Cascade Sang Noir - Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 1,025 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
4.51/5 rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
The inside of a barrel isn't a very nice place. It's dark and musty, full of nauseating fumes, and houses rogue bacteria and microscopic critters in every crevasse. In many cases, you're stuck in there with rotting, festering fruits. Despite all this, Sang Noir came out more than a year later looking pretty good; its tone is dark but not muddied and impressively maintains a bit of its garnet highlighting. Even some head too.
The aroma combines epic proportions of sweetness and tartness to create a bouquet of unparalleled complexity; it's rare to find this much of either, let alone both together in the same beer. Immediate impressions of berry gummies and candied cherries quickly turn tart and gradually evolve into a unique convolution of fruit, oak, bourbon, and pinot noir.
Saying that Sang Noir is like a candy factory crossed with a fruit orchard crossed with a winery is a huge injustice to an incredibly elaborate beer. But it's a good place to start when embarking on the near impossible task of describing the multiplicity of flavours that comprise this rich and mesmerizing offering.
I'm first impressed by just how mellow the beer drinks. High-alcohol, barrel-aged offerings tend to fall prey to one or the other of nauseating booziness, acidity that singes your throat, a woodiness that leaves splinters in your gums, or a tartness so severe in turns your lips inside out (assuming the whole thing comes together well enough so as to be palatable in the first place). But Sang Noir has all the intricacy without any of the intensity.
What's in the glass is mysterious and distinctive, the result of a very long and difficult process - it makes the Coca-Cola recipe seem easy to crack by comparison. Notes of maddeningly red cherries, vanilla cola, caramel, sarsaparilla, acidic lemon, purple plum, heavy wood and spices are melodiously woven together. Notably absent are any harsh alcohol notes (an impressive feat considering the whiskey barrels and the 9.5% of the beer itself).
Cascade Sang Noir ("black blood") indeed drinks like some kind of dark, mystical gospel. A beer this intricate and transcendental is the stuff of folkloric legends. Of course, given how difficult it is to find (and expensive to buy) it may only ever be fantasy for most people. For those of you fortunate enough to come across this dream beer, be sure to enjoy it with someone you really want to impress (i.e, your favourite person in the world).
Serving type: bottle
07-31-2013 15:02:52 | More by biegaman
Cascade Sang Noir from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
99 out of 100 based on 1,025 ratings.