Cascade Bourbonic Plague - Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

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Cascade Bourbonic PlagueCascade Bourbonic Plague

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467 Ratings

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Ratings: 467
Reviews: 118
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 613
Gots: 138 | 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:
"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: 467 | Reviews: 118 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sarlacc83
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of vkv822
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

2010 vintage
750ml bottle into tulip snifter.
from notes.

Open with caution!
Was a pretty heavy gusher upon removing cork.

Pours an extremely dark brown, near black. Has a foamy light tan head.

The nose is bourbon, oak and lactic tartness. Vanilla comes through at times as well.

The taste follows the nose, with tartness upfront followed by bourbon, with oak and vanilla as parts of the bourbon notes. Faint dark fruits at times.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with lightly prickly carbonation. Leaves an enjoyable warming finish.

A really unique and enjoyable beer. I forgot what a fan of this I was.

Photo of dgilks
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of amphion1065
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle into a Duvel tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Opening this refrigerator-temperature bottle was something of a Sisyphean ordeal. After much jostling, turning and prodding, the cork broke, which necessitated the use of a corkscrew. Of course the bottle gushed, but I only lost about an ounce. By the time the beer settled in my glass, the body was a very dark chestnut brown. A two-finger light tan head with phenomenal retention and stiff, meringue-like peaks of foam. The lacing is not terribly impressive.

Fascinating is the best way to describe the aroma. Just after pouring, this beer is all about tart, vinous funk. There is a very strong vinegar, lactic quality to the aroma. It almost smells like there are berries in the mix, a distinct raspberry-like aroma. As it warms, a wave of sweetness comes through. There is a lot of very enticing vanilla in this beer. Not too much bourbon or discernible barrel presence, but that's not the worst of faults.

The taste is somehow more complicated than the aroma. Right off the bat, those -bals really make themselves known. There is a definite, sharp hit of alcohol, but it's not overpowering and I wouldn't call this beer "hot." The lactic tartness of the base beer is strong enough to withstand the barrel presence, though it is very warm going down. Plenty of vinegar, with sort of a tangy, zesty citrus component. What initially seems like a very sweetness transforms into a deeper dark fruit flavor - I thought that plums or prunes were in the mix, though evidently Cascade used dates. A lingering woody aftertaste becomes quite strong over time.

Moderate carbonation, certainly on the lower side for the style. It works well with the full body, though.

A well done experiment from Cascade, one with a huge array of flavors that never seem overly busy. Some of the extreme tartness I often crave is tempered by the barrel aging, but the imparted flavors are really nice. Perhaps more technically impressive than enjoyable to drink, but it's still very good.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle given to me by my good friend Swimsum. Thanks Brent!

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Gentle pour nets at least three fingers of expansive, nougat-colored fluff. After a few minutes, that initial head has decayed to a creamy froth, which looks very inviting - similar to the cap on a latte. Walls of lace mark where the head once stood, and extend down the walls of the glass as the session progresses. The body is earthy brown with moderate translucence near the edges.

Smell: Dark cherries, blackberries, key lime pie, caramel, and peppery bourbon. Sweet, tart, and bourbon-y all at the same time. Somewhat confusing, certainly interesting - it seems to work.

Taste: Caramel, bourbon, and syrupy dark currants lead things off. Vanilla, lime-like tartness, and booze form the finish. This is the second time I've had this beer, and each time I thought the bourbon and wild aspects clash. My roommate agrees; there's just too much going on in here. Still pretty good, but I just don't think bourbon barrels and sours were meant to be.

Mouthfeel: Tart, boozy, and semi-sweet. Seems heavier in body than most sours, but also finishes drier. Highly carbonated at first, but my roommate and I drank it until it was nearly flat. More enjoyable with lower carbonation in my opinion. Taking a step back though, the clashing bourbon and sour aspects are what make this such a slow sipper. Great execution. Misguided intent.

Overall: I think I've already said enough about this one. It's interesting - worth a try if you can get your hands on some for a reasonable price - but not worth recreating in my opinion. This is an experiment, nothing more.

Photo of claspada
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of hoppymcgee from our most recent trade. Bottle says 2009 so I assume it is from then. Cork broke as I tried to take it out; needed a wine opener to get it out.

Pours a dark brown with no visible light escaping. A large 2-3 inch soapy, bubbly head dissipates leaves some decent spotty lacing. After the first pour the bottle continues to overflow with extreme carbonation from the Bretty yeast.

Aromas begin with typical Bretty yeast smells; sourpatch kids, dark cherries, earthiness, dark sherry, slight vinous grapiness. As it warms the Bourbon begins to show itself; oak, vanilla, dark berry jam just to name the most dominant barrel induced smells.

The tastes begin with lots of sour berries mixed with juicy fruits. Sweet blackberry, pomegranate, juniper berries start the show. Then you get the slight roasted flavors of chicory, dark caramelized sugars and light baker's cocoa but these flavors are continuously overwhelmed by the sour dark cherry Bretty yeast. As it warms you once again get the nice oak and vanilla flavors from the barrel.

The mouthfeel is super full bodied with above average carbonation. In this case the Brett trumped the Bourbon barrel leaving a pleasant bubbly feeling across the tounge. The carbonation scrubs hthe palate after every sip which is nice but it robs you of enjoying the extremely enjoyable flavors of the beer, so I wish it was toned down a tad but that cannot always be controlled with wild yeast beers of this nature.

Overall, this was a really super beer. It is extremely complex and unlike any beer I have ever had. I usually do not like dark Brett beers because the flavors just don't typically mesh well, but this somehow works amazingly. For a beer blended from dark style beers and with such an extremely high ABV it drinks amazingly light and easy. This is the perfect fall weather beer because it blends dark beer with nice light sour flavors. Make sure you DO NOT drink this too cold as all the great flavors are only detectable and appreciated once it warms up. Anyway, extremely highly recommended and worth seeking out; so complex and this is a testament to amazing brewing and blending from a great, small, under appreciated American brewery.

Photo of Spider889
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Schwaeh for sharing some of this bottle at Jackie O's. This was a want so I appreciated him saving me a trade before trying it.

A - Tall cream colored head atop a thin blackish beer with cola highlights. Well carbonated.

S - A bit typical of an American Wild - tart cherry and apple skin immediately rush up at you. However there are also some vanilla and whipped cream aromas to be found in there as well.

T - The flavor was very complex. Lots of liquor notes. Tart with some cherry and cranberry. Light chocolate malting, along with some caramel flavor. The alcohol is quite apparent and strong. There's a brandy-like finish with some Belgian yeast flavors.

M - High carbonation and quite acidic and boozy.

O - This is an excellent wild, but wow is it hot.

Photo of ehammond1
4.25/5  rDev 0%
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!)

Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of cbarrett4
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of rowingbrewer
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark reddish brown color with a lot of carbonation and head. The smell is acetic slightly vinegary with hints of vanilla and dark fruits. The flavor is pretty similar to the Taste with the vanilla and cinnamon coming through fairly strong and the vinegar is lessened. The sour is not really sour just tart. This is the least sour beer I have ever had from cascade bit with so much going on it's understandable. Medium mouthfeel and overall a good brew

Photo of mgbickel
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split two ways with Stigs. Thanks for bringing this one Jeff!

After a few minutes of gushing, I was able to pour this into a Piraat tulip. The dark brown center of the body fades to ruby edges. A loose manila head formed quickly and faded pretty fast, leaving little spots of lace behind.

The nose is what I was expecting…dark fruits, fermented cherries, funky wine and wood. There is a lot going on with this beer and the nose picks up a little bit of everything…

Just as the nose indicates, the vinous/tartness kicks things off. This fades a little toward the center where you get an almost sweet (brown sugar maybe) flavor before the buttery wood flavor finishes things off. You get a little of the booziness in the aftertaste, but nothing overwhelming.

Medium bodied, pretty dry with moderate carbonation.

This is a very complex beer with many layers of flavors to explore. It changes as it comes to proper temp. just to complicate things further! Highly recommended and I am thankful to have tried it!

Photo of AgentZero
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Darker than I would guess for a wild ale, maybe more of a Flanders Red look. Dark brown with red highlights. Off-white head that left some spots behind.

S - Bourbon, oak, brown sugar, careml, some dark fruits. There's a vinous, deep tartness to this one with some rich cherries.

T - Caramel, dark fruits, brett, tartness, molasses. There's a bit of spice in there as well. Slightly quadish. You get kind of a vinous wild taste with some brett, I really like what the bourbon as done to this one.

M - Medium bodied beer with some active carbonation.

O - Like this beer quite a bit, preferred it a little to Vlad. Gets interesting as it warms as well, going to try to track a few more bottles of this down.

Photo of rye726
4.97/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my kind of beer. Big, dark malt bill complimented by wild yeast, figs and bourbon barrels. Pours a dark mahogany with a silky tan head. Nose is sour and funky with dates, vanilla, bourbon, oak, wine, ripe pitted fruits, rich malts and spices. Taste is super complex yet perfectly balanced. Full, refreshing body. Near perfect, reminds me of finer vintages of Cuvee de Tomme

Photo of gford217
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Pours deep mahogany with no light showing through and a big bubbly beige head that recedes really slowly and leaves spotty lacing.

Aroma is excellent with chocolate covered cherries, brown sugar and a solid lactic tartness.  There is some bourbon and vanilla though they are not dominant.

The taste doesn't live up to aroma for me, starting with an earthy Fu mixed with bourbon.  The tart cherries aren't as prevalent though there is a bit of cocoa powder.  The finish is boozy with a little brett and a ton of oak.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and silky smooth.

The nose really had me hoping for more but the flavors don't quite come together for me.  Maybe it's the bourbon and oak but the taste is much heavier than I expected as well. Still a very good beer.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Beerzebub for the bottle; shared at Willard's sour mini-tasting.

A - Pours a chestnut-brown hue and is capped with a decent head of off-white froth.

S - The nose is dark fruity and vinous like a wine-aged Quad; also malty-rich like a -bal Barleywine with notes of molasses, Bourbon, oak and vanilla; lastly there is a tart-sour aspect reminiscent of Consecration. Very unusual and complex.

T - The flavor delivers more Bourbon than the nose, and less fruit overall. Dark fruit flavors are still noted, but are overshadowed by toffee-caramel, buttery oak, molasses, vanilla and sweet Bourbon. There is a good amount of Quad-like spices, and the cinnamon contribution is discernible. Oak is a consistent factor throughout, but it begins as more of a buttery-boozy oak, and ends up eventually contributing a good deal of dry and tannic notes. As it airs out, vinous and dark fruity notes become more apparent, especially date, fig and plum, as well as an increased sensibility of Cascade's typical lactic tartness.

M - The feel is nice. Medium-bodied, softly effervescent and quite dry

O - I am not typically into dark sours, but there are exceptions, and this is certainly one of them. Well-done; I can taste all the ingredients, and the brew manages to meld some disparate elements quite harmoniously.

Photo of grittybrews
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle, opened 06/2011. Gushed quite a bit after popping the cork, and then poured a dark cola brown into a tulip with two fingers of light khaki head.

Sour cherry dominates the aroma with hints of date sugar, vanilla, and a bit of dark malt. Slightly high carbonation and a full (but not thick) mouthfeel. Tart cherry up front mixed with woody vanilla, sweet date malt, and a surprisingly detectable cinnamon presence. Long sour cherry finish.

Amazing beer that's really easy to drink despite the 11.5 ABV, which goes almost unnoticed. Even though the sourness dominates it still allows all the other flavors to really come through.

Photo of GrandCruDrew
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL poured in my De Struise globe.

A- Dark brown, dark enough to not see through. about an inch head, some retention. Little lacing

S- Brett is huge, funk, caramel, dark dry fruits.

T- Brett, chocolate covered cherries, caramel, raisons, oak and dates.

M- Smooth on the tongue. Good balance and acidity. Caramely smooth.

Overall- Beautiful beer. Great nose, taste and mouthfeel. Great drinkability for 11.5%.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured intoa tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.
Vintage: 2009
ABV: 12.1%

A - A hard to remove cork preempts a loud pop followed by a slowly rising head inside the bottle. A nice pour reveals a dark mahogany brown with some amber and caramel edges. There is a nice 0.5 inch head that is light cream colored with some nice dense bubbles.

S - Aroma of tart cherries followed by some nice slight vinegar notes. Slight vanilla and sweet bourbon notes are present mixed in with some nice dry woody oak notes. There are some midl chocolate notes as well as some nice bready grain notes and some caramel.

T & M - Starts off with a nice mix of sour and sweet. Cherrie tartness and sweetness mixed in with some nice sweet caramel and some good slightly vinegar notes. The Bourbon sweetness is delicious and goes very well with the sourness. Some nice grape notes almost Cabernet like. There is also some nice dark fruit sweetness that is mixed in with the delicious lactic sourness as well some nice pieces. There is some slight funk to the beer but tis note as present as other sour ales (no Brett maybe). Not too intense but very present. Wow this is delicious. There is some delicious wood notes to this beer as well that are extremely complex. The finish is nice and dry with a very wood forward aroma and flavor. Mouthfeel is medium with some delicious carbonation and great flavors.

O - Wow this beer was great. I was a bit hesitant but the age seems to have done it some good. Much more complex and not boozy at all. The Bourbon mixes in very well with the sour notes and so do the wine notes.

Photo of Arenbeer
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into a tulip glass

2009 vintage

A- Pours a dark dark murky muddy brown with a huge 2 finger khaki head that sizzles away slowly. Seems like there's a good amount of carbonation in this one.

S- Really sweet dark fruits notes, brett and funk, slight chocolate or cocoa, cinnamon, oak and vanilla. Slight bourbon notes but not as much as I was expecting.

T- Wow. Up front your tongue is blessed by caramel, sweet dark fruits, raisins, dates, as well as some dark burnt sugars or molasses. On top of that there's a nice cinnamon spice as well as some sweet vanilla and oak notes in the finish. The sour funk is there but nothing to over the top, just enough to create a solid mouthfeel for the style. Just when you thought you figured it out the bourbon notes come through and create a really unique tasting beer that is just exceptional.

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation and a nice slightly tart funky finish.

Overall this is everything I love in a beer. Tart, dark fruits, and that slight hint of bourbon. Excellent beer.


Photo of emmasdad
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ratman for sharing a bottle of this one (so happy I have one in the cellar), if only to confirm how great this beer is. Poured a murky dark brown color with a little tan head. Aromas of tartness, oak, funk, bourbon, booze, and cherries. On the palate, medium bodied, balanced, tart and drinkable (dangerously so), with flavors of bourbon, alcohol, wood, oak, dark cherries and funk. Simply amazing.

Photo of MADhombrewer
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Poured into a champage glass.

Appearance- Dark, murky crimson with a small, off white head. Small amount of lacing. 3.5/5

Smell- Tart cherry-off- the-tree smell. Some alcohol and bits of cinamonn. 4/5

Taste- Very tart. Cherry and cinnamon. Sweetness comes out later, I contribute to the dates and the caramel malts. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied beer. Good for the style 4/5

Overall- Great beer! Not a crazy sour, but something you can sink your teeth into. It is a very interesting beer. Very complex. 4.5/5

Photo of DefenCorps
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed last week during the Great Verizon Snafu of 2011.

Watch out 'cos this is a slow gusher! The beer itself is a beautiful dark brown with mahogany highlights, there's a dense, thick light brown head with great retention. The nose is great. Rich, vinous, tart and with a little bit of bourbony coconut, I'm immediately impressed. Layers of dark fruit, cocoa, buckwheat honey, tobacco and some leather are present. The cocoa/chocolate character has a mild floral aspect to it as well. The date character makes me think of dates soaked in chocolate and mildly spiced. A clean lactic sourness rounds out the nose.

The palate opens with a blend of tartness, sweetness, wine and a little bourbon. Again, i's a beautifully complex beer. Spicy with some coriander and maybe some nutmeg? Cocoa liqueur-like, almost unsweetened, with a pleasing bitterness. Nice dark fruit character is present, though not easily recognizable as dates, even when I pair it with one! A clean, lactic sourness keeps this refreshing. Sweet and sour on the finish with a mild cocoa bitterness, this is a rather beautifully balanced beer. Bourbon is mainly present as a mild coconit initially and a boozy warmth with a touch of vanilla on the finish. Medium-full in body with moderate carbonation, this is rather excellent on the palate. Highly recommended.

All told, this is one of those few Cascade beers where I've found the lack of bug complexity hasn't been to a detriment. Well done, guys!

Photo of jag21
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad to get to try this one.

A: Almost opaque brown, thin tan head, not much lacing.

S: Dark fruits, sour lacto, some vanilla and cinnamon

T: Follows the smell but with bourbon. The mix of flavors, with the porter base, is really something different, and in a good way.

M: Good amount of carbonation, I might have liked even a bit less for a creamier mouthfeel

O/D: Not something to session, but one of the most unique and complex sippers out there.

Cascade Bourbonic Plague from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
94 out of 100 based on 467 ratings.