Cascade Blueberry Ale | Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

Cascade Blueberry AleCascade Blueberry Ale
BA SCORE
4.13/5
900 Ratings
Cascade Blueberry AleCascade Blueberry Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.33%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This NW style sour ale blends wheat and blond ales that were oak aged in barrels for six months, then additionally aged four months on fresh blueberries. Huge herbal notes of dense blueberries in the nose give way to hints of oak and a dusty floral note. Rich earthy notes of dark fruit on the palate lead to a tart finish that dries out to a base note of blueberry skins.

Added by Smurf2055 on 01-30-2012

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,765
Reviews:
153
Ratings:
900
pDev:
8.72%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
197
Gots:
225
Trade:
17
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 900 |  Reviews: 153
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting courtesy of wethorseblanket.

Pours a slightly murky red with a white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour and tart blueberries and some funky aromas. Taste is the same with a very sour finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good sour beer with a nice blueberry presence.

 456 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i havent had a ton of beer from cascade, but one takeaway from the ones i have had, is that these guys may well be the king of fruit. their apricot is just divine, and this blueberry is just as well done. deep dark purple in color, all from the fruit, i can see a probable blonde beer base underneath, but the stain from the berries is deep. a nose thats more sour than it is fruity, with lots of mellowing oak and then the fruit punch complex of the blueberries, which are as tart as they are sweet. the flavor follows a similar format, sourness first mostly on the front end, before the fruit ramps up. the berries do add some sugar that isnt all the way fermented out, which i like, because its a nice balance to the sourness. i think the true flavor of the blueberry here is as authentic and prominent as the apricot, although i think the apricot it a better beer, the use of fruit and brewing expertise on display is the same. jammy middle before the wood softens the finish. its earthy and summery and reminds me of a place i would like to be, out in a blueberry patch in august gorging myself until my face and hands are stained purple. a special beer, the best blueberry beer ive ever had by leaps and bounds.

 1,217 characters

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Knapp85
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -33.4%

Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is clear purplish red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high pink head that died down, leaving patches of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of blueberries are present in the nose along with notes of oak and hints of sourness.
T: The taste is dominated by flavors of blueberries and has notes of oak barrels and hints of sourness. Despite all of the fruity flavors, no sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and somewhat tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed the the dominant flavors of blueberries, which appear to be natural and not of the artificial variety.

Serving type: bottle

 773 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked bottle, the 2015 project @ 8.23% ABV - more 'NW sour ale' meets yet another fruit variant.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium magenta colour, with a near teeming tower of puffy, very loosely foamy, and rather fizzy pale pink head, which leaves pretty much nothing resembling lace anywhere near the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of sharp, nose-twitching lemon peel, acidic, underripe blueberries, mild earthy Brett funk, a bit of yogurt-like milkiness, bready and doughy pale malt, a lesser wan wheatiness, musty red wine barrels, leather, and some indistinct hop bitterness. The taste is tart black fruit (cherry, prune, and sure, blueberry), high-test red wine, funky white cheese, gritty and grainy wheat malt, a bit of damp chalkiness, oaky vanilla, and a suggestion of herbal and floral (hop?) bitters.

The bubbles are fairly active in their swirling and touchy-feely frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and sort of smooth, I suppose, as the general tartness can't help but interfere at least somewhat here. It finishes trending dry, and yet still fruity, in a fermentation vessel sense.

Overall, the guest blueberries pretty much get obfuscated by all that yeast, wine barrel, and funk floating around, or maybe they just morphed into the muddled dark fruitiness that does predominate. At any rate, a pleasant enough strong sour fruity ale (the strangely specific 8.23 points of alcohol duly well-hidden), and yet another that I don't think I can afford to revisit, economy-wise.

 1,537 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BOTTLE: 750ml brown glass bottle with hood-and-wire cap over a cork purchase from Cascade earlier this year. Label design is appealing. "2013 project."

7.75% ABV. Reviewed live as a fruited sour ale per the label. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Served cold into a tulip in high altitude Castle Rock, CO and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Fizzy and pink. Thin. Not real creamy or frothy. Vigorous and effervescent. The head rolls towards the sides of the glass, lending the beer a nice cascading effect (apt given the brewery). Retains well - for about 4-5 minutes, leaving no lacing.

BODY: Clear vibrant brilliant sanguine red. Clean, with no visible yeast particulate or hop sediment.

Appears well-carbonated. It's a great looking sour ale, but it could be better - a blue body colour for example would be more striking, and the head could certainly be thicker and fuller, and could have a softer consistency.

AROMA: Berries and currants dominate, with blueberry noticeable in there - but not as pungent as would be ideal. It's a powdery aroma, with the berry juice bleeding into the blonde malts. The blueberry is surprisingly fresh considering this beer's age. Oak is subtle and lends the aroma a nice wooden character, but don't expect any rich white oak or toasted characteristics; it's quite a neutral oak character. It's not as tart as I hoped for, and the lactobacillus-induced sourness is maybe a 4-5/10 in terms of intensity. Also, this aroma doesn't evoke a truly spontaneously fermented or particularly wild ale, instead coming off sterile and clinical. Lambicus wild yeast and more intricate bacteria would be beneficial.

Overall, it's an inviting aroma of above average strength. I wish it were more sour, more tart, and more arresting.

TASTE: Boasts a wonderful blueberry presence which is fresh, juicy, and refreshing. Sadly, the tartness and sourness I hoped for (characteristics experienced in abundance in Cascade's Kriek) just aren't quite there...it's only a bit tart and the sourness is - at best - a 4/10.

The oak really develops as the beer comes to temperature, emerging most prominently in the third act, where it becomes so wonderful it almost eclipses the tastiness of the blueberries. The oak lends the flavour profile a natural cohesion, and helps make the beer feel like more of a gestalt whole.

Blonde malts bend to the will of the juicy berry notes - which aren't limited to blueberry but which I lack the expertise to properly identify - easily allowing themselves to be imposed upon. Blonde malts were a great choice for this sour - neutral enough to let the sourness take center stage - but flavorful enough to add needed depth of flavour.

A hint of apple cidre vinegar. A kiss of vanilla as the beer warms. There's a faint jammy sweetness which is lovely, but might oppose the sourness of the beer...which brings me to the balance: it's a very well balanced brew, but more sourness and intensity of flavour would really help the overall flavour profile come off better. And with that jammy sweetness, it could easily tolerate more sourness and tartness. Blueberry is tough to execute, and Cascade has largely succeeded - but take a page out of Cantillon Blabaer's book and commit to the blueberries. It's nicely lactic, but they could go bigger there.

TEXTURE: What really works here is the soft, comforting, powdery mouthfeel, which refreshes the palate and make this hard to put down. Quenching, smooth, wet, and perfectly medium-bodied, with slight overcarbonation and apt thickness.

This texture is near perfect for the style, and compliments the taste beautifully. If only the flavour profile offered more intricacy for the mouthfeel to support.

OVERALL: 7.33% is high for a fruited sour, but you wouldn't notice it drinking this fine fruited ale. Drinkability is off the charts. Blueberry is a tricky note to implement, but Cascade has largely succeeded here. I just long for more tartness and sourness, and would like to see more complexity/intricacy, and subtlety. More than just a modest amount of lactobacillus is needed to create a great sour. If there are any notes for Cascade here, it's more bacteria, more wild yeast, more berries, more intensity. All in all, a tasty sour that - while superb - just isn't worth its unreasonable pricetag. Extremely drinkable. Definitely try this once.

The oak in the third act is a real treat, and makes this a truly special beer. Definitely a highlight. Wow.

B+

 4,569 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.94/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Aaron for sharing this one! Quick review from written notes.

Served in a small tulip glass, it has a sanguine wine-like appearance, with no foam on the surface. Purplish red coloration.

Berries and Bretty bandaid aroma, with a light fruit sweetness in the periphery.

Super acidic and sour, puckering with light acetic sharpness, and a very dry finish. Salivary glands work into overdrive. Medium bodied with light carbonation, almost like sparkling juice. It's drinkable and satisfies the sour fix, though it's a little one-dimensional overall.

 559 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours out the color of smashed blueberries, with a very nice head that leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Tart and citric with undertones of blueberry

Taste: Citrusy and lactic, with blueberry tones developing in the middle and lingering in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Cascade has a way with sour fruit beers; always enjoyable to try them

 400 characters

Photo of oline73
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of largadeer
3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish-purple topped by a lasting white head. Great looking beer. Tart blueberry skin aroma, mildly sour with a little sweet blueberry flesh. Palate is balanced, mildly sour with a pleasant lacto character backing up tart and sweet blueberry notes. It's more skin than flesh. Very clean, light finish. Refreshing and enjoyable, but not overly complex. Thankfully doesn't have the stomach churning lacto character of many Cascade sours.

 442 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -3.1%

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Cascade Blueberry Ale from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 900 ratings
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