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Cascade Elderberry - Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Cascade ElderberryCascade Elderberry

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

233 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 233
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 8.19%
Wants: 45
Gots: 48 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: lacqueredmouse on 07-25-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 233 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for Beachwood Sour Fest at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a murky crimson-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour and tart with malt, red wine, wood, and berry aromas. Taste is much the same with sour berry, red wine, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a fairly prominent red wine and wood presence alongside the elderberries.

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very dark red in color. It poured with a short off white head that died down, leaving only a collar around the edge of the glass and some patches of bubbles on the surface.
S: Light aromas of elderberries are present in the nose—these smell mainly like sour blueberries.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of elderberries along with a light amount of sourness. It's like drinking sour blueberries with notes of sour vinegar.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't nearly as sour as compared to other American Wild Ales but is easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Stone Sour Fest

Reddish in color with small head to it. I don’t get all that much elderberry, but there is some grape and nondescript berry aroma to it. Lightly floral with plenty of wood and acidity. The flavor is lightly acetic, but still maintains a good lactic character as well. Plenty of fruit, some spicy wood, light tannins, and a bit of booze. Really different.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

elderberries are a neat fruit, in that they are incredible for you but really intensely flavored, astringent, even harsh at times in the wild, but in a sour beer as bold as this one, they seem a lovely compliment. the beer is deep purple, beautiful color, not as heady as others but welling up a little pinkish white head. the nose is the tartness of the berries behind the sour cultures cascade has perfected over time here. its mouthwatering and fruity without being sweet. what i like in the flavor is that this is spiced too. its fills in some of the gaps between the lighter malt and the high tone fruit. wintery too, which makes it nice for this time of year, but not so loaded with allspice and anise or whatever is in here that it distracts from the sourness or from the elderberries, it actually accentuates both in a new way, which is probably the greatest success of this brew. not as dry as some of the others, the berry tartness lingers just a little on the tails of the spice, and this is one sour beer overall, sharp just a little in its acidity, but as good in total enjoyment as any of the cascade beers ive had thus far. fortunate to share this one with family and friends, its a wonderfully elegant and unique brew, and the best use of elderberries i have seen in an ale, hands down.

Photo of emerge077
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JAHMUR
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of MasterSki
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sean(?) for sharing this one. Served in a tulip.

A - Tan foam settles to a collar, wisps, and minimal lacework. Brown-red body with some transparency at the edges of the glass.

S - Interesting mix of chocolate and crystal malt sweetness; not the base I was anticipating for a fruit sour from Cascade. Overripe berries (presumably elder ones?), some musky funk, and light lactic sourness. I know Cascade doesn't use brett, so either there's a funky characteristic to the fruit, or the berries were harboring some wild yeast on them.

T - The taste is significantly more sour, with a hefty dose of lactic acidity. Less malt sweetness here, although the chocolate still peeks through. Berry flavor is still present, but oak intensity has been dialed up as well. More what I was expecting, but a bit less enjoyable than the aroma.

M - Dry, oaky, and tannic, with lower carbonation. Alcohol is well-concealed, and acidity is at a moderate level. Medium body is sufficiently hefty for the 7.75%, but still light enough to be refreshing.

D - Interesting brew and largely enjoyable. I'm curious how the elderberries would have fared with a lighter base beer, but perhaps the malt was necessary to keep things from getting to sour. I'd drink this again, but it's somewhere in the middle of Cascade's output.

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of kojevergas
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BOTTLE: 750ml brown glass. Appealing label art. 2013 project. Unbranded hood-and-wire cap over a cork served cold into an Avery stem-tulip at high altitude in Castle Rock, Colorado. 8.20% ABV.

Reviewed live as an American wild ale per the label. Served cold into an Avery tulip at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO. Expectations are sky-high; I view Cascade as one of the best sour producers in the USA, and the elderberry angle is intriguing.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide. Khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Poor (~20 second) retention. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Deep sanguine-red. So dark it's practically opaque. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a good appearance for a sour, and I dig the deep red hue. Not unique or special, but very appealing.

AROMA: Oak, mild acetic character (and concomitant pie crust), tart dark berries, blackcurrant, a hint of red grape, nutmeg, allspice, and modest sourness (about a 4/10 in terms of intensity). Evokes a balanced and adequately intricate flavour profile with wanting sourness.

Aromatic intensity is mild.

No overt alcohol, hop profile, yeast character, or off-notes come through.

Certainly appealing, but not unique or special. I do wish it were more sour.

TASTE: Acetic character - pie crust inclusive. A heavy tart berry twang. The acetic character rocks. Subdued oak barrel. Cream. Dampened wood. Deep dark berry and blackcurrant notes. I confess I haven't a clue what elderberry tastes like, but this has a very evocative interesting fruit character which isn't too jammy or sweet. Any malt base disappears beneath the dominant bacterial sourness; it's almost all lactobacillus but feels less clinical and sterile than most lacto-dominant sours.

Good depth of flavour, and excellent flavour amplitude. Above average flavour duration and intensity. There's ample complexity here, but it still finds room for subtlety (especially where the berry and oak are concerned) and nuance. The oak barrel doesn't overwhelm the base, and the bacterial sourness is sufficient to please sour lovers (i.e. it's about a 6/10 in terms of intensity, but the perceived sourness is amplified by the tartness and acetic character).

I love it, and it only develops further as it comes to temperature, allowing the focal berry to bleed out throughout the second act.

To be fair, the spices mentioned on the label never really come through in an evocative manner, but then overt spices wouldn't necessarily be welcome here. If I really search, maybe there's some nutmeg buried beneath the acetic pie crust?

It's a gestalt build for a sour, and I find myself loving it more with each sip. Great stuff!

TEXTURE: Acidic, acetic, smooth, medium-bodied, aptly thick, and near ideally carbonated. Great overall presence on the palate. This texture accentuates the acetic pie crust character impressively well, and helps elevate the beer beyond merely its taste. Very well-executed, boasting the smackiness I love in sour ales.

Not oily, gushed, sticky, dragging, rough, scratchy, coarse, astringent, boozy, hot, or harsh.

Overall presence on the palate is superb. It's got weight and presence without being overbearing, syrupy, etc. Nicely done, Cascade.

OVERALL: Highly drinkable, burying any trace of its surprisingly high ABV. This is a beer to be savored. Yet another superb offering from one of the USA's best sour producers, Elderberry is a beer I'd happily pick up again if not for its high price point. Sour lovers will be impressed, but not dazzled. Absolutely worth trying at least once. A delightful brew in a style that's close to impossible to get perfect. I tip my hat to the cats at Cascade.

Low A-

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Cascade Elderberry from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
90 out of 100 based on 233 ratings.