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Hockley Dark - Hockley Valley Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hockley DarkHockley Dark

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

124 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 124
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 9.94%
Wants: 2
Gots: 2 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 08-12-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 124 | Reviews: 86 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beersignal

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Deep mahogany with crimson hues near the stem of my glass, a limpid liquid releases a fine stream of bubbles in a futile attempt to replenish a rapidly fading cap of off-white foam. No sign of lacing, no staying power. Stunning liquid, with less than average garnish.

Aromas are straightforward brown ale maltiness wrapped in a subtle hop signature. Mild notes of caramel come through with faint nuances of orchard fruit. Nearly imperceptible is a touch of smokiness in the finish just behind the caramel, but it dissipates quickly leaving the taster wondering if he really detected this... but it is there in subsequent whiffs.

Mild fruitiness with mineral notes around a gentle malt signature. Somewhat thin but not watery the hints of smoke which were barely present in the aromas surface a little stronger in the flavours. A mild residual sweetness runs parallel to the smokiness. I was expecting a little more out of this in the flavours and mouthfeel... not enough volume IMO. EDIT: After some warming the volume that was lacking has materialized. The malts and fruit flavours are now more present and a mild bitterness balances the whole along with the same residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is slightly more present and brings a more rounded aspect to the brew.

This is surely drinkable as it presents a very tame profile. It's easy to get into and forget about while you're drinking it. Not bad but not great.

Thanks to Popsinc for the sample... yours are on their way


03-15-2007 02:23:31 | More by Beersignal
Photo of mrmanning

Ontario (Canada)

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
Photo of assurbanipaul


4.1/5  rDev +13.3%

Pours a very dark brown with a frothy cappuccino head. Aroma is all malt, rich and silky with a trace of molasses.

Taste is pure dark roasty malt. Hints of coffee, molasses or bitter chocolate but it's all malt, all the way down. More dry chocolate and caramel emerge as I work through the bottle.

Mouthfeel is light, maybe a little too thin, but extremely drinkable. This is an excellent example of the triumph of simplicity: a simple beer with simple flavor that simply shines.

Swing-top liter bottle as pictured, taped seal hand-dated "10/05/06"

09-27-2006 03:12:40 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of ByTor2112

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

08-30-2006 14:04:08 | More by ByTor2112
Photo of JustinBathurst

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +10.5%

Poured out of the 500 mL can a really heavy dark tan head of big frothy bubbles. Everything else is a dark, opaque brown with red at the edges. The head hung around for longer than expected, remained a lacy topping throughout.

Aroma is mild grassy hops (it gets grassier as it warms), sweet molasses and toasted malt.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with pleasant spicy carbonation that's more intense than usual.

Right away I detect grape sweetness on the tongue, some honey (more as it warms), mild hoppy bitterness. Some roasted coffee beans hang around. In the aftertaste, I get a bit of tangy chocolate.

I enjoy this one quite a bit. It goes the extra distance without trying to be too explosive or too showy. Good to have on a warm summer night on the patio.

07-19-2006 01:57:06 | More by JustinBathurst
Photo of Frozensoul327


3.9/5  rDev +7.7%

A very well rounded offering from Hockley. Pours out to a deep ruby color that appears coffee black. Medium low carbonation. Small head of brownish white foam dissipated rather quickly. Aromas of roasted malts and cocoa, with some dark unsweetened chocolate notes. A touch of mild bourbon. Nice. Taste is medium bodied and very enjoyable; roasted malts, mild chocolate, a touch of sweet grain, caramel and the hops are even noted, playing a well founded evening role. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a touch creamy. Drinkability is rather good. One of the better Brown Ales i've had. Recommended.

07-11-2006 00:48:40 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of Mandrake

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +11.3%

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.

06-21-2006 00:06:01 | More by Mandrake
Photo of Noxious26

Saskatchewan (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev +4.4%

500ml can poured in a pint glass. Thanks to Viggo for the brew.

Pours out of the can cola coloured with very little head. The head is a little off-white ring around the edge that doesn't last long.

Aroma is full of enticing scents. Roasted malts, dark malts, caramel, plums, and a touch of herbal hops in the background.

At the front there's a nice roasted and caramel malt flavour. Then in the middle, a herbal hop bitterness joins in to even it out a bit and blends into a moderately bitter finish of herbal hops and malt bitterness. Aftertaste is roasted malt bitterness tempered with herbal hops with long lasting results.

Thin-medium bodied mouthfeel with minimal carbonation.

I rather quite enjoyed this beer even if it does have more hop presence than I've come to expect from a brown ale. With the 5% alcohol, lighter body and fairly balanced flavour, this could be a good session beer.

06-14-2006 02:02:44 | More by Noxious26
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -0.6%

A - Clear red, almost purple colour. 2 mm head on a hard pour. Maybe I should have shaken the can.

S - Sweet, fruity smell. A touch of coffee as well.

T - Toasty bitterness, and assorted roasted favours. There's a touch of tartness at the start that was surprising, but that mellows pretty quickly. Some plummy fruit.

M - Medium bodied - nothing special. Carbonation is a bit hard, but not bad enough to cause problems.

D - Not bad. Little better than average maybe.

D -

02-22-2006 01:17:33 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of Shiloh

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +8.6%

A cola like appearance with a short crown, limited lace and some glass ring with medium+ carbonation.
The nose has a quality of roasted nuts and cocoa.
The taste is very pleasent in that the roasted nuts are foremost, followed by bakers chocolate, and a nice hoppy finish that has some impressive linger.
The body is a medium.
A very nice product.

02-20-2006 23:47:01 | More by Shiloh
Photo of headlessparrot

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

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.

02-10-2006 02:29:42 | More by headlessparrot
Photo of funkengruven

Ontario (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +22.4%

Surprisingly delicious. Looks like A fine pint of stout. Smells absolutely amazing. Hints of berries and mocha, and something that somewhat resembles chicory. Taste has hints of mocha, a slight astringent, and an aftertaste that is of lightly roasted grains. Mouthfeel is bold, slightly carbonsated. Quite nice. Pretty drinkable, pretty heavy, not a session beer, but makes for an excellent after-dinner apertif.

02-09-2006 03:26:33 | More by funkengruven
Photo of Conrad

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +0.3%

Poured from a can. Came out as dark as Coca Cola, and had little carbonation. The head was thick with big bubbles that faded in no time, and lacing was minimal. I would have like to see a better pour, so this rates as only average.
Now the smell: Nice mild coffee notes, malt, hints of other ingredients that I could't name, but were very pleasant.
The taste was the same. Solid up-front taste. I had some food (strong cheese and crackers) that went well. Most enjoyable. It has a good lingering finish. You can still taste it until you get the next sip and start all over.
Mouthfeel: A surprisingly light body from a beer that looks heavy. It coats the tongue with flavour.
Drinkability: Would I have another? Hell, Yes! Not a beer to pound back in great quantities. If you just want a buzz, go to the cheaper stuff. This is a beer to enjoy.
Love those Ontario craft breweries!

02-08-2006 15:28:23 | More by Conrad
Photo of CrazyMike

Alberta (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +14.1%

A very dark and smooth beer. Smells good and goes down with no problem. Although somewhat difficult to find in some areas, I thought it was great.

I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes British or Irish style beers. Somewhat like Guiness, but since Guiness isn't for everyone, this goes down easily without a strong taste.

12-05-2005 00:39:09 | More by CrazyMike
Photo of crwills

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +11.9%

A beer brewed in the town I was born in. Cool!

Poured from a big 500 mL can into a pint glass. Nice deep brown colour with a bit of red in it. Not much carbonation -- a small but thick stout-like head that faded quickly.

Smell is very floral, with some honey and fruit (sweet grapes), and malt. The can may have added a bit of a metallic flavour to it, but it's hardly discernable.

Taste has some hop bitterness, flowers, and bitter fruits (melons or something).

Mouthfeel is very dry and pleasant -- my favourite aspect of this beer. Hockley Valley Dark is pleasantly bitter, and goes great with salty food (I had mine with fried ham and home fries -- yum!)

11-10-2005 01:50:58 | More by crwills
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

10-27-2005 18:16:13 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +8.6%

This is the only Ontario craft brew I can think of thats available in a can. The can looks nice with a black and tan motif with 'Hockley Dark' in big letters and 'Mild, light bodied and full flavored' in smaller ones underneath.

The pour shows a very dark mahogany with ruby glints. The head is small and quickly becomes a ring leaving little lace. The are two cool counter flowing whirpools of foam on the surface that Ive never seen before. They lasted for a few minutes, even through sips. The aoma is a nice mix of chocolate malt, herbal hops and some roasty bitterness. The taste is quite roasty, more so than any brown ale Ive ever tried. Theres some nice hop bitterness and chocolate. Theres more roasted malt bitterness than hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is thin and unevenly carbonated.

Overall this is a good Brown Ale worth trying. Its got lots of flavor but could use a little more body.

09-25-2005 23:20:06 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of Popsinc

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -1.1%

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.

08-15-2005 23:09:37 | More by Popsinc
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +18.8%

Very dark brown, with a little tan head that receeded before any lacing could be found.

Roasty, fruity odours.

Has a wonderful roasty taste, without any burnt, highly-bitter flavour. Well-rounded caramel flavour. A hint of grassy hops, which isn't common with the English style, but adds some interesting depth.

Mouthfeel was light to moderate.

Very drinkable.

08-15-2005 13:11:04 | More by Derek
Photo of TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

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
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -6.6%

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.

10-03-2004 05:46:14 | More by Sammy
Photo of DrJay


3.95/5  rDev +9.1%

Clear, dark brown or chestnut colour topped by a long-lasting tan head. Dark and roasted malts come through in the aroma. There's quite a lot going on here, with coffee, some graininess, and a light grassy hoppiness sitting behind the malt and chocolate character. It starts with light bitterness and some caramel sweetness. At the finish, the sweet character is stronger and contributes the most to the aftertaste, with the hop bitterness becoming more muted. Overall, the flavour is mostly from dark malts, with some sweetness provided by crystal malts and a little nuttiness present. There's a nice roasted flavour that's not as strong as in the aroma and a well-balanced hop bitterness. It has a medium/light body, very smooth mouthfeel. Definitely a pleasant surprise from a relatively new brewery (at least to me).

1 L brown swing top bottle, no freshness date.

08-18-2004 00:41:44 | More by DrJay
Photo of pootz

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +9.1%

Bought a couple of liter growlers from the brewery…filled fresh that day.

Poured a dark, crystal clear cola-chestnut brown with a 2 finger tan cap that will reduced to a surface covering lace that lasts out the drink. (great heading lots of grain protien)

Medium carbonation was evident in the glass. Aromas of caramel malts, plumbs, spices and grassy hops with a subtle undertone of wet burlap mustiness…nice.

Starts out with a rocky mouth-feel full of roasted toffee malts then mellows as the hops impart a balance that gives the impression of lemongrass and caramelized treacle in equilibrium. The finish is smooth and lasting where the breadiness of the malt lingers with a metallic hop aftertaste.

A very decent, well balanced pint of brown ale. Recommended. I’d buy more if it was more widely available….but the back road bike run to the brewery is half the fun.

If you bike, mail me I’ll send you a map to scoot in to the Hockley brewery with some lovely winding roads.

08-15-2004 14:36:43 | More by pootz
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Hockley Dark from Hockley Valley Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.