Cascade Blackberry Ale
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

Cascade Blackberry AleCascade Blackberry Ale
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American Wild Ale
Ranked #976
Ranked #6,655
4.02 | pDev: 8.71%
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Oregon, United States
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 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 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 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 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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Cascade Blackberry Ale from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 161 ratings