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Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,631 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,631
Reviews: 949
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 1,495
Gots: 710 | FT: 41
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Temptation Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,631 | Reviews: 949 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KiMiRaiK


4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

02-17-2013 20:15:55 | More by KiMiRaiK
Photo of ari32


4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

07-22-2013 19:22:16 | More by ari32
Photo of sammo


4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

06-11-2012 16:39:15 | More by sammo
Photo of NittanyBeerFan


4.13/5  rDev -7.4%
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 stevec32

New York

4/5  rDev -10.3%

12-05-2012 13:28:41 | More by stevec32
Photo of jjheinrichs


4/5  rDev -10.3%

11-18-2011 04:46:19 | More by jjheinrichs
Photo of rdooley


4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

10-06-2013 03:31:36 | More by rdooley
Photo of Thehuntmaster

South Africa

4.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle 7,5% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Batch 006

This will be my first American Wild Ale, I cannot wait to see how they compare to my beloved Belgian Lambics! Thanks to futura123 for hooking me up!

Appearance: Temptation has a lightly hazed, golden-yellow body, topped by a good sized white head that displays good retention and leaves some patchy lace.

Smell: Tart fruits dominate the nose with lemons, white grapes and green apples. White wine is easily identifiable as is oak and musty brett. As the beer warms light spices (white pepper) and sweeter fruits (cooked apples and hints of sweet melon and orange) become apparent, as does the faintest floral/leafy note.

Taste: As with the nose, the taste is dominated by tart fruits (white grapes, lemons and green apples), musty brett and white wine (more prominent than in the nose and easily identified as Chardonnay). Oak, light spicing and a touch of sweetness are also noted. As the beer approaches room temperature the Chardonnay character increases dramatically. Perfect Abv. cover, this may as well be 5%.

Mouthfeel: This is the one department in which I think Temptation stands up to its lambic cousins! Medium bodied with stunningly smooth, expansive carbonation. I could literally gulp this down - pity this is not a 750ml bottle!
Nice acidic bite, but far from enough to pucker the mouth. The finish is quite wine like with a refined dryness.

Overall: Temptation is a solid sour with stunning white wine character, however I feel it lacks the power and depth of a true lambic (particularly in the nose). That said, I think it is for that very reason that it scores so well on BA!

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 09:01:35 | More by Thehuntmaster
Photo of Prospero


4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

01-29-2013 16:19:31 | More by Prospero
Photo of zhanson88


4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Temptation pours a clear champagne-like white grape color with about 1.5 fingers of pure white head. Retention and lacing are quite nice. Also, this beer is quite effervescent; lots of carbonation rising to the top. Very nice.

Smell: I get funk, mustiness, white grapes and subtle vinuous oak. Not overpowering, but still nice.

Taste: I get tartness and mustiness up front, along with some white grape skin. I also get faint oaky notes, and can taste a hint of the chardonnay that occupied the barrels beforehand. Lightly acidic, but not over the top. In terms of sourness not real intense, but overall funk and flavor is very good indeed.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Just a little under medium bodied with great carbonation. Awesome mouthfeel. Overall, a superior wild ale. It's not overly sour but has a nice balance of flavors to it that isn't over the top.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2011 02:48:25 | More by zhanson88
Photo of beachbum1975


4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks newtonty!

00X41 on the label - 750ml bottle.

Pours a cloudy, bright lemon with a creamy white head. Very nice...

Smells of the expected funk and sour, lemon funk.

I can definitely taste the oak and barrel in this one. The lemon zest sourness and mild funk is prevelant, but the barrel is the biggest part.

This is a very nice sour...I could drink this all night!

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2009 02:09:24 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of Googs

New York

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

10-09-2012 18:26:09 | More by Googs
Photo of ggaughan


4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this last night at the back bar at Monk's. I have been waiting to try it for awhile as I have held off on the bottle in my basement.

The Temptation pours a very hazy orange/yellow color with a nice thick and sparkling head.

The first few sips of this beer definitely reminds you that it has been aged in Chardonnay barrels for an extended period of time and then you get the sour and bitterness that is trademark RR.

I wish the bottle was a 25oz because I could have enjoyed this much longer but at $16 a bottle I was limited myself to one...for now.

After my first try of the Temptation I will befinitely age the bottle I have at home and try it a few more time at Monk's because this is another winner from Russian River. Great job Vinnie.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 04:38:03 | More by ggaughan
Photo of kornkid8600


5/5  rDev +12.1%

12-08-2011 06:52:21 | More by kornkid8600
Photo of errantnight


4.93/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2007 21:02:39 | More by errantnight
Photo of patrick802


4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

05-04-2014 20:10:23 | More by patrick802
Photo of NWer


4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

12-18-2013 21:56:28 | More by NWer
Photo of Devi0us


4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

04-15-2012 01:06:03 | More by Devi0us
Photo of philipquarles


4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

375ml bottle from batch 002x3. Pours a very hazy dark gold with a billowing, meringue-like head. Very persistent and sticky. Smells lactic and citric, with a lot of light fruit. Plenty of barnyard character. Tastes quite sour, again with plenty of citrus going hand-in-hand with the lactic acid. Incredibly strong oak character with some musty brett notes. Noticeable bitterness leads to an extremely dry finish. Medium-bodied and very effervescent. Very drinkable for what it is. One of the most complex, refined beers I've had.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2009 23:01:10 | More by philipquarles
Photo of davidwhatshisnam

New York

3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

05-03-2014 20:49:07 | More by davidwhatshisnam
Photo of Shilt


4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

02-10-2013 15:12:45 | More by Shilt
Photo of Ineedabeerhere

Rhode Island

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

750mL Batch 4 bottle. Shared with friends on 8/22. from notes. Thanks for the bottle(s) Shane!

Pours a golden color with a wispy white head quickly seceding to a film.

Aroma is downright funky. Musty straw, barnyard flavors. Mixing with chardonnay grapes, a hint of white pepper and lemon zest. Acidic notes foreshadowing the flavor.

Tartness upfront with sour grapes, vinous notes. Chardonnay characters are well integrated. Funkiness also present. Not cheesy like some wild ales, but funk is abundant.

Well carbonated, not spritzer-like which you find in some wild ales that are bottle conditioned. It's got a proper level of carbonation that just excites the taste buds enough to deal with the acidity. Drinkability is great for a sour ale, although I suppose I am a bit biased considering my recent love for these styles. I liked batch 3 a bit more, but this one is a hit and I'm glad I have a few bottles for the cellar.

EDIT: Had this again recently and batch 4 is really coming along nicely. Great soft oaky notes with the acidity levels continuing to develop. +.5 App, +.5 Drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2009 03:03:18 | More by Ineedabeerhere
Photo of beergod1


4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very carbonated pour from the bottle, big bubbly off white head, which dissipates quickly. Hazy straw yellow pour.I smell Oak, Tropical fruit, some alcohol and funk as the beer warms up.
Delicious wild ale taste, tart, yeast, and bready, a subtle oak barrel woodiness, a soft spicy hoppiness, the alcohol is well masked, but warming in the palate, and a dry. Palate is medium to thin which makes this very drinkable. The sourness is present in the taste, but is not overpowering. RR knows what it's doing.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 23:01:27 | More by beergod1
Photo of brbrocc

New York

4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

01-27-2014 20:34:39 | More by brbrocc
Photo of Neffbeer


5/5  rDev +12.1%

11-14-2011 22:12:25 | More by Neffbeer
Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 2,631 ratings.