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Prohibition Ale - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Prohibition AleProhibition Ale

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

690 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 690
Reviews: 313
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 26
Gots: 33 | 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: 690 | Reviews: 313 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of rpstevens

New Hampshire

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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

The appearance is a hazy amber/bordering on red. There is a thin white head that dissipates quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

The smell is a nice balance of caramel malt and citrus hops, but both smells are pretty subdued.

The taste is much like the smell but a bolder. The taste starts with a mild caramel maltiness and then finishes with a nice grapefruit hoppiness.

The mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing and the finish is dry, much like an ipa. The beer is very drinkable, I could have an entire six pack without getting sick of it, but it's not necessarily something I will seek out in the future.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2009 01:44:22 | More by rpstevens
Photo of u2carew


3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A) Amber in color. Visible carbonation poured with a thin head then settles to lacing along the edge. Not completely transparent.
S) Malt sweetness with floral hop undertones. More definitive - caramel, just a touch of milk chocolate, vanilla?
T) Light sweetness. Just a touch of hoppiness - barely noticeable. Not much flavor, somewhat bland.
M) Feels thin, light, fluffy - medium body? Creamy feel from the CO2.
D) Not very impressed with this brew. The mouth feel throws it off a bit.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2009 01:09:41 | More by u2carew
Photo of berkey


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

Just picked up a Speakeasy pint glass the other day thought I'd break it in with my favorite Speakeasy brew.

Pours a deep but clean ruby amber color with a large head that dies down fairly quickly but the half inch or so that remains has excellent retention. Lacing is beautiful. Really a great looking ale.

Aroma is malty and sweet with caramel and traces of toffee and yeast. Bitter hops are a major player which isn't always the case with this style.

Initial flavors are of more malt in the form of caramel sweetness and fresh bread. Hops are still a big part of the picture and are more pungent than the nose would have you guess. Also some interesting roastiness here. The only drawbacks are a faint soapiness in the aftertaste and although the hops are pleasant they're a tad one dimensional. I'm curious how great this could be if they used a blend of several differnt hops. Still very good overall though. Easy drinking beer even with moderate hopping. Enough malt to keep things in balance.

Overall a beer I've been neglecting for awhile and I'm glad to get back to it. Not perfect but very well put together and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2009 05:40:03 | More by berkey
Photo of psurandy


3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass with a creamy tan head and caramel red body. The head is very creamy on this one. I can see the retention on the glass as I near the bottom and there is still a creamy little layer insulating the beer. Smell is okay, not a lot of hops in the nose, but a biscuity malt presence is evident. Good taste with malt outshining the hops. Nice biscuit malt slightly apple and pear flavor. Pleasant little hop bitterness in the end with a wonderful, creamy mouthfeel to finish things out. Very drinkable and I'd imagine this would appeal to a wide audience. I was expecting more hops with this, but I'm not sure if maybe this bottle wasn't on the shelf and the hops have faded a bit. No freshness date so I don't know when it was actually brewed. I like the beer as is, but is not nearly as hoppy as some of the others in this category.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 23:03:52 | More by psurandy
Photo of stewart124


4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark copper color with a decent white head that I'll bet leaves some lace.
The smell is earthy with a pine and citrus aroma. Bits of toasted malts present.

The taste is very smooth with moderate carbonation and a nice piney bite but not overpowering. Very pleasant biscuity notes and good blend of caramel. The taste is very refreshing and hits all over my palate. Nice amount of esters and a clean taste. I pick up a little pear and the sourness of something close to granny smith apples. It dries out my mouth like a granny smith apple that's for sure.

Finishes dry with a very pleasing aftertaste of pine. Quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 01:33:29 | More by stewart124
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle bought from McHughs, Dublin..

Poured a deep amber red colour. Light mocha head poured fairly thick and foamy with a frothy topping then faded quite quickly to wispy covering with thick edging that climbs up the glass... no real carbonation... some decent lacing lines...

Aroma - Quite nutty, lots of grassy and piney hops, sweet caramel and biscuit malts, quite bready, some over ripe fruits (apples, some pears, the faintest hint of grapefruit), light molasses, floral notes...

Taste pretty much mirrors the aroma - piney and citrus hops backed by caramel malts and biscuity notes, very bready too, some chocolate and light coffee, some vegetal traces and light graininess...

M&D - Quite sharp and dry... light / medium bodied... Just about sessionable at 6.10%..

Overall - A decent enough Amber ale - not something i'd rush back to but certainly worth a try...

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 11:02:20 | More by mdagnew
Photo of BARFLYB


3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single bottle into a Flyers pint glass.

A- A deep orange/red spread with an amber appearence. With a slow ride the liquid produced 3 fingas of beige bubbles, quite condensed, quite beautiful. Significant lacing with a soapy look.

S- Very hopped with a pungent nose. A west coast vibed citrus scent with grapefruit and some pine needles. Caramel malt is also a good contender with the hop blast. Could of fooled me for an IPA.

T- Got a mix of malts and hops initially giving off a bready taste, but soon after the hops came forth and won the battle. Not as bitter as the nose would lead you but nicely hop forward. Bisquit from the malt, citrus from the hops, with some grains. Slightly bitter and welcomed.

M- I like this as the bitterness reaches just high enough to remind me of an ipa while the malts kick in. Medium bodied with a tad to much carb. At times the bready malts could be overkill.

D- I enjoyed it and would buy this low abv brew again. The smell was great while the taste was not quite was I expected. I look forward to more from this brewery

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 03:46:48 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of RunDWP


4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Lots of good stuff going on in this one. Pours a reddiish-brown, with a firm tan head and good lace work on the glass. Light floral aroma. Where this beer shines is the great blend of slightly caramel malt, a little sweetness, with citrus and floral hops. A bit hoppy for the style, but really liked the fresh, rich, and complex flavor they've hear. Slightly creamy mouthfeel, and very smooth, drinkable, and flavorable session beer. I've been a fan of Speakeasy Brews, and so far, this is one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 03:43:22 | More by RunDWP
Photo of indiapaleale


4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful dark amber with about an inch of stark white foam. Nice looking pour.

Smell is caramel, fresh hops and powdered sugar. Sounds like a weird combo but it really comes together nicely.

Taste is pretty much perfect (IMO) for an American Amber. Its got a considerable hop presence but is very, very well balanced by the malt. I love the taste of this beer and find it to be a great session ale even at 6.1%.

Great release from Speakeasy, I am really digging their beers lately.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 19:37:42 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of matty


3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy amber beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is pine needles.Taste is bready,pine and a smidge of caramel.Another potentially good beer ruined by those disgusting hops.This is nothing special and something I wouldn't recommend nor purchase in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 05:48:05 | More by matty
Photo of albern


4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very fine, well balanced amber ale. It pours a nice amber color with lots of efforvesence, an off white creamy head, some lacing, and lots of retention. The beer has a nice caramelly and leafy hop aroma in the nose. There is a pronounced piney hop smell to the beer right out of the bottle, and it settles into more earthy notes with lots of biscuity malts backing it up.

The taste won't disappoint. This is a medium bodied, very creamy, very well balanced beer. There is a bold caramel and biscuity malt backbone with some florals present. The malts blend very nicely with the earthy hops. This is a slighly drying beer in the finish with lots of punch up front. There might be a touch of toffee in the beer along with the pale malts, a very creamy, caramelly and well balanced amber ale. Well work seeking out. L'Chaim.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2009 22:02:27 | More by albern
Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
87 out of 100 based on 690 ratings.