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Prohibition Ale - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Prohibition AleProhibition Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

331 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 331
Hads: 911
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 20.05%
Wants: 34
Gots: 173 | 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

Prohibition Ale is the first beer we bootlegged back in 1997. Anything but traditional and now a GABF winning brew (2013–American Amber/Red Category), Prohibition pours a deep reddish amber hue, with a fluffy tan head that leaves a beautiful lacing on the glass. A lush, complex aroma teases the senses with juicy grapefruit, citrus, pine, spice and candied caramel malts. Mouth-feel is creamy, with a silky, medium body and modest carbonation.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Prohibition Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 331 | Hads: 911
Photo of dacrza1
4.07/5  rDev +6%
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...

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Photo of Celtics17
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - deep reddish-amber with a huge creamy beige head that holds excellent retention and leaves crazy lacing on the glass
S - caramel, toasted grain, earthy hops, citrus,
T - caramel and a little burnt caramel, toasted grain, some pine,mild citrus, sweet but bitter, nice flavors
F - medium body, creamy, smooth, bitterness builds

Overall, enjoyed this Amber Ale, loved the caramel, burnt, woodsy feel of this beer. Smooth, and easy to drink Amber Ale. One of the best.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a reddish-brown body with decent head and lace. A minimal amount of caramel malt sweetness balances with a large dose of citric hops in the aroma and this repeats itself in the beer. Light to medium bodied, smooth, the beer is rather simple and there isn't too much going on but what is happening is good. Well-balanced sweet and bready malts with citric hops give the beer a hoppy and yet also malty taste and it finishes a little dry and bitter from malts and hops.

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Photo of JoshuaMason
2.09/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Vintage: 2014
Appearance: Rich, red amber; tan, bubbly head; zero lace; low visible carbonation
Smell: Caramel; Molases; Dates; Diacetyl
Taste: Cola; Citrus Hops; kinda like a cheap soda… like Shasta.
Mouth-feel: Medium Carbonation; Thin body; sticky, sugary
Overall: Not good at all. Really disappointed in this one, because I have respect for Speakeasy and generally love their beers. Too bad.

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Photo of FLima
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mahogany color with a beige thin and thick head with medium retention and leaving some laces.
Nice malty caramel and citrus grapefruit aroma, soft pine, nuts and biscuit malt. Hints of creamy chocolate.
Pleasant flavor of high grade cocoa chocolate, American amber yeast and humid wood. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Smooth medium body with perfect carbonation.
Pretty good Amber, Red or Brown Ale, you pick.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, bottled on 09/11/13
L - deep reddish-amber with a huge creamy beige head that holds excellent retention and leaves crazy lacing on the glass
S - caramel, toasted grain, earthy hops, citrus,
T - caramel and a little burnt caramel, bread crust, toasted grain, pine, citrus, sweet but bitter, nice flavors
F - medium body, creamy, smooth, bitterness builds
O - really good hoppy amber ale. Great bold taste with plenty of bitterness balanced with a hefty malt backbone.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was inspired, yesterday, on a Snow Day at the high school where I teach English/ Communications Arts, to drink the Speakeasy oeuvre and imagine myself as writing the reviews during Prohibition. I am currently reading "Chicago Noir", which serves as further inspiration and this is really the beer that I should have started with, but I will make sure that it all blends seamlessly into a cohesive narrative. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, allow me to journey on a flight of fancy, courtesy of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers and my local speakeasy, The Fridge, to the misguided period of U. S. history known as Prohibition.

From the bottle: "Legit Since 1997"; "Demand Prohibition"; "Hand Crafted Amber Ale"; "Prohibition Ale is a boldly hopped amber ale that strikes a perfect balance between caramel maltiness and its aggressive hopping."; "Independently owned & operated".

The Old Lady and I rolled up to the door, marked with a blindfolded tiger, rapped twice, and when the peephole slid open to reveal two inquisitive eyes, I whispered the day's password, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and the door swung open to allow us to enter. I sauntered up to the bar with The Doll on my arm, slinky and feline as ever. Bottles were proffered and accepted so I popped the caps and began the pour for us. My aggro pour really bothers The Old Lady for some reason, but since it was my tab, it was my call. Prohibition never looked so good! There was a pseudo-cascade, followed by the creation of slightly better than two fingers of dense, light-tan head with great retention. Color was a deep reddish-orange (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity, but we were in PA, so it was almost time to wet our whistles. Nose evinced an interesting admixture of grapefruit and caramel and my mouth was beginning to water. The Old Lady was tugging at my sleeve, anxious to get started, as she always seems to be. Mouthfeel was very soft, almost as if it were flat (which it definitely was NOT), but it really allowed the hops and malt to shine. The citrus hops feinted and jabbed and then the malt hit with a nice 1-2 punch on the tongue. This led to a cool finish, semi-dry as the hops asserted themselves, especially on the extreme finish. If this was Prohibition, I know that I will be staying for a while!


My original, on-tap review was dtd 06-24-2010 with scores of 4; 3.5; 4.5; 3.5 and 4 follows:

Ah, the benefits of being back in The City ... They are legion, but being able to find Speakeasy beers on draft has to rank among them. From notes, taken July 2009.

This arrived with a finger of off-white head with decent retention. Nose was slightly caramel-ish. Color was a deep copper with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with a malty, caramel taste on the tongue. Finish was mild, not sweet at all. AmeriCAN Amber/Red Ale?!? This was much more like a classic English Pale Ale, IMHO. Well done and totally unexpected!

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Photo of Sprint
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 ounce bottle

Ruby red in color with foamy head with lacing that dissapates somewhat quickly.

Smell is a nice caramel biscuit with some grassy notes.

Taste is very nice. Hops are assertive, but nicely balanced with a strong malt backbone. Malt could be a little more matured and roasty but is still nice even if a little cloying. Hops are grassy and citrusy with a hit of grapefruit rind on the back of the throat. Finishes dry. I would appreciate a little less bitterness and a little more conditioning regarding the malt, but it's still a nice hoppy red ale, almost a red IPA. Alcohol is not overly noticeable.

satisfying body with full moutfeel though more towards medium than full. I find it sessionable.

Overall quality craft brewed Amercan Amber/Red ale. I'm a fan of speak easy and find them to be a little more balanced in their approach to hopping than other west coast breweries. I will get this beer again.

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Photo of Jwale73
2.81/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle courtesy of bstyle. Served in an American Pint. Bottled on 10.31.13. Pours a translucent amber with a foamy, three-finger, light tan head. Nothing overly distinctive about the nose - toasted malt-forward with some piny/citrusy hops. Taste consistent with nose, but there is also a distinct metallic flavor. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an even carbonation and a trace of acidity. Overall, a pretty lackluster amber. Not sure if it's just an off bottle, past its prime or just subpar. Not something I need to revisit again any time soon.

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Photo of DATAfiend
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I'm still a novice "craft" beer drinker, but I've noticed the ones that are particularly dark (in this case red) are definitely my preference. It's definitely got the hops (what do you expect from these guys) and I'm definitely looking for this at bevmo. Overall, excellent.

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Photo of ADZA
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a ruby red hue with a one finger bubbly head and some nice subtle lacing and definitely a red ale on eye,the smell is a heap of resinous piney hops mixed with strawberries and a slight herbalness it's a hopped red that's for sure,feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and really sets the sessionability on the high end and with that massive hopfest first encountered on smell it's nicely balanced with sweet sticky toffee mid palette and on the finish the hops are still there but it's only a light herbal bitterness and overall it's one of those beers that u have to try but Im not rushing out to grab again as i still prefer Riverside's 44 but also could happily drink if offered cheers.

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Photo of Act25
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Compares well with SF-based 21st Amendment Bitter American. A bitter, woody, flavorful and sessionable ale.

A: Pours light reddish brown color, with a thick, lumpy off-tan head that lasts and laces on the glass.

S: The powerful, smoky aroma is of caramelized malts, roasted nuts, hop pine, and citrusy hops. Very nutty, a bit wet woods. Plenty of it, a real muscly beer.

T: Powerful. Follows the smoky smell. The taste is malty and sweet up front followed by caramel, grass, pine, & citrus and with forest charcoal smokiness. There's a nice complimentary hops presence that provides a good balance. The after-taste is bitter sweet. Unusual, plenty of flavor. Almost gravy like, mushroomy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is ok

D: Totally a must try. Original.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours an intense, solid caramel-amber grapefruit red. Looks fantastic with great foam.
There’s a thick piney grapefruit hop aroma with a nice rounded hop note. The flavor is hoppy and dank with some chewy pine. It’s a hop bomb for sure. Forgot how good this one is.

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Photo of Auraan
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of Dsimenson
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured rather aggressively from a bottle into a 16 oz champaign flute. It develops 1" head that settles down to 1/2" after a minute. The color is a clear deep golden honey. Aroma is wonderful, fruity and hops. Flavor is a bit disappointing--hops, pine, a little caramel, where did the fruit go? The flavor got better and better with each sip. Mouth feel is medium. Overall this is very good, maybe outstanding. I agree with micromaniac129, below.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 7/13.
The color was deep ruby amber with a small head and medium lacing.
The aroma was quite pronounced and fruity with mangos and peaches and tropicals.
Taste was malty sweet with light hops. It finishes sem dry and bitter.
A really, really good beer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

nice relatively hoppy amber. the pour is deep brick red, clear though, with an inch of khaki head, foamy and lasting. it smells like dryer, but still semi sweet red malts, ale yeast, and a good dose of American west coast hops. the taste matches, yeasty for a red, and the best of both red worlds here, dry and clean, also sweet and rich, its a contrast but a good one. carbonated well, and very easy drinking, I would have guessed 4.5% abv, this is easy going. medium body and a hint of smoke. I don't know what is prohibition about this, it makes me want another. good not great, but aren't most of them? my first brew from speakeasy is good enough to make me want another, so good on them. on tap at renegade publik house.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Pours a medium to dark reddish amber with a half finger off-white head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of bready malt and the citrus and floral influence of Centennial and Cascade hops. Flavor of citrus and floral hops, neutral malt and light citrus rind. Finishes with citrus bitterness. Nice medium creamy body. A nicely made red ale that seemed a hair balanced towards the hops than malt, but the creamy body made up for it. Lingering citrus hop bitterness. Enjoyable, but somehow I think prohibition ales weren't quite this tasty.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Bottled date of 05/06/13, so pushing toward 5 months old.

Poured a deep clear reddish amber color, quite a bit darker than I expected. A little below 2 fingers of off white head, with some fairly large bubbles. Lots of carbonation, though much of it stuck to the side of the glass. Lacing was pretty sparse. Head dissolved to a thin covering with a thin ring.

Smell was all about caramel and sweet malt. no hop signature, possibly due to the age of the beer.

Taste was again all malt. It tasted to me more like a scottish ale than an amber ale.

Mouth was around medium. Unfortunately there was a rather unpleasant aftertaste, though it did disappear quite quickly.

As mentioned above, this had the look, aroma, and taste more of a scottish ale than an amber ale. And unfortunately, not that good a one. Wouldn't reccomend this offering, though the label is pretty good looking.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Beautiful amber color with 2 fingers of light tan head that dissipates slowly. Excellent clarity with light carbonation.

Caramel, candy sugar, grapefruit and tangerine.

Caramel and toasted biscuit with hints of candy sugar and toffee. Very balanced with well integrated hop notes. Grapefruit pith, pine needles and tangerine zest.

Medium bodied and smooth with crisp carbonation.

Nicely balanced and easy drinking. Tasty stuff!

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Photo of drpimento
2.84/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Think I might have gotten an off bottle. Poured this a bit cold with a thick, foamy, tan, head that lasts and plenty of lace. Color is a very hazy to cloudy amber. Aroma isn't too strong but is vinous, Flavor is malt, sharp hop, metallic, yeast, biscuit, hint tart. Body is decent but has some high points from the odd flavors; carbonation is good. Finish is like flavor and has those less than pleasing characteristics that last too long.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured into snifter. Upon opening, bottle gushes out as I quickly get it into a glass. The appearance is a deep clear read with tan head that retains nicely and heavy lacing. Nose starts with heavy cereal grain malt, backed up by toast, caramel, and earthy hops. The taste is moderately malty up front with a nice herbal hoppiness that comes through and takes some hop bitterness to the finish. Decent balance of flavors here with an emphasis on the malt profile. Mouthfeel is moderate with decent carbonation. Overall, this brew features a nice balance of flavors, but is overall somewhat forgettable.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

No freshness dating.

A=pours a deep ruby color with a half finger of off white head on it that leaves some decent lacing.

S= has a deeper darker smell of hops. Seems like it may be a little past it's prime. Definitely a hopped up amber though.

T=the taste is filled with a hop punch along with some strange toasty malt taste. The hops are thick and resinous leading to a strong bitter bite.

M= feels great

O= this isn't a bad beer at all but the toasty malts threw me for a loop. Not the most hopped up amber but a little more ambery than a hopped up amber. Not bad.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Good Beer in New York, NY

A: Pours a clear medium amber in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some light ruby red highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a couple of small thicker patches and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit pith and pine hops over a moderate caramel malt body.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of caramel malts with light to moderate amounts of sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of citrus/grapefruit pith, citrus/orange, and pine hops which contribute a moderate amount of bitterness which lingers.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: Fairly well balanced between the sweetness of the malts and the bitterness of the hops so that neither really dominates the palate. Pretty easy to drink and enjoyable.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Firestone restaurant pint glass
From: World Market in Las Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $1.99
Purchased: Aug. 1, 2013
Consumed: Aug. 6, 2013
Misc.: Bottled on Feb. 21, 2013

Poured a mahogany color with about two fingers of bubbly khaki tan head. Sporadic spots of average lacing on the sides. Average retention on the top.

Lots of different smells right away. Hops seemed to rule the day with floral, rye, citrus and grass. Then got the malts, mainly caramel, roasty, toasted bread and faint cocoa. Got a little bit of iced tea, too. The hops seemed to be go away a bit after a few more sniffs.

Malts took over the hops in the taste. Grassy, rye, toasty bread, yeast, wheat, caramel, buttery and lemon.

Medium-to-light body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Longer finish.

Not quite as good as I hoped it would be. Was still decent though.

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Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
86 out of 100 based on 331 ratings.