Cascade Bourbonic Plague | Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

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Cascade Bourbonic PlagueCascade Bourbonic Plague
602 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 602 |  Reviews: 134
Photo of Sammy
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jaydoc
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 551 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

 1,336 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of nmann08
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -23.7%

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

 4,870 characters

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

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 dbrauneis
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Shane!

The bottle gushed a bit upon opening. In the glass it's a dark stained chestnut color; light penetrates the beer ever so slightly. A finger of head settles to a thin crust in time.

It smells unusual, but good. The wine and bourbon barrels are apparent, lending oak, dark fruit, caramel. Dates, vanilla and ambiguous spiciness are equally present. There's a mild lactic sourness on the nose, and a strong overall vinous character.

On the palate it's both malty and sour. The vinous character melds nicely with light lactic acidity up front, but malt takes over quickly thereafter. Dates, molasses, cherries, cola, vanilla and spice - there's a lot going on. The body is tannic and semi-dry, carbonation a bit fizzy at first but smoother as the beer sits. This is enjoyable, but I feel like it's trying to do too many things at once.

 849 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

 978 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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Cascade Bourbonic Plague from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 602 ratings