After our outing to the Watson's Mill beer tasting on Friday, I decided to pick up a couple of the Hockley taster's packs at the LCBO. Hockley hasn't let me down yet. In fact, they brew one of my favorite Dark Ales (luckily for me, the pack features Hockley Dark, huzzah!) But that's not what I'm here for tonight.
If you recall, in my not-so-brief review of the beer tasting, we sampled Hockley Amber. It left a good impression on us. So I wanted to take a moment this evening and attempt to truly appreciate this ale and jot down my thoughts on it.
But first, a little bit about the company, shall we? These guys have been around for almost 10 years now, starting up in late 2002 in Hockley Village, just west of Newmarket, Ontario. They had thought of starting a distillery with a different twist on whiskey: horse manure instead of the normal peat-based process. Sounds a little crazy to me, I'm happy they made the move to brewing. In their first few years they released such great beers as the Hockley Gold and the Hockley Dark. In 2007 they relocated to Orangeville, and have been brewing great beers ever since.
And now, on to the tasting!
Hockley Amber is a light bodied ale with a 4.2% alc./vol. As you pour it, a reddish brown with a golden tinge fills the glass. The head retention is nice, leaving foam along the glass as the head subsides. The nose is sweet with a light caramel malt and hoppy undertone. The mouthfeel is smooth, envelopping the tastebuds - without coating them heavily - and giving you a full taste that you would expect from the nose. Aftertaste is light and doesn't stay for long.
I have to say: this was as good as it was at the beer tasting, actually even better now that I've had a moment to sit and enjoy a full can. Before this night is through, the second one tucked away in the back of my fridge may go missing. In the summer, I'd really enjoy this next to the barbeque having a few burgers with the boys. In the winter, this would go great with a hot bowl of spicy chili watching the game.
I recommend you pick up their taster pack at the LCBO: featuring the Dark, Amber and Black&Tan.
Rookie Beer Reviewer signing off,
-JK (no relation to Rowling)