Cant Dog Imperial IPA - Marshall Wharf Brewing Company / Three Tides Restaurant

Not Rated.
Cant Dog Imperial IPACant Dog Imperial IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

51 Reviews
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Reviews: 51
Hads: 233
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 11.44%
Wants: 23
Gots: 31 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Marshall Wharf Brewing Company / Three Tides Restaurant visit their website
Maine, United States

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: warriorsoul on 11-25-2008

This beer is the one beer that our brewers and I would take to that mythical deserted island if we could only bring one Marshall Wharf beer. Huge malt backbone matched with huge amounts of hops.
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 233
Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber topped by a prodigious amount of foam that leaves a drizzling pattern of lace behind

Smell: Caramel and piney, resinous aromatics

Taste: Opens with a brown sugar and caramel flavor that is subsumed by the piney hops, in the middle; still, after the swallow, the sweet malts stand tall and just edge out the hop flavors through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A tad too sweet for my type of DIPA, this is still a well-brewed example of the style for those who like a lot of malt balance

Thanks, wildcats10, for the opportunity

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its with the strength of an Imperial IPA, but with the balance of Pale Ale that sets this beer apart. Its a testament to everything that's appreciated about even-keel malt and hops, and does it all on a hotbed of near 10% abv. and the power in taste to boot. Marshall Wharf has done something special with this strong ale.

Mid-amber in color, the honeyish tone takes hold with the crystal-clear brilliancy that makes American Pale Ales so attractive. A dense, creamy, and almost rocky, almond-stained head builds upon the beer and retains like meringue on key lime pie. Every sip yields a buildup of another ring of lace that trails with decorative lace. This is one nice looking ale!

Creamy malt, caramel, light toffee, and mild underlying peanut notes sculpt the beer's aromatic value. But lying just below the grain surface lies an undercurrent of hops that display citrusy oranges, grapefruit, and even pine that peaks through ever so often. Light spice of alcohol tingles the senses like ginger as I dive into taste.

Where the scent may seem malt-balanced, the taste shows no favoritism. Toffee malt sweetness may strike the front of the mouth first, but a quick rebuttal of citrus takes the shape of grapefruit juice and dried orange peel at middle palate and morphs into a piney, sappy bitterness to close its taste. There's still something in the deeply caramelized malts and alcohol that reminds me of gingersnaps to go along with the barley/hop balance.

Dangerously smooth, the effects of nearly ten percent alcohol never registers in taste nor texture. As the beer starts creamy, frothy, and semi-sweet- the beer fades nicely and slowly toward a malty-dry finish of alcohol warmth, resinous hop bitterness, and receding sweetness. The dialogue of hops and malt remain balanced even in lingering aftertaste... ok, maybe the hop bitterness outlasts the barley, but briefly so.

I really don't see this beer as an Imperial IPA. It really does capture the essence of the classic American Pale Ale, but the flavors are all elevated as the ingredients have to be ramped up to create the high alcohol levels. But the beer retains a remarkable balance and lures me in with its high rate of drinkability- A dangerous proposition for my naive taste buds.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Three Tides, Belfast, ME
Limited to 2 per person.

Good, but a little flat taste-wise I thought. This was listed as their "biggest IPA," but honestly, I liked the the Big Twitch IPA a lot better in most regards.

Poured a clear copper-brown with a nice off-white head that retained well. Floral aroma with citrus hops apparent. Not much maltiness in the aroma, but definitely a malt presence in the taste, balanced nicely with the floral and citrus hops. However, the taste was overall a bit thin and subdued. Some alcohol bite. Medium mouthfeel, and generally drinkable, but the Big Twitch is better.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

The beer is bright golden with a thick, light tan head. Aromas of pine, sap, alcohol, malt, a touch of spice. Big hoppy flavor amid a robust malt body. Sticky on the palate with warming alcohol heat. Truly, a malt and hops monster, as described. Not my stylistic preference. Ok...

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Photo of smakawhat
3.61/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can into my Dogfish Ale House glass. Thanks Toasterchef!

Real nice amber body, hinting to red but mostly a nice burnt orange. Real nice three finger head forms with pinhead bubbles, off white. Clumps nicely also very nice looking brew.

Nose is subtle airy hop, light malts and whisps of herbal notes. Nothing quite impressive but perfectly fine, doesn't hint of large hop dipa territory.

This is real interesting flavor on the palate. Hits with lots of sweet honey and malt cinnamon. Afterfinish has some oily presence, and an odd aftertaste. Hints at medicine. A good malty palate feel, hints with juice hop tastes. A little noticeable bit of citrus orange and honey toast bread.

This is quite nice not too bad, but the sweetness angle on it is a bit much for me, with nice honey, but slightly unpleasant medicinal bitterness. Worth trying.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear deep amber color with a huge fluffy beige head that takes forever to recede. The aroma holds a fair amount of sweet malty backbone with bready and caramel being fairly evident to my nose. Garlic green onions grapefruit pith and dankness along with a hint of ethanol round out the nose. The flavor is sweet and malty but has plenty of hop and alcohol to keep it from cloying. Green onions and garlic scape with hints of alcohol countering bread and caramel. Medium to thick body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet resinous just shy of syrupy mouthfeel. This is a big beer and it shows. I liked it but felt it a little sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at Three Tides, the beer was served in a tulip glass. It pours a bright, pale, orange-amber color with a thin, filmy head. Malty and scotchy smell, with roasted characters. Flavors remain light, with a lemon-lime zest sweetness and a light hopping. Good lacing, and the aftertaste is tangy caramel and light citrus. The finish is dry and slick, but always light. Very refreshing beer despite the flavor bursts and booze content. Very tasty!

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Photo of AlexFields
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very dark color for an IPA, huge thick head, really nice.

Smells of dank juicy hops. Oranges and maybe bitter pine.

Wow, taste has a huge sweetness I didn't expect. Like puréed fruit. Also very hoppy, oranges and other citrus, some mild bitterness but this is not a very bitter DIPA overall. Delicious.

Extremely drinkar and mouthfeel is pretty unique--thick and syrupy but also nice carb and easy to drink.

Pretty unusual DIPA but I like it a lot!


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Photo of puboflyons
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 1 pint can dated 12/22/14. Sampled on December 29, 2014 so it is pretty darn fresh.

Attractive appealing copper-amber pour with long lasting, foamy cream colored head. Lots of lacing.

The aroma is all at once resiny and floral with a sweet caramel malt note. No booze for a 7 day old 9.7% beer.

Medium to full, creamy body.

The taste is a fabulous malt-hopped balance with a hoppy bite finishing off the rear. Short-lived but delightful.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into a snifter.
9.7% ABV, no date.

Thanks Rochefort10NH!

A - Deep caramel cube colored, this amber-ish beer is lightly hazed and produces a nice plump ivory head that drops to a skim, leaving rings of lace on the snifter.

S - Strong hops play a big role in this beer but this double IPA is malty as all get-out. Bold caramel, honey, and toffee with a candy corn sugar aroma break through the moderate citrus nose. This one has potential for big bitterness but it certainly doesn't seem heavily dry hopped. Passion fruit, over ripe pineapple, and a powerfully hopped burnt rubber nose finish out with a hint at faint solvent alcohol.

T - Despite indications hops might be stronger in flavor, the malt still blasts through with big sweetness without breaking the trend; caramel, honey, and candy corn all show up again. Exotic tropical fruits enter, forsaking the rubber quality.

M - Cant Dog is medium-full bodied with a lingering sweetness that tops hop bitterness which still remains in play, just underwhelming. Alcohol keeps surprisingly quiet, remaining nearly invisible behind the big sweetness.

O - Cant Dog labels itself as an Imperial Pale Ale. It's much more true than a double IPA as this beer has a good hop profile in aroma, flavor, and bitterness but it's not the dominating aspect. The balance still leans towards deep malty sweetness for a nice finishing beer.

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Photo of Durge
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another find at Nosh in Portland Maine, this shows a copper edged mahogany color with a fairly decent white crop of bubbles on top and lots of lcing to spare. The aroma is woodsy lemon and skunky. I like it. The flavor brings a syrupy lemon grain with grassy malt. Near full bodied with mild carbonation and a slightly cloying feel. Some brandy nuances with rootbeer background. Lots of malt and some alcohol. Very nice.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.9/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pour is transparent ruby red with lots of tight tan head. Nose has a light malt presence up front, a hint of malt sweetness, a light dough. Hops are resinous and faint citrus. Nose is not bright. Taste is sweeter and malts and hops make it resiny and sweet. There is fusel alcohol in the finish and the body is syrupy.

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Photo of tigg924
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1 inch head, high carbonation, brownish-gold in color, clear

Smell: pithy citrus rind

Taste: very citrusy: peaches, tangerines, and other tropical fruit hops

Mouthfeel: medium body, sweet with a bitter end, high carbonation

Overall: An enjoyable, fruity IPA. Many layers of citrus flavors make this a pleasure to drink. If it were not for the high ABV, I could have several.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.64/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had a sample of this at the rosso release (generously shared by BlessedBeBeer) and then Gary (and his wife) tossed me bottle number 624 after saying how much I enjoyed it (a true advocate). Shared today with family...

a - Beer poured a nice amber orangish with minimal head (but nice lacing) and steady and even carbonation.

s - Very nicely balanced hops with sweet malty backbone. The bourbon blend in this beer is VERY subtle (perhaps this is what I'm calling the malty backbone?). The bottle calls it an imperial pale ale and not an IPA, and for a pale ale double...this one smells fantastic. The booze adds another level of complexity to the smell...subtle wood and bourbon sweetness gives it a really nice smell. Fantastic for a pale ale.

t - Flavor is also rather complex. A thick pale ale with a touch of woody bourbon sweetness rounds it out. This is a fantastic tasting beer. The extra layer of complexity is a really nice touch, but adds a bit of booziness to the flavor.

m - Pretty thick and syrupy. Good carbonation and coating in my mouth. Alcohol tingle, but no bitterness.

o - Overall, I'm surprised by the amazing beer coming out of Maine that folks just aren't talking about. This beer is a huge surprise and somewhat barleywine like. To call it an IPA or an imperial pale ale doesn't do it justice since it doesn't fall to any of those styles, really in a class of it's own. This is a unique beer and the blend works fantastically. I would love to get ahold of additional bottles of this beer and I hope that other brewers explore barrel aging other beers aside from stouts. Bourbon barrels work with much more than big stouts as evidenced by this beer.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my second bier of the night, a 1/2-pint, during a visit on 09DEC11 with Alewife.

The tall, slender glass was filled with a clear, copper-hued liquid. Carbo was steady, and the head was off-white, creamy and thin, with decent lacing left behind. The body is a bit more than medium, and the feel is smooth and graceful while going down. The aroma is quite inviting, if you're a hop-lover! Lots of citrus wafts about and draws you in for more.

Some toasty malt is first on the palate, leaving a smidge of sweetness behind. Fruitiness then appears, with some apricot melding in with the citrus. It was a touch pithy, with solid, puckery citrus lingering long and well. Very nice bier; quite enjoyable! Zum Wohl!!

4.03 rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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Photo of Resuin
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pint can poured into a snifter. This was canned on 03/06/14 so 10 days ago.

Appearance: Pours a deep translucent amber and leaves a finger of slightly off-white head. Carbonation bubbles can be seen floating to the surface, but this is a very dark ipa.

Smell: Big dank, musty, resinous hops. Also caramel, malts, citrus, mango. A nice floral hint behind it all as well. Pleasant, interesting aroma.

Taste: Resin, some pine, mango, malts, caramel, some biscuit; pretty dank. Surprisingly smooth for the ABV.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a medium to thick velvetty feel. Finishes surprisingly smooth.

Overall: Really impressive beer. Very different for an IPA, lots of flavor and a really nice feel to it. A great, big IPA.

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Photo of Florida9
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Medium caramel-orange in color. Clear. Forms a large, very stable, off-white head. Moderate lacing.

S: Pleasant aroma. Lightly sweet, slightly spicy, with lots of citrus. Candied citrus rind, orange, and, oddly, a hint of vanilla.

T: The taste is fairly sweet and malt forward. Sweet caramel malts. Again, quite citrus dominant - mostly orange - with some fruity notes. Doughy fruit cake. Some light earthy qualities on the back end.

M: On the fuller side of medium. Moderate bitterness. Medium carbonation. Mild spiciness on the back end.

O: A decent beer. Very "East Coast" style IPA with a more balanced approach to the malts and hops. Sweeter than I typically care for.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - pours clear copper with 1+ finger of dense tan head. Very good retention, spectacular lacing (possibly the best I've seen)

S - citrusy hops, some pine and a decent malt backbone

T - initially quite bitter with tons of citrusy and resinous flavors, bitterness remains and a bit of an alcohol burn hits afterwards. Quite sweet with a spiced/bitter aftertaste.

M - medium bodied, decent carbonation. Thicker than Pliny probably similar to Heady. Fairly drinkable.

O - pretty hop/citrus forward. A pretty big beer, reminiscent of heady but not quite orgasmic, still delicious for sure!

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Cant Dog pours a clear amber with a medium size, creamy head. Lots of lace coat the glass.

The aroma is buttery with some orange citrus mixed in. I get a little paint aroma too. Weird.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is very smooth and creamy with light carbonation. The flavor begins with sweet caramel malt, followed by orange citrus, pine and tropical fruit. It finishes moderately bitter and buttery. Once gone the pine and butter lingers on the palate.

The beer tastes good and has a terrific mouthfeel, however the buttery notes are a turn off. Also, I didn't get a bad can. I had the beer on tap recently and got the same flavors. Perhaps it was the same batch of beer.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Canned on 1/22 according to bright orange sticker taped to the side of the can.

The beer pours a clear, rusty orange/amber with an inch of a dense, creamy, off-white head that laces. The nose is potently bitter with notes of pine wood, caramel, grain, and a subtle hint of citrus and alcohol. This beer smells more of a fresh barleywine than a DIPA. It definitely drinks like a barleywine as well with a huge boozy, malty backbone and resiny, lingering, hoppy bitterness. The mouthfeel is quite sweet and chewy upfront, although well carbonated, and finishes with caramel and hoppy bitterness. This isn't really my type of DIPA with a masked/obscure hop profile, far too much malt and alcohol, and even fresh...drinks like it's 6 months old. Although it's a relatively enjoyable beer, I wouldn't recommend this to others, nor would I seek out more cans. A local beer that drinks similarly to this would be Good Nature's 1 year anniversary DIPA.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can was poured into a large tulip glass.

Appearance: This beer poured s two finger head that reduced to a thin layer and left some nice lacing on the lacing. It is a copper color with good clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass. Crazy lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Malty and hoppy. Lots of citrus, but it's hard to distinguish hop aromas.

Taste: Tropical fruit heaven. Pineapple, mango, passion fruit, tangerine, and grapefruit all followed up by caramel malts. Mild hop tingly bitterness in the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, tingly, medium carbonation, and medium bodied.

Overall: Super awesome DIPA from mid Maine. I need to get more.

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Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
4.91/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This will be #500 (including hads, lame) for me.

Picked up a can of this on a trip to bar harbor, not thinking much about it, only knowing that MW makes pretty good beer. Cracked the can around the campfire in Acadia Nat Park - WHOA! Almost fell in the fire I was so blown away by the taste. I had had Heady Topper a month or so before and this was right on par. I had to go back the next day and buy a 4-pack I was so impressed. Anyway, what follows is a review of the second one, poured into a glass at home, but I'll factor both experiences in.

A - pours a copper amber colour, maybe seems a little on the darker side for a DIPA, but not off by any means. Pours a half finger or so of head, but it sticks around on top, which is really cool.

S - mmm, sweet hops, bright citrussy smells, some malt, and some sweet booze on the back. This might be my favorite part of the beer. I just remember smelling this at the campfire for the first time and then getting excited all of a sudden because I knew good things were to come.

T - lots of hops, a little burn from the 9.7% alcohol, but lots of citrusy fruits, pineapple, lemon, yumm. I think the fresher and the colder the better though, and it was even better out of the can than from the glass. When I first drank this I said aloud that this beer tops Heady (no pun).

M - a good medium body, solid carbonation and the warmth from the booze is actually quite nice.

Overall, I would say this beer's strong suits are its great balance (it is 10% after all) between being high alcohol and having great flavours. If this isn't better than Heady (I'm not saying if it is or isn't) it's probably the second best DIPA I've ever had. Drinking it from the can is key though, which I think is what I'll do with the rest of my pack. And fortunately, I'm only a 4-5 hour drive away from Marshall Wharf, which in Atlantic Canadian terms, is really not that bad.

Edit: I'm going to declare this better than Heady. This also ages much better than Heady.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint can with a canned on date of 11/9

A: Pours a nice golden amber color with 2 fingers worth of sticky white head that retains forever

S: A good dose of piney, floral, and resiny hops stand out, with a light malt background

T: Starts off with a huge wave of fruity and piney hops that eventually mellows out to a nice malt backbone that lends some sweetness that really helps to balance to initial onslaught of hops. Not too bitter on the finish

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy and smooth

O: Glad to see that MW is finally getting their beers canned and distributed. This is one solid beer, especially when it's this fresh (8 days at the time of drinking). At $4.99 for a pint can it isn't too bad of a deal either. Recommended

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off tap this beer was an amber color with a yellowish-beige head. The retention was good as a cap and the lacing also above-average. The aroma was complex with lots of floral hops, citrus hops, alcohol, light esters and a light musty maltiness. The flavors were big and bold. Starting sweet on a malty note I then tasted bitter orange rind, grapefruit, some herbal notes and alcohol before the pine-and-resin finish. For 10% the alcohol was rather well-hidden but they wisely limit customers to only two of these beers per visit. The mouthfeel was smooth and rich, the body medium/full and the carbonation medium. It is worth noting that the MW brewery really does 'big' beers well in general and this one was a fine example of that.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.31/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to KalH for sending this one down! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 16 oz. can into a Westbrook pint glass.

A: Deep gold, a bit hazy with some floaters in suspension. Two finger's worth of white fluffy head and moderate visible carbonation.

S: Citrus, resin, tropical fruit, and grassy hops, with some bready sweet malt. No caramel character.

T: Big citrus, tropical fruit, resin, grassy and floral hop flavors, all over some toasty biscuit sweet malt. Again, not much if any caramel notes. Moderately bitter with just a bit of malt sweetness in the hang.

M: Medium body, good carbonation sensation, and the hefty ABV is quite well-hidden.

O: This is a really solid DIPA and quite enjoyable. I don't know that it quite makes it to the lofty standards of the best in class. But, especially available in cans, this one would be a solid regular in my fridge if it were available around here.

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Cant Dog Imperial IPA from Marshall Wharf Brewing Company / Three Tides Restaurant
89 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.