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Black Dog Ale | Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.

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Black Dog AleBlack Dog Ale
179 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 179 |  Reviews: 124
Photo of jk3
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of jharkins07
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of EricCioe
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a single for $0.89. I see this all the time and at that price I had to give it a try.

This pours hazy, dark amber with a bit of an offwhite head, little lace. On the nose there is dough, bread, toasted malt, and a little bit of grass. In the mouth it's a big, bready note that makes up most of it, with some sweeter caramel mixing in and some grassy hops. I suspect this bottle isn't exactly fresh, so I'd be curious to see what character the hops have earlier in development. The body was medium light, very drinkable, without a super long finish.

Overall, this is a decent amber done in a more traditional manner.

 621 characters

Photo of BilbosNuts
3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a light brown color with some dark orange hues that has a slight haze. No head formed, instead there is a thin ring that clings to the sides of the glass. Scattered slow rising bubble streams provides some liveliness.

S: This has a pretty straightforward aroma. It consists of clean toasted malt and a mild fruity hop aroma. Pretty much what you'd expect from a typical amber ale.

T: The taste has similar qualities as the aroma with toasted malts, barley, and fruity hops. In the taste, however, the fruity hops have a bigger presence, which works well in this case.

M: Its body is on the lighter side and feels sort of watery. There is limited carbonation where I'd like to see a bit more. A very light bitterness finishes it off.

O: This scored relatively high for me in the taste, but the other qualities need some work to become an above average beer. Overall, not bad, but not great either.

 955 characters

Photo of hopfacebrew
3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle of this in the pick your sixer section at Lukas in Denver. A brand and a beer I am not familiar with.

A - Poured from a brown 12oz bottle to a Sam Adams perfect pint with no date. The beer pours a nice thick clear red amber color with a nice 2 finger white bubbly head with nice retention and outstanding lacing. Looks great.

S - A very strong sweet malt character immediately. A nice mild hop character with light earhy, pine, and floral tones. Reminds me of brown sugar and molasses. Nice.

T/M - The beer starts unassuming and smooth. The smooth character lasts through out but the flavor of the beer builds through the draw. Slowly the malt character reveals itself with brown sugar type sweetnedd immediately. Through the beer a ginger spice and mild bitterness is present. It doesn't seem to be all that well balanced as the malty sweetness dominates and coats the tongue in a syruppy thickness. Finishes mild and malty and creamy. Lighter end of medium bodied with good carbonation.

O - Better than average. Great look and nose to it. I like the creaminess but didn't feel the hops adequately balanced out the serious malt. Not bad though.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 04-01-2011 01:24:56

 1,361 characters

Photo of Stoffel
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Beertracker
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of jscottku21
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of dkwolf
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

 500 characters

Photo of barnzy78
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of MerkurKing16
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of woosterbill
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
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.


 939 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

 684 characters

Photo of goldennectar
4/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

 480 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.95/5  rDev -15%
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 GarthDanielson
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

 815 characters

Photo of echoes
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 697 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
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 Bendurgin
2.21/5  rDev -36.3%
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 Misfit138
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

 404 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
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 gfreed
2.53/5  rDev -27.1%
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 bc2208
4.02/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

 523 characters

Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 179 ratings
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