Cascade The Vine - Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
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Ratings: 686 | Reviews: 186 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by OnWisconsin:
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3.58/5 rDev -15.4%
2013 project. 9.30% ABV. 750ml brown glass bottle with hood-and-wire (unbranded, gold) cap over a cork purchased directly from Cascade and served into a Lost Abbey teku in high altitude Castle Rock, CO. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery.
Served cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.
No bubble show forms as it's poured.
This is a mess to pour - the cork was impossible to remove by hand, so I tried pliers - which broke the cork in half. A churchkey removed the cork, but beer quickly surged out, spilling over my bar. Definitely seems overcarbonted especially when you consider it's been aging over a year at cellar temp.
HEAD: Pours a two finger wide off-white colour head - fizzy and violent as hell - which reduces inside 1 minute, though for about half of that it's only fizzing on one side....odd.
After completely disappearing, the head rekindles itself, fizzing back into life for 2 minutes more (still on only one side of the glass) before dying again - completely of its own volition. I've never seen anything like this.
No lacing sticks to the sides of the teku.
BODY: Body is a vibrant lively brilliant gold with blond and copper hues. The carbonation bubbles are magnificent in this colour of body. You could photograph this beer for a magazine cover; it looks incredible. I can't wait to try it.
That said, it does seem direly overcarbonated. But it's a unique appearance - both in terms of head and (admittedly less so) the body. It's definitely alive, but no yeast particulate is visible.
AROMA: Lovely. Gorgeous blond malts, impeccable white oak tones, white grapes with an ideal sweetness/dryness balance, golden malts, Belgian pale malts, clean crisp full evocative barley, a kiss of juicy fruity hop notes, and marvelous wild yeasts as well as bacterial notes - lactobacillus sure (albeit seemingly not as much as in Cascade Kriek), and ample sourness - about a 6-7/10. There are also some barrel sugars and grape skin notes. I also find a note redolent of pinesol, which works surprisingly well here.
This amazing aroma reminds me of the best Belgian blond sours I've encountered. Really incredible stuff; I'm dying for the first sip. It's mild in strength, but boy is it evocative. The dryness/sweetness balance seems ideal.
TASTE: Blond malts, golden malts, and Belgian pale malts comprise the easily influenced neutral foundation. White grapeskin enters in the early second act, bolstered by the building presence of lacto-induced sourness as the second act progresses. Wild yeasts and bacterial notes complement the lactobacillus well, evoking a truly alive, wild brew.
The moderate tartness of the grape coupled with the intrinsic grape flavours doesn't really fit into this flavour profile as well as I anticipated given the aromatics, but it doesn't feel out of place per se - perhaps just a bit too intense. In a beer so subtle, those notes are noticeably dominant, and while they don't break the cohesion of the beer, they do distract from the gestalt build as a whole.
Disappointingly, the sourness is a relatively mild 5-6/10 in terms of intensity. Cascade's other more sour beers (e.g. Cascade Kriek) offer more depth of flavour, but this beer has good flavour amplitude and duration.
The guiding oak tone throughout the beer is lovely, and bolsters its already impressive cohesion. The neutral barrel sugars found in the aroma are largely absent here, though I do think the beer's balance errs a bit too far on the sweet side. Dryer grapes might fix this minor issue.
What shocks is the absence of alcohol presence, which is damn impressive at 9.30%; how does Cascade produce these high-alcohol sours without seriously compromising balance?
Overall, it's a very likeable flavour profile with some excellent elements, but doesn't quite come together the way a world-class beer would.
TEXTURE: Crisp, overcarbonated, and smooth, with a perfect balance of dryness/wetness. Medium-bodied. Towards the back end, it's fairly smacky on the palate, but I'd love more of that along with more sourness. Thickness is apt for the flavour profile. Fairly acidic.
Good overall presence on the palate. This texture supports the flavour profile well and feels naturally complementary, but it's not a perfect marriage of texture to taste; it could be improved.
OVERALL: As it warms, I do pick up some neutral barrel sugars and some lambic-esque cereals/grains right on the finish, which aren't particularly welcome. This is a very drinkable enjoyable sour from Cascade, and the discerning drinker will be impressed by how well it hides its ABV. That said, Cascade brews world-class beers, but this isn't one of them. A good-but-not-great sour that isn't worth its high pricetag outside of its state of origin, The Vine is a beer I doubt I'll return to but that might be incredible with serious age on it. More solid work from one of the USA's best sour producers.
08-20-2014 03:33:34 | More by kojevergas
4.2/5 rDev -0.7%
Thanks to Doug for cracking this bottle! The Vine pours a semi-translucent, golden-amber hybrid color, murky and obtrusive looking with a bone-white, Alka Seltzer head that leaves faster than it forms. All that's left behind is a fairly thin, foamy white collar that separates the beer and the glass at its circumference... No lacing left behind on this one.
Welches white grape juice to the dome; like a lunch-time treat that mommy packed and you didn't notice until noon. Sweet, white grapes, seriously edging on straight grape juice territory with a bit of sharp, acidic "skin" notes, mild tannin, and a bit of wet oak - the only things there to remind me that this is indeed a beer and not a juice. Overall, it smells sweet, with only a touch of underlying tartness from the semi-vinous and semi-juicy grapes.
Thankfully, the flavor is a little more tart, as I wasn't exactly looking for a Juicy Juice, here. Tart white grapes, giving off that effervescent, yet heavy white wine feeling, still with a solid backbone that involves a great deal of juiciness. Some seemingly red grape flavors sneak their way into the mix, but perhaps those are just a product of the oak barrel aging itself; vinous, dry oak in the finish, and the littlest bit of musty, basement funk.
The finish is quite dry, and that's to be expected. It's not a gum line receding type of dryness, but it'll definitely suck the moisture from your palate if you let it hang around for too long. Dry oak and finishing white grape skins are the only recognizable things left after each sip runs its course. It's like a sour, mildly funky and purposely oak-y version of that straw-yellow drink we all used to love as a kid. Medium bodied, heavy carbonation and a prickly, dry mouth feel.
I really enjoyed this one. I'm actually not the biggest fan of artificial grape flavor, so it was good to have the raw authenticity of the grapes come through full force... it was a beautiful thing. This was an excellent beer, and definitely something I'd like to snag a few more bottles of, if given the opportunity. I think over time, it'll grow even more sour and even more badass. Chalk up another "W" for the guys in Portland.
09-30-2013 11:11:47 | More by tectactoe
4/5 rDev -5.4%
Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle. It was part of a great tasting that included seven bottled Cascade sours.
The beer pours a hazy medium-yellow with a white head. The aroma is white wine and ginger ale. The flavor is heavy on the white wine with some herbs including rosemary and ginger. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
05-19-2010 03:21:12 | More by Mora2000
4.3/5 rDev +1.7%
thanks to jpmclaug for this bottle!
pulled this from the cellar poured into a bulb style glass. no date listed.
pours out a hazy golden light orange color with a fizzy white head that quickly faded to just a very thin ring and then eventually nothing. the beer has a very nice color, but the head was just a bit of a letdown.
powerhouse lactic, acidic, barnyard funk in the aroma with a nice wine like white grape behind that. some alcohol and hints of pear, apple, and lemon citrus. enticing to smell and quite a bit of complexity shows.
that big lactic, acidic, sour, barnyard funk balances the white wine grape flavors very nicely. alcohol is definatly apparent but by no means overpowering. bits of lemony citrus and tiny hints of apple and pear. light nuances of the belgian blonds, and tripel base beers are noticable under the funk and fruity grapes. very nice complexity. one of the more complex beers ive ever tasted, but this doesnt necessarily mean the most delicious, although very good (if that makes sense to you)
big sour acidic mouthfeel, body is fairly medium to heavy, fizzy sparkly champagne like carbonation that settles out with much swirling and sniffing.
i wouldnt really go after another bottle of this again, but still highly recommended IMHO and definatly worth a try. if offered this however, i would absolutly never refuse, this is a very nice beer and it makes me even more intrigued to get a hold of some more offerings from cascade. i love what this brewery is doing and the time and skill that goes into this beer is astounding. drinkability wise, one bottle to the head is no problem, i could even go for second; a sessionable sour almost. gave a my GF a small pour and she enjoyed this as well. this was drank while watching DFH's brewmasters and i couldnt help but think "DFH aint got nothin on cascade as far as EXTREME beers go!" hahaha.
12-17-2010 02:43:11 | More by dogfishandi
4/5 rDev -5.4%
Zwanze Day 2011
Stone Brew Co.
Light golden yellow with a thin white head. Spots of lacing left down the glass.
Sweet, candied grapes play the dominant role in the aroma. There's also a touch of wood and just the faintest hint of alcohol.
Sweet grapes are dominant in flavor as well along with a hint of wood and earth and a mild sourness. Simple, yet very tasty.
Thin to medium bodied. A pleasure to drink.
A tasty, simple, grape sour. I would love to try this one again.
09-25-2011 21:11:51 | More by ehammond1
4.48/5 rDev +5.9%
A darker yellow that somehow is pretty vibrant. Amazing aroma, salivation inducing, white grapes, mild wood aromas. Keeps the funk out.
Hugely sour, definitely has the white grape presence to it, amazing at hiding the alcohol. The blended parts of a tripel and quad are really overcome with the grape juice and sourness. Must be all kinds of different bacteria strains to get it this sour and yet stay complex and immensely enjoyable. Grape, lemon, green apple, maybe some peach or nectarine round out the fruit flavor from it.
If you like your shit sour as an ex, this is your beer. Heavy sour at like a 9:1 ratio to sweet. This is a must for a sour and white wine fan.
Only $5.50 a glass at the brewery/pub make this even better all around.
EDIT: Just drank my first 2011, still very good, but not phenomenal like the last three years/batches. Hopefully just needs some age, but it didn't seem to have the vibrancy of other years. Prior rating was 4.5/4.5/5/5/4.5
07-01-2011 20:29:45 | More by Beerandraiderfan
4.65/5 rDev +9.9%
Bottle shared by a generous soul - thanks to whoever you are!
Pours a hazy purplish-brown color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.
Smells of dark malts with good amounts of lightly tart raisin, fig, and plum aromas. Also present are solid amounts of Concorde grapes.
Tastes similar to how it smells. Dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of tart plum and sweet Concorde grape flavors. Midway through the sip the sweetness subsides a bit and the fruit flavors skew more toward raisins and prunes. The fruit flavors carry through to a mildly sweet ending.
Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.
Drinkability is very good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could easily have another.
Overall I was a very big fan of this beer - I love the flavors of American grapes (Concorde, muscadines, and scuppernongs) and I find that it's difficult to accurately get that flavor in a beer. This beer succeeds completely and has additional complexity from other dark fruits and the malt bill. Well worth a shot.
07-28-2010 01:11:20 | More by glid02
Cascade The Vine from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
94 out of 100 based on 686 ratings.