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Black Dog Ale | Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.

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Black Dog AleBlack Dog Ale

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

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Cresant on 05-08-2007

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Reviews: 124 | Ratings: 179
Photo of Bendurgin
2.21/5  rDev -36.9%
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.

 612 characters

Photo of deaconoflove
2.26/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Ap. Light brown color with small tan head.
Sm. First came a malty, earthy, sweet caramel followed by a little compost pile.
Ta. Choco/caramel with an off bitterness/rottenness.
Mf. Seemed thin at first with low to medium carbonation.
Dr. My first reaction was "GACK!", but the more I drank, the more tolerable it became. It's not as awful as it seemed at first. Drinkable, but probably not by me.

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Photo of jneiswender
2.31/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured out of a 120z brown bottle into a pint glass.

A--Black walnut body with a faint tan head.

S-Doughy and floral.

T--Chewy breadlike somewhat toasted. Little hop flavor.


D-Not bad but there are so many others out there to try. Very little here that would bring you back a second time. Nothing unique. Boring.

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Photo of cnally
2.45/5  rDev -30%
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.

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Photo of gfreed
2.53/5  rDev -27.7%
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.

 383 characters

Photo of Floydster
2.63/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle purchased from Cooke's Family Market in El Segundo a couple months ago for one dollar, split with a friend last night

Poured into my Ballast Point glass with a light golden red color, 1/4 inch white soapy head, and some small amounts of lacing

Smell hints of hoppiness in the aroma but nothing substantial, also faint aromas of citrus and other fruits

Taste was fairly dry but it seemed like a lot of the hops had settled down in this one, some orange and lemon came to the surface as it got warmer, slightly chewy at times and had more of a straw-like flavor, some mild sweetness caused by apples and raisins towards the end of drinking this one, wanted more hops and bitterness out of this one, not a well balanced amber

Not much carbonation and a weak body, taste did not last long, pretty bad mouthfeel

Could not drink too much of this because the taste is tiresome, ABV is low and it is light on the stomach, it just does not go down very easily

One of three Spanish Peaks brews tasted tonight and was not too impressive, cannot say I can recommend this beer

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.83/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Light amber, thin head, vanishes. Aroma was of just toasted malt.

Taste was weak, a little sweet and bitter, couldn't decide if it was a malt liquor or an amber ale. Toffee, well carbonated, almost excessively, harsh bitter aftertaste is the main mouthfeel component, and its not all that hoppy so who knows.

 313 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.91/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

 1,105 characters

Photo of dacrza1
2.92/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

 451 characters

Photo of enfield249
2.92/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Dark brown with amber highlights. Fingers worth of head, some lacing.

S - Spicy smell.

T - Here is a problem, very metallic tasting. Other then that I get some roasty hints. Mostly iron however.

M - Smooth, thick.

D - Meh. Not impressed. I'll drink this one, but that's it.

 289 characters

Photo of BeerSox
2.93/5  rDev -16.3%
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).

 552 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.95/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

 412 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
2.98/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a smaller class at the Courtyard Marriott in Culver City, Calif. About 1 ½ fingers of head. Color was a beautiful reddish brown, maybe mahogany. Good-looking film on the sides. Healthy and long lasting.

Smelled dark chocolate up front. Also some toffee malts, caramel and a little biscuit. Seemed pretty fake.

Initially tasted butter, which drops each time I have it. Where did it come from? Some chocolate and caramel in there as well.

Medium body. Average carbonation. Creamy texture. Smooth finish.

Pretty average beer. Stay away.

 564 characters

Photo of kenito799
3/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

 465 characters

Photo of Pencible
3.03/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This poured a surprisingly dark mahogany with some light tan head. It smelled like a mix of lemony yeast and citrus hops. It tasted like sweet yeast balanced by some hops, but no malt was noticeable. It was thick and oily with a bit of carbonation and a mildly bitter aftertaste. Overall this was yeastier and thicker than expected; not bad, but not too good.

 359 characters

Photo of AndoBrew
3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

* did not mind would not buy*

app: nice dark ruby with copper hints. no head, dish water suds.

smell: mild but nice. small amounts of amber malts, sweet in nature. no real hops..

taste: water, thin trash hinted malts with a bit of pineish hops.. the hops are hard to pin cause there are not many.

mf: fine, not to alive not to dead, not to thick or thin.

drinkable?: yeah, not good but easy to put down.

 410 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

 521 characters

Photo of roadhouse
3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Appears a brownish amber color with a half inch of off-white foam. It falls to a cap and leaves no lacing.

Aroma is caramelly, with a slight nuttiness, some floral hops. Weak as hell overall though.

Taste has some caramel up front with the nutty character coming out in the middle. A slight non-descript fruitiness shows up and is met by some floral hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, creamy carbonation feel that is also crisp at the same time.

Overall consensus: eh. Nothing that's exactly good about this one, it's an alright beer, but certainly not one I would purchase again, even though it was $1.

 675 characters

Photo of SpencerT
3.08/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This clear Amber Ale resembles Bourbon in color and clarity. The pale head is small but lingers from pour to finish. The overall appearance is of an attractive pint with well-dispersed carbonation.

The aroma gives an impression of spicy hopes and cloves. Pleasant scents of the malts are not overpowered by the hops. This ale’s fragrance is balanced leaning towards hoppy. The aroma hops are present yet not overpowering.

The taste of the Black Dog Ale is mild, clean, and not too bitter. The small amount of bitterness finishes in the back of the mouth. The sweetness is well balanced and not overwhelming. The taste starts smooth with a light carbonation and finishes with a hint of the hops on the tongue. The clove flavor is prevalent throughout yet not intense enough to distract from the overall flavor.
Overall this beer is a good change of pace beer for the middle of the road crowd.

 895 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.08/5  rDev -12%
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.

 729 characters

Photo of gotweid
3.17/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

 615 characters

Photo of albern
3.18/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

According to the label, this beer is brewed in Wisconsin, probably under contract with another brewery. This is more of an English style amber ale, so the BA label is in need of revision too. The beer pours a nice creamy headed mahogany color. It looks good and the nose is really pungent toffee and butterscotch.

The taste is pretty much in line with the aroma. This is a touch more light bodied than medium bodied, not very carbonated, and really overpowered by the toffee, caramel, butterscotch, and brown sugars. There are some leafy and drying hops towards the finish that give it almost a chicory type flavor and some bittering qualities. I wasn't sold on this beer because of the oaky flavored butterscotch/toffee/caramel and the lack of anything else interesting going on with this beer. The mouthfeel was a tad oily as well. Not a favorite.

 851 characters

Photo of demuzik
3.19/5  rDev -8.9%
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?

 341 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.2/5  rDev -8.6%
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...

 749 characters

Photo of BOSMECH
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this while I visited Port Angeles Washington and was a t a barbeque with family.
A was lite golden in color
S was lite on the malts and hops
T was very good to me and others.
M smooth and no bite to it.
O was a good beer and would drink it again.

 250 characters

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Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
3.5 out of 5 based on 179 ratings.
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