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
92
outstanding

157 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 157
Hads: 651
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 481
Gots: 190 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 157 | Hads: 651
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour courtesy of JealousChalice at Woodshop 7 held at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

2009 vintage.

Pours a slightly hazy yellow with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and somewhat funky with some grain and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with an acidic quality on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a solid flavor but I like the way it smells better. (563 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter.

Pours an amber-brown color with a single-finger head that dies down somewhat quickly but leaves a bit of lacing behind and has a nice collar throughout. The nose brings a decent amount of lactic character plus some citrus and a fairly-strong amount of green apple skin. The flavor is sour with a bit of funk as well as some oak and a light amount of acetic acid. Mouthfeel is a bit light with a good sour character. Fair amount of carbonation plus a really nice level of drinkability. Nothing really stands out about this brew, though in the end I simply want more. (587 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (1,197 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to DaveHack (the effin' man) for opening this one last night. This poured out as a clear looking copper color with a nice white head on top. The retention and lacing were minimal. The smell of the beer is obviously sour but also has this subtle sweetness in there too. I kept picking up elements of either the bourbon or honey on the nose. The taste of the beer is tart but it doesn't melt your face off. There is a nice balance of tart and sweet mixing together on this beer. Really interesting stuff! The mouthfeel was well carbonated and light bodied. Overall it's a great beer, and thats coming from someone who isn't the biggest fan of sours. Really quite enjoyable. (678 characters)

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

Another rare Cascade bottle generously shared by Arbitrator. Thanks!

Amber in color with a slight yeasty haze. No head forms from a gentle pour, just a thin white ring circling the rim of the glass, but there's plenty of visible carbonation. The aroma is bold and complex, ranging from musty wood and damp basement to cherries and plums to white pepper and sweet bourbon. Acetic and lactic acid are present in equal quantities, stinging the nostrils slightly. The taste is equally complex, opening with sour cherries, plums and stonefruit, with a touch of caramel-like bourbon flavor buried beneath the fruit. Lactic and acetic acid are at a moderate level, sharp and biting without overwhelming the subtle complexities of the beer. Carbonation is at a high level, helping to offset the full body. The finish is lightly bitter and dry, leaving flavors of pepper and orange peel lingering on the tongue. This is good stuff, but it becomes a bit overwhelming after a few ounces. (977 characters)

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

The pour was decent enough with a clear, dark grape juice looking liquid with only the slightest bit of carbonation sticking to the inside of the glass. The aroma is sour, tart notes, hints of a woody or oak like touch with a vanilla touch to it. Small notes of cherry or some light fruit notes. As I take a taste the feel really throuws me off. Nice tart flavors and a really nice well blended profile. much different then anything i have run into before. The bite of tart apples is lightly offset with a touch of vanilla and oak in the finish, nothing too bad at all, Just a nice one to put down, the tartness was not strong enough and the subtle hints of oak, too light to make a difference. (694 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (733 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.2/5  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. (384 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at the bottle share during the Jackie O's bottle release. Poured into a tasting glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orangish amber with a layer of white head. The head fades to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt, more sweetness than I expected. Some funk and citrus tartness with an herbal note too.

Taste: This is awesome! Sweet malt with some white wine like tartness. Much sweeter than most sours I have had. The finish is malty but acidic. Really good.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is really different, but really good. Sweet and sour, great balance. I would love to have more given the chance. (670 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks a bunch as always to John for bringing this across the country for me!
I took this to share at a recent tasting.

Gushed a bit out of the bottle, but was quickly under control. Poured into a Night Shift mini feku, a darker amber colored liquid, more hazy as it got closer to the bottom of the bottle; very heady, capped with an inch or more of off-white foam, nice retention and lacing. Aroma was sour/tart, apple cider and stone fruits, hints of Belgian yeast and spice, funk. Sourness was quite tame on the palate, taste was otherwise quite complex: apple, cherry, apricot, lemon, grassy funk, peppery yeast, light acetic acid, white wine, wood, leather, and I almost detected a touch of cinnamon bark in there. Medium body, crisp and moderately puckering mouthfeel, very drinkable overall. (799 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
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 (2,564 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (1,157 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12/12/10 notes. Had at a local tasting thanks to Thorpe429; thanks Mike, really wanted to try this one!

a - Pours a nice amber color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour apples, funk, sour cherries and fruit, oak, vinegar, and light bourbon. Smells pretty amazing.

t - Tastes of sour apples, sour fruit, barnyard funk, vinegar, oak/wood, and bourbon. Again, very enjoyable.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth body.

d - I thought this was a great beer that smelled absolutely amazing. It had a nice combination of sour fruit and oak, which I thought worked really well together. Would love to get another bottle of this one. (688 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.44/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe, thanks.

Beer is brown and hazy with a head that just never quite forms all the way. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma is lactic and acetic with a mixture of various citric forms from different fruits...apples and figs mostly.

Beer is light in body and moderately carbonated on the palate. Beer is very tart and quite sour. The acetic character makes the palate brighter bringing forward more tannic and oaky characters that may have been lost in the beer otherwise. The lactic is also very forward...overall this was a great great sour. I would definitely have it again. (593 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%

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. (257 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip.

Pours 1 finger of creamy white head. Good head retention. Color is a brightly hazed golden orange.

Aroma: Sour cherries, vinegar, and medicinal bretty funk up front. It has oak, vanilla and spices. It is a bit acidic with some lemon citrus. Decent. Fairly fruity, but pretty funky as well.

Taste: A bit sour funk bomb. A lot of brett and dry spices. Some vanilla. Oak and medicinal flavors are big. It has cherries, lemons, and other tropical fruits blended in. It ends with a wave of booze, kind of like taking a shot of vodka. I also get some dried plums in there with some bready and caramel malts. It does show notes of the tripel with some dry spices and the alcohol. It does have some grape flavors mixed in.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, tart, and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends clean, but a bit dry.

Overall, I think it is good, but I am not overly impressed. It is somewhat drinkable, but it does show the abv. I think this one is a bit hyped up. (1,001 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jconrick1 for the trade on this one! Shared with CaptinRedBeard on 3/24/11.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a clear orange color with yellow hints around the edges. A white frothy head appears more than a finger strong and leaves a webbing of lace work all over the glass. A light swirl revives the back to a finger of creamy head.

The aroma is mineral filled with funk and souring notes. A light touch of vinegar mixed with a sweet smelling fruitiness like orange peel and other tropical fruits. The backend reveals some sulfur and a scent that is a little poopy. Quite a wild mix of enjoyable aromas going on, it would have been more enjoyable without the sulfur and minerals though.

The taste is sharp and acidic, cheesy, funky, fruity with bitter rinds like orange and some pear. There is a fruity warming finish to this brew. Oak flavors mingle with the fruitiness as it warms and evolves into something only minorly reminiscent of Belgian phenols underneath the funky sourness of this offering.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is lightly acidic and souring. Quite easy drinking with a nice warming quality to it as expected for 10+% abv. A nice salivation factor about this brew makes me want to continue drinking it with ease but it just seemed like it was missing something. Perhaps this one would have developed more in the bottle. As is, it's amazing how wild yeast can alter the blend of base brew's. (1,471 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

A: Hazy and orange in color with an eighth inch of head that leaves some good lacing on the glass.

S: Sour, funk, citrus, apples, fruit, alcohol.

T: Really tasty. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. The flavor is tannic, with a nice oak barrel presence. The beer is pleasantly sour, which thrills me, and has a nice fruit component. The bourbon aspect is there, but not overwhelming. Overall, a seriously delicious brew.

M: Very smooth feel with moderately low carbonation.

D: An overall awesome beer. I definitely want some more of this. (581 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.82/5  rDev -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. (508 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
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. (291 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle. 2011 project.

Appearance - Clear orange. Small white head. Some wisps. Thin collar.

Smell - Lots of vanilla. Fruity. Light citrus. Malty. Slight acidity.

Taste - Sweet up front. Sharp sourness follows. Fruity flavors parallel the sourness. Peachy, almost. Bright citrus flavor. Malty in the back, but all pale malts.

Mouthfeel - Heavy for a sour, as always from Cascade. Medium carbonation. Not a lot og sourness.

Overall - This is close to great, but it ends up being just good. I feel like it could be so much more. (537 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Mihir for bringing this to our tasting.

Pours a dark caramel toffee color with golden yellowish orange hues when held to a light source and a one finger off white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Minimal streak of spotty lacing.

Slightly musty aroma with some sweet estery Belgian yeast notes. Slight light fruit presence, especially apple. Cedary oak character and somewhat vinous. Very subtle dry brett in the nose that is barely noticeable.

Tartness up front with a slightly puckering mouthfeel. Sweet and vinous with some nice estery light fruit, especially apple and grape. The oak presence is subtle but there is a good bit of bourbon heat and warmth in the finish. (700 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one has been sitting around much to long, tonight it must be drunk. The cork broke and I had to resort to the corkscrew, the cork was really dry. Pours a deep amber bordering on copper with a small tightly bubbled white head that shows moderate retention. Smells of tart and lactic as soon as I wrangle the stopper out of the bottle. Tart cherries, lemon, oak, vanilla, brown sugar, lots of wonderful aromas waft out of my glass. Taste is tart with a hint of sugary sweetness. Up front I get a hint of brown sugary type sweetness followed by a heaping helping of tartness. Lemons and tart cherries with a hint of acid followed by some vanilla and oak and maybe a hint of ash in the finish. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet tart kind of mouthfeel. Wow this is a beautiful beer! Its bigger in body than most American sours, but its base is also a Quad. I really enjoyed this, I wish I had more. (925 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a ton to Ron for busting this bottle out when I visited the brewery. I'd read about this and never thought I'd get the chance to try it. My notes are a little fuzzy as this was the last beer at the end of a 3 hour tasting, but I believe this is a blend of 2 spiced quads, 2 old triples, and a spiced strong blonde. If that's completely inaccurate you have my permission to execute me.

The beer pours amber with a one inch beige head. Retention and lacing are both great.

The aroma is a complex thing. Notes of candied and brown sugar evident, as well as overripe apples, yeastiness, and sweet bready malt. I detect a faint spiciness as well as, orange peel, oak, and lactic notes. A nice tartness is present. I know that sounds like a crude conglomeration, but my description doesn't do the nose justice as the different aromas do combine nicely.

The flavor is tart, with lots of bready malt, some caramel, and sugar. There's a faint lactic sourness in the flavor, and those interesting overripe apples are back. I get less oak than the nose suggested, but it's still noticeable. The flavor strikes a nice balance between tart and sugary sweet. I notice notes of citrus and dried fruits. The finish is sweet with some acidity and a finishing, lingering tartness. Highly recommended.

2nd bottle opened by jshufelt at our Cascade tasting on 12/11/2009. Thanks Jonathan! The only thing I'd like to add to my previous review is that the beer is a good deal spicier than I remembered it being. Spices are strong in both aroma and flavor, but a bit more so in aroma. (1,571 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a golden orange color with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Lemons, barnyard, fruits, oak, sourness

T:Cherris, bourbon, oak, acidic,vinegar, barnyard funk, hay

M: Light booze sting on end, mouthfeel is nice, lighter to medium body

D: Easy to drink, not overly sour (287 characters)

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