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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
82
good

421 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 421
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 16
Gots: 15 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Toad Dark Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 421 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barnzy78
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

barnzy78, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of dcbike
3/5  rDev -16.2%

dcbike, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of Caskaway
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%

Caskaway, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Radeberger flute at low altitude.

A: Pours a very dark but still translucent brown color with a foamy off-white head, but not a whole lot of lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malts and some definite chocolate character. I'm surprised at how strongly the alcohol comes through in the background.

T: Basically one chocolaty note that hangs on from start to finish. I feel this could have used some bitterness to balance on the finish.

M: Medium- to light-bodied and very slick. Could use some more cream to a heavier body to hold up to the flavors in my opinion.

D: Definitely an interesting brown ale -- much like a stout in flavor.

schlimenhaumer, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of Erish
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass. Batch code, but no date code on the bottle.

A: clear dark reddish brown color with yellow and orange highlights, the cream-colored head quickly falls into a persistent cap with good lacing.

S: light dried fruit aroma, mainly cherries, along with some vanilla, caramel, and just a whisper of coffee, hop presence is minimal and earthy.

T: plenty of English character, with dried fruit aplenty, woody notes, caramel and biscuit-like malts, and a pleasant woody/vanilla/dried fruit finish.

M: medium-bodied, silky texture, low to moderate carbonation.

O: just a hell of a tasty brown ale. Tastes like England! This is one toad I could lick again and again.

Erish, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of mentaltraveller
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was surprisingly enjoyable. It had been sitting in the fridge for a while so I decided to drink it. It pours pretty dark. The slightest light is able to get through a very dark brown. Smells of oats and dark chocolate. The first thing that struck about the taste was its sweetness and relative thickness. For an abv of about 5%, I was not expecting big flavors. This is a good brew. Simple, no frills, and one of the better brown ales I have had.

mentaltraveller, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of baos
4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My girlfriend bought me a six-pack of these Trader Joe's brews, and this was thrown in. I didn't expect much, but this is a good one! Pretty sure Goose Island makes this.

A: Nice brown body with one finger tan head. Pretty decent head retention and lacing.

S: Nice freshly baked brown bread. Sweet and fruity malt hints.

T: Nice fruity roasted maltiness. Like fresh baked bread. Nice hoppy dry finish. This is a good beer.

M: Not the best, but still nice.

D: A very drinkable beer. I was expecting a canned mushroom brown ale. This is way better than many of the English browns that I have tried.

baos, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of goatsgo2hell
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty tasty dark brown ale. It pours coffee colored with a nice head, and smells like coffee and chocolate. It has a rich malty taste that tastes a lot like it smells. It has a deeper coffee bite than a lot of browns, probably because it's so dark. Quite a nice brown ale.

goatsgo2hell, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of canucklehead
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For $5.99 a six at Trader Joe's this is good value for a well made brown ale that has a big mouthfeel and a good long finish. Not the most complex of brown ales this still works well with a big malty taste and a little on the sweetness side. I will add this to the Mission ST Pale Ale and IPA as my fave TJs beers

canucklehead, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of avaldivia
3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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%
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.

CHickman, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of Dodo2step
4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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
Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 421 ratings.