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Cascade Bourbonic Plague - Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Cascade Bourbonic PlagueCascade Bourbonic Plague

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

416 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 416
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 10.07%
Wants: 621
Gots: 128 | FT: 16
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:
"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 added by: Floydster on 07-03-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 416 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by cbarrett4:
Photo of cbarrett4
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from cask at Cascade Barrel House Portland:

Pours murky brown with very little head and almost no lace. Kind of ugly (though it did get pulled off cask... so...)

Interesting nose though a bit over the top. I really got the bourbon sweetness up front, kind of hot (alcohol) on the nose but a little caramelized sugar, prunes, and black currants in there. But the alcohol really detracts.

More of the same. Mostly stewed dark fruit and sweet cherry pie with smoke, toast, and sweet bourbon. It's got a slight sour twinge.

Again everything kind of tossed into weirdness with the oppressive alcohol. Out of balance, but a good texture and long finish.

I have had much better brews from these guys. I appreciate the style, and I know that this beer has some fans... but just because you can go bigger doesn't mean you have to. Also of note: I have had some Dogfish Head at 18% abv where the alcohol seemed more in tune.

cbarrett4, Aug 29, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -6.3%

tectactoe, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

DaftPatrick, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Jason, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of ehammond1
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Tap

Beachwood BBQ
Seal Beach, CA

Dark brown nearly black with a thin khaki head. Lots of spotted lacing down the glass.

Surprisingly not particularly aromatic, though I'm happy to say the other features of this beer make up for it in spades! A muted combination of bourbon and sour notes make up the aroma, but nothing is leaping out, even after warming.

This is quite the journey. Never before has a beer changed so drastically from start to finish. At first, this is a sour porter, with hints of roasted malt and chocolate coming through, along with sweet fruits and biting sourness. Then, after swallow, a new, delicate, earthy, woody bourbon flavor fills the mouth and stays and lingers. Magnificent!

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

A spectacular beer and (like with many Cascade offerings) like nothing I've ever tried before.

(I'm looking at you, The Bruery! Time to bourbon-barrel age some Tart of Darkness!)

ehammond1, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Cynic-ale, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of Soonami
4.68/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cascade bourbonic plague is such an interesting beer. It is for sure the most complex sour beer I've had to date (hehe). This is a dark brown beer with a sand colored head. The beautiful aroma just bursts out of this beer--it's a lot like a loaf of baking fruit cake with spicy cinnamon, clove and vanilla, sweet dried fruit and slightly sour like overripe bananas. The beer tasted like it smelled with a lot more pronounced vanilla and oaky bourbon flavors. There is a nice molassesy sweetness from the dates and a warming spiciness. The alcohol is very well hidden in this very complex beer with just a slight warming feel on the back of the throat. Very complex and although the ingredients don't seem like they should work together they really come together grounded by the very good base porter

Soonami, Feb 20, 2011
Photo of 01001111
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

01001111, Jul 24, 2014
Photo of elliot23
4.83/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Poured into a snifter at the Barrel House. Great color for a sour. Super dark, almost like a cup of coffee. Redish hue to it as well. Looks great.

N. What a nose. I can't keep my face out of this one. Lots of dark fruit. Some cinnamin and vanilla in there. A small touch of alcohol, but pretty mild considering the abv. Some bourbon and oak can also be pulled from this as it warms.

T. Amazing on all fronts. Very aggressive beer. Really unique. Never thought I'd have a barrel aged sour porter. Lots of oak and vanilla in the taste. I can also pull out some strong dates in there as well. A little dark cherry and some alcohol finish round this one out. Amazing how the 12% abv is hidden though.

M. Pretty full for a sour. Good carbonation as well. Pretty warming on the mouth. Good stuff.

After one glass I can feel it. To be expected though. Goes down dangerously easy though. Can't wait for bottles of this one!

elliot23, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of switzer
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

switzer, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -6.3%

mdaschaf, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of dmachado
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

dmachado, Apr 20, 2014
Photo of Griffith
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Griffith, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of Metalmonk
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sent by msubulldog25 in a recent trade, the text immediately intrigues, as does the great name: "Bourbonic Plague - Northwest Style Sour Ale - ale brewed with spices and aged in used oak wine and bourbon barrels on vanilla beans and cinnamon then fermented with dates." Additionally, the label says this is a "huge, spiced double porter...lactic fermented in select barrels for over 12 months and fed on a rich diet of dates."

Huh. You can just imagine dead beer traditionalists rolling in their graves. Its likely too much for some of the living as well.

I expected this bottled conditioned beer to gush, and it did. I was prepared but spent some time babysitting it until it chilled out, which included pouring a full glass then having to push more into a second glass until things settled down in there. So, what results is a huge head, rocky and stiff and tan, quite beautiful actually, like an airy ice cream. Liquid is a super murky dark brown, looks wonderful.

Aroma is a hugely vinous thing, more tart than sweet, more green than something this well aged was expected to smell like. I get some oak and date too, a little bit of the bourbon, though nothing of the vanilla or cinnamon comes to the nose.

To say this is a complex beer is not only stating the obvious, but also understating it. Nearly every sip brings a new view, a new impression, as my taste buds wrangle with this ridiculous monster. Its vinous aromatic qualities are also a prime feature of the taste. They're wrapped in a woody, earthy exterior, and the piquant flavor of alcohol-soaked dates comes through as well. The cinnamon and vanilla are no doubt that brighter spice character I'm tasting, although they've been totally transformed through barrel aging. Bourbonic Plague (what a great name) finishes tart and fruity sweet, with earthiness shining through to balance. Interesting that the bourbon is only a mere flash amongst many flavors. It's hard to brew with a bourbon barrel and not have that dominate, showing what a complex, challenging creature we're dealing with here, and what a good job they've done of incorporating everything evenly. The only Belgian characteristic here is the yeast, but it's a big one. Wild ales are derived from ancient Belgian traditions, and here the yeast puts that big Belgian stamp on an otherwise all-West Coast mutant. Thankfully, the roasty porter base comes through just enough, and that's good, as I find many sours to be good and sour, but they can also mask most if not all the base beer elements. Not this one. The alcohol? Oh, that? Hardly detectable, but maybe the flurry of impressions is just distracting. Still, very well hidden, I'd say, especially for 11.5%!

Not terribly dry, as some sours are, the tartness causes a palpable physical pucker in the mouth, although it's actually subtle and not an annoyance. Otherwise this has both smooth and crisp characteristics, texturally about as complex as the taste is.

While sours are not totally my thing, this one is clearly exerting its own unique personality in that realm, and what could have been an unholy mess has turned out very well. I'm going to savor this sucker the rest of the night. A definite slow drinker and one to cherish while there's still some in the glass.

Metalmonk, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of ipc2000
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

ipc2000, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev -6.3%

jh1982, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of tdm168
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

tdm168, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to schen9303 for sharing this one. Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Southampton oversized snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a 3 finger frothy off-white colored head with outstanding retention. Beer is an opaque black and lacing is patchy and stringy with excellent cling. This one's a real beauty.

S: Nose is pungent bourbon with hints of chocolate, sour cherry, purple wine grapes, and subtle roasted malts. Flavors work perfectly with each other here with a slight tartness that tickles the nose exquisitely complementing a robust, but not overwhelming bourbon presence. Very unique also though perhaps not quite to style.

T: Opens with a slight cherry tartness and dark fruit. Transitions into sour wine grapes and cherry puree with overtones of roasted malt and sour liquorice. Bourbon barrels linger in the background providing a nice sweet complement along with a degree of cobwebby Brettiness. End is chocolate, roasted malt, and sour cherry and grape with notes of prune and sour, unripened plum. Finish is tart dark fruit, bourbon, and a bit of smoke. Aftertaste is slightly dry and ashy. Might be the first sour dark beer that I'm a fan of!!!

M: Medium bodied and highly carbonated. Bubbly and a bit grainy in the mouth and abrasive at the edges. Tingly going down with a messy aftertaste and a dry, lingering aftertaste. This one's pretty standard but missing a degree of crispness at the finish that would have put it more over the top.

D: Much better than its cousin Vlad the IMPaler in my opinion, this is a really well made sour porter. What sets it apart is a nice balance between sour and sweet with a ton of complexity that captures both the Brett and funk aspect as well as the roasted malt, dark fruit, and chocolate aspect. I'll definitely be coming back to this one.

SpeedwayJim, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of schmidtmattsays
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

schmidtmattsays, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of dirtylou
4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

dirtylou, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of grownfool
3.5/5  rDev -18%

grownfool, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of apbaj
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

apbaj, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photekut, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4/5  rDev -6.3%

StoutItOutLoud, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +17.1%

kkrez, Nov 15, 2011
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Cascade Bourbonic Plague from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
95 out of 100 based on 416 ratings.