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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 Thrasher
4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, revisiting an old friend. Spanish Peaks was one of the first craft brews I enjoyed as an underage drinker, Yellowstone Pale Ale being my 2nd "epiphany" beer following Sam Adams (Jr yr in college). Looking at the ratings for that particular beer, it may have been a youthful indiscretion, but anyway I haven't tried this brewery since those halcyon days and it's nice to be back. This Black Dog ale is a solid pale, slightly hazy and raw, the way beer should be. It's hard to tell how old this sample is, there are some tiny numbers on the bottom of the bottle but almost impossible to read. The last 2 digits could be "01" - could mean anything, but if this beer is two yrs old it's held up remarkably well. The thing that does it for me is the use of the chocolate malt in the pale ale setting. I don't know enough about brewing to know if this is common practice, but its more pronounced here than any other beer I can thing of. Wow, it's an incredibly successful venture, offsetting the caramel sweetness with a burnt roastiness and bitter chocolate. Much better than any black and tan you will ever have. I think more breweries should pursue this avenue; until then I will be drinking this often.

Thrasher, Apr 11, 2003
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 mooseisloose
3.85/5  rDev +10%
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.

mooseisloose, Jul 20, 2007
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.

GeoffRizzo, Apr 04, 2003
Photo of Dapperticus
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Dapperticus, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of siradmiralnelson
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottel into SABL glass.

A. 2 finger head. Color is caramel brown. Decent head retention. Not very much lacing.

S. Nice caramel malt smell. Smell some dark fruit & raisins. Molasses. Not a very big hop smell.

T. Taste is very much like the smell. Dominant carmel malt taste. Semi-sweet. Brown sugar. Not much hop taste or bitterness.

M. Medium bodied. Pretty smooth. Low-medium carbonation. Semisweet aftertaste.

D. Nothing amazing but a drinkable brew. Maybe a little too malt forward of a pale ale for me.

siradmiralnelson, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of EStreet20
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, 20 ounce nonic.

A - Pours out a deep dark amber, approaching brown. Fairly small off white head.

S - Some sweet fruity flavors along with some caramel malts. Tiny hop peaking through.

T - Fairly clean tasting ale with some caramel flavor. Taste is very light but rather pleasant. Nothing really "stands out" but it's an easy drinker.

M - Fairly light and smooth.

D - I tend to like more flavor, but still sometimes this is what you want. I think this is a hybrid between an amber, English Pale, and even a tad of an English Bittter. All-in-all it's an easy drinking session ale.

EStreet20, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of tugdriver7
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

tugdriver7, Jul 05, 2007
Photo of 1fastz28
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
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

1fastz28, Jan 22, 2007
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 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 zerk
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.

zerk, Aug 26, 2004
Photo of kinger
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Funky aroma of strong malt and interesting hops, I like it. Medium-dark copper pour solid head and lacing. Biting mouthfeel that sticks with you, I like it. Upfront taste that knocks you back a bit then settles down. Some strong coffee is present, rather bitter. Peculiar ale, but I do like it.

kinger, Oct 29, 2008
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 wspscott
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

wspscott, Feb 12, 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 abcsofbeer
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

abcsofbeer, Sep 19, 2004
Photo of Southernbrew
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dard-amber, decent head.

Aroma smells of sweet malts but still crisp.

Medium body, with medium carbonation. Light honey and vanilla flavors. Goes down fairly easy. Sweetness becomes more pronounced as it warms.

A decent ale, nothing to write home about, but easy to drink.

Southernbrew, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of foureyedgeek
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.

foureyedgeek, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of Osiris9588
4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap and Bodega in Columbus, Ohio. Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a golden hue. Thin white head didn't stick around for long.

The smell is light and malty, some floral and citrus notes. The taste is also light and crisp, caramel malt followed directly by a strong, slightly nutty hop presence and lemony zing. Somewhat similar to a Scottish Ale, but with less grain and more hops.

It's light in body, but shows decent complexity. This would make a good session brew, though is not earth shattering.

Osiris9588, Jul 23, 2007
Photo of kelticblood
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.

kelticblood, Apr 16, 2003
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 rarevos
3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

rarevos, Mar 06, 2007
Photo of bagpiper2005
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Deep caramel color with a 1-fingered head that dissipated fairly quickly and left minimal lacing on the glass.

Smell: Lots of sweet caramel malts, a little bit of molasses, some fruity notes, and just the ever slightest amount of earthy hops.

Taste: Big caramel and roasted malt flavor which gives way into a brown sugar type sweetness, some fruity notes, and finishes up with a very light, delicate hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very smooth.

Drinkability: Goes down extremely well and is very refreshing.

Final Notes: A great all-around beer for either drinking alone, with a meal, and would pair well against a rich, flavorful dessert or drank all its own as a dessert beer.

bagpiper2005, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of javiernano
3.5/5  rDev 0%

javiernano, Mar 06, 2012
Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.