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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
92
outstanding

157 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 157
Hads: 653
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 4.34%
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: 653
Photo of kbutler1
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
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. (849 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 TulipSnifter
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (340 characters)

Photo of elliot23
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (433 characters)

Photo of eatabagofbooger
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (850 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
3.08/5  rDev -25.8%
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. (397 characters)

Photo of Elendinn
4.84/5  rDev +16.6%
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? (781 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
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... (521 characters)

Photo of boMD
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (500 characters)

Photo of hopsbreath
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (1,380 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.65/5  rDev -12%
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. (332 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 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 Overlord
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pleased to get to try this at Stone sourfest! Thanks for putting on a great event, Bill.

Pours a clear-ish orange. Tiny white foam head. Smells like grapes, grapefruit, and ... hmm...not sure ... tanninish leather? Has some funk and sourness, but just just a bit. Lingering zesty semi-sweet ... grapes? Flavor profile is kind of all over the place. Hints of vanilla, some spiciness on the aftertaste, the sourness is bright and shiny, maybe just the barest hints of mustiness and barnyard.

Underrated this the first time. Quality sour. (543 characters)

Photo of jdense
4.2/5  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. (709 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 ChrisPro
3.9/5  rDev -6%
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! (319 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Once again, midaszero comes through with a killer share at our recent tasting. Thanks Josh! 750ml bottle, unlabeled.

Vlad procures a cloudy, caramel-blonde color in the Allagash tulip. Nice head of manila bubbles retains well for the style and alcohol level. Lots of tartness in the aroma: citrus peel, vanilla, freshly cut wood and lemongrass. Funky, musty, sour, and ultimately enticing.

A woody sourness hits the tastebuds with a zesty, creme de lemon booze note from the lactic acid. Light phenols balance with tart lemon taffy and oak. Vlad is dry, but not overly acidic or puckeringly sour, a plus for my relatively inexperienced sour palate. A top-tier Wild Ale for sure. (680 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 brownbeer
4.4/5  rDev +6%
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. (311 characters)

Photo of wnh
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle opened courtesy of an unofficial BA. Served in a snifter.

Pours a murky golden amber topped by a smallish ecru-colored head.

Fruity and mouthwatering sour on the nose, with lemon-y citrus, fruit cup (pineapple, cherry, pear, peach), and a relatively strong malty base.

On the palate this beer shows a nice sweet caramelly backbone. Quite big and fruity, as on the nose, with a decided lean toward peach flavor. Finishes clean and fruity, yet with an earthy dryness beckoning me to take another sip. Medium bodied and round, and very quaffable. Hardly shows its 9.5% abv. Just sour enough. (605 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 John_M
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (1,274 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle.

A - Pours a murky purplish-amber color with a nice off-white head.

S - Tart with red wine and cherries, also a hint of sweetness.

T - Mostly tart with a little sweetness to balance. Red wine, cherries, and other dark fruit notes, wood, Candi sugar, and tart citrus. Complex and very good.

M - Palate is sharp and acidic with medium body. ABV well-hidden.

D - Very high for a beer this sour and strong. (415 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)

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