Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark AleHop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

502 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 502
Hads: 1,331
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 8.15%
Wants: 157
Gots: 119 | 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
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 502 | Hads: 1,331
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was happy to pick this one up at Firefly. Fresh bottle good through 2011. Roasty aroma.Dark with large soapy head. Coffee, chocolate,a little anise that makes it really tasty and inetresting. Above average mouthfeel. To me a 1.5X stout with great hopiness. Good drinkability. (277 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark black with a 2 finger brown sugar colored head. Looks alone would indicate a stout or porter. Good lacing on the drink down.

S - Smells of citrusy hops and roasted malts.

T - Citrus hops and roasty dark malts. Extremely delicious in every taste down to the end of the glass. Hop bitterness is there but it pairs well with the roasty malt and neither of the two dominate.

M - Good carbonation. Smooth all the way down. Very little hop coating on the palate.

D - Extremely drinkable. Easy to drink all night with its 6.5% ABV. My vote for the best American Black Ale that I have tried so far. I wish I got more when I had the chance. (653 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks, Max.

Pours very dark, bordering on black, with a thin off-white to tan head and some good lacing. The nose is a bit muted, but brings some characteristic pine and, to a lesser extent, citrus hops. A bit of roasted character, but not too much. The taste adds a bit more roasted malt and calls back the hop profile a bit. Feel is really nice with dry roast and bitterness interacting well. Drinks well and is a nice example of the style. (474 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours like a stout, with a midnight brown color and a huge tan head; lacing galore

Smell: Pine cones after a fresh rain with a hint of bitter chocolate and coffee underneath

Taste: The piney flavors don't even wait for the malt to establish itself - they just take over the beer from the get go; underneath the assertive hop flavors is the bitter chocolate and coffee, but you have to swirl the beer around your mouth for a while to pick that up before the swallow; the finish provides the anticipated balance between the hops and the roasted malt flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body, somewhat creamy, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Great example of the CDA style; this one (which was pretty fresh) packs everything together; highly recommended (764 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

an excellent black ipa. pours very rich looking, thicker and an aggressive fizz happening. 2 inch tan head with nice rentention, dark brown liquid. smells like bitter pine family hops, and chocolatey roasty earthy malts. balanced but hop forward. flavor follows suit, great interplay between the rich velvet of the malt and the puckery punch of the hops. feel is lovely as well, very creamy in the mouth with a fuller body and good carbonation. overall a damn good brew, which ive now come to expect regularly from deschutes. they never ever disappoint (552 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.74/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

For a style that no one can come to any confident consensus about, its flavor is nearly as illusive as its name. Is it a "Cascadian" ale, a black "American" ale or the more commonly but oxymoronish black "Pale" ale? Naming aside, is the beer more importantly an American IPA with a black hue or is it a hoppy porter?

Hop in the Dark carries the dark brown hues, appearing black in its center and plays out in an interlude to toast, cocoa and coffee flavors that settle upon the early palate and nose. Timidly sweet and malty, all that is overcast in strong citrus and floral plume.

More balanced in the middle palate than IPA but aggressively tilted toward hops compared to American robust porter, its mild caramel and toffee center links up with Whopper-type maliness, just ahead of a strong white grapefruit and orange zest component to easily outlast the beer's fleeting sweetness.

Because of its porter tone, its dry finish seems slightly thinned. However, its dry and resinous hop finish saves the "India pale" part. Yet for any IPA, I need the hop bitterness to pull much further ahead than is felt here. And with the coffee-type bitterness to assist hop bitterness, both seem to seek greater heights in taste and texture.

While the classic Oregonian Willamette valley is well represented with acute citrus bittering, I expect more tropical, orchard and citrus variety to allow the hops to take better command if its malty rival. (1,439 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Appropriately black-ish body with a dense tan head that retains nicely.

Smell: A ton of green, sappy pine on the nose along with a touch of mint. Plenty of dark malt, too, largely dry and ashy. There's a hint of caramel, but sweetness is reigned-in on the whole.

Palate: Pine alongside orange-like citrus. There's plenty of roastiness, a hint of dark chocolate and a big resinous kick in the finish. Acidic and slightly ashy. Carbonation feels too high at first, but it settles out quickly. This is hugely flavorful and quite bitter, perhaps a bit too sharp for its own good. The mouthfeel is light and dry, a touch thin toward the finish. (655 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev 0%
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... (636 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was wonderful, black as night with a light colored head that rose up about an inch and a half before settling down into a nice broken crown that stayed throughout the session. The aroma was very bright, lots of citrus here, orange and tangerine mostly and a wonderfully bright lemon like aroma that rose up, not at all what you would have expected from something that looked so fark. Nice medium body with a smooth and mellow carbonation and a lightness to it that again was outside what I was expecting. Smooth flavor, clean, crisp, loaded with bitter citrus hops. Lots of grapefruit and pineapple here. Such a tight and very hoppy big IPA. I was very pleased with this one for sure. The alcohol was very well hidden I have to say and I was quite impressed with how smooth it came across. (798 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, dark brown color with a small, off-white head of bubbly foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, grasses and pine.

T - It had a nice bitter hop bite with a piney/resiney flavor. Good roasted malt backbone provides needed balance.

M - It had a nice pop and bite on the tongue with a dry finish. Medium bodied and relatively sessionable.

D - This is a good black IPA. Love the west coast pine aromas and flavor. (458 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a dark brown/nearly black color with a fluffy tan colored head.

S: A nice citrus hop aroma up front with some roast and a hint of bitterness behind it. The hops are somewhat short lived and the various malts (especially the roast) come through the rest of the way.

T: The hop flavor is not quite as intense and pronounced as I would have expected. This comes across as more of a hoppy porter than anything, but the flavor seems a bit watery at time so you do not get the full effect of the hops nor the roast/malty qualities.

M: As mentioned above, this one seems to be slightly watery with a low to moderate carbonation.

D: One of the few (only?) disappointing efforts from Deschutes. I really liked Stone 11/SSR, so I thought this one would be right up my alley, but it falls short. (803 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Thanks to hopsbreath and the Support Your Team! BIF for this bottle!

I'm not a fan of the CDA appellation, but whatever. This guy pours a slightly translucent black-brown, highlighted in dark garnet, topped by about a finger or so of ecru foam. The nose comprises pine, maple syrup, milk chocolate, and caramel. The taste mostly eschews the darker elements in favor of the pine, but a firm amount of the caramel makes it through as well. It's almost as though this was only an IPA in a porter's clothing... This isn't to say it's bad, just not what was expected from the smell. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a very smooth feel. Overall, a solid IPA, but I was kinda hoping the darker notes would persist on the tongue. Regardless, it is a fine IPA. (828 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a straight-up, dense black in the glass, topped with 2 fingers of tight and foamy mocha (almost milk chocolate) colored head. Swirling the glass fires this back up to a rich ¾ finger that showers the sides with a great looking cascade of sticky and creamy froth. The aroma is floral and leafy, with some dankness that mixes with the slightly astringent roastiness of the malts. Cocoa and caramel sit with some sweetness across the back. I'm maybe getting some spiciness from the hops present here as well.

The taste is bright and hoppy up front, bitter with some gritty rind and grapefruit flavors. A flush of chocolate and caramel sweetness shore up the middle part of the profile before a backend of blackened roast pulls up the rear and finishes this with a dry and burnt bitterness that lingers with leftover notes of earth, herbs, and spice. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a creamy and slicker to the carbonation on the edges that then pulls together and lays a steady prickle on the tongue as you swallow. This is still very smooth for the bitterness that is involved here and the feel for a 6-7% IPA is right on the money.

This was good. I probably should have gotten into it back in August, when I bought the bottle, but it was refrigerated the whole time and seemed to have held up pretty darn well. The hops definitely still packed a punch and brought some earthy tones to the show that matched up well with the smokiness of those roasted malts. Nice easy body on this as well. I'll be seeking some bottles of this again next summer. (1,595 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for this one.

Nice frothy 2 finger head lots of lacing, pitch black color,

Nose is fainter, some darker malts, light creamy porter, grapefruit, light citrus hops, little grassy and mild, light caramel malts.

Taste has more roast, bit of burnt coffee, light black patent, creamy porter like but very light, some earthy almost chewy hops, it gets very bitter as it build, light citrus, spicy hops. Finishes very bitter, slight astringent and minerality, drier but a bit sticky.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied with good carb and slightly creamy.

Overall pretty good but not their best (then again they set the bar very high for themselves), but a definite tasty beer. (689 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep, mossy flavors in a black ale. Seriously hoppy. You just get time to catch a flavor before the bitterness sets in. Plenty of the dank, mushroomy hop flavors with resins and citrus pith. A fair amount of malt gives it a grainy taste and more than a little sweetness. Fruit compote, prunes, and burnt toast. Some sourness under the malt from charred barley. Aftertaste is more hoppy bitterness and a long smoky burn on the tongue. Not very carbonated in the mouth.

Overall, it is a strong-flavored beer that gets old, to me. It starts with an interesting flavor and gets more bitter, more grapefruity. The 2011 batch from the 22 oz bottle. (644 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love all things Deschutes, but this seems to be falling short a bit. It carries the required black ale character, but it isn't blowing me away; or even keeping it interesting really. It's kind of a mundane brew that isn't really memorable. Unfortunately. (256 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in KC, er Gladstone, MO (Bubbles) yesterday, BBD of 31 Aug 2012

Pours chestnut/mahogany with 3 fingers of khaki head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Brown bread, minty hops & roastyness

T: Brown bread peppery & woody hops, pine & a touch of chicory up front. Some roasted grain as this warms along with pine & woodyness. Finishes roasty & piney with dryness, & carob

MF: Fairly chewy, moderate carbonation, good balance

Not the best of this style, but right up there nipping at their heels, Drinks sooo easy (530 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant

Poured in to a snifter, a crystalline, dark mahogany, somewhere between a dunkel and a porter in color; a small tan head left some moderate lacing. Aroma of roasty malts, citrus and earthy hops, slightly phenolic. Not as pronounced in flavor as other CDAs I've had, but still pretty good: toasted bread, sweet malts, resin, citrus, leafy. Medium body, a little on the thin side, relatively, for the style. Still nice and enjoyable for a session. (497 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz. brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. I had 2011's 6.9% version. Expectations are high as I've had some good brews from Deschutes in the past.

A: Pours a two finger head of slight tan colour, appealing cream lacing, good thickness, and great retention. Colour is a solid black. So far so good.

Sm: Heavy cascade hops, cream, and caramel. Simple and pleasant. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: A full bodied barley body with nice cream undertones and layered cascade hops atop. The bitterness is a bit high - especially on the open - almost resembling a mediocre IPA, but it manages to steer clear enough from that effect. Caramel and a slight chocolate note come through on the finish. It's simple, oddly imbalanced, and pleasant to drink. I wish they handled the cascade hops better. The finish shouldn't be this bitter.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a bit thick for the ABV and relative lack of flavours.

Dr: It's easy to drink for its relatively high ABV, but it does suffer from some problems with the hop balance. The price is a bit too high, but then it is an import. Dissenters may argue that it's brewed "to style", but there's certainly room for improvement. (1,289 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had an aversion to this style of beer lately, the Black IPA, the India Black Ale, the Cascadian Dark Ale, whatever it may be called (and it WILL be called many things). There were a few too many that were not integrated well at all, resulting in a dark, chocolatey, goopy, grassy mess. So much so, that I'd forgotten that this is one of the good ones. Of course it is, it's Deschutes.

And it's on tap now, for our mini-events, Hoppy Days are Here again. After all these IPAs and Imperial IPAs, it's back to Belgians, and stouts, and maybe a few German brews, for a change. This one won't last long, though, it's a big favorite so far.
Here come the notes....

Thoroughly stygian appearance, ultimately black, huge head, cocoa-toned, rocky and lacy. Beautiful.

Aroma: Grassy hops up front, cocoa and toffee below. dark, lush malt meets full bore hops. Very nice. Dark, malty, and hoppy all at once, what do you know?

Taste: more incredulity, as the tongue is greeted by sweetness, and grassiness together. I'm getting a minimum of bitterness, just enough to keep the sweet at bay. Great balance. Full bodied, long finish. Uniquely flavorful. Yum. Zesty hop sting on the palate, with tasty, sweet malt below.
Intriquing integration, a wholly unique hybrid of dark malt, and pungent hops, well played. Delicious, honestly, seriously. (1,340 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received a bottle as an extra from PretzelCity; thanks Mark, been wanting to try this one. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip, split the bottle with my dad.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Very very dark.

s - Smells of citrus hops, roasted malts, chocolate, light pine hops, and light smoke. Really like the chocolate coming through, as well as all the hops.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, citrus hops, pine hops, and light chocolate. Definitely less chocolate than the nose and a little bitterness, but more hops coming through. Think I like the nose better.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Thicker than I was expecting, almost like a porter, but nice.

o - Overall I really liked this one; one of the better black IPA's I've had. I loved that the hops really came through in the nose and taste, and really enjoyed the chocolate in the nose. Would like to have it again. (958 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.62/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by November 28th, 2011. So this one must be pretty fresh. At the time of this review, this is the #23 top American Black Ale on the beeradvocate.com best of style lists. Served in a Russian River -tion glass.

Beer is black with a thin, tan head with low retention, some lacing, low carbonation, beer is seriously dark.

Aroma is mildly piny, with hints of fruit and some sweetness, interesting how I don't get any of the roast from the darker malts in the aroma.

Beer is medium in body with a mild bitterness at the back, there is a hop palate but this beer is mostly a sweet porter wtih some hops in it. I'm a little let down. There is close to no bitterness from the hops or the roast. This beer could have done a lot of great things, but mostly it is sweet with some hops in it. Oh well. (797 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 8/21/2014. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of pineapple, peach, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, light pine, chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, light coffee, and floral/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/roasted malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of big pineapple, peach, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, pine, chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, light coffee, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pineapple, peach, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, floral, grass, pine, chocolate, cocoa, roast, toast, light coffee, light char, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome balance and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/roasted malt flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and fairly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome Black IPA. All around great complexity and balance of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/roasted malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,613 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
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. (744 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

The darkest black IPA I have seen. Very dark espresso color. 1 and a half fingers of tan head. Good head retention with some decent splattered lace.

Aroma: Floral hops with an odd malt profile. Citrus blend with a roasted feel to it. It is bitter and roasted at the same time.

Taste: The beer brings the roasted feel to it right away with the floral hops after. Citrus blend, but I can't really distinguish the type of fruits here.This beer is incredibly odd.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and roasted. Medium bodied with a fairly high amount of carbonation. Ends hoppy, sticky, and dry.

Overall, this beer just isn't for me. I have had much better black ipas before. It was tough drinking a bomber, but I got through it. (741 characters)

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Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale from Deschutes Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 502 ratings.