Alpha Dog Imperial IPA | Laughing Dog Brewing

very good
308 Reviews
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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Reviews: 308 | Ratings: 665
Photo of Brad007
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Mild golden color with a decent head that coats the edges. It's a great trend to see IPAs and DIPAs that exhibit more pale than usual.

Lots of pine with little else in the nose. I'm a little disappointed because I like a lot of aroma in a DIPA.

Wicked strong pine bite dominates the palate. Nothing else that I can detect, other than a faint malt backbone.

Again, more of that old school pine bite at the back of the throat. Alcohol warmth too. Good thing I found this beer when I did.

In my experience with DIPAs, there are really two different schools: citrus-dominant and pine-dominant. This one falls in the latter category.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.41/5  rDev -10%
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 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 stephens101
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A considerable, tightly packed tan head sits confident above this pinkish-orange brew. Retention is astounding. After it finally disintegrates a thick sheet of lace layers the glass.

Hop aroma involves a pleasant mix of grapefruit and resin. A bit of caramel, vanilla and a subtle nuttiness sneak in through the backdoor. Striking resinous hops to the tongue with a backdrop of grapefruit and malt. Has a chalky aftertaste, some astringency and a big but satisfying alcohol heat.

Medium bodied and coarse at the edges with a smallish creamy core to help offset.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into pint glass. No bottle date shown on the label or bottle.

A: Pours a redish, orange color. Fairly clear, not as hazy as other DIPAs I have had. The bottle was CRAZY carbonated, and actually almost exploded on me w/o any reason. Produced big frothy head that stuck around for a while. Good lacing.

S: I get the piney, citrus hops that they promise on their website, but "hop bomb"? Not exactly.

T: Much like what I took from the nose. I get the hops up front with a nice crisp bitter bite at the end. Good not great.

M: Not completely mouth puckering like some WC IPAs can be. Fairly good mouthfeel.

D: Very drinkable. The alcohol is there but is understated. Obvioulsy could catch up to you, but I had no problems finishing the bomber quickly.

Overall, no a bad brew from a new (2005) brewery to the craft marketplace. I will have to try some of their other selections in the future.

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Photo of chickenflea
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK, I think I have reached my hop limit with this beer. And Perhaps, that was the goal here. But this beer is so bitter that the aftertaste destroys the experience. The only way to put out the fire is to drink more. But eventually one reaches the end of the bottle and must face the relentless bitterness. With a name like Alphadog, I guess I should have not expected less.

Pours a hazy dark golden orange color with a 1.5 finger frothy white head. Good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves chunks of lace behind. Very earthy hop aroma with a strong pine and floral presence. There might be a small grainy component to the aroma as well. Texture is medium-full with average carbonation. Huge resinous, sticky pine needle flavor that dominates lingering over the sweeter notes. Lingering finish. If you love hops for hops sake, this is your beer. For a more balance brew, look elsewhere.

Note: this is my favorite style. But I think that this beer is on the fringes of the category.

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Photo of harrymel
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ABV 8.5%. Bottled 15MAR12

Pours golden with an etched surface of whites. Brilliant clarity. Nose with resin, grapefruit, pine, chewable vitamins, sweet honey malt and a hint of lemon. Bitter with good dry malt flavor and a ton of hop character. Plenty of west coast here: weed, grass and pine. Medium bodied with moderate carb and a wet finish. Nice beer.

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Photo of Hoescheg
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had a nice pearly white head, with a little bit of lacing. Color was a light amber, and pretty clear. Taste was very hoppy, with lots of grapefruit, with a little bit of booze. The initial taste was very sweet, and grapefruity, but it didnt finish well, leaving a alcohol taste. Overall it was a good beer, but was lacking in great taste, and feel.

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Photo of Florida9
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy peach in color with a large, rocky, and somewhat sticky, head. Good retention and excellent lacing.

S: Grapefruit and pine mixed with a little sweet malt.

T: A light dry malt with a heavy bitterness that becomes astringent
over time. Pine.

M: Medium in body with appropriate carbonation. Heavy bitterness.

D: A decent brew, but not one I'll be returning to. The bitterness is overdone and this is little in the way of hop flavor (or malt backbone) to support it.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.49/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a bright but hazy tangerine orange with a 2 finger foamy and pillowy off white head that pitted to a rocky structure and stuck around for a solid 5+ minutes. Frumpy, it left a thick foamy coating along the glass walls. Visible carbonation started off strong with macro bubbles quickly and rapidly ascending, only to settle to a soft and subtle micro bubble display that was sporadic and quickly trailed off. The lustrious lacing and huge foamy and well retaining head earns extra consideration here.

S: The nose delivered a standard west coast hopping that was grassy and piney with dry grapefruit that was quickly detected even upon opening the bottle and from the pour. However after the initial showing, the aroma quickly died out to a whimper with a lighter then expected offering, most likely due to the quickly dying carbonation. Decent enough for an ipa, yet was underpowered for an imperial labeling I thought. Not much malting contribution or hoppiness to hold my attention long earning this an average at best rating.

T: The flavor does deliver the hoppiness that the nose lacked being moderatly bitter with pine needles, grapefruit skins and a dry floral lacing. After the swallow the grapefruit hopping is evident nicely coating the tongue with some dried orange grinds. A nice level of bitterness but came off rather one dimensional and hard to justify a good rating here when compared to other staples within the style. Lacked a transition of flavor and finished pretty much as it started.

M: perhaps one of its stronger points, a nice medium fullness, fairly thick and somewhat syrupy from the malting with little or no carbonation being detected. A dry lingering bitterness is left as its calling card for the finale and fade.

D: Ok drinkability, easy enough to drink, but hard to justify as a really good beer here. Bitter at first it does get progressively easier to down but once again one that can get just as easily lost amongst the better examples per style. A bomber is sufficient here, cant say I would go beyond revisiting this as there is little incentive to draw me back. After a strong start appearance wise it only goes downhill from there. Worth a check out for a bomber at best for fans of style.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.49/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 5-18-11

Pours a bright and very cloudy orange color, with a thin, filmy white head, and a single thick ring of lacing.

Smell is all malt sweetness, almost sugary, with a little bit of sweat-sock hops at the end. The sweetness is intense and overbearing.

Taste is just what you'd expect, the hops add to the sweetness in the beginning, and contribute a sharp bitterness at the end. Not much else going on.

Mouthfeel is good, nice and creamy to help what hops there are, with lower carbonation.

Drinkability is decent, though the flavors make one bomber a bit of a chore.

Overall, a good effort, but nothing special.

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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 barleywinefiend
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a bright, slightly hazy golden color with a small white cap, that retains well and leaves good lacing.

S: Pine needles, orange peel and a whiff of caramel

T: Pine needles up front with an immediate IBU presence, light booze coupled with orange peel and some some light flowers. Caramel present from start to finish. Finish is a a bit dry and bitter

M: Medium body with good carbonation, IBUs hit the palate hard. Pine and citrus cling to the palate along with caramel and honey, a bit sloppy on the end

O: Not to bad, a good rep for the style, not something I would go for again but not bad but I would question the 127IBU's

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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 Gavage
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: hazy orange in color with a fluffy 2" head. Thick lacing develops during the session.

Smell: grapefruit is a bit overpowering here, and the pine is in the background.

Taste: caramel, pine, and a huge grapefruit tone that creates a bit of an unbalanced beer for me. The bitterness is sharp and biting.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp throughout with some dryness late. Super long aftertaste as the grapefruit flavors seems to stick around the mouth for a long time.

Drinkability: I found this to be a bit unbalanced and quite biting. The bomber was more than enough for me in a session.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bomber into a glass. A gift courtesy of ramnuts, who sends me too much beer. Thanks Frank!

A: Pours a golden amber color with light copper edges against the light. Has a frothy off-white head that retains pretty well at a fingers' thickness, and deposits nice lacing down the glass.

S: Lots of floral and pine hops, although citrus (grapefruit, lemon) is in there as well. Some bread and caramel malt is evident.

T: Surprisingly balanced for an IIPA. Toasted and caramel malt have equal play against a complicated hop profile that is predominantly floral and citrus (unlike the smell), with a lower pine component.

M: Medium-bodied, slightly low carbonation that makes it slick/oily and sticky, with a long-lasting bitterness (I don't particularly care for this aspect).

D: This is a damn good beer. I'm told it runs a very affordable price, too. High marks in my book just for that. If only I could get it here.

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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 clayrock81
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy gold cider body with a frothy two-finger offwhite head. Some minor roasted malt smells along with citric and grapefruit in the aroma, albeit very mellow. Taste is more of the same as the beer is smooth but watery, and as I drink it is a tad sweet and has some minor citric and grape notes in it with a minor dry backbite with a touch of woodiness. More like a pale ale, yet alone a DIPA. Not a bad beer at all but not what I am looking for in this style.

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Photo of jamie2dope
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had never seen this brewery around these parts, so I guess a welcome to Boston is in order with a review of their Alpha Dog beer. Golden in color, with a large, creamy white head, this is a really appetizing looking brew. Tree sap, some light metallic smell, resin and grapefruit hit the nose in a subtle, but good way. Hops strike the palate as harsh at first, but their become easy enough to get used to. Body is a bit thin, and one dimensional, which is unfortunate considering some of its other high points. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Not a bad attempt at DIPA from Laughing Dog. Would I buy this again? Maybe not, but I am curious to see what else they have in store. Cheers

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

In a snifter this beer was an amber color with a small tan head. There was a little bit of lace.

Aroma was pine and citrus, with a little bit of caramel.

Taste followed form. Predominately pine, some grapefruit. Tiny bit of caramel.

A hop bomb. Malt very much in the background.

I'd try this again.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: an opaque orange. huge foamy head that takes way to long to foam down.

Smell: huge hoppy mess. some sweet malts and a bit of alcohol

Taste: hops, piney, tropical and resiny. sweet doughy malts. spicy alcohol

Mouthfeel: huge bitterness. heat from the alcohol. fairly heavy

Overall: a good hop bomb but just fails short in some departments for me, over foaming and too strong alcohol

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Photo of hophugger
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy deepish-gold color with a one finger head which leaves pretty rapidly leaving gorgeous lacing all around. Aroma is pf pine, hops, resin, grapefruit. Taste is balanced well between hops, grapefruit, citrus, bitterness and malt sweetness. Wow, that was a mouthful. Feels great going down though would like a little more carbonation, seems a little flat. I cannot read what I think is some type of bottling date/code?. It is minute and blends into colors of the label. Overall, a good balanced beer lacking a little bubbles. Also, now as I am about half way through, I am getting just a little touch of alcohol taste.

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

A: his beer pours a very nice golden orange body with a thick white that slowly fades and leaves a lot of lace on the glass.

S: A VERY strong amount of hops and sweet malt. I am getting a nice amount of pine and a little bit of fruitiness.

T: There is a nice hop flavor, but it's not too overpowering. I am getting a sweetness from the malt and the hops are coming as piny and even a little peppery.

M: This has a nice fully body and has a strong amount of crispness all over the tongue and down my throat.

O: This is a pretty solid beer, but would never go out of my way to buy this. I would for sure say try it though if you haven't had it.

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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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Alpha Dog Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing
3.79 out of 5 based on 665 ratings.
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