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Secession Black India Pale Ale (CDA) - Hopworks Urban Brewery

Not Rated.
Secession Black India Pale Ale (CDA)Secession Black India Pale Ale (CDA)

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

63 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 63
Hads: 143
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 9.7%
Wants: 24
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hopworks Urban Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RedDiamond on 07-12-2009

Called "a Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale/India Dark Ale" by the HUB headbrewer.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Secession Black India Pale Ale (CDA) Alström Bros
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Reviews: 63 | Hads: 143
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
2.59/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Part of a Hopworks care package via a friend in Portland.
Pours ruby black with an enormous and frothy tan colored cap. Lacing left behind isnt very sticky and slowly settles down to the rest of the brew.
Hops are a little weak and a little burnt on the nose. Im not getting alot that lures me into the glass. Theres a bit of pine to bring it slightly to earth, but overall it just smells pretty boring. Id appreciate a bigger hop profile, minus this burnt aspect that i just cant escape.
The whole front end of this appears toasted, while the backend tapers off a little watery. Any flavor i should be getting out of this just seems muttled. Half a pint glass into this, my palate is already fatigued and im just not digging it. Definitely not a winner to me. i am curious if this is a slightly older bottle, as i cant seem to find any kind of dating on the bottle. perhaps ill seek it out when its guaranteed fresh.

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Photo of beertunes
2.73/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clear, deep reddish mahogany color with just a thin cap of tan head that low retention and had good retention.

In the nose, the beer had a floral hop presence up front that faded to roast and finished with some coffee scents. On the tongue the hops played a very reduced role, roast flavors dominated and the beer had an extremely heavy and unpleasant coffee flavor on the finish.

The body was thinner than typical for a style that's not known for for being solid. Drinkability wasn't that enjoyable, mostly due to the heavy roast and coffee.

Overall, a slightly below average example of a style that I'm having a hard time finding much love for. Give it a shot if you see it, or not.

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Photo of beagle75
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint glass.

A: Hazy, dark brown color with over one finger of persistent light beige foam head. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Dark roasted malt features a slight peated twist, but is also leaned on by disruptive carbon dioxide. Weak floral hops come across as noncommittal and evasive.

T: Begins barely off-dry with soft roasted grain and mild hops aromatics that cultivate a derived fruity quality. Acidity is mild into the middle where some savory wood smoke develops. The finish pairs mild bitterness with leftover qualities that make a quick retreat.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly acidic and wet on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Like many of the beers by Hopworks, this one probably performs best when it is simply consumed rather than analyzed or compared to its peers. It is capably brewed but not really noteworthy, without much ability to stand out in a crowd.

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Photo of youradhere
3.24/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with tan head, red hues around the edges, nearly see through except for the center. Smell is subdued, some pine and black malt, but that is about it, almost as much character as a porter. Taste is bitter upfront, some pine and coffee with mango, slight chocolate. Carbonation is high and body is thin enough. Not exactly hoppy, but the flavors do well with eachother; I'll finish the bottle no prob but doubt I'll be back for seconds at the store.

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Photo of seanwhite
3.47/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


S: Nose is dank hops, spicy leafy hops.

T: Low roastiness, Hopping is rather restrained. Leafy, tea-ish, tobacco, and a tiny bit piney. Bitterness level is below average for the style. This is not a hop bomb and nor is it malt heavy.

M: Finish is annoyingly chalky.

O: Very good black IPA

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.51/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bomber into a glass. A gift from the ever-generous ramnuts. Thanks, Frank!

A: Pours a dark brown body that seems nearly black in the glass. But when held to the light, it reveals some ruby edge translucence. The head is light beige in color, rising to two fingers of height in a moderate pour of the first half of the bomber. Quite nice. Retention is great, and it deposits sticky lace on its way down.

S: Roasted malt, toast, and light chocolate. Grapefruit and pine hops -- they're there, but not as strong / pungent as I'd like.

T: Grapefruit hops for sure. Pine becomes more apparent as the beer warms, but neither hop variety has the bite I'm seeking. Roast is quite prominent, lending flavors of chocolate and some coffee to the mix.

M: Semi-dry with good carbonation. A little high to be creamy; it makes the body feel thinner and more watery than I like.

D: A solid beer. As far as black IPAs go, I prefer Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous and Clown Shoes Black IPA more.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a large tan head.
Lots of roasty malt as a flavour along with menthol, pine and smoke. Interesting.
Flavours include coffee grounds, roasted malt, caramel, piny hops, spicy notes. Finishes with a bold bitterness with both piny and roasty components.
Carbonation is just a little high.

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Photo of chumba526
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears dark black with a layer of brown foam.

Smells of citrus, pine like hops and smoky roasted malts.

Taste is very much like the smell a nice roasted toasty flavor of malts is apparent; there is also a slight sweetness of malts as well. The taste ends with the citrusy flavor of hops and a medium amount of bitterness.

The mouthful of the beer is very smooth like a stout and the carbonation is medium low.

I could have a couple of these because it is well balanced. Over all a decent Indian Black Ale that's better than average.

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Photo of souvenirs
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed farther north in Cascadia, in Vancouver, BC.

A: Cola black, almost impenetrable to light, a little bit reddish (like black cherry) when held to light, but mostly just black. A couple fingers of head about the colour of chocolate milk.

S: A bit piney, dark bread, no citrus or floral notes.

T: I might be crazy, but there's something about this beer that reminds me of sausages. I wouldn't really say it's smokey, but there's some sort of charred/grilled flavour going on here. Bitter and a bit piney, but not without dark malt flavours. This beer has a taste unlike any I've ever tried, and it's certainly not awful, but it's not really to my liking, either. It's the char/smoke flavour I'm not crazy about.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Kevin for sharing this brew!

A- Body is an opaque dark brown hue that pours with a foamy 2 finger off white head. Plenty of lacing is left down the glass.

S- Nose is very earthy, herbal, grassy, and mossy with a hint of roasted malt in the background.

T- Taste is very similar to the smell. This is a hoppy beer indeed-but more the medicinal, herbal remedy, hippie, going green type hop than the bright american hop profile that I am used to. A very faint roasted malt backbone is there-but the highlight here is the hops.

M- Carbonation is soft with a medium weight body.

D- This is probably more earthy than unearthly. Certainly a different, atypical type of IPA. If I was into the more earthy hop I would love this brew-but I like my hoppy beers bright or floral. Still a decent beer overall.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Kevin for sharing this one!

A-pours a brownish liquid with red esges. a light tan colored head is tight with great lace.

S-hint of roasted maltiness, dark chocolate, burnt coffee up front. herbal marijuanna hops come through big time. touch of tea leaves accompany.

T-the taste brings a light roasted malt, hints of smokiness. the herbal hops take over, touch of tea leaves and earthy. a little thinned out in the back.

M-extremely smooth on the palate, lighter body, low carbonation that falls off in the back and is a little thin in boddy.

D-pretty tasty, falls off in the back, the nose was great but the taste falls a little short of that. very earthy and dank like.

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Photo of MADhombrewer
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Appearance- Black. You have to hold it up right next to the light to get the reddish edges. Big bubbled tan head. 4/5

Smell- Sweet and roasted malts with a backbone of piney hops. I kinda wish it was the other way around. Very small bits of coffee and chocolate. 4/5

Taste- Sweet coffee and chocolate with a small, sharp bitterness. I wish there was more of a hop presence. It gets more bitter as it warms. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel- Good mouthfeel for the style. Medium. 4/5

Overall- Good beer. I wish the hop were more of a presence, though. 3.5/5

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed out of a 22 oz brown bottle with a distinctive silkscreened label showing a map of "Cascadia". No kind of dating that I can find, but I know this is available in the Spring, so I'm guessing this bottle is close to six months old. Poured into a 16 oz nonic style tumbler.

Appearance - A healthy pour yields a big frothy cocoa powder colored head of a little more than two fingers with a pillowy top of suds. Body is a deep crude oil black that lets very little light through, but there may be highlights of dark walnut. Hard to tell if that's just reflecting light. Retention is outstanding, and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell - Lots of roasted elements going on here. Coffee, cacao, toasted wheat bread, and just a faint hit of some rich, earthy hop bitterness. A bit of grassiness as well, but very little floral or citrus. None of the hop profile that I love in a good "Black IPA", but with a six month passage of time, hop aroma is going to suffer. Even though there aren't the distinctive hop profiles, I do get the sense that the hops lend some aromatic qualities to the roasty components, giving them a bit more life.

Taste - Much like the smell, the taste here is more porter-like than IPA-like. There is still an earthy bitterness to accompany burnt caramel, espresso and coffee bean flavor profiles, so the flavor is actually quite balanced.

Mouthfeel - Medium-to-heavy body with moderate carbonation. A velvety feel with a semisweet finish, like dark chocolate.

Overall, a delicious beer, but one that I can't help but wonder if it would be better with a stronger floral hop profile. It's funny, my brain would probably fooled into rating this higher if the label said "porter" instead of "black IPA". Either way, it's solid and is good enough to make me curious to try to locate a fresher bottle.

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Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somewhat diapointing for the style, as a beer. Fresh bottle from Zyn in Calgary. Black body, high IBU, more roastiness in he flavour. Lacey Lots of really roasty as in burnt parts. Hops and citrus in finish. Lace rings. Grows on me, but I am just OK on it.

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Photo of jpbebeau
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle to tulip, after much-belatedly raking the yard.

A: Very dark reddish-brown, near black at high volumes. Color only at the edges. Quickly dissipating light-tan head, which leaves lacing you'd expect with an IPA or DIPA.

S: Floral hops and a bit of roast. Leather. Roast, dank, leather hops and malts.

T: Initial porter-like roast malts. Piney hops hit the mid-palate. Lingering throat-puckering aftertaste.

M: Moderate weight. Pretty carbonated. Easy to drink.

Not bad; I'd drink it again, but won't seek it out. Do like the price, though. Not quite sure where I come down on CDAs yet.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Pint glass.

A - Pours a dark brown with a one finger light off-white head. Good retention and lacing left on the glass.

S - Roasted malts, some hoppy pine and grass.

T - Roasted malts mostly, some of the hops do come through.

D - Perfect body and carbonation. Good balance for the style.

O - The best of the day. Try it!

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Photo of philbertk
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

4 oz. Taste @ Portland, Oregon Spring Beer & Wine Fest April 3rd, 2010. 6.5% ABV. 70 IBU's. Roasted hoppy aromatic front. Crisp toasted dry malt body. Rich balanced hop spice end. (4.0 / 5.0) Hopworks Urban Brewery--HUB--Secession Cascadian Dark Ale Sustainable Organic Beer--2011 22 oz. Bottles. 6.50% ABV. 70 IBU's. (3.75 / 5.0) Clear pour. Medium mild lace rocky tan white head. Opaque dark black color. No ruby edge. Lightly burnt mildly aromatic hop front. Crisp fully fermented dry sweet toasty unbittered dark malt mild hop pine resin body. Mellow bitter earthy crusty cloying resin mild citrus clean end with hint of lingering dark malt roastiness. Confusing flavors. Tastes Pale not Black. Tasty crisp & smooth. Tasted 2/4/2011. Purchased for $5.99 @ The Ballard Market on 1/21/2011.

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Photo of 1234Jack
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

color is very dark black, only barely transparent where it meets the glass - there it's brownish red.




head formed with gusto, frothy, persistent.

prominent lacing that hangs on the glass from the onset.

very subtle malt-hop smell.

hop taste is noticeable followed by smokiness.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black coffee colour fully clear, so black, light struggling to pass through. On pour the sudsy thin tan head sticks around just long enough to make a show, then just fades to a single file rim a round the glass.

S: First blush of sweet malts, molasses, coco, & instant coffee followed up with the hops of pine resins, grapefruit rind and finishes with that acrid hoppy scent.

T: Similar to the smell the taste is forward with sweet malts, molasses, rye bread & coco followed quickly with hoppy pine resin & grapefruit rind. The finish is an interesting play of dark roasted coffee that's just edging over to bitter with an after taste of hoppy pine.

M: Mouth feel is at the fair side of light edging into a medium viscosity. Low on carbonation.

O:The interplay of hops and malts mix well highlighting the best qualities of both, while not overwhelming the each other. It's worth sipping this one to experience the taste profile, especially as it warms.

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Photo of scootpolute
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle from the 2011 vintage, poured into a tulip glass.

Look: jet black, light tan head that leaves a nice lacing.

Smell: heavy hop punch followed with some roasted malt aromas, chocolate, fudge, a little coffee and some alcohol soaked currants. Smells quite good and inviting.

Taste: Hops, sweet currants and coffee flavors stand out, with some more hop flavor and some chocolate, a bit of currant and anise, with a bit of bitterness that seems to come more from the roasted malt than the hops. My mouth tastes like I've been eating raw hops espresso beans after drinking this beer. The alcohol is there but oddly subtle, especially considering how fresh this beer is.

Feel: full bodied, a little chewy good carbonation, just right for the style. Very smooth and easy going down!

Overall: First time I've had this one, second time I've had a beer from this brewery and both time I"ve been impressed! Delicious beer and I should also note that the price only adds to how great this beer is. At 4.99 for a bomber in a market where you should expect to spend over 6-7 for a bomber of anything and much more for a yummy porter'esk' beer like this one, this is an amazing deal.
Serving type: bottle

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Photo of wordemupg
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650mla bomber poured into pint glass april18 2011

A dark cola with a thick two finger tan head that slowly falls to a thin film that leaves a couple partial rings of lace

S a little citrus with some milk chocolate

T what I smell but stronger with some grapefruit and more chocolate, some very faint coffee and pine, nice combination of dark malts and hops

M a little coarse but nowhere near sandpaper, a little bitter bite and good carbonation

O went down pretty quick so that says something, a good beer that's worth trying

I find this an interesting style but often find myself wishing the flavor profile went one way or the other, hop bomb or dark roast, I do like them combined but its hard to wrap my head around.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured black with good carbonation This is a really pretty beer. Big powerful pine leaving a nice tannish cap

S: Citrus, grass mainly but hints at cocoa, espresso and black malt

T: This is a different take on a CDA. I noticed a bit more coffee, cocoa than other CDAs. Backed up with plenty of citrus hops, good amount of bittering

M: Some charring on this, medium body, tasty and a nice creaminess I was not expecting.

D: Good

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Photo of woosterbill
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a Weyerbacher tulip. Thanks to vonschplieffen for sharing.

A: Clear dark russet body with two fingers of ultra-fine, frothy off-white foam. Great body/head contrast (this really looks like a BIPA/CDA/ABA/etc), as well as retention, with light, spotty lacing left behind. Excellent.

S: Seaweed and oysters; the hops and roast combine into a decidedly briny piquancy. It's interesting, but less than stunning.

T: Piney hops, coffee roast, and clean bitterness. Simple and tasty, with (thankfully) none of the saltiness hinted at in the aroma. Solid.

M: Fairly light body, with matching carbonation. Soft, delicate, and enjoyable.

O: It's nice to see a beer of this style pull of intense flavor without a super-high ABV; too many seem to clock in over 8%, at which point the delicate contrast of flavors can get a little muddled in the heat. The bizarre smell kept this from being a real standout, but it was undoubtedly a tasty brew. I'd have another, although if I find myself in Portland I can guarantee I won't be seeking this one out. If you're a fan of the style (I'm not, although I don't find it offensive or anything), you could do a lot worse.


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Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, the label displaying a nice painted visual of a geographical representation of Cascadia - weird how there is still a border between WA and OR, but not between WA and BC - hmmm.

This beer pours a clear, rather dark reddish cola hue, with two pudgy fingers of creamy, foamy, and bubbly beige head, which leaves a barely-broken paint job of cobwebbed lace around the glass as everything falls away.

It smells of roasted, almost meaty bready caramel malt, watery pine notes, soft, warm citrus, and a more prominent earthy grassiness. The taste is still big on the roasted caramel malt - now with an additional grainy wheatiness - some dry coffee grounds, faint milky cocoa, and bitter grassy, citrusy, and piney hops.

The carbonation is heady in its forceful frothiness, but not actually overbearing, the body medium weight, a little airy, but fairly smooth overall. It finishes off-dry, the lessened, but still toasty malt getting pushed around by the earthy, piney hop bitterness.

A pretty good Cascadian Dark Ale, representative of the nascent style - balanced, in a high-flying sort of manner, the roasted and coffee flavours adding another dimension to the often bloated malt/hop interplay. Interesting in a distracted way, at least until the next mini style evolution comes loping along.

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Photo of mjl21
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade...thanks Mike. 22 ounce bottle poured into an Imperial pint glass. Comes in at 6.5% and 70 IBUs. No bottling info is given.

A-It is a nice looking beer. It is dark brown with a large two finger sandy colored head that has some great retention. The lingering head results in some nice lacing.

S-Not as piney or citrusy as most CDAs that I have tried. The smell reminded me of homebrewed IPA wort. As it warms some subtle hints of pine show up along with some dark roasted malt. I kept waiting for the hops to stand out more and it never delivered the pine/citrus punch I wanted.

T-It begins with plenty of roasted malt flavor. Pine forest flavor is also quick to jump out. The pine is a lot more prevalent than it is on the nose. The combo works, but I still felt it could have used some more hop bite.

M-Like RR, these guys always do well in the mouthfeel department. It is smooth and creamy.

D-A decent enough beer, but would pass this one if offered a Stone SSR.

Glad I got to try this, but feel more hops are needed. Would love to try it on tap the next time I hit up PDX.

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Secession Black India Pale Ale (CDA) from Hopworks Urban Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.