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DogZilla Black IPA - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
DogZilla Black IPADogZilla Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

500 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 500
Reviews: 279
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 21.13%
Wants: 14
Gots: 20 | 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: 500 | Reviews: 279 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerNinja007
4.43/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this bomber at Amity Wine & Spirits in New Haven CT for $6.99. Served cold in a chilled pint glass.

Dark brown brew gives a big 3" of dirty tan head that leaves big chunks on the glass as it settles to a bunch of craters, great 3D structure. Smell has some candy sweetness with lemon rind and pine hop, then dark smoky roasted barley lingering behind it all. Taste is dark up front with the roasted barley coming first then mingling with a strong bright lemon hop with a bit of pine also. Feel is moderately heavy with appropriate carbonation. The finish is dry and has roast barley over powering the hop, which plays a secondary role, and both linger for quite a long time.

I don't remember having had a black IPA before. It tastes like an IPA with some dark stuff thrown in (if that's not obvious). Pretty good twist, I enjoyed it immensely. I could see this being a regular brew.

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

Big thanks to t00nces for hooking me up with this sample. I was super stoked to test out this offering!!

A - Pours a dark brown colour with a nice red hue, finger of beige head, decent retention (couple minutes) and leaving some fine sticky lacing.

S - Scent is sweet pine and cedar sprigg hops, nice caramel notes among citrus bouquet and a bit of cotton candy on the finish.

T - Taste is dominated by the pine and cedar hops, but is complemented by some bitter coffee malts. This is my first experience with a black IPA and I really enjoy it. The finish is a little bitter but likely attributable to the malts competing with the hops for dominance. Bold flavours, nicely balanced, and absolutely delicious.

M - A bit of an oily texture, but not to be confused as a turnoff. Finish is dry, as expected with higher ABV hoppy beers. As usual I'm not a huge fan of a a super dry finish, but this one isn't overwhelming which is nice. Carbonation is nice, body is medium with a lighter carbonation that fills the mouth and goes down smooth.

D - This stuff is delicious and the higher ABV is nicely hidden. A very tasty dominant hop presence which is nicely complemented by the malts. A must try for any hop lover and I would definitely indulge again.

Photo of musicforairports
3.41/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brought home from Florida, no freshness date.

Not black but brown in appearance, looks like a cross between a brown ale and a porter. Good lacing. Smells like roasted malt and a hit of citrus bitterness. Smell is not particularly strong.

Taste is of roasted malt with hop bitterness on the end. Not overwhelmingly hoppy, but there's definitely something there besides the dark malts. Citrus-y hoppy and a bit kind of a yeasty tanginess. Very mild alcohol bite on the tail end. Hops don't rise to a West Coast-style here, in my opinion. But who knows how old this bottle is.

Pretty clean on the mouth, a bit of sweetness that sticks to the tongue. Pretty drinkable, especially for something in this category.

There's nothing about this beer that makes it hard to drink, but there's nothing that makes it stand out from others in the category.

Photo of bonkers
3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour was jet black with a ridiculous amount of head, about 2/3 fo the glsass, the 2nd pour only slightly better. Pine and sweet citrus on the nose. The flavor has pine resin, oranges and a little grapefruit and a light finish. Solid medium body, averrage carbonation. I knocked the drinkability because I had to wait 10 minutes to drink it because of the head. A decent black ipa, but there are better ones.

Photo of IndolentReader
4.12/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was very, very excited to try this.

A: Nice and dark; very rich-looking.
S: My favorite part of this beer. Just a great, "thick" aroma.
T: Unfortunately, pretty standard tasting IPA. I didn't really find a lot of complexity with this one.
M: Nice, though unremarkable.
D: Extremely drinkable - I think my 22 oz bottle was missing a few ozs, it went so fast!

Photo of kbeals
4.06/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this gem from JohnGalt1 a little while back, can't wait to try this one!

A- An extremely dark amber color, appears nearly black until you hold it up and inspect it closer. Two fingers of fluffy, off-white head make an appearance and sticks around very nicely. I had no less than one finger of head the entire time I was drinking this. Thick sheets of lacing adorn the sides of the glass. Flawless, one of the best looking brews I've seen.

S- Dark, roasted malts, sort of bready. Hints of floral hops and earthy aromas. Pretty pleasing.

T- Very similar to that aroma. Dark malts present both a roasted and bread like flavor. Good hop presence lends it a good deal of bitterness that nicely complements the malts

M- Medium body with a decent amount of carbonation. Very smooth.

D- Easily drinkable. The alcohol rarely shows itself in this one and the bomber was no problem to finish off. This style is still pretty new to me, but I'm enjoying it immensely. I also feel Laughing Dog is very underrated, they're quickly pushing their way into my top breweries.

Thanks again Toby, I don't think I can say that enough!

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Strong aroma is like freshly baked rye bread with an undertone of yeast and just a hint of citrus. It pours a clear, dark mahogany with a thick, fluffy, fairly persistent, pale tan head. Flavor is more rye-like and yeasty than hoppy, rather bitter, hint of grapefruit. Texture is smooth as soymilk and just a little bit tingly, leaving behind a sharp, slightly bitter, rye finish. OK, but I have had better.

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!

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 chickencoop
4.1/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to JohnGalt1 for this choice. huge IPA fan, not so much on the Black IPA, but this is legit and kind of changed me. Deep burnt caramel pour, sweet malty smell. I liked this because it was a nice balance for a change, some of the new black IPA's are too dominated by the malty sweetness, this doe not have that, you actually get some pinet hop notes. Clean, crisp hops, sweet malt backbone to add to the drinkability. Good stuff.

Photo of cjgator3
4.03/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22pz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish black color with a huge off-white head with excellent retention and lacing. This beer looks very pretty in the glass.

S- The aroma is dark malts with lots of citrusy and piney hops. It also has a touch of spice and some must. Very nice aroma with this one, all the hops of a good IPA with some dark malts in it.

T- The taste like the aroma is dark malts and spices up front with a nice citrusy grapefruit bitterness in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I really dig Black IPAs and this one is definitely worth a try if you like the style.

Photo of ism
3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Sweet nose, built on roasted malt, slight bread with a big hop brightness. Pours with a vigorous taupe head, subsiding quickly with wimpy lacing, on top of a very dark amber body with a deep ruby tint. Mild carbonation greets the tongue, as the roasted malt washes over it, accompanied by a classic citrus bitterness, slight acridity. Medium-thin body has a bready mouthfeel, a bit of resin oil, finishing with an ever-emergent pine.

An interesting style and fairly sessionable. Good, but not near the best in its class. Needs to be slightly more balanced. Normally I like acridity (especially from smoke), but it doesn't seem to work here. A fan of Laughing Dog's approach and will continue to support them, and hopefully their offerings can jump to the next level.

Photo of potownbill
2.58/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Way too much foaming. took a long time for the head to settle. Otherwise, semi-transparent brownish red beer.
Smell: Tart, horse blanket, phenolic.
Taste: Matched the smell. The tartness overshadowed any decent hop flavors.
Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation, some oiliness.
Drinkability: Dominating tartness overshadowed any other flavors, and made it difficult to finish.
Not sure if I got a bad bottle, but this was not a very well balanced beer. The head was a pain. I do not feel like waiting 10 minutes for the head to dissipate.

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

Poured a dark brown with a half finger of brown head and left a little bit of lacing saticking to the glass. The nose was like a regular which was grapefruit citrus, pine, and floral hops but it had a big roasted malt character. The flavors were like the nose consisting of a piney hop bite alongside citrus grapefruit that help out on the overall bitterness but the roastes malts to add some dimension to this IPA styled beer; quite intresting. The brew was medium body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a roasty, citric, and bitter finish. It drank pretty good and I'm really digging this experimental style that other brewers should take on to make beer that much more intresting.

Photo of arizcards
3.61/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at Bevmo in late July for $7.99.

Beer poured brown with a thin tan head, hmmm...

Nose is of light roasted malts with some northwest hops lingering in the back.

Taste is roasted malts with a nice huge pine and citrus hopped finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and decently carbonated.

Drinkability is pretty good. The base flavor meets the black ipa criteria, the recipe could definitely be improved upon to get more in line with this new style.

Overall not a bad beer to try but for $7.99 i do not anticipate buying again.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.3/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep dark brown, not black with some bog fluffy head rentention and lacing. chocolate sundae.

smell: big citus and pine. smells like a strong IPA, sublte dark malts

taste: a ncie dark IPA, not my favorite but it's extremely solid with citrus and piney flavors

mouthfeel: medium and light for a dark beer

drinkability: My first Lauhging Dog is a success. I would buy this again. Unsure why its only rated a B.

Photo of BEERchitect
2.53/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A bold and experimental beer that has a lot going for it, except for some flaws in brewing technique that allows some off-flavors to persist.

Dark amber/brown but somewhat translucent- looks much more like a deep Red Ale with only slight color corrections for the roasted barley. A quick rise and fall of foam shows early maltiness but thinning late. Light lacing.

Hops and roast lead the way in aroma and taste, along with malty, roasty, grainy character. As soon as the hops take hold, a twangy-tart-phenolic (plastic) flavor and scent comes into play and is more than just a slight distraction. The slight Schwarzbier-like roast attempts to clean up the beer right before the finish, but makes the beer a bit grainy and acrid.

The beer has a medium-light body that just fails the flavors by finishing thin, acidic, and grainy to texture.

Like many other Laughing Dog products, the basic recipe seems fine but the infections from tannin extractions and polyphenols is just too much to overlook.

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

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours black at first but holding it up to the light actually reveals a deep clear ruby body. This is topped with several fingers of foamy light tan head, which retains with a rigid finger that just drenches the sides of the glass with sticky patchy lacing. The aroma is tangy mix in the nose of earthy fruit, herbal notes, some pine, and a moderate smelling underpinning of chocolate, caramel, and roast underneath.

The taste is resinous and spicy, with green leafy citric notes and herbal textures coming out as well. Malts give this a sticky underlying sweetness with some roasty character that kicks it into gear in the backend. This finishes earthy with a dry spiciness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a light sharpness that prickles the tongue but then spreads out with a more slick and smooth feel in the mouth. Well hit ABV here as well.

This is one of the earliest examples of the Black IPA style that I can remember seeing in bottles and while it could use some more balancing dark malt character to help offset the hops, this was still pretty darn solid. This is definitely one of the better ones that I've had from Laughing Dog.

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 begforme4484
3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep ruby/brown color. It's fairly dark, light only getting through the edges. Thick white head, light lacing. Retained well throughout the glass.

Smells like an IPA definitely. West cost style, grapefruit/citrus and some strong floral hop scents.

Sweetish at first, caramel and toasted malts. Pretty balanced citrus and floral hops take over but not overbearing. Finishes grassy and bitter.

M - Creamy, oily, and sticky. Pretty well carbonated for a 'black' beer.

I will have to try this one again, as unfortunately I was forced to drink this one at room temperature as the bag ripped and the beer popped open. The score will definitely be higher at cellar and fridge temps.

Pretty decent still. Not an SSRA, but still good!

Photo of jhammel01
4.33/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1st black IPA...wont be the last!

Pours a deep black, ruby color. Thick, foamy, rocky white head that stays around for what seems like forever! Awesome head retention. Of course, the lacing is great..

Smells of fresh piney hops, slight burnt grain. Hops are pretty over powering.

Taste is pretty good. It's hop character blends perfectly with the roasted barley taste. A bit of black tea as well. Nice malt, bread finish. Its nice.

Great full bodied mouthfeel. Tons of carbonation. Very very good beer.

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 katan
3.81/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz into a pint

A - Pours a very deep, dark and opaque brown color. Light only appears around the edges. Head formation is strong, eggshell white, light lacing. Well retained at about 2mm.

S - Very IPA like nose - a light amount of grapefruit, earthy floral tones. Cascade hops seem to dominate.

T - Starts off with a light 2 row sweetness, malty, with some caramel and light toasted malts. West coast hops take over, giving that floral and grapefruit note, very balanced. Not overbearing. Finishes more grassy as the hops really take hold. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

M - Very creamy body - beer is solidly built, lots of body. Carbonation adds a nice amount of massaging bubbles. Finishes with just a hair of oily tongue stickiness.

D - Good drinkability, especially for an IPA. Flavors are smooth, well integrated. ABV is strong, but not overwhelming. A bit filling due to its strong body - but not necessarily a bad thing.

One of the better black IPAs I've had - I'd be okay with this as a light colored 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 superfantastic
1.34/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I've never had a Black IPA before, and I was anxious to get it in a glass. My excitement, however, dissipated and was replaced by remorse.

A - It looked good enough, a shade or two lighter than your typical stout, with a decent head.

A - Rancid grapefruit, lack of roasted malt aroma I expected

T - Sweet fancy Moses! White wine vinegar followed by pungent citrus. Finished off with fusel alcohol heat.

M - Doesn't matter at this point.

A - This bottle had to be infected. I've read other positive reviews, so this must be an aberration. I will give it another chance and buy a bottle with fingers crossed.

DogZilla Black IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 500 ratings.