Breweries "Visited"

Friday, July 13, 2012

Roll Out the Barrel

Beer #216 Sang Noir / Cascade Brewing Barrel House, Portland, OR

Travel day today (more on that later), so I'm keeping it short and sweet and getting right down to business.  Second to last update from vacation, and it was another outstanding find.  Today's brewery is Cascade Brewing Barrel House, and the official beer is the Sang Noir, although I did put down a sampler.  This spot was recommended to us by the bartender at Rogue, when we mentioned we were in the market for some sour beers.  Cascade has a huge list of sours, with plenty of IPAs and saisons thrown in for good measure.  Great cheese plate, while we're throwing out compliments.

We both started with a sample, so here's my rundown:
1. Saison de la Maison - a very summery saison with some light hops a nice peppery bite.  Reminded me of a slightly more fruity Saison Dupont, which is high praise considering my fondness for Dupont.  Fantastic beer!
2. The Vine - this is a blonde that was barrel aged and then aged again on fresh pressed white grapes.  The grape flavor comes through clear, which is a little unusual for a blonde, but not in a bad way.  It's tart and sweet, with a smooth and silky feel.
3. Orange Sorbet - this one was poured out of a cask, and had a pleasant orange aroma, with flavors of orange, apricot and a light sweetness.  Very nice sour; natural, nothing artificial (although that can be said about all of the Cascade beers).
4. Sang Noir - aged in Pinot Noir barrels, this had a tart sourness and is on par with any other great sour beer I've sampled this year.  Beautiful flavors of cherry and dark fruits abound.  Reminds me of Supplication from Russian River (more on that tomorrow), in the sense that it has a rich, delicious mix of flavors and a perfect level of tart sourness.  Sang Noir is just fantastically well done.

Looks wonderful. Is wonderful.

All of the beers were outstanding, and I'm officially putting Sang Noir on the Top 25 list.  Saison de la Maison would be on the Top 25 list as well, but we're sticking with one entry per brewery.  Rules are rules, people.

Thing to Think About Today:
Cascade has elevated barrel aging to an art form, so let's do some barrel celebration, shall we?  That means it's Beer Barrel Polka time, because there just aren't that many songs about barrels.  Keeping it real for my NEPA people...

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