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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Reviews: 284 | Ratings: 513
Photo of mattfungus
3.65/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

sour in the mouth with a woody taste, not oak, not piney, reminds me more of acorns. Very tannicky, though not oakey,

Has a nice fat head that goes down slow.

Like the dyslexic parody of god zilla..

Got mine in ashland wi at a liquor store.

My first dark ipa.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber bottle. No bottle dating information, which is a problem with this brewery from memory (Sneaky Pete). Poured into a Victory snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown with a crazy high four finger tight bubbled light tan head. Very fluffy head. Lots of sticking lacing.

S: Pine and almost sour smells to it. I don't get much chocolate malt or coffee. I also don't get the BIG hops that I was told this one has.

T: Really nice sip actually. I get that pine note that I smelled. And then the chocolate and a touch of coffee. The close is nice and not too bitter.

M: Medium bodied.

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Photo of Stinkepete2021
2.59/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark swamp-water appearance with a gushing thick head. It almost overflowed immediately upon pouring. The head seemed to never dissipate.

The smell was strong and lingering, almost sour. Not exactly pleasant. You could practically taste the beer by smelling it.

The taste was something like smashing your tongue with a hop hammer. Fairly bitter, with a citrus tinge.

It was unlike any of the other american black ales that I have tried, and it just wasn't for me. If you are looking for a beer that nearly defies category, this is it.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
1.54/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Appearance - back to back gushers, what gives? Started to uncap and saw a rush of foam up the neck. Finished uncapping over the sink. A minor mess, but another overly active bottle tonight. Pours a nice mahogany with two to three fingers of light mocha head. very stiff and slow to fall.

Aroma - a nice start of citrus and some pine, but then an unmistakeable odor of Orval-like funk. If I were a fan of Orval, this would be an exciting development. As it is, I'm a little bummed.

Taste - no malt presence that I can pick up. A brief hint of citrus, then the overwhelming flood of bitter, sour, acrid, pungent infection. Full on, actually it's maybe the worst infection I've ever tasted. Wow it's really bad. Last night's brew I ended up drinking about half of that one, but here I'm cringing at the second sip.

Mouthfeel - medium-plus on the body. Very gassy of course. This is the only time I can recall taking a mouthfull to get the feel, then spitting it back, wine style. No real problems other than some runaway carbonation.

Drinkability - I just want to be done with this one, a rare statement for me and a beer, even an infected one. I can try it again, but I don't recall ths being that old sample. I'll track it down once more for posterity and see if I can get a good sample in order to fix up these scores.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.26/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My man Rob hooked this up on our trade as it was on my Want List. Thanks man!

Poured from brown bomber without any dates to pint glass.

A - the beer pours a very dark amber brown. It appears black on the pour though when held to the light it is a translucent dark reddish brown with amber edges. Huge 2 finger white head. Solid retention and gobs of lacing.

S - pretty weak nose. Its smells not like any Black IPA I've ever had. Almost dairy in essence which is odd. Some malt character: roast and sweetness. Not much hops, though I think the dairy funk is the hops. Perhaps this bottle is old but I can't verify.

T - similar to the nose. Starts with a nice blend of roasted and pale malts. Soon thereafter the dairy funk arrives. Its not terrible but certainly not great. Medium bitterness and not much else. The funk reminds me of cottage cheese. Finishes semi dry with a lingering bitterness.

M - medium bodied with good carbonation.

O - pretty underwhelming. Thanks to Rob for sending the bottle

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 03-18-2011 23:08:32

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

22 oz bomber poured into Sam Adams glass. Big fluffy white head, pours a rootbeer amber. Aroma is dark roasted malts with some spicy hops and a little skunk. Taste has some toffee and citrus, but a lot of sourness (in a bad way). Mouthfeel is very thin and wet. I'm a big fan of the American Black Ale style, but this is not one of the better examples.

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Photo of mikechance
3.45/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A --- Dark with a nice amount of foam

S --- some hops, some dark fruit, figs, plums, yeast

T --- malt, dark fruit, fig, little acid aftertaste

M --- light body, decent carbonation

O --- it's a nice beer, but weak compared to the other Black IPAs available in the market

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Photo of oberon
3.01/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an imperial nonic a deep chocolate brown with some real ruby tinint,a 1/2 finger tannish colored head atop that was gone pretty quickly.Sharp piney hop notes along with dark roast at the onset,dark molasses sweetness is light,pretty average for the style.Sharp and thinner in the mouth takes away from the flavors in my opinion,piney hops dominate with mild sweetness,a little raw earthiness in the finish.Not a very good example of the style in my opinion,it lacks body and flavor complxity,still I do like most of Laughind Dog's wares.

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

A - Very dark walnut wood brown, moderate carbonation, nice high tan head.

S - Roasted malts, mostly coffee, followed by a nice earthy hop presence.

T - Some sweet kilned malts with a bit of toastiness. The roasted coffee comes on with some hop bitterness in the middle, and finishes off with some light bitterness.

M - Light body, what I would expect for an AIPA. A little alcohol warmth at the end.

O - Nice example of a black AIPA. Surprised about the negative to blah reviews here. I enjoyed this beer and wouldn't mind having it again.

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Photo of drpimento
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Not my fav of the Black IPAs but pretty good. I let it warm some out of the fridge and then with a fairly agressive pour got a nice, fluffy, foamy, billowy thick, cream to light tan colored head that slowly subsided and some lace. Color is a lovely, clear shad of red brown with some nicely flowing bubble trails. Aroma is an interesting blend of roast, malt, dark ripe fruit, licorice, toffee, citrus, lumber. Flavor is very similar to nose, almost brut dry, with hops against the dark malts and a little carbonic tang. Body is odd as there is plenty of carbonation, it still feels soft in the mouth and has lots of hop high points that don't work so well for me. Almost chewy but not quite. Finish is like flavor and the high points in the bitterness linger for quite a while. Wouldn't cook with this. Worth checking out.

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Photo of ManCaveBeverage
3.96/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A black IPA that you can drink in NC summers.

Bomber into a chilled pint.

Poured with excellent head, although a little much, creamy khaki color that stays around for a while. Laces the glass very well.

Dark amber color, not as "black" as I have had, but dark enough.

Nose was a little bit non-existent, a small amount of citrus and floral hoppiness

Great flavor that starts as a roasty maltiness and ends with a gentle hop kick that is somewhat citrusy, maybe some simcoe used.

Body is very light and refreshing probably due to the high carbonation.

Not what I expected for a black IPA but a very well made beer that I will drink again.

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

22oz bomber, procured this past summer in lovely Boise, Idaho. Cartoonish literal label, which is par for the course for this brewery's marketing department, it would seem.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark ruby red colour, with a teeming amount of loosely bubbly and thinly foamy pale beige head, which settles quite slowly, eventually rendering some decent webbed treeline lace around the glass in its slow and meandering wake.

It smells of lightly roasted caramel malt, fruit and nut infused sweet chocolate, which generally gives way to some bitter earthy, floral, and somewhat medicinal hops. The taste is again quite fruity in its upfront roasted maltiness (one much less charred than is the norm for the style), the chocolate acquiring a bittersweet licorice character, with some acrid herbal, citrusy, and muddled earthy hops deigning to show their faces after a wee spell.

The carbonation manifests in just a mostly flat-seeming frothiness throughout, the body an adequate medium weight, and just a bit too prickly to consider as outright smooth. It finishes well off-dry: malty, chocolaty, and boozy (with a certain Ouzo-esque licorice twist), sure, but über alles - weirdly herbal.

A strange bird (ok, 'dog'), this one - many of its traits resemble a decent PAC NW Black IPA, however, the strange herbal and isolated anise characters just don't really do it for me. Which is a minor shame, as the restrained 'blackened' part of the style here is actually quite appealing - huh, when one door opens, another one closes, I suppose.

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

Poured from bomber into a tulip. No freshness dating.

A - Pours a mahogany color with a thick head. Can't pour much without it overflowing.

S - Mostly sweet malt aromas and little else. Certainly can't detect any hops.

T - Sweet malts take over again on the taste, though some hops bitterness is detected. Not very complex.

M - Medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

Got this one expecting a "black IPA." I guess not everyone's definition of this is the same. I thought roasted malts with plentiful hops. This was neither black nor IPA.

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Photo of cokes
3.34/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark, clear mahogany brown topped with a proud mesa of bleached khaki suds.
The nose is a bit muted. Notes of smoke, cocoa, raspberries, pine, earth, and coffee can be teased out, but only at the risk of snorting the actual liquid. It opens up a bit over time, but not very much.
It's more assertive through the mouth. An initial burst of smoke and espresso tempers quickly toward cocoa powder and mocha latte. Some fruitiness dots the middle, via berries and grilled pineapples. Hopping is substancial, bringing pine, earth, and a congruent pineapple bitterness, along with a smidgen of grapefruit. Still, like the nose, it seems a timid. It's certainly enjoyable, just don't expect a mouth abuser.
Creamy medium-light bodied with a lasting, kneading CO2.
The overall persona here is just a tad dialed-down, but it's strong suit is drinkability, as it's balanced and quietly nuanced enough to consider tackling multiple bombers in one sitting, though one's attention may begin to wander.

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Photo of Sky2625
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber to a standard pint glass (this review from notes taken 8/5/11).

A - Poured medium thick dark cola brown. 3 fingers of head. I thought I messed up the pour, but then I read similar uber-head experiences of other reviewers. The BA buddy that bought this for me had to return the first one since it blew it's lid during transport. Head is tan and foamy at the top, with a medium bubbles below. Strong retention and moderate sticky lacing. Shines rich brown when held up to the light.

S - Strong citrusy pineapple scent to start, faded into a mild pine hop, punctuated with a bit of malt, toffee, and barley/grainy scent.

T - Started with a mild alcohol and citrus/melon flavor. Swiftly moved to a rosy/astringent bite. Followed by a bit of smokiness and a hint of dark malt. Finished with mild back of the tongue bitterness. Mild piney-coffee aftertaste.

M - Creamy texture, with a medium body. Mild foamy carbonation, bitter back of mouth bite. Slight heat.

D - The pineapple scent and astringent flavor was unexpected, and disagreeable at first, as was the massive head. As I drank through the 22 oz. the flavor grew on me, and the creamy texture was solid. I'm glad I tried it, but I wouldn't have it all that often, however.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.09/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into a tulip. Dark reddish brown with a decently resilient tan head and scattered lacing.

Kind of an odd nose here. The roasted malt is subdued, and the dominant aromas are rather sweet grape and berry fruitiness. Some pine may or may not be lingering in the background.

Flavor is similarly puzzling. It's sweet and boozy, and the leafy/herbal hop profile just doesn't seem to fit. Not nearly roasty enough for the CDA style. Some major tweaks are needed here. I've had some nice brews from Laughing Dog, but I can't recommend this one.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very foamy - even with a gentle pour, most of the glass ends up as foam. Browny-black appearance. Slightly astringent malty smell, grassy hops. Lemon, bread and coffee in the taste. Almost an IPA-porter cross. Mild, light taste - very subtle.

Good, if somewhat light carbonation. Mildly high ABV, but not alcohol burn. I can't see this as a session beer.

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Photo of Bung
3.17/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. The bottle is not a gusher, but a careful pour fills the glass with about 60% foam. Very dark brown, giant rocky light cream colored head. I am a bit concerned, but mostly annoyed at having to wait for this thing to settle.

Does not really smell infected. Mostly pine and citrus. Very light herbal and toasted tones. A little vegetal?

Taste has no sign of infection either. Herbal piney hop up front. A harsher ashy roast takes over. A light coffee here also.

Body is lighter side. Carbonation is way overdone. This really holds the beer back, enhances the negatives and hides the positives. Seems as though many others have the same problem.

Just not quite as well put together as some others I've encountered, but I remember seeing this before most of those as well. Perhaps it's time to tweak this recipe. I think the potential is there.

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Photo of chocosushi
1.87/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Remember having this around Christmas as my first CDA/ABA
Let's Revisit...

A ~ Looks like Dr. Pepper/RC Cola. Soft lacing with quite the cap of head. Uh-oh...

S ~ Juiced lemons and old grapefruit. Doesn't smell horrid but where is the "dark malt twist?"

T ~ Lots of dirty citrus, canned pineapple juice, and a weird flavor that reminds me of a yellow dandelion flower. The only malt flavors I'm getting is on the back of the throat/palette that makes me think of Marble-Rye. Yuck/What the fuck???

M ~ No balance of flavors whatsoever, and STILL no dark malt, other than on the breath. Thin as a 3.2 MGD 64.

D ~ This does not taste right! It's just bad really. It's slick, gritty, acidic, and really horrible. Maybe it's "infected" with all the talk of LD sucking lately. AVOID.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.15/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a thick looking stout-like black liquid, The head was big and tan colored. The lacing was thick along the glass. The smell of the beer was citrusy with hops and heavily roasted with chocolate malts. The taste of the beer was pretty good also, The chocolatey richness blended quite well with the piny citrus flavors from the hops. The mouthfeel was thick and has a healthy carbonation to it. Overall I found this Black IPA to be quite good and would drink it again in the future.

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Photo of FanofHefe
3.24/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a pint glass. This must be highly carbonated - huge bigger than four-finger tan head that eventually settles down and leaves some sticky lacing. Mostly clear amber/red colored body that is not black.

Smells good. Nice hop aroma featuring a bit of pine resin and some very pleasant smelling floral hops. I get just a hint of caramel malt in the background.

Unfortunately the taste does not quite measure up to the aroma. A definite hop bitterness starts of a promising flavor but the roasted malt blend doesn't do justice to the hops. I think I can tell what they're aiming for in the flavor but it just doesn't quite get there with the dark malt and hop blend. The mix is not very complimentary in the brew as in the few others I've had. It's almost like the flavors are fighting each other instead of blending. Not sure how else to state it.

Average effort at best.

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Photo of nandemo1
1.7/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

First of all, this is my first BIPA tasting. Take it for what it's worth since I'm not real familiar with the style.

This beer was massively overcarbonated. Took the bomber from the fridge and set it on counter for a couple of minutes while doing something else. Opened bottle and it was a gusher.

Took a while to get a decent amount of beer in glass, obviously a lot of head. Looked ok once head settled, a deep dark brown.

Smell had a medium citrus note compared to other IPAs. This did not translate to taste though, there was some initial pine taste but then the bitterness overpowered everything else and made it unpleasant to drink.

The mouthful was very thin and very dry.

I gave Dogzilla a shot, but I'm pouring out the other half bottle and passing the next time I'm offered it.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
1.34/5  rDev -60.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a cloudy, dark amber color with a spongy head that lays on pretty thick.

S: It smells strange: hops, cinnamon and olives. Yes, olives. Smell it yourself, you’ll believe me then.

T/M: Has a high amount of carbonation with a smoky and salty profile. There are hints of light citrus as well as a bitter finish and…olives. Not the obligatory black olives either, just plain, green olives. I think someone ordered this beer “dirty.”

Is it possible I had a bad bottle? I don’t know, this beer is too weird to be good. If this is the way it’s supposed to taste, I’ll pass next time.

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

Nice and even brown color with a good clarity to it. A nice rich looking head of light tan rose up from the sides of the glass and reached a height of around two fingers before settling back down with a smooth and even lacing and a nice consistency hugging the glass. Aroma is a good bit hoppier up front then I thought it was going to be as well. This one just seemed to be full of surprises. Rich caramel and earthy grains lie underneath a bouquet of pine like hops. Quite light and very complex. I was extremely open to this one. First sip is smooth, creamy malts that wash across the tongue. Great complexity here now as well. Rich brown ale flavor, creamy, hints of earthy tones and a rich, subtly dry hop presence that seems to build and build. Last sips seem to be equally as well versed in sweet caramel notes as they are in dry, piney hops. Super session able and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of threeviews
4.02/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First round poured from a a bomber into a short-stemmed tulip glass, the remaining was poured into a Chimay Chalice glass..

A-Pours a toffee color with a mostly white head possessing good retention...good lacing as well. If there is one fault with this brew, it would be with its appearance, as it is not as dark as I have come to expect.

S-I have olfactory hues of flower hops, citrus hops and toasted malt in equal amounts...very balanced one could say for a black IPA.

T-Toasty malt followed by a bitter finish. Compared to 21st Century Amendment's Back In Black IPA (my first Black IPA to sample), this brew is much more robust and tickles the palate for significantly longer.

O-I will certainly put my money where my mouth is for this libation. It is bold and complex in every way. Despite appearance, taste is essentially the biggest concern and I would recommend this concoction to anyone who is a fan a Black IPA's...Cheers!

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DogZilla Black IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
3.41 out of 5 based on 513 ratings.
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