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

162 Reviews
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Cascade Vlad The Imp AlerCascade Vlad The Imp Aler

Brewed by:
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

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%

Added by hopdog on 12-09-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 162 | Ratings: 683
Photo of WillCarrera
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of americanpalemale
3.98/5  rDev -5%
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.

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Photo of Rutager
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of Auracom
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of brystmar
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of CooperEllis
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
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.


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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of mltobin
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of vkv822
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.23/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.46/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.06/5  rDev -27%
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.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of DCon
4.69/5  rDev +11.9%
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!

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Photo of oline73
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.15/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of jethrodium
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle generously shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. Pours a hazy light copper with a small white head that leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma is big oak oak, some light bourbon, vanilla, a lactic sourness, some funk, grape, and a bit of cinnamon. The taste is oak, cinnamon, some funk, light boubon, some vanilla, and a sharp lactic sourness. The finish has some light alcohol as well as a light astringency. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. This beer was quite enjoyable. There are a lot of flavors going on that work well together.

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Photo of jsanford
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a Tulip Glass.

A - Pours a hazy reddish-amber with a thin white head that settles to a slight ring and swirl of haze.
S - Wonderfully complex aromas of lemon juice, green apple, and "funk", with a touch of caramel and vanilla from the Bourbon barrels and some grape and tannin from the Wine barrels. You can really make out each individual component of this beer, and the sum is even greater then the parts!
T - Taste starts with a smooth caramel and malt flavor, then moves to tart lemon and wine tannins before finishing with a very dry, oak-barrel finish. Lots of wine, lots of oak, not quite as sour as I'd expected but a very unique, complex brew.
M - Very crisp, with a medium body and sharp, "scrubbing" carbonation. Again, VERY dry, tannic finish.
O - Whiel not as "epic" as I hoped, this is a very complex beer that requires some serious time to dissect. In the end I just don't think the parts equal a whole that wows me like I hoped it would.

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Photo of Soonami
3.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bartrash (Pete) for sharing a pour of this from the Weyerbacher Rapture release.

This beer smells like a dirty diaper, it is just all kinds of funky. It didn't taste bad, but it just weird drinking something that tasted like a sour leathery funky beer that also smelled like digested food.

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Photo of dmsohyea
2.83/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle at Churchills sour fest. 4oz for $9.

Light orange gold with small 1 finger bubbly head. Looks pretty thick. No lace but some retention around the edge.

Nose is mostly brett and funk and some table sugar.

At first sip I wasn't ready for the massive amount of funk. Thick and chewy bready malt but very low sweetness. Sourness is strong but mostly funky.

Overall not a huge fan of this one, a bit too chewy and over bearing. I won't seek this out again.

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Photo of claspada
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle thanks to hoppymcgee in our most recent trade; the guy is the epitome of generous and a gentlemen. I am quite fortunate I can call him a friend. Label says 2009 but 10.6%ABV so I am not sure the exact age.

Pours a nice dark orange color with a small, soapy, bubbly white head that dissipates rapidly leaving minimal, spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with a huge champagne smell. Pears, green apple skins, kiwi and some papaya. As it warms you get some more light vinegar, funky, sour Bretty barnyard yeast notes.

The tastes begin with a light sweet vanilla maltiness, but then soon after you get the chardonnay pear, white grape, tart apple skin flavors. As it warms you get more of the oak and some more of the light vinegar, lactic, earthiness. As you continue to sample, you get a nice light peppery yeast taste which is only now apparent in the aftertaste. You can also begin to pick out the individual aspects of the base beers as well, which is nice.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to medium carbonation. Quite good for the style. Some oaked aged beers are flat and some sours are way too carbonated but this hits the mark in the middle. The finish is dry and clean thanks to the oak aging.

Overall this is a really great beer; really complex and shows how amazing a single beer can be when you blend 3 separate beers together to form 1 synergistic masterpiece. This is not the sourest or oakiest or anything-est beer I have ever had, but it is just darn freakin' good. Cascade/Raccoon really has this oak aging, sour brewing and blending thing down pat. I look forward to sampling their other blended/barrel-aged sours in the near future.

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Photo of aficionado
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a Duvel Tulip - Thanks BuckeyeOne!

Looks like yellow-orange apple cider. Very cloudy. Minimalist head. Nice lacing though.

Smells sour. Reminiscent of RR sours. Fruity, dry, and inviting. Granny Smith apples and lemons.

Whew!! Sour, sour, sour and yet odd at the same time... but I'm intrigued. The oak wine barrels and sour grapes are evident right up front. More green apples and lemons as well. I also taste minimal bourbon notes, which is good. Any more and the flavor would have been way off base. Some honey sweetness lingers at very subtle pace in the background. Dry and sharp!

Mouthfeel is thinner than I expected because of the high, tingly carbonation, but it works. Still creamy and supports the flavor well.

Overall, I'm impressed by Cascade. They think outside the box and present beers that others are afraid of attempting, or even thinking up. I love the creativity and uniqueness without being cocky and pretentious. For these reasons, I feel the overall beer is quite exceptional.

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Cascade Vlad The Imp Aler from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.