American-Style Black Ale, Cascadian Dark Ale... Black IPA... the jury is still out on exactly what the newest style of ale hailing from the Pacific Northwest should be called (the Brewers Association recently updated it's style guide to include American-Style Black Ale), but all share an IPA inspired hop profile supported by a darker, porter-style malt profile. Hopworks Urban Brewery (or HUB), based out of Portland Oregon, lays claim to being Oregon's first EcoBrewery and is the brewer of today's winter seasonal, HUB Secession Cascadian Dark Ale.
HUB Secession Cascadian Dark Ale poured pitch black into the bottle, with mild carbonation forming a big, sudsy tan head. The smells of chocolate, pine, and thyme came through as the head settled.
HUB Secession Cascadian Dark Ale began with a crisp, IPA inspired front that was dry but floral. The body of the ale brought forth a big chocolate center with hints of semi-roasted coffee, and Secession ended on a long fade of tobacco and burnt grains with a lingering bitterness that dried in the mouth.
HUB Secession Cascadian Dark Ale is both blessed and cursed with what it is... darker and warmer than an IPA, hoppier and crisper than a porter. It is more interchangeable with a porter style, but the highly hopped front may turn off those looking for toasty and not bitter. That said, what it brings to the table can be perfect for the 'tween' cravings. All in all, it's a great ale for those six months out of the year where the sun doesn't show up quite enough.