Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale - Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

145 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 145
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 12.57%
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-28-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 145 | Reviews: 124
Photo of Drew966
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale pours a dark brown with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. I'm getting a little bit of hops in the aroma, but it's mostly malt. Sweet malt hits me up front, followed quickly by hops. Pretty decent, a good all around drinker, but not anything too exciting.

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

Dark coppery orange with a snowstorm of suspended yeast. The light tan head is decently dense and leaves an almost solid sheet of lace near the surface of the receding beer. The aroma falls solidly in the 'balanced for an APA' category. Malt might be just a tad more noticeable than herbal-fruity hops, though both could use more nostril-filling power. Not the usual APA nose and not all that impressive.

The beer manages more boldness on the palate, but could use even more oomph yet. Caramel malt still leads the way. Additional flavors are apparent, such as toffee and subtly smoky peat, giving the beer a weak Scotch ale vibe; definitely odd for the style. Hops remain in the background and contribute little flavor or bitterness. The light-medium body is unusual given the malt dominance.

Black Dog Ale is just okay in my book. It borrows elements from several different styles and doesn't bring them together into any kind of cohesive whole. It's a decent drinker, just don't expect to be wowed.

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

Had to pick up a bottle of this, along with their Monterey Lager, as I have never seen them anywhere else. Label states "no whiners." All righty then.

Poured a rich copper color with a thick fluffy head that did not retain well. The aroma was initially very fruity, but as it warmed I picked up some malts and a soapy aroma as well.

Flavor has a bit of a roasty caramel thing going on, with a somewhat acidic malt flavor at the end. Could use a kick of hops. Mouthfeel is smooth, somewhat creamy, and enjoyable. A pleasant drinker, but nothing spectacular.

Photo of DogFood11
3.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this at bristol farms in westwood. First time I've seen this in the area so I had to snag it.

Pretty standard appearance, orange hue, little lacing or head and a medium sized carbonation slowly stumbles to the surface.

significant malted sweetness in the smell, along with a citrusy hop counterbalance. The malts win in the end, bready and rich smelling.

doughy bread flavor, Floral (although very subtle) and a slight citrus balance. Rolls around nicely on the palate until the end when there is a bit of a chalky layering.

I would buy this again not only because its good but the price is right. Can't wait to try another offering as soon as I see one.

Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber, bordering orange, a large and very foamy head, clings nicely. Wonderful lacing and texture are noticed up front. Aroma is faint, slightly fruity and maybe a touch of honey on the nose. Taste of bitter and malt combination up front, a combined grapefruit and orange peel taste is noted. The body and finish are bitter and acidic, a very slight creamy finish. Not much on the pale ale side, too bitter, but not bad.

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice ale with a great label. This little brew poured darker than expected but had little trouble creating a nice head and lace from the bottle.

The nose is malty with a little hop aroma to go with it. The flavor is decently malty with a good bitter hop finish. Actually a pretty nicely balanced beer with very good drinkability.

Photo of CherylM
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried one bottle in a mixed-six.

It is a very good, well-rounded English-style amber ale.

Had a pleasant, malty aroma. Was a dark amber color with a thin white lacy head. Tasted slightly sweet and malty with a lingering bitterness. Taste improved slightly when warmer.

I would buy a six-pack.

Photo of allengarvin
3.71/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, served in a mug glass.

Appearance: Clear copper color, with very fine bubbles streaming up. Nice off-white head.

Aroma: Sweet, toasted malt aroma.

Flavor: Malt up front, toasted and caramel flavors. Medium bitterness dries it out a little at the end.

Body: Decent, slightly heavier than moderate body.

My first Black Dog ale in 7 or 8 years. Not as good as I remember it back then, but still an alright American amber beer. Nothing special or outstanding about the flavor, but few flaws either.

Photo of tavernjef
3.71/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from a trip to S. Dakota and Wyoming May 2001 Purchased at Devils Tower, Wy

750ml bottle - Color is a amber/ light brown with a big fully head and has a light smell of honey/caramel and fruity hops. Tastes like it has some honey in it with some caramel malt and light hops, very clean and smooth. Brightly flavored, but mellow light/medium body. Easy drinker, not bad.

Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle sampled, no freshness dating. Pours dark honey/almond amber, clear, with large bubble rising, a minimal white head and just a tad of lacing on the glass. Slight buttery nose. Fairly full bodied ale, malty, buttery. Notes of honey.vanilla, toffe. Fairly low hopping rate, as just the slightest drying and bitterness is noted late. Middle of the road, APA, I prefer this style to be more assertiviely hopped. Decent sessioner, tastes more like a Brit style brown ale to me.

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.76/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of riversider76
3.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Zorro
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of aubuc1
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

Photo of RJLarse
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I grabbed a six-pack of Black Dog Ale at a grocery store to taste and review. I poured this beer in to a pint glass.

Pours a deep red/copper color and is clear. A creamy light beige head forms and fades quickly to a film. Even so there is good lacing on the glass while drinking.

The smell is sweet and floral. There is some malt aroma, and a bit of a bourbon scent.

The taste is complicated. There is a malt flavor, some caramel, a little bourbon heat, and some bitter hops. It tastes OK, but I'm not much on the style.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with a lot more carbonation than I was expecting.

This is a drinkable beer. I would certainly have it again.

Photo of 1fastz28
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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

Photo of ToasterChef
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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

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.

Photo of whartontallboy
3.84/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of ROMER79
3.86/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Photo of pezoids
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of alexgash
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of mgdeth
3.89/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.