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Skookum Cascadian Brown Ale - Phillips Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Skookum Cascadian Brown AleSkookum Cascadian Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

68 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 68
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 8.48%
Wants: 6
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Skookum [skookuh m] (adjective) from Chinook, West Coast North America 1. A monster indigenous to the Cascade region. 2. Strong, reliable, and/or hard-working 3. Big, bold hop characteristics with a smooth, rich maltiness 4. The unofficial fuel of the Cascadian revolution.

Formerly Black Toque.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-23-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 46 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Phillips have been brewing very nice West Coast style IPAs. Pleasant brown colour wih mocha head. Grapefruit and dark malt aroma. Smooth taste with grapefruit juice and dark malts, with bitter English finish. 650 ml. is a fair amount to finish, and I would buy his on a regular basis if it was available locally. Just in at Volo.

Sammy, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a huge foamy head with some great retention and some lacing. Aroma of medium bitter roasted malt mix with some dry bitter hops. Taste also consists of roasted malt with some bitter dry hops which is not the most interesting combination IMO. Body is about average with some great carbonation. Interesting but not necessarily something I would go for regularly.

Phyl21ca, Oct 19, 2007
Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle, at Volo Cafe in T-dot. Much farther away from home base than I thought I'd get to try this, but whatevs.

This beer pours a clear, very dark reddish amber colour, with two fingers of foamy, chunky beige head, which leaves some nice tight webbed lace around the glass in its lazy retreat.

It smells of citrus cream, roasted biscuity caramel malt, a hint of dry coffee grounds, soft milk chocolate, and an oily bar-top nuttiness. The taste is more semi-sweet biscuity, caramel, and toasted bready malt, a further bit of creamed nuttiness, and some decently sassy citrus and pine hops.

The carbonation is moderately dull-edged, and mostly down for a nap, the body a solid medium weight, and quite smooth in its bearing. It has a clean, somewhat smokey, malty, nutty, and slightly citrus-tinged finish.

A pleasant toasted, malt-forward West Coast IPA, one kind of familiar to me thanks to Cannery's limited Wildfire release last fall, this is definitely a nice blackened twist on a solid base IPA. Recommended, if only for a taste of a seemingly burgeoning, cutting edge beer style.

biboergosum, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of biegaman
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An India Dark Ale? Are we making up styles? Let's see here...
Impressive. Indeed, the makeup of an india pale ale but dark. Like a bizarro world IPA. Quite impressive. For one, a nice, sleek looking colour, some shine when held to the light. Decent head/lacing. Aroma jam-packed with hops. Lively bouquet, crisp, full. Carbonation a little high but not too noticeable over the smooth mouthfeel. Hops round out the dark malts quite well, rather complimentary of eachother. Malts reach a nice level of roastness, gentle on the palatte. Makes for an odd drink actually, similar to so many styles. Drinks like a schwarzbier almost. Bottom line:
Very tasty and simply, kinda awesome!

biegaman, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of Viggo
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared at Volo. Pours a clear dark brown/red, reddish highlights, medium sized thick off white head forms, lots of lacing, good retention. Smell is citrus and pine, caramel, roasty grains. Taste is citrus/floral up front, some roasty nuts and grainy middle, chocolate and caramel, clean bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Really different and nice, reminds of the character of Founders Black Rye, malty roast body and highly hopped.

Viggo, Apr 23, 2006
Photo of DrJay
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep chestnut brown with a generous, light tan head. Good retention with some clumpy lace. Roasty, chocolatey malt in the nose is balanced with strong PNW hopping (grapefruit and pine) that's a little powdery. Great combination of flavours - bitter chocolate, nuts, grapefruit, rich malt, and lingering bitterness. Medium body and carbonation with a slight dryness. The interesting flavour profile keeps this very drinkable. Great job Phillips!

DrJay, May 17, 2006
Photo of liamt07
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bomber into a pint glass, bottle courtesy of IllNate.

Deep brown on the verge of chesnut with hints of red, and a tan/mocha head. Beer is almost opaque, impressive as an IPA, as this is my first "Cascadian Dark Ale" (the 'Black IPA' for us non-mountain folk). Head fades a bit and leave thick walls of lace and some chunky head. Smell is slightly citrusy, leans a bit towards grapefruit and whatnot. The deep, dark roasted malt really comes through here too, and it's nice to see an interplay of two things I really enjoy. Bits of chocolate and maybe a dash of coffee? Taste is fairly malt forward here, malt hits first and follows the smell in terms of roastiness, chocolate and a bit of caramel-like sweetness. Mid-mouth there's an interesting interaction between the malt and the IPA quality of this beer, big malt body overshadows what I would have thought to have been a more bitter and IPA-like mouthfeel, but that's almost completely absent. A sliver of bitterness is left on the tongue, and the malt prevails. Left with what feels like an average brown ale, to be honest. Mouthfeel is a average, medium to low carbonation and there's good drinkability to this. Note that this bottle is two months past it's bottling date, so that may have something to do with the lack of IPA-quality I had expected, so take this with a grain of salt.

liamt07, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of Derek
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Ruby-black with a creamy, off-white/tan head. Some retention and lace.

S: Dark, bready malt, Pacific-Northwest hops (pine & citrous).

T: PNW HOPS! Very piney, some citrous. A little malt up front (bready and caramel), with a hint of roastyness. Assertive bitterness from the middle 'til the 'bitter' end. The roasted malt really compliments the hop bitterness. Very nice.

M: Light to moderate body and carbonation.

D: Very good.

This stuff is awesome!

Derek, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of wordemupg
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into tulip 24/10/11

A darker then cola with a ruby red near purple glow when held to the light, three finger mocha head slowly falls to a thick film leaving a few distinct rings of lace followed by random patches

S mildly hoppy with a little milk chocolate and some toasty roast

T maybe some smoked meat of all things added to what I smell, the hops are missing though not as strong as I'd like to see, good milk chocolate aftertaste though

M medium bodied with a creamy feel from the bubbles and the lingering finish mentioned above

O zero booze detected should count for something, a good beer but I was expecting hop blast perhaps there's a balance and I'm being too hard on it

Decent beer but not the best BIPA I've had recently, good easy drinking brew though but I hope there's better offerings in my Hop Box.

wordemupg, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.05/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 06/04/2009. Bottle at PPRBSG09. Pours a dark brown with a small white head. Aroma of sweet and roasted malt. Flavor is nice and roasted with some iced tea notes and a solid malt backbone. Overall I found it to be a little sweet but still an ok beer.

LilBeerDoctor, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of canucklehead
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Matt Phillips is the most progressive brewer in BC and this beer shows why. Dark gold with a black tinge, this beer produced an awesome storm tossed head. The nose is hops yet tempered with burnt malts. The IPA is apparent but the finish suggests Porter or Brown Ale. Wholly original and wel made, this is cutting edge BC brewing.

canucklehead, Apr 06, 2005
Photo of andrenaline
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to joemcgrath27 for the hook up from his BC haul!

A - Pours a very dark ruby red colour, finger of soapy off-white head with decent retention and some nice sticky lacing.

S - Earthy and citrus hops off the top, with some chocolate and caramel malts on the finish.

T - Much like the scent, the earthy cedar and citrus hops dominate the palette up front, and are mellowed by some nice bready caramel malts on the finish. Touch of hop bitterness lingers, but is pleasant. Very nicely balanced.

M - Medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes surprisingly wet for the style.

D - This stuff is poundable, very smooth and perfectly balanced with the hops and malts. The higher ABV goes unnoticed and the earthy notes on the hops are delicious. Highly recommended to anyone who can get their hands on a bottle, and one of my favourites from Phillips!

andrenaline, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of Metalmonk
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a great name for a beer, and what a great concept. This stretches over several categories and doesn't really belong in any one style box. They call it an India Dark Ale, and that's really just the start. If only I had the old bottle with the stocking cap (ie. toque) label. This must be a newer design, looks like a Saranac label.

Pours a black color that reminds of a stout or a deep dark porter. Head is an off-white that thins rapidly, but was soapy and bubbly when it was around. Left a good bit of lace.

The aroma is so unique. Grass-laced tire rubber soaked in sweat and seaweed? That's not even close. I can't put my finger on it. Like huffing caramel corn and black licorice while standing in a hop field? I'm stumped. But I have to give it an extra point for originality. I've never smelled anything like this, beer or otherwise. I can't wait to taste this baby!

The flavor is confusing or beguiling, depending on your beer disposition. It is definitely two things all the time: hoppy and smoky. Beyond that I get something different out of it with every sip. Grapes, coffee beans, butterscotch, soil, and even a burnt quality all come to mind. It volleys somewhere between an IPA and a porter. I guess. Leans toward porter, but a weird-ass porter at the very least.

While the mouthfeel is too thin, it somehow still achieves a creaminess (or maybe an oily thing?) that helps carry it through. Again: odd, elusive, and a bit hard to pin down.

One of the strangest and most unique beers I've had so far. Dogfish Head, eat your heart out. So super-glad to have had this one. Phillips is starting to figure up there with Unibroue in terms of cutting-edge Canadian breweries. Congrats to them for creating one weird-ass beer.

Metalmonk, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of koopa
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber received in a trade with EskimoDave thanks!

Appearance: Pours a deep deep dark brown with a 2 finger off white crown that shows some retention and good lace.

Smell: Lightly toffee to caramel sweet malt over deeply roasted malt. Macro like quality.

Taste: Super deeply roasted malt, chocolate malt, and a light amount of herbal hops.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied with nice carbonation.

Drinkability: Besides the taste, this one is sessionable.

koopa, Jun 05, 2010
Photo of bobsy
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another dark IPA, and further evidence to me taht this is a style worth exploring further.

Black pour with red highlights and a nicely lacing off-white head.
Wonderful grapefruit aroma with roasted notes adding complexity. Excellent hopping, with large doses of pine and grapefruit. The hop profile suggests this is closer to an American, rather than an English IPA. Some good roastiness in the flavour, though not as high as some of the other examples I've had. It provides subtle notes of coffee, burnt toast and bittersweet chocolate. Medium-light body and great drinkability.

Thanks Eric... this is the pick of the bunch!

bobsy, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 341 ml brown bottle, came in the Hop Box variety pack. Pours out a deep translucent brown, with a thick cap of creamy beige head that retains.

Dry earthy notes on the nose, pine, some chocolate and toasted malt in the background.

Toasty malt and some dry cocoa up front in the flavour, followed quickly by bright pine needles and some citrus rind/pith, with an earthy, woody, herbal finish to it. Like drinking the great outdoors.

Medium-full body, smooth, sometimes slippery texture, with moderate carbonation.

I'd pin this more as an American Brown Ale than anything, but that aside it makes for a very dry offering, and I wouldn't be surprised if some rye was used as well. Very earthy overall.

IronDjinn, Jun 12, 2012
Photo of kwjd
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish-brown colour with mocha head. Tremendous head retention and the most lacing I've seen on a glass in a while. Smells of roasted malt, coffee, and floral hops. The taste starts off with the roasted malt flavour, but then the bitterness kicks in, with a sweet caramel aftertaste. I've had black IPA's that tasted more like a porter, and some that taste more like an IPA, but this does really well in integrating both flavours into a cohesive flavour. Mouthfeel is a bit creamy, great carbonation level. I finished this beer quickly and wish I had more than one bottle.

kwjd, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of Rutager
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a really deep red-brown, almost black. Thick, 2 finger beige head that leaves some lace.

Smell. Roasty grains and grassy hops. A little chocolate in there too.

Taste. Roasty, caramel malt and bitter, grassy hops. Some tangy citrus fruit in the middle. Some lingering, grassy hops.

Overall. Pretty good beer. Nice hops, but not enough balance imo.

Rutager, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of schopenhauerale
3.5/5  rDev -10%

schopenhauerale, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of DaPan
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

DaPan, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of schnarr84
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

schnarr84, Jun 26, 2012
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - deep ruby red/brown, tall thick tan head lasted forever
S - floral and grapefruit, light fruity sweetness and nutty
T - floral citrus hop kick with a roasted nut malty balance, sweet with a light piney note
M - gentle carbonation, somewhat creamy smooth with a light tangy bitter finish
D - the cascade hop flavour is full but the maltiness and sweetness create a great balance, goes down very smooth, a very exceptional beer

joemcgrath27, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of pootz
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from trade:

Pours a dark brown ale with amber highlights in the glass. Tight frothy 3 finger tan cap, Moderate carbonation.

Aromas of citrus, cocoa and roast coffee, some mustiness and grassy tones.

Lovely big chew on amber/chocolate malts in front, roasty, citrusy, long drying finish with a bitter snap at the end.

I like this variety of style mixing...like an APA crossed with a porter..citrus and cocoa...nice effect.

pootz, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of Kmat10
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Kmat10, May 20, 2013
Photo of papat444
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a gift from my aunt that my brother brought back on a recent trip to their place in Surrey.

Poured from a 355ml. bottle.

Appearance: The body is an earth brown color with red hues when held up to the light. Light mocha head, healthy, thick lacing and has medium retention.

Smell: Strong coffee mixed with hops.

Taste: Cold coffee, some chocolate notes and grapefruit as well.

Mouthfeel: Low bitterness, a bit watery actually though smooth.

Overall: It was ok. It's what cold coffee tastes like. While not bad for flavor, it's not a great thing as a beer because who likes drinking cold coffee? Falls short IMO.

papat444, Oct 04, 2011
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Skookum Cascadian Brown Ale from Phillips Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.