Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale | Deschutes Brewery

1,345 Ratings
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,345 |  Reviews: 506
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 illidurit
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber from Whole Foods in Santa Cruz. Poured into a pint glass. Clear dark brown with a decent khaki-colored suds. Aroma is of chocolate graham crackers mixed with candied orange and tea leaves. Smooth dark chocolaty flavor with citrusy hop notes and a tannic finish. There's a lasting roastiness in the finish that pairs well with the piney hop bitterness. A little light in body, and too short in the finish, but quite drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of GJ40
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle in a hotel glass. Purchased from the Best Damn Beer Store in San Diego.

A - Black with very little light coming through and only at the edges. A big tan head. Good lacing as the glass empties.

S - Toast and a touch of cocoa from the malts and citrus from the hops.

T - A light brown sugar and cocoa from the malts that almost balances the citrusy bitterness from the hops. It starts with some ambivalence but it certainly finishes like an IPA.

M - Very creamy with a nice low carbonation.

D - So smooth and easy to drink. The variety and complexity of this style keeps you both thinking and enjoying with every sip.

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Photo of MinorThreat
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bomber into a pint glass

A-Pours a dark ruby red that in volume becomes black. Nice tan head with decent retention and great lacing.

S-Pine, light citrus fruit such as orange and grapefruit with a distinct chocolaty malt scent and bitterness.

T-One of the more balanced BIPA's I have tried. Hops are there in abundance with grapefruit and pine but the malt bitterness bridges the gap well to the malt sweetness of roasted cereal grains and trecal.

M-I always am deceived by my eye's on these. I see it and am ready for a big viscous stout-like brew. This is not that but it is very nice. Light and lively.

D-I think that the lower ABV% (for the style) makes this the most drinkable of all of the BIPA's I have tried.

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Photo of atsprings
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to wagenvolks for sending this one my way! 22oz bomber into a Hopus tulip pours an almost opaque black with a decent dark khaki head that diminishes to a ring and leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma is a mild blend of dark malts and citrus hops with some cocoa present as well. The taste is a nice amount of citrus hops with a nice backbone of smooth dark malts that gives way to a very nice balance of crisp citrus hops and cocoa in the lingering finish, very tasty the whole way through. The beer is quite light, smooth, and refreshing with great smooth carbonation. This is a truly a delicious beer, one I would certainly have again if I could get it in my area.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very, very dark. I actually held this up to a lamp, and this is pretty much ruby-black, like a stout. Thick, fluffy light brown head.

Very-IPA scent. If I close my eyes, I'm drinking an IPA. A bit more balanced on the taste, slightly sweeter and maltier. Very smooth and almost creamy.

This could be a bit more fizzy - it seems almost porter- or stout-smooth. Rich, and creamy which isn't bad in itself, but I think this style is best served by shocking and the smooth feel doesn't quite do it.

Despite this, this is still a good beer and very enjoyable.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty straight forward beer here. Pours black with a tan head that leaves substantial lacing as the beer disappears. Aroma is piney, resinous, and lightly citrusy. Also a little chocolate. First flavors are hop centric, again pine, resin, citrus at the front of the palate and than followed by some chocolate and coffee type dark roasty malt flavors. Drinks like an ipa, just a bit richer, not to bad but can be a bit unbalanced after a while.

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Photo of seh410
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours dark, dark brown - almost black - with two finger of thick tan head. Retention is good, as is lacing.

Aroma: Citrusy, floral hops with a tiny bit of dark malts in the background. Looks like a stout, smells just like an IPA.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Dark, roasted malts take the forefront, followed by citrusy hops. The beer tastes piney and rich, malty and hoppy....has some hints of burnt chocolate and coffee beans at the end.... Very interesting combination. Mouthfeel is medium with nice carbonation. Mouthfeel fits the taste well.

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Photo of beagle75
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into an imperial pint glass.

A: Opaque black color, with no light penetrating through. One finger of beige foam head waits patiently for permission to disperse. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: So strong it is detectable at arm's length, this beer has a complex smell that includes grapefruit citrus, pine, soy sauce, cereal, and olive brine.

T: Begins with off-dry fruit esters and mild aromatic hops that give way to much bigger, darker, roasty and grainy malt flavors. The finish is characterized by a bracing bitterness from which the dark roast is not soon diminished.

M: Thin viscosity (bordering on being watery) and moderate carbonation seem out of place here. The texture of this beer is its least attractive feature.

D: This beer represents a good effort on the part of Deschutes to marry dark and hoppy qualities in one drinkable package. If anything, better balance could be achieved by adding emphasis to the hop bill--while certainly detectable, the aromatic hops seem one-note and not particularly characterful. The up side to this restrained hoppiness is that Hop in the Dark pairs wonderfully with savory food (such as the smoked sausage sandwich at Beachwood BBQ, on one outing). While the lion's share of recent dark IPA hybrids seem overdone, here Deschutes could give it another 10% and still be close to the mean (if that was indeed their goal).

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Photo of rand
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From bomber to pint

Poured black, as black as stout, which was unexpected. A 1/2 inch, semi-sudsy chocolate-colored head formed that doesn't last more than a minute or so and doesn't leave a lot of lacing. It smelled as you would expect from the description - fresh, piny hops are combined with nutty, bready malts. The taste followed the nose with a combination of nutty, roasted malt flavors and orange-citrus Cascade hops. A bready/biscuity flavor carried the sip and it finished slightly bitter and dry.

Surprisingly, the flavors work here and are quite balanced. They're supported by medium body and an oily-slick mouthfeel, washing down clean after each sip. This was quite easy to drink and I found the contrast of dark roasted malts and clean, citrusy hops continued its balance as the beer warmed.

I'd definitely like to see Deschutes make a 'big' beer out of this. I had an momentary criticism when I first sipped that it wasn't hoppy or pronounced as I would like, but then I remembered it's only 6.5%, and for that ABV, Deschutes really nailed it (I think there's a Freudian thing about drinking from bombers and expecting 'big' beer)

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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 dbossman
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Near black with a thick, gorgeous head--great retention; lacing looks great

S: Strong piney hop presence on top of a rich maltiness--even a little chocolate pervades

T: Wonderful balance between dark roasted chocolate and even coffee flavored malts and piney/floral hops

F: Even mouth feel--even a bit creamy

D: A beautiful, hoppy, malty delight

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Photo of ballz50401
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle (best after 6/26/10) into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark black with a tan/brown head. Retention is pretty good. A thin foam layer maintains it's presence atop this black hoppy liquid.

Smell: Loads of citrus hops up front. Some chocolate and coffee notes in the backround. This has a nice balance of hop and roasted malt aroma.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Waves of highly roasted malts hit my tastebuds with some dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate notes that finishes with citrusy hop flavor. Mouthfeel feels a little thinner than I expected. Finishes with a lingering bitterness from the hops and roasted malts.

Drinkability: This was my first IBA. I would like to try more examples of this new style and would also hit this one up again.

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Photo of alkchrios
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a bomber at best damn beer shop in san diego california..props to you sid!! Poured into a rocks glass (its all I had at the hotel) A ton of smoke barreled out of this beer the second it was popped.. you could smell the earthy hop tones the second it was opened. This beer is very bitter but to those hop heads out there.. not in a bad way.. it isnt over done but its as though this beer was brewed for people that just flat out love hops and robust malts. I will say this beer does go down a bit rough, with a slight carbonation it just came off as a meal in a can. One or two bombers is plenty for the night before moving on to lighter beers!


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Photo of denflyr
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark (almost stout like) in a cervoise class from a 22 oz. bomber bottle. Nice persistent 1/4 to 1/8" head with interesting lacing.

Smell of dark/chocolate malts that give it a nice toffee/coffee nose. The hops are there, but not overly so. A very pleasing nose!

Taste is very balanced! Nice malt initial taste and then the hops kick in. A very persistent finish with the hops winning out on the back palate. Mostly bittering hops, but also a nice flavoring component as well.

Good mouthfeel. Excellent small carbonation bubbles and not overly carbonated.

Very drinkable beer and not heavy on the palate and the ABV is in check. I could drink several of these on a hot Texas day!

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark as night, with a great caramel colored head.
Smells are very hoppy/piney, with a good malt character underneath.
The taste is exactly as I was hoping for, having a great malt kick to the tongue, and the accentuating hops just adding what I crave after such a dark assault on my taste buds.

Delicious and well made.

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Photo of coastiefish
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 into pint

Love the label.

A- a welcoming brown sugar frothy head lovingly accompanying a rich dark molasses painted body.

S - You can find rich subtleties in the nose, though mostly a pine stems from the hops. Malty esters.

T- Balanced with a bit of smokey roast that finds its place.

M- The body is nice with a bit of weight that matches the personality and taste. Its sticky and lingers sticky.

D- One of the better (CDA's / Black IPAs) Ive had.
I like what Deschutes bottles in 22's and what they have on tap at their NW PDX location better than what the bottle in 6 packs. This is one that Ive had a few times already, and im going to have a few times more.

Its not overly hoppy or bitter, for those who are concerned. It does bring a great pine hop presence and a slight bitter coffee flavor, but it is well done.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass. Best after 6/26/10.

Opaque nearly bistre liquid with a dense creamy desert sand finger of foam. Thick sticky lacing tries to climb up out of the glass.

Fresh hoppy aromatics suggesting grapefruit, evergreen, peach pits, and earth. Nice general malty scent as well.

Hop forward palate entry, moderately bitter with citrus, earth, pine, and kelp coming forward. Moderately bitter, and vaguely salty. The malts and oats come out more in the finish with a delicate roast/toast element (vaguely suggesting coffee) accompanied by a mineral/vegetal note (though still quite clean - no DMS here!).

Medium-light bodied, spritzy, roasty yet smooth.

Too hoppy to be a porter, too roasty to be a regular IPA - it is very well balanced however you wish to categorize it. Another success from Deschutes, backed by their signature malt profile. Lovely.

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Photo of gregshead
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer in a 22oz bottle.

A: Dark as it gets. Looked like a porter or stout in color with a IPA head. Pours with a 2 inch thick head. Dissipates and leaves some foam on the side. Looks and pours very think.

S: Malty, hoppy smell. Possibly pine hops smell

T: Malty start, hoppy end. A good combo. Tasted like a porter/indescribable dark ale mixed with a IPA in the hops.

M: It could be that this pub had something wrong with their system, but this beer seemed overly carbonated. For a dark ale/IPA style beer, I did not expect this much carbonation. UPDATED: Had it in a 22oz bomber of it, not as carbonated as the pub and updated the score. Still had a very thin taste on the tongue.

D: A good taste and but all I could think about was "what is this?" The color and the thinness of the beer didn't match what my taste buds wanted. Is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of wl0307
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted at the BSF bar, GBBF 2010; B.A. date is 26/06/10, served lightly chilled in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: very dark in colour, almost black, with deep mahogany hues when seen against light; a thick light-tan froth lasts well, on top of moderate and continuous streams of mini fizz.
S: as it says on the label - hoppy!... citrussy, apple-ly, pink grapefruit-peel-ish fruitiness, nectar-like sweetness, plus rather light-bodied maltiness and a touch of tropical fruit-like esters. Nice, even better than an IPA in that the malty department is lighter in terms of sweetness. Most interestingly, sniffing the beer with eyes closed, I couldn't really imagine this was a dark one~~
T: well-balanced & delicious, the foretaste is citrussy- & flowery-hoppy IPA on the basis of rather light-bodied dark malts with a gristy feel and undertones of coffee (only just) & herbal bitter hints; the aftertaste shows a delicately grapefruit-bits+seeds like bitter tannins, but never over the top. Nice lingering bitter-sweetness and a light chewy feel is marvellous - my palate keeps yearning for more, sip after sip...
M&D: very smoothly carbonated, medium-bodied, well-balanced dark hoppy ale - a supremely drinkable ale IMO!

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Photo of hughesm4
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This a combined rating between a taste at the brewpub and a growler to go.
a-Poured pitch black and still had nice carbonation and a little head after a week in the growler. Nice lacing down the side of the glass.
s-The smell is very strong with hops and a slight malt/coffee.
t-Taste is more balanced than I expected based on the smell. There is a powerful, bitter hop taste up front with a hint of coffee and lime.
m/d-IT is a slow drinker. It has a nice body and a nice bitter bite at the end of the drink that sticks around i nthe mouth for a while.

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Photo of 1759Girl
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance> Black like coffee. Nice creamy head with medium bubbles. Great lacing. The IPA is so dark, you'd never recognize it... in fact, Deschutes calls it a new style "CDA"--- Cascadian Dark Ale.

Smell> Big coffee nose with malt.

Taste>Unique and intriguing! Starts like the most bitter coffee you've had from your hangover-cure greasy spoon (Talkin' bout YOU, Eddies' on Divisadero!)... then it gets a big punch of hops.. BIG...followed by a big ashy hang. All the while it is smooth as all get out. How do you ya do it, you lovely Oregonians?


Drinkable> very.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears dark reddish brown and clear like coffee. Poured aggressively into a Gouden Carolus chalice, it forms with an ample 2-finger tan head that dissipates quick enough to a fine layer, leaving curtains of lace.

Aromas of wet hay, coffee, and toasted bread. Some dry fruit notes, but nothing sugary.

Tastes like coffee but with some extra dry cherry fruitiness. Hops are evident, but can't answer to the dry roasted malt backbone. Finishes kind of like black coffee, fruity, with a dry, bitter hoppy finish.

Body is very light, and moderate carbonation gives it a prickly mouthfeel.

Overall does not excite me too much. It's a hop in the dark, but it is so dry that I want something sweet to go with it, like ice cream, or maybe a pecan pie.

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Photo of billab914
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Poured a dark brown color with an active one inch head to it. The head faded down to a thin spotty covering, but left some very good lacing a I drank it.

The aroma has a bright citrusy and hoppy flavor to it with some notes of lemon, orange and grapefruit. A light roasty, bitterness peeks through as well. Very nice aroma overall.

The taste shows more of the roasted and burnt malts then the aroma did. The hoppy, citrusy flavors still come through with some bright grapefruit and pine notes. The finish shows a mixture of burnt and citrus flavors to it and both linger for a bit on the palate.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate to slightly above average carbonation. Drinkability is good, it has some very good flavors to it and they mesh pretty well for the style. One of the better Cascadian Dark Ale's I've had.

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Photo of nickhiller
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deschutes is easily one of my top five breweries. Can't wait to give this one a taste!

A: pitch black, one finger head gives way to solid rim. good lacing and a thick pour
S: aroma hops, roast, cherry, smell is subtle, not very pronounced
T: roasted malts, burnt toast, black coffee, bitter chocolate finish. Hops on the front and back end
M: on the creamy side, bubbly, ample carbonation is offset by thickness
D: well balanced mix of hops and roasted malts, something like a hoppy porter

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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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