It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a beer that I would consider a true hop explosion, which is how we usually roll here in the northwest. Today I decided to take my 50 beer challenge to the state of Idaho to try Laughing Dog Brewing’s Alpha Dog Imperial IPA to see if it stacked up to other Northwest hop bombs.
First of all, Alpha Dog is definitely not for the faint of heart as it boasts 127 IBU’s, which means this big dog is one hoppy and bitter beast. Laughing Dog Brewing is just over 5 years old and this was the first of their beers I’ve tried, so I was definitely excited to see how they stacked up.
Alpha Dog poured a fairly clear but hazy light copper/amber color with some slight carbonation bubbles trickling to the top. There was some huge off white head that had some pretty decent retention and lacing. It had a great welcoming look to it.
As soon as I cracked open the bottle a burst of hops quickly filled the air which got me in the mood for a hefty beer. I was pretty impressed with the balanced aroma though as the hops were pretty strong, but the malt and yeast have their place. Weaved into the piney hop smell was some citrus and spices.
The flavor however was a bit of a let down to me. With 127 IBU’s I guess I was expecting a little more from the hops, but they were mellowed out quite a bit from the malt presence for an imperial IPA. Don’t get me wrong, this is a bitter beer with quite a lot of flavor and packs a bit of a punch.
It has a pretty big sweet citrus flavor upfront which gives way to a grapefruit and bitter pine taste that leaves my mouth feeling a bit oily. The aftertaste is very odd and makes me feel like I just chugged a bottle of burnt Pine Sol.
While I appreciate the look and smell of this beer, the taste disappointed me quite a bit and 1 glass was enough for me. I’m sure other hop heads might appreciate this a bit more than me, but I’m not a huge fan, especially with some of the other great Imperial IPA’s created on the west coast.
My Laughing Dog Brewing Alpha Dog Review: C+
Here are the details:
Style: Imperial IPA
What’s your thoughts on Laughing Dog Brewing Alpha Dog Imperial IPA?