The Dogfather - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
The DogfatherThe Dogfather

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BA SCORE
86
very good

236 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 236
Hads: 542
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 9.4%
Wants: 42
Gots: 80 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing visit their website
Idaho, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 11-07-2008

The Dogfather is one of the biggest brews we have made. Weighing in at a hefty 11% percent, the Dogfather has 7 malts and 4 different hops giving it a complex flavor profile.

71 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 236 | Hads: 542
Photo of arizcards
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at TW Arrowhead the first of May for $6.99. Received at TW on 2/21/2014 so guessing the bottling date is November 2013.

Beer poured black with a beautiful tan head that has some decent longevity.

Nose is mocha and chocolate, quite nice.

Taste is mocha and a mild roasted malt balanced nicely by a decent amount of hops. Alcohol is well hidden despite being 10.85 abv. Catching a kiss of bourbon in the lingering after taste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a pretty nice beer that has aged well on the shelves of TW. Worth a shot if you come across it. (610 characters)

Photo of DCP
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I bought a 22 of this at the Boise CO-OP.
Damn, this is intense.
Boozy to the core, so you got to be into that.
It's dominated by darkness, the 71 IBUs struggle to keep up.
Chocolate, Homemade Maple Syrup, Whisky, and licorice are there along with an incredible variety of indeterminable hops.
I could barely finish the bottle, but I was feeling it when I did.
It would be one of the greats except it doesn't sit well in my stomach, it feels kind of syrupy.

If you can get this in a snifter or split a 22 with a buddy, I would highly suggest it. (546 characters)

Photo of craftbeersweden
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black, very black beer with a one finger high head.

Nose: Chocolate, roasted malt, dried fruit, plum, vanilla, bourbon and oatmeal.
Taste: Spices, licorice, brown sugar, molasses, wood, fudge, coffee, vanilla raisin and ash.
Body: Full body, smooth. High carbonation. Complex and rich - Really good! (303 characters)

Photo of LordofWord
4.59/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just had a 2013 I'd cellared. I know they had some issues with this run, which might be why the BA score isn't higher. But this bottle was a very tasty stout. Lots of chocolate and a nice tinge of barrel. Zero alcohol. If the 2014 is similar, I need more of this to cellar. (273 characters)

Photo of wrecknut
2.22/5  rDev -42%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

There is a taste I can't identify that isn't right.
After a few more sips and thinking about it, it tasted like BO. It did a good job of cleansing the drain. (157 characters)

Photo of blackcompg
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours 3 fingers of medium mocha brown foam, color of the body is an opaque and burnt brown/black, leaves nice lacing after each quaff.

Smell - Dark fruits, dark chocolate, roasted malt, and a hint of black cherry, and something like toasted sour dough bread.

Taste - This bottle has a few years on it, and typically for this style this can be a good thing, but not so sure in this case. I'm getting a very significant sour cherry flavor here. I can still pick up some unsweetened dark chocolate, some unsweetened strong coffee, some sharp char and roastiness, but this sour cherry thing, almost like a shot of sour vinegary red wine was thrown in..

Mouthfeel - Smooth and creamy, medium carb just keeps this from becoming mouthcoating, and provides a little scrub and sharp tingle along the sides and back of the tongue.

Overall - I have 2 more bottles - I'll change my review if anything changes, the look is fantastic, the smell isn't too bad, and mouthfeel is nice - but the taste has gone wrong, at least in this bottle. I will review as is, and hopefully the next bottle is better. (1,105 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

i like this take on the now extremely popular enormous stout that every brewery in the country seems to be making. while many of them all seem the same, this one adds something new to the conversation. its got a more interesting malt bill than so many, intensely dark roast but lightened and smoothed out by what must be a little wheat. its also got a ton of body, but an awesome dryness to the finish, almost chalky in texture, like crumbly bitter bakers chocolate but finishing a little faster. its neat to have such a big dark beer to that on the palate, so few do. its also very bubbly, well carbonated for the style, i find that uplifting about it, and even though its 11% abv, it appears much lighter and more delicate than others due to these mouthfeel attributes. notes of coffee and burning tobacco are present in the finish, and just a slight oaty sweetness that is recognizable. my first beer (i think) from these guys, and its impressive. i know there is a bourbon barrel edition out there, but i cant imagine that improving this much. it may add sweetness and roll over the textural delicacy that exists in this one, but we will have to get one and see! (1,166 characters)

Photo of Earpe
4.83/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Again I believe this Imperial Stout should be much better reviewed.

Color is darkest of black
Taste has the hit of a Russian stout, but not overwhelming. The alcohol is barely noticeable in taste. The hits of coffee are slightly noticeable. This Stout has the best price to quality ratio you could ask for....very nice ABV, but does not overpower when sipping. Love the flavor as it is by far one of the best of Stouts. My favorite beers are stouts.

Flavor is a personal issue, and I believe Laughing dog hit it out of the park, however I would love to see this stout in a 12 oz bottle for a 4 or 6 pack.

Don't think this stout will disappoint, but taste is an individual thing. (681 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
3.09/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle, 2010 vintage

great appearance - pitch black with nice dark tan head, good head retention. roasty, almost smokey aroma.

sharp, extremely acidic taste. burnt sugar, charcoal, vinegary. Maybe oxidized? very harsh, tough to drink. thicker body, soft carbonation, appropriate.

can't tell whether I left this in the cellar too long or whether it started off with the same harshness. (395 characters)

Photo of RandomExile
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: eternal foamy brown head; deep muddy brown/black; scattered foamy lacing
S: almost pure chocolate malt
T: roasted chocolate milkshake
M: milky, creamy, coating, somehow dryish
O: Almost it's own animal. Too substantial for a whole bottle, but ideal as a dessert beer where chocolate malt is appropriate, or with a strong bread and cheese like perhaps a sourdough bread and extra sharp cheddar cheese.

651mL / Weizen Glass / $4.99 (433 characters)

Photo of Shardik
2.07/5  rDev -46%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

After reading the other reviews on here I may have gotten a bad bottle.
The good: This poured beautifully.
The Bad: The taste was like rotten fruit. Something similar to biting into a rotten grape. The aftertaste was even worse. We poured it out. I don't think I'll risk buying another bottle. So, good luck to you if you try this. (333 characters)

Photo of TheAlamoWrocker
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed December 20, 2013. Poured a 22 oz bottle (10.85% ABV) into a pint glass.

A: 1/2 fingered cocoa lasting head. Amazingly lasting head. Solid black body.

S: Aroma is initially lacking. Pleasant cocoa are most present with a backing of slight alcohol. Creamy roasted malts come through (possible lactose).

T: Light roasted malts with dark chocolate swimming throughout on the swallow. As this warms even slightly the hops become quite present and maybe too abundant for this style.

M: This creaminess is too suspicious of me not to say this has added lactose. The body is solidly thick with a moderate amount of carbonation.

O: With the malted qualities and the emerging hop qualities this reminds me of a Black IPA slightly. I am more of an IRS fan stout, so the hops of this drink and style are just a bit too much for me.
This is more for the fan of roasted malts being the dominant flavor rather than chocolate or coffee (none present). (955 characters)

Photo of mverity
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle share at Proof. Holy fucking head! For an imp stout this thing had some head retention! Opaque black with a ton of tan-brown head (two fingers in a high-ball glass). Artoma of coffee and super dark roasted malt. Taste is licorice, coffee, dark chocolate and slightly funky. High carbonation, especially for a imp stout; with a thick creamy mouthfeel. (357 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours pitch black, with a frothy mocha head that leaves some streaky lacing behind

Smell: Big chocolate aromatics with some woody tones, as well

Taste: Chocolate, up front, with a bit of fruity tartness that sneaks in at mid-palate; oak and dark fruit elements arrive, after the swallow; in the finish, the bittering impact from the hops finally arrive

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Other than the mouthfeel (which is a bit thin for an Imperial Stout), this is a pretty darn good example of the style (552 characters)

Photo of timorousme
2.87/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Perhaps I got one from a bad batch. I skimmed through some reviews after trying this, from a bottle poured into a pint glass. What is mentioned isn't anything what I tasted. What I tasted isn't anything like an Imperial Stout.

It poured perfectly, and had an appearance of a beer that I might enjoy. I was expecting some heaviness and a deliciously malted flavor (it should be noted here that I ONLY drink stouts and porters at this point, and I cannot stand anything else.

When I tasted the beer, I got a sudden overwhelming amount of hops. Almost to a pale ale level. I drank it some more thinking maybe it's just a weird thing with this beer. Unfortunately, this didn't subside.

At one point, I drank it and gagged and threw it back up. This was full of sediment and was not something that I expected at all.

I'd had to give a beer that's been reviewed quite oppositely such a negative tone. Maybe there's a lack of quality control at Laughing Dog and I got a bad run, or the end of a run.

Either way, my experience with this beer is certainly enough to not have another one. Maybe if it presents itself again, I might try it, but, in my opinion, I paid over $10 for a miserable experience. (1,198 characters)

Photo of zac16125
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle into a snifter

Thanks to my girlfriend (who always checks BA ratings before buying me beers) for picking this one for me. She doesnt read my BA reviews (or at least I do think so), but Ill give credit where credit is due anyways!

A: Pours an opaque jet black with 1 fingers width of dense mocha colored head. Pretty good retention. Leaves a moderate amount of lacing.

S: Sweet dark fruits are the first aroma I notice with cherry, plum and fig. This is followed by a big roasted aroma. I also get heavy cream, hints of oak and vanilla from the barrel, char, mild booze and the subtlest hint of bourbon. Really excellent actually.

T: Roasted malts and a metallic taste are the first flavors I get. Dark fruits and booze come out next. I also get heavy cream, subtle bourbon notes, char, oak, some non-distinctive bitterness on the finish, and a well integrated booze when it warms. The palate profile has a lot of really good characters, with good complexity and multiple flavor layers, but there is also something I find somewhat off putting. I think its the combination of a huge heavy cream/ lactose character mixed with the intermittent metallic flavor. I would guess this is brewed with lactose added, like certain milk stout. I also really wish the bourbon barrel characters were more prominent.

M/D: A very nice smoothness, carbonation on the low end which is appropriate, . Booze is certainly noted, no hiding the ABV here, but in my opinion its well integrated and actually cuts the lactose sweetness nicely. Drinkability is average.

O: Overall, this was good but not great. There were things I really liked about it, but also things that I found to be off putting. Im glad I tried it, but its probably not one I would buy again. (1,759 characters)

Photo of Hawksfan79
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Glass: Stout/Porter glass (Chalice)

Appearance: Black with a thick rocky mocha colored head. good lacing.

Smell: Ginger, alcohol, with a little hint of Belgian yeast aroma.

Taste: Strong Mocha latte flavor that is present due to the combination of coffee and chocolate syrup flavors that just dominate the initial taste of the beer. A slight bit of bourbon that fades into a strong lingering coffee finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick full bodied, alcohol warming, and a gritty grainy texture.

Fantastic thoroughly enjoyable stout, complex and satisfying. (549 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 bottling, cellared by myself and shared with my wife for a nice nightcap...my portion poured into a New Belgium Globe.

A: Very dark, opaque black pour...huge, well-layered tan head dissipates moderately and leaves behind some lace and alcohol legs...

S: Definite roasted malt sweetness (can those two things be combined?), sugary, big aromas of pitted dark fruit and black cherry juice, hints of charred wood and even smoke. Small notes of roasted coffee. Alcohol is in check.

T: Big-time cherry juice again, and nice espresso bitterness. The sweetness is almost tart, and there are flavors of deeply roasted malt and char around the edges. Dark fruit dominates though, almost to the point of having some vinous flavors. Faint suggestions of chocolate. Alcohol is barely tasted, this has definitely mellowed some over the year.

MF: Almost straight-up medium bodied. Creamy but a touch thin to my liking.

O: Pretty decent brew, not exactly bold but it is different, and relatively enjoyable. Not my favorite flavor profile, with the emphasis on darker fruits and cherry. (1,079 characters)

Photo of xabyss
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours pitch black with a hefty helping of dark tan head that dissipates at a moderate rate. Looks like a stout, basically.

S: First thing I notice is the plentiful booziness. Lots of heavily roasted malts verging on burnt with layers of chocolates and dark fruits. Quite a bit of cocoa-ish sweetness in the mix as well.

T: Not as much heat as the nose, but it's there. Sip opens with some milk chocolate and dark fruits, grows somewhat sweeter midsip with cocoa and roasted malts, and finishes with burnt coffee and some fairly well-integrated alcohol heat. Still less than the ABV would suggest.

M: Pretty thin for the style. Medium bodied with subdued carbonation and a hefty warming sensation that impedes large gulps.

O: With a label like that, I had to try it. I'm not disappointed. Is it the best stout I've had recently? Not by a long shot. I agree with another review that said the mouthfeel was the biggest letdown. If it were a bit creamier, I'd likely pick it up again. As is, I probably won't, but glad to have tried it. (1,039 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a large, espresso-brown colored head that goes down slowly. This is a good-looking beer! Scent is quite inviting. Great malt profile with some roasted grain aromas. Somewhat hoppy for an imperial stout, but it is Laughing Dog. Roasted coffee with mellow hoppiness. Light chocolate aromas as well. Taste is just as it smells. At first you pick up the hoppiness...lovely hop profile balanced out by roasted malt and chocolate flavors. There are some great roasty and coffee flavors. Finishes with more hoppiness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy. Drinkability is fairly high, especially for such high ABV. Overall, this is a solid imperial stout. A little hoppy for this style, but it work. A lot better than some of the other hoppy imperial stouts out there. (793 characters)

Photo of TheRealBigC
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first Laughing Dog beer and, fortunately, the experience was positive. This is a pleasantly hefty beer. Charred characteristics abound, with a noticeable sweetness by way of chocolate. Feel was appropriately thick and syrupy. Also of note is the surprising lacing at the beginning which I don't normally see on beers of this strength. I'm definitely going to try another beer from this brewer. (404 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.16/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my daughter for this 650 mL bomber. Served in a Unibroue snifter.

A: Pours with a huge, rapidly rising tan head ... even on the 2nd pour many minutes later -- be prepared. The liquid is viscous, opaque and black. As the towering head settles, the glass remained well coated with sticky lace, while the head became even more dense and creamy.

S: The nose is dominated by dark roasted grains, but marred (IMO) by a boozy overtone. Just now checking the ABV on this one - so the booziness is to be expected, I suppose. Some sweet chocolate, vanilla, burnt nuts, spicy hops, and a hint of spicy hops.

T: Intense dark roasted malt flavor, with negligible burnt elements. Hints of chocolate, coffee, and vanilla, with some hop spiciness coming through in the finish and aftertaste. Excellent sweet/bitter balance, leaning towards bitter after being sweet up front. ABV is partially hidden.

M: very full body, and very creamy, despite a medium level of carbonation. An inevitable warming from the high ABV. [4.25]

O: an exceptional imperial stout; well worth seeking out. (1,082 characters)

Photo of MikieV
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wife picked up several of these on clearance over a year ago. My initial impression was about a 7.5 of 10. But after aging for a year or more... I give it a solid 8.5 of 10

Pours a deep near black with a thick rust color head.

Smells very sweet of roasty dark fruits. The chocolates and coffee that were present when fresh are long gone.

Tastes like dark fruits. Super smooth with a thick mouth feel. Slight metallic taste, but not overpowering. Even though I am a lightweight, I think the 11% alcohol may have increased.

I have aged Bell's Expedition Stout with excellent results, and this one will go in with the Bell's. It isn't easy aging them, as temptation makes yo want to break them out early, but it is worth the wait!

If you find this, pick out the oldest, dustiest bottle on the shelf. It's pretty darn good! (831 characters)

Photo of brystmar
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Al hooks up the tick.

Black body, plenty of tan head, sticky lace on the sides. Fantastic aroma showcases caramel, toffee, roasted malt, coffee, chocolate. Wow, definitely didn't expect that.

Taste underwhelms. Plain and simple, this is a slightly above-average imperial stout. The complexity from the nose is gone, replaced by mild boozy warmth and more roast. Hard to believe this is so mediocre given the awesome nose. (423 characters)

Photo of martyl1000
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into tulip glasses looks quite tasty, though not the darkest beer I've seen (that title goes to Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale, which is absolutely Crayola black, not a hint of brown). The head is nice and creamy, if without substantial mass, dissipating almost immediately.

The aroma is nearly great, but for an odd savoriness that's distracting -- a bacon-y or cheese-y heaviness that makes one briefly suspect there's something wrong with the brew.

That savoriness carries onto the palate, which is unfortunate only for the most fleeting of shrink-back moments. It's the kind of curious roundness on the back of the tongue that I can imagine being a virtue for some, though it's a drawback for me.

A cream-and-coffee sweetness anchors the stiff hop bitterness to the floor and makes any off-the-cuff estimate of IBU's impossible.

Definitely not in the same league as Founders Imperial Stout or Southen Tier Jahva/Mokha. But certainly not as weak as other reviewers say below. (1,002 characters)

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The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 236 ratings.