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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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1,256 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,256
Reviews: 496
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 147
Gots: 105 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,256 | Reviews: 496 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of juhl31
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-looked great, for the new made up, fad style. plenty dark with a tan pillow-like head with good retention and lacing

-a bunch of grassy hops for the most part. could come up with a bit of roastiness too

-pretty weird. my buds dont know what to think. that grassy hops is in there fighting with roasty/a bit chocolaty malts. pretty good balance i think? pretty crazy beer/style

-good and full and some oilyness. one of the better qualities of the beer

-despite the weirdness and the mouth battle going on, it became more and more drinkable as it neared the bottom of my glass

Photo of Haybeerman
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep, very dark brown; even on the edges. Poured a 2 finger chocolate head with excellent retention to a 1 finger cap. Solid, sticky lacing.

S: Pine, grapefruit and grass. Sweet malt in the backgrouind. Hintns of coffee and burnt toast. A little alcohol.

T: Coffee, chocolate and burnt caramel. Resiny floral hops; citrus, grapefruit and pine. There's a lot going on ahead of a long, lingering bitter.

M: Medium body; thick and almost chewy. Low carbonation. Smooth and mellow, then dry. Striking balance.

D: Great hoppy flavor and ample malt charachteristics yet a good balance. There's a lot to like about; I feel myself rating it higher than most...oh well.

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, impulse buy at Andy's in Rochester, MN

appearance: cool label design - poured into my ommegang tulip - strong dark mahogany body, very light tan ring

smell: the hops are definitely alive with cascades being the most noticeable (citra, centennial also present) - grapefruit zest and pine are potent enough to make the dark chocolate malts an afterthought

taste: I generally like the "black ipa" substyle but haven't really loved any of the individual examples - I think that's roughly where I fall on this beer. The hops are really pleasant - grapefruit, orange citrus, piney with a slightly metallic finish. The chocolate coffee is present, but the hops make it difficult to pinpoint initially. Nice beer - worth a purchase.

mouthfeel: very light bitterness from the hops, remains relatively light given the malts/oats used

drinkability: just fine

Photo of clickpush
3.13/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pour 22oz bottle to tulip glass. Healthy hiss upon opening and strong pour leads to 3.5 fingers of tan head over black body. Looks great. Body is quite dark, almost stout like. Head descends slowly. Some sticky lacing and good healthy cap of head throughout consumption. Good looking beer.

Nose: Quite hoppy. Grapefruit, chocolate, strawberries, bitterness. More like an IPA than a black beer.

Mouth: Very hoppy. Strong flavors. High alcohol. Very bitter finish, both hoppy and roasty. Roastiness comes through in the end, sneaking out after the hops fizzle out. Long lingering flavor. Coffee, metal. Not a ton of complexity. Not much mouthfeel unfortunately. Thin for an IPA. Very thin for a black beer.

The beer's high point is in the glass not, unfortunately, in my nose & mouth.

Photo of arizcards
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from BevMo in mid-June for $5.79.

Beer poured black with a large brown head that is leaving lacing behind. Nose is citrusy hops with a hint of roasted malt in the background. Taste is roasted malts meets the citrus and pine hops and the hops win out in the balance department. Mouthfeel is very smooth, it has that velvety oatmeal stout consistency to it. Drinkability is good, the roasted element is there, very smooth, but in the end in drinks like an ipa! Nice innovative effort from Deschutes!

Photo of HopHead84
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Poured into a snifter. A vicious pour yields a thick light brown head atop a near black body. Excellent retention. Great lacing.

The nose exhibits notes of oranges, grapefruit, and a little pine, accompanied by a pleasant moderately roasted malt character and...a dash of chocolate. I really like the roast/citrus combination.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, with an enjoyable combination of citrus and roast. I detect orange pith, grapefruit flesh, grapefruit rind, and a little pine resin. There's a slight astringency to the roasted malt character, as well as a light sweetness, and bitterness is at a pleasant moderate level. Alcohol is deftly masked. The finish leaves lingering notes of citrus on the palate.

The mouthfeel is creamy and slightly dry, with a moderate level of carbonation. Very nice. This is a subtle beer, rewarding the drinker with each sip. I am the drinker.

Photo of grittybrews
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a slight red tinge that turned to black with around a finger of slow-receding coffee-colored head.

Strong hoppy aroma with prominent grapefruit and just a hint of caramel malts. Fairly high carbonation and a nice mouthfeel. Intense flavor of pine and citrus followed by a touch of sour lemon. A surprisingly complex finish of light coffee, toast, and sweet caramel malts followed by more hoppy bitterness. I don't know whether I'd call this one "balanced", but it's nicely complex and fun to drink. Very tasty!

Photo of TexIndy
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Best after date of 5/29/10 on side of label. Was nearly pitch black in color. Had a large brown head that very slowly settled into a constant foam cap. Great sheeting with lots sticking.

The aroma was pine and c-hops blended with roasted malts and a touch of coffee. Really enjoyed it but would have liked the hops to be a bit more pronounced. The taste was also a blend of moderately bitter hops mixed with dry roasted malts. Good balance and interesting flavor. The only problem I have with it is that it's kinda stuck in the middle (and I realize that may be the point of the style) between satisfying my hop craving or my dark malt craving. Has good elements of both but ultimately leaves me wishing it was dominated a little more by one or the other. I usually complain about beers not being balanced but this time I'm saying it's too balanced. In the end, it's really good and worth drinking but I find that the beer I have right after this needs to be either a hop or malt bomb to set things right. Mouthfeel was medium but also had a slightly watery element to it. Good carbonation and good after-taste.

Overall, another great one from Deschutes and glad to see them continuing to push the envelope. One of my favorite breweries. Highly recommend to at least once try this new style and see if it pleases ya. May to September seasonal and available in TX. Rotation - worthy of a couple bombers or so during the season. Need to hit the G-man or Saucer and get on-tap as well. [O;Y]

Photo of Sweasty
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a slight shade above pitch black. Things are topped off by a couple of fingers worth of light khaki head. Some lacing is left down the glass.

The aroma is classic American IPA with a bit of a porter/stout layer underneath. Bright citrusy hops hit the nose first. Grapefruit dominates upfront. A bit of juicy orange is present as well. A nice floral hop quality rounds out the hops. Behind the hops is a definite roast quality. Some light coffee and chocolate notes are present. The dark roasty malts never overtake the hops in the nose.

The taste follows the nose closely. Grapefruit and light orange notes hit first. Behind the citrus is a bit of herbal hop quality. Hops waft over the tongue with a drying quality. Each sip encourages you to take another. Behind the onslaught of hops, a bit of roasty dark malt shows up. Light bittersweet chocolate comes into play. Backing things up is some light roasted coffee notes. The finish offers a nice balance between the citrusy hops and the roasted malts. Overall the finish is dry, with some lingering herbal bitterness.

Mouthfeel sits squarely in the range of medium bodied. The carbonation offers an effervescent quality.

Hop In The Dark is a tasty brew. While definitely a hop heads brew, this shouldn't deter the rest. The brass hop-centric citrus quality makes a porter-esque beer into a very bright, refreshing brew. Its rare that a brew the color of used motor oil manages to be this refreshing. The Cascadian dark ale/Black IPA/Whatever seems to be here to stay. With brews like this I am glad its here to stay.

Photo of scottfrie
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with a dense cappuccino colored head that slowly reduced into a thick film that left a solid sheet of sticky lace all the way around the glass.
S: Smells strongly of grassy hops with subtle sweet malt undertones. Notes of pine and grapefruit in the hops, and a light touch of coffee as well.
T: The color of this beer is tripping me out. It's definitely a hoppy IPA. Notes of juicy citrus and fruity hops hit the palate first and then melt into a sweet and slightly roasted finish. Very juicy. Notes of pineapple and tangerine up front, with hints of coffee, chocolate, and toasted grains rounding out the finish. Aftertaste has a hint of blackberries to it as well.
M: Very mellow and delicious. Body is medium-thin, slick, and slightly watery, with a dry finish. Carbonation is light and bubbly.
D: I was fairly impressed with this beer. Great hop flavor with a wonderful smell, yet it looks like a stout. Pick one up if you like IPA's.

Photo of Bookseeb
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a darker IPA with mellow off tan head leaving good lace. Smell has a good combonation of roasted malts and floral citric hops. Taste of roasted malt with a grapefruit hoppy zing with a bit of pine thrown in. mouthfeel is medium with a good spike of carbonation going down. I'm personally not a big roasted fan, but a good IPA for those who do.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose is highly hoppy - American citric, floral, fruity (lychee), and perfumy. Smells nice.

Pours black with ruby highlights with plenty of head. Looks good.

Flavor follows nose in hoppiness yet more subtle. Moderate bitterness. Some dry roasty malt. Soft nuttiness. Tastes good. Feels good. Good drinkability.

Photo of crusian
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a light black color with about and inch of head that dies semi-quickly.
first thing on the nose is HOPS. after the head subsides a bit, there is a wee bit of smoke in there.
taste is hop forward, with a bit of a citrus and smoke flavor to it, and your typical black IPA slight ash flavor. Not as hoppy as the smell would indicate, but not too bad...

Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: color is extremely dark brown with hints of amber-brown when held up to the light. Head is almost two fingers of light tan foam. This is extremely porteresque in appearance; I like it.

Smell: big, funky, piney, earthy hops tend to crowd out anything else that might be present, but I think I detect a little chocolatey malt aroma underneath. This is promising.

Taste: lots of rich flavors coalesce here, from the earthy, bitter hops to some tasty, chocolatey roasted malt flavors. I rather like this combination of flavors -- it is quite similar in vein to Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale. Some of the hops seem a little rough around the edges, though.

Mouthfeel: medium body; silky smooth with a moderate yet enjoyable level of carbonation.

Drinkability: I find this beer rather drinkable. I like the dark IPA style, though, so that shouldn't be a surprise. Though this beer isn't perfect, it is a relatively well-executed example of the style.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours an ominous dark chocolate color into my SA Perfect Pint with about a finger and a half of tan head that dissipates rather slowly leaving decent lacing.

Smell - A nice hop aroma with a slight roasted malts smell. Nothing overwhelming but pleasant nonetheless.

Taste - Wow, I'm really liking this. A slightly bitter hop taste off the bat followed by bitter grapefruit citrus which is encapsulated by some nice burnt malt aroma. Not too sweet, not too bitter. Slight coffee flavors become more apparent as the beer warms up, and it finishes with a slight pine/herbal note. Not a bad interplay of the flavors at all. Complex yet easily distinguishable in picking out the flavors.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, a dry finish.

Drinkability - Relatively so. Did not know what to expect with this beer (I've had other Black IPA's and didn't really care for them) but I am glad I picked it up. A very drinkable and complex beer that was very easy for me to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed the flavor profile. Not your typical IPA, obviously, but quite good.

Photo of bcm119
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost black, with mahogany tinges and a frothy tan head. Roasty, coffee-like aroma, freshened by leafy/earthy hops. Coffee flavors, slightly burnt and edgy, come through first, with a generous hop bitterness. Fairly thin body for the amount of roasty flavors, but the frothy head and excellent condition of the beer gives it a nice buoyant mouthfeel. The finish is dominated by earthy, leafy PNW hops, which leave a quenching bitterness. Toasty coffee flavors linger. A very nice beer, whatever the style-- I might call it an American porter. It strikes me as quintessentially Oregonian, and it reminds me of the dark winters I spent up there.

Photo of onemanarne
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears to be a good looking porter or stout, nice tan head that held on almost the whole way through. Nice lacing too.

What the....it smells a lot IPA and only a little roasty porterness! Hops definitely shining through - Citrusy, piney, yummy. Little bit of dark chocolate, maybe some toffee too.

Taste is not at all what I expected. Even after reading lots of BA reviews....this brew looks like its going to taste uber malty. It doesn't. Blindfold me, and I would say this looked something like a Mirror Pond.
I enjoy a porter from time to time, but I'm mainly a hophead, and this quenches my thirst for hops just fine. Tastes like a better than average American IPA, with the subtle choco/coffee/roasty flavor. I completely dig this.
Medium mouthfeel, perfectly carbonated IMO. Feels like an IPA would/should.

Drinkability is about the same as any regular IPA in the 6.5 abv range for me. I'm definitely trying this again.

Honestly, I had just finished my last Ranger IPA, and went to Fred Meyer real quick to grab some more brew. I've been scoping Hop in the Dark for some time - so I finally opted for it this evening, grabbing a Stone Ruination bomber for backup, thinking I'd probably drink only half of this "dark" beer tonight and crave a more hop forward beverage.

I'm about to refill my glass and polish 'er off. Try this beer if you IPA's are your thing. I want to try more of these CDA's....

Photo of ocelot2500
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown color with garnet highlights with a fizzy off-white head that leaves nice lines of lacing. I am pretty torn on what to give the beer for its appearance, since it certainly does not look like a classic IPA, but is going in that new line of black IPAs.

Smells of clean pine and citrus hops and some roasted malt underneath.

Tastes of a dose of roasted malts up front with a layer of hops on top. Coffee and bitter chocolate are most notable from the malts. The hops have pine and citrus notes. Roasted bitterness blends well with the hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Photo of RustyDiamond
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best after 5/29/10 on label. Pours a very dark drown/black with a lovely oatmeal creamy fluffy head.

Aromas or roasted malt, subtle watermelon and citrus melange. Very subtle though.

Malt forward, nuttiness. Hop bitterness, quite citric and tangy. Not in you face, but definitely there. Subtle java roasty flavor. Dry loose leaf tobacco.

Dry and roasty mouthfeel, finishing bitter and slighty fruity.

More of a hoppy porter to me, but they can call it whatever they want to.

Photo of elgiacomo
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, best after May 29, 2010.

Pours dark brown with a large foamy light beige head that leaves some nice lacing and holds a foamy ring and wispy cap.

Aroma is a whole lotta serious pine to start, some citrus, floral hops, then the malts, caramel, some burnt malt, chocolate, heavy dark bread, a little smoke. Gets a little funky as it warms, hot dogs and band-aids? I dunno. Interesting, unique, good strength.

Flavor features some bitter pine, roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, and resinous hops, good lingering bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Interesting CDA or Dark IPA. Not nearly as big as Stone's SSR, but hoppier than Capt'n Krunkles & maltier than Yakima Twilight.

Photo of Dixonian
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I'm digging this new style as well as this brewer's series so was excited to try this one.

Excellent dark color-part of why I think I enjoy the style is because you don't usually expect something so dark to be hoppy. Nice tan head that held. Citrus and piney hop aroma-MMM!
Flavor is roasty and slightly sweet with a decent hop bite. Chocolate malt-bit of toffee.
Reminds of a porter in the after taste only hoppier of course. Mouthfeel is just OK-nothing too incredible but quite drinkable especially at the 6.5% abv.

I'll most likely buy at least one more of these while it's around but would go with a Stong Sublimely over this any day.

Photo of cavedave
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to oregonskibum for this wonderful brew.

Pours the expected dark brown/black, topped by an unexpected lather of brownish beige foam. Nice lace on the glass foreshadowing the hops in this baby.

Smell is full of char notes of burnt sugar, and dark bitter, dark caramel in there as well, bitter chocolate, some coffee, citrus, floral hop, lots going on in this one, quite a potent aroma.

This baby doesn't disappoint. It starts with a blast of sweet and char, then some sweet burnt caramel, neutral sweet, sweet citrus, bitter chocolate, bitter citrus, finally yielding the sip to the char and astringent notes for a finish that has just enough sweet in it to be excellent. Full flavored, not over the top in any department, giving it a balance despite the brightly roasted notes.

Mouthfeel is excellent, maybe a tad too much carb, clean on palate, superb finish.

Drinkability is good, but the charry notes keep this from being as drinkable as some others in this style.

Impression: Were it possible to do so without a plane ticket I would get another of these right now.

Photo of herman77
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pretty much black with dark brown around the edges when held up to light. Thick, creamy tan head. Awesome, sticky, big bands of lacing.

S: Very interesting nose. First I get floral and citrus hops, but then comes the dark chocolate, roasted and toffee malt. I like it, best of both worlds.

T: Roasted chocolate malt, hints of toffee and a touch of coffee. There is some citrus and floral hops present, but I was expecting a little more. Tastes more like a hoped up porter. Bitter roasted malt and coffee as well as slight hops linger in the finish. Intriguing, but good.

M/D: Medium to light body. Very smooth. Goes down incredible easy. Low carbonation, what is there is really soft. Good drinkability, nice roasted malt character, some hops. A good in between stout/porter-ipa. I could see myself drinking a lot of this.

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.

Photo of Rchap1
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at Susan's Wine and Spirits in Santa Fe.

A: They're not lying, it's pretty dark. Considering the smell, I figured it'd be lighter than it is. Pretty minimal lacing as well.

S: Smells just like a really solid IPA. Tons of good hop smell, not bitter at all, actually kind of citrusy.

T: Great! This thing again has a great hop flavor to it, lots of citrus. Almost makes me wonder what about this beer besides the color makes it not an IPA, since I'm not really picking up on the malt flavors that the label mentions.

M: Surprisingly full, and there's a lot of flavor that lingers well after you're done sipping. I'm a pretty big fan of that aspect.

D: Considering this is a Bond Street Series, and only comes in bombers, I could see myself putting a couple of these down in a sitting without too much ill effect. It goes down very easily, and is pretty refreshing on a warm summer evening.

Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,256 ratings.