Thursday, September 8, 2011

Beer Review | Laughing Dog: Dogzilla Black IPA

Laughing Dog
: "Dogzilla IPA"


Today I'm reviewing "Laughing Dog Brewery's" DOGZILLA Black IPA.  Two thumps way down on this.

Way to astringent.  It could possibly have been a bad batch. I don't know.  But I don't plan to give them another chance. And if this is any indication of how the rest of their beers are, then I don't plan to try any of their other beers anytime soon.

The website claims: "This is the same brewery that makes the dogfather and alfa dog.  A bid bold IPA that finishes with a dark twist. True to it's IPA roots, Dogzilla has a massive hop presence that is piney and citrusy."

It comes in 22oz bottles, it's 6.9% ABV and retails for around $5.00.

It had a large khaki colored head, even with a light careful pour, a light 2 inch head formed.  It stuck around and was almost the consistency of a meringue.

It's black as night.  There's definitely no light getting through this.

There's not much in the way of a hop aroma, there's just an astringent smell from the dark malts.   It smells like a lot of tannin extraction happened during the brewing process.

The tannin extraction came through in the taste as a really strong astringency. There's a pronounced bitterness that lingers after each sip. This is more of an astringent dark malt bitterness, than a hop bitterness.  There's a light hoppy taste (well, at least to my palette it was light). To an untrained palette, this might be considered a moderately hoppy beer.  It's almost an accidental afterthought rather than intentional hop addition, but even that might be a stretch.  But either way, there's no specific hop flavors or aromas to speak of, just a generic light hoppiness.

Is it Worth the Money?"
This is a 22oz bottle of beer and I paid $4.99 plus tax. Honestly, to put it into perspective, my local brew pub brews a beer nearly identical to this, in flavor and color to this.  I was able to fill a half gallon grower for $9.00.

About 2 years ago, I brewed a beer that taste nearly identical to this. That only cost $10 in ingredients to brew a 5 gallon batch.

Is It Worth The Money":
It's got some flavors but most of them are undesirable flavors.  If you want to try it, then try it, but it probably won't be a beer that you try twice.


Rating:  "C"

When I bought this bottle, I thought it was going to be this massively hopped, dark IPA, which is one my favorite styles of beer.  Unfortunately it turned out to be a rather difficult beer to drink. There was just way to much astringency.  And the fact that it's supposed to be an IPA, really left me disappointed.

Lately, with my experiences drinking IPA's, I've come to realize that some breweries think that if they put ANY hops, at all, in the beer, what-so-ever, that it should be considered an IPA.

When I say that it's hard to drink, I mean that it was really difficult. I've had some less-than-desirable beers before, but those were just a variation on a style that I didn't agree with. But with this beer, the astringent bitterness really made it difficult to swallow... And I mean that literally, not figuratively.

It has this flavor that usually comes during home brewing, when you steep your dark grains to hot... Actually a better descriptor would be... take your dark grains, throw them into a pot, add some water, then boil the heck our of them for abut 15 minutes. Strain the grain, add the liquid to the brew pot.  There's no sugar extraction.  It's just boiled grains.  That's the flavor that I'm getting from this beer.

To top the whole thing off, the lack of hop... well... anything was a big disappointment considering that it was supposed to be an IPA,

But... Drink what you like. Enjoy what you drink.

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