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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 puboflyons
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

puboflyons, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev +14.3%

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!!

TheLongBeachBum, Jan 24, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
3.85/5  rDev +10%

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.

whartontallboy, Jul 25, 2005
Photo of alexgash
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%

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.

alexgash, Oct 24, 2003
Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +14.3%

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.

Brent, Sep 09, 2003
Photo of merlin48
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

merlin48, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of Vancer
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%

Noted right on the bottle that this is a English style ale, NOT an American PA as it’s listed under here.

And it really hits the English PA to a tee. Very nice drinker, very enjoyable and I bet low enough alcohol to make a good session brew.

Lite cola brown pour, firm ivory head producing sheets of lace. Then the English kicks in, aromas of a hoppy woody grain, followed by a tasty treat quaff loaded with grassy, resinous and woody malts.

Sharp and crisp body, she finishes clean and tasty.

Vancer, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Poured a hazy reddish-brown color with moderate slightly off-white head.
Smell is notable for caramel with some light piney hops in the background.
Taste also comnines the caramel with the piney hops in a pleasant mixture.
Finishes more dry than sweet, and leaves a nice feeling in the mouth.
Easy to drink. Good middle-of-the road beer.

tgbljb, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of Reidrover
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%

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.

Reidrover, May 27, 2006
Photo of allengarvin
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%

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.

allengarvin, Nov 30, 2004
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -13.4%

Spanish Peaks- Black Dog Ale

Appearance- Dark redish brown with a thick foamy head after a vigorous pour.
Smell- Light vanilla caramel malt witha light tinge of alcohol.
Taste- creamy vanilla malt and some bread grain notes.
Mouthfeel- smooth yet almost lifeless.

Overall- A mediocre beer at best. Just plain and boring. It gets a passing grade but I would still say avoid.

NJpadreFan, Apr 14, 2007
Photo of garymuchow
2.98/5  rDev -14.9%

I wonder if this has any connection to the Led Zeppelin song?

Surprisingly, a malt aroma. I'm so used to expecting strong hops. Uncomplicated.
Very fizzy, very short-lived head that completely dissappeared before my first sip. Amber and clear.
Flavor is more malt based too, some sweet caramel and nut-brown qualities. Hop dryness and slight bitterness on the finish. Fairly uncomplicated too. Little watery.
Carbonation is busy upon drinking. Fullness from it, otherwise thin to medium.
Seems like a starter beer for those first trying something beyond an Am. lager. First dark beer sort of stuff. Just not enough to it to make it a session beer.

garymuchow, Sep 30, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
2.85/5  rDev -18.6%

Medium gold color, small head. Aroma is malty and slightly sweet. A medium bodied, kind of mild brown ale. Malts are a little sweet and the hops are a little subdued. There is a slight fruitiness to the beer. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly sweet. Nothing really wrong with this beer, it just that there are so many beers that are a whole lot better.

beerguy101, Sep 23, 2003
Photo of Tyrawlings
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Tyrawlings, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of atsprings
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%

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.

atsprings, Apr 17, 2007
Photo of Todd
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Deep amber with reddish hues. Nice off-white cream lace, that has just enough stay and stick.

Smell: Raw aroma of malts, floral hops and fruity esters.

Taste: Smooth, creamy and full-bodied. Nice fruity flavour of raisin and grape, touch of background chocolate malt, bready malts and a floral hop character that peaks with a zesty flash of semi-citrus bitterness, but not enough that it overpowers the mild malt sweetness. Bit of crispness from the Munich malt. Turns coarse, a bit raw, on the palate (hops), then finishes out dry with lurking husky tannins and some traces of yeast.

Notes: A damn fine ale, very traditional English in its character and very easy to drink. Described by the brewer as an English amber, which I'd translate into being a pale ale.

All in all a good beer, and well worth a tasting.

Todd, Mar 30, 2002
Photo of Pegasus
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%

Appearance: Hazy light brown color, with a large, dense off-white head, which retains quite well. The carbonation consists of an occasional slow-rising bubble; the lacing is thick and quite broken.

Aroma: Light fruits, mild herbal hops and malts comprise the aroma.

Taste: Dark fruit notes dominate the taste from beginning to end, beneath which there is a solid, although somewhat understated caramel malt backbone, and a flourish of herbal hops late in the taste, these are free of any harsh notes. The finish is quite dry with a lingering mild malt sweetness.

Mouth feel: Smooth and quiter full, with just a touch of soft carbonation on the tip of the tongue.

Drinkability/note: A very decent example of the style, quite pleasing and easy to drink.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve ounce brown glass longneck, with a pry-off cap. Served in a standard pint tap glass.

Pegasus, Feb 19, 2005
Photo of lackenhauser
2.17/5  rDev -38%

Help me out here. This beer was all over my area several years ago. Never tried it. Has come back in force-especially in places like grocery stores that you wouldnt think of for good beer. Label says Polson, MT and Denver, CO. BA says "beer marketing company" in CA instead of brewery. Checked their web site. Not a lot of info there. Got me-but you're not missing anything.

Good, slight copper hue to it. Aroma is full of a smoke scent, sort of solvent like. Flavor is much of the same. Almost comes off as a belgian pale ale. Phenolic and chemical like. Burnt rubber. It isnt necessarily unpleasant but for this style it is wacked. I cant place my finger on where I have tasted it before-somewhat like burnt chestnuts. Ok body. I would give this a wide berth. They cant be serious-has to be a bad batch or off. No freshness ID. If this is beer from a "beer marketing company" give me a Bootie Lager any day!

lackenhauser, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of BretSikkink
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%

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.

BretSikkink, Feb 17, 2007
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.95/5  rDev +12.9%

Out of bottle found in Maine this beer was a copper color with some orange undertones. The head was two fingers thick, tan and composed a of fine bubbles that retained itself as a thin skim and left sticky lacing down my glass. The aroma was very grainy malt, some toasted malt, some toffee sweetness and a little bitter hops. The flavors were similar in being caramel malt dominated and sweet at first but then later turned bitter and a little "woody" when the hops cut in. A well balanced beer and a crisp finisher aided by the piney hop flavors. The body was medium and the mouthfeel average. I liked this one a lot as a session beer, nothing outstanding but solid and enjoyable.

thekevlarkid, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of rye726
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Considering the name, I thought this brew would be a little darker. It pours a clear golden color with a decent tan head. The nose has some sugary malts and a small grassy hop presence. The taste is also mostly malts with some bitter hops through the finish. An average ale and a good drinker.

rye726, May 21, 2008
Photo of bashiba
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%

Poured a nice ruby/amber color with a thin off white head. Light lacing and moderate retention.

Smell has a nice toasted malt profile with a nice breadyness.

Flavor has a nice bit of toasted malt with a very balancing amount of crisp hops. A very even beer.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing with a decent bit of carbonation.

Nothing outstanding, but a solid session beer.

bashiba, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of DogFood11
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%

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.

DogFood11, Dec 15, 2005
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%

Poured from a bottle a clear dark amber red with a small beige head. Some decent lacing on the sides.

Aroma is loaded with a really nice caramel maltiness.

Taste is light and malty with a touch of caramel and dark fruit. The finish reveals a bit of sourness.

Mouthfeel is light and thin with a light carbonation.

A very drinkable APA from Spanish Peaks. Not a great beer, but definitely a solid beer and one to try.

Monkeyknife, Sep 18, 2007
Photo of far333
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%

Copper to amber honey color. Head rises up about a frothy half inch but runs away too quickly. Inviting aroma of sweet bready malt and ripe fruit, some cinnamon and some faint hops. Sadly the flavor disappoints after the anticipation from the aroma. No hops to speak of, and the malt degrades to a tinny muted flavor. There's a slight bitterness in the finish, and a cherry tang in the aftertaste, but that's the extent of the depth and complexity. Mouthfeel is full and round and creamy, but unfortunately carries nothing else with it. Low drinkability - my tastebuds are bored.

far333, Oct 05, 2005
Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.