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: 512
Photo of Sammy
2.83/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Black-grapefruit melange coloured body.
Big white soapy head. Mollasses and hops - simcoe. Some roasted malt. Infected? Buttery mouthfeel,some malts, hops did not work, weak carbonation. Frehly purchased bottle by RK, certainly not his fault. Not finishable.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.15/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a thick looking stout-like black liquid, The head was big and tan colored. The lacing was thick along the glass. The smell of the beer was citrusy with hops and heavily roasted with chocolate malts. The taste of the beer was pretty good also, The chocolatey richness blended quite well with the piny citrus flavors from the hops. The mouthfeel was thick and has a healthy carbonation to it. Overall I found this Black IPA to be quite good and would drink it again in the future.

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Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear dark reddish amber in color and has a very light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a two finger high beige head that is fluffy and looks a little like the top of a root beer ice cream float. The retention is rather impressive because it started developing peaks left by a whisk when making fresh whipped cream.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of citrus and pine resin hops along with hints of roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but has slightly more pronounced flavors and some more roasted malts along with a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to be overcarbonated and requires a very careful pour. Nothing really stands out to me about the smell or tasted compared to other beers in the style.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.53/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A bold and experimental beer that has a lot going for it, except for some flaws in brewing technique that allows some off-flavors to persist.

Dark amber/brown but somewhat translucent- looks much more like a deep Red Ale with only slight color corrections for the roasted barley. A quick rise and fall of foam shows early maltiness but thinning late. Light lacing.

Hops and roast lead the way in aroma and taste, along with malty, roasty, grainy character. As soon as the hops take hold, a twangy-tart-phenolic (plastic) flavor and scent comes into play and is more than just a slight distraction. The slight Schwarzbier-like roast attempts to clean up the beer right before the finish, but makes the beer a bit grainy and acrid.

The beer has a medium-light body that just fails the flavors by finishing thin, acidic, and grainy to texture.

Like many other Laughing Dog products, the basic recipe seems fine but the infections from tannin extractions and polyphenols is just too much to overlook.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber, procured this past summer in lovely Boise, Idaho. Cartoonish literal label, which is par for the course for this brewery's marketing department, it would seem.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark ruby red colour, with a teeming amount of loosely bubbly and thinly foamy pale beige head, which settles quite slowly, eventually rendering some decent webbed treeline lace around the glass in its slow and meandering wake.

It smells of lightly roasted caramel malt, fruit and nut infused sweet chocolate, which generally gives way to some bitter earthy, floral, and somewhat medicinal hops. The taste is again quite fruity in its upfront roasted maltiness (one much less charred than is the norm for the style), the chocolate acquiring a bittersweet licorice character, with some acrid herbal, citrusy, and muddled earthy hops deigning to show their faces after a wee spell.

The carbonation manifests in just a mostly flat-seeming frothiness throughout, the body an adequate medium weight, and just a bit too prickly to consider as outright smooth. It finishes well off-dry: malty, chocolaty, and boozy (with a certain Ouzo-esque licorice twist), sure, but über alles - weirdly herbal.

A strange bird (ok, 'dog'), this one - many of its traits resemble a decent PAC NW Black IPA, however, the strange herbal and isolated anise characters just don't really do it for me. Which is a minor shame, as the restrained 'blackened' part of the style here is actually quite appealing - huh, when one door opens, another one closes, I suppose.

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Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

*Cascadian Black Ale* lol.
inkjet: 278 01 ¡1337!

Pours with a large fluffy head that formed craters and peaks, with a bunch of sticky lace. Dark mahogany with a ruby glint when held to the light. With nice retention also, it looks very good.

Some light citrus and toasty notes, seems mildly buttery but not in a bad way. Roasty malts and a citric bitterness, long and dry bitter aftertaste. Clean green hop aftertaste lasts forever, even after I left the room and forgot what I was drinking. Grapefruit rind and spicy pine bitterness, maybe a hint of diacetyl.

Light carbonation, full bodied, a nice IPA to take your time drinking. Overall it was good, probably enjoy Alpha Dog more though.

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Photo of zeff80
3.89/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a small, tan, creamy, bubbly head. It left intricate patterns of sticky lace on the sides of the glass.

S - It smelled strongly of pine, citrus and floral notes. Also, a burnt toast malty aroma.

T - It tasted of pine, toasted malt, caramel, vanilla and spice. The roasted malt began to build as the beer warmed up.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a unique and delicious IPA. It almost tastes like a strong Baltic Porter mixed with a West Coast IPA. Very cool and different.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. The color is a dark brown coming close to black. The aroma brings some really nice pine and citrus along with some roasted malt. Fairly common for the style and right within the parameters of what I would expect. Good taste with a bit of roast though the hops aren't quite on the level as the nose. Roast and bitterness in the feel. A nice beer; I wouldn't mind having more from them.

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Photo of nickfl
2.81/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours with two fingers of off white head on an opaque, dark brown body. The foam settles fairly quickly and leaves average lace.

S - Some dark malt, pine, and a medicinal sour cherry thing.

T - Pepper, cherry, and caramel malt up front. Some smoky cherry in the middle. Finishes with a hint if herbal hops, char, and strong bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Not very good, it is lacking in hop character and there is a medicinal character that us really off putting. I an almost inclined to think it is infected, but based on other reviews it seems that this beer just tastes kind of off.

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Photo of oberon
3.01/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an imperial nonic a deep chocolate brown with some real ruby tinint,a 1/2 finger tannish colored head atop that was gone pretty quickly.Sharp piney hop notes along with dark roast at the onset,dark molasses sweetness is light,pretty average for the style.Sharp and thinner in the mouth takes away from the flavors in my opinion,piney hops dominate with mild sweetness,a little raw earthiness in the finish.Not a very good example of the style in my opinion,it lacks body and flavor complxity,still I do like most of Laughind Dog's wares.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours black at first but holding it up to the light actually reveals a deep clear ruby body. This is topped with several fingers of foamy light tan head, which retains with a rigid finger that just drenches the sides of the glass with sticky patchy lacing. The aroma is tangy mix in the nose of earthy fruit, herbal notes, some pine, and a moderate smelling underpinning of chocolate, caramel, and roast underneath.

The taste is resinous and spicy, with green leafy citric notes and herbal textures coming out as well. Malts give this a sticky underlying sweetness with some roasty character that kicks it into gear in the backend. This finishes earthy with a dry spiciness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a light sharpness that prickles the tongue but then spreads out with a more slick and smooth feel in the mouth. Well hit ABV here as well.

This is one of the earliest examples of the Black IPA style that I can remember seeing in bottles and while it could use some more balancing dark malt character to help offset the hops, this was still pretty darn solid. This is definitely one of the better ones that I've had from Laughing Dog.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a very large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark caramelized malts, grassy hops, and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a good burst of hops bitterness that is followed by some mild sweetness from flavors of dark fruits, citrus and caramel. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of black IPA style facet, this is a solid beer that is worth drinking for a while if you want a slight variant of a normal IPA.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.11/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ruddy chestnut with bright orange and amber highlights. This Black IPA looks like a brown ale, but adding enough black malt to make it opaque would have been too much for the style. The good-sized crown is the color of a coffee milkshake. It has a whipped-sticky texture and is beginning to lay down a pretty impressive array of lace.

The aroma isn't a standout by any means. It smells like there's just enough of the dark malt to take the bright edge off the Cascade and Simcoe hops. The result is a beer that smells neither black malty nor especially hoppy. It's also a bit vegetal. Let's hope the flavor is better and more distinctive.

Even though I haven't had too many black India pale ales, I have a pretty good idea what makes a good one. The darker malts should be appreciated, but shouldn't overpower the primacy of the hops. In other words, they shouldn't taste like hoppy porters. Although Dogzilla succeeds in that sense, it still isn't successful beer.

Problems include more bitterness than good hop flavor and a garlic-like undercurrent that I don't remember tasting in Laughing Dog beer before. The huge blast of bitterness (68 IBUs seems low) makes a valiant effort to obliterate the nastiness, but doesn't quite get it done. On second thought, calling it 'nastiness' was probably too harsh.

The flavor profile is a clashing melange of dark caramel, spent coffee grounds, grapefruit and orange peel, fermented pine sap, crushed aspirin and garlic. While the beer doesn't taste as bad as that description, it isn't exiting the pint glass very quickly. Drinking it with food would probably help, but good beer should be able to stand on its own.

The mouthfeel is acceptable for an IPA. It's at least medium for the style and is appropriately carbonated. There might even be a hint of creaminess on the back end.

Unfortunately, Laughing Dog DogZilla comes nowhere near the promise of its name and label. I don't care if craft breweries come up with Green IPAs, Purple IPAs or Turquoise IPAs, as long as they're good IPAs. This one doesn't cut the mustard.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and even brown color with a good clarity to it. A nice rich looking head of light tan rose up from the sides of the glass and reached a height of around two fingers before settling back down with a smooth and even lacing and a nice consistency hugging the glass. Aroma is a good bit hoppier up front then I thought it was going to be as well. This one just seemed to be full of surprises. Rich caramel and earthy grains lie underneath a bouquet of pine like hops. Quite light and very complex. I was extremely open to this one. First sip is smooth, creamy malts that wash across the tongue. Great complexity here now as well. Rich brown ale flavor, creamy, hints of earthy tones and a rich, subtly dry hop presence that seems to build and build. Last sips seem to be equally as well versed in sweet caramel notes as they are in dry, piney hops. Super session able and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of russpowell
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at macadoodles in Joplin

Pours more like a brown ale or an imp red, nice caramel color with 3+ fingers of fluffed up khaki colored head. Stellar head retention & lacing

S: Has a bit of off/brett smell to it, phenols, the main shortcoming of this beer. If this was trying to pass itself off Belgian I'd bump this way up

T: A bit of funk in the beginning, along with citric hops, & a touch of black rye bread. Pine & grapefruit dominate as this warms, along with some more rye bread & dryness & some grainyness, plus a whisper of booze too. Finishes crisp with much grapefruit, a touch of funk that works here, & pumpernickel bread. 1 point deduction for the infection

MF: Medium bodied, creamy, light carbonation, good balance

Drinks pretty nice, got off to a rough start, maybe slightly infected, will have to do some research...Will hold this review as a placeholder until I get my hands on some more
( no freshness date on this bomber ), I hope this one isn't too rough on the guts tomorrow...

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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 TMoney2591
2.83/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Oh, no, they say he's got to go... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear midnight garnet topped by over a finger of wan off-cream foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, anise, pine needles, spearmint, and cinnamon. Odd as it may sound, this thing smells like certain Christmas cookies I've had in my day, almost like a gingerbread man with peppermint buttons who happened to have been left on the baking pan a bit too long, blackening the backside a bit. Here, it's not quite what I'm looking for, and luckily not entirely offensive, especially considering that the mint gets stronger as time progresses. The taste brings in more of the same, though that minty character is now nearly absent until the finish, the roast is darker and more bitter, and the pine asserts itself a great deal more. Unfortunately, everything is in competition with everything else, precluding any chance of flavor harmony. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a fairly smooth feel, and a drying finish. Overall, this black IPA just didn't sit right with me, what with the chaotic nature of the flavors.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.77/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle killer label of the Dogzilla attacking the town, simcoe and cascade in a black IPA from Idaho man are we getting progressive, did I mention I purchased this in West Virginia, holy shit what's going on? The body is pitch Black with a light beige head almost white, I've never seen a head this light in a beer this dark. Aromatics are giving off citrus and spicy notes almost a cinnamon like character if I had to describe it any further. The first sips carries that black roast blended with high alpha acid hops rather nicely, drinks like a highly carbonated schwarzbier with more hop pellet kick than most of them out there, the spicy characteristic is nice and would blend great with the Kristoff Sumatran wrapped cigar I'm about to light up. Light dark chocolate herbal mint, spicy hops, mild citrus twang but really ends up as a nice spicy schwarzbier more than a black IPA. Mouthfeel is medium at best with ample flowing carbonation a layer of spice and hop bitterness is left on the palate between sips. Overall a beer that I will drink sparingly not the one I wanted compared to other big dark beers out there, I'm glad the alcohol is not over the top it's well hidden and barely a factor in this big beast of a 22 ounce beer.

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Photo of stakem
3.07/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to fear025 care of the 2011 black booty BiF for the chance to try this brew. Shared on 2/19/11 with wishuwerebeer.

Poured from a bomber into a pub glass, this brew appears a dark brown color. Two fingers worth of creamy tan head swell up atop this brew and retain fairly decent. A pattern of lacework sticks all over the glass somewhat in a webbing.

The aroma is a mixture of fruity hops mixed with a mineral and sulfur component. Overall it is quite sweet smelling and pleasant but it kaka and real hoppy depth. It is quite one dimensional. I wonder if freshness is a factor here, who knows since there is no indication of freshness on the label.

The taste is moderately bitter with a fruity presence of alcohol and hoppy fruit/citrus flavors. A dry dark roasted flavor lingers in theouth with a touch of the mineral quality that was evident in the nose. Luckily, most of the mineral flavor is hidden by the roast of the grain and I can somewhat ignore it. As it warms, there is an herbal aspect about this brew that gets increasingly evident.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The alcohol is hidden but not completely absent in character. Easy drinking for the most part but one and done was enough. I'd probably pass on trying it again in the future unless there was any indication of freshness. This looks like an American black ale/ black ipa but it is lacking in flavor and aroma.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received in trade from jtrockchalk, thanks again for the opportunity.

Pours a deep dark brown with garnet highlights and a massive mocha head that persists forever and leaves mad lace on the glass. Smells of floral citrus and pine. Some brown sugar, caramel, and toffee in there as well. Taste is fairly hoppy bitter citrus with a bit of astringency in there. Slight caramel and toffee but very faint this one is mostly hops. I pick up a faint spicy Belgian yeast character in the finish of this one. Body is medium to thin, mouthfeel is sticky, carbonation is a bit high. This one is only ok. The body is too thin, there's an off putting astringent taste, the carbonation is much to high. I like what they were trying to do, but this is one and done for me.

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Photo of jwc215
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle:

First pour foamed up, with a murky brown body and a head that was large, but in a foamy, not quite right, way. The head soon becomes rocky. Spotted foamy lacing sticks.

The smell is of leafy, citric hoppiness, with a lemon sourness. The dark malt is subdued, but there.

The taste is bitter from start to finish, with a hint of sweetness coming through only at end of the 22 oz. bottle. There is a coffee roast balancing hop bitterness. Roast comes through more as it progresses. Something a bit "raw" about it - with some astringency. A hint of alcohol shows.

It hits medium-bodied, though becomes foamy as it glides over the tongue, even in subsequent pours after the foam had settled.

The feel throws this off - This is second brew from this brewery that has a carbonation issue that throws it off. (Another had a hint of it - and a few others were fine.) Despite this, it is an interesting beer with bitterness coming from hops and roast.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pour a dark brown color with a trace of tan head. The aroma is very strong with grapefruit hoppiness. The taste starts with that strong fruity and citrusy hops and then donates with some malty sweetness. The overall taste impression is very sweet. The mouthfeel is a bit harsh and overcarbonated. Overall though a very interesting beer and definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with a half finger of brown head and left a little bit of lacing saticking to the glass. The nose was like a regular which was grapefruit citrus, pine, and floral hops but it had a big roasted malt character. The flavors were like the nose consisting of a piney hop bite alongside citrus grapefruit that help out on the overall bitterness but the roastes malts to add some dimension to this IPA styled beer; quite intresting. The brew was medium body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a roasty, citric, and bitter finish. It drank pretty good and I'm really digging this experimental style that other brewers should take on to make beer that much more intresting.

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Photo of Gavage
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a clear dark brown color with some dark red highlights on the edge of the glass. A 2" head lasts a bit and some light lacing sticks to the glass.

Smell: malt sweetness, fruit sweetness, and a hint of citrus make up an aroma that was not intersting.

Taste: roasted malts, mild grapefruit citrus, prunes, brown sugar, and some floral bitterness make up a slightly unbalanced beer in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout. Aftertaste is short and focuses on the sweetness.

Drinkability: this black IPA did not do it for me at all as the bitterness level was lower than expected allowing the sweetness to rise to the top.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to JohnGalt1 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a nice dark brown color, not much carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which does leave some sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, with some malts, sour/tangy, metalic, very slight roastyness, with some citrus/grapefruit. The taste is hoppy, with some malts, sour/tangy, metalic, some roastyness, and some citrus/grapefruit. Medium body. Drinkable, but there is a strange sourness/metalic taste to this brew.

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DogZilla Black IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
3.41 out of 5 based on 512 ratings.
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