Cascade Bourbonic Plague | Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

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Cascade Bourbonic PlagueCascade Bourbonic Plague
596 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: 596 |  Reviews: 132
Photo of Verecund
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As others have reported, this is a bit of a gusher, even when served (fairly) coldly.

Opened on 10.31.2010.

Pours a dark lava, ashen brown, and the mocha head settles into a third finger of lace-giving froth.

Curious, inviting nose. There's brown sugar and caramel sweetness, but it's overtaken by the wine barrel, dark fruit character, and some unidentifiable spiciness. Quite vinous; some lactic character as well.

Lactic acidity sits on the tip of the tongue. The base is sweet porter with a good bit of dark prunus fruit character (plum), but some spiciness comes in mid-palate. The oak is smooth and not overpowering, and I also get some vanilla as this warms. Grape-like, vinous finish. I still don't get much bourbon out of it, but the wine barrels lend themselves nicely here.

Medium-bodied, and surprisingly full and carbonated in the mouth. It's unsurprisingly warming, though not hot.

Aside from being a great beer, this one would be a nice transition beer for the heavy porter/RIS guy who avoids sour, as the lactic notes cut through, but don't overwhelm, the base beers.

If I had a more interesting word to say interesting, I would use it; unusual and winning.

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Photo of mrandypandy
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked bottle shipped from the brewery. For the record, the exorbant shipping fees have NO effect on my score.

A- Pours a dark brown with ruby/amber highlights. Head dies down after initial pour, but hangs around.
S- Interesting. I get some of the wine barrels, not much bourbon, lactic tartness and fruits/spices. It works.
T- Taste picks up right from the aroma. I don't get "porter" from this, more of a brown ale with lactic sourness to it. Plus the wine and dark fruits. Again, not much bourbon, more wine/port qualities to it.
M- Medium to full body with a good amount of carbonation. Not too heavy or sweet.
D- High. Very complex, lots of flavors going on, and just like the Vlad the ABV is very well masked. If I wasn't splitting the bottle amongst friends I could have enjoyed the whole bottle over the course of an hour or so.

Overall - Had this side-by-side with Vlad, and it's almost a dead heat for me. It's almost like a spiced and fruited Flanders aged in a wine barrel. Complex, flavorful, and recommended.

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Photo of mjn5036
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Again, a huge THANKS to hopsbreath for this one!

I could tell as I wrestled with the cork there was a lot of pressure behind this one. Glass ready, I popped the cork. An initial gush of foam erupted from the bottle but not much was lost. The beer pours a dark brown with nice ruby highlights. A large, two or three finger head quickly rises and falls leaving ample carbonation bubbles bursting about at the surface.

The smell is initially of dark ripe fruits, sour, spicy, earthy with a finale of booze - bourbon-esque with a hint of sweet vanilla and caramelized sugars. There are definitely some obscure smells that I simply can't put my nose on. It is quite unique indeed.

I am no expert on bourbon but I do enjoy it and this beer is reminiscent of it in many ways. This is not to be confused with a harsh boozy characteristic. There is a forward bourbon flavor on the front with a strong spice and ripe, earthy fruit characteristics. It is sour, of course, but is subtle in the way is presents itself. The back end is significantly malty with a strong presence of cinnamon. The porter characteristics seem to be lost with all the different flavors going on in this beer, but it doesn't hurt it overall in my opinion.

Medium bodied, the high level of carbonation makes this beer less viscous and certainly more enjoyable. The alcohol, present only in my flushed cheeks, is handled very well. There is no harsh booziness that many big beers fail to conquer.

Wow. This beer is hands down amazing - and it only grows on you the more you have. One to sip, that is for certain, but incredibly enjoyable from first to last.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The most explosive gusher I've ever seen. I lost at least half the bottle, wow. Pours dark reddish brown, pretty opaque, with a medium beige head. Nose is oak, dark fruits like currants and plums, wine barrel. Reminds me a bit of Consecration, nicely refined and subtle. Mouth is rich and full, raisin-like, plums, a nice lightly tannic wine barrel. Lightly sour with an earthy, sweet finish. A bit of heat, but bourbon doesn't really come through, seems more like a red wine barrel was used, but it's subtle. The dark fruit sugars on the finish are a bit too sweet right now, that's the big knock I have on this. It has some great nuances and it may improve for a time in the bottle.

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Photo of digita7693
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Cascade barrel house

A very dark, stout like, slight red color on the edges, very slight tanish white film of a head

S nice mix of spices, bourbon and sourness... kind of a strange combination, not sure what to think

T This is something different. tastes of a full bodied red wine, with some oak notes, vanilla and a splash of bourbon with some sourness to it. its somewhat port like with a hint of stout. very unique, yet delicious

M/D good carbonation, easy drinking. Very drinkable, but not sure I could take more than 1 or 2 at a time

Not sure what to say, one of the most unique beers I have had, absolutely delicious and confusing, is it a stout, a sour, a port? apparently it is all of the above and wonderful

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Photo of TulipSnifter
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer is dark with amber edges and it has no cap.
Smell: I smell a lot of alcohol.
Taste: strong alcohol, sour, hint of prune, complex.
Mouth feel: This is a very strong beer.
Drink ability: This beer is good to sip but I couldn't drink much of this beer.

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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.

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Photo of John_M
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the barrel room today. Beers like this just leave you shaking your head in wonderment.

BP pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and lacing. The beer looks pretty nice, but it wasn't until I dipped my beak into the glass that I started to understand the mystique surrounding this beer. The nose is incredibly complex in this beer, showcasing dark fruit, light sour, dark chocolate, mocha and a hint of bourbon. This beer smells great, no doubt, but then I took my first sip. Mama mia is this yummy! On the palate, the bourbon is much more prevalent, and it marries well with the dark chocolate, wine flavor, dark fruits, vanilla and light sour. The combination of flavor in this delicious beer is amazing. Also, while there's some sweetness to this beer, it's balanced incredibly well by the dark fruits, wine flavor and light sour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, with a very long, very smooth finish. As I've come to expect with most Cascade beers, the alcohol is very well disguised, and always seems much less than it actually is. Based on what I experienced on the palate, I would have thought for all the world that this was a 7% or 8% beer, instead of the 12% listed on the menu. This gives one the foolish impression that they can drink a fair amount of this great beer, which really would not be a very good idea.

In any event, this is just delicious stuff, and is clearly a very special, well crafted beer. Yummm!!!!

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Photo of Elendinn
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Barrel House -- served in a snifter.

A - deep, deep, deep red; vinous, like a pinot noir, save for the carbonation. No head to speak of and very thin, tan lacing around the edges.

S - bourbon dominates the nose, followed by vinous grapes (reminiscent of pinot noir), a port-like sweetness, figs, dates, wood, and hints of vanilla and spice.

T - potent, tannic red wine -- pinot noir or cabernet sauvingon. Bourbon makes its presence known, though never overwhelmingly so, followed by a hint of vanilla; the cinnamon is faintly present in the backend, along with other spices. The vanilla and cinnamon become more perceptible as the beer warms, transforming it from a dry red to a port.

M - fair amount of carbonation, which is good, as it would've been syrupy otherwise. Full-bodied.

D - considering its similarities to wine, it's incredibly drinkable. Quite possibly the most complex, most exquisite, best beer I've ever had. Perfection.

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Photo of elliot23
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Poured into a snifter at the Barrel House. Great color for a sour. Super dark, almost like a cup of coffee. Redish hue to it as well. Looks great.

N. What a nose. I can't keep my face out of this one. Lots of dark fruit. Some cinnamin and vanilla in there. A small touch of alcohol, but pretty mild considering the abv. Some bourbon and oak can also be pulled from this as it warms.

T. Amazing on all fronts. Very aggressive beer. Really unique. Never thought I'd have a barrel aged sour porter. Lots of oak and vanilla in the taste. I can also pull out some strong dates in there as well. A little dark cherry and some alcohol finish round this one out. Amazing how the 12% abv is hidden though.

M. Pretty full for a sour. Good carbonation as well. Pretty warming on the mouth. Good stuff.

After one glass I can feel it. To be expected though. Goes down dangerously easy though. Can't wait for bottles of this one!

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This arrived to my wifes and my table at the Cascade Barrel House today right after Vlad. Poured into a mini snifter, this beer looks like medium bodied coffee with some deep ruby edges. A thin wispy snow white ring on the edges tells me that this is indeed carbonated. No lacing is present.

Again on the nose I'm getting lots of vanilla similar to Vlad. Dissimilar to Vlad, I'm picking up on prunes and dark chocolate. Sweet carrot cake with some dark liquor make this interesting.

Wow does this have some serious bourbon notes! Sweet cherry, bitter grape skin, and soured coffee role all over the palate here! The alcohol never goes away nor does it try to hide! I like it!

Mouthfeel is thinner than Vlad and more in line with how I like my sours to feel.

Drinkability is oh so good. Whole 750's are gonna disappear with ease when this comes out in bottles!

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Photo of djbreezy
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Barrel House. Just a little taste.

appearance - dark brown, no head or lacing

smell - vanilla, fruit, spice

taste - oak flavors, sour, cinnamon, prominent vanilla bean, maybe some chocolate snuck in

mouthfeel - well carbonated, medium body for 11.5 percent, slightly dry finish

drinkability - highly complex, enjoyable, quite unique

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

On tap as a taster at their new barrel house... as I was having too much fun enjoying two full size glasses of some others....

- Nice mocha head, silky, stuck around a bit over a nice dark molasses looking brew... brown, mysterious..

- Wonderful sweetness.. oak, bourbon, even a butterscotch or buttery rum scent... light tartness... earthy... light funk..

- My oh my what a tasty number.... like Ron said... it's a nice After dinner brew or morning.. I could drink this stuff all day.... light grains, cocoa... earthiness.. butterscotch, buttery candy.. tart porter qualities... all blended so well.. this brew is a masterpiece....

- Light bodied, slightly syrupy sweet... but yet very well carbonated....

- A must have! Very easy to drink.. can't taste the alcohol one bit really... as it is a potent number.... so good.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Day 1 at Cascade's brand-spankin' new Barrel House - a squat goblet poured right to the 8 oz. fill line.

Listed on the menu at 12% ABV

A: The dark brown porter base makes this look like, well...a dark brown porter. A filtered ruby glow glints a little, look closely and you'll witness the tiny carbonation streams. Broken khaki film fails to cover the whole glass, receding to a slim ring and leaving small specks of lace.

S: An odd layering of aromas; unfortunately the first is diacetyl, our buttery/butterscotch 'friend'. Once the initial waves pass, the scent is more tart, showcasing dark fruit, vanilla and spice. An oaken sweetness catches up as the pour warms.

T: A boldly tangy mouthful, earthy and tart fruit, bourbon-soaked. Flavor mimics lemon-lime at times, candy/caramel apple sugar, then more and more vanilla. Ends with an odd herbal grassiness; a drawn-out beer that needs some contemplating between sips. Not sure I love it, but it definitely pushes the boundaries of 'interesting'.

M: Puckering, tongue-twisting and cheek-tugging intensity initially, then a strikingly smooth creaminess beneath. Medium body, barely-present alcohol warming.

D: I'm not gonna say I won't have this again because surely I will. For a beer this 'big' it sure does go down smoothly, though one pour is plenty. At $6.50 for 8 oz. (which isn't a factor for 'drinkability', but is worth noting) I'd be lying if I said I liked this better than some of the less expensive and larger pours of standards like the Apricot or the seasonal Goses. Oh well, to each their own. Certainly worth trying, but not a beer I'm compelled to rush back to.

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

Tasted at the Portland Int'l Beer Festival.

A: Dark brown color, finger-esque head, translucent opaqueness.

S: Sour wildness meets bourbon. Wow. Crazy aroma. Some dark cherry, some bourbon.

T: Very interesting...bourbon-y with sour undertones. Some oak on the tongue, a very unique profile.

M: Very nice on the tongue, not too heavy, not too light.

D: If not for the 11.5% abv, I could sip on this all night. Very pleasing beer, another winner from Cascade.

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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.

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Photo of Overlord
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very pleased to get to try this at Stone sourfest! Thanks for putting on a great event, Bill.

Pours a dark brownish mahogany. Light tan crust. Surprising amount of sediment .. bit crazy, actually.

It combines wine-y, date/raisin, grape, and lingering bourbon with a nice background lactic punch. I didn't think this beer could possibly turn out good given the mixed heritage, but it really was quite special. Must have taken a lot of work to get the sour/dark fruit, lighter sweet notes, vinous oak touch, and bourbon to integrate. Extraordinarily complex, nice lively mouthfeel despite its stocky pedigree.

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Photo of jdense
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

PIB, one of the 'mystery beers', went on tap at opening Friday and was gone in an hour!

One finger light tan head, quick dissipation with minimal lacing. Dark brown opaque body, some visible carbonation, some reddish highlights. Pronounced and deep barrel presence, very complex nose, dark stone fruit, cherries, plum-like esters, little if any hops. Taste mirrors the nose, very complex yet in perfect balance, picked up some chocolatey notes, a bit of tobacco, some horse blanket, one very funky beer. Mouthfeel is medium, not sticky despite fruity characteristics, minimal effervescence leading to a fairly dry finish. My understanding is that the base beer for this blend was a sour porter, interesting. Very drinkable, especially for the style and ABV, alcohol well hidden. Another world class sour from the mad ( :) ) scientist, Ron Gansberg, truly deserving of all the awards and accolades this beer has received. Can't wait for the bottle release next month. Absolutely superb, for fans of Wild Ales and Sours, an essential, and sublime, drinking experience.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Stone Sour Fest. One of the top highlights of the Fest. Pours dark amber brown with a fine tan head. Smell is complex with wild, sour, woody, stone fruit pits, cherry, and slightly sweet notes. Taste is even more intricate with a mild sourness, oak tannins, leather, slight tobacco smoke, sweet and dry. Tart in the back on the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, full, and a little boozy with some tangy zip. Overall, just loved it. Should have gotten more, but too late, all gone.

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

Had this on tap at Bailey's Taproom's anniversary in August '09. The colour was very dark brown with only a thin head. The nose was one heck of an acetic sour puss (and I mean that in a good way!). On the palate, WOW! Sweet and lightly cloying with loads of citrusy sourness that makes me scream for more. Woohoo!!

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Photo of Floydster
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled at the brewery with Ron and Curtis, thanks again for the awesome hospitality guys and pulling this stuff straight out of the barrel, excited to try a sour porter and it did not disappoint in the slightest, reviewed from notes, color is a dark brown with some dark red edges, no head or lacing here, aroma consists of a large amount of bourbon, roasted malts, cherries, lacto, oak, cocoa,, and sour accents, flavor starts off with a nice warming bourbon welcome, immediately falls into a complex mix of sour flavors with cherries leading the way, interesting how the tart and roasty accents from the tart mix, finish has is a bit creamy with vanilla and chocolate rounding out the bourbon flavor which again melds with sour berry flavors and adds some crazy complexity, warm, tart, roasted, and slightly sweet, very interesting mouthfeel, medium to full bodied, could drink a good amount of this stuff considering what it was, do not know the ABV but it seems pretty high although you cannot really taste any of it, smooth all the way to the finish, would like to drink again and look forward to seeing what others think about this one, like nothing I have had before, this one is sure to turn some heads, recommended

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Cascade Bourbonic Plague from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 596 ratings