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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

124 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 124
Hads: 145
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 11.46%
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  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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Reviews: 124 | Hads: 145
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev +4%
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. (1,007 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours out a burgundy color with a small, short-lived head. No lacing.

S - It mostly smelled of malt and hops.

T - Despite smelling fairly hoppy, it wasn't. It tasted rather nutty and like a blending of malt and grains.

M - Crisp and dry. It is light-bodied.

D - It is an okay beer. I won't rush out to buy more but if offered a Black Dog, I won't turn it down. (368 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.96/5  rDev -15.2%
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!! (728 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.02/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy, deep reddish-copper color with a thin creamy head. The aroma is of caramel malt and light fruit with some grassy/piney hoppiness occasionally appearing in the background. The body is medium-full with a gentle carbonation and a somewhat dullish but creamy mouthfeel. The flavor is mainly of a sweet & toasty caramel malt, with some summer fruit and lightly piney hop character following, supported by a bitterness that shows itself mainly in the finish along with some cocoa. Well made, and quite enjoyable with a very nice maltiness. Worth trying. (562 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.35/5  rDev -4%
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. (944 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (863 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.26/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (479 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a frothy, large bubbled, tan colored head that sits atop a lightly hazy deep orange-amber colored brew. The aroma is a mix malty notes of caramel lightly toasted whole grain bread and fruity notes of cherry & strawberry. The taste starts out with a certain smooth creaminess, but quickly moves to a light frothy spritziness. This beer has a nice (though fairly subtle) zesty hop character to it that adds a bit of a bite as well as some nice flavor zing. The taste is quite fruity with notes of cherry and raisins. There is a bit more hop character than I was expecting in this beer and there is a nice fruity character to balance it. Actually not a bad example of an English style Pale Ale. (702 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
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. (487 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.04/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle from AJ's Fine Foods in Glendale, AZ, on to the beer:

Into a mug it goes, the beer pours caramel copper color. The orange copper color is brillinat in my glass, and the head formation and retention is great. Great lacing too. The aroma is soft and subtle. A little bit of apricot, zest of grapefruit feel. As for taste, it is light one. It reminds me of a good English ale. Fruity esters dominate this one, flavors of pine, caramel, and a soft buttery edge. Mouthfeel is smooth with a buttery feel.

An enjoyable ale. It's not the hopbomb you would expect given the category listing, but it's pretty good washing down some tortellini. (652 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (444 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (627 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear dark amber color, nice carbonation, tiny head, some lacing afterwards.

S - Scents of sweet malts and slight caramel.

T - The taste is sweet and a tiny bit bitter.

M - Medium body.

D - Drinkable. This is a nice tasty brew.

First off this is not a APA, it's a English Style Amber Ale. Also the brewery is in Bozeman, Montana not CA. Or do I have a totally different brewery? (405 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
3.82/5  rDev +9.5%
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. (522 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.93/5  rDev -16%
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. (509 characters)

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

I sampled this on January 5, 2010. It had a handsome looking mahogany-brown pour with about three-quarters of an inch of short-lived foamy beige head. Lots of lacing but the head dissolves after a few minutes. A good amount of perfume-like sweetness and a bit of hoppiness in the aroma. The mouthfeel is pretty durable and carbonated. The taste is bitter like an English style with a subtle hoppy finale. Not at all bad. (420 characters)

Photo of Brad007
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with a one-finger head. Aroma is somewhat malty with a nice hop bitterness showing through. Biscuity and smooth. Taste is chewy and malty with the same hop bitterness that fades in the aftertaste. Somewhat fruity as well at the back of the throat. Very drinkable though.

The label says Amber Ale but the style says American Pale Ale. Somewhat confusing but similar to Roxy Rolles in regards to bending the styles. Not a bad ale at all. (462 characters)

Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -14%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
3.71/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (377 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Standard looking 12 ounce brown glass bottle. Crown cap has a black padded foot print on it. Bottle looks like that in the BA Database. No strength nor freshness, but a rather cool looking bottle nonetheless.

Appearance: Smart looking dark amber chestnut body that has a mild hazed appearance. Pours with a seriously gorgeous thick rich luscious off-white head which leaves some extremely nice lacing. Immense carbonation, a slow swirl rebuilds the head ion no time.

Nose: Oats, Malts, Nuts, Nuts and more Nuts with some milk chocolate brown ale in the nose, this has a lovely soft silky inviting nose.

Taste: Lovely milk chocolate feel, reminded me of a grainy cocoa bean, and that of a partially dried exposed chocolate Easter Egg shell, this entwines with nutty Brown Ale feel that lends some thickness to the body. Chocolate coated hazelnut finish with a dry malt feel. A very tasty brew indeed.

Mouthfeel: This one has a beautifully rich rewarding presence. Swirled in the mouth it reveals all of its nuances. Silky and smooth it sits well in the mouth, rich chocolate feel after the swallow.

Drinkability: I found this to be rather quaffable, in fact, it reminded me so much of a few jolly decent Cask Brown Ales I drank in the UK …..names I could mention and regale…but Brown Willy is one of them…a long gone beer from a defunct brewery. Nevertheless, this one drinks exceptionally well. Very nice.

Overall: Described as an Amber Ale, and very English by others, I would go further and say that this one has a lovely rich Nutty Brown Ale feel to it also. Cost me $1.70 for the bottle. Was it worth it!?? Almost, not a bad drop!! (1,671 characters)

Photo of whartontallboy
3.84/5  rDev +10%
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. (791 characters)

Photo of alexgash
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (401 characters)

Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (375 characters)

Photo of Reidrover
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber, clear with nice carbonation visible. Thick creamy light tan head. A very malty aroma to this one, caramel malts, some slight "sense" of hops. Good malt based flavours, quite fruity in aspect and a small touch of hops in the end. Not a bad mouthfeel, but just a tad on the thin side for the style. A nice simple drinkable pale ale. nothing exciting but nothing bad. (376 characters)

Photo of merlin48
3.57/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a black dog paw on the cap. Label says it's brewed in Saratoga Springs, NY. Pours a clear, copper amber with a one finger, beige head. Minimal ring lacing.

Aroma is malty. Caramel aroma with a weak note of pine in the background.

Taste is very malty, with caramel and a subdued fruit note. Mild presence of pine is just enough to maintain a decent balance.

Smooth and crisp, slightly on the sweet side. Good drinkability, overall. Hard to figure this brewery out. They no longer have a website, and seem to be moving around the country a lot. (577 characters)

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Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.