$22 a bottle. $22! That’s the best price by far I’ve seen so far on RUSSIAN RIVER TEMPTATION; the other day at a restaurant a full bottle was marked up to $38. I’ve written before about the psychological barrier posed by the $20 price point, though after a big glass of this one I’ll admit that my resolve is weakening. Now I’ve had TEMPTATION before, about 18 months ago, but it was a mere rushed glass on the way to the Boonville Beer Festival ’08. The other night in San Diego I got to sit down and, uh, “contemplate” the thing. And wow, what a beer this one is. TEMPTATION is a juicy, sour, very strong blond ale. It’s got some serious Brettanomyces action going on, meaning it has been infected with a strain of bacteria that, get this, enhances the flavors of the beer. Can you believe these knuckleheads and their bacteria?
The beer is, dare I say, very “Russian River-y”, meaning that their brewing prowess is so strong and so distinctive that I think – I THINK – I could probably tell you the brewer from whence this came in a blind taste test. You get strong tastes of grapefruit and orange rind. Very drinkable despite its sourness. It’s part of a new wave of American fruit beers for grownups, I guess you’d call it. Absolutely love it and am raising my score to 9/10.