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Prohibition Ale - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Prohibition AleProhibition Ale

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

768 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 768
Reviews: 319
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 28
Gots: 64 | 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: 768 | Reviews: 319 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jayfarley3
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass pours a cloudy amber color with a nice tan head. smells of caramel, malt and hops. the first thing i taste is sweet caramel malts with a nice amount of hoppy bitterness, this is a very tasty beer. this beer is medium-bodied and really smooth. this beer is very drinkable.

jayfarley3, Aug 24, 2007
Photo of Lexx
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at a Big Ten liquor store in East Lansing, MI.
This beer pours a transparent orangey copper color, quite nice looking. Nice-looking eggshell head that dissipates quickly to a rim and tightly-centered veil. Pretty decent lacing.
This smells a little like a barn, with some wheaty and grassy notes. It also has a nice, sweet-smelling maltiness to it and a hint of plum.
The taste is quite earthy, with a bit of metal and a grassy, slightly hoppy finish. There's a light bit of malt to it, too, though the fruit in the scent is pretty much lost in the taste.
Overall, however, it's pretty enjoyable.

Lexx, Aug 08, 2007
Photo of Viggo
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Lexx to picking this up in Michigan!

Pours a clear orange/amber, very brilliant, thick off white head forms, leaves lots of lacing, great retention, thick layer. Smell is sweet malts, caramelized sugar, citrus, very nice floral hops, dark fruits as well, nicely done. Taste is sweet and grainy, bready malt, citrus, floral and light fruits, bit peppery in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation. Very smooth, light and easy to drink, very sessionable! Actually just saw that this is over 6%, wouldn't have thought its more than 5%, nice done. Reminds me of St. Rogue Red quite a bit. Thanks Alexa!

Viggo, Aug 08, 2007
Photo of canucklehead
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Kind of weird find in the Winnipeg liqour store but I love small brewers beer showing up like this. The beer is dark gold with a hoppy nose( more pale ale than amber). The main body is fruity and hoppy with a nice solid finish ( The example I drank could have been fresher). I prefer the amber ales to show more malt but this is a decent hoppy version of the style.

canucklehead, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of pieper
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my first review -- so keep that in mind por favor. FYI: my opinion of average (3.0) is how a 'good' beer should taste & I don't read other reviews prior to posting my own. Additionally, I have a poor sense of smell so until I fine tune that sense, all beers I review receive a 3 for their smell.

This is also my first time trying the Prohibition Ale.

First off, I think it is a very pleasing beer in a glass - appearance is quite nice. As to taste, there is a good balance between the malt and hop flavors. Not too sweet and not bitter. I am not sure the type of hops, but right after consumption, there is a nice hop after taste.


pieper, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of montageman
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Cloudy amber with a decent amount of carbonation and a nice sturdy head that leaves a ton of lacing on the surface and the sides of the glass. Decent looking - nothing spectacular.

S: Oddly, the dominant smell reminds me of warm salty pretzels. There is a slight grassy character and some roasted notes, but the bread-like pretzel aroma is most evident.

T: Very clean, almost cleaning product like. There is a slight bitter, soapy character, which I don't mind for some reason. There is a slight sugary sweetness as well and a dry, floral finish.

M: Nice creaminess that is accentuated by the carbonation. The dryness fits well within the body of the beer.

D: A fairly average amber ale. Easy to drink, but nothing worth going wild over. Recommended for those who enjoy the style.

montageman, May 15, 2007
Photo of jcdiflorio
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz brown bottle with a crimped on cap. Cool looking bottle silk screened painted label with a pair of eyes floating on the bottle. Brought over by larrydp for reviewing purposes.

Very cloudy,coppery color red/orange hue.Light tan to an off-white head,fair retention leaving a sudsy coating atop. Good amount of carbination leaving sparse lacing.

Grassy/straw aromas at first wiff,very earthy, a big malty nose with rich carmell,very toasty,also nutty with toffee aromas. A good clean pleasing aroma overall.

Sweet carmell malts,very earthy,with a dry grassy feel. Complex maltiness nutty/toffee with a slight burnt edge to it.Finshes with a citrus rind bite almost grapefruit like.

Medium body,tangy and slightly cloying with a juicy feel. Just a bit above average amber,don't think i would want to drink all night,but could drink a few no problem. Good Amber style beer worth a try

jcdiflorio, May 04, 2007
Photo of Gavage
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a reddish copper color with a two finger head that lasts a while. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: caramel, ripe fruits, and a bit of bitterness are detectable by the nose.

Taste: caramel, plum and apple sweetness, bready maltiness, and a decent amount of hop bitterness. Overall a decent session amber ale.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smoother at the finish. Medium bodied. Short aftertaste as the breadiness and hops linger for a bit.

Drinkability: decent session ale here. Not an overwhelmingly exciting beer, but one of the better ones I have had from this brewery.

Gavage, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of erikjon
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll start by admitting I bought this beer for the marketing gimmick... the idea of the prohibition/speakeasy clubs/bootlegging is an appealing subject to build a brewery around. The beer brewed a beautiful amber red color with a nice thick head, and the aroma of the hops was quite intoxicating in and of itself. It had a very strong hoppy smell, like no other amber ale I've had. It reminded me of a pale ale, or even an IPA. This was a pleasant surprise, I guess you could say. The taste was decent, but nothing spectacular. A very crisp, hoppy ale with little body. This was disappointing because the bottle claimed "A boldly hopped amber ale that strikes a perfect balance between caramel maltiness and its aggressive hopping." I definitely taste the maltiness, but it is anything but balanced (overpowered?) with the hoppiness. The lacing was nice and the beer finished well. If you are looking for an amber ale that drinks more like a mild IPA, then this is the beer for you. As for me, it will easily fade into obscurity as I continue on my quest to find the perfect beer...

erikjon, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of treehugger02010
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I purchased this bottle from the Foodery in Center City Philadelphia, Pa. I poured it into a flared pint glass.
Appearance: It poured a dark amber color that was suprisingly cloudy. The head was about a finger and a half deep with a yellowish tint. The rention was decent, but the lacing was very thick and sticky.
Smell: There is an overwelling amount of hops coming from the glass.
Taste: Malts, malts, and no hops. Wow did that suprise me, I certainly was not expecting that.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was good, nothing of note.
Drinkability: Once you get past the shock of taste, it isn't a bad beer.
Don't drink and review.

treehugger02010, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red-amber into a pilsner glass, leaving lots of irregular foam and lacing. There's a glossy, creme brulée sheen on the surface of the foam, which resembles whipped cream.

Smells like strong, fresh hops...grassy, piney, and citrusy.

This carries into the taste, which is accompanied by a toasted malt, that has a roasty, bitter finish. It's well hopped, but not overdone. Fairly approachable, seems like it would appeal to most palates, while remaining a creatively crafted ale.

Mouthfeel is smooth, carries a sense of round fullness that isn't heavy or thick. Would be easy to have several, it's a shame I only have one single.

emerge077, Jan 10, 2007
Photo of isaac
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle to my weird chalice, widemouth, pint-sized reviewin' glass.

A - Dark amber body (think: the rocks with the mosquitos in them in jurassic park), quite clear, and has a thick, 1.5-fingered head that leaves a bath-ring-like residue along the top of the glass and lacing downwards.

S - Bitingly strong hops aroma (grapefruit, pine, resin freshness) with a few but well-pronounced notes of caramel sweet malts.

T - Great taste beginning with a degree of fruitiness (pears or maybe red apples) and a bit of pepper and other spiciness from the alcohol. Next comes a fight for flavor (i should copyright that...) between the oily, bitter, delicious hops and the strong, bready malts. the only thing knocking the taste for me is that in the finish, the hops bitterness becomes a bit metalic.

M - Solid medium body with mild carbonation. Crisp, finishes somewhat dry.

D - A wonderful beer. Glad I have three left!

isaac, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of demcorhip
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one in a good trade, thanks to trevorwideman for this one.

A deep amber hued ale, a vigorous pour resulted in a 1 finger very light tan coloured head. Thin and soapy lacings clung to the inside of the glass as I enjoyed this ale.

Toasted, biscuit malts, a slighter aroma of caramel and nutty malts. Some grapefruit from the hops, may be some Cascade in here...

Toasted, biscuit malts make up the malt backbone of this one. Their flavours appear first, and are supported with a touch of caramel flavour and nuttier, perhaps crystal malt. Wondering what this one was hopped with, definate grapefruit flavour, but also a tea like astringency with slighter lemony, grassy hop notes.

A very pleasant, biscuity, almost medium bodied, well balanced brew. Dry and refreshing, with mildly astringent hoppiness. The low level of carbonation allowed for full enjoyment of the malts, hops, and interplay between them.

A very drinkable/sessionable ale. Tasty and somewhat bold with a slight emphasis on the hops, as such may make a good stepping stone for craft beer novices looking for something a little hoppier. I'd drink this one again.

demcorhip, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of aychbomb
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a light copper w/ highlights of amber. very thin head that quickly dissapates to a light lingering lace.
Smell: Nose DOMINATED by citrusy hop aroma (if there is anything else under there it is compleatly overpowered by hops)
Taste: again, flavour DOMINATED by hops. citrus/pine. very subtle malt flavour. very bitter. unbalanced.
mouthfeel: rather thin mouthfeel. moderatly carbonate. puckeringly bitter. super dry.
Drinkability: Alcoholic hop water. not realy bad, but not realy good. what is this beer trying to be? an IPA? an amber ale? im kinda lost here. something other than hops would be nice (and im a hophead)

aychbomb, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of tonistruth
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours copper in color, produces a 1/2" off white head with retent, good lacing, then settles to a ring throughout the consumption

S- caramel, pine, citrus, sweet, strong and crisp

T- caramel malts jump out first then the piney citrusy hops hit. Malt sweetness, hopp bitterness are both in fair supply, raw hop oils are abundant as well. Not a bad balance for an amber.

M- medium body, carbonation is at that level where it doesn't intefere with the brew, goes down smooth, leaves hop oils all over the palate though.

D- good and tasty brew. I'd would enjoy this again, buy to to enjoy it even. Rich on the hop oils for an amber, malt balance fends off making this an IPA. Filling brew

tonistruth, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have enjoyed the other offerings I have had from Speakeasy for the most part Iam glad I have the chance to try this.Poured a clear deep bronze with a well formed craterous white head that left patches of lace behind as it settled,grapefruit rind really sticks out at first notice in the nose with some toastiness and caramel.An aggressive hop profile shows itself in this amber and thats nice but it doesnt have the nice complex malt base that the Lagutinas Tocaloma I just drank had the caramel is there but just not alot of character.A solid beer no doubt and I wouldnt turn it down by any means but there are better.

oberon, Nov 01, 2006
Photo of DrJay
2.63/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear medium amber colour with a short cap of eggshell foam. Fair retention, some lacing. Malty aroma, mostly caramel and crackery, but there's a light hop and fruit component as well. The flavour was a lot thinner than expected. There's not a lot of malt present, which leaves the bitterness exposed and a little harsh. The hops are a little acrid in the finish, leaving an unpleasant aftertaste. The texture starts out alright, but the body falls away mid-sip leaving it watery. Light dryness at the end. I really liked the aroma, but once I took a sip things went downhill. The balance is way off and there's not enough malt to support the body and hops. Too bad.

DrJay, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of xav33
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Speakeasy Prohibition Ale
12 oz bottle
Recent bottling, medium pour in an English pint glass.

Poured orange red with a small beige frothy mostly diminishing head with traces of lacing.

Smelt of strong caramel with light citrus.

Taste was upfront moderate sweet caramel with light roasted and nutty highlights and light grassy bitter hops followed by a moderate citrusy hop kick on a light dry bready malt with a long bitter finish. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, oily, lively carbonated wit hlight astringency.

Overall, an amber that flows nicely from rich caramel maltiness to bold citrusy hopiness. Finish is way too balanced towards hops though.

xav33, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of
2.73/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle. Poured a slightly hazy, amber color with a medium light tan head. Smell was pine, with a touch of honey underneath. This is one of my favorite starts to an IPA, so I was expecting great things. Expectations....disappointed. The flavor was all hops at the start, I thought I had pine tree juice. The malt was present as a sweetness in the middle, but it was accompanied by a mild flavor of sulfur and maybe some burnt toast. Finish was fairly bitter, and not particularly pleasant. Body was light, carbonation was medium. I did not like the burnt notes in the flavor, and felt they were very much out of place for this style. The finish was overly bitter (this from someone who likes Ruination). Perhaps more fair to say that they flavor of the bitterness was unpleasant. I would try this again, given how different my perception is from other reviews, but only if it was given to me.

, Sep 21, 2006
Photo of PartyHatjo
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep reddish amber hue with a quarter-inch off white head. High clarity as well.

Aroma: Grapefruit and pine present from the hops. Some alcohol nose also present, blending well with a biscuity malt background. Some fruity notes, in particular golden raisins.

Taste: Pungent grapefruit hop flavor finds its way to the back of the nose. Toasted malt character, the golden raisin character comes through here and blends well (I'm thinking tripsini on toast, for those of you not familiar with tripsini, it's a greek raisin spread, flavor definitely has more of a "grape" character like golden raisins tend to). Alcohol hints come through in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-body brew with a very smooth bitterness. I like the balance in the brew, not overly bitter as some american ambers can be.

PartyHatjo, Sep 13, 2006
Photo of metman499
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An innteresting beer that we got for its visual appeal. The taste is nice and bitter and it stays pleasant long after the beer is gone. The smell is particularly appealing. Overall a quality beer. Worth it for the look of the case alone if you are a collector of case art.

metman499, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of TheLiterati
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice copper colored ale, with a healthy beige head. Huge hops aroma, and not much else, though there is a malty sweetness underneath the strong pine and citrus.

Hops predominate the flavor as well. Starts and finishes with a spicy bite, with delicate, barely discernable sweet notes underneath. Quite dry, yet very refreshing.

More reminiscent of an APA than an amber or red ale in my opinion.

Definitely drinkable and one I will enjoy again soon.

TheLiterati, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of rgrace99
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Poured a nice amber with a decent head, some lacing. Aroma was a nice citrusy hop with some malty sweetness in the background. Taste was mostly of hops finishing with a nice sweet finish. Lightly effervescent, went down very easily. A nice beer that is very quaffable.

rgrace99, Aug 28, 2006
Photo of lackenhauser
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice coppery color with a decent sized head. Floral and hoppy aroma. Nice hoppy flavor with a very nice lingering bitterness. Slight sweetness as well. Good mouthfeel. Quite the enjoyable amber ale. A step above a lot of the others out there-many can be rather ho hum. This is worth a try.

lackenhauser, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of PeatReek
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear amber/copper body with a solid, orangey/white head that leaves a slight lace on its way down the glass. The aroma is an overwhelming citrus hoppiness, with just a slight sweet breadiness behind it that keeps it from being acrid. The taste is a hoppy attack with a slightly roasty undercurrent with a rather sweet. The cohumulone grind leaves a slight aftertaste, but that's nothing that can't be dispatched by another sip. I could definitely drink a few cold bottles of this on a warm night, but some slightly cleaner hopping could improve the drinkability.

PeatReek, Aug 19, 2006
Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
86 out of 100 based on 768 ratings.