Temptation | Russian River Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
98
world-class
1,015 Reviews
TemptationTemptation
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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:
1,015
Ratings:
3,568
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
1,787
Gots:
1,001
For Trade:
67
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,015 | Ratings: 3,568
Photo of Stevedore
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle dated 7/27/2012, so its about a year and 2 months old. Poured into a Bell's snifter at Doug's today, 9/18/2013.

Pours a beautiful hazy straw colour, with a lovely 2cm white head with great retention. Looks so incredibly refreshing with a lot of great lacing as this one goes down- that's all I have to say about the appearance.

Smell is interesting and very aromatic, but a little one dimensional. I can definitely get the oak and chardonnay scent here, but its not particularly complex. It smells so refreshing though that I can't dock it too many points. I can tell that this is the base for the FfaC though.. a bit of that funkiness in that nose also, but not a ton. Definitely get a little bit of lactic acidity, like FfaC, but its not particularly acidic sour. One thing about this one is that it smells so clean.

Flavour is great, so refreshing, but not too complex. Its a combination of oak and tannins, lactic acidity and some sweetness which is more of that dry chardonnay sweetness combined with a little bit of citrus zest. Not a ton of funk in this one, like a good geuze, but its definitely a very, very palatable flavour. I think this is a great beginner's sour, honestly, even more so than Sanctification or Supplication.

Its a lighter bodied beer but it is so incredibly refreshing. I would definitely use this is a hot day-porch beer, or a palate cleanser. Its so pleasing, I can see this is a beginner sour. I would be able to drink a pitcher of this without any problems, its that great in disguising the 7.5% ABV booziness. Very drinkable, may quite possibly be the most drinkable of the RR sours.

Definitely worth trying; its not ├╝ber complex but its got that good sour quotient and a bit of complexity to it. Russian River's other sour offerings are more complex and flavourful, but if you are new to sours, this is one I would definitely try first before all the other sours.

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Photo of mltobin
3.97/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle from a trade with PinkFlag, thanks Brandon !

Appearance is a golden yellow tone which is nearly clear with a thin white head. The nose has apple, lemon peel, chardonnay, oak and funk. Its` taste is fairly similar to the nose , along with some grapes and more of the funk/brett. As others have noted, it has many characteristics similar to a sparkling wine. The mouthfeel does not have too much sour or too much of any characteristic really. It is nice and crisp, a very good wild ale that I had waited too long to try.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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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 BeerFMAndy
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Bruery tulip. 7.25% ABV, tulip serving shown, Batch 004x3. Purchased at Russian River.

A - Totally clear golden yellow with a dense white head, there is good retention and lace that covers the glass with thick fingers. It's very attractive.

S - Lemony golden citrus and floral hops with a massive, delicious funk! Light horse blanket and musty wheat has a great combination with a nice light sour finish. Mmm, Brett.

T - Thinner than expected, a bit of the lemon citrus comes through but the majority of the flavor is heavily wild ale with a thin horse blanket and nice barn yard funk to it.

M - Temptation is light-bodied with a funky sour finish that's right up my alley. Nice tart finish with a great clean and crisp texture to it.

D - Definitely a bottle worth sharing with people but probably not worth the $25 price tag. Very good beer with a nice wild kick to the finish.

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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 rodbeermunch
4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With an appearance similar to a glowing hefeweizen with a little less cloudiness, this brings the head, retention and lace like I've never seen in a wild ale before. Looks glorious. Aroma was American oak, lemon, tart, brett funk that is not barnyard, but a brighter earth tone.

Taste drops substantial white wine flavors, white/green grape, oak, super sour and tart. Alcohol well hidden, just like most RR brews. Was one of the first beers to really take on a lot of wine characters that I remember. More recent batches have been cleaner, less intense, but its always a world class beer.

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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 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 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 xnicknj
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

on tap at monks

Pours a fairly clear golden with orange hues. A light, bubbly head quickly fades leaving no lacing around the glass.

Very bright nose, with tangy sourness and assorted fruits (especially green apple) in the nose. So inviting.

Bitter and dry up front with some sweet touches. The beer is pleasantly sour throughout with apricot, apple, and wine grapes. A bit of citrus dashes through with oaky tart flavors, hints of Chardonnay, and some some soft funk. Finishes super long with tasty, lasting dry and sour notes.

Lighter body, tingly, and dry. Dances on the tongue with excellent flavor and feel. Goes down so easy you have to consciously slow yourself down to avoid drinking it too fast. A true delight and treasure from Russian River.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Comparison of Batch 1, 3, 4, and 5 12/4/10

Batch 5-fair bit of hops, juicy, hints of soap with notes of leathery brett up front. som dry oak, dustry, very light chardonney wine flavor. juicy dry oak, bright white grapes and slightly sour with a fairbit of grassy hops and some juicy citrus.

Batch 4-more sublte than 5, chardonney comes out slightly more and the hops are much more mild. flavors of integrated oak, white grapes, light brett presence and faint hops.

Batch 3-the hops have faded but the flavors are soft well integrated and subtle. the chardonney barrels really make a bright presence, juicy white grapes as the brett comes in behind. the brett is slightly sharp but still leans towards subtlty with some lemon and soft peach flavors in the back.

Batch 1-the brett has started to dominate and take over, the chardonney and juicy wine flavors have become much light and the sweetness now resides behind and underneath the strong brett presence.

***

Batch 004X4 reveiwed 3/1/10

A-pours a pale golden yellow color with a thin bubbly head, 2-3 full fingers, holding strongly to the side of the glass.

S-nice notes of oak and hints of vanilla start off this funky aroma. Wild yeasts take over giving it a fair amount of funk, sour grapes and green apples, notes of lemon zest and grass at the finish

T-tart cherries, sour white grapes, and notes of lemon zest are followed by a biscuity malt base. the oak is very faint in the taste as it comes in towards the back.

M-this is extremely smooth and crisp throught, sharp finish and very dry. medium body with a slight warming from the alcohol in the back with a lot of carbonation.

D-this is very sweet and tart. it brings huge flavors and an interesting taste from the barrel aging. Another intersting brew from RR.

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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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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
98 out of 100 based on 1,015 ratings.
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