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:
3,567
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
8.82%
 
 
Wants:
1,787
Gots:
1,002
For Trade:
68
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,015 | Ratings: 3,567
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
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!

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Photo of spoony
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 375 ml bottle with a 7/27/12 date into a tulip.

A-Opened with a nice pop and poured golden in color. Mostly clear with lots of ultra-fine carbonation. The off-white head started at three fingers in height and stuck around for a long time, leaving nice lacing on the glass.

S-Oaky and vinous at first with hints of tart apple and grapes. I could tell this beer was aged in white wine barrels. There is just a touch of yeasty funkiness that grows as the brew warms up.

T-Starts out with tart apples, grapes, a little vinegar, and lemon curd. As it warms up, the flavor turns more to the sour cherry side, but it never gets all the way to sour cherries. The taste is not as oaky or vinous as the smell, but it is quite complex and concentrated.

M-Lighter to medium bodied with lots of fine, champagne-like carbonation. It is just a touch creamy with a dry, tartness that mellows some on the finish.

O-I really enjoyed this beer; one of my favorite American Wild Ales to date. It had a nice complex dose of sourness and a touch of yeasty goodness, which really played well with the level of carbonation. I could drink a lot of this...if it weren't so damned expensive.

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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 WesM63
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a RR "Tion" glass.

A: Pours a murky/cloudy straw yellow. A tiny 1 finger head is present but quickly dissipates. Tons of lacing.

S: Smell is very faint but I get some funk with some citrus (lemon) lingering.

T: Complex. Lots of stuff going on here. Tart and Funky, lemon, white wine, oak and finish try and tart.

M: Light body, medium carbonation.

O: Mind = Blown. This stuff is insanely good. Initially it seems simple but the more you drink, the more it evolves. Everything in this beer just works extremely well together. Well done, RR, well done.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml Bottle from batch 003
Pours out with just a hint of hazy on a golden background with a fluffy white head that persists forever with massive stickage. The aroma is quite vinous with a sour funky edge. Grapes, lemons, cherries, plums, oranges, tartness, sweaty horses its all in there and it smells great. The first sip pierces my tongue with lactic but smooths out quite quickly. Grapes, candy sugar, brown sugar come up front and provide a great balance against the lemons sour cherries and apricots that come in next. A bit of lactic and funk find its way in there towards the finish but smooth out with a fruity sweetness. Medium body with a spirited level of carbonation and a sweet tart mouthfeel. This is a beautiful beer! Wonderfully complex and incredibly drinkable. I've had this in the cellar a few years and have lost track of where I got it, if you sent it to me thank you so much.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a light straw color with brilliant clarity, bright white head, with very good retention but not much lace. Bubbles are fine, champagne-like.

S: Wonderful tropical fruit, floral notes, brett, and supported subtly by the oak and funk.

T: A moderate sourness carries through most of the mouthful. The blonde ale peeks through, esp. on the long finish, along with some tannins, but is hidden beforehand by the tartness, floral white wine-like flavors.

M: Medium body and medium-light carbonation, wonderfully crisp and refreshing.

O: Fantastic. This stuff is so good it's dangerous, not from an ABV standpoint but the price point (like sushi). Pairs very well with food, where you would otherwise drink a white wine.

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

375 ml bottle served in a FFF teku glass. Batch 006.

A: Pours a clear golden amber color with frothy white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thick ring and thin cap.

S: A great lemon tartness is there initially on the nose. A dry white wine with some light green grape.

T: Great lactic sourness. Really puckering at the jowls. Tart lemon, white wine, white grapes and fresh green grape tartness. Unripened pear Dried oak with a light barrel sweetness. Definite funkiness in the periphery.

M: Light bodied with a drying, sweet finish. Nice prickly carbonation as well.

O: The lightness is great and the carb is perfectly spritzy. Great tartness with a nice lactic sourness.

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

I received this bad boy in a trade some time ago and feel that after a couple of years, I should probably get to crushing it. Review is from notes taken on 9/3/2012 and poured from the bottle (batch 004X3) to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a light, crispy golden straw color; starts with 1/4 finger creamy, slightly off-white head with good retention; head fades to a full, lush cap; body is mostly clear, just a touch of haze on the glass, so the body has great clarity; plenty of carbonation bubbling up quickly in thin streams; big swaths of lacing are left in curtains and trails on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Light tart green grapes; touch of saccharine funk with a bit of barnyard mulchiness to it; smell is crisp, refreshing -- like a chilled white wine with nice tartness.

Taste: Wow - might be one of the easiest drinking wilds I've had to date -- the funk and tartness there, and it makes me want to pucker a little bit, but it fades rather quickly and allows the tart grape flavors and touch of mulchiness; bit of an acidic/vinegar-like bite flavor.

Mouthfeel: Body is rather light in terms of weight, and again, the tartness does create a pucker but it's manageable and fades rather quickly; a rather sticky and moderately thick coating all over the palate; I'm left salivating.

Overall: I didn't think RR could top Consecration, but they did with this particular beer. I wish I had access to their work on a regular basis, so I feel like every time I drink a beer of theirs that I crack from my closet I'm robbing myself of a future delight, but if I don't drink it, I'm robbing myself of a current delight. Damn you, Vinny, for being so good.

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

On-tap at the source. New batch just went on the day before.

A: Pours a slightly hazy pale yellow with a fine-bubbled white head which leaves rings of lace.

N: Bright, bright white grapes bursting in the morning sunlight. Floral and fresh cut grass. Mild funk and must.

T: Vinous, balanced mild wood tannins, tart and fruity with lemon zest.

M: Light body and moderate carbonation. Slightly prickly on the tongue. Crisp and wonderful.

O: How does one describe "delicious"? The chardonnay barrels, the funk, the grape all meld into a symphony. I liked it.

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Photo of match1112
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour this in to my russian river tulip. clear golden straw body with two inches of thick white head that fizzes out at a steady pace. plenty of lacing left behind. not a big fan of chardonnay and this is dominated by chardonnay. that said, i absolutely love this beer. i dont know how they make it work but they do. as far as smell and taste this is straight chardonnay, nothing else. mouthfeel is very lively with more carbonation in a sour than i have experienced. kinda a medium thin body, drinks like champaign. overall ireally like it, heck i might even try another chardonnay, nah i'll stick to beer.

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Photo of VinoBeer
3.85/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears hazy royal gold with ample pure white fluffy, lacy-beyond-belief head that crowns the glass and stays there as a half-finger cap. Aroma is melon, funky floral notes, and lemon citrus. Smell keeps developing with time, with the lemon/flower scent coming through after the initial oak/melon. Taste is intoxicating, with light fruit initially, and a woody finish, with plenty of others in between, including yeast funk, white wine, and a tart carbonation kick throughout. Beer is light while being well-bodied and leaves a nice dry coat around the mouth.

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Photo of Duff27
4.01/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Half inch white head on a clear golden body. Good head retention and above average lacing, especially for a sour.

Definite Chardonnay influenced. Honestly that's all I get from the nose.

Not overly sour. Chardonnay makes my face do funny things, dominates for me. Would guess at an 8% beer here.

Medium mouthfeel, big carbonation.

Somehow it all comes together for me. Chardonnay isn't my favorite but RR makes it work here. Thanks for the trade a long time ago stupac2.

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

Batch 6. Reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a bright gold with a one finger head that dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing is left behind.

S- White grapes, oak, green apple skins with a hint of lemon and vinegar.

T- Lots of white grape, oak, green apple, lemon, hints of hay, vinegar, and lacto. There is a nice amount of sourness at the end.

M- Medium carbonation with a light crisp body that finishes dry.

O- Really impressed by this sour from rr. Lot's of wine qualities from the barrels and a nice amount of sourness that isn't overpowering. I'll take this over Beat B5 any day of the week.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 05X1E

A - Slightly hazed golden body with a bright white head.

S - Sweet grapes, green apples, tart berries, lots of dry dusty wood, lemons, some grassy potpourri spices that remind me of a hobby lobby. The brett and chardonnay aroma really starts taking over as it warms.

T - Tart grapes, crisp green apples, and lemon dance on the tongue creating a nice crisp tartness. A light dusty funk appears mid palate finishing crisp and tart with some snappy lemon acidity.

M - Light body, effervescent carbonation that turns smooth at the end, nice tartness with a crisp dry finish.

I've been sitting on this for almost 2 years but it's felt like 5! I had to crack it open tonight.
Very light and crisp with nice wood notes. Funkiness was there but not over the top. Sour but not puckering. The chardonnay is pronounced but is nice. Just a subtle, but very well done sour.

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

Batch 6 served in Tap at the brewery a while ago

A. Pale gold with 1 finger frothy cream head with great retention and abundant lacing.

S. Chardonnay grapes, green apples, earthy funk, oak

T. Accurately described by many as a beer like wine with huge Chardonnay wine and oak character with brett funk and fruit notes. A slightly bitter and pretty sour finish.

M. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Smooth. Moderate etoh warming.

O. Really amazing wild, but I still love supplication the best.

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Photo of vic21234
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter. Batch 6.

A- Pours a hazy golden color with about a finger's worth of head that fades to a thin film along the top. Seems well carbonated, with lots of fizzy bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass.

S- Smells tart and wine-like. Notes of cherries and light grapes come up, also with a sort of breadiness.

T- Starts off rather fizzy. I get notes of grapes, cherries, and just light fruits in general. The barrel aging is great on this, with nice tart/sourness.

M- Light, highly carbonated, sour, a nice sipper.

This is a nice sour from RR. I like Supplication a bit more, but I'd recommend this one.

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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 cvm4
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #006

A - Pours golden wheat in color, almost champagne like. Little to no head.

S - Grass, funk, yeast, barnyard and a faint white grape smell.

T - Lemon peel, followed by tart lemon. Sour apple and funk. Finishes dry and a slight lip puckering.

M - Light body but effervescent. Really gets the flavors around your mouth.

O - Another fine sour from Russian River. I would rank Supplication slightly higher in sourness since Temptation is less intense.

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Photo of zeledonia
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drinking this in a motel room on a road-trip west. Batch 05X2E, whatever that means (RR batch finder was down last time I checked).

Pours clear pale yellow, champagne-like, with an eruptive dense foamy white head. Massive head, so much that I have to give it time to die down. Color is clean and sparkling, and really makes me want to drink it.

Smell is crisp and clean and sweet, but pungently sour at the same time. Smells absolutely delightful, as each sniff brings aromas in slightly different waves. Tart, clean, and dry. Yum. Edit: after tasting it, I can go back and find a bit of white wine grapes, but barely.

Flavor doesn't wow me as much. It's heavy on the chardonnay, with way more white grape than I picked up in the smell, and with a slightly biting dryness (the same thing that makes me pucker when I drink chardonnay). White grapes and oak, overpowering all of the subtle sour-sweet that was so dominant in the smell. I feel like I'm drinking a beerish white whine, rather than a beer.

Mouthfeel is delightful, and fits the beer really well. Like the appearance, it reminds me of champagne, with a huge burst of bubbles that fills the mouth and carries the flavors to every corner. Finish is very dry and slightly acidic.

On balance, this is a good beer. It's just unfortunate that the flavor is my least favorite part. It's dominated by the barrel in the same way that many rough bourbon-barrel-aged beers are. I want more beer, or more sour, and less chardonnay.

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

Batch 6

A - Bright gold, mostly clear, fluffy white head that retains and laces well.

S - Takes a nice vinous character from the barrel with oak and grape fruitiness, horse blanket, grass, hint of cherry, maybe even a little pine.

T - Woody barrel notes, green grape, vinous, strong yeast funk, brett earthiness, hay, sour, but not too overpowering. Long finish with lingering sourness.

M - Light side of a medium body, high carbonation, stays smooth and sour, with a bit of a pucker.

O - Splendid. Huge complexities, really opens up as it warms. Worth the price tag.

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Photo of phishsihq
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Temptation Batch 006 pours a hazy, straw color and is capped by a white, quickly disappearing head that leaves a light amount of lace. A rich bouquet of aromas burst out of the tulip including hints of oak, chardonnay, green apple and brettanomyces funk. The brew starts out with a fruitiness reminiscent of pears before a quaint oakiness leads other flavors like vanilla and chardonnay grapes into a tart and funky finish. A high level of carbonation dances across the tongue in this medium bodied ale. Maybe our new favorite sour, and that says a lot!

Cheers!

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 006. Poured from a bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. Beautiful clear gold color with a rather small white head. On the nose I get some apple skins, pears, and a slight touch of barnyard funk.

Medium-bodied beer with a nice mellow fruity, tart flavor. The sour notes hit you immediately as the beer touches your tongue. Despite the fruit on the nose, there's not much sweetness to balance it out. What there is though, is a nice stony champagne-like dryness. There are fruity dry notes that linger well on the finish. Very appetizing beer.

This is not my favorite sour from Russian River (that is still Supplication), but this is an excellent beer. The combination of fruit, sour, and stony dryness makes this beer taste like a nice mellow gueuze. Fans of sours (and gueuzes) should definitely try to get this. It's wonderful that an American brewer is making such unique, distinctive beers, but it's criminal that they aren't distributed more widely. Here in KY, we have to trade for them. And when I say we ``have to'' trade, I mean we absolutely must. There's just nothing like these anywhere outside of California.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Paper thin head, light straw body. Nice lace.

Tart nose and really funky. Like, serious funk. Really faint melon maybe.

Taste isn't as intense as the nose, there's still a bunch of funk but it ends up pretty dry. It has a lot of chardonnay character, a bit of citrus.

Thinnish but not watery.

Good but pretty dry-- I don't love Chardonnay, but if you do, this would be pretty great.

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Photo of Grohnke
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pale straw, light gold; slight cloudiness. Condensed white head has little staying power, leaving a thin film. Remarkable lacing forms.

Smells of bright, tart lemon and grapes (in the sense of white wine). Mild funk, mild sourness. Very light oak.

Lemon is strong initially while the beer is still chilled, and then the sour cherry takes center stage, all the while green apple is in the background. Subtle sourness, with a light lactic bite, tart.

Light bodied, but far from watery; High carbonation makes it fluffy, and effervescent. Finishes dry with a lingering soft mouth puckering and tingling sour note.

Though not immediately 'wowed' by this beer, i fell deeply in love with it during the session. Its subtle and delicate, yet bright and bold. Some great fruity notes, paired with some soft sourness. Being aged for nearly a year in oak barrels, i was expecting more wood in the aroma (very light) and finish (nonexistent). Stellar mouthfeel. I am very jealous of those whom have this at their local liquor stores throughout the year.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours light orange with a minimal white head and some smooth lacing.

Smells heavily of chardonnay. White grapes, some apple, a load of oak, butter and some brett.

White wine flavors abound. Buttery vinous flavor. Brett is more prevalent than the nose indicates, but still well integrated. Sour apple and cherry come out a bit more as warmed. Sourness is not strong up front but leaves the back of the tongue pucker.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Very pleasant beer. Well integrated complex flavors. I prefer this to its closest kin Sanctification.

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