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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.

402 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 402
Reviews: 236
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 14.53%
Wants: 15
Gots: 12 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 402 | Reviews: 236 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of xhcadamx


3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - a dark dark translucent brown with a creamy white head and a tad bit of lacing.

S - Very little going on. Very subtle hints of roasted malt and slightly fruity smell.

T - Much like the smell there is little going on in the taste dept. I want to say there is some light roasted flavor and then there is some bitterness. Very one-deminsional.

M - thin and easy to swallow somewhat overcarbonated

D - decent beer and even better for the price. It just needs a little more "umph"

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2009 03:25:58 | More by xhcadamx
Photo of alexgash


2.6/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle.

Light cola brown body. Small, ephemeral, dirty beige head. Nose of sweet caramel malts, Hershey's syrup, licorice, and light roasted barley. Lightly roasted malt and cardboard up front. Caramel and cola sweetness follow. Old roasted coffee bitterness mixes with astringent graininess near the finish. Doughy, caramel sweetness sticks out in the finish. Moderate body with a fizzy feel. Not terrible, but not that good.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2009 02:25:36 | More by alexgash
Photo of ATLbeerDog


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

From a twelve ounce brown twist off bottle - Pours black with red overtones that lets just a tad of light show through. Fruity smells of raisin, dried plums, and apricots define the nose. First sip throws a curve as it tastes thick but it did not pour that way. Again the fruits dominate with apricots, raisins and dried plums comprising the majority of the flavor. Not much hop presence here...just fruits and malts.

Pours a root beer color with not much carbonation. Smells of roasted malts with some nutty aroma notes present in the nose. First sip is heavy malts that are roasted almost burnt. There is some caramel and toffee flavors detected with only a little hops detected. There is a grassy flavor that is not welcomed.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 04:05:18 | More by ATLbeerDog
Photo of danimal22


3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle, drank in standard pint glass.

Pours a dark, near opaque brown with minimal head which dissipates quickly with no lacing.

Smokey dark fruit smell - very pleasant.

Nice tasting beer. Full bodied malty/smoky taste. Minimal hop flavor.

Nothing special on the mouthfeel. Mild carbonation accents the dark fruity/smokey flavor.

Very drinkable, but not a 12-pack kind of beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 01:42:06 | More by danimal22
Photo of hopdog


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

12oz bottle shared courtesy of TomDecapolis. Poured a d

ark brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of chocolate, light roast, caramel and light smoke. Tastes of bitter chocolate, coffee and nutty. I found the body to be a little on the thin side.

Notes from 12/22/06

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2008 17:04:25 | More by hopdog
Photo of kemoarps


3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a nice deep brown, but with little to no head, and only decent lacing.

The aroma is a little thin, but that which does work through is sweet and chocolatey.

A little more bitter than the nose would suggest, but tasty. Round chocolatey malt, with an oily hop profile somewhere in the between.

Not too heavy, not overly carbonated, not bad. reasonably drinkable, well balanced beer (albeit coming from a big malt fan, not that into hops), drinkable, and worth at least checking out.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 20:37:50 | More by kemoarps
Photo of Mistofminn


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

12 oz black bottle (big surprise)

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Who would have guessed that? Tan head

S - Can definitely get some hints of coffee and dark chocolate.

T - Coffee, dark chocolate and is that some sort of nut I'm tasting? Surprisingly crisp.

M - Thin, with decent carbonation

D - Very drinkable for a porter

Affordable as well. Something I will definitely have again, but not something I will rush to buy. Thanks to my buddies dad for introducing this to me.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2008 05:37:45 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of Tone


2.85/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with small yellow head, but poor retention. No lacing to speak of. Smells of roasted malts. Fits the style of an American Porter. Tastes of roasted malts that quickly turns into a slight hop and then finishes with more malt. Low almost non-existent carbonation. Overall, an easy to drink porter, but lacking in body.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2008 22:22:01 | More by Tone
Photo of Pencible


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

This poured a slightly hazy mahogany with some light tan head. It smelled like dry roasted coffee and cocoa, with old oak and earthy spices and a bit of molasses. It tasted very earthy and dry, like mocha with creamy vanilla oak. It was somewhat thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bitter earthy aftertaste. Overall this was a very subtle and complex beer that was quite tasty. It had good body and was very easy to drink. This was one of those beers you can gulp, but you prefer to sip. Surprisingly good.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 21:53:44 | More by Pencible
Photo of barleywinefiend


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

Poured a murky brown, not quite as dark as a solid stout black. A medium-sized an head appears and then just as quickly, vanishes! The aroma is slightly sweet, roasty, malty, almost smoky. Flavor is almost amber-ale like- malty, sweetish, easy drinking with a slight hop bite at the back of the throat. A drinkable brew found at the local Trader Joe's- nothing exciting, nothing terrible.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 06:21:05 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of srandycarter


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

A - Pours dark brown to black, thick off white head. Thin soapy lacing.

S - Light coffee and toasted malt - kinda earthy.

T - Nice toastly malt, a little smoke, coffee, light cocoa.

M - Thin, but expected for style. Good balance and carb.

D - Very drinkable for style.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 05:43:28 | More by srandycarter
Photo of zeff80


3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a very small, thin, cola colored head. No lace.

S - Smelled of dark chocolate, roasted malt and hints of coffee.

T - This beer is powered by a roasted malt taste and backed up by sweet choclate and caramel.

M - It was fairly soft and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer/

D - This is a pretty good porter and very affordable.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2008 04:03:41 | More by zeff80
Photo of SurlyDuff


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

Deep brown, almost black with some red highlights. Tan head poured into my sam adams curvyglass.

Malt bill is rich and smooth, almost milky in the aroma. Some chocolate and roasty or burnt caramel, wood, and grain.
Hop bite is in there, but it's definitly malt forward. Some chewy cheek-bitter and tooth-coating body.

It was dirt cheap and I got it as a single at Trader Joe's, so a really good brew for the price and a damn fine session drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2008 03:35:43 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of Shumista


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

12 oz. bottle into my brand new Maudite snifter. Again, I know a snifter isn't appropriate here necessarily I just really like my new glassware.
A- Pours a deep dark brown with a one finger tan head that dissipates quickly.
S- Dark fruits, chocolate, little bit of coffee.
T- Follows the smell. I notice a lot dark fruit in there with hints of chocolate and coffee. The finish is dry and somewhat bitter. I don't think this is your typical porter, which makes sense as it doesn't claim to be one. BA had to give it a style though so that's where they put it I guess.
M- Very creamy and bordering on thick.
D- Definitely a very drinkable dark beer. You could polish off a few of these with no problem and not get bored with the flavors.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 05:36:56 | More by Shumista
Photo of choyhosoi


4.22/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a glass

A-Pours a nice dark brown with a small brown/ white head. Looks very inviting so far picking up on the aroma as I poured.

S-I got alot of plum some wine scents and a little chocolate. Not what I was expecting so far I am impressed.

T/M-Very smooth with very little carbonation. Goes down very easily.

I was very surprised by this one I will be seeking out more.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2008 14:21:38 | More by choyhosoi
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark, dark ruby red but not quite opaque, with tan foam.

S - Dark fruit, husky grain and a light molasses.

T - Tart up front, with dark fruit. Very sweet and rich but surprisingly not a lot of "toasted" character. Most of all fruity.

M - Heavy, thick and creamy with a moderate carbonation.

D - A bit of an odd duck I think. It's about the color of a porter, and quite heavy, but has the flavours I would associate with a substantially lighter ale rather than a porter. That said, it's easy drinking and has some decent flavours.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2008 17:25:50 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of HalfFull


3.3/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish brown with a short lived tan head. Lacing is minimal.

Smells of liquid milk chocolate, with a roasted sweet maltiness and a bit of smokieness. Taste is light for a porter but rather pleasant. I wonder if this is another light bodied entree brew to the style from Goose Island. Nonetheless, an easy beer to have on hand for the style that won't offend. Decent feel but drinkability suffers from a lack of real flavor and finish. A Party Porter.

Note: Single from Trader Joe's for a buck..

Edit. Tried this one again. Pours richer and with a sticky head, offering some very good retention. Nose remains a bit lagerish but has a nice blend of scents on the nose. Appearance plus 1, taste plus .5. Still has a bit of a schwazbier sense to it at times but more complex. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2008 05:27:18 | More by HalfFull
Photo of beveritt


3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label is fairly simple, a tan oval with Black Toad written in black letters. Expiration date of 12/24/08.

Appearance: Pours with 2 fingers of light tan head. This settles into half a finger of dense foam. The beer itself is dark reddish brown and nearly opaque. Big bubbles accumulate on the bottom of the glass, almost looks force carbonated vice naturally based upon bubble size.

Smell: Malt sweetness upfront, with a good blend of roastiness from barley and caramel sweetness. An almost tea-like aroma in the finish.

Taste: Fairly significant carbonation bite upfront drowns out any subtle flavors. Toffee-like malt sweetness. Finishes with a medium bitterness from roasted barley.

Mouthfeel: Higher than average carbonation level. Body is decent.

Drinkability: A nice middle of the road porter. A little high on carbonation and sweetness for my tastes, but all in all, not too bad.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2008 00:13:43 | More by beveritt
Photo of andrewm190

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a delicious beer. Its not one of the truly elite, but for its price range etc, I find it to be very enjoyable. Nice roasted malts; goes very well on a cool night. Well balanced and smooth on the palate--its traits make it exceptionally drinkable. Its relatively uncomplicated, which is also sort of a plus--a sort of back to basics type of thing that works very well. Simple, nice olfactory reading.

Happy sipping.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2008 05:09:12 | More by andrewm190
Photo of Overlord


3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Trader Joe's delivers again. I swear, when I'm buying affordable, sessionable beers, I find myself wandering towards their familiar environs.

Pours a thin looking dark brown ... a bit offputting, actually. Smells more like a Bock than a Porter. Tastes ... again, more like a Bock than a porter. There's a bit of roastiness, but this is primarily sweet caramel malt.

Mouthfeel way too thin, but very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2008 07:57:13 | More by Overlord
Photo of montageman


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

Poured into a pint glass.

A Trader Joe's exclusive - Dark Toad Ale pours a dark reddish brown with a nice substantial tan head that leaves some lacing. Black licorice, chocolate, and smoke are the primary aromas. Milk chocolate and medium roast coffee dominate the palate. There is some smoky notes as well. This beer would go very well in chili if adding beer to the chili. The depth of flavor in the chili would be accentuated by the roasted flavors here. Some hefty carbonation here, which could be toned down given the style. Not a bad beer by any means - easy drinking, not too heavy with some refreshing components. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2008 01:24:24 | More by montageman
Photo of rtratzlaff

North Carolina

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

Black Toad describes itself as distinctive dark ale. It is classified a porter and the idea of the roasted malt I read about enticed me to purchase.

The look of this beer is pretty good. A black body with hints of ruby shining in the rim. A decent 1 finger tan head that is audibly fizzy from the poor.

Smells are chocolate. Eh, not much else distinctive to the smell.

First sip is pleasing. A slight charred bitterness giving way to a dark chocolate covered almond flavor that finish off with some hop bitterness. Not much lingering flavor. The roated malt character is there, but I wish there was more too it. This is almost like a mild ale in flavor and body.

The body is on the lighter side of medium. I am thinking lighter than Sierra Nevada Porter. The carbonation is slightly fizzy, but not detrimental.

Black Toad is not a great porter, but a good one. Worth the $1.00 purchase from Trader Joe's. For $6 a sixer, it is worth a purchase.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2008 00:05:48 | More by rtratzlaff
Photo of TrevorGW


4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks pretty good in the glass ... quite dark and beautiful, but the head is not much to speak of.

An excellent dark beer that doesn't feel too intense.

I like that it has more coffee/chocolate taste as opposed to a raisiny dark. Great flavor overall.

This is one of the few dark ales I am able to get at Trader Joes, so it is always a nice standby.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2008 19:19:35 | More by TrevorGW
Photo of 1fastz28


4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a deep black color with a slighty frothy almost stout like head. smell is of chocolately malt no hop of yeast aroma. taste is pretty good, so far the best from trader joe's that i've had over the past few days. the beer also has a nice mouthfeel to it, rich and thick full of flavor and body. good beer overall

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2008 02:27:03 | More by 1fastz28
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best By Date October 2008; Sampled June 2008
A brisk pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a frothy, initially three-finger thick, lightly brown tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a concentrated brown, approaching black color that shows a brilliantly clear, bright cranberry color when held up to the light. Sweet and fruity smelling up front, but picks up a touch of roasted grain towards the end. Berries, raisins and sweet malt yields to coffee, toasted grain and burnt toast towards the end. This has a decent mix of aromatic notes to it, definitely an enjoyable nose.

Sweet, with a soft creamy heft to it that belies what I assume is a lower / average alcohol beer; certainly not thick or rich, but I was expecting a thin beer for some reason. The sweet malt notes are balanced in the finish by a roast-coffee like note, some burnt grain flavors, and just a touch of roast-grain derived acidity; this last providing a bit of balance more than anything. The sweetness accents fruit flavors of roasted raisins, lightly burnt black-berries and even a touch of fig.

This is an outstanding beer at the often seen price of $4.99 / six-pack. While fairly sweet, the fruitiness adds complexity and it has just enough roast grain character to keep this in balance.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2008 00:45:38 | More by Gueuzedude
Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 402 ratings.