Review: Big Dog’s Dirty Dog IPA

Review of Big Dog’s Dirty Dog IPA from Big Dog’s Brewing Co. in Las Vegas, NV.

Beer Type: India Pale Ale (IPA)  ABV: 7.1%  Tried on draught.

Their Description: “Dirty Dog IPA is a delicious west coast-style IPA, bursting with Northwest hop flavor and aroma. With just a hint of toasty malt in the finish, you’re sure to be reaching for another sip of this very tasty American IPA.”

The Reality: This beer has a nice head, and a scent that conjures thoughts of fresh grass with mild hop notes. The flavor has an interesting blend of hops that provide the taste of bitter apricot, subtle pine and even floral honey, which might come from the “hint of toasted malt” that they mention. It is smooth and fuller-bodied than I expected, with a fairly bitter hop aftertaste that fades quickly.

Final Verdict: In a world overrun with IPAs it can be tough to weed through the staggering amount of selections, but if you end up choosing this IPA, you will have made a solid choice. It has enough complexity and balance to keep most IPA lovers happy, and it’s interesting enough to not get lost in the background noise of IPA-dom. Is it the best IPA I’ve ever had? No. Is it a well-crafted quality IPA that you’ll probably be glad you ordered? Yes. As for the name, “Dirty Dog” may not sound that appetizing, but just remember that when you clean a dog it gets wet, and I’d rather drink a Dirty Dog IPA than a Wet Dog Skunked Pilsner.