RATINGS: 1155   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.08/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 218   ABV: 7.25%
Is it beer, or is it wine? "Aged in French oak wine barrels for twelve months with distinct characteristics of fruit and subtle oak" sounds more like a description of wine than beer. But, of course, Temptation is indeed beer. Actually, Temptation is 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. The "Bret" gives Temptation intriguing characteristics and a pleasant sourness. Temptation is re-fermented in the bottle to create its carbonation--a process commonly used to make fine champagne and sparkling wine. Spent yeast forms a thin layer of sediment to remain in the bottle.

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FlacoAlto's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
FlacoAlto (4220) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 13, 2007
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2007 Batch 2, Sampled December 2007
It was definitely a slight mistake to serve this at near cellar temperatures (60ºF / 15.5ºC), as the beer foamed up and started gushing as soon as I popped the cork. I only lost a couple ounces though. The beer forms a frothy, scant fat-one-finger thick, pale, off white colored head that is actually quite persistent. The beer is a hazy, slightly chunky, orange tinted, dark straw color. The oak character seems much subdued from the first batch (which is a good thing as this was my main complaint with that beer). This is nice and funky, notes of urea, aromatic goat, farmhouse-stinky-cheese, a definite cattiness, mushroom spore and a host of sharp phenolics that at times approaches fresh curing plastic. Underneath the funk is a nice fruit character reminiscent of tart, un-ripened white grapes (sauvignon blanc & gewürztraminer come to mind), as well as touch of green apple and tart pear aromas. The aroma on this is really quite nice, it is definitely ringing my funky bone right now.

Tart, but not aggressively so (at least for this Gueuze addict), it is somehow soft and creamy feeling, despite the still present carbonation. This creaminess has definitely been picked up in the barrel as oak notes add some tongue coating softness to this brew and even some heft to the body; suggestive from the butter-like oak flavors this makes the beer actually feel buttery in texture. Soft oak contributions of vanillin, a definite sharp spiciness and perhaps a hint of buttery-oak notes are all found here, though the spicy notes are definitely the largest oak character here. The wine analogy continues as the process used is definitely a contributor; definitely reminiscent of an oaky chardonnay as this beer has flavors of green fruit, star-fruit, flint, a certain light metallic quality and that definite oak presence. The funky wee-beasts and the oak contribute spice notes of white pepper, piquant ginger, The flavor is not quite as funky as the aroma might have suggested, but I think this is ultimately a good thing as it allows the complexity of the fruit, oak and spiciness to come through. The sourness, while present and definitive, is so well integrated that it is not overly noticed on its own.

The oak character is much more in check with this the second batch. This is a far superior beer in my opinion (and it hasn’t taken anywhere near 5 years as I last predicted) as the oak, while present, now plays a supporting role. If successive batches keep getting better, then I am going to need to re-baseline my scoring. Just a fantastic brew. The texture is phenomenal & the flavor is just so well integrated and nuanced. The aroma, while absolutely engaging and complex, may actually be a bit too funky. Let me explain that though, because I absolutely love funk and the funk found in the aroma, while dominant, is so well integrated together, but it is a bit too dominant to let the nuanced oak, grape and malt notes through (despite being so inviting and characterful). I may even need to crack a batch 1 just to see what is happening to that .I still maintain that these 375ml bottles just aren’t quite enough, as I always want more of this brew after draining my glass. Though if it was a 750’s worth, my proliferous text might be pushing the extremes of my already superfluous ramblings.

Batch 1, Sampled July 2005
7/4/7/4/16 total 3.8
Pours a lightly hazy orange-copper color, it is pretty well carbonated and has a frothy pale, almost white head. The aroma is quite oaky with lots of buttery notes, an astringent woodiness, notes of grapes (perhaps sauvignon or chardonnay), notes of pears, and some subtle spice notes. Quite an interesting nose on this one.

The beer is quite light on the palate, and very dry. The dryness actually suppresses the oakiness a bit, but it is definitely still here. The finish is quite long with a subtle tannic woodiness to it. There is a light acidity (for a Lambic at least) here as well, more similar to the lactic character of a Lambic than the acetic character of a Flemish sour beer. I am really quite relieved that I don’t get any diacetyl in this beer (I am quite sensitive to it), there is a bit of buttery character (mostly in the aroma), but this is definitely oak derived. There is a certain spritzy character to this beer that is a combination of the carbonation and the acidity.

This beer is really quite interesting, Vinnie still has a ways to go, but this has more to do with the barrels than Vinnie at this point. I think that Vinnie has the touch, in perhaps 5 years (if the wee bugs are compliant and amenable) the new releases of this should be stellar.

Purchased: Russian River Brewing

Biroholik (1545) - Sosnowiec, Poland, POLAND - OCT 30, 2017
Sour Ale Aged In Chardonnay Barrels.
Alkohol: 7,5% obj.
Butelka: 375 ml
Data butelkowania: 05.15.2017
Kolor: Złoty, klarowny, czysty jak łza trunek.
Piana: Biała, drobnoziarnista, wysoka i puszysta. Rzadko w piwach w stylu Sour Ale można zobaczyć tak wspaniałą, czapowatą pianę. Po nalaniu do szkła stoi w bezruchu jak zaczarowana. Cudowny, książkowy lacing. Firmowy pokal wygląda jak pomalowany przez jakiegoś artystę-malarza.
Zapach: Potężny owocowy bukiet! Piwo miażdży intensywnością białych winogron, białych porzeczek i agrestu. Owocowy aromat wzbogacony jest o nuty beczkowej wanilii, dębiny i zbutwiałego drewna. W tle nuty wiejskie, stajenne. Nie brakuje ani końskiej derki, ani skórzanego paska. Piękny, bogaty i super-intensywny aromat!
Smak: Smak jest niezwykle owocowy nafaszerowany do granic możliwości jędrnymi, dojrzałymi od słońca winogronami. Wtórują im dojrzałe mandarynki, pomarańcze, agrest i liczi. Dębowe, beczkowe taniny doskonale pasują do całości. Perfekcyjnie komponują się z wanilią. Umiarkowany poziom kwasowości, bogaty owocowy profil trunku. Goryczka niewielka, leciutkie winne taniny minimalne ściągają na języku. Wytrawny finisz. Gęsta, oleista tekstura. Piwo lekkie, ale zarazem bogate w smaku, sesyjne do bólu. Sztos!
Wysycenie: Średnie.
Piwo leżakowało przez 12 miesięcy w dębowych beczkach po francuskim białym winie Chardonnay. Jest to całą pewnością najlepsze Sour / Wild Ale jakie w życiu piłem. Tutaj każdy element jest dopracowany w najdrobniejszym szczególe. Nawet piana, która w tych stylach opada dość szybko w dół, tutaj prezentuje się okazale jak w najlepszych czeskich Pilsach. Smak i aromat jest niezwykle bogaty, intensywny, wielowymiarowy. Beczka po białym winie Chardonnay daje przepiękny owocowy bukiet. Smak jest spełnieniem marzeń o ideale stylu. Temptation wyprzedza o klasę wszystkie poprzednie piwa jakie piłem w tej kategorii.

Bill Becker (1775) - Casper, Wyoming, USA - OCT 24, 2017
From Apr 2007 This one pours from 375ml caged and corked bottle(batch 002)..ooops! I turned the bottle sideays to read some of the info and when I popped the cork, the beer shot out of the bottle big time. My bad. :^( Anywho, it pours a cloudy straw yellow with a large head of foam that shrinks slowly leaving a solid layer with plenty of lacing. The smell is all fruity, and yeasty, and funky. Fruit wise, I can smell lemon and some apricot and it's very inviting indeed. The taste on first sip has a BIG sour punch and a ton of citrus flavours. Lots of grapefruit, apricot and lemon tartness permeate my every taste bud and I can *only* smile. A very BIG smile. Swishing the Ale in my mouth, it gets even more complex. Big yeast notes, strong representation of funk, and a never ending stream of a variety of fruit...man, the flavours are simply outstanding. Yum. Talk about a Wild Ale, in the future, when I see or hear that term used, I'll instantly think of RR Temptation. The mouthfeel is superb, the carbonation is light, the drinkability is through the roof...I kid you not. The finish is very lemony and you just want the aftertaste to *never* end. And as far as the 7.25%abv comes in to play, there's no evidence of it in the tasting and there's almost no warming as it goes down. An amazing brew. Bottom line: Yet another fantastic brew from Russian River. If I ever visit California again, visiting RR Brewing would be a must. My BA hat is off to them!

MrTipple (6446) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - OCT 21, 2017
Sweet grain malts, caramel, sweet grapes, oak, vinous. Clear gold, small, frothy, white head. Medium sour. More sour berries, lemon, lime juice, unripe redcurrant. Decent Sour. Keg at GABF17, Denver.

jinroh (2276) - ESTONIA - OCT 13, 2017
Tasting at Tokyo Midtown. Batch 051517. Light hazy yellow, bit of white foam, leaving nice lacings. Nose has good acidity, grape peels and white currants, funk. Good balance, not too acidic. Taste is mellow sour, good bitterness, balanced pretty well with sourness. Acidity kept in control. Woody and spicy with white wine characteristics. This one is GOOD, light bitter dry aftertaste. Autumny and oaky linger.

AgentAle (1809) - Alberta, CANADA - OCT 6, 2017
Aroma is clove, sparkling wine, citrus and allspice. Taste is citrus, oak tanins and sweet grains paralleled by minor funk and sour finish. Axing stuff.

kathouse (1940) - LAS VEGAS, Nevada, USA - SEP 6, 2017
Honey gold, clear, with a smooth light fruit aroma. Brett sourness adds a tartness that balances well with the oak.

Lacho (109) - USA - SEP 5, 2017
This brewery was one of those that I visited while on a beer tour to Santa Rosa. Got this and others in a flight, but went for this one two more times. It looks beautiful, hazy, orange, with a thin frothy head that lingers. It smells of grapes, apples and pears. Tastes amazing, very tart but not overpoweringly sour, mineral, fruity, acid, bright like champagne and strawberries. One of the best beer I had while on my tour.

nealblind (1976) - Seattle, Alabama, USA - AUG 25, 2017
Bright yellow. Aroma white grapes, white wine. Tastes big minerals slight grassy hops juicy character. Fuller body than most Russian river brews actually great. Some ozone big melted snow minerals.

llkc (2733) - århus, DENMARK - AUG 12, 2017
duft ananas frugt sødme mango smag frisk citrus lime mango appelsin frisk

MarcoDL (5380) - NETHERLANDS - JUL 25, 2017
Draft at the brewpub. Aroma of soft tart, white grape, green apple, citrusband horseblanket. Taste has soft white grapes, oak, vanilla, soft sourness, tart horseblanket, green apples and citrus. Long tasty finish. The white wine aging rounds off the sourness in a fantastic way. This is extremely balanced and flavorful, a true masterpiece.

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