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 brewerang
1.24/5  rDev -63.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Hands down, this is the worst beer I have ever tasted. I should qualify this statement by admitting that this is my first black IPA and it is possible that I simply don't enjoy the style and/or I had a bad bottle. Regardless, this was a bad experience for me.

This beer is way over-carbonated. I couldn't drink it out of a glass because the enormous head never settled. I had to drink most of it from the bottle. The carbonation hit my mouth like an explosion and was not pleasant. But this wasn't the worst part of the beer. The beer finishes with an awful, medicinal taste that lingers in the mouth. The nauseating taste stayed with me long after I drank the beer. I definitely won't drink this beer again!

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Photo of superfantastic
1.34/5  rDev -60.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I've never had a Black IPA before, and I was anxious to get it in a glass. My excitement, however, dissipated and was replaced by remorse.

A - It looked good enough, a shade or two lighter than your typical stout, with a decent head.

A - Rancid grapefruit, lack of roasted malt aroma I expected

T - Sweet fancy Moses! White wine vinegar followed by pungent citrus. Finished off with fusel alcohol heat.

M - Doesn't matter at this point.

A - This bottle had to be infected. I've read other positive reviews, so this must be an aberration. I will give it another chance and buy a bottle with fingers crossed.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
1.34/5  rDev -60.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a cloudy, dark amber color with a spongy head that lays on pretty thick.

S: It smells strange: hops, cinnamon and olives. Yes, olives. Smell it yourself, you’ll believe me then.

T/M: Has a high amount of carbonation with a smoky and salty profile. There are hints of light citrus as well as a bitter finish and…olives. Not the obligatory black olives either, just plain, green olives. I think someone ordered this beer “dirty.”

Is it possible I had a bad bottle? I don’t know, this beer is too weird to be good. If this is the way it’s supposed to taste, I’ll pass next time.

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Photo of brewbucker
1.4/5  rDev -58.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Well at least it looked good. Poured black with a large light tan head. Aroma was bad and the taste was even worse. Sour (in a bad way) plastic, mild vomit. I would have not even rated it if I thought this was an isolated case but by looking at some of the other ratings I am sure there is a problem with this beer in general. Down the drain. What a shame.

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Photo of MarshallMan
1.4/5  rDev -58.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I'm sure I got a bad bottle of this one and I know I'm not the only one. There was definitely a band-aid thing going on with the bottle I purchased.

Was totally disappointed as I was really looking forward to trying this style.

Hope to find a "clean" bottle in the future so I can do a proper review of the beer and not the infection.

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Photo of meatyard
1.42/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours out a clear, dark mahogany with a 2+ finger tan head that slowly falls to a solid cover while leaving large scraps of lacing.
The smell is mostly malt with a very faint hop aroma.

That's where any semblance of drinkable beer ends.

The taste is just awful. I couldn't get it out of my mouth fast enough but it was, at least, fast enough that I didn't have to figure out what it was that I was tasting. I immediately walked downstairs and poured it out. I was afraid that I might spill some on my clothes and ruin them forever. I don't understand how any brewer can bottle this and sell it, don't they ever taste the beer they make. The first time this was reviewed was 8/2/08 so if it has only been brewed the one time then this is 10 months old. I can't think of a better reason why all beer should have the bottling date on it. How could I possibly know that this is 8 months past when I should have bought it, if this is true. I will rate it because I don't know when it was brewed. I would rather drink 10,000 Bud Lights than one of these.

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Photo of breadnerd
1.43/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

To my knowledge, at this time there is still no BJCP guidelines for a "Black IPA". That being said, I have had several examples of the style.
Pour a rich, deep amber, not quite black. Good head retention, some lacing.
Whoa- aroma in this beer is not in it's favor. Diacetyl? Maybe. Something else...
I taste what I smell, and it's not quite right. I get some vegetable flavors, but not corn or overcooked greens. This is more of an overpowering onion/garlic flavor. Not appealing in a beer, at least not to me.
There's some malty sweetness in there, carbonation normal, I just can't get over the flavor of this beer. It's pretty offensive.

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Photo of loren01
1.44/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

A: Pours a brown color into snifter. Huge and I mean wholly crap HUGE head...took me several minutes to let the head disipate so I could drink it, good lacing down the glass.
S: Burnt sugar, slight smoked malt and black malts
T: Astringent and nasty. Tobacco, licorace, herbal hop flavor
M: Way too much carbonation here...I think Ive had the same problem from this brewery before
O: Not impressed, by far the worst black IPA ive ever had...the color is not even black and carbonation is about 10 times what it should be not to mention it tastes bad.

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Photo of mammal33
1.46/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

First review...

...and first beer I've drain poured after one sip. Beer had to be infected or soon as I popped the top of the bomber, she foamed over. It had a crazy smell that I couldn't work out, and the taste followed. Seems like others had the same experience. Bummer cause the craft beer dude at my local had tagged it in the shop as one of his favorites. Hmmmm...

Will try again, hope to have better results next time.

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Photo of dk009
1.5/5  rDev -56%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I wont go through the details but if you are looking for an IPA do not drink this beer. It may sound novel, but Black IPA is a retarded name for this, its not an IPA whatsoever. No hop flavor in the taste, not even close. Im pissed I paid 4.30 for this. Ridiculous. Look elsewhere fellow hopheads, please.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
1.54/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Appearance - back to back gushers, what gives? Started to uncap and saw a rush of foam up the neck. Finished uncapping over the sink. A minor mess, but another overly active bottle tonight. Pours a nice mahogany with two to three fingers of light mocha head. very stiff and slow to fall.

Aroma - a nice start of citrus and some pine, but then an unmistakeable odor of Orval-like funk. If I were a fan of Orval, this would be an exciting development. As it is, I'm a little bummed.

Taste - no malt presence that I can pick up. A brief hint of citrus, then the overwhelming flood of bitter, sour, acrid, pungent infection. Full on, actually it's maybe the worst infection I've ever tasted. Wow it's really bad. Last night's brew I ended up drinking about half of that one, but here I'm cringing at the second sip.

Mouthfeel - medium-plus on the body. Very gassy of course. This is the only time I can recall taking a mouthfull to get the feel, then spitting it back, wine style. No real problems other than some runaway carbonation.

Drinkability - I just want to be done with this one, a rare statement for me and a beer, even an infected one. I can try it again, but I don't recall ths being that old sample. I'll track it down once more for posterity and see if I can get a good sample in order to fix up these scores.

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Photo of nandemo1
1.7/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

First of all, this is my first BIPA tasting. Take it for what it's worth since I'm not real familiar with the style.

This beer was massively overcarbonated. Took the bomber from the fridge and set it on counter for a couple of minutes while doing something else. Opened bottle and it was a gusher.

Took a while to get a decent amount of beer in glass, obviously a lot of head. Looked ok once head settled, a deep dark brown.

Smell had a medium citrus note compared to other IPAs. This did not translate to taste though, there was some initial pine taste but then the bitterness overpowered everything else and made it unpleasant to drink.

The mouthful was very thin and very dry.

I gave Dogzilla a shot, but I'm pouring out the other half bottle and passing the next time I'm offered it.

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Photo of babbules
1.74/5  rDev -49%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22 oz. bottle to a pint glass. I was really excited to try this one because of the spiffy name and awesome artwork. Honestly, I should've just taken a picture of the bottle, because it was all downhill once I opened it. First of all, the head was HUGE! It would almost be more appropriate to measure it in hands instead of fingers. The color was almost jet black and the smell was floral and hoppy, but smelled oddly dank (for lack of a better term). The taste was NOT GOOD. Burnt, but not roasty like you expect from dark malts, and although it smelled floral, it tasted really bitter (not floral) and finished even worse. Also, it was too dry and reminded me of a really cheap cabernet. Stay away, there are better BIPAs out there.

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Photo of TenTwentyThree
1.82/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Smells of slightly floral hops and old lady bad perfume. Great head and nice lacing. Weird bitterness and taste of perfume with bad after taste. Not impressed wont buy again or recommend to anyone. Worst black Ipa I've had. The only thing good about this beer is the head not even black.

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Photo of jmurray999
1.85/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A: poured dark reddish brown, nice head, mild lacing into an old leghumper pint glass. Resembled the color of a bowel movement my dog once had after getting a hold of the pot roast dinner. (minus the head of course).

S: black licorice, hint of molasses, very lightly smoky malt

T: sweet black licorice which sat out in the sun for too long, not too much hop presence.

D: varied between hell no and I think not

M: light - mild

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Photo of chocosushi
1.87/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Remember having this around Christmas as my first CDA/ABA
Let's Revisit...

A ~ Looks like Dr. Pepper/RC Cola. Soft lacing with quite the cap of head. Uh-oh...

S ~ Juiced lemons and old grapefruit. Doesn't smell horrid but where is the "dark malt twist?"

T ~ Lots of dirty citrus, canned pineapple juice, and a weird flavor that reminds me of a yellow dandelion flower. The only malt flavors I'm getting is on the back of the throat/palette that makes me think of Marble-Rye. Yuck/What the fuck???

M ~ No balance of flavors whatsoever, and STILL no dark malt, other than on the breath. Thin as a 3.2 MGD 64.

D ~ This does not taste right! It's just bad really. It's slick, gritty, acidic, and really horrible. Maybe it's "infected" with all the talk of LD sucking lately. AVOID.

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Photo of brojas91
1.98/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

I am still waiting to find a black IPA that can beat Unita's Dubhe. This is far from being that one.

A- The head was massive, i know how to pour a beer and regardless the head came out huge. Its a dark brown more than a black.

A- Licorice? or some kind of dark fruit, not sure but I don't find it too pleasent, as well as a grainy smell

T- the taste goes with the smell, taste of licorice mixed with some type of fruit. Very little taste of hops, more of a malt/grain taste, with a very unpleasent finish

M- once you get passed the head its medium bodied, nothing special at all.

O- very disappointed, Total wine BA score is a lie because it rated it as a 93, and for $3.99 for a pint, I thought this would be a steal, was definitely the opposite.

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Photo of jrsone
1.99/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

How can this be a BIPA? It's brown. Only slightly more color than say a Scotch Ale.
Way too sweet. It's like if I brewed a citrus-flavored tea with FunDip candy thrown into the steep. Maybe they used too much dark Crystal Malt and then fermented it hot for esters.
Hardly any mouthfeel.
I picked this up b/c it was a good price and I've enjoyed other BIPAs up to this point.
Next time I'll spend $2 more and get Sublimely Self-Righteous and feel sublimely self-righteous for picking a better BIPA.

P.S. Just for benefit of the doubt, I'll accept that I may have gotten an infected bottle.

P.P.S. I still won't ever drink this beer again.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
2/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - Poured about 4 ounces and immediately got 4 fingers of head.

Smell - Sour and citrus.

Taste - Taste comes across with some dark roasted malt, mild cocoa, and a lot of sourness on the back end.

Mouthfeel - Light in body with out of control carbonation, likely due to it being infected.

Overall - Yeah, a completely and unquestionable infected bottle. A certain candidate for a future re-review, but I have to admit I sort of enjoy this. Can a Belgian Black IPA be that far off? Are they already being made?

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Photo of smanders
2/5  rDev -41.3%

Having become addicted to this style by consuming Wookey Jack on a regular basis, I couldn't pass up Dogzilla at $4.99 per bomber at TW.

Appearance - mocha colored head with dark, cola brown body.

Smell - ??? I know I don't care for it.

Taste - not really any malt, nor hops. This is one odd/off ale. Drain pour; life is too short.

Mouthfeel - medium.

Overall - Totally disappointing. As well as Wookey Jack represents the style, Dogzilla represents poorly.

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Photo of brandonlovesbeer
2.01/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1.5

Two thumps way down on this. Way to astringent. It could possibly have been a bad batch. I don’t know. But I don’t plan to give them another chance. And if this is any indication of how the rest of their beers are, then I don’t plan to try any of their other beers anytime soon.

$5.00 for a 22oz bomber.

It had a large khaki colored head, even with a light careful pour, a light 2 inch head formed. It stuck around and was almost the consistency of a meringue. The beer is black as night.

There’s not much in the way of a hop aroma, there’s just an astringent smell from the dark malts. It smells like a lot of tannin extraction happened during the brewing process.

Taste: The tannin extraction came through in the taste as a really strong astringency. There’s a pronounced bitterness that lingers after each sip. This is more of an astringent dark malt bitterness, than a hop bitterness. There’s a light hoppy taste It’s almost an accidental afterthought rather than intentional hop addition though. But either way, there’s no specific hop flavors or aromas to speak of, just a generic light hoppiness.

The one redeeming quality of the beer (other than the appearance) was the mouthfeel. It was very creamy.

Is it Worth the Money?"
This is a 22oz bottle of beer and I paid $4.99 plus tax. Honestly, to put it into perspective, my local brew pub brews a beer nearly identical, in flavor and color to this. I was able to fill a half gallon grower for $9.00. About 2 years ago, I brewed a beer that taste nearly identical to this. That only cost $10 in ingredients to brew a 5 gallon batch.

So I ask again. Is It Worth The Money? "NO"

Verdict: "C"
When I bought this bottle, I thought it was going to be this massively hopped, dark IPA, which is one my favorite styles of beer. Unfortunately it turned out to be a rather difficult beer to drink.

There was just way to much astringency. And the fact that it’s supposed to be an IPA, really left me disappointed, as there was almost zero hop character in this beer.

It has this flavor that usually comes during home brewing, when you steep your dark grains to hot... Actually a better descriptor would be... take your dark grains, throw them into a pot, add some water, then boil the heck our of them for abut 15 minutes. Strain the grain, add the liquid to the brew pot. There’s no sugar extraction. It’s just boiled dark grains. That’s the flavor that I’m getting from this beer. To top the whole thing off, the lack of hop... well... anything was a big disappointment considering that it was supposed to be an IPA

It’s got some flavors but most of them are undesirable flavors. If you want to try it, then try it, but it probably won’t be a beer that you try twice.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.09/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into a tulip. Dark reddish brown with a decently resilient tan head and scattered lacing.

Kind of an odd nose here. The roasted malt is subdued, and the dominant aromas are rather sweet grape and berry fruitiness. Some pine may or may not be lingering in the background.

Flavor is similarly puzzling. It's sweet and boozy, and the leafy/herbal hop profile just doesn't seem to fit. Not nearly roasty enough for the CDA style. Some major tweaks are needed here. I've had some nice brews from Laughing Dog, but I can't recommend this one.

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Photo of GiveMeBeerToDrink
2.09/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

I saw this at Total Wine with a price label that had a beer advocate rating of "93" printed on it, so I decided to give this beer a try. When I tasted this beer I was shocked that it received such a high score, and after checking online I knew I made a huge mistake.

The beer looks like coca-cola without the fizz. It smells of chocolate (which isn't a bad thing, but not really my thing). But the taste. Oh god the taste. It doesn't work. The chocolate stout notes don't mesh well with the light citrus/pine notes. It's not a terrible beer, but it's not a good beer either.

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Photo of kwjd
2.19/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a light brown colour with off-white head. The head dissipates quickly with little-to-no lacing. This bottle must be infected, but it was recently purchased I was told. It had almost a smell/flavour of a bad white wine, mostly sour grapes. Not getting roasted malt or a hop bite that I'd expect from a black IPA.

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Photo of blackc5
2.19/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass at 48F. Purchased at Belmont Station in PDX.

A - Excellent frothy head on an aggressive pour - at least 3 fingers of mocha colored foam. Great lacing as well. Overall color is a quite dark ruby-tinted brown. Looks good.

S - Very hop forward nose. Lots of earth and pine, some burnt sugar and roasted malts. Something else odd in the aroma that I can't quite identify as well... hmm.

T - Not sure if this is a good bottle. Taste is dominated by astringent bitterness. Hard to label the hop flavors individually, surprising given the nose. Some odd buttery quality as well - infected? Hmm. Might be a drain pour. Reading some other reviews, perhaps this is an intentional characteristic of the beer(?) - if so, it does not work for me...

M - Relatively smooth, all things considered. Medium-bodied, slightly above moderate carbonation.

D - Given the lacking flavor profile, I will grade this low. May edit this review if I try again and it turns out better...

As I try to drink some more, I realize I've only had a few ounces and can't fathom even pouring the rest from the bottle.Yeah, this is a drain pour.

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