Blue Dog Pale Ale is one of the pub standards to be found at the Lucky Labrador Brewpub, which I blogged about yesterday. I was able to buy a bottle from the pub for $4.75, which they filled and capped on the spot for me.
Now, you’ll look at my picture on the right, and think, "Pale ale?" Well, yeah, and despite the darkness I can confirm that it is, in fact, their pale ale offering; while I was waiting at the bar for my bottles, two other guys asked the other server for a "lighter beer" and commented when the pitcher of dark pale ale was filled. The girl confirmed that it was, indeed, the Pale Ale, though in this case it didn’t necessarily refer to the color.
Anyway, the alcohol on this beer varies, depending on which review site you view, but I would guess that it’s right around 5% by volume.
Appearance: Darker than you’d expect for a "pale" ale… brown the color of bottle glass, or cola. Fairly clear with a creamy off-white (tan-ish) head.
Smell: Hops—Northwest Cascade or similar. Slightly sweet and molasses-y malt background.
Taste: Nice hop bitterness, dry and a bit woody—though not too bitter. Maltiness is also dry and a little oaky, punctuated by a molasses-sweet character (i.e. more bittersweet and not cloying). A bit of a buttery note with roasty astringent malts.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and a bit light in the mouth; finishes dry and a touch astringent.
Overall: Nice pub standard—a little dark in color for a "pale ale" but it tastes good.