The Dogfather - Laughing Dog Brewing

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The DogfatherThe Dogfather

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very good

237 Reviews

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Reviews: 237
Hads: 545
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 14.81%
Wants: 45
Gots: 84 | 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: 237 | Hads: 545
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 Earpe
4.83/5  rDev +25.5%
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.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.73/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is rich and oily with an undertone of quality roast coffee and hints of molasses and miso. It pours a deep, opaque sable just a notch above black with a thick, fluffy, fine-bubbled, persistent light tan head that leaves some decent lacing. Rich, thick flavor has tones of unsweet chocolate, toffee, fine coffee, wood and molasses. Despite the high alcohol content, the alcohol bite is subtle and stays in the background. Texture is thick, smooth, fizzy and sassy, leaving a nice tingle and a bit of an alcohol nip. Highly recommended!

If this is indeed a limited release, grab a bottle whilst you can. Hell, grab two bottles - one to drink and one to trade.

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Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into my snifter this beer pours as dark as a black lab. a nice half inch of beige colored head results, and dissipates not long after.

Immediately in the nose I notice a big boozy quality, followed by dark chocolate scents and dark cherries.

I'm tasting a lot of roasted flavors, cocoa, and a bit of coffee. some bitterness in the end, also some alcohol, but not as much as in the smell. A nice sweet finish. Very enjoyable. I held onto this for a month and a half before opening and think it would really blend a lot more with more time.

Very smooth, almost milky feel. full bodied, substantial substance to the body, a bit of chewy thickness.

At 11%, The Dogfather will bite you. A bomber will be plenty, but this beer is very tasty, and I will have no problem finishing it. I'm honored to try this one, Thank You for now sharing your great beer with us here in Oklahoma, Laughing Dog!

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Photo of gshak
4.63/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 release poured into my dollar store wine glass.

A - an aggressive pour yielded about 2 fingers' width of mocha colored head that dissipated quickly leaving some alcohol legs. Pitch black and viscous coming out of the bottle.

S - definitely getting oak, roasted malt, slight coffe and chocolate, maybe some alcohol even.

T - Wow, this beer's a winner! An year's worth of wait has done wonders to this beer. The taste on first sip reminds me of Firestone Walker 14. Sweetness upfront from milk chocolate and molasses, transitioning into a buttery toffee taste. It is immediately cut by roasty coffee bitterness that endures on. Lingering bitterness on the finish, and the aroma of oak is persistent from start to finish.

M - Full mouthfeel with an oily consistency that stays on the palate for quite a while. An ideal sipper that should easily last 2-3 hours by the fireside.

O - I can't believe that this beauty of a beer sells for under $6 a bomber, and given that price, this is quite possibly the best bang for the buck out there.

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Photo of Bierlerner
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smells absolutely delicious. Dark head. Very rich chocolatey smokey smell. Tastes of charcoal and chocolate and roasted. A little rough on the tongue, kind of earthy taste, but gets better with every sip. Also, being 10.85 percent, it's masked really well. Not an overly abundant strong alcohol taste. So that's nice. Great stout on a cold night. Would definitely drink again

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Photo of LordofWord
4.59/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a viscous dark, almost pitch black color from a 22 oz bomber, with ABV on the label.
Massive head with the upper half khakhi colored and the lower half really dark brown/mocha colored. The head dissipates slowly to a thin film that stays, good head retention.
Aroma is all chocolate, there are huge chocolate notes that overpower any other aroma trying to make it's presence felt. Wow, very rarely have I come across a brew with so much chocolate in the nose, this is massive.
Taste is all chocolate, right from the front to the finish. It just feels like melted silky milky chocolate filling from a Lindt milk chocolate truffle. There is just a slight trace of bitterness in the finish which is akin to dark cocoa. Extremely full-bodied and silky on the palate. The alcohol is also masked very well. Hard to tell this is a beer that has almost 11% ABV.
There aren't enough words to describe how much I enjoyed this brew. Definitely recommended and worth a try. One of the best imperial stouts I have had. Cheers!!!

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, loaded head

smell: loaded coffee, and heavy chocolate aromas

taste: rich and slight chocolate roasted flavors but had a smooth rich taste, Dry, not sweet at all. loads of coffee flavor. I drinking this really fresh. Very Hoppy!

mouthfeel: thick, creamy, high carbonation for stout

drinkability: This beer is under rated because I beleive people are drinking this fresh. This beer is a great candidate for aging. I still loved it fresh. high alcohol that will mellow out and one of the hoppiest imp stouts I have had. Love it!

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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 jillmart
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Practically pitch black, with about an inch of head in a pint glass with some bubbles at the finish.
S: Holy roast! It's heavy on the roastiness. A hint of caramel and chocolate. It smells syrupy yet it doesn't taste that way.
T: It's roasty for sure. It's the most overpowering trait. But it works. Also a hint of chocolate, but that didn't hit me until the end.
M: Overall it's kind of sticky, thick, full-bodied. A very solid beer.
O: Not too difficult to drink at all. That being said, I haven't had much beer in a while, so it hit me kind of fast as it's 10.85% and I'm not a very big lady. :) It was quite good an,d it fits the style of beer I like (usually coffee porters or stouts, American porters, stouts). I would buy this again. I wish I could find more Laughing Dog on the East Coast.

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Photo of bogus564
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 fl oz, poured into a pint glass.

I just picked up 'Star Wars - The Complete Saga' on blu-ray; that, and the 'Band of Brothers' series. Full beer fridge, call me the Hermit. And away we go...

A: Holy Mackarel! This is one good looking beer! Dark brown color, enormous head that rolls like Guinness. Can't wait to get my nose in it.

S: This is nice - it smells of coffee, chocolate, molasses, orange. The scents are discernable, and powerful. This shows promise.

T: Oh, yeah - I like this one, for sure. It has all that you'd expect an imperial stout to have, and in a really good balance. The flavors blend quite well, and no one overpowers the other.

M: Excellent, coming close to spectacular. Medium-bodied, the carbonation's just right, plays nicely on the palate, leaving a fairly clean finish. A little hoppy at the end, but just a little. I like it.

O: Very nice beer to drink if you have no plans to do anything productive during or after. Fortunately for me, it's a couch potato weekend. I only wish I had cooked a good steak to go with this. Good thing I bought two bottles...

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Photo of bobsy
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a day of great beers, this one stands heads and shoulders above the rest. huge thanks to Ritzkiss for sharing this one.

The appearance is stellar - the body is a midnight black, and the huge tan head that forms lasts forever and puts down large amounts of sticky lace. On the nose its unlike any imperial stout I've ever smelled before. Extremely fruity and fragrant, sweet and spicy, if a woman wore this as perfume she's have to fight the men off with a sharp stick. While it doesn't quite live up to the nose, the flavour is remarkably satisfying, taking the preceding aromas and marrying them with a rich dark roast and sublime bourbon notes. Coffee, cocoa and dark fruit, its all there, and its great. The mouthfeel is good, but perhaps could be a touch fuller, though this is a minor quibble.

Count me as a fan.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to JohnGalt1 for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a tulip a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, awesome one-finger plus creamy/thick tan head, lots of thick/sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some hop notes, chocolate, toffee, with some dark fruit notes. The taste is malty, thick, with some hops, chocolate/toffee, dark fruits. Full/Medium body, with some nice slick/creamy body. Very drinkable, this is a awesome little brew, glad to have had a chance to try it. Thanks a bunch Toby.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a S.A. laser etched beer glass

Appearance: Very dark brown (black) with a 1/4 inch dark tan head.

Smell: a roasted bock smell, no take that back; an AROMA which hints of wine.

Taste: Coffee-ish, with a hint of dark chocolate. The after taste is what's the best somewhat bitter piney feel to it but goes down smoothly.

Mouth: I would say medium to full...medium carbonation. Flavor just hugs your cheeks even minutes after finishing the bottle.

Overall: Beer is incredibly finished, from aroma to taste to the overall feel it just hits you so perfectly. There is really nothing not to like to this beer recommended to beer lovers and most of all REAL beer lovers alike.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle I brought back from Spokane on a fellow BA's recommendation.

Pours a nice opaque black with some dark khaki head which doesn't stick around long but leaves light lacing.

Nose is an intriguing mix of Belgian and RIS. Big dark fruits mix with coffee, roasty malts, a hint of ethanol, and chocolate.

Taste is more of the mix. Deep chocolate notes, plums and currants, light espresso notes, a hint of alcohol warming in the finish. Strands of sweetness coat the mouth in a good way but border on syrupy. Big body with medium to smooth carbonation.

This beer is a paradox. Sticky sweet but roasty, Belgian dark but yet stout, smooth yet big. A really nice take on a big stout - one definitely worth trying!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 picked up today at the Coop for about $7.. I am very happy that this showed up. I've had the bourbon barrel aged version on cask at TFD and it was fantastic. The bottle label is very cool. Think original Godfather movie poster, but the puppeteer hand is holding dogbones over a calm looking black lab. And to solidify the cool label.. it had 3 faux bullet holes... classic! The website says it is 11% with 7 malts and 4 different hops... only 300 cases made... but it adds.. "But trust us, It will be back next year."

Cracked the near room temperature bottle with a nice psfffft! Poured into my Chimay goblet. Great 2 finger brown head.. nice lacing.. the brew is expected black. The head lasts for not too long.. but the lace is perfect.

Aroma is thick coffee and cocoa.. leaning much more toward the french roast side... subtle.. very subtle fruity esters.. lite prune. This brew is clean .. dark malts... maybe some caramel... not getting much in the way of hops.. but it is still pretty complex just with the malt bill.

I noticed out of the gates on the flavor that there are some dark dried cherry fruity esters.. but again.. this is all about the stout qualities that we've all grown to love. Roasted malts with quite a bit of coffee and a little chocolate.. but surprisingly very little char.. very drinkable... hops are there.. but only for balance.. this is not a teeth stripping hoppy American IS.. and I appreciate it... let the malt shine... a background of citric hops.. maybe some spiciness.. but I could easily be mistaken.

Body is medium for the style and the carbonation may be a touch lite.. but the drinkability is definitely there.. I doubt Dogfather will ever reach the realms of the super hyped RIS (because it's made in Idaho) .. but it should be in play. It is a really nice brew.

Edit.. what I am noticing at the bottom of the 2nd glass is how well this is balanced.. very smooth from front to back with no noticeable alcohol.


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Photo of leaddog
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark cola brown with two fingers of light mocha head.

Smell - Roasted malts, bourbon, vinous aromas, vanilla, dark fruit (plum, raisin).

Taste - A marriage of roasted malts with bourbon, with dark fruit along for the ride. A very complex flavour.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light-to-moderate carbonation. Warming sensation with a bourbon finish.

Overall - An outstanding imperial stout with a lovely flavour hit from the bourbon barrels. A perfect evening sipper; a spot on example of the style.

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Photo of Tartarus
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A&S: Pours pitch black with a heft amount of frothy khaki colored head that dissappates at a pretty average rate. Smell is of malty chocolaty goodness.

T&M: Smoky, deep chocolate taste with an oily, smooth mouthfeel.

O: I love the big flavor from this imperial stout. Definitely an offer that I can't refuse.

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Photo of jgasparine
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the tap with a thin tan-colored head, which quickly receded to edge lacing. The body was a very bark brown- almost black... with no visible carbonation.

S- Smells strongly of roasty malts, dark fruit, chocolate and marshmallow. Simple and beautiful.

T- Sweet and sticky roasty malts combine with the anticipated dark fruit and chocolate in an indulgent symphony. Finishes long, smooth and slightly bitter and roasty.

M- Big chewy mouthfeel, packed with unattenuated sugar, making a wonderfully textured mouthfeel. This is nicely rounded out with some velvet-soft carbonation.

D- Exceptionally drinkable... the dangerously high ABV is the only thing keeping this from being a perfect 5 in the drinkability department.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a goblet. Pours black. There's no other way to describe this one... black as night, with no trace of light coming through, even at the edges. A thick dark brown two-plus finger head billows to the top before slowly fading to a thick and chunky collar, leaving behind some amazing sticky and chunky lacing down the glass. Ominous and impressive. What I wish every Imperial Stout looked like.

Complex aroma that screams imperial stout. Rich roasted malts aroma, with fresh brewed coffee, cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips, burnt rye bread, and coffee grounds all intermingling and orchestrating an impressive aroma. The 7 malts that they boast about really creates an strong and dynamic aroma. Hints of dark fruit peek through at the end, as well as what may be a bit of piney hop, but it's quickly drowned out again by the stout maltiness.

Taste follows aroma beautifully both in flavor and complexity. Rich malts with a good espresso and cocoa profile without offputting bitter coffee notes. Caramel and bittersweet baking chocolate blend with some subtle hopping to create something impressively beautiful. Hints of wood add depth and strengthen the profile. Some strong alcohol is perceptible, but it fits so perfectly into the sweet stout flavors that it's barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Full, creamy, fair carbonation, chewy without being chunky, and smooth without being oily. There's a lingering sweetness that mixes with the lingering bitter to keep the flavors around. Thick, smooth, creamy and decadent. More like a chocolate dessert than stout. Beautiful!

This blew me away. Drinkability is amazing... mouthfeel is awesome, aroma and flavor are perfect, and this is just an impressive brew. I've been a fan of Laughing Dog, but this one is just incredible. Easily the most impressive bottle I've had from them. This one could easily stand up to the big and sought after RISs. At only 300 cases, this is one definitely worth tracking down.

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Photo of corby112
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a thick two finger frothy mocha head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a pillowy, soapy cap that leaves large rings and chunks of lacing behind.

Very roasty aroma with hints of coffee/espresso bean, silky chocolate malt, toast, toffee and oatmeal.

Full bodied and chewy with lots of viscous, silky chocolate malt that is excellently balanced by a slightly roasted character. The roasted malt character gives off hints of espresso/coffee bean but it isn't overpowering, allowing the silky dark chocolate malt to shine through. Subtle hints of toast as well as some caramel, toffee and oatmeal. Slightly bitter but not acrid with a creamy flavor that adds to the complexity and drinkability. The high ABV is excellently masked with no heat or warmth in the dry finish.

This is an amazing beer that is criminally underrated and recommend it to everyone!

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Black, oily and visibly viscous. Not much head or lace, but it does have some legs.

S - Aroma is sweet, roast-y, fruity and tart-bitter. The nose reveals impressions of milk chocolate and bitter cocoa, just as much (or more) vinous and dark fruity notes, and some sweetly spicy notes like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

T - My first impression is that this is a surprisingly complex RIS. The vinous and fruity notes are very prominent and add a Belgian sensibility to the brew. There is a coffee-chicory acridity that builds until the finish, but the roastiness is not overwhelming. Speaking of the finish, it is quite mouthwatering. There is bitter hop apparent, it doesn't add a tremendous amount of flavor (but that is probably a good thing - definitely a good thing -) though it adds an earthy balance. Booze is deftly hidden, and the whole thing comes together very nicely.

M - Viscous and oily, softly carbonated, well-suited.

D - Very easy drinking; would pair well with a good range of foods; has BSDA characteristics as well as the obvious RIS.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 8/9, from notes...

picked up locally, poured into my cigar city snifter.

a - deep black with a nice creamy mocha milky tan head. pretty frothy and it hung around for a while. lacing was milky.

s - little burnt and smokey...milky roasted malts.

t - very nice flavor. milky roasted burnt malts. not nearly as burnt and smokey as the nose suggests. quite nice actually.

m - surprisingly not heavy. creamy, but light.

o - this is a great beer. i'm surprised i don't hear more about it. it is a bit burnt and smokey and also somewhat milk stoutish, but light enough to be an easy drinker. if you don't dig the burnt or milkiness i could see you not loving it, but for my tastes, this beer was very impressive and i realize that i should pick up a few more of these while i can.

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Photo of SRossman
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black with a tan head. Like how a good Imperial Stout should look.
S: Roasted coffee beans and sweet molasses
T: More coffee roastiness along with some bitter chocolate nuance. Perfectly balanced here. The 11% Abv comes through here but there's so much body and flavor that it is really masked
D: So smooth. Mouthfeel is perfect. This has that oily thick texture common in some good Imperial Stouts.

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The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 237 ratings.