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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

989 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 989
Hads: 3,377
Avg: 4.41
pDev: 9.07%
Wants: 1,755
Gots: 927 | 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: 3,377
Photo of Zorro
4.02/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a somewhat hazy golden colored beer. Not much head formation but that could easily be because of the care I took pouring this beer to make sure to not get any sediment in the glass.

Smell wine like with lemon and fruity scents much like a Chardonnay. There is a strong whiskey aroma to this. Vanilla and caramel from the oak barrels used most likely. Fairly sweet smell after your nose adapts a bit, but I can't say that it has a malty smell. Fairly spicy scent mostly black pepper.

Taste is fairly sour at the beginning but nowhere near lambic funk. The sweet and sour yin and yang here is somewhat like a Flanders Red. After three sips your taste buds adapt and the other flavors come out. Lime and oak mix with the caramel and vanilla flavors that comes out as some new wacky Mojito variant in your mouth.

Mouthfeel is good.

I have a hard time here deciding if I really like this or not. I hate sour beers as a rule but this isn't a jaw locking Lambic. Really interesting vanilla and caramel here that makes me think of a bourbon barrel beer. I guess I have to say that this isn't my first choice of the Russian River Beers.

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Photo of numenor1
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy light golden straw. Fluffy white head, laces a well. Nose is loads of brett, lemons, grassy, tart grapes and whiffs of oak. Starts tart, and fluctuates with estery bananas, lemons, more tart grapes, hay, and fading into oak. Mouthfeel is light and feathery. Not poundable, but that's not an issue here. Incredible.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely brilliant! The oak is massive and the Brett is somewhat restrained. It's drier than might be expected. Poured carefully from a long-standing bottle it delivers a clear (I can see my fingerprints through the glass) dark gold body beneath a creamy head of white. The head retention is superb, and it leaves a solid wall of foam around the inside of the glass. The nose is bright with Brettanomyces (mineralish, leathery, acidic, musty, barnyard, "horseblanket") , tempered by oak, and sparked with a spritz of lemon. In the mouth it's very fine-bubbled, natural carbonation caresses the tongue with a delicate bristle. Medium bodied. The flavor is as the aroma suggests with a firm bitterness for support and a little more acidity. The label suggests that it picks up wine flavors from the oak barrels and I think that's true, there's a definite white grape flavor there. There are some other fruits in there as well, maybe some apricot; some mildly tart tangerine; a drop of pineapple; and even some grapefruit as well. It finishes with a flick of acidity that receeds to leave a citrus-rind bitterness behind. Remarkably refined and easy to drink for the style.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep golden with shades of amber. Carbonation rises slowly through the hazed body. The snow white head has great retention and lace ability. Aroma is lemony, a little acidic, orangey, biscuity and funky. Lemon tones hit me first upon sipping. Other citric fruits are present as well. And some funkiness. A little sourness, but it's quite reserved in this one. Oak and wine of course. And a thirst quenching dryness. Carbonation is gentle yet noticeable. Light body. This one grows on you.

Thanks yet again to TheLongBeachDweller for yet another stellar ale from Russian River.

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Photo of blitz134
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received from AKSmokedPorter...

I had about an once and a half of this at a beer tasting and thought it was amazing. I just had to have a full bottle for myself...

Hazy apricot in color. Quick disappearing white head. Only a small pool of bubbles sits on top. Aroma is tart apples and some white grapes. Again the tart apples and white grapes come through in the taste. Some hints of light oak work their way in. Smells much tarter than it actually is. Has some initial tartness on the tongue and a touch of spices. Very similar to a wine. Super clean palate on this one, nothing which seems 'off-flavored'.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but to style. Carbonation is evident. Finishes very dry. Super drinkable. A nicely constructed flavor that isn't overbearing.

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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 Dogbrick
4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to cmaruschak for sharing. Batch 001: Pours hazy golden/orange with a medium thin and foamy ivory-colored head. Thick ring of lacing at the top of the glass, and spotty underneath. Tart, vinous aroma of chardonnay. Wine-like flavor, fruity and tannic. Oak is present, and there is some yeast in the background. The finish is zesty with tart fruit and a hint of sweetness. A unique beer to say the least, with some elements of a Lambic or Flemish Sour, yet still different enough to stand out. Refreshing and easy to drink too. Pretty good all around.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.83/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to cmaruschak for the chance to sample this one.

Appearance: A cloudy straw colored pour emerges from the bottle. Visible carbonation noted throughout the body and terminates in the bone white head.

Smell: Oak, yeast, and cider apples. Very light and tart on the nose.

Taste: Chardonnay grapes, oak, a brush of alcohol, and some metallic sourness that normally would be off-putting but can only assume this comes from the Brett yeast strain. Interesting but I can see how this would fatigue the palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lively carbonation.

Drinkability: A little too much chardonnay wine like for me. Doesn't really scratch the beer itch at all. However, it's a very unique twist on a blonde ale. Nicely done.

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Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A sour beer that is drinkable and not hard on the palate owing to good malting. Woody taste in there-something akin to a acidic chardonnay. Minerals, apples, saison like spice. Horse aroma. I am glad I tried it however this is not the greatest beverage I have had as some others claim. Thanks for sending Hopsalot.
Updated and upgraded, particulalry with improved aromas! on-tap 4.5 years later at the brewpub. Lemony chardonnay, with brett, is very enjoyable and unique. Natural carbonation.

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Photo of gosurfobx
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12.7 oz corked bottle. Pours with a 1 inch head and a hazy blonde color. Bret is noticeable in the smell and taste of this beer. The acidic taste from the bret comes across very well. Wine flavors also present in this beer, as it was aged in oak barrels for a year before bottling. Good drinkablity, looking forward to every sip.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bruno for sharing this rare treat!

Lightly hazed yellow amber pour with a massive, dense, rocky-topped head of whipped froth that just stays forever, eventually falling to a 1/4 inch cap that remains. Lace is sticky and artfully applied.

Aroma is crisp golden fruits, pears and white grapes, tart wine, toasty oak, and tart funk that is similar to nearly fermented rotting apples laying in the dirt.

Flavor is complex and intriguing, bringing on notes of green apple, grapes, toasty vanilla oak, wine, and blanketed by sweet/tart rotting fruit and stinging Brett prickles. Funky and unique.

Body is medium, with a light airey texture and soft, mineral-laden mouthfeel. Irresistably sippable.

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Photo of jakester
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. It came with a wine glass.

Pours a cloudy blonde/gold with a rocky, one finger head of white foam. Carbonation looks medium. The head falls to islands and a ring, with minimal lacing.

Aroma is wonderful Belgian barnyard funk, spicy, sour, with notes of black pepper and other great spices. Hop character is very low. A light fruitiness lies just below the surface. Nice and complex smell.

Flavor is barnyard, sour, fruity, spicy, and really awesome. Hop character is very low, Aftertaste is sour and crisp. I am starting to love this Belgian funk WAY too much. I can't get enough.

Mouthfeel is clean and dry, with a tongue-tingling crispness. Carbonation is medium, adding to the feel. Finish is a long dry crispness.

This reminds me sort of like a saison, with wonderful spicy funkiness. This has to have Brett in it somewhere. Clean and dry, complex as hell; a great addition to RR's portfolio.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.78/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

If you want to see a great review for this beer, keep scrolling down another. However, I'm still goving my two cents worth. This can be a beer where you can convert not the light beer drinker, but rather the white wine drinker. It seemed like I was drinking a nice balanced beer followed by a chardonnay, hence the BA notes on its aging process. can't compare it to other sof this style but will continue to search for other Wild Ales. Wish I could get my hand on more Russian River brews, I just got lucky the other night.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.77/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle (batch 1 drank in 2006): Poured a hazy/cloudy dirty yellow color ale with rather large white bubbly head with medium retention. Nose of farmhouse, chardonnay with a sourness resembling lambic. Taste is totally incredible with huge amount of farmhouse (there is probably a better word for this but it is the only I can think of right now), sour notes resembling a lambic and Brett, which is reminiscent of Orval. The Chardonnay barrel effect is maybe a bit too accentuated but still very interesting. Also, it might be a bit too acidic for my liking but it is still very much enjoyable. A more balance level of acid and this would have been a perfect score. Now, I just need to get my hand on some more of this.

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Photo of clvand0
3.92/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden color with almost no head at all and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma gives a swift kick of sourness with a little alcohol and fruit. Sourness dominates the aroma. The flavor is much less sour than the aroma would allow you to think. Actually, there isn't a ton of flavor in this one. At the beginning there is a small bit of fruitiness and some sour notes along with a large kick of wood, but the flavor quickly disappears. The mouthfeel is moderate and the drinkability is good, but I'd like to see some more substantial flavors.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy straw color with a sparse coat over top. Small bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass. Nose is a beauty. Its sour and tart, but with an awesome almost candy sweetness and some nice oak character playing in the background. Very nice, but I would like to see more flavor overall. Flavor is only lightly sour, with the candied sweetness coming through dominant, but fading to a very neutral finish. Very clean and unobtrusive. Finish is a bit dry. The wood character plays thoughout the flavor as well. Feel is right at moderate with a light carbonation. Alcohol only lets iselfe be known in a light feeling of heat in my ears, as alcohol tends to do to me. Otherwise, this beer really has no flaws. The flavor needs a bit more oomph for me. I'm glad to have another one of these, as I do enjoy it.

Still my first one, just getting new profiles towards the end. I'm getting a lot more oak hanging on into the finish. I'm more happy with the flavor now.

Edit. I didn't want to add a new review since I had my second bottle so close to the first, but the second one was a much different beast. The sour wild character and light oaky and mild grape character were really more prevalent in the second go. I absolutely loved the flavor, so bump this to a full 5. Just everything about the beer seemd to be dialed in better. It danced perfectly on my tongue, not at all light but not heavy either. Right in line. I will have to get one more of these for a re-review in the future.

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Photo of IrishCowboy
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought two bottles of temptation batch 001 at the RR brewery in Nov 2005. Looks just like the pic above

Opened one up for New Years eve.

Appearance is nice. The golden ale appearance ,almost brass, is not subtle. There is a 3 finger head recieved from pouring into the RR glass I bought at the same visit. Head simmered down to a single finger and is just sitting there showing no signs of moving. Lacing is foamy and permanent. Halfway into drinking I still see thick foam rings at the top. YUMMY.

The smell is of a champagne or heavy chardonnay on the sour side but I am really liking the smell of this which is strange because I do not like to smell champagne or chard. Smelling wines is something you do for Cabbys (IMHO). Perhaps the beer is helping round this one out.

I love the taste of this beer. If I could get more of it easier I'd drink it regularly. I like the sour notes, not something I like in beer very much but this one is balanced (more so then supplication for me) and the carbonation in the taste and mouthfeel help the sour become something you want to taste as oppose to swallow quickly.

This is the most unique thing I have tasted in years. Russian River has a unique style and often I can taste the russian river signature in all of thier beers. Temptation has the russian river flavor without the piney aftertaste you find in some of thier other offerings that I often find over powers some of the better qualities of thier work.

My only complaint is that I wish the bottle was as big as the Damnation bottles.

If you are passing through Santa Rosa and also like champagne and Wine this beer offers a balance between the two worlds.

On a final note I'd say not to let the champagne/chardonnay-like part of the review scare you away from this one. Its a beer with similar qualities is all.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.03/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 375ml bottle stamped as "batch 001".

I bought this in CA a few weeks ago, opened for New Years Eve. The bottle says "Blond ale aged in oak barrels." The bottle goes on to say the oak barrels are Chardonay barrels.

After trying the Supplication last night, I was prepared for this one to taste like a sour beer. It did. Strange for a beer, but a reasonable alternative for a sparkling white wine.

I liked this better than Supplication, maybe because I expected the sour taste this time. But probably I won't have it again.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle - batch 001

Gotta say, I love the mini magnum. Coolest bottle ever. I would rate it s 5.

Very interesting brew. Almost tasted like champagne. Very fruity. Effervescent and refreshing. Definitely some tartness in there. Like a quasi cantillon. A bit sour, but not in a bad way.

I don't know what makes this beer wild, but yeah, it's interesting as hell. I hada hard time putting scores to this one. I think I would like to try it again to really see what I think. Glad for the opportunity though.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.11/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12/25/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 375ml bottle, caged and corked from the first batch ever bottled. Poured into my Duchese chalice.

Appearance- Pilsner golden color with a nice clouded vision. A solid 3/4 inch head forms with a full 1/4 inch remaining all the way down. Beautiful lace kisses almost the enitire glass.

Smell- Ahh, more barnyard funk, with a touch of oak and hops!

Taste- Drank immeadiately after the Supplication and found the same tartness to be there, in fact more so. This time the sourness stays in the aftertaste and lingers a bit. Slight touches of vinous notes and maybe a wee bit of oak treat the pallete to a nice suprise. Hops are plentiful as you notice them immediately.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level, tart and sour to the back of the tongue.

Drinkability- Another winner from Mr. C. A different approach to a blonde ale to be sure, but a winner nonetheless.

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Photo of drewmprs
4.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What can I say that hasn't been said? This was my first experience with an american wild ale. First impression was one of the chardonnay oak barrels that it was aged in for 12 months. I was lucky enough to try this on tap at hollingshead. A contemplative beer that one can sip or chug. Another winner from Russian River, more places should carry this on tap. The brets were strong, but manageable.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4.32/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Hollingshead, after the Supplication ran out.

A - a golden straw color with hues of lemon rind and a good amount of white head. Very bubbly inside.
S - good tartness like rice vinegar and faint forest scent. I dont know how else to describe it.
T - Ahhhh, good firm sourness that's well rounded. The sweetness and maybe spice are more pronounced in this one as opposed to the Supplication. There is a detectable oak or barrel in the taste that works with this. I could also taste faint flavors that i taste when i have a hefe, very faint though.
M&Dr - very bubbly and good on the palate. Dry and cider like. Very tasty this one. I do prefer the Supplication, but this one is damn good as well.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.57/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375 mL green corked and caged bottle, provided by OldFrothingSlosh in BIF 24. Stamp on the bottle says it is from Batch 001, cool. Poured into the recommended glassware.

Appearance: Hazy gold body, head is smaller than I expected, but still about 3/4". Lots of visible carbonation in the body.

Smell: Tart, funky and fruity much like a Flanders Red Ale . Smell is pretty much what I would expect from the style, as this is my first sample I have had from it.

Taste: Slightly sweet and highly tart flavors make up the forefront of the flavor, with an earthy wood flavor. Different, but familiar to what I have seen from Belgians that use wild yeast.

Mouthfeel: Feels a little watery going down, but that combines with the tartness of this beer to create an interesting effect. Metalic coating in the mouth afterwards.

Drinkability: Another example of American brewers taking a well established style and making it their own. I like the innovation, and would like to see more from the style. Thanks to OldFrothinSLosh for the bottle.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.46/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1.5 Liter olive colored bottle with batch #001 on the label. This bottle is 7.25% abv and barrel aged for 12 months. Poured into two Duvel glasses ... cheers to Vinnie for the big ass bottle.

A- Clear orange gold hue, etching in Duvel glass expresses a beautiful trail of bubbles that hold the white lace together. Speaking of the lace ... absolutely wonderful as it sticks all over the glass.

S- Farmy aroma with a goat-like white wine smell. Suggestions of lemons, sour cherries and wet grass. Hint of phenols and a refined fusel alcohol in the back.

T- Cherry tartness ... BANG! Underlying lime edge, a touch of mineral / salts. Biscuity bread crust maltiness, very dry. Very faint on the wood. Fruity all over with a hidden warming alcohol. Leafy hop character holds a restrained bitterness.

M- Creamy mouth feel, fluffy, light and dry.

D- So flavorful and interesting it is hard to put down. We could easily sip this all night long.

High marks for originality.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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