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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA | Laughing Dog Brewing

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Alpha Dog Imperial IPAAlpha Dog Imperial IPA
674 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 674 |  Reviews: 310
Photo of vic21234
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter. No bottled on date info stamped on the bottle.

A- Pours a cloudy amber color with a finger and a halfs worth of head. The head dissipates into a bubbly film along the top with some lacing along the sides of the glass. Looks good.

S- Really reminds me of a DFH IPA, maybe like a 90 minute. Smells rather sweet and malty. Not much hop aroma except for some slight pine notes. Not a bad thing necessarily, but not the smell I want from an IPA.

T- Starts off rather bitter with a hit of the piney resin hop presence. Afterwards just seems overly malty with not much else going on.

M- Bitter, dry, leaves more to be desired from a DIPA.

Not a bad beer, but I don't think I'll be buying this again. There are many better DIPAS around here on the shelf.

 787 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Light copper orange, grape juice. 1/2 inch head with some decent lacing.

Smell - Hops, lots of caramel malts, some spices. A little pine and grapefruit. Not overly hop strong aroma.

Taste - Strong caramel malts up front. Hops are very bitter, but are actually a little hidden behind the malts. Spices add some peppery and bold flavors. Alcohol is present, and adds some warmth. Some sugar sweetness comes in during the finish.

Mouthfeel - Strong hops and bold malts coat tounge. Alcohol along with some spices warm tounge also. Palette gets remaining hops and malts. Aftertaste is dry, bitter and alcohol influenced.

Overall - More of a malt monster then expected. Its not balanced very well, seems like malts overpower the hops too much and doesnt let the hops give there full effect. Its still tasty but nothing special id ever buy again.

 886 characters

Photo of Nugganooch
3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Notes from 03/17/12
Bomber to pint glass

A: The Dog pours a dark murky rusted orange color producing just a thin khaki tan head. Low retention factor with some splotches of lace here and there. Carb seems low as well.

S: Overall I found the aromas to be rather subdued and malt forward with lots of caramel toffee notes. Some pine and citrus aromas, faint as they are.

T: Flavor comes in big on the malted caramels with the hops riding back seat and window down. Juicy yet with some orange citrus and pine notes. Lower bitterness level for a DIPA. Alcohol seems well masked. The flavors are not really complementing one another here. Not the take on a DIPA I particularly enjoy.

M: A bit heavier in body with a somewhat chalky mouthfeel. Not a lot of resinous hoppy linger and finish is wetter than expected.

D: More of a malt forward DIPA that comes off a bit chewy. Some moments of hop juiciness but the flavors did not really come together all that well for me.
Alpha Dog…more like a submissive lil puppy. Was not impressed. I would pass on this one.

 1,063 characters

Photo of Drinkerofales
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer makes a huge fluffy off white head and ends up clear dark orange-copper. A bit dark, but the clarity is nice.

Smell is very malty, kind of like bread, with only a hint of floral hops.

Taste has tons of hop. All earthy bitterness from start to finish, with a little malt in the middle to balance.

It has a lighter medium body, carbonation is on par, needs a little more kick and viscosity though.

I was worried by the aroma, as in, not much hop, fortunately, the taste has plenty of bitter hops, but that's all. Not much complexity, but an above average beer, but not by much.


 593 characters

Photo of Profchaos20
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a pale copper hue with a bright white head forming thick, this beer is awesome..fine intricate lacing forms nicely with hints of sugar hops and alcohol in the nose...the Alpha dog has come to play...fiery notes of hop juice and malt sugar come with a green bitterness, I'm loving the hops. The flavor is beautiful with big citric, earthy hop flavor and bitterness with a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied has me burping with a touch of alcohol and carbonation, very classic feel...the body has some resinous hop oils coating the palate. Overall a very aggressive DIPA that enjoyed, I think it's safe to say that I like Laughing Dog's beers.

 659 characters

Photo of ThirdEyePA
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

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

Murky yellow-orange, nice head.

Citrus in the smell, also malty and bready.

Pretty piney, along with an alcoholic maltiness. Not bad at first, heading towards grassy and even buttery as it warmed.

Mouthfeel on target.

Passable but not a standout in the field.

 263 characters

Photo of Kendo
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bomber (split two ways with a friend) into a Duvel tulip. Body is orangey-amber with a 2-finger khaki-colored head. Leaves good lacing.

S: Very nice. Fresh, juicy citrus - mainly grapefruit - and a touch of pine.

T: Nice caramel malt foundation. Followed by good citrusy hops - oranges and grapefruit. Then finishes with heat felt in the belly, but not really noted in the taste. Piney, dry hoppy bitterness coats the palate - a moisture-sucking dry, hoppy bitterness.

M: Slightly slick in feel. Medium in heft.

O: Good stuff. My half of the bomber was gone way too quickly.

 598 characters

Photo of Jules11788
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of kornkid8600
2.33/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Good color, clear and unfiltered, head dissipates quickly.

S: Pine/citrus smells, a breadiness comes through, alcohol as well. Not a good sign.

T: Lots of high bittering hops, the malt body not much of the citrus smell I was getting. A lot of alcohol when swallowed and a long lasting bitterness. Again, not good.

M: Body was fine, not too thin not too thick just about right.

O: All in all, the beer has a few things done right, but those are insignificant compared to the most important thing to me, and that is TASTE. Taste is awful, I thought it was unbalanced, way too much alcohol, not enough sweetness to counteract the ridiculous amount of bittering hops used.

Beyond the bittering hops, not much flavor/aroma as it sohuld have had. There was a sllight breadiness I just don't like in my beer in the smell and the taste I'm not sure if it was my bottle or if that was intended but I dislike that quality.

Besides that, I thought there was almost a fusal alcohol quality about this beer and it was just undrinkable. Poured my glass down the drain because it was a poorly made beer overall.

Overall, one of the worst DIPAs I've had and I love the DIPA style but at $8 for a bomber, I felt robbed.

 1,217 characters

Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of HardTarget
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Bright amber yellow glass with a bit of haze. Holds a solid white head and leaves lacing and tide marks on the glass.

Smell: Fresh cut grass, citric and earthy bitter on a base of malt. Hops are fresh and a bit floral, very inviting.

Taste: Lots of hop flavor but only a mild bitter. Deep flavor that doesn't get heavy. Really good job here finding balance while showing off some great hop tastes. Doesn't get acidic or tea like, just fresh squeezed hop juice.

Mouthfeel: A bit gassy to start but quickly boiled off to a fairly limp glass. Oily texture in a medium body.

Overall: Tasty beer. Some mild irritants like the carbonation and chill haze hold me back from really showing some love in the scores. Still, wouldn't mind having this again and am glad to see it on Texas shelves.

 801 characters

Photo of BeardedRiker
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's Valentine's Day and my being a single man, I knew the one thing that would satisfy me: a good beer. I have never seen Laughing Dog beers before and after checking BA, I saw that their beers have good reviews. This beer is a decent price too, at about $6. So, here we go with my first Laughing Dog beer.

The slowly-forming head gets thick and creamy, allowing for some to rise above the top of the glass, so there's some good retention. It's off-white and some stays on the surface after fizzing out. There is some fair lacing. The boozy concoction underneath is an amber-ish-orange color and clear. This is a very good-looking beer, and who wouldn't want something good-looking for Valentine's Day?

This smells delicious. Bright orange, peach, and slight tropical citrus combine with a nice, almost rye-ish spiciness. I've decided the spice is piney. The hops, while very citrusy, are also grassy. Malts bring a sort of brick oven-cooked breadiness. Yeast It's also a bit warm, most likely from the 8.5% ABV. I'm catching myself smelling this over and over. This smells different than most IIPAs/DIPAs I've had. It has a deep pine woods sort of smell.

I see some here complain that this is too hoppy of a beer. I don't agree. While it is certainly hoppy, it's complex enough to be balanced (for an IIPA). Much of what's in the smell comes through in the taste. The hops are strong, bitter, acidy, and bring out tropical fruitiness, heavy pine spice and resiny sweetness. There's plenty of malt and yeast to make this a deep and complex beer. That pine forest characteristic comes in and reduces the bitterness though the bitterness definitely sticks around. Let's get one thing straight. This is definitely hoppy but it doesn't have an insane bitterness. It's more of an earthy hoppiness that encompasses more of the smell and flavor rather than just being bitter. I find this IIPA exceptional in the truest sense of the word. Many IIPAs/DIPAs are pretty "clean" in their flavors. The Alpha Dog is not so much. It belongs in the woods!

This has a more heavy body than most beers of the style and I like that. Often IIPAs have more hops and more overall flavor. The Alpha Dog brings more body to the table, thanks to its malts and yeast. In the beginning the hops bring a strong dryness that's combated by the fruity and piney sweetness that lingers on and makes it slick. After drinking there's a bitter hop dryness that stays with you. The body is medium-high but there's some good medium carbonation that keeps it alive.

I'll be honest, this might not be one of my favorite IIPAs, but its characteristics are so different from most others that I'm finding it very interesting. I like it when I like a beer but then am surprised by it at the same time. That's why I say it's exceptional. I look forward to trying more Laughing Dog beers in the future.

 2,863 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours a very clear, light copper/dark gold color with a very fine-bubbled white head. Very sticky lace and the retention is nice.

Juicy tropical and citric hops jump out right away. Not quite as vibrant and big as some of the finest of the DIPA ilk, but plenty nice. Malts and what I am assuming is yeast flash some caramel apple backdrop with a distinct hazelnut aspect. Interesting.

The light color of this beer disguises a fairly decent malt backdrop...has almost an earthy, maris otter feel to it. The hop flavor is a bit tamer than I would prefer, although it does drop lots of resin throughout the sip. Bitterness is pretty big on the back end and lingers long. Pretty good DIPA here, not quite top tier, but Id like to drink it again and quite a deal at 4.99 a bomber...too bad there is not a freshness date on the bottle.

 844 characters

Photo of pwsoldier
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of LukeD23
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden tangerine with a beautiful creamy white head that lingers. The aroma is intriguing wih notes of chamomile line and fresh cut grass. Flavors come through harsh with a hard bitterness backing the split pea, orange and pineapple rind. Mouthfeel is spot on I'm my opinion for a dipa with good medium body and a bone dry finish. Overall I like this beer and would order it again. Good not great

 404 characters

Photo of johnhenryconway
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of tfsimpkins
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of jmdrpi
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, no date.

appears slightly hazy, orangish golden color. thin white head that disipates to a frothy covering. strong aroma of piney hops. slight citrus.

taste doesn't have much malt, hops dominate - earthy pine is the stand out flavor. thin to medium body, with medium to high carbonation.

overall - just average for the style, needs more malt to back up the aggressive hopping in my opinion.

 410 characters

Photo of chrispoint
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of BigTrubble
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of bogus564
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 fl oz, poured into a pint glass.

I have to work both days this upcoming weekend, so I can't get stewed tonight; I can enjoy one beer, though. Hopefully, I'll enjoy this, since I haven't had this before. Enough blather, let's get to it...

A: So far, so good - it looks just like an IPA. It's cloudy golden amber in color, with a thick head the color of an orange rind that doesn't hold for very long. I'll admit it; I might be intrigued.

S: Even better, it smells like an IPA. You can smell the hops, with a very nice citrus note. There's grapefruit, and there's a dark fruit, kind of pruny (but light). I'm ready for a drink.

T: Okay, I'm more than mildly impressed. It's very, very hoppy. All that I smelled earlier is confirmed, but the hops are clearly the Carmelo Anthony of this beer; they're not sharing the ball with anybody! I like the grapefruit in the second chair; I just wish they'd pumped up the volume on that characteristic. But that's just nitpicking, folks; I like it.

M: Good, almost very good. Light-bodied, well-carbonated, decent on the palate, but a finish that gives you a big ol' case of BITTER BEER FACE!

O: Pretty good beer. If I didn't have to get up early for work tomorrow, I'd have another one. It was great with my chicken parm sub. Cheers.

 1,280 characters

Photo of Mappies
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of DrNo
2/5  rDev -46.4%

Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 674 ratings
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