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Black Toad Dark Ale - Black Toad Brewing Co.

Black Toad Dark AleBlack Toad Dark Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

387 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 387
Reviews: 235
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 14.53%


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: 387 | Reviews: 235 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 02:52:20 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

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

Poured a nice dark clean brown color with a thick and creamy head.

The smell is light and sweet with a hint of buttery marris otter and light chocolate.

The flavor is light and sweet with a bit of blackened malt and light smoke along with a touch of molasses flavor. The hops are minimal with just a touch of lingering bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is light and a touch oily.

A decent english brown/porter.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 22:38:21 | More by bashiba
Photo of JayQue
JayQue

Virginia

3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 00:34:14 | More by JayQue
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

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

Picked up a bottle at Trader Joe's at the end of November for 84 cents.

Poured a dark opaque brown with a decent head initially. Nose is of roasted malts and not much else. Taste starts off malty with a hint of coffee and chocolate and finishes smoothly. Mouthfeel is adequately full and fresh. Drinkability is OK as this brew is definitely better than your average macro but does not present a lot of complexity to be a top notch porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2006 00:30:33 | More by arizcards
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

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 Monkeyknife
Monkeyknife

Missouri

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2007 22:35:08 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

4.11/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Toad Ale has a medium, cream-colored head, a dark brown (ruby, under direct light) appearance, and some splotchy bits of lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of medium-roasted barley and brown bread crust, and the taste is the same, with some underlying caramel and mild hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Black Toad Ale finishes semi-dry, refreshing, and quite drinkable. Overall, this is a very good, sweet ale.

RJT

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2013 14:14:46 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

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

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2008 07:28:04 | More by charlzm
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen

California

2.9/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep black amber with a full 2 finger cream colored head that disappears too quickly to fine lacing.
Aroma is sweet malt and bittersweet chocolate.
Taste is of Chocolate and prunes....can't notice any hops until after you swallow then slight hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel is thin for this style...slightly unpleasant aftertaste.
I don't think I'll be trying this one again...much prefer Trader Joe's Black Hart Stout for a dry stout and TJ's Stockyard Oatmeal Stout for a desert, sweet stout...all of these three are at the same price

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2006 03:26:32 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of pmcadamis
pmcadamis

Illinois

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

A - Dark mahogany brown with a small wisp of a tan head. Head retention is poor, and little lace is left on the glass.

S - Rootbeer and sassafras. A little bit of tootsie roll in there too.

T - Mild chocolate and root beer. Roasted grains and blackened steak. Better than the nose for sure, but still a little bit weak for the style.

M - Light bodied and roasty. This is honestly over carbonated for what it's trying to be.

D - This is a bit too burn-y tasting and a lot too weak for the style. I honestly thought this was more of a "Euro dark lager" than a porter, as it is a bit on the thin side. It is relatively easy drinking and mild, but the over-done burnt steak (grill char) flavor is a bit much.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2010 06:06:15 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A friend brought a sixer of these to a get-together last night. Poured one into a snifter. Pour yielded a dark chocolate brown with a nice off-white head on top. The nose was sweet like nutty bread, brown sugar toast, and a bit of alcohol.

Moderate depth. Carbonation level is good, but there's a bit of a thin quality on the finish. Sweet nutty flavors - almond bar, chocolate malt, fresh bread. Good finish. This beer was surprising. One I'd never heard of, but a decent one I'd revisit.

[*This paired exceptionally well with a Carlos Toraño Reserva Decadéncia cigar]

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 19:29:09 | More by Onenote81
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
AlCaponeJunior

Texas

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

Dark brown with reddish tinges, pretty clear, head and lacing were pretty good.

Aroma and flavor were not bad, but earthines and nuttiness may have overpowered it a bit. Toasty, a touch of roasty, and caramel malts are there I'm not catching much in the way of hops.

Body is medium and it's pretty darn drinkable. No real complaints, but it's also not going to make front page. It plenty drinkable tho.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 10:11:16 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of allergictomacros
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 Frozensoul327
Frozensoul327

Michigan

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

A decent offering. Poured out to a medium brown / black color with a large foamy white head. Medium level of carbonation. Lacing was minimal. Not much of a smell, but notes of roasted malts and herbs were noted. Taste was pretty good; flavors of malts, light coffee, and some nuts seemed to go together quite well. Mouthfeel was good, as the carbonation seemed to really keep the palate occupied. Decent drinkability. This is a deal at 4.99 a sixer at Trader Joe's. For that price, this beer is a recommended brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2005 02:12:49 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2007 03:30:01 | More by daliandragon
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best before March 13, 2013; poured from a 12oz bottle into my Samuel Smith nonik.

A russet/chocolate/raw umber parade combines to form the dark but clear liquid capped by an active and fast receding khaki head. Vague lacing, poor retention.

Roast coffee, not-quite-burnt toast, and dark malt aromatics invite you to inhale a bit deeper. Hints of walnuts and toffee.

Sweet and rich palate entry with brief but intense sweetness and layered roasted/toasted malt notes countered by a mild clean bitterness from (English?) hops. Clean but complex or complex but clean? My confusion suggests a nice balance which persists into the finish.

Faintly slick modestly carbonated mouthfeel - a touch soft, but satisfactory for the style.

Given the relatively low ABV and the "budget" price-point - this is proving to be quite the Autumn session ale in my home. One of the best values on offer from Trader Joe's. Definitely inspired by a number of Northern style English browns - this beer quietly bests a number of them.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2012 05:13:03 | More by augustgarage
Photo of bsp77
bsp77

Minnesota

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

Serving glass: Poured from glass into clear plastic cup (at least it's clear).

Appearance: Chestnut brown with thin off-white head and minimal lacing.

Smell: Quite sweet with caramel, molasses, chocolate, roasted malt and a slight nuttiness.

Taste: Not quite as sweet as the aroma, but still a little sweet. Caramel, molasses and chocolate comes through once again balanced by a drier walnut taste. Ends a little bitter with English hops. Seems more like an English Brown but with a heavier roasted taste.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Easy drinking, dark English Ale. Certainly not an American Porter, more like an English Brown Porter or an English Brown Ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 01:07:27 | More by bsp77
Photo of jwinship83
jwinship83

Illinois

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

12 oz bottle with a best by date of october 22, 2009 poured into a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours a very dark brown colored body. ruby red can be seen around the edges when held up to the light. a small khaki colored head forms and quickly becomes no more than a crown.

S- roasted malts and sweet milk chocolate are the first things i notice. a small amount of coffee/hops at the end.

T- the roasted malts and chocolate come through strong. theres also some coffee/hops at the end, just like i could smell. theres really not much else. it tastes good, its just really not complex at all.

M- a little thinner than i would have liked. pretty smooth despite the high level of carbonation for the style.

D- easy to finish and at one dollar a bottle, this is a fantastic bargain. something ill pick up again and a pretty good porter. im not sure its as good as alot of the eastern european porters, but its different. check this one out, trader joes has some pretty good "no name" beers.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2009 01:02:46 | More by jwinship83
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

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

Pours a brilliant deep amber with a fleeting half inch khaki head.

Chocolate and toasted malt begin the aroma, with sweet nutty toffee and light roast adding complexity. There's a hint of floral hop character. Diacetyl becomes more dominant as it warms.

Flavor reveals toasted malt, which gives way to moderate roast at mid palate, finishing fairly dry and just a tad bitter. Notes of chocolate and toasted nuts intermingle with sweet caramel malt. Light fruity esters underlie the flavor profile.

Body is moderate to a touch watery, with moderate carbonation and a bit of astringency.

More chocolate and toast than anticipated. Decidedly sweet, but fairly flavorful. Very malt dominant.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 21:05:16 | More by barczar
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

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

A: Pours a dark brown color with some ruby highlights. About a one finger tan head that has good retention.

S: Fairly faint, but I pick up some roasted malts along with a bit of maple syrup and brown sugar as it warms.

T: The body is fairly light and I remember this being better when I had it before. I get some relatively faint flavors of roasted malt, a big of a charred flavor, some medium roast coffee and a bit of maple on the finish. Worth a try but not fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 03:18:11 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of MTNboy
MTNboy

Germany

3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 08:55:10 | More by MTNboy
Photo of CHickman
CHickman

New York

3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, but when held to light it's clear and amber brown, with a foamy tan head that faded average to slow and left good foamy lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, cocoa, light chocolate, coffee, syrup, caramel, herbs, floral hops and brown sugar; sweet overall with nice roasted grains and malt.

Tastes of cocoa, light chocolate, coffee, syrup, sweet malt, caramel, herbs, floral hops, light molasses, walnut and brown sugar; even though this is malt dominant, the hops leave a finish on the bitter side.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth, with low carbonation, a medium body on the lighter side and a dry bitter finish. Easy drinking brew.

A very surprising beer that looks heavier than it is and is actually quite light and drinkable, bordering on a session beer for malty beer fans; the price of a six pack makes this even more sessionable, so thank you Trader Joe’s.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 03:28:04 | More by CHickman
Photo of katan
katan

Colorado

3.43/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 19:19:39 | More by katan
Photo of secondtooth
secondtooth

Indiana

3.49/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, tawny, murky brown. Moderate head and only a hint of lace here.

Aroma is roasty malts and a little dark fruit. I get a touch of nuttiness, too.

Taste is sweet, with a bit of roast and nuttiness. Seems to me like a brown ale with a little extra char. Easy enough to drink, but not outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 14:40:49 | More by secondtooth
Photo of Hibernator
Hibernator

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black Toad Dark Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a dark brown with chestnut highlights. Tan colored head that turns to a thin lace.

Whiffs of dairy, chocolate and sugars.

Roasted dark malt flavors with highlights of chocolate, caramel and mocha. Nice hop presence and an overall balanced porter. Just a tad thin mouthfeel that could be bulked up some.

Another Trader Joe's associated beer that is offered at a great price for the product.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2006 01:30:16 | More by Hibernator
Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.