Black Dog Ale - Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Dog AleBlack Dog Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

175 Ratings
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Ratings: 175
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Spanish Peaks Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Cresant on 05-08-2007

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 175 | Reviews: 124
Reviews by demuzik:
Photo of demuzik
3.19/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a nice looking beer, pours with a hefty head.

Like hopps? You won't really find em' here.
You better count on malty caramel sweetness - oh, and very minor carbonation, too.

Starts off OK - turns into a "too sweet" malty beer thats more work than pleasure to get down - in my humble opinion.

And whats up with the dog on the front?

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass a rich deep amber color with a thinner slight off white head that was quickly.Juicy,fruity malt tilted aromas with notes of brown sugar and caramel a real malt paradise,a tad thin in the mouthfeel department but it goes down effortlessly anyways.Again the malt rules on the palate juicy and quite sweet very fruity with notes of caramel that linger only a slight drying in the finish.Iam not sure what a English amber is but this a quaffing sweeter amber and pretty food friendly to boot.

Photo of steelerguy
3.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pleased with the color as I poured the beer from the bottle to the glass. I had not had an amber ale in awhile and I thought the dark copper color was quite pleasing. There was not much of a head after pouring, but what head there was remained for quite awhile with some nice lacing as the glass was emptied.

The beer had a nice malty smell which I thought was very nice. Even better was the hop aroma, overall I thought this was the beers best characteristic and I was eager to taste.

The first think I noticed was a nice hop flavor. I was not entirely expecting this before I smelled the beer. I was expecting more mild hop flavor being that it is an English Style Amber Ale. Instead there were nice nice roasted and caramel malt flavors along with the hops. It was all very nice until I was hit with a slightly off putting after taste. Mind you, it was not horrible or offensive, just not my cup of tea. This would have been a solid 4 if not for the after taste.

The would say this beer had a nice medium body, but was a little more carbonated than I would have liked at first. The carbonation was perfect when I was about 2/3 done.

This is a beer I would be very happy sitting around enjoying at a BBQ and talking with friends. I very much enjoyed the color and clarity and was pleasantly surprised with the wonderful hop taste and aroma. An amber ale I am sure I will enjoy again.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.95/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

They used to carry this stuff at Safeway, but no more. Light auburn color, mild head, dissipates quickly, aroma was very mild, light and sweet malt existence. Didn't pick up hops.

Taste, pretty smooth, like a cream and red hybrid. Not much left in the aftertaste. Sweet, brown sugar. Lesser amounts of toffee. Carbonation was good, although a weird fruit bitterness was on the aftertaste.

Pretty average stuff.

Photo of MOShepp
3.89/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark amber color. Bottle poured into a mug, nice 3/4" head that lingered throughout. Not a lot going on to smell. Mildly bitter up front, but the malty sweet kicks in right away with carmel overtones. Finishes smooth with very slight bitterness. Overall a great beer to just sit and drink.

Photo of Brenden
3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes are from a couple nights ago.

Amber's the word on this one, as this brew's color is about as close to it as could be. A nice, off-white head stands between one and two fingers tall, leaving adequate patchy lacing partway down the glass as it recedes.
There's a nice, solid malt base with caramel and toasty bread notes complimenting a bright citrus and light pine hops aroma. There's a light earthiness in here, and it gets a little grainy as I get as much as I can pull from the aroma.
The balance works very nicely in the flavor, with the hops greeting the tongue but graciously giving way to the caramel malt without falling away. It's not vastly complex, but it's solid, very nicely balanced, and flavorful.
The body is medium and carbonation is moderate, giving a crisp bite on first sip that fades to a pretty smooth swallow.
This is a good brew that keep me interested in a brewery that's new to me.

Photo of dacrza1
2.92/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mahogany orange red body with a fluffy uneven one-finger head...hops are confident but not annoying...fleeting taste (a certain thinness) to the back of the mouth...warm, low alcohol notes...strictly speaking on a personal level, these ambers cannot class themselves with any imported ale of note and generally cannot decide which glass to serve themselves in... as an American invention, not tasty, but useful for a night in, take out and a movie on.

Photo of dpsychoholic69
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A Dark amber color with a three finger off white head, nice lacing on the glass

S Caramel malts, some sweetness, slight hops

T Was not expecting the strong flavor of the hops which are slightly, not bad, bitter, less caramel than expected, sweet, hints of toffee

M Pretty smooth, a little carbonation, some acidity, finish was crisp and clean

D Not a bad beer for sitting around and sipping, wouldn't want to chug this one, just sit back and enjoy the complex flavors

Photo of kenito799
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

20 oz pour at a Greenwich Village bar on 7th Ave so nondescript, I have no idea what it is named.

This was the only beer on tap I hadn't heard of, among the Harp/Guinness/Boddington/Blue Moon mega-distributed group. So I was surprised to see so few reviews here.

Poured quite a dark reddish-amber, no lace left at all. Soft malty aroma, hints of toffee. Taste is very smooth, malty, somewhat nondescript, hops muted. Inoffensive and somewhat boring, but not bad.

Photo of hammer09
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear, deep red in appearance with a thick and foamy head. Visible signs of carbonation are light, despite the large head. Smell is malty and sweet with some citrus notes. Overall, this smells fresh and clean. Taste is slightly sour with mild malt flavors and a mediocre bitterness. Basically, it tastes okay, but is uninteresting. Mouthfeel is flat, sticky, and boring. This beer needs more carbonation. Drinkability is okay, but not a very memorable offering.

Photo of russpowell
3.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Let me get's this straight, this beer claims a Montana lineage, but is from a company in california & my bottle says brewed in Denver WTH?

Pours caramel/brown with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Below average head retention & good lacing After studying my glass further)

S: Caramel, a little toasted malt & choclate

T: Caramel sweetness up front, then some earthy hops & grainyness as this warms. I picked up toasted/charred grains as this warms some more. Finishes kind of a mess, earthy hops & caramel sweetness almost overpower the grainyness

MF: Thinish & low carbonation, really brings this beer down a knotch IMO

Drinks above average, but started with loads more potential. If I was actuakky interested in this beer, I'd see what the story is on it. Frankly, I'm not interested

Photo of gotweid
3.17/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From Spanish Peaks Brewery, founded in Montana and brewed in Montana or Denver is this fine English Style Amber Ale. Got all that ????From a 12oz bottle. Very thick off white head lasted quite a while. This brew has a deep brown color that matches the bottle. Great lacing. Smell is of very strong malt, hops and nuts. The taste is a very prominent malt, kind of nutty, not bitter. Leaves a pleasant malt feel in the mouth and not dry. Finishes nice and easy, not too bitter. The dark malt stays with you quite a while. Highly recommended. Very nice English style amber ale. Goes well with a nice English beef stew.

Photo of ewright
3.86/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Brilliantly clear, dark red/brown in color with a finger of off-white head that recedes to a fine layer.

S: Faint notes of grain husks and white grape juice.

T: Nice hit of toffee notes up front with a crisp hop bite at the end. Hints of fruit linger in the background.

M: Just a bit thin, but good carbonation levels.

D: Definitely an easy drinking ale ... dangerously easy to put away a 6 pack on a holiday afternoon if you aren't careful.

Note: I found this on sale for $10/case. I have fond memories of this beer as Black Dog and Pete's Wicked Ale were my gateway beers.

Photo of GRG1313
3.06/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep copper red with a nice thick white pillowy head.

Very light citrus and stone fruit in the nose. Elegant; not real assertive but nice.

Mouthfeel a light to medium body with a light creamy character.

Very delicate and somewhat elegant very light coffee with cream fruit flavors. Hints of milk carmel. All is rather light but some elegant character and some interesting flavor profiles. Finish of light carmel, coffee milk. Seems simple; on reflection has a light pleasant milked coffee, carmel character.

Photo of rebel1771
4.03/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber color with small off-white head that sticks around a bit.

S: Caramel malts with a decent amount of hops.

T: Bready malts of front with a noticeable hop presence in the middle and fading to a biscuity after taste.

Good solid brew, nothing earth shattering but it doesn't need to be.

Photo of TAMU99
3.56/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chug would be proud. This clear brown ale pours a thick head that doesn't quickly dissipate. The smell is a soft mix of hoppy acid and molasses. Taste is English. There's no getting around it nor would you want to. Echoes Boddington's, Newcastle, Harp, etc. Nice and smooth with nicely balanced hops and malts. Very drinkable. I'll buy more. Very good beer.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.35/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a medium, bright amber with a 1 finger, fluffy white head that was stick leaving a fairly good lacing on the vessel.

S: On the nose was some sweet caramel malt, berries, and a light floral hoppiness to balance of the sweetness in the end.

T: The initial flavor was fruity with a nice citrus bite, sweet toasted malt and some light fruitiness from the yeast.

M: light, a tad thin with moderate carbonation.

D: A moderate amber that was more fruity then malty and a touch to sweet for a session. Would make for a good fruity summer drink in moderation.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Served in the "new" Sam Adams Lager pint glass, the beer pours a red/amber color with an inch off-white head. It smells like toasted malt, citrusy hops and toffee, although the aroma isn't very strong. Taste is pretty similar to the aroma, but there's also a bit of nuttiness to the taste. It finishes with a sour/bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light, but not watery at all. Drinkability is OK, the beer is smooth, but nothing special at all. Overall it's decent. I'd drink it again, but I wouldn't make a point to go look for it.

Photo of Spikester
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure what is up with this Brewing Co. The bottle I drank was made in Montana not California. Their website says it is brewed in Polson, Mt. and Denver, Co. Owned by U.S. Beverage, Stamford, Ct.

The six-pack I purchased was bought at a Wal-Mart in Oregon.

A-Nice dark amber color with average head and fair amount of lacing.

S-Nice citrus hop aroma with some herbal scent.

T-Nice hop profile listed as 36 IBU on their website. Nice sweet rich malts balance the hops very well.

M-Above average

D-Good sessionable English-style Amber Ale.

Photo of BeerSox
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Very deep copper hue, almost mahogany. A one finger white head settles to a thin cap.

A little bit of caramel along with a little dark fruit (probably shouldn't be there for the style). The hops add a slight minty aroma.

Some more burnt caramel along with a little dark fruit. Toasty grains in the background. The hops maybe what's contributing to that light dark fruit flavor, and adding a bit of bitterness. Full bodied.

Didn't enjoy this one too much, and it seemed like it had some slight off flavors (dark fruit).

Photo of Dodo2step
3.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P- Underdog Bar and grill

A- Red in color with some hints/traces of a light amber. Quite cloudy and hazy as well. A pasty half finger head hits the top and hangs around for a bit.

s- aromas of grapefruit and floral spices hit the nose and linger around for a good while. i can also smell a hint of caramel and malt.

T- a bitter and hoppy flavor. A burnt caramel flavor also is noticeable. The grapefruit finishes it up faintly.

M- dry and weak in the mouth. A kind of tart hop mouthfeel. Light and thin.

D- It seems easy to put down but i struggled with it for a bit. A decent beer but i have had much better red ales. This is worth a try but thats about it. i wouldnt buy it.

Photo of charlesw
4.43/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown amber (some red when held up to the light) with a medium white head. Gone a bit quickly, I suppose. Smells malty and grassy. Tastes like... Well, the bottle says, "English Style Amber Ale" (_not_ American Amber, eh?) and that really explains the way it tastes. Rich and sweet and malty, mild hop flavors. Maybe a bit of a blend of an ESB and an English brown, you know? Very pleasant. Easy to drink. Very easy to drink (ahem). Hmm. Maybe I'll have to modify my own amber recipe a little - it might be nice to make something like this...

Photo of u2carew
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz longneck. Consumed 11/01/09

A) Pours with a two finger head. Wispy and fizzy. Lacing is thin and semi sticky. Clear body. Mahogany in color. Visible signs of carbonation.
S) Caramel sweetness. Apples. Sweet potato - earthy sweet aroma.
T) Sharp caramel malt up front. Then moves to a mild bitterness that lingers in the finish and beyond.
M) Fizzy. Medium bodied. Bitter.
D) A nice brew, not a stand out but I'd have another.

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.91/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz from Bucket O'Brew for about $1.40.. shared with Brenda, mine from my New Belgium goblet.

Nice head and lacing atop a clear amber red brew.

Aroma is toasty malts and some English hops... fruity yeasty notes... uninspiring .. could use more of everything.

Flavor/body is a watery English pale with a touch more hops. Toasted and a touch of caramel malt.. spicy hops are mid palate.
The body is light medium with a watery finish that could easily benefit from more viscosity and a fresher hop flavor. Yeasty fruitiness is right on par.

This was a much better beer when I last had it on tap in Bozeman in the late '90's... Black Dog is basically a macro pointing its nose toward what it used to be.

Edit: I wasn't going to put this in the review, but if you are ever near Bozeman, check out Bozeman Brewing Company.... If they have BDA (Best Damn Ale) on tap, give it a try and take home a growler and try these two side by side.... no comparison.

Edit2: "Spanish Peaks Brewing" is now brewed in California and still trying to market the "Montana" atmosphere ... Chug is rolling over in his grave.

Photo of echoes
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a glass.

A: Finger-length, whitish-tan colored head dissipates somewhat slowly. Leaves quite a bit of noticeable lacing. Color is an orange-brown.

S: Roasted malts, bread, fruit, earthy-pine smell. Smells kind of interesting overall.

T: Roasted malts again and perhaps wheat and chocolate. Has some fruitiness to it. The hops bitterness hits at the end but is not overwhelming. Leaves a slight bitter aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied. Slightly syrupy. Carbonation is present.

O: Pretty decent if you don't mind some hopsy bitterness aftertaste. Sort of unique smell. Looks nice. Flavor is sort of complex and interesting. Don't care so much for the aftertaste.
Definitely worth trying.

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Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.