You might remember when I announced that Laughing Dog had made it’s way all the way from Idaho to South Florida not to long ago. This had me excited as I have a good number of things about these folks. I even had the chance to meet a couple guys from the brewery at my friend’s hotel in Colorado during GABF. Super nice guys.
So here we are with DogZilla Black IPA as the beer of tasting. This is actually the first “black IPA” I have seen actually classified as Black IPA on the site I use for the classifications of my reviews. I get to make a new category for this one then.
It pours into my pint glass a surprisingly clear brown color. It develops a quite large sandy colored head and has great lacing on the glass as the suds fall back into the beer.
The smell is very bready with some toasty malt characteristics. I get some hints of black licorice mixed in there as well. And there is a subtle earthy hop aroma as well.
The first sip is quite bitter. An assault of earthy hops has back up from more toasted dark malts. I can get some hints of citrus in there but they are faint. Other than that I am just bombarded with the hop bitterness.
So for my first official Laughing Dog review (I’ve had the Dogfather and the barrel aged Dogfather before) I’m sort of teeter tottering on what to think of it. I like the Black IPA style but the earthy bitterness felt a bit overwhelming. It wasn’t enough to make me stop drinking it and it was not repulsive in any stretch of the imagination. It was just a bit much. Some more presence of citrus like hop flavors probably would have evened it out and made it more pleasant. I guess I would it is slightly better than average. But I look forward to trying more from these guys very soon.
Grade – C+