Toronado 20th Anniversary Ale | Russian River Brewing Company

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Toronado 20th Anniversary AleToronado 20th Anniversary Ale
Toronado 20th Anniversary AleToronado 20th Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.43%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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)

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 93 | Ratings: 156
Reviews by Georgiabeer:
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of beernads
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

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4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of CityofBals
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

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4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Kreko7
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Fogindex
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Dirtyhands
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dddddddd
4.59/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of blisscent
4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer review from BA Mag Nov 2007.

Brewed for Toronado's big 20--a famous beer bar in San Francisco--this brew started as a blend of 5 different barrel-aging beers with Brettanomyces and other micro-funk. The final blend was done by brewer Vinnie Cilurzo and Toronado owner David Keene, and then finally re-fermented in the bottle.

Pours a dark brown/amber beer, topped with an ultra-fine, creamy white lice with legs--the lacing is pretty amazing. A bit medicinal in the nose, but soft and pleasant, with an underlying woody oak aroma and suggestions of fruit--cherries and pears, perhaps--and hint of buttery caramel. Even smoother on the palate than it looks with a fizzing build-up to a luscious creaminess. Fairly light bodied. Tart up-front and intensely oaky and acidic, but this is pushed back, balanced, and complemented by a sweet-n-sour cherry flavor, plum, nectarine, and a slight caramel sweetness that folds in and out. Dry overall, tannic and quite vinous at times. Yeasty spice, a linger of oaky wood, and some pear grit in the finish.

Simply sublime. The end.

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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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of DLucky
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.74/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.54/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

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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.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Brad for sharing this rarity. Beer is amber and hazy with a thin white head, lazy, no lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is sweet and acetic with a nice level of lactic and citric acid, nice citrus as well, a little oak.

Beer is light and good, it is sour and tart with a dry finish, a good beer very enjoyable and I'd have it again (yeah right).

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Russian River Toronado 20th Anniversary Ale

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

This is a treat for me for my 800th Review. I’ve had this beer before and it was amazing.

A nice loud pop starts things off with the cork flying off the bottle and hitting the ceiling. The head starts to rise in the bottle so I quickly pour into the tulip glass. The beer pours a gorgeous hazy dark copper color with some nice amber edges and some murky muddy-ness to it. A nice off white fluffy head forms and leaves some gorgeous sticky lacing. The bubbles are not quite that dense its nice and foamy. The head retention is great and the foam sticks around the sides of the glasses as it goes down. (5.0)

Aroma starts off with some leather notes and some nice woody oak. Slight sour apple notes are very present mixed in with some slight fruit sweetness. There are some nice delicious vinous and some nice cherry notes. Aroma is near perfection. Nice vinegar mixed in with the cherry notes and apple. This is perfection in the nose. It’s not too intense in acidity but just enough to merit a couple of sniffs. (5.0)

Flavors are perfection. There is some smooth tartness with some slight vinegar, vinous character and some intense cherry sweetness and tartness. Perfection. I can’t stress this enough. There is a nice funky finish to the beer mixed in with the oaky woodnotes. There is some leather in the taste that is balanced out with some of the intense cherry notes. Some nice slightly sweet apple notes and some mild sour apple as wel. The mouthfeel is fluffy and delicious with nice crispness and a nice dry finish. There is some slight hop notes almost citrusy on the back end. This is the most balanced sour beer I’ve ever had. Perfect combination of tart and fruit and woody notes. As this brew warms the cherry and woodnotes really begin to shine. The ABV in the beer is hardly noticeable. It adds some slight heat to it that melds very well with the tartness. This brew is glorious. Best sour I’ve ever had. (5.0)(5.0)

This brew is perfection in a glass for me. I’m lucky to have had two of these. This brew is delicious. Balanced and well crafted. Cherry notes that are tart and sweet at the same time with some nice wood notes and slight funk. Nice apple notes mixed in with some leathery hints and awesome oak. Some nice vinegar notes and sour fruit notes. Awesome and PERFECT. (5.0)

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Photo of brentk56
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
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

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Photo of Viggo
4.65/5  rDev +5.9%
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!

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Photo of mynie
4.42/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SCW
4.72/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Toronado 20th Anniversary Ale from Russian River Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 156 ratings