Cascade First Harvest Ale | Cascade Brewery Company Ltd.

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Cascade First Harvest AleCascade First Harvest Ale
35 Ratings
Cascade First Harvest AleCascade First Harvest Ale

Brewed by:
Cascade Brewery Company Ltd.

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-17-2002

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Ratings: 35 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of TheCrowsEye
2.48/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Photo of Andrewziggy
2.58/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Mild citrus , malty sweetness not a favourite

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Photo of magpieken
3.71/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 Release. 375ml bottle. Pours a bright, pale amber colour, with a billowing, dense, beige head which lasted well. Aroma reminds me of a sweet white wine, very fruity but not in an overpowering way and caramel. Taste has a nice balance of mild sweetness and bitterness. Light to medium body. From what I remember the hops were more prominent in last years release. Don’t approach this expecting an American Pale Ale, instead you’ll find a nicely balanced and pleasant drop.

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Photo of admiral
3.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First harvest - picked and brewed March 2014. I assume hops have diminished somewhat since bottling as it is now more ESB than pale ale. However, it still tastes great, if you are not concerned by that and enjoy ESB's (as I do).

aroma: toffee, light citrus (mainly lemon), malt and light banana

taste: caramel, toffee, citrus (mainly lemon), sultanas/raisins, light banana and sticky pudding and herbs/spices. A lasting flavour and good mouthfeel for the style and amount of alcohol it contains (all be it a hybrid pale ale/ESB it now is - or at least the beer I got!)

Flavoursome, easy to drink and a good 'session' beer with friends.

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Photo of Shy5
3.25/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Joel12
3.25/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of soju6
2.94/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a good amber color with a fair head and some lacing.

S: Aroma of clean citrus with some malt sweetness and fresh grain.

T: Mild citrus flavor with amalt sweetness and fresh grain. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Fairly moderate body, smooth with a decent balance but a bit dull.

O: Decent drinker, although I was expecting more of a hop character.

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Photo of pin
2.5/5  rDev -20.9%

Photo of bylerteck
3.2/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pint at Great Northern.

A - Poured a golden colour with decent carbonation. Bright. Half finger of white head faded fast. A few spots of lace and little island of retention. English Pale Ale?

S - Grassy hop, lagery note, grainy sweetness.

T - Malty sweetness comes out like honey, sweet grain and a bit of grassy hop.

M - Fairly strong carbonation, medium body and a touch of bitterness in the finish.

O/D - Probably not something I'd grab again. An interpretation what essentially seems like a Lager, with a bit more malt and hop character. Nothing to write home about. Not bad, just not worth the trouble or price.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.7/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: brown 375mL bottle, reasonable label for a macro.

Appearance: copper colour, with a large finger of fluffy head with good retention.

Aroma: toasted biscuit malts, fruity hops with herbs.

Taste: some coffee and toffee malt characters, roasted grains also.

Aftertaste: some fruit which are difficult to place, considering Cascade is in TAS, possible apples and blackcurrant. They suit the coffee and toffee quite nicely.

Mouth feel: medium bodied, and medium carbonation - an ale designed with higher carbonation than usual ales, so as to more readily suit the average Australian palate and serving temperature.

Overall: quite a nice beer to have come from a macro brewery, but the price tag is simply unacceptable. Good beer if it was in the $50 - $55 range per case, but for AU$78 a case (2012)? Possibly not.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another year brings another first harvest from Cascade - by far the best brew from an average at best Australian brewery (I can't understand the prejudice Cascade drinkers have against Boag's drinkers, and vice versa - it's like comparing apples with apples, their lagers taste the same and I wouldn't be surprised if the beers are being pumped out of the same brewery). Campania, Triabunna and Ellendale hops were used in this years harvest.

Poured from a 375ml stubbie into a nonic pint.

Note: 2012 harvest/vintage.

A: Clear rust body with a thin foamy off-white head.

S: The aroma is faint earthy hops followed by a sweet bread (Brioche) malt grain body and a hint of caramel. It's not very exciting here but as I recall last years first harvest was also light on aroma.

T: The caramel body is upfront, then we have a hit of citric sour hops and a long bitter hop mid palate to finish. There is also some sweetness in the flavour, a golden syrup hit to add a little complexity. It's good but I thought last year was just a touch better.

M: A little too watery for my liking. Carbonation is also lighter than expected.

D: The bitterness really lingers in the after taste. It's like a clumsy American Pale Ale in this respect. Otherwise it's another interesting brew for Cascade (though that's not saying much). I would like to see Cascade produce an English style bitter as they certainly have some talent in this area, however it would need to be sold much cheaper than what the first harvest is sold for to make it worthwhile.

Food match: Tart and bitter flavours would match this well, try something Thai like a salad with lemongrass, coriander and tamarind. For dessert - lemon curd tart would go down well.

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Photo of hopnerd
3/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Stew41
3.2/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another acceptable effort from one of the world’s worst brewers. Attractive red / brown hue with little head - similar to the 2005. Nose is reasonably mild but shows nice sweet herbs and a touch of wood. Flavours start well with well defined green herbal hops but gets sloppy at the back as the dreaded CUB house flavours (ie shitty stale malts) kicks in, albeit faintly. Good enough.

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Photo of joecast
4.1/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 release. Best of those I have tried. Easily. Hops are much more to the fore than previous versions. Not out of style, but very fresh and unubstructed by the malts. A nice clean refreshing beer.
not one i seek each year, but hadnt been to a bottle shop in a while and felt adventurous. first harvest '08 in the new and "improved" 330 ml bottle.

has a substantial look about it. considerably darker than any of the usual cascade products. deep copper color with a thin off white head. light carbonation and crystal clear. i can even see the water marks from the other side of the glass. good head stability and decent lacing.

aroma comes out strong when pouring. a bit grassy and floral with a good hit of malt sweetness. the hoppy aspect fades pretty quickly to leave the crystal malt sweetness dominating the aroma. well, "dominating" may send the wrong idea as the aroma is fairly subdued as it warms.
possible it has already faded from the fresh-hopped brew. this cant be more than a few months old, but now wish i had tried one closer to the release. eh, i wont beat myself up over it.

...ok focus on the positives. be constructive...
sorry, was going off on a tangent.
this beer just comes across so clean tasting. very refined and almost delicate. has a good dose of bitterness, but they must have really been determined to balance it out and used heaps of crystal malts.
another thing is they do mention it as an ale on the back label, but i would not be surprised if they used their normal lager yeast. very little yeast character and, as i said, really clean taste and finish.
i cant fault the hop character in the taste. nothing too up front, but present and noticeable none the less.

not bad, but would only have a second look at this if i was in the right mood. score is for the 2008 release.
dont know why, but i got pretty excited when i saw this.
"2006 release. very rare beer" says the label. anyway,

pours a very nice amber color, with a lightly tanned head. minimal carbonation. head settles to a good enough lace.

aroma starts hoppy and fruity. very promising. the backing sweetness becomes a bit fuller as it warms, but still decent.

taste is very subdued, like its too important to be bothered showing a bit of zest and flair.
"nah, i'll just mosy on down past the tongue. no interest in making a fuss." it says.
anyway, its all a bit disappointing. has the necessary malt caramel sweetness, even a touch of hop flavor. but the bitterness is almost completely left behind. average at best.

at $5/stubbie, ouch!! much better australian beer available for much less $$. and they're available year round, so you dont have to wait for this to come out and feel cheated.
i will give them some credit for trying a fresh hop beer though.

2004 release
open the bottle and the grassy aroma jumps right out and says hello. yes, grassy. unexpected but not unwelcome.
clear light reddish hue with some lacing sitting on top.
the hop aroma persists (though not quite as strongly) in the glass as some sweetness joins it.
a slight hop flavor right at first, and then...well, not much else. very little maltiness in the flavor to back it up. finishes very cleanly, just a bit early.
mouthfeel is light and crisp.
ok, all the hype about how fresh the hops are is fine. but for the price, shouldnt there be a bit more to it than that? id drink it again, but pay for it??

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.18/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375ml bottle, 2011 edition, purchased from Crown Cellars, Launceston, Tasmania and poured into a nonic style pint glass.

Copper colour, pouring with a large finger and a half of white fluffy foam that settles at about a quarter of the initial size and stays for quite some time.

Smells of caramel, toffee and grain. Not really to style, but distinct, clean and not muddled in any way.

Tastes of cereal grain and toffee and is pretty one-dimensional.

It is backed up by more balanced bitterness than i recall from previous vintages. Mouthfeel is solid early, falling away a little bit late on.

Overall a bit of a one-trick pony. Consistent, well rounded but dull. The Tyson Kidd of beers perhaps?

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Photo of ADZA
3.03/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the brewers number 10th brew and the 2011 edition and it pours a see through pale golden orange hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind creamy a two finger head and sporadic lacing,the smell is herbal hops and toffee,it has a light bodied well carbonated mouthfeel and has tastes of herbal spicy hops,toffee malts and finshed with a boiled candy sweetness and overall its average and have had better but also worse and definately one of this macrobreweries better ones.

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Photo of mulder1010
2.58/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

330 ML Poured into a Great Divide Glass

A-- Poured a reddish gold color, short lived, thin, white head that went to film quickly. Same with head retention. Nothing too exciting, or special about this. Just a little bit of film lacing on the sides of the glass.

S-- Really faint, crisp Carmel apple smell. Smells a lot like the normal macro stuff Australia puts out. Not exciting.

T-- Tastes a lot like the Australian macro stuff. With a little more hops than normal. Suped up Cascade!

M-- Beer improves in the mouth. A bit over carbonated but workable. Hops come more alive in the mouth and sour apple is more apparent in the mouth. Still way too much of the metallic taste that Australian stuff is known for. Long lingering bitter taste in the mouth. Just keep thinking that this is what Cascade bitter would be like if it was mass produced.

D-- A fresh hop for the masses. Nothing really special about it and a little over priced for what this is. Other fresh hop Ales have more to their beers than this one does. Not trying next year.


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Photo of Macca
3.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the 2010 release.

3 new hops - text (aroma), glenleith (bittering) and oakley (flavour) (as per press release).

This pours an amber colour with a decent head which hangs around as a light covering. Clear.

Disappointing aroma profile for a beer celebrating fresh hops. Definitely dominated by the malts. Presser talks about "fleeting peppermint aroma". Must have been to quick for me.

Reasonable amount of bitterness on the palate but still less than I was expecting.

Medium bodied.

Not a bad beer but disappointing when compared to a lot of the other harvest ales out there.

Update 2011:

It looks better in the glass. Much better head retention.

Still more malt driven than hoppy but it seems more balanced this year.

All round a much better beer than last year. Upping score appropriately.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This is a bottle of the 2008 release I've been hanging onto for a while.

Pours a shiny amber colour with a light golden haze on the meadow - I mean, in the glass - and lots of fizz around the edge. Head is modest, white in colour and retaining about a cm of foam. Lace is quite uneventful. Not bad but looks too fizzy.

Nose is decently tangy, with a strong earthy malt base - English toffee character, tinge of cola and a fair amount of English ale esters giving off some floral notes and fruits such as blackcurrant, pineapple and melon. A decent English ale smell.

Taste is quite malty and also phenolic. Has a lot of burnt toffee character with some treacle sweetness and a hint of toasted grain. On the mid it gets very phenolic with a medicinal character and some mild POR notes, some soil flavours and a hint of burnt coffee grounds giving off an ashy bitterness but not a lot of ashy flavour. Some residual fruit esters appear late with some currants, green apple and pineapple subtly lingering behind, giving a bit of roundness to the flavour.

Mouthfeel is overly carbonated, there is a distinct burn on the tongue and otherwise fairly thin. A disappointment.

I've been hanging onto this beer for a long time and I think it's done it some good. I can imagine this being very harshly phenolic and bitter (in an unpleasant POR way) when fresh, but it's actually mellowed out quite a bit. There are still some floral notes from the hops but I think the edge has been taken off them. Either way it's a nice enough and enjoyable enough beer at this stage.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Toffee/amber pour with a reasonable head that faded quickly.
Aroma consists of grainy malt, a bit of floral hops and a hint of resin. Some slight metallic notes in the background. Pretty light on.
Flavours are similar with caramel and resinous sweetness. Some treacle. Reasonable strong bitterness but unfortunately its quite boring and metallic.
Too watery.

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Photo of LittleCreature
3.01/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - 4.0
Pours a finger of cream coloured head over a deep amber body with great clarity. Some lace.

Smell - 3.0
Hoppy on the nose, a little citrus and honey are there, alongside the grain, husk and metal.

Taste - 3.0
Not bad, but nowhere near enough differentiation in flavour from Cascade's regular products. The "green" hops provide a medium to high level of bitterness and flavours of grass and metal. Malt is there for balance, tastes of toffee, slightly honeyish, but really all too similar to many Australian macro lagers - like stale grains, husk and metal.

Mouthfeel - 3.5
Moderately to lively carbonation, light to medium body.

Drinkability - 2.5
I won't be drinking this again. Not really hard to drink, but most would find it too bitter, and those who know better would be unimpressived with its taste.

This to me is a beer that has been brewed for the unconverted masses. It tastes quite similar to many macro lagers, the main difference being the higher level of bitterness (which will probably turn away most Cascade drinkers). Not a bad beer, but way too expensive for the quality. Makes me wonder who will buy it more than once?

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Photo of juju7
2.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2009 Release: Pours a coppery orange with a fluffy, white head that fades a little too quick leaving very little lacing. Not really the hop action on the nose you'd hope for from a beer that is marketed on it being a beer made from the freshest of hops. Picking up some caramel malt action with a hint of wet grass. Mouthfeel reveals a rather harsh bitterness and not the most pleasant finish. A little rough. This is the brand new release. I have found with this beer that it does get better after a few months, so I'll give it another go later this year.

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Photo of vancurly
3.04/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 Release (#9)
Downgrade of taste from 3.5 to 3.0.
Pours a brilliant pale amber/bay colour. Settles into a 1cm head, and leaves a good lace
Smells like a typical Aussie macro lager, in fact I think this beer would sit better under macro lager than English pale ale. Big metallic note that screams PoR, or clone thereof. A very Tasmanian lager smell, to me. But there are some subtleties. Maybe some green fruit and herbs, like papaya or nettle. Interesting, but not that appealing.
Flavour is along the lines of the smell, with a floral note underpinning. Slight, light honey/golden syrup note.
It's mouthfeel is fairly light, dry, and crisp.
A good beer-garden lager, but the subtleties in this beer would be lost in such a setting. And the price would make anyone baulk at buying a jug...

2009 Release (#8)

New batch of the brewery's own hop strains (Frankcomb, Shoobridge, Clarke).

Pours a good-looking clear orange, white frothy head. Nose fairly restrained, with some bread, metallic hints & macro resemblances. Hops come to the fore on the palate, with decent piney bitterness. A challenging mouthfeel that would be appreciated by DIPA lovers.

2008 Release (#7)

This beer seems to have changed its style from release to release

appearance 3.5
smell 3.5
taste 3.5
mouthfeel 3.5
drinkability 3.5

a) Pale amber, thin white rocky head
s) Funky, sweet toffee nose, slight metallic note.
f) Toffee/caramel flavours - nutty; hops are fresh, but hard to describe (new Tassie varieties apparently). Resinous, vegetal & faintly mentholic. Quite an approachable taste, but hard to pinpoint
m) Could be more bitter....but a full & balanced mouthfeel.
d) Nice drink for cold days... wouldn't mind a hand-pulled pint with a ploughmans to go with it


2007 Release (#6)

appearance 4
smell 3.5
taste 3.5
mouthfeel 2.0
drinkability 3.0

a: Clear amber, with a pale beige tight head. Well set, slowly sinks, and leaves some lace.

s: Hops initially.... tropical fruit, some caramel, flinty/steely notes.

t: Interesting mix of sensations. My first was a reflexive flashback to Northern England... a Yorksire Bitter or ESB... not sure.... maybe that's the malt profile. The hops however seem to return me to the Antipodes, with maybe a stop through Munich on the way.... Some herbaceousness followed by some metallic flintiness. Piney, resinous, dried herbs persist into a long aftertaste, with notes of dried apricot. Resinous is the key adjective, I think.

m: Chewy initially, but then pursues a light, dry path... finishes crisply, and leaves a medium to firm bitterness, and the aforementioned aftertaste.

o: For the hop heads indeed; I don't think it's terribly approachable, but still has some interesting character.

I don't know why I keep doing this. Cascade suck me in every year.
$18 for a 4-pack is a bit rich. I can get Timothy Taylor Landlord for less...

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Photo of madvoice
3.85/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 edition - Poured an amber colour with nice fluffy looking head that hung around for a bit. Smelled very sweet, crisp and clean. A very fresh smell. The taste I must say was very unusual. Nothing like I've ever had before.The flavour is very hoppy. The initial flavour is quite bitter with a sweet aftertaste that smooths out. Not heavy on the carbonation. Quite a refreshing drop. Not what I expected at all!

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Photo of willjansen
3.03/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 Limited Release - Brewers Special No: 6. Says "Pure Green Hop Brew" on the label... Interested to see what a limited release hop-oriented beer will turn out like...

Appeance - Nice, deep amber color quite suitable for the pale ale style. Light on the head even on a hard pour and dissapating quickly, but decent looking none the less.

Smell - As expected, smells distinctly of fresh hops, but not as strong as expected and I'm left wondering what type of hops they use. Quite strong fruity and citrusy notes as well... Decent smell for the style and realtively inviting. There's also a metallic hint in the nose that I can't quite describe that seems common to many of Aussie macro lagers (I know this is an ale) - industrial?

Taste - Pretty decent in general, but a bit of a let down initially. Certainly a bitter kick throughout from the hops, but dissapointingly one-dimensional. Pale malt comes through mid-way, but loses the fight with the green hops (which is okay for a pale ale) which dominate the latter part of the taste. Not too bad, but average for the style and I can't shake that metallic industrial spectre that haunts both the smell and taste.

Mouthfeel - A bit thin and flat on mouthfeel... lacking in that oily, resiny sensation from a hop-centric pale ale. More watery than hoped-for, but not overly noticable or unpleasant.

Drinkability - Decently drinkable, but there are far too many pale ales that I would grab first if I was in the mood for hops. Still, great effort on the part of Cascade and I'd like to see this one mature and develop as new releases are made... maybe the 2008 hop harvest will be a great one... I'll let you know when it comes out.

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Cascade First Harvest Ale from Cascade Brewery Company Ltd.
Beer rating: 3.16 out of 5 with 35 ratings