1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Prohibition Ale - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Prohibition AleProhibition Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

697 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 697
Reviews: 313
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 26
Gots: 34 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Prohibition Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 697 | Reviews: 313 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KomodoDragon
KomodoDragon

Virginia

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Bubbles grabbed the side of my DeGroen's pint glass as I poured this ruby colored brew. The cream colored head disappeared quickly and left only modest lacing.

S - Caramel, wood, dark fruits

T - Strong English toffy malt flavors and a nice balance between a sweet caramel start and a bitter hop finish. Some nutmeg and plum flavors as well add to the complexity. Quite drinkable for a 6+% ABV.

M - Fizzy and malty. I would prefere something more smooth

The pleasant surprises in this amber makes it a treat. Nice fall brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 01:56:54 | More by KomodoDragon
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this back in 2007 and haven't tried it since. From the recent reviews I'm seeing I may not try this one again since a lot of people seem displeased with some of the possible recipe changes. I suppose I should be glad I had it a while ago then I guess. The beer poured out as a nice looking amber color with a pretty decent head on top too. The smell of the beer was a little on the light side, there were some hop aromas and sweet malts in the mix also. The taste was pretty nicely balanced between the hops and the malts. The mouthfeel was drinkable and overall I thought it was a pretty good brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 18:20:02 | More by Knapp85
Photo of vitALEity
vitALEity

California

2.63/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I used to get this in bottles as a semi regular "staple" when I wanted a break from my normal IPA's but still wanted something hoppy and with a nice malt balance. This always worked for that and then all of a sudden THEY CHANGE IT! The last two times Ive had it recently the hops have all but disappeared from the aroma and taste and now its all some sort of caramel/chocalate/carafe malt. Why Speakeasy? Why!?

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 00:14:47 | More by vitALEity
Photo of afksports
afksports

New York

3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

For as popular as this shizzle-shnitz is, I thought I was gonna have me a nice relaxing brew to start off the evening.

Guess I was wrong.

Yech. All malts in the taste. Hardly a hop to be found in this bad boy. And at 6.1%, you'd think I'd find some in an amber ale.

I forgive the beer for not having a head, the bartender chopped it off because she's not a fancy beer nerd like all of us. She's just some lady that puts beer in a cup.

Anyway - smells like malt - caramel. Tastes like malt - caramel. Tiny hop presence at the front of both the smell and the taste, but dominated by the malt. And the finish - which I would love to be hoppy -- nope. It's not. It's amber. Just malty. Not a trace of hops.

I had beer on Barbados of the same exact style, and that beer was better than this.

And if you're thinking maybe I just have a malt bias... there was no complexity to it. Just sugar, burnt sugar, caramel, and water. Mouthfeel was boring, it was low carbonated, the appearance was amber with hardly any head, no lace, no carbonation again... Just overall... "meh".

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2011 01:20:40 | More by afksports
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Prohibition Ale has a deep amber colour and lightly sooty complexion, but shows almost roasted red pepper highlighting. Despite the deep shade, it still exhibits marvelous clarity. Its head, too, is tanned (like a rusted nail) and leaves enough lacing that it might be too much for a dishwasher to handle - this calls for a sanitation crew to clean up.

The aroma is delightful, it blends toasted bread with a nutty spread and a lot of candied citrus hops. There's the usual grapefruit and cast of tutti frutti hops - not surprising for a bay Area brew - but no flags are raised with regards to bitterness. Similarly, there's nothing harsh about the toast as they've ensured a coat of lavish caramel sweetness.

The taste imitates a kind of almond brittle, with lots of chewy sweet toffee and nuttiness. If you like regular nut brittle chances are you'll love this liquid form (provided, of course, you're ok with it being mixed in with flavours of grapefruit, lemon juice and other citrusy fruits). Even still, with all the toasty breadiness you can just ignore them if you like.

One of the best things about amber ales is that they allow you to enjoy the delicious sweetness of long-boiled malts *as well as* the pithy, pine-y elements of American hops, each keeping the other in check (the malts never becoming too sweet, the hops too bitter) without any need for compromises. For my palate, there may be no style more gratifying.

Think of Prohibition Ale as that perfectly toasted piece of bread or the bed that's covers are tucked in just tightly enough or the soup that's at just the right temperature or the piece of fruit that is almost but not yet overripe... I could go on and on. It is a perfectly balanced recipe that is plenty malty and plenty hoppy and just the right amount of each.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 01:41:35 | More by biegaman
Photo of VicSlick
VicSlick

California

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I will start off with the negative, but there is not much to say EXCEPT.... The beer had a hint of metallic flavor. Not a deal breaker though. Read on.

Appearance is great. Nice a clear caramely color.

Smell is perfect for a high end American Amber.

Taste is great. Much like a Boont Amber ale or insert other sweet amber brand here. Great. Not much hops, perfection of sweet caramely flavor. I wish it had just a cunny hair of more hops in it...

MF. Great. Not too fizzy. Just great!

Overall. Great beer. Maybe my new "old faithful"?

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 03:00:02 | More by VicSlick
Photo of Holland
Holland

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Jupiter Brewing - served in a tumbler.

A: beautiful dark amber/light brown color with a thick head right off the pour. Lacing is sticky, thick and present throughout.

S: malts, wood, and spice round this out. A little sweetness, like a confectionery shop.

T: changes as you drink it. Carmel, spice, malt, bitter hops, some sweet honey like flavor, tons of wood notes, slight citrus, and earthiness.

M: medium body, with a mouth-coating deliciousness during and a crisp, carbonated feeling in the middle.

O: had this in a bottle after, and it's nothing compared to on-tap. This is an incredibly complex beer and not at all what I expected.

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2011 23:51:12 | More by Holland
Photo of mithrascruor
mithrascruor

California

2.45/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber brown with a minimal tan head.

Smell: Unique malty aroma with coriander and cocoa.

Taste: Cocoa powder and caramel. Seriously strange.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation - I think the carbonation reinforces the thought of cocoa powder in my brain, and makes it not so smooth.

Drinkability: Moderate ABV, but strange.

Dunno if I got a bad bottle of this or not. Pretty sure I had this on tap in SF - and it was much different (and better!). Perhaps the strangest beer I've ever tasted.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 01:36:17 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A – Maple amber with a nice red hue. Low off-white head. Low lace.

S – Thin but surprisingly complex. Medium roast malt and hazelnut. Nutmeg. Brown sugar / molasses sweetness.

T – Hazelnut throughout the profile. Sweet toffee, caramel and toast. Soft bitterness in the background.

M – Medium body is thin in the middle. Caramel finish.

O – Nice nutty character.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2011 02:13:48 | More by vfgccp
Photo of sisuspeed
sisuspeed

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Heady Topper pint glass. Huge, fluffy, white head with a clear amber body. Good lacing.

A malty backbone with spicy hops hits the nose. Piny, resiny and a bit earthy. Light caramel sweetness.

Toast and light citrus with a medium hop kick on the tongue. Resiny, medium spiced hops with a touch of caramel.

The body is a bit flat feeling with lower carbonation. Somewhat chewy. Light bitterness towards the finish.

Overall, a decent, slightly above average amber. Goes down pretty easy. Nothing really stands out, but nothing is offensive. The body could use a little more 'pop' to it.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2011 01:30:14 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of abuliarose
abuliarose

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, revealing a ridiculously huge head (taller than half the bottle) over a deep amber body with hints of burnt orange. Smells malty and meaty with hints of roasty milky chocolate and hop.

Tastes sweet and blander than it smells with a very gentle malt presence. Some caramel and vanilla, but mostly sweet and clean on the tongue. Mouthfeel is watery light with a barely-there carbonation that doesn't add much. The alcohol is well masked. Decently drinkable, though I'd like it with a little more substance to the body or something.

Overall a very unoffensive brew, especially if you have a little of a sweet tooth.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2011 01:29:52 | More by abuliarose
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 21:27:44 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of HattedClassic
HattedClassic

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Interesting orange amber colored beer with a brown tint as well as a creamy and tan head that dissipates quickly but lasts a bit afterward on the top.

Smell: Caramel malts dominate the smell with an undertone of pine hops.

Taste: Caramel DOMINATION!!! The smell transfers over to the beer with the malts really dominate the ale with pined hops at the edges.

Mouthfeel: Delicate to no carbonation but the beer feels pretty foamy and creamy, which isn't bad but doesn't quite mes

Overall: I think that this beer is pretty good despite the weird mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 18:33:10 | More by HattedClassic
Photo of rarbring
rarbring

Sweden

3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A clear dark amber beverage, a very off-white, almost tan, head leaving much residues.

Smells of freash bread, red garpe-fruit marmalade and sunny pine needles

The tast is staring very malty, brown bread with brown sugar, the more red grape-fruit, some lime and fresh grass.

Medium high carbonation, a rather simple body, almost watery texture, a light texture.

The beer is nice, but do not feel as if above 6% ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2011 22:40:00 | More by rarbring
Photo of DovaliHops
DovaliHops

California

3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber red with a medium white head that disappears quickly. Scent is caramel with some nice malt aromas. A bit of toastiness with some hops and a bit of brown sugar. Taste is pretty well balanced with some nice malt flavors with just the right amount of hops. Some nice caramel and grainy flavors reign through as well. Mouthfeel is smooth and full bodied with a nice crisp finish. Drinkability is high. Overall, it's a nice beer for it's style (not my favorite style) with nice drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 06:49:32 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of ramseye4
ramseye4

Virginia

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no freshness date, but with an attractive screen printed bottle with some shifty eyes on the neck.

A=Pours an attractive dark red color with a one finger head that rapidly fades, gobs of lacing though.
S=Caramel malt, a bit of grain, and a huge amount of pine resin.
T=Huge pine resin and citrus hops, smooth caramel malt, and a bit of biscuit.
M=Medium body, not as bitter as I expected, a bit weak in the finish
D=Good gracious I could put these down, a very drinkable beer.

I wasn't expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2011 20:52:52 | More by ramseye4
Photo of CuttDeez
CuttDeez

Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A very warm and welcoming deep red and amber color. The head was not large, but the beer did give off some carbination.

S - I did not pick up a strong nose in this pour. What I did catch was some pine and hop. Other than that I caught a little bit of citrus.

T - The beer was warming and well rounded. Hops and malt were present. In termsof fruit I tasted some pear and grape. The sweetness cam from a hint of mollases and caramel. The pine smell brought out some herbal and earthy flavors. I really enjoyed this red ale that was not too sweet and finished very smooth. Complex flavor combinations make this an enjoyable and drinkable beer.

M - Carbination plays at the front of your tounge, there is a great crispness to this beer. The finish is incredibly smooth which brings me to..

D - As you can tell this is a very drinkable beer for many reasons: smoothness, crispness, and not overwhelming alchohol content. I enjoyed this beer and I do not think it gets enough love.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 02:14:35 | More by CuttDeez
Photo of jgasparine
jgasparine

Maryland

3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- a nice dark amber body topped with a nice head, which gave way to a haze layer. Good visible carbonation.

S- The aroma is rich with bucketloads of earthy hops in near-perfect balance with tons of nutty amber malts. No esters... just simple and elegant.

T- The flavor replicates the nose quite well. A good balance of earthy hops and nutty, husky malts throughout, leading to a nice, dry finish.

M- Medium body with low astringency, but unfortunately, too much coarse carbonation.

D- Carbonation issues aside, this beer is quite drinkable almost any season of the year.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 04:54:16 | More by jgasparine
Photo of CanuckRover
CanuckRover

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 19:12:41 | More by CanuckRover
Photo of yisseroff
yisseroff

New York

4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK, here goes... my first review!

A- Poured into my trusty Woodstock Pint glass from the bottle. Pours a deep copper/brown, with a foamy beigeish head that dissipated after a couple of minutes but left some lacing on the side.

S- Wow, a really super-fresh blast of citrus (maybe a hint of lemon?) hops which hit my nose even before I went to get a sniff. After the head went away a little, a lot of toffee came through.

T- I was really impressed by the taste of this beer. Immediately I was hit with rush of that toffee malt flavor which took over my whole mouth. It was shortly intertwined with that citrus that I got from the nose. This citrus-toffee dynamic duo stayed strong and excellent the whole time, making this experience quite enjoyable.

M- Pretty full mouthfeel... almost too full, heavy on the CO2.

D- I dunno how many of these I could handle, thought it was pretty intense. But would be awesome for one or two.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2011 03:14:37 | More by yisseroff
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that never completely faded away and left lacy patterns down the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of citrus and pine resin hops in the nose; the pine resin stands out in particular.
T: As you would expect from the smell, there is a moderate amount of hop bitterness in the taste, which has flavors of caramel, grapefruit and orange. There are also some notes of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is easy to drink and the taste is particularly well balanced as the malty sweetness helps to keep the hop bitterness in check.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 00:47:48 | More by metter98
Photo of nezelrac
nezelrac

New York

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - copper - dark amber; just off-white head; decent retention; minimal lacing

S - bright hoppy aromas - lightly floral, lots of citrus/orange pith; sweet malt; lightly toasty aromas; some biscuit-y aromas as well

T - good hoppiness, more citrus and pine resin; sweet malts backing this up - more biscuit and lightly toasty notes

M - very good CO2; cushy middle and a firmness to the finish

D - highly drinkable; sessionable

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2011 20:58:22 | More by nezelrac
Photo of fastsrt
fastsrt

New York

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

12 ounce bottle in a pint glass.

A: good head, clear, deep amber in color, thick lace after the head dies down a bit.

S: balance of hops and carmel malts,

T: well crafted beer, good balance, malts up front finished with the hops, nothing complex just a well made beer.

M: a bit mellow on the carbonation. but has a nice sharp finish, does not linger around much, but it makes for another sip, these go down quickly. Since I moved to nyc from ohio I miss great lakes conway's and this one is almost as good.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2011 00:08:42 | More by fastsrt
Photo of Swamper
Swamper

California

4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my all time favorite standbys. Great deep raw honey amber color with a fresh hop nose. Crisp hop up front quickly followed by mellow roasted malt which lingers then gives way and leaves a hop legacy on the tounge. Carbonation is right on with an ideal consistency.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 19:09:31 | More by Swamper
Photo of kwjd
kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

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

Had this on tap at some bar next to my hotel in San Francisco. I seemed to see this beer many places in the city, so it appears to be popular. Pours a copper-amber colour with a finger of white head. Nice enough head retention, some lacing down the pint glass. Some mild citrus hops with a lot of caramel malt. At least to me, this is on the verge of being an APA instead of an amber. Really nice.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2010 16:09:35 | More by kwjd
Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
87 out of 100 based on 697 ratings.