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Cascade First Harvest Ale - Cascade Brewery Company Ltd.

Not Rated.
Cascade First Harvest AleCascade First Harvest Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

33 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 3.21
pDev: 13.4%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cascade Brewery Company Ltd. visit their website
Australia

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-17-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by hefevice:
Photo of hefevice
2.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (2005 version). Overhyped, overpriced and derated accordingly. Clear copper amber, only develops head if poured very hard and what head does develop disappears quickly. Aroma is almost absent, a little grassiness from the hops over a sweet malty base. Tastes unbalanced, grassy and somewhat bitter finish overwhelming anything else. Label claims "These herbacious tones are balanced by a rich and robust maltiness"...nup, sorry, missed out on both counts.

hefevice, Jul 05, 2005
More User Reviews:
Photo of rastaman
2.38/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Kind of like the premium lager (but obviously its an ale), but with darker malts, slight acidity and a bit drier though, i could drink it, but its a bit timid, and mineral watery, better on tap than from the bottle.

rastaman, Jun 17, 2002
Photo of MrKennedy
3.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375ml bottle, 2011 edition, purchased from Crown Cellars, Launceston, Tasmania and poured into a nonic style pint glass.

Copper colour, pouring with a large finger and a half of white fluffy foam that settles at about a quarter of the initial size and stays for quite some time.

Smells of caramel, toffee and grain. Not really to style, but distinct, clean and not muddled in any way.

Tastes of cereal grain and toffee and is pretty one-dimensional.

It is backed up by more balanced bitterness than i recall from previous vintages. Mouthfeel is solid early, falling away a little bit late on.

Overall a bit of a one-trick pony. Consistent, well rounded but dull. The Tyson Kidd of beers perhaps?

MrKennedy, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of goodbyesoberday
3.75/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours with almost no head, what's there vanishes quickly and has a big bead. A nice subtle hint of hop aroma, almost lemony fresh. Colour is mid-amber, falling short of reddish.

Hops and malt are pleasantly mild, not vanishingly so. Malt sits there quietly allowing the hops to take the forefront, leaving it quite refreshing. The flavour is mildly herbaceous, bitterness is adequately noticeable on the end, combined with the light tingle from the carbonation makes this a good thirst quencher. Just don't read the blurb on the label and expect a hop monster.

goodbyesoberday, Aug 08, 2005
Photo of CrazyDavros
3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Toffee/amber pour with a reasonable head that faded quickly.
Aroma consists of grainy malt, a bit of floral hops and a hint of resin. Some slight metallic notes in the background. Pretty light on.
Flavours are similar with caramel and resinous sweetness. Some treacle. Reasonable strong bitterness but unfortunately its quite boring and metallic.
Too watery.

CrazyDavros, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of rec
3.3/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 release. I didn't really know what to expect from this brew, except that I probably shouldn't expect a lot.

The pour was suprisingly appealing, with a mahogany crystal brown body and frothy head which laces delightfully, but dissipates entirely with haste.

Things unfortunately go a little down hill from here, with the aroma practically AWOL. Grassy hops and some interesting but mild cirtus notes embody most of what can be smelt.

The taste is resoundingly hop-centric, with some chewy, sweet biscuit malt and a certain metalic bitterness about it. There is some fruitiness tucked away there in the back, but the other dominant flavours don't leave much room for investigation or appreciation of them. Again, it's interesting, but far from balanced.

Mouthfeel is fine throughout tasting, with low carbonation which creates that chewy feel initially, but quickly thins out for a flat and uninspiring finish.

All in all it's not a bad brew, one I'm enjoying right this minute, and one I might even buy again. However, at $5 a stubby there are far, far greater alternatives available both locally and abroad.

rec, Jul 23, 2007
Photo of goatherder
3.4/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Wow, this is about the best looking traditional Aussie stubby bottle I've seen. Gold edged labels and the words "2007 Limited Release" allude to something special within. It's nice having a genuine 375ml bottle these days - it fits perfectly in a schooner glass. The beer pours a pale copper colour. The bottlespeak "pure green hop brew" isn't reflected in the visual domain - the beer is not green and is brilliantly clear. A coarse, smallish white head quickly recedes to a persistant surface coating, somewhat reminiscant of a quality Kolsch.

Whiffs of passionfruit, melon and grapefruit dominate - sort of in a nice way but also sort of like a cheap tropical fruit drink. There is an initial sweetness in the mouth, which is quickly dominated by the solid bitterness. Unfortunately the sweetness remains through the finish in a dextrinous, almost cloying manner. Tastes like too much crystal malt to me - over the top for a beer this size (5.6% abv). The resiny hop flavour does make a welcome appearance in the middle though - a refreshing change from an Aussie macro brewer. The cloying dextrinous thing helps to boost the mouthfeel a little, but not in a pleasant way. This is a nice beer, but not one I could drink all night.

Overall, I quite liked this beer. I'm a bit of a hophead, and finding hoppy Aussie brews is difficult, so this kind of beer is a welcome addition to the bottlo. I'd drink it again.

goatherder, May 09, 2007
Photo of pin
2.5/5  rDev -22.1%

pin, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of joecast
4.1/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 release. Best of those I have tried. Easily. Hops are much more to the fore than previous versions. Not out of style, but very fresh and unubstructed by the malts. A nice clean refreshing beer.
---
not one i seek each year, but hadnt been to a bottle shop in a while and felt adventurous. first harvest '08 in the new and "improved" 330 ml bottle.

has a substantial look about it. considerably darker than any of the usual cascade products. deep copper color with a thin off white head. light carbonation and crystal clear. i can even see the water marks from the other side of the glass. good head stability and decent lacing.

aroma comes out strong when pouring. a bit grassy and floral with a good hit of malt sweetness. the hoppy aspect fades pretty quickly to leave the crystal malt sweetness dominating the aroma. well, "dominating" may send the wrong idea as the aroma is fairly subdued as it warms.
possible it has already faded from the fresh-hopped brew. this cant be more than a few months old, but now wish i had tried one closer to the release. eh, i wont beat myself up over it.

...ok focus on the positives. be constructive...
sorry, was going off on a tangent.
this beer just comes across so clean tasting. very refined and almost delicate. has a good dose of bitterness, but they must have really been determined to balance it out and used heaps of crystal malts.
another thing is they do mention it as an ale on the back label, but i would not be surprised if they used their normal lager yeast. very little yeast character and, as i said, really clean taste and finish.
i cant fault the hop character in the taste. nothing too up front, but present and noticeable none the less.

not bad, but would only have a second look at this if i was in the right mood. score is for the 2008 release.
---
dont know why, but i got pretty excited when i saw this.
"2006 release. very rare beer" says the label. anyway,

pours a very nice amber color, with a lightly tanned head. minimal carbonation. head settles to a good enough lace.

aroma starts hoppy and fruity. very promising. the backing sweetness becomes a bit fuller as it warms, but still decent.

taste is very subdued, like its too important to be bothered showing a bit of zest and flair.
"nah, i'll just mosy on down past the tongue. no interest in making a fuss." it says.
anyway, its all a bit disappointing. has the necessary malt caramel sweetness, even a touch of hop flavor. but the bitterness is almost completely left behind. average at best.

at $5/stubbie, ouch!! much better australian beer available for much less $$. and they're available year round, so you dont have to wait for this to come out and feel cheated.
i will give them some credit for trying a fresh hop beer though.

---
2004 release
open the bottle and the grassy aroma jumps right out and says hello. yes, grassy. unexpected but not unwelcome.
clear light reddish hue with some lacing sitting on top.
the hop aroma persists (though not quite as strongly) in the glass as some sweetness joins it.
a slight hop flavor right at first, and then...well, not much else. very little maltiness in the flavor to back it up. finishes very cleanly, just a bit early.
mouthfeel is light and crisp.
ok, all the hype about how fresh the hops are is fine. but for the price, shouldnt there be a bit more to it than that? id drink it again, but pay for it??

joecast, Jun 09, 2011
Photo of rjimlad
3.58/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 release. A beautiful colour beer which reminds me of old Oz beers from decades ago before being absorbed into macro swill. Its deep copper colour was clear and clean with little carbonation. I didn't get much in the way of aroma or head for that matter. The flavour is pretty typical with some nice malt and lengthy bitterness that puckers the mouth. There's a nice grapefruit taste that provides that bitterness but I got little else and think it's pretty one dimensional. I like it but Little Creatures PA is a vastly superior beer and much more interesting. First Harvest is competent and drinkable and well balanced but not that interesting.

rjimlad, Jul 08, 2007
Photo of Macca
3.3/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the 2010 release.

3 new hops - text (aroma), glenleith (bittering) and oakley (flavour) (as per press release).

This pours an amber colour with a decent head which hangs around as a light covering. Clear.

Disappointing aroma profile for a beer celebrating fresh hops. Definitely dominated by the malts. Presser talks about "fleeting peppermint aroma". Must have been to quick for me.

Reasonable amount of bitterness on the palate but still less than I was expecting.

Medium bodied.

Not a bad beer but disappointing when compared to a lot of the other harvest ales out there.

Update 2011:

It looks better in the glass. Much better head retention.

Still more malt driven than hoppy but it seems more balanced this year.

All round a much better beer than last year. Upping score appropriately.

Macca, May 24, 2010
Photo of juju7
2.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2009 Release: Pours a coppery orange with a fluffy, white head that fades a little too quick leaving very little lacing. Not really the hop action on the nose you'd hope for from a beer that is marketed on it being a beer made from the freshest of hops. Picking up some caramel malt action with a hint of wet grass. Mouthfeel reveals a rather harsh bitterness and not the most pleasant finish. A little rough. This is the brand new release. I have found with this beer that it does get better after a few months, so I'll give it another go later this year.

juju7, May 21, 2009
Photo of Shy5
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Shy5, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of mulder1010
2.58/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

330 ML Poured into a Great Divide Glass

A-- Poured a reddish gold color, short lived, thin, white head that went to film quickly. Same with head retention. Nothing too exciting, or special about this. Just a little bit of film lacing on the sides of the glass.

S-- Really faint, crisp Carmel apple smell. Smells a lot like the normal macro stuff Australia puts out. Not exciting.

T-- Tastes a lot like the Australian macro stuff. With a little more hops than normal. Suped up Cascade!

M-- Beer improves in the mouth. A bit over carbonated but workable. Hops come more alive in the mouth and sour apple is more apparent in the mouth. Still way too much of the metallic taste that Australian stuff is known for. Long lingering bitter taste in the mouth. Just keep thinking that this is what Cascade bitter would be like if it was mass produced.

D-- A fresh hop for the masses. Nothing really special about it and a little over priced for what this is. Other fresh hop Ales have more to their beers than this one does. Not trying next year.

D--

mulder1010, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of Joel12
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Joel12, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of soju6
2.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a good amber color with a fair head and some lacing.

S: Aroma of clean citrus with some malt sweetness and fresh grain.

T: Mild citrus flavor with amalt sweetness and fresh grain. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Fairly moderate body, smooth with a decent balance but a bit dull.

O: Decent drinker, although I was expecting more of a hop character.

soju6, May 30, 2013
Photo of magpieken
3.75/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 Release. 375ml bottle. Pours a bright, pale amber colour, with a billowing, dense, beige head which lasted well. Aroma reminds me of a sweet white wine, very fruity but not in an overpowering way and caramel. Taste has a nice balance of mild sweetness and bitterness. Light to medium body. From what I remember the hops were more prominent in last years release. Don’t approach this expecting an American Pale Ale, instead you’ll find a nicely balanced and pleasant drop.

magpieken, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of ALEBOY
3.13/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer has somewhat of a cult status in Australia and it is largely undeserved. It is made with wet hops on the first day of the Tasmanian hop harvest. I must say I was surprised by this beer as I was expecting nothing more than an Aussie lager style beer that had been made with ale yeast. It's not much more than that but it certainly is a drinkable beer. The flavour is somewhat like wet grass/hay but that is about the only remarkable flavour or aroma. I will most likely try next years batch ( 2004 ) but hopefully I won't have to pay it's undeserved price.

ALEBOY, Jul 20, 2003
Photo of vancurly
3.05/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 Release (#9)
Downgrade of taste from 3.5 to 3.0.
Pours a brilliant pale amber/bay colour. Settles into a 1cm head, and leaves a good lace
Smells like a typical Aussie macro lager, in fact I think this beer would sit better under macro lager than English pale ale. Big metallic note that screams PoR, or clone thereof. A very Tasmanian lager smell, to me. But there are some subtleties. Maybe some green fruit and herbs, like papaya or nettle. Interesting, but not that appealing.
Flavour is along the lines of the smell, with a floral note underpinning. Slight, light honey/golden syrup note.
It's mouthfeel is fairly light, dry, and crisp.
A good beer-garden lager, but the subtleties in this beer would be lost in such a setting. And the price would make anyone baulk at buying a jug...

2009 Release (#8)

New batch of the brewery's own hop strains (Frankcomb, Shoobridge, Clarke).

Pours a good-looking clear orange, white frothy head. Nose fairly restrained, with some bread, metallic hints & macro resemblances. Hops come to the fore on the palate, with decent piney bitterness. A challenging mouthfeel that would be appreciated by DIPA lovers.

2008 Release (#7)

This beer seems to have changed its style from release to release

appearance 3.5
smell 3.5
taste 3.5
mouthfeel 3.5
drinkability 3.5

a) Pale amber, thin white rocky head
s) Funky, sweet toffee nose, slight metallic note.
f) Toffee/caramel flavours - nutty; hops are fresh, but hard to describe (new Tassie varieties apparently). Resinous, vegetal & faintly mentholic. Quite an approachable taste, but hard to pinpoint
m) Could be more bitter....but a full & balanced mouthfeel.
d) Nice drink for cold days... wouldn't mind a hand-pulled pint with a ploughmans to go with it

###

2007 Release (#6)

appearance 4
smell 3.5
taste 3.5
mouthfeel 2.0
drinkability 3.0

a: Clear amber, with a pale beige tight head. Well set, slowly sinks, and leaves some lace.

s: Hops initially.... tropical fruit, some caramel, flinty/steely notes.

t: Interesting mix of sensations. My first was a reflexive flashback to Northern England... a Yorksire Bitter or ESB... not sure.... maybe that's the malt profile. The hops however seem to return me to the Antipodes, with maybe a stop through Munich on the way.... Some herbaceousness followed by some metallic flintiness. Piney, resinous, dried herbs persist into a long aftertaste, with notes of dried apricot. Resinous is the key adjective, I think.

m: Chewy initially, but then pursues a light, dry path... finishes crisply, and leaves a medium to firm bitterness, and the aforementioned aftertaste.

o: For the hop heads indeed; I don't think it's terribly approachable, but still has some interesting character.

I don't know why I keep doing this. Cascade suck me in every year.
$18 for a 4-pack is a bit rich. I can get Timothy Taylor Landlord for less...

vancurly, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of laituegonflable
3.33/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This is a bottle of the 2008 release I've been hanging onto for a while.

Pours a shiny amber colour with a light golden haze on the meadow - I mean, in the glass - and lots of fizz around the edge. Head is modest, white in colour and retaining about a cm of foam. Lace is quite uneventful. Not bad but looks too fizzy.

Nose is decently tangy, with a strong earthy malt base - English toffee character, tinge of cola and a fair amount of English ale esters giving off some floral notes and fruits such as blackcurrant, pineapple and melon. A decent English ale smell.

Taste is quite malty and also phenolic. Has a lot of burnt toffee character with some treacle sweetness and a hint of toasted grain. On the mid it gets very phenolic with a medicinal character and some mild POR notes, some soil flavours and a hint of burnt coffee grounds giving off an ashy bitterness but not a lot of ashy flavour. Some residual fruit esters appear late with some currants, green apple and pineapple subtly lingering behind, giving a bit of roundness to the flavour.

Mouthfeel is overly carbonated, there is a distinct burn on the tongue and otherwise fairly thin. A disappointment.

I've been hanging onto this beer for a long time and I think it's done it some good. I can imagine this being very harshly phenolic and bitter (in an unpleasant POR way) when fresh, but it's actually mellowed out quite a bit. There are still some floral notes from the hops but I think the edge has been taken off them. Either way it's a nice enough and enjoyable enough beer at this stage.

laituegonflable, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of hopnerd
3/5  rDev -6.5%

hopnerd, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of tbeckett
3.23/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pint at Great Northern.

A - Poured a golden colour with decent carbonation. Bright. Half finger of white head faded fast. A few spots of lace and little island of retention. English Pale Ale?

S - Grassy hop, lagery note, grainy sweetness.

T - Malty sweetness comes out like honey, sweet grain and a bit of grassy hop.

M - Fairly strong carbonation, medium body and a touch of bitterness in the finish.

O/D - Probably not something I'd grab again. An interpretation what essentially seems like a Lager, with a bit more malt and hop character. Nothing to write home about. Not bad, just not worth the trouble or price.

tbeckett, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of doktorhops
3.3/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another year brings another first harvest from Cascade - by far the best brew from an average at best Australian brewery (I can't understand the prejudice Cascade drinkers have against Boag's drinkers, and vice versa - it's like comparing apples with apples, their lagers taste the same and I wouldn't be surprised if the beers are being pumped out of the same brewery). Campania, Triabunna and Ellendale hops were used in this years harvest.

Poured from a 375ml stubbie into a nonic pint.

Note: 2012 harvest/vintage.

A: Clear rust body with a thin foamy off-white head.

S: The aroma is faint earthy hops followed by a sweet bread (Brioche) malt grain body and a hint of caramel. It's not very exciting here but as I recall last years first harvest was also light on aroma.

T: The caramel body is upfront, then we have a hit of citric sour hops and a long bitter hop mid palate to finish. There is also some sweetness in the flavour, a golden syrup hit to add a little complexity. It's good but I thought last year was just a touch better.

M: A little too watery for my liking. Carbonation is also lighter than expected.

D: The bitterness really lingers in the after taste. It's like a clumsy American Pale Ale in this respect. Otherwise it's another interesting brew for Cascade (though that's not saying much). I would like to see Cascade produce an English style bitter as they certainly have some talent in this area, however it would need to be sold much cheaper than what the first harvest is sold for to make it worthwhile.

Food match: Tart and bitter flavours would match this well, try something Thai like a salad with lemongrass, coriander and tamarind. For dessert - lemon curd tart would go down well.

doktorhops, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of ADZA
3.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the brewers number 10th brew and the 2011 edition and it pours a see through pale golden orange hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind creamy a two finger head and sporadic lacing,the smell is herbal hops and toffee,it has a light bodied well carbonated mouthfeel and has tastes of herbal spicy hops,toffee malts and finshed with a boiled candy sweetness and overall its average and have had better but also worse and definately one of this macrobreweries better ones.

ADZA, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of admiral
3.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First harvest - picked and brewed March 2014. I assume hops have diminished somewhat since bottling as it is now more ESB than pale ale. However, it still tastes great, if you are not concerned by that and enjoy ESB's (as I do).

aroma: toffee, light citrus (mainly lemon), malt and light banana

taste: caramel, toffee, citrus (mainly lemon), sultanas/raisins, light banana and sticky pudding and herbs/spices. A lasting flavour and good mouthfeel for the style and amount of alcohol it contains (all be it a hybrid pale ale/ESB it now is - or at least the beer I got!)

Flavoursome, easy to drink and a good 'session' beer with friends.

admiral, Jul 27, 2014
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Cascade First Harvest Ale from Cascade Brewery Company Ltd.
76 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.