Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
Sneaky Pete Imperial IPASneaky Pete Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

178 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 178
Hads: 679
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 13
Gots: 79 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing visit their website
Idaho, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: CampusCrew on 03-28-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 178 | Hads: 679
Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy orange color with a light head that doesn't trail the glass. The smell had citrus on the forefront but subsided from more than a little bit of the booze in it. The taste had a nice introduction with fruit and hob bitterness in the beginning with some darker fruits coming through after. The finish however wasn't as clean as I like in an IPA. Overall not bad and very nice considering how strong it is but not my favorite. (435 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: clear amber brown ale with a coupla fat fingers of beige head that laced the glass nicely

S: toast and faint perfume; woodsiness (is that a wood?) and some very faded dark grapefruit/citrus

T: pine and sweet resin, malty fruitiness; earthy and subdued; something caramel sweet; brown-tasting, if that makes sense

M: medium-weight, smooth, some coating and tack; almost smoky aftertaste

O: a decent beer, but I have no idea about the age - a random buy, I don't think it was ever in my stores before, but that doesn't mean it was fresh; in some ways reminded me of a very mellow SN Torpedo. Not typically one to go for IPAs or DIPAs this dark, so that may have skewed my review somewhat. Worth the try. (708 characters)

Photo of gopens44
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one is almost always on the shelf. Perhaps it lacks the sexiness of a brand new DIPA to the market or it gets lost in all the seasonal and limited DIPA releases, but it certainly fits the bill for a go to DIPA. Hints of honey in an otherwise piney bitter brew with very good balance and equally satisfying body. Aftertaste lingers for just a bit with a bitterness that isn't overly cloying in sweetness yet isn't' thin. Good all around DIAP for taking care of that DIPA Jones you may get during the off-season for DIPAs (524 characters)

Photo of CHickman
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 2/10/2012: Pours a very cloudy orange amber color with a 1 finger creamy light tan head that was full of tiny bubbles and faded slowly to average, leaving good spotty lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, caramel, mango, pineapple, orange, guava, citrus hops, pine hops, brown sugar, dark fruit, light herbs, floral hops, syrup and graham cracker; the sweetness and citrus are aggressive and like a barleywine and yet so sweet and hoppy like fresh wet hops were added. No trace of the 10% ABV in the nose, just lots of strong sweet notes.

Tastes very sweet and boozy up front, with of caramel, toffee, mango, pineapple, orange, guava, citrus hops, biscuit, sweet malt, butter, piney hops, brown sugar, dark fruit, light herbs, floral hops, syrup, light cinnamon, graham cracker, and blueberry pancake; it is a very sweet beer, with strong piney and citrus hops almost dominating, but allowing some malt and booze (almost like rum) to add some balance. It leans well towards the sweet side, but this is still OK to drink for a DIPA. It’s close to being too sweet and offensive, but has enough juicy hop flavors to make this drinkable.

Mouthfeel is thick and smooth, buttery, with a chewy, heavy body, very basic carbonation and a bitter citrus aftertaste (complete with a pucker like sucking a grapefruit).

Overall I liked it, but it was a tad bit too sweet and the alcohol made it hard to put down easy, so this is not something I would seek out again. There are a lot better DIPA’s out there, but I’m glad I was able to try this sweet juicy brew. (1,561 characters)

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours orange-amber, with just a hint of haze. Head was a solid finger of off-white with a touch of orange; it lingered fairly well, and left a decent lace clinging tp the walls of the glass.

S: Hops aromas dominate, with citrus oils, flowers, pineapple, and pine resin notes.

T: An explosion of cloyingly sweet malt, which is joined by fruity flavors of clementine and pear (but no diminution of sweetness). After a moment, tart and bitter grapefruit rind comes to the forefront, but even that fades to reveal the sugary sweetness again.

M: Crisp and perfectly carbonated. Slightly chewy, with the high ABV well hidden.

O: The hops were just about right, but the malt (and, I wouldn't doubt, adjunct sugars) just overpowered it. I've seen some reviewers mention that it's balanced, but they must have a serious sweet tooth to think so. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, or even that I was surprised that a beer with the "imperial" name would have a lot of added sugar. I just think that turning it down a notch would have allowed the hops to really shine. (1,066 characters)

Photo of joeworrall
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

comparing this tonight against Sierra Nevada Hoptimum and Firestone Walker Double Jack... tought competition!

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine goblet, the color is orange, and very clear, with at thin head. Aroma is citrus dominant with warm mouthfeel from the high alcohol content. The flavor is well balance, with a slightly bitter aftertaste, but very enjoyable.

This is a good IIPA, probably in my top 20, but against the other two I'm drinking tonight, it's in last place. (485 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The end of the line. At Al's.

A: The DIPA looks more like a barleywine, a darker crimson amber color, much closer to the darker end of the spectrum. A thin head, white, comes with the pour.

S: The nose is bold, treacly with malts and bitter with hops. The malts seem to be the bigger draw, over-compensating for the hops.

T: Balance again seems to be the norm. Hops and malts are in equal supply. The strength of both pushes the ale towards barleywine territory with a bold chewiness. Dark fruitiness follows the malts, depth and strength in tow. Hops are there though, a bitterness that bites back with a citrus vengeance. Malts drive the finish, bold and strong. My take away, balance to the excess, both malts and hops providing a a big taste.

M: Strong but too well balanced, resulting in a barleywine flavor. Plenty of malts, dark fruits lingering, overtake the hops in just about every sip. (900 characters)

Photo of gatornation
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from 22 oz bomber bottled on 030512

A- pours a clear dark copper color with a tan 1 finger head and some good lacing, a dark looking 2ips
S- was tropical fruit hops bouquet and sweet malts
T- was tropical hops front and center very little bitterness followed by sweet malts and some citrus/pine hops
M- was smooth,creamy and sweet with pungent tropical hops
10% ABV well hidden
O- a sweeter 2ipa than i like leaned towards the malty side at time was very drinkable and floral in the hop profile at $9 a bomber i wont be buying very often, def worth a try (559 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a seethru copper body with two finger head and lace. Citric hop aroma with some type of buttery (butterscotch?) malt sweetness (is not the typical caramel smell). The malts in the beer give off a slightly sweet, more bready, dry, fuller base that balances with the bitter hops. Not a bad DIPA, and the ABV is well-hidden (doesn't bleed at all), but there really isn't enough of a flavor punch to make this beer stand out. Not bad or mediocre but also not great. (472 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Laughing Dog "Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA"
22 oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED 8/18/141157"
$6.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Having tasted "Sneaky Pete" without checking the label to see what style it was supposed to be, I was unsure. It's clearly malty and strong, and hoppy, but I didn't get "Imperial IPA" out of it.

It pours a hazy deep amber body with golden highlights beneath creamy head of off-white/khaki that drops readily but leaves some nice short walls of spotty lace behind.

The aroma expresses damp earth and pine needles, pretty much what you might find if you walked beneath a stand of tall pines after a rainstorm. It's citrusy as well, and there's a bit of malt to boot, delivering a very light note of soft carmel and bready dough.

The flavor hits you right upfront with the pine, which is interesting because that's not found too often anymore - centennial hops. There are other hops there as well but they don't particularly stand out on their own... some grapefruit, some floral notes (Hallertau?), and a hint of mint. They're all blended in with the malt which is caramelish, but also somewhat spicy (rye?). It's hoppy, but not distinct. A solid bitterness backs it, and although it has different components to it, it comes off almost as a thick scratchy tartan blanket. There's a lot going on - probably too much going on - and it loses focus, becoming almost a blend made up of so many things that it's just one flavor.

So the question then is, is that flavor good enough? Or at least good enough to be labelled "Imperial IPA"? Well it has strength, but the alcohol isn't hot, and remains for the most part hidden - good. It's hoppy, so there's that. The malt balances it, and it works on a certain level. Where it falls apart is that it lacks definition, distinction of components, and overall character despite the fact that everything seems all rolled up into one! Overall it falters and doesn't quite live up to the "Imperial IPA" designation, but it's still a fairly pleasant and drinkable beer with a bit of intrigue to it. (2,069 characters)

Photo of cdrogers
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in tulip glass.

Appearance: Nice dark bronze in color with a slight off-white head. The head did not seem strong and disappeared quickly.

Smell: Has a slight woody-pine smell and some light citrus notes.

Taste: Not sure how to describe this one, but it felt very "thick" and not a lot of carbonation. Did not have much of a hop bite and very litter lingering bitterness. Got some oak flavors going through it as well.

Mouthfeel: As mentioned above it felt very thick and as if it were missing something.

Overall: It felt like something was missing from this one. Didn't get the expected strong hop bitterness, but was decent. It also didn't come across as having 10% ABV, but that isn't a bad thing. (711 characters)

Photo of thain709
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - The body appeared a darker shade of gold with a one finger, white head...there was a lot of carbonation visible and the head retention was apparent of that...a sheet of lace was left on the glass

S - A little more towards the sweet malt side...caramel and some subtle bready notes overshadowed the bitter hops

T - More balance was shown in the flavors...the hops and malt blended well together at first sip...the sweet malt takes over in the middle of the beer presenting itself as sticky caramel and slightly buttered bread...a flavor I haven't picked up on in a IIPA before...the hops come back strong so this one starts to finished bitter before it's cut down again by the caramel malt

M - Medium bodied...stick and dry while finishing sweet

O - This IIPA was balanced to an extent...the malts seemed to jump out more than the hops...and just when you thought the beer was going to finish bitter, the malts came back to balance things out...watch out for the ABV it comes back to get you (998 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quite a bit more coin that I am usually willing to pay for a DIPA; which is saying something for me. Oily on the flavor profile. Kind of a chalky thing going on. Mild detractor. Very mature pine tone is very evident. This isn't a typical dipa, which is fine by me. It's still a nice drinker. Just not blowing me away so much. (325 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Out of the bottle pours chestnut brown, hitting with a very dark amber body. Great red clear hues from there, making an off light brown/tan about two fingers, foamy and with some creamy texture hues. This looks like a brown ale.. interesting I dig it.

Mushy orange citrus, and apricot jam for a hop feel. Some residual sweetness with a hint of malt. Creamy smelling, whipped up, almost chocolate... real interesting.

Ok on taste this is very unique. It's a mish mash of citrus double imperial hop styles, but also an anise stout bent in the palate. Citrus hits first in the palate, and a dry mouthfeel of anisette comes forth in the finish. Feels a little syrupy, hints of barleywine like boozyness.

Overall this is a very unusual and unique tasting double IPA but I really don't think this is for me. I applaud it for it's unique profile but this is not what I look for in this style. Others though may really dig it. (970 characters)

Photo of dawatts
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my DFH tulip glass.

A - Beautiful burnt caramel color with a thick creamy head that slowly dissipates. Sticky looking lacing that shimmers.

S - Orange zest and fresh baked bread with some vanilla and banana.

T - Stong orange peel with some sweeter citrus as well. The caramel is secondary and the maltiness is there too. It has a tartness too almost unripe cherry. The hop bitterness is nicely melded here and it finishes out on the sides of the tongue.

M - Good carbonation and a nice balance of sweet and bitter. This beer drinks like a 7% beer and not a 10%er. Amazingly hidden.

O - An interesting and delicious double IPA. The tartness threw me but as the glass warmed it really opened up and improved the balance. (736 characters)

Photo of Bonsall_Phil
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful copper beer with a beautiful off white head. Beer laced nicely all the way to the bottom. Scent was unusually heavy pine, I would also add that for me, an anise aroma is there as well. Something not quite right on the scent and the flavor follows. Most intense pine flavor I have ever experienced, I'm sticking with the anise thought too. The lingering floral aftertaste is quite pleasant and the mouthfeel is absolutely perfect, softly foaming and lifting the floral palette ending part of the taste. It really saves this beer.

Look and mouthfeel are so good on this brew that it really is worth a try. The flavors are crazy potent, which makes it quite interesting and a must try. I can easily picture bringing a couple of these to camp up in the mountains.

Thanks to my good friend Lott for passing this along. (837 characters)

Photo of Hopswagger
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P:  Clear amber body with a full finger of frothy rootbeer float head. Thick silky lacing along the sides. 

S:  Juicy citrus fruits, mango, grapefruit, pineapple. Alcohol is well established accompanied by toasted grains.

T/M:  Burst of chocolate on a rather thick chewy body. Rich chocolate and roasted malts are at the front of the pack followed by a small amount of citrus. All the fruit in the nose is absent in the taste.  Finish is surprisingly wet with floral hops serving up a timid bitterness. 

O:  Too much malt for my taste, but good all the same. I think it's too overpriced for what it is. Good mouthfeel and good flavor with an interesting floral characteristic. Not my personal favorite but I like more citrus forward tastes in my ipa's.  (764 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized wine glass a deep burnt orange with one finger sticky white crown,deep citric hops,caramel malt,and alot of sweet booze in the nose.Like alot of others who reviewed this beer I think this is more of an American barleywine than anything else,its sweet and boozy with a decent shot of citric/resiny hops in the finish.Its alot like Up the Creek from Thomas Creek in its flavor profile,both are considered DIPA's,but to me both are barleywines.In saying all that its flavorful and chewey,and really quite brash...wich is a good thing. (556 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy dark reddish copper in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high beige head that gradually died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface, a ring of bubbles around the edge and a web of lacing on the sides of the glass.
S: The smell has interesting aromas of grapefruit, orange and passion fruit from the variety of hops.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has lots of fruity flavors from the hops along with hints of caramel malts and spicy rye. Only a subtle amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation; it coats your mouth but isn’t crisp or sticky.
O: This beer has a great balance between malts and hops and hides its alcohol remarkably well. It would make a great pairing with food. (851 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-03-31 in Lancaster, PA at The Fridge.

A - Hazy, new-penny copper color with a very short, light tan head and mild lacing.

S - Fairly tame. Rock candy, orange, sweet hop floral and hop bud. Some caramel as it warmed.

T - Caramel, earthy spice, sweet musk melon, pine, citrus, nuts and a touch of umami. Aftertaste stays sweet for quite awhile but partially dries to a lingering lemon zest bitterness.

M - Medium body and light carbonation. Smooth, creamy, resinous and lightly prickly.

O - An enjoyable and well-balanced DIPA. Don't drink this cold as the flavor significantly improved as it warmed; especially the nuttiness and balance between sweetness and bitterness. (692 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark yellow, really looks like some lesser attempts at hefeweizen. Thin yellow head. Grassy hop aroma, hints of cocao powder even, this is shaping up to be a weird beer.

Taste, wow, good hop flavor, grassy, just like the smell, hides the alcohol extremely well. Ample bitterness. Not boozy. Little spicy uptick, some have mentioned rye, could totally see that making up a small % of the base malt. Fractional pine flavor, but mustier grass hoppy is a better description.

$10 at total wine for a 4 pack is reasonable. (534 characters)

Photo of BeerHiker
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this at Whole Foods in a growler.

Poured into a huge Oktoberfest mug

The pour is a deep rich dark ruby-red hue. "this beer looks medieval!" my girl-friend exclaimed when I gently poured it in my mug. A nice hearty frother-frolic of a head Very .nice lacing too... It likes to stay.

The smell is of a typical strong D.I.P.A. Piney boozy and malty..yes, all at once. So much hop smell it almost numbs your nose.

The first sip politely slaps you in the face with huge malty pleasure...only to slowly transform into a decadent hoppy tongue-massage.
Strong hops, booze, and caramel in the aftertaste. A very different D.I.P.A.. different, but awsome. I love the flavor of this beer.. I could tell it was a bit too much for my girlfriends dad, and my own mother.

Overall, I was impressed by Ol' Pete. Well worth the $20 growler fill. Everyone around me thought it was over the top, but I thought it was top-notch. If you are looking for a uniquly satisfying D.I.P.A. this is your man (er, I mean dog..) Give this one a try for sure.

Skal! (1,046 characters)

Photo of dwren89
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber brown/reddish with fluffy off white head and good clarity

Aroma: citrusy with a little pine, grapefruit, caramel and toasted bread notes

Taste: definitely a hop driven beer, most of the taste comes from grapefruit and pine hop character, with slight toasted bread malt character. Some fusel alcohol taste present

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, medium carbonation

Overall: Definitely refreshing and delicious, this Imperial IPA is not too big and heavy that you can't have a few of them. However there seems to be a little body lacking to balance the hop bill. The beer comes off as a little too unbalanced, even for an Imperial IPA, but only slightly. The fusel alcohol notes are also present, though no totally unwelcome. Overall a good choice for a strong IPA, but I wouldn't say this is my favorite. (822 characters)

Photo of davey101
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A - Deep amber/copper body. Tan head, loads of lacing and retention.

S - Biscuity malts, caramel, piney resinous hops.

T - Great balance between caramel malts and piney hops. Alcohol is slightly noticable on the end. Not excessively bitter. Smooth and velvety mouthfeel.

O - A nice double IPA. Doesn't really stand out, and it certainly seems like an east coast style IPA due to the malty backbone. The label is really great. (471 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip, no bottle date. Pours crystal clear dark red color with 2-3 fingers of a dense khaki head with great retention that reduces to a fairly thick lacing cap. Some lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of big caramel, grapefruit, orange, tropical fruit, toasted malt, bread, and honey. Very malty and interesting aromas with good strength. Taste of huge caramel, honey, grapefruit, orange, spice, and light pine. Big sweetness on the front, with a decent amount of bitterness on the finish that lingers for a while with citrus, caramel, spice, and pine. Bitterness balances surprisingly nice with the maltiness, and as a result it is not overly sweet. Medium carbonation and full bodied. Very creamy and slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is really well hiddin, only a slight warming on the finish present. Nice smooth drinkability for the alcohol level, but still a sipper. Overall, quite a nice DIPA from Laughing Dog! (938 characters)

Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.