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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 womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A bottle from Batch 003 shared by Bobby yesterday (to compare with the new batch and with Depuration).

A: This one was explosively carbonated. A slight twist of the cork sent it flying through the air and to the ceiling. The beer itself is slightly hazed and straw colored with a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is not as overly "green" and tart as the servings of the newest batch have been. A nice level of Brett funk and dryness goes well with some tannic oak and a slight lactic and green apple tartness.

T: The flavor also is a bit heavier on the wild aspects and really has a nice mustiness to it. The tartness is not overpowering but provides a nice level of acidity and fruit (grapes, lemon, and apple).

M: The body feels a bit fuller than the newest batch, but that could be the high level of carbonation. The finish is nice and dry.

D: This batch seems to be quite superior to the newest batch and I see why people rave about Temptation so much. Great flavors and a really crisp, dry, and refreshing beer.

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Photo of russpowell
4.63/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Solomon420 helping get this one! Review based on notes

Batch 004X4 pours an effervescent gold/pear color with 2 fingers of beige head. Stellar lacing & good head retention

S: Sourness & dirtyness, fades as this warms

T: Sourness, grassyness, & dryness up front. Some hints of honey breaks through with tartness & sourness as this warms, along with a bit of grapefruit, golden delicious apples & pears. Finishes dry tart & sour

MF: Medium bodied, lively carbonation & so dry tart & puckery

Drinks pretty darn easy, probably the easiest drinking sour I've had

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Batch 072712

A: Pours a hazy pale golden yellow in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation at the surface of the beer and some apricot highlights. The beer has a quarter to half finger tall pillowy/soapy bright white head that reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of pale malts with stronger aromas of brett, barnyard funk, tartness/sourness, chardonnay, and oak.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of pale malts with some moderate to strong amounts of tartness/sourness. There is a strong presence of brett without it dominating or being overbearing and a nice light amount of funkiness. There are moderate flavors of chardonnay and oak towards the finish.

M: Just heavier than light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy with light amounts of acidic prickliness and some light to moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Extremely easy to drink and interesting due to the great balance of flavors/aromas with just enough complexity. Love the use of brett in this beer because it enhances and does not dominate.

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Photo of orangesol
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap into a mini pint at TJ's 7th Anny. Party. Number three of three in my Russian River flight. An amazing party with amazing beers.

A - Pours pale yellow with a spotty white head leaving minimal lacing down the glass. Quite pale but very inviting.

S - Strong sour notes up front with a bit of sweetness. Some lemon, white grape, and a few other earthy notes. The sourness is strong but not overpowering.

T - Tart up front slowly giving way to bright citrus flavors, similar to the nose, finishing with a lingering biternes that fades after a short time. A very nice wild ale, tart but not overpowering. My favorite of the three.

M - Medium body and head with moderate carbonation. Overall dry feel with a good amount of sourness in the finish, not lingering on the pallet for very long.

D - Very high. While it is a bit dry the sourness helps to balance it all out. One of the most enjoyable wild's I have had. I am glad I have a few of these in the cellar.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.31/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice pop when I got the cork off. Pours a golden yellow color with a frothy white head on top with great retention and impressive lacing, very thick and sticky.

S: Nice and tart, but not overly sour. A little bit of light cherry, grass, oak, faint apple, and a slight mustiness.

T: Nice sourness level. Flavors of lemon, light oak, and a bit of chardonnay. I am surprised at how nicely the wine flavor comes through. There is a slight grassy component and some light fruit.

M: Light to medium bodied with lively carbonation and a great level of sourness.

O: Very easy drinking. Not overly sour and very approachable. A great beer to sip over a long evening.

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Photo of billab914
4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 4 poured from a 750ml bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. It poured a pale golden color with a big and bubbly white foam filling half of the glass. It had excellent head retention and left some nice lacing as well.

The aroma is sharp with a good amount of tartness and funk to it. It's moderately acidic in the nose. A bit of a musty, basement like aroma comes through in the funkiness also. A bit of a sour grape, fruit flavor is present as well.

The taste has a bold sourness to it with more of a sour lemon citrusness coming through. It has a grape, apple, fruity and tartness to it as well. Towards the finish I get some of the earthiness to the Brett coming through. The sourness lingers for a while after the finish as well. Very nice and complex flavors to it overall.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with high carbonation. Drinkability is good, it had some great sour and tart flavors to it overall with some great depth. An excellent American Wild Ale overall.

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Photo of InspectorBob
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Eulogy Belgian Tavern, Olde City during their sour week.

Poured into a tulip, a hazy golden/orange color with about one finger of off white hesd that dissipates quickly leaving little if any lacing.

Aroma is sour, earthy. Sour apples/grapes.

Taste is not overly sour. Fruity and tart flavor. You can pick up on the chardonnay fritiness from the barrels that it was aged in.

The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Dry on the finish.

Very drinkable. Becomes more funky as it warms. I like this beer...

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Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fro 4/25/10 notes. Poured from a 750 ML bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a murky golden color with two fingers of white head. Nice lacing and light carbonation.

s - Smells of wine, sour fruits including lemon, and some tart and funk from the brett. The chardonnay really comes through, as does smoe oak.

t - Taste again is sour fruit, chardonnay, and some funk. Oak is more prominent in the taste than it was in the smell.

m - Light body and high carbonation. Very crisp.

d - Pretty good. I thought the wine came through a little too much but it was still a very good wild ale from RR. Would try again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pure golden hazed hue with a bright effervescent white head forming thick in my chalice. Aromatics offer up funky brett tones with hints of white wine acidity. Earthy herbal sour ale notes, this is something special for sure. Flavor has funky horse blanket, that coats the palate with acidity of the Chardonnay barrels. The brett and pedio are wild this ale is sour puckeringly so with barrel aged effects going on as well. Funky yogurt notes, barrel aged oak, sharp acidic tones this is pure sour ale. Mouthfeel is dry carbonation is effervescent body is in the medium range, I've had some nice sour ales recently this one is a bit rough with barrel aging but it works. Drinkability is fantastic the type of sour ale that puckers your mouth and gives you a full range of flavors during each sip. It's time to just make a pilgramage to the West Coast and visit Santa Rosa.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.53/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a gorgeous orange-tinged straw yellow, with a white frothy head and sticky lacing.

S: barn, funk, straw, wood

T: A very balanced and pleasant sour. Incredibly complex, flavors weave together in harmony. This is a delicious treat.

M: warming alcohol, though you can barely detect it. This brew makes ya pucker!

D: A unique beer with that distinctive Russian River taste I thoroughly enjoy. Temptation goes down effortlessly. This is a beer to stock and always have in the cellar.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 001

Pours a foggy gold with a thin white head that falls. Nose is funky. Very much reminds me of a lambic style nose. Flavor has a definite oak qualities as well as some distinct vanilla tones. Some citrus is there as well. Really nice wood stuff going on here. Nicely done. Feel has a crisp carbonation to it and the liquid is typical. This is nice. There's a bit of a bite to it, which would be a detractor for some. But this is a well made wild ale. Nice levels of complexity. I'd say this is good with fish, chicken, or a pork chop with a mild sauce to it.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review from notes. Golden color with white head. Aroma is tart and you get the barrel character along with some yeasty funk. Taste is sour, fruity, acidic and dry. Grape flavor is quite intense. Body is dry but somehow smooth and well carbonated. Really nice, clean and fruity sour ale.

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Photo of stakem
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a perfectly clear golden yellow color with a fizzy white head that holds around the edge of the glass. Bubbles rise constantly through the body and a swirl revives a finger's worth of white head. As the cap fades, it leaves a leggy pattern of lace that sticks to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is lemony citrus mixed with a touch of plastic-like funk. There is a lactic smell and sourness of rinds. A light amount of alcohol is evident as the brew warms and it makes some smells evolve that smell funked and a little pukey.

The taste is lemony and lactic. There are some plastic notes mixed with mild fruits that are a little rindy. Seemingly toasted with some oak indications. The aftertaste includes some fusel alcohol that mixes with the oak to create a dryness to the finish. There is an afterthought reminiscent of nail polish remover. As the brew warms the aftertaste gets increasingly more grapey, vinous and solvent with alcohol.

This is a medium bodied brew with a high amount of fizzy carbonation. There is a big salivation factor with this brew and it is exceptionally easy drinking for 7.5% abv. These 375ml bottles are a complete tease. By the time I'm really into this beer and digging it, the glass is empty and I want more. Certainly an enjoyable brew, I just wish the price was more reasonable and I would drink it more often.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375 mL bottle poured into an RR -tion glass. Batch 006. Served a touch too cold at 45F.

Appearance - Remarkably clear golden yellow body. Not a lot of head. Biggish bubbles that settle quickly. The lacing is nice and bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass like champagne.

Smell - Chardonnay is most prominent. Oaky with a nice lemon tartness. Funky, but not like a lambic. Complex aroma, but it isn't overwhelming.

Taste - Again, complex without being overpowering. Initially tart, with a slight funk in the flavor. Lemony like the aroma. The tartness is immediately tamed by the chardonnay, which makes it one of the easiest-drinking sour ales I've ever had.

Mouthfeel - The chardonnay cuts any unpleasant harshness that may have arisen from the souring process. Light and bubbly. I could easily drink this too quickly, but I would be missing out.

Overall - Not intense like many other sours. A variety of subtle flavors that play nicely together. Something I definitely need more of.

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Photo of jwc215
4.05/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mfielden for this one!

12.70 oz. cork-caged bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

Opens with a loud "pop":

Pours golden with a large foamy white head that lasts, leaving foamy patches and broken rings of lacing.

The smell is sour/funky with yeasty breadiness and lemongrass.

The taste is sour and lemony - puckering. It has a vanilla/oak backing. Chardonnay comes through. Very wild/funky...barnyardy/musty. White wine character comes through as well. Finishes very dry.

Medium-bodied with carbonation giving an airy lightness.

A nice, well-done sipper. A power-house in the tart department. Very lemony and acidic, so as well-done as it is, it is a sipper - Try pairing with fish.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.65/5  rDev +5.4%
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 feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"French oak chardonnay barrels", eh? I smell it once the cork comes out.

Lovely pale amber color, nearing orange, completely cloudy, witha thick, sturdy snowy cushion of foam above.

Potent aromatics, screaming sour from afar....on closer inspection, yup, that's tart, with citrus and spice squeaking in...deep, heady stuff....beautiful.

Sourness is the main game in the mouth, blasting the tongue, then fading gently. Bracingly tart. Then smooth, but never releasing the hold of the tart, accompanied by some fruit and a bit of spice. Nice.

Full-bodied and fresh. Zesty, snappy, tangy...quite an accomplishment, matching the quality of Belgian ales so well that if you didn't know, you'd swear this bottle crossed an ocean.

Fine and mellow, this tempting ale. Delightful. Delicious. D'lovely.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle slowly into a tulip glass. Batch 006 listed.

A good solid pop on the cork, giving a small foamy off white one finger head that falls slowly. Very nice slightly cloudy lemon hued and light orange body, with some very slow rising carbonation. Looks nice.

Nose is a good brett, some oak buttery sense, and mild apple fruit. Quite nice.

Taste is incredibly refreshing. Slight chewy malt density, but then a crisp mild tart apple. Wine like viscosity and pleasing crisp carbonation. Finish has a slight drying sense, and a feeling of crisp bubblly. Very fruity, some mild hints of tropical such as pineapple, even some mild light baguette white bread.

Real nice brew, rather enjoyed this more than I expected. Also surprisingly very easy drinking for the style and full of flavor. Another nice job from Russian River.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 004 on-tap at the Monk's Kettle in SF. Served in an oversized wine glass.

A - A finger of persistent egg-white foam with big bubbles. Opaque golden orange colored body, and nice lacing that sticks around. I suspect the appearance was hurt a little bit by the glass type.

S - Awesome aroma - wonderful blend of unripened green apples, horsey funk and mustiness, white wine and green grapes, light oakiness, and some other light fruit and spice notes.

T - Starts with graham crackery sweetness that morphes into a light sour finish that is surprisingly clean. Funk and unripened fruits predominate the complementary flavors. Excellent, but not quite as rich and complex as the aroma.

M - Dry finish, lively champagne-like carbonation that still imparts a soft texture. Some residual dry stickiness and cottonmouth sensations.

D - There is nary a trace of the 7.25% ABV - this could easily be a 4-5% geuze. It's actually a little reminscent of Deviation, but without the aggressive Beatification PH001 tartness element. However, it's also significantly cheaper...

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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 Billolick
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small bottle, caged and corked, enjoyed at Brooklyn's S.D. during their yeast fest. Pours cloudy apricot amber, long lasting near white head and leaving spotty lacing. Nose here is fruity, funky, herbal and funky. Creamy, smooth and funky brew. Smoky from a year in chardonnay barrels and slightly soured from an addition of Brettanomyces yeast. Flavorful, complex, luscious world class U.S. venture into the wonderful, yeasty, wild Ale/lambic world. Wish RR was more widely available in the NY/NJ/Ct. area

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Photo of drabmuh
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4. Poured from a bottle into a becher glass. Beer is yellow (eventually the sediment got released and ended up clouding the beer but it started out pretty clear). Thick white head of medium bubbles held up shortly by moderate carbonation of medium to large bubbles that rose through the beer quickly. Head leaves a lot of lacing on the glass as the beer is drank.

Beer has a good sour aroma followed by a slight funk. Sour aroma seems citric rather than acetic or lactic.

Whoa, this is a sour. Puckering citric sour flavors. Once the shock wore off, its amazing. Beer is really smooth. Drinkability high, mouthfeel great. Crisp finish, no aftertaste, there is a hint of oak in the back after drinking for a while. This is a great beer.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.11/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12/25/05- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- 375ml bottle, caged and corked from the first batch ever bottled. Poured into my Duchese chalice.

Appearance- Pilsner golden color with a nice clouded vision. A solid 3/4 inch head forms with a full 1/4 inch remaining all the way down. Beautiful lace kisses almost the enitire glass.

Smell- Ahh, more barnyard funk, with a touch of oak and hops!

Taste- Drank immeadiately after the Supplication and found the same tartness to be there, in fact more so. This time the sourness stays in the aftertaste and lingers a bit. Slight touches of vinous notes and maybe a wee bit of oak treat the pallete to a nice suprise. Hops are plentiful as you notice them immediately.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level, tart and sour to the back of the tongue.

Drinkability- Another winner from Mr. C. A different approach to a blonde ale to be sure, but a winner nonetheless.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Signature Russian River corked and caged 375 ml bottle pulled from the cellar. Batch 05X1F, I've been sitting on this one for just a few months and decided I was in the mood for something sour. Served at cellar temperature, around 55ºF, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Golden orange semi-hazy body, topped with a pure white fluffy and sudsy head. The dissipation is rather rapid although a retention cap sticks around for the entire consumption. Some minor lacing is present, a bit less than I like to see but still quite a gorgeous beer to look at.

S: Dandelions, rose hips, floral "spice," peach, lemon zest, oak and white grapes. All come through on their own but blend to give a very light, crisp and tart fragrance. Towards the end of the nose, a hint of white grapefruit comes forward with its acidic character.

T: At first, the tart and puckering nature of this beer is obvious. Sweet and tart white grapes coat the palate, along with lemon and honey. A slight oak note is in the finish but there's really no lingering taste other than a bit of a dry bite. The woodiness I thought might be overpowering but it is well displayed and evidence the use of the French Oak Chardonnay barrels for it's secondary aging is masterfully done.

M: On the lower end of a medium-bodied beer, sparkling and bubbly like a champagne. The finish is semi-dry across the palate and slightly prickly.

Well, of all the "standard" Russian River Wild Ales I've sampled, this one might just be my favorite. I feel it's extremely balanced in both aromas and flavors, while providing enough depth, complexity and balance to be a showpiece for a Wild Ale. The aging on French Oak Chardonnay barrels was the touch that took this beer above and beyond my expectations for the style.

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

A: poured a pale straw yellow with a half finger of head that left good blotchy lacing on the glass.

S: you can definitely smell the barrel oak funk and vinous characters at first whiff with faint brett, acidic citrus, slight vanilla, and a little vinegar notes.

T: the vinous barrel funk charaters are more potent on the palate with wine, slight vinegar, and acidic citrus accents. You could taste a little brett notes as well.

M: the brew was medium body with a good amount of tingly carbonation that had a slight sweet, sour, and dry finish.

D: I love my sours and this one is no exception but isn't the greatest I've ever had but it still drank very good and had me feining for more after ever sip; great brew.

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