tight small bubble blotches.

Nose has a nice sourness to it, with some stone fruit (nectarine, apricot), passion fruit, and oak. A little bit of sour funk as well, but not quite as strong as the Supplication.

Taste is very nice, sour and funky (barn yard type of funk), with some of the fruit from the nose helping to balance it. The oak chardonnay barrels makes itself known mid tongue, leading to a nice buttery finish.

Medium body beer drinks very easily. The excellent carbonation combined with the oak makes for a good mouthfeel. Easily drinkable beer that can convert anyone into a wild ale fan.

09-25-2010 03:57:18 | More by nataku00
Photo of vacax


4.35/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

02-14-2010 19:50:28 | More by vacax
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,751 ratings.