Deviation - Bottleworks 9th Anniversary | Russian River Brewing Company

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Deviation - Bottleworks 9th AnniversaryDeviation - Bottleworks 9th Anniversary

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.83%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mnapier on 04-02-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 283
Photo of ccrida
3.13/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served on draught at Brower's for Bottleworks' 10th anniversary party in a 12 oz snifter, Deviation is a glowing bronze with a small, creamy white head that has long last and leaves heavy lace. Very nice looking indeed.

Smell is a nice fruity lactic tartness, sour cherries mostly, a touch of citrus perhaps.

Taste is disappointing to me. Maybe it's because I just left Bottleworks, where they were hawking this for a vulgar $60 a bottle! Couple the $9 cost of this 12 oz pour, and the fact that I hold such high regard for *most* of the Russian River sours, I expected to be getting a fantastic deal on a fantastic beer. Price and rarity aside, I just didn't much care for the taste of this, and consider myself to be a well educated taster of 'wild' brews. Basically, I felt this was way too dry and salty, with a hint of baking soda as well, and lacked depth of flavor entirely. The sourness seemed to be all lacto, which I like, but I didn't get any of the fruit flavors I got in the nose, and the saltiness reminded me of an over Burtonized homebrew.

Mouthfeel is very acidic and dry, but some oiliness, and pretty creamy when swished around.

Drinkability isn't to high to me, to one dimensional, and if I'd paid $60 for this I'd be hugely pissed at myself for being suckered in. I hate to skew the ratings on this, but not nearly as much as when people rate something highly just because it's rare, expensive, or they don't get why they disagree with everyone's scores and rate it high anyways! And all things considered, I'm only human, and had I known nothing about this before I had it, those 2.5's would be lower...because honestly, I was not impressed, and this beer was less then average for the style.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.82/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to KRAMER17801 for sharing this retired 750ml at his holiday party.

A - Poured a hazy apricot-colored body with a thin, wispy white head, which yielded spotty lace that slid down the sides of the glass.

S - Initial aroma offers a sour citrus twang with moderate band-aid notes and a subtle alcohol presence.

T - Flavor is quite acidic with plenty of sour citrus fruit and grape character, tart apple skins and band-aid notes. Some sweet notes emerge in the backend to counter the intense sourness.

M - Thin to medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a sticky mouthfeel. Finishes with lots of pucker on the tongue.

D - Good Wild Ale, but they all start to taste the same after a while. Glad I had an opportunity to sample yet another RR creation, though.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.86/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour appear golden to amber with a lasting dirty white head that coats the glass as you drink. The nose has some oak, bretty funk, a bit of pineapple, and a bit of a cottage cheese or yogurt. Very tart and tangy. Mixed fruit flavors, and tannic. Medium working on full body. Average amount of carbonation and a bone dry finish. A very good beer from a style that I don't typicaly appriciate.

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Photo of Crosling
3.86/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Gorgeous looking beer, an orange color with a well lasting and well developed creamy white foam. Fairly subtle aromatics with oak derived nuances of vanilla and toasted wood along with fruits, funk and brett. Nicely balanced and soft. Lemon, vanilla, creme, wood. Very nice sour/wild ale.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour with malt, grain, fruit, funk, acidic, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with sour grain, fruit, funk, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink, but you can tell this one definitely has some age on it.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.05/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy deep orange. Tiny head.

Smell - Sharp lactic acid. Some lemon and hay. Slight acetic note.

Taste - Nice lactic acid. Citrus sourness. Hay. A little lambicky. Grainy. Funky and a little peppery.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation.

Overall - This is still really good. Impressive for an American sour.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.05/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Orange-red clear body. Moderate sized off-white head, visible carbonation. No lacing.

S: Lemon and orange acidic notes. A bit of acetic and lactic sourness. Light musty oak.

T: Orange, tangerine, and lemon acidic notes. Delicate must and funk. Well integrated but not particularly memorable.

M: Lively, but well matched carbonation. Strong tartness towards the back end. Refreshingly clean finish.

O: Call me a heretic, I just didn't see what was "special" about this beer. It was tasty, but not particularly unique, memorable or interesting.

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Photo of nkersten
4.08/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared at recent tasting with Chicago crew. Pours a hazy orange with a white head, good retention throughout. Smell is oak, straw, barnyard, lots of lemons and sour citrus. Taste is very tart lemons, some orange zest, a bit of funk and oak. Mouthfeel is light and creamy with a moderate carbonation, very nice for a style that seems to be dominated by dry, highly carbonated beers. Overall a very drinkable beer, but not my favorite American wild.

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Photo of Lane1
4.15/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thank you Steve for this. I honestly didn't know that this had existed until he plopped it down on the counter and said "Lets not look at it, let's crack it open." I was extremely exited to try it to say the least. We split the bottle between 8 of us and poured into small sampling glasses.

Appearance was gold and hazy. Very crisp, thin, but aggressive head. Looks like a beautiful sour

Smell: Very sour funk smell. Actually took my by complete surprise. After a few more sniffs, I could find a citrus smell past the funk.

Taste: I don't like a lot of sours. This was unreal in its flavor and complexity. It really punched hard at first but the acidity tapered off fairly quickly into a very sweet and citrusy flavor.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and aggressive on the tastebuds

Overall this beer was phenomenal. I would have never thought that I would have drank this. I am very honored and excited to have this empty bottle now sitting on my shelf.

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Photo of jwolfie70
4.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Another great sour beer from Russian River. Had on tap at their fourth anniversary party this weekend. This beer made the two hour drive worth it.

Poured a deep copper brown. Smelled of funky, sour cherries, with some sourdough bread mixed in. Tasted tart, sour, funky, with some dark fruit sweetness coming through at the end. A very enjoyable beer, but like all wild ales, can only have so many. Still I wish I could have got a growler of this to take home.

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Photo of kemoarps
4.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper body beautiful. Murky muddy deliciousness. Fine film of mystery to top it.

Nose is smoothe sour. Muted with strains of earthiness, wood and lemon sour.

Initially the liminal layer is smoothe raw lemon, but the back of the throat starts puckering immediately. Smoothe balance goes out the window quick and it just slides into a world of piercing bitterness.

So glad Dr. Durf graduated to convince me to buy it, and that Team Debauch could get together and enjoy it!!

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Photo of Lothore
4.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a beautiful cloudy peach color with a small, white head.

S- Smell is definite barnyard funk, peach, light fruits, sourness.

T- Taste is incredibly complex. Sour all the way through, very earthy, tart, light fruits.

M- Light and crisp with a good amount of carbonation. Very dry.

D- This is a great sipper. Russian River's sour lineup is incredible but I think this is the most balanced one that i've had of the bunch. Seek this one out, you won't regret it.

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Photo of brdc
4.2/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at Browers. From notes.

Slightly hazy, reddish in color, frothy, light tan to pink in color, but bar lighting is never great to judge a beer's appearance.
The sour aroma jumps out of the glass as you pour it, tart and acid notes, some funkiness, fruitiness; pears and plums come to mind.
Light and easy to drink, tart and acidic, but not as much as I expected from other reviews; possibly lost a bit with aging? Unexpected, but since I never had it fresh, hard to extrapolate.
Oak plays only a few notes here and there, which is nice, as I usually do not like overwhelming oak notes. The same tart fruit plays a role in the flavor too, but complexity and acidity are sometimes lacking just a bit.
A very nice brew, but not as complex as I like, somewhat underwhelming probably because of my very high hopes.
Definitely worthwhile if you have a chance, though.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.22/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Nate at out most recent tasting, served into a tulip...Pours light copper peach with an off white head, really good retention but the lacing is a little lacking...Medium aroma that is very musky to start and shows off a lot of oak, very similar to most RR (think consecreation and supplication)...The taste is very oaky as well, some tartness comes through but this is not overly oaky. Not very complex either, oak and funk, wish there was more going on here...A wonderful feel, full, tannic, grape skin...Easy to drink.

Great to try this treasure and its very good for a wild sour. However, doesn't compete with a great Belgian and its not very different than any other Russian River so might as well grab on of those.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.24/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened at TN whales tasting 3/16/2013. Thanks to waltonc for trading this to me.

Pours a really hazy bright orange, not the appearance I would expect from a blend of so many different beers.

Lots going on in the nose, sweet malt, some ketchup, some acidity, smells a bit confused but pretty nice.

Taste is more focused than the nose and a lot more sour. Very sour, very dry, pretty funky, hints of wine and dark fruit. Still a little muddled but damn tasty.

Mouthfeel is soft and well carbonated, very good for a five year old blended sour.

This is maybe slightly past it's prime--not oxidized or "over the hill" really, still damn tasty, but seems like it probably hasn't really benefited from the last few years in the bottle. I never had this fresh but I imagine it was a world class beer--at present it's still great but a little shy of being really top tier.


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Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by drabmuh. Served in a snifter.

Pours a golden-amber color with a short white head that sticks around for a bit and leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Quite bubbly and a bit hazy. The nose is really great with an immediate tart funk coming through along with some dark and stone fruit plus a bit of citrus. A bit of barnyard, but the sourness is more pronounced than the funk. Hints of dark cherries there as well. Mild oak presence.

The taste kicks it up to the next level with some great fruit notes accompanied by a beautiful sourness. Mostly lactic with a bit of acetic acid. Cherries, stone fruits, and black grapes come through. Good funky presence here along with a bit of oak tannin. Really complex and full. Mouthfeel is quite sour with lower levels of carbonation and a great sour, dry finish. Drinkability is incredible. This is certainly one of the best sours I've ever had.

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Photo of grub
4.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 Biergotter Tasting, Day 1: Sour/Wild Ales. Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

750ml bottle, corked and caged. sampled nov 27/08.

pours hazy pale orangey brown with a big fluffy off-white head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is good. lemon. touch of malt vinegar. orange. leather. bit of green tobacco leaf. cracker. bit of white bread. hint of nutty character too. light alcohol.

taste is great. lemon. cider vinegar. leather and horse blanket. barnyard funk. sour cherry. tangerine. bread and biscuit. cracker. light grain. nice depth to the fruit and funk, with a fairly assertive sourness.

mouthfeel is great. medium-high carbonation level. about medium body with a fairly dry finish.

drinkability is good. the sourness is a little strong, but there's a nice depth to the funk that keeps it together. great stuff.

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Photo of kevanb
4.26/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap at a Russian River take over at Toronado SF on February 12, 6oz pour into a stemmed tulip. Review is from notes.

I was very excited to try this beer, first time for me, and to have it on tap is a great treat. It pours a murky burgundy color, touches of reds, browns with a soft fizzy off white head that dissipates immediately, no lacing. The aroma is nice, sour fruit, light funk, mild citrus and light oak character. The nose is nice, balanced, not too sour, not too funky, not too oaky, but not that pungent or dazzling. The flavors are right in line, light citrus, juicy sour fruit with lighter acidity, touch of vinegar, oaky funky, a bit of brett character, a little bit of vanilla is in there as well. The flavors again fail to really pop or resinate in a meaningful way, clearly age is starting tone things down in this beer. The body is really nice, light, lively, zesty, coats the mouth well but finishes so smoothly and with almost a creamy texture, very easy to drink.

Verdict: A very good beer, but one that has probably seen better days, I would have really liked to have tried this fresher, but better late than never. A fine beer, but not a world beater.

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Photo of orangesol
4.29/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Review #950!!!
Huge thanks to Kramer for sharing this one with us at last nights Christmas Party. A perfectly cellared bottle since purchase is a rare thing with this one it seems.

Pours clear amber red with a half finger tall white head, quickly dissipating down to a light ring around the edge, leaving small streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smells of woody oak, lactic sourness, tart cherries, light barnyard funk, dash of Greek yogurt, caramel sweetness and some wet cardboard oxidation. Taste is holding up much better than the nose is. Cherry skin, mild musty funk, dulled lactic sourness and only a light hint of the oxidation is present. Smooth, tart feel is much lighter than I had heard it would be making it remarkably easy to consume.

Overall I really loved this one. The nose is definitely suffering for its age but the taste is still awesome. I can't thank Kramer enough for opening this one for us to try, thanks again buddy!!!

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Photo of DJButters
4.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Russian River 'TION Night at Toronado 2012. Finally able to try after many years of searching. The refusal to part with my -bals has paid off. A 6oz pour, for $5.

A: Seems very light in color compared to other RR brews. Somewhere in between Temp & Sup. A dirty light brown, copper. Head disappears quickly after pour.

S: Oak, Cherry and funk. It better have some level of funk, this beer has been waiting in a keg for 5 years waiting for me.

T: It is amazing that this beer is 5 years old. It gives me hope for my 3L collection and the age will not harm it. I have to say that I feel Temp and Beat age very well in comparison. A keg of 08 Temp seemed to provide more funk, while the Deviation was highly acidic. Still a very solid taste where the oak and cherry shines through. As the beer warmed it obviously got better and the flavor profile changed and become more pronounced.

M: Acidic and very well carbonated.

O: Very good beer. Notice how I said very good. I don't think it could match up to the hype and rarity that has been placed upon its narrow shoulders. The keg was blown in 40min. With so many good AWA offered by RR don't stress if you cant get one. Just stick with the standards and you will do just fine. Beat however is a different animal entirely. Thanks to Natalie for popping a few 3L b3 btls.

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Photo of Verecund
4.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Opened and consumed on June 7, 2011. For some time, this was my personal white whale. Review #250.

Deviation pours a clear tangelo with a one-finger papaya whip head. Decent lacing.

A bright lemony citric acidity softened with peach and wonderful brettanomyces claussenii pineapple. There’s a suggestion of earthy (and mushroom, specifically) funk, especially on the finish, and some nice oakiness.

As expected, there’s a fruity bouquet of the citrus (lemon), peach, some cherry, and apple, along with an accompanying (restrained) tartness and lactic sourness. (White grape as well. I keep trying to figure out a way to describe the progression of fruit, but it’s difficult.) It’s tamer than I expected in many ways, but pleasantly complex. Some mushroomy funk, though less than might be expected from a beer that’s 3+ years old, and oak. Lightly tannic finish.

Soft mouthfeel, great balance, and just lively enough. The lingering lactic sourness leaves you wanting more.

Russian River is one of my favorite breweries in the US and Deviation doesn't really disappoint, though it doesn't blow me away as much as I expected. Delicious, but I wouldn't hold onto it any longer since the flavors don't pop as much as others discuss; it's a little "flabby," so I suspect this bottle was on the decline.

EDIT: A second bottle in May 2013 was better than this first one. So storage conditions appear to be unsurprisingly important here.

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Photo of ucusty
4.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Carolina Crew Gathering Greenville, NC.Thanks turdferguson for sharing! Hazy orange pour thin fizzy head. Fruity aroma mostly green apple, and grapefruit. Medium bodied acidic treat! What a great beer and a real treat to taste! I really enjoyed this and look forward to trying this again (hopefully)

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.35/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Notes taken from 9/29 from the craziest bottle share that i have ever been a part of. Thanks so much to the NYC and Hoboken crew for letting me participate in this incredible day of drinking long time wants and insanity.

Thanks kindly to Dan for sharing.

a - pours a murky orange brown. thin fizzy head with slippery lacing. swirling rebuilds the fizziness.
s - nice balanced sour cherries. brett. pungent.
t - really nice. some cherries. nice sourness. brett. nothing outrageous, but really balanced. some notes of peach and lactic. oaky.
m - puckering but not overly so, fairly easy drinker.
o - overall nice sour, extremely nice and enjoyable. finish is a bit dry but delicious and enjoyable.

pretty sure i had this one time prior, but looks like i haven't gotten to that part of my notes backlog...stay tuned.

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Photo of tpd975
4.35/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Thanks to Fogdog for this rare treat.

A: Pours an amberish brown with a tall cream colored head. Very nice retention and lace.

S: Nice and fruity. Lots of grape, peach, and apple. There is a large citrus component as well. Big blast of funk and tart.

T: Tart and funky for sure. Nice wood component with grapes and lemon standing out. There is a big blast of acid with mild cheesy notes.

M; Medium in body, nice carbonation, tasty brew.

D: Very good, a beer I would love to try again in the future.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.36/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip. Glad to finally try this at our whale tasting.

Appearance: The pour is a murky apple cider color with faded straw yellow edges. A small frothy off-white collar fades to nothing and leaves no lace.

Smell: Great sour and Brett notes. A lemon zest and sour peach provide most of the tart notes. Some straw, light malt, and grass notes provide some complement to the fruit. Light Brett funk fills out the wild part of the aroma.

Taste: Without ever reaching too far, there is a pleasant lemon and peach sour flavor that pervades the flavor. There is a soft light malt sweetness up front, some wild funky notes in the middle, and a bit of lactic tartness right at the end.

Mouthfeel: This is quite sour and tart. There are no off flavors or any surge in the sourness; it is simple, pleasant, and sour throughout.

Overall: A great American wild that takes quite a few characteristics of a gueuze.

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Deviation - Bottleworks 9th Anniversary from Russian River Brewing Company
4.59 out of 5 based on 283 ratings.
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