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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.
BA SCORE
81
good

245 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 245
Hads: 457
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 13.52%
Wants: 20
Gots: 30 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Toad Dark Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 245 | Hads: 457
Photo of Clarsanm
2.21/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I mean, i'm reading other people reviews and i don't get it. I tried this beer last night and it was VERY BAD.
Extremely light, crispy but so watery...its like a dark lager more than dark ale. The price is ridiculously cheap(5.65 a six pack in TJ) but like i said, i wasn't expecting such a bad product. At one point i thought its was expired...
No creamy at all, watery taste, nice aroma but that's all. Not what i'm expecting of a Dark Ale. My sensation was "this is a Dark Ale Budweiser". Next time i'm going for a Porter. (525 characters)

Photo of KensWorld
4.24/5  rDev +19.4%
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. (221 characters)

Photo of entenduintransit
4.51/5  rDev +27%
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. (175 characters)

Photo of StoutHobbit
3.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: looks very dark amber-brown, a light lacing foam that's butterscotch in color.
S: Malty, a bit processed, not a totally pleasant smell, hints of
Taste: Malty, heavy, with a molassassy finish, roasty, kind of dessert taste with chocolate notes.
Feel: Smooth good finish, not very crisp, more on the warm side.
O: A decent beer for the price, not anything special, a good dark ale standby (390 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Toad Dark Ale
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "BEST CONSUMED BEFORE: 07/03/15 11.32"
$1.17 @ Trader Joe's #766, Tampa, FL
- - - now brewed by JosephsBrau Brewing Co., San Jose, CA

Black Toad pours a clear, deep mahogany brown body beneath a full head of pillowy tan foam that holds remarkably well. The lacing is not quite as good, but it still makes a fine showing.

Aromas of sweet cocoa nibs, toffee, light mint, and soft red fruit greet you in the nose. It's rich and welcoming, and without flaw.

The flavor is sweetish and nutty with lots of caramelish and chocolatey, almost fudge-like malt, but that's balanced by a slight edge of roastiness, a mild bitterness, and minty and grassy hop flavors.

It's a nicely balanced beer that's not complicated, but still interesting enough; and which offers enough richness to leave it satisfying without becoming 'too much'. Given the price ($1.17 single bottle) it's hard to beat as an occasional semi-sweet dark ale. (969 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 1/4" head.

Smell: roasted malt is the lone aroma component.

Taste: roasted malt, dark fruit, some woody and earthy tones, and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smoother at the end.

Overall: a relatively simple al that has a nice roasted flavor. Easy to consume. (334 characters)

Photo of shleepy
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Dark brown, with relatively small head. Caramely malt smell. Taste and mouthfeel is smooth (albeit not as smooth as a Velvet Merlin) but also roasty. Has kind of a "rusty" quality to it. Pleasant, but I'd opt for a Velvet Merlin, if it's at the local Trader Joe's, instead, for an extra couple of dollars per six-pack. (318 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle with a BB date of July 2015.

Pours clear, very dark brown, with a large, durable tan head. Lingering lacing partially coats the glass.

Aroma: mild medium and dark roasted grains with a lighter roast than the appearance suggests. Faint hints of coffee, smoke, roasted nuts and toffee.

Flavor: mild medium and dark roasted grains with a neutral bitter/sweet balance.

Feel: medium-light body; very smooth. Lively, crisp carbonation.

O: enjoyable and economical dark ale that straddles the brown ale / light porter categories. Improved with warming. (567 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.52/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear but almost opaque deep crimson red/brown approaching black in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation slowly rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate ruby red highlights. The beer has a three finger tall foamy tan head that slowly reduces to mottled thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts with a light amount of toffee notes. There is a subtle hint of nuts (maybe pecan) and just a hint of herbal hops.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of roasted malts with a very light amount of toffee sweetness. That is followed by a subtle note of nuts/pecans and just a very light amount of herbal hops. Very light amounts of bitterness in the finish which fades almost immediately.

M: Light bodied with a moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable, kind of a hybrid between an English Brown Ale and an English Porter but one that I found to be mostly successful. Could easily have a couple of these in a session. (1,123 characters)

Photo of Beric
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Serving: Bottle, from the bottle
Served: 29 May 2014

Appearance: Enjoyed this one from the bottle. You can tell this is one dark beer though, since the brown bottle gets lighter as you drink this one.

Smell: Complex notes of gooey caramel, toffee, and molasses.

Taste: Much like the smell, with an especially strong assertion of sweet molasses malt notes. Extremely flavorful for a highly underrated style.

Mouthfeel: Easily one of the weakest aspects of this beer in my opinion. Despite the relatively strong malty flavors, the beer felt somewhat thin on the tongue. The carbonation didn't carry the beer too well.

Overall: A very flavorful beer from Trader Joe's for a good price point. I would recommend this to drinkers who like malty beers. (750 characters)

Photo of jadpsu
3.91/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a keep bronw with a tan head that has excellent side glass lace and average head retention.
Aroma: Sweet malts, some roasty malts, mollasses ant nuttiness.
Taste; Follows the aroma , maltiness, roasty breads with the caramel and some cocoa.
Hops are not evident.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation is noticable, creamy.
Good brown or dark ale. Loved the malts. (355 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with reddish tinges, pretty clear, head and lacing were pretty good.

Aroma and flavor were not bad, but earthines and nuttiness may have overpowered it a bit. Toasty, a touch of roasty, and caramel malts are there I'm not catching much in the way of hops.

Body is medium and it's pretty darn drinkable. No real complaints, but it's also not going to make front page. It plenty drinkable tho. (406 characters)

Photo of illpass78
3.72/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown with some red highlights. Head is small and gone fast. Lacing minimal. Attractive beer. More redness noticeable when held to the light.

Aroma: Smells of oak, caramel, toffee and earthiness. Some hop notes are noticeable. Booze is hard to detect.

Taste: Taste follows the nose, but there's also some nuttiness that doesn't show up as much in the smell. Tasty beer. A good companion for sausages on a chilly night. Hop bite is noticeable on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth. A pleasure to drink.

Overall: Very nice brown ale. Would have again. (623 characters)

Photo of lou50rp
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
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. (346 characters)

Photo of welldigger888
2.74/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice dark ruby hue with tan head and good lacing down glass

aroma of roast malt and stale hops

the roast malt are nice yet the stale hops prevale

nice full mouthfeel that is cursed by the hop staleness

well I will not seek this out, thankful for the bring over but that is all (289 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.36/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

From the 355 ml bottle dated 07/20/14-13:47. Sampled on March 9, 2014.

It is a very nice looking beer with a dark brown to practically black color and a long lasting cream colored head.

While the aroma brings out some roasted dark malt and nutty characters I tend to get this sort of soapiness like I'm taking a shower. Little to no hope note.

The body is about medium but it is very smooth and creamy.

The taste is generally on the sweet and malty side but it does not go overboard. Nuts, malts, and the most modest of a hop finale. It is easy to drink but it is nothing out of the ordinary for the style. (611 characters)

Photo of theteleman
3.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass from a bottle purchased at Trader Joes in Carmel Mountain CA. Amberish dark brown in appearance with a big fluffy head that retains excellent lacing as you sip on the brew. Smells like toffee, caramel, pretty swet scent on the nose. Mouthfeel is smooth and silky the nose is deceptive, was expecting a sweeter taste, but this is very balanced, earthy and malty in taste. First time trying anything from Black Toad Brewing, this was a pleasent brew. (471 characters)

Photo of jawlessbody
4.17/5  rDev +17.5%
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. (1,384 characters)

Photo of GMB
4.01/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A standard pour of JosephBrau Brewing Company's Black Toad's "Distinctive" Dark Ale yields a seal-brown body that turns ruby red when held up to the light. The sandy head barely makes an appearance, and disappears quickly, though it does leave a thin island cap of semi-sticky foam as a memento. Carbonation was overly excited immediately following the pour, but quickly settled.

Like many of JosephsBrau's offerings, this beer smells sweet. Slightly burnt toffee, freshly baked brown bread, soy sauce, braised prunes.

The taste develops and departs from the nose. Burnt toffee and brown bread are ever present but not overpowering. Subtle notes of dark chocolate and dark-roast coffee appear in the middle and linger. Dry-braised prunes and dates emerge towards the back end and mingle. Nutty flavors are subdued, but manage to slip in here and there; toasted almonds come to mind. If the mouthfeel were fuller and the foam creamier, I'd think I was chewing on a piece of rye bread with prunes, almonds, and a hint of chocolate.

The dark dried fruit flavors in Black Toad certainly do make it a "distinctive" dark (i.e., brown) ale. I'll be revisiting this beer soon. (1,172 characters)

Photo of blackcompg
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Pours a half finger of khaki head, body is a transparent deep garnet reddish brown. Gentle bubbling within the body. Head fades to a cap within a minute, and leaves sparse, spotty lacing.

Smell - Dark fruits, brown sugar, sweet dark wheat bread, and a nice nuttiness, very much like hazelnut.

Taste - Much like the nose, dark fruits, brown sugar, and flavors of wheat bread, and occasional whiffs of chocolate throughout. I get some light minerals at the end of the sip, and some light coffee long into the finish. The flavors here are pretty nice but they are not bold or assertive at all, they are all on the lighter side. Letting this one warm up a bit will help the flavors.

Mouthfeel - Very light side of medium, carb is medium+, but still very smooth. The smoothness of the carb really helps the drinkability here.

Overall - This is a fairly decent brown, definitely on the lighter side - the flavors are good but not bold enough to really make a statement or impression of any kind. A few folks around here seem to like it well enough, give her a try and see what you think. (1,098 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.54/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Well, I think this is the least offensive beer I have had from Trader Joes, but that is not really saying much.

It has a full, robust nut brown ale look, with a hazelnut center and burgundy edges. A modest off-white cap of tightly formed carbonation fades to a thin ring of larger bubbles after a few minutes.

The aroma is full of milk chocolate, hazelnut, and a bit of coffee and cream.

Each sip starts out with a light burnt brown sugar sweetness, with hazelnut and slight sweet milk chocolate following. These flavors last for most of the sip, with a slightly bitter coffee note toward the end. The flavor is basic and pretty mild.

The mouthfeel falls in the middle in every category. Medium carbonation, medium body, slightly sitcky, slightly oily. If you are trying to create a non-offensive mouthfeel, this is it.

I thought this was fine. A step above Newcastle, but there are much better brown ales around. (918 characters)

Photo of damndirtyape
3.71/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served into a shaker pint glass. Part of the best before was smeared, so this is either best by 06/04/13 or 02/04/13.

Appearance: Dark brown on the table, dark ruby red to mahogany when held up to the light. Initial white head upon pouring died back to a thin white foam across the top and some thick strands of lacing here and there. So so in the foam dept, but very nice color beer.

Smell: Malt sweetness, hint of caramel, hint of metallic. Mild.

Taste: Mix of caramel malt sweetness, burnt sugar, and toasted malts up front, then moving quickly into a brown sugar middle. The finish is not very bitter, maybe just a hint of black coffee that's been on the burner too long - or very burnt malt. Not a good bitter finish, a little ashy a times, but enough to counter the sweetness that is in this beer. I have a sweet tooth and so like malt heavy beers, but this one is just a tad unbalanced in favor of malt sweetness. Tasty, just unbalanced. But probably true to style for an English Brown Ale. I just wish it had a bit more hop balance at the end.

Mouthfeel: Sticky on the teeth. Good carbonation underneath.

Overall / drinkability: One is enough for me, I could not drink another by itself. With food...maybe another one per evening, but it's still quite sweet. Might make a very interesting base for a vanilla ice cream float though. Still, a good full-flavor beer. Just make sure you're ready for the sweetness when you pop one open. (1,462 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
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 (442 characters)

Photo of BreweryRun
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very dark brown ale, from Trader Joe's, poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Smells fairly sweet, with hints of coffee and chocolate.

Taste is less sweet than the smell but not overly so. Notes of unsweetened chocolate and toasted bread. I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Sweetness comes out a little more as it warms which I'm not crazy about but still good.

A very solid brown that I would have again, great price, and easy to get a hold of. (445 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A friend brought a sixer of these to a get-together last night. Poured one into a snifter. Pour yielded a dark chocolate brown with a nice off-white head on top. The nose was sweet like nutty bread, brown sugar toast, and a bit of alcohol.

Moderate depth. Carbonation level is good, but there's a bit of a thin quality on the finish. Sweet nutty flavors - almond bar, chocolate malt, fresh bread. Good finish. This beer was surprising. One I'd never heard of, but a decent one I'd revisit.

[*This paired exceptionally well with a Carlos Toraño Reserva Decadéncia cigar] (575 characters)

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Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 245 ratings.