Figaro - Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

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FigaroFigaro

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

51 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 51
Hads: 403
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10%
Wants: 79
Gots: 89 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: largadeer on 06-24-2011

Strong blond beers were aged in fresh Chardonnay barrels for three months and then additionally aged with dried Adriatic white figs and Spanish lemon peel. Aromas of sweet malts, figs, raisins and citrus zest greet you in the nose. Hints of Chardonnay grapes, lemon peel and sweet figs roll across the palate, leading to crisp lemon sharpness in the finish that will leave a lingering sweetness on the tongue.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 403
Photo of largadeer
2.68/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Draft at City Beer's 5th anniversary. Figaro is a high gravity sour brewed with figs; the exact details escape me.

Appearance: Hazy amber with a thin, fleeting head.

Smell: Heavy-handed spices and...pumpkin? Reminds me a lot of pumpkin pie. A huge lactic character, too. There's a touch of fig, but the spices are really pervasive and somewhat unpleasant.

Taste: An absolute shit-ton of spice and lactic acid. Sweet and heavy but also pretty stomach-churning - it doesn't taste bad by any means, but it's difficult to drink. Tastes more like pumpkin than fig to me, but maybe that's the spices playing tricks on me. A bit boozy, too; burns going down. By far this is my least favorite of the City Beer anniversary beers. (723 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.12/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Urine yellow. Brief flurry of bubbles and then not much else.

Smell - Fruity. I'm not really able to differentiate the fig in this, but I'll go with it. Kinda citrusy.

Taste - Very sweet. Lots of stone fruit sweetness. Apple and I guess what could be fig. Not a lot of sour, but what sourness there is arrives just in time to cut the sugars.

Mouthfeel - Way too sweet for me and not enough sourness to balance it. A little boozy.

Overall - Not an impressive offering from Cascade. Too sweet, not enough sourness. (588 characters)

Photo of jethrodium
3.18/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at City Beer Store. This was one was marked "LP" and I believe spent a little bit longer in the barrel than the other version. Pours a slightly hazy light golden amber with a small white head that settles to a ring and leaves some light lacing on the glass. The aroma is fig, cinnamon, lactic acid, and some oak. The taste has some initial sweetness with fig and cinnamon. There is also a lactic tartness and a bit of oak. It finishes with a bit of sweetness and lingering fig. Medium body. Low carbonation. A bit more sweetness than I like and the cinnamon was a bit too prominent. This was a bit better than the version I had about a year ago which I remember as being burningly acidic. (695 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live barrel at cascade barrelhouse. Overpriced 8oz. Seriously, 7.50?

A: Placid orange color. No lacing by the time its transferred from the tap to my seat at the bar.

N: Lactic sourness pervades. Lemon and orange zest. Some white grape. Not complex in the slightest.

T: Medium sour quality without much depth. Lemon and lactic acid. I swear I got a seed in my teeth. Really don't get the figs or much else. Chardonnay barrel shows up with the slight vinous white wine aspect. Points for hiding the 9.5ABV,though.

M: Spunky and biting. The best part about this beer.

O: I expected worse. This is clean and summery, but it doesn't have a lot worth recommending since it never grows out of the base strong blond ale. In fact, if I had this blind, I might think it was the base beer. Not going to remember this one as anything other than a tick, and maybe the previous barrel was better, but if this is similar at all to the bottles, it's a pass. (949 characters)

Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Pungent aroma of muscat grapes, citrus fruit, and oaky dill. Puckering acidity and quite dry. Apricot preserves. Finishes slightly funky. Not bad, but balance a bit off. (169 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber in color with a smallish, quickly dissipating nearly white ring of small bubbles that leaves some dots of lacing.

Aromas beging with a lot of lactic characteristics with good amounts of lemon zest, and some lesser green fruit notes which must be the white figs, but it comes across more like a raw pear.

The flavors begin very lactic and sour, even more so that the typical Cascade sours. After I get past that there is a mild white wine flavor with lots of lemon flesh and zest. There's that same mild green fruit characteristics as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is super lactic and tart, even for Cascade's standard.

Overall this may be my least favorite Cascade beer I have had to date. The flavors are just so lactic and tart and one dimentional for my tastes. While not a bad beer it is just a bit too brash for my tastes. (891 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011 Project)

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Dark orange and light amber in color with a thin near-white ring of small bubbles atop. Leaves dots of stick down the glass.

Lots of lactic acid/sour character in the aroma, along with good amounts of lemon zest, and what must be white fig notes, but I would describe it more as a white fruit (pear) aroma, if asked blind.

The flavor is very sour, like most Cascades, with good amounts of lactic presence, mild white wine flavor, and lots of lemon flesh and zest. There's a mild white fruit character as well. Very drinkable and very tasty. I wish this was more fruit-forward though, and better balanced with the sour character. A minor criticism, as this is still a delicious sour ale.

Medium bodied with high carbonation.

Good, but not one of my favorite Cascade sours. (840 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the 2012 Peter Reeves Memorial Sourfest at Churchill’s Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy bone colored head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some slight fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity and acidic finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but there are no real distinct fig aromas or flavors in my opinion. (505 characters)

Photo of nataku00
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a small fluted glass at City Beer for their re-opening following renovation. I had tried a glass of this back during their 5th anniversary but didn't have time to take notes on it. Did think it leaned toward acetone in the aroma though. Hopefully some more time helped it out.

Darker orange with a slight bit of haze with some thin tan collar of head. The thin head does leave a decent bit of lacing that slides down the glass quickly. A few bubbles floating up here and there but not very active.

Nose is mainly sharp acidity, white wine vinegar, plums, but tamed a bit with an earthy and woody aroma. Poured pretty cold initially, but as it warmed, there are some sweeter stone fruits and a small hint of ripe fig.

Tastes pretty good, good initial sourness, white wine and cider vinegars, slightly sweet stone fruits. More over ripe figs in the flavor than in the aroma, almost like a rotten fruit flavor. Back end of a drink has earthy flavors. Finishes dry with a lingering earthy funk and vinegar acidity.

Medium with some good small bubble carbonation to help keep the tongue from being overwhelmed. Definitely a sipper with the bold flavors. Not as bad as when I tried it earlier this year so some additional age might help smooth harsher rotten fruit flavors that doesn't appeal to me. (1,319 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured a clear burnt orange with a fizzy white head that starts big but mellows out leavig some white bubbles and no lacing

S: Lacto, chardonnay and lemons but very little in the way of figs

T: Initial sharp acidic notes, lemons and chardonnay ride on a lacto backbone with a little bit of oak. The fig presence is light. The finish is clean, sharp and acidic.

M: Medium-bodied, high carbonation, a light booze sting, acidic again

O: Not bad. I wish I could have picked up a little more fig in my Figaro (510 characters)

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewed based on notes from 11/23/13. Enjoyed out of a dark brown 750 mL cork & cage bottle with "2012 project" marked clearly on the bright yellow label, which also reveals that this sour blonde includes dried white figs and lemon peel. Poured into a straight-top Boulevard Smokestack tulip glass.

Appearance - A translucent, deep orange and amber, with plenty of ability to peer through the slightly hazy liquid. In the light there is an almost reddish highlight where the light refracts in the liquid-filled glass. Atop the body sits a foamy one and a half finger head of white made up of medium-sized bubbles. Fades away to nothing but a line of fine foam around the edge of the glass after a minute or so.

Smell - Hints at an extremely sour beer, with lots of sinus-searing acidity and vinegar along with lemon juice and zest. Fainter woody notes with hints of gentler, oaky vanilla come through from the barrels along with some tannins, But so far I'm not getting much of the fig. Still, if I didn't know this was supposed to have fig, I would be very enticed by the aroma.

Taste - Here, the lemon and oak are again present, but more dominantly, overpowering the buttery Chardonnay essence from the barrel. Lemon drop, white pepper, and citrus zest, with a pungent dose of tartness. It's quite good, but it's just a little too harsh. I love super sour beers as much as the next guy, but it's better when the sour intertwines with other characteristics to take the bite off.

Mouthfeel - Puckering, with the effect of making me salivate from the sourness. Medium body and moderate carbonation with a very dry finish.

Overall, a tasty beer, but probably my least favorite from Cascade out of my small sample size. The choice of lemon peel along with the very sour blonde ale makes for an intensely sour beer that got close to being too much. I typically love the way sour beers increase in sourness as you let them warm, but this one was so puckering to start that I almost couldn't finish it by the time it had warmed to close to room temperature. A nice beer nonetheless, but probably not one I'd go out of my way to purchase again. (2,144 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Barrel Room yesterday, served as the Live Barrel offering.

Mostly clear yellow with a dense, white head with great retention and lacing, this was one of the better looking beers I had at Cascade yesterday. The nose is surprisingly muted. There's dry white wine without any fruity aromas. The fig character seems muted, and I'll add the caveat that I've never had an Adriatic White Fig. Some stone fruit, lemon peel and honey are present.. The sourness is also fairly mellow, which is a pleasant change. The palate opens sour, mildly so with a great, fresh, fruity fig and apricot character. Honey and fruit are present, along with a bit of alcohol warmth as well as a mild spice character (is this is a different version from largadeer's review below?). Medium-light in body, medium-light in carbonation, this is solid stuff. (841 characters)

Photo of KDawg
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from tap into a tulip. Pours a nice blonde color with a real foamy head.

Very zesty aromas of spices, lemon curds, some raisins and tart citrus tones. There is definitely a sourness to it, but it's slightly tart than it is outright sour.

Medium/full bodied with a real nice and smooth feel. Good flavor depth with notes of lemon curds, spices, and tart citrus'.

This was a really nice and well balanced beer. Had a nice tartness to it as opposed to being downright sour. (481 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Aaron! Served in a Cascade goblet, also courtesy of Aaron. Pours a moderate golden color. Nose has a good amount of Chardonnay with backing fruit and acid. Flavor has light fig and touch of lemon. Very dry and crisp with a nice acidity. Very easy to drink and the alcohol is almost completely masked. I never would have guessed that this was pushing 10%. (362 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 10.24.12
2011 Project

A - Pours a clear, medium orange with a very fizzy light tan head that fades very quickly.

S - Citrus fruit, chardonnay, apples, oak, and fig.

T - Sweet subtle fruit, flowers, more oak and chardonnay, some slight tartness.

D - Lots of carbonation with a lighter body.

O - Smells more complex, but still tastes very nice. This one should develop nicely. (396 characters)

Photo of Hoptometrist
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage served on tap into a snifter

A- Poured a pale and cloudy tangerine orange color with white head that dissipated instantly and left minimal lacing.

S- Quite sour and astringent aroma of lemon, apricot, and Belgian yeast.

T- This is a pretty sour beer with notes of lemon, orange citrus, peach, and a cinnamon-like spiciness.

M- Very dry, high carbonation, some warming, and medium body

O- I tried this one after Cascade's Apricot Ale and both were very sour, but this one had some more complexity and the spicy notes balanced some of the sweetness and sourness. (578 characters)

Photo of shleepy
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Murky yellow. Citrusy, floral smell with a little Brett funk and oak. Taste is quite sour. Much lemon. Body is deceptively light for the alcohol level. (151 characters)

Photo of Svingjo
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright orange with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. The nose is filled with orange and other citrus fruit along with yeast. The flavour leads with much of the same along with a slight maltiness that ends quite tart. The mouthfeel is on the low side of medium. An enjoyable little sour. (308 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is is clear deep yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that died down, leaving a collar of medium-sized bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of sourness are present in the nose along with hints of figs.
T: The taste starts out with flavors of flavors of oak and white wine from the barrel aging and has notes of sourness and lemon peel. Notes of figs are noticeable towards the finish.
M: The beer feels light- to medium-bodied and tart on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer smells more sour than it tastes. It has a similar sourness and wordiness compared to other Cascade beers that I've had, except that the fruit flavors are only really noticeable in the finish.

Serving type: bottle (812 characters)

Photo of Etan
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml (2012 project) into a tulip.

A: Pours a murky dark orange with a nice white head.

S: Brett and lacto bring notes of pineapple, light must, and crusty bread. Lemony acidity, some oak tannins, vanilla, cream, a bit figgy.

T: Quick yet bracing lactic acidity, some minor acetic notes, rich fig and zingy lemon peel, drying chardonnay, tannic oak, with some subtle notes of white cake and vanilla maltiness backing everything up.

M: Medium-bodied with almost-frothy carbonation.

O: Another solid blonde sour beer from Cascade. Not as much complexity as I expected but I certainly tasted the main elements. (612 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a clear orange color with a fluffy white head.

The aroma has lemon peel, tons of tartness, barnyard mustiness and funk along with some oak.

The flavor follows with a pop of bright tart lemon in the front along with a "fruit" note, possibly from fig, but not exactly. This is an extremely sour beer, one of the most sour I've had. The musty barnyard note then lingers after that attack of lactic and brings some funk into the equation. The barrels hits with some oak woody notes.

A very good beer from Cascade. (530 characters)

Photo of Phelps
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Figaro is a blend of strong blond beers aged for three months in fresh chardonnay barrels before some additional time spent with Adriatic white figs and Spanish lemon peel. Enjoyed at the Cascade Barrel House in Portland, poured into a taster glass.

Clear gold in color. A frothy, thin head of pure white soon becomes a thick, sticky ring.

Chardonnay is immediately noticeable in the aroma. Lots of white grapes, some buttery oak, green apple, vinegar, a little red apple. Smooth, mild sweetness.

Some cider character comes through in the flavor — might be the white fig. Sweet and fruity up front with a sour flash of vinegar in the back. White grapes, vinous oak, a hint of vanilla. Great showing from the barrels here.

The smooth medium body quickly fizzes into a more pillowy feel. Lots of carbonation here. A gentle tartness with no discernible alcohol.

Figaro makes me feel like singing. A great beer that strikes a perfect balance between sweet and sour. Good complexity, too. (991 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 bottle onto a tulip.

hazy orange color, good head that fades quickly. smell of lemon zest, sourness.. taste features a ton of oak. white grapes. lemon. moderate sourness. ABV undectable. Medium bodied,.medium carbonation.

overall just another winner from cascade. lovely. (278 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cascade Brewing Barrelhouse in Portland, Oregon.

Pours a hazy golden yellow body with a slight orange hue. One finger white head. Good retention. No lacing. Smells vinous, tart, oaky, mildly funky, sweet grapes, moderately acidic. Flavour is on the sweeter side, grapes, lemon, vinous, oak, slight leather, citrus. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly dry but substantial, on the sweeter side. Overall, I found this to be balanced nicely between the acidity of the base and the sweetness of the adjuncts, but it is a bit muddled with all of the ingredients. (568 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml, 2011 Project
Mini snifter

A: Almost clear bright orange color. Not a lot of carbonation. Thin layer of bright white head. Disappears really quick to nothing.

S: Funk. Barnyard. Lemon peel. Citrus. Light fig notes behind that. Dry oak. Buttery chard character.

T: Sharp funk/sour hit initially. Not overly aggressive. Almost white wine like with that chard. Citrus is certainly there. Finish is really dry.

M: Lighter side of medium. Good palate cleanser in between stouts. (483 characters)

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Figaro from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
90 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.