Black Toque Cascadian Brown Ale | Phillips Brewing Company

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Black Toque Cascadian Brown AleBlack Toque Cascadian Brown Ale
Very Good
79 Ratings
Black Toque Cascadian Brown AleBlack Toque Cascadian Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Phillips Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Skookum Cascadian Brown Ale

Skookum [skookuh m] (adjective) from Chinook, West Coast North America 1. A monster indigenous to the Cascade region. 2. Strong, reliable, and/or hard-working 3. Big, bold hop characteristics with a smooth, rich maltiness 4. The unofficial fuel of the Cascadian revolution.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-23-2004

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 47
Reviews by santa109:
Photo of santa109
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle. Served at 50 degrees. Received as part of CanBIF 4 courtesy of seldomseen. Thanks!

A: Pours very dark brown, almost black with only a bit of head.

S: Roasted malts + citrussy hops. A interesting mix.

T: Like the smell, the roasted malts are in the foreground and the hops slowly take over. Some dark chocolate taste is in there. Ends bitter.

M: Mild carbonation combined with a fairly thick body. Smooth without being creamy.

D: For a heavier and thicker beer, this one goes down easily.

Overall, an interesting mix that I enjoyed. I was looking forward to this one when I received it in my CanBIF 4 package and it didn't disappoint.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of trail77
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of chickenm
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a big tan head that doesn't last but leaves lots of lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops. Taste of roasted malts, grapefruit, and pine. Leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste. Medium-light bodied with a nice smooth mouthfeel. This is a tasty beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle, at Volo Cafe in T-dot. Much farther away from home base than I thought I'd get to try this, but whatevs.

This beer pours a clear, very dark reddish amber colour, with two fingers of foamy, chunky beige head, which leaves some nice tight webbed lace around the glass in its lazy retreat.

It smells of citrus cream, roasted biscuity caramel malt, a hint of dry coffee grounds, soft milk chocolate, and an oily bar-top nuttiness. The taste is more semi-sweet biscuity, caramel, and toasted bready malt, a further bit of creamed nuttiness, and some decently sassy citrus and pine hops.

The carbonation is moderately dull-edged, and mostly down for a nap, the body a solid medium weight, and quite smooth in its bearing. It has a clean, somewhat smokey, malty, nutty, and slightly citrus-tinged finish.

A pleasant toasted, malt-forward West Coast IPA, one kind of familiar to me thanks to Cannery's limited Wildfire release last fall, this is definitely a nice blackened twist on a solid base IPA. Recommended, if only for a taste of a seemingly burgeoning, cutting edge beer style.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a great name for a beer, and what a great concept. This stretches over several categories and doesn't really belong in any one style box. They call it an India Dark Ale, and that's really just the start. If only I had the old bottle with the stocking cap (ie. toque) label. This must be a newer design, looks like a Saranac label.

Pours a black color that reminds of a stout or a deep dark porter. Head is an off-white that thins rapidly, but was soapy and bubbly when it was around. Left a good bit of lace.

The aroma is so unique. Grass-laced tire rubber soaked in sweat and seaweed? That's not even close. I can't put my finger on it. Like huffing caramel corn and black licorice while standing in a hop field? I'm stumped. But I have to give it an extra point for originality. I've never smelled anything like this, beer or otherwise. I can't wait to taste this baby!

The flavor is confusing or beguiling, depending on your beer disposition. It is definitely two things all the time: hoppy and smoky. Beyond that I get something different out of it with every sip. Grapes, coffee beans, butterscotch, soil, and even a burnt quality all come to mind. It volleys somewhere between an IPA and a porter. I guess. Leans toward porter, but a weird-ass porter at the very least.

While the mouthfeel is too thin, it somehow still achieves a creaminess (or maybe an oily thing?) that helps carry it through. Again: odd, elusive, and a bit hard to pin down.

One of the strangest and most unique beers I've had so far. Dogfish Head, eat your heart out. So super-glad to have had this one. Phillips is starting to figure up there with Unibroue in terms of cutting-edge Canadian breweries. Congrats to them for creating one weird-ass beer.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Phillips have been brewing very nice West Coast style IPAs. Pleasant brown colour wih mocha head. Grapefruit and dark malt aroma. Smooth taste with grapefruit juice and dark malts, with bitter English finish. 650 ml. is a fair amount to finish, and I would buy his on a regular basis if it was available locally. Just in at Volo.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - deep ruby red/brown, tall thick tan head lasted forever
S - floral and grapefruit, light fruity sweetness and nutty
T - floral citrus hop kick with a roasted nut malty balance, sweet with a light piney note
M - gentle carbonation, somewhat creamy smooth with a light tangy bitter finish
D - the cascade hop flavour is full but the maltiness and sweetness create a great balance, goes down very smooth, a very exceptional beer

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Photo of elricorico
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a very dark brown ale or porter, little light gets through the edges. A thick foamy cream coloured head that leaves plenty of lacing and lasts all the way to the end.

The nose contains a strong smell of citrus hops. One dimensional, but fresh smelling.

Roasted malt taste that becomes more and more pronounced as the beer warms. Long citrus hop finish typical of an IPA. Malt becomes more and more prevelant as the beer warms, but the hops remain more pronounced throughout. An interesting mix, pretty good taste.

Medium body and fair amount of carbonation. Works for this beer. It is an easy drinker, that went well with dinner and was definitely enjoyed.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a gift from my beautiful wife whilst in Victoria...a much appreciated pick up!

A- The coloration of this one is of cola and is fairly clear, when put up against a white background. The head is slightly off white, and isn't super thick, but what there is is dense and creamy looking, settling slowly into a patchy layer with a ring around the glass. It's hard to tell how carbonated this brew is as it's too dark, but the lacing is superb, leaving behind an artsy fine patchwork of foam on the side of the glass.

S- There's a fair bit going on here....mocha, coffee beans, dark chocolate are all upfront. The middle smells more of sweet rich roasted malt and the finish is a mixture of wet earth tones and leafy hop cones. There is also some hints of nuts throughout as well...maybe not quite as much as I'd hoped for but doesn't take away from anything. Very nice overall!

T- Wow, the flavors are quite intense upfront! There is a blast of bittering hops and astringent coffee that really hits the back of the throat after the swallow! After a couple of sips, those flavors mellow out a bit and the chocolate and toasted character of the malt shows. The hops on the finish are a mix of the aforementioned fresh leafy note and some Earthiness.

M- This is a smooth brew, with very fine creamy carbonation meeting my palate. As for the body, I'd have to say that this is a little thinner than I expected...I'd put it in between medium and light, but then again, that would help with filling me up! The roasted and bitter characters of this beer really shine through!

O- All around, this is a very fine beer! The alcohol is very well hidden behind all of that flavor, making this very easy to drink several of in a sitting! It's not super filling, and would be an excellent meal brew and I would love to get this again in the future! Great job!

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Photo of Rutager
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a really deep red-brown, almost black. Thick, 2 finger beige head that leaves some lace.

Smell. Roasty grains and grassy hops. A little chocolate in there too.

Taste. Roasty, caramel malt and bitter, grassy hops. Some tangy citrus fruit in the middle. Some lingering, grassy hops.

Overall. Pretty good beer. Nice hops, but not enough balance imo.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep black color ale with a huge foamy head with some great retention and some lacing. Aroma of medium bitter roasted malt mix with some dry bitter hops. Taste also consists of roasted malt with some bitter dry hops which is not the most interesting combination IMO. Body is about average with some great carbonation. Interesting but not necessarily something I would go for regularly.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one at Volo. I was going through my notes and noticed I never reviewed it on BA. Pours a brownish copper color. Light brown foam with some lacing.

Smells real nice, pine, grapefruit all mixed in with a sweet toasty chocolaty malt.

The hops come out strong on the taste buds too. Pine, citrus, roasted malt. This beer is great and one is hardly enough.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 341 ml brown bottle, came in the Hop Box variety pack. Pours out a deep translucent brown, with a thick cap of creamy beige head that retains.

Dry earthy notes on the nose, pine, some chocolate and toasted malt in the background.

Toasty malt and some dry cocoa up front in the flavour, followed quickly by bright pine needles and some citrus rind/pith, with an earthy, woody, herbal finish to it. Like drinking the great outdoors.

Medium-full body, smooth, sometimes slippery texture, with moderate carbonation.

I'd pin this more as an American Brown Ale than anything, but that aside it makes for a very dry offering, and I wouldn't be surprised if some rye was used as well. Very earthy overall.

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Photo of pudoo
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of ritzkiss
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle pours a dark black with just hints of cola brown in the light. A finger or two of head that quickly takes off but leaves a fine film on top of the beer throughout and lacing down the glass.

Smell is initially all IPA. Floral and piney hops mix with a dash of bittering hops. On further sniffing a nice roasted malt comes forth to dance with hints of espresso and chocolate.

The taste is an odd bird - can't really fit it into any category I've had before. An initial bittering is quickly met with a sweet caramel rush, followed by a load of roasted malts and coffee, only to finish with a bitter hops. Hints of flowers and dark cherries add to the mix. Dry, bitter hop finish with active carbonation.

This is really a fairly tasty brew. It suffers from a light-ish body and occasionally from a mix of flavors that don't seem to gel; but on the whole the roastiness helps the dryness of the hops and creates a unique brew worth seeking out.

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Photo of papat444
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Part of a gift from my aunt that my brother brought back on a recent trip to their place in Surrey.

Poured from a 355ml. bottle.

Appearance: The body is an earth brown color with red hues when held up to the light. Light mocha head, healthy, thick lacing and has medium retention.

Smell: Strong coffee mixed with hops.

Taste: Cold coffee, some chocolate notes and grapefruit as well.

Mouthfeel: Low bitterness, a bit watery actually though smooth.

Overall: It was ok. It's what cold coffee tastes like. While not bad for flavor, it's not a great thing as a beer because who likes drinking cold coffee? Falls short IMO.

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Photo of liamt07
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bomber into a pint glass, bottle courtesy of IllNate.

Deep brown on the verge of chesnut with hints of red, and a tan/mocha head. Beer is almost opaque, impressive as an IPA, as this is my first "Cascadian Dark Ale" (the 'Black IPA' for us non-mountain folk). Head fades a bit and leave thick walls of lace and some chunky head. Smell is slightly citrusy, leans a bit towards grapefruit and whatnot. The deep, dark roasted malt really comes through here too, and it's nice to see an interplay of two things I really enjoy. Bits of chocolate and maybe a dash of coffee? Taste is fairly malt forward here, malt hits first and follows the smell in terms of roastiness, chocolate and a bit of caramel-like sweetness. Mid-mouth there's an interesting interaction between the malt and the IPA quality of this beer, big malt body overshadows what I would have thought to have been a more bitter and IPA-like mouthfeel, but that's almost completely absent. A sliver of bitterness is left on the tongue, and the malt prevails. Left with what feels like an average brown ale, to be honest. Mouthfeel is a average, medium to low carbonation and there's good drinkability to this. Note that this bottle is two months past it's bottling date, so that may have something to do with the lack of IPA-quality I had expected, so take this with a grain of salt.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on two different occassions at Volo. Non-hazy dark brown with some rosy hightlights when put up to the light. Tan foam with great retention and lacing. Much darker than one would expect from a pale ale and looking more like a light porter.
Full of NW hops on the aroma piney and grapefruity.
Initial bitter rush of citrus/pine hop resin is slowed down with some grainy and caramel based malts. Nicely complex enough to keep it honest and non-one-sided.

English pale ale? This one poured like a porter and tasted like it was full of NW hops. You could tell the American influence on this one.
Thick enough to not get boring. Lingering bitterness in the mouth that leaves one a bit dry. Very tasty and worth several. The second best Canadian sampled, with the exception of Katarina.

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Photo of ChuckGnarly
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Idrankthat
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of JanM
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown blackish colour, smelling of roasted malts, chocolate and grapefruit. The taste was very hoppy to start with, dry-ish. Then some chocolates and coffee notes kicked in. The concept of a dark IPA is interesting but I found the mouthfeel of this beer to be a little bit on the thin side. Just like many other Phillips guess, I guess. It's their highest rated beer on BA but I'm not convinced...

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Photo of bumchilly25
3.57/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Dawkfan
3.17/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- A light khaki head not amounting to much, faintest trace of lacing. Cola brown in color with red highlites.

S- Have to keep the nose in long enough to pick up any hops. Nice roastiness to this, deep dark chocolate and freshly cracked grains.

T- More of the same from the nose. The flavors are mild and the hops even milder. The malt meshes with a slightly bitter flavor at the end, nothing really stands out to me.

M- Medium bodied, assertive carbonation. Definitely not sluggish, remains smooth.

O- It's not a bad beer by any means, but this isn't even close to style. Although it isn't fresh, I drank it before the suggested date.

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Photo of Svingjo
4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pours a nice brown with a inch thick tan head that laces the glass pretty well. The nose has some earthy notes but a nice mix of hops and malt are the most pronounced. The malt comes through on the tongue but is well balanced with hops and end slightly bitter. The mouth feel is probably what I'd call medium bodied. I do tend to like a lot of Black IPA's and Cascadian style beers because of what I perceive as the balance between hops and malt. It didn't disappoint.

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Photo of PaulietheBrit
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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Black Toque Cascadian Brown Ale from Phillips Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 79 ratings