The Dogfather - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
The DogfatherThe Dogfather

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

541 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 541
Reviews: 241
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.84%
Wants: 42
Gots: 79 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 541 | Reviews: 241
Reviews by keeganfrank:
Photo of keeganfrank
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a thick, brown head that sticks around for quite some time. Reminds me of the head you get on a root beer float. Very nice lacing as well. Smells of spices, caramel and sweet fruit. Tastes is reminiscent of black coffee and bittersweet chocolate with a hint of raisin. Feels a bit watery for an imperial stout, but still provides a pleasant drinking experience. The thinner body certainly makes consuming a whole 22oz bottle of IS not so laborious and prevents the drinker from feeling overly full.

More User Reviews:
Photo of brownbeer
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.36/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of mverity
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of Dudeletter
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.83/5  rDev +25.8%
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.

Photo of chinchill
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of rudylaw
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of thatruth
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of caddybuyer
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of Magpie14
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
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

Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I liked this RIS even though it was not a thick RIS. In fact, its mouthfeel was average, and overcarbonated. It was balanced, good complexity of malts and quite drinkable malted coffee.Good roasted aroma and flavour.The chocolate liquor was there, and was in the secondary. Dark brown colour with moderate head.

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz shared into a bruges tulip, from notes.
A: Pours a rich black head, that is very frothy tan. Head sinks leaving a plateau of head in the middle of glass. Deep stout black body.
S: Rich sweetness on the nose, with a liquorice and classic RIS note.
T/M: Full mouthfeel. Big bold finish, with a nice carbonation level that hits the spot. Big on the malts and a nice silk on the finish.
D: Great brew, nice sweet and strong taste while still hiding the ABV.

Photo of RickS95
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black, with touches of reddish brown around the edges. Up top sits a slow forming, craterous brown head. Nice retention.

The 7 different malts fill the nose. I was expecting some coffee or chocolate, but there's not much there. Instead you get a cameo from dark fruits, a port-like scent.

Has a bit of a fruity taste. Again, no normal stoutlike flavors, it's a bit unusual. Like in the nose, the malts are the story.

This thing has really nice lacing. The glass is dark brown as you get closer and close to the end.

The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. There is a subtle sweetness and only a touch of bitter. Has some wine-like qualities. It's high ABV, but you wouldn't know it from the taste or feel. However, after a few minutes, you'll notice your lips are warm. As it warms, the intensity of the alcohol seems to pick up.

With alcohol at such a high level, you won't need to drink a lot of this, but you'll want to. It's a pleasant cold weather beer, smooth and goes down easy.

Photo of prototypic
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The Dogfather pours a very dark, chocolate fudge color. It's damn near opaque, save for faint burgundy highlights at the outer edges. A very large, tan head caps it. Honestly, it's huge...and annoying. For what it's worth, it holds up well...making it slightly more annoying. Lacing was sticky and moderate.

The nose is good. Bittersweet dark chocolate strikes first and is prominent throughout. Roasted coffee is noted and complements the malts well. There's a surprising amount of hops in the mix. I wasn't expecting that, but it smells nice. They're not very strong, but don't need to be. I was expecting a little bourbon, but it's not here. I don't know what percentage of this was aged in bourbon barrels, but it couldn't have been much. Alcohol is surprisingly tame for double digit territory.

The flavor is good, but falls short of spectacular. Dark chocolate is the centerpiece and has a really nice bittersweet flavor. It's complement by coffee and a light roasted malt twist. The hops definitely show up stronger in flavor, and add a lot of pizzazz and character. I'm actually awestruck by how effective they are. They're primarily piney with a touch of citrus, and have an excellent bitter kick. A hint of bourbon is appreciated, and adds a nice touch. It is very subtle, but it works. Alcohol is there, but is tame for 11% abv. Finishes chocolaty, hoppy, and bitter.

The Dogfather has a body that's on the lighter side of medium. It's far too light for a stout this big. Carbonation is also overdone. All in all, it results in a very average feel for a big stout. Drinkability is definitely good. The flavor is really impressive. But, damn if it isn't big. Respect the Dog. This one will bite.

This is my first beer from Laughing Dog Brewing. It's a good doubt about it. But a couple of tweaks would really make it tick. Dial back the carbonation and beef up the body! Those two adjustments would turn this into a salivating, vicious beast! A little more bourbon wouldn't hurt either. Very good stuff, nonetheless! Easy recommendation.

Photo of dbossman
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a thick, foamy on inch chocolate hue; lacing is great

S: Strong roasted malts; chocolates, coffee and dark fruits--raisins, plums, prunes, grapes; this is dark and roasty and awesome smelling

T: Rich roasted malts; coffee and chocolates--lots of dark unsweetened chocolates and dark fruits--fairly bitter with some lingering dark fruits

F: A touch thin for a big stout though still fairly creamy

O: A nice big, creamy, malty beer; good stuff

Photo of russpowell
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 1+ finger of mocha colored head. Nice oily sheen to this, great head retention & decent lacing

S: Dark chocolate, plus dark fruit & boozeyness once warm

T: Dark chocolate, coffee & powdery dryness up front. Dark fruittyness (cherries especially), oaky dryness & herbal hops are all there once warm. Finishes with semi-sweet chcolate, sour cherry, coffee, & carob

MF: Medium bodied, a bit too dry, semi-oily with slight carbonation, nice warming feeling

Drinks easy for the ABV & style, but not exactly a great Imp stout, but would satisfy my needs if seeking one out. Worth a try, but a lower echelon example of the style to me...

Photo of Vonerichs
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, almost black body with a half inch of cinnamon colored head.

Smells of roasted malt and a little smokey.

Roasted malt, light coffee, and a strange sour taste to it. The aftertaste has a bit of sweet tarts to it.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. It's very smooth for an 11% abv.

Overall, it's an ok stout. The aftertaste didn't sit well with me, but on the plus side it drank well for such a high abv.

Photo of andrewm190
2.07/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Judging by all of the other reviews, I might have just found a bad batch. The beer I poured smelled sour, some bit or rotten, and otherwise just not right. The taste matched. I could tell it was meant to be a stout, but the lingering taste in my mouth is regret. I could taste the alcohol, anything else was drowned out by the stench of bad milk or something. I bought the beer from Whole Foods, kept it in my own fridge for a week or so, and can't quite account for the experience I had. I'm inclined to think this was an abnormal experience; I love stouts, and I seem to be the only one with this issue, but none the less, the beer I had - tasted tragic. Poured dark black. Smelled terrible. Bad mouth-feel. Wouldn't want another. I'm being fairly generous with the scores.

Photo of Gmann
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thick black color with a big pillowy brown head that slowly settles into a puffy cap.

The aroma is of roasted malt, burnt caramel, licorice and a metallic twang. There is also a strong buttery toffee funk aroma, which isn't very pleasant. Almost smells infected.

The taste is big and roasty with a solid coffee flavor in the finish. Some dark chocolate, scorched caramel, rust, and char notes can be found along the way. There is a light lactic sour note that actually works well against the heavy malt.

The beer is well bodied with airy carbonation. Big roasted bitterness on the palate, finishes quite sticky. Very stout like.

A very roasty stout for sure. The aroma was bad however the taste is nice. Not sure if there should be a sour note but it works.

Photo of Ruds
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter, first serving chilled from the fridge for an hour, second having warmed a little.

Pours a jet black colour with a good thick dirty coffee coloured head.

Roasted malt and chocolate on the nose, coffee to a lesser extent and a little hop in the backbone.

Roasted malts at the fore on the palate along with bitter chocolate and alcohol. Too much alcohol and not as well balanced as I had hoped!

Medium carbonation and full bodied.

Overall a good imperial stout but let down by having too much of an alochol hit. Yes - it's 10.85% but I've had plenty of Imperial Stout's around this ABV mark that have been better balanced and disguised the alcohol flavour somewhat better.

I would try again though!

Photo of alleykatking
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle. This one was opened by either VinnieVanGogh or else SuperNova777. Either way thanks Josh or Vinnie.

A- Pours a black color with red hues on the sides of the glass when held to the light. One and a half finger mocha colored head shows good retention. Some longer streaks and light webbing of lace on the sides of the glass.

S- Chocoalte is the first thing that hits the palate. This and a light hint of alcohol. Coffee like roast in the middle never gets overpowering on the nose. Ending aroma shows a light darker fruit with a hint of roast and a bigger alcohol scent.

T- Chocolate in the front of the beer. This blends with hints of darker fruit adds a little depth to what I assumed was going to be a chocolate stout. Middle of the beer shows a more roasted malt flavor than anything else. Ending of the beer has a light toffee undertone which seems misplaced in this bigger flavor beer. Light roast does come back through for a second round much light than before. Warming alcohol in the ending finishes the job.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little lively for the style I thought. Chocolate, hints of dark fruit, and roasted malts are left on the palate. Aftertaste is mostly alcohol, roasted malts, and light chocolate. Flavors were balanced for the most part with some light flavor stop and jerk times. No off flavors were present which some people have complained about. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer was not what I was hoping for but then again it wasn't at all not not what I was looking for...does that make sense?? High ABV comes through which I found to be not really good midway the beer. Oh well can't win them all Dogfather.

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The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 541 ratings.