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The Dogfather | Laughing Dog Brewing

very good
240 Reviews
For Trade:
The DogfatherThe Dogfather

Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing
Idaho, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

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

Added by JohnGalt1 on 11-07-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 240 | Ratings: 565
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #52 (May 2011):

Blackness almost intimidates ... almost. Light brown, tiny-bubbled lacing is quite the sight as it creeps down the glass. Sweet aroma with a big notes of burnt sugar, coffee, warming alcohol and dark chocolate ... nearly cordial like. Thick, nearly syrupy full body pulls a smoothness along. Very sweet with a hefty but mellow kick of booze. Roasted character smacks of Stout, and saves ale from being completely smothered by sweetness; charcoal and espresso come to mind. Charred currants and elderberries come from the fruity alcohol, but all is still surrounded by char. For its size, it’s still quite drinkable, a sipper ... a sleeper that awakens when it hits cellar temperature as the complexities unfold.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of braugon
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of tectactoe
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of brownbeer
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Looks nice. Pitch black, with a frothy, dark brown head.

Mocha, burnt chocolate, coffee that's been on the burner all day, and booze.

Pretty straight forward burnt coffee, charcoal. Full bodied and pretty boozy. It's better as it warms to almost room temperature.

Seems like this could be good with a few years age on it. It's kind of a pain to drink now, though.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

absolute black pour with a deep brown single layer of foam that does not stick around. The rich caramel malt is followed with a chocolatey aftertaste. Heavy on the alcohol but lacking in the overall chocolate profile that I expect from the style. The color is great but does not make up for the lack of overall flavor. The mouthfeel is nicely righ and thick, but again does not replace the lack of rich flavors.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A solid stout from Laughing Dog. Just wish that it had a little thicker body and mouthfeel and just a touch more oak and bourbon. Nonetheless, it is still a great beer and perfect for sharing.

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Photo of TimoP
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of mverity
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing this at the May Freetail bottle release.
The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a decent-sized tan head. The aroma is very sweet. I get a lot of cocoa and chocolate, as well as some roasted malt and some brown sugar. I don't get much alcohol or hops in the aroma.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a ton of sweet milk chocolate and a little bit of roasted malt. There is a slight bit of coffee in the flavor as well as some dark fruit notes. The alcohol is well hidden and the hops are basically non-existent, contributing to the beer's sweetness.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of mkrass
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of ChaseBacon
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Dudeletter
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
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.


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Photo of Seattle_Suds
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Jeffwildcat
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.83/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears a pitch jet black body pours thick and simply glugs out of the bottle as I pour into my Stone Russian Imperial Stout chalice. Thicket of mocha tan head almost overflowing out of the glass, beautiful thick bands of lace form on the sides as it begins to fade away. I love the label as corny as it is, the Dogfather Imperial Stout with fake bullet holes with a Godfather logo redone with a pair of dogbones.

Aroma has layers of deep cocoa notes, creamy dark chocolate with big herbal hops shining through. World class imperial stout hints of anise dark big malt layers minimal booze tickles the nares, but as a whole this is one impressive big beer thus far. As it warms big whiffs of cookie dough fill the air, I'm not sure I've ever experienced that before.

Flavor has depth with cocoa, dark chocolate and hints of espresso beans with such a strong dark roasted malt bitterness. Interweaving with hints of cream and sugar, big fruit undertones mild soy sauce with a touch of anise and alcohol although evident doesn't slow down the drinkability at all. Herbal hop bitterness noted in the back end, big chewy beer I love it.

Mouthfeel, you could definitely drizzle this as a topping on ice cream, or eat it with a spoon full bodied imperial stout. Again it's been awhile since I've had a beer like this, big chewy mouthfeel with a slow bubbled carbonation that handles the big boy just fine dark roasts and herbal hops leave behind a welcoming dryness after all the sweetness fades away.

Drinkability was bar none one of the easiest to consume imperial stouts of all time, enjoyable and way to easy to get down. By chance the only other beer I've had from Idaho was out of Idaho Springs Brownstone Brewery and it was their Russian Imperial Stout that was brought to me in a growler from a friend doing business out west.

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Photo of chinchill
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of rudylaw
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to TimmyP for providing another participant in our stout tasting. Sampled eighth and also placing eighth.

Pours black with a 2 finger tan head.

Lots of dark fruits, chocolate, and roasted malts in the sniffer.

Tastes very similar. Roasted malts, chocolate, and dark fruit... maybe some black licorice? Yeah, why not. The thing about this one is it's over-the-top carbonation. A little off-putting for a stout. A nice beer, but nothing more.

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Photo of thatruth
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz from the Beer Junction in West Seattle.

pours a 1/8" hot chocolate colored head with minimal-to-moderate frothy lacing. pours a liquorice color into an opaque with a dark tobacco tint in the glass. absolutely no light penetrates this beer.

deep aroma of chocolate syrup and caramel here. a variety of cocoa plant is present. most comparable to - no lie - tootsie rolls. hints of sour apple, have a feeling this one might be just that: sour.

definitely has a tang to it. chocolatey roasted malts, "tootsie roll" hops (I swear), caramel aftertaste. lacquer hint associated with imperial stouts is minimal here.

bright, bold on-bringing to a tangy body that ends with a quick, wet finish, seemingly does a pretty good job at hiding the 10.0+% alcohol content, until you let it settle a bit.

sour mash vibe to an imperial stout. peculiar, yet refreshing.

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Photo of Mtooman
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of caddybuyer
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber at cellar temperature into tulip glass.

A-Black pour with an INCREDIBLE creamy, foamy tan head. I mean, I poured this one easy and the head is massive, rocky, and sticking around.

S-Pungent dark malts, mocha, bittersweet chocolate, and hops all present and none stronger than the other. Some anise, some alcohol. Smells more highly hopped than the average IRS.

T-The watchword here is roasted...That is the first thing that comes to mind as the coffee and bitter bakers chocolate surfs over the palate on an anise wave. The other thing is heat, which is not overpowering, but clearly present, along with a cheeky peppery note throughout that is clearly evident in the finish, along with some astringent hopping.

M-Not as creamy or smooth as one would hope, and slightly overcarbonated, but by no means bad.

D-A decent and a bit unusual RIS. Seems a bit young, and would benefit from some laying down, and I will definately do that. The strong anise backbone is pleasing, and will come out and shine when this has had a chance to rest. If you like your RIS on the dry side, check this one out.

This would be a superb choice for pairing with a really sweet and rich dessert, like a flourless chocolate cake...the dry bitterness is a very nice counterpoint.

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Photo of RichardMNixon
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Metalmonk
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

"Who's god? Who's dog?" -- Voivod, "Tribal Convictions"

Any lover of The Godfather movies has to love this label design (and clever wordplay). I love the looks of it in the glass too. Big, bountiful tan head, creamy and bumpy, and it lasts for ever, which is impressive in any 11%-er (well, 10.85% according to the label, but who's counting?). Color is black lab black, and the tanned leather lace is thick.

Nose is very much about the roasty and the toasty. Accented by a fairly aggressive mineral smell and a ghost of steamed milk. I'm worried the mineral might overtake the taste, a trait of some big American stouts that I don't like. Well...?

Yeah, maybe a bit too much of that mineral flavor. This is probably hop greenness and charred grains working together more than anything else, but its steely essence pulls the good stuff down a notch. The good stuff weighs on the side of bittersweet baking chocolate, a lighter coffee roast, and unsweetened steamed milk. The alcohol is remarkably mellow. A nice hint of licorice/anise in the finish. And no sweetness. None. A very to-the-point, no-nonsense sort of flavor, has The Dogfather.

Very smooth and silky yet quite dry at the same time. Touched with a dab of carbonation to keep it lively.

As Miles in Sideways might say: "quaffable, but far from transcendent." I wonder if aging this bottle a couple years would calm down the hops and mellow things out a bit. But then would any sweetness emerge in its place? There's enough here to recommend, it's just a bit "green" around the edges right now for my liking.

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Photo of Magpie14
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: the body is simply murky, muddy, and black. The crown looks of thin brown sugar that has been sprinkled freely on top with some adhering to the walls of the glass. Looks heavy and meaty by the eye

S: from what I can gather, predominantly sweet laced roasted malts. Smells of coffee, rich and bitter chocolates, and just a waft of alcohol

T: flavors follow the nose and push even deeper with dark rich flavors. First gulp gets me a huge dose of blackened roasted malts, somewhat smoked, with melted bittersweet chocolate chips mixed with some crushed oily coffee beans. The bitterness intensifies as it warms. I am getting the feeling that some piney hops might be present amongst the oiled chocolate flavors. However, roasted malt remains king.
A lingering tartness hangs at the back that reminds me of burnt sugary blueberries, not that I have had them, but the flavors are unique. This is a huge and rich beer with a soft tanginess in the finish, good melding of flavors

M: the body is a solid full with a slab of goodness and a creamy feel, it feels about right for what it brings. Alcohol is in free-floating form most of the time, but you have to look for it to really pull it out. Carbonation is kind of strong for stout standards

D: has some good desert features and falls in the "savor your sip" category. However, I find the flavors somewhat abrupt and in your face at times. Maybe a little more balance or maybe not? All in all, I find this is a great brew

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Photo of BamfBacon
4/5  rDev +3.9%

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The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 240 ratings.