Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale | Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
80
good
146 Ratings
Spanish Peaks Black Dog AleSpanish Peaks Black Dog Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
California, United States
blackdogales.com

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-28-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
146
Reviews:
125
Avg:
3.49
pDev:
12.61%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
0
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 146 |  Reviews: 125
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.93/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks a little darker than expected, not a yellow beer. Aroma, no hop presence, no presence at all really.

Taste, kinda bland, heavier malt wise, but just thicker, no flavor substantiation really. Hops still missing. Tastes like a SA (i.e. minimal hops with wood flavor).

Too pricey to account for the easy drinkability of not a lot of complex flavors. Not really much in the way of flavor at all. Not going to make any west coast pale ale fans happy I would suspect. Never seen this other than at Safeway.

 509 characters

Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours from the 12-ounce brown bottle a golden amber color with a modest in size head, the texture frothy and the lace adequate to cover the glass. Nose is sweet malt, fresh and crisp with the start lightly sweet with fair to middling malt, top is light. Finish is stinging in its acidity, the hops benign and the aftertaste quite dry, a tolerable beer. Used to see these beers every where, now only a few places carry this beer, Trader Joe’s is where I picked up this beer, always loved that dog.

 506 characters

Photo of tavernjef
3.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from a trip to S. Dakota and Wyoming May 2001 Purchased at Devils Tower, Wy

750ml bottle - Color is a amber/ light brown with a big fully head and has a light smell of honey/caramel and fruity hops. Tastes like it has some honey in it with some caramel malt and light hops, very clean and smooth. Brightly flavored, but mellow light/medium body. Easy drinker, not bad.

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Photo of Chucker17
4/5  rDev +14.6%

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

Presentation: Standard looking 12 ounce brown glass bottle. Crown cap has a black padded foot print on it. Bottle looks like that in the BA Database. No strength nor freshness, but a rather cool looking bottle nonetheless.

Appearance: Smart looking dark amber chestnut body that has a mild hazed appearance. Pours with a seriously gorgeous thick rich luscious off-white head which leaves some extremely nice lacing. Immense carbonation, a slow swirl rebuilds the head ion no time.

Nose: Oats, Malts, Nuts, Nuts and more Nuts with some milk chocolate brown ale in the nose, this has a lovely soft silky inviting nose.

Taste: Lovely milk chocolate feel, reminded me of a grainy cocoa bean, and that of a partially dried exposed chocolate Easter Egg shell, this entwines with nutty Brown Ale feel that lends some thickness to the body. Chocolate coated hazelnut finish with a dry malt feel. A very tasty brew indeed.

Mouthfeel: This one has a beautifully rich rewarding presence. Swirled in the mouth it reveals all of its nuances. Silky and smooth it sits well in the mouth, rich chocolate feel after the swallow.

Drinkability: I found this to be rather quaffable, in fact, it reminded me so much of a few jolly decent Cask Brown Ales I drank in the UK …..names I could mention and regale…but Brown Willy is one of them…a long gone beer from a defunct brewery. Nevertheless, this one drinks exceptionally well. Very nice.

Overall: Described as an Amber Ale, and very English by others, I would go further and say that this one has a lovely rich Nutty Brown Ale feel to it also. Cost me $1.70 for the bottle. Was it worth it!?? Almost, not a bad drop!!

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Photo of Reidrover
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber, clear with nice carbonation visible. Thick creamy light tan head. A very malty aroma to this one, caramel malts, some slight "sense" of hops. Good malt based flavours, quite fruity in aspect and a small touch of hops in the end. Not a bad mouthfeel, but just a tad on the thin side for the style. A nice simple drinkable pale ale. nothing exciting but nothing bad.

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.84/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a deep brassy color with a barely-there thin white head that disappears immediately.

Scent is quite interesting, a lot of chocolate and caramel maltiness, but a strong supporting background of piney hops. Nice toastiness to the malt as well.

Flavor is quite unique: a very thick cocoa chocolate taste with some nice caramel notes as well, but balanced by a thick hoppiness that really kind of bites the tongue. It's a little disorienting to get this much chocolate and hop flavors in the same place, but the end result is a relatively smooth drinker that leaves a pleasant powdered cocoa afteraste.

Overall: Not sure I'd want to drink more than one of these at a time, but it does have quite an interesting, complex combination of chocolate and hops that I enjoyed trying.

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Photo of garymuchow
2.97/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I wonder if this has any connection to the Led Zeppelin song?

Surprisingly, a malt aroma. I'm so used to expecting strong hops. Uncomplicated.
Very fizzy, very short-lived head that completely dissappeared before my first sip. Amber and clear.
Flavor is more malt based too, some sweet caramel and nut-brown qualities. Hop dryness and slight bitterness on the finish. Fairly uncomplicated too. Little watery.
Carbonation is busy upon drinking. Fullness from it, otherwise thin to medium.
Seems like a starter beer for those first trying something beyond an Am. lager. First dark beer sort of stuff. Just not enough to it to make it a session beer.

 654 characters

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a clear dark amber red with a small beige head. Some decent lacing on the sides.

Aroma is loaded with a really nice caramel maltiness.

Taste is light and malty with a touch of caramel and dark fruit. The finish reveals a bit of sourness.

Mouthfeel is light and thin with a light carbonation.

A very drinkable APA from Spanish Peaks. Not a great beer, but definitely a solid beer and one to try.

 419 characters

Photo of alexgash
3.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper red with a small, light tan head. Smells of sweet, grape juice malts with subtle hops. Taste starts with sweet fruity malts (plums? interesting), followed by smooth toastiness. Finish is lightly bitter. Surprisingly good! Maybe a touch too sweet (a little more hop presence would do this beer well.) Goes down very easily with light carbonation, yet bigger bodied than you'd think.

 401 characters

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

A nice brew with very traditional English ale attributes. Poured an amber-gold with good lacing. Aroma was a solid, somewhat sweet malt, with a hint of orchard fruit. The mouthfeel was substantial, with very light orchard fruit notes submerged in the malt. Hops stepped in and delivered bitterness at the finish to cap things off. Not a smooth beer, but pleasant nonetheless.

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

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Deep amber with reddish hues. Nice off-white cream lace, that has just enough stay and stick.

Smell: Raw aroma of malts, floral hops and fruity esters.

Taste: Smooth, creamy and full-bodied. Nice fruity flavour of raisin and grape, touch of background chocolate malt, bready malts and a floral hop character that peaks with a zesty flash of semi-citrus bitterness, but not enough that it overpowers the mild malt sweetness. Bit of crispness from the Munich malt. Turns coarse, a bit raw, on the palate (hops), then finishes out dry with lurking husky tannins and some traces of yeast.

Notes: A damn fine ale, very traditional English in its character and very easy to drink. Described by the brewer as an English amber, which I'd translate into being a pale ale.

All in all a good beer, and well worth a tasting.

 891 characters

Photo of merlin48
3.57/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a black dog paw on the cap. Label says it's brewed in Saratoga Springs, NY. Pours a clear, copper amber with a one finger, beige head. Minimal ring lacing.

Aroma is malty. Caramel aroma with a weak note of pine in the background.

Taste is very malty, with caramel and a subdued fruit note. Mild presence of pine is just enough to maintain a decent balance.

Smooth and crisp, slightly on the sweet side. Good drinkability, overall. Hard to figure this brewery out. They no longer have a website, and seem to be moving around the country a lot.

 577 characters

Photo of Vancer
3.51/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Noted right on the bottle that this is a English style ale, NOT an American PA as it’s listed under here.

And it really hits the English PA to a tee. Very nice drinker, very enjoyable and I bet low enough alcohol to make a good session brew.

Lite cola brown pour, firm ivory head producing sheets of lace. Then the English kicks in, aromas of a hoppy woody grain, followed by a tasty treat quaff loaded with grassy, resinous and woody malts.

Sharp and crisp body, she finishes clean and tasty.

 504 characters

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

Poured a hazy reddish-brown color with moderate slightly off-white head.
Smell is notable for caramel with some light piney hops in the background.
Taste also comnines the caramel with the piney hops in a pleasant mixture.
Finishes more dry than sweet, and leaves a nice feeling in the mouth.
Easy to drink. Good middle-of-the road beer.

 341 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, served in a mug glass.

Appearance: Clear copper color, with very fine bubbles streaming up. Nice off-white head.

Aroma: Sweet, toasted malt aroma.

Flavor: Malt up front, toasted and caramel flavors. Medium bitterness dries it out a little at the end.

Body: Decent, slightly heavier than moderate body.

My first Black Dog ale in 7 or 8 years. Not as good as I remember it back then, but still an alright American amber beer. Nothing special or outstanding about the flavor, but few flaws either.

 523 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy light brown color, with a large, dense off-white head, which retains quite well. The carbonation consists of an occasional slow-rising bubble; the lacing is thick and quite broken.

Aroma: Light fruits, mild herbal hops and malts comprise the aroma.

Taste: Dark fruit notes dominate the taste from beginning to end, beneath which there is a solid, although somewhat understated caramel malt backbone, and a flourish of herbal hops late in the taste, these are free of any harsh notes. The finish is quite dry with a lingering mild malt sweetness.

Mouth feel: Smooth and quiter full, with just a touch of soft carbonation on the tip of the tongue.

Drinkability/note: A very decent example of the style, quite pleasing and easy to drink.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve ounce brown glass longneck, with a pry-off cap. Served in a standard pint tap glass.

 886 characters

Photo of Tyrawlings
3/5  rDev -14%

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Spanish Peaks- Black Dog Ale

Appearance- Dark redish brown with a thick foamy head after a vigorous pour.
Smell- Light vanilla caramel malt witha light tinge of alcohol.
Taste- creamy vanilla malt and some bread grain notes.
Mouthfeel- smooth yet almost lifeless.

Overall- A mediocre beer at best. Just plain and boring. It gets a passing grade but I would still say avoid.

 383 characters

Photo of leroybrown10
2.75/5  rDev -21.2%

Photo of beerguy101
2.84/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Medium gold color, small head. Aroma is malty and slightly sweet. A medium bodied, kind of mild brown ale. Malts are a little sweet and the hops are a little subdued. There is a slight fruitiness to the beer. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly sweet. Nothing really wrong with this beer, it just that there are so many beers that are a whole lot better.

 377 characters

Photo of atsprings
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served a crisp dark amber with a thin head that leaves some lacing. The aroma was of dark malts with some light pine hops. The taste was smooth dark malts well balanced with earthy hops, it only gets better as it warms. The beer is light and crisp with a smooth dryness. This is an enjoyable session beer.

 305 characters

Photo of babaracas
4/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

 330 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
2.19/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Help me out here. This beer was all over my area several years ago. Never tried it. Has come back in force-especially in places like grocery stores that you wouldnt think of for good beer. Label says Polson, MT and Denver, CO. BA says "beer marketing company" in CA instead of brewery. Checked their web site. Not a lot of info there. Got me-but you're not missing anything.

Good, slight copper hue to it. Aroma is full of a smoke scent, sort of solvent like. Flavor is much of the same. Almost comes off as a belgian pale ale. Phenolic and chemical like. Burnt rubber. It isnt necessarily unpleasant but for this style it is wacked. I cant place my finger on where I have tasted it before-somewhat like burnt chestnuts. Ok body. I would give this a wide berth. They cant be serious-has to be a bad batch or off. No freshness ID. If this is beer from a "beer marketing company" give me a Bootie Lager any day!

 912 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Darkish brown "amber" ale, not too much head. Lace sticks for a while.

Aroma is mostly underwhelming malt, roasted fairly dark.

Flavor is all malt, some balancing hops. Some nuttiness, as a brown ale. Subdued flavor overall.

This beer treads the line between porter and dark ale. Mouthfeel is full, good complex ale. Easy to drink, but the aftertaste says porter or stout, not brown ale. Robust microbrewed ale.

 420 characters

Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
3.49 out of 5 based on 146 ratings.
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