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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:
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 20, 2004
Photo of biegaman
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not an easy beer to knock but one that couldnt quite make the cut for my taste. I am a huge fan of this style and had heard only great things about this beer. And while I felt it a little short of great, I could recognize what it was that others enjoyed: a slight chocolat afterthough, a light roasted undertone accompanied with the overshadow of different chewy, yummy malts. None of this though was pronouced enough for my liking. I have had so much better in many other dark ales that it only make this one seem inferiour. I would imagine however that with alittle tweaking this beer would have the potential to be one of the truly great (Canadian anyways) dark ales

biegaman, Oct 14, 2006
Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +22.3%

DrJay, Dec 04, 2011
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 francisweizen
3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes: Sampled on Tap at 'Yank's' a quaint little bar located in the Canadian town of Niagara Falls, Ontario. The little female bartender who works there is amazingly attractive! This beer arrived with a nice head on it. It was a beautiful dark brown colour with some wonderful aromas of british malts and faint hops. This smelled and tasted like a great, all-malt dark ale. The mouthfeel was a bit thin and the drinkability was a little above average. Decent.
Cheers!
-F

francisweizen, Apr 28, 2003
Photo of andrenaline
3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a ruby red colour, finger of head with decent retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Pretty mild in nature, but dark chocolate and musty espresso scents are present.

T - A bit bitter and sour, but the dark chocolate malts and espresso flavours come through followed by a touch of caramel on the finish.

M - Medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness. The bitterness is noticeable but is not overly offensive.

D - Overall, a tasty ale and an economical selection that offers decent flavours for the price point. There's definitely better brown ales available, but this is by no means terrible. Worth a try for sure and easily poundable.

andrenaline, Jan 06, 2011
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 DaPan
3/5  rDev -8.3%

DaPan, Feb 14, 2013
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 pootz
3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

No date code on the plainish brown bottle.. some information in the back label about the ingredients.

Poured a beautiful red-mahogany color with a smalish tan head...not much carbonation. I couldn't believe that there was so little definitive or distinct aroma....slight hops and sweetish malt odors...nothing really striking. This beer defies taste description as it has so many flavors sweet malt, hop bitters, slightly sour yeasty finish. A very good representation of this english dark ale style. This is not to my particular tastes but for those who like these ales this is a good enough one.

pootz, Aug 03, 2003
Photo of hopsolutely
3.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very pleasant surprise.

I'd expected a sweet dark beer typical of those brewed elsewhere in Ontario and was impressed by the bitter finish. A dark amber with great head and rings of lacing down the glass at the end of my pint. Aroma is a very limited, faint maltiness. The taste is more pleasant, with the sweet caramelized malts blending nicely into the pleasantly bitter finish. A lingering aftertaste that I hadn't expected.

Wouldn't be my first choice of local Ontario draught, but miles ahead of any macro efforts and a beer I'd order again.

hopsolutely, Nov 06, 2011
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 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 TerryW
2.68/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours red-brown with a moderate head that quickly goes away. Hardly any lace.

Sweet smelling. Subtle malt and hops, nothing that leaps out at you.

Quite light bodied. Sweet, some malt, some hops, but light tasting, again nothing that distingusihes itself.

Rather plain.

TerryW, Oct 01, 2003
Photo of Belittle
3/5  rDev -8.3%

Belittle, Jan 10, 2014
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 mattcrill
3.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Olde Angel Inn

Appearance: Shoe leather brown pour with virtually no head. A tan ring around the glass.

Smell: Slight musty sweet malt smell.

Taste: Carmel, tea, honey, just a touch of wheat bread, and bittering hops at the end.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with a nice brush of carbonation.

Drinkability: Went down easy. Not sure why this beer is "not recommended". It's not an outstanding beer but it tastes good off the tap and went great with my meal. Maybe the bottled version is off but I'd recommend trying this once.

mattcrill, Sep 17, 2005
Photo of Ralphs66
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

Ralphs66, Aug 22, 2012
Photo of kbub6f
3.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought at The Beer Store (Terry Fox North of the 417: Kanata), a couple of days in the trunk, a couple of days in the fridge.

A medium-sized, cream-colored, dense head leaves sticky, thin sheets and spots. Sweet toffee and a touch of chocolate in the nose and front. Caramel maltiness and a little butter in the middle. A little more cream and fruit show at temperature. A surprisingly light body. A zangy, bitter finish. Some toasted grains in the aftertaste.

This is a good, "light" dark: light body, dark taste.

kbub6f, Jul 02, 2003
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 ramrod666
2.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

upper canada dark ale pours a nice amber with a nice lacey head in a 24 oz. glass. smell is ok. kinda sweet wiht some adjuncts, corn. taste was not bad but, nothing really stood out. mouthfeel was thin and watery. lightly carbonated. drank quite a few because the price was nice. 4.50 cdn a draft, a big draft. that went down pretty good on a uncharacteristicly hot canadian day.

ramrod666, Aug 27, 2004
Photo of ThinkAgain
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

ThinkAgain, Sep 28, 2013
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 Pog-Mo-Thoin
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

Pog-Mo-Thoin, Jan 07, 2014
Photo of changeup45
3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1/21/2005. Pretty good. Dark amber-brown color and poured a thick head which left lots of lacing on the glass. A rich malty, smoky flavor to it. Much richer than expected. Nice and a little warming (it was something like 5 degrees yesterday!). So this definitely was enjoyed.

changeup45, Aug 24, 2008
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Dark Ale from Upper Canada Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.