The Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA is a style that is becoming very popular in the craft beer scene as of late. Considering that the beer originated in the Pacific Northwest it’s not too surprising to see Pyramid Brewery brewing a beer in this style (they’re were one of the first craft breweries in the area).
DISCORD DARK IPA is a Cascadian Dark Ale with 69 IBUs and a 6.5% ABV.
Discord Dark IPA celebrates the marriage of two distinct styles, the Dark Ale and the IPA. The traditional bitterness of an IPA is juxtaposed against a black malt canvas, creating an ale that keeps your taste buds working to discover all the unique flavors imparted by the 5 different hops and 5 different malts.
The CDA is one of a handful of styles that tells you what you’re gonna get visually right in the name. This beer is no exception. It pours a dark brown/maroon/garnet color. The head is a fluffy two inches of cream that creates a line of lacing around the top of the glass. Bubbles are present, but hidden inside the dark brew.
The nose reminds me of a weak chocolate malt (like the ice cream drink). Both flavors are there (chocolate and malt), but neither one is very dominant. Some blackened malts and hops hide throughout and give a nice mellow balance to the nose. Once it’s poured out the scents combine to give it a rye IPA-type smell.
It starts with a sweet/citrus/grapefruit hop oil that fades into a pale malt/chocolate malt/roasted malt triple play. The backend offers up a blackened malt roastiness. A very faint hint of peppermint was noted in the front, but was quickly overshadowed by the bigger malt and hop flavors. Oddly enough the taste also made me think of a Rye IPA meets a roasty Nut Brown Ale.
Mouthfeel is relatively light and creamy. There’s a dryness at the end that I would attribute to the roasted malts and hops.
Discord Dark IPA isn’t a bad beer, it’s actually quite drinkable, it’s just isn’t anything to write home about. The flavors are okay and I didn’t dislike anything about it, it just seems a little too middle of the road. This would be a good introductory beer for someone that’s not too familiar with the style.
Overall: 6 out of 10
As a CASCADIAN DARK ALE: 6 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: Widmer PITCH BLACK IPA, Laughing Dog DOGZILLA BLACK IPA, Victory YAKIMA GLORY