Figaro | Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

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520 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 520 |  Reviews: 79
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jaydoc
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at the 2012 Peter Reeves Memorial Sourfest at Churchill’s Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy bone colored head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is sour, tart, and funky with some slight fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a fruity and acidic finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but there are no real distinct fig aromas or flavors in my opinion.

 505 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

maybe the best ive had from cascade, which is really saying something because everything they do is pure gold. this is incredible, chardonnay barrels with figs and lemon peel. i will say that the lemon is quite subtle, a moderately zesty citrus thing in there, but not as sharp or biting as lemon peel can be at times. the chard barrel adds a ton of acidity to an already sour beer, but the meaty fleshy fruity raisin and branny fig flavors and textures really balance it out. there is a vein of sweetness running through it too, never too much or clinging to the teeth or anything, but enough to cut back some of the lactic intensity from the fermentation. oak character is heavy, grapes and figs marry happily, and the lemon peel seems to lighten both the alcohol sting and the body, which is more cereal forward and robust than other cascade fruit beers. i loved apricot, still do, but this may take over for it in terms of uniqueness, attention to detail, and overall impression. the mouthfeel is crushed velvet, seductive and permanent. i cant wait to drink this beauty again some day, thanks to my brother for sharing this gem!

 1,133 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of GRG1313
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This Cascade just blew me away. One of the single best beverages I've tasted. Two years ago the Vlad and the Bourbonic "made" GABF for me. Now, Figaro may even be better.

Pours gold with short head that fades fast, but nice looking.

Nose is just all funk, tangerines, purple grapes and figs. Inviting, complex, very layered and pleasant in the extreme. Some tart apple acidic character in the nose just forces you to dive in.

Mouthfeel is tart, rich, nicely acidic and perfect carbonation, at least for me.

Flavor profile is amazing. Super complex, layered and easy. Hands down one of the nicest wild ales I've experienced and I've experienced a lot of them. Big rich and assertive oranges, tangerine, green apple and undertones of fig. There is a sweet/tart/funk front palate that just grows as the funk and tartness develop. Flavors are somewhat unique from other wild ales and sours and extremely impressive.

Finish is tart, crisp and has an orange/herb/spice character that leaves you wanting more.

I only wish I was in S.F. longer so that I could stop by City Beer again and have more. Hopefully, cans of this ( bottles??!!) will show up elsewhere. This is one not to miss.

 1,185 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Knapp85
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite possibly one of my favorites from Cascade, This poured out as a golden orange color with a little white head on top. The smell of the beer is well balanced between the funk aromas and the figs in there. The taste has a subtle sweetness up front before the sour part kicks in. The feel is medium bodied. Overall this beer is really nice.

 342 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
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

 801 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
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?

 1,571 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.72/5  rDev -11.2%
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

 4,281 characters

Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 2,277 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
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

 449 characters

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Figaro from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 520 ratings