1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Alpha Dog Imperial IPA - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
Alpha Dog Imperial IPAAlpha Dog Imperial IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

614 Ratings

(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 BretSikkink
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden orange in color with a whitish head. Good stick from a decent height, and overall a fine look. The nose is firmly on the pale side, with only a slight malt presence as compared to the citric hops that spring out of the glass. Bright hops and pale malts rule the day on all counts, as the flavor is strongly biased toward the hops, pretty bitter but fairly drinkable nonetheless. Body is light, with higher carbonation. Not my favorite version of the double IPA style, but The big hop presence is welcome, and if it's a bit harsh, well, there is some room for improvement.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a frothy white head that leaves impressive lacing. The aroma is mostly piney and citrusy hops, along with some biscuity malt, caramel, fruity esters, and some alcohol. The flavor is similar with big citrus and piney hops upfront, as well as some biscuit and caramel, fruity esters, and alcohol. The mouthfeel is short of thick and drinkability is really good for the style. A solid if uninteresting DIPA, very drinkable but short on complexity.

Photo of samie85
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark orange amber color with a pillowy two finger white head.

S-Smells of spicy pine, some grapefruit, and some orange.

T-A bit of bitter, spicy pine, grapefruit and orange mingled with generous amounts of caramel.

M-Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation and finishes with a subtle dryness.

D-Pretty easy drinking for an almost 9% Imperial IPA. I generally find this style to be less drinkable either due to ABV or intense dryness, but this is a pretty enjoyable example.

Photo of runningjoke
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a clear nice amber color. The head is large and turns into a cratered landscape that eventually laces the the side of the glass and a permanent film over the top.
Smells of grapefruit pith possibly pumelo, vanilla, and toffee, malty and yeasty.
The taste follows the smell exactly, adding a strong alcohol presence.
Slightly oily mouthfeel, that leaves that thick scrock in the mouth like after a glass of orange juice.
One sip deserves another. It is not my favorite, but holds its own against its competitors.

Photo of stephens101
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A considerable, tightly packed tan head sits confident above this pinkish-orange brew. Retention is astounding. After it finally disintegrates a thick sheet of lace layers the glass.

Hop aroma involves a pleasant mix of grapefruit and resin. A bit of caramel, vanilla and a subtle nuttiness sneak in through the backdoor. Striking resinous hops to the tongue with a backdrop of grapefruit and malt. Has a chalky aftertaste, some astringency and a big but satisfying alcohol heat.

Medium bodied and coarse at the edges with a smallish creamy core to help offset.

Photo of JoePat
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark gold/orange color with an off white head that dissipates pretty quickly.

I get a lot of orange juice/grapefruit citrus in the aroma. A little caramel sweetness but it is pretty faint.

The flavor is sweet and grassy. Very bitter with not much hop flavor. This beer is cloyingly sweet and very rich. It was clean and no off flavors.

The mouthfeel is pretty average and nothing stands out good or bad.

This beer is way too bitter and sweet without enough flavor. I had a hard time finishing this glass.

Photo of StlHopHead77
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a cloudy,deep peach/orange with a dogged,creamy,two-finger crown of pearly white that died down to a half inch ten minutes after the initial pour.Great head retention and unbelievably sticky lacing.

S-Good hop profile that covers all the bases.Fragrant floral,slick and sharp pine and juicy,fresh citrus hop notes.Good malt backbone of toffee and cracker.

T-Nice sticky bitterness.Candied grapefruit,honeysuckle and caramel malt.

M-Medium to full bodied with good active carbonation and a nice slick and prickly mouthfeel.Clean and balanced.

D-Great IIPA with a well-masked ABV and really good drinkability.

Photo of jsh420
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours hazy golden orange with a 2 finger chunky pillowy head that left lacing all down the glass

smell to me is strange - i get a little orval funk

taste - i pick up the same barnyard funk along with lots of citrus/pine hops and decent amount of bready pale malt

mouthfeel light with good carbonation - very smooth and creamy

drinkability is solid - big flavors, easy drinking and reasonable price

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

Poured from 22oz bottle into SABL glass.

A. 2 finger head. Good retention. Ok lacing. Color is a dark orange.

S. Smell is citrusy floral hops. Some semi-sweet malt lies beneath the hops. Smell is good, but not quit on the same level as a lot of other DIPAs.

T. Taste is sweet with hop bitterness, but not a lot of hop bitterness. has a bit of an off bubblegum flavor. Malt tastes bready/biscuity. Not a whole lof of flavor really.

M. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Very strong lingering bitterness.

D. This is somewhat of a unique DIPA. The flavor was what kind of threw me. It is drinkable enough, just missing a lot of the hop flavors that should be in a DIPA.

Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gorgeous light golden orange, Hazy, with a hefty, pillowy white head that clings to the sides of my snifter, nice streams of bubbles. Leaves excellent lacing behind. Absolutely beautiful looking Double IPA.

Smells extremely piney like a hike through a coniferous forest. Very bright and hoppy smell. Lots of sweet malts are detectable.

The pine really carries through in the taste, nice and sweet too, a little bit of honey in the taste. I can taste a little bit of alcohol, but nothing abrasive, this is extremely smooth, Very flavorful without overwhelming bitterness. I'd consider this a decently malty DIPA, but it's so well balanced by the rich floral-pine flavors of the hops.

medium, nearing full bodied, moderate carbonation. Nice and mellow feel.

Outstandingly drinkable, smooth, well balanced, and delicious. What more could you ask for.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Mikro in Hamden, Conn.

A: Hazy, golden orange with copper highlights and a long-lasting, rocky head of white foam. Carbonation seemed lazy in the muddled clarity of the brew.

S: Full, spicy, citrus hop nose, with lots of grapefruit, orange oil extract and tropical funk to go with the yeasty aroma.

T: A somewhat doughy, chewy malt flavor adds a bit of balance and body to the otherwise chaotic hop profile. Bitter, fruity citrus flavors rush together with peppery, herbal hops an a tropical fruit overtone. Lush, juicy and enjoyable DIPA, although not well-balanced.

M: Full-bodied, sweet and a slight alcoholic burn amidst the lingering hop bitterness.

D: I enjoyed the deep, complex hop profile of Alpha Dog, but wonder if there aren't just better examples of wildly unbalanced DIPAs out there already? Nearing 9% ABV, it's a big, fruity hophead's delight. Others might dog this one for not utilizing its malts more carefully.

Photo of StaveHooks
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a mostly clear amber with a 2 finger sudsy head that retains well.

S - Floral hops and sweetarts. Mango, papaya, sharp honey orange blossoms surround a clean pale malt along with hints of caramel and alcohol vapors.

T - Tart candy flourishes bready malt with some zesty green floral hops making their presence the last half of the drink. The hops add a stingy bitterness that bites but disappears quickly and does not stick around after the finish.

This is an extremely clean drinker. It's green and clean! That should be the new slogan! The tart candy was fun but didn't seem to round off with the malt. It's a wacky DIPA which I like but it needs some refinement.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #34 (Nov 2009):

Boasting over 120 IBUs.

Head retention is not a problem and the haze is a given. Hops, malt and yeast battle it out in the nostril ... win given to the hops by style default, with orangey tobacco notes and a doughy-biscuit maltiness underneath. Toasted grain jumps out and sticks to the taste buds. Hop bitterness is there with a slight peppering of flavor middle to end. Earthy with a mint leaf note in the finish.

Crazy ... crazy flavors here. Not the most together DIPA, but it does end up landing on its feet with a good balance of malt base and hop suppression. The choppy, craggy hoppiness will be appreciated by veteran hopheads.

Photo of tronester
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy golden with a hint of orange. Smells like a freshly harvested hop flower. Taste is super sweet marzipan up front, with a hint of toffee in the middle, as well as a massive herbal and pine cone flavor. Finish is grapefruit juice, and a nice bitter clinging finish. Mouthfeel is rich, medium carbonation. I would get this again, a great example of a DIPA.

Photo of bump8628
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
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 CampusCrew
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: golden, amber, reddish

smell: loaded hops and citrus aroma, grapefruit bomb

taste: this beer is loaded with hops. very solid double with heavy citrus flavor and a noticable grapefruit flavor

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: fantastic brew. I'd drink more

Photo of Shaw
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I could be wrong, but I think this is a new arrival in Florida.

Pours a cloudy amber/gold in color with a huge rocky head that is almost as thick as whipped cream.

Herbal hop aroma.

Big bitter hoppy flavor. I'm surprised it's not as bitter as I was expecting. It's got big vegetable -- almost smoky -- hop flavors. Mild bread-like malt notes, not that I'm looking for any semblance of balance. Hints of booze.

Nice body with plenty of substance.

Overall this is a nice double IPA -- there's nothing wrong with it -- but it doesn't rise to the top of the heap.

Photo of beerphan
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bottle -> SA Taster
no date.

Pours a pale orange with a thick juicy two inch head that coats the glass with chalky lace. Head has amazing staying power and ends up a white pillow sitting alone at the bottom of the glass. Carbonation appears steady and robust.

Nose: Pungent earthy hops, oranges, pine needles.

Medium body with bite. Some pale malt biscuity sweetness pokes through initially but is quickly knocked back with fruity hop goodness. Orange rind and pine, along with herbal grasses come from the healthy hop dosage. Bitterness is brutal and palate destroying. One for the hop heads out there, as balance is not one of this beers attributes.

Craft beer from Idaho, cool. Another bounty beer from New Jersey, that can't be had in PA.

Another 'Lers Monday Night Beer Review.

Photo of cpolking
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper in color with a half inch of foamy head. The aroma is hop forward, of tropical fruit and flowers. The taste is intense yet surprisingly light for an imperial IPA. It is hoppy and tracks the aromas, breezy and tropical. It finishes intensely and bracingly bitter.

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

A - Slightly hazed, striking orange/tangerine with an average sized, dense frothy, bright white head. Decent retention with a nice layer of lace left.

S - A lot of citrus on the nose with grapefruit and sweet orange. Some pine resin and a touch of spice. Has a touch of sweet caramel malt. Some citrus/lemon rind. Nose suggests a pretty hoppy beer.

T - As the nose suggested this is a pretty hoppy DIPA. Hints of caramel malt, but mostly pale malt in the back. A good amount of grapefruit and citrus hops with some lemon zest and rind. Floral hops also make an appearance here. Pine flavors show up but aren't overly strong. Definitely bitter, but has a slight sweetness as well.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Has a thick syrupy feel to it.

D - Pretty drinkable with a definite hop presence and a bitterness but this is countered with a touch of sweetness. Alcohol shows up a bit, but it is pretty well masked.

Notes: Pretty good DIPA. Nothing that sticks out or makes it extraordinary compared to other DIPAs, but it is nice. Hoppy and bitter flavors, but not too out of balance. Worth a try, but don't feel like you have to try this one.

Photo of Brent
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A really nice, citrusy double IPA. ETOH is a little evident, lending a peppery note. Good hops bittering, forceful but not overpowering. Nice level of balancing sweetness. My only complaint was the carbonation/head issue. Foamed over on popping the cap, enough to make me initially fear infection. Half a glass of liquid and half foam, and the foam stayed, and stayed . . . Like having a layer of shaving cream on top of the beer - the most tenacious head I've ever encountered, and a bit off-putting texturally.

Photo of begforme4484
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It looks like most other IIPA's out there. Pours a golden amber color. Had a LOT of head in this one which retained itself for a decent time.

Smell is very laid back. Some doughy sweetness with mild floral and citrus hop overtones.

That taste at first, is very surprising. With the very laidback nose, you would expect the same on the palate. But this beer opens up and just shocks you with tart bitterness. A nice bitter hop bite, followed by some citrus and earthy notes with a sweet bready overtone.

Good amount of carbonation, kinda oily and slick. Medium bodied.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rather average, though appealing, clear amber with a very thick, fluffy, frothy and persistent white head that leaves some serious lacing. Aroma is strong and hoppy with a firm overtone of grapefruit and a hint of sweet orange. Flavor is fairly hoppy with an evergreen hint but just a little bitterness, as well as a strong citrus tone and some malty underpinnings. Edgy texture is rough and fizzy so it dances on the tongue and all the way down. This is indeed an "alpha dog" among Imperial IPAs!

Photo of Lerxst
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a somewhat hazy copper/gold color with a nice 1 1/2" head that has good retention and leaves a lot of sticky lace.

S-Somewhat tame, but pleasant. I'd like a DIPA to have a stronger presence here. Citrus and earthy/grassy hops, some bready malt is there as well. Not terribly complex, and as I said the nose is subdued. It is pleasant, but it doesn't rock my hop world.

T-A nice bitter hop bite leads. The citrus and grassy/earthy hops from the nose are here along with floral hops and the bready malt lingering in the back. Again, not terribly complex or earth shattering, but pleasant enough.

M-Medium body, a bit slick and oily, nice carb level that is not over or under done.

D-Being a somewhat tame beer (a DIPA really? Seems more like an IPA) it goes down easily enough.

Overall, a respectable beer, but with so many other DIPAs offering so much more, I can't see this becoming a regular in the rotation.

Photo of Cheesemoose
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split one with the wife. Thanks to given2flybrewing for including this one!

Poured into two pint glasses with a slow pour as this one produces a good hearty head. Solid 2-3 fingers of head, excellent lacing throughout, with a bit of clumping. A nice murky orange and white head.

Smell has a nice citrus backbone, with some graininess. Inviting, and a bit deceiving.

A hop assault. Strong citrus bite from the hops, pineapple like. A good malltiness comes through, but as you finish, again the hops come back through. Crushing, but enjoyable. What you would expect from a good Double IPA, big with the hops, but with a good backing from the malts.

Mild carbonation, with a slight tinge of alcohol in the finish.

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