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 pants678
2.51/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours porter/stout black with a beige foam. Looks right up my alley.

I can smell the crisp, earthy cascade hops but not much else.

Not quite a Black IPA but not that far away either. Floral, clove notes stand out and they put the mild chocolate well in the background. In the end I can't imagine I'd go back, either you have a craving for one or the other. Big plus for not being muddled.

Smooth texture from the black malt. Not particularly sharp, sculpted more like a porter in regard to carbonation.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
2.73/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes

22 oz bomber split into a chalice

Heavy malt on the nose, mostly earthy with a smack of dirt and cream soda...smells very much like a porter. A little disconcerting based on what I was hoping for.

Hop in the dark? Really? Perhaps they're lost and having difficulty finding their way to my taste buds, cause I'm struggling to pull a significant hop presence. Beer is very thin with dark malts carrying the day. The bitter unpleasant finish may be where the hops are showcased. Unfortunately, it's not my bag.

This beer was deemed "homebrewy" by more than a few in the room. I like Deschutes, but this isn't one of their stronger offerings.

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Photo of champ103
2.76/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. Some ruby red highlights around the edges. A large two finger and tightly packed tan head forms with good retention. The foam gently recedes in a minute to a ring of small bubbles. A light watery film of lace is left.
S: Resiny pine and slightly soapy hops up front. Some grapefruit bitterness as well. A substantial, but not overpowering hop aroma. There is a light sweetness as well.
T: An odd mismatch of flavors going on. At first, resiny pine like the nose. That quickly fades to a light roasted malt flavor, which quickly moves on to a lingering grapefruit bitterness.
M/D: A medium body that is quite a bit thinner than I was expecting. Low carbonation, almost under carbonated. Not hard to drink. Nothing that particularly makes me want to come back for more though.

Once again, I feel this type of beer is just a gimmick and a bad trend. It just does not work, for me anyway. I have never been impressed with the "Black IPA/Cascadian Dark Ale" and this is no exception. I love Deschutes, but for once they are following instead of leading. Not something I would recommend.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.8/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours dark brown with a light off-white head, above average retention, no lace.

S: Definite coffee/roast, and citrus hops.

T: Clear hop flavour of tangerine, melon and grapefruit upfront with a nice chocolate and coffee finish. While the finish was nice, the flavours did not meld to well together, awkward and disjointed.

M: Medium-bodied, with a soft fizzy carbonation, pretty long aftertaste.

D: Not one of Deschutes better efforts. The beer is kind of all over the place, the overall flavour isn't up my alley. I finished the bomber fine, but it sure took me a while, not something I'd realistically want more than 10 oz. of.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz. brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. I had 2011's 6.9% version. Expectations are high as I've had some good brews from Deschutes in the past.

A: Pours a two finger head of slight tan colour, appealing cream lacing, good thickness, and great retention. Colour is a solid black. So far so good.

Sm: Heavy cascade hops, cream, and caramel. Simple and pleasant. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: A full bodied barley body with nice cream undertones and layered cascade hops atop. The bitterness is a bit high - especially on the open - almost resembling a mediocre IPA, but it manages to steer clear enough from that effect. Caramel and a slight chocolate note come through on the finish. It's simple, oddly imbalanced, and pleasant to drink. I wish they handled the cascade hops better. The finish shouldn't be this bitter.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a bit thick for the ABV and relative lack of flavours.

Dr: It's easy to drink for its relatively high ABV, but it does suffer from some problems with the hop balance. The price is a bit too high, but then it is an import. Dissenters may argue that it's brewed "to style", but there's certainly room for improvement.

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Photo of 2xHops
2.93/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: It didn't appear to be very lively, but the color and consistency seemed dead on for this type of beer.

Smell: No comments as it's not an area I can expound on.

Taste: There's plenty of roasted flavor in this one as expected with some hops coming through.

Mouthfeel: This beer was too bland for me and on the thin side. For me, it felt more on the watery side than I'd expect.

Drinkability: It's a decent beer if you liked this type of dark ales. It's definitely not one of the IPAs I would like to drink on a regular basis.

On a side note, I think this is a slightly better beer than Widmer's Pitch Black IPA. As I try more of those type of IPAs, my opinion on this beer probably will change to some degree.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
2.95/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by 2/30/11. Still smells pretty hoppy.

A: Black with dark amber tint. not even a full spread light tan head.

S: Light roast + coffee and some even lighter citrusy hops *note: I did just handle tons of fresh centennial hops bare handed* I thought this smelled a lot hoppier until I walked into another room. Smells a bit faded in both departments.

T: Mild overall, and hard to feel strongly one way or another but I think the malts have the upper hand. Has the bland flavor of an old brown ale with some lager aspects which is only met with a mild bitterness at middle-end. Virtually no hops left otherwise besides this dry bitterness.

M: A bit dry, but otherwise decent carbonation for being a little faded.

O: Unlike many other black IPAs I've had, this one isn't very good with some age on it. I should probably try this fresh.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.99/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Best by 8/31/12

Huge tan foamy/soapy head. Lots of sticky foam left behind on the walls of my Duvel Tulip. Brew is thin black with lots of brown and purple.

Quite dull on the hops... Roasty and slightly pine.

Weirdly bitter... Overly pine. Lots of light airy chocolate and roasted malt. Perfect carbonation, but the bitterness/dryness ruins it, IMO.

I've had better Black IPAs...this ones a bit of a mess. There's a lot left to be desired with this brew, less chocolate and more delicate hops, to start. Semi-recommended.

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Photo of kevosbob
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hop in the Dark is brewed by Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon and is part of their Bond Street Series of beers. Hop in the Dark is an India Black Ale with 75 IBUs and a 6.5% alcohol by volume. This beer is available in 22 ounce bombers and is usually available from May – September. Brewed with Cascade, Citra, and Centennial hops this classic IPA with a dark twist is a hop-forward beer that highlights Deschutes Brewery’s diversity and creativity.

As expected from a Black IPA this beer pours a dark black accompanied with a tan fluffy head, typical of an IPA. The aroma is very nice with strong hop characteristics. The smell of the citra and cascade hops comes through the strongest and blends well with a dark roasted malt smell behind it. It’s pretty much what you would expect from an IPA turned dark.

When tasting this beer I was pleasantly surprised. There is a nice orange-zest flavor upfront from the citra hops and then the other hops and roasted malts blend together. It’s hard to define the bitterness quality in this beer but I get a blend of coffee and nuts with a carbon or wood finish. The bitterness in the hops blends well with this but it’s difficult to differentiate between the two bitterness qualities. This may be a bad trait for an IPA drinker or a good one for a porter drinker.

Within the past year or two the Black IPA has made quite the presence in the craft brew world. It seems to be a beer that splits tasters into two major groups, those who like hops and those who like porters or stouts. I feel that Hop in the Dark is a good center ground for both drinking styles, a characteristic that is surprisingly hard to find in Black IPAs. This beer is not expensive so I would suggest trying it and forming your own opinion.

My Beer Rating: 3

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Photo of clickpush
3.16/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pour 22oz bottle to tulip glass. Healthy hiss upon opening and strong pour leads to 3.5 fingers of tan head over black body. Looks great. Body is quite dark, almost stout like. Head descends slowly. Some sticky lacing and good healthy cap of head throughout consumption. Good looking beer.

Nose: Quite hoppy. Grapefruit, chocolate, strawberries, bitterness. More like an IPA than a black beer.

Mouth: Very hoppy. Strong flavors. High alcohol. Very bitter finish, both hoppy and roasty. Roastiness comes through in the end, sneaking out after the hops fizzle out. Long lingering flavor. Coffee, metal. Not a ton of complexity. Not much mouthfeel unfortunately. Thin for an IPA. Very thin for a black beer.

The beer's high point is in the glass not, unfortunately, in my nose & mouth.

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Photo of Buebie
3.2/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Picked up this bomber for around $5

Poured into a pint glass forming a little over an inch of tan head. Receding slowly to leave good sticky lace cling and a very decent ring of retention.
Color is black, no light penetration.

Aroma is quite roasty with bittering dark malt, and semi sweet chocolate grain. Some citrus hop aroma beneath all this roastyness, but mostly mild and covered by the grains.
Chocolate nuttyness too, chocolate aroma is delicious and welcoming.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, like a well aerated watter with mild carbonation and a little slick feel. Really a poor feel actually that is not really pleasing.

Taste is a little sweet upfront with a charred caramel and robust roasted chocolate grain. Hops a again disguised by roasty flavors, but present way down under them. In a citrus floral form. Bittering into the finish with charred grain and pine.

This beer seemed a little strange to me. Like a friend that you hadnt seen in 20 years and were looking forward to seeing. But then you realise you really have nothing to talk about and cant wait for them to go back home and leave.

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Photo of hardy008
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown with a 1 finger medium tan head with decent retention and some lacing. The aroma has citrus, roasted coffee, and chocolate. The aroma is not very strong.

The taste is much like the aroma, and is also not very strong. Citrus, roasted coffee, a light amount of chocolate. Has decent bitterness, and very little sweetness.

Light bodied, decent carbonation, finishes dry. A decent beer, but not one I would hurry to seek out again.

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Photo of mactrail
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep, mossy flavors in a black ale. Seriously hoppy. You just get time to catch a flavor before the bitterness sets in. Plenty of the dank, mushroomy hop flavors with resins and citrus pith. A fair amount of malt gives it a grainy taste and more than a little sweetness. Fruit compote, prunes, and burnt toast. Some sourness under the malt from charred barley. Aftertaste is more hoppy bitterness and a long smoky burn on the tongue. Not very carbonated in the mouth.

Overall, it is a strong-flavored beer that gets old, to me. It starts with an interesting flavor and gets more bitter, more grapefruity. The 2011 batch from the 22 oz bottle.

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Photo of mothman
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

The darkest black IPA I have seen. Very dark espresso color. 1 and a half fingers of tan head. Good head retention with some decent splattered lace.

Aroma: Floral hops with an odd malt profile. Citrus blend with a roasted feel to it. It is bitter and roasted at the same time.

Taste: The beer brings the roasted feel to it right away with the floral hops after. Citrus blend, but I can't really distinguish the type of fruits here.This beer is incredibly odd.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and roasted. Medium bodied with a fairly high amount of carbonation. Ends hoppy, sticky, and dry.

Overall, this beer just isn't for me. I have had much better black ipas before. It was tough drinking a bomber, but I got through it.

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Photo of Franch
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this really just didn't do it for me. my benchmark for an "A" level american dark ale is Southern Tier Iniquity, and not only was this far below that, it didn't even top Stone's Sublimely Self Righteous.

it was bad at doing both things: it wasn't very hoppy or bitter, but the roasty/malty notes didn't exist either. it seemed like kind of a generic weak IPA that was strangely colored.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle $5. Dark black color with a mocha head. Smells slightly hoppy but a lot more malty. Tastes like black butte porter with a bit of orange from the hops. Overall this just wasn't hoppy enough for me like most of Deschute's IPA's and pale ales. For hoppy dark ales I would much rather have a Stone self-righteous ale.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not going to go into too much detail here.

A - More black than brown, solid head and retention - Good.

S - Not much in the way of hops here...a bit dull and lacking. Maybe a black pale ale opposed to IPA?

T - Black pale ale for sure. A little bit hoppy, dark malts and chocolate present with some hop bitterness and wee bits of pine but where's that citrus hop goodness that goes with IPAs? Not bad but not great.

M - pretty solid here, best aspect of the brew. Perfect carbonation and a almost creamy bitterness.

O - Nothing memorable. For my palate, I'll take Stone's SSR over this one all day, everyday. But hey, that's for me and this one might be for others.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a dark brown/nearly black color with a fluffy tan colored head.

S: A nice citrus hop aroma up front with some roast and a hint of bitterness behind it. The hops are somewhat short lived and the various malts (especially the roast) come through the rest of the way.

T: The hop flavor is not quite as intense and pronounced as I would have expected. This comes across as more of a hoppy porter than anything, but the flavor seems a bit watery at time so you do not get the full effect of the hops nor the roast/malty qualities.

M: As mentioned above, this one seems to be slightly watery with a low to moderate carbonation.

D: One of the few (only?) disappointing efforts from Deschutes. I really liked Stone 11/SSR, so I thought this one would be right up my alley, but it falls short.

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Photo of beertunes
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this at a brewers night at the Archer Ale House, Bellingham, WA. The Deschutes rep said this is the first keg in the state of Washington, but remember, he's a salesman.

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a lightly translucent black with a 1/2 inch of dark tan head that had good retention and moderate lacing.

The aroma was very hop forward, mostly citrus, without much notable malt scents. On the other hand, the hop flavors most notable on the front of the tongue, with the roasted flavors dominating the back of the mouth. The roasted flavors were reminiscent of a Porter, and I didn't think they melded very well with the hop flavors. There was too much of a coffee note that lingered.

The body seemed to be OK for the style, but was too thin for my tastes. Drinkability was good, but it's going to depend on if you like hoppy coffee flavors.

Overall, a decent example of a style that's still finding out what it's about. If you live in Deschutes distribution area, you'll be seeing this soon and can decide for your self.

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Photo of Zorro
3.39/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark brown colored beer that is almost light proof. Tall brown colored head.

Smells like a carrot stick, a sensory effect of high hops and patent malt in the same beer. Scents of grapefruit and chocolate with a bit of smoke. Still though this smells like carrots.

Starts out sharply bitter and smoky. Hop and patent malt combine to make this considerably bitter. Grapefruit and chocolate flavor. Tastes like a carrot in a glass of Guinness.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is just OK. This is an OK beer if you just want lots of bitterness and no nuanced hop flavors. For me I need the many different flavors and aroma of the Hop, and this beer doesn't have it.

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Photo of javincik
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Bottled 1 1/4 months prior to consumption.

A-Pours with a light brown two-finger head that lingers for quite some time. Near opaque black in color, brown at the edges when held to the light. Frothy head clings tenaciously to the glass.

S-Smells much like an IPA with a nice dose of pine and citrus hop aroma. Some underlying roasted and chocolate aromas also come thru, although much more subtle than the hop aromas.

T-Compared to some other Black IPAs I've had, this one just seems to overdue it on the roast. Unlike the nose, I really felt that the hops didn't have a chance to shine in this one. It's plenty bitter in the finish, but the flavors are dominated by the roast, chocolate, and coffee flavors. It really just tastes like a hoppy porter - a la Troeg's Dead Reckoning.

M-Medium bodied with good carbonation. About average for the style.

D-One bomber of this was plenty. I really had high hopes for this, but I was disappointed. I didn't feel that this beer differentiated itself from any number of hoppy porters I've had. Also, I think Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous is more drinkable despite the disadvantage in ABV.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deschutes Hop in the Dark CDA ("Cascadian Dark Ale") pours a dense puck of beige foam over a deep black brew. Carbonation? Maybe, but this inky liquid makes it hard to tell. The nose is predominantly the now-customary west coast grapefruit hop aroma, but with tantalizing notes of apricot and a bit of ale yeast funk. The flavor, too will be familiar to IPA drinkers- hop forward, of course, but with notes of mocha as well. Mouth feel is light- surprisingly light considering how dark this stuff is, with a long, dry hoppy, grapefruit rind finish. A decent enough IPA, but the puzzling dark color isn't enough to break it out of the pack- I really want to see a little more malt here...

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Photo of BB1313
3.41/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Best by 8/21/14. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a very dark brown, almost black; nice tan head that leaves great retention and okay lacing. The aromas have a nice blend of subtle citrus and roasted dark malts. Some tropical notes in the mix as well. Some grapefruit and orange is there. Smells really nice, I just wish the aromas were a bit more pungent. The flavors are extremely earthy. Very bitter, but it's a clean bitterness. Sharp and crisp. Tons of pine and grass. More grapefruit. Hints of chocolate. Very subtle coffee notes, but they're hard to pick up on. Lots of soap. Finishes pretty dry. Mouthfeel is great. It's medium-bodied with active carbonation. It's creamy and fluffy; very smooth. Alcohol basically goes unnoticed. This is a very clean and crisp take on the style.

This is a solid take on the style. The craftsmanship really sells this beer for me and makes it enjoyable. It smells a little better than it tastes. It's a nice value in the world of bombers.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, "best after 5/29/10"? Pours a dark brown with a smallish light tan head that goes to a thin film and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is roasted malts and cola, with some piney hops and a little tar.

The flavor is roasted/burnt chocolate malts, a little cola and anise, with a big roasted bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full with low carbonation.

Overall, an interesting "black IPA" with good bitterness. I didn't really care for the burnt/tar notes or the cola.

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Photo of mikechance
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a very dark beer with porter/stout color. A nice half inch head releases some hoppy smell. I'm getting hints of black licorice and brown sugar, but I’m getting very little else. I'm picking up very little hops. It goes down nice and easy with a touch of oily feel. The aftertaste is a little sour and unexpected (not in a good way). Overall it’s a nice beer, but I didn’t get knocked off my feet as I expected I would. The bottle didn't get the best travel conditions, so I'm going to have to try it again soon. The 21st Amendment "Black in Back" is a better Black IPA.

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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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