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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.

594 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 594
Reviews: 295
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.94%
Wants: 18
Gots: 30 | 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: 594 | Reviews: 295 | Display Reviews Only:
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 ArrogantDeadGuy
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy gold pour with forgettable head (that's what she said)with a good amount of visible carbonation. The smell is as per typical, hop heavy, mostly of fruit. The taste is good but a bit refined for an advertised "big beer". THere is nothing wrong with this beer except for its advertising. If you are an Imeperial IPA or American-Double, you ahve to come harder than this. This brew only suffers from an identity issue. The body is good and smooth on the pallet, I would qualify this effort as definately drinkable, just a bit misslabeled.

ArrogantDeadGuy, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of nickd717
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade as an extra from to JohnGalt1 - thanks, Toby! Shared at a BA tasting.

A - Cloudy golden color with a creamy white head and some lacing.

S - Lots of citrus hops on the aroma, orange lemon, with a little sweet pale malt.

T - Sweet pale malt, slight apple notes, and rough citrus hops as well as some pine/resin. This is good, but had the misfortune of directly following Town Hall Fresh Hop 2009, which will blow away just about anything.

M - Palate is just slightly astringent with alcohol detectable and medium-full body. Good IIPA overall.

D - Pretty high. Did not overwhelm despite the supposed 127 IBUs.

nickd717, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of smcolw
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Over the rim, five finger pour. Settles slowly. Great dome head. Leaves a ring of lace on the brim that resembles salt on a tequila glass. Crystal clear, light amber color.

Lots of citrusy (grapefruit) hop aroma. Subtle sweetness to the brew.

Excellent malt start that quickly gives way to a hop bomb. The flavor is strong enough to cover any high alcohol elements. The aftertaste is all hop pellet bitterness, lasting forever (well, at least five minutes)! If I were to look for a complaint, it would be the pedestrian body, almost thin.

A wonderful IIPA, which is my favorite style. Hop lovers rejoice.

smcolw, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of pinotboy007
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Slightly cloudy amber with an amazing, globular, dense styrofoam, Duvel-like whipped head and tons of lace. Impressive by any standard; beautiful.

S - Pine, malt and (believe it or not) sweet cucumber.

T - Very hoppy Pine and grassy citrus with some malt on the back end mingled with some bitter hops and a bit of burnt straw. Finishes mostly dry and a bit of sourness that's slightly medicinal. This would overwhelm most any food.

M - Slightly astringent but with a bit of creamy carbonation. Refreshing nonetheless.

D - The ABV is high and the bittering hops a bit over the top, but it nonetheless will appeal to hop-heads.

pinotboy007, Oct 11, 2009
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.

avalon07, Oct 11, 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 Deuane
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Brilliant golden copper with a medium off-white head that reduced a bit and left attractive, ringing lace.

S-Spicy citrus and light malt sweetness. Not overly aromatic.

T-Spicy citrus with well balancing support from sweet caramel malt. Comes off as only slightly hop forward as the malt comes in quickly. Peppery notes in the finish.

M-Medium bodied, smooth with nice lingering bitterness

D-A well balanced, smooth and tasty DIPA. Nothing wowing here but solid. I enjoyed it enough to order a second pint.

Deuane, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of Vancer
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Time for some Alpha D on this fine fall day. Pours a clear amber into the Corsendonk tulip, plenty of eggshell white head nestled on top.

Sweet orange, bubblegum and hoppy goodness in the aroma. Raspy wood pine in the quaff, semi-harsh and bitter. Not one of the best Impy IPAs I've ever had, but it'll do today. Chewy body, this has potential, with the hidden alcohol, but doesn't really deliver.

Only about $6.50 for a bomber, so not much of a waste.

Vancer, Oct 04, 2009
Photo of Kraken
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 9/19/09

I have been sitting on this for about two months now, not a good thing to do with IPAs. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a standard shaker glass. Moderate pour fails to call forth much of a head, lacing is sub-standard at best. Color is a perfectly clear, slightly copper tinged amber.

Nose- Some sweet caramel notes, a tinge of citrus zest. Not as much as I would have expected. Sniffing the opened bottle offers up and entirely different, more concentrated nose.

Pallate- Seems to shine in this department. Very heavy on the caramels. Concentrated orange, lemon and grapefruits. The hops are more spicy then floral. Bitter yet well balanced. Alcohol is well hidden. Moderate bitterness in the close coupled with a buttery smooth finish.

Mouthfeel- Oily, a bit dry, perhaps a little under carbonated.

Drinkability- Very drinkable for an imperial IPA. Although might question its status as imperial.

Kraken, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of dsa7783
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bomber bottle just purchased from Gary's in Madison for $5.29...
First-ever beer sampled from this Idaho brewery... In short words, a bold, assertive and aggressive DIPA back with a resinous hoppy profile and strong backbone piled with lemon zest, lime, citrus, grapefruit... What detracted from the overall taste and flavor profile was the astringent bitterness present on the back of the tongue after the initial first sips... A powerful and assertive IPA... Strong and noticeable with a warming hint of alcohol much in part due to the 8.7% ABV...

dsa7783, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of spratmi
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a slightly hazy amber color with a bubbly one finger head and copious carbon bubbles rising from bottom of glass. Maintained foamy lacing throughout tasting.
S: Initial impression of sweet malt followed by distinct citrus and pine scented hops.
T: Malty notes up front quickly followed by citrus zest and notes of pine and grass. A bitter, oily grapefruit peel flavored finish made this beer quite bitter as expected. I was reminded of bitter, astringent herbs in the aftertaste. Flavors mellowed as the beer warmed.
M: Light and slightly oily. Medium carbonation.
D: I found this beer to be fairly drinkable. It was refreshing and crisp as it mellowed throughout the tasting. The astringency either waned, or I grew more accustomed to the bitterness.

spratmi, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of froghop
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

semi-cloudy orange-yellow with a medium size off-white head, and a good lacing.

smell of light grapefruit, a touch of pine, citrus, some caramel, a touch floral, and some dandelion.

taste is crisp, bitter hops, pine, caramel, citrus, and earthy, end is nicely bitter.

froghop, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a hazy amber-gold color with a thin but rich off-white head. Sticky lacing all around.

The aroma is quite malty with a good caramel presence and a decent whiff of pine resin and citrus hops.

Tastes of rich caramel malts, pine resin, and oranges up front but fades to a sharp bitterness fairly quickly.

Medium bodied, crisp and dry, and moderately carbonated.

A pretty good IPA from Laughing Dog but not one I'd go out of my way to have again.

Monkeyknife, Aug 31, 2009
Photo of mntlover
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazy copper color with a thumb sized head that falls to a ring that leaves some sticky lace behind.

Aroma is hops light citrus more orange then anything mixed with floral notes. Some light caramel notes from malt but hops are upfront.

Taste is hops citrusy mellow orange notes with mint hints to start but moves into lingering grapefruit rind bitterness. Man this beer is all hops, not much malt at all noted.

Mouthfeel is only medium carbonation doesn't really feel that big but hops somehow seem to make it bigger.

Drinkability is ok defiantly a hop bomb hard to knock and I2PA for not having malt but this one could use more.

mntlover, Aug 23, 2009
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.

DefenCorps, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of lackenhauser
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice, somewhat pale coppery color. Great fluffy head to go with it. Low aroma-some grapefruit and piney like smells but it is quite subdued. Almost a sulfury smell to it as it has warmed some-odd. Big blast of hop bitterness followed by a heavy hop flavor. Sweet and sticky malty goodness in there. Nice full body-lingering bitterness along with a slight sticky feel. good double IPA for sure. Looking forward to more from these brewers.

lackenhauser, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy bright orange body, topped by a fist full of billowing dentable white froth. Glass coasts with elaborate stretched lace.

Appealing citrusy aroma.

Firm malt beginning is rapidly overwhelmed by a pack of hops. Juicy, fruity, and with a crashing bitterness at the swallow.

Firm mouthfeel, not sloppy or syrupy. Solid drinkability for the style. Wish I had another for tomorrow.

A solidly enjoyable Imperial IPA, worth a try.

RonfromJersey, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of Traquairlover
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22-oz bottle poured into tulips.

A = Very slight chill haze, but more clear than I was expecting, orange tinted, mostly golden colored liquid, small white head made up mostly of foam but also interspersed with medium bubbles, recedes to a thin foam cover over surface after about 5 minutes and leaves medium lacing.

S = Definite pine notes, but also cinnamon bun. Not terribly complex but more balance from malt based smells than I expected.

T = For all the malt aspects in the smell and even in the taste, there is such a strong bitterness that it is the prevailing thing I am left with. I do get some grapefruit rind mixed with honey, and untoasted white bread. Really though a distinct bitterness from tongue tip to long finish is the major note shining through this one.

M = Medium-heavy body, creamy mouthfeel, decent mouthcoating, though maybe just a little light for the body.

D = I'd have to say this ends up being so dry from the bitterness that though an enjoyable beer it is not highly drinkable.

Traquairlover, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of brewandbbq
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from the fridge.

Pours clear dark gold with a one inch head of white. A partial skim coat remained for the duration as well as some streaked dots of lacework.

Aromatics lead off with a blast of sugared grapefruit, pine pitch, and candied spruce bark. Light malt follows through, but this ones all about hop resins.

Medium bodied with a chewy edge, tacky mouthfeel, and a slight sugar crunch.

A massive whallop of sticky resins and crushed grapefruit start the palate. A heavy dose of bitterness quickly follows through along with plenty of juicy, pungent hop flavor. Malt is subdued but present and not missed much here.

Finishes with lingering, chewy hops, faint malt, a sustaining bitterness, and a hint of warmth.

Wow. Great IIPA and tasting uber-fresh. Just a bit on the sweet side, but otherwise totally rockin' and highly drinkable.

brewandbbq, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of czechsaaz
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big citrus hop aroma. Not much else gets through but the hops.

Golden colored and clear with a pretty big rocky head that leaves a little lacing.

Lots of bittering hops. Lots of hop oil flavor too. In thye middle nice base malt sweetness and some floral hop and citrus hop flavor. There's a lingering malty aftertaste too.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin for an imperial. The carbonation level is pretty high and rough too.

Overall it's pretty good. Not the best of the style but in this price range ( >$5 22oz. ) it's a good choice.

czechsaaz, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of YankChef
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz pour into oversized duvel glass

apearance: really foamy bright white hed, limited bubbles. Nice sticky lacing, completely clear really dull copperish color

smell: Aroma is very grassy and herbal, also some juicyfruit hops in the backround and subtle slightly roasted malty notes

Taste: Caramel sweetness upfront and then nice hop punch with more of the grassy kind of hop goodness, im not sure how old this one is but i would venture to say not very fresh. ALso has some flowery-ness to it

overall: Quite a bitter and nicely hopped IIPA, i think i let it warm a bit too much which may have affected the experience, between this and the black ipa im not too high on this brewery and wont seek anymore of there stuff out unless implicitly recommended by a fellow ba

YankChef, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of jamie2dope
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had never seen this brewery around these parts, so I guess a welcome to Boston is in order with a review of their Alpha Dog beer. Golden in color, with a large, creamy white head, this is a really appetizing looking brew. Tree sap, some light metallic smell, resin and grapefruit hit the nose in a subtle, but good way. Hops strike the palate as harsh at first, but their become easy enough to get used to. Body is a bit thin, and one dimensional, which is unfortunate considering some of its other high points. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Not a bad attempt at DIPA from Laughing Dog. Would I buy this again? Maybe not, but I am curious to see what else they have in store. Cheers

jamie2dope, Jul 30, 2009
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.

EliottJW, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of JayQue
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A hopheads version of a balanced DIPA. The balance is between floral hops, citrus hops and pine hops!!!

Pours a fairly clear orange color with a medium size off white head. Good head retention and lacing.

Smell is pronounced citrus and floral hops, very good.

Tastes great. Tremendous hops bite. Floral, citrus and pine hops float across the taste buds before destroying them

Mouthfeel is very good. Little alcohol presence, big hops bite, very rich.

Drinkability is very good for a hophead. The big bite tames down as you progress on the beer.

My son-in-law and I finished the session up with Founders Devil Dancer. Devil Dancer has a stronger alcohol presence and richness. Alpha Dog has a more prominent hops bite.

This is a very good DIPA.

JayQue, Jul 24, 2009
Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 594 ratings.