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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.

421 Ratings

(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
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Ratings: 421 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of eberkman
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Trader Joes because it was cheap and I needed a dark beer to pour into my chili. I used about a third of it for cooking and drank the rest.

Pours a dark brown shade with tints of red when held up to the light. Small tan head that diminishes pretty quickly. Really not much of a nose to speak of at all -- perhaps some very faint roasted malt notes. The taste is also a very straightforward, simplistic roasted maltiness -- Maxwell House coffee and not much else. Not any kind of hop presence in the finish. Nothing complex, nothing that interesting or memorable. Feels thin-to-medium-bodied in the mouth -- just kind of there. It goes down very easily, but isn't interesting or complex enough to hold my attention. One was plenty.

Pretty much the essence of mediocrity. Miles above a macrobrew, but certainly nothing worth going out of your way for. Use it for cooking, not for drinking.

eberkman, Jan 25, 2008
Photo of Natural510
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at a local Trader Joe's.

Poured an okay head with a nice dark brown, almost-black color. There were coffee, chocolate & toffee notes, but none of them made the brew too sweet. Malt & hops were present, but everything complemented each other, making the overall taste very smooth with a nice finish.
All in all, quite tasty and smoothly drinkable. I'll definitely pick up a sixer of this again.

Natural510, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of bradybeer
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this beer because my wife thought it sounded good-and she was right. Pours a dark, deep brown with little head retention. Hops aroma is minimum and there is a roasted malt aroma. Taste is good I pick up a toasted malt finish with little hop bitterness. Mouth feel is medium and drinkability good. Nice beer. Nothing outstanding, not a robust American porter-but a good drinking beer.

bradybeer, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of Gump
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark color looks terrific, but there's not much for aroma. Maybe a little licorice.
Subtle roasted malt and chocolate flavors, ends on a fresh hoppy note then leaves a lingering coffee aftertaste.

Overall I am underwhelmed by the subtleness of this beer.

Gump, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle a very dark brown with red highlights. The off-white head was light and left some light lacing.

Aroma of roasted malts, toffee, caramel and slightly sour.

Tastes of roasted malts and toffee with a touch of bitterness and coffee aftertaste.

Light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

This is called a porter but in my opinion is more of a dark ale. It's easy to drink but not one I'd like to drink as a session.

Monkeyknife, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of MillRat
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid brown-black with more yellow than red highlights. Head is beige and mildly persistent. Aroma is roasted coffee with a little hint of English-variety hops. Taste is mainly about the roast, although a little sweetness makes an appearance as the beer warms up. Quite drinkable for a darker beer, but is a little too one-dimensional to keep your interest piqued through glass after glass. At about a buck a bottle, it is a good value.

MillRat, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of mithrascruor
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a black colour with a decent light-tan head with some lacing.

Smell: Aroma of roasted malts; a slight sweetness is there too. But it's much too mild.

Taste: Light roasted malts, a bit of creamed coffee, and a hint of chocolate. Mild, but good flavor. A pinch of bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with very light carbonation. Generally quite smooth.

Drinkability: A pleasant beer that's easy to drink. Would work as a session beer.

A nice beer somewhere between a black lager and a stout, more than it is a porter (at least in my thoughts!). It's not so heavy either, which works quite well for this beer. Certainly worth a try; I'll get again for sure.

mithrascruor, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of tayner
2.73/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

this beer was dark amber in color, the head did not stay around long. minimal lacing on the glass

This says it is an american porter, but it looked and felt more to me like a brown ale. not thick or heavy, not very creamy.. to me like a dark version of bud on steroids...

it was fairly one dimensional when it comes to smell, a little hops, a little toasted malt.. not all that complicated.

too light of a mouthfeel for a porter, more like a brown ale.

drinkability is okay.. session beer type, and at the inexpensive price a better option than a macro, but too many other great beers to try for me to drink this again.

tayner, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of Gusler
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The appearance after the pour from the 12 ounce bottle is a deep black walnut brown, with ruby highlights, the head a modest sized light tan in color with the texture creamy, after its dissipation the lace forms a thin sheet that covers the glass. Nose has a nutlike sweetness, hints of caramel and a tiny bit of coffee. Start has pleasing malt sweetness; a touch of burnt grain bitterness also present, top is light to medium in feel. Finish has a mild to average acidity, the hops modest in their bite, sweet and dry, a drinkable beer, but seems more an English Brown than a Porter.

Gusler, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of blackie
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: Nice light beige head, average retention. The beer is a dark chestnut brown in color.

s: Primarily moderate roasts with an earthy hop presence. Some light lactose notes.

m: light-medium body and medium carbonation

t: Nothing great but carries enough roast and other malt character to make it an okay beer. Slight milky sweet notes. Earthy hops and a pleasantly bitter, roasty finish.

d: pretty easy

blackie, Oct 08, 2007
Photo of cswhitehorse
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The black toad comes with a freshness date on the back and pours a see through dark amber that leaves very little foam on the sides of the glass and a head that stays a second or two.

The aroma of the dark ale is a roasty toasty malt. The taste is chocolate that is pretty smooth. It is a good balance between the roastiness and the hops. It is a great deal at 4.99 a six pack.

cswhitehorse, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of Lothore
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours a very drak brown/black color with a frothy brownish head.

S- Smell is very sweet with coffee tones. A little boring other than the coffee.

T- Tastes of coffee and roasted malts with a hint of chocolate. Excellent porter taste albeit somewhat uninteresting.

M- Mouthfeel is very carbonated but somewhat lacing in viscosity for my taste.

D- This is a very drinkable beer for how cheap it is at trader joes. Another excellent brew if you are on a budget.

Lothore, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of garcia2a
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Once again, a beer only to be found at Trader Joes, this time in Framingham Mass. This beer pours a nice reddish brown, what I expect from an american porter. The beer poured with a nice head, very much like other beers in this class. The head a an enduring quality, allowing for several nice sips before it dissipated.

The bouquet was interesting. It reminded me of an all grain brew I did a while back and loved. The taste had a roasty light chocolate quality, again quite nice.

The body was balanced with what I would call a dark beer wetness, leaving this lighter in body than many porters, kind of a hybrid between a standard porter and a munich dark lager. This gave the beer a good mouthfeel that had a nice aftertaste that slowly faded, but reminded me of what the next sip was to be like.

Being in PA, I probably won't see this beer again until a trip to Bahston Mass, but I will pick this up again.

garcia2a, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of TheBierBand
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got a sixer of this at Trader Joe's in Blue Ash (Suburb of Cincinnati). Poured this 12 oz bottle into a pint glass to produce a 2" loose head that dissipated to 1/4" fairly quickly. The beer was dark dark brown with some mohogany color when held to light.

The aroma was good. Nice amount of nutty malt.

The taste was average. A little subdued.... as if they were holding something back. Nice malty flavor with roasted nuts... but a bit watered down.

The mouthfeel was a bit too fizzy with carbonation for my taste. Good mouth coating and aftertaste though.

Drinkability: Nothing objectionable about this beer. Not special.... not memorable.... OK.... good for the price... was it $4.99 or $5.99 for a six pack?... I don't remember.... but good value....

TheBierBand, Jul 23, 2007
Photo of flowerysong
3.05/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear, dark brown. About the colour of Pepsi. Thin, tan head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Slightly nutty malt, some toasted malt and chocolate.

Taste: Standard toasted malt flavours: mild chocolate, coffee, and some vegetal notes; medium sweetness and mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin; light-bodied with medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Nothing special. Not really objectionable either. Good session beer, and fairly inexpensive.

flowerysong, Jul 21, 2007
Photo of mpyle
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

App - Reddish brown color with brilliant clarity. Pours a medium sized pale tan head, fairly creamy and with reasonable retention.

Arom - Very chocolately, sweet dark malt aroma. No hop. Chocolate overwhelms, but otherwise clean.

Flav - Chocoate and slightly smoky malt flavors dominate early. Hop bitterness subdued. Gradual transition to a somewhat malty sweet finish. Underhopped and thus overly sweet, but full of malt flavor.

MF - Medium body and carbonation. No astringency or alcohol warming. Maybe a bit heavy on the tongue, but no major mouthfeel problems.

O'all - An enjoyable, flavorful porter. Could use some more hop and dark malt "bite", and a slightly drier finish. A very nice beer, but not a classic porter example.

mpyle, Jul 19, 2007
Photo of atsprings
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown that shows some ruby highlights when held up to light, the beer is topped by an off-white diminishing head. The aroma has some dark malt characteristics with a hint of chocolate. The taste is somewhat well balanced, however, there's something just a bit off. Dark malts and chocolate blend well with some light citrus hops, but it's far from the best. The beer is light and mildly carbonated. This beer is drinkable at 92 cents a bottle from Trader Joe's, but I'd rather spend the extra change for something better.

atsprings, Jul 06, 2007
Photo of bushbeer75
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black Toad Dark ale poured a coffee/cola color with a thin tan head and thin lacing. Roasted malt, nutty, sweetened coffee and dark chocolate dominate the smell and taste. Mouth feel is a little creamy with light carbonation.

This is a good entrance into the dark ale style. A value priced ale at Trader Joes!

bushbeer75, Jul 05, 2007
Photo of rkuhnel
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had some beer from Trader Joes that would take varnish off a bar top, so I was not sure what to expect. From a 12 oz bottle this poured almost black (dark brown) with a medium tan head and decent lacing. Nose of roasted malts and chocolate. Mouthfeel smooth. Flavor of caramel, chocolate, and toffee. A little nuts in the finish. This is a good value from Trader Joes. Nice brown.

rkuhnel, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of wagenvolks
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

A maroonish brown body sat below a thick tan head that left splotchy lacing down the glass. Aroma was decent, with sweet malty notes, raisin and plum.

The taste first hit me with a slight, nutty malt flavor followed by barley, hops, chicory, and some coffee notes. The mouthfeel was refreshing and smooth with an aftertaste that tried its best to stick around, but just couldn't get the job done. Carbonation levels were lackluster. Overall, it wasn't a bad buy for a buck at Trader Joe's. It's not a standout brew by any means, but it's definitely a drinkable beer.

wagenvolks, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of andrewmartin
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single of this at Trader Joe's, figured I'd give it a whirl.

A: Pretty impressive near black color with nice tan head

S: Clear roasted malts with, for lack of a better term, notes of sugary chocolate

T: Big roasted malt dominates the palate, classic porter. Some chocolate and coffee flavors, bu roasted malts are the main attraction

M: Nice and sharp from the roasted malts

D: As far as I am concerned, this is an absolutely perfect sessions porter-enough flavor to keep things interesting, but easy drinking as well.

andrewmartin, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of mghotbi
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful coffee color with thin tan head and no visible lacing. Smells of creamed coffee and chocolate with faint hints of figs and raisins. One of the best smelling beers ever!

Taste is lovely chocolate and coffee and dried fruits with mild to moderate sweetness and faint tail of resinous hops. The roasted flavors dominate but come to a nearly pinpoint dry finish with only a lingering coffee aroma. Alcohol must be mild as it is very masked indeed.

Mouthfeel is creamy with just a hint of carbonation contributing to the thickness.

Very drinkable. Recommend you pick this up. The point of origin suggests to me that it's brewed by Goose Island.

mghotbi, Mar 01, 2007
Photo of daliandragon
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up this week at Trader Joe's in Cary for ninety two cents, for which I'll try just about any silly beer with an animal on the label (Jumping Cow, Fat Weasel, etc.) This one pours a nice even dark brown with maroon highlights and a solid beige colored head with streaky lacing. Nose is creamy coffee and faint fruit.

Satisfying, surprisingly complex flavor with figs or maybe prunes mixing with the base coffee tones and a bit of smoked meat and a general creaminess. Mouthfeel could stand thickening but certainly doesn't embarrass itself. This is a pleasant surprise and definitely will be a regular when I make pilgrimages up to Cary for organic fruit and tofurky.

daliandragon, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.75/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - this dark ale pours a dark (duh!) mahogany brown, with a thin tan head that laces swiftly to a rim around the glass

S - a re wheaty aroma, slightly musty, like moist cardboard, slight coffee aroma as well

T - coffee comes to the forefront in the taste, strong coffee bitterness and even some sourness, slight brown sugary taste as well

M&D - not very drinkable, slightly off putting taste, with some coffee goodness, but not well blended or balanced, weird they only brew one beer, a decent brew

sinstaineddemon, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of FightingEntropy
2.98/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Black Toad lives up to its name, being clearly dark ale, opaque brown to black with a light brown head on it. Good solid roast smell in the nose, but not complex and not much else to go with it. It losing some of the roast the taste w/o adding any complexity, and the body is definately watery. Good training stout if someone is moving into the style for the first time, nothing wrong with drinking one, but this will be my last.

FightingEntropy, Feb 08, 2007
Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 421 ratings.