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Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale - Deschutes Brewery

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

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1,207 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,207
Reviews: 493
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 141
Gots: 102 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,207 | Reviews: 493 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of russpowell
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
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

russpowell, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

feloniousmonk, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
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

StonedTrippin, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

drabmuh, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

jlindros, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of oline73
5/5  rDev +21.7%

oline73, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Rifugium, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of mactrail
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

mactrail, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Mora2000, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

mdfb79, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Gueuzedude, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -2.7%

MarkyMOD, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -2.7%

XmnwildX12, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
2.75/5  rDev -33.1%
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.

Halcyondays, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -29.9%
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.

kojevergas, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of Gavage
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Gavage, May 20, 2011
Photo of GClarkage
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

GClarkage, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -2.7%

InspectorBob, May 23, 2013
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -2.7%

imperialking, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of corby112
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at London Grill.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without a trace of lighter color.  Frothy two finger light beige head that slowly settles into lasting cap/ring.  The glass is left coated with chunky lacing.  

Nice hop aroma with a  good balance of earthy floral notes and sweet citrus.  Hints of pine, grapefruit and citrus rind.  This is counters by a nice roasted malt presence.  Not acrid but slightly toasted with hits of chocolate, toffee and caramel.  

Medium bodied with a blast of dry bitter hops that linger throughout but are countered by sweet citrus and slightly roasted malt.  Dry resinous pine with subtle citrus rind as well as some toasted malt, choclate, toffee and coffee bean.  Good balance of roast, sweet, bitter and dry.   Well balanced with a dry finish.

corby112, Jun 28, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

lacqueredmouse, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

orangesol, Apr 11, 2013
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -2.7%
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

barleywinefiend, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of stakem
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a teku. The brew appears a dark cola brown with an offwhite head that lasts with decent retention. Some patches of lace stick to the glass and a swirl effortlessly revitalizes the cap.

The aroma opens up smelling of coffee and chocolate maltiness before transitioning to all hops. Notes of pine and fruit with a catty dank thing as it warns. The blend of malt/hops/alcohol is nicely done and nothing over-powers the others.

The taste is that of pine upfront blending to more hop flavors that are dank, catty and then faint roastiness like coffee/earth/char. This is all oily hops mid-palate and into the finish.

This beer is a solid execution of the style. The nose gives it away as being dark with its roasted appeal but based on flavor alone, it would be very difficult to guess this is a dark ale. It is medium in body with ample carbonation level. Pretty decent per style and very aggressively hopped. If I had to drink a black ipa, id reach for this one.

stakem, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of wl0307
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted at the BSF bar, GBBF 2010; B.A. date is 26/06/10, served lightly chilled in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: very dark in colour, almost black, with deep mahogany hues when seen against light; a thick light-tan froth lasts well, on top of moderate and continuous streams of mini fizz.
S: as it says on the label - hoppy!... citrussy, apple-ly, pink grapefruit-peel-ish fruitiness, nectar-like sweetness, plus rather light-bodied maltiness and a touch of tropical fruit-like esters. Nice, even better than an IPA in that the malty department is lighter in terms of sweetness. Most interestingly, sniffing the beer with eyes closed, I couldn't really imagine this was a dark one~~
T: well-balanced & delicious, the foretaste is citrussy- & flowery-hoppy IPA on the basis of rather light-bodied dark malts with a gristy feel and undertones of coffee (only just) & herbal bitter hints; the aftertaste shows a delicately grapefruit-bits+seeds like bitter tannins, but never over the top. Nice lingering bitter-sweetness and a light chewy feel is marvellous - my palate keeps yearning for more, sip after sip...
M&D: very smoothly carbonated, medium-bodied, well-balanced dark hoppy ale - a supremely drinkable ale IMO!

wl0307, Aug 29, 2010
Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,207 ratings.