Friday, June 18, 2010

Deschutes Hop in the Dark

I'm trying something a little new here, since hyperlinks in the text can be distracting from the overall content. For the next few posts I will publish all links at the bottom of my beer reviews. That way you can read the review without distraction, but can still find helpful links at the end of the post. We'll see how it works.

Deschutes Brewery
Hop in the Dark
Cascadian Dark Ale
Purchased at 99 Bottles.

Aroma: Citrus. Grapefruit and orange peel in characteristic Northwest IPA style, with a touch of hay playing at the edges. Once you get past the hops there is a definite chocolate presence, that while quick to be pushed to the back by the hops, comes off quite sweet. A minor amount of roasted barley also lingers.

Appearance: Solid black. Not brown, no ruby highlights at the edges. Black. Light dusty-brown head forms easily with a moderate pour and has good retention. A few points of lacing stick to the edges of the glass.

Flavor: Surprisingly strong roasted malt upfront on the palate. Burnt coffee comes to mind. The roast holds your taste buds tightly, letting in some chocolate for a moment before the hops finally take over. Moderately strong hop bitterness through the middle comes off as tannic grapefruit rind, but also earthy when mixed with the strong roasted presence. Finish is drying and bitter with yes, more roast. Dark toast, dark chocolate, burnt coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium light body with medium carbonation. The roasted character of this beer causes the palate to dry out quite quickly and even leaves your mouth feeling a little rough, or edgy. Hop bitterness hits the top and back of the throat in the finish with a desert dryness.

Overall: The incredible amount of roasted presence in the flavor is very surprising when you nearly can’t find it at all in the aroma. This is definitely a hop forward ale both in aroma and bitterness, but there is room left for the “dark” portion of this emerging style to show a presence. Sweet chocolate aromatics are a pleasing blend to the citrus hop in the nose. Roasted dryness is pushing the palate to be overly stimulated and causes a great deal of drying.

If you like dry stouts or imperial stouts, and you like IPA’s, you’ll love this beer.

I rated this beer an “A” on Beer Advocate.

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Beer enthusiast and advocate. Recognized beer judge and traveler of west coast beer destinations.