Hockley Dark: A Light in the Dark

This English-style brown ale from the Hockley Valley Brewing Company in Orangeville, Ontario pours a dark cherry and brown cola-looking colour with a moderate, frothy tan-coloured head that gets retained as a collar. Hockley Dark smells like bitter dark chocolate, dark toffee and ripened dark fruit like cherries or blackberries. Wood notes as well as a root beer-esque syrup tone come through after warming.

Hockley Dark
This Dark English Ale is Characterized by Wood and Chocolate Tones

Hockley Dark tastes again like bitter dark chocolate at first. Buttery toffee comes through on the tongue before a solid crispness finishes. The beer is fairly mild overall, it’s rather light on the tongue and leaves a smoky, woody aftertaste. It’s smooth enough, but not something I’d want more than one or two of.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest: March into Fall

Samuel Adams Octoberfest from the Boston Beer Company in Massachusetts pours a very nice amber-ruby colour with a rather large off-white head that burns off quickly without leaving much lace, but gets retained as a fairly thick collar. This traditional German-style lager has a surprisingly hop-centric aroma over a solid base of caramel malts. There is some bread-like character and a hint of plum, but it’s kind of muted over all.

Samuel Adams Octoberfest
This Seasonal Beer has a Wonderful Colour

Samuel Adams Octoberfest tastes primarily of toasted caramel malts and has a brown bread quality. The beer has a nice balance between sweet and bitter, and a slight lemon zest character comes through in the dry finish. It is fairly thin-bodied with a medium carbonation level and a dry, syrupy resin feeling on the tongue. The aftertaste is bitter with a slight floral note.