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Black Toad Dark Ale - Black Toad Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Toad Dark AleBlack Toad Dark Ale

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

408 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 408
Reviews: 236
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 14.53%
Wants: 15
Gots: 12 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 08-28-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 408 | Reviews: 236 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.48/5  rDev -2.8%

Best by 7/5/12.

Pours a clear crimson brown with a 1/2 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace drip back into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt and burnt caramel/toffee aromas. Taste is of roast malt, bread, caramel, and a slightly nutty and herbal hop finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a light carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some nice roasty aromas and flavors.

02-14-2012 19:57:57 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.55/5  rDev -0.8%

"Swallow a toad in the morning and you will encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day."

--Chamfort

Dark bronze with apricot accents and a faintly fizzy crown of golden khaki colored foam that looks no better than decent. The lid persists acceptably well and leaves no more than a few small spots and dots of lace.

The nose has a lightly buttered brown bread quality that is pleasant. It smells like this ale will be sweet and nutty with hints of vanilla bean. Let's see if the taste buds agree.

Black Toad Distinctive Dark Ale is, indeed, distinctive and different. Hard to say what makes it so. There's more roasted malt than is typical for the style and the hops are making a valued contribution as well. Goose Island knows how to brew beer.

There is good malt-hop balance, both in terms of flavor and sweetness versus bitterness. Forget brown bread, we're verging on pumpernickel toast. There's also an earthiness that *might* be due to a small percentage of rye malt. Semi-snappy hops means a fairly fresh bottle.

The mouthfeel could use a little work. It's light-medium, lacks hang-on, and the bubbles don't provide much expansion or creaminess.

Black Toad Dark Ale is a tasty little treat when you feel like drinking something distinctly different. Swallowing this Toad every morning, rather than being disgusting, would be a good way to start off your 'don't have to work today' day.

03-31-2011 11:23:49 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +1.4%

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany with a tightly bubbled beige head that leaves some dots and strands of lace

Smell: Brown bread, nuts and caramel

Taste: After the brown bread opening, the caramel sweetness takes over, bringing along some nutty flavors by mid-palate; after the swallow, the caramel sweetness tends to dominate, with hints of flecked chocolate in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A little too sweet for my palate, and more like an English Brown than a Porter, this beer has a lot of flavor and is very easy to drink

11-04-2009 02:50:45 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.03/5  rDev -15.4%

Black Toad pours with a solid brown base color, ruby and crimson highlights and bright clarity. A lightly tanned head rises and retains for a much longer duration than I expected.

Aromas are malty with toffee, toast, light roast, and fresh baked bread crust. Herbal hops make a modest impression. Pretty clean and simplified nose.

Flavors re-affirm the toast and bread crust with a crisp and dry toasty mouthfeel. A bit more fruity with grapes, plumbs, and dates than the nose suggests. A long, soft linger of herbal hops and bread crusts.

Sweet and medium textured up front but the beer fades quickly into dryness first, and then a weaker, more watery cola-like flavor late.

A fair, simple, and non-offensive note. Though it will have trouble competing with Great Lakes Eliot Ness, this beer compares favorably against Voodoo Black Beer and Michelob Amber Bock.

Thanks Steve for sharing.

01-13-2010 22:27:41 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with a thin, wispy, white head.

Smell: Dark, roasty malts with rather light notes of chocolate and fruit. Light notes, mind you.

Taste: Dark malts with a taste of chocolate-covered roasted grains and a nutty caramel sweetness. Minor hint of fruit. The bottom drops out and things get a bit watery midway. Light floral, herbal hops with a mild bitterness. Finishes dry and crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, it's be no means outstanding, but it's certainly one of the better beers from the Trader Joe's lineup.

03-27-2009 19:53:37 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.13/5  rDev +15.4%

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.

04-20-2012 22:19:04 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev +5.6%

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

When I saw this at TJ I just had to grab one. It pours a clear ruby-brown topped by a small finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises brown sugar, cinnamon, caramel, toffee, light cocoa, and a hint of tobacco. The taste holds notes of light toffee, light chocolate, caramel, and some very light florals. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a very nice bit o' brew, though the taste lacks full character, as though it were too light for its own good. Beyond that, though, I could easily sit down with a sixer o' this and enjoy myself (and the more-than-reasonable price makes that even easier).

12-01-2010 06:12:56 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev +6.1%

Drinking this now, it seems like either a "Porter Lite" or a Munich Dunkel with substance. It has the roast and lactic sweetness of a Porter, but the light passes through it, and it glows crimson red when backlit. There was a sizeable head of tan foam, some fragmented lace. The faint aroma was sweet and nutty.

Taste was nice, moderate cocoa sweetness, some toffee, and traces of almond or walnut in the aftertaste. Minor roasted barley and leafy hop flavor in the back, not bitter at all though. Feel was good, ample carbonation, slight fullness to it, but went down easy. Overall I was pretty impressed with this, and it can't be beat for the price.

05-22-2009 23:48:42 | More by emerge077
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.33/5  rDev -7%

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.

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

California

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

12-23-2013 05:21:10 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +15.4%

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.

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

Oklahoma

3.68/5  rDev +2.8%

Picked this up at trader Joe's in Santa Fe, probably the best beer I purchased there, review based on notes, BBD of 04/25/08

Pours an effervescent chestnut with one finger of tan head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Roasty malt & dark fruit once warm

T: Roasty & chocolaty malt, dryness & herbal hops up front. Some vanilla & coffee grounds as this warms, along with some licorice & dark fruit. Finishes slightly fruitty with anise

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation

Drank really easy, not a great porter, but serviceable enough. A little more malt depth would've helped the cause. I too thought this had some Schwartz bier & or dunkelbier characteristics as well

04-14-2008 14:46:41 | More by russpowell
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

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.

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

Arizona

3.58/5  rDev 0%

Best By Date October 2008; Sampled June 2008
A brisk pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a frothy, initially three-finger thick, lightly brown tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a concentrated brown, approaching black color that shows a brilliantly clear, bright cranberry color when held up to the light. Sweet and fruity smelling up front, but picks up a touch of roasted grain towards the end. Berries, raisins and sweet malt yields to coffee, toasted grain and burnt toast towards the end. This has a decent mix of aromatic notes to it, definitely an enjoyable nose.

Sweet, with a soft creamy heft to it that belies what I assume is a lower / average alcohol beer; certainly not thick or rich, but I was expecting a thin beer for some reason. The sweet malt notes are balanced in the finish by a roast-coffee like note, some burnt grain flavors, and just a touch of roast-grain derived acidity; this last providing a bit of balance more than anything. The sweetness accents fruit flavors of roasted raisins, lightly burnt black-berries and even a touch of fig.

This is an outstanding beer at the often seen price of $4.99 / six-pack. While fairly sweet, the fruitiness adds complexity and it has just enough roast grain character to keep this in balance.

06-08-2008 00:45:38 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.48/5  rDev -2.8%

12 oz. bottle pick up at Trader Joe's, a solid score I thought I'd try it,

A: Pours brown with a light off-white head, nice lace, good retention.

S: Sweet malt, that's it, one dimensional but enjoyable.

T: Dark bread, almost has a Belgian Dark Ale feel, has some yeast character. A good flavour, but again one-dimensional.

M: Light to medium-bodied, thin in the finish, but a nice feel overall.

O: A real good beer at a buck a bottle. Actually feels bigger than 5.3% which is a boon at this price point.

12-18-2011 08:18:41 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.9/5  rDev -19%

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

03-27-2012 06:28:38 | More by kojevergas
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

3.08/5  rDev -14%

March 2005- Purchased at Trader Joe's in San Francisco, CA

Toad pours a dark brown, almost black in color. Fairly nice thick head, but leaves minimal lacing behind. Very nutty and roasty in the nose and the taste consists of the same qualities, but with a fairly strong bitter finish, almost like a brown ale or a ESB. Carbonation level is adequate, but overall it was a tad to bitter for me. Would have liked a bit more coffee and chocolate than that bitter beer face.

03-15-2005 18:11:49 | More by GClarkage
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3/5  rDev -16.2%

Poured a murky brown, not quite as dark as a solid stout black. A medium-sized an head appears and then just as quickly, vanishes! The aroma is slightly sweet, roasty, malty, almost smoky. Flavor is almost amber-ale like- malty, sweetish, easy drinking with a slight hop bite at the back of the throat. A drinkable brew found at the local Trader Joe's- nothing exciting, nothing terrible.

11-25-2008 06:21:05 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.18/5  rDev -11.2%

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a deep mahogany clear body that has a creamy thin head that last and last. The carbonation is strong with big bubbles.

S- The soft smell of lightly toasted malt with some faint toffee notes in the background.

T- This beer has a smooth brown malt texture with some notes of dry pale malt aswell. There are some subtle notes of caramel and toffee with a slight off-taste. This beer finishes with a soft bitter hops that is enhanced a bit by the carbonation.

M- The mouthfeel is light with a slight creamy texture with a bit of a watery finish.

D- This beer has some nice malt qualities and some nice hop qualities but it lacks interest. Some qualities of a Bock, some of a Brown Ale, and some of an Adjunct Lager made it a little confusing and they all kind of washed together.

03-01-2006 00:51:53 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

2.5/5  rDev -30.2%

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!

01-25-2005 03:29:03 | More by Zorro
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

3.55/5  rDev -0.8%

Black Toad? That's raci...on to the beer:

The creamy head on top of this chestnut colored beer slowly drops to a thick lace. Reasonably nutty in the aroma. Roasted peanuts come to mind, a little toffee arrives to the scene.

Nutty and toffee flavors ride around the palate. The texture has a medium feel with short, "buzzy" carbonation which eventually smooths out. There's a pleasant sweet and nutty aftertaste.

Agreeable and inexpensive brown ale by way of Trader Joe's.

12-28-2011 06:47:36 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.53/5  rDev -1.4%

Poured a murk dark amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured caramel, molasses and a touch of roasted malt.

The taste was initially sweet and dominated by balmy caramel malts. Cocoa and a faint nuttiness appeared toward the finish.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style with a residual filmy sweetness.

Overall a solid brown ale for the money. Certainly plenty of flavor the keep it interesting.

01-28-2011 01:43:14 | More by plaid75
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME

New Mexico

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

04-25-2014 19:02:12 | More by LXIXME
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

02-01-2014 00:40:54 | More by tdm168
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

2.53/5  rDev -29.3%

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.

01-07-2010 21:20:45 | More by Beerandraiderfan
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Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 408 ratings.