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Black Dog Ale - Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Black Dog AleBlack Dog Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

174 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 174
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 12.61%
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: 174 | Reviews: 123 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stoffel
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Beertracker
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of jscottku21
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -14%

Photo of dkwolf
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to pint glass.

A - Pours rich, dark amber - almost a caramel color, with slight haze. One-finger head, dissipating to a thin film quickly.

S - Malty, slight note of hops.

T - Heavy malt up front, fading to hints of chocolate/coffee. Bitter on the aftertaste.

M - Light carbonation tickles the tongue. Smooth, lingers in your mouth.

O - Decent beer; nothing spectacular but drinkable. Makes me feel pretty good, as my first-ever batch of homebrew tasted exactly like this beer.

Photo of barnzy78
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of MerkurKing16
3/5  rDev -14%

Photo of woosterbill
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. I bought this one on close-out, but there's no bottle date so I have no idea exactly how old it is.

A: Pours a clear, deep reddish amber body beneath an inch of frothy tan foam. Pretty good retention and lacing. Nice-looking amber.

S: Sweet, malty, and a bit musty. Some cardboard hints at age and oxidation, but overall it's a rather pleasant aroma of caramelized nuts and generic sweetness. Enjoyable.

T: Follows the nose: it tastes sweet, nutty, musty, and a little bitter on the finish. It's a little watery on the aftertaste, but other than that an enjoyable beer - kind of like a barleywine light, if that makes any sense.

M: Light-bodied and frothy. Fun, but a bit insubstantial.

O: I had low expectations for this beer, but it wound up being quite enjoyable - sweet and decadent on the one hand, easily drinkable on the other. I'd buy it again, provided it was as cheap as this bottle.


Photo of flagmantho
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich amber hue with just a touch of haze. Head poured a thin finger of frothy ivory foam. Decent.

Smell: very caramelly crystal-malt type aroma. Not a lot of complexity, but it seems well-crafted and is free from off aromas.

Taste: very biscuity, bready malt, with a hint of caramel in the works. Bitterness is pretty low and it seems unbalanced toward the malt side. Still, not bad.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a pretty decent carbonation and concomitant creaminess. I like it.

Overall: this is a decent beer. It strongly favors the caramel and biscuity malt flavors, which is OK for the style but not my personal favorite.

Photo of goldennectar
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Nice dark amber color and light head that laced the sides of the glass.

Smell: Sweet and caramel notes

Taste: Smooth - slightly sweet, caramel and malty with a little bit of hoppy bitterness, but not too much for me.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and Balanced. Seems a little creamy, not bad though a good texture. Good carbonation

Overall: Very drinkable and smooth, a very decent amber ale - Will definitely drink again. Maybe tonight.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.95/5  rDev -15.5%
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 GarthDanielson
3.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer has a healthy 2 inch profile of off-white, almost cream colored, head that is densely packed and almost creamy in appearance. It seems to stick around for a while, too. The beer itself is hazy to the point of being opaque, showing a dark brown color in the depths with a ruby tinge to the edges and highlights. Heavy aromas of slightly sour malt and nutty sweetness, with a little hint of woody character. Flavor gets more of a roasted note to it, almost hitting into coffee flavors, with the tangy malt sweetness quickly transitioning into a hazelnut and chocolate combination at the end of the palate. Aftertaste is primarily the hazelnut and chocolate again, which is very pleasant. The finish is slick, and it lingers for a bit, but not overpowering. Tasty beer.

Photo of echoes
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

After having seen this bottle a number of times at a local mixed sixer source, I figured this time would be its lucky day. It pours a clear dark garnet topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises orange rind, mild toffee, light biscuits, and a touch of wet cardboard. The taste holds notes of dark greens, orange rind, dank oak, and toffee (both normal and a bit of burnt). Man, these things do not mesh together into anything good on my tongue. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta drying finish. Overall, a decent brew, though the constituent elements just don't do it for me when brought together. Something seems off, almost. Maybe it's just me...

Photo of Bendurgin
2.21/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This bottle was given to me from a friend who thought I would like it. So thanks! Poured into a pint glass. Dark amber body on this. No real head just a layer of weak foam. Looks meh.

Smells like burnt biscuit with a little bit of raspberries. Malty and kind of syrupy smelling. This just kind of has a rotten fruit flavor to it. It's like srtawberry shortcake with berries just past there prime. Toasty malts take over with really off flavors.

Feels alright, the body is a bit heavy and the carbonation is good but this doesn't taste good at all. I'm not down with this. Justin can keep his beers next time.

Photo of Misfit138
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A- Nice amber in color with big tan head and bubbles through out

S- Nice sweet caramel malt and floral hops

T- Crisp upfront then caramel malts and then a hoppy finish that sticks around

M- Heavy carbonation and medium bodied

D- Decent beer. I don't know if anything about it really stands out to me, but it is one that would be a good session beer for most folks.

Photo of mdfb79
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. glass into a pint glass.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with one finger of fluffy white head that only lasts for a minute and moderate carbonation evident. When held up to the light there is a tiny bit of red/amber, but not much.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, wheat, toasted malts, and light fruit.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, toasted malts, bready malts, light dark fruit, light caramel and light chocolate. Some slight bitterness in the taste.

m - Medium body and high carbonation that stings the tongue. Wish it was a little less carbonated.

d - An average amber ale; nothing really jumped out about it to me. Not bad, just a lot of bready and toasted malts. Wouldn't seek out again.

Photo of gfreed
2.53/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

What is it about beer and dogs that we see so many dogs on beer labels? Show me a good beer with a cat on the label; *then* I'll sit up and take notice. This particular dog beer is not bad, nor is it anything special. Amber color, bubbles, head, caramel, toffee, bite, etc., etc. Choose your favorite C-level American amber and paste its review here. One *can* do better, definitely.

Photo of bc2208
4.02/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$9.99 6-pack at a grocery in brooklyn.

Appearance - I just noticed that the color of a beer changes if you hold it in front of an lcd as opposed to a lamp. In front of the lcd it is a hazy orange brown, in front of the lamp it is a crystal red amber. In natural light the beer is very dark.

Smell - Very malty with brown sugar aromas.

Taste - Gingerbread, brown sugar.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and syrupy, not much carbonation on the tongue.

Drinkability - Not a heavy beer but certainly not one that can be pounded. 2-3.

Photo of Zorro
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish brown colored beer with a small tan colored head.

Smells malty with a strong scorched grain smell. Definite burned sugar aroma. Citrus hop without much pine. Very slight chocolate and coffee aromas.

Starts out dry and woody. Very dry with a sharp bitter snap. Mostly this is dry and woody.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Drinkability is OK. This is the beer to reach for if you want a very dry beer, it's as dry as licking a piece of wood.

Photo of tubacharlie
4.3/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear malty profile hits the nose at first sniff, with a hint of hops.

Decent two finger head emerges from a slow pour in a glass stein. A light tan color and creamy smooth on top, the head lingers through the last sip, supporting the final few drops of concentrated yeast sediment swirled from the bottom of the bottle.

The brew is a warm and inviting amber-brown color, hazy and dense from bottle fermentation. The taste is well rounded and presents the malts in an envelope of muted hop bitterness. The smooth carbonation assists with the overall enjoyment of the beverage.

Definitely worthy as an accompaniment to dinner after your next duck hunt.

Photo of Brenden
3.98/5  rDev +14%
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 MisterE
3.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle - label says brewed in Saratoga Springs NY - from a six-pack purchased for $6.99 at the Publix Supermarket at Holmes Beach FL

A: clear but dark amber brown with a small thin head and decent lacing

S: sweet doughy aroma with light fruity hints - very pleasant

T: fairly subdued with a touch of bitterness - not as sweet as the smell - finishes dry

M: smooth but thin, and a little overly carbonated

D: easy to drink - I want more

Notes: The bottle has no freshness date and says "Brewed by Spanish Peaks Brewing Company Saratoga Springs NY" while another bottle from another six-pack says "Brewed by Spanish Peaks Brewing Company La Crosse Wisconsin." Even more confusing, the bottom of the six pack says "Spanish Peaks Brewing Company Polson, Montana, Denver, Colorado and Frederick, Maryland." Finally, BeerAdvocate lists Spanish Peaks Brewing Co. as a "beer marketing company" based in King City, California. There's a story here, but it does not inspire confidence.

Photo of cnally
2.45/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Black Dog. Hair of the Dog. No connection.

This is a weird brown/tan color with peaks of red around the edges where light shines through. A fizzy off-white head barely forms and dies quick.

The aroma is focused on its caramel malt aroma, but the quality is very subdued. A little mossy, even, but silent.

The flavor relies heavily on a butterscotch bend but balances poorly with a resounding bitterness. The bitter is quite debilitating, mauling any other flavors in the beer, like caramel, almond, and vanilla, which do settle a bit in the finish.

Creamy mouthfeel, frothy, well carbonated but not overly so. Sticky around the lips.

Not exactly the most appealing beer, a shade away from being too bitter, but why drink a beer with shallow flavor? There are flavors in there, just dying to come out, but can't due to its lack of depth.

Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.