1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
Cascade Vlad The Imp AlerCascade Vlad The Imp Aler

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

601 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 601
Reviews: 153
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 9.37%
Wants: 477
Gots: 186 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 601 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jrallen34
3.68/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Sean...Pours a murky light orange, clear. An off white head that is gone fast, not much see here...Aroma is very lactic with notes of vinegar, wood, spicy, apples...The taste is ok nothing special, very acidic more vinegar present. Not enough sweetness to balance this out.

Better than the Burbonic but nothing special

Photo of chumba526
4.13/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It appears clear orange with a smallish off-white head.

It smells acidic and vinegary there is a nice apple and grape smell as well. I get a bit of a peppery yeasty smells as well. There is also a slight oaky wine like smell going on as well.

It tastes initially vinegary and acidic. There is a nice citrusy lemon flavor and a bit of a grapy fruity flavor going on as well. I get mild earthy, leathery funky taste from the ale. There is some oaky characteristic to the beer. I get a very mild vanilla and bourbon like flavor to the beer as well. There is a slight yeasty peppery character as well. There are a lot of flavors going on but they all blend with each other nicely.

The carbonation is around medium.

The drinkability for this beer is pretty good though it is too acidic to drink a bunch of them.

Overall a very good complexly flavored ale that is worth seeking out.

Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Warren (Lazerlobe) for opening his home for the Syracuse Area Tasting Appreciation Night (S.A.T.A.N.)!

Date: 18 December 2010
Glass: Sierra Nevada XXX Snifter
Type: Vintage 2009, provided by Warren (Lazerlobe), 750ml corked and caged

Pours a frothy-soapy head, cloudy peach-orange. Aroma of funky bretts, lacto and maybe some pedio, as well as cabernet sauvignon, apple, apricots, white grapes, cherry, maybe slight bourbon. Drinks like a sweet riesling. Tons of funk on the tongue, huge cherry, raspberry, little bourbon, leaving a huge sting on the palate, but a brief one.

This beer is a freakin' sour fruit bowl. Need to remember to find a bottle for girlfriend!

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

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

A: Hazy and orange in color with an eighth inch of head that leaves some good lacing on the glass.

S: Sour, funk, citrus, apples, fruit, alcohol.

T: Really tasty. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. The flavor is tannic, with a nice oak barrel presence. The beer is pleasantly sour, which thrills me, and has a nice fruit component. The bourbon aspect is there, but not overwhelming. Overall, a seriously delicious brew.

M: Very smooth feel with moderately low carbonation.

D: An overall awesome beer. I definitely want some more of this.

Photo of craytonic
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden-orange-copper pour with nice white head; cork was hard to get out

Smell: Lemon citrus, wheat, light fruits, lemongrass, light funk and peppery spices

Taste: light funk, green apples, pears, lemon citrus, wheat, apple cider vinegar, reminds me ever-so-slightly of a soft drink

Mouthfeel: Medium body; dry with spritzy carbonation

Drinkability: Very easy drinking, was much better than bourbonic

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter.

Pours an amber-brown color with a single-finger head that dies down somewhat quickly but leaves a bit of lacing behind and has a nice collar throughout. The nose brings a decent amount of lactic character plus some citrus and a fairly-strong amount of green apple skin. The flavor is sour with a bit of funk as well as some oak and a light amount of acetic acid. Mouthfeel is a bit light with a good sour character. Fair amount of carbonation plus a really nice level of drinkability. Nothing really stands out about this brew, though in the end I simply want more.

Photo of drabmuh
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Thorpe, thanks.

Beer is brown and hazy with a head that just never quite forms all the way. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma is lactic and acetic with a mixture of various citric forms from different fruits...apples and figs mostly.

Beer is light in body and moderately carbonated on the palate. Beer is very tart and quite sour. The acetic character makes the palate brighter bringing forward more tannic and oaky characters that may have been lost in the beer otherwise. The lactic is also very forward...overall this was a great great sour. I would definitely have it again.

Photo of mdfb79
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.

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

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.

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

Photo of koopa
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.

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

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.

Photo of mothman
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Cascade Vlad The Imp Aler from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 601 ratings.