Prohibition Ale | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

very good
341 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

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Reviews: 341 | Ratings: 958
Photo of morayeel
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is one of or not the best ale I have ever had on tap. There is so much you could say about this ale but im going to sum it all up in one word "AWSOME". If you never had this ale you dont know what you are missing. Go ahead and step on up to a big boy ale thats going to blow you away.

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Photo of Randon
4.95/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has to be one of my favorites. Great complexity in the flavor from start to finish. Pours with nice head, has a great smell to it. Nice combination of hops balanced with the caramel flavor. Very smooth on the tongue. Bought bottles at Bevmo in Tempe, brought to Albuquerque since can't find it around here. Amazingly, this beer goes down smooth and flavorful, and is the gift the keeps on giving as you are reminded of the great taste when you burp it back up. No kidding! Can only vouch for this when drank on an empty stomach.

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Photo of fbs004
4.85/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The price of 12 bucks a 6 pack is perhaps the only drawback from this phenomenal beer. It has complex flavors, and is well hopped and malted to create a brew that is not too sweet or spiced like a trippel and not overwhelmingly hopped as to take away from the malt. A must try.

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Photo of gueuzegeek
4.83/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is considered by Speak Easy to be an amber Ale. For sure it has a nice amber color and great fragrant hops to be noted. I was fortunate enough to get this beer in a mixed case of Speak Easy's beers, because I had had Big Daddy IPA, and enjoyed it and wanted to see what else they created. Well, this one won me over, and I think it is even more full bodied and full flavored than Big Daddy. I got the case about two months ago, and still have one left in the fridge. I do not know what I am saving it for, but I do know it is not easy to find where I live. Any one who loves a nice hoppy beer should give this amber a try!

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Photo of jimilayne
4.81/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap frequently at the Black Horse Pub in Brooklyn.

One of the better beers you'll ever have, in my opinion.

Beautiful rustic red color with a perfect 2 finger head.

Citrusy and hoppy with tastes of caramel and malt. Tastes, So incredibly drinkable and it packs a punch.

Goes down incredibly smoothly. This is one beer I introduce to people who aren't necessarily "beer people" and it's a continual winner.

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Photo of Winter
4.66/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a gorgeous deep reddish amber with a long-lasting light tan head. Mouthfeel is medium-to-thin in body with a pleasant creaminess to it. Aroma consists of piney citrus and malt. Prohibition ale starts off with that piney citrus punch which leads to the creamy caramel malt middle. Biscuity finish that has a mouth-puckering finale. The underlying caramel malt background plays second fiddle to the predominant hop bitterness experienced and enjoyed throughout. This beer really seems more like an IPA than a traditional amber. Regardless, it's superbly crafted.

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Photo of yelterdow
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the far reaches of the West Coast comes this beer from Speakeasy, now available in New York on draft and in bottles. Sample from S.K.I. Beer Corp, the distributor for the area.

Served at between fridge and cellar temperature inn a SABL glass.

Appearance- Noting the light yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle, I choose to swirl in its goodness to provide maximum taste and texture. It pours a fiery reddish amber, supporting a terrific two-finger topper that has amazing structure. After several minutes, the head is merengue as it pops and hisses away ever so slowly. There is plenty of lacing draping itself inside the glass... eye candy.

Smell- Juicy, sweet honeyed grapefruit with a focus on the malt backbone... it's so balanced I can't even believe it. More citrus than pine, the lush hop profile teases the senses. Absolutely phenomenal nose.

Taste- Firm, big flavors of luscious malts and bittering hops that envelope the whole tongue. There's a rich, caramel character that perfectly balances the finish, which offers a gooey, lasting bitterness. Astoundingly rich in flavor and balance.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Slick and easy, the modest carbonation gives way to a smooth finish down the throat. The tasting ends with a giant hop sneeze, the sign of a sure win. Delicious and thankfully now available in NY, this is very highly recommended.

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Photo of Beelzebeer
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle served in tulip, no date on bottle. Approx a year old.

A - Dark toffee colour body, with generous amount of head, which unfortunately didn't stay long. Nice lacing

S - Toffee malt and hops, suprising due to age. Excited to see how this holds up

T - Perfect amount of carbonation, malt toffee, slight slight chocolate, nice hop presence, especially for the age. Nice, rounded balance of buttery caramel malt, and dimished resiny hops. Very pale ale-esque.

M - Perfect. Some weight, but easy to drink. Great beer to have a couple of.

I'm glad I waited a while to have this one. I brought 3 back from NYC a year ago, and it aged quite well. Much better than I had expected. Another sign of a quality brew. Thanks Speakeasy.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass
A: pours a perfectly clear beautiful amber color with a two finger head that is creamy and light tan in color, leaves spotty and thin lacing
S: nice hoppiness and also a nice depth with slight woody notes
T: great taste, perfect for the style, smooth and slightly woody with caramel notes at the end
M: gentle carbonation, thin and smooth, leaves the mouth slightly dry
O: loved it and found it to be spot on for the style

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Photo of DavidLosAngeles323
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew is awesome. The bottle Is different, a more thug like art and feel. I've had in bottle and glass, prefer bottle as it given its natural fruit flavor. Smells great and unlike citrus ale's is given a lot more different fruit flavors. Beer is great I've had it on multiple occasions I rather have the ipa version though. Suggest everyone to try

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Photo of elNopalero
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours an intense, solid caramel-amber grapefruit red. Looks fantastic with great foam.
There’s a thick piney grapefruit hop aroma with a nice rounded hop note. The flavor is hoppy and dank with some chewy pine. It’s a hop bomb for sure. Forgot how good this one is.

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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.

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Photo of beerslushy
4.48/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this on-tap in an imperial pint glass. Beautiful cloudy, reddish-brown color. Plenty of malt flavor but well balanced by the hops. Reminded me of a "hopped-up" version of an english bitter. Went down very smooth and easy. You can certainly feel the 6.1% ABV by the third pint. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of stewart124
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark copper color with a decent white head that I'll bet leaves some lace.
The smell is earthy with a pine and citrus aroma. Bits of toasted malts present.

The taste is very smooth with moderate carbonation and a nice piney bite but not overpowering. Very pleasant biscuity notes and good blend of caramel. The taste is very refreshing and hits all over my palate. Nice amount of esters and a clean taste. I pick up a little pear and the sourness of something close to granny smith apples. It dries out my mouth like a granny smith apple that's for sure.

Finishes dry with a very pleasing aftertaste of pine. Quite drinkable.

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Photo of mschofield
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light reddish amber, topped with a one finger white head, leaves rings of lacing.
Nice floral and citrus hop aroma, biscuit base.
Floral and citrus taste, biscuit, maybe some crystal malt, tea, fruit juice, an interesting taste, theres a lot of tangerine and lemon.
Medium bodied, a session beer with great drinkability.

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Photo of Offa
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a very good, tasty, solid, very drinkable beer.

Amber, it has a medium, off-white head steadily shrinking to a foamy ring and wisps, and leaving some lace.

The aroma is toasty, caramelly malt, citrus (leaning to grapefruit but just barely), juice.

The taste is pretty richly malty with caramelly toast, with a hint of chocolate as well as grapes, grapefruit, some pine and leaves. It is creamy, yet zesty in feel with good balance, a light bitter finish.

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Photo of mynie
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours great. Dark dark red like the hair on one of them freaky kids who never leaves the barn. Giant, retentive head. Good lacing.

Smells wonderful! A very big, dry hop stands out against a robust, sweet malt. The malt is caramely and smooth, like it should belong in a marzen.

Taste begins with a solid hop presence that's very dry. It runs into some light fruit complexities near the middle, but stays dry throughout before giving way at the end to a very smooth, very sweet malt. Excellent balance!

Wow, is all I can say. I was not expecting this. Perfectly hoppy for the style and with a balance you will not believe.

Normally, American Reds leave me a little unsatisifed. Not so here. This is a grand example of the style that I would place with the big boys like Santa's Private Reserve and Retro Red!

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Photo of argock
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased as 6-pack at Market Street Wine Shop (Charlottesville, VA) for $9.99.

A: Inviting dark blood amber with bubbly 1-2 finger light beige head with average retention but beautiful lace formations all the way down the glass.

S: The aroma is one of the best in the business and by far my favorite for ambers (Nugget Nectar is best but we'll call it imperial and leave it at that). Heavy hops aromas which run the gamut from lemon, orange, grapefruit, pine, spicy, leafy, and tropical fruit dominate as the caramel malt backbone sneaks through to remind you that it's there.

T: The flavor is good, but not as full and not as much of a punch as you'd hope from the nose. Surprisingly, floral and spicy hops varieties are most impressive with some grapefruit and pine hops flavors in there too. The caramel maltiness is more forceful but is a little too sugary sweet rather than lending body and substance. The aftertaste is pretty malty but with spicy hops cutting it sharply.

M: The mouthfeel is not bad but not a world-beater as it is not as substantive as you would like, and the carbonation is far too active for the style and level of hoppiness.

D: A very good amber with tons of hops aroma and flavor with a raw, unfettered graininess that is truly unique for the style. I can think of a handful of ambers I like better (Lagunitas Lucky 13, Rogue Dry-Hopped Red, Humboldt Red Nectar), but Prohibition Ale is nothing to dismiss -- it's a very good brew. If I could homebrew this well, I would be a very happy man as Speakeasy has done a really nice job with this beer.

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Photo of ggroller
4.41/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to admit that I wasn't expecting anything good from this one. I thought the bottle label and name of the beer was completely cheesey. It reminded me of Steel City cans or Three Stooges beer. Anyway, WOWEE! What a great surprise. This beer poured a nice copper color with very sticky, sturdy head that hung around and laced down the glass until the last sip. The taste was very complex with huge hops and fruity notes throughout that remained consistant until the last swallow. I also picked up on a little cinammon. The mouthfeel was thick but not too sweet or sticky. I will definitely have this one again.

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Photo of TheMarkE
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excellent. They call it an amber ale, but there is a boatload of hops in here. They tossed in enough bready malts to make it perfectly balanced, but I would call it a pale ale. The classification is the only quibble I have, however. This is a darn good beer. Complex, balanced, and delicious.

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Photo of kgs
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: a lovely deep amber, like melted sugar

S: a little hoppy, with a malt fragrance there as well

T: a wonderful malt/hop balance, firmly in both camps, but restrained enough to be sessionable

M: silky and round

D: this is the perfect beer to close out a good weekend: distinct but drinkable. Despite its clear flavors, a great food companion.

I have had this beer several times on tap, and each time I appreciate it a little more. It's a beer of many colors... a bit hoppy, amber, malty, reddish... but somehow manages to fit in whatever you are doing. Notably well done.

Edit: I should add I often buy this beer in the bottle, and it is almost as good as on tap (a little less fragrance). Such a well-done beer.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Single, twelve-ounce bottle just purchased from Nikki's Liquors in Providence...
As far as an American amber is concerned, this is by far an excellent depiction of the style...
Poured a deep, amber, dark-copper hue with a decent-sized head that soon receded and deposited a thick film of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Spectacular aroma, laden with rich malts, deep amber and grains, biscuits, and caramel...
Taste strongly complemented the smell... Crisp, clean, robust, with a thick malt backbone and a touch of hops for balance...
Creamy, thick, rich mouthfeel along with a great level of drinkability...

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Photo of biernuss
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a six pack and was glad I did. It poured nicely with a dark copper somewhat reddish hue with a nice decent head which recessed into nice lacing. The aroma was nice but undistinguishable. The taste was great and the mouthfeel was very thick. I now have a three pack remaining which speaks of its drinkability.

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Photo of Lambstrong
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is golden amber in color with a yellowish head. There is decent head retention. It has a very sweer hoppy aroma. The taste is one of a well balanced malt to hop ratio. Also present is a sweetness with caramel notes. Very good mouth feel. All in all, a very good well balanced beer!

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Photo of Holland
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Jupiter Brewing - served in a tumbler.

A: beautiful dark amber/light brown color with a thick head right off the pour. Lacing is sticky, thick and present throughout.

S: malts, wood, and spice round this out. A little sweetness, like a confectionery shop.

T: changes as you drink it. Carmel, spice, malt, bitter hops, some sweet honey like flavor, tons of wood notes, slight citrus, and earthiness.

M: medium body, with a mouth-coating deliciousness during and a crisp, carbonated feeling in the middle.

O: had this in a bottle after, and it's nothing compared to on-tap. This is an incredibly complex beer and not at all what I expected.

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Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
3.84 out of 5 based on 958 ratings.
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