Laughing Dog Rocket Dog Rye IPA, Part II: The Reawakening

May 1, 2012

The Old Nasty Rocket Dog Rye IPA BOO! HISS!

I recently reviewed Laughing Dog’s Rocket Dog Rye IPA,and told all of you how disappointing it was.  This was quite a let down for me as I am usually impressed with Laughing Dog’s brews, and am especially happy with their IPAs. In fact, I was so unhappy with the beer that I said in my review that it may have been a bad bottle, either old or improperly stored or both. Someone commented that he had recently tried the Rocket Dog and loved it, but that his bottle had  a different label, lending some credence to my suspicion that I had the misfortune to get a bad bottle.

The New and Improved Rocket Dog Rye IPA!

I was in Whole Foods recently and came across a bottle of Rocket Dog with an entirely different label than the one I had, so I gave it a go. Now this is more like it. It had the same rye and hops aroma as the first bottle had, but this time the flavor was fantastic, with some mango, pineapple and other tropical fruit flavors and some caramel from the malt, and a nice dry finish. I could have used some more rye upfront in the flavor, but that is a minor quibble. All is forgiven, Laughing Dog, you are back in my good graces, 7/10.

LINSANITY!: Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA

February 22, 2012

Have you all heard about this Jeremy Lin? Asian guy, plays hoops, went to Harvard, bounced around a few NBA teams, and finally got a chance to play with the Knicks, where he absolutely explodes and becomes the biggest basketball story of the year, if not the biggest sports story overall. It as if the guy came from nowhere, and is now just short of being a legend. Put it this way: Spike Lee has taken to wearing a Jeremy Lin jersey at Knicks’ games, but not a Knicks’ jersey. Spike is wearing a Harvard jersey.

LINSANITY!* has nothing to do with this excellent beer from Sierra Nevada. There is no Asian-Harvard-NYC connection that I can see.  It is not as if this being an outstanding beer is a “Who expected this?!?!” story like the LINSANITY! legend. We are talking about Sierra Nevada, after all. It would be a big story if this beer was lousy. Sierra Nevada making a great beer falls in the Dog Bites Man category. Nothing to see here, just move along.

However, beer is far too important to just move along without taking a look at we have in front of us. The Ruthless Rye IPA is a fruity IPA, with the rye giving it a bready maltiness. This tastes like biting into a sandwich made from an unpeeled orange, fresh and juicy, with some bitterness from the peel, some sweetness from the juice, and the rye bread giving it a touch of peppery spiciness. That sandwich sounds nasty, but this beer is outstanding, 9/10.

*All references to Jeremy Lin and LINSANITY! constitute shameless google search whoring on my part. I am just trying to drive up traffic to the blog. While I am at it: “Jeremy Lin Porn SEX Asian boobies ” That is probably worth a hundred hits a day.

UPDATE: It is disturbing how many people have found this post by googling “Jeremy Lin Porn”.

Laughing Dog: Rocket Dog Rye IPA and Devil Dog Imperial IPA

February 5, 2012

Time for a couple of IPAs from the usually excellent Laughing Dog Brewery out of Idaho: First up is the Rocket Dog Rye IPA. This looked beautiful in the glass, with a robust color and head like a lemon meringue pie from the the Tick Tock Diner. The aroma was great too, with lots of hops and rye wafting through the room. Sadly, my excitement was tempered by my first sip. It had a strange oily consistency and an off-putting metallic aftertaste. I finished the bottle, hoping against hope it would improve as it breathed, but it was not to be. I suspect this may have been a bad bottle, so I may give this another shot in the future, 4/10.

The Devil Dog Imperial IPA, on the other hand, is what I have come to expect from Laughing Dog. It pours a cloudy golden orange, with a big head that settled down some, but with enough tight lacing on the side of the glass to keep it going. The hops were zesty orange and lemony, with some faint coriander in the background. The malty sweetness balanced the whopping 10% ABV. I enjoyed this immensely, 8/10.

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