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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.

124 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 124
Hads: 539
Avg: 4.2
pDev: 22.62%
Wants: 621
Gots: 142 | FT: 13
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 124 | Hads: 539
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.18/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter.

Pours a somewhat-dark brown color with a bit of a crimson hue. Slight retention as well as a nice cap as it settles down. The nose brings forward a sourness as well as some funk and oak. Strong lactic character. A bit of bourbon. The flavor is quite strong with some bourbon, booze, and a bit of a sour character. The flavor and feel have a bit of a strange astringency plus quite a bit of booze. Very odd indeed. I did not like this nearly as much as the Vlad. Probably my least favorite Cascade beer to date.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Shane!

The bottle gushed a bit upon opening. In the glass it's a dark stained chestnut color; light penetrates the beer ever so slightly. A finger of head settles to a thin crust in time.

It smells unusual, but good. The wine and bourbon barrels are apparent, lending oak, dark fruit, caramel. Dates, vanilla and ambiguous spiciness are equally present. There's a mild lactic sourness on the nose, and a strong overall vinous character.

On the palate it's both malty and sour. The vinous character melds nicely with light lactic acidity up front, but malt takes over quickly thereafter. Dates, molasses, cherries, cola, vanilla and spice - there's a lot going on. The body is tannic and semi-dry, carbonation a bit fizzy at first but smoother as the beer sits. This is enjoyable, but I feel like it's trying to do too many things at once.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone Sour Fest. One of the top highlights of the Fest. Pours dark amber brown with a fine tan head. Smell is complex with wild, sour, woody, stone fruit pits, cherry, and slightly sweet notes. Taste is even more intricate with a mild sourness, oak tannins, leather, slight tobacco smoke, sweet and dry. Tart in the back on the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, full, and a little boozy with some tangy zip. Overall, just loved it. Should have gotten more, but too late, all gone.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

lovely brown color with an off white head that streaks down the sides of the glass,

Lovely aroma is a mixture of sour and sugary malts wonderful dark fruits, caramel, toffee, tart cherries, great porter like quality but full of fruit and light funk, really a very interesting and fun mix here. Smooth as silk with a great finish and wonderful back to it.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.76/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Stone Sour Fest

A: The pour is a dark red/brown color with very minimal head on it.

S: The nose is full of butter, bourbon, and alcohol. A definite lactic tartness to this with some hints of dark fruits, but the alcohol and butter are very strong.

T: This has to be the booziest sour I've ever had. Way too much bourbon, making the flavor slightly solventy, some oak, and again: butter. Raisins, vinegar, lactic tartness, and even some sweetness.

M: The body is medium with a decent level of carbonation, a slight pucker inducing sourness and a lot of heat.

D: What is the big deal with this one? I'm guessing that previous barrels/bottles might have been better, but this one just missed the mark.

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Photo of jlindros
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to rudzud

Light fizzy darker head fades fairly quickly though nice at first, little lacing, nice legs, super dark chocolate brown with no real light.

Nose brings typical sour dark, tart sour malts, little cherry like, tart lacto sour lactic acid, dark caramel malts, hint cocoa, some dark caramel, hint of bourbon, wine vinegar,-dark candied sweet fruit like date, brown sugar too, sweet raisin bread.

Taste brings more lacto sour funk, little flemmy slimy sour, lactic acid, wine vinegar, etc. Big sweetness, brown sugar, caramel dates and candy, sweet candied raisin date bread, little oaky barrel and bourbon but very little. Dark malts, little cocoa, dark caramel, fudgey cocoa, molasses, hint of booze. Finish more booze warmth little tingle, sticky flemmy sour and acidic, more candy molasses date raisin bread.

Mouth flemmy acidic lactic, booze warmth comes through later, decent carb.

Overall eh, def not my cup of tea. Solid beer if that's you're style.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12/12/10 notes. Had at a local tasting thanks to Thorpe429; thanks a lot Mike!

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with a few inches of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour fruits, cherries, funk, oak, light wine, bourbon, roasted malts, and chocolate.

t - Tastes of sour fruit, spices, dark fruit, oak, bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, and very light vanilla.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, smooth body.

d - While I liked it and thought it was a good dark wild ale, it was no where near as good as Vlad the Imp Aler. I didn't think the flavors went together as well as they did in that beer. Still, a good beer with a unique smell and taste to it. I particuliarly liked the smell. Would certainly have again but I would trade a lot more for a Vlad.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Sean for sharing this. Served in a Lost Abbey Rastal Teku. Watch out as it's a slow gusher.

A - Pours with a big finger of light mocha foam that settles to a thick ring with some splotchy haze on top, and spotty lace. The body is a dark brown color with a hint of transparency at the fringes.

S - Spicy bourbon, acetic acid, plenty of oak, some notes of spice and cinnamon, and a faint sweet porter base. Not getting much overt date flavor - perhaps it's just a general sweetness. There's a faint whiff of alcohol in there, but it's not unreasonable at nearly 12%.

T - Lactic sourness, bourbon, spicy wood, sweet fruit character, and a hint of dates. Finishes quite sour and tannic. I actually like the taste a bit better, as the alcohol is better hidden.

M - Somewhat zesty, active carbonation, but thankfully not harsh either. Dry, tannic finish. Medium body, not much alcohol heat.

D - Very well hidden alcohol other than the nose. The spices are a bit too heavy for large quantities. I think I like Vlad a little better but this was still quite enjoyable.

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Photo of mothman
3.15/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Opens with a bit of a pop. Slowly gushes up.

Pours a large layer of light tan head. Very fluffy. Fades down rather quickly. A quick swirl brings back some head. Color is a dark brown, nearing black.

Aroma: Roasted malts and sourness right up front. Then I get the spices of cinnamon and vanilla. The cinnamon is spot on. I also get a touch of grahm cracker flavor. Has cherries and other dark dried fruits. Light chocolate and caramel hide behind the sour and tartness. Not too much oak showing. I get more wine notes than bourbon notes which hardly show.

Taste: My first reaction is: "How did this beer when a medal?" Fairly sour and funky. A medicinal flavor up front. I like the spices (vanilla and cinnamon) but the sourness distracts from everything good in this beer. It starts out with the wine barrels showing and dark dried fruits and then eventually transitions into the porter notes of chocolate, roast, and caramel with bourbon heatin' things up. This beer would be pretty good if it wasn't so soured.

Mouthfeel: Sour, fizzy, and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Ends with some funk and roasted malt.

Overall, I am just not that impressed with this beer. It could be great, but the sourness has already taken over this beer. I don't see this one getting better with time. A bit of a letdown as I had high hopes for this one. Cascade has been a bit of a disappointment on the last 2 wilds.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer shared by Thorpe, thanks. I hate the description of this beer on the info page because it makes me feel like I have no palate, I didn't pick up half the things they claim are in this beer I just missed them totally apparently.

Beer is brown and hazy with an off white head that tries so hard but doesn't get it done. Oops.

The aroma is very lactic, mildly acetic, I can pick up some sweetness in there as well....I think the dominant non-sour flavor that comes through is the bourbon honestly. Odd.

The beer is light but very complex in the flavor. it has some maltiness up front, some bourbon, heat (almost solventy) and some fruits. I would say in the long run the lactic wins but the alcohol is a close second. The danger with a big beer like this is that there can be some secondary problems with the mixing of high alcohol with a lot of acids. Can come across as off. This beer walks that line and flirts with the bad side but comes out ahead...slightly.

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Photo of stakem
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

A: Dark brown hue, with an eighth inch of head that leaves some good lacing on the glass.

S: Sourness, cherries, booze / alcohol, oak, funk.

T: Ooo...this is different...I like it. A healthy level of complexity exists here in this glass. Intriguing and challenging, with flavors of oak, wine, cherries, bourbon, and funkiness. This daring beer walks a fine line between triumph and failure. I'm a fan.

M: Pretty smooth feel, notwithstanding the massively complex pungent blitzkrieg of funky, fruity booze.

D: While I do prefer Vlad the Imp Aler, I really enjoyed this brew. I love sours, even / especially ones that challenge the palate. This was a really fun experience. I'd happily drink this again.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a ruby plum brown with a mild white head, fair retention, no lace.

S: Bourbon dominated, vanilla, some dark fruit.

T: Dates for sure, prunes and figs. Very much a dark fruit flavour. Some molasses and nice acid on the back end.

M: Heavy feel on the palate. A full-bodied beer for sure. Quite smooth, light carbonation. Light acid.

O: A nightcap beer if you will from Cascade. Good flavour, I like the dark fruit character. Clearly enjoyable.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark murky brown with brown highlights that had a thin bubbly head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was quite intresting consisting of bourbon for sure but was a little subtle from the acidic character mellowing it down and had the bretty funky with slight oaky vinegar citrusy vanilla notes. To me it was a weird combo but had all types of qualities that I liked mixed together. The flavor was really tasty to me combining the sour style and bourbon barrel boozy style working very nice to accent each other. It had citrus vinegar notes meshing with the bourbon oak vanilla character but was tart and sour at the same time; Really great creation and blend. It did have the bretty funkiness but I didn't really get the cinnamon and date flavor too much. The brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a slight sweet but tart, boozy, citrusy, oaky, sour, and mild dry finish. It drank really good and would love to have another bottle of this masterpiece. The different qualities were well balanced and complimented each other regardless of the ABV.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cascade Tasting (12-11-2009):

***This bottle was from a batch bottled for entry into the 2009 Great American Beer Fest, the batch that won Gold that year, with notable differences being the strong tobacco and leather notes. Overall it was quite a different beer than the large bottling in 2010***

Description: The Bourbonic Plague is based on 24 P Porter that is spiced and fermented with a Belgian yeast. A part is aged in Bourbon barrels and at times, with more spice and a portion that is aged in wine barrels and fed a lush diet of Dates.

Bourbonic Plague, the highlight of our Cascade tasting on 12/11/2009, was brought by jshufelt. I'd been desperately wanting to revisit this since it won gold at GABF 2009 in the Wood and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category. Thanks Jonathan! This was a slow gusher, and foam began creeping out of the top when we popped the cork. Luckily, we had glassware at the ready so we didn't lose a drop. The beer pours obscured dark brown with a two finger light brown head.

The nose opens up toasted and lightly roasted, with notes of tobacco and leather. Chocolate is subtle, and dark cherries and dates are evident. Other notes are of oak, light tannins, and a well integrated bourbon character. The nose is also reminiscent of ripe red grapes with a touch of spice. In addition to these complexities, there is an overarching moderate lactic sourness. When allowed to adequately warm, Bourbonic Plague entranced me. I finished half my glass and set it aside to sip throughout the night. You'd think my forbearance would yield extended stress free enjoyment of this elixir, but jshufelt sought to despoil me at every turn! I was eventually forced to hide my glass from him.

The flavor is light milk chocolate with lactic dark cherries, dates, smoke, tobacco, and lightly roasted malt. The mouthfeel is somewhat dry, and oak is evident. There's a dash of spice midpalate. The finish shows an increased sourness with dark cherry flesh and skin, and lingering notes of smoke and chocolate. I see that I've written "Interesting...interesting...interesting" here in my notes. That's not at all inaccurate. Bourbon is at a moderate level and alcohol is nearly undetectable.

Cascade is well deserving of their Gold medal. This is high quality stuff, and unlike anything else I've come across. Seek this out.

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Photo of John_M
4.57/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the barrel room today. Beers like this just leave you shaking your head in wonderment.

BP pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The beer looks pretty nice, but it wasn't until I dipped my beak into the glass that I started to understand the mystique surrounding this beer. The nose is incredibly complex in this beer, showcasing dark fruit, light sour, dark chocolate, mocha and a hint of bourbon. This beer smells great, no doubt, but then I took my first sip. Mama mia is this yummy! On the palate, the bourbon is much more prevalent, and it marries well with the dark chocolate, wine flavor, dark fruits, vanilla and light sour. The combination of flavor in this delicious beer is amazing. Also, while there's some sweetness to this beer, it's balanced incredibly well by the dark fruits, wine flavor and light sour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a very long, very smooth finish. As I've come to expect with most Cascade beers, the alcohol is very well disguised, and always seems much less than it actually is. Based on what I experienced on the palate, I would have thought for all the world that this was a 7% or 8% beer, instead of the 12% listed on the menu. This gives one the foolish impression that they can drink a fair amount of this great beer, which really would not be a very good idea.

In any event, this is just delicious stuff, and is clearly a very special, well crafted beer. Yummm!!!!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.99/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Buckeyeboy brought this one over a while back.. Thanks Jeremy!!

A "fizzer" when cracked... hazy dark brown.. yeast flecked head... good lacing.

Nose is big bourbon and dark cherry sour... cocoa.. a bit roasty and some background acetic notes... really though despite the sour, the bourbon abides.

nice fruit and a bit too much roastiness.. the lactic sour really comes out and helps balance the bourbon and vanilla... Alcohol is very minor, yet present.. the dark malts and the sour fruits with barrels never mesh and make for a real mash-up of a brew... ruby port made my notes... Not enough "sour" for the big-ass bourbon qualities... but what do I know?

Jeremy hooked it up.. thanks buddy.


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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a deep red color, it was a gusher but after it settled off it had a nice tannish cap to top it off

S: Bourbon, tart, vanilla, grapes and some cherry hints

T: A lighter red wine/port wine feel and texture, spices, cinnamon, hints at vanilla, wood and plenty of bourbon, did I mention some cherries, ripe and unripened grapes, perhaps vinegar. The booze was def noticable from beginning to end. I did not get the brown sugar but received some molasses kicks.

M: Nice feel and well carbonated.

D: Very drinkable and an excellent example of the style

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Photo of corby112
4.03/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 project. Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown hue with a fat one finger head that fades to leave light wisps and halo.

S - Aromas of sour chocolate cherry, lacto, light bourbon, vinegar red wine. Light date sweetness too.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Decent chocolate fudge, sticky sugars and date, raisins, caramel, the bourbon is somewhat restrained, the wine is rather vinegar.

M -Mouthfeel is brightly carbonated, a bit syrupy and flemmy on the finish.

O - Overall this beer hit all the notes, however, the sour chocolates cherry just doesn't do it for me.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of dgilks
4.65/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade with writerLJberg. Thanks Luke.

Very dark brown colour verging on black with a smooth, creamy, tan head. Fair head retention, in fact it's very good for a sour.

Very complex aroma with plenty of spiciness, bourbon oak, tart lactic sourness, some chocolate and even some caramelised malt notes. Neat.

Immediately tart but balanced out with a smooth malt sweetness, caramel and chocolate. The fruitiness from the dates adds a lovely complexity as does the restrained barrel character. Incredible.

Medium-full body with moderately-high carbonation. Very nice and it accents the complexities in this beer.

A stunning combination of chocolatey porter, spice, lactic tartness, bourbon oak and fruit. A truly unique beer and one that is justifiably well liked.

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

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a stemmed glass. Huge thanks to hopsbreath for this one!

(A)- Pours an almost dark opaque brown color. A minimal tan head that dissipated down to bubbles. Minimal lacing.

(S)- A rich profile. Raisin and dates with some sweet bourbon notes. Some dry hay and sour acidic raisin and dates.

(T)- Same as the smell. It is certainly rich with raisin and dates with a subtle sour and acidic aspect. It is quite nice though with the subtle sourness combined with the above mentioned dark fruits.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A great balance of rich dark fruits and a smooth sour acidic character.

(D)- A richer, yet dynamic and unique take on the style. Sweet, yet still has a fitting acidic sourness to balance itself out. Obviously, their Vlad the ImpAler is rather different than this one, I far preferred this one since both were had in the same evening. Solid stuff here.

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Cascade Bourbonic Plague from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.