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 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 brentk56
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with an inch or so of foam that leaves quite a few strands and clumps behind

Smell: A blend of caramel, sour lemon, yoghurt, and barnyard funk

Taste: Tart lemony fruit, up front, with a developing lactic sourness that brings along some additional citrus; after the swallow, the acetic sourness, barnyard funk and vague caramel undertones arrive; the finish is puckering and acetic

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation; mouth puckering

Overall: Loads of tartness with underlying complexity; a great beer that has developed nicely since it was bottled four years ago

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Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Brownish-amber, quite ruddy and hazy with a quarter-inch of head that left a minimal amount of lace.

Smell: Green apple and lemon, hints of musty oak, very sour but mild on the funk and quite clean overall.

Taste/mouthfeel: Similar to the nose but richer and fuller; hints of caramel and vanilla reside beneath the puckering sourness. The body is on the full side of light; it coats the palate with a ton of flavor but goes down easy. The finish is drying, sour and slightly tannic.

Drinkability: A definite sipper, but I had no troubles sipping two glasses of this over the course of a couple of hours. Highly drinkable stuff that seems to grow in complexity the more you sip on it.

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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 mothman
4.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review 1300. My biggest Wale.

Pours an off-white head. Color is cloudy copper gold. Active carbonation in the glass.

Aroma: Grapes up front with the russian river funk. Has some cherry notes. The brett really sticks out a lot. A lot of oak in this beer. Reminds me a lot like the other RR beers' aroma.

Taste: Yep. It is there. Big sour notes with cherries and grapes. A lot of oak and tartness. It does have some vanilla and sweetness which I really enjoy. A nice dose of frunky brett as well.

Mouthfeel: A bit fizzy, but in a good way. Very tart and funky. Light dryness. Medium bodied with a higher amount of carbonation. A really nice feel to it. Ends sour and tart.

Overall, a great RR. This beer combines some of the best components of the RR beers I have had. The spice, oak, and tart blend together well and the brett provides a funk that is spot on. No medicinal notes. Very drinkable.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.43/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, cruddy-looking, mahogan-hued body with a cottony white head.

Smell: A sour-minded, fruity bouquet with notes of sliced apples, citrus, and salted peach pits along with plenty of toasted oak saplings and barnyard funk.

Taste: A frothed blending of freshly-squeezed fruit juices - peaches, grapefruits, and apple (like a sorbet sampler platter). Dash of salt and even capsicum. A donkey's kick of acidity and tartness. Barnyard funkiness all the while. Dry, lightly oaky finish with lingering, tongue-deadening tannins.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A real joy to drink such a complex, yet well-balanced creation. This is seriously good. Excellent work, Russian River.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.97/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

SCORE! There are three beers that have haunted me for what seemed like forever. Deviation, Cable Car, and Toronado 20th. Well, I can finally knock one of them off of that list. A very generous BA has traded me some liquid gold and I wasted no time at all getting down to business with it. Served chilled, and poured into a Darkness snifter of all things. This one was consumed on 11/19/2008.

The pour was wonderful, really just spot on for the style. Rich and very hazy reddish tinted amber coming forward right away. This one was definitely something to watch. Rich with a nice head of about an inch and a half of white foam creeping up over the top of the glass. Nice lacing as well, and a slow settle down left me anxious to lean in for a closer look.

The smell, wow, the smell. This was exactly, to a tee, what I wanted to see come out of this one. Huge aroma of sour apples, tart funkiness that can only be akin to vinegar. As it warmed though it transformed, with an almost citrus like tone coming through and a nice and mellow grain profile that seemed to sneak up on me at the end. The flavor was just spot on. So deliciously funky that it almost burned my mouth. Rich notes of apple, vinegar, hints of grain and a wonderful touch of lemon all seemed to combine at just the right time. Deep earthy touches as well, what could only be described as a fantastic combination of flavors on all accounts. Smooth, delicious and endlessly drinkable, I cannot even begin to explain how great this was to sip on during the course of the night.

Overall it was sublime, truly just a wonderful mixture of everything that made this one of the best beers I have ever had. Well worth the hype for me as I would want nothing more out of this really. Glad I could finally knock one of the list.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.6/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big thanks to Shane for sharing this one at Sour Fest. One of my biggest wants.

A: The pour is a clear dark golden color with some hints of orange and red and a nice white head.

S: Lots of cherries, lactic/lemon acidity, green apple, and maybe some grapefruit too (in terms of all the fruit notes). The oak is wet, musty, and tannic. And there is a solid funk that is earthy and dry.

T: The lemon acidity is bright and clean. The cherry and green apple notes are really intense and provide a nice fruit character on top of the base tartness. Quite dry, both from some brett and oak/tannins.

M: The body is medium with a moderate to high level of carbonation. The finish is dry, acidic, and slightly puckering.

D: I see why this is such a whale, it's absolutely delicious. I am very pleased to have try it, and hope I can do so again in the future.

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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 Huhzubendah
4.92/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled shared my masterchiefMD at my tasting on August 7, 2010. Thanks Chris! Served alongside six other Russian River wild ales.

A: This beer appears a hazy orange hue with a small head which fades and leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is wonderful. I was surprised and pleased to detect citrus notes with a musty, funky sourness. Also subtle aromas of oak.

T: Wow. This wild ale lineup is remarkable, and Deviation is among the best of the best. The beer is very pleasantly sour and citric. The taste profile is very complex, with differing degrees of tartness, certainly from the blending. Sonambic Ale, PH1, Orphan Ale and Sanctification batch 001 have been woven masterfully to create this gem. I'm very thankful to have tried it.

M: Very tart, with a slight acetic sharpness in the finish. There is a nice, lingering aftertaste I enjoyed as long as I could.

D: Totally drinkable. I really hope I have an opportunity to enjoy this again.

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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 stakem
4.43/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks go to BA mymrnngjckt for busting out this long time want of mine during a recent tasting. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a hazed copper color with a creamy yellowish finger of froth. Some spotty lace sticks to the glass. A light swirl revives the cap which holds with impressive retaining power.

The aroma is surprisingly oaky upfront that blends into some funky notes of cheese. There is a rindy fruit character that changes to something more bright and tropical and more whiffs are taken. This is for the most part a pretty straight forward smelling wild ale that is very atomatic and enjoyable with no one character outshining the rest.

The taste is tart with plenty of barrel presence being noted with oaky flavoring that integrates well with the rest of the profile. Some rindy fruit flavored elements blend into earth and funk. Almost a cheesey or yogurt sort of lacto feel to this before going back to the rindy sour flavors somewhat reminescent of oranges.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. There is seemingly no alcohol inclusion. This is one very easy drinking brew. Perhaps its most noteworthy atribute is how all the character blends together so perfectly balanced. It was awesome to get a chance to try this. And even more awesome that a hyped up beer lived up to expectations. Thanks again Kevin.

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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 MasterSki
4.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to d0b for contributing this to the epic sour tasting with myself, him, and Beerloco. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip glass.

A - Two and a half fingers of light brown/tannish foam with excellent retention but spotty lacing. Hazed orange-red color with visible carbonation racing to the top.

S - Funk, brett, sour cherries, apple cider vinegar, apricots, citrus, peach, wood - it's all in there. This is without the most balanced wild ale I've ever tried, as it somehow emanates sweetness, sour, funk, and tart at the same time without being a complete mess. Super potent and utterly delightful.

T - The taste is a tiny step down, with a lot of the subtleties of the smell having been smoothed out. There's still tons of sour apple, citrus, and floral notes, as well as some good horsey funk. It starts out with a sharp funky palate attack but then smooths as it makes its way across the palate.

M - Dry finish, with the cottonmouth and too much candy residuals. Medium body, moderate carbonation, and velvet smoothness.

D - This is by far the most drinkable wild I've ever tried. The insane balanced combination induces minimal palate fatigue, the carbonation is spot-on, and there are no intense or off-putting aftertastes. Vinnie has captured lightning in bottle with this one, taking the best elements of a number of brews and blending them into something unforgettable. I am SO glad that this is the sour from the big three of which I still have another bottle.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.62/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Chris for providing this for the Russian River sour tasting at Matt's. A very special treat for all of us.

Beer served in a snifter. Beer is yellowish to amber with a mild haze to it. Forms a momentary head that fades away. Carbonation is low and there is some lacing left on the glass.

The aroma is complicated. Very citric acid leading with decent lactic and a biting acetic note later. There is more acetic in the nose than I expected. There is some oakiness to the whole beer as well. Appropriately leveled sourness for the entire beer.

This beer brings the sour and finishes with the tart, it hits me in the back of the mouth pretty hard. Pretty light in body overall, some mild cherriness to the finish. Strongly acetic though, lactic and citric up front. This was a blend of PH1 and batch 1 supplication, two beers I have not tried individually, this could be one of my favorite sours but if it gets more acetic it may turn the corner on drinkability.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.85/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally cracked this bottle after all this time. I had this on tap way back at Brouwer's Cafe in Seattle with my wife, and never reviewed it. I find the beer in a younger incarnation more lively, but less sour and with less minerality and horseblanket. I like both, but I think the bottle aged version is more complex and interesting. Served in a wineglass, this beers pours a beautiful burnished orange golden with a glow to it. Very little head- just a thin ring around the edge, but still nicely carbonated. Nice sour notes in the nose with a touch of cream, especially up front. Some saltiness develops as well as a late minerality and slight horseblanket. The taste is where it really comes alive. Very tart with a zingy mineral note, some saltiness, a touch of creaminess, and just a hint of funk- no old cheese or "perfumed" hay, but a touch of clean sweat and some earthy notes make this quite pleasant. Very clean, but many layers, and very vibrant. A pleasure. It's electrifying in the mouth and seriously whets the appetite. This has held up wonderfully, as I expected.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As I pour this brew I get a nice aroma of sour grapefruit and spicy oak. The beer is topped by a frothy, initially three-finger thick, light tan colored head that leaves some light lacing on the sides of my Tripel Karmeliet tulip as it slowly recedes. The beer is a ruddy, amber hue and shows a lightly hazy, copper color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite tart and lactic; a mix of sour grapefruit, sour-orange & slightly moldy lemon notes. Other than the tartness the nose has alight, underlying funkiness that reminds me of some light musty leather notes, some Brett influenced butyric acid, damp cellar aromas and even a touch of cat piss. Some fruit notes reminiscent of a mix of pears, tart plums, aromatic apples and some star-fruit are also found in the nose and add some needed, additional complexity. I really like the nice, bright acidity that is noticeable in the nose, it makes this quite appetizing.

Bracingly tart, as much or more so than many a Lambic. This tartness melds quite well with the light, yet substantial oak and a tannic, chewy body. Like the best Gueuzes, this beer is quite light and quaffable, yet still has a fair amount of heft to it; this heft seems to come from a tannic texture that in this beer is clearly barrel influenced. Lactic acid notes provide the bulk of the tartness, but there does seem to be a touch of acetic, hints of uriatic acid & some funky butyric acid notes. Oak flavors play a role here, but thankfully they form a part of the supporting cast; the oak provides a bit of spiciness to the flavor more than anything. The oak does provide some hot, oral-nasal notes that hit me as I am taking a sip, this provides a bit of warmth that is almost like that from Bourbon. Brett influenced notes play a supporting role here that provides a lot of subtle complexity; flavors of phenolic soaked cotton balls, light horse blanket and a soft general funk.

Fruit flavors provide a light touch of sour-plum, pear, some sour-cherry notes (this is accented by the tannins that evoke thoughts of tannic cherry skins), definite grapefruit (though more from the tartness than from Kloeckera) and apple essence, all without any accentuating sweetness. As the beer warms the tannins really start to contribute a texture / presence that coats the roof of my mouth and back of my teeth. A bit of hot alcohol also becomes a bit more noticeable in the nose as it warms up, but so does some toasty grain & soda-cracker malt aromatics. My second & last pour is a bit more hazy, but not enough to really effect the flavor. Biscuit malt and soda-cracker grain notes also provide some character to the finish of this brew.

I like that the oak plays a supporting role here; it really provides a nice texture and body to this brew as well as a touch of spiciness that works sort of like hops do (though there really is no sweet malt character to balance here). Actually the texture of this beer is quite divine, the tannins provide a satin-like texture without really interfering with the light, quaffability of this brew. This is much more sour than I was expecting, luckily I am a complete sour-head, and I really am quite happy about how tart this is. Makes me want to crack open one of the batch two Beatifications, that will be the next beer to go into the beer fridge.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.87/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoyed back on 888, reviewed from fairly meticulous notes. Shared with SAS, Inflatablechair, and theotherbeerguy.

My share poured into a Chimay goblet.

Thanks to Steven's old roommate Travis, Steven and I picked up our allotted 4 bottles at Bottleworks for $30/bottle.. they are worth the pricetag.

Head is rocky and long lasting ... sorta flecked with yeast ... brew sorta looks like an unfiltered sparkling cider but with a nice head...

My nose is not ready for this brew.. the aroma is apple juice... citrus.. pineapple and quite a bit of funk thrown in for good measure... musty cellar.. reminds me of my Grandma Shaw's basement in the spring.

Wow... I was right.. my palate was not ready nor experienced enough for this one... bracing acid.. underripe plum.. slight sour cherry.. crab-apple.. everything tart... dry finish.. and a little bit of oak... Mousy? Horsey? Barnyard? I'm out.. I don't know what else to say.

Body is effervescent.. and on the light side.. complexity is off the charts... It's been a while since I had a Sanctification.. makes me want to raid the cellar right now... pretty much amazing.. far and away one of the best beers I've ever had.


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Photo of HopHead84
4.85/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deviation is a slightly nebulous dark orange with a thick, white, one inch head. The head recedes slowly and leaves traces of lacing on my Bruery tulip.

I'm greeted by a sharp, tart aroma when I put my nose to the glass. Sour lemon, peaches, and grapefruit define the citrus component of the aroma. Brettanomyces impart a barnyard character, with some funkiness and vinegar. The aroma of oak is also present, along with a medium level of sourness. The flavor is very complex. Light fruits, such as grapefruit and lemon, are a large component of the overall high level of sourness. No sweetness to this beer, and for the most part the alcohol is masked by the other flavors. Funkier than I expected. Acidic, with hints of horse blanket and some vinegar. The Brett imparts a distinct tartness and funkiness, and Sanctification has clearly left its mark on the final product. The finish is very sour and fruity.

Light bodied with good carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and dry. This was had among a line up of Gueuze, Lambic, and other American Wild Ales, and it clearly was one of the best of the night. I've had this a few times, and each new taste reaffirms my belief that this is one of the best American Wild Ales around (at least among the ones I've tried).

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Photo of weeare138
4.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks noliberty for sharing this one...
Appears a hazy light gold with a small white cap that slowly fades into tiny bits of spotty lacing. Small streams of CO2 slowly rise to the top.
Smell is of tart pineapple, hops, citrus, and raw sugar.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with excellent mixed fruit and a touch of funk.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, tart, sweet, acidic...really nice stuff!

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Photo of corby112
4.85/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Jeff for busting this out at our epic sour tasting.

Pours a very dark hazy golden orange that's almost light caramel brown with some ripe banana hues when held to a light source and a one finger frothy off white head that slowly fades into a thin lasting ring.

Musty earthy aroma with a good bit of barnyard funk along with some wooden tannis and dry brett efervescence. I'm picking up some wood notes but something other than oak. It smells more like cedar. Slight lactic creaminess and subtle light fruit. Apple cider and pear.

Soft carbonation up front with a nice bit of funkiness that is not acidic at all or overpowering. Incredibly smooth and dangerously drinkable. Very complex and funky yet I find myself pounding down my sample. Lots of dry bretty efervescence toward the finish. Again there is a nice earthy wood presence that isn't quite oaky and is more cedar like. Subtle hints of vanilla and light crisp fruit notes especially a lot of apple, almost cidery even. Amazing sweet lingering slightly vinegary finish. As soon as I put the glassdowm I'm immediately salivating for another sip. Amazing beer that everyone should seek out.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.54/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a tasting glass. Big thanks to Ben for sharing this with us; never thought I would end up trying this one!

(A)- Pours a clear orange color that produced an off-white head that dissipated quickly.

(S)- A dry funky aspect. Tart fruits and some earthy clay & hay that open up into a big acidity.

(T)- A nice combo of earthy clay with an acidic fruit sourness. Comes off as a bit sweeter than I expected, but the ample sourness helps clear that up. Really rather good.

(M)- A great carbonation level. Crisp and sour with good fruits. I like that it is a tad sweeter, yet also has some earthy aspects.

(D)- Really. I do not know if Russian River can do no wrong in this category. This one does not disappoint. Bigger sourness, but still carries a nice realm of flavors.

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Photo of akorsak
4.52/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to wetpaperbag for this long ago trade. A corked and caged 750 mL bottle.

A: The wild ale, a treasure finally seeing its time in the sun, is a tea-colored orange-brown hybrid. Darker than I was expecting, the ale retains its translucence. Each pour, done sparingly, leads to a finger of eggshell white head. A few stray legs of lace are the only remnants of the head above the beer level.

S: Very tart, the lemon in the nose flicks at me. Lots of berries and fruit, all sweet and strong, contribute. A wooden fullness, lending vanilla, is comforting. Grapes and apples bring a sweet-and-sour combination. Heavy on the citric acidity; no acetic aromas here.

T: Wow, not nearly as tart as I was expecting. The blending has taken rough edges off, replacing them with sweet berries and wood. On second thought, the ale is plenty tart. Further reflection does a body good. The lemony tartness is strikingly acidic, a citric blast night and day from that of hops. Behind the lemon, ripe berries and fleshy core fruits linger. The wood binds everything together, adding vanilla and strength. Sweet and sour grapes and apples provide a tart-free flavors in the later stages of each sip. Tropical fruits, pineapple and coconut, are also present adding more citrus fodder.

M: Flickering tartness registers throughout. The wild flavors are strong and focused, lemony with a strong biscuity finish. A full taste comes through in every sip.

O: As with most good to great sours, I find that the ale fills me up quickly. A great way to get filled up though.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.47/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml cork and caged bottle, served in a stemmed glass.

Pours a slightly hazy darker orange-copper body, one finger white head, good staying power, fine retention for a 8 year old bottle; thin wispy lacing. Smells a lot like a souped up version of Consecration. Moderate lactic acidity, red wine grape must, tart cherry skin, oak, musty damp wood funk, minerality. Plenty of heft to the nose still. Flavour is a well-integrated cornucopia of red grape must, tannin, tart cherries, oaky funk, touch of leather, light lemon, plenty of lactic acid. This seems to carry a big hefty depth to it, even more so than the regularly bottled Russian River wild ales. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, effervescent with good carbonation, crisp and complex. A fine example of a Russian River wild ale which seems to have aged extremely gracefully in the Bottleworks cellar (where the bottle was obtained from).

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle of this from Svejk. Thanks a ton for the chance to try this beer I never thought I'd get a chance to. After having pulled this beer out of the cellar twice only to put it back, I'm relieved to say "third time lucky". And nothing like some Gorgoroth to go with a beer called Deviation. Or that a friend of mine is getting married as I drink this - Sri, this is for you!

A: Mostly clear, Deviation has the color of burnished copper with a massive off-white head with pretty solid retention. The head slowly recedes, leaving a ton of lace. The retention is pretty awesome, I can't think of too many sour beers with a head quite like this (apart from the Toronado 20th, that is).

S: This beer is one of those that can be smelled a mile away. As I bring it closer I get the huge grassy, lemony sour notes from Beatification. There's a juicy sourness present, mildly vinegary with a Flanders Red-like sweetness (would that be the La Folie barrel speaking?). The complexity is quite off the charts, the funk being very clean (no sweaty socks here) but still pretty pronounced with some horse-blanket. Not much tannic character, there's some mild oak and vanilla-like sweetness present. This is quite ridiculous, really, I could smell this all night long. What really does it for me is the balance between the citrusy sourness and the vinegary character. As this sits out for a bit, some vinous notes do come out (sweeter white wines?)

T: On the palate, this starts off more like a gueuze with a bracing lemony sourness with a mild acetic component. This acetic component becomes a little more pronounced as the beer warms up and lends another interesting dimension to this brew. Brett funk is present and refreshing, mildly horsey in nature. Finishes dry, tart and mildly oaky, with a little bit of sweetness and some tannic character

M: Quite stellar. The body is light, the carbonation is crisp, the acidity in check (maybe just a *little* bit high, given how balanced this is otherwise?) and the finish, tart and refreshing

D: Oh, this is remarkably easy to drink. It pairs quite beautifully with the California Crottin I have, I'm going to be sad when this is gone :-(

**Edit 26 March 2011**
Thanks, Joe.

The acetic character has increased here, this has turned into something a little simpler, and there's also just a hair of oxidation present. Fruitier with some berry character that's new. It's also just a hair oxidized on the nose. The palate is excellent as always, with fruity vinegar and lemon juice. Painful to say, but its fallen off from its peak. Simpler with the Brett being more assertive with a spicy clove. 5/4/4/4/4

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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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