Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale | Deschutes Brewery

506 Reviews
Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark AleHop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
An India Black Ale.
Available - May to September
Alc. by Vol. - 6.5% (2010), 6.9% (2011)
IBUs - 75

Added by JohnGalt1 on 05-27-2010

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Reviews: 506 | Ratings: 1,345
Photo of HaggisIBM
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark, Creamy, and Hoppy = Awesome beer.

pours with a great head

smells hoppy and wiffs of chocolate

tastes of hops

I can only imagine what this beer tastes like on draft. I would like to find this one on draft in the Los Angeles/Orange County area.

This is in my top five CDA.

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Photo of amanofbeer
5/5  rDev +23.2%
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.

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Photo of evyoung
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

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Photo of Spectacularj1
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Very dark, doesn't even appear brown when held against a light. Head is lightly frothy with a semi-dark tinge.

S - A combination of malty and hoppy. Smell starts out as dark roasted coffee then becomes a slightly sweeter toffee. Very quickly though, the smell of piny/citrusy cascade hops takes over.

T - This beer starts out as an IPA then becomes a Porter. Starts out highly carbonated and hoppy, then quickly becomes smoother with that dark roasted malt finish.

M - Moderately carbonated beer, finishes somewhat syrupy as it goes down the hatch.

D - Every time I drink this beer I hear angels in the background singing. Hop in the Dark is part porter and part IPA but better than both, this is an amazing beer.

* Despite the BA label this beer is considered to be a "Cascadian Dark Ale"

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Photo of brownlderek
4.78/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A:As dark as a porter/light stout. Dark carmel hue around the edges about a half inch leading to a deep darkness at its heart. Beautiful head caps off the beer leaving a nice creamy lace.

S:Cascadian bliss filled aroma with a sweet malty undertone.

T:Sweet malts hit the tongue off the start racing toward a swirl of coffee, chocolate, carmel and finish with a smooth blend of hops. Truly a very smooth finish for the style.

M:Nice light mouth feel that rolls across the back of the tongue.

Overview:Excellent beer!! I would rate it right up there with the Stone Sublimely-Self Righteous. Having tried many Black IPA style beers as of late, this one for sure rates at the top with the best! You can't go wrong with this one!

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Photo of EwaldEichstaett
4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black, even when held up to the light! The head was pretty dark as well, perhaps a light brown. Great head retention and thick lacing.

S: It really smells like both a porter and an IPA. Pine and citrus hops backed up by chocolate malt.

T: Starts off on your lips with a mouthful of hop goodness. As it enters your mouth it is full and chocolaty like a porter or stout, then it has a good hop bite at the end. About 20 seconds after your sip it is a porter taste that remains in your mouth. Excellent beer!

M/D: Feels great smooth and decently carbonated. The body is really well balanced. At 6.5 the alcohol is really not noticeable. This is one of the best beers I have ever had!

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.71/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Easily managed pour with desired results.

This is a rangy brew. Plenty of roasted coffee/chocolate combined with a very distinguished hop bill. The drinkability is excellent as each pull has enough balance and depth to keep it interesting throughout. @ 6.5% it is a moderate abv brew that packs a full and complete taste. Excellent.

Notes: I would seek this out. Price is moderately high from Deschutes for a bomber. Six packs would be great and I would be happy to purchase a pallet to get them started. Winner.

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Photo of TomBrewnansky
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer totally shocked me. I didn't expect much for some reason, although I love Deschutes. I guess I couldn't picture a black IPA. The appearance was as dark brown or nearly black. Nice thick foamy head which laced down the glass. The smell was of coffee and great maltiness and a little hops, but not much. The taste is just unbelievable. It's almost like a light porter with a real bitter finish. And it sits light in my stomach. It's not heavy. I've had nothing like it and I can't get enough. It's so smooth, too. I drank a bomber and could keep going. I've got another bomber in the fridge, but I'm going to hang onto it....for a day...maybe.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite Cascadian IPAs, and here the name is more than fitting. A light chocolate roast and some crisp grapefruit notes with a piney, slightly resiny note on the finish. Delicious.

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Photo of Expedition
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful head. Great nose of chocolate but you can tell the hops are comin'. The flavor is perfectly balanced between hops and malt character. The IBU's are high but it is expected. I will have to try another one of these in a couple months to see what the hops do. They should mellow out a bit and really show of this brew. Highly recommended, dare I compare to Surly Bender. Yes, I shall.

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Photo of SDtastentune
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
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!

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Photo of Pete27lax
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this bomber in April 2011, about 10 moonths aged.

Very good look to this beer. Poured almost completely black with a light brown 1-finger head. Good retention with moderate lacing.

I got a trace of faded hops in the immediate smell, citrusy hops, grapefruit. Lots of roasted malts in the nose, coffee and chocolate are present with a bit of nuttyness perhaps. Brown sugar and caramel malts are also there with a little hint of molasses.

This beer tasted awesome! Fruity hops take over the initial taste, which was pretty surprising due to the age on the bottle. Roasted malts kick in towards the end. Dark chocolate and coffee are in the taste with caramel malts and molasses present as well. Well balanced taste was the highpoint of this black ale.

Mouthfeel was slightly lighter and thinner than i would have liked. Carbonation dies pretty quickly.

Overall this was an extremely drinkable beer. Probably my favorite black ale to date. Could easily drink a 22oz to myself. Awesome hop-malt balance with great flavors throughout. Would love to try this one fresh.

If this was an easier beer to obtain for me my cellar would be stocked!

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Photo of pat61
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. Had on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl. It pours clear black under a 1” tan foam collar. The dark malt aromas and flavors are clean, smooth coffee flavors – a light roast and not harsh or burnt and are softened by a light caramel sweetness and seasoned by a citrusy, resiny, grapefruit rind bitterness. It all works very well together.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L- Pours dark with no light getting through with dark creamy two finger head.
S- piney citrus
T- roasted malt with big piney hop taste. They blend together very well. Hops continue bursting well after consumption.
F- best part. Hop bite yest finishes very smoothly.
O- very unique dark roasts hoppy beer.

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Photo of GarrettMD
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very very dark opaque red, almost looks black, but in the right light you can see a slight red tinge. Good head retention and lacing with 1 finger tan head.

S - Very strong hop smell. Slight smell of roasted malts.

T - Amazing! I never know what to expect with CDAs. The onset is full of hops, a great bitter taste of an IPA. Following that up is a smooth chocolate/coffee taste with a slight roast character. The finish is more hops, very bitter but don't linger too long.

M - Light body keeping with the CDA style. Confuses your mouth since it is such a dark beer, but then, that's the purpose of CDAs. The finish caps off the beer very nicely, bringing the tastes back to the initial flavor and readying you for the next sip.

D - Good drinkability. Definitely heavier than most of the CDAs I have had, but still nothing like what the color suggests.

I would definitely get this again, one of the best beers I have had in recent memory.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonik glass, this is a quite a dark beer, opaque when held to the light, topped with a thin, off-white head. The aroma is exceptional--fresh, woody hoppiness with lightly roasted, lightly sweet black malts. Though it's not a particular complex smell, I find it incredibly appealing, despite the fact that my favorite beers are rarely dark beers.

Very nice flavor as well, and I recognize the nose's appeal: The hops take on more of a spiciness here, which, together with the malt remind me of toasted dark-rye bread, one of my favorite foods. I'm not saying it's like a rye beer; it tastes little like a roggenbier. But, to me, it tastes like caraway pumpernickel rye toast. The bitterness adds a delightful dryness that lingers past the finish.

Wonderful beer. One of the few dark beers I expect I'll buy again, while it lasts.

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Photo of Cavery
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of Klym
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
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!

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Photo of marikoangel
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
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!

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Photo of mj001jk
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, it is practically black. Thick and creamy hazel-colored foam, it looks great from a foot away. The lacing persists on the glass for the duration of this session.

The aromas are perfectly balanced pine & citrus hops against chocolate caramel toasted malts, with hints of vanilla and coffee. My nose is stunned by the attractiveness of the scents, I am really liking where this is going. (drumroll...)

OK, this is really evil.

The burst of flavors are exotic and explosive, there is the upfront grassy hops and toasty malts, none overwhelming the other, followed by ripe tropical fruit and black pepper spice; papaya comes to mind.

The finish is long and multicolored, mostly leaving a delicious tropical fruit flavor on the palate, the very last being a faint whisp of lychee across a few sensory nerve endings that refuse to let go of this nectar. This is how I like my dark IPAs, and I realize that now there is no turning back, once you go...

Now, having reconnected with reality, I understand that this is probably not something I could drink more than one of in a sitting. It is a big beer with lots of powerful and exotic flavors, but it is not overpowering; that's a noble character.

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Photo of msf1cnc
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer was a pleasant surprise. Takes the best qualities of a porter and IPA, and puts them together in a wonderful, complex beer. Strong hops on the nose, but not over powering. However, given the hop aroma, the hop flavor is somewhat muted. This gives way to the porter characteristics, notes of toast and bitter chocolate are up front, with some citrus from the hops... Which almost take a back seat to the porter characteristics.

By and large a great beer, with the looks of a classic porter.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours jet black with a tan head. Excellent head retention with great lacing as well.

S: Lots of fruity hops in the nose as well as some underlying hints of chocolate and dark malt.

T: This is fast becoming one of my favorite styles of beer. The initial taste is that of fruity and resinous hops. You then get the malt base which is light roasted and chocolate malt. The flavors blend very well and play of one and other.

M: Excellent mouthfeel, creamy and delicious.

D: An excellent example of the style, very drinkable.

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.51/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into my Duvel tulip. Got this bottle in a trade with mothman. Thanks dude!

A - Black body with a big tan head. Looks to have the body of a stout with the head of an IPA. Lots of sticky lacing on the sides of the tulip as this goes down.

S - Roasted malt with a hint of citrus hops. Smells pretty good. Also I know this is weird but I'm picking up a hint of bacon?

T - Big roast malt taste up front, followed by a nice citrusy hop bite, then proceeds to finish with a bitter chocolate type taste. This is a solid beer. I like the way the dark malts play off the citrusy hops.

M - medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation.

D - Goes down easy with tons of flavor. I absolutely love the CDA/Black IPA style and this is easily near the top of its class. Only other of this style that I enjoy as much is Krunkles. I will certainly be seeking this out again in the future.

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Photo of bsp77
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Jet black (with ruby highlights) with lasting cappuccino head and nice lacing lines.

Smell: Citrus and pine with an undercurrent of chocolate and roasted malt. For some reason, the roasted malt and American hop combination always reminds me of meat and roses.

Taste: Strong roasted barley flavor with sharp coffee and citrus hop bitterness. Nice layers of chocolate and flowers help round out the taste.

Feel: Moderately low carbonation, medium body that is very smooth and creamy. Very dry finish.

Drinkability: A mixture of the best elements from a stout and an IPA. Delicious and surprisingly drinkable.

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Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale from Deschutes Brewery
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,345 ratings.
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