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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
no score

(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 mdfb79

New York

4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 00:10:08 | More by mdfb79
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2010 04:32:10 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Arbitrator


3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Re-review off a bottle from the wide 2010 batch. Bottle courtesy of ramnuts. Thanks, Frank!

A: Pours a slightly hazy copper-orange body in the glass. It's capped with a beige head that retains moderately and leaves some tendrils of lace down the sides. Unlike Bourbonic Plague, this one is not a slow gusher. I'm thankful.

S: The signature Cascade aroma of cherries, tannins, and lactic sourness. They are supplemented by caramelly bourbon, and vanilla. I liked last year's competition entry a lot more; this one seems to need more time to let the aroma develop.

T: Hmm, like the nose: a letdown against the previous bottle. The previous one surely had some unintentional brett sneak in, but this one has a mild, clean lactic sourness with cherries, or what I've come to associate as the signature Cascade flavor. It contains some nice sweetness, partly from bourbon and vanilla, and some from what tastes like candi sugar. Nice elements of green apple and orange rind. The finish is either drying or lightly vinegary. I can't quite tell the difference. It has a small burn in the back of the throat.

M: Good mouthfeel. There is enough residual sugar in here to complement the beer's harsher elements (tannic cherry skins, drying or vinegary finish). Carbonation is low-moderate and smooth. It doesn't have the booziness of Bourbonic. An overall better beer than its brother in this department.

D: A bit of a letdown. It reminds me of a better version of the R&D Bourbon Barrel Kriek from New Glarus, which wasn't particularly wild or well-developed, either. Not outright bad, just not upper-tier.


Original review from January 2010, off a bottle obtained from Curtis at Cascade. 4.5 / 5.0 / 4.5 / 5.0 / 4.5 (overall A+ / 4.65)

Shared at Jeff's (ipa247) recent sour tasting. I only got this thanks to the generosity of Curtis at Cascade. Thanks, Curtis.

A: Pours a lightly hazy, but ultimately clear, ruddy copper body in the glass. It develops a short-lived beige head from the pour, but it vanishes almost instantly into a thin collar with some effervescence up the glass.

S: Cherry, bourbon, brown sugar. Lactic sourness and oak. Green apple, apricot, light lemon rind. Caramel. Some funk in the aroma, with mild horse blanket. When I pour the dregs, the yeast contributes an orange scent.

T: The aromas translate to the taste very well. It's bourbony up front, but in a good way; it leaches out the buttery caramel vanilla goodness without bringing any of the heat along. The mid-taste is very estery, combining apricot, green apple, and lemon rind, with light lactic sourness. The dregs add orange pulp to this part when I pour them. The finish lets the wildness take over, with a surprising melange of horse blanket (I thought Cascade didn't bottle with brett), spice (white pepper?), a small vinegar burn, and hints of tannins.

M: Light-medium bodied. Low carbonation; it's pretty velvety overall. No heat at all. I can't see this category getting any better. Very smoothly integrated flavors.

D: This was one of my personal favorites from the tasting. It is unique, and genuinely good (not just sideshow interest at work here). A very creative effort. I can't wait until this is officially released.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2010 04:55:30 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of Urbancaver


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

Thank you Brad for cracking this one open with us at Jackie O's Saturday...

Golden orange appearance with just a bit of smooth head. Sour lacto but doesn't overpower the nose. Some Belgian fruitiness coming through. Tastes of lacto but well balances with fruits and floral flavours on a strong malt backbone. Light and sharp on the tongue making it very drinkable! Easily my favourite sour

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 16:47:00 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of alcstradamus


3.13/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a copper color with two fingers of head and great lacing.

The aroma is tart white grape and apple up front. A healthy amount of dry oakiness and a bit of band aid. Pie crust, raisin, and green tea.

The aroma is very promising but the taste doesn't quite live up to the potential. The dry oakiness and raisin-like sweetness are there and provide a nice flavor. There is an odd plastic flavor in the background which brings it down a little. Some white grape and apple skin. Tart but not really sour.

The body is medium and fairly full for the style. Carbonation is stinging.

Overall I just wasn't overly impressed with this beer. No real noteworthy characteristics. Quite average.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 02:51:34 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of ShadesOfGray


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml cork and caged bottle into my Cantillon snifter glass...shared with my friend. Pours a very light copper color, slight peach tinge. Very nice looking one finger fizzy off-white head forms, very little retention. Leaves a sticky, yet patchy fizzy lacing. So far...very excited! Great looking sour~interesting color.

Aroma is very nice, tart/sour, sweet, bourbon, wine like, crisp, slightly boozy...wow. Very complex, yet the tartness is making my mouth water. Some wood/oak too.

Flavor is awesome. Very, very different from your normal sour. Starts with a very quick sweetness, but taken over by a crisp/sharp tartness that immediately takes over. Then the bourbon hits, and finally finishes with a nice wine dryness! Very complex and delicious. Medium body, high carbonation, kind of boozy. Such a cool and different beer...definitely will be looking to get/trade for a few more bottles!

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 03:54:26 | More by ShadesOfGray
Photo of Gobzilla


4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured a golden orange with pale pineapple yellow highlights with a thin head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. Upfront on the aroma i was able to detect some funkiness from the brett with a little corky character slight vinegar acidic citrusy notes and barrel oak notes. the taste was sweet and sour consisting of citrus, brett, oak, slight vinegar, and pineapple accents to add some fruit dimension. It didi seem to have underlying apple and pear flavor as well. The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a slight sweet but fruity, oaky, bretty funky, acidic, sour and slight dry finish. Drank amazing and was almost sucking the last drops from the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2010 06:02:03 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of NoLiberty


4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to GrassrootsVT for the generous share.

Cork pulls tight but releases with a fresh pop. Nice frost that pours into a straw-to-tangerine colored beer with a white head. Head settles from two fingers into a sticky, spotty cap that lasts for the rest of the glass.

Aroma of wonderful brett, tart apples, and funky grass. Spicy aromatic fermented fruit flavors.

Flavor matches aroma exceptionally well. Nice tart, funky flavor with mild fermented fruit, wild...farmhouse-ness. Underlying cider qualities come through as it warms. Delicious, balanced and drinkable.

Soft, sparkling and sweet-tart. Super drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 01:38:09 | More by NoLiberty
Photo of Sean9689


4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split up and shared with friends.

A - Pours a fizzy golden yellow, white head, thin cap, and some decent lacing along the sides of the glass.

S - Light to medium sour, some oak, slight tartness, some sweet/spicy fruit notes. Not as sour as say, DDG, but still has a nice balance of sour/tart and oak, which I dig.

T - Light oak, sour/tart, some fruit, lactic hints. A good amount going on here and the sour notes are enough to keep me interested while the oak and slight sweetness change it up for something different. Slightly sour, slightly sweet finish.

M - Light, crisp, fizzy carbonation, dry finish.

D - I had a couple of pours and really enjoyed this one. I know they are different beers, but I preferred this over Bourbonic.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 18:14:39 | More by Sean9689
Photo of zimmerbloke


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

Bottle split three ways into a New Belgium globe glass. Thanks to hopsbreath for the chance to try this one!

A: Mildly frothy white head that fades pretty quickly. Bright copper in the glass with subdued visible carbonation.

S: Oaky sourness is dominant with hints of vanilla and some lactic notes balancing the nose. Very faint belgian spice notes, as well. Smoother and less abrasive than many other American Wild Ales.

T: Quite nice, though sweet. Oak, spice and vanilla dominate, paired with a pretty faint sourness. I like the flavor profile created from the combination of the belgian styles with the wild barrel aging, but it ends up a bit sweet (almost fruity in nature) for my liking. Still creates a very unique, easy drinking sour.

M: Very muted carbonation, but a thicker, smooth mouthfeel. A little bit of alcohol burn as well. I think I'd like more carbonation... I feel like it would bring out the oak a bit more aggressively.

D: Very high. Sourness is more refreshing than overpowering. The high level of sweetness is my only complaint.

Really an enjoyable beer. I've got bottles of Bourbonic Plague and The Vine that I'm really excited about after drinking this offering from Cascade

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 02:15:37 | More by zimmerbloke
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I brought this and shared it at the Copper Mine Pub's 2nd Anniversary party.

Appearance: Pours a golden straw with a 1 finger white crown that shows moderate retention and decent lace.

Smell: Tart wheat, some tangerine notes, a hint of lemon....in a word YOUNG.

Taste: Same as the nose. The sourness is moderate for all of you sour aficionado's but the 2 sour virgins I shared this one with were taken quite off guard by the sourness so it's all relative.

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of light bodied with a fairly spritzy effervescent carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly sessionable for a sour.

I'm really curious to see what some cellaring will do for this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 20:15:42 | More by koopa
Photo of mrandypandy


4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle shipped from the brewery. For the record, the exorbant shipping fees have NO effect on my score.

A- Pours a hazy yellow/orange with a fizzy white head. Amber highlights. Good lacing.
S- Not as strong/sour/funky as I was expecting. Faint tart and fruity notes.
T- Wow. Lactic tartness, citrus and other fruity tones. I'm not good at describing flavors, but there is a lot going on here. Exceptional.
M- Medium body, light and crisp. Good carbonation. Acidic.
D- High. Very complex, lots of flavors going on, yet light and drinkable. ABV is well hidden.

Overall - I've tried a few beers from Cascade and have yet to be disappointed. Vlad does not disappoint. Flavorful, complex, but not over-the-top puckering

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2010 13:24:51 | More by mrandypandy
Photo of kbutler1


3.48/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. 2010 version. Bottle opens up with a slight pop. Pours a pretty heady slightly murky orange amber color. The head is a tall 2-3 finger fluffy off white head. Good lace as the head subsides. The aroma to me first and foremost is tart sour cherries. Some minimal funky notes as well. Light mouthfeel. The warming alcohol in the back end is the first thing that I notice. My second sip yields a more fruitful tone up front with that of cherries but not too overly sweet. The carbonation really bites at the tongue ever so slightly more than I expected. Lemon acidic like as well in the back end mixed with the boozy. It's definitely an odd brew the likes I haven't had before. There's is an odd bitterness/funkiness right in the middle that throws me off a little. Some floral Brett notes in the end linger on. Different but not overly amazing.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 01:12:01 | More by kbutler1
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2010 01:08:43 | More by mothman
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 illidurit


3.63/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rad unlabeled bottle, 09 vintage, courtesy Sam. Dark orange color with an orangish creamy head. Citrusy and grainy aroma, also some bruised apple going on here. Boozy, warming flavor, lots of candied lemon and tart fruit salad notes. Kind of a sour tripel character. A little bit of unwelcome solvent but overall pretty interesting.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 08:28:24 | More by illidurit
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
Cascade Vlad The Imp Aler from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 494 ratings.