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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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1,122 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,122
Reviews: 485
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 144
Gots: 87 | 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: 1,122 | Reviews: 485 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a dark brown to black with an off-white head. The head stays at about a millimeter for a while before dissipating. Good lacing.

S - Definitely needs more of a wallop in the aroma category. Earthy and floral, some vegetable flower character like a spring garden. Some caramel malt sweetness to back it up and a touch of roast. It's pleasant, but just needs to be more powerful.

T - Well balanced with a caramel backbone. Again, also a bit of roast. Less hop character than I would expect for a beer with Hop in the name. Almost drinks like a half and half.

M - Medium carbonation. Medium-low viscosity. A bit on the lighter side body wise.

D - This is a refreshing beverage that I think would do better in the 12oz format than the bomber-only, limited release.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 23:02:03 | More by leedorham
Photo of BeardedRiker


4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark IPA? I'll try it out! Oh God, I just poured it out and it looks fantastic. It looks like a stout but smells like an IPA. AWESOME! For me, Deschutes beers are a little hit or miss. I think most of their beers are decent, some I don't think are extraordinary, but they do have some that I have enjoyed a whole lot. This Cascadian Dark Ale looks like it is going to fall into the enjoyable. The tan head pours thick and frothy. It looks most tantalizing. The beer is very dark and I can barely see through the edges of it when holding it up to a light. In these respects the dark IPA looks like a stout.

How does it smell? Heavenly! It has a very floral aroma from the hops. I detect fruity and chocolaty sweetness. But that's not all. Complexity is added from the chocolate as well as coffee, bringing out a fuller, more intense smell that gives it a robustness. I already know that the beer is going to taste good. As I take a sip, I notice that the head is still there on the surface as well as some lacing on the side of my glass. That adds character.

To describe the taste of this beer will be difficult. Like the smell, the taste is as if the Cascadian Dark Ale is an IPA and a stout. Now, it's not as hoppy as an IPA and not as robust and full-bodied as a stout, but it is an enjoyable combination. The bite of hops tingles the tongue at first, followed by a plethora of flavors like sweet, fruity plum, the pine flavors evident in pale ales, some oatiness (word?) that makes it more robust, as well as smooth and sweet malts. Later comes the chocolate and coffee flavors that add some dark tones and lingering bitterness, making the beer a taste bud roller coaster of sorts. Every sip brings about a lengthy adventure through flavors or spice, bitterness, sweetness, and robustness. All this being said, I wish it was more hoppy, considering that it is an IPA. That lack of bite disappoints a bit because I love hops so much. It's also a bit watery to me. That could also be because I wish it was more hoppy.

This beer is very interesting, one of the most interesting beers I've tried, and therefore I highly recommend it. I think it has some room for improvement in terms of being more FULL of flavor, less watery, but if we're talking about flavors here, there aren't many beers I'd say come close to having the variety of flavors. Go try it!

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 04:37:29 | More by BeardedRiker
Photo of notchucknorris


3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown in color with a foamy mocha colored head and nice lacing.

S: What a weird beer. Looks like a stout, smells like an IPA. Lots of fresh hops in the smell.

T: Fair amount of hops, roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee. Very strange blend, but I liked it.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 14:22:22 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of lackenhauser


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

Coal black colorwise. Small, tight head on top-leaves some very nice cocoa lacing as it descends. Decent amount of cocoa and mild coffee aroma mixed with a floral presence. Faint citrus. Loads of hop flavor with a very pronounced bitterness. Lingering bite to it. Sharp, black maltiness to finish. Enough malt to hold onto the backbone but it is all about the hops here. Solid mouthfeel. I really like the grain flavors and body here. Plenty of hops to go around. Great dark Cascadian ale all in.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 04:07:22 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of d4114


3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown with half finger of light brown head(dissipated quickly), can see red on sides when held to light.

S- Roasty malt, coffee, caramel. not a lot of hop smell.

T- Bitter the smoothed out with black coffee; very slight pine; a little earthy. Surprisingly bright.

M- Medium to heavy body; a lot of carbonation to clean palate.

D- A good beer. Lots of porter qualities to this but with a bigger hop bitterness to it. Easy to drink but still a complex beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 23:26:43 | More by d4114
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Insanely generous extra from 2beerornot2beer who is fueling my addiction for all things Deschutes (best after 7/24/10).

a - Poured a deep brownish purple into my oversized snifter. A generous frothy head was present and swirling the glass left some slippery lacing but overall head was creamy.

s - Nicely balanced hop bouquet. Some soft vanilla notes in the background which really makes the flavor pop.

t - A battle between hops and malts. Again vanilla is in the mix. Exactly as promised...velvet dark of roasted malts meets the hop snap of an ipa. quite good.

m/d - smooth and creamy with a bit of a bittery but cooling bite. A touch watery which gives it a silky feel. the vanilla in the flavor really calms things down and gives it a dessert like quality and makes it easier to drink. Deschutes makes some world class beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 05:01:07 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
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 MrHirschybar


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into New Belgium globe/snifter
Consumed on 1/27/11 - a bit after the best after date of 6/26/10.

A - Dark black with long lasting tan/mocha head that left light lacing - it was a pretty dark beer for a Cascadian Dark Ale it wasn't see through at all - reminded me of a stout or porter.

S - Malts with hop follow through - slightly sweet and bready

T - Malts, chocolate, bitter chocolate, light grapefruit citrus hop not with a clean finish and sweetness - chocolate reminded me of dark chocolate/bakers chocolate. Malts were up front with citrusy finish.

M - Light to medium carbonation, smooth drinking, light coating and a tiny bit of alcohol heat in the finish

D - I liked this quite a bit. I would definitely drink this in the transition from "cold" to "hot" months - transitioning from winter to summer beers. Or when I couldn't choose between wanting a stout/porter or an IPA/DIPA/Pale Ale. Was $6.99 at my local shop, which is a little more than this brewery usually costs per bottle - but likely the bottle shop on that one - definitely would buy it again at this range of price.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 02:47:53 | More by MrHirschybar
Photo of shadow1961


3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deschutes Hop in the Dark CDA ("Cascadian Dark Ale") pours a dense puck of beige foam over a deep black brew. Carbonation? Maybe, but this inky liquid makes it hard to tell. The nose is predominantly the now-customary west coast grapefruit hop aroma, but with tantalizing notes of apricot and a bit of ale yeast funk. The flavor, too will be familiar to IPA drinkers- hop forward, of course, but with notes of mocha as well. Mouth feel is light- surprisingly light considering how dark this stuff is, with a long, dry hoppy, grapefruit rind finish. A decent enough IPA, but the puzzling dark color isn't enough to break it out of the pack- I really want to see a little more malt here...

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 08:49:22 | More by shadow1961
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

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

Picked up a bomber, and pouring into a pint glass. The beer pours a dark, dark brown with amber highlights at the edges when held up to the light. The beer had an initial thick, foamy, 2-finger head that was a tan coloring, but dissipated over time. The beer has a hoppy aroma, with toffe and caramel notes, as well as fruity hints. The flavor is a bit complex, so bear with me. I'm getting a lot of different flavors, well blended, that attack the tastebuds. Bits of hops on a slightly sour malt backbone, with characteristics of molasses, bubble gum, and roasted coffee. It is full in mouth, but still remains light and crisp. The finish smooth and a little dry, and there is a bitter and hint of coffee aftertaste. The beer is extremely drinkable, and with the low ABV it is an easy going brew for the evening. Very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 02:10:32 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of htomsirveaux


3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle tried 29 Aug 2010. Poured in the 0.5 L Adambrau becker.

Large brown foamy head. Medium carbonation. Very dark brown, opaque. Roasty and resiny aroma, very slightly soapy/chocolatey. Starts with sweet roasty chocolate malts. Becomes increasing bitter through the middle. Resin dominates the finish but aftertaste mellows a bit with some cocoa. Light body. Warming ethanol.

Except for the odd slight whiff of soapiness, nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2011 23:42:43 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of DaveAnderson


4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a goblet.

A: Darker than I expected for the style. Moderate head with persistent lacing.

S: Sweet and hoppy, with some malt.

T: Yum. Good roast in the malt, like a winter ale, but hoppier. Exceptionally clean finish.

M: A little thin, with carbonation that fades too quickly.

D: Would make a great winter session beer if the ABV were a tad lower. Very easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 18:11:29 | More by DaveAnderson
Photo of afrokaze


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

A - Pours almost completely black with a half finger of tan head that quickly disappears, leaving beautiful lacing.

S - Pine at first, then more subdued hops and citrus, especially grapefruit. Strong roasted malt is a nice balance, slightly smoky.

T - Nice piney hops, followed by roasted malt, some citrus, with notes of coffee and dark chocolate.

M - Pretty nice balance, more substantial than an IPA but not chewy, with some slight creaminess on the end that complements the dark malts.

D - Ridiculously drinkable, I'm almost through my first bomber and could easily down 2 more! Almost refreshing in a strange way.

Overall, my favorite... I guess they're calling it an American Black Ale now, but whatever it is I like it a lot!

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 04:47:38 | More by afrokaze
Photo of BeerAdvocate


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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #41 (Jun 2010):

The Cascadian Dark Ale, also called India Black Ale, style is taking the country by storm! Very impressed with the head, nearly black all the way through. Pleasing spicy citric hop nose cradled by a solid malt base. Smoothness digs deep. Well-rounded malt character provides a good, balanced wall for the hops to play off of; an inkling of alcohol is clean. Hops grow after each sip; finish is semidry with a linger of hops and faint dark malt. Nailed it, guys!

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 02:50:46 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of oakbluff

Manitoba (Canada)

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

Bomber sample- very dark black coffee in appearance. One finger mocha head, minor sticky lacing. Nose- light roast, muted piney hops. Taste- milk chocolate, roast, citrus, herbal and pine hops in the back end. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a substantial amount of carbonation. Dry toasty finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 01:47:42 | More by oakbluff
Photo of sprucetip


3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes.

Black like a stout, very active with creamy tan head and good retention.

Faint at first...eventually mild roast and vague malty sweetness lead, with citrusy and floral hops kicking later. It gets better and stronger as it sits.

More than mild roasted grain character, moderately sharp piny and citric hops, and a perceptible malty base as a balancing influence. Smooth, balanced and complex. Well done.

A bit of a carbonation sting, then a solidly medium body that coats and lingers before the not-too-dry and bitter finish.

I think that the MSBC Specialty XXX is better, but this is a good one too. Complex, and pretty smooth and balanced. Well done and certainly worth a try. .... I'd like to see them amp up the malt and the gravity and see what happens.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 21:08:21 | More by sprucetip
Photo of AgentZero


3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Shared by some kind citizen at the monthly BA gathering at Goose Island.

A - Black color with a hint of transparency that had an off-white head. Decent retention with a little bit left on the sides.

S - Malts are quite present, with some roast and a little bit of coffee. Hops are earthy and citrusy, nice compliment to the malt backbone. Little bit of pine, but not particularly resiny.

T - I like this beer. More earth and grass tones on the roasted backbone with some brown sugar added as well. Chocolate is apparent, but not dominating.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. It is a little sticky and syrupy, but works well.

D - Good beer, very solid, could drink this on a fairly regular occasion. Sweetness and depth of it make it a little hard to session at 6.5%.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 03:15:23 | More by AgentZero
Photo of xnicknj


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

22oz bottle poured into large snifter glass - thanks to SamuelJackson45

Pours a shrouded black with a nice beige head. Retains well for a bit before fading into wispy film with some streaks of lacing around the glass.

Roasty, warm malt in the nose with caramel and molasses as well as a nice flair of hoppiness.

A decent punch of citrus hops up front, coupled with a heavier, roasted dark malt flavor. The backbone is thick with notes of caramel and coffee, along with some sweetness from toffee and a very light hint of licorice. Hoppy bitterness comes back towards the finish, with some lingering dryness.

Medium bodied, a little chewy and dry, higher carbonation. Tasty profile and an interesting integration of the flavors, although I'm not exactly in love with black IPAs - glad I got to try this one either way though

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 00:13:59 | More by xnicknj
Photo of jbphoto88


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

Black ipa is not a style I'm used to but one I'm willing to try. This one pours stout/porter dark. Deep cappuccino dark with almost no light passing through. The head is latte tan with some fine lacing. Perfectly identical bubbles come from the depths of the beer and feed the foam. This is a nice dark ipa.

The nose Is that of a regular ipa. Tropical fruit mixed with pine and citrus. It's a strong hop scent right off the bat but there is a fine malt backbone behind it. The nose is not as pronounced as I'd like but it's not to shabby.

Taste is a good mix of malts and hops. Slightly sweet cereal with citrus notes. A heavy bitterness is overly present and frankly distracts from the taste. It's a good beer but slightly lacking in the flavor department.

The mouthfeel is nice despite the heavy bitterness. Smooth, mildly carbonated with a medium body. This brew is not bad. It's a little to much bitterness with not enough of the malt flavor coming through but it's still worth trying out. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 00:57:32 | More by jbphoto88
Photo of alleykatking


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

Poured from 22oz bottle.

A- Pours a darker brown color...almost black but not quite. One finger mocha colored head shows good retention capping the beer after a couple of minutes. Heavy streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Surprised at the front of the beer being more malt forward...light roasted and coffee malt to be exact. Citrus hops in the front of the hop profile followed by some earthy hops and piney hops. The hops take over the overall aroma in a pleasant way.

T- Piney and citrus hops in the front give a earthy hop tone to this beer. The middle of this beer has a ton of roasted malts with a light chocolate overtone that makes up the backbone to this beer. Some piney hops in the backend balance this beer out to make it a great tasting Black IPA.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Piney hops left on the palate. Aftertaste is light roasted malts with some alcohol and piney hops to it. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors were blended very well for a Black IPA and were clean and crisp tasting.

D- This beer was damn good. I thought the flavor for the style has been the best I have had so far. Deschutes knows how to brew damn good beer and this one is no short order. Great job guys!

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2010 05:05:23 | More by alleykatking
Photo of SkunkWorks

New York

4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks jenray for the trade and the opportunity to drink this!

Best after date was July 2010. Had December 2010. I understand this might mean that I lose out on some hoppiness, but we'll see how I like it anyway since I can't get it in New York on a regular basis.

22 oz bomber poured into an Irish pint glass.

Look: pours a very dark brown, but not quite black. Looks like a robust porter. The head is about one finger and is a dark tan, almost brown color. The head retains very well and leaves behind lots and lots of lacing. Nice looking Black IPA.

Smell: hints of dark chocolate and coffee of the roasted malts with piney, lemony, hops layered on top. It is smelling like a very hoppy porter.

Taste: hops come out first, with pine, citrus and some herbal qualities. The roasted malts though provide a very serious backbone. Where most Black IPAs seem to be IPAs with enough dark malt to color the beer, this beer is clearly meant to express the dark malt. There's coffee, chocolate, and toasted grain in abundance. I really like that! It tastes like a seriously overhopped porter, which isn't a bad thing at all.

Feel: smooth, with a moderate amount of carbonation, a bit of bitterness from the roasted malt and the hops but its not that much, medium in body.

Drink: very drinkable. I could have quite a few of these if that ever becomes an option for me.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. In my night I had followed up my first tasting of Pliny the Elder with this beer and this held up well. So well, in fact, that I liked this one more! I like the boldness of the dark grains, since most Black IPAs I've tasted have only hinted at the roasted malts where this is front and center with both roasted malt and hops. This is definitely worth a try and once again I must say, Deschutes! Come to New York! Pleaaaase!

Do yourself a favor and give this one a try. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 16:08:56 | More by SkunkWorks
Photo of compass40204


4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark as porter. Nice head to it, pale mocha color. Smells somewhat like a cream stout and IPA combined. I guess its appropriate for the style. Tastes like a very balanced beer, robust with lots of malt and hop easily discerned. As an emerging style, reference points are few and far between, but this one is pretty awesome.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 07:49:31 | More by compass40204
Photo of Reagan1984


4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this bottle while traveling in Texas.

Pours with a light brown creamy head that shows excellent retention. Sits like a dollop of chocolate whipped cream atop the dull dark brown beer. Lots of lacing is left behind as you consume the beer.

Aroma is quite sharp and pleasant. Immediate citrus/lemon/herbal hops in your face.. then a sense of dark roasted malt notes just below the surface. I get citrus early and pine late.

Flavor is more pine focused vs. the aroma but there still this big herbaceous quality with some lemon notes. The oily/resin hop notes balance nicely with a charred malt flavor. Works very well together. A touch of chocolate, but not much.... The hop notes take over right when you think you are getting a note of chocolate.. A green sense to the assertive hop bitterness.

Almost creamy and certainly very smooth. Carbonation is tiny, brings a sense of brightness to the hop notes.

Frankly, I am not the biggest Black IPA fan, but I really did enjoy this beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2010 12:25:35 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of hopstradamus


3.53/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Very dark and mysterious with ruby hues that are revealed in bright light. This beer has ample carbonation and a tan foam that leaves behind beautiful lace.

S. The nose is an enticing, spicy, citrus hop profile that stands determined in the face of sweet smelling roasted malt. The malt creates a smell I can't quite place and can best compare to beef jerky, but in a good way.

T. The taste of this beer is almost confusing. At the start you get the sweetness of the malt but it lasts less than half a second before you are overwhelmed by the bitterness of the hops. As the hops fade, the smokiness of the roasted malt is uncovered.

M. This beer has ample carbonation and a medium mouthfeel. It is not as thick or chewy as you think it should be based on the color but it matches the flavor of the beer nicely.

D. This will not be a go-to beer for me, but it is an excellent change of pace beer for when you want something out of the ordinary.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 19:30:19 | More by hopstradamus
Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,122 ratings.