Hockley Dark - Hockley Valley Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 87 | Display Reviews Only:
2.83/5 rDev -21.8%
Handsome red chestnut colour, but only a wee bit of a head, some spotty lace.
Slightly sharp on the nose, some sweet caramel, but not much else.
Sweet up front with a bit of a bite that fades nicely to a gentle, lingering bitterness.
Comfortable to drink, but not especially exciting. Nothing really to make me want to go out and buy this one again, I'm afraid.
10-31-2004 18:51:37 | More by TerryW
2.93/5 rDev -19.1%
Appearance: Very dark, almost stout dark to be honest, although dark red and brown can be seen when held up to the light. Started with a solid finger and a half of head, and stuck around for a while, but produced no lace.
Smell: Well roasted malt dominates the nose, with well roasted smoke and charcoal elements. However the is the underpinning scent of black licorice that throws me a bit off. Warming helped it out, but it did decent cold too.
Taste: Well it starts with fairly mild but well roasted malt, but as it goes down, something kicks in to give it a dark chocolate and black licorice taste that I find to be an unappealing mix. Light earthy and fruity hops come and try to save they day, but sadly is just not strong enough to override the mix.
Mouthfeel: I dunno, the carbonation seems to help the whole beer out, which is good but a beer this strong you would think would be thicker and creamier. It shifts between states well, and while I don't like the taste the aftertaste makes a quiet case for itself before leaving, which is nice.
Drinkability: It's somewhere between light and medium bodied, so you could probably put a few back, but it's the taste that is really hamstringing this one. It's just...odd. I mean it just seems to be too thin for something this dark.
Final Thoughts: I really don't think this ale is served well as an English Brown, as it is listed here the malt character just isn't there. It really comes more across as a darker ale to me. After checking the website, this seems to have been what they were going for, a cross between and English Brown and a Mild Dark. I like my browns, and I usually prefer them with sweeter malt then dark and nutty, so black licorice is not what I'm looking for in this style, or frankly any beer.
Edit: Crap, I got it in a can, not a bottle.
08-15-2010 00:23:40 | More by TheHammer
2.93/5 rDev -19.1%
a- Pours a dark amber colour with a respectable head.
s-kinda thin smelling. Slight maltiness to the beer.
t-again kinda thin....bready notes very slight coffee flavors coming through.
m-thin..feels like a 4% beer.
d-pretty drinkable...not much to it IMO.
09-13-2010 01:35:04 | More by Mit
3.03/5 rDev -16.3%
Tall can poured into a pint glass.
Not much head at all to this one and dissipated very quickly with only a little lacing. Very deep red colour.
Some hops evident in the smell, some chocolate aroma too and overall a roasty feel to the smell.
Smooth flavour, roasted feeling in the taste as well, with a slightly bitter finish.
A bit lighter than I expected, easily drinkable, and a solid dark ale.
10-22-2011 14:02:33 | More by NV9
3.03/5 rDev -16.3%
473ml can poured into a point glass. ABV 5%.
A - Poured a clear cola reddish brown, thin white head, lively carbonation, good lacing.
S - Toffee, toast, some caramel, some nuttiness.
T - Toffee, nutty, some toast, some sour notes, mild bitter finish. Overall the flavour is rather thin.
M - Medium carbonation, medium-light body, some creaminess, a bit watery, mostly dry finish.
O - Drinkable but in part because it's a on the light side.
08-17-2013 20:08:21 | More by decimator
3.13/5 rDev -13.5%
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.
11-15-2007 01:04:24 | More by IronDjinn
3.23/5 rDev -10.8%
Pours a dark brown body with a thin beige head. Lots of carbonation going on here in the body though. Looks like cola. Aromas are faint malt, coffee, smokey, and caramel. Tastes like coffee, balanced with some sweet malt and some mild nut flavours. FInish is smooth, leaving a nice malt aftertaste. Well done! A lot more enjoyable than the organic lager!
12-12-2006 14:02:35 | More by mrmanning
3.25/5 rDev -10.2%
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.
05-22-2012 11:26:42 | More by papat444
3.25/5 rDev -10.2%
For a beer entitled 'Dark' this has some awfully glaring highlights. I don't even need an inspection to affirm its lustrous auburn and glinty amber colouring. Its clarity is as pristine and its tone sparkling; despite the dimmed (hardly dark) shading one's finger is crystal clear on the other side. Its head evaporated in a fireworks-like performance that saw bubbles balloon up and at their peak burst open, all to a soundtrack of crackles and sizzles.
There's a few nice smelling scents in this beer. Problem is they aren't all that confident. Warming definitely instills a bit of courage but the faint aura of roasted nuts, plums and caramel will likely never become anything more than subtle. One might consider them understated but I'd probably lean more towards just flat out thin.
Dido for the taste. I'm catching wind of all kinds of delicious flavours - plums, raisins and dark cherries, dark caramel and soft toffee, a smidgen of chocolate, oven roasted almonds and fire roasted hazelnut - but none really ever amount to anything. I chase each sip with another hoping to again taste those flavours that vanished off my tongue before I could ever really enjoy them. They are fleeting flavours.
And you won't catch up to them. I'm practically done the pint and have simply come to terms with the fact that I won't find those sweet, nutty, lightly roasted flavours this beer was alluding to. This is just far too watered down. It has no texture and offers the tongue nothing more than a brief perception of flat, damp liquid.
This was too meek in every aspect. The brewery does not apologize this, believing that their original recipe had to be "tweaked" to give it a "lighter" appeal. No. Bad idea Hockley Valley. I think you might have gotten things backwards - this needs to be heavier. If it were just that little bit more malty and just that little bit less plain, it might just be an outstanding beer. As it is, I'm tweaking my scores to reflect a lighter amusement.
10-10-2009 22:50:33 | More by biegaman
3.3/5 rDev -8.8%
Just picked this one up at the LCBO, quite an attractive bottle. Poured out of 1L growler, beer was a rich dark reddish brown, with lots of whitish head. I have a cold so it didn't really smell like much, as little hoppy and metallic though. The taste was a little too light as well, but a bitter nutty flavour and a little chocolate were present. However the taste did get better with every sip. The mouthfeel was too light for me, seemed watered down. Altogether an average beer, I thought it has high drinkability but is pretty pricey to buy on a regular basis. Worth a try though, I thought it was pretty decent.
10-12-2004 21:38:37 | More by Viggo
3.35/5 rDev -7.5%
Pours a dark cherry and brown cola-looking colour with a moderate frothy tan-coloured head that gets retained as a collar.
Smells like bitter dark chocolate, dark toffee and ripened dark fruit like cherries or blackberries. Wood notes as well as a sort of root beer one.
Tastes again like bitter dark chocolate at first. Buttery toffee comes through on the tongue before a solid crispness finishes. Fairly mild.
Rather light on the tongue, leaves a smokey, woody aftertaste. Smooth enough, but not something I'd want more than 1-2 of.
Not bad, but not enough body to back up the pungent smell. Pretty easy drinking and would make a good steak and potatoes accent.
06-22-2011 20:50:11 | More by bryehn
Hockley Dark from Hockley Valley Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.