Double Cascadian Dark Ale is a winter 2016 Keller Door release from 4 Pines.
It was about this time in 2015 that 4 Pines released their Keller Door Oaked Baltic Porter. This winter’s release is something of an imperial black IPA. It’s a wonder we don’t see more beers in this style, particularly in the colder months.
Double Cascadian Dark Ale pours pretty dark but not completely black. There’s a reddish tinge which I imagine comes from the Carafa malt in the grain bill.
It has a billowing head, formed of large loose-knit bubbles, the colour of shortbread biscuits. Through the head, pour aromas of grapefruit and sweet chocolate.
The nose is delivering exactly what you expect from this style of beer. The malt and hops are forcefully present as soon as the dark liquid hits the glass.
Chocolate Malt, Citrus Hops
The beer is described as having chocolate roasted Carafa malt and this certainly comes through in the flavour. It has the richness of dark chocolate but the lingering sweetness of milk chocolate.
Some of this sweetness comes from the formidable grain bill which carries the beer up to 8% ABV.
An Accessible Double Black IPA
This Keller Door beer drinks well under that 8% alcohol, perhaps it could have been pushed further. There are plenty of hardcore beer nerds that want their double IPAs to be north of 9% but 4 Pines have a wide customer base, including a large number of thirsty locals, so they need to ensure they don’t alienate too many drinkers.
That said, this beer sits perfectly at its ABV, providing just enough of a warming sensation that legitimises the “winter warmer” tag.
It’s nice to have a dark, boozy, winter release that also features an abundance of hops. The hop flavours are punchy, with fresh grapefruit and candied lemon and lime tantalising the tastebuds.
The citrus bite arrives up front ahead of a grainy but rich, unctuous chocolate flavour that lands on the mid-palate before leaving a lingering bitterness.
Combining chocolate and citrus makes it taste like those chocolate bars with fruit-flavoured fondant through the middle, or for those who remember them, chocolate-lime candies.
A Perfect Winter Treat
4 Pines Double Cascadian Dark Ale is a perfect sipping beer for a cold and wet Friday evening. When it’s dark and raining outside, get into a comfortable chair and read a book or watch TV and sup away at this beer.
Or, if you brave the weather, get into a pub (or better still the 4 Pines brew pub) and find a warm corner to mull over this beer.
If you intend to pair it with food, a chocolate tart with a biscuit base and lime coulis would be a wonderful complementary match.
Local And Fresh For Sydney
I picked up this bottle from the Brookvale brewery truckbar. I’ve said it before but it’s worth saying again, one of the best things about living in a city like Sydney with such a strong, local craft beer scene is that you can get brand new beer fresh from the source.
This beer was released to selected bottle shops and tapped at a few chosen venues, including the brewery, on the Friday, I picked it up on Saturday and drank it on Sunday.
As Sydney-based beer lovers, we shouldn’t take this for granted but should ensure we take full advantage of it by buying beer fresh and close to the source whenever possible.
From: Brookvale / Manly, NSW
Beer style: Double Cascadian Dark Ale / Double Black IPA
Pair with: Dark chocolate tart with a biscuit base and lime coulis
Have you tried 4 Pines Double Cascadian Dark Ale? What did you think? Leave a comment below.