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Figaro | Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

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Brewed by:
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Oregon, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by largadeer on 06-24-2011

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 464
Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First thing I notice is the cork which is split with markings indicating the grabber was likely off center...beer may not have held up for much longer...
However, the beer pours a glistening, effervescent amber color with almost no head or sediment (although I have yet to reach the bottom). The nose is a sweet perfume, although it's not distinctly of fig or lemon. Regardless, there is something very unique and inviting about this beer's nose. A good swirl releases almost too much chardonay mixed with acetone, but the beer settles and smooths out as it warms. The taste is quite yummy with a reasonable amount of sweetness that isn't as acidic as expected. It definitely has a slightly figgy essence and decent amount of white grape in the finish. I would have preferred more fig in the nose and taste, at least something more distinct. But this is a damn tasty beer, one that's worth trying and one that would probably be quite good on tap.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 Project

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

Pours a nice somewhat cloudy golden color with some orange hues. There was a nice half inch medium dense head that forms. It recedes pretty quickly.

Aroma is a nice lactic sour note with notes of lemon and some tart vinegar. Citrus fruit notes with a slight background of sweetness. Mild ripe figs and some slight earthy wood in the nose. Aroma is tart and very vinous. Delicious white grape notes with some slight funky wood as well.

Flavor starts off with sour sour notes. Lactic sourness with some nice lemony notes. Lemon juice and lemon peel a plenty. Then the tartness is cut back by some nice fruit juice sweetness. Notes of grape juice and wine with some good sugary fig notes. The flavor has some nice woody oak notes to it mixed in with the great blend of tartness and sugary fruit sweetness. This is a great brew with some nice chalky yeast notes that are noticeable as it warms. Nice funk notes are present as well. Mouthfeel is well carbonated with a great tart and dry finish.

Overall. Cascade rarely disappoints an this is a very good one. Yummy wild tartness with some good citrus and lemony notes. Then some good slight fruit juice sweetness and a good dry earthy funk.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Review #2200.

The one and only bottle purchased at my last trip to Churchills Pub. $40, I didn't think it was a bad price all things considered. Poured out a substantial blonde looking ale with a thin whispy white head on the top of it, no more than 1/2". An aroma that owes more to white wine than anything resembling your average beer (not that Cascade puts anything in a 750 that could be called average. . . their ipa's well, that does fit the bill). Lemon peel, and what I suspect is the white adriatic fig make out a sour, white wine grape kind of feel to it. I didn't pick up on any spiciness, I dunno if people thought it would have a bite like a fig newton or what.

Taste, nobody does clean, lactic sourness better, and this beer from Cascade is no exception. There's almost no funk in it, but tons of sourness and depth. The chardonnay aspect seems to produce lots of acidity, but said acidity also helps cover up what is almost 10% alcohol so very well. I think you'll taste lots more lemon in this one than fig, but the fig contribution is above nil, it comes off like a hodgepodge of different spice accoutrements. The toasted oak notes go very well with something with such a light body but impressive tart and sourness. Very acidic, very sour, but hides alcohol very well. Would drink again.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Cascade Barrel Room in Portland, OR.

Pours a very clear golden colour, with striking clarity. Some ringing, patchy lace is pretty much all that exists of the white head. No visible carbonation. Solid, but not inspiring.

The nose is gorgeous, however. Vinous, bright sauvignon blanc characters give a clean, pickled acidity. Gooseberries, passionfruit all laced with a slight earthiness. Very impressive. It's not all the complex, but you just want to keep inhaling it nonetheless.

Light, acidic sparkle on the front gives a clean crisp entry, before the middle gives characters of gooseberry, sharp, bright herbs and a hint of chlorine. Clean finish with a light citrus overtone. Despite the acidity and sparkle, it feels really smooth all over; so much so that it almost feels like its defining characteristic—the feel is creamy. It's odd for a wild, but it works.

Really nice drop this one. Like many of the others, the acid builds up after a while, but the smoothness holds this in check for longer than some of the others. Still, this is another impressive beer in an amazingly impressive range from Cascade. This was the last I tried on my visit, and it left me with the impression of having experienced a truly remarkable place.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Tipples, corked and caged, 2013 Project poured on 1/10/15. Price was a bit steep at $37.99 so better be good. Pours hazy golden orange colored with lots of bubbles lacing the glass and just a white tiny thin ring of head on top. Aroma of barnyard funk, vinegar, sweet fruits, lots of oak, hint of vanilla and a bit of a menthol note that I don't like. Flavor is nice. Sweet and sour up front, notes of honey, vinegar, lots of sweet fruit, tart lacto, dry oak on the finish, bit of lemony tartness. Definite Chardonnay like influence with vicious warming notes throughout. Don't get a lot of dog flavor here but what sweet fruit notes are present (and there are a lot) are very nice. Spritzy carbonation, dry finish, medium light body (very light for the high ABV). Overall a nice sour from a brewery that is mostly hit or miss for me.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Semi cloudy yellow orange, nice carbonation.

S-Oak, grapes, lemon, the figs are there but not as much, nice funk.

T-Starts with nice funk, the wine barrels are there in both the oak and the grapes. Good deal of lemon and the figs are there as well.

M-Medium to lighter, nice carbonation and a dry finish.

O-One of Cascades better sours, not their best but definitely an enjoyable one.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml, 2011 Project
Mini snifter

A: Almost clear bright orange color. Not a lot of carbonation. Thin layer of bright white head. Disappears really quick to nothing.

S: Funk. Barnyard. Lemon peel. Citrus. Light fig notes behind that. Dry oak. Buttery chard character.

T: Sharp funk/sour hit initially. Not overly aggressive. Almost white wine like with that chard. Citrus is certainly there. Finish is really dry.

M: Lighter side of medium. Good palate cleanser in between stouts.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Cascade Brewing Barrelhouse in Portland, Oregon.

Pours a hazy golden yellow body with a slight orange hue. One finger white head. Good retention. No lacing. Smells vinous, tart, oaky, mildly funky, sweet grapes, moderately acidic. Flavour is on the sweeter side, grapes, lemon, vinous, oak, slight leather, citrus. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly dry but substantial, on the sweeter side. Overall, I found this to be balanced nicely between the acidity of the base and the sweetness of the adjuncts, but it is a bit muddled with all of the ingredients.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 bottle onto a tulip.

hazy orange color, good head that fades quickly. smell of lemon zest, sourness.. taste features a ton of oak. white grapes. lemon. moderate sourness. ABV undectable. Medium bodied,.medium carbonation.

overall just another winner from cascade. lovely.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
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?

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Photo of Etan
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml (2012 project) into a tulip.

A: Pours a murky dark orange with a nice white head.

S: Brett and lacto bring notes of pineapple, light must, and crusty bread. Lemony acidity, some oak tannins, vanilla, cream, a bit figgy.

T: Quick yet bracing lactic acidity, some minor acetic notes, rich fig and zingy lemon peel, drying chardonnay, tannic oak, with some subtle notes of white cake and vanilla maltiness backing everything up.

M: Medium-bodied with almost-frothy carbonation.

O: Another solid blonde sour beer from Cascade. Not as much complexity as I expected but I certainly tasted the main elements.

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Photo of dar482
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a clear orange color with a fluffy white head.

The aroma has lemon peel, tons of tartness, barnyard mustiness and funk along with some oak.

The flavor follows with a pop of bright tart lemon in the front along with a "fruit" note, possibly from fig, but not exactly. This is an extremely sour beer, one of the most sour I've had. The musty barnyard note then lingers after that attack of lactic and brings some funk into the equation. The barrels hits with some oak woody notes.

A very good beer from Cascade.

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Photo of Phelps
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Figaro is a blend of strong blond beers aged for three months in fresh chardonnay barrels before some additional time spent with Adriatic white figs and Spanish lemon peel. Enjoyed at the Cascade Barrel House in Portland, poured into a taster glass.

Clear gold in color. A frothy, thin head of pure white soon becomes a thick, sticky ring.

Chardonnay is immediately noticeable in the aroma. Lots of white grapes, some buttery oak, green apple, vinegar, a little red apple. Smooth, mild sweetness.

Some cider character comes through in the flavor — might be the white fig. Sweet and fruity up front with a sour flash of vinegar in the back. White grapes, vinous oak, a hint of vanilla. Great showing from the barrels here.

The smooth medium body quickly fizzes into a more pillowy feel. Lots of carbonation here. A gentle tartness with no discernible alcohol.

Figaro makes me feel like singing. A great beer that strikes a perfect balance between sweet and sour. Good complexity, too.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: 2013 Project

A: Pours a clear deep golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some faint yellow + copper highlights. The beer has a finger thick fizzy white head that quickly reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film towards the edges with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of sourness with moderate aromas of oak, vinous/white wine/chardonnay, and funky earthiness. Light to moderate aromas of fig and lemon citrus.

T: Upfront there is a light flavor of grainy + pale malts which is quickly overtaken by moderate to strong flavors of sourness/tartness. That is quickly followed by moderate flavors of vinous/white wine/chardonnay,oak, and funky earthiness. Finally there is a moderate flavor of figs + lemon citrus in the finish which grows in strength as the beer warms up.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate to heavy amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: This beer is quite tart/sour, more so in the aroma than the flavor but it is still pretty tart. Has a similar profile to many of the other Cascade sours and is quite enjoyable with the figs/lemon appearing later in the taste and more so as the beer warms.

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Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is is clear deep yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that died down, leaving a collar of medium-sized bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of sourness are present in the nose along with hints of figs.
T: The taste starts out with flavors of oak and white wine from the barrel aging and has notes of sourness and lemon peel. Notes of figs are noticeable towards the finish.
M: The beer feels light- to medium-bodied and tart on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer smells more sour than it tastes. It has a similar sourness and woodiness compared to other Cascade beers that I've had, except that the fruit flavors are only really noticeable in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Sturdy blonde ales, dark gold, 1/2" of white head. Lots of white grape wine aromas, wood/oak. Lemon. Chardonnay notes.

Taste is heavily sour, lemon, white grape & fig. Lots of barrel oak, hides alcohol well, super acidic. Its a big giant sour beer.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Svingjo
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright orange with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. The nose is filled with orange and other citrus fruit along with yeast. The flavour leads with much of the same along with a slight maltiness that ends quite tart. The mouthfeel is on the low side of medium. An enjoyable little sour.

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Photo of KDawg
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from tap into a tulip. Pours a nice blonde color with a real foamy head.

Very zesty aromas of spices, lemon curds, some raisins and tart citrus tones. There is definitely a sourness to it, but it's slightly tart than it is outright sour.

Medium/full bodied with a real nice and smooth feel. Good flavor depth with notes of lemon curds, spices, and tart citrus'.

This was a really nice and well balanced beer. Had a nice tartness to it as opposed to being downright sour.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks, Aaron! Served in a Cascade goblet, also courtesy of Aaron. Pours a moderate golden color. Nose has a good amount of Chardonnay with backing fruit and acid. Flavor has light fig and touch of lemon. Very dry and crisp with a nice acidity. Very easy to drink and the alcohol is almost completely masked. I never would have guessed that this was pushing 10%.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 10.24.12
2011 Project

A - Pours a clear, medium orange with a very fizzy light tan head that fades very quickly.

S - Citrus fruit, chardonnay, apples, oak, and fig.

T - Sweet subtle fruit, flowers, more oak and chardonnay, some slight tartness.

D - Lots of carbonation with a lighter body.

O - Smells more complex, but still tastes very nice. This one should develop nicely.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage served on tap into a snifter

A- Poured a pale and cloudy tangerine orange color with white head that dissipated instantly and left minimal lacing.

S- Quite sour and astringent aroma of lemon, apricot, and Belgian yeast.

T- This is a pretty sour beer with notes of lemon, orange citrus, peach, and a cinnamon-like spiciness.

M- Very dry, high carbonation, some warming, and medium body

O- I tried this one after Cascade's Apricot Ale and both were very sour, but this one had some more complexity and the spicy notes balanced some of the sweetness and sourness.

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Photo of shleepy
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Murky yellow. Citrusy, floral smell with a little Brett funk and oak. Taste is quite sour. Much lemon. Body is deceptively light for the alcohol level.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Barrel Room yesterday, served as the Live Barrel offering.

Mostly clear yellow with a dense, white head with great retention and lacing, this was one of the better looking beers I had at Cascade yesterday. The nose is surprisingly muted. There's dry white wine without any fruity aromas. The fig character seems muted, and I'll add the caveat that I've never had an Adriatic White Fig. Some stone fruit, lemon peel and honey are present.. The sourness is also fairly mellow, which is a pleasant change. The palate opens sour, mildly so with a great, fresh, fruity fig and apricot character. Honey and fruit are present, along with a bit of alcohol warmth as well as a mild spice character (is this is a different version from largadeer's review below?). Medium-light in body, medium-light in carbonation, this is solid stuff.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewed based on notes from 11/23/13. Enjoyed out of a dark brown 750 mL cork & cage bottle with "2012 project" marked clearly on the bright yellow label, which also reveals that this sour blonde includes dried white figs and lemon peel. Poured into a straight-top Boulevard Smokestack tulip glass.

Appearance - A translucent, deep orange and amber, with plenty of ability to peer through the slightly hazy liquid. In the light there is an almost reddish highlight where the light refracts in the liquid-filled glass. Atop the body sits a foamy one and a half finger head of white made up of medium-sized bubbles. Fades away to nothing but a line of fine foam around the edge of the glass after a minute or so.

Smell - Hints at an extremely sour beer, with lots of sinus-searing acidity and vinegar along with lemon juice and zest. Fainter woody notes with hints of gentler, oaky vanilla come through from the barrels along with some tannins, But so far I'm not getting much of the fig. Still, if I didn't know this was supposed to have fig, I would be very enticed by the aroma.

Taste - Here, the lemon and oak are again present, but more dominantly, overpowering the buttery Chardonnay essence from the barrel. Lemon drop, white pepper, and citrus zest, with a pungent dose of tartness. It's quite good, but it's just a little too harsh. I love super sour beers as much as the next guy, but it's better when the sour intertwines with other characteristics to take the bite off.

Mouthfeel - Puckering, with the effect of making me salivate from the sourness. Medium body and moderate carbonation with a very dry finish.

Overall, a tasty beer, but probably my least favorite from Cascade out of my small sample size. The choice of lemon peel along with the very sour blonde ale makes for an intensely sour beer that got close to being too much. I typically love the way sour beers increase in sourness as you let them warm, but this one was so puckering to start that I almost couldn't finish it by the time it had warmed to close to room temperature. A nice beer nonetheless, but probably not one I'd go out of my way to purchase again.

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Figaro from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
4.13 out of 5 based on 464 ratings.
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