Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland released their own interpretation of the Cascadian Dark Ale this year: Secession Black IPA. Like all of HUB’s beers, it’s brewed with all organic ingredients.
It’s 6.5% alcohol by volume and I have to say, I really like the silkscreened label design they have for this bottle. With both the Douglas Fir silhouette (the same used in the Cascadia flag that I’m using for the logo on the right) and the map of the “Republic of Cascadia” paying homage to the style’s name (despite the “Black India Pale Ale” also on the label), it’s an attractive, eye-catching design.
Appearance: Very deep red-brown with a generous two-to-three fingers of rocky thick head.
Smell: Coffee-roasted notes with green, earthy hops—almost minty, with a bit of fresh cut grass.
Taste: On the tongue it’s kind of like a hoppy Brown Ale; a bit of a sweet malt note along with dark chocolate, and big hops that are less bitter and more flavorful with notes of mint, earth, resin, and are floral with some fruity notes. Sweetish roasted malts in the back, and some bitterness hits the back of the palate, too.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and fairly smooth with a silky, creamy mouthfeel.
Overall: Interesting how the hops are less bitter but still intensely flavorful—like what Deschutes Brewery has been doing lately. Nicely done.