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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.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

624 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 624
Reviews: 158
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.39%
Wants: 479
Gots: 188 | FT: 15
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: 624 | Reviews: 158 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 BARFLYB
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 Malefactor
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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 nataku00
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ronricorossi
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Keith_R
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of define333
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JayPeso
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of c-rum
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of oldsailor
3.61/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chart813
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of threedaggers
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brewskis
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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 Mphis
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of KidSalami
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Purduechris13
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of myteam24
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of yancot
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

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Cascade Vlad The Imp Aler from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 624 ratings.