Prohibition Ale | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

very good
343 Reviews
Prohibition AleProhibition Ale

Brewed by:
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Prohibition Ale is the first beer we bootlegged back in 1997. Anything but traditional and now a GABF winning brew (2013–American Amber/Red Category), Prohibition pours a deep reddish amber hue, with a fluffy tan head that leaves a beautiful lacing on the glass. A lush, complex aroma teases the senses with juicy grapefruit, citrus, pine, spice and candied caramel malts. Mouth-feel is creamy, with a silky, medium body and modest carbonation.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-27-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 343 | Ratings: 964
Photo of stcules
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, dark amber, beige foam, ok.
Malt, caramel, citrus notes, and a strong piney effect.
Quite bitter taste, pine again, citrus fruit, citron.
Average body, long, resinous aftertaste, well balanced by malt and caramel.

 219 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: crystal clear; if held to a light, medium brown with mahogany highlights; 1 finger khaki head that receded to a thin collar; OK lacing;

S: black coffee, tobacco, and sweet malt;

T: black coffee and tobacco from start to finish; sort of a weak black coffee; moderate bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: I had a decidedly different experience than many others; my glass was clean and the lines were clean;

 463 characters

Photo of patre_tim
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Medium brown with a reddish tinge, filtered without visible carbonation, topped with a finger of beige head. Great sea foam lacing.

Smells of toasted malts, caramel, a hint of firey hops.

Malty, caramel toasted notes, overall like a well done piece of toast. Fresh and malty and toasted. Slight citrusy hops, little bitterness, but mostly biscuity toast.

Medium, chewy body, moderate, foamy carbonation.

Really enjoying the style, and bready, chewy quality of this brew. Got on wish beer, drank in Chiang mai, Oct 28th, 2016.

 533 characters

Photo of 0_0
3.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Like the speakeasys in the streets of New York during the 20's this beer holds a shady underground complex network of flavours to booze you up. Or something like that, hit guys I am a few deep.
L - Reddish Brown
S - hops, fruits, piney
T + F - fruity, malt, light body
O - I'd drink this illegally if it was during the prohibition.

 331 characters

Photo of detgfrsh
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

From an undated bottle. Pours a dark red color with two fingers of fluffy head. Smell is citrus, hops, and pine. Lots of carbonation, which gives a light mouthfeel. Taste is bitter with a mix of malt and hop flavors. Dry finish. This is a very good amber with a nice balance of malt and hops. Not for everyone, though, you have to like the bitterness and high carbonation.

 372 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Good amber color, a little darker than average showing some substance. 1/2" off white head. Aroma dropped some hops, but more toasty amber malts.

Taste amply combined a well hopped amber ale with the malt not getting overly heavy or woody. Solid bitterness to counteract. Minor citrus, average maltiness.

These get tough to by without bottled on dates. Solid 2nd tier amber ale.

 389 characters

Photo of moodenba
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

speakeasy prohibition from chilled growler tasted in an English 1/2 pint glass 3/4/16.

Slight haze in a pleasant amber beer. Aroma not very prominent (probably too cold). Pleasant light carbonation (due to a few days in the jug). Good balanced flavor with a nice hoppy aftertaste.

This reminds me of my old favorite (and retired, unfortunately) Blue Point ESB.

 367 characters

Photo of johlac66
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Rubyesque brown with a thick frothy off-white head that lasted all the way down, leaving a curtain of lacing.
A little citrus, pine, spice and lightly candied bready caramel on the nose and palate.
Lower carbonation and smooth mouthfeel. Nice dry bitter finish.
I haven't been one for hoppy reds but this style is starting to grow on me a little. Tasty.

 353 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark amber color, almost brown, with beige head. Aroma is mostly caramel and malts but there is some earthy hop character too. More hops on the taste, mostly earthy and piney. Some caramel sweetness too but on the finish and aftertaste it gets quite bitter. Body is soft but has an abrasive carbonation. Overall it's a well made, classic style amber ale.

 354 characters

Photo of Biggiekrock627
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap in a pint glass. Pours a dark and deep amber with ruby red undertones.....2 finger frothy head with lacy residue on the glass. Light hints of citrus, with deep caramel almost burnt caramel malty notes.

 212 characters

Photo of JackieKu
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 fl. oz. bottle. Bottled on 05/18/2015. Poured into tulip.

A: Dark brown, darker than average of the style. Clear. Decent amount of foam and retention.
S: Intense hops aroma: tropical fruits and some grass/herbs.
T: Moderate malty sweetness. Moderate hoppy (of herbs). Quite balanced. Finish is dry.
M: Light bodied. Moderate carbonation.
O: Impressive amber ale.

 366 characters

Photo of BrewAskew
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a decent head and minimal lacing. Typical Amber color. Aroma is nutty, caramel, and cascade hops. Flavor is a good balance of malty sweetness and lip smacking hop bitterness--just enough to offset the malts. A tasty Amber.

 231 characters

Photo of daisyfching
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Smooth and sweet, with a fruity and caramel undertone/aftertaste. It's a well-balanced beer that pairs well with most food as it's not too bold, overall a solid choice!

 168 characters

Photo of extracelestrial13
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm trying this beer at a wonderful bar called "The Roost" in NY. The bartender recommended that I try this beer after me mentioning that I loved the Oskar Blues G'night Imperial and he was spot on!

Prohibition is a clear copper ale with a thin beige lacing. It is a lively beer with citrusy taste and balanced carbonation levels.

 332 characters

Photo of tucson_brewson
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice copper color with a nice inch of foam and lingering lacing.

A nice balance of sharp hoppiness and caramel malt up front that finishes smooth and slightly sweet. Very drinkable, probably a little sweeter than what a true Prohibition-era ale would've tasted like, but it sure does the trick.

Very solid brew, a little pricey, but will have to try the others from this brewery.

 391 characters

Photo of TruePerception
3.26/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Speakeasy's Prohibition Ale. 6.1% ABV.

A: Two fingers of faintly tan, creamy looking head. Clear plum red. Dirty yellow in the dimple. Very faint sheeting. Decent lacing.

S: Decent malt aroma, hidden behind piney hops.

T/MF: Piney hops are surprisingly subtle on the palate, with a touch of tree sap. Still, hop forward, but not overbearing. Slightly creamy mouthfeel. Faintly biscuit-y.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

 448 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
2.77/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light amber hue with a white head that recedes to a ring. Aroma of alcohol and stale grains. The taste has faded caramel, lemon juice, and faint bitterness. Not the best tasting beer for style fairly abrasive actually. Has an oxidized note of sherry. Hop flavor helps somewhat. Light bodied, cardboard dry and not moreish in the slightest. Overall, not too good.

 377 characters

Photo of RyanK252
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a Speakeasy Ales & Lagers pint glass

A: Pours gorgeous deep ruby amber with a frothy off white head that settles and laces very well.

S: Floral and citrus hops, some pine, a touch of deep caramel malt sweetness,

T: Citrus hops, orange, lemon, and a little grapefruit, floral notes, some pine, backed with roasty and rich caramel sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Very tasty hoppy amber. Right in my wheelhouse; this may become a regular.

 481 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper, thumbnail sized tan foam head, creamy lace.
Sweet malt forward nose, bready, biscuity,
Sweet and malt forward in taste. Very smooth and creamy feel. The finish is hops forward, leafy and dry. Soft carbonation brings out the flavor. A solid and tasty amber ale.

 281 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, almost opaque, dark amber/copper/mahogany color with two full fingers of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic. Strong aromas of floral, piney hops up front, followed by some malt, some brown sugar, honey-suckle and grapefruit-like citrus.

Taste: Actually much better than I was expecting considering the amount of hops in the aroma. There’s a very pronounced, floral, piney hops flavor up front, but it is immediately eclipsed by a ton of toasted malt, a lot of brown sugar-like sweetness, finished by just a touch of more hops to round everything out. From the aroma I was expecting a lot more hops in the flavor, but surprisingly and pleasantly, the hops is perfectly balanced with some really good bready malt and sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with some good carbonation. With an ABV of 6.1%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a much better beer than I was expecting. Like I stated earlier, due to the aroma, I was expecting a much hoppier beer than I got, but this beer is very nicely balanced. Good malt, good hops, good sweetness. Good beer.

 1,263 characters

Photo of Joncasso
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I would call it an amber soda. It was a really interesting beer. It wasn't what I expected but I enjoyed it once I got use to it. I will try this again. No doubt in my mind.

 173 characters

Photo of seedyone
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

02/06/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Nothing outstanding. OK balance of basic tastes but doesn't impress. I'm not a fan of overt beers, but this makes me wonder 'what's the point'. Mediocre at best.

 200 characters

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.48/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

There is caramel and bread from the malt in the aroma along with pine and floweriness from the hops. The malt and hops are fairly even in prominence. The body is a deep mahogany with orange-ish highlights and a dense, almost creamy, light khaki head. The flavor includes spicy and flavorful pine, grapefruit, and floweriness, along with a noticeable amount of caramel-like malt. The finish includes a little alcohol and resiny bitterness in addition to the lingering malt. It has a medium body with moderate carbonation.

Very smooth and flavorful with a significant malt presence, providing a richer and more complex flavor profile than some of the other American ambers I've tried. It does get a wee bit dry and bitter in the finish, but it's subtle enough merely to contribute a little bite to its otherwise soft and well-rounded character.

 844 characters

Photo of Samp01
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red amber with a medium beige head with good lacing. Has an abundance of caramel malt with pine earthy hops,dark fruity notes. A medium body with a bit sweet and sticky mouth feel. Sweet caramel malt and earthy pine hops bitterness on the end that linger awhile. Brew seems a bit heavy for an amber style ale but has lot of flavor and good sweet malt character. A good brew.

 387 characters

Photo of brewskifan55
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

A: Burgundy with an off-white one finger head that settles to bubbles and foam. Thick lacing.

S: Piney hops, biscuity malts, grapefruit.

T: A nice malt/hop balance. Smooth, sessionable. The cranberries on the finish kinda killed the overall taste. Bad choice of ingredients.

M: Medium with medium carbonation.

O: I don't know if traveling in my wife's suitcase from LA to Mississippi messed up the taste. But I was expecting more. Once again, the cranberries cut in on the taste.

 501 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
3.84 out of 5 based on 964 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.