Hockley Black & Tan | Hockley Valley Brewing Co.

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Hockley Black & TanHockley Black & Tan
53 Ratings
Hockley Black & TanHockley Black & Tan

Brewed by:
Hockley Valley Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cratez on 06-02-2010

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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 30
Photo of RevCraig
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of ZachT
4.21/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of IronDjinn
3.99/5  rDev +13.7%
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 Mindsquall
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
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 allergictomacros
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
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 pootz
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Pours a dark clear brown with ruby highlights.

Nice puffy sand colored cap lasts and laces well.

Aromas are inhibited but pleasant : roasty nutty maltiness over some grassy hops..clean smelling.

Moderate body chewy mouth feel, roasty-toast-nutty character.

Front side is malt forward you get roast and toastiness some nut-like tones all well balanced with a sturdy pleasing hop bitterness...finish remains roasty-toast with good hop balance then a quick dry bitter end, Very pleasant, very rounded, balanced and finished. Like a porter with more pale malt instead of caramalt or crystal. Very drinkable...a dark sessioner.

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Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
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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Photo of paxkey
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
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 ThinkAgain
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of RedAleMan
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Wordslinger
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of BigGruntyThirst
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of bobsy
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I ask myself what's the point of a canned black & tan? Am I supposed to pour it over a spoon to split it into its constituent parts? Presumably this particular blend is the decent Hockley Stout, and the less than decent Hockley Gold. Let's see if the stout has the chutzpah to carry this one.

The pour appears to be a nondescript brown until you hold it up to the light, whihc reveals it to be of the deepest ruby wth gold at the edges. A light tand head dies to a patchy film and collar, but not before giving up a few spots of lace. Subdued describes the aroma well. What's there is certainly pleasant, but its far from prominent and fails to serve as a satisfying prologue to a sip. Caramel is the dominant tone, with nut and dry roasted malt behind it, which is more or less how I expected the style to smell.

For such a mediocre style, the Hockley Black & Tan really isn't too bad a beer at all. It clearly shows its Irish dry stout origins, with big dry roasted malts shining through, providing stale coffee and tobacco tones. This is countered by a fruity sweetness, a moderate dose of caramel and some toasty malt. What hops are present don't ptovide any more than a mild wave at the tongue before going to sleep. The palate is pleasing - medium-light with a pillowy carbonation and a lingering dryness.

This is certainly an interesting beer, and in my limited experience with the style, the best I've come across so far. For all the world it strikes me more as a decent English Brown Ale than anything, and a bit better for its subdued sweetness and enhanced dryness. It won't be a beer I'd buy again as it doesn't appeal to my palate, but I think its a great stab at a pointless style, and I can see why people would like it.

Nb. This is rated to style. All things being equal I'd have scored this a lot lower, but for a black & tan its surprisingly decent.

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Photo of CrazyMike
3.72/5  rDev +6%
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 kwjd
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with thin tan head that dissipated quickly. Smell is very subtle, a bit of roasted malt. Some roasted chocolate taste, with mild bitterness. Nice carbonation level and I could drink several of these. Nothing really great here, but it still is pleasant enough.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
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 thehyperduck
3.61/5  rDev +2.8%
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 Stocean1
3.58/5  rDev +2%
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 maclean25
3.58/5  rDev +2%
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 joemcgrath27
3.57/5  rDev +1.7%
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 PEIBeerGuy
3.56/5  rDev +1.4%
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 eat
3.52/5  rDev +0.3%
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 wordemupg
3.51/5  rDev 0%
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 byronic
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

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Hockley Black & Tan from Hockley Valley Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 53 ratings