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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.

481 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 481
Reviews: 277
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 21.43%
Wants: 14
Gots: 15 | 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: 481 | Reviews: 277 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Seanibus


3.3/5  rDev -1.8%

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.

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


3.13/5  rDev -6.8%

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.

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

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev +8.6%

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.

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


3.9/5  rDev +16.1%

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

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


3.43/5  rDev +2.1%

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.

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


3.93/5  rDev +17%

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.

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


4.03/5  rDev +19.9%

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.

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


1.35/5  rDev -59.8%

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.

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


3.83/5  rDev +14%

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.

06-14-2009 22:33:32 | More by jfmorey
Photo of jmurray999


1.85/5  rDev -44.9%

A: poured dark reddish brown, nice head, mild lacing into an old leghumper pint glass. Resembled the color of a bowel movement my dog once had after getting a hold of the pot roast dinner. (minus the head of course).

S: black licorice, hint of molasses, very lightly smoky malt

T: sweet black licorice which sat out in the sun for too long, not too much hop presence.

D: varied between hell no and I think not

M: light - mild

06-07-2009 23:55:38 | More by jmurray999
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.08/5  rDev -8.3%

Appearance: pours a clear dark brown color with some dark red highlights on the edge of the glass. A 2" head lasts a bit and some light lacing sticks to the glass.

Smell: malt sweetness, fruit sweetness, and a hint of citrus make up an aroma that was not intersting.

Taste: roasted malts, mild grapefruit citrus, prunes, brown sugar, and some floral bitterness make up a slightly unbalanced beer in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout. Aftertaste is short and focuses on the sweetness.

Drinkability: this black IPA did not do it for me at all as the bitterness level was lower than expected allowing the sweetness to rise to the top.

06-02-2009 11:34:35 | More by Gavage
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

05-28-2009 00:57:33 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of getalife2k5

New York

3.28/5  rDev -2.4%

A: pours a clearish dark brown with a thin bubbly foamy beige head. looks like a black lager.

S: smells like a black lager... dark roasty malts, some fresh black coffee and dark chocolate. not really any hops, as far as i can detect.

T: blueberry?!?! it's fruity! raspberry! that was unexpected. huh, that fruitiness quickly fades away into burnt toast... i'd never guess this is an IPA... Sweet, watery black coffee... still a hint of raspberry holding on. no other hoppiness detected except some lingering black coffee bitterness. there's a little floral character in the subsequent burps...

M: a little thin... zesty carbonation... nothing special

D: i like black coffee so it's not bad... but definitely not what i expected. i don't think i would want to drink this one again... but it was worth the try. If you like black lagers or fruity stouts, i'd say go for it. as far as IPAs go, Alpha Dog blows it away.

05-15-2009 01:50:39 | More by getalife2k5
Photo of frothyhead

New Jersey

2.7/5  rDev -19.6%

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights with a one finger off-white head into a snifter. Not much lacing.

Nose is... different. Some sweet dark fruit and bubblegum mixed with a bit of citrus and pine from the hops.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly silky with a dry and astringent finish.

Taste is similar to the nose. An unexpected bubblegum sweetness mixed with bitterness from the hops but not much else going on.

Drinkability suffers from a not-so-enjoyable taste and an unbalanced bitterness.

Overall this is a bit strange for an IPA, and no where near as good as other "black" IPAs I've sampled such as the Stone 11th Anniversary brew. I wasn't a big fan of this and would not have it again.

05-02-2009 03:50:41 | More by frothyhead
Photo of DefenCorps


3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Grabbed a bottle at Oak Tree the other day

In my RR tulip, this beer is a gorgeous brown with ruby highlights, a thick, fine latte-colored head and some breathtaking lacework. On the nose, there's citrus hops, with orange and lemon, with a creamy chocolate character. Decent. On the palate, it opens up with a harsh hop bitterness, citrus with grapefruit and lime zest providing the foundation. There's muted malt flavors, with a milt sweetness present. The milky character I noticed on the nose is missing, and there's a hint of roasted malt, but the hops just cover it all up. There isn't enough balance between the flavor and bittering hops. Carbonation is good, but the bitterness is a bit higher than I'd like, and rather unbalanced. The finish, OTOH, is good, with a pleasant dryness and a mild bitterness. Again, the lack of balance hurts the drinkability of this beer

04-30-2009 04:10:26 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of paulthebeerguru


3.78/5  rDev +12.5%

A: pours an impenetrable black color. great light tan head. moderate retention. very faint lacing.

S: almost smells like simcoe hops, light roasted notes. very earthy, lots of pine esters and solid notes of spring time. light citrus hop aromas.

T: tastes like a florida ruby red grapefruit, with some light citrus hop flavors. very light on the malts surprisingly.

M: medium bodied. carbonation level is a litle high. very crisp and slightly muddy.

04-12-2009 20:47:37 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of ATLbeerDog


3.95/5  rDev +17.6%

Pours a clear brown with red highlights. This beer is certainly not black. Smells of west coast hops and not much else. First sip is grapefruit hops. The massive hops easily dominate the malts to a point of being too unbalanced. Very bitter from start to finish, this is quite good in a west coast IPA sort of way.

04-11-2009 16:58:36 | More by ATLbeerDog
Photo of younger35


2.63/5  rDev -21.7%

Can't remember if I grabbed this from the Coop in Boise the last time I visited or if this was sent by JohnGalt1. Either way its been sitting in the fridge awaiting drinking for far to long. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale flute.

Appearance- Pours a super dark brown with some crimson highlights and a nice two finger off-white head. A great cap and collar remain the entire beer leaving a good dose of lacing.
Smell- Lots of dark earthy hops that are very grassy and slightly herbal. Not a lot of citrus and I can tell right now I'm not going to like the hop combo in this. A light bit of caramel and cocoa that is subtle and dusty.
Taste- Starts very tart (yes, tart) with a bitter rush of raw herbal hops. They aren't really citrusy or piney but just bitter and tart. Somewhat medicinal as well. The malt is fairly light but noticeable adding a bit of molasses and smoke. Almost an extremely light Tootsie roll like finish. Not good.
Mouthfeel- Fairly carbonated with a nice medium feel and fairly slick body.
Drinkability- The more of this I drink, the more I'm thinking this is infected. I've had infected brews before (usually my own homebrews) but nothing this light. It's just got a sour/tartness that is out of place and the carbonation is obviously a bit much. Oh wells, win some ya lose some.

04-07-2009 00:25:35 | More by younger35
Photo of keeperchaos


3.93/5  rDev +17%

Aroma - A delicious chocolate root beer

Appearance - Thin dark ruby brown with playful head, light lacing

Flavor - Pretty good balance of malt to back up the hop. Thin clean finish, but this is acceptable to me for an IPA, not over bitter, but a little bite is present in the end.

Overall - I enjoyed this brew because it had the hop of an IPA and carried the taste of a stout as well. Im not a big fan of stouts, but i enjoy the flavor, here you get that flavor in a lighter IPA style.

04-03-2009 03:31:19 | More by keeperchaos
Photo of Magpie14


3/5  rDev -10.7%

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

03-14-2009 04:42:19 | More by Magpie14
Photo of johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.15/5  rDev -6.3%

Received in trade from jtrockchalk, thanks again for the opportunity.

Pours a deep dark brown with garnet highlights and a massive mocha head that persists forever and leaves mad lace on the glass. Smells of floral citrus and pine. Some brown sugar, caramel, and toffee in there as well. Taste is fairly hoppy bitter citrus with a bit of astringency in there. Slight caramel and toffee but very faint this one is mostly hops. I pick up a faint spicy Belgian yeast character in the finish of this one. Body is medium to thin, mouthfeel is sticky, carbonation is a bit high. This one is only ok. The body is too thin, there's an off putting astringent taste, the carbonation is much to high. I like what they were trying to do, but this is one and done for me.

02-17-2009 23:59:52 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of AgingWarrior


3.05/5  rDev -9.2%

Poured a very dark brown with a big, thick foamy head. Plenty of retention and lacing.

Smells like citrus and flowers with a hint of pine.

Taste is hoppy, but with a funky tasting finish. It hits the tongue with a decent hop flavor, but the finish tastes like something that I can't accurately describe.

Mouth feel is thin and somewhat sticky? A bit of a sticky feeling on the roof of my mouth.

It's okay, but I wouldn't go looking for it again.

02-17-2009 01:01:46 | More by AgingWarrior
Photo of bkilpatr


2.4/5  rDev -28.6%

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 02/04/09.

Pours a deep mahogany brown color with a thin half-finger tan head. The head quickly dropped to a thin layer, decent retention and lacing. Aroma is very strange. Toffee, caramel, toasted malt, and tobacco. Very earthy, but nothing about it says "IPA".

Taste starts similar to the aroma. Roasted malt, toffee, rye, and tobacco are the primary flavors. The taste finishes with herbal and slightly piny hops. Faint bitterness in the finish. Interesting taste, but again, nothing about it is very IPA-like. The hop presence and bitterness are both very mild.

Feel is medium bodied and heavy with low-ish carbonation. The finish is fairly dry. And the aftertaste isn't entirely pleasant. Drinkability is not good, given the unusual tastes and poor aftertaste.

Overall, I'm not very impressed with this beer. For a black IPA, it seems to be missing the IPA part. It's just a mess. Try if you like, but don't go out of your way to get it.

02-05-2009 06:42:01 | More by bkilpatr
Photo of brewbucker


1.35/5  rDev -59.8%

Well at least it looked good. Poured black with a large light tan head. Aroma was bad and the taste was even worse. Sour (in a bad way) plastic, mild vomit. I would have not even rated it if I thought this was an isolated case but by looking at some of the other ratings I am sure there is a problem with this beer in general. Down the drain. What a shame.

02-05-2009 02:56:09 | More by brewbucker
Photo of akorsak


2.28/5  rDev -32.1%

Bottle 3 of the almost frozen 7. The slushiness is gone.

A: The black IPA is appropriately named, showing off a dark red color that is black from afar. A small head doesn't lace.

S: The nose is a blend of coffee and caramel malts, particularly caramel with a syrupy sweetness. The sweetness of the malts overwhelms the citrus hop component.

T: The syrupy sweetness mixes a dull listless hop bitterness. The result is a odd. The hops have a fresh green element, maybe even a touch vegetal. Coffee flavors appear as well, but quickly run into the wall of bitterness. An interesting premise that doesn't gel.

M: The mouthfeel is unpleasant. Syrups malts remind me of extract and the hops are just plain bitter with no depth. I was really anxious to try this one...

D: ...but I can't bring myself to finish it. Just shy of a drain pour.

01-31-2009 23:13:22 | More by akorsak
DogZilla Black IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 481 ratings.