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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
Alpha Dog Imperial IPAAlpha Dog Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

588 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 588
Reviews: 295
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.94%
Wants: 18
Gots: 29 | 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:
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 added by: bitterthebetter on 02-14-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | 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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Ratings: 588 | Reviews: 295 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Above average DIPA, bomber obtained in trade. A substantive bitterness bit yet not too bitter. Lemon-grapefruit. Big soapy head on light yellow. Good hoppy aroma, perhaps the best part of it. Full mouthfeel. Good drinkability, but may not be as the first beer of the night.

Sammy, Mar 28, 2010
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

t0rin0, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

djrn2, Oct 22, 2013
Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

nmann08, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy yellowish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high dense beige head that has excellent retention properties and consistently left a short head covering the surface along with a coating of bubbles running down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of pine resin hops in the nose along with some notes of citrus hops and caramel malts.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but a little more rounded out between pine resin hops and caramel malts. There are some hints of citrus and a moderate to strong amount of bitterness, the latter of which lingers through the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The hops lend a little bit of dryness to the finish.
O: This beer has a good balance between the malts and hops, making it rather drinkable for a bitterness of 127 IBUs. The alcohol is also very well hidden from the taste.

metter98, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very impressive appearance, with a huge, creamy head that sits atop the honey/straw colored liquid; the rentention was fine as was the lacing

Smell: Piney citrus, butressed a toffee malt character

Taste: Toffee malt, up front, but the 127 IBUs certainly make their presence felt quickly, adding a starkly bitter element to the profile; while the malt continues to provide an underlying sweetness, the bitterness is powerful throughout

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Powerfully bitter and somewhat overwhelming, this beer is not for beginnners; can't say it is really to my palate, either

brentk56, May 21, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tropical sunset tangerine with bright slivers of lemon peel along the edges. The upper half of the glass contains a tight-bubbled cap that is the color of barely toasted marshmallows. The head has a great deal of character, along with a lengthy half-life, and is doing a fine job laying down lace.

This isn't the best smelling DIPA in America, but it does enough right to earn a good score. No malt is appreciated, just bright, citrusy, spruce-like hops. Simcoe, Columbus and Mt. Hood are used, for those who care about such things.

Alpha Dog is distinctly different from Devil Dog. The latter is sweetish, caramel-malted and barleywine-like. This brew is bitter, pale-malted and more classically DIPA-like. If they were liquor rather than beer, the brewery could use the tagline, 'different hooches for different pooches'. Well, maybe not.

The thing that keeps the taste score from being higher is less than bombastic hop flavor and a fraction too much unmasked alcohol. Double digit DIPAs have an excuse... this one doesn't. The claimed IBU count of 127 is hard to argue with since AD is impressively bitter.

In addition to pale malt, honey malt and light Munich malt are present. The last of those gives the beer a hint of earthy toastedness that is quickly swamped by white grapefruit pith and peel. Maybe a little orange zest as well. It doesn't taste like Simcoe was added with a very heavy hand, which is a shame.

The body/mouthfeel is on the lighter side of the style spectrum for two reasons. Malt sugars are relatively scarce and the alcohol cuts through any potential stickiness with scalpel-like precision. It still manages to be smooth and silky, which is a definite plus.

Given Alpha Dog's high-octane, high alpha acid personality, only big beer loving hopheads need apply. They're both pretty good, but Devil Dog would be my choice if I could have only one Laughing Dog DIPA.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fine IPA or Double IPA (the beer kinda straddles the fence) that favors grassy/earthy/garlic-onion character over typical citrus grapefruit hop flavor.

Alpha Dog starts with a soft glow of deep golden to light copper colors. The beer releases a firm, white, cottony head that both retains and laces well. A pretty standard IPA look.

Bready malts set the stage with extremely light sweetness. This allows the hops to dominate the beer with a fresh cut grass, light onion or garlic character. Soft pine resins, thin alcohols, and citrus rinds round out the aromas.

Flavors are a direct mimic of the aromas. Lightly bready early with soft non-descript sweetness. The earthy, grassy, piney hops shine well in the reserved role of malts, esters, or phenols. A sharp bitterness results from the hops and take a piney shape in flavor. A very good flavor but I am more in favor of the citrus-forward hoppy beers.

As the malt flavors show favorably up front, so does the creamy textures. But as the malt flavors fade, so do the creaminess- leading quickly to a dry and well-attenuated mouthfeel. Lightly warming and numbing, the alcohols shy away from harshness or fusal character.

Again, a well crafted Double IPA but the hops seem to exhibit more of the Simcoe or Warrior varieties than Cascade or Centennial. This makes the beer a bit less than 'clean' flavored.

BEERchitect, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Texasfan549, Jul 12, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first of five bottles that would go down on new years to celebrate. My brother in law wanted something hoppy to start and I saw this one sitting in the fridge so we grabbed it. Served cold and split in two pint glasses, this one was consumed on 12/31/2009.

The pour was very nice, rich amber in color with a huge cascading white head that just would not quite no matter what. Really nicely done I have to admit. Even after a few minutes it was still going strong with rich lacing up and down the sides of the glass. Aroma was a hop bomb, cirus filling the air from the first moment and really giving you a nose full. Even warming could not cut through the grapefruit and biting sharp hop notes. Nice medium body was well carbonated and allowed the flavor to really absorb along the palate. First taste is sharp, huge notes of sticky pine and grapefruit rip the tongue but mellow out a bit behind a biscuit like mi palate. Some nice notes of grain plugging through in here I have to say before a smack of hops dries the palate and leaves a bit of a hot boozy note on its way down.

Overall very typical for the style without many flaws at all to note. I would have no issue trying it again.

mikesgroove, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of kylehay2004
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger head with nice lacing and retention on a cloudy golden with orange hue body.

S: aroma is overall a little light. mild malt with pine and citrus.

T: strong malt presence up front with the earthy, pine and grassy hops rounding out the finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: the hop character is really nice for this one. Simple but the flavors mix well.

kylehay2004, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +7.2%

jaydoc, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a hazed, dim, darkened yellow body with a frothy, bubbly, white head.

Smell: Zesty aroma of grated lemon and grapefruit peels all the way down to the bitter pith with some additional spicy, piney notes to it. Very vague malt hints that, along with the yellow hue, imply this'll be a light malt, hop-forward brew. Let me strap in for an onslaught of IBU's.

Taste: We quickly pass by the meager, slackened maltiness with mild tastes of pale malt with light toasty hints and launches straight into the staunchly bitter load of hops. Cutting tastes of lemon and grapefruit along with a dose of pine assault the tongue and lay upon it a strong bitterness. Touch of warming alcohol, but mainly this beer is a big load of bitterness from beginning through to the finish and beyond.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Whew. Well, this is definitely one for the hopheads out there, as the brewery seems to have kept the malts fairly light to ensue the drinker doesn't miss one iota of hoppy bitterness.

ChainGangGuy, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of Knapp85
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out with a big fluffy white head and a hazy golden body. The smell is really nice in here, there is a massive hop aroma coming off of this one. The taste is great on the first few sips and as it warms up that all goes downhill. The taste to me just gets a bit strange, can't really describe it but it wasn't good to me after a while. I finished my glass and was thankful for that at least. The mouthfeel is a little thick but not oily. Overall it was good in the beginning and then just fell apart.

Knapp85, May 20, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I gotta say I have been really impressed with pretty much all the Laughing Dog line of beers,I think more impressed than most here on BA have been.Starts off with a perfect pour,I dont put a 5 down much but the pour here is worthy,a burnt orange infused medium golden with a perfect creamy white crown that leaves one big continuous ring of soap scum-like lace as it settles into a creamy mass.Resinous and citric hops dominate the nose along with some sugary sweet notes,the good thing here is the hops dominate,not overly sweet.The palate isnt to sweet like way to many of the style,the hops citric in character are the main event here,citrus and pine overtop of a sweet alcohol base,again the sweet alcohol base is underneath the big hops.I really like this beer,it is what the style should be more about in my humble opinion.

oberon, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the bomber into a 22 oz. glass. Swiss cheese dimpled foam pushed above the rim and stood there for a bit. It had a smooth meringue sheen with plenty of rocky crags, leaving coating rings of lace.

Soft fruity, woody nose. Candied orange and muted hops.

Very smooth for a DIPA, not brash or boozy... if there was such a thing as an English DIPA, this might qualify. Not mild mannered, just a bit restrained yet eloquent. Grapefruit rind backed by plenty of bitter pine. Firmly bitter finish. Some leafy herbal traces, a gentle hop flavor. Feeling a bit of the warmth halfway through the glass, but it never interferes with the flavors. Pretty balanced and citrus forward, medium bodied and sippable. Not bad, best beer i've had from Idaho...

emerge077, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a two-finger, tan head of thick foam. It left sheets of soapy lace.

S - This one has powerful pine and citrus aromas. The was a mild burnt toast maltiness.

T - Tons of pine flavor kick this one off. There is a nice burnt toast maltiness with a warm alcohol heat.

M - It was crisp and very sharp with a dry finish. A medium to full-bodied beer.

D - This is another good IPA from Laughing Dog. Not as potent as I expected but it still good.

zeff80, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Nice to be able to finally try this one, after it being 'out of season' when I was at the brewery a few years back.

This beer pours a mildly hazy, medium golden straw hue, with two fingers of puffy, rocky, off-white head, which leaves a solid array of cobweb lace around the glass as it lazily sinks away.

It smells of musty grapefruit and orange rind, wet pine, bready, meaty caramel malt, further floral, spicy hops, and a soft twinge of warming alcohol. The taste is bitter, indistinct citrus pith, green pine needles, clammy caramel malt, a hint of burnt toffee, wild grass and fallow hay, black pepper dust, more subtle vegetal spice, and a very tame, suggestive boozy note.

The bubbles are averagely peppy, and duly supportive, the body a decently solid medium weight, and generally smooth, the pent-up hoppiness poking through here and there. It finishes barely off-dry, the mulchy and fruity hops more or less overwhelming the fading malt.

An approachable enough DIPA, the reigned in hop bitterness well wrought through the grassy analogue it assumes. Good, but overall a bit different than your standard (ly awesome) west coast hop and malt bombs, which is perhaps a welcome change, believe it or not. Worth a try, at the very least.

biboergosum, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

JAHMUR, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of fruity citrus, floral hops and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with a strong hops bitterness that is quickly followed by sweet flavors of caramel and citrus. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and provides a good balance. The after-taste is sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, nice kick, good representation of style, even though there are better 2IPA's out there, this is still a very solid beer that is worth drinking for a long time.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a pale copper hue with a bright white head forming thick, this beer is awesome..fine intricate lacing forms nicely with hints of sugar hops and alcohol in the nose...the Alpha dog has come to play...fiery notes of hop juice and malt sugar come with a green bitterness, I'm loving the hops. The flavor is beautiful with big citric, earthy hop flavor and bitterness with a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied has me burping with a touch of alcohol and carbonation, very classic feel...the body has some resinous hop oils coating the palate. Overall a very aggressive DIPA that enjoyed, I think it's safe to say that I like Laughing Dog's beers.

WVbeergeek, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of nickfl
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with two fingers of white foam on top of a slightly hazy, dark golden body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice lace.

S - Light caramel malt, spicy hops and some pine.

T - Caramel and sweet toffee up front with some pine. More pine and spicy hops in the middle with dry toasted grain character. Finishes with some harsh bitterness and more dry malt.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - The hop character falls a little flat in the nose and delivers an unflattering sharp, harsh bitterness. The dry, grainy character exacerbates the harsh bitterness by creating a husky finish without any sweetness.

nickfl, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a beautiful crystal clear copper, with 2 fingers of eggshell-white frothy head. There is a rich and creamy look to the retention, which leaves thick lacing behind. The aroma has a good bit of sticky tropical fruit sweetness to it, along with floral hops, light spice, and a whiff of stiff toasted grains prop up the underside of the flavors in the nose.

Bitterness is biting in the taste with spice and resins, but is balanced out by a lot of tangy sweetness from the tropical fruit notes. Once again, that thick graininess rears its head, giving this an undercurrent of gritty malts. Finishes very spicy with a deep lingering dryness to it. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with more of a mellow creaminess to the carbonation that then sits on top of a much more beefy and lower carbonated feel underneath. Pretty good in the drinkibility department for a 9% beer.

This came off much more sweet and fruity than the more spicy aggressiveness and beefier feel of the Devil Dog (with which I had back to back with this). I think that even more sweetness from the malts would have been welcome here as those that were present came off as a bit too flat and grainy. Still lots of aggressive hops and juiciness to this and the drinkibility was pretty darn good for such a big beer. Worth a look.

Kegatron, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of russpowell
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly hazed bronze/amber with 3+ fingers of fluffy pearl head. Very good lacing & head retention

S: Citrussy hops & a bit of breadyness, plus some leafy hops once warm

T: Bready with grapefruitty & earthy hops, plus some caramel up front, along with slight astringency. Grape fruit & leafy hops along with some dryness as this warms. Finishes strong with grapefruit,

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation, slightly syruppy up front, but thins out as it warms, fairly good balance. Starts warming me nicely about 2/3rds through the bottle

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style. Enjoyable enough but not one I'd seek out again if have the choices I do now. Maybe better fresh, no freshness date on my bomber, so how the hell would I know???

russpowell, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of drabmuh
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer served on draft at a local beer bar. Beer is clear and yellow to dark yellow. Forms a thin white head that falls away leaving a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate to low.

I can smell it from across the table. Sweet and citrus hops. Smells great and its quite aggressive.

Medium to full bodied with minimal sweetness. Good citrus hop flavors. Bitterness is good and grows the more you drink. Mouthfeel is good, this is not one of those IPAs that is too sweet but its pushing my limits on sweetness overall. It could get away with slightly less body and more bitterness. Overall its pretty good.

drabmuh, Feb 05, 2010
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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 588 ratings.