Devil Dog Imperial IPA - Laughing Dog Brewing
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Ratings: 208 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
4.75/5 rDev +25%
One of the best IPAs I have had in a long time. It poured out in a cloudy light unfiltered orangish yellow. Really sweet piney scent. The white foamy head totally tied the beer together with citrus tones in the taste and scent. I really liked this beer. I almost forgot it was a 10% beer. I am really impressed with this beer. It was not too carbonated but it was not watered down. This is definately going to be an additional purchase. I look forward to when I can grab it before its gone for the year.
02-14-2010 04:57:00 | More by Vancoubeer
4.45/5 rDev +17.1%
I've already done two reviews of this beer. One was clearly a bad bottle. The second, drank about nine months ago, was decent, but I still found it wanting. So, why am I doing it again? I recently got an email from the co-owner and brewer at Laughing Dog, Fred Colby, mentioning that a new batch of this beer had just been bottled. I had previously criticized this beer for having too heavy a body and being too malty, and he suggested that I'd find that fault had been fixed. So I decided to check it out:
22oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $6.69.
Poured a clear shade of copper with a good two inches of beige foam that receeded to a sticky lace.
This had the biggest nose that my big nose has ever detected emanating from an IPA!. Huge citrus scents vie with a sweet maltiness for olfactory attention. I also picked out what smelled like fresh strawberrys which, while unique in my experience with IPAs, smelled absolutely delicious. Is it like a typical beer of the style? No. Way too much maltiness, but now reduced to the point that the hops can shine. Does it smell freakin' great? Yes!
Like the nose, the taste of this beer has a huge hop presence that is balanced by a maltiness that is also huge, but is subordinate enough to the hops that it still tastes like an IPA. While the sweet maltiness very nearly matches the sharp, fruity hops at the beginning of the taste, the malts decline precipitously after that, with the hops declaring their victory with a prolongued bone-dry fadeout. What is truly unique in my experience, is a strawberry-like flavor that is most evident at first moment the taste hits the tastebuds and, while certainly unconventional, adds to the overall tastiness.
This is a medium bodied beer, which, looking at a label that boasts five varieties of hops, coming to seven (!) pounds per barrel plus three varieties of malts in what I guess is not too much smaller a quantity, is quite an achievment! DD has a fairly oily mouthfeel, though not as oily as other beers of the Double/Imperial IPA persuasion. I'm guessing that might be because of those three varieties of malts being liberally used, though my own attempts at homebrewing were so spectacularly unsuccessful, I don't really have the knowledge to say.
This is not a session beer even if you are 400 lbs., but it makes a very nice nightcap, which is what I'm using it as right now.
Definitely a more-is-better version of the style, an almost hedonistically tasty beer, with a huge nose and flavor. The price was a little high,at least to my broke-ass self, but it makes sense from the huge amounts of hops involved in it's brewing. I don't know if that heads-up from Fred led me to pick this up when it was at it's optimum fresheness or not, but it blew me away when compared to previous samplings, and now tastes like an IPA rather than a really hoppy barleywine. I'd love to see this made a regular or at least seasonal offering, and it's yet more proof that Laughing Dog is the best brewery in northern Idaho or eastern Washington. One question: is the dog on the label supposed to look diabolical or just wasted? I think it could go either way.
03-02-2008 09:18:33 | More by woemad
4.45/5 rDev +17.1%
Wow, what a great surprise. I let the bottle warm a bit out of the fridge and popped the cap without much "pop". But, it poured with a full, decent sized, foamy, frothy, thick, sudsy, off white head that lasts a long time and lots of lace. Color is an almost clear amber with several tiny bubble trails. Aroma is hops, yeast, malt, fruit, game. Flavor is similar to nose with much more bitter than sweet and just right carbonic tang. All in perfect balance for American Imperial IPA. Body and carbonation: perfect too. Finish is like flavor, of average lenght and has alcohol warming. Great beer!
10-26-2011 23:06:42 | More by drpimento
4.45/5 rDev +17.1%
Huge thanks to JohnGalt1 for including this terrific extra!!
Glowing honey golden with a great fluffy head that calms to a constant ring... Great lacing as well..
Aroma is super citrusy and sweet... I think I'm in for a real treat with this one..
And I'm right.. This brew is absolutely delicious!! It is uber hoppy and citrusy with loads of juicy hops that seemingly burst out of this thing...I can taste orange and lemon along with loads of other sweet citrusy flavors... Seriously, this thing is stupid delicious...this thing has one of the best finishes ever on an IIPA. It starts sweet then goes bittersweet and stays there... Really terrific..
At 10%, you have to be careful with this thing as it will put you down quickly... This is, without a doubt, one of the best Imperial IPAs that I've ever had. I actually liked it as well as Dreadnaught and much more than some of the other so called heavyweights in the class... Just delicious..
04-09-2008 14:23:49 | More by Tilley4
4.4/5 rDev +15.8%
I really like this beer. I thought it was a bit pricey though. The head was incredibly creamy and thick but disappeared sooner on the second pour into a Sam Adams Perfect Pour glass. Believe it or not I'm getting a little chocolate flavor in the aftertaste which is something I didn't expect but like. It is hoppy that is for sure. Very tart. The label has flames behind the cute dog are telling because I'm getting good warmth in the belly on this one. If you like hoppy without a sweet aftertaste this one is for you. I'll be buying more.
03-16-2011 21:40:38 | More by Jazz1
4.4/5 rDev +15.8%
Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.
A great clear classic amber body, brown with a great red ruby edge hued shine to it. Head formation is very uniform and three fingers deep, coloring and off tan appearance an lots of sticky retention, clumping is just everywhere. Beer looks really inviting, it's looking really sexy.
Nose brings a real dry biscuit malt, with a soild hop presence. Incredilble amount of toasty aromas, I can feel the burnt crust bouncing around, taking a forward approach to the hop action which matches a dry crustiness as well. Sort of burnt dried out wood pine.
It's a bitter malt rush. Hop character is not defined, this is not citrusy, not even so much piney, floral or anything distinct. However it has an incredible toast malt body that puts most IPAs to shame it seems. Dense toast and snapping cracker finish with a nice tolerable hop indistinct bitterness. Texture is just hitting the right notes of thickness without being boozy or syrupy sweet. Lingering finish that goes on and on.
I am very impressed with this one but it's not a hop heads beer blast. I don't care it's so nicely balanced and wonderful without any indication of 10 ABV heat booze. Great job!
05-03-2012 00:23:32 | More by smakawhat
4.35/5 rDev +14.5%
When visiting this brewery back in September, I had been anticipating the opportunity to sample this extreme offering. When I got their tray of available beers, I was distressed to see that the place holder for the Devil Dog sat empty, no sample glass covering it. Aggggh. Suppressing my disappointment, I inquired as to why this was the case. The answer, of course, was that they were in the process of brewing a new batch, which wouldn't be ready for a few more weeks, but I might have luck in finding a bottle or two somewhere in town. Not feeling entirely hopeful, I went to their first suggestion - the local health food store. Now that makes sense - a high-alcohol concoction at a health food store. But, sure enough, there's beer - a surprising selection at that - at health food stores, at least in Sandpoint, Idaho. And lo and behold, there was a single bomber of Devil Dog still available at this store, whose name presently escapes me. The Dead Sea Scrolls this wasn't, but I still felt pretty euphoric with my 'find'.
So, 8 months later, on a holiday weekend celebrating the end of winter, I pull this bad boy out of its hibernation, and sample it alongside a Fish Tale 10 Squared Ale, for a comparative tasting of two of the big beers of the Pacific NW.
Into my souvenir Laughing Dog American pint glass, this beer pours a cloudy copper orange, with a smallish two-finger head that dissipates quickly, leaving a bit of lacing. The smell is of sweet caramel malts, with a slight pine hop essence. Check. The taste offers up much more of the pine and some citrus hops at the front, with substantial malt sweetness holding up the backbone. And does it ever - the body in this beer is freaking huge. A sip filling the whole mouth kind of huge. This beer activates and stomps on all of the taste buds in my mouth, and I keep coming back for more! The mild carbonation is lost in the war of attrition between the hops and malts, and the warming at the end is pretty timid, quite well hidden for the 10% ABV. This is one superbly crafted Imperial IPA.
As much as I like the weight of the body of this beer, I have to give it a lower drinkability score than the 10 Squared, which has a lighter body. Trade-offs are a bitch.
05-19-2008 08:15:49 | More by biboergosum
4.35/5 rDev +14.5%
Thanks to JohnGalt1 for an amazing trade to get this amazing brew!
A: Pours a gorgoeous copper color with a perfect one inch head. Little bubbles of carbonation run up the edge of my Unibroue tulip and meet with the slowly receding head.
S: First the smell of pine is very apparent but as it warms you get corainder and orange with other bitter whiffs of citrus. Subtle undertones of caramel close.
T/M: Bitter piney taste hits the tip of the tongue followed by a wonderfully sweet orange flavor with a little hop bitterness. Spicess of black pepper and coriander hit the back of the tongue. As the beer finishes you get a wonderful caramel and orange sherbert taste with a little earth tone. This beer is perfectly carbonated with a perfectly thick body that coats the tongue on its way down.
D: Amazingly good IPA. Loved the piney taste that this one gave. Perfectly balanced easy drinker. Warms a little on the way down to let you know its good.
04-13-2008 23:30:47 | More by dsigmon
4.33/5 rDev +13.9%
Thanks goes out to JohnGalt1 for this brew.
Pours a very nice hazy dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice one finger creamy tan head, which does leave some nice sticky lacing.
The nose is mostly malty, very slight hops, nice touch of citrus/pines, and lots of caramel. The taste is slightly sweet at first, very big malt tones,
some hops, nice touch of citrus/pines, and caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty DIPA, more on the malty side though, but nice.
Highly recommended. Thanks Toby.
06-23-2008 23:54:19 | More by Wasatch
4.31/5 rDev +13.4%
Devil Dog opens with a heavily sugary and citrusy nose, but with a surprisingly strong grain base that immediately speaks to a balanced and carefully crafted brew. Hops and sugars are still the most present aromas, however, mingling together in a lovely bittersweet blend of, from the former, pink grapefruit, grapefruit rind, dandelion stem, mint, anise, eucalyptus, rosewater, and lemon, and from the latter, huge rushes of orange, apricot, peach, nectarine, berry, cherry, and grape fruit esters, as well as brown sugars and thick, sticky caramel. The sheer volume and nuance of the hops and sugars is impressive, as is, despite the potency, the balance between the two, neither really overpowering the other. The rosewater, grapefruit, and sweet sugars particularly combine to create a candi sugar-like overtone, almost confectioner’s sugar-sweet in potency, but mixed with fruit esters to create a hard candy, Jolly Rancher aroma that, if it were actually made by Jolly Rancher, would probably revolutionize the industry. The grains also add Grape Nuts cereal, toast crust, and biscuit undertones, providing a sense of earthiness. As a whole, the nose is excellent, providing almost everything one could want in an Imperial IPA, and doing so in a classy manner that bespeaks a carefully vetted recipe and hours of careful labor.
On the tongue, the beer is far more hoppy and bitter than the nose let on, with dandelion stem, pine resin, grapefruit rind, mint, eucalyptus, pepper, and anise taking the lead to sear the tongue and soft palate, with bits of pink grapefruit and lemon oil adding touches of citrus. The sugars still bring loads of fruit esters, including orange oil, berry, cherry, and apricot, which combine with the citrusy notes to create a strange bubble gum-like overtone, which somewhat clashes with the heavy pine resins. Brown sugars and caramel add further sugary tones, balanced somewhat by toast crust, biscuit, and cereal grains. But it’s the hops that easily take the lead, the 98 IBUs biting in shark-like frenzy at the mouth, and flooding the tastebuds with bitter, citrusy, oily, piney resins. These also dominate the aftertaste, which lingers for a long time, utterly wrecking the palate for anything other than another sip of an equally hoppy brew. Mouthfeel is an oily medium to medium-strong, and carbonation is medium.
Overall, this is good beer, though fairly obviously not for the faint of heart. Anyone who’s not already a hophead will likely find this so bitter, resinous, and citrusy as to be somewhat unpalatable. Unfortunately, the sheer strength of the hops does largely overpower the other flavors, and the amount of strength the sugars lose from the nose to the tongue because of this is fairly large. Still, this is very much worth trying, as it’s difficult to imagine more hop flavor, and more varied and nuanced hop flavor at that, being shoved into a bottle. Just be aware that you’re not going to be able to taste pretty much anything else for a very long time after you’re finished.
03-02-2013 18:13:50 | More by jondeelee
4.3/5 rDev +13.2%
Columbus, Northern Brewer, Anthanum, Cascade, and Simcoe hops with Pale, Caramel, and Munich malts.
10.85% ABV, 98 IBUs
Strong hop aromas are evident from the smell.
Abundant carbonation and nice alcohol warmth as it get warmer.
Smells of some fruit flavors, pine flavors and malts as well.
All in all this beer was good, was a little lacking as a DIPA, but for the price I would buy it again.
06-01-2011 00:45:33 | More by cjympsin
4.28/5 rDev +12.6%
On tap @ Bailey's Taproom (Portland)
I've been wanting to try a fresher example of this brew since I was informed the bottle I previously rated was old, and I'm glad I found one.
Clear light amber or orange-copper color with minimal head that does a good job of lacing.
Smells teriffic. Very fruity and sweet smelling with light hints of caramalt and some alcohol. Red grapefruit and tropical fruits dominate, mango, pineapple, peach, hint of menthol - reminds me of strawberry mentos.
Sweet malt backbone and juicy hop flavors combine to do a pretty good job at hiding the 10%abv, but its not entirely successful. Not overly bitter for a DIPA.
Medium body with moderate carbonation. Great DIPA; glad I gave this one another try.
03-23-2008 06:36:43 | More by BeerZack
4.25/5 rDev +11.8%
22oz purchased at the Boise Coop, very much enjoyed out of my standard big red wine glass. Listening to the end of Global House Culture #3.
First of all, I will state I love the taste and aroma of this brew .... that being said, a solid 1/5 of the many I've tried were very low carbonated if not dead flat .... this one has nice carbonation, so I decided to review it.
Good pour with 1 inch eggshell head that sticks to the side of the glass ... with a big piney nose as soon as the beer hits the glass .... I am gonna like this one. Deep amber/reddish orange... maybe not the right color for a DIPA, but no complaints here... still a very nice color.
Smell is awesome ... no let down at all. Big malts and much bigger American hops. Grapefruit, misc. citrus, and pine coupled perfectly with stick to your nose-hair sweetness.
Taste is a lingering mash-up of balance. Thick without overpowering flavors. Striking bitterness gives way to viscous malts with a loooong lingering hop flavor. toasted malts are in there... mmmm! Big and balanced.
I love this beer. Some of the bottles are a let-down, but I've had too many to count ... and even the flat ones are great. If you get a chance to try it on tap, give it your full attention; the drinkablity is out of this world, and that may leave you in the dirt.
11-27-2007 09:59:02 | More by JohnGalt1
Devil Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.