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Cascade Bourbonic Plague - Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Cascade Bourbonic PlagueCascade Bourbonic Plague

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

506 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 506
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 625
Gots: 144 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Floydster on 07-03-2009

"This blend of strong dark porters was aged in oak, wine and Bourbon barrels, then blended with a dark porter that had been brewed with vanilla beans and cinnamon. The blend was then aged an additional 14 months on dates."
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 506 | Reviews: 119
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

this is about as much bourbon character as can be packed into a beer, i mean, its insane, and even though the description here says red wine, this is all about the bourbon. there is definitely a fruitiness to it, i assume a combination of the dates and the malt in it. it also says porters, which i dont necessarily get, the beer is brown but not all that dark, and certainly less roasty on the grain front than most porters i know, especially strong ones. the nose and taste both drip bourbon. mature oak, sweet vanilla, char, and booze. all are apparent and all are perfectly compatible with the chocolaty base beer. im looking for the cinnamon and not really getting it definitely, but i absolutely get a spice element that livens it up in the middle before the bourbon overtakes it in the finish. i love the complexity here, and from a process standpoint this is pretty epic. its fuller bodied but not the least bit heavy or viscous like some huge bourbon barrel beers can be. its more approachable than that. finishes with notes of dried dates, tobacco, and maple, all three things i enjoy in their purest form. cascade keeps pushing the envelope with these barrel aged blends, and this is yet another sparkling gem from them. a must try for wild ale lovers, even though the bourbon definitely trumps the funk this kick at the can.

Photo of Wobbly
4.64/5  rDev +9.2%

Outstanding, complex, and unusual brew from a very talented brewer. Advanced my understanding of beer, which does not happen with every beer you buy. Hard to get but worth it. Not at all like most American Wild Ales I have tried (and much better). In fact, I am not sure that this is the best style to house this beer in. Yes, it has many of the hallmarks of a wild ale, but this is so unlike the rest I have tried. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the terminology and definitions of the wild ale style?

At any rate, this beer has a dark, purple-black color; you can see the yeast floating around. Decent head, that slowly evaporates. One of the richest, most decadent flavor profiles of any beer I have tried. Fig, vanilla, dates. Really solid beer.

Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Black in the glass, not much carbonation, clear amber brown when pouring.

S-Chocolate, dates, dark fruits, some roasted malt, bourbon and wine. Some funk.

T-Same as the nose but the flavors are not meshing that well together.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation and a tad thick.

O-I was expecting more from this beer, especially given the price tag.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml, Vintage 2011
IME snifter

A: Pours a murky deep brown color. You can see some light through. Collar of light tan. Some lacing.

S: Lots of dark fruit. Dates. Vanilla. Oak. Funk. Dry.

T: Big dark fruit up front. Those dates come through. Vanilla. Oak. Funk. Really tannic. Lots of Cab Sav character. Dry finish.

M: Fuller medium. Not as carbonated as other sours.

Photo of PlinyBeMiney
4.87/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2011 Project. Wow, this beer is something else! It pours with an intense rush of bubbles that allude to a seemingly high carbonation. As dark as night with ruby undertones. The nose is sour fruit, bourbon, spice...so very pleasant. I would say "decadent". This beer is balanced! In no way does any nuance overpower another. The porter is smooth and creamy(this is not over carbonated like I suspected). The sour is subtle and sophisticated. The bourbon smooths everything out and completes the circle of flavor. I hesitated at the $30 mark for this beer, but after this I am sold. Cascade has now twice blown me away with this and Sang Noir.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.72/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 project.

Appearance - Brown body. Nice khaki head. Thick collar and a few islands of foam.

Smell - Bourbon. Oak and vanilla in turn. Acetic, vinegary acididty. Fruity, too.

Taste - Sourness up front. Not as vinegary. A little roasty. Borders on soy saucy. Bourbon permeates the whole drink. Oak and vanilla. I don't get a ton of spice, though.

Mouthfeel - Heavy, syrupy, sweet, and sour. All at once. Medium carbonation.

Overall - I don't know how I feel about this. It's complex, as all Cascades are. It's abrasive, too, though. I keep going back for more, so I guess I like it.

Photo of draheim
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL (2011 project) into a tulip. Pours a cola-colored reddish brown w/ a thin head.

Aroma is sugary sweet, almost grapelike, balanced by a punchy sourness.

Taste is likewise syrupy, fruity sweet and simultaneously almost vinegar-sour. Lots of residual sugars here. Some bourbon heat too. An unapologetically big, flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel is sticky and pretty thick.

Overall a strong, powerful beer but it lacks the finesse and complexity I was expecting at such a high price tag. A nice sipper but probably a one and done for me.

Photo of dar482
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer offers beautiful straight sherry notes up front. Sweetness, caramel, toffee, loads of dark fruit, cherries, dates, plums. Bourbon quality surrounds and a slight touch of tart in the back.

Photo of n2185
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a dark ruby-brown with half a finger of beige head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: sweet and tart fruit notes up front with candied sugar, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. There is a lot going on here and it works well.

T: sweet and tart fruit flavors up front with oak, vanilla, and bourbon. There are also notes of caramel and sour cherries before a smooth, tart finish.

M: medium body with mid-low carbonation, this beer avoids being too watery like some sours.

O: a great beer, overall. There is so much going on and it all works wonderfully together.

Photo of StJamesGate
4.19/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the brewery, Portland

Oxblood with beige film.
Deep tart woody nose with no bourbon notes.
Big bourbon hit, sugary preserved peaches, cloves, cinnamon gum, sherry, Christmas cake, Maraschino cherry and some slightly sweet vinegar.
Cherry end and stone linger.
Medium, round, sweet, no heat.

Madly complex, endlessly intricate. Not very sour or very bourbon. A tardis - as much in it as you want to find.

Photo of jbaker67
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Murky brown with a medium diminishing beige head. Aroma of bourbon, red fruits, vanilla, spices, wood and balsamic notes. Taste is moderately sweet and sour with bourbon, vanilla, red fruits, wood, balsamic notes, a touch of alcohol and red fruits. Medium to full body. Moderate carbonation. Nice complexity.

Photo of stakem
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle poured into a snifter. The brew appears a clouded brown color with a khaki head. Some mahogany look to it when held to the light. A swirl revives the cap painting patches of lace on the glass.

The aroma is quite vinous initially, then fruity with dark sugars and vanilla. A soft amount of oak. As it warms up, it gets a hint of vinegar overtop molasses, caramel, toffee and earth.

The taste is sour but not sharp. It is vinous and fruity with vanilla, and chocolate malt, vinegar, earth and almost nutty/meaty in the aftertaste. The blend and contrast of fruity/sour verse caramel/vanilla is truely unique and memorable.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. A really unqiue blend of flavors and hands down the best Cascade offering I have had...dare I say top 2-3 best dark sours I have had to date. Wow, I want more of this.

Photo of dirtylou
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at the barrelhouse

from notes

The commercial description of this beer is pretty ridiculous - another truly unique brew from Cascade. This beer starts innocently enough as a porter base but is then morphed and transformed through oak wine and bourbon barrels, blended with cinnamon and vanilla beans and aged further on dates. I'm not sure where the sour comes into play, but it got in there somehow. Decadent concoction and as complex as they come.

Photo of TheBeerTruck
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've wanted this beer for more than two years. Much to my grateful surprise, the most generous craft beer sage I know offered up and sent me one a month ago. He cautioned me with much warning that it was spectacular when he first tasted it when it was released and had it again recently and it's not what it once was. Still great, but not as great. I'm OK with that. I'd love to drive a Ferrari for the first time and have it be brand new, but I'd be fine with my first time being in a used one. Same thing, right? :)

A: I hate this category. It either looks right or it doesn't. Outside of that, a beer is going to look how ever the hell it wants. If a beer looks like shit and taste great, the beer looks damn fine to me.

S: I'm not sure where to start. It's as if I'm in the Olympics and I have the exact same best time in all the lanes and now I have to chose which lane I like best. Nough said!

T: Read the details of the beer. The only thing that seems to be missing is the cinnamon. For me, I'd love to taste it fresh to get it all, but that's the one flavor I'd sacrifice.

M: I feel almost the same about this one as I do "smell". If any detail should be addressed, my opinion is it's related to "heat". This beer is 12.1 abv. IMO, if you feel this and you think it's too hot, you need to stop drinking it immediately and call a real craft beer connoisseur so they can bitch slap you right after taking the beer from your hand. If the slap hurts, put on some lipstick to make it feel better.

O: Overall? Yes, please! If the above mediocre compiled thoughts don't give you an idea about how I feel about this beer, read it again. If at second you don't succeed...send me your cellar list so I can choose which beers you need to send me so they'll pour over much more snobby taste buds. :)

If any part of this review offends, aggravates, frustrates, etc...you in any way, please take a moment and think and consider this: it's my opinion, I'm always right...or wrong, and I consider myself a shitty writer. I'd rather take pictures of the beer; however, this one deserved more.

Cheers!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

2009 vintage.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with malt and bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with fruit and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and interesting.

Photo of Beerandboards
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle

A - pours an opaque very dark brown, a little rose color at the edge against the light. Gushed a little bit on opening. A medium pour produces about an inch to an inch and a half of loose large bubbles, dissipates to a very thin crown of bubbles.

Smell - kind of muted. Definitely bourbon, red wine, oak, sourness, touch of vinegar

Taste - damn good. Up front there is a big kick of bourbon, then the wine barrels, then the dry oak and sourness. It was interesting how perceptible and separate each of the flavors were. Finishes super dry with tannins and oak.

M - changed over the course of each pour. The first sip was a blast of wild carbonation, but letting the pour sit for 30 minutes, it flattened out to a very creamy low-medium carb. Didn't get syrupy like a lot of sours do for me.

O - If you like bourbon and sours, you'll like this beer. This was the first beer I'd had where the complexity was really pronounced as very separate and distinguishable flavor profiles. It really was a lineup of flavors that came and went distinct from each other. Not something I would want every day, but something I would gladly buy multiples of. I've never had this fresh, but I have to think that 3.5 years of age did it quite well.

Photo of brystmar
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from 2009.

Loud pop from the cork, mild gusher. Brown body, manila/tan head, super stubborn head and lace. Truly beautiful appearance. Tons bourbon in the nose, mild vanilla, more vanilla, traditional Cascade sour yeasty aroma.

Bourbon-forward on the palate. Dark fruits, mild spices, no vanilla, plenty of bourbon. Pretty tasty, but I'm not a bourbon guy at all. My bourbon-head buddies were gushing (pardon the pun) over this stuff while I merely enjoyed it. Pretty good, though I prefer even the "regular" Cascades (kriek, apricot) over this.

Photo of zhanson88
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big ups to Rbald42 for popping this one open.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with maroon highlights. About 1" of tan head forms, which has very nice head retention. Very nice looking wild.

Smells of dark fruits, general tartness and lacto sourness. Not a ton of barrel in the smell or sourness that is necessarily easy to pick apart.

Taste: Dark fruits and slight roast initially, followed by lacto sourness and tartness. Some wood and slight bourbon character shine through on the finish. Definitely easier to tell the elements apart on the palate than on the nose. Very nice.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Very creamy sour with ample carbonation. Maybe a touch heavy for the style but a nice feel nonetheless. Overall, a very unique sour that I would have again for sure. Not my favorite sour but nice.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was a part of cmrillo’s 40 Beers* @ 40 Birthday Bash! Shared by BRoss242! 2009 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller taster flute. Poured dark brown with a one finger khaki colored head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, dark fruit, chocolate, wood, and tart. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark chocolate, sour, tart, and wood. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. I really found the chocolate aspect on this one to be quite surprising if I am honest. While it worked well with the brew overall it didn’t seem like it was necessarily needed in my opinion. Definitely worth your time to try this one if you haven’t done so before.

Photo of CruisaC
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"This blend of strong dark porters was aged in oak, wine and Bourbon barrels, then blended with a dark porter that had been brewed with vanilla beans and cinnamon. The blend was then aged an additional 14 months on dates."

I knew I wanted to try this based on description alone.

Pours thin and dark with a good amount of khaki head

Smell is a bit one-dimensional. I get plenty of the sour smell I've gotten from other Cascade sours; not much of any of the other components. Not a bad smell, just hoping for more.

Fortunately taste is much more complex. I get a gentle sourness but also the bourbon and some raisins/dates on the end. A combination that works for me.

Thinner with a nice amount of carbonation. This is not stout creamy nor should it be.

A very good beer from cascade. I have yet to be disappointed in them, and I'm slowly ticking my way through ther lineup.

Photo of corby112
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to sideshowe for sharing!

Pours a dark chocolate brown, almost black color with purplish plum edges and a 1.5 finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring.  Streaks of lace left behind.

Slightly spicy, vinous aroma with a decent barrel character along with dark malt, toasted oak, vinous fruit and earthy funk. Hints of vanilla and bourbon followed by grape, dark cherry and plum.

Medium bodied with tight carbonation up front and a tart vinous red wine flavor along with some dry, earthy oak. Good balance of dry toasted oak, dark malt, subtle puckering acidity, vanilla and bourbon. Really complex but a bit too sweet for my liking.  Hints of toffee, vanilla, spicy bourbon, oak, chocolate and dark fruit.  Really sweet but not boozy with the abv dangerously well masked. Faint vinegar in finish but not overly acetic or solvent like.  Pretty good but I that there was more bourbon.  There's a bit too much going, overpowering the bourbon and hurting the overall flavor.

Photo of morimech
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 Vintage? Corkscrew required to remove the cork and released with a loud pop.

Dark brown color with two fingers of head that settles to a thick cap. Not much for lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma of bourbon, dark fruit, vanilla, and some pinot grapes. Smells acidic and slightly boozy.

Moderately tart flavor. Complex combination of fruits and barrel. The bourbon plays a lesser role in the flavor as acidic fruit notes lead. Underlying date flavor. Some nice vanilla flavor comes in midway before finishing tart and semi-dry. Alcohol is noticeable but not overly hot.

The body is a bit larger than what is typically found in a sour. Good bottle conditioning carbonation and overall texture.

Lived up to expectations. All the work that went into this beer came out in the end.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark chocolatey brown ale color with a massive white head, that later is just a tan lacing around the edges.

S: Sweet, Sour, Chocolate and lacto bacteria.

T: Very sour lactic taste first off, followed by a sweet chocolatey stout flavor. The underlying base beer is relatively light in body, but that is true for the style. It is however much sweeter than most sour ales. The alcohol percentage is also much higher at 12.1% so that is clearly drawing a distinction between most other sours. Slightly hot in the throat, but not boozy tasting. There is a nice bourbon oakey edge along with some strong natural vanilla flavors. As this beer warms, the vanilla became more and more prominent.

M: Light in mouthfeel, high in carbonation. Both of these are perfectly characteristic for the style.

O: Definitely the sweetest sour that I have ever had, not to mention it is also the highest ABV sour that I have had that I can think of off the top of my head. Definitely worth trying and highly recommended.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark red-brown with a thin finger of chocolate colored head. Fades fairly slow leaving behind lots of lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of Bourbon, sour cherries, roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, and oak.

T - Starts off with deep roasted and slightly burnt malts with some chocolate and vanilla and some sourness. Through the middle, the cherry comes through a bit stronger and the Bourbon starts to come through with some oak. The finish is a mix of Bourbon, vanilla, oak, deep roasted malts, and sourness with a bit of booze.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a nice warming finish.

D - Very dirnkable. The balance is outstanding with so many flavors going on, especially the sourness and the Bourbon flavors.

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle generously provided by milwaukeeclassic. This will forever be remembered as the bottle that trotched my draperies.

Opens likes a climactic moneyshot with porn-like exuberance. After struggling for a moment with the cork, there's an ejaculatory burst that splatters the curtains and walls and leaves a little who's your father on the carpet. Holy hell.

Pours dark brown with a nice white thin cover. Lace is clumpy.

Smells like cardamon and Huggy Bear.

Tastes pretty damn boss hog. Upon warming, it is, indeed, raw dogs. A cacophony of cinnamon, sour, and tangy bourbon. Opens up, like Duane's mom, significantly after warming. Really, really a nice beer. So much going on here. Opens up tremendously upon reaching room temperature. Cold I wanted to dump this; warmed I wanted to make love to this.

Thanks buddy. I'll miss you and your cellar.

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Cascade Bourbonic Plague from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
94 out of 100 based on 506 ratings.