Author Topic: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"  (Read 6376 times)

Offline dmtaylor

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Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« on: April 20, 2011, 12:58:25 PM »
I can't help but be hypercritical of the relatively new "style" called Black IPA or Cascadian Dark Ale.  Answer me this -- How is it much different from existing BJCP style categories, including:

12B Robust Porter -- allowed to be heavily hopped
13E American Stout -- many of them fit here and aren't far from the benchmark, Rogue Shakespeare Stout
13F Russian Imperial Stout -- any of your stronger versions likely fit here

To those who think Black IPA is the next big thing -- Please take a step back and ask yourself, is it not just a big bunch of hype, and in reality just more of the same?  If you want to be a trendsetter, more power to you, as there is ground to be broken in many areas, but don't expect educated jerks like me to give you any credit for reinventing the wheel.   :o

Another peeve of mine is that the term Black IPA is inherently illogical, for if it were spelled out, it would be a contradiction in itself.  A black pale ale?  Really?!  Which is it -- black, or pale?  Just silly.  Call it Cascadian Dark if you must, but don't make yourself look like an idiot by calling it both black and pale.   ::)

What are your thoughts?  Don't care?  No pants?  Shut up?  Ah, yes... the likely response from your typical Gen X/Y/Z American....   :-\

/rant
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline denny

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2011, 01:07:49 PM »
I agree completely with your points, Dave.  I've had this discussion with a lot of beer geek friends and the overwhelming consensus is that it's a fading fad.  Not that people won't keep making them, but it seems like there are more people who don't care for them than who do.  As much as I enjoy a hoppy American style stout or robust porter, I have found the flavors of a black IPA (I hate typing that but I find it less ridiculous than Cascadian Dark Ale!) to just not work for me.
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Offline glastctbrew

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2011, 01:16:00 PM »
I agree with you Dave, when I think about it, but I usually just ignore the hype/debate/fad/insert what ever else you want to call it  ???.  If it makes them happy and keeps them interested in being creative it's cool.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2011, 01:16:15 PM »
Well, I guess I'll throw my opinion out there too.  No one's going to agree with me anyway but here's what I think.
IPA's are british beers brewed with higher alcohol and hops for shipment to India.  It's already a beer style.  To me, that's where it should have ended.  I don't personally even agree with the concept of an "American" IPA.  I think they just fell into the IPA concept because they were stronger and hoppier but I'm not a fan of US hop bombs in general.  So a "Black IPA" is ridiculous and "Cascadian Dark Ale" is just a nod to the North Pacific C hops as far as I can tell.  I probably won't ever brew one but I will brew a robust porter and it may be an awful lot like what someone else would call a CDA.

Offline beersk

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2011, 01:18:02 PM »
Well, on the black and pale ale thing: I'm not sure India Pale Ales were necessarily called "pale ales" because of their color back in the 1800s.  It's just a name, like porter...what's porter mean?  Stout doesn't describe a color of the beer...but the flavor of it; the color is just implied to be dark.  Amber ale refers to the color of the beer explicitly.  ESB doesn't, pilsner doesn't, lambic doesn't, etc.  My point is, a beer's style name doesn't necessarily have to refer to it's color, but whatever else.  Does Pilsner not refer to a region, such as Pilsen in the Czech Republic?  India pale ale just refers to the beer that was taken from from Britain to India.

Note: I'm playing Devil's  Advocate here, more or less.  I think black IPA is contradictory as well, but thinking about it, it may not be as ridiculous as it seems on the surface.  Afterall, it's just a name.  And yes, Cascadian Dark Ale does refer to a region, but 1) it sounds retarded 2) the style is debated to have started on the east coast, not the pacific NW.
American black ale makes sense, india black ale sounds good too...

Catch my drift?
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2011, 01:19:33 PM »
I've had a few examples that were okay but I like my IPA's ...well let's just say pale. I wasn't super impressed with any of the examples that I've had, not to say they were bad because they were okay.

I find the slight roast present in them to be a distraction from the main event which is the "hops with a supporting malt presence".

They are in my estimation variations of American Stouts. I certainly wouldn't want to discourage anyone from making one but if I want a dark hoppy beer, I much prefer the stouts and porters. Just my opinion.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 01:21:10 PM by bluesman »
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Offline beersk

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2011, 01:21:51 PM »
Well, I guess I'll throw my opinion out there too.  No one's going to agree with me anyway but here's what I think.
IPA's are british beers brewed with higher alcohol and hops for shipment to India.  It's already a beer style.  To me, that's where it should have ended.  I don't personally even agree with the concept of an "American" IPA.  I think they just fell into the IPA concept because they were stronger and hoppier but I'm not a fan of US hop bombs in general.  So a "Black IPA" is ridiculous and "Cascadian Dark Ale" is just a nod to the North Pacific C hops as far as I can tell.  I probably won't ever brew one but I will brew a robust porter and it may be an awful lot like what someone else would call a CDA.

Well, you have a point, however I think styles should be allowed to evolve.  India pale ale evolved into a style, not just a beer that came from a region.  And that's why I think Crossdressing Amateur (CDA) is a ridiculous name for a style.
The beer that was adapted from a style allows that style to evolve into what it is today.  CDA is basically saying that those beers are brewed with only ingredients coming from the NW, which isn't true.
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Offline denny

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2011, 01:29:53 PM »
Well, on the black and pale ale thing: I'm not sure India Pale Ales were necessarily called "pale ales" because of their color back in the 1800s.  It's just a name, like porter...what's porter mean?

Yeah, pale ales were named that because of their color supposedly.  Up until that time, due to primitive kilning capabilities, most malts came out very dark.  Technology provided a way to make lighter colored malts and pale ales were born.  Here's an explanation of porter from Martyn Cornell's Zythophile....

"A version of the start of porter was given by a brewer called John Tuck, author of the Private Brewer’s Guide to the Art of Brewing Ale and Porter, published 1822, Tuck said that around the time of Queen Anne, early in the 18th century, London’s brewers. who sold a “heavy and glutinous” brown beer, started to come under pressure from the brewers of paler beers, which were popular with the country gentry now buying themselves houses in the capital. About 1720., Tuck said, London’s brewers brought out an “improved” brown beer “started, well hopped, into butts, and … kept a considerable time to grow mellow.” This, he said was the “intire butt beer” that caught on with the working, or portering classes, and became known as porter."
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2011, 01:30:52 PM »
 I have a keg of Secession CDA on tap at home right next to keg of a Rogue Shakepeare Oatmeal Stout clone.  I love them both and to me they are nothing alike. The CDA is a deeply dark ruby explosion of NW hops yet remarkably unheavy.  The stout is a midnight black, creamy coffle, silk train.  Both delicious and decidedly different.  Most of the other "CDA/Black IPA's" that I have tried have been underwhelming so I wouldn't be surprised to see this "trend" fade out. I don't like the name Black IPA but I have no problem calling a beer brewed in Oregon, Wa, or Vancouver whatever Cascadian Dark Ale if we're using NW ingredients to brew a regional interpretation of "dark hoppy ale" that perhaps has been around for centuries. Maybe it's not a "style" it's own, but Secession is delicious, dark and made it the NorthWest and that's good enough for me.  
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Offline denny

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2011, 01:32:06 PM »
Well, you have a point, however I think styles should be allowed to evolve.

Of course they should, and demand will determine that AFAIAC.  My point is that I think it's more of an "I brew it because I can" fad than an actual style on its way to happening.
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Offline JKL

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2011, 01:39:43 PM »
I've had a few examples that were okay but I like my IPA's ...well let's just say pale. I wasn't super impressed with any of the examples that I've had, not to say they were bad because they were okay.

I find the slight roast present in them to be a distraction from the main event which is the "hops with a supporting malt presence".

They are in my estimation variations of American Stouts. I certainly wouldn't want to discourage anyone from making one but if I want a dark hoppy beer, I much prefer the stouts and porters. Just my opinion.

A few weeks ago I was at a store in Dallas eye-balling Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale when the guy working there started telling me how good it was.  Not knowing anything about the beer, I told him that I'm not a huge fan of IIPA's and that I really didn't care for Stone's Ruination.  He said the beer was completely different and I should give it a go.  I did.  I actually cracked it last Sat after a super long brew day and was at 1st taken a back looking at the color.  Now, I can't say there was anything Sublime or uhhh-Righteous about the beer but there was definetly something sensory going on there.  Maybe it was just the horribly stressful day I had but I kinda thought it was cool staring into that dark glass and getting something totally different when I put it to my lips.  Don't get me wrong, I won't be brewing one anytime soon or buying another one for that matter.  All I'm saying is that it was kind of a strange experience.  For what ever that's worth.
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Offline denny

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2011, 01:56:14 PM »
All I'm saying is that it was kind of a strange experience.

That was exactly how I felt the first time I tried one.
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Offline ckpash88

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2011, 02:06:39 PM »
If it looks like a black ipa and taste likes a black ipa but Chuck Norris says it's a pilsener than it's a pilsener
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2011, 02:21:29 PM »
Crossdressing Amateur
That's what I'm calling this "style" from now on.
I refuse to call it Cascadian because it probably originated with the late great Greg Noonan in Vermont.
I don't like calling it Black Pale Ale because that's stupid.
I find the better examples pretty good in that they look darker than they taste, giving it an interesting juxtaposition.  More refreshing than a stout or a porter with just the tiniest bit of roast.  The ones I don't care for are the overly roasty ones.  The flavors just don't seem pleasant to me.
Yes, I too think it's a fad.  Last year it was IIPA, a couple of years ago everybody was making Saisons.  Before that it was wood-aged beers.  When will it be Ordinary Bitter?
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Offline gmac

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Re: Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale "Style"
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2011, 02:30:01 PM »
I think ordinary bitters were big in 1743 through 1749. You just missed it is all.