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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

989 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 989
Hads: 3,378
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 16.78%
Wants: 1,754
Gots: 928 | FT: 61
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Temptation Alström Bros
Reviews: 989 | Hads: 3,378
Photo of Troyone
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was suprised to have found this at Whole Foods right next to a bottle of Damnation and an Eisbock (Aventinus), Prior 8 (St. Bernardus), and "Pete's" Tribute (B. R.) was not far away on the same shelf.

Pours a hazy apple juice color with a blond hue, an off white frothy head, some lacing, and evident carb action.

Ahh, a very crisp sour dough and cheesy malt smell with a pine and citrus hops aroma.

Moderately sweet, bitter, and acetic cheesy malt taste and a grassy, spruce, grapefruit, and lemon/lime hops flavor.

Medium bodied, slightly syrupy texture, soft and kind of fizzy carbonation, and a smooth pleasantly astringent and maybe slightly chalky finish.

An excellent balanced beer some what like a Lambic, chewy, smooth, and has a long lasting crisp grapefruit aftertaste. Note: the bottle states 7.25% abv. and was empty before I could finish the review.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375ml corked and caged bottle. The bottle is interesting in itself with the odd ml size, dippled bottom like a wine bottle and long slender neck. The label has a story about the beer. Poured into my Chimay goblet. It has a hazy golden yellow color with just a few bits of yeast floating around. It had a small head that turned into a constant partial film that was fed by a carb geyser. The aroma was amazing. I love sour beers and this had a great sour beer smell. It was heavy on the brett but you could also get a good hit of the oak and some lemon in the back. The taste was also exceptional. Nice and sour with a carb attack on the tongue. Reminds me of Le Terrior from NBB. Mouthfeel is great with good sour bite and carbonation. Overall, I loved this one and highly recommend. Can't wait to try it and some other RR wild ales again. (5, RR, T, Y)

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Photo of DNICE555
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best sour I have had to date. Had in line at the Heady Topper Release. The smell and taste offered all the best qualities of a sour without being too overwhelming. I enjoyed the subtleties rather than having it blow me away like a sour patch kid. RR does them the best and this is the best that I've had from them. Perfect feel to it. Drinks like heaven in a cup. Cheers to the cool dude who hooked us all up with this.

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Photo of Crotor
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly cloudy light amber with two fingers of dimpled egg-white head, good retention.

The chardonnay comes into the aroma rather aggressively, bringing vinous notes and bright, tart, light fruit. Behind there's slight must, a hint of tartness, but really the brett is rather subdued in the aroma right now. No actual oakiness noticable in the aroma.

Sweet jebus. I don't know where to begin with the taste on this thing. Holy freakin' monkey. There is so much going on and all so subtle. There's the chardonnay fruit again, but it's only a light accent in the back. The brett is definately there - horsey-edged cherry tartness. Uber-dry in the mouth, scouring the edges of the palate with insane, indiscernable flavor. The oak flavor is noticable, providing a rounded, darker element in the back, but none of the unpleasant tannins that I've found in other oaked beers. Tart and effervescent up front, backed by crisp chardonnay fruit, then finished with dry horse-funk and deep & buttery oak. Freakin' mind-blowingly good.

Thank you Vinnie. Thank you for pushing the bounds of beer, and thank you for making, in the heart of wine country, beer that can stand up to the scrutiny of the wine establishment. The making of this beer is true beer advocacy.

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Photo of illidurit
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a pale apricot/straw shade with a billowy off-white head of tiny white bubbles, indicating yet another RR wild ale with impeccable carbonation. Several columns of bubbles stream upwards. The head leaves huge chunks of lacing on the glass.

Nose is full of a nice brett funkiness. In the background there are notes of fruity sweetness, champagne tartness, lemon, and a hint of the sour cherry found in Supplication.

Taste is very tart, almost sour. Unripe apple, lemon, lime, and white wine all make an appearance. Mouth puckering and exquisite.

Just as I thought, the carbonation is beautiful. Russian River is easily king of the Belgian style mouthfeel. Smooth, drying, tart finish.

If you can handle sour, this beer is very drinkable. I'm glad I have another in the fridge.

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Photo of avaccani
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 05X2E 375ml Bottle

A - Cloudy golden yellow with a 1 finger tight white head.

S - Some yeast funk. Reminds me of a typical Belgian. Getting a subtle wine aroma as well.

T - Tartness hits me right off the bat. Very pleasent. Starts off as a tingle then progresses to a slight pucker. Finishes off with a dryness that makes you take another sip.

M - Smooth and silky. Perfect!

D - I wish I had another bottle. Could drink this everyday.

Overall for one of my first Sours this beer is fantastic. I hope I didn't spoil myself.

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Photo of Mages64
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 5 from 375ml bottle into tulip glass.

A- A beautiful hay color that reflects light beautifully. a little head with intermittent lacing. Head returns upon agitation bringing great aroma with it.

S- Barnyard and pineapple and orange. Perhaps apple as well with a woody smell too. Definitely smells like soured fruit.

T- Surprisingly Saison like. Now it could be that all the saisons i've had recently have had Brett in them but it tastes like a slightly more sour saison or golden ale. Compares to New Glarus's R&D Golden Ale. Soured Fruit, wood, vanilla, pineapple, and slight funk.

M- carbonated and sticky. lingers everywhere in your mouth and throat. finish is long and delightfully sour and fruity.

D- First sour I feel like I could drink 10 of. Smooth, crisp, and refreshing!

Don't miss this! I waited a whole year before giving in and buying this obviously expensive bottle. Don't wait too long:)

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Photo of stealth
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 006. Pours a murky orange with steady carbonation rising up the sides of the glass. Very little head, mostly due to the slow pour. Nice belgian ale aroma mixed with the brett funkiness. Sour citrus that gets the mouth watering. Like the other RR sours, this has lots of sour tartness and finishes real dry. Cherry and lime flavors mix to really make this one pop.

If you like sours, grab this asap.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another brilliant, brilliant brew from Vinnie and co. Appearance is great, bright golden with a huge fluffy white head that is bubbling over the chalice that this stuff is served in. Aromas are all Belgian funk and refreshingly hoppy/maly Belgian blond ale notes. The chardonnay barrels that this was aged in also impart some lovely light oak, and big fruity white wine grape notes. The mouthfeel is superb, creamy smooth, and unfaulted. Drinkability is absolutely insane. Refreshing and just killer. Damn, I love this stuff. A fantastic, one-of-a-kind brew!

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Photo of sleazo
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Batch 0001

A--A lovely gold copper hue, cloudy with a ncie head. Gorgeous

S-First thing is the oak, smellls like a chardonnay. Spicy apple notes

T Sour flabours permeate the mouth upon first sip. Very tart yet slightly sweet. Very well balanced. The oak comes out at the end.

M-Bubbly with body

D-Not sure how many of these i could go through, but possibly alot.

Wow what a unique beer. If chardonay tasted like this i would be a white wine drinker. There are just so many different tings going on here. What a remarkable beer. HIGHLY reccomended.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 004X1

Golden body capped with the creamiest alabaster head. Retention is fantastic leaving a nice trail of lacing as it subsides.

Solid barn yard funk and plenty of tartness dominate the nose. There is incredible balance though between the two dominating aromas. Tart young grapes and green apple meld with rather earthy notes, oak and musty horse blanket.

First sip was an all on attack of puckering tartness. More of this is attributed to my lack of familiarity than the overall tartness of the brew. Assertive sour apple, lemon and wine like acidity. Peppery spiciness sits mid palate and clings to the tongue. Very subtle graininess and light earth grass flavor can be found as I search my palate.

Light to medium bodied. Sharp and crisp while the finish is smooth and dry.

Tremendously enjoyable. Very hard to find a weakness in this beer. As this is my first experience with the Russian River sours I can now say it is well worth the hype. Thank you to Spdkilz for providing such an awesome beer for review #150.

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Photo of montageman
4.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a La Chouffe tulip.

This little gem cost me a bottle of Dark Lord 2007. Big ups to tangfoot on the trade (yes, it was quite a while ago). The appearance is a cloudy, bright yellow with a nice amount of carbonation, decent white head, and some yeast floating around. Sour grapes and lemon dominate the nose - overall, a very different smelling beer, intriguing to say the least. All kinds of complexity in the taste - white grapes, lemon, orange, and some hints of vanilla sweetness in the end. Totally awesome. Mouthfeel is perfect for this style - rich, creamy, and well carbonated. For as sour as this is, this is one incredibly easy to drink beer. Very tasty. I really wish this stuff was readily available in Michigan. Oh well, may have to start trading again! Highest recommendation.

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Photo of RoninTK3
4.86/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a Corsendonk tulip glass. Batch 3.

A - Bright golden color with a thin layer of head. Very nice to look at.

S - Sour, citrus fruits, apples, and a hint of oak.

T - Lemons, oak, chardonnay, and sour funkiness are all dominant in this one. Hints of grapes and sour cherries. Very oaky aftertaste. Extremely well balanced.

M - Light and refreshing with lots of carbonation. Dry aftertaste.

I really loved this one. It's one of the best sours I've had and I thought it was more well balanced than the other RR sours I've had (Supplication and Beatification). Thanks to Douglasjamjak for the awesome extra!

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Photo of dwagner003
4.86/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

What can you say about Temptation that hasn't already been said a million times? It's a masterpiece. Nearly flawless, with the exception of some personal preference towards appearance and mouthfeel. Even still, it gets incredibly high marks there. It's a wonderfully tart and refreshing beer with the most pleasantly subtle oaky chardonnay background. This is a prime example of how to use Brett in a beer. It's vinous and effervescent, and just awesome.

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Photo of FreightTrain
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003. Poured into a wine glass.

Pours a beautiful hazy gold with champagne-like carbonation fizzing along the walls and a persistent one finger white head. Wisps and globs of lacing line the glass.

Nose is tart and cider-like with a whiff of white wine, cherries, and flowers.

Tart, crab apple sourness up front with sparkling, fluffy carbonation. A sublime aftertaste that is almost too good to describe: butterscotch, white grapes, warming alcohol, dry mead.

Creamy and very carbonated in the mouth; the bottle conditioning is perfect.

This is an unbelievably delicious beer. Pushes boundaries in multiple directions. The quality is impeccable. The care with which it is made is evident. The only thing hampering drinkability is price and availability.

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Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This has always been one of my favorite sours. Pours a hazy strw orange color with a foamy white head and fine champagne like bubbles. On the nose you pick up granny smith apples, citrus with notes of oak and chardonnay. The palate is fantastic with apple flavors followed by oak, brett and small amoutn of baking spice. Overall this is a great beer, a must try for any sour beer nut.

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Photo of gregc
4.87/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Batch 3...

Pours a beautiful cloudy golden color with a hugh fluffy white head, it looks like a cloud.

The aroma coming from the beer is amazing - sour apples, lemons, wild cherries, horse blanket brett, oak and small hits of chardonnay...wow this is great.

The flavor is equally amazing...sour apple, lemon sourness, wet oak, chardonnay flavors...its sour but not too sour at all a nice crisp dry finish.

The mouthfeel is wonderful...nice carbonation, nice sour profile.

I could drink this beer all night...my only concern would be some acid reflux from this, but thats a small price to pay to drink such a great beer.

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

I got this bottle from Joey at South Bay Drugs. Thanks Joey!

Batch 003

Poured a 375ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - It pours a hazy yellow peach color. It produces a solid one finger head that slowly dissipated, but never fully goes away - it lasted throughout the entire drinking experience. The head's texture is very fine, billowy. It leaves behind amazing lacing the further along I drink. Carbonation streams rise from hundreds of points along the perimeter of the glass. This is a perfect looking beer.

Smell - I love the way sour beers smell. This one screams tart. The Brett makes its presence known straight off the bat. It has a slightly sweet component, which when tied to the tartness reminds me of SweeTarts. I get notes of lemon, green apple, a hint of orange, Chardonnay, and a woody note from the oak. I wish that the scent was as powerful as the flavor.

Taste - Wow. I love the punch a good sour has. I immediately detect the wild yeast, as well as citrus. I taste tart lemon, white grape juice, woody oak, nectarine or tangerine and Chardonnay. It becomes more dry and sour towards the finish. It very complex, and has huge depth of flavor. This is just what I want from a sour brew.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation level is perfect for a beer this style. It has a high level of carbonation, but cuts through the tartness without detracting from the drinking experience. It is slightly astringent, but that should be expected from a beer of this style. Overall it has a creamy texture, and it is incredibly smooth going down.

Drinkability - Amazing. What a well crafted beer - a feat of brewing prowess. This is amazing drinkable, I find myself drinking it way too fast. None of the flavors are in competition with each other. I enjoyed this one better than I enjoyed Batch 002. I could drink this all day.

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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 mymrnngjckt
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I finally pulled a bottle of this out of my cellar. Amazing beer. Poured it into a Russian River glass and enjoed.

The color was darker than I thouht it would be. Golden brown/red color. The smell was amazing. You could smell the tartness of the beer. The beer tasted awesome. It had a crisp tartness too it not too overpowering like a Cantillon but more crisp like Flemish Sour. The tartness stayed on the tounge but disappeared quickly.

I wish ther were more of this around because I would drink it every day.

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Photo of masterhomebrewer
4.88/5  rDev +10.7%
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

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

375 mL olive brown cork-n-crown bottle. Batch 002, brewed on 6/11/05 with house Belgian and abbey yeasts, unfiltered, and aged for 16 months in French oak chardonnay barrels with saccharo- and brettanomyces. It was bottled on 11/15/06, and conditioned with their house wine yeast and more brettanomyces. It pours a transluscent gold with medium to high carbonation and two inches of white head that settles at an eighth of an inch and leaves sheets of sticky lace. Very nice - it is reminiscent of a well-crafted Belgian. The aroma is also quite Belgian - fruity, oaky, and winey, with the addition of sour and lightly funky overtones. If it were a bit more aromatic it would warrant a five in the category. On the palate there are notes of pale or pilsner malts and green (noble?) hops blended very nicely with a brett sourness and touches of white wine here and there. There are additional notes of grassy/spicy hops, a medium sourness, a mild (but increasing) bitterness, some drying tannins, and oaky/winey notes that increase near the end. So complex and completely delicious. The medium body is drying and lightly numbing, incredibly smooth, and has medium carbonation along with a medium to long finish. Overall an awesome, very drinkable and refreshing beer (a non-stop sipper) that is a testament to the creativity of the American craft beer revolution.

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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 flipper2gv
4.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to nickd717 for this great brew!

Batch 5

A: Really pale yellow color. Proper pour and the beer is perfectly translucent. A good amount of pure white head (2 fingers approx) with really good retention and really good lacing.

S: The beer is in front of me on my computer desk and I can smell it from here. Really really strong smell. First thing to strike me is the very strong white wine qualities to the smell of this beer. Strong green grapes, lemon, green apples. The wood tannins come out quite strong in the smell too, which is surprising. Strong spices: pepper, mint and coriander. Vanilla. A little bit of hay and horse blanket. Not much malts or hops. Still, one of the most powerful, complex and inviting beer I've ever smelled.

T: After supplication, I expected a very very very sour beer. This is not the case. The beer is sour, but not as sour-bomb-ish as supplication. It has quite a good amount of acidity that shows with green apples, green grapes and (most of all) lemon. To my surprise, there is a definitive hops bitterness to this, a little bit grassy. Still a good amount of vanilla and wood tannins, thanks to the barrel aging. The spices are still there: pepper, mint and coriander. Hay and horse blanket. Perfectly balanced brew while still having a strong taste.

M: Very light and fluffy in the mouth. Carbonation is high.

O: Extremely refreshing. Really taste like a more acid, fruitier white wine. Drinkability is off the charts, I could easily down many of those with only my stomach ulcer stopping me at some point. The alcohol is no where in sight. By far one of the best brew I ever had.

Almost perfect brew? Damn sure to me.

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Photo of maDUECEgunner
4.91/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thank you Geuzedad for another gem.

Appearance: Deep hazy yellow. Pure white foamy head with good retention. Head dissipated rather quickly.

Smell: Grapes, chardonnay, oak, Belgian yeast.

Taste: Tastes like a mix of oak and chardonnay. Slightly lactic, very easy to drink. Way more mild of a sour than most others.

Mouthfeel. Not a puckering as most sours. Very well carbonated. I barely loosened the cork and it went flying across the room:)

Overall: It's hard to decide whether to give it a 5 or 4.75. It is absolutely amazing, yet kind of one dimensional. I wish I could drink this everyday. Russian River fails to disappoint.

Serving Type: Bottle 05/30/13 (I want another to age)

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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 989 ratings.