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

Cascade Vlad The Imp AlerCascade Vlad The Imp Aler

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494 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 494
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.9%

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:
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 added by: hopdog on 12-09-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 494 | Reviews: 144 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of HuskyinPDX


3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the Barrel House

A - Served a cloudy orange with a brown tint and only a few white bubbles on the glass.

S - Tart oaky and bourbon.

T - Sweeter and has the hints of a Brlgian quad/triple. Lots more bourbon in the finish.

D - Medium body with low carbonation.

O - Sweet Belgian with lots of oak and bourbon throughout.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2013 00:08:44 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of dirtylou


4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on-tap at the barrel house and then subsequently at the sixgill

Like any Cascade beer, Vlad is layered and complex with a bit of a punch. There is just so much going on here between the base belgian ales, the barrels, yeast and bugs and so on. It's hard to say it isn't good but it's hard to say it's great too - it's just too much. Sweet, boozy, vinous white notes, very trace bourbon, vanilla, pineapple. Interesting - would not buy another $30 bottle of this, but would go after it again on tap

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2013 00:28:20 | More by dirtylou
Photo of americanpalemale


3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this beer on tap at Raccoon Lodge.

Nice golden orange color with small white head that didn't last long.

Aroma of sweet bourbon, vanilla and tropical fruits and spices, with slight sourness.

At first sip, big bourbon without being too boozy, followed by an almost sweet and sour fruitiness. As the beer warms the bourbon and the sweetness from the alcohol become more apparent, as well as the sourness.

The carbonation was a bit low, I thought, but it wasn't too distracting.

At 10.6% abv. this is one that needs to be enjoyed carefully.

Overall, I really enjoyed the beer, but may have enjoyed it more at 8% abv.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2013 06:36:01 | More by americanpalemale
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Raccoon Lodge.

Appearance. A murky gold-amber liquid in the cascade globe with a thin white head.

Smell. Sweet and fruity with some woody bourbon and vanilla. Tons of lactic sour and some light, fruity belgian yeast.

Taste. Fruity belgian yeast and some woody bourbon with that nice Cascade lactic sourness. Not a sour as their fruited beers but that may be due to the big belgian base that lets some sweet caramel malt and a bit of booze come through.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium+ lively carbonation.

Overall. A nice sour with some great belgian qualities. Enjoyed it and looking forward to the vintage bottle at home some day soon.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2013 03:57:08 | More by Rutager
Photo of Halcyondays


3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a clear amber to orange with a minimal white head, some lace.

S: Wood for sure, musty apples, slight hint of ethanol. Esetery.

T: Apple and pear cider with some pronounced spice character. More directly Belgian in its sensibilites that wild. Still the sour undercurrent is there and adds complexity.

M: Medium to full-bodied, smooth, with a light prickly carbonation.

O: A very solid beer, the ABV is clearly well hidden. Something I'd like to have again to delve deeper.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2011 22:26:53 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of chumba526


4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It appears clear orange with a smallish off-white head.

It smells acidic and vinegary there is a nice apple and grape smell as well. I get a bit of a peppery yeasty smells as well. There is also a slight oaky wine like smell going on as well.

It tastes initially vinegary and acidic. There is a nice citrusy lemon flavor and a bit of a grapy fruity flavor going on as well. I get mild earthy, leathery funky taste from the ale. There is some oaky characteristic to the beer. I get a very mild vanilla and bourbon like flavor to the beer as well. There is a slight yeasty peppery character as well. There are a lot of flavors going on but they all blend with each other nicely.

The carbonation is around medium.

The drinkability for this beer is pretty good though it is too acidic to drink a bunch of them.

Overall a very good complexly flavored ale that is worth seeking out.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2010 20:54:18 | More by chumba526
Photo of TulipSnifter


4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer has no cap but has some lacing. It looks like a light apple cider.
Smell: It has a light sour smell.
Taste: I taste a bit of faint vanilla and it is pleasantly sweet. Tastes similar to a fruity white wine... Maybe Chardonnay.
Mouth feel: clean and light which I like.
Drink ability: Easy to drink and is very pleasant.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2010 23:48:21 | More by TulipSnifter
Photo of elliot23


4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Barrel House.

A small head of off yellow foam. Beer pours a strong orange color. cloudy in color. The smell is bourbon and oak intermingling with tart berries and citrus. The taste is complex with spice, citrus, and apple cider. Very nice sipping beer. The mouthfeel is very warming. Low carbonation and a medium body are very welcomed here. The ABV is ridiculously high, but well hidden. Amazingly easier to put back.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2010 16:33:49 | More by elliot23
Photo of eatabagofbooger


4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep gold with a touch of amber. The large white head dissipates quickly, but leaves a thick lacing.

S: Smells like a sour! Tart fruitiness with sweet undertones (raisins and Belgian sugar) and a fair bit of funk. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla are present, but subtle.

T: The first wave is sour and a bit funky, but is quickly overtaken by the second wave of flavor, consisting of stronger funk, a pleasant bitterness, spice, oak, and raisins or prunes. Tartness mildly reasserts itself in the finish along with bourbon and spice.

M: Medium-light with ample carbonation. Suits the beer well, but it's nothing to write home about.

D: Alcohol is well hidden, but the sourness and funk would keep me from having more than one glass in a sitting. Still, sipping one of these over an hour or so is a wonderful experience that I hope to have again soon.

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2010 06:21:38 | More by eatabagofbooger
Photo of emmasdad


3.05/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured a nice medium amber color, with a medium bodied ivory head. The bourbon barrel tripel component that was blended into this one was what intrigued me, and I am glad I got to try it (along with the bourbonic plague, which I loved), but this one was way too sour for my palate. Lots of funk, lactic acid, lemonheads, sour cherries and vinegar. For me at least, this one was nearly undrinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2010 03:09:39 | More by emmasdad
Photo of Elendinn


4.85/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the Barrel House -- served in a snifter.

A - pours a gorgeous burnt-orange with very little head and a smattering of thick lacing down the side of the glass.

S - farmhouse funk, some vanilla, apples, oranges, cherries, an amalgam of spices, and vinous white grapes reminiscent of riesling.

T - the flavors lead off with the obligatory, funky sourness of tart fruit, complimented by a perfectly-balanced amount of bourbon. Apples, oranges, white wine grapes, a bit of Belgian yeast, pumpkin, and some faint spice (nutmeg, cinnamon) are all present, as well. The alcohol is barely perceptable.

M - medium-bodied, pretty carbonated -- nothing out of the ordinary.

D - the best and most complex sour I've ever had. Russian River should be jealous.  What more can I say?

Serving type: on-tap

09-30-2010 02:17:37 | More by Elendinn
Photo of Docer


4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a glass tonight on tap at the barrel house..

- Caramel colored and clear with a thin bubbly white head....

- Tart notes, sweet ester, grain... citrus notes, brown sugar...

- A slightly more sweet sour from Cascade.. an amber of sorts with a sweet touch of biscuit, grain... sugars... and tart as it should be...

- Light bodied... malty syrupy.. slightly sticky...

- Overall a great sour, but I think it falls short compared to a few others of theirs... Loving the Bourbonic, Noyeaux, and Sang Noir much better...

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2010 02:33:36 | More by Docer
Photo of boMD


4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tap at the super sweet Cascade Barrel House... It was about time I got my mitts on this infamously hyped beer. Poured clear amber/orange with a white head. The nose was candied, quite sweet with a light yeast funk. The lacto is so clean compared to brett, which definitely is displayed in a lot of the Cascade sours. Some acidity going on, maple sweet sugars, lactic yeast notes, quite sour and tart. Ginger, apples, light fruit. Like a tart, slightly over ripped fruit with a lot of added sweetness.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2010 15:18:51 | More by boMD
Photo of hopsbreath


4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Review #100! I had something on deck for such an occasion in the fridge but couldn't restrain myself from ticking a rare sour beer on tap instead. The rare bottle of beer in the fridge will just have to make its appearance another day.

Sampled at the Cascade Barrel House today, it arrived to our table in a mini snifter. The label on the side indicates that there is 8 ounces of this goodness in my glass. At $6.50 its a little steep but considering we're talking about the silver medal winner at last years GABF, its a steal! Golden orange with spectacular clarity, wispy ring edge, and spotty lacing. This looks good enough to drink!

This intensely smells like a very buttery Chardonnay! You're gonna be hard pressed to call this a beer if blindfolded. The barrel has lent more vanilla than I have ever smelled with strong amounts of sugar cookies and sharp lactic notes! Oh my this smells good.

A ton of pepper spice this up. It is semi one dimensional beyond the spice though. Minimal sour muscat grapes with far less vanilla than the nose suggests are found. The alcohol is also there in spades.

This is a little thicker on mouthfeel than I would have liked. A little gummy overall, I prefer my sours a bit thinner.

Drinkability is damn good considering the ABV. I'll definitely be picking up a few bottles of this when the labels finally get approved. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2010 06:10:27 | More by hopsbreath
Photo of wethorseblanket


4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone Sour Fest. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly clear, light orange color, with just a little carbonation creating a faint head. Smell is barnyard funky, kind of bretty, and a faint grape quality. Taste is complex. Tart and sour mixed with a slightly bitter oak wood tannin element. As this warms the alcohol comes on stronger. Really glad to try this. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2010 02:32:11 | More by wethorseblanket
Photo of womencantsail


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone Sour Fest

A: The pour is a dark orange color with a nice (but small) white head on it.

S: The aroma is fairly citrus heavy and fruity. Notes of grapefruit, apples, and green grapes. Quite a decent "funk" considering that Cascade doesn't use any brett. Leather, earth, and wine round things out.

T: A nice sourness is present right up front. Lactic (lemon) notes along with some pungent grapefruit and a tannic/dry oak quality to the beer. A touch of vinegar, a touch of sweetness...fairly complex, I must say.

M: The body is medium with a fair amount of carbonation and a dry finish to it.

D: This is a much needed redemption after my taste of Bourbonic Plague. Another good wild ale from the guys up at Cascade.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2010 03:01:33 | More by womencantsail
Photo of jdense


4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

PIB Mystery Beer #2, no mystery after running into Curtis at Belmont Station the night before, keg blew in a bit over an hour!

Minimal amount of head resulted in thin ring around top edge of glass, very little if any lacing. Nose is dry, minimal fruitiness, significant barrel aroma. Taste is tart and light, more tart than sour, some light grape, apricot notes, picked up a bit of vanilla. Dry attentuated mouthfeel, fairly thin. A far different flavor profile from Bourbonic Plaque, not quite as complex a nose and taste, but certainly well in balance and ultra tasty. Really drinkable, though the ABV is a bit more noticeable than the Plaque, this is one subtle and yet sophisticated, drinking experience.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2010 17:08:12 | More by jdense
Photo of ChrisPro


3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Draft for Sourfest 2009 at Brouwer's for SBW.

Pours a dark amber with nice head.

Citrus fruit dominates the aroma with a hint of the alcohol to come. Nince tart fruit flavor with a hint of the wood and hops. Way too carbonated for my taste, but never would've guessed it was 10.2%! Unbelievable. Nice work, Cascade!

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2010 02:26:11 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Brouwers during their Big Wood festival.

The beer pours an apple cider amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is impresssively complex, with apple cider, apple vinegar and a touch of sour funk. The sour funk is actually fairly subtle in this beer, and in combiantion with the other aromas, gives this beer something of a lemon lime soda aroma. Flavors replicate the nose pretty closely, with the sour dialed down to the point I could drink and enjoy this beer (increasingly I find this to be the case with Cascade wild ales). The flavor profile is really pretty intriguing, with a combination of fresca soda and light sour funk making for a very unusual combination. Mouthfeel is very light and easy going, with just the right amount of carbonation for the style (restrained carbonation). Drinkability is pretty good, and I feel as if I really need to say something about Cascade's ability to hide the high abv. in their wild ales. If I had to guess, I would have thought the abv. in this beer to be no more then 6 or 6.5%; I had it side by side with the NB Bottleworks 10 and both beers tasted as if they had a very similar abv. I have no idea how Cascade manages to do this, but to say the least, I was impressed.

Glad I got to try this one.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2009 21:32:48 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of ccrida


4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On draught at the brewpub, enjoyed while chatting with the ever generous and friendly Ron, Curtis, and Art from Raccoon. Vlad the Imp Aler is a dark golden light orange with a small white collar that leaves scattered lace.

Smell is slight caramel and whiskey, a nice spiciness, semi-sweet, with light fusels.

Taste is great, a big BSPA fruitiness countered by a nice tartness, with more of the whiskey and spice notes providing added depth. Sometime the lacto dominates so much that they base beers don't shine though, but that surely isn't the case here, at least not yet! Wow, very yummy, these guys have been killing it in the sour beer world lately.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a hint of oily slickness and not as dry as their other sours.

Drinkability is dangerously high for 10.3% beer, although mainly because it's so tasty, as you can certainly taste the heat. Factor in the reasonable price and you've got another home run from Cascade.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2009 23:13:47 | More by ccrida
Photo of Trailmix242


4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Nice amber color with a great aroma that hints at the joy to be had. Taste is of dark fruits and is quite sour. The wood aging is tasted in the finish though does not overpower the other flavors. A must try if you like sour beers. I also think the classification as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale is quite misleading.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2009 22:05:11 | More by Trailmix242
Photo of midaszero


4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear amber body with one finger of off white head with excellent lacing

S - Sour and fruity with a sweet and malty note mixed in as well.

T - Sour raspberries with acidic and tart notes. Citrus, apple and some oak come through as well. Nice red wine note.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Very nice sipper beer. Easy to drink and pretty enjoyable

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2009 21:03:29 | More by midaszero
Photo of erikm25


4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Color was a thickened bright, yet hazed, amber hue. A massive glowing ruby red with subtle cherry glazed highlights. Looked like a thick red wine. Definitely a surprise when sat in front of me. There was some minimal lacing that stuck tightly around the glass with nice retention. Great and vibrant looking beer.

S: The aromas were amazingly sharp and vivid. Very difficult to describe. They swirl into the nose with a distorting fragrance. Citrus fruits, cherries, raisins with hints of vanilla. Tart apples and sugary plum-ness.

T: This had an immediate and insanely complex and intense taste. My first thoughts were tartness but that does not do justice to everything going on in the taste. Sour black cherries with blistering orange citrus bite. Lots of apples with a slightly spicy finish. Lemon tang with creamy raspberry and velvety banana-peach flavors. Great barrage of tartness, sourness, and sweetness. Ends with a biting sharpness. Had no idea what the ABV was at the time of tasting but felt it had to be 8% or above.

M: Impressive carbonation and body. Has a nice stickiness around the mouth. Had this after dinner and it was perfect for sipping and enjoying.

D: Review notes from 12/31/08. I had no idea what to expect when I ordered. In all honesty, the name sounded cool so without asking any info I just went for it. I am still new when it comes to expanding my horizons and experimenting with new types of beer. However, the first word that came to my mind when I tried this was "innovation." Definitely unique and I am very glad I gave it try. Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2009 02:23:55 | More by erikm25
Photo of msubulldog25


4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Raccoon Lodge/Cascade Brewing brought a keg or two of this new ale to the Holiday Ale Fest a few weeks ago. Was disappointed to miss it then, but happy to see it available at Saraveza this afternoon ($5.50 for a sizable gobletful).

A: Rosy red-orange pour, a few jetstreams of tiny bubbles rising to a 1/2-finger of tight near-white cream. Terrific lace, sheeting down the glass in broad, flaky bands.

S: Yeasty sweet/tartness of green apples, apricots, grassy/floral hops, honey.

T: Don't be fooled by the catch-all term 'Strong Pale Ale' - this is a sneaky monster, and a tart one. Apricots, raspberries, melon rind, apple skins, sourdough, musty wood, and that undefinable/overused term: 'funk'. It's tart, then it's sweet, then it's tart, then it's...dances a fine line expertly. Vague woodiness in the finish, ends dry.

M: Creamy feel, luscious and smooth after the initial tongue curl each new sip brings. A little yeasty coating, a mild stickiness. Alcohol is extremely well hidden - would have guessed 6%.

D: Tasty and well-made ale from one of the rising stars in Portland's ever-expanding beer scene. A nice one to sit with, swirl a bit, sip occasionally. Not an everyday beer, but a pleasure to have on this day and one I'd happily get every now and then. Recommended!

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2008 21:42:03 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of Floydster


4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a blend of Cascade's blonde and quadrupel that is then barrel aged with wild yeast, consumed 12/5/08, reviewed from notes, color was bright medium orange with several golden highlights, 1/2 inch fizzy white head that disappears quickly, no lacing or retention to note, smell contained grapefruit, citrus, barley, funky yeast, tarty brett, wood, green apple, and sour cherries, taste was very tart at first which I was not complaining about, malts come into effect and the beer gets sweeter after the first few sips, really like the citric acid and sweet fruit combination, funky lemons and orange peel in the finish, mouthfeel is faintly sour, sweet, and dry, body is on the medium side, high level of carbonation, taste sticks around for a good amount of time, could have drank several servings of this, refreshing, not overly sour or sweet, not heavy, just a nice tarty Belgian ale, first beer I tasted from this brewery but just had the four sours arrive in the mail a few days ago, now I cannot wait to open those, certainly recommended

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2008 04:23:12 | More by Floydster
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Cascade Vlad The Imp Aler from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 494 ratings.