Beer Profile: Laughing Dog’s Alpha Dog Imperial IPA

Profiled for by Ken Carman

Did we get a bad bottle? Perhaps.

Clarity good, urine color, big foamy head that lasts, some orange and tangerine in taste. Spicy hops with a hint of grapefruit. Taste is pepper dominant: this seems more than hops, more phenolic. The longer I drink it the more pepper in taste, mouthfeel, nose: nothing else. Hard to even tell the body, though I’m guessing it’s light side of medium.

Imperial? Eh, not so much, but if pepper were less maybe I could get a better sense. Visual is best part of presentation.

Millie and I thought, ”Maybe we’re just getting burned out.” We’d had a couple that night. So we saved what was left in the bottle: more than half, put it in the fridge and reopened the Grolsch we put it in 3 days later. Wrong. It was so pepper we tossed out what was left.

How does one get into mouthfeel or taste when all you’re getting is pepper? That first fruit sense gives me an indication there’s more here than met the palate this one time. Yet I would have the same comments as I had with this breweries Anubi… Imperial? Eh, not so much from what I could sense. If the hoppy part of the extra hops you get in an Imperial were pepper, well maybe they should have had a more complex hop bill.

I suspect not. Probably infected. But I’ve been disappointed twice by the same brewery.

85 at BA, this too had mostly threes but a few super high scores. In fact, here’s a brief quote from one…

“I won’t take it as general to this beer, and probably you that are reading this don’t have too…
But my first bottle was in some way contaminated… It smells like horse’s shit and the taste goes the same way…”

A 95 at Rate Beer? Almost all 3 point somethings with one 2: who also thought there was something wrong with his bottle. But a few super high scores. Anyone else see a pattern here?

I think, with this one, I’ll give it a break. I think they DO have a contamination problem, but I won’t buy another: especially since this it looks like this is the second time it looks like some folks wanting a higher score may have hacked BA and RB. But I’ll give it a 2 just in case I’m wrong and in case we got a bad bottle.

But if this normal then one almost be more than it deserved.


Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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