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: 3,658
Photo of TomMorris
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a gorgeous translucent golden-yellow. If it weren't for the little bit of foamy head, this would look almost exactly like a Chardonnay. Very well-carbonated and more lacing than expected.

The nose features a huge burst of lemon-line with some brett funk and hits of wood. I'm getting some spiciness and white-wine vinous qualities as well. A lot going on.

The taste is even more complex than the nose. Tart smack of lemon immediately on the tongue followed by lots of peppery spiciness. Notes of dry, oaky chardonnay throughout with a very dry finish. Medium mouthfeel and moderately sour.

A fantastic and complex brew. The only other RR sour I've had of late is Consecration and I honestly think I may prefer this one.

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Photo of Parmesan
4.29/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: CLear gold color with a very nice foamy, lots of carbonation bubbles and quite a few fingers of lacing.

S: White wine, light fruits, a nice sourness, some wood notes from the oak. A very nice smelling sour.

T: Similar to white wine, some Brett funk, a little bit of fruit, some very nice tartness, fairly dry finish.

F: light body and very nicely carbonated. Very easy drinking sour.

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Photo of eifster82
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Batch 080315, from bottle into wine glass.

Look is clear, strongly saturated yellow. More foam head than what I anticipated. Certainly more than Consecration or Supplication. Smells is that of wine. Beautiful aromas. Subtle oak and fruit in there as well. The Chardonnay barrel definitely comes through in the taste. Not overly tart. Fizzy/refreshing. Smoother end than I expected. A bit of fruit character noticed at the very end.

Would love to get more of these at some point.

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Photo of Nachojon
4.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Awesome thing to sit down with a RR Wild.

The complexity of the look here is matched in the aroma, is matched in the flavor. Great lemony, green apple funk on the nose and matched in the taste. Such a beautiful blend of sour and oak and vanilla.

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Photo of Myotus
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured gently at 48°F from a 375ml bottle (bottled on 03Aug15) into a tulip. Consumed on 16Jan16.
LOOK: Pours with a fingers worth of white foam that dies down into a line within 35 seconds. Golden yellow in color with a moderate amount of cloudiness. A high amount of small and medium-sized rising bubbles is present. Lacing is very subtle in quantity and thin.
SMELL: Strong aromas of chardonnay and sour green apple acidity entangle with mild hay, grassy barley, pear, and white grape aromas along with subtle banana, tobacco, oak, and earthy yeast aromas.
TASTE: Very strong sour green apple flavors first strike the palate. Strong hay and mild tobacco and chardonnay flavors follow immediately. Strong earthy yeast and mild barley flavors keep the ball rolling as sour green apple flavors grow slightly stronger. Mild flavors of pears and white grapes along with hints of bananas finish off the flavor profile as all previous flavors persist, except for barley, which grow stronger.
FEEL: Somewhere between medium-bodied and light-bodied. Moderately carbonated. Goes down somewhat smooth. Finishes with a strong dryness. Sourness from the beer playfully agitates the tongue.
NOTE: Another great from Russian River. I would have liked to tasted more chardonnay and less grassiness from the barley. Perhaps a more fresh bottle would accomplish this. Or maybe a more aged bottle. Who knows? Still a fantastic beer!

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Photo of Stevem68
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a golden color with nice carbonation. Has a nice funky aroma with notes of Brett and white grape. Flavor is tart white grapes with a funky Brett note. Leaves a nice aftertaste and a clean balanced finish. Overall this is delicious.

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Photo of grover37
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Love the nose and up front.flavors, but some thing is off on the back end. Some kind of weird hop flavor. Did not ruin it but would prob be better with age.

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Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptionally bright addition to Russian River's "tion" beers. And while this one may not be my favorite of their offerings, it was a light and almost refreshing entry that pleased every sour fan at our bottle share.

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Photo of Rizzy17
4.1/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 375 mL bottle bottled on 08/03/15 into a tulip glass.

A: A slightly hazy blonde with a white head that doesn't completely dissipate. Nice lace left on the glass throughout.
S: Slight barnyard funk on the nose. Very fun without being overbearing.
T: Somewhat crisp and zesty. Just a bit tart and not very sour.
F: Nice and effervescent. Great mouthfeel.
O: Kind of disappointed in this. I was expecting a lot more after having a lot of Russian River's other wild ales. Still a great beer, but I was left wanting more.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This review is for a very young bottle (corked 3 months ago): familiar light pale body, however with a good amount of haze (as the bugs and sediment haven't settled), huge billowing head. Light tartness on the nose, mixture of funk and some light earthiness. Very tart, pepper, Brett funk, minor astringency on the back of the tongue. Best to sit this batch's bottles down for a bit and bring the flavors together.

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

Bottled 6/18/14, consumed 11/20/15

A: Pours lovely golden, slight hazy with 1 finger dense creamy looking head.
S: tartness, green grape and apple, hay funk, floral, chardonnay
T: upfront slight tart, lemon, also green grape, rotten pineapple, light earthy funk but not overly so, slight wood note and wine like minerality. Mild palate get slightly sweet honey malt, kix cereal rain taste. Finishes dry with not a lot of lingering sourness.
M: creamy mouthful, not too carbonated, little warm boozy in the finish
O: pretty well balanced sour blond/brett beer. Enjoyed the wood and vinous notes. Not overly tart. Only problem I had was the the slight maltiness / kix cereal grain finish.

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Photo of Barracudas
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A great beer full of a complex flavor! I wish I could get a hold of this in my neck of the woods! I will be back to Russian River Brewpub to enjoy it again in the future!

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Photo of tshanahan
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at RR and it was way to Bretty, band-aid, no bueno. Had a bottle a week ago and it rang much more true to what I expected. Light, crisp, tart, great flavor.

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Photo of ChrisP802
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just had a buddy move out to Cali and I hope he remembers that I'm his friend
Pour - I wish it was poured out into something nice, but it was poured into a solo cup. Light golden haze with a small white head and very small lacing
Smell - you can definitely smell the wine aged and yeast. Comes out strong, but not overpowering
Taste - minimal chardonnay with a sour aftertaste. very well balanced
Overall - Amazing find. Makes me happy I have friends who know I enjoy beer

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Photo of lochraneg
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: pours light with a noteworthy pale head approx 1-3" thick depending on your pour
S: yeast, citrus, sour
F: light and airy, subtle wine flavor
T: sour, very sour, but great, Chardonnay is not very present
O: another impressive beer from Russian River

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Photo of Catracho5
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a golden, honey orange, cloudy, bright white head, minimum head retention, lots of bubbles streaming up the side, lots of lacing, looks really good.

A: Tart, funk, green apples, cider, picking up wine, slight oak coming through, smells really good.

T: White grapes, chardonnay up front, oak is very noticeable, green apples, cider, lots of complexity. Aftertaste is of green apples, white grapes, pear, oak reemerges and lingers.

M: Light bodied with good amount of carbonation and a dry finish.

O: Love sour blondes, great balance of sour fruit notes, chardonnay, and oak. This maybe my favorite Russian River sour after Supplication, definitely going to pick up anytime I see this.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Was able to try this on tap at Russian River. Lovely wine barrel notes on this one and an all around refreshing BA wild offering from RR! Would love to try again!

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Photo of Golden303
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite sour beers. More tart than sour and very clean feel. Almost a tart golden ale full of flavor. I had a bottle from 2012 consumed 9/4/2015. Classic beer.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden color with a quickly dissipating light-colored head. Plenty of oak on the nose. Sweet, acidic taste with oak on the finish. Carbonation hits at the front of the mouthfeel and flattens out smoothly. Another home run from RR

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Photo of Hootie159
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a mimosa. Foam sticks well to edges. Smell is Chardonnay and champagne yeast. Get a little bit of the wine earthiness as well. Taste isn't as balanced as I expected. Oak overwhelms a bit although there is a nice Chardonnay taste in addition to some sweet fruit. Feel is both smooth and carbonated. Similar to a mild gueze.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden-yellow body, not much head.

S & T: Smells fairly sour, good funk, a wonderful realistic nuance of peach in there. Not sure how peach got here, but it was confirmed independently by my drinking buddy. Taste is decently sour (I always want more), some funk, and still some peach mixed with other light fruit (apples, rainier cherries). Not much chardonnay or wood notes to be seen, but maybe it's just invisibly well integrated.

F: Not even kidding, this is too drinkable. Even trying to restrain myself, it went by way too quickly for such a rare and rarely-well-made beer.

O: I was expecting RR to pull out all of the stops here, and they did it, but in a different way than I pictured. Instead of going full-force sour/funk, they instead made a restrained, balanced, stylistically and aesthetically solid beer. My own unbalanced over-the-top preference for intense sourness and funk notwithstanding, I do think they could spare some extra funk/earthiness. That being said, this beer is pretty impossible to bash, as long as one appreciates the style. Maybe with a few more years of experience and beer maturity I'll be able to better appreciate Russian RIver's relatively conservative execution.

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Photo of shadetree67
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on: 05/03/13
Drank: 08/13/15

A: Golden in color and highly effervescent. Head is a thin layer of white bubbles and some of the best lacing I've seen for a wild ale.

S: Lots of brett and some chardonnay.

T: The chardonnay barrels are very apparent in the taste and it is not as sour as I was expecting. White grapes , a hint of honey, and some green apple on the finish. Only slightly acidic.

F: Light to medium body with a lot of carbonation. Low to medium dryness. Slight heat on the back of the throat but it isn't bothersome. Quite coating

O: This was very good and complex, but I think I'd like to try a fresher bottle. The brett seems to have taken over. That said, the brett incorporates with the other flavors quite well.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Golden effervescence! The experience is champagne-like throughout. This is a well-balanced sour ale and much like Sanctification, represents an excellent introduction to the style. I prefer this one to Sanctification, though, as the influence of the chardonnay barrel seems to represent itself more distinctly and with corresponding higher ABV (7.50% here versus 6.75% in Sanctification). Sit back, relax and enjoy this one!

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Photo of James_Michaud91
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is a reason people say Russian River brews some of the best sours in the country. This is a fantastic sour. The aromatics are absolutely killer: sour, funky, fruity, vinous and a touch of oak to finish things off. All of these flavors come through on the palate with the funk and sour being pretty much perfectly balanced. The vinous chardonnay/oak flavors are a great platform for the brett flavors and help to calm down the acidic streak of this beer.

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Photo of Auraan
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a cloudy golden body with a one finger bubbly white head that slowly receded. A very good looking sour ale, like a nice geuze. Scents of softly sweet Belgian malt, wild yeast funk with barnyard, horse blanket and lemon qualities and underlying notes of oak and chardonnay and light fruity aromas of citrus, white grape, apple and light pear. Overall impression of aroma is of a fine sour that showcases a wide array of aromas, both from yeast and the barrel-aging, resulting in a complex whole. Flavor begins sour and funky with notes of straw, grapefruit and lemon zest alongside light undercurrents of white grape and faint notes of honey, oak and dry white wine. Middle increases intensity of sourness continuing notes of grapefruit and lemon zest with light notes of white grape and faint hints of apple mingled with sour funk. Finish is dry and sour with notes of yeast funk, oak tannins, lemon zest and grapefruit upfront, with undertones of white wine and very light undercurrents of white grape and apple. Aftertaste is dry with oak and medicinal and herbal bitterness. Overall impression of flavor is of a very nice sour. It begins incredibly sour, but slowly reveals a great deal of underlying flavors resulting in a taste as complex as the aroma. Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with high, effervescent carbonation and a puckering, drying feel. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a very nice, true to form sour. Overall this is a fantastic barrel-aged sour ale. It has a wonderful complexity in aroma and flavor that adds a wonderful depth and is aided by its excellent mouthfeel. A wonderful gem.

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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
4.42 out of 5 based on 3,658 ratings.
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