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Cascade Blueberry Ale - Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Cascade Blueberry AleCascade Blueberry Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

656 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 656
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 204
Gots: 174 | FT: 20
Brewed by:
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.33% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This NW style sour ale blends wheat and blond ales that were oak aged in barrels for six months, then additionally aged four months on fresh blueberries. Huge herbal notes of dense blueberries in the nose give way to hints of oak and a dusty floral note. Rich earthy notes of dark fruit on the palate lead to a tart finish that dries out to a base note of blueberry skins.

(Beer added by: Smurf2055 on 01-30-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 656 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kojevergas
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BOTTLE: 750ml brown glass bottle with hood-and-wire cap over a cork purchase from Cascade earlier this year. Label design is appealing. "2013 project."

7.75% ABV. Reviewed live as a fruited sour ale per the label. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Served cold into a tulip in high altitude Castle Rock, CO and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Fizzy and pink. Thin. Not real creamy or frothy. Vigorous and effervescent. The head rolls towards the sides of the glass, lending the beer a nice cascading effect (apt given the brewery). Retains well - for about 4-5 minutes, leaving no lacing.

BODY: Clear vibrant brilliant sanguine red. Clean, with no visible yeast particulate or hop sediment.

Appears well-carbonated. It's a great looking sour ale, but it could be better - a blue body colour for example would be more striking, and the head could certainly be thicker and fuller, and could have a softer consistency.

AROMA: Berries and currants dominate, with blueberry noticeable in there - but not as pungent as would be ideal. It's a powdery aroma, with the berry juice bleeding into the blonde malts. The blueberry is surprisingly fresh considering this beer's age. Oak is subtle and lends the aroma a nice wooden character, but don't expect any rich white oak or toasted characteristics; it's quite a neutral oak character. It's not as tart as I hoped for, and the lactobacillus-induced sourness is maybe a 4-5/10 in terms of intensity. Also, this aroma doesn't evoke a truly spontaneously fermented or particularly wild ale, instead coming off sterile and clinical. Lambicus wild yeast and more intricate bacteria would be beneficial.

Overall, it's an inviting aroma of above average strength. I wish it were more sour, more tart, and more arresting.

TASTE: Boasts a wonderful blueberry presence which is fresh, juicy, and refreshing. Sadly, the tartness and sourness I hoped for (characteristics experienced in abundance in Cascade's Kriek) just aren't quite there...it's only a bit tart and the sourness is - at best - a 4/10.

The oak really develops as the beer comes to temperature, emerging most prominently in the third act, where it becomes so wonderful it almost eclipses the tastiness of the blueberries. The oak lends the flavour profile a natural cohesion, and helps make the beer feel like more of a gestalt whole.

Blonde malts bend to the will of the juicy berry notes - which aren't limited to blueberry but which I lack the expertise to properly identify - easily allowing themselves to be imposed upon. Blonde malts were a great choice for this sour - neutral enough to let the sourness take center stage - but flavorful enough to add needed depth of flavour.

A hint of apple cidre vinegar. A kiss of vanilla as the beer warms. There's a faint jammy sweetness which is lovely, but might oppose the sourness of the beer...which brings me to the balance: it's a very well balanced brew, but more sourness and intensity of flavour would really help the overall flavour profile come off better. And with that jammy sweetness, it could easily tolerate more sourness and tartness. Blueberry is tough to execute, and Cascade has largely succeeded - but take a page out of Cantillon Blabaer's book and commit to the blueberries. It's nicely lactic, but they could go bigger there.

TEXTURE: What really works here is the soft, comforting, powdery mouthfeel, which refreshes the palate and make this hard to put down. Quenching, smooth, wet, and perfectly medium-bodied, with slight overcarbonation and apt thickness.

This texture is near perfect for the style, and compliments the taste beautifully. If only the flavour profile offered more intricacy for the mouthfeel to support.

OVERALL: 7.33% is high for a fruited sour, but you wouldn't notice it drinking this fine fruited ale. Drinkability is off the charts. Blueberry is a tricky note to implement, but Cascade has largely succeeded here. I just long for more tartness and sourness, and would like to see more complexity/intricacy, and subtlety. More than just a modest amount of lactobacillus is needed to create a great sour. If there are any notes for Cascade here, it's more bacteria, more wild yeast, more berries, more intensity. All in all, a tasty sour that - while superb - just isn't worth its unreasonable pricetag. Extremely drinkable. Definitely try this once.

The oak in the third act is a real treat, and makes this a truly special beer. Definitely a highlight. Wow.

B+

kojevergas, Today at 05:49 AM
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Cascade Blueberry Ale from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
92 out of 100 based on 656 ratings.