Alpha Dog Imperial IPA | Laughing Dog Brewing

very good
669 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

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Ratings: 669 |  Reviews: 309
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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.



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Photo of HalfFull
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Standard bomber into a goblet, the Alpha Dog shows a hazed golden orange with a finger's worth of almost white cap and offers good retention and lacing through the full glass.

Rich nose of citrus and pine along with some sweet resin notes and some occasional wafting alcohol esters. Good but not quite riveting on the nose.

Orange and tangerine citrus carries forward to the taste though the body and finish is a bit thin for the hop delivery. Offers a moderate bitterness on the finish but not quite befitting of the 127 IBU's and the light amount of apparent residual malts. Hops are much more evident in the aroma. Fairly drinkable as the alcohol is better hidden on the taste than the smell, being smooth and creamy in the end, though the lack of pizazz limits a bit.

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

Pours a cloudy orange color with thick tan head. Head falls very slow, decent lace.

Aroma is all hops, floral and herbal. Malt is very obvious in there as well.

Malt is very notable in the taste. Hops jump up and make themselves known, very much so. Quite earthy and herbal.

Medium bodied in the mouth and oily on the tongue.

Not bad, I have had many better IPAs but this is okay.

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Photo of merlin48
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber pours a hazy amber body with a small, but sturdy, bone head that lasts several minutes and leaves patchy lace.

Aroma is surprisingly subdued. Hints of pine, grapefruit, and lemon peel. Just a faint note of toasted caramel.

Medium body and carbonation with an earthy and grainy presence.

Taste is skewed toward an earthy hop bitterness. Dry and grainy pale malt base serves up very little sweetness and is unable to balance the in your face hop bitterness. Hops are dry and grassy, hints of grapefruit and pine, but citrus rind is the overwhelming sensation and it's bitter and heavyhanded. Some alcohol is picked up, surprising for the relatively low content, and adds a peppery note that doesn't blend in. Finishes with a lasting earthy and rind bitterness.

Lots of heavyhanded hop bitterness in this one. I just don't care a lot for these unbalanced hop bombs

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

Appealing amer body, hazy with a frothy, off-white head. The aroma is malty with notes of caramel and toast. Hint of perfume and resinous hops. Earthy aroma in the background along with some alcohol. The flavor is lightly to moderately sweet and lightly to moderately bitter. It finishes lightly sweet and moderately to heavily bitter. Medium to full body, sticky texture, lively carbonation. The aftertaste is bitter and alcoholic. This is a husky, malty double IPA. I've had better.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Nice, golden orange with a bit of a straw yellow color. Head is a creamy white and quite fluffy. The beer has a bit of haze to it and appears to be light for the style.

S: Not a whole lot going on here. A bit malty with a grassy aroma and a small amount of citrus. Doesn't have a particularly discernible hop aroma. Does have some bitter notes of grapefruit that I suppose are the hops coming through. Not very impressive on the nose.

T: Has a fairly substantial malt base backed up by some nice bitter hops. Faintly similar to DFH 90 minute. Has some great fruit notes of apricot and peach along with some orange zest and grapefruit to bitter it all out. Pretty even on the palate. Starts off sweet and finishes with a pretty lasting bitterness.

M: A bit off-kilter. Gives the impression of a sweeter, maltier IIPA but ends with some pretty aggressive bitterness that lingers just a bit too long.

D: Again, the bitterness is just a bit too much on this one. To be honest, just want to get through this one and not look back to it.

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Photo of gopens44
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Frothy 1/2" head that clings a little, but nothing fancy. Color was medium dark copper and hazy.

S - Not too much going on in the nose, but what did come across was a touch in the citrus spectrum with a slight bitter hop bite.

T - Plenty of honey taste wrapped around the bitter piney hop taste. Not too much depth in it's character though.

M - Medium carbonation and somewhat smooth. A little more thin than I expected. Finishes a little unbalanced as this thing falls apart a touch at the end.

I had this on tap at some point in time and was fairly impressed. Sadly, I revisited it in bottle form, which may be the reason why I'm less impressed this time around.

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Photo of Rutager
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours an appealing hazy straw colour. Nice white, one finger head that lasts a while leaving some chunky lacing.

Smell. Cirtus peels and piney hops with some bready yeast.

Taste. Oily, bitter white grapefruit and a little orange. A little toasty light malt. Bitterness lasts and lasts. Real nice.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with medium carbonation.

Drinkability. A pretty good drinker. Could use another glass from this bomber ;-)

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Photo of Zundo
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy, honey body with a frothy, one and a half finger head that laces heavily.

Smell: Sweet lemon and orange hops with grapefruit and yeast.

Taste: Sweet lemon and orange up front followed by yeast and floral hops and finished with a sharp pine taste.

Mouthfeel: Frothy and juicy feel.

Drink: There is a refreshing body feel makes this pretty drinkable, but the sharp pine presence can slow one down.

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Photo of Glibber
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was light in color like an american ale, but had a very nice 1/2 inch white head. Extremely aromatic with hoppiness. Plenty of hop and some malt flavors. Detected a little citrus, but mainly a hearty and hoppy beer that went down very easy for 8.7%.

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Photo of shakeheap
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into my Big Sky goblet from bomber.

Does this brewery put out a bad beer? Everything I've tried has been better than good and this is no exception. Not as full-flavored as the average IIPA but still enough there where it isn't mis-classified as some IIPA's tend to be.

Pours a beautiful deep gold, almost orange, with just enough head to make it pretty.

It's full flavored with hints of citrus/pine -- the hops right out front and still lingering with the finish. Well balanced with a hint of alcohol and some malt but overall a very hoppy beer (as we would hope).

I am very impressed with this brewery. I've quite enjoyed every one of their ales I've tried since accidentally stumbling on their regular IPA by accident a few years back on a trip to the PACNW (before we could get it here in the heartland).

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Photo of jsprain1
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Pours an orange, gold highlights. White foamy head disappates into a rocky one finger head. Plenty of lacing.
S- Smells of citrus hops, slight malt, faint alcohol.
T- Taste is initially bitter citrus. Lemon and white grapefruit. Some pale malt in there. Alcohol finishes with some solvent alcohol.
M- finishes dry. Light for style. Medium carbonation.
D- A so-so IIPA. Looks nice but the fact that it doesn't hide it's 8.7% alcohol well doesn't speak well.

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Photo of chumba526
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears hazy gold with a decent size white head.

It smells of grassy hops, grapefruit and orange. I get a nice bit of a sweet caramel smell as well.

It tastes much like it smells. There is an initial grassy, piney and citrus like hoppy flavor. In particular I get a heavy grapefruit taste to the beer. There is a mild caramel flavor that balances out the hoppy flavor, slightly. The beer finishes with a pleasant and powerfully hoppy bitter flavor. Not that complex as far as the flavors good but it is a full of hoppy goodness.

The mouthfeel is descent. The carbonation is moderate high.

The drinkability (for a hophead) is fairly good. It tastes clean and it is fairly smooth.

Overall a pretty good imperial IPA it is not the best IIPA I have had but it is good and for the price (4 bucks a bomber) it is quite steal. Worth picking up some when you see it.

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

On tap in Philly in a pint glass, been seeing alot of Laughing Dog stuff show up and it's always good to see a new brewery in the area, we get about a new one every week.

Alpha Dog Imperial IPA looks bright golden straw yellow in the pint glass with some active bubbles pushing through to a inch of white stuff up top. Strands of lace, nothing artistic though. Smell is high in hops and a bready malt base that is not going to be a problem. This stuff smells pretty fresh. Alot of bitter like pine, sap, grapefruit, light on the malt. Taste is hops first malt a after thought. It really does not come through much. Feel is semi bitter with a smooth after feel, carbed up nice, a bit bitey. A great example of the style, a under DOG if you will.

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

Had this on 2011-01-17 in Columbia, PA from a 22 oz bottle.

A - Hazy straw-amber with a big 3-finger head into a Russian River nonic. Good lacing. No bottling date.

S - Mild-to-moderate whaffs of fresh orange and yeast.

T - Hop forward followed quickly by sweet citrus, bread, pepper and herbal hop cone. It dries out a bit with residual sweet orange, pepper and plenty of lingering bitterness. It's a hop bomb alright with a 120 IBUs; similar to a Stone Ruination in the bitterness quotient. The alcohol is not too evident.

M - Medium mouthfeel and high carbonation yield a creamy and oily feel that is quite nice.

D - When you are in the mood for a big blast of hop bitterness with a citrus/orange kicker; this will do the trick. The pepper flavor hasn't been something I've liked all that well in other beers. It's better-done here but still not my favorite flavor to emphasize and so it effects the drinkability for me.

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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
3.79 out of 5 based on 669 ratings.
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