When Cascade Brewing introduced Oblique Black & White Stout—a creamy, strong golden ale with robust roasty flavors courtesy of Oblique Roasters coffee—it became one of the first quote-unquote white stouts (a beer that’s naturally always nearly pitch black). This week’s Live from the Barrel tapping—Cascade Barrel House’s weekly series—blanches palates once again with Napoleon Cherry, a blend of blonde and wheat ales aged in white wine barrels with local Napoleon cherries (also known as Royal Annes), that are striking in their seemingly tie-dyed appearance of red and white. As opposed to the sour cherries used in their standard house kriek (taken from the Flemish word for cherry; cherry Belgian lambics are also called krieks), the sweet fruit imbues this beer with notes of apricot, loquats, and kiwis with a whiff of vanilla. Of course, being a Cascade Northwest-style sour ale, the end result is still tart, just less so than Cascade Kriek.
Napoleon Cherry is on tap now at Cascade Barrel House, but it won't last long. Once this live barrel is gone, we’ll just have to wait until Double Mountain’s Tahoma Kriek is released likely in late July. That beer is made with brewmaster Matt Swihart’s own orchard-picked Rainier cherries, a yellower cousin of Napoleons.
Cascade Barrel House, 939 SE Belmont Street