Cascade Vlad The Imp Aler | Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

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Cascade Vlad The Imp AlerCascade Vlad The Imp Aler

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

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A blend of oak barrel-aged 23- and 25-degree Plato sour blonde quadrupel with sour bourbon barrel tripel and sour strong spiced blonde. Wild yeast was added during the barrel aging.

First Release: 9.5% ABV
Second Release (Sept 2010): 10.6% ABV
Third Release: 2011 - 10.91%

Added by hopdog on 12-09-2008

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Reviews: 164 | Ratings: 691
Photo of alcstradamus
3.17/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a copper color with two fingers of head and great lacing.

The aroma is tart white grape and apple up front. A healthy amount of dry oakiness and a bit of band aid. Pie crust, raisin, and green tea.

The aroma is very promising but the taste doesn't quite live up to the potential. The dry oakiness and raisin-like sweetness are there and provide a nice flavor. There is an odd plastic flavor in the background which brings it down a little. Some white grape and apple skin. Tart but not really sour.

The body is medium and fairly full for the style. Carbonation is stinging.

Overall I just wasn't overly impressed with this beer. No real noteworthy characteristics. Quite average.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml cork and caged bottle into my Cantillon snifter glass...shared with my friend. Pours a very light copper color, slight peach tinge. Very nice looking one finger fizzy off-white head forms, very little retention. Leaves a sticky, yet patchy fizzy lacing. So far...very excited! Great looking sour~interesting color.

Aroma is very nice, tart/sour, sweet, bourbon, wine like, crisp, slightly Very complex, yet the tartness is making my mouth water. Some wood/oak too.

Flavor is awesome. Very, very different from your normal sour. Starts with a very quick sweetness, but taken over by a crisp/sharp tartness that immediately takes over. Then the bourbon hits, and finally finishes with a nice wine dryness! Very complex and delicious. Medium body, high carbonation, kind of boozy. Such a cool and different beer...definitely will be looking to get/trade for a few more bottles!

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.67/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured a golden orange with pale pineapple yellow highlights with a thin head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. Upfront on the aroma i was able to detect some funkiness from the brett with a little corky character slight vinegar acidic citrusy notes and barrel oak notes. the taste was sweet and sour consisting of citrus, brett, oak, slight vinegar, and pineapple accents to add some fruit dimension. It didi seem to have underlying apple and pear flavor as well. The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a slight sweet but fruity, oaky, bretty funky, acidic, sour and slight dry finish. Drank amazing and was almost sucking the last drops from the bottle.

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Photo of NoLiberty
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to GrassrootsVT for the generous share.

Cork pulls tight but releases with a fresh pop. Nice frost that pours into a straw-to-tangerine colored beer with a white head. Head settles from two fingers into a sticky, spotty cap that lasts for the rest of the glass.

Aroma of wonderful brett, tart apples, and funky grass. Spicy aromatic fermented fruit flavors.

Flavor matches aroma exceptionally well. Nice tart, funky flavor with mild fermented fruit, wild...farmhouse-ness. Underlying cider qualities come through as it warms. Delicious, balanced and drinkable.

Soft, sparkling and sweet-tart. Super drinkable.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split up and shared with friends.

A - Pours a fizzy golden yellow, white head, thin cap, and some decent lacing along the sides of the glass.

S - Light to medium sour, some oak, slight tartness, some sweet/spicy fruit notes. Not as sour as say, DDG, but still has a nice balance of sour/tart and oak, which I dig.

T - Light oak, sour/tart, some fruit, lactic hints. A good amount going on here and the sour notes are enough to keep me interested while the oak and slight sweetness change it up for something different. Slightly sour, slightly sweet finish.

M - Light, crisp, fizzy carbonation, dry finish.

D - I had a couple of pours and really enjoyed this one. I know they are different beers, but I preferred this over Bourbonic.

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Photo of koopa
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I brought this and shared it at the Copper Mine Pub's 2nd Anniversary party.

Appearance: Pours a golden straw with a 1 finger white crown that shows moderate retention and decent lace.

Smell: Tart wheat, some tangerine notes, a hint of a word YOUNG.

Taste: Same as the nose. The sourness is moderate for all of you sour aficionado's but the 2 sour virgins I shared this one with were taken quite off guard by the sourness so it's all relative.

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of light bodied with a fairly spritzy effervescent carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly sessionable for a sour.

I'm really curious to see what some cellaring will do for this one.

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Photo of mrandypandy
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle shipped from the brewery. For the record, the exorbant shipping fees have NO effect on my score.

A- Pours a hazy yellow/orange with a fizzy white head. Amber highlights. Good lacing.
S- Not as strong/sour/funky as I was expecting. Faint tart and fruity notes.
T- Wow. Lactic tartness, citrus and other fruity tones. I'm not good at describing flavors, but there is a lot going on here. Exceptional.
M- Medium body, light and crisp. Good carbonation. Acidic.
D- High. Very complex, lots of flavors going on, yet light and drinkable. ABV is well hidden.

Overall - I've tried a few beers from Cascade and have yet to be disappointed. Vlad does not disappoint. Flavorful, complex, but not over-the-top puckering

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Photo of kbutler1
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. 2010 version. Bottle opens up with a slight pop. Pours a pretty heady slightly murky orange amber color. The head is a tall 2-3 finger fluffy off white head. Good lace as the head subsides. The aroma to me first and foremost is tart sour cherries. Some minimal funky notes as well. Light mouthfeel. The warming alcohol in the back end is the first thing that I notice. My second sip yields a more fruitful tone up front with that of cherries but not too overly sweet. The carbonation really bites at the tongue ever so slightly more than I expected. Lemon acidic like as well in the back end mixed with the boozy. It's definitely an odd brew the likes I haven't had before. There's is an odd bitterness/funkiness right in the middle that throws me off a little. Some floral Brett notes in the end linger on. Different but not overly amazing.

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Photo of mothman
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip.

Pours 1 finger of creamy white head. Good head retention. Color is a brightly hazed golden orange.

Aroma: Sour cherries, vinegar, and medicinal bretty funk up front. It has oak, vanilla and spices. It is a bit acidic with some lemon citrus. Decent. Fairly fruity, but pretty funky as well.

Taste: A bit sour funk bomb. A lot of brett and dry spices. Some vanilla. Oak and medicinal flavors are big. It has cherries, lemons, and other tropical fruits blended in. It ends with a wave of booze, kind of like taking a shot of vodka. I also get some dried plums in there with some bready and caramel malts. It does show notes of the tripel with some dry spices and the alcohol. It does have some grape flavors mixed in.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, tart, and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends clean, but a bit dry.

Overall, I think it is good, but I am not overly impressed. It is somewhat drinkable, but it does show the abv. I think this one is a bit hyped up.

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Photo of TulipSnifter
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer has no cap but has some lacing. It looks like a light apple cider.
Smell: It has a light sour smell.
Taste: I taste a bit of faint vanilla and it is pleasantly sweet. Tastes similar to a fruity white wine... Maybe Chardonnay.
Mouth feel: clean and light which I like.
Drink ability: Easy to drink and is very pleasant.

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Photo of elliot23
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Barrel House.

A small head of off yellow foam. Beer pours a strong orange color. cloudy in color. The smell is bourbon and oak intermingling with tart berries and citrus. The taste is complex with spice, citrus, and apple cider. Very nice sipping beer. The mouthfeel is very warming. Low carbonation and a medium body are very welcomed here. The ABV is ridiculously high, but well hidden. Amazingly easier to put back.

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Photo of eatabagofbooger
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep gold with a touch of amber. The large white head dissipates quickly, but leaves a thick lacing.

S: Smells like a sour! Tart fruitiness with sweet undertones (raisins and Belgian sugar) and a fair bit of funk. Bourbon, oak, and vanilla are present, but subtle.

T: The first wave is sour and a bit funky, but is quickly overtaken by the second wave of flavor, consisting of stronger funk, a pleasant bitterness, spice, oak, and raisins or prunes. Tartness mildly reasserts itself in the finish along with bourbon and spice.

M: Medium-light with ample carbonation. Suits the beer well, but it's nothing to write home about.

D: Alcohol is well hidden, but the sourness and funk would keep me from having more than one glass in a sitting. Still, sipping one of these over an hour or so is a wonderful experience that I hope to have again soon.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.08/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured a nice medium amber color, with a medium bodied ivory head. The bourbon barrel tripel component that was blended into this one was what intrigued me, and I am glad I got to try it (along with the bourbonic plague, which I loved), but this one was way too sour for my palate. Lots of funk, lactic acid, lemonheads, sour cherries and vinegar. For me at least, this one was nearly undrinkable.

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Photo of Elendinn
4.84/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the Barrel House -- served in a snifter.

A - pours a gorgeous burnt-orange with very little head and a smattering of thick lacing down the side of the glass.

S - farmhouse funk, some vanilla, apples, oranges, cherries, an amalgam of spices, and vinous white grapes reminiscent of riesling.

T - the flavors lead off with the obligatory, funky sourness of tart fruit, complimented by a perfectly-balanced amount of bourbon. Apples, oranges, white wine grapes, a bit of Belgian yeast, pumpkin, and some faint spice (nutmeg, cinnamon) are all present, as well. The alcohol is barely perceptable.

M - medium-bodied, pretty carbonated -- nothing out of the ordinary.

D - the best and most complex sour I've ever had. Russian River should be jealous.  What more can I say?

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Photo of Docer
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a glass tonight on tap at the barrel house..

- Caramel colored and clear with a thin bubbly white head....

- Tart notes, sweet ester, grain... citrus notes, brown sugar...

- A slightly more sweet sour from Cascade.. an amber of sorts with a sweet touch of biscuit, grain... sugars... and tart as it should be...

- Light bodied... malty syrupy.. slightly sticky...

- Overall a great sour, but I think it falls short compared to a few others of theirs... Loving the Bourbonic, Noyeaux, and Sang Noir much better...

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Photo of boMD
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tap at the super sweet Cascade Barrel House... It was about time I got my mitts on this infamously hyped beer. Poured clear amber/orange with a white head. The nose was candied, quite sweet with a light yeast funk. The lacto is so clean compared to brett, which definitely is displayed in a lot of the Cascade sours. Some acidity going on, maple sweet sugars, lactic yeast notes, quite sour and tart. Ginger, apples, light fruit. Like a tart, slightly over ripped fruit with a lot of added sweetness.

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Review #100! I had something on deck for such an occasion in the fridge but couldn't restrain myself from ticking a rare sour beer on tap instead. The rare bottle of beer in the fridge will just have to make its appearance another day.

Sampled at the Cascade Barrel House today, it arrived to our table in a mini snifter. The label on the side indicates that there is 8 ounces of this goodness in my glass. At $6.50 its a little steep but considering we're talking about the silver medal winner at last years GABF, its a steal! Golden orange with spectacular clarity, wispy ring edge, and spotty lacing. This looks good enough to drink!

This intensely smells like a very buttery Chardonnay! You're gonna be hard pressed to call this a beer if blindfolded. The barrel has lent more vanilla than I have ever smelled with strong amounts of sugar cookies and sharp lactic notes! Oh my this smells good.

A ton of pepper spice this up. It is semi one dimensional beyond the spice though. Minimal sour muscat grapes with far less vanilla than the nose suggests are found. The alcohol is also there in spades.

This is a little thicker on mouthfeel than I would have liked. A little gummy overall, I prefer my sours a bit thinner.

Drinkability is damn good considering the ABV. I'll definitely be picking up a few bottles of this when the labels finally get approved. Recommended.

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Photo of illidurit
3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rad unlabeled bottle, 09 vintage, courtesy Sam. Dark orange color with an orangish creamy head. Citrusy and grainy aroma, also some bruised apple going on here. Boozy, warming flavor, lots of candied lemon and tart fruit salad notes. Kind of a sour tripel character. A little bit of unwelcome solvent but overall pretty interesting.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone Sour Fest. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly clear, light orange color, with just a little carbonation creating a faint head. Smell is barnyard funky, kind of bretty, and a faint grape quality. Taste is complex. Tart and sour mixed with a slightly bitter oak wood tannin element. As this warms the alcohol comes on stronger. Really glad to try this. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone Sour Fest

A: The pour is a dark orange color with a nice (but small) white head on it.

S: The aroma is fairly citrus heavy and fruity. Notes of grapefruit, apples, and green grapes. Quite a decent "funk" considering that Cascade doesn't use any brett. Leather, earth, and wine round things out.

T: A nice sourness is present right up front. Lactic (lemon) notes along with some pungent grapefruit and a tannic/dry oak quality to the beer. A touch of vinegar, a touch of sweetness...fairly complex, I must say.

M: The body is medium with a fair amount of carbonation and a dry finish to it.

D: This is a much needed redemption after my taste of Bourbonic Plague. Another good wild ale from the guys up at Cascade.

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Photo of Overlord
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pleased to get to try this at Stone sourfest! Thanks for putting on a great event, Bill.

Pours a clear-ish orange. Tiny white foam head. Smells like grapes, grapefruit, and ... hmm...not sure ... tanninish leather? Has some funk and sourness, but just just a bit. Lingering zesty semi-sweet ... grapes? Flavor profile is kind of all over the place. Hints of vanilla, some spiciness on the aftertaste, the sourness is bright and shiny, maybe just the barest hints of mustiness and barnyard.

Underrated this the first time. Quality sour.

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Photo of jdense
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

PIB Mystery Beer #2, no mystery after running into Curtis at Belmont Station the night before, keg blew in a bit over an hour!

Minimal amount of head resulted in thin ring around top edge of glass, very little if any lacing. Nose is dry, minimal fruitiness, significant barrel aroma. Taste is tart and light, more tart than sour, some light grape, apricot notes, picked up a bit of vanilla. Dry attentuated mouthfeel, fairly thin. A far different flavor profile from Bourbonic Plaque, not quite as complex a nose and taste, but certainly well in balance and ultra tasty. Really drinkable, though the ABV is a bit more noticeable than the Plaque, this is one subtle and yet sophisticated, drinking experience.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to sarcastro for supplying this to the recent tasting. I initially tried to trade for this exact same bottle, so it's strangely karmic that it showed up where I could try it. Served in a tasting snifter.

A - A finger of yellow-tinged foam that dissipates to a thin ring. Dark, murky, orange color, and tons of chunkies floating about. I heard this was filled straight from the barrel, but it's still not very attractive.

T - Lactic sourness, spicy bourbon, pepper, caramel malt, wood and charred barrel, tart apples, grape skins, under-ripe raspberries, stone fruits, and amazingly well-hidden alcohol.

T - The taste is a little less complex with more tannins and spice, and less balancing sweetness. Very acetic, with notes of apple cider vinegar. Pretty delicious.

M - Dry, medium body that is big enough for 9.5%. Tannic finish with a touch of stickiness. It integrates feel elements of all the base beers quite convincingly.

D - This is shockingly drinkable for the ABV - we plowed through this faster than any of the barleywines that we had beforehand. A fantastic experiment that should be a big hit when it's bottled in larger quantities.

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Photo of ChrisPro
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Draft for Sourfest 2009 at Brouwer's for SBW.

Pours a dark amber with nice head.

Citrus fruit dominates the aroma with a hint of the alcohol to come. Nince tart fruit flavor with a hint of the wood and hops. Way too carbonated for my taste, but never would've guessed it was 10.2%! Unbelievable. Nice work, Cascade!

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Once again, midaszero comes through with a killer share at our recent tasting. Thanks Josh! 750ml bottle, unlabeled.

Vlad procures a cloudy, caramel-blonde color in the Allagash tulip. Nice head of manila bubbles retains well for the style and alcohol level. Lots of tartness in the aroma: citrus peel, vanilla, freshly cut wood and lemongrass. Funky, musty, sour, and ultimately enticing.

A woody sourness hits the tastebuds with a zesty, creme de lemon booze note from the lactic acid. Light phenols balance with tart lemon taffy and oak. Vlad is dry, but not overly acidic or puckeringly sour, a plus for my relatively inexperienced sour palate. A top-tier Wild Ale for sure.

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Cascade Vlad The Imp Aler from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
4.19 out of 5 based on 691 ratings.
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