DogZilla Black IPA | Laughing Dog Brewing

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DogZilla Black IPADogZilla Black IPA
517 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: 517 |  Reviews: 285
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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Photo of younger35
2.69/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can't remember if I grabbed this from the Coop in Boise the last time I visited or if this was sent by JohnGalt1. Either way its been sitting in the fridge awaiting drinking for far to long. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale flute.

Appearance- Pours a super dark brown with some crimson highlights and a nice two finger off-white head. A great cap and collar remain the entire beer leaving a good dose of lacing.
Smell- Lots of dark earthy hops that are very grassy and slightly herbal. Not a lot of citrus and I can tell right now I'm not going to like the hop combo in this. A light bit of caramel and cocoa that is subtle and dusty.
Taste- Starts very tart (yes, tart) with a bitter rush of raw herbal hops. They aren't really citrusy or piney but just bitter and tart. Somewhat medicinal as well. The malt is fairly light but noticeable adding a bit of molasses and smoke. Almost an extremely light Tootsie roll like finish. Not good.
Mouthfeel- Fairly carbonated with a nice medium feel and fairly slick body.
Drinkability- The more of this I drink, the more I'm thinking this is infected. I've had infected brews before (usually my own homebrews) but nothing this light. It's just got a sour/tartness that is out of place and the carbonation is obviously a bit much. Oh wells, win some ya lose some.

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

Aroma - A delicious chocolate root beer

Appearance - Thin dark ruby brown with playful head, light lacing

Flavor - Pretty good balance of malt to back up the hop. Thin clean finish, but this is acceptable to me for an IPA, not over bitter, but a little bite is present in the end.

Overall - I enjoyed this brew because it had the hop of an IPA and carried the taste of a stout as well. Im not a big fan of stouts, but i enjoy the flavor, here you get that flavor in a lighter IPA style.

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Photo of Magpie14
3.01/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: not black, but very dark for an IPA. I would call it more of a muddy burgundy, somewhat like a dark cloudy iced tea. This was topped off with a massive foamed blob, buttery cream color. Has some sticky globs of lace

S: a handful of dark malts with sweet caramel at first. Then whiffs of mildly spicy and earthy hops. Something a bit awry about this

T: taste starts with malty undertones and a strong bitterness that is a bit miss-mash. It is hard to tell what kind of hops are present as they are kind of lost amongst the dark malt profile, not that the malts are overpowering, it is just that the flavors are out of harmony. I taste caramel, lemons, stale coffee, and a that slight earthy flavor, which I would classify as a mix of floral tea-like hops with medicinal qualities. Hops are kind of funky...

M: feels like a nice IPA even though the appearance might lead you to conclude otherwise. Agreeable finish and well mannered

D: worth a try, I guess, helps increase the palate of flavors on the tongue. I pass on this one

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received in trade from jtrockchalk, thanks again for the opportunity.

Pours a deep dark brown with garnet highlights and a massive mocha head that persists forever and leaves mad lace on the glass. Smells of floral citrus and pine. Some brown sugar, caramel, and toffee in there as well. Taste is fairly hoppy bitter citrus with a bit of astringency in there. Slight caramel and toffee but very faint this one is mostly hops. I pick up a faint spicy Belgian yeast character in the finish of this one. Body is medium to thin, mouthfeel is sticky, carbonation is a bit high. This one is only ok. The body is too thin, there's an off putting astringent taste, the carbonation is much to high. I like what they were trying to do, but this is one and done for me.

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Photo of AgingWarrior
3.06/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a very dark brown with a big, thick foamy head. Plenty of retention and lacing.

Smells like citrus and flowers with a hint of pine.

Taste is hoppy, but with a funky tasting finish. It hits the tongue with a decent hop flavor, but the finish tastes like something that I can't accurately describe.

Mouth feel is thin and somewhat sticky? A bit of a sticky feeling on the roof of my mouth.

It's okay, but I wouldn't go looking for it again.

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Photo of bkilpatr
2.39/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 02/04/09.

Pours a deep mahogany brown color with a thin half-finger tan head. The head quickly dropped to a thin layer, decent retention and lacing. Aroma is very strange. Toffee, caramel, toasted malt, and tobacco. Very earthy, but nothing about it says "IPA".

Taste starts similar to the aroma. Roasted malt, toffee, rye, and tobacco are the primary flavors. The taste finishes with herbal and slightly piny hops. Faint bitterness in the finish. Interesting taste, but again, nothing about it is very IPA-like. The hop presence and bitterness are both very mild.

Feel is medium bodied and heavy with low-ish carbonation. The finish is fairly dry. And the aftertaste isn't entirely pleasant. Drinkability is not good, given the unusual tastes and poor aftertaste.

Overall, I'm not very impressed with this beer. For a black IPA, it seems to be missing the IPA part. It's just a mess. Try if you like, but don't go out of your way to get it.

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Photo of brewbucker
1.4/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Well at least it looked good. Poured black with a large light tan head. Aroma was bad and the taste was even worse. Sour (in a bad way) plastic, mild vomit. I would have not even rated it if I thought this was an isolated case but by looking at some of the other ratings I am sure there is a problem with this beer in general. Down the drain. What a shame.

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Photo of akorsak
2.33/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle 3 of the almost frozen 7. The slushiness is gone.

A: The black IPA is appropriately named, showing off a dark red color that is black from afar. A small head doesn't lace.

S: The nose is a blend of coffee and caramel malts, particularly caramel with a syrupy sweetness. The sweetness of the malts overwhelms the citrus hop component.

T: The syrupy sweetness mixes a dull listless hop bitterness. The result is a odd. The hops have a fresh green element, maybe even a touch vegetal. Coffee flavors appear as well, but quickly run into the wall of bitterness. An interesting premise that doesn't gel.

M: The mouthfeel is unpleasant. Syrups malts remind me of extract and the hops are just plain bitter with no depth. I was really anxious to try this one...

D: ...but I can't bring myself to finish it. Just shy of a drain pour.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
2.68/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A soft pour produces a three-finger thick, lightly browned, full tan colored head. The beer is quite dark, but there is a burnt amber hue to its blackness. When held up to the light the beer shows a brilliantly clear, bright ruby hue. The aroma has a candied citrus character to it as well as ample lychee notes and a sort of amp'd up juicy-fruit like note. The finish has some roasted grain character to it that has a toasted grain husk like character. This beer has a surprisingly fruity note to it, it is quite a bit different than in any other hoppy beer I have had; interesting, but I am not sure if I am entirely enjoying it.

Wow, very carbonated, the beer foams up as it hits my tongue. Quite soon this dry beer picks up a definite tartness and the finish has a lingering, burnt, almost fermented cabbage note to it that is just bad. The dark malt is a bit more noticeable than it is in the flavor, while the hop character provides a fair amount of bitterness as well as a citrus character that melds with the sourness found in this beer. This has an ample hop character just like one would want in an IPA and the dark malt adds a nice roastiness to the finish, but the sourness really warps the hop flavor here; it sort of reminds me of eating a tart, not quite ripe Meyer Lemon. Really though, this is just an infected mess. Hopefully Laughing Dog can clean up their bottling process as I wouldn't mind having an un-infected go at this.

Purchased: Liquid Solutions

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Photo of kirok1999
3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to unclejedi for the room and board payment. Much appreciated.
Pours a very dark black with just a wispy head and almost no lacing. I've had stouts that weren't close to this dark.
Smells very sweet, some candied fruit and toasted malts.
The rick toasted malts dominate the taste. There's quite a bit of hops too but the darkness of the malt takes over the whole thing. This is really pushing the boundary of how much malt you can put in a DIPA and still call it a DIPA. There's a lingering, burnt/sweet aftertaste.
Dense and rich in the mouth with mild carbonation.
Don't know how long I could drink this one. I really wouldn't want to drink it at all if I was in the mood for a DIPA.

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Photo of tpd975
3.97/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to the man we call SeaBass for this one.

A: Pours a murky brown hue with a small wispy head. I got the bottom of the bottle and noted little flakes of hops floating about. No lace noted.

S: Tons of hops right from the start. You name it they are there. Resinous pine, bold citrus and green grass.

T: Light toasted malt up front then the hops. The start is somewhat sweet and resiny, with the finish being on the citric grassy side.

M: Medium in body, smooth.

D: I really liked this one. More black IPA's need to be made.

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Photo of hwwty4
2.56/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to the ultra generous BA Jtrockchalk for this one.

This is only my second experience with a black IPA, the first being the wonderful Stone 11th. This is a beer I had wanted to try for a while.

Poured a 22oz bomber into my New Belgium globe. This beer pours more of the color of a English black tea then a true black. From the pour, a nice 2 inch head, that was remarkably light for the color of the beer, came forth but left no lacing. The aroma is interesting. There really is just a slight hint of citrusy hops, with an odd aroma that I can really describe as frozen yogurt. The taste doesn't really remind me of an IPA. There really is not hop presence except in the bitterness of it. The malt adds more body then flavor also. The one really defining attribute of the flavor profile is a strong bitterness at that finishes. Its way to bitter and comes across as medicinal, like sucking on an aspirin. It's just not a flattering trait in a beer. The flavor of this beer is really off putting for me. The medicinal qualities are just to much. I definitely wont be seeking this beer out again.

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Photo of RJLarse
2.88/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I bought a bomber of Dogzilla at a grocery store. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown almost black color and is early opaque. There is a soft red/brown hue when held up to the light. Rich tan head is very resilient and laces the glass nicely.

The smell is a sweet malted gain scent underneath a mild bitter scent. Not the piney aroma of an IPA but rather a burned coffee aroma.

Taste is a caramel sweetness under a bitterness that creates a metalic medicinal taste that is not very appealing. Bitter coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and dry.

Not very drinkable and certainly not sessionable. I would expect something with this type of drinkability to have a higher ABV, and a little alcohol heat couldn't hurt the flavor either. I'll probably pass on the Dogzilla in the future.

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Photo of madtappers
3.36/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've only tried one other Black IPA before and this beer is right up there with the Stone version.

Pours deep black color with brown head. Lots of hop aroma, both to the noise as you drink and on the tongue.

Very well made IPA with a touch of porter or stout to it.

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Photo of dk009
1.5/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I wont go through the details but if you are looking for an IPA do not drink this beer. It may sound novel, but Black IPA is a retarded name for this, its not an IPA whatsoever. No hop flavor in the taste, not even close. Im pissed I paid 4.30 for this. Ridiculous. Look elsewhere fellow hopheads, please.

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Photo of Mauerhan
3.35/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

picked this up from the powerball week 4 drawing. a black ipa. now i gotta try this.

pours a dark redish brown with a one and a half finger creamy head that stays thick and leaves decent amount of lacing.

smell is ok. a moderate amount of hops. mostly dark malts.

taste has a bit of an off flavor to it. some hop bitterness. biscuits. and a bit of a sour twinge at the end. gets better as it warms but still has something up with it that i cant explain.

mouth is light. thin.

its not that i cant drink this beer. its just that i really am not pulled back to it like some others. i would probably have to nurse this for a while. worth a shot if you want to try something different. just dont expect something phenomenal.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
3.4/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got in a trade from the one and only, JohnGalt1. Cherry cola brown with a smallish cream colored head. Loud aroma of popcorn, candy corn, herbal hops.
Very odd first sip...dry pungent hop taste coupled with a somewhat smoky malt flavor. Definitely hoppy yet a little messy tasting and difficult to translate into words. Strange herbal hoppy finish and a tad spicy at the same time.
I scored this a little better than average, because I applaud their effort. But this isn't something I would seek out again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.11/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ruddy chestnut with bright orange and amber highlights. This Black IPA looks like a brown ale, but adding enough black malt to make it opaque would have been too much for the style. The good-sized crown is the color of a coffee milkshake. It has a whipped-sticky texture and is beginning to lay down a pretty impressive array of lace.

The aroma isn't a standout by any means. It smells like there's just enough of the dark malt to take the bright edge off the Cascade and Simcoe hops. The result is a beer that smells neither black malty nor especially hoppy. It's also a bit vegetal. Let's hope the flavor is better and more distinctive.

Even though I haven't had too many black India pale ales, I have a pretty good idea what makes a good one. The darker malts should be appreciated, but shouldn't overpower the primacy of the hops. In other words, they shouldn't taste like hoppy porters. Although Dogzilla succeeds in that sense, it still isn't successful beer.

Problems include more bitterness than good hop flavor and a garlic-like undercurrent that I don't remember tasting in Laughing Dog beer before. The huge blast of bitterness (68 IBUs seems low) makes a valiant effort to obliterate the nastiness, but doesn't quite get it done. On second thought, calling it 'nastiness' was probably too harsh.

The flavor profile is a clashing melange of dark caramel, spent coffee grounds, grapefruit and orange peel, fermented pine sap, crushed aspirin and garlic. While the beer doesn't taste as bad as that description, it isn't exiting the pint glass very quickly. Drinking it with food would probably help, but good beer should be able to stand on its own.

The mouthfeel is acceptable for an IPA. It's at least medium for the style and is appropriately carbonated. There might even be a hint of creaminess on the back end.

Unfortunately, Laughing Dog DogZilla comes nowhere near the promise of its name and label. I don't care if craft breweries come up with Green IPAs, Purple IPAs or Turquoise IPAs, as long as they're good IPAs. This one doesn't cut the mustard.

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Photo of zeff80
3.89/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a small, tan, creamy, bubbly head. It left intricate patterns of sticky lace on the sides of the glass.

S - It smelled strongly of pine, citrus and floral notes. Also, a burnt toast malty aroma.

T - It tasted of pine, toasted malt, caramel, vanilla and spice. The roasted malt began to build as the beer warmed up.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a unique and delicious IPA. It almost tastes like a strong Baltic Porter mixed with a West Coast IPA. Very cool and different.

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Photo of bbothen
3.45/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at Portland St Markey in Klamath Falls, Or.

Pours a dark cola like color with a thick & frothy tan colored head.

Smells of faint citric hops, tangerine, piney, grassy, prominent roasted malt aroma is fairly strong. On par with the hops I'd say. Smells nice.

Roasted & toasted flavors step up front, bready bisquity maltiness, citric & earthy hoppiness, a slight smoky or charred flavor, faint bitter chocolate. Interesting flavors.

Medium to full bodied, moderate carbonation, above described flavors linger.

Drinks okay. Not sessionable for me. Would have this again. Interesting.

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Photo of orcasteve
4.27/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a thin redish black color with a small white head that disapers to a light lacing around the entire rim. the sent of hops rushes out at you at the crack of the cap. this is one of the best smelling ipa's ever. the taste is bitter all the way through, hints of coffiee and biscuts, caremel, yard trimings, sweet tobaco and strong alchoal. this is a beer i will seek out agan for sure

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Photo of GJ40
3.05/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled from a 22oz bottle purchased at Pike Street Beer & Wine in Seattle.

A - A deep brown ale with some light making it through the edges of the glass. Appears to be clear. A huge tan head.

S - Sweet with floral hops and a touch of roasted malt.

T - A combination of roasted malt and floral / fruity hops. But it's got a sour / tart taste (almost like a Rodenbach) that took away from the experience. This is the second Laughing Dog that I've tried and I was disappointed with both.

M - A bit on this thin side. Good carbonation.

D - Not a terrible beer but not a good one either. I'll bet they're good on tap but based on my experiences, the bottles seem to be off.

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DogZilla Black IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
Beer rating: 3.36 out of 5 with 517 ratings