Spanish Peaks Black Dog AleMarch 1, 2007
Available: PA, CA, MT, ID, CO, OR
Eye candy, the gorgeous amber hues crowned with a head of sensuous tiny tan bubbles seduce the drinker, like the eyes of the big black lab, pictured on the label. This is a beer that’s fun just to look at! Thinner on the palate than the color would indicate, it is still crisp and flavorful with a light maltiness. We tried it with dishes as varied as pepperoni pizza and Salad Niçoise. It would be a good after-ski beer, or just as a refreshing drink when you’re finished walking the dog.
- Charles Finkel
The strikingly clear, deep-copper color is unassuming enough, but the aroma fully piques my interest. It is a blend of fruit, spice, hops and sweet malt. Though faint, coriander, cinnamon, and apricot are present, along with a light breadiness. The texture is soft and medium-bodied. The flavor is reasonably complex with sweet malt, an almost Belgian-like spiciness, and a mineral background that buttresses the modest hops. A fairly solid all-around brew that would be a great gateway beer, a mix of English and Continental nuances.
- Michael Jackson
Although Chug, the dog on the label, is gone this amber ale delivers happy memories of looking at the medals Chug won (in dog shows) on the walls of the Montana brewpub where this beer was born. Seems appropriate that brewing remained in a dog friendly home (under contract at Flying Dog in Denver). Billed as English and it leaves that impression. A fruity nose with surprising honey tones gives way to a caramel, malt-accented middle, followed by an earthy, hoppy, slightly sudsy finish.
- Stan Hieronymus
Founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co., Charles Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of craft beers in America.
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.
Editor at Realbeer.com, a professional journalist for 40 years and amateur brewer for 15, Hieronymus is the author of four beer books, including Brew Like a Monk.
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