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The Dogfather - Laughing Dog Brewing

The DogfatherThe Dogfather

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

456 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 456
Reviews: 229
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 15.14%

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:
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 added by: JohnGalt1 on 11-07-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 456 | Reviews: 229 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Earpe

North Carolina

4.81/5  rDev +25.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2014 15:41:59 | More by Earpe
Photo of jmdrpi


3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2014 05:14:33 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of RandomExile


4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 04:39:53 | More by RandomExile
Photo of Shardik


1.95/5  rDev -49.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2013 15:44:02 | More by Shardik
Photo of TheAlamoWrocker


3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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).

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 08:54:32 | More by TheAlamoWrocker
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2013 03:46:43 | More by mverity
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

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

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 00:28:20 | More by brentk56
Photo of timorousme

West Virginia

2.8/5  rDev -26.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 00:21:28 | More by timorousme
Photo of zac16125

South Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 01:26:35 | More by zac16125
Photo of Hawksfan79


4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 19:35:54 | More by Hawksfan79
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2012 15:58:21 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of xabyss


3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2012 01:07:09 | More by xabyss
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2012 06:15:53 | More by DovaliHops
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2012 19:38:12 | More by TheRealBigC
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2012 22:04:00 | More by chinchill
Photo of MikieV


4.1/5  rDev +7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2012 04:49:35 | More by MikieV
Photo of brystmar


3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2012 03:27:06 | More by brystmar
Photo of martyl1000


4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 05:50:54 | More by martyl1000
Photo of BilbosNuts


4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an oversized wine glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color that is not quite black. A one finger, creamy, mocha colored head sits on top for quite some time. It is obviously carbonated, yet it appears somewhat still.

S: Lots of roasted malts, a big kick of sweet chocolate and some dark fruits. Some sweet vanilla and cocoa come through as well. There is a bite of alcoholic burn towards the finish.

T: Sweet milk chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and burnt malts make up the taste. The alcohol is very well hidden here. Those sweet dark fruits and vanilla are there again towards the end.

M: This is far too thin for an imperial stout. There might be a bit too much carbonation and it finishes very sweet and wet.

O: I enjoyed this imperial stout quite a bit. The feel was the biggest let down, but other aspects were spot on.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2012 01:09:24 | More by BilbosNuts
Photo of drpimento


4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at a good temperature with a medium sized tan, foamy, head that slowly settles and plenty of lace. Color is an absolutely opaque black brown. Aroma is a molasses, malt, roast, coffee, cocoa, licorice. Flavors very similar; a little sweet on top followed by massive bitterness. Body is big but with some bitter highpoints. Good carbonation. Finish is long, boozy, and for the occasional hit. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 02:47:46 | More by drpimento
Photo of Dudeletter


4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The next beer I chose because someone named John recommended it at Total Wine. I had seen this beer before and it was intriguing. It was a high gravity imperial stout, which I thought my wife would like because it had a lab on the label. However, this beer impressed my in two ways, the subtlety and the control. This beer is incredibly dry and crisp. I know this goes into another style that deserves its own rant, but in general the American v. European thing holds again. American Stouts tend to be bigger, sweeter, and hoppier versus European which are drier and toastier. Classic Examples? American: Old Rasputin, Left Hand Milk Stout (My Favorite), Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, etc. European: Guinness, Lion Stout, Sam Smith’s Old Brewery Stout. This subtlety means the beer was dry in a way that most imperial weren’t; it was not overly sweetened or hopped so the balance was perfect. The control comes in the flavors. It was just a roasty stout, think of a better Guinness. They were able to control the urge to add chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, i.e. make it a dessert, for which I was surprised and grateful.


Serving type: bottle

06-27-2012 15:46:54 | More by Dudeletter
Photo of DM1293


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

Like most stouts, I really can't differentiate all the more complex nuances in the background (the dark fruits). And like most stouts, the notes that you want are there, from dark chocolate to bitter coffee roastyness. There is also a nice solid malt taste, and it emphasizes the coffee bitterness to round out the sweetness.

Compared to the two other Double Stouts I've had, this one is less bitter-strong but also not the most flavorful-smooth. Its inbetween the two.

Its very drinkable, fairly well-balanced, and I might pick it up again (if only because its got a HUGE ABV for its drinkability).

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2012 22:17:59 | More by DM1293
Photo of vfgccp

New York

1.85/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Beautiful looking stout. Midniht black with a creamy cap of mocha colored head. Great retention and lace.

S - Super sweet vanilla creme brûlée and cranberry cocktail. Definitely off balance.

T - Way too sweet. Caramel sugar overwhelms the profile. Leather and a tart cranberry pull through on the backend.

M - Medium frame with an overly syrupy feel to it.

O - Cloying sweetness overruns this brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2012 19:20:33 | More by vfgccp
Photo of Drinkerofales


3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There is some reddish brown in the pour, but the beer ends up black, with no light penetration, except the edges. A medium sized late forming mocha head dissipates fast, but is retained well by the constant lively bubbles provided by the carbonation, and leaves some lacing.

Smells chocolatey, roasted malts, and a very faint hop presence.

Taste is very close. Plenty of chocolate, sweeter roasted malts, and a nice bitter coffee finish.

Feels almost perfect, velvety smooth, full bodied, yet extremely easy to drink. ABV is well hidden, not bad for the huge 11%.

A very nice beer, nothing special, flavor profile is routine, but well done. Texture is where it's at. Even the wife liked the beer.


Serving type: bottle

05-24-2012 18:39:10 | More by Drinkerofales
Photo of YouSkeete


2.95/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pitch black with a large, frothy mocha colored head. Fades into beautiful lacing around the edges eventually. Big boozy molasses aroma with tones of smoked wood, charcoal, bittersweet chocolate, and malts that follow in order. Initial sip is an awkward mishmash of sour apples, burnt charcoal, extra-bitter coffee beans and creamy molasses. Bitterness lingers while the sweetness and malty character fades almost immediately; wine-like sourness follows throughout as well. Dry, smoky, and still bitter all the way through to the aftertaste. The heaviness of the overall fermented fruit flavor is making me think this bottle is outdated but there's no exp. If this is not outdated, i'm very surprised by my peers' reviews... Not impressed with this one whatsoever.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2012 23:06:27 | More by YouSkeete
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The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 456 ratings.