DogZilla Black IPA | Laughing Dog Brewing

514 Ratings
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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 ism
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Sweet nose, built on roasted malt, slight bread with a big hop brightness. Pours with a vigorous taupe head, subsiding quickly with wimpy lacing, on top of a very dark amber body with a deep ruby tint. Mild carbonation greets the tongue, as the roasted malt washes over it, accompanied by a classic citrus bitterness, slight acridity. Medium-thin body has a bready mouthfeel, a bit of resin oil, finishing with an ever-emergent pine.

An interesting style and fairly sessionable. Good, but not near the best in its class. Needs to be slightly more balanced. Normally I like acridity (especially from smoke), but it doesn't seem to work here. A fan of Laughing Dog's approach and will continue to support them, and hopefully their offerings can jump to the next level.

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Photo of potownbill
2.58/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Way too much foaming. took a long time for the head to settle. Otherwise, semi-transparent brownish red beer.
Smell: Tart, horse blanket, phenolic.
Taste: Matched the smell. The tartness overshadowed any decent hop flavors.
Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation, some oiliness.
Drinkability: Dominating tartness overshadowed any other flavors, and made it difficult to finish.
Not sure if I got a bad bottle, but this was not a very well balanced beer. The head was a pain. I do not feel like waiting 10 minutes for the head to dissipate.

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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 arizcards
3.61/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at Bevmo in late July for $7.99.

Beer poured brown with a thin tan head, hmmm...

Nose is of light roasted malts with some northwest hops lingering in the back.

Taste is roasted malts with a nice huge pine and citrus hopped finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and decently carbonated.

Drinkability is pretty good. The base flavor meets the black ipa criteria, the recipe could definitely be improved upon to get more in line with this new style.

Overall not a bad beer to try but for $7.99 i do not anticipate buying again.

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

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

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

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

mouthfeel: medium and light for a dark beer

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

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Photo of 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 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 rhoadsrage
4.18/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A-  This beer pours a jet black with faint garnet hint at the base.  There is a creamy beige head that is bubbly and last for a long time.  There are a few tiny bubbles stuck to the base of the glass but that is all I can see.
  S-  The full woody green hops have a hint of musty black malt to them but it is pretty light.
  T-  The cream flavor leads into a big green Northwestern hop finish with some pungent hop bitterness that lingers after each sip.  As the beer opens up the initial creamy flavor takes on a sweaty black malt tartness but it is very light.
  M-  this beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with the head helping make a creamy sensation, and no alcohol heat.
   D-  This is a nice IPA with full good depth of hops and a nice balance of bitterness.  It has an interesting twist with the black malt qualities being more sweaty, astringent ( but in a pleasant way) and not the fullness of black malt you get in a stout or porter. 

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Photo of begforme4484
3.85/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep ruby/brown color. It's fairly dark, light only getting through the edges. Thick white head, light lacing. Retained well throughout the glass.

Smells like an IPA definitely. West cost style, grapefruit/citrus and some strong floral hop scents.

Sweetish at first, caramel and toasted malts. Pretty balanced citrus and floral hops take over but not overbearing. Finishes grassy and bitter.

M - Creamy, oily, and sticky. Pretty well carbonated for a 'black' beer.

I will have to try this one again, as unfortunately I was forced to drink this one at room temperature as the bag ripped and the beer popped open. The score will definitely be higher at cellar and fridge temps.

Pretty decent still. Not an SSRA, but still good!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brownish-red color with a white head. The aroma is grassy hops with a lot of toffee malt, piney hops and some iced tea notes. The flavor is pine and roasted malts with some resiny hops, earthy hops and surprisingly, something that resembles tea. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Good, but not among the best Black IPAs I have tried.

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Photo of katan
3.81/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz into a pint

A - Pours a very deep, dark and opaque brown color. Light only appears around the edges. Head formation is strong, eggshell white, light lacing. Well retained at about 2mm.

S - Very IPA like nose - a light amount of grapefruit, earthy floral tones. Cascade hops seem to dominate.

T - Starts off with a light 2 row sweetness, malty, with some caramel and light toasted malts. West coast hops take over, giving that floral and grapefruit note, very balanced. Not overbearing. Finishes more grassy as the hops really take hold. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

M - Very creamy body - beer is solidly built, lots of body. Carbonation adds a nice amount of massaging bubbles. Finishes with just a hair of oily tongue stickiness.

D - Good drinkability, especially for an IPA. Flavors are smooth, well integrated. ABV is strong, but not overwhelming. A bit filling due to its strong body - but not necessarily a bad thing.

One of the better black IPAs I've had - I'd be okay with this as a light colored IPA.

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Photo of Hoops4life511
2.8/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip, no sign of freshness date.

Appearance - Coming out of the bottle this is a rather unappealing greyish brown, but once in the glass it gets better. Deep ruby brown, all but opaque unless held up to the light. Average pour produced a one inch billowy light tan head that hung out for a bit and clung to the glass wherever it had a chance.

Smell - Citrusy hops off the bat with a little malty sweetness in the background, some earthy notes but pretty one dimensional with hops up front, though I'm not complaining.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Very thin mouthfeel with not very noticeable carbonation. Taste is bitter, but not really the pleasant kind. Taste of rubber left in the back of my mouth. A little smoke and a lot of earth. As I continue it isn't as cloying on the palate but still, not impressed.

Drinkability - Well, it goes down easily, which I guess makes it drinkable, but the taste just doesn't leave you wanting more. I don't know where to go with this one.

Overall, not going to buy this one again, but it might be for some.

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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 daledeee
3.61/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The description left me curious. How could there be a black IPA.

Actually this one poured a very dark brown with a wonderful head and lacing.

Nose was vanilla at first but then I couldn't get much else out of it.

Taste improved after the beer aired. Started out very charcoal and bitter. This mellowed a bit after the drink continued. The bitterness stayed in my mouth and was very strong. The beer had just a little bit of a watery mouth feel. The bitterness held down the drinkability as well.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color, but not black as the style suggests. It has a foamy, white head on top with big bubbles. The smell was citrusy and floral as you would expect from an IPA. The surprise came from the taste, which felt like I was sucking on hard candy! There was no roastyness as would be expected from the color. This one really threw me for a loop, and I liked it! It was my first foray into the realm of Cascadian Dark Ales (Yeah, I like that term better than Black IPA) and I will defiantly seek out more of this style to get a better feel for it.

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Photo of ralree
4.11/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: Rich, deep brown, 1/4 finger laced head, great retention.

S: Great big grapefruit hop smell, toasted malt.

T: Strange smokey flavor (Smoked IPA?), hops are wonderful, strong malt backs it nicely. Just a little brown sugar sweetens it up.

M: Nice and dry, clean except for smoke, astringent, carbonation good, medium body.

D: Really rather hard to drink fast, but sipping is OK.

Enjoyed at the Oregon Brewer's Festival 2010

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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 flagmantho
3.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: dark, hazy, ruby-brown body with three fingers of persistent tan head. Not exactly "black", like the label says, but not bad.

Smell: big dose of piney, earthy and slightly funky hops atop a basic malt flavor; slightly biscuity, reminiscent of a red ale. Not sure what the "black" is supposed to impart here, but the IPAness of the aroma is pretty good.

Taste: hops are much earthier and funkier than in the aroma; they're almost a very intense floral flavor. Malt is basic and caramelly, so overall it's imbalanced toward the hop side of the spectrum, but that's OK in the style. Bitterness is getting the job done as well.

Mouthfeel: medium body with an OK level of carbonation. It's good enough for government work.

Drinkability: unsubtle, but flavorful; this beer has some gotcha and it plays its cards well. I would have this again.

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Photo of matjack85
2.85/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this 22oz brown bottle at Sal's in Addison, IL. Never had a black IPA before, so was looking foreword to seeing what it was all about.

The beer poured a cherry cola color with 2½ fingers of frothy light brown head that seemed to last forever. Plenty of lacing clung to the glass with each sip. It was a really nice looking beer.

The smell - what smell? For such a good looking dark beer it sure didn't emit much of an aroma. There was a faint malt roastiness and an even fainter piny/citrus hop mix. It had nowhere near the level of hop aroma one would expect from an IPA.

This doesn't taste much like an IPA either. Roasted coffee flavored malt dominates the flavor. At 69 IBU's there certainly are some hops in here, but they take a back seat to the malts. The hops give it a piny and citrusy flavor, but there just aren't enough of them. The beer also leaves a slightly sour and bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

This is a medium bodied brew with medium carbonation.

I wasn't all that impressed with this one. I'll be interested in trying a different brewery's black IPA to see if it tastes any better or if I'm just not a fan of the style.

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

Poured from 22oz bottle to chilled pint glass.

Enters the glass as a dark, cherry-cola colored with a tan, bubbly, generous head that drops pretty quickly.

Light floral and citrus notes, not overtly scented.

Hoppy up front with substantial burnt-caremely goodness backing it up. Bitter bite of an aftertaste.

Chewy, halfway between substantial like a porter and crisp like an IPA.

Paired with something meaty this would be a repeat on my lineup.

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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 thagr81us
4.08/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopflop for this one! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Pours a dark amber with a three finger off white head that is very frothy but subsided to one finger very slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of sweet hops and malt. The flavor was of dark malt and hops. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a very nice IPA. The head retention was epic on this one. Just glad I was able to try this one. The flavors and aromas were definitely on par for this style and it was one of the top black IPA's I've tried to date.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.94/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dogzilla produces massive amounts of long retaining khaki colored head, and has a blackish ruby red colored body.

In the aroma fruity fragrances are most noteable, but the brew also has a slight coffee or cocoa character to it.

An interesting twist to the typical IPA. Citrusy flavors are upfront, but almost immediately smokey charred coffee flavors come through.

Pretty carbonated but complex, this is also not that thick. Medium in body but highly drinkable.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours Dark Brown with a huge tan head. Nose is hoppy but the burnt malts also show up as the beer warms up. Not a huge beer in flavour but rather a slightly mellow Cascadian IPA. The beer actually has a bitterness in the finish that grows tiresome as the bottle progreses. I poured out the last half glass becuase of this note. I have had better versions of this style and will not purchase this again

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