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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
Alpha Dog Imperial IPAAlpha Dog Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

629 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 629
Reviews: 302
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 13.67%
Wants: 21
Gots: 40 | 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:
Beer added by: bitterthebetter on 02-14-2009

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 629 | Reviews: 302
Photo of DefenCorps
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
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 lackenhauser
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
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.
Nice.

Photo of czechsaaz
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of YankChef
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
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

Photo of jamie2dope
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
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

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.

Photo of JayQue
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

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

Tropical sunset tangerine with bright slivers of lemon peel along the edges. The upper half of the glass contains a tight-bubbled cap that is the color of barely toasted marshmallows. The head has a great deal of character, along with a lengthy half-life, and is doing a fine job laying down lace.

This isn't the best smelling DIPA in America, but it does enough right to earn a good score. No malt is appreciated, just bright, citrusy, spruce-like hops. Simcoe, Columbus and Mt. Hood are used, for those who care about such things.

Alpha Dog is distinctly different from Devil Dog. The latter is sweetish, caramel-malted and barleywine-like. This brew is bitter, pale-malted and more classically DIPA-like. If they were liquor rather than beer, the brewery could use the tagline, 'different hooches for different pooches'. Well, maybe not.

The thing that keeps the taste score from being higher is less than bombastic hop flavor and a fraction too much unmasked alcohol. Double digit DIPAs have an excuse... this one doesn't. The claimed IBU count of 127 is hard to argue with since AD is impressively bitter.

In addition to pale malt, honey malt and light Munich malt are present. The last of those gives the beer a hint of earthy toastedness that is quickly swamped by white grapefruit pith and peel. Maybe a little orange zest as well. It doesn't taste like Simcoe was added with a very heavy hand, which is a shame.

The body/mouthfeel is on the lighter side of the style spectrum for two reasons. Malt sugars are relatively scarce and the alcohol cuts through any potential stickiness with scalpel-like precision. It still manages to be smooth and silky, which is a definite plus.

Given Alpha Dog's high-octane, high alpha acid personality, only big beer loving hopheads need apply. They're both pretty good, but Devil Dog would be my choice if I could have only one Laughing Dog DIPA.

Photo of deereless
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Tightly packed head, a light golden straw color, lingering froth - 3.75, S: Lots of earthy hops, green pine needles, faint hint of Bazooka Joe bubblegum, floral - 4.00, T: Bitter almost pungent hop bite, pink grapefruit, rum soaked raisin bread, hops dominate the beer - 3.00, M: A little sticky and creamy - 4.00, D: An true Northwest IPA - brash, not the most balanced, decent beer worthy of a try - 3.00

Photo of mikereaser
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a murky rusty brown with 1/4 inch of tan foam

S - citrus-orange, grapefruit and lemon, light malt and piney hops

T - sweet malt backbone, slight citrus and piney hop taste and a good amount of bitterness

M/D - good carbonation and mouthfeel, nice dry finish with a good strong bitterness to it. I'd recommend at least trying it once.

Photo of jlb307
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bomber into a snifter. Thanks to my buddy Dave for giving me this one.

A: Beautifully hazy golden orange with a thick fluffy white head that stuck around for the entire drink! So much lacing on the glass it was almost perverse! Globs of foam all over the surface.

S: Floral and piney and naturally smacking of hops. Hints of grapefruit, honey, and just a little bit of malt.

T: Syrupy sweet, but not in a bad way. Let the flavor completely coat the mouth and you get a hoppy bitter/sweet that's familiar but new at the same time. Nice and clean finish with just a touch of alcohol on the back of the throat.

M: Thick and sticky. The way a DIPA should be. Great balance with the carbonation.

D: If you've had other good DIPA's, you'll really like this beer. Nothing really distinguishes it from most of the others, but rather it is in good company.

Photo of koopa
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Directly between honey and orange body with a 2 finger white crown that has lots of retention and lacing. The foam compresses nicely leaving clumps like snow.

Smell: Good amount of floral hops with a sweet malt underbelly.

Taste: Much more malt presence than I expected considering the color of the body. Bitter to borderline astringent hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Just fine as the carbonation helps the slightly chewy medium to med/full bodied brew go down.

Drinkability: With an 8.7% abv and a astringent flavor profile I couldn't see myself wanting more than a pint.

To me this brew is a mess although I wouldn't call it a miss....

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to JohnGalt1 for this brew.

Pours a very nice cloudy orange/yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus off-white creamy head, with lots of nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is hoppy, with some malts, citrus and pines. The taste is slightly sweet, hoppy, slight malts, very nice touch of citrus/pines. Medium body, a tasty/chewy/bitter brew. Very drinkable, I'm really enjoying this brew.

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

Snagged up a bomber... thought what the hell, never have had anything from this brewer.. why not try one that is my favorite style!

- Fluffy white head, major lacing in my pint mug. Rather clear golden brown color.. pretty simple but with great lacing and head.

- Smell is rather light and mild.. but contains a bit of sweet caramel malt, piny hops w/ a touch of bitterness... and alcohol.

- Really smooth but a little much of alcohol present. Otherwise very sweet and has a great blast of bitter hops with a bit of pine, and citrus.. not much is floral at all.

- Bitter, slightly drying.. parched.

- Overall a pleasant DIPA.. but doesn't stand out too much from others... I find it hard to be an "A" DIPA w/ stuff like Hercules, HopSlam, and Pliny out there....

Photo of argock
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.49.

A: Slightly hazy orange amber with 2-finger off-white sticky head with good retention and lacing.

S: Serious piney hops with lesser touches of orange and grapefruit with little bits of crystal malt poking through

T: Huge hops firepower with citrus and pinesap hops flavors layered throughout. Floral notes also break through, with crystal malts doing much of the counterpoint lifting, without much success.

M: Very sticky with tons of alpha acids. Mouth-coating with the best DIPAs. Low carbonation as expected. Heavy pine aftertaste.

D: A really good DIPA with a really good price tag. I'll be back for another dose of hoppy goodness.

Photo of clayrock81
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy gold cider body with a frothy two-finger offwhite head. Some minor roasted malt smells along with citric and grapefruit in the aroma, albeit very mellow. Taste is more of the same as the beer is smooth but watery, and as I drink it is a tad sweet and has some minor citric and grape notes in it with a minor dry backbite with a touch of woodiness. More like a pale ale, yet alone a DIPA. Not a bad beer at all but not what I am looking for in this style.

Photo of Pencible
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a nearly clear gold with a bit of white head. It smelled like grapefruit and pineapple and orange, with some caramel. It tasted like grapefruit and apricot, with some orange and copper hops and caramel malt. It was watery with a bit of carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this had a pretty nice, clean flavor along with good body. It hid the alcohol well, so it was pretty easy to drink. However, it could use a bit more malt sweetness to balance the intense bitter hops. It was still enjoyable, but it smelled better than it tasted, and didn't leave a lasting impression.

Photo of BeerSox
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into nonic.

Dull and hazy amber hue with a one finger stone khaki head that very slowly settles to a thick cap.

A moderate amount of pineapple is in the background, with touches of citrus.

Sharp grapefruit flavors on top of a somewhat stale malt flavor. The malts carry a bit of a toasty flavor, and a touch of burnt caramel. Full bodied.

An okay IPA, but there seems to be too many off flavors. Not sure if it was long shelf life, or yeast out of control (I'm leaning toward the latter).

Photo of timtim
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

nice looking slightly hazy apricot color with long lasting head and lots of chunky lace. the smell of caramel and grapefruity, piney hops filled the air as soon as i started pouring. it's a really nice smelling beer with quite a powerful nose. that beign said, the beer was very good, but not remarkable. pine, citrus, herb/grass... all the typical dipa things going on along with caramelly malt in the background. lucious body. very silky with a long bitter finish and the 8%abv (right where i like 'em to be) is hidden very well. another great beer to cure the hop jones in ya, but also one i won't really hunt for.

Photo of Nickls
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Really hazy marigold color; poured with a half-finger of slightly off-white head. Good retention and lacing. Pretty standard for a DIPA.

S - Citrus hop aromas; some grassiness as well; decent amount of sweetness from the malt as well

T - Hop bitterness is the order of the day here; citrus comes through; bit of alcohol; everything is good until toward the end there's some astringency.

M - Medium, a bit oily; substantial carbonation

D - Just above average for me against the style. The hops are very aggressive, which doesn't necessarily bother me, it's the touch of astringency toward the end.

Overall, pretty aggressive brew, and decent enough. Needs some cleaning up, then it would be a great hop bomb. Worth a look.

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

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a golden copper color with slight haze. Has a big pillowy beige head that disipates slowly leaving behind nice sticky lacing.

S: Starts out with sweet citrus and pine aromas followed by a nice spicy smell of hops.

T: The tast of this DIPA is pretty intune with the aroma. Sweet flavors of grapefruit and other citrus fruits followed by some slight pine flavors and finishing with a bitterness that's slightly sweet.

M: This is a medium/full-bodied DIPA with nice prickly carbonation that finishes very smooth.

D: This is a very drinkable DIPA especially for the price @ $3.99 I will be drinking more of this for sure!

Photo of beerthulhu
3.49/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 629 ratings.