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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 244 | Hads: 453
Photo of wedge
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark chestnut pour and a thick, tight off-white head on top. Nutty, sweet brown bread-like aromas...toffee, faint sweet chocolate, fruit, and very light diacetyl and smoke. Dry, nutty flavor. Bitter chocolate, caramel sweetness, and a bit of earthy hops. Medium-light-ish body. Pretty tasty and certainly a good deal. Not sure why I waited so long to grab a single. (371 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
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 (442 characters)

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
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. (435 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
2/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Purchased my Black Toad Dark Ale at Trader Joe's and had no idea what to expect from this beer.

Black Toad Dark Ale was absolutely wretched! I was able to gulp back 3 mouthfuls before pouring the rest down the sink!

The appearance is a dark lager and the smell is of a wet ashtray!

The taste was like burnt garbage! Maybe my beer was skunked but I thought someone put 100 cigarette butts out in an old beer and served it to me! I can not believe a beer that have such a burnt flavor that you can't detect anything else there!

I wanted to like Black Toad but unlike burnt marshmallows this burnt product is not pallatable! (625 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (442 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 Overlord
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Trader Joe's delivers again. I swear, when I'm buying affordable, sessionable beers, I find myself wandering towards their familiar environs.

Pours a thin looking dark brown ... a bit offputting, actually. Smells more like a Bock than a Porter. Tastes ... again, more like a Bock than a porter. There's a bit of roastiness, but this is primarily sweet caramel malt.

Mouthfeel way too thin, but very drinkable. (411 characters)

Photo of Redrover
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black Toad, I had never heard of it but my dad had some in his beer fridge so I decided why not give it a try. I’m guessing its brewed by goose Island for Trader Joe’s.

Beer pours a translucent black with a nice tan head. Not a ton of lacing.

Beer had lots of roasted malt on the nose with more than a dash of hops thrown in for good measure.

Taste was solid but not earth shattering. Definite smoked malt on the tongue. Beer is more sweet than bitter. However, hops become more assertive as I worked through the beer. Seems well made. Reminds me more of a dark lager than an ale (think Leines creamy dark,. but not quite as good). This beer is very quaffable.

Easy to drink, but they could turn down the carbonation one notch. (744 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (620 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 atsprings
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
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. (534 characters)

Photo of CHickman
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (880 characters)

Photo of BretSikkink
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As they say on the bottle, this is a walnut color with a fairly monstrous head. Tall and whipped, leaving thick ass rings of lace. Pretty impressive. The nose is quite fruity, with a little bit of buttered toast and even a hint of roasted coffee toward the back. Relatively mixed nose, seems to hint towards a British style of dark ale.

The flavor is fairly middle of the road, but does pack a certain chunkiness - the carbonation and mouthfeel leave a smooth, full, creamy impression. The malts are sugary up front, with raisin and even caramel eventually giving way to a bit of roasted grain and an acidic, short finish.

This is a great price for a beer. This is a great beer for the price. Not a great beer, but not a bad price. Get it? (743 characters)

Photo of charlzm
2.17/5  rDev -39%
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 (1,415 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.58/5  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] (575 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (406 characters)

Photo of bashiba
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (420 characters)

Photo of morebeergood
3.88/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at TJ in Brookline for $1. Poured into a beer glass. Very dark brown color, and a large head. Nice lacing on the glass. Overall nice presentation. Smell was of faint traces of chocolate. Taste was a lot better than I was expecting. Very flavorful combination of cocoa, coffee, and malt. Nice and hearty mouthfeel, with the malt giving it a good backbone. Smooth and easy to drink. For $5.99 a six pack, this goes on the list as another example of very well priced beers at Trader Joe's. (505 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (797 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
3.49/5  rDev -2%
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. (308 characters)

Photo of bsp77
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (709 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
2.91/5  rDev -18.3%
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 (542 characters)

Photo of pmcadamis
3.12/5  rDev -12.4%
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. (708 characters)

Photo of augustgarage
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (1,015 characters)

Photo of allergictomacros
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (537 characters)

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