Cascade Vlad The Imp Aler - Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

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Cascade Vlad The Imp AlerCascade Vlad The Imp Aler

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

643 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 643
Reviews: 159
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.39%
Wants: 482
Gots: 190 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  10.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: hopdog on 12-09-2008

A blend of oak barrel-aged 23- and 25-degree Plato sour blonde quadrupel with sour bourbon barrel tripel and sour strong spiced blonde. Wild yeast was added during the barrel aging.

First Release: 9.5% ABV
Second Release (Sept 2010): 10.6% ABV
Third Release: 2011 - 10.91%
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 643 | Reviews: 159
Photo of Jwale73
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage. Pours the color and clarity of honey with no head. Nose expresses citrus and some oak notes. Taste expresses oak, citrus and tannins. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an almost still carbonation and a semi-dry finish. Overall, a top notch beer. I think I prefer it better fresh; however, this beer has held up quite well.

Photo of SierraFlight
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle pour into a tulip during #bottlecherwednesdays at Beachwood BBQ. Hazy yellow-orange in color with a thin white head that settles quickly. Aroma is sour, tart, oaky, apple cider vinegar, unripe orchard fruit especially apple, and grape skin. Flavor starts with moderate woody tartness followed by apple cider sweetness, there’s some acid on the finish. Light bodied, thin in texture, high carbonation, dry finish.

Photo of Zach136
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'11 vintage, reviewed 2/7/15

Appearance - light brown, thin head

Aroma: Banana, pineapple, and funk.

Flavor: Banana popsicle with a big tartness. A touch of acetic acid, and a touch of funk.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Photo of maximum12
4.61/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It’s Fridge Clearing Week at the homestead! Yes, we are going to get to long-lost beers that for various reasons I haven’t gotten to (anticipated hate, anticipated love, fallen behind a moldy ham, etc.). This one comes via the much-beloved moose3285. 750ML bottle from the 2011 bottling split with my wife.

The cork digs its claws into glass neck, but after a prolonged struggle, I am victorious. The pop is ear-splitting. About 600ML poured out in anticipation of sludge, & those milliliters are clear 24 karat gold with a white, jittering head. Seriously. Sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies with fresh-poured milk: quite a loud popping. Smells just like the description: Belgian, sour, barrel, with tart green apple being dominant.

Vlad the Imp Aler is surprisingly restrained & complex. The wine barrels bring a lot of up-front flavor, bringing a vinous sharpness that complements the soft tartness that lurks behind: grapes, lemon, green apples, great layers without leaving my asshole as tight as a locked chastity belt. Mid-palate the barrel drops like an f-bomb, with oak enough to build a small fort against the side of the house: big, big wood. Bourbon comes through like a whiff of a good Dan Reed Network song. Belgian yeasts barely survive, but poke through on the finish like a weed sprouting through the barrel staves, along with spices that I can’t ID. Mouthfeel is like Sprite, spritzy & light. Drinkable as hell. I could have taken this myself, & I wouldn’t have even complained.

This is a nuanced, sophisticated take on the style. Right here is why Cascade might be my favorite purveyor of wild ales in the states, because they understand a sour is supposed to taste good, it’s not just an arms race to jack the pucker factor into the ionosphere. After having New Glarus’ Wild Peach a few nights ago, I might have had two of the better American wild ales: this is an elite beer, & no doubt about it. Fantastic.

Photo of Damian
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank from a 750 ml/1 pt. 9.4 fl. oz. corked and caged bottle
2011 Project
Served in a tulip
Big thanks to Rich and Nancy for sending this our way.

The slightly hazed, deep crimson-amber liquid was topped by a one-finger tall, creamy and frothy, off-white crown that quickly dropped to a thin, resilient film. Unexpected for a "spiced blonde quad." Drippy, streaky lacing trickled along the glass.

The aroma was amazingly rich, robust and complex. Sweet and tart with notes of balsamic vinegar and sour cherries. Slightly spicy. Touch of brown sugar sweetness. There was a musty sour grape quality as well. Quite wine-like. Moderately boozy. Notes of brandy were apparent. As the beer sat, bourbon notes came forth.

Flavorwise, the beer was outstanding. Crisp and tart with loads of balsamic vinegar and red wine. Slightly funky. There was a sweet booziness that reminded me initially of brandy but later seemed to be more bourbon-like. Slightly spicy with hints of vanilla. Cherries came through on the back end. Some lemon notes appeared as well. Touch of lactic acid twang. The finish was crisp and dry with more red wine notes and oaky barrel character. Even at 10-plus percent ABV, this was immensely quaffable and refreshing.

On the palate, the liquid was super slick, rich and creamy. Smooth and supple. Fuller bodied for the style.

Cascade makes a number of amazing sour ales, but Vlad the Imp Aler just might be their best. Although this beer is called a "blonde quad" by the brewers and classified as an American wild ale on BA, it had many of the characteristics found in the finest Flemish oud bruins. This bottle had three years of age on it and drank like a dream. I am curious to see how it is fresh out of the gate.

Photo of kojevergas
3.55/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml brown glass bottle with unbranded hood-and-wire cap over a cork with appealing label art served into a Guinness goblet. Courtesy of Schlimenhaumer.

2011 project. Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. 10.91% ABV.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide head. Thin. White colour. Not real creamy or full. Retention is nice - about 4-5 minutes. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Translucent golden-copper of good vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated. Not unique or special looking, but good for a sour.

AROMA: The lactobacillus sourness disappears beneath the competing bourbon and white wine barrel tones. Belgian blonde malts. Sourness is maybe a 4/10 in intensity.

It's a pleasant appealing aroma of moderate strength, but fails to provide enough sourness, tartness, and general wild character.

No alcohol, off-notes, or overt hop character comes through.

TASTE: The white wine barrel is nice, bringing dampened oak. Bourbon is much lighter and more reticent; I get a kiss of vanilla but no real toastiness. Maybe some white oak. Belgian blonde, golden, and pale malts provide the backbone. Sourness is disappointingly mild; maybe a 4-5/10 in intensity. It's tart, but not quite to the extent I'd like. I don't get much spice apart from some mild clove and general Belgian yeast spice.

For the most part, it's well balanced. But it leaves a lot to be desired: more sourness, more intensity, more complexity, more subtlety, more rich oak. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

I do like it. No alcohol, overt hop notes, or off-notes come through.

TEXTURE: Acidic, luscious, medium-bodied, soft, smooth, and wet. Aptly carbonated. Goes well with the fruit skin notes. Good presence on the palate.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, scratchy, or rough.

This texture complements the taste nicely, but doesn't elevate the beer and doesn't feel custom-tailored specifically to it.

OVERALL: Quite drinkable - incredibly so for its 10.91% ABV. I'll enjoy downing this glass, and would happily age a bottle if not for its pesky high price. It's another tasty sour from Cascade and disguises its ABV shockingly well. I'd definitely recommend fans of the style who can afford it try it once. I do think the bourbon intrudes on the sour/oak/acetic feel far too much, which is bad for the balance.

Low B

Photo of StJamesGate
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep golden-amber with no head. 3.75
Tart and dried apricot nose, with maybe some golden raisin. 4
Apricot mashy compote, some Chardonnay spice, Belgian candy sugar, brown sugar-bourbon thing, a cream soda hit, and a woody, tart cut to end. Butter rum comes out as it warms. 4.5
Sour caramel finish and clean lactic linger.
Medium, creamy, chewy. 4.25

-- Endless layers - touches of winter spice and apple pie in there, with a lemon chiffon cut to end. Heat is buried. Fizzy on the tongue but low carbonation - that’s Lacto, I’m told. Oscillates; lots of big notes, many of them sweet, so the sour saves it, yet it’s only as sour as it needs to be.

Sweet and sour, salt, bourbon - too busy? Not integrated enough? A cornucopia of flavours, but suffers next to something seamless like Cantillon. 4

Photo of Seanniek91
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a HF stemmed Tulip. Vintage 2011.

Appearance is murky amber with one finger of bubbly off-white head that left nice lacing. Smell is is baking spices. I get a bunch of apple pie and pumpkin pie, cinnamon and lemony citrus aromas. Taste is tart lemons and apples with much of the same baking spices. Mouthfeel is great. Body is medium/full with mild sourness and ample soft carbonation and no booze heat (10.9% ABV)!

Overall this is a great beer. Very unique sour beer that I liken to Ghouschip if I had to compare it to anything. I wish I saved this for thanksgiving to eat with some pie!

Photo of Fatehunter
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%

Pours a thin head on a cloudy dirty straw colored body.
The aroma is sour and grapes, lots of grapes.
The taste is sweet and sour, grapes, honey, lemon and oak. Outstanding balanced and depth.
The texture is fizzy and crisp.
Amazing.

Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Oranges, lemon peel, biscuit, oak, canned pineapple. Medium acidity. Taste is more of the preserved tropical fruit, but also barrel influence with brown sugar and vanilla. Alcohol comes through in bitter finish. Overall, great aroma but a tad hot on the palate.

Photo of shleepy
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Intense and complex. Oak, vanilla, lemon, tropical fruit (pineapple and such). Very heavy body.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark golden orange color, mostly clear, with a white head. The aroma is sour, with faint toffee like traces and plenty of barrel. The taste is very complex, oaky, tart, sour, trace bourbon, tannins, ghost fruit. Finishes bittersweet and slightly dry. Overall, a world class sour.

Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

750 ml shared bottle.
Nice hazy red-amber color.
Strong sour aroma with a very rich and complex flavor. Barrel aging is exceptionally well done, with enough added flavor to enhance but not overpower the other, mostly fruity, properties. Moderately tart.

Photo of KYGunner
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The body was a dark burnt orange color with lots of quickly ascending foam that had a bubbling throughout.

The nose was sour with a tangy mineralization, light vinegar and white wine. The Chardonnay aroma began to overtake the rest but yielded to a fragrant Apple blossom.

The flavors were not as complex as the nose may have suggested but the flavor was delicious. Apple, in several forms, was noticeable. I got Apple cider, Apple Brandy, Apple blossom and sweet yet tangy Granny Smith Apple's.

The feel is a bit tangy, a bit twangy and a touch like cider but very smooth.

This is a tangy one but quite good and quite flavorful.

Photo of mverity
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark orange with hints of amber and a slight coppery redness. Fluffy white head, sticky legs and very good lacing. Aroma is burnt orange peel, a clove/pine note and cardimum? Taste is tart orange peel, clove and a touch of cinnamon. Great medium body and highly carbonated. Another amazing beer from Cascade!

Photo of lordofstarside
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 project into a snifter

Pours a clear golden orange with a finger of foam that receded pretty quickly into a right around the glass. Very mild carbonation, lacing isn't too bad. Not much not to like

Smell's of tart cherry and apricot, vinegar, oak, leather, white wine, plums, Belgian spice, and funk. Comes together pretty well

Taste is very belgian. All the fruit and spice notes you'd expect from a a quad and a triple coupled with tart fruits, cherry, tangerine, and apricot being the strongest. Notes of vinegar and leather help the sour notes. Oak, wine, notes of bourbon, and some alcohol on the finish

Feel is medium sourness, medium body with a sticky finish. Alcohol hidden well, easy to drink

Overall not a bad beer, probably my least favorite from Cascade thus far. That said, still blows most competitors out of the water

Photo of DovaliHops
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2011 Project. Cork was probably one of the most difficult ones to remove...EVER. Pours a murky, golden color with a hint of amber. Small-medium, white head that takes a little time to go down. Good-looking brew. Scent is very inviting... green apples, bourbon, citrus fruit, barnyard funk, pepper, grass...damn, this beer is all over the place. Smells complex. Taste is just as complex! Initial sip is lightly tart with sour apple flavor and lemon peel. Sour lemon flavors with a balance of sweet bourbon. Lovely spiciness that I can't put my finger on...other than being delicious. A bit boozy, especially as it warms. Mouthfeel is a little cloying, but with a dry finish. Seems perfect with this offering. Drinkability is high...especially for such large ABV. Overall, like the other Cascade brews I've had, this one is very complex and delicious. The sweet booziness is definitely present, but the tart fruit, light acidity, and mellow funk make this to be a world-class beer. Have 1 more bottle, definitely going to buy more.

Photo of N_Schleret
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a half finger white head. Orange/amber color.
S: Funk up front. Sour apples with a light oak hint. Very similar to a wine with funk.
T: Sweet fruity flavors up front; apples and berries. Funk with a light oak taste in the back end. Bourbon flavor that is hidden in the end.
M: Medium on the palate. Very puckering. Medium carbonation.
O: A very complex beer. I can't wait to try more from Cascade Brewery. A beer worth sharing. Thank you from Chriscrundwell12 for bringing this to try.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle corked and caged shared with friends

A- Dark brown color with golden orange hues coming off of the bottom of the glass. 1/2 fingers worth of white head dissipates to thin layer around the glass, nice white lacing that sticks to the glass. Cloudy, hard to see through it.
S- Really nice aroma, wild yeast upfront, nice funky aroma, fruity notes, pear, sour lemon, vinegar. Slight oak characteristics as well.
T- Complex tasting beer, allot going on. The funk is the first thing you come across. Sour lemon, sour green apple, vinegar, i get wine characteristics in this, the oak is prevalent as well.
M- Medium mouthfeel, dry finish, well carbonated.
O- Really enjoyed this one. One of the better offerings from cascade IMO. Complex, tasty, great to share with friends.

Photo of rlee1390
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Cloudy yellow orange, one finger head with some lacing.

S-Grapes, wine, oak, slight bourbon, mild funk, grass and dirt.

T-Starts with some grapes, good deal of wine and oak. Mild bourbon, grass with some funk.

M-Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, crisp dry finish.

O-Not one of their best, worthy they try, but for the price it is a tough buy.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

"2011 Project"

A-Pours a slightly hazy, orangey amber color. Head is a slightly yellow, foamy, bubbly mass. Head manages to retain some of its size. Slick, bubbly lacing.

S-Funky and vinous with bourbon character. Almost reminds me of bourbon spiked egg nog. Spicy and a bit peppery. Vinegar. Tart fruits. Some malty base. Vanilla.

T-Funky and highly influenced by both types of barrel. The spiciness and broad oakiness of the bourbon barrel really blends well with the tannic, vinous wine barrel. It remains fairly sweet, not surprising because this beer has some Quad in there. Belgian spiciness and loads of funk. Vanilla cream with underripe apricot and peach. Vinegar sourness. Sweet and sour combo with a long, lingering barrel finish.

M-Alcohol hidden well. Sweet at first but finishes dry and tannic. Pleasant carbonation. Flavor lingers forever.

O/D-A really interesting Wild brew. I love the barrel influence and find that the funkiness plays very will with the bourbon notes. It's a pricey bottle that isn't easy to come by but one time is well worth it.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

this is one heck of a beer, and about the most complex one ive had in the blonde color. thanks to my brother for bringing this one to the table. its a sour blonde quad blended with a couple of other sour golden beers, barrel aged. hazy pale yellow in color with quite a bit of bubbles. the nose does not give its alcohol strength away at all, and it smells of sweet musty wood, souring bacteria, spiced rum, Belgian yeast, honey, and wheat malt. extremely complex layers of flavors, just like aromas, to this west coast gem. it starts quite sweet, with a honey and spice combination, and its immediately followed by a woodiness before sour kicks it into high gear. the combination of sour and sweet in the finish is a little odd, not dry at all, but its certainly enjoyable. the blonde quad is an interesting base beer for something like this, it holds up well to the other ingredients and blends, but also serves to let the barrel shine through in a unique way. some wine vibes on the finish as well. well enough carbonated and rather light in body for what it is. an extremely impressive beer from cascade, who seems to be doing so pretty special stuff. this one will be in my memory for awhile.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a slightly hazed amber color with a fizzy, thin off-white head. Leaves just a small white ring behind.

S: Sweet white wine and bourbon notes with some tart and heavy fruit notes. Red cherry and white grape are dominant in here. I get some oak as well, but it's pretty nicely restrained.

T: A nice hit of sourness right away, then a rich and fruit laced heavy sweetness. Meaty red cherry, spicy tripel notes, white grape, raisin skins and some candi sugar. Finish brings just a trace of bourbon with some red cherry skin tartness and a pleasant dryness from the alcohol. Not my favorite from Cascade, but it's pretty delicious. Really glad I finally got to try this one.

Photo of kbrown
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brought back from Portland trip.

Appearance- Hazy pineapple juice look. Creamy, bubbly head. Good retention.

Smell- Sour apples, grape.

Taste- Follows the smell also mandarin orange, grapefruit, wine barrel taste, slight hint of the bourbon.

Mouthfeel- Hardcore tart typical sour hit at front.

Overall- Good flavor, not as balanced and strong as Kriek.

Photo of chugalug06
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 Project

Appearance is fantastic!!! Almost self-growing head longevity. White foam and clouded peach color brew. Not much in the way of lacing.

Lemon, lime, orange, cherry, green apple, oaky, vanilla, bready... Fresh, delightfully aromatic! Near perfect aroma!!!

Definitely drinks best when brought up-to-temperature!! Dank, damp, horsey, more lime than lemon in the flavors. Honey, high burn from the ABV. Dry, earthy, bitter, and smooth. Heat is not detectable in the flavor, only in the mouthfeel. Flavors of raisin, chamomile, white grape, and apricot dominate. Fantastic sour tannins. Carbonation is quite meaty and pronounced. Bitterness is nearly well balanced and mellows out the sweetness. Not a lip curing sour, very well thought out.

A very nice brew, not sure it's a $30 brew, but it still is quite nice. Very well done and blended wonderfully. Highly recommended, if you can get it... Thanks for shipping Perry!

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Cascade Vlad The Imp Aler from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 643 ratings.