January 26, 2011

Return to the House of Sour

Sunny spot at the bar, a glass of Nightfall, and no other immediate plans.

With the sun peeking out on Portland during a fairly mild Saturday, I made a return trip to the Cascade Barrel House. I'm pleased to see that business is still hopping over there. While there were maybe 6-8 people having drinks when I first arrived, the freaking world rolled in over the next hour and it was suddenly packed to the gills. Maybe I caught a lull, but the word is out and the people are coming. And that's great to see - this is a place that deserves to stick around.

The main reason for the trip was after I heard about their 'Tuesday Tapping' of Früit Loops. I nearly fell out of my chair reading the description: a blend of the Apricot and Noyeaux. Oh, and Razberry Wheat. And Frite Galois. AND Sang Noir. Who in the hell could come up with that and where do I get in line to give them a hug? That's mad scientist stuff, gang. And the result is an incredible sour mix - the nose is unlike any beer I've ever tried. Sweet aromatics and waves of fruit all over the place. I could definitely pick up on the Sang Noir bite, but the rest was sour fruit cocktail and I mean that in the best possible light. Complex, delicious - just another day at the office for Cascade. It's still on-tap as of this post. You should seriously consider getting some.

The author with Früit Loops. No, he's not sharing.

Even while getting some mixed reviews at the bar from other patrons, I had to try the other Straight-From-The-Cask offering: Chocolate Raspberry. Cascade describes this as the last keg of their Fresh Hop Porter (which was pretty tasty) and a new batch of Busta Nut Brown. Then they added in Raspberry Infused Triple (dug that a few weeks back) and Bourbonic Plague. While one guy said he thought the raspberry dominated everything, I didn't find that to be the case. It's there, yes, but I got more than enough cocoa and sour from the Plague to make this a pretty nifty little blend. It would be really good as a post-dinner beer - just a shame it's a one-shot deal that will likely never be seen again.

Also had a free sample (this is why you sit at the bar if you can) of the Sang Rouge (great, as always) since they overpoured a few tasters during the mad rush of people. And I couldn't leave without a touch of the Nightfall '10. For my money, it's the best of the lot that Cascade offers. That is admittedly splitting hairs between "really really good" and "really really really good", but the blackberry backbone simply adds to the sour in a way that my tastebuds are configured to enjoy.

You, sir or madam, definitely need to get to Cascade if you've yet to make the trip. Personally, I need to get back there for the 'standard' roster at some point, but the sour creations are always too good to pass up.

1 comment:

  1. Well worth the trip to Cascade, Ben. I had a great time and the sours were amazing! Thanks for the lessons in great beer tasting!