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

145 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 145
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 12.57%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 145 | Reviews: 124
Photo of ToasterChef
3.82/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured form a cellar temperature bottle into a 12oz "pint" glass. I could hear a loud hiss as I popped the cap on this bottle. I began to pour the beer into the center of my glass, but quickly had to tilt the glass to the side and stream the beer down the wall of the glass, the head was just too big. I couldn't even get the entire 12 ounces into the glass. When I stopped pouring, there were equal parts beer and head. There is still a large head of big off-white bubbles that is resting above a dark amber beer. There are some bubbles clinging to the bottom of the glass, but not too many rising to the top. There is a tiny amount of lacing, just a few meager patches of foam clinging to the sides of the glass. The aroma has a pleasant hop smell; it reminds me of a pile of dry leaves on a sunny fall day. The beer tastes very well balanced. I can pick up toffee malt flavors and subtle hop bitterness. The malts are more up front, and the hops show up late and linger on after I swallow. It tastes like a well-crafted amber ale should. There is a lot of carbonation present that attacks my tongue if I let the beer sit in my mouth for too long. It has a medium body and an even, but thin, amount of coating. This beer is pretty drinkable. Each individual glass goes down easily, but I think the high level of carbonation would get to me after a few bottles. That's not too say I wouldn't buy more of this if it were sold in my area.

Photo of Minkybut
2.7/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle to tumbler at 45 degrees. Beer was dark with a head that went away fast, slight lacing. This beer I have had before several years ago and I thought it was good. The label has changed and I guess the beer has also. Beer was harsh chemicle tasting, bitter like. It reminded me of turpentine or something. I will not buy again.
2nd tasting a year later:
I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a nice light mahoganny color with a nice tan head. The beer had a bit of a hoppy aftertaste and was slighly bitter. The lacing was pretty good. It was a decent beer, nothing exciting but decent. I still will not buy again though as it just was not all that great either.

Photo of jettjon
3.51/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap into the pint glass, an amber brown clear color with many tiny bubbles. Thick, creamy 1-finger head of light tan foam with heavy lacing. Good head retention; there’s a sold cap down to the bottom. Great looking beer. Nose is hoppy and sweet. Flavor is a nice, moderate crisp bitter with sweet undertones, finishes a clean, mild bitter. Not complicated, just enjoyable. Mouth is crisp and clean; the moderate carbonation feels tingly on the tongue. Drinkability is very good; this is a simple, tasty, and refreshing ale. Easily sessionable.

Overall: A solid brown/amber ale, recommended.

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear dark brown color with a nice but quickly falling head. The smell was a bit malty and slightly spicy. The taste was mainly of malt and sourness. It was well balanced between the sweet malty flavor and the sour undertones. The mouthfeel was thinner than expected. Overall, I think the drinkability of this beer is high because it isn’t too heavy to tire of quickly.

Photo of aubuc1
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a tulip pint glass.
Pours a light clear brown with a sort of thin off white head.
Smell is of mellow hops, lightly roasted biscuity malt and light bread.
Taste is smmoth, bready, balanced pleasure. Nice session beer.
Good mouthfeel and very drinable.

Photo of loren01
3.24/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours an amber color, small white head, slight lacing down the glass
S: Smell is of caramel, nutty scent as well
T: Tastes same as smell, caramel flavor but not as strong as the smell. Slight hop aftertaste.
M: Light to medium bodied beer
D: Pretty average amber ale, smell stood out but not really much else.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a complete 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. It's a pretty amber/orange. Got a nice white head about a finger's width. Some lacing as I swirl the glass gently. This beer has a sweet malty aroma with very little noticable hops. There is a nice spicey undertone to the aroma that is quite pleasant. The taste also bursts with sweet maltiness, and then a slight bitter finish, with more evidence of spicenss. Even after the bitter finish I am left with lingering sweetness. (I guess I'd say this beer is sweet). It does have a nice smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

This beer does not have the hop balance that I have come to expect in an APA. It is nontheless a nice drinkable ale that is very sessionable IMO.

Photo of mooseisloose
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Photo of dmamiano
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium dark beer that was reminiscient of a brown ale in looks more than an amber.
Had a strong, two finger head, and it lasted a while. Good lacing held on for a long time.
This beer tasted and smelled of good strong maltiness. The malts of this beer is what impressed me the most.
It is listed as an APA but I cant see why. Hop presence was a bit low to be put in this catagory.

Photo of Mark
3.98/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Way back when this was one of the first craft beers I ever had. Today I saw it on sale and I thought I'd give a go. Nice deep amber and very clear, good lace. I found this very English in style. I liken to a decent English bitter. A nice drinkable ale that I'm glad I got reaquainted with.

Photo of jasonpeckins32
2.99/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Photo of Thrasher
4.2/5  rDev +20%
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.

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.55/5  rDev -27.1%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of jmbranum
2.26/5  rDev -35.4%
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)

Photo of EStreet20
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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.

Photo of 1fastz28
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
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

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.

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.

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.

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..

Photo of wspscott
3.94/5  rDev +12.6%
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

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.76/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.