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Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale - Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.

Spanish Peaks Black Dog AleSpanish Peaks Black Dog Ale

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BA SCORE
80
good

142 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 142
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 12.86%


Brewed by:
Spanish Peaks Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-28-2002)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 142 | Reviews: 124 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bagpiper2005
bagpiper2005

Idaho

4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Deep caramel color with a 1-fingered head that dissipated fairly quickly and left minimal lacing on the glass.

Smell: Lots of sweet caramel malts, a little bit of molasses, some fruity notes, and just the ever slightest amount of earthy hops.

Taste: Big caramel and roasted malt flavor which gives way into a brown sugar type sweetness, some fruity notes, and finishes up with a very light, delicate hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very smooth.

Drinkability: Goes down extremely well and is very refreshing.

Final Notes: A great all-around beer for either drinking alone, with a meal, and would pair well against a rich, flavorful dessert or drank all its own as a dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 22:43:55 | More by bagpiper2005
Photo of pootz
pootz

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle:
Poured a brilliant amber-red with a smallish of-white cap that lasted fairly well and laces the glass.

Aromas of caramel malts, leafy hops and earthiness...nice nose to this one.

Big chew on sweetish caramalt in the front then the willemette hops balance with resinous botanical bittering. This rides to the finish where it turns the drink dry and moderately bitter.

A well crafted amber. Nice quaffer.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 00:30:21 | More by pootz
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

2.91/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks a little darker than expected, not a yellow beer. Aroma, no hop presence, no presence at all really.

Taste, kinda bland, heavier malt wise, but just thicker, no flavor substantiation really. Hops still missing. Tastes like a SA (i.e. minimal hops with wood flavor).

Too pricey to account for the easy drinkability of not a lot of complex flavors. Not really much in the way of flavor at all. Not going to make any west coast pale ale fans happy I would suspect. Never seen this other than at Safeway.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 00:54:29 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of ToasterChef
ToasterChef

Maine

3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured form a cellar temperature bottle into a 12oz "pint" glass. I could hear a loud hiss as I popped the cap on this bottle. I began to pour the beer into the center of my glass, but quickly had to tilt the glass to the side and stream the beer down the wall of the glass, the head was just too big. I couldn't even get the entire 12 ounces into the glass. When I stopped pouring, there were equal parts beer and head. There is still a large head of big off-white bubbles that is resting above a dark amber beer. There are some bubbles clinging to the bottom of the glass, but not too many rising to the top. There is a tiny amount of lacing, just a few meager patches of foam clinging to the sides of the glass. The aroma has a pleasant hop smell; it reminds me of a pile of dry leaves on a sunny fall day. The beer tastes very well balanced. I can pick up toffee malt flavors and subtle hop bitterness. The malts are more up front, and the hops show up late and linger on after I swallow. It tastes like a well-crafted amber ale should. There is a lot of carbonation present that attacks my tongue if I let the beer sit in my mouth for too long. It has a medium body and an even, but thin, amount of coating. This beer is pretty drinkable. Each individual glass goes down easily, but I think the high level of carbonation would get to me after a few bottles. That's not too say I wouldn't buy more of this if it were sold in my area.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 00:33:03 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of aubuc1
aubuc1

Florida

3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip pint glass.
Pours a light clear brown with a sort of thin off white head.
Smell is of mellow hops, lightly roasted biscuity malt and light bread.
Taste is smmoth, bready, balanced pleasure. Nice session beer.
Good mouthfeel and very drinable.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 20:21:15 | More by aubuc1
Photo of siradmiralnelson
siradmiralnelson

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottel into SABL glass.

A. 2 finger head. Color is caramel brown. Decent head retention. Not very much lacing.

S. Nice caramel malt smell. Smell some dark fruit & raisins. Molasses. Not a very big hop smell.

T. Taste is very much like the smell. Dominant carmel malt taste. Semi-sweet. Brown sugar. Not much hop taste or bitterness.

M. Medium bodied. Pretty smooth. Low-medium carbonation. Semisweet aftertaste.

D. Nothing amazing but a drinkable brew. Maybe a little too malt forward of a pale ale for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 01:42:24 | More by siradmiralnelson
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I sampled this on January 5, 2010. It had a handsome looking mahogany-brown pour with about three-quarters of an inch of short-lived foamy beige head. Lots of lacing but the head dissolves after a few minutes. A good amount of perfume-like sweetness and a bit of hoppiness in the aroma. The mouthfeel is pretty durable and carbonated. The taste is bitter like an English style with a subtle hoppy finale. Not at all bad.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 23:22:27 | More by puboflyons
Photo of BrewsCrewSA
BrewsCrewSA

Texas

3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep amber with a lot of carbonation and a decent off white caramelized head.

S - Bitter in the nose with scents and aromas of biscuits and malts. Carries a lingering aroma of burnt honey.

T - Hoppy bitterness over the top with just enough malts to balance the flavor out. Delicious. Such a great balance.

M - Feels great on the palate making this one very easy to drink. Goes down smooth and relaxed.

D - Extremely.

All around, a very good beer I could enjoy throughout the year. Wish the distros in San Antonio could pick Spanish Peaks up.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 01:12:21 | More by BrewsCrewSA
Photo of atpben
atpben

Texas

3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Appears light brown with a thin off-white head. Malty aroma with earth notes. Creamy mouthfeel with a very malty taste with hints of caramel and very light chocolate. Some light hoppiness in the middle with a bitter finish. The flavor improves as the beer warms. Not bad for a middle of the road beer. Good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2009 05:08:45 | More by atpben
Photo of Haybeerman
Haybeerman

Colorado

3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark amber color. Poured a 1 finger toffee colored head that dissipated to a thin skim. Minimal lacing.

S: Slightly sweet grains and caramel malt. Citrussy hops.

T: Consistent with smell though citrissy hps are more prominent. Balanced bittering in the finish

M: Medium body. Nicely balanced carbonation. Dry and crisp so doesn't come accross too heavy.

D: Very drinkable and nicely balanced, but frankly not quite what I expected in a an APA. Not taking anything away, but expect more of an English pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2009 15:43:12 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.05/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle from AJ's Fine Foods in Glendale, AZ, on to the beer:

Into a mug it goes, the beer pours caramel copper color. The orange copper color is brillinat in my glass, and the head formation and retention is great. Great lacing too. The aroma is soft and subtle. A little bit of apricot, zest of grapefruit feel. As for taste, it is light one. It reminds me of a good English ale. Fruity esters dominate this one, flavors of pine, caramel, and a soft buttery edge. Mouthfeel is smooth with a buttery feel.

An enjoyable ale. It's not the hopbomb you would expect given the category listing, but it's pretty good washing down some tortellini.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2009 02:31:05 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of thekevlarkid
thekevlarkid

Maryland

3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of bottle found in Maine this beer was a copper color with some orange undertones. The head was two fingers thick, tan and composed a of fine bubbles that retained itself as a thin skim and left sticky lacing down my glass. The aroma was very grainy malt, some toasted malt, some toffee sweetness and a little bitter hops. The flavors were similar in being caramel malt dominated and sweet at first but then later turned bitter and a little "woody" when the hops cut in. A well balanced beer and a crisp finisher aided by the piney hop flavors. The body was medium and the mouthfeel average. I liked this one a lot as a session beer, nothing outstanding but solid and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 18:09:30 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of kinger
kinger

Ohio

3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Funky aroma of strong malt and interesting hops, I like it. Medium-dark copper pour solid head and lacing. Biting mouthfeel that sticks with you, I like it. Upfront taste that knocks you back a bit then settles down. Some strong coffee is present, rather bitter. Peculiar ale, but I do like it.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2008 01:05:19 | More by kinger
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Considering the name, I thought this brew would be a little darker. It pours a clear golden color with a decent tan head. The nose has some sugary malts and a small grassy hop presence. The taste is also mostly malts with some bitter hops through the finish. An average ale and a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 17:15:07 | More by rye726
Photo of babaracas
babaracas

Florida

4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark red with eggnog colored head and clingy lacing. Smell: caramel malt, dark fruit, diacetyl, floral hops. Very English, I'm not sold on this as being an APA. Taste: grain, slightly sour yeasty character, caramel malt, fruity especially raisin, bready malt, raw earthy/floral hop. Mouthfeel: medium bodied, creamy.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2008 00:53:31 | More by babaracas
Photo of ROMER79
ROMER79

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I actually had my growler filled straight from a tap with this beer. What a way to enjoy it. I had had a glass at the bar and new that it was worth filling a growler with it.

Its a dark dark red color with a burnt red/ brown head that was typically between a finger or two. It is a warm beer for the winter and goes well with steak, chicken, or pizza.

As far as the taste. There may be a slight taste of hops, but it was very grainy, with sugar notes and a slight caramel feel. This is definitely a grain/malt beer with a sweet aroma.

Very crisp in the mouth. Refreshing and pleasant to the palate. If you take the time to drink this beer, you will enjoy it immensely.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2008 22:05:42 | More by ROMER79
Photo of wspscott
wspscott

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in pint glass

A: Poured very dark amber color, no head/lace, looked viscous as it poured. I did not know what style this was supposed to be until I looked it up here, never would have guessed this was a pale ale.
S: All malts/grains, no hint of hops at all
T: Again, no hint of hops. Slightly grainy, slightly sweet. I'm guessing there is a ton of crystal malts.
M: More carbonation than I expected based on the pour. Crisp/ well attenuated, doesn't come across as "heavy" on the tongue, nice mouthfeel.
D: This is a solid beer, but I would not consider it a American pale ale. It is more along the english lines of a pale ale. Well worth the $.45 from the singles bin :) Worth trying if it is in the $1/bottle range, I'll look for it again.

My numbers are based on this NOT being an APA

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2008 02:45:32 | More by wspscott
Photo of Foxman
Foxman

New Jersey

3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a clear, dark reddish amber, and is amply carbonated. A full finger of white head stands for a time. Lacing is thin, sparse, and an afterthought.

The aroma is a mild mix of subtle malt and a bready dough note. A mere touch of hop bite is tamped down by a fruity, generic sweetness.

Upon tasting, the sweetness of the malt is most notable, and not so much of grain as sugar. Only a hint of caramel stops it from being too distracting when the sweet grains turn lightly tart and cherry-esque. The hops here are even less notable, with just the slightest touch of spicy edge. A swish of bready malt drops off when a fairly crisp bitterness dries the finish a bit. Too sweet and not hoppy enough, not what I was expecting or hoping for.

Light bodied, the malt lends the ever so gentle creaminess to the texture, which combines with the carbonation to lend more than a little presence.

At first I thought, maybe I'm not impressed because it's not really what I was expecting. Then I realized, I wasn't impressed because the malt carries an unbalanced sweetness, which is the result of too frugal a hop profile. It's far form macro territory, of course, but I shudder to think what a draft list would have to look like for me to order this again. Maybe as a bail-out in a shot and a beer macro haven, but it just doesn't cut it otherwise.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2008 17:51:59 | More by Foxman
Photo of AlexJ
AlexJ

North Carolina

3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice pour, darker amber than i expected with a very nice white head that retains well, but leaves little lace.

Aroma is very subtle, light grain and some malt roast with a earthy pungentcy that I don't find very appealing.

Flavor is a dry, bready malt with some grain sweetness and crackery dryness. The hops are virtually unnoticable, showing only as restained bitterness in the meager finish.

Body and drinkability are average. Not bad just not interesting.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 16:34:16 | More by AlexJ
Photo of jasonjlewis
jasonjlewis

Texas

3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a huge head with nice retention and a nice ful amber color.

Mild caramel/pale malts and low hop bitterness.

Nicely balanced ale. Caramel and pale malts sweetness with a mild hop bitterness to balance.

Overall, this is a well balanced simple beer. It easy to drink and has a nice mouthfeel. Not a whole bunch to say, but it's still a good brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 07:27:24 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of EStreet20
EStreet20

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, 20 ounce nonic.

A - Pours out a deep dark amber, approaching brown. Fairly small off white head.

S - Some sweet fruity flavors along with some caramel malts. Tiny hop peaking through.

T - Fairly clean tasting ale with some caramel flavor. Taste is very light but rather pleasant. Nothing really "stands out" but it's an easy drinker.

M - Fairly light and smooth.

D - I tend to like more flavor, but still sometimes this is what you want. I think this is a hybrid between an amber, English Pale, and even a tad of an English Bittter. All-in-all it's an easy drinking session ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2007 02:20:58 | More by EStreet20
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with a one-finger head. Aroma is somewhat malty with a nice hop bitterness showing through. Biscuity and smooth. Taste is chewy and malty with the same hop bitterness that fades in the aftertaste. Somewhat fruity as well at the back of the throat. Very drinkable though.

The label says Amber Ale but the style says American Pale Ale. Somewhat confusing but similar to Roxy Rolles in regards to bending the styles. Not a bad ale at all.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2007 02:07:42 | More by Brad007
Photo of Monkeyknife
Monkeyknife

Missouri

3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a clear dark amber red with a small beige head. Some decent lacing on the sides.

Aroma is loaded with a really nice caramel maltiness.

Taste is light and malty with a touch of caramel and dark fruit. The finish reveals a bit of sourness.

Mouthfeel is light and thin with a light carbonation.

A very drinkable APA from Spanish Peaks. Not a great beer, but definitely a solid beer and one to try.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2007 22:13:44 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of dmamiano
dmamiano

West Virginia

3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium dark beer that was reminiscient of a brown ale in looks more than an amber.
Had a strong, two finger head, and it lasted a while. Good lacing held on for a long time.
This beer tasted and smelled of good strong maltiness. The malts of this beer is what impressed me the most.
It is listed as an APA but I cant see why. Hop presence was a bit low to be put in this catagory.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2007 23:34:22 | More by dmamiano
Photo of Osiris9588
Osiris9588

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap and Bodega in Columbus, Ohio. Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a golden hue. Thin white head didn't stick around for long.

The smell is light and malty, some floral and citrus notes. The taste is also light and crisp, caramel malt followed directly by a strong, slightly nutty hop presence and lemony zing. Somewhat similar to a Scottish Ale, but with less grain and more hops.

It's light in body, but shows decent complexity. This would make a good session brew, though is not earth shattering.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 04:04:54 | More by Osiris9588
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Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.