Skookum Cascadian Brown Ale | Phillips Brewing Company

very good
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Skookum Cascadian Brown AleSkookum 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:
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.

Formerly Black Toque.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-23-2004

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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 78
Photo of lumikuuro
2.92/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

650ml bottle.

Appearance: Very, very dark brown: almost black. Thick beige head with some lace. A bit too dark for a brown ale, not pleasing to the eye in this case.

Aroma: Roasty, nutty malts and some hop.

Taste: Roasty, nutty, extremely bitter malt flavour with some underlying hop but all the bitterness tastes like it is from the roastiness. There is a hint of raisin and dark chocolate, and some coffee; but ultimately the bitterness is just raw and harsh. There's a big lack of balance in here.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full, slightly dry, fair amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a harsh and difficult to drink beer.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 06/04/2009. Bottle at PPRBSG09. Pours a dark brown with a small white head. Aroma of sweet and roasted malt. Flavor is nice and roasted with some iced tea notes and a solid malt backbone. Overall I found it to be a little sweet but still an ok beer.

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Photo of Dawkfan
3.17/5  rDev -19.1%
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 koopa
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber received in a trade with EskimoDave thanks!

Appearance: Pours a deep deep dark brown with a 2 finger off white crown that shows some retention and good lace.

Smell: Lightly toffee to caramel sweet malt over deeply roasted malt. Macro like quality.

Taste: Super deeply roasted malt, chocolate malt, and a light amount of herbal hops.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied with nice carbonation.

Drinkability: Besides the taste, this one is sessionable.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
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 papat444
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
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 IronDjinn
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
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 liamt07
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
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 CalgaryFMC
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A Phillips "Hop Box" standard, pours a dark cola brown with correspondingly mocha colored foam. Aroma is complex, sweet, hoppy, and smoky all at once, I get coffee and chocolate along with some citrus, red berry, and tropical notes. The hops are subdued for a beer dubbed an "IPA" and this beer probably falls somewhere between an American brown ale (which can be aggressively hopped compared to English examples) and a Cascadian dark or black ale, the categorization given here. Tastes much like a chocolate covered coffee bean that includes some grapefruit and mango, some classic Phillips herbal/hemp oil notes, a little understated pine, and nice chewy malts that recall a porter. Maybe a hair too ashy. Well-executed example of a tricky style: Too much hops and you get unpleasant clashing of flavors, too little and you get another beer style.

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Photo of chickenm
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
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 wordemupg
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

341ml bottle poured into tulip 24/10/11

A darker then cola with a ruby red near purple glow when held to the light, three finger mocha head slowly falls to a thick film leaving a few distinct rings of lace followed by random patches

S mildly hoppy with a little milk chocolate and some toasty roast

T maybe some smoked meat of all things added to what I smell, the hops are missing though not as strong as I'd like to see, good milk chocolate aftertaste though

M medium bodied with a creamy feel from the bubbles and the lingering finish mentioned above

O zero booze detected should count for something, a good beer but I was expecting hop blast perhaps there's a balance and I'm being too hard on it

Decent beer but not the best BIPA I've had recently, good easy drinking brew though but I hope there's better offerings in my Hop Box.

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Photo of Noxious26
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

341ml brown bottle with twist off cap poured in a pint glass. Bought in a mixer 12 pack from Willow Park in Regina.

The title here says American Black Ale, but it's more of a Brown Ale, and the label calls it a Cascadian Brown Ale.

Brown and a little hazy with red/amber highlights. Beige head is 1/2 inch on the pour and recedes to a thin cap with spots of lacing here and there.

Aroma is mostly hops but with some malt backbone. Citrus and pine mixed with malts.

Kind of a interesting mixture. Brown Ale with a full body and chewy malts mixed with an IPA with american citrusy hops. An interesting style and pretty refreshing. I'd like to see them back off the hops just a tad (maybe different varieties?) to increase the drinkability a little. A solid offering.

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Photo of JanM
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
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 LazyL
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown with cream head and good lacing around the glass.
Espresso scents are prominent, good dark malt and molasses notes.
The flavours are the same with a bit of belgian fruit. Slightly bitter from the hops but adds a nice balance.
Easy drinking and at 6.5% you can go through a few glasses.
A good balance between hop and malt here as both take turns grabbing your attention. This is another good beer from Phillips.

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Photo of brewymcgee
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark brown with a persistent, creamy tan head

Aroma: Chocolate and espresso with grassy hops.

Taste: Nutty chocolate body with strong earthy hops punching through, fairly bitter at first but tapers off to not be overwhelming on the finish. Does leave a bitter aftertaste. Definitely a wide contrast of flavours forming an interesting combination.

Mouthfeel: A fuller body with a bit of dryness on the finish.

Drinkability: An enjoyable if not sessionable beer. An interesting and almost extreme combination of flavours worth trying. Better if served a bit warmer (not ice cold) and enjoyed slowly.

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Photo of ericj551
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Phillips Skookum pours a dark brown with a fluffy offwhite head that lingers. Bready, toasted malt and earthy, herbal hops fill the aroma, with earthy, herbal hops. Dark malt dominates the flavor, with tons of chocolate and dark fruit. Earthy hops come through in the finish, with plenty of bitterness.

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Photo of BBP
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with decent head and some nice lacing. Retention is good as well.

The nose is pretty seamless between the floral hop and pine as well as the dark and roasty malts. It all comes together and gives you an aroma of a well rounded Black IPA.

The taste is a bit lighter on the hops. There's caramel malt that accompanies the rest and it has a nice crisp roastiness to it while staying away from being too bitter. At the same time, it's got a light crisp sweetness as well. It tastes a bit like a darker hoppier brown ale or a lighter BIPA with some nut flavor added. Gauging the style of this is difficult, but as much as it isn't necessarily one or the other, it certainly tastes good.

The body is a bit thin, but heavy enough that it seems evened out. Carbonation is unintrusive and the finish is moderately dry and slightly sticky.

Overall this is a solid brew from the west coast. It's a nice mix of a Black IPA and a brown ale. It gives the brown more intensity while it mellows out the BIPA side. Pretty interesting idea, and one that's executed pretty well.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +2%
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 pootz
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from trade:

Pours a dark brown ale with amber highlights in the glass. Tight frothy 3 finger tan cap, Moderate carbonation.

Aromas of citrus, cocoa and roast coffee, some mustiness and grassy tones.

Lovely big chew on amber/chocolate malts in front, roasty, citrusy, long drying finish with a bitter snap at the end.

I like this variety of style an APA crossed with a porter..citrus and cocoa...nice effect.

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Photo of scott451
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Called Cascadian because all the ingredients are sourced from the Cascadian bioregion. A vigorous pour from a 650ml bottle into a pint glass.

A clear brown with a bubbly tan three finger head on a clear dark ruby brown. Fine bubbly lacing. The head sticks around to the end.

Smells of sweet fruit and citrus hops. Some resiny smells. Most of the taste is from the hops. Fruity hops up front. Mild malts. Very fresh taste. Grapefruit pith at the end. Very nice.

Medium/light body.. Quite light for a dark really. Good carbonation. Very drinkable. The 6.5 is barely noticeable.

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Photo of elricorico
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
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 biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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 Rutager
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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 santa109
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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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Photo of IllNate
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown with ruby highlights. Moutain of tan head. Ridiculous retention.

S - Great aroma. Smells of darker malt and chocolate and equally as prominent is the hop aroma. Hop aroma is mostly citrus with a bit of grassy/pine.

T - Again complex with the toasty chocholate coming through with the very up front hops giving it a balancing bitterness. Hops are again citrus

M - Mouthfeel is smooth and rich. Puckering bitterness as well.

D - Can't say I would drink too much of this in one sitting.

Might have served this a bit warmer than intended, but still very good.

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Skookum Cascadian Brown Ale from Phillips Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 78 ratings.
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