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Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale - Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Spanish Peaks Black Dog AleSpanish Peaks Black Dog Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

144 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 144
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
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)
View: Beers (9) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 144 | Reviews: 124 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Imbiber
Imbiber

New York

3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle bought at Bierkraft, Brooklyn; this one is apparently contact brewed at Saratoga Springs, NY (presumably Mendocino). No date on the bottle.

Rich amber in colour with a decent head. Not much aroma, a hint of hops. Taste is quite mild, more malt than hops coming through, and there's a slight buttery feel on the tongue. There's also a slight sweetness, especially at the finish.

Not bad but not the best beer out there; quite strange albeit quite uninspiring.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2005 15:51:44 | More by Imbiber
Photo of foureyedgeek
foureyedgeek

Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottle says an English-style Amber Ale, BA says its an APA. Bottle says its from Montana and Colorado, its actually a beer marketing company from California. Sheesh!

Pours a clear amber with a frothy head. Decent retention as well as some lacing as it drinks.

Smell is rather muted though I do get caramel maltiness.

Taste is much the same. Not a very complex beer, mostly the sweetish toffee/caramel. No really notable hops either, though there is a good bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is kind of watery, light-bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, but I don't like this beer enough to have to many.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2007 19:42:09 | More by foureyedgeek
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 msolar
msolar

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I just finished a bottle. Maybe I’m not an ale man, but I thought that overall, it seemed pretty run-of-the-mill.

It poured nicely, with a nice copper color and nice 1” head. It tasted like an average amber ale, just a bit of sweetness. Overall I liked it, but next time I go to the store I’ll probably try a new brew than Black Dog Ale again.

Some of the other reviews below will be a lot more technical, so I won’t even try to compare. From an average beer drinker, I just found this an average to just-above-average beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2005 01:02:58 | More by msolar
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.25/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark golden/amber color with a thick white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is quite average. It has no real odor at all besides the basic pale malt smell. The taste is decent. It is dry and plain. It has the taste of pale malts and some higher lovibond malts. It has no complexity, but it isn't that bad. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This beer drinks well besides the fact that it has no real niche or flare.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2004 21:44:13 | More by WesWes
Photo of williamherbert
williamherbert

New York

3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color is a deep mahogany red with a nice pillowy head. Quite clear despite the depth of the color. It's got a really reach clear look to it. Minimal lace.

The smell is a bitter amber malt. Quite bitter in fact. Hops are but a mild accent; bitter, yet also a tad flowery and sweet. Decent, but not amazing.

The taste is a bitter German amber malt. Sharp bitter malt flavor. Hops are really scarce here. Slight dark berry accent, but mostly dark, bitter malt. A bit roasted as well.

Feels dry and ashy. Bitter at the end, leaving a thick film. It is a bitter red amber. Hard to have too many because of it's thickness and bitterness. Decent, not the greatest.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2007 04:49:20 | More by williamherbert
Photo of loren01
loren01

Oregon

3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours an amber color, small white head, slight lacing down the glass
S: Smell is of caramel, nutty scent as well
T: Tastes same as smell, caramel flavor but not as strong as the smell. Slight hop aftertaste.
M: Light to medium bodied beer
D: Pretty average amber ale, smell stood out but not really much else.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2006 06:56:25 | More by loren01
Photo of udubdawg
udubdawg

Kansas

3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle.

pours a bright red/amber. High clarity. Not a lot of the frothy off-white head, and what there was quickly receded to a ring. Left decent lace.

Aroma is very floral and a little earthy. Comes across as quite sweet.

Taste is caramelly/buttery and some raisin. A bit too sweet for my taste, and this is more pronounced as it warms. Like the balancing bittering hops noted. Not a big fan of the drying, acidic finish.

Appropriate carbonation. I'd call it a little thin in the mouth, but honestly if the body were much bigger I'd probably find the sweetness cloying. I could have another, but I'd definitely chill it a bit more first. I don't care for the honey sweetness once this gets too warm.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2007 23:39:15 | More by udubdawg
Photo of ZimZamZoom
ZimZamZoom

West Virginia

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

Poured a complete 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. It's a pretty amber/orange. Got a nice white head about a finger's width. Some lacing as I swirl the glass gently. This beer has a sweet malty aroma with very little noticable hops. There is a nice spicey undertone to the aroma that is quite pleasant. The taste also bursts with sweet maltiness, and then a slight bitter finish, with more evidence of spicenss. Even after the bitter finish I am left with lingering sweetness. (I guess I'd say this beer is sweet). It does have a nice smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

This beer does not have the hop balance that I have come to expect in an APA. It is nontheless a nice drinkable ale that is very sessionable IMO.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2006 22:50:46 | More by ZimZamZoom
Photo of fightingirishcmk
fightingirishcmk

New York

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

A: Very moderately sized head formed after an aggressive pour, dissipating rather quickly. Some lacing was detected on the glass, although it wasn't much. Color was a deep reddish brown.

S: Sweet roasted malt, vanilla was discernable

T: Not very complex, with an odd metallic like taste, very little hop character, but some sweet malts were present.

M: Fairly good, light feeling with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: Very average, not too heavy, but nothing spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2007 20:16:24 | More by fightingirishcmk
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 JahNoth
JahNoth

New York

3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A decent ale. Very smooth, with a spicy, citrusy flavor. Let this warm a bit, the first sip out of the fridge isn't as good as the last. An enjoyable ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2002 17:34:36 | More by JahNoth
Photo of NEhophead
NEhophead

Massachusetts

3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown bottle, served in a tumbler.

Light caramel with auburn highlights. Foamy, half-inch white head with good retention. A sheet of all-encompassing, condensed lacing with good strength.

Toasted malts; musty breadiness. Faint linger of diacetyl with a touch of skunkiness. Pleasant citric hops that lighten the toasted malt character.

Semi-sweet toasted maltiness with a lingering, mild astringency; metallic-tinged malted wheat. Citric hops with a solvent-like flavor. The bitterness is reminiscent of cleaning solution, finishing quite waxy.

Medium bodied; smooth, but turns waxy/filmy on the palate. Very gaseous and slightly annoying as it sits.

A decent Enlgish Pale that becomes more and more annoying in flavor and texture as it sits on the palate. Not a flattering ale, and not one that I would taste again.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2007 18:35:12 | More by NEhophead
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

AP: Very clear Deep red amber color, medium carbonation that creates a one-finger deep frothy and bubbly but tight appearing off-white head that displayed good retention. There are some clusters of lacing remaining on the glass.

Nose: Deep fruity whiff, red berries and citrus tingles the nose and a mellow and mildly sweet malt.

Taste: A very hearty and herbal but piney hop flavor that over-powers a mellow and clean malt flavor that has some subtle roasted-nuts and caramel effects. The finish is a mildly bitter and herbal hop bite.

Feel: Medium body, crisp and clean and a bit dry on the palate.

DA: The lable states this as an English-style amber ale, but it really has a much bigger hop charechter than it should, Pale Ale is more fitting for this. Pretty easy to drink despite the identity crisis.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2007 17:08:01 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of BretSikkink
BretSikkink

Mexico

3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Darkish brown "amber" ale, not too much head. Lace sticks for a while.

Aroma is mostly underwhelming malt, roasted fairly dark.

Flavor is all malt, some balancing hops. Some nuttiness, as a brown ale. Subdued flavor overall.

This beer treads the line between porter and dark ale. Mouthfeel is full, good complex ale. Easy to drink, but the aftertaste says porter or stout, not brown ale. Robust microbrewed ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2007 01:36:12 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of ThreePistols
ThreePistols

Florida

3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An English style special amber ale. This ale's full body imparts a distinctive malty, robust palate and fruity bouquet. Brewed from pale malted barley, Munich, crystal, carastan and a touch of chocolate malts, Pacific Northwest hops, water and ale yeast.

Awards:
1st Place (Brown Ale): 1993 Great International Beer Tasting
Silver Medal: 1995 & 1998 World Beer Championships
Bronze Medal: 1994 & 1996 World Beer Championships
Bronze Medal: 1997 Cheers World Beer Festival

Dark bronze almost amber in color, some color in the head, probably from the chocolate malt. The head is big and dense but dissipates quickly. The nose is malty with notes of caramel, sweetness of raisin fruitiness, floral hops, and yeast. The taste is sweet, malty and sugary like caramel, with underlying tones of yeast. Hops presence almost creates a balance throughout. Mild toasted flavor is detected midway and is carried into the aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2002 14:21:47 | More by ThreePistols
Photo of zerk
zerk

California

3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper with a very thin head. Aroma is just a touch of malt and caramel. Flavor is sweet... notes of bread an caramel, with very little hop backing. Mouthfeel is a tad over-carbonated, with a medium body. All in all, a decent, if unremarkable pale ale. Not something I'd go out of my way for, but I definitely wouldn't hesitate to drink a couple if there is no better option.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2004 02:23:08 | More by zerk
Photo of kbub6f
kbub6f

New York

3.08/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Tiny, off-white head. Dies fast. Clear, deep amber. Some red. Some soapy, runny lacing. Sweet nose: sugar, ripe fruit, some sour grains. Sour milk in front. Ripe fruit and hints of chocolate and malt. Tingly but flattish. Dark malt middle, but not sweet. Bitter, nutty, alcoholic finish. Nut burps. Not great.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2005 15:04:42 | More by kbub6f
Photo of Guinness4me
Guinness4me

Florida

3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Slightly fermented, raw sweet corn is the smell and flavor I notice most in this brew.

It poured browner than I imagined it would be with a wispy head. The smell is sweet but not overpowering and smells a bit alcoholic to me but no alcoholic burn after I swallow.

The taste again was sweet corn with light malt at the end. I didn't notice much fruit at all in the taste but I did pick up a hint of green olives.

The mouthfeel was nothing special and low in carbonation; a bit chewy. I wonder how this would taste with a low country boil?

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2004 23:54:53 | More by Guinness4me
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 NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Spanish Peaks- Black Dog Ale

Appearance- Dark redish brown with a thick foamy head after a vigorous pour.
Smell- Light vanilla caramel malt witha light tinge of alcohol.
Taste- creamy vanilla malt and some bread grain notes.
Mouthfeel- smooth yet almost lifeless.

Overall- A mediocre beer at best. Just plain and boring. It gets a passing grade but I would still say avoid.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2007 00:34:14 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of BamfBacon
BamfBacon

Ohio

3/5  rDev -14.3%

02-17-2013 16:50:10 | More by BamfBacon
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

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

The beer pours from the 12-ounce brown bottle a golden amber color with a modest in size head, the texture frothy and the lace adequate to cover the glass. Nose is sweet malt, fresh and crisp with the start lightly sweet with fair to middling malt, top is light. Finish is stinging in its acidity, the hops benign and the aftertaste quite dry, a tolerable beer. Used to see these beers every where, now only a few places carry this beer, Trader Joe’s is where I picked up this beer, always loved that dog.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2004 17:51:06 | More by Gusler
Photo of Tyrawlings
Tyrawlings

Ohio

3/5  rDev -14.3%

02-16-2012 17:13:06 | More by Tyrawlings
Photo of Naes
Naes

New York

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

This is a slightly hazy dark amber to brown ale with a two finger head. The retention and lacing is minimal.
The aroma is mostly of sweet malts with a hint of citrusy hops.
The flavor is very similar to the aroma. There is a bit of caramel malt with some spiciness present and a slight amount of hops near the finish.
Mouth feel is a bit light for the style and the carbonation levels are low.

Overall, this is a decent beer, but it does not stand out as an excellent one.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2006 01:27:57 | More by Naes
Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.