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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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496 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 496
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: 496 | Reviews: 144 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Overlord


4.22/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2010 06:47:47 | More by Overlord
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 MasterSki


4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 20:12:49 | More by MasterSki
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 wagenvolks


4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2010 04:52:52 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of largadeer


4/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 19:37:36 | More by largadeer
Photo of brownbeer


4.4/5  rDev +3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2010 03:01:43 | More by brownbeer
Photo of wnh


4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2010 00:41:45 | More by wnh
Photo of corby112


4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 21:55:04 | More by corby112
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 nickd717


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


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.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2009 17:05:48 | More by nickd717
Photo of HopHead84


4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2009 06:23:33 | More by HopHead84
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
Photo of hopdog


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

On tap.

Poured a medium amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of funkiness, leathery, citrus, and some dark fruits. Tastes of woodiness, lighter funk, citrus, and dark fruits. Light tart finish. This one really surprised me and it was very nice!

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2008 04:16:50 | More by hopdog
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Cascade Vlad The Imp Aler from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 496 ratings.