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Cascade Vlad The Imp Aler - Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

Cascade Vlad The Imp AlerCascade Vlad The Imp Aler

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

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 inlimbo77


4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml, 2011 Project
5oz mini snifter

A: Slightly hazy orange color. Darker than a true tripel due to the barrel aging. White collar around edges. Seems like there is decent carbonation. Some lacing bits.

S: Spice and sweetness, and sour. You get it all on the nose. Certainly pull that tripel like spice kick. Sweetness from the bourbon and vanilla notes from aging. Then you can smell the funk underneath it all.

T: Nice tart funk right up front. Seems a little subdued because of the other components in this beer and the aging. After that initial burst you get some tripel like character and sweetness from the malts and barrel aging. Nice vanilla and creaminess is in there.

M: It's a big medium. The carbonation makes it feel a little lighter than full.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2013 15:09:55 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of danbar


4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 Project - Pours a yellow/orange color with a fluffy quarter inch white head. Smells slightly sour with some spice and heavy on the bourbon. Taste follows nose with mild sourness and spices and the taste of bourbon without the normal burn. Also get some red wine taste but bourbon dominates. Some heat but not bad at all. Nicely carbonated.

Not one of the best beers I have ever had but definitely one of the most unique beers I have ever head. Cascade rocks.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 01:21:45 | More by danbar
Photo of Etan


4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml (2011 project) into a tulip.

A: Pours a murky dark orange, like a light bourbon, with a small white head.

S: Lactic acid, buttery bourbon, coconut, lightly spicy tripel esters and sweet pale malt, a little bit of vinegary acetic acid.

T: Taste brings clementine, mild lactic acidity, coconut, vanilla, warming bourbon, white cake, cream, bretty pineapple. Very tannic.

M: Between medium and thick-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: This beer strikes a nice balance between the malty and estery base beer, the mild acidity, and the tannic bourbon. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 02:05:18 | More by Etan
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured out a yellow, orange and light brown mix. Very little head ring around it, too small to determine its color or find any degree of retention or lacing possible. Left a big clump of brown sediment in the bottle after the pour.

Aroma was citrus and bourbon. Different.

Taste, a weird mix of soured blond ale, but also the oak and bourbon notes giving it a boozy mouthfeel that is far from a bad thing, it was like a big time juxtaposition of those flavors, but as it went on, it became more enjoyable. Vanilla, charred oak, bourbon, citric rind, citric tarness, booze, toffee, musty dark fruit. Drinks relatively easy though given the high abv.

Drank at a camping trip up around Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe. This one closed out Saturday night for us.

Now that they are charging $30 a bottle for this beer, plus shipping, its just not that good to cough up that kind of money. I'll take two bottles of their apricot instead of the one bottle of this that I can get for the same price. Cool beer, enjoyable, but unless you are just rolling in cash, I don't see stocking up on these. To try once? Sure.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 17:33:24 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of GuzzLah


4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a hazy dark gold with a lasting white head. Some lace. Bubbly.

S - It reminded me of ambrosia salad immediately after the pour. When it settled, there were notes of bourbon, grapes, lacto, vanilla, orange, coconut and butterscotch. Very complex, evolving and sometimes elusive.

T - the taste is similar to aroma plus some unknown spice. It's an odd mix of flavors which are very nicely balanced. The end result is unique and surprisingly tasty.

M - medium body and carbonation. Creamy. Mild sourness. Not as sour as their fruit sours, but it's the right amount for this unconventional sour ale. Nice bourbon warmth in the finish.

O - a very impressive and unusual sour ale. Art in a bottle. A pleasure to drink!

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 00:39:33 | More by GuzzLah
Photo of ehammond1

4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011 Project)

Thanks for sharing this with me, VaTechHopHead!

Clear orange with a small ring of white foam. Leaves dots of stick down the glass.

Citrus and fruity aroma, with some grapefruit and white fruit notes, along with lactic sour character, and a touch of funk. Some wine and earth notes as well.

Moderate sourness, white fruits, along with some lemon and grapefruit complete the flavor. Fairly complex, though incredibly drinkable.

Medium bodied with moderate to near high carbonation. Very drinkable.

I like this a lot, but remember liking it even more.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 21:00:50 | More by ehammond1
Photo of WillCarrera


4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, 2011 Project, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy orange / amber color, topped with a thin white head that leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Very complex aroma, notes of bourbon, vanilla, caramel malt and spice, but also lactic sourness, dry grape skin, apple and peach fruitiness.

T- Nice lactic sourness up front, hints of vinegar, towards the finish spice, dry tannins and especially a caramel and vanilla sweetness takes over. The barrel and dry grape flavors are great and work well with the sourness, it's just a touch sweeter than I would have liked.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth feel with a very dry, tannic finish. The alcohol is invisible in the flavor but leaves some nice warmth in your stomach.

O- A really interesting beer, it's very complex and balances a lot of very different flavors very well.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2013 05:12:03 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of americanpalemale


3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this beer on tap at Raccoon Lodge.

Nice golden orange color with small white head that didn't last long.

Aroma of sweet bourbon, vanilla and tropical fruits and spices, with slight sourness.

At first sip, big bourbon without being too boozy, followed by an almost sweet and sour fruitiness. As the beer warms the bourbon and the sweetness from the alcohol become more apparent, as well as the sourness.

The carbonation was a bit low, I thought, but it wasn't too distracting.

At 10.6% abv. this is one that needs to be enjoyed carefully.

Overall, I really enjoyed the beer, but may have enjoyed it more at 8% abv.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2013 06:36:01 | More by americanpalemale
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Raccoon Lodge.

Appearance. A murky gold-amber liquid in the cascade globe with a thin white head.

Smell. Sweet and fruity with some woody bourbon and vanilla. Tons of lactic sour and some light, fruity belgian yeast.

Taste. Fruity belgian yeast and some woody bourbon with that nice Cascade lactic sourness. Not a sour as their fruited beers but that may be due to the big belgian base that lets some sweet caramel malt and a bit of booze come through.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium+ lively carbonation.

Overall. A nice sour with some great belgian qualities. Enjoyed it and looking forward to the vintage bottle at home some day soon.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2013 03:57:08 | More by Rutager
Photo of Knapp85


4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2013 16:40:07 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Auracom


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

Cask serving straight out of the barrel at Cascade's barrel house. They had just put this up the morning before I arrived and damn, what a pleasant surprise. 2 oz. served in a taster tulip on November 29th, 2012.

A - Murky, medium golden coloring, light eggshell foam around the edges. Good lacing and quite apparent alcohol legs.

S - Barleywine meets sour? Tons of caramel corn, buttered bread, and pitted tart fruits.

T - Lesser toffee, raisins, lightly tart, peppercorn, plentiful oak barrel. I pull some sharp, sweet bourbon whiskey as it warms.

M - Medium body, low carbonation perfect to complement this palate, and a semi-dry finish. Fair amount of alcohol warming.

D - This is ridiculously interesting, and in a good way. The taste is nicely complex and shows you far more from the barrel than an average sour. Would trade for and drink again, no doubt.

Serving type: cask

12-05-2012 23:12:19 | More by Auracom
Photo of brystmar


4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle.

Amber-orange body yields produces white head and sticky lace. Oak, sour fruits, yeast, bourbon, more soured fruits fill my senses.

Taste follows suit, bringing everything from the aroma along for the ride. Surprisingly prevalent yeasty bitterness in the middle, doesn't linger though. Leans towards the sweet side. Complex and delicious.

Love Cascade, love Vlad.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2012 22:46:56 | More by brystmar
Photo of CooperEllis

New York

4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml into wine glass. 2009 vintage. Thanks to Chris for this one.

This is routinely one of my favorite brews. Had it a bunch, always want more. Everything is good, but for me certainly better than the sum of the parts.

Dark amber pour, thin maple syrup with a narrow tracing of bubbles at the edges of my glass.

The aroma on this one is muddled a touch, fig, date, wine and citrus.

So good once it hits your lips. Robust sour, full flavored with a nice bite up front, plenty of dark fruit, lemon zest and pepper. Still, a very delicate flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Everytime. Smooth, crisp, sour, carbed.

For me, a perfect combination. Don't know if there are other vintages, but the '09 has held up very well and carries a sour punch without any lingering off-flavors.


Serving type: bottle

08-12-2012 01:44:23 | More by CooperEllis
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2012 01:33:28 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of mltobin


4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle shared with a few friends.

Appearance is a copper color with a short white had. Vlad has a nose which contains wood, cloves, grape and a tartness is certainly present. I tip back a small snifter and taste cherry, bourbon and more of that wood. This a a sour that really hits me an alcohol presence. But, I still really enjoy it, it balances out a bit with the other aspects of the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, along with a tartness to it, which lingers in the finish. Overall, a tasty sour beer, that is perfect for taking your time with.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2012 21:55:25 | More by mltobin
Photo of xnicknj


4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into tulip - 2009 vintage

Pours a mostly clear golden color with a few copper hues. Fluff of white head dissolves into a coating of white film, leaving some patchy and spotty film on the glass.

Plenty of fruit and funk in the nose with touches of apple and pear. White grapes and wine with oaky tannins, vanilla and warming booze. Yeasty notes with sourness and light sweetness followed by more heat.

Nice round sourness up front with pear and green apple. Touches of grape skin and tartness with a yeasty funk underneath. Bourbon notes with vanilla and soft sweetness, coupled by oaky tannins. Warming sensation on the back end with continuing sour tones. Finishes with a mellowed gasp of booze and dryness.

Medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and dry on the tongue. This drank incredibly well, and the extra time aging really softened the >10% ABV...Probably the best beer I've had from Cascade yet.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2012 23:28:16 | More by xnicknj
Photo of vkv822


3.65/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into tulip snifter.
2nd release.

Pours a clear golden orange with a thin, foamy off white head.

Tart and vinous upfront, with light hints of oak and vanilla.

The taste is mostly of more tart and vinous oak, as in the nose. The bourbon comes through a bit in the end with some vanilla oak notes. Standard tart Cascade flavor-profile.

Medium-full body with lightly prickly, but soft carbonation. No evidence of the high ABV.

A good sour blonde ale. Fairly simple flavor notes overall, but still quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2012 05:45:53 | More by vkv822
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 00:01:00 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of cpetrone84


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

the pour is a copper transparent color with tight white head. The nose is lightly vegital and medicinal with a strong fruit and barrel component. The flavor is the same with a light bitterness. The body is light and the carbonation is very aggressive.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2012 14:05:41 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.05/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Black Raven pint. Pours a bright orange amber with a two finger off-white head and lots of lacing. Aroma of sour citrus, slight brett and wood. Tastes sour and acetic with a light brett component. Sour citrus fruits and green apple, some darker fruit. Not as sour as some other wild ales. Not my style. I was able to finish this, but will not revisit. Obviously well made, but there just isn't enough interesting here to overcome the sour/wild aspects.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 03:07:39 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of dogfishandi

New York

4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml cork and caged bottle poured into a bruery snifter thanks to trxxpaxxs. i believe this is from the 2nd release...

pours out a cloudy orange color with just a touch of sediment. only an off white ring of head that lasted most of the way, no real lace to speak of.

big tart lemony, barnyardy brett intially. bits of wine like fruits. as it warms it really takes on a stinky, funky, moldy oak character, lactic?

lots of tart lemon citrus, sour pie cherry, and barnyardy brett. some subtle wine like fruits, mostly citrus like. a little alcohol is noticable. a bit of that moldy lactic funk, but this comes through way more in the aroma.

very tart and sour. medium to light in body, does not drink anything like its 10% ABV suggests. very drinkable, but the intense funk and sour obviously hinders this a bit.

a solid sour, cascade really knows what their doing with sour barrel aging and it really shows. i have yet to have anything bad from them. the only thing i couldve hoped for was more of a bourbon barrel character.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2012 03:41:50 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of DCon


4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared a 1 PT. 9.4 FL. OZ. bottle of this w/ CurtisMcArthur, Sharp, and other BA friends in Nashville, TN. Poured from the Yellow Labeled Bottle w/ a OAK AGED barrel on a wooden cart & the description below saying "SOUTHWEST STYLE SOUR ALE" into a 12oz Hefe Glass. Does not have a freshness date but is a 2009 VINTAGE.

Aroma- Sourness dominates the nose right away. Barnyard and sweet attributes come out as well. Not a young sour. Can tell this has been aged! Perfect.

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that has poor retention (not sure this is a problem or not). Has a dark golden colored body but clear. Leaves a few suds behind.

Flavor- Malt and a strong sweetness start this one off. Very complexed and finishes very barnyard like. Can tell there is oak involved in a fermentation process. No hop flavor due to the "gueuze" like finish.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Puckers, Mouth-filling, and has a goaty finish.

Overall Impression- For my first brew from Cascade, this one rocked my socks! Almost could be a gueuze with all of its goaty and barnyard attributes. Would HIGHLY recommend this for sour lovers and aging it. Cheers guys!

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2012 01:39:59 | More by DCon
Photo of oline73


4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 05:07:17 | More by oline73
Photo of Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another BIF beer drank with the DC group.

The beer is a nice orange color, clear ish with a fizzy headthat dis to nothing at all with no lacing. The beer smells great with plenty of nice wild ale yeast and tartness, really nice tame fruit notes with some great other sweet potato casserole bourbon notes as well in the nose, also with some red wine too. also some peach or nectarine in the nose.

The taste is not nearly as tart as I hoped, but it is nicely balanced with notes of vanilla, sweeter fruity berries, some oaky (but not overly bourbon) flavors, sugary berries, and just a bit of tartness. It's overall a pretty decent showing with a complexity of sweeter fruity flavors with a touch of tart, would be amazing with more tartness. Has plenty of cherry and plenty of red wine as well. The feel is not great, just a little thinner and sweeter than I like in wild ales.

Overall good.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 20:58:31 | More by Dreadnaught33
Photo of AleWatcher


4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

shared by crushedvol.

Smells bright and sweet with some funky tartness.
(takes a sip) Wow. This is quite nice.

The sweet, somewhat citrus notes, with some lacto-tasrtness to it work wonderfully. This has all the characteristics of a beer that I think will age very well-- If I could land a bottle of this, I'd let it sit around for 2 or 3 years and then give it a try!

This is really enjoyable as it it is though-- certainly worthy of comparison with benchmark beers (at least in terms of sour blondes) by the likes of Russian River.
This isn't the most sour beer, but I could imagine it growing a bit in that category and really rocking my world then!

The finish has an acidic white-grape tannin note that works pretty well.

The beer itself is a murky hazy gold color with small head. The feel needs just a bit more in terms of carbonation to really kick it up a notch.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 04:22:06 | More by AleWatcher
Cascade Vlad The Imp Aler from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 494 ratings.