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Cascade Blackberry Ale - Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Cascade Blackberry AleCascade Blackberry Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

62 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 62
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.08%
Wants: 66
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brentk56 on 06-06-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

"Cascade Blackberry Ale spends over 6 months of lactic fermentaion and aging in small oak barrels. This "Belgian Flanders Style Red Ale" is refermented with fresh whole Northwest Blackberries and then hand bottled. Cascade Blackberry Ale is bottle fermented and should be refrigerated or stored at cellar temp and served at 45-50 degrees."
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 39
Reviews by fo5s:
Photo of fo5s
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle served in a small wine glass after dealing with all of the wax. Noticeable amount of yeast in the neck of the bottle. No dating on besides a tag that reads “10007”…I believe this is an ’07 vintage, but don’t really know. Thanks to Sam for the hookup!

A- pours a muddy brown with a hint of ruby. Completely opaque and much darker than I was expecting. Lively, loose head that fades quickly.

S- blackberry, obviously. Fairly muddled, somewhat acidic. Funky, but not overly so.

T- tart blackberries. Slightly acidic, but not puckering. Fruit is definitely muddled and was likely more vibrant when younger.

M- springy, well carbonated.

O- overall a pleasant sour and another well-done brew by the folks at cascade. This one is probably better fresh and should probably have been paired with some food.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue I:

Nice pssst! When we pop the cap, the carbonation is quite active with a quick-to-froth head and a constant lacing that is revived after each sip. The color borderlines dark mahogany and burgundy (those blackberries did throw some color into the mix). Soft but tart aroma, hints of sour berries and a slight vanilla note from the wood hits the nose. Big rolling crispness feigns a bigger body for a second. Flash of sweetness up front disappears just as quick as it came in. Ghost-like vanilla with drying woody undertones. There is some lightly puckering berry action from the fruit with a lactic presence. Woody, with a hint of char, and dry biscuity malt in the finish.

The lactic tone is substantial but not overpowering, perhaps it is a little in-your-face or a tad too green. A year or so of cellaring might tone that down. Beer geeks that are into sour beers should make note of this beer.

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle. It was part of a great tasting that included seven bottled Cascade sours.

Purple wax capped 750 ml bottle with no bottling date, but it is believed that the bottle was at least two years old. The beer pours a cloudy dark purple color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the blackberries. The flavor is blackberries with some tartness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not a whole lot to say about the beer but it was awesome to drink due to the amount of raspberry flavor that is packed into the beer. I think I liked the lower ABV on this beer because it seemed to let the blackberry flavor come through more than in some of the higher alcohol Cascade fruit sours.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Huge off-white head. Slightly pinkish. Retains forever. Deep purple brown body.

Smell - Nice jammy blackberry. Lots of cardboard oxidation. Smells kinda acidic.

Taste - The taste is a letdown. Tastes kinda tart up front with a decent berry flavor, but drops off very quickly. Cardboardy and oxidized in the back.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation. Medium body.

Overall - Too old. Oh well.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 purchased from the brewpub.. cost me about $18 with shipping.. Been looking forward to trying this one for a while.. part of the fridge clearing project... poured into my New Belgium snifter.

3 finger foamy lite tan head .. it has a subtle purple hue to it.. sounds like a bowl of rice krispies.. no lace but a very nice ever present cap. the brew is brown with an obvious purple tint.. Edit: lace actually shows as it warms up to room temperature.

Nose is a touch lighter than I was expecting.. vinous.. and mildly acetic.. the fruit notes show obvious but not really resembling blackberry until I pull my nose away.. then it reminds me of what a fantastic jar of blackberry jam would smell like if I just caught a whiff from afar.. I guess what I'm saying is, don't bury your nose and sorta take wafting sniffs.. You'll be surprised what you discover.

The flavor is also lite at the front (not a bad thing) .. not nearly as acetic as many flanders or sours.. a clean sour that melds very well with what I expect pure blackberry juice would taste like.. no real sweetness from the juice, just the fruity essence that is doing it's best to suck the saliva from my cheeks very slowly after very sip.... dry and sorta tannic woody quality.. not nearly as sour as I was expecting.. especially as it warms up.. the finish takes me back in time.. reminds me of "Grape Bazooka Joe" bubblegum without the sweetness..

The body is lite and very effervescent..

Overall.. This is a pretty damn good beer .. not really that expensive given that most sours cost this much or ALOT more.. I would have probably liked to see a little bit more complexity from the yeast and bugs.. but for a young brewpub.. I honestly think it is pretty stellar. Edit: very impressed as it hits room temperature.. alot more fruity flavors emerge..

Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for sharing this..
Appears a murky dark crimson toned purple with a small off white cap that fizzles into a mild collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of tart raspberries, cherry pie, rhubarb, and sweet nectar.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a nice sweet flavor that leads to tartness.
Mouthfeel is sweet, medium bodied, tart and of wild berries lingering.

Photo of ChrisPro
4.26/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Raccoon Lodge in 2009.

A - dark murky brown with little tan head. Hints of ruby in the light, and very clear.

S - big blackberry nose with some musty earth smell. Some oak as well. Reminds me of backpacking and picking blackberries in the northwest. Also a bit of port and fig after a little air exposure.

T - sweet up front with a nice dry sour lactic finish. Not overpowering but just enough.

M - decent carb, fairly dry.

O - definitely the best blackberry beer I've had. Tastes like what a blackberry sour should taste like and is incredibly mellow and drinkable.

Photo of psiweaver
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour out of a 750ml bottle into a Reidel stemless red wine glass.

the appearance is a brownish foamy head over a brownish pour with a slightly purplish hue.

the smell is lots of lactic acid with a slight berry smell.

taste is good, but not great. its nice and sour but it didn't have the complexity of the top flight sours and there wasn't a lot of blackberry flavor.

somewhat harsh mouthfeel but nice carbonation level.

good drinkability overall, being pretty easy to drink, just wish it had more flavor/complexity.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to ygtbsm94 for grabbing this bottle for the Cascade tasting. Served in a Cascade Barrel House goblet.

Pours a somewhat-cloudy and murky amber-ruby color with a short off-white head and not much in the way of lacing on the way down. The nose carries some muted blackberry plus a light bit of lactic sourness. Base malt is present and is reminiscent of a Flanders sour beer.

The flavor is also Flanders-esque and has a good bit of acidity. Slightly chewy with some fruit and oxidation notes in the background. Medium body with low carbonation and a slight chewiness. Altogether not a bad beer, though it has not held up all that well.

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ChrisPro for sharing this one.

A - Black beer, little purplish on the sides, minimal head.

S - Smells more like blackberries than probably anything but a bunch of fresh blackberries in your face. Little bit of sour with some good oak presence.

T - Tastes like blackberries. It's a blackbery beer. I really get a lot of blackberries in this. Get the idea? Little tart and oak.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

O - Good blackberry beer, particularly if you like the taste of blackberries.

Photo of BucketBoy
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of me from a trade with cavemanlawyer nearly two years ago - thanks! Really enjoyed this smooth sipper that I've had in my cellar for ages. '07 bottle enjoyed at my post-finals December 2012 tasting.

A - Kinda gross looking, actually - sort of putrid, dark, murky blackberry mash with whispers of marshmallow frosting on top.

S - Lightly tart, bit of vinous blackberry and blackberry seeds. Some graham back notes. Nice!

T - Old jammy blackberries with a bit of vinousness, touch of oak, some more blackberry seeds in the flavor. The flavors have really mellowed together in time, with a pleasant rounded sourness.

M - Perhaps the best part of this beer, quite smooth and silky with nearly 6 years in the bottle, not much carbonation but just enough , hint of oak and blackberry tannins.

O - Wow, I really enjoyed this beer. It has aged gracefully, with nice rounded blackberry and Flanders flavors, though without the punch it perhaps once had.

Photo of womencantsail
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a murky dark amber color with a short lived pinkish head.

S: Definitely a nice blackberry aroma. There is a moderate level of tartness and a touch of oak. Moderately sweet berries and malt aroma and some chocolate oxidation. Just a hint of vinegar is present.

T: Nice lactic tartness with hints of vinegar. Surprising amounts of blackberry flavor still present. Some dark caramel malts and a noticeable oxidation. Despite that, it still tastes pretty good.

M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: While still good, I prefer the Apricot, which is just one of my favorites.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Massive thanks to Dan for cracking this bottle open - awesome!

Appearance -- Pours a dark rosy brown with a finger of mocha head. Very interesting, though not at all what I had expected.

Smell -- Lactic tartness and wet oak, as well as a modicum of blackberry still kicking around.

Taste -- A sturdy base of lactic tartness, along with dark fruit maltiness, and some blackberry essence still remaining.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with high carbonation. Finish is drying and slightly tannic.

Overall -- Glad I had the opportunity to try this (LOVE blackberries), but the blackberry character has definitely faded. I can imagine this being incredible fresh. However, I imagine the best days are behind this beer.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2008
Pours a deep reddish purple with a huge off white head that slowly recedes to a cap. I can smell the berry aroma as soon as I pop the cap off the top of the bottle. Sweet light sugars with a hint of tart and funk round out the nose quite nicely. Nice fruity tart flavor with a moderate amount of puckering. Sweet stone fruit flavor with a hint of sweet sugary malt and a touch of funk. Medium body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a tart puckering mouthfeel. This tastes a lot better than it smells. I actually really enjoyed this beer while watching zombies on the sci fi channel.

Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark murky red with a pretty massive head. When I say massive, I mean like a couple inches. Monolithic. Retention is good and a little lacing is on my glass.

The aroma is of sweet, sugary blackberries. The aroma isn't overly complex but it works for this beer. There's a hint of tartness, but it's mostly delicate fruit with a small sweet malt backbone and some oak. I've never had a blackberry beer so this is quite unique.

The taste has more tartness than the aroma. The blackberries are slightly sweet, but it's not a lame artificial syrupy sweetness. This tastes like real blackberries, like blackberries from a real blackberry bush. Not some make believe bush that yields artificial tasting sugary blackberry syrup. There's sweet malt underlying the fruit. The finish is dry and tart.

Medium bodied with a lot of carbonation and a dry, sticky mouthfeel.

Overall, a nice delicate fruit beer using a fruit that is little used in beer, yet one that has potential.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a dark cloudy brown, very murky and dirty with a thick light brown head that has huge retention.

S-the nose has a plethora of black berries, there is little to no sourness to this but something in the back is slightly sharp, either acidity or a tinge of metal.

T-the taste has a hint more complexity but is also a little bit more watery than the nose. there is a fair bit of berry with a decent amount of tartness to it. dark malts are there as well showing notes of chocolate and a touch of raisin. the finish is slightly messy and a little watery with notes of acidity.

M-lighter body with tons of carbonation and very grainy prickly feel. the finish is thin and watery falling off from the body with a hint of driness.

D-this has a fair bit of malt to it and for a fruit sour it seems a little off. the tartness and dry finish seem pretty solid but the flavors are slightly off.

Photo of SRossman
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown. Reddish purple hues around the edges of the glass when held to the light. Decent head that actually has a purple tint to it.

S: Very rich and tart blackberry aroma. Some sweet maltiness. Surprisingly I get a faint wiff of booze in there too. This stuff is just over 5% ABV so this seems a bit weird. Not too off putting though.

T: Nice sourness, not abrasively so but certainly tart. Lots of blackberry (surprised?) but it finishes totally dry. Very little residual sugar here. Hints of vanilla bean and a rich malt profile round it out.

MF/D: Bright carbonation and nice body to it. Not quite thick or syrupy but no where near thin. Highly drinkable, once the carbonation fades a little this bottle will disappear quickly.

Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Foams from the bottle and leaves a big head with plenty of lace; murky blackberry jam color

Smell: Tart blackberry and balsa wood

Taste: Opens with a hint of fruity sweetness that is quickly subsumed by the lactic tart flavors; lots of balsa with a hint of vanilla underneath; after the swallow, the wood and tart flavors blend nicely to the finish, where there is a hint of residual sweetness, as well

Mouthfeel: Medium body with lively carbonation

Drinkability: What it may lack in complexity it more than makes up in fruity approachability; it makes me think of the difference between Australian/Californian wine vs the old world - a different approach to the same subject

Photo of illidurit
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the color of blackberry preserves, with a little dark caramel color in the highlights. Lasting ring of pinkish ecru head. Aroma is very oaky with sweet milk chocolate notes and unripe berries. Flavor is blackberry seeds with raspberry cordial sweetness. Solid tartness but not sour by any means. Obvious oak influence. A little too bubbly at first but it settles down. Finish is pleasantly dry. Way better than the Kriek.

Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a chocolate brown with ruby brown highlights that had a thin bubbly head and left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the berry notes are definitely there with some slight vinegar character and a tad of vinous notes. It did however have oakiness poping out as well.

T: the blackberry with vinous flavors dominate the palate alongside tamarind oaky accents but has slight vinegar notes and a touch of acidicy.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, vinous, fruity, oaky, and tart finish.

D: it actually drank really good and was glad to have another stab at it.

Photo of alpinebryant
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 750 ml Pours a hazy dark brownish blackberry color with a massive head of tan blackberry.

S: Aroma is clearly sour, a more clean aroma than I may have expected after having Kriek and Apricot Lambic from Cascade. While this is 4 years old, I can still clearly smell the fruit in here.

T: Sweet but dry champagne like blackberry wild ale. This is a great dessert sipper mostly light on flavor spare the fruit. Light malt backbone, very faint hopping which is perfect for the style. Blackberries overflowing in flavor. The Flanders style is underrepresented in this style. It isnt as sour as it is sweet, but it is a delicious lambic.

M: The mouthfeel I felt was great in here. It is a light beer but for the style it represents well and is heavier in body than I may have expected it to be. High carbonation. Very similar to a fine champagne

Overall, this beer is delicious. It hasn't been brewed in a few years and I was extremely lucky to have had it. Definitely one of the beers that I had sought out for a while and was lucky enough to have a generous trader send it my way. Thanks again! need to check my notes to see who you this generous person was ...

Photo of Sean9689
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris(Pro) for this one. 2007 vintage. Poured into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours black, purple tinge, cream-colored head, some bubbles on top here and there, and a thin collar.

S - Blackberries, lots and lots of blackberries. There's a nice level of sourness that's mixed with the blackberry sweetness that is very enjoyable. Some musty oak notes in there as well.

T - Blackberries, unlike any advertised blackberry beer I've ever had. Very straight-forward and enjoyable. Some oak in there, nice level of tartness. You know what you're getting with this one, blackberries!

M - Light body, good carbonation, dry oaky finish.

O - If you enjoy blackberries, you'll like this one. A nice level of tartness, some oak, and tons of blackberries. This one has held up nicely, from 2007. Recommend!

Photo of ccrida
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

"Cascade Blackberry Ale spends over six months of lactic fermentation and aging in small oak barrels. This 'Belgian Flanders Style Red Ale' is refermented with fresh whole Northwest Blackberries and then hand bottled. Cascade Blackberry Ale is bottle fermented and should be refrigerated or stored at cellar temperatures. Server at 45-50 Degrees."

750ml bottle poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, a slow steady overflow of foam beckons a quick sip to make more room in the glass. The Blackberry Ale is a murky, dark, purplish brown with a large, burgandy -tinged light tan head that is tight, cream and long lasting, leaving heavy foamy lace. AFter making some room in the bottle, the large head stopped overflowing, allowing me to relax and savor this fine ale. Served at cellar temp, where it's been since I first brought this home from the brewery a few months ago.

Smell is sweet and soft, powder-sugar coated blackberries.

Taste is tart lactic, light blackberry, semi-sweet and bone dry. Honestly, the bugs have already eaten away most of the berry flavor compared to the bottle I had when this first came out, leaving a very clean, neutral, albeit sour taste. Getting a bit blander now, hmm, I still have another of these in the cellar, not to mention a bunch of the kriek's and apricot's...I reckon they'll hold up longer, however, as they were much more robustly flavored to begin with. Nevertheless, the taste is nice, satisfying and quaffable, with the berry coming out a bit more as it warms from cellar to room temp.

Mouthfeel is very heavily carbonated, with a lighter body

Drinkability is pretty good, I love the tartness, but I could use a bit more flavor otherwise.

Photo of JAXSON
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A black/purple pour with a large, thick head. Nose abounds with black raspberries. Maybe some acidity beneath. Mouth is strange, malt in the sense of a dubbel. Sour quality is not at all integrated here, and the acidity just kinds of comes along for the ride. This has rarity going for it. Acidic as the Kriek is, but without the integrated sour fruit qualities.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very well carbonated, I get two fingers of beer and about five-fingers of head in my 25cl tulip glass after a reasonable pour. The head is a tight, tan colored head and the beer is a deep, purple / amber color that shows a hazy, cherry red color when held up to the light. The aroma has quite a bi of dark, fresh berry / light jam fruit notes to it. Underneath this is some cracker like malt, a light tartness, a touch of mustiness and some substantial toasted malt character (this last only if you are really digging around, but it is significant). The fruit is definitely the most noticeable aromatic note of this beer, but it is not overly strong and allows the other notes to come through pretty easily. The nose is pretty tame though, only faintly tart and there isn't much in the way of funkiness. As the beer warms a musty, almost woody, damp wood aroma starts to become noticeable.

Lightly tart tasting, more like a fruit derived acidity than anything. The beer finishes with a tart, unsweetened, berry juice like flavor. This beer is pretty darn dry and actually pretty light bodied as well. There is a touch of tannic structure (seemingly contributed by a sort of berry skin character and a touch of oak) that keeps this from being watery.

With a very careful second pour I get an almost even split between head and beer. The head, once it stops growing actually falls fairly quickly, but doesn't seem to completely disappear. I retained a lot more of the carbonation in the second pour and the beer becomes quite fizzy as it hits my tongue. There seems to be an almost roast character to the finish and there is definitely some toasty malt character here. The flavor is dominated by tart, fruity flavors, though not overly so. This is definitely lacking a tartness approaching that found in most sour beers, and I could almost be convinced that the acidity is solely derived from the blackberries. As the beer warms it begins to pick up a jam like berry character without really picking up much in the way of sweetness.

Definitely a bit disappointing, I was quite excited to see this called a "Belgian Flanders Style Red Ale," unfortunately I would be hard pressed to call this anything but a fruit beer. The typical tartness and balancing funkiness, plus the caramelized malt character is all lacking here. Not a bad beer, just needs a substantial boost before it can live up to its "style" designation.

Purchased: Raccoon Lodge

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Cascade Blackberry Ale from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
87 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.