1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Toronado 20th Anniversary Ale - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Toronado 20th Anniversary AleToronado 20th Anniversary Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

145 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 145
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 478
Gots: 15 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.43% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: MiScusi on 08-10-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Toronado 20th Anniversary Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 145 | Reviews: 93 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of younger35
younger35

Minnesota

4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew many moons ago in a hugely giant trade with a very generous BA. It was a joint effort between BeerTruth and myself as we pulled out the big boys to get this beer (amongst many others). The night of the epic beers begins. Drank from a small snifter.

Batch 001

Appearance- Pours a dark crimson brownish with a decently fizzy one finger cream white head that slowly fizzes away. A small cap and thin collar remain amongst the Champaign like carbonation and a fair amount of spotty lacing.
Smell- The first thing that pops out at me is the intensity of the oak. It's fairly tannic and almost rich smelling with a vinous acidic quality. Currants, raisins and dark cherries are somewhat noticeable but I don't think I'd classify the nose as fruity at all. Some malt vinegar and tobacco give a sort of dark earthiness that combined with the wood, really makes up the nose. A pinch of vanilla and surprising enough, even with the age, some alcohol is detectable. I honestly wouldn't really describe the nose as 'funky' or 'dirty' at all. It's just lactic and woody as hell.
Taste- Starts with a big kick of amped up red wine vinegar or subtle malt vinegar. It's very lactic and nice with some acidic green apple and tart red cherries. Maybe a slight bit of funk, unlike the nose, with a soft mushroom or leather like earthiness. Nothing too strong though, just hints here and there. The wood seems muted compared to the nose but maybe I was just expecting more. Light bits of vanilla and maybe even a touch of caramel really round out the flavors. The alcohol is noticeable but it's ever so slight.
Mouthfeel- Medium to light feel with a dry quenching finish and nice aggressive carbonation. Could use maybe a hair more body for otherwise spot on.
Drinkability- Obviously this is a damn good beer. Is it lights out a thousand times better than most other good sours? Probably not. But it is a better than most beers and a real treat for us beer nerds to consume. Honestly I enjoyed every damn drop of it and couldn't be happier. Thanks for sharing Adam!

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2009 20:58:28 | More by younger35
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from the cellar.

Pours clear amber with a copper hue. A two inch head of dense beige settled slowly revealing a quarter inch surface coating and loads of sheeted lacework. A real beaut throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with plenty of pungent funk, tannic fruit, and oaky earthiness.
Dried cherries in a baryard stall with wet boards. Pineapple skin rubbed on cedar. Socks from the attic in an old wooden box. Hints of juniper, cinnamon, cheeserind, and forest floor. Just straight up loads of Brett with plenty of stone fruit under.

On the light side of medium bodied with a crisp, drying, puckering mouthfeel. Ultra-quenching.

Dried red fruits, citrus pith, pineapple skin, and oaky resins start the palate. Malt on the lighter side and super dry. Heavy on earthy tannins, woody undertones, and barnyard funk. Nicely tart, but far short of sour and the tartness never really builds to jowel-watering levels.

Finishes with lingering cherry pits, rung out dirty socks, cheesy funk, light malt, and warming alcohol. A bone-dry farewell with fading fruit.

Very heavy on the Brett all around, and plenty of cherries to add lots of vineous character. Certainly very complex but I find Consecration to have a greater depth of flavor. I think that T20 may have been a little juicer when fresh, but now the Brett is probably more pronounced.
Reminds me of of a bigger Supplication, but more brett. Maybe Sanctification made it into the blend.

Side by side with Consecration, I find myself prefering the Consecration. The T20 is drier, sharper, and funkier, but the juicy, vineous, dark fruit notes of Consecration wins out in my book. My marks would also be higher for the Consecration than the T20 if it wasn't for a lackluster head.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2009 23:38:00 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.9/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to receive a bottle of this from ughsmash, thank you so much! i saved it to take to a tasting in CA and while it was quite rare it was surprisingly not as amazing as I had hoped. it was red in color but not as dark as Consecration. It smelled a little sour and fruity but nothing too amazing. The flavor was a little complex, cherries, fruit but not much sourness. The alcohol was quite evident. It did remind me slightly of Consecration but I wish I could have had this two years ago when it was first released.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2009 02:11:31 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.22/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into flute (glass, not the instrument) at Toronado for Belgian-Inspired beer dinner.

A - Nice cloudy reddish-brown color with an off-white head.

S - Brett, tart, funk, figs, and wood.

T - Very complex. Dark fruit, figs and berries, red wine, lots of oak and some vanilla. Very good, but not as intense and flavorful as the Consecration Batch 1 I had next to this. More complexity than Consecration though.

M - Medium body with a smooth finish despite the tartness. Mild sour bite.

D - Pretty drinkable for a sour ale. This is a shame because it's gone quickly and from what I hear, bottles are now being priced in the triple digits (cough, ripoff, cough!).

Overall, nice and complex, but not quite as much of a standout as I was expecting.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2009 18:04:34 | More by nickd717
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened last weekend. I was slicing away at the triple coating of ebony wax that adorned the bottle for 5 minutes before I spotted the cage and cork hidden beneath. I untwined the cage as I told a thoroughly engrossing story. I was halfway through a hilarious joke (seriously, one of the best), and midway through untwining the cage, when the cork exploded into the air with an ungodly amount of force. It literally dented the ceiling and startled everyone around me. If I hadn't acted out the story in such a marvelous fashion, my head would have been tilted forward just a little more and I would have lost an eye, or my forehead for that matter. I fumbled around for a glass before I realized the bottle was not going to gush. How strange.

Pours dark crimson with an orange tinge. The head is huge, creamy, and off-white. The beer appears effervescent, the bubbles traveling northward with fervent ferocity, in mimicry of their fallen cork brother.

The aroma opens up with dark cherries, currants, plums, and lots of tannins. I get musty Brett with some lactic character and a moderate amount of acetic acid. The nose is slightly tart with some sweetness. Oak and vanilla are present. The alcohol is noticeable in the nose.

The flavor also opens up with dark fruits: cherries, currants, plums, maybe some ripe grapes. This quickly segues into prominent tannins, oak, and vinegar. There's a lot more vinegar than I got in the nose. The flavor has a low-moderate level of tartness, and alcohol is again noticeable. The finish is dry with a higher level of tartness. Despite what I heard about a recent keg tapped in San Diego, this bottle shows no signs of oxidation.

The beer is medium bodied with a high level of carbonation and a dry, tannic mouthfeel. A truly excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2009 06:50:21 | More by HopHead84
Photo of pepsican
pepsican

Iowa

4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky brown/amber pour with a thin white head. Aroma was heavy oak, caramel, toffee. Flavor was caramel, toffee, wine tannins, vanilla, oak, rum, limes, flower, butter, booze, maple syrup, lemons. I'm serious. Sour, dry finish. This was oddly complex with a ton of things jumping out at me and throughout the experience. Very complex but somehow pulls itself together just enough. Very good!

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2009 22:44:47 | More by pepsican
Photo of paytoplay
paytoplay

California

4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Warmed up the nose was awesome. Rich, complex and could of sat with it for hours. Interested to read the 5 different beers that make up the blend to better understand what I was tasting. The quad elements are at the forfront and should carry this beer for several more years. Touch of sourness, a bit like Dissadent where it was funkdafied. Very easy to drink and very enjoyable. A rare treat that was great to try once, don't feel to need to trade away the farm for more.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2009 00:18:12 | More by paytoplay
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

4.35/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of several highlights at an epic tasting held last weekend. Poured from a 750ml caged/corked bottle - Batch 001; I captured 2-3 ounces into a small snifter. Huge thanks to Todd for sharing.

A: Milky chestnut brown-colored, a few carbonation streams trickling toward a modest 1/2 finger of khaki head. Pretty strong retention and good lace holding in droopy flecks.

S: Notable bourbon/oak aroma: sweet, mildly tart fruit, earthy musk, caramel candy. Sourness in the nose is limited, intermingling with the woody aroma and barely tickling the nostrils. It's an enticing aroma, I'll say that.

T: Upfront woody tartness, definite barrel-aged residue swirling around amidst the husky grains, the smoke, the leather, and the mixed bag of over-ripe, souring fruit. Like the aroma, the flavor is not so overblown on the musty funkiness; it deftly blends a fine oaken booziness with rich pit fruits and still-sugary grains. Nice!

M: Mild carbonated crispness and a lingering tang lasting well into the finish, but only vague notions of the massive ABV (nearing 10.5%). For a murky looking beer, the feel wasn't dominated by grain and sediment; it was pretty clean. Big body, to be expected I guess...

D: The taste was small but the impression was big. Wonderful balance and captivating flavors; due to its size, having at least a couple others to share a bottle is a requisite. I'm honored to have been amongst such a generous group and certainly glad to have tried the elusive T20th.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2009 14:22:36 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow - I never thought I'd be writing this review after striking out so many times with the ISOs. Huge thanks to Alan (Beerloco) for bringing this to the epic sour tasting at Flossmoor. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Two fingers of tan foam with good retention and great lacing. Semi-transparent glowing dark brown-reddish color with tiny bubbles racing to the top. Great looking for such a high ABV brew!

S - Unusual mix of sour and Belgian dark ale! Barnyard funk, caramel, leather, tobacco, vanilla, dark fruits, and plenty of wood. I don't think I've quite encountered a brew like this one - Orval is the only relative (albeit it a distance third cousin or something) that comes to mind.

T - Tons of oakiness and lacto-sour notes, with not quite as much caramel and toffee as in the smell. Absolutely no trace of the alcohol at all. The other notes from the smell are still present in the taste, with minimal drop-off in complexity and richness.

M - It's a little thinner than I expected from a brew over 10%, but there's no hint of alcohol warmth at all so it's not really a problem. Otherwise it's an incredibly soft and smooth brew with mild carbonation.

D - The oakiness gets a little bit fatiguing, although in retrospect it might be because this was the last of the big three sours that we tasted. Even with the incredibly well hidden ABV, it's still a little too strong to be hugely quaff-able. While I would certainly be greedy and drink an entire bottle, I have a feeling that near the end I wouldn't enjoy it to quite as much.

I can tell from the leaner notes on this one that my palate was fading at this point in the evening. I'd love to get another crack at this one to ponder the more intricate subtleties - hopefully I'm make it out west for the Toronado anniversary this year.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2009 05:23:27 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Bankhead
Bankhead

California

4.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

my first review might as well be this

originally written as a penthouse forum letter to supermanjace

i never thought it would happen to me but

i bought the first bottle at rr tion night straight from dave and after the pour it foamed out of the bottletop for about twenty minutes (i remedied this by pouring a taste in quite a few glasses to share the wealth)

extremely dark and dry, tart but none of those pesky medicinal cherry flavours, instead it had lots of oak, red wine tannins, brown sugar and cola with light funk

a picture was taken of me as i prepared to take a second sip:
http://beerandnosh.com/2009/02/sf-beer-week-russian-river-at-toronado/

the bottle is behind my right arm

i savored it for a few hours, no alcohol to be found

i think heavily blended american wilds are my favorite, and toro 20th was right up there with deviation and isabelle

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 06:03:22 | More by Bankhead
Photo of abfraser
abfraser

California

4.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this had Toronado's Russian River night on 2/10. This one is about as perfect a sour as I've ever had.

A: Beautiful brownish red with a nice thin white head.

S: Amazing. Clean sour aromas, no sweaty socks here. A little aged lambic style aromas too. Dark fruits also very prominent, including cherries and currants. I could sniff this stuff all night...

T/M: And drink it all night too. This is an awesome beer. Extremely well-balanced, with sour fruit and nice acidity. I'm really impressed by how clean the flavors are here.

D: Unbelievably drinkable. I can't tell where the alcohol is. The $50 price tag was exorbitant, but I'm selfishly happy that they didn't allow bottles out the door as it gave me the opportunity to try it.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2009 16:08:05 | More by abfraser
Photo of waltonc
waltonc

Colorado

4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this at the Russian River drink-a-thon at Toronado tonight. Pours orange/brown color with quite a bit of carbonation. The bottle gushed upon opening. Smells tart, but not disgustingly armpit-like. Tastes tart, refreshing, dry, and has a slightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium in body and high carbonation. Perfect complement to the taste and smell. In spite of the high ABV, I found this highly highly drinkable. Really awesome stuff. Too bad it was an outrageous $50 per bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2009 05:50:51 | More by waltonc
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.85/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25.4oz bottle shared by the very generous man that is Chris. Day one of our epic tasting.

A: Crystal clear ruddy brown with crimson highlights. Tan head with exceptional retention and lacework.

S: Oaky and tannic with cherry, currants, cabernet sauvignon barrels (well- expressed). Similar to Consecration but with more oak. Sour but mildly so, mild acidity, mild fruity sweetness. Exceptional

T: Opens up mildly sour with a bit of acidity. Very clean funk with no barnyard/sweaty socks - just clean, sour and acidic. Fruity with sour cherries, currants, red wine character. Some leather. Mild sweetness before an oaky, tannic finish, more so than Consecration. Mildly warming as it goes down

M: Light in body with great carbonation and a great, drying, tannic finish. Probably as tannic as I can handle while thoroughly enjoying myself but hot damn, this is awesome stuff

D: Incredibly drinkable, I could not bring myself to finish this.

**Edit 01 July 2012**
I never thought I'd revisit this. Thanks, Chris D.

The nose is surprisingly Consecration like. Fruity, vinous, sharp and mildly acetic, this bottle seems to have held up well. A touch of oxidation and some alcohol are also noticeable. The palate is simpler, with a tart vinous character, along the lines of a Bon Chien (06 or 07 vintage). Sourness is mostly lactic with a touch of lemony pith bitterness, a rather simple profile IMO. Fruity, vinous and surprisingly potent. Leathery tannins are noticeable. Well-structured, but a little out of balance, particularly with the sourness that's a little too sharp for my liking.
4.5/4/4.5

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 15:32:19 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle

Pours a very nice light brown color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, sour. The taste is also malty/yeasty, sour. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is an awesome brew, very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 20:02:45 | More by Wasatch
Photo of egajdzis
egajdzis

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

[Draft @ Monk's] Poured a hazy, red amber color with a small, off white head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of funky brett, vanilla, oak, cherries, chardonnay grapes, toffee, and yeasty, fresh-baked, bread. Taste of tart grapes, cherry skins, some tart, green apple, with almonds, some toffee malts, vanilla oak, and a yeasty, tart finish. None of the 10.4 was noticed here. Thanks for the Bendo heads up!

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2008 23:55:57 | More by egajdzis
Photo of hopdog
hopdog

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (tasted at a gathering and a bottle acquired in a trade).

Poured a dark and muddy amberish / brownish color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of yeast, funk, brett, wood, citrus, and vanilla. Tastes of vanilla, oaky woodiness, yeast, vanilla, nutty, and some grapes.

Notes from and tasted on 12/16/07

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2008 00:52:32 | More by hopdog
Photo of thickerfreakness
thickerfreakness

Texas

4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many, many thanks to bgramer for meeting up and sharing this with me while he was in Houston. Pours a hazy ruby color with an eggshell head that never faded away completely and left some awesome lacing. Aroma had big funk at forefront, some pepper and oak; slight berries, tart grapes, cherries, green apple; as it warmed there was a slight buttery/creamy note, some brown sugar and some grape juice. Flavor was bleu cheese and sharp oaky tannins at first; cherry, blueberry, peppery; as it warmed strawberry and sherry became present for me. The aftertaste seemed like a bit of candied brown sugar with butter. Full bodied carbonation with a slightly slick finish. Mineral like water qualities and a slight bit of alcohol as it warms. Overall this was an amazing experience of a beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2008 01:24:01 | More by thickerfreakness
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml (barely) corked and caged bottle. A treat for our last night in California - a trip which had us at both Toronados - donated by the generous man they call Grub!

A russet coloured beer that is equal parts potato peel and cherry skin. The complexion is severely convoluted. I wasn't initially sold on appearance alone but its tapioca coloured head would leave thick graceful strides of lace as it sunk. Lovely.

The aroma drops hints of all things to come: seething soured fruit, nutty toasted malts and lightly charred, highly tannic oak. I noted a small dose of roast butterscotch, which must be diacetyl; so minor, however, it would be overlooked and completely forgotten. Like all Russian River beers to date, this is one smell I wish would reside in my nostrils for days after.

The Toronado 20th was the blend of five Russian River beers and although the label did not specify which, Supplication is a sure bet. I wouldn't be surprised to hear this, too, was aged in pinot noir barrels with cherries. If there is any one dominant taste it must surely be a combination of tannins, oak, and sour cherry.

Of course I wouldn't describe the flavour as being that cut and dry (pun intended, really, it is quite dry and cutting!) A delicious taste of rustic sourdough bread with cranberries and molasses baked in. Even within the cherries themselves it seems there's a few different types. The cherry pits also seem to lend flavour in the resemblance to pecans and almonds.

Despite its categorization as an "American Wild Ale" this blend certainly fell closer to the realm of the Belgian brewing tradition, Flemish conventions in particular. At least part of whatever went in to this blend was barrel aged and contained some combination of Brettanomyces, Pediococcus, and/or Lactobacillus cultures. Their influence imparts an uncanny similarity to the Flemish Red.

The Brettanomyces (which I believe inoculated all five beers in the blend) turn most everything sour and act as a dry, sharp coating to all flavours. This mild acidity is by no means palate numbing but certainly obstructs some taste. Whatever it withdraws from flavour, however, it more than doubles in mouthfeel.

My sample was disappearing at lightning speed and so, it should be no surprise, the 10.4% would hit my head before I even realized the kind of numbers I was dealing with. Even after reading the label with my own eyes it seemed a stretch - this beer hid its strength like a Vegas illusionist.

This is one example where I didn't feel the sum is greater than its parts (even though I don't know exactly what they were). I enjoyed this tremendously but perhaps not as much as I have other Russian River sours (some I believe to be in the blend). I can say confidently, however, that it contains every bit of quality, craftsmanship, and imagination as anything else ever offered by Mr. Cilurzo.

The rarity of Toronado 20th Anniversary Ale has earned it quite a cult appeal in the world of craft beer geeks. Obtaining a bottle was no easy feat and again I must thank Grub for sharing!

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2008 01:09:43 | More by biegaman
Photo of aerozeppl
aerozeppl

New York

4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to drseamus for bringing this.

A:Super deep brown. Tannish white head. A decent amount of lacing especially considering the style.

S: Tart nose. So much going on here it is hard to pin down. Funk, sour, some fruit, bread and must.

T: Tart up front. Hints of plums. Sweetness really sticks to your lips. Some more dark fruit as it warmed up. Subtle funk. Not nearly as much as I thought there would be. Really complex beer.

M: Luscious mouthfeel. Just felt really nice. Carbonation was good.

D: Awesome beer. So much going on it really is hard to pin everything down. Probably the kind of beer you could have 5 times and get fixated on something different time.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2008 23:48:09 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy rust color with a huge ecru head that stuck exceptionally well while leaving sheets and clumps of lace

Smell: The vanilla from the oak jumps right out at you, with all kinds of complexities underneath, led by the Brett horse blanket, sour cherry, green apple, overripe banana and hints of fig and golden raisins

Taste: At the outset, the beer betrays a hint of the sour melange to follow, with initial fruit flavors of apricot, pear, nectarine and green apple on the front end; by mid-palate, the sour cherry and horse blanket sour flavors have taken over, but underneath, if you really look for it, is a sweet, caramel spice cake element along with the vanilla and oak flavors; after the swallow, the flavors harmonize incredibly well, but the sour and apricot elements persist well after everything else has faded

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, exceptionally creamy, with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: A masterpiece for those who like sour beers with lots of complexity; sets a standard for other beers of this genre to be measured against

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2008 17:43:15 | More by brentk56
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

jgaston deserves huge thanks for helping me to aquire this one. thanks andy!

750ml bottle, (barely) corked and caged. sampled sept 1/08.

the plan with this bottle was to bring it home and share it with several people at a tasting this fall. however, when i got it i found that the cage had slipped up over the main lip of the bottle and the cork was already more than half out. as a result, we really didn't think this would stand up to a plane ride home and had to drink it in california. a good thing too - as soon as i gave the cage a single twist the wire snapped and the cork popped right out. andy also said that mine was in better shape than the bottle he purchased for himself. be careful if you have one of these in the cellar...you might want to check how it's holding up.

pours hazy red-brown with a big bubbly tan head. the head drops fairly slow and leaves tons of lace behind.

aroma is great. bit of butter. big malt vinegar and a bit of lemon. leather. green tobacco leaves. bread and cracker. sour cherry. dried cranberry. touch of date. bit of vanilla. bit of toasty character too.

taste is great. solid bready malt base. bit of cracker. malt vinegar and lemon, but restrained so the other elements can still come through. nice mix of fruity character too - sour cherry, date, bit of fig, dried cranberry. bit of horse blanket. leather. touch of light citrus. hint of alcohol.

mouthfeel is great. medium-high fairly well integrated carbonation. medium body with a dry finish.

drinkability is excellent. excellent brown ale/sour balance. the alcohol is very well hidden for such a big beer. great stuff that i wish i had more of!

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2008 17:49:34 | More by grub
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks to my boy grub for swinging a trade for this one. Idea was to bring it back home but the cork was looking sketchy and we didn't think it would survive the plane trip. Enjoyed this one on our last night in Cali.

Pours a cloudy reddish orange, rusty coloured, thick off white head rises up, drops an insane amount of lace on its way down to a thick ring, this one looks real nice. Smell is insane, very sour and funky, lots of fruit, oak, lemony acidity, bit of brown sugar covered toast, cherries, light berries, more sour fruit, super complex. Taste is great as well, lots of wood and cherries, acidic middle, oak, honey sweetness through the middle, then it starts to get really crazy in the end, very acidic, sour finish, tart and dry on the palate, great balance, where at almost 11% WTF? Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium to high carbonation, nicely balanced in the mouth and superbly drinkable for such a big sour. Too bad this stuff is so hard to get, its pretty awesome stuff. Thanks again Russ!

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2008 17:54:46 | More by Viggo
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear reddish-brown with two fingers of head that lasted the entire hour I sipped on this.

Smell: Tart and very oaky with a backbone of funk. There's a ton of barrel character here; vanilla, toffee and a hint of red wine. Incredible complexity.

Taste & mouthfeel: Sour up-front but not overly so. While it's on the dry side, there's a hint of caramel and vanilla sweetness from the oak along with a strong tannic presence. Fruity flavors (cherry, plum) mix nicely with the oak and funk, making for a beer of incredible depth and balance.

Notes: Enjoyed this one at Toronado's 21st anniversary party. Among all the amazing beers I tried that day this stood out as the best.

Jan 2011 update: While still good, this beer has fallen off quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2008 22:43:29 | More by largadeer
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to whoever shared this bottle at the RBSG 08 Grand Tasting. Sample size pour into my La Chouffe goblet. Hazy golden brown with a tan head that leaves fine sheets of lacing. Sour apple aroma, banana, spices. Sharp acidity with a bit of booze, lemon juice, dark fruits, clove, and a bitter woody brett finish. Mind-boggling complexity.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2008 18:25:02 | More by illidurit
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750 mL corked and caged bottle shared with Spacecoyote, BankerJoe and others in the parking lot at Weyerbacher Brewing.

A: The ale is a dark red-brown ale, opaque due to the color and some sediment throughout. A finger of head emerged on the pour.

S: The aroma is quite tart, sour with a black cherry undertone that had some vanilla throughout. Thar tartness is much stronger here than in Cable Car.

T: The brett is not afraid to dominate the taste, jabbing at the tastebuds with an intense funk that causes a partial pucker. Dark fruits run rampant, black cherries and raisins, with a surprising amount of lighter fruits, including apricots and touches of grapefruit (from the tartness, not the hops). Green grapes and apples also pop up throughout. The tartness is the lasting memory of this beer.

M: Delicious! The funk and fruitiness are palate-appeasing.

D: Even at an abv over 10%, this beer is a great drink. The tartness doesn't overwhelm the tastebuds but is strong enough to please you. A million thanks to Spacecoyote.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2008 01:51:18 | More by akorsak
Toronado 20th Anniversary Ale from Russian River Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.