Cascade Blackberry Ale
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

Cascade Blackberry AleCascade Blackberry Ale
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Style:
American Wild Ale
Ranked #995
ABV:
7%
Score:
90
Ranked #6,844
Avg:
4.02 | pDev: 8.71%
Reviews:
54
Ratings:
161
From:
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
 
Oregon, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  67
Gots
  30
SCORE
90
Outstanding
Cascade Blackberry AleCascade Blackberry Ale
Notes: Cascade Blackberry Ale spends over 6 months of lactic fermentaion and aging in small oak barrels. This "Belgian Flanders Style Red Ale" is refermented with fresh whole Northwest Blackberries and then hand bottled. Cascade Blackberry Ale is bottle fermented and should be refrigerated or stored at cellar temp and served at 45-50 degrees.
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Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 161
Reviews by johnnnniee:
Photo of johnnnniee
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2008
Pours a deep reddish purple with a huge off white head that slowly recedes to a cap. I can smell the berry aroma as soon as I pop the cap off the top of the bottle. Sweet light sugars with a hint of tart and funk round out the nose quite nicely. Nice fruity tart flavor with a moderate amount of puckering. Sweet stone fruit flavor with a hint of sweet sugary malt and a touch of funk. Medium body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a tart puckering mouthfeel. This tastes a lot better than it smells. I actually really enjoyed this beer while watching zombies on the sci fi channel.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by Mark last night, thanks man.

This one pours a dark purplish-red, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like overripe dank blackberry, musty funk, and tons of lactic acid.

This is your typical enamel stripping Cascade offering, it's unbelievably sour and puckering, with a fist full of overripe blackberry punching you in the face. There is a bit of musty underlying funk. The sourness level is about a 9/10.

This is medium bodied, with a very juicy and very tart mouthfeel.

Not the best Cascade brew that I've had, but still enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue I:

Nice pssst! When we pop the cap, the carbonation is quite active with a quick-to-froth head and a constant lacing that is revived after each sip. The color borderlines dark mahogany and burgundy (those blackberries did throw some color into the mix). Soft but tart aroma, hints of sour berries and a slight vanilla note from the wood hits the nose. Big rolling crispness feigns a bigger body for a second. Flash of sweetness up front disappears just as quick as it came in. Ghost-like vanilla with drying woody undertones. There is some lightly puckering berry action from the fruit with a lactic presence. Woody, with a hint of char, and dry biscuity malt in the finish.

The lactic tone is substantial but not overpowering, perhaps it is a little in-your-face or a tad too green. A year or so of cellaring might tone that down. Beer geeks that are into sour beers should make note of this beer.

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Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of WanderingFool
4.34/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for sharing this..
Appears a murky dark crimson toned purple with a small off white cap that fizzles into a mild collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of tart raspberries, cherry pie, rhubarb, and sweet nectar.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a nice sweet flavor that leads to tartness.
Mouthfeel is sweet, medium bodied, tart and of wild berries lingering.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very well carbonated, I get two fingers of beer and about five-fingers of head in my 25cl tulip glass after a reasonable pour. The head is a tight, tan colored head and the beer is a deep, purple / amber color that shows a hazy, cherry red color when held up to the light. The aroma has quite a bi of dark, fresh berry / light jam fruit notes to it. Underneath this is some cracker like malt, a light tartness, a touch of mustiness and some substantial toasted malt character (this last only if you are really digging around, but it is significant). The fruit is definitely the most noticeable aromatic note of this beer, but it is not overly strong and allows the other notes to come through pretty easily. The nose is pretty tame though, only faintly tart and there isn't much in the way of funkiness. As the beer warms a musty, almost woody, damp wood aroma starts to become noticeable.

Lightly tart tasting, more like a fruit derived acidity than anything. The beer finishes with a tart, unsweetened, berry juice like flavor. This beer is pretty darn dry and actually pretty light bodied as well. There is a touch of tannic structure (seemingly contributed by a sort of berry skin character and a touch of oak) that keeps this from being watery.

With a very careful second pour I get an almost even split between head and beer. The head, once it stops growing actually falls fairly quickly, but doesn't seem to completely disappear. I retained a lot more of the carbonation in the second pour and the beer becomes quite fizzy as it hits my tongue. There seems to be an almost roast character to the finish and there is definitely some toasty malt character here. The flavor is dominated by tart, fruity flavors, though not overly so. This is definitely lacking a tartness approaching that found in most sour beers, and I could almost be convinced that the acidity is solely derived from the blackberries. As the beer warms it begins to pick up a jam like berry character without really picking up much in the way of sweetness.

Definitely a bit disappointing, I was quite excited to see this called a "Belgian Flanders Style Red Ale," unfortunately I would be hard pressed to call this anything but a fruit beer. The typical tartness and balancing funkiness, plus the caramelized malt character is all lacking here. Not a bad beer, just needs a substantial boost before it can live up to its "style" designation.

Purchased: Raccoon Lodge

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Photo of WynnO
2.98/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle. Some blueberry, but not enough to speak over the overwhelming if not disgusting level of tart. Tone it back please Cascade--this is too far over the top.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.67/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Brad, brought out for a Cascade tasting served in a snifter. Beer is brownish and amber with a thin head, no lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is sweet, fruity but a little papery, this might be rounding the corner.

Beer is light in body, decent, mildly lactic, mildly succinic, decent fruit, a little cardboard on the late palate, an interesting beer but don't save them any longer, time to pop these bottles.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'd heard it wasn't a good year for blackberries - too hot or something and they never fully sweetened. Be that as it may, Cascade made the most of a fresh crop of blackberries by adding them to oak barrels full of their Belgian-style beers soured by "free range lactobacillus" - a process they've repeated on various occasions with apricots and cherries.

Their Blackberry Ale aspires to a more modest 5.4% ABV. Initially, it smells of blackberry jam, which links in my mind to the smell of Welch's Grape. The fragrance soon drifts towards lactic sourness and table wine. The taste emulates these obvious berry and lactic properties with notes of cherry cola dropping off towards a tart finish.

Visually, the beer is charming to behold. It's the color of Italian plums or merlot. You'll want to hold it to a focused light to appreciate it fully. Even the head is tinged with blackberry color.

Elegant, and it works wonderfully with vanilla ice cream.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Foams from the bottle and leaves a big head with plenty of lace; murky blackberry jam color

Smell: Tart blackberry and balsa wood

Taste: Opens with a hint of fruity sweetness that is quickly subsumed by the lactic tart flavors; lots of balsa with a hint of vanilla underneath; after the swallow, the wood and tart flavors blend nicely to the finish, where there is a hint of residual sweetness, as well

Mouthfeel: Medium body with lively carbonation

Drinkability: What it may lack in complexity it more than makes up in fruity approachability; it makes me think of the difference between Australian/Californian wine vs the old world - a different approach to the same subject

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Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 purchased from the brewpub.. cost me about $18 with shipping.. Been looking forward to trying this one for a while.. part of the fridge clearing project... poured into my New Belgium snifter.

3 finger foamy lite tan head .. it has a subtle purple hue to it.. sounds like a bowl of rice krispies.. no lace but a very nice ever present cap. the brew is brown with an obvious purple tint.. Edit: lace actually shows as it warms up to room temperature.

Nose is a touch lighter than I was expecting.. vinous.. and mildly acetic.. the fruit notes show obvious but not really resembling blackberry until I pull my nose away.. then it reminds me of what a fantastic jar of blackberry jam would smell like if I just caught a whiff from afar.. I guess what I'm saying is, don't bury your nose and sorta take wafting sniffs.. You'll be surprised what you discover.

The flavor is also lite at the front (not a bad thing) .. not nearly as acetic as many flanders or sours.. a clean sour that melds very well with what I expect pure blackberry juice would taste like.. no real sweetness from the juice, just the fruity essence that is doing it's best to suck the saliva from my cheeks very slowly after very sip.... dry and sorta tannic woody quality.. not nearly as sour as I was expecting.. especially as it warms up.. the finish takes me back in time.. reminds me of "Grape Bazooka Joe" bubblegum without the sweetness..

The body is lite and very effervescent..

Overall.. This is a pretty damn good beer .. not really that expensive given that most sours cost this much or ALOT more.. I would have probably liked to see a little bit more complexity from the yeast and bugs.. but for a young brewpub.. I honestly think it is pretty stellar. Edit: very impressed as it hits room temperature.. alot more fruity flavors emerge..

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Photo of BillRoth
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 Project version. Didn't note much in way of Flanders red as is suggested by posted label and brewer's description.
Instead a well made blackberry forward tart fruit ale. Refreshing and some barrel and restrained funk complexity arrived as chill decreased. Another very nice Cascade brew.

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Photo of fo5s
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle served in a small wine glass after dealing with all of the wax. Noticeable amount of yeast in the neck of the bottle. No dating on besides a tag that reads “10007”…I believe this is an ’07 vintage, but don’t really know. Thanks to Sam for the hookup!

A- pours a muddy brown with a hint of ruby. Completely opaque and much darker than I was expecting. Lively, loose head that fades quickly.

S- blackberry, obviously. Fairly muddled, somewhat acidic. Funky, but not overly so.

T- tart blackberries. Slightly acidic, but not puckering. Fruit is definitely muddled and was likely more vibrant when younger.

M- springy, well carbonated.

O- overall a pleasant sour and another well-done brew by the folks at cascade. This one is probably better fresh and should probably have been paired with some food.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of intransitive
4.54/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JAXSON
3.23/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A black/purple pour with a large, thick head. Nose abounds with black raspberries. Maybe some acidity beneath. Mouth is strange, malt in the sense of a dubbel. Sour quality is not at all integrated here, and the acidity just kinds of comes along for the ride. This has rarity going for it. Acidic as the Kriek is, but without the integrated sour fruit qualities.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Russian River snifter.

A: Dark magenta, essentially opaque, with a thin pinkish head and a good amount of visible carbonation.

S: Tart fruity blackberry, lactic sour punch. Some more funk with a touch of cheese than a lot of Cascade’s offerings I’ve had. A nice depth on the nose as a result.

T: Tart and underripe blackberries, lactic acid. Lacto funk, some feet (is there Pediococcus here?), and mild fresh cheese. Bright fruitiness. Some barrel wood tannins add some dryness to the finish with residual lactic tang. The fruit flavors happen up front; after the swallow they’re gone with just the sourness and a fading funk left.

M: Light body, good carbonation sensation, and the alcohol seems well-integrated. Sour but not obnoxiously acidic.

O: Enjoyable - one of the more complex Cascade offerings I've had recently. Better than the Kriek in my opinion…not a total lactic bomb.

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Photo of Photekut
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of szmnnl99
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jrob21
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ccrida
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

"Cascade Blackberry Ale spends over six months of lactic fermentation and aging in small oak barrels. This 'Belgian Flanders Style Red Ale' is refermented with fresh whole Northwest Blackberries and then hand bottled. Cascade Blackberry Ale is bottle fermented and should be refrigerated or stored at cellar temperatures. Server at 45-50 Degrees."

750ml bottle poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, a slow steady overflow of foam beckons a quick sip to make more room in the glass. The Blackberry Ale is a murky, dark, purplish brown with a large, burgandy -tinged light tan head that is tight, cream and long lasting, leaving heavy foamy lace. AFter making some room in the bottle, the large head stopped overflowing, allowing me to relax and savor this fine ale. Served at cellar temp, where it's been since I first brought this home from the brewery a few months ago.

Smell is sweet and soft, powder-sugar coated blackberries.

Taste is tart lactic, light blackberry, semi-sweet and bone dry. Honestly, the bugs have already eaten away most of the berry flavor compared to the bottle I had when this first came out, leaving a very clean, neutral, albeit sour taste. Getting a bit blander now, hmm, I still have another of these in the cellar, not to mention a bunch of the kriek's and apricot's...I reckon they'll hold up longer, however, as they were much more robustly flavored to begin with. Nevertheless, the taste is nice, satisfying and quaffable, with the berry coming out a bit more as it warms from cellar to room temp.

Mouthfeel is very heavily carbonated, with a lighter body

Drinkability is pretty good, I love the tartness, but I could use a bit more flavor otherwise.

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Photo of tpd975
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amberish purple kind of reminds me of grape juice. Small head with little retention and no lace.

S: Aromas of dark berries, oak, and chocolate.

T: The berries are there in a big way. Mild tartness with the oak standing out as well. A bit lactic with hints of tart cherries as well.

M: Medium in body, lite on the carbonation.

D: Pretty good. Not my favorite Cascade sour but still tasty.

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Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy blueish red in color. It poured with a finger high pink head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of blackberries are present in the nose. Bits of sourness become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: As in the smell, the taste has flavors of blackberries and sourness along with some hints of oak.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and somewhat tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a very good balance between the blackberries and sourness.

Note: 2014 project

Serving type: bottle

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Cascade Blackberry Ale from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 161 ratings