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DogZilla Black IPA - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
DogZilla Black IPADogZilla Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

282 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 282
Hads: 507
Avg: 3.42
pDev: 20.76%
Wants: 14
Gots: 23 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 282 | Hads: 507
Photo of puboflyons
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From the 650 ml. bottle. It was bottle 03/11/15. Sampled on August 11, 2015.

The pour is a deep dark brown color to just about black with a foamy mocha head.

The aroma has a hop characteristic but more of a dark malt characteristic. Charcoal might be one word for it.

Mainly smooth and medium body.

The taste is of dark roasted malts leading to a moderate to bigger hop finish. Lingering. It has some Black IPA characterisics.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
3.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

One of those black ales where it's black put it up to the light and you can see thru it. Cream head, nice lacing.

Not much to smell. some raisin, maybe some tobacco leaves.

Nice roasted malts, subtle and a quick bitter finish.

too carbonated for my liking.

Drinkable, but just meh.

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Photo of tone77
3.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, chocolate. Taste is roasted malts, smoke, some chocolate, hops are present, but in the background, finishes dry. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Charlie_Mops
3.54/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color was more of a dark amber than a full black color.
Head retention was exceptionally good, leaving almost a fine sea foam after sitting for 20 minutes.
Nice hop aroma and flavor, but lacking in maltiness.
Overall a nice beer for the price, but not one I'm dying to have again.

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Photo of smanders
2/5  rDev -41.5%

Having become addicted to this style by consuming Wookey Jack on a regular basis, I couldn't pass up Dogzilla at $4.99 per bomber at TW.

Appearance - mocha colored head with dark, cola brown body.

Smell - ??? I know I don't care for it.

Taste - not really any malt, nor hops. This is one odd/off ale. Drain pour; life is too short.

Mouthfeel - medium.

Overall - Totally disappointing. As well as Wookey Jack represents the style, Dogzilla represents poorly.

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Photo of brojas91
1.98/5  rDev -42.1%
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.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.91/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I think everyone is rating this as an IPA. It definitely isn't that. It tastes more like a light stout. Pours dark. Not quit pitch black, but very dark brown. No clarity at all. Small head that doesn't really last. Virtually no lacing. Has a roasted almost sweet smell. Maybe chocolate? Maybe caramel? The smell is the best quality. Dark, malty up front taste with a moderately bitter roasted aftertaste. Again, maybe chocolate? Sweet. Could be raisins? There a dark fruity taste. Virtually no bitterness from hops. It is lacking balance. Not bad but would buy many other beers before this one. Wouldn't ever turn it down, though.

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Photo of tbraun1
3.09/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

On tap to a tulip glass. Pours deep black with minimal head and lacing. Smell was decent but nothing really popped to me to be honest. Taste was minimally hoppy with a bit of smoke malt. Very drinkable but wish it was a bit more hoppy. Mouthfeel was a bit thin to be honest. Overall it was okay although I probably wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of Bear1964
3/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was really looking forward to opening this, got to say I'm a little let down by it on a few levels. Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a stemmed glass, wonderful dark brown but with no head...only clear bubbles around the glass. Smell of rum soaked raisins and a faint chemical hint...possibly the sweet smell of anti-freeze (smell NOT taste!) was present. The taste started out bitter and flat...bitter is fine but the flat was like a true old style Porter...this is not a Porter so it didn't settle well, alcohol and some hops bitterness are about the only flavors..mouthfeel is medium but seems to start out thin and then settles medium on the tongue. As a side note as you drink this the hops come out in the aftertaste...I've had a few Black IPA's and this is not among the good ones. Overall I think maybe this might be infected because I've read reviews about massive foam...and some with the clear bubbles that I had...either way it's not what I want in a Black IPA...or any beer for that matter...might try it again if the price is right.

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Photo of PorterLambic
2.35/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

When poured mildly down the side of a standing pint glass from a 22oz bottle, I got an explosion of foam, enough to fill the glass with maybe 3-4 oz. of liquid. Two minutes later, after a good portion of the foam had dissipated, I was able to dribble enough in to just exceed halfway.
The color is that of a brown ale, chestnut with a light tan head. Not exactly the black promised but nice. Scattered lace remains.
Smell is .... interesting. Some malt, a wee sampling of hops, a touch of nut and an over-riding smell of industrial floor wax stripper. It isn't off-putting, but it is the prevalent smell. Additionally, there is nothing to indicate that this is the IPA the label states.
Taste is malt, hops, fresh oak and some bitter grapefruit rind. Balance is decent but again, nothing to indicate this is an IPA.
Medium bodied and, strange considering the pouring explosion, not overly carbonated, just medium for the style. All told, it isn't a drain pour, but the thought did cross my mind. Here's hoping it's just a bad bottle, but I doubt I'll have this one again.

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Photo of pkalix
3.78/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

popped the cap and it began rising.... dark amber liquid, tan foam, lots of stickiness on the side. serious hop aroma, serious hop taste. malts take a backseat on this one... 2nd pour is just as foamy, I swear I didn't shake this up.... surprised at the low reviews ahead of me. cant see it being less than a 3, but then we each have our opinions.
an interesting brew, and decent as far as i'm concerned, but finishes a bit thin... overall, not bad. I like the color, I like the appearance; i'm not a huge hops guy, but this is okay. I like it. not a pliny, for certain, but decent. again, i'm surprised at the low scores ahead of me... and for the guy ahead of me, no, it's NOT a stout.
each successive pour is hugely volatile (just like others have stated). infected? maybe. but it certainly does not deserve the scores I saw from previous reviewers....

afterthought: bubble gum flavor is reminiscent of a good Belgian...

2nd afterthought: this just may be infected. extremely volatile... but nice head!! wish I could get some head this good!!

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Photo of Murrhey
2.95/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from a standard pressure-cap bomber into a pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- No head. Just some clear bubbles. Black body with no opacity.

S- Earthy hops and dark malts. Chocolate.

T- Chocolate sort of flavor, earthy hops. Muted flavors.

M- Thick bodied and dry.

O- Not a great beer.

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Photo of GiveMeBeerToDrink
2.09/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

I saw this at Total Wine with a price label that had a beer advocate rating of "93" printed on it, so I decided to give this beer a try. When I tasted this beer I was shocked that it received such a high score, and after checking online I knew I made a huge mistake.

The beer looks like coca-cola without the fizz. It smells of chocolate (which isn't a bad thing, but not really my thing). But the taste. Oh god the taste. It doesn't work. The chocolate stout notes don't mesh well with the light citrus/pine notes. It's not a terrible beer, but it's not a good beer either.

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Photo of BabaYagaRIS
2.47/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.5

licorice chocolate

chocolate stout

First and foremost, we don't appreciate the misconception that this is not a stout. It has stout all throughout and will frustrate even the most ignorant beer drinker. Some dude in Idaho though he could sell more beer if he plugged it as an IPA and here we are.

The appearance is fine, but for a stout this beer had more head than a bald chick participating in a windsurfer contest or a fat white chick at a biker convention.

It's a black swan in a white goose world and this bird is flying like a peacock but without the colors.

Save the trickery for your Idaho friends, it does not fly here as an IPA.

Very open to hearing feedback on what components of this beer result in it being called an IPA.

The rest was used to cook food. I expect way more from Laughing Dog than laughs at this attempt at mockery.

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Photo of Omnium
3.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bomber > Sensory Pils glass

A - Pours a brown color with a huge amount of head, almost half the glass. Big off white lacing. Not really looking like a good black IPA
S - Weird smell, lots of darker kinda dried fruit aroma, biscuity malt, bacon grease? drain-o , resinous hops. Huge turn off from the start.
T - Follows suit from the aroma, big malty sweetness, mild dank hop bite in the middle, acrid bitterness on the end.
M - Horrid aftertaste.
O - I cannot believe how bad this is, the smell and taste is so far off-target from where it should be. I dont know where these weird flavors come from, but Laughing Dog, do yourself a favor and dump this recipe down the drain with the rest of this beer.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.08/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass.

Look: Ruby chocolate. Creamy foamy mocha head that doesn't recede. Thick foamy lacing.

Aroma: Raosted malts, piny hops, sweet fruits.

Taste: Sweetness of apricots mends with piny, bitter hops. Faint charred grains.

Mouthfeel: Carbonated, sharp.

Overall: Delicuous, very sharp on the palate but nice flavors and balance.

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Photo of mammal33
1.46/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

First review...

...and first beer I've drain poured after one sip. Beer had to be infected or something...as soon as I popped the top of the bomber, she foamed over. It had a crazy smell that I couldn't work out, and the taste followed. Seems like others had the same experience. Bummer cause the craft beer dude at my local had tagged it in the shop as one of his favorites. Hmmmm...

Will try again, hope to have better results next time.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
2/5  rDev -41.5%
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?

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.77/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.83/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Oh, no, they say he's got to go... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear midnight garnet topped by over a finger of wan off-cream foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, anise, pine needles, spearmint, and cinnamon. Odd as it may sound, this thing smells like certain Christmas cookies I've had in my day, almost like a gingerbread man with peppermint buttons who happened to have been left on the baking pan a bit too long, blackening the backside a bit. Here, it's not quite what I'm looking for, and luckily not entirely offensive, especially considering that the mint gets stronger as time progresses. The taste brings in more of the same, though that minty character is now nearly absent until the finish, the roast is darker and more bitter, and the pine asserts itself a great deal more. Unfortunately, everything is in competition with everything else, precluding any chance of flavor harmony. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a fairly smooth feel, and a drying finish. Overall, this black IPA just didn't sit right with me, what with the chaotic nature of the flavors.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ Brewforia Eagle ID - served in a shaped nonic.

A: Dark brown color with translucent cola-colored edges...minimal tan head & lacing.

S: Toasted dark malt with a piney and herbal hop edge...zesty and a bit astringent with some resin and grapefruit pith. Hints of brown malt in the nose too? Maybe a touch of nut and caramel.

T: Hops steer the same direction; pine, resin, grapefruit, herbal...malt moves from dark caramel to espresso-like dryness with notes of fresh coffee. Blends well together.

MF: Moderate, nearly medium, decent carbonation and dry-er finish.

O: Decent Black IPA, definitely piney on the hops, with a decent dark coffee/caramel malt backbone. Neither quality overwhelms. Not a Black IPA I'd choose to revisit but it is relatively good.

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Photo of brandonlovesbeer
2.01/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1.5

Two thumps way down on this. Way to astringent. It could possibly have been a bad batch. I don’t know. But I don’t plan to give them another chance. And if this is any indication of how the rest of their beers are, then I don’t plan to try any of their other beers anytime soon.

$5.00 for a 22oz bomber.

It had a large khaki colored head, even with a light careful pour, a light 2 inch head formed. It stuck around and was almost the consistency of a meringue. The beer is black as night.

There’s not much in the way of a hop aroma, there’s just an astringent smell from the dark malts. It smells like a lot of tannin extraction happened during the brewing process.

Taste: The tannin extraction came through in the taste as a really strong astringency. There’s a pronounced bitterness that lingers after each sip. This is more of an astringent dark malt bitterness, than a hop bitterness. There’s a light hoppy taste It’s almost an accidental afterthought rather than intentional hop addition though. But either way, there’s no specific hop flavors or aromas to speak of, just a generic light hoppiness.

The one redeeming quality of the beer (other than the appearance) was the mouthfeel. It was very creamy.

Is it Worth the Money?"
This is a 22oz bottle of beer and I paid $4.99 plus tax. Honestly, to put it into perspective, my local brew pub brews a beer nearly identical, in flavor and color to this. I was able to fill a half gallon grower for $9.00. About 2 years ago, I brewed a beer that taste nearly identical to this. That only cost $10 in ingredients to brew a 5 gallon batch.

So I ask again. Is It Worth The Money? "NO"

Verdict: "C"
When I bought this bottle, I thought it was going to be this massively hopped, dark IPA, which is one my favorite styles of beer. Unfortunately it turned out to be a rather difficult beer to drink.

There was just way to much astringency. And the fact that it’s supposed to be an IPA, really left me disappointed, as there was almost zero hop character in this beer.

It has this flavor that usually comes during home brewing, when you steep your dark grains to hot... Actually a better descriptor would be... take your dark grains, throw them into a pot, add some water, then boil the heck our of them for abut 15 minutes. Strain the grain, add the liquid to the brew pot. There’s no sugar extraction. It’s just boiled dark grains. That’s the flavor that I’m getting from this beer. To top the whole thing off, the lack of hop... well... anything was a big disappointment considering that it was supposed to be an IPA

It’s got some flavors but most of them are undesirable flavors. If you want to try it, then try it, but it probably won’t be a beer that you try twice.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Good looking, tho not quite black. it's a brownish-red color, mostly clear, with a monster head that just won't go away and tremendous lacing.

Aroma is a bit muted, kinda citrusy and piney with just a touch of earth.

Flavor is good but not outstanding. There's a notable roasty character that doesn't dominate, but complements. Piney and citrusy hops are pretty forward and tasty. There's a tinge of vanilla too.

Body is pretty well carbonated and medium, pretty drinkable really.

Overall it's ok but not outstanding.

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Photo of GalaxyCruiser99
2.22/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought this at my local craft beer store.

A: Looked great...and was at a great price of 3.99. Was a cloudy amber color with a thick head.

S: Smelled of a sour home brew and extremely bitter.

T: Drinkable but would not buy again, tasted bitter with slight citrus notes more malty than hoppy. Tasted like my first failed home brew...strange.

M: Very little carbonation in the bottle I bought, which tasted off, but might explain the cheap sale price I paid. My bottle was from 5/11/12.

O: I've had other Laughing Dog beers I loved but this black IPA tasted strange and off. I would try again only if bottled fresh or from a tap.

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Photo of barter
2.41/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Got a bomber on reccomendation of the sales guy at TotalWine.

-Poured in to a borrowed Dragoon Brewery pint glass. Bottle inexplicably foamed over when opened so that my first few swallows were from the bottle to avoid waste, the pour was also very sudsy and despite my best efforts the glass still half head.

-Tastes? Think its easier to say what it is not. It is not hoppy or roast malty or delicious. Don't get me wrong it is entirely drinkable, just not what I look for in a Black IPA.

-Finishing taste is almost like sarasparilla, that with the carbonation adding to the rootbeer experience.

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DogZilla Black IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
78 out of 100 based on 282 ratings.