Dark Ale | Upper Canada Brewing Company

BA SCORE
78
okay
33 Reviews
Dark AleDark Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Upper Canada Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada
uppercanada.com

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Like ales of Northern England, this ale combines British Challenger hops and yeast, spring water, carastan and black patent malts for a robust malty character and a rich chestnut-coloured ale.

Added by kbub6f on 02-22-1998

BEER STATS
Reviews:
33
Ratings:
67
Avg:
3.31
pDev:
13.6%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 67
Photo of Sammy
2.34/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

chestnut brown with some initial creamy head. Skanky smell. Carbonation in place of haps, bothering the mouth. Some malt, a trace of fruit, and a mid-sip hint of toffee and chocolate. Bitterness bite. Better than warm water at the end of a summer day.

 251 characters

Photo of SaunaKing
2.59/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

When it came to my table there was no head at all, just a rim of foam around the glass - probably bartenders fault. It was dark brown colour and had a bit of toffee in the aroma. It tasted ok, actually pretty good for this style of beer. Not a great aftertaste and I wouldnt be drinking more than a couple of these.

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Photo of TerryW
2.68/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours red-brown with a moderate head that quickly goes away. Hardly any lace.

Sweet smelling. Subtle malt and hops, nothing that leaps out at you.

Quite light bodied. Sweet, some malt, some hops, but light tasting, again nothing that distingusihes itself.

Rather plain.

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Photo of Shiloh
2.73/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not the best product from Upper Canada Brewing Company but I may be bias as this is far from my style.......pours a medium dark amber with a slight tan head......medium body and no aroma to speak of....flavour starts as bitter but sweetens in short time.....

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Photo of MTNboy
2.76/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nothing out of the usual. Dark a little lace not much for a head.

Smell: Slightly beany with a stale and musty odor.

Taste: There is a roasted malt flavor, and slightly bitter sweet.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied.

Drinkability: pretty average there is nothing to write home about.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.84/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed February 19, 2005. 12 Oz Bottle. Nice earthen pour. Thin white head, with poor lacing. Malty, lacking hops. Caramel and apple pie tones, backed with a very faint floral. Not overly watery, sustains decently on the palate. Generally weak.

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Photo of matt7215
2.91/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

341 ml bottle form the beer store

dark brown with a tan head that never goes away

aroma of light roasted malts, some caramel and coffee notes but pretty minimal

flavours are slight and thin but not off style

pretty boring overall but certainly not bad

i could drink this if nothing better was around

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Photo of slitherySOB
2.92/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Fort Henry. Glad they had something that wasn't Molson nor Labatt. Bartender poured it poorly. Wish I could have poured it myself, so as too get the proper head. When disturbed, a light film floated up and quickly disipated. A pale brown, almost muddy water colour. Malty smell. Very sweet, with faint hops. Not well balanced. Powerful malt and caramel flavour. Extremely sweet, dark beer. The caramel left a sticky mouthfeel. But, it was a good, thirst quenching beer. Which was what I needed.

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Photo of pootz
2.94/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

No date code on the plainish brown bottle.. some information in the back label about the ingredients.

Poured a beautiful red-mahogany color with a smalish tan head...not much carbonation. I couldn't believe that there was so little definitive or distinct aroma....slight hops and sweetish malt odors...nothing really striking. This beer defies taste description as it has so many flavors sweet malt, hop bitters, slightly sour yeasty finish. A very good representation of this english dark ale style. This is not to my particular tastes but for those who like these ales this is a good enough one.

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Photo of ramrod666
2.98/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

upper canada dark ale pours a nice amber with a nice lacey head in a 24 oz. glass. smell is ok. kinda sweet wiht some adjuncts, corn. taste was not bad but, nothing really stood out. mouthfeel was thin and watery. lightly carbonated. drank quite a few because the price was nice. 4.50 cdn a draft, a big draft. that went down pretty good on a uncharacteristicly hot canadian day.

 379 characters

Photo of TheBeerGuy101
3.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich, deep ruby brown. Roasted chestnut<----

Very little lacing.

It's bold in taste ( very hoppy ) but it does have some toffee, coffee, molasses, caramel, chocolate and malt on the nose.

Its easy to drink, soft on the palate and does have a good malt content!
Semi Sweet / Semi Bitter... ( Although, some may argue that! )
The finish is slight fruit and floral towards a hops touch.

Its a decent ale and one that that is easy to drink a few of!

For a premium turned discount, this one stands a slight touch above average for a dark ale.
Enjoy!

 564 characters

Photo of Treebrews
3.2/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this in a bottle, small, carmel head, with little to no lacing. The smell is chocolaty, somewhat sweet. Not overal impressed with this beer, the taste is average with again chocolate, and almost honey tasting. i see that everyone views this differently from average to pretty decent, but in my opinion, nothing special. have to remember it's a ale,and not a darker beer though.

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Photo of canadianbarman
3.2/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

--Plain brown bottle, no freshness date to be found.
--Poured a thin muddy water like in color. Head started out nice, then lowered to a slim head. There was some slight lacing.
--Smelled sweet and malty, almost like a chocolate.

Not too bad. It had a fairly sweet taste to it. I was a good attempt at a dark ale, almost a little thinner than I expected, but I didn't mind, as I am not a huge dark ale fan. Overall I would drink this one again.
Thx

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

341 mL bottle from a 12-pack obtained at TBS; bottled Nov 15 2012. As far as value-brand beers go, I still feel that Upper Canada provides the best bang for your buck in this province by a wide margin. I've enjoyed their lager many times now, but this was the first time I picked up a case of the dark ale.

Pours an attractive ruby-amber colour, completely translucent, topped with one finger of dense, creamy, off-white head that quickly dissolves into a thin cap and collar. The aroma is subdued, with no particularly distinguishing features catching my attention - caramel, maybe a hint of nuts and coffee/cream, with some earthiness from the hops. Appropriate enough for the style, but far from a memorable scent.

The flavour doesn't stray far from that theme. There are some toasted, grainy malt flavours, with a light caramel sweetness, and the finish is a mixture of earthy, leafy dryness and a weird vegetal flavour that clashes with the rest of the profile. Pretty thin-bodied and watery, with carbonation levels comparable to most macro ambers. Although uninspired, the flavours are still well-balanced so this would make for a reasonably good, cheap session beer.

Final Grade: 3.25, an acceptable C+. Judging it solely on style, Upper Canada's Dark Ale isn't especially great, and frankly it really doesn't compare to most OCB browns in terms of quality. That being said - it isn't trying to be a premium craft beer. It's a value brand priced the same as their lager, and as far as cheap ambers/browns go, you are probably not going to find a brew of this quality for this price anywhere else in Ontario. Consider this worth a try if you're looking for something simple and affordable to drink socially, but aren't really in the mood for a pale lager. I'm sure I'll return to this at some point for that very reason.

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Photo of biegaman
3.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not an easy beer to knock but one that couldnt quite make the cut for my taste. I am a huge fan of this style and had heard only great things about this beer. And while I felt it a little short of great, I could recognize what it was that others enjoyed: a slight chocolat afterthough, a light roasted undertone accompanied with the overshadow of different chewy, yummy malts. None of this though was pronouced enough for my liking. I have had so much better in many other dark ales that it only make this one seem inferiour. I would imagine however that with alittle tweaking this beer would have the potential to be one of the truly great (Canadian anyways) dark ales

 669 characters

Photo of baiser
3.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark burgandy colour, with a smallish tan head, good lacing and retention. Aroma of malt, fruit and some caramel. Taste was mellow, some nuts, some caramel, quite sweet and good malt flavour. Nothing too pronounced. A very safe beer. Smooth, just the right amount of carbonation, but thin on the body. Ok, brown ale.

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Photo of BigBry
3.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle with dinner in Ottawa, one of the only local/small brewers available.
Pours very reddish color, thin cap of foam with decent retention and some thin chunks of lacing.
Light, mild aromas, some caramel, earthy hops. Slightly sweet taste, caramel malts, slightest hint of chocolate. Finish was a bit fruity, but almost sour. Medium body, smooth and easy to drink. A bit lighter (body and flavor) than I was expecting, but still enjoyable.

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Photo of Tone
3.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of pale malt, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of hops, and slight corn/rice. Fits the style of an English Brown Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, pale malt, hint of hop, and a hint of citrus. Overall, good appearance, decent body, and good blend.

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Photo of crwills
3.43/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A solid choice when you want a dark beer and there aren't any others available. Had a couple of these at East (on Queen Street) in Toronto (which I wouldn't really recommend, by the way).

Pours a muddy brown into improper glassware (not the beer's fault, of course!). Smell was not bad... malty and brown sugar. Taste is similar, although some roasty notes are in there, and perhaps a little bit of breadiness. Thin (but not watery) mouthfeel.

Again, one of those beers that seems to pop up when the only other choices are macros, so worth grabbing and drinking if there's no other choice. Probably the best offering I've had from Upper Canada, as well.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a ruby red colour, finger of head with decent retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Pretty mild in nature, but dark chocolate and musty espresso scents are present.

T - A bit bitter and sour, but the dark chocolate malts and espresso flavours come through followed by a touch of caramel on the finish.

M - Medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness. The bitterness is noticeable but is not overly offensive.

D - Overall, a tasty ale and an economical selection that offers decent flavours for the price point. There's definitely better brown ales available, but this is by no means terrible. Worth a try for sure and easily poundable.

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Photo of Stingray5
3.47/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured reddish brown with a tiny bubbled, fast dissapating head. Nutty malt and caramel in the aroma. Mouthful was a bit on the thin side. Taste was malty with dark fruit, caramel and something almost dopplebock-like.

Aside from being a little thin, this was an enjoyable brew and a treat to find in a hotel bar next to a Coors Light tap handle.

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Photo of Antikythera
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: not as dark as most of the dark ales I like. Reddish-amber. Lots of head when poured, goes away and leaves lacing.

S: sour and nutty.

T: mild caramel and chocolate with a bitter finish. Less of that bitterness as it warms up in the glass.

M: creamy, then fizzy. Faint lingering astringency that's not unpleasant.

O: this is one of the beers my inlaws buy for the cottage. It's tasty, refreshing, and a good value. I'm a fan.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes: Sampled on Tap at 'Yank's' a quaint little bar located in the Canadian town of Niagara Falls, Ontario. The little female bartender who works there is amazingly attractive! This beer arrived with a nice head on it. It was a beautiful dark brown colour with some wonderful aromas of british malts and faint hops. This smelled and tasted like a great, all-malt dark ale. The mouthfeel was a bit thin and the drinkability was a little above average. Decent.
Cheers!
-F

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Photo of changeup45
3.51/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1/21/2005. Pretty good. Dark amber-brown color and poured a thick head which left lots of lacing on the glass. A rich malty, smoky flavor to it. Much richer than expected. Nice and a little warming (it was something like 5 degrees yesterday!). So this definitely was enjoyed.

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Photo of EvanHarper
3.56/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Ruby red, 1 finger of head rapidly dissipating, few bubbles, no lacing.

S: Dry fruit, caramel, faint grainy vegetation, pale malt.

T: Starts semi-sweet and fruity, finishes dry, moderately bitter, and with a noticeable chocolate malt character that pushes this almost into porter territory.

M: A little watery. Appropriately low carbonation.

O: No world-beater, but amazingly good for a budget beer. Drinkable and well-balanced. Old-timers insist that U.C. Dark went way downhill after Sleeman bought the brewery up; if so, the original stuff must have been the nectar of the gods. Nonetheless, the version we have today is a fine addition to Ontario's menu.

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Dark Ale from Upper Canada Brewing Company
3.31 out of 5 based on 67 ratings.
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