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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 602 |  Reviews: 134
Photo of taospowder
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nuggetlover
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Whole Foods Glen Mills
Black and oily, minimal tan head.
As advertised, massive bourbon in the nose. Crazy boozy, every one of the 12% detected.
And then you sip it. Some bourbon, but the lacto is in full effect.
Nice balance between the barrel imparted flavors and the tart finish.
Not what I'd expected. The nose got better once I was drinking it , but this went from potentially disappointing to "would seek again" by the end of my first sip.

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Photo of epyon396
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Wisconsin_IPA_Lover
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jtk21351
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of VaTechPhilly
3.64/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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 OKbrew89
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
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 Dirtyhands
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Kmat10
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of shelby415
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of South2NW
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of grover37
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jschott75
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kplummer82
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MammothTarantula
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of samEBC
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Beer-Ed
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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 Moose90
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
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 DoubleSimcoe
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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