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Dark Ale - Upper Canada Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark AleDark Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

56 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 1
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Upper Canada Brewing Company visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Like ales of Northern England, this ale combines British Challenger hops and yeast, spring water, carastan and black patent malts for a robust malty character and a rich chestnut-coloured ale.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-22-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jniagar1:
Photo of jniagar1
3/5  rDev -8.3%

jniagar1, Aug 07, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.88/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle with a picture of a water mill. Ingredients proudly proclaimed.

Appearance: Dark brown/burgundy, not much head action due to filtering.

Smell: Rich, very ripe fruit.

Taste: Dark, malt, fruit, sweet flavours, a bit nutty and a bit smooth.

Notes: A damn nice attempt at an English Brown. Runs a bit thin still, but rich in flavours. (5% alc./vol.)

BeerAdvocate, Feb 22, 1998
Photo of Sammy
2.35/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

chestnut brown with some initial creamy head. Skanky smell. Carbonation in place of haps, bothering the mouth. Some malt, a trace of fruit, and a mid-sip hint of toffee and chocolate. Bitterness bite. Better than warm water at the end of a summer day.

Sammy, May 19, 2004
Photo of traumaqueen
2/5  rDev -38.8%

traumaqueen, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of TheBeerGuy101
3.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich, deep ruby brown. Roasted chestnut<----

Very little lacing.

It's bold in taste ( very hoppy ) but it does have some toffee, coffee, molasses, caramel, chocolate and malt on the nose.

Its easy to drink, soft on the palate and does have a good malt content!
Semi Sweet / Semi Bitter... ( Although, some may argue that! )
The finish is slight fruit and floral towards a hops touch.

Its a decent ale and one that that is easy to drink a few of!

For a premium turned discount, this one stands a slight touch above average for a dark ale.
Enjoy!

TheBeerGuy101, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of Stingray5
3.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured reddish brown with a tiny bubbled, fast dissapating head. Nutty malt and caramel in the aroma. Mouthful was a bit on the thin side. Taste was malty with dark fruit, caramel and something almost dopplebock-like.

Aside from being a little thin, this was an enjoyable brew and a treat to find in a hotel bar next to a Coors Light tap handle.

Stingray5, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of Ralphs66
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

Ralphs66, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of DavidGross
3.5/5  rDev +7%

DavidGross, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.85/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed February 19, 2005. 12 Oz Bottle. Nice earthen pour. Thin white head, with poor lacing. Malty, lacking hops. Caramel and apple pie tones, backed with a very faint floral. Not overly watery, sustains decently on the palate. Generally weak.

CharlesDarwin, Jul 23, 2006
Photo of ThinkAgain
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

ThinkAgain, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of Noelito76
3.78/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Color was a deep dark red and this beer created a small head when poured.

Taste was a nice balance between maltiness, hoppy aftertaste, and fruit flavors in it that usually are not so present in dark ales but what made this beer rather tasty.

Downside was the mouthfeel which was a bit light but still a tasty enjoyable beer.

Noelito76, Jun 07, 2005
Photo of MTNboy
2.8/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nothing out of the usual. Dark a little lace not much for a head.

Smell: Slightly beany with a stale and musty odor.

Taste: There is a roasted malt flavor, and slightly bitter sweet.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied.

Drinkability: pretty average there is nothing to write home about.

MTNboy, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of baiser
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark burgandy colour, with a smallish tan head, good lacing and retention. Aroma of malt, fruit and some caramel. Taste was mellow, some nuts, some caramel, quite sweet and good malt flavour. Nothing too pronounced. A very safe beer. Smooth, just the right amount of carbonation, but thin on the body. Ok, brown ale.

baiser, May 13, 2005
Photo of uno99
3.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Up's and downs pub in Sarnia.

A: I was presented with a dark liquid with no head. looked rather porter-ish.

S: LOTS of dark roasted malt. low hop presence but still rather refreshing

T: dark malts, cherries and dark fruits. no off flavors.

M: a little thin and lacking but dry on the finish.

D: This beer is very undemanding of the drinker and thus one that could be drank in quantity.

I enjoyed this beer as part of a "first pint is free" promotion, plus you get to keep the pint glass... impressive! My first upper canada beer, and a good one. I think I'll try their other offerings.

uno99, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of Shiloh
2.75/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not the best product from Upper Canada Brewing Company but I may be bias as this is far from my style.......pours a medium dark amber with a slight tan head......medium body and no aroma to speak of....flavour starts as bitter but sweetens in short time.....

Shiloh, Jan 12, 2003
Photo of BigBry
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle with dinner in Ottawa, one of the only local/small brewers available.
Pours very reddish color, thin cap of foam with decent retention and some thin chunks of lacing.
Light, mild aromas, some caramel, earthy hops. Slightly sweet taste, caramel malts, slightest hint of chocolate. Finish was a bit fruity, but almost sour. Medium body, smooth and easy to drink. A bit lighter (body and flavor) than I was expecting, but still enjoyable.

BigBry, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of thehyperduck
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341 mL bottle from a 12-pack obtained at TBS; bottled Nov 15 2012. As far as value-brand beers go, I still feel that Upper Canada provides the best bang for your buck in this province by a wide margin. I've enjoyed their lager many times now, but this was the first time I picked up a case of the dark ale.

Pours an attractive ruby-amber colour, completely translucent, topped with one finger of dense, creamy, off-white head that quickly dissolves into a thin cap and collar. The aroma is subdued, with no particularly distinguishing features catching my attention - caramel, maybe a hint of nuts and coffee/cream, with some earthiness from the hops. Appropriate enough for the style, but far from a memorable scent.

The flavour doesn't stray far from this 'to-style, but pedestrian' theme. There are some toasted, grainy malt flavours, with a light caramel sweetness, and the finish is a mixture of earthy, leafy dryness and a weird vegetal flavour that clashes with the rest of the profile. Pretty thin-bodied and watery, with carbonation levels comparable to most macro ambers. Although uninspired, the flavours are still well-balanced so this would make for a reasonably good, cheap session beer.

Final Grade: 3.25, an acceptable C+. Judging it solely on style, Upper Canada's Dark Ale isn't especially great, and frankly it really doesn't compare to most OCB browns in terms of quality. That being said - it isn't trying to be a premium craft beer. It's a value brand priced the same as their lager, and as far as cheap ambers/browns go, you are probably not going to find a brew of this quality for this price anywhere else in Ontario. Consider this worth a try if you're looking for something simple and affordable to drink socially, but aren't really in the mood for a pale lager. I'm sure I'll return to this at some point for that very reason.

thehyperduck, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of Antikythera
3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: not as dark as most of the dark ales I like. Reddish-amber. Lots of head when poured, goes away and leaves lacing.

S: sour and nutty.

T: mild caramel and chocolate with a bitter finish. Less of that bitterness as it warms up in the glass.

M: creamy, then fizzy. Faint lingering astringency that's not unpleasant.

O: this is one of the beers my inlaws buy for the cottage. It's tasty, refreshing, and a good value. I'm a fan.

Antikythera, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of Treebrews
3.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this in a bottle, small, carmel head, with little to no lacing. The smell is chocolaty, somewhat sweet. Not overal impressed with this beer, the taste is average with again chocolate, and almost honey tasting. i see that everyone views this differently from average to pretty decent, but in my opinion, nothing special. have to remember it's a ale,and not a darker beer though.

Treebrews, Dec 14, 2006
Photo of Tone
3.43/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of pale malt, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of hops, and slight corn/rice. Fits the style of an English Brown Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, pale malt, hint of hop, and a hint of citrus. Overall, good appearance, decent body, and good blend.

Tone, Oct 11, 2012
Photo of RevCraig
4.5/5  rDev +37.6%

RevCraig, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of Jotora
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

Jotora, Jul 12, 2014
Photo of canadianbarman
3.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

--Plain brown bottle, no freshness date to be found.
--Poured a thin muddy water like in color. Head started out nice, then lowered to a slim head. There was some slight lacing.
--Smelled sweet and malty, almost like a chocolate.

Not too bad. It had a fairly sweet taste to it. I was a good attempt at a dark ale, almost a little thinner than I expected, but I didn't mind, as I am not a huge dark ale fan. Overall I would drink this one again.
Thx

canadianbarman, Sep 23, 2003
Photo of EvanHarper
3.58/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Ruby red, 1 finger of head rapidly dissipating, few bubbles, no lacing.

S: Dry fruit, caramel, faint grainy vegetation, pale malt.

T: Starts semi-sweet and fruity, finishes dry, moderately bitter, and with a noticeable chocolate malt character that pushes this almost into porter territory.

M: A little watery. Appropriately low carbonation.

O: No world-beater, but amazingly good for a budget beer. Drinkable and well-balanced. Old-timers insist that U.C. Dark went way downhill after Sleeman bought the brewery up; if so, the original stuff must have been the nectar of the gods. Nonetheless, the version we have today is a fine addition to Ontario's menu.

EvanHarper, Oct 02, 2013
Photo of matt7215
2.93/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341 ml bottle form the beer store

dark brown with a tan head that never goes away

aroma of light roasted malts, some caramel and coffee notes but pretty minimal

flavours are slight and thin but not off style

pretty boring overall but certainly not bad

i could drink this if nothing better was around

matt7215, Dec 18, 2008
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Dark Ale from Upper Canada Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.