1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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 budgood1
4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a very interesting brew here! cloudy deep gold in color, there was a bit of sediment in the bottom of my bottle that i, of course, swirled in. the best way to describe the aroma is to say it smells like tootsie rolls...very nice. upon drinking.... creamy, buttery....flavors of caramel, toffee, and hints of chocolate with a discernible hop finish, which adds a weird sensation of starting creamy and ending dry to the mouthfeel. i pick up sweet, fruity overtones as it warms, making this one delicious experience. lots of complexity to this brew. highly recommended.

budgood1, Oct 24, 2002
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.

Drew966, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of pootz
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle:
Poured a brilliant amber-red with a smallish of-white cap that lasted fairly well and laces the glass.

Aromas of caramel malts, leafy hops and earthiness...nice nose to this one.

Big chew on sweetish caramalt in the front then the willemette hops balance with resinous botanical bittering. This rides to the finish where it turns the drink dry and moderately bitter.

A well crafted amber. Nice quaffer.

pootz, Apr 22, 2010
Photo of Chucker17
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Chucker17, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of NEhophead
3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown bottle, served in a tumbler.

Light caramel with auburn highlights. Foamy, half-inch white head with good retention. A sheet of all-encompassing, condensed lacing with good strength.

Toasted malts; musty breadiness. Faint linger of diacetyl with a touch of skunkiness. Pleasant citric hops that lighten the toasted malt character.

Semi-sweet toasted maltiness with a lingering, mild astringency; metallic-tinged malted wheat. Citric hops with a solvent-like flavor. The bitterness is reminiscent of cleaning solution, finishing quite waxy.

Medium bodied; smooth, but turns waxy/filmy on the palate. Very gaseous and slightly annoying as it sits.

A decent Enlgish Pale that becomes more and more annoying in flavor and texture as it sits on the palate. Not a flattering ale, and not one that I would taste again.

NEhophead, Mar 23, 2007
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

AP: Very clear Deep red amber color, medium carbonation that creates a one-finger deep frothy and bubbly but tight appearing off-white head that displayed good retention. There are some clusters of lacing remaining on the glass.

Nose: Deep fruity whiff, red berries and citrus tingles the nose and a mellow and mildly sweet malt.

Taste: A very hearty and herbal but piney hop flavor that over-powers a mellow and clean malt flavor that has some subtle roasted-nuts and caramel effects. The finish is a mildly bitter and herbal hop bite.

Feel: Medium body, crisp and clean and a bit dry on the palate.

DA: The lable states this as an English-style amber ale, but it really has a much bigger hop charechter than it should, Pale Ale is more fitting for this. Pretty easy to drink despite the identity crisis.

GratefulBeerGuy, Mar 12, 2007
Photo of SkinniePost
3.5/5  rDev 0%

SkinniePost, May 02, 2014
Photo of babaracas
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark red with eggnog colored head and clingy lacing. Smell: caramel malt, dark fruit, diacetyl, floral hops. Very English, I'm not sold on this as being an APA. Taste: grain, slightly sour yeasty character, caramel malt, fruity especially raisin, bready malt, raw earthy/floral hop. Mouthfeel: medium bodied, creamy.

babaracas, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a mostly clear reddish amber color with a persistent creamy tan head that is about 1/4" It is leaving some pretty thick lacing on the class as you swirl it a bit. There are quite a few bubbles rising to maintain the head, and it is still very active quite a few minutes after the pour.

Aroma: I get quite a bit of sweet caramel that was backed by a fresh floral hop presence. A very subtle roast is there along with an equally reserved metallic note.

Taste: The roast is a bit more assertive in the flavor than I suspected from the aroma. I do get a whole lot of sweet caramel in here as a base, but it doesn't hold up for too long as the roast and hop bitterness kicks in and runs the show into the finish. The finish is somewhat dry with a mild lingering bitterness. There is no real alcohol noticeable and the residual mouthfeel is more from the hops and dark malts as from the alcohol.

Opinion: This is a pretty decent beer. I like the staying power of the head and it is still there after I have drank over half the beer. It seems that the Brown Ales from Montana (like Moose Drool) have a very pronounced dark caramel component. Big Sky's beer has a sweeter balance that I prefer...but this one is pretty good. I would drink it again.

SkeeterHawk, Mar 14, 2007
Photo of TheSarge
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The aroma is very balanced between the malt and the hops.

Taste is also well balanced. A good start with the sweetness of malt, but is quickly replaced by the hops. Not overly done in any direction.

The brew pours with good head retention. It produces a light tan cranium.

Good enough for another go around.

TheSarge, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of Kahlerbock
2.5/5  rDev -28.6%

Kahlerbock, Jan 17, 2012
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.

AtLagerHeads, Oct 27, 2003
Photo of AlexJ
3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice pour, darker amber than i expected with a very nice white head that retains well, but leaves little lace.

Aroma is very subtle, light grain and some malt roast with a earthy pungentcy that I don't find very appealing.

Flavor is a dry, bready malt with some grain sweetness and crackery dryness. The hops are virtually unnoticable, showing only as restained bitterness in the meager finish.

Body and drinkability are average. Not bad just not interesting.

AlexJ, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of Blakaeris
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours brilliant coppery-red. Head is foamy, crisp and white with moderate lacing.

Aroma is caramel malt, and tropical fruit. Slightly sweet. Pleasant hop aroma.

Taste is balanced malt and hops. Understated citrus fruit, and caramel malt. Very bready, toasted malt. Finish has a mildly crisp hop bite.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied. Slight hop oiliness.

Overall a decent session brew. The label states that it is an English style ale; it is balanced and mild with unified flavor. However, it lacks the distinctive taste of English beer. Still this is a decent brew that I will enjoy again.

Blakaeris, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a huge head with nice retention and a nice ful amber color.

Mild caramel/pale malts and low hop bitterness.

Nicely balanced ale. Caramel and pale malts sweetness with a mild hop bitterness to balance.

Overall, this is a well balanced simple beer. It easy to drink and has a nice mouthfeel. Not a whole bunch to say, but it's still a good brew.

jasonjlewis, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of SixpointJMH
2.93/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This was a lackluster brew overall.

It pours a decent semi-hazy amber colour wit ha mild head that leaves no mark on the glass.

Aroma is dank and malty, and a bit too caramel heavy for my liking. There are hints of chocolate in there as well.

The flavour is similar to the aroma, but the caramel for one is a bit more tame. There are hints of butter that aren't noticeable in the aroma as well as a bit of a rubbery taste. The finish has a watery malty taste to it. Mouthfeel is, again, a bit watery and light to medium bodied.

I am not impressed by this one. The "numbers" will give this one a marginally favourable review, but my impression was marginally unfavourable overall. Bland and boring, I can't say I can recommend this one. What I can say is to let it warm a bit if you do try it, as if it is sampled too cold, the aroma is awful and the flavour is even weaker.

SixpointJMH, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of Foxman
3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a clear, dark reddish amber, and is amply carbonated. A full finger of white head stands for a time. Lacing is thin, sparse, and an afterthought.

The aroma is a mild mix of subtle malt and a bready dough note. A mere touch of hop bite is tamped down by a fruity, generic sweetness.

Upon tasting, the sweetness of the malt is most notable, and not so much of grain as sugar. Only a hint of caramel stops it from being too distracting when the sweet grains turn lightly tart and cherry-esque. The hops here are even less notable, with just the slightest touch of spicy edge. A swish of bready malt drops off when a fairly crisp bitterness dries the finish a bit. Too sweet and not hoppy enough, not what I was expecting or hoping for.

Light bodied, the malt lends the ever so gentle creaminess to the texture, which combines with the carbonation to lend more than a little presence.

At first I thought, maybe I'm not impressed because it's not really what I was expecting. Then I realized, I wasn't impressed because the malt carries an unbalanced sweetness, which is the result of too frugal a hop profile. It's far form macro territory, of course, but I shudder to think what a draft list would have to look like for me to order this again. Maybe as a bail-out in a shot and a beer macro haven, but it just doesn't cut it otherwise.

Foxman, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of younger35
2.83/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from a nonic pint glass. Poured from a 12oz bottle. This is the first Spanish Peaks Brewing beer that I’ve had.

Appearance- Pours a nice dark amber-brown with an alabaster foamy head. Fairly nice retention that recedes to form a nice collar with spotty lacing.
Smell- Lots of toasty malts with a big doughy backdrop. Very feint citrus hop tones. Has an almost sour smell that I didn’t expect.
Taste- Not really the punch I was hoping for. Rather sweet toasted caramel malts that are quietly followed by a very mellow hop bitterness. The aftertaste is semi sour with a nutty, fairly dry finish.
Mouthfeel- Very crisp with medium carbonation. Kind of a thin body with a pretty dry finish.
Drinkability- Not bad for a session beer but overall not my favorite. I’m not sure what, but this beer seems to be missing something. There’s better out there.

younger35, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of BeerManDan
4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When poured, it was a medium brown with loads of light tan foam. Pour slowly in to glass. The smell was of roasted malts and hops, with a hint of a toffee aroma, but weak on the aroma of this ale. The taste was of a sweet/tart flavor of roasted malts and hops just like the aroma but more intense on the flavor rather the the aroma. Also there seem to be a hint of chocolate/caramel when tasted. An interesting ale with some surprises in the flavor!

BeerManDan, Aug 23, 2005
Photo of RJLarse
3.78/5  rDev +8%
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.

RJLarse, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of Beertracker
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Beertracker, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of mschofield
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber-brown, chill hazed?, topped with a three finger pillowy light-tan head. Leaves thin webs of lacing.
Fruity, citrus, tofee and floral notes in the aroma.
Fruity, caramel taste. Herbs, roses, toasted dark break and tea make up the taste.
Medium bodied, nothing special but a good beer.

mschofield, Aug 20, 2004
Photo of beernut7
4.33/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This English-style pale ale has a sweet caramel fruity bouquet with a noticeable Munich malt flavor character. There is just a hint of chocolate malt in the last few sips. This is a complex and flavorful beer

beernut7, Aug 16, 2002
Photo of daledeee
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark chestnut with a nice head and some lace. Malty and earthy or yardy smelling. Taste is kind of like an Oktoberfest. Big malt taste. A little hops afterwards. Somewhat astringent. Doesn't taste like it is very strong alchoholwise.

Just an average drink.

Dale

daledeee, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of soupyman10
4.05/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a stange

A - Nice one finger tan head, deep amber color, mostly clear, immediate lacing

S - Nose is nutty malts, some toffee aroma to, sweet florals; mild but nice, very unique

T - Nice caramal malt flavor dominates; also some roasted naste in the middle, mild hops with some nuttiness

M - Good carbonation, medium body; good aftertaste, no problems here, although nothing particularly special

D - A good beer - reminds me a lot of Newcastle Brown, but some different flavors; definitely drinkable

soupyman10, Feb 14, 2007
Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.