Cascade Elderberry | Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

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Cascade ElderberryCascade Elderberry

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

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.75%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by lacqueredmouse on 07-25-2012

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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 350
Photo of LAp
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip. A beautiful beer: deep blue-purple with minimal head. The nose is classic Cascade - clean sour and dark fruit. The palate nails its primary note well, but lacks the nuance of some of their other sours. A touch more earthiness would be appreciated too. Mouthfeel is appropriate.
An absolutely excellent sour, but not as good as many of Cascade's other offerings.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a Duvel tulip to a deep brown topped by a finger and a half of dense light tan head that fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of juicy berries, sourness, oak and funk
T: Taste is tart elderberries, slight spice, dry oak, some funk and a good bit of acidity along withj a slight roasty malt flavor. Swallow is band aids, oak and funk with lingering sourness and berries
M: This one is medium in the mouth with soft carbonation that is adequate for the style but could stand to be a bit more vibrant. Due to the acidity this beer has a dry finish
O: Overall this is a really nice beer with some good flavors and complexity. Definitely a little different than many sours but it is well executed and enjoyable. Definitely one to try if you like things that are different.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I bought the Elderberry Barrel Aged Wild American Ale from the Jester King Brewery in Austin, Texas. They typically feature the best of Farmhouse Ales, Wild American Ales, and other styles, from around the world, in addition to their own items. I thought this one was very nice, tasty and refreshing. Outstanding.

Look: dark brown purplish almost black with a half-inch bubbly mocca head.

Aroma: Elderberry, woody-oak, some yeasty funk.

Taste: Lots of berry flavor, elderberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, currant, and more, I believe, yeast, and oak, and lingering tartness that stays a very long time.

Feel: medium body and medium carbonation

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Photo of jrenihan
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am not sure what elderberry smells or tastes like, but this beer has a very potent, rich fruit flavour. It came as a real surprise to me at first - it reminded me of grape juice. The fruit is a bit much for me, it rather smothers the rest of the beer. I like the beer overall, but it is too sweet and too fruit heavy. Incredibly mouth-drying. Good, but I prefer most other Cascade beers I have had.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at FFF

A- pours deep brown in color with a ruby hue, creamy white he'd that leaves some lacing behind

S- fresh pressed berries, light acidic funk, woody oak, grape skin, some herbal notes

T- woody oak and tangy berry up front, followed by lots of herbal notes and acidic funk. Hint of vanilla sweetness mixed with black currant. The finish is semi-dry with more berries and acidic tartness on the linger

M- medium body and moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a dry finish

O- nice mix of herbal and berries throughout

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Photo of OKbrew89
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. Pours dark purple with a one finger head that leaves lacing all the way down the glass. Nose of lactic acid, berries, and a subtle note of alcohol. Taste is moderate sourness with elderflower, blackberry, oak, and dry, wine-like finish. The barrel aging is subtle and more noticeable as the beer warms. Medium-light body and medium carbonation without any unexpected funkiness.
It's an interesting beer that is balanced and has many layers. It feels stronger than its 7.75% ABV. What really hurts it, for me, is it's price point. At more than $1/oz, there are barely lesser beers out there that cost 1/2 of what this cost. This is a try once beer but an interesting one at that.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Vintage 2015.

Slightly fizzy sounding out of the bottle, filling the glass with a dark purple, almost eggplant color with very dark red edges. Faint amount of carbonation just barely seen through the body, rising to meet a very creamy tan head of a finger. Has little retention but quick re-population, but eventually settles down to a nice bowled small collar, and puffy island center.

Big fruit aroma off this that goes in many different places. Thick rich hints of berried and dark fruit, strawberry, blackberry, fig and raisin. Controlled light sweetness with a bit funk and playful malt sweetness of dark caramel to match. Lots of real nice flavors coming off this, with a rich warm sensation.

First experience on the palate is a very lively amount of carbonation. A bit nearly out of control carbonation that makes the mouth explosive on the palate. Very nicely tart and low acidity with wine like fruit flavors and a good Belgian dark ale malt and sugar presence. Slightly gaseous finish, but big basket berried flavors, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry collide and make for a lot of fun. Slight nutmeg like sweetness as well seems to sneak in, with an almost winter warmer like quality.

Very nice brew, barrel aging doesn't seem that apparent and terms of mouthfeel and added flavors, but a still very solid wonderfully fruited wild brew.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Clubhouse BFD in Rochester Hills, Michigan.

I've been curious but scared of trying Cascade due to the price point ... as it turns out, I guess there's a reason. Yeah, sure, there's a nice, intense funky sourness to this with a bit of oak and tasty elderberry twang, but nothing about this is worth the dollar an ounce-ish price tag. I know the effort that goes into brewing this style of beer, but I can't recommend this beer because of the price alone. Even if you love the style, you're not likely to be blown away by this.

I suppose it's worth a try, but don't get your hopes too high.

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Floral with a light berry and wood, coupled with a moderate lingering sourness.

A: Deep purple, almost black color, clear, with a very thin dense white head that has solid retention.

T: Bright floral/berry flavor upfront, light wood, with a lingering sourness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. There is a light, but pleasing acidity to the beer.

O: Pretty tasty; the beer has a very solid floral/berry aroma and flavor that is nicely complimented by the lingering sourness.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a review for the 2013 Elderberry, as sampled at the Cascade Barrelhouse in November, 2016.
Tasty berry notes with a sweet bite on the end. This was Intense, and only got more intense over time. Also delicious.

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Photo of ajm5108
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with light foam lacing. Definite lactic sour aroma but undercut nicely with berry, grape and candied sugar. Been a long time since I had an elderberry, but it comes off mostly like blueberry to me. Prickly mouthfeel, very tingly upfront, the sour hits you right away but fades away gently. Not overly vinegary or lactic, it is balanced, but the other flavors feel distant, especially the berry. You get more of a sweet pinch like candied sugar, maybe a faint hint of berry jam & grape must, but its all very faded. Its a 2013 bottle so if the flavors died off that quickly, finishes dry and clean. It is elegant compared to lots of sours that have been rushed to market the past couple of years, and it is still a good beer, but I really would have liked a bit more of the berry notes to rise to the surface.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into TRB stemware. 2011 project.

A: Pours a deep maroon color with a thin light tan head that faded into a faint collar. A few spots of soapy lace were left down the glass.
S: Nose is full of that characteristic Cascade funk that has a complexity that is lacking in many American wild ales. The oak and bug/yeast blend contains much more than just a clean lactic bite. Behind that complex funk/tartness, the elderberry is floral and lightly sweet and jammy.
T: Follows the nose with dominating flavors of tannic oak, complex pedio/lactic/brett tartness, slight spice, and finally elderberry jam. The elderberry is almost more floral than fruity. The finish is drying with a clean tartness and bright acidity, and the aftertaste has lingering notes of musty oak and a touch of caramel.
M: Medium body with a touch of greasy oak, a drying finish with a few gritty tannins, and a moderate tartness and clean acidity. Funk is musty and earthy. The fruit, as stated, is not especially sweet, perhaps a consequence of age.
O: Another great Cascade sour. I love the complexity of their funk. The fruit could have shined through a tad more, but I imagine a fresher bottle would be slightly juicier. Still, I prefer the funk on this bottle over many other fresh fruited sours on the market.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Mark the other day, thanks man!

This one pours a dark ruby red, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

This had a wonderful sour dark fruit aroma here. I don't think I've ever eaten elderberries on their own, so I'm not an expert in what they taste like, but I do get a wonderful dark fruit character here, with some oak and heavy red wine character.

This is one of the best Cascade sours that I've had, it's wonderful. The elderberries come through really strongly. It's not quite as strongly tart and crazy as some of the other Cascade sours I've had- whatever their house yeast culture is creates some blindingly sour beers. This one is not so bad, though.

This is medium bodied, with a prickly and tart mouthfeel, and a moderate level of carbonation.

This was really pretty great, a home run from Cascade.

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Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked caged bottle split between four shaker pints.

Pours dark, almost black, with a biggish tan head that fades fast. Smell is sweettart candy.

Taste is very very tart with dark fruit undertones ones fruit skin bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth and dry. Overall, good sour beer.

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Photo of cbutova
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a whole bunch Emma. Fully reviewed last night to the laptop.

A- Deep and dark ruby body like blackberries with a thin fizzy veil. Decent retention for a sour but the tiny ring isn't going to leave much lace.

S- Boisterous berries off the top somewhat like raspberry but certainly distinct. Reminds me of grapes at time. Musty vinous tones, smarties, lemon juice sours, sweat groins, funky lactic bacteria and more grape juice.

T- Sour lactic acid throughout with no vinegar and a whole barrage of fruity berry tones like a mix of raspberry and grape juice. Musty wet oak barrels, green apple, lemon and lime sourness and funky straw.

MF- Medium bodied for the style with a very creamy texture. Carbonation is medium to high and it ends very sour.

I have a hard time imagining how people do not enjoy these Cascade fruit sours. The really allow the chosen fruit to shine above a funky and very sour Wild Ale base. Not the most complex sours around but very well done time and time again.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Cascade Brewing Barrelhouse in Portland, Oregon.

Pours a medium reddish-pink body, half finger white head, nice lacing, a mild bit of retention. Smells of currants, mild dark fruit, oak, acetic acid, red vinous qualities, blackberry (I was drinking this next to the Cascade Blackberry so I was able to note the similarity, otherwise I would have had no idea). Flavour is similarly dark fruity, with currants, blackberries, a bit of red wine tannins, oak, a mild-moderate amount of acetic acid, minimal funk. Mouthfeel is medium-thinner bodied, dry, lower in carbonation, dark fruity finish. Overall, it was an interesting sour to try, but I think the red wine tannins interfered a fair bit with the otherwise clean flavour of the fruits.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip. This is the 2013 project.

Appearance: rich, deep red-brown hue with a bit of haze and a nice finger of frothy tan foam. Very distinguished.

Smell: nicely tart with a fine, dark berry character. Frankly, most of my elderberry experience is with beer, but I feel like the fruit is done justice here. Quite nice.

Taste: very tart with a little bit of caramel sweetness and a dash of berry flavor. The fruit is definitely more apparent in the aroma than in the flavor. That said, the tartness and sweetness are quite nice; they remind me of a Flemish red ale.

Mouthfeel: light body with a moderate carbonation and a rather fizzy body; not particularly creamy but it's appropriate to the style and definitely fits with this beer's apparent attenuation.

Overall: I like this beer a lot. I always think sours are refreshing and a delight to drink, and this beer is no exception.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger of head on a dark purple colored body.
The aroma is sour and fruity.
The taste has lots of fruit, sour throughout with a tart finish. Really great.
The texture is crisp and fizzy.
Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of mynie
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 project. Very expensive bottles were on sale at Row 34 in Boston.

Glugs out a thick and juice like with a small but acceptable head. Smells very sharply sour--must have gotten more intense and pungent with age, judging by earlier reviews. Shock Tart sour, which is to say it's very intense but still has enough sweetness to carry it through.

Tastes quite sour. It's only after a few sips that I realize I don't really know what Elderberrys taste like, and so I can't say anything more educated about the flavor other than that it starts out very sour, continues being sour throughout, and that there's enough berry sweetness in there to keeps things from getting so intense it can't be finished easily.

A well-made sour. As with all of Cascade's beers, it's too expensive and you don't really get what you pay for it, but judged without price in mind it's a good beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 Project. Poured from a cork and cage into a snifter, the beer is a dark, plum coloring, with a halo of tight carbonation bubbles. Good sound of effervescence on the pour. Aromas of tart and sweet berry, a decent amount of musty and farmhouse funk, tart grape, rich dates, some woody highlights, horseblanket, and a subtle sourness throughout. Flavors are richly sweet, tart, and sour forward, with old world fruit richness serving as a solid backbone to support the tart berry and grape notes. Slightly acidic and strongly sour throughout, with the plum and date backbone powering through the funk and sour. Very dry and astringent follow to the fruity tart and rich stone fruit aftertaste. The body is robust, but very dry into the puckering, lingering finish. Very wine-like characteristics at the end.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - An awesome looking beer. Deep mahogany cranberry cocktail body, half a finger of fine tan head with nice retention and lace.

S - Sour cherry Jello, black currents, chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, and black cherries, sour SweetTart candies.

T - Similar to the nose. Tart sour cherry Jello powder, soft wood, and dry cranberry cocktail.

M - Medium frame. Low carbonation. Unique dry, milky tannin finish coats the palate.

O - A really nice, tart fruit juice-forward sour.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BOTTLE: 750ml brown glass. Appealing label art. 2013 project. Unbranded hood-and-wire cap over a cork served cold into an Avery stem-tulip at high altitude in Castle Rock, Colorado. 8.20% ABV.

Reviewed live as an American wild ale per the label. Served cold into an Avery tulip at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO. Expectations are sky-high; I view Cascade as one of the best sour producers in the USA, and the elderberry angle is intriguing.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1 finger wide. Khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Poor (~20 second) retention. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Deep sanguine-red. So dark it's practically opaque. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a good appearance for a sour, and I dig the deep red hue. Not unique or special, but very appealing.

AROMA: Oak, mild acetic character (and concomitant pie crust), tart dark berries, blackcurrant, a hint of red grape, nutmeg, allspice, and modest sourness (about a 4/10 in terms of intensity). Evokes a balanced and adequately intricate flavour profile with wanting sourness.

Aromatic intensity is mild.

No overt alcohol, hop profile, yeast character, or off-notes come through.

Certainly appealing, but not unique or special. I do wish it were more sour.

TASTE: Acetic character - pie crust inclusive. A heavy tart berry twang. The acetic character rocks. Subdued oak barrel. Cream. Dampened wood. Deep dark berry and blackcurrant notes. I confess I haven't a clue what elderberry tastes like, but this has a very evocative interesting fruit character which isn't too jammy or sweet. Any malt base disappears beneath the dominant bacterial sourness; it's almost all lactobacillus but feels less clinical and sterile than most lacto-dominant sours.

Good depth of flavour, and excellent flavour amplitude. Above average flavour duration and intensity. There's ample complexity here, but it still finds room for subtlety (especially where the berry and oak are concerned) and nuance. The oak barrel doesn't overwhelm the base, and the bacterial sourness is sufficient to please sour lovers (i.e. it's about a 6/10 in terms of intensity, but the perceived sourness is amplified by the tartness and acetic character).

I love it, and it only develops further as it comes to temperature, allowing the focal berry to bleed out throughout the second act.

To be fair, the spices mentioned on the label never really come through in an evocative manner, but then overt spices wouldn't necessarily be welcome here. If I really search, maybe there's some nutmeg buried beneath the acetic pie crust?

It's a gestalt build for a sour, and I find myself loving it more with each sip. Great stuff!

TEXTURE: Acidic, acetic, smooth, medium-bodied, aptly thick, and near ideally carbonated. Great overall presence on the palate. This texture accentuates the acetic pie crust character impressively well, and helps elevate the beer beyond merely its taste. Very well-executed, boasting the smackiness I love in sour ales.

Not oily, gushed, sticky, dragging, rough, scratchy, coarse, astringent, boozy, hot, or harsh.

Overall presence on the palate is superb. It's got weight and presence without being overbearing, syrupy, etc. Nicely done, Cascade.

OVERALL: Highly drinkable, burying any trace of its surprisingly high ABV. This is a beer to be savored. Yet another superb offering from one of the USA's best sour producers, Elderberry is a beer I'd happily pick up again if not for its high price point. Sour lovers will be impressed, but not dazzled. Absolutely worth trying at least once. A delightful brew in a style that's close to impossible to get perfect. I tip my hat to the cats at Cascade.

Low A-

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

elderberries are a neat fruit, in that they are incredible for you but really intensely flavored, astringent, even harsh at times in the wild, but in a sour beer as bold as this one, they seem a lovely compliment. the beer is deep purple, beautiful color, not as heady as others but welling up a little pinkish white head. the nose is the tartness of the berries behind the sour cultures cascade has perfected over time here. its mouthwatering and fruity without being sweet. what i like in the flavor is that this is spiced too. its fills in some of the gaps between the lighter malt and the high tone fruit. wintery too, which makes it nice for this time of year, but not so loaded with allspice and anise or whatever is in here that it distracts from the sourness or from the elderberries, it actually accentuates both in a new way, which is probably the greatest success of this brew. not as dry as some of the others, the berry tartness lingers just a little on the tails of the spice, and this is one sour beer overall, sharp just a little in its acidity, but as good in total enjoyment as any of the cascade beers ive had thus far. fortunate to share this one with family and friends, its a wonderfully elegant and unique brew, and the best use of elderberries i have seen in an ale, hands down.

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Photo of Jonada
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

2013 Project. 8.2% ABV. 750 ml bottle poured into a wine glass

Appearance: Pours a very dark red/brown color with 1 finger of a tan head that settles to a medium ring. Appearance in the glass is dark, but when held up to light reveals a clear body with dark ruby red color.

Smell: Sour cherry, oak, leather, licorice, dark berries, hearty red wine grapes. Maybe a touch of funk, but mostly a clean sourness. Very similar to a flanders red, but with some additional dark berry character.

Taste: Dark berries, fruit leather, black currants, some malt character, sour cherry and some oak, but not as strong as in the aroma. There's a very light roasted character that that starts to develop in the finish and aftertaste after a while as well. Very subtle, but definitely detectable.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but a bit thin as well. Carbonation

Overall: Really solid offering from Cascade. It's not quite at the level of some of their best beers, but probably just one step below. Worth a try, if you can find it.

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Photo of Budinetz
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage - 8.2% abv. Poured from a cork and cage bottle into 3 different glasses. Poured very carefully and slowly and then the last 2 oz was poured into a small glass.

Pours a deep crimson red color with a light tan head that dissipates rather quickly. Very minimal lacing but that is characteristic of the style. 4.75

Smells of subtle oak, sour berries, lactobacillus, and an elderberry musk. Some very prestigious scents for a sour beer. Very well done. 4.5

Tastes of sour berries, lactobacillus, subtle oak, and nothing else. Flavor is awesome and very characteristic of the style. Amazing sour flavor on this brew! 4.5

Feels puckering on the tongue with a higher amount of carbonation due to the bottle fermentation. The pleasant prickliness compliments the sour tartness. 4.25

Overall a fantastic rendition of an old classic style from
Belgium. Cascade always delivers a solid sour. Do your self a favor and pick this one up! 4.75


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Cascade Elderberry from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
4.06 out of 5 based on 350 ratings.
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