Beer of the Weekend #583: Hop in the Dark

The beer of the weekend is another black IPA: Hop in the Dark, brewed by the Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon.

Serving type: 22-ounce bottle. The “BEST BY” date printed on the label is “08/21/14.”

Appearance: Poured into a tulip. The color is non-opaque black. Two fingers of dense, bubbly, tan head dissipated slowly, leaving trails of lacing along the glass.

Smell: An enticing blend of dark malts and hops. Light pine, grapefruit, mango, and pineapple greet the nose and are followed by dark malts, oats, chocolate, and a little coffee.

Taste: The mouthfeel is velvety smooth like an oatmeal stout. And it is delicious, too, which means it is going down a little too quickly. Pine resin, floral hops, grapefruit, a little zest, not so much tropical fruit, dark malts, chocolate, and a little coffee. Mango and perhaps a little kiwi emerge slowly, but the pine resin and grapefruit are most prominent. They do not overpower the other flavors, though.

Drinkability: Very well balanced and tasty stuff. I love the oatmeal creaminess as well. It is, I suppose, and oatmeal black IPA.

Fun facts about Hop in the Dark:

-Style: Deschutes calls it “Cascadian Dark Ale.”

-Price: $15.99/bottle at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City. (No wonder my bill tonight was so goddamn high.)

-Alcohol content: 6.8 percent ABV.

-Food pairings: Recommended on the beer’s webpage are “Enchiladas with Mole Sauce” and “Smoked Pork Chops with Cherry Tomatoes & White Beans.”

-IBUs: 70.

-Calories: 400. Yowza.

-Description via the beer’s webpage:

Can an IPA be black? Semantics aside, this noir version has subtle coffee undertones born of a blend of oats with dark, Munich and crystal malts. What emerges is something deeper, less orthodox, and all its own. After 22 trial runs in our Bend and Portland pubs, we got it right.

Included below is this little note: “Returning in 2014 for a special guest appearance.”

-Speaking of “in the dark,” I think one of my favorite Ozzy Osbourne songs is “Shot in the Dark.” I recently heard “Back on Earth” for the first time in forever (thank you, Rock 108) and think that may be my favorite Ozzy song. Not that I am big Ozzy fan or anything. Anyone who has listened to a rock station in the last 40 years has been unable to avoid him, so developing a preference for his songs seems unavoidable as well.

The Quiet Man’s grade: A.

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