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Black Toad Dark Ale | Black Toad Brewing Co.

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Black Toad Dark AleBlack Toad Dark Ale
BA SCORE
3.61/5
Good
513 Ratings
Black Toad Dark AleBlack Toad Dark Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Black Toad Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 08-28-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#36,949
Reviews:
261
Ratings:
513
pDev:
14.4%
Bros Score:
4.12
 
 
Wants:
22
Gots:
61
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 513 |  Reviews: 261
Photo of choyhosoi
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a glass

A-Pours a nice dark brown with a small brown/ white head. Looks very inviting so far picking up on the aroma as I poured.

S-I got alot of plum some wine scents and a little chocolate. Not what I was expecting so far I am impressed.

T/M-Very smooth with very little carbonation. Goes down very easily.

I was very surprised by this one I will be seeking out more.

 399 characters

Photo of tbeck
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with very little light coming through. Has a decent tan head that dissipates quickly into a good collar. Laciness was thin. Fruity and malty aroma. Taste is earthy and nutty. Beer has a bitterness that stays in the background that keeps it interesting. Light and crisp mouthfeel, good medium body. I really enjoyed the flavor, very mellow and complex. This beer sits light, a number of these can be had in a sitting.

 435 characters

Photo of Peter_M_Morris
4.19/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of adam36
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of drperm
4.17/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No expectations whatsoever going into this one...Black Toad is an unknown brewery to me!

Appearance: Dr. Pepper. Cherry Coke.

Aroma: A smorgasbord! Chocolate, malt, chestnuts, hazelnuts, Cocoa Puffs

Taste: Smoky and deep. Not as rich as the nose, but quite nice!

Palate: Silky and chewy

Overall: Very nice, very drinkable. I'm impressed with these Illini.

 360 characters

Photo of jawlessbody
4.17/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a monic pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep, thick brown with an initially large amount of carbonation that makes it's way into a dense 2.5 finger mocha colored head that sadly dissipates quick quickly and leaves little to no lacing.

Smell: Presents sweet, chocolatey malt on the nose with a deep body of roasted coffee and fresh espresso. I also detected hints of nuttiness, bits of brown sugar and toffee, with subtle notes of dried, dark fruits.

Taste: I definitely got the chocolate malt flavors right off the first sip, but those quickly subdued into darker toffee flavors that then morphed into a taste of dates and raisins. All the while there is a lingering, ever-present body of toasted bread an coffee that have just a but of hazelnut/almond flavor to set everything off.

Mouthfeel: This was the most disappointing part of the beer. The head looked dense, but wasn't as creamy as I expected it to be. The body of the beer morphed from thin with lots of carbonation off of the initial pour, into a thicker (but still not creamy) very smooth liquid with little to no carbonation.

Overall: I am very impressed by this beer. Everything about it is incredibly complex, especially for a brown ale. In all honesty, it tastes more like a light bodied stout than a brown to me. I will definitely be drinking more of this in the future. A lot more.

 1,384 characters

Photo of jondeelee
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smells rich and earthy, with strong notes of chocolate malts, as well as more lightly toasted grains, dark chocolate, and caramelized brown sugar.

On the tongue, the beer retains many of the darker flavors present in the nose, focusing especially on chocolate malts and a light layer of tobacco and coffee, both of which come on stronger in the latter half of the mouthful. The ale starts off, however, with a nice smattering of grapefruit-bitter hops layered over the chocolate malts, as well as dark fruit esters and sugary toffees and caramels. The sugars give way in the middle of the mouthful, leading to the darker flavors. The aftertaste is a continuation of the chocolate malt/tobacco mix, with a slight return of the hops. Mouthfeel is medium-light, perhaps the same viscosity as skim milk, and carbonation is medium/average.

Overall, a nice dark ale, presenting and showcasing many of the standard flavors of the style, but doing so with a class and subtlety--as well as with larger flavors--than many of its peers.

 1,029 characters

Photo of baos
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My girlfriend bought me a six-pack of these Trader Joe's brews, and this was thrown in. I didn't expect much, but this is a good one! Pretty sure Goose Island makes this.

A: Nice brown body with one finger tan head. Pretty decent head retention and lacing.

S: Nice freshly baked brown bread. Sweet and fruity malt hints.

T: Nice fruity roasted maltiness. Like fresh baked bread. Nice hoppy dry finish. This is a good beer.

M: Not the best, but still nice.

D: A very drinkable beer. I was expecting a canned mushroom brown ale. This is way better than many of the English browns that I have tried.

 601 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 3 finger frothy off white/mild tan head on a deep amber/brown body. Very attractive beer. Nice lacing.

S: sweet caramel and mildly roasted malt and toffee mostly.

T: Caramel, burnt toast and mild roasted malt but its a touch watery. The toffee lingers on the palate in the finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: This beer is an excellent member of the genre. Its a touch watery in the flavor otherwise really nice beer.

 445 characters

Photo of kkazemi
4.14/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Eisen
4.13/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poored from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith glass:

Very nice two finger white head that contrasts beutifully with the darkness of the beer. Small amount of head stays until the very end and produces wonderful laceing. The lower abv allows for this beer to be drank all night, and the flavor allows you to actually want to. There is nothing that boldly stands out in the flavor, but instead it is very well balanced. This great balance of suttle flavors of nut, coffee, chocholate perhaps leads to a very drinkable beer. Being $5.99 a six pack from trader joes makes this beer all the better.

 596 characters

Photo of Jason
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brow twist off bottle with a printed drink before date on the back label.

Appearance: Very dark brown donning tarnished amber hues with a thin wispy tan lace that lazily sticks to the glass for a few seconds and then dissipates.

Smell: Almost cloying sweet with a chalky undertone of husk in the aroma. Hints of sweetened coffee, oily hop and dark chocolate linger in the nose.

Taste: Very crisp within the moderate body, the crispness really helps with the refreshingly drinkable quality this brew has. Hints of chocolate, faint coffee, nutty grain and some husk make up the initial front malt character that is sweet in the beginning. An even bitter oily hop flavour is modest yet at a perfect level. As the finish draws closer some residual sweetness stays around and throws a steely crystal malt flavour in the end.

Notes: A solid beer to be had and at $4.99 a six pack it is a steal. Perhaps a beginners dark beer or a beer geeks session brew.

 980 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a beautiful dark, deep cordovan brown. A thin head quickly finds itself an even thinner lacing.

Smell - Big caramel on the nose, with subtle hints of toffee.

Taste - Dominant caramel, distinct toffee and butterscotch notes... a bit of chocolate too. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel - Decent body for the style, but I find the carbonation a bit lacking.

Overall - This is a beer I've purchased a few times over the years, and I wonder why I don't buy it more often (probably due to it's Trader Joe's exclusivity). At $5.99 per sixer, it's certainly one of the better bargain beers to be had.

 603 characters

Photo of rodney45
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Color of Cola. Light tan head.

S: Cereal grains, Coffee, dark chocolate, caramel and crystal malts

T: First profile is of crushed crystal malt and toasted barley. If you homebrew, you know these very distinctly. Secondary notes are of milk chocolate, caramel, and a distinct sweetness. Finish is dry.

M: Light medium to medium body, with low cabonation. Starts sweet and ends dry and bitter... like a marriage?

O: Im gonna say this is a great example of the style. Not the best ive had, but for a buck at trader joes, you really cant beat the quality versus price. A truely solid Brown ale.

Food Pairing: I'd pair this with bacon wrapped steak cubes and roasted baby red potatoes.

 690 characters

Photo of beergoot
4.12/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Chestnut brown body; thick, frothy head; sheets of lacing left on the glass. Nutty, chocolaty aroma; chicory. Toasted grain sweetness; nutty; hints of brown sugar yet not overly sweet; toffee; low-key presence of hop bitterness. Heavy body; warm and soft mouthfeel; softly sweet with a mild dryness at the finish.

Great combination of dark, roasted malt grains with a mild sweetness and a simple touch of hop bitterness.

 421 characters

Photo of mentaltraveller
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was surprisingly enjoyable. It had been sitting in the fridge for a while so I decided to drink it. It pours pretty dark. The slightest light is able to get through a very dark brown. Smells of oats and dark chocolate. The first thing that struck about the taste was its sweetness and relative thickness. For an abv of about 5%, I was not expecting big flavors. This is a good brew. Simple, no frills, and one of the better brown ales I have had.

 456 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Toad Ale has a medium, cream-colored head, a dark brown (ruby, under direct light) appearance, and some splotchy bits of lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of medium-roasted barley and brown bread crust, and the taste is the same, with some underlying caramel and mild hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Black Toad Ale finishes semi-dry, refreshing, and quite drinkable. Overall, this is a very good, sweet ale.

RJT

 442 characters

Photo of lou50rp
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good tan colored head, dissipates slowly, good lacing. Nice mahogany color.
Good malty smell, not too sweet or bitter.
Good malty taste with a bit of sweet and touch of bitter at the end. A good taste. Doesn't linger.
Good light mouthfeel.
A good brew for the cold months, but also would work on warm day, if chilled. and the price can't be beat.

 346 characters

Photo of TheStig
4.06/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured a rich, dark amber/red from the bottle into my glass. Huge, cream-colored, four finger head that dissipated very slowly into a formation resembling a block of Swiss cheese before sinking into the beer. No lacing.

S- Honestly, the first whiff I got from this was a typical alcohol sting, which is odd considering this is just a 5.3% abv brew. Nothing too amazing. Fruity, but not overwhelmingly so. Hops, roasted barley are prominent but there's a subtle sweetness I just can't quite place.

T- ...Interesting... Swallowed quickly, it has a very neutral, almost milk-like flavor, after which a very slight walnut aftertaste comes in. Not unpleasant, but odd, considering that when one lets it sit in the mouth longer and allows it to be tasted to its fullest, the taste changes to cereal, oats with a slightly bitter, stout-like finish. Like I said, not bad, but... interesting.

--In the time I've been writing this, a very slight sweet aftertaste, --the same hinted at in the smell section-- started to develop. Raisins and grapes. Almost wine-like. Delish!

M- Very creamy. Subtle carbonation that disappears after hitting the mouth. Very easy to drink.

D- Incredibly easy. Slides down your throat like dew on a blade of grass. Delightful.

 1,255 characters

Photo of dmgallag
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Simple, but good is appropriate for this one. Has an element of crispness to do it that is pleasant along with a creamy mouthfeel that goes down easy. Taste is not complex, but in a good way. Not much going on with the smell. With affordable price, pretty easy to spend the afternoon with this one.

 302 characters

Photo of karait95
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: very Nice dark brown color with low carbonation inside, on top an impressive head with mixed sizes of bubbles that dissipates not to fast leaving behind small traces on the glass and a permanent layer on top.

S: full toasted aromas are sensed, the malt is present all the time with some notes of caramel and coffee style. It is good.

T: again the toasted malts are all over the mouth, hops are wisely combined with the barley for an excelent final flavor.

M: an easy one for drink, but not simple. This beer combines the sweetness and the bitterness very softly since the beginning and all the way until the last ending.

 629 characters

Photo of jwinship83
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with a best by date of october 22, 2009 poured into a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours a very dark brown colored body. ruby red can be seen around the edges when held up to the light. a small khaki colored head forms and quickly becomes no more than a crown.

S- roasted malts and sweet milk chocolate are the first things i notice. a small amount of coffee/hops at the end.

T- the roasted malts and chocolate come through strong. theres also some coffee/hops at the end, just like i could smell. theres really not much else. it tastes good, its just really not complex at all.

M- a little thinner than i would have liked. pretty smooth despite the high level of carbonation for the style.

D- easy to finish and at one dollar a bottle, this is a fantastic bargain. something ill pick up again and a pretty good porter. im not sure its as good as alot of the eastern european porters, but its different. check this one out, trader joes has some pretty good "no name" beers.

 997 characters

Photo of 1fastz28
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a deep black color with a slighty frothy almost stout like head. smell is of chocolately malt no hop of yeast aroma. taste is pretty good, so far the best from trader joe's that i've had over the past few days. the beer also has a nice mouthfeel to it, rich and thick full of flavor and body. good beer overall

 316 characters

Photo of Natural510
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at a local Trader Joe's.

Poured an okay head with a nice dark brown, almost-black color. There were coffee, chocolate & toffee notes, but none of them made the brew too sweet. Malt & hops were present, but everything complemented each other, making the overall taste very smooth with a nice finish.
All in all, quite tasty and smoothly drinkable. I'll definitely pick up a sixer of this again.

 410 characters

Photo of TrevorGW
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks pretty good in the glass ... quite dark and beautiful, but the head is not much to speak of.

An excellent dark beer that doesn't feel too intense.

I like that it has more coffee/chocolate taste as opposed to a raisiny dark. Great flavor overall.

This is one of the few dark ales I am able to get at Trader Joes, so it is always a nice standby.

 353 characters

Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 513 ratings
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