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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

412 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 412
Reviews: 236
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 14.53%
Wants: 15
Gots: 13 | 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: 412 | Reviews: 236 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of avaldivia
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%

Poured 12oz bottle into a Belgian Tulip. OK, I will not do my typical review for this. This has a very nice dark brown color with good head and lacing. The smell is very sweet caramel malts. The taste is the same. A bit sweet for my taste. Good carbonation, nice body. Overall, good, but not great. I would drink this again, but again it's a bit sweet so I could not drink this often.

avaldivia, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of DrJay
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%

Clear brown with a coppery hue and a soapy tan cap. Decent head retention with clumpy lacing. Brown sugar and pear/apple fruitiness in the aroma, a little bready, hints of roasted malts and vanilla. Very similar flacour profile, just a little less potent. Low, grassy bitterness with brown sugar and fruit, bread and faint dark malt. Creamy texture, lightish body with moderate carbonation. Overall, pretty enjoyable with some nice English character.

DrJay, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of raoulduke25
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%

This has always been a favourite of mine. The pour is dark and smooth with a light head. The smell is slightly sweet with heavy malts.

The taste is what makes this beer. It is heavy in flavour without being heavy in alcohol. The flavour is strong, malty, thick, and robust.

I have never given this beer to somebody who didn't like it. It is definitely a popular beer at parties, and for the price, it's hard to complain. Definitely a buy; definitely something to keep in stock.

raoulduke25, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of kneeland
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%

Now this is a good dark beer. It looks like molasses, but tastes pretty light. I say it tastes like a Guiness, and I liked it better. It just doesn't have the same foamy head.

It has a nice brown nut ale flavor to it. The roasted barley is great. My fiance got this for me from Trader Joe's. I need her to get me some more.

kneeland, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of jondeelee
4.18/5  rDev +16.8%

Smells rich and earthy, with strong notes of chocolate malts, as well as more lightly toasted grains, dark chocolate, and caramelized brown sugar.

On the tongue, the beer retains many of the darker flavors present in the nose, focusing especially on chocolate malts and a light layer of tobacco and coffee, both of which come on stronger in the latter half of the mouthful. The ale starts off, however, with a nice smattering of grapefruit-bitter hops layered over the chocolate malts, as well as dark fruit esters and sugary toffees and caramels. The sugars give way in the middle of the mouthful, leading to the darker flavors. The aftertaste is a continuation of the chocolate malt/tobacco mix, with a slight return of the hops. Mouthfeel is medium-light, perhaps the same viscosity as skim milk, and carbonation is medium/average.

Overall, a nice dark ale, presenting and showcasing many of the standard flavors of the style, but doing so with a class and subtlety--as well as with larger flavors--than many of its peers.

jondeelee, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of CHickman
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%

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.

CHickman, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of Dodo2step
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%

P- Thanks to my buddy Trask for this brew

A- dark brown cola color. no heador lacing on the glass.

S- sweet coffee malts and chocolate. some sort of oily hops as well.

F- a carbonated coffee with chocolate flavor. Sounds weird but it is delic. very nicely complemented.

M-coffee with a carbonated kick and sweetness. Light bodied dark ale.

O- very tasty and i downed this pretty quick. def would rec a sixer

Dodo2step, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of dcook11
4/5  rDev +11.7%

A- Black upon first look, but when held up to the light the beer takes on a redish quality. Tiny bubbles rise to the top of the glass. Moderate carbonation. Two finger off-white head that fades quickly leaving behind moderate amounts of lacing.

S- Chocolate, Caramel, Roasted malt, Coffee.

T- Chocolate, coffee, Caramel, Roasted malt.

M- Light to medium bodied.

Overall- an enjoyable lighter ale. Good for the summer months when craving a darker beer but want something less heavy than a stout or porter. Very enjoyable beer.

dcook11, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of 1Adam12
2.45/5  rDev -31.6%

For a name like "black toad", this poured very brown. I do suppose it is a brown ale. Malt bomb all the way around. Smelled sweet and malty, tasted sweet and malty. Maybe a little bit nutty, but mostly just a malt bomb. Mouthfeel was light and carbonated. Really no finish to it what so ever. Overall...I poured this down my drain. Funny thing is that I used to drink it often before I really got into beer, and before my pallet became snobbish. This was horrible IMO and I'll never buy it again, even if it's only a buck.

1Adam12, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of whatthehull
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%

Tasted June 25th 2011 (from notes)

Poured into a la Chouffe tulip

A - very black, three finger tan head and some lacing

S - coffee, chocolate, toasted everything, malts, sweet molasses, vanilla bean and lots of earth

T - molasses, deep toasted malts, light carmel, coffee, chocolate and a slight hop

M - medium chewy, medium body, low acidity, well balanced and nice complexity

D - tastes great, not to heavy, lots of flavor and goes down like butter

Final thought - $5 a sixer and 5+ABV and tastes great. Not bad at all

whatthehull, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of NPerez
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%

This is one of my favorites. It's sweet but not too sweet - chocolate & caramel followed by a nutty aftertaste. Drink it the right way & I think you'll love it.

There's one thing that I really need to mention - there is an enormous difference between drinking this warm & drinking it cold. I really feel that refrigerating Black Toad tends to ruin it. If you're trying it for the first time, try putting a few bottles in the fridge and having the rest at room temperature - see the difference for yourself.

Refrigerated: Very little head, very little lacing. Weak, metallic smell. Decent watery, slightly metallic taste.

Unrefrigerated: Nice head with OK retention. Moderate lacing at the top of the glass. Smell is not remarkable, but caramel is noticeable. Tastes delicious, with a great walnutty aftertaste that sticks around for a while. I can forget about every other characteristic of this beer just because the taste is so good.

NPerez, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of bamojr
4.58/5  rDev +27.9%

This pours a beautiful burgundy red. nice crisp brown head. Smells very malty a lot like a porter. Very well carbonated that has a nice sweet and malty flavor. Strong Chocolate flavor that really rounds this out nicely and finishes with a perfect hop flavor. I am so impressed with this beer. I am not even a huge fan of brown beers and porters but this is a great beer.

bamojr, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of notchucknorris
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%

A: Pours a dark brown color with some ruby highlights. About a one finger tan head that has good retention.

S: Fairly faint, but I pick up some roasted malts along with a bit of maple syrup and brown sugar as it warms.

T: The body is fairly light and I remember this being better when I had it before. I get some relatively faint flavors of roasted malt, a big of a charred flavor, some medium roast coffee and a bit of maple on the finish. Worth a try but not fantastic.

notchucknorris, May 31, 2011
Photo of karait95
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%

A: very Nice dark brown color with low carbonation inside, on top an impressive head with mixed sizes of bubbles that dissipates not to fast leaving behind small traces on the glass and a permanent layer on top.

S: full toasted aromas are sensed, the malt is present all the time with some notes of caramel and coffee style. It is good.

T: again the toasted malts are all over the mouth, hops are wisely combined with the barley for an excelent final flavor.

M: an easy one for drink, but not simple. This beer combines the sweetness and the bitterness very softly since the beginning and all the way until the last ending.

karait95, May 29, 2011
Photo of CHADMC3
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%

Pours a deep mahogany with chestnut hues and a foamy, tan head.

Aromas of dark malt waft from the glass, which are a touch roasty, and a touch nutty.

More roasted malt is featured in the flavor, a touch coffee like, perhaps a hint charred, but also nutty sweet.

This dark ale is on the lighter side in body with medium carbonation and although it is a touch thin, it is quite crisp and tasty.

I was pretty impressed with this beer; it had a nice combination of roasted malt and sweet nut character that I had hoped it would offer and it was extremely drinkable.

CHADMC3, May 20, 2011
Photo of chicagobill13
4.6/5  rDev +28.5%

My bottle says a brewery from San Jose, CA. I know use to be Goose Island now it is Joseph Brau Brewery. I like. Good Beer at a good price. I would pick it up again at Trader Joes! not too many good black ale that are in code and good! The aftertaste is ok but I can live with this beer. This is now my everyday beer!

chicagobill13, May 14, 2011
Photo of wedge
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%

Clear dark chestnut pour and a thick, tight off-white head on top. Nutty, sweet brown bread-like aromas...toffee, faint sweet chocolate, fruit, and very light diacetyl and smoke. Dry, nutty flavor. Bitter chocolate, caramel sweetness, and a bit of earthy hops. Medium-light-ish body. Pretty tasty and certainly a good deal. Not sure why I waited so long to grab a single.

wedge, May 08, 2011
Photo of dbossman
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%

A: Dark amber hue with a very thin head--almost no retention--some bubbles but it is generally quite still; lacing fades rather quickly

S: Some pleasant biscuity and toasty malts--a touch burnt with some caramel sweetness; it is fairly grainy but also quite subdued and simple

T: Up front there is a great toasty malt profile with a touch of caramel and toffee; this is quite bready but fades rather quickly; there is a bit of subtle burnt, charred grains--but all in all it is quite pleasant--the burnt toast becomes even more prevalent toward the end

F: A tad thin but the beer manages to cling nicely to the roof of the mouth

D: This is a nice, session beer with that bready, toasty malt quality you like in a dark, session ale

dbossman, May 04, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
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.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of Pardishcreel
4.35/5  rDev +21.5%

The color is a dark brown this opaque beer has a nice head and decent retainibility. The taste is a hint of coffee with burnt grains and a nice hop finish. The bitterness of the hops is well balanced. One of my favorite beers that comes in 6 packs. I suggest for the price at about 1$ a beer you pick up a few of these for you next tasting, I found mine at trader joes.

Pardishcreel, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of GossageBrewery
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%

This English Brown Ale was poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The Beer pours a dark brown color. It produces an underwelming amount of head that quickly dissipates. Head Retention is very much below average. The beer is under carbonated Lacing is below average. Low marks for appearance. The news does get a little better with the smell, deep aroma of chocolate and coffee come through. The taste is surprisingly good, a deep roasted malt flavor that gives way to chocolate and coffee. There is also a nice "nut" flavor that is present. The finish is "warming" and has a nice hop bitterness about it. The mouthfeel is a medium body that is typical for an English Brown Ale. This is a very nice session beer- it's a lot bigger then say New Castle, which many consider the flagship for English Brown Ales. Overall pretty good beer- and did I mention that it is contract brewed by Goose Island?

GossageBrewery, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of devilben02
2.98/5  rDev -16.8%

Pours a dark but still translucent mahogany color topped with a substantial creamy head. It has a thin, light, fruity aroma, with notes of cherries, raisins, and hint of floral hops. The flavor is likewise light and fruity, but there are also characteristics of roasted nuts and dirty, earthy hops. The sharply tingling carbonation is merely distracting, but is frankly unpleasant, which really detracts from the light, fruity malt flavor. Overall, this beer has its good qualities, but not there is not enough good to make this one any more than a mediocre-to-average beer.

devilben02, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of needsmorehops
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%

Amber-dark amber color. Pours a good, dark cream-colored head, with large bubbles. Good laces. Good carbonation.

Medium body with good mouthfeel.

Bready, yeasty, somewhat fruity aroma, with slightly resiny notes.

Dark malt is the predominate taste, balanced with hops. Nutty and somewhat chocolatey. Sweet but slightly bitter with a distinct note of burnt sugar.

Would be good with roasted meats. Could go well with a dessert provided it wasn't too rich.

needsmorehops, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of treehugginslug
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%

S - Nutty, almost hazelnut. Slight hops, but not really.

T - Taste was nice. Sweet dark malts. Nutty taste.

M - Fair amount of carbonation.

D - Good, I think this would be a perfect beer to pair with a meal and not so much a stand alone.

Would I buy this again? No
Would I recommend it? To the right person
Would I drink it at a party? Yes
Did my wife like it? "Not a fan"

Overall: It was good. Not great. If I was in the mood to drink an English Brown Ale, I would pass over Newcastle and pick up this.

treehugginslug, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of sleazo
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%

A_Pours a dark brown which becomes ruby when held to the light. A nice looking head fizzles quickly into a large bubbled cap.

S_Dark chocolate, toffee and a bit metallic

T_Starts out with a milk chocolate, followed by a mellow sweetness. Some roasted grain is present as well. The metallic edge comes through in the finish.

M_Light bodied with a moderate carbonation.

D_Goes down fairly smooth. $5.99 a six pack at Trader Joes, really not a bad deal for a decent brew.

sleazo, Feb 25, 2011
Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 412 ratings.