Cascade Bourbonic Plague | Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

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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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Reviews: 129 | Ratings: 570
Photo of OKbrew89
4.11/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Holy barrel aging batman. Gorgeous dark brown pour with a monster head that doesn't fade and leaves a ring of lacing. Nose of bourbon, oak, and more bourbon. Taste hits dark fruit, cinnamon, and sour with a whisper of bourbon on the finish. Light body and medium carbonation.
It reeked of barrels but actually came through with a sophisticated and layered beer. Balanced and enjoyable, and definitely not straight bourbon.

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Photo of Moose90
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a deep dark dark brown nearly black, very oily head.

S — Smell is holy Bourbon and spice, vanilla, cinnamon, vinegar, tangy and rich.

T — Rich vanilla, cinnamon, Bourbon and oak. Sour caramel.

M — Medium-Full bodied with a lingering warming finish.

O — Fantastic, very unapologetic barrel character.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery.

A: Opaque cola brown with a tan ring around the rim.

S: Bourbon, oak, porter, dates, raisins and caramel. A vinegar-like tartness pervades throughout.

T: Wow, this one is all over the place, in a very good way. Oak and cherry co-mingle with booziness and vanilla beans. Then, chocolate, toffee and a sweet/sour smack to the tongue get this one moving. A wine-like finish brings it to a crashing close. More, please.

M: Medium with medium, dry carbonation.

O: The best sour I've ever had. My taster's glass was too small for the amount I really wanted/needed. Recommended.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into tulip. “2011 Project” on label.

A: Pours cola colored with cola like carbonation: dark caramel brown with a fizzy and short-lived light brown head. No lace.
S: Lactic acid tartness and a touch of acetic acid and vinegar hit first. As the head fizzes away I get hints of sweet candied fruits, candied dates, and a touch of bourbon and tobacco. There is quite a bit of funk to the nose as well reminiscent of both hay and baby diaper.
T: Thankfully the acidity is way more toned down than the nose suggested. I predominately get flavors of the base blend and barrel treatments, with hint of acidity and tartness. Caramel, chocolate, honey/toffee-like sweetness, and leather hit first, with hints of tobacco, vanilla, and cherry following. There is a suggestion of red wine or sherry in the finish, and the aftertaste has a sweet yet mellow greasy, buttery, oak flavor that lingers alongside a the caramely/honey sweetness.
M: Full body but not an overly heavy or thick mouthfeel, low carbonation, low acidity that is very mellow and pleasant.
O: Drinks extremely well. This had an impressive balance between base flavors, barrel notes, and tart flavors.

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Photo of rand
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Toronado, Beer Week 2015

Complex and layered, with seemingly disparate flavor profiles. Vanilla, oak and cherry bounce off notes of yogurt and wine and a touch of funk. The nose is boozy and juicy, not quite forecasting the flavor profile to come. Weighty and creamy on the palate, the brew closes with a long finish, leaving distinct sweet and sour residuals.

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Photo of jlindros
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to rudzud

Light fizzy darker head fades fairly quickly though nice at first, little lacing, nice legs, super dark chocolate brown with no real light.

Nose brings typical sour dark, tart sour malts, little cherry like, tart lacto sour lactic acid, dark caramel malts, hint cocoa, some dark caramel, hint of bourbon, wine vinegar,-dark candied sweet fruit like date, brown sugar too, sweet raisin bread.

Taste brings more lacto sour funk, little flemmy slimy sour, lactic acid, wine vinegar, etc. Big sweetness, brown sugar, caramel dates and candy, sweet candied raisin date bread, little oaky barrel and bourbon but very little. Dark malts, little cocoa, dark caramel, fudgey cocoa, molasses, hint of booze. Finish more booze warmth little tingle, sticky flemmy sour and acidic, more candy molasses date raisin bread.

Mouth flemmy acidic lactic, booze warmth comes through later, decent carb.

Overall eh, def not my cup of tea. Solid beer if that's you're style.

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Photo of rudzud
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 project. Shared with JLindros.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice dark brown hue with a fat one finger head that fades to leave light wisps and halo.

S - Aromas of sour chocolate cherry, lacto, light bourbon, vinegar red wine. Light date sweetness too.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Decent chocolate fudge, sticky sugars and date, raisins, caramel, the bourbon is somewhat restrained, the wine is rather vinegar.

M -Mouthfeel is brightly carbonated, a bit syrupy and flemmy on the finish.

O - Overall this beer hit all the notes, however, the sour chocolates cherry just doesn't do it for me.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of maximum12
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Moses_Malone; I have been lusting after a bottle of this since I had a few ounces at a tasting last winter. 2011 Vintage, 750ML C&C Weapon of Choice (with apologies to BRMC) split with my wife.

The pour is a dark brown - not to be confused with the more opaque light black - with a 73 year-old man ring of bubbles around the edges. The nose brings some of the advertised qualities to the fore: a fruitiness that’s likely the wine barrels, funky sweet dates, mild bourbon. I like where this is headed.

Bourbonic Plague: like an old girlfriend, can this live up to my fading, idealized memory? The answer is Jessica Ely (translaction: yes…well, I don’t know that for sure, but trust me). True to its name, the barrels are all over this beer: massive bourbon notes with a strong, dry fruitiness that denotes a good Pinot Noir. Underneath the pile of barrel is a whole pantry: mingled spice cabinet, vanilla, maybe a hint of malt of something beerily sweet, rich caramel, with a shot of tart cherry right at the end. Alcohol is felt, but not tasted. Mouthfeel is silky smooth, unusual in a ‘wild’, but likely attributable to the underlying porter. I could drink a metric yard of this. Tonight.

Whatever the base beer, it’s been masterfully remixed into a beast Saruman would be proud of. Huge, aggressive, double-barreled, & just sublime. An extraordinary brew.

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Photo of oceanman907
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A deep murky off-white, tan head with a very dark opaque cloudy dark brown ale
S- Caramel, Chocolate, Vanilla, Green apple, brown sugar some barnyard influence
T- Assertive green apple flavors and a wonderful caramel, brown sugar, with strong vanilla notes
M-Rather thin for how high the alcohol level is for this beer, but the carbonation is right.
O- A really interesting beer, odd combination of flavors: sour, sweet, syrupy, crunchy, boozy. the contradiction of sweet date flavored, caramel porter with strong bourbon and vanilla flavors, matched with a wonderful sour funky profile. a beautiful contradiction.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

this is about as much bourbon character as can be packed into a beer, i mean, its insane, and even though the description here says red wine, this is all about the bourbon. there is definitely a fruitiness to it, i assume a combination of the dates and the malt in it. it also says porters, which i dont necessarily get, the beer is brown but not all that dark, and certainly less roasty on the grain front than most porters i know, especially strong ones. the nose and taste both drip bourbon. mature oak, sweet vanilla, char, and booze. all are apparent and all are perfectly compatible with the chocolaty base beer. im looking for the cinnamon and not really getting it definitely, but i absolutely get a spice element that livens it up in the middle before the bourbon overtakes it in the finish. i love the complexity here, and from a process standpoint this is pretty epic. its fuller bodied but not the least bit heavy or viscous like some huge bourbon barrel beers can be. its more approachable than that. finishes with notes of dried dates, tobacco, and maple, all three things i enjoy in their purest form. cascade keeps pushing the envelope with these barrel aged blends, and this is yet another sparkling gem from them. a must try for wild ale lovers, even though the bourbon definitely trumps the funk this kick at the can.

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Photo of Wobbly
4.64/5  rDev +10.2%

Outstanding, complex, and unusual brew from a very talented brewer. Advanced my understanding of beer, which does not happen with every beer you buy. Hard to get but worth it. Not at all like most American Wild Ales I have tried (and much better). In fact, I am not sure that this is the best style to house this beer in. Yes, it has many of the hallmarks of a wild ale, but this is so unlike the rest I have tried. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the terminology and definitions of the wild ale style?

At any rate, this beer has a dark, purple-black color; you can see the yeast floating around. Decent head, that slowly evaporates. One of the richest, most decadent flavor profiles of any beer I have tried. Fig, vanilla, dates. Really solid beer.

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Photo of rlee1390
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Black in the glass, not much carbonation, clear amber brown when pouring.

S-Chocolate, dates, dark fruits, some roasted malt, bourbon and wine. Some funk.

T-Same as the nose but the flavors are not meshing that well together.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation and a tad thick.

O-I was expecting more from this beer, especially given the price tag.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml, Vintage 2011
IME snifter

A: Pours a murky deep brown color. You can see some light through. Collar of light tan. Some lacing.

S: Lots of dark fruit. Dates. Vanilla. Oak. Funk. Dry.

T: Big dark fruit up front. Those dates come through. Vanilla. Oak. Funk. Really tannic. Lots of Cab Sav character. Dry finish.

M: Fuller medium. Not as carbonated as other sours.

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Photo of PlinyBeMiney
4.87/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2011 Project. Wow, this beer is something else! It pours with an intense rush of bubbles that allude to a seemingly high carbonation. As dark as night with ruby undertones. The nose is sour fruit, bourbon, very pleasant. I would say "decadent". This beer is balanced! In no way does any nuance overpower another. The porter is smooth and creamy(this is not over carbonated like I suspected). The sour is subtle and sophisticated. The bourbon smooths everything out and completes the circle of flavor. I hesitated at the $30 mark for this beer, but after this I am sold. Cascade has now twice blown me away with this and Sang Noir.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. 2011 project.

Appearance - Brown body. Nice khaki head. Thick collar and a few islands of foam.

Smell - Bourbon. Oak and vanilla in turn. Acetic, vinegary acididty. Fruity, too.

Taste - Sourness up front. Not as vinegary. A little roasty. Borders on soy saucy. Bourbon permeates the whole drink. Oak and vanilla. I don't get a ton of spice, though.

Mouthfeel - Heavy, syrupy, sweet, and sour. All at once. Medium carbonation.

Overall - I don't know how I feel about this. It's complex, as all Cascades are. It's abrasive, too, though. I keep going back for more, so I guess I like it.

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Photo of draheim
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL (2011 project) into a tulip. Pours a cola-colored reddish brown w/ a thin head.

Aroma is sugary sweet, almost grapelike, balanced by a punchy sourness.

Taste is likewise syrupy, fruity sweet and simultaneously almost vinegar-sour. Lots of residual sugars here. Some bourbon heat too. An unapologetically big, flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel is sticky and pretty thick.

Overall a strong, powerful beer but it lacks the finesse and complexity I was expecting at such a high price tag. A nice sipper but probably a one and done for me.

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Photo of dar482
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer offers beautiful straight sherry notes up front. Sweetness, caramel, toffee, loads of dark fruit, cherries, dates, plums. Bourbon quality surrounds and a slight touch of tart in the back.

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Photo of n2185
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a dark ruby-brown with half a finger of beige head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: sweet and tart fruit notes up front with candied sugar, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. There is a lot going on here and it works well.

T: sweet and tart fruit flavors up front with oak, vanilla, and bourbon. There are also notes of caramel and sour cherries before a smooth, tart finish.

M: medium body with mid-low carbonation, this beer avoids being too watery like some sours.

O: a great beer, overall. There is so much going on and it all works wonderfully together.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the brewery, Portland

Oxblood with beige film.
Deep tart woody nose with no bourbon notes.
Big bourbon hit, sugary preserved peaches, cloves, cinnamon gum, sherry, Christmas cake, Maraschino cherry and some slightly sweet vinegar.
Cherry end and stone linger.
Medium, round, sweet, no heat.

Madly complex, endlessly intricate. Not very sour or very bourbon. A tardis - as much in it as you want to find.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Murky brown with a medium diminishing beige head. Aroma of bourbon, red fruits, vanilla, spices, wood and balsamic notes. Taste is moderately sweet and sour with bourbon, vanilla, red fruits, wood, balsamic notes, a touch of alcohol and red fruits. Medium to full body. Moderate carbonation. Nice complexity.

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Photo of dwagner003
4.86/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Insanely complex beer. Not the prettiest, but the taste and smell are pure heaven. So much going on with every whiff and sip.. It smells tart, with sweet dark fruits and a good amount of vanilla from the bourbon barrels.. Maybe a hint of the vanilla beans. Taste is so deep, with a ton of different flavors popping all at once. Overall, one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of stakem
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle poured into a snifter. The brew appears a clouded brown color with a khaki head. Some mahogany look to it when held to the light. A swirl revives the cap painting patches of lace on the glass.

The aroma is quite vinous initially, then fruity with dark sugars and vanilla. A soft amount of oak. As it warms up, it gets a hint of vinegar overtop molasses, caramel, toffee and earth.

The taste is sour but not sharp. It is vinous and fruity with vanilla, and chocolate malt, vinegar, earth and almost nutty/meaty in the aftertaste. The blend and contrast of fruity/sour verse caramel/vanilla is truely unique and memorable.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. A really unqiue blend of flavors and hands down the best Cascade offering I have had...dare I say top 2-3 best dark sours I have had to date. Wow, I want more of this.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at the barrelhouse

from notes

The commercial description of this beer is pretty ridiculous - another truly unique brew from Cascade. This beer starts innocently enough as a porter base but is then morphed and transformed through oak wine and bourbon barrels, blended with cinnamon and vanilla beans and aged further on dates. I'm not sure where the sour comes into play, but it got in there somehow. Decadent concoction and as complex as they come.

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Photo of TheBeerTruck
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've wanted this beer for more than two years. Much to my grateful surprise, the most generous craft beer sage I know offered up and sent me one a month ago. He cautioned me with much warning that it was spectacular when he first tasted it when it was released and had it again recently and it's not what it once was. Still great, but not as great. I'm OK with that. I'd love to drive a Ferrari for the first time and have it be brand new, but I'd be fine with my first time being in a used one. Same thing, right? :)

A: I hate this category. It either looks right or it doesn't. Outside of that, a beer is going to look how ever the hell it wants. If a beer looks like shit and taste great, the beer looks damn fine to me.

S: I'm not sure where to start. It's as if I'm in the Olympics and I have the exact same best time in all the lanes and now I have to chose which lane I like best. Nough said!

T: Read the details of the beer. The only thing that seems to be missing is the cinnamon. For me, I'd love to taste it fresh to get it all, but that's the one flavor I'd sacrifice.

M: I feel almost the same about this one as I do "smell". If any detail should be addressed, my opinion is it's related to "heat". This beer is 12.1 abv. IMO, if you feel this and you think it's too hot, you need to stop drinking it immediately and call a real craft beer connoisseur so they can bitch slap you right after taking the beer from your hand. If the slap hurts, put on some lipstick to make it feel better.

O: Overall? Yes, please! If the above mediocre compiled thoughts don't give you an idea about how I feel about this beer, read it again. If at second you don't succeed...send me your cellar list so I can choose which beers you need to send me so they'll pour over much more snobby taste buds. :)

If any part of this review offends, aggravates, frustrates, in any way, please take a moment and think and consider this: it's my opinion, I'm always right...or wrong, and I consider myself a shitty writer. I'd rather take pictures of the beer; however, this one deserved more.


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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

2009 vintage.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with malt and bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with fruit and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and interesting.

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Cascade Bourbonic Plague from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
4.21 out of 5 based on 570 ratings.
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