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Black Toad Dark Ale | Black Toad Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
82
good
259 Reviews
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
Reviews:
259
Ratings:
489
Avg:
3.59
pDev:
14.21%
 
 
Wants:
22
Gots:
44
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 259 | Ratings: 489
Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.88/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Nicely balanced with a color that’s in between dark magohany and ruby (Chestnut describes it perfectly!), there is a fantastic blend of subtle toffee, toasted biscuits, black tea, light coffee and a near-robust nutty flavor that follows the aroma very, VERY nicely. Although it does get a little hoppy, the mild sweetness balances it out. The nicely smooth carbonation makes this beer an enjoyable brew. Overall, this MAY be a good substitute for Goose Island’s Nut Brown Ale! Until Goose Island brings it back, you’ve got yourself a lighter version of the stockyard stout that is enjoyable anytime, even if you like a good stout like the stockyard! Other good nut brown ales to try are those from the Carolina Brewing Company, the Santa Fe Brewing Company and even the Coconut Molasses Brown Ale from Duck Foot Brewing Company. While not a nut brown, the Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale from New Belgium Brewing is also worth the mention.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Drank from bottle. Smells of coffee and caramel, taste same with a bit of brown sugar. Lots of roast malt. Like a porter but a little lighter. Simple but good. Would get it again.

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Photo of DarkSideOfTheMoon
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a bottle from local Trader Joe's 6-pack sampler. Poured into a pint glass - light 2-finger foam. Very opaque. Smells of coffee, dark malts, caramel - very appealing. Taste is lighter than expected but a very good thing. Dark, roasty coffee notes abound. Light mouthfeel to this one as should be expected from a dark ale. Really good brew that I would go back to on damp, chilly night!

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Photo of Guppy314
3.57/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown but not opaque. Dense foamy head that dissipated quickly. It has a toasted nutty taste plus fulsome malty flavors with a little toffee. But thin compared to a Porter. Bought a Trader Joe's. Not really worth a repeat.

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Photo of beergoot
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.68/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Originally listed as a porter, thankfully the wise acumen of other raters got this changed over the years to an English brown ale. More fitting.

Looks brown, thin 1/5" head, lighter brown. Smells of fetid swamp water with unsweetened stale toffee in it, the hard ass candy kind in a 110 year old's candy dish.

Taste reveals more toffee, brown malt, can't bring out any coffee or chocolate malt flavors. Thin bodied. Picked these up at Trader Joe's. Had some nuttiness in the mouthfeel. Would not repeat. I don't get the high reviews for this. In every category it is average at best. . .

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Photo of devo1980
4.27/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I REALLY like this beer. DARK DARK DARK!
Got it cheap at Trader Joe's - so perhaps that influences my rating, but it is strong, black and smooth. Very much enjoyed it and will gladly purchase agian.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.96/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(My sample was awesome, I don't know why there's poor reviews)

Poured into a large handled stem glass. A dark chestnut color forms into a tarry blackness with 90% opacity, light barely penetrating and lighting up the edges. Head is khaki colored and 3 fingers tall, recedes to 1 finger after a few minutes.

Smells of black molasses, dark malts, black karo syrup, walnuts, and a strong herbal note of dried parsley.

The flavor is actually quite delicious. Spanks of hop bitterness dance around a body of dark bread crusts, malt o meal, corn syrup, and a slight hint of vinegar. Lingering flavors of pickled bread crusts and piney hop remain on the palate.

Feel is delightfully creamy and well-carbonated. Ends with a distinct semi-dry parch.

Overall, Black Toad is a pretty solid Schwarz. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat. Nice work!

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Photo of gee0001
4.31/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Would I drink it again? Yes! I’d buy this dark beauty again. It’s a healthy beer with a medium to full body that drinks heavier than it looks. It’s quite satisfying and enjoyable to consume. Cheap buy at Trader Joe’s.
Head: A nice looking tan head. Head is thin and gives away to a little lacing.
Appearance: Pours chocolate brown and sits dark brown in the glass with an amber hue. This is a good looking beer.
Smell: Some hints of a malty beer to come but not overly fragrant.
Taste: Light chocolate on the front end with a roasted nutty flavor. Healthy malt and touch of earth. There is a smooth touch at the end.
Finish: It finishes strong and leaves you with a pleasant after-taste

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Photo of zinklesmesh
4.38/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a really good beer. Caught me by surprise, as it's one of those "no-name" Trader Joe's beers that goes for really cheap. It's almost more of a stout or porter than a brown ale. Really tasty, with nice roasty, nutty, chocolaty malt flavors. It almost works as a budget replacement for Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale for me, since it tastes similar and costs 1/3 as much.

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Photo of SFNC
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look; Dark Brown/Ruby semi-opaque. A one finger tan head disappears quickly with almost no lacing present.
Smell; Sweet, nutty.
Taste; Rich, caramel, lightly roasted malts, mild hop bitterness.
Feel; Thin, a bitter aftertaste lingers a tad too long.
Overall; A decent brown ale. Considering he price a good deal.

 315 characters

Photo of dmgallag
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

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Photo of CycleDad
4.48/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a thin head that lasted a few minutes. Decent smell with a great mouth feel and taste. Very smooth with just a hint of hops on the finish. Will be buying this again.

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Photo of codekiln
4.21/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a four inch snifter, this beer had a sudden, thick, inch tall brown head that dissipated quickly, leaving slight lace on the walls. The foam tasted like chocolate, nuts and malt. When it simmered down, it revealed a deep chestnut-colored, opaque beer. It is hardly bitter at all; very sweet and fruity. It's almost like a dessert beer. The mouthfeel is on the thick, watery side, and it smells slightly metallic, with notes of grapes and nuts. It feels like a fine English Brown Ale - which, admittedly, isn't our favorite type of beer to date.

 556 characters

Photo of Clarsanm
2.21/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I mean, i'm reading other people reviews and i don't get it. I tried this beer last night and it was VERY BAD.
Extremely light, crispy but so watery...its like a dark lager more than dark ale. The price is ridiculously cheap(5.65 a six pack in TJ) but like i said, i wasn't expecting such a bad product. At one point i thought its was expired...
No creamy at all, watery taste, nice aroma but that's all. Not what i'm expecting of a Dark Ale. My sensation was "this is a Dark Ale Budweiser". Next time i'm going for a Porter.

 525 characters

Photo of KensWorld
4.24/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Taste better than expected. Nice sweet nutty maple syrup taste. Malt bomb for sure. I'd say this is more of a Schwarzbier or Brazilian Black Beer style then a Brown Ale. If you love malty beers, you will like this a lot.

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Photo of entenduintransit
4.51/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is an absolutely delicious ale. Wonderful coffee notes and aftertaste. A hint of a toffee/caramel taste as well. Low carbonation and creamy feel. One of my new favorites.

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Photo of StoutHobbit
3.42/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: looks very dark amber-brown, a light lacing foam that's butterscotch in color.
S: Malty, a bit processed, not a totally pleasant smell, hints of
Taste: Malty, heavy, with a molassassy finish, roasty, kind of dessert taste with chocolate notes.
Feel: Smooth good finish, not very crisp, more on the warm side.
O: A decent beer for the price, not anything special, a good dark ale standby

 390 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Toad Dark Ale
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "BEST CONSUMED BEFORE: 07/03/15 11.32"
$1.17 @ Trader Joe's #766, Tampa, FL
- - - now brewed by JosephsBrau Brewing Co., San Jose, CA

Black Toad pours a clear, deep mahogany brown body beneath a full head of pillowy tan foam that holds remarkably well. The lacing is not quite as good, but it still makes a fine showing.

Aromas of sweet cocoa nibs, toffee, light mint, and soft red fruit greet you in the nose. It's rich and welcoming, and without flaw.

The flavor is sweetish and nutty with lots of caramelish and chocolatey, almost fudge-like malt, but that's balanced by a slight edge of roastiness, a mild bitterness, and minty and grassy hop flavors.

It's a nicely balanced beer that's not complicated, but still interesting enough; and which offers enough richness to leave it satisfying without becoming 'too much'. Given the price ($1.17 single bottle) it's hard to beat as an occasional semi-sweet dark ale.

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Photo of Gavage
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 1/4" head.

Smell: roasted malt is the lone aroma component.

Taste: roasted malt, dark fruit, some woody and earthy tones, and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, smoother at the end.

Overall: a relatively simple al that has a nice roasted flavor. Easy to consume.

 334 characters

Photo of shleepy
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Dark brown, with relatively small head. Caramely malt smell. Taste and mouthfeel is smooth (albeit not as smooth as a Velvet Merlin) but also roasty. Has kind of a "rusty" quality to it. Pleasant, but I'd opt for a Velvet Merlin, if it's at the local Trader Joe's, instead, for an extra couple of dollars per six-pack.

 318 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle with a BB date of July 2015.

Pours clear, very dark brown, with a large, durable tan head. Lingering lacing partially coats the glass.

Aroma: mild medium and dark roasted grains with a lighter roast than the appearance suggests. Faint hints of coffee, smoke, roasted nuts and toffee.

Flavor: mild medium and dark roasted grains with a neutral bitter/sweet balance.

Feel: medium-light body; very smooth. Lively, crisp carbonation.

O: enjoyable and economical dark ale that straddles the brown ale / light porter categories. Improved with warming.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear but almost opaque deep crimson red/brown approaching black in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation slowly rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate ruby red highlights. The beer has a three finger tall foamy tan head that slowly reduces to mottled thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts with a light amount of toffee notes. There is a subtle hint of nuts (maybe pecan) and just a hint of herbal hops.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of roasted malts with a very light amount of toffee sweetness. That is followed by a subtle note of nuts/pecans and just a very light amount of herbal hops. Very light amounts of bitterness in the finish which fades almost immediately.

M: Light bodied with a moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable, kind of a hybrid between an English Brown Ale and an English Porter but one that I found to be mostly successful. Could easily have a couple of these in a session.

 1,123 characters

Photo of Beric
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Serving: Bottle, from the bottle
Served: 29 May 2014

Appearance: Enjoyed this one from the bottle. You can tell this is one dark beer though, since the brown bottle gets lighter as you drink this one.

Smell: Complex notes of gooey caramel, toffee, and molasses.

Taste: Much like the smell, with an especially strong assertion of sweet molasses malt notes. Extremely flavorful for a highly underrated style.

Mouthfeel: Easily one of the weakest aspects of this beer in my opinion. Despite the relatively strong malty flavors, the beer felt somewhat thin on the tongue. The carbonation didn't carry the beer too well.

Overall: A very flavorful beer from Trader Joe's for a good price point. I would recommend this to drinkers who like malty beers.

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Photo of jadpsu
3.91/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a keep bronw with a tan head that has excellent side glass lace and average head retention.
Aroma: Sweet malts, some roasty malts, mollasses ant nuttiness.
Taste; Follows the aroma , maltiness, roasty breads with the caramel and some cocoa.
Hops are not evident.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation is noticable, creamy.
Good brown or dark ale. Loved the malts.

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Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 259 ratings.
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