Cascade Elderberry
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub

Cascade ElderberryCascade Elderberry
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Style:
American Wild Ale
Ranked #651
ABV:
7.75%
Score:
91
Ranked #4,013
Avg:
4.09 | pDev: 7.82%
Reviews:
54
Ratings:
371
From:
Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
 
Oregon, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  52
Gots
  66
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Cascade ElderberryCascade Elderberry
Notes:
Reviews: 54 | Ratings: 371 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Doug6322:
Photo of Doug6322
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for Beachwood Sour Fest at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a murky crimson-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is slightly sour and tart with malt, red wine, wood, and berry aromas. Taste is much the same with sour berry, red wine, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and dry mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a fairly prominent red wine and wood presence alongside the elderberries.

 648 characters

Photo of kojevergas
4.05/5  rDev -1%
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-

 3,765 characters

Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of BSUNyikos31
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of Duff27
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of LeftHanded666
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nkeckhar
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Schellig
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Moheban
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Plasmafunk
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of chart813
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of IrishColonial
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Borrego805
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MacQ32
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of D_Min
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kmanjohnson
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StormAles
4.49/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 492 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Kplummer82
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Gobzilla
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of ttp86
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Cascade Elderberry from Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 371 ratings