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Prohibition Ale - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Prohibition AleProhibition Ale

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

742 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 742
Reviews: 317
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 27
Gots: 59 | 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: 742 | Reviews: 317 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of carln26
4/5  rDev +3.9%

I had this on tap recently at Anam Cara. It came from the rap a dark amber color with a light ceramy head . Very nice lace. The nose is fruity citrusy with a hint of floral. The taste is fruity fruity, he hops go a long wayThere is a deep malt middle with candy and figs molr hops on the back but no bite.
Medium body very drinkable. This reminds me a bit of Red Seal (that is good!)

carln26, Oct 17, 2004
Photo of PatandDavid
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%

Had this on tap at Redbones. Pleasantly surprised, it was a nice change for me. Light-medium amber in color, it came with a low head. Aroma was of grassy hops. Malt came across as smooth and a bit syrupy, with the hops changing course at the end, and becoming more woody and drying. Would get again.

PatandDavid, Oct 02, 2004
Photo of rastaman
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%

Tap@Edinborough Castle, San Fransisco. Considering i felt like crap after a mamoth day drinking with the San Fran Krew (from the other site), this wasn’t too bad. pretty relaxed and soft. Nice hop aromatics, pine, lychee, not intense at all, well balanced.

rastaman, Oct 01, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
2.53/5  rDev -34.3%

Pours with a two-finger bubbly white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Clear amber color. Medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Medium carbonation. The brewer says: "perfect balance between caramel maltiness and its aggressive hopping" well, the aggressive hopping dominates any caramel maltiness, there is a little sweetness in the background but not much. $2.25 for a 12oz bottle from Vintage Cellar, Blacksburg, VA.

jdhilt, Sep 23, 2004
Photo of abcsofbeer
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%

The description says it's an American Pale Ale, but it tastes like an IPA to me. A very good IPA. Pours an orange amber, cloudy with a decent creamy head. The head leaves a nice lacing all the way to the bottom of the glass. The aroma is right from the first, ...very hoppy. There is the faint pine scent as well.

The taste is very good, with a citrusy, pine taste. The aftertaste provides an ample hop flavor that is not too strong, but just right. This is a good IPA in my opinion.

abcsofbeer, Sep 04, 2004
Photo of BeerResearcher
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%

12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
It pours an orange-hued amber with a smallish, fading off-white head and bits of trailing lace.
The aroma is an even blend of piney and citrusy hops and sweet caramel malt. A light smell of bread dough peeks through. A background smell reminds me of a fresh cut Christmas tree.
The flavor of caramel malt and a light taste of rye lay the foundation for an IPA-like hop experience. Pink grapefruit, spruce esters and a slightly harsh, dry bitterness provide an abundantly potent hop mouth pucker.
The carbonation never really gets going for this "Amber" Ale.

BeerResearcher, Aug 31, 2004
Photo of Jason
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with a silk-screen painted on label, devious eyes are on the neck and a shady looking couple are looking for a real "Speakeasy". No freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Very deep and dark reddish amber hue, a well observed clarity shows that the beer has some carbonation left after a semi-vigorous pouring that left an unwavering light tan cake like head in its wake.

Smell: Intense hop aroma with a bold caramel malt to keep it in check. Oily hop of fresh pine, tree bark and grapefruit rind in the nose, straight-up sweet malt aroma pokes through with hints of dark caramel and toasted biscuits. Handful of fruity esters gives off a mild fig and raisin aroma.

Taste: Muscular medium body, crisp flavor with a smooth mouth feel. Carbonation is at a moderate level, hops circle around the malt as it plays around with the flavor. Suggestions of pumpernickel, caramel and toasted biscuit show how deep the complexity can get with this ale. Fruitiness is fresh and is doubled with a mild warming alcohol, tastes of pears and raisins. Pungent hops stay dominant but do not strangle the malt in anyway, the pungency varies from pine and spruce to grapefruit and peppery herbal flavors. The actual hop bitterness is sizable and puckers the palate. Caramel seems to push to the finish as well as the toasted flavor which shows a borderline roasted character, the hop bitterness is everlasting.

Notes: An elaborate multi-leveled complexity that jumps from hops to malt several times and touches upon the fruity esters as well, beefy in the hops and a perfectly level malt that leaves everything in balance to a point. A must try, this is what beer is about.

Jason, Aug 27, 2004
Photo of Thrasher
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%

An indelibly hoppy amber ale, a bit of a juxtaposition of styles. The beer pours a clear, deep copper, with a feathery, airy head rising up, then sinking to a sheer film of foam and good, intricate lacing. The aroma is entirely honest and well-hopped. The flavor duplicates the aroma with a yeasty characteristic, and tasty bready malts. Citric hops are lightly sweet and tart, and very enjoyable. Despite the high hoppiness for the style, the malts are up to the challenge and the beer remains well balanced. The flavor is perhaps similar to some Rogue ales, yet the mouthfeel is much thinner and the beer is actually more drinkable. The beer tastes very fresh, almost unfinished, but thoroughly delightful. A slight staleness in the aftertaste is perhaps the only shortcoming; drinkability good. I'm not wholly on board with Speakeasy's gangster 'n' moll motif; it seems to me the '20s era of American Prohibition doesn't fully jibe with modern craft ale, particularly the well-hopped west coast variety; bootleg gin would be a closer match. Nor am I a fan of the interchangeable, unmemorable names for their beers. However, I absolutely love the furtive eyes on the neck of each bottle.

Thrasher, Aug 12, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%

12oz bottle purchased somewhere in VA, one of many things gathered at either Vienna Whole Foods, Norm's, or Westpark Wine & Beer.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" light beige head over the slightly cloudy copper brew. Laces well. Aroma is mostly piney hops, with an undercurrent of pale malts. Taste is dominated by the hops, but the malts provide enough body to make it relatively well-balanced for an APA. Mouthfeel and drinkability both very good.

ppoitras, Jul 29, 2004
Photo of putnam
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%

Darker than the "untouchable", this is a bronze liquid with all of the attributes of the former's mousse.
The nose is similarly dominated by fresh, well-treated hops, only - perhaps in combination with this one's more toffee-toned malt - it does deliver more dreaded Cascade "grapefruit."
On the palate it performs as expected: slick, roasted toffee sugars - piney, resinous bitterness. Again, no points for originality. The Speakeasy house style is emerging as a more attenuated, completely purified version of thousands of other styles from around the country.
That being said, for the timid, for those fixated on American craft Pale Ale, for those who insist on bone-dry attenuation, this is your beer.

putnam, Jul 27, 2004
Photo of JISurfer
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%

I was scared at first, due to the hoppiness, but once it warmed up a little, it got a lot smoother. Anyone who reads my reviews can see that I am not a big fan of hoppy beers, but this one was a bit different than the others. It started out malty, then to hops, then faded slowly into the two balanced out well. This was awesome! Most beers like this might start off a little malty, but then rage into this uncontrolable mosnter of hops. Which some people might like. Along with the malt and hops, there was the presence of citrus fruits and a hint of caramel. Oh, and I thought that the bottle's logo was pretty cool. With the gangsta people lookin' all shifty and such, and then the "spooky" eyes on the top. Kudoos to Speakeasy on this one. You've won a malt lovers heart over.

JISurfer, Jul 04, 2004
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%

Pours a deep copper color that is topped by an off white head. It has a pungent citrusy aroma that is backed by toasted malt notes. Slightly sweet up front with a dry finish that leads to a sense of toasted biscuit lingering on my tongue. These Speakeasy beers are a lot more malty than I remember them being. There is a nice hoppiness here, it is just not as dominant as I would like it to be, or as I remember it being. I get notes of orange, flowery herbal nectar, a sharp tongue tingling bitterness, and a certain sweetness towards the end that tends to tie the maltiness and the hops together. Just a wee bit disappointing in the end, ah such is my memory of this beer.

Gueuzedude, Jun 12, 2004
Photo of RedDiamond
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

As I cracked the bottle, a strong malty fragrance sprang forth with some immediacy. A calling card, if you will, for a strong malty ale. Prohibition pours clear in deep amber with very little head and gentle carbonation. Initially, a strong coil of malt is present in the taste. But a solid measure of bitterness soon takes hold and the finish is downright biting. My personal preference would be to fine tune the hops down a notch and let this beer balance towards the malt. The malt is a much greater asset to this ale than the hop, which adorns a plush, round maltiness with a flat, contrite bitterness.

Still, that’s just a fine point and this ale is otherwise very much an enjoyable brew.

Note: BA lists this as a pale ale. The bottle calls it an amber. To me, the maltiness and body speak of a pale ale moreso than amber.

RedDiamond, May 23, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%

Dusky amberish orange, clear as a bell. Perhaps the slightest suggestion of red when backlit with morning sunlight. The ecru head has a sticky consistency and deposits a fair amount of lace in broken sheets. The aroma is of lemon and grapefruit with an undercurrent of fresh pine. This is my kind of nose, I just hope the flavor follows suit.

It's a little thinner in the mouth than expected and is a little less of a flavor bomb. I have to remind myself that it's 'only' an APA, despite what the appearance and aroma would have me believe. There's a lightly toasted pale maltiness, but citric hops rule the roost. They impart quite a bit of flavor with little actual bitterness. Decent body for a pale ale, but just a bit too fizzy. I was hoping that the bubbles would settle down by the bottom of the bottle, but they haven't.

Prohibition Ale is a solid version and is my slight preference over this brewery's Untouchable Pale Ale. A calmer mouthfeel would be welcome, but it's good beer all the same. I always like to see silk-screened bottles and Speakeasy's are usually well done.

BuckeyeNation, May 03, 2004
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%

A 12 oz. attractive painted bottle poured into me pint dark clear amber with a steady corps of fizzy bubbles. Bottle label claims a balance of caramel maltiness and aggressive hoppiness. ½” tight tan head that slowly simmers to a tan slick that paints the glass.

Smells of subdued hops and citrus scents pervade. This smells delicious.

Prohibition tastes smooth almost creamy Amber ale. Cut grass and watered Tang drink, lemon peel blend with a candy lemon lolipop flavor. A bit of a dry aftertaste. To compare the flavor to Untouchable Pale, Prohibition has more body, darker pour, with slightly more carbonation.

At 6.1 % ABV, a good swiggable drinker.

Last swigs: Prohibition Ale is deceiving. Its bottle looks great, and smells great, but other than that, this went downhill. Maybe a decent session beer. This has a quality look, but doesn’t exactly renew my faith with Prohibition repeal. Lemon candy malts and fruit peel blend. Hey! Snagged a mixed case of SPEAKEASY for about $36. Thank goodness I knew the password.

*** UPDATE *** I re-reviewed SPEAKEASY Prohibition Ale and I gave it the EXACT same numerical review. No change.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

blitheringidiot, Apr 23, 2004
Photo of ark57
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%

It pours a clear amber with a nice off white head. The aroma has juicy hops and some sweet malts. The body is thin and the hops run the show. There is some citrus and pine with a touch of caramel. It finishes dry and the bitterness lingers. Not much depth or complexity IMO.

ark57, Apr 22, 2004
Photo of MobBarley
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%

This is a good Pale that actually pours kind of orange. Even the head is slightly orange...somewhat off-putting. The aroma is a well balanced menagerie of caramel malts and PNW hoppiness with some unique flowery notes. The taste is a winner, as the hops dominate, yet the finish is sweet and hearty. Mouthfeel is a little chewy and slightly oily on the palate. Perfect (low) carbonation for the style. Drinkability is good. A strong, strong session Pale.

MobBarley, Apr 02, 2004
Photo of granger10
3.85/5  rDev 0%

This beer pours a flourescent orange color with a weak beige colored head. Carbonation seems to be minimal. Smell is extremely citrus with oranges being dominant. Taste however is more complex and less citrus intense. The citric flavors are still there and mostly in hop form but there's a breadiness to the base of this beer as well as caramel malts that mix well with the hops which are quite bitter. Very crisp, very refreshing. The taste lingers in my mouth until the next sip. Quite an intense pale ale. Well done.

granger10, Mar 23, 2004
Photo of MrNuggets
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%

Burnt orange colour. A thin white head sits atop this pretty brew. It doesn't last very long. A few strands of lace adorn the sides of my class. Potent nose, filled with spice with a touch of sweetness. The smell left me anticipating a strong hop laden brew. But thats not exactly what I got. The smell certainly transfers over to the taste. Just on a small scale. Starts spicy then ends suddenly with an all too quick hop bite. I'm left wanting more.

MrNuggets, Mar 20, 2004
Photo of Mitchster
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Pours to a brilliantly-clear orange/amber, forming a modest light-beige creamy head with a vigorous pour. Retention is average and lacing is solid. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma begins with some fresh resinous/citric hops and nice toasty amber grain notes follow suit. Smells just like Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Mouthfeel is initially bright and acidic, later soft in the semi-dry finish, and medium body. Taste begins with acidic citric hops which are moderately pungent, followed by a brief wave of amber malt body and lightly sweet husken grain...The hops have touches of marijuanna, suggestive of Amarillo. Toast begins midway through and lingers through the finish. Moderate herbal/leafy/resinous hop bitterness. There is a soft alcohol tang contributing to it's semi-dry finish. Off-flavors are absent.

This a quality IPA, despite what others think it is. I think this is better than SpeakEasy's pungent IPA, and easier to drink. Not quite up there with Stone, but this makes a decent West-Coast hop-heads dream.

Mitchster, Mar 10, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.08/5  rDev +6%

The beer poured crystal clear light amber. The head is off-white and fell quickly, but laced the glass.

The aroma was caramel, slight toasty with earthy and spicy hop aromas.

The flavor was caramel with substantial hop bitterness and moderate hop flavor. There were quite a few hop flavors making for a complex character.

The finish was dry bitter with caramel and bitterness in the aftertaste. The body was medium.

12 ounce bottle. Bottle says the beer is an amber ale.

GCBrewingCo, Feb 20, 2004
Photo of CortexBomb
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%

Pours a decent lightish brown with a moderate amount of head. Smell is pretty hoppy, but that's about all I'm getting.

Taste is quite good though, plenty of those hops, a good dose of malt, citrus, a skosh of pears, and a mildly bitter, yet not over the top finale.

Mouthfeel is good as well, some body, and the carbonation go together nicely. Drinkability on this is great, lots of character, yet a smooth finish.

CortexBomb, Feb 16, 2004
Photo of pheurton
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%

hazy rust that leans more towards the brown than the orange. fluffy cream soda colored head the retreats to a mimimal collar. substantial lacing. carmel malt aroma, with notes of earthy hops. i keep thinking tobacco. light to medium bodied, carbonation seems to be at the right level. semi-sweet crystal malt flavor intertwined exquisitely with that earthy, leafy hop flavor. subtle citrus undertones mingle with a bready malt aftertaste. quite complex flavors going on here, and mingling very well! an enjoyable multi-dimensional ale that is quite quaffable. my favorite of the speakeasy line. recommended.

pheurton, Jan 22, 2004
Photo of beernut7
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%

Pours a light chestnut color with a delicate head. Very floral hop aroma, but initially a very citrusy hop flavor profile. Hints of dark malt, roasted and toffee flow across the palate. The hops are the star of this Northwest style amber ale. The malt, while distinctive, are mellow enough to let the hops take the line. Moderate bitterness through the finish with a sharper mouthfeel.

beernut7, Jan 03, 2004
Photo of Gusler
4.35/5  rDev +13%

Much too many peoples surprise I’m a very sentimental person, memories mean a lot to me, and some of the best days of my life were spent in San Francisco, that beautiful city by the bay. A city filled with beautiful old buildings, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Wharf, and it’s also home to some exquisite beers, and one I love, but rarely sample is “Prohibition Ale”, sad to say my quest for the “Ultimate beer” has caused me to shun many of my past triumphs, but now it is available in Arizona, and I buy it regularly, along with Big Daddy IPA and the Untouchable Pale Ale.

Hazy and beclouded deep amber color on the pour, the head portly in size, spumescent in texture, winsome light tan in color with a velum like curtain of lace to seal off the glass from view. The aroma of hops, followed by sweet malt with a lemon like crispness, fresh and appealing with the start heavenly sweet with a nice malt profile and the top moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish is sternly acidic, the hops dynamic in their spiciness, hop bitter and dry aftertaste, a wonderful beer, that I must say “WOW’s” me still.

Gusler, Nov 27, 2003
Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
87 out of 100 based on 742 ratings.