Cascade The Vine | Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

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Cascade The VineCascade The Vine

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

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.73%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"This Northwest Style Sour Ale is a blend of soured Triple, Blonde Quad and Golden ales that have been refermented with the fresh pressed juice of white wine grapes. The beer spent more than six months of lactic fermentation and aging in small oak barrels. 9.2% ABV" - Raccoon Lodge website

ABV seems to vary, between 8.33-9.73%

Added by msubulldog25 on 02-07-2009

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Reviews: 197 | Ratings: 845
Photo of smitty4657
3.2/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Little disappointed by this one - 2012 vintage - feel like it needs some age. There is a decent grape nose but the taste was overwhelmingly like Dimetapp and fruit juice. Might have been a bad bottle. Nice pour and smell though, as expected from Cascade.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy orange, highly carbonated to start but it dies off after a while.

S-Grapes, grapes. Lots of them. Some wood/oak as well.

T-Grapes everywhere. Amazing. Good deal of oak and wood. Good balance, earthy/grassy notes as well.

M-Lighter, good deal of carbonation, crisp and dry finish.

O-One of the better grape based sours I've had. The grape flavor was large and in charge but in nice balance with the other flavors. A solid sour.

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Photo of GJ40
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled from a 750ml bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits in South Attleboro, MA. Bottle said 2012 Project.

A - Golden and quite clear with no head whatsoever. There were some bubble clinging to the glass but not enough to rise.

S - Strong white grape juice.

T - White grape juice with some green apple. A mild tart/sour quality (too mild for me) and a slight sweetness. It seemed a little under attenuated to me.

M - A moderate consistency and a very low carbonation.

O - An interesting venture toward the wine world which I might have liked more had I never had Cantillon Vigneronne.

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Photo of biegaman
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The Vine has a delicate pale colour but an intense, torchlight glow and the density of a London fog. Even its head is fluffy and cottony (at least for a short while). It is unexpectedly bright and cheery for something that's slumbered 18 months in the darkness of a wooden barrel.

Smelling the beer is akin to taking a knife, cutting a slit right down the center of a lemon and wedging your nose right up into the middle of it and taking a great big deep breath; it fills the lungs with rousing citric acidity and zippy tartness.

A glass of lemonade and apricot juice squeezed from a wood barrel with grass clippings thrown in - that’s the image that comes to mind while sipping this bright and beautifully flavoured marvel of a beer. It also has an underlying of dry, acidic white wine and oaky vanillin flavour as well as fleshy citrus, peppy tang, subtle sweetness and refined funk - it has e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!

I've learned from experience that few styles (and even fewer brands) can hold up to extended time in the cellar. Anything that's undergone lactic fermentation and oak-aging, however, tends to do well; this 2011 Vintage was opened at the end of 2013 and it's still drinking masterfully. I'd wager another 2 years wouldn't hurt one bit.

There's one reaction The Vine evokes sip after sip: a loud Lil Jon-like "YEAH!" Blending and souring three or four varieties of ale and then further barrel-fermenting with the juice from white wine grapes is what I'd call a pretty high-risk/high-reward experiment - Cascade hit the jackpot.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

not as intense as I wanted it to be, nor as sour. pale cloudy yellow color, smallish white head without much retention. smells like artificial purple grape candy when I really sniff hard, but smells just like a sweeter sour when I don't try so hard. wheat malt, grape must, and lactic acid are all evident. I taste a lot of oak in this, sweet and earthy, and it pairs well with the sweetness of the grapes. however, the fruitiness takes a lot away from the sour properties, which really only come in as acidity on the finish. not a lot of tartness or funk or pep to this, and it feels a little dull as a result. it could stand more carbonation too, to lighten up the fruit. I think the concept is good and the flavors are good, if a little muted, but the overall product is in need of a refinement. it is a full step or two below the elite sours on the market, but still a quality brew. this bottle had a little age on it, so maybe it hasn't held up super well. will need to try fresh to compare.

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Photo of nataku00
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, 2011 project, poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a slightly hazy golden color with half a finger of head that disappears immediately. No lacing or foam on the beer, but plenty of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is green grapes, astringent grape skin, green apples, lactic acid with lemon juice and white wine vinegar sourness.

Taste follows the nose, green grapes and apples, with some lactic acid, mild lemon and vinegar flavors. Very dry on the tongue, with some lingering grape skin.

Lighter side of medium body with soft but ample carbonation. There is a bit of alcohol warmth after a few sips, but fairly easy to sip on.

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Photo of morimech
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Project 8.85%ABV

Very effervescent, acts like champagne or sparkling wine. Can hear the CO2 leaving the beer in the glass. Lost a little to the counter top and sink. Clear golden color with a large head that quickly settled to a thin cap. Not much lacing is left down the glass.

Aroma of Sweet-Tarts, funky barnyard, horse blanket, and grape juice. Sure have not smelled a beer like this before.

Tastes like a funky Sweet-Tart. Even the finish is Sweet-Tart. As the palate grows accustomed to the flavor, more of the funky qualities come out. Finishes clean and slightly dry with a slight oaky quality. Sort of an infected pinot gris and chardonnay blend. Could be refreshing if it was not such a large beer. No sign of the alcohol despite its large ABV.

Feels very light bodied due to the alcohol and very active carbonation. Works with this flavor profile.

I guess I should not be surprised by the flavor considering the addition of grapes into the barrel. Probably a beer that would improve with aging.

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Photo of pkalix
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

hazy golden, very effervescent with a super cool grain of energized bubbles rising to the surface and breaking the tension explosively.
hard snort is a musty vinegar, soft smells produce a juicy gobstopper jawbreaker candy aroma bringing back awesome memories of youth.
taste is all tart! sour apple juice, apple cider vinegar, but not much else. kind of musty flavor. also getting that gobstopper candy flavor in the back...
overall, okay. seems a bit thin. seems a bit musty. some nice juice notes to it. on the BA scale it's easy 4s.... I love the effervescence, I like the appearance; the flavor doesn't completely follow through... also, my bottle says it was aged for over a year and is 8.85% . . . .
nor is it as dark as the glass in the picture....

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Photo of tectactoe
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Doug for cracking this bottle! The Vine pours a semi-translucent, golden-amber hybrid color, murky and obtrusive looking with a bone-white, Alka Seltzer head that leaves faster than it forms. All that's left behind is a fairly thin, foamy white collar that separates the beer and the glass at its circumference... No lacing left behind on this one.

Welches white grape juice to the dome; like a lunch-time treat that mommy packed and you didn't notice until noon. Sweet, white grapes, seriously edging on straight grape juice territory with a bit of sharp, acidic "skin" notes, mild tannin, and a bit of wet oak - the only things there to remind me that this is indeed a beer and not a juice. Overall, it smells sweet, with only a touch of underlying tartness from the semi-vinous and semi-juicy grapes.

Thankfully, the flavor is a little more tart, as I wasn't exactly looking for a Juicy Juice, here. Tart white grapes, giving off that effervescent, yet heavy white wine feeling, still with a solid backbone that involves a great deal of juiciness. Some seemingly red grape flavors sneak their way into the mix, but perhaps those are just a product of the oak barrel aging itself; vinous, dry oak in the finish, and the littlest bit of musty, basement funk.

The finish is quite dry, and that's to be expected. It's not a gum line receding type of dryness, but it'll definitely suck the moisture from your palate if you let it hang around for too long. Dry oak and finishing white grape skins are the only recognizable things left after each sip runs its course. It's like a sour, mildly funky and purposely oak-y version of that straw-yellow drink we all used to love as a kid. Medium bodied, heavy carbonation and a prickly, dry mouth feel.

I really enjoyed this one. I'm actually not the biggest fan of artificial grape flavor, so it was good to have the raw authenticity of the grapes come through full force... it was a beautiful thing. This was an excellent beer, and definitely something I'd like to snag a few more bottles of, if given the opportunity. I think over time, it'll grow even more sour and even more badass. Chalk up another "W" for the guys in Portland.

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Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris & Sharon for sharing their Portland bounty!
Quick review from written notes.

Dull hazy orange with a thin ring of foam around the edges. Spotty lace when swirled, that sinks back into the beer without a trace.

Concord grape aroma, reminiscent of Welch's grape jelly or concord grape juice (the "communion wine" of my youth). Light acetic sharpness behind that.

Moderately tart, big concord grape flavor, vitamin C tablets, drying aftertaste. Trace acetic and lactic acidity. Medium bodied and spritzy carbonation. Fairly one-dimensional, continuing my overarching main gripe with Cascade's wild ales.

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Photo of Jonada
3.59/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 project 8.85% ABV

Appearance: Pours a dark yellow honey color with less than a finger of head that dissipates nearly instantly. No retention or lacing. Body is moderately hazy.

Smell: Aroma is dominated by concord grapes (could almost mistake it for straight grape juice), along with just hints of lactic sourness and oak.

Taste: Follows the aroma pretty closely. Tart white grape dominate. There's some very mild lacto character. Sourness is very low. In a blind taste test I very well could have mistaken this for champagne.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with mouthfeel bordering on watery. Carbonation is low. Finishes semi dry.

Overall: This was really disappointing. I would still call it "good," but it doesn't live up to the standard of most other Cascade sours. Given the price point I would skip this.

While this is the first time I've reviewed this beer, I have had it once previously (2011 project) and remember liking it considerably more than this bottle. This could just be an off bottle, or perhaps this years batch didn't turn out how Cascade intended. If you can find a 2011 (or other vintage), I would recommend giving it a try, but this one I'd pass on.

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Photo of cvm4
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Version

A - Has a golden body with a fizzy white head and is slightly opaque. The head dissipates very quickly to just a ring around the glass.

S - White grapes are definitely present, sugar esters, oak and light tartness. To me, the nose is a bit sweeter than I was expecting. But, it's still very enjoyable and pleasant.

T - Oh yeah! The taste does not follow the nose. And that's a good thing. A wallop of tartness that has hints of vinegar. Afterwards, I'm getting white wine and green apple flavors. As it warms, I'm getting some oak characters as well.

M - Crisp, not overly carbed and on the medium side of light bodied.

O - I imagine this is not easy to brew and they pulled off a genius sour beer. Kudos!

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Photo of metter98
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is slightly hazy golden yellow in color with some hues of orange and faint hints of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down, leaving a small patch of bubbles in the center of the glass and a thin collar around the edge.
S: Moderate aromas of grapes are present in the nose - its feels like you are standing next to a wild grape vine in the late summer when the smell of ripened grapes is present in the air.
T: The taste starts off with flavors of sourness and oak and transitions into flavors of grapes that linger into the finish and lend a bit of sweetness. No alcohol is noticeable.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an interesting beer that tastes both sweet and sour. It's quite drinkable because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

Notes: 2012 vintage, 8.85% abv

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Photo of MRsojourner
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dirty blond hazy appearance with a thick head that wanted to gush but dissipated and calmed down quickly once I got in the glass. head left a thin film in the glass.
aroma was of cheese, feet and slight vinegar.
taste was much more complex as it warmed up a bit. hitting my palate with a barrage of green apples, grape sweetness and oaky/tannin flavors. not nearly as sour as I anticipated but it really allows all the flavors to come forth and be displayed. it is definitely acidic but soft at the same time witch enables the grapes to really shine.
mouthfeel is thin but right where it should be. almost to much carbonation but it settles down allowing it to be pretty drinkable. I drank the 750ml by myself although I did have some heartburn. solid and would purchase again

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Photo of taylor714914
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Was super stoked to try this, the 2012 version to be exact. Popped the cork with little fanfare, honestly was a bit worried it wouldn't be carbed up enough.

Poured with a beautiful frothy head that hung around for a while. LIghter than I expected, a straw like color.

Smells of straight white grapes and a hint of sourness.

Taste follows the smell with white grapes dominating, a hint of funky sourness, and some white oak.

Mouthfeel was good, a bit too carbed for my personal preference, and I believe it made the fruits stand out a bit more.

Overall a decent beer. Not my favorite offering from cascade, but I have another bottle to lay down to see how it ages.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to crushedvol for this one…

A: Pours a dark yellow with some orange/red hues with quite a bit of pure white head. The foam settles fairly quickly, leaving a solid bubbly ring along the edges of the glass. Minimal lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is tart and sour, a bit stinging, but nothing too outrageous. I get mild vinegar, grape skin, mild spice, and mild grain. This beers smells nice.

T: The beer starts off bright and sour with grape skin, yeast, and a touch of vinegar. It’s puckering, but not overly sour. As it moves to the middle, you get that familiar Cascade flavor. The beer thins out in the finish, and get light and slightly dry.

M: Light bodied beer. It’s tart and refreshing to start, mellows out in the middle, and finishes slightly dry.

O: This is a really nice sour. It’s not super intense (like Apricot or Kriek). It’s just right. It’s something that I’d love to try again in the future. Super drinkable.

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Photo of theveganbrewer
4.73/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Another great beer from Cascade Brewing, I am lucky to live a few minutes from the Raccoon Lodge and get to try just about everything they release. This is one of their finest beers. It appears pretty dark, but it's so bright, sour, and refreshing. Love it.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage. 750ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a slight hazy golden with a finger of bubbly white head that slowly faded into a fuzzy film and collar leaving wispy lace down the glass.
S: Lightly tart, lightly dry notes of white grapes and woody dry oak, vinous white wine, slight golden fruit, and slight peach.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of white grape, vinous oak barrel, and golden fruits in the finish. More fruit develops as it warms, and I get a hint of mint and bubblegum yeast.
M: Clean but not as dry or crisp as I was expecting. Medium-fuller body, fizzy active bubbly carbonation. The foamy carb adds some lightness to the mouthfeel.
O: Really solid wine barrel sour, smooth but not as dry as I like nor as crisp. Really enjoyable flavor though.

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Photo of blackie
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

draft at the barrel house

Served in a stubby chalice, the beer is a deep, golden color with a frothy white head. The nose is loaded with oaky white whine and white grape notes. Sweet malt. Following are earth, pear, and belgian yeast. The flavors follow suit, with an additional light tart. Light-medium bodied with a lively carbonation. Not my favorite Cascade, but unique and enjoyable.

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Photo of Beerandboards
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


A - pours a hazy apricot type color. Just a bit hazy/cloudy. Super tall, loose head. Dissipates at a medium pace (points if you get the reference).

S - lots of tart/sourness, apples, cherries, white wine, some funk that grows more pronounced as it warms, musty smells come out as well.

T - nicely sour. Smooth punch of sour to start, just a touch of the vinegar notes, lots of sour fruit, apples, some grape, the white wine notes are there big time in the finishing stages. Nice element of funkiness comes in at the end.

M - very good. Avoids getting syrupy and stays crispy smooth throughout.

O - another excellent sour from cascade.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slightly hazy golden-orange with a finger of frothy white head. Fades normal.

S - Tart grapes, funky Brett and other yeasts, oak, vanilla, lactic acid, lemon and other citrus zests, barnyard funk.

T - Sweet grainy malts, tart grapes and other stone fruits, oak, vanilla, funky Brett and other sour yeasts, lactic acid, lemon and other citrus zests, barnyard funk.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a tart, funky, and dry finish.

D - Great sour beer. Great smoothness and overall balance.

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Photo of GuzzLah
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - pours a hazy gold with a white head and some nice lace. No bubbles.

S - big aroma initially. Prominent sweet white grapes with a semi-weird moldy barrel / funky basement character. A swirl stokes up a little funky pineapple. The weirdness fades after several swirls and what's left behind is more enjoyable.

T - is similar to the aroma, but not as robust and not quite as funky. The white grape is semi-dry in the flavor. Lacto provides good tartness without a trace of cheese in the flavor. The finish is lemony and slightly peppery.

M - light-medium body with a creamy quality. Semi-dry and medium tart, approaching sour.

O - an interesting and unusual beer with funky grape aromatics and a pleasant white grape tart flavor. It's quite boozy, but very well hidden.

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Photo of oline73
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter.

The beer pours a light golden amber color with not much head at all. The smell is light with a tart sweetness to it. I am getting a wine note along with a light tartness. The taste is light and sour, but it's not a vinegar sourness. I am getting some wine along with a lemon juice like sourness. There is a slightly herbal funk in the finish. This is a nice sour and it hides the abv quite well.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.66/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks a lot to Ken for finding this on my wants and sharing.

The beer is light golden with a small white head. The aroma brings funk, stone fruits, yeast. Sour funk and apricots with a bit of a kick in the finish. Great feel with alcohol content well hidden. Light acetic finish. Pronounced apricots throughout. Very good.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 2.26.13
2011 Project

A - Pours a clear, light orange with a large, very fizzy off-white to yellow head that is gone almost instantly.

S - Acidic, pretty funky, lemony and citrus, white grapes.

T - Funky, sweet grape, almost orange like finish, vinous.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Less acidic and more funky. Time has improved this bottle.

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Cascade The Vine from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
92 out of 100 based on 197 ratings.
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