Cascade Blackberry Ale
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

Cascade Blackberry AleCascade Blackberry Ale
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Style:
American Wild Ale
Ranked #997
ABV:
7%
Score:
90
Ranked #6,837
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
Photo of Shumania
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 shared and poured into an oversized wine glass. Possibly 2007 Vintage.

a: darker than expected, dark cola with a large head that takes awhile to disappear.

s: funk right off the bat. Blackberry and fruit come through and you can smell the sweet sugars.

t: Tart, not overpowering - apple cider vinegar which actually works for the beer. Blackberry is really nice in the taste.

m: Nice tartness and not too sweet. Could maybe have a little more carbination but that may be due to the age of the bottle.

A very interesting, solid lambic. The sweet and tart work together well and the blackberry is a nice change.

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Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ChrisPro for sharing this one.

A - Black beer, little purplish on the sides, minimal head.

S - Smells more like blackberries than probably anything but a bunch of fresh blackberries in your face. Little bit of sour with some good oak presence.

T - Tastes like blackberries. It's a blackbery beer. I really get a lot of blackberries in this. Get the idea? Little tart and oak.

M - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

O - Good blackberry beer, particularly if you like the taste of blackberries.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris(Pro) for this one. 2007 vintage. Poured into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours black, purple tinge, cream-colored head, some bubbles on top here and there, and a thin collar.

S - Blackberries, lots and lots of blackberries. There's a nice level of sourness that's mixed with the blackberry sweetness that is very enjoyable. Some musty oak notes in there as well.

T - Blackberries, unlike any advertised blackberry beer I've ever had. Very straight-forward and enjoyable. Some oak in there, nice level of tartness. You know what you're getting with this one, blackberries!

M - Light body, good carbonation, dry oaky finish.

O - If you enjoy blackberries, you'll like this one. A nice level of tartness, some oak, and tons of blackberries. This one has held up nicely, from 2007. Recommend!

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Raccoon Lodge in 2009.

A - dark murky brown with little tan head. Hints of ruby in the light, and very clear.

S - big blackberry nose with some musty earth smell. Some oak as well. Reminds me of backpacking and picking blackberries in the northwest. Also a bit of port and fig after a little air exposure.

T - sweet up front with a nice dry sour lactic finish. Not overpowering but just enough.

M - decent carb, fairly dry.

O - definitely the best blackberry beer I've had. Tastes like what a blackberry sour should taste like and is incredibly mellow and drinkable.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Massive thanks to Dan for cracking this bottle open - awesome!

Appearance -- Pours a dark rosy brown with a finger of mocha head. Very interesting, though not at all what I had expected.

Smell -- Lactic tartness and wet oak, as well as a modicum of blackberry still kicking around.

Taste -- A sturdy base of lactic tartness, along with dark fruit maltiness, and some blackberry essence still remaining.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with high carbonation. Finish is drying and slightly tannic.

Overall -- Glad I had the opportunity to try this (LOVE blackberries), but the blackberry character has definitely faded. I can imagine this being incredible fresh. However, I imagine the best days are behind this beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a murky dark amber color with a short lived pinkish head.

S: Definitely a nice blackberry aroma. There is a moderate level of tartness and a touch of oak. Moderately sweet berries and malt aroma and some chocolate oxidation. Just a hint of vinegar is present.

T: Nice lactic tartness with hints of vinegar. Surprising amounts of blackberry flavor still present. Some dark caramel malts and a noticeable oxidation. Despite that, it still tastes pretty good.

M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: While still good, I prefer the Apricot, which is just one of my favorites.

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Photo of readbaron
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark prune color with a finger of tan head.

Smells fantastic - acidic sour, vitamin C-like and a lot of blackberry odor. No funk to speak of in this one, all fruit.

Tastes delightful - sour, but not overwhelmingly so - lots of blackberry flavors, and that's about it. No funk.

Mouthfeel is good. Fairly thin and well carbonated.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 750mL bottle served in a pint glass.

Appearance: This looks like blackberry jelly in the glass, that unique blackberry color with a brown tint and a beige foam head.

Smell: The aroma is full of blackberries, with light tart acidic notes, and a little bit of vinegar.

Taste: The malt backbone has all but disappeared, leaving a lot of fruit in its place. The blackberries impart a pleasantly sour flavor with some nice dry oak and acidic tannins.

Mouthfeel: The body is definitely on the lighter side of medium. Fully carbonated, this beer starts off crisp, eventually smoothing out with the oaky finish.

Drinkability: I thoroughly enjoyed this; not crazy or overwhelming, but the beer is made to simply let the goodness of the blackberries shine through.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a dark cloudy brown, very murky and dirty with a thick light brown head that has huge retention.

S-the nose has a plethora of black berries, there is little to no sourness to this but something in the back is slightly sharp, either acidity or a tinge of metal.

T-the taste has a hint more complexity but is also a little bit more watery than the nose. there is a fair bit of berry with a decent amount of tartness to it. dark malts are there as well showing notes of chocolate and a touch of raisin. the finish is slightly messy and a little watery with notes of acidity.

M-lighter body with tons of carbonation and very grainy prickly feel. the finish is thin and watery falling off from the body with a hint of driness.

D-this has a fair bit of malt to it and for a fruit sour it seems a little off. the tartness and dry finish seem pretty solid but the flavors are slightly off.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a chocolate brown with ruby brown highlights that had a thin bubbly head and left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the berry notes are definitely there with some slight vinegar character and a tad of vinous notes. It did however have oakiness poping out as well.

T: the blackberry with vinous flavors dominate the palate alongside tamarind oaky accents but has slight vinegar notes and a touch of acidicy.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, vinous, fruity, oaky, and tart finish.

D: it actually drank really good and was glad to have another stab at it.

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

From notes.

A: Poured a translucent black/ purple color with purple tinged head.

S: They really let the fruit shine on this one that I really do not think they have with their other efforts. The blackberries really come across nicely with a little bit of oak and just a touch of funkiness. Maybe a touch of lactic acid but not that much.

T: Again this bottle is probably at least two years ago and the fruit was still vibrant. Not that much funk or acid in the taste. Just a touch of the oak. Probably the most simple tasting cascade beer that I have ever had but that made it more drinkable.

M: Well carbonated without being overcarbonated. Light mouthfeel.

D: Quite light and refreshing. This is one of those beers where it is excellent and drinkable but nothing really pops out as super memorable. I still have not had a bad cascade beer.

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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 craytonic
3.06/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pour is dark blackberry jam, nice dark-colored head

Smell: Blackberries and a light sour funkiness. Not as strong or intense as I had hoped.

Taste: Jammy canned blackberries with some residual sour funkiness. Again, not as strong, sour or intense as I hoped; a bit neutral at this point. A bit like grape juice. Some chocolate in the background/under notes.

Mouthfeel: A bit over carbonated, I can't decide if it is dry or sweet

Drinkability: This is the Cascade sour I have been least impressed with. Appears they discontinued it, which is not a big loss. It does get better and open up as it warms.

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Photo of psiweaver
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour out of a 750ml bottle into a Reidel stemless red wine glass.

the appearance is a brownish foamy head over a brownish pour with a slightly purplish hue.

the smell is lots of lactic acid with a slight berry smell.

taste is good, but not great. its nice and sour but it didn't have the complexity of the top flight sours and there wasn't a lot of blackberry flavor.

somewhat harsh mouthfeel but nice carbonation level.

good drinkability overall, being pretty easy to drink, just wish it had more flavor/complexity.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured like a bliquid blackberry with good carbonation and a dirty white head

S: Plenty of green blackberries

T: Has some unripe, tart blackberries, where is the oak and vinegar is there

M: Tart for sure, blackberries are evident

D: Ok, but not worth the $$$ you pay for it

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Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle. It was part of a great tasting that included seven bottled Cascade sours.

Purple wax capped 750 ml bottle with no bottling date, but it is believed that the bottle was at least two years old. The beer pours a cloudy dark purple color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the blackberries. The flavor is blackberries with some tartness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not a whole lot to say about the beer but it was awesome to drink due to the amount of raspberry flavor that is packed into the beer. I think I liked the lower ABV on this beer because it seemed to let the blackberry flavor come through more than in some of the higher alcohol Cascade fruit sours.

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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 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 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 Floydster
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle purchased over the phone from the brewery about a year ago for fifteen dollars, had this along with the Apricot, Cuvee, and Kriek with four friends a few nights ago, reviewed from notes, poured into my Duvel tulip glass, color is a medium brown with red edges, nearly an inch of soapy white head with some retention, some lacing at the beginning, aroma consists of blackberries, wheat, lacto, raspberries, milky chocolate, oak, vinegar, and leather, flavor begins with sour berries, lots of yeast and malt in the middle, finish has more berries that more sweet after a while with some lingering dryness from the sour, yeasty, and sweet mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, moderate level of carbonation, could drink this bottle, alcohol is not in the flavor and the stuff is not overly sweet or sour, refreshing actually, good drinkability for a sour, recommended

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

Pours the color of blackberry preserves, with a little dark caramel color in the highlights. Lasting ring of pinkish ecru head. Aroma is very oaky with sweet milk chocolate notes and unripe berries. Flavor is blackberry seeds with raspberry cordial sweetness. Solid tartness but not sour by any means. Obvious oak influence. A little too bubbly at first but it settles down. Finish is pleasantly dry. Way better than the Kriek.

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

A: Dark brown. Reddish purple hues around the edges of the glass when held to the light. Decent head that actually has a purple tint to it.

S: Very rich and tart blackberry aroma. Some sweet maltiness. Surprisingly I get a faint wiff of booze in there too. This stuff is just over 5% ABV so this seems a bit weird. Not too off putting though.

T: Nice sourness, not abrasively so but certainly tart. Lots of blackberry (surprised?) but it finishes totally dry. Very little residual sugar here. Hints of vanilla bean and a rich malt profile round it out.

MF/D: Bright carbonation and nice body to it. Not quite thick or syrupy but no where near thin. Highly drinkable, once the carbonation fades a little this bottle will disappear quickly.

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark murky red with a pretty massive head. When I say massive, I mean like a couple inches. Monolithic. Retention is good and a little lacing is on my glass.

The aroma is of sweet, sugary blackberries. The aroma isn't overly complex but it works for this beer. There's a hint of tartness, but it's mostly delicate fruit with a small sweet malt backbone and some oak. I've never had a blackberry beer so this is quite unique.

The taste has more tartness than the aroma. The blackberries are slightly sweet, but it's not a lame artificial syrupy sweetness. This tastes like real blackberries, like blackberries from a real blackberry bush. Not some make believe bush that yields artificial tasting sugary blackberry syrup. There's sweet malt underlying the fruit. The finish is dry and tart.

Medium bodied with a lot of carbonation and a dry, sticky mouthfeel.

Overall, a nice delicate fruit beer using a fruit that is little used in beer, yet one that has potential.

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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 hellbilly
3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle by way of RiversideAK shared with the phoenix crew.

pours a very dark brown amber with a touch of purple-y syrah/blackberry juice color. it's topped by a large foamy pink tinted tan head.

the aroma is full of real blackberries though not quite ripened. it's also a bit vinous... kinda burgundian pinot mixed with faint caramel-y malt, grass and a touch of smokey barrel wood.

the palate is very tart and very dry... true unripened blackberries and caramel malt yet little to no residual sweetness. digging deeper i find vanilla, flowers and some oak along with what seems like some tannins. though it may just be the fruit skins and seeds? i don't really get much sour... the tartness seems to come from the fruit. light to medium bodied and crisp on the tongue. the lack of sugar makes it feel a bit thinner in the mouth.

i'm diggin' this one next to a surly coffee bender. the bitterness in the coffee makes the malt jump out from behind the dry blackberry brew!
7/4/7/3/16/3.7

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