1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Black Toad Dark Ale - Black Toad Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Toad Dark AleBlack Toad Dark Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

437 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 437
Reviews: 242
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 13.97%
Wants: 19
Gots: 24 | 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:
Beer added by: Jason on 08-28-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (1) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 437 | Reviews: 242
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
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
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
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
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
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
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
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
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
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
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
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
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
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of mghotbi
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.78/5  rDev -22.3%
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

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.

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

This was the final beer and the winner of my three Irish dry stouts from Trader Joe's showdown. It beat Murphy's, and Black Hart in that order.

Appearance: The pour is dark chestnut with red highlights and a medium sized tan head.

Smell: The nose has toasted malts, toffee, and a bit of chocolate.

Taste: The flavor profile starts with toasted malts that lead into a roasty middle with coffee and notes of chocolate. The finish is surprisingly hoppy and bitter, bringing complexity to this one, something that the other two lack.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and slightly creamy.

Drinkability: It didn't wow me, but I enjoyed the hoppy character.

Photo of olegv40
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tuned to throw the bottle away and the head was gone, never a good way to start. Chocolate and bitter hops take over the flavor. Perhaps I've been ruined by stouts, but this was just too watery. But saying that, it was still pleasant, and a good candidate for a session beer.

Photo of zuggy9
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This ale pours a very dark, near stout, color with nice head and some lacing. The smell is roasted malt and is nice. The taste is solid, with a good nuts and chocolate quality that doesn't finish harshly. The mouthfeel is a bit watery for my tastes, but all in all this ale drinks well and I enjoy it on occasion.

Photo of stephendr
3.64/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown – stark white thin head – nose of mocha , malt , molasses , and slight milk chocolate – tastes are milk chocolate , nutty , malt , slight smoky / roasted character - creamy , silky body - aftertaste sweet chocolate slightly bitter baking chocolate

Photo of marcobrau
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Imperial pint glass, this beer has a nice thick off-white head and grainy, cocoa-like aroma. The first sip is smooth, with some light roasted malt flavors balanced by a bit of chocolate and lightly bitter hops. The bottle may say dark ale, but this beer has me thinking black lager instead of porter, as it is very clean tasting. The finish is nicely balanced with a pleasant roasted character. Overall, a pretty drinkable dark beer and a good buy.

Photo of ruleof72
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fours all around. This beer to me was very consistent. The "coke" dark color and creamy, but thin head was nice. Smell was loaded with toasted chocolate with a little coffee as well. Taste just like smell. Medium bodied with just enough carbonation. A very drinkable beer

Photo of malcontent
3.81/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle says "dark ale" & the Bros. Alstrom say porter, so which is it?!? More on that in a bit...

There wasn't a whole lot of head on this deep brown, but not opaque, beverage. Aside from the uneven lacing, this is a good-looking beer, reminiscent of some of the darker brown ales I've had.

Mmm! Chestnut, malt, & toasted oats in the nose & to a lesser extent, barley & smoke make for some really complex/ appetizing aromas.

Very smooth although somewhat more watery than I would have liked. The predominant flavors are those of the malt & the same oat I'd noticed before. Strangely, the overall effect is almost like drinking a slightly bubbly iced tea. Quite tasty & unexpected if I do say so.

Strangely, this is a fairly filling beer given the aforementioned watery quality but neither of those things keeps it from being very pleasing. This feels like one of those "find" beers; something I would have never guessed to be as good as it is & at a great Trader Joe's price. Still not sure if it's an ale or a porter (really, it tasted like a mix of the two) but it couldn't matter less at this point. Hooray for contract brewing!

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

Another baragin at Trader Joe's in Cambridge. At $5.29 a six, the quality was really surprising. It pours a dark brown with a very nice, creamy head. Smell is distinctly malty, yet there was a definite hop note. Taste is malty with a smoky quality. Light hop notes on the finish. Smooth and easy to quaff on the drinkability scale. Mouthfeel is very nice...smooth, with a nice creamy quality.

Photo of henrysunset
3.03/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

great pour into a tall glass. tall head of fine bubbles that stick around.

scent is a bit toasty and not alot else, tiny bit of biscut.

first taste didn't sit to well, a bit acidic and a bit too tart. second sip a little better with a generic dark flavor. slightly thick and coats the mouth. drinkable but boring.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 437 ratings.