Cascade Bourbonic Plague | Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

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Cascade Bourbonic PlagueCascade Bourbonic Plague
599 Ratings
Cascade Bourbonic PlagueCascade Bourbonic Plague

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

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"This blend of strong dark porters was aged in oak, wine and Bourbon barrels, then blended with a dark porter that had been brewed with vanilla beans and cinnamon. The blend was then aged an additional 14 months on dates."

Added by Floydster on 07-03-2009

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Ratings: 599 |  Reviews: 133
Photo of roostor07
2/5  rDev -53.1%

Photo of ArrogantB
2.14/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750ml bottle thanks to drez77. This beer was a pretty good gusher but at least it didn't spray the ceiling? Dark brown and it has a good head. Smells very odd with the porter malt aroma conflicting with sour and just ouch..The flavor was a disaster to me, so many things in conflict: porter, sour, cinnamon, barrel, yuck! This is like Ron Burgundy drinking milk on a hot day: a bad choice. I love sour beers but this was just a let down. I drainpoured my glass :(

 463 characters

Photo of WolfsbaneBloom
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of SpasmWaiter
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of craytonic
2.61/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Shared with the dirty south crew

Appearance: Mruky red/brown pour, bit of gushing; big head. Cork did not want to come out.

Smell: Bit of a muddled mess; Sour with bourbon, brown sugar, cinnamon, and dark fruits. Too much roasted malt for a sour

Taste: Raisins, prunes, tons of cheap chardonnay-ish oak, messy and boozy

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, a bit too much carbonation

Drinkability: We didn't finish the bottle; not very impressive. I have really enjoyed many of Cascade's wild beers but this one was not one of them. Train wreck is a very apt description. Souring a porter of course didn't turn out well; if you told me they tried to make money off an accident I would believe it.

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Photo of DerekMorgan
2.75/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of IPAIsaac
2.75/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of womencantsail
2.76/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Stone Sour Fest

A: The pour is a dark red/brown color with very minimal head on it.

S: The nose is full of butter, bourbon, and alcohol. A definite lactic tartness to this with some hints of dark fruits, but the alcohol and butter are very strong.

T: This has to be the booziest sour I've ever had. Way too much bourbon, making the flavor slightly solventy, some oak, and again: butter. Raisins, vinegar, lactic tartness, and even some sweetness.

M: The body is medium with a decent level of carbonation, a slight pucker inducing sourness and a lot of heat.

D: What is the big deal with this one? I'm guessing that previous barrels/bottles might have been better, but this one just missed the mark.

 713 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
3/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of dspinler
3/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of Adidas32585
3.08/5  rDev -27.7%

Photo of aaronyoung01
3.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of mothman
3.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Opens with a bit of a pop. Slowly gushes up.

Pours a large layer of light tan head. Very fluffy. Fades down rather quickly. A quick swirl brings back some head. Color is a dark brown, nearing black.

Aroma: Roasted malts and sourness right up front. Then I get the spices of cinnamon and vanilla. The cinnamon is spot on. I also get a touch of grahm cracker flavor. Has cherries and other dark dried fruits. Light chocolate and caramel hide behind the sour and tartness. Not too much oak showing. I get more wine notes than bourbon notes which hardly show.

Taste: My first reaction is: "How did this beer when a medal?" Fairly sour and funky. A medicinal flavor up front. I like the spices (vanilla and cinnamon) but the sourness distracts from everything good in this beer. It starts out with the wine barrels showing and dark dried fruits and then eventually transitions into the porter notes of chocolate, roast, and caramel with bourbon heatin' things up. This beer would be pretty good if it wasn't so soured.

Mouthfeel: Sour, fizzy, and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Ends with some funk and roasted malt.

Overall, I am just not that impressed with this beer. It could be great, but the sourness has already taken over this beer. I don't see this one getting better with time. A bit of a letdown as I had high hopes for this one. Cascade has been a bit of a disappointment on the last 2 wilds.

 1,439 characters

Photo of DCgolfpro
3.16/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Thorpe429
3.18/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter.

Pours a somewhat-dark brown color with a bit of a crimson hue. Slight retention as well as a nice cap as it settles down. The nose brings forward a sourness as well as some funk and oak. Strong lactic character. A bit of bourbon. The flavor is quite strong with some bourbon, booze, and a bit of a sour character. The flavor and feel have a bit of a strange astringency plus quite a bit of booze. Very odd indeed. I did not like this nearly as much as the Vlad. Probably my least favorite Cascade beer to date.

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Photo of vissai
3.25/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of mltobin
3.25/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of Arbitrator
3.27/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled 750mL bottle into a glass. A generous gift from ramnuts. Thanks, Frank!

I simply could not budge this cork. I wound up using a corkscrew opener on it.

A: A slow gusher out of the bottle. It settles into the glass with a purple-brown (puce) body and tan head. Good retention and nice curtains of lace down the sides of the glass.

S: There's an immediate whiff of dates from the bottle as I remove the cork. Lactic sourness, oak, roast, bourbon, and brown sugar. This has the signature Cascade smell that I associate with their various Flanders Reds. It's also vaguely buttery, which is not totally upsetting next to the bourbon, but it's not something I enjoy.

T: Bourbon is very noticeable, as are sweeter contributions from brown sugar and caramel. I don't really taste the dates, even though I smelled them. There's plenty of grape (wine, I suppose). Vanilla, too. As the beer warmed, cinnamon emerged. The finish has lactic sourness with a mild tannic astringency. It's also boozy, though I guess I'd expect that from a 12% beer. That aside, the flavors are well integrated.

M: Boozy. It's not quite solventy, but it's a bit harsh. Carbonation is high and foamy. I wound up swirling a lot of it out just to get the beer to drink better. It was taking away from the flavor. I am impressed by how it starts off sour, becomes sweet and creamy, then finishes sour once more. Very interesting.

D: In 2009, I had the opportunity to sample a different version of this beer out of the barrels at the Raccoon Lodge. That was better than this one, but you get an idea of what they were aiming for. This is a very interesting beer and is worth a try.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.35/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another big thanks to Sean for brining this pair...Pours a watery dark brown, semi clear, not overly attractive. Light tan head with some nice retention, spotty lacing...Aroma full of oak, spicy bourbon, acidic...Taste is lactic oak, almost reminds me of something infected, spice shows off predominantly too. The taste is less successful. A weird oaky finish that I don't like.

Decent, but nothing special at all.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.36/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Well since his cellar is apparently a black hole of all things sour and barrel aged. No surprise sweemzander busted this out during our night of the wilds. Poured into a tulip.

A: Rusty cola brown. Huge two fingers of beige head. Modest sticky lace. No cap.

S: Whoa! Hello bourbon. I pretty much only get a hint of play doh and maybe a tiny bit of sourness. This one is aptly named.

T: Thankfully the bourbon has decided to play nice with the other flavors. I can pick out some tart citrus, spices and sweet dark fruits. Plenty of bourbon though.

M: Medium body with light carbonation.

D: Overall not my favorite of the evening. Maybe laying it down for a good while would help round thins out.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: 750ml brown glass format. Wirecage and cork.

12% ABV. "Ale aged in Oak barrels with Spices." 2011 project. "NW style sour ale." "Blend of spiced Double Porters that were aged in Bourbon and wine barrels for 18 months before aging on dates and spices for up to an additional 12 months." "Bottle-conditioned sour ale."

HEAD: Fizzles out quickly, receding inside 2 minutes - but that's respectable at 12% ABV. Pale khaki in colour. Thin and weak. Airy and light. Not creamy, full, dark, or robust.

BODY: Opaque solid dark sanguine-black. No yeast/lees are visible within.

Appears adequately carbonated. Not a unique look for a beer, but its vibrant reddish hues render it appealing for a sour ale.

AROMA: Some damp cardboard indicates slight oxidation. Leathery and a bit oaky. Barrel vanillin. Red wine. A blip of gooey bourbon is buried in there (probably in the second act). Slight wine acidity. Spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom. Fruitwise, I wouldn't have pegged the dark fruit for dates in a blind tasting, but there's definitey gooey dark fruit present in the aroma; I can't decide between date, prune, or raisin. Malty sweetness runs throughout, suggesting both dark malts and amber malts. There's no chocolatey sweetness or roasted barley (as one might expect in a beer with a porter base).

Some brettanomyces funkiness is present throughout, along with a kiss of lactobacillus bacteria-induced sourness, but it clocks in at a meagre ~2-3/10 in terms of sour intensity and the funkiness is easily more prominent; I'd like to see sourness exceed funkiness (particularly in a sour ale).

Suggests a chewy brew that doesn't betray its well-disguised ABV.

Aromatic intensity is average.

No overt hoppy or yeasty flavours. Aside from the damp cardboard, I find no off-notes.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Gooey almost jammy dates inject heavy dark fruit sweetness into this sour ale, drowning out the mild sourness (think 2/10 in terms of intensity) with sweetness...the result is a brew that doesn't really deliver on its sour ale categorization. The bacteria (lactobacillus only; I don't find any pediococcus in this) can't withstand the sweet onslaught of dark malts, chocolate malts, amber malts, and grape & date fruit, and the spices (cinnamon in particular, backed by subsidiary cardamom and nutmeg) throw off the mouthfeel, bending this brew towards a scrapey dry coarseness lending it a rough unrefreshing feel on the palate. More smacky tartness and more of a light medium-bodied refreshing feel would do this wonders.

Bourbon undertones are present throughout, bringing notes of barrel vanillin, gooey bourbon, subdued reticent oak, and barrel sugars into the fold along with (unfortunately) some undeniable wet cardboard off-flavour blatantly indicative of oxidation. Maybe I aged this too long?

Wine acidity is present throughout, reaching full intensity in the third act wherein it helps accentuate the fruity flavours. Ruinous brettanomyces funkiness bludgeons the drinker, making this feel almost more like an infected imperial porter than a true-to-form sour ale. Why the funkiness is so prominent yet the sourness so reticent is beyond me.

Depth of flavour is average. It's a complex ale, but it doesn't come together to comprise a gestalt harmonious whole of a beer; the spices clash with the brettanomyces yeast(s) and both clash with the bourbon and porter-like flavours.

Well-carbonated. Average flavour intensity. Moderate flavour duration.

Alcohol warmth is present but also welcome, helping play to the gooey leathery bourbon. But since the leathery rough texture isn't in service of the flavours being showcased here, I can't say it's effective overall.

OVERALL: More drinkable than I expected of a 12% sour imperial porter brewed with dates and spices, but still a sipper. Unlike sour dark beers from The Bruery, this offering from Cascade doesn't marry sour ale flavours with dark ale flavours to favourable effect. The drinker is left navigating a complex yet clashing hodgepodge of flavours, and one can't help but wonder if the beer would have been better if brewed as a straightforward barrel aged imperial porter. More commitment to the bacteria is needed (and let's throw in pediococcus instead of just lactobombing, Cascade), and I'd like to see them ditch the dates and spices. A more jammy fruity wine barrel (maybe Napa Cabernet Sauvignon) would play much better to this flavour profile, and a more memorable bourbon barrel could bring more to the mix. If not for the troublesome wet cardboard off-flavour, I might like this quite a bit more, and I do think there's real potential here, but as-is I can't recommend it to others even though there's a lot I like in this. Not a beer I'd buy again (especially at Cascade's prices), but I'm glad I got to try it and I'll enjoy finishing the bottle.

High B- (3,38) / WORTHY

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Photo of grownfool
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

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Cascade Bourbonic Plague from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 599 ratings