DogZilla Black IPA | Laughing Dog Brewing

DogZilla Black IPADogZilla Black IPA
514 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 514 |  Reviews: 285
Photo of Reidrover
3.51/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber. Dark brown with a huge light tan creamy head. Aroma to me was very subdued and unimpressive some maltyiness, and the barest hint of pine. Taste weird, this is my first Black IPA and certainlly its almost a balance between the malts a..toasty,toffeeish and the hopping..mainlly piney. Takes some getting used to. Nice mouthfeel on this one. Overall a very different IPA. Like I said my first Black IPA, need to try some more.

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Photo of hpitlick
2.8/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: dark mocha

Head: Insane! Luscious, frothy, over-the-rim-without-spilling

Aroma: plums and perfume

Taste: coffee and burnt rubber, with a piney hop finish; the alcohol is well-hidden.

Mouthfeel: well-carbonated, as expected from the heady pour

Drinkability: low- I couldn't get over the tire flavor, which is a shame because every other aspect of the beer was delightful

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Photo of deereless
2.65/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Excessive foam on an easy pour - a full four inches to one inch of beer though it dropped within a few minutes leaving a slight rocky head, the color of a cola, some sticky patches along the edge of the glass - 2.50, S: Mild sweetness in the back of the nose, noticeable espresso and ash, a little vegetal, hard to decipher or identify the hops which seems meek - 2.25, T: The palate is considerably better than the nose led me to expect, significant hop bitterness but mild for the style, some grapefruit and orange rind, also some coffee ground flavors - 2.75, M: Slightly gritty and smooth - 3.00, D: I appreciate the concept of an IPA with dark specialty malts, but the IPA side of the beer is seriously lacking in my opinion, there's a fair share of bitterness but none of the other pleasantries associated with hops, though certainly a drinkable beer, I don't foresee buying this beer again - 3.00

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My half-dozenth or so try of the burgeoning 'Black IPA' style (seriously? BLACK India PALE Ale?). Have had this one from Laughing Dog a couple other times, on tap and from a bottle. Today's is with a pizza slice and a salad at Hot Lips in Portland's Pearl District; 22 oz. bottle almost fills the bulbous imperial pint in one pour.

A: Gorgeous head, a light tan two-fingers of long-lived frothy/rocky perfection, sits atop a deep brown that falls well short of 'blackness'. So what? The 'brown' glints with amber and faint ruby, almost as pretty as the flocculent pillow; excellent lace too, a seafoam stickiness on all sides.

S: Darn, the dreaded aroma...musty hops, vague caramel, dirty. Not so much the 'burnt popcorn kernal' I've found in other examples, so I guess a notch above 'average' is earned.

T: Hops burst with pine and spice, but get bogged down in a smoky/earthy char. Sweetness sneaks in intermittently, a form of dark chocolate (slight citric tang) but the lasting flavor is a chalk-dry, charcoal burntness.

A: Reasonably crisp, medium body, not overly carbonated. Some malt stickiness hanging around, mellowing the lasting burnt bitterness. Mild alcohol warmth; this checks in at just under 7%.

D: Still trying to figure out this style...a good and reasonably drinkable version of a style my taste buds consistently protest. Worth a try - be your own judge - but still the same drinkability (or lack there of) i've often found.

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Photo of YankChef
3.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into crystal stemmed southern tier glass

appearance: well black and around some of the rims there is a burnt orangish amber tint to it also the head pillowed up on initial pour and leaves really tight lacing all the way down the head itself is very fluffy and offwhite and pretty thick too for an IPA

smell: Really juicy piney aroma, bubble gum and maybe a little resiny as well... mm juicy sweet and hoppy

Taste: hmmm well there is a really strong roasty flavor going on here which i dont normally associate in an ipa, sort of a caramel gone to far flavor... Bitterness then folllows and a really crisp hop kick, interesting

overall: I like the carbonation in this beer its very bubble which is good for a virginia evening... as far as these style go i will take an iniquity or a stone black ipa over this one, im new to the style and while this beer looks and smells great it doesnt deliver on flavor which as we all know, is king

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Photo of Pencible
3.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured a clear very dark mahogany with tons and tons of light tan head. It smelled like juicy oranges and copper hops, with some roasted barley and a bit of coffee. It tasted like strong coffee, with some copper and cream and roasted barley. It was watery with some carbonation, and had a bitter metallic aftertaste. Overall I love this style, but I'm not a huge fan of this particular example. It still had a pretty good smell and taste, with decent body. But simply pouring it was a nuisance due to all the head, and the lasting metallic flavor makes this a bit tough to drink. I miss the clean and succulent character of Iniquity or Sublimely Self-Righteous. DogZilla just didn't impress me.

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Photo of thryn
3.16/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much livelier than I expected -- so I get a dark brown beer with a TON of light tan head. It pours medium to dark brown, but in the goblet it's nearly opaque and close to black. Overzealous head settles to a fluffy finger, leaving a lot of lace. Looks good!

Nose is decent, but nothing special. Piney hops, roasted caramely malt.

Hrm. On taste I have to rate this lower -- NOT because I don't like it ... quite the opposite! but because the IPA characteristics are overpowered by a wonderful roasted malt flavor. There are hops, and they impart a fine pine flavor to the brew, but the roasty character is huge. So, I can't really think of it as an IPA -- more an American strong ale -- interesting and delicious, but nonconformist.

Moderate carbonation and medium body. Nice on the tongue, a bit oily down the throat.

It's drinkable, and a very good beer, but too roasty for style. Maybe black IPA needs its own category, as I suspect this happens a lot?

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Photo of glid02
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this courtesy of Rus - thanks!

Pours a dark amber color with a thin light tan head. The head recedes into a thin ring around the glass leaving light lacing.

Smells of lightly roasted caramel malts with good amounts of grapefruit hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The malt flavors do not fit into any real category - rather the flavors are jumbled into roasted, toasted, and caramel. Light citrus flavors come out midway through the sip before a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with lighter than average carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my glass but I'm not too sure about another.

Overall this was interesting, but I'm not sure I would get this again.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is an IPA? I am not sure what to make of this - it really comes off more as an out-of-style porter, with more hops and a greater level of carbonation.

Pours deep black with an off-color head. Smell is roasted and porter-like. Flavor is chocolately and roasted, slightly smoky, with a deep burning bitterness. In there somewhere is floral hops. Mouthfeel is slick, finish is very bitter.

This is a good beer, but I think it's drinkability is hurt by the fact that it purports to be an IPA but is more of a style of its own.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

DogZilla Black IPA blurs the line between IPA and porter. It poured dark brown-to-black with a ridiculously thick pillowy sea foam-like tan head that filled more than half of the glass.

There was a roasted burnt smell and taste that lacked any real flavor. The feel was thick and chewy with an unpleasant lingering acidity.

DogZilla Black did not work at the end of a warm summer day, and as IPAs go, it's just plain wrong.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.67/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a deep caramel brown from the bottle, while inside the glass when held up to the light appeared a dark burnt amber. The head was frothy, 1 finger high, and dark almond in coloring, settleing after a several minutes to a thin whispy covering. A spongey film lacing covers most of the glass on the way down.

S: hints of caramelized brown sugar and cookie dough initially with some fresh ripe dark fruit. Touches of rich creamer laced coffee also shine brightly here, as well fresh black licorice and light floral citrus hops adding good background notes. The hops come secondary here taking a back seat to the strangely enticing malting.

T: The initial flavor yielded more of the sweet creamer laced coffee detected on the nose in the beginning before it transcends to a dark bitter coffee flavor. The bitterness is earthy and floral, though lightly contributing in respect to the smooth burnt wet woody malting which left a lingering fade of wet coffee grounds on the finish. Once again the dark malt based shines here while the floral citrus hops could have been brighter and more pronounced, coming off muddled.

M: a medium viscosity, creamy and rich with a slight astringency. An earthy minerality was felt on the tongue as well a dried creamer/chalkiness.

D: Decent drinkability, the dark malt base and bitterness go well together but wish the hops were brighter and sharper in pronunciation. Worth a grab if you see it, but don't expect the hoppiness to win you over here.

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz bottle, this poured a hazy red with fairly fat tan long lasting head very sticky lacing rings. The nose is lightly roasted malts with floral and citrus hops. Thick and cream palate with a slick mouthfeel. Lots of rich flavor with a good balance between the sweet malts and hop bitterness leading to a slight bitter

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Photo of argock
3.41/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.49.

A: Very, very dark brown with 2-3 finger light sand head with good retention and many blobs of lace down the glass.

S: The aroma elements that are detectable are good, but they are few and far between. Dark malt with a toasted edge are present, but they don't make much of a statement. Hops notes of citrus and floral character are there but not prominent enough.

T: The flavor is interesting and enjoyable but loses power in a not-so-great mix of the flavors. Lightly toasted dark malt comes off as spicy whne blended with citrus and floral, earthy hops varieties. Hops are not up-front as much as one would like for the style.

M: Mouthfeel is good with medium body and low carbonation. Aftertaste is largely malty.

D: An intriguing beer but done much less well than Iniquity from Southern Tier, and it suffers for it.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.92/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-Tap @ Bailey's Taproom poured into Shaker glass.

Pours a very deep, dark reddish-brown and edging that glows with a creamy tan colored head that lasts for sometime and remains a layer atop the glass. The aroma has sweet chocolate, roasted malts and some fruity hops, although faint. The flavor has much of the same although more sweetness and has a nice soft bitter finish. Its a medium bodied beer that is plenty carbonated and has a slightly dry finish. I found it to be a more balanced "Black IPA" than most others I have tried. Pretty good. It has a soft smokiness that becomes present as the beer the warms up.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.03/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into nonic.

Deep brown hue, almost black, with some ruby highlights at the bottom. The light tan, nearly three finger head very slowly settles to thick cap, leaving behind some sticky lacing in its place.

Sharp grapefruit hops in the aroma, along with a slight amount of roasty malts.

Velvety burnt malts, along with a bit of sharp citrus that lingers for a while. A little bit of cocoa is in the background. Full bodied. The bitterness lingers for a while after each sip.

Another typical Black Ale, although they call it an Black IPA (which makes no sense). Anyway, dark roasty malts sit under some pretty sharp citrusy hop flavors. This is one of the better beers from Laughing Dog. Recommended.

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Photo of meatyard
1.42/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours out a clear, dark mahogany with a 2+ finger tan head that slowly falls to a solid cover while leaving large scraps of lacing.
The smell is mostly malt with a very faint hop aroma.

That's where any semblance of drinkable beer ends.

The taste is just awful. I couldn't get it out of my mouth fast enough but it was, at least, fast enough that I didn't have to figure out what it was that I was tasting. I immediately walked downstairs and poured it out. I was afraid that I might spill some on my clothes and ruin them forever. I don't understand how any brewer can bottle this and sell it, don't they ever taste the beer they make. The first time this was reviewed was 8/2/08 so if it has only been brewed the one time then this is 10 months old. I can't think of a better reason why all beer should have the bottling date on it. How could I possibly know that this is 8 months past when I should have bought it, if this is true. I will rate it because I don't know when it was brewed. I would rather drink 10,000 Bud Lights than one of these.

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Photo of jfmorey
3.79/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

Looked like a porter, almost black with an inch of fine bubbles that left a nice lacing

Taste on dark malts and licorice with plenty of bitter hops in the back; well balanced.

A new brewery at my usual source, Whole Foods Market in NoVA; they also has there Alpha Dog and the CSD.

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Photo of jmurray999
1.85/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A: poured dark reddish brown, nice head, mild lacing into an old leghumper pint glass. Resembled the color of a bowel movement my dog once had after getting a hold of the pot roast dinner. (minus the head of course).

S: black licorice, hint of molasses, very lightly smoky malt

T: sweet black licorice which sat out in the sun for too long, not too much hop presence.

D: varied between hell no and I think not

M: light - mild

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Photo of Gavage
3.08/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a clear dark brown color with some dark red highlights on the edge of the glass. A 2" head lasts a bit and some light lacing sticks to the glass.

Smell: malt sweetness, fruit sweetness, and a hint of citrus make up an aroma that was not intersting.

Taste: roasted malts, mild grapefruit citrus, prunes, brown sugar, and some floral bitterness make up a slightly unbalanced beer in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout. Aftertaste is short and focuses on the sweetness.

Drinkability: this black IPA did not do it for me at all as the bitterness level was lower than expected allowing the sweetness to rise to the top.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Laughing Dog- Black IPA

A- Deep amber red with a thick white head, solid lacing.
S- Sweet sugary malt, licorice, and molasses.
T- Sweet licorice molasses, fruity citrusy hops.
M- Big sweet maltiness throughout nice pine hop finish.

Overall- Solid tasty IPA. Another good LD beer.

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Photo of getalife2k5
3.26/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: pours a clearish dark brown with a thin bubbly foamy beige head. looks like a black lager.

S: smells like a black lager... dark roasty malts, some fresh black coffee and dark chocolate. not really any hops, as far as i can detect.

T: blueberry?!?! it's fruity! raspberry! that was unexpected. huh, that fruitiness quickly fades away into burnt toast... i'd never guess this is an IPA... Sweet, watery black coffee... still a hint of raspberry holding on. no other hoppiness detected except some lingering black coffee bitterness. there's a little floral character in the subsequent burps...

M: a little thin... zesty carbonation... nothing special

D: i like black coffee so it's not bad... but definitely not what i expected. i don't think i would want to drink this one again... but it was worth the try. If you like black lagers or fruity stouts, i'd say go for it. as far as IPAs go, Alpha Dog blows it away.

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Photo of frothyhead
2.73/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights with a one finger off-white head into a snifter. Not much lacing.

Nose is... different. Some sweet dark fruit and bubblegum mixed with a bit of citrus and pine from the hops.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly silky with a dry and astringent finish.

Taste is similar to the nose. An unexpected bubblegum sweetness mixed with bitterness from the hops but not much else going on.

Drinkability suffers from a not-so-enjoyable taste and an unbalanced bitterness.

Overall this is a bit strange for an IPA, and no where near as good as other "black" IPAs I've sampled such as the Stone 11th Anniversary brew. I wasn't a big fan of this and would not have it again.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.51/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Grabbed a bottle at Oak Tree the other day

In my RR tulip, this beer is a gorgeous brown with ruby highlights, a thick, fine latte-colored head and some breathtaking lacework. On the nose, there's citrus hops, with orange and lemon, with a creamy chocolate character. Decent. On the palate, it opens up with a harsh hop bitterness, citrus with grapefruit and lime zest providing the foundation. There's muted malt flavors, with a milt sweetness present. The milky character I noticed on the nose is missing, and there's a hint of roasted malt, but the hops just cover it all up. There isn't enough balance between the flavor and bittering hops. Carbonation is good, but the bitterness is a bit higher than I'd like, and rather unbalanced. The finish, OTOH, is good, with a pleasant dryness and a mild bitterness. Again, the lack of balance hurts the drinkability of this beer

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours an impenetrable black color. great light tan head. moderate retention. very faint lacing.

S: almost smells like simcoe hops, light roasted notes. very earthy, lots of pine esters and solid notes of spring time. light citrus hop aromas.

T: tastes like a florida ruby red grapefruit, with some light citrus hop flavors. very light on the malts surprisingly.

M: medium bodied. carbonation level is a litle high. very crisp and slightly muddy.

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Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown with red highlights. This beer is certainly not black. Smells of west coast hops and not much else. First sip is grapefruit hops. The massive hops easily dominate the malts to a point of being too unbalanced. Very bitter from start to finish, this is quite good in a west coast IPA sort of way.

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DogZilla Black IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
Beer rating: 3.36 out of 5 with 514 ratings
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