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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
85
very good

614 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 614
Reviews: 298
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.94%
Wants: 21
Gots: 37 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Alpha Dog Imperial IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 614 | Reviews: 298 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kelp
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of plaid75
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an upfront sweet earthy malt followed by a strong herbal hop.

The taste consisted of an earthy sweetness cut ny a brawny piney herbal hop spice.

The mouthfeel Was typical of the style.

Overall a good malt driven ale.

Photo of Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a bright but hazy tangerine orange with a 2 finger foamy and pillowy off white head that pitted to a rocky structure and stuck around for a solid 5+ minutes. Frumpy, it left a thick foamy coating along the glass walls. Visible carbonation started off strong with macro bubbles quickly and rapidly ascending, only to settle to a soft and subtle micro bubble display that was sporadic and quickly trailed off. The lustrious lacing and huge foamy and well retaining head earns extra consideration here.

S: The nose delivered a standard west coast hopping that was grassy and piney with dry grapefruit that was quickly detected even upon opening the bottle and from the pour. However after the initial showing, the aroma quickly died out to a whimper with a lighter then expected offering, most likely due to the quickly dying carbonation. Decent enough for an ipa, yet was underpowered for an imperial labeling I thought. Not much malting contribution or hoppiness to hold my attention long earning this an average at best rating.

T: The flavor does deliver the hoppiness that the nose lacked being moderatly bitter with pine needles, grapefruit skins and a dry floral lacing. After the swallow the grapefruit hopping is evident nicely coating the tongue with some dried orange grinds. A nice level of bitterness but came off rather one dimensional and hard to justify a good rating here when compared to other staples within the style. Lacked a transition of flavor and finished pretty much as it started.

M: perhaps one of its stronger points, a nice medium fullness, fairly thick and somewhat syrupy from the malting with little or no carbonation being detected. A dry lingering bitterness is left as its calling card for the finale and fade.

D: Ok drinkability, easy enough to drink, but hard to justify as a really good beer here. Bitter at first it does get progressively easier to down but once again one that can get just as easily lost amongst the better examples per style. A bomber is sufficient here, cant say I would go beyond revisiting this as there is little incentive to draw me back. After a strong start appearance wise it only goes downhill from there. Worth a check out for a bomber at best for fans of style.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer is a hazy, bright orange-amber color with a huge, chunky, dense bubbled head. Smooth sweet aromas, with hops and citrus front and center. The beer is very smooth, light and crisp in mouth. A good balance of tangy sweet citrus and roasted hops, with some toffee and peppery characteristics. Sweet and sour aftertaste balanced with bitterness from the hops, and a smooth, clean finish. Lingering bitter hops in mouth. This beer is delicious! Great body, with lots of lacing, too.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I didn't plan on reviewing any beers tonight.. but oh well.. 22 picked up today at the COOP... was gonna share with the bro.. but his palate is shot... poured into my SA shaped glass..

1" foamy head has great retention and a ton of lace.. the brew is hazy honey gold.

Thick citrus rind and pine dominate the nose... smells very dry.. not much in the way of malts.. pithy.

Flavor has about as much hoppy presence as a brewer can pack into a liquid.. a hop delivery device for sure.. grapefruit zest and pine are alll throughout this one.. malts are there to provide a good balance.. but that is it!! oily hoppiness.. not out of whack... but I am questioning (in a good way).

The body is lite/medium for the style with some very smooth carbonation.. very dry and very "West Coast".

The only complaint that I can even remotely come up with is that the hops seem sorta one dimensional.. I would like to see more/different hops used at different times in the very late kettle and in the fermenter.

The Alpha Dog is phenomenal.. and should be considered anytime someone wants a IBU fix.. I just think a touch more thought could bring it into the top 100 realm.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on bottle and on tap, doesn't lose anything either way. Good light orange appearance, ample head. Aroma was sweet and hoppy, good touch.

Taste, super hoppy, a hop forward dipa that isn't overcome by sweetness, malt or alcohol. Orange and maybe pine, pineapple to a much lesser degree. Certainly has a great deal of bitterness, but when coupled with a great deal of hop mouthfeel, we're in happy beerandraiderfan territory. Bitter, hoppy, dry, that's how I like 'em.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
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 Boone757
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of Brad007
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Mild golden color with a decent head that coats the edges. It's a great trend to see IPAs and DIPAs that exhibit more pale than usual.

Lots of pine with little else in the nose. I'm a little disappointed because I like a lot of aroma in a DIPA.

Wicked strong pine bite dominates the palate. Nothing else that I can detect, other than a faint malt backbone.

Again, more of that old school pine bite at the back of the throat. Alcohol warmth too. Good thing I found this beer when I did.

In my experience with DIPAs, there are really two different schools: citrus-dominant and pine-dominant. This one falls in the latter category.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber picked up in VA last week, uncapped to toast the first NFL game of the season.

The beer is a light orangy copper shade and clear, about 3-4 SRM, with a lot of white foam that laces in dry sheets. It smells kind of neutral and bitter at first whiff, but on second sniff I get citrusy hops aromas. The smell reminds me a little of some Flossmoor Brewers Whim releases, not a bad thing.

The beer tastes very bitter, not much sweetness from the malts (unlike Devil Dog). Pretty high grapefruit factor with this. Sort of low carbonation, that may be another reason this reminds me a little of Flossmoor IPAs, it gives the beer a body somewhere north of cask but south of most beers.

Overall very good, I prefer this to Devil Dog as Alpha Dog is a more straight-forward hoppy DIPA, as opposed to a barleywine fence sitter.

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: orangish brown with 2 finger white head

Smell: sweet malts, hops,

taste: roasted malt backbone, with a hop front end

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, smooth

Drinkability: Glad I got to try it wish it was better then average.

Cheers,

The CPJ

Photo of scruffwhor
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper color with a little off-whitehead that fizzles away after a couple of sips.

The aroma is swet then bitter orange zest an then grapefruit taking over. But there is some soft caramel malt notes worth mentioning as well. Not a bad balanced aroma.

The taste starts off with a good citric bitterness that is at its peek in the front of the palate. The middle gives way to some of the biscuit and bread toasted malts to help balance out this DIPA's flavor. THis also gives the beer a more resiny mothfeel. The finish is almost oily, but well balanced and warm from the alcohol content.

This is teh best DIPA I've had out of Idaho, thst for sure. And not bad compared to others for that matter.

Photo of tone77
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is hoppy, some tropical fruits. Taste is really bitter, quite a hop bomb. a touch of fruits, loads of hop bitterness, a bit unbalanced for my liking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer.

Photo of avalon07
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had an orange color and a thick, cloudy consistency. Had a somewhat small amount of foamy head and good lacing.

S: Had a low key aroma of pine, citrus and hops.

T: Tasted of hops (not as much as you would think for this style), a bit of citrus, a burnt quality and some soapiness in the finish. A decent flavor, but not my favorite.

M: A good amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A drinkable beer, but as I said, not my favorite Imperial IPA.

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of IPAchris
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of jrallen34
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into my Rochefort glass...Tons of carbonation on this, gushers everywhere. A dark honey gold with a light tope head of about three fingers. Very good retention and lacing, especially for an ipa...Aroma is too light, mostly grapefruit, acid, and light pine on the back. Too light for an imperial...Taste is light citrus to start with a pine resin finish, but its light and pretty to drink, not for a hop head despite being an imperial.

A decent imperial ipa but nothing more.

Photo of ccrida
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a nonic, Alpha Dog is dusty burnt gold with a large, dense, barley off-white head with super long last that leaves heavy hunks of foamy lace. I like a paler IPA, and the head is ridiculous, like a bottle conditioned Belgian, so fine, tight and rocky!

Smell is strong hops, piney, but there is a woody like earthiness that really reminds me of thick hop stems of something, herbal as well.

Taste is strait up weird. First impression was, oddly enough, peanut butter. Subsequent sips confirm that as the initial flavor, but it further brings a resinous (albeit very woody) hop flavor, just a unusual flavor profile from the clearly strong hops. I just don't know what to make of this, it's strait up nutty - and I don't just mean the taste. There's a firm bitterness, some (almost burnt) toast malt, and pretty abrupt finish, with a sweeter hop aftertaste. All over the place! But unique for sure. While it wasn't served fridge temp, it had been in one about 2 hrs prior to serving and still felt pretty cold. But as it warmed up, more 'traditional' pine resin hop notes came out, as did a balancing sweetness. But these were really more hints of normalcy, which this was always far from being!

Mouthfeel is super oily, teeth coating, and medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, even if this is the most bizarre DIPA I've ever had. I really dig the over the top hop flavors without an indulgent ABV as is sometimes found in other west coast hop bomb versions of the style. I'd love to know what kind of hops this used, a crazy DIPA for sure! Will I buy it again? Probably, to send to friends just to show them what this bad boy is all about! One of those 'have to try' DIPAs if you love the style, as I do, even if not the best. While I didn't love the first sip, by the last, I was digging it, and had to bump it up a 1/2 point. Also, a good value. Better served on the warmer side. I've always preferred hoppy beers colder, but this is the 2nd big DIPA I've had in a row that has challenged that notion...

Photo of spinrsx
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of DefenCorps
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Grabbed this at State Line last week based on Robert's recommendation. As an aside, I find it a little sad that we can get beers from Idaho in MD but not stuff from Sly Fox.

A: A clear amber body with good clarity and a gorgeous 3-finger thick eggshell-white head that sticks around a while, leaving some really pretty lace. Great stuff

S: Plenty of sharp pine and grapefruit pith on the nose, with a mild caramel sweetness present. Mild biscuit-like malt is present and the combination of the hop and malt aroma is pretty good. Definitely herbal, with a mild minty aroma. Solid. As it warms up, alcohol is apparent on the nose, which is perplexing given the low ABV

T: Average. Opens with a sharp pine bitterness blended with a caramel sweetness. I doubt it's because the beer is old, because the hops definitely are fresh. The balance leans strongly towards the bittering hops, with reduced flavor hops, and plenty of malt, viz., not my idea of a great DIPA. Finishes dry with an overwhelming bitterness.

M: Medium-light with crisp carbonation. The bitterness is a bit overwhelming, and not in a good way. Moderately resiny on the palate.

D: This is not my idea of a great DIPA, but it achieves what it aspires to be - bitter and sweet. One glass is enough for me.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a very clear, light copper/dark gold color with a very fine-bubbled white head. Very sticky lace and the retention is nice.

Juicy tropical and citric hops jump out right away. Not quite as vibrant and big as some of the finest of the DIPA ilk, but plenty nice. Malts and what I am assuming is yeast flash some caramel apple backdrop with a distinct hazelnut aspect. Interesting.

The light color of this beer disguises a fairly decent malt backdrop...has almost an earthy, maris otter feel to it. The hop flavor is a bit tamer than I would prefer, although it does drop lots of resin throughout the sip. Bitterness is pretty big on the back end and lingers long. Pretty good DIPA here, not quite top tier, but Id like to drink it again and quite a deal at 4.99 a bomber...too bad there is not a freshness date on the bottle.

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Delerium Tremens snifter. Pours a nice golden yellow with a two finger massively frothy off-white head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt, hop, and citrus. The flavor followed the nose with malt, hop, and citrus. It had a medium feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a nice IIPA with a very nice hop and malt backbone that blended well together and kept the brew nice and balanced. I would really love to have this one on tap to compare and see if this balance is preserved. Glad this one is readily available in my area currently.

Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 614 ratings.