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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 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 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 Scotchboy
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap @ Brewforia Eagle ID - served in a shaped nonic.

A: Dark brown color with translucent cola-colored edges...minimal tan head & lacing.

S: Toasted dark malt with a piney and herbal hop edge...zesty and a bit astringent with some resin and grapefruit pith. Hints of brown malt in the nose too? Maybe a touch of nut and caramel.

T: Hops steer the same direction; pine, resin, grapefruit, herbal...malt moves from dark caramel to espresso-like dryness with notes of fresh coffee. Blends well together.

MF: Moderate, nearly medium, decent carbonation and dry-er finish.

O: Decent Black IPA, definitely piney on the hops, with a decent dark coffee/caramel malt backbone. Neither quality overwhelms. Not a Black IPA I'd choose to revisit but it is relatively good.

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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 AlCaponeJunior
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Good looking, tho not quite black. it's a brownish-red color, mostly clear, with a monster head that just won't go away and tremendous lacing.

Aroma is a bit muted, kinda citrusy and piney with just a touch of earth.

Flavor is good but not outstanding. There's a notable roasty character that doesn't dominate, but complements. Piney and citrusy hops are pretty forward and tasty. There's a tinge of vanilla too.

Body is pretty well carbonated and medium, pretty drinkable really.

Overall it's ok but not outstanding.

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Photo of GalaxyCruiser99
2.22/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought this at my local craft beer store.

A: Looked great...and was at a great price of 3.99. Was a cloudy amber color with a thick head.

S: Smelled of a sour home brew and extremely bitter.

T: Drinkable but would not buy again, tasted bitter with slight citrus notes more malty than hoppy. Tasted like my first failed home brew...strange.

M: Very little carbonation in the bottle I bought, which tasted off, but might explain the cheap sale price I paid. My bottle was from 5/11/12.

O: I've had other Laughing Dog beers I loved but this black IPA tasted strange and off. I would try again only if bottled fresh or from a tap.

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Photo of barter
2.41/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Got a bomber on reccomendation of the sales guy at TotalWine.

-Poured in to a borrowed Dragoon Brewery pint glass. Bottle inexplicably foamed over when opened so that my first few swallows were from the bottle to avoid waste, the pour was also very sudsy and despite my best efforts the glass still half head.

-Tastes? Think its easier to say what it is not. It is not hoppy or roast malty or delicious. Don't get me wrong it is entirely drinkable, just not what I look for in a Black IPA.

-Finishing taste is almost like sarasparilla, that with the carbonation adding to the rootbeer experience.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

22 ounce bottle
Served in a beer mug

A - It is dark brown and appears to be hazy when held to a light. I notice amber highlights along the edges. This beer produces a tremendous, rocky, tan head. I looks like a root beer float without the ice cream.

S - I get a strong, piercing citrus aroma. The scent of orange seems to stand out. It reminds me of the citrus smell of a cleaning product.

T - I get some elements of a brown ale. Orange forward citrus flavors prevail.

M - Medium

O - It is a flavorful beer, but that citrus and orange presence just reminds me of cleaning products. It is kind of a turn off.

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Photo of jmdrpi
2.56/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

22 oz bottle, no date.

not really "black", just darker brown. big off-white head, good retention. aroma is slight roasted malt, mixed with citrus hops. weird combo, ends up with sorta of a lemon scented dish soap smell. as for the taste, the malt base tastes more like a brown ale. the citrusy hop flavors don't mix well. Would have been better off with more earthy varieties of hops. medium thickness, good carbonation level.

overall - unfortunately, misses the mark. disappointing.

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Photo of runbirddrinkbeer
2.52/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Picked this up recently as I had tried several black IPAs during the craze a few years ago and liked them( mostly). Packaging caught my eye also and looked forward to trying this bomber. The beer poured a dark reddish color into a pint glass with a prodigious head of lumpy ochre foam, creating a sticky mess in the kitchen. Aroma of roasty malt and citrus was somewhat promising. The taste was overly bitter even for a west coast ipa,enthusiast. Very hard to finish although it improved as it warmed. Overall not a beer I would recommend.

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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 sweetLew
3.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I endured a cruel joke involving a Widmer Hefe in order to dive in to this one... bottle dated 3/30/12, procured in Portland, delivered to NorCal.

Aggressive pour yields a reasonable, light tan head that fades into a thin but resilient layer, leaving some mercurial lacing on my beer-clean chalice. Not quite black, this dog has a healthy transluscent dark brown coat, with hues of ruby streaking through. The aroma is disappointing, perhaps due to my sample's age, with an understated earthiness of piney hops. Some faint smells of chocolate and vanilla are subtle. The balance of flavor highlights this beer; a nice blend of dank, mature hop bitterness intertwines with toasty flavors of chocolate and dark grain that conjures an image of a dark forest in a light rain. The mouthfeel is light for the style, the finish is bitter but pleasant, and moderate carbonation enhances the focus on the balance of flavors.

All in all, Dogzilla is a worthy journey into the CDA/BIPA style; perhaps not the most assertive example, but sufficiently complex and well-crafted to put a smile on the face of the beer drinker that likes dark, earthy beers. The kind that make us Californians want to move to the Northwest...

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Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked this up based soley on my recently discovered affection for Black IPA's. After reading some of the other reviews I was really apprehensive! I am pleased to report my experience was 100% enjoyable! This brew poured with the expected dark color, and had a pleasent, roasted nut scent. The taste was smooth and went down easy. I would visit this dog-pen again!!!!

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Initial pour was super heady, but it calmed down. Head was light tan with an uber black body floating underneath.

The smell has the base of a great Black IPA. Kind of reminds of me Hoppin Frog Hop Heathen: Huge roast with resinous hops just taking over completely. Pine coming in with a bit of slick orange.

The taste is better than average for sure. Loads of dry roasted malt. The hops have a great aroma and slick feeling. The dark chocolate works pretty well with the slick citrus fruits. Theres just enough punch from the hops. the bitterness from the malt just gets compounded by the bitter hop extract oils.

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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 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 BlurryVisi0n
2.5/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark dark brown, almost black untill pressed against the light. Off-white head real f'n thick almost like some belgian beers rising to well over an inch and that's with a gentle pour.

Smell: Smells good then it doesn't, strong lemon skin but smells little spoiled.

Taste: Complex not in a good way, sour and bitter I really dont understand where the IPA comes in this.

Mouth: LIttle sticky, Thank you for the effort.

Overall: Laughing dog brewery if you read this retire this beer, you and I both know you have come out with much better than this. Still you can give it a try might be worth your while, definitely not mine...Salud!

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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 Fatehunter
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a giant seidel. A big two fingers of foamy, light tan head on top of a dark brown body.

The smell is perplexing. Rich roasted malt smell and then citrus, sharp lemon.

It first tastes like banana, then lemon, wheat bread, finishes with a sharp grapefruit.

Soft texture, creamy but with a sharpness to it. Medium to heavy body, moderate carbonation.

I liked it, but it was unbalanced and took me for a ride, which is fun too.

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

Glass - Tulip

A - A mahogany colored brew with a redish hue to it. It produced a 2-finger head that looks dense and creamy. The head seems to hold well, and I got some nice lacing.

S - Upfront I pick up a big citrus character in the way of lemon and grapefruit rinds. Underneath the fresh citrus hop characteristics I pick up mild leafy hop notes and licorice. As it warmed I got a touch of brown sugar and papaya.

T - Upfront I get semi sweet tasting malts with flavors of caramel, molasses, brown sugar and nuts. As it rolled to the sides of my tongue I picked up a softer than expected lemon rind note and lots of herbal hop characteristics. I also pick up licorice and subtle papaya that sneaks in here and there. It finishes semi dry with moderate bitterness.

M - A lite bodied brew with a moderate-high crisp feel to it.

O - While I'd probably drink more of Stone's Sublimely Self Righteous, I think this is a an easier drinking alternative due to the fact that's it's far less sweet, has a thinner body, and more bright hop characteristics. So overall I think this is a pretty good Black IPA. Cheers!

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

glass: Tulip

Very dark brown color but not as dark as, say, the Sublimely Self-Righteous. Dense, fluffy 1-finger head with thick lacing. Primarily hop-forward on the nose. semi-dry and lemon-like but by no means a "hop bomb". Rich dark malts give it an interesting overall aroma.

The taste is has the distinct flavors of pine, bark, lemon, raw cocoa beans with a punch of sharp bitterness at the end. It's simple yet complex. The body is medium-full but feels light in the mouth. Not too bad, a no fuss BIPA.

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Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a murky consistency. There was a huge, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A very hoppy aroma, more than I expected, with some citrus as well.

T: Tasted of hops (a decent amount), malt, citrus, pine, and a hint of coffee. The flavor wasn't as heavy on coffee or chocolate as other ABAs. Not a bad flavor, but a little out of whack.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a crisp, clean finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Not a bad beer, but it doesn't necessarily measure up to other beers of the style.

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Photo of Jparker37
3.49/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Imperial pint glass

A - Giant, rocky dense caramel head larger than the standard 2 fingers. Dark colored but to the light it is brown and somewhat hazy and transparent. The head never dies down staying thick atop this beer.+++ Tons of thick lacing all the way down.

S - Citrusy hops are right up front accompanied by a helping of silky dark malts. The dark malts don't smell roasty but more dark chocolate like.

T - Nice and clean citrus hop flavors but also chocolaty/coffee throughout. Again, all the dark malts are clean and never astringent. The balance of hops to malt is very cohesive but I usually prefer this style more hop forward.

M - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Dry, crisp, refreshing.

O - I liked the citrus hops used but found all the dark malts of be a little to much for this style in my opinion, however, they did work well for this beer. I could have used more hops in its flavor and smell but thought this was still worth the $5.59 I paid for the 22oz.

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Photo of Kendo
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the bomber into a pint glass. Body is more brown than black - with a slight reddish color to it. HUGE head on the first pour - more than 50% of the glass was khaki-colored foam, which took awhile to recede to a meringue-like foam. . . which left thick rings of lace. Particulate in suspension in last pour.

S: Piney hops, roasted barley malt. Quite roasty. Something slightly off, like burnt grain.

T: First impression: roasty. Reminds me more of a porter than a Black IPA in many ways. Piney, grassy hops at the finish fight with the bitter roast.

M: Carbonation was too much.

O: OK. Becomes more bitter on the last pour. Grassy, pine needle-like bitterness over roast. Not juicy or containing the chocolate malt sweetness that I like for this style.

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