Cant Dog Imperial IPA
Marshall Wharf Brewing Company / Three Tides Restaurant

Cant Dog Imperial IPACant Dog Imperial IPA
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IPA - Imperial
4.08 | pDev: 11.76%
Marshall Wharf Brewing Company / Three Tides Restaurant
Maine, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Cant Dog Imperial IPACant Dog Imperial IPA
Notes: This beer is the one beer that our brewers and I would take to that mythical deserted island if we could only bring one Marshall Wharf beer. Huge malt backbone matched with huge amounts of hops.
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 261 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a hazy orange with a nice glossy golden yellow color. The head was about a finger and a half of white foaminess. It died down after about a minute leaving some nice gentle lacing sticking for a little bit and then sliding into the beer. The smell had a vast amount of grapefruit notes up front with a nice allocation of mango, lemon, and light lime to be the bittersweet part and then after a bit of warming, there’s some nice sweet caramel to balance just a bit. The taste was fully bittersweet all around taking in both sides of the bitter to the sweet and making it slightly sticky in the aftertaste and yet leading to a slightly refreshing finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with not much of a sessionable aspect to it. The carbonation was good for the DIPA style as it was just harsh enough but still smooth enough all around. Overall, very nicely done DIPA that I wouldn't mind coming back to.

Jul 11, 2017
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scotorum from Massachusetts

3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4


This review begins a run of ten on Maine brews, which scratches the surface of the many.

Poured from the 16 oz. can into a wine glass.

a; Clear amber with a two inch white head which receded to thick surface foam and dense lacing.

s; Butterscotch!

t: Follows the nose along with a moderate hop bite. Bittersweet finish. As it warms the butterscotch (as opposed to caramel malt) aroma and flavor rise and fall but remain apparent to the end.

m: Medium, good body and carbonation tingle.

o; An unusual IIPA with a dessert beer aspect. An "I know, I can't believe it either!" brew. Lingering bitterness is a bit offputting at first but damn it's different!

Apr 19, 2017
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aquabears from Connecticut

4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful ruddy gold, but dark for an IPA. Nice lacing. Smell is herbal and sweet malt, caramel, slight hint of pine needles. Resinous sweetness, super fruity. The alcohol is present on the end but not overpowering, bitterness also hides until the end of the swallow. Slick mouthfeel, gentle but present carbonation. Unexpectedly thick and slightly chewy.
I really enjoy this, but it doesn't feel very IPA-like.

Jan 17, 2017
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CommonSense from Maine

3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Fresh can into glass.

Nice dark amber with a beautiful head and lacing.

Can not smell this at all really. Kind of disappointing....

Enough abv to warm my ears, but it's hidden pretty well in the taste.

Definitely malt-heavy and not as hoppy as I'd like. This is, of course, my own preference. Won't be buying this one again, but I can definitely respect the style and quality of the beer. Worth a try for sure.


May 18, 2016
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donkeyrunner from Massachusetts

2.21/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Josh picked this up for me while in Portland

Amber with a big bubbly head. Looks good. Smells like pine needles, earthy hops and maybe a little butter in the malt. Tastes hot and gross. Boozey caramel malt sloshes around a wee bit of piney hops. Big bitter alcoholic background. Lots of hops bitterness, minimal hop flavor. Cough medicine shudder finish.

Gross. Marshall Wharf is usually one of my favorite "I know that you don't know" breweries and I look for them whenever I'm at Novare Res. By far the worst I've had from them.

Mar 10, 2016
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CTHomer from Connecticut

4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A; crystal clear; bronze in color; with a fairly aggressive pour, a 3+ finger light khaki head that receded slowly to a thick cap; very little lacing;

S: earthy and floral hops with caramel in the background;

T: floral with earthy and caramel behind it from start to finish; mild bitterness that builds to moderate in the aftertaste;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish; ABV well hidden;

O: although the ABV is subtle, you know you're drinking a big beer;

Jan 20, 2016
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SomethingClever from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into wine glass canned on 11/22

A: deep darker amber in color looks like a brown ale in the glass decent clarity small tight head white in color

S: a lot of roasted malt a light butter smell a little like roasted caramelized melon if that makes sense

T: its really malty but smooth hops are very dialed back or I can't taste them. A lot of nice grains and corn a nice bit of sweetness

M: full feel the carbonation is quite high but very slick and velvety quite nice across the tongue

O: Absolutely was not expecting the beer to taste this way. I see Imperial Pale Ale and I think huge hops. Pale Ales are not always high hops this is just a roasty malty big beer at 9.7ABV but very smooth and quite good. Marshall Wharf gets a bad rap for the butteriness (what most people assume is a byproduct of something going wrong in the brewing process) of the beers but I think it lends a softness to them that actually improves the taste.

Nov 26, 2015
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BMFR1811 from Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super malty, a little bit too boozy for my tastes. Wish it was a little bit more aggressively hopped so the bitterness could temper the sweetness. It's not bad- not my favorite, I'd drink it again but wouldn't seek this one out

Mar 20, 2015
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 1 pint can dated 12/22/14. Sampled on December 29, 2014 so it is pretty darn fresh.

Attractive appealing copper-amber pour with long lasting, foamy cream colored head. Lots of lacing.

The aroma is all at once resiny and floral with a sweet caramel malt note. No booze for a 7 day old 9.7% beer.

Medium to full, creamy body.

The taste is a fabulous malt-hopped balance with a hoppy bite finishing off the rear. Short-lived but delightful.

Dec 29, 2014
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mst934 from North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -5.6%

Just cracked one that I brought back from a recent trip to Maine. This puppy is a toss up in my book. As described, super malty and maybe (?) overly boozy. Sweet on the front in with citrus and floral notes, and a heavy dose of some pine. Smell is beautiful. Sticks to your lips, that's for sure. Color is a deep burnt orange. Trekking around Portland, ME, this was a hard 4 pack to find. Not my favorite, but I know a lot of people who are going to dig this one. Side note, this beer is better (IMO) as it warms up. Low to mid 50s.

Nov 05, 2014
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

The beer is bright golden with a thick, light tan head. Aromas of pine, sap, alcohol, malt, a touch of spice. Big hoppy flavor amid a robust malt body. Sticky on the palate with warming alcohol heat. Truly, a malt and hops monster, as described. Not my stylistic preference. Ok...

Aug 16, 2014
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1 inch head, high carbonation, brownish-gold in color, clear

Smell: pithy citrus rind

Taste: very citrusy: peaches, tangerines, and other tropical fruit hops

Mouthfeel: medium body, sweet with a bitter end, high carbonation

Overall: An enjoyable, fruity IPA. Many layers of citrus flavors make this a pleasure to drink. If it were not for the high ABV, I could have several.

Aug 04, 2014
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SawDog505 from New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip, canned 7/5/14. Pours a reddish orange, with a two inch off white head that leaves plenty of lace.

Smell is very aggressive apricot, tangerine, caramel, hard candy, fresh cut grass, pine, and grapefruit.

The taste follows the nose apricot and caramel start, with cut grass, hard candy, and piney grapefruit deliver in the lingering finish.

Body is large, plenty of carbonation for a beer of this heft, a touch dry, and drinkable for the hop heads of the world.

This a very nice and different DIPA, one that gets more complicated as it gets closer to room temp.

Jul 24, 2014
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cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

2.9/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pour is transparent ruby red with lots of tight tan head. Nose has a light malt presence up front, a hint of malt sweetness, a light dough. Hops are resinous and faint citrus. Nose is not bright. Taste is sweeter and malts and hops make it resiny and sweet. There is fusel alcohol in the finish and the body is syrupy.

May 23, 2014
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Florida9 from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Medium caramel-orange in color. Clear. Forms a large, very stable, off-white head. Moderate lacing.

S: Pleasant aroma. Lightly sweet, slightly spicy, with lots of citrus. Candied citrus rind, orange, and, oddly, a hint of vanilla.

T: The taste is fairly sweet and malt forward. Sweet caramel malts. Again, quite citrus dominant - mostly orange - with some fruity notes. Doughy fruit cake. Some light earthy qualities on the back end.

M: On the fuller side of medium. Moderate bitterness. Medium carbonation. Mild spiciness on the back end.

O: A decent beer. Very "East Coast" style IPA with a more balanced approach to the malts and hops. Sweeter than I typically care for.

Apr 20, 2014
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Resuin from Massachusetts

4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pint can poured into a snifter. This was canned on 03/06/14 so 10 days ago.

Appearance: Pours a deep translucent amber and leaves a finger of slightly off-white head. Carbonation bubbles can be seen floating to the surface, but this is a very dark ipa.

Smell: Big dank, musty, resinous hops. Also caramel, malts, citrus, mango. A nice floral hint behind it all as well. Pleasant, interesting aroma.

Taste: Resin, some pine, mango, malts, caramel, some biscuit; pretty dank. Surprisingly smooth for the ABV.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a medium to thick velvetty feel. Finishes surprisingly smooth.

Overall: Really impressive beer. Very different for an IPA, lots of flavor and a really nice feel to it. A great, big IPA.

Mar 16, 2014
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MarcWP from Arizona

3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Into a Sam Adams glass.

Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange with fluffy beige head that settles to one finger and hangs out for awhile.

Aroma is caramel, orange marmalade, big bread dough, and fruitcake. Smells very malt forward for an IPA.

On the palate you get that malt presence with sweet dough, caramel, and rye bread with the hops taking on more of a side kick role with orange pith, faint pine, and lemon peel. Finishes pretty sweet.

Mouthfeel is pretty spot on.

Overall a very malt forward, "east coast" style IPA. Pretty good but I'd put Dogfish 90 ahead of this.

Jan 28, 2014
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mjstacker from New Hampshire

3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a can dated 12/30/13 (25 days old) into a tulip glass.

Very pretty, darker in color reminds me of a West Coast IPA.

Smell is a bit sweet, not getting any fruit. Sweet in a candy kind of way.

Mouthfeel is fine, good carbonation.

Overall, the local hype around this beer might have made my expectations a little too high. I'm not a huge fan of malty beers and i think this is more malty then hoppy. Still very good overall, just not exactly what I expected.

Jan 24, 2014
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Amgarnier from Maine

3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a: Beautiful thick two finger foam that sticks to the glass as you drink. Very clear amber.

s: Extremely powerful hop aroma. Citrus with hints of pine.

t: Lots and lots of hops, only after the beer warms up you can start tasting some malts. Not much caramel more biscuit notes. Pine taste but it fades to a buttery/diacetyl taste.

m: Very bitter, the big alcohol warms your mouth. Medium to High body with medium to low carbonation.

o: Big beer with lots of flavor. A little too many which takes away from the beer. The flavor is not as clean as I would like. It is an average imperial IPA

Dec 27, 2013
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dasenebler from Maine

2.94/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Marshall Wharf Cant Dog
16oz can, packaged 11/26/13 (?)

Pours a nice deep amber, very good clarity. Nice one-finger head retains beautifully. (4.5)

Aroma is estery, with some fruity hops. Diacetyl lurking in the background. (3)

Flavor has a lot of booze, bitterness, caramel malt and hop resin. Notes of stressed fermentation include: acetaldehyde, mild diacetyl and light mercaptan. It's hoppy but too many flaws cloud the good flavors. Medium carbonation, slick feel. (2, 3.5)

Not very clean, and not a great example of the style, but drinkable if very cold. I've had this stuff in much better shape than this. I probably would have liked it more if I just drank it straight from the can. (3)

Dec 19, 2013
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macrosmatic from Florida

4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to KalH for sending this one down! Reviewed from notes. Poured from 16 oz. can into a Westbrook pint glass.

A: Deep gold, a bit hazy with some floaters in suspension. Two finger's worth of white fluffy head and moderate visible carbonation.

S: Citrus, resin, tropical fruit, and grassy hops, with some bready sweet malt. No caramel character.

T: Big citrus, tropical fruit, resin, grassy and floral hop flavors, all over some toasty biscuit sweet malt. Again, not much if any caramel notes. Moderately bitter with just a bit of malt sweetness in the hang.

M: Medium body, good carbonation sensation, and the hefty ABV is quite well-hidden.

O: This is a really solid DIPA and quite enjoyable. I don't know that it quite makes it to the lofty standards of the best in class. But, especially available in cans, this one would be a solid regular in my fridge if it were available around here.

Jul 02, 2013
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WanderingFool from Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Cant Dog pours a clear amber with a medium size, creamy head. Lots of lace coat the glass.

The aroma is buttery with some orange citrus mixed in. I get a little paint aroma too. Weird.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is very smooth and creamy with light carbonation. The flavor begins with sweet caramel malt, followed by orange citrus, pine and tropical fruit. It finishes moderately bitter and buttery. Once gone the pine and butter lingers on the palate.

The beer tastes good and has a terrific mouthfeel, however the buttery notes are a turn off. Also, I didn't get a bad can. I had the beer on tap recently and got the same flavors. Perhaps it was the same batch of beer.

Jun 30, 2013
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sitarist from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last can into my Coolship glass...

Pours a clear amber, about a finger of eggshell white head, the head falls to a ring & dusting that leaves webs of lacing. (4.25)

Its aromas are complex, yet subdued... Pine resin, caramel, dog shampoo, apricot, rock candy, and herbs. There is a slight off scent that I cant explain. (3.75)

The flavor has a nice balance of herbs, sweet malts, and bitter hoppiness. As I first sip I taste caramel, and apricot which fade to a bitter soapiness, that leads to a long piney, resinous finish. (4.0)

Low carbonation, medium body, it is slightly sticky, with a dry bitter finish, (4.0)

This is one fine IPA. I could only drink one or two in a sitting. It does have a few problems that held its score back: first being the soapy scents, and flavors; 2nd being the lack of carbonation. If not for those two quirks Id score this one much higher. (4.0)

Im guessing it's an IPA that I have never had... The reveal is a Marshall Wharf Cant Dog Imperial Pale Ale. So it is an IPA, not an IPA though? Never heard of it, or them, but Im glad to have enjoyed it.

Thanks Brez07, I love getting to try beers under my radar. This is why I love this BIF; you never know whats next. Could be a whale, could be a diamond in the rough.

Jun 29, 2013
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Ivanhoes_Backpack from Canada

4.91/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This will be #500 (including hads, lame) for me.

Picked up a can of this on a trip to bar harbor, not thinking much about it, only knowing that MW makes pretty good beer. Cracked the can around the campfire in Acadia Nat Park - WHOA! Almost fell in the fire I was so blown away by the taste. I had had Heady Topper a month or so before and this was right on par. I had to go back the next day and buy a 4-pack I was so impressed. Anyway, what follows is a review of the second one, poured into a glass at home, but I'll factor both experiences in.

A - pours a copper amber colour, maybe seems a little on the darker side for a DIPA, but not off by any means. Pours a half finger or so of head, but it sticks around on top, which is really cool.

S - mmm, sweet hops, bright citrussy smells, some malt, and some sweet booze on the back. This might be my favorite part of the beer. I just remember smelling this at the campfire for the first time and then getting excited all of a sudden because I knew good things were to come.

T - lots of hops, a little burn from the 9.7% alcohol, but lots of citrusy fruits, pineapple, lemon, yumm. I think the fresher and the colder the better though, and it was even better out of the can than from the glass. When I first drank this I said aloud that this beer tops Heady (no pun).

M - a good medium body, solid carbonation and the warmth from the booze is actually quite nice.

Overall, I would say this beer's strong suits are its great balance (it is 10% after all) between being high alcohol and having great flavours. If this isn't better than Heady (I'm not saying if it is or isn't) it's probably the second best DIPA I've ever had. Drinking it from the can is key though, which I think is what I'll do with the rest of my pack. And fortunately, I'm only a 4-5 hour drive away from Marshall Wharf, which in Atlantic Canadian terms, is really not that bad.

Edit: I'm going to declare this better than Heady. This also ages much better than Heady.

Jun 20, 2013
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MacQ32 from South Carolina

4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - pours clear copper with 1+ finger of dense tan head. Very good retention, spectacular lacing (possibly the best I've seen)

S - citrusy hops, some pine and a decent malt backbone

T - initially quite bitter with tons of citrusy and resinous flavors, bitterness remains and a bit of an alcohol burn hits afterwards. Quite sweet with a spiced/bitter aftertaste.

M - medium bodied, decent carbonation. Thicker than Pliny probably similar to Heady. Fairly drinkable.

O - pretty hop/citrus forward. A pretty big beer, reminiscent of heady but not quite orgasmic, still delicious for sure!

Jun 11, 2013
Cant Dog Imperial IPA from Marshall Wharf Brewing Company / Three Tides Restaurant
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 261 ratings