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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 AltBock


3.38/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bottle with a label of a black Godzilla sized dog wearing a spiked dog collar and with large red spikes along its back. This dog is stomping the hell out of a city that has beer bottles for smoke stacks. I don't know any city with beer bottle smoke stacks, but I wish I did. There's 2 small planes flying around the dog trying to stop it from destroying the city. Best of luck to the planes because they look like they're from WWII. To the left is the Government warning and a crude drawing of a smiling Golden Retriever. To the right is a poem about DogZilla, a short description of the beer, and the address of the brewery. Absent from the bottle is any kind of brewed date or best before date.

Appearance: I poured this Idaho born Black IPA into my Sly Fox Imperial pint glass. From a distance away, it looks like this beer poured a solid pitch black color. That's what I thought it was until I held it into the light. When I did that, I found out that this beer was an extremely murky milk chocolate brown color. It was so murky that I couldn't even see through to the other end of the glass. I had to raise the glass over my head to see what the true color of the beer was. Sitting on top of this murky brew was creamy 3/4 to 1 inch off white colored head of foam. This head of foam had great slow retention that left behind a creamy off white film and a handful of tiny spots of lace.

Smell: The aroma of this beer was really on the faint to mild side. It really doesn't jump out at me. It was mild and fruity with the scent of toasted black malts in the front juicy fruits in the middle, and then the aroma rounds out with a splash of grapefruit and some dry lightly bitter citrus hops. Swirling it around won't wake up the aroma. It's a good aroma that won't offend anybody, but there's really not much there.

Taste: The taste picked up what the aroma was missing. The taste kicks off with some roasted and toasted black malts and a touch of dark chocolate. This taste of chocolate and black malts will then roll into the bitter aspect of the beer. This dry bitter part of the beer was filled with bitter grapefruit, a splash of lemon, dried bitter citrus hops, and a gentle touch of dried pineapple. The taste isn't done just yet. After the bitterness subsides, I noticed there was a subtle juicy fruit taste. This taste reminded me of a Fruit Rollup. In the end, this was the taste I was expecting from this Black IPA. It was bitter with a side of black malts.

Mouthfeel: This was a medium bodied Black IPA with a good level of carbonation and a slight dry bitter aftertaste. This bitter aftertaste was packed with toasted black malts, bitter grapefruit, and bitter citrus hops. This bitter aftertaste will linger on on the roof of your mouth for a few minutes.

Drinkability: Overall, it was a very good dry and bitter IPA that was weak in the nose, but had a nice bitter taste with black toasted malts backing it up. If you ever want to try a beer from Idaho that's bitter and dry with a unique color, then pick up a bottle of DogZilla. This beer shouldn't burn a hole in your wallet.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 06:23:52 | More by AltBock
Photo of hooliganlife


3.78/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pour was cola colored with a massive cream colored head and it took forever to go away. nice lacing and retention.

light sweet caramel malt flavors with a hint of floral and tangerine notes.

solid bitterness with a slightly grassy flavor. a nice amount of pine. malts are rich and sweet but take a stand behind the hops.

for as much head as this had, not as much carbonation. still fairly full but a tad thin. good though

pretty decent. i love black ipas so kudos to all that make one. has a good flavor that i never really got bored with. i like this and will try again.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2009 21:44:42 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of Monkeyknife


3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle a dark mahogany with a thick light tan head.

The aroma is sweet and citrusy with a bit of pineapple and malts.

Noting a heavy medicinal taste upfront followed by a bile bitterness. The bitterness is overwhelming to the citrus hops and coffee notes and not too pleasant.

Medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

I can't say that I'm a fan of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2009 19:54:50 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

2.58/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

First thing, its not black, its brown with red highlights. Which does make sense for a ipa/stout mutt. Topped by four fingers of light beige foam with a bit of rockiness in the terrain. Nice thick lace.

Nose is a mix of roast coffee/chocolate and citrus/pine, though neither exhibits enough character to be truly enticing.

Taste begins with some tepid coffee with milk, a cup that has been sitting around too long. The hops have to fight their way through, and deliver a blunted suggestion of earthy and citrus. All disappears at the swallow, and leave a bland near tasteless finish.

Mouthfeel is ok. Drinkability is disappointing.

A rough mix of irish stout and ipa which is not as satisfying as either on its own. Like most pre-mix black and tans. A black ipa maybe a good idea, but this take needs work. Stick with Alpha Dog or Devil Dog.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2009 04:11:52 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of Docer


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

Knew I saw a beer at Plaid Pantry that I haven't tried yet.... so I got it. The one and only. I was hoping they had a pumpkin seasonal... but nope.

- Great mocha colored foamy head... and sticking around all creamy-like. Black coffee colored...

- Nice light chocolate smell with some zesty pine hops and a slight bready graininess..

- Sure this isn't a porter? Very much a roasted malt profile with chocolate and sweet grains.... some nice hop bitterness though... mainly tart malt, bitter pine hop... and more bitter. I do like the bitterness.

- Lightly chewy, and a tart bitter bite... sticky...

- Overall this isn't bad... bit too much towards a porter though for me... for me a Black IPA should be more like a dark lager, but an ale, and with a larger hop profile... which after belching... there is a nice flood of hops.. citrus even... and is a bit hidden by the over-done porter-like malting. Blanced almost.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2009 01:24:47 | More by Docer
Photo of DrJay


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

Very deep reddish auburn colour, clear, with great head retention. There were thick rings of whitish lace denoting each sip. Intense aroma of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit - not much else. Moderate bitterness up front that grew into the finish. Caramel sweetness with a bit of toffee, fruity tangelo, grapefruit towards the end and a lingering bitter orange finish. Medium bodied with average carbonation and some dryness. Decent texture. Overall, not bad at all.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2009 23:52:05 | More by DrJay
Photo of JayQue


3.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this one. Had no expectations for a black IPA other than the color. Color is black and translucent. You can see the outline of your fingers on the far side of the glass. The bottle should come with a warning about head size. This explodes in the pint glass, about 3/4 head even though I poured it down the side of the glass. The head is off white, pillowy and good retention. Thick lumps of spotty lacing.

Smell is potent and nice. Piney hops with maybe a little floral hops. Taste is a strong balance between piney hops and sweet caramel malts.

Mouthfeel is rich and drinkability is good (if you have time to wait for the head to die down)

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 01:54:51 | More by JayQue
Photo of mntlover


3.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish brown, huge light brown head, so pour mellow. Over all nice looking brew.

Aroma is nice hops pine, floral and minty are mingling with underlying roasted malts.

Taste is bam hops pine with a side of mint on a lightly roasted malt base. Defiantly IPA big on hops, not much malt to speak of whats there is lightly roasted. Main thing going on for me is not roasted enough not black enough, decent but could be better i guess.

Mouthfeel is medium with lightly peppy carbonation that does a good job of bringing the hops out, not that they need much help.

Drinkability is good but nothing special really, just an IPA with some lightly roasted malts thrown in.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2009 21:07:34 | More by mntlover
Photo of Reidrover


3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber. Dark brown with a huge light tan creamy head. Aroma to me was very subdued and unimpressive some maltyiness, and the barest hint of pine. Taste weird, this is my first Black IPA and certainlly its almost a balance between the malts a..toasty,toffeeish and the hopping..mainlly piney. Takes some getting used to. Nice mouthfeel on this one. Overall a very different IPA. Like I said my first Black IPA, need to try some more.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2009 19:52:27 | More by Reidrover
Photo of hpitlick


2.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: dark mocha

Head: Insane! Luscious, frothy, over-the-rim-without-spilling

Aroma: plums and perfume

Taste: coffee and burnt rubber, with a piney hop finish; the alcohol is well-hidden.

Mouthfeel: well-carbonated, as expected from the heady pour

Drinkability: low- I couldn't get over the tire flavor, which is a shame because every other aspect of the beer was delightful

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 19:10:38 | More by hpitlick
Photo of deereless


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

A: Excessive foam on an easy pour - a full four inches to one inch of beer though it dropped within a few minutes leaving a slight rocky head, the color of a cola, some sticky patches along the edge of the glass - 2.50, S: Mild sweetness in the back of the nose, noticeable espresso and ash, a little vegetal, hard to decipher or identify the hops which seems meek - 2.25, T: The palate is considerably better than the nose led me to expect, significant hop bitterness but mild for the style, some grapefruit and orange rind, also some coffee ground flavors - 2.75, M: Slightly gritty and smooth - 3.00, D: I appreciate the concept of an IPA with dark specialty malts, but the IPA side of the beer is seriously lacking in my opinion, there's a fair share of bitterness but none of the other pleasantries associated with hops, though certainly a drinkable beer, I don't foresee buying this beer again - 3.00

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2009 00:53:10 | More by deereless
Photo of msubulldog25


3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My half-dozenth or so try of the burgeoning 'Black IPA' style (seriously? BLACK India PALE Ale?). Have had this one from Laughing Dog a couple other times, on tap and from a bottle. Today's is with a pizza slice and a salad at Hot Lips in Portland's Pearl District; 22 oz. bottle almost fills the bulbous imperial pint in one pour.

A: Gorgeous head, a light tan two-fingers of long-lived frothy/rocky perfection, sits atop a deep brown that falls well short of 'blackness'. So what? The 'brown' glints with amber and faint ruby, almost as pretty as the flocculent pillow; excellent lace too, a seafoam stickiness on all sides.

S: Darn, the dreaded aroma...musty hops, vague caramel, dirty. Not so much the 'burnt popcorn kernal' I've found in other examples, so I guess a notch above 'average' is earned.

T: Hops burst with pine and spice, but get bogged down in a smoky/earthy char. Sweetness sneaks in intermittently, a form of dark chocolate (slight citric tang) but the lasting flavor is a chalk-dry, charcoal burntness.

A: Reasonably crisp, medium body, not overly carbonated. Some malt stickiness hanging around, mellowing the lasting burnt bitterness. Mild alcohol warmth; this checks in at just under 7%.

D: Still trying to figure out this style...a good and reasonably drinkable version of a style my taste buds consistently protest. Worth a try - be your own judge - but still the same drinkability (or lack there of) i've often found.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2009 19:40:33 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of YankChef


3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into crystal stemmed southern tier glass

appearance: well black and around some of the rims there is a burnt orangish amber tint to it also the head pillowed up on initial pour and leaves really tight lacing all the way down the head itself is very fluffy and offwhite and pretty thick too for an IPA

smell: Really juicy piney aroma, bubble gum and maybe a little resiny as well... mm juicy sweet and hoppy

Taste: hmmm well there is a really strong roasty flavor going on here which i dont normally associate in an ipa, sort of a caramel gone to far flavor... Bitterness then folllows and a really crisp hop kick, interesting

overall: I like the carbonation in this beer its very bubble which is good for a virginia evening... as far as these style go i will take an iniquity or a stone black ipa over this one, im new to the style and while this beer looks and smells great it doesnt deliver on flavor which as we all know, is king

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 02:59:52 | More by YankChef
Photo of Pencible


3.75/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured a clear very dark mahogany with tons and tons of light tan head. It smelled like juicy oranges and copper hops, with some roasted barley and a bit of coffee. It tasted like strong coffee, with some copper and cream and roasted barley. It was watery with some carbonation, and had a bitter metallic aftertaste. Overall I love this style, but I'm not a huge fan of this particular example. It still had a pretty good smell and taste, with decent body. But simply pouring it was a nuisance due to all the head, and the lasting metallic flavor makes this a bit tough to drink. I miss the clean and succulent character of Iniquity or Sublimely Self-Righteous. DogZilla just didn't impress me.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2009 13:07:24 | More by Pencible
Photo of thryn


3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much livelier than I expected -- so I get a dark brown beer with a TON of light tan head. It pours medium to dark brown, but in the goblet it's nearly opaque and close to black. Overzealous head settles to a fluffy finger, leaving a lot of lace. Looks good!

Nose is decent, but nothing special. Piney hops, roasted caramely malt.

Hrm. On taste I have to rate this lower -- NOT because I don't like it ... quite the opposite! but because the IPA characteristics are overpowered by a wonderful roasted malt flavor. There are hops, and they impart a fine pine flavor to the brew, but the roasty character is huge. So, I can't really think of it as an IPA -- more an American strong ale -- interesting and delicious, but nonconformist.

Moderate carbonation and medium body. Nice on the tongue, a bit oily down the throat.

It's drinkable, and a very good beer, but too roasty for style. Maybe black IPA needs its own category, as I suspect this happens a lot?

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 07:21:41 | More by thryn
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2009 02:11:03 | More by glid02
Photo of Seanibus


3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is an IPA? I am not sure what to make of this - it really comes off more as an out-of-style porter, with more hops and a greater level of carbonation.

Pours deep black with an off-color head. Smell is roasted and porter-like. Flavor is chocolately and roasted, slightly smoky, with a deep burning bitterness. In there somewhere is floral hops. Mouthfeel is slick, finish is very bitter.

This is a good beer, but I think it's drinkability is hurt by the fact that it purports to be an IPA but is more of a style of its own.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2009 15:29:15 | More by Seanibus
Photo of MetalHopHead6


3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

DogZilla Black IPA blurs the line between IPA and porter. It poured dark brown-to-black with a ridiculously thick pillowy sea foam-like tan head that filled more than half of the glass.

There was a roasted burnt smell and taste that lacked any real flavor. The feel was thick and chewy with an unpleasant lingering acidity.

DogZilla Black did not work at the end of a warm summer day, and as IPAs go, it's just plain wrong.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 22:50:45 | More by MetalHopHead6
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

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

A: Poured a deep caramel brown from the bottle, while inside the glass when held up to the light appeared a dark burnt amber. The head was frothy, 1 finger high, and dark almond in coloring, settleing after a several minutes to a thin whispy covering. A spongey film lacing covers most of the glass on the way down.

S: hints of caramelized brown sugar and cookie dough initially with some fresh ripe dark fruit. Touches of rich creamer laced coffee also shine brightly here, as well fresh black licorice and light floral citrus hops adding good background notes. The hops come secondary here taking a back seat to the strangely enticing malting.

T: The initial flavor yielded more of the sweet creamer laced coffee detected on the nose in the beginning before it transcends to a dark bitter coffee flavor. The bitterness is earthy and floral, though lightly contributing in respect to the smooth burnt wet woody malting which left a lingering fade of wet coffee grounds on the finish. Once again the dark malt based shines here while the floral citrus hops could have been brighter and more pronounced, coming off muddled.

M: a medium viscosity, creamy and rich with a slight astringency. An earthy minerality was felt on the tongue as well a dried creamer/chalkiness.

D: Decent drinkability, the dark malt base and bitterness go well together but wish the hops were brighter and sharper in pronunciation. Worth a grab if you see it, but don't expect the hoppiness to win you over here.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 19:43:42 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of rkuhnel


3.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle, this poured a hazy red with fairly fat tan long lasting head very sticky lacing rings. The nose is lightly roasted malts with floral and citrus hops. Thick and cream palate with a slick mouthfeel. Lots of rich flavor with a good balance between the sweet malts and hop bitterness leading to a slight bitter

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2009 00:22:54 | More by rkuhnel
Photo of argock


3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.49.

A: Very, very dark brown with 2-3 finger light sand head with good retention and many blobs of lace down the glass.

S: The aroma elements that are detectable are good, but they are few and far between. Dark malt with a toasted edge are present, but they don't make much of a statement. Hops notes of citrus and floral character are there but not prominent enough.

T: The flavor is interesting and enjoyable but loses power in a not-so-great mix of the flavors. Lightly toasted dark malt comes off as spicy whne blended with citrus and floral, earthy hops varieties. Hops are not up-front as much as one would like for the style.

M: Mouthfeel is good with medium body and low carbonation. Aftertaste is largely malty.

D: An intriguing beer but done much less well than Iniquity from Southern Tier, and it suffers for it.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2009 05:36:55 | More by argock
Photo of DiabolikDUB


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

On-Tap @ Bailey's Taproom poured into Shaker glass.

Pours a very deep, dark reddish-brown and edging that glows with a creamy tan colored head that lasts for sometime and remains a layer atop the glass. The aroma has sweet chocolate, roasted malts and some fruity hops, although faint. The flavor has much of the same although more sweetness and has a nice soft bitter finish. Its a medium bodied beer that is plenty carbonated and has a slightly dry finish. I found it to be a more balanced "Black IPA" than most others I have tried. Pretty good. It has a soft smokiness that becomes present as the beer the warms up.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2009 05:31:38 | More by DiabolikDUB
Photo of BeerSox


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

22oz bomber into nonic.

Deep brown hue, almost black, with some ruby highlights at the bottom. The light tan, nearly three finger head very slowly settles to thick cap, leaving behind some sticky lacing in its place.

Sharp grapefruit hops in the aroma, along with a slight amount of roasty malts.

Velvety burnt malts, along with a bit of sharp citrus that lingers for a while. A little bit of cocoa is in the background. Full bodied. The bitterness lingers for a while after each sip.

Another typical Black Ale, although they call it an Black IPA (which makes no sense). Anyway, dark roasty malts sit under some pretty sharp citrusy hop flavors. This is one of the better beers from Laughing Dog. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 00:06:42 | More by BeerSox
Photo of meatyard


1.35/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours out a clear, dark mahogany with a 2+ finger tan head that slowly falls to a solid cover while leaving large scraps of lacing.
The smell is mostly malt with a very faint hop aroma.

That's where any semblance of drinkable beer ends.

The taste is just awful. I couldn't get it out of my mouth fast enough but it was, at least, fast enough that I didn't have to figure out what it was that I was tasting. I immediately walked downstairs and poured it out. I was afraid that I might spill some on my clothes and ruin them forever. I don't understand how any brewer can bottle this and sell it, don't they ever taste the beer they make. The first time this was reviewed was 8/2/08 so if it has only been brewed the one time then this is 10 months old. I can't think of a better reason why all beer should have the bottling date on it. How could I possibly know that this is 8 months past when I should have bought it, if this is true. I will rate it because I don't know when it was brewed. I would rather drink 10,000 Bud Lights than one of these.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2009 22:17:39 | More by meatyard
Photo of jfmorey


3.83/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

Looked like a porter, almost black with an inch of fine bubbles that left a nice lacing

Taste on dark malts and licorice with plenty of bitter hops in the back; well balanced.

A new brewery at my usual source, Whole Foods Market in NoVA; they also has there Alpha Dog and the CSD.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2009 22:33:32 | More by jfmorey
DogZilla Black IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 472 ratings.