Temptation. Very Tempting.

29 Sep

A few weeks ago I got my mitts on a few bottles of Russian River Brewing Co.’s Temptation Batch 05x1E at Mesa Liquor.  Going in I knew this was one of their barrel-aged beers, but that’s about it. Fortunately for me there’s a nice little blurb on the label:

 Temptation: “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. However, Temptation is indeed beer. Temptation is a Blonde Ale aged in French oak chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces. Flavors of wine and oak absorb into the brew throughout its aging. 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.

 Sounds interesting, but what are Brettanomyces (besides a fun word to say)? I took to the Russian River website to see what they had to say. “Brettanomyces (also known as Brett) is feared by most brewers and winemakers alike…Brettanomyces is actually yeast, it ferments and acts the same as every other “conventional” yeast, it just has the propensity to continue fermenting through almost any type of sugar, including those natural sugars found in the wood in an oak barrel. Brett is very invasive and if not handled properly can become out of control in a winery or brewery, but, if used properly with care, it can add rich aromas and flavors of earthiness, leather, smoke, barnyard, & our favorite descriptor-wet dog in a phone booth.” So, this is what gives a lot of sours that funky taste! It’s the Old Gregg of yeasts: it has the Funk.

 Alright, now that we’re all learned up on the Yeast of the Day. How was the beer?

 Appearance: poured a really pretty golden yellow, clear, but not a lot of carbonation considering the re-fermentation.

Aroma: light and fruity, like a white wine.

Taste/Aftertaste: really nice and light, a slight tanginess, and the oak comes through at the end with nice subtlety. Fruity, but not sweet. It reminds me of a dry white wine.

Overall: A really nice sour! It wasn’t overly tangy, and with the 7.5% ABV, I can have more than one and not get as tipsy as Consecration makes me. I really recommend it!

I also have one waiting I’m hanging on to for a while to compare how it ages. I’ll be doing a series of beers that I’m cellaring in about a year or so. Look forward to revisiting a few of these I’ve had recently!

2 Responses to “Temptation. Very Tempting.”

  1. beerisforgirlstoo October 3, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    Just found your blog. I’m also a beer loving chick. I will be reading!

    • shelikesbeer October 3, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

      Hooray!! I love finding new kickass beer loving ladies!

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