Hockley Dark | Hockley Valley Brewing Co.

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Hockley DarkHockley Dark
151 Ratings
Hockley DarkHockley Dark

Brewed by:
Hockley Valley Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 08-12-2004

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Ratings: 151 |  Reviews: 92
Photo of EvanHarper
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Moderately dark red-amber color, small short-lived offwhite head. Clear with a few small slow-moving bubbles.

Pleasant aroma of plums, raisins, burnt sugar, hint of spice.

Light taste, more raisin and caramel flavors, smooth clean bittering hops, slight fruity esters.

Medium-body, light carbonation, excellent creamy smooth mouthfeel.

Oustanding smooth dark mild, a quaffable and well-balanced interpretation of the style.

 427 characters

Photo of Exeter
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of decimator
3.04/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

473ml can poured into a point glass. ABV 5%.

A - Poured a clear cola reddish brown, thin white head, lively carbonation, good lacing.

S - Toffee, toast, some caramel, some nuttiness.

T - Toffee, nutty, some toast, some sour notes, mild bitter finish. Overall the flavour is rather thin.

M - Medium carbonation, medium-light body, some creaminess, a bit watery, mostly dry finish.

O - Drinkable but in part because it's a on the light side.

 444 characters

Photo of Bf_89
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of TheBeeraholic
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of hopsolutely
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Although higher alcohol content than many a "mild", lots of flavour in this British-style beer.

Pours a dark amber colour with little head and low retention. Impressive aroma of roasted toffee and dark roasted malts. This leads into a more simple taste, with a sweet nuttiness before a pleasant but light roasted malt body and hop bitterness.

Not a beer I buy often, but one I always enjoy and would recommend to any fan of North American takes on British ales.

 464 characters

Photo of timiskin
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of MylesMac
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of mjacquard
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of djcreepshow
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of SebD
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of caramel, roasted malts, nuts and toffee.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice nutty character with caramel, roasted malts and some breadiness.

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

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

 506 characters

Photo of korguy123
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, slightly hazy pour. Half finger creamy, light tan head. Lacing is decent.

Sweet biscuits, toffee, caramel, brown sugar. Light toasted malts with a touch of being toast.

Toasted malts, brown sugar, toffee and a touch of vanilla.

Light body, good carbonation.

 273 characters

Photo of bigox420
3/5  rDev -17.4%

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

Appearance: Dark brown/caramel color that's translucent. Small film of off-white head. Not quite as dark as I expected given the name on the can, but I like a beer with good clarity none the less.

Aroma: Big toffee note and an overall sweetness to the aroma. Smells like a Scottish Ale. Nice caramel apple type scent. However, the smell isn't as robust as I'd like it to be.

Taste: Much less sweet than the aroma hinted at (which works in its favor). There are some interesting malts being used in this brew. That nice toffee aroma comes through in the flavor, but in a much more subdued way. It reins in the sweetness and just gives you the toffee flavor with a nice roasty bitterness to hold it all together. I'm tempted to call this one a tad watery, but at only 5% abv it's giving a lot of bang for the buck. Slightly dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation and between medium and light in body. Easy drinking but the aftertaste becomes a little cloying about halfway through.

Final Thoughts: When I think of English Brown Ales, New Castle comes to mind. While Hockley Dark is in that same grain, it offers slightly less sweetness and a little more roughness on the palate. Overall, an interesting beer but not one that I would seek out again.

 1,255 characters

Photo of maclean25
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The second in my ($8) 3-pack of cans.

It pours with a light beige, creamy head which reduces with lacing. The body is dark brown and appears clear but it's nearly opaque. The aroma is mostly rootbeer and licorice. It tastes sweet. It has no strong flavour but has hints of old coffee, dates, and roasted nuts. It has a light body and medium carbonation
Overall, another good beer from Hockley. I find it shares similar characteristics to their Black & Tan (this dark ale may have been used in that). This beer isn't spectacular but definitely above average.

 558 characters

Photo of RedAleMan
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of emerge077
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

 600 characters

Photo of BigGruntyThirst
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of thehyperduck
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

 2,045 characters

Photo of papat444
3.29/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

 472 characters

Photo of Wordslinger
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of traumaqueen
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

Photo of WeissBoy
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of ThinkAgain
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

Hockley Dark from Hockley Valley Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.63 out of 5 with 151 ratings