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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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1,207 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,207
Reviews: 493
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 10.46%
Wants: 141
Gots: 102 | 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: 1,207 | Reviews: 493 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AleWatcher
3.48/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by 11.28.11
Served in nonic pint.

So this is a beer I've had several times but never reviewed... The CDA style just seems ridiculous to me. It is basically a hoppy porter.

So, it pours like a porter-- dark, nearly black, with a rocky cap of 2 fingers leaves some nice lace and holds it's retention well.
Smell has some minty and piney notes, the pine is dry and reminds me of Arctic Panzer Wolf in an eerie way-- but only for a second. The roasted malts cancel it almost as quickly as it crept in.

Chalky chocolate and toffee sweet and roasty malts start this off before the flavor dries out with piney hops and a crisp bitterness.
The body is very much like a medium bodied porter with more carbonation.

Overall, this isn't the take I prefer when it comes to porters or ipas, but that's the beauty of creating a new style, right?
This is a decent beer, but I could imagine a much better version in the style. Not bad, but I'll be honest-- even the best beer I could possibly imagine for the style would still be a beer I would rarely buy.

AleWatcher, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of vobr0002
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- dark black with a brown head that last and last.

S- citrus hop smell along with some roastiness. Smells awesome.

T- hoppy and coffee mixed together. You get the hops of an Ipa and coffee like taste of a stout. Its blended very well together.

M- almost a creamy mouthful to me, goes very well together.

O- this is a very good beer. Definately worth trying.

vobr0002, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of TVolt1
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep black with a light brown finger width of head that lasts for a few minutes. Good amount of lacing as well.

S: It has a great smell of both toasty malts and hops. The hop smell comes a little later after the toasty caramel coffee smell.\

T: Great rich, malty, coffee flavor initially but a great suprise of hoppy bitterness at the end of it that lingers for awhile.

M: Great mouthfeel. A thicker mouthfeel, good amount of time hops linger on your pallet and a great finish.

O: Overall, I love this beer! It involves everything I enjoy about beer. I love darker porter/stouts and my favorite is a good hoppy beer. I would get this beer on a regular basis.

TVolt1, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of SDtastentune
4.6/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - DARK DARK dirty motor oil, look like an imperial stout, Some head and good lace.

S - Smell is great, citrus hop smell up front, and some roast malts hidden back in there.

T - Citrus hop flavor mixed with some porter toasty'ness. Very malty but then again taste burns though with some nice hoppy bitter bite. I like this...

M - Medium to normal carbonation, nice bitter aftertaste and balanced porter malty thing mid way and beyond.

O - Overall this is one of the best Black IPA style brews I have had to date, the balance of both style's lingers in your mouth and you cant decide what you like better... Bitter hops... or malty toasty porter. I like both so this brew wins!

SDtastentune, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a tap into a pint glass at San Diego Brewing Company in San Diego, Calif. Color was black coffee with about an inch of head. Layer of lace with light film on the sides.

Smelled hoppy. Also some coffee and malts.

Tasted of coffee and hops. Very dark, but very smooth. Good taste.

Smooth taste throughout. Can taste the hops, but really a good balance.

I liked this beer a lot. I’d have to give this another try, though, since we were closing down the place and I had to finish up. Just a smooth, good dark beer.

BucannonXC5, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of rlee1390
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Black, huge creamy brown head, Lots of lacing.

S-Coffee roasted malts and hops.

T-Roasted malts, coffee, some not much chocolate. End bitter, solid balance.

M-Medium bodied, creamy.

O-I got this beer in a trade and I am glad I did. Really need to start having more American Black Ales, CDAs, Black IPAs or whatever you want to call them, so far this one is the best of the the limited amount I've tried. Looking forward to more from Deschutes.

rlee1390, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of jar2574
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 12/30/11.

This sucker is dark, very little light gets through except around the edges. A good 1.5 inch head but I could use more lacing on the way down.

Smells of piney hops and roasted coffee malts. Very nice. Unique.

Tastes strong, biting, distinctive. Almost, but not quite bitter. Hops and coffee. A beer drinker's beer, not for beginners. Hops are pine rather than fruit, and quite strong. Malts are roasted like a dark stout.

You'd expect this strong flavor from an imperial or a thick stout, but the mouthfeel here is less dense than a stout and the alcohol is more manageable than an imperial (but still high).

I'm impressed.

jar2574, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of warnerry
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep brown/black pour with one finger of splotchy tan head. Head has decent retention and leaves some nice lacing.

S - Citrus and roasted malts up front, with a bit of bitter chocolate coming trough as well.

T - One of the smoother BIPA/Cascadian/whatever dark hoppy ales are called. The citrus brightens up the dark roasty characters very nicely. Taste is full but pretty clean. Finishes dry and bitter. Enjoyable.

M - as I mentioned above, quite smooth though not exactly creamy. Earthy dry bitter mouthfeel.

O - one of the better dark hoppy ales I've had. Would
have again.

warnerry, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of PDXHops
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a tulip. Near black with a thick, almost clumpy cap of tan foam. Great retention with loads of soapy lacing.

Plenty of dark roast in the nose and, hmm, a blast of citrus??? Alarm bells go off, as I haven't had a great citrus-oriented CDA yet. Let's hope this stuff isn't chocolatey sweet, too.

No need to worry; Hop in the Dark is up to the challenge. Plentiful juicy citrus to be sure, but there's a huge roasted malt profile with no small amount of burnt flavors. Some semisweet chocolate appears while savoring this smooth and thickish brew. I wouldn't put this at the top of the CDA heap- in my mind, that territory is reserved for drier, stickier, usually piney versions- but it's very good.

PDXHops, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of stxSS07
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from Norcalgrowler. Thanks man!

22oz bomber into a Duvel tulip. Best by 11/26/11

A- Pours a deep brown that is nearly black. Sports a 2 finger soapy espresso colored head. Leaves great lacing.

S- Powerful mix of citric hops, roasted malts, and a twinge of alcohol. Also has a big sugary sweetness.

T- First taste is of chocolate roasted malts, sugary sweetness, and juicy citric hops blended together in an awesome way. A resinous hop bitterness settles in on the back end and hangs around for a good while.

M- Surprisingly thin. I'd go with a medium-light body on this one with a huge amount of carbonation. Not a big fan here.

O- Really interesting brew. Awesome mix of a good porter and an IPA. I'll be seeking more of this out next year when it is released.

stxSS07, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of marikoangel
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint at Amsterdam in SF

A: This beer pours a black black brown with a fluffy thick medium tan head. It's so dark you can't see through it. In the start it leaves a full coverage of thick lacing on the sides of the glass that really sticks well. About halfway through the beer, as the beer warms a bit more, the lacing lightens up, but still leaves a good amount on the glass. This one looks so tasty!

S: The nose is lighter than I expected. Sweet roasted malts, caramel, nice wet earthy hops with just a citrus touch. It smells amazing, leaving me anticipating a robust, yet refreshing beer.

T: It's almost exactly what I expected! The hops are piney and citrus with a resinous touch that's backed by a nice malt backbone. It's so wonderfully balanced, with the malts and hops popping in and out. Very smooth flavors and juicy.

M&O: The mouthfeel of this is smooth and easygoing. It's not overly or under carbonated. A nice medium body that makes it warming, yet refreshing, and perfect for any weather. The finish is drier, which just makes you want to keep sipping on it. I am in love with this beer! I am sad that it is seasonal. I'm also sad that my glass is almost empty...time for another!

marikoangel, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of amanofbeer
5/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The pour is a deep brown, but in the glass it is fairly black. It has a tan-ish head with thin lacing that is consistent with most of Deschutes' other beers of this approximate strength.

This beer is no spectacle for aromatics, but what I could smell was certainly exceptional. It is a balance of dark sweet malts that mingle with a simply brilliant (brilliantly simple?) hop character of floral citrus and the slightest hint of grassiness or herbalness.

The first impression in the mouth is smooth and viscous, with an immidiate burst of an elusive citrus hop flavor, countered by a lingering, but not overpowering malt/hop bitterness that coats the palate for many minutes per sip. The dark malts are a mystery. The glue of such contrasting flavors responsible for the mellowness is surely due in part to dark caramel malts. The notions of roast, coffee or chocolate don't collectively describe the flavor to completion, but are certainly a part of the overall impression.

Even as the very first of many Cascadian Dark Ales that I would try, this beer struck me as special the first time I tasted it. it ventures into a degree of variety of dark malt flavors and roastiness that hardly have been conceived, or at least demonstrated in any other beer of this style. So many others are clearly afraid of their attempt resulting in a hoppy stout or porter, limiting the variety of dark malts to those that are only meant to affect color. This beer has set a standard for the style that outght not to be taken lightly. The progression of lingering hop flavors and terminal bitterness is nothing short of complimentary brilliance to the initial silky smooth and dark malt character.

amanofbeer, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of mjw06
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautifully served to me in a tulip glass. Black body with a creamy tan head. Lets very little to no light through. Lots of malts and lots of hops is how this beer could be easily described. It has a great taste, very malty with an element that tasted just like a "malt" (like Guinness' non-alcoholic "Malta" or similar drinks). The malty feel is very sticky as well and leaves a unique and possibly overwhelming residual on your tongue as this is also a very hoppy beer. It's something to get used to, however, I don't know if I would. I didn't find it to be very drinkable for this reason. This beer is one to remember and may fit a incredibly unique niche of my personal beer taste, but not something that I would continually drink. For that reason, it is simultaneously mediocre but great.

mjw06, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of PhillyTJ
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark black with a thick tan head
S: Subtle balance of malts and hops; mild.
Looks like a stout but smells like an ale.
T: The strongest part of this brew. One can taste the hops, but there is also a creaminess and a complexity. Very tasty.
O: One of the best of the Black IPAs. Highly recommended.

PhillyTJ, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of draheim
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle (best by 11/28/11) poured into a tulip.

Pours a completely opaque black with a thick 3-finger tan head. Nice retention and lacing. Looks like a porter or stout.

Aroma: citrus hops and grapefruit. This one smells nothing like it looks.

Taste: The dark malt really shows through on the first sip. This is one beer whose nose totally tricked me; it tastes a lot more like it looks - dark, roasty and rich. The hops are present too but never dominate. Mouthfeel is smooth and coating - hops provide a crisp, bitter finish. As the beer warms, the grapefruit flavor increases and the dark roast malt recedes.

This hops/malt juxtaposition is really interesting - although I'm not sure I like it that much. This tastes like an overhopped stout.

draheim, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of SFLpunk
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DarthKostrizer for this one! Best Before 11/28/11. 22oz brown glass pry-top.

Pours a moderately thick black with 1.5 inches of khaki head that grips the glass for dear life. Nose is half like coffee creamer and half like pine resin. Palate is medium- to medium-light bodied with some straight coffee roasted notes then topped with dry, pine cone hops. Ends on the coffee, like iced coffee. Like back-woods, old-world earthy iced coffee. Moderate bitterness.

Notes: Damn this is good.

SFLpunk, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of MrVonzipper
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with a large, dense foamy khaki head with excellent retention and lacing.

Nose is good but not amazing with alot of nuances. Nice nice dark roasted malt notes and deep rich but not overpowering piney hops. Faint notes of roasted nuts and coffee.

Flavor is excellent with perfect balance. A wide range of flavor but nothing standing out alone and outshining another. Very nice deep dark roasted malt character gently bouncing back and forth throughout the beer with the subtle smooth piney hops. It's doesn't have the typical transition from hop flavor to malt flavor or vice versa, but a perfect play between the two the whole way.

Medium bodied. Pretty smooth and creamy yet slightly crisp and fresh. Slightly dry finish with medium carbonation.

Overall this beer is amazing for the style and as a beer overall. I love Sublimely Self Rightous and this is even better due to the perfect balance. There is a best by date of 11/28/11 and I just think this beer is prime right now.

MrVonzipper, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was happy to pick this one up at Firefly. Fresh bottle good through 2011. Roasty aroma.Dark with large soapy head. Coffee, chocolate,a little anise that makes it really tasty and inetresting. Above average mouthfeel. To me a 1.5X stout with great hopiness. Good drinkability.

Sammy, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of Glibber
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black coffee color with a decent brown head, that continues to cover beer surface even though most of the head laces and sticks to the glass. Light hop aroma, that goes down easily. Bitter dark chocolate with coffee undertones on the back of the taste- with a delayed bitter hop ending. If you like hops, black IPAs and Imperial stouts, you will probably like this beer.

Glibber, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant

Poured in to a snifter, a crystalline, dark mahogany, somewhere between a dunkel and a porter in color; a small tan head left some moderate lacing. Aroma of roasty malts, citrus and earthy hops, slightly phenolic. Not as pronounced in flavor as other CDAs I've had, but still pretty good: toasted bread, sweet malts, resin, citrus, leafy. Medium body, a little on the thin side, relatively, for the style. Still nice and enjoyable for a session.

Rifugium, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of jmarsh123
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very black with a very little head and a thick tan lacing all the way down the glass. *was very dark in the bar I was in, so color was a bit hard to tell.

Smells of roasted chocolate and some earthy hops.

Taste is right on for the style. Roasted coffee/chocolate notes with a strong hop bitterness throughout.

Mouthfeel is in line with most black IPA's. Fairly thin body with good carbonation. This one reminded me a lot of Stone SSR. Overall a very good one.

jmarsh123, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of tewaris
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Because of a wrongly printed "Best After" date, I ended up aging a bottle of Hop in the Dark. When this year's version came out, it was time for a side by side of two bottles, one labeled Best After 05/29/2010 and another Best By 11/28/11. I suppose there's a difference of about an year and a half between the two, with the newer one being quite fresh.

Clear dark brown with a good tan colored head. Good lacing and retention.

Newer one is pungent with hops while older one has developed some oxidized character. Smells nice to me since I am a fan of sherry port notes (in moderation) Fruitiness is present in both to varying degrees with the older being earthier. Roasty chocolate.

Taste is bitter and roasty with medium fruitiness. The tartness of roast shines more in the older, while the newer is certainly greener. The roast is too strong --- it's a porter for all I care!

Mouthfeel is rather thin and AIPA-ish. Carbonation is spot on. Same on both. Finishes dry and astringent. Overall it's average to good.

Scores: Appearance 4.5/5; Aroma 3.5/5; Taste 3.5/5; Mouthfeel 3/5; Overall 4/5

tewaris, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a Chimay chalice. Bottle stamped 11/28/11.

Appearance - Black body. Light brown head with with lots of stick and good retention.

Smell - Smells like a ESB. Balance of malty sweetness and hoppiness. Pepper, coffee, tobacco, and plum.

Taste - Slightly bitter hop. Hidden malt. Bitter finish. Lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied. Heavy, creamy, chewy.

Overall Drinkability - Slow drinking beer. Enjoyable but maybe a little too much bitterness in the aftertaste. Might numb your gums.

ZenAgnostic, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of Cavery
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml shared with Klym, poured into a couple of Stone Nonics.

A: Looks like iced black coffee, with a gradient of brown to white bubbles. Two finger head left big angry thunder clouds of lacing. A seriously sticky silk screen of lacing covers the sides of the glass. Really good looking. The visual reeks of quality, this would be a promising visual for most stouts. Outstanding retention and longevity in the lacing.

S: Some flame licked roasts and savory hops. The hops themselves mesh with the roasted malt to create a sort of hop barbecue nose. The barbecue invites some charred bbq vegetables: broccoli, carrots, and some bak choi. Crazy vegetarian roast bbq in the nose.

T: A dried hop cooked over a woody fire. The woodiness of the char marries savory nuts and light coffee roasts. The coffee note is definitely more of an iced coffee than a robust thick roast. Sweet dark purple carrots and beets really slap my palate around for a thinking experience. Really savory earthy salad ingredients that are cooked warm. Certainly more grill than smoke pit, the smokiness is but a detail on the character of the roast. You aren't going to choke on this one. I've been taken to a new place on this brew. The hop and roast combine for a vegetable broth based cooking marinade that I'm crazy about. Warm alcohol seasons this brew amidst the charring flames.

M: Light medium body with a complimentary carbonation to match the intensity of the hops and roast. The trinity of hops, carbonation, and roasted malt are so perfectly synchronized. Focusing on the aspects of the mouth really highlight the balance of this brew. A ghostly dryness that doesn't ever dry the mouth or leave medicinal sensations. Incredible restraint in the end of the mouth, such a refined sensation of gradual dryness that allows hops to linger with the roasts. Worthy of a standing ovation.

O: I wasn't expecting this to, but it really did blow me away. This was a genre bending balanced backyard vegetarian bbq in a glass. Fantastic depth of flavor, a cuisine of a dark hoppy beer. I love how the hops are treated as an unusual flavoring ingredient. There's no citrus, there's no tropical fruit, there is just an accentuated roasting that really reinforce veggie bbq notes. I love this, I'd drink another one immediately if I had it. This would pair so amazingly with so many dishes, I say just improvise. Dark earthy salads, and mushroom burgers would make for a memorable pairing. A fine cuisine beer with all the refinement of a master chef.

Cavery, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of Klym
4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stone nonic. Shares with Cavery.

A: Very dark pour with a medium-bubbled head that pops up nicely during the pour. Leaves monstrous lacing. Head is a dirty-washcloth coloration (strange, but accurate). I can't get over the lacing of this thing, so intense.

S: Smells hoppalicious. Smells like a very delicious with pine, resin, and a fleeting pinch of super fruity sweetness. A tad of wood and roasted grain. Surprised this thing is as dark as it is.

T: Unusually bitter but fresh piney hop attack in the beginning. Mysterious fruit mixture comes in and leaves with a biting char finish and a little bit of organic peanut butter that leaves an aftertaste similar to soy sauce. I'm shocked by how dark the tastes are relative to the nose but this does an exceptional job of giving you a crisp, refreshing hop/fruit sweetness experience and still giving you a hardcore, dark, char hit. Bizarre but delicious balance.

M: Like the tastes, a strong balance between crisp carbonation, low viscosity, and the darker aspects of creaminess and heavier-body. I don't think you could improve much on the mouthfeel for this beer.

O: This is easily one of the best things I've had from deschutes. Different, tons of complexity and a mega-skillful artisan craft of a beer that brings light and dark together and gives you some of the best of both without making either worse. Awesome. This really impressed me. Go deschutes!

Klym, Jul 20, 2011
Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale from Deschutes Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,207 ratings.