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Temptation | Russian River Brewing Company

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1,020 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: 1,020 | Ratings: 3,604
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared at Umberto's tasting.

This one pours a hazy golden yellow, with a one inch head, very fizzy, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like white wine, strong sourness, hay, lemon and green apple.

This is an absolutely delicious sour. There is a nice, big white wine character here, lemony and grainy, with a puckering tartness, and a little bit of oak from the barrels themselves. The beer feels alive in your mouth.

This is light bodied, with a very active and prickly amount of carbonation, and a crisp, tart, juicy mouthfeel.

This is absolutely excellent.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.36/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really nicely done sour blonde, which I find a bit more accessible and drinkable than some of RR's darker sours. Still has a pretty obvious punch of Brett, which can get a bit phenolicky, but otherwise this grabs some of those chardonnay note, some citrus/tropical fruit from the yeast, and marries them together into something pleasing indeed.

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Photo of aleigator
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%

Yields a sunny-yellow color, with a one finger broad, bubbly head.

The aromas reveal a tart sourness among wheat notes. It got an almost sweeter sparkling wine character with a noteable barrel infusion to it, which then turns into a more acidic direction. It picks up on the lactic chardonnay characteristic very well, the resulting tartness comes almost naturally to mind. The nose gets completed by hints of white lemon peel, adding a refreshing, fruity aspect.

While the sourness from the aromas was very well integrated into a complex interplay of smells, it shines through big time while tasting the beer. It rises from the sweeter, pungent sparkling wine qualities to unfold on the palate with an almost tongue numbing dryness. The sweeter aspect doesn't vanish from one moment to the other, but evolves during drinking and turns from sweet to sour, while the lively, soft carbonation turns visible. Funkiness is very well integrated, adding depth to the chardonnay lactic acid, without being recognizable on its own, otherwise defined by its typical barnyard qualities. Due to the high carbonation, the mouthfeel is almost sprizzy, fizzy - another well inserted sparkling wine aspect.

I am impressed, that this is still easily recognizable as a beer, while it features very thoughtful and effectively integrated sparkling wine constituents. Malts and hops play an important role, as they prevent the beer from becoming too sweet and fizzy. The subtle musty and earthy additions do the same, convincing me this is still beer. Finishes quite refreshing with a faint lemon fruitiness and an almost bitter, punching, dry sourness. This is incredibly complex and very convincing.

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

RR Share of all the Wild Ales. I enjoyed this beer the most. Found it somewhat funky and tart, but mostly just clean and easy to drink. This entire line of beers is great!

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Photo of MNishCT77
3.64/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12.68 oz. (375 mL) bottle purchased super-overpriced at 1 West Dupont Liquors, bottled on 060814, poured into my Smoke & Barrel snifter glass, drank over 30 minutes

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.72/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

375 ml bottle. Dated 06 18 14 (June 18, 2014)

A: God's urine. Gorgeous golden body. Not cloudy at all. 3 finger white head that sticks around for days.

S: Just keeps getting better and better as it warms up. Tart lemon, good amount of brett funk. Sour white grapes. Smells better than any chardonnay i've had.

T: Complex. My taste buds are on one hell of a ride right now. I've had pretty much all of the RR sours that get bottled and this one might be the best yet. Wow.

M: Soft, perfect amount of carbonation. No heat from the alcohol. Can't find any flaw here.

O: Exceeded my expectations. One of the best beers I've ever had, and I'm glad I have another bottle waiting for me.

 699 characters

Photo of BrewUSA
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Russian River Temptation

Look 10/10
Smell 19/20
Taste 39/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 19/20

Overall 96/100

Huge big waves of sour fruit flavors... Not being a fan of sours, it's shocking how much I enjoy this. Smooth and balanced flavors of grape, lemon, apples, butter, oak, apricot, sour cherry, vanilla, butter and just a touch of peach and grapefruit... Is tart and dry, could almost pass as a champagne. It's exceptionally complex and equally balanced... About as refreshing and delicious as a beer can be~

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Photo of M-Fox24
4.49/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy golden, yellowish, orange-y color. Nice white head with little retention, and beautiful lacing

S: Notes of vanilla oak, tropical fruit, grapes, wine, pears, pineapple, lemon, brett, and funk. Great acidity, great sourness, and a great aroma

T: Very drinkable; sour, tartness, and acidity is just about to perfection. Superb blend of oak notes, grapes, lemon, orange, citrus, vanilla, and funk

M: Light to medium body, great carbonation, excellent finish. The tartness, acidity, brett, and oak due no harm here

O: The mouth-feel, the funkiness, and the complexity is superb; Temptation is an extremely well executed product

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours straw golden in color with a white head that retains nicely.

Smell has aromas of oak and dry fruity white wine upfront. Aromas of grape must and oak blend nicely with a nice tart lemon aroma at the end.

Beautiful sour lemon flavor is the first to hit the palate and is balanced nicely with a dry Chardonnay and oak finish with a slight straw malt backbone.

Mouthfeel has awesome complexity with dry crisp and sticky characteristics. Lots of bubbly carbonation makes it super drinkable

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Photo of Budinetz
5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally getting to review this one. Poured from a 375 ml bottle into a goblet. Bottled on 06-18-14.

Pours a translucent, golden color with a half inch, pure white head that dissipates rapidly. Exquisite lacing all around the glass as I imbibe. One sexy looking beer.

Smells of lactobacillus, pediococcus, and brettanomyces. Hints of oak, white wine, and fresh citrus. Some serious nose on this brew! Smells of heavenly sourness.

Initial sip gives me wine in oak barrels. Eventually after a second and third I taste the Brett, lacto, and pedio and the oak and white wine mellows out. Great sour tartness but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is pleasant. Very prickly on the tongue with a pleasant tartness that lingers on the palate for some time. Quite drinkable for a 7.50% abv. A very unique brew that would definitely benefit from aging.

Overall a well rounded, intricately brewed, masterpiece! This barrel aged sour is one of my favorites. If you have never has this before I would purchase two bottles if you can and drink one right away, then age the other for at least a year to see how it changes over time.


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Photo of themind
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great sour brew from the bozy at RR. Carbonation is spot on, the sour is a tart, earthy funk that has you seeking more. Golden in color, this beer deserves it's high rating. No doubt a classic barrel aged sour.

Bottom Line: Yum!

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Photo of CowsandBeer
4.5/5  rDev +2%

375 ML bottle poured into a Russian River "tion" glass. Bottled on 07/27/2012.

Ap: Pours a thin cap of white head atop a hazy, light golden body. Some yeast chunks float around towards the bottom. Nice creamy lacing for a sour.

S: Juicy white grapes and tart pears up front leading into bright acidity, tangy lacto and dry oak barrel. Some musty barn notes peak out towards the end.

T: Big wave of acidic fruit that brings to mind gooseberries, straight lemon juice and white grapes. Nice yogurt tang in the middle with a drying oak barrel and a bit of brett. Juicy and tart.

Mf: Thin feel made larger by the prickly acidity. Smooth and wet. Great drinkability.

O: So much juicy fruit tartness with a drying finish that makes you want more and more. Nice backing flavors of tart oak, tangy yogurt and musty barn floor. So good. How can I get more Belgian style ales like this?

 899 characters

Photo of zander4dawin
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%

Yellow fizzy body with white pillowy head. Somewhat sweet, sour taste that is both refreshing and delishious. Juicy pineapple, pear, and sour grapes.

 150 characters

Photo of Kinsman
4.75/5  rDev +7.7%

Poured from bottle into my Hill Farmstead stemware. Bottled on 6/18/14.

Fills the glass with a bright and slightly hazy orange body and a beautiful creamy and dense white head. Opens right up on the nose with a heavy dose of lemony-citrus sour notes and fruity banana Chardonnay notes. As it warms, the oaky wood starts to come through as well. Just a hint of musty and funky yeast notes in the background.

First sip reveals a great sour and tart citrusy goodness. A nice farmhouse yeast character comes through with great earthy funk. Not quite as fruity as the aroma was, but the Chardonnay doesn't go unnoticed. Overall, a great blend of wood, yeast, and sourness, thats served well by the excellent blonde ale at its base.

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%

Poured from a 375 ml bottle, bottled 5.18.14
Clear pale golden color, thin white foam, bubbles swim up like a fine champagne
Nose is funk, lemon, and chardonnay grapes
Taste is similar, some grape and golden raisin sweetness followed by a nice sour funky lemon finish
Overall a delicious, complex sour, with nice carbonation, very refreshing...

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Photo of draheim
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-reviewing one of my favorite Russian River beers. This is my last remaining bottle of Temptation after Russian River pulled out of Washington in late 2012.

375mL bottle (bottle 7/27/2012) into a tulip. Pours a slightly hazy pale golden color w/ a short-lived 1-finger white head, bright lively carbonation.

Aroma is tart and funky; grassy, earthy, acidic.

Taste follows nose. Sour, clean. The chardonnay and oak come through along with golden raisins and white grapes.

Mouthfeel is clean and sharp; it's light, playful, and utterly refreshing. Finishes clean and bone-dry.

Overall a crisp, bright, drinkable, well-made beer.

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Photo of Hophazzard
2.75/5  rDev -37.6%

Wow! This is not what I consider beer. Like a super strong white wine or something. At $11 A bottle, it's priced like wine too. I'll stick to beer, thank you.

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Photo of BeerZombies1
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

End of day beer, gardens at Stone.

Temptation - Russian River
BA wild ale
7.5% ABV

APPEARANCE: Pours a kings crown gold with a brilliant star-bright glow coming from the bottom of the glass. Small thin white soapy head that dissipates into a halo that stays the entire time I'm drinking.

AROMA: Beautiful bouquet on this beer, huge sour tartness initially with loads of lemon and hay blended together. Perfectly ripe green apples, grapes, white wine notes and oakiness.

TASTE: My taste buds are playing celestial trumpets. A perfect marriage of sweet and sour. Like drinking a Chardonnay with lemon zest on top. Sour grapes and slightly sweet grassy notes. Nice faint flavors of barrel and malt.

MOUTHFEEL: Light plus body with a medium dancing carbonation. Funky, dry long lasting finish.

OVERALL: This beer was the perfect outside right before sunset 75 degree choice. Super refreshing and easy drinking. I am just starting to explore into the world of sours, out of all the RR sours I've had this is by far my favorite.

RATING: 4.5/5 Zombie Heads!

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Photo of JohnG190
4.81/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled May 2013. Pours a hazy golden orange with a white sudsy head that dissipates quickly into a frothy retention cap that sticks around throughout and leaves some lacing. Its a lovely beer to look at. Lemon on the nose, with hints of oak and white wine grapes. Very light and crisp aroma. Tart and puckering on the front of the palate, with notes of lemon, oak, and sweet grape. Finishes extremely dry with little to no lingering aftertaste. Light bodied with effervescent carbonation. Overall, a supremely well crafted barrel aged wild ale. Well balanced, complex, and extremely drinkable!

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Photo of vfgccp
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch 6 (brewed 2009, bottled 2011). Opened July 2014.

A - Golden straw body. Thin, fine white head. Light carbonation in the glass.

S - Ouh. Bright tingly tart nose. Oak, grape skins, minerals, hay, acidic lemons, and wet blankets.

T - Smooth, mouth fillingly tart, and dry. Prominent but smooth oak, tart green apples, tart white grapes, grape skins, lemonade, white sugar, unripe peaches.

M - Medium-light body with light carbonation.

O - A great example of the style; great oak notes with a smooth, bold tart flavor.

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Photo of Halfbrother83
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Cantillon flute.

A: Pours a rich gold with a bubbly, white crown.

S: Dry, white grape, dry oak, barnyard funk.

T: White grape/chardonnay flavors dominate at first, followed by some lush, light fruitiness, rounded out by tart, funk notes in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with abundant carbonation, not unlike a spritzer or wine cooler - works very nicely with the taste of this beer.

O: I definitely prefer the darker RR sours, but this was a nice change of pace and one I'm glad to have tried.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - The beer was a handsome golden color with a bubbly white head crowning the glass.

Smell - The grapes from the aging really come through in the aroma. Sour notes reveal the intentions of the grapes.

Taste - My initial impression was sour grapes, largely from the aging process. Further, the taste evolves to notes of grape skin and some citrus notes. The taste finishes with dry sour notes.

Mouthfeel - I found myself wishing the carbonation was a little more muted which would allow for the taste to be extended.

Overall - It would be close between Temptation and Supplication to determine my favorite Russian River.

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Photo of dgilks
4.58/5  rDev +3.9%
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 BWED
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Chalice pour at Via Marconi's, Hatfield, PA.

A- Light gold in color. Off white head stays thin, but sticks around for the entirety of the drink.

S- Tang in the nose. Citrus and some apple. Not overly sweet.

T- Tangy again, like the nose. Apples and citrus is what I pick up. Just a faint toasted malt.

M- Light, tangy, and a dry finish. Much less sweet than the other sours I've had from RR. (Consecration, Supplication)

O- Spectacular. I really love the tang and dryness this one brings, and the flavor profile is great.

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Photo of MrMoose916
4.23/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Final Gravity in Granite Bay, CA

A: A very clear and glowing golden appearance.

S: Whoa, I got tons of lemons, very nice funk aroma but the lemons dominate through out with undertones of grass and oak.

T: Follows the nose. Big tartness up front with the lemon/citrus flavor dominating the palate then falls into that nice funk. Again underneath you get that grassy, oaky flavor to it.

M: Light body, high carbonation and a very dry finish.

O: Very enjoyable, not going to blow your socks off but I would definitely buy this if I could.

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Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
4.41 out of 5 based on 3,604 ratings.
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