Skookum Cascadian Brown Ale | Phillips Brewing Company

very good
78 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 78 |  Reviews: 47
Photo of schopenhauerale
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of ChuckGnarly
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of rodrigueZflyingf0x
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of schnarr84
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

 708 characters

Photo of Converge
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A - Pours a murky cola hued brew with a frothy light tan head that retains beautifully as a thick foamy cap and laces as good as any beer can. Great looking beer, great looking bottle, and nice presentation. Gotta love Phillips for this.

S - Quite earthy in this department. Mild woodsy notes with earthy hops, and some distinct smoke. Mild coffee roast with chocolate milk, ashtray, raspberries, molasses and some evergreen hoppiness providing a subtle minty presence I often get in Phillips brews. There's also a subtle floral note in here that's just phenomenal. Complex, unique and intriguing; yet not all that hoppy.

T - Opens up with cocoa nibs, molasses, and chocolate malt and finishes earthy with wood, smoke, roasted malt, mild coffee, and resinous hops. There's a certain malt in here that I find in many Phillips beers that I just don't care for, but it doesn't hurt this one too much. Gentle pine resin quality provides hints of bitterness which combined with the dark, roasty character creates a balanced but firm finish. Definitely a focus on smoke with this brew, as it permeates the palate from start to finish. Bright floral and fruity hop notes just peak through in the finish. This sort of reminds me of an English porter, but with more hops. As it warms the nutty character really starts to come though, as well piney hops and mint. Balanced, tasty, and immensely drinkable profile.

M - Carbonation is a bit to lively for the profile, and doesn't let the crisp medium body show very well. A slight weak point with this beer. Still, it's a smooth beer from start to finish, that provides a nice lingering bitterness.

D - A solid offering from Phillips for a style I've really grown to enjoy. Considering the (hop) box this came in, it does feel a little under-hopped, but the darker malty flavors make up for the lack of hop presence. Phillips just continue to impress me.

 1,941 characters

Photo of trail77
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of w00ddy
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of McBastard
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby, with a finger of tan head. Smells of caramel malts and grassy hops. The flavors starts out with some assertive leafy hops, gives way to some chocolate and espresso, and finishes with a pleasant nutty bitterness. Actually rather light-bodied, with smooth carbonation. Fresh tasting and toasty, all at the same time. I like it. I like it a lot.

 361 characters

Photo of Torontoblue
4/5  rDev +2%

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 pudoo
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of EskimoDave
4/5  rDev +2%

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.

 1,085 characters

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.

 846 characters

Photo of ChrisCage
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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!

 1,856 characters

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.

 625 characters

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.

 618 characters

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.

 368 characters

Photo of spree92
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is now the special guest in the Hop Box.

A- A deep brown with red notes. I would say about 5%-10% transparency. Bubbly head of an inch greets the nose as you dive in for the first sip.

S- Classified as a American Black Ale but it resembles a nut brown to me. Roasted malts, nutty, earth and wood.

T- Just what I was expecting. Hops are hidden behind the heavy malt flavor. Molasses flow into a finish of espresso bean.

M- A bit of bite at the start from carbonation finished by a dryness. Leaves the sticky.

D- A great beer for the cold, gloomy nights of western Canada. A couple of these make the evenings tolerable and you can look forward to nice. Might need my second now.

 688 characters

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 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 andrenaline
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to joemcgrath27 for the hook up from his BC haul!

A - Pours a very dark ruby red colour, finger of soapy off-white head with decent retention and some nice sticky lacing.

S - Earthy and citrus hops off the top, with some chocolate and caramel malts on the finish.

T - Much like the scent, the earthy cedar and citrus hops dominate the palette up front, and are mellowed by some nice bready caramel malts on the finish. Touch of hop bitterness lingers, but is pleasant. Very nicely balanced.

M - Medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes surprisingly wet for the style.

D - This stuff is poundable, very smooth and perfectly balanced with the hops and malts. The higher ABV goes unnoticed and the earthy notes on the hops are delicious. Highly recommended to anyone who can get their hands on a bottle, and one of my favourites from Phillips!

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
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

 429 characters

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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