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 Sammy
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
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 biboergosum
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
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 smcolw
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
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 spinrsx
3.42/5  rDev -2.6%
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 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 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 barnzy78
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of StormAles
3.22/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of DaPan
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

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 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 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 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 byronic
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

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 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 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 cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of SebD
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
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 RedAleMan
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Bf_89
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of Pmicdee
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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 CurtisD
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Exeter
3.25/5  rDev -7.4%

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