Toronado 20th Anniversary Ale | Russian River Brewing Company

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Toronado 20th Anniversary AleToronado 20th Anniversary Ale
156 Ratings
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)

Added by MiScusi on 08-10-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 156 |  Reviews: 93
Reviews by Stoneman78:
Photo of Stoneman78
4.89/5  rDev +11.4%
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. . .

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -8.9%

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 olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -8.9%

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.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Never thought I'd get to try this one... but alas... Opened at a tasting 5/29/10. 4oz. pour from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a 1/2 finger semi-coarse off-white head with great retention. Beer is a cloudy reddish-clay. Lacing is patchy and supple and with great cling.

S: Nose is cherry, wood, funk, peat, and a slight ethanol in the background. There's not that much going on here which surprises me, but the flavors that do come through are very clean and crisp even after all that time.

T: Great balance here. Cherries, raspberries, and other red fruits with a slight woody overtone. Tartness throughout with a building spiciness from the carbonation at the end. Yeasty bitterness accents the finish along with a tiny bit of booziness.

M: Light to medium bodied, superbly carbonated, and incredibly lively. Its like a party in my mouth! Beer is slightly dry and finishes clean. Aftertaste is near non-existant. At 10.43% this beer doesn't drink anywhere near as boozy as its abv. Instead, it's light and carbonated enough so that the nuances of all the flavors are still relatively easy to detect.

D: Again, I'm thankful to have had a chance to try this. Having said that though, even though the beer is very solid with great flavor, spot-on feel, and a thoroughly pleasant nose... it was a bit of a disappointment. A joy to have for sure and I'd no doubt jump at the chance to try it again, but at the end of the day, not worth the trouble. Try it if you get to but don't be too disappointed if you dont.

 1,566 characters

Photo of Photekut
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of mikey711
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened today at a tasting. Thanks to brianbrick for hooking me up with this bottle.

A: Very nice clarity and slightly ruby in color, looks a little like apple cider. Very nice carbonation on it with a nice lingering ring at the.

S: Tart notes of cherry to start. Very mellow funkiness and some wood as well. There is also a bit of heat going on in the nose

T: Acidic up front then tending into some ripened cherries and raspberries. Some citric tartness. Some great wood notes, a touch of vanilla. Some wine notes

M: Prickly carbonation feel. definitely a fusal alcohol note but for the most part it is mellow.

D: Very happy to have tried this beer as i may never have the opportunity to do so again. The sourness is very mellow at this point and im sure if i could handle more of this.

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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 nickd717
4.2/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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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.

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Photo of davod23
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My only bottle of this, drank with the girlfriend at midnight of our one year anniversary. No better time to finally open this one. Poured into my Russian River glass.

Beautiful dark golden color, ruby highlights. Positively glows in the light under the proper angle. A small off-white head forms and persists for a couple minutes, but eventually dissipates. Outstanding clarity. This is a great looking beer.

Sweet cherries, oak, brett, a bit of barnyard, and a touch of vanilla in the nose. Nice.

The taste is much like the smell, only amplified. This beer explodes on the palate. A blast of sweet and sour cherries, vanilla, oak, other dried fruit (prunes?). Though sour, not nearly as sour as other Russian River beers I've had (i.e., Beatification). This beer actually has a sweetness mid-palate. I usually like my wild ales to be bracingly sour; this beer is not quite there, and yet I'm not disappointed in the least.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Slick, medium-bodied, with a lingering sticky finish.

Drinkability is just too much. This is way, way too easy to drink. My glass is almost gone and it's been way too quick. Over 10% abv? Ha, I almost cannot believe that.

This beer is awesome. It's exceptionally well done. Perhaps the only Russian River sour I've enjoyed more was a batch 3 Temptation. Consecration reminds me of this beer, but only when it's at its best. Highly recommended, if you can possibly get your hands on it.

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Photo of dsgolovin
4/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of CrazyLarry
4.82/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of GRG1313
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of claaark13
3.5/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of SpdKilz
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

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 Diomede
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of abfraser
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3.93/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mikey711 for sharing this at an epic tasting on 5/29/10. Poured approx. 4oz. from a 750ml bottle into a small snifter.

A: Brown-red-orange blend, not much head but this beer does not stop fizzing.

S: Cherry forward, not medicinal but candy-like and sweet. A little booze still comes through.

T: Tart and funky, leathery, a little raspberry in the backbone. Not as complex as I hoped.

M: Overly carbonated, prickly, dry finish.

D: With so much carbonation and such a high ABV for a sour, this one is not all that drinkable.

Overall, I see a little conundrum with this beer - it's apparent that it can handle age in the carbonation and ABV department, but not country of origin department. American sours just do not hold up like European sours. In my opinion, they almost all taste the same after enough time.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.85/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ditmier asked me if I was in... I say, "Uhhh... Fuck Yeah!!" We shared this with the boys about a month ago.. reviewed from pretty good notes.

Pours hazy orange.. okay white head flecked with tan yeast globs..

Nose shows a bunch of fruit and funk.. lemony, apricot and lite pear with good sour notes... hints of chardonnay.. Though everything seems really flat and just doesn't gel.

Flavor is brett and some Belgian phenols with a bright tartness.. green apple .. I get some sour cherry with barrel tannins.. more malt presence than I was expecting.. vinous elements let you know it has some woody backbone.. complex I guess.. but seems pretty flimsy.

No alcohol and a surprising body with good everpresent small bubble carbonation.

Wow.. My mind had built this one up waaaay too much. Good.. arguing with great, but in nooo way world class. I know that time can sap a sour's potential, but the Toronado was no where near as good as I was hoping. I will drink my Supplication bottles with Gusto from now on, they are much better than the fabled Toronado 20th (I still wanna try a tap sample :-)

There is nothing wrong really, it is just a pretty well made big boned sour that hides the alcohol well. It is never going to fart rainbows or rewrite Shakespeare... Despite the great chance to try this Whale (probably my top whale to this point), I wish I still had my share of the trade back. Thanks Eric for making this happen, I know you did it for me.


 1,474 characters

Photo of Mike
4.29/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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