DogZilla Black IPA | Laughing Dog Brewing

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DogZilla Black IPADogZilla Black IPA

Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing
Idaho, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
True to its IPA roots Dogzilla has a massive hop presence that is Piney and Citrusy. A malty backbone, along with the dark malt gives it a bit of a roasty finish. Brewed with Simcoe and Cascade Hops, Pale Malt, Munich, and Black Barley.

69 IBU

Added by SurlyDuff on 08-02-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 284 | Ratings: 513
Photo of obywan59
4.59/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first black IPA. Dark brown in the glass with burgundy highlights. Moderate head with nice lacing.

HOPS!, it screams. Glorious, piney hops with a bit of malty sweetness. Possibly my best smelling beer ever. Compares to a Stone brew.

More hops, lingering throughout, but balanced sufficiently with a nice sweetness. I really don't get any of the roasted taste, but who needs it with these incredible hops?

Creamy, not sticky, I toyed with giving it a 5.

Awesome drinkability. This is close to my favorite of the last 11 brews I've sampled (and the first 11 brews I've reviewed). Call it personal taste, but for me, it vies with DFH Worldwide Stout.

I'll definitely buy this one again!

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Photo of webbcreative
4.5/5  rDev +32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark brown ruby with white head.
A= floral hops
T=hops hops and more hops not bitter but more floral.
M=medium hin leaning toward medium.
Overall = this is an awesome beer it has the beat of both worlds - he aging mal presence of a stout an the hops of an IPA.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4.47/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great label of a enormous black lab with spikes on its back menacing a city. prop planes are trying to shoot at it.

Bottle comes complete with a parody of the BoC/moe. song Godzilla:

With a purposeful growl
and a terrible sound
He pulls the rack of kegs
all down

He picks up a bottle and he
throws it back down
As he wades through the kegs
towards the center of town

Oh no, they say he's got to go,

Annnnyway. A real dark brown, not quite black. Big foamy head from the 220z bomber, purchased at Belmont Station in P'town.

Really nice aroma of a great ipa (citrus, sappy pine, earthy cannabis) with a nice woody smoked malt punch in the background.

Coffee and roasty malt is subtle, but there tucked behind the big american hop profile. Ever so drinkable and a really really nice IPA. This deserves to be a fulltime brew if it isnt. Smooth and with a nice dry aftertaste that makes me want to keep drinking.

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Photo of BeerNinja007
4.43/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this bomber at Amity Wine & Spirits in New Haven CT for $6.99. Served cold in a chilled pint glass.

Dark brown brew gives a big 3" of dirty tan head that leaves big chunks on the glass as it settles to a bunch of craters, great 3D structure. Smell has some candy sweetness with lemon rind and pine hop, then dark smoky roasted barley lingering behind it all. Taste is dark up front with the roasted barley coming first then mingling with a strong bright lemon hop with a bit of pine also. Feel is moderately heavy with appropriate carbonation. The finish is dry and has roast barley over powering the hop, which plays a secondary role, and both linger for quite a long time.

I don't remember having had a black IPA before. It tastes like an IPA with some dark stuff thrown in (if that's not obvious). Pretty good twist, I enjoyed it immensely. I could see this being a regular brew.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.42/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SurlyDuff beat me to it.... Damn It :-) 22 picked up today at the Coop for about $4.50... poured into my shaped Sam Adams glass.

Nice looking creamy cappuccino looking head... descent lacing atop dark dark brown verging on black brew... still very clear with walnut highlites when held to a light... very much like a schwarzbier.

Aroma is a very nice balanced mix of pine hops mixed with a little chocolate... not too roasty.

Flavor is a big smack of American hops and quite a bitter bite.. still very balanced though albeit toward the hop spectrum. Malts are chocolate and coffee not too sweet.. lingering grapefruit/piney finish that is fairly dry. Body is lighter than expected but IMHO that ramps up the drinkablity a notch or two... really the dark malts lend a very nice and fairly unexpected complexity.

I really hope Laughing Dog makes this part of the litter. No doubt I will be buying this again... I know it is drinking very fresh right now... but it is such a good value, I can see picking up a bunch and throwing them in the fridge so anytime I want something a little different I have a good goto brew. Fantastic.

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Photo of thethrone
4.42/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours dark ruby brown with fluffy 1" off-white head that quickly dissipates, leaving a sliver which lasts through the drink. Thin lacing sheets the glass and holds.

S - Strong hop aroma, pine and citrus. Hint of roasted coffee as the hops fade.

T - As in the nose; grassy, hoppy notes. Just what you'd expect from an IPA, with a few twists from the dark malts, adding hints of roastiness to even out the hops on the senses.

M - Medium feel, good carbonation. Hoppy bitterness lingers a little through the end.

D - I enjoyed this one quite a bit. The dark malts balanced well with the hoppiness, and I could certainly drink this one again and again.

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Photo of smcolw
4.41/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I love this concept. I haven't tried this beer, but I envision some high-hopped beer with lots of chocolate/black patent malts. Let's see:

First impression, appearance: Huge, light beige head. True to title, the liquor is dark brown (not black, though). It appears clear because the light shines through without any opaqueness. Excellent lace and rocky head look as it recedes. Lots of foamy lace on the glass.

Good darker malt aroma--true to my prediction. Nice toastiness without any burnt smells. So, I'm leaning toward darker crystal malts here. Graham crackers and biscuits.

Imagine a cross between a good porter and an IPA. I love the originality! This could be a completely new style and it combines the interests of the hop-heads and the stout lovers. (I think it leans closer to the HH's). This is very good and different. The body is thinner than I would like, but that's a minor complaint.

Is it a dark IPA or an over-hopped porter? Either way, you will experience something outside the comfort zone. AND it is still very good. If you have an open mind, seek this out and try something totally different from the usual fair.

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Photo of horshack7
4.41/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: From a 22 ounce bomber poured into a mug is a dark brown borderline black with a dark garnet hues. On top of all this is a two fingered tall head that is thick and frothy almost as thick as a marshmellow.

Aroma: Nice citrusy hopiness right up front. Bits of caramelized sugar and burnt hops. A little bit of malts that were roasted so wonderfully dark. Piney and grapefruitiness round it all out.

Taste: A wave of citrus and dark roasted malts all rolled into one. A crisp yet still full bodied beast. A little bit of a breadiness. Malts produce a burnt sugar texture and flavor. As for the hops well they are having a field day what a delicious beer.

Notes: This is quite a beast it might appear to be cute and cuddly but that is only an illusion inot the dark heart of this beer. I am glad I got my hands on this one and will get more. Cheers.

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Photo of bitterthebetter
4.38/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep dark black with subtle brown and amber hues with an off-white head similar to that of a porter

rich, cascade hops dominate with subtle caramel notes and roasted malt

nice hops upfront with slight chocolate and coffee notes with citrus hops dominating and a solid sturdy hoppy finish

starts about a medium bodied and then the finish just lingers and lingers

smooth, rich, hoppy, different, and a finish that just keeps going, another supreme ale from Laughing Dog

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Photo of DM1293
4.38/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. I might be in the minority on this, but...this is actually quite good in my book, as far as a Black Ale goes. Black ales before have not been good in my book, and I've usually ended up hating them. But this one is pretty solid. A really nice roasty malt backbone, with citrus and pine hop flavors popping in to break it up. The mouthfeel is pretty clean comparably to others I've had, which had a bit too much sediment.

So on the whole, I'd say its worth a shot.

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Photo of Zundo
4.38/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice full dark brown body with some red tint. Nice off-white, one-finger head. Good bit of lacing.

Smell: Buttery and nutty. A fairly sweet malt with a bit of chocolate. Some citrus as well.

Taste: Nutty, buttery and caramel at first with lemon and pine following. Oak and vanilla are also present.

Feel: Nice frothy and round with a chewy oily finish.

Drink: Very drinkable. Will definitely drink this again.

I can't seem to understand why this is rated a B, seems quite low.

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Photo of erikm25
4.35/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a midnight chestnut (almost charcoal) brown with even darker crimson highlights. Massively creamy and billowing walnut tinted head. Great retention and equally impressive lacing. If I just saw this sitting in the glass there is no way I would guess IPA.

S: Aromas are sweet and sharp at the outset. Dark cherries, grapefruit, sweet plums, and citrus coated pine. There are heavier caramel and nutty aromas after a few more intakes. Overall this ends up being balanced nicely between roasted and sweet.

T: Tastes of dark fruits and toasted peppered chocolate. Hoppy but a with a thicker malty caramel flavor shining through. A nice lingering bitter hops taste with a blast of coffee at the finish. The hoppy citrus zest with the traces of roasted pecan chocolate balance together perfectly. The alcohol is not noticeable. I would guess the ABV is somewhere between 6% and 7.5%.

M: Mouth feel is medium to full bodied with good carbonation.

D: Well the very fact that they pay homage to the Blue Öyster Cult tune Godzilla (from their '77 album Spectres) on the bottle is a good sign. Plus, this does go well while jamming BOC and probably while watching the cinematic masterpiece The Stöned Age. I thought this beer was unique, innovative, and delicious. Highly recommended to everyone.

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Photo of bosox941827
4.35/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomb bottle poured into imperial pint glass; oured cold and tasted as it warmed. Never tried this brewery before but have been liking some black IPAs lately, so gave it a try...
A - Pours quite dark, but a hint of garnet on the edges. With a pour right down the middle, yields an impressive, bubbly, milkshake-type head that stays all the way down the glass.
S - Interesting - smells like an English bitter to me; a bit of bready yeast and mild, floral hops - East Kent Golding? A bit of roasted malts as well.
T - Well - that explains the nose. The first part of this beer tastes like a well-made English bitter to me, then mid-palate it does an about face to roasted malty sweetness, finishing with an extremely pleasant hop bitterness. Haven't checked, but would be these are Amarillo/Simcoe hops used for dry-hopping that I'm getting at the end. Just a *touch* of alcohol at the very end, but only after the beer has warmed up a bit. Interesting beer - really dig this taste.
M - Medium bodied/carbonation. Not a heavy-feeling beer at all.
D - Awesome; I could drink this all day.
Surprised this one doesn't have higher numbers; I loved it and will not only get more, but will be hunting down more from this brewery. HIGHLY recommended.

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Photo of jhammel01
4.33/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1st black IPA...wont be the last!

Pours a deep black, ruby color. Thick, foamy, rocky white head that stays around for what seems like forever! Awesome head retention. Of course, the lacing is great..

Smells of fresh piney hops, slight burnt grain. Hops are pretty over powering.

Taste is pretty good. It's hop character blends perfectly with the roasted barley taste. A bit of black tea as well. Nice malt, bread finish. Its nice.

Great full bodied mouthfeel. Tons of carbonation. Very very good beer.

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Photo of Dogfishipas
4.32/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Looks like like a Coke in a glass with a minimal head.

Smell - has a nice hop smell that isn't super strong.

taste - while drinking it it taste like an ipa, the aftertaste is when I really notice the coffee hints. Has a great aftertaste

mouthfeel - smooth with a medium body to it.

drinkability - very drinkiable. I hope whole foods still has some left as I only got 1 bottle and would like to keep another on the shelf for a while.

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Photo of Chelsea1905
4.32/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought in a 22oz bomber.

This thing pours almost like a porter in colour,with a slightly tanned head. Looks almost like canned guiness.

This thing smells like fruit, almost in a dried apricot way.

Taste hits hard with the fruit up front, and then has a mild sugary caramel finish. However, it was almost as if the more I drank of this, the more the darker hues took over

Nice in the mouth, not too gassy small amounts of carbonation

Drinks well, a little filling mainly due to the dark colour and caramel ending making it feel more like a porter

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Photo of jsh420
4.31/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

pours dark brown but held up to the light it is a clear bright ruby hazelnut - 1 finger fluffy milk chocolate head that left lacing all down the glass

smell is not as strong i would like - pine and citrus over power any malt

taste is much better - big pine and grapefruit hops upfront with a nice roasted chocolate malt on the back end - the taste could be bigger but it is only a 6.9% abv

mouthfeel is light smooth creamy but with plenty of carbonation

drinkability is out of this world - light enough to be a drank on a hot summer day and rich enough to warm you on a cold winter night - this might not pack the punch of stone's SSR but this is the blows away boulders flashback which i loved

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.3/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I pulled this bottle out of the cellar and poured into a snifter. The beer pours a dark mahogany hue that is only apparent after holding the glass up to the light. Otherwise very dark color.
Fluffy beige head foams up 3 cm even with a fairly gentle pour. The head fades slowly leaving large foam mountains in the glass.
Aroma is some floral and also earthy hops mixing with roast malt and a bit of dark, dry cocoa powder (baker's chocolate).
First sip reveals an average smooth textured body with tingly but gentle rolling carbonation. There is some bread notes mixed with the roast malt up front and then the flavor rolls to some earthy hops. No hints of ABV anywhere. The beer is well balanced and very easy to drink. I will buy another bottle of this beer in the future, the near future!

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Photo of travisd13
4.3/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Pike tulip.

A - Pours a deep brown / black with a 1/2" off white head.

S - Good balanced smells between a citrus / piney hop with suble roasted

T - Taste is a well balanced hop / malt combo. Very nice bitter finish. A little lighter than you would think based on the look.

M - Very smooth, clears the pallet very nice. Not sticky at all.

D - Very drinkable. I hope this one sticks around for a little bit. This is an IPA for any season!

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.3/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep dark brown, not black with some bog fluffy head rentention and lacing. chocolate sundae.

smell: big citus and pine. smells like a strong IPA, sublte dark malts

taste: a ncie dark IPA, not my favorite but it's extremely solid with citrus and piney flavors

mouthfeel: medium and light for a dark beer

drinkability: My first Lauhging Dog is a success. I would buy this again. Unsure why its only rated a B.

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Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.28/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark color with a fingers worth of creamy head. Looks very dark, but when held above a light you can see through it, and a dark amber color is revealed.
Very nice look to it, extra half a point for looking so dark.

This beer definitely smells like an IPA! Great citrus hop aromas, coniferous forests, and a hint of some toasted malts.

The taste reveals a lot of hop flavors like pine and strong citrus in the realm of grapefruit and pineapple. Moderate bitterness, definitely hop dominant. The 7% abv is hidden fairly well.
Extremely delicious IPA.

Medium bodied, crisp, and juicy. carbonation is perfect.

Highly drinkable for such great flavor alone! thought the ABV is definitely going to catch up with you at some point. Until the very last drop, Dogzilla is a smashingly good beer.

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Photo of orcasteve
4.27/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a thin redish black color with a small white head that disapers to a light lacing around the entire rim. the sent of hops rushes out at you at the crack of the cap. this is one of the best smelling ipa's ever. the taste is bitter all the way through, hints of coffiee and biscuts, caremel, yard trimings, sweet tobaco and strong alchoal. this is a beer i will seek out agan for sure

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Photo of ghebel
4.22/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours clear copper/ brown with red hue in the light. The head is massive and turns to a creamy topping that leaves lots of lacing on dissipation.

S - Grains are toasty, dark fruit with a roasted component. Hops are floral and spicy.

T - Taste follows aroma with a noticeable bitterness. Hop flavor and roasted grains are well balanced.

M - Moderate body with carbonation bite and lingering bitterness. Warming on the swallow. Finishes medium, between dry and sweet. Hides ABV well.

D - Drinkable. Different.

Overall - Mix a Porter with an IPA - you get this beer. I'm not sure what to call it, but I know I like it.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.2/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a big wine glass at 59 F/ 15 C.

Dark reddish brown color, a good finger of beige head, substantial lace.

Smells like citrusy, spicy, earthy hops, with some malt like oatmeal cookies and black coffee. Oddly cohesive, and good.

Tastes hoppy and tart, very much like grapefruit juice. The acidity is surprising, and it really works. Plenty of grapefruity hop flavor, but the bitterness is quite moderate. The acidity seems to substitute for bitterness. Some coffeelike roastiness, seamlessly integrated. Lingering tart grapefruit.

Flirts uncomfortably with fizziness and wateriness, but fine carbonation, some acidic tingle, and a touch of slick oiliness make for a good texture overall. Quite refreshing and drinkable.

Good interesting beer. Acidity from the dark malts works well with the hops.

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Photo of beer2day
4.2/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown caramel pour with billowing, thick 3-finger medium cream head. Averagely active carbonation. Excellent head retention and thick, chunky lace.

Nose has a slight vegetable aroma to it that I can't quite figure out. Caramel malt with light toffee. Definite pine-herbal hop mix.

Slight caramel flavor at first, then a low roll of carbonation. Finishes bright, with nice burst of piney hops. Caramel malt in the aftertaste. Very nicely done.

Feel is about right for the style. Gets a little syrupy in the end.

Overall, a very easy to drink IPA. Hides the abv extremely well.

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DogZilla Black IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
3.41 out of 5 based on 513 ratings.
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