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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,470 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2470
Reviews: 941
rAvg: 4.47
pDev: 9.17%

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
Ratings: 2,470 | Reviews: 941 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of benclimbs


4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours blonde beautiful with a one finger head that subsides within a few minutes.

smell is a mix of fruit and some wild, yeasty notes - big lemon, a little grapefruit, and apples in the nose....mmm, a little woody stuff in there too but not over powering.

taste is great for the style - bright, fruity, very sour and puckering but not too much - some woody, leather backbone in there too.

mouthfeel is great, smooth and then totally dry at the end, completely puckers your mouth out - but leaves you wanting more.

a very drinkable beer, but indeed hard to drink much as its so sour.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2010 00:20:24 | More by benclimbs
Photo of hooliganlife


4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pour was a deep yellow with dark hues. Head was crisp and quick leaving behind nothing but ale.

Lots of sour grapes and apples. Light malty funk. Hints of vinegar.

This was quite sour, lots of grape and lemon with hints of apple. The oak was light but carried through out. The funk was well overpowered by the sourness.

Lots of carbonation, very tingly. A bit dry in the finish.

This was different than the bottle. More amplified and fruit flavored. Granted, could be that they were different batches. Either way, delicious and I bought a bottle to go, so yeah... Drinkable!

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2010 05:23:35 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of biggied


4.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- An ever so slightly hazy blond liquid with a craggy white head that has excellent retention.

S- Extremely aromatic with boat loads of sour fruit, oak, and funk. Very crisp and enjoyable.

T- Sweet and sour. Funky and fruity. The sweet and sour bounce back and forth. Complex and tasty.

M- Acidic, dry, light, and clean. Very nice.

D- Very "simple" and funky. Refreshing and delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2010 03:19:06 | More by biggied
Photo of djmichaelk


4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the RR brewpub. I've had this out of bottles before, but this review is based on a sample in the brewpub.

A - Slightly hazy golden yellow color with orange highlights, with a slight head that actually stuck around for a long time. Plenty of lacing down the glass. Impressed with how nice this one looks.

S - Perusing reviews on this site, I've always wondered about the barnyard descriptor -- until now. This beer definitely makes me understand it. Funky barnyard is in your face, followed by some chardonnay notes. Citrus sourness, and some sweetness comes in the back. Just a hint of the barrel.

T - Lemony citrus notes, plus that funkiness. Lots of flavor from the wine barrels. The woman sitting next to me (a wine not beer drinker) called it -- she said it tastes most like a dry white wine, and she's right. The finish was dry like the wine, but had a ton of the sour character common to RR's belgian line. Absolutely delicious.

M - Effervescent like a nice champagne, but very silky at the same time, if that's possible. Lots of bubbles but small ones. Dry finish.

D - On the one hand, the sourness will tend to get to you (I seem to always be obligated to mention this with sours). On the other, it's subtle enough with this one, and the beer just tastes so damned good, that you just want to keep reaching for more.

O - This is probably my favorite from RR, at least of their sours. The only thing keeping me from buying it all the time is the price (and the availability, it's not easy to find outside the brewery).

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2010 20:25:56 | More by djmichaelk
Photo of glid02


4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of tart light fruits - pears mostly but with hints of apricots - along with solid amounts of funky aromas. As the beer warms very mild amounts of indistinct spices waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light fruit flavors - pears and apricots as with the aroma - kick things off that are equal parts sweet and tart. Soon afterward good amounts of funk permeate through the flavor profile and the flavors take a sour turn. Midway through the sip hints of spices temper the tartness and carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have a few more without any problems.

Overall I enjoyed this very much however I have to say it's my least favorite RR sour (the others I've had are Supplication and Consecration). Very well balanced and a lighter sour that would bring people into the fold nicely.

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2010 23:52:11 | More by glid02
Photo of Shumista


4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewpub. Wish I could have purchased a bomber to bring home but $25 was a little pricey. $6.75 on tap however is much more doable.

Bright, golden yellow with a small white head. Smells very citrusy, especially lemon, some oak, white wine and a little funky yeastiness. Tastes very unique. I don't think I've ever wanted to describe a beer that spent any time being barrel aged as bright, crisp, or refreshing but all of those seem to fit here. Taste is predominantly sour citrusy fruits, with subtle white wine, oak, yeast and funk. Well carbonated lively mouthfeel. Incredibly drinkable, very agreeable stuff. Its complexity probably means it should be sipper but I found myself taking large gulps and drinking it pretty quickly. Good thing after stopping at Russian River for lunch my girlfriend could take over driving duties for our road trip as I sober back up and review from my notes on my blackberry.

Serving type: on-tap

05-12-2010 03:33:56 | More by Shumista
Photo of kaseydad


4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery. Brought to the table with a small white foamy head sitting on top of a straw golden colored ale. Major lacing for lacing fans. The aroma is amazing! Floral (major rose), banana, pear, bubble gum and funk. A lot going on and it's all good! The taste has a sour barnyard funk with a spicy kick on the swallow. Not as sour as I thought it would be which makes it even more enjoyable. Awesome stuff. Nicely carbonated and a high drinkability though the sourness makes this a sipper. Overall I was very impressed with this drink. It has all the necessary characteristics needed for an unforgettable sour ale.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2010 03:51:00 | More by kaseydad
Photo of largadeer


4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Rose & Crown, batch 004. Into a 10 oz snifter, Temptation is a bright golden color, pale and clear, with a rapidly receding white cap.

Lemony lactic sourness and tart Chardonnay dominate the aroma. There's ample barnyard funk behind it, which comes out more as the temperature rises.

The barrel comes through strongly in the taste, lending a big buttery Chardonnay character. Lactic and mild acetic sourness come through with equal strength. Tart white grape, vanilla, tannic oak and spice provide depth. Intensely flavorful but light-bodied, this is almost sessionable. It finishes with drying tannins, buttery oak and white grape. Very enjoyable, but I prefer the previous two batches over this one.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2010 01:14:29 | More by largadeer
Photo of ChrisPro


4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Draft for Sourfest 2009 at Brouwer's.

Pours clear golden with white head. Wonderful citrus and sour lemon aroma along with the horse blanket smell the brett. Sour is definitely dominating with some apple and grapefruit coming through. Pretty simple and straightforward sour, but a good sour with a great citrus finish.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2010 01:38:44 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of femALEist


4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Toronado during SF Beer week.

Temptation by RR is a blonde Ale aged in French oak chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces and it's 7.25% abv.

The Temptation 08 poured a clear deep marigold with a creamy white head. The 08 is a shade darker than the 09. The 08 had an incredible nose- chardonnay grapes, oak, fresh green grape juice. It tasted of fresh grapes, lemon peel, oak, chardonnay with a hint of honey. A very pretty beer. The 09 did not have a strong aroma compared to the 08. I had to smell it hard just to get some oak notes out of it. It tasted of citrus, pink grapefruit, honey, and a sour dry finish. It was good, but I hands down enjoyed the 08 better. It was almost like a completely different beer. Get your hands on some if you can.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2010 19:18:51 | More by femALEist
Photo of samie85


4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Originally reviewed 2/27/10. Consumed at Falling Rock Tap House.

A-Pours a pale slightly hazy golden hue with a light, white head.

S-Tart, acidic lemon and acidic vinegary cherry with vanilla and oak notes.

T-Taste follows the nose with acidic lemon and cherry with barely there vanilla and oak with a tobacco or soil/clay characteristic that rounds things out. This last part was pretty intriguing.

M-Very effervescent and light bodied, which really works for this beer.

D-This is a really easy drinking sour/wild ale. I wish I could get the RR "-tion" beers on a regular basis, but If I could, I'd probably be broke.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2010 06:48:42 | More by samie85
Photo of BeerGodz

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Tap @ Monk's Cafe

Look: Bright golden color, slightly cloudy, thin head, and little lacing

Smell: Oak, vanilla, brett funk, lemon zest

Taste: Up Front: Lemon zest, white grape, malt. Finish: brett funk, oak at the end

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a light/medium carbonation. Like Consecration, it got creamier as it warmed up.

Drinkability: Incredibly smooth, crisp, and refreshing!

Overall Impression: This was a fantastic and complex ale. You could definitely pick up the aging in Chardonnay casks. Again, the brett was not over-the-top, but rather a compliment to its overall complexity. Methinks Russian River has this Wild Ale thing down! Regarding Newbeez: I think this would appeal to ladies more than dudes, due to its sophisticated wine-like qualities.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2010 15:06:11 | More by BeerGodz
Photo of BARFLYB


4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at Monk's Cafe in a tulip glass. I've had this beer on draft several times now, I believe this is Batch 4.

Temptation holds a bright blonde golden look that's appealing, it sucks you in. Off the spicket a nice semi froth of white snow graces the top then fades. Not much lace at all from this.

Smells of California wine barrel Oak, barnyard scents from round back, a light fruitness and some brett. Lemon spritz, under that a blond ale in disguise but some faint malt. Lighter in funk on the nose with this batch.

The extreme sourness is not haywire like batch 3 (which I loved). It's there but muted at this young stage. It brings out the oak more with chardonnay plus light brett with horse blankets on. The wine influence is lovely. A small hit of fruit in the middle with minor tropic flavors followed by pale malt and light funk on the tounge.

Some funk, some sour, some acididy, lighter in this batch making it a bit more drinkable and approachable. Light to medium in texture and a spritzy carb going for it. While this is heavily wine influenced this felt like beer to me with a wine aftertaste. Easy to gulp down. While I enjoy the more funked up versions this is nice and mellow in it's youth.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2010 05:27:02 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of jeffjeff1


3.9/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at Russian River Brewery as part of the sampler.

Appearance- golden color

Smell- kind of a sour smell, no too strong though

Taste- oak, citrus, kind of a sour flavor but not too strong

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- It was pretty good. It was the first sour beer for me so kind of hit me lol.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2010 00:48:54 | More by jeffjeff1
Photo of NittanyBeerFan


4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured 8 oz into a red wine glass and allowed it to warm up to about 50 degrees before sampling/reviewing.

A: Pours a golden amber, almost adjunct-like color into the wine glass, with the exception of one notable characteristic. The hues produced by light passing through the beer are pink and orange, which you will never find in macro. Carbonation looks thin, but upon further review, champagne-like streams of tiny almost unnoticeable bubbles stream upwards towards the air from no fewer than 5 different nucleation points.

S: The unmistakable funk of brettanomyces is clearly evident, though it seems that having added it only in secondary has changed its effect on the flavor of this beer. Instead of the strong and aromatic sourness, I get a bit more of a farmhouse-like Belgian funk. There are definitive notes of oak and chardonnay from the extensive barrel-aging process, as well.

T: Aside from the sour character being much stronger in the taste than it was in the aroma, the main character of this beer is the chardonnay. An almost astringent acidity from the barrel aging seems to overwhelm any other characteristics that this beer has to offer. However, the finish does hint at what this beer could turn into with age. I catch fleeting wisps of sour apple and earthy malts that attempt to bring some balance to a fairly green beer.

M/D: Again, Russian River excels in balancing the effects of the carbonation content with the sourness from the wild yeasts. The tingly and puckering again meet a delightful balance. As good as this beer will likely become, I can't fully appreciate the nuances of this beer against the strong flavors of chardonnay and brett. I think that this beer lacks some of the complexity that I was hoping for, but overall, it is a very good beer, and I wouldn't hesitate to get to the bar early again to have another opportunity at this one.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2010 05:29:40 | More by NittanyBeerFan
Photo of 4000qtrap


4.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Source/Serving: Draft

Smell: Sour lemon, with a little bit of horsey, bready, and yeasty. Some banana, honey, and tart apple with a little nutmeg. Delightful and complex.

Taste: Not as complex as the nose, unfortunately. A brief moment of breadiness, honey, and a touch of lemon oily before fairly intense sourness (lemons and cherries) sets in. Barrel aging contribute s to some dry earthy woodiness. There is a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg too. Low carbonation.

Notes: Overall very fresh tasting with a light, tart profile. Intense sour flavor but not overdone.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2010 22:53:34 | More by 4000qtrap
Photo of Kemmerlin


4.63/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: darker blonde color poured a thick long lasting white head and decent lacing.
S: light fruity yeast aroma but not much else to mention
T: sour grape/apple flavor with a slight bittering from the hops. There is a great citrus and wine like aftertaste.
M/D: The feel is really dry but sweet an light. The flavor and feel really makes this brew a great drinkable beer. Enjoy!

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2010 23:28:34 | More by Kemmerlin
Photo of mutterfudder

New Hampshire

4.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap, 7/19/09 in Orange, CA.

A - Golden and effervescent, with a thick white head that stuck on the sides of the glass.

S - Golden ale with a nice, mild funk smell. The smell kind of floored me, as I was expecting something sour-bombish.

T - Oh wow. Wonderful golden ale... the fruit notes were present and somewhat muted. The sour I was expecting? More like a nice finishing tang than anything.

M - Fluffy and crisp. Loved it.

D - Easily drinkable. I put down two of them back to back. Just lovely.

This was my first experience with Russian River and Vinnie's beers. It was an eye opening experience to be sure! I would drink this daily if it were available to me. Just shy of my perfect beer, though I can't imagine anything being better in this category.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2010 00:45:45 | More by mutterfudder
Photo of jacobseyb


3.88/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light yellow golden color, with quarter inch white head that laces well. Some licorice on the nose along with a white grape. More grape in the taste than the aroma. Feel is very light and crisp. Drinkable in that the abv is not overpowering, though the taste is different and might take some getting used to.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2010 17:48:14 | More by jacobseyb


4.58/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Served appropriately in a snifter. Although served on draft, the bottle is BAD ASS and is worth mentioning.

A: A thing of beauty. Average-sized, off-white head that I can only imagine would have been bigger had I poured it. Slightly hazy/cloudy body. The body was a yellow-gold color.

S & T: Grassy, lemony hop bill, not much malt character to speak of. The big aroma and flavor is clearly the outrageously sour fruity funk. Brettanomyces are in the building. Barnyardy, earthy and surprisingly leathery (?). Residual oak flavors from 12 months of aging. Some vinous flavor/texture quality pulls through as a result as well.The fruit flavors are pronounced: sour green apple, white/green grapes, and lemony vinegar. This is one sourly delicous brew and, in my opinion, the benchmark for American Wild Ales.

M: Another incredible aspect. Full body, gritty texture with the carbonation levels of champagne. Not only is the finish astringent, every single second is like a Times Square New Year's Eve party in your mouth.

D: For me, the drinkability scale for wild ales must be adjusted, mainly because I find it difficult for any such intense brew (all styles included) to be rated with a perfect 5. That said, I slowly sipped and thoroughly enjoyed my Temptation over an hour or so. This beer gets my highest adjusted rating for Drinkability (scale of 1 to 3).

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2009 19:41:03 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of Kadonny


4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap at Capones sour event into a smaller tasting glass.

A: A clear light gold color with a very thin white head. No glass lacing to speak of.

S: Tart smells with apple and fruit with a slight sugar sweetness.

T: Wow, this is damn sour. Tart flavors hit the tongue with flavors of sour apple, pear and some green grape. There is some slight woodiness and a nice grassiness to it from the hops with a slight sugar sweetness to slightly offset the tartness. Finish is all sour that makes your tongue curl for minutes afterwords. Crisp, clean, wow. This is much greener beer that is much sharper than that from an aged bottle.

M: Crisp, clean, tart, flavors linger. No traces of alcohol.

D: Suffered a bit because it was so young. The beer is mouth puckering but delicious.

Overall what more can I say. Spectacular, what a great beer that is infinitely more sour from tap when the flavors don't get to meld together. I think I like this more from bottle as it mellows, but this one is excellent when young and razor sharp also. Incredible.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2009 21:55:47 | More by Kadonny
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had on tap at Capones. It was served in 9 ounce snifters, light, turbid orange in color with a little white head. The aroma was full of funk steeped with a fruity backbone. The flavors are somewhat vinous, and oaky. It is very dry and has some lemony zing to it. There is also a slight sourness there also. A very light bodied beer that leaves you dry. The acidity knocks down the drinkability for me, but an otherwise great beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2009 23:19:47 | More by bonkers
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at TJ's anniversary party with my 2 best drinking buddies... capra12 and schen9202... served out of a snifter.

A: Poured a thin floating film. Brew is a pear and washed out cloudy lemon color. Lacing is patchy but ample.

S: Pear sourness, wood, funk, and a pleasant sweetness that I don't get in a lot of other sours.

T: Sour opening fades to sweet on the first sip and its all I can taste... ok... I'm used to this. Going in for a second... oaky at the start that develops into a pear or other green fruit (more on this soon...). A third sip yields a dissipating sour flavor that reveals green apples and grapes. The sourness then creeps back in towards the finish.

M: Light bodied, coarse, wet, and crisp. Finish is dry but not nearly as dry as some other sours. This one actually lingers a bit... out of style in my opinion... but it works.

D: Definitely would have this again as just like every other sour I've had, so complex and really a journey from beginning to end. Temptation does a couple of things different (presents a different set of flavors, not as dry, etc.) but all of it works and together create a truly worthy beer. I always thought I'd try this in the bottle before I'd get to have it on tap... but nevertheless... can't wait to have it again in the bottle!!!

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2009 04:59:42 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of capra12

New York

4.33/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: on-tap

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


4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap a few days ago with a bottle sitting in the cellar waiting to be consumed soon.

Funk but very balanced. Something I'm coming to expect from RR sours/wilds.

Decent amount of lacing.

A sour blend of flavors that worked well. Alcohol is disguised as with other RR wilds.

A refreshing brew!

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2009 01:55:42 | More by ScreamForMe
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,470 ratings.