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Black Toad Dark Ale - Black Toad Brewing Co.

Black Toad Dark AleBlack Toad Dark Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

386 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 386
Reviews: 234
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 14.53%


Brewed by:
Black Toad Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 08-28-2002)
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Ratings: 386 | Reviews: 234 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of chicagobill13
chicagobill13

Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +28.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 19:53:19 | More by chicagobill13
Photo of bamojr
bamojr

Virginia

4.58/5  rDev +27.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2011 21:20:49 | More by bamojr
Photo of RBorsato
RBorsato

Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +23.7%
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)

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2003 13:05:17 | More by RBorsato
Photo of Pardishcreel
Pardishcreel

California

4.35/5  rDev +21.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 21:38:39 | More by Pardishcreel
Photo of Greenfloyd
Greenfloyd

California

4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
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?

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2006 05:45:16 | More by Greenfloyd
Photo of FreshmanPour77
FreshmanPour77

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2010 16:38:02 | More by FreshmanPour77
Photo of NPerez
NPerez

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 01:39:42 | More by NPerez
Photo of choyhosoi
choyhosoi

California

4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2008 14:21:38 | More by choyhosoi
Photo of Dodo2step
Dodo2step

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 22:08:45 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of drperm
drperm

Virginia

4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2008 01:58:54 | More by drperm
Photo of tbeck
tbeck

Washington

4.2/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2009 04:06:08 | More by tbeck
Photo of jondeelee
jondeelee

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 03:11:23 | More by jondeelee
Photo of baos
baos

Indiana

4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 05:26:10 | More by baos
Photo of jawlessbody
jawlessbody

Indiana

4.16/5  rDev +16.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 17:31:18 | More by jawlessbody
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

4.15/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 04:55:47 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.13/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2002 15:25:50 | More by Jason
Photo of Eisen
Eisen

Washington

4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2010 20:06:32 | More by Eisen
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 22:19:04 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

4.11/5  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.

RJT

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2013 14:14:46 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of lou50rp
lou50rp

Maine

4.11/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good tan colored head, dissipates slowly, good lacing. Nice mahogany color.
Good malty smell, not too sweet or bitter.
Good malty taste with a bit of sweet and touch of bitter at the end. A good taste. Doesn't linger.
Good light mouthfeel.
A good brew for the cold months, but also would work on warm day, if chilled. and the price can't be beat.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 19:55:57 | More by lou50rp
Photo of TrevorGW
TrevorGW

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks pretty good in the glass ... quite dark and beautiful, but the head is not much to speak of.

An excellent dark beer that doesn't feel too intense.

I like that it has more coffee/chocolate taste as opposed to a raisiny dark. Great flavor overall.

This is one of the few dark ales I am able to get at Trader Joes, so it is always a nice standby.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2008 19:19:35 | More by TrevorGW
Photo of mentaltraveller
mentaltraveller

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 17:39:34 | More by mentaltraveller
Photo of rodney45
rodney45

New York

4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 09:13:05 | More by rodney45
Photo of TheStig
TheStig

Virginia

4.08/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured a rich, dark amber/red from the bottle into my glass. Huge, cream-colored, four finger head that dissipated very slowly into a formation resembling a block of Swiss cheese before sinking into the beer. No lacing.

S- Honestly, the first whiff I got from this was a typical alcohol sting, which is odd considering this is just a 5.3% abv brew. Nothing too amazing. Fruity, but not overwhelmingly so. Hops, roasted barley are prominent but there's a subtle sweetness I just can't quite place.

T- ...Interesting... Swallowed quickly, it has a very neutral, almost milk-like flavor, after which a very slight walnut aftertaste comes in. Not unpleasant, but odd, considering that when one lets it sit in the mouth longer and allows it to be tasted to its fullest, the taste changes to cereal, oats with a slightly bitter, stout-like finish. Like I said, not bad, but... interesting.

--In the time I've been writing this, a very slight sweet aftertaste, --the same hinted at in the smell section-- started to develop. Raisins and grapes. Almost wine-like. Delish!

M- Very creamy. Subtle carbonation that disappears after hitting the mouth. Very easy to drink.

D- Incredibly easy. Slides down your throat like dew on a blade of grass. Delightful.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 05:53:46 | More by TheStig
Photo of Natural510
Natural510

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at a local Trader Joe's.

Poured an okay head with a nice dark brown, almost-black color. There were coffee, chocolate & toffee notes, but none of them made the brew too sweet. Malt & hops were present, but everything complemented each other, making the overall taste very smooth with a nice finish.
All in all, quite tasty and smoothly drinkable. I'll definitely pick up a sixer of this again.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 04:45:51 | More by Natural510
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Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 386 ratings.