Black Toad Dark Ale | Black Toad Brewing Co.

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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:
492
Avg:
3.59
pDev:
19.78%
 
 
Wants:
22
Gots:
48
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 259 | Ratings: 492
Photo of EricCioe
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured deep black with a light, sandy head with some lacing. On the nose there is a sweet, almost raspberryish note that hangs out underneath a bigger, toasted malt flavor. I hadn't noticed that until my third one because it's buried pretty deep. On the tongue there is a nice mix of the sweeter, fruity flavors and a little bit of the dark malt. It's a strange but really nice, subtle mixture. In the mouth it's pretty thin and doesn't have a very large body. It just doesn't stick around much. But that makes for a beer that would be very easy to sit back and drink lots of, and with a good mix of subtler aromas and flavors like this beer has, that's not entirely a bad thing.

 684 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a murk dark amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured caramel, molasses and a touch of roasted malt.

The taste was initially sweet and dominated by balmy caramel malts. Cocoa and a faint nuttiness appeared toward the finish.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style with a residual filmy sweetness.

Overall a solid brown ale for the money. Certainly plenty of flavor the keep it interesting.

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Photo of BlackBearForge
3.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black Toad, despite a thin fizzy head and little lacing. is a pretty nice looking beer, dark clear brown with deep amber/maroon highlights.

The aroma is pretty much thin chocolate malts with a light grassy hop character.

The flavor picks up with a fairly flavorful mix of lightly sweet dark roasted malts, a bit of chocolate, a bit of grainy nuttiness and a light grassy hop bitterness a bit floral in character. There is also a bit of molasses in the finish. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is light/medium and very smooth and lightly creamy with a touch of a carbonated edge.

Overall a nice rather well mix of well integrated mild flavors making a tasty whole, quite drinkable and crisp for a brown ale.

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Photo of CheckmateBrew
3.26/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Look is a dark mahogany with a tan two finger head

Smell is malts with coffee , chocolate and a touch of hops

Tastes a dark ale with coffee. to be honest, not what I was expecting

Overall not bad, but not great as the coffee overtones were too much....and as a non coffee drinker... I will pass for next time

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Photo of TheStig
4.06/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.49/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at Trader Joe's. Pours dark brown with a tanned long lasting foamy head. The aroma of dark fruit, raisins, roasted malt with hints of floral hops. The flavor was sweet dark fruit and caramel malt in the beginning followed by light coffee and dark chocolate notes. Finish is short and on a sweet side. I did not expect much but was pleasantly surprised. For this price I will definitely buy it again.

 421 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
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).

 687 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another good beer from Trader Joe's!!! This one pours a clear mahogany color with ruby highlights throughout when held to the light. Decent size off white/light tan head with good retention. Thick spotty bands of lacing.

Smell is toasted malt...fairly pronounced and pleasant. Taste is malty with some mild chocolate....Tastes like a fairly mild porter. Nice flavor.

Mouthfeel is crisp, good carbonation and VERY SMOOTH!!

Drinkability is good. A reasonable abv, pronounced smell and flavor and good solid mouthfeel. This one could be pleasantly swilled as a session beer or with a meal.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.97/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Obviously I'm going to have to change my expectations for this beer immediately, because when I hear the name "Black Toad" I immediately start thinking stout or Porter, yet this "dark ale" seems to be much more of a brown ale. Here it goes:

A: Dark reddish brown with very little head that nonetheless leaves a nice solid ring of lacing.

S: Roasty malt aroma. Not a whole lot going on here, nor a whole lot of complexity, but a good solid aroma all the same. Certainly is appealing.

T: Once again not a whole lot of complexity, but very good all the same. Some deep roasty maltiness, not overly sweet at all. slight coffee taste on the finish.

M: Nice mouthfeel. Enough carbonation to keep the beer from feeling heavy or sticky, but not so much to keep it from going down smooth.

D: Whiile I couldn't drink a whole lot of these, I bought it at a good price ($6 for a sixer) and it was certainly money well spent. A solid, drinkable brown ale. Once I got past my disappoint that "Black Toad" does not mean "Black Ale" I thoroughly enjoyed this beer.

 1,053 characters

Photo of katan
3.41/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a deep dark brown color, to almost amber. Light to no head formation, off white in color. Breaks down to being fully clear, as is the beer.

S - Malty strong, very caramel, toffee, some even scotch style malts come through.

T -Starts with a malty sweetness, some nutty, caramel flavors. Mid-stream stays very malty, some yeast starts to come through. Finishes just as sweet. Hugely malt forward beer, under attenuated.

M - Thick and cloying, piles of unfermentables. Carbonation is mostly missing.

D - Easy drinking if you like sugar sweet beers. Very malty. Not filling. ABV is manageable.

I show this one as a trader joe's beer - so I'm not sure what Black Toad brewing is.

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

Nose: Candy sweetness of chocolate and caramel, with a grounding nuttiness. Sweet and savory like Christmas.

Appearance: Rich, ruby-tinged brown with good clarity for the dark color. The head was thin, and I would have liked more of it.

Taste: The first few sips brought immediately heavy sweetness. But warming brought a richer profile of bittersweet chocolate, caramel, and coffee. Sweet and sticky, but not cloying thanks to a gentle but rich oily, nutty flavor.

Overall: A solid offering, but a bit seasonal for my tastes. A definite winner for the Holidays.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a good looking beer. It has nice opaque body. The head is bubbly and the frothiness stays in the middle. It has a sweet candy like aroma that reminds me of a lot of dark Belgians. Its flavor is like a mild porter. There are some mild roasted malt esters. It has thin mouthfeel. There is some carbonation bite.

 317 characters

Photo of jonB
3.31/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very dark English brown ale that is very similar to Newcastle, but not quite the same caliber. Easy to drink, but not particularly impressive. It has a some malty taste that is a little sweet and has a weak finish. Not a lot of body to the beer and lacking a distinguishing characteristic.

 291 characters

Photo of July2Nov
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark Brown in color with a thin laced head.

Smell: Sweet and deep roasted coffee and nut smell.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Those deep roasted malts of roasted nuts are very strong up-front and are maintained throughout the life of the beer. A sweet, almost milky flavor comes in near the end. There is a slight carbonation feel to it. The aftertaste is akin to coffee.

Drinkability: Very nice addition to the Trader Joe line-up. If I lived close to one, I would definitely grab a few more of these, but in the meantime, I'll just savor the ones I have.

 562 characters

Photo of Bfarr
1.68/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Dark Brown with hints of red with a tan foamy gead with poor retention and no lacing. Roasted malt sweetness and then adjuncts? Sweet roasted malt start... and then you swallow. A horrible bitter linger kicks in. High Carbonation with a sticky finish.

Ugh, it's like my tongue used my uvula for a speed bag. It started off so well, perhaps it was old because I don't remember hating it that much last time.

 407 characters

Photo of tapman
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opaque black, though a lighter ruby-brown when held to the light, with a huge tan head. Head subsides to smooth, even lacing.

Toffee and butterscotch. I don't smell any hops or yeast.

Super toffee and ultra butterscotch with some roasted flavors. Hop bitterness is apparent and balanced.

Thick, but not too.

A good beer, just not very complex. I would hazard at some specialty grains and a mixture of roasted barley with some black patent or something like that. Worth a try, especially for the price

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.12/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark mahogany brown with a small wisp of a tan head. Head retention is poor, and little lace is left on the glass.

S - Rootbeer and sassafras. A little bit of tootsie roll in there too.

T - Mild chocolate and root beer. Roasted grains and blackened steak. Better than the nose for sure, but still a little bit weak for the style.

M - Light bodied and roasty. This is honestly over carbonated for what it's trying to be.

D - This is a bit too burn-y tasting and a lot too weak for the style. I honestly thought this was more of a "Euro dark lager" than a porter, as it is a bit on the thin side. It is relatively easy drinking and mild, but the over-done burnt steak (grill char) flavor is a bit much.

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Photo of Beejay
2.68/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Murky brown with a hint of red. Nice tan head on it.

S: Roasty, with a syrupy malt scent.

T: Roasty, with a syrupy malt flavor. Decent with a very caramelized flavor, though it does seem have a bit of an extract flavor.

M: Medium bodied, the carbonation seems a little high for the style.

D: Once is enough for me. Decent, but not spectacular.

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Photo of bsp77
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from glass into clear plastic cup (at least it's clear).

Appearance: Chestnut brown with thin off-white head and minimal lacing.

Smell: Quite sweet with caramel, molasses, chocolate, roasted malt and a slight nuttiness.

Taste: Not quite as sweet as the aroma, but still a little sweet. Caramel, molasses and chocolate comes through once again balanced by a drier walnut taste. Ends a little bitter with English hops. Seems more like an English Brown but with a heavier roasted taste.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Easy drinking, dark English Ale. Certainly not an American Porter, more like an English Brown Porter or an English Brown Ale.

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Photo of thetomG
3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-transparent dark brown. Nice amount of foamy tan head that lingers surprisingly well and leaves plenty of lacing all over the glass.

Flavor is pretty straightforward with smokey/roasty/nutty notes with just a bit of bitterness lingering in the finish.

Good solid porter and something I would drink again, but not one that I'd go out of my way for...

 364 characters

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 5-27-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - 1 finger of foam, nice white lacing ring, very dark in color, carbonation is present

S - Roasted malts, vanilla

T - oatmeal, vanilla, malts, couldn't pick out any hops

M/D - Pretty tasty brew, medium bodied with a very smooth flavor. It went down pretty easy and I also recommend that people should try it. I picked it up at a trader Joe's

 406 characters

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One bottle of "Distinctive Dark Ale" from the Black Toad Brewery. The beer is dark, but not black, with very visible brown regions near the edges. The foam is only a few centimeters deep, and left some nice lacing.

The aroma is raisins, chalky cocoa--it almost reminds me of a dry Irish stout. The sweetness of ripe fruit along with powdery cocoa leads the flavor into a dry bitterness at the end. The palate is left with flavors of husky grains and cocoa.

The flavor here is neither bold nor complex, but it is drinkable.

 525 characters

Photo of mwagner1018
3.92/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark deep black amber with a slight red hue.
Pours with a light milk chocolate froth head, dissipates quickly.
A nice swirl reinvigorates the head, and opens up the aromatics.

S- Roasted sweet malt, raisin, plum, slight banana ester.

T- Slight chocolate bitterness, coffee, raisin, mild alcohol
and a fresh coconut essence, with a light bitterness to finish.

M- Medium high carbonation, light crispness.

D- Good drinkable beer, smooth enough to have a couple, complicated
with enough depth to keep me interested.

 521 characters

Photo of droomyster
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark brown with glints of deep ruby red on the edges; a big brown head sits up top. Aromas are sweet, with the smell of dark fruits melding with coffee notes and a strong nutty element. The flavors are sweeter and more chocolatey than the nose would suggest (I mean this in a good way). Milk chocolatey sweet finish. All around a very solid beer, not to mention a bargain.

 391 characters

Photo of 1759Girl
3.57/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance>Warm brown, creamy golden head which dissipates immediately. Dark and lively. Looks pretty average.
Smell>mmmm! Burnt toast and sweet malt. Smells great!
Taste>Not very complex but very good. Would like a little more complexity.Hang is toasty and sweet.
Mouf> meh. Nothing exciting.
Drinkability> I could drink this again for sure. Easy.

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Black Toad Dark Ale from Black Toad Brewing Co.
3.59 out of 5 based on 492 ratings.
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