Figaro
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

FigaroFigaro
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Wild Ale
Ranked #246
ABV:
9.5%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,726
Avg:
4.21 | pDev: 8.31%
Reviews:
80
Ratings:
533
From:
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
 
Oregon, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  79
Gots
  102
SCORE
94
Outstanding
FigaroFigaro
Notes: Strong blond beers were aged in fresh Chardonnay barrels for three months and then additionally aged with dried Adriatic white figs and Spanish lemon peel. Aromas of sweet malts, figs, raisins and citrus zest greet you in the nose. Hints of Chardonnay grapes, lemon peel and sweet figs roll across the palate, leading to crisp lemon sharpness in the finish that will leave a lingering sweetness on the tongue.
Reviews: 80 | Ratings: 533 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of stortore
stortore from Illinois

4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a tulip glass. 2014 edition, 9.1%. Had 7/17/19.

Pours a lightly hazy golden amber, with a two inch foamy head with very good retention and some foamy lacing. Aromas of figs, white wine, white grapes, some malt, lemon, peaches, raisins, apples, light yeast, some funk. Smells lightly tart and sour. The flavor shows a good amount of tartness and sourness, and it’s fairly acidic. Tastes of figs, white grapes, lemon, white wine, peaches, apples, malt, some raisins and spices, some oak, some funk. Smooth for what it is, a very good light to medium body, well carbonated. The acid burn is substantial.

The Chardonnay barrels set a nice tone and the figs and lemon peel stand out. Lots of aromas and flavors, especially fruit. Heavy on the sour for sure, and more as it warms. Very enjoyable and different.

Mar 26, 2020
Photo of Roustabout
Roustabout from District of Columbia

4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best American fig beer I've had, and really elegant and clear for a sour. Of all the Cascade Barrel beers I tried maybe the one I'd most like to drink a big pour of.

May 25, 2018
Photo of FFreak
FFreak from Vermont

4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle poured into teku. Pours a perfectly clear light copper color, with a finger of tight, champagne-like bubbles, that recede to a persistent ring. Nice aromas of dried fruit, lemon and oak. Taste is great - not overly sour, nicely balanced, bright, and with a good level of oak. Mouth feel is just right. Overall, this is one of my favorite BA sours ever.

Apr 20, 2018
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Draft at the Barrel House. Bright, clear golden body, substantial foamy head. Big, tart aroma follows through to taste, puckering. And dry, bone dry, drink some water soon dry. A it musty, tart and sweet, lots going on here.Worth seeking out.

Feb 27, 2018
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas from Louisiana

3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

BOTTLE: 2012 project. 750ml format. A hood and wire cage covers its cork. Yellow label. Brown glass.

"NW style sour ale." "Blend of blond ales that were aged in chardonnay oak barrels for up to 18 months before aging on white figs and lemon peel for an additional five months." "Ale aged in oak barrels with white figs." 10% ABV. (The "up to" 18 months bit has me suspicious...why not just tell us how long you actually aged it for?)

Served cold.

HEAD: ~3-4cm in height. Fizzles out quickly, dying within 10 seconds. It was off-white in colour per the glimpse I caught of fit while it lasted, and was quite thin as well. Leaves no lacing on the sides of my glass as it recedes.

BODY: Clear and seemingly filtered. Pale copper in colour, approximating an apple cidre. No yeast/lees are visible within. Of average vibrance.

Appears aptly carbonated (probably due to bottle conditioning). Not quite a blonde in colour, but it's a nice looking sour ale.

AROMA: White grapes are immediately evident, though I doubt I'd know it was chardonnay in a blind tasting. Supple rich white oak, spritzy cidre-like apple notes, apple cider vinegar, acetic acid, obvious heavy lactobacillus bacteria (seemingly imparting plenty of smacky sourness), damp cedar, apple skin, barnyard-like hay, obvious funkiness (I assume from brettanomcyes), and neutral pale malts.

I'm not getting much from saccharomyces, nor is there obvious pediococcus or other overt bacteria besides lacto and acetobacter.

I'd never guess white fig in a blind aroma test, and I doubt I'd find the lemon peel either.

Suggests a highly acidic beer with moderately intense sourness and obvious twang. Alive and inviting.

Aromatic intensity is high.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Highly acidic and almost puckering in its lactobacillus-driven sourness, clocking in at about an 8 out of 10 in terms of sourness intensity. Pediococcus doesn't seem to be in play, but I do get acetobacter and concomitant acetic acid/vinegary notes. Apple cider vinegar definitely comes to mind.

More cedary than oaky, but the chardonnay/white grape flavour is a welcome albeit faint addition; I doubt this was aged longer than 9 months in chardonnay barrels. Quite rustic in any case.

White fig? I don't find it. Lemon peel? Sure, but it's mixed in to the rest of the acidic flavours.

Apple skin. Some funkiness - probably from brettanomyces yeasts. I don't get much in terms of microfloral intricacy; this definitely seems more like a stainless steel fermented clinical sour than a properly spontaneously fermented one.

Neutral pale malts lend this its timid backbone. Bacteria is the star of the show here and malts take a backseat.

Certainly balanced, and its 10% ABV is not at all noticeable; I'd figure this for 7% tops if I tried it blind. I definitely expected more complexity given the barrel aging and aging on white figs and lemon peel, but it's adequately intricate.

Depth of flavour is pretty good. Flavour intensity is high. Flavour duration is moderately high, but it does have a vinegary aftertaste that follows the main flavour profile.

Twangy, smooth, wet, somewhat refreshing, medium-bodied, well-carbonated, and sharp. Not chewy, astringent, oily, gushed, hot, boozy, harsh, or scratchy. There are no off-flavours.

OVERALL: It's another winner from Cascade, though some will deride its usage of lactobacillus as a crutch; this does lean pretty heavy on it and it feels like a stainless steel bacterial culture brew as a result. Additionally, Cascade's dubious marketing in terms of its barrel aging duration will erode consumer confidence - just tell us how long you aged it without this "up to" qualifier; when you're charging ~$30 per bottle, you owe us that much.

Fruited sours tend to be my favourite sours, but you've got to have the fruit flavour to have a fruited sour. Where's the fig?

In spite of these nitpicks, it's a hell of a brew that would hold its own against many traditional Belgian sours, and price aside I'd highly recommend it to any diehard sour ale drinker. I'll be giving it a pass in the future solely because of price, but it's certainly a good beer and were it something like $8 a 375ml I could see myself picking it up a couple times a year. How on earth is this 10% ABV?

High B (3.72) / GOOD

Jan 11, 2018
Photo of Roguer
Roguer from Georgia

4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a sparkling light orange-peach color. Head production is fizzy and moderate for the style, quickly fading to a light creamy pink ring around the rim. Very active and bubbly long after the pour. Transparent.

Aroma is strong with oak, vinegar-like sour notes, a slight mustiness, honey, and an undefined fruitiness. Lemon and orange-like citrus notes.

Flavor follows: sharply sour, but not overwhelmingly so, and carrying a wonderful tart balance. Citrus, vinegar, oak, grapes, honey, cracker, wheat, musty hay - but not exactly funk. Lip-smacking long sticky tart finish.

Moderate puckering, definitely a sipper, but very enjoyable and drinkable.

As good a fruited American Wild Ale as there is. I didn't know this was aged in Chardonnay barrels until after my review, but the grapes are definitely noticeable on the palate; the dry finish expected from Chardonnay influence, not so much.
I've never failed to be anything but completely impressed by Cascade.

Nov 06, 2017
Photo of bnes09
bnes09 from Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Golden-orange with nice clarity. Zero head to speak of. Acetic acid, brine, tropical fruit and oak aroma. Palate is aggressively acidic. Acetic and citric acids bomb the tongue, burn the mucous membranes and dry the entire digestive tract. Once you get past the overwhelming acidity, some pleasant, rustic wood characters come to light. Fruit notes are very subtle. Moderate body. Descent carbonation. A tad too dry for my liking. Overall, a nice fruited sour but could definitely spare a little acid.

Nov 01, 2017
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives a fairly hazy amber color with a one finger head that leaves a few shards behind

Smell: Vinous with a lemony tartness and a hint of fig

Taste: Vinous and tart, at the outset, with white wine grape and lemon tones; funk and figs build, through the middle, with acetic sourness progressing through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; puckery

Overall: Decent, but not my favorite sour from Cascade

Oct 04, 2017
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Color is beautiful orange-apricot attempting to pull in some pink with a minimal white film.

Smell is vinous oak, acidic fig and prune with grapefruit rind.

A bubbly, light slick body with a semi-dry swallow exhibits flavors of sour and enjoyably acetic lemon, grapefruit, charred oak, with some heat that comes through the nose on an exhale.

2013 vintage! Feeling lucky to have great friends!

In October, I had a 2015 vintage on draft at the Barrel House which exhibited additional aromas of fresher fig and apple with white wine and spicy oak as well as apple and cherry on the tongue. It was also really sour.

Aug 27, 2017
Photo of WickedBeer
WickedBeer from Alabama

4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This taster was well worth it. Very bitter, with that recognizable yeasty nose with notes of lemon zest. Very tart notes but an amazing flavor. The lemon zest and citrus are bold, but you still get nutty undertones with some acidity in the finish. A really great sour.

Aug 10, 2017
Photo of Taybeh
Taybeh from Minnesota

4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a bomber, 2014 vintage, into a Town Hall tulip, pours a reddish brownish amber, a little wispy head that dissipates quickly and is gone. Nose delivers some sweet rich fig, chewy raisin, and an edge of lemon zest and chardonnay grape...promising and layered, but nothing too crazy or funky...a little wood, I guess. On the tongue, this is even better: crisp tart and sour lemon notes meet you right up front and then again at the end, leading to a great pucker. Mid-way, you get with some mild funkiness that has some depth and some woody notes, then there's a layer of richer almost chewy sweet fig that dominates the middle of the mouthful and runs underneath throughout. Alcohol is hidden extremely well, and the body is middling to light, as is the carbonation. It's fairly sour and tart, and there's more fig on the nose than in the taste, but what is there makes this one unique. The price tag hurt, but credit where it's due: this is just delicious stuff, and extremely well made.

Jun 29, 2017
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Ciocanelu from Romania

3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sample at Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen 2017, red session. Aroma is funky, woody with some acidic fruit vinegar. Taste is sour and quite acidic with some fruity sweetness in the background.

Jun 03, 2017
Photo of superspak
superspak from Michigan

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

750 ml bottle into tulip glass; 2014 vintage bottling, 9.1%. Pours slightly hazy golden amber/light orange color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big tart/sour lemon, lime, orange, green apple, fig, golden raisin, peach, apricot, white grape, tannic white wine, hay, straw, musty funk, oak, honey, wheat, and cracker; with lighter notes of leather, pepper, white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, fig/lemon peel, wine barrel, and moderate malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tart/sour lemon, lime, orange, green apple, fig, golden raisin, peach, apricot, white grape, tannic white wine, hay, straw, musty funk, oak, honey, wheat, and cracker; with lighter notes of leather, vanilla, pepper, white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate fruity/lactic tartness and light yeast/tannic oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of sour lemon, lime, orange, green apple, fig, golden raisin, peach, apricot, white grape, tannic white wine, hay, straw, musty funk, oak, honey, wheat, cracker, light leather/vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, fig/lemon peel, wine barrel, and moderate malt flavors; with a great malt/sour/tartness balance. No lingering sour astringency and minimally puckering. Light-moderate dryness from tart/sourness, increasing through the glass. Medium-plus carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately acidic/creamy/grainy, and lightly tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 9.1%. Overall this is an incredible fruited sour ale. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, fig/lemon peel, wine barrel, and moderate malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the big ABV, thanks to the modest lactic acidity. Amazingly complex and well balanced, with great wine barrel presence; without being overly tannic or drying. A highly enjoyable offering.

Mar 18, 2017
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Light fizzy head fades instantly, murky orange

Nose big sour funk, tart fruit, lemon, fig, tart acidity

Taste great sour funk, tart bacteria souring, lemony, soured fig paste, acidity

Mouth med big acidity, decent carb

Overall awesome

Mar 13, 2017
Photo of Phil-Fresh
Phil-Fresh from California

4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Moderately light figs, lemons, slightly vinous, with a slightly sharp moderate sourness.

A: Orange color, fairly hazy, with a uniform white head that has decent retention with light lacing in the glass.

T: Crisp white wine, lemons and light fig flavors, giving way to a slightly sharp moderate sourness that lingers through the finish.

M: Medium light bodied with moderate carbonation, coupled with a light acidity.

O: Solid; the beer has interesting combination of fruit, but the sourness is a bit sharp.

Feb 23, 2017
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SHODriver from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a duvel tulip to a light orange topped by a finger and a half of dense white head that fades to a small pool with minimal lacing
S: Smells of figs, citrus, sourness, oak, slight funk and creamy wheat
T: The taste of this one is bright citrus sourness with some figs, creamy wheat like in a berliner, some oak and wine barrel with a bit of funk. Swallow is more pleasant sourness, oak, figs, and lemon zest with some slight funk.
M: This beer is medium in body with soft carbonation that is adequate for the style with a dry finish from the acidity.
O: Overall this one is outstanding. The flavors and complexity are fantastic which makes this one a pleasure to drink. Everything works so well together that it's unreal. Probably my second favorite beer they do after Sang Noir.

Feb 08, 2017
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pwoody11 from Delaware

4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2011 VIntage

Nice carb. Super sour. Crazy acidic. Similar characteristics to a white wine. Heartburn came on quick. Pass the tums my friend, this one has pucker.

Feb 01, 2017
Photo of grover37
grover37 from District of Columbia

4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

6oz pour at Brew and Brew in Austin for $6. Pinkish light orange, no head. Distinctive peachy nutty aroma. Taste is more stone fruit with a sharp acidic finish. The dry, crisp finish contrasts and balances some of the residual sweetness. Under rated imo.

Dec 23, 2016
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Mark the other day, thanks man.

This one pours a mostly clear yellow-ish orange, with a small fizzy head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like white wine, puckering lemon, sweet malt, and sweet tart candies.

This is a really nice beer. I'm not sure exactly what a fig even tastes like- but there's an interesting fruity sweetness- maybe that's the figs. This has a super puckering lemon taste to it, quite sour, with a hint of lemony funk on the finish, a bit of oak, and lots of sour white grapes. This is definitely one of the best Cascade sours that I've had- it's really neat.

This is light bodied, with a very tart and vinous mouthfeel, and a good level of carbonation.

This was really fun to drink and comes highly recommended.

Sep 27, 2016
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81 from Florida

4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy golden body with minimal head and lace. Sour & funky aroma with hint of figs. First taste is a sour bite with strong acidity and citric notes; on the finish there is are touches of dark fruit sweetness that is more than figs. Like the balance and interplay between sour and fig/dark fruit aspects.

Aug 23, 2016
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum from Canada

4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle, from the '2014 Project'. Whenever I hear the name 'Figaro', I can't help but be reminded of Bugs Bunny as the manic and nutso orchestra conductor.

This beer pours a mostly clear, medium copper amber colour, with a near-teeming tower of puffy, rocky, and shiny off-white head, which leaves some pleasantly layered and dissipating cloud form lace around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells of tart white wine lees, underripe lemon, an uncertain dark Middle Eastern fruitiness that could be date or fig, grainy pale malt, further muddled domestic citrus rind, and some infected woodsiness. The taste is acerbically edgy, with some reduced lemon zest, white wine vinegar, and woody funk, all over top of a grainy and bready pale malt, a smaller caramel/toffee sweetness, still hard to identify dark musty fruit, and more wooden barrel staves forgotten in the barn for a decade or so.

The bubbles are adequate in both their supportive and sometimes playful frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and tacitly smooth, I suppose, once the ol' cognitive dissonance machine kicks into gear (it could also just be simple acclimatization, FWIW), with a strange airy creaminess arising as things warm up a bit. It finishes dry, tart, bitter, and somewhat musty and/or funky.

Overall, this is one well-made sour ale, with both the guest figs (bad), and elevated 9+ points of booze (good) well obfuscated. Almost obscenely tart, yes, but like a lot of initially uncomfortable things, it eventually just starts to grow on you, amirite?

Aug 03, 2016
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russpowell from Arkansas

4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an effervescent amber with 2 fingers of dense pearl colored head. Stellar head retention & lacing

S: Cherries, lemons, pears & sourness

T: Sourness, cherry, dryness, tartness, a little lemon & traces of fig. Leafy hops & oakyness as this warms, some figs & raisin swimming in tartness, plus a little raspberry. Finishes tart, oaky with much white grape/Chardonnay & raspberry, plus leafy hops

MF: Medium body, lively carbonation, DRY

Another lovely tart & dry offering from these guys, well worth a go if it doesn't bust your budget...

Jul 21, 2016
Photo of Bluecrow
Bluecrow from New York

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

Pale yellow tap pour - a lemony flower field in aroma and flavor. The fig flavors add depth and richness. The test funk makes this more tart than sweet. Brilliant

May 14, 2016
Photo of teromous
teromous from Virginia

3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

There is no exact date on the bottle but it does say "2014 Project" and "aged for up to 18 months" so there is some indication of its age.

Appearance: The body of the beer is an orange color with a bit of a light bronze appearance. Tons of carbonation can be seen through the hazy beer in the glass but it only forms a short white head that fades out fast and leaves a ring which provides some spotty lacing.

Aroma: It has that very recognizable sour smelling character that is common to the style. There is a bit of a sweet smelling side to the beer though. It's not strong but it is a bit like cotton candy. This is largely overpowered by the monotone sour aroma.

Taste: It has a pleasant sour flavor that is not overpowering. It is met by this very light sweet malt character that does not taste like caramel or grain but just provides a bit of a base for the sourness to land on. Mellow tartness. The beer really doesn't have to warm up too much but I noticed that after a while of drinking the beer I was tasting distinct white wine flavors and it even started to taste a bit like apple cider. The label mentions "white figs and lemon peel." While the lemon peel might be tied somewhere in the sourness of the beer I did not taste any fig.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is great. It is tart but not too strong and it is just dry enough at the end to deliver the crisp flavors in a neatly tied package.

Overall: It was an enjoyable beer. I would have liked to get more fig character from the beer and I would have also liked more barrel presence. If I gave somebody a small sample of this beer without letting their palate coat sip after sip, glass after glass, they probably wouldn't even pick out the wine character. So overall this was an enjoyable beer but it is not one I would strongly recommend. In a single glass the overall flavor profile could easily be matched by a well done sour that doesn't have all of the bells and whistles of oak aging, figs, etc. If you do buy the beer I would recommend that you have at least two glasses to really get the full benefit of the flavor and do so without a palate cleanser.

May 13, 2016
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy peach with a ½” white foam cap with a superfine bead. S: Starts with a mild, lemony sour funk with faint fig aromas and a touch of vanilla.
T: Initial lemony tart flavors recede slightly as fig enters mid-palate with touches of vanilla and a light sweetness in the background. It has layered and complex fruit flavors.
F: The above average fine carbonation gives it a very airy and moussey feel with a moderate carbonic bite. It has a medium to medium low body.
O: An interesting, complex and very refine drink.

May 01, 2016
Figaro from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 533 ratings