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

Not Rated.
Cascade Vlad The Imp AlerCascade Vlad The Imp Aler

Educational use only; do not reuse.

157 Reviews
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Reviews: 157
Hads: 655
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 19.62%
Wants: 480
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 157 | Hads: 655
Reviews by brydeen:
Photo of brydeen
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

reviewed as part of Blind BIF round 8

A: Pours a deep golden copper hue, with a sudsy 1/2 inch white head. Very clean and crisp in appearance.

S: A touch of sweet apples right away. A wine like element to it, likely white wine or Chardonnay barrels? A light funk, but not overpowering.

T: White grapes, a touch of lemon, and a light herbaceous flavor I can't seem to pinpoint. Some light spicing too perhaps. Quite refreshing, but I can't figure this one out.

M: Crisp, light, and bubbly. If you told me this was only 5%, I'd probably believe you. No alcohol presence at all.

O: This is a great, lightly tart, but not mouth puckering sour brew. Very crisp and refreshing, with no one dominating presence. I'm thinking its some sort of wine barreled golden ale or even Saison, but I can't seem to pinpoint any of it. It's a great balance of tart with a sweetness well incorporated. Incredibly tasty stuff.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of MasterSki
4.56/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to sarcastro for supplying this to the recent tasting. I initially tried to trade for this exact same bottle, so it's strangely karmic that it showed up where I could try it. Served in a tasting snifter.

A - A finger of yellow-tinged foam that dissipates to a thin ring. Dark, murky, orange color, and tons of chunkies floating about. I heard this was filled straight from the barrel, but it's still not very attractive.

T - Lactic sourness, spicy bourbon, pepper, caramel malt, wood and charred barrel, tart apples, grape skins, under-ripe raspberries, stone fruits, and amazingly well-hidden alcohol.

T - The taste is a little less complex with more tannins and spice, and less balancing sweetness. Very acetic, with notes of apple cider vinegar. Pretty delicious.

M - Dry, medium body that is big enough for 9.5%. Tannic finish with a touch of stickiness. It integrates feel elements of all the base beers quite convincingly.

D - This is shockingly drinkable for the ABV - we plowed through this faster than any of the barleywines that we had beforehand. A fantastic experiment that should be a big hit when it's bottled in larger quantities.

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Photo of steenkampa
2.46/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I bought this bottle and held onto it for a year or so... brought it to a tasting with a few friends (the highlight of the night was a 2011 Chocolate Rain).


This was overpriced, significantly so. I had gotten it for $40, and to be perfectly honest if it had been $20 my review would be much different.

However, it was not.

For a $40 very rare offering from Cascade, it was pretty lacking in flavor. Too light, not too much fruit or actual sour going on,...it was just boring. I had a few of the Almanac Farmer's Reserve sours later on, and one of them (the 3 I think? maybe it was the 4?) tasted nearly identical, but was about 1/4 the price (smaller bottle, but still...1/2 price if you got two).

I'm not cheap, I'm usually completely down for a $40 beer if it is truly something interesting...but I was deeply disappointed by this one.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Doug for inviting me into his home and offering to split a lovely array of Cascade brews; Vlad being the first on the hit list. Murky copper and dingy amber; completely opaque and full of unfiltered haze, topped off with a beige head that sizzles and pops as it foams up quickly and phases out just as fast, leaving the top of the muddled brew bare.

The initial aroma has plenty of sour notes; tart fruits, along the lines of apples and white grapes, coming completely with a mild booziness that's hard to identify. Kind of a "lighter" fruit profile than I'd expect from a quad... but after re-reading the label, it's a "pale quad". Hm, didn't even know there was a such thing. Wood is also present in the aroma, fading to a mild, warming bourbon.

You get smacked pretty quickly with a sharp tartness as you take each sip... This is possibly even a little more sour than I was expecting. Lots of cherry notes, pear skins, and mild quad-like phenol warmth and ester sweetness hidden underneath. Lots of vinous notes trounce in, especially during the latter half of each sip; oak, mild white wine grapes, and dry tannins.

Vlad inherits some more bourbon-esque notes with warmth, letting you feel its presence without getting too "boozy". Dry finish, full of scraping fruit skin sharpness, a very light acidity, and a good amount of oak. Probably one of the "softer" beers in terms of acidity as far as Cascade goes. Medium bodied with a slightly creamy and slightly sharp mouth feel.

Very tasty sour... It's quite strong, although I still don't think it tastes like 10%+ ABV. Good balance of fruit, barrel, and overall sourness, and it drinks really well for the relative strength within the style. It would be interesting to try the non-soured "base" beer of this (referring to the pale quad), as that sounds intriguing. Another great brew from Cascade... bravo!

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Photo of brownbeer
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a naked corked and caged bottle.

Orangey in color with a white head, great retention.

This is a very fruity beer in a fresh peach kind of way. It has a nice maltiness with lactic sourness livening things up a bit. The alcohol is noticable but that won't slow you down as this brew is quite tasty.

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Photo of NWer
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of DWolf
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Callmecoon
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of TimoP
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of mverity
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
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!

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Photo of mctizzz
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of aquazr1
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of jaminjohnson
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of standardcherry
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, 2011 vintage.

A: Dark-ish orange color. Pretty hazy. Large white, frothy head that lingered for a while and then dissipated.
S: A lot of spiciness/sweetness. Smells a bit sour but I would not be able to tell this was a Cascade, it's lacking the strong lactic acidity they usually have (although that's not a bad thing in this case). Can definitely smell the tripel spiciness a lot, balanced out with some vanilla, oak and funkiness. Very unique, I dig it.
T: Nice tartness up front. Tastes kinda like pineapple/coconut/vanilla. Has a lot of hints of quad fruitiness and tripel spiciness. Some citric in there with a bit of lactic acidity. Some oak and sweet bourbon at the end.
M: Medium bodied with moderate (almost high) carbonation.
O: Extremely drinkable. I drank the 2009 and 2011 side by side very easily. I would have guessed t was around 6-7%. Great stuff as I've come to expect from Cascade, I'm glad I got to try it and I will definitely be ISO more.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750ml corked & caged bottle poured into a chalice.

Pours a hazy amber color with a small thin white head. Nose is tart and funky, with a nice fruitiness.

Taste is really tart and fresh and a bit sweet. Mouthfeel is really lift and crisp. This hong is delicious!

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml cork and caged bottle poured into a bruery snifter thanks to trxxpaxxs. i believe this is from the 2nd release...

pours out a cloudy orange color with just a touch of sediment. only an off white ring of head that lasted most of the way, no real lace to speak of.

big tart lemony, barnyardy brett intially. bits of wine like fruits. as it warms it really takes on a stinky, funky, moldy oak character, lactic?

lots of tart lemon citrus, sour pie cherry, and barnyardy brett. some subtle wine like fruits, mostly citrus like. a little alcohol is noticable. a bit of that moldy lactic funk, but this comes through way more in the aroma.

very tart and sour. medium to light in body, does not drink anything like its 10% ABV suggests. very drinkable, but the intense funk and sour obviously hinders this a bit.

a solid sour, cascade really knows what their doing with sour barrel aging and it really shows. i have yet to have anything bad from them. the only thing i couldve hoped for was more of a bourbon barrel character.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011 Project)

Thanks for sharing this with me, VaTechHopHead!

Clear orange with a small ring of white foam. Leaves dots of stick down the glass.

Citrus and fruity aroma, with some grapefruit and white fruit notes, along with lactic sour character, and a touch of funk. Some wine and earth notes as well.

Moderate sourness, white fruits, along with some lemon and grapefruit complete the flavor. Fairly complex, though incredibly drinkable.

Medium bodied with moderate to near high carbonation. Very drinkable.

I like this a lot, but remember liking it even more.

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Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of Ruben007
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Soonami
3.46/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bartrash (Pete) for sharing a pour of this from the Weyerbacher Rapture release.

This beer smells like a dirty diaper, it is just all kinds of funky. It didn't taste bad, but it just weird drinking something that tasted like a sour leathery funky beer that also smelled like digested food.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured out a yellow, orange and light brown mix. Very little head ring around it, too small to determine its color or find any degree of retention or lacing possible. Left a big clump of brown sediment in the bottle after the pour.

Aroma was citrus and bourbon. Different.

Taste, a weird mix of soured blond ale, but also the oak and bourbon notes giving it a boozy mouthfeel that is far from a bad thing, it was like a big time juxtaposition of those flavors, but as it went on, it became more enjoyable. Vanilla, charred oak, bourbon, citric rind, citric tarness, booze, toffee, musty dark fruit. Drinks relatively easy though given the high abv.

Drank at a camping trip up around Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe. This one closed out Saturday night for us.

Now that they are charging $30 a bottle for this beer, plus shipping, its just not that good to cough up that kind of money. I'll take two bottles of their apricot instead of the one bottle of this that I can get for the same price. Cool beer, enjoyable, but unless you are just rolling in cash, I don't see stocking up on these. To try once? Sure.

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Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

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Photo of mocktm
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

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Cascade Vlad The Imp Aler from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.