Sarah and I went to the Cascade Brewing Barrel House today to try some sours. We tasted eight of them, and they brew tons of one offs and unleash different vintages, too.
We started with the Vine, a sour beer brewed with white grape juice. The grape flavor was very subdued, perceivable only in the back of the throat. It taste more like a geueze than anything fruit infused. There is a ton of wheat flavor and a little bitterness. Sarah said it had a hint of beer flavor. I tasted the alcohol as well, this actually comes in at 9%.
The next was Nightfall. Aged for six months with blackberries, the fruit really comes through on this one. Immediately, I wasreminded of the Shallon winery in Astoria and that I need to go pick up a case of their blackberry wine. The berries come through completely, not just syrupy sweet. I wish I had more to say, but we only had so many sips of this beer and all of them were delicious.
The Sang Noir goes in a slightly different direction. It’s aged in pinot noir and bourbon barrels and then blended with bing cherries and aged some more. There was a definitely whiskey character in the nose. There is a hint of caramel and raisins. There is a general dark fruity character, but I could barely taste the cherries. The finish left a kiss of bourbon on the tongue.
The last of our first four tasters was the Kriek which was far more sour than the others, almost like the stomach acid from that Flanders brown I poured out a month back. The sour beer dominates the cherries. It really forced the Sang Noir out of my mouth and left it puckered.
We ordered a second round, and I took the picture, so it’s completely backwards. We stared on the right with the Raspberry. The nose was similar to a Lindemans Framboise but crisper. The sip felt light on the tongue and left it dry. The raspberry teases a bit, but it doesn’t completely appear. I was expecting more fruit, but the raspberry left me dry. I kept sipping it, but my need for raspberry wasn’t satisfied.
Next we moved on to the Cranberry, which was surprisingly spicy, cinnamon and mincemeat pies. The scent was more fruity. Sarah said this would be great for Thanksgiving, but seems a little weird on a super warm spring day.
The most confusing beer was the Blueberry. It smelled peppery to me, but Sarah disagreed. The flavor reminded me of iced tea, lots of tannin. And then there were the blueberries. Before we could really figure it out it was all gone. I still wanted to pick it apart.
The Supracot was their Live From the Barrel beer of the night. The nose was exactly like a bunch of dried apricots. The flavor was a great balance of apricot flavor and sour beer. When the apricot faded the acid kicked in.
We tried all of the sours available and could have stuck around trying just as many conventional ales. We’ll definitely be back for more, despite the weirdness of the decor. These are not the sort of beers you would expect in a place that looks a bit like a sports bar.