Hockley Dark - Hockley Valley Brewing Co.

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Hockley DarkHockley Dark

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139 Ratings
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Ratings: 139
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hockley Valley Brewing Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Dark Mild Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 08-12-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 139 | Reviews: 89
Reviews by ThinkAgain:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a super dark brown. Medium tan head. No carbonation. The nose was decent, some nice roasted malts, a pinch of coffee and cocoa. Taste was mild up front. The roasted malts seemed to peak through nicely mid-sip and lingered quite well, although subtle. Again, i found some traces of cocoa towards the finish. Mouthfeel light and smooth. A pleasant warmth to the beer. I found that the flavours of this beer seemed more pronounced long after a sip had been swallowed. It grew on me as i progressed through the glass. Nice drinkability. Smooth, light bodied but warm with a decent malt backbone.

Photo of merlin48
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

473 ml can courtesy of a Canadian friend, pours a clear mahogany body with a medium sized beige head. Scattered lacing.

Aroma is hoppy for a brown ale, with some herbal hops backed by hints of dark chocolate and coffee.

Mouthfeel is light and thin, but nicely carbonated.

Taste has a dominant caramel and nutty maltiness. Hints of dark fruits, chocolate, and mild coffee play off a significant herbal hops presence. Finishes clean and even.

A very sessionable brown ale.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After being disappointed with their stout, I thought I'd give their dark a chance. I've had this one before a while back and liked it - hopefully my tastes haven't changed.

This one was in the fridge for a few days, so I let it warm up for ten minutes or so. Pours a deep auburn hue. For some reason, this can produced no head. None. No ring or anything. I remember my last sampling did have a ring, so I'll chock this one up to being my bad.

The nose is nice, typical for a dark ale, but a bit muted. Coffee, chocolate and dark fruits.

The taste is actually quite good. Mostly chocolate and dark coffee up front, nuttiness in the middles, fruity bitterness in the finish. A tasty dark.

Mouthfeel is about right - well carbonated (a bit stinky, truth be told). Could be a bit more robust.

A very drinkable Ontario dark, one of the better ones available on the market. The taste could have been a bit fuller, and I'm confused about the lack of head, but still, I'll get this one again.

Photo of ByTor2112
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I brought this back from Toronto. Nice puffy cola-colored head but it dissipates quickly. Aroma contained a nice light mild hop aroma, slightly malty with a faint hint of coffee. Very nice ale and the first taste on the palate was hops but was well-combined with the malt flavors. Malt was light in body but present. Good mild bitterness blends with the malt to the finish. A vigorous froth gives a nice bittersaweet mouthfeel. I liked this ale, actually quaffable in my book.

Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After so many walk-pasts in a previous life at the LCBO, this 473ml can with strong Team Canada tendencies arrives on the shelves of my local Alberta booze emporium.

This beer pours a clear dark reddish brown hue, with two fingers of thinly creamy off-white head, which leaves a low wall of ebbing shoreline lace around the glass as it gradually melts away.

It smells of biscuity, semi-sweet bready malt, a touch of bitter citrus, and floral, earthy hops. The taste is more sturdy biscuity caramel malt, softly sweet nutty notes, an understated chocolate nuttiness, and earthy, somewhat leafy hops.

The carbonation is rather moderate, but not out of it altogether, the body medium weight and agreeably smooth. It finishes on the sweet side, the nutty and chocolate notes persisting over the kind of languishing hop character.

A pretty decent brown ale, well balanced between the sweet, savoury and crisp British bitter notes. A prime candidate for sessioning, no matter where you are in this broadly spanning country of ours.

Photo of Sammy
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A decent microbrew, somewhat of an experiment to juice up an ordinary dark beer that works. Carbonation was cheap and on less pleasant and less drinkable side, bit novice beer drinkers I shared this large minimum magnum with went with the cocoa and carmel sweetness. Long aftertaste.

Photo of CanuckRover
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from can into a pint glass. Very nice looking reddish brown, very dark but lights right up in the sun.

Toasted raisin bread on the nose with plenty of dark berries to back it up. Very sweet aroma.

Mouth feel is a little thin at first with too much carbonation for an English style brown. However, after a little bit of swishing the beer got quite a bit chewier, I almost think it's better flat! Coffee, damp earth, blackcurrants and toasted malt in the mouth. Sweet but not as sweet as the aroma would suggest. Nice after taste with a long lasting blackcurrent with coffee bitterness.

Good dark ale with plenty of drinkability for the style and alcohol.

Photo of imntense
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into my favourite frosted mug! Colour reminded me of mahogany with a very fine head that quickly left behind decent lacing!

Aroma at first reminds me of a wood pile (those with a wood fireplace will understand), followed by coffee and toffee.

Coffee flavours with a slight caramel, followed by a very light flavouring and a very strong carbonation reminding me of 7up with a slightly bitter aftertaste! Doubt I would buy this one again, but can't say it was bad enough that I didn't finish it!

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.81/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - a clear dark amber red, mountain of off white head that retains well and nice lacing
S - roasty and sweet caramel malts, hints of piney hops, gentle coffee hints
T - rich nuttiness blends well with the molasses malt flavour, some roasted coffee and cocoa, and subtle piney hops
M - smooth and relatively light, some dryness but mostly filling the mouth with a rich feel
D - a little thinner than I expected but not in a bad way, the flavours are balanced well, could probably enjoy a few of these but not a full session

Photo of heebes
3.57/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewed in home town.

Poured into a mug a clear dark auburn with fizzy foam light tan head. Nose is somewhat thin, watery, with notes of chocolate and caramel malts, an English Brown style spiciness. Taste; surprisingly big in flavour with the earthy spice up front and dark malts rounding out the base. Still mild chocolatey sweetness, dry tasting with a bit of nutty flavour coming through. Mouthfeel is also mild, light bodied, dry and slightly watery/thin.
Overall, I always suspected this to be a stout, though its actually a well crafted mild brown, certainly more English as is found in plenty of Ontario breweries beers. I found it drinkable but not really something I will pick up often which is unfortunate seeing as its the local brewery in a small town.

Photo of Mandrake
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with plenty of ruby highlights and a well formed two finger head that lasts well and leaves some good lacing. Smells of nuts and cocoa, with a pleasant sweet maltiness and just a touch of bittering hops in the background. Taste is quite full, with more roasted chocolate and a touch of coffee accompanied by a very nice nuttiness and a kiss of hops in the finish, which is nice and long. Mouthfeel is thick and substantial, and well carbonated as well, and drinkability is quite good. A very good session ale, which would, I'm sure, become a staple if it were available here. As it is I have to thank pootz for this very appreciated part of the CANBIF2 package.

Photo of elricorico
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown, but not dark enough to block light, medium brown on the edges. Two fingers of tan head off the pour, but it falls to a thin cap after a couple of minutes. A bit of lacing here and there as I drink.

Nutty and slightly chocolatey in the the aroma. A pretty standard aroma for an English Brown, but nice just the same.

Smooth nutty flavour that is very quaffable. Nothing here that is especially stand-out, but also nothing that I can say I don't like about it. Medium bodied with average carbonation.

All together just a well made English Brown. Doesn't stray from the style, and doesn't come up short either.

Photo of ChrisCage
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown with a reddish hue in the light, and is quite clear. I didn't get much of a head and it was quite fizzy. I looks to be quite lite in body and there isn't much lacing. Not a very impressive look unfortunately.

S- Has typical nutty aromas, particularly of walnut/freshly cracked chestnuts. It also has sweet toffee/caramel aromas that are quite prevalent. |The undertones are of roasted malt and a bit of cocoa. I don't smell much in terms of hops but that isn't something I expect for this style.

T- The flavors of this beer are similar to the aromas but a little bit muted. The bitter dark chocolate and roasted malts come through. The hopped aspect also makes an appearance, providing a dry tasting brew that has a rich bittersweet toffee flavor...yum! One of the best tasting brown ales I've had!

M- The carbonation is a little heavier than in an actual English Brown Ale, but not bad. The body is also lighter, but this is purposely done by Hockley for a more North American appeal. Not bad....nothing special though.

D- I would have no problem having a few pints of this over the course of an evening. A perfect session beer but would also be nice with food. I recommend this brew for any beer drinker, and think it would be a good way to get into a darker beer.

Photo of Stocean1
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - one finger head with a little patchy lacing with it subsiding to a foamy caramel collar - colour is a deep brown leather with a hint of burgundy

S - dark malt dominates with some dark fruit

T - dark malt, dark bread, some floral hops, not overly bitter, figs, chocolate note

M - I enjoy this aspect of Hockley brews - plenty of carbonation and light to medium bodied, just enough bitterness to pull it together

O - another decent easy drinking brew by Hockley - not overly complex however it does not claim to be

Photo of emerge077
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Jay for sharing this beer. Served from a tall black & tan colored can, into a tulip glass. Reviewed from quick notes.

Overall impression was something of a Dark English Mild, mellow but with full bodied roast/coffee flavors. Aroma was soft and mild but carried some notes of dark roast and mild coffee. Dark in the glass but a light brown when poured from the can. Flavors were full and lightly roasty with some coffee and cocoa impressions. A light bitterness in the aftertaste from the roast, overall smooth and malty. A good beer i'd seek out while in Ontario, hopefully on cask or draft.

Photo of paxkey
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is my third hockley. tried the black and tan and the stout. both beers had a similar hops and malt profile i'm guessing this will be the same.

it says light body on the can so they do give a warning. i say that because that was my biggest criticism of the other two beers. great aroma and taste but slightly on the watery side.

letting the can warm up for 10 minutes out of the fridge.

big cascade in the glass. burnt orange color. tea like in appearance. big tan head. lots of carbonation.

big malt notes.roasty, coffee aroma.some chocolate. smells yummy

bitter and crisp. lots of roast malt on the finish. creme brulee. again a little thin in the body but less so than i remember from its stout and black and tan cousins.
very drinkable stuff.
definitely my favourite of their offerings so far.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear dark color ale with nice foamy dark brown head with good retention. Aroma of English malt with floral undertone is easily distinguishable. Taste is very refreshing wit a good roasted malt presence and a bitter finish with a good balance of what seems like English hops. Body is a bit thin but overall this is a very enjoyable drink.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tall can from the LCBO, poured in to Guinness pint glass.

A - Very dark, just slightly translucent amber colour with one finger of bubbly, thin khaki coloured head.

S - Toasted caramel grains, sweet caramel malts and a slight hop bitterness. Some light toffee notes too.

T - Sweet caramel, biscuit, toasted cereal grains, light toffee. Not much hop presence at all.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Photo of smakawhat
4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the can into a Becker Pint glass.

A real nice looking beer. Deep chestnut red and brown, clear if very dark. Thick fluffy light tan brown head and fluffy with lots of staying power. The body color is incredibly impressive with a dark ruby red color.

Nice nose with a mild chocolate sense, and light roast character. A bit of one hit wonder but not exclusively buy very solid.

Wonderful palate and mouthfeel. Great mix of chocolate and roast. Wonderful creamy body with silky texture and light coating. Nice toasty brown like flavors on the finish with matching chocolate and virtually no bitterness. Tight moderate carbonation with thick malt backbone and roast crackling pop feel.

Extremely impressed by this for its large flavor and creamy body. Some cross off crazy porter brown ale with light mild character. Fantastic stuff.

Photo of irishkyle21
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a fair sized head, some retention and lacing. A rouge-vin colour.

Smells of dark fruits, caramel, burnt malt and some chocolate. Very pleasant and more complex than I remembered.

Great flavor on the tongue. Dark fruits, molasses, the hops are just noticeable but play there part, leaving behind some earthy grass essences. A definite go to session beer.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one's courtesy of Viggo from the CanBIF #3 this year.

Pours out a deep, deep opaque brown, a splash of beige head that settles indefinitely into a thick creamy cap.

The aroma is somewhat vinuous, licorice and blackstrap molasses with a good dose of brown sugar in the picture.

These characteristics thin out in the flavour profile, and for the most part are displaced by a woody roasted malt and a cafe au lait finish.

The mouthfeel is on the thin side, yet the texture redeems it with a smooth, creamy presentation for the most part.

More remeniscent of a dark ale than a brown, yet either way the malts still rule the roost on this one.

Photo of Antilochus
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in a 471mL can from a London, Ontario LCBO.

Poured into a becker pint glass. Appearance is deep mahogany with copper red accents. Small off white head and dissipates quickly.

Roasted malt sweet aromas. Notes of liquorice, milk chocolate, blackberries, roasted coffee, burnt sugar. Something distinctly fruity... pears. Low hop bitterness. Earthy bready maltiness vs graininess.

Palate is light to medium bodied, pretty sweet and a little syrupy. Low-medium carbonation. Leaves the mouth a little on the bitter side... like chewing coffee beans. Flavour notes are pears, coffee beans, chocolate.

Definitely drinkable and a nice brew.

Photo of papat444
3.29/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 473ml. can, canned 280312.

Appearance: A vigorous pour yields less than 2 fingers of foam before disappearing. Body is better with a murky brown-red.

Smell: Caramel malt is strong with toasted grains, a bit of wheat and a dry fruit aroma.

Taste: Chewy caramel, dried fruits. Flavor is nice but wanting.

Mouthfeel: Better than the taste. Very creamy with low carbonation makes it a tad more pleasing.

Overall: Alright is the only word that comes to mind.

Photo of headlessparrot
3.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was at the LCBO recently picking up a few different singles to try when I found a display pushing Hockley Valley Dark - one of Ontario's "great craft brews" according to the display. So I grabbed one to go along with my other purchases.

I've never heard of Hockley Valley Brewing Company, nor of the town in which it is brewed. Regardless, I decided to go in with an open mind. The 500mL can (with what I assume is a brewed-on date on a sticker attached to the bottom) poured into my pint glass a beautiful reddish-black colour (like a nice stout) with a substantial cap of very foamy, off-white head that fades rather quickly down to about a quarter-inch, but maintains at that level, and with quite a bit of lacing.

Smell is absolutely amazing - not unlike St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, I got roasted malts, coffee notes, espresso, cocoa (milk chocolate, almost?) and a detectable creaminess. Perhaps also some subtle floral notes? Very impressive.

Taste is, oddly enough, also remarkably similar to St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, only without the Oatmeal to lend the brew a silky-smooth mouthfeel. Tastes of nuts, coffee beans/espresso, a hint of chocolate. Initially creamy and sweet, but finishes with a substantial bitterness that doesn't particularly appeal to me. Still, very tasty, and an excellent marker for the style. Very full flavour - I must agree with the label, here.

Mouthfeel is good - a slight overcarbonation to the brew, but a substantial body that I rather enjoy drinking. It lacks the smoothness of an oatmeal stout (though I only say that because it's my only comparison as a young beer advocate), but still very good. I don't know about drinkability; I doubt I could have more than one or two of these without feeling a little... icky (for lack of a better word), but as an occasional thing, I must say that Hockley Valley Dark is a pleasant surprise and a winner.

Photo of spinrsx
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Can

Appearance - The beer pours a dark reddish-brown colour with a very large size rocky and creamy beige head. I can't see much carbonation and there is some really fantastic lacing all over the sides of the glass. The head lasted for a very long time before it began to dissipate.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, cookies, toffee

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation on the tongue and the beer feels a little watery but also very smooth. I can taste lots of malts, coffee, chocolate and a cookie flavour. The beer finishes with a pleasing malty aftertatste.

Drink - The beer really does have a nice appearance, and it is a really easy drinking beer. I could definitely session this one and I'm happy I tried it.

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Hockley Dark from Hockley Valley Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.