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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

52 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 52
Hads: 234
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 24.38%
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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 52 | Hads: 234
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 Seanniek91
4.68/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pint can into a Smutty pint glass. Imperial Pale Ale 9.7%. Bottled 2/5/13

Appearance- Pretty clear amber with short head and plentiful lacing.

Smell- Sweet fruity hops, piney hops, fresh baked bread, smooth vanilla. Nice malt character. Great smell.

Taste- Big malt upfront, leading to piney hops, leading to peachy hop character, leading to caramel and vanilla for some reason. No booze detected.

Mouthfeel- Nicely carbonated. Lighter body of a pale ale. Smooth and crisp with no booze burn.

Overall- This beer really is incredible. The best from Marshall Wharf I've had.

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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 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 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 CaptCleveland
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can, dated 12/18/2012, extra received from BA trader KalH.

Amber colored elixir poured into SA Glass. Huge white head, copious lacing throughout the tasting.

Wonderful piney hops, Grass, earth and subtle citrus.

The citrus really comes out with the tasting. Orange, grapefruit. Nice bitter pine. Some malt at the back end.

Medium body, smooth, nice.

Well done IPA. The can is an extra bonus.

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

16oz can courtesy of valdieu2 into a wine glass.

a - pours a hazy, reddish amber color and forms an inch thick, dense, creamy, tan head right away. foam takes its time calming, but eventually winds up as a thin film with an island of bubbles in the middle and sheets of lacing on the sides of the glass.

s - grapefruit, toasty, grassy, faint honey. standard ipa aroma.

t - light citrus over a sweeter, toasty malt base. hops shine through as notes of grapefruit, grass, and light pine. bitterness is on the mild side. very well balanced, all the flavors seem to blend together in a nice, delicate way.

m - medium in body with just enough carbonation and a finer co2 profile. smooth and creamy.

o - solid all around and quite enjoyable. given the many ipa's that are out there, this one stands out for it's delicacy. it's not a hop bomb, or a malt bomb, and doesn't have anything odd or unusual going on. just a well crafted, well balanced double ipa.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
2.99/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a gorgeous copper-amber color with a very nice finger width head that fades to lots of good lacing.

This beer looks great, but it is really lacking in the nose in my opinion. I don't get much of a hop aroma at all, in fact, based upon nose alone, I would almost guess this was not an IPA (let alone a DIPA) but a brown ale.

This beer is very malt-forward in flavor, at first there is some hop bitterness, but this fades quickly to a strong malt-backbone. This is a fairly sweet beer, the initial hops are fruity and not piney in the least.

Overall this is a decent beer. I think it would be an interesting IPA, but as a DIPA it really falls flat in hop character both in the nose and body. If this were an IPA, I would rate it a bit higher. Decent, but not mind blowing.

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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 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 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 GuyIncognito
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We have been waiting for Marshall Wharf to start canning for a long time now. Their first release, Cant Dog, was worth the wait. It lived up to all the hype, and delivers an imperial punch. Beautiful light mahogany color, and amazing hop balance. Reminded me of a Resin, but with more caramel overtones. This beer just plain makes me happy.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Joe for bringing this by! Poured into a tulip. There is a nice light tan foamy head; lots of sticky lacing.

The aroma has a touch of pine and lots of melon.

The taste has a nice dose of graham cracker malt with a good piney melon hop backbone. The melon flavor really lingers in the finish.

This is medium bodied, with a nice crisp carbontion.

This is pretty good. I would prefer it if it was a bit lighter in body. This has a nice dose of hops for a quote, east coast, end quote IPA.

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Photo of 05Harley
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased on 5/6/12 @ Marshall Wharf Brewery, Belfast Maine.
(300 calories)

The appearance is a beautiful shade of deep amber with a layer of off white thick creamy suds. Speckled lacing covers the glass from head to toe after a short stay from the creamy covering.

Aroma is sweet with fruity tones from start to finish. Citrus fruit hops and caramel malts dominate with maybe a slight hint of pine, very faint but is buried in there.

The flavor is sweet fruity hops draped over a caramel backbone and dragging along some booze. Very sweet, bordering cloying and unbalanced.

Body is medium with a slick feel. Aftertaste is pleasent due to the sweetness. After several glasses a good amount of bitterness and dry feel bring closure.

Overall this is a decent beer, however I do prefer the BA version over this example which is weird in itself (a barrel aged IPA), but it was f_ck_ng good.

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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 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 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 bishopdc0
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a mug at novare res.

A nice amber color withh a sticky head.

The aroma is very hopped citrus with a full nose. The nose is full of flowers and a wonderful fresh hop

The taste matches the nose full of citrus hops up front, the hops continue mellowing any sweet malts to finish bitter but not offensive at all veryh nice.

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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 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 Casey10
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had a bunch of DIPA's this one is so different and while I can't give it the highest marks it was a great time having and blew me and my friends away with how dank this really was like.

Got a growler and took it back to my friends place near Belfast drank with fresh clams steamed(all from the same place)

A - A little dark didn't have the best glassware but poured a impressive head.

S - wow strong, citrus, flowers, pungent different from the norm.

T - So good somewhat strong and bitter again different.

M - Left you with a impression lingering bitter aftertaste and not in a bad way.

D - A must have I think a lot of people will either love or hate this but everyone should at least try it for themselves I really liked it.

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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 Jayli
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Novare Res 6/27/09
This beer pours a deep amber color with a nice thick, creamy, 2 finger white head. Head retatins pretty well, receding to a film eventually leaving thick sticky lacing on the glass. Nose is a fantastic blend of floral and citrus hops, not much in the way of malt can be detected. Taste follows the nose. Incredibly blended floral and citrus hops to it. It has a good deal of bite to it, but here's where the malts come through to even out the finish. This is a medium body, light to medium carbonation. Very smooth body, the alcohol is hidden dangerously well, no aftertaste to it. This is the best offering from Marshall Wharf that I've tried thusfar.

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Photo of mikeale
4.68/5  rDev +16.4%

On tap at the source...6/18/09

A. Dark copper, thin white head nice lacing.

S. Very sweet, honey soaked biscuits, citrus, grapefruit,

T. Sweet citrus, pine, some malt..

M. Smooth, rich, malty finish...

D. Well I'm siting here and the limit is only two... I could drink a few of these... The alcohol is hidden at 10% it's sneakin up on me...

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Novare Res.

Pours a light copper/golden color, slightly hazy, small head with minimal lacing.

Smell is a nice arrangement of floral hops, light grapefruit aroma, some citrus and a dash of malt to balance things a bit, but it certainly leans more towards the hop side as it should.

Taste is a rush of hops and citrus, the grapefruit comes through more but not so much that its intolerable, good carbonation level, the alcohol is surprisingly well hidden.

First beer I've had from Marshall Wharf and I'm already looking forward to trying more from them. Good to see more quality DIPA's coming from Maine now.

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Cant Dog Imperial IPA from Marshall Wharf Brewing Company / Three Tides Restaurant
89 out of 100 based on 52 ratings.