Oakshire Brewing over in Eugene (Oregon) is one of those breweries that has come out of nowhere over the past year or two and has been taking the Oregon beer scene by storm. They won the silver medal at this past year’s GABF in the coffee flavored beer category for their Overcast Espresso Stout, and their Watershed IPA seems to be a fan favorite. So brewing up a Cascadian Dark Ale makes perfect sense.
Hence, O’Dark:30, the CDA with possibly the most creative/interesting name I’ve yet seen (if not a little odd). It’s slightly lighter in alcohol than the others I’ve reviewed—6.3% by volume—but that’s plenty when it comes in 22-ounce bottles. They talk about it on their website as their spring seasonal, so that might mean we’ll see this beer show up annually.
Appearance: Murky brown-black with tan wood putty head. No light is seen when held up to the light.
Smell: Coffee, chocolate, licorice; hops are taking a backseat in the nose in favor of the cocoa malts.
Taste: Hops show up here; clean and bitter and a little peppery. The middle is where the dark malts play, also a bit bitter like deeply roasted coffee, then the hops reassert themselves at the back. Almost no “C” hop citrus or fruitiness, though.
Mouthfeel: Pleasantly medium-bodied with nice creamy texture. Clean bitter finish.
Overall: Surprisingly chocolate quality to it, and also surprising that there’s almost no hop aroma. I think it plays really well on the tongue, however.