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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.

148 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 148
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 477
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.

Toronado 20th Anniversary Ale is a blend of five different beers:

Belgian style Quadruple aged in Firestone Walker (used) Double Barrel Ale barrels
Belgian style Strong Dark Ale – batch A in red wine barrels
Belgian style Strong Dark Ale – batch B in red wine barrels
Belgian style Pale Ale aged in wine barrels with Brett
Sonambic 100% spontaneously fermented ale – (Used to add acidity to the beer)

(Beer added by: MiScusi on 08-10-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 148 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

largadeer, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of illidurit
4.6/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

illidurit, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of akorsak
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

akorsak, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought this bottle at Toronado just after their anniversary party. The arrival of spring seemed a good enough reason to break it out. Pours slightly hazy, but with a head that just won't fade and leaves some nice lacing as well. The beer itself is a reddish orange, and a bit on the dark side. As soon as I opened the bottle, my kitchen was perfumed with the scent of this beer. Wonderful scents of bright fruit, brett sour funkiness, vanilla, cherry, apricot, and minerals. The taste, if anything, is even more complex and delicious. Sour brett flavors and fruit up front, followed by a creamy minerality, sharp citrus and apricot flavors, then cherry and vanilla and cream on the finish as well as a woodiness from the oak. Utterly delicious. Mouthfeel is also great- very creamy, but some minerality and quasi-firm tannins from the oak add interest. Unbelievably drinkable. I can't believe that this is roughly 10.5% abv. Truly an exceptional beer. I bought two bottles and should have bought more. This beer is yet another confirmation of why Russian River is my favorite brewery in the country.

Georgiabeer, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of francisweizen
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Draught at toronado, served in a wine glass. Dark red to moderate brown with a smal off white tan head of foam that is easily revived if the glass is swirled. Aromas of oak, sour cherry,a nd wild ale aromas. Very barnyard very sour, very fruity. Like carbonated merlot in the mouth with an astringent sourness on the swallow and in the back of the throat. Smooth and drinks like a six percent beer. Pretty much a flawless blend. This is just as good if not better in the bottle as well.

francisweizen, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of SacoDeToro
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado and most recently, Liars' Club.

Poured a ruby brown dense off-white head.

The aroma of the beer was full of the wonderful brett goodness. Tart fruits and barnyard funk mixed with dark dried fruits and spicy phenolics.

The flavor of the beer was amoderately tart and crisp. The floral hops came through nicely in the finish. The maltiness had notes of dark dried fruits and biscuits. Some spicy phenolics and clove notes were present. Some oak was present in the background and finish.

The carbonation was dialed in just right. The mouthfeel was light and slightly creamy.

This beer was masterfully brewed and blended. The barrel character of this beer was very clean and sublte. The sour characteristics were dialed into perfect levels. Truly a unique beer that is simply decadent.

SacoDeToro, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of ggaughan
4.97/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared with friends and family at a tasting party we had. The beer poured a nice amber color, clear, with a solid head that gave way to a solid ring on the edge. The nose had some funky notes, refreshing. The taste was an excellent mix of sour, tart but also a strong Belgian strong ale presence. After this beer warmed up a bit, more complex tastes came out and just added to the pleasure of drinking this fine beer. Out of all of the RR beers I love, this one is right at the top and if I had a few more bottles, it would probably be on top.

ggaughan, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of jwolfie70
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared a bottle of this with some friends. Poured an amber reddish brown, with a good size white head. The beer had a fair amount of carbonation, but was not too carbonated. The smell and taste were both exceedingly complex, with a funky spoiled fruit aroma/taste mixing with a sour cherry/citrus. Probably my favorite wild ale to date, and a must try if you ever have an opportunity.

It hides the alcohol very well, and was surprised to learn how strong it actually was.

jwolfie70, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of Stoneman78
4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at O'Brien's Pub 14th Anniversary Barrel-Aged beer night 1/15.
A- Pours a red orange hue, thin off-white head dissipates, moderate lacing
S- Tart fruits, hints of cherries, wild yeast, grass/earth tones, a range of other fruits and wood
T- Initial taste is full of sour and tart fruits, followed by grass, oak, and wild yeast funk, finishes dry and sour
M- Medium-bodied, smooth watery texture, high carbonation
D- This is a very tart wild ale with great balance and flavor, easily my favorite BA beer of the night, I could drink this all night long and would love to get some more in trade. . .

Stoneman78, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of kleffman
4.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got to try this, even though I thought I never would. Leave it to Tom Nickel of O'Briens pub to bring in such a beer. Served in a St. Bernardus glass out of his jockey box so he could tap extra beers on his "barrel aged night."

Pours dark ruby red and brown with a nice light fluffy head with good retention.

Aroma is explosive. I immediately get sour cherries, light oak and vanilla character. Maybe some other overripe dark fruits in there.

Taste is quite similar to the aroma with a dominating sour cherry character and a definite vanilla from the barrels. It's sour for sure, but in such a clean way that vinnie has figured out. None of that overpowering vinegar that some sours have, more of a lactic acid. Plum, apple, and a little toast all present. Very balanced and how is this thing 10.5% almost?? The alcohol is very hidden, and it's extremely complex.

Mouthfeel is nice, carbonation and body are both moderate. Nice coating feeling in the mouth.

Even the bartender at O'Briens said this was by far her favorite of the night. Since it was the most rare I helped myself to a 14 oz pour and I really wish I could have another couple glasses. Vinnie should make something similar in the very near future but who knows if we'll ever get this again, especially in SD.

kleffman, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of seaoflament
4.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at O'Brien's 14th Anniversary Barrel-Aged beer night 1/15.

It is a dark ruby color with a half inch of foam. Very good retention.

Aroma of tart cherries, vinegar, strawberries, orange, peach, and fruit juice. There's also a few hints of caramel and red apples.

Taste of cherries, lots of tart cherreis upfront with some vinegar and some toasty malt in the background. A tart fruit salad; acidic pineapple and nectarine.

Very well carbonated and a little prickly on the tongue.

Sure was a delight to drink and I'm glad I was able to try this.

seaoflament, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of BrewBakerE
4.28/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

on tap @ o briens. pours light red, nose of apricots and soury (new word) goodness. fruit notes start to pop as the beer warms up. not much flavor on the front of my pallate but heavy fruit aromas in the middle and a slight bitterness on the finish. slight head disipates quickly with a light lacing left on of top. for such a high abv and sour beer it is very drinkable. i plan on drinking quite a few of these tnite. cheers!

BrewBakerE, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of AlexJ
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Seductive murky apricot pour with hints of rust and a lively wheat colored head that has wonderful Belgian lace and retention.

Aroma reached out from the goblet to my nostrils with mouth-watering aromas of over-ripe dark fruit, decaying red apples, cherries, and a toasty oak and vanilla spice character that adds warmth and depth. Literally mouthwatering aroma and my mouth is watering just describing it.

Flavor transcends all bounderies. An incredible marriage of five distinctive beers has yielded something truly great. There is a whole fruit salad of flavors ranging from black plum, cherry, and currant, to necterine and green apple. The berry and cherry note seems to dominate with a wonderfully dry undertone of grape skins, oak, vanilla, and earthy leather. The Brett(and friends?) flavor contributions are evident throughout the entire tasting. The Belgian influence is strong, but this is it's own wild animal. Sweet, dry, sour, ntricate, balanced, and very complex. A genuine thouroughbred.

Body is robust but silky. It has vigorous carbonation at first, but quickly settles to a gentle pinpoint. The mouth is full and slippery, each sip coating the palate with a rainbow of flavors. Drinkable as hell but not likely I will ever have the priveledge again!

AlexJ, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of wvbelgique
4.05/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Russian River Brewery bar on Aug. 9, 2007 at the Toronado party.
Draght in a tulip glass.

A. Medium brown and cloudy, opaque

S. Sharp sour nose. A hint of apple.

T. Nice toasted malt tones underneath sourness, and definitely some wood. Pomme fruits dominate. A little lemon sweetness on finish. Could taste the alcohol (maybe 11%)

M. Full and nice

D. Pretty powerful profile. Complex.

O. A sipping beer. Its sourness reminded me a little of a Belgian old Flemish brown ale. If you like the regular RRB sour beers, then this one would find this one very good as well.

wvbelgique, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of Floydster
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml, corked and caged bottle acquired in a trade a few months ago with georgiabeer, thank you so much for giving me a chance to try such a rare beer

Had to drink something special tonight to celebrate a new position I got today, this was the most special beer I had left in my closet, will probably never get to drink one of these again

Also, tonight was the season finale of my favorite television show, Heroes, had to drink something great while watching that since I will be deprived of the show until sometime in 2008

I have never been to Toronado but I have been wanting to go for over a year now, maybe I will visit my friend in San Francisco soon, still wanted to try this beer really bad since Russian River is one of my favorite breweries

Poured into my Duvel tulip glass with a light reddish brown color, when held up to the light, it looked as if it were light orange with a red tint, the head was about a half inch and was creamy, did not settle for a few minutes, also left some sticky lacing on the glass during the two plus hours I drank it

Smell was full of Brettanomyces, lots of tartness and sour features in the aroma, lots of different fruits, smelled like mostly dark ones but predominantly cherries, also got hints of grapferuit and sour apple

Taste was simply amazing, I do not know what the five blends of beer consisted of to make this but I think Supplication and Temptation made up the majority, lots of sour cherries right off thebat that turns into a nice berry sweetness in the finish, can literally taste the oak from the barrels that this had been aging in, I can only imagine how good this tasted on tap at the pub the night of their 20th Anniversary, as it warmed the fruit flavor became more complex and I started to taste tangerine and a tarty orange flavor, by the end it tasted like sour candy and was extremely smooth, a somewhat vinegar texture at some points but nothing like other sours I have had in the past, all the other Russian Rivers will probably be a letdown after this one, overall lots and lots of dark cherries

This had tons of carbonation and that would usually be a bad thing but that is not the case with this sour ale, allowed me to fully take in the aroma, it had a nice sparkling wine representation but much better, the body was full for this type of beer as well

Could drink this for twelve hours straight, so smooth and goes down too easy, the alcohol percentage is very high but hidden well, easier to drink than a soda in a sense, not filling at all and relatively mellow for how big of a beer it is

Supplication was probably my second or third favorite beer ever and this one topped it, even though I think its base was that actually, the extra oak taste really set this one off

I have seen this beer going for tons of money in online auctions recently and I am helpful I did not have to trade too much to get the opportunity to try it, this was actually my first trade while being a member of this site

This beer is right up there with Pliny the Elder from the same brewer as the best beer I have ever had, its complexity blew me away, as soon as I got my first smell when I popped the cork I knew it was a real winner, its taste kept lingering for up to five minutes at some point, one of the best aftertastes I am sure I will ever have, looking forward to when Lost Abbey do something similar to this when they blend five or six different wild ales in the upcoming months, at least that is what I saw and heard the last time I was their brewery, this was my first real blending of beers but I cannot really see anything outdoing this, Supplication probably would not even stand a chance if drank side by side with this one, Toronado is an amazing beer that will never be brewed again sadly, I cannot recommend it enough even if it means forking over some dough, truly a masterpeice, Russian River has even outdone themselves this time around

Floydster, Dec 04, 2007
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, amber-colored body with a fizzy, full off-white head.

Smell: Gracious, here's an aroma overflowing with sour Brett notes. Beyond that there's mild caramel malts, oak barrels, cherries, and vanilla.

Taste: Light caramel maltiness along with flavors of vanilla, dried cherries, and maybe even a spritz of lemon juice. Nice mild oaken character to it. Earthy yeastiness. There's definitely plenty of sourness crammed into this beer. The alcohol is very temperate and only provides a little heat to the sour, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite nice! Russian River really did a bang-up job of blending.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of paddywagon
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Monk's, poured into a flute
A: Pours dark red, translucent
S: Smells of Oak, very intense, along with a bit of fruit?
T: Absolutely amazing, pineapple with tart cherry with smooth oakiness rounds out the taste.
M: Medium body, doesn't taste as strong as it really is. Has a complimentary tannic quality. It really reminds me of a nice med/full body wine.
D: Have one or two, slowly, with a nice rich dinner. This is an amazing beer from an amazing brewery..

paddywagon, Sep 25, 2007
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours from the 750ml bottle with a wispy, ring of a head that sits atop a hazy, amber-brown colored beer. The aroma is a mix of sour aromatics, and major oak. The oak character is quite encompassing and quite complex as far as oak goes; aromas of spicy wood, hot almost whisky like notes, soft buttery wood and touches of vanillin are all quite evident. This aroma would really appeal to those who really love oak. For me though, the aroma is way too one dimensional; I really prefer oak character to serve as a backbone for the malt, hop and fermentation character.

The beer tastes sour up front and thankfully the oak notes are much more in check in the flavor department. Fruit notes of tart plums and fleshy tamarind notes are in evidence and they intermingle with and are wrapped up in the sour character of this beer. This has a really nice level of funk and sourness to it. There is lots of complexity to this brew with additional flavors of cherries (is there some supplication in this blend), tannic woodiness, spicy oak, touches of butterscotch and a hint of vanillin. This has a fullness to the body, that carries the flavors quite well; part of the fullness seems to be from the barrel character (tannins and such providing additional body).

I am much relieved that the oak notes where only part of the overall mix in the flavor of this beer. I really like how this is a nice mix of fruit flavors, oak derived notes and tart funk. In fact the flavor is really well integrated and all the flavors are delivered cleanly to my palate without any muddied / muddled quality.

Gueuzedude, Sep 07, 2007
Photo of Overlord
4.68/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tried one of these last night immediately after watching Cal get sweet, sweet revenge over Tennessee.

Poured a beautiful effervescent amber, gorgeous in a goblet. The mouthfeel was unique, almost champagne-like, and really created a fantastic drinking experience. The taste was on the sour side, but rich with cherries, apricots, and a tinge of grapefruit. Very balanced tart, dry sourness with some residual fruit flavors. Very complex, incredibly nuanced on tongue.


Overlord, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of Sixpoint
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5


Special thanks to Jill and Becky for procuring this one for the FUNKY beer tasting.

What an OUTSTANDING beer this one was.

Writing about it won't do justice, so I'm just going to leave it to my excessive PUMPING HYPE MACHINE ANTICS.

All I can say is that I have never experience the perfect fusion, blend, and harmony of oak, wild yeasts, bacteria, malt and hops like I did with this brew. Everything was in such perfect balance it made you crave more and more. For a "wild" ale, this beer was the ultimate session drink.

Vinnie has obviously honed his techniques - these beers are AWESOME.

Sixpoint, Aug 26, 2007
Photo of drseamus
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I saw this in the bottle at RR, but I decided to do it right and have it on tap at the Toronado. It was served in a belgian style tulip glass. The body was dark red and had no head. The aroma had the classic sour note, but not that strong. The flavor wasn't as sour as some of the other RR beers I've had, but was decently sour. If I had to guess, I'd say there was a bunch of Temptation in there, as I had that beer the day before. At the back end of the flavor there was a good sweetness that balanced very nicely. Fairly light bodied and an excellent beer all around.

drseamus, Aug 23, 2007
Photo of calir1
4.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At the RR pub.. At $20 a bottle it is a bit more than most beers, but the same as an nice wine, which is what this is almost like.

Just like all RR beers, I have to at least try it, and it was worth it. I don't know the blend and the bar tender didn't either, but I would love to know.

The bottle says about 10.5% ABV

After a 2nd and 3rd taste, I edited my review. Everyone must try at least once...

calir1, Aug 12, 2007
Photo of MiScusi
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Russian River pub. The chalkboard said 9.93% alcohol, but the website says 10 and the bottle says something else. This beer poured a dark but fairly clear brownish-red. A light but frothy finger head sat on top with ok retention. Very good lacing as well. The smell was tart, grapes, maybe a bit of sour cherry. The taste was almost exactly like the pinot noir barrel aged Supplication. However the blend gave this one a little more body and a little less acidity, though it is still quite tart and acidic. That little bigger body gave it a nice mouthfeel, still light and spritzy but not as harsh. A very nice beer to drink though the acid gets to me after a while.

I didn't read the flyer they had posted about this by the bar, so I'm not sure what beers went into the blend but my best guess would be that Supplication was the biggest part.

MiScusi, Aug 10, 2007
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Toronado 20th Anniversary Ale from Russian River Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.