1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Prohibition Ale - Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Not Rated.
Prohibition AleProhibition Ale

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

811 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 811
Reviews: 322
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 30
Gots: 78 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Prohibition Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 811 | Reviews: 322 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gavage
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of erikjon
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
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...

Photo of treehugger02010
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Photo of isaac
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
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!

Photo of demcorhip
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of aychbomb
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
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)

Photo of tonistruth
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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

Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of DrJay
2.63/5  rDev -31.7%
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.

Photo of xav33
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of
2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

Photo of PartyHatjo
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of metman499
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of TheLiterati
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of rgrace99
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of PeatReek
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

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

Nice rich amber color that pours with a good head that settles down quickly. Has slight lacing, with a light body and adequate carbonation. Nice amber maltyness to start, moving to a bitter hops taste. Good balance of hops and malt. Malt taste sticks around for a mild but enjoyable aftertaste. Not my favorite amber ale, but the light body makes this beer very drinkable and would be good on a hot day.

Photo of tgbljb
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy reddish-chestnut color with modest slightly off-white chunky head. Smell is strong on grassy hops with a minimum of malt noted. Taste initially presents a formidable hop character with little if any malt balance. That being said, I really like the taste of this beer. Finishes with more hoppiness and still the malt seems to be absent. Nice drinkability, nice taste, excellent beer.

Photo of mynie
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours great. Dark dark red like the hair on one of them freaky kids who never leaves the barn. Giant, retentive head. Good lacing.

Smells wonderful! A very big, dry hop stands out against a robust, sweet malt. The malt is caramely and smooth, like it should belong in a marzen.

Taste begins with a solid hop presence that's very dry. It runs into some light fruit complexities near the middle, but stays dry throughout before giving way at the end to a very smooth, very sweet malt. Excellent balance!

Wow, is all I can say. I was not expecting this. Perfectly hoppy for the style and with a balance you will not believe.

Normally, American Reds leave me a little unsatisifed. Not so here. This is a grand example of the style that I would place with the big boys like Santa's Private Reserve and Retro Red!

Photo of SethB2
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Very deep ruby colored ale that looks like a typical amber instead of a pale. Nice head that settles down to even better lacing, leaving the head spotted along the side of the glass. Very attractive beer.

S - Is this an IPA? Hops dominate, with a distinct toasted grainy malt profile to go along with it.

T - Now I see what Speakeasy was going for here. This reminds me a lot of some of my favorite ambers (and a little of Sierra Nevada PA), but with a different hop. This is another well hopped ale, but not quite enough to be considered an IPA. Good stuff.

M - Medium body with a near perfect amount of carbonation.

D - No problem. I'm glad I have a six pack.

Photo of MiScusi
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottle actually says this is an Amber Ale, and it definitely is by appearance and taste. It's a standard amber ale color, smell is fresh but not hop overbearing. The head is enormous, and stayed through the entire sitting. This is bottle conditioned so those yeast must've been working overtime. The taste is fantastic, fresh hops up front, a little piney, but more citrus. Right after the hops hit you bready malt, with some sweetness takes over and dominates most of the taste profile. This is excellent. Mouthfeel is light, drinkability is almost as good as it gets.

Final Verdict: Speakeasy REALLY nailed this one, their Untouchable Pale Ale though missed being at this high level.

Photo of Illinick
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed at Carl's
A: Deep amber in color with hints of golden amber hues. Nice clarity and some rising carbonation. Good sized, slightly tan head that collapses slowly to an 1/8 inch and remains throughout. Great glass clinging lacing.
S: Complex smells here. Caramel and biscuit malt scents with herbal and piney hop scents also. Grapefruit and some tart fruit in there too as well as a slight floral aroma. Also some oily hop smells abound. Smells great and fresh.
T: Follows the nose with complex flavors that are balanced superbly. Caramel malts, sweet bread malts offset by fresh hop, grapefruit, and piney/herbal notes. The hops traverse throughout the brew and provide a nice, slightly bitter bite at the end. The malts become most apparent after first tasting to right before the slightly bitter hop finish. There is some bitterness derived from the malts as well. A complex brew that exhibits tons of flavor.
MF: Medium light that finishes with a nice bite.
Overall: I was impressed with this brew. It exhibited a great flavor profile and balanced the flavors nicely-none of the flavors were fighting for attention. A really well done brew that is sure to please. One that has earned a place in my fridge.

Photo of DuqTroops
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - copperish/orange in color. head is light white atop the body.

Smell - citrusy in aromas, very subtle, not the usual pale ales that are overwhelming.

Taste - very light. great comfortable beer and not as overwhelming as others before it. great balance of hops and fruit!

Mouthfeel - easy to drink. great beer!

Drinkability - drank this on the croquet court in the sun. loved it.

Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
87 out of 100 based on 811 ratings.