Hockley Black & Tan
Hockley Valley Brewing Co.

Hockley Black & TanHockley Black & Tan
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American Porter
Ranked #1,084
Ranked #42,416
3.5 | pDev: 8.29%
Hockley Valley Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada
Hockley Black & TanHockley Black & Tan
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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 53 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of TheHammer
3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: A body that is pretty much as dark a brown that you can get without being completely opaque. It poured with a finger and a half of frothy looking head, but it vanished in incredibly short order...so fast that I'm inclined to think didn't wash the glass right, no lacing.

Smell: A roasted dark malt smell with touches of dark chocolate and licorice with an almost rum like quality to it. Warming help brings it out a bit more.

Taste: Starts with a stout like dark and bitter roasted malt that brings forward light coffee is complimented by a lighter malt, ended with a bit of an odd mild brush of tonic water and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: That last brush has an odd texture to it, like the carbonation is trying to bring out the least interesting part of the beer. The transitioning is alright but the beer doesn't leave an aftertaste, which is a mixed bag.

Drinkability: Not quite rich enough to be stout interesting, and not quite refreshing enough to be an easy drinker. Kinda reminds me of a dunkel lager, but made far too tame. Easy enough to drink though.

Final Thoughts: All in all, it was an interesting experience, but i wouldn't say I'll be eagerly awaiting my next black and tan. All it all, I think it was a posistive experience, but really the rummy, carbonation note needs some work.

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Photo of SebD
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown color to it with some amber hues shining through. It has a thick tan head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of roasted malts, some chocolate/coffee and faint dark fruit.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a roasted malt character along with faint chocolate/coffee notes and some fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium/high carbonation with a decent overall balance and feel. Slightly watery.

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

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Photo of korguy123
3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can into tumbler. Part one of their mix pack.

A- Almost completely opaque brown pour. Short lived two finger light tan head. Recedes to thin cap leaving streaks of thin lacing.

S- Roasted malts, chocolate and some weak coffee. The guy below smelled beef au jus. I can kind of see it but isn't the first thing that came to mind.

T- Fairly bland. Roasted malts, watered down burnt coffee, a touch of chocolate and a floral hop finish.

M- Light bodied, lively carbonation.

O- I've never had anything from Hockley in the past, this is okay, unfortunately somewhat forgettable.

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Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Small head that dies to rim bubbles, but they do leave a ring of lace. The color is deep brown where light shines through on the edges.

Earthy and meaty smell. It actually smells like roast beef drippings. Some dark crystal aromas and nearly non-existent hop.

The flavor is better than the smell would indicate. There are elements of a stout (black coffee and burnt grain) and a pale ale (nice hop finish). The body is too thin for any beer, closer to soda. Good aftertaste of mocha and white pepper.

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Photo of maclean25
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this is a taste 3-pack while in Ottawa (the 3-pack cost $8 plus tax). This came in a 473 mL can. I've only ever had one other black and tan (at a taphouse in Vancouver).

This poured with a finger of foamy-soaping head which reduced quickly and leaft no lacing. It has an opaque black body. On the aroma I get mostly licorice but also dark (and cold) coffee and rootbeer. I find the taste to be tangy with the flavours of roasted malts, with the the coffee and licorice. It ends with a hit of hops. I find both the body and carbonation to be low-to-medium but it has a very silky smooth feel. Overall, I find this to be a good pick.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473 mL can from the LCBO; packaged on April 12th 2012. Poured into a regular glass mug. Hockley was one of the first Ontario craft brewers I had the chance to try beer from in my student days, and I recall liking most of what I sampled. The B&T is a new one for me, though.

Pours a very dark brown colour, basically opaque with maybe a few reddish-brown highlights. One finger of silky, creamy tan head looks promising at first, but quickly fizzles away, leaving some wisps behind on the surface and not much else. Looks like cold coffee maybe. Roasted malts are really the only specific smell I can pull out of the aroma, and they are of a dark cocoa or roasted coffee-like nature. Timid and inoffensive.

Fortunately, the taste is what matters most - and this happens to taste like a very respectable b&t. The flavours are decidedly on the 'black' side of the dichotomy, with the roasted malts in the aroma becoming greatly magnified on the palate. Bittersweet baker's chocolate and cocoa come to mind, with a few hints of roasted nuts and sweet, dark cherry. Lingering bittersweet burnt malt flavour in the aftertaste. On the thin side of medium-bodied, with relatively low carbonation and a very smooth mouthfeel. Easy-drinking and very refreshing for a dark beer.

Final Grade: 3.61, a solid B-grade. I'm not going to pretend that I've had a lot of black and tans, because I really haven't. That being said, this is a very good example of what I want from the style. Manages to be relatively interesting in terms of flavour/texture, without sacrificing drinkability.

B&Ts are scarce around here, but if anyone were to ask me to recommend one, this would probably be my first choice. I'll probably get it again at some point, too. People hoping for a sweeter dark beer like typical brown ales or (maybe) some stouts/porters may be disappointed, but I still like what Hockley has done here. Worth a try.

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Photo of MattPS
3.29/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Hockley Valley Black & Tan was a pleasant surprise and a very easy-going way to start Christmas Day drinking! Served from a can that was part of a multi-pack billed as a dark but surprisingly dark selection, it certainly lived up to its billing.

Appearance was good. There was a rich dark colour that isn't always there in black and tan mixes, with a good, slightly off-white head, which didn't hold quite as long as I would have hoped.

The lack of aroma was slightly surprising and did was the beers most disappointing quality. Gut feeling is that the light beer overpowers the smell of the stout.

In taste terms, Black & Tan is very smooth on the tongue, with good caramel undertones. It is mild to the taste, but we should remember that the whole point of mixing the light with the stout is to smooth out the strong flavours.

I had this served at room temperature and dwelt over it, and had no issues with lingering tastes or furry mouth. For the style, about the right feel, but real stout drinkers should note that they will find it fairly light and fluffy.

Overall, a perfectly pleasant and well-rounded example of a black and tan, but it doesn't set the world alight and make me wish I had more!

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

Appearance - very dak brown with a hint of ruby around the edges. Persistent cap of creamy, tan head.

Smell - roasted malt, dark fruit, earth.

Taste - Roasted malt and dark fruits make a repeat appearance, along with buttered bread and a slightly metallic bitterness.

Mouthfeel - aggressively carbonated.

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Photo of fostachild
3.36/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark colour, red tints around the edges. nice creamy light tan head. fades quickly and leaves a slight film.

pretty faint smelling but is mostly roasted malt.

taste is malty with a bit of coffee. has a slight roasted/smokey flavour as well.

okay carbonation. overall a decent drink.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - deep brown-red with a decent tan head that dissipated fairly slow
S - sticky molasses and burnt sugars, buttery, mild chocolate, leafy
T - definite stout roastiness with hints of cocoa and cold coffee, tobacco, very light leafy hops
M - medium to heavy body, smooth with a lingering tobacco burnt feel
O - surprised to see this as a packaged beverage, props for creativity, a decent enough drink worth a purchase, but I'd rather have it made at the pub

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Photo of CrazyMike
3.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black appearance with lots of bubbly brown head that quickly disappears leaving little lacing. Smell consists caramel, nuts and chocolate. Picked up malt and coffee as well, good dark combination.

Taste is similar to the smell, consists of coffee, chocolate, caramel, nuts, roasted grain and a hint of malt. Good combination but surprisingly light overall though. Light bodied with low carbonation. Aftertaste has a hint of malt, but very dry.

This is an interesting beer, comes off strong but very light tasting. Carbonation makes the beer a little unbalanced, but overall tasty and drinkable. Worth a try.

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Photo of Stocean1
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - poured a two finger beige head on top of a deep brown body - subsiding to a half finger collar with sticky patchy lacing

S - sweet malt, notes of caramel and chocolate, with a faint dark fruit

T - not as sweet as the nose and a little dry, again some sweet malt (a little biscuit), some chocolate and fruit, slight bitterness, hint of metal in the finish

M - pretty smooth and dry with plenty of carbonation and a medium body

O - another decent offering from Hockley I grabbed in their summer mixer pack

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Photo of wordemupg
3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

473ml bottle poured into pint glass May,24,2011

A dark cola with some purple when held to the light, large 3 finger dark tan head has excellent retention and good lacing (no points lost for no layers of color)

S some sweet malt with a little root beer, mild molasses and faint milk chocolate and coffee

T not far from the smell with a little chocolate covered raisin

M fairly thin and watery with enough carbonation to give it some life

O better then I expected and for a style I don't drink I could see myself drinking this again

no reason not to try this one and the price is right so that's a selling point

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Photo of paxkey
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

some changes to the website.

i have made a black and tan before. using the spoon trick to separate the colors of a guiness and bass.

this obviously has no color separation out of the can and it is the only black and tan i have tried from a can.

pours black with no head.
smells like the porter with more emphasis on malt.
nice aromas off this beer. very pleasing and enticing.
coffee grounds, creme brulee.

sharp carbonation nice bitterness in the middle but finishes surprisingly syruppy and sweet.
a little thin and metalic in the mouth as well.

like a coffee candy in my mouth for awhile after the swallow. not unpleasant.

a nice tasting beer. worth checking out.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

473ml pinstriped can. I infer from the sub-titling on the label that the lighter beer was added to the dark beer.

This beer pours a remarkably clear, very dark reddish amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, densely foamy pale beige head, which leaves some stranded atoll patterns of fuzzy lace around the glass as it gradually sinks away.

It smells of sweet bready, caramel malt, earthy bar-top nuts, and mild herbal, earthy hops. The taste shows an uptick in the nutty, toffee-like sweetness, with the same herbal, presently sour, almost musty hops skulking in the background.

The carbonation is quite mild, but hardly inactive, the body a middling medium weight, and smooth, with a slight indeterminate astringency. It finishes still sweet, the weedy, herbal notes further asserting themselves.

A decent enough, robust blend of a beer - except for the dodgy, somewhat unpleasantly pithy bitter character, perhaps. Hard to say exactly from which side of the dual inputs that this originates, but this would be all the more enjoyable in its absence.

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Photo of elricorico
2.89/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice dark brown, nearly black in the glass with a fair bit of medium brown at the edges. Two fingers of creamy beige head that slowly recedes to a half centimetre of stable topping.

Some chocolaty and nutty malt with a subtle dose of piny hops in the mix. Not bad aroma, but a bit dull.

Nutty malt with a hint of caramel to it. A sort of sourness to the middle that lingers. Hops faintly herbal, but mostly seem washed out by the sour sort of flavour. Not really to my liking.

Medium bodied with fairly sharp carbonation. Mouthfeel is alright.

Black and Tans haven't really hit the spot for me yet. This is just an okay beer that really looked good when poured.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.99/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From a 473 ml can. Pours out a deep brown hue, turns to a deep cola appearance when held to direct light. Creamy, spongy beige head that settles quickly.

The aroma is intense, a toasted nutty chocolate that does nothing but entice.

Toasted, mild roasty malt in the flavour, nuttiness, dry wafery cocoa along with a sweeter chocolate character. Almost a Kaluha-like character on the finish, with some roasty burnt malt in the aftertaste. All very clean.

Medium-bodied, slick thin texture, low carbonation, gets fuller on the swallow.

This one really surprised me, there's a great dark beer hidden away in this can that hits all the high notes for an easy-drinking dark ale. And the abv% keeps it well within session beer range, of which it will make a very satisfying one indeed. I'll be going back for more of this for sure.

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Photo of eat
3.52/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Opaque dark-brown body with root-beer highlights. An airy off-white head fades to a ring around the glass.

Tart apple cider, molasses, dark malt, minerals (lots of iron). Smells pretty much as you'd expect.

There isn't as much apple cider coming out in the flavour as I had expected. This mostly tastes like a really light English stout: lightly-roasted dark malt, little molasses, some cocoa-like powdery drying on the finish. There's a hint of apple cider in there but it's mostly covered by the stout half.

Very light body, maybe the lightest bodied dark beer I've had. I guess that's the effect of a half and half mix with cider. Mild carbonation. I think I'd like a thicker body here.

There are no off flavours and the too-light body does come with the benefit of added drinkability. I can't say I'm a fan of black and tan but it is certainly drinkable; I can even see this being enjoyable if you're in the mood for such a beverage.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with a solid creamy head.

S - Nose is toasty caramel, burnt grains and other roasty aromas. Hints of coffee and cocoa.

T - Dry and not overwhelmingly toasty. I think I see where this is going. Lighter flavour than the color would suggest, but with some solid roast and mild hopping.

M - Light and clean.

D - Pretty good drinkability. Being light and dry makes this an easy quaffer, but the darkness adds some nice flavour.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.42/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

473ml Can

Appearance - The beer pours a clear black/brown colour with a small size fizzy light brown coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and barely any lacing. The head lasted for only 2 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Toffee, chocolate, malts, coffee, metallic notes

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a very low amount of carbonation and it feels watery on the tongue. Most of the taste consists of malts, coffee, and chocolate. There are also notes of roasted nuts and a slight metallic taste. The beer finishes with a malty coffee aftertaste.

Drink - The beer had a nice smell and taste but it came across as too thin and watery. With a little tinkering this could be a really good beer.

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Photo of Sammy
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For a cold beer on a surprisingly hot day, from my local LCBO, this was not too bad. Pours brownish, with spider with a lacing trail. A significant sour edge that builds up, it is medium mouthfeeled, and sweetish but not too sweet. Has some interesting notes that contribute to drinkability.Malt aroma.

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Photo of Mindsquall
3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't had a black and tan (aside from mixing light and dark myself) in quite some time so I thought this would be a refreshing change. This poured very dark, almost black. Shining a light to it it's actually a very dark ruby. A slightly tan head when poured subsided to ring around the glass. Very slight lacing is present. Smell is of molasses and roasted grain, very much like a bold stout. Flavor here is really nice, it has the bold flavors from a stout and a refreshing finish of a pale ale. Quite a nice combination since it finishes very clean. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite smooth. Definitely a good dark session beer.

I'll get this one again.

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Photo of PEIBeerGuy
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When pouring, it looks exactly like dark cola. Even the fizz, at the start. For some reason, I expected something thicker. The head isn't too tall, but looks creamy when done pouring. It doesn't stay around for long.

A light whiff will give you a sweet malt-generated smell. A deep whiff gives more of a scent of wet pet hair. Mmmm... pet hair. As it warms up, it smells stronger - like a toffee liqueur with some bourbon or something.

The taste is pretty good. It's subtle, but has a few things going on: a bit of black licorice, some nut, a bit of coffee / vanilla. It reminds me a bit of Garrison's Nut Brown, but less nutty. I think the aftertaste and exhale are the best parts.

In the mouth, it feels fine. It's not too rich a feel for the subtle flavour, which is good. It keeps it drinkable. Although it's not very thick, it's not watery either. All in, carbonation included, it's a pretty nice balance.

Overall, a pretty drinkable beer. It would be easy to put a few of these back in a pub or on a deck. Or a couch.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This cola coloured brew is almost opaque save for the glowing edges that throw off a certain veneer. Tan head is on the dense side, a solid finger looks like it might remain but it slowly disperses leaving a nice ring and thin lacing. Moderately carbonated, bubbles tend to be quite large beneath that dark surface.

There is a toasty, nutty aroma, also some shoe leather. Taste of black licorice dominates, lots of toasted malts, dry finish lingers. This is definately more stout and less pale ale, medium body, substantial taste true to the style.

I think I cellared this can of beer a little too long but overall it still impressed, I'd like to try it fresher next time.

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Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is decidedly more 'black' than 'tan' and even close inspection right up to the sun discloses little more than a brush of warm brown along its base; the beer's opacity is never in danger of being compromised. Its eggshell-tinted head is not only creamy but is also dusted in a complimenting sepia-like tone. The contrast is most fashionable.

The aroma, again, is overwhelmingly all black and no tan. This smell of bittersweet chocolate, heavily roasted malts and the faint sweetness of cream would be more than acceptable for a Dry Stout; compared with most other pre-mixed black and tans this passes the smell-test with flying colours (those colours all being varying tones of black, of course).

I don't recall neither the Hockley Dark nor the Hockley Stout nor the Hockley Gold being anywhere near this robustly flavoured. What beer(s) they used to make this is anyone's guess? No matter, the mix is favorable: a roasty, very nutty, semi-sweet chocolate-cherry taste gives way to a more neutral, 'lager-ish' (non-)aftertaste.

It is considerably toothsome and, without peeking at the can, I would have considered a solid, sessionable pint of Irish Stout. It is light on the palate, despite its smoky and semi-sweet dark flavours, and lends itself to the pint glass and multiple rounds. It is at once a sociable tipple but worthy also of slower, more contemplative sipping.

Hockley Valley had done two delicious one-offs for a local cask festival, dubbed 'Black Forest Stout' and 'Peanut Butter and Jam Ale', both of which I enjoyed tremendously. This strongly reminds me of them, not the least because it's flavourful, sessionable and appreciably well-crafted. Fortunately, unlike the other two, this is one I can have again!

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Hockley Black & Tan from Hockley Valley Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 53 ratings