Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

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
Reviews: 245 | Hads: 457
Photo of Bfarr
1.68/5  rDev -52.7%
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 tapman
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
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 (507 characters)

Photo of pmcadamis
3.12/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark mahogany brown with a small wisp of a tan head. Head retention is poor, and little lace is left on the glass.

S - Rootbeer and sassafras. A little bit of tootsie roll in there too.

T - Mild chocolate and root beer. Roasted grains and blackened steak. Better than the nose for sure, but still a little bit weak for the style.

M - Light bodied and roasty. This is honestly over carbonated for what it's trying to be.

D - This is a bit too burn-y tasting and a lot too weak for the style. I honestly thought this was more of a "Euro dark lager" than a porter, as it is a bit on the thin side. It is relatively easy drinking and mild, but the over-done burnt steak (grill char) flavor is a bit much. (708 characters)

Photo of Beejay
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
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 bsp77
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
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 thetomG
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-transparent dark brown. Nice amount of foamy tan head that lingers surprisingly well and leaves plenty of lacing all over the glass.

Flavor is pretty straightforward with smokey/roasty/nutty notes with just a bit of bitterness lingering in the finish.

Good solid porter and something I would drink again, but not one that I'd go out of my way for... (364 characters)

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 5-27-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - 1 finger of foam, nice white lacing ring, very dark in color, carbonation is present

S - Roasted malts, vanilla

T - oatmeal, vanilla, malts, couldn't pick out any hops

M/D - Pretty tasty brew, medium bodied with a very smooth flavor. It went down pretty easy and I also recommend that people should try it. I picked it up at a trader Joe's (406 characters)

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.3/5  rDev -7%
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. (525 characters)

Photo of mwagner1018
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark deep black amber with a slight red hue.
Pours with a light milk chocolate froth head, dissipates quickly.
A nice swirl reinvigorates the head, and opens up the aromatics.

S- Roasted sweet malt, raisin, plum, slight banana ester.

T- Slight chocolate bitterness, coffee, raisin, mild alcohol
and a fresh coconut essence, with a light bitterness to finish.

M- Medium high carbonation, light crispness.

D- Good drinkable beer, smooth enough to have a couple, complicated
with enough depth to keep me interested. (521 characters)

Photo of droomyster
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark brown with glints of deep ruby red on the edges; a big brown head sits up top. Aromas are sweet, with the smell of dark fruits melding with coffee notes and a strong nutty element. The flavors are sweeter and more chocolatey than the nose would suggest (I mean this in a good way). Milk chocolatey sweet finish. All around a very solid beer, not to mention a bargain. (391 characters)

Photo of 1759Girl
3.57/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance>Warm brown, creamy golden head which dissipates immediately. Dark and lively. Looks pretty average.
Smell>mmmm! Burnt toast and sweet malt. Smells great!
Taste>Not very complex but very good. Would like a little more complexity.Hang is toasty and sweet.
Mouf> meh. Nothing exciting.
Drinkability> I could drink this again for sure. Easy. (363 characters)

Photo of morebeergood
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
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 GreenCard
2.91/5  rDev -18%
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)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.03/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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. (893 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.53/5  rDev -28.7%
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 Eisen
4.13/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poored from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith glass:

Very nice two finger white head that contrasts beutifully with the darkness of the beer. Small amount of head stays until the very end and produces wonderful laceing. The lower abv allows for this beer to be drank all night, and the flavor allows you to actually want to. There is nothing that boldly stands out in the flavor, but instead it is very well balanced. This great balance of suttle flavors of nut, coffee, chocholate perhaps leads to a very drinkable beer. Being $5.99 a six pack from trader joes makes this beer all the better. (596 characters)

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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass mug. Best by date 07/21/10 on back label. Single purchased at Trader Joe's (Short Pump, VA) for $1.17.

A: Dark brown with ruby highlights and short 1-2 finger light brown head with moderate retention and craggy line of lace.

S: Nice roasted aroma with delicious black coffee and cocoa notes finished with a solid herbal, leafy hops contribution

T: Flavor is light porterish with roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate and nicely rounded out with herbal hops. A nice mild acrid note as well.

M: Body is a little light for the style but has a level carbonation level and a cocoa finish.

D: A very drinkable beer but straddles brown ale and porter styles. I will pick this up when I'm in the malty mood. (751 characters)

Photo of tjd112
3.64/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in Westfield, NJ at the only Trader Joe's with a liq license.

A - Very good lacing, half-finger head, black to dark brown body
S/T - Like roasted nuts, especially chestnuts, with subtle chocolate notes
M - Very well done, smooth without destroying the intended flavors
D - A stand out ale on its own (310 characters)

Photo of blackearth
2.99/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Purchased at Trader Joes. Pours a black body with dark brown corners and a thick off-white head that falls to a cap. Aroma of dark roasted malts and a bit sweet cream. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Flavor is sweet with a bit of a metallic hint to it. There's a chocolate bitterness in the finish that sticks around for far too long. This is a bit overly sweet to be high in drinkability. (417 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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 (577 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.3/5  rDev -7%
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. (430 characters)

Photo of PatronWizard
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another birthday six pack! The wife already put down four of these so they must be pretty good.

Pours a cola coffee shade of brown. Nice one inch head comes up, settles over the course of two minutes. Good looking brew.

Smell isn't overwhelming, but very nice just the same. Roasted coffee and malts. Maybe a slight milk chocolate aroma.

Flavor is backward from the smell. First off is a nice bite of milk chocolate, followed by a lighter hint of the roasted coffee. Actually tastes really good.

Medium bodied, moderate or greater level of carbonation which encourages drinking.

Wow. I have a very good overall impression of this puppy. A surprisingly tasty American porter.

Overall: welcome in my home anytime (717 characters)

Photo of tatoodkelt
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
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. (567 characters)

Photo of haddon
2.18/5  rDev -38.6%
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 asabreed
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Fairly light for a Porter, with an off-white head and little lacing aside from streak-hints of such.

Smell: Mild black coffee, roasted malt sweetness, low-end bitter chocolate, and some citrus. Balanced and complex enough to enjoy.

Taste: Roasted malts, dark bitter chocolate, a hint of black coffee. Finish is mild black coffee for the most part, with a bit of roasted malt sweetness. Also there's an interesting hint of orange candied citrus going on, which adds a cool element to the overall experience.

Mouthfeel: A bit watery and thin for the most part, though it doesn't hurt the flavors coming through as much as I thought it would initially.

Drinkability: A decent Porter for the price. Could be a little darker and have more flavor, but that would of course jack up the price. And it's light enough to drink on a summer day without being too thick or overpowering. I'd drink it again. (947 characters)

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