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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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 144 | Reviews: 124 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lackenhauser
2.17/5  rDev -38%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Help me out here. This beer was all over my area several years ago. Never tried it. Has come back in force-especially in places like grocery stores that you wouldnt think of for good beer. Label says Polson, MT and Denver, CO. BA says "beer marketing company" in CA instead of brewery. Checked their web site. Not a lot of info there. Got me-but you're not missing anything.

Good, slight copper hue to it. Aroma is full of a smoke scent, sort of solvent like. Flavor is much of the same. Almost comes off as a belgian pale ale. Phenolic and chemical like. Burnt rubber. It isnt necessarily unpleasant but for this style it is wacked. I cant place my finger on where I have tasted it before-somewhat like burnt chestnuts. Ok body. I would give this a wide berth. They cant be serious-has to be a bad batch or off. No freshness ID. If this is beer from a "beer marketing company" give me a Bootie Lager any day!

lackenhauser, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of benmiliron
2.2/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Paid 1.39 for a 12 oz. bottle. Pours a hazy dark amber. Nice white head. Smell is musty, bready malt. Little hop character. Taste is strange - not Pale Ale really, more like a wannabe brown ale. Again musty old bread, possibly old saltines, some bitterness from the tiny amount of hops. Carbonation is good, very light and small bubble.

Very poor offering - difficult to get through.

benmiliron, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of jmbranum
2.23/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I was excited to see this for only $3.99 at the local liquor store, but now I think I know why it wasn't moving. What dominates this beer is a weird tanginess (like a sour apple) that is just too overpowering for my tastes. It is reasonably drinkable if ice-cold but that really isn't a good thing. It also is fairly sweet with some malt but almost no hops to speak of.

It pours an attractive clear orange-amber in the glass with a head that disappears almost instantly. The aroma is a also a bit on the sour side too but it is the flavor where the tartness comes out.

(also for whatever it is worth, this beer is not an APA, but the bottle doesn't say it is one, only the Beeradvocate listing)

jmbranum, May 29, 2006
Photo of Padron4KM
2.48/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, cryptic date code, 070a07. Lable looks like it was put on by hand.

Clear amber with lots of carbonation and a thin tanish head.

Aroma is mostly nutty with a little caramel.

Flavor is light burnt sugar with a light earthy citrusy bitterness.

Body is light and finish is short..

Padron4KM, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of Kahlerbock
2.5/5  rDev -28.6%

Kahlerbock, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.53/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a nonic glass from a 12oz long neck brown bottle with a crimped on cap.

Clear dark amber color with a 1" off white head dissapating quickly to a thin layer of foam. A fair amount of carbination with some spotty lacing.

Moderate sweet malt aromas with a slight toasty/burnt carmell aroma. Very leafy,grassy with a hint of citrus.

Grassy/leafy tastes,nutty with some light toasty/burnt carmell notes. A sour citrusy taste with a very dry finish with somewhat of a lemon rind feel.

A light to medium body and grainyness thats on the rough side. I remember drinking this beer years ago it had a decent taste and was very drinkable. This beer doesn't have those qualitys anymore. The date on the bottle said something 07 it couldn't have been too old. The beer was a real dissapointment,maybe I just got a bad bottle. I'd give it another try for old times sake i would hope that it would be better next time.

jcdiflorio, Mar 28, 2007
Photo of Minkybut
2.68/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle to tumbler at 45 degrees. Beer was dark with a head that went away fast, slight lacing. This beer I have had before several years ago and I thought it was good. The label has changed and I guess the beer has also. Beer was harsh chemicle tasting, bitter like. It reminded me of turpentine or something. I will not buy again.
2nd tasting a year later:
I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a nice light mahoganny color with a nice tan head. The beer had a bit of a hoppy aftertaste and was slighly bitter. The lacing was pretty good. It was a decent beer, nothing exciting but decent. I still will not buy again though as it just was not all that great either.

Minkybut, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of Fabric8r
2.73/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not impressive at all. I get some as gifts every now and then and they sit in the fridge for months. Every similar brown ale I've tasted is better. They don't even make this in Bozeman anymore, which has ruined it.

This beer is a good example of: a good beer marketing firm can cover up truth and a bad beer..

Fabric8r, Dec 06, 2002
Photo of leroybrown10
2.75/5  rDev -21.4%

leroybrown10, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of LucaBrasi
2.83/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The appearance is of a golden red color, when poured it created a nice tan head. I’m not sure if it was just me but the smell was faint. The taste was average a little hoppy perhaps a hint of carmel. The mouthfeel was light and lightly carbonated. This seemed a middle of the road ale, not a bad one, but not something to go crazy other either.

LucaBrasi, Aug 27, 2005
Photo of younger35
2.83/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from a nonic pint glass. Poured from a 12oz bottle. This is the first Spanish Peaks Brewing beer that I’ve had.

Appearance- Pours a nice dark amber-brown with an alabaster foamy head. Fairly nice retention that recedes to form a nice collar with spotty lacing.
Smell- Lots of toasty malts with a big doughy backdrop. Very feint citrus hop tones. Has an almost sour smell that I didn’t expect.
Taste- Not really the punch I was hoping for. Rather sweet toasted caramel malts that are quietly followed by a very mellow hop bitterness. The aftertaste is semi sour with a nutty, fairly dry finish.
Mouthfeel- Very crisp with medium carbonation. Kind of a thin body with a pretty dry finish.
Drinkability- Not bad for a session beer but overall not my favorite. I’m not sure what, but this beer seems to be missing something. There’s better out there.

younger35, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of beerguy101
2.85/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Medium gold color, small head. Aroma is malty and slightly sweet. A medium bodied, kind of mild brown ale. Malts are a little sweet and the hops are a little subdued. There is a slight fruitiness to the beer. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly sweet. Nothing really wrong with this beer, it just that there are so many beers that are a whole lot better.

beerguy101, Sep 23, 2003
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of SixpointJMH
2.93/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This was a lackluster brew overall.

It pours a decent semi-hazy amber colour wit ha mild head that leaves no mark on the glass.

Aroma is dank and malty, and a bit too caramel heavy for my liking. There are hints of chocolate in there as well.

The flavour is similar to the aroma, but the caramel for one is a bit more tame. There are hints of butter that aren't noticeable in the aroma as well as a bit of a rubbery taste. The finish has a watery malty taste to it. Mouthfeel is, again, a bit watery and light to medium bodied.

I am not impressed by this one. The "numbers" will give this one a marginally favourable review, but my impression was marginally unfavourable overall. Bland and boring, I can't say I can recommend this one. What I can say is to let it warm a bit if you do try it, as if it is sampled too cold, the aroma is awful and the flavour is even weaker.

SixpointJMH, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of garymuchow
2.98/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I wonder if this has any connection to the Led Zeppelin song?

Surprisingly, a malt aroma. I'm so used to expecting strong hops. Uncomplicated.
Very fizzy, very short-lived head that completely dissappeared before my first sip. Amber and clear.
Flavor is more malt based too, some sweet caramel and nut-brown qualities. Hop dryness and slight bitterness on the finish. Fairly uncomplicated too. Little watery.
Carbonation is busy upon drinking. Fullness from it, otherwise thin to medium.
Seems like a starter beer for those first trying something beyond an Am. lager. First dark beer sort of stuff. Just not enough to it to make it a session beer.

garymuchow, Sep 30, 2003
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.98/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a chestnut brown body with a small, near-white head.

Smell: Fairly light aroma of toasted malt, notes of cocoa, and a musty sourness. No real discernible hop presence in the nose.

Taste: Weak, sweet toffee base followed by a slight grassiness and metallic notes. The citric taste of spent lemon wedges drives the flavor forward to an ultimately dry finish. And, again, there's that sourness.

Ugh. I've so overdosed on the wonders of craft beer this past week that I am hardly able to contain my disappointment at this so-called "English Style Amber Ale".

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: Dull and lifeless. Where the hell's the flavor? My kingdom for some flavor!!

ChainGangGuy, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of BamfBacon
3/5  rDev -14.3%

BamfBacon, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of Gusler
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.

Gusler, Aug 24, 2004
Photo of Tyrawlings
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Tyrawlings, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of Naes
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.

Naes, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of boxofrane
3/5  rDev -14.3%

boxofrane, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of rye726
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.

rye726, May 21, 2008
Photo of jasonpeckins32
3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish-amber color. Maybe you could call it mahogany. There is a massive tan, frothy head that tops of the glass, and leaves nice lacings throughout the session.l

The smell is a little faint. Carmelly and malty, not much else.

The taste is also of sweet caramel malts, and leaves a nice bittersweet finishing flavor.

The mouthfeel is a little thin for what I expected. Not quite medium-bodied.

The drinkability is average. I could put quite a few of these away in a hurry, but I'm not going to drool over them either.

jasonpeckins32, Aug 19, 2005
Photo of NJpadreFan
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.

NJpadreFan, Apr 14, 2007
Photo of Guinness4me
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?

Guinness4me, Oct 25, 2004
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Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.