Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sneaky Pete, Laughing Dog Brewing

Imperial IPA by Laughing Dog Brewing (Ponderay, Idaho)

OK, Time to put down "Fifty Shades of Grey" for a moment and get on with a new post. Although it is a riveting up is "Sneaky Pete" an Imperial IPA from Laughing Dog Brewing Company (Ponderay, Idaho).

Another new entrant into an already crowded Minnesota craft beer market. Imported  by (primarily a wine company) and is distributed in the local market by Paustis Wine Company. It's been on the shelves for a couple of months now and is available in 22oz bombers (expect to pay around $8.99) or 4 pack 12oz bottles (rather pricey at around $12.99). I had the 22oz bomber poured into a Granville Island (Vancouver) glass. My bottle was clearly dated 3/5/12. Tasting notes are from 5/8 (usual procrastination on my part). Bottle numbered 6045/2192.

This is a prime example of that old adage - never judge a book by it's cover.

What I thunk:

Well carbonated. Really good looking beer, impressive crisp one finger head. Appealing dark amber colour. Nice hop aroma -piney, floral. Malty back bone, robust - tangey, orangey. Nice lacing on glass. Perhaps a little bit "thin" on the finish but that's a minor complaint.

Impressive. Exceeded my expectations, a very solid double IPA that I would buy again. At the time Avery's "Maharaja" was also available on the shelf at a buck cheaper which makes "Sneaky Pete" a bit of a hard sell. Surprisingly the 4 packs seem to sell well at the rather exorbitant price but I think it's mostly due to the adorable Boston Terrier on the cover (modelled on one of Kysela's owners dogs I was reliably informed). Too bad the beer is not available in "growlers"!

Useless information alert - I was told that the brewer of Laughing Dog was sent a bottle of Bell's Hopslam and asked to replicate it. Sneaky Pete is his response. Would it be dogmatic of me to sugggest he at least achieved the same price-point as Hopslam!!!

"Sneaky Pete" Imperial IPA uses a tremendous amount of simcoe hops and a splash of honey. First released in Spring of 2011. Gets a 99 on and a B+ on Beer Advocate."

Laughing Dog, Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA 24/12ozSneaky Pete is a blend of five hop types: Simcoe, Glacier, Centennial, Vanguard and Hallertauer, with Simcoe playing the dominate role at 30%. In addition, three separate malts were used: Honey Malt, Rye Malt, and Munich Malt. The brew has a copious aroma of white grapefruit, citrus overtones, a complex rich middle and long flavors in the finish; a real beauty. Finished with wild clover honey. 89 IBU’s, 10% ABV.

About the brewery:

  •  Founded August 2005 in Ponderay, "Little City with the big future", Idaho (population 1,137 according to the 2010 Census). Ponderay is located in the heart of the Selkirk mountains just outside of Sandpoint.
  •  A yellow lab (Ben) appears on all the brewery's logos - he's the family dog and is almost 7 years old
  •  Other owners are Michelle Douglass ad Fred Colby (co-founder and brewmaster)
  •  Has brewed over 15 distinct beers including 7 that are ranked in the 90th percantile in either overall or style category on beer rating sites Beer Advocate and
  •  Current capacity is 4,500 barrels per year
  •  Motto is "Fetchingly Good Beer"
  •  Year round beers are : Cream Ale/Alpha Dog IPA/CSB ESB/Dogzilla Black IPA/IPA/Pale Ae
  •  Seasonals - Cold nose winter Ale/Huckleberry Cream Ale
  •  Reserve Series - Devil Dog Imperial IPA/Dogfather Imperial Stout
1109 Fontaine Drive
Ponderay, ID 83852
'PH: 208-263-9222

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