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The Dogfather - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
The DogfatherThe Dogfather

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

511 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 511
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 15.1%
Wants: 41
Gots: 69 | 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: 511 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of khiasmus
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

He's black as soot, this Dogfather. His father wasn't a window-maker either... opaque. A mop of tan that hangs around for a while, a few spots left after that.
Vicious, he is. Vicious like last night's bourbon still ringing in your head. Bourbon. Bourbon. And milk, coffee, time to wake up and face the bright sunlight... Aspirin, chewable vitamins, alcohol, burnt sugar. Sharp. Sharp and biting, rather than smooth and well rounded. It's going to be a rough day.
So he bares his teeth. Let's see how this thing comes together, with flavour and fervor... There's the sweetness of bourbon, maybe even amaretto, changing quickly to a milk sugar note without the creaminess, as he runs right at the fence, and then it cascades into a strange burnt grain and coffee laden throughout with aspirin and monstrous alcohol notes, an absurd earthy hopping that bitters everything out, the slobber dripping from the jowls like so much water runoff after a storm. Strange, the dark fear that grips you even though you know the fence will hold.
It doesn't feel right. Something's off, something with the body... it's not as thick as you thought. It's thin with a peculiar dryness, a medicinal dryness. An astringency, a very hoppy astringency. The finish is warming and dry, but it may just be so much black fur that makes him appear so massive... This is not a russian imperial mouthfeel...

Strange. Very strange. I do not know what to make of this. Try it.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - this impy stout pours a soild black, with a fizzy, loud golden tan head

S - big coffee and alcohol aroma, some slight cocoa and roasted malty nuttiness

T - the coffee and alcohol stay big in the taste, the coffee like a fresh ground coffee bean, the alcohol is a whiskylike flavor with the associated alcohol burn, there is less cocoa and nuttiness than in the aroma

M&D - the alcohol burn is a but of a turnoff, the flavor isnt terribly complex, coffee and alcohol are 90% of the flavor, but the coffee flavors are good enough to make this beer to good to pour

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

22oz bomber poured into a snifter. Hello, Laughing Dog? Snoop's lawyers would like a word with you.

Body is black with a head that unfortunately fades. Smell is of dark fruits, licorice, and a bit of roastiness. Taste is pretty much the same with the addition of some bittersweet chocolate. Finishes rather bitter. Mouthfeel is quite thin, not stouty at all. In general, this is a solid RIS, but it's not in the same league as the heavyweights of the style.

Photo of Sammy
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I liked this RIS even though it was not a thick RIS. In fact, its mouthfeel was average, and overcarbonated. It was balanced, good complexity of malts and quite drinkable malted coffee.Good roasted aroma and flavour.The chocolate liquor was there, and was in the secondary. Dark brown colour with moderate head.

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

Tremendous thanks goes to JohnGalt1 for hooking me up with this great brew!

A- Pouring into a snifter reveals a pitch black beer with tons (and I mean tons) of frothy, brown sugar colored head. Excellent head retention and lacing.

S- Nose reveals a mixed bag of dark fruits, bitter, roasted aromas and even a hint of chocolate. They are prety well balanced.

T- Taste is similar to the smell. Plenty of dark fruits and chocolate up front. These flavors lend way to a bitter, roasted finish. The only problem I have with this beer is that it's a bit sweet.

M- Plenty thick, sort of an oily, slick mouthfeel.

D- The sweetness of this beer made it hard to drink the whole bomber, but I drank it all anyways. This beer is still really good in my book, but if I were to get another one I would probably share it with someone.

Thanks again for this one Toby!

Photo of rudylaw
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to TimmyP for providing another participant in our stout tasting. Sampled eighth and also placing eighth.

Pours black with a 2 finger tan head.

Lots of dark fruits, chocolate, and roasted malts in the sniffer.

Tastes very similar. Roasted malts, chocolate, and dark fruit... maybe some black licorice? Yeah, why not. The thing about this one is it's over-the-top carbonation. A little off-putting for a stout. A nice beer, but nothing more.

Photo of theghost3
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this extra from BrewsB4Shrews.

Pours black with a 3-finger, frothy tan/caramel head. Some lacing. All downhill from there.

The smell is nice at first with toasted malt & dark fruit smells, but then there's a sort of wet dog scent to it--perfect for a Laughing Dog beer. The taste is incredibly bitter from the burnt malts. The flavor is almost like liquid smoke was added. The bitter taste sent chills through me. Mouthfeel is smooth with just a little crispness at the end.

I really expected a decent American Imperial Stout here, but I was rather disappointed. The 11 percent ABV is not well-hidden.

Photo of gford217
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to bu11zeye for this bomber, poured into a tulip.

Pours a dark, viscous black with a big, bubbly light mocha head that shows extremely good retention but only a little lacing. It's got some boozy legs clinging to the sides though.

The aroma is excellent on this one with lots of complexity, led by the big dark roasted malts. However, the more interesting component is the fruity sweetness that comes out even more as it warms. On top of that is some dark chocolate and roasted coffee with some molasses sweetness to balance things a little bit.

The taste is very good as well with the same sweet dark malts and chocolate. It almost tastes like a malted milk ball with some sweet fruits thrown in. Interestingly, I get some citrus hops in the taste that I didn't pick up in the aroma. The finish is slightly bitter but also more sweet than many RIS's out there.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation. Very good, smooth mouthfeel overall.

Overall, this is an excellent beer with a bit of a Belgian twist to it with lots of dark fruit sweetness to balance the big malty base. Extremely enjoyable.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
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!

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

22 oz bottle, I think my first Idahoan beer! Thanks to Ritzkiss.

Pours a deep and dark opaque black, no light gets through, thick brown head forms, big ring settles around the glass, lots of lace spots, looks good. Smell is neat, burnt sugar and caramel, alcohol comes through but is well hidden, very fruity for a RIS, almost has a Belgian fruit character to it, chocolate and roast, berries, pretty good. Taste is good too, iron up front, lots of fruit, caramel and brown sugar, lightly smokey, touch of floral, big fruit finish, very solid bitterness but balanced nicely. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, very drinkable. A pretty cool take on the style, the fruit character is a welcome change, nice RIS. Thanks Eric!

Photo of bobsy
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Photo of Onenote81
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Great extra bottle received in a recent trade with JohnGalt1. Thanks, Toby!

2008 Vintage poured into my snifter.

Pours a thick deep black with a large frothy tan head on top. Excellent retention leaves some spotty lacing. Not much though. Smells of nice roasted malts, chocolate, and fresh espresso.

The mouth is very creamy and smooth. Well-done there. This is how I like my big stouts, almost need to chew it. The flavor is interesting. Very resiny and sharp. Getting some leather and soy sauce in there as well. The roastedness is there in the mouth, but very subtle, unlike the nose. Some mild cocoa, but predominately it's sour and different. I should have let this age a bit more I guess. This is just a little too different for me.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"He should be careful. It's dangerous to be an honest dog."

--Michael Collieone in 'The Dogfather'

Black Forest cake beneath an expansive crown of caramel colored foam that has a thickly creamy texture and plenty of persistence. No highlights are seen, even with sunshine behind the glass. Whatever else it has going for it, this one looks the part.

The nose is beautifully black malty, with bittersweet chocolate slightly more prominent than roasted coffee beans. A whiff of hops are appreciated too, though they're overpowered by malt. As it should be. A lack of bourbon barrel influence keeps the score from being higher.

Given the double-digit ABV, this is a pretty well-mannered pooch. Learning how to bury the bone... uh... the alcohol in obedience school definitely paid off. Dogfather is a malt bomb, as expected, but there's also a surprising amount of hoppiness. 71 IBUs in an American double stout is nothing to bark at. Duuude, are we done with the lame dog jokes yet?

The flavor profile is an excellent combination of malt, hops and bourbon. The list includes equal parts dark chocolate and black coffee, citrus zest, pine sap, caramelized sugar and vanilla. Whatever percentage of the final beer was aged in bourbon barrels was just right in the grand scheme of things. The bourbon is an accent rather than a major contributor.

Warming opens things up nicely and makes the flavors deeper and richer. It also mellows out the alcohol a little, although it was never harsh or hot to begin with. The mouthfeel, which started out only light-medium for the style, begins to fill out and creamify by the middle of the bomber. Even more malt would be great.

This bittersweet brute is my favorite Laughing Dog beer to date (Devil Dog is good too). It's pretty much everything that an American double stout should be... plus bourbon whiskey. If The Dogfather is offered, don't you dare refuse. Two paws up!

Photo of Magpie14
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: the body is simply murky, muddy, and black. The crown looks of thin brown sugar that has been sprinkled freely on top with some adhering to the walls of the glass. Looks heavy and meaty by the eye

S: from what I can gather, predominantly sweet laced roasted malts. Smells of coffee, rich and bitter chocolates, and just a waft of alcohol

T: flavors follow the nose and push even deeper with dark rich flavors. First gulp gets me a huge dose of blackened roasted malts, somewhat smoked, with melted bittersweet chocolate chips mixed with some crushed oily coffee beans. The bitterness intensifies as it warms. I am getting the feeling that some piney hops might be present amongst the oiled chocolate flavors. However, roasted malt remains king.
A lingering tartness hangs at the back that reminds me of burnt sugary blueberries, not that I have had them, but the flavors are unique. This is a huge and rich beer with a soft tanginess in the finish, good melding of flavors

M: the body is a solid full with a slab of goodness and a creamy feel, it feels about right for what it brings. Alcohol is in free-floating form most of the time, but you have to look for it to really pull it out. Carbonation is kind of strong for stout standards

D: has some good desert features and falls in the "savor your sip" category. However, I find the flavors somewhat abrupt and in your face at times. Maybe a little more balance or maybe not? All in all, I find this is a great brew

Photo of tpd975
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ibrew2or3 for this one. I liked the beer alot, loved the label.

A: Pours a deep dark black hue with a nice mocha colored head. Good retention and spotty lace.

S: Tons of roasted malt up front. Burnt coffee, chocolate and light hops.

T: Lots of fresh dark roasted coffee up front. Roasted malt and bitter dark chocolate occupied the middle. The finish is a bit hoppy with more bitter coffee. You would almost think this one is a coffee laced stout.

M: Full bodied, rich, tasty, damn good.

D: Loved it, could sip on it all night. Would really like to try the barreled version.

Photo of DIM
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Black. This poured with a thick, frothy, dark tan colored head that faded to clumps of lace.

s: Very dark chocolate, roasted almost to the point of ash and some fairly strong bitter hop aromas. Decent amount of heat radiating from this one as well.

t: Dark, baker's chocolate flavors dominate throughout. At times some dark fruits and molasses managed to peek through. The finish is pretty bitter (coffee) and warm (sherry).

m: Beefy, slick body and strangely fizzy carbonation.

d: Thanks yet again to JohnGalt1 for another stellar brew.

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

Big-ass bomber with a clever homage/parody of the Godfather on the label. Picked up at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $6.49. Drunk at cellar temperature.

Poured a viscous-looking crude-oil-black into a St.Bernardus chalice. Big, creamy, rocky tan-colored head that took it's sweet time dropping, leaving sheets of lace on the sides of the glass. A glorious looking beer!

In the nose, I get cocoa, black licorice, molasses, pipe tobacco and dark fruits. Slightly boozy in the nose as well.

Starts out sweet, with flavors of cocoa and chocolate. Then bitter dark fruit flavors, sharp black licorice and a smoky tobacco flavor balances things out. There's a glow of alcohol heat in the background. Not quite as complex as the best I've had of the style, but pretty great nonetheless.

Relatively full bodied, with a coating, sticky mouthfeel.

A very tasty dessert beer. Nice to have a locally brewed example of the style. I'm glad I grabbed more than one as I'm interested in seeing how this one holds up after a little time has passed. Laughing Dog, feel free to brew this regularly!

Photo of paco1029384756
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a small tan head.

Scent of raisins, prunes, more dark fruits, sugars, black licorice, chocolate, and roasted malts.

Taste of bitter roasted malts, chocolate, and dark fruit. A good beer, but not nearly perfect.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied with strong carbonation, more than I like in a Stout.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a thick, black body with a brief, tan-hued head.

Smell: Roasty, earthy aroma deliver cutting notes of bitter chocolate, dark fruits, black licorice, dried herbs, and even some alcohol.

Taste: Initial roastiness that's fairly sharp soothed with a taste of dark chocolate ice cream topping. Slight prune fruitiness. Minor puff of smoke. Herbaceous, earthy hops with a medium-plus bitterness. Hint of licorice. A slight astringency creeps in, along with some boozy qualities. Finishes roasty with a fair amount of alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Smooth, velvety mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Woof! Worth a try. While it's not the most genuinely satisfying Imperial Stout to cross my glass, it's still fairly decent.

Photo of scottoale
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. brown bomber with a single large label and generic looking cap. Poured into a Chimay chalice a very dark brown with red-amber highlights when held to the light. A huge 2-finger cocoa brown head with good retention and active carbonation.

Sweet roasty dark malts with chocolate and some earthy hop notes following up. And of course some alcohol as it warms up a tad, no wonder at 11% ABV. Smells rich and inviting.

Dark roasty malt foundation with hints of currants, chocolate and some bitter hops biting through. A definite heat of alcohol but not over bearing as the bitterness tames the sweetness. Rich flavor and a medium-full body add to the drinkability in a big way. A long bitter finish to the end. A very nice Imperial Stout that I would definetly like to try again sometime. Thanks to a great trader, travisd13, for making this one possible. Looking forward to the Alpha Dog next, cheers!

Photo of Reagan1984
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Washington on a recent business trip. The folks at 99 Bottles recommended it and I applaud them for suggesting this fine brew..

Overall a very nice Imp Stout and one I am happy that I had a chance to enjoy.

Classic looking Imp Stout. The head builds from within and shoots up a creamy tan head that lasts forever. Nice sheets of lacing are left behind. The beer itself is the classic deep dark brown color..

Aroma is nice and hints at cocoa, cinnamon and deep dark roasted malts. More chocolate vs. coffee. Also a touch of earthiness.

Flavor was quite nice and fairly complex. Cocoa and cinnamon up front, followed by some deep roasted flavors and some mild dark fruit. The finish is a nice combo of roasted goodness and some subtle hops... that help round this all out.

Body is a touch light, but still creamy and nice.

Very drinkable. Nice Imp Stout.

Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to piclee for this 22 oz. bottle!

Pours opaque black with a rich brown head that slowly descends. Great retention and nice lacing for style/abv.

The smell is of chocolate, dark bread (pumpernickel), some dark fruits, earthy/herbal spicing, some peppery/fruity alcohol, and a hint of licorice/anise (and grape?)

The taste is of chocolate with herbal bitterness and some anise, and a bit of grape as it progresses. Spicy/peppery alcohol is there.

It has a full body with some creaminess. Not syrupy or sticky, but alcohol is hot and wipes away some of the character.

It has a nice bitterish balance, and is enjoyable, but it is certainly a sipper. Drinks pretty well, though, considering strength.

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

Thanks to swnicholson for this 650 mL bomber, part of Black Booty.

A: The stout is a murky, a viscous black liquid that envelops all light that comes its way. Atop the stout, especially after the first pour, was a thick tan colored head that sat quite still for some time. It's recession has left sporadic patches of lace.

S: The nose is equal parts hoppy bitterness and roasted grains. Burnt toast and nuttiness mix with complex coffee and chocolate from the malt side, stealing the show after the initial hop-malt mix.

T: Dark chocolate, licorice and coffee flavors result from an intense malt combination. The landscape is very harsh, strengthened by a baker's semi-sweet chocolate. Vanilla sweetness attempts to cut through the harsh flavors but with little luck. The hop presence is not as strong as the nose let on, allowing the chocolate malts to take control.

M: The mouthfeel is sharp, loaded with thick stout flavors. It comes across a little heavy-handed in its scortched earth approach at times.

D: After my last Laughing Dog, the dreadful Dogzilla, I was pleasantly surprised. This isn't the most accessible stout but it went down nicely and leaves a decent chocolate finish.

Photo of Zorro
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received from thethrone in the Barrel 'O Beer BIF.

Black with a tall brown colored head. Maybe could be a little blacker.

Smell is sweet with a fruity berry aroma, little vanilla and much patent malt. Smells quite sweet and slightly like Kahlúa.

Starts out sweet and strong with roasted malt, slight smoky aftertaste. Vanilla is in this one but really I pickup more of the wood flavor than vanilla. Not bad but needs more complex a flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Seems a bit out of balance sweet and Charred are fighting it out and neither really wins.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to my awesome wife for getting this beer for me. She decided to knock off one of the states I have left to try a beer from.

A - pitch black with a nice tan head.
S - dark malts, some coffee notes, fairly mild
T - dark malts, coffee notes, molasses and dark ripe fruits.
M - full bodied, nicely carbonated beer. good lingering roasty notes.
D - emminently quaffable for an 11% beer.

The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
87 out of 100 based on 511 ratings.