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Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale - Deschutes Brewery

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

896 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 896
Reviews: 457
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.92%

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
An India Black Ale.
Available - May to September
Alc. by Vol. - 6.5% (2010), 6.9% (2011)
IBUs - 75

(Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 05-27-2010)
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Ratings: 896 | Reviews: 457 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 14:57:20 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 03:13:52 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 02:32:38 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


3.38/5  rDev -18%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 03:58:18 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 01:51:34 | More by brentk56
Photo of Thorpe429


3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2010 10:45:55 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of TMoney2591


4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2010 02:10:44 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
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...

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2010 05:21:39 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-11-2011 08:58:20 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of russpowell


4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2012 02:33:46 | More by russpowell
Photo of drabmuh


3.6/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 12:28:54 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000


4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2010 02:25:47 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


4.08/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2010 03:08:58 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros


4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2011 18:35:55 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best After Date May 2010; Sampled July 2010
A big pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces an almost four-finger thick, darkly brown tinged, tan colored head. The beer is quite dark, almost black and is opaque when held up to the light. Up front the beer smells of lemon-like and herbaceaous hops, but quickly becomes quite roasted in character. The roast adds an almost acidic edge to the up front hop character. Unlike most dark IPAs I have had, the dark malt character in this beer is huge; layered notes of mocha, dark chocolate, toasted grain and espresso. Interestingly enough, the sharp, acrid roast character has now become more subdued, allowing both the rich malt, as well as more of an expressive, fruity hop character to come through; aromas of tangerine, lychee and kumquat now mix in with the dark chocolate of the roast grain. The nose on this didn't start out all that great, but a little time has really allowed this to open up and it is quite enjoyable. I am digging the ample roast / dark malt character found in the nose, definitely atypical for a Black IPA, but it works here.

Smooth, with a touch of carbonation texture (my aggressive pour knocked a bunch of the carbonation out apparently), the beer tastes of a hint of roast grain, but mostly bitter, citrusy hops up front, while the finish sees a lingering, dark roasted coffee flavor that intermingles with the hop bitterness. The roasted malts contribute to the bitterness in the finish and also add a touch of burnt acidity as well as a touch of roasted grain husk like acridness. A rounded dark chocolate note in the middle is faintly noticeable underneath the more dominant hop and roasted malt character. A bit of malt sweetness is found here, though the body is actually fairly light. A second, soft pour sees a lot more carbonation surviving, which adds some fizz to the texture and also boosts the roast acidity; because of this last, it does better as a smoother, less carbonated beer. The citrus hop notes aren't as fruity and intense as one would find in a beer that doesn't have roast malt; it makes it more lemon like almost, and really mutes the tropical fruit and bright, characterful citrus character that one expects in an IPA (and that you can smell in the aroma of this beer). During certain sips though, you do get a certain sense of the tangerine / lychee character that is here, in a certain oral-nasal presence.

Interestingly enough, given how it started, the aroma ends up being the highlight of this beer for me; the flavor is certainly not bad, but the integration of dark malt and hop character just seems to work quite a bit better in the nose than it does in the mouth.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2010 14:21:37 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.83/5  rDev -7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 16:50:23 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown in color with a 2" heads that slowly falls.

Smell: roasted tones, some soft citrus, and a general earthiness is easy to detect.

Taste: caramel, toast, some orange and sweet grapefruit citrus, and a moderate pine bitterness are wrapped in a light earthy tone.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout. Aftertaste is long.

Overall: this beer was very easy to consume and more than one was had in the session. Nice balanced flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2011 18:14:29 | More by Gavage
Photo of Halcyondays


2.75/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours dark brown with a light off-white head, above average retention, no lace.

S: Definite coffee/roast, and citrus hops.

T: Clear hop flavour of tangerine, melon and grapefruit upfront with a nice chocolate and coffee finish. While the finish was nice, the flavours did not meld to well together, awkward and disjointed.

M: Medium-bodied, with a soft fizzy carbonation, pretty long aftertaste.

D: Not one of Deschutes better efforts. The beer is kind of all over the place, the overall flavour isn't up my alley. I finished the bomber fine, but it sure took me a while, not something I'd realistically want more than 10 oz. of.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2010 03:01:52 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of mactrail


3.25/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 06:30:33 | More by mactrail
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2012 20:49:17 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of barleywinefiend


4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a darkish color, maybe black with a dirty white head

S: Floral and some citrus, black and chocolate malts

T: Earty, citrus and floral, black and chcolate malts. Very good

M: Well carbonated, medium to full bodied withsome bitterness in the finish

D: Very good and def worth a try

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 20:34:14 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 21:00:56 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kojevergas


2.88/5  rDev -30.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 06:38:13 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Rifugium


3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2011 15:43:04 | More by Rifugium
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a certainly dark, almost black colour, with a reddish tinge around the edges. Head is frothy and bubbly and extremely voluminous, leaving chunky and solid lacing around the glass. Something about it seems very three-dimensional. There's something solid, real and believable about the beer, and I like that.

Nose, expectedly, is extremely hop-forward, with Cascade citric characters being of course the dominant character. It's true, it smells like an IPA, not a dark ale; very fruity, hoppy with resin, but perhaps with a slightly roasted grain note behind it. The hops are indeed dominant though, and it has a genuine west coast IPA swing to it. It's nice.

Taste is where this beer, and the style in general, comes into its own. Initial fruity and lightly spicy hop hints come through robustly, but almost immediately a dark, roasted character wells up to remind us that this is where the beer is at, really. It ends up lending a cherry-kirsch kind of bite to the beer - the deepness giving an astringency to the otherwise dry and fragrant hop bite. Finish is very dark and rather confrontingly roasted and bitter. Surprisingly, the bitterness on the back certainly comes more from the roasted grain than from the hops. Feel is rather light, although if it were thicker, it would be harder still to place this as something other than a heavy stout.

This is a very complex and deep beer; one that requires respect and recognition. While, unsurprisingly, the dark and the hoppy characters jangle against each other uncomfortably, they also create a kind of harmony that is hard to ignore, and which demands recognition as a unique style. A fascinating brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 22:14:55 | More by lacqueredmouse
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Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 896 ratings.