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DogZilla Black IPA - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
DogZilla Black IPADogZilla Black IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

472 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 472
Reviews: 276
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 21.43%
Wants: 14
Gots: 10 | 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:
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 added by: SurlyDuff on 08-02-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 472 | Reviews: 276 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ZimZamZoom

West Virginia

2.65/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bomber poured in to a pint glass.

I only poured about 6 ounces since I was getting a crazy head. Ended up with about 2 inches of beer in the glass and a five inch head. The beer is a very deep auburn brown color, and the massive tan head goes rocky and reminds me of a root beer float.

This beer has a weird hop aroma. A bit of a spruce spice to it, some roast malt is behind this, with some noticeable astringency. Taste is also a mix of some hop spice and roast malt astringency. Some flowery, fruity notes to it, and a fairly bitter punch at the end.

I'm going to say I do not appreciate the blend of flavors in this beer. The hops do not go well with the roasty malts. I know it's not a true American IPA, and I'm not really judging it as one. It's just not a well balance beer IMO.

It's not real big on body, but I do find it filling. Nah, not very drinkable either.

This is not a beer I would seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 21:11:20 | More by ZimZamZoom
Photo of beertunes


3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured not quite black, but rather a brownish-red-black combo that, while not unattractive, wasn't going to win a beauty pageant. The beer had a light tan head that quickly dissipated but managed to leave decent lacing.

There was no malt noticed in the aroma, just hops, mostly floral and pine. The taste slightly surprised me. It was very crisp and clean, with some citrus showing up along with the pine and floral scents.

The body was typical for an IPA that has such a restrained malt presence. They should put these beers into a sub-category called "hop juice". I think a bit bolder malt bill would give support to those hops and showcase them better. Drinkabilty was very good, for the style.

Overall, a very nice beer that I'll certainly try again.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 12:11:51 | More by beertunes
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a very large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark caramelized malts, grassy hops, and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a good burst of hops bitterness that is followed by some mild sweetness from flavors of dark fruits, citrus and caramel. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of black IPA style facet, this is a solid beer that is worth drinking for a while if you want a slight variant of a normal IPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 01:42:38 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell


3.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at macadoodles in Joplin

Pours more like a brown ale or an imp red, nice caramel color with 3+ fingers of fluffed up khaki colored head. Stellar head retention & lacing

S: Has a bit of off/brett smell to it, phenols, the main shortcoming of this beer. If this was trying to pass itself off Belgian I'd bump this way up

T: A bit of funk in the beginning, along with citric hops, & a touch of black rye bread. Pine & grapefruit dominate as this warms, along with some more rye bread & dryness & some grainyness, plus a whisper of booze too. Finishes crisp with much grapefruit, a touch of funk that works here, & pumpernickel bread. 1 point deduction for the infection

MF: Medium bodied, creamy, light carbonation, good balance

Drinks pretty nice, got off to a rough start, maybe slightly infected, will have to do some research...Will hold this review as a placeholder until I get my hands on some more
( no freshness date on this bomber ), I hope this one isn't too rough on the guts tomorrow...

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2009 05:48:50 | More by russpowell
Photo of wenkalman


3.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance - Dark, almost black stout appearance with a similar head. Dark carmel, off-white color that stuck around for a while. Head was thick as well. Lacing very sticky.

Smell - Malt notes with a slight hint of hops. Not as earthy as would be expected with an IPA. Based on smell, I would say the malts are going to over power this brew. Upon second sniff, slight fruit notes of dates and plum can be found.

Taste - Mild malt flavor, considering how dark this brew is. Good coffee notes. Has a good bitter end to it, though I find it difficult to pick out the type of hops used. Very pleasing taste and I would have to say well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Very good on the palate. Good carbonation to go with the dark coffee notes. Good feel for a higher IPA at 6.9% ABV.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink. It is deceiving how mild and balanced this beer is when you first see how dark it is.

Would recommend this beer to IPA fans and other beer lovers. I found it to be very good, and easy to drink. Also very well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 23:35:27 | More by wenkalman
Photo of nomomentwasted


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

Had this out of a bottle, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dirty amber brown, with an almost gradient look to it. Not too black to be honest, and Sublimely Self Righteous from Stone has been the base-line for me on the style. Perhaps that's unfair, but looks lighter, like a brown ale more than anything. Laced well and decent head.

Smell: More roasted than I expected, with a more mellowed, sweet hoppiness. Lemon peel, marzen-like roast and really, that's about it. Nothing too floral or flooring.

Taste: I was kind of surprised by the lack of a strong flavor either direction. I feel like maybe the ingredients were leftovers, I don't really see what the brewers were going for. It feels between styles, like a more roasty IPA and higher-hopped brown ale into one. The synergy feels a bit lost, as there are hops, but they feel oddly placed in some ways with the roasted malt. The flavors aren't bad, either, just rather mellow and feel slightly mis-paired.

Mouthfeel: Bitterness is there, but I'd prefer a touch more. Feels carbonated a tad too much, but not overly detrimental. Not great, not bad.

Drinkability: I mean, not too exciting here. It's got more flavor than a pale ale might, but the flavors don't feel synergistic or add much to one another. Just a bit underwhelming.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2009 04:03:26 | More by nomomentwasted
Photo of Bookseeb


3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is pretty dark with a nice head and fair lace. Smell has a nice balance of hop and roasted malt with some grapefruit. Taste has a big punch of dark roasted malts and a little salinity with a good bite of grapefruit bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. A little roasty for my taste, but overall not a bad beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2009 04:14:49 | More by Bookseeb
Photo of far333


3.85/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 15:33:15 | More by far333
Photo of obywan59


4.58/5  rDev +36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first black IPA. Dark brown in the glass with burgundy highlights. Moderate head with nice lacing.

HOPS!, it screams. Glorious, piney hops with a bit of malty sweetness. Possibly my best smelling beer ever. Compares to a Stone brew.

More hops, lingering throughout, but balanced sufficiently with a nice sweetness. I really don't get any of the roasted taste, but who needs it with these incredible hops?

Creamy, not sticky, I toyed with giving it a 5.

Awesome drinkability. This is close to my favorite of the last 11 brews I've sampled (and the first 11 brews I've reviewed). Call it personal taste, but for me, it vies with DFH Worldwide Stout.

I'll definitely buy this one again!

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2009 04:27:06 | More by obywan59
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2009 21:38:32 | More by ArrogantDeadGuy
Photo of jwc215


3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle:

First pour foamed up, with a murky brown body and a head that was large, but in a foamy, not quite right, way. The head soon becomes rocky. Spotted foamy lacing sticks.

The smell is of leafy, citric hoppiness, with a lemon sourness. The dark malt is subdued, but there.

The taste is bitter from start to finish, with a hint of sweetness coming through only at end of the 22 oz. bottle. There is a coffee roast balancing hop bitterness. Roast comes through more as it progresses. Something a bit "raw" about it - with some astringency. A hint of alcohol shows.

It hits medium-bodied, though becomes foamy as it glides over the tongue, even in subsequent pours after the foam had settled.

The feel throws this off - This is second brew from this brewery that has a carbonation issue that throws it off. (Another had a hint of it - and a few others were fine.) Despite this, it is an interesting beer with bitterness coming from hops and roast.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 23:57:19 | More by jwc215
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2009 22:58:10 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Blitzstyle


3.8/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got on a trade with dregs78. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a SA glass. Nice head bout 3 fingers on a aggressive pour. Nice black brown coloring to it, some lace. Love the idea of a black ipa

Big smell off the intital pour of piney and citrus hops. Roasted malts and some chocolate round things out. After the intial pour the smell really loses its hopness and kinda smells more like a traditional porter.

Taste the best of both of the worlds this beer represents. The tip of your tounge gets the hop hit while the rest has a creamyness reminiscent of a porter. Roasted malts and caramell are there mixed in with the hoppyness and chocolate. Really unique taste.

Medium body with a pungent aftertaste, the way this beer lingers in my mouth costs it some drinkablity points. Other than that great beer hope I can acquire another.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 22:38:14 | More by Blitzstyle
Photo of Jayli


4/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 11/22

A: This beer pours a deep dark brown with a major ruby red edge to it. With the first pour there was a ridiculous four finger of rocky, light brown head to it. Amazing head retention, thick, sticky, chunky lacing left on the glass.

S: Nose is of roasted malts, chocolate and a touch of floral hops.

T: Taste is of major roasted and toasted malts up front, chocolate, toffee and caramel fill out the middle, and the hops are what fill out the later side of this brew. Big dose of citrus and floral hops.

M: Light side of medium body, medium carbonation, crisp and clean mouth feel with a slightly dry finish.

D: This is a very drinkable beer, odd yet pleasant, flavors play nicely off one another, I could sit with this for a bit.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 02:13:38 | More by Jayli
Photo of Lambstrong


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

Appearance: Dark mahogany color with a thick sandy head. Good head retention and decent lacing.

Aroma: Slight grapefruit aroma.

Taste: Grapefruit flavor is upfront. Roasted grains are in the background. Slight chocolate notes.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, and light on the tongue.

Overall, a solid beer. Dark, but light mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 01:30:53 | More by Lambstrong
Photo of ppoitras


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

22oz bottle purchased recently somewhere in the MA/NY area.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3 1/4" tan head over the clear reddish brown brew. Head lasts more or less forever, with heavy coating lace. Aroma is sweet and citrusy. Taste is rich and sweet upfront, piney citrus in the middle, and closes with ample bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is good. Nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 22:12:13 | More by ppoitras
Photo of ZluvDbeer


3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured great, more of a darker brown than black, tasted good while drinking but the bitterness lingered stopping this beer from competing with the better beers. Love the idea of IPA/stout hybrids and think Laughing Dog is headed in the right direction.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2009 19:42:42 | More by ZluvDbeer
Photo of Pinto21


2.83/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Big tan head, Black to deep red. some red around the edges.

Citurs Hoppy smell and some roasted malts.

Wow this smacks you in the face. Lot happening at once. Bitter roasted malts to hops back to malts. But not in a good way. It's just burnt to me. Like eating roasted malts and drinking a hop bomb. It needs some sweetness to balance it all out. It's just bitter followed by more bitter, and not in a good way

Just too much for me without a bit of sweet to save it. I didn't want to finish it.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 16:32:08 | More by Pinto21
Photo of corby112


2.45/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a deep dark chestnut brown color that is comletely opaque with light mahogany edges when held to a light source and a two finger pillowy, frothy light beige head tht seems to last forever. Lingering thicj cap that leaves chunks of soapy lacing.

Aroma has a good amount of earthy and floral hops that are countered by a roasted chocolate malt presence with hints of toffee, hazelnut and caramel. Slightly smokey making or a strange combination of earthy, floral and citris hops along with rosted dark malt notes.

Very bitter dry piney hops up front that are quickly countered by a very strong buttery toffee presence. There is a strong dark caramel and chocolate malt backbone with hints of dark fruit, mostly sour cherries and dark berries. It really does taste like a very biter chocolate covered chrry. Very odd and unpleasant combination of flavors. The bitterness lingers thorughout but the strange malt backbone is very rominent and the whole beer is a bit of a mess. Not a fan.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 05:45:24 | More by corby112
Photo of nickd717


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

Bomber via trade as an extra from JohnGalt1 - thanks, Toby!

A - Pours clear dark brown with a creamy beige head that lasts a hell of a long time. Leaves good lacing.

S - Aroma is perfumy floral hops, citrus hops, herbal notes, and a little roast.

T - Flavor is caramel, chocolate, and roasted malt along with floral and citrusy/grapefruit hops.

M - Medium-bodied with soft carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel with lingering hop bitterness.

D - High for the style. Great black IPA overall. These Laughing Dog guys are solid. Really can't believe this is rated B- overall.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 18:31:08 | More by nickd717
Photo of homebrewhawk


3.98/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle served in a Duvel Tulip. Opened with a big pop. Lots of carbonation. Poured a deep brown with a huge head of light tan foam. Citrusy hop aroma. More citrus and piney hops in the flavor. Plenty of hop bitterness. Some chocolate malt. Nice lacing on the glass. Medium bodied, the carbonation didn't really take anything away from the beer. Finished with malt dryness along with drying hops. Nice Black IPA, works for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2009 02:35:37 | More by homebrewhawk
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

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

Better than expected with a higher malt content than-usual "black IPA"... Basically was a pretty decent india pale with a noticeable and sturdy malt backbone...
Hop flavor is definitely evident with a fair level of drinkability and warming 6.9% ABV...

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2009 12:54:52 | More by dsa7783
Photo of pinotboy007


2.42/5  rDev -28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Moderately vigorous pour yields an over the top, dense, styrofoam khaki-colored head. Decent sticky legs, too. Impressive!

S - Some piney, funk-like aroma that I'm not altogether sure what it's supposed to be. Anise? "New car" smell? Carpet? It's not that Band Aid-like smell some Belgian ales have, which I really like. I can't put my finger on this. Earthiness? Charcoal?

T - Bitter, biting hops slash their way through some Turkish coffee, followed by more stinging hops. What the hell is this supposed to be? The hops are on steroids and have detracted from this ale.

M - Very nice carbonation lends its support to deft creaminess.

D - Not on my watch. Not recommended to anyone except serious, devout hop-heads. Even then . . . oh, well. They get an "'A' for creativity, which should be a category.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2009 21:49:05 | More by pinotboy007
Photo of bort11


3.93/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, poured into a standard shaker pint. Starts off with a massive light tan head. Even a gentle pour pulls a huge mountain of foam. It recedes from the outer edge in, so at times there is a little island of foam in the center. Tons of sticky lace. Color is not pure black, but more of a dark, dark brown. Some red shows through when held to the light.

Smell is mild. The bitterness from the dark roasted malts and the bitterness from the hops stand out. Taste comes off as a super hoppy porter rather than an IPA. Coffee flavors compete with alpha hops. Blends together nicely.

Mouthfeel has a slickness to it with a fluffy texture. This one is hard to categorize. It's not following rules.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2009 11:31:52 | More by bort11
Photo of smcolw


4.43/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I love this concept. I haven't tried this beer, but I envision some high-hopped beer with lots of chocolate/black patent malts. Let's see:

First impression, appearance: Huge, light beige head. True to title, the liquor is dark brown (not black, though). It appears clear because the light shines through without any opaqueness. Excellent lace and rocky head look as it recedes. Lots of foamy lace on the glass.

Good darker malt aroma--true to my prediction. Nice toastiness without any burnt smells. So, I'm leaning toward darker crystal malts here. Graham crackers and biscuits.

Imagine a cross between a good porter and an IPA. I love the originality! This could be a completely new style and it combines the interests of the hop-heads and the stout lovers. (I think it leans closer to the HH's). This is very good and different. The body is thinner than I would like, but that's a minor complaint.

Is it a dark IPA or an over-hopped porter? Either way, you will experience something outside the comfort zone. AND it is still very good. If you have an open mind, seek this out and try something totally different from the usual fair.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2009 22:53:41 | More by smcolw
DogZilla Black IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 472 ratings.