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Black Toad Dark Ale - Black Toad Brewing Co.

Black Toad Dark AleBlack Toad Dark Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

386 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 386
Reviews: 234
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 14.53%


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)
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Ratings: 386 | Reviews: 234 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Maudite snifter. Pours a dark ruddy brown amber with a one finger fine medium brown head with good retention and slippery lacing. Aroma of toasted malt, brown bread, a hint of chocolate. Flavor of toasted and biscuit malt, butterscotch and mild nuts and chocolate. Finishes with light sweet toasted malt and caramel. Pretty darn good for a cheap low ABV brown ale. A bit on the sweet side, and mild flavors, but I like it.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2012 05:11:54 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of Flightoficarus
Flightoficarus

Washington

3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer at Trader Joes

A - Pours a dark, chestnut brown, with a single finger off-white head. Retention and lacing are pretty solid.

S - Smell is of robust molasses, brown sugar, and caramel maltiness. Some lightly floral balancing hops.

T - Taste is of roasted, bready brown sugar and caramel malts. Mild, slightly fruity balance from the hops. While a pretty straight-forward brown ale, the flavor here is pretty remarkable for such an inexpensive beer!

M - Very smooth. Light carbonation. Medium body.

O - I have to round this one up a bit, simply for the fact this is probably the best "budget micro" I've come across. Very solid, malty brown ale for BMC cost. Well done!

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2012 06:21:02 | More by Flightoficarus
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured a clean, clear, very dark brown color with just a thin cap of medium khaki head that had no retention or lacing.

The aroma was mostly slightly sweet malts with just a hint of roast as well. There was no noticeable grain, hops or yeast scents. The flavor profile was very similar, with the addition of an alcohol bite on the finish.

The body was typically decent for the style, smooth and medium bodied, with a bit of a sticky-sweet finish. Drinkability was good, as brown ales usually tend to be. Overall, an OK beer, one that's worth grabbing a sixer of as a budget option.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2012 20:08:32 | More by beertunes
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, coppery amber in the glass. Lots of foam and quite carbonated in the mouth. An interesting musty, sweet vermouth scent.

Fairly bitter on a malty flavor. A peculiar flavor, like a combination of Old Ale and Red Ale. Rather malty, which gives it a robust flavor along with the sudsy mouthfeel that makes it all worthwhile. Light bodied like a lager, but with a deep, dark, lingering aftertaste of raisin bread with a touch of iced tea and a splash of Diet Dr. Pepper.

A Trader Joe's perennial. A different take on the "other" brown ale, so popularly debased by Newcastle.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2012 06:01:30 | More by mactrail
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 3 finger frothy off white/mild tan head on a deep amber/brown body. Very attractive beer. Nice lacing.

S: sweet caramel and mildly roasted malt and toffee mostly.

T: Caramel, burnt toast and mild roasted malt but its a touch watery. The toffee lingers on the palate in the finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: This beer is an excellent member of the genre. Its a touch watery in the flavor otherwise really nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 22:19:04 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.9/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle looks to be either 11.2 or 12 fl oz. It's brown glass with a standard pressure cap, best before date 08/15/2012 13:40 (I find it intriguing they actually put a time on the date - as though opening it at 14:00 would be substantially different). Though the site notes say this is contract brewed by Goose Island, the bottle label says it's brewed and bottled by Josephsbrau. I purchased it at the Whole Foods in Glendale, California. Reviewed live.

Expectations are high given its current ratings and my previous experiences with Trader Joe's beers. Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Served into a Guinness goblet.

A: Pours a one finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and bad retention - inexcusable for the merely average ABV. Colour is a very dark caramel-copper. Nontransparent but not opaque.

Sm: Dark malts, biscuit malts, cream, hints of vanilla, some chestnut, and maybe a slight hint of roast. A mild strength aroma.

T: A dark malt foundation with mild nut notes, adequate yet underwhelming cream, biscuit malt, and a slight vague hint of vanilla. Some hops come through on the finish. No real layering. Not complex. Slightly subtle. It's an enjoyable brown ale, but it's neither unique nor special. It's pleasant to drink. An enjoyable beer. No yeast or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Some cream about the second act, but not enough on either the open or finish. A touch too thick for the absence of full flavour and lack of high ABV. What is there to support that requires the beer to have this thickness? Smooth and wet, complementing the flavour profile decently.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. There's nothing that catches me fancy to bring me back to this beer again. That said, I'd have it on draught if it was offered at a fair price. Fans of the style will like it but not love it. The ABV doesn't come through, but that's no accomplishment at 5.30%.

A poor candidate for aging.

Drank okay out of me Guinness goblet, but I reckon a nonical pint glass would do her better.

High C

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2012 06:28:38 | More by kojevergas
Photo of brewcore
brewcore

South Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Deep brown cola in color. Dark for the style. Yields a one finger creamy off-white head. Dissipates away to a sparse thin sheet. Decent lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts. Primarily chocolate aromas. Great smell but not very strong.

T: Pretty much all malts. Sweet dark roasted malts. Sweet up front but finishes with a slightly burnt malt finish. A little bit of candied fruits in the middle. There is some nuttiness there but not what I expect for the style.

M: Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation for the style. Great drinkability.

O: I was really surprised by this beer. Darker and more malty than I expected. I grabbed it as part of a mixed "sixer." Next time I will grab a full six pack of this.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2012 01:12:40 | More by brewcore
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

4.15/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 04:55:47 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 7/5/12.

Pours a clear crimson brown with a 1/2 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace drip back into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt and burnt caramel/toffee aromas. Taste is of roast malt, bread, caramel, and a slightly nutty and herbal hop finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a light carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some nice roasty aromas and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2012 19:57:57 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of hreb
hreb

Washington

3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best consumed before 03/03/12. Cold 12oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass. Beer is a dark brown, barely translucent, with a fat, lighter brown head. Could easily be mistaken for stout. Aroma is musty and funky.

Flavor is malty and sweet. Suggests a nuttiness without slapping you in the face with it. Wet hops through the middle, but caramel in the aftertaste. Not over carbonated at all.

A little on the sweet side for my taste, but pretty good all around.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 06:22:40 | More by hreb
Photo of rawla
rawla

California

3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a Best By Date bottle of 06/15/2012 into a goblet.

1.10 bottle at Trader Joe's. I figured, what the hell. Some of the TJ brews are okay-good. I'd rather spend it on a new brew than chips.

Okay, review time

A: Pours a amber-brown cola hue. Very minimal carbonation off the bottle, but a decent 1 inch head. Small lacing.

S: Prunes, Oak, and some smoked cherry notes. Nothing too over the top.

T: IMPRESSIVE taste coming off this. Very reminiscent of a Spaten Optomator.. Aged Cherrywood, Toasted Oates hit you on the initial sip, with a clean dry finish. I was taken aback by the quality of this Dark Ale for the price point I bought it for.

M: A slightly sweet resin throughout the drinking experience. Otherwise, light and straightforward.

O: I wasn't expecting much out of this bottle, but I could have had it fooled for a quality dark German ale. Maybe it's the yeast, or conscious effort put into the malts; a delicious offering regardless of the circumstances. A 5.99 price point for a 6 pack is icing on the cake. Very drinkable and affordable quality beer.

A SOLID A. Try it, or buy a case worth for your next party. $

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 23:57:33 | More by rawla
Photo of rodney45
rodney45

New York

4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Color of Cola. Light tan head.

S: Cereal grains, Coffee, dark chocolate, caramel and crystal malts

T: First profile is of crushed crystal malt and toasted barley. If you homebrew, you know these very distinctly. Secondary notes are of milk chocolate, caramel, and a distinct sweetness. Finish is dry.

M: Light medium to medium body, with low cabonation. Starts sweet and ends dry and bitter... like a marriage?

O: Im gonna say this is a great example of the style. Not the best ive had, but for a buck at trader joes, you really cant beat the quality versus price. A truely solid Brown ale.

Food Pairing: I'd pair this with bacon wrapped steak cubes and roasted baby red potatoes.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 09:13:05 | More by rodney45
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 22:53:46 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black Toad? That's raci...on to the beer:

The creamy head on top of this chestnut colored beer slowly drops to a thick lace. Reasonably nutty in the aroma. Roasted peanuts come to mind, a little toffee arrives to the scene.

Nutty and toffee flavors ride around the palate. The texture has a medium feel with short, "buzzy" carbonation which eventually smooths out. There's a pleasant sweet and nutty aftertaste.

Agreeable and inexpensive brown ale by way of Trader Joe's.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2011 06:47:36 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.48/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle pick up at Trader Joe's, a solid score I thought I'd try it,

A: Pours brown with a light off-white head, nice lace, good retention.

S: Sweet malt, that's it, one dimensional but enjoyable.

T: Dark bread, almost has a Belgian Dark Ale feel, has some yeast character. A good flavour, but again one-dimensional.

M: Light to medium-bodied, thin in the finish, but a nice feel overall.

O: A real good beer at a buck a bottle. Actually feels bigger than 5.3% which is a boon at this price point.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 08:18:41 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 22:38:21 | More by bashiba
Photo of schlimenhaumer
schlimenhaumer

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 00:21:41 | More by schlimenhaumer
Photo of Erish
Erish

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 19:39:13 | More by Erish
Photo of mentaltraveller
mentaltraveller

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 17:39:34 | More by mentaltraveller
Photo of baos
baos

Indiana

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 05:26:10 | More by baos
Photo of goatsgo2hell
goatsgo2hell

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 03:47:06 | More by goatsgo2hell
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

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

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 00:54:09 | More by canucklehead
Photo of avaldivia
avaldivia

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 07:54:17 | More by avaldivia
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2011 03:33:47 | More by DrJay
Photo of raoulduke25
raoulduke25

Georgia

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2011 03:50:15 | More by raoulduke25
Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 386 ratings.