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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
Sort by:  Latest | 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish amber color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, hops, citrus and a little spice.

T: The taste is malty with flavors of caramel, nuts, spice and a hint of citrus fruit, but not very sweet. The hops are very faint, but they are there, makes me think this one should be moved over to one of the English Ale categories.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium carbonation, light-to-medium body, finish is clean.

D: Not very tasty, but it goes down easy, which is about the only compliment I can give this beer. The ABV isn’t listed but it’s got to be low. If I had to guess, I’d say less than 5.00%. I didn’t really care for this beer too much. I was given a sixer of this beer as a gift and I’ll certainly finish it (just not tonight), but I wouldn’t buy another.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2007 00:22:01 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Hawthorne
Hawthorne

Maine

3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a good English style ale. It poured nice with a good head that shortly after the first sip had reduced to a lingering lace. The initial taste is smooth with a crisp hops finish. For those who don't like to be bowled over by their hops, this is a safe beer. It is very drinkable, though rather uninteresting.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2007 21:34:17 | More by Hawthorne
Photo of kelticblood
kelticblood

Massachusetts

3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Average pour nothing special.Color is a gold to amber.Has a malty aroma.Hop bitterness is noted on the finish.A medium body with good carbonation and a crisp mouthfeel.Spotty lacing left on my glass.Citric flavors balance the hop bitterness.The aroma has a sweet caramel malt quality Very average beer nothing special at all.I doubt I'd buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2003 11:15:25 | More by kelticblood
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a copper amber hue with a bronzish beige off white head leaves even lacing around my pint glass. Aroma has some deep caramel English tinted malt notes with nutty toffee and mild cocoa and dark chocolate malts in addition to the rest of grain bill. Hops are very mild sort of funky and mild grassy in the English pale tradition. Flavor has a roasty chocolate/caramel mix, with toffee tones from the English malts and a mild medicinal tree bark earthy nutty tea feel to it with substantial pine hops very nice American contract brewed English style amber pale. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a nice coating on the palate and carried by moderate carbonation. Drinkability not a bad session ale but nothing to yearn for I was surprised however by the flavor picked it up in a mixed sixer with no expectations...definitely a solid drinkable offering.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2007 18:24:32 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Morris729
Morris729

Texas

3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark rusty copper color with a short light tan head that soon fades into a thin lace. Nose is sweet malt and, well, that’s pretty much it—just a malty sweetness. The taste is a bit more dynamic with notes of a light fruitiness and caramel malt along with some mildly bitter and piney hops. I’m not certain what style to call this, but it was easy to drink, whatever it is.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2007 08:59:18 | More by Morris729
Photo of kaszeta
kaszeta

New Hampshire

3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought as part of a mixed six pack at Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, AZ

Pours with a nice coppery-red body, lots of fizzy bubbles and a thick foamy head. Aroma is mostly malt, slight toast, and a hint of hops. Taste is mostly your typical amber ale, with some nice sweeter malt notes balanced by a hint of hops. Dry finish. The mouthfeel is moderate, with a fair bit of foaminess from the carbonation. Not a bad beer, but I feel it would be a bit better if it was slightly less carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2005 02:37:33 | More by kaszeta
Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.