Alpha Dog Imperial IPA | Laughing Dog Brewing

BA SCORE
85
very good
671 Ratings
Alpha Dog Imperial IPAAlpha Dog Imperial IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing
Idaho, United States
laughingdogbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
671
Reviews:
310
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
13.76%
 
 
Wants:
25
Gots:
52
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 671 |  Reviews: 310
Photo of cpolking
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper in color with a half inch of foamy head. The aroma is hop forward, of tropical fruit and flowers. The taste is intense yet surprisingly light for an imperial IPA. It is hoppy and tracks the aromas, breezy and tropical. It finishes intensely and bracingly bitter.

 283 characters

Photo of FreshHawk
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slightly hazed, striking orange/tangerine with an average sized, dense frothy, bright white head. Decent retention with a nice layer of lace left.

S - A lot of citrus on the nose with grapefruit and sweet orange. Some pine resin and a touch of spice. Has a touch of sweet caramel malt. Some citrus/lemon rind. Nose suggests a pretty hoppy beer.

T - As the nose suggested this is a pretty hoppy DIPA. Hints of caramel malt, but mostly pale malt in the back. A good amount of grapefruit and citrus hops with some lemon zest and rind. Floral hops also make an appearance here. Pine flavors show up but aren't overly strong. Definitely bitter, but has a slight sweetness as well.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Has a thick syrupy feel to it.

D - Pretty drinkable with a definite hop presence and a bitterness but this is countered with a touch of sweetness. Alcohol shows up a bit, but it is pretty well masked.

Notes: Pretty good DIPA. Nothing that sticks out or makes it extraordinary compared to other DIPAs, but it is nice. Hoppy and bitter flavors, but not too out of balance. Worth a try, but don't feel like you have to try this one.

 1,156 characters

Photo of Brent
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A really nice, citrusy double IPA. ETOH is a little evident, lending a peppery note. Good hops bittering, forceful but not overpowering. Nice level of balancing sweetness. My only complaint was the carbonation/head issue. Foamed over on popping the cap, enough to make me initially fear infection. Half a glass of liquid and half foam, and the foam stayed, and stayed . . . Like having a layer of shaving cream on top of the beer - the most tenacious head I've ever encountered, and a bit off-putting texturally.

 512 characters

Photo of begforme4484
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It looks like most other IIPA's out there. Pours a golden amber color. Had a LOT of head in this one which retained itself for a decent time.

Smell is very laid back. Some doughy sweetness with mild floral and citrus hop overtones.

That taste at first, is very surprising. With the very laidback nose, you would expect the same on the palate. But this beer opens up and just shocks you with tart bitterness. A nice bitter hop bite, followed by some citrus and earthy notes with a sweet bready overtone.

Good amount of carbonation, kinda oily and slick. Medium bodied.

 570 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rather average, though appealing, clear amber with a very thick, fluffy, frothy and persistent white head that leaves some serious lacing. Aroma is strong and hoppy with a firm overtone of grapefruit and a hint of sweet orange. Flavor is fairly hoppy with an evergreen hint but just a little bitterness, as well as a strong citrus tone and some malty underpinnings. Edgy texture is rough and fizzy so it dances on the tongue and all the way down. This is indeed an "alpha dog" among Imperial IPAs!

 505 characters

Photo of Lerxst
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a somewhat hazy copper/gold color with a nice 1 1/2" head that has good retention and leaves a lot of sticky lace.

S-Somewhat tame, but pleasant. I'd like a DIPA to have a stronger presence here. Citrus and earthy/grassy hops, some bready malt is there as well. Not terribly complex, and as I said the nose is subdued. It is pleasant, but it doesn't rock my hop world.

T-A nice bitter hop bite leads. The citrus and grassy/earthy hops from the nose are here along with floral hops and the bready malt lingering in the back. Again, not terribly complex or earth shattering, but pleasant enough.

M-Medium body, a bit slick and oily, nice carb level that is not over or under done.

D-Being a somewhat tame beer (a DIPA really? Seems more like an IPA) it goes down easily enough.

Overall, a respectable beer, but with so many other DIPAs offering so much more, I can't see this becoming a regular in the rotation.

 922 characters

Photo of Cheesemoose
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split one with the wife. Thanks to given2flybrewing for including this one!

Poured into two pint glasses with a slow pour as this one produces a good hearty head. Solid 2-3 fingers of head, excellent lacing throughout, with a bit of clumping. A nice murky orange and white head.

Smell has a nice citrus backbone, with some graininess. Inviting, and a bit deceiving.

A hop assault. Strong citrus bite from the hops, pineapple like. A good malltiness comes through, but as you finish, again the hops come back through. Crushing, but enjoyable. What you would expect from a good Double IPA, big with the hops, but with a good backing from the malts.

Mild carbonation, with a slight tinge of alcohol in the finish.

 716 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on bottle and on tap, doesn't lose anything either way. Good light orange appearance, ample head. Aroma was sweet and hoppy, good touch.

Taste, super hoppy, a hop forward dipa that isn't overcome by sweetness, malt or alcohol. Orange and maybe pine, pineapple to a much lesser degree. Certainly has a great deal of bitterness, but when coupled with a great deal of hop mouthfeel, we're in happy beerandraiderfan territory. Bitter, hoppy, dry, that's how I like 'em.

 479 characters

Photo of rapidsequence
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. I think it was $4.60 from Kroger in Roanoke.

Appearance: Good looking beer with a clear orange-gold color, a foamy white head, and sudsy sheets of lace.

Smell: Its OK. Citrusy (grapefruit)and leafy hops as well as some earthy notes. A little caramel. Not a big pungent juicy fruit aroma.

Taste: Quite a bitter hops load with tons of grapefruit and some pine. Some spicy and grainy malt flavor. Very bitter finish without quite becoming too much.

Mouthfeel: Its just a little too thin and dry. After I swallow, the inside of my mouth is furry with hops resin- in a good way.

Drinkability: Ho hum. An OK double IPA. I'd like some more hops aroma and fruity flavor (its plenty bitter) and a little more malt body and flavor.

 740 characters

Photo of CascadeConan
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A deep gold ale with heavy citrus nose (grapefruit, orange, pineapple) and sweet malt rounding out the smell, nice tight white head and lacing. Initial taste is crisp and heavy on the hops with a subdued malt arriving tardy to the party with citrus hops as it's overweight date. This is your unbearably hot day double IPA, served cool it's smooth, crisp and quenching. With that said it lacks the body of what you may expect from a double IPA but it delivers on drinkability and amazing hop flavor.

 498 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours an amber color with a nice off-white head with good lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is some malt with a good amount of resinous citrusy hops.  Very nice fresh resinous hop aroma with this IPA, can't wait to taste it.

T- The taste like the aroma has some malt up front but the hops are what shine in this beer. There is a lot of really flavorful hops (tons of grapefruit flavor) in this one creating a nice lingering bitterness. 

M- The mouthfeel is between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I really enjoyed this beer from Laughing Dog. This one definitely packs a punch from the hops, good beer that is definitely worth a try.

 695 characters

Photo of IndolentReader
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 22 oz bomber of this on sale for $6.99. I served it in a reformed, oversized wine glass, which definitely helped open up the aroma of very, very fresh hops. The mouthfeel was thick and flavorful. I enjoyed tasting this beer - it's just hops in your face (or mouth in this case).

 289 characters

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy orange color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a smooth, warm, pale and Munich malt scent along with some citrus hops and a resinating bitter aroma. The taste is good as well. It has an aggressive bitter bite that's balanced slightly with a solid pale and Munich malt base. It has a bit of sweet, malt flavor, but the dominating taste is pure hops. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good DIPA. It's bitter as hell with an appropriate amount of alcohol warmth.

 589 characters

Photo of cbak999
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a cloudy, orange, with a white head that dissipates quickly to just a covering. Awesome lacing on the glass which each sip.

S - earthy hops. I don't get any pine, citrus, or fruit....all earthy.

T - The taste closely follows the hops. It's so earthly, it has an almost dirty taste. And there are a ton of hops...very bitter. The only other taste I can get is caramel.

D - I like the carbonation...

Bottom line, this is a decent, not great IIPA. The alcohol is well hidden, but the hop taste is too earthy...needs more of a citrus or pine balance.

 560 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at the end of July for $6.99.

Beer poured a golden amber with a nice fluffy white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose at first was nutty malts but as it warms the northwest hops are prevelant.

The malt backbone is lighter than expected as the grapefruit rind and pine dominate the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and is smooth going across the palate.

Overall drinkability is pretty good. This drinks like an IPA, was expecting a little more balance. Not a bad beer to try once.

 513 characters

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear amber with an absolutely massive off white head that has absurd retention and leaves a huge amount of lacing behind. I expect a great head from dipas, but I docked it 0.5 because the head was so quick to form and slow to fade that it made the beer slightly difficult to pour. Great looking brew, though.

Smells like a bag of hops. A big, delicious bag of hops. Pine is the main aroma, with citrus and grapefruit secondary aromas. There is a touch of tropical fruit in there as well. The taste follows suit, but the tropical fruit is a bit lesss noticeable. There is a tiny bit of a bready malt base to lock down the hops but it is barely noticeable and doesn't detract from the hop profile at all.

 718 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber picked up in VA last week, uncapped to toast the first NFL game of the season.

The beer is a light orangy copper shade and clear, about 3-4 SRM, with a lot of white foam that laces in dry sheets. It smells kind of neutral and bitter at first whiff, but on second sniff I get citrusy hops aromas. The smell reminds me a little of some Flossmoor Brewers Whim releases, not a bad thing.

The beer tastes very bitter, not much sweetness from the malts (unlike Devil Dog). Pretty high grapefruit factor with this. Sort of low carbonation, that may be another reason this reminds me a little of Flossmoor IPAs, it gives the beer a body somewhere north of cask but south of most beers.

Overall very good, I prefer this to Devil Dog as Alpha Dog is a more straight-forward hoppy DIPA, as opposed to a barleywine fence sitter.

 833 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite rounded and malty for a double IPA, but quite a pleasant beer. Pours a slightly hazy orange amber with a very nice head that is quite creamy and leaves some lacing. Smells creamy and with lots of bitter orange and finishes with sweet malt. Also quite creamy in the mouth with big bitter orange and grapefruit flavors, fairly firm malt, and a lingering bitterness. A little light spiciness on the finish. I think the creaminess helps to tame the hops to a degree and integrate them nicely with the malt. Really pretty enjoyable.

 533 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Delerium Tremens snifter. Pours a nice golden yellow with a two finger massively frothy off-white head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of malt, hop, and citrus. The flavor followed the nose with malt, hop, and citrus. It had a medium feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a nice IIPA with a very nice hop and malt backbone that blended well together and kept the brew nice and balanced. I would really love to have this one on tap to compare and see if this balance is preserved. Glad this one is readily available in my area currently.

 615 characters

Photo of ism
3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle to a pint glass, a beautiful honey body, slightly hazy, with a fierce carbonation creating a finger and a half height head, slowly dissipating to a thin layer, leaving intricate lacing behind. Nose isn't that engaging, sweet malt and a standard citrus note, with toasted bread.

Nice and bitter up front, quite sweet as it washes over the tongue, and a crisp finish with a hint of pine. I find it rather unbalanced for an Imperial IPA. Medium body, with hop oil slickness.

The 22oz bottle is very easy to finish but while very well made, somewhat disappointing given its appearance, and in comparison to others in its class.

 641 characters

Photo of dickroop
3.37/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber into my pint tumbler, this DIPA is golden, almost clear, and had a healthy 1.5 finger head from a fairly vigorous pour. It left some lacing and maintained a small head for a good while. The aroma was stronger than many, a citrus-floral punch with bready notes. Alcohol was noticeable.

The taste was quite a disappointment after the nose. Most of the great aroma was missing from the flavor, leaving an overly sweet and malty flavor with indistinct strong lasting bitterness. There were some caramel-candy flavor notes, some musty and metallic off-flavors, and a few toasty malt notes.

Mouthfeel had some sourness around the edges of a medium-to-light body, and a little alcohol warming. The carbonation added little to the enjoyment. Also a malt-stickiness. I now have to go and pour the second half of the bomber and decide if I really want to drink any more of this.

On the bomber's second pour, there was still a great head, and a lot more cloudiness from the bottom of the bottle. The nose by this point was absent, even though the brew had had a good opportunity to warm up from it's initial fridge temperature. The taste (now warmed) might be imagined to have a bit of an orange flavor note, but mostly it's the same as originally described.

As to drinkability, sadly, I'm not sure this brew is worth finishing the last 11 oz. That gives it a rather average-to-low drinkability rating. Granted this bomber has been in my fridge for several months, and who knows how long it took to get from Idaho to me (no date-stamping or "enjoy-by" suggestions). I'd love to drink this closer to the source, especially as a draft beer. But I'm not inclined to buy another bottle of this apparently rather average "Imperial IPA", especially at $5.99/bottle. Despite a great name, this bottle was rather disappointing.

 1,835 characters

Photo of jrallen34
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into my Rochefort glass...Tons of carbonation on this, gushers everywhere. A dark honey gold with a light tope head of about three fingers. Very good retention and lacing, especially for an ipa...Aroma is too light, mostly grapefruit, acid, and light pine on the back. Too light for an imperial...Taste is light citrus to start with a pine resin finish, but its light and pretty to drink, not for a hop head despite being an imperial.

A decent imperial ipa but nothing more.

 487 characters

Photo of evilkalla
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bomber into a tall glass.

A: Fairly aggressive pour resulted in about three inches of a fairly stiff, creamy head. Has a slightly cloudy, golden straw color with lots of carbonation. Attractive beer.

S: Has the pine/citrus smell that I expect from an IPA. Mild, not overpowering.

T: Citrusy hops up front and quite bitter, though not quite hop-bomb territory. Has a strong malt backbone to it as well. Not quite as well balanced as some other imperial IPAs I have tasted but still quite good. The booze is fairly detectable in this one.

M: Has a slightly filmy, firm feel to it.

D: Overall, it's a very drinkable IPA. I do think I prefer LD's Devil Dog IPA over this one, but I would definitely buy again.

 719 characters

Photo of kbeals
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sent to me by the ever generous JohnGalt1...

A- A bright orange brew capped with two fingers of foamy white head. Pretty good head retention with great multi-tiered, sticky lacing.

S- Hoppy bitterness with a bit of a sweetness in the background. Very earthy, not very citrusy.

T- Loads upon loads of hops come at me in waves. The sweetness of it kind of ruins the taste a little bit. Once again, earthy hops more than anything. somewhat piney.

M- Heavier body, very slick. I swear you can feel the oils from the hops in the mouthfeel.

D- Pretty drinkable. This was a good beer and I would buy it again, it's just not on that other level like other DIPA's. I feel like the DIPA style has been nearly perfected by so many other breweries it's hard to distinguish between a mediocre and good DIPA. This one is good, but not great.

Thanks agin, Toby! I owe you tons for some of the brews that you sent me.

 908 characters

Photo of jtm3
3.21/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Lovely pale orange, nice head.

S: Hops....mostly pine, some citrus.

T: Whoa! Hops anybody? Bitter, bitter, and more bitter. Chalky with leafy, pine, and some citrus flavors. Very little malt background. Surprising alcohol presence for under 9% abv. Some spice and caramel sweetness in the finish, but mostly just hop bitterness.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

D: Just hard to get through for me. Too much bitterness and alcohol.

Overall: I see the appeal for some, but I like a little more balance.

 508 characters

Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
3.78 out of 5 based on 671 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More