Dark Ale | Upper Canada Brewing Company

Dark AleDark Ale
BA SCORE
3.34/5
69 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#41,109
Reviews:
34
Ratings:
69
pDev:
13.17%
Bros Score:
3.86
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
10
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 34
Photo of Sammy
2.34/5  rDev -29.9%
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 superspak
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.5 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 9/16/2016. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby red/light brown color with a 1-2 finger dense and rocky cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down that glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, floral, and grass; with lighter notes of chocolate, coffee, toffee, pepper, raisin, plum, apple, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready/light roasted malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, floral, and grass; with lighter notes of chocolate, coffee, toffee, pepper, raisin, plum, apple, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/grassy/spicy hop and roast bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, floral, grass, pepper, light chocolate/coffee, and yeast/roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from hop/roast bitterness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and lightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 5%. Overall this is a nice English brown ale. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malt and light-moderate fruity yeast/earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. There was a bit of an odd stale grain note going on, but this was really spot on for the style otherwise. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,989 characters

Photo of Tone
3.41/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 428 characters

Photo of Latarnik
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of biegaman
3.28/5  rDev -1.8%
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 DrJay
4/5  rDev +19.8%

Photo of andrenaline
3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

 684 characters

Photo of papat444
3.2/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Flashback #322

14 characters

Photo of francisweizen
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
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

 473 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.86/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle with a picture of a water mill. Ingredients proudly proclaimed.

Appearance: Dark brown/burgundy, not much head action due to filtering.

Smell: Rich, very ripe fruit.

Taste: Dark, malt, fruit, sweet flavours, a bit nutty and a bit smooth.

Notes: A damn nice attempt at an English Brown. Runs a bit thin still, but rich in flavours. (5% alc./vol.)

 385 characters

Photo of DaPan
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of thehyperduck
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

 1,831 characters

Photo of BigBry
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 442 characters

Photo of Noelito76
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Color was a deep dark red and this beer created a small head when poured.

Taste was a nice balance between maltiness, hoppy aftertaste, and fruit flavors in it that usually are not so present in dark ales but what made this beer rather tasty.

Downside was the mouthfeel which was a bit light but still a tasty enjoyable beer.

 331 characters

Photo of TerryW
2.68/5  rDev -19.8%
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.

 278 characters

Photo of GoHabsGo
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of pootz
2.94/5  rDev -12%
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.

 600 characters

Photo of Jotora
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of hopsolutely
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very pleasant surprise.

I'd expected a sweet dark beer typical of those brewed elsewhere in Ontario and was impressed by the bitter finish. A dark amber with great head and rings of lacing down the glass at the end of my pint. Aroma is a very limited, faint maltiness. The taste is more pleasant, with the sweet caramelized malts blending nicely into the pleasantly bitter finish. A lingering aftertaste that I hadn't expected.

Wouldn't be my first choice of local Ontario draught, but miles ahead of any macro efforts and a beer I'd order again.

 551 characters

Photo of Belittle
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of MTNboy
2.76/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

 289 characters

Photo of Barleycorn
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of Pmicdee
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of mattcrill
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Olde Angel Inn

Appearance: Shoe leather brown pour with virtually no head. A tan ring around the glass.

Smell: Slight musty sweet malt smell.

Taste: Carmel, tea, honey, just a touch of wheat bread, and bittering hops at the end.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with a nice brush of carbonation.

Drinkability: Went down easy. Not sure why this beer is "not recommended". It's not an outstanding beer but it tastes good off the tap and went great with my meal. Maybe the bottled version is off but I'd recommend trying this once.

 547 characters

Photo of Ralphs66
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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Dark Ale from Upper Canada Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.34 out of 5 with 69 ratings
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