Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

The Dogfather - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
The DogfatherThe Dogfather

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

237 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 237
Hads: 545
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.36%
Wants: 43
Gots: 83 | 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:
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Dogfather Alström Bros
Reviews: 237 | Hads: 545
Photo of colts9016
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have been wanting to try this beer but the rumors about it being infected kinda scared me. I hope that this beer is not. Poured into the perfect pint glass at 50 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger head that has good retention despite the fact that it has over ten percent alcohol. The color of the head is dark tan creamy and foamy left a little lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is dark brown near burnt motor oil. The clarity of the beer is opaque and some carbonation bubbles are visible on the bottom of the glass. The appearance of the beer look great.

Nose: A medium rich roasted malt is present with burnt, caramels, toasty, and biscuit notes. Other aromas are solvent, diacetyls, yeasts, molasses, chocolate, coffee, floral esters, citrus, and wood notes. This beer is mouthwatering.

Taste: A roasty toasty malt with burnt, toast, and biscuit characters. The other flavors in the beer is floral esters, pine, solvent, yeast, molasses, and coffee. Other notes in the beer is chocolate and resin. The nose just does not match the flavor.

The mouth feel of the beer is astringent, coating, warm, and carbonated.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. This beer fails in the taste department. The flavor and characters in the beer are not well developed. The malty backbone has scoliosis and need major help. What a disappointment. It was not infected but it just does not hold up to better American Stouts. (1,463 characters)

Photo of divineaudio
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber split with my gf. tulip glass. 10.85%

a - pours a viscous, deep dark brown with a thick, 2 finger, dark brown head. retention is excellent and leaves thick legs of lacing in my glass.

s - cocoa, tobacco, dark cherry, leather.

t - rich roasted malt with notes of espresso and tobacco. faint dark fruits with a saltiness that i can't place. nice balancing bitterness, but feels like it comes more from the espresso than hops.

m - medium in body with adequate carbonation and a fine co2 profile. very, very smooth.

o - a solid beer with a unique flavor profile that i haven't come across in any other beer. seems like it would pair well with a fine cigar. probably would have enjoyed this more if i paid less than $15 for this bottle. worth trying at least once though. (778 characters)

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my cigar city snifter. Pours an opague black with a caramel covered heading left lacing rings all throughout the tasting.

Heavy roasted malts with a good deal of espresso. Slight berry aroma as well.

This is were it through me for a loop. Starts off with the classic roasted malt flavor, slight espresso bean taste with a touch of chocolate. On the backend a heavy berry fruity twist like black currents, a slightly sour which leads to a hot boozey alcohol. Just not what I think of when drinking a stout.

Full bodied and decent carbonation but very thin and boozey.

It seems the fruity flavors try to hide the heavier abv but it doesn't quite take. (666 characters)

Photo of mountdew1
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a completely opaque dark brown, with a nice brown head. Head went from thick to a thin layer, but lasted a long time that clung to the sides extremely well. Aroma was sweet, finished like a warm brown sugar. Initially smelled a little musty, but switched over to a malt aroma. A mellow sweetness with a hint of lactose ended with a hint of bitter spice. Felt ok in the mouth. Coated well but seemed slightly over carbonated. Over all a decent stout, but the abv hit hard. (517 characters)

Photo of jmfc8237
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a pitch black with a creamy brown subtle head and tiny, almost champagne like bubbles. The roasty strong burnt sugar and a boozy sweet smell envelopes the senses. Coffe burnt sugar and some sweet fruity notes all play together as it warms. The taste is of a dark semi sweet cocoa and expresso wrapped in burnt sugars and signifigant char. It makes way to a warming and interesting mouthfeel. (397 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an opaque black with a fluffy, billowing tan head. Looks very solid and very thick in the glass, displaying no highights when held up to the light.

S: Aromas of chocolate, espresso, black licorice, burnt toast, and lemony, piney hops are present on the nose. This is obviously going to be one of those heavily hopped stouts that are becoming so popular in this country.

T: Opens bitter and grainy with notes of dark chocolate, espresso, pine, cedar, burnt toast, black licorice, lemon, and bitter orange. The finish is long, astringent, and grainy with notes of burnt toast, pine, cedar, and citrus. Really lacking in terms of depth and subtlety. To me, it is obvious that the guys at Laughing Dog were trying to be extreme and forgot they were making a stout.

M: Full-bodied, dry, and thick. Very firm and weighty. Definitely lets you know you're drinking a beer.

O: I can't say that I was all that impressed with this beer. I'm not a fan of heavily hopped stouts and this one certainly didn't change my mind. Stouts are, by definition, malty beers, so it makes no sense to brew a beer that ignores virtually every classic quality associated with the style. In my opinion, The Dogfather is further proof that Laughing Dog is an IPA brewery, a one trick pony that focuses on drawing in the hopheads with hugely bitter, resinous beers. (1,347 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle
Served in a snifter

A - It is very dark bordering on black. It is capped with two inches of tan head.

S - Chocolate and licorice are the aromas I get.

T - Chocolate comes through here as well. The finish has some licorice, coffee, and roasted malt. Pretty interesting.

M - Smooth with little carbonation

O - It is pretty solid. I like the chocolate and licorice working in this one. Licorice isn't a favorite flavor of mine but it works here. It kind of reminds me of Brooklyn BCS. It helps a gloomy fall day pass. (532 characters)

Photo of cdkrenz
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Huge head in a cloak of dark brown. Body is black allowing no light to penetrate. The head has great stamina. I believe this how an imperial stout should look.

S - Long roasted malt aroma with a coffee and chocolate scent mixed in.

T - A burnt toast flavor in the finish. The middle offers a chocolate and coffee mixture that has a real dark roasty taste.

M - The feel is smooth and somewhat wet while leaving a mildly sticky finish on my lips.

~ This is a not a beer for the meek in our beer drinking community. It's a aggressive and pushes limits. As I walk my way through the bomber it offers a 'head' worth seeking. This is a beer I would certainly recommend to a friend. The friend who gifted me this bottle offered without ever having tried it... I hope he has a chance to give it a try. (802 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.48/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a S.A. laser etched beer glass

Appearance: Very dark brown (black) with a 1/4 inch dark tan head.

Smell: Roastiness...like a roasted bock smell, no take that back; an AROMA which hints of wine.

Taste: Coffee-ish, with a hint of dark chocolate. The after taste is what's the best somewhat bitter piney feel to it but goes down smoothly.

Mouth: I would say medium to full...medium carbonation. Flavor just hugs your cheeks even minutes after finishing the bottle.

Overall: Beer is incredibly finished, from aroma to taste to the overall feel it just hits you so perfectly. There is really nothing not to like to this beer recommended to beer lovers and most of all REAL beer lovers alike. (703 characters)

Photo of MikeB20
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: 22oz bottle poured into a DFH signature glass.

A: Pours black as night and doesn't show even the slightest of brown highlights. I nice one finger dark tan head with moderate retention. Lacing is good as it sticks all the way down the glass.

S: Lots of caramel and burnt sugars, very sweet aromas. Alcohol is present with a large enough whiff. Judging by the color, I expected some roasted grain but I'm not getting any.

T: Lots of great roasted malt flavor with a great deal of sweetness. There's a touch of alcohol but not as much as I would have expected from a nearly 11% ABV beer. There is a distinct dry burnt flavor in the finish. Not terribly complex, I've had much more complex imperial stouts.

M: Syrupy as it coats and lingers on your tongue. Smooth with moderately low carbonation. The mouthfeel will lead you to drink this beer slowly and let it hang out in your mouth a bit.

O: Suprisingly drinkable given it's ABV but perhaps a bit too sweet. A 6-8oz glass of this would go nicely with a chocolate dessert. I like it but I don't love it. I would seek out another bottle if the opportunity to pair it with something on a special occasion presented itself. (1,176 characters)

Photo of TheBeerAuthority
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first beer from Laughing dog brewing company. Whoa! Not what i expected for an imperial stout but in a GOOD way!

Appearance- Dark jet back beer, amber brown/mocha colored head that nicely stuck around.

Smell- Really dominant pine and sweet smell with some roasted malt smells as well. I'm not one for pine but it works well in this brew.

Taste- Bold taste here. Chocolate, pine and an array of flavors. A very unique imperial stout. Wow. I get a sweet blast of dark fruits also but not overdone. You can taste the alcohol in this one. The unique taste for a stout attracted me in this situation! All very well balanced and complex.

Mouth feel- Medium to full bodied. I thought the carbonation was well done.

Overall- A well done beer that had a blast of flavors you don't usually expect from an imperial stout. This one went down easy for me and was a pleasure to drink. For a twist on the usual, give this beer a try! (926 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - black liquid with a light brown head that stayed around as a heavy ring leaving some light lacing.

S - sweet molases and charred wood.

T - sweet and smokey at the same time.

F - medium/full bodied with a smooth, creamy feel.

O - a very good example of the style. (304 characters)

Photo of whatthehull
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tulip

A - Deep dark black, three finger deep tan head (almost brown), and some lean lacing

S - Very sweet, molasses, oak, slight bourbon, lots of malt, tons of earth, vanilla, milk chocolate, slight yeast, flowers, slight hops and bitter chocolate

T - Vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, tons of malt, earth, oak, bitter chocolate, molasses and flowers

M - Full bodied, nice complexity, well balanced, low acidity and long finish

D - Drinks like a huge stout and a nice mellow stout. For the new stout fan and the veteran alike. Tons of flavor, great balance and a pretty decent beer all around

Final thought - at almost 11% and $5 a pop. If you have a chance to try this one. Give it a try (689 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 8/9, from notes...

picked up locally, poured into my cigar city snifter.

a - deep black with a nice creamy mocha milky tan head. pretty frothy and it hung around for a while. lacing was milky.

s - little burnt and smokey...milky roasted malts.

t - very nice flavor. milky roasted burnt malts. not nearly as burnt and smokey as the nose suggests. quite nice actually.

m - surprisingly not heavy. creamy, but light.

o - this is a great beer. i'm surprised i don't hear more about it. it is a bit burnt and smokey and also somewhat milk stoutish, but light enough to be an easy drinker. if you don't dig the burnt or milkiness i could see you not loving it, but for my tastes, this beer was very impressive and i realize that i should pick up a few more of these while i can. (787 characters)

Photo of thatruth
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz from the Beer Junction in West Seattle.

pours a 1/8" hot chocolate colored head with minimal-to-moderate frothy lacing. pours a liquorice color into an opaque with a dark tobacco tint in the glass. absolutely no light penetrates this beer.

deep aroma of chocolate syrup and caramel here. a variety of cocoa plant is present. most comparable to - no lie - tootsie rolls. hints of sour apple, have a feeling this one might be just that: sour.

definitely has a tang to it. chocolatey roasted malts, "tootsie roll" hops (I swear), caramel aftertaste. lacquer hint associated with imperial stouts is minimal here.

bright, bold on-bringing to a tangy body that ends with a quick, wet finish, seemingly does a pretty good job at hiding the 10.0+% alcohol content, until you let it settle a bit.

sour mash vibe to an imperial stout. peculiar, yet refreshing. (864 characters)

Photo of bogus564
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 fl oz, poured into a pint glass.

I just picked up 'Star Wars - The Complete Saga' on blu-ray; that, and the 'Band of Brothers' series. Full beer fridge, call me the Hermit. And away we go...

A: Holy Mackarel! This is one good looking beer! Dark brown color, enormous head that rolls like Guinness. Can't wait to get my nose in it.

S: This is nice - it smells of coffee, chocolate, molasses, orange. The scents are discernable, and powerful. This shows promise.

T: Oh, yeah - I like this one, for sure. It has all that you'd expect an imperial stout to have, and in a really good balance. The flavors blend quite well, and no one overpowers the other.

M: Excellent, coming close to spectacular. Medium-bodied, the carbonation's just right, plays nicely on the palate, leaving a fairly clean finish. A little hoppy at the end, but just a little. I like it.

O: Very nice beer to drink if you have no plans to do anything productive during or after. Fortunately for me, it's a couch potato weekend. I only wish I had cooked a good steak to go with this. Good thing I bought two bottles... (1,093 characters)

Photo of bierguru
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - THIS BEER IS LOOKS AWESOME POURS OUT OF THE BOTTLE LIKE MOTOR OIL HUGE HEAD THAT STAY VERY WELL AND STICKS TO THE GLASS LIKE A CHAMP

S - The smell is sweet and has notes of chocolate, molasses and loads of roasted malts

T - RIGHT UP FRONT U GET LOADS OF BITTER SWEET CHOCOLATE AND ROASTED MALTS. THE ROASTED FLAVOR FOLLLOW THROUGH THE WHOLE FLAVOR. TOWARD THE END YOU GET HINTS OF FRUIT AND DRY COCOA
oh and how could i forget u do get hints of alcohol

m- kind of syrupy which i didnt really care for bit the rest of the mouth feel was really awesome nothing in the taste was annoying

0 - this beer i just randomly bought knew nothing about the company and was really impressed would for sure buy again and the alcohol content really isnt an issue really drinkable (777 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing this at the May Freetail bottle release.
The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a decent-sized tan head. The aroma is very sweet. I get a lot of cocoa and chocolate, as well as some roasted malt and some brown sugar. I don't get much alcohol or hops in the aroma.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a ton of sweet milk chocolate and a little bit of roasted malt. There is a slight bit of coffee in the flavor as well as some dark fruit notes. The alcohol is well hidden and the hops are basically non-existent, contributing to the beer's sweetness.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. (644 characters)

Photo of jillmart
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Practically pitch black, with about an inch of head in a pint glass with some bubbles at the finish.
S: Holy roast! It's heavy on the roastiness. A hint of caramel and chocolate. It smells syrupy yet it doesn't taste that way.
T: It's roasty for sure. It's the most overpowering trait. But it works. Also a hint of chocolate, but that didn't hit me until the end.
M: Overall it's kind of sticky, thick, full-bodied. A very solid beer.
O: Not too difficult to drink at all. That being said, I haven't had much beer in a while, so it hit me kind of fast as it's 10.85% and I'm not a very big lady. :) It was quite good an,d it fits the style of beer I like (usually coffee porters or stouts, American porters, stouts). I would buy this again. I wish I could find more Laughing Dog on the East Coast. (800 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan head that quickly dissipated, leaving some bubbles on the surface and a ring around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell is sweet and has notes of chocolate, dark fruits, molasses and roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has flavors of chocolate, dark fruits, licorice, molasses and roasted malts. There is a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some notes of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer tastes somewhat strong, but nowhere in the level of 11% abv. For this reason, it’s not too difficult to drink. (711 characters)

Photo of papat444
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up last May near my hotel in Jersey.

Poured from a 22oz. bomber and split with my wife.

Appearance: Way too much foam as it fills more than 3/4 of the glass. Mocha colored head. Eternally lasting foam. Bubbles and has pock marks on the side reminding me a bit of an Aero chocolate bar. Body is a thick brown. Coats the length of the glass.

Smell: Cocoa powder, dark cherries and mocha coffee. Strong aroma holds its own.

Taste: Coffee, light aniseed, some chocolate, traces of liquor, sweet dark fruits. Lots of flavor, a bit overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Licorice feel, oily and very thick though it smooths out as it warms. Carbonation a bit too high and it's quite boozy in the feel.

Overall: A bit unbalanced and it was difficult to finish this between two people. Good flavor but too much heat. (812 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a thick black color with a big pillowy brown head that slowly settles into a puffy cap.

The aroma is of roasted malt, burnt caramel, licorice and a metallic twang. There is also a strong buttery toffee funk aroma, which isn't very pleasant. Almost smells infected.

The taste is big and roasty with a solid coffee flavor in the finish. Some dark chocolate, scorched caramel, rust, and char notes can be found along the way. There is a light lactic sour note that actually works well against the heavy malt.

The beer is well bodied with airy carbonation. Big roasted bitterness on the palate, finishes quite sticky. Very stout like.

A very roasty stout for sure. The aroma was bad however the taste is nice. Not sure if there should be a sour note but it works. (769 characters)

Photo of Biag10
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark brown, not quite black. A bit of light coming through on the edges when held to the light. Poured with a two finger mocha colored head.

S- Definitely big chocolate smell, with a hint of fruitiness, and a faint scent of moss and hops.

T- Chocolate flavor up front, with dark fruit flavor in the middle, fading back to chocolate and a bit of hoppy bitterness on the back end. I felt like the fruit really started to stand out as this one warmed up. The sweet/bitter balance was pretty good, but I am not a hop-head, so the layering bitter hop on the back end started to turn me off as I went through this one.

M- Moderate mouthful, creamy and smooth, though I prefer mine a bit heavier. Significantly more carbonation than I would expect, or prefer, from an Imperial Stout. Alcohol doesn't stand out too strongly, given the ABV.

O- This is a solid stout, definitely worth a try for the $5 price tag I picked it up at. Certainly far from the worst I have had. Solid mouthful and flavor, but too much back end hop for my liking. (1,036 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
3.07/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Pitch black, dark tan 2 finger head with thick lacing on glass.

S- Some roasted malts and bitter chocolate.

T- Sweet roasted malts and bitter chocolate dominate this beer. Has a bitter, almost off-taste to the finish (can't point to what the off-taste is).

M- Full bodied. Thick milkiness to this beer.

O- An average representation to a RIS. Will not seek this out again. (407 characters)

Photo of Gushue3
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

O- (987 characters)

The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 237 ratings.