Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Laughing Dog CSB | Laughing Dog Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
86 Reviews
Read the review
Laughing Dog CSBLaughing Dog CSB

Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing
Idaho, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
When Ben the laughing dog was much younger he developed a habit of sticking his nose in people’s crotches to check them out and say Hello. One of his favorite people to do this too, coined the term CSB or Crotch Sniffing Bastard and so the seed was planted for the name of this beer. A British style ESB with an LDB twist it is crisp but malty and at the same time somewhat playful, it is a great beer to have while out sniffing around, or if you are stuck at home on a short leash for maybe sniffing in the wrong places.

Added by RJLarse on 02-25-2007

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 86 | Ratings: 132
Photo of scruffwhor
2.98/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy copper with a quick bone colored head of three fingers. This disappears completely after a few sips.

The aroma is a bitter melon and orange zest with some old grass thrown in. This beer has a very astringent smell, definetly isn't English, and is too astringent for an American ESB as well.

The tastes starts with a quick shot of toasted biscuit grains, then quickly gets rushed out with the astringent potency of the hops. Bittersweet honeydew melon and line and grapefruit zest interplay with one another in interesting ways. But still a pretty astringent palate throughout the profile and lingering finish.

This would not be a session beer for me. I am not interested in trying this beer on tap, and only need to have one 22 oz. bomber period.

 764 characters

Photo of maximum12
2.87/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to BrewsB4Shrews for this extra bomber from a recent blockbuster trade. Needed a mild warm-up for the main event this evening (2007 Abyss) to the call went out for an ESB & Laughing Dog answered.

Pours a truly lovely shade of polished, bronzed breastplate, if that armor were made of translucent glass. Nose is bread that's been butter-bombed. Oh-oh. Diacetyl?

CSB is extremely malty, high on the crusty bread with that Parkay taste creeping over the fence. Nicely blended hop bitterness comes through, & takes over in the aftertaste. Holds on, too. Fairly motionless for what I deem to be a low-ABV beer, & that lack of carbonation might be holding it down for me a bit. The odd buttery smell is making mincemeat of the drinkability too, very distracting, about what I recall from a couple French Broad bottles that were not fully operational.

Well, I can say that this is decent enough. Glancing over the other reviews now, the tastes are all over the board. I wonder if the bottle I have, especially the smell, is typical. Doesn't seem like it.

 1,059 characters

Photo of Ego
2.75/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2 full fingers of active foamy off white head, settles down quickly, light caramel tone with active carbonation, good lacing, thin layer of head retains throughout, pretty good

light caramel with malt, a touch of mild honey, pretty straight forward, the style doesn't really demand much more, this is on par in that sense

taste etc...
like the other laughing pooch beer I tried tonight the carbonation is incredibly distracting, it is way too fizzy and prickly, for me ESB is fullers and I go from there... this is not your mom's fullers, light body wise, some mild bitterness, but awkward, not smooth like english hops, assertive in a strange way (more like and IPA sans the great juiciness of alpha hops), man... this is just not enjoyable.

thumbs down

 782 characters

Photo of Goliath
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a two inch light tan head sitting on top. There is nice head retention and no lacing.

The aroma is pretty nice. It's pretty floral and quite sweet smelling as well. There is a nice malt presence with a bit of grain and caramel.

The taste is rather pleasant. There are some really nice elements going on here. Up front I get hit with a really nice flowery hop that fades to a touch of bitterness on the finish. There's a bit of bread in there as well. It seems earthy. It's interesting and a different take.

The mouthfeel is pushing full bodied and it's flat on the tongue. There is a very fine carbonation bubble that you get on the finish, but otherwise it's a bit of a boring feel.

Drinkability is moderate to high. This is a fun beer that's a little bit different in aroma and taste than many other ESB's I've encountered. For that I really can appreciate the beer.

 903 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.74/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy burnt sienna with a rocky head that creates a craggy pattern of foam that leaves glacial deposits of foam around the sides of the glass

Smell: English toffee malt with some buttery diacetyl detected on the nose; an earthy herbal hop presence hides underneath

Taste: Opens with a biscuity malt flavor that first adds toffee and then adds a grainy herbal hop to balance the brown sugar sweetness at the approach of mid-palate; after the swallow, the bitterness lingers but eventually surrenders to the toffee malt and candied apple flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Although this is a sweeter beer than I would expect for an ESB, it is rather enjoyable

 716 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Red amber body, excelent clarity, topped by three highly irregular fingers of off-white foam. Good lacing.

Arma is heavy on biscuit and vanilla , with a hint of booze.

Solid semi-sweet malt foundation, plenty of toffee and caramel. Earthy hops balance the malt and dig a foothold for themselves. Vanilla overcast shades the whole beer. Biscuity finish.

Solid emdium mouthfeel. Good drinkability despite all the activity.

Is this barrel aged? Nothing on the label, nor in the other reviews, but I get a huge hit on vanilla throughout this beer, like from a oak barrel, possibly a bourbon one.

At any rate, not a typical ESB, but an enjoyable beer.

 651 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Explosive foam when the bottle is opened--lost at least an ounce. Leaves a rocky head and ample blanketing lace. Amber color and nearly clear.

Strong caramel malt aroma. Very low hop to the nose.

Better balance in the taste. Starts like a traditional English Bitter with lots of creaminess and dry malt flavor. This transitions into a raw bitterness from a solid hop presence. The body is light but appropriate.

 413 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.71/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with 3 fingers of fluffy tan head. Super head retention & lacing

S: Some breadyness, apricot & a touch of sulphur

T: Flinty dryness, grainyness, caramel, apricots & herbal hops up front. Fruittyness picks up as this warms, along with a little bit more sulphur (not helping the cause) & grape- fruit , plus woody hops, jammyness picks as this warms way up. Finishes fruitty with herbal * citric hops

MF: Medium bodied, crisp with fairly vigirous carbonation. Alright balance, but not really that English on the hops profile

Drinks so easy, not spot on style-wise, but tasty & refreshing enough...

 612 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a cloudy amber color with a short 1/2" head that breaks apart immediately.

Smell: malt and fruit sweetness is up front.

Taste: caramel, plums, red apples, mild bitterness, and a yeast flavor sporting some buttery properties.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout. Light dryness arrives late.

Drinkability: overall this had a bit too much sweetness and buttery flavor to it. Not as refreshing as I would like either in the style.

 464 characters

Photo of kirbsicles
3.71/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a bomber from Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge. Poured into tulip glass. Found that the beer has a nice, easy drinking style, yet has a large amount of flavor. Not overpowering by any means. I also feel that this beer would be worth purchasing again.

 256 characters

Photo of coldmeat23
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

This pours a nicely clear, medium shade of amber. Almost two-fingers of light tan colored foam make the head. It looks nicely thick, almost craggy. The retention is very good and the lacing is in thick, sticky, strands.

The first thing that jumps out at me is buttery toffee notes, which is a slight surprise. There are nice hints of citrus and tropical hops. Light touches of orange, lemon and grapefruit are here. They are joined by the more prevelant notes of pineapple and melons. There is a nice touch of caramel and brown sugar biscuits.

Every thing from the nose follows with the taste. It actually has a very nice level of balance and everything works very harmoniously with everything else. There is also a delicate hint of earthiness in the taste. While it becomes an easy drinker, I think that the hops should be just a touch more forward, for the style.

This has a medium body and a medium level of carbonation. The bubbles are slightly on the small side, which is good, because it helps give this brew a smooth creaminess, that benefits it greatly.

This is very drinkable. I'd guess that the abv is probably in the 4% range somewhere, making it a great session beer.
Recommended, if you have the chance.

 1,292 characters

Photo of donniecuffs
4.47/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured a dark maple brown into an American pint glass, with a finger of tan head and great lace. Pleasantly surprised by the smell: honeydew melon, honeysuckle, cantaloupe, plum, and grapefruit. The flavor confirmed the mix...grapefruit, plum, and melon, mixed with malt, and finishing on a dry note, with a slightly tart aftertaste. Medium-bodied, lightly carbonated, and incredibly tasty. Excellent session beer.

 414 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a cranberry-amber with light accents of orange hues interweaved throughout. The head was foamy and frumpy, beach sand in color while displaying a respectable retention rate. The lacing was good leaving a spongey, film coating on a good portion of the glass was visible carbonation was composed of broken, sporadic micro bubble streams. The head maintained throughout the course of the drink never lapsing below a respectable ½ finger skim coating.

S: The nose was especially nice with dried brown sugar and a chocolate chip cookie dough scent that was sweet upfront, which was followed by a dry semi-sweet chocolate finish. The overall strength was light to medium in delivery and enough to give you a good appreciation of what's to come.

T: The flavor opens with caramelized malt, dried honey, and brown sugar adding in initial creamy sweetness while a dry hazelnut flavor adds balance and a good sense of bittering. The hopping is medium-strong with earthy tones and soft coffee grounds of hazelnut while the finish rounds out with a crisp dryness of munich toasted malting. A sweet start, followed by a extra special bitterness blends beautifully together delivering a perfect balance between the malts and hops very well suited per style.

M: a medium-full creamy maltiness. A nice sense of carbonation adds livelihood while a dry toasted fade and coates the tongue upon the swallow.

D: Very drinkable example without going light on the bitterness. Very nicely balanced with a sweet and bitter side. Haven't been to impressed lately with this brewery's offerings but this one certainly makes up for it. Worth of a recommend and repeat offering.

 1,665 characters

Photo of dmamiano
3.89/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very hazy dull copper color..nice off white head and sticky lacing. Very surprised by the lack of clarity here.
Floral in nose, slight touches of spiciness and some husky graininess.
Sweet malts rattle the palate...not clean though. Grainy and rough, but in a good way.
This is a very, quaffable beer!

Edit: Poured this one way too cold...had it in the lagering fridge and as it warmed the clarity changed from cloudy to clear....
Bumped from a 2.5 to a 3.0

 458 characters

Photo of obywan59
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'd spotted this lonely 22 oz. bottle at my local Kroger store before, but Saturday night, I noticed they'd been marked it down to 4.99, then again to 2.99 trying to get rid of it. Heck Yeah!! I'm not sure what the original price was. It has a cool label too, and I enjoyed the explanation for the name, CSB.

Poured into the bottom of a pint glass gave me a 3 finger head over a reddish-copper brew.

At first, the smell was mostly of hops, with a bit of sweetness as well. A couple of swallows later, I picked up on some grassy notes.

The taste was lightly sweet with a more pronounced and lingering hop bitterness showing off the 127 IBU's. Very smooth; the alcohol was hidden well. I googled to find the ABV, but failed.

Very nice medium-light mouthfeel.

I had to buck the crowd and notch up my taste rating from a 4 to a 4.5. Maybe it's not that exceptional, but for me, it really hit the spot. It left me wanting another, which wasn't possible as I picked the last one. Very satisfying.

 995 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased recently somewhere in the MA/NY area.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the clear copper brew. Head falls slowly, with prevalent lasting lace. Aroma is balanced, sweet yet spicy hops. Taste starts with a fruitiness that heightens in the middle, where it finds some bready notes, and then couples with bitterness at the close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is alright. Fruit/tart character is just a bit too pronounced for me.

 489 characters

Photo of wnh
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper-tinted amber with a large, frothy, cream colored head.

Malty and lightly fruity nose. Caramel sweetness, toasted grains, and decent leafy hops. Good, and about what I'd expect in an ESB. Big and grainy on the palate, with toasted grains dominating alongside an earthy, leafy hop character. Light caramel sweetness kind of hides in the background. Relatively soft and rounded, and very easy to drink. Earthy, dry finish. Quite quaffable.

 452 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, burgundy color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It left minimal lace.

S - It smelled grassy and of biscuity malt. Some good earthy notes.

T - It was grassy with just enough spicy kick. A good dose of sweet caramel maltiness provides balance.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty nice ESB. However, it is a good deal overpriced.

 433 characters

Photo of corby112
3.51/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark amber almost chestnut brown color with very dark golden orange hues when held to a light source and a one finger light yellowish tan head that slowly settles into a lasting ring that leaves sheets of spotty lacing behind.

Sweet caramel malt aroma that is slightly toasty with yeasty bread, biscuit and subtle rye notes. Earthy piny hops with slight citrus presence. The hops aren't as prominent as I would like and the aroma is dominated by toasted malts.

Medium bodied with a prominent caramel malt character and a nice balance of earthy bitter hops. Pretty sweet up front with toasted caramel malt, biscuit and rye flavor with a nice dry earthy pine hop presence that provides a nice bitter balance. Alcohol well masked resulting in a pretty solid easy drinking session beer.

 797 characters

Photo of therica
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A= cloudy medium amber with a frothy head and lots of lacing.

S= aged apple, florals and malts.

T= moderately tart bitter to start, lots of nice malts with the bitters and floral hops, gradually showing some bold caramel after it sits about 5-10 minutes. Some fruity traits. It impresses me more as an APA than a true English-style bitter. But it's definitely more in the bitter tradition than Red Hook's ESB.

M= lightly sweet yet astringent rather than bitter, malty residues

D= very drinkable if you don't mind paying the hefty $4.99 per-bottle price for 22 ounces. This could be a session-beer on tap, I suppose.

 619 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle:

Pours amber with a thin off-white head that becomes a thin, patchy cover. Strands of lacing stick.

The smell is of caramel, bread, herbal notes - slightly citric in a lime-ish way and some bruised apple.

The taste is of sweet malt with a touch of apple tartness. It has a mild tea-like bitterish finish.

It is light-to-medium carbonation with medium carbonation.

It has a nice, mild bitterish finish balancing mild maltiness. It does have a certain "English" character. The apple tartness, while not strong, is there throwing it off a bit. A decent stab at the style. Easy enough to drink.

 609 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown color with a short off white head.

Scent of caramel, earth, bubble gum, sugars and a hint of alcohol. Not a particularly inviting scent.

Taste of caramel, grain, faded hops, and bitter earth. It's alright, but I would not recommend going out of your way to try it.

Mouthfeel is medium light bodied with good carbonation.

 343 characters

Photo of Albinoh
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really liked this beer, picked it up for the strange label. Very good appearance, white lace. What I loved the most is the malty tones and sweet aroma, with a little sting of bitterness on the back. Balanced. Smooth mouthfeel,sweet tones upfront, followed by a slightly burned flavor.

Perfect for a perfect afterwork beer.

 326 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great to see this fairly obscure brewery hit the Blacksburg, VA area. With a tacky label/great concept ("crotch sniffing bastard"!), I had to pick it up...

A super-fluffy head, off-white and looking like vanilla ice cream, lays broad slashes and dashes of lace along the glass. The color is is caramel-like with hues of rusty red.

Super-ultra-uber-malty nose. Makes me think of Fiddle-Faddle, that awesome/gross boxed popcorn confection. There's caramel, butter, nuts, and lots of all that. Once that connection is made, it's hard to draw any other similarity. Maybe Waffle-os cereal. So here we have a wonderful if not completely high-brow nose.

The flavor is about as unsubtle and candy-like as the nose. Big ol' malt bomb here, and again, I'm mostly tasting butter, peanuts and caramel. There's a green-ish hops bitterness coming in as I sit with this, which rides along into the finish. Some maple syrup creeps in too. Pretty dry, although the bitterness rides through even so. Light alcohol flash, but not much. As the ABV isn't given, I'd guess it's in the 6-6.5% range...?

Mouth is slick and round, lightly tingly from carbonation, but considering everything going on in the flavor, I'd say it's just about right.

I can't help but really like this, as it asserts itself as its own brew, really nothing else like it out there that I can recall. It's probably not one I'd ever want more than a bomber of, but I sure am glad to have made its acquaintance. Malt-lovers who dig it a little unorthodox, check this out.

 1,526 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.02/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

CROTCH SNIFFING BASTARD on tap at the Irish Pol

A- Clear, copper, thin white head w/ decent lacing

S-Roasted malts, roasted nuts, slight sweet ceral note, slight piney hop note.

T- Roasted malts and nuts (maybe a little too dark roasted for some), faint bready sweetness and floral hop note. Not much else going on, which is how i like my ESBs (and doppelbocks).

M- Medium bodied, good carbonation. Somewhat dry finnish.

D- It takes the roasting of the malts to a higher level for an ESB. I like it, but some people may not like the lack of complexity and somewhat dryness.

 579 characters

Laughing Dog CSB from Laughing Dog Brewing
3.51 out of 5 based on 132 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!