Temptation | Russian River Brewing Company

1,026 Reviews

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

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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Reviews: 1,026 | Ratings: 3,653
Photo of JDV
3.68/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rerate -
Gigantic 3 Liter bottle shared at tasting. Huge thanks for the chance to enjoy such a fantastic beer and so much of it! Pours a nice glowing orange color with a lasting foamy and bubly white head. Smell is slightly oak, some bret, and fresh dry citrus rind. Taste was mild, a slightly citrusy quality and very oaky with some mild sourness. Quick finish, and incredibly drinkable, I thought. Thanks again!!

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.68/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12.7 oz. bottle, Batch 003

A: Pours a golden yellow, with a voluminous white head, with thick, sticky laicng and good retention.

S: Earthy brett jumps out at first, then lemongrass, honeysuckle flowers, and light sugar.

T: Big flavours of sour lemon juice hit first, white grape juice in there as well, but it is much more secondary. The dry brett comes in in the aftertaste giving a raw funk, but it has a certain lightness about it. The acidity is there all the time, but I feel it can take over the flavour profile at times and be too harsh.

M: Quite tart, and bone dry, and has a lingering acidity on the palate. Fairly light-bodied, and has a creaminess in all of the carbonation.

D: In the end a tasty wild ale, but not up there with Supplication, which I think is one of the best beers I've ever had, moderately complex, I'll buy it again next year and delve through it some more.

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Photo of gregshead
3.7/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a straw color. Trace amounts of head. Lots of carbonation bubbles.

S: Sawdust/barnyard aromas

T: Barnyard funk with a good deal of sweetness. A little bit lower on the sour/tart spectrum.

M: Lots of carbonation. Very light feel

O: An enjoyable sour. Probably a good entry level/beginners sour due to the less pronounced sour flavors. Probably would due well with a couple years of age on it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.7/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from mikesgroove courtesy of the I Want That IV BIF, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 375ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of yeast along with light malts, tart fruit and some hops, plus the typical scent of oak barrel-aging.

T: The taste is very tart and sour up front and on top of that escalates into a sharp bite, with flavors of yeast, lemon, green apples and some spice that lingers in the finish. There's a decent hops presence that brings some balance. The malt character is pretty thin. The after-taste is sour and slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light body, medium-to-high carbonation, clean and very dry finish.

D: Flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, I can certainly appreciate the craftsmanship and work that went into this beer and it's a good one to pick if you like the intense sourness, but it's not really my kind of beer.

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Photo of ccrida
3.7/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into my Russian River "TION" snifter, carefully off the of the yeast, which I'm saving for a wild ale I'm brewing right now. Temptation is cloudy gold with an huge, fluffy white head with nice rocky last that leaves massive chunks of lace.

Smell is a on the sweeter side, lemons and a bit floral. Nice pithy dryness too, really reminds me of a saison, especially as it warms, really nice.

Taste is on the softer side, the chardonnay definitely comes through, a nice clean malty sweetness and some fruity Belgian esters. Not much sourness or even barnyard funk though. I just had a Cascade The Vine, their muscat grape barrel aged sour, and wanted to compare them, but they're really night and day. Tempation is much softer, basically just a wine barrel aged BPA. Not really sour at all, more wine notes too. Good though, but I wanted more funk.

Mouthfeel is a bit too tannic for me, some drying alcohol, very chardonnay like there, save for the soft, creamy carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good, a nice beer, but a bit of a disappointment in regards to my mood and expectations. I wanted a sour, and this one is really just a wine barrel blonde. But good for that for sure. And the price was stupid high, which was the final nail...

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Photo of tdawgydog
3.7/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first SuperBowl beverage of the day...

A - Pours a nice cloudy yellow, looking quite a bit like your typical wheat weizen brew

S - Not sure if it's the brett or not but it has a little bit of a sweet scent, also a little bit of fruit is evident as well.

T - Eek, this is not my first sour beer, so the concept is not new to me. Will definitely say that this is not my preferred beverage. I guess it's well done for what it is, but I'm not sure how this style became popular.

D - I sucked it down, since I paid good $$ to get this shipped from CA to NY. Not my fave Russian River brew. I was glad once it was done.

M - Good body and feel. I can't fault anything in the brew itself, I'm just not a fan of the style.

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Photo of punkrkr27
3.7/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

375mL, batch 2. Hazy yellow pour with a dense foamy white head. Smells of white grapes, lemon, orange zest, grassiness, and a touch of candi sugar, oak, brett, and some Belgian yeast. Brett sourness is very dominant in the flavor with more white grapes and oak and a hint of candi sugar on the finish. Medium body with a very dry finish.

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Photo of seedsofchaos
3.71/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle had been aged for 2 years... A toast to a fallen friend...

Effervescent and golden straw in color, Temptation comes with perfect clarity. Apple cider vinegar, fermented berries, champagne, chardonnay and a touch of oak come through in the bouquet. A soft Brett character is carried throughout the flavor via the active carbonation bubbles that last throughout the tasting. Very wine like, this RR Sour is immediately reminiscent of a carbonated white wine that finishes dry. Oak follows through from the nose.

Though I admittedly am not a fan of sours for the most part, this was a toast to a friend who once did. Very drinkable and palatable. Would work well with a sharp white cheddar cheese if one would like to compliment.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.72/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375mL bottle into a thin pilsner.

hazy pale golden with a thin layer of white head. rising bubbles and thin strings of lace.

fragrant but light aroma. yeasty funkiness with a thin presence of tart and sour. some lemons and sugary sweetness.

dry white wine and white grapes in the flavor as it starts, then finishes dry with an edge of tartness. funky and sour, but very subtly so. fairly light mouthfeel and a fizzy, champagne-like carbonation. light and complex, but comes off as too weak, especially for someone who loves gueuze.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
3.73/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy lemon color with a bubbly white head with pretty good retention and lace

Smells of lemonheads with a touch of cherry clan. Immediately after opening it smells nice. Shortly after it starts to smell a little stale.

Taste follows the nose. Tastes like the tart side of Lemon Heads. Kind of one note but not bad.

Light bodied and crisp mouthfeel with high carbonation.

Overall I think it's very very similar to Beatification, but I like this one better.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.73/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a clear pale amber with a nice thick white frothy head. Carbonation was insane, tons of visible bubble streams coming off the bottom. Almost looked like, well it really did look like champagne. Bubbles everywhere.

S - Very strong pungent aroma comes off of this one. Huge smell of grapes, with a hint of alcohol. Maybe a hoppy presence trying to come through. Smells like wine.

M & T - First impression was very sour, and it tasted like a nice white wine. Lots of carbonation and great feel, very light, again almost like champagne.

D - Overall this was very intresting and a good one time try, but not really my cup of tea. Would not turn it down if it was offered, but would not go out of my way to purchase it, a nice novelty at least for me.

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Photo of Meerkey
3.73/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Hardly any head. Slightly cloudy gold. Tons of bubbles.

S: The smell of chardonnay is overpowering. Some sourness and a hint of grains that I'm probably imagining.

T: SO sour. Definitely taste the chardonnay barrels and grapes. Sharply sour with some kind of burnt toast aftertaste.

M: Clean and bubbly and nice.

O: Soso sour. I'm not huge on sour ales, so it's always hard for me to get used to them, but this is pretty good for one.

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Photo of stephendr
3.77/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber color – white frothy thick big bubble head – nose of woody (cedar) , fruity sourness , bread yeast , malt , antiseptic , grains and citrus– taste of sour red fruits, sour green apples , malts , yeast , cereals , grains , and citrus – acidic bubbly raw body , and dry – aftertaste slightly bitter , and sour chalk very short

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.77/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden colour, cloudy appearance with steady bead feeding a decent snowy head that isn't hanging around for encores but is leaving a deliciously fragile lacing cradle. Great, for the lacing. Otherwise nothing exciting.

Really very delicious nose. Champagne characters with a slight sour fruit element but a lot of pleasant grapey aromas. Slight hint of a tang, not quite sherbety but sherbety is the closest I can come, linguistically.

Wow. And...wow. Okay, that taste really surprised the arse off of me. (If I'd known what this was, perhaps not quite as much, but still) Very, very mouth-puckering sour palate, but yes I was dead right about the tang because there it is loud and clear. It's very citrusy really, like lemon squash that's leant too heavily on the lemon. At the same time, a very rich, robust mid-palate, rather (I'd say) champagney again. Like the tang on the nose, it's kind of like poorly-hidden alcohol, only without the alcohol intensity. Just a rich billowy palate, like a cloud of octopus ink. Full marks, beer, for the surprise factor. And a fascinating palate to boot.

Not an everyday chugalug beer but an interesting, bold palate that grabs you by the balls and spits in your face "I am an interesting, bold palate." Mouthfeel is very puckering. I feel it killing my tastebuds with its acidity.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.78/5  rDev -14.5%
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 Mavajo
3.8/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance is exactly as you would expect -- golden blonde with a white head. The aroma is a bit funky, with that typical sour smell. I honestly didn't get too much from the aroma. With the taste, I got much of the same. Sour and tart, with a bit of oak -- honestly, I didn't find it all that complex or powerful. Exceptionally easy drinking, but I wasn't very tantalized.

This is a well crafted beer, but with the Russian River pedigree, I expected a bit more. I didn't find it particularly complex, and it was a bit tame as far as sours go. Don't get me wrong -- it's a good beer. But with a solid A average, I expected to be more impressed.

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Photo of domtronzero
3.8/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 005x1E

A - Slightly hazy golden yellow with a long lasting whitish head. Quite fizzy with lots of lacing.

S - Slight sweet malts with some tropical fruits: pineapple and mango. Lite funk with a slight tart sour aroma.

F/M - Sweet pils malts, lots of tropical fruit flavors, again pineapple and mango. Lite barnyard funkiness is quite subdued compared to prior expectations. Medium body with moderately high carbonation. Prickly and lite on the tongue. Quite effervescent.

D - Good. Finishes clean with a refreshing quality. Full flavored and very enjoyable.

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Photo of craytonic
3.8/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bomber

Appearance: Pour is orange-apricot with great belgian head and lacing.

Smell: Full of bitter barnyard funk and must, chardonnay oak (more like a cheap chardonnay than a good one) and ripe golden fruit. I think it might have almost spent too long in barrels.

Taste: Bitter barnyard funk (with a cat piss element to it), chardonnay oak, and ripe fruits like apricots, pears, peaches, and apples. There is a bitterness to it that doesn't quite fit in. Just a bit too much oak. Actually I find more oak in the bottle than the on-tap version, along with more of a funkiness.

Mouthfeel: Not in love with the carbonation or coating aspect, but good

Drinkability: Drinkable enough but I am not crazy about this one; I admire Vinnie as a pioneer of this style in America but he just never caught up with the Europeans and has now been surpassed by several americans. The first doesn't always go the farthest, even though he sets the path.

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Photo of Bubba83
3.81/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was surprised to find out I've never reviewed this beer on here. This is batch 006, poured from a 375ml bottle into a Bruery tulip at around 45 degrees. Pours with surprisingly little head, much less than the previous batches I've tried. Maybe half a finger width after a quick pour. The head is bright white, dense, and sits atop a straw colored beer with some slightly light orange colors at the deeper points in the glass. Good lacing and retention for the style.

The smell is a rather huge helping of buttery, vanilla french oak, with a little bit of a white vinegar aroma in there too. To be honest it doesn't smell all that impressive, but it's passable. To be fair, I remember liking the smell on the other batches better.

A lot of the initial flavor I get is french oak as well, and I think it's mostly due to the aroma kinda forcing that onto my tongue when I smell as I imbibe. Some sour/funky notes take place mid-sip, and some lemon, tart green apple, pear, and apricot come out to play, but only briefly and mildly. Wraps up with a quick hit of white vinegar.

Mouthfeel is great, nice consistency, about medium I guess, and a soft carbonation that feels about right. A little bit oily on the tongue as well.

Overall I remember liking the last bottle I had considerably more, so I'm guessing this batch either needs more time in the bottle or is simply not as great as the others. With that said, this is still quite a good beer.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.82/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Cloudy, golden/straw color with a thin white head.

S: Sour and wine like. Interesting.

T: The taste is as it smells - sour and wine. This is almost like a wine with beer flavoring. Definite sour notes.

M: Thin and carbonate - I thought it fit the beer exceptionally.

D: This is my favorite RR to date.

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.82/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy pale golden amber color with a big loose white head that fades fairly quickly leaving spotty patterns of lacing. The smell is aggressive and all about the chardonnay barrel treatment; earthy, very lemony, fruity and tart...way more character than the base blonde. The mouth feel was tangy and effervescent. Full flavored, the tart lemon character and barrel treatment tastes like drinking a chardonnay out right. Too tart for me and with a bit more wine character than i could appreciate at this sitting. I had the opportunity to consider this one with lunch at Hopmonk's Tavern in Sebastopol, CA.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.83/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. Label says 072712.

A- Pours a hazy gold color with a 3/4 inch white head that retains well before fizzling away to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a thin sheet of surface foam. Solid lacing. Wispy sediment is found suspended in the body.

S- Lemony, funky wild yeast aroma with a hint of barnyard must. Crisp but fumy.

T- Pow! Massive sourness of lactic acid assaults the palate leaving only traces of citrus fruit notes. Has that strange rubbery aftertaste that I haven't, as of yet, been able to determine what the cause of it is but it shows up in a lot of sours. Drinkable, but with small sips few and far between.

M- Incredibly dry and twangy with a tartness that doesn't let up. Medium-high carbonation and a lightish body.

O- It's a kick in the teeth right off the bat but, once you get into it, it's a pretty tasty sour if you like that sort of thing.

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Photo of Gfunk720
3.83/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly fresh bottle of batch 5, shared with my buddy Nick. Consumed from my Harpoon LE glass.

A- Golden Straw colored, maybe a touch of amber. Pours with a light white head, not a lot of head and not much lacing.

S- Smells parfumey, with smells of funk and citrus. Touches of oakiness and wine.

T- Not as sour as I expected, more smooth and tart. Has a light touch of funk. The dominant tastes are oak and chardonnay, maybe even a touch of citrus

M-Quite smooth, with a touch of sourness. Has a nice tingly mouthfeel. Very nice and probably the most complex part of this beer.

D- Very drinkable, due to the lack of acidity/sourness that I am used to from RR's other sours. It's nice, and I drank it very quickly.

I had particularly high hopes for this one, as Supplication is one of my favorite sours. I feel like this was a good beer, but not quite exceptional. The sourness was there, but not really what I expect having had most of RR's other sours.

Have a few more bottles that I plan on aging, we'll see how it develops.

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Photo of BDJake
3.83/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- fizzy dark blonde with a white, fluffy crown of head that laced beautifully and retained well

S- smells of chardonnay, sour cherries, hay, and an acidity i can't put my finger on

T- lemon juice, ripe cherry, wet grassy hops, and a very mild malt base to balance the taste

M- high crbonation, dry, with a uniquely sour finish

D- although i'm not the biggest fan of the style, it was decent in it's enjoyability but one pint bottle at a time is enough for me

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Photo of mattcrill
3.83/5  rDev -13.3%
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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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
4.42 out of 5 based on 3,653 ratings.
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