Beer Review 0393: Dark Horse Edacsac Dekoorc Eert (Cascade Crooked Tree) IPA

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Recently, Dark Horse Brewing Company (Marshall, Michigan) released an IPA variety 12-pack; the pack includes three bottles of Crooked Tree IPA, which I rated 88 points. The other three beers in the pack are single-hopped variations of Crooked Tree, featuring Citra, Cascade, and Falconer’s Flight hops.

I was excited about this variety pack until I got it to the cash register of my bottle shop, where it rang up $26.99. I was expecting maybe $20-22, but not that price! This steep price proportionally increased my expectations of the beers contained within the slick packaging…

I should also let you know that I’m writing this preamble AFTER I’ve had all the beers. There is one thing I must point out, especially with the three single-hopped beers contained in the pack — Dark Horse doesn’t filter their beer, which is fine, but the difference between pouring a bit of the bottle into a glass versus the full bottle is quite substantial. My tulip glasses I use for reviews only hold 13 oz. of beer, so I tend to pour about 8 ounces into my glass to start with — each of these single-hopped beers (the regular Crooked Tree didn’t do this) poured fairly clear to start with, but became choked with sediment by the end of the bottle. While it didn’t really affect flavor, it did presentation; pouring the whole bottle made for a much larger head. Here’s a picture of how chunky these beers are:

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So…if you don’t like chunks in your beer, you have been warned.

Cascade Crooked Tree comes in at 6.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) Cascade hops were created in the United States and are an open-pollinated cross between Fuggle and Serebrianker. Cascades are notoriously easy hops to grow, and provide classic grapefruit aromas and flavor.

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Once again, the pour delivered a tale of two beers. Pouring about eight ounces of the bottle yielded a beer that had a small, soapy head that was fast diminishing. The color was golden-amber, the body was hazy but had no particles or sediment. When pouring the remainder of the bottle in, the head kicks up to a large size, and has some staying power; the color of the beer changes to golden-orange, and the sediment becomes thick and chunky, leaving highly visible floating particles in the drink. Lacing is good, leaving behind nice sheeting.

On the nose, we’ve got nice amounts of grapefruit and pine, with a touch of juicy orange and tart lemon. This is backed by a malt body that is generally sweet, with a grainy caramel. Simple scents, but nice in a classic, balanced IPA way.

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The taste presents some watery grapefruit and dark pine notes up front; these flavors deepen a bit when the beer is swirled in the mouth, breaking off orange peel and lemon, along with a nice caramel sweetness. This beer is sneaky in the fact that the finish packs some really nice, strong flavors; grapefruit and pine are the stars, with a crisp bitterness that tugs at your palate but is still clean. I found Cascade Crooked Tree to be light-bodied, with a thin, gritty mouthfeel.

Perhaps this is starting to sound like a broken record, but the Dark Horse IPA variety pack once again cooks up a nice IPA that is highly drinkable but is not remarkable. A solid beer I wouldn’t turn down, and an excellent way to study hops on an individual basis.

Dark Horse Edacsac Dekoorc Eert (Cascade Crooked Tree) IPA, 88 points. Price: $26.99 US as part of the Dark Horse IPA Variety pack, which contains three bottles of this beer.

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