This an outlier on the Australian beer scene; an old fashioned dark mild ale. It's a better beer than Coopers Dark Ale which is a relative newcomer. Toohey's Dark Ale has a fair amount of residual malt sweetness. It is lightly hopped. There are burnt caramel flavours, but not to excess and some pleasant fruity esters. (The Coopers equivalent overdoes the hops and is a trifle overcooked with the burnt toffee aromas, and imo is too dry to be a true mild ale. All of which points to a concession to their core hipster demographic and lovers of their IPA offering.)
The only major fault with Tooheys Old is it sometimes comes undercarbonated and struggles to keep a head. Accordingly, the mouthfeel is on occasions disappointing.
From 375 ml bottle. I rarely see it on tap in Queensland. L. Hard to see but appears appropriate, dark with modest head. S. Coffee, dark grain. T. A little hint of chocolate but otherwise coffee, dark grain and a little smoky. Dry but not bitter finish. F. Light for the colour and taste but not overly carbonated. O. My favourite everyday Australian dark ale, although challenged these days by White Rabbit Dark Ale which is becoming more readily available.
I have reconsidered my review from nearly 4 years ago and upped just about everything. The best big brewery beer in Australia, and still my favorite everyday Australian dark ale.
Ahh, Tooheys Old. It's this or Carlton Black for me when at the pub. Nice and mild dark flavours, not overly hoppy but certainly a good roasted flavour. Probably better off tap than in the bottle. I am biased, it is my favourite macro beer.
For me it is a better balanced beer than it's Victorian rival.
Tooheys Old is a robustly flavoured Ale made with top fermentation Ale yeast. The beer is lightly hopped, and gets its darker colour from black malt. Fruity Ale-like esters blend well with subtle hoppiness, hints of coffee and chocolate to deliver a pretty good beer.
Format: a standard 375mL brown stubby with the traditional Tooheys macro label.
Appearance: pours a very dark brown tending towards plack with ruby-brown highlights against the light. A small tan head pops up before settling to a thick cap. Decent lacing.
Aroma: the aroma is roast coffee, some cocoa, a touch of caramel and earth. Decent.
Taste: once again the roasted malts up front with nuts, smoke and that earth on the palate. Really rather nice.
Aftertaste: bitterness comes from the smoke, nuts and malt on the finish. Not too dry either - easy to drink.
Mouth feel: I wouldn't consider the feel follows the English Dark Mild formula - it is lighter and with a much higher carbonation. It suits the Australian climate perfectly. I'm not sure it would be such a hit in colder climates however.
Overall: this is definitely one of my favourite 'every day' dark beers, along with Carlton Black. They are both an Australian take on the traditional English styles - similar characteristics, but with a lighter body and higher carbonation to make them easier to drink in a session, and more refreshing in the Australian heat. I really would consider them more an excellent version of a dark lager than an English Dark Mild. Decent price too at AU$45 a case of 24 x 375mL. One of my favourite pub beers is a Tooheys Old / Tooheys New black-and-tan. I will say I do prefer Old on tap rather than in the bottle, but good nonetheless.
375ml bottle, 4.4% ABV, sold in pretty expensive six-packs up here in the Great White North. Zero suggestion on the label of style, beyond 'old', and 'ale', and I'm guessing that this is nowhere near an 'old ale'.
This beer pours a clear, very dark cola-highlighted roan brown hue, with two fingers of tightly puffy, and somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves some random geological rockface lace around the glass as it genially recedes.
It smells of semi-sweet roasted caramel malt, bittersweet cocoa, earthy yeast, softly astringent cold coffee, oily packaged nuts, a bit of toasty smoke, and very subtle earthy, leafy hops. The taste is clammy bready caramel malt, a sort of soaked and put away wet, weakly smoked ash, underwhelming chocolate and coffee notes, and mildly bitter leafy, floral, and weedy hops.
The carbonation is pretty sedate, barely even noticeable at times, the body just on the lee side of medium weight, and plainly smooth, nothing else really manifesting here to mar the status quo. It finishes off-dry, the caramel malt, mild chocolate, wet bread, and earthy, leafy hops closing up shop.
Not a bad brew, but kind of thin, and somewhat underwhelming, even for this generally anemic style. There's enough flavour to make a go of it, if moderation and sessionability are your goals for the night, but for a singular experience, this just doesn't have the legs.