Play Dead IPA
Yellow Dog Brewing

Play Dead IPAPlay Dead IPA
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American IPA
Ranked #475
Ranked #5,245
4.11 | pDev: 8.03%
Yellow Dog Brewing
British Columbia, Canada
Play Dead IPAPlay Dead IPA
Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 89 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of altstadt
2.36/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear dark orange-tan color. Formed a thick head of small bubbles that was refreshed from below by a steady stream of small bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Left a heavy lacing up the side of the glass after the head subsided a bit.

Has a bit of a vegetable-grassy scent with some light barnyard overlaid. Swirling the glass kicked up a lot more barnyard.

Strong hop and corresponding strong bitters over a toasty malt. The barnyard flavor kicks in about half way through. Aftertaste is a mix of the bitters as the barnyard fades away.

Slowly builds to a mouth filling foam that turns into large bubbles. Medium body. There is a bit of a burn to follow the aftertaste.

Yet another previously excellent beer that has been ruined by the barnyard plague. My notes from 1.5 years ago describe hop florals and caramel malts for a good back to basic IPA. No mention of the barnyard. It has lost 1.5 points in my rating from that time.

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Photo of ChristinaCrafty
3.59/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Love the taste and I've always liked the company's products. Mine has a lot (a lot, lot of sediment) not sure if it's just a bum batch but it was disconcerting to read its supposed to be crystal clear. Just wary to drink if this batch wasn't filtered properly

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Photo of gopens44
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear and a pleasant orange color under about an inch of beige head and thorough lacing. Nose is equal parts pine and honey until the pine morphs into dandelion and the honey becomes more of a biscuity thing. Taste has just barely a bit of tart as an earthy bitterness takes hold. Tailing off is the earthy as a little pine and olive sweep in as it finishes very wet with little aftertaste.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.84/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful classic crisp clear amber body with a nice white head sitting atop. Solid lacing.

Nose leans more heavily into the malts with some sweeter character accompanying and a little bit of an estery character.

Flavour is a nice balance of big bitter piney hops and sweeter malts.

Good linger to the hops with a good clean body and fine pricks of carbonation.

This is a nice classic WCIPA which is exactly what I was looking for when I picked it up.

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Photo of bilbobrewer
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

4 x 16oz cans, $13. Canned on Fed 06/18.
Pours clear apricot. Modest foamy head.

Aroma is bready.
Taste is piney and grapefruit, not very complex, a slight oiliness in the backwash, slight resiny aftertaste. Clean, relatively dry finish.
No info. available on hop recipe...and the co. website is very primitive. Canada,eh!
Glass lacing is impressive.
Easy to drink, no astringency or booziness.
Good beer? Sure. Good value for money? No.
Locally, Driftwood's Fat Tug is better beer for pretty much the same price (retail, per oz).

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Photo of DonRevy
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from can into 16oz chalice.

L: Golden honey, amber in appearance. One finger, luscious white head.

S: Definite grapefruit, and other tropical fruit aroma. Hovering over the glass brings out pine and grassiness from hops. Something darker as well, perhaps a roasted malt?

T: Pine and grapefruit hop taste are at the core of this IPA. Further tropical fruit and malt flavours follow through in the finish.

F: Bitterness comes through in the finish but is balanced nicely with the sweetness of the fruit and boldness of the malt.

O: Very enjoyable IPA from YDB. Being a west coast Canadian I do take some pride from this one. Balance of hops. tropical fruit, and malt make this very palatable and not overwhelmingly hop forward like some coastal inspired ales. Thanks Yellow Dog!

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Photo of csmrx7
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very enjoyable IPA.

Pours a clear deep golden near light Auburn with a thick creamy coloured head. Darker than most IPAs.

Nose is tropical fruit, pine resin,subtle caramel and some slight earthyness.

Taste is more pine.forward than the nose but not overwhelming. A nice sweet malt backbone and smooth yet dry finish.

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Photo of byronic
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clean clear gold with a two finger fluffy cloud, passes quite quickly but does leave some decent lacing.

Lots of pine and some tropical notes on the nose. A nice caramel like sweetness from the malt that tries it's best to balance the pine which still allows for a fresh and crisp bitterness. Well carbonated with a dry finish.

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Photo of leaddog
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a medium amber with three fingers of creamy off-white head.

Smell - Citrus and piney hops, grapefruit peel, pine resin, bready caramel malts, tropical fruit (mango and pineapple).

Taste - Predominantly tasting the piney hops, though citrus flavour from hops is there too. Lots of grapefruit peel and pine resin. Nice support from the caramel malts.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes sticky on the palate with lingering hop bitterness and malt sweetness.

Overall - A well-crafted IPA that displays both the hop and malt flavours. Great warm appearance with good head retention. Very easy to drink with potential to be sessionable.

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Photo of Bunman3
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Oh me oh my. I've been looking and waiting to find this treat, and it was definitely worth the wait. It is lightly in colour, but heavy in flavor. The layers of resin, tropical fruit wind around a delicious malt base. The carbonation is barely palpable, but definitely adequate. Play dead? Good boy!

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Photo of biboergosum
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

473ml can, @ 6.8% ABV - while not a dog lover, per se, I do appreciate this brewery's attachment to man's so-called 'best friend'. Oh, and IPAs, yes, IPAs.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium copper amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat chunky ecru head, which leaves some sudsy exploding (is there any other kind - ed.) fireworks lace around the glass as things quickly dissolve.

It smells of sort of dank pine resin, muddled tropical fruity notes, some prominent hard water flintiness, a gritty and grainy caramel malt backbone, and further leafy, earthy, and certainly perfumed floral green hop bitters. The taste is some rather edgy piney and leafy green hoppiness up front, crackery and grainy pale malt, a lessened caramel sweetness, still hard to ignore stone paths after the recent cold-ass autumn rain, more focused citrus rind fruitiness, and some not so subtle metallic booziness.

The bubbles are adequate for the job at hand, via their sturdy frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight, and smooth by the same skewed metric - y'know, good if you only care about the hops, and not so much if you're expecting more. It finishes trending dry, the dank, piney, and herbal/floral thing really pushing the agenda.

Overall, on a day where 'treats' are the very word, this IPA comes off as Daddy's little version of all those rockets, chocolates, and caramel whatsamathingies that I've had to hand out, and verily preserve from my toddlers' own stash this evening. Yeah - something to lust after, and with a word to the wise - don't consume it all at once, or - ah fuck it - do as I say, and not as I do!

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Photo of wordemupg
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Biercraft in Vancouver 4/8/16
Clear golden liquid, top filled pint still manages to leave lace deep down the glass. Lots of mangoes, peachy, tangerine, grapefruit, spruce, and caramel round things out, everything’s strong, it has some intensity. Medium weight, fluffs up nicely, has a big bitter bite but remains drinkable, finishes like you’re chewing on a pine needle. Top notch IPA at every point, I couldn’t help myself and had several pints. Up there with the best IPA’s I’ve had from Canada, worth seeking out….

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Photo of MaltyPythonsHopCircus
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Up there with the best IPAs in Canada. Lots of citrus and floral notes on the nose. Semi assertive bitterness. Citrusy flavour with balanced malt sweetness. Quite sessionable for a 7% IPA

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Photo of Ghrymm
4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 473ml can into my IPA glass.
A: Pours a very clear golden amber thin skim of white head with some clinging lacing.
S: Nose is hops and some tropical fruits with a whiff of pine.
T: Very crisp clean bitter hops with a citrus hit.
F: Very fine carbonation it's nice a dry .
O: I really nice IPA super easy drinking.I was surprised for sure on this one.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kump for the extra can!

Pours a crystal clear golden Amber color with 2 fingers of creamy white head with decent retention and nice lacing. The nose is nice citrus, some spice and a hint of biscuits. The taste is sweet citrus at first followed with some nice malts and finishes with some nice dry bittering hops with lots of grapefruit at the end. Nice clean, smooth body with nice carbonation. A really nice IPA.

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Photo of papat444
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Derek for this one.

Pours from a can a nice orange haze with a full head and spotted lacing. Juicy peaches in the flavor and full luscious fruit.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can: Poured an amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops with some bitter notes. Taste is a mix between fresh green citrusy notes and a fair bit of bitterness with light biscuit malt notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Enjoyable but more bitterness then I usually liked in my IPAs.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.11/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very nice nose, bright citrus fruits jump out, a bit of tropical as well. Seems to be a caramel note. Flavour is also good, but a slight step down. Orange, pine and a substantial caramel backing. Fairly bitter finish. Quite a nice IPA.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got on trade! Served at 4deg C in a draught glass. 473ml can.

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high white head that is gone in a minute but it has this wonderful golden orange hue to it that is just fantastic. Filtered but not clear.

S- Good hops here. Orange, coriander and a wonderful malt base

T- Grapefruit and citrus notes galore. Super tasty. Has a plump with acid feel from the hops which I do like if it's done right and this one is done right. The blend as a bitter note at the end that with the choice of powerhouse hops used is expected. Very nice blend

M- Tart to say the least. Has a bite to it that is a bit interesting as it moves from tangy to bitter.

O- Very likable brew. I do enjoy the plump fruitiness of the blend. I think I would take this one over 95% of the IPA's out there. I wish distribution nationally was available but unfortunately it is not. If I were to travel to BC first thing I would do would be to buy case of these beauties!

Food Pairing

This wonderful little brew went very well with.......... Believe it or not..... Pickled fish! Nice herring in a vinegar and onion brine. I like this contrast and it is a "Here comes a POW!" contrast as the mouth explodes in saliva and flavor such a treat


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Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Play Dead looks very much alive - fiery amber highlights radiate from its otherwise deep complexion and bubbles flutter continuously. Even its foam has a life of its own - constantly regenerating itself and able to ascend up the glass even as the liquid beneath it depletes. It's a very solid looking IPA.

Hops are in no short supply here. The aroma is wholly enveloped in scents of leafy greens and overripe fruits (we're talking a summer's crop worth of cantaloupe and just about any variety of citrus that comes to mind). It's a plump, concentrated, undiluted showcase of hops at their finest and most stinging.

Although fairly stock by the smell of things, Play Dead is a somewhat distinctive IPA in taste; it's not just the customary pine or citrus flavours. No, this also has slightly offbeat notes of sauteed greens (think spinach) and a manifestly herbal quality that carries long into the finish like bitter medicine. The 6.8% alcohol is a little noticeable too. The 75 IBU not so much.

I anticipated from both the appearance and aroma a much greater presence of malt; there is a trace of caramel but there's certainly no crunch. I've got to assume the recipe allocated for a little more toasty toffee flavour than this; more of those dark honey notes would accentuate the forest-y resins.

If you ask me, IPAs are a man's best friends - for most craft beer drinkers hops elicit a kind of Pavlov's dogs effect. Though not over-the-top hoppy, Play Dead makes great companionship for those that prefer a more balanced example of the style for everyday drinking. It was a treat.

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Photo of Hoptoria
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a tulip
A- Pours gold, with slowly receding white head.
S- Normal IPA bouquet of citrus and pine, with hints of some mango or apricot when it warms.
T- Does a girl know how an IPA is supposed to taste? Tropical fruit is the outstanding element of this brew.
M- Creamy, smooth, medium carb. Absolutely poundable.
O- One of the best IPAs available in BC on the regular. Tall can format for the win.

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Photo of hotmailmsn
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

7% ABV, 75ibu, on tap.
A - clear light orange with half finger white head.
S - citrus, biscuit, honey sweetness.
T - light body, very interesting malt characters, not overpowering hoppy. not piney.
O - very drinkable IPA, light n dry. in which one of my frd is not a fan of IPA like it as well, but for hop head, I would say rather light. will buy it or have it again!

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Photo of LampertLand
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellow Dog Brewing 'Play Dead IPA' @ 6.8% , served from a 4pack of 473 ml cans purchased for $14
A-pour is gold from the can to a clear gold in the glass with a medium size white head leaving a streaky lace along the pint
S-floral & citrus
T-ok tasting , was expecting a wow factor , from what I've read & heard
MF-ok carbonation , big medium body
Ov-just an ok beer , possible good PNW IPA , ...time will tell
prost LampertLand

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Alibi Room, Vancouver.
Rusty gold with white crust that speckles. 3.75
Passionfruit and caramel on the nose. 4
Toffee thread, big papaya, pine, floral, and catty hops. 4
Kumquat finish and clean linger.
Crisp, lt-med, oily. 4

Balanced and lean. The Simcoe is deft; more credit to Yellow Dog. Fruity, a bit light, but way drinkable. 4

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Photo of souvenirs
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Re-review Jan 13, 2017

I'm used to only seeing this in the private stores, so I eagerly picked some up when I saw it at the BCL today on Commercial Drive. Poured from a 473 ml can.

A: Crystal-clear amber/copper with off-white head
S: tropical fruit - mango, melon, maybe canned peaches too. Not as much citrus as most of the IPAs I've had.
T: Lots of fruit flavour, bitterness maybe not as pronounced?
F: Medium body or a little less.

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Play Dead IPA from Yellow Dog Brewing
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 89 ratings