In honor of everyone rubbing their yeastclits on their bedposts over Plineyyy the Yerngerrrr, I figured I would finally knock out reviews for two of the white whale Russian River bangers: T20 and Deviation. One was a one off brewed in 2007 for Toronado, another was a one off brewed in 2009 for Bottleworks. One is still delicious, another one tastes like if you left Consecration in a Toyota Corolla in Tucson for 3 months. WHICH IS WHICH? We find out in today’s whaley review.
Oh shit, if you feel like reading about other SUPER RUSSIEN RIVER RARIEITIES, check out this Russian River Depuration review or if you just joined the beer game in 2012, here is a review of Pliney the Younger for you to stroke it to, since you are probably still in your hophead phase
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States
Style | ABV
American Wild Ale | 6.83% ABV (dat hundredths place value hnnnggg)
In celebration of Bottleworks 9th Anniversary, we are proud to present Deviation – a beer unique in every sense. This remarkable blend combines the oak aged diversity of PHI, Orphan Ale, and Sonambic Ale with 100% Brettanomyces Ale (Sanctification) and is bottle conditioned with additional Brettanomyces. Thanks Vinnie. Your beer is a testament to the art of deviation. 6.83%
Toronado 20th anniversary
The Toronado blend was 5 different beers blended together disproportionately:
1. Belgian style Quadruple aged in Firestone Walker (used) Double Barrel Ale barrels
2. Belgian style Strong Dark Ale – batch A in red wine barrels
3. Belgian style Strong Dark Ale – batch B in red wine barrels
4. Belgian style Pale Ale aged in wine barrels with Brett
5. Sonambic 100% spontaneously fermented ale – this was used to add acidity to the beer.
A: Let’s just get this out of the way right now, T20 is starting to get those oxy stretch marks on its thighs, looking a bit turbid and muddy in its old age, that wispy carb still holding up, albeit oldman strong. The robey tones are still intact over all these years, but it has seen better days. Deviation still looks fucking beautiful and has a certain grace and coquettish radiance that makes it more lustworthy than even fresh bottles of Temptation. The carb held up beatuifully and there was light lacing at the edges showing its virile life still pumping deep in those acidic veins. These pics suck shit because I didn’t feel like setting up a lightbox for some neckbeard enjoyment. I do this site as a favor to the boring ass beer world and tickers should be thankful I haven’t moved on to POV porn at this point.
S: The t20 is still intensely acidic with cranberry, currant, red wine tannins, merlot, huge acidic blackberry cab and a oaky musk. The musk is delivered in equal parts with a touch of oxygenation that is mildly cloying, but its too fucking big to be held down, like trying to spot your buddy who presses more than you squat, them tannic shreds throb hard and move weight. Deviation is a fucking intensely bright acid flashbang to the face. Take Zomer and ramp up the acidity, that lemon rind, cantaloupe, pears, musky brett, intense Slush Puppy acidity like a lemon lime detonation to the senses. It smells phenomenal albeit completely overboard, not in an acetic fashion, just aggressive in every aspect, zero hint of oxy or age on this. S.S. Indefatigable just sailing them seas with a proud ph2 stern.
T: T20 is a fucking disappointment top to bottom. That is not to say that it isn’t worth drinking, I mean, it is still a competent and well blended beer. It’s more like seeing that late 30s bartender who is all salty and jaded and you can imagine what a Kelly Kapowski dime piece she used to be. This was probably a complex decadent treat, now the oxy sets in like crows feet making it seem like a dysfunctional Consecration. There is currant and tart cherry but again, it is like a coovie of some old ass bottles of Rodenbach. Deviation is a vast departure from this model and holds up like those 1960’s Ferraris that are still graceful and will land you knee deep in the vaj. The lemon and intense oak, chardonnay, anjou pear, hay, old storage locker, and amped up Goozie notes. One of the best American Wild Ales that I have ever tasted this side of DDG and Cable Car 09.
M: T20 is still a massive beast, drying with an intense dryness that gushes like that fourth week of Lilith Fair. It is both hefty in mouthfeel and closing, but has a sort of dry depth to it that makes it incredibly drinkable. The ABV slides up behind your palate with a prison shank and puts in work on the bitter zones. Deviation is intensely dry, no reparations are given, antebellum south destruction to your gumline and tart zones. Go watch a Ken Burns documentary and eat an entire bag of Shocktarts and you will know the depths of the cankersores this can cause. Despite the rampant abuse, I come back for more, it’s like when I got all into cock fingering that one summer, all stretched out in self effacing pleasure.
D: T20 is incredibly drinkable, albeit slightly lackluster. I can’t really condone trading for this other than showing your thick meaty trader labias, dropping meat curtains on your tasting crew, those rare 2007 folds all weathered and undesirable. Tickers gonna tick. Deviation however, holy hell it is intensely delicious, amazing top to bottom, well worth the cost of entry and, most importantly, I cannot think of any readily available analog to this unique beast. Seek this out if you can, rally all those bottles of Backyard and Petit Mutant you can rally and cast them upon the funeral pyre with calm suttee to join your tastebuds in the afterlife. It is dro as fuck, red hairs, no stems no seeds, yayo weighed dry without being stepped on.
Narrative: read the foregoing 1000 words and finger your butthole in the shower with an Axe loofa.