Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Temptation | Russian River Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
TemptationTemptation
BA SCORE
4.46/5
Outstanding
3,715 Ratings
TemptationTemptation
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
rrbeer.com

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
Ranking:
#158
Reviews:
1,031
Ratings:
3,715
pDev:
8.74%
Bros Score:
4.46
 
 
Wants:
1,789
Gots:
1,038
Trade:
61
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,715 |  Reviews: 1,031
Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of russpowell
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
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

 572 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mdaschaf
4.31/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

 668 characters

Photo of duceswild
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"The only way to handle temptation successfully is to yield to it."

--French proverb

Batch 001. Temptation is precisely midway between lemon peel and ripe apricot. The highest compliment that I can pay the gorgeous, alabaster colored crown is to say that it would look at home on the finest Belgian ale. It becomes even more attractive as it slowly descends, leaving the glass positively coated with delicate lace.

Unlike some Brettanomyces-infused beer, the nose is full of barnyard funkiness without being completely dominated by it. It's easy to appreciate ripe golden fruit and the Chardonnay oakiness that was imparted by 12 month's contact with the barrels. 'Sublime' is the one word that keeps coming to mind whenever I put my nose over the glass.

How does Russian River manage to brew such amazing beer, again and again and again? The fact that Vinnie Cilurzo is the mastermind behind what I consider the best beer the world has ever seen (Pliny The Younger), yet is still able to create a stunningly complex Belgian-style ale like Temptation boggles the mind.

Even without the Brett, this would be an outstanding example of a golden ale. The fact that it's even possible to determine that is further evidence that the wild yeast doesn't steamroll everything in its path, but complements the beer in the best way possible.

The flavor profile consists of barely ripe apples, pears and peaches (complete with their natural sugars), a potpourri of spices (clove and white pepper especially), a surprising amount of sweetgrassy hoppiness and a perfect Brettanomyces puckery tang that wraps things up in a perfect ribbon of drinkability. Why oh why didn't they put this stuff in 750s?

Despite the label's advice to 'allow the natural yeast sediment to remain in the bottle', I'll do no such thing. The final pour clouds things up nicely and puts the already fandamntastic flavor into orbit. I can say without hesitation that Temptation is the best wild ale that has ever entered my glass.

The mouthfeel, while not up to the standards of Belgium's best, isn't far behind. Perfection would be easily achieved with a fraction more expansiveness. It's hard to argue with beer that is this lightly silky and this zestily carbonated.

I don't like to repeat myself, but it's a damn shame that this delicious ale isn't released in bigger bottles (I'm thinking jeroboams at least). It's also too bad that Russian River will no longer ship to us poor souls outside of Northern California who aren't able to otherwise experience the transcendence of their beer. I'm glad that I decided to yield to Temptation today.

 2,616 characters

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev -7%
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.

 612 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.73/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a clear pale amber with a nice thick white frothy head. Carbonation was insane, tons of visible bubble streams coming off the bottom. Almost looked like, well it really did look like champagne. Bubbles everywhere.

S - Very strong pungent aroma comes off of this one. Huge smell of grapes, with a hint of alcohol. Maybe a hoppy presence trying to come through. Smells like wine.

M & T - First impression was very sour, and it tasted like a nice white wine. Lots of carbonation and great feel, very light, again almost like champagne.

D - Overall this was very intresting and a good one time try, but not really my cup of tea. Would not turn it down if it was offered, but would not go out of my way to purchase it, a nice novelty at least for me.

 767 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

 993 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks so much to tenderbranson69 for bringing this to our wild ale tasting -poured from the 375 ml into a tulip chilled. Batch 05x1

The color is golden like sparkling apple juice with light haziness and thick band of white atop with tiny beads stacked upon each other. There are streamers of lace left adhering to the glass after the head settles. the aroma of malt and sour odors combine and are graced by the esters derived from the wine barrel which have wood notes and light fruit w/ mild hop aroma accompanying. the wild yeast scent is strong with both floral and fruit notes and acidic tangy smell is present in the aroma. Both mild hop in the feel and yeast texture which has lactic sourness and with tart aspect that are also fruity but not too forceful -delicate balance is shared between the bacteria and mild astringency w/ light touch of hop spice and alcohol. The wood provides a nice accent to the sour elements.

The wine action gives way to herbal and tannic tastes w/ a sour white wine grape flavor up front. I must say I didn't notice as much wine barrel contribution when I tasted this on tap, but it is pretty apparent in the bottle -not sure how long this one was cellaring. The slight tropical element is a nice addition to the vinous qualities in this with slight spiciness from the yeast and hops. The hop presence is more assertive than in other wild ales which I enjoy -it is just enough to add to the fruitiness from the bacteria and not too much. I found myself really holding this in my mouth longer to pick out more of the flavor until a semi dry finish as it is swallowed. This is truly great - A beer I could never get tired of -the hop, barrel and blend of wild yeast and bacteria are all playing and major part w/ lots of strong flavors, yet it is pretty easy to forget the abv and drink it like its juice. I appreciate the effort it takes to produce a quality brew like this.

 1,914 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

 973 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jgunther71
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

 1,019 characters

Photo of BEER88
4.66/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dfhhead25
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.25/5  rDev -27.1%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

 491 characters

Photo of krome
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The sour/tart factor is world class. The base beer is a little less compelling

78 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

 899 characters

Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 3,715 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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