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The Dogfather - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
The DogfatherThe Dogfather

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

534 Ratings

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Ratings: 534
Reviews: 237
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.84%
Wants: 43
Gots: 77 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing visit their website
Idaho, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 11-07-2008

The Dogfather is one of the biggest brews we have made. Weighing in at a hefty 11% percent, the Dogfather has 7 malts and 4 different hops giving it a complex flavor profile.

71 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 534 | Reviews: 237
Photo of ppoitras
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head is going nowhere fast, with coating, slow-falling lace. Aroma is sweet yet bitter coffee, with wisps of licorice. Taste starts with the sweet, slightly acrid coffee, piney hops come on in the middle, and flow to the close where the ample warmth takes over. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and drinkability is good. Not that I can foresee more than one in a session, but you want more, that's the important part.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this in Portland, and ramnuts was kind enough to ship it down. Thanks, Frank.

Split with ipa247 at a tasting in December. From notes.

A: Pours a pitch black with 1 finger of moderate-lived mocha head. Scattered film on top.

S: Very meaty, pungent smell. Lots of heft to this one. Roast, chocolate, light smoke, molasses, and some anise.

T: Again, a very hefty flavor. Quite a lot going on, with roasty overtones, silky dark chocolate undertones. Overt molasses sweetness, anise, and some dark fruit (possibly cherries?). Light smoke in the finish.

M: Viscous, creamy, with a lightly hot finish.

D: Very drinkable. Not the best AIS I have ever had, but it's upper-tier.

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

A: Boatloads of foam that is the color of an espresso froth, as the head drops it leaves a wake of sticky lacing along the interior of the glass, black as oil - 4.25, S: Heavy on the specialty malts, a surplus of charred coffee and baker's chocolate, hint of some sourness or alcohol - I truly can't tell - 4.00, T: The tongue has a lot of ash and bitter chocolate, lots of sweet malts, reminds me of a fudge brownie that's been soaked in brandy, hops provide a little bite on the tail end of the beer - 3.50, M: Silky while being a touch thin - 2.75, D: A solid Imperial Stout - 3.25

Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass:

A: Dark as night, black as pitch....ok , ok its really dark. Slight head after an agressive pour.

S: Toasted malt, coffee, alcohol in the nose, clean.

T: Roasted malt flavors, sweet yet the bitterness comes on in the aftertaste. Strong malt backbone.

M: Heavy bodied. Light carbonation lends a smooth quality.

D: Great sipping beer.

Photo of Gavage
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color with a one inch head. A few spots of lace paint the glass.

Smell: roasted malt sweetness, some soft chocolate, a floral bitterness, and a bit of alcohol was pleasant on the nose.

Taste: follows the nose as roasted malt, soft chocolate, prunes, licorice, a floral bitterness, and alcohol are most noticeable. Some earthy qualities are detectable too.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth throughout. Long aftertaste here.

Drinkability: a very slow sipping beer, and this one bottle is more than enough in a session. Nice flavors and worth a try.

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

Served on-tap in a 10oz mini-imperial pint glass at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA) for $4.25.

A: Black with tan 1-finger head with good retention and nice lacing.

S: Black coffee, bitter dark chocolate, cherry alcohol, and roasted malt with leafy, tobacco hops

T: Solid coffee and chocolate flavors layer on a substantial dark malt backbone. Hops are mildly drying and mainly leafy, earthy in nature. Alcohol is moderately well-hidden and lends a berry-ish note to the brew.

M: Good full body with low but not absent carbonation and respectable mouth-filling quality. Aftertaste is mainly coffee and dark malt with some tobacco.

D: Good drinkability for 11%ABV and solid entry, not a world-beater in the RIS department, glad I tried it.

Photo of steve8robin
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to find this one at the local beer store...

A: Perfect! Pitch black with no light shining through. Very thick mocha colored head that never completely disappears.

S: Not anywhere near perfect smelling. Kind of like a mix between a tootsy roll, cinnamon, and an ashtray. Eh, not great.

T: Interesting taste. Brings some new flavors to the table. A mix of cinnamon and black licorice. I don't like black licorice personally, but I tried to set that aside for this review and base it on overall taste. Good complex flavors.

M: Heavy carbonation feel. Not super smooth, but not bad.

D: Goes down fairly easy.

All in all, I think the name of this brew is appropriate. Seems like a mobster type beer to drink while smoking a cigar. Great if you like black licorice, otherwise, good to try once to taste the great complexity of flavors bouncing around.

Photo of thequeen711
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All Russian Imperial Stouts are worth a try, and this offering from Laughing Dog Brewery passes my test. Pours a deep rich chocolate, no head, and barely a lacing. Weak nose, but the tastes of chocolate and coffee, and alcohol are prevelant, ( as well they should be). A light mouthfeel for a rich stout, but the richness lies in the 11% ABV, surely a sipper to savor. This RIP is a contender for top 10 RIPs in my book

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up because I split it with a friend who likes dark beers this time of the year and the movie that this beer is a play on. Sure, this style is everywhere this time of the year and although this didn't stand out from the others that I've had, it was still a good beer for a cold winter's night.

Sure enough, the pour was standard for this - dark, a bit of head, and hardly any lacing. The carbonation and mouthfeel are thin and my only knock on this is that I wish it was a bit thicker. Roasted chocolate can be seen in the brownish head and it was the first thing I tasted as well, with coffee and the consistency of espresso behind it. This feels like a strong beer but I couldn't taste the alcohol much, which is how I prefer my Imperial Stouts. Nothing made this stand out but the flavors worked out well together and I didn't feel "knocked out" at the end of this!

It's nice to see a beer from Idaho available back east and though this won't win any awards, one couldn't go wrong in giving this a try during the winter. This is a textbook beer for its style and a pleasant surprise considering how little I knew about this brewery before they were disibruted here in Jersey.

Photo of avalon07
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bomber to a pint glass. Had a coal black color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of tan-colored, long-lasting head and some good lacing.

S: Smelled of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and a little hops.

T: Typical of the style, this beer tasted of coffee, chocolate, roasted malt and hops in the finish. Nicely balanced, with a little kick from the alcohol content.

M: A solid amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Full-bodied, though not in an overbearing way.

D: A well-made, drinkable Imperial Stout.

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

Had this on tap over the weekend at a long time favorite spot, Baja Bean. I've previously had the bourbon barrel aged version and it was quite excellent. This one proved to be a little easier to drink in comparison. Great big roasted malt aroma and taste with ample hop bitterness to balance. Overall, the BB aged added a great level of complexity but this regular version is a much easier to drink stout.

Photo of russpowell
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 1+ finger of mocha colored head. Nice oily sheen to this, great head retention & decent lacing

S: Dark chocolate, plus dark fruit & boozeyness once warm

T: Dark chocolate, coffee & powdery dryness up front. Dark fruittyness (cherries especially), oaky dryness & herbal hops are all there once warm. Finishes with semi-sweet chcolate, sour cherry, coffee, & carob

MF: Medium bodied, a bit too dry, semi-oily with slight carbonation, nice warming feeling

Drinks easy for the ABV & style, but not exactly a great Imp stout, but would satisfy my needs if seeking one out. Worth a try, but a lower echelon example of the style to me...

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

Pours a deep black hardly any light getting thru. Thumb sized chocolate head falls quickly.

Aroma is nice roasted malts, chocolate and peat notes. Some nice fruity notes mingle with the malt along with hints of smoke, liquorish and maybe vanilla.

Taste is lots of roasted malts, chocolate mingles with peat. Fruit comes out and rolls around with liquorish hints. Hops appear in the finish and leave some lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is almost full nice body carbonation is not peppy but seems like it is.

Drinkability is good a decent big stout not really awe inspiring but good.

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

nice, proper imperial stout. almost like a really fruity and chocolaty super dark roast coffee in the nose. a bit of earth, smoke and wood it seems too, although i know this isn't the oak aged version. taste is a relatively well balanced twist of the same with a finish that is a touch hot and has a vinous thing poking its head through. everything from this brewery has been fun and pretty damn good. looking forward to the bourbon barrel aged version.

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

Pours inky black with a deep brown head that falls quickly. Aroma is roasted with some smooth chocolate character. It reminds me of a rich, dark coffee. Flavor is chocolatey and smooth, with a sharp alcoholic bite. Finish is milky and smooth, but with a slow-building coffee-like bitterness. Mouthfeel is creamy with a sharp tingle of carbonation.

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

Served from a 22oz. bottle, purchased at Wells in Baltimore, MD, into myBrooklyn snifter (11/27/09) at cellar temperature.

A: Pours a very dark shade of brown with a slight ruby/chestnut hue capped off by a finger of an off-white head with decent retention.

S: Nice coffee (burnt?) aroma with dark roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, and a tinge of booze.

T: Follows the nose with burnt coffee, bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruit, and whiskeyesque alcohol burn.

M: A fuller-bodied beer with low carbonation that was rather syrupy with a slight cloying nature. Alcohol was felt in the mouth, but not in an off-putting sense.

D: Good drinkability, but I have had many other Imperial Stouts that I would rather drink than this one.

Overall this beer was a decent Imperial Stout, but given that it is in a segment with so many wonderful beverages, I see no reason to really revisit this one again. Worth a Look.

Photo of saintwarrick
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown pour with a dark tan head. Lots of cocoa powder and bitter chocolate in the aroma with hints of coffee and a bit of toffee and caramel. A kick of bourbon in the taste, but mostly chocolate flavors. Alcohol is a bit strong, like the brew suggests. Not quite as thick as some RIS's, but the bourbon aging and coffee notes take over there.

A little too boozy, but still not all that hard to drink. A fine example of the American RIS and a solid brew for any lovers of the style. Very tasty.

Photo of wnh
3.11/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a thick-ish, deep brown, almost black, with a frothy dark tan head.

Aromas of deeply roasted grain, bitter dark chocolate, and a moderate vegetal note. Seems quite fruity for an imperial stout; I can't tell if this is a hoppy fruitiness or a yeasty one. Tastes of roast and chocolate up front, quickly making way for an interesting, though out of place, but strangely not too unpleasant cooked kale note that takes over the beer, with accompanying hot alcohol that works to take things down even further.

Bad bottle, or bad beer? Unofficial consensus was bad beer, but we can't be sure. Not absolutely terrible, and there seems to be a pretty decent imperial stout base underneath the bad notes, but there are plenty of better stouts to choose from.

Photo of brownbeer
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Looks nice. Pitch black, with a frothy, dark brown head.

Mocha, burnt chocolate, coffee that's been on the burner all day, and booze.

Pretty straight forward burnt coffee, charcoal. Full bodied and pretty boozy. It's better as it warms to almost room temperature.

Seems like this could be good with a few years age on it. It's kind of a pain to drink now, though.

Photo of maximum12
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to ThirstyHopHead, who seems to have abandoned BA, for this extra in a terrific springtime trade. As the days shorten here in MN, it's time to go dark.

Spry & spritzy, this head guzzled up even with a gentle pour along the side of the glass. A black pour, mind you. Smells like an RIS. Malts, coffee, rich, sweet.

The Dogfather is all about the taste. Lots of jokers dealing in this hand. The coffee is on top of the dog pile, but near at hand is a strong swig of chocolate, taming the coffee bite & smoothing it out. Malts upon malts upon malts. The surprise is in the ending, with a harsh, almost metallic explosion of bitterness. Unsure if this is intended or not, but it detracts from first impressions. The web site claims bourbon barrel aging - there's no bourbon in my glass, but perhaps that final taste is the beginning of the beer turning (EDIT: as the beer warmed, the last few sips had a hint of bourbon). Guess I'm glad I had it now.

Good beer, this one could be better without that unsavory aftertaste soiling the water. Perhaps I'll try this fresh sometime, the promise of fresh hops & bourbon barreling to me means this one might be one not to lay down for even the months I've had it.

Photo of jgasparine
4.44/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the tap with a thin tan-colored head, which quickly receded to edge lacing. The body was a very bark brown- almost black... with no visible carbonation.

S- Smells strongly of roasty malts, dark fruit, chocolate and marshmallow. Simple and beautiful.

T- Sweet and sticky roasty malts combine with the anticipated dark fruit and chocolate in an indulgent symphony. Finishes long, smooth and slightly bitter and roasty.

M- Big chewy mouthfeel, packed with unattenuated sugar, making a wonderfully textured mouthfeel. This is nicely rounded out with some velvet-soft carbonation.

D- Exceptionally drinkable... the dangerously high ABV is the only thing keeping this from being a perfect 5 in the drinkability department.

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an oily thick black with a mocha colored one finger head that disipates slowly and leaves lace. A great malt smell with chocolate and vanilla plus hints of coffee, toffee, and roasted (even some oat).Taste is more of the same as on first impression I get a woody, bready, thick but still somewhat smooth and creamy beer that passes easily with chocolate and vanilla tastes. Gets more bready and oaky with a roasted malt finish along with a hint of hop bitterness. The high ABV is well-hidden and this is a very enjoyable stout to relax with.

Photo of John_M
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours the expected blackish brown color with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose, once again, I get the expected coffee, black chocolate and vanilla. I guess you could say the flavor profile replicates the nose, but there is so much delicious flavor, that I couldn't help but be impressed. The beer has an impressive amount of richness as well, and there's just enough hoppy bitterness to counter the sweetnesss in this IRS. Mouthfeel is likewise impressive, with the relatively low carbonation working well to give this beer a soft, plush, long finish. This beer is very much an IRS milkshake - it has that kind of rich, mouthcoating, mouthfeel. Alcohol is somewhat noticeasble on the finish, but this beer is still pretty easy to take given its abv.

Impressive. While it's not going to make me forget the KBS', Kate's and Abyss of the world, this is still a veryh impressive, very solid RIS. Well done.

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
3.16/5  rDev -17.7%
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

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The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 534 ratings.