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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
Alpha Dog Imperial IPAAlpha Dog Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

305 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 305
Hads: 639
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 21
Gots: 45 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing visit their website
Idaho, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bitterthebetter on 02-14-2009

A true hop bomb brewed plenty of Columbus and Mt Hood hops for a piney hop character. Premium Pale, Honey and Munich malt make this beer a little less malty but packing plenty of hop punch.

127 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha Dog Imperial IPA Alström Bros
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Reviews: 305 | Hads: 639
Photo of Hopster916
1.12/5  rDev -70.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

It looked and poured beautifully. After that it was all downhill. Every sip tasted like I was drinking a liquid pepper. Truly wish I would have read the previous reviews before wasting money on this beer. I don't know what went wrong something is not right. I'm sure it's a bad batch, however based on this bottle I would never purchase another beer from Laughing Dog. (368 characters)

Photo of Rafael_Mindu
1.41/5  rDev -62.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I won't take it as general to this beer, and probably you that are reading this don't have too...
But my first bottle was in some way contaminated...
It smells like horse's shit and the taste goes the same way down =(
The smell remember me a little of some brett, but smelling it again, I know that there was something is wrong, I don't know.
And no!!! The sour's fans won't like it too, I'm pretty sure about that.

I'm looking forward for another bottle and try it again, but right now, I'm very disappointed with this beer. (527 characters)

Photo of hoppyserpent
1.7/5  rDev -55.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 1.75

This was one of the three worst tasting beers that I have had so I hope I simply quaffed a bottle from a bad batch. Starting off, the golden color and generous head were quite nice, but the "off" aroma had me wondering if I had dead rats in the walls. I took a swig and then another. The mouthfeel was silky, but the taste had a tinge of spoiled meat. I'm a hop nut and bitterness was not the issue. I also like a wide variety of brews from stout to Belgian to wheat. This was something else entirely and completely off putting to me. At least in this bottle, the hints of pine others have noted were more like eating a terpentine-laden pine cone. No exageration. (663 characters)

Photo of kencarman
1.91/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2

We could hardly get through the bottle. In fact, we dumped it. I looked at some other reviews here and elsewhere and I get a sense they may have a production problem where an occasional bottle slips through.

This was pepper phenolics: not any hop or yeast driven sense like that. The best was the aroma, but the pepper was still there. Mouthfeel: pepper clinging to the roof of the mouth. Body: hard to tell, but I'm guessing moderate. Yellow/gold-ish color with good clarity. Head holds on and pillow in nature.

Honestly: it's hard to judge a beer that's so obviously a pepper bomb. On first taste we got just a slight sense of fruit that was whisked at warp 1000. So, we decided to Grolsch the rest and try it a few days latter. That didn't work: still like drinking liquid pepper.

One thing I must comment on: I noticed the score was high when I first looked here, and elsewhere, but a lot of threes, and even at least one 1 point something that had a similar complaint, though they thought it was a Belgian yeast, I'm guessing because that pepper funk can exist with certain Belgian yeasts. And another LD I reviewed on my own site had a similar problem: not defect, but ratings-wise... a lot of threes and a few scoring super, super high.

Let's just leave my comment on that at, "Interesting."

I'd love to know what a non-phenolic LDAD is like, but I rally have no interest in wasting my money, especially after choking down a pepper bomb. (1,456 characters)

Photo of UnderPressure
2.16/5  rDev -43%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Beer foamed up a lot. 70% head after pouring down the side of a 12oz mug. Hazy orange/yellow. Yeast at the bottom of the bottle. The head will not go away! 5 minutes later, I'm finally getting to drink. Lacing all over the place.
Roasted/burnt sugary smell. Not a great hop aroma to speak of.
Strong malt flavor a roasted/burnt taste. Somewhat hard to describe. It's reminiscent of subpar homebrew. Small amount of hop flavor, but I'm mainly getting a lot of bitterness in the hop department. That bitterness sticks around, too. I'm guessing the IBUs are really high
Relatively thin, yet smooth mouthfeel. Way too fizzy for my taste (and this style). Especially considering the amount of carbonation already lost.
Overall, I'm really not impressed. The over-carbonation is obviously a flaw. The roasted/burnt taste may be intentional, but it's not my thing. I bought this beer because I love the Rye IPA from this brewer. But, I will not be buying this one again. (963 characters)

Photo of kornkid8600
2.33/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Good color, clear and unfiltered, head dissipates quickly.

S: Pine/citrus smells, a breadiness comes through, alcohol as well. Not a good sign.

T: Lots of high bittering hops, the malt body not much of the citrus smell I was getting. A lot of alcohol when swallowed and a long lasting bitterness. Again, not good.

M: Body was fine, not too thin not too thick just about right.

O: All in all, the beer has a few things done right, but those are insignificant compared to the most important thing to me, and that is TASTE. Taste is awful, I thought it was unbalanced, way too much alcohol, not enough sweetness to counteract the ridiculous amount of bittering hops used.

Beyond the bittering hops, not much flavor/aroma as it sohuld have had. There was a sllight breadiness I just don't like in my beer in the smell and the taste I'm not sure if it was my bottle or if that was intended but I dislike that quality.

Besides that, I thought there was almost a fusal alcohol quality about this beer and it was just undrinkable. Poured my glass down the drain because it was a poorly made beer overall.

Overall, one of the worst DIPAs I've had and I love the DIPA style but at $8 for a bomber, I felt robbed. (1,217 characters)

Photo of scootpolute
2.5/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Good pour into the glass. There is a clean, good sized white head. I'm curious about the intense carbonation (many bubbles are raising).

S: Carmel like, spicy tones, with an undertone of strong hop aroma!

T: There is hop bitterness, toasty caramel malt lays, with some pine bitterness mixed in.

M: There's emptiness in feel, doesn’t have the 'fullness' you'd expect from an Imperial IPA.

O: Smooth beer, but not as 'BIG' as I was hoping for. Again, not horrible but missing something... (497 characters)

Photo of vitALEity
2.61/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

First thing about this beer is the ridiculous frothy, head. Like 4 inches in a 16oz. tulip. The head does not ever dissipate. Seriously, after 10 minutes its still there. Smell is grass, some orange, sweet breads, plastic. There is a lot of plastic on the nose to this one. Very little pine or citrus the way I like my IIPA's to smell. Mouthfeel is fine, mild carbonation. Too me, it tastes more sweet then bitter. It has 120 or something IBU so I would have expected a lot more bitter. The bitter hits you on the middle-back of the tongue but its not overwhelming at all. there is something just not balanced about this flavor, hard to describe. Doesnt taste like any other IIPA Ive had (Ive had hundreds). Anyway, meh. (720 characters)

Photo of Uconnelmo
2.87/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a drain pour for me unfortunately. The only thing i didn't mind was cleansing my palate. This beer i believe is new to CT and is 7-17-14 hard to read dating. Why we would be recently receiving 10+ month old iipa's is beyond me. Thanks for putting too old ipa's on the shelf. (283 characters)

Photo of mpl2
2.89/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Like just about everyone else, this was probably my first Vandal beer. I was given a 22 ounce bomber as a gift which was poured into an over-sized snifter.

A: Encouraging medium amber that grew a little more opaque as it it warmed. A solid fingers worth of head quickly retreated but retained some solid lacing until the final moments.

S: After reading a handful of reviews pre-pour, I was surprised not to pick up the pine aroma that most reviewers found. I thought it was straight, almost overpowering, grapefruit pith. To be honest, I was a little disappointed in this not only because of how overwhelming the citrus was, but I was also looking forward to something a bit different (i.e., the piney notes). I honestly couldn't pick out the malt sweetness until this DIPA was much warmer.

T: Tasted just like it smelled. It was if i was eating the pith of a freshly peeled grapefruit, except maybe with just a hint of the juniper side of "pine". The intense bitter completely hid the alcohol and by the time I finished my glass I fealt the 8.65% abv far more than I had tasted it.

M: The medium body was a tad oily though an overall smooth drink.

D. Decent enough, but I really didn't care for it as much as a few of my other hophead friends. I think it encompassed all the wrong parts of a grapefruit- too much pith. I also think it could have used just a tad bit more biscuit in their somewhere. I wouldn't seek this one out, but I wouldn't refuse a free one either. (1,476 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
2.95/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at The POPE on 3/6/09 during Philly Beer Week.

A - Slightly hazy golden body with a wispy film for a head that gave way to a thin ring of retention that left virtually no lacing.

S - Fruity nose with lots of fleshy and citrusy fruits with sweet caramel malt. However, there is a pungent cat box character amidst all the sweetness and hop bitterness.

T - Flavor is very sweet initially with a fruit character and sweet malt base featuring caramel notes. Unfortunately, an unpleasant cat box aspect rears its ugly head and dominates the flavor in the middle, and then segues into an aggressive hop bitterness suggesting pine and resin.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and subtle carbonation resulting in a sticky mouthfeel overall. Finishes with an assertive hop bitterness on the palate.

D - I would have enjoyed this much more if not for the cat urine aspect. Not sure if it was the tap line or just the beer. Remove the feline influence from this brew and you would have a pretty solid DIPA. While some might enjoy this very pungent hop profile, it definitely rubbed me the wrong way. (1,108 characters)

Photo of david18
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I recently submitted a review on a draft version I had. It's two reviews below.

I was more disappointed with the bottle version. I found it to be somewhat out of balance and very strong tasting, especially considering the relatively low abv for a double ipa. (259 characters)

Photo of jerryjeff
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Aroma
Rather floral with some piney type scent in the nose

Mouthfeel
Medium carbonation with a slight amounts of body toward the lighter end for pale ale, getting the definite bitterness from the hops in the back of the mouth.

Appearance
Poured to nice initial head with 3/8" or so in goblet from a 22 oz bottle. Light amber in color with a stark white head containing larger bubbles. Head has stayed nicely with some good lacing. Impressed here.

Taste
Rather bitter on the palette, overshadowing any real malt presence to me. Finishes with what seems to be an almost pine flavor. Aftertaste isn't particularly great with the hops seemingly leaving a taste kind of like a solvent? in the mouth and lingering a bit long.

Drinkability
I don't know that I'd want to have very many beyond the single I just opened. I think the intense bitterness would be overshadowing over time without more malt presence to offset.

Overall
The mix of hops brings in a flavor I don't really care for that is too much bitterness with the pinish and solvent-like flavors. (1,060 characters)

Photo of EliottJW
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

firstly, I feel like this MIGHT be a touch old, but there's no way of telling as there's no date marking on the bottle. my room mate brought this back from a road trip about a mnth and a half ago... sooo...

I'm not sure on the appearance. it's a nice opaque orange... maybe not as dark as I'd like, but not a turn off by any means. we're sharing a bomber 4 ways, so I can't really speak much to head.

smells a bit overly malty. not bad, but a bit heavy on the malts. not nearly enough hops to speak of for a IIPA.

taste is decent. still too much malts. has a hop bite at the finish, but that's all for hops. I might be a bit accustomed to the west coast IIPAs... but man... not a huge fan.

mouthfeel is fine. not too heavy, not too light, not too much to mention beyond that.

I couldn't handle too much more than one of these... that's about it. (851 characters)

Photo of philbertk
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Alpha Dog Imperial India Pale Ale--2009-A 22 oz. Bottle. 8.00% ABV. 127 IBU's. (3.0 / 5.0) Slowly foams out of bottle. Lacy thin white head. Clear bright orange gold color. Huge floral pine citrus front. Mild creamy sweet hot hop pine resin thin caramel spicy zesty body. Rich hop spice citrus clean end. Light sediment. Over the top unbalanced hops. Sampled 5/21/2010. 2 @ $3.99 Each.

Resampled 8/6/2010. (3.5 / 5.0) Rich hops are very piney, but tasty. Hot end. (465 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Undated bottle at 42 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma of weak pine and citrus
Head enormous – initial pour gave 13.5 cm of off-white creamy foam and only 1 cm of liquid. This slowly diminished to a 2 mm layer with a 3 cm center rising like a volcano from the ocean.
Lacing is good, covering about 50% of the glass surface, but in random patterns, no distinct rings
Body is medium orange with chill haze.
Flavor is very non-descript, with a little hop bitterness and a slight alcohol taste, ending quickly with an alcohol stomach warmth. No malt, no diacetyl, no discernable hop flavor.
Palate is medium, watery, and has lively carbonation

Overall, this is an OK beer. After the initial shock of a 13.5/1 head, as the hypercarbonation fell, the beer became very presentable with some head retention and that volcano-like final layer. Both the nose and flavor were very muted, but not like an old IPA, just one with either no hops (IBU = 126) or weak hop character. Frankly, I wouldn’t have guessed this was an IPA. (1,018 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
3.12/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Notes from 03/17/12
Bomber to pint glass

A: The Dog pours a dark murky rusted orange color producing just a thin khaki tan head. Low retention factor with some splotches of lace here and there. Carb seems low as well.

S: Overall I found the aromas to be rather subdued and malt forward with lots of caramel toffee notes. Some pine and citrus aromas, faint as they are.

T: Flavor comes in big on the malted caramels with the hops riding back seat and window down. Juicy yet with some orange citrus and pine notes. Lower bitterness level for a DIPA. Alcohol seems well masked. The flavors are not really complementing one another here. Not the take on a DIPA I particularly enjoy.

M: A bit heavier in body with a somewhat chalky mouthfeel. Not a lot of resinous hoppy linger and finish is wetter than expected.

D: More of a malt forward DIPA that comes off a bit chewy. Some moments of hop juiciness but the flavors did not really come together all that well for me.
Alpha Dog…more like a submissive lil puppy. Was not impressed. I would pass on this one. (1,063 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - dark, cloudy orange with a one finger cream colored head. head fades to a thin layer. Some lacing on the glass.

S - Citrus - Orange and grapefruits.

T - Muted citrus flavors.

D - Very, very bitter.

O - The scents and taste do not match. Would be nice, but the bitterness is off somehow. (341 characters)

Photo of vic21234
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter. No bottled on date info stamped on the bottle.

A- Pours a cloudy amber color with a finger and a halfs worth of head. The head dissipates into a bubbly film along the top with some lacing along the sides of the glass. Looks good.

S- Really reminds me of a DFH IPA, maybe like a 90 minute. Smells rather sweet and malty. Not much hop aroma except for some slight pine notes. Not a bad thing necessarily, but not the smell I want from an IPA.

T- Starts off rather bitter with a hit of the piney resin hop presence. Afterwards just seems overly malty with not much else going on.

M- Bitter, dry, leaves more to be desired from a DIPA.

Not a bad beer, but I don't think I'll be buying this again. There are many better DIPAS around here on the shelf. (787 characters)

Photo of OldPenguinHunter
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this while in a hotel room in Plantation, Florida, let me say one thing before I get into this, "Man what a refreshing beer to have after a long day of work..." I did bring my own glass, (a geeky thing to do, but hey, its worth it when you're traveling!) a Duvel glass.

A: This is probably the best part of the beer. pours a nice opaque orange, a two finger head that dissipates rather quickly.

S: Smells like most Imp. IPA's: Sweet, sticky hops, some fruit (peaches, tangerines, apricots), malt.

T: The most dissapointing part: The bitterness does not hold up to the malt, and is supplimented by the alcohol, which is very noticeable at this time. very disjointed, I also noticed a chemical-like pine needle flavor.

M: Very dry, good carbonation.

O: Wouldn't buy again, but was definetly worth the try! (814 characters)

Photo of codsmith
3.19/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Very dense orange with a creamy white fluffy head. It looks more like a Belgian than a typical IPA

S: Big sweet hop nose. (The best part of this beer)

T: Starts out like a Belgian with a slight sweetness, but then turns very bitter and the hops overpower your taste buds, leaving a hefty hop aftertaste. Its kind an odd combination of flavor and styles. I would classify this as a hybrid between a Belgian and an heavily hopped IPA

M: Creamy at the beginning but the aftertaste of the hops kills everything on the taste buds. Has a good amount of carbonation for a Belgian, but over the top on an IPA

O: Mixing these 2 styles are not the best in my opinion. The flavor profiles clash too much to be enjoyable.

I think I would have been more favorable if they classified it in the correct category as BPA (813 characters)

Photo of BeerSox
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into nonic.

Dull and hazy amber hue with a one finger stone khaki head that very slowly settles to a thick cap.

A moderate amount of pineapple is in the background, with touches of citrus.

Sharp grapefruit flavors on top of a somewhat stale malt flavor. The malts carry a bit of a toasty flavor, and a touch of burnt caramel. Full bodied.

An okay IPA, but there seems to be too many off flavors. Not sure if it was long shelf life, or yeast out of control (I'm leaning toward the latter). (506 characters)

Photo of jtm3
3.21/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Lovely pale orange, nice head.

S: Hops....mostly pine, some citrus.

T: Whoa! Hops anybody? Bitter, bitter, and more bitter. Chalky with leafy, pine, and some citrus flavors. Very little malt background. Surprising alcohol presence for under 9% abv. Some spice and caramel sweetness in the finish, but mostly just hop bitterness.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

D: Just hard to get through for me. Too much bitterness and alcohol.

Overall: I see the appeal for some, but I like a little more balance. (508 characters)

Photo of bump8628
3.21/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one into one of my Imperial pints. The deep golden body with thick, sticky, white head looks the part of a great Double IPA.

That's where the goodness ends, however. Not that it becomes bad, but where are hops? The malt bill is spot on and leaves a perfect canvass for what could be teeth-stripping, mouth-puckering Double IPA, but what I'm getting is the hop profile of a regular IPA. Columbus and Mt. Hood hops- the first a no-brainer for a great DIPA, the second more at home in a good Pils. That's the first problem, hop choice. The second problem is hop quantity- more please. I get the classic herbal and rough pine punch of the Columbus but it's just too tame. Laughing dog even nailed the requisite dryness that the best in the style exhibit.

Throw in a few more pounds of the green goodness and maybe swap out the Mt. Hood with some Simcoe, Amarillo, and/or Centennial, take your pick. (908 characters)

Photo of kiddynamite920
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Nice, golden orange with a bit of a straw yellow color. Head is a creamy white and quite fluffy. The beer has a bit of haze to it and appears to be light for the style.

S: Not a whole lot going on here. A bit malty with a grassy aroma and a small amount of citrus. Doesn't have a particularly discernible hop aroma. Does have some bitter notes of grapefruit that I suppose are the hops coming through. Not very impressive on the nose.

T: Has a fairly substantial malt base backed up by some nice bitter hops. Faintly similar to DFH 90 minute. Has some great fruit notes of apricot and peach along with some orange zest and grapefruit to bitter it all out. Pretty even on the palate. Starts off sweet and finishes with a pretty lasting bitterness.

M: A bit off-kilter. Gives the impression of a sweeter, maltier IIPA but ends with some pretty aggressive bitterness that lingers just a bit too long.

D: Again, the bitterness is just a bit too much on this one. To be honest, just want to get through this one and not look back to it. (1,041 characters)

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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 305 ratings.