Dr. Tongue | Bootlegger's Brewery

64 Ratings
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Dr. TongueDr. Tongue

Brewed by:
Bootlegger's Brewery
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jerz on 04-25-2010

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 64
Photo of pkalix
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

dark amber colored, tan foam on top. one finger, settles to a 1/4.... nice sticky lacing on the side. hops dominate the aroma, with some malt on the side. this is a typical 'red', no?
malt up front, but quickly gives way to bitter hop flavor. some earthiness at the end and a little lingering sweetness. I think the sweetness is more of an absence of the previous bitterness that was on the tongue. I got a little chocolate in there, also; am I the only one who got this out of it? never mind, it passed....
overall, it's alllrighttt... nothing special, but decent enough to drink. like someone else mentioned, the price point doesn't make this a satisfying experience. it's average, but the price is above average, evenm 5 miles south of the brewery where shipping shouldn't be an issue in the escalation of price. but oh well. it's still drinkable.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

7.7% ABV confirmed. 650ml brown glass bottle with standard branded black pressure cap acquired at a local SoCal beer store for $5.00 USD and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery - which has both surprised me and underwhelmed me in the past.

I'm reviewing this as an imperial amber.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 5 finger beige-khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and good (~6+ minute) retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a dark amber. Nontransparent but translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Light even lacing as the head slowly recedes. Pretty standard for the style, if a bit dark. No overt flaws.

Sm: Floral hops, caramel, toffee, and a bit of roast. A strange build, but I always applaud boldness and experimentation. This just doesn't seem all that promising. A biteen earthy. Slightly herbal. A strange aroma of mild strength. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Pleasant roast and toffee alongside fairly pedestrian floral hop notes. Some caramel and toffee make things a bit more interesting, but it's still straightforward and simple - though I wouldn't call it bland or boring. Amber malts. A bit bready. Well put together for what it is, if you accept its simplicity. Balanced and enjoyable. I do like it. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A touch undercarbonated, which I kind of like. Decent presence on the palate. Low depth of flavour. Decent body. Good thickness.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. It's pleasant to drink. I wouldn't get it again at this price point, but it's not bad for what it is. A largely forgettable offering from Bootlegger's. Still, it's worth trying if you're huge on imperial reds. I'd take Alesmith's My Bloody Valentine over this in a heartbeat, but it's not a bad offering. Hides its ABV impressively well. I could down more than a pint of this in the same night - and that's saying something.

High C+

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Photo of mactrail
3.39/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a deep red, coppery, amber in the Ommegang chalice. It just tastes like a Red/Amber Ale that has been amped up a little in alcohol. I can't see anything different from a typical Red, so call it a Double.

A nice foamy cap on the stuff, and it's hoppy and plenty earthy. The resiny hop fragrance is rather nice. Flavors of pine and juniper with an herbal note. The bitterness is way more than ample. It starts to get medicinal, like aspirins chewed with sweet vermouth.

If you set the glass aside for a while, and then pour another dose, the hops again seem rich and it's good for a gulp. But it's not much for sipping away. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Liticker's Liquor & Deli in Ocean Beach.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a murky dark orange with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus zest and some dank herbal hop and alcohol aromas. Taste is the same with some slight vegetal flavors. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is very hop forward.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

The Bruery Provisions
Orange, CA

Dark amber with light ruby throughout and a thin light khaki colored head.

The best aspect of this beer is it's aroma, with a nice combination of caramel and toffee sweetness with piney, citrus hop character. Very nice.

The flavor is muddied, and picking out individual aspects is difficult. There's a lot of simple bread character, caramel, and some piney hop flavor, but it's all incredibly muddled--doesn't come together well at all.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

A muddied, though flavorful big amber ale.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


On tap at Bootlegger's.

A: Dark brown with a reddish tinge. The lighting is bad where I'm standing.

S: Aromatic pine and grapefruit rind blend with bread, biscuit, and a little caramel.

T: Bready malt with a firm and aggressive bitterness. Hops are reminiscent of pine and grapefruit. There's a touch of caramel as well. Finishes bitter and dry with lingering citrus pith.

M: Medium in body with upper medium carbonation.

Overall: A solid hoppy American Strong, though the citrus rind leads to palate burnout. Forgettable.

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Photo of snpub540
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Hollingshead's. Poured a nice dark copper hue with a small tan head sitting on top. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smells of caramel and a little bready with a hint of toast and then a citrus and pine hop aroma.

Flavors were a little toasty malt and bitter. Pine and resiny hops were the most of the hop flavors. Was labeled an IPA at the bar and for the most part it was in that range.

Mouthfeel was crisp and dry. Slightly thin at times but a pretty good beer. I enjoyed it and I'll probably order iit again if I see it.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port San Clemente. Poured into a shaker pint.

Pours a dark amber color. Semi clear. Thin off white head. Ok lacing.

Aroma is sort of amber beer with a nice hop aroma. But it's not enough hop aroma for what it's trying to be.

Taste is hoppy but without enough malt to back it up. Very bitter on your tongue in the finish.

Mouthfeel is super dry. A little too dry.

Overall an ok beer. Don't know if I would get it again but it's god to try.

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Photo of beagle75
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft service into a half-pint goblet at Whole Foods in Tustin.

A: Clear, dark amber color with one finger of cinnamon-tinted foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Caramel and toffee marry well with resinous dark citrus and piney hops to make for a smell that is initially very enticing. As the beer warms it presents some astringent but fruity esters.

T: Begins off-dry, with thin toffee and hop aromatics that are piney as well as earthy. Early flavors do not measure up to the intensity of the smell. Estery fruit is detectable in the middle as malt takes on an unfortunate scorched quality. Bitterness is moderate to heavy in the finish, retaining some of the aromatic hop qualities without as much of the scorched grain.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, more watery than sticky on the palate but with a quality of smoothness that is attractive, and with low carbonation.

D: This beer comes across as an imperial red ale with West Coast hop character and some unfinished business with the mash tun it emerged from. Balance is present, but both sides of the scale--the yin and the yang--are under-represented. That said, the malt suffers more here than the hops.

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Photo of Wowcoolman
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful reddish-brown color. Great nose of citrussy hops and malt. The taste is very intense, with enough malt to give the hops some balance. Very bitter finish. The category listing on BA is inaccurate. The rep described Dr Tongue as an Indian BROWN Ale and with the intensity of the hops you wouldn't notice it's brownness unless you were really paying attention. Overall not bad if you like your hops amped up, but if Knuckle Sandwich is around you'll want to head straight for that.

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Photo of LBBeer
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Factory Gastrobar in Long Beach, CA.

A-very unique coppery-brown color, with a thin light brown head.

S-Nice green nose, a little roasty malt.

T-opens with a nice sweet and roasty malt profile, followed by a dry bitter hoppiness.

M-Very hearty on the pallette. Malt and hops going at it.

D-Almost a pallette wrecker due to complexity.

Overall this is another great unique offering from Aaron at Bootleggers.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Bootlegger's

A: The beer pours an opaque brown-amber color with a couple fingers of off-white head and some mild lacing.

S: A nice hoppy nose on this one with plenty of grapefruit and tangerine aroma. Quite a lot of resinous pine here too. The malt is there and is nicely toasty with a bit of a roasted malt smell.

T: Unfortunately, the hop flavors aren't quite there. The beer is strong on the bittering hops, but the citrus and fruit qualities don't translate to the palate. A bit of grapefruit flavor and some grass is about it. A nice roasted quality that makes this sort of like a black IPA (whatever you call it).

M: The body is medium with a lively carbonation and a bitter finish.

D: I wish this one had some more hop flavor to it. Hopefully this one gets brewed again soon and there's a bit of tweaking to the hop schedule.

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Photo of vince4953529
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler; this drinks more similar to an American IPA than the Strong Ale listed here. I loved the strong dry-hopped taste, balanced with a very minimal malt akin to a brown ale.

I was able to finish the growler in a short time, even for 7.7% it's extremely drinkable due to the dry finish.

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Photo of imagese
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ the Factory during Pints for Pits

A- murky amber with a finger head that leaves great lacing

S- heavy pine hops with a nice roasted malt

T- hops, hops, and hops! There is enough biscuity malt sweetness to somewhat balance, but it's still very bitter.

M- medium bodied with good carbonation. The dry hopping really leaves a heavy bitterness in your mouth

D- overall quite nice. Would prefer a little more balance to the massive hop assault, but still easy to drink

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.78/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

After going all sweet with the spring ale, I went all bitter with Dr. Tongue. On-tap at the source, on to the beer:

Burnt orange is the color, topped off by a good retaining head that leaves some lacing. Some citrus and tangerine peel in an otherwise aroma, a sign of what to expect in the taste. Not quite....it's hoppy alright, yet something is missing from the whole. I can't find the malt as it is smuthered by very bitter hops, pine, and bitter citrus. Very clean as well. Even the body seems light for a 7.7% ABV beer. All told, the alcohol is masked well.

Not what I was expecting. Dr. Tongue advertised "dark, clean, hoppy, bitter", and the terms clean and bitter were extremely emphasized in this. Those fond of extremely unbalanced, hop forward beer may prefer this, but not I.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beachwood got a keg, so on-tap there,

A: Pours a dark amber to brown with a solid white head, nice lace, translucent.

S: Definitely has a major malt component, almond brittle/toffee, with a good hop balance (standard citrus, pine).

T: Fairly malt forward, biscuity English style malt. Light hop flavour, some pine/wood, grassy at times. But in the end the flavour is quite light for a strong ale, not explosive, a good flavour, nothing wowing.

M: Medium-bodied, smooth, soft carbonation, easy drinking.

D: Nothing too crazy here, an adequate effort from Bootlegger's, but when I see strong ale, I want' something strong, really reminded me of a hopped up ESB to be honest.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

258th review on BA
Draft to mason jar pint

App- A very dark amber with some highlights that was almost a light brown in color. A nicely poured 2 finger head that dissipated rather quickly.

Smell- As I take some whiffs of this I am hit with some hops and then I get some soft toffee mixed with some soft candied sugariness.

Taste- I was quite surprised to see this on tap and I had to jump on it. I am hit with some outstanding palatable dry hops with a toffee creaminess with maybe if I am not mistaken a caramel touch as well.

Mouth- This was a nice medium bodied beer with a reaching to say high carbonation. It was very crisp and clean. I was surprised this was a American Strong Ale. Would say as Vacax did I was surprised this was not an IPA of some kind.

Drink- All in all very tasty brew here. I was told this was a 2nd anniversary beer and it was a damn good one. Not as much of a punch in the palate as some other strong ales but this was more than good.

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Photo of vacax
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch two, February 2011 release. 7.7% ABV.

Pours translucent brown with a tall dense cap of foam. Lots of retention and thick layers of lace stick to my glass. Beautiful head. Aroma is a punch of hops--mandarin orange, geranium flowers, and pine with only a hint of marzipan sweetness despite the brown color. The taste follows the nose with enormous and crystal clear hop notes echoing those same citrus and floral elements. Full palate thrashing bitterness. Dry, hoppy finish with a touch of piloncillo (unprocessed sugar) being the only reminder of balance in this beer.

This strong ale could easily be called an IPA of some kind, and if you have had Knuckle Sandwich or SoCo IPA you know that Bootlegger's makes some fantastic IPAs. Delicious beer. Body has moderate viscosity and high carbonation which complements the dry bitter finish and lets the hops shine through. Quite drinkable for sure, no second thoughts about grabbing a growler of this brew and enjoying a few pints at home.

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Dr. Tongue from Bootlegger's Brewery
3.73 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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