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Stone Hammer Dark Ale - F&M Brewery

Not Rated.
Stone Hammer Dark AleStone Hammer Dark Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

27 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 27
Hads: 50
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 15.53%
Wants: 3
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
F&M Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Dark Mild Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DrJay on 10-09-2004

A sensationally easy drinking amber brown beer with considerable depth given its mild manner. The aroma hints at caramel and cocoa. It is smooth and lightly carbonated leaning towards nuts, lightly caramel and a hint of mocha.
View: Beers (9) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 27 | Hads: 50
Photo of DenisKolkin
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Re-review. Haven't tasted this fine beer in at least a couple of years. Purchased a 473ml can from the LCBO and served cool into a shaker pint. Cost was $2.75 CDN.

Appearance - clear, dark ruby in color and topped by a finger or so of tan head. Few visible bubbles, but certainly seems like an easy to quaff English beer in appearance. Some sparse lacing left behind.

Smell - straightforward, lots of nuts and aromatic dark fruit, some cherries, prunes, plums and a hint of pear.

Taste - quite nutty, with some hints of fruitiness like alcohol soaked cherries, before turning slightly bitter on the conclusion.

Mouthfeel - smooth, light carbonation not gassy. Easy to drink, and certainly something that could be quaffed in great volume over the coarse of an afternoon.

Overall - quite flavourful, easy to drink, lower ABV, what's not too love. One of the best takes on a Classic English style ale by a North American brewer.

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Photo of EricVonStein
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown amber and perfectly clear. Big bubbles and a small tan head that slowly makes its way down. Looks nice an healthy.

Aromas are distinct. Very toasty and very nutty, husky, toasted grains, some sweetness to the malts. Think of pine nuts in a hot skittle on an autumn afternoon camping.

Taste stays with the great aromas and delivers a wonderful nutty (pine nut, toasted peanut, toasted pumpkin seed) flavour, more roasty grains come out here, dried leaves, sweet malts balance underneath. Very earthy and organic. Touch of sulphur.

Beautiful flavour profiles that should get you to thinking about the outdoors, the pioneers and old timey pubs. Highly enjoyable.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for just under $3.00 for a 473ml can. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens very well and pours a 1" high whiteish brown head that lasts for 2mins or so before film out. Very dark brown colour and filtered clear

S- Very nice malty nutty smell. Super heavy

T- Very rich and roasted nutty good. I like the molasses heavy body and wonderful slightly smoky good little brew.

M- Dry yet creamy! Unusual mouth to say the least.

O- I like this one as a change up. It's heavy and nutty at a wonderful price point. Will definitely buy for the cellar

Food Pairing

This nice little brew went very well with......... roast beef with root veggies and gravy ooooooo good!


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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Bucky's roaming minion, he was able to sample a 341 ml bottle of Stone Hammer Premium Dark Ale ("PDA"), direct from the brewery's on-premises retail store. PDA came in a brown bottle with no visible production or "best before" date, and was 5.0% alcohol by volume.

PDA poured a dark brown mahogany colour with some deep ruby hues visible when held up to the light. Pouring produced a thin, short lived tan coloured head, which rapidly faded to a thin film, leaving no spotting or lacing down the glass. Its aroma was pleasant and mild...burnt malts with coffee and chocolate aromas noticeable. The taste was of dark malts up front with mocha notes, and a mildly bitter, nutty finish that lingered for just a few seconds after swallowing. I would describe PDA as medium bodied, with a modest carbonation that works well for the beer. Overall, a very nice, mellow dark ale that I would certainly drink again. My only complaint would be the lack of any head on the beer despite a fairly aggressive pour.

Rating 7.85/10

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Photo of andrenaline
3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a brown colour with an amber hue, thin layer of head with some retention and no real lacing.

S - Dark cocoa, milk chocolate, hints of maple and a grainy finish.

T - Bitter leafy greens, nice cocoa undertones, hints of fruity notes, touch of alcohol sweetness and toasted nuts on the finish.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and wet.

O - A tasty brew, easy drinking and easily sessioned.

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Photo of Groulxsome
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice, clear brown dark caramel colour.

S - Rich molasses, toasty malts.

T - Again, (sweet) molasses with a nice malty middle and a slightly hoppy end with a little hint of bitter. It really is a mild dark ale.

M - Light carbonation. Fairly light in the body too. The bitter tends to grow a little after drinking.

O - A very nice English dark mild. Great as a beer to match with a meal (it's not overpowering) or a multiple pint beer at the pub. Easy to drink without sacrificing on flavour and bitterness.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear, medium brown with lots of bubbles but not much foam.

S - Nose has some toast, caramel, hints of raisins.

T - Fairly clean bitterness with some roasty notes. A bit of sweetness and apple. Hints of coffee.

M - Light, sharp carbonation.

D - Not bad. Fairly easy drinking, sessionable dark ale.

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Photo of liamt07
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from an OCB mixpack, Christmas gift from the girlfriend's mom. 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Poured dark red/mahogany with some deep orange hues. Filtered, with a cream coloured, foamy head. Dense lace, good retention. Quite a nice nose (if this really is an English Mild), some chocolate, toasty dark breads, some grains and a bit of sweetness. Maybe a bit of diacetyl. Taste has a bit more of the diacetyl butter, nuts, toasty grains, less chocolate, and a bit of roast in the finish. Light fruitiness. More graininess in the finish, slight bitterness too. Medium mouthfeel, and a sorta low carbonation. A pleasant beer, nothing I'd seek out regularly, but solid in its own right.

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Photo of SebD
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice brown/copper color to it. It has a nice tan head that dies down moderately and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of roasty malts, dark fruit, some chocolate, earthy hops and some nutty notes.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice roasty malt feel, dark fruit, light chocolaty notes, light earthy hop bitterness and some nutty undertones.

Mouthfeel: It has a high carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Photo of Stocean1
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a half finger head subsiding to a well retained collar, the colour of beef broth with some fine sticky lacing

Smell is dark malt and floral hops, nutty, some figs

Taste follows the noes with some sweet dark bread

A medium bodied brew with decent carbonation, some bitterness, dry, not overly sweet and a little tart

Overall, a decent dark ale that is sessionable and worth another go

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

341 mL bottle from the OCB winter sampler; no best before date. I think this is the first time I've reviewed a legitimate example of this style (Keith's Dark notwithstanding).

Pours a deep brownish-amber colour, with a little less than a finger of foamy beige head on top. It fizzles away pretty quickly, leaving behind a thin, filmy cap and collar. Some lacing on the sides but not impressive quantities or anything. Nice malty aroma; strong scent of dark/baker's chocolate and dark roasted malts. Some leafy, grassy notes as well which bodes well for the hop presence.

The aroma was not misleading because this stuff is quite tasty. Tons of roasted biscuit malts with a bit of a nutty feel to them. This is accompanied by some toffee and bittersweet dark chocolate notes, lighter than the aroma might imply but very nice anyway. A few faint fruity notes, akin to raisins. Earthy, leafy hop bitterness toward the finish that blends with the roasted malts for a dry, roasty aftertaste. Rather light, perhaps approaching medium-bodied, but a bit overcarbonated for my liking. Still, this is very drinkable for a 'dark beer'.

A tasty dark ale, sessionable and well-balanced for sure although 'mild' might not be the most appropriate descriptor because the flavour is fairly full for a 5%er. Any fan of brown ales would have little difficulty appreciating this stuff. Definitely worth a try, and a solid start to this season's OCB sampler. I'll definitely keep an eye out for more stuff from this brewery in the future - really wish I knew about these guys back in uni, because they would have been a nice change from Sleeman and Wellington.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Brown colour with a large size frothy beige/off-white coloured head. There is a high amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, hay/straw

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and some grains. There is also quite a bit of farm like flavours.. hay, straw, grass.. not unlike some of the beers from Beau's. It ends with a malty light chocolate aftertaste with a touch of hops.

Overall – There are some interesting flavours going on here. It's not really how I like my beers to taste but I can appreciate the fact that it is at least interesting. Give it a try if you happen to see it.

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Photo of Kartoffeln
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours deep, slightly translucent chocolate brown with a small, foamy tan head. Quickly dissipates to nothing but a patch of bubbles, leaving scant lacing.

S: Sweet, chocolate and brown malts with roasty notes and lots of fresh, dark fruits. Earthy, floral hops are present but subdued.

T: Sweet, slightly grainy brown malts with chocolate and toffee undertones up front with rich, fruity esters; gives way to nutty, roasty malt flavours and peppery floral hops (Fuggles, I’d guess).

M: On the lighter end of medium-bodied, with light, creamy smooth carbonation. The slight roasted bitterness in the finish keeps it from getting cloying.

D: A delicious, easy-drinking ale that's well worth a try and perfect for sessioning (5% ABV, yes, but tolerance and patience take care of that).

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Photo of biegaman
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Stonehammer Dark Ale looks like liquid brown sugar. It does have bright filaments that form in the light, however, and make me think more of maple syrup. Either way, my sweet-tooth has perked up. Its complexion could use a bit of a polish but its clarity is absolutely flawless. Its head deflated quickly and left the surface (and the glass) virtually bare.

This is the kind of smell that I imagine steeped the brewhouses of nineteenth century England. The toastiness of these malts has a kind of mustiness that is sweet but faintly sooty like the draft that flows out from the fireplace. There's something about these brown malts (and the much faded hoppy earthiness) that smells somehow antiquated.

A good mild will never taste mild. It may be mild in alcohol content, and hence the name, but as a whole this is a style that is typically packed with great flavours. Toasty, grainy breads, smothered in nutty sweetness and earthy hoppiness. It has a kind of sooty, negligibly roasty element like that of a dark cocoa that was made with mineral-rich water.

The ale yeast disguises surprisingly little of the malt's nutty, toasty sweetness; fruity esters are relatively few and far between for the style. While purists will argue that its 5% alcohol content disqualifies it as a "session" candidate, I really don't know how much more "sessionable" - in the sense that I would *want* to drink it all night - a beer could get.

If it is impossible to transplant the charm, character and conviviality of the traditional English countryside pub to North America, at least we can enjoy the flavour of a good dark mild ale that brings back images of such a place. I feel most fortunate to have a brewery offer such a thing so close to home. I'll be sure to thank them with many repeat purchases.

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Photo of CanadaBlue
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Cedar House, Paris.
Served in a brewery glass.

A few quick thoughts and impressions. Deep amber and rich in flavor. Toasty, a little malty. Smooth and very easy drinking. Very good lacing.

Overall, really a really great beer. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of cratez
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

341ml bottle from the brewery. Deep copper in colour with dark brown edges and a ring of eggshell white head. Some stringy lace on the pint glass. Smell and taste are nutty malts, bread dough, toasted biscuit, floral hops, toffee sweetness, cream, roasted barley, and very light chocolate malt. Mouthfeel is thinnish medium, average carbonation, crisp bite mid-body, mildly bitter and dry, chestnut finish. Drinks like a session brown ale, though not as tasty as Grand River Mill Race (despite the higher gravity). Regardless, it's one of the best dark ales in the province. Give this a try if you haven't already.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On draught at the University of Waterloo Grad House.

Pours a chocolate brown colour, leaving a thin, tan head that lingered throughout. A decent bit of lacing too.

A solid nutty aroma, with some dark fruit and light hop as well.

One of the better dark ales in Ontario - flavorful (malts, nuts, dark fruit, a bit of spice and bread) and highly quaffable. Was a bit overcarbonated on draught, but it settled nicely about halfway through the pint.

Good stuff, well worth a try!

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Photo of wiseguy142
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one as a gift.. definitely a complex brew with a lot of yeast and malt character to it. Some raisins, some charcoal, some wheat- reminds me of one of the Magic Hat Odd Notions a few years ago that I used to like.

Very smooth on the palate and very clean fermentation with little in the way of esters, besides a very slight buttery taste that complements the malt nicely.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Darught at Woolwich Arms in Guelph, ON- Deep amber pour with a decent sized frothy beige head. Chocolate and malts in the nose, with a mild dose of hops and molasses. Fairly sweet and nutty, with a touch of bitterness from the hopping. Lingering mild bitter finish, with malts also left behind. Good.

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Photo of bobsy
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Draught at C'est What? Deep amber colouration to the body with a small off-white head that left some decent lacing. Gives off a sweet, bready aroma, with lots of chocolate and a bit of spice and nut. Creamy, smooth taste with fruity malts and caramel overtones. Medium bodied, but perhaps a touch over-carbonated (I'd love to try this on cask). Pretty decent beer from F&M and a nice easy quaffer.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask at C'est What?

Aroma was mainly chocolate with a touch of sweet coffee.

Looked copper/red/amber in colour. A little bit of a haze if you really take a good look in good lighting. It left some good lace.

Tasted chocolate. Roasty-toasty, sweet, bready malts. Kind of nutty. Maybe a whispered hint of floral hops in there somewhere too.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Light to medium bodied. Soft, fine carbonation was done in moderation.

Overall, I think that this is a great and sessionable brew. Try it!!

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Photo of Derek
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask at C'est What?

A: Amber brown, off-white head, not much retention but it leaves a little lace.

S: Fruity (dark fruit, bubble gum from the Brit. yeast); bready; with a little caramel sweetness, nut & spice.

T: Very pleasant fruityness from the British yeast as well as hops (which are now all Fuggles). Quality bready malt, with a little nut, caramel & earthyness. Mild bitterness.

M: Silky smooth, modest carbonation on cask.

D: Hell yeah!

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Photo of Viggo
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was the cask version, dry hopped. Pours a slightly hazed brown/red, small off white head forms, nice lacing. Smell is spicy floral, caramel, chocolate, slightly nutty and grainy, some roast in the finish. Taste is chocolate and nuts, citrus and floral in the finish, some roast. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, nice and smooth. Not bad, little bit different from the normal version, nice to try.

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Photo of TerryW
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice chesnut brown colour, but otherwise nothing special to look at. No head, no lace.

Appetizing sweet malty nose. Caramel, malt and some roastiness. Tasty and quite smooth, nice drinking beer. A touch of chocolate throughout, gently bitter finish.

A decent beer, worth a try.

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Photo of pootz
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep chestnut brown into my pint glass. Small off white cap thay went to a ring fairly soon but it did leave lace on the glass. Aroma was pleasant; sweet caramel malts over nutty-musty tones, some fruit and grass smells. Silky body, light nutty malt tastes up front...fleeting date or raisin tones in the middle mingle with the now detectable grassy hops and nutty malt falvours, then the finish sees the nut-malt fall away and a very subtle bittering takes over.

This is a very tasty and unique ale...a Hybrid, I think. Some Nut brown character with dark ale profile...nice blend....possibly the best ale from this brewer.

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Stone Hammer Dark Ale from F&M Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.