1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

The Dogfather - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
The DogfatherThe Dogfather

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

527 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 527
Reviews: 236
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.84%
Wants: 42
Gots: 75 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Dogfather Alström Bros
Ratings: 527 | Reviews: 236 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBeerAuthority
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first beer from Laughing dog brewing company. Whoa! Not what i expected for an imperial stout but in a GOOD way!

Appearance- Dark jet back beer, amber brown/mocha colored head that nicely stuck around.

Smell- Really dominant pine and sweet smell with some roasted malt smells as well. I'm not one for pine but it works well in this brew.

Taste- Bold taste here. Chocolate, pine and an array of flavors. A very unique imperial stout. Wow. I get a sweet blast of dark fruits also but not overdone. You can taste the alcohol in this one. The unique taste for a stout attracted me in this situation! All very well balanced and complex.

Mouth feel- Medium to full bodied. I thought the carbonation was well done.

Overall- A well done beer that had a blast of flavors you don't usually expect from an imperial stout. This one went down easy for me and was a pleasure to drink. For a twist on the usual, give this beer a try!

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - black liquid with a light brown head that stayed around as a heavy ring leaving some light lacing.

S - sweet molases and charred wood.

T - sweet and smokey at the same time.

F - medium/full bodied with a smooth, creamy feel.

O - a very good example of the style.

Photo of whatthehull
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


A - Deep dark black, three finger deep tan head (almost brown), and some lean lacing

S - Very sweet, molasses, oak, slight bourbon, lots of malt, tons of earth, vanilla, milk chocolate, slight yeast, flowers, slight hops and bitter chocolate

T - Vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, tons of malt, earth, oak, bitter chocolate, molasses and flowers

M - Full bodied, nice complexity, well balanced, low acidity and long finish

D - Drinks like a huge stout and a nice mellow stout. For the new stout fan and the veteran alike. Tons of flavor, great balance and a pretty decent beer all around

Final thought - at almost 11% and $5 a pop. If you have a chance to try this one. Give it a try

Photo of cosmicevan
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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 bogus564
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
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...

Photo of bierguru
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


S - The smell is sweet and has notes of chocolate, molasses and loads of roasted malts

oh and how could i forget u do get hints of alcohol

m- kind of syrupy which i didnt really care for bit the rest of the mouth feel was really awesome nothing in the taste was annoying

0 - this beer i just randomly bought knew nothing about the company and was really impressed would for sure buy again and the alcohol content really isnt an issue really drinkable

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 jillmart
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan head that quickly dissipated, leaving some bubbles on the surface and a ring around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell is sweet and has notes of chocolate, dark fruits, molasses and roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has flavors of chocolate, dark fruits, licorice, molasses and roasted malts. There is a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some notes of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer tastes somewhat strong, but nowhere in the level of 11% abv. For this reason, it’s not too difficult to drink.

Photo of papat444
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up last May near my hotel in Jersey.

Poured from a 22oz. bomber and split with my wife.

Appearance: Way too much foam as it fills more than 3/4 of the glass. Mocha colored head. Eternally lasting foam. Bubbles and has pock marks on the side reminding me a bit of an Aero chocolate bar. Body is a thick brown. Coats the length of the glass.

Smell: Cocoa powder, dark cherries and mocha coffee. Strong aroma holds its own.

Taste: Coffee, light aniseed, some chocolate, traces of liquor, sweet dark fruits. Lots of flavor, a bit overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Licorice feel, oily and very thick though it smooths out as it warms. Carbonation a bit too high and it's quite boozy in the feel.

Overall: A bit unbalanced and it was difficult to finish this between two people. Good flavor but too much heat.

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 Biag10
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark brown, not quite black. A bit of light coming through on the edges when held to the light. Poured with a two finger mocha colored head.

S- Definitely big chocolate smell, with a hint of fruitiness, and a faint scent of moss and hops.

T- Chocolate flavor up front, with dark fruit flavor in the middle, fading back to chocolate and a bit of hoppy bitterness on the back end. I felt like the fruit really started to stand out as this one warmed up. The sweet/bitter balance was pretty good, but I am not a hop-head, so the layering bitter hop on the back end started to turn me off as I went through this one.

M- Moderate mouthful, creamy and smooth, though I prefer mine a bit heavier. Significantly more carbonation than I would expect, or prefer, from an Imperial Stout. Alcohol doesn't stand out too strongly, given the ABV.

O- This is a solid stout, definitely worth a try for the $5 price tag I picked it up at. Certainly far from the worst I have had. Solid mouthful and flavor, but too much back end hop for my liking.

Photo of kawilliams81
3.07/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Pitch black, dark tan 2 finger head with thick lacing on glass.

S- Some roasted malts and bitter chocolate.

T- Sweet roasted malts and bitter chocolate dominate this beer. Has a bitter, almost off-taste to the finish (can't point to what the off-taste is).

M- Full bodied. Thick milkiness to this beer.

O- An average representation to a RIS. Will not seek this out again.

Photo of Gushue3
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- First pour is absolutely all head. Big foamy thick brown mocha head 3 fingers tall with maybe 2 ounces of beer under it. In the glass the beer is black and cannot be seen through. Lots of lacing even after the mutant head is gone Really aggravated by this head, if there wasnt as much insane foam this would look really good.

S- Malt, chocolate and big roast notes with a mysters scent i cant quite put my finger on. It's slightly nutty, musky, earthy/dirty, doesnt smell bad just kind of odd. Theres also a light sweetness and a hint of dark fruits in here too. Lots o stank.

T- Big roast and malt bomb with smaller chocolate. Theres a hop bitterness throughout that makes a nice contrast with the other flavors. The same mystery smell is here, dank dark taste that i had in an 09 Smutty Impy stout. Kind of dirty/earthy tasting but i cant put my finger on what it is.

M- Thicker mouthfeel but not syrupy. Medium to lower carbonation that feels pretty good with the thickness.


Photo of DaveBlack
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Intensely black with only a slight hint of brown at the edges when looked at through the light. Thin bit of tan head coats the top of the brew and leaves a hefty amount of lacing.

S: Deeply roasted aromas with chocolate, caramel and some vanilla notes. Really smells like a perfect stout.

T: Tastes like it smells. The chocolate malts brings in a heavy hit of bitterness, then fades away into a roasted sweetness. Chocolate and sugar linger on the tongue. Alcohol warmness carries the flavor through.

M: Heavy mouthfeel with a moderately low of carbonation. Sticky, and really coats the mouth. Gets overwhelming after a while though.

O: A really solid stout. Bitterness and sweetness are well balanced. The flavors of chocolate and roasted malts are exactly what I look for in a stout. The heaviness and alcohol make this a beer to be savored VERY slowly.

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 aandresen
1.75/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A- Almost black, just a shade under. Tons of small bubbles, 3" head into a tulip with a very easy pour.

S- Not sure what infection smells like but I think I know now. After a few sniffs I got some coffee but mostly it was a wierd smell (that was not good).

T- Ugg, not good, first taste was bad, no typical stout flavoring, just badness

M- For what little I could drink the mouthfeel was okay.

O- Unfortunate find in the beer aisle. I cannot imagine this is how it is suppose to taste but for a non barrel aged beer there is no excuse for what is hopefully an infected bottle. No more Laughing dog for me.

Photo of Nerudamann
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.

Look - jet black with about half a finger's worth of tan-colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell - a little musky-smelling, maybe with hints of grapes and/or molasses.

Taste and Mouthfeel - very coffee-like, but more like an expresso shot. Bitter throughout, but heaviest at the very first onset. Texture is very thick and creamy. It almost feels a little filmy at times.

Overall - a decently interesting brew, although not terribly new and fresh in its inception.

Photo of AdamBear
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-dark brown, near black with a thick day tan head. slight cascade effect.

S-very malty smelling...coffee and chocolate...predictably. seems to be a good mix of both. strong smell. you can detect some hops and possibly cherries too.

T-comes in with a strong taste of milk chocolate made with sour milk. it just reminds me of milk that's been left out too long. there are possibly some berries in there as well. has a long lasting after-taste of dark berries and milk chocolate with a touch of coffee.

M-creamy low carbonation with a dry finish

O-an imperial stout in a bomber that disappears rather quickly. its definitely tasty though i feel it doesn't stand up to the big dogs, despite its name. it'll help with stout cravings, though it might not fulfill them.

Photo of chocosushi
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled this evening at a good friend's b-day party
Bomber -> Franziskaner glass (for show)

A ~ Black as a cold, dark night, with a heavy mocha head (w/ extremely large bubbles) Fantastic lacing. Sadly it looks like black iced coffee after a few sips.

S ~ Firewood, Wet Peat moss, Toasted wheatberry bread, & a hint of burnt vanilla bean. Could be better.

T ~ Very stiff espresso & Tart Black cherries, bleeding into fresh cigars, BBQ Pork, & dark (wine) grapes. There are little hints of plum, lime zest & caramelized orange/pomander.

M ~ Very refined, slightly sour and very savory with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Toasty & Tangy. You wouldn't think it was as high ABV as it is.

D ~ The perfect beer for a bomber to split up between a few buds. Especially if food is involved. Would be great with Southern BBQ or just a great pepper-corned steak.


Photo of Knapp85
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour is pitch black with a tan colored head with a pretty good lacing all over the glass. The smell is very sweet and roasted. Kind of a mix of vanilla and coffee. The taste is very sweet with a dominant bitterness to it. There is a little bit of sweet vanilla up front but changes to a burnt coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is smooth and dry. Overall I still I like this beer and would drink it again.

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 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.

Photo of Tartarus
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 527 ratings.