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Dark Ale | Upper Canada Brewing Company

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Dark AleDark Ale
BA SCORE
3.34/5
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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:
#41,574
Reviews:
34
Ratings:
69
pDev:
13.17%
Bros Score:
3.86
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
10
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 69 |  Reviews: 34
Photo of EvanHarper
3.56/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

 666 characters

Photo of ThinkAgain
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of DarkForest
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Barleycorn
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of timiskin
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of DaPan
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of HATS4BATS
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of sbarre
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of GoHabsGo
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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 wizo
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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 Ralphs66
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of jniagar1
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of DavidGross
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of Screwball
4/5  rDev +19.8%

Photo of traumaqueen
2/5  rDev -40.1%

Photo of TheBeerGuy101
3.18/5  rDev -4.8%
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 BeerClubNiagara
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of MattyV
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev +19.8%

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 Antikythera
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

 431 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 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

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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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