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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA | Laughing Dog Brewing

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Alpha Dog Imperial IPAAlpha Dog Imperial IPA
BA SCORE
3.73/5
Good
675 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
Ranking:
#25,029
Reviews:
310
Ratings:
675
pDev:
13.67%
Bros Score:
4
 
 
Wants:
25
Gots:
52
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 675 |  Reviews: 310
Photo of bump8628
3.21/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one into one of my Imperial pints. The deep golden body with thick, sticky, white head looks the part of a great Double IPA.

That's where the goodness ends, however. Not that it becomes bad, but where are hops? The malt bill is spot on and leaves a perfect canvass for what could be teeth-stripping, mouth-puckering Double IPA, but what I'm getting is the hop profile of a regular IPA. Columbus and Mt. Hood hops- the first a no-brainer for a great DIPA, the second more at home in a good Pils. That's the first problem, hop choice. The second problem is hop quantity- more please. I get the classic herbal and rough pine punch of the Columbus but it's just too tame. Laughing dog even nailed the requisite dryness that the best in the style exhibit.

Throw in a few more pounds of the green goodness and maybe swap out the Mt. Hood with some Simcoe, Amarillo, and/or Centennial, take your pick.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: golden, amber, reddish

smell: loaded hops and citrus aroma, grapefruit bomb

taste: this beer is loaded with hops. very solid double with heavy citrus flavor and a noticable grapefruit flavor

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: fantastic brew. I'd drink more

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Photo of Shaw
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I could be wrong, but I think this is a new arrival in Florida.

Pours a cloudy amber/gold in color with a huge rocky head that is almost as thick as whipped cream.

Herbal hop aroma.

Big bitter hoppy flavor. I'm surprised it's not as bitter as I was expecting. It's got big vegetable -- almost smoky -- hop flavors. Mild bread-like malt notes, not that I'm looking for any semblance of balance. Hints of booze.

Nice body with plenty of substance.

Overall this is a nice double IPA -- there's nothing wrong with it -- but it doesn't rise to the top of the heap.

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Photo of beerphan
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bottle -> SA Taster
no date.

Pours a pale orange with a thick juicy two inch head that coats the glass with chalky lace. Head has amazing staying power and ends up a white pillow sitting alone at the bottom of the glass. Carbonation appears steady and robust.

Nose: Pungent earthy hops, oranges, pine needles.

Medium body with bite. Some pale malt biscuity sweetness pokes through initially but is quickly knocked back with fruity hop goodness. Orange rind and pine, along with herbal grasses come from the healthy hop dosage. Bitterness is brutal and palate destroying. One for the hop heads out there, as balance is not one of this beers attributes.

Craft beer from Idaho, cool. Another bounty beer from New Jersey, that can't be had in PA.

Another 'Lers Monday Night Beer Review.

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Photo of cpolking
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of Brent
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of begforme4484
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
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!

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Photo of Lerxst
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Cheesemoose
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of CascadeConan
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of IndolentReader
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
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).

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of cbak999
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of arizcards
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.03/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of ism
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of dickroop
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 675 ratings
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