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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 308 | Ratings: 665
Photo of SFLpunk
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to George for grabbing this for me at Julio's last week! 22oz brown glass pry-top bottle. No date. Starts to gush right as I opened it. (Been stable in fridge for days...)

Pours a bright, warm orange (literally) with thick, foamy white head that has huge retention power! Lots of lacing!

Nose is soapy citrus, peppery, lemon zesty, floral and lots of sour mango. Palate is...tart...wait. I think this is infected. Hang on.

**After reading other reviews, there is one other person who notes a distinct "Sour green apple" puckering quality. I think we both had infected bottles. This bottle shows flavors that I would expect in a Wild Ale, say Wild Devil, and not in a DIPA. I will rate this as is, and then re-review if the chance permits itself.

 755 characters

Photo of garuda
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Bright gold, slightly hazed with a tight white cap that retains well and leaves good lacing.

S - Hoppy, resinous pine notes with a little underlying citrus and caramel sweetness.

T - Hop forward with a lot of pine up front and finishing with big caramel malts, and a bitter floralness. Alcohol is definitely noticeable, especially towards the end.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, nice and smooth across the palate, finishes clean and bitter.

O - The caramel malts finish a little strong in the taste and perhaps a bit syrupy, and the hops aren't as complex as I had hoped, but it still turned out to be a decent drink.

 631 characters

Photo of scootpolute
2.5/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Good pour into the glass. There is a clean, good sized white head. I'm curious about the intense carbonation (many bubbles are raising).

S: Carmel like, spicy tones, with an undertone of strong hop aroma!

T: There is hop bitterness, toasty caramel malt lays, with some pine bitterness mixed in.

M: There's emptiness in feel, doesn’t have the 'fullness' you'd expect from an Imperial IPA.

O: Smooth beer, but not as 'BIG' as I was hoping for. Again, not horrible but missing something...

 497 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a partially hazy medium orange color with a 1 inch white head that sticks to the sides of the glass like cotton candy, not much in the way of carbonation.

S - Spicy biscuity malt, citrus, some pine, a little floral character.

T - Hops hit the tongue early on and remains throughout, building in bitterness all the way to the end. Biscuity and toasty caramel malt lays a nice base, some spicy and floral character as well. The hop bitterness is somewhat resiny and there is some pine bitterness mixed in. The bitterness has some crisp bite to it, no pun intended.

M - Solid medium body, slick on the tongue, long lingering semi-dry grapefruit and pine finish.

O - Laughing Dog did a nice job with this beer, I'd buy this one again and it's worth checking out, especially if you're a hop head. The 8.7% seems just right, just enough, but not too much.

 864 characters

Photo of OldPenguinHunter
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this while in a hotel room in Plantation, Florida, let me say one thing before I get into this, "Man what a refreshing beer to have after a long day of work..." I did bring my own glass, (a geeky thing to do, but hey, its worth it when you're traveling!) a Duvel glass.

A: This is probably the best part of the beer. pours a nice opaque orange, a two finger head that dissipates rather quickly.

S: Smells like most Imp. IPA's: Sweet, sticky hops, some fruit (peaches, tangerines, apricots), malt.

T: The most dissapointing part: The bitterness does not hold up to the malt, and is supplimented by the alcohol, which is very noticeable at this time. very disjointed, I also noticed a chemical-like pine needle flavor.

M: Very dry, good carbonation.

O: Wouldn't buy again, but was definetly worth the try!

 814 characters

Photo of Santuario70
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was skeptical about getting a keg of this IPA when I couldn't get a keg of my favorite (Green Flash West Coast IPA) due to some of the reviews - but I have to say that this is a great Imperial IPA! I'm not sure I'm sophisticated enough to give it the detailed taste review that many on this site have already, but I can say that this is a great IPA and I'm really happy with it! I have a full keg that I pour glasses from daily, and I have no complaints! Full flavor, plenty of hops, still taste some of the malt, and very high alcohol for a beer. One of my friends (who doesn't like IPA's) had a taste and said, "wow - that is hoppy .. whew!" Need I say more? Real men drink beers like this! :)

 697 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep cloudy orange, 2 fluffy fingers, splendid lacing

S: green apple, peach, lemon, pine aroma

T:sweet peach/mango, malt, pine, HUGE PUCKERING sour green apple, slow bitter oily finish

M: med body, slicky/oily finish

O: Interesting Double/Imperial IPA. Not used to the grassy/pine and sour green apple taste. Very good and look forward
to sampling more from Laughing Dog.


 398 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - dark, cloudy orange with a one finger cream colored head. head fades to a thin layer. Some lacing on the glass.

S - Citrus - Orange and grapefruits.

T - Muted citrus flavors.

D - Very, very bitter.

O - The scents and taste do not match. Would be nice, but the bitterness is off somehow.

 341 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very impressive appearance, with a huge, creamy head that sits atop the honey/straw colored liquid; the rentention was fine as was the lacing

Smell: Piney citrus, butressed a toffee malt character

Taste: Toffee malt, up front, but the 127 IBUs certainly make their presence felt quickly, adding a starkly bitter element to the profile; while the malt continues to provide an underlying sweetness, the bitterness is powerful throughout

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Powerfully bitter and somewhat overwhelming, this beer is not for beginnners; can't say it is really to my palate, either

 630 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out with a big fluffy white head and a hazy golden body. The smell is really nice in here, there is a massive hop aroma coming off of this one. The taste is great on the first few sips and as it warms up that all goes downhill. The taste to me just gets a bit strange, can't really describe it but it wasn't good to me after a while. I finished my glass and was thankful for that at least. The mouthfeel is a little thick but not oily. Overall it was good in the beginning and then just fell apart.

 515 characters

Photo of BMoney575
3.49/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 5-18-11

Pours a bright and very cloudy orange color, with a thin, filmy white head, and a single thick ring of lacing.

Smell is all malt sweetness, almost sugary, with a little bit of sweat-sock hops at the end. The sweetness is intense and overbearing.

Taste is just what you'd expect, the hops add to the sweetness in the beginning, and contribute a sharp bitterness at the end. Not much else going on.

Mouthfeel is good, nice and creamy to help what hops there are, with lower carbonation.

Drinkability is decent, though the flavors make one bomber a bit of a chore.

Overall, a good effort, but nothing special.

 631 characters

Photo of baldmasterflex
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 22oz bomber of this at Total Wine in Claymont DE for 5.99. Caught my eye a few times but i decided with the price i couldnt go wrong. (No codes or bottling date i could find)

I love the way the body of this beer looks, thick and opaque. Deep brownish orange with hazy yellow around the edges. Rediculously huge white head filling the entire rim of the wine glass im drinking from. Rocky and lacey.

Smell is very sweet, noticeable when pouring at arms length on the counter. Another poster said very "nutty." I totally agree, for some reason i was thinking "dairy queen peanut butter sundae topping." A tad sharp with lemony citrus as well.

Taste is good. Very bitter, very biting, with those nutty notes. Getting some sweeter pineapple as it warms. But i couldnt handle more than this bomber. Sooo bitter, which i like, but definitly a palate nuke.

Mouthfeel is very thick with a sharp bite. I dont know if its the alcohol or the carbonation. Resonably drinkable once you fight thru the head.

 1,006 characters

Photo of cameraman
3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

An orange color that has touches of gold along the sides of the glass. A thin white head forms at the top of the glass that dissolves away to a thin layer. Very bread like aroma with cracked grain being the main scent, then it blends to floral and citric fragrance. The bread and cracked grain start at the beginning of the taste, then it soon overwhelmed by the hops. The hops bring a plethora of flavors citrus, tobacco, pine, and some grass. The feel is watery thin from the front staying that same consistency all the way through. This is an okay IPA, the color is standard and the aroma is very tame. This beer shows its teeth in the taste with some strong flavor, though the feel was less than I expected. The flavor picks up this beer, every other aspect is slightly below par, a palatable beer.

 802 characters

Photo of lynchtae
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours orangeish yellow with a nice white persistent head. it smells nice, you can get some malty notes, noble hops and yeast on the nose. The taste is a bit one sided, with bitter hops flavors dominating some caramel and nutty undertones. 127 ibu's it's bitter.

 271 characters

Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy golden orange body witha bubbly white head that sticks around leaving nice lacing.

S: Some citrus hops balanced with a twinge sweet malts.

T: A bitter piney upfront followed by grapefruit bitterness. Not much malt to balance it out, but it's not a strong flavor so I guess it's okay.

M: Moderate carbonation with a medium body. Texture is slightly thin like the flavor making this a bit crisp and refreshing.

O: Nothing too amazing. Easy to forget. Don't know if I would go out of my way to get this again. Slightly off for the style, but the thin mouthfeel mixed with the bitter hop flavor works.

 618 characters

Photo of codsmith
3.19/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Very dense orange with a creamy white fluffy head. It looks more like a Belgian than a typical IPA

S: Big sweet hop nose. (The best part of this beer)

T: Starts out like a Belgian with a slight sweetness, but then turns very bitter and the hops overpower your taste buds, leaving a hefty hop aftertaste. Its kind an odd combination of flavor and styles. I would classify this as a hybrid between a Belgian and an heavily hopped IPA

M: Creamy at the beginning but the aftertaste of the hops kills everything on the taste buds. Has a good amount of carbonation for a Belgian, but over the top on an IPA

O: Mixing these 2 styles are not the best in my opinion. The flavor profiles clash too much to be enjoyable.

I think I would have been more favorable if they classified it in the correct category as BPA

 813 characters

Photo of jerryjeff
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Rather floral with some piney type scent in the nose

Medium carbonation with a slight amounts of body toward the lighter end for pale ale, getting the definite bitterness from the hops in the back of the mouth.

Poured to nice initial head with 3/8" or so in goblet from a 22 oz bottle. Light amber in color with a stark white head containing larger bubbles. Head has stayed nicely with some good lacing. Impressed here.

Rather bitter on the palette, overshadowing any real malt presence to me. Finishes with what seems to be an almost pine flavor. Aftertaste isn't particularly great with the hops seemingly leaving a taste kind of like a solvent? in the mouth and lingering a bit long.

I don't know that I'd want to have very many beyond the single I just opened. I think the intense bitterness would be overshadowing over time without more malt presence to offset.

The mix of hops brings in a flavor I don't really care for that is too much bitterness with the pinish and solvent-like flavors.

 1,060 characters

Photo of FanofHefe
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a pint glass. Hazy light yellow body, with a one-finger white head. Decent lacing and retention.

The aroma is predominantly zesty hops featuring lemon and other citrus notes. Sweet malt aroma in the background.

Good hop flavor following the aroma. The oily hop flavors do give some bitterness with a grapefruit taste.

Medium to light mouthfeel in body. Very drinkable; not hot on the alcohol side at all. A little sweeter than the Devil Dog variety but a solid offering overall.

 498 characters

Photo of thehopsguy
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- medium gold tint with a light haze..small head...

S- mild aroma of citrus hops not much malt comes through in the smell.

T- refreshing blast of hop and bitter flavors from start to finish... mild malt flavors until finish..heavy malt boozy flavors with a serious dry bitter finish.

M- crisp refreshing medium body

O- damn good beer..haven't had too many Imperials I'm a big fan of the Hop Stupid.waiting to try the PtY..I would get more of it for 10 bucks around Boston area..worth it..cheers!!

 512 characters

Photo of JamnesCameron
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. This one's a gusher.

Pours a hazy deep golden with a big off white head that is very slow to drop. Leaves some lacing.

Aromas of grapefruit, grapefruit zest, and chalk.

Flavor of biting into a fresh grapefruit, through the rind. Some orange. Bitter, citrusy. This is a bit of a one dimensional beer.

Mouthfeel is medium, sticky malt, bracing, mouthcoating bitterness.

Overall a decent beer, but not a home run. Build complexity by bringing more malt, and more flavor and aroma hops.

Edit: as it warms, the beer throws out some piney resins, more depth of flavor, and a stronger malt presence. Not as one dimensional as I first thought. Bumping taste and overall up a notch.

 702 characters

Photo of meatyard
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, pale, golden/orange with a 1.5-finger, white head that lingers nicely and leaves a bit of lace.

The smell is orange, something else (?) and some sweet malt.

The taste is nearly identical to the aroma with very mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: It's easy enough to drink but without much intensity for a DIPA. It doesn't do much for me, especially compared to so many better DIPAs on the market.

 456 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

undated 22 oz. bomber served in pint glass

A light pour resulted in a bit of foam rising up and over the rim with only about 2 inches of liquid. Not surprising, since removing the cap produced a rising foam that had to be poured immediately to prevent spillage. Medium/light amber beer was hazy with visible carbonation and a gigantic but not dense off-white sudsy head that has extraordinary durability. Super head reappeared on 2nd and 3rd pours.

Piney hops with a nice caramel malt backbone. Hints of vanilla and citrus.

Taste follows aroma, by and large, with an fine crisp finish and a long-lasting hoppy aftertaste.

M - full with a noticeable bite from the hops and carbonation

 689 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer is a hazy, bright orange-amber color with a huge, chunky, dense bubbled head. Smooth sweet aromas, with hops and citrus front and center. The beer is very smooth, light and crisp in mouth. A good balance of tangy sweet citrus and roasted hops, with some toffee and peppery characteristics. Sweet and sour aftertaste balanced with bitterness from the hops, and a smooth, clean finish. Lingering bitter hops in mouth. This beer is delicious! Great body, with lots of lacing, too.

 526 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle, $8.60 at Spirit Haus in Amherst, Ma. No freshness info to be found.

Pours a slighlty lighter amber then expected for the style. Dense and nice looking head, puffy and retentive, off white, slowly goes to merainge then a collar and leaves copious amounts of super fine low sheets and upper window panes of lace. Nice looking beer.

Bright nose of orange peel and citric and earthy hops.

Bold, fresh tasting and flavorful DIPA. Plenty of gooey hop notes, resiny, citric, bright and freshly flavorful.

Carbonation on the calm side, not prickly at all in the mouth.

Final pours brings out some cloudy and clumpy yeasties into the glass.

Thoroughly enjoyed this one. Go get some if available in your area, or if you make it to Amherst sometime soon. I'll hopefully pick up a few more bottles next time I'm in town.

 830 characters

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: orangish brown with 2 finger white head

Smell: sweet malts, hops,

taste: roasted malt backbone, with a hop front end

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, smooth

Drinkability: Glad I got to try it wish it was better then average.



 276 characters

Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
3.79 out of 5 based on 665 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.