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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

983 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 983
Hads: 3,325
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 16.78%
Wants: 1,743
Gots: 890 | FT: 53
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
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Reviews: 983 | Hads: 3,325
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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Photo of badbeer
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 002. Bottle has tendency to foam over.

Hazy yellow color with a white head, decent retention. Smell includes some lemon, soft sourness, oak, and there seemed to be a very light spice that I'm unable to name. Taste has sour oak, lemon, and some other citrus flavors, slightly acidic, with a fairly dry finish. Not as sour as others I have enjoyed, but still quite good. Mouthfeel had high carbonation with a light body. Light body and dry finish to this, paired with its excellent taste make this one highly drinkable. I wish I had plenty more; would be great for special occasions.

Update: This beer has gotten better and better. Just marvelous.

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Photo of schinebd
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - A cloudy light golden yellow/brown. The head is fluffy, white and moderately dense. While it does go down (slowly), a nice finger thickness retains. There is moderate lacing as well as pieces of the fluffy head are left clawing to the edge of the glass.

S - Tangy lemon zest combines with the smell of crushed white grapes, giving the beer a sweet/sour smell that I think will transition nicely into the flavor. This is undercut by some distinct fresh leather (hooray, brett.)

T - The tart lemony flavor really squeezes on the outsides of the tongue while fruit sweetness of grapes, pears, apples boil on the center and tip of the tongue. Underneath is some uncertain oak flavor, uncertain in that it is not the traditional oak wood flavor, and more wood a fence surrounding a farm that cows have been rubbing against kind of oak (again, hooray brett.) Some light bready malts serve as one of the few tame, traditional flavors, and serve as a subtle signal to remind you that this is, indeed, a beer.

M - The flavors coat the tongue quite well, covering every inch and straining every taste bud. Well carbonated to really make all of the flavors explode.

D - Flavorful, thirst quenching, light in the stomach and a moderate ABV. The perfect drinker.

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Photo of errantnight
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 003:

Well,that got better! Not that we were looking at a beer with a ton of room for improvement or anything, or perhaps it's just I like it better fresh or.... I dunno...

But the sourness is in perfect balance, the Chardonnay/white wine notes are less prominent and more integrated. Dry and refreshing, still with a solid mid-palate sweetness. Just a joy to drink.


A 4.0 S 5.0 T 4.5 M 4.0 D 5.0

Well I've been hanging on to this bottle for... well... too long. When I bought it I grabbed the last bottle of Supplication, but there were two bottles of Temptation, and I didn't buy the second. WHY?! Just because I don't have a great way to cellar? This is drinking great as it is!

Well, now I know.

Batch 002:

Pours a beautiful golden blonde with relatively thin, if frothy head, just a hint of haze.

Smells, as it warms, like goodness in a glass. The chardonnay characteristics/similarities are marked, but there's a little hint of spice and fruity warmth. This has been poured into a globe red wine glass, and it's heaven just below the rim.

First few sips are a bit disappointing, it's too cold. Flavor is crisp and refreshing, but thin and lacking depth. The beer's fault? No... mine.

After warming, the intriguing complexities come bursting forth... the oak is relatively muted, but the brew is incredibly vinous... the sourness, which I was expecting to be much more forward, is really only present in the very back of the palate, making this crisp and refreshing. If anything, I'm a bit disappointed by the carbonation, as I at points wish this sat more comfortably on the tongue (like wine) to allow more savoring. Balance is perfect, finishes clean and dry after a touch of sweetness up front... this isn't wacking you over the head with any big flavors, but the sum total is superb.

Would love to see 750s of this available more frequently... I had this at the end of an evening, but this would make an amazing aperitif, and would pair well with anything a good white wine would.

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Photo of Phatz
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drinking this beer is a remarkable experience! I practically left this world for a while, becoming totally engrossed in the entire encompassing experience that is "Temptation." We are all susceptible to temptation; it lures us in and is so pleasurable that right and wrong, and all we know and understand is irrelevant because we are engulfed by the experience. That is the case with this beer, aptly named, "Temptation." I was in a full room with a large group of friends, but as I enjoyed this beer I left all that behind (for a time).

Presentation: A true collectable bottle that is beautiful and classy. Corked and caged, the bottle is marked Batch 001. The server at Monk's removes the cage and then it pops like champagne and poured into a Duchesse De Bourgogne goblet.

Appearance: It pours a glimmering golden color. The head fades to a majestic halo around the beer clearly indicating it rightful status as nobility among beer.

Smell: She brought the beer out while I was still eating. I wanted to get the most from the beer so I finished eating first. However for 10 minutes while I finished eating the aroma was lofting from the glass and teasing my senses. From the moment she popped the cork I could smell the French oak aroma. The smell is unique but the closest thing I've had recently was Cidre Bouché Brut De Normandie 2004, a French oak aged cider. The aromas of wood and leather are complimented with honey vanilla and yeast that are in a league of their own. Simply stated; enticing!!

Taste: Beautiful apple oak, green and white grapes, Chardonnay or rather Pinot Grigio flavors parallel the sweet vanilla honey French oak, earthy flavors. A bit of vinous (wine like) alcohol with some wild Brett tartness and a sour apple snap in the finish keep everything about the beer lively and exciting while equally balanced and meloncaly. There is not one iota of conflict amongst the blended flavors of this true masterpiece!

Mouthfeel: The beer is full bodied and both slick & smooth and creamy & sprtizy. That sour tangy Brett flavor pulls and puckers the palate then lasts long after it's gone. So what does it really feel like? It feels like it is messing with my mind and I love it.

Drinkability: Everything beautiful and wonderful about creativity and the world brewing is exemplified in this beer. Belgium has Westvleteren 12 and they can boast; but guess what... America has Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company!!!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of RixBeer
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another beer via trade with deepsouth. Awesome man!

Batch 003

First things first, Smell that Brett!

Pale gold yellow cloud with a 2" head. Leaves a nice coat on the sides but that fades too.

This beer reeks of Brett and Oak! The sirens are going off for the sour smell.

This beer is sour as a MF'er! Tart, smooth and sour like a good belgian! Seriously this beer can hang with all the #1s out there! Little fruit, saison like spice but always sour and tart from start to finish. So Smooth! The tartness sticks around a while and refuses to leave the back of your throat. Mmmmm thank you! So Tart and so so yummy!

It's smooth with a bubbly complexity. The carbonation is very light. Tangy and zesty with a nice strong zap of oak near the end of each mouthful.

This beer is so so drinkable. Did a belgian brewery brew this? This can't be from America. O wait it is. Finally a brewery worth the same praise as say, De Dolle...Yummm

Ok I no longer want to review this beer...I need to focus on drinking and enjoying it! Wow this is a delicious brew!

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Photo of Martin2D
4.92/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to fbm115 for sharing this one.

A - Soft yellow with a nice head and lots of carbonation

S - Funky, sour, fruity.

T - This is such an elegant beer. Perfectly balanced in sour, mild fruit flavors with a wood taste. Not much hop presence, but I couldn't think of a way to improve the flavor.

M - High carbonation and light in body.

D - Unbelievably drinkable. Not too sour, very refreshing and mind blowingly balanced.

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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 983 ratings.