Dark Ale | Upper Canada Brewing Company

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33 Reviews
Dark AleDark Ale

Brewed by:
Upper Canada Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

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

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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 64
Photo of uno99
3.84/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Up's and downs pub in Sarnia.

A: I was presented with a dark liquid with no head. looked rather porter-ish.

S: LOTS of dark roasted malt. low hop presence but still rather refreshing

T: dark malts, cherries and dark fruits. no off flavors.

M: a little thin and lacking but dry on the finish.

D: This beer is very undemanding of the drinker and thus one that could be drank in quantity.

I enjoyed this beer as part of a "first pint is free" promotion, plus you get to keep the pint glass... impressive! My first upper canada beer, and a good one. I think I'll try their other offerings.

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Photo of matt7215
2.91/5  rDev -11.6%
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 changeup45
3.51/5  rDev +6.7%
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 MTNboy
2.76/5  rDev -16.1%
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 Treebrews
3.2/5  rDev -2.7%
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 biegaman
3.28/5  rDev -0.3%
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

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.84/5  rDev -13.7%
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 crwills
3.43/5  rDev +4.3%
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 mattcrill
3.68/5  rDev +11.9%
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 Noelito76
3.75/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of baiser
3.35/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 324 characters

Photo of ramrod666
2.98/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
2.34/5  rDev -28.9%
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.

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Photo of Stingray5
3.47/5  rDev +5.5%
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 TerryW
2.68/5  rDev -18.5%
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 canadianbarman
3.2/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of pootz
2.94/5  rDev -10.6%
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 kbub6f
3.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought at The Beer Store (Terry Fox North of the 417: Kanata), a couple of days in the trunk, a couple of days in the fridge.

A medium-sized, cream-colored, dense head leaves sticky, thin sheets and spots. Sweet toffee and a touch of chocolate in the nose and front. Caramel maltiness and a little butter in the middle. A little more cream and fruit show at temperature. A surprisingly light body. A zangy, bitter finish. Some toasted grains in the aftertaste.

This is a good, "light" dark: light body, dark taste.

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Photo of slitherySOB
2.92/5  rDev -11.2%
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 francisweizen
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of SaunaKing
2.59/5  rDev -21.3%
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 Shiloh
2.73/5  rDev -17%
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 BeerAdvocate
3.86/5  rDev +17.3%
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.)

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Dark Ale from Upper Canada Brewing Company
3.29 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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