Prohibition Ale - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Prohibition AleProhibition Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

874 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 874
Reviews: 334
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 35
Gots: 135 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-27-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 874 | Reviews: 334
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with a silk-screen painted on label, devious eyes are on the neck and a shady looking couple are looking for a real "Speakeasy". No freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Very deep and dark reddish amber hue, a well observed clarity shows that the beer has some carbonation left after a semi-vigorous pouring that left an unwavering light tan cake like head in its wake.

Smell: Intense hop aroma with a bold caramel malt to keep it in check. Oily hop of fresh pine, tree bark and grapefruit rind in the nose, straight-up sweet malt aroma pokes through with hints of dark caramel and toasted biscuits. Handful of fruity esters gives off a mild fig and raisin aroma.

Taste: Muscular medium body, crisp flavor with a smooth mouth feel. Carbonation is at a moderate level, hops circle around the malt as it plays around with the flavor. Suggestions of pumpernickel, caramel and toasted biscuit show how deep the complexity can get with this ale. Fruitiness is fresh and is doubled with a mild warming alcohol, tastes of pears and raisins. Pungent hops stay dominant but do not strangle the malt in anyway, the pungency varies from pine and spruce to grapefruit and peppery herbal flavors. The actual hop bitterness is sizable and puckers the palate. Caramel seems to push to the finish as well as the toasted flavor which shows a borderline roasted character, the hop bitterness is everlasting.

Notes: An elaborate multi-leveled complexity that jumps from hops to malt several times and touches upon the fruity esters as well, beefy in the hops and a perfectly level malt that leaves everything in balance to a point. A must try, this is what beer is about.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have enjoyed the other offerings I have had from Speakeasy for the most part Iam glad I have the chance to try this.Poured a clear deep bronze with a well formed craterous white head that left patches of lace behind as it settled,grapefruit rind really sticks out at first notice in the nose with some toastiness and caramel.An aggressive hop profile shows itself in this amber and thats nice but it doesnt have the nice complex malt base that the Lagutinas Tocaloma I just drank had the caramel is there but just not alot of character.A solid beer no doubt and I wouldnt turn it down by any means but there are better.

Photo of RoyalT
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one is dark orange in color, maybe even a bit brownish, and very clear. The head come up easy and was light and puffy.

Smell – The hop profile at the nose is sharp and complex. The malt makes up an honest backbone and has some good caramel notes. There’s also some light fruiting here, maybe pears or something like that. Overall a very nice nose.

Taste – This has a light, East Coast-style flavor. The hops are tangy and a bit fruity. The malt stepped back a bit from the nose but is still there.

Mouthfeel – This is really light-bodied I’d have to say. I found the flavors competing against one another and thought things good have been better blended.

Drinkability – They have some great flavors in this ale if they can just get them to work a little more together.

Photo of ExtraStout
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at Scoma's in San Francisco. It pours a medium-hued amber orange, with a minimal head but some lace is present.

Smells hoppy, like many west-coast pale ales are. This is cascade all the way, no doubt about it. The citric aroma is up front and aggressive.

Taste is also a bit hoppy. Maybe a bit, but it's bold and it makes a statement. There is some sweet sugary flavors but not much can be detected through the damn hops. I like cascade though, so this beer is very refreshing.

Mouthfeel is a bit chunky. Little carbonation but the hops leave such a film in my mouth that it's a little oily. Not too bad, but not good either. Certainly above average.

A really refreshing pale ale. Aggressive and bold, but not balanced enough for me to really give it props. Still, a solid beer.

Photo of BeerDreadz
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12onz. amber bottle with a really nice label (one of the best for me, really catch my eye)

Appearance: This beer really make honors to the name of the style, you can have a debate if is a pale brown or red.Some cream head above it.

Smell: Malt is very present in there, caramel and a sweet aroma.

Taste:medium bodied,ery malty ,hops can be taste,but the malt is more present,sweetness like caramel and a little bit it bitterness after taste.

Mouthfeel & Drinkabitlity: Nice beer, i can have one this again,

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer sampled, no freshness indication given. Pours orangy medium amber, moderate light tan head and leaves respectable and stringy lacing. Nose is honey maple malty. This is a fairly dry APA, nice mouthfeel, coating, medium bodied and smooth over the tongue. Balance is in evidence here, as this is an easy drinking ale. No complaints.Nothing special, just a better then average, pleasant to quaff, BA worthy brew

Photo of erikjon
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll start by admitting I bought this beer for the marketing gimmick... the idea of the prohibition/speakeasy clubs/bootlegging is an appealing subject to build a brewery around. The beer brewed a beautiful amber red color with a nice thick head, and the aroma of the hops was quite intoxicating in and of itself. It had a very strong hoppy smell, like no other amber ale I've had. It reminded me of a pale ale, or even an IPA. This was a pleasant surprise, I guess you could say. The taste was decent, but nothing spectacular. A very crisp, hoppy ale with little body. This was disappointing because the bottle claimed "A boldly hopped amber ale that strikes a perfect balance between caramel maltiness and its aggressive hopping." I definitely taste the maltiness, but it is anything but balanced (overpowered?) with the hoppiness. The lacing was nice and the beer finished well. If you are looking for an amber ale that drinks more like a mild IPA, then this is the beer for you. As for me, it will easily fade into obscurity as I continue on my quest to find the perfect beer...

Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent amber. Pours true and clear amber with a puffy white head. Aroma of roasted caramel malt and some hops. Very smooth taste and perfectly balanced between the sweet malt and hop bite. A rare case of being hoppy, but not falling into the "weak IPA" category.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz brown bottle with a crimped on cap. Cool looking bottle silk screened painted label with a pair of eyes floating on the bottle. Brought over by larrydp for reviewing purposes.

Very cloudy,coppery color red/orange hue.Light tan to an off-white head,fair retention leaving a sudsy coating atop. Good amount of carbination leaving sparse lacing.

Grassy/straw aromas at first wiff,very earthy, a big malty nose with rich carmell,very toasty,also nutty with toffee aromas. A good clean pleasing aroma overall.

Sweet carmell malts,very earthy,with a dry grassy feel. Complex maltiness nutty/toffee with a slight burnt edge to it.Finshes with a citrus rind bite almost grapefruit like.

Medium body,tangy and slightly cloying with a juicy feel. Just a bit above average amber,don't think i would want to drink all night,but could drink a few no problem. Good Amber style beer worth a try

Photo of Thrasher
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An indelibly hoppy amber ale, a bit of a juxtaposition of styles. The beer pours a clear, deep copper, with a feathery, airy head rising up, then sinking to a sheer film of foam and good, intricate lacing. The aroma is entirely honest and well-hopped. The flavor duplicates the aroma with a yeasty characteristic, and tasty bready malts. Citric hops are lightly sweet and tart, and very enjoyable. Despite the high hoppiness for the style, the malts are up to the challenge and the beer remains well balanced. The flavor is perhaps similar to some Rogue ales, yet the mouthfeel is much thinner and the beer is actually more drinkable. The beer tastes very fresh, almost unfinished, but thoroughly delightful. A slight staleness in the aftertaste is perhaps the only shortcoming; drinkability good. I'm not wholly on board with Speakeasy's gangster 'n' moll motif; it seems to me the '20s era of American Prohibition doesn't fully jibe with modern craft ale, particularly the well-hopped west coast variety; bootleg gin would be a closer match. Nor am I a fan of the interchangeable, unmemorable names for their beers. However, I absolutely love the furtive eyes on the neck of each bottle.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber colored amber style beer, average head. Aroma was largely still, minor hop aroma, toasty.

Taste, nice pleasant hop companion here, toasted red malt feel plays nice. Good bitterness, doesn't let the malt dominate. Definitely a hoppier amber or red beer compared to the run of the mill in style. Citrus in a small way. Caramel in a good dose, keeps the bitterness in check.

No freshness date.

Photo of rastaman
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tap@Edinborough Castle, San Fransisco. Considering i felt like crap after a mamoth day drinking with the San Fran Krew (from the other site), this wasn’t too bad. pretty relaxed and soft. Nice hop aromatics, pine, lychee, not intense at all, well balanced.

Photo of Auraan
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a clear red with a half-finger off-white head that dissipated to a thin ring of white leaving no lacing. A good looking red ale, but nothing amazing. Scents of lemon juice, lemon zest, sweet citrus and orange. A very citrus forward aroma, dominated a bit more by the sweeter aromas than the lemon. Very good though. Flavor is extremely hop forward, though the actual bitterness level of the hops is low. The hop profile is floral, citrus pith, grapefruit pith and pine resin, balanced by faint hints of toasted and grainy malt. The finish is dry and bitter. Very good for a nice, hop forward amber, with hints of malt. I liked it. Mouthfeel is light bodied with moderate carbonation, a smooth feel and a drying finish. A good session ale mouthfeel, despite the ABV. Overall this is a good, hop forward amber ale. Its got a nice citrusy aroma and a good hop profile, with just enough malt to keep it from being too bitter. I enjoyed it a lot and would drink it again.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, almost opaque, dark amber/copper/mahogany color with two full fingers of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic. Strong aromas of floral, piney hops up front, followed by some malt, some brown sugar, honey-suckle and grapefruit-like citrus.

Taste: Actually much better than I was expecting considering the amount of hops in the aroma. There’s a very pronounced, floral, piney hops flavor up front, but it is immediately eclipsed by a ton of toasted malt, a lot of brown sugar-like sweetness, finished by just a touch of more hops to round everything out. From the aroma I was expecting a lot more hops in the flavor, but surprisingly and pleasantly, the hops is perfectly balanced with some really good bready malt and sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with some good carbonation. With an ABV of 6.1%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a much better beer than I was expecting. Like I stated earlier, due to the aroma, I was expecting a much hoppier beer than I got, but this beer is very nicely balanced. Good malt, good hops, good sweetness. Good beer.

Photo of rgrace99
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Poured a nice amber with a decent head, some lacing. Aroma was a nice citrusy hop with some malty sweetness in the background. Taste was mostly of hops finishing with a nice sweet finish. Lightly effervescent, went down very easily. A nice beer that is very quaffable.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok...I didn't catch all of the complexities that some other reviews got, but....
Poured a beautiful dark orange amber with a half inch head that melted to heavy lacing for the entire drink.
Aroma was immediately fresh fruits...oranges and grapefruit with only a little malt.
Taste was a blast of grapefruit, followed by a little honey malt (sweet), then finishing with another blast of grapefruit.
Mouthfeel is surprisingly full and creamy followed with the lingering drying effects of the grapefruit from the hops that immmediately makes you want to take another drink.
Quenching, quaffable, perfect for summer sessions.

Photo of biboergosum
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. There seems to be a spate of Prohibition-themed brews available of late - at least it looks like these guys have been doing it for a long while.

This beer pours a clear, dark red-brick amber hue, with three fat fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and bubbly beige head, which leaves some decent dispersing cloud pattern lace around the glass as it slowly sinks away.

It smells of biscuity, crackery, and toasted bready caramel malt, orange and grapefruit rind, musty pine needles, a dry oily nuttiness, and the suggestion of some burbling alcohol underneath it all. The taste is more grainy, toasty caramel malt, rather dry citrus peel notes - grapefruit, orange, and kiwi - pithy nuts, subtle pine forest floor detritus, and a certain flinty, almost metallic alcohol edge.

The carbonation is moderate in its goings-on, if a bit tightly frothy at times, the body punching in at a sturdy middleweight, and mostly smooth, but for a bit of stoney flintiness, one that I can no longer attribute to the booze. It finishes with a strong drying kick, the roasted character of the malt starting to show its collusion with the wets, er, I mean, the encroaching bitterness of the general public's wanton desire for all things hoppy.

A pleasant enough amber ale, the hops certainly doing their thing, and doing it well. Far be it from me, an avowed hop-head, to complain, but, ok, I'm also a fan of balance, and the way the malt showed up here, shook its frilly bits and bobs, and then left with the first goomba with a big, um bankroll, kind of bugs me. Stay and fight the good fight, ya coward! Anyways, a tasty affair, just somewhat underwhelming, right where it shouldn't be, y'know?

Photo of dacrza1
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

DATE TASTED: March 3, 2014... GLASSWARE: Kisatsky's Tavern pint.. OCCASION: a Strat and Game of Thrones night... APPEARANCE: intimidating dark amber body; thick, creamy, beige two-finger head that proudly sits a good duration... AROMA: beautiful balance of caramel malts and bright West Coat hops; low citrus, more aromatic and flowery...PALATE: good beer/head mix in the sip, with the creamy viscosity rounding full-bodied impact...TASTE: a BIG pale ale, as old and well-intentioned as the 18th amendment itself; big pine cone bite, warm and malty late... OVERALL: I came back to this beer a decade after I introduced it at a house party (it was wildly successful that afternoon)--and after taking it to a poker night, I found a similarly positive reaction; strong, demanding pale ale that gently shakes the teeth and smooth out the throat; the caramel especially sweetens the end...

Photo of Randon
4.95/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has to be one of my favorites. Great complexity in the flavor from start to finish. Pours with nice head, has a great smell to it. Nice combination of hops balanced with the caramel flavor. Very smooth on the tongue. Bought bottles at Bevmo in Tempe, brought to Albuquerque since can't find it around here. Amazingly, this beer goes down smooth and flavorful, and is the gift the keeps on giving as you are reminded of the great taste when you burp it back up. No kidding! Can only vouch for this when drank on an empty stomach.

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a deep ruby amber with a thick off-white 2 finger head. Great retention. Resulting lace is thick and sticky.

Smell - Bread and caramel malts, and sitting beneath this, a slight citrus hop.

Taste - Starts with a nice balance of bready malt, with notes of light caramel popping trough, and met by a mellow citrus hop. About midtaste, a subtle, slightly roasted malt comes into play, then finishes slightly citric and with a faint metallic twang.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with a nice bubbly carbonation, resulting in a near velvety smooth texture. Goes down with ease and grace.

Overall - Wow! This is one hell of a red. Nice complexity that intermingles near flawlessly to create a delicious, entirely drinkable brew. My hats off to Speakeasy on this one.

Photo of biernuss
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a six pack and was glad I did. It poured nicely with a dark copper somewhat reddish hue with a nice decent head which recessed into nice lacing. The aroma was nice but undistinguishable. The taste was great and the mouthfeel was very thick. I now have a three pack remaining which speaks of its drinkability.

Photo of Bcant
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The nice art deco bottle art packages a decent pale ale. It pours hazy-orange with a flat white head that rapidly reduces in size but does not disappear. Bouquet is slightly piney but not particularly strong. Soft, slightly oily mouthfeel that coats the pallet well. Because the hop flavors are strong but not complex, making for a slightly dry finish that could handle a very small amount of addition malt balance. Overall, quite pleasent.

Photo of CanuckRover
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really nice looking. A good darker amber. Clear. Substantial head settles to a nice film around the glass. Spiderweb lacings to the finish.

All citrus hops on the nose... at first, then you pick up a bit of dark fruit and just a touch of almost-burnt caramel.

Up front you get the citrus hops with a touch of pine. Really interesting transition to the malt. Almost a licorice flavour through the middle that I haven't really encountered before. Caramel moves across the tongue pretty quickly and then another burst of some fairly bright fruit to finish things off.

Good smooth mouthfeel. Light body for something packed with so much flavour.

This is a pretty interesting beer. As I said above, loads of flavour in medium-sized beer.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear with a very nice color - truly reddish with copper highlights; like a rich oiled mahogany. The beautiful body is topped by a foamy light-tan colored head that holds very well and leaves some really good lace. The aroma is bold: full of bright, citrusy, Pacific Northwest hops and some fruitiness; well-backed by a dark caramel maltiness. The body is medium light and the carbonation level is moderate. The mouthfeel is somewhat creamy. The flavors starts with a bold hoppiness, then wrestles across the tongue with some gentle caramel malt, and eventually fades smoothly into a gently lingering malty & hoppy finish. At first I felt the mouthfeel could have been fuller, but with further thought I feel that the limited body helps to keep the flavors from becoming too full, and allows for a smooth finish without the hops getting hung-up in the throat. A very well done beer that probably deserves more recognition than it gets.

Photo of sfprint
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful, dark, reddish brown color. Nearly no head and no visible signs of carbonation within the beer.

S: Super hoppy, partnered with an amber musk. The malts are more in the background and heavier in smell. Interesting. Smells more alcoholic than it is. Even further in the background is a white cakey smell.

T: Chocolately, with a dull menthol or eucalyptus bitterness. Not the heaviest taste. The amberness comes in the middle, with a near perfect balance of sweet and bitter. Slightly syrupy.

M: A great, great medium body, that grazes you at the tail with sharp carbonation.

D: Very easy, somewhat interesting, quite pleasant.

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Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
87 out of 100 based on 874 ratings.