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Temptation | Russian River Brewing Company

1,009 Reviews

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-19-2003

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,009 | Ratings: 3,521
Photo of Golden303
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite sour beers. More tart than sour and very clean feel. Almost a tart golden ale full of flavor. I had a bottle from 2012 consumed 9/4/2015. Classic beer.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden color with a quickly dissipating light-colored head. Plenty of oak on the nose. Sweet, acidic taste with oak on the finish. Carbonation hits at the front of the mouthfeel and flattens out smoothly. Another home run from RR

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Photo of Hootie159
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a mimosa. Foam sticks well to edges. Smell is Chardonnay and champagne yeast. Get a little bit of the wine earthiness as well. Taste isn't as balanced as I expected. Oak overwhelms a bit although there is a nice Chardonnay taste in addition to some sweet fruit. Feel is both smooth and carbonated. Similar to a mild gueze.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden-yellow body, not much head.

S & T: Smells fairly sour, good funk, a wonderful realistic nuance of peach in there. Not sure how peach got here, but it was confirmed independently by my drinking buddy. Taste is decently sour (I always want more), some funk, and still some peach mixed with other light fruit (apples, rainier cherries). Not much chardonnay or wood notes to be seen, but maybe it's just invisibly well integrated.

F: Not even kidding, this is too drinkable. Even trying to restrain myself, it went by way too quickly for such a rare and rarely-well-made beer.

O: I was expecting RR to pull out all of the stops here, and they did it, but in a different way than I pictured. Instead of going full-force sour/funk, they instead made a restrained, balanced, stylistically and aesthetically solid beer. My own unbalanced over-the-top preference for intense sourness and funk notwithstanding, I do think they could spare some extra funk/earthiness. That being said, this beer is pretty impossible to bash, as long as one appreciates the style. Maybe with a few more years of experience and beer maturity I'll be able to better appreciate Russian RIver's relatively conservative execution.

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Photo of shadetree67
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on: 05/03/13
Drank: 08/13/15

A: Golden in color and highly effervescent. Head is a thin layer of white bubbles and some of the best lacing I've seen for a wild ale.

S: Lots of brett and some chardonnay.

T: The chardonnay barrels are very apparent in the taste and it is not as sour as I was expecting. White grapes , a hint of honey, and some green apple on the finish. Only slightly acidic.

F: Light to medium body with a lot of carbonation. Low to medium dryness. Slight heat on the back of the throat but it isn't bothersome. Quite coating

O: This was very good and complex, but I think I'd like to try a fresher bottle. The brett seems to have taken over. That said, the brett incorporates with the other flavors quite well.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Golden effervescence! The experience is champagne-like throughout. This is a well-balanced sour ale and much like Sanctification, represents an excellent introduction to the style. I prefer this one to Sanctification, though, as the influence of the chardonnay barrel seems to represent itself more distinctly and with corresponding higher ABV (7.50% here versus 6.75% in Sanctification). Sit back, relax and enjoy this one!

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Photo of James_Michaud91
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is a reason people say Russian River brews some of the best sours in the country. This is a fantastic sour. The aromatics are absolutely killer: sour, funky, fruity, vinous and a touch of oak to finish things off. All of these flavors come through on the palate with the funk and sour being pretty much perfectly balanced. The vinous chardonnay/oak flavors are a great platform for the brett flavors and help to calm down the acidic streak of this beer.

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Photo of Auraan
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a cloudy golden body with a one finger bubbly white head that slowly receded. A very good looking sour ale, like a nice geuze. Scents of softly sweet Belgian malt, wild yeast funk with barnyard, horse blanket and lemon qualities and underlying notes of oak and chardonnay and light fruity aromas of citrus, white grape, apple and light pear. Overall impression of aroma is of a fine sour that showcases a wide array of aromas, both from yeast and the barrel-aging, resulting in a complex whole. Flavor begins sour and funky with notes of straw, grapefruit and lemon zest alongside light undercurrents of white grape and faint notes of honey, oak and dry white wine. Middle increases intensity of sourness continuing notes of grapefruit and lemon zest with light notes of white grape and faint hints of apple mingled with sour funk. Finish is dry and sour with notes of yeast funk, oak tannins, lemon zest and grapefruit upfront, with undertones of white wine and very light undercurrents of white grape and apple. Aftertaste is dry with oak and medicinal and herbal bitterness. Overall impression of flavor is of a very nice sour. It begins incredibly sour, but slowly reveals a great deal of underlying flavors resulting in a taste as complex as the aroma. Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with high, effervescent carbonation and a puckering, drying feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a very nice, true to form sour. Overall this is a fantastic barrel-aged sour ale. It has a wonderful complexity in aroma and flavor that adds a wonderful depth and is aided by its excellent mouthfeel. A wonderful gem.

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Photo of MadCat
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours a nice golden yellow color with a thin white head that leaves a little lacing

Smell: Grapes, white wine, hints of tartness

Taste: A nice refreshing tartness up front, a little white wine, some grapes, some light fruit

Feel: Light body, good carbonation

Overall: Another excellent brew from Russian River. World class

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.09/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Russian River Temptation on tap at South Philadelphia Taproom during Philly Beer Week, 8 oz for 8 bucks

Appearance: Crisp, bubbly, like a Prosecco at a white-girl bachelorette party.

Smell: apple cider, tartness, brightness, blue cheese, funk, cheap wine.

Taste: Very light, champagne, yeastiness, fermentation, sour pucker’s, apple juice. Refreshing, poundable. Wine cooler feel.

Mouth: Light body, good carbonation and bubbles, medium flavor. Could be heftier- dry, peppery finish.

Overall: Damn fine, but inferior to Consecration/Supplication. Super drinkable, though. Great for spring/summer weather.

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Photo of Corson
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle date 06/18/2014, aged about 10 months in bottle. Taken out of fridge and allowed to warm up. Poor a bright golden colour with lots of visible carbonation. Fruity smell, and dry fruity taste. Not too sour. Surprisingly carbonation seems to die down as warm up and don't get much drinking. Great beer, would love to get more of these.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review from notes. Golden color with white head. Aroma is tart and you get the barrel character along with some yeasty funk. Taste is sour, fruity, acidic and dry. Grape flavor is quite intense. Body is dry but somehow smooth and well carbonated. Really nice, clean and fruity sour ale.

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Photo of RStansel
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From RRBC's reserve, batch 4, bottled in 2009, served to us in Bordeaux-style glassware at the brewpub. An unforgettable drinking experience. Champagne-like mouthfeel, with flavours of lemon curd, brioche, yogurt and green apple butter. Refreshing acidity that lingers for minutes. Complex, but so damn elegant. Perfect. If only I could bring a case of this back to Canada...

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Pours a clear golden color with a very nice head and good lacing.

Smell – Chardonnay, oak, brett, and just a touch of honey.

Taste – A very nice chardonnay, oak, and hint of lemon. Nice!

Mouthfeel – Good carbonation, dry, not too sour. A very good sour!

Drinkability – This is a very good sour. Went down fast and easy.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at Umberto's tasting.

This one pours a hazy golden yellow, with a one inch head, very fizzy, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like white wine, strong sourness, hay, lemon and green apple.

This is an absolutely delicious sour. There is a nice, big white wine character here, lemony and grainy, with a puckering tartness, and a little bit of oak from the barrels themselves. The beer feels alive in your mouth.

This is light bodied, with a very active and prickly amount of carbonation, and a crisp, tart, juicy mouthfeel.

This is absolutely excellent.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really nicely done sour blonde, which I find a bit more accessible and drinkable than some of RR's darker sours. Still has a pretty obvious punch of Brett, which can get a bit phenolicky, but otherwise this grabs some of those chardonnay note, some citrus/tropical fruit from the yeast, and marries them together into something pleasing indeed.

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Photo of aleigator
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%

Yields a sunny-yellow color, with a one finger broad, bubbly head.

The aromas reveal a tart sourness among wheat notes. It got an almost sweeter sparkling wine character with a noteable barrel infusion to it, which then turns into a more acidic direction. It picks up on the lactic chardonnay characteristic very well, the resulting tartness comes almost naturally to mind. The nose gets completed by hints of white lemon peel, adding a refreshing, fruity aspect.

While the sourness from the aromas was very well integrated into a complex interplay of smells, it shines through big time while tasting the beer. It rises from the sweeter, pungent sparkling wine qualities to unfold on the palate with an almost tongue numbing dryness. The sweeter aspect doesn't vanish from one moment to the other, but evolves during drinking and turns from sweet to sour, while the lively, soft carbonation turns visible. Funkiness is very well integrated, adding depth to the chardonnay lactic acid, without being recognizable on its own, otherwise defined by its typical barnyard qualities. Due to the high carbonation, the mouthfeel is almost sprizzy, fizzy - another well inserted sparkling wine aspect.

I am impressed, that this is still easily recognizable as a beer, while it features very thoughtful and effectively integrated sparkling wine constituents. Malts and hops play an important role, as they prevent the beer from becoming too sweet and fizzy. The subtle musty and earthy additions do the same, convincing me this is still beer. Finishes quite refreshing with a faint lemon fruitiness and an almost bitter, punching, dry sourness. This is incredibly complex and very convincing.

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

RR Share of all the Wild Ales. I enjoyed this beer the most. Found it somewhat funky and tart, but mostly just clean and easy to drink. This entire line of beers is great!

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Photo of MNishCT77
3.64/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12.68 oz. (375 mL) bottle purchased super-overpriced at 1 West Dupont Liquors, bottled on 060814, poured into my Smoke & Barrel snifter glass, drank over 30 minutes

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

375 ml bottle. Dated 06 18 14 (June 18, 2014)

A: God's urine. Gorgeous golden body. Not cloudy at all. 3 finger white head that sticks around for days.

S: Just keeps getting better and better as it warms up. Tart lemon, good amount of brett funk. Sour white grapes. Smells better than any chardonnay i've had.

T: Complex. My taste buds are on one hell of a ride right now. I've had pretty much all of the RR sours that get bottled and this one might be the best yet. Wow.

M: Soft, perfect amount of carbonation. No heat from the alcohol. Can't find any flaw here.

O: Exceeded my expectations. One of the best beers I've ever had, and I'm glad I have another bottle waiting for me.

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.82/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Russian River Temptation

Look 10/10
Smell 19/20
Taste 39/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 19/20

Overall 96/100

Huge big waves of sour fruit flavors... Not being a fan of sours, it's shocking how much I enjoy this. Smooth and balanced flavors of grape, lemon, apples, butter, oak, apricot, sour cherry, vanilla, butter and just a touch of peach and grapefruit... Is tart and dry, could almost pass as a champagne. It's exceptionally complex and equally balanced... About as refreshing and delicious as a beer can be~

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Photo of M-Fox24
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy golden, yellowish, orange-y color. Nice white head with little retention, and beautiful lacing

S: Notes of vanilla oak, tropical fruit, grapes, wine, pears, pineapple, lemon, brett, and funk. Great acidity, great sourness, and a great aroma

T: Very drinkable; sour, tartness, and acidity is just about to perfection. Superb blend of oak notes, grapes, lemon, orange, citrus, vanilla, and funk

M: Light to medium body, great carbonation, excellent finish. The tartness, acidity, brett, and oak due no harm here

O: The mouth-feel, the funkiness, and the complexity is superb; Temptation is an extremely well executed product

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours straw golden in color with a white head that retains nicely.

Smell has aromas of oak and dry fruity white wine upfront. Aromas of grape must and oak blend nicely with a nice tart lemon aroma at the end.

Beautiful sour lemon flavor is the first to hit the palate and is balanced nicely with a dry Chardonnay and oak finish with a slight straw malt backbone.

Mouthfeel has awesome complexity with dry crisp and sticky characteristics. Lots of bubbly carbonation makes it super drinkable

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Photo of Budinetz
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally getting to review this one. Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a goblet. Bottled on 06-18-14.

Pours a translucent, golden color with a half inch, pure white head that dissipates rapidly. Exquisite lacing all around the glass as I imbibe. One sexy looking beer.

Smells of lactobacillus, pediococcus, and brettanomyces. Hints of oak, white wine, and fresh citrus. Some serious nose on this brew! Smells of heavenly sourness.

Initial sip gives me wine in oak barrels. Eventually after a second and third I taste the Brett, lacto, and pedio and the oak and white wine mellows out. Great sour tartness but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is pleasant. Very prickly on the tongue with a pleasant tartness that lingers on the palate for some time. Quite drinkable for a 7.50% abv. A very unique brew that would definitely benefit from aging.

Overall a well rounded, intricately brewed, masterpiece! This barrel aged sour is one of my favorites. If you have never has this before I would purchase two bottles if you can and drink one right away, then age the other for at least a year to see how it changes over time.


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Photo of themind
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great sour brew from the bozy at RR. Carbonation is spot on, the sour is a tart, earthy funk that has you seeking more. Golden in color, this beer deserves it's high rating. No doubt a classic barrel aged sour.

Bottom Line: Yum!

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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,009 ratings.