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Prohibition Ale | Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

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Prohibition AleProhibition Ale
Very Good
975 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 975 |  Reviews: 347
Photo of shadowofthereaper_666
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of aquazr1
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of sharpski
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Kuhnzie8637
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of woodychandler
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was inspired, yesterday, on a Snow Day at the high school where I teach English/ Communications Arts, to drink the Speakeasy oeuvre and imagine myself as writing the reviews during Prohibition. I am currently reading "Chicago Noir", which serves as further inspiration and this is really the beer that I should have started with, but I will make sure that it all blends seamlessly into a cohesive narrative. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, allow me to journey on a flight of fancy, courtesy of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers and my local speakeasy, The Fridge, to the misguided period of U. S. history known as Prohibition.

From the bottle: "Legit Since 1997"; "Demand Prohibition"; "Hand Crafted Amber Ale"; "Prohibition Ale is a boldly hopped amber ale that strikes a perfect balance between caramel maltiness and its aggressive hopping."; "Independently owned & operated".

The Old Lady and I rolled up to the door, marked with a blindfolded tiger, rapped twice, and when the peephole slid open to reveal two inquisitive eyes, I whispered the day's password, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and the door swung open to allow us to enter. I sauntered up to the bar with The Doll on my arm, slinky and feline as ever. Bottles were proffered and accepted so I popped the caps and began the pour for us. My aggro pour really bothers The Old Lady for some reason, but since it was my tab, it was my call. Prohibition never looked so good! There was a pseudo-cascade, followed by the creation of slightly better than two fingers of dense, light-tan head with great retention. Color was a deep reddish-orange (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity, but we were in PA, so it was almost time to wet our whistles. Nose evinced an interesting admixture of grapefruit and caramel and my mouth was beginning to water. The Old Lady was tugging at my sleeve, anxious to get started, as she always seems to be. Mouthfeel was very soft, almost as if it were flat (which it definitely was NOT), but it really allowed the hops and malt to shine. The citrus hops feinted and jabbed and then the malt hit with a nice 1-2 punch on the tongue. This led to a cool finish, semi-dry as the hops asserted themselves, especially on the extreme finish. If this was Prohibition, I know that I will be staying for a while!


My original, on-tap review was dtd 06-24-2010 with scores of 4; 3.5; 4.5; 3.5 and 4 follows:

Ah, the benefits of being back in The City ... They are legion, but being able to find Speakeasy beers on draft has to rank among them. From notes, taken July 2009.

This arrived with a finger of off-white head with decent retention. Nose was slightly caramel-ish. Color was a deep copper with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was medium with a malty, caramel taste on the tongue. Finish was mild, not sweet at all. AmeriCAN Amber/Red Ale?!? This was much more like a classic English Pale Ale, IMHO. Well done and totally unexpected!

 2,962 characters

Photo of Sprint
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 ounce bottle

Ruby red in color with foamy head with lacing that dissapates somewhat quickly.

Smell is a nice caramel biscuit with some grassy notes.

Taste is very nice. Hops are assertive, but nicely balanced with a strong malt backbone. Malt could be a little more matured and roasty but is still nice even if a little cloying. Hops are grassy and citrusy with a hit of grapefruit rind on the back of the throat. Finishes dry. I would appreciate a little less bitterness and a little more conditioning regarding the malt, but it's still a nice hoppy red ale, almost a red IPA. Alcohol is not overly noticeable.

satisfying body with full moutfeel though more towards medium than full. I find it sessionable.

Overall quality craft brewed Amercan Amber/Red ale. I'm a fan of speak easy and find them to be a little more balanced in their approach to hopping than other west coast breweries. I will get this beer again.

 947 characters

Photo of MKrauss
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mattmarka1
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Peder
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of TTripp725
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of sanitarium16
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Jotora
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

Photo of NickTight
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Jwale73
2.81/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle courtesy of bstyle. Served in an American Pint. Bottled on 10.31.13. Pours a translucent amber with a foamy, three-finger, light tan head. Nothing overly distinctive about the nose - toasted malt-forward with some piny/citrusy hops. Taste consistent with nose, but there is also a distinct metallic flavor. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with an even carbonation and a trace of acidity. Overall, a pretty lackluster amber. Not sure if it's just an off bottle, past its prime or just subpar. Not something I need to revisit again any time soon.

 559 characters

Photo of Baab200
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of DATAfiend
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I'm still a novice "craft" beer drinker, but I've noticed the ones that are particularly dark (in this case red) are definitely my preference. It's definitely got the hops (what do you expect from these guys) and I'm definitely looking for this at bevmo. Overall, excellent.

 274 characters

Photo of mmhannon
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Pog-Mo-Thoin
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Stofko1992
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of zaptone
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Photo of tommyguz
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of ADZA
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a ruby red hue with a one finger bubbly head and some nice subtle lacing and definitely a red ale on eye,the smell is a heap of resinous piney hops mixed with strawberries and a slight herbalness it's a hopped red that's for sure,feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and really sets the sessionability on the high end and with that massive hopfest first encountered on smell it's nicely balanced with sweet sticky toffee mid palette and on the finish the hops are still there but it's only a light herbal bitterness and overall it's one of those beers that u have to try but Im not rushing out to grab again as i still prefer Riverside's 44 but also could happily drink if offered cheers.

 705 characters

Photo of NonicPanic
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of 21Maestro8
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Act25
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Compares well with SF-based 21st Amendment Bitter American. A bitter, woody, flavorful and sessionable ale.

A: Pours light reddish brown color, with a thick, lumpy off-tan head that lasts and laces on the glass.

S: The powerful, smoky aroma is of caramelized malts, roasted nuts, hop pine, and citrusy hops. Very nutty, a bit wet woods. Plenty of it, a real muscly beer.

T: Powerful. Follows the smoky smell. The taste is malty and sweet up front followed by caramel, grass, pine, & citrus and with forest charcoal smokiness. There's a nice complimentary hops presence that provides a good balance. The after-taste is bitter sweet. Unusual, plenty of flavor. Almost gravy like, mushroomy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is ok

D: Totally a must try. Original.

 796 characters

Prohibition Ale from Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 975 ratings
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