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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
Ratings: 144 | Reviews: 124 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of abcsofbeer
abcsofbeer

Virginia

3.8/5  rDev +8.6%

I thoroughly enjoyed this ale. Poured out of a brown bottle with a very colorful label with the black dog and snow covered peaks.

Pours a rich coppery color with a decent 3/4 inch head, which was off white and rocky. There are small amounts of lace that cling to the glass to the bottom. The aroma is malty, caramel, and sweet smelling. The taste is mildy hoppy, but sweet and caramel tasting. There is a hint of apple spice in the aftertaste.

09-19-2004 22:43:42 | More by abcsofbeer
Photo of riversider76
riversider76

New York

3.8/5  rDev +8.6%

Pours a cloudy dark amber. Thin tan head. Not much retention, and fair lacing. Smell Is of carmel malts.Body is on the thin side and carbonated. Taste is of carmel, and apple, with maybe a hint of chocolate. Has a bit of a wiskey edge to it as well. Complex, but good.

09-04-2006 23:11:12 | More by riversider76
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.83/5  rDev +9.4%

A clear deeply red colored ale that is almost brown. If only a decent head had formed I could have given this a higher appearance rating.

The smell is sweetish and strongly herbal with a strong scent of patent malt and smelling more like a Brown Ale that a pale ale. Hints of chocolate and coffee in the scent are unusual for the style.

The taste begins slightly sweet and herbal with a slight hop bite in the finish. Sweet and malty this is nicely accented by the coffee and roasted flavors of the patent malts.

Mouthfeel is good.

Nice tasty different sort of pale ale here. Almost could be called light brown ale.

05-05-2007 03:53:34 | More by Zorro
Photo of ToasterChef
ToasterChef

Maine

3.83/5  rDev +9.4%

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.

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

Florida

3.83/5  rDev +9.4%

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.

02-28-2010 20:21:15 | More by aubuc1
Photo of 1fastz28
1fastz28

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev +9.4%

pours a deep dark redish golden color with a decent head that dissipates quickly, smells of a nice mixture of both hops and malt, tastes great, a spicy hopness is what i first noticed but also with a touch of malt and a pleasant alcohol touch. this could easily be a beer i would buy more often if i could find it easier. if you see it at your local shop pick up a couple and give it a try

01-22-2007 03:04:19 | More by 1fastz28
Photo of mooseisloose
mooseisloose

Florida

3.85/5  rDev +10%

This bottle actual looks different and is brewed by Spanish Peaks brewing in Frederick, Maryland. The smell is chocolatey with a very strong hopped smell. Poured into a pint galss (as it is an English Style Amber Ale).. it has a tremendous thick head and a transparent reddish brown colour. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy not expected for a transparent brew. The taste is mildly bitter yet semisweet..the finish brings the two together nicely to a dark chocolate finale. Drinkability is high with the great array of flavours throughout.

07-20-2007 22:20:06 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of mgdeth
mgdeth

Montana

3.85/5  rDev +10%

Appearance - This amber colored beer is well carbonated and has a thin creamy head that recedes quickly. There is also some lasting beer lace.

Smell - A grainy smell is present. I think hops are in there somewhere, but they are not as strong as many other American pale ales. I also detect a biscuit-like smell, caramel, and raisin.

Taste - Fruity flavors mix with a grainy or bread flavor. The hops present themselves more assertively in the taste than in the smell. There is also a bit of a hop bite. The aftertaste is pleasant - sort of a sweet biscuity flavor.

Mouthfeel - This beer has quite a bit of body to it. The residual sweetness suggests a relatively high final gravity.

Drinkability - As the beer warms a bit, it gets more appealing. This is a pretty good beer overall, as it is complex enough to engage the senses, yet balanced such that it ought not to drive away craft beer novices.

Comments - This is an odd, yet good, pale ale. It reminds me in a way of Fat Tire because of the biscuit/bread flavor. Still, the taste seems a little odd for an American Pale Ale, and I prefer other APAs over this one. This one is creative and complex enough in its own right to be definitely worth a try.

02-13-2005 02:18:41 | More by mgdeth
Photo of whartontallboy
whartontallboy

New York

3.85/5  rDev +10%

Pours out a deep brassy color with a barely-there thin white head that disappears immediately.

Scent is quite interesting, a lot of chocolate and caramel maltiness, but a strong supporting background of piney hops. Nice toastiness to the malt as well.

Flavor is quite unique: a very thick cocoa chocolate taste with some nice caramel notes as well, but balanced by a thick hoppiness that really kind of bites the tongue. It's a little disorienting to get this much chocolate and hop flavors in the same place, but the end result is a relatively smooth drinker that leaves a pleasant powdered cocoa afteraste.

Overall: Not sure I'd want to drink more than one of these at a time, but it does have quite an interesting, complex combination of chocolate and hops that I enjoyed trying.

07-25-2005 03:19:39 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of Haybeerman
Haybeerman

Colorado

3.85/5  rDev +10%

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.

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

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +10.9%

Served a crisp dark amber with a thin head that leaves some lacing. The aroma was of dark malts with some light pine hops. The taste was smooth dark malts well balanced with earthy hops, it only gets better as it warms. The beer is light and crisp with a smooth dryness. This is an enjoyable session beer.

04-17-2007 02:28:55 | More by atsprings
Photo of pezoids
pezoids

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +11.4%

This beer poured a bright and clear amber-orange color and had a thin white head to it that thinned out to nothing after a few sips. There's a pleasant and fruity aroma with some hop bitterness. This is a crisp and fruity dry ale that finishes clean and has some substance to it. Not bad at all.

09-03-2003 01:38:43 | More by pezoids
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev +11.4%

Pours a dark copper red with a small, light tan head. Smells of sweet, grape juice malts with subtle hops. Taste starts with sweet fruity malts (plums? interesting), followed by smooth toastiness. Finish is lightly bitter. Surprisingly good! Maybe a touch too sweet (a little more hop presence would do this beer well.) Goes down very easily with light carbonation, yet bigger bodied than you'd think.

10-24-2003 17:35:38 | More by alexgash
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +12.3%

If this were supposed to be a pale ale, it'd be ok, but the brewery says amber so I'm going with that. There's a nice malty backbone fused with a bit citrus/pine hops. Neither flavor is too big, though it's still rich in flavor, and the beer is very drinkable. It reminds of something from Rogue based on the caramel malt smell, though I doubt Pacman yeast was used. Overall, this is a balanced beer with a little hops kick thats easy to drink.

04-13-2007 05:41:15 | More by tempest
Photo of jasonjlewis
jasonjlewis

Texas

3.93/5  rDev +12.3%

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.

01-08-2008 07:27:24 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of ROMER79
ROMER79

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +12.3%

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.

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

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +12.9%

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

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

Maryland

3.95/5  rDev +12.9%

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.

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

Texas

3.98/5  rDev +13.7%

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.

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

New York

3.98/5  rDev +13.7%

Enjoyed this beer in Montana this past summer, and was glad to see it in my local grocery store this week.

A: Pours an amber, almost like a brown ale. More carbonation than I would have thought. A thin blanket of white foam subsides pretty quickly, leaving a foam island and a bubble crown behind.

S: Roasted caramel malt, and some light citric hoppiness. There's a hint of grape juice and some hazelnut in there.

T/M: Hmm. Where to start? There are some sweet brown ale characteristics up front, like a dry nuttiness, sweet caramelly malt, and an almost cocoa-like presence (powdery feel, as well). There's a hint of citrus in there, like very mild, sweet grapefruit. The bitterness creeps in at about this point, piggybacking the fruit. Finish is pretty dry with a long, nicely bitter tail. Not an overpowering bitterness, but it's there, and there's enough of it.

D: Another example of why you shouldn't let the listed BA style cloud your enjoyment of a beer. This is part pale ale, part amber ale, part brown ale. Very nice.

03-06-2007 22:44:36 | More by rarevos
Photo of Todd
Todd

Colorado

4/5  rDev +14.3%

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Deep amber with reddish hues. Nice off-white cream lace, that has just enough stay and stick.

Smell: Raw aroma of malts, floral hops and fruity esters.

Taste: Smooth, creamy and full-bodied. Nice fruity flavour of raisin and grape, touch of background chocolate malt, bready malts and a floral hop character that peaks with a zesty flash of semi-citrus bitterness, but not enough that it overpowers the mild malt sweetness. Bit of crispness from the Munich malt. Turns coarse, a bit raw, on the palate (hops), then finishes out dry with lurking husky tannins and some traces of yeast.

Notes: A damn fine ale, very traditional English in its character and very easy to drink. Described by the brewer as an English amber, which I'd translate into being a pale ale.

All in all a good beer, and well worth a tasting.

03-30-2002 14:11:58 | More by Todd
Photo of Beertracker
Beertracker

Oklahoma

4/5  rDev +14.3%

12-19-2011 04:01:53 | More by Beertracker
Photo of tugdriver7
tugdriver7

Maryland

4/5  rDev +14.3%

This is one of those beers you pick up with an expectation and are impressed because it surpasses your expectation. Really nice dark gold to copper color in the glass, bubbly head and a bit of a hops bite in the nose. A bit. Perfect, so far. Then a taste. Richly moderate mouthfeel and really nicely balanced APA flavor. Just enough malt and hops to truly cover the other, and yet neither really comes out the winner. The flavor is a bit one-dimensional at times, but because it is so balanced, the beer is rendered extremly drinkable. Truly something I'd try again. Good.

07-05-2007 19:15:51 | More by tugdriver7
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

4/5  rDev +14.3%

A nice brew with very traditional English ale attributes. Poured an amber-gold with good lacing. Aroma was a solid, somewhat sweet malt, with a hint of orchard fruit. The mouthfeel was substantial, with very light orchard fruit notes submerged in the malt. Hops stepped in and delivered bitterness at the finish to cap things off. Not a smooth beer, but pleasant nonetheless.

09-09-2003 13:52:12 | More by Brent
Photo of Mark
Mark

California

4/5  rDev +14.3%

Way back when this was one of the first craft beers I ever had. Today I saw it on sale and I thought I'd give a go. Nice deep amber and very clear, good lace. I found this very English in style. I liken to a decent English bitter. A nice drinkable ale that I'm glad I got reaquainted with.

09-22-2002 16:55:27 | More by Mark
Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.