Jun 29, 2009

Laughing Dog Dogzilla Black IPA

Upon learning of this relatively new trend in IPA tweaking earlier this year, I’ve kept my eyes open for it in my travels to the beers shops around town. Unfortunately, it’s taken almost six months for me to procure a bottle of the style for sampling. Actually, Laughing Dog’s Dogzilla is a two-for in the sense that I not only get to try this new style, but also get introduced to a new company.

Dogzilla was one of three brews that my local shop had from the brewery, but it was the one that intrigued me the most. I’ve heard mixed opinions on the introduction of dark malts to IPAs the past few months. Some folks seem to hate the style creep, while others are all about innovation. Personally, I’m all for pushing recipes in different directions. Even the smallest of tweaks can make for one hell of a beer.

That said, I have my own mixed reaction to Dogzilla.

Beer Label: Laughing Dog Dogzilla Black IPA


Dogzilla pours a dark, rich chestnut brown with a large light tan head. It’s definitely a dark beer, only allowing a few streaks of light to pass through it around the glass’ edge.


It’s got a pretty decent aromatic hop presence along with some spicy notes. The darker malts are definitely there, adding a rich roast to the nose.


At first, the brew wasn’t nearly as hoppy as the nose alluded to. The darker malts definitely dominated the taste imparting a nice roasted flavor that was rather bold. The hops certainly make their presence known in the dry, slightly biting finish, but they really start to come through overall as the brew warms. There’s a slight bitter finish, but I think it’s more due to the darker malts than the hops.


Dogzilla is an interesting brew. Part of me loved it while another part wasn’t sure of the introduction of the darker malt into an IPA. Now, that could either be attributed to the beer’s recipe or the fact that this was my first black IPA. I can’t really speak too strongly to the style, I suppose, until I try a similar product from another company. Either way, Laughing Dog’s beer, specifically, is a pretty good brew that improves as it warms in the glass. I’d buy this one again when the mood for something different hits.

Rating: 3/5

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