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 brewdoc75
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber into tulip pint

A: Black/brown with nice amber hues. Thick, beige head sits on top and goes from 1 inch to 1/4 inch in about a minute. Carbonation is moderate.

S: Lots of citrus twang with grapefruit and lemon rind at first. After a bit I get some orange and tangerine. A bit of pine as well. Some chocolate aromas and sweetness from the malts. Pleasant and complex.

T: Lots of resiny hop bitterness up front. Hop flavors include grapefruit as the strongest citrus component. A bit more of that tangerine and orange I noted in the aroma. There is a hint of citrus. The bitterness is lemon rind in nature and a bit harsh for me. It really sticks in the back of my throat and doesn't sit right. The malts add a nice complexity with chocolate and a little malty sweetness. Ends with a hint of nuttiness. Overall, complex flavors, but not a fan of the bitterness that seems to persist more than most IPAs.

M: Medium bodied. More smooth than crisp when compared to other IPAs. Carbonation is right on for me. Stickiness from the bittering hops lasts longer than I would have liked.

D: All in all a pretty decent beer. I wasn't a fan of the bittering hops used due to some harshness to my palate. This may not be an issue for others. The positives are the nice citrus and pine notes that blend well with the complexity from the malts. Definitely worth a try. I may revisit this one again in the future to see if my opinion changes.

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Photo of fear025
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thank you Jodan for this extra!

Aroma:The mild aroma is composed of grass, grapefruit, and chocolate.

Appearance:Black, opaque, with a nice tan head that's slow to dissipate.

Taste:The mild sweet malt flavor contrasts with the tangy hop flavor nicely. The black malt give it some charred flavor.

Mouthfeel:Smooth, with mild carbonation.

Drinkability:This cascade dark ale is an interesting blend of stout and IPA. I like this beer a lot, but I'm not sure I could drink more than one bomber in a single sitting.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass, this ale pours dark brown with some crimson highlights. A half inch of foam settles out rather quickly to a mirrored surface yet yields decent off white lacing throughout.

Nose is all malts initially, with some chocolate and a bit of a roasted character. With warming the brew thins out and offers some cloaked earthy hops.

Flavor and feel are quite like a porter at first and when consumed through the foam. This segues to a dark and dense lager feel with warming and exposure as the body thins and the hop character comes forward. Still this brew is never hop forward and the malt character remains dominant. An enjoyable brew with decent depth of character yet not something that really grabs you.

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Photo of AleWatcher
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by 11.28.11
Served in nonic pint.

So this is a beer I've had several times but never reviewed... The CDA style just seems ridiculous to me. It is basically a hoppy porter.

So, it pours like a porter-- dark, nearly black, with a rocky cap of 2 fingers leaves some nice lace and holds it's retention well.
Smell has some minty and piney notes, the pine is dry and reminds me of Arctic Panzer Wolf in an eerie way-- but only for a second. The roasted malts cancel it almost as quickly as it crept in.

Chalky chocolate and toffee sweet and roasty malts start this off before the flavor dries out with piney hops and a crisp bitterness.
The body is very much like a medium bodied porter with more carbonation.

Overall, this isn't the take I prefer when it comes to porters or ipas, but that's the beauty of creating a new style, right?
This is a decent beer, but I could imagine a much better version in the style. Not bad, but I'll be honest-- even the best beer I could possibly imagine for the style would still be a beer I would rarely buy.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lightly chilled 22 oz. bomber into a stemless 12 oz. tulip. Best by date 9.21.12.

Look- Ruby brown with two fingers of toasted coconut head. Excellent retention, plenty of thick legs and lace.

Smell- Fresh pine sap, coriander, cinnamon rolls, maple syrup, dark roast. Swirling brings out a powdery scent and a hint of alcohol.

Taste- First taste comes off as one-dimensional and somewhat plain, but revisiting as it warms reveals a number of fairly subtle flavors. Star anise and spiced Turkish coffee come to mind. piney hop presence. Vaguely lemony flavor (lemon seeds, actually) asserts itself halfway through the glass. Aftertaste is of espresso and campfire biscuits. Mineral character builds as the glass empties.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, clean, extremely easy drinking. Wish it was a bit more substantial, however- almost watery. Half of a bomber was fine, I wouldn't mind having the whole thing to myself.

Overall- Mixed feelings here; it's good, but feels like it fell just shy of being great. Decently priced, definitely worth trying.

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Photo of ales4baldo
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P-22 oz with a moon and night time sky. Nice and dark like the beer itself

A-Pitch black. Poured thick and a figner and a half of head. A reddish brown color to it and somewhat bubbly head.

S-Hops, dark chocolate. Little sweetness and dark cherry. Little wood as well.

T-Pale. mocha chocolate and hops with low bitter. Little smokey on the edges and light carbonation. Also some coffee notes.

M-Soft and light. A little watery but also little heavy at the same time. Medium bodied as well. Stout like that lingers a little.

O-An ok beer, nothing big here. I think i let this one sit for a little too long. Decent flavors but a little flat also. Would have liked to see more hops and a higher IBU.

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Photo of Chaney
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Special thanks to OakedCanuck for sending me this brew that I have wanted to try for a long time.

I split this with my buddy Matt.

A: Dark, black even with visually undetectable carbonation and soft foamy head that silhouettes throughout the session.

S: Pale malts and then some. Based on the nose, if someone had told me that this was a pale ale, I would have believed them. No citrus to speak of, just roasty, dark sweet fare.

T: Is this a rye beer? It has that grainy quality that is very reminiscent of one. However, even though I am fond of rye beers in general, this one has kind of a grainy texture and taste that reminded me of semi-stale cake icing. There is also a bit of a grape aftertaste with a bit of a dry finish.

M: The ABV is reasonable enough and is hidden to my satisfaction, but a bit more (not much!) citrus taste and bitterness would have helped this brew out a lot.

D: I definitely want to try this one again, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this one is killer on tap. However, the beer I just tasted was okay but not great.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a 2 finger tan head

smell: hops, roast, black patent, malts

taste: roasty, malty, hop bitterness

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: glad I got to try it. But i dont' think i'm a fan of this new style of beer.


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Photo of unHipHopHead
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this brew combines two of my favorite worlds, Porter/Stouts and IPAs. I really appreciate that Deschutes experimented with these two because I honestly wouldn't have thought about pouring the two together... At first it may seem disgusting or accidental... which I still wonder, but since these two styles are my favorite I am able to appreciate

a: poured like a stout, mostly black with a brownish tan super fluffy head.

s: mostly hops which was surprising because of the sight...

t: mostly hoppy IPA style but other sips give more chocolate like porter... this IS mysterious.

m: a strange combo of hops and deep malts that leaves me confused and with a thick film wishing for WATER.


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Photo of oakbluff
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber sample- very dark black coffee in appearance. One finger mocha head, minor sticky lacing. Nose- light roast, muted piney hops. Taste- milk chocolate, roast, citrus, herbal and pine hops in the back end. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a substantial amount of carbonation. Dry toasty finish.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.57/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one at The Cracked Kettel in Amsterdam.

From a bomber into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a big, three finger, medium looking, tan head with great retention. Seal brown in color and zero carbonation evident. Slowly fades to a nice foam cap leaving some immediate lacing. A splotchy wisp remains and leaves some nice lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Bold enough aromas on this one. A hoppy nose of floral hops, citrus, and touches of pine as well. Some dark malts and caramel, with notes of dark fruit accompanying, like some prunes and grapes. Not much roasted character at all really, but still very nice.

TASTE: Some sweet malt, caramel, and dark fruits up front, then lots of floral and piney hops burst through. Some dark fruit and a slightly roasted character show up after the swallow, but the aftertaste is dominated by piney hops and pure bitterness. Aftertaste is bold and lingering. Pretty nice, though not as satisfying as the nose, and not as roasted as advertised.

PALATE: Medium body, lighter on the palate, and higher levels of soft carbonation. Goes down fine and finishes quite dry on the palate. Nice, and creamy smooth enough for the style.

OVERALL: A good beer for sure. The palate could use a little more weight, which would help support the flavors a little more, and it could be a little roastier too, but this one is flavorful and enjoyable non-the-less. Drinks away easily as well. Recommended.

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Photo of hopstradamus
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Very dark and mysterious with ruby hues that are revealed in bright light. This beer has ample carbonation and a tan foam that leaves behind beautiful lace.

S. The nose is an enticing, spicy, citrus hop profile that stands determined in the face of sweet smelling roasted malt. The malt creates a smell I can't quite place and can best compare to beef jerky, but in a good way.

T. The taste of this beer is almost confusing. At the start you get the sweetness of the malt but it lasts less than half a second before you are overwhelmed by the bitterness of the hops. As the hops fade, the smokiness of the roasted malt is uncovered.

M. This beer has ample carbonation and a medium mouthfeel. It is not as thick or chewy as you think it should be based on the color but it matches the flavor of the beer nicely.

D. This will not be a go-to beer for me, but it is an excellent change of pace beer for when you want something out of the ordinary.

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Photo of ebin6
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Definitely dark with a nice head. High carbonation as well as I count 9 different streams in my glass

S - Hoppy, but not incredibly so. I detect some coffee in the nose

T - Very impressed! Carmel, sweet malty flavor along with chocolate and some coffee. Hops come & go rather quickly, but powerfully to add a very big flavor profile

M - Decent if a little clumsy. Coffee notes definitely resonate the longest

D - A little heavy for an IPA, but melds the styles nicely

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Photo of crusian
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a light black color with about and inch of head that dies semi-quickly.
first thing on the nose is HOPS. after the head subsides a bit, there is a wee bit of smoke in there.
taste is hop forward, with a bit of a citrus and smoke flavor to it, and your typical black IPA slight ash flavor. Not as hoppy as the smell would indicate, but not too bad...

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- great looking black ipa. Very lil light comes through. Tan head that has impressive lacing.

S- full on pine and citrus. No mistake that its an ipa. Juicy quality

T- a bit of a let down from the nose. Hops seem to take a bit of a backseat to the roasted malt character. At the very least its "too balanced" for an ipa if u will. Earthy, piney, crystal malts, toasted caramel.

M- sits a bit heavy do to the malt intensity. Creamy. Mid body.

O- not bad. Not great. Nose left me wanting more.

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Photo of tewaris
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Because of a wrongly printed "Best After" date, I ended up aging a bottle of Hop in the Dark. When this year's version came out, it was time for a side by side of two bottles, one labeled Best After 05/29/2010 and another Best By 11/28/11. I suppose there's a difference of about an year and a half between the two, with the newer one being quite fresh.

Clear dark brown with a good tan colored head. Good lacing and retention.

Newer one is pungent with hops while older one has developed some oxidized character. Smells nice to me since I am a fan of sherry port notes (in moderation) Fruitiness is present in both to varying degrees with the older being earthier. Roasty chocolate.

Taste is bitter and roasty with medium fruitiness. The tartness of roast shines more in the older, while the newer is certainly greener. The roast is too strong --- it's a porter for all I care!

Mouthfeel is rather thin and AIPA-ish. Carbonation is spot on. Same on both. Finishes dry and astringent. Overall it's average to good.

Scores: Appearance 4.5/5; Aroma 3.5/5; Taste 3.5/5; Mouthfeel 3/5; Overall 4/5

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Photo of drabmuh
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by November 28th, 2011. So this one must be pretty fresh. At the time of this review, this is the #23 top American Black Ale on the beeradvocate.com best of style lists. Served in a Russian River -tion glass.

Beer is black with a thin, tan head with low retention, some lacing, low carbonation, beer is seriously dark.

Aroma is mildly piny, with hints of fruit and some sweetness, interesting how I don't get any of the roast from the darker malts in the aroma.

Beer is medium in body with a mild bitterness at the back, there is a hop palate but this beer is mostly a sweet porter wtih some hops in it. I'm a little let down. There is close to no bitterness from the hops or the roast. This beer could have done a lot of great things, but mostly it is sweet with some hops in it. Oh well.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best after 5/29/10 on label. Pours a very dark drown/black with a lovely oatmeal creamy fluffy head.

Aromas or roasted malt, subtle watermelon and citrus melange. Very subtle though.

Malt forward, nuttiness. Hop bitterness, quite citric and tangy. Not in you face, but definitely there. Subtle java roasty flavor. Dry loose leaf tobacco.

Dry and roasty mouthfeel, finishing bitter and slighty fruity.

More of a hoppy porter to me, but they can call it whatever they want to.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Cola brown with redish-brown highlights. Light khaki head with ok retention, but great lace.

S - Nice soft roast grain, pine, edge of cilantro, and a little cola sweetness.

T - Bright, bitter pine right up front. Dry, bitter grapefruit and cocoa nibs through the center. Coffee grinds, bitter chocolate, touch of dried dark fruits, and a residual grapefruit bitterness through the backend.

M - Light, brisk, smooth body.

O - An enjoyable black IPA. Nice roast character with a solid bitter backbone.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into large snifter glass - thanks to SamuelJackson45

Pours a shrouded black with a nice beige head. Retains well for a bit before fading into wispy film with some streaks of lacing around the glass.

Roasty, warm malt in the nose with caramel and molasses as well as a nice flair of hoppiness.

A decent punch of citrus hops up front, coupled with a heavier, roasted dark malt flavor. The backbone is thick with notes of caramel and coffee, along with some sweetness from toffee and a very light hint of licorice. Hoppy bitterness comes back towards the finish, with some lingering dryness.

Medium bodied, a little chewy and dry, higher carbonation. Tasty profile and an interesting integration of the flavors, although I'm not exactly in love with black IPAs - glad I got to try this one either way though

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Photo of maximum12
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saw this new 'style' from Deschutes & had to pick it up. Make enough world-class brews & I'll buy just about anything from you!

HItDCDA pours dark, but a light dark about the periphery. A waterfall of hops greets my flared nostrils, as well as a balanced jolt of sweet malts.

Hop in the Dark is hoppy, but subdued, bitterness toned down by a heavy hand on the malt scale, to achieve a tasting balance that's soft, easy on the palate, quick & simple to consume. There's a touch of the hard end of a loaf, perhaps a handful of raisins scattered throughout, too.

Well, this is a nice beer. Can't say I've had another 'CDA', but if this is a typical offering, I cannot see it supplanting the trusty IPA anytime soon. Good change of pace beer.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black ipa is not a style I'm used to but one I'm willing to try. This one pours stout/porter dark. Deep cappuccino dark with almost no light passing through. The head is latte tan with some fine lacing. Perfectly identical bubbles come from the depths of the beer and feed the foam. This is a nice dark ipa.

The nose Is that of a regular ipa. Tropical fruit mixed with pine and citrus. It's a strong hop scent right off the bat but there is a fine malt backbone behind it. The nose is not as pronounced as I'd like but it's not to shabby.

Taste is a good mix of malts and hops. Slightly sweet cereal with citrus notes. A heavy bitterness is overly present and frankly distracts from the taste. It's a good beer but slightly lacking in the flavor department.

The mouthfeel is nice despite the heavy bitterness. Smooth, mildly carbonated with a medium body. This brew is not bad. It's a little to much bitterness with not enough of the malt flavor coming through but it's still worth trying out. Not bad.

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Photo of u2carew
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle
A) Pours with a big head tan in color that settles quickly leaving a sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. Opaque body.
S) Fresh leather, roasted grains and spruce.
T) Even malt and hop flavor profile. Roasted and smoked grains. Spicy spruce.
M) Fizzy yet creamy. Medium body.
O) A decent brew. Doesnt have any outstanding characteristics but still a good brew. I'd consider having another one.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a darker IPA with mellow off tan head leaving good lace. Smell has a good combonation of roasted malts and floral citric hops. Taste of roasted malt with a grapefruit hoppy zing with a bit of pine thrown in. mouthfeel is medium with a good spike of carbonation going down. I'm personally not a big roasted fan, but a good IPA for those who do.

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3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber to oversized snifter. Best by date 11/26/11, sampled 6/26/11.

A: Average head of 1 finger, creamy, light brown and long lasting. The body is black walnut or very dark mahogany. Spare lacing.

S: Baker chocolate, heavily rendered caramel with a strong roast, coming across nearly burnt due to the acridness. The hops are an intensely grassy and very dank. There is an earthiness about the aroma as well.

T: A little salty? And heavily bittered. At least more than the 70 IBUs lets on. For me, there is two types of CDAs. One's that a blindfolded person would know they were drinking an IPA, but wouldn't be able to guess the color. And those that are roasted, chocolately IPAs. This bottle of Hop in the Dark is exclusively in the latter category.

M: Medium body, perhaps a little thin. Minerally with a fizzy carbonation. Finishes dusty, astringent and bitter.

O: This beer shines much brighter on draft, where it is much more citrus forward. Just above average otherwise.

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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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