Hop in the Dark Cascadian Dark Ale

Hop in the Dark CDAI popped open the bottle of Hop in the Dark this evening, the one that Deschutes Brewery sent me. I’ll pretty much get straight to the review; I’ve already ruminated about the beer at length over a month ago, during CDA Week. It’s 6.5% alcohol by volume.

Although one interesting tidbit: apparently the Brewery cold-steeped the dark grains (rather than adding them to the hot-water mash) to avoid extracting the acids and tannins that otherwise come through. Sounds a bit coffee-ish…

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black, with red at the very edges. Big head of foam, nice legs.

Smell: Piney, resiny hops, strong and fragrant—not the C-hops character it’s brewed with, which is interesting. Bitty and viney.

Taste: Dark and bitter—not quite astringent, but hops are pitchy and full of resin and strong, and the black malts come through not roasted but with a bitter essence of wood char—not bad, not smoky, but goes dry with it. Has the bitter character of “tongue stripping” hops but not actually that harsh. Hop-heads delight.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full in body, dry and bitter finish.

Overall: Well-done for the style—whatever that means! Different, but one of the best CDAs I’ve tried.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores an overall grade of A-. On RateBeer, it scores 3.87 out of 5 and is in their 96th overall percentile.