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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

250 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 250
Hads: 471
Avg: 3.58
pDev: 19.55%
Wants: 20
Gots: 37 | 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: 250 | Hads: 471
Photo of mghotbi
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful coffee color with thin tan head and no visible lacing. Smells of creamed coffee and chocolate with faint hints of figs and raisins. One of the best smelling beers ever!

Taste is lovely chocolate and coffee and dried fruits with mild to moderate sweetness and faint tail of resinous hops. The roasted flavors dominate but come to a nearly pinpoint dry finish with only a lingering coffee aroma. Alcohol must be mild as it is very masked indeed.

Mouthfeel is creamy with just a hint of carbonation contributing to the thickness.

Very drinkable. Recommend you pick this up. The point of origin suggests to me that it's brewed by Goose Island.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this week at Trader Joe's in Cary for ninety two cents, for which I'll try just about any silly beer with an animal on the label (Jumping Cow, Fat Weasel, etc.) This one pours a nice even dark brown with maroon highlights and a solid beige colored head with streaky lacing. Nose is creamy coffee and faint fruit.

Satisfying, surprisingly complex flavor with figs or maybe prunes mixing with the base coffee tones and a bit of smoked meat and a general creaminess. Mouthfeel could stand thickening but certainly doesn't embarrass itself. This is a pleasant surprise and definitely will be a regular when I make pilgrimages up to Cary for organic fruit and tofurky.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.78/5  rDev -22.3%
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

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Photo of FightingEntropy
2.98/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Black Toad lives up to its name, being clearly dark ale, opaque brown to black with a light brown head on it. Good solid roast smell in the nose, but not complex and not much else to go with it. It losing some of the roast the taste w/o adding any complexity, and the body is definately watery. Good training stout if someone is moving into the style for the first time, nothing wrong with drinking one, but this will be my last.

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Photo of goschool
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was the final beer and the winner of my three Irish dry stouts from Trader Joe's showdown. It beat Murphy's, and Black Hart in that order.

Appearance: The pour is dark chestnut with red highlights and a medium sized tan head.

Smell: The nose has toasted malts, toffee, and a bit of chocolate.

Taste: The flavor profile starts with toasted malts that lead into a roasty middle with coffee and notes of chocolate. The finish is surprisingly hoppy and bitter, bringing complexity to this one, something that the other two lack.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and slightly creamy.

Drinkability: It didn't wow me, but I enjoyed the hoppy character.

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Photo of olegv40
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tuned to throw the bottle away and the head was gone, never a good way to start. Chocolate and bitter hops take over the flavor. Perhaps I've been ruined by stouts, but this was just too watery. But saying that, it was still pleasant, and a good candidate for a session beer.

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Photo of zuggy9
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This ale pours a very dark, near stout, color with nice head and some lacing. The smell is roasted malt and is nice. The taste is solid, with a good nuts and chocolate quality that doesn't finish harshly. The mouthfeel is a bit watery for my tastes, but all in all this ale drinks well and I enjoy it on occasion.

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Photo of stephendr
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown – stark white thin head – nose of mocha , malt , molasses , and slight milk chocolate – tastes are milk chocolate , nutty , malt , slight smoky / roasted character - creamy , silky body - aftertaste sweet chocolate slightly bitter baking chocolate

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Photo of marcobrau
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Imperial pint glass, this beer has a nice thick off-white head and grainy, cocoa-like aroma. The first sip is smooth, with some light roasted malt flavors balanced by a bit of chocolate and lightly bitter hops. The bottle may say dark ale, but this beer has me thinking black lager instead of porter, as it is very clean tasting. The finish is nicely balanced with a pleasant roasted character. Overall, a pretty drinkable dark beer and a good buy.

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Photo of ruleof72
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fours all around. This beer to me was very consistent. The "coke" dark color and creamy, but thin head was nice. Smell was loaded with toasted chocolate with a little coffee as well. Taste just like smell. Medium bodied with just enough carbonation. A very drinkable beer

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Photo of malcontent
3.81/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle says "dark ale" & the Bros. Alstrom say porter, so which is it?!? More on that in a bit...

There wasn't a whole lot of head on this deep brown, but not opaque, beverage. Aside from the uneven lacing, this is a good-looking beer, reminiscent of some of the darker brown ales I've had.

Mmm! Chestnut, malt, & toasted oats in the nose & to a lesser extent, barley & smoke make for some really complex/ appetizing aromas.

Very smooth although somewhat more watery than I would have liked. The predominant flavors are those of the malt & the same oat I'd noticed before. Strangely, the overall effect is almost like drinking a slightly bubbly iced tea. Quite tasty & unexpected if I do say so.

Strangely, this is a fairly filling beer given the aforementioned watery quality but neither of those things keeps it from being very pleasing. This feels like one of those "find" beers; something I would have never guessed to be as good as it is & at a great Trader Joe's price. Still not sure if it's an ale or a porter (really, it tasted like a mix of the two) but it couldn't matter less at this point. Hooray for contract brewing!

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Photo of edchicma
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another baragin at Trader Joe's in Cambridge. At $5.29 a six, the quality was really surprising. It pours a dark brown with a very nice, creamy head. Smell is distinctly malty, yet there was a definite hop note. Taste is malty with a smoky quality. Light hop notes on the finish. Smooth and easy to quaff on the drinkability scale. Mouthfeel is very nice...smooth, with a nice creamy quality.

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Photo of henrysunset
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

great pour into a tall glass. tall head of fine bubbles that stick around.

scent is a bit toasty and not alot else, tiny bit of biscut.

first taste didn't sit to well, a bit acidic and a bit too tart. second sip a little better with a generic dark flavor. slightly thick and coats the mouth. drinkable but boring.

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Photo of Damian
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep ruby brown with a small white head that quickly faded. Some creeping lacing stuck to the sides of the glass.

Smell was sweet and pleasant. Intense malts with a touch of caramel and brown sugar were apparent.

Taste was nutty with an intense malt flavor and a subtle hoppiness.

Body was quite thin for a porter.

This beer was rather easy drinking and quite reasonably priced as well.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all I highly doubt that this beer is an American Porter (as it is currently classified by this site) because it clearly says dark ale on the bottle's label. This beer pours a fairly dark brown color with a tan head about 1/2 to 2/3 of an inch thick that shrinks in size pretty quickly, eventually becoming nothing more than a ring along the inside of the glass. Leaves some decent lacing though. Aromas of nut and some malt are surely present along with some roasted coffee also present. Has a slightly sweet, roasted nut and coffee like taste as well. one reason that I find it hard to believe this is a porter is because of its taste and mouthfeel. Most porters I have had tend to be at least a bit more bitter than this beer and they also tend to have a more full bodied mouthfeel than this beer. This beer has a crisp, clean, but also slightly thin and perhaps watery mouthfeel. Has a medium bodied mouthfeel and moderate carbonation. Quite easy to drink though. Not a bad beer by any means either. A good solid beer for sure.

Eric

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Photo of MiScusi
3.17/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This dark ale looked more like a root beer, maybe a little darker. It smelled roasty and coffee. It also tasted the same, quite nutty and plenty of coffee present. The mouthfeel was pretty thin for a porter. It lacked any sort of wow character. There are better selections that I would make if I came across this again.

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Photo of semihobo
2.66/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

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Photo of witflee
2.89/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

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Photo of IntriqKen
2.91/5  rDev -18.7%
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

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(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.

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Photo of Greenfloyd
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dark ale that handles a hearty shepard's pie just as easy as it swims along your grilled salmon, no small feat for a porter inspired brew. A pint glass pour will give you a dark butterscotch hue, with a light almond colored head. The subtle nutty nose translates into the taste of the "distinctive dark ale" as you retrieve toffee nuances accompanied by a toasted cashew (maybe a stretch, maybe not, but a toasted nut non the less) chaser.

Halfway down your glass, give this ale another sniff or two. You'll be surprised to find honey-like undertones now, the same honey that you might notice during the finish.

An incredibly easy to drink, enjoyable dark, that represents well enough in taste, to forgive the lack of body that connesouers of porters and the like come to expect, but then again, that's part of the charm right?

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Photo of arizcards
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
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 aforbes10
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this at Trader Joes just to try. didn't have super high hopes but i liked the label. pours brown but not opaque. nice head, great long lacing. smalls yeasty, like bread. also some malty odor. Taste is like roasted males at first, then nutty. a hint of molasses and caramel and a rich chocolate aftertaste. tastes a bit like a watered down stout, but in a good way. smooth mouthfeel. carbonation is present but not striking. slides easily down the throat. Great drinkability. this is a session beer if i've ever had one. not sure if i would call this a porter though. that's not the exact style i would select, although im not sure exactly what i would call it. if i was reviewing it as a porter it would get lower marks, i think. definitely worth a try.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Poured a nutty brown with a few ruby hints. Had a one and a half finger head that receded to a foamy film with some light foam sticking on the side.

Smell- A litle cream detection, but mostly a mild nutty arome with a little malt penetrates the nose.

Taste- First you notice a distinct hazelnutty hops flavor which then moves on to a roasty, creamy malt character and ends with just a creamy general nut nuance.

Mouthfeel- Overall a very craemy and nutty palate. The nuts stay with the tongue the longest. A little dry as well.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black Toad Dark Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a dark brown with chestnut highlights. Tan colored head that turns to a thin lace.

Whiffs of dairy, chocolate and sugars.

Roasted dark malt flavors with highlights of chocolate, caramel and mocha. Nice hop presence and an overall balanced porter. Just a tad thin mouthfeel that could be bulked up some.

Another Trader Joe's associated beer that is offered at a great price for the product.

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Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 250 ratings.