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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:
#37,013
Reviews:
261
Ratings:
513
pDev:
14.4%
Bros Score:
4.12
 
 
Wants:
22
Gots:
61
Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 513 |  Reviews: 261
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by 7/5/12.

Pours a clear crimson brown with a 1/2 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace drip back into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt and burnt caramel/toffee aromas. Taste is of roast malt, bread, caramel, and a slightly nutty and herbal hop finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a light carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some nice roasty aromas and flavors.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black Toad pours with a solid brown base color, ruby and crimson highlights and bright clarity. A lightly tanned head rises and retains for a much longer duration than I expected.

Aromas are malty with toffee, toast, light roast, and fresh baked bread crust. Herbal hops make a modest impression. Pretty clean and simplified nose.

Flavors re-affirm the toast and bread crust with a crisp and dry toasty mouthfeel. A bit more fruity with grapes, plumbs, and dates than the nose suggests. A long, soft linger of herbal hops and bread crusts.

Sweet and medium textured up front but the beer fades quickly into dryness first, and then a weaker, more watery cola-like flavor late.

A fair, simple, and non-offensive note. Though it will have trouble competing with Great Lakes Eliot Ness, this beer compares favorably against Voodoo Black Beer and Michelob Amber Bock.

Thanks Steve for sharing.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.9/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle looks to be either 11.2 or 12 fl oz. It's brown glass with a standard pressure cap, best before date 08/15/2012 13:40 (I find it intriguing they actually put a time on the date - as though opening it at 14:00 would be substantially different). Though the site notes say this is contract brewed by Goose Island, the bottle label says it's brewed and bottled by Josephsbrau. I purchased it at the Whole Foods in Glendale, California. Reviewed live.

Expectations are high given its current ratings and my previous experiences with Trader Joe's beers. Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated. Served into a Guinness goblet.

A: Pours a one finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and bad retention - inexcusable for the merely average ABV. Colour is a very dark caramel-copper. Nontransparent but not opaque.

Sm: Dark malts, biscuit malts, cream, hints of vanilla, some chestnut, and maybe a slight hint of roast. A mild strength aroma.

T: A dark malt foundation with mild nut notes, adequate yet underwhelming cream, biscuit malt, and a slight vague hint of vanilla. Some hops come through on the finish. No real layering. Not complex. Slightly subtle. It's an enjoyable brown ale, but it's neither unique nor special. It's pleasant to drink. An enjoyable beer. No yeast or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Some cream about the second act, but not enough on either the open or finish. A touch too thick for the absence of full flavour and lack of high ABV. What is there to support that requires the beer to have this thickness? Smooth and wet, complementing the flavour profile decently.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. There's nothing that catches me fancy to bring me back to this beer again. That said, I'd have it on draught if it was offered at a fair price. Fans of the style will like it but not love it. The ABV doesn't come through, but that's no accomplishment at 5.30%.

A poor candidate for aging.

Drank okay out of me Guinness goblet, but I reckon a nonical pint glass would do her better.

High C

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Photo of emerge077
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drinking this now, it seems like either a "Porter Lite" or a Munich Dunkel with substance. It has the roast and lactic sweetness of a Porter, but the light passes through it, and it glows crimson red when backlit. There was a sizeable head of tan foam, some fragmented lace. The faint aroma was sweet and nutty.

Taste was nice, moderate cocoa sweetness, some toffee, and traces of almond or walnut in the aftertaste. Minor roasted barley and leafy hop flavor in the back, not bitter at all though. Feel was good, ample carbonation, slight fullness to it, but went down easy. Overall I was pretty impressed with this, and it can't be beat for the price.

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Photo of brentk56
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany with a tightly bubbled beige head that leaves some dots and strands of lace

Smell: Brown bread, nuts and caramel

Taste: After the brown bread opening, the caramel sweetness takes over, bringing along some nutty flavors by mid-palate; after the swallow, the caramel sweetness tends to dominate, with hints of flecked chocolate in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A little too sweet for my palate, and more like an English Brown than a Porter, this beer has a lot of flavor and is very easy to drink

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Photo of zeff80
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a very small, thin, cola colored head. No lace.

S - Smelled of dark chocolate, roasted malt and hints of coffee.

T - This beer is powered by a roasted malt taste and backed up by sweet choclate and caramel.

M - It was fairly soft and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer/

D - This is a pretty good porter and very affordable.

 375 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +10.8%
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 chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
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 -2.5%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mactrail
3.26/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, coppery amber in the glass. Lots of foam and quite carbonated in the mouth. An interesting musty, sweet vermouth scent.

Fairly bitter on a malty flavor. A peculiar flavor, like a combination of Old Ale and Red Ale. Rather malty, which gives it a robust flavor along with the sudsy mouthfeel that makes it all worthwhile. Light bodied like a lager, but with a deep, dark, lingering aftertaste of raisin bread with a touch of iced tea and a splash of Diet Dr. Pepper.

A Trader Joe's perennial. A different take on the "other" brown ale, so popularly debased by Newcastle.

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Photo of Gkruszewski
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of russpowell
3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at trader Joe's in Santa Fe, probably the best beer I purchased there, review based on notes, BBD of 04/25/08

Pours an effervescent chestnut with one finger of tan head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Roasty malt & dark fruit once warm

T: Roasty & chocolaty malt, dryness & herbal hops up front. Some vanilla & coffee grounds as this warms, along with some licorice & dark fruit. Finishes slightly fruitty with anise

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation

Drank really easy, not a great porter, but serviceable enough. A little more malt depth would've helped the cause. I too thought this had some Schwartz bier & or dunkelbier characteristics as well

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with a thin, wispy, white head.

Smell: Dark, roasty malts with rather light notes of chocolate and fruit. Light notes, mind you.

Taste: Dark malts with a taste of chocolate-covered roasted grains and a nutty caramel sweetness. Minor hint of fruit. The bottom drops out and things get a bit watery midway. Light floral, herbal hops with a mild bitterness. Finishes dry and crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, it's be no means outstanding, but it's certainly one of the better beers from the Trader Joe's lineup.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

"Swallow a toad in the morning and you will encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day."

--Chamfort

Dark bronze with apricot accents and a faintly fizzy crown of golden khaki colored foam that looks no better than decent. The lid persists acceptably well and leaves no more than a few small spots and dots of lace.

The nose has a lightly buttered brown bread quality that is pleasant. It smells like this ale will be sweet and nutty with hints of vanilla bean. Let's see if the taste buds agree.

Black Toad Distinctive Dark Ale is, indeed, distinctive and different. Hard to say what makes it so. There's more roasted malt than is typical for the style and the hops are making a valued contribution as well. Goose Island knows how to brew beer.

There is good malt-hop balance, both in terms of flavor and sweetness versus bitterness. Forget brown bread, we're verging on pumpernickel toast. There's also an earthiness that *might* be due to a small percentage of rye malt. Semi-snappy hops means a fairly fresh bottle.

The mouthfeel could use a little work. It's light-medium, lacks hang-on, and the bubbles don't provide much expansion or creaminess.

Black Toad Dark Ale is a tasty little treat when you feel like drinking something distinctly different. Swallowing this Toad every morning, rather than being disgusting, would be a good way to start off your 'don't have to work today' day.

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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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

When I saw this at TJ I just had to grab one. It pours a clear ruby-brown topped by a small finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises brown sugar, cinnamon, caramel, toffee, light cocoa, and a hint of tobacco. The taste holds notes of light toffee, light chocolate, caramel, and some very light florals. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a very nice bit o' brew, though the taste lacks full character, as though it were too light for its own good. Beyond that, though, I could easily sit down with a sixer o' this and enjoy myself (and the more-than-reasonable price makes that even easier).

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of 22Blue
3.5/5  rDev -3%

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