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Black Toad Dark Ale | Black Toad Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
82
good
257 Reviews
Black Toad Dark AleBlack Toad Dark Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 08-28-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
257
Ratings:
486
Avg:
3.59
pDev:
19.5%
 
 
Wants:
21
Gots:
45
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 257 | Ratings: 486
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.23/5  rDev -10%
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.

 435 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear deep amber color with a beige head that thinned to a ring leaving thin trails of lacing.

S - toffee sweetness with a hint of roasted malt in the background.

T - sweet flavors of toffee and caramel upfront with just a touch of bittering right before finishing sweet on the lips.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel and very easy drinkability.

O - for the price, it's a pretty darn good beer.

 451 characters

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

Picked up a bottle at Trader Joe's at the end of November for 84 cents.

Poured a dark opaque brown with a decent head initially. Nose is of roasted malts and not much else. Taste starts off malty with a hint of coffee and chocolate and finishes smoothly. Mouthfeel is adequately full and fresh. Drinkability is OK as this brew is definitely better than your average macro but does not present a lot of complexity to be a top notch porter.

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Photo of beergoot
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Chestnut brown body; thick, frothy head; sheets of lacing left on the glass. Nutty, chocolaty aroma; chicory. Toasted grain sweetness; nutty; hints of brown sugar yet not overly sweet; toffee; low-key presence of hop bitterness. Heavy body; warm and soft mouthfeel; softly sweet with a mild dryness at the finish.

Great combination of dark, roasted malt grains with a mild sweetness and a simple touch of hop bitterness.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - reddish mahogany hues to this beer. A thin light mocha cap sprays a few lines of lace around, but no more. It drops readily and holds for a while at a thin cover.

Aroma - roasted patent malts, slightly sweet. Little else, it's a plain but fragrant porter.

Taste - roasted malts with a hint of black coffee. Prickly swallow, the toastiness giving way to some dark chocolate flavor on the aftertaste. Simple and tasty, kudos for a straight up tasting porter.

Mouthfeel - average, with peppy carbonation.

Drinkability - a tasty brew that I would recommend to fans of the essential porter.

 602 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours dark brown to black, thick off white head. Thin soapy lacing.

S - Light coffee and toasted malt - kinda earthy.

T - Nice toastly malt, a little smoke, coffee, light cocoa.

M - Thin, but expected for style. Good balance and carb.

D - Very drinkable for style.

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Photo of CHickman
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, but when held to light it's clear and amber brown, with a foamy tan head that faded average to slow and left good foamy lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, cocoa, light chocolate, coffee, syrup, caramel, herbs, floral hops and brown sugar; sweet overall with nice roasted grains and malt.

Tastes of cocoa, light chocolate, coffee, syrup, sweet malt, caramel, herbs, floral hops, light molasses, walnut and brown sugar; even though this is malt dominant, the hops leave a finish on the bitter side.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth, with low carbonation, a medium body on the lighter side and a dry bitter finish. Easy drinking brew.

A very surprising beer that looks heavier than it is and is actually quite light and drinkable, bordering on a session beer for malty beer fans; the price of a six pack makes this even more sessionable, so thank you Trader Joe’s.

 880 characters

Photo of richkrull
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at Trader Joes in Madison.

Pours a fairly dark brown color. Not much head at all. Smells like malt, coffee, chocolate. Taste is Pretty much the same. Some chocolate and coffee. A little bitter but not overpowering. The more I drink it, the smoother it gets. Not a bad beer, I'll probably try it again if the price is right.

 344 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another good beer from Trader Joe's!!! This one pours a clear mahogany color with ruby highlights throughout when held to the light. Decent size off white/light tan head with good retention. Thick spotty bands of lacing.

Smell is toasted malt...fairly pronounced and pleasant. Taste is malty with some mild chocolate....Tastes like a fairly mild porter. Nice flavor.

Mouthfeel is crisp, good carbonation and VERY SMOOTH!!

Drinkability is good. A reasonable abv, pronounced smell and flavor and good solid mouthfeel. This one could be pleasantly swilled as a session beer or with a meal.

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Photo of Redrover
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black Toad, I had never heard of it but my dad had some in his beer fridge so I decided why not give it a try. I’m guessing its brewed by goose Island for Trader Joe’s.

Beer pours a translucent black with a nice tan head. Not a ton of lacing.

Beer had lots of roasted malt on the nose with more than a dash of hops thrown in for good measure.

Taste was solid but not earth shattering. Definite smoked malt on the tongue. Beer is more sweet than bitter. However, hops become more assertive as I worked through the beer. Seems well made. Reminds me more of a dark lager than an ale (think Leines creamy dark,. but not quite as good). This beer is very quaffable.

Easy to drink, but they could turn down the carbonation one notch.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2/5  rDev -44.3%
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!

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Photo of Overlord
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Trader Joe's delivers again. I swear, when I'm buying affordable, sessionable beers, I find myself wandering towards their familiar environs.

Pours a thin looking dark brown ... a bit offputting, actually. Smells more like a Bock than a Porter. Tastes ... again, more like a Bock than a porter. There's a bit of roastiness, but this is primarily sweet caramel malt.

Mouthfeel way too thin, but very drinkable.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of charlzm
2.17/5  rDev -39.6%
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.
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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

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Photo of atsprings
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown that shows some ruby highlights when held up to light, the beer is topped by an off-white diminishing head. The aroma has some dark malt characteristics with a hint of chocolate. The taste is somewhat well balanced, however, there's something just a bit off. Dark malts and chocolate blend well with some light citrus hops, but it's far from the best. The beer is light and mildly carbonated. This beer is drinkable at 92 cents a bottle from Trader Joe's, but I'd rather spend the extra change for something better.

 534 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
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]

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
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?

 743 characters

Photo of morebeergood
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at TJ in Brookline for $1. Poured into a beer glass. Very dark brown color, and a large head. Nice lacing on the glass. Overall nice presentation. Smell was of faint traces of chocolate. Taste was a lot better than I was expecting. Very flavorful combination of cocoa, coffee, and malt. Nice and hearty mouthfeel, with the malt giving it a good backbone. Smooth and easy to drink. For $5.99 a six pack, this goes on the list as another example of very well priced beers at Trader Joe's.

 505 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

 603 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.49/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, tawny, murky brown. Moderate head and only a hint of lace here.

Aroma is roasty malts and a little dark fruit. I get a touch of nuttiness, too.

Taste is sweet, with a bit of roast and nuttiness. Seems to me like a brown ale with a little extra char. Easy enough to drink, but not outstanding.

 308 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
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 HalfFull
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of bsp77
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from glass into clear plastic cup (at least it's clear).

Appearance: Chestnut brown with thin off-white head and minimal lacing.

Smell: Quite sweet with caramel, molasses, chocolate, roasted malt and a slight nuttiness.

Taste: Not quite as sweet as the aroma, but still a little sweet. Caramel, molasses and chocolate comes through once again balanced by a drier walnut taste. Ends a little bitter with English hops. Seems more like an English Brown but with a heavier roasted taste.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Easy drinking, dark English Ale. Certainly not an American Porter, more like an English Brown Porter or an English Brown Ale.

 709 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice dark clean brown color with a thick and creamy head.

The smell is light and sweet with a hint of buttery marris otter and light chocolate.

The flavor is light and sweet with a bit of blackened malt and light smoke along with a touch of molasses flavor. The hops are minimal with just a touch of lingering bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is light and a touch oily.

A decent english brown/porter.

 420 characters

Photo of Beejay
2.68/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

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Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 257 ratings.