Cascade Elderberry
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

Cascade ElderberryCascade Elderberry
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American Wild Ale
Ranked #652
Ranked #4,012
4.09 | pDev: 7.82%
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Oregon, United States
Cascade ElderberryCascade Elderberry
Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 371 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sabtos
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Filling nearly to coffee black but actually displaying a dark garnet hue under light, this has a fuzzy khaki head that quickly fizzles out.

Smell is really funky, sweaty feet and dank balsamic vinegar, yet it's not sharp, and is more like red wine oak.

Taste is not as sour or funky as I thought it'd be judging from the nose, but is quite sour still, with an intense berry-forward jamminess of blackberry, elderberry and berry seeds, maturing out with a red wine oaky char.

Really good! This has a big, soft carbonation throughout the medium-full body, finishing semi-dry.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lucked out on a current bottle share. Here's my thoughts on this expensive beast.
My portion was poured into a tulip.
The appearance was a dark blue/semi-dark purple color with a finger's worth of white foamy head that slid off at a good pace. Some lace slid into the beer as it was continued on in the sipping.
The aroma had the elderberry, sweet and tart up front with some blackberries, pomegranate, light yogurt, floral qualities, light vinous and a little bit of sweet wood ending with a touch of earthiness.
The flavor tried to have the sour up front with doses of sweet, tart, vinous and lactic yogurt covered fruitiness (nice blend of elderberries, blackberries and pomegranate). Quick semi-sour to lactic sort of aftertaste.
The mouthfeel was almost medium bodied, seemed to sit just a touch under and seemed to have a good sipping quality about it due to it's sour strength. Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt appropriate.
Overall, pretty nice American Wild ale with a good strength of sour melding with the fruits.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Easily the most unique beer I have had from Cascade. Smells like a dirty farm in my native Galicia (poor, rural, shit-laden).

Spoiled yogurt, blue cheese, bacteria galore... and then a nice herb garden, Ricola and fresh flowers. But also a tad of vomit and bile.

Pomegranate juice, berries tossed around and some pineberry.

Unique and outrageous...

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark cloudy copper color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention and some lacing. Aroma of tart and sour elderberry notes is interesting. Taste is a mix of vinous notes with some oak and tart notes of elderberry with light acidic notes also noticeable. Body is full with limited filtration and good carbonation. Well done with intense flavours while retaining some drinkability.

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Photo of LAp
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
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 +3.9%
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 +4.4%
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 -3.9%
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%
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%
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 +4.9%
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 -2.4%
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 +0.2%
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 +12.5%
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 -3.4%
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 +5.1%
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 +8.6%
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 -2.2%
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 +9.8%
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 -4.6%
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 -1.5%
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 -6.1%
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%
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%
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 +4.4%
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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Cascade Elderberry from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 371 ratings