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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
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Ratings: 144 | Reviews: 124 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Imbiber
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.

Imbiber, Jan 21, 2005
Photo of msolar
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.

msolar, Jan 15, 2005
Photo of mgdeth
3.85/5  rDev +10%
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.

mgdeth, Feb 13, 2005
Photo of hungryghost
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange copper color, decent white head, plenty of carbonation in these bottles. Smell some carmelized malts.
First taste brings on the malty flavor and a hint of nuttiness. Just a hint of hops in there. Mouthfeel is fine, not too thin a brew. Nothing stands out too much on this one, even though it is a good beer.
I have had it before and I am sure I will buy it again.

hungryghost, Nov 14, 2004
Photo of ThreePistols
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.

ThreePistols, Feb 28, 2002
Photo of Guinness4me
3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Slightly fermented, raw sweet corn is the smell and flavor I notice most in this brew.

It poured browner than I imagined it would be with a wispy head. The smell is sweet but not overpowering and smells a bit alcoholic to me but no alcoholic burn after I swallow.

The taste again was sweet corn with light malt at the end. I didn't notice much fruit at all in the taste but I did pick up a hint of green olives.

The mouthfeel was nothing special and low in carbonation; a bit chewy. I wonder how this would taste with a low country boil?

Guinness4me, Oct 25, 2004
Photo of atpben
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.

atpben, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of kaszeta
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.

kaszeta, Jan 13, 2005
Photo of ROMER79
3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

ROMER79, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of boxofrane
3/5  rDev -14.3%

boxofrane, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of jscottku21
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very drinkable ale that, as some posters have said, is more of a pale ale than a British Ale. Nonetheless, this hybrid is an excellent sessioner that doesn't pack too much of a punch. This beer starts out tasting like a classic British Ale, however the mild taste of hops takes over and turns this more into an APA. All in all, not a good representation of either style, but definitely worth a try.

jscottku21, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of LucaBrasi
2.83/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The appearance is of a golden red color, when poured it created a nice tan head. I’m not sure if it was just me but the smell was faint. The taste was average a little hoppy perhaps a hint of carmel. The mouthfeel was light and lightly carbonated. This seemed a middle of the road ale, not a bad one, but not something to go crazy other either.

LucaBrasi, Aug 27, 2005
Photo of fightingirishcmk
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.

fightingirishcmk, Apr 14, 2007
Photo of Cujo65
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Cujo65, Nov 07, 2013
Photo of Fabric8r
2.73/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not impressive at all. I get some as gifts every now and then and they sit in the fridge for months. Every similar brown ale I've tasted is better. They don't even make this in Bozeman anymore, which has ruined it.

This beer is a good example of: a good beer marketing firm can cover up truth and a bad beer..

Fabric8r, Dec 06, 2002
Photo of BrewsCrewSA
3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

BrewsCrewSA, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of Hawthorne
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.

Hawthorne, Jun 09, 2007
Photo of CherylM
3.73/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

CherylM, Jun 03, 2005
Photo of JahNoth
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.

JahNoth, Apr 11, 2002
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Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.