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Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale | Deschutes Brewery

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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 506 | Ratings: 1,344
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 ghostwalker
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Frothy tan head with a dark brown body.

Darkly sweet smell. Chocolatey-green Cascadian-ness.

Flavor is a wonderful mix of sweet smooth chocolate and sharp fresh hops. Heaven.

Tangy and stripping mouthfeel.

Very high drinkability. Very good smoothness with that awesome hop finish.

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Photo of nitro0292
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber, best by 12/30/11.

Poured pitch black, easy pour produced a one finger cream colored head. Looks spot on. Good retention - not Belgian levels, but the head stuck around for a while. Lacing all the way down.

Initial aroma is strong coffee, mixed with some chocolate which gently gives way to resin and citrus hops.

Taste is bittersweet roasted grains followed by grassy and resinous hops. Taste finishes with a flash of fruity esters and more bitterness, with some lingering roasted coffee quality. There is a fair amount of complexity - there are 4 distinct characteristics which blend together very nicely.

Carbonation level is just enough to sting the tongue and bring out the flavor. Medium-bodied, which feels right for what is going on here.

Overall this is one of the best BIPA/CDA/ABAs I've had. This brew truly captures both the IPA qualities and stout qualities of the style, and does them both right.

Certainly worth seeking out and I would buy again (if I ever find myself on the West Coast).

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

This beer pours a brown color. The head is light tan in color, and one inch in height. It recedes slowly into nice sticky lacing. The aroma is of chocolate covered hops. There is some nice roasted malt character, and a lot of piney, citrusy hops. The taste is much like the aroma. The hops are aggressive, yet they are still very well integrated into the large malt profile. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is one fine beer. I'm usually not a fan a beers that try to be both malty and hoppy at the same time as they usually turn out to be a complete mess. This beer, however, is a great mixture of malt and hop. I will certainly drink this again in the near future.

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

A - Pours a dark brown, forming a good 1 inch mocha creamy head. Medium spots of lace on the glass.

S - Nice aroma of spicey hops and roasted malts.

T - The roasted malt profile covers the palate at first, but is quickly taken over by the hops. Bitter cocoa in the middle before finishing in a less than harsh spicey hop finish.

M - Medium, not quite heavy body, with low carbonation. Very smooth but with the flavors staying on the palate long after the swallow.

D - This is one of the better Cascadian dark ales available IMO. It represents everything that the style should be. Highly recommended!

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

A: Very dark brown, almost black in color, with a thick light tan head that holds very well. Lacing is sticky, but not very thick.

S: Hops stand out the most on the nose. Notes of citrus, pine, and fresh flowers dominate. In the backround, there are roasty aromas of dark chocolate and some toast.

T: Roasty, with hints of bitter chocolate and some caramel. There's just a hint of espresso in the backround. Hops then burst through with flavors of citrus, cedar, and fresh grass.

M: Medium bodied, and viscous, but not as thick as I expected it to be. Finish is very long and clean.

D: For as complex this beer is, it's very easy to drink, even on a hot Summer day. Could easily be one of my favorite offerings from Deschutes. Well worth trying.

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

Had this on-tap a few weeks ago at Jones Radiator, but haven't had time to do a review until now.

Pint consumed for $3 (happy hour price). It looked like a stout, black and making light go round it, with a mocha colored head.

The nose was of piney and citrusy hops and of coffee and mollasses. Very rich aroma t5o this one.

The taste didn't disappoint. Hops hit the tastebuds first, but are immediately balanced by robust coffee notes and sweet toffee flavors. Tremendously balanced and delivering hop-wise and malt-wise simultaneously. Sharp hop note at the swallow.

Slick, oily mouthfeel, with a medium-full body.

I think I've finally been converted to the BIPA style. This is a very tasty beer, and I'd drink it again in a heartbeat.

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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 DenverHopHead
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber with a best by date of 8/21/14; into a tulip.
Appearance - pour as black as ebony, head is a bubbly brown, but a tad thin. Lacing is terrific!
Smell - nice arrangement of citrus and floral hops complimented by medium roast coffee!
Taste - a subtle sweetness at first sip, lends to a very balanced hop/malt profile that sees neither give way to the other!
Feel - would prefer a bit more bitterness, but the feel of a gourmet cup of coffee is an excellent characteristic!
Overall - a lot like their Obsidian Stout, which I love, this beer has some very fine qualities!

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours very dark with just a touch of brown and red peeking through the body in the light. A good sized head that is tan in color forms and retains very, very well. Lacing is also very good.

S- Starts off with a small bang of hops bitterness right up front. The hops bitterness is mainly piney and sticky in profile, and is the main flavor in the scent. Towards the back end of the smell, just a touch of dark and burnt malts kick in, but if you were blindfolded, this would register as an IPA.

T- The taste of this beer leans a little more towards a black ale than the scent does. Taste starts off with a mild hop bitterness, similar to the smell, but immediately following the mild bitterness the dark malt flavors creep in and take over. From there on out, we are talking about a dry stout as far as the flavor of the beer goes. Lighter and roasty with burnt malts and just a touch of underlying hops bitterness. Ends with a lingering flavor of a blend of dark malts and continued hops bitterness.

M- This beer is rather thick and smooth, with the dense and well retained head providing for a lot of creaminess. Alcohol is undetectable, pretty much as expected, and the beer is well carbonated. This beer is fairly easy drinking.

Overall, this is a very solid and affordable black IPA. Admittedly, the style is one of my favorites, but this beer is just done right. It isn't groundbreaking, but it is very good.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Best by date of 8/21/14.

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big three finger tan head that slowly fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: A spicy, juicy, and roasty hop forward aroma with good hints of earthy and citrus hops with dark roast. Earthy, floral, and herbal hop hints with some dank pine resin and grass. Citrus hop hints of grapefruit, orange, lemon, and tangerine. Big dark roasted malt balance with hints of chocolate, coffee, toasted bread, biscuit, grains, wheat, oats, and yeast. A very solid black ale aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a juicy, earthy, and roasty black IPA taste with big notes of pine, citrus, and dark roast. Upfront mix of earthy, floral, and citrus hops with spicy and dank notes of pine resin and grass. Good citrus notes of grapefruit, orange peel, tangerine, and lemon. Solid balance of dark roasted malts with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, burnt toast, grains, biscuit, oats, wheat, and yeast. Bold taste but nicely balanced. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Body leans towards the fuller side. Carbonation is moderate. Juicy and fairly chewy with a drying finish.

Overall: A very good black ale. Very bold taste but the hops are balanced well by the dark malt notes.

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Photo of Psilo707
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown, mysterious appearance. Lots of carbonation when held up to a bright blacklight. Awesome lacing that doesn't seem to dissipate... ever.

S: Smells very... dark? Smells like a treasure chest from the depths of the ocean coated with molasses and caramel. Very inviting, I can already tell it's my kind of ale.

T: Tastes like it just came out of the tap. Lots of immediate rushing malts, a bit piney and semi-sweet around the edges. I love the taste... I LOVE it! There is absolutely no coppery or metallic initial taste, or aftertaste, and the malty flavor of the brew flows the entire way down without a pause.

M: Pretty good but not as creamy or frothy or full as I'd expect from a beer with this kind of taste. Medium-weight, medium-complexity in the mouth. Goes down nice and smooth though, that's for sure!

O: One of my favorite finds of 2011 to be honest. I wasn't expecting as much as it gave me, especially since I've only seen this in 1 single spot (the place I picked up from tonight). It's a very complete Half-IPA, Half-DarkAle style brew that is bound to leave recepients tastefully filled and content. Highly recommended to absolutely anyone. A.

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Photo of boomer31
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Since Deschutes began shipping to MN I've loved every beer they've put out.

A - Dark dark opaque brown but not quite black. One finger tan head that lingers sip by sip.

S - Hops! Wow I thought there would be more chocolate in the nose but all I get are floral, citrisy Cascade hops here which is fantastic!

T - Again, I was expecting more chocolate or carmel malts but I'm very pleased by the hops up front, and very mild roasted malts on the back end. After a few sips the dark malts come forward but the hops are still the leader of this beer.

M - This is where the richness of the roasted malts come in. Smooth on the tongue and in the aftertaste.

D - This is a hoppy beer and it is good! Not sure the ABV here but its a very nice beer, one that I would go back for more.

Overall a great beer period. The price (4.99 bomber) makes it even more attractive.

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Photo of BeardedRiker
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark IPA? I'll try it out! Oh God, I just poured it out and it looks fantastic. It looks like a stout but smells like an IPA. AWESOME! For me, Deschutes beers are a little hit or miss. I think most of their beers are decent, some I don't think are extraordinary, but they do have some that I have enjoyed a whole lot. This Cascadian Dark Ale looks like it is going to fall into the enjoyable. The tan head pours thick and frothy. It looks most tantalizing. The beer is very dark and I can barely see through the edges of it when holding it up to a light. In these respects the dark IPA looks like a stout.

How does it smell? Heavenly! It has a very floral aroma from the hops. I detect fruity and chocolaty sweetness. But that's not all. Complexity is added from the chocolate as well as coffee, bringing out a fuller, more intense smell that gives it a robustness. I already know that the beer is going to taste good. As I take a sip, I notice that the head is still there on the surface as well as some lacing on the side of my glass. That adds character.

To describe the taste of this beer will be difficult. Like the smell, the taste is as if the Cascadian Dark Ale is an IPA and a stout. Now, it's not as hoppy as an IPA and not as robust and full-bodied as a stout, but it is an enjoyable combination. The bite of hops tingles the tongue at first, followed by a plethora of flavors like sweet, fruity plum, the pine flavors evident in pale ales, some oatiness (word?) that makes it more robust, as well as smooth and sweet malts. Later comes the chocolate and coffee flavors that add some dark tones and lingering bitterness, making the beer a taste bud roller coaster of sorts. Every sip brings about a lengthy adventure through flavors or spice, bitterness, sweetness, and robustness. All this being said, I wish it was more hoppy, considering that it is an IPA. That lack of bite disappoints a bit because I love hops so much. It's also a bit watery to me. That could also be because I wish it was more hoppy.

This beer is very interesting, one of the most interesting beers I've tried, and therefore I highly recommend it. I think it has some room for improvement in terms of being more FULL of flavor, less watery, but if we're talking about flavors here, there aren't many beers I'd say come close to having the variety of flavors. Go try it!

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Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

32 oz growler poured into pint glass.

A - Pours a pitch black with 2 fingers of creamy dark brown head. This is indistinguishable in appearance from a stout or porter.

S - Grapefruit is the prominent flavor, followed by roasted coffee and chocolate

T - Mildly bitter grapefruit hops, roasted coffee, chocolate, caramel. This tastes like a hybrid of a porter and IPA. There's a nice fruitiness with the grapefruit which is balanced by the coffee and chocolate, with a nice roastiness to round it out.

M - Moderate-to-thick body with moderate carbonation. Nice and full, this is a bit thicker than most black IPAs I've had.

O - I was very impressed by this. It was darker and fuller than most black IPAs I've had, with a great roasted coffee character that made this seem like a stout, combined with the fuller mouthfeel.

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Photo of dfillius
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle says best by 11/28/11, had on 1/6/12. No sign of old age though.

A: Aggressive pour yields 1 finger of tight tan head with great retention. Nearly opaque DARK brown liquid with ruby red edges. Good looking!
S: Cocoa, slight citrus, apple. Possibly tropical fruit and coniferous hoppiness and savory garlic. I would like a tad more complexity.
T: Coffee and dark chocolate with some great bitterness. At the beginning it is at the RIS-lite end of CDAs, but as time goes on it creeps toward the IPA end of it. I like that. Grapefruit bite is dominant at the end; some earthiness comes in then too.
M: Full, roastily bitter. Quite puckering and bitter! Almost astringently hoppy. Ending is very dry.
O: This thankfully was not old/no hop degradation is apparent. One of the best CDAs I've had. Maybe Stone 11th was better. I love the hop bite dominates with the roast playing second fiddle.

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Photo of KevinBrewer
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Black with reddish brown hues around the edges. Tall rocky tan head that lasts, sticking heavily down the glass.

N- Roasted malt contrasted with bright floral hops and pine. Some light yeasty esters become apparent after the head dies down.

T- Sweet, crisp, twangy roasted malt with perfectly balanced earthy, piny hop bitterness. Some brighter citrus and floral hop notes come in towards the middle. Finishes with a nice floral, herbal, slightly citrusy hop bite. Roasted grain, pine resin, and bright herbal hops in the aftertaste.

M- Medium mouthfeel, moderate carbonation with a semidry finish.

D- Overall, incredibly tasty. Perfect combination of malt and hop varieties create complimentary and contrasting flavors that sit in balance. A classic CDA.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$5.99 for the 22oz bottle.

Best by Nov 28, 2011.

It pours a black colour with about an inch of tan foam and has lots of fine lacing. My second pour, I didn't pour as slowly so I ended up with a good close to 2 finger head of foam.

It smells hoppy and of roasted malt, about equal proportions..nice.

The taste is also of a firm hop presence of grapefruit and pine, roasted malt, a bit of sweetness here as well, bitter chocolate, and a suggestion of some coffee? Lots of nice flavours going on and it is pleasing my palate...like most of the beers from Deschutes.

Silky smooth mouth feel because of the medium body and proper carbonation, I find this super easy to drink. I'm glad Hop in The Dark finally showed up!

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Photo of LittleDon
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black with a hint of light passing through. Decent head retention and great lace. Piney hops dominate the aroma, although some roasted malt is also present. Soft mouthfeel and big rich body. Perfect balance in the middle with a bit of acidity. Strong bittersweet chocolate finish.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours out a deep dark brown, almost black, with ruby highlights and a thin khaki head. Smells of ash, toasted and burnt grain along with resinous and citrusy hops. Flavor has a caramel malt backbone with tinges of roasted malts. Fruity esters are present. Hops are big on citrus peel and have an earthy character. Finishes bone dry with a balanced bitterness. Mouthfeel is moderate in weight, with a soft and lightly tingly carbonation. This is a fine example of a black IPA.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this 22 today at the COOP... Wooo Hooo!! It says best after 5/29/10... I guess maybe I should have waited until the weekend. :-)

Poured into my smaller goblet... 2 finger dark an head with great retention and lacing.... the brew is pretty much black with highlites showing only when held to a bright bulb... then the deepest garnet appears.

Nose is a bright citrus hoppiness with some floral elements thrown in for good measure... the hops are balanced nicely by a bit of roasty malt.... the roastiness is there for sure, but it is in the background behind all the fresh smelling hops.

Balanced bitterness out of the gate ... more roasted malts appear on the palate than the aroma .... lite coffee and whaffs of dark dry chocolate ... there is some mild malty sweetness to tie everything together...

As this warms up, I really am appreciating the balance... bitter... hoppy... roasty... mild sweetness... The brew really meshes and is well integrated.

Nice medium/lite body with a smooth small bubble carbonation that makes it feel pretty smooth.

My only "knock" could possibly be on drinkability; just because, even given the lower ABV, this is a true sipper for me that I never see myself quickly knocking back a big glass.

Really glad Deschutes decided to bottle this "style" ... Yummy and a very good change of pace from the usual hop bombs in the PNW.


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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The appearance is a rich completely black beer with a thick dark tan head that is long lived and leaves a great amount of lacing down the glass.

The nose is rich and complex with dominating sweet malt that has notes of bitter chocolate, coffee, grass, pine bread and floral hops.

The taste is a nice roasted malt start blended with buttery hops and a sharp hop finish. The sweetness is complex as well with notes of apple, citrus and oatmeal.

The mouthfeel is a bit watery for this one. A little more richness would nice. However not a reason to say no to this one.

Overall this one is extremely good and very enjoyable. I would highly recommend trying this one.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark with a two finger head. Head sticks around for a while. Couldn't see any light through this ale, very pretty. I'm amazed at the amount of head stuck to the side of the glass, exactly what I want to see from suck a dark beer.

S - The scent of roasted malts. Almost reminds me of a porter. A little hop aroma, but very heavy on the roasted, smoked scent.

T - Starts like a dark lager and then the hops kick in. Very complex and perfectly balanced. I'm a big fan of the black IPA's, but this beer is in a league of its own. Hops, malts, smoke, what more can I say.

M - I can't detect any carbonation. Drinks like a lager, but the taste is so much more. Very smooth with the malts really sticking to the palette.

O - Super great beer with a mass appeal. As usual, Deschutes packs a great punch with a beer I could drink every day.

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Photo of divineaudio
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bomber into my deschutes snifter. best by 11/28/11.

a - a perfect pours yields a viscous, black liquid with a magnificent, dense, two finger, light brown head that eventually dies down to a thin cap. leaves some think rings of lacing and a few spots in between. really a fantastic looking beer.

s - grapefruit, molasses, fresh cut grass, some dark fruits, light piney hops. really unique nose on this beer.

taste starts out malty with notes of dark chocolate, then moves into hop territory pretty quick. i'm getting pine resin, some citrus, and a slight herbal quality that i can't place. finishes bittersweet, almost sugary. bitterness is present but doesn't linger too much leaving the palate ready for another sip.

not nearly as thick as it looks. firmly medium bodied with just the right amount of co2. smooth but slightly chewy.

overall a pretty fantastic beer. really wish i had more than 1 bottle of this. doesn't seem to be a candidate for aging, but i bet it would still be great after the hops die down a bit. cheers to deschutes for pushing the style limits (or inventing one altogether?).

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

22 oz. bomber that was poured a couple of times into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Liquid portion of this beer comes out black as if it were a quality stout or a porter. Edges shows highlights of red and brown when held to the light at the thinner portions of the beer. Off white to tan colored head with really good lacing, leave a total coat around the entire glass.

Smell is really good. You can tell how well hopped this brew is, especially from the smell. A blend of citrus hops with a slight earthy zest to it; slight pine. A bit of roastiness to it, a good blends of malts.

Taste grows on you as it warms up, because at first it dosn't seem like much. Heavy roasted, almost over roasted, sweet grains from the malt pretty good. Don't taste any coffee or chocolate that I'e heard others mentnioned in a few reviews I've read. Again with some good hop flavors here. Sweet and bitterness provided by several citrus flavors and some earthy zest, it's really good and compliments the hops quite well. *Edit I take it back, at about room temperature there is a slight chocolate aftertaste*

Mouthfeel is good, but caught me off guard. The body was much lighter than I expected, this being much like your standard quality IPA. Light bodied with full flavor which creats a dangerously drinkable combination. A solid beer from a brewery that I more and more wish distributed to my area. Thanks Geoff for putting this one in the box!

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Hop In The Dark Cascadian Dark Ale from Deschutes Brewery
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,344 ratings.
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