I 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.