On the pour, we're looking at a deep reddish-tinged brown to black beer that is so dark as to be almost opaque. It's only when held to a light that the beautiful red tints actually show through. Otherwise, we see only a beer that gives the physical appearance of a rich, thick body with a medium head that dissipates almost instantly to nothing.
The aroma is also what you might expect for this type of beer - a pleasant blend of chocolate, coffee and some miscellaneous fruity flavours that could have been citrus. Hey, my nose isn't THAT good yet!
The taste was what put thisone over the top for me. Stouts and porters are normally a one-off taste for me because they're typically so darn heavy. But this one is a winner. When Hockley, an accomplished and sadly understated Ontario craft brewer, mixes their stout with a lighter underlying ale, we're left with a mixture that preserves the malty, creamy richness of the stout and those magnificent chocolatey and coffee flavours but adds in the dry, hoppy finish of the ale and, at the same time, removes the bloated heaviness of the pure stout. There's definite chocolate sweetness that goes well beyond the citrus sweetness of a wheat ale but the dryness removes anything that might edge it over the top into the realm of cloying.
A solid winner that I'll definitely be buying again. It's such a shame that this one doesn't pour out into the texture black and tan layers that a skilled bartender can produce.
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About the reviewer
Paul Weiss (cpw1952)
A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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A blend of Hockley Stout as the “Black” and a newly created ale serving as the “Tan”, Hockley Black & Tan is described as “dark mahogany in colour, with notes of coffee, smoke and chocolate and hints of sweet grainy malt yet finishes crisp, light and dry.”