Lost Dog | Napa Smith Brewery

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Lost DogLost Dog

Brewed by:
Napa Smith Brewery
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Offa on 04-22-2009

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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 215
Photo of newsage
3.81/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

If you look at my reviews you'll see that I'm a big Stout drinker, But there was a time in my younger years when all that touched my lips was a nice boozy Red Ale ( This was before the dayz Of The now popular IPA ) Red Ales where typically the strongest you could find other than hard to find Double bocks and Belgium Ales. This RED ALE KICKS ASS forget the review I'm drinking it!!

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Photo of obrike
3.06/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a single at HEB in Round Rock.

Liked the pour...kind of a rust/dark orange color. Solid head, leaving behind plenty of lace.

Well, like I said, at least the look was good. I'm getting a good amount of "ajunct" smell in this one...maybe a deeper bit of sweet malt, but that's about it.

Yep, unfortunately, taste follows scent. Not a lot going on with this one. Even a bit of a sour take on the backend, kinda brings the mouthfeel down a bit as well.

Not one to recommend I'm afraid. Was hoping for a kickbutt Red; this is not it.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.11/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a nice orange liquid with some red highlights. It is ever so slightly hazed and there is a thin but creamy bone white head.

S- Citrus rind and a bit of caramel. Pretty basic but not bad.

T- Some citrus and caramel. Not much else going on other than a bit of noticeable alcohol presence.

M- The carbonation is nice but the lingering bitterness and alcohol presence is a bit distracting.

O- Not very interesting, but it is a fine beer. For the style this is about average.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
2.38/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. No date.

Appearance - Pours a one finger tan head with low stick and decent retention. Hazy red-brown body.

Smell - Vinegar. Cherries. Dry musky hop.

Taste - Metallic. Acidic. Really dry. Musky hop.

Mouthfeel - Astringent. Dry. Light bodied. Head offers minimal texture.

Overall Drinkability - Not something I ever plan on revisiting.

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Photo of zdk9
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours orange brown with an uneven quickly disipating finger of head. Lots of carbonation bubbles on the sides of the glass.

S- Corn, white grape juice, bit of yeast. You'd think with a big red ale like this that there'd be some more character, but not here.

T- A lot of honey, quite sweet, which leads into a very malt forward beer. Nuttiness, caramel (but not too strong). More resembles a carmely nut brown than a red to me, but maybe that's just me. Also a touch of vanilla and rum.

M- Sweet any lingering. But this could really use some more balance, perhaps more roast to help quaff this one past all the sweetness.

O- It's not a terrible beer, certainly bad to style but I can get past that. Now if I could get past the sweetness I think we'd have a winner.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.59/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 1 1/4" shaving cream foam head in off-white. Hazy amber color and I wouldn't really describe it as a red ale look like the name implies. It smells pretty good - like an IPA on the sweet side with citrus zest. Taste is a weaker version of the smell. As it warmed a little bit of caramel was expressed. It's a decent beer, an enjoyable beer, but not a standout.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a stein glass.

Look - red, almost a coppery color, clear, with about half a finger's worth of light khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell - fairly hoppy, but mixed with a pretty strong malt smell as well. Fairly sweet smelling in general.

Taste and Mouthfeel - musky, malty, and hoppy in general. A fair and interesting mix of the three. It's bitter from the hops in the beginning, but sweetens out toward the finish. Texture is pretty well-balanced.

Overall - not a bad brew at all, and fairly good-tasting in general. Not terribly interesting in taste, but not dull or boring either.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very pleasing looking beer with a big light brown to tan head the slowly settles in a pretty decent lacing above a clear caramel amber colored beer with a reddish tint to it.

A warming earthy to almost burnt light caramel aroma, that has light hints of other spices or hops trying to peak through.

The taste is very comparable to the aroma, warming earthy toasted caramel malt taste, with more slight tastes coming through; such as slight spices, a very light bitter hops, light grains, and probably more.

A medium bodied beer with a light dry aftertaste that has some pretty interesting things going on, you should check out the Lost Dog.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Brownish-red, rather light; very thin head, minor lacing.

S: Smells like the outdoors, twigs and some hops. Fruit, touch of honey.

T: Very much malt forward, but incredibly earthy, some pine hops lurking in the background. Sweet as a whole.

M: Light body, given the ABV. A little too thin, okay carbonation, but has a candy quality that makes it decent.

O/D: This is a middle of the road Amber. Kind of funky in the earthiness department.

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Photo of deadliest
3.22/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dull amber color. Head evaporates almost instantly. No lacing.
S: Biscuity malts and toffee, fair amount of citrus hops.
T: Biscuit, caramel malt, and hops(grassy, orange peel). Much better tasting than the look and smell would indicate.
M: Medium body, smooth, a little low on carbonation. Nice finish.

O: Just decent. Drinkable but not compelling. I tend to not be big on most red ales I try though. Maybe it's me.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.35/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber-orange coloring with a fair clarity shows a uniform rise of micro-effervesce bubbles. The head is mia, never really forming, only when agitated with a swirl or two which showed a dark tan, almost parchment coloring. Lacing is minimal with a few squiggly lines at best adoring the glass.

S: Dare I say the aroma reminds me a bit of lemon pledge furniture polish? Musty lemons are prominent, with wet pine and a light reminder of alcohol brining up the rear. Slight hint at malt tones, toasty and sweet come through as well.

T: Tastes like an English pale, but with sour American citrus hops. The malting is doughy, biscuity, with a bit munich grains adding a bit of sweet and dry flavor to the mix, while the hops have a bit of a sour twang of citrus to them, not sure if intentional or just musty hops. The sour musty citrus twang is most evident on the swallow. The malting I liked, the level of hops was good for an red, albeit a bit strange of musty sour citrus which I particularly didn’t care for. Fruity notes of malty dry apple skins are a final impression. The alcohol becomes apparent upon warming adding a warm, spicy touch to the mix.

M: creamy smooth and malty. Slippery on the tongue, with a quiet state of effervesce.

O: A bit more flavor then your average red, and I had some boring and mundane examples in my time that were a safe play. Hopping is a bit strange for my personal liking, but the malting is fulfilling and does get easier to drink. Would make for a good fall beer, malty with musty citrus hops perfect for the wooded cabin setting. The brewery claims they make their beers to pair well with foods, my first guess would be fish or Chinese chicken because of the sour lemony twang it has.

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Photo of Brad007
4.11/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber hue with a decent head into my glass. Looks very nice for the style.

A hint of grassy hops and sweet malt greets the nose. Seems balanced but it depends on the taste.

This is a lightly-hopped, sweet red ale. The ABV is slightly higher than a standard but the taste is no less robust.

Carbonation is mild, bordering on wild, at least at the back of the throat.

Definitely for the fan of red ales that attempt to offer more than just blandness.

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Photo of stephens101
3.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Swampy reddish brown with a strong tan head that melts down slowly into a layer or rolling and undying froth. A patchwork of lace streams down the glass as the brew lowers.

Has complex and inviting aromas of burnt sugar, caramel malts, spice, and sweet and sour fruits; all presented in a refined manner.

Upon a first taste a big creamy middle is the most obvious characteristic of this brew that I notice. Beyond that I get some expected caramel maltiness, a bit of grain, an earthy bitterness, and passion fruit covered with sugar. The palate is not as excited as the nose on this one, and actually goes to bed crying like it lost it's puppy...oh, shit, I guess it did!

Medium bodied and open at the end, but with that noted creamy middle. Smooth with a little grain edge going down. A tiny alcohol heat is felt going down the throat. Feels a bit watery at times, but nothing to weep about.

The Red Ale is a style that I really have to be in the mood to drink. And while The Lost Dog is not its best representation, it is a fine beer that makes up in balance what it does lacks in overall depth.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.27/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lost Dog was left behind in the beach-house where we are for the weekend by the couple who left a night early, so the name is fairly apropro. Impressive, mostly opaque brown hue covered with beige lace. Nose is strong with heavy sweet malt with wine, spice and medicine notes.

The flavor is likewise oversweet with heavy toasted malt and notes of caramel, toffee, iron, cereals, and booze. The candied up flavor is supported admirably by a thick, lasting texture throughout. High flavor and warming on the coldest night of the week. The alcohol number is high for the style, as is the final score.

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Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pumpkin-hued amber with a nice fluffy white head.

Smells of fresh grain, some figs, and a hint of pine.

The taste is quite a bit less hoppy than the nose leads me to believe. Smooth, lightly roasted drain, figs, and a bit of pine resin in the finish. Very nice.

The feel is velvety and well-balanced.

Overall, I'm quite pleased. This is a good standard amber, yet I would have liked a little more hops.

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Photo of boudreaux
3.8/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear, orange/amber color; off-white foamy, thick 1-finger head that dissipates slowly, leaving nice lacing and sticking to the side of the glass

S: heavy aromas, with roasted caramel malts; floral, hoppy notes

T: sweeter than other versions of this style I've had; roasted nuts, malty caramel, and a hint of bitter hops

M: medium body; creamy, but surprising and pleasant crisp finish; would also be a clean finish, except for a lingering malty sweet aftertaste that lasts on the tongue; also a slightly dry, refreshing characteristic

O: I was surprised with this one; usually steer clear of American Amber / Red Ales, but listened to a buddy's recommendation and bought this; definitely worth the risk

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Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a hazy, murky burgundy color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left minimal lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled malty with an earthy/grassy nose. Some fruitiness with a touch of raisin.

T - Very earthy presence with a nice bitterness. Good biscuity malt backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This was a nice red ale. My first Napa beer and I'd like to try more.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours medium amber with a cream colored foam head that leaves some lace. Decent clarity and some bubbles rising.

Decent malty and complex aromas. Sweet malt, vanilla, wood, some fruit, touch of caramel.

First off, this tastes boozier than it really is. Good toasted malt up front with some sweetness, but it is cut down by the alcohol and some scorched grain bitterness. There is some sweet vanilla, a little sugar, but the domination is bitter and chemical. Finishes long with a good maltiness. Flawed, and hard for me to get thru the big bottle.

Medium bodied, appropriate carbonation.

I kinda liked this, but it would be one for me to share. They seemed to be trapped between being too bitter and too sweet, and they didn't quite get it right. Not horrible by any means, but not perfect. Worth a try and I would drink this again.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.28/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lost dog is a luscious red colored beer almost the ruddy color of a lambic. The head is tan and sudsy but soon fades to meet the clear liquid.

The nose consists mostly of sweet, lightly toasted grains. Smooth and subdued but still very present. It smells clean and fresh and although it isn't amazing it still makes me want to get up in there.

Wow there are layers to this one. The initial draw into your mouth floods the palate with a sweet rich malt. Hooray! Unfortunately as the layers reveal themselves the beer awesomeness is replaced by a funky almost chemical taste. Think cheap over processed tea sweetened with the fakest powder claiming to be a sugar substitute. Quite the slide.

Mouthfeel like the taste has layers, some good and some piss poor. The bitterness of this one is jarring and not a good feeling but the carbonation is pleasant as is the firm malt chewy aftertaste. At least the lingering flavor it leaves you with is highly bearable. This beer starts and ends great... too bad the middle almost ruins the whole package.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another one of the "crap shoot" beers that I picked up via the single bottle from Buy Rite in Jersey City last week. I had never heard of this brewer before and figured I'd give it a shot. Like some of the other reviewers on here, I wasn't sure what kind of style this beer was since it wasn't terribly hoppy and didn't pour red. Instead, this poured much darker and was less bold than I was led to believe, but the lack of body and defining taste wasn't enough to make up for any lack of hop presence.

Like I said, this poured darker than a red. The medium brown hue was accompanied by a moderate head and practically no lacing. There wasn't much of an aroma to speak of and the initial taste was of a roasted caramel that seemed just a bit too burnt. There was some sweet apricot and plum mixed in but this isn't a Belgian beer or one in that style and it just didn't work here. The sweetness couldn't bridge the difference in flavors and the citrus aftertaste just felt too sharp and burnt to make up for this mismatch. I don't mind having a glass of water to relieve a burning hoppiness but in this case, I almost needed one to wash everything down since there wasn't any carbonation to speak of here!

This was pretty strong in the alcohol department too. It wasn't warming but lent itself to a booziness that took over halfway down my pint glass. The mouthfeel was too light here and there's quite a bit missing from this beer to make it noteworthy or enjoyable. Amber Ales shouldn't be this sweet nor weak in the mouthfeel department and this beer clearly has an identity crisis. More importantly, it's not enough to make me think of a different type of beverage when I see "Napa" on the bottle.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 12oz mug, this is a reddish-walnut beer with a persistent, thick head. Citrusy hops are the most obvious aroma, together with sweet, slightly toasty malt. Good red ale characteristics: substantial malt, lightly caramel, lightly toasted, together with a goodly amount of bitterness and citrus hop flavor. Fairly fruity yeast character. Finish is a bit bland. Creamy soft texture.

Decent flavor and stuff, but I find this overall, a bit heavy and weighty, and not interesting enough for the strength. A lower alcohol version would be a lot better.

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Photo of david18
3.92/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was my previous review of the draft version:

This was one among three Napa Smith beers I tried on a recent trip to San Francisco and I was not impressed with any of them. This wasn't the worst but I don't think I'd recommend any of them.

The appearance was nice, amber/red with an active head that did stick around for a while.

Aroma was somewhat subtle (too subtle) with more bread than hops.

Flavor as well was somewhat non present and uninteresting.

This will join the other Napa Smith beers that I won't recommend.


I actually liked the bottle version quite a bit better and found it to be complex, very malty and having a nice strength to it that was perfect at the end of the workday. I look forward to trying this again on draft to see if my opinion changes.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.8/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a murky red color. The head is a half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into almost no lacing. The aroma is of caramel, and not much else. It is very airy. The taste is similar to the aroma, with the addition of some mild floral notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied low carbonation, and an annoying cloying texture. Overall, this is a beer I will pass on in the future.

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Photo of puboflyons
2.83/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on June 3, 2011. The pour was a hazy reddish-amber with a little bit of a head that did not last long. The aroma packs a powerful hoppy wallop along with a biscuit-breadlike blandness. The body was in the medium range. While the hops were more noticeable in the aroma, the sweetness kicked in first in the taste but it was followed by a strong hoppiness. It really did not blow me away and did not strike me as the typical red.

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Photo of Cresant
2.85/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 22 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams glass. No date. The body was clear amber. The head was off white and left no lacing.

The smell was nutty and metallic. Cherry cough drops.

The taste was sweet malts and fruity. Kinda simple and rather bland.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied. There was a modest prickle from the sharp carbonation. so-so.

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Lost Dog from Napa Smith Brewery
3.4 out of 5 based on 215 ratings.
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