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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

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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:
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber to oversized snifter. Best by date 11/26/11, sampled 6/26/11.

A: Average head of 1 finger, creamy, light brown and long lasting. The body is black walnut or very dark mahogany. Spare lacing.

S: Baker chocolate, heavily rendered caramel with a strong roast, coming across nearly burnt due to the acridness. The hops are an intensely grassy and very dank. There is an earthiness about the aroma as well.

T: A little salty? And heavily bittered. At least more than the 70 IBUs lets on. For me, there is two types of CDAs. One's that a blindfolded person would know they were drinking an IPA, but wouldn't be able to guess the color. And those that are roasted, chocolately IPAs. This bottle of Hop in the Dark is exclusively in the latter category.

M: Medium body, perhaps a little thin. Minerally with a fizzy carbonation. Finishes dusty, astringent and bitter.

O: This beer shines much brighter on draft, where it is much more citrus forward. Just above average otherwise.

Photo of CharlieMurphy
2.9/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by 2/30/11. Still smells pretty hoppy.

A: Black with dark amber tint. not even a full spread light tan head.

S: Light roast + coffee and some even lighter citrusy hops *note: I did just handle tons of fresh centennial hops bare handed* I thought this smelled a lot hoppier until I walked into another room. Smells a bit faded in both departments.

T: Mild overall, and hard to feel strongly one way or another but I think the malts have the upper hand. Has the bland flavor of an old brown ale with some lager aspects which is only met with a mild bitterness at middle-end. Virtually no hops left otherwise besides this dry bitterness.

M: A bit dry, but otherwise decent carbonation for being a little faded.

O: Unlike many other black IPAs I've had, this one isn't very good with some age on it. I should probably try this fresh.

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

A: Nice and dark. A blind poor could lead [sans sniffing the beer!] that it was a stout.

S: Bits of dark chocolate, coffee, malty goodness w/ nice bursts of hops throughout...

T: Cocoa, caramel malt, roastiness... subtle hops, but present enough to provide a solid balance on the palate...darkness holds this back from being a hop bomb... which is nice...

M: Smooth and creamy... nice amount of carbonation to make it come alive while in your mouth. Pleasant experience.

O: Another delightful offering from Deschutes

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

Poured into my Surly pint glass. Dark, dark brown color. Highlights are a bit lighter brown. Head is a fabulous mocha colored rocky delight. Is dissipating very slow. Sticky to the max.

Smell is dark roasted malts. A bit of coffee and chocolate flavors. Sweetness of light caramel and maybe just a bit tart. This kind of smells like Founders Breakfast Stout.

Taste is quite a bit of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Some smokiness and a bit sweet. The hops are there and a bit bitter like yellow grapefruit. Quite fantastic!!

Mouth is of a well crafted Porter but just a bit thin. Smooth consistency with a creamy carbonation. Body is medium and the finish is average.

Overall I must say this is a fantastic beer in a fantastic style. This was the one that started my love of the style but I don't believe it is the pinnacle of the category. A must try!!!

Photo of stabzmcgee
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick beautiful two-toned orange and tan head. Jet black color. Aroma is a pleasant coffee and hops smell. Flavor is like a chocolate covered coffee bean with a grassy bitterness. Thin and slick with a dry, bitter finish. Overall it is very drinkable for a Dark Ipa (a black ale or black ipa?) but tasty nonetheless.

Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by November 28th, 2011. So this one must be pretty fresh. At the time of this review, this is the #23 top American Black Ale on the beeradvocate.com best of style lists. Served in a Russian River -tion glass.

Beer is black with a thin, tan head with low retention, some lacing, low carbonation, beer is seriously dark.

Aroma is mildly piny, with hints of fruit and some sweetness, interesting how I don't get any of the roast from the darker malts in the aroma.

Beer is medium in body with a mild bitterness at the back, there is a hop palate but this beer is mostly a sweet porter wtih some hops in it. I'm a little let down. There is close to no bitterness from the hops or the roast. This beer could have done a lot of great things, but mostly it is sweet with some hops in it. Oh well.

Photo of zachary80
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into New Belgium globe

Nice tan head and great lacing.
Smell is hoppy with some roastiness as well.
Lingering bitterness from malts, the taste is almost purely from the hops, seem to be more piney than citrusey.
Thin body, high carbonation.

Nothing too exciting for me on this one, would probably be better with a little more dark malt.

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

A - Pours a very dark brown, looks like a porter. A good amount of brown head. Decent retention.

S - Smells of piney and citrus hops, with a roast coffee mix. Very appealing.

T - Very hoppy, citric hops mostly, but piney as well. Roast malt as well. My first cascadian, and I'm liking this 'new' style.

M - Medium body, very puckering with the hops and dark malts.

O - Great all around. The style isn't made to produce session beers though. For me the high point was the smell.

Photo of garymuchow
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the contrast between the black color and dark head and the light citrus, fruity, fresh, sweet grapefruit, flowery aroma. Head sticks well and settles with a pokey pace. Not much of a malt or roast in the aroma (minor, but important knock).
Flavor fits more into a classic Am. IPA. Fully hopped and even more fully bitter, with a reasonably tasty grapefruit tartness. Hop flavors moves to the over hopped (cheesy) taste that I'm not fond of. Really subtle and upfront is a nice malty sweetness, but it's short-lived. As it warms quietly a very mild roast appears, and it grows some with further sitting. This helps balance the flavors off pretty nicely.
Soft, but amply carbonated moderate body.
A solid drink overall. Temp is an issue as it was better as it warmed.

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

From Notes, bomber into a pint glass.

It pours a lovely dark dark brown color with hints of amber and a smooth caramel head that exposes some lovely web lacing along the sides of the glass. Smells quite hoppy with hints of pine and a touch of coffee, very inviting. The taste is great, hoppy, bitter, lots of pine. It has lots of toasted malt flavors with some espresso flavors on the backend. It goes down smoothly although I do find it leaves a bit of a cottonmouth feel afterwards.

Verdict: One damn good black IPA. It mixes some great flavors in proper balance and with a milder 6.9% ABV it makes for great drinking.

Photo of nitro0292
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber, best by 12/30/11.

Poured pitch black, easy pour produced a one finger cream colored head. Looks spot on. Good retention - not Belgian levels, but the head stuck around for a while. Lacing all the way down.

Initial aroma is strong coffee, mixed with some chocolate which gently gives way to resin and citrus hops.

Taste is bittersweet roasted grains followed by grassy and resinous hops. Taste finishes with a flash of fruity esters and more bitterness, with some lingering roasted coffee quality. There is a fair amount of complexity - there are 4 distinct characteristics which blend together very nicely.

Carbonation level is just enough to sting the tongue and bring out the flavor. Medium-bodied, which feels right for what is going on here.

Overall this is one of the best BIPA/CDA/ABAs I've had. This brew truly captures both the IPA qualities and stout qualities of the style, and does them both right.

Certainly worth seeking out and I would buy again (if I ever find myself on the West Coast).

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

I picked this up in the tickers bif, jet black pour, medium white head. Big pine notes backed with some citrus and roasted malt notes on the nose. The first sip is nice and hoppy, lots of pine. It finishes with roasted malt, some bitterness. The body is medium, no alcohol notes, easy drinking. A very good black ale, not a big fan of the style, but this one is very good.

Photo of jsprain1
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours very close to black. Head is a finger and tan, but man, it doesn't last as long as I'd like.
S- Initially, it was all hops, specifically pine. As I let it warm the roasted malts really started coming through. For aroma purposes, it seems imperitive this one warms. Once it does, it's a pleasant milk chocolate, coffee, and pine.
T- Even when it warms, this one leans too far toward hop for me. Quite bitter and piney. Roasted coffee flavors show up, but it's more or less not until the finish. Too late on the malt for me.
M- Medium-light for style. Slightly prickly carbonation. Dry finish.
O- A really great aroma, but once you drink it, I feel like the hops take over too much.

Photo of woemad
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap a few weeks ago at Jones Radiator, but haven't had time to do a review until now.

Pint consumed for $3 (happy hour price). It looked like a stout, black and making light go round it, with a mocha colored head.

The nose was of piney and citrusy hops and of coffee and mollasses. Very rich aroma t5o this one.

The taste didn't disappoint. Hops hit the tastebuds first, but are immediately balanced by robust coffee notes and sweet toffee flavors. Tremendously balanced and delivering hop-wise and malt-wise simultaneously. Sharp hop note at the swallow.

Slick, oily mouthfeel, with a medium-full body.

I think I've finally been converted to the BIPA style. This is a very tasty beer, and I'd drink it again in a heartbeat.

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

Gotta love these Black ales

From a hard pour into a standard pint glass produced a 1 finger head that had good retention and a soft khaki coloring. The beer exhibited good lacing too. The beer smells of abundant roasted malts and strong citrus and floral hops. Did also enjoy the subtle earth and smokey undertones. Flavor is very similar to the smell and to compare to my favorite black ale, Sublimely Self-Ritcheous, Hop in the Dark is overall a more tame animal. Still displays a high hop profile, but more balanced with the malts. Mouthfeel is medium, fairly high carbonation, that coats the mouth well. Overall I found this to be a great addition to a growing beer style.


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

This was a treat to try... definitely something I've been looking forward to having for a while. Opaque black with moderate tan head. Nose is citrusy with a moderate hop presence on top of a bit of coffee--a little weak for what I want, but not bad at all! Flavor is really nice with a big blast of citrus hops on top of an assertive coffee/roasted bitterness. Feel is light and drinkable, overall a good example of the style, worth a try.

Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz. brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. I had 2011's 6.9% version. Expectations are high as I've had some good brews from Deschutes in the past.

A: Pours a two finger head of slight tan colour, appealing cream lacing, good thickness, and great retention. Colour is a solid black. So far so good.

Sm: Heavy cascade hops, cream, and caramel. Simple and pleasant. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: A full bodied barley body with nice cream undertones and layered cascade hops atop. The bitterness is a bit high - especially on the open - almost resembling a mediocre IPA, but it manages to steer clear enough from that effect. Caramel and a slight chocolate note come through on the finish. It's simple, oddly imbalanced, and pleasant to drink. I wish they handled the cascade hops better. The finish shouldn't be this bitter.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a bit thick for the ABV and relative lack of flavours.

Dr: It's easy to drink for its relatively high ABV, but it does suffer from some problems with the hop balance. The price is a bit too high, but then it is an import. Dissenters may argue that it's brewed "to style", but there's certainly room for improvement.

Photo of ChimRichels
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - On the pour I noticed more of a very deep ruby color, but in the glass it shows nothing but black. the head is quite a bit darker than I expected, pushing the border between tan and brown. A two-finger head shows phenomenal retention, and the lacing is average. Great looking beer.

S - At almost the very instant I broke the seal I could smell some vibrant citrus hop aromas. The nose of the beer itself smells about like I expected, like a black and tan between a porter and an IPA. Hop aromas are intense, with citrus phenols dominating. Toasted malt character is not outdone, however, and the roasted/charred flavors hold their own in the nose.

T - Wow... quite a bombardment of flavors going on here. Bitterness is definitely there, to say the least. Between the acrid coffee/burned toast flavors and the sharp twang of pungent hops there is a complex body of sweetness and buiscuity malt.

M - Mouthfeel is quite complex, much like every other aspect of the beer. The prickly carbonation is accentuated by the ubiquitous bitterness, yet a rich viscous body lies beneath.

O - This is my first experience with this style, and I must say that I am quite impressed. Not my favorite beer, but definitely something I enjoyed immensely... for encroaching a new horizon of flavors, if nothing else

Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received a bottle as an extra from PretzelCity; thanks Mark, been wanting to try this one. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip, split the bottle with my dad.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with two inches of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Very very dark.

s - Smells of citrus hops, roasted malts, chocolate, light pine hops, and light smoke. Really like the chocolate coming through, as well as all the hops.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, citrus hops, pine hops, and light chocolate. Definitely less chocolate than the nose and a little bitterness, but more hops coming through. Think I like the nose better.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Thicker than I was expecting, almost like a porter, but nice.

o - Overall I really liked this one; one of the better black IPA's I've had. I loved that the hops really came through in the nose and taste, and really enjoyed the chocolate in the nose. Would like to have it again.

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

Bottle into a wine glass.

A- nearly black, with a light tan head that dissipated quickly. Leaves very nice lacing on the glass.

S- Spicy citric hops backed by coffee and dark unsweetened chocolate. Delightful.

T- Citric hops up front with a full roasted malt middle. Mild bitterness finds it's way into the finish with some carbon/charcoal flavors. Very well balanced and quite drinkable.

M- Medium/full body, lighter than I expected. Lighter carbonation is just right.

O- Delightfully well rounded beer. This is my first cascadian dark ale, I will have to try more. I'm impressed and really enjoyed this beer, and would highly recommend it.

Photo of etaggie09
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: quite black with an off-white head. leaves good lacing even when i haven't taken a sip. can see through the beer a bit, so it is not stout level black, but definitely blacker than a brown ale. i didn't even take much care in pouring this, and it is leaving some really nice lacing and a tiny cap of a head.

smell: definitely focused on being more malty than a black ipa like sublimely self righteous. this is up front roastiness and dark chocolate. definite toasted oats with a dark chocolate background to it. i don't get too much hops here. Now that I look for it, there is definitely some grapefruit rind in the background. a little bit of piney flavor as well.

flavor: definitely malt-centric as the nose would suggest. stout like in its roasty chocolate notes. very little hop presence initially, but they kind of show themselves in the dry finish. After a couple sips, the hops assert themselves a little more, but I definitely feel like they are fighting the malt a little bit. Overall, though the flavor is balanced. The hops definitely show themselves more over time with residual bitterness, but they seem a little supressed by the malt. I would say that sublimely self-righteous is at the hoppiest end of the spectrum while this beer is at the maltiest end. If I could just find a Black IPA in the middle, that would be golden.

mouthfeel: lively carbonation. silky feel. i like it. didn't have to think about it much, which is a great sign for mouthfeel as far as i'm concerned.

overall: this really is just a solid beer. I would have to say that I like the Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous more because it is simply more assertive. This beer is well-done, without a doubt, but just not overly memorable yet not completely unforgettable. Good, but just not exciting.

Photo of evyoung
4.88/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

-black, black, black--the dark waters of a lake at night
-brown, chocolaty head

-sweet, almost fruity--like currant or blackberry

-surprisingly balanced and full-bodied

-hop bitterness goes well with the obvious coffee malts
-citrusy hops lend to the bitterness in the coffee
-just like the smell, there are hints of blackberry which work extremely well with the citrus hops

This is the best “black IPA” I’ve tasted. I enjoy this new style because of its uniqueness and clever mix of black coffee, rye, and hops, although most other attempts overdue it with the rye malts, etc. Hop in the Dark is complex and different while still maintaining the qualities we’ve all come to love ( and are taken aback as if personally affronted if they aren’t present) in an IPA. The best black IPA--I’m sorry--Cascadian Dark Ale yet. Hands down.

Photo of tito42
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. Best by 12/30/2011. 6.9% ABV, 70 IBU.

A: Thick, frothy cocoa head. Nearly pitch black. Outstanding lacing and nice retention.

S: Piney hops, coffee, and peat.

T: Roasted malt, generous coffee flavor, toffee, chocolate, plum, earthy hops, and a nice bitterness at the finish. Very nice.

M: A bit on the watery side, actually. A nice hops bite and bitterness at the finish. Great flavor but the body is a little lacking in my opinion.

O: A nice black ale. Some of the coffee and fruit characteristics of some stouts, but a generous dose of hops as well.

Photo of Cmack15
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark foamy head

Aroma: a really interesting blend of hoppiness and roasty notes of chocolate and hint of coffee

Taste: nice clean bright hops finishes with roasted malt notes

Mouthfeel: medium body nice carbonation

Nice beer well done. I would trade for this to have again.

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

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into an oversized wine glass:

A- Oily black with a medium sized creamy brown head

S- Super citrusy scent, grapefruit hints. Pine is also present.

T- Very bitter, but near perfect in its hop character. Grapefruit taste is strong, and very satisfying. I tasted a bit of pine and other citrus notes in there as well.

M- Very smooth, and slightly creamy. Goes down well.

O- Black IPAs are quickly becoming one of my very favorite styles. This is very indicative of the style, and I was quite impressed.

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