Devil Dog Imperial IPA - Laughing Dog Brewing
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Ratings: 208 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.63/5 rDev -4.5%
On tap at Rattle-N-Hum in NYC: pours hazy amber orange with a creamy thick 1 finger white head that faded very slowly and left amazing lacing coating the sides and rings as it went down; just about perfect looking.
Smells of rich caramel, floral hops, candied sugar, hops, sweet malt, hops and light booze; not a hoppy nose per se, but still decent. It does not mask the ABV and let's it almost act as a warning.
Tastes of caramel, floral hops, dark fruit like cherry or plum, both brown and candied sugar, citrus hops, orange peel, sweet malt, grains, light yeast, grass and light booze; finish is not very bitter and trails off with a sweet cardboard flavor, and somehow manages to keep that 10% in check. More malt balance than expected for relatively easy drinkability considering the high ABV.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with average zesty carbonation, a chewy heavy body and a sweet finish that lingers like you just chewed part of an orange peel with a chuck of cardboard; it was oddly enjoyable to me.
Overall a nice slow sipper that was sweet and complex, with a strange ability to feel like it was a hop assault with a syrup like sweetness. Worth a shot, this was a unique brew.
10-27-2012 02:09:45 | More by CHickman
4/5 rDev +5.3%
22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 5/29/2012. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a nice 1-2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some good soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big caramel, biscuit, grapefruit, pine, honey, orange peel, floral, mango, and herbal. Pretty nice aromas with good strength and balance; a touch boozy but not too bad. Taste of caramel, grapefruit, pine, biscuit, honey, floral, orange peel, mango, nuttiness, and herbal. Fair amount of spicy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, caramel, honey, pine, orange peel, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Very nice flavor balance with a very good bitterness/malt sweetness balance. No cloying flavors at all; very balanced despite a fairly long finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a pretty creamy, slick, and sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Imperial IPA. Great flavor balance with no cloying hop bitterness or sweetness; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one, very well done.
08-17-2012 04:21:34 | More by superspak
Devil Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.