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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

426 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 426
Reviews: 239
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 16
Gots: 16 | 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)
View: Beers (1) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 426 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DaveBlack
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Obviously I'm going to have to change my expectations for this beer immediately, because when I hear the name "Black Toad" I immediately start thinking stout or Porter, yet this "dark ale" seems to be much more of a brown ale. Here it goes:

A: Dark reddish brown with very little head that nonetheless leaves a nice solid ring of lacing.

S: Roasty malt aroma. Not a whole lot going on here, nor a whole lot of complexity, but a good solid aroma all the same. Certainly is appealing.

T: Once again not a whole lot of complexity, but very good all the same. Some deep roasty maltiness, not overly sweet at all. slight coffee taste on the finish.

M: Nice mouthfeel. Enough carbonation to keep the beer from feeling heavy or sticky, but not so much to keep it from going down smooth.

D: Whiile I couldn't drink a whole lot of these, I bought it at a good price ($6 for a sixer) and it was certainly money well spent. A solid, drinkable brown ale. Once I got past my disappoint that "Black Toad" does not mean "Black Ale" I thoroughly enjoyed this beer.

Photo of katan
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a deep dark brown color, to almost amber. Light to no head formation, off white in color. Breaks down to being fully clear, as is the beer.

S - Malty strong, very caramel, toffee, some even scotch style malts come through.

T -Starts with a malty sweetness, some nutty, caramel flavors. Mid-stream stays very malty, some yeast starts to come through. Finishes just as sweet. Hugely malt forward beer, under attenuated.

M - Thick and cloying, piles of unfermentables. Carbonation is mostly missing.

D - Easy drinking if you like sugar sweet beers. Very malty. Not filling. ABV is manageable.

I show this one as a trader joe's beer - so I'm not sure what Black Toad brewing is.

Photo of sjverla
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nose: Candy sweetness of chocolate and caramel, with a grounding nuttiness. Sweet and savory like Christmas.

Appearance: Rich, ruby-tinged brown with good clarity for the dark color. The head was thin, and I would have liked more of it.

Taste: The first few sips brought immediately heavy sweetness. But warming brought a richer profile of bittersweet chocolate, caramel, and coffee. Sweet and sticky, but not cloying thanks to a gentle but rich oily, nutty flavor.

Overall: A solid offering, but a bit seasonal for my tastes. A definite winner for the Holidays.

Photo of MTNboy
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a good looking beer. It has nice opaque body. The head is bubbly and the frothiness stays in the middle. It has a sweet candy like aroma that reminds me of a lot of dark Belgians. Its flavor is like a mild porter. There are some mild roasted malt esters. It has thin mouthfeel. There is some carbonation bite.

Photo of jonB
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very dark English brown ale that is very similar to Newcastle, but not quite the same caliber. Easy to drink, but not particularly impressive. It has a some malty taste that is a little sweet and has a weak finish. Not a lot of body to the beer and lacking a distinguishing characteristic.

Photo of July2Nov
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark Brown in color with a thin laced head.

Smell: Sweet and deep roasted coffee and nut smell.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Those deep roasted malts of roasted nuts are very strong up-front and are maintained throughout the life of the beer. A sweet, almost milky flavor comes in near the end. There is a slight carbonation feel to it. The aftertaste is akin to coffee.

Drinkability: Very nice addition to the Trader Joe line-up. If I lived close to one, I would definitely grab a few more of these, but in the meantime, I'll just savor the ones I have.

Photo of Bfarr
1.65/5  rDev -53.9%
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.

Photo of tapman
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
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

Photo of pmcadamis
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

Photo of Beejay
2.68/5  rDev -25.1%
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.

Photo of bsp77
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of thetomG
3.58/5  rDev 0%
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...

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
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

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Photo of mwagner1018
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of droomyster
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of 1759Girl
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of morebeergood
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of GreenCard
2.93/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.53/5  rDev -29.3%
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.

Photo of Eisen
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Photo of argock
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of tjd112
3.65/5  rDev +2%
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

Photo of blackearth
2.98/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 426 ratings.