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

244 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 244
Hads: 453
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 9.83%
Wants: 20
Gots: 30 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 244 | Hads: 453
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

"Swallow a toad in the morning and you will encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day."

--Chamfort

Dark bronze with apricot accents and a faintly fizzy crown of golden khaki colored foam that looks no better than decent. The lid persists acceptably well and leaves no more than a few small spots and dots of lace.

The nose has a lightly buttered brown bread quality that is pleasant. It smells like this ale will be sweet and nutty with hints of vanilla bean. Let's see if the taste buds agree.

Black Toad Distinctive Dark Ale is, indeed, distinctive and different. Hard to say what makes it so. There's more roasted malt than is typical for the style and the hops are making a valued contribution as well. Goose Island knows how to brew beer.

There is good malt-hop balance, both in terms of flavor and sweetness versus bitterness. Forget brown bread, we're verging on pumpernickel toast. There's also an earthiness that *might* be due to a small percentage of rye malt. Semi-snappy hops means a fairly fresh bottle.

The mouthfeel could use a little work. It's light-medium, lacks hang-on, and the bubbles don't provide much expansion or creaminess.

Black Toad Dark Ale is a tasty little treat when you feel like drinking something distinctly different. Swallowing this Toad every morning, rather than being disgusting, would be a good way to start off your 'don't have to work today' day. (1,409 characters)

Photo of Pardishcreel
4.33/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is a dark brown this opaque beer has a nice head and decent retainibility. The taste is a hint of coffee with burnt grains and a nice hop finish. The bitterness of the hops is well balanced. One of my favorite beers that comes in 6 packs. I suggest for the price at about 1$ a beer you pick up a few of these for you next tasting, I found mine at trader joes. (369 characters)

Photo of GossageBrewery
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This English Brown Ale was poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The Beer pours a dark brown color. It produces an underwelming amount of head that quickly dissipates. Head Retention is very much below average. The beer is under carbonated Lacing is below average. Low marks for appearance. The news does get a little better with the smell, deep aroma of chocolate and coffee come through. The taste is surprisingly good, a deep roasted malt flavor that gives way to chocolate and coffee. There is also a nice "nut" flavor that is present. The finish is "warming" and has a nice hop bitterness about it. The mouthfeel is a medium body that is typical for an English Brown Ale. This is a very nice session beer- it's a lot bigger then say New Castle, which many consider the flagship for English Brown Ales. Overall pretty good beer- and did I mention that it is contract brewed by Goose Island? (901 characters)

Photo of devilben02
3.01/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark but still translucent mahogany color topped with a substantial creamy head. It has a thin, light, fruity aroma, with notes of cherries, raisins, and hint of floral hops. The flavor is likewise light and fruity, but there are also characteristics of roasted nuts and dirty, earthy hops. The sharply tingling carbonation is merely distracting, but is frankly unpleasant, which really detracts from the light, fruity malt flavor. Overall, this beer has its good qualities, but not there is not enough good to make this one any more than a mediocre-to-average beer. (574 characters)

Photo of needsmorehops
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber-dark amber color. Pours a good, dark cream-colored head, with large bubbles. Good laces. Good carbonation.

Medium body with good mouthfeel.

Bready, yeasty, somewhat fruity aroma, with slightly resiny notes.

Dark malt is the predominate taste, balanced with hops. Nutty and somewhat chocolatey. Sweet but slightly bitter with a distinct note of burnt sugar.

Would be good with roasted meats. Could go well with a dessert provided it wasn't too rich. (458 characters)

Photo of treehugginslug
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S - Nutty, almost hazelnut. Slight hops, but not really.

T - Taste was nice. Sweet dark malts. Nutty taste.

M - Fair amount of carbonation.

D - Good, I think this would be a perfect beer to pair with a meal and not so much a stand alone.

Would I buy this again? No
Would I recommend it? To the right person
Would I drink it at a party? Yes
Did my wife like it? "Not a fan"

Overall: It was good. Not great. If I was in the mood to drink an English Brown Ale, I would pass over Newcastle and pick up this. (509 characters)

Photo of sleazo
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A_Pours a dark brown which becomes ruby when held to the light. A nice looking head fizzles quickly into a large bubbled cap.

S_Dark chocolate, toffee and a bit metallic

T_Starts out with a milk chocolate, followed by a mellow sweetness. Some roasted grain is present as well. The metallic edge comes through in the finish.

M_Light bodied with a moderate carbonation.

D_Goes down fairly smooth. $5.99 a six pack at Trader Joes, really not a bad deal for a decent brew. (473 characters)

Photo of richkrull
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at Trader Joes in Madison.

Pours a fairly dark brown color. Not much head at all. Smells like malt, coffee, chocolate. Taste is Pretty much the same. Some chocolate and coffee. A little bitter but not overpowering. The more I drink it, the smoother it gets. Not a bad beer, I'll probably try it again if the price is right. (344 characters)

Photo of smibroncos
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Poured a clear dark coffee color with a one finger tan diminishing head. Slight lacing on the glass.

S. Dark roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, oats, leaves, earthy

T. Starts sweet and malty, brown sugar, nutty. Finnishes with a short bitterness.Duration is short.

M. Medium bodied good carbonation.

D. A good brew not creamy and thick like a stout. Nice balance and good flavor. (385 characters)

Photo of SuperSpy
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A clear almost reddish amber, with a big chunky, sticky head.

S - Hints of dark chocolate, sweetened coffee and toasted malt.

D/M - Medium-light bodied with sweet flavors of chocolate, and roasted malt upfront, with a slight hop bitterness toward the middle and a sweet finish that has a hint of iced light-roast coffee. A very interesting and enjoyable flavor.

D - I could easily sit back and finish off a few of these. All-around this is a pretty good brew. (467 characters)

Photo of EricCioe
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured deep black with a light, sandy head with some lacing. On the nose there is a sweet, almost raspberryish note that hangs out underneath a bigger, toasted malt flavor. I hadn't noticed that until my third one because it's buried pretty deep. On the tongue there is a nice mix of the sweeter, fruity flavors and a little bit of the dark malt. It's a strange but really nice, subtle mixture. In the mouth it's pretty thin and doesn't have a very large body. It just doesn't stick around much. But that makes for a beer that would be very easy to sit back and drink lots of, and with a good mix of subtler aromas and flavors like this beer has, that's not entirely a bad thing. (684 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a murk dark amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured caramel, molasses and a touch of roasted malt.

The taste was initially sweet and dominated by balmy caramel malts. Cocoa and a faint nuttiness appeared toward the finish.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style with a residual filmy sweetness.

Overall a solid brown ale for the money. Certainly plenty of flavor the keep it interesting. (479 characters)

Photo of BlackBearForge
3.51/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black Toad, despite a thin fizzy head and little lacing. is a pretty nice looking beer, dark clear brown with deep amber/maroon highlights.

The aroma is pretty much thin chocolate malts with a light grassy hop character.

The flavor picks up with a fairly flavorful mix of lightly sweet dark roasted malts, a bit of chocolate, a bit of grainy nuttiness and a light grassy hop bitterness a bit floral in character. There is also a bit of molasses in the finish. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is light/medium and very smooth and lightly creamy with a touch of a carbonated edge.

Overall a nice rather well mix of well integrated mild flavors making a tasty whole, quite drinkable and crisp for a brown ale. (705 characters)

Photo of CheckmateBrew
3.26/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Look is a dark mahogany with a tan two finger head

Smell is malts with coffee , chocolate and a touch of hops

Tastes a dark ale with coffee. to be honest, not what I was expecting

Overall not bad, but not great as the coffee overtones were too much....and as a non coffee drinker... I will pass for next time (311 characters)

Photo of TheStig
4.06/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured a rich, dark amber/red from the bottle into my glass. Huge, cream-colored, four finger head that dissipated very slowly into a formation resembling a block of Swiss cheese before sinking into the beer. No lacing.

S- Honestly, the first whiff I got from this was a typical alcohol sting, which is odd considering this is just a 5.3% abv brew. Nothing too amazing. Fruity, but not overwhelmingly so. Hops, roasted barley are prominent but there's a subtle sweetness I just can't quite place.

T- ...Interesting... Swallowed quickly, it has a very neutral, almost milk-like flavor, after which a very slight walnut aftertaste comes in. Not unpleasant, but odd, considering that when one lets it sit in the mouth longer and allows it to be tasted to its fullest, the taste changes to cereal, oats with a slightly bitter, stout-like finish. Like I said, not bad, but... interesting.

--In the time I've been writing this, a very slight sweet aftertaste, --the same hinted at in the smell section-- started to develop. Raisins and grapes. Almost wine-like. Delish!

M- Very creamy. Subtle carbonation that disappears after hitting the mouth. Very easy to drink.

D- Incredibly easy. Slides down your throat like dew on a blade of grass. Delightful. (1,255 characters)

Photo of mikeg67
3.49/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at Trader Joe's. Pours dark brown with a tanned long lasting foamy head. The aroma of dark fruit, raisins, roasted malt with hints of floral hops. The flavor was sweet dark fruit and caramel malt in the beginning followed by light coffee and dark chocolate notes. Finish is short and on a sweet side. I did not expect much but was pleasantly surprised. For this price I will definitely buy it again. (421 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

When I saw this at TJ I just had to grab one. It pours a clear ruby-brown topped by a small finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises brown sugar, cinnamon, caramel, toffee, light cocoa, and a hint of tobacco. The taste holds notes of light toffee, light chocolate, caramel, and some very light florals. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a very nice bit o' brew, though the taste lacks full character, as though it were too light for its own good. Beyond that, though, I could easily sit down with a sixer o' this and enjoy myself (and the more-than-reasonable price makes that even easier). (687 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another good beer from Trader Joe's!!! This one pours a clear mahogany color with ruby highlights throughout when held to the light. Decent size off white/light tan head with good retention. Thick spotty bands of lacing.

Smell is toasted malt...fairly pronounced and pleasant. Taste is malty with some mild chocolate....Tastes like a fairly mild porter. Nice flavor.

Mouthfeel is crisp, good carbonation and VERY SMOOTH!!

Drinkability is good. A reasonable abv, pronounced smell and flavor and good solid mouthfeel. This one could be pleasantly swilled as a session beer or with a meal. (589 characters)

Photo of DaveBlack
3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (1,053 characters)

Photo of katan
3.41/5  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. (710 characters)

Photo of sjverla
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (565 characters)

Photo of MTNboy
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (317 characters)

Photo of jonB
3.31/5  rDev -7%
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. (291 characters)

Photo of July2Nov
4/5  rDev +12.4%
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. (562 characters)

Photo of Bfarr
1.68/5  rDev -52.8%
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. (407 characters)

Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 244 ratings.