Cascade Kriek Ale | Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

1,129 Ratings
Cascade Kriek AleCascade Kriek Ale

Brewed by:
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Oregon, United States

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This NW style sour red ale is blend of red ales aged in oak barrels for up to eight months, then aged on fresh Bing and sour pie cherries for an additional eight months. Aromas of rich, dark cherries, oak and slight hints of cinnamon are noticed up front. Dark, tart cherries and light spice notes dance on the palate and lead to a rich, dark, tart sparkling finish of dark cherries and oak.

Kriek 2007 = 6.6% ABV
Kriek 2008 = 8.1% ABV
Kriek 2009 = 7.3% ABV
Kriek 2010 = 7.1% ABV
Kriek 2012 = 7.2% ABV
Kriek 2013 = 8.2% ABV
Kriek 2014 = 8.2% ABV
Kriek 2015 = 7.1% ABV

Please note which version is being reviewed, if known.

Added by ccrida on 04-17-2008

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Reviews: 289 | Ratings: 1,129
Photo of Sammy
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Boston town. A well done Flanders Red, sourish with good cherry taste, always well malted. Good to share, as even a third of the bottle is a bunch of sourness. Dark reddish colour and spider lacey Above average mouthfeel. Good nose. A tad funky sweaty taste in there.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 bottling.

Pours a dark copper red with a thin white head.

Nose is cherry lactic-smells like sour red cherries and is pleasant.

Mouthfeel is rich, creamy and full, with a light and "elegant" carbonation.

Flavors are a bit subdued, perhaps it's the extra year (2008 bottle tasted). Flavors are very well integrated and the beer is well balanced; sour cherries, some fruit and with a lactic flavor and finish.

Lightly sour and pleasant. Very drinkable and elegant, although could be more sour and flavors could be a bit brighter for my personal taste.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ZX6Chris for sharing this one while waiting in line for Churchill's Renaissance at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour cherries, vinegar aromas, and a nice level of funk. Taste is very much the same with an acidic quality in the aftertaste. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is really tasty and sour.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

long awaited for me, the cascade kriek, what a true delight! i love the use of multiple cherry types, i think it makes a more layered and interesting beer. i also like its alcoholic strength. its uncommonly strong, which i think forces me to slow it down just a bit and appreciate every sip. its dark red, foggy ruby in color, with an off white head with excellent staying power. it smells only a touch medicinal before the sweeter nature of the cherries crashes into the lactic acidity and sourness. its intense as they get both in aroma and flavor, and the cherries never lose their authenticity in the taste. that medicinal thing is now obviously a product of the higher abv, and i like what it does here, subtle but not absent. rich beer, flush body and warming in the belly. the fruit stays after the sourness subsides on the finish, which is both unique and welcomed, my tongue is in heaven. i like the density of the fruit, the body of the beer that is never for a second syrupy or thick like these can get on the cheap end. definitely brilliantly crafted. worth the wait and the hype, i love it. takes the style somewhere new, and thats always a pleasure to ride along with.

edit: just had a 2009 edition, and man does this one age well. deep velvety red beer brings quite a bit more acidity and less fruit than the fresher ones, but thats not to say it becomes less dynamic, the wood and the funk seem more prominent too, and it ends up sort of drinking like a rare wine, slow and appreciative and demanding that we let it warm up awhile. hard to say which i prefer because they are so different, but its well worth ageing one of these if you have the patience!

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Photo of metter98
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is very hazy dark reddish brown in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving some wispy lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of sour cherries are present in the nose.
T: Much like the smell, the taste is somewhat sour and has notes of cherries in the flavors.
M: It feels light-bodied and very tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is nice and sour, but the sourness isn't overpowering and is balanced off by the flavors of cherries.

Note: 2012 vintage, 7.2% abv

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Photo of biboergosum
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750ml caged and corked bottle, the 2014 Project, and 8.5% ABV, according to the label in front of me.

This beer pours a clear, dark red-brick amber colour, with one skinny-ass finger of weakly puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat creamy pale tan head, which leaves some decent view-obscuring, snowbank profile lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of sharply tart cherry, lemon, and raspberry fruity esters, a middling earthy funk, semi-sweet bready and grainy caramel malt, a touch of roasted cocoa bean, the vinous and probably Flor-heavy cooking vinegar my mom always kept in the cabinet under the stove, and a subtle musty bitterness. The taste is rather acerbic and tart lemon rind, underripe backyard cherries (especially in Edmonton - holla, Piotr!), a bit of zippy raspberry pie 'sweetness', further grainy and browned caramel malt, a pleasantly understated yeastiness, gentle barrel-borne vanilla notes, and a fading estery vinegar zinginess.

The bubbles are adequate in their quest to provide a meager frothiness (and just to stay afloat, I imagine), the body an average medium weight for this sort of thing, and smooth by the same dangling scepter - not really, but not bad, either. It finishes off-dry, but trending toward the latter, the base malt steadfast, but it's the sour, generally vinous dark fruitiness that rules this day.

I see why this one receives something other than the generic 'American Wild Ale' designation on this site - the resemblance to Rodenbach, et al, is remarkable. Cherry, yes, but that's hardly the whole of the story - wine barrels, akin fruitiness, agreeably tame funk, and robust malt, to sum it up - all of which render an incredibly complex and enjoyable soured fruit ale, full stop.

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Photo of brentk56
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy chestnut with garnet highlights, a massive head with great retention and lacing; the bottle spews foam until half empty

Smell: Tart and sweet cherry with bready undertones

Taste: Opens with lots of fruit and becomes increasingly tart and slightly funky by mid-palate, with a chocolate angle; after the swallow, the oak becomes more apparent and, along with a burst of sour flavors, joins the cherry and chocolate (and vanilla) flavors that persist to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: Better than the blackberry, I just love the way this brewer combines the American fruit with the Belgian funk; kudos

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Photo of kojevergas
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"2011 project". 750ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap/cage over a cork served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I'm really in the mood for a Kriek. 7.62% according to my bottle.

Served a bit warmer than straight-from-the-fridge cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Cork yields a satisfying pop upon removal. No issues with surging or anything like that.

A: Pours a two finger khaki head with tinges of pink. Decent cream and thickness. Respectable retention for the somewhat high ABV relative to the style. No lacing. Body colour is a rich dark ruby red. Nontransparent; non-opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Suits the style, though it'd be more attractive if it were brighter.

Sm: Sour cherry, oak, rich malts, bacterial yeast notes, and acidic fruit skin. Nutmeg/subtle spicing. Pie crust when I look for it. An above average strength aroma.

T: Nicely acidic sour cherry and cherry skins are dominant. That's tasty. Good tartness - a must in any good kriek. Foundation is unobtrusive and supportive of the main notes. Oak is present as an understone. The tart sour bite puckers the palate right on the climax, then bleeds through the acidic almost wine-like finish. The balance is a bit compromised by the biscuity sweetness in the late second act, but the beer remains delicious. Any spicing is subtle and largely drowned out by the sour cherry notes. Wow that's good. I get fruit and heavy sourness. Bacterial yeast is somewhat restrained. Hints of pie crust if you really search past the tart cherry - but it's difficult because the cherry zing is so affronting. This is exactly what I was looking for. Well layered and brilliantly executed. Some bready grains come through more as it warms. The cherry is just full and delectable.

Mf: Smack-your-lips luscious and crisp. Smooth and wet. Near perfect presence on the palate. Ideal carbonation. Complements the flavours brilliantly.

Dr: Incredibly sour and tart - exactly what I want and hope for in a Kriek. This is a delightful sour, and I imagine some might criticize it for being too sour - but me? I love it. Highly recommended; I'll definitely be picking up more of this treat in the future. Might get better with age, but I doubt it would last long if it was in my vicinity. I'm very excited to try more from Cascade. This is one hell of a kriek. In spite of its sourness, it's incredibly drinkable.

High A-

Would pair brilliantly with an acidic salad.

Recommended for aging up to 3 years if you have the willpower.

I enjoyed it cold, but it did get a bit better as it warmed.

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Photo of emerge077
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to EehaiCJ for sharing this one, finally found my notes.

Frothy pour, with some nested larger bubbles on the surface. Murky, rusty orange scarlet color. Some spotty lace inside the glass. Mild berry nose, cherry candy, too clean with very little funk present. Clean and dry tartness, lactobacillius, seedy cherry pit, stonefruit essence. Very effervescent. Dry with a clean finish that disappears quickly. Tartness is maybe a 4/10 scale. Refreshing fruit beer that is nice in warm weather. Not a lambic in the traditional sense, but it was enjoyable regardless. Thanks again Chris!

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'08 vintage. Clearish ruby-amber appearance with a short-lived off-white head. Massive sweet-tart cherry aroma, like a slice of freshly baked cherry pie. Very faint funk and oak beneath that, this one is more about the fruit. Similar on the palate; intensely fruity with mild sourness and tannins. Dry, tart mouthfeel with crisp carbonation. Like Cascade's apricot ale, the kriek has an expressive fruit character but very restrained acidity and sourness. People expecting a palate-lacerating wild ale will be disappointed, but Cascade done a good job with making fruit-forward beers that aren't cloying.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a murky red color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sour cherries with some lightly sweet notes and some tannin and oak notes are also discernible. Taste is a very well balance mix between some tart notes, sour cherries with underlying sweetness and some light tannin and oak notes. Body is about average with good carbonation and no alcohol was apparent. Very well done and wouldn't pale in comparison of some good Belgian fruit lambic.

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Photo of zeff80
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Edition - sampled on 1-30-11

A - Poured out a clear burgundy color with hints of ruby. It had a small, off-white head of foam that left minimal lace.

S - Mostly dark cherry aroma with some oak notes.

T - Delicious sour cherry flavor with mild bourbon and vanilla to mellow out the tart bite.

M - Made me pucker a little with a sharp bite. Medium bodied and very dry.

D - Thanks to drfabulous for another great cellar share! This is a very good one.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. 2009 vintage.

Pours a moderate amber-ruby color with a bit of an off white head and some lacing. Nose brings cherry, cherry, and cherry. Also some green apples and light oak notes. The taste is dark and bright cherries with a really nice sourness level and a bit of funk. The feel is quite good, with some puckering lactic sourness and a tiny bit of acetic character. Drinks quite well and is another solid hit from them.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Southern Tier tulip

Pours 1/4 finger of off white head. Good retention leaving some splattered lace. Color is a hazed cherry hued dark raspberry red. Pretty nice looking beer.

Aroma: oak, dark cherries, some vinegar. Kind of sour, but not a lot of flavors here.

Taste: Sour cherries, some very light funk, light oak flavors. It is good, but there is not a lot of flavors going on with this beer.

Mouthfeel: Very dry, light sourness an light tartness. The bodied is light with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends slightly dry.

Overall, this beer wasn't as sour/good as I was expecting it to be. Not to the style as I wanted it to be. Good, but just not great because it lacks flavors.

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2015 project bottling. Pours slightly hazy deep reddish copper color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy light tan/pinkinsh head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of huge tart/sour cherry, raspberry, cranberry, lemon peel, green apple, cherry skin, oak, hay, straw, pepper, toast, brown sugar, light vinegar/funk/vanilla, and yeast/oak earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/acidic/spicy yeast, cherries, oak barrel, and light-moderate dark malt notes; with great strength. Taste of huge tart/sour cherry, raspberry, cranberry, lemon peel, green apple, cherry skin, oak, hay, straw, pepper, toast, brown sugar, light vinegar/funk/vanilla, and yeast/oak earthiness. Good amount of fruity/acidic sourness and yeast/tannic oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of sour cherry, raspberry, cranberry, lemon peel, green apple, cherry skin, oak, hay, straw, pepper, light vinegar/funk, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/acidic/spicy yeast, cherries, oak barrel, and light-moderate dark malt flavors; with a nice sour/tannic/spiciness balance, and no astringent flavors after the finish. Very dry from acidic/tannic notes as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, acidic/tannic/puckering, and lightly grainy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible fruited Flanders red ale! All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/acidic/spicy yeast, cherries, oak barrel, and light-moderate dark malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink, despite the high amount of sourness/acidity. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of nickfl
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of tan foam on top of a dark amber body with good clarity. The foam settles quickly and leaves little lace on the glass.

S - Lots of dark, caramel malt with dry, black cherries and a bit of sour funk.

T - Dark, bready malt notes up front with a bit of sweet caramel and toffee. Sour cherry flavors kick up in the middle with a little bit of lime character and more caramel. The sweet and sour notes continue to push against each other through the lightly funky finish and the acidity finally wins out in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a very dry finish.

D - I had high hopes for this bottle and it came through for me nicely. There is an immense character of cherry and acid throughout with enough rich malt to balance and even push back against the tartness at times. In the end, the beer favors the acid over the sugary notes, as it should, and this makes for a refreshing beer despite its relatively high ABV. Very nice, reminds me of a blend of Rodenbach Red and Duchesse.

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Photo of jlindros
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BlessedBeBeer for cracking this.

I love most of the Cascade beers, but this is probably my least favorite.

Pours a light fizzy head with reddish maroon color.

Nose has cherry, sweet cherry syrupy almost, syrupy, tart cherry, a light sour acidic aroma.

Taste brings more tart cherry flavors, sweet malts, syrupy, a bit sour but not heavy, hint of tangy flavors and acidic. Finishes sticky and sweet with some lingering tart sour cherry flavors.

Mouth is med bodied, lots of carbonation, bit sticky and syrupy.

Overall not bad, my least favorite Cascade but still decent beer, nice tart cherry flavors, not a whole lot going on though.

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Photo of chinchill
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery brewpub: 2015 version in July 2016.
Sour aroma with loads of black and sour cherries. Lovely red-brown body with a lasting off-white head. Moderate tartness. Less cherry in the taste than the aroma, although it’s not subtle in either. Nice complexity.

Overall: excellent version of the style.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Cascade Brewing Barrel House (Portland, OR) on 9/4/11. Served in a teardrop goblet.

Pours a clear ruby in the glass, topped with a thin covering of off-white head. There’s a decent retention to this, with it throwing up a foamy cascade that readily slides back down. The aroma smells of tart cherries, wood, and some sweeter vanilla. There’s definitely some acidity to the edges of the nose here, with this coming off more sour than tart.

The taste has a tart intenseness to it, borderline souring in spots, but I’m pleased to find that the main flavor push here is from dark cherries. There’s just a touch of sweetness here that seems to be mostly consisting of some light vanilla flavors from the wood. Speaking of which, the oak hangs with some strength in the finish, with a deep tannic feel that lingers with additional acidic notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a prickly feel that is undercut by a good bit of woody slickness that keeps this smooth despite the higher alcohol here.

I’ve had this beer several times now and it never fails to impress me. It’s definitely aggressive with the sourness at times but never bracingly so and the fresh cherry flavors and sharp smoothness of the body really help keep this much more approachable than you would think. It’s always a pleasure, with a glass of this and I knew that getting it here fresh on draft was a must.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Note: 2012 Project

A: Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some crimson highlights. The beer has a half finger tall fizzy creamy tan head that reduces to a large patch of thick film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of sour cherries and light notes of oak.

T: Moderate to strong flavors of sour cherries with a moderate to heavy amount of tartness. There are light notes of oak that comes through in the finish.

M: Light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Heavy amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: I really enjoyed this beer - there is a pleasant amount of sourness that is not overpowering but it is still noticeable. The cherries are tart but strong enough to keep this one easy to drink. Alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of mactrail
3.84/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Cascade Barrel House tasting room on Belmont May 18, 2015. This was the 2014 version, aged in oak barrels on pie cherries and Bings.

Very dry with a deep fruity darkness. There's a hint of that over-ripe and fermenting taste and aroma. Lovely flavor of fruit and quite sippable.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an opaque, garnet-hued body with a thin, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Fine aroma smelling of pound cake, slight oaky notes, and simply teeming with cherry goodness.

Taste: Plenty of juicy cherry flavor with a light flourish of acidity and a thin vein of sweetness. Handful of cake crumbs. Delicate oaken character throughout. Long, fruity finish with a faint hint of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite nice! Pleasantly fruity and all kinds of refreshing. I certainly enjoyed this one more than I thought I would.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Bottling. Dark scarlet with maraschino cherry and orange peel accents. The golden ecru colored crown is somewhat crackly, lasts mere minutes, and isn't sticky enough to leave even one shred of lace. The beer itself looks good, but that's the extent of it.

The nose is as expected: tart and tangy with loads of cherries and a large splash of fruit vinegar. My salivary glands are already being tweaked and the beer hasn't even come in contact with my taste buds yet. It's a bit oaky too, which adds olfactory interest.

Cascade Kriek is enjoyable beer if you like Flanders reds. I don't have enough experience with them to tell instantly where this one fits into the style spectrum, but I do know that it isn't even close to being as good as Rodenbach Grand Cru and Panil Barriquee.

Sour lovers will find plenty to like because this sucker is tremendously tart. There's an undercurrent of sweetness that works pretty well in a yin-and-yang, pleasant contrast sense. The flavors are limited to sour cherries, red wine vinegar and oak, but then most beer of this style isn't as deep or as complex as a well-brewed Russian Imperial stout.

It's hard to know the proper way to judge the mouthfeel. There's that limited experience thing again. It could be more full and creamy for the ABV (8.1%) and the bubbles could be softer and smoother. Still, not bad.

Cascade Kriek Ale is not as good as the only other Raccoon Lodge and Brewpub/Cascade Brewing beer that I've had to date (Cascade Sang Royal). It's well worth the purchase price, though, for those of you who can't get enough of sour cherry beer. Pucker up!

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Naked City. Review from notes.

A: Pours a deep red color with hints of purple with a very thin, off-white head on top. This gives way to a soapy ring on top, sporadic lacing on the glass.

S: Cherries right away mixed with a vinegar tartness. There is a little bit of vanilla and wood as well.

T: Sour/tartness upfront mixed with a nice cherry flavor. There is a definite earthiness to the flavor profile, a bit of wood, and vanilla. Has a definite tannic/wine undertone as well.

M: Medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.

O: A nice sour beer, Cascade does a nice job with their sour offerings, just always tough to pick up due to the pricetag. Glad I was able to get this one on tap.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

vintage 2007 bottle

The pour was wonderful, deep and dark red in color with a light tan head that came up to a height of around two inches before settling back down and leaving tons of lace all over the sides and bottom of the glass while never really falling much below the one inch level. The aroma was lightly tart, sour cherries, hints of earthy and spicy notes and even a touch of what seemed like brown sugar or something along those lines. Really very well done and quite complex. The flavor was a little less tart then what I would have liked but I have to admit was still done very well. Rich and full, it was never flat or boring and I have to admit I found myself returning back to it time and again for another go round.

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Cascade Kriek Ale from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
4.18 out of 5 based on 1,129 ratings.
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