DogZilla Black IPA - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
DogZilla Black IPADogZilla Black IPA

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504 Ratings
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Ratings: 504
Reviews: 281
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 21.13%
Wants: 14
Gots: 22 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing visit their website
Idaho, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SurlyDuff on 08-02-2008

True to its IPA roots Dogzilla has a massive hop presence that is Piney and Citrusy. A malty backbone, along with the dark malt gives it a bit of a roasty finish. Brewed with Simcoe and Cascade Hops, Pale Malt, Munich, and Black Barley.

69 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 504 | Reviews: 281
Reviews by sulldaddy:
Photo of sulldaddy
4.3/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I pulled this bottle out of the cellar and poured into a snifter. The beer pours a dark mahogany hue that is only apparent after holding the glass up to the light. Otherwise very dark color.
Fluffy beige head foams up 3 cm even with a fairly gentle pour. The head fades slowly leaving large foam mountains in the glass.
Aroma is some floral and also earthy hops mixing with roast malt and a bit of dark, dry cocoa powder (baker's chocolate).
First sip reveals an average smooth textured body with tingly but gentle rolling carbonation. There is some bread notes mixed with the roast malt up front and then the flavor rolls to some earthy hops. No hints of ABV anywhere. The beer is well balanced and very easy to drink. I will buy another bottle of this beer in the future, the near future!

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.01/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an imperial nonic a deep chocolate brown with some real ruby tinint,a 1/2 finger tannish colored head atop that was gone pretty quickly.Sharp piney hop notes along with dark roast at the onset,dark molasses sweetness is light,pretty average for the style.Sharp and thinner in the mouth takes away from the flavors in my opinion,piney hops dominate with mild sweetness,a little raw earthiness in the finish.Not a very good example of the style in my opinion,it lacks body and flavor complxity,still I do like most of Laughind Dog's wares.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good IPA. The chocolatey appearance doesn't add much of anything but novelty. The pour is a deep brown to black with a modest white head that retreats quickly leaving a moderate lace. The hops and malts don't exactly explode into the nose but they are there, they are consistent, and they are nice. The nose is a bit boozy with some sweetness via the malts. This IPA has a nice combination of malt and hop, not too much of either, just a nice fruity bitterness with a toasty sweetness that coexist quite nicely. There was a lot of hype surrounding this style and the dark malt does add a nice toastiness to the beer, but it is nothing to really write home about. The beer is good and the hype is hype.

Photo of steelerguy
4.03/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark walnut wood brown, moderate carbonation, nice high tan head.

S - Roasted malts, mostly coffee, followed by a nice earthy hop presence.

T - Some sweet kilned malts with a bit of toastiness. The roasted coffee comes on with some hop bitterness in the middle, and finishes off with some light bitterness.

M - Light body, what I would expect for an AIPA. A little alcohol warmth at the end.

O - Nice example of a black AIPA. Surprised about the negative to blah reviews here. I enjoyed this beer and wouldn't mind having it again.

Photo of mikechance
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A --- Dark with a nice amount of foam

S --- some hops, some dark fruit, figs, plums, yeast

T --- malt, dark fruit, fig, little acid aftertaste

M --- light body, decent carbonation

O --- it's a nice beer, but weak compared to the other Black IPAs available in the market

Photo of tigg924
3.6/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, cloudy, amber- dark brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: citrus hops and some malt

Taste: citrus hops, some chocolate, and earth

Mouthfeel: light bodied, medium carbonation, sweet start with a very bitter body and end

Drinkability: I could have this again. This is an interesting beer with the chocolate and hops..Almost like a hopped up schwarzbier. Good above average IPA.

Photo of Hoops4life511
2.8/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip, no sign of freshness date.

Appearance - Coming out of the bottle this is a rather unappealing greyish brown, but once in the glass it gets better. Deep ruby brown, all but opaque unless held up to the light. Average pour produced a one inch billowy light tan head that hung out for a bit and clung to the glass wherever it had a chance.

Smell - Citrusy hops off the bat with a little malty sweetness in the background, some earthy notes but pretty one dimensional with hops up front, though I'm not complaining.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Very thin mouthfeel with not very noticeable carbonation. Taste is bitter, but not really the pleasant kind. Taste of rubber left in the back of my mouth. A little smoke and a lot of earth. As I continue it isn't as cloying on the palate but still, not impressed.

Drinkability - Well, it goes down easily, which I guess makes it drinkable, but the taste just doesn't leave you wanting more. I don't know where to go with this one.

Overall, not going to buy this one again, but it might be for some.

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brownish-red color with a white head. The aroma is grassy hops with a lot of toffee malt, piney hops and some iced tea notes. The flavor is pine and roasted malts with some resiny hops, earthy hops and surprisingly, something that resembles tea. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Good, but not among the best Black IPAs I have tried.

Photo of brojas91
1.98/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

I am still waiting to find a black IPA that can beat Unita's Dubhe. This is far from being that one.

A- The head was massive, i know how to pour a beer and regardless the head came out huge. Its a dark brown more than a black.

A- Licorice? or some kind of dark fruit, not sure but I don't find it too pleasent, as well as a grainy smell

T- the taste goes with the smell, taste of licorice mixed with some type of fruit. Very little taste of hops, more of a malt/grain taste, with a very unpleasent finish

M- once you get passed the head its medium bodied, nothing special at all.

O- very disappointed, Total wine BA score is a lie because it rated it as a 93, and for $3.99 for a pint, I thought this would be a steal, was definitely the opposite.

Photo of far333
3.83/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Semi-clear, caramel colored with ruddy highlights. A chunky and rocky oatmeal colored head rises up huge and frothy. Aroma of roasted malt, cocoa, and citrus.

Flavors of roasted dark malt, cocoa and coffee, paired with bright, citrusy and piney hops. Hints of smoke and oak. Flavors move in and out, working well together. Full and rich mouthfeel, satisfying and tasty.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really, really impressed with this beer. Had it at a few places while up in Boise. Also ran into it at the Yakima Hop Festival. Best Black IPA I've had possibly, even better than Stone's?
Very hoppy.

Looks very cool. Jet black, good head. Smell is great, lets the bitter hops shine, a meld of citrus and lesser pine.

Of course, taste is its best quality. Could drink this so often, if only it were more widely available. Bitterness in check, hops shine, not heavy body.

Check this beer out if you can on tap, I've had bottles I wasn't nearly as impressed with. You just don't seem to get the Simcoe and Cascade hop assault not nearly as complete without all that pine and citrus hop mouthfeel.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle killer label of the Dogzilla attacking the town, simcoe and cascade in a black IPA from Idaho man are we getting progressive, did I mention I purchased this in West Virginia, holy shit what's going on? The body is pitch Black with a light beige head almost white, I've never seen a head this light in a beer this dark. Aromatics are giving off citrus and spicy notes almost a cinnamon like character if I had to describe it any further. The first sips carries that black roast blended with high alpha acid hops rather nicely, drinks like a highly carbonated schwarzbier with more hop pellet kick than most of them out there, the spicy characteristic is nice and would blend great with the Kristoff Sumatran wrapped cigar I'm about to light up. Light dark chocolate herbal mint, spicy hops, mild citrus twang but really ends up as a nice spicy schwarzbier more than a black IPA. Mouthfeel is medium at best with ample flowing carbonation a layer of spice and hop bitterness is left on the palate between sips. Overall a beer that I will drink sparingly not the one I wanted compared to other big dark beers out there, I'm glad the alcohol is not over the top it's well hidden and barely a factor in this big beast of a 22 ounce beer.

Photo of glid02
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this courtesy of Rus - thanks!

Pours a dark amber color with a thin light tan head. The head recedes into a thin ring around the glass leaving light lacing.

Smells of lightly roasted caramel malts with good amounts of grapefruit hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The malt flavors do not fit into any real category - rather the flavors are jumbled into roasted, toasted, and caramel. Light citrus flavors come out midway through the sip before a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with lighter than average carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my glass but I'm not too sure about another.

Overall this was interesting, but I'm not sure I would get this again.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.18/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A-  This beer pours a jet black with faint garnet hint at the base.  There is a creamy beige head that is bubbly and last for a long time.  There are a few tiny bubbles stuck to the base of the glass but that is all I can see.
  S-  The full woody green hops have a hint of musty black malt to them but it is pretty light.
  T-  The cream flavor leads into a big green Northwestern hop finish with some pungent hop bitterness that lingers after each sip.  As the beer opens up the initial creamy flavor takes on a sweaty black malt tartness but it is very light.
  M-  this beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with the head helping make a creamy sensation, and no alcohol heat.
   D-  This is a nice IPA with full good depth of hops and a nice balance of bitterness.  It has an interesting twist with the black malt qualities being more sweaty, astringent ( but in a pleasant way) and not the fullness of black malt you get in a stout or porter. 

Photo of Brenden
3.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew is a transparently clear red-brown in color. A light tan head is quick to form with moderate retention and equally moderate lacing.
There's a bit of zing in the aroma, like a particular mix of sweetness and something mildly astringent. Sweetness does come in on a few fronts: a light caramel, citrus, and a tinge of fruits. Hops are up front then followed by roasted grains with the rest lingering.
Something went a bit wrong here, and it involves what I'd expect to be the problem if a brewery went off on trying to nail the style: a bit of an acrid touch and some astringency. All the other flavors I'd expect from the nose are present, and it just seems there's a bad balance happening somehow. An unfortunate sourness comes out in the finish as well.
The body is on the light side of medium and goes too thin. It's about average, offering a hint of what it could be but a graininess lingers and, while this beer is crisp, the grainy quality and thinness keep it mediocre.
Laughing Dog is generally good, but this was something of a miss; not terrible, but like a decent BMC effort.

Photo of biboergosum
3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber, procured this past summer in lovely Boise, Idaho. Cartoonish literal label, which is par for the course for this brewery's marketing department, it would seem.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark ruby red colour, with a teeming amount of loosely bubbly and thinly foamy pale beige head, which settles quite slowly, eventually rendering some decent webbed treeline lace around the glass in its slow and meandering wake.

It smells of lightly roasted caramel malt, fruit and nut infused sweet chocolate, which generally gives way to some bitter earthy, floral, and somewhat medicinal hops. The taste is again quite fruity in its upfront roasted maltiness (one much less charred than is the norm for the style), the chocolate acquiring a bittersweet licorice character, with some acrid herbal, citrusy, and muddled earthy hops deigning to show their faces after a wee spell.

The carbonation manifests in just a mostly flat-seeming frothiness throughout, the body an adequate medium weight, and just a bit too prickly to consider as outright smooth. It finishes well off-dry: malty, chocolaty, and boozy (with a certain Ouzo-esque licorice twist), sure, but über alles - weirdly herbal.

A strange bird (ok, 'dog'), this one - many of its traits resemble a decent PAC NW Black IPA, however, the strange herbal and isolated anise characters just don't really do it for me. Which is a minor shame, as the restrained 'blackened' part of the style here is actually quite appealing - huh, when one door opens, another one closes, I suppose.

Photo of Dogfishipas
4.32/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Looks like like a Coke in a glass with a minimal head.

Smell - has a nice hop smell that isn't super strong.

taste - while drinking it it taste like an ipa, the aftertaste is when I really notice the coffee hints. Has a great aftertaste

mouthfeel - smooth with a medium body to it.

drinkability - very drinkiable. I hope whole foods still has some left as I only got 1 bottle and would like to keep another on the shelf for a while.

Photo of Normski
4.05/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The real question is, is this a beer to seek out and spend your hard earned money on, may answer is "Yes" this is a very enjoyable Black IPA well balanced with enough hop flavor for Hopheads but not so much that you hit over the head with it. Overall this is a well carted example of a Black IPA

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Laughing Dog- Black IPA

A- Deep amber red with a thick white head, solid lacing.
S- Sweet sugary malt, licorice, and molasses.
T- Sweet licorice molasses, fruity citrusy hops.
M- Big sweet maltiness throughout nice pine hop finish.

Overall- Solid tasty IPA. Another good LD beer.

Photo of TheSixthRing
2/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - Poured about 4 ounces and immediately got 4 fingers of head.

Smell - Sour and citrus.

Taste - Taste comes across with some dark roasted malt, mild cocoa, and a lot of sourness on the back end.

Mouthfeel - Light in body with out of control carbonation, likely due to it being infected.

Overall - Yeah, a completely and unquestionable infected bottle. A certain candidate for a future re-review, but I have to admit I sort of enjoy this. Can a Belgian Black IPA be that far off? Are they already being made?

Photo of Magpie14
3.01/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: not black, but very dark for an IPA. I would call it more of a muddy burgundy, somewhat like a dark cloudy iced tea. This was topped off with a massive foamed blob, buttery cream color. Has some sticky globs of lace

S: a handful of dark malts with sweet caramel at first. Then whiffs of mildly spicy and earthy hops. Something a bit awry about this

T: taste starts with malty undertones and a strong bitterness that is a bit miss-mash. It is hard to tell what kind of hops are present as they are kind of lost amongst the dark malt profile, not that the malts are overpowering, it is just that the flavors are out of harmony. I taste caramel, lemons, stale coffee, and a that slight earthy flavor, which I would classify as a mix of floral tea-like hops with medicinal qualities. Hops are kind of funky...

M: feels like a nice IPA even though the appearance might lead you to conclude otherwise. Agreeable finish and well mannered

D: worth a try, I guess, helps increase the palate of flavors on the tongue. I pass on this one

Photo of cokes
3.34/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark, clear mahogany brown topped with a proud mesa of bleached khaki suds.
The nose is a bit muted. Notes of smoke, cocoa, raspberries, pine, earth, and coffee can be teased out, but only at the risk of snorting the actual liquid. It opens up a bit over time, but not very much.
It's more assertive through the mouth. An initial burst of smoke and espresso tempers quickly toward cocoa powder and mocha latte. Some fruitiness dots the middle, via berries and grilled pineapples. Hopping is substancial, bringing pine, earth, and a congruent pineapple bitterness, along with a smidgen of grapefruit. Still, like the nose, it seems a timid. It's certainly enjoyable, just don't expect a mouth abuser.
Creamy medium-light bodied with a lasting, kneading CO2.
The overall persona here is just a tad dialed-down, but it's strong suit is drinkability, as it's balanced and quietly nuanced enough to consider tackling multiple bombers in one sitting, though one's attention may begin to wander.

Photo of Sammy
2.83/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Black-grapefruit melange coloured body.
Big white soapy head. Mollasses and hops - simcoe. Some roasted malt. Infected? Buttery mouthfeel,some malts, hops did not work, weak carbonation. Frehly purchased bottle by RK, certainly not his fault. Not finishable.

Photo of hreb
3.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not so much black, but deep reddish brown, like a brown ale. Pleasant cascadey aroma. Heavy carbonation and bright citrus flavors give this beer an immediate presence. Kind of like a black lager, the dark color is just for show, there's no roastiness or deep malt backbone.

I think this is pretty good. I don't detect any of the defects other reviewers have cited.

22oz bottle.

Photo of Ezone024
3.99/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BIG cream colored head, very fluffy, looks like you can float in it. Dark/black stout coloring.

smells of 100 lbs of roasted hops. mildly citrus/heavenly.

taste is roasted barley up front, like a porter but with out the thick sweet finish. Instead it has a bitter hop finish that as of a west coast style IPA.

mouthfeel is very unique, very bittersweet.
drinkability average with mild booziness.

this is a very unique brew! worth a purchase for sure!

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DogZilla Black IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 504 ratings.