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The Dogfather - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
The DogfatherThe Dogfather

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

485 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 485
Reviews: 230
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.84%
Wants: 40
Gots: 67 | FT: 3
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: 485 | Reviews: 230 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stephens101


4.13/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

02-13-2011 00:41:13 | More by stephens101
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


3.35/5  rDev -12.8%

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!

02-09-2011 04:12:00 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of jsprain1


4.13/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

02-05-2011 05:53:34 | More by jsprain1
Photo of Shrews629


4.15/5  rDev +8.1%

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.

02-03-2011 19:50:28 | More by Shrews629
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev -11.5%

"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.

02-02-2011 23:40:19 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of LordAdmNelson


4.1/5  rDev +6.8%

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.

02-02-2011 03:19:49 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of pilotgod


3.98/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

01-31-2011 06:21:18 | More by pilotgod
Photo of peabody


4.03/5  rDev +4.9%

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!

01-16-2011 00:47:36 | More by peabody
Photo of Mdog


2.6/5  rDev -32.3%

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.

01-15-2011 01:49:21 | More by Mdog
Photo of corby112


4.43/5  rDev +15.4%

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!

01-15-2011 01:12:26 | More by corby112
Photo of donteatpoop


3.98/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

01-11-2011 07:00:19 | More by donteatpoop
Photo of harrymel


3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

$7 for bomber @ Rocket Market in Spokane, WA
Poured to NB tulip.

A: Black ale - nothing moves here: timeless. Thick tarry beer brings a single finger mocha head to fruition. This does dissipate quickly and leaves a simple sheet which is presumably is supported by the bubbles.

S: Smells like almond roca! Beautifully kindles to reveal anise, licorice, molasses, toffee, cocoa. I keep grabbing my glass to take another whiff of this one. Without question, the highlight of this beer. Just a hint of alcohol at the very tail end.

F: Dark chocolate (the 80%+ type), rich, roasted to burnt coffee give a slightly sharp mid-palate. Leaves a bitter tone at finish that retires to reveal a nicely balanced RIS with a highlight of dried, roasted coffee grounds and crystalized sugar.

M: Thick with medium to strong carbonation. Numbs and slick the tongue. Would prefer a little less carbonation. When swished in mouth, foams, but the loose bubbling sits too long and foams out the appreciation of the ale.

D: Very drinkable. This is fresh, I think (no bottle date). At $7/bomber, I might need to pick up a case to the cellar. If you can, grab this one, and consider yourself not blessed, but lucky.

01-10-2011 16:33:34 | More by harrymel
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +1%

22oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a deep dark opaque black with a nice frothy light tan head that slowly diminishes to a thin layer and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice subtle blend of roasted malts and cocoa. The taste is an interesting blend of roasted malts, sweet fruits and mild cocoa and coffee. The beer is on the heavy side of medium with fairly well hidden alcohol. While far from the best, this is a very enjoyable Imperial Stout, certainly a beer worth trying. I look forward to the two other Laughing Dog beers I picked up in Charlotte this past weekend.

01-07-2011 02:53:23 | More by atsprings


4/5  rDev +4.2%

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.

01-05-2011 16:06:12 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of begforme4484


4.15/5  rDev +8.1%

Pours black with 2 fingers of light brown head.

Very pungent aroma. Blended coffee and chocolate. The bourbon adds a nice zest to it.

Very smooth flavoring. Coffee, roasted malts.. a bit of cocoa and a nice smooth bourbon flavor. Slight burn on the finish.

Full bodied and slightly oily.

Great flavor profile, but definitely a sipper at almost 11%.

12-31-2010 23:27:38 | More by begforme4484
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

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.

12-26-2010 20:14:17 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of jhammel01

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%

Pours a deep black, absolutely no light penetration. Lots of fluffy hot cocoa colored head, sticks to the glass w/ lots of lacing.

Smells like hot chocolate, smooth dark chocolates, fresh ground coffee, slight hops

Taste is alot like the scent. Starts with strong chocolates, coffee, robust roasted malt, heavy hop twang in the finish. Slight alcoholic heat.. Awesome...
However, very sour and has a slight metallic flavor. Overall pretty good.

Silky smooth mouthfeel. Heavy body, slight carbonation, not over done.

Overall pretty good. I've liked what I've had from these guys.

12-23-2010 03:02:53 | More by jhammel01
Photo of StaveHooks


3.9/5  rDev +1.6%

A - Pours a jet black with a full 2 finger mocha head

S - Dark cocoa, roasted black malt, toasted wheat bread crust, toasted sugar. Some sour artificial grape along with alcohol vapors.

T - Moderate cocoa powder coats the entire mouth. Heavily roasted malts, hazelnut, brown sugar, backed with a peppery hop bitterness. Some espresso comes out towards the finish.

M - Full bodied, but too much carbonation.

I'm digging the intense chocolate and the hops mixes with the espresso flavors to add nice bitterness. It starts out sweet but turns pretty dry toward the finish. It could use a little less carbonation. Great flavors overall.

12-23-2010 01:15:49 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of wolfinthemirror


4.72/5  rDev +22.9%

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!

12-18-2010 05:01:29 | More by wolfinthemirror
Photo of stakem


2.55/5  rDev -33.6%

Note: Infection warning! I am hesitant to even add this review but people need to be aware of the potential risk with some batches of this brew. Multiple attempts at contacting the brewery have gone without a reply or acknowledgement of a potential issue.

Review from notes taken on 11/20/10.

The bomber was uncapped and immediately revealed a slow gusher that had foam rising up and out of the bottle neck. After 6 ounces were poured out, the foam continued to rise up and out of the bottle. The brew sits in my snifter with a mountain of head atop it that is a 5:1 ratio of head to beer. It appears a dark brown color with a ring of lighter brown around the edges. Lacing effect hangs all over the glass in a webbing where the head previously touched.

The smell of the brew is lactic, tart, sour and twangy. There is an evident amount of alcohol and faint dark roasty malt that hardly imparts any scent of grain and sweetness when compared to the sour notes in this nose.

The taste mirrors the aroma. Sour with a hoppy bitteness of citrus and pine that is lightly resinous. Bitter dark grains provide a secondary level of bitterness to this brew that is grainy with alcohol. Beyond that minor moment of feeling like I was drinking a stout in comes the off taste of twang and lactic sourness. A very minor note of chocolate emerges but at this point I am fighting to find more stout qualites to this brew.

Medium bodied brew that includes a grainy burnt feel and excessive amount of high carbonation. It is at times interesting with fruity lactic qualities but overall not that enjoyable, it is a mess.

12-10-2010 20:49:38 | More by stakem
Photo of prototypic


4.1/5  rDev +6.8%

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 one...no 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.

12-10-2010 03:23:11 | More by prototypic
Photo of Hopfenpeter


4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

I am using a crystal mug. The beer is black in color, with a very creamy, light brown head building very high. It will stick around for quite a while and leaves very nice lacing.
Smelling the beer you will be prepared to roasted malts, chocolate and and a little bourbony feel. Upon tasting this delicious brew, those flavors are confirmed. At the top a little bitterness, which is a little strong, but is eventually replaced by a coffee/chocolate bittersweetness. As more you drink, as easier it goes down. Since I am a stout lover, this is a great beer to me. Nice winter brew.

12-04-2010 04:10:36 | More by Hopfenpeter
Photo of generalnotsew


3.68/5  rDev -4.2%

The pour is thick and syrupy as hell. I will always call a stout thick but this one really is. Midnight black in color and huge 2 finger milk chocolate head. Thick cool whip lacing. Smell is tobacco with mostly sweet chocolate. Not as bitter on the nose as most. The coffee is pretty mild. Smell is very familiar. Kind of reminds or Dark Lord 2010. A bit roasty on the first sip. Opens up into a mild sweetness then quite bitter hops/coffee. Don't get me wrong it is pretty good but there just doesn't seem to be enough of anything. The roasty bitterness stands out in front to the point you don't really notice anything else. Still have to give it above average. Mouthfeel is very heavy and creamy while their is a noticeable alcohol burn. All in all a solid Stout.

12-01-2010 02:13:36 | More by generalnotsew
Photo of Kendo

New York

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%

Received a bomber as a gift for Christmas '09. Cellared until consumed on 11/27/10. Likely my first-ever beer from Idaho.

A: The cap is lifted to a loud "pfffft!" and a rush of air leaving the bottle. Poured into a Piraat tulip and - no surprise - it's almost all head. Eventually the gentlest of pours yields a massive 3+ finger head the color of chocolate milk, over a black-as-night body. Long retention, receding to a fluffy meringue-like lump in the middle of the glass. Leaves clumps of brown lace stuck to the sides of the glass.

S: Bourbon and roasty malt - sometimes seeming like roasted coffee. Some chocolate as it warms.

T: Nice. Given the nose I thought this would be a bourbon bomb, but the bourbon isn't as in-your-face as I expected. I wouldn't say it's subdued, either, but there's not an aggressive amount of bourbon evident in the initial taste. Instead, I get the roasted barley malt/coffee spectrum of flavors. Also some dark chocolate or baking chocolate for bitterness. At times, I get plain old milk chocolatey sweetness as well. Finishes with a lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue. The 11% ABV is well hidden - yes, the bourbon flavor is noted, but I'm not getting a sensation of alcohol heat, either in the mouth or in the belly.

M: Loses points here - the body feels a tad bit too light for the style and such a big-flavored beer. A heftier foundation might allow the flavors to come together better. It also seems to be a tad bit over-carbonated, which isn't surprising given the initial pour.

D: Better than expected given the bourbon barrel aging and high ABV. A slow sipper, no doubt, but it's not a chore to drink this one at all.

11-28-2010 02:32:37 | More by Kendo
Photo of BEERchitect


3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

A strongly roasted and cocoa flavored Imperial Stout. But a mild house flavor astringency hurts the flavor and feel a bit.

The beer pours a lavish black beer with lightly browned foam that forms, lasts, and laces extremely well. An onyx-like sheen makes me think that the beer is clear but the mere color keeps any light from impeeding.

Intense cocoa, espresso, and roasted breads/toast dominate the aroma. With a background note of tartness (berries and under-rippened fruit) can be esters or signal mild astringency or contamination.

Flavors of deeply roated malt, malted milk, heavy toast, espresso coffee, and bittersweet chocolated dominate just as much in flavor as they do in aroma- maybe moreso. Bitterness arrives from hop sources as well as roast, but there's another bitter sensation that weaves into and out of astringent sensations. Lighly boozy alcohols add sweetness, complexity, and maybe some bitterness to the stout beer.

Thick, robust, and lucious to start, this beer is creamy, heavy, and has the halmark feel of a true delicacy. the beer keeps its weight and fullness very well. But when the beer turns to dryness, the astringent feel digs into the mouth a bit too much and nearly kills the finish.

The Dogfather is a tremendous Stout and is surely a joy to drink by any dark beer fan. But there's that house astringency that finds its way into this beer and offers the only critical error.

11-24-2010 04:22:05 | More by BEERchitect
The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 485 ratings.