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

Cmorton brought me a bottle of this the other night to review, so here it is. Poured into my Incredible Hulk pint glass.

Semi hard pour creates a light khaki two finger head that resides to a nice layer of foam and already leaving evidence of lacing. Black with hints of brown on the edges. Very nice retention and awesome lacing left on the sides of the glass.

The nose smells of coffee and cream with pine and citrus hops. Quite interesting.

The tastes is simila. Coffee, burnt malts, some lactose like sweetness, biscuity malts, then the hops kick in as piney, resin, and some grapefruit citrus flavors. I feel like more hop presence would have been nice, but still very tasty and interesting.

The mouthfeel is quite light with medium carbonation and nice smoothness.

Good drinkability, definitely worth a try.

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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 mithrascruor
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port OB, San Diego.

Pours a matte black color with a foamy tan head having decent retention. The aroma and taste very much go hand-in-hand. Citrus with spicy hops up front, with a hint of roasted malt. The malt comes out more with the finish. Medium-bodied and relatively smooth. Perhaps my favorite black IPA (that doesn't have a crazy ABV). Very drinkable and enjoyable. Wish this could be more widely available, as I'd surely get it more often.

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Photo of popery
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not entirely on board the CDA train, yet, but I still think this is a pretty good beer. As for the style, this seems like a strong, hoppy porter to me. There's some chocolate and caramel, but it's mostly the tangy, ashy roast flavor that I associate with porters. Hops are medium to strong for a 6.5% abv IPA and show up more in the flavor than aroma. The aroma is actually a bit milder than I expected. On the other hand, the beer is chock full of flavor. It's quite bitter with spicy pine resin and pungent grapefruit rind. The roasted malt adds further bitterness or, at least, accentuates the hops. Both taste and aroma are balanced between strong malt and hop flavors. The mouthfeel is a tad rough. I could see this beer and CDAs, generally, growing on me, but I'm not quite there yet. Still, it's a good beer, and I'll come back to it, one day.

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

Pours a light black color. When held up to the light you can see a rusty/amber-brown color in the beer. Has a beautiful 1 1/2 inch tan head on this bad boy. This beer has a very interesting smell for an IPA. This is not my first "black ipa," but this one stands out a bit. You can smell a bit of "roastiness" to it along with a mild hop profile. I want to say that I'm also getting hints of dark fruit and coffee. Very interesting. Wow, the taste is extremely unique. I must have been right about the coffee smell because it totally comes out on my palate, especially in the aftertaste. The unique thing about this beer is that you get the hops right up front rather than after the usual citrus fruits. This beer has a strong coffee/espresso backbone. I'm really enjoying this. You also get hit with some nice grapefruit notes that seem to be enhanced by the bitterness of the coffee. This one has a very light mouthfeel for what I'm tasting on my palate. Drinkability is fairly high. This a great version of a black ipa. Very uniquely set apart from Sublimely Self-Ritious and Bashah IMO.

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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 Beerandraiderfan
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Yesterday at st James infirmary in reno. Black as black can be for style. Reduced head. Aroma was big time grapefruit hops.

Taste was so bitter. Stone ssr and dogzilla have competition now! Reminiscient of juxtaposition actually. I really enjoyed the style. Black coating and hop bite. No noticeable alcohol, yet became a somewhat sipper for the sheer enjoyment.

Have noticed the bottles aren't as good, but it does have a relatively decent shelf life before the hops fade. I dunno, is there some reason why the hops in a black ipa would be more resistant to aging?

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Photo of AdamGarcia
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to tturaiders for this one.

22oz bomber served in SN 30th snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown, near black, with 2 inches of head. The dark khaki head breaks down slowly and clings nicely.

S: As soon as the cap comes off I got a big whiff of fresh whole cone hops. Sensory confusion! The big piney aroma coming from a beer of this color doesn't initially compute. Hop smell is amazing. Really clean and fresh. Spruce. Faint roasted malt hiding behind the pine and just a little citrus. Its been nearly 10 minutes since I poured this and I haven't even had a sip because I'm so content with the smell.

T: Amazing interplay of flavors. Citrus flavors reminiscent of those present in some varieties of coffee. Sweet and tart orange flavors jockey for position with toasted malt and coffee. Finishes dry, with herbal and pine. Taste doesn't blow me away like the aroma, but it is very complex. This is certainly a beer that will hold your attention.

M: Medium body. Carbonation is about right. Drying finish, slightly chalky.

D: ABV is low enough that finishing a bomber won't be an issue. More importantly however, this beer is complex and above all, interesting.

I always expect good things from Deschutes, but this one surprised me. I've enjoyed beers like ST Iniquity, Victory Yakima Twilight, and Stone SSR, but Hop in the Dark was an absolute revelation. I found it to be far superior to any other CDA/BlackIPA/Whatever that I've ever had. I really wish I had a case of this instead of just a bottle. I'll be trying to get my hands on some more of this very soon.

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Photo of DaveHS
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a tan head. Lots of thick, sticky lacing. The nose is packed with piney, bitter hops. Hints of caramel and coffee, with pleasant roasted malts. The flavor follows suit, with roasted malts and bold, piney hops. Moderately sweet, with a pleasant bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and dry, due in part to the bittering hops. Another standout beer from Deschutes!

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

Poured - as advertised - a dark amber with fine, thin, light-tan head.

The NOSE hinted of resinous hops blended with bitter coffee and candied orange.

The TASTE is very reminiscent of a black IPA like stone 11 (sublimely self-righteous), with more malt and coffee character and a mild astringency.

The MOUTHFEEL is very light. The bitterness lingers slightly, but the sweetness of the hops and carmelized orange helps it taper off smoothly and evenly. Sweet and hot, then gone. Like 10 minutes since taking a shot of grapefruit vodka...just...not at all grapefruit vodka....I'M MAKING AN ALLUSION!

I like this beer. Definitely curious to see what else Deschutes is capable of in this vein.

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Photo of dwilson01
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a bomber into an eastern sierra lager pint glass, sandy red mocha coloring to the head which comes up about a finger and dissipates very quickly leaving minimal lacing. they weren't kidding, it's dark in body, like a porter, not pitch black but you can only see into it at all when held up to the light.

It smells refreshing and malty at the same time, a sugary sweet roasted malt combined with a very floral hop aroma.

The taste does a balancing act, it has an earthy hoppiness to it but I honestly think it's leaning toward the malty dark ale characteristics. It has very intense coffee and chocolate notes along with a great sweet caramel character. Not much carbonation but the flavor is lightened a lot by the springtime fresh hopping in it, not bitter but all aroma and floral.

Good mouthfeel, it's full and dark ale/porter-like, I compare this beer to the new belgium 1554 but combined with a mellow smooth floral hopping that just makes this an extremely drinkable dark ale. It's got a lot of flavor with not many spice notes which is cool. I think mostly roasted malt, chocolate malt, crystal as well with some combination of very earthy hops, probably cascade and maybe some amarillo as well.

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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 brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours like a stout, with a midnight brown color and a huge tan head; lacing galore

Smell: Pine cones after a fresh rain with a hint of bitter chocolate and coffee underneath

Taste: The piney flavors don't even wait for the malt to establish itself - they just take over the beer from the get go; underneath the assertive hop flavors is the bitter chocolate and coffee, but you have to swirl the beer around your mouth for a while to pick that up before the swallow; the finish provides the anticipated balance between the hops and the roasted malt flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body, somewhat creamy, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Great example of the CDA style; this one (which was pretty fresh) packs everything together; highly recommended

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

A: black color super dark here a dark brown color on the edge of the glass small tan head with good lace

S: grapefruit hops roasted malt light malty sweetness

T: taste is like hoppy coffee the hops and the roasted malt clash here a bit.

M: light mouth med carbonation

D: drinkable I drank this bomber fairly fast.

overall: its very unusual I am glad I tried it. hops and roasted malt clash a bit too much for my taste.

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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 Schreibeers
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Much anticipated... mailed to me from my friend from Portland.

Appearance: Poured into tulip glass... Dark as night (well that was expected). With an aggressive pour this beer reaches a solid two to three finger head that settles down to one finger. Retains nicely throughout. Lacing is good. Looks beautiful.

Smell: For such a dark beer I would have been surprised (if not for the name) at the hoppy aroma. Piney, Bitter, Earthy, very faint alcohol, with slight sweet, roasted caramel. Well balanced and pleasant... although definitely not overwhelming. Where is the distant coffee/chocolate I was expecting/wanting?

Taste: A strong hoppy profile with beautifully backed caramel flavoring. Sweet malts give you the initial taste of a darker ale, but the hoppy bitterness is never far away. Each sip is slightly different and I can't quite figure this beer out... Maybe, Sweetness again... Initially it is sweet, but as the beer warms in the class the hoppy notes become more present. And finally... there it is: the slight coffee/bitter chocolate note I was searching for. It is lurking back there behind the hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is where the beer shines (to me). I love the silky smoothness of this beer. Just when you are getting a little bored with the smooth ale like drinkability, you get a little hoppy punch in the face (actually not quite as violent... think more like a healthy slap on the back). The sweetness and bitterness were both welcome. So good. This is a very nice sweet treat, especially if you don't want a beer that overwhelms you with sweetness.

Drinkability: Not what I expected at all. I expected a beer a little more like Victory Storm King, but in that case I guess the beer would have to change names to CDS (Cascadian Dark Stout). Finish leaves you with a bitter bite that is refreshing. I don't feel weighed down by another dark heavy beer.

Possible food pairings: I want something tart... Like a fresh raspberries and a homemade vanilla ice cream (with a dark caramel hard sugar candy... like a hard toffee topping)

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

22 oz bottle poured into UCLA shaker pint glass 6.19.20.

Dark brown opaque body, no visible carbonation. Finger and a half tan head, medium dissipation with huge lacing. Nose is malt forward, grassy hops, hints of coffee and chocolate as the beer warms. Taste is malty, roast prevalent, faint notes of coffee and chocolate, not much hop presence. Full mouthfeel, a bit heavy, not sticky. Pretty drinkable, hardly noticed the ABV, but frankly there are much better CDAs available. This may be a good gateway CDA for those new to the style, but for CDAheads this is pretty pedestrian.

EDIT- Bottle consumed 10.8.11. There's certainly been some adjustments to recipe, roast has been rolled back a bit which lets the citrus notes of hop shine through more clearly, taste score upped to 4.0

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

Enjoyed form a tulip glass

A- Very dark beer. not as thick as where it coats the glass but little light penetrates the beer. When taking a sip redish hues pear out of the dark liquid. The head is quite nice one finger head with a decent amount of lacing.

S- The aroma is of lots of pine and bitter hops. A few sweet caramel malts peer through.

T- Tasty, the dark caramel malts provide a nice back bone for the hops, but seem to distract from the complexity of the hops.

M- Good mouth feel, Could use a touch more carbonation.

O- Very enjoyable beer, would buy again.

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

Poured dark brown with tab head that leave great lacing.

Smell is piney, floral hops. Can't really pull any roasted aroma from this though.

Taste is more of the same - floral piney hops - but with the addition of some slightly chocolatey - porter like flavors in the finish.

Mouthfeel is about right for an IPA, on the thin side of medium.

Overall I like idea of this beer and deschutes executed it very well. I would drink this again....if I could ever find it that is.

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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 troutmask96
3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

An interesting style, indeed. What would happen if a brewery combined the hoppy pungency of an I.P.A. with the bottom-end of a stout? In Deschutes' Hop in the Dark, we have that answer. I'm not sure this is a beer that succeeds in either style, but as a hybrid, it's pretty satisfying, and definitely unique...

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Photo of GilGarp
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best after 5/29/10. It doesn't really make sense to have a 'best after' date on a beer like this. I can understand on their Abyss and other high-ABV beers but a 6.5% black IPA should probably be enjoyed fresh.

Served cool into a pint glass, Hop In The Dark has a very dark brown color with creamy short-lived head. There's great lacing left behind on the glass.

The aroma is great hoppy goodness. The roasty character isn't as noticeable here but the hops are at the forefront.

Flavor is very much half IPA and half porter. Not super roasty but it balances well with the hops. It seems most of the bitterness comes from the latter but the roast contributes as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and low in carbonation which I like.

Overall really tasty. I have to wonder why they don't do it in 6-packs. If they did, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again but, at $5 a bomber, a little too pricy for a black IPA.

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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 Bubba83
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Deschutes Tulip at 45 degrees. Appears black, with dark brown around the edges, and topped off by a light tan head, 3 finger width head. Good retention and nice spiderweb lacing remains on the glass.

Smells of citrusy hops, lemon and orange mostly, with some grapefruit too. Behind the zesty hops there is a decent cocoa powder aroma along with some faint roast.

First thing I taste is toasted cocoa puff cereal, but it doesn't remain for long as the hops takeover pretty quick. The hop flavor is a pretty typical deschutes style, and reminds me a bit of Red Chair's hop profile. Lots of C hops here, but not overly fruity or juicy in nature. Finishes up with a good deal of roast, pretty tasty.

I like the mouthfeel a lot on this beer, it's somewhat thin compared to others I've had in the style but I think it works. I'm also a big fan of the texture of the head all the way through. Good level of carbonation.

Overall a very solid Black IPA, and another winner of a beer from Deschutes, seemingly the company that can't make a disappointing beer. I think I prefer Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, mostly because of the hop profile difference, but to each their own!

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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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