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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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1,227 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,227
Reviews: 496
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 142
Gots: 107 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,227 | Reviews: 496 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of popery
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not entirely on board the CDA train, yet, but I still think this is a pretty good beer. As for the style, this seems like a strong, hoppy porter to me. There's some chocolate and caramel, but it's mostly the tangy, ashy roast flavor that I associate with porters. Hops are medium to strong for a 6.5% abv IPA and show up more in the flavor than aroma. The aroma is actually a bit milder than I expected. On the other hand, the beer is chock full of flavor. It's quite bitter with spicy pine resin and pungent grapefruit rind. The roasted malt adds further bitterness or, at least, accentuates the hops. Both taste and aroma are balanced between strong malt and hop flavors. The mouthfeel is a tad rough. I could see this beer and CDAs, generally, growing on me, but I'm not quite there yet. Still, it's a good beer, and I'll come back to it, one day.

popery, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of DovaliHops
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light black color. When held up to the light you can see a rusty/amber-brown color in the beer. Has a beautiful 1 1/2 inch tan head on this bad boy. This beer has a very interesting smell for an IPA. This is not my first "black ipa," but this one stands out a bit. You can smell a bit of "roastiness" to it along with a mild hop profile. I want to say that I'm also getting hints of dark fruit and coffee. Very interesting. Wow, the taste is extremely unique. I must have been right about the coffee smell because it totally comes out on my palate, especially in the aftertaste. The unique thing about this beer is that you get the hops right up front rather than after the usual citrus fruits. This beer has a strong coffee/espresso backbone. I'm really enjoying this. You also get hit with some nice grapefruit notes that seem to be enhanced by the bitterness of the coffee. This one has a very light mouthfeel for what I'm tasting on my palate. Drinkability is fairly high. This a great version of a black ipa. Very uniquely set apart from Sublimely Self-Ritious and Bashah IMO.

DovaliHops, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of TomBrewnansky
4.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer totally shocked me. I didn't expect much for some reason, although I love Deschutes. I guess I couldn't picture a black IPA. The appearance was as dark brown or nearly black. Nice thick foamy head which laced down the glass. The smell was of coffee and great maltiness and a little hops, but not much. The taste is just unbelievable. It's almost like a light porter with a real bitter finish. And it sits light in my stomach. It's not heavy. I've had nothing like it and I can't get enough. It's so smooth, too. I drank a bomber and could keep going. I've got another bomber in the fridge, but I'm going to hang onto it....for a day...maybe.

TomBrewnansky, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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?

Beerandraiderfan, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of AdamGarcia
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to tturaiders for this one.

22oz bomber served in SN 30th snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown, near black, with 2 inches of head. The dark khaki head breaks down slowly and clings nicely.

S: As soon as the cap comes off I got a big whiff of fresh whole cone hops. Sensory confusion! The big piney aroma coming from a beer of this color doesn't initially compute. Hop smell is amazing. Really clean and fresh. Spruce. Faint roasted malt hiding behind the pine and just a little citrus. Its been nearly 10 minutes since I poured this and I haven't even had a sip because I'm so content with the smell.

T: Amazing interplay of flavors. Citrus flavors reminiscent of those present in some varieties of coffee. Sweet and tart orange flavors jockey for position with toasted malt and coffee. Finishes dry, with herbal and pine. Taste doesn't blow me away like the aroma, but it is very complex. This is certainly a beer that will hold your attention.

M: Medium body. Carbonation is about right. Drying finish, slightly chalky.

D: ABV is low enough that finishing a bomber won't be an issue. More importantly however, this beer is complex and above all, interesting.

I always expect good things from Deschutes, but this one surprised me. I've enjoyed beers like ST Iniquity, Victory Yakima Twilight, and Stone SSR, but Hop in the Dark was an absolute revelation. I found it to be far superior to any other CDA/BlackIPA/Whatever that I've ever had. I really wish I had a case of this instead of just a bottle. I'll be trying to get my hands on some more of this very soon.

AdamGarcia, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of DaveHS
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a tan head. Lots of thick, sticky lacing. The nose is packed with piney, bitter hops. Hints of caramel and coffee, with pleasant roasted malts. The flavor follows suit, with roasted malts and bold, piney hops. Moderately sweet, with a pleasant bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and dry, due in part to the bittering hops. Another standout beer from Deschutes!

DaveHS, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of whiskeysoda
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured - as advertised - a dark amber with fine, thin, light-tan head.

The NOSE hinted of resinous hops blended with bitter coffee and candied orange.

The TASTE is very reminiscent of a black IPA like stone 11 (sublimely self-righteous), with more malt and coffee character and a mild astringency.

The MOUTHFEEL is very light. The bitterness lingers slightly, but the sweetness of the hops and carmelized orange helps it taper off smoothly and evenly. Sweet and hot, then gone. Like 10 minutes since taking a shot of grapefruit vodka...just...not at all grapefruit vodka....I'M MAKING AN ALLUSION!

I like this beer. Definitely curious to see what else Deschutes is capable of in this vein.

whiskeysoda, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of dwilson01
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bomber into an eastern sierra lager pint glass, sandy red mocha coloring to the head which comes up about a finger and dissipates very quickly leaving minimal lacing. they weren't kidding, it's dark in body, like a porter, not pitch black but you can only see into it at all when held up to the light.

It smells refreshing and malty at the same time, a sugary sweet roasted malt combined with a very floral hop aroma.

The taste does a balancing act, it has an earthy hoppiness to it but I honestly think it's leaning toward the malty dark ale characteristics. It has very intense coffee and chocolate notes along with a great sweet caramel character. Not much carbonation but the flavor is lightened a lot by the springtime fresh hopping in it, not bitter but all aroma and floral.

Good mouthfeel, it's full and dark ale/porter-like, I compare this beer to the new belgium 1554 but combined with a mellow smooth floral hopping that just makes this an extremely drinkable dark ale. It's got a lot of flavor with not many spice notes which is cool. I think mostly roasted malt, chocolate malt, crystal as well with some combination of very earthy hops, probably cascade and maybe some amarillo as well.

dwilson01, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of maximum12
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saw this new 'style' from Deschutes & had to pick it up. Make enough world-class brews & I'll buy just about anything from you!

HItDCDA pours dark, but a light dark about the periphery. A waterfall of hops greets my flared nostrils, as well as a balanced jolt of sweet malts.

Hop in the Dark is hoppy, but subdued, bitterness toned down by a heavy hand on the malt scale, to achieve a tasting balance that's soft, easy on the palate, quick & simple to consume. There's a touch of the hard end of a loaf, perhaps a handful of raisins scattered throughout, too.

Well, this is a nice beer. Can't say I've had another 'CDA', but if this is a typical offering, I cannot see it supplanting the trusty IPA anytime soon. Good change of pace beer.

maximum12, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
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

brentk56, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of JamisonM
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black color super dark here a dark brown color on the edge of the glass small tan head with good lace

S: grapefruit hops roasted malt light malty sweetness

T: taste is like hoppy coffee the hops and the roasted malt clash here a bit.

M: light mouth med carbonation

D: drinkable I drank this bomber fairly fast.

overall: its very unusual I am glad I tried it. hops and roasted malt clash a bit too much for my taste.

JamisonM, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of mothman
3.3/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

mothman, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of Schreibeers
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Much anticipated... mailed to me from my friend from Portland.

Appearance: Poured into tulip glass... Dark as night (well that was expected). With an aggressive pour this beer reaches a solid two to three finger head that settles down to one finger. Retains nicely throughout. Lacing is good. Looks beautiful.

Smell: For such a dark beer I would have been surprised (if not for the name) at the hoppy aroma. Piney, Bitter, Earthy, very faint alcohol, with slight sweet, roasted caramel. Well balanced and pleasant... although definitely not overwhelming. Where is the distant coffee/chocolate I was expecting/wanting?

Taste: A strong hoppy profile with beautifully backed caramel flavoring. Sweet malts give you the initial taste of a darker ale, but the hoppy bitterness is never far away. Each sip is slightly different and I can't quite figure this beer out... Maybe, Sweetness again... Initially it is sweet, but as the beer warms in the class the hoppy notes become more present. And finally... there it is: the slight coffee/bitter chocolate note I was searching for. It is lurking back there behind the hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is where the beer shines (to me). I love the silky smoothness of this beer. Just when you are getting a little bored with the smooth ale like drinkability, you get a little hoppy punch in the face (actually not quite as violent... think more like a healthy slap on the back). The sweetness and bitterness were both welcome. So good. This is a very nice sweet treat, especially if you don't want a beer that overwhelms you with sweetness.

Drinkability: Not what I expected at all. I expected a beer a little more like Victory Storm King, but in that case I guess the beer would have to change names to CDS (Cascadian Dark Stout). Finish leaves you with a bitter bite that is refreshing. I don't feel weighed down by another dark heavy beer.

Possible food pairings: I want something tart... Like a fresh raspberries and a homemade vanilla ice cream (with a dark caramel hard sugar candy... like a hard toffee topping)

Schreibeers, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into UCLA shaker pint glass 6.19.20.

Dark brown opaque body, no visible carbonation. Finger and a half tan head, medium dissipation with huge lacing. Nose is malt forward, grassy hops, hints of coffee and chocolate as the beer warms. Taste is malty, roast prevalent, faint notes of coffee and chocolate, not much hop presence. Full mouthfeel, a bit heavy, not sticky. Pretty drinkable, hardly noticed the ABV, but frankly there are much better CDAs available. This may be a good gateway CDA for those new to the style, but for CDAheads this is pretty pedestrian.

EDIT- Bottle consumed 10.8.11. There's certainly been some adjustments to recipe, roast has been rolled back a bit which lets the citrus notes of hop shine through more clearly, taste score upped to 4.0

jdense, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of DwnTwnBwn
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed form a tulip glass

A- Very dark beer. not as thick as where it coats the glass but little light penetrates the beer. When taking a sip redish hues pear out of the dark liquid. The head is quite nice one finger head with a decent amount of lacing.

S- The aroma is of lots of pine and bitter hops. A few sweet caramel malts peer through.

T- Tasty, the dark caramel malts provide a nice back bone for the hops, but seem to distract from the complexity of the hops.

M- Good mouth feel, Could use a touch more carbonation.

O- Very enjoyable beer, would buy again.

DwnTwnBwn, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of webbcreative
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark brown with tab head that leave great lacing.

Smell is piney, floral hops. Can't really pull any roasted aroma from this though.

Taste is more of the same - floral piney hops - but with the addition of some slightly chocolatey - porter like flavors in the finish.

Mouthfeel is about right for an IPA, on the thin side of medium.

Overall I like idea of this beer and deschutes executed it very well. I would drink this again....if I could ever find it that is.

webbcreative, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of unHipHopHead
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this brew combines two of my favorite worlds, Porter/Stouts and IPAs. I really appreciate that Deschutes experimented with these two because I honestly wouldn't have thought about pouring the two together... At first it may seem disgusting or accidental... which I still wonder, but since these two styles are my favorite I am able to appreciate

a: poured like a stout, mostly black with a brownish tan super fluffy head.

s: mostly hops which was surprising because of the sight...

t: mostly hoppy IPA style but other sips give more chocolate like porter... this IS mysterious.

m: a strange combo of hops and deep malts that leaves me confused and with a thick film wishing for WATER.


unHipHopHead, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of troutmask96
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An interesting style, indeed. What would happen if a brewery combined the hoppy pungency of an I.P.A. with the bottom-end of a stout? In Deschutes' Hop in the Dark, we have that answer. I'm not sure this is a beer that succeeds in either style, but as a hybrid, it's pretty satisfying, and definitely unique...

troutmask96, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of GilGarp
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

GilGarp, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of hardy008
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown with a 1 finger medium tan head with decent retention and some lacing. The aroma has citrus, roasted coffee, and chocolate. The aroma is not very strong.

The taste is much like the aroma, and is also not very strong. Citrus, roasted coffee, a light amount of chocolate. Has decent bitterness, and very little sweetness.

Light bodied, decent carbonation, finishes dry. A decent beer, but not one I would hurry to seek out again.

hardy008, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of Bubba83
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Deschutes Tulip at 45 degrees. Appears black, with dark brown around the edges, and topped off by a light tan head, 3 finger width head. Good retention and nice spiderweb lacing remains on the glass.

Smells of citrusy hops, lemon and orange mostly, with some grapefruit too. Behind the zesty hops there is a decent cocoa powder aroma along with some faint roast.

First thing I taste is toasted cocoa puff cereal, but it doesn't remain for long as the hops takeover pretty quick. The hop flavor is a pretty typical deschutes style, and reminds me a bit of Red Chair's hop profile. Lots of C hops here, but not overly fruity or juicy in nature. Finishes up with a good deal of roast, pretty tasty.

I like the mouthfeel a lot on this beer, it's somewhat thin compared to others I've had in the style but I think it works. I'm also a big fan of the texture of the head all the way through. Good level of carbonation.

Overall a very solid Black IPA, and another winner of a beer from Deschutes, seemingly the company that can't make a disappointing beer. I think I prefer Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, mostly because of the hop profile difference, but to each their own!

Bubba83, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of DanOLeary
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Citrus. Grapefruit and orange peel in characteristic Northwest IPA style, with a touch of hay playing at the edges. Once you get past the hops there is a definite chocolate presence, that while quick to be pushed to the back by the hops, comes off quite sweet. A minor amount of roasted barley also lingers.

Appearance: Solid black. Not brown, no ruby highlights at the edges. Black. Light dusty-brown head forms easily with a moderate pour and has good retention. A few points of lacing stick to the edges of the glass.

Flavor: Surprisingly strong roasted malt upfront on the palate. Burnt coffee comes to mind. The roast holds your taste buds tightly, letting in some chocolate for a moment before the hops finally take over. Moderately strong hop bitterness through the middle comes off as tannic grapefruit rind, but also earthy when mixed with the strong roasted presence. Finish is drying and bitter with yes, more roast. Dark toast, dark chocolate, burnt coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium light body with medium carbonation. The roasted character of this beer causes the palate to dry out quite quickly and even leaves your mouth feeling a little rough, or edgy. Hop bitterness hits the top and back of the throat in the finish with a desert dryness.

Overall: The incredible amount of roasted presence in the flavor is very surprising when you nearly can't find it at all in the aroma. This is definitely a hop forward ale both in aroma and bitterness, but there is room left for the "dark" portion of this emerging style to show a presence. Sweet chocolate aromatics are a pleasing blend to the citrus hop in the nose. Roasted dryness is pushing the palate to be overly stimulated and causes a great deal of drying.

DanOLeary, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of gford217
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Mike W. for this bottle of Pac NW goodness.

Pours a deep dark chocolate brown with a big, thick beige head that recedes very slowly to a thin cap with some delicate lacing on the sides.

As expected, the hops are on showcase in the nose with citrus up front - grapfruits and oranges. There is some roasted black malts and cocoa as well.

The taste is more of the same though the hops aren't quite as dominant. The chocolate malts form a big backbone, slightly roasted in character, with a lightly bitter citrusy finish.

The mouthfeel is very, very smooth with the hops bringing only the slightest bitterness. Strong but non-obtrusive carbonation.

I've had quite a few black IPAs now and this is one of the better ones. It's very well balanced in that the hops aren't overpowering the malts and there is a definite roasted character to the whole thing.

gford217, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of BarrytheBear
2.7/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes

22 oz bomber split into a chalice

Heavy malt on the nose, mostly earthy with a smack of dirt and cream soda...smells very much like a porter. A little disconcerting based on what I was hoping for.

Hop in the dark? Really? Perhaps they're lost and having difficulty finding their way to my taste buds, cause I'm struggling to pull a significant hop presence. Beer is very thin with dark malts carrying the day. The bitter unpleasant finish may be where the hops are showcased. Unfortunately, it's not my bag.

This beer was deemed "homebrewy" by more than a few in the room. I like Deschutes, but this isn't one of their stronger offerings.

BarrytheBear, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of Impfan
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the first black IPA that I really love! Lots of resinous and citric (grapefruity) hops, and a near perfect balance of intense roasted malt (but not burnt) with a solid background of toffee, figs, and dates. The carbonation is smooth with only a slight tingle, and the body is velvety and creamy. The finish maintains the balance, and is of lengthy duration. Highly recommended.

Impfan, Jun 16, 2010
Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,227 ratings.