Cascadian Dark Ales are a benchmark of local brewing technique, featuring the bright hops of West Coast IPAs with the darkness our regional skies cry for. The Lucky Lab, despite its black Labrador figurehead, conjured up a CDA that’s not black, but reddish—plum-hued, even. Bitterness is instantly supplanted by decadence that’s far more cocoa than the vanilla you’d expect from bourbon-barrel-aged beer. Likewise, in lieu of citrus-fruit flavors one might expect from black IPAs, this beer offers nuances of blackberries and plums but maintains a slight bitter bite up front that reappears on the finish. Who can say exactly what the brewing team led by Ben Flerchinger was aiming for, but given the experimental leeway at this Slabtown brewery, I suspect it wasn’t the destination but the voyage they were curious about. You’ll only find it docked at this brewpub. Recommended.