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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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1,200 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,200
Reviews: 492
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 143
Gots: 103 | 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: 1,200 | Reviews: 492 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -2.7%

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 WhatsNewinBooze
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%

We just received the new release of the Bond Street Series from Deschutes Brewery last week, and you know I had to take one home and try it the second I laid my eyes upon this tasty treat. This beer is great combination of roasted malts and intense hops. Pours an extremely dark chocolate brown with a slight bit a maroon showing up on the edges with a thin light tan head. The aromas scream IPA with intense citrus notes like grapefruit and fresh sliced oranges. You do pick up slight notes of roasted malts on the nose but it is tough to get through all the citrus. At first sip I really noticed the hops but as time progressed and the beer warmed the sweet and toasty flavors grain began to come through and actually becomes extremely well balanced. Overall this is a great beer for IPA lovers or anybody that wants to try something new.

WhatsNewinBooze, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%

Chilled bomber into a glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown body, opaque in the center but a translucent maroon around the edges. The head is a finger of light tan foam that quickly dies off into a thin collar. Some ivy lace is present at the beginning, but after a few sips it deposits no more.

S: A really bright citrus aroma, like fresh-cut tangerines and grapefruit pith. A floral presence is noted, as well. Roast is present, but not dominant; it's a nice complement to the hop profile, which is forward and fleshy. As it warms, it takes on a grassy and chocolate-powder-like nose.

T: Even when cold, it puts the hops forward pretty well, though it's heavy on the citrus. It gets more nuanced, with a floral and grassy bent, as it warms. The bitterness works very well with the roast flavors -- which are, again, secondary. This is not a hoppy porter. As in the nose, chocolate emerges as the beer warms; it's a dark, powdery variety. In stronger doses, it would be too much, but it supports the hop flavors and bitterness nicely here. I got it into my head that the finish is slightly smoky; at times I'm sure I'm right, at others I'm not. Very mystifying. Outstanding for the black IPA style.

M: I'd say just under medium-bodied. Good flavor, with a slightly dry finish. Lingering roast flavors and some hop oiliness. Carbonation is appropriate.

D: I'm very impressed by this one. It makes Sublimely Self Righteous feel rough by comparison, though both are excellent beers.

Arbitrator, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of Buebie
3.15/5  rDev -23.4%

Picked up this bomber for around $5

Poured into a pint glass forming a little over an inch of tan head. Receding slowly to leave good sticky lace cling and a very decent ring of retention.
Color is black, no light penetration.

Aroma is quite roasty with bittering dark malt, and semi sweet chocolate grain. Some citrus hop aroma beneath all this roastyness, but mostly mild and covered by the grains.
Chocolate nuttyness too, chocolate aroma is delicious and welcoming.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, like a well aerated watter with mild carbonation and a little slick feel. Really a poor feel actually that is not really pleasing.

Taste is a little sweet upfront with a charred caramel and robust roasted chocolate grain. Hops a again disguised by roasty flavors, but present way down under them. In a citrus floral form. Bittering into the finish with charred grain and pine.

This beer seemed a little strange to me. Like a friend that you hadnt seen in 20 years and were looking forward to seeing. But then you realise you really have nothing to talk about and cant wait for them to go back home and leave.

Buebie, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of Phelps
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Looks: like a moonlit night. The beer cascades out of the bottle a deep, abiding black with faint highlights of dark amber. A pillowy head the color of brown sugar recedes rather quickly to a foamy ring. Intricate webs of lace decorate the glass as I drink.

Smells: snappy. Bright, sweet citrusy hops impart notes of grapefruit and tangerine. Malt is only very slightly noticeable as a subtle backbone of coffee.

Tastes: like discombobulation. At first I thought the bright hops were imparting an almost bracing bitterness, but the I realized what was happening. The sweet undertones you'd expect from a balanced IPA are gone, replaced by an acrid tinge imparted by the roasted malts. Hop in the Dark builds bitter upon bitter, contrasting the resinous tang of Northwest hops with the piquancy of black coffee and dark chocolate. The malts never combat the hops, however, and are rather relegated to a subtle campfire smokiness that builds on the sides of the tongue after each swallow.

Feels: puzzling. High carbonation, with a body that's somewhat runny while being filling at the same time. Again I'm confused.

Drinks: like ebony and ivory. While the name Cascadian Dark Ale is a little polysyllabic for my tastes, Deschutes has themselves a beer here that could rightly be called emblematic of the hoppy dark ale style. There can be beauty in contradiction.

Phelps, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of bunnyhustle
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured into tulip from bomber. Pours dark as can be with a mahogany edge. Thick, tan head with great retention and lacing. Smell is of dark malt, piney hops, and almost a vanilla cream sort of smell to it. Very nice. Taste was superb I thought. Very rich and dark. At first you get the dark malt, almost a light taste of coffee and chocolate. Next you get the sprucey/piney hops with a bit of a grapefruit aftertaste. Very complex. The mouth feel was good, perhaps slightly light but overall fine. Very smooth and velvety with an oily aftertaste. Overall a great beer and another home run from Deschutes.

bunnyhustle, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of brewdoc75
3.4/5  rDev -17.3%

Poured from bomber into tulip pint

A: Black/brown with nice amber hues. Thick, beige head sits on top and goes from 1 inch to 1/4 inch in about a minute. Carbonation is moderate.

S: Lots of citrus twang with grapefruit and lemon rind at first. After a bit I get some orange and tangerine. A bit of pine as well. Some chocolate aromas and sweetness from the malts. Pleasant and complex.

T: Lots of resiny hop bitterness up front. Hop flavors include grapefruit as the strongest citrus component. A bit more of that tangerine and orange I noted in the aroma. There is a hint of citrus. The bitterness is lemon rind in nature and a bit harsh for me. It really sticks in the back of my throat and doesn't sit right. The malts add a nice complexity with chocolate and a little malty sweetness. Ends with a hint of nuttiness. Overall, complex flavors, but not a fan of the bitterness that seems to persist more than most IPAs.

M: Medium bodied. More smooth than crisp when compared to other IPAs. Carbonation is right on for me. Stickiness from the bittering hops lasts longer than I would have liked.

D: All in all a pretty decent beer. I wasn't a fan of the bittering hops used due to some harshness to my palate. This may not be an issue for others. The positives are the nice citrus and pine notes that blend well with the complexity from the malts. Definitely worth a try. I may revisit this one again in the future to see if my opinion changes.

brewdoc75, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%

Pours a near black, letting some light through, foamy cap of off-white head that doesnt linger long. Scent is of muted citrus, tropical and piney hops with a slightly brown sugar sweet malt backbone. Taste is a little more aggressive, a well blended concoction of the fruity hop notes and lightly roasted and freshly dried grains, neither overpowers the other. Lighter side of medium bodied, moderate carbonation, very little lingering aftertaste, slightly dry. A decent offering, well blended ingredients.

rfgetz, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%

So the bottle states 'a new style' in Cascadian Dark Ale, the style on BA is AIPA. I'll compare it to the latter...aside from appearance.

Dark brown as it pours, becomes much darker in the glass. An off-white head and some nice stickiness makes this beer look pretty darn good. A bit more chunk in the head would boost this rating.
Aroma is hoppy coffee. A pine/citrus nose at first, with deep roasted (but a bit weak) aroma sneaking in the middle.
Nice flavor. Not a huge IPA. Citrus and floral, with pine come first, then along comes a roasted flavor, but is still weak. It seems the dark roast is for looks primarily, then flavor. Expected a bit more umph.
A good mouthfeel, but expected a bit more as it warmed. I hate to say it's weak, but something is missing here. It's a darn fine beer, and easy drinking. Not sure what separates it from IPA, other than the color. Does color really separate us? :)

Mebuzzard, Jun 05, 2010
Photo of ArrogantB
3.35/5  rDev -18.5%

22oz bottle $5. Dark black color with a mocha head. Smells slightly hoppy but a lot more malty. Tastes like black butte porter with a bit of orange from the hops. Overall this just wasn't hoppy enough for me like most of Deschute's IPA's and pale ales. For hoppy dark ales I would much rather have a Stone self-righteous ale.

ArrogantB, Jun 05, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%

Finally found this one in Denver. Pours a very dark brown, almost black color (looks like a porter) with a nice, bubbly light brown head. Nice aromas of roasted malt, along with piney hops, bubblegum and citrus. The aromas translate well to the palate, with a good roasted malt background, complemented nicely by the piney/citrusy hops. Although I much prefer the oxymoronic black IPA moniker, this beer was still quite enjoyable.

emmasdad, Jun 05, 2010
Photo of beertunes
3.4/5  rDev -17.3%

Tried this at a brewers night at the Archer Ale House, Bellingham, WA. The Deschutes rep said this is the first keg in the state of Washington, but remember, he's a salesman.

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a lightly translucent black with a 1/2 inch of dark tan head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma was very hop forward, mostly citrus, without much notable malt scents. On the other hand, the hop flavors most notable on the front of the tongue, with the roasted flavors dominating the back of the mouth. The roasted flavors were reminiscent of a Porter, and I didn't think they melded very well with the hop flavors. There was too much of a coffee note that lingered.

The body seemed to be OK for the style, but was too thin for my tastes. Drinkability was good, but it's going to depend on if you like hoppy coffee flavors.

Overall, a decent example of a style that's still finding out what it's about. If you live in Deschutes distribution area, you'll be seeing this soon and can decide for your self.

beertunes, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of velosuds
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%

"BRAVELY DONE" - from the underside of the bottle cap.

From a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. Best after 05/29/10.

A-pours a beautiful dark brown, nearly black hue with a two finger light brown head with good retention and copious lacing.

S-Aroma is very nice. Resinous and citric hops with dark earthy malts. As it warms, coffee in the nose becomes more noticeable.

T-The citrusy hops are sufficiently bitter to be an IPA, but not overpowering since it was balanced by deep, roasted malt flavors reminiscent of oatmeal and coffee.

M-Very smooth and well balanced.

O-This very drinkable. A good beer, and nice interpretation of the style. I wish this were a year round beer.

velosuds, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of birdypowder
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Hop in the Dark is a delicious and expertly crafted brew that will serve well as a benchmark for future CDA offerings that inevitably will come to market from many other breweries. Hop in the Dark is not too intense in any one flavor component and is drinkable. Not sessionable, but very drinkable. I'm sure we'll see other examples of this style fall above and below this Deschutes offering on all the key parameters for a CDA (assertive hopping, roast, dark ominous color and drinkability). Deschutes has managed to blend them all together in a very balanced and approachable yet exciting way...but it's not the only way to excel within this style.

Complex and intriguing, something new with each sniff. The hops come across as citrusy and catty. A little less catty and a little more citrus or floral could be an improvement. There are also aromas of faint coffee, chocolate, alcohol and smoke. A little more coffee or chocolate would be enjoyable.

A gorgeous brew. Deep dark brownish black, it makes the light chocolate colored head appear almost white. Color wise, Hop in the Dark looks to be in-between Deschutes' Porter and Stout. Good but not great lacing, head retention lacks a bit.

Catty hops, grapefruit and other citrus up front gives way to the roast and malt. I would like the malt to step up a bit more, though they do put up a good fight with the hops. The hops win since they ride into the bitter finish without the company of the hops, leaving you yearning for that next sip and the return of the sweet and roast flavors presented by the malts.

The mouthfeel feels a bit light for such a dark brew, but the style has to be remembered. Still, a little more viscosity would be appreciated.

birdypowder, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of katan
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%

22oz into a pint

A - Just like the name suggests, this baby is dark and thick. Very opaque, as night. Head formation is mocha color, but against the beer appears quite light. How do you measure this against an IPA style anyway?

S - A robust hop nose, but not very "in your face". Mostly a light floral note, with some grapefruit. Not edgy, grassy, or resinous - clean.

T - Starts off with a smooth floral and grapefruit sweetness, driven by hops. Malts are hidden - mid-stream gets more bitter, balanced, with some grassy notes. In the finish a harsher bitter bite grabs the tongue, tied also to a bit of a burnt malt note.

M - Creamy and full bodied. Carbonation is certainly present, the tongue gets tingly. Finishes with an oily residue on the tongue.

D - Moderate drinkability. Flavors are a bit intense for full sessioning - my palette is getting a smack down as we go. Slightly heavy on my stomach.

Worth a try - just didn't come across as great to me.

katan, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of Parrotbeak
4.35/5  rDev +5.8%

Pours black with an eighth inch light tan head that thins out a little but remains full. Very deep, opaque brown when held up to the light. Good lacing as it goes down.
Smell is dark, roasted malts with some notes of toffee, caramel, and dark chocolate. Grassy hops comes in fairly assertive as well.
Taste is bitter, piney hops with some roasted malts underneith. More subtle notes of toffee and caramel, and dark chocolate. Finish is slightly malty, with some peppery hops.
Mouthfeel is crisp yet the body is ample. Good bite from the hops. Finish is slightly dry and clean.
Drinkability is very good. For a dark beer, this one is quite refreshing.

Parrotbeak, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of mudbug
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%

OK I'm not going to get into the black IPA thing here because I don't really care, If it tastes good, it is good.
Pours a very black with a small sticky head of brown that laces nicely, aroma of piney hops prevails, nice and crisp.
The taste is hop forward balanced by.... roasted malts.
not as thick as most stouts, very much like several DIPA's
The lingering aftertaste is charcoal in a good way.
Light enough to drink a lot, a very solid brew that I would gladly drink again.
OK I lied, Its a hoppy porter, I don't care what the brewer says.

mudbug, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

A: Very dark brown, almost black in color, with a thick light tan head that holds very well. Lacing is sticky, but not very thick.

S: Hops stand out the most on the nose. Notes of citrus, pine, and fresh flowers dominate. In the backround, there are roasty aromas of dark chocolate and some toast.

T: Roasty, with hints of bitter chocolate and some caramel. There's just a hint of espresso in the backround. Hops then burst through with flavors of citrus, cedar, and fresh grass.

M: Medium bodied, and viscous, but not as thick as I expected it to be. Finish is very long and clean.

D: For as complex this beer is, it's very easy to drink, even on a hot Summer day. Could easily be one of my favorite offerings from Deschutes. Well worth trying.

WYVYRN527, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of GreenCard
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%

Appearance: dark brown, big layer of tan spongey foam, good head retention

Aroma: citrusy/piney hops, fresh cut grass, caramel, and a chocolatey undertone

Flavor: medium malt sweetness that first breaks with the citrusy hops and then with a mellow roast bitterness; finishes semi-dry with a lingering roast and grapefruit rind aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium body, gentle carbonation, silky texture

Other comments: This is one of my top 5 favorite beer styles at the moment and I'm proud to live in the Pacific NW, where it originated. And I firmly support the CDA naming convention as opposed to "Black IPA".

GreenCard, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of froghop
4.15/5  rDev +1%

pours a very dark brown with a little red tint when held to the light, a small khaki head, and great lacing.

smell is of malt, some cocoa, a little roastiness, some dark fruit, and a some smoke in the back.

taste is smooth, chocolate, a touch of coffee, roasted malt, some smoke, and a little dark fruit, ends creamy and nicely bitter.

froghop, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of djbreezy
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%

Imperial pint glass at Portland pub.

appearance - dark and rich, tan head, excellent retention and lacing

smell - earthy and dirty hops, coffee, malts

taste - resinous/earthy hops, citrus hops, carefully roasted malt to give that genuine CDA flavor, sweet, nutty chocolate coffee notes

mouthfeel - well carbonated, medium/full bodied, some bitterness in the finish

drinkability - well crafted and balanced, big flavor for an IPA

djbreezy, May 30, 2010
Photo of philbertk
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%

Hop In The Dark C. D. A.--Cascadian Dark Ale--Bond Street Series--2010 22 oz. Bottle. 6.50% ABV. 70 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Thin mild lace tan head. No sediment. Clear dark black bronze pour color. Aromatic pine grass floral hop light roast front. Mild sweet resinous hop debittered light roast dark malt IPA body. Rich balanced hop spice mild citrus end with dark chocolate hint. Very tasty but hard to describe. Sampled. 5/29/2010. 2 @ $4.79 Each.

philbertk, May 30, 2010
Photo of vkv822
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%

22oz bottle into snifter.

This beer pours black with a thick foamy tan head with decent retention and wonderful lacing.
After first being poured the aroma is of extremely resiny and citrusy hops with a light roasted malt backing, but as it sits, a roasty malt aroma becomes more prevalent.
The flavor was a bit off setting at first, but it is truly an enjoyable mix of bitter citrus hops, and a nutty and slight chocolate roasted malt backing. As it warms slightly the balance of these flavors becomes even more mixed and enjoyable.
It has a pleasant medium body with strong carbonation, but does not become over bearing. This is a very drinkable brew, and I do plan on picking it up again soon as I have yet to find such a well balanced mix of hops and malt.

vkv822, May 29, 2010
Photo of seanthornton152
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%

22 oz picked up at Belmont Station. Poured into Maudite Goblet.

A- Nice light caramel color frothy head, leaving good amount of lace

S - Wow! piney, nutty, bittersweet chocolate, brown sugar. Smells great!

T - Initial flavors of citrus and floral, not too strong of a hop flavor, then the sweetness sets in; chocolate, hazelnut, roasted malts. Finishing with a nice roasted grain note

M - medium body, active carbonation

D - This is very good. The PNW really has been putting out the dark IPA recently, I always really enjoy them, but too often they are so hoppy you never get the flavor of the dark malts. This brew is perfectly balanced, its floral and sweet. Great beer!

seanthornton152, May 29, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%

Got this 22 today at the COOP... Wooo Hooo!! It says best after 5/29/10... I guess maybe I should have waited until the weekend. :-)

Poured into my smaller goblet... 2 finger dark an head with great retention and lacing.... the brew is pretty much black with highlites showing only when held to a bright bulb... then the deepest garnet appears.

Nose is a bright citrus hoppiness with some floral elements thrown in for good measure... the hops are balanced nicely by a bit of roasty malt.... the roastiness is there for sure, but it is in the background behind all the fresh smelling hops.

Balanced bitterness out of the gate ... more roasted malts appear on the palate than the aroma .... lite coffee and whaffs of dark dry chocolate ... there is some mild malty sweetness to tie everything together...

As this warms up, I really am appreciating the balance... bitter... hoppy... roasty... mild sweetness... The brew really meshes and is well integrated.

Nice medium/lite body with a smooth small bubble carbonation that makes it feel pretty smooth.

My only "knock" could possibly be on drinkability; just because, even given the lower ABV, this is a true sipper for me that I never see myself quickly knocking back a big glass.

Really glad Deschutes decided to bottle this "style" ... Yummy and a very good change of pace from the usual hop bombs in the PNW.


JohnGalt1, May 27, 2010
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Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,200 ratings.