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The Dogfather - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
The DogfatherThe Dogfather

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

499 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 499
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 15.14%
Wants: 39
Gots: 68 | 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: 499 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrGumby
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

MrGumby, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of brdc
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

brdc, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of RickS95
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

RickS95, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of justintcoons
3/5  rDev -21.7%
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.

justintcoons, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of PorterLambic
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

PorterLambic, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of DousedInStout
2.63/5  rDev -31.3%
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.

DousedInStout, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
2.95/5  rDev -23%
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

barleywinefiend, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of csiewert
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

csiewert, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

GarthDanielson, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

bucklemyshoe, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of JWD
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

JWD, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of KajII
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Best served in a Snifter]

The pour was a thick dark black with a huge (3-4 finger) medium brown creamy head that lasted a good long while letting the thick lacing sheet the glass rather nicely.

The aroma was of a burnt dark bread malt, a mild resin hop and a sweet leathery yeast with notes of coffee, molasses, and dark chocolate with a mild alcohol tinge.

It tasted slightly bitter and a bit malty with a strong coffee overtone in the beginning and then moved to a moderately bitter-sweet flavor with a smooth chocolate coffee finish that had a mild alcohol undertone at the end. The flavor lasted a nice long while letting the mocha coffee flavor settle nicely on the taste buds.

Mouthfeel was thick and full in body with the texture being very smooth and creamy and having a soft carbonation.

Overall a GREAT Stout that was so well balanced with tons of flavor that you hardly noticed the high alcohol content. In one word “YUM”.

KajII, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of Agold
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours really dark, with a nice tight off white head. There is good lacing throughout. The aroma is a bit off. There are some really fruity notes that overwhelm the roasted malt chocolate flavors, which themselves are nice. The taste follows, but some of the fruit is muted and the roasty RIS character comes through more strongly. There is a small amount of alcohol bite as well. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of what I would usually like, but there is a nice creamyness.

Overall, not the hugest fan of this one. It's good, but I would definitely expect more.

Agold, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of leedorham
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black with a thick, light tan head. Not much lacing. Head dissipates to a thin layer that stays throughout.

S - Smells of roasted malts, coffee character, bit of earthiness to it.

T - Coffee and chocolate abound with a bit of bitter roasted quality to it. Some toasted nuttiness about it. Bitterness balances the residual sweetness nicely. Very well balanced. Could use a bit more hop flavor.

M - Viscous and full bodied. Medium level of carbonation appropriate to style.

D - Very drinkable. Very tasty. Flavor complexity increases as it warms. Nice job.

leedorham, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of stephens101
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Impenetrable black with a huge, chunky and tawny head that breaks apart bit by slow bit. The sticky lace is all over the place. A near perfect blend of sweet caramel malts and dark chocolates to the nose. A second take reveals ripe dark fruits, a tad of smoke, coffee, a tad of pine and far off vinegar notes. Tastes sweet and malty with a nice hop edge. A hint of dark chocolate exists. Not overly complex to the tongue, but balanced. Just almost heavy bodied and a bit syrupy with a slight chalkiness and a vein of alcohol heat at the end. I've been off the Impy Stouts for a while, but this was the perfect reminder of how complex and satisfying this style can be.

stephens101, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pouring into a pint glass.

Appearance: dark black body and brown head. Great lacing and head last for along time.

Smell: Strong coffee smells and roasted grain.

Taste: Roasty and Bitter Coffee. Not too much complexity and fairly straight forward.

Mouthfeel: Nice and silky brew. The mouthfeel is good!

Drinkability: Moderate bodied beer. This beer is 11% & it drink like it 7 or 8%.

Overall: This beer does not stand out, but is still a well made brew. Very coffee forward flavored stout. I can't wait to try the bourbon barrel aged version!

4DAloveofSTOUT, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of jsprain1
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Solid black under a thick caramel brown head. Good lacing to it.
S- Malty with more coffee noticable than chocolate. Some hops but not overly so.
T- Covers the alcohol well. Starts somewhat chocolatey with notes of hops. Finishes with a solid coffee flavor.
M- A bit light on body than I would like. good carbonation and long dry finish.
D- For an 11% it's very drinkable. Very pleasant flavors. Maybe not the most complex beer, but all around pleasant beer.

jsprain1, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of Shrews629
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Very, very dark brownish/black color. Very dense, creamy, frothy, dark, tan head. Tremendous size, retention and lacing. Just a smidge of ruby at the very bottom when held next to the light.

Smell - The arom revealed some very dark fruit scents reminiscent of plums, raisins and prunes. A slight "fruit cake" aroma. Some mild coffee and chocolate notes. Alcohol notes are present, but seem to be held back a bit. The dark malts provide a more earthy tone.

Taste - The taste brought out a bit more of the coffee and chocolate, but the dark fruit is hanging in there in a more subdued way. The alcohol is definitely more prominent in the taste. A bit of chalkiness also.

Mouthfeel - Medium/full mouthfeel. Dry. Has a noticeable alcohol burn at the back end that lingers on the palate for sometime. A rather smooth finish considering the high ABV.

Drinkability - I have yet to have a beer this high in ABV. Obviously, this is a sipper, however it went perfect with this frigidly cold evening. The alcohol burn took a few sips to get used to, but as I continued I thoroughly enjoyed it. Definitely worth a try if you favor Stouts. A tremendous looking beer with a strongly supported smell, taste and mouthfeel.

Shrews629, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of Metalmonk
3.4/5  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.

Metalmonk, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice little beer here. Pours black with large tan-brown head that sticks around for ages, leaving puffy mounds and sticky lace behind. It was pretty cool I have to admit. Nose is pretty standard for your upper-end imperial stouts, dark malt, chocolate, a bit of booze, roasty notes. Flavor hits with a bit more impact, with a big malt bill--sweet, roasty, and chocolatey--some booze, some bitterness from the roasted malt and probably whatever hops they used for it, and an underlying smokey-leathery quality that I like. Moderate mouthfeel, maybe a tad over-carbonated. Decent drink, this was a pretty solid beer.

LordAdmNelson, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of pilotgod
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into Pint glass.

A: Pours a dark viscous black that absolutely no light is getting through. The initial khaki head is about 2 fingers, but gradually decreases to a dark brown thin layer that stays throughout. Lacing is exceptional for the style with fine curtains of bubbles that claim they're territory and will move for no one.

S: For an Imperial Stout, this one is very subdued, but malts and a bitter dark chocolate come through. Knowing of the higher ABV I was desperately searching for the alcohol, but can't find it anywhere.

T: The first thing that hits you and comes on fairly strong, but in an extremely welcome way, is the burnt roasted toffee notes of the malt accompanied by a faint dark chocolate bitterness. This is all nicely kept in check by a molasses like sweetness that is just detectable, but not domineering. The alcohol is noticed, but in a warming, non boozy way.

M: With the moderate carbonation there is a noticeable tingle and you feel the alcohol on your cheeks and gums, nothing off putting, just a bit harsher than some more relaxed Imperial Stouts. The finish is a slight bitterness with the lingering roasted malts permeating through the back of the mouth and into the nose.

D: This is a very respectable Imperial Stout and definitely is something I will get when I see it again. As the only sampling I have had from Laughing Dog, I am impressed and will be seeking more of their stuff when I find it. The high alcohol along with the style lends this to being more of a warmer beer that is sipped and savored on a cold gray day. I don't see this being something you see a beer bucket stuffed with at a tailgate party. That is fine, it is much better reserved for a pairing with Venison stew.

pilotgod, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of peabody
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a black no see-through liquid with 1/2 finger of brown foamy suds.
Smell is charred malts with raisin toast and caramel and dates. Slight mocha chocolate here too.
Taste is very sweet and boozy. Bitter blach burnt toast and dark chocolate/coffee.
Mouthfeel is slightly sticky and mellow. The alcohol comes through here in the boozy aftertaste. However it's not detering at all.
Drinkability is pretty nice because of the price.
Laughing Dog did a great beer here. I will buy this again!

peabody, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of Mdog
2.6/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Black, gigantic head to the point of being annoying, foamy rockiness.

Smell: Starts with black olives (?) then a little chocolate comes through.

Taste: Lots of dark chocolate bitterness, harsh, burnt. Very little sweetness. Doesn't get better as it warms up.

Drinkability: The last third of the bomber I thought "should I keep drinking this?", not a good sign at all.

Found some Laughing Dog beers down in Iowa which we don't get in Minnesota. Decided to get the Imp. Stout instead of the DIPA since I couldn't determine how old the bottles were. Unfortunately the Dogfather was probably the most disappointing Imperial Stout I've ever had. It's hard to imagine a big stout going bad but I suppose it's possible. For me to try this again, it'll have to be on a steep discount.

Mdog, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of corby112
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
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!

corby112, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of donteatpoop
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark midnight brown with a two-finger cap of dark brown head. Though initially thick, the foam atop the beer receeded in a few minutes. No light penetrates when held up to one.

Smells of rich chocolate and dark raisins. Very pleasant aroma.

The taste is very chocolatey with some underlying notes of dark fruit. A mild toasty biscuit flavor in there as well.

Smooth beer, nice creamy mouthfeel and a pleasant aftertaste. Great drink.

donteatpoop, Jan 11, 2011
The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 499 ratings.