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 obywan59
4.59/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first black IPA. Dark brown in the glass with burgundy highlights. Moderate head with nice lacing.

HOPS!, it screams. Glorious, piney hops with a bit of malty sweetness. Possibly my best smelling beer ever. Compares to a Stone brew.

More hops, lingering throughout, but balanced sufficiently with a nice sweetness. I really don't get any of the roasted taste, but who needs it with these incredible hops?

Creamy, not sticky, I toyed with giving it a 5.

Awesome drinkability. This is close to my favorite of the last 11 brews I've sampled (and the first 11 brews I've reviewed). Call it personal taste, but for me, it vies with DFH Worldwide Stout.

I'll definitely buy this one again!

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

This is a good IPA. The chocolatey appearance doesn't add much of anything but novelty. The pour is a deep brown to black with a modest white head that retreats quickly leaving a moderate lace. The hops and malts don't exactly explode into the nose but they are there, they are consistent, and they are nice. The nose is a bit boozy with some sweetness via the malts. This IPA has a nice combination of malt and hop, not too much of either, just a nice fruity bitterness with a toasty sweetness that coexist quite nicely. There was a lot of hype surrounding this style and the dark malt does add a nice toastiness to the beer, but it is nothing to really write home about. The beer is good and the hype is hype.

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

Really, really impressed with this beer. Had it at a few places while up in Boise. Also ran into it at the Yakima Hop Festival. Best Black IPA I've had possibly, even better than Stone's?
Very hoppy.

Looks very cool. Jet black, good head. Smell is great, lets the bitter hops shine, a meld of citrus and lesser pine.

Of course, taste is its best quality. Could drink this so often, if only it were more widely available. Bitterness in check, hops shine, not heavy body.

Check this beer out if you can on tap, I've had bottles I wasn't nearly as impressed with. You just don't seem to get the Simcoe and Cascade hop assault not nearly as complete without all that pine and citrus hop mouthfeel.

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Photo of Blitzstyle
3.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got on a trade with dregs78. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a SA glass. Nice head bout 3 fingers on a aggressive pour. Nice black brown coloring to it, some lace. Love the idea of a black ipa

Big smell off the intital pour of piney and citrus hops. Roasted malts and some chocolate round things out. After the intial pour the smell really loses its hopness and kinda smells more like a traditional porter.

Taste the best of both of the worlds this beer represents. The tip of your tounge gets the hop hit while the rest has a creamyness reminiscent of a porter. Roasted malts and caramell are there mixed in with the hoppyness and chocolate. Really unique taste.

Medium body with a pungent aftertaste, the way this beer lingers in my mouth costs it some drinkablity points. Other than that great beer hope I can acquire another.

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Photo of Jayli
4.01/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 11/22

A: This beer pours a deep dark brown with a major ruby red edge to it. With the first pour there was a ridiculous four finger of rocky, light brown head to it. Amazing head retention, thick, sticky, chunky lacing left on the glass.

S: Nose is of roasted malts, chocolate and a touch of floral hops.

T: Taste is of major roasted and toasted malts up front, chocolate, toffee and caramel fill out the middle, and the hops are what fill out the later side of this brew. Big dose of citrus and floral hops.

M: Light side of medium body, medium carbonation, crisp and clean mouth feel with a slightly dry finish.

D: This is a very drinkable beer, odd yet pleasant, flavors play nicely off one another, I could sit with this for a bit.

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

Appearance: Dark mahogany color with a thick sandy head. Good head retention and decent lacing.

Aroma: Slight grapefruit aroma.

Taste: Grapefruit flavor is upfront. Roasted grains are in the background. Slight chocolate notes.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, and light on the tongue.

Overall, a solid beer. Dark, but light mouthfeel.

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

22oz bottle purchased recently somewhere in the MA/NY area.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3 1/4" tan head over the clear reddish brown brew. Head lasts more or less forever, with heavy coating lace. Aroma is sweet and citrusy. Taste is rich and sweet upfront, piney citrus in the middle, and closes with ample bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is good. Nice brew.

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Photo of ZluvDbeer
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured great, more of a darker brown than black, tasted good while drinking but the bitterness lingered stopping this beer from competing with the better beers. Love the idea of IPA/stout hybrids and think Laughing Dog is headed in the right direction.

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Photo of Pinto21
2.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Big tan head, Black to deep red. some red around the edges.

Citurs Hoppy smell and some roasted malts.

Wow this smacks you in the face. Lot happening at once. Bitter roasted malts to hops back to malts. But not in a good way. It's just burnt to me. Like eating roasted malts and drinking a hop bomb. It needs some sweetness to balance it all out. It's just bitter followed by more bitter, and not in a good way

Just too much for me without a bit of sweet to save it. I didn't want to finish it.

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Photo of corby112
2.52/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a deep dark chestnut brown color that is comletely opaque with light mahogany edges when held to a light source and a two finger pillowy, frothy light beige head tht seems to last forever. Lingering thicj cap that leaves chunks of soapy lacing.

Aroma has a good amount of earthy and floral hops that are countered by a roasted chocolate malt presence with hints of toffee, hazelnut and caramel. Slightly smokey making or a strange combination of earthy, floral and citris hops along with rosted dark malt notes.

Very bitter dry piney hops up front that are quickly countered by a very strong buttery toffee presence. There is a strong dark caramel and chocolate malt backbone with hints of dark fruit, mostly sour cherries and dark berries. It really does taste like a very biter chocolate covered chrry. Very odd and unpleasant combination of flavors. The bitterness lingers thorughout but the strange malt backbone is very rominent and the whole beer is a bit of a mess. Not a fan.

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Photo of nickd717
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber via trade as an extra from JohnGalt1 - thanks, Toby!

A - Pours clear dark brown with a creamy beige head that lasts a hell of a long time. Leaves good lacing.

S - Aroma is perfumy floral hops, citrus hops, herbal notes, and a little roast.

T - Flavor is caramel, chocolate, and roasted malt along with floral and citrusy/grapefruit hops.

M - Medium-bodied with soft carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel with lingering hop bitterness.

D - High for the style. Great black IPA overall. These Laughing Dog guys are solid. Really can't believe this is rated B- overall.

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Photo of homebrewhawk
3.97/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle served in a Duvel Tulip. Opened with a big pop. Lots of carbonation. Poured a deep brown with a huge head of light tan foam. Citrusy hop aroma. More citrus and piney hops in the flavor. Plenty of hop bitterness. Some chocolate malt. Nice lacing on the glass. Medium bodied, the carbonation didn't really take anything away from the beer. Finished with malt dryness along with drying hops. Nice Black IPA, works for me.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Better than expected with a higher malt content than-usual "black IPA"... Basically was a pretty decent india pale with a noticeable and sturdy malt backbone...
Hop flavor is definitely evident with a fair level of drinkability and warming 6.9% ABV...

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Photo of pinotboy007
2.45/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Moderately vigorous pour yields an over the top, dense, styrofoam khaki-colored head. Decent sticky legs, too. Impressive!

S - Some piney, funk-like aroma that I'm not altogether sure what it's supposed to be. Anise? "New car" smell? Carpet? It's not that Band Aid-like smell some Belgian ales have, which I really like. I can't put my finger on this. Earthiness? Charcoal?

T - Bitter, biting hops slash their way through some Turkish coffee, followed by more stinging hops. What the hell is this supposed to be? The hops are on steroids and have detracted from this ale.

M - Very nice carbonation lends its support to deft creaminess.

D - Not on my watch. Not recommended to anyone except serious, devout hop-heads. Even then . . . oh, well. They get an "'A' for creativity, which should be a category.

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Photo of bort11
3.91/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, poured into a standard shaker pint. Starts off with a massive light tan head. Even a gentle pour pulls a huge mountain of foam. It recedes from the outer edge in, so at times there is a little island of foam in the center. Tons of sticky lace. Color is not pure black, but more of a dark, dark brown. Some red shows through when held to the light.

Smell is mild. The bitterness from the dark roasted malts and the bitterness from the hops stand out. Taste comes off as a super hoppy porter rather than an IPA. Coffee flavors compete with alpha hops. Blends together nicely.

Mouthfeel has a slickness to it with a fluffy texture. This one is hard to categorize. It's not following rules.

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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 AltBock
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bottle with a label of a black Godzilla sized dog wearing a spiked dog collar and with large red spikes along its back. This dog is stomping the hell out of a city that has beer bottles for smoke stacks. I don't know any city with beer bottle smoke stacks, but I wish I did. There's 2 small planes flying around the dog trying to stop it from destroying the city. Best of luck to the planes because they look like they're from WWII. To the left is the Government warning and a crude drawing of a smiling Golden Retriever. To the right is a poem about DogZilla, a short description of the beer, and the address of the brewery. Absent from the bottle is any kind of brewed date or best before date.

Appearance: I poured this Idaho born Black IPA into my Sly Fox Imperial pint glass. From a distance away, it looks like this beer poured a solid pitch black color. That's what I thought it was until I held it into the light. When I did that, I found out that this beer was an extremely murky milk chocolate brown color. It was so murky that I couldn't even see through to the other end of the glass. I had to raise the glass over my head to see what the true color of the beer was. Sitting on top of this murky brew was creamy 3/4 to 1 inch off white colored head of foam. This head of foam had great slow retention that left behind a creamy off white film and a handful of tiny spots of lace.

Smell: The aroma of this beer was really on the faint to mild side. It really doesn't jump out at me. It was mild and fruity with the scent of toasted black malts in the front juicy fruits in the middle, and then the aroma rounds out with a splash of grapefruit and some dry lightly bitter citrus hops. Swirling it around won't wake up the aroma. It's a good aroma that won't offend anybody, but there's really not much there.

Taste: The taste picked up what the aroma was missing. The taste kicks off with some roasted and toasted black malts and a touch of dark chocolate. This taste of chocolate and black malts will then roll into the bitter aspect of the beer. This dry bitter part of the beer was filled with bitter grapefruit, a splash of lemon, dried bitter citrus hops, and a gentle touch of dried pineapple. The taste isn't done just yet. After the bitterness subsides, I noticed there was a subtle juicy fruit taste. This taste reminded me of a Fruit Rollup. In the end, this was the taste I was expecting from this Black IPA. It was bitter with a side of black malts.

Mouthfeel: This was a medium bodied Black IPA with a good level of carbonation and a slight dry bitter aftertaste. This bitter aftertaste was packed with toasted black malts, bitter grapefruit, and bitter citrus hops. This bitter aftertaste will linger on on the roof of your mouth for a few minutes.

Drinkability: Overall, it was a very good dry and bitter IPA that was weak in the nose, but had a nice bitter taste with black toasted malts backing it up. If you ever want to try a beer from Idaho that's bitter and dry with a unique color, then pick up a bottle of DogZilla. This beer shouldn't burn a hole in your wallet.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pour was cola colored with a massive cream colored head and it took forever to go away. nice lacing and retention.

light sweet caramel malt flavors with a hint of floral and tangerine notes.

solid bitterness with a slightly grassy flavor. a nice amount of pine. malts are rich and sweet but take a stand behind the hops.

for as much head as this had, not as much carbonation. still fairly full but a tad thin. good though

pretty decent. i love black ipas so kudos to all that make one. has a good flavor that i never really got bored with. i like this and will try again.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle a dark mahogany with a thick light tan head.

The aroma is sweet and citrusy with a bit of pineapple and malts.

Noting a heavy medicinal taste upfront followed by a bile bitterness. The bitterness is overwhelming to the citrus hops and coffee notes and not too pleasant.

Medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

I can't say that I'm a fan of this beer.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.6/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

First thing, its not black, its brown with red highlights. Which does make sense for a ipa/stout mutt. Topped by four fingers of light beige foam with a bit of rockiness in the terrain. Nice thick lace.

Nose is a mix of roast coffee/chocolate and citrus/pine, though neither exhibits enough character to be truly enticing.

Taste begins with some tepid coffee with milk, a cup that has been sitting around too long. The hops have to fight their way through, and deliver a blunted suggestion of earthy and citrus. All disappears at the swallow, and leave a bland near tasteless finish.

Mouthfeel is ok. Drinkability is disappointing.

A rough mix of irish stout and ipa which is not as satisfying as either on its own. Like most pre-mix black and tans. A black ipa maybe a good idea, but this take needs work. Stick with Alpha Dog or Devil Dog.

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

Knew I saw a beer at Plaid Pantry that I haven't tried yet.... so I got it. The one and only. I was hoping they had a pumpkin seasonal... but nope.

- Great mocha colored foamy head... and sticking around all creamy-like. Black coffee colored...

- Nice light chocolate smell with some zesty pine hops and a slight bready graininess..

- Sure this isn't a porter? Very much a roasted malt profile with chocolate and sweet grains.... some nice hop bitterness though... mainly tart malt, bitter pine hop... and more bitter. I do like the bitterness.

- Lightly chewy, and a tart bitter bite... sticky...

- Overall this isn't bad... bit too much towards a porter though for me... for me a Black IPA should be more like a dark lager, but an ale, and with a larger hop profile... which after belching... there is a nice flood of hops.. citrus even... and is a bit hidden by the over-done porter-like malting. Blanced almost.

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Photo of DrJay
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very deep reddish auburn colour, clear, with great head retention. There were thick rings of whitish lace denoting each sip. Intense aroma of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit - not much else. Moderate bitterness up front that grew into the finish. Caramel sweetness with a bit of toffee, fruity tangelo, grapefruit towards the end and a lingering bitter orange finish. Medium bodied with average carbonation and some dryness. Decent texture. Overall, not bad at all.

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

I liked this one. Had no expectations for a black IPA other than the color. Color is black and translucent. You can see the outline of your fingers on the far side of the glass. The bottle should come with a warning about head size. This explodes in the pint glass, about 3/4 head even though I poured it down the side of the glass. The head is off white, pillowy and good retention. Thick lumps of spotty lacing.

Smell is potent and nice. Piney hops with maybe a little floral hops. Taste is a strong balance between piney hops and sweet caramel malts.

Mouthfeel is rich and drinkability is good (if you have time to wait for the head to die down)

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

Pours a clear reddish brown, huge light brown head, so pour mellow. Over all nice looking brew.

Aroma is nice hops pine, floral and minty are mingling with underlying roasted malts.

Taste is bam hops pine with a side of mint on a lightly roasted malt base. Defiantly IPA big on hops, not much malt to speak of whats there is lightly roasted. Main thing going on for me is not roasted enough not black enough, decent but could be better i guess.

Mouthfeel is medium with lightly peppy carbonation that does a good job of bringing the hops out, not that they need much help.

Drinkability is good but nothing special really, just an IPA with some lightly roasted malts thrown in.

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