We're not particularly familiar with Spanish Peaks Brewing Co -- in fact, we're not familiar with them at all -- but they are apparently located in Montana. Not exactly local, but close enough to be a state we feel we should be bonding with. A good enough reason to give Black Dog Ale a try at any rate.
This is not a downright bad beer, but rather somewhere along the average-minus mark. I wouldn't run out to buy it again, but would probably accept a bottle with a hidden frown should someone offer me one.
The Black Dog is an English amber, and the color does a decent enough job at reflecting that. It's fairly dark, with a reddish hue shining through it. The nose is less than exciting, dominated -- a liberal use of the word -- by a weak maltiness.
The flavor? Not so good. The expected sweetness is there, but not in a particularly good way. I have no idea if there is such a thing as imitation syrup, but I'd imagine it would taste kind of like this. The mouthfeel is light, something that is less than an awesome juxtaposition to the syrup-y flavor.
I was going to say the Black Dog could possibly be a refreshing summer drink, but that would be giving it too much credit. It's not particularly good, and rather forgettable, to the point I would probably give Spanish Peaks a skip in the future.
Montana, this time you have let us down.