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Prohibition Ale - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Prohibition AleProhibition Ale

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

623 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 623
Reviews: 310
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.63%

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
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Ratings: 623 | Reviews: 310 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BostonHops


3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass. [review from notes]

pours a clear, copper/amber tone with just shy of 2 fingers' frothy white/off-white head. average retention; not much lacing to speak of.

nose is primarily malt-forwar: caramel and toasty. notes of hops also evident, although more muted... touch of fruit esters in the background. decent balance between malts and hops in the flavor; an initial sweetness is offset by a relatively dry finish. solid brew, although nothing earth-shaking.

mouthfeel is OK: medium-bodied, medium carbonation, maybe a bit watery... nothing to write home about but decent enough. good drinkability.

original review on: 09-27-2010

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2012 22:19:27 | More by BostonHops
Photo of DrDemento456


3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Man this is the darkest head I ever got on an amber/red ale. Pour did result in some sediment in the glass but not very noticeable. Color is that of an red amber, clear.

S - The caramel malt is pretty nice in this but it does have some depth with some bittering hops and roasted nuts.

T - Drinks kind of like a pale ale with some hops and malts. I really did the roasted aspect in this complimenting the caramel malts.

M - Light to medium went down rather easy.

Overall it's a shame this isn't local but also that I didn't drink this sooner. Been sitting in my fridge for about a month or two. Great overall beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2012 18:57:54 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in pint glass.

Appearance: Straight amber, a white head is roughly 1/4" if that coming off the body.

Smell: You sniff, then you smell, then you inhale....it is alike breathing in a meal with yeasts, malts and barley. Pretty sticky.

Taste: Malts and barley very very impressing. Comes off sweet with a notch bitterness.

Mouth: Medium carbonation, smoother than butter melting off a pancake. Very complex, even pairing it with sharp cheddar I am overwhelmed.

Overall: This in my honest opinion is some pretty damn good beer. It has properties in everything you would ask for and truly met beyond my expectations. For about six bucks and change this beer is a blessing in disguise. Salud!

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2012 21:49:22 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of tlazaroff


4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The aroma brings on a killer hop presence of lemongrass, lemon and lime citrus, and a nice sweet biscuit and light carmel note from the malt. What a great smelling beer!

Beautiful gradient on Prohibition Ale from light to dark orange with great amber highlights. The head was a light tan color HUGE! This beer looks highly carbonated. Note: I can't stop smelling it! Note 2: Beware the yeast in the bottle!

Surprising taste! The hops are subdued and the malt comes forward as kind of like toasted almonds dipped in caramel and chilled on top of white-chocolate covered toffee. Hops in flavor come across as a more herbal component. This beer is a mind-screw, and I love it!

This beer is quite smooth with moderate-low carbonation. The head had me thinking it was highly carbonated. Quite drinkable, almost sessionable.. almost. A nice high-quality beer though, I am happy I bought a 6-pack!

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 01:05:28 | More by tlazaroff
Photo of mactrail


3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coppery amber in the tall chalice. The taste is a surprise-- there's so much of it. Best feature is the rich nutty taste, like browned hazelnuts. The hops are big and aromatic, and play nicely with they malt. Kind of a Pilsener sharp, hoppy flavor with a rich dose of that nutty malt.

Fairly coarse carbonation. Watery body. Lots of hops and a bitter aftertaste. Big pleasant quaff and a flavor-filled mouthful. 22 oz bottle from Mega Liquors in Hemet, Calif.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 07:11:36 | More by mactrail
Photo of BigPlay1824

New York

4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass
A: pours a perfectly clear beautiful amber color with a two finger head that is creamy and light tan in color, leaves spotty and thin lacing
S: nice hoppiness and also a nice depth with slight woody notes
T: great taste, perfect for the style, smooth and slightly woody with caramel notes at the end
M: gentle carbonation, thin and smooth, leaves the mouth slightly dry
O: loved it and found it to be spot on for the style

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 01:06:45 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of david18

New York

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my review of the bottle a while back:

I'm such a big fan of the Big Daddy and Double Daddy IPA and Double IPA's respectively. American Ambers and Red ale are hard to be crazy about and this one is no different. However, there's definitely nothing wrong with it and it has a great red color. Aroma and flavor are decent with good maltiness but nothing overwhelming. At 6.1 Alcohol by volume, it's almost a session beer and a good one for the winter.


I actually enjoyed the draft a lot better (of enjoyed it more this time around). A very good amber ale that's quite easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2012 20:14:24 | More by david18
Photo of bbb099


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy brownish amber color with foamy egg-colored head. Moderate amount of lacing and decent retention.

S - Nutty caramel malt aroma. Hints of spices present.

T - Strong toffee and nutty flavors coming from the malt, tastes almost like a dark beer. Only a small amount of hops if any.

M - Good amount of carbonation, medium to full bodied.

O - Good and enjoyable beer to drink for a copious amount. But it does not steer away much from the average amber, which can be a minus to some.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 21:40:06 | More by bbb099
Photo of kojevergas


2.48/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Served on-draught into a plastic cup at Speakeasy's decrepit warehouse - I mean brewpub. Reviewed from notes. Why does a brewery see fit to serve their beer into plastic cups? I may never know.

A: Pours a one finger head of fair cream and thickness, and okay retention. Colour is a dark copper.

Sm: Amber hops and other bittering hops. Perhaps too many hops for the balance? A decent aroma.

T: Amber hops and weak cream - that's it. It's simple garbage. Imbalanced and weak.

Mf: Smooth and wet. It suits the flavour okay, I guess. No real depth, layering, or complexity. It doesn't seem as though they tailored the texture to the taste at all.

Dr: Drinkable but low quality, and expensive at that. I wouldn't try it again if I had to pay for it. A disappointment from Speakeasy. As a side note, beer probably did taste this crappy during prohibition due to limited brewing methods.

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2011 21:13:49 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Kendo

New York

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the botlle into a Sam Smith's nonic-style pint glass. Body is clear reddish-amber with a half-finger off-white head that settles to a bubbly film. Some splotchy lace.

S: Good nose for a red/amber ale - caramel malt/toffee is prevalent, but there's just a touch of citrusy hops as well. Faint bit of earthiness too.

T: Very nice. Clean. Balanced. Good amber/red traits: strong caramel malt foundation, with some toastiness as well, but there's a good amount of citrusy, tropical fruit-like hoppiness. Finishes with a lingering bitterness.

M: Medium in heft, body is wisely lighter than it could have been given what seems to be a fairly large malt profile. Where some bigger amber/reds can become slick and heavy, this one remains on the lighter side, enhancing its drinkability. Carbonation is modest; it could use a touch of fine prickliness, but all in all the mouthfeel is a plus.

O: Good stuff. Not a standout, amazing beer in any single category, but overall, this one's well done.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 01:49:10 | More by Kendo
Photo of BilbosNuts


3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nice garnet and dark copper color. A good sized white head billows up from the bottom and slowly fades to a ring around the top. It looks very still with limited carbonation.

S: This is definitely on the maltier side as far as amber ales go. There are lots of bready and toasted malts with a slight hop profile in the background.

T: The taste is similar to the aroma, but I picked up on a sweet caramel malt flavor that I didn't notice in the nose. The bready and toasted malts are still there along with the limited hop flavors.

M: The feel is pretty much average for an amber. It is medium bodied, and very still. If feels sort of watery and could use a little more character in this aspect.

O: This is a solid amber, one that I revisit from time to time. I enjoy a good amber ale every now and then, and this one fits the bill just fine.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 02:27:40 | More by BilbosNuts
Photo of Neorebel

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Observed to be a deep, hazy saddle color with noticeable sediment. very minimal head and minimal carbonation as well. I got this beer in a pizza shop in PA so I am speculating that perhaps it has been on the shelf quite a while. it had a raisin and fig aroma not unlike a bock beer. i thought this would be hoppier. Upon tasting, there were additional tart and floral undertones. It was very malty. I wonder if the hops faded due to age... Still a good beer, just not what I expected.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 17:57:05 | More by Neorebel
Photo of devinoconnor

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After reading all the wonderful reviews, and with a business trip to San Francisco planned, I was really looking forward to trying this out. It was good, but a little bit let down.

Pours a dark brown color with some orange tones. Smell is well-balanced in its hops, malts and barley.

The hops provide a little bit of a citrus taste and the malt balances it into a smooth, easy-drinking ale that comes with a surprising 6+% ABV.

Nice ale... just overrated in my very humble opinion.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 21:53:35 | More by devinoconnor
Photo of KomodoDragon


3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
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


3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
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


2.63/5  rDev -32%
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

New York

3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
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

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
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


3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
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


4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
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


2.45/5  rDev -36.7%
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

New York

3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
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

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
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

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
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


3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
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
Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
87 out of 100 based on 623 ratings.