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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.

588 Ratings

(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
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Ratings: 588 | Reviews: 295 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rebelthrower
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%

A: Nice amber/orangey color with a little haze. Head was big off white and took a long time to go down. Left a think lace on the glass.

S: The aroma a citrus seems to be a lot of yeast and malt as well.

T: Starts with strong hops, grapefruit and bitterness. A little bit of the yeast in the middle. Finishes sweet and hoppy.

M: Very smooth and crisp and medium carbonation. For an imperial IPA it seams to be lacking a little in the hoppiness.

D: Considering the the ABV, it is easy to drink. The taste isnt overwhelming or intense.

rebelthrower, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%

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 BEERchitect
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%

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 waldoiverson
3.88/5  rDev +4%

22oz bomber into us pint

A: golden to orange, not as dark as I had expected, pillowy and creamy offwhite head with great lacing

S: hops from a distance but in the glass you get a lot of malt and yeast with hops of a citrus suggestion

t: pretty well balanced citrus hop with that same malt and yeast flavor, turns quite bitter in the mouth and leaves a bit of a chalky flavor

m: very nice, smooth but not syrupy, crisp carbonation cleans some of the dry bitterness away but not all

d: cost and abv aside, this is a pretty solid beer that doesn't go all hops

waldoiverson, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of TheHoppiest
3.88/5  rDev +4%

Opened the bottle to have it overflow, even though I had not shaken the bottle. Quickly recovered, however, to pour from the 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Pours a golden hazy color, with a thick white head that shows sticky lacing down the sides.

Has a sweet lemony citrus smell that is crisp and clean. Undertones of grapefruit and pine- the hops are shining through.

While there's not a strong up-front hop presence, there are strong bitters in the aftertaste. Presents rather smooth, actually, with some evergreen, juniper, and grass. The bitter squeezes the tongue and leaves it dry. Tasty, but certainly intense.

I love a good, hoppy, bitter IIPA, but the bitterness on this one is a lot to take. It's a sipper, and with 22 oz to drink, that's a lotta sipping.

Got this one from a friend who came up from DC with it. If he brings up another, this will be one to share rather than drink myself.

TheHoppiest, May 15, 2010
Photo of beer2day
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%

Pours deep gold with a billowing 2-finger quarter-floating head. Thick clusters of carbonation clinging to the sides of the glass. Excellent head retention and thick, almost creamy lacing. Very nice.

Understated citrus nose, but with more complex fruit than expected. Weak grapefruit, but also getting grapes, cherries, and even lemon. Interesting.

Teasingly sweet hit, but quickly gives way to hops. Very dry, arid finish. The hop burn is subtler than most, but lasts a very long time.

Body is a nice combination of cream with a slight bit of fizz.

Surprisingly easy to drink. I'm a big fan of dry-finishing IPA's, so this one is hard to put down.

beer2day, May 12, 2010
Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%

Poured into a DFH snifter from a 22oz bottle.

A - Pours a very hazy and nice orange color with some golden hues and hints. There is a nice and dense .5 inch head on this beer that leaves some nice and very sticky lacing along the glass.

S - Orange and grapefruit rind is immediately perceived as the hop notes are very citric. There are some grainy and biscuit notes around there but they're very well intertwined with the hops.

T - Starts of with a mild grain and malt sweetness that only lasts half a second before a grapefruit explodes in your mouth with intense hop citrus flavor and nice bitter notes. As it finishes there is some sweet juice like flavor that pops up right before the beer goes down with a nice dry and crisp bitter finish. Delicious.

M - This is the only downfall for me. It seem a little light and watered down for a DIPA. Still very good CO2 and overall flavor.

D - Very high especially with the lower ABV as compared to other DIPA. Flavors are good and intense but not overwhelming IMO.

JoEBoBpr, Apr 25, 2010
Photo of scruffwhor
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%

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.

scruffwhor, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%

A: Nice fizzy 1.5 finger head rises up in my tulip glass and leaves a nice lacing as it slowly fades, over a very hazy orange peach color.

N: Nice bright hops. Lots of pine, citrus, chewy hops, earthy spicy hops, a little tangerine and grapefruit, a very slight sweet malt can be smelled behind the hops, but a nice hop profile so far.

T: A nice Imp IPA. A slightly sweet malt and chewy malt flavor hits first actually. Pretty much no boozy qualities except just a hint so it hides pretty well. A slight sweet taste with a little crystal and perhaps munich malt. Not too bitter but a nice bitterness with some pine, lots of citrus, a little juicy hops, not as much as the nose overall but there. A little chewy hop presence as well.

M: Decent body with good carbonation.

F: A strong bitterness rises quickly after the swallow and hits with a slightly sharp bitterness. The hops really come out on the finish again, as they did on the nose. Some pine, lots of earthy spicy hops, little citrus, etc. It dries off quite a bit as well, which, as usual, is accentuated by the bitterness. A little juicy hop fruit quality at the beginning of the finish as well. A loooong bitterness too.

jlindros, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of degerbah
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%

Pours a pale yellow that is almost transparent. Very little head at all and what little there is dies away quickly without any lacing at all. The aroma is hoppy, but not nearly as hoppy as I would have thought given the style. The taste is overpoweringly hoppy. The hop flavor is more of a fruity tasting hop that sticks on the tongue for a long time after each sip. the mouthfeel is slightly gritty, whish isn't unusual for a DIPA. Not at all my favorite DIPA. I think its a little too harsh for wasy drinkability and the aftertaste sticks in my mouth so long that I don't really want to take another sip.

degerbah, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of mwa423
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%

Got in a trade, thanks to Wavers1!

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden color with tons of head. In a relatively in-aggressive pour almost overflowed my glass.

S - Pine hops, citrus hops, more citrus hops, and maybe a bit of malt.

T - Very dirty tasting beer, earthy hops, citrusy hops, some steely hard hitting hops and finally chased down by a thick maltiness.

M/D - Mouthfeel is hard hitting hops with a strong bite. This is a semi-drinkable IIPA, if you're a hophead who loves each flavor profile of hops, this is the beer for you.

mwa423, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%

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 BeerisfoodLLC
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass:

A - Light golden color with a thick head and pleasant lacing.

S - Pungent smells of citrus hoppiness.

T - Nice bitterness that I would expect of this style but not overwhelming. The malt is evident but takes a back seat. Complex citrus & piney tastes.

M - Medium bodied and good carbonation.

D - I really liked this one but then I am a big fan of bitterness so if you dont like really bitter....beware.

BeerisfoodLLC, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of bgjohnston
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%

Pours a light orange with bright white head. Low to medium carbonation. Sticks to the side of the glass, and a swirl revives the foam pretty well as you progress.

Either I am having a bad nose day, or the flavor on the first taste just overwhemed it. I catch only a bit of pine in the aroma. However, there's a lot more of that where it came from, and from the very first sip, it is a strong pine and grapefruit rind flavor.

It is quite smooth and enjoyable to drink, despite the strong bitterness. In the end, though, I have had others that were more flavorful for the same style and ABV. Still a nice brew.

bgjohnston, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Florida9
3.43/5  rDev -8%

A: Hazy peach in color with a large, rocky, and somewhat sticky, head. Good retention and excellent lacing.

S: Grapefruit and pine mixed with a little sweet malt.

T: A light dry malt with a heavy bitterness that becomes astringent
over time. Pine.

M: Medium in body with appropriate carbonation. Heavy bitterness.

D: A decent brew, but not one I'll be returning to. The bitterness is overdone and this is little in the way of hop flavor (or malt backbone) to support it.

Florida9, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%

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
Photo of brewcrew76
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%

A - Golden orange with a thin white head and a few strands of sticky lacing.

S - Pine and floral hops with some lemon and grapefruit. Some crystal malt in the background.

T - Bready with some caramel, citrus and grapefruit hops with some astringency. Slight honey like sweetness.

M - Medium body with a drying lingering grapefruit.

D - Decent DIPA.

brewcrew76, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%

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 ghebel
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%

A - Pours mildly cloudy, gold/ orange color with a super head. Lots of carbonation constantly bubbling to the surface. Foam is slightly off-white, fluffy and persistent. When is does finally dissipate, it leaves massive lacing on the glass.

S - Hops dominate - citrus and floral. Caramel malt follows.

T - Strong hop profile with a noticeable bitterness. Malt is in there somewhere, but definitely takes a second seat to the hops. A fleeting sweetness tries to come through before the bitterness hits the taste buds. Alcohol in the end - present, but not overpowering.

M- Bitterness followed by carbonation sting on the tongue. Leaves a tart sensation and lingering bitterness in the mouth. Moderate body. Warms the throat.

D - Drinkable, but as with any double the ABV keeps me from drinking lots. The bitterness will numb the tongue to tasting other beers.

Overall - This is maybe too thin in the malt department for a double, but I really like it. I love the hop forward approach and the aggressive carbonation. The combination works for me.

ghebel, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of eternaljester81
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%

This is one of the most readily available DIPAs in my area, as I can get it at my favorite grocery store. That alone makes it a standby brew, not forgetting that it's a nice beer regardless.

A - An aggressive pour yields an inch-thick, fluffy white head, that quickly subdues into a clingy film. Lacing is moderate and lasting; not thick, but more like clouds on a sunny, spring day. The actual color of the liquid is a hazy, barely translucent orange, which is quite beautiful when held near light.

S - The scent is rather surprising (compared to similar brews), given the hop-forward taste, as it's overly earthy/herbaly, and not much else. I spent time as a youth tending to horses, and there's much in the nose of this beer that reminds of those experiences.

T - Bitter, pithy hops...I could leave it at that. There is some slight, sugary malt in the middle, along with some alcohol-heat in the finish, but they are overtaken by the hops. For a self-proclaimed "hophead", this is quite the tasty beer. However, for those seeking balance, the malt is really in a handicapped fight, with the odds stacked against 'em.

M - The mouthfeel is a little on the thin side, but still slick from the hops. A stronger malt presence would have certainly aided this category, but would have also drastically altered the taste. For a strongly hop-forward beer, the mouthfeel is just about right.

D - The drinkability of Alpha Dog is completely dependent upon your opinion of bittering hops - although I highly doubt those who don't like hops would spend time with a DIPA. For those who love hops (like me), this is a highly drinkable beer, with a dangerously hidden ABV. However, those seeking balance may find this brew to be a bit much.

The availability, coupled with the wonderful hop character of Alpha Dog, makes this a regular standby in my beer rotation. Maybe it's not the best DIPA, but it's quite enjoyable, nonetheless.

eternaljester81, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of Vonerichs
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%

Body is a pale hazy gold with a touch of orange. The head is thick, foamy, impressive, with great retention and lacing.

The smell is somewhat modest and definitely hop forward, but not strong in the least bit. It citric with light white grapes.

The taste is flavorful, but again is bashful. I really wish that it was more aggressive because the flavor is good, but I had to search for it. Good foral and citrus hop profile. I again pick up the white fruit but now I'm thinking apple.

Mouthfeel was a little thin, but is crisp and fresh.

It drinks about right for the abv, and is an enjoyable beer. I wish it was more assertive because that's all that's holding it back from being a really impressive DIPA. The best way I can sum it up is that it kept me on the edge of my palate, cheering for it to break through, but it couldn't quite finish.

Vonerichs, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of scratchchance
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours with a light head and nice laceing. It has a deep golden colour.
Aroma is light for an Imperial with a slight, fresh hop aroma with citrus notes.
On the front is a light bitterness which is very crsip transitioning to a bitter hop bite. Nice but not overly hopped. Citrus and grapefruit come to the front.
Mouth feel is malty, which is to be expected from an Imperial and is very balanced with the citrus flavour, not overly malty.
There is a lasting bitterness but at the same time crisp aftertaste. Overall a very drinkable IIPA

scratchchance, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of billyb14
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Hazy pale-orange color with 2 finger head and good retention. Average carbonation.

Pleasant orange-like smell. Some caramel and spiceyness.

Some toasted malt at first but it quickly gets out of the way for the big hop debut. In your face bitterness here. I get a mix of citrus/piney flavors. The finish isn't too dry, more like oily.

Medium bodies and little on high on carbonation. Overall a good, but not great DIPA.

billyb14, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of Daniellobo
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Good DIPA. A reliable brew for the style.

Presentation: 22 oz bottle. Image of a canine in the dark looking straight to the viewer with pack behind. No description other than generic front label and brand identity. Lacks date of bottling, neither shows IBUs or °Plato, nor Alc. by Vol. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Medium amber body with a medium bubbly head. Medium to short retention with good lacing and a surface memory of the foam.

S - Hoppy, light and fresh scent with a predominant citrus note, tangerine and pine.

T - Hoppy profile with the predominant tangerine-citrus range following the smell and a good malt counterbalance lifting up the hops.

M - Medium body, nicely carbonated, with a pleasing crispness.

D - Good DIPA drinkability, feels enjoyable and has a good DIPA range and finish.

Notes: Nothing much remarkable of the brew other than its marked tangerine nose, but it is a good and pleasing DIPA, albeit a bit generic for the style.

Daniellobo, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of woosterbill
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%

Bomber into a Duvel tulip.

A: Clear pale orange body beneath a one-inch head of moderately dense white foam; good retention and some sporadic lacing. Good, not great looking beer.

S: Mildly spicy, orangey hops dominate, with a hint of caramel malt in the background. Straightforward and pleasant.

T: Less spicy than the nose, with the hop profile drifting more towards grapefruit and pine. Still plenty of sweet caramel malt to keep things balanced before the bitter, astringent finish swoops in. Nice, if a touch less hoppy than I might like.

M: Solid medium body with a restrained amount of fine, soft carbonation. Quite pleasant.

D: The finish and aftertaste a touch too astringent for my taste (especially since the up-front hop presence isn't nearly enough to justify off-the-chart puckering), but the balance within each sip keeps me coming back for more. Not bad.

Notes: I picked this one up on a whim (and since I'd never had a beer from Idaho before), and was pretty pleasantly surprised. While far from spectacular, it's a perfectly serviceable and enjoyable DIPA, and one that I wouldn't mind having again.


woosterbill, Jan 18, 2010
Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 588 ratings.