Alpha Dog Imperial IPA | Laughing Dog Brewing

very good
308 Reviews
Alpha Dog Imperial IPAAlpha Dog Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing
Idaho, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A true hop bomb brewed plenty of Columbus and Mt Hood hops for a piney hop character. Premium Pale, Honey and Munich malt make this beer a little less malty but packing plenty of hop punch.

127 IBU

Added by bitterthebetter on 02-14-2009

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Reviews: 308 | Ratings: 667
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Comes in with that light orange appearance I like to see in my hoppy beers. Head in the 3/4" white department. Aroma had a lot of Columbus hops to provide a forest like dry hop experience. Mild sweetness.

Taste is a hop forward imperial ipa that isn't overly weighed down by crystal malt or one dimensional bitterness. Very good use of the Columbus hop. Crystal malt out, pale, munich, honey malts in giving it that lighter mouthfeel and barely perceptible sweetness. Bitter, hoppy, dry. Enjoyable, wish it wasn't in a bomber format though, that is really the only thing keeping me away from it again.

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Photo of Metal_N_Brew
4.94/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

App: Burnt Honey gold color, decent-fast fading head.

Smell: A lot of dankness. Hops abound with a slight scent of fresh honey.

Taste: Follows the nose almost exactly to a 'T'. I say almost because the taste is more influenced by the hops and malt character is diminished only a little bit.

Mouthfeel: This is high hop territory. The Mouthfeel in this IPA is real rough and strong, but rewarding and interesting if you like or love IPAs.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.27/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a hazy copper/orange color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute. There was some light speckled lacing clinging slightly. The smell had some grapefruit/piney aromas here and there. The taste was similar. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fair sessionability about it. The carbonation was somewhat sharp but not overbearing. Overall, good DIPA, it’s nothing over the top.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a golden orange color with a one finger head of creamy looking white foam. The head has a great level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a good level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is big of an earthy and grassy hop smell with a rather strong showing of a bready aroma. Along with these hop and bready smells, comes some lighter hop notes of a grapefruit citrus accompanied by some sweeter aromas of tangerine and a hint of a tropical fruit smell of pineapple and mango.

Taste – The taste begins with a rather bready taste mixed with a decent showing of some grapefruit and earthy hop. A little bit of a pineapple, tangerine, and mango are upfront as well, with these flavors losing intensity as the taste moves on further to the end. Along with the loss of the tropical fruit, comes some herbal and more earthy hop tastes. This all results in a more dry and dankly hopped taste, and with a hint of a warming alcohol that comes at the end, one is left with a rather dank and crisp taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner side with a carbonation level that is rather average. While for a 2xIPA I usually like a bit more thickness and less carbonation, for the drier and more dank taste profile, the thinness and more light nature of the body were actually rather complimenting.

Overall- A rather nice more dankly hopped Imperial IPA. This was a rather enjoyable brew overall.

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Photo of silverking
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- clear honey golden with two fingers of rocky, light tan head. Great retention and lacing.

S- grapefruit,orange, pineapple and other tropical aromas.

T- caramel up front with tropical flavors in the mid palate. The finish has an astringent grapefruit bitterness.

M- medium bodied, gentle carbonation, astringent finish.

O- pretty good. Fantastic aroma, good taste.

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Photo of Uconnelmo
2.87/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a drain pour for me unfortunately. The only thing i didn't mind was cleansing my palate. This beer i believe is new to CT and is 7-17-14 hard to read dating. Why we would be recently receiving 10+ month old iipa's is beyond me. Thanks for putting too old ipa's on the shelf.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant amber with a light copper tint under a 2” white rocky foam cap that leaves thick hanging lace.
S: Fruit, resin and pine on the nose with malt in the background.
T: A hop driven palate has a creamy malt entrance that gives way to juicy grapefruit and grapefruit rind bitterness with traces of melon.
F: Creamy medium to medium full body and medium carbonation.
O: A big bitter elixir that one might take to cure malaria or general boredom.

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Photo of rhunter7
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Look- Amber, burnt orange in appearence, the head is big, tad excessive, and white. 5/5
Smells- Pine smell, citrus. I like 4.5
Taste- very hoppy, citrusy, slight malt, kind of sweet, a peppery aspect from alcohol. 4/5
Feel- Thick, heavy, eh... Not a big fan... 3.25
Overall- I like it a lot, scores a 4.25... Very flavorful, bold, hoppy. However it's a bit too heavy for this time of the year. I drank the whole 24oz bottle. I'd probably rate it higher after a long run in sub zero temps, but it's hot out. Worth trying. I'll try it again in December.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Light yellow cloudy appearance.

Spice hop flavors. Touch of grapefruit/apricot sweetness. some sourness and banana peel qualities.

not heavy on alcohol but also not easy drinking.

Different for a DIPA. nice for the hop head in ya, but not enough other intrigue.

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Photo of SammyJaxxxx
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Light amber hue with a nice fluffy white head. Great retention and lacing.
S: Pine and earthy with some citrus hints. There is some maltiness to the nose.
T- Big piney front to this one. There is some sweetness, almost like boysenberry and lemon zest taste on the finish. There is some maltiness to the taste but it doesn't detract from the hop forward profile. Some alcohol hotness. A little bit more than you would expect in a 8.5% beer.
M- Good body with a sticky resinness. Nice dry finish.
O: Very good beer. it would be in my regular rotation if it was locally available. -

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Photo of Big_V
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Wow! Can't believe I slept on this great brew. Glad I tried it finally. The hops explode in my mouth. Juicy,hoppy, and smooth. Everything you expect in a great IPA. Will buy again.

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Photo of mr-jj
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber. Reviewed 7/7/14.

Color is amber with a nice white head. Good retention and lacing. Smells is generic citrus with a sweet malty backing Fruity and juicy. Flavor is strong hop blast on the palate which gives way to some sweet caramel before finishing with a crisp bitter taste. Pretty nice. Body is medium, moderate carbonation with some hop resins.

Overall, a tasty DIPA that I would be happy to drink again.

S- Pine and earthy notes, some dry citrus. Malt notes are a bit sweet, and fruity.

T- Strong hop profile of citrus peel, with just a bit of a malt background. The hop character tips the scale on this one.

M- Fairly full in body. Thick and sticky. Long dry finish.

O- There's no denying this is imperial. Bitterness is way up there, with not a lot else to help balance it out.

BWED, Jul 02, 2014

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Photo of hophugger
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy deepish-gold color with a one finger head which leaves pretty rapidly leaving gorgeous lacing all around. Aroma is pf pine, hops, resin, grapefruit. Taste is balanced well between hops, grapefruit, citrus, bitterness and malt sweetness. Wow, that was a mouthful. Feels great going down though would like a little more carbonation, seems a little flat. I cannot read what I think is some type of bottling date/code?. It is minute and blends into colors of the label. Overall, a good balanced beer lacking a little bubbles. Also, now as I am about half way through, I am getting just a little touch of alcohol taste.

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Photo of CharlesBarkley
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As I write this let me note that I’m smiling, and have been for the last 10 minutes. Upon opening, i heard a laughter. A laughter so inexplicable that I did a 360 in my Espia nylon office chair to confront the culprit. It was then that I looked down at the golden rivers and smiled. Not only did my balls tingle mid pour into my chalice, but i felt a sudden connection between myself in this captivating presence. I stand here today, a mere mortal, who has witnessed something extraordinary.

I sunk my upper lip into the chalice and gently leaned back just as far enough so that it flushed through my mouth like a tranquil river. The laughter I was hearing began to intensify as I became fully aware of what was happening; magic. Magic to the point where i had no control over my mind, no control over my bowels, and most importantly no control over my soul. I’m writing this not as a recommendation, but as a demand. Drink up, hear the laughter…hear the laughter…

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Photo of BWED
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bomber poured into a craft pint

A- Orange bronze in color. 1/2" pad of an off white head, which retains really well. Great sticky lacing.

S- Pine and earthy notes, some dry citrus. Malt notes are a bit sweet, and fruity.

T- Strong hop profile of citrus peel, with just a bit of a malt background. The hop character tips the scale on this one.

M- Fairly full in body. Thick and sticky. Long dry finish.

O- There's no denying this is imperial. Bitterness is way up there, with not a lot else to help balance it out.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Undated bottle at 42 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma of weak pine and citrus
Head enormous – initial pour gave 13.5 cm of off-white creamy foam and only 1 cm of liquid. This slowly diminished to a 2 mm layer with a 3 cm center rising like a volcano from the ocean.
Lacing is good, covering about 50% of the glass surface, but in random patterns, no distinct rings
Body is medium orange with chill haze.
Flavor is very non-descript, with a little hop bitterness and a slight alcohol taste, ending quickly with an alcohol stomach warmth. No malt, no diacetyl, no discernable hop flavor.
Palate is medium, watery, and has lively carbonation

Overall, this is an OK beer. After the initial shock of a 13.5/1 head, as the hypercarbonation fell, the beer became very presentable with some head retention and that volcano-like final layer. Both the nose and flavor were very muted, but not like an old IPA, just one with either no hops (IBU = 126) or weak hop character. Frankly, I wouldn’t have guessed this was an IPA.

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Photo of Boto
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber: This one pours a clear, darker golden color. There was about a finger of off-white head on it that left minimal lacing. An interesting nose for a DIPA. It is a bit lighter than I would have expected. Earthy, musty and some floral notes. Sweet malts and some pine also. The taste is good. Not as bitter as I expected, but still a good bite. Lots of malts, minimal sweetness. Earthy, faint citrus. Good, but not quite up to sctartch with the rest of them.

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Photo of kaufmaal
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one exploded out of the bottle, beer everywhere, lost about 1/3 of the bomber. Hazy golden color, starch-white very sizable head, good lacing. Smells like ripe bananas in a funky pine forest where sourdough is proofing. Earthy mineral taste, more pine resin, sweet orange rind and oil - lots going on. There's a farmhouse-ale mustiness to the whole thing that's quite fantastic; a bitterness that reminds me of chewing Tylenol. No noticeable alcohol flavor. Too much carbonation for me.

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Photo of pkalix
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark gold. smells very sweet. taste is bitter. very little head upon a vigorous pour.
sweet malty aroma, sweet malty flavor. some hop bitterness.... decent brew.... but, this is NOT a bitter beer. 127 ibu? I don't think so. what' up with my tastebuds? sweet, caramel-like flavor. 4.0 across the board as far as i'm concerned. decent, but not extraordinary, but then, I DID a Pliny right before this....

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Photo of Hopster916
1.12/5  rDev -70.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

It looked and poured beautifully. After that it was all downhill. Every sip tasted like I was drinking a liquid pepper. Truly wish I would have read the previous reviews before wasting money on this beer. I don't know what went wrong something is not right. I'm sure it's a bad batch, however based on this bottle I would never purchase another beer from Laughing Dog.

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Photo of Brad007
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Mild golden color with a decent head that coats the edges. It's a great trend to see IPAs and DIPAs that exhibit more pale than usual.

Lots of pine with little else in the nose. I'm a little disappointed because I like a lot of aroma in a DIPA.

Wicked strong pine bite dominates the palate. Nothing else that I can detect, other than a faint malt backbone.

Again, more of that old school pine bite at the back of the throat. Alcohol warmth too. Good thing I found this beer when I did.

In my experience with DIPAs, there are really two different schools: citrus-dominant and pine-dominant. This one falls in the latter category.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: an opaque orange. huge foamy head that takes way to long to foam down.

Smell: huge hoppy mess. some sweet malts and a bit of alcohol

Taste: hops, piney, tropical and resiny. sweet doughy malts. spicy alcohol

Mouthfeel: huge bitterness. heat from the alcohol. fairly heavy

Overall: a good hop bomb but just fails short in some departments for me, over foaming and too strong alcohol

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Photo of kencarman
1.91/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2

We could hardly get through the bottle. In fact, we dumped it. I looked at some other reviews here and elsewhere and I get a sense they may have a production problem where an occasional bottle slips through.

This was pepper phenolics: not any hop or yeast driven sense like that. The best was the aroma, but the pepper was still there. Mouthfeel: pepper clinging to the roof of the mouth. Body: hard to tell, but I'm guessing moderate. Yellow/gold-ish color with good clarity. Head holds on and pillow in nature.

Honestly: it's hard to judge a beer that's so obviously a pepper bomb. On first taste we got just a slight sense of fruit that was whisked at warp 1000. So, we decided to Grolsch the rest and try it a few days latter. That didn't work: still like drinking liquid pepper.

One thing I must comment on: I noticed the score was high when I first looked here, and elsewhere, but a lot of threes, and even at least one 1 point something that had a similar complaint, though they thought it was a Belgian yeast, I'm guessing because that pepper funk can exist with certain Belgian yeasts. And another LD I reviewed on my own site had a similar problem: not defect, but ratings-wise... a lot of threes and a few scoring super, super high.

Let's just leave my comment on that at, "Interesting."

I'd love to know what a non-phenolic LDAD is like, but I rally have no interest in wasting my money, especially after choking down a pepper bomb.

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Photo of Ego
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ah, yet another DIPA... let's see if this is more bark than bite.

monster head rising 3 full fingers on an easy pour, a quiet talker it is hanging around for some time before settling, dark straw in hue, a medium collection of carbonation is happening in the body, oddly the lacing is a bit spotty... a little lighter in color than most in this department but looks are not the end all be all

faint tropical fruit, an almost smoke like tone, a waft of yeast tone, some stinging nettles of pine are detected... but a pretty mellow endeavor

taste etc...
mild mannered, the hops signature is pine.. like in floor cleaners, medium body with nice prickly carbonation, the hops are really bugging me here, they are medicinal tasting especially in the aftertaste, it does hide the ABV well and it actually feels like a higher ABV (or maybe I am just getting daft in my old age), the body is probably the best trait of this brew

nothing alpha about this, this is not the leader of the pack or even a top dog, or best in show, or some other bad dog tie in that I can not think of at the moment. I do not recommend this, it isn't a pour out but there are so many better options why bother

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Photo of FLima
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Amber color with a two finger thick head with medium retention but leaving lots of laces.
Different aroma mixing earthy notes with resin pined hops, condiments and hints of citrus and non-sweet mangos.
Interesting flavor of bold peppery yeasts, grapefruit, resin, honey and pine. All on a malty base with slightly toasted grains and a hint of smoked. Although it has 127 IBUs, it does not punch you right away in your face, but its bitterness level keep accumulating in your tasting buds, resulting in a dry aftertaste with a prolonged bitterness that does not go away.
Full body, a bit viscous and with low carbonation. 8% ABV is timid versus its flavors and mouth feel.
Superior brew for who likes intense experiences. Very unique and bold DIPA, kind of mutating a Dead Guy Ale into a DIPA. Spicy, hoppy, flavorful, creative, westy and relatively balanced, what else to ask? This is a treaty recommended for pros and hopheads. As Jim said, the west is the best.

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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
3.79 out of 5 based on 667 ratings.
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