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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA | Laughing Dog Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
85
very good
308 Reviews
Alpha Dog Imperial IPAAlpha Dog Imperial IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing
Idaho, United States | website

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
Reviews:
308
Ratings:
661
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
20.05%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
52
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 308 | Ratings: 661
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 saintwarrick
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This might be my first Idaho beer. Pours a nice gold color with a foamy white IPA head. Aroma is solid, kind of piney, some honey mixed in, a very thick smell, not very citrusy. Reminds me a lot of some East Coast IPAs. Some Tylenol like bitterness shows through. This brew is VERY bitter, big-time hops, enough you might label this a hop-bomb. Still very smooth with little in the way of alcohol, only the bitterness gives this away as a DIPA and not an IPA.

Very tasty and very bitter. A top of the line DIPA here.

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

Hazy bright orange body, topped by a fist full of billowing dentable white froth. Glass coasts with elaborate stretched lace.

Appealing citrusy aroma.

Firm malt beginning is rapidly overwhelmed by a pack of hops. Juicy, fruity, and with a crashing bitterness at the swallow.

Firm mouthfeel, not sloppy or syrupy. Solid drinkability for the style. Wish I had another for tomorrow.

A solidly enjoyable Imperial IPA, worth a try.

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Photo of xabyss
4.31/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours pale orange with two fingers' worth of fluffy white head that sticks around for a while. A steady stream of tiny carbonation bubbles rises from the bottom of the glass. A more-than-decent amount of lace remains as the head recedes.

S: Highly citrusy with a hint of bitteness and some grassy hops. Decidedly not a hop bomb on the nose and a pretty mild aroma overall, but what's there is not bad.

T: Bitterer than the nose suggests and way more hoppy. Sharp citrus on the tip of the tongue, slight caramel malts mid sip and loads of hoppy bitterness in the finish. Not much to remind me of the 8.5% ABV save for a hint at the tail end. I'm pleasantly surprised in this department. Tasty stuff!

M: Oh so smooth, creamy, medium-bodied with subtle carbonation. Goes down dangerously easy. Just about perfect for the style.

O: I had mixed expectations for this beer, but it ended up being much tastier than anticipated. It's one of the better DIPAs I've had in a while.

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 6/4/2012. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a nice 2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Some good spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of huge grapefruit, orange zest, pine, lemon zest, grass, floral, pineapple, caramel, honey, earth, and herbal spiciness. Excellent aromas with great balance, hop complexity, and strength; very enjoyable. Taste of big grapefruit, orange zest, pine, floral, grass, pineapple, lemon zest, honey, and herbal spiciness. Good amount of piney bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pineapple, pine, floral, honey, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a while. Excellent balance of hop flavor complexity, with a good malt backbone and no cloying flavors at all; very clean hoppy flavors. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly slick and sticky mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding DIPA! Great hop flavor balance and complexity; with a nice crisp body and well balanced malt backbone. Very smooth to sip on as well. One of the best DIPAs I have ever had for sure. Incredibly enjoyable stuff.

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Photo of Kendo
4.32/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from the fridge.

Pours clear dark gold with a one inch head of white. A partial skim coat remained for the duration as well as some streaked dots of lacework.

Aromatics lead off with a blast of sugared grapefruit, pine pitch, and candied spruce bark. Light malt follows through, but this ones all about hop resins.

Medium bodied with a chewy edge, tacky mouthfeel, and a slight sugar crunch.

A massive whallop of sticky resins and crushed grapefruit start the palate. A heavy dose of bitterness quickly follows through along with plenty of juicy, pungent hop flavor. Malt is subdued but present and not missed much here.

Finishes with lingering, chewy hops, faint malt, a sustaining bitterness, and a hint of warmth.

Wow. Great IIPA and tasting uber-fresh. Just a bit on the sweet side, but otherwise totally rockin' and highly drinkable.
Nice.

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Photo of argock
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $5.49.

A: Slightly hazy orange amber with 2-finger off-white sticky head with good retention and lacing.

S: Serious piney hops with lesser touches of orange and grapefruit with little bits of crystal malt poking through

T: Huge hops firepower with citrus and pinesap hops flavors layered throughout. Floral notes also break through, with crystal malts doing much of the counterpoint lifting, without much success.

M: Very sticky with tons of alpha acids. Mouth-coating with the best DIPAs. Low carbonation as expected. Heavy pine aftertaste.

D: A really good DIPA with a really good price tag. I'll be back for another dose of hoppy goodness.

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Photo of Chelsea1905
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For as little as this cost (less than 5 bucks) this is a great bang-for-your-buck IIPA.

Drank this after trying the Full Sail Imperial Stout, so not too much to add other than this baby smelled, and tasted like a floral-piney how explosion!

Medium to full mouthfeel and a pretty well disguised ABV that means you'll drink this one quickly, but it'll knock you on your arse as quick as you drink it!

Overall, another fine offering from the laughing dog brewery!

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.32/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, the beer poured a almost clear orange gold, and produces a nice two finger high white creamy head. Good retention and good lacing.
The smell is a complex mixture of fruity hops and pine, with malt and caramel in the back.
The taste is likewise, with the fruit and pine hops up front, backed by a nice malt backbone. Nice balanced aftertaste, not sweet nor bitter. A true balance.
This is a exceptional beer and a must try!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I didn't plan on reviewing any beers tonight.. but oh well.. 22 picked up today at the COOP... was gonna share with the bro.. but his palate is shot... poured into my SA shaped glass..

1" foamy head has great retention and a ton of lace.. the brew is hazy honey gold.

Thick citrus rind and pine dominate the nose... smells very dry.. not much in the way of malts.. pithy.

Flavor has about as much hoppy presence as a brewer can pack into a liquid.. a hop delivery device for sure.. grapefruit zest and pine are alll throughout this one.. malts are there to provide a good balance.. but that is it!! oily hoppiness.. not out of whack... but I am questioning (in a good way).

The body is lite/medium for the style with some very smooth carbonation.. very dry and very "West Coast".

The only complaint that I can even remotely come up with is that the hops seem sorta one dimensional.. I would like to see more/different hops used at different times in the very late kettle and in the fermenter.

The Alpha Dog is phenomenal.. and should be considered anytime someone wants a IBU fix.. I just think a touch more thought could bring it into the top 100 realm.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a superbly bright golden orange hue with stellar clarity. A generous pour yields a frothy white two-finger head that has some impressive retention, finally falling to a chunky foamy cap that stays to the end, leaving behind some nice cakey lacing.

aroma of green hops. pine and herbal up front with a hint of citrus. More leafy green pine hops dominate the aroma... like pine trees shoved up my nose.

pine all the way, with the help of a fruity boost from some citrus hops. grapefruit pith, grapefruit juice, and a hint of floral hops mix in with the pine. This one is definitely hopcentric - the malt barely makes it through. which is alright. I suppose it's to be expected from 127 IBUs. the hop profile is extremely well balanced and enjoyable - not as overwhelming as I had worried.

mouthfeel is clean. maybe a bit light/thin for an imperial, but it only makes it more drinkable. rich without being heavy or chewy - dangerously smooth. carbonation is spot on - full and creamy without feeling fizzy or bubbly. An amazingly clean lasting bitterness carries the flavors for what seems like an eternity.

I have to say I'm pretty impressed with this one. It seems as if Laughing Dog has gotten things figured out. After a few mediocre/off brews in the past, the last few have impressed, and this one is no different. Maybe not the most complex hop bomb in the world, but it's incredibly drinkable and an all-around solid imperial. When you add in the relatively low price for a 22, I can think of a good reason not to buy this one, especially if hops are your thing.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Oliver's in Albany, NY. Or maybe it was from Julio's in Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a big ol' 3 1/2" beige head over the clear golden brew. Head takes forever to fall, leaving a high butte of dense foam in the center, with tons of chunky lace coating the glass. Aroma is solid with the pine and citrus. Taste starts moderately sweet, then pine with a note of citrus are the rest of the story. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is dangerously good. This is one of the more approachable, balanced DIPAs I have had. Check it out.

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Photo of leaddog
4.34/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours an amber/copper with two fingers of frothy white head.

Smell - Citrusy and piney hops, tropical fruits, malts (caramalt), lemon, grapefruit.

Taste - Strong citrus/pine hops, citrus and tropical fruits, and caramel malts. Excellent high level of bitterness that carries citrus/pine qualities throughout to the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - An enjoyable and well-executed Imperial IPA by Laughing Dog. All qualities and characteristics of this style is met head on. This is a hophead's dream. One of the better Imperial IPAs that I've sampled recently.

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Photo of woemad
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber that came into my possession due to the largesse of Chelsea1905. Thanks, Scott! I think he picked it up at Jim's Homebrew - I've yet to see it at Huckleberry's, but then again I haven't been up there in a week or so. I notice that there's a different dog on the bottle. Perhaps Ben the Lab has become jaded. Maybe a dozen or so label appearances have gone to his head and his agent demanded too much coin for this bottle.

Poured a honey-ish color, with a thick, creamy bone-white head that left lots of lace on the sides of a Boundary Bay pintglass.

Big, spicy, piney hops to this one, with some caramel maltiness huddling in the background. Definitely seems like a "West Coast" scent to this one.

The hop taste is HUGE in this beer. Piney and bitter, with the citrusy aspects reduced to the role of supporting player. Speaking of supporting player, the malts - if in a movie - would be delivering maybe one line aboout the weather, then dashing off-screen, and they are not missed once they provide the unspectacular job of providing background. Definitely a scorcher of an IPA, and while not the most perfectly balanced IPA I've had, it can still run with the big dogs (perhaps an unfortunate pun)and it's very tasty.

Body is a little thin for a DIPA, but that's not exactly a detriment in my book, as I personally find many to be overly provided for in that department. Not quite as oily in the mouthfeel department as some I've had, but not to an important degree - it merely means that if you drink this with food, you might be able to taste that food!

Drinkable if you like big hop flavors (guilty). A little too bold to session, if you can even contemplate sessioning something with an abv of nearly 9%. For the price (according to the tag, this was $4.61 - those goofy Jim's prices...), this is a pretty tasty DIPA bomber. Not as expensive as Ruination (the last DIPA that really flipped my wig) and relatively local, I'll be definitely buying this when I come across it. The word on the "street" (a ridiculously, er, "urban" term for a place as whitebread as Spokane) has it that this will become THE Laughing Dog DIPA from here on out. While I came to enjoy Devil Dog (personally I think DD could be re-packaged as a barleywine with little to no modifications, but that's just me), I think I prefer this when it comes to the DIPA style, and look forward to consuming more of this beer in the future.

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Photo of IndolentReader
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
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 Gehrig
4.36/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I obtained this at the magnificent Neil St. Piccadilly after it came highly recommended from JD the manager, Sam the sports maven and Doug the all-around good guy. Excellent call. Two fingers of white froth top a hazy copper-amber body with golden yellow trim. The lacing on the trusty Duvel tulip is so decorative that I cannot help but ponder if fate intervened to deliver such a scenic appearance this winter season. Excellent head duration to boot, with the dollop of foam in the middle arranged like a hurricane taking shape; stellar looking beer.

Good DIPA smells, not great, with plenty of lemon and orange rinds, grapefruit, grassy notes, and bits of caramel and biscuit hops peering around the hopped-up aromas.

Ah, this taste, soooo good. Grapefruit, tangerine, and the aforementioned rinds for zest make Alpha Dog a Hop Dog. Hop lovers will surely enjoy this, and malty notes bleed through this hop monster especially as it warms a bit. Nice caramel and toffee taste.

I like the mouthfeel...but I do think that it feels a bit thin. The resiny and somewhat gritty texture are pretty good, but for all the bold hop-driven taste, I expected the mouthfeel to be a bit bolder. This to me is where the malt makes its presence felt, and adds a distinct characteristic.

On the whole, Alpha Dog is sincerely tremendous beer that I will grab as soon as iy is available. A big, brash, brawny, hopped-up DIPA, this big dog loudly barks out the hops early and often.

Excellent.

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Photo of oberon
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I gotta say I have been really impressed with pretty much all the Laughing Dog line of beers,I think more impressed than most here on BA have been.Starts off with a perfect pour,I dont put a 5 down much but the pour here is worthy,a burnt orange infused medium golden with a perfect creamy white crown that leaves one big continuous ring of soap scum-like lace as it settles into a creamy mass.Resinous and citric hops dominate the nose along with some sugary sweet notes,the good thing here is the hops dominate,not overly sweet.The palate isnt to sweet like way to many of the style,the hops citric in character are the main event here,citrus and pine overtop of a sweet alcohol base,again the sweet alcohol base is underneath the big hops.I really like this beer,it is what the style should be more about in my humble opinion.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Yellow grapefruit color with a nice haze and a solid, filmy head that leaves rings of lace

S- Bitter and tropical with a sweetness that is swept away by an alcohol twang.

T- Toasty biscuits and orange candy. An of course alcohol

M&D- Silky feeling in the mouth with carbonation that makes the flavor pop and soak into your tongue.

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Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gorgeous light golden orange, Hazy, with a hefty, pillowy white head that clings to the sides of my snifter, nice streams of bubbles. Leaves excellent lacing behind. Absolutely beautiful looking Double IPA.

Smells extremely piney like a hike through a coniferous forest. Very bright and hoppy smell. Lots of sweet malts are detectable.

The pine really carries through in the taste, nice and sweet too, a little bit of honey in the taste. I can taste a little bit of alcohol, but nothing abrasive, this is extremely smooth, Very flavorful without overwhelming bitterness. I'd consider this a decently malty DIPA, but it's so well balanced by the rich floral-pine flavors of the hops.

medium, nearing full bodied, moderate carbonation. Nice and mellow feel.

Outstandingly drinkable, smooth, well balanced, and delicious. What more could you ask for.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a bright golden orange hue, topped by a thin layer of stark white head. Sharp aroma of bitter, citrusy hops, offset very slightly by a hint of mild biscuit malt. Notes of grapefruit and pine are prevalent.
Palate is aggressively hoppy up front, with a decidedly piny note on the tip of the tongue. A flash of biscuity malt comes through before the swallow, only to be lost in a huge wave of grapefruity hops that lasts long after the beer is down the hatch.
Body is maybe a little thin for an imperial IPA, and kind of belies the nearly 9% strength of this number. While not the most complex beer around, if you've looking for a good dose of hops, this more than does the trick. Quite possibly the hoppiest beer available for less than four bucks. Good work.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, orange citrus to a light pine. In the taste, sweet orange citrus to a pine dryness, again, tastes just like the smell. A small hop bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry orange citrus like aftertaste. Nice mix of orange citrus to pine and hides the ABV, a very nice beer.

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Photo of BryanCarey
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Laughing Dog Alpha Dog IPA pours to an orange/tan color with a good amount of foam that settles down but holds its own and leaves lacing as you consume. There is a slight haze to the body of this beer and its aroma combines scents of citrus, pineapple, caramel, and a dab of lemon.

Moving to the taste, Laughing Dog Alpha Dog Imperial IPA continues to impress, with flavors of toasted malt, pine, and caramel up front, which quickly transition to tastes of citrus and hoppy sensations that run from earthy to grassy to citrus. The beer is more bitter than sweet, but not overly bitter in taste thanks to the balancing contributions from the malts. There is some alcohol in the finish as well, and the earthy/citrus flavor lingers in the aftertaste for some time.

Laughing Dog Alpha Dog Imperial IPA is a beer made for the hophead in all of us and it is the hop component that most will remember best. It is designed to appeal to that part of our inner self that normally likes to play it safe, but doesn’t mind going out on the edge every now and then for a rousing and unforgettable experience. It is definitely a beer with personality and its taste experience makes Alpha Dog Imperial IPA and experience few other beers can match.

Among the many things I like about this beer are its ability to both intimidate and intrigue. Looking at a fact sheet is enough to make anyone apprehensive. When was the last time you sampled a beer with 127 IBU? It’s an extreme level, and it makes you wonder what the liquid in that bottle will taste like. However, once you sample it, you realize that the bark was louder than expected. Laughing Dog managed to include enough contributions from the sweet malt to keep the flavor from moving too far toward the bitter end of the spectrum. You end up with a beer that, while certainly bitter, is actually more balanced than the numbers indicate with a complex array of flavors that include pine, fruit, earthy notes, caramel, and more.

Not everyone can handle hanging with the Alpha Dog, but I recommend sampling this beer if you get the chance. It’s a bold, flavorful brew with many great surprises and a reasonably balanced taste for a product with such an extreme IBU rating. Try it for yourself, if you dare.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to screamforme for this one... What an extra!

Pours out a beautiful golden color and quickly forms a thick dense white frothy head... Sorta hazy...lookin hoppy...

Man, this is surprisingly pungent.. I had a Pliny the Elder a few nights ago and this is smelling like that... Deep and oily and hoppy and sticky..2 for 2 so far...

Wow...this is just super delicious... Oh, its uber hoppy and sticky and juicy but doesn't burn and get all sweet and muddled like a lot of DIPAs....its damn delicious is what it is... I got this as an extra in a trade for some Hop Henge Experimental and this is looking like a star in its own right...

I've had two brews from these guys and both of em have cleaned my clock.. I mean really blown me away... Amazing brew that I was sad to see disappear...

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Laughing Dog- Alpha Dog

A- Golden copper brown with a small filmy head. Good lacing on my pint glass.
S- Good thick caramel malt with piney hops and citrus, grapefruit and orange.
T- Thick caramel malt with sweet citrus and earthy green pine hops.
M- Thick sweet malt with an oily bitter pine/ citrus hop finish.

Overall- Solid tasty DIPA. Easily drinkable and cremy!

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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 308 ratings.
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