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: 128 | Ratings: 567
Photo of rye726
4.97/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my kind of beer. Big, dark malt bill complimented by wild yeast, figs and bourbon barrels. Pours a dark mahogany with a silky tan head. Nose is sour and funky with dates, vanilla, bourbon, oak, wine, ripe pitted fruits, rich malts and spices. Taste is super complex yet perfectly balanced. Full, refreshing body. Near perfect, reminds me of finer vintages of Cuvee de Tomme

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Photo of gford217
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Pours deep mahogany with no light showing through and a big bubbly beige head that recedes really slowly and leaves spotty lacing.

Aroma is excellent with chocolate covered cherries, brown sugar and a solid lactic tartness.  There is some bourbon and vanilla though they are not dominant.

The taste doesn't live up to aroma for me, starting with an earthy Fu mixed with bourbon.  The tart cherries aren't as prevalent though there is a bit of cocoa powder.  The finish is boozy with a little brett and a ton of oak.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and silky smooth.

The nose really had me hoping for more but the flavors don't quite come together for me.  Maybe it's the bourbon and oak but the taste is much heavier than I expected as well. Still a very good beer.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Beerzebub for the bottle; shared at Willard's sour mini-tasting.

A - Pours a chestnut-brown hue and is capped with a decent head of off-white froth.

S - The nose is dark fruity and vinous like a wine-aged Quad; also malty-rich like a -bal Barleywine with notes of molasses, Bourbon, oak and vanilla; lastly there is a tart-sour aspect reminiscent of Consecration. Very unusual and complex.

T - The flavor delivers more Bourbon than the nose, and less fruit overall. Dark fruit flavors are still noted, but are overshadowed by toffee-caramel, buttery oak, molasses, vanilla and sweet Bourbon. There is a good amount of Quad-like spices, and the cinnamon contribution is discernible. Oak is a consistent factor throughout, but it begins as more of a buttery-boozy oak, and ends up eventually contributing a good deal of dry and tannic notes. As it airs out, vinous and dark fruity notes become more apparent, especially date, fig and plum, as well as an increased sensibility of Cascade's typical lactic tartness.

M - The feel is nice. Medium-bodied, softly effervescent and quite dry

O - I am not typically into dark sours, but there are exceptions, and this is certainly one of them. Well-done; I can taste all the ingredients, and the brew manages to meld some disparate elements quite harmoniously.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle, opened 06/2011. Gushed quite a bit after popping the cork, and then poured a dark cola brown into a tulip with two fingers of light khaki head.

Sour cherry dominates the aroma with hints of date sugar, vanilla, and a bit of dark malt. Slightly high carbonation and a full (but not thick) mouthfeel. Tart cherry up front mixed with woody vanilla, sweet date malt, and a surprisingly detectable cinnamon presence. Long sour cherry finish.

Amazing beer that's really easy to drink despite the 11.5 ABV, which goes almost unnoticed. Even though the sourness dominates it still allows all the other flavors to really come through.

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Photo of GrandCruDrew
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL poured in my De Struise globe.

A- Dark brown, dark enough to not see through. about an inch head, some retention. Little lacing

S- Brett is huge, funk, caramel, dark dry fruits.

T- Brett, chocolate covered cherries, caramel, raisons, oak and dates.

M- Smooth on the tongue. Good balance and acidity. Caramely smooth.

Overall- Beautiful beer. Great nose, taste and mouthfeel. Great drinkability for 11.5%.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured intoa tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.
Vintage: 2009
ABV: 12.1%

A - A hard to remove cork preempts a loud pop followed by a slowly rising head inside the bottle. A nice pour reveals a dark mahogany brown with some amber and caramel edges. There is a nice 0.5 inch head that is light cream colored with some nice dense bubbles.

S - Aroma of tart cherries followed by some nice slight vinegar notes. Slight vanilla and sweet bourbon notes are present mixed in with some nice dry woody oak notes. There are some midl chocolate notes as well as some nice bready grain notes and some caramel.

T & M - Starts off with a nice mix of sour and sweet. Cherrie tartness and sweetness mixed in with some nice sweet caramel and some good slightly vinegar notes. The Bourbon sweetness is delicious and goes very well with the sourness. Some nice grape notes almost Cabernet like. There is also some nice dark fruit sweetness that is mixed in with the delicious lactic sourness as well some nice pieces. There is some slight funk to the beer but tis note as present as other sour ales (no Brett maybe). Not too intense but very present. Wow this is delicious. There is some delicious wood notes to this beer as well that are extremely complex. The finish is nice and dry with a very wood forward aroma and flavor. Mouthfeel is medium with some delicious carbonation and great flavors.

O - Wow this beer was great. I was a bit hesitant but the age seems to have done it some good. Much more complex and not boozy at all. The Bourbon mixes in very well with the sour notes and so do the wine notes.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle into a tulip glass

2009 vintage

A- Pours a dark dark murky muddy brown with a huge 2 finger khaki head that sizzles away slowly. Seems like there's a good amount of carbonation in this one.

S- Really sweet dark fruits notes, brett and funk, slight chocolate or cocoa, cinnamon, oak and vanilla. Slight bourbon notes but not as much as I was expecting.

T- Wow. Up front your tongue is blessed by caramel, sweet dark fruits, raisins, dates, as well as some dark burnt sugars or molasses. On top of that there's a nice cinnamon spice as well as some sweet vanilla and oak notes in the finish. The sour funk is there but nothing to over the top, just enough to create a solid mouthfeel for the style. Just when you thought you figured it out the bourbon notes come through and create a really unique tasting beer that is just exceptional.

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation and a nice slightly tart funky finish.

Overall this is everything I love in a beer. Tart, dark fruits, and that slight hint of bourbon. Excellent beer.


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Photo of emmasdad
4.79/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ratman for sharing a bottle of this one (so happy I have one in the cellar), if only to confirm how great this beer is. Poured a murky dark brown color with a little tan head. Aromas of tartness, oak, funk, bourbon, booze, and cherries. On the palate, medium bodied, balanced, tart and drinkable (dangerously so), with flavors of bourbon, alcohol, wood, oak, dark cherries and funk. Simply amazing.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Poured into a champage glass.

Appearance- Dark, murky crimson with a small, off white head. Small amount of lacing. 3.5/5

Smell- Tart cherry-off- the-tree smell. Some alcohol and bits of cinamonn. 4/5

Taste- Very tart. Cherry and cinnamon. Sweetness comes out later, I contribute to the dates and the caramel malts. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied beer. Good for the style 4/5

Overall- Great beer! Not a crazy sour, but something you can sink your teeth into. It is a very interesting beer. Very complex. 4.5/5

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed last week during the Great Verizon Snafu of 2011.

Watch out 'cos this is a slow gusher! The beer itself is a beautiful dark brown with mahogany highlights, there's a dense, thick light brown head with great retention. The nose is great. Rich, vinous, tart and with a little bit of bourbony coconut, I'm immediately impressed. Layers of dark fruit, cocoa, buckwheat honey, tobacco and some leather are present. The cocoa/chocolate character has a mild floral aspect to it as well. The date character makes me think of dates soaked in chocolate and mildly spiced. A clean lactic sourness rounds out the nose.

The palate opens with a blend of tartness, sweetness, wine and a little bourbon. Again, i's a beautifully complex beer. Spicy with some coriander and maybe some nutmeg? Cocoa liqueur-like, almost unsweetened, with a pleasing bitterness. Nice dark fruit character is present, though not easily recognizable as dates, even when I pair it with one! A clean, lactic sourness keeps this refreshing. Sweet and sour on the finish with a mild cocoa bitterness, this is a rather beautifully balanced beer. Bourbon is mainly present as a mild coconit initially and a boozy warmth with a touch of vanilla on the finish. Medium-full in body with moderate carbonation, this is rather excellent on the palate. Highly recommended.

All told, this is one of those few Cascade beers where I've found the lack of bug complexity hasn't been to a detriment. Well done, guys!

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Photo of jag21
4.51/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad to get to try this one.

A: Almost opaque brown, thin tan head, not much lacing.

S: Dark fruits, sour lacto, some vanilla and cinnamon

T: Follows the smell but with bourbon. The mix of flavors, with the porter base, is really something different, and in a good way.

M: Good amount of carbonation, I might have liked even a bit less for a creamier mouthfeel

O/D: Not something to session, but one of the most unique and complex sippers out there.

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Photo of richtersf
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best beer in the world. Sour bourbony vanilla dark ale. More complex than a lot are capable of. People saying this beer isn't good is like a 4 year old saying Chopin isn't good. You won't be disappointed if you appreciate the brewing, blending and souring process.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.14/5  rDev -49.2%
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 :(

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure who to thank, somebody brought this to a tasting at Jackie O's. The beer was dark brown with a reddish tint and a huge tan foam. The aromas of bourbon (duh) and soured wine, it smells tart and strong.

It tastes vinous and sour, with nicely integrated bourbon notes, actually really tasty. A little bit of everything currently hot in special release beers. It almost gets a little vinegar flavor at points, but still pretty solid tasting overall.

Light but adequate carbonation, this goes down more easily than I thought it might. Very very good.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to urwithdave for sharing. 750 ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Dark, muddy brown color. The pour dropped a nice finger of fizzy, tan head that quickly faded to a thin rim. Not much lace to this one.

A: I get the notes of sugary plums and dates, with a very nice sourness from the lacto. Not too much bourbon in the nose. Very complex, one of the more complex noses I have smelled.

T: The bourbon comes through here, not in an overpowering way, just in a nice way. The sweet fruit is soured nicely. This is not a mouth puckerer, or a bourbon bomb, just a very nice mix.

M: Medium body, aggresive carbonation. A little thicker than most sours, but not bad.

O: This was one interesting brew. Super complex, not overly sour, not overly sweet, and not too much bourbon. Very solid and unique offering from Cascade. Skal.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pretty dark. A very nice brown with some reddish tint to it. A bit of white head. Smells very sour and tart. Lots of oaky bourbon on the nose. Tastes very sour lots and lots of bourbon heavy on the tongue. The oakiness is prominent. Not much vanilla. Vry nicely carbonated.

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Photo of brew3crew
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Part of the epic tasting at jackie o's with brad and Co.

A-dark maroon in color with white whispy head
S-very sour smelling. Fruity
T-very sweet and sour tasting. Finishes very smooth
M-medium body with a nice clean finish
O-good brew but overshadowed by some today

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sent by msubulldog25 in a recent trade, the text immediately intrigues, as does the great name: "Bourbonic Plague - Northwest Style Sour Ale - ale brewed with spices and aged in used oak wine and bourbon barrels on vanilla beans and cinnamon then fermented with dates." Additionally, the label says this is a "huge, spiced double porter...lactic fermented in select barrels for over 12 months and fed on a rich diet of dates."

Huh. You can just imagine dead beer traditionalists rolling in their graves. Its likely too much for some of the living as well.

I expected this bottled conditioned beer to gush, and it did. I was prepared but spent some time babysitting it until it chilled out, which included pouring a full glass then having to push more into a second glass until things settled down in there. So, what results is a huge head, rocky and stiff and tan, quite beautiful actually, like an airy ice cream. Liquid is a super murky dark brown, looks wonderful.

Aroma is a hugely vinous thing, more tart than sweet, more green than something this well aged was expected to smell like. I get some oak and date too, a little bit of the bourbon, though nothing of the vanilla or cinnamon comes to the nose.

To say this is a complex beer is not only stating the obvious, but also understating it. Nearly every sip brings a new view, a new impression, as my taste buds wrangle with this ridiculous monster. Its vinous aromatic qualities are also a prime feature of the taste. They're wrapped in a woody, earthy exterior, and the piquant flavor of alcohol-soaked dates comes through as well. The cinnamon and vanilla are no doubt that brighter spice character I'm tasting, although they've been totally transformed through barrel aging. Bourbonic Plague (what a great name) finishes tart and fruity sweet, with earthiness shining through to balance. Interesting that the bourbon is only a mere flash amongst many flavors. It's hard to brew with a bourbon barrel and not have that dominate, showing what a complex, challenging creature we're dealing with here, and what a good job they've done of incorporating everything evenly. The only Belgian characteristic here is the yeast, but it's a big one. Wild ales are derived from ancient Belgian traditions, and here the yeast puts that big Belgian stamp on an otherwise all-West Coast mutant. Thankfully, the roasty porter base comes through just enough, and that's good, as I find many sours to be good and sour, but they can also mask most if not all the base beer elements. Not this one. The alcohol? Oh, that? Hardly detectable, but maybe the flurry of impressions is just distracting. Still, very well hidden, I'd say, especially for 11.5%!

Not terribly dry, as some sours are, the tartness causes a palpable physical pucker in the mouth, although it's actually subtle and not an annoyance. Otherwise this has both smooth and crisp characteristics, texturally about as complex as the taste is.

While sours are not totally my thing, this one is clearly exerting its own unique personality in that realm, and what could have been an unholy mess has turned out very well. I'm going to savor this sucker the rest of the night. A definite slow drinker and one to cherish while there's still some in the glass.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to schen9303 for sharing this one. Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a Southampton oversized snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a 3 finger frothy off-white colored head with outstanding retention. Beer is an opaque black and lacing is patchy and stringy with excellent cling. This one's a real beauty.

S: Nose is pungent bourbon with hints of chocolate, sour cherry, purple wine grapes, and subtle roasted malts. Flavors work perfectly with each other here with a slight tartness that tickles the nose exquisitely complementing a robust, but not overwhelming bourbon presence. Very unique also though perhaps not quite to style.

T: Opens with a slight cherry tartness and dark fruit. Transitions into sour wine grapes and cherry puree with overtones of roasted malt and sour liquorice. Bourbon barrels linger in the background providing a nice sweet complement along with a degree of cobwebby Brettiness. End is chocolate, roasted malt, and sour cherry and grape with notes of prune and sour, unripened plum. Finish is tart dark fruit, bourbon, and a bit of smoke. Aftertaste is slightly dry and ashy. Might be the first sour dark beer that I'm a fan of!!!

M: Medium bodied and highly carbonated. Bubbly and a bit grainy in the mouth and abrasive at the edges. Tingly going down with a messy aftertaste and a dry, lingering aftertaste. This one's pretty standard but missing a degree of crispness at the finish that would have put it more over the top.

D: Much better than its cousin Vlad the IMPaler in my opinion, this is a really well made sour porter. What sets it apart is a nice balance between sour and sweet with a ton of complexity that captures both the Brett and funk aspect as well as the roasted malt, dark fruit, and chocolate aspect. I'll definitely be coming back to this one.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.36/5  rDev -20.2%
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 Soonami
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cascade bourbonic plague is such an interesting beer. It is for sure the most complex sour beer I've had to date (hehe). This is a dark brown beer with a sand colored head. The beautiful aroma just bursts out of this beer--it's a lot like a loaf of baking fruit cake with spicy cinnamon, clove and vanilla, sweet dried fruit and slightly sour like overripe bananas. The beer tasted like it smelled with a lot more pronounced vanilla and oaky bourbon flavors. There is a nice molassesy sweetness from the dates and a warming spiciness. The alcohol is very well hidden in this very complex beer with just a slight warming feel on the back of the throat. Very complex and although the ingredients don't seem like they should work together they really come together grounded by the very good base porter

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Photo of dragonWhale
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this stored in the fridge for a month or so to slow down the explosiveness of these bottles. After wrestling with the cork for a few minutes, finally getting out some channel locks to open it.. I succeeded! And it didn't even foam over (right away). Was able to pour into my goblet for pure enjoyment. Dark brown super bubbly, red highlights. Woo! Aromas of vanilla, dates, a whiff of a clean sourness soiled by the dates, some prickly spice (cinnamon, yeah?). A lot going on..this is more like I remember from the tap!
I taste the beauty, the sour dates, some spice, vanilla, a little bourbon, it is a beautiful sour. Not as thin as some of the previous bottles I'd had. The carbonation in this one was perfect, puncturing tiny flavor wounds in my entire mouth. Dammit, I wish they had more of this one. And I wish I had more as well.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a deep red color, it was a gusher but after it settled off it had a nice tannish cap to top it off

S: Bourbon, tart, vanilla, grapes and some cherry hints

T: A lighter red wine/port wine feel and texture, spices, cinnamon, hints at vanilla, wood and plenty of bourbon, did I mention some cherries, ripe and unripened grapes, perhaps vinegar. The booze was def noticable from beginning to end. I did not get the brown sugar but received some molasses kicks.

M: Nice feel and well carbonated.

D: Very drinkable and an excellent example of the style

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Photo of Gfunk720
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared with my roomate, out of my Lost Abbey tulip.

A- Pitch black. Crazy amounts of foam, creeping up out of the bottle. The head is a khaki color, and there is no end to it.

S- Smooth red wine, lots of oak. Little bit of bourbony vanilla, but the lactic sourness is also very prevalent.

T- A beautiful blend of flavors. Smooth with a touch of bourbon at first, with strong vinous oak notes transitioning. The sourness is a great touch, and just the right melding of flavor. Some smoky porter hints as well, also some cinnamon and spice.

M- I thought this was going to be super fizzy, but it is just about right. Nice body, very nice transitional flavor.

D- I thought this was going to be a huge overwhelming beer, but its actually quite tasty. I really wouldn't think these ingredients would work together, but it blends so well. Cascade...just wow.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle split and poured into a tulip. 12.1% ABV, 2009 Vintage.

Yep, another Wild to TICKle my fancy. Thanks sweemzander! Beer #6 completed the night of epic proportions...

A - Bourbonic is dark black with clear brown highlights topped by a low tan head with decent retention for the pile of loose bubbles. Nothing great to see really.

S - Lightly toasted chocolate malts pair well with the great barnyard funkiness. Tart, cocoa, dark cherry, and mild yeast on the finish. Well-blended wild aroma that doesn't go too far. I like the nuances in this one!

T - Roasted black malts and cocoa with light bittersweet chocolate and an oak-like barrel flavor with some alcohol on the back end. Nice Brett funkiness comes in and spices the whole thing up.

M - Strong carbonation and a crisp, light finish with a tart, penetrating feel. Warm alcohol is felt in sensation both in the stomach and through retro-nasal breathing.

D - Nice and roasted maltiness is balanced by a complimentary Brett funk that takes the place of hops, this beer goes down pretty well for being as strong as it is.

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Cascade Bourbonic Plague from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
4.21 out of 5 based on 567 ratings.
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