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 bfeucht
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Tall tan head that lingers for about a minute. Clear dark beer with slight caramel color when held up to light.

Resiny hop smell with hints of floral, citrus, and grass. Very faint aroma of brown sugar or caramel.

Starts off with a nutty flavor which quickly changes to a malt and finishes with a sharp bitter and a floral after taste. Overall a little heavy for an IPA, but what I would expect from a darker style (Black IPA). Flavors are well balanced.

The beer seems a little over carbonated and leaves the mouth feeling a little dry, but it does not distract too much from the taste of the beer.

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

pours a clear brown with a medium size egg-shell head, and good lacing.

smell is of sweet malt, some citrus, caramel, and a little brown sugar in the back.

taste is creamy, bitter, malt, some pine, and a little mocha, ends nicely smooth.

good for an IPA, but darker than normal.

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Photo of plinythethirsty
2.84/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Decent head and appearance. But the taste is not likely to please most American IPA fans. Smell and taste evoke a Christmas beer -- cloves and minty pine. Next Yuletide I'll buy some Schlafly's, but for summertime hops, I'll look elsewhere. Not recommended for IPA lovers.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.05/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into my pint glass the beer is brownish red. The beige head literally explodes to at least five fingers high. There's about and inch of beer in the glass. The rest is all head. Talk about over carbonated. Lots of thick lace is left around the glass so thats a plus on appearance.

The aroma is light piney hops along with a moderate dose of smoked malt. Not much else going on.

The flavor has a piney hop blast that gives way loads of smoked malt. Very dry and bitter in the finish.

Medium average body. Tons of carbonation.

Overall this was my first of this style. I hope it gets beeter after this. So far Black IPA's are 0 for one in my book.

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

Pours a cola and burnt sienna color with copper hightlights at the bottom of my glass. Two fingers of head atop said color that recedes to a constant thick film of fom throughout all 22 ounces. Loks lik an IPA with black malts added to the wort at some point and time.

The aroma is a litle tame. Just the normal bitter orange peel,uta litte under he radar fr my taste was the malt aromas. Maybe just a hint of roasted barelt, but thats it.

The taste starts with a dry, almost astringent sweetness from the toasted biscuit and noticeable roasted malt flavors. The middle bitters up quite abit with a chewy palate to boot. The finish is a long lingering black blood orange and tamarind bitterness just ever so accentuated by the roasted malt character.

Interesting black IPA, but lacking in a few standard IPA qualities. Still a good beer and worth picking up for any IPA fan.

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Photo of tigg924
3.6/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, cloudy, amber- dark brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: citrus hops and some malt

Taste: citrus hops, some chocolate, and earth

Mouthfeel: light bodied, medium carbonation, sweet start with a very bitter body and end

Drinkability: I could have this again. This is an interesting beer with the chocolate and hops..Almost like a hopped up schwarzbier. Good above average IPA.

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Photo of horshack7
4.41/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: From a 22 ounce bomber poured into a mug is a dark brown borderline black with a dark garnet hues. On top of all this is a two fingered tall head that is thick and frothy almost as thick as a marshmellow.

Aroma: Nice citrusy hopiness right up front. Bits of caramelized sugar and burnt hops. A little bit of malts that were roasted so wonderfully dark. Piney and grapefruitiness round it all out.

Taste: A wave of citrus and dark roasted malts all rolled into one. A crisp yet still full bodied beast. A little bit of a breadiness. Malts produce a burnt sugar texture and flavor. As for the hops well they are having a field day what a delicious beer.

Notes: This is quite a beast it might appear to be cute and cuddly but that is only an illusion inot the dark heart of this beer. I am glad I got my hands on this one and will get more. Cheers.

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Photo of jslot38
3.24/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big fan of black IPA's, had to grab this one.

App: Big pillowy off white head over a very dark brown borderline black with ruby hints body. Great lacing, looks phenomenal.

Smell: Interesting note of caramel in the nose. Hops and sourdough bread, some cereal grains as well.

Taste: Decent mix of hops and roasted malts. Sweetness level is just too high in this though. Hop bitterness is there, but the hop flavour is on the light side. Just a hint of grapefruit and grass.

Mouthfeel: Good IPA mouthfeel, carbonation is upfront and the hop bitterness transfers over to the hop slickness on the tongue.

Drinkability: Won't be too hard to get through this bomber.

Something is odd about this brew. I like it, but between the caramel in the nose and the vanilla sweetness in the taste you can easily forget this is an IPA.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.91/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear, deep red-brown color with tall, creamy, light brown foam that persisted. The smell was NW hops, though not very prominent. The taste was hoppy but also malty like a very hoppy Dunkel or Schwarzbier. Not overly sweet, but a tad more sweet than an IPA. The mouthfeel was crisp and hoppy with medium body and good carbonation. Good dark malt throughout, and a hoppy finish. This was a nice beer.

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

Pour lightly chilled out of the cellar, a nice rocky, fluffy head with a mild pour that sticks to the glass and retains a few millimeters for the entire drink. A dark, dark amber in color. Smell is of citrus, a hint of toastiness and almost a Brett-like hint as well. Taste is similar; a malt backbone, a good amount of hop up front, then toasted malt with a quite dry finish and a funk of (as I stated before) Brett-like quality. Mouthfeel was good...fairly smooth but you'd want to be in the mood for a very dry finish. Drinkability isn't too bad at's higher (obviously) than your session beers but I'm having no problem with this bomber.

Good overall...across the board actually...not exceptional but not bad, really.

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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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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 ยก1337!

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 ghebel
4.22/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours clear copper/ brown with red hue in the light. The head is massive and turns to a creamy topping that leaves lots of lacing on dissipation.

S - Grains are toasty, dark fruit with a roasted component. Hops are floral and spicy.

T - Taste follows aroma with a noticeable bitterness. Hop flavor and roasted grains are well balanced.

M - Moderate body with carbonation bite and lingering bitterness. Warming on the swallow. Finishes medium, between dry and sweet. Hides ABV well.

D - Drinkable. Different.

Overall - Mix a Porter with an IPA - you get this beer. I'm not sure what to call it, but I know I like it.

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

A rather strange brew working well as a dark IPA but with interesting memories of a Belgium IPA

Presentation: 22 Oz. Bottle. Dark label around the illustration of an oversized dog monster taking over the urban skyline. Rambling side narrative about the monstrous behavior of Dogzilla, with a small description of the brew. Does not show bottling or freshness date. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Deep brown pour with an extraordinary frothy head. Great retention and rich lumps of lacing as it progresses.

S - A funky malty nose, a bit of a fruity hoppiness and a fresh floral hint.

T - Hmmm, malty and hoppy, done well, with a sour and even a tad funky touch, Brett? Probably not but there is a big memory of something like it. The funkiness progresses around a subtle hoppy feel with a nice and gentle malty backbone.

M - Medium body with generous carbonation. Dry and crisp finish.

D - It is rather drinkable, not sure if it appropriate for a dark IPA but it feels good.

Notes: Maybe this is an off bottle, although I doubt it, and even if it were it was a rather pleasing drink. Thing is that it has great funky sense, not a skunked one mind you, but something more in line with the way that brettanomyces feels in a subtle way. The nose and look support that feel, and make for a nice dark IPA with a fresh hoppy funk that does the trick very well. Did they bottle something else on this one?

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Photo of troutmask96
3.12/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Laughing Dog's "Dogzilla" is one of those beers that tries to be different while ending up the same. Pours an opaque black with a thick head that quickly dissipates into a tan lace. Smell is of sweet bread and bubblegum. Nothing unique about the taste except for a lingering bitterness that is almost unpleasant. Drinkability is scored as average because of this. One and done...

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Photo of Florida9
3.98/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark mahogany brown in color, but still fairly translucent. A nice 3/4" of lightly tanned, bubbly head forms on the pour. Very nice lacing.

S: A nice, easy blend of citrus and pine hop aroma.

T: Malt forward with an aggressive hop-bitter finish. Some pine resin noted.

M: Medium in weight. Medium carbonation. Strong, bitter finish.

D: Good IPA with a nice balance of flavors. Easily drinkable.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown, auburn with 4-5 fingers of fluffy tan head that leaves a few fingers behind with spotty lacing. Even with a slow pour the glass was more than half foam.

S - Has a bit of tropical fruit brett smell to it. I have had this in a few bottles of homebrew ipa before that were gushers. I wonder if it is infected. Sweet Tarts with grassy and citrus hops.

T - Same bretty, tropical fruit taste with a touch of roasted malt, Sweet Tarts and grassy hops.

M - Medium body with bubbly carbonation a lingering grapefruit dryness.

D - I hope there wasn't a reason this was discounted from 7.99 to 3.99 at the only store I know of in WI that sells it. I will have to get another to see if this one was infected.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
2.67/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bomber poured in to a pint glass.

I only poured about 6 ounces since I was getting a crazy head. Ended up with about 2 inches of beer in the glass and a five inch head. The beer is a very deep auburn brown color, and the massive tan head goes rocky and reminds me of a root beer float.

This beer has a weird hop aroma. A bit of a spruce spice to it, some roast malt is behind this, with some noticeable astringency. Taste is also a mix of some hop spice and roast malt astringency. Some flowery, fruity notes to it, and a fairly bitter punch at the end.

I'm going to say I do not appreciate the blend of flavors in this beer. The hops do not go well with the roasty malts. I know it's not a true American IPA, and I'm not really judging it as one. It's just not a well balance beer IMO.

It's not real big on body, but I do find it filling. Nah, not very drinkable either.

This is not a beer I would seek out again.

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Photo of beertunes
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured not quite black, but rather a brownish-red-black combo that, while not unattractive, wasn't going to win a beauty pageant. The beer had a light tan head that quickly dissipated but managed to leave decent lacing.

There was no malt noticed in the aroma, just hops, mostly floral and pine. The taste slightly surprised me. It was very crisp and clean, with some citrus showing up along with the pine and floral scents.

The body was typical for an IPA that has such a restrained malt presence. They should put these beers into a sub-category called "hop juice". I think a bit bolder malt bill would give support to those hops and showcase them better. Drinkabilty was very good, for the style.

Overall, a very nice beer that I'll certainly try again.

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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 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 wenkalman
3.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance - Dark, almost black stout appearance with a similar head. Dark carmel, off-white color that stuck around for a while. Head was thick as well. Lacing very sticky.

Smell - Malt notes with a slight hint of hops. Not as earthy as would be expected with an IPA. Based on smell, I would say the malts are going to over power this brew. Upon second sniff, slight fruit notes of dates and plum can be found.

Taste - Mild malt flavor, considering how dark this brew is. Good coffee notes. Has a good bitter end to it, though I find it difficult to pick out the type of hops used. Very pleasing taste and I would have to say well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Very good on the palate. Good carbonation to go with the dark coffee notes. Good feel for a higher IPA at 6.9% ABV.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink. It is deceiving how mild and balanced this beer is when you first see how dark it is.

Would recommend this beer to IPA fans and other beer lovers. I found it to be very good, and easy to drink. Also very well balanced.

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

Had this out of a bottle, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dirty amber brown, with an almost gradient look to it. Not too black to be honest, and Sublimely Self Righteous from Stone has been the base-line for me on the style. Perhaps that's unfair, but looks lighter, like a brown ale more than anything. Laced well and decent head.

Smell: More roasted than I expected, with a more mellowed, sweet hoppiness. Lemon peel, marzen-like roast and really, that's about it. Nothing too floral or flooring.

Taste: I was kind of surprised by the lack of a strong flavor either direction. I feel like maybe the ingredients were leftovers, I don't really see what the brewers were going for. It feels between styles, like a more roasty IPA and higher-hopped brown ale into one. The synergy feels a bit lost, as there are hops, but they feel oddly placed in some ways with the roasted malt. The flavors aren't bad, either, just rather mellow and feel slightly mis-paired.

Mouthfeel: Bitterness is there, but I'd prefer a touch more. Feels carbonated a tad too much, but not overly detrimental. Not great, not bad.

Drinkability: I mean, not too exciting here. It's got more flavor than a pale ale might, but the flavors don't feel synergistic or add much to one another. Just a bit underwhelming.

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

Appearance is pretty dark with a nice head and fair lace. Smell has a nice balance of hop and roasted malt with some grapefruit. Taste has a big punch of dark roasted malts and a little salinity with a good bite of grapefruit bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. A little roasty for my taste, but overall not a bad beer.

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Photo of far333
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Semi-clear, caramel colored with ruddy highlights. A chunky and rocky oatmeal colored head rises up huge and frothy. Aroma of roasted malt, cocoa, and citrus.

Flavors of roasted dark malt, cocoa and coffee, paired with bright, citrusy and piney hops. Hints of smoke and oak. Flavors move in and out, working well together. Full and rich mouthfeel, satisfying and tasty.

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