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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 DLS168
3/5  rDev -8.3%

DLS168, May 02, 2013
Photo of timiskin
3/5  rDev -8.3%

timiskin, Apr 23, 2013
Photo of DaPan
3/5  rDev -8.3%

DaPan, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of HATS4BATS
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

HATS4BATS, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of sbarre
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

sbarre, Jan 12, 2013
Photo of GoHabsGo
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

GoHabsGo, Dec 29, 2012
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 wizo
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

wizo, Dec 16, 2012
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 Ralphs66
3.25/5  rDev -0.6%

Ralphs66, Aug 22, 2012
Photo of jniagar1
3/5  rDev -8.3%

jniagar1, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of DavidGross
3.5/5  rDev +7%

DavidGross, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of Screwball
4/5  rDev +22.3%

Screwball, Apr 10, 2012
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 BeerClubNiagara
3.5/5  rDev +7%

BeerClubNiagara, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of MattyV
3/5  rDev -8.3%

MattyV, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +22.3%

DrJay, Dec 04, 2011
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 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 05, 2011
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 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 GodOfBeer
3.7/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the nicest dark ales I've seen, pours a very dark red, thick off-white head with tons of lacing, just beautiful.

Smells nutty upfront, some sweet caramel, cappuccino like smell and some chocolate.

Tastes nutty, some slight chocolatey caramel and a nice citrusy hop finish. Definately some coffee or cappuccino like flavour in there too.

Nice creamy, slightly carbonated mouthfeel, somewhat thick, like a cappuccino, a nice drinkable dark ale.

GodOfBeer, Aug 05, 2009
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 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
Dark Ale from Upper Canada Brewing Company
76 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.