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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

387 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 387
Reviews: 235
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: 387 | Reviews: 235 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Monkeyknife
Monkeyknife

Missouri

3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle a very dark brown with red highlights. The off-white head was light and left some light lacing.

Aroma of roasted malts, toffee, caramel and slightly sour.

Tastes of roasted malts and toffee with a touch of bitterness and coffee aftertaste.

Light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

This is called a porter but in my opinion is more of a dark ale. It's easy to drink but not one I'd like to drink as a session.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2007 22:35:08 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of eberkman
eberkman

Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Trader Joes because it was cheap and I needed a dark beer to pour into my chili. I used about a third of it for cooking and drank the rest.

Pours a dark brown shade with tints of red when held up to the light. Small tan head that diminishes pretty quickly. Really not much of a nose to speak of at all -- perhaps some very faint roasted malt notes. The taste is also a very straightforward, simplistic roasted maltiness -- Maxwell House coffee and not much else. Not any kind of hop presence in the finish. Nothing complex, nothing that interesting or memorable. Feels thin-to-medium-bodied in the mouth -- just kind of there. It goes down very easily, but isn't interesting or complex enough to hold my attention. One was plenty.

Pretty much the essence of mediocrity. Miles above a macrobrew, but certainly nothing worth going out of your way for. Use it for cooking, not for drinking.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2008 03:22:57 | More by eberkman
Photo of Mistofminn
Mistofminn

Minnesota

3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz black bottle (big surprise)

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Who would have guessed that? Tan head

S - Can definitely get some hints of coffee and dark chocolate.

T - Coffee, dark chocolate and is that some sort of nut I'm tasting? Surprisingly crisp.

M - Thin, with decent carbonation

D - Very drinkable for a porter

Affordable as well. Something I will definitely have again, but not something I will rush to buy. Thanks to my buddies dad for introducing this to me.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2008 05:37:45 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of adamks
adamks

District of Columbia

3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: dark brown but translucent, one-finger tan head that fades quickly with some decent lacing.

s: chocolate with some earthiness to it, hints of roasted malts, but i had to hunt to get much of anything.

t: same as the smell, not much there. hints of chocolate and roasted malt.

m: very thin with medium carbonation.

d: it's drinkable, but that's because it doesn't taste like much.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 00:28:09 | More by adamks
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, dark brown about midway between mahogany and cola with a fairly thick if not persistent pale cinnamon head. Aroma is strong, smoky and malty with nutty and molasses hints. Flavor, unfortunately, does not live up to the promise of the aroma - it is malty with nutty and caramel undertones but lacks the nice smoky touch of what I regard as a true porter. Texture is quite smooth and just a teensy on the watery side.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2009 20:21:11 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, coppery amber in the glass. Lots of foam and quite carbonated in the mouth. An interesting musty, sweet vermouth scent.

Fairly bitter on a malty flavor. A peculiar flavor, like a combination of Old Ale and Red Ale. Rather malty, which gives it a robust flavor along with the sudsy mouthfeel that makes it all worthwhile. Light bodied like a lager, but with a deep, dark, lingering aftertaste of raisin bread with a touch of iced tea and a splash of Diet Dr. Pepper.

A Trader Joe's perennial. A different take on the "other" brown ale, so popularly debased by Newcastle.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2012 06:01:30 | More by mactrail
Photo of marcellaproust
marcellaproust

Washington

3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thick, coarse head which quickly fades into a lasting 1/5 in. rim. Smells faintly like opening a box of Wheaties or some other multi-grain cold cereal. Taste begins with smooth chocolate with a touch of sweetness and ice coffee; burnt toast rounds out the finish with a surprising but not wholly unpleasant aftertaste of cigarettes in the mouth (not ashtray-ey, but approaching that). No bitterness at all, which I believe might strengthen this beer's profile. An easy drink, it's got a lighter body (cf. Guiness stouts) than most porters. Certainly a good beer, but there's too many porters in the English or American style that surpass Black Toad's modest presence.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2004 03:04:33 | More by marcellaproust
Photo of BeerManDan
BeerManDan

California

3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle label says, "We begin with a custom mixture of dark and roasted barley malts. Then we add the choicest hops. The resulting ale has a dark chestnut color and a deep nutty flavor."

I don't know about the nutty flavor, but is a dark chestnut color and there was a taste of roasted malts. Not to bad, but I would not purchase this ale again. This ale had a nutty, bitter/sour taste and that was the turn off!

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2004 00:39:52 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of BeardedBoffin
BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One bottle of "Distinctive Dark Ale" from the Black Toad Brewery. The beer is dark, but not black, with very visible brown regions near the edges. The foam is only a few centimeters deep, and left some nice lacing.

The aroma is raisins, chalky cocoa--it almost reminds me of a dry Irish stout. The sweetness of ripe fruit along with powdery cocoa leads the flavor into a dry bitterness at the end. The palate is left with flavors of husky grains and cocoa.

The flavor here is neither bold nor complex, but it is drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2010 02:08:16 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of Dmann
Dmann

California

3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a decent stab at a american porter. It poured a nice deep brown color with a good brown head that left a good ammount of lace on my glass. The smell was kind of sweet but not in a good way. There were also traces of chocolate in there as well. The flavor was not bad at all, with a good hop bitterness to go along with the semi sweet chocolate flavor and roated malts. The mouthfeel was nice and sturdy and this beer was a suprise for sure. I don't know if I could drink a whole bunch of these in one sitting but a couple at a time would not hurt.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2005 09:43:12 | More by Dmann
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish brown with a short lived tan head. Lacing is minimal.

Smells of liquid milk chocolate, with a roasted sweet maltiness and a bit of smokieness. Taste is light for a porter but rather pleasant. I wonder if this is another light bodied entree brew to the style from Goose Island. Nonetheless, an easy beer to have on hand for the style that won't offend. Decent feel but drinkability suffers from a lack of real flavor and finish. A Party Porter.

Note: Single from Trader Joe's for a buck..

Edit. Tried this one again. Pours richer and with a sticky head, offering some very good retention. Nose remains a bit lagerish but has a nice blend of scents on the nose. Appearance plus 1, taste plus .5. Still has a bit of a schwazbier sense to it at times but more complex. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2008 05:27:18 | More by HalfFull
Photo of blackcompg
blackcompg

Illinois

3.31/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 03:28:03 | More by blackcompg
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a very small, thin, cola colored head. No lace.

S - Smelled of dark chocolate, roasted malt and hints of coffee.

T - This beer is powered by a roasted malt taste and backed up by sweet choclate and caramel.

M - It was fairly soft and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer/

D - This is a pretty good porter and very affordable.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2008 04:03:41 | More by zeff80
Photo of Reidrover
Reidrover

Oregon

3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz longneck bought at Trader Joes.
Darkish amber in appearance, almost reddish- brown, with a large light tan bubbly/creamy head.
Quite a malty aroma to this one thats about it.
The flavour is pleasant, mosty roasty malts though there is a tiny bite from the hops near the end.
Quite ok on the palte but nothing special.
Its a drinkable ale..but is this really a porter?

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2005 18:47:10 | More by Reidrover
Photo of tatoodkelt
tatoodkelt

Maryland

3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Comsumed 7/17/09- from notes. Had dinner at a buddies house in VA where unlike MD you can get beer in grocery stores. Picked this up at a Trader Joe's.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Very dark brown with a creamy one finger tan head that faded pretty quick. not too much lacing.

S- Roasted coffe and dark chocolate. Kind of faint aroma over all.

T- Same as the smell with some hints of citrus too.

M- Light to medium. Actually seems to border a brown ale more than a porter to me. Medium carbination.

D- Pretty easy to drink, great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2009 14:49:52 | More by tatoodkelt
Photo of jonB
jonB

New York

3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very dark English brown ale that is very similar to Newcastle, but not quite the same caliber. Easy to drink, but not particularly impressive. It has a some malty taste that is a little sweet and has a weak finish. Not a lot of body to the beer and lacking a distinguishing characteristic.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2010 00:14:39 | More by jonB
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 19:30:27 | More by puboflyons
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Tall thin 12 ounce bottle with a dark black and gold label. Has the words ‘Black Toad Distinctive Dark Ale’. Described as a “….the resulting ale has a dark chestnut color and deep nutty flavor”. No strength listed, but it does have a smudged inkjet code on the reverse label which is illegible.

Appearance: Dark brown body that has a polished walnut look. Thin beige head quickly forms and quickly disappears. Solid conditioning helps to keep a thin head when the brew is swirled.

Nose: Nutty brown ale nose, sweet chocolate truffles and light toasted malts fill the neck will some other ancillary odors that lend a sweet grainy feel at times.

Taste: Light coffee and toasted malt entrance with some coffee in the middle. Dry latter third erodes the earlier sweet feel. Some chocolate in the swallow and a delicate hoppy bitterness lingers on the cheeks and tongue.

Mouthfeel: Clean lines, but this is a tad thin and if it wasn’t for the nuttiness and light toasted feel with the coffee and chocolate in support it would struggle to maintain a 3.5.

Drinkability: Not that bad, and the bitter coffee finish makes for a tasty Porter-esque afternoon drink but I couldn’t manage more than a couple of these.

Overall: Another one of those odd-ball singles from Trader Joes that was a nice excursion but never a complete detour. Worth a try for the money and an interesting change of pace but it has to do a lot to get me to pick it up again. A little weird all told.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2004 01:45:03 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of montageman
montageman

Michigan

3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A Trader Joe's exclusive - Dark Toad Ale pours a dark reddish brown with a nice substantial tan head that leaves some lacing. Black licorice, chocolate, and smoke are the primary aromas. Milk chocolate and medium roast coffee dominate the palate. There is some smoky notes as well. This beer would go very well in chili if adding beer to the chili. The depth of flavor in the chili would be accentuated by the roasted flavors here. Some hefty carbonation here, which could be toned down given the style. Not a bad beer by any means - easy drinking, not too heavy with some refreshing components. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2008 01:24:24 | More by montageman
Photo of katan
katan

Colorado

3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a deep dark brown color, to almost amber. Light to no head formation, off white in color. Breaks down to being fully clear, as is the beer.

S - Malty strong, very caramel, toffee, some even scotch style malts come through.

T -Starts with a malty sweetness, some nutty, caramel flavors. Mid-stream stays very malty, some yeast starts to come through. Finishes just as sweet. Hugely malt forward beer, under attenuated.

M - Thick and cloying, piles of unfermentables. Carbonation is mostly missing.

D - Easy drinking if you like sugar sweet beers. Very malty. Not filling. ABV is manageable.

I show this one as a trader joe's beer - so I'm not sure what Black Toad brewing is.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 19:19:39 | More by katan
Photo of PhantomVodoo
PhantomVodoo

Ohio

3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark brown. Tan head.
Aroma of roasted malt, coffee and hops.

Taste of roasted malt with some mocha coffee, nut, and bittersweet chocolate flavors. Hops provide a good level of bitterness and maintain a decent balance. Tatse is slightly bland and just a bit off.

Body and mouthfeel are a little thin.
Good drinkability, but again the flavor seems a bit off.
Overall, a decent beer, but nothing I'll look for again.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2003 16:39:32 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

A maroonish brown body sat below a thick tan head that left splotchy lacing down the glass. Aroma was decent, with sweet malty notes, raisin and plum.

The taste first hit me with a slight, nutty malt flavor followed by barley, hops, chicory, and some coffee notes. The mouthfeel was refreshing and smooth with an aftertaste that tried its best to stick around, but just couldn't get the job done. Carbonation levels were lackluster. Overall, it wasn't a bad buy for a buck at Trader Joe's. It's not a standout brew by any means, but it's definitely a drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 02:52:20 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of BretSikkink
BretSikkink

Mexico

3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As they say on the bottle, this is a walnut color with a fairly monstrous head. Tall and whipped, leaving thick ass rings of lace. Pretty impressive. The nose is quite fruity, with a little bit of buttered toast and even a hint of roasted coffee toward the back. Relatively mixed nose, seems to hint towards a British style of dark ale.

The flavor is fairly middle of the road, but does pack a certain chunkiness - the carbonation and mouthfeel leave a smooth, full, creamy impression. The malts are sugary up front, with raisin and even caramel eventually giving way to a bit of roasted grain and an acidic, short finish.

This is a great price for a beer. This is a great beer for the price. Not a great beer, but not a bad price. Get it?

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2009 04:50:40 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of tapman
tapman

Illinois

3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opaque black, though a lighter ruby-brown when held to the light, with a huge tan head. Head subsides to smooth, even lacing.

Toffee and butterscotch. I don't smell any hops or yeast.

Super toffee and ultra butterscotch with some roasted flavors. Hop bitterness is apparent and balanced.

Thick, but not too.

A good beer, just not very complex. I would hazard at some specialty grains and a mixture of roasted barley with some black patent or something like that. Worth a try, especially for the price

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 22:12:37 | More by tapman
Photo of EricCioe
EricCioe

Montana

3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured deep black with a light, sandy head with some lacing. On the nose there is a sweet, almost raspberryish note that hangs out underneath a bigger, toasted malt flavor. I hadn't noticed that until my third one because it's buried pretty deep. On the tongue there is a nice mix of the sweeter, fruity flavors and a little bit of the dark malt. It's a strange but really nice, subtle mixture. In the mouth it's pretty thin and doesn't have a very large body. It just doesn't stick around much. But that makes for a beer that would be very easy to sit back and drink lots of, and with a good mix of subtler aromas and flavors like this beer has, that's not entirely a bad thing.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 23:52:50 | More by EricCioe
Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.