Hop in the Dark wasn’t my favorite Cascadian Dark Ale when I tried it at the pub, and I still don’t like it now. Before it was too intense. Today it’s too weak.
It started out great. When I popped the cap, hop aroma poured out. Citrus gave way to roasted smells. The taste was smooth, the smoke — think burnt toast — turned into grapefruit and pine, and in the end it was a bitter mix of hops and roasted malt. Then the middle fell out of the beer. It went — blank. It became a mediocre porter with a hint of oranges. Just — blah.
I bought this bottle of The Stoic months ago. It’s been moving from the fridge to a box I call the cellar and back again. I just couldn’t get myself to crack the wax. But I found the best by date last week and figured it was time to open it up.
I split my Stoic with Sarah last night. I figured she could appreciate an ale aged on pomegranate seeds and a mixture of fancy barrels. The first thing I noticed was yeast. That spicy Belgian yeast all hot and tingly. But the heat might have come off the alcohol. The Stoic is only eleven and a half percent, but it was hot. Tingly too. The pomegranate came through so heavy that even Sarah said it was nice. Maybe even a hint of nectarine. And some wine barrel.
My criticism are aimed at the look of the beer. This is not a dark quad. I want some more sweetness and some heavy fruit in my quad. The Stoic delivers fruit; it has the heat; it’s tasty, but it isn’t the same as other quads out their.