Toronado 20th Anniversary Ale | Russian River Brewing Company

94 Reviews
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.

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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 155
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.85/5  rDev -12.9%
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.


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Photo of JAXSON
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the pour of this, Chris. Couldn't accept what I was seeing at first. It poureth a deep guava, a pinking amber, with a large head and a tempestuous body. Nose is at first subtle and mild, as it breathes some brett, tropical fruits, and a solemn red wine barrel emerge. Sharp carbonation in the mouth, highly effervescent and champagne-like. Tropical fruits, oranges, cotton dryness. Sangria-like. Light and full in the mouth, just a lovely feel. I thought at times I would have liked more integration as the focus kind of wavered between a dry brett / wine barrel, and a juicy-sangria that weren't totally harmonious. But on reflection and on finishing the glass the quality of this became more obvious. A wonderful pineapple quality sets in over time. This was not what I expected and was amazingly light and spritzy despite the abv, was a joy to drink and reflect on with friends.

EDIT: I'm lowering this a bit based on a recent bottle which was a far cry from the first one. A bit muddled, unfocused. Couldn't touch the best Bullfrog stuff (Beekeeper, Black Cherry Bomb) enjoyed at the same tasting.

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Photo of Deuane
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to petesuphi for breaking this one out during our rather impromtu Mother of all Sour tastings.

A-Bright ruby red with dark mahogany highlights with a thick, bright, white head that slowly reduced to a thin cap. The head held on strong through and through and left nice swaths of lace.

S-Solidly aromatic with strong notes of sour cherry, prune, oak, lemon zest and Zinfandel. A touch of alcohol esters waft through but is barely noticable.

T-Akin to the aroma this one packs a nice punch of sour cherry, bitter lemon zest, prune, dry red wine and drying oak tannins. Musty notes are very subtle and simply adds another level of complexity to the fluid.

M-Light bodied, crazy sharp and crisp but yet offers a rather soft, albeit drying finish.

D-Very good stuff for sure. Glad to have had the opportunity to have enough of this to give it a proper review. Is this really the "best" of it's kind on planet Earth? Well, IMHO, no. But, is it DAMN good? Hell Yeah! I know I wouldn't turn down some more if I ever had the chance!

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Trey (treyrab) brought this out to kick off our Pittsburgh tasting that was supposed to up the ante even from our Philly tasting earlier this year. Poured this into a tulip.

The body is a dull brick red with a hazy translucent quality. It is capped beautifully by a thick and creamy head that is more reminiscent of a stout than it is a 10.4% wild ale. The retention is unlike any sour I have ever seen. Lacing comes in a thick wall along the back of the glass with a large parabolic ring complemented by spotty gobs of foam in front.

Prominent aromas of white grapes and a dry funk that is closer to the aroma of a spontaneous fermentation than any American sour that I have tried. This is certainly not easy for any American brewer to accomplish. There are esters of alcohol, but not any astringent aromas. On the palate, the depth of this beer really shines. Bitter and dry cocoa powder, red vinous notes, lemon zest, and a geuze-like earthiness spring to the forefront. There is a strong presence of oakey tannins, but very little vanilla to be found, despite the barrel aging.

The feel is much like the appearance would insinuate...a creamy, medium consistency, full-bodied drink. This is a home run, as there isn't even a touch of the 10+% alcohol. The sourness is nicely balanced by the natural funk that, as I said before, really impressed me. This is definitely one of the top American-made sours, and I wish that it was easier to come by.

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Photo of treyrab
4.88/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First beer of the day to kick of the Pittsburgh Tasting of the Ages. As we got the mash tun started, we figured we would start the tasting off with something big. I've held onto this beer for almost two years from when I received it from a kind Cali BA and was waiting for a big tasting to break it out. Split between four tasters and into tulip style glasses.

A: Pours a magnificent brick red with some mahogany hues and a very nice spritzy body. The carbonation was so sutle as it trickled up the glass to keep the eggshell white head from lasting the entire glass. The head was particularly remarkable for a 10.43% wild ale. It was thick, creamy, and lasted pretty much the entire time.

S: Some awesome lemon rinds, dry red wine, red and white grapes, chocolate, and alcohol esters. The alcoho. esters show through first, but they are not unwelcomed at all. They blend nicely and are not overpowering when compared to the lemon, wine, raisins, figs, cherry, and slight oak tannins.

T: Very similar to the smell, there is a lot of sour lemon rinds, dry red wine and white grapes, raisins, some chocolate and oak tannins. Really reminds me of a nice Geueze in some ways with the amount of funk and perfection this has.

M/D: For a 10.43% beer, this is very nice and creamy yet has the usual dry, crisp wild mouthfeel.

Undeniably one of the best sours I have ever had. Second best American sour behind Deviation.

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Photo of koopa
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle poured into a Rodenbach glass.

Appearance: Pours vintage sunburst (a la Stratocaster guitar) auburn with the tiniest honey fold. The crown is picturesque....butter cream fine/dense foam of about 1.5 fingers in depth displaying loads of retention and lace. This brew looks like my idea of what "medieval beer" must have looked like in my mind when I was a child.

Smell: A bit faint but very well blended. Notes of cherries, figs, oak, brown sugar, and a hint of lemon from the brett. Super nice and well refined!

Taste: The brett and cherries dominate and cover up most of what is going on in the nose. But this is still one delicious cherry brett bomb. I'd give it a 4.3 if I could, so I'm rounding up a bit.

Mouthfeel: While the body is now on the heavy side of thin bodied (I presume it was a touch heftier when fresh), the crown is so creamy and delicious that it saves the mouthfeel from being merely average.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable for a double digit abv wild.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.17/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to madorb for sharing this at our Epic Chicago Tasting.

A - A very dark, rusty red, almost brown. Nice head that dissipated very quickly to basically just a thing ring. Bit of bubbles, but looks slightly undercarbonated.

S - A funky smelling sour, a lot darker than I was expecting. Nice amount of brett funk on this one adds a lot of depth to this smell.

T - Huge wood influence on this one. If this is a sour it reminds me a lot of a flanders red or olde bruin. Lot of meat on the bones of this one, really hefty sour with a lot of breadth on it. Lot of brett funk mixed in with the sourness on this one.

M - Really full bodied for a sour. Slightly less than moderate carbonation.

D - Slightly on the lower side of drinkability for a sour, but that balances out when you realize this one is over 10+%. A good sour that was supposedly better when it was fresher. Not the best ever, but a good one I am glad I got to try.

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Photo of davod23
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
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 jrallen34
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to madorb for bringing this 750ml bottle to our tasting...Pours an ugly light brown with ruby highlihts and tons of yeast floaties. A light tan head that is decenly carbonated provides some nice stuff to look at...The aroma is pretty light, most just tart with some oak mixed in, dark fruits on the back...The taste shows off mostly as sour oakiness, its pretty good, amazing that its a blend of five beers, not so much of a wild ale, like an oud bruin in many ways...The feel is nice and easy to drink.

This is a very good beer, but not a top notch wild ale. Gets a lot of pub because of the story and rarity and its good, just not world class. Worth trying IF you can.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.85/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another old review, from the old notebooks of the past. Pours a dark, reddish brown, with maybe a quarter inch of dirty white foam. Very tart/funky on the nose, with aromas of oak, red wine and maybe vanilla. On the palate, this one has a distinct sourness, along with tart cherries, a light oakiness and dried fruit. Glad I got to try this one, and to have a couple glasses at that.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
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 abecall98
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a tasting I held.

A - pours an amber red with a nice white Lacey head. No sediment, so it's pleasing.

S - very tart and acidic, like strong vinager. Ripe cherries dominate here as well.

T - very acidic, and fruity. Cherry flavor toungue buckles you. The taste is like picking cherries before they are ready to be picked and chewing them, I love it. Aftertaste of other mixed berries help add to the expirience.

M - carbonated and very much so. It's how I love my sours. This beer is creamy and the bubbles help explode the flavor all over.

D - this beer is dangerously drinkable. The 10+ abv. is very well hidden and the complex flavor keeps you coming back for more.

O - I love this beer. Too bad it's retired. I feel it's on of the best sours I've had.

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.2/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, many thanks to Mikey for sharing this bottle. Never thought I would have the chance. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a hazy peach-ruby color with a small beige foam that fizzes out. Nice lacing in the mini-snifter.

Well integrated funk, but delicate- namely in the form of wet wood and some leather. Good amount of bright cherry with some more general fruity berryish notes. The booze is notably present through the back.

The taste is much of the same, prickly carbonation accenting the tart fruity notes of cherry, raspberry, even a little bit of red apple. Moderate acidity and some red grape skin-like tannin. Some booze is present in the drying finish and aftertaste.

Overall, this is a good beer but it never felt as satisfying or robust or as "full" as consecration or other "big" sour ales. One can only think that it may have been more impressive earlier in its lifetime and has since thinned and mellowed out considerably. Still, at this point it is no slouch. I am extremely thankful to have had the chance to try it, but with the current 'value' of this beer on the trading market and elsewhere, it is hardly worth the trouble to obtain.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3.93/5  rDev -11.1%
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 SpeedwayJim
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of mikey711
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%
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 bulletrain76
4.37/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draught at Toronado for RR -tion night. They were sadly not out of the small glasses when I ordered so I got the 6oz pour, though they were out of tulips so they poured me a pint of Deviation at the same time ;-). Darker red-brown color with a small head due to the pour. Malty aroma with tons of oaky vanilla, sour cherry, dried fruit (with a touch of oxidation) and some sour funk to round it out. The flavor is malty with some alcohol still present, some vanilla, lots of dried fruits, and a milder sourness in the finish. Starts on the sweeter side but finishes dry from the acidity and alcohol. Medium bodied with smooth carbonation. Great aroma, and very complex. The alcohol lets you know that you are drinking a strong ale, but the flavors all come together pretty well. I'm a little surprised at how much vanilla the oak gives this.

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Photo of popery
4.82/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft, Toronado. Second beer at Toronado -tion night. They were out of little glasses when I was served this beer, so, happily, I got most of a 16 oz shaker glassful of this wonderful beer for $4 (Toronado is awesome). This is a strong sour with a wonderful flavor, one of my favorites so far. There's a strong oak flavor, enjoyable and drying. The aroma is fruity and sour, raisins, peaches, vinegar, funk, the works. The flavor has a calm alcohol burn, perhaps once too hot but now just right. The notes are even punchier on the tongue. There's a significant amount of fruity malt flavor. The tartness is upfront and relatively bracing. There's some good funk floating around. It's a great, big sour with a ton of flavor.

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Photo of Lothore
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4 dollars a pour tonight at toronado SF

A- Pours a foggy orangey red hue with a thin head that fades fairly quickly.

S- Cherries, hints of sour apple, deep dark maltiness, bready.

T- Hints of berry, light fruit, strong tart/sourness on the back end. very bready.

M- Medium bodied with quite a bit of carbonation.

D- This was definitely a good brew and one to seek out. At 4 bucks a pour it seems like a steal even in a champagne flute.

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Photo of mothman
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had a bottle of this at Toronado is SD.

Poured into 2 philosophers glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of off white head. Great retention with splattered lace. Color is a clear ruby hued caramel.

Aroma: Sour cherries, oak, barnyard funk, some leather. A dark sour. Very fine and mouthwatering. Nice and funky.

Taste: Sour cherries and oak right off the top. Nice aging done to this beer. A lot of funky bugs here. I am so impressed with this beer. Slight leather and vinegar flavor, but I really everything I could ask for in a sour. Reminds me a lot of consecration.

Mouthfeel: Sour, tart, and refreshingly smooth. MEdium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean which is nice for a sour. Pretty much perfect.

Overall, one of the best sours I have had. It reminded me a lot of consecration, but better. Simply stunning. I could have easily drank the entire bottle by myself. I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.77/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1

1st bottle: David Keene was kind enough to sell our party a bottle at the Toronado 22nd anniversary. $100 split 4 ways wasn't pretty, but at least I got to try it.

3.5 / 4.5 / 4.0 / 5.0 / 1.0 [$100 WTF?]


2nd bottle: shared by colonelforbin at ipa247's recent sour tasting. Thanks, Mike!

A: Poured a dark crimson body with substantial off-white head and great retention.

S: Lightly tart cherry, lacto, some vinegar, wood, barnyard funk, tobacco, and leather. I also detected a vinous quality that reminded me of cabernet. A great aroma.

T: A fair amount of sweet [red] vinous presence. Nuanced and balanced flavor like the aroma: lightly tart cherries supported by lactic sourness. Vinegar, brett mustiness and barnyard, leather, tobacco. Neither over-the-top sour nor funky. I was surprised to find a considerable amount of brown sugar in a sweet undercurrent to the beer. Being able to sit down and appreciate this outside of the T-party made me appreciate it much more.

M: Surprisingly clean for a high ABV beer. Just impressed by the engineering, really.

D: It's not worth paying $100 for (in my opinion), but this is one of those beers that made me expand my price point comfort zone, just as Consecration did with its $25 tag. Just the same, this is the poster child for rising prices in beer, and I can't in good faith recommend it for what the prices are for this thing. If you are lucky enough to have a bottle already, though, you are sitting pretty. A great beer.

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Photo of corby112
4.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Mike for busting this out at our epic sour tasting.

Pours a dark hazy caramel brown color with chestnut hazelnut hues and completely opaque with a 1.5 finger yellowish beige
head with great retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Streaks ofsoapy lacing left behind.

Slightly musty aroma with some nice dry brett character and a very prominet vinous oak presence. The red wine notes really come through with lots of dark grape, dark tart Cheryl and berries. Subtle oak and vanilla which is a nice counter to the Funky brett character. It kind of smells and tastes like Supplication with less cherry.

Nice tart puckering medium body that is pretty sour up front with a lot of dry brett character that lingers throughout over a subtle malt backbone and a very prominent vinous red wine presence. Nice oaky tannis and red wine presence with a goos amount of dark berry, sour cherry and grape.

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Photo of NoLiberty
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to GrassrootsVT for sharing this one with me.

Pours beautifully into a large wine glass a clear dark orange color - almost bourbon colored - with a full 2-finger head that settles into a solid toffee colored cap that stays the whole drink. Spotty lacing up the edges of the glass.

The aroma is very funky up front, followed by tart peach, mossy must, dried tart cherry, cognac, and leather. It all blends together into an earthy wine-like quality. Really enticing, bold and intoxicating. Delicious aromas.

The taste starts slightly sweet and moves to the tart side with sour notes in the middle, dried druit and soft bittering at the finish. A backflow of bitterness aggravates the tongue and the whole beer finishes with a citric tartness and light pangs of sweet. Very nice and drinkable but I pick up a subtle diacetyl note that gives a slightly "off" awkward flavor.

Mouthfeel is super soft, dry with excellent carbonation. Round, smooth and balanced. Super nice. This beer excites, invites and performs throughout the whole drinking experience. Would certainly come back to this again...if that was possible.

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Photo of gford217
4.82/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #1200. Massive thanks to a generous BA for sharing this gem, side-by-side with Cable Car.

Pours a deep, clear reddish amber with a huge off-white head that shows excellent retention and lacing. Gorgeous looking beer.

Aroma is massive - tart, sweet and funky all in one. It got plenty of the barnyard funk and red wine vinegar but it's much deeper and sweeter than the Cable Car, with some brown sugar and sweeter malts behind the funk. On top of all this is a dry spicy oak character. Stunning nose.

Taste has an initial dark fruit sweetness with a subtle funkiness, maybe some dark cherries in there. There is also a bit of candi sugar in the background. Chocolate covered cherries even. Finish is funky but with some oaky tannins underneath. So, so good.

The mouthfeel is fairly full bodied with lots of carbonation and somewhere between Belgian dark and American wild.

Spectacular beer, the clear winner for me over Cable Car and Deviation. It might not be a fair comparison as this is a slightly different beer, and bigger, but it is one of the best beers I've ever tasted.

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Photo of younger35
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

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Toronado 20th Anniversary Ale from Russian River Brewing Company
4.42 out of 5 based on 155 ratings.
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