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.
Stopped by the Deschutes Pub last night for dinner and a couple of pints. They always have some new one off and season beers, and this weekend they had a sour on tap, so Sarah had no reason to refuse.
I got the Saison de Poivre. It tastes mostly like yeast, that earthy, spicy Belgian style yeast. It’s light and drinkable with a distinct bitterness. The bitterness lingers with a bit of peppery spice, probably from the pink peppercorns it’s brewed with. Saison is a really interesting style; it’s similar to a Belgian pale ale but not at all.
Sarah ordered the Mos Eisley sour. It’s the first none lambic style sour Sara has really tried. It’s more of a Flanders style red ale. It’s not aged or blended, just straight up sour. It tasted faintly of sour cherries, but it doesn’t seem to be brewed with cherries. The acidity is pretty high. I think the difference between a Flanders and a Lambic is that the age mellows the flavors and marries them more. Still an interesting style, but not Sarah’s favorite.
I finished up with a Hop in the Dark, Deschutes’ Cascadian dark ale. I’ve been really into Hopworks’ Secession, so I’m trying out some other beer in the same style. This beer though, this beer was messing with me. It has a fruity, orangey scent, but the flavors are super spicy. I get the coffee. I taste some orange peel. But there is also tons of spice like cinnamon. It’s like a Mexican coffee. It’s not bad, but it’s tough to drink a whole pint.