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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 514 |  Reviews: 285
Photo of cpanossian
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into clear wine glass. Persistent 2-3 finger fomay biege head with a lot of staying power. Clumpy lacing very nice. Classy clear cola brown color with reddish hue in the right light.

Nice light hop aroma with some yeast after thoughts.

Medium bodied nicely balanced initial sweetness with a smooth afterburn of hoppy bitter.

This is very drinkable - quenching, flavorful, good friend to a fine meal or even a nice cheese plate.

Finally a reason to visit Idaho.

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Photo of bump8628
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pleasant surprise on tap at McNellie's a few days before Laughing Dog's bottled selections hit the shelves.

Pours the darkest of browns with a good inch of light tan head that really retains its frothiness.

The hops pack a pretty solid punch of pine with some herb and citrus filling out the rest. Malt contributes some light bread crust, soft caramel, and little in the way of roast...just the way I like this style. If I closed my eyes I'd probably think regular ole' IPA, albeit with a very, very faint smoky edge.

A really good shot at the style. Not world class, but certainly worth ordering a few.

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Photo of stephens101
3.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown middle with cherry red edges. A small dirty white head recedes quickly. A rumbling of lace sticks randomly. Smells of oily hops with a fleeting sweet malt undercurrent. Tastes grainy with more huge oily hops and a perfect sweetness in the end again, which balances everything out, saving the day. Medium mouth-feel and highly drinkable. I haven't been able to get to this style lately, but this particular beer gets me one step closer to acceptance.

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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 ne0m00re
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

09/28/10- Had a bomber of this thanks to Denis.
A: Dark reddish brown with a very nice head.
S: Sour/tart smell, very roasted rye, piney hops, very earthy and musty, raisin.
T: Roast is a nice brewers licorice with a woodsy apple core sign that this is infected. Earthy bitterness is nice; green hops with a really nice off-balance zen.
M: Thinner, but good creaminess.
D: Very.

I think this bottle was mildly infected. It still pulled through rather well, though.

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Photo of cpolking
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown to black with a half inch of foamy head that laces the glass. The aroma is malty, slightly smoky, with some aromatic hops adding a sour zest. The flavor is of very dark roasted malt, coffee and a hint of smokiness with a bracingly bitter finish.

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Photo of DousedInStout
3.69/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours deep, dark brown with tan head. Very nice lacing lingers all the way to the last sip. Nose is a nice blend of citrus and earthy hops. The taste is of burnt toast, caramel, and charcoal, followed by earthy, hoppy bitterness. The bitterness remains in your mouth for several minutes after each sip. The body is bit full for the style, but overall a decent CDA.

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Photo of CASK1
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium brown with good clarity. Thick, light tan head with excellent staying power.

S: Interesting mix of citrus and floral hops, with light toasted malt. Somewhat sweet, in a good way.

T: Similar to aroma. Not too different from an average IPA. The dark malt character is not prominent, and doesn't add much more than color. Starts caramelly sweet, then fades to an intense, dry, almost astringent bitterness (a good thing!).

MF: Medium body, medium high carbonation. Dry, bitter, astringent finish.

D: Drinkable, but not overly enticing. I like this beer, but it was not as unique as I expected.

This was my first black IPA, and although I really enjoyed this beer, the style does not seem unique enough to draw me in. I will try other examples, and hope for more inspiration.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.21/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark chestnut color with an average sized, foamy, rocky, a little sticky, khaki colored head. Decent retention with just a small, thin lace left.

S - Nothing all that impressive. Faint hints of citrus along with some floral notes. This is countered a bit by the dark malt aroma with some caramel and dark bread. Neither the hops or the malt come out overly strong though.

T - Similar to the aroma. Nothing that really impresses me. Has notes of both hops and malt, but neither really jump out or make an impression. Only very little of the grapefruit/citrus comes out with an earthy and floral hop flavor being strongest. A lot of the hoppiness just provides bitterness though. Some dark, bready caramel malt. Something of a bitter porter or brown ale.

M - Medium body with about average carbonation. Crisp and a little thin. Not bad and kind of a typical IPA.

D - Not difficult to drink and has some redeeming qualities, but overall it just doesn't inspire me to drink more.

Notes: Excited to try this as it is my first Black IPA, but I was a bit underwhelmed. I'm not sure if I'm not a fan of the style or just this beer, but it just didn't really work for me. Both the hops and malt came out, but neither is really strong or enjoyable. Hops provided mostly a bitterness, not as much nice hoppy flavors. Probably not worth the price, although again, I might just not enjoy the style as much.

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

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Thick thick creamy foam. Persistent. Reddish brown color. Significant heavy foam impedes progress.

Dark chocolate smell. Rich malty too.

Taste is a bitter chocolate taste with a lingering hop. Espresso finish. Smooth mouthfeel, low carbonation.

Hearty drinker, rich, full of flavor. Solid.

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Photo of obrendano
3.06/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a bomber bottle to a glass

A- cola colored with ruby hues, massive creamy head, probably overpoured this one

S- sweet smelling, malt and hop aromas are present, not much else though

T- decent I guess, heavy on hop undertones but seemingly light on actual full frontal taste of either hops or malt. Sort of a generic "hoppy beer" taste with a spicy hop finish

M- noticeably thin and slightly watery

D- the entire bomber went down easy enough, but I don't think I'm rushing out for another anytime soon

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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 Cheesemoose
4.12/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Pint

No Freshness date

Poured a nice dark, translucent brown. Nice 2-3 fingers of khaki head that dissipates leaving a nice solid film on top. Lacing sticks as you drink, leaving a nice trail as you go.

Smell is a mix between the heavy dose of citrus piney hops along with a good toasted malt character, giving a coffee character. Very intriguing to say the least. Also get notes of caramel/toffee. Nice sweetness plus the hops on the nose, a great combo.

Coffee flavors return. Hops start out in the beginning, nice citrus character but followed very closely by the heavy malts. Toasty, rich, coffee, caramel and toasted bread. For a Black IPA, very nicely done. Nice balance, though a bit on the malty side.

Mild carbonation, excellent mouth feel, creamy and rich. Alcohol is nonexistent to the senses, maybe after you finish it. Another after 1? Maybe, a great beer to settle with, though with the bold flavors would be hard to pair with a meal. Better as a stand alone or with some rich desserts.

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Photo of cetherid
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


a nice dark brown color. almost like a cola. a thick foamy tan head with it.


roasted malts and piney/earthy hops. Reminds me of a hoppy smelling Guinness.


similar to nose. Reminds me of a hopped up Guinness. Roasted malts with a very bitter bite to it. nothing really extraordinary IMO.


medium bodied. good carbonation. very creamy texture.


it was an ok beer. but nothing I'd buy again. I wouldnt turn it down if offered, but I would prefer something with a little more complexity. like I said earlier, just reminds me of a Guinness with some piney hops. I'd rather stick to a standard stout or a standard IPA.

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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 andrenaline
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to t00nces for hooking me up with this sample. I was super stoked to test out this offering!!

A - Pours a dark brown colour with a nice red hue, finger of beige head, decent retention (couple minutes) and leaving some fine sticky lacing.

S - Scent is sweet pine and cedar sprigg hops, nice caramel notes among citrus bouquet and a bit of cotton candy on the finish.

T - Taste is dominated by the pine and cedar hops, but is complemented by some bitter coffee malts. This is my first experience with a black IPA and I really enjoy it. The finish is a little bitter but likely attributable to the malts competing with the hops for dominance. Bold flavours, nicely balanced, and absolutely delicious.

M - A bit of an oily texture, but not to be confused as a turnoff. Finish is dry, as expected with higher ABV hoppy beers. As usual I'm not a huge fan of a a super dry finish, but this one isn't overwhelming which is nice. Carbonation is nice, body is medium with a lighter carbonation that fills the mouth and goes down smooth.

D - This stuff is delicious and the higher ABV is nicely hidden. A very tasty dominant hop presence which is nicely complemented by the malts. A must try for any hop lover and I would definitely indulge again.

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Photo of musicforairports
3.41/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz brought home from Florida, no freshness date.

Not black but brown in appearance, looks like a cross between a brown ale and a porter. Good lacing. Smells like roasted malt and a hit of citrus bitterness. Smell is not particularly strong.

Taste is of roasted malt with hop bitterness on the end. Not overwhelmingly hoppy, but there's definitely something there besides the dark malts. Citrus-y hoppy and a bit kind of a yeasty tanginess. Very mild alcohol bite on the tail end. Hops don't rise to a West Coast-style here, in my opinion. But who knows how old this bottle is.

Pretty clean on the mouth, a bit of sweetness that sticks to the tongue. Pretty drinkable, especially for something in this category.

There's nothing about this beer that makes it hard to drink, but there's nothing that makes it stand out from others in the category.

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

The pour was jet black with a ridiculous amount of head, about 2/3 fo the glsass, the 2nd pour only slightly better. Pine and sweet citrus on the nose. The flavor has pine resin, oranges and a little grapefruit and a light finish. Solid medium body, averrage carbonation. I knocked the drinkability because I had to wait 10 minutes to drink it because of the head. A decent black ipa, but there are better ones.

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Photo of IndolentReader
4.12/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was very, very excited to try this.

A: Nice and dark; very rich-looking.
S: My favorite part of this beer. Just a great, "thick" aroma.
T: Unfortunately, pretty standard tasting IPA. I didn't really find a lot of complexity with this one.
M: Nice, though unremarkable.
D: Extremely drinkable - I think my 22 oz bottle was missing a few ozs, it went so fast!

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Photo of kbeals
4.06/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this gem from JohnGalt1 a little while back, can't wait to try this one!

A- An extremely dark amber color, appears nearly black until you hold it up and inspect it closer. Two fingers of fluffy, off-white head make an appearance and sticks around very nicely. I had no less than one finger of head the entire time I was drinking this. Thick sheets of lacing adorn the sides of the glass. Flawless, one of the best looking brews I've seen.

S- Dark, roasted malts, sort of bready. Hints of floral hops and earthy aromas. Pretty pleasing.

T- Very similar to that aroma. Dark malts present both a roasted and bread like flavor. Good hop presence lends it a good deal of bitterness that nicely complements the malts

M- Medium body with a decent amount of carbonation. Very smooth.

D- Easily drinkable. The alcohol rarely shows itself in this one and the bomber was no problem to finish off. This style is still pretty new to me, but I'm enjoying it immensely. I also feel Laughing Dog is very underrated, they're quickly pushing their way into my top breweries.

Thanks again Toby, I don't think I can say that enough!

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Strong aroma is like freshly baked rye bread with an undertone of yeast and just a hint of citrus. It pours a clear, dark mahogany with a thick, fluffy, fairly persistent, pale tan head. Flavor is more rye-like and yeasty than hoppy, rather bitter, hint of grapefruit. Texture is smooth as soymilk and just a little bit tingly, leaving behind a sharp, slightly bitter, rye finish. OK, but I have had better.

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Photo of Ezone024
3.99/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BIG cream colored head, very fluffy, looks like you can float in it. Dark/black stout coloring.

smells of 100 lbs of roasted hops. mildly citrus/heavenly.

taste is roasted barley up front, like a porter but with out the thick sweet finish. Instead it has a bitter hop finish that as of a west coast style IPA.

mouthfeel is very unique, very bittersweet.
drinkability average with mild booziness.

this is a very unique brew! worth a purchase for sure!

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Photo of Normski
4.05/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The real question is, is this a beer to seek out and spend your hard earned money on, may answer is "Yes" this is a very enjoyable Black IPA well balanced with enough hop flavor for Hopheads but not so much that you hit over the head with it. Overall this is a well carted example of a Black IPA

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Photo of chickencoop
4.1/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to JohnGalt1 for this choice. huge IPA fan, not so much on the Black IPA, but this is legit and kind of changed me. Deep burnt caramel pour, sweet malty smell. I liked this because it was a nice balance for a change, some of the new black IPA's are too dominated by the malty sweetness, this doe not have that, you actually get some pinet hop notes. Clean, crisp hops, sweet malt backbone to add to the drinkability. Good stuff.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22pz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish black color with a huge off-white head with excellent retention and lacing. This beer looks very pretty in the glass.

S- The aroma is dark malts with lots of citrusy and piney hops. It also has a touch of spice and some must. Very nice aroma with this one, all the hops of a good IPA with some dark malts in it.

T- The taste like the aroma is dark malts and spices up front with a nice citrusy grapefruit bitterness in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I really dig Black IPAs and this one is definitely worth a try if you like the style.

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DogZilla Black IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
3.41 out of 5 based on 514 ratings.
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