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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 erikm25
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into my Stone tulip. This is golden orange with crispy tangerine highlighting. Head is about two fingers of snowy white bubbles. Retention is very solid. Lacing clings in ring like patterns all around the glass. I wasn't overly impressed with the appearance but I quickly learned the old adage about judging a book by its cover.

S: This has massive and juicy aromas. Fresh pineapples, peaches, and lemon zest bubblegum. Strong hints of grapefruit and pine tar with sugar honey sweetness. I really enjoyed the smell of this beer. There were hints of pine but definitely a great mix of citrus fruits thrown in.

T: Strong grapefruit tastes balanced against very subtle caramel malts. Overall, this one delivers on the hops and leaves a solid bittering aftertaste. Pineapples and oranges. A slight lemon taste that pierces the tongue. Even with the heavy hops it drinks smoothly and enjoyably. Rounds out nicely with some peppered spiciness. Caution, as this drinks like a breeze.

M: Medium, bordering on full, mouth feel. This one is sticky and juicy with hops bitterness. Great carbonation.

D: This is a solid imperial IPA. Easily drinkable and for the price it is a bargain. May go toe to toe with my fall back, Ruination. Highly recommended for fans of a strong hoppy beer. Hopefully, this gets into six packs but in the meantime pick up a bomber or grab it on tap. Laughing Dog should be very proud of what they have put together here.

erikm25, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of mnapier
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving Temperature, 50 degrees. Serving Glassware, 12 ounce tulip.

Pours, orange and clear with a strong almost whipped egg white foamy head, that dissipates into a strong tattered lace.
The nose is earthy with grapefruit and a dash of pine.
Swallowing this I get the carmel malts and a sticky quality that is slightly musty with grass tones and some grapefruit.
Overall a medium mouthfeel and man do I suddenly have a craving for fish and chips with some tartar and dill.


mnapier, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of ffejherb
2.95/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at The POPE on 3/6/09 during Philly Beer Week.

A - Slightly hazy golden body with a wispy film for a head that gave way to a thin ring of retention that left virtually no lacing.

S - Fruity nose with lots of fleshy and citrusy fruits with sweet caramel malt. However, there is a pungent cat box character amidst all the sweetness and hop bitterness.

T - Flavor is very sweet initially with a fruit character and sweet malt base featuring caramel notes. Unfortunately, an unpleasant cat box aspect rears its ugly head and dominates the flavor in the middle, and then segues into an aggressive hop bitterness suggesting pine and resin.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and subtle carbonation resulting in a sticky mouthfeel overall. Finishes with an assertive hop bitterness on the palate.

D - I would have enjoyed this much more if not for the cat urine aspect. Not sure if it was the tap line or just the beer. Remove the feline influence from this brew and you would have a pretty solid DIPA. While some might enjoy this very pungent hop profile, it definitely rubbed me the wrong way.

ffejherb, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of cswhitehorse
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Alpha Dog poured a autumn orange color with a massive foam head and some sweet lacing. Head retention was real nice. A good looking beer.

The aroma was super piney and aggressive with the nose. The taste was dominated by the hop abrasiveness. It had a good malt backbone and the 8.7 abv was pretty well hidden. It left a semi dry mouth feel and will satisfy any hop head. Overall it is probably the best beer to date from Laughing Dog that I have tried.

cswhitehorse, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of Tilley4
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to screamforme for this one... What an extra!

Pours out a beautiful golden color and quickly forms a thick dense white frothy head... Sorta hazy...lookin hoppy...

Man, this is surprisingly pungent.. I had a Pliny the Elder a few nights ago and this is smelling like that... Deep and oily and hoppy and sticky..2 for 2 so far...

Wow...this is just super delicious... Oh, its uber hoppy and sticky and juicy but doesn't burn and get all sweet and muddled like a lot of DIPAs....its damn delicious is what it is... I got this as an extra in a trade for some Hop Henge Experimental and this is looking like a star in its own right...

I've had two brews from these guys and both of em have cleaned my clock.. I mean really blown me away... Amazing brew that I was sad to see disappear...

Tilley4, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Laughing Dog- Alpha Dog

A- Golden copper brown with a small filmy head. Good lacing on my pint glass.
S- Good thick caramel malt with piney hops and citrus, grapefruit and orange.
T- Thick caramel malt with sweet citrus and earthy green pine hops.
M- Thick sweet malt with an oily bitter pine/ citrus hop finish.

Overall- Solid tasty DIPA. Easily drinkable and cremy!

NJpadreFan, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of woemad
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber that came into my possession due to the largesse of Chelsea1905. Thanks, Scott! I think he picked it up at Jim's Homebrew - I've yet to see it at Huckleberry's, but then again I haven't been up there in a week or so. I notice that there's a different dog on the bottle. Perhaps Ben the Lab has become jaded. Maybe a dozen or so label appearances have gone to his head and his agent demanded too much coin for this bottle.

Poured a honey-ish color, with a thick, creamy bone-white head that left lots of lace on the sides of a Boundary Bay pintglass.

Big, spicy, piney hops to this one, with some caramel maltiness huddling in the background. Definitely seems like a "West Coast" scent to this one.

The hop taste is HUGE in this beer. Piney and bitter, with the citrusy aspects reduced to the role of supporting player. Speaking of supporting player, the malts - if in a movie - would be delivering maybe one line aboout the weather, then dashing off-screen, and they are not missed once they provide the unspectacular job of providing background. Definitely a scorcher of an IPA, and while not the most perfectly balanced IPA I've had, it can still run with the big dogs (perhaps an unfortunate pun)and it's very tasty.

Body is a little thin for a DIPA, but that's not exactly a detriment in my book, as I personally find many to be overly provided for in that department. Not quite as oily in the mouthfeel department as some I've had, but not to an important degree - it merely means that if you drink this with food, you might be able to taste that food!

Drinkable if you like big hop flavors (guilty). A little too bold to session, if you can even contemplate sessioning something with an abv of nearly 9%. For the price (according to the tag, this was $4.61 - those goofy Jim's prices...), this is a pretty tasty DIPA bomber. Not as expensive as Ruination (the last DIPA that really flipped my wig) and relatively local, I'll be definitely buying this when I come across it. The word on the "street" (a ridiculously, er, "urban" term for a place as whitebread as Spokane) has it that this will become THE Laughing Dog DIPA from here on out. While I came to enjoy Devil Dog (personally I think DD could be re-packaged as a barleywine with little to no modifications, but that's just me), I think I prefer this when it comes to the DIPA style, and look forward to consuming more of this beer in the future.

woemad, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of Magpie14
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: a radiant light honey color with golden and bright reddish-yellow tints. Snow white head with huge thick pieces and chunks of whipped topping. Also, the head maintained a strong presence for sometime. Also a large number of bubbles rising to the top, very active. Lacing was a picture in itself...

S: huge bright hops! I am catching mostly whiffs of green pines, floral, earthy, and maybe some cannabis. Does have sizable hints of honey and sweet rich caramel, smells sweet

T: hops are a dirty earthiness with noble pines, grapefruits, floral fodder, and spiciness all around. This has minimal malt distribution, but I do catch a very light biscuity character. Otherwise, a hop popper! The sweet caramel edge is another hidden agenda but does help move things along as a sweet herbal hopped character.
This is one of the more bitter Double IPA's I have had. Hop character is heavy and has a unusual tastiness. The finish at the back bites and snaps the taste buds. What is the IBU on this bad boy? Another thing, alcohol is not even a concern at almost 9%, very well done

M: finishes bitter and has a mild profile that is gentle. For the strong hop profile this guy is not overly sweet and sticky, which is kind of nice. The flavors are raw and powerful with a mild and somewhat polished finish

D: only complaint is that the profile is sometimes lacking balance. However, I find myself enjoying this brew none-the-less! It is a stretch to say that this beer is "too hoppy," not sure if that is possible for a hop lover, like myself. This one caught me off guard...great! The flavor combination just rubs me the right way

Magpie14, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of John_M
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Quotations last night.

The beer pours the protypical DIPA light orange peach color with very good head retention and lots of sticky lacing. On the nose, you can tell right off this is going to be a bruiser. There is a huge hoppy bitter nose, consisting primarily of citrus and a hint of pine. On the palate, the excessive hoppiness is really too much of a good thing. I consider myself a hophead, but this beer is over the top bitter and could really use some malt to balance it a bit. I don't mind the dry hoppy flavor profile, but the amount of bitterness in this beer is practically painful. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, not that it really matters in this beer. The alcohol is pretty well disguised, but the excessive, aggressive hoppiness literally makes it a chore to drink.

I guess this beer would be great for those times when you really need a hop fix, but IMHO there are enough other DIPA's that are preferable to this one to take care of that need. An interesting beer, but I'm not sure I want to visit it again any time soon. Surprisingly, I was told that this beer (rather then the devil dog) will now be Laughing Dog's standard DIPA. Wow.

John_M, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of djeucalyptus
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a superbly bright golden orange hue with stellar clarity. A generous pour yields a frothy white two-finger head that has some impressive retention, finally falling to a chunky foamy cap that stays to the end, leaving behind some nice cakey lacing.

aroma of green hops. pine and herbal up front with a hint of citrus. More leafy green pine hops dominate the aroma... like pine trees shoved up my nose.

pine all the way, with the help of a fruity boost from some citrus hops. grapefruit pith, grapefruit juice, and a hint of floral hops mix in with the pine. This one is definitely hopcentric - the malt barely makes it through. which is alright. I suppose it's to be expected from 127 IBUs. the hop profile is extremely well balanced and enjoyable - not as overwhelming as I had worried.

mouthfeel is clean. maybe a bit light/thin for an imperial, but it only makes it more drinkable. rich without being heavy or chewy - dangerously smooth. carbonation is spot on - full and creamy without feeling fizzy or bubbly. An amazingly clean lasting bitterness carries the flavors for what seems like an eternity.

I have to say I'm pretty impressed with this one. It seems as if Laughing Dog has gotten things figured out. After a few mediocre/off brews in the past, the last few have impressed, and this one is no different. Maybe not the most complex hop bomb in the world, but it's incredibly drinkable and an all-around solid imperial. When you add in the relatively low price for a 22, I can think of a good reason not to buy this one, especially if hops are your thing.

djeucalyptus, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of ElGordo
4.43/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a bright golden orange hue, topped by a thin layer of stark white head. Sharp aroma of bitter, citrusy hops, offset very slightly by a hint of mild biscuit malt. Notes of grapefruit and pine are prevalent.
Palate is aggressively hoppy up front, with a decidedly piny note on the tip of the tongue. A flash of biscuity malt comes through before the swallow, only to be lost in a huge wave of grapefruity hops that lasts long after the beer is down the hatch.
Body is maybe a little thin for an imperial IPA, and kind of belies the nearly 9% strength of this number. While not the most complex beer around, if you've looking for a good dose of hops, this more than does the trick. Quite possibly the hoppiest beer available for less than four bucks. Good work.

ElGordo, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of Chelsea1905
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For as little as this cost (less than 5 bucks) this is a great bang-for-your-buck IIPA.

Drank this after trying the Full Sail Imperial Stout, so not too much to add other than this baby smelled, and tasted like a floral-piney how explosion!

Medium to full mouthfeel and a pretty well disguised ABV that means you'll drink this one quickly, but it'll knock you on your arse as quick as you drink it!

Overall, another fine offering from the laughing dog brewery!

Chelsea1905, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of bitterthebetter
4.6/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a clear golden copper, with a crisp, clean white head

rich rich hoppy aroma, grapefruit upfront with lemon, resiny pine, sturdy floral notes, spicy hops, and a slight caramel malt aroma

bursting with hops, lemon upfront, followed by solid pine, resin, crunchy herbal notes, florals, slight grapefruit, and a nice biscuity malt body

super big and bold with the hops, with a plethora of solid flavors, long, hoppy, glorious finish it just keeps going with more of the spicy hops rounding out the fresh herbal style finish that just makes you want more and more

a truly fantastic IPA. I love big bold hoppy mothers and this one fits the bill extremely well. Solid hoppy notes with just a slight hint of malt at the base. Super smooth for the 8.7 % ABV but its medium body keeps it from feeling super heavy or over the top. An absolute steal at $3.99, I can't wait to get many many many more of this excellent beer. If you like hops, get at least two bottles, and if you don't then leave it alone because you wont like it

bitterthebetter, Feb 14, 2009
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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 588 ratings.