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Black Toad Dark Ale - Black Toad Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Toad Dark AleBlack Toad Dark Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

248 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 248
Hads: 460
Avg: 3.57
pDev: 19.33%
Wants: 20
Gots: 32 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Black Toad Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 08-28-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (1) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 248 | Hads: 460
Photo of chicagobill13
4.57/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My bottle says a brewery from San Jose, CA. I know use to be Goose Island now it is Joseph Brau Brewery. I like. Good Beer at a good price. I would pick it up again at Trader Joes! not too many good black ale that are in code and good! The aftertaste is ok but I can live with this beer. This is now my everyday beer!

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Photo of bamojr
4.53/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a beautiful burgundy red. nice crisp brown head. Smells very malty a lot like a porter. Very well carbonated that has a nice sweet and malty flavor. Strong Chocolate flavor that really rounds this out nicely and finishes with a perfect hop flavor. I am so impressed with this beer. I am not even a huge fan of brown beers and porters but this is a great beer.

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Photo of entenduintransit
4.51/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is an absolutely delicious ale. Wonderful coffee notes and aftertaste. A hint of a toffee/caramel taste as well. Low carbonation and creamy feel. One of my new favorites.

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Photo of CycleDad
4.48/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a thin head that lasted a few minutes. Decent smell with a great mouth feel and taste. Very smooth with just a hint of hops on the finish. Will be buying this again.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.42/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, auburn color with a low light brown head that leaves little bits of lace. Light roasted malt aroma and light hop aroma. Tastes like it smells; really good and very porter-ish. Light bodied with a nice roasty dry finish.

A great session beer -- Kind of a mix between an Irish style stout and a porter... hard to explain - just try it.

Date on label: 07/21/03 Tasted: 02/11/03

($4.99 / 6 pack)

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Photo of Pardishcreel
4.33/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is a dark brown this opaque beer has a nice head and decent retainibility. The taste is a hint of coffee with burnt grains and a nice hop finish. The bitterness of the hops is well balanced. One of my favorite beers that comes in 6 packs. I suggest for the price at about 1$ a beer you pick up a few of these for you next tasting, I found mine at trader joes.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.3/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 5-27-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - 1 finger of foam, nice white lacing ring, very dark in color, carbonation is present

S - Roasted malts, vanilla

T - oatmeal, vanilla, malts, couldn't pick out any hops

M/D - Pretty tasty brew, medium bodied with a very smooth flavor. It went down pretty easy and I also recommend that people should try it. I picked it up at a trader Joe's

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Photo of Greenfloyd
4.3/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dark ale that handles a hearty shepard's pie just as easy as it swims along your grilled salmon, no small feat for a porter inspired brew. A pint glass pour will give you a dark butterscotch hue, with a light almond colored head. The subtle nutty nose translates into the taste of the "distinctive dark ale" as you retrieve toffee nuances accompanied by a toasted cashew (maybe a stretch, maybe not, but a toasted nut non the less) chaser.

Halfway down your glass, give this ale another sniff or two. You'll be surprised to find honey-like undertones now, the same honey that you might notice during the finish.

An incredibly easy to drink, enjoyable dark, that represents well enough in taste, to forgive the lack of body that connesouers of porters and the like come to expect, but then again, that's part of the charm right?

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Photo of KensWorld
4.24/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Taste better than expected. Nice sweet nutty maple syrup taste. Malt bomb for sure. I'd say this is more of a Schwarzbier or Brazilian Black Beer style then a Brown Ale. If you love malty beers, you will like this a lot.

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Photo of codekiln
4.21/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a four inch snifter, this beer had a sudden, thick, inch tall brown head that dissipated quickly, leaving slight lace on the walls. The foam tasted like chocolate, nuts and malt. When it simmered down, it revealed a deep chestnut-colored, opaque beer. It is hardly bitter at all; very sweet and fruity. It's almost like a dessert beer. The mouthfeel is on the thick, watery side, and it smells slightly metallic, with notes of grapes and nuts. It feels like a fine English Brown Ale - which, admittedly, isn't our favorite type of beer to date.

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Photo of NPerez
4.21/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorites. It's sweet but not too sweet - chocolate & caramel followed by a nutty aftertaste. Drink it the right way & I think you'll love it.

There's one thing that I really need to mention - there is an enormous difference between drinking this warm & drinking it cold. I really feel that refrigerating Black Toad tends to ruin it. If you're trying it for the first time, try putting a few bottles in the fridge and having the rest at room temperature - see the difference for yourself.

Refrigerated: Very little head, very little lacing. Weak, metallic smell. Decent watery, slightly metallic taste.

Unrefrigerated: Nice head with OK retention. Moderate lacing at the top of the glass. Smell is not remarkable, but caramel is noticeable. Tastes delicious, with a great walnutty aftertaste that sticks around for a while. I can forget about every other characteristic of this beer just because the taste is so good.

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Photo of Dodo2step
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Thanks to my buddy Trask for this brew

A- dark brown cola color. no heador lacing on the glass.

S- sweet coffee malts and chocolate. some sort of oily hops as well.

F- a carbonated coffee with chocolate flavor. Sounds weird but it is delic. very nicely complemented.

M-coffee with a carbonated kick and sweetness. Light bodied dark ale.

O- very tasty and i downed this pretty quick. def would rec a sixer

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Photo of choyhosoi
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a glass

A-Pours a nice dark brown with a small brown/ white head. Looks very inviting so far picking up on the aroma as I poured.

S-I got alot of plum some wine scents and a little chocolate. Not what I was expecting so far I am impressed.

T/M-Very smooth with very little carbonation. Goes down very easily.

I was very surprised by this one I will be seeking out more.

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Photo of tbeck
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with very little light coming through. Has a decent tan head that dissipates quickly into a good collar. Laciness was thin. Fruity and malty aroma. Taste is earthy and nutty. Beer has a bitterness that stays in the background that keeps it interesting. Light and crisp mouthfeel, good medium body. I really enjoyed the flavor, very mellow and complex. This beer sits light, a number of these can be had in a sitting.

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Photo of drperm
4.17/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No expectations whatsoever going into this one...Black Toad is an unknown brewery to me!

Appearance: Dr. Pepper. Cherry Coke.

Aroma: A smorgasbord! Chocolate, malt, chestnuts, hazelnuts, Cocoa Puffs

Taste: Smoky and deep. Not as rich as the nose, but quite nice!

Palate: Silky and chewy

Overall: Very nice, very drinkable. I'm impressed with these Illini.

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Photo of jawlessbody
4.17/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a monic pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep, thick brown with an initially large amount of carbonation that makes it's way into a dense 2.5 finger mocha colored head that sadly dissipates quick quickly and leaves little to no lacing.

Smell: Presents sweet, chocolatey malt on the nose with a deep body of roasted coffee and fresh espresso. I also detected hints of nuttiness, bits of brown sugar and toffee, with subtle notes of dried, dark fruits.

Taste: I definitely got the chocolate malt flavors right off the first sip, but those quickly subdued into darker toffee flavors that then morphed into a taste of dates and raisins. All the while there is a lingering, ever-present body of toasted bread an coffee that have just a but of hazelnut/almond flavor to set everything off.

Mouthfeel: This was the most disappointing part of the beer. The head looked dense, but wasn't as creamy as I expected it to be. The body of the beer morphed from thin with lots of carbonation off of the initial pour, into a thicker (but still not creamy) very smooth liquid with little to no carbonation.

Overall: I am very impressed by this beer. Everything about it is incredibly complex, especially for a brown ale. In all honesty, it tastes more like a light bodied stout than a brown to me. I will definitely be drinking more of this in the future. A lot more.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smells rich and earthy, with strong notes of chocolate malts, as well as more lightly toasted grains, dark chocolate, and caramelized brown sugar.

On the tongue, the beer retains many of the darker flavors present in the nose, focusing especially on chocolate malts and a light layer of tobacco and coffee, both of which come on stronger in the latter half of the mouthful. The ale starts off, however, with a nice smattering of grapefruit-bitter hops layered over the chocolate malts, as well as dark fruit esters and sugary toffees and caramels. The sugars give way in the middle of the mouthful, leading to the darker flavors. The aftertaste is a continuation of the chocolate malt/tobacco mix, with a slight return of the hops. Mouthfeel is medium-light, perhaps the same viscosity as skim milk, and carbonation is medium/average.

Overall, a nice dark ale, presenting and showcasing many of the standard flavors of the style, but doing so with a class and subtlety--as well as with larger flavors--than many of its peers.

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Photo of baos
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My girlfriend bought me a six-pack of these Trader Joe's brews, and this was thrown in. I didn't expect much, but this is a good one! Pretty sure Goose Island makes this.

A: Nice brown body with one finger tan head. Pretty decent head retention and lacing.

S: Nice freshly baked brown bread. Sweet and fruity malt hints.

T: Nice fruity roasted maltiness. Like fresh baked bread. Nice hoppy dry finish. This is a good beer.

M: Not the best, but still nice.

D: A very drinkable beer. I was expecting a canned mushroom brown ale. This is way better than many of the English browns that I have tried.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 3 finger frothy off white/mild tan head on a deep amber/brown body. Very attractive beer. Nice lacing.

S: sweet caramel and mildly roasted malt and toffee mostly.

T: Caramel, burnt toast and mild roasted malt but its a touch watery. The toffee lingers on the palate in the finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: This beer is an excellent member of the genre. Its a touch watery in the flavor otherwise really nice beer.

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Photo of Eisen
4.13/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poored from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith glass:

Very nice two finger white head that contrasts beutifully with the darkness of the beer. Small amount of head stays until the very end and produces wonderful laceing. The lower abv allows for this beer to be drank all night, and the flavor allows you to actually want to. There is nothing that boldly stands out in the flavor, but instead it is very well balanced. This great balance of suttle flavors of nut, coffee, chocholate perhaps leads to a very drinkable beer. Being $5.99 a six pack from trader joes makes this beer all the better.

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Photo of Jason
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brow twist off bottle with a printed drink before date on the back label.

Appearance: Very dark brown donning tarnished amber hues with a thin wispy tan lace that lazily sticks to the glass for a few seconds and then dissipates.

Smell: Almost cloying sweet with a chalky undertone of husk in the aroma. Hints of sweetened coffee, oily hop and dark chocolate linger in the nose.

Taste: Very crisp within the moderate body, the crispness really helps with the refreshingly drinkable quality this brew has. Hints of chocolate, faint coffee, nutty grain and some husk make up the initial front malt character that is sweet in the beginning. An even bitter oily hop flavour is modest yet at a perfect level. As the finish draws closer some residual sweetness stays around and throws a steely crystal malt flavour in the end.

Notes: A solid beer to be had and at $4.99 a six pack it is a steal. Perhaps a beginners dark beer or a beer geeks session brew.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a beautiful dark, deep cordovan brown. A thin head quickly finds itself an even thinner lacing.

Smell - Big caramel on the nose, with subtle hints of toffee.

Taste - Dominant caramel, distinct toffee and butterscotch notes... a bit of chocolate too. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel - Decent body for the style, but I find the carbonation a bit lacking.

Overall - This is a beer I've purchased a few times over the years, and I wonder why I don't buy it more often (probably due to it's Trader Joe's exclusivity). At $5.99 per sixer, it's certainly one of the better bargain beers to be had.

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Photo of rodney45
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Color of Cola. Light tan head.

S: Cereal grains, Coffee, dark chocolate, caramel and crystal malts

T: First profile is of crushed crystal malt and toasted barley. If you homebrew, you know these very distinctly. Secondary notes are of milk chocolate, caramel, and a distinct sweetness. Finish is dry.

M: Light medium to medium body, with low cabonation. Starts sweet and ends dry and bitter... like a marriage?

O: Im gonna say this is a great example of the style. Not the best ive had, but for a buck at trader joes, you really cant beat the quality versus price. A truely solid Brown ale.

Food Pairing: I'd pair this with bacon wrapped steak cubes and roasted baby red potatoes.

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Photo of mentaltraveller
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was surprisingly enjoyable. It had been sitting in the fridge for a while so I decided to drink it. It pours pretty dark. The slightest light is able to get through a very dark brown. Smells of oats and dark chocolate. The first thing that struck about the taste was its sweetness and relative thickness. For an abv of about 5%, I was not expecting big flavors. This is a good brew. Simple, no frills, and one of the better brown ales I have had.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Toad Ale has a medium, cream-colored head, a dark brown (ruby, under direct light) appearance, and some splotchy bits of lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of medium-roasted barley and brown bread crust, and the taste is the same, with some underlying caramel and mild hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Black Toad Ale finishes semi-dry, refreshing, and quite drinkable. Overall, this is a very good, sweet ale.


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Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.