Beer Review: Deschutes Brewing’s ‘Hop in the Dark’

Hop in the Dark
Hop in the Dark is a black IPA that balances the toasty characteristics of a stout with the citrusy bitterness of an IPA. — photo by Adam Barham

Black IPAs have become one of my favorite styles of beer, pairing the characteristics I love most about darker beers wtih those of IPAs. Not only does it offer the chocolate and toasted malt flavors characteristic of heavy, opaque stouts, it also features IPA bitterness and flavors of citrus, tropical fruit and pine.

Though it is not bursting with citrus and fruit, Hop in the Dark, brewed by the Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Ore., is an exceptional black IPA.

Serving type: 22-ounce bottle.

Enjoy By: “8/21/14” is printed on the side of the label.

Appearance: Pour into a pint glass. The color is almost-opaque black. One finger of dense, tan, buttery head dissipates slowly leaving a center skim, a ring around the edge and trails of lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is rich and malty with a tinge of hop citrus and light pine. Toasted malts and chocolate are most prominent. The beer is brewed with flaked oats, which lends the aroma an inviting, smooth creaminess reminiscent of a velvety oatmeal stout. Grapefruit, orange, tangerine and hints of mango and pineapple hang out in the background.

Taste: The flavor is both toasty and citrusy. Chocolate and caramel are prominent, and the oats used in the brewing process provide a creamy, smooth mouthfeel. Like the aroma, orange, grapefruit, tangerine and pine resin hang out in the background, with hints of mango and perhaps even kiwi emerging slowly. Toasted and roasted malt bitterness pairs well with hop bitterness.