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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
TemptationTemptation

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

980 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 980
Hads: 3,294
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.2%
Wants: 1,726
Gots: 873 | FT: 49
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: 980 | Hads: 3,294
Photo of Westsidebuddha
4/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Pasadena, Calif.

Poured a light golden color into glass. Nice mellow sour smell with no head. Very nice sour taste with definite hints of fruits which escapes me at the moment (had a beer or two beforehand, doh). A good mouthfeel that wasn't overwhelming to the palate. Very good drinkability in which I could have made this my drink all night and be very satisfied. Glad they had this on tap. (420 characters)

Photo of nectar14
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap, batch 004, at Toronado SD. Poured into little port glasses.

A: Golden/ yellow in color, slightly hazy, with a 1/2 finger white head that sticks around and leaves a nice lacing.
S: Complex as it warms up. The wet cardboard of brett is there, along with assertive lemon, green apple, white pepper, vanilla, and a touch of caramel. Projected, but without volatility. Do not get any whiff of alcohol. After the glass was empty, there was a distinct scent of empty chardonnay barrels (all that dead yeast, tartrate crystals, oxidized wine... which I recall from my days working in the winery when I cleaned chardonnay barrels after bottling).
T: Tart and puckery, with lemon, green apple, vanilla, wood, and slight malt. Long on the finish. Not heavy.
M: Medium body. Linear on the palate but the flavors are easy to pick out through the moderate carbonation and acidity.
D: Easy down the gullet for a beer of such character and complexity.

Glad I got to try this. Quite unique. (984 characters)

Photo of oceanman
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks wonderful. Pale orange color with bubbles actively rising, a thin, even, creamy head.

On the nose, obvious characteristics of chardonnay (apple, citrus) and oak (vanilla). A bit phenolic, some funk, and a hint of honey.

Sourness hits first then lets the fruit characteristics seep in. A bit of vanilla is felt on the finish.

Well-carbonated and balanced. Obviously has quite a drying effect on the palate.

High acidity limits the serving size, but the taste gets better through a bottle. Flavors are very well-integrated. (531 characters)

Photo of nniicckkww
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a chalice. Pleasant cork 'pop.' Fizzy with a hard pour with quickly dissipating head. No lacing on the glass. Yellow golden color with the slightest haze. Sour apple aroma very similar to a chardonnay (crisp, not the buttery kind).

Lively carbonation. Slight funk dominated by sour apple, lemony citrus and wine. Delicious. Clean, crisp finish. Almost more wine like than beer. I'm amazed that this doesn't have any grapes fermented in it and is composed of grain. The malt has been transformed into something that doesn't resemble malt based fermented beverages. I want a wine snob to try this. Utterly complex. No perceivable bitterness, but not sweet. Dry finish with a mouth smacking tannic undertone. Yum.

An amazing sour. My wife LOVES it as well. (789 characters)

Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.9/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from O'Briens. Cloudy gold color with good head and nice lacing. Smells very oaky with grapes and funk. Tastes pretty good, almost like a sour white wine. The mouthfeel is very dry with some fizziness. Good carbonation with a heavy acidic finsih. (253 characters)

Photo of avaccani
4.85/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 05X2E 375ml Bottle

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

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

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

M - Smooth and silky. Perfect!

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

Overall for one of my first Sours this beer is fantastic. I hope I didn't spoil myself. (535 characters)

Photo of Swimsum
3.95/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an old review that was stashed away in a notebook that I just recently found. Batch 003 (375ml) thanks to ThreeWiseMen. Sampled on 10/18/10 and poured into tulip.

Pours out a murky golden color. A white head emerges and then dissipates to virtually nothing. When compared to the Consecration we just sampled, don't see as much carbonation when held to the light. Body clears up a bit in light but still cloudy.

Much different from Consecration. This is much more white wine smelling and sour. There is a bit of spice here but I'm not sure what it could be.

This is very white wine heavy in the taste. Also has much for funk/sourness to it than Consecration. This is also isn't too complex, sort of a let down when compared to the Consecration. This is a great sour but perhaps the darker ones are the ones for me.

Good carbonation here and it feels much lighter to me than Consecration. I do think the carbonation works well for this but at times it felt a bit thin. Finishes with a white wine taste that I'm not sure I'm liking.

A very good, drinkable beer, but it is much different from Consecration. While I did enjoy this, I think that the darker sours are going to be what I end up liking a lot more. This is still a great example of the American Wild style and I'd pick it up. (1,295 characters)

Photo of cmadd
4.67/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into three taster glasses for myself and two friends. Minimal head with no lacing. The body was light straw yellow, only slightly clouded.

S: Very light – barnyard and pleasant nipping sourness.

T: In many ways like a subtle champagne. It opens with a strong sour burst that immediately gives way to dryness. This is the most complex, layered and dynamic sour/dry interaction I've had. As far as tastes go, light sour grapes are present throughout and the finish is the beautiful lingering sour of Granny Smith apples.

M: Pleasant and well carbonated, not overly so, and just enough body to balance the sour and the dryness.

O: I've had very few beers that were this refined. This one managed to demand my attention through complexity, not just oomph. I'm totally blown away. (791 characters)

Photo of hobojon
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 004x4. 750 ml split and in a tulip.

Aroma- mellow pleasing sour. pineapple, fresh tropical fruit. wax. citric acid. lemon. powder/chalk. floral. very subtle oak.

App- yellow/gold. clear. white foam. dissipates and laces nicely.

Taste- tart and sweet. lots of lactic. some spice in the finish. lots of tartness followed by a bready sugar sweetness. sourness is greater than the sweetness. tart green apple. grapefruit sourness (not cascade hops). mellow oak. more sour than in the smell.

Mouth- creamy high carb. minerally finish. lots of acids that are almost astringent. dry warming acid finish.

Overall- very good. clean finish. nice brett character. too sweet for my taste but i like the barrel sourness. (718 characters)

Photo of Grohnke
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pale straw, light gold; slight cloudiness. Condensed white head has little staying power, leaving a thin film. Remarkable lacing forms.

Smells of bright, tart lemon and grapes (in the sense of white wine). Mild funk, mild sourness. Very light oak.

Lemon is strong initially while the beer is still chilled, and then the sour cherry takes center stage, all the while green apple is in the background. Subtle sourness, with a light lactic bite, tart.

Light bodied, but far from watery; High carbonation makes it fluffy, and effervescent. Finishes dry with a lingering soft mouth puckering and tingling sour note.

Though not immediately 'wowed' by this beer, i fell deeply in love with it during the session. Its subtle and delicate, yet bright and bold. Some great fruity notes, paired with some soft sourness. Being aged for nearly a year in oak barrels, i was expecting more wood in the aroma (very light) and finish (nonexistent). Stellar mouthfeel. I am very jealous of those whom have this at their local liquor stores throughout the year. (1,052 characters)

Photo of wchollif
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

first temptation, batch 05x2F, saw that i had a few bottles and it seemed like a beer i should finally try. a perfect drink for a summer day. the color was pretty standard light blond, poured the entire bottle and no hint of cloudiness, maybe 1 finger of foam that settled a bit but lasted through the entire glass. smell was funky, obvious sour, nothing exciting, but nothing off putting either. taste was phenomenal. so clean and crisp. mostly lemons, very sour for the style. great carbonation and makes this beer incredibly drinkable. i wish I had more than 375ml. (568 characters)

Photo of MVassar
2.77/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm a tad reluctant to submit my review since I'm clearly in the minority here. I've tried this beer twice, and had consistent notes each time.

Slightly cloudy, light gold color. Minimal head, which doesn’t last long. Looks (and behaves) like a glass of Martinelli’s cider. Scant lacing.

Smells of Martinelli’s, too. Lots of crisp apple scent, which is very pleasant. Not much else.

Would be hard pressed to identify this as beer. Tastes like a sour apple cider, with little depth. Tart apple, hints of sour cherry, and a touch of grapey Chardonnay flavors. Raw flavors. Unimpressive.

Very carbonated, (unpleasantly fizzy,) with an acidic finish. Clean texture, but a little difficult to get down.

Clearly, this isn't my style. Not one I'll be sipping again. (777 characters)

Photo of Intelligentsia
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750-mL bottle into a chardonnay glass. Figured it was the most appropriate vessel.

Poured a beautiful chardonnay but a bit more orange color with a fluffy white head that I admired. Left some nice but not over-the-top lacing.

Smelled of oak, green apple, lemon, grass, wildness.

Tasted very similar to the nose, but with cherry. Delightful taste supplemented by high carbonation and a medium body. Good enough to have an entire bottle myself. (461 characters)

Photo of crvcac
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Yellow and straw-like in color. Has the appearance of an English barley wine
Smell: White wine zin, grassy, hints of lemon
Taste: sour tartness, white wine grape,
Mouthfeel: puckering with nice carbonation. A comfortable sour.. not one of those off putting sours
Drinkability: Awesome (297 characters)

Photo of Nashvillain
4.8/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a stemless crystal Chardonnay glass. Thanks Chickencoop!

Pours a brilliant gold into the glass, a light head rings the outside of the glass. Small bubbles float on a lake of beautiful pale yellow.

The smell wafts up, hitting me in the face. A puckering sour full of bright fruits, white grapes, muscadines, and a light barn-like flavor.

Taste is reserved and elegant. This beer knows what it's doing. The wine-like brightness and light sour blend in an amazing combination. A metallic bite on the end that has an earthiness to it, this beer is a gentle giant, a soft-spoken hulking behemoth.

Clearly this beer is over my head. I'm not sure I can pick out all the flavors, and I'm not entirely certain I ever could, no matter how much I had. I said a prayer silently thanking God and Vinnie for this thing of beauty. It's unfortunate, not sure other sours will ever be able to measure up. (902 characters)

Photo of kbm
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado. Two 8 oz pours. It is my third encounter with Temptation - first time on tap.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy straw. Little to no head (probably due to up-to-the-rim pour). Decent lacing.

Smell: Strong oak overtones. Sour fruit with tones of apple, white grapes and lemon.

Taste: Dry with moderate to extra tart sourness. Tones of sour fruit and lemon. I am definitely picking up the Chardonnay. After taste is sour apple with slight corn/grain. The tart resonates on the palate for a good while.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation with a light body.

Drinkability: It's a sipper but surprising drinkable.

Very refreshing on a warm day. (654 characters)

Photo of AndrewNations
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz cork and caged - Batch 05x1F

Nice Wild Ale. The oak isn't apparent until the finish and the carbonation is just a bit more than I prefer. The mouthful is nice and not to thin or viscous. Its almost like a Saison with Brett added. I get some peach and white grapes that I'm guessing, comes from the yeast. I think this is an excellent wild ale to introduce people to Brett C. Its too funky and is a good representation of the style. I dont think this is one is too complex but all in all a solid offering from Russian River. (529 characters)

Photo of Shagtastic
4.18/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to vissai for one of my first sours!

Poured from the bottle into my brand new Bruery Tulip

A: Pours a hazy yellow without much head that recedes quickly. I love the chardonnay color with it.

S: Yep, this is totally a sour, every whiff comes through strong for me

T: wow the barrel aging really comes through on this one. I love the flavor that it brings to the beer.

M: Great carbonation on this one. Easy to drink at the alcohol volume and really enjoyable.

O: I really liked this beer. It was one of my first sours so I'm new to the style but I really enjoyed it. One i would come back to for sure! (613 characters)

Photo of mutterfudder
4.83/5  rDev +10%
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. (766 characters)

Photo of tburus
4.76/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Perfect pop of the cork upon opening. Beautiful pale gold opaque liquid with a two finger head. Fairly rapid carbonation climbing through the beer. Lace remains solid throughout the session.

Smell: Smell of apple cider and faint citrus/hoppiness.

Taste: Wow! Incredibly strong and sharp taste of apple. As it wears off a hint of bourbon/liquor flavor hits the front of my tongue. The smell did not prepare me for how intense the apple flavor was going to be!

Mouthfeel: Wonderful flavor profile leftover. Faint cider taste, no bitterness or booziness or carbonation. Amazingly smooth.

Drinkability: I tried not to drink this one too fast because I'm sure it's the last one I'll have for awhile, but I probably could have put down a whole case of them if available. Delicious beer and absolutely no let down from the expectations I had. Simply outstanding! (900 characters)

Photo of dfernandez77
1.99/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Aroma:
Bright and tart, slightly metallic; lemongrass and peaches, with notes of saddle leather, vanilla, fresh cut cedar, and wet hay. Reasonable promise here.

Appearance:
Very clear light gold, with a slight warmth. Pours with a light fine bubbled head that dissipates quickly leaving light lace. Appealing.

Flavor:
Dominated by a metallic sourness of a single focus. Lacking in complexity. Moderated by a warm fuzzy moldy summer fruit (peach like) funk. Finishes slightly astringent and papery. Completely fails to deliver on what small promise there was in the aroma and appearance.

Mouthfeel:
A bit like diet soda, with a little slickness you might find in a light session ale with wheat. No redemption for the flavor.

Overall impression:
Perhaps I'm not the one to ask, because I've had many different lambic ales. Fruited, straight young and old, gueze. And I've had Rhodenbach and other Flemish red ales. That means I'll be bringing a higher standard to my evaluation than some others.

The Temptation is thin and one dimensional. It is very unsatisfying - especially considering the price. I've had Cantillon, Boon, Mort Subite, and Lindeman's that just blow the Temptation out of the box with great complexity and depth. I finished it because I couldn't bear throwing $10 down the drain.

If you asked me if I wanted another one of these - I would not be tempted. (1,381 characters)

Photo of emagana
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

now i havent had many sour ales and i figured i would give this one a try as i was bottling my homebrew.
poured a light yellow. breat carbonation and oak notes. this one reminds me of consecration.
aromas are sour and chardnay like. very inviting and not offensive.
starts with a slight tart and carbanation buttles begin to help spread the flavors. hints of grapes and raison and some oak for sure. well balance. i enjoy the complete mouthfeel but i think it would do much better on a warm day paired with some fruit. (519 characters)

Photo of nhudson
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am sure my review will be like most others. This I savored this beer for over an hour. I wish I had a easier access to it. Served from a 375ml bottle into a Stone tulip glass. Bottle date was 05X1E.

a: Honestly I could have given this a 5, I didn't cause well I hope I never find a perfect beer... But the appearance is quite crystal clear. Golden to very light orange in color with noticeable carbonation throughout the drinking process. Head stuck around as well. I could look at this beer all day.

s: Along with looking at it, I spent 10 minutes just smelling the beer before I even took a drink. The smell of oak, grapes and chardonnay hit you at 1st, then the brett takes over which leaves you to smell again. Aroma is very complex.

t: Taste is just as complex as the aroma. Wine grapes, oak, earthy funkiness, melons, citrus some apple. The tartness of the beer hits you up front but then quickly give way to the complexity

m: Very carbonated, which is a good thing. Prickly on the tongue. Very dry finish which I love in a good beer.

o: I have to say that before I had this that Supplication was my favorite RR beer. That has been beaten by this. One if not the best beers I have ever drank, and wish I had access to all the time. I kind of hate myself for drinking it.... (1,286 characters)

Photo of drewmprs
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (397 characters)

Photo of mikeale
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in the Secret Santa BIF 08 thanks, brandoman63

A. Blond, clear, white head and nice lacing.

S. Lemon, almost fruity, funk, brett,

T. I can taste the oak and wine barrel aging, sour, tart, refreshing

M. Light to medium body, high carbonation, tart finish.

D. I'm enjoying this, but not sure if I could drink this all the time. Not sure how rare this is either. (374 characters)

Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 980 ratings.