During one of these hit and miss lovely spring days, we took a long walk to down town, and stopped by Deschutes in the Pearl. With all of the recent media surrounding the new CDA style, we decided to do a side by side tasting of their Hop in the Dark CDA, and the Bourbon Barrel Hop in the Dark
The Hop in the Dark, at 6.7ABV,was a very nice beer. It was crisp, and fitting in the style with a ying and yang balance of malt and hops. For my money, it may be one the of best offerings of this emerging style I have tried. It really tasted like it’s own self, meaning, not simply a Black IPA.
Unfortunately I cant say the same for the Bourbon Barrel version. At 7.5%, it is served in a goblet, which is fine since any more would probably be damn hard to finish. The initial taste is sharp cherry, no doubt from the barrel aging. It then transforms into an overwhelming bourbon taste, with a Jim Beam type finish. I personally do not think this is a style that lends well to barrel aging.
A trip to the family friendly Deschutes is always a fun time, a loud time, but a funtime none the less. The food is always good, and we all know what to expect from the consistent quality of most Deschutes brews. Be warned, if you are thinking of trying the Bourbon Barrel, ask for a sample first.