Temptation | Russian River Brewing Company

BA SCORE
98
world-class
1,026 Reviews
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
Reviews:
1,026
Ratings:
3,644
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
8.82%
 
 
Wants:
1,778
Gots:
1,026
For Trade:
64
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,026 | Ratings: 3,644
Photo of Bighuge
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep golden with shades of amber. Carbonation rises slowly through the hazed body. The snow white head has great retention and lace ability. Aroma is lemony, a little acidic, orangey, biscuity and funky. Lemon tones hit me first upon sipping. Other citric fruits are present as well. And some funkiness. A little sourness, but it's quite reserved in this one. Oak and wine of course. And a thirst quenching dryness. Carbonation is gentle yet noticeable. Light body. This one grows on you.

Thanks yet again to TheLongBeachDweller for yet another stellar ale from Russian River.

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Photo of Viggo
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 375 ml bottle, thanks DrJay, you spoil us!

Pours a hazy blonde/yellow, gushes out of the bottle, white head, some nice lace and good retention. Smell is crazy, sweet, yeasty, horse blanket, spices, toffee, honey, some brett sourness, oaky vanilla, amazing. Taste is sour, oak, vanilla, pineapples, more sour, spices, very tart acidity, almost salt and vinegar, excellent. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium to high carbonation, crazy and my first wild ale, love this style though.

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

Thanks to Chico1985, who couldn't resist the temptation to bust this out at last nights tasting. Reviewed from notes.

A- Glorious golden yellow with a foamy white cap that has good retention for an aged beer. A nice cloud stays afloat and leaves a coat of lace and very sticky suds. One of the best looking sours I have seen.

S- Nothing stands out alone here but a nice balance. Grape and wine/vinous notes are probably the most forefront but there is some fruit and you can tell it will be sour. Slight funk from a simple, yet well balanced aroma.

T- Microbes had a party in this one, blonde ale turned very good. Sour vinous notes up front with some lemon acidity and fruit notes. Sour is great at a moderate-high level. A bit of funk but an overall balanced taste with nothing aggressive or overpowering. Some oak as well as acetic notes towards the end.

MF- Light but nicely creamy body with moderate carbonation. A coat of sour white wine vine on the palate. Great sour feeling on the tongue.

DB- Amazing balance of simple and complex flavors, nothing takes center stage and all of the taste can be appreciated. Reminds me of a gueuze a bit. Awesome vinous wine elements here as well. Gotta trade for it around here but like Supplication, it is totally worth it.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks very much to jedwards for sharing. 375ml bottle (batch #3). Served in my Allagash tulip. Poured a golden-orange with a quarter inch, bright white head that quickly dissipates into a fizzy skim that coalesces around the edges. Clarity is hazy/milky. Some lacing, but no legs. Nose is citrusy and buttery. Taste consistent with nose, some tartness, some green apple and some residual sweetness. Mouthfeel is light-medium, with a consistent background effervescence that falls just short of prickly. Great beer and, based on my limited exposure, what I would consider a classic example of the style. A truly excellent beer.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle Batch 5X1F
Poured into a Duvel Tulip.

Appearance - Honey, golden orange with a smooth white head that leaves good lacing on the glass.

Smell - Honey, grapes, spice, wood.

Taste - Sour grapes, champagne, and oak.

Drink - Lively carbonation - like you would find in Champagne.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Comes out dark yellow and hazy, almost like a hefe, tons of lace, better looking than any wilds, could be bumped to a 5 on successive tastings. Definitely not a hefe in the nose, wood aroma, funkiness, lemony.

Taste, white wine sourness, oak, grapes, so pucker inducing. Hides alcohol extremely well, extremely dry finish to this, very drinkable. Probably the least complex of any RR sours I've had, but no less good. I'd give this to a noob before Consecration or Supplication. They're all excellent and world class.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Luminous tangerine-gold with a film of white froth that leaves big rings and a mist of floaties.
Nectar, a touch of horse blanket, apricot, marigold, sponge cake, and white grape skin - deep nose.
Honey on country loaf up front, some yellow apple, vinegar tang, kumquat tartness, a twist of lemon zest, some oaky vanilla, a hint of chalk, perhaps some Chardonnay gooseberry and a hint of spice.
Waxy starfruit finish and clean acidic linger.
Crisp, light to medium, some chew, lively.

OK, yeah, this is pretty damn good. The secret to this, I think, is a very good golden ale as a base. Oak, Brett and beer all in finely calibrated balance, opening it up to remarkable depth. No burn, and amazing how funky it isn't.

I'd probably need to taste other, less accomplished sours to appreciate how well this is done, but I'd drink this again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of maximum12
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to jessethehutt who sent me this beer...sometime during the second age of man. A long time ago. No idea why it's been gathering dust for so long except my wife isn't wild about wilds. Split with my wife. Batch 004x004.

Pours a bouncy, spry yellow for its age, lighting up the early Minnesota evening like a young version of our nearest star (no, not Randy Moss). The smell bumps along nicely. Low notes of wine & light yeast continue the theme of brightness against the onrushing winter. Please, please Tempation, hold back the rain!(tm)

Temptation's bottle talks about "wine or beer" & this definitely threads the needle. Light, breezy, I'd like to enjoy this on a warm spring day, lounging in a hammock in a sun dress. Um, the wine makes its presence known in a drying, light, pear-like smack in the jaw right away, before backing off & allowing the spritzy, Belgian blonde underneath to shuck off her winter shawl. Brett is present but subdued, announcing only with a bite, rather than aggressive sourness. Complex yet approachable, this is a 750 ML that might contain a single serving for me.

Excellent brew, & I'm not surprised, since Russian River seems to have figured out how to brew very good beer, across a spectrum, with amazing consistency. Here's just another example. My wild ale shy wife concurs; she thinks it's great. Winner!

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Photo of jrallen34
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice. Batch 004.

The beer pours a lightly carbonated, cloudy straw gold color. The head is about 1 finer high, decent retention, weak lacing just kind of runny.

The aroma right off the bottle is sour funk horse blanket, but once the intial nose is gone it is a very light sensation that's tough to pick up anything on. There is a light grape smell, light notes of flowers, hops.

The taste is amazing. It starts off light and sweet but then right away you get a stront tart bite and a hard sour finish.

Mouthfeel is surprinsgly strong with a great drinakability.

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Photo of drpimento
4.21/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sharing with friend Mike S. Poured at a good temperature with an average off white head that soon subsided and no lace. Color is a pale, slightly hazy amber with lots of bubble trails. Aroma is very good with sour and yeast on top, followed by oak, malt, wine and citrus. Flavor is not quite as complex with the brightness of the oaked sour malt with citrus; wine is in the background. Body and carbonation are exactly what they're supposed to be. Finish is like flavor, clean, balanced and refreshing. Nice picnic brew or for cooking.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy yellow orange in a goblet. A nice one finger white head that fades quickly and forms a nice retention.

Smell: Major notes of citrus tart, musty, and oak. The citrus seems to be of grapes and pineapple and banana. There are some spices, but I can't put my finger on it.

Taste: It starts off a bit strange due to an initial vinegar taste. The fruit really balances well with the more wine like qualities of the beer. There is some nice breadiness that provides the backbone here and some sugary notes as well. This warms beautifully and you can really taste all the subtle nuances of the flavors.

Mouthfeel: Lively and active. The sour and oak lingers nicely.

Drinkability: Absolutely wonderful. Refreshing and moderate alcohol content.

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Photo of claspada
3.85/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 05x1E, brewed 10/16/2009, bottled 7/6/2010 using Abbey Ale Yeast as the Primary yeast and Rockpile and Brettanomyces yeast at conditioning (all according to Russian River's Bottle Log tool on their website, I wish every brewer did this!)

Aromas are initially subtle with ripe golden fruits and the Chardonnay oakiness that was imparted by 12 month's contact with the barrels. As it warms you get a little Barnyard funkiness which is typical of the style. Sweet and sour seem to be in balance so far.

The tastes begin with wow, sourness in your face, did not see that much sourness coming (not noticeable in the aroma). Nice dry notes of oak and white vinous flavors. Lots of Brettanomyces puckery tang through and through. As it warms you get a little more of the fruitiness with apple and unripened stone fruit (plum and nectarine). You get a little grassiness and earth but it's in the background compared to the tart flavors.

The mouthfeel is super spot on with adequate carbonation. Finished spectacularly dry finish from the yeast and oak aging. Quite impressive. I am relatively new to enjoying/appreciating a good sour but I definitely know this is a winner.

Overall, yum... perfect for a hot summer day or just a warm spring day. I wouldn't enjoy this as much in the dead of winter so I am glad I was able to sample in the proper environment. Recommended for any sour lover; this brewery clearly knows how to make and barrel-age a great sour beer.

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Photo of dgilks
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy golden colour with a nice, creamy, off-white head.

Rich and rounded aroma. Quite tart with some goaty barnyard notes and then fruitiness. Quite a bit of oak. Vanilla and buttery oak. Interesting and very nice.

The palate deliversa moderate tartness backed up with the woodiness of the aroma. Fruit follows to cleanse and add complexity. Not as earthy as the aroma. Still very good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation and some tannin. Good.

A really excellent beer. Not as great as I remember it being last time I had it but still very enjoyable.

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Photo of champ103
4.61/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a clear golden/yellow color. A white head forms and leaves some lace.
S: Wonderful Brett aromas. Funky barnyard, hay, grass, and some yeast. Very tart and sour, though it is never overwhelming. Lots of fruity aromas as well. Awesome.
T: Funky barnyard, hay, grass Brett flavors that follow the nose. Fruity flavors and dry biscuit. Again, very complex and awesome.
M/D: A light to medium body that is crisp dry and very refreshing. Though not watery at all. I can drink this all day. So easy and smooth to drink. I can never get enough of this.

I have had the pleasure of trying this several times now. I just love it, and highly recommend.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.03/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 375ml bottle stamped as "batch 001".

I bought this in CA a few weeks ago, opened for New Years Eve. The bottle says "Blond ale aged in oak barrels." The bottle goes on to say the oak barrels are Chardonay barrels.

After trying the Supplication last night, I was prepared for this one to taste like a sour beer. It did. Strange for a beer, but a reasonable alternative for a sparkling white wine.

I liked this better than Supplication, maybe because I expected the sour taste this time. But probably I won't have it again.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy yellow, two finger head, carbonated and some lacing.

S-Wheat, yeast and grapes

T-Tart, not quite mouth puckering sour but what it lacks in extreme sour it makes up for balance. Lemony and grassy. Some oak. A Sharper not as long lasting sour.

M-Light and carbonated, unlike the other RR sours I've had so far.

O-So far the best. Not the most sour but it is the most balanced of the bunch. The lemon like flavors make this a great brew.

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Photo of Rutager
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

05X1F in a Duvel tulip. Been staring at this one for a while ...after an exhausting weekend, on this warm late-summer evening, it's time.

Appearance. Pours a clear, light gold-amber with a fluffy white 2 fingers that lasts a while.

Smell. White wine, funky bret and wood. A little mixed tart fruits ...apples, pears, peaches.

Taste. Tart, green apple, pear and peaches. White wine and oak present, but less than the smell. Nice light funk and yeast. Very tart without vinegar qualitites. Alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel. Light body, especially considering abv. Medium, lively, fine carbonation.

Overall. Very nice. Drinking something sophisticated like this makes beer seem very serious. I'll drink it again.

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Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Downtown Johnny Brown's in San Diego.

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of tart light fruits - pears mostly but with hints of apricots - along with solid amounts of funky aromas. As the beer warms very mild amounts of indistinct spices waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Light fruit flavors - pears and apricots as with the aroma - kick things off that are equal parts sweet and tart. Soon afterward good amounts of funk permeate through the flavor profile and the flavors take a sour turn. Midway through the sip hints of spices temper the tartness and carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have a few more without any problems.

Overall I enjoyed this very much however I have to say it's my least favorite RR sour (the others I've had are Supplication and Consecration). Very well balanced and a lighter sour that would bring people into the fold nicely.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

375ml bottle courtesy of largadeer, thanks a bunch for the opportunity. Beautiful, golden blonde color, cloudy. The smell is excellent and suggests sour and wine. The taste is pretty darn good and less sour than expected but still a pucker. This seems a little more subtle and complex compared to Supplication and Beatification but then maybe they aren't meant to be compared? There is not much funk to be found but all in all this is excellent. I've been skeptical about paying high prices for beer but these barrel-aged RR beers are worth it in my mind.

update 07/09/10

batch 004x2

This could take your eye out if you don't chill it first but it is delicious after a year in the bottle. It gushed at first but it smells awesome. Peach and citrus and a very subtle sourness, wow. I think this has actually improved since it was released because it tastes fantastic. I have never seen a cork shoot out so fast, good thing I know enough to treat corked beers carefully...

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a brandy snifter. Batch 006. Brewed on 10 May 2010. Bottled on 8 August 2011.

A: It uncorks with an almighty pop. Very little head, but a few bubbles. Clear urine yellow. Combined with an initial whiff, this is not very appetising.

S: So it actually smells pretty great. Lots of Brettanomyces, but tempered and pleasant, perhaps due to the chardonnay barrels. Some vinegar, some light fruit, and some funky yeast.

T/M: Finally, a sour I can dig my teeth into and really appreciate! This is some good stuff. Not-quite-ripe grapes, strong white wine influence, very subtle tartness. A delicate mouthfeel accentuates the light fruits in the flavour -- bright citrus, fermented grapes, dry-sweet tropical fruits. Very little carbonation; wet and smooth.

O: I have oft claimed to "not like sours," which is largely true, but this something else altogether. Phenomenal! Truly amazing. Highly recommended. Will drink again. A beer to sip and to savour.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06 alongside a sanctification, supplication, and consecration.

much like the sanctification this one is straw yellow and with a thin bubbly head. the nose is sweet tart, apple, pear, but more green grape than sanctification. much better in the flavor as well. quite tasty...apple, pear, and green grape. mouth is nice, but nothing crazy. this was a great sour. i'm not a huge fan of sours, but this was one that i was very impressed with.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged bottle dated 5/30/13 from Homer321. Pours hazy golden colored with a one finger fizzy white head. Sweet and sour aroma, pears, apples, citrus, hay, dry oak, tart brett notes, vinous white wine notes. Flavor is sour vinegar, juicy apple, dry oakiness, Chardonnay grapes. Medium body with prickly carbonation, smooth and dry finish. Really nice brew.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.15/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 2/2/2011

A: golden yellow with a 1 finger white head, dissipates quickly, leaves some lacing but incnsistent

S: sour, grapes, and a slight floral undertone.

T: this almost resembles a wine or champagne, sour, grapes

M: mild carbonation, crisp

D: it's not bad, but not extraordinary, I would compare this to a carbonated chardonnay

Cheers!
The CPJ

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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 dirtylou
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle, Batch 05X1E

the elusive temptation - nobody ever sent you to me so I moved to the west coast to find you. well not really, but its good to have.

appearance: served in my ale asylum chalice, glowing pale golden body, bubbly carbonation

smell: instantaneously - ah yes, the chardonnay barrel...big oaky aroma, vinous white grapes, tart green apple, brett funk

taste: obviously exceptional - the undisputed (in my eyes) best american brewery really hits the mark with temptation. I guess a prerequisite to enjoying this beer is the appreciation of a nice oaked chardonnay. Oak, belgian sugars, tart green apple, white grape, funky brett bite, melon. Righteous.

mouthfeel: light, lively, well carbonated

overall: exceptional

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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
4.42 out of 5 based on 3,644 ratings.
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