Jan 25, 2018

Cascade Sang du Chêne

I’m a big fan of Cascade Brewing’s sour beer program. Every bottle that I’ve encountered has been outstanding, often surpassing lofty expectations based on previous experiences. Sang du Chêne (2015 vintage) not only exceeds my ridiculous hopes for a beer, but it very well may be one of, if not, the best beer I’ve ever poured into a glass. Meaning “blood of the oak,” this 9.6% ABC sour ale certainly showcases a solid barrel influence through its apricot-tinged depths, but also a moderate tartness that allows those flavors to shine brilliantly.

The brewery blended sour blond and triple ales that had been aged in three different oak vessels. Toasted French and American oak puncheons, a hogshead that housed Cognac and aged wine foudres all impart an array of influences of varying degree, but also do so in a cohesive and balanced manner. The liquor/brandy influence never overwhelms a smooth woodiness, vinous notes, vanilla, spices and distant fruity notes. The sour tartness is moderate in nature, almost hitting an approachable level, leaving a playful tingle in its wake as everything swells wonderfully prior to wrapping up in a long lasting and light drying finish.

I don’t know if I’d call myself a Cascade fanboy just yet, but with beers like Sang du Chêne it’s becoming more difficult not to get overly excited when I cross paths with new bottles from the brewery. This beer is simply outstanding and displays a full flavor profile and smooth sour tartness. This is one of those beers that I not only would love to have again, but of which I need to find more.