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

244 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 244
Hads: 453
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 9.83%
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 244 | Hads: 453
Photo of Bfarr
1.68/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Dark Brown with hints of red with a tan foamy gead with poor retention and no lacing. Roasted malt sweetness and then adjuncts? Sweet roasted malt start... and then you swallow. A horrible bitter linger kicks in. High Carbonation with a sticky finish.

Ugh, it's like my tongue used my uvula for a speed bag. It started off so well, perhaps it was old because I don't remember hating it that much last time. (407 characters)

Photo of bsend
1.89/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured this 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

This beer pours a dark blackish color and produces a a small frothy head. Definitely a standard looking American porter.

The smell was less than pleasant. Along with the roasted malt, I am picking up hints of grass and even fish?!?

After the first sip, I was less than impressed. I was hoping for more malt, but I didn't get it. Instead as was with the aroma, I got hints of what I can only describe as fish.

The mouthfeel was genuinely decent, except I didn't want it to linger on the pallate for veyr long. It really just made me unhappy.

This had very little drinkability from me. Between the flavor and aroma, I didn't want to be around more than the six pack I got.

Final Thoughts - This beer really had some serious problems. The aroma and flavor were really that bad. I will have to investigate this beer again. The $5 price for a six pack seemed too good to be true, and ultimately it was. Further investigation is needed. (991 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
2/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Purchased my Black Toad Dark Ale at Trader Joe's and had no idea what to expect from this beer.

Black Toad Dark Ale was absolutely wretched! I was able to gulp back 3 mouthfuls before pouring the rest down the sink!

The appearance is a dark lager and the smell is of a wet ashtray!

The taste was like burnt garbage! Maybe my beer was skunked but I thought someone put 100 cigarette butts out in an old beer and served it to me! I can not believe a beer that have such a burnt flavor that you can't detect anything else there!

I wanted to like Black Toad but unlike burnt marshmallows this burnt product is not pallatable! (625 characters)

Photo of charlzm
2.17/5  rDev -39%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1.5

Consumed March 28th, 2013. Poured into a standard pint glass at 50 degrees F. Bottle label states "best consumed before 07/14/13".

Beer is a clear dark brown with deep ruby/brown highlights. A two finger tan head forms and subsides fairly quickly, made up of an unappealing mass of sloppy bubbles. Some tiny flecks of sheeting on the glass as the beer is consumed.

Aroma is nutty with caramel and brown sugar notes.

Flavor is off. Nasty metallic note is the primary flavor component. A little fruit and nut peek out but then the experience is ruined by an oxidized finish. Not totally undrinkable, but I dumped at least half down the drain. Don't need the calories if I don't enjoy the flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a slight creaminess.

If everything but the flavor is okay, then the rating tends to be deceptively high. I will never drink this beer again.
___

PREVIOUS REVIEW:

Consumed on January 16th, 2008.

Pours a deep clear brown with even darker highlights. One finger head formed and dissipated rapidly. Aroma is sweet malt and nuts. Mouthfeel is smooth and a little thick. Flavor is woody/nutty with some sweet caramel notes. Some bitter coffee/chocolate present as well. Minimal astringency on center of tongue. Finishes clean with very thin bitterness.

Label notes that the beer is brewed by Goose Island.

Not bad at all.

APP - 3
SML - 3.5
TAS - 3.5
MOU - 4
OVR - 3.5

rating: 3.53 (1,415 characters)

Photo of haddon
2.18/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

got this from a pick six from TJ"s. poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A- dark cola appearance with little to no head. small amount of lacing that doesn't hang around long

S- nutty smell with a faint hint of chocolate and burnt coffee. not much going on with the smells

T- can taste the malts with a burnt coffee and nuts. the carbonation is overwhelming and tends to drown at the other notes

M- thin, watery and again, too much carbonation. almost fizzy in the mouth. couldn't let it sit on the palate too long...just not that enjoyable

D- not sure if it was the beer or am I just not a fan of porters. the carbonation is so strong it almost taste more like a cola than a beer. won't buy again. (704 characters)

Photo of jneiswender
2.24/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A--light tan head, very thin, and lacey. reddish, walnut body

S--sweet malt, husky and light caramel smell

T--smokey malt, very sweet front, almost a mushroom like middle and a light hop end.

M--thick, slick

D--very one dimesional brew. It doesn't taste "bad" in an off flavor sense but just seems to have a flavor that is non-distinctive. (388 characters)

Photo of 1Adam12
2.49/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

For a name like "black toad", this poured very brown. I do suppose it is a brown ale. Malt bomb all the way around. Smelled sweet and malty, tasted sweet and malty. Maybe a little bit nutty, but mostly just a malt bomb. Mouthfeel was light and carbonated. Really no finish to it what so ever. Overall...I poured this down my drain. Funny thing is that I used to drink it often before I really got into beer, and before my pallet became snobbish. This was horrible IMO and I'll never buy it again, even if it's only a buck. (522 characters)

Photo of Zorro
2.5/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pour a clear brown brew, doesn't look like a porter.

Smell is sweet and heavily roasted in scent and is slightly sour smelling.

Taste is a little sweet and a little malty with a bit of roasted flavor and some bitter aftertaste. I feel like I have been cheated, this doesn't have all that much flavor at all. As a Porter it is a flop, makes an OK Brown Ale I guess.

Mouthfeel is below average.

It is drinkable but why would I ever want another one of these? Blah! Completely forgettable! (498 characters)

Photo of donnebaby
2.5/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Boring, dark brown clearish black body and nearly no head yo. Nose is wet and dank, with some piney spruce sharpness that reminded me of wet forest. Tastes are burnt and roasty. Seems to have the rudiments of the porter but woefully thin body and garish mineral carbon after really put the hurt on this one. Certainly below-average. If at TJs--avoid this! (355 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.53/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ugh, you say this is a porter? Seems like a brown ale. Pours kinda dark, but lacks the thickness to be a stout, pours thin like a weak brown ale. Smell, not attractive, no hop character, lots of toffee.

Taste, more toffee, some burnt malt, doesn't smack of chocolate or coffee like you might expect from the color. No hops. Thin malt. Pick one, don't not have either. Mouthfeel is lacking, no depth, no heft, thin, watery for a porter. Can't be drinkable if I don't like anything else about it. The last one of my 6 pack sat in the fridge for over a year. I forget who the sucker was that drank this. (602 characters)

Photo of alexgash
2.62/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle.

Light cola brown body. Small, ephemeral, dirty beige head. Nose of sweet caramel malts, Hershey's syrup, licorice, and light roasted barley. Lightly roasted malt and cardboard up front. Caramel and cola sweetness follow. Old roasted coffee bitterness mixes with astringent graininess near the finish. Doughy, caramel sweetness sticks out in the finish. Moderate body with a fizzy feel. Not terrible, but not that good. (434 characters)

Photo of semihobo
2.66/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Yet another review of OPB (other people's beer), from the fridge at the house in which I'm staying.

Poured into a pint-type glass, the best I had. No head to speak of, color is a dark black but doesn't look too thick. I love the name "black toad" but the sketchy description of "choicest hops" sounds like Schlitz, so no points for the bottle.

Nutty indeed, just as advertised! Not very burnt smell, not much coffee or chocolate, nuts instead. Nondescript hops as well but the smell is mostly nuts with maybe some cocoa.

Ungh. Well it is nutty but the taste is a thin, watery, metallic lack of flavor. Just how coffee or coke taste wrong if you water them even a little bit, that's what happened to this -- take a typical good porter and pour a shot or two of water in, stir well. Phantomy hints of mint or vanilla on the end and some pleasant hops. Malt base is to the sweeter end rather than the burnt. Slight metallic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is kind of cokelike, thin and fizzy for a porter. Makes it easy drinking, though.

Apparently it's cheap which is good, it would be cool to see this fill the same niche as Yuengling's Porter (which is better) in the empty market of cheap dark beer. Were this available at bars priced like its grocery store counterparts it would be excellent for putting a few back while focusing on conversation and not paying attention to beer. As is, it's pretty lackluster for a porter. Maybe should be reviewed as an English Brown Ale, ala Abita Turbo Dog, especially since it claims to be a "dark ale"? Might fare better in that company, I give it a 3 in that company I think. (1,622 characters)

Photo of Beejay
2.68/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Murky brown with a hint of red. Nice tan head on it.

S: Roasty, with a syrupy malt scent.

T: Roasty, with a syrupy malt flavor. Decent with a very caramelized flavor, though it does seem have a bit of an extract flavor.

M: Medium bodied, the carbonation seems a little high for the style.

D: Once is enough for me. Decent, but not spectacular. (351 characters)

Photo of welldigger888
2.74/5  rDev -23%
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 tayner
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

this beer was dark amber in color, the head did not stay around long. minimal lacing on the glass

This says it is an american porter, but it looked and felt more to me like a brown ale. not thick or heavy, not very creamy.. to me like a dark version of bud on steroids...

it was fairly one dimensional when it comes to smell, a little hops, a little toasted malt.. not all that complicated.

too light of a mouthfeel for a porter, more like a brown ale.

drinkability is okay.. session beer type, and at the inexpensive price a better option than a macro, but too many other great beers to try for me to drink this again. (625 characters)

Photo of beersarang
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I picked up a bottle from Trader Joes. Twist off.

Pours with a large head that quickly dissapates. Little to no lace. Chestnut brown color, head has large bubbles.

Nose is malty with roasted notes.

Taste is not so great. There is not enough malt complexity in this beer. The bitterness also seems very simple. This beer lacks complexity in any way. Very simple, smokey flavor that I didn't find too pleasing.

Mouthfeel was especially unpleasing. Carbonation is too high, and the body is not heavy enough for a dark ale. The thin body and high carbonation makes this beer hard to drink.

I poured out the last quarter of my glass. (644 characters)

Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.78/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - this dark ale pours a dark (duh!) mahogany brown, with a thin tan head that laces swiftly to a rim around the glass

S - a re wheaty aroma, slightly musty, like moist cardboard, slight coffee aroma as well

T - coffee comes to the forefront in the taste, strong coffee bitterness and even some sourness, slight brown sugary taste as well

M&D - not very drinkable, slightly off putting taste, with some coffee goodness, but not well blended or balanced, weird they only brew one beer, a decent brew (508 characters)

Photo of kgotcher
2.83/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

6 pack from Trader Joes. Must be a TJ only brew since I never heard of these anywhere else before. I like the newer brews they contract from Gordon Biersch so I thought I would give these a shot. For 4.99 a 6 pack why not.

Pours black with a slight tint of amber. Weak head with no lace or retention. Low carbonation. Smell is weak for a porter. Slight hint of carmel, coffee but pretty weak compared to other porters.

Mouthfeel is also fairly weak and too fizzy, which is wierd because of apparently low carbonation. Not a lot of body and too dry.

Taste is okay but a missing the flavorful punch of other porters like Black Butte. Weak flavor of cofee, Caramel, chocolate, some hops but a bit lacking in smoothness and overall flavor. Aftertaste is a little bitter.

This is a fairly drinkable beer due to the weaker flavor, especially if other porters tend to be too strong for you. General quality seems okay if not spectacular. Nothing is skunky or really off, just not really tasty when compared to some other really nice porters out there that only cost $2 more a 6 pack. If you are short a couple bucks, this will do in a pinch, otherwise go for a Deschutes, Black Butte. (1,190 characters)

Photo of misterscooter
2.86/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found at Trader Joe's and gave it a shot. I wouldn't say that it is a bad beer but I doubt that I'll buy another six pack. I'd drink one if it is offered to me.

Pours a reddish brown with a good head that fades at an average rate. The smell is chocalatey and very malty. These aren't bad smells but they seem to be too dominating and any other smells that might be there are lost. It is smooth in the mouth and you do get a bit of that chocolate but a lot of the malt with not much aftertaste. This beer feels thicker than it is. Definitely a filling beer. (559 characters)

Photo of Tone
2.88/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with small yellow head, but poor retention. No lacing to speak of. Smells of roasted malts. Fits the style of an American Porter. Tastes of roasted malts that quickly turns into a slight hop and then finishes with more malt. Low almost non-existent carbonation. Overall, an easy to drink porter, but lacking in body. (335 characters)

Photo of witflee
2.89/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a clean bar glass, produced a thick head which disappeared almost as soon as the bottle was set down. Nice dark cola-with-coffee color, enjoyed the smell of it at first, or more to the point, enjoyed the anticipation of drinking it. Overall not displeasing to the nose or eye. Now for the mouth's opinion: one good sip, swirl around the tongue, ...ehh! Is this a carbonated batch of coffee water run through a dirty filter a second time, with beer flavoring added, plus some alcohol? Thin and metallic like the saliva drained out from the bottom of a trumpet, chilled, and artificially colored. The taste of this beer is not improved by observing the noxious black amphibian illustrated on the label. However, not to be dismissed completely, it is scads better than the Sea Dog Porter or Trader Joe's Winterfest Bock reviewed during this same tasting session. (871 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.9/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle looks to be either 11.2 or 12 fl oz. It's brown glass with a standard pressure cap, best before date 08/15/2012 13:40 (I find it intriguing they actually put a time on the date - as though opening it at 14:00 would be substantially different). Though the site notes say this is contract brewed by Goose Island, the bottle label says it's brewed and bottled by Josephsbrau. I purchased it at the Whole Foods in Glendale, California. Reviewed live.

Expectations are high given its current ratings and my previous experiences with Trader Joe's beers. Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Served into a Guinness goblet.

A: Pours a one finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and bad retention - inexcusable for the merely average ABV. Colour is a very dark caramel-copper. Nontransparent but not opaque.

Sm: Dark malts, biscuit malts, cream, hints of vanilla, some chestnut, and maybe a slight hint of roast. A mild strength aroma.

T: A dark malt foundation with mild nut notes, adequate yet underwhelming cream, biscuit malt, and a slight vague hint of vanilla. Some hops come through on the finish. No real layering. Not complex. Slightly subtle. It's an enjoyable brown ale, but it's neither unique nor special. It's pleasant to drink. An enjoyable beer. No yeast or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Some cream about the second act, but not enough on either the open or finish. A touch too thick for the absence of full flavour and lack of high ABV. What is there to support that requires the beer to have this thickness? Smooth and wet, complementing the flavour profile decently.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. There's nothing that catches me fancy to bring me back to this beer again. That said, I'd have it on draught if it was offered at a fair price. Fans of the style will like it but not love it. The ABV doesn't come through, but that's no accomplishment at 5.30%.

A poor candidate for aging.

Drank okay out of me Guinness goblet, but I reckon a nonical pint glass would do her better.

High C (2,141 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
2.91/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep black amber with a full 2 finger cream colored head that disappears too quickly to fine lacing.
Aroma is sweet malt and bittersweet chocolate.
Taste is of Chocolate and prunes....can't notice any hops until after you swallow then slight hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel is thin for this style...slightly unpleasant aftertaste.
I don't think I'll be trying this one again...much prefer Trader Joe's Black Hart Stout for a dry stout and TJ's Stockyard Oatmeal Stout for a desert, sweet stout...all of these three are at the same price (542 characters)

Photo of jackndan
2.91/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black Toad: A dark ale. Not too bad of a looking beer from Trader Joe’s, and a huge step up from the first one I sampled. Brownish-red, reddish-brown, with an off white head without much staying power. The taste was actually not half bad, strong coffee flavors, with a rolling taste of molasses at the end. And it did have a nutty flavor as well, particularly as it warmed up. Not bad, not great, but not bad. (415 characters)

Photo of GreenCard
2.91/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: dark chestnut brown with ruby highlights, good clarity, medium layer of tan froth

Aroma: light roast and malt; bit of brown sugar

Flavor: medium malt sweetness with a weak coffee bitterness on the back end; hints of brown sugar and vanilla pipe tobacco; finishes semisweet

Mouthfeel: medium body, spritzy carbonation, soft texture

Other comments: Meh... fairly lacklustre. (388 characters)

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Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 244 ratings.