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Hockley Dark - Hockley Valley Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Hockley DarkHockley Dark

Educational use only; do not reuse.

134 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 134
Reviews: 88
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 3
Gots: 5 | 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.
View: Beers (9) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 88
Photo of emerge077
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
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 BigGruntyThirst
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of thehyperduck
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tallboy can from the LCBO; packaged April 2012. The last time I tried this was in April 2008, as one of my first BA reviews (which I am replacing with this updated one). I rather liked it then and have decided to give it another go.

Pours a deep crimson-and-copper colour; fairly dark but still translucent enough to see through when held up to the light. Atop the liquid is seated one-finger of dense, silky, light-beige coloured head, which leaves behind smears of lacing on the glass as it slowly seeps away. Pretty good retention. Pleasing aroma, with the most noticeable trait being the toasted malts and caramel, alongside notes of sweet chocolate and dark fruit. Just a hint of bitter coffee grounds on the nose.

I still enjoy the flavour of this stuff, though I am perhaps less enamored with it than I was during my original sampling. Roasted malts and caramel sweetness remain dominant, with a bit of a nutty feel to the malts. This is accompanied by milk chocolate, as well as some fruity notes that remind me of raisins or dates. Dry, roasty aftertaste that encourages further sips. On the light side of medium-bodied, with relatively low carbonation for an exceptionally smooth mouthfeel.

I still think this is one of the better OCB brown ales, and certainly one of the better commonly-available ones. Rich, malty flavours combined with an excellent balance between sweetness and dryness make this an extremely drinkable ale. A decent-to-solid brown ale, one that fans of the style should consider worth a try.

[Updated Oct. 18 2013]

Picked up another can of this (in a sampler pack), and I figured I'd give it another brief look. This is a well-made dark ale, though I fear my palate has moved on over the years as nothing about this strikes me as very interesting. Good balance, and not too saccharine. It's difficult to find a better mild, at least at this price point, so fans of the style might want to give this one a look if you're in the market for something straightforward and session-worthy.

Final Grade: 3.62, a B.

Photo of papat444
3.29/5  rDev -9.1%
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 Wordslinger
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of traumaqueen
2.5/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of WeissBoy
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of ThinkAgain
2.5/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of MattPS
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of barnzy78
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of oldp0rt
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of NV9
3.02/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of heebes
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
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 tbeckett
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark red with a fizzy light brown head. Bright with strong carbonation. Half finger of retention. No lace.

S - Caramel, nuttiness, toffee, sugar, molasses.

T - Ohhhh. Nice combo of sugar, nuttiness, caramel, bread, dark fruits, caramel. Good stuff.

M - Good carbonation, light to medium body with a nutty/sugary date kinda finish.

O/D - Hockley seems to make some quality classic styles. Easy drinking, flavourful, and interesting. The rich malt character is appropriate for the cooler weather these days. I like it.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.62/5  rDev 0%
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 Stocean1
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
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 bryehn
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of peensteen
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with ruby highlights, minimal white head around the edges. Smell is dark fruit and raisin with roasted malt, though the roasted character is quite minimal and IMO not as upfront as it should be, faint notes of alcohol come and go. Roasted malt, light astringent notes, chocolate and coffee take shape and battle it out and is really apparent in the finish and aftertaste along with a roasty smoke. Carbonation is a touch high here, light feel but medium body. Not bad overall finishes stronger than how it starts.

Photo of
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours deep brown with copper edges, very clear, finger of off white foam.
Aroma is predominantly toasty malt with subtle hops.
Flavour is smooth upfront, followed by roasted malt, chicory, and a bitter finish.
Solid English style dark ale.

Photo of paxkey
4/5  rDev +10.5%
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 Kartoffeln
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark ruby-brown with a bubbly beige head; dissipates to a thin ring in short order with a bit of lacing.

S: Sweet and roasty malts, cocoa, and hints of fresh fruit.

T: Lightly roasted malts, sweet cocoa, and mild (as opposed to bitter) coffee. Takes on a notable fruity character in the finish as it warms, adding a pleasant dimension to the taste profile.

M: Light in carbonation and body, smooth mouthfeel.

D: Very sessionable, though that's in part because it's rather light for a brown ale. Hockley describes it as a cross between the Northern brown ale and the Midlands mild; I'd say it's quite an enjoyable twist on the style.

Photo of marty21
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear dark reddish/brown with a big fluffy light tan head. Settles to a solid cap and leaves great lacing. The lacing practically covers all of the glass.

S: For the aroma up front it's roasted malts and chocolate with some dark fruits lingering in the back. The aroma isn't extremely strong but it's pleasant.

T: It has a light roasted taste to it with hints of caramel and chocolate. Just like the aroma some dark fruit tastes linger near the back and as the beer warms a bit more you also get some milk chocolate in the aftertaste. It's a good taste but a little watered down which leaves you wanting more from it.

M: Light carbonation with a light body. Very drinkable.

D: I enjoyed this beer. The one complaint I have is that it's a bit light. On Hockley's website they say they "tweaked the body slightly to give it a lighter, more North American appeal." I wish it had a fuller body and taste. The light body keeps making you come back for more to make up for the lightness and you end up finishing the can rather quickly. Overall still a good beer.

Photo of spinrsx
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of scott451
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. A thin fine tan head which soon diminished to a ring. A clear reddish dark amber.

Sweet malt smells. Ripe fruit. Some phenols. Plums and figs. Ripe fruit taste. Plum and fig again. Quite lively for a brown ale. Bready yeast at the finish.

Quite light really. Moderate carbonation. Very sessionable.

Photo of woodychandler
4.32/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you to BigBry for another CAN in another rolling CANTrade. There are a core group of us that will score CANs, save them up and send them on to others on a routine basis. It is pretty free-form and nobody is keeping track (hopefully), but CANned beer comes and goes pretty routinely. I find it highly ironic, however, that a beer that has primarily been reviewed from a CAN had a picture of a swing-top growler!

From the CAN: "At Hockley Valley Brewing Company we take our time brewing our beer. In fact each step of the brewing process is done by hand in small batches. This 'hands on' approach to our craft ensures 'The Perfect Balance'".

The Crack & Glug went according to plan, resulting in a finger-plus of mocha-tan head with good retention. Color was a ruby-red with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled redolently of cocoa. Mouthfeel was medium with an immediate taste of chocolate on the tongue. Finish was very chocolaty, but of milk chocolate, as opposed to dark chocolate, which is the standard. Dang! I could drink this as a regular thing. I really found this to be enjoyable on a slow afternoon in mid-Autumn. It might be too sweet for a day at the beach, but today? Beautiful!

Also from the CAN: "mild, light body, full flavour" and "Proudly Craft Brewed in Ontario, CANada". CANadian CANned beer, CAN you dig it?

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Hockley Dark from Hockley Valley Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.