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DogZilla Black IPA - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
DogZilla Black IPADogZilla Black IPA

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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 dk009
1.5/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I wont go through the details but if you are looking for an IPA do not drink this beer. It may sound novel, but Black IPA is a retarded name for this, its not an IPA whatsoever. No hop flavor in the taste, not even close. Im pissed I paid 4.30 for this. Ridiculous. Look elsewhere fellow hopheads, please.

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

picked this up from the powerball week 4 drawing. a black ipa. now i gotta try this.

pours a dark redish brown with a one and a half finger creamy head that stays thick and leaves decent amount of lacing.

smell is ok. a moderate amount of hops. mostly dark malts.

taste has a bit of an off flavor to it. some hop bitterness. biscuits. and a bit of a sour twinge at the end. gets better as it warms but still has something up with it that i cant explain.

mouth is light. thin.

its not that i cant drink this beer. its just that i really am not pulled back to it like some others. i would probably have to nurse this for a while. worth a shot if you want to try something different. just dont expect something phenomenal.

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

Got in a trade from the one and only, JohnGalt1. Cherry cola brown with a smallish cream colored head. Loud aroma of popcorn, candy corn, herbal hops.
Very odd first sip...dry pungent hop taste coupled with a somewhat smoky malt flavor. Definitely hoppy yet a little messy tasting and difficult to translate into words. Strange herbal hoppy finish and a tad spicy at the same time.
I scored this a little better than average, because I applaud their effort. But this isn't something I would seek out again.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.11/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ruddy chestnut with bright orange and amber highlights. This Black IPA looks like a brown ale, but adding enough black malt to make it opaque would have been too much for the style. The good-sized crown is the color of a coffee milkshake. It has a whipped-sticky texture and is beginning to lay down a pretty impressive array of lace.

The aroma isn't a standout by any means. It smells like there's just enough of the dark malt to take the bright edge off the Cascade and Simcoe hops. The result is a beer that smells neither black malty nor especially hoppy. It's also a bit vegetal. Let's hope the flavor is better and more distinctive.

Even though I haven't had too many black India pale ales, I have a pretty good idea what makes a good one. The darker malts should be appreciated, but shouldn't overpower the primacy of the hops. In other words, they shouldn't taste like hoppy porters. Although Dogzilla succeeds in that sense, it still isn't successful beer.

Problems include more bitterness than good hop flavor and a garlic-like undercurrent that I don't remember tasting in Laughing Dog beer before. The huge blast of bitterness (68 IBUs seems low) makes a valiant effort to obliterate the nastiness, but doesn't quite get it done. On second thought, calling it 'nastiness' was probably too harsh.

The flavor profile is a clashing melange of dark caramel, spent coffee grounds, grapefruit and orange peel, fermented pine sap, crushed aspirin and garlic. While the beer doesn't taste as bad as that description, it isn't exiting the pint glass very quickly. Drinking it with food would probably help, but good beer should be able to stand on its own.

The mouthfeel is acceptable for an IPA. It's at least medium for the style and is appropriately carbonated. There might even be a hint of creaminess on the back end.

Unfortunately, Laughing Dog DogZilla comes nowhere near the promise of its name and label. I don't care if craft breweries come up with Green IPAs, Purple IPAs or Turquoise IPAs, as long as they're good IPAs. This one doesn't cut the mustard.

Photo of zeff80
4.19/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a small, tan, creamy, bubbly head. It left intricate patterns of sticky lace on the sides of the glass.

S - It smelled strongly of pine, citrus and floral notes. Also, a burnt toast malty aroma.

T - It tasted of pine, toasted malt, caramel, vanilla and spice. The roasted malt began to build as the beer warmed up.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a unique and delicious IPA. It almost tastes like a strong Baltic Porter mixed with a West Coast IPA. Very cool and different.

Photo of bbothen
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at Portland St Markey in Klamath Falls, Or.

Pours a dark cola like color with a thick & frothy tan colored head.

Smells of faint citric hops, tangerine, piney, grassy, prominent roasted malt aroma is fairly strong. On par with the hops I'd say. Smells nice.

Roasted & toasted flavors step up front, bready bisquity maltiness, citric & earthy hoppiness, a slight smoky or charred flavor, faint bitter chocolate. Interesting flavors.

Medium to full bodied, moderate carbonation, above described flavors linger.

Drinks okay. Not sessionable for me. Would have this again. Interesting.

Photo of orcasteve
4.27/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a thin redish black color with a small white head that disapers to a light lacing around the entire rim. the sent of hops rushes out at you at the crack of the cap. this is one of the best smelling ipa's ever. the taste is bitter all the way through, hints of coffiee and biscuts, caremel, yard trimings, sweet tobaco and strong alchoal. this is a beer i will seek out agan for sure

Photo of GJ40
3.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased at Pike Street Beer & Wine in Seattle.

A - A deep brown ale with some light making it through the edges of the glass. Appears to be clear. A huge tan head.

S - Sweet with floral hops and a touch of roasted malt.

T - A combination of roasted malt and floral / fruity hops. But it's got a sour / tart taste (almost like a Rodenbach) that took away from the experience. This is the second Laughing Dog that I've tried and I was disappointed with both.

M - A bit on this thin side. Good carbonation.

D - Not a terrible beer but not a good one either. I'll bet they're good on tap but based on my experiences, the bottles seem to be off.

Photo of henrysunset
2.61/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

16oz pour at Brouwers in Fremont.

dark as hell with a decent head of tan midsize bubbles.

smell is sweet, sharp and a little sour, not too hoppy.

taste is a little wild, a bit like a sharp sour flavor from a beer that has turned. it isn't very bitter, and it isn't very dark.

it is really smooth, and has a nice darker aftertaste. the aftertaste exceeds the taste, but the drinkability is low. (I can only hope this is a bad keg or a dirty line.)

Photo of Vancer
3.11/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

An interesting black IPA, pours a deep mahogany brown, darn close to black, in the ol' Corsendonk tulip glass. Plenty of tan head that leaves sticky laces all the way down.

A cutting pine needle and citrus in the aroma. But the quaff puts me off a bit, too much woody resin in the finish and aftertaste. I luv a good IPA, but the harshness of this one doesn't set well. I didn't taste any smoke as previous reviewers, and certainly don't think this is an "A" beer.

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

Picked this up in Bonner's Ferry, Idaho. Came in a brown 22 oz. bomber. Pours out a dark opaque, but turns a rich mahogany when held to direct light. Tall tan head with the texture and consistency of pancake batter that recedes to a chunky bubbly cap. Thin strands of lacing.

Creamy molasses, almond, banana bread and some bubblegum up front on the nose, along with a piney citrus presence from the hops.

Roasted woody and smoky malts at first, more wood smoke in the middle, in fact smoky all the way throughout. Hops tame and balance the intense malts, and start to star on the finish but can't seem to completely hog the spotlight.

Light and smooth mouthfeel, some carbonation kick on the finish along with some soapy notes.

A curious IPA and a nice twist with the dark malts, it's like smoked porter versus India Pale Ale on this one, some sort of hybrid like the name Dogzilla tends to imply, and it works.

Photo of Hollenbeck2
3.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bought this beer in a 22 oz bottle, the label sold me, this is the first black IPA I have tried.

the appearance is like that of a german black beer, solid pitch darkness. the head is almost like a porter, thick and creamy.

the taste is like a schwartzbier, but with a definite bitter finish, almost too bitter but great.

the taste has a lot of chocolate to me, smoky feel and a bite at the end that lingers.

overall pretty good, not a session beer, this one went down slow.

Photo of Chelsea1905
4.32/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought in a 22oz bomber.

This thing pours almost like a porter in colour,with a slightly tanned head. Looks almost like canned guiness.

This thing smells like fruit, almost in a dried apricot way.

Taste hits hard with the fruit up front, and then has a mild sugary caramel finish. However, it was almost as if the more I drank of this, the more the darker hues took over

Nice in the mouth, not too gassy small amounts of carbonation

Drinks well, a little filling mainly due to the dark colour and caramel ending making it feel more like a porter

Photo of Beerzebub
4.2/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a big wine glass at 59 F/ 15 C.

Dark reddish brown color, a good finger of beige head, substantial lace.

Smells like citrusy, spicy, earthy hops, with some malt like oatmeal cookies and black coffee. Oddly cohesive, and good.

Tastes hoppy and tart, very much like grapefruit juice. The acidity is surprising, and it really works. Plenty of grapefruity hop flavor, but the bitterness is quite moderate. The acidity seems to substitute for bitterness. Some coffeelike roastiness, seamlessly integrated. Lingering tart grapefruit.

Flirts uncomfortably with fizziness and wateriness, but fine carbonation, some acidic tingle, and a touch of slick oiliness make for a good texture overall. Quite refreshing and drinkable.

Good interesting beer. Acidity from the dark malts works well with the hops.

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

A year ago - or maybe two - a "Black IPA" could be found briefly in select watering holes in the Spokane area. I didn't get a chance to try it, but knew others who did and they were unstinting in their condemnation. I don't know if that was this beer, or an early R&D version of it. Having a soft spot for LD's beers, I decided to pick one up and try it for myself.

Bomber purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $3.99. Poured a dark cola color that took on a slightly ruby-ish hue when held up to the light. A creamy, tan head formed at the top that stuck around for a little while and left lots of lace.

Hoppy in the nose, as one would expect from anything that's called an IPA. There's also a roastiness that would normally be more at home in one of the more robust brown ales available. There's also a mild, brown sugary sweetness and even a faint sour cherry scent. Unusual, to say the least, in an intriguing sort of way.

Grapefruity hops impact the palate, followed closely behind by roasted malts and a mild brown sugary sweetness. In the background is a faint, slightly sour fruit flavor, and the taste fades out with a mild dryness.

Slightly slick, yet dry mouthfeel. Medium bodied.

An unusual tasting beer, but I enjoyed it. I'm not sure I'd want to session it, but one bomber hit the spot after getting off work today, and I'll definitely have it again. If my friends tried this version of this beer and didn't like it, I have to respectfully disagree with them. If this is a re-worked version of what they drank, then I'd say the fine tuning was worth it.

Photo of erikm25
4.35/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a midnight chestnut (almost charcoal) brown with even darker crimson highlights. Massively creamy and billowing walnut tinted head. Great retention and equally impressive lacing. If I just saw this sitting in the glass there is no way I would guess IPA.

S: Aromas are sweet and sharp at the outset. Dark cherries, grapefruit, sweet plums, and citrus coated pine. There are heavier caramel and nutty aromas after a few more intakes. Overall this ends up being balanced nicely between roasted and sweet.

T: Tastes of dark fruits and toasted peppered chocolate. Hoppy but a with a thicker malty caramel flavor shining through. A nice lingering bitter hops taste with a blast of coffee at the finish. The hoppy citrus zest with the traces of roasted pecan chocolate balance together perfectly. The alcohol is not noticeable. I would guess the ABV is somewhere between 6% and 7.5%.

M: Mouth feel is medium to full bodied with good carbonation.

D: Well the very fact that they pay homage to the Blue Öyster Cult tune Godzilla (from their '77 album Spectres) on the bottle is a good sign. Plus, this does go well while jamming BOC and probably while watching the cinematic masterpiece The Stöned Age. I thought this beer was unique, innovative, and delicious. Highly recommended to everyone.

Photo of joe1510
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber

Big thanks go out to JohnGalt1 for sending me a couple of these black IPAs, thanks Toby! Dogzilla is the darkest of reds, and by darkest I mean bordering on black. The only way I can tell this beer is red is the mahogany highlights when backlit. The ecru head grew to two fingers on the pour and slowly settled to big clumps of creaminess over the top of a thin skim coat throughout. A thick collar leaves sticky lacing after each drink.

This beer reeks of PNW hoppiness. Big unsweetened grapefruit, pine needles, and floral qualities abound from the generous hop additions. The pale malts bring biscuity maltiness while the darker malts add enough roast to even out the biscuity malts. There's a sugary undertone to this beer that I can't quite put my finger on. I really enjoy the addition of the roasty malts to this IPA.

Dogzilla is mildly roasty upfront before the biscuity malts come along and take hold. The hoppiness is big on the tongue as well with a lot of citrus coming forward; grapefruit pith and bitter orange peel are the two most prominent. Resin qualities pop out mid palate and hang on until the finish. Mild alcohol adds spiciness and the roasty malts come through again on the finish with some roasty bitterness. AS this beer sits light chocolate notes come forward, very light. This is a unique and fun to drink beer.

The weight of the body is moderate but actually feels lighter with the healthy carbonation pushing it through rather quickly. The carbonation has some snap on the tongue and the bitterness from the hops and roasted malts seem to build and linger.

This beer is easy to put away. Each drink I take I find something new and am ready for the next drink right after the swallow. My glass is emptying fast.

The black IPA is a sub-style that I would like to see being made more often. They're interesting to a hop head, like me, with the new malt additions. Dogzilla brings to mind the freshest of Founder's Black Rye unfortunately I can't drink them side by side. Thanks for the bottles Toby, I thoroughly enjoyed them both.

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

Thanks goes out to JohnGalt1 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice dark brown color, not much carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which does leave some sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, with some malts, sour/tangy, metalic, very slight roastyness, with some citrus/grapefruit. The taste is hoppy, with some malts, sour/tangy, metalic, some roastyness, and some citrus/grapefruit. Medium body. Drinkable, but there is a strange sourness/metalic taste to this brew.

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

The DogZilla pours a dark brown color with a aggressive 3 finger head. It has a ice cream foam like head with some sea foam on the sides of the glass.

The aroma is cascade like with a spicy citrus and pine smell. The taste is initially hoppy then fades into a roasted malt backbone. It leaves a little bit of an abrasive hop bitterness on the finish and stay with you in the mouth for quite awhile. You really need to be a hop head to enjoy this beer fully. Overall it is a interesting American IPA and definitely worth a shot. It was priced right as well.

Photo of thethrone
4.42/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours dark ruby brown with fluffy 1" off-white head that quickly dissipates, leaving a sliver which lasts through the drink. Thin lacing sheets the glass and holds.

S - Strong hop aroma, pine and citrus. Hint of roasted coffee as the hops fade.

T - As in the nose; grassy, hoppy notes. Just what you'd expect from an IPA, with a few twists from the dark malts, adding hints of roastiness to even out the hops on the senses.

M - Medium feel, good carbonation. Hoppy bitterness lingers a little through the end.

D - I enjoyed this one quite a bit. The dark malts balanced well with the hoppiness, and I could certainly drink this one again and again.

Photo of travisd13
4.3/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Pike tulip.

A - Pours a deep brown / black with a 1/2" off white head.

S - Good balanced smells between a citrus / piney hop with suble roasted malts...coffee??

T - Taste is a well balanced hop / malt combo. Very nice bitter finish. A little lighter than you would think based on the look.

M - Very smooth, clears the pallet very nice. Not sticky at all.

D - Very drinkable. I hope this one sticks around for a little bit. This is an IPA for any season!

Photo of bitterthebetter
4.38/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep dark black with subtle brown and amber hues with an off-white head similar to that of a porter

rich, cascade hops dominate with subtle caramel notes and roasted malt

nice hops upfront with slight chocolate and coffee notes with citrus hops dominating and a solid sturdy hoppy finish

starts about a medium bodied and then the finish just lingers and lingers

smooth, rich, hoppy, different, and a finish that just keeps going, another supreme ale from Laughing Dog

Photo of Dogfishipas
4.32/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Looks like like a Coke in a glass with a minimal head.

Smell - has a nice hop smell that isn't super strong.

taste - while drinking it it taste like an ipa, the aftertaste is when I really notice the coffee hints. Has a great aftertaste

mouthfeel - smooth with a medium body to it.

drinkability - very drinkiable. I hope whole foods still has some left as I only got 1 bottle and would like to keep another on the shelf for a while.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.42/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SurlyDuff beat me to it.... Damn It :-) 22 picked up today at the Coop for about $4.50... poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

Nice looking creamy cappuccino looking head... descent lacing atop dark dark brown verging on black brew... still very clear with walnut highlites when held to a light... very much like a schwarzbier.

Aroma is a very nice balanced mix of pine hops mixed with a little chocolate... not too roasty.

Flavor is a big smack of American hops and quite a bitter bite.. still very balanced though albeit toward the hop spectrum. Malts are chocolate and coffee not too sweet.. lingering grapefruit/piney finish that is fairly dry. Body is lighter than expected but IMHO that ramps up the drinkablity a notch or two... really the dark malts lend a very nice and fairly unexpected complexity.

I really hope Laughing Dog makes this part of the litter. No doubt I will be buying this again... I know it is drinking very fresh right now... but it is such a good value, I can see picking up a bunch and throwing them in the fridge so anytime I want something a little different I have a good goto brew. Fantastic.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.47/5  rDev +33%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great label of a enormous black lab with spikes on its back menacing a city. prop planes are trying to shoot at it.

Bottle comes complete with a parody of the BoC/moe. song Godzilla:

With a purposeful growl
and a terrible sound
He pulls the rack of kegs
all down

He picks up a bottle and he
throws it back down
As he wades through the kegs
towards the center of town

Oh no, they say he's got to go,

Annnnyway. A real dark brown, not quite black. Big foamy head from the 220z bomber, purchased at Belmont Station in P'town.

Really nice aroma of a great ipa (citrus, sappy pine, earthy cannabis) with a nice woody smoked malt punch in the background.

Coffee and roasty malt is subtle, but there tucked behind the big american hop profile. Ever so drinkable and a really really nice IPA. This deserves to be a fulltime brew if it isnt. Smooth and with a nice dry aftertaste that makes me want to keep drinking.

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