Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale - Deschutes Brewery

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Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark AleHop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale

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1,327 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,327
Reviews: 505
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10%
Wants: 157
Gots: 117 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 05-27-2010

An India Black Ale.
Available - May to September
Alc. by Vol. - 6.5% (2010), 6.9% (2011)
IBUs - 75
View: Beers (152) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,327 | Reviews: 505
Reviews by bagpiper2005:
Photo of bagpiper2005
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Dark brown to black in color with a tan head that retained well and left a ridiculous amount of lacing on the glass

Smell: Piney and floral hops dominate the nose with underlying notes of caramel and chocolate. A little bit of alcohol aroma.

Taste: Pretty much a combination of a porter and an IPA. Starts off with a semi-sweet caramel and chocolate malt flavor which then gives way into some smoke and coffee flavor. Big piney hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with active carbonation and velvety smooth.

Drinkability: A bit more sessionable than a porter or a stout, but still pretty much a sipping beer.

Final Notes: A very, very interesting beer. Would go well with a wide variety of foods given that it has characteristics of more than one style. Would appeal to both dark beer and hop lovers.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #41 (Jun 2010):

The Cascadian Dark Ale, also called India Black Ale, style is taking the country by storm! Very impressed with the head, nearly black all the way through. Pleasing spicy citric hop nose cradled by a solid malt base. Smoothness digs deep. Well-rounded malt character provides a good, balanced wall for the hops to play off of; an inkling of alcohol is clean. Hops grow after each sip; finish is semidry with a linger of hops and faint dark malt. Nailed it, guys!

Photo of warnerry
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep brown/black pour with one finger of splotchy tan head. Head has decent retention and leaves some nice lacing.

S - Citrus and roasted malts up front, with a bit of bitter chocolate coming trough as well.

T - One of the smoother BIPA/Cascadian/whatever dark hoppy ales are called. The citrus brightens up the dark roasty characters very nicely. Taste is full but pretty clean. Finishes dry and bitter. Enjoyable.

M - as I mentioned above, quite smooth though not exactly creamy. Earthy dry bitter mouthfeel.

O - one of the better dark hoppy ales I've had. Would
have again.

Photo of Beaver13
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, "best after 5/29/10"? Pours a dark brown with a smallish light tan head that goes to a thin film and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is roasted malts and cola, with some piney hops and a little tar.

The flavor is roasted/burnt chocolate malts, a little cola and anise, with a big roasted bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full with low carbonation.

Overall, an interesting "black IPA" with good bitterness. I didn't really care for the burnt/tar notes or the cola.

Photo of mikechance
3.45/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a very dark beer with porter/stout color. A nice half inch head releases some hoppy smell. I'm getting hints of black licorice and brown sugar, but I’m getting very little else. I'm picking up very little hops. It goes down nice and easy with a touch of oily feel. The aftertaste is a little sour and unexpected (not in a good way). Overall it’s a nice beer, but I didn’t get knocked off my feet as I expected I would. The bottle didn't get the best travel conditions, so I'm going to have to try it again soon. The 21st Amendment "Black in Back" is a better Black IPA.

Photo of tigg924
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: minimal head, dark brown/black in color, clear

Smell: roasted malt, chocolate, and faint hops

Taste: Starts with a big dose of roasted malt and chocolate, citrus hops come in the middle and blend well. As the beer warms faint notes of nut also show.

Mouthfeel: medium high carbonation, light body, a nice mix of bitter and sweet leading slightly on the bitter side.

Drinkability: This one goes down way too easy. Deschutes knows how to do dark beers and this is no exception. One of my favorites in the style and from them. I would buy this regularly if it was around here.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours dark brown to black with a tan head. The aroma is strong pine and resiny hops. If I didn't look at the beer, I would think this is a standard orange American IPA. The flavor is pine, resin and just the slightest bit of dark malts. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of bsp77
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Jet black (with ruby highlights) with lasting cappuccino head and nice lacing lines.

Smell: Citrus and pine with an undercurrent of chocolate and roasted malt. For some reason, the roasted malt and American hop combination always reminds me of meat and roses.

Taste: Strong roasted barley flavor with sharp coffee and citrus hop bitterness. Nice layers of chocolate and flowers help round out the taste.

Feel: Moderately low carbonation, medium body that is very smooth and creamy. Very dry finish.

Drinkability: A mixture of the best elements from a stout and an IPA. Delicious and surprisingly drinkable.

Photo of ehammond1
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

K&B Wine Cellars
San Diego, CA

A dark as night pour but with some dark ruby edges along the edge. Big and thick, persistent, chocolate milk head. Leaves the glass supremely messy. Perfect.

A lot of roasted and chocolate malt character in the nose. A disappointing lack of hops, though some do definitely emerge as the beer warms to near room temperature. Seems to smell like a very mild stout as opposed to any kind of beer with the word "hop" in the title. Although....I want to say I smell peanut butter. How weird is that?

Definite hop bitterness in flavor along with a lot of roasted and chocolate malts. The hop profile seems to lean toward the piney side of the spectrum as opposed to the citrus.

Medium to thick mouthfeel, which is very nice in a beer like this. Still incredibly drinkable.

A great beer. I actually think the name does this beer a disservice. When I hear the name, I'm thinking a beer along the lines of Stone's Sublimely Self Righteous, but this is much maltier, more chocolatey, and chewier than that beer. Both are good; as strange as it sounds, I think a name change would be good for this beer...something I never thought I'd say.

Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Best by date of 8/21/14.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big three finger tan head that slowly fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: A spicy, juicy, and roasty hop forward aroma with good hints of earthy and citrus hops with dark roast. Earthy, floral, and herbal hop hints with some dank pine resin and grass. Citrus hop hints of grapefruit, orange, lemon, and tangerine. Big dark roasted malt balance with hints of chocolate, coffee, toasted bread, biscuit, grains, wheat, oats, and yeast. A very solid black ale aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a juicy, earthy, and roasty black IPA taste with big notes of pine, citrus, and dark roast. Upfront mix of earthy, floral, and citrus hops with spicy and dank notes of pine resin and grass. Good citrus notes of grapefruit, orange peel, tangerine, and lemon. Solid balance of dark roasted malts with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, burnt toast, grains, biscuit, oats, wheat, and yeast. Bold taste but nicely balanced. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Body leans towards the fuller side. Carbonation is moderate. Juicy and fairly chewy with a drying finish.

Overall: A very good black ale. Very bold taste but the hops are balanced well by the dark malt notes.

Photo of mj001jk
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, it is practically black. Thick and creamy hazel-colored foam, it looks great from a foot away. The lacing persists on the glass for the duration of this session.

The aromas are perfectly balanced pine & citrus hops against chocolate caramel toasted malts, with hints of vanilla and coffee. My nose is stunned by the attractiveness of the scents, I am really liking where this is going. (drumroll...)

OK, this is really evil.

The burst of flavors are exotic and explosive, there is the upfront grassy hops and toasty malts, none overwhelming the other, followed by ripe tropical fruit and black pepper spice; papaya comes to mind.

The finish is long and multicolored, mostly leaving a delicious tropical fruit flavor on the palate, the very last being a faint whisp of lychee across a few sensory nerve endings that refuse to let go of this nectar. This is how I like my dark IPAs, and I realize that now there is no turning back, once you go...

Now, having reconnected with reality, I understand that this is probably not something I could drink more than one of in a sitting. It is a big beer with lots of powerful and exotic flavors, but it is not overpowering; that's a noble character.

Photo of moundbz
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Very dark very good, smoky and smooth, smells like pale ale, creeper strong

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yesterday at st James infirmary in reno. Black as black can be for style. Reduced head. Aroma was big time grapefruit hops.

Taste was so bitter. Stone ssr and dogzilla have competition now! Reminiscient of juxtaposition actually. I really enjoyed the style. Black coating and hop bite. No noticeable alcohol, yet became a somewhat sipper for the sheer enjoyment.

Have noticed the bottles aren't as good, but it does have a relatively decent shelf life before the hops fade. I dunno, is there some reason why the hops in a black ipa would be more resistant to aging?

Photo of williamjbauer
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled served in a pint glass

A - Obsidian black with no light even attempting to get through this beast. 1.5 Finger ecru head with good retention and good lacing.

S - Dalt malts, chocolate, grapefruit cascade hops

T - Really awesome, tastebuds stimulated all over the place. A nice bold flavor from beginning to end. A zippy bitter hop notes a start with some floral and citrus grapefruit. Then the malt sweetness, coffee and chocolate to follow with a solid bitter finish. A fantastically well balanced beer experience. Oh and a pine cone burp to follow!

M - Full body, moderate carbonation

O - This was a great dark ale, I love this brewery and this beer is a very nice bitter dark beer at 70 ibu and has a lot of hop character to boot.

Photo of lanamj
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- nice black color with a one inch white foam head. Head retention is really residual.

S- Smells of roasted malts and fresh hops dominate this beer. I do get some chocolate on the back end.

T- Taste like a true black IPA dark malts and bittering hops. I think the malt is more present on this then the hops but a fresher bottle may prove otherwise.

M- Good going sown not thin and not thick ... its just right. Good carbonation. I could drink this all night if need be.

O- Not bad for the style. Wish it was a little more hoppy. I guess i feel that way about most black IPAs but i felt this one was just fine.

Photo of hughesm4
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This a combined rating between a taste at the brewpub and a growler to go.
a-Poured pitch black and still had nice carbonation and a little head after a week in the growler. Nice lacing down the side of the glass.
s-The smell is very strong with hops and a slight malt/coffee.
t-Taste is more balanced than I expected based on the smell. There is a powerful, bitter hop taste up front with a hint of coffee and lime.
m/d-IT is a slow drinker. It has a nice body and a nice bitter bite at the end of the drink that sticks around i nthe mouth for a while.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black ipa is not a style I'm used to but one I'm willing to try. This one pours stout/porter dark. Deep cappuccino dark with almost no light passing through. The head is latte tan with some fine lacing. Perfectly identical bubbles come from the depths of the beer and feed the foam. This is a nice dark ipa.

The nose Is that of a regular ipa. Tropical fruit mixed with pine and citrus. It's a strong hop scent right off the bat but there is a fine malt backbone behind it. The nose is not as pronounced as I'd like but it's not to shabby.

Taste is a good mix of malts and hops. Slightly sweet cereal with citrus notes. A heavy bitterness is overly present and frankly distracts from the taste. It's a good beer but slightly lacking in the flavor department.

The mouthfeel is nice despite the heavy bitterness. Smooth, mildly carbonated with a medium body. This brew is not bad. It's a little to much bitterness with not enough of the malt flavor coming through but it's still worth trying out. Not bad.

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a damn near black, but actually brown, colour, with very slight clear edges, and one finger of creamy light beige head, which leaves rings of curtained lace around the glass in its wake. It smells of roasted caramel, and grapefruit hops, which blend very nicely. The taste is lightly toasted grain, and grapefruit, orange, and pine hops, seamlessly integrated. The carbonation is quite low, the body smooth and creamy, and it finishes nice and hoppy, the earthy, piney notes tamping down the latent smoky malt.

A pretty tasty dark hoppy ale - the Republic of Cascadia has another hefty contender for its namesake ale...

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not going to go into too much detail here.

A - More black than brown, solid head and retention - Good.

S - Not much in the way of hops here...a bit dull and lacking. Maybe a black pale ale opposed to IPA?

T - Black pale ale for sure. A little bit hoppy, dark malts and chocolate present with some hop bitterness and wee bits of pine but where's that citrus hop goodness that goes with IPAs? Not bad but not great.

M - pretty solid here, best aspect of the brew. Perfect carbonation and a almost creamy bitterness.

O - Nothing memorable. For my palate, I'll take Stone's SSR over this one all day, everyday. But hey, that's for me and this one might be for others.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

A: Pours a nice black color with a two finger tan head on top, dissipating to one finger relatively quickly. Decent lacing.

S: Neither the hops nor roast qualities are overpowering as is usually the case in most black IPAs. There is a nice mix of citrus and pine as well as some roasted malt and a little bit of cocoa.

T: The taste is more of the same form the aroma, well balanced between the roast/dark malt and the hops. It is a bit more piney than citrus, with a bit of roast and chocolate.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, but on the smooth side for style. Has a slight creamy texture.

O: One of the better in a style that I am not really huge on. A nice, balanced blend of the black and the IPA here.

Photo of mudbug
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK I'm not going to get into the black IPA thing here because I don't really care, If it tastes good, it is good.
Pours a very black with a small sticky head of brown that laces nicely, aroma of piney hops prevails, nice and crisp.
The taste is hop forward balanced by.... roasted malts.
not as thick as most stouts, very much like several DIPA's
The lingering aftertaste is charcoal in a good way.
Light enough to drink a lot, a very solid brew that I would gladly drink again.
OK I lied, Its a hoppy porter, I don't care what the brewer says.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.71/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with a large, dense foamy khaki head with excellent retention and lacing.

Nose is good but not amazing with alot of nuances. Nice nice dark roasted malt notes and deep rich but not overpowering piney hops. Faint notes of roasted nuts and coffee.

Flavor is excellent with perfect balance. A wide range of flavor but nothing standing out alone and outshining another. Very nice deep dark roasted malt character gently bouncing back and forth throughout the beer with the subtle smooth piney hops. It's doesn't have the typical transition from hop flavor to malt flavor or vice versa, but a perfect play between the two the whole way.

Medium bodied. Pretty smooth and creamy yet slightly crisp and fresh. Slightly dry finish with medium carbonation.

Overall this beer is amazing for the style and as a beer overall. I love Sublimely Self Rightous and this is even better due to the perfect balance. There is a best by date of 11/28/11 and I just think this beer is prime right now.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Sports Page in Roseville, CA

Appearance - Pours opaque black with a light tan head that's just over a finge rthick. Good retention. Fine lace with nice stick.

Smell - Lots of pine hop aroma in the nose, with lesser notes of roasted malts, primarily of coffee character.

Taste - Follows the nose; pine hop character forward, while faint hints of citrus pop up mid-taste. Moderate coffee flavor hit near the finish, though not quite with the punch I'd prefer.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with fair, lively carbonation. Somewhat creamy to start, but finishes with a bit of chalk.

Overall - Good, solid CDA, though a little too piney in the hops for my liking. Not quite as complex and harmonious as some of the better CDA's I've had. Still, it's nothing to scoff at, and it's certainly a brew I'd love to try from the bottle.

Photo of GilGarp
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best after 5/29/10. It doesn't really make sense to have a 'best after' date on a beer like this. I can understand on their Abyss and other high-ABV beers but a 6.5% black IPA should probably be enjoyed fresh.

Served cool into a pint glass, Hop In The Dark has a very dark brown color with creamy short-lived head. There's great lacing left behind on the glass.

The aroma is great hoppy goodness. The roasty character isn't as noticeable here but the hops are at the forefront.

Flavor is very much half IPA and half porter. Not super roasty but it balances well with the hops. It seems most of the bitterness comes from the latter but the roast contributes as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and low in carbonation which I like.

Overall really tasty. I have to wonder why they don't do it in 6-packs. If they did, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again but, at $5 a bomber, a little too pricy for a black IPA.

Photo of seanthornton152
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz picked up at Belmont Station. Poured into Maudite Goblet.

A- Nice light caramel color frothy head, leaving good amount of lace

S - Wow! piney, nutty, bittersweet chocolate, brown sugar. Smells great!

T - Initial flavors of citrus and floral, not too strong of a hop flavor, then the sweetness sets in; chocolate, hazelnut, roasted malts. Finishing with a nice roasted grain note

M - medium body, active carbonation

D - This is very good. The PNW really has been putting out the dark IPA recently, I always really enjoy them, but too often they are so hoppy you never get the flavor of the dark malts. This brew is perfectly balanced, its floral and sweet. Great beer!

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Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,327 ratings.