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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
84
good

629 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 629
Reviews: 302
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 21
Gots: 41 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 629 | Reviews: 302
Photo of joe1013
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of BeerThursdays
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of Norm406
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of david18
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

Photo of jerryjeff
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
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.

Photo of EliottJW
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Photo of philbertk
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Photo of Nugganooch
3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.15/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

Photo of vic21234
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

Photo of OldPenguinHunter
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
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!

Photo of codsmith
3.19/5  rDev -14.5%
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

Photo of BeerSox
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
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).

Photo of jtm3
3.21/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

Photo of bump8628
3.21/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

Photo of kiddynamite920
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

Photo of SFLpunk
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to George for grabbing this for me at Julio's last week! 22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. No date. Starts to gush right as I opened it. (Been stable in fridge for days...)

Pours a bright, warm orange (literally) with thick, foamy white head that has huge retention power! Lots of lacing!

Nose is soapy citrus, peppery, lemon zesty, floral and lots of sour mango. Palate is...tart...wait. I think this is infected. Hang on.

**After reading other reviews, there is one other person who notes a distinct "Sour green apple" puckering quality. I think we both had infected bottles. This bottle shows flavors that I would expect in a Wild Ale, say Wild Devil, and not in a DIPA. I will rate this as is, and then re-review if the chance permits itself.

Photo of RoyalT
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – This is a beautiful ale. It is clear, dull orange in color, with a massive off-white head.

Smell – There’s a wonderful mix of strong orange, light lemon, and a bit of fresh pine to this nose. The malts are light and sweetish, laced with caramel and a bit of spice.

Taste – The hops find there way to the taste but the lack of malt flavor makes this a one-sided lightweight.

Mouthfeel – This was the ale’s weak point. It is incredibly light for the style. I wouldn’t call it light-bodied but it’s not far off. There’s some annoying bitterness that would be OK with a bigger malt sweetness but again the malts are completely absent. The carbonation is flat which again is OK for a big, thick, DIPA but here makes it somewhat boring in between the cheeks.

Drinkability – This ale is actually quite smooth so went down well but I definitely won’t buy again.

Photo of DOCRW
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of VeganUndead
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of JWing
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Smurf2055
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of Reed
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of bigred89
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 629 ratings.