Temptation | Russian River Brewing Company

1,026 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,026 | Ratings: 3,653
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.

 533 characters

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

375ml bottle of Batch 5, poured into a tasting glass. Big thanks to Guy for sharing this solidly Top 100 brew.

A: Cloudy gold body with a thin wisp of fine off-white foam. Looks inviting enough.

S: Dry, winey fruit. Plenty of oak. Green, floral, and woody. Nice.

T: Much more sour than the nose, with rather prominent lactic sourness leading in to vanilla, lemon, and oak. Tasty.

M: Smooth, substantial without being sticky, and mildly carbonated. Pleasant.

O: I enjoyed this beer thoroughly, but really wasn't blown away like I have been by other RR sours. I'd really like to try an older bottle, and I'll definitely be holding on to my lone B5 bottle for a while. I hope it improves, but I'm sure it will be tasty regardless.


 741 characters

Photo of ChrisPro
3.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Draft for Sourfest 2009 at Brouwer's.

Pours clear golden with white head. Wonderful citrus and sour lemon aroma along with the horse blanket smell the brett. Sour is definitely dominating with some apple and grapefruit coming through. Pretty simple and straightforward sour, but a good sour with a great citrus finish.

 320 characters

Photo of Wisconsuds
3.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver during Colorado Beer Week (4/10/11). For a WI guy, the RR -tion fest was heaven on earth. Expertly poured into a RR tulip.

Appearance is a brilliant golden color. This beer WANTS you to drink it. Absolutely stunning look. A billowy cloud of white foam crackled at the top of the rim. Yes please.

Aroma is a blend of floral spices and fruity citrus, a little hop note dances around as well. A sour funk typical with RR beers is apparent.

Temptation, for me, had a sweet taste up front with a sour finish. A sweet then sour then, fruity progression almost defies logic. You're drinking a classy beer here, folks. An impossibly crisp ale.

A fizzy, bubbly carbonation fits this beer nicely. Lemony yeast tastes linger as well, but isn't annoying - but inviting.

Haven't had a beer like this ever - haven't had anything like it since. Overall a very new experience and would love to imbibe in again. An interesting, bold 'American Wild Ale'/

 999 characters

Photo of zoolzoo
3.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pale golden, straw colored. Massive white head, excellent retention.

S: Sour grapes, brett, wine barrel.

T: Can really taste the chardonnay here, crisp and dry. One dimensional in its sourness. Impression of lemon and perhaps some other ripe fruits, but never fully materializes. Brett funk adds some zing.

M/D: Big carbonation keeps tart and sour flavors "popping", lively on the palate. Straight forward, easy drinker as far as sours go.

 445 characters

Photo of tewaris
3.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

27 IBUs
OG 1.062
Batch III. Blonde Ale aged in French oak chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces. 375 ml cork and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Honey golden and bright, with hues of ripe oranges in the snifter. A very good off white and creamy textured head with excellent retention and good lacing. 4.5/5

Aroma: Sweet malts at the very beginning, followed by soft fruit and unmistakable sharpness of a sour beer. Brett notes seemed absent at the beginning but emerge with warmth. Still very estery, and an accomplishment in the sense that the base beer is not lost at all. Strong aroma of Belgian ale is always felt in the background. Toasted fruit is strong, so are rum raisin and oak. 4/5

Taste: Light and sweet on the palate with tartness eclispsing the bitterness often felt towards the end of a beer, and evolving into a tannic, dry and clean finish. Superb! The sour character dominates many notes of the aroma, but does not demolish the palate. I feel that this one could have been more complex if all notes of the aroma came through. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium body, high-ish carbonation and a dry and long woody finish. 4.5/5

Overall, I quite like it. Like Supplication, subtly sour and never overpowering, but very very clean, refreshing, and enjoyable. 4.5/5

EDIT: Dammit, the -11.5% seems to indicate that I didn't like this beer enough. Far from truth. I love it. Perhaps not as much as Supplication, but I still loved it.

 1,456 characters

Photo of ChadQuest
3.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 3

Pours a very clear straw yellow, so i hold it up to my computer screen, and am able to read the text through the glass, albeit upside down and backwards, lol. The lace is like a wall on the glass, like curtains closed around an actor. but the show is just starting this time.
Characteristic Brett funk, both in the aroma and mouth it comes and goes not subtly but not lingering or overpowering, much less sour then other RR sours i've had. The natural raw fruit and granny smith character plays out in a grassy and wet straw like way, like you threw them all together in a bag in the sun during a hot summer day, and that's your lunch salad, covered in vinegar.
The mouthfeel is light and quick with a dry finish that stops short of puckering, which makes this one very easy to drink, while this is only a 375ml, a 750 would be easy still.

 848 characters

Photo of xpimptastikx
3.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml Batch 004x1

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden with fluffy white head that leaves minimal lacing.

S - sour bacteria, a little brett funk, and slight oak.

T - A moderate tart start resides quickly into a smoothly malted pale ale. Light oak flavors, apples, and funk.

M/D - Moderate carbonation and very dry finish. I like my wilds a little more sour, but this is a decently funky beer that was very easy to finish.

 421 characters

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

batch 05X1P
was served in bottle,
i don't understand why BA does not allow multiple entry of the same beer. i had to change the serving type to can to accommodate their inconvenience.

A: clear golden, a thin and lingering foam
S: lemon, wheaty
T: starts out like a watered-down lemon juice (in a good way), finishes very quickly with some green apple. lingering muted bitterness of citrus fruit, like lemon peel. this whole experience is a very quick one.
M: dry. with silky/smooth touch on the palate.
O: it's a good beer. i think this is refreshing beer, especially for hot summer day

 589 characters

Photo of camil1mj
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared at the Kuhnhenn Winter Solstice.

A: Golden yellow. White foamy head. Good lacing present.

S: Sour apple vinegar notes.

T: Well balanced sour. Not too tart and not overly sour.

M: Redreshing and effervescent. Well carbonated.

O: Great sour. I would recommend this as an entryway sour for folks trying to get into the style.

 334 characters

Photo of jjh19
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright yellow appearance and fairly light.
Smell: Citrusey smells.
Taste: I got a lot of lemon and floral notes in my initial sips.
Mouthfeel: Pretty full mouthfeel. A little like white wine. Very interesting.
Drinkability: This is far from a session-able beer. At least for my tastes. But that's not the goal with a beer like this. I might not have another, but I'd recommend this beer to a friend who wanted to explore beer into this style.

 455 characters

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

A- The cork lets loose with a convincing *POP*, and the beer pours a very evidently bubbly gold ale. A pleasantly filmy 1/2 finger head lingers atop the bright and lively body.

S- You can smell this one from a foot away, cheek puckering tartness of a lemony persuasion met with some dank wet wood. This is definitely an acquired taste, as the nose is almost unpleasing if taken out of context. If you're a fan of the style, however, it's divine.

T- Soft citrus and a bit of hop roll across the palate before the tartness crescendos into full on sour. Oak flavors give some great texture to the finished product, smoothing out the rough edges of such a bold yeast strain. The chardonnay comes through a bit less than I had expected, probably because it gets overwhelmed by the acidity of the sour. There's hardly any detectable alcohol.

M- Dry and tart, this is a very refreshing beer. It's quite bubbly, of course, and it wouldn't have worked were it any thicker. The sour kick never gets old, and doesn't wear on the palate much. The aftertaste rolls through lightly with a nice blend of mild hop bitterness and resonant acidity.

O- Though American wild ales aren't my sour of choice, the four that I've had from Russian River's series have been greatly enjoyable and a refreshing change of pace.

 1,303 characters

Photo of zrab11
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a cloudy gold color with a thin light off white foam head

S- smell is of dry fruit and oak. also has some floral and grassy aroma

T- Has a nice sourness up front followed by a nice fruityness and some lemon. Ends with a dry feel just like a wine

M-Medium bodied with great carbonation

O-Overall i didn't feel like i was drinking a beer. it felt like i was enjoying a nice glass of wine. I liked this very much and enjoyed drinking it but don't think ill seek it out for myself again. Maybe for my wife! Def. worth a try but hard to call a beer.

 557 characters

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.

 1,485 characters

Photo of alf212
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just bought my first four RR sours and this is the first I am reviewing

Appearance: Nearly looks like liquid gold. A very shiny yellow. Completely clear. Not much head at all

Smell: Sour funkiness with grape/wine notes and a very saison like horse blanket smell. Smell is very strong, noticeable as soon as you pop open the cork. Wish it had a little more complexity as the sourness is a little too strong.

Taste: Wow can you tell that this was aged in chardonnay barrels. Very winey feel. Very sour funkiness with some oak character as well but very mellow. Apple and pear like fruits showing up the most

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation but I found something rather wierd about the mouthfeel. At lower temperatures it seemed fluffy. Not chewy as you find in a lot of good beers, but fluffy. Nearly chewy but not completely there or something like that.

As my first RR I must say it's a solid beer, great beer, but I don't know if it matches the hype. Would always be glad to be drinking this beer anytime of the day anytime of the year but wouldn't HAVE to be drinking it unlike some of my more favorites. Wow it sounded like im shitting on this beer. ITS GOOD just not amazing. ok im done ranting.

Definitely recommend not having this beer too cold. Definitely better imo at lower temps.

 1,294 characters

Photo of beergod1
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very carbonated pour from the bottle, big bubbly off white head, which dissipates quickly. Hazy straw yellow pour.I smell Oak, Tropical fruit, some alcohol and funk as the beer warms up.
Delicious wild ale taste, tart, yeast, and bready, a subtle oak barrel woodiness, a soft spicy hoppiness, the alcohol is well masked, but warming in the palate, and a dry. Palate is medium to thin which makes this very drinkable. The sourness is present in the taste, but is not overpowering. RR knows what it's doing.

 507 characters

Photo of jaluria
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appeared a semi-cloudy, soft-orange color with a white colored head. Aromas of yeast, mellon, white raisins, and old bread seemed to come out. The taste was balanced between 'brett' flavors and crisp hops. Raisins and other fruit flavors melted right in adding great depth. Not as funky as other AWA, but still a touch of that funky/spoiled taste. Overall, quite interesting and enjoyable, but not one that I could have over and over again.

 440 characters

Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light gold color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and slightly yeasty. Medium bodied strong ale. Yeasty, malty and fruity. Touch of oak. Lighter flavored than most strong ales. There is a graininess to this one as well. Nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

 320 characters

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

A-golden with a thin head

S-sour lemons and white grapes. good strength

T-hits the tongue with a great tartness and slight hint of good funk. reminds me of lemon basil. some sour apple in there as well. it has a good lasting after-taste of lemon grass.

M-pretty good carbonation with a fairly dry finish

O-overall its more mild and average than i expected. it easy drinking. i almost swallowed it whole. something i wouldn't mind getting again if not for the price.

 469 characters

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

All hazy memories. Beautiful clear golden pour into a Duvel tulip with a slight fluffy head. Funk and sour aromas hit the nose. The cry goes out - "Horse Blanket!" Sharp and acidic tastes dominate. Cannot distinguish what is what. All I can compare this to is the Sanctification I had the same night. This is like a more concentrated version of that beer. Perhaps too much. Mouthfeel is fine, but the overpowering acidic tartness makes this much more of a sipping beer. Very nice, but I prefer the Sanctification.

 513 characters

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

I've had this brew several times now and have never reviewed it till now.

I poured this into my trusty DuClaw Colossus snifter.

A: I'll say that this is a burnt clear yellow color, with a mild 1/100 finger head that didn't want to give up... no matter how much I yelled at it.

S: Woody sourness for sure. Fruity notes and with a nice oaky disposition. Nothing too complex so far.

T: Subtle French oak. Sour, and with a big boost from my pal "Brett." Complex, with Granny Smith apple notes. However, I feel there is any sour readily accessible to the common RR drinker, this is the one!

M: Mild prickle from the carbonation, and very subdued in its sourness. This may have been due to the oak aging.

O: Great stuff, but definitely not my favorite sour by a long shot.

I want to thank my pal Huhzubendah for getting me interested in sours....

 848 characters

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

Batch 05x1F

A- A nice, dense white head forms over a moderately hazed golden ale. The sharp carbonation fizzles out quickly.

S- Lemon and sour citrus are the first aromas noted. Wet grass, moldy hay and some musty oak comprise the funky characteristics of the beer.

T- Lots of lemon, which works well with the sourness. Its a nice middle of the road level of sourness. Funky flavors come out behind after the lemon. Grass, damp hay, rotting wood, some notions of white wine, mostly in the dryness. There is something on the back that I can closely relate to hops and it very well might be hops. The citrus opens up to a white grapefruit acidity and juiciness.

M- Sharp carbonation moves into a fluffiness. Dry finish.

 722 characters

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

What's to say - this is a gorgeous beer. It feels more like a mild cider, or even an acidic white wine.

Pours pale yellow with a slight head. Aroma is ciderish and sour. Flavor is a bit ciderish but like a slightly oaky Sauvignon blanc (if you can imagine such a strange thing). It is acidic, ciderish and dry. The mouthfeel is thin and clingy, with a sour bitterness.

 369 characters

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

Bottle shared by alexsdad06.

Poured cloudy yellow color with a large frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Medium to heavy citrus and yeast aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and lively carbonation and average particles. Medium to heavy sweet & sour flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration.

I shared this with freinds and enjoyed the beer.

 406 characters

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

Thanks to cmaruschak for sharing. Batch 001: Pours hazy golden/orange with a medium thin and foamy ivory-colored head. Thick ring of lacing at the top of the glass, and spotty underneath. Tart, vinous aroma of chardonnay. Wine-like flavor, fruity and tannic. Oak is present, and there is some yeast in the background. The finish is zesty with tart fruit and a hint of sweetness. A unique beer to say the least, with some elements of a Lambic or Flemish Sour, yet still different enough to stand out. Refreshing and easy to drink too. Pretty good all around.

 557 characters

Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
4.42 out of 5 based on 3,653 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.