Hockley Amber | Hockley Valley Brewing Co.

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Hockley AmberHockley Amber
45 Ratings
Hockley AmberHockley Amber

Brewed by:
Hockley Valley Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by spinrsx on 06-29-2012

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by bryehn:
Photo of bryehn
3.2/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber colour with a foamy white head. Leaves very little lacing and settles as a healthy collar.

Smells of mineral water, caramel and toasted grains. Earthy backing with smooth plum or raisin note.

Heavy, slightly sweet and bread-like toasted malt flavour with a certain grassiness. Hints of chocolate and plum. Well-balanced bitterness.

Full-bodied with medium carbonation. Subtle, yeast-like tingle and pop on the tongue. Dry finish, with caramel, earth and toasted grain notes in the aftertaste.

Nice, full-flavored amber, especially given ABV. Great with lunch meats, raw veggies and crackers.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of EvanHarper
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Light amber, with a finger of very short-lived, ivory-colored head. Crystal clear and not a lot of bubbles.

S: Malty, hints of citrus and earthiness, toasted grain. Sticking my nose in the can I could get some earthy/grassy hop notes.

T: Smooth. Lightly toasted bread, subtle citrus, a hint of burnt sugar. Definitely on the sweet side, but with just enough hopping to prevent it being cloying.

M: Medium-bodied, lowish carbonation.

O: Outstanding. Goes against the current trend towards hop-bombs, with more of a "blonde ale" balance despite its darker color. This is a craft beer that can satisfy enthusiasts while remaining quite accessible to neophytes. Subtle, balanced, and very satisfying.

(Note: Re-reviewed 2014-05 because they've apparently reformulated this, now has 5.2 instead of 4.2 percent alcohol by volume. I didn't notice a huge change, but my general opinion of this beer has only grown over time.)

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Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of djcreepshow
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of ConnorG
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

473ml can, part of a Hockley Taste Pack, apparently only available in Alberta at Co-op stores around Calgary.

This beer pours a clear, dark, glistening copper amber hue, with two fingers of fizzy, tightly foamy pale tan head, which leaves a few lingering islet strings of lace around the glass as it quickly dissolves.

It smells of sweet caramel/toffee malt, some mildly bitter cocoa nibs, a slight oily nuttiness, and rather prominent (relatively) leafy, earthy hops. The taste is more nutty caramel malt, reminiscent of many a recent awkward Christmas cookie moment, a mild eggnog creaminess (there I go again!), but without the attendant spice, and softly musty, leafy hops.

The bubbles are average, and dutifully supportive in that very manner, the body a decent medium weight, but not without a doddering clamminess. It finishes a tad off-dry, the caramel malt kind of giving off a last rites vibe, the nutty contending with the musty, and some leafy, weedy hops playing us out.

Not a bad amber ale, or as they are apparently now called, Canadian Amber Ale, which I wholeheartedly support for inclusion in the new style wars, um, I mean discussions, on this site. There is just something indeterminately unique about the Canadian take on this style - maybe that's just it - not a British Ruby Ale, not a hopped-up Yankee Amber, but something muddled and Canadian. Sounds about right, and so does this offering, for unconcerned Canuck imbibers everywhere. Oh, and go Team Canada Juniors!

 1,495 characters

Photo of MichaelGennings
3.51/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Hockley Valley Brewing Company’s Amber Ale. 5% alc.

Off-white head that dissipates quickly. As the name suggests, the beer is amber in colour.

Smell is malt, a hint of brown sugar, and a touch of hops. It’s all quite lightly done.

The taste is malt and brown bread. Taste notes are subtle.

The beer is light bodied and the finish is dry.

A decent offering that I would recommend trying.

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Photo of ThinkAgain
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of spinrsx
3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

473ml Can from the LCBO Ottawa for 2.65$

Appearance - Clear amber/copper colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an above average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for around 2-3 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hay/straw/grass, grains

Taste & Mouth - There is an above amount of carbonation and I can taste hops, malts, and caramel/toffee. There is also a graininess and some herbal/hay/straw/grassy notes. It ends with a grassy caramel/toffee aftertaste with a very light amount of bitterness.

Overall - Not bad I guess.. the mouthfeel seems wrong but it's pretty drinkable. If I'm rating by style, I suppose this is pretty decent. The toffee/caramel flavours are nice. Definitely nothing exciting or something that will stand out in my mind as a 'must buy again'. The beer battered fish recipe on the side of the can is a nice touch.

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Photo of RedAleMan
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of SebD
3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: It has a nice golden/amber color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of sweet roasted malts, caramel, earthy /grassy notes and slight chocolate.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a sweet roasted malt character, some breadiness and graininess, caramel, earthy notes and slight chocolate.

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

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

 581 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.34/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

473 mL can from the LCBO; packaged on Apr 7 2012. The Hockley offerings I've had in the past have all been pretty consistently good, so I was (initially) pretty eager to try this one.

Pours an appropriate copper-amber colour, completely clear and topped with one finger of dense, foamy, off-white head. Retention isn't great; it is only able to maintain cohesion for a few minutes, before settling down to a uniform cap and thin collar of lacing. Weak, inoffensive aroma without a lot of characteristics to describe - definitely on the sweeter side, with toasted, bready malts and hints of toffee and honey.

Straightforward flavour that isn't very adventurous for the style. The taste is dominated by lightly toasted bready malts, with a pronounced toffee/caramel sweetness and a faint hint of chocolate. Grassy, vaguely earthy hops come forward toward the end of the sip, imparting some much-needed dryness. Mildly dry aftertaste, without much lingering flavour. Light-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a smooth, pleasant mouthfeel.

I tried this a few days ago and wasn't all that impressed, and this re-purchase hasn't really changed my mind much. I doubt I'll pick this up again any time soon, but it's still a serviceable, if uninspiring amber ale. I would definitely pick Creemore's lager over this, and possibly Barking Squirrel as well, but obviously this is merely personal taste.

Final Grade: 3.36, a B-. Hockley Amber is a decent, well-balanced amber, but in my eyes it doesn't hold a candle to this brewery's flagship dark beers. It's easy to drink and might work fine as a session brew, but I doubt most BAs would consider it memorable, or worth becoming a staple. No reason not to try this one - just don't expect anything interesting.

[Updated Oct. 21 2013]

Picked up another can as part of a sampler pack. This is a quality session amber, the sort of thing I'd be happy to throw back a few glasses of at the pub - but the fact remains that it isn't a particularly creative beer. I'd place Hockley Amber on par with other OCB 'malt-focused' ambers (think Amsterdam's Big Wheel), but anyone looking for an American-style red ale is going to be underwhelmed by this English-inspired offering.

 2,215 characters

Photo of bgibbard
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Hoppy_McGee
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of KyleMcD
3.57/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of byronic
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of OneTuffPony
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of DarrenBrule
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of RevCraig
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Photo of Jotora
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of -steve-
3.9/5  rDev +8%

Beautiful light reddish clear ale with foam quickly reducing to small bubbles around the rim. No strong scents but a faint caramel nose. Hard for me to describe the taste but there is a caramel sweetness and a spiciness. Pine maybe? I do like this. The taste and carbonation make me want to start guzzling it. That can't be bad. Very drinkable beer. Would be happy to serve this to anyone, without worrying whether they would like it or not.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

473 ml can purchased from LCBO for $2.65 CDN (if I recall correctly). Served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - Dark coppery, orange color with some brown and amber hues. Lots of visible carbonation and a nice two finger off-white head. The head slowly dissolved leaving a thin white foamy cloud on top of the beer. Enticing.

Smell - Strong grain aroma and floral characteristics that are distinctly spring like. Molasses backbone makes this definitely a more malt based aromatic beer.

Taste - Malt forward, especially molasses and some toasted grains. Flavor doesn't linger on the palate for terribly long on the tongue but then reappears in the aftertaste. Wish the taste was of a similar strength throughout as it's quite tasty.

Mouthfeel - Lively carbonation, medium-light feel but full flavor. Refreshing.

Overall - While not a world beater, this is a great example of Ontario's craft brewers perfecting their craft. A really solid amber with great malt flavor and and extremely refreshing. This may become a regular visitor to my fridge.

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Photo of joefinnigan15
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Boo-urns
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Hockley Amber from Hockley Valley Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 45 ratings