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Prohibition Ale - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Prohibition AleProhibition Ale

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

701 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 701
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
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Ratings: 701 | Reviews: 313 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

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

On tap at The Bull & Castle, Dublin, Ireland.

Pours hazy dark amber-brown with creamy long pure white head that leaves windows of lace. Fresh hop nose: orange branch and skunk. Burnt sugar and apricot jam malts with resiny orange hard candy hops and a touch of mint. Sticky, oily, medium to thick feel that builds over time. No burn.

Hop soup! Reminds me of SN Wet Hop. Unfortunately, cloys severely. A one pint only job.

Glad to see good US beers making it on tap in Ireland.

Serving type: on-tap

01-26-2010 22:09:27 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of Otterburn

Quebec (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearence: dark amber color
not much head. not totally clear filtred, but light pass. minimum lacing

smell: Hops,caramel

TASTE: Tasty,hoppy, malty, taste is strong but well balanced.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, nice texture,feel

Drinkability good

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2010 17:32:42 | More by Otterburn
Photo of largadeer


4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber in color, dark but beautifully clear, topped by an off-white head that retains at a half-inch cap for the duration of my glass.

The aroma is leafy, floral, faintly herbal - the hop character strikes me as a mix of noble and Northwestern varieties. Hard swirling brings out a touch of toasted malt, pine and a hint of caramel. The balance is right where I like it for amber ales; hop-forward and dry with a solid but understated malt foundation.

The taste lives up to the aroma, opening with an assertive but balanced hop flavor. Leafy, earthy, faintly floral hops support more subtle malt flavors of biscuit and caramel. There's a touch of sweetness mid-palate, but this is dry on the whole, and impressively balanced - it's flavorful in a rounded, nuanced way, with no single characteristic dominating the palate. Toast and a hint of coffee come out in the finish before the hops take over again, leading into a mild and pleasantly bitter finish.

It took me a while to get around to trying this, a few years in fact, but I'm glad I did. This is one of the better West Coast amber ales I can recall having.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 03:49:07 | More by largadeer
Photo of JordonHoltzman

New York

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Prohibition ale pours a ruby red color with a thin off-white head. not too much lacing.
a malty aroma, strong caramel with some floral notes.
what an interesting, but great taste! taste like breakfast hashbrowns and maple syrup. weird combination, but i definitely enjoy it.
excellent mouthfeel, great carbonation.
overall this was a great celebration of the prohibition period.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2010 17:32:18 | More by JordonHoltzman
Photo of Amalak

New York

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle. It has a brown-red color and is somewhat opaque. Great foamy head and lacing. Some bubbles. It has a slightly fruity, bitter scent.

The fruit must be a blueberry, b/c I'm kind of getting that. Some what vegetable sourness as well. Smooth, yet has a bite.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2010 22:46:09 | More by Amalak
Photo of fbs004


4.88/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The price of 12 bucks a 6 pack is perhaps the only drawback from this phenomenal beer. It has complex flavors, and is well hopped and malted to create a brew that is not too sweet or spiced like a trippel and not overwhelmingly hopped as to take away from the malt. A must try.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2009 17:16:27 | More by fbs004
Photo of PartyBear

United Kingdom (England)

3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It pours a deep amber colour, with a fast fading foamy off-white head, and very little carbonation. There is a bittersweet hoppiness on the nose with a noticeable hit of yeast, and a sticky toffee aroma. The hop flavours hit you initially in the taste but they are quickly softened by a sweet caramel and rich maltiness, which creates nicely balanced flavours with a a slightly clingy finish. Overall a nice beer, nothing breathtaking but a solid ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 13:00:42 | More by PartyBear
Photo of plaid75

New York

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

Poured a medium amber hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and good lacing.

The smell featured a light citric hop and a soft round malt.

The taste consisted of an initial citrus hop followed by a lightly sweet bready malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a fine, well balanced ale.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2009 17:50:27 | More by plaid75
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice, fresh and hoppy draft choice.

Presentation: 16 Oz. draft offering. Menu and chalk board offers no other info than the name of the brew. Served in a pint shaker glass.

A - Medium to deep amber pour with dark copper highlights. Short but nice head (pint served almost to the rim leaving little room for foam) that leaves a nice lace through the glass.

S - Resiny feel and citrus freshness.

T - Nice hop resins, grapefruit and a gentle but not too present malt backbone doing enough to hold the brew but not making itself felt much.

M - Crisp finish and medium bodied with good carbonation

D - Very drinkable and stimulating.

Notes: Maybe not spectacular but a very pleasant draft surprise from Speakeasy. Far more successful than the rest of the brews I´ve tried from them, nicely hopped and very quaffable.

Serving type: on-tap

10-31-2009 00:06:36 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

4.63/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the far reaches of the West Coast comes this beer from Speakeasy, now available in New York on draft and in bottles. Sample from S.K.I. Beer Corp, the distributor for the area.

Served at between fridge and cellar temperature inn a SABL glass.

Appearance- Noting the light yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle, I choose to swirl in its goodness to provide maximum taste and texture. It pours a fiery reddish amber, supporting a terrific two-finger topper that has amazing structure. After several minutes, the head is merengue as it pops and hisses away ever so slowly. There is plenty of lacing draping itself inside the glass... eye candy.

Smell- Juicy, sweet honeyed grapefruit with a focus on the malt backbone... it's so balanced I can't even believe it. More citrus than pine, the lush hop profile teases the senses. Absolutely phenomenal nose.

Taste- Firm, big flavors of luscious malts and bittering hops that envelope the whole tongue. There's a rich, caramel character that perfectly balances the finish, which offers a gooey, lasting bitterness. Astoundingly rich in flavor and balance.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick and easy, the modest carbonation gives way to a smooth finish down the throat. The tasting ends with a giant hop sneeze, the sign of a sure win. Delicious and thankfully now available in NY, this is very highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2009 02:32:26 | More by yelterdow
Photo of froghop


3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a hazy brown-orange with a small light beige head, and good lacing.

smell is of malt, spice, and some caramel.

taste is smooth, some sour malt, some caramel, spice, and hops in the back, ends a little dry.

overall a very nice amber ale, well done.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 23:10:54 | More by froghop
Photo of flexabull


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

Pours a dark amber color with a pretty nice white head.

Aromas are very malty, some cereal grains, a littel sweetness, and some mineral like hops.

Taste is clean, crisp, and with a grainy and gritty maltiness. There is a light sweetness, a bit tea like, with a subtle light apple flavor. Finish is crisp and a little dry with a balancing mineral hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good, pretty full, with nice carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. This is a pretty solid amber ale. Tasty, drinkable, and not heavy at all.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 04:22:44 | More by flexabull
Photo of capra12

New York

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed @ The Gingerman on 9/1/09.

Appearance: Light mohagundy with little head.

Smell: Piney Hops

Taste: Opens with a quicky and brief citrus hop, piney and bittering hops come in and stay till way after the finish, leaving a hoppy but enjoyable aftertaste. Just before the finish there is a slight mintyness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated and a bit dry.

Drinkability: I would definitely have this again and is definitely worth a try. Speakeasy has yet to disappoint.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2009 02:49:40 | More by capra12
Photo of kshankar

District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a rich copper/red with a tan head, good retention. Recedes to a layer of film at the top.

Aroma is caramel malts with a pretty good hop profile.

Taste is like the aroma. The balance between the caramel malts and the hops is very well done. Starts out with the caramel malts and finishes off with the hops. Great transition.

Mouthfeel is pretty good...a nice semi-thick body going for it.

Drinkability is good as well. Recommended

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2009 05:37:30 | More by kshankar
Photo of Proteus93


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

A: Pours a beautiful brownish copper, with an offwhite head exhibiting some khaki notes. A very soft layer of head remains over the beer until the end, with loads of sticky lace

S: Quite malty with an assertive hop balance - biscuit, cracker, caramel, and a pine dominated hop aroma, though there is a pleasant citrus touch to it... smooth, rather than giving it an edge, which makes for an inviting brew

T + M + D: Caramel, rather biscuity. Citrus zest and soeme resinous pine hop, like the aroma. The balance of this beer is particularly remarkable... it's not often that a brew has the kind of harmony that this does. Complemented by a rich body - it's a lot fuller than I may have expected it would be - it's a very solid, well brewed beer. This has served as a gateway to the brewery, and leaves me looking forward to try other offerings. Nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 23:02:23 | More by Proteus93
Photo of argock


4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased as 6-pack at Market Street Wine Shop (Charlottesville, VA) for $9.99.

A: Inviting dark blood amber with bubbly 1-2 finger light beige head with average retention but beautiful lace formations all the way down the glass.

S: The aroma is one of the best in the business and by far my favorite for ambers (Nugget Nectar is best but we'll call it imperial and leave it at that). Heavy hops aromas which run the gamut from lemon, orange, grapefruit, pine, spicy, leafy, and tropical fruit dominate as the caramel malt backbone sneaks through to remind you that it's there.

T: The flavor is good, but not as full and not as much of a punch as you'd hope from the nose. Surprisingly, floral and spicy hops varieties are most impressive with some grapefruit and pine hops flavors in there too. The caramel maltiness is more forceful but is a little too sugary sweet rather than lending body and substance. The aftertaste is pretty malty but with spicy hops cutting it sharply.

M: The mouthfeel is not bad but not a world-beater as it is not as substantive as you would like, and the carbonation is far too active for the style and level of hoppiness.

D: A very good amber with tons of hops aroma and flavor with a raw, unfettered graininess that is truly unique for the style. I can think of a handful of ambers I like better (Lagunitas Lucky 13, Rogue Dry-Hopped Red, Humboldt Red Nectar), but Prohibition Ale is nothing to dismiss -- it's a very good brew. If I could homebrew this well, I would be a very happy man as Speakeasy has done a really nice job with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2009 03:18:28 | More by argock
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very interesting beer which has a lot going on. It is something of a malt bomb, and is very cereal-y but not necessarily in an unpleasant way. There's tons of malt and cereal notes in both the aroma and flavor up front. But it's also a tad grain-y and over-the-top with the maltiness. Aroma has some nice hoppiness too...it's just a little unbalanced in the way of the malt. The more I drank the more sort of off the malt notes seemed to me...a touch sour and weird. The good news is that the later I got and the warmer the beer got, the more assertive the hoppiness became.

Appearance was a hazy brown with nice head.

So, I was impressed by the complexity of this beer. But the end of the day, I just didn't enjoy it all that much. And isn't that what drinking beer is all about?

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2009 18:12:58 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of jkrich


4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date.

Poured into a shaker pint glass. This poured a hazy, amber red with slight gold highlights. The off-white, creamy head maintained an impressive quarter inch for a few minutes before settling leaving beautiful, intricate lacing.

The first aroma was a sweet, slight syrup aroma. After the pour settled a solid piney hop aroma came forth and dominated.

The initial taste is somewhat sweet with a noticeable nutty flavor that quickly gives way to hoppy bitterness. This was an interesting combination of flavors, but it works.

Good solid creamy mouthfeel and medium bodied with adequate carbonation.

A hoppy interpretation of an amber ale. You really don't know what you will get with this style. The west coast style ambers emphasize hops while the midwest (Bell's amber) emphasizes the malt. Both have their merits.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2009 22:50:42 | More by jkrich
Photo of sophisticated


3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a huge amber fan, but was wooed by the very cool bottle/design of this one.

A) Nice caramel-amber color with half-finger of foam. Disappeared quickly.

S) Malt-heavy. Sugar, dark fruits, caramel. But it did have an edge of piney-hops.

T) Hops came out more to me in the taste than the smell. Still malts-dominant. Sweetness, some bread, a bit fruity, and the alcohol taste came out after a bit.

MF) Medium-bodied

D) Pretty good. Refreshing and tasty, but a bit more malty than I prefer in a brew.

Not bad, glad I gave it a shot.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 23:20:39 | More by sophisticated
Photo of beerslushy


4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on-tap in an imperial pint glass. Beautiful cloudy, reddish-brown color. Plenty of malt flavor but well balanced by the hops. Reminded me of a "hopped-up" version of an english bitter. Went down very smooth and easy. You can certainly feel the 6.1% ABV by the third pint. Excellent stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2009 15:00:42 | More by beerslushy
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft. Pours a cloudy brown with a small head. Aroma of sweet, indistinct malt. Aroma of sharp malt initially with some bitter hops. Crisp but very malty. Just ok for me. On an interesting side note, I had a 1 year old bottle of this recently and it tasted very similar to the fresh, draft version despite this being a style that doesn't hold up well over time. Probably because it is so malt forward. Anyway, malty and decent.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2009 18:17:20 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of alleykatking


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle.

A- Pours a nice hazy dark amber color. Good off white 1 finger head that melts away after about a minute leaving lacing that slides down the sides of the glass into the beer.

S- Upon first sniff I was suprised to be caught up in a bitter hop frenzy. The piney hop smell gives way to a nice and simple bready malt smell. The hops quickly cover the malts back up but a slight metal smell also arises when the ale is swirled in the glass.

T- Nice clean bitter hop upfront. A light bitter would be more like it. Then follows a toasted malt flavor nothing too big but a slight balance with the hops. Speakeasy has this rubbing alcohol taste I pick up with all their beers and this one is no different. The only real difference is this is in the middle with the malts and it hides itself well there. It would come out a little more except that the ending of this beer has a good hop bite draining into a bready malt going down the hatch. As the beer warms up I notice the alcohol taste becomes greater and more pronounced.

M- This is a crisp light-medium light mouthfeel. The carbination is a little much for this beer and makes the beer fizz over the palate. The hops leave a small coating of resin over the tounge along with some faint tastes of malts. Overall the mouthfeel is a little off but still good in the same sence.

D- Although ambers are really not my thing this has to be the best offering from Speakeasy in my opinion. This is much more enjoyable than a lot of other ambers I have had and if given the chance I would have one again...but only is it was bought for me. And I would drink it a little more fast than I did with this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2009 03:10:20 | More by alleykatking
Photo of strengthdoc


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours with a hazy amber color. The aroma is of lighly roasted malt. The first taste is a combination of sweet honey that gives way to a mild grapefruit taste as it passes over the back of the tongue. There is a moderate bitterness in the finish and aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2009 05:13:09 | More by strengthdoc
Photo of SykDoc


4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a small glass from the hotel. It pours a nice amber color with a short lived 1/2 inch head that quickly reduced to lacing around the edges. No carbonation or sediment is visible.

The aroma include a nice mixture of toffee/caramel sweetness and a piney/orange hop component that was well balanced.

The taste was very well balanced with a blend of caramel malts and citrusy hops. Very nice to my palate.

The mouthfeel was a bit too carbonated for me and took away from the taste. It is medium bodied with a crisp finish that lingers.

Overall, this ia good beer with a nice hop/malt balance that makes it quite drinkable but it is definitely hindered by the mouthfeel. Still very good and worth having.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2009 00:05:21 | More by SykDoc
Photo of Hibernator


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

Speakeasy Prohibition Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a light amber brown with a copper tint. Almost reddish in appearance with a nice fluffy head on top.

The nose gives a little bit of everything - from a malty and hoppy profile to a funky dairy twang.

The malt backbone is the first thing that strikes me about this beer. Strong flavors of brown sugar and rich caramel maltiness. The hop snap on the finish is significant to evoke a citrus and piney flavor combo.

With some sips I get a slight sour milk thing going on, other sips strike a nice malty brew with a solid hop bite.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2009 02:50:41 | More by Hibernator
Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
87 out of 100 based on 701 ratings.