Cascade Elderberry - Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Cascade ElderberryCascade Elderberry

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

279 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 279
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 7.9%
Wants: 48
Gots: 59 | FT: 6
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: 279 | Reviews: 39
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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 metter98
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
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 StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
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 womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
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 kojevergas
4.05/5  rDev 0%
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-

Photo of MasterSki
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
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 Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris for sharing. The beer is dark brown with a lasting tan head. Copious lacing. The aroma brings funk, cherries, oak. Distinguishable Cascade character. Alcohol presence in both the flavor and aroma. Big puckering finish. Tart and sour. Bold in every regard, with similarities to the Flanders style.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.86/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Shout out to the Tims on this one

Pours a dark red almost purple color with an off white, fruit tinged head that lasted for a few moments. The aroma was deeply fruity, sour, some wheat, funk, damp basement must, and perfume all arose from the glass. In the flavor, nice cranberry like flavor though it was elderberry here. Funk, vinegar, wheat, cider and alcoholic flavors were all in delicate balancing letting all parties show their hands as the beer was sipped. A well integrated brew with remarkable flavors, solid, full bodied feel, and a crisp, drying finish. This beer was everything we thought it would be. A true classic.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice intro to Cascade beers, imho. Reddish, rusty pour, purty good head and retention.

Faint grape and cherry aroma, some sourness, hints of sweet malt.

A light sour beer, some puckering. The fruit is subtle but it does define the beer. Some tannin, spice, black pepper and maybe a dash of salt.

Over all a solid beer. Nothing fancy, or at least nothing as fancy as some of their other beers.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 project.

Appearance - Deep red. Thick collar after a medium head dissipates.

Smell - I don't know what an elderberry is supposed to smell or taste like, but this has some blueberry and cherry aromas. Lots of caramel and some oak.

Taste - Deep caramel. Fruity. Again kinda like cherries. Oaky.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Sour. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Wish I knew what an elderberry tasted like. Enjoyable sour.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried from a "live barrel" at the Cascade Barrel Room in Portland, OR. This was edition III.

Pours a reddish amber colour, with a surprisingly clear body (didn't expect that from a barrel, especially not a live one). Weight is light and fluid. Head? Well, there's no head to speak of at all. Neither is there carbonation. All oddities, but expected oddities.

Nose is vinous, with hints of rosé or clear, colourless white wine. Some mild berry notes come through along with a twang of lactic acidity. It's a bit flat and dull, overall, which is something of a shame.

Flavour is a little better: light crisp entry, with hints of pinot, and a light, mild lactic wildness towards the mid-palate. There's not much in the way of berry, although it is "beery": there's a slight grassiness which gives it a rather generic tone. Puckering acidity builds towards the finish, leaving a very brusque aftertaste that lingers slightly too long.

Is it too young? There's something a bit too raw about this, as though it hasn't integrated all of its elements properly. Needs some more smoothness.

(I was tossing up between having this or the Apricot... I was disappointed I tried this one...)

Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont station during puckerfest.

The beer pours a fairly dark amber color with red hilights. Head retention is pretty good, and there's considerable lacing as well. On the nose, there's considerable fruit, along with light vanilla and noticeable wine and light sour. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, but the sour component really dominates in this beer. There's some underlying fruit and wine flavor as well, but they struck me as a bit muddled, and in any event, the predominant flavor is SOUR! Mouthfeel is medium bodied at most, and as is typical with Cascade, alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile.

This is a nice beer, but I really didn't think it stood out from many of the other fruit dominated sours I've had from Cascade. I really found myself thinking "ho hum, another fruity sour beer from Cascade." I guess if you love Cascades Strawberry, blueberry, and many of the other fruit sours made by Cascade, you'll probably like this one as well.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 Project. Poured from a cork and cage into a snifter, the beer is a dark, plum coloring, with a halo of tight carbonation bubbles. Good sound of effervescence on the pour. Aromas of tart and sweet berry, a decent amount of musty and farmhouse funk, tart grape, rich dates, some woody highlights, horseblanket, and a subtle sourness throughout. Flavors are richly sweet, tart, and sour forward, with old world fruit richness serving as a solid backbone to support the tart berry and grape notes. Slightly acidic and strongly sour throughout, with the plum and date backbone powering through the funk and sour. Very dry and astringent follow to the fruity tart and rich stone fruit aftertaste. The body is robust, but very dry into the puckering, lingering finish. Very wine-like characteristics at the end.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 750ml bottle into a teku glass.

pours a dark murky reddish black with a nice head. smell is extremely complex and the high point of this beer. plums, grapes.. just aweomse. taste is slightly tart but the plums/grapes mixture really shines through. tasty shit right here. medium bodied..medium to high carbonation...lovely

overall an impressive offering from cascade thats different from their others, not as tart. very flavorful!

Photo of vfgccp
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - An awesome looking beer. Deep mahogany cranberry cocktail body, half a finger of fine tan head with nice retention and lace.

S - Sour cherry Jello, black currents, chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, and black cherries, sour SweetTart candies.

T - Similar to the nose. Tart sour cherry Jello powder, soft wood, and dry cranberry cocktail.

M - Medium frame. Low carbonation. Unique dry, milky tannin finish coats the palate.

O - A really nice, tart fruit juice-forward sour.

Photo of flagmantho
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip. This is the 2013 project.

Appearance: rich, deep red-brown hue with a bit of haze and a nice finger of frothy tan foam. Very distinguished.

Smell: nicely tart with a fine, dark berry character. Frankly, most of my elderberry experience is with beer, but I feel like the fruit is done justice here. Quite nice.

Taste: very tart with a little bit of caramel sweetness and a dash of berry flavor. The fruit is definitely more apparent in the aroma than in the flavor. That said, the tartness and sweetness are quite nice; they remind me of a Flemish red ale.

Mouthfeel: light body with a moderate carbonation and a rather fizzy body; not particularly creamy but it's appropriate to the style and definitely fits with this beer's apparent attenuation.

Overall: I like this beer a lot. I always think sours are refreshing and a delight to drink, and this beer is no exception.

Photo of dirtylou
3.24/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

on-tap at Cascade

I love Cascade. I do not subscribe to the trendy internet hate for this brewery over the past year or two. I don't mind the consistent lacto-sour fruit bomb nature of their beers, and in fact quite like it.

That said, this beer was pretty terrible. Perhaps I just don't like elderberries. Tasted of a watery Port wine (love Port, btw) - spicy, peppery, lots of leather, puckery but really offputting.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the barrel room yesterday but as a live barrel version (called Wild Elderberry)

A rather pinkish pour, this smells like a very buttery pie crust with cherry brightness. Tasted like buttered cherries and raspberries, enjoyable even, in small quantities.

Photo of tectactoe
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Kevin for cracking the bottle. Always on the lookout for more Cascade sours! The Elderberry pours a dark-ish, brown-ish, and faintly indigo tinted color with barely any head. Surprising to see such a lack of foam on what are typically a series of volatile brews. A light gray collar rests at the edges for just a few minutes before it dissipates into thin air.

The aroma is full of sweet and tart elderberries first and foremost. If you haven't smelled elderberries before, they're kind of reminiscent between a "berry-ish" and dark fruit mix, along the lines of blackberries, blueberries and currants. It's a satisfying, strange, and noble fruit indeed. Needless to say, the aroma is carrying heavy notes of "berry" and not just specifically "elderberry", along with some mild vanilla-tinted oak over a faint, vinegary background.

As is the case with nearly all of the Cascade sours I've tried up to this point, the first sip hits your jowels with a solid jolt of tartness that flexes its traps like mad and will soon have the inside of your cheeks touching. The sourness is hashed apart by a nice fruity sensation, however, full of sweet berries. So far, a nice balance of sweet and sour is taking place right in front of my tongue.

Elderberries, blackberries, and all sorts of berries keep working their magic and massaging the palate hard while some vinegar notes waft in on a thin surfboard of oak. Very faint vanilla hints cling to the finishing, drying oak, and with each sip, I can say that this is also one of the least acidic Cascade brews I've had so far, which is doing wonders for plausible drinkability. Medium bodied, soft on the carbonation and just a few steps outside the realm of "creamy".

Yet another highly enjoyable Cascade beer. I like the use of oddball (read: less common) fruits in beers, and I'd say that elderberries qualify. Whether you've had actual elderberries or not, it doesn't matter much. Do you like berries, period? If the answer is yes, then there's no doubt that you'll love this brew. Cascade typically hides their alcohol very well; coupled with the lower acidity (relative to most other Cascade beers), this beer becomes dangerously drinkable.

Photo of jbaker67
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a darker muddled cola with auburn hues while topped with an off-white beige head... Aroma of dark berry jam with the expected cascade sour note. Little sweet tart action again but a deeper dark berry essence... Flavors pack a decent dark berry sour punch with the typical cascade sour qualities. Medium bodied with semi-lively carbonation. Nice and enjoyable.

Photo of mynie
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 project. Very expensive bottles were on sale at Row 34 in Boston.

Glugs out a thick and juice like with a small but acceptable head. Smells very sharply sour--must have gotten more intense and pungent with age, judging by earlier reviews. Shock Tart sour, which is to say it's very intense but still has enough sweetness to carry it through.

Tastes quite sour. It's only after a few sips that I realize I don't really know what Elderberrys taste like, and so I can't say anything more educated about the flavor other than that it starts out very sour, continues being sour throughout, and that there's enough berry sweetness in there to keeps things from getting so intense it can't be finished easily.

A well-made sour. As with all of Cascade's beers, it's too expensive and you don't really get what you pay for it, but judged without price in mind it's a good beer.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is tasty, tart, dry, and fun! Undeniable elderberry.

Photo of Immortale25
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Label says 2011.

A- Pours a purplish dark brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head, also purplish, that retains a bit before falling to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a sheer sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind.

S- Very musty, funky aroma that almost has that baby poop fume to it. Also slightly sweet as the elderberry comes in. Certainly wild with a distinct amount of Brett.

T- Holy hell. Beautifully delicate balance of fruit sweetness, tartness and funk. First you get the the elderberry followed immediately by a perfectly restrained amount of sourness and then a sublimely Bretty aftertaste. So drinkable. Only after multiple sips does the lactic acid fully come in and throw things a bit off-tilt but this is obviously meant to be sipped slowly. The Brett also starts to fade as the drink progresses.

M- A subtle but lasting helping of pucker with medium carbonation and a body that's deceivingly light given the color.

O- So this is what people are talking about when they speak of sours knocking their socks off. Only took me like twenty purchases to find one that truly struck a chord in me. This being only the first Cascade offering I've had, I'm going to make it a point to try everything I come across by them. Outstanding indeed.

Photo of Rutager
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Chuck's hop shop.

Appearance. Pours a hazy deep amber brown with a thin white head.

Smell. Dark sour berries, lightly floral, lightly funky.

Taste. Intensley fruity and quite sour, lightly funky. Mostly dark berries and light fruit flavours.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, medium+ carbonation.

Overall. Another awesome Cascade sour. Loved it.

Photo of Stevedore
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Cascade Brewing Barrelhouse in Portland, Oregon.

Pours a medium reddish-pink body, half finger white head, nice lacing, a mild bit of retention. Smells of currants, mild dark fruit, oak, acetic acid, red vinous qualities, blackberry (I was drinking this next to the Cascade Blackberry so I was able to note the similarity, otherwise I would have had no idea). Flavour is similarly dark fruity, with currants, blackberries, a bit of red wine tannins, oak, a mild-moderate amount of acetic acid, minimal funk. Mouthfeel is medium-thinner bodied, dry, lower in carbonation, dark fruity finish. Overall, it was an interesting sour to try, but I think the red wine tannins interfered a fair bit with the otherwise clean flavour of the fruits.

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Cascade Elderberry from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
90 out of 100 based on 279 ratings.