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Prohibition Ale - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Prohibition AleProhibition Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

328 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 328
Hads: 896
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 33
Gots: 155 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Prohibition Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 328 | Hads: 896
Photo of KTCamm
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours reddish amber with scant remaining white foam. Some clings around the ring of the glass. Bready nose, slightly nutty. Some vanilla. Taste opens slightly sweet, with a tangy pine hop. Bittering is aggressive, as advertised. Good underlying flavor, but perhaps too aggressive. Back down! (334 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.87/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

22 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a dark reddish-brown color. The head is a two finger heavy cream shade. Retention starts off quickly, then seems to slow down as the bubbles in the head get smaller. Attractive lacing, too.

S: This has a LOT of caramel malt in it, with a slight candied tone thrown in there as well. But the more I whiff it, the more a grassy, lemony hop character comes through. Not bad.

T: Initially, this opens up very caramel-forward. Underlying all the caramel are hints of chocolate, and it finishes with some light Centennial hopping. The flavors here balance out too well - they seem to cancel out the interesting qualities they could have otherwise brought to the table. In other words, a typical amber ale.

M: There's too much sweetness on the palate, and it's too thickly textured. The lack of flavor and unctuous palate feel - combined with the slightly-too-strong carbonation - makes this one really difficult to drink.

O: This is the first offering from Speakeasy I've had, and I'm not impressed. It's the poor drinkability combined with the dreadfully boring nature that kills it for me. Others will like this, I don't - like I said before, a typical amber ale.

It does improve once it warms up, at least. (1,251 characters)

Photo of BryanCarey
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

With a memorable nose of caramel, citrus, and floral notes, Prohibition Ale impresses right from the start. The color of the beer is a deep shade of copper/red, the foam looks nice, and the beer leaves a good amount of lacing as you drink.

The positive qualities continue as you consume. Caramel malt greets the palate first and it is quickly followed by the taste of citrus, toffee, and some resiny hops. Search a little deeper and you discover some nuts, toasted malt, and an overall cleanliness and smoothness that makes it highly quaffable and drinkable.

Amber ales are a highly varied style, but Prohibition Ale seems to have nailed the qualities I expect in an amber ale as well or better than most I have sampled. The beer has a good deal of complexity and yet it still manages to maintain a smoothness that goes down easy. A very nice appearance and other factors combine to make this an amber that I highly recommend. (930 characters)

Photo of Fatehunter
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A finger and half of head on a clear, copper colored body.
The aroma is a malty smell quickly followed by a lemon candy scent.
The taste starts off with moderate sweetness, backed up by a lemon bitterness.
A crisp texture with moderate carbonation and medium body.
Enjoyable. (277 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up at ShopRite last week, having never tried this before. I wasn't sure if this would be like Brooklyn Lager, in the sense that the recipe and feel of this would be a bit more traditional in nature. It certainly had that feel to it even though this was a bit more aggressive in the alcohol department than I expected. As many have alluded to on here, this was nicely well-balanced and a great example of the style, even if it was just a bit darker in body and taste than other American Ambers and Reds that I've had before.

The pour was indeed dark, with an almond hue, good head and nearly-clear appearance. Mostly caramel malt in the nose, followed by a nice, solid hop punch in the taste. Pine, citrus, a bit of lemon zest, and more caramel followed up in the mouthfeel, with the dry hops coming out in the aftertaste. This felt quite earthy in taste and was a lot more stickier and cloying than it first appeared to be. Each sip had to be savored and only when I worked my way through the bottle could I feel how present the alcohol was.

This was strong enough to be an American Amber/Red Ale even though it looked and felt darker than others that I've had before. Most of those were too hoppy but this had balance like a good ESB. Even though the packaging was a bit over the top like the posters for "Gangster Squad", the product on the inside matched up with what appeared on the outside. This is a great beer to go to when something full is called for without being weak or generic. (1,505 characters)

Photo of TheMarkE
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excellent. They call it an amber ale, but there is a boatload of hops in here. They tossed in enough bready malts to make it perfectly balanced, but I would call it a pale ale. The classification is the only quibble I have, however. This is a darn good beer. Complex, balanced, and delicious. (292 characters)

Photo of cyclonece09
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured aggressively from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a nice cloudy amber red color with a nice fluffy off white head. Smells of some dark roasted malt but is greatly dominated by piney hops. Tastes of piney hops and a little malt, but not much, a little more hop bite than normally expected in an amber. Beer is carbonated perfectly and goes down smooth with no real aftertastes, very refreshing. Overall, a very good beer. (443 characters)

Photo of jimilayne
4.81/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap frequently at the Black Horse Pub in Brooklyn.

One of the better beers you'll ever have, in my opinion.

Beautiful rustic red color with a perfect 2 finger head.

Citrusy and hoppy with tastes of caramel and malt. Tastes, well...red. So incredibly drinkable and it packs a punch.

Goes down incredibly smoothly. This is one beer I introduce to people who aren't necessarily "beer people" and it's a continual winner. (424 characters)

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. (795 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1543rd Review on BA
Draft to Pint

Paired with Hawaiian Mahi-Mahi
@BJs Newark, CA

App- The color of rust with a good bit pf murky crimson and reds mixed. Very hazy and thick in the glass. 1/2" of head that left some amazing cling. Webbing all over the place.

Smell- Its a red ale but more sweet and savory. A bit like a cake batter with a touch of sweet and flour. The creamy malts are more upfront.

Taste- I still cant get into reds. Has a nice flavor but the overwhelming malts lacks balance and the small pepper is like a thick Dr. Pepper and needs a bit more balance and less thick.

Mouth- This borders a very thin line between a low body and a fuller medium with a filling medium carbonation. Malts, sweet and pepper are residual flavors.

Drink- I wanted to like it more. Still a red ale. Paired nicely with my fish though. (833 characters)

Photo of albertjr21
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, brew pours a clear body and dull dirty copper color under a dense foam cap. Sweet aroma of lemon citrus comes forward in a friendly hop directed nose. A desirable amount of bitter and lightly sour lemon citrus nicely envelopes a complementary caramel malt body. Toasted biscuit and earthy citrus rind blend into a dry resonating finish. (355 characters)

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

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- Finger width cream-colored head. Nice creamy lacing. Deep auburn color with minimal clarity. Fine looking ale.

S- Caramel malt body, floral hops. Simple but well balanced.

T- Caramel malts and subtle but floral hops. Again, well balanced. Flavorful, bit of a kick, and just all-around above average.

M- Thick, creamy and filling.

O- Quite a well-developed and complete beer. I'm very pleased with it. (464 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy tan head that fades to nothing. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, citrus zest, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a malty finish. There is a medium herbal hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink. (474 characters)

Photo of atr2605
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a deep copper/amber color with an off white foamy head that has good retention and leaves a nice lace around the glass
S-citrus, little bready, hint of caramel
T-hoppy citrus flavor up front followed by a bit of a piney an bread like flavor, and finishes with subtle caramel in the background
M-medium bodied
O-Interesting brew, a little different than many others that i have had in the style. Definitely enjoyed it and will be looking to pick up some others brews from these guys (489 characters)

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. (777 characters)

Photo of TheRealBigC
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap, deep red color with notable clarity and light tan head. Not too impressed with the smell, but it tastes pretty good. Nice fruity flavor along with some hops that give it a pretty pungent punch. However, I found it to feel a little watery compared to how I think it should have felt. Perhaps an issue with the tap? I hope so. Maybe I'll give it a shot next time I see it. (391 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a beautiful clear amber/red pour with 2 fingers of foamy white head. smells of fruits, nuts, caramel, light grassy hops, cereal. tastes sweet, crisp, mildly bitter, and slightly fruity (figs).. very tasty for a red ale.. very crisp, light-medium body with some creamyness and modest carbonation.

overall it's a fantastic red ale. sweet, with a nice bitterness to it as well, and a hint of fruits and nuts. (406 characters)

Photo of Beelzebeer
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle served in tulip, no date on bottle. Approx a year old.

A - Dark toffee colour body, with generous amount of head, which unfortunately didn't stay long. Nice lacing

S - Toffee malt and hops, suprising due to age. Excited to see how this holds up

T - Perfect amount of carbonation, malt toffee, slight slight chocolate, nice hop presence, especially for the age. Nice, rounded balance of buttery caramel malt, and dimished resiny hops. Very pale ale-esque.

M - Perfect. Some weight, but easy to drink. Great beer to have a couple of.

I'm glad I waited a while to have this one. I brought 3 back from NYC a year ago, and it aged quite well. Much better than I had expected. Another sign of a quality brew. Thanks Speakeasy. (734 characters)

Photo of BostonHops
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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 (676 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (621 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
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! (702 characters)

Photo of tlazaroff
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
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! (893 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  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. (460 characters)

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
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 (446 characters)

Photo of david18
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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. (595 characters)

Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
87 out of 100 based on 328 ratings.