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Temptation | Russian River Brewing Company

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TemptationTemptation
BA SCORE
4.46/5
Outstanding
3,715 Ratings
TemptationTemptation
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
rrbeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#158
Reviews:
1,031
Ratings:
3,715
pDev:
8.74%
Bros Score:
4.46
 
 
Wants:
1,789
Gots:
1,038
Trade:
61
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 3,715 |  Reviews: 1,031
Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 492 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4.41/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a clear golden color with a tan head that settles to nothing. Small streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some fruity and grain aromas. Taste is pretty much the same and there is an acidic quality on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good wild ale but I think this one smells better than it tastes.

 501 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 004 x 4; Pours a medium clear amber, white head that rapidly fades.

Bretanomyces nose is assertive, as are lemon, unripe pears and green apples. Lacto yeast also gives a pleasant "sour milk/yogurt" nose.

Mouthfeel is fresh and thin but this brew is sufficiently flavorful and tart as to make the thinner, cleaner mouthfeel desireable. Creaminess and a heavier or thicker mouth would be a fault in this beer.

Tart, citric and green apple flavors highlighted by the fresh, clean mouth. Layers of flavors of citrus, apples, pears and lime. Balanced, layered, complex, elegant and sophisticated. Nose grows more wine like of chardonnay; somewhat "white burgundian" in character, as do the flavors grow in chardonnay and white burgundy flavors as you drink it, especially in the back palate and finish.

Bret and lacto very noticeable and the characteristics are nice. Lacto comes out in the mid to back palate and finish as you drink it. ("Sour milk" character in a good, not a bad way). Very drinkable, pleasant.

Oak barrels finally come out in the nose and mouth after several minutes in the glass. Really nice and worth the wait. Complex!

 1,150 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

yet another one of the "tion" brews under my belt, and while its not the consecration, it is a hell of a damn good beer. it pours a murky pale blonde color with some flaoting sediment and a frothy white head just half an inch high and relaxing to less than that, but always ready to come back to life with a shake or a swirl. it smells like brett and wine acidity, grapey and musty, oaky and dank, really nice. lighter though than some of the other beers from this line, less in my face. it has a really unique flavor, somewhere between a glass of white wine and a beer. the sour element sneaks up on you too, its just a tart golden ale at first, but then after a few seconds the sour really hits you in the face. almost jaw hurting. dry as hell in the finish. i love the fruit in this, lighter than the heavy cherry stuff in the others, refreshing and surprisingly drinkable. the feel is epic, like all of these. its so so dry at the end, and the carbonation is crazy bright. body is lighter too, and i just love the sour puckey feeling i get from this. overall another, yet another, brilliant brew from the masters.

edit: just had a batch 4 bottle of this, maybe 09 or something, im not sure the date, but it was even more dry and awesome than was the fresh one i had a year or so ago. cellar this, its worth the patience!

 1,325 characters

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Temptation pours out as a pretty typical looking blonde ale, golden yellow color with a bit of haze to it. The head was foamy and white leaving a bit of lacing. The smell of the beer smells a lot like Chardonnay with a bit of wild yeast coming through in the back end. The taste of the beer is actually pretty good. I was surprised that it really didn't give off much of a pucker factor after each sip. The flavors of white wine, tart grapes and some wheat are what I'm picking up here. The mouthfeel was pretty good, almost refreshing. Overall I was very impressed by this beer. The flavors and the other elements that it brings to the table were really good. I wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy this one but it turned out to be a success.

 748 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of t0rin0
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.28/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of metter98
4.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy goldenrod yellow in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of chardonnay wine barrels are present in nose along with notes of sourness from the brett.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the sourness is a little stronger and there are also hints of oak.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a very nice balance between flavors of chardonnay and sourness that makes it both interesting and quite easy to drink.

Note: Batch 07-27-12

 701 characters

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

Undoubtedly one of the most well-balanced funky Belgians out there. Temptation is basically what brettanomyaces would do to Duvel. ...but there's more....

Temptation pours with a deep canary yellow color and medium haze (a bit more than I expected). A large stark-white head carries a combination of tight and loosely-knit bubbles. The ever lasting head laced all along the glass as though it didn't want to leave- ever.

The nose is a balanced blend of acidic lemon notes and funky-dusty-musty aromas. Crab apples and under-ripe berries come into play, but the beer takes on a typical aroma of well-played Belgian-brett beers.

Flavors are much more complex and less intense than what I got from the nose. True malt flavors of pilsner and wheat varieties shine up front and set the stage with timid sweetness and moderate bready notes. Those lemon, berry, and apple flavors come in close behind and in most tart and acidic fashion. Stopping shy of sour or vinegar, this beer shows great control and restraint. Spicy with white pepper notes from the phenolic yeast do a great job of not showing any off-notes. Still, the tartness weaves in and out of musty characters of basements or attics and light horse blanket just beyond mid palate and just in front of the finish.

What is even more remarkable about the beer is how the wheat malts give a creamy, bready feel in the beginning but then the tartness nose-dives straight into a dry, acidic, and mildly warming finish. Again, shying away fron astringency, the tart acidity and moderate alcohols do all the work. The beer is fleeting and evaporative to the mouth, leaving a very clean aftertaste and leaving me begging for the next sip.

This is a masterpiece of a beer that has all the things that I love so much about Duvel but with added complexities and artfull assertion.

Thank you slayer3604!

 1,853 characters

Photo of kojevergas
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into an Irish (real) pint glass in high altitude Denver, CO, on December 21st, 2010.

A: Pours a pleasant clear gold with a thick, creamy, four finger head of very nice thickness, brilliant cream, and excellent retention. Remarkable and appealing.

Sm: Wow. Fresh but moderate. Notes of wine, ester, fruit, hops, and even yeast. Very complex, but balanced. Hopefully the taste is similar.

T: Yup. To a T. Smooth open, complex, incredibly well-built body, wine-ish climax, with a multinote finish. The notes in the body bleed into the aftertaste (past the finish). Russian river's done it again, and this beer supports my sentiment that they may be the best American brewery operating today. Hides its ABV very well.

Mf: Nice balance between coarseness and smootness, wetness and dryness, but I should say the wine gives it an unnatural fizziness that could be better refined. It's bold, and it works, so this complaint is minor.

Dr: I'm not the first guy to reach for this style, but I am the first guy to reach for Russian River, and for good reason. Even a stout lover like me will appreciate this beer. Definitely worth trying, especially if you don't like sour ales. Its taste lives up to its title, though it may only be a fleeting temptation at this price point.

 1,297 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 003, thanks Jason!
First beer of 2010.

Poured into an Oerbier stemmed wine glass, it pours a bright honey gold with effervescent champagne streams. Lace is sticky and adheres itself well. The surface skim never really breaks.

Aroma from the glass is strangely different from the bottle. The bottle has a sweet acetic white wine vinegar and washed rind cheese thing going on. The glass has a very minerally, flinty wet stone nose, backed by hay and honey notes. As it warms there are some florals too. I'd give the bottle a 5 and the glass a 4, so 4.5 it is.

Temptation sings beautifully. It has elements of Chardonnay, tart and minerally, bright and puckering. Light on the palate yet full and complex. Not especially oaky, which is good. Dry and fruity with grapes, orange, lemon, and cheese. Very effervescent and dry like champagne. A wine-lovers conversion beer for sure. Off the charts drinkability.

Paired well with cheese, we had Capriole Wabash Cannonball and Delitia Taleggio.

 999 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.97/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden color with a huge head; the retention was very good and the beer left clumps of lace along the sides of the chalice

Smell: Except for the sour Brett tones, you would swear you were smelling an oaky chardonnay, with vanilla and white wine grapes influencing the tart green apple, apricot and sour cherry tones

Taste: Opens with a mouthful of fruit (pear and apricot) that moves in a tart, green apple direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, the tartness mellows and the more subtle fruit character (pear, melon, apricot) and oaky/vanilla elements represent themselves; unlike some of the other Wild Ales where the sour elements dominate, this one is much more subtle and complex

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body and quite creamy; medium to high carbonation

Drinkability: Another stunning achievement from Russian River; more subtle than some of the others and, in many ways, better, as a result

 934 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of oline73
4.01/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a blinded bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a slightly cloudy golden straw color with a mild amber hue. There is a finger of thick, off white head that sticks around quite nicely. 5

Smell: This is a light sour beer. I'm getting a strong barnyard funk presence. It dominates the smell, but it isn't particularly biting. I'm also getting a mild sweetness and a hint of white wine. 4

Taste: Light and sour, but not to an extreme level. I'm getting some lemon juice and funk up front with some more herbal notes building towards the finish. The sourness builds to the finish if the sip, which also contains a white wine note. Reminds me of a mild lambic. 4

Mouthfeel: The body is on the lighter side with smooth carbonation and a finish that is dry but could be drier. 3.5

Overall: I would call this a pleasant sour blonde ale. It's not overly biting or sour. I don't really have a guess as to what this one is, but I like it. 4

 956 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.77/5  rDev +7%
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.

 717 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden color with wispy white streaks of foaminess. It left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled funky with some farm house/horse blanket aromas. A yeasty spicy aroma with a touch of oak.

T - A nice funky/spicy taste that you expect from a wild ale with brett. It had touches of caramel and grains.

M - It was very crisp and smooth with an extremely dry finish. A light to medium-bodied ale.

D - This is a very good wild ale. Great tasting with a good dry oaky finish.

 497 characters

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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 3,715 ratings
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