The Dogfather - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
The DogfatherThe Dogfather

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very good

513 Ratings

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Ratings: 513
Reviews: 232
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 15.1%
Wants: 42
Gots: 71 | 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:
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: 513 | Reviews: 232 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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
1.73/5  rDev -54.9%
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
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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 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
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
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
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of Chaney
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my buddies gave me this brew as a present of giving him a musical Easter gig. Thanks Mike!

Poured into a snifter.

A: A finger or so beige head that stayed afloat throughout the session. The brew itself was black as night for sure... but aren't most ISs?

S: I could smell it as soon as I popped it. Sweet, dark fruit first, along with some chocolate notes and a bit of aspirin. No coffee on the nose.

T: I did get a little bourbon kick in the middle.... nice.... Along with that, I definitely got tons of dark fruit: prunes, raisons, figs, etc What I didn't get was coffee... NONE! I would definitely categorize this IS as more of a bright, fruity one as apposed to one of the extremely dark, Maxwell House variety.

M: A bit chalky, but I honestly don't mind that quality with strong brews such as this. The was a bit higher than I'm used to with IS, but still wasn't offensive. The lacing was moderate.

O: This was the first Laughing Dog brew I've ever tasted. They don't get a lot of accolades in general, but I felt they nailed this beer.

Photo of katan
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz into a goblet

A - Pours a very dark black with some amber highlights. Appears to be thick, but also very deeply carbonated. Head formation is strong, mocha in color. Well retained at 1/4".

S - Very chocolately nose, bittersweet. Some graininess comes through, slightly roasted. Hops not detected.

T - Starts off chocolately - lightly sweet. Mid-stream gets more balanced, no hopping detected. Roasted barley comes in, even touching a little bit on burnt. Finishes with some nutty, toffee, and even a little bit of dark chocolate. The nuttiness seems misplaced. Vanilla is present in the aftertaste. Some alcohol warmth.

M - Moderate beer body, even comes off light at times. Fluffy from all the carbonation. Finishes with a light burnt wood stickiness.

O/D - A solid DIS - the flavors are very complex and varied. A little bit filling. ABV is way high, probably better to share the bomber. Certain flavors (the nuttiness specifically) just doesn't mesh as well as I would like.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.53/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pitch black color with a 2 inch chocolate milk colored head that fades to a small cap. Good rings of lace on the drink down. Wow, this smells kind of bad. Dirty feet, coffee, chocolate, and funk. Hmm, I think something is wrong with this bottle. Taste is thankfully not as bad as the smell but it's still gross. Funky feet up front that mellows into a coffee/chocolate flavor after each sip. Decent carbonation with a medium body in the mouth. Overall, I think this is a bad bottle. Stouts should not taste or smell like dirty feet. I will probably buy another bottle to see if I get the same problems.

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

Pours black with heavy carbonation, leading to a abundant beige head. Poured this a little on the cold side, find carbonation is less prevalent in the 55-60 degree range.

Smells of coffee, roasted malt, and a hint of caramel & toffee.

Tastes slightly bitter coffee up front, then slightly sweet caramel & toffee, and some alcohol on the finish. The roasted malts are present throughout.

Mouth feel is medium/heavy, some stickyness is present.

Overall I found this to be a good drinkable Imperial Stout, without all the alcohol finish of some others in this class. Definitily no where near the ABV suggests.

This as with many of the stouts I find from a bottle do best at a temp. of 55-60 degrees.

Been drinking a lot of stout lately and found this to be a good medium bodied beer. Would definitily recommend trying this one, look forward to finding this on tap.

Photo of brdc
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Large capped beer poured into a snifter. Aged one year in proper conditions.

Pitch black in color, heavily carbonated with a voluminous tan head that holds very well and leaves behind a lot of lacing. It looks very nice.
The aroma is sweetish, malty, milk chocolate dominating, along with some alcohol, but not a lot else.
The aroma is not complex but pleasant; the flavor on the other hand is a bit too bitter for my taste; it almost feels green and hoppy, but after more careful tasting it feels like burnt malts along with a boozy kick.
Body is a bit too thin, and the excessive carbonation just adds to the somewhat unpleasant tongue kick.

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 justintcoons
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours opaque black with an explosive tan head. Low carbonation.

N: Sweet oak, dark chocolate, caramel, coffee and grapefruit.

T: Earthy oak, espresso, caramel, chocolate and metallic grapefruit.

M: Thick, dry and creamy.

D: Low drinkability due to thickness and some booze and metallic flavors.

Photo of PorterLambic
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours extremely dark brown. No light gets through or even in. Nice dark tan head. Amazing retention, the creamy layer 1/2" thick and leaves a nice amount of lace behind.
Smell is reminiscent of Guinness with a lot more everything. Some malt but mostly hops with a resin note, wheat, wet cardboard and just a hint of smoke. It smells like it will taste dry.
Taste (after 30 minutes or more) is really nice. Dark, bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt, spiced whiskey, hops. Really well balanced. Like alcohol-soaked chocolate fruitcake.
Full bodied, creamy and smooth. Warming, slight dryness, light effervescence. Chewy, almost a meal in liquid form. Very good, much better after it is allowed to warm some.

Photo of DousedInStout
2.63/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Wow this beer was all over the charts for me. Pours a deep black color with a perfect, thick beige head. The aroma is of ambiguous roast, charred wood and some fruity, fusel alcohol - spot on for an imperial stout. But after first sip, it goes down hill. The roasted espresso flavor is overwhelmed by a sharp, green apple acetaldehyde and metallic taste that I can't get past. On second sip, more of the same - maybe some sherry flavor. Unfortunately, a drain pour for me.

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.95/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a jet black with excellent carbonation leaving a beautiful brown cap

S: Immediate cocoa, like bakers powder cocoa which sordove turned me off, instantly thinking cheap, roasted malt, hints of coffee and bit of funk sourness

T: Blast of bitter cocoa, bakers pwoder cocoa, toasted malt, coffee, but the sour notes were just unappealing to me. not a fan of funk in nay beer unless it is a Wild.

M: Booze, full body but the funkiness just hung out killing much of the feel and taste

O: Average at best

Photo of csiewert
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark chocolate color with some tan foamy head that has little lacing as you drink. The aroma has hints of cherry and chocolate malt. The taste starts with roasted malty sweetness and then moves to some cherry flavor and donates with some sour notes. The mouthfeel is ok... With some extra carbonation that I would like. Overall worth a try.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer is black and the consistency looks thick. The beer has a good, thick, chocolate colored head consisting of dense bubbles that take increased time to finish the cascade. Dark fruit and malty smels initially with some port wine notes, also. The flavor is mocha, with baseline of milk chocolate and some bitterness to balance everything. Beer is round, creamy and smooth, leaving a nice lace on the glass. There's a creamy finish with some bitter coffee flavors in the aftertaste. Fairly light for an imperial stout, making it an easy drink.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber at 48 degrees into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: It pours pitch black with a finger of khaki head that does not last long but it leaves decent lacing.

S: Strong licorice, burnt coffee, dark chocolate, and sour dark fruits.

T: Anise, licorice, raisins, sour prunes, charred oak, and some chocolate late.

M: It has an oily and medium-thick body with some stickiness.

D: This is quite sour for an Imperial stout and, while the alcohol does not show up in the taste, it certainly does afterwards. This is a one-and-done beer.

Photo of JWD
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I have had both versions of the stout from Laughing dog and i will say that the NON barrel version in this review is significantly better.

A-Almost black with a light tan very active head present. looks like the carbonation is fairly high on this one with a thin to medium body look.

S & T - These are the 2 best attributes which is a good thing however. Smell and taste are a medium roast with a slightly dry finish, mild chocolate with light bitterness. I did feel that it is similar to the Abyss in taste and smell, however NOT in the same league just similar.

M & D- Very easy to drink and very enjoyable, easily finish a bomber or two by yourself.

Overall for the price i will drink often in the future.

The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 513 ratings.