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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

425 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 425
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 425 | Reviews: 239 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bitterbill
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in a trade with russpowell. Thanks Russ!

A nice dark brown-red colour with a 2 finger head of tannish foam and some good lacing.

It has a nice smell to it. I'm picking up some roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and a touch of dark fruit.

Tastewise, I get the chocolate first, followed by roasted malt and coffee with some notes of dark fruit and just the slightest of hop bitterness. Pretty tasty brew here. The body is kind of thin it doesn't ever get watery. It finishes with a coffee bitterness that lasts fairly long in the aftertaste.
Very good head retention as I'm down to the last couple of ounces and there's still a solid 1/2" layer. This is another one of them "fun" beers to drink and I'm glad I got to try it.

Photo of russpowell
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at trader Joe's in Santa Fe, probably the best beer I purchased there, review based on notes, BBD of 04/25/08

Pours an effervescent chestnut with one finger of tan head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Roasty malt & dark fruit once warm

T: Roasty & chocolaty malt, dryness & herbal hops up front. Some vanilla & coffee grounds as this warms, along with some licorice & dark fruit. Finishes slightly fruitty with anise

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation

Drank really easy, not a great porter, but serviceable enough. A little more malt depth would've helped the cause. I too thought this had some Schwartz bier & or dunkelbier characteristics as well

Photo of charlzm
2.09/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1.5

Consumed March 28th, 2013. Poured into a standard pint glass at 50 degrees F. Bottle label states "best consumed before 07/14/13".

Beer is a clear dark brown with deep ruby/brown highlights. A two finger tan head forms and subsides fairly quickly, made up of an unappealing mass of sloppy bubbles. Some tiny flecks of sheeting on the glass as the beer is consumed.

Aroma is nutty with caramel and brown sugar notes.

Flavor is off. Nasty metallic note is the primary flavor component. A little fruit and nut peek out but then the experience is ruined by an oxidized finish. Not totally undrinkable, but I dumped at least half down the drain. Don't need the calories if I don't enjoy the flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a slight creaminess.

If everything but the flavor is okay, then the rating tends to be deceptively high. I will never drink this beer again.
___

PREVIOUS REVIEW:

Consumed on January 16th, 2008.

Pours a deep clear brown with even darker highlights. One finger head formed and dissipated rapidly. Aroma is sweet malt and nuts. Mouthfeel is smooth and a little thick. Flavor is woody/nutty with some sweet caramel notes. Some bitter coffee/chocolate present as well. Minimal astringency on center of tongue. Finishes clean with very thin bitterness.

Label notes that the beer is brewed by Goose Island.

Not bad at all.

APP - 3
SML - 3.5
TAS - 3.5
MOU - 4
OVR - 3.5

rating: 3.53

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - reddish mahogany hues to this beer. A thin light mocha cap sprays a few lines of lace around, but no more. It drops readily and holds for a while at a thin cover.

Aroma - roasted patent malts, slightly sweet. Little else, it's a plain but fragrant porter.

Taste - roasted malts with a hint of black coffee. Prickly swallow, the toastiness giving way to some dark chocolate flavor on the aftertaste. Simple and tasty, kudos for a straight up tasting porter.

Mouthfeel - average, with peppy carbonation.

Drinkability - a tasty brew that I would recommend to fans of the essential porter.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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....

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 425 ratings.