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The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) - Laughing Dog Brewing

Not Rated.
The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged)The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

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BA SCORE
84
good

439 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 439
Reviews: 163
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 15.55%
Wants: 17
Gots: 104 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing visit their website
Idaho, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.85% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brownbeer on 12-21-2009

Over 11 months in the making some of the Dogfather is bourbon barrel aged.

71 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 439 | Reviews: 163
Reviews by MattSweatshirt:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial nonic a near jet black except for just a tinge of ruby in the bottom of my glass when held to the light,a creamy,fluffy two finger mocha colored head atop that left broken lace as it settled into a frothy mass.Light oak,slight char,and bitter chocolate stood out the most aroma wise,faint molasses sweetness came thru as it warmed.Seemed a bit off in the mouthfeel department,a little sharp and rough,with the creamy head I expected a little more creamy texture to the beer.Flavors of toasty oak and vanilla at the onset even a little char/smoke.French roast coffee flavors are what I thought of.Not to sweet with just a bit of molasses,the barrel aging really doesnt play a huge role in my mind.Its close to being really really good,it just seems to lack a little body and sweetness,the alcohol is well hidden though.

10.85%ABV per bottle label.

Photo of brownbeer
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The case says this is bourbon barrel aged but the label is the same as the Dogfather. I'll take Laughing Dog's word for it I suppose.

Pours thick and dark with a healthy brown head.

Aromas of charred bourbon barrel, a hint of vanilla, roasty to no end. Smells a bit too burnt for me.

Burnt, smokey oak, bitter coffee and chocolate dominate the palate. Noticable alcohol and a little rough around the edges.

I would hope a few years might add some finesse to this somewhat harsh stout.

Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
2.67/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I would prob never revisit again.The only real reason is that the licorice taste that my pallete picked up was way too much for this licorice hater.
Overal: Not horrible other then that.

Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours dark brown to black with a tan head. The aroma is oak, alcohol, roasted malt and bourbon. The flavor is roasted malt, chocolate, oak, whiskey with some piney hops and earthiness that was somewhat unexpected. Medium bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and a high, prickly carbonation which took away from the beer.

Photo of frenchblood21
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into wine glass.

Appearance- Beautiful looking beer. Black liquid is contrasted by huge tan head. Way more carbination than any stout I've ever seen. Lacing is amazing..

Smell- Oak, bourbon and cherries in that order. This beer has a "barn yard" type smell to it. But not in a bad way. It reminds me of walking through a bourbon distillery.

Taste- Sad to say this, but the first taste I detect is a sour flavor. After that, I taste wood and then a faint bourbon flavor. I would have never guessed this was bourbon-aged if I didn't know.

Mouthfeel- Way too thin for a stout...but I do understand that months or a year in a barrel will do that to a beer.

Overall- Absolutley worth the $7.99 I paid for it. This could NEVER compete with the BA Blackout Stout or KBS, but who says their trying to?

Photo of pat61
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours deep dark brown under a 1” tan foam cap that hugs the side of the glass.
S: Big coffee aromas, some alcohol, a hint of chocolate and vanilla, faint bourbon.
T: Big coffee chocolate vanilla flavors laced with bourbon character on the finish supported by dark dried fruit and a hint of plum. Overall lightly sweet with a slight tartness in the finish. No harsh or burnt flavors. The hop bitterness is moderate and well balanced by the malt and alcohol.
F: Soft in the mouth with medium body and below average carbonation. Slight warming.
O: Pleasant and easy to drink.

Photo of boatshoes
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this one sent to me as an extra by nonstick in a recent trade. Thanks again for the awesome extras and great woodwork!

Appearance- Pours motor oil black out of the bottle but with a surprisingly large and active two fingers of brown head rising off of the body. Dies back in short order but leaves a denser than usual sheet across the top of the beer. Little to no lacing.

Smell- Lots of roasted malt, a touch of bitter chocolate and an interesting nutty smell. My first inclination would be to attribute the nuttiness to the barrel, but it really doesn't smell like a bourbon barrel. I don't pick up on much of the usual smells of vanilla, tobacco, or wood from a barrel. Decent profile but a little lacking in barrel smells for the style.

Taste- Roasted malt and chocolate up front. Primarily dominated by the roast, with the chocolate coming in towards the middle. Finishes off again with the nuttiness and a long and drying astringency. I'm not used to this nuttiness, so I don't really know what to make of it. Because of the astringency however, the palate is thinned out a bit and the alcohol shows through a bit more than I like on the finish. Barrel effects are minimal again as with the nose.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is decent if a touch thin because of the astringency and hot alcohol. Good levels of carbonation though. Drinkability isn't much better than average on this one for me though because the somewhat harsh finish I mentioned earlier on the beer. Became more pronounced as I drank.

Overall, an okay beer. Not an overly complex example for the style and by the end of the glass I found the nutty astringency to be a bit too much. Worth a shot however and may round out a bit with aging.

Photo of MattyG85
4.29/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Date on bottle says 10/3/12.

Appearance: Pours an oily dark black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid three fingers of deep tan head which slowly fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A very rich and sweet dark roasted malt driven aroma. Dark roasted barley malts with a huge scent of dark chocolate and cocoa nibs along with hints of coffee, cream, toasted bread, burnt caramel, toffee, and smoked malt. Big presence of sweet molasses. Barrel hints of vanilla, charred oak, and bourbon. Subtle dark fruit hints of raisin, cherry, fig, and prune. Light hints of earthy hops as well. Very big on the burnt malt and chocolate scents. Pretty good aroma.

Taste: Like the scent, a big rich and sweet dark malt driven taste with lots of chocolate. Roasted barley malts with a big taste of dark chocolate and sweet cocoa nibs. Notes of coffee beans, cream, burnt toast, caramel, toffee, and a good kick of smoked malt. Lots of sweet molasses and a slight kick of anise. The barrel presence is kind of subtle for an aged beer but there are some notes of vanilla and charred oak along with a slight note of bourbon. Undertones of dark fruit with some notes of raisin, dark cherry, prune, and fig. Slight earthy hop presence in the background. A very good imperial stout taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy, rich, and somewhat syrupy. Alcohol heat is hidden very well.

Overall: A very good tasting imperial stout. Has several months on it so don't know what its like really fresh. Bourbon presence is kind of lacking but as an imperial stout it is very good overall.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from CBX in Charleston, SC. Didn't realize it was the BA version when I bought it so that was a nice surprise.

Pours black with a two-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of heavily roasted malt with good amounts of char. Lurking in the background are mild amounts of unsweetened chocolate and oak notes.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Deep roasted malt flavors kick things off and are quickly joined by large amounts of char and lighter amounts of unsweetened chocolate. An acrid bitterness kicks in midway through the sip and intensifies through to the ending. As the beer warms hints of oak increase.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this certainly isn't leading the pack of BA DS's nor is it even leading the middle. Still, it's not bringing up the rear. If you like your DS's heavy on the roast then be sure to give this one a shot. On another note I'd like to have the non-BA version of this to compare, as the bourbon didn't seem to have nearly as much influence as the barrel.

Photo of homebrewer88
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with creamy brown head good retention and lacing
smell is nice some chocolate dark fruits and a slight Bourbon barrel scent.
taste follows the smell chocolate some Bourbon and oak( not as much as I'd like) and some dark fruits
mouthfeel as pretty nice a little thin for my taste but not bad.
I let this one warm pretty much to room temperature and that is when it was at its best

Photo of Brenden
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

There's an interesting contrast between this beer fresh (so to speak) and with 2 years more age on it. There may be the most difference from aging of all the beers I've thus experimented on to date.

The pour reveals a thick and viscous beer, easily judged as likely to be an imperial Stout just from the look. it also reveals a fat, heavy, rocky tan head almost two fingers tall with good retention that deposits lacing in creamy patches that spread, leg and web out pretty nicely.
The smell is giving me roast, dark barley grains and something almost like malted milk balls with a creamy sort of sweetness. A bit of smoke and char peek through. Initially, the bourbon isn't as noticeable as in many similarly aged beers aside from a bit of wood and slight alcoholic warmth. Masking of alcohol, so long as it's not overdone, works better in the original than in a bourbon barrel-aged rendition.
This beer has a big base of strong malts, lots of roast coming through with unbrewed coffee grounds and a bit of dark and milk chocolate. Roast is the main event, though, even as some wood brings a little char into the finish. Alcoholic warmth is present but low, and the barrel provides a little vanilla but not too much. Hops are subdued for what's claimed, though there's more bitterness than just what the roast and char provide that works well to integrate itself and does balance well.
There's a mix of sweetness contributing to the body and dryness from wood as well as alcohol. Fresh, it doesn't get to express everything there is and there's slightly too much bite. Further aging smooths it out beautifully and provides a rich, creamy texture. Honestly, they would produce a better beer if they let it sit after the barrel again for two years in steel (or even bottles) and then releasing it, though it is good.

Photo of biboergosum
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz chalice, during their tap takeover at Beer Revolution in downtown Edmonton.

This beer appears a solid, light-absorbing black hole, with pretty much nil in terms of any sort of highlights, and a thin cap of wispy, yet still rather foamy tan head, which leaves a near solid wash of thinly painted lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of semi-sweet Kentucky whiskey barrel - caramel, spicy rye grain, and boozy vanilla - further toffee malt sugary notes, bittersweet chocolate, a bit of root beer syrup, and a bristling alcohol astringency. The taste is strong, almost too strong grainy wood barrel notes - rye whiskey, of course, with the attendant toasted vanilla and caramel - a still heady toffee malt backbone, chocofied coffee, and a low-key, underwhelming leafy, weedy hoppy bitterness.

The carbonation is generally unassuming in its plain Jane, um, blandness, the body a stoic medium-heavy weight, and actually smooth, all other pertinent things considered. It finishes on the sweet side, the barrel still bullying its way about, to no one's real benefit.

I like these guys, I really do, but sometimes their headier offerings seem to come up short, as does this. There's certainly no question that this stout spent a considerable amount of time in Bourbon wood. The actual question is, should it have?

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Having never tasted the standard Dogfather I can't compare the Bourbon barrel aging. What I can say is that it's distinct, but not overdone. You find it in the nose but with so much chocolate and roastiness going on it's just a minor component. In the flavor, however, it's quite clear, expressing both Bourbon and wood. That said....

This is one black beer, with a dark brown head (orange cast) that lasts and leaves remarkable sheets of solid lacing behind as it goes.

The nose is completely chocolatey, caramelish, fudge-like, and roasty with notes of fresh coffee grounds.

The flavor is rich and malty, displaying yeasty fruitiness wrapped in caramel, sprinkled with grassy/spicy hops, and then covered in sugared-espresso-like roastiness. It's almost like some kind of Italian dessert. Every sip is full and complete and totally satiating; and in that sense, this is not an "easy to drink" beer. It should be sipped and savored like a tiny cup of espresso (I was initially going to say barleywine, but espresso is more concise). It has some of the dark fruit normally associated with the style, and it hints at the burnt currant that Michael Jackson was so fond of, but it's not quite there. And the hops are leafy, woody (or is that just the wood?), grassy, and spicy. There's also a slight mineral-ish edge to it. Most of it, however, is that velvet robe of roasty malt I mentioned upfront. And I use the word robe because it's covering and comforting and soft, but not heavy or cloaking. It's airy and smooth... but dense and full at the same time. Black velvet... ? Cliche, but succinct. Regardless, the whole of it is that it's superbly well rounded and balanced: there's no harsh edge of dark malt acidity, no bite of alcohol, and no overt bitterness.

Overall, the Bourbon barrel aged Dogfather rises to the challenge. Worth seeking out.

Photo of socon67
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black pour with a borwn foam that has solid retention. Slight lacing in rongs on the glass.

S - Scents of vanilla bean, cocoa powder, and a touch of coffee. As it warmed the bourbon scent became more prevelant.

T - Hearty malt profile that is quite rich. Coffee flavor came to the surface quickly. Finish is distinct of a BBA stout. Warming burn at the end. Overall it does hit all the notes of what I'd expect.

M - Richness made this a sipper, and over time the bourbon flavor made this a cocktail beer. Heavy bodied and for many one is plenty.

O - Would try again. Certianly a big stout in every way.

Photo of russpowell
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review based on notes, tasted in February...

Pours mahogany with a pinky of fast falling tan head. Above average head retention, average lacing & a nice viscious look to this

S:Dark fruit, figs & woody hops. Bourbon notes shine once warm

T: Figs, dark chocolate, vanilla, woody hops & oaky boozeyness up front. Bourbon notes, black cherry, oakyness & plums, plus figgyness as this warms. Finishes with strong oaky notes, some warming booze notes & figs & vanilla

MF: Fairly chewy, firm carbonation, doesn't smooth out as much as I hoped

The booze bite detracts a bit, but I do like this a little better than the regular version

Photo of bashiba
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a deep dark black with a very thin off white head.

The smell is full of bourbon barrel goodness with oak, vanilla, dark toffee and a touch of bitter burnt malts. Good, but much more mild than I would expect for this style.

The flavor is big black and bitter, much less of the barrel aging is evident here. Very dark, smokey, and burnt in flavor up front with a long piney finish. Slowly a bit of vanilla and oak creep through. The flavor is a bit on the one dimensional overall for this style.

The mouthfeel has a nice warming thickness to it.

Overall I thought it a bit bland for a bourbon barrel aged stout.

Photo of thagr81us
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Nonic. I have never really been a huge fan of Imperial Stouts myself, but saw this in the store and thought I would give it a try. Poured an almost black with massive tan head. Lacing was excellent throughout. The aroma had hints of coffee, caramel, and was quite smoky upon first inspection. This brew has a heavy body on the palate with average carbonation. Overall this is an excellent brew and might have changed my mind about Imperial Stouts altogether...

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Not much more expensive than normal Dogfather, which is interesting. Pours a black that only fades out to ruby when thinned out significantly. brilliantly formaind medium to deep tan head. Lacing is decent. Smell is roasted malts, some chocolate, a touch of coffee, bourbon and vanilla.

Taste follows the smell. Bourbon and vanilla throughout from the barrels. Dark chocolate and coffee blend together nicely, and there is some underlying roast here. I think the bourbon integrates very nicely with this one. Nice medium to heavy body. Slight bit of prickly carbonation. Tasty brew overall.

Photo of Flopjack
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle into snifter

Appearance - Pure black, 1 finger white sandy colored head leaving a ring once settled

Smell - Roasted milk chocolate, coffee with cream and bourbon.

Taste - Dark chocolate to start, leading you in to a roasty coffee flavor with bitterness from the initial chocolate flavor. Alcohol at the end with definite bourbon flavors. Woody, smoky and balanced nicely.

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy carbonation, full bodied, thick, satisfying but not quite refreshing.

Overall - I thought this beer was good. I was surprised to find out how much this beer carries chocolatey characteristics in the nose and taste. It's the first time I've had a Dogfather and I will defintely be buying it again.

Photo of KTCamm
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22 ounce bomber into perfect pint glass.

Pours dark black with tick brown foam. Hearty looking. Rich chocolate malt nose. Espresso too,. Vanilla as well. Taste is a hearty full coffee chocolate blend with a whisky background. Quite boozy. Whisky flavor builds as the beer warms. packs a wallop, with a lot of flavor.

Photo of Treyliff
3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- pours black as night, not a bit of light escaping through the glass, small somewhat foamy dark tan head that quickly reduces to a thin layer skimming the top, leaving a few rings of lace

S- dark and deep roasted malt in the aroma, notes of smoky charcoal, a bit if vanilla, melted dark chocolate, booze, and just a trace of oak at the end.

T- smoky and charred malt profile dominates up front, a bit of coffee, vanilla and chocolate pop up mid-palate, the finish brings some of the woodsy oak flavors along with just enough hop bitterness to be noticed. Finish is sweet with a charred oak linger.

M- heavy bodied with low carbonation, almost syrupy mouthfeel leads to a creamy mid- palate, finish is smooth and silky with a touch or warming alcohol that escapes through the nose upon exhaling.

O- this one has a lot of smoky roasted character. The alcohol is contained quite well considering the ABV, and the mouthfeel is ideal. The main problem I had was the lack of bourbon character. The oak was there but I couldn't really pick up any bourbon. If this were a regular double stout, I would have rated it higher, but considering the style, I would have liked a little more assertive bourbon character. Overall an enjoyable beer, but probably won't purchase again given that I paid $14 for it.

Photo of KYGunner
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried to score this BA stout on its own merits but was haunted constantly with the price...$4.99 a bomber. As a BA aged stout goes this had a nice balance of chocolate malt, chocolate, creme, whisky like sweetness and maybe a tinge of oak. Light aroma and feel it was not too terribly light as to deter but enough to make it drinkable. The flavor is a complete, subtlety complex and delicious. I give it a four on its own merit but a five on its bargain!

Photo of Bung
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Into a Grand Marnier snifter, a pretty solid black pour with a dark tan foam. This glass tends to generate more head, but large non-disappating head of this worries me a bit.
I don't know where the aroma is in this one, but it's nearly non-existent. Some sweeter malt and a light oaky booziness.
Taste is much more roasty. Heavy roast from the base beer is still very present in this one. The harshness subsides in this one as well as it warms a bit. Large amounts of burnt malt and anise, with dark chocolate, caramel and oak accenting. Fairly warming, but not overly boozy. A little more boozy than the non-barrel aged version.
Almost creamy mouthfeel, to the heavy side in the medium body range. The edginess of this holds it back a bit.
The barrel aging with this is just a minor oak and bourbon accent, which is pleasant, but I prefer a little more.
To like either of the Dog-Fathers you really have to have an affinity for the heavily roasted RIS.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, I have no idea exactly how old this is but I do know I've had this bottle for about 4 months. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half dark tan head. Head retention is very good, and there's a lot of lacing left behind on the glass. Aroma is mostly roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate, along with some bourbon, oak, vanilla and dark fruit. The brew tastes like roasted/charred malt, caramel, bittersweet chocolate, oak, smoke and some bourbon. It's a mostly bitter/roasty tasting stout with not much sweetness. The bourbon in both the aroma and flavor seems weak to me for a barrel aged beer. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and dry and is well carbonated. It's also smooth and easy to drink. If you're a fan of bitter roasty stouts, then you would probably like this beer. But if you're expecting a lot of bourbon in this brew, you'll probably be disappointed. Even though the bourbon isn't strong in this brew, I still think this is a good imperial stout. I liked it.

Photo of jsh420
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours dark dark brown - looks black in the glass - 2 finger tan head that covered the entire glass with lacing

smell is load of chocolate and dark fruit with a hint of berries

taste is like the nose with lots of chocolate flavor and quite a bit of oak - reminds me of oaked yeti

mouthfeel is oh so smooth and creamy but falls just a bit flat

overall - great flavors of oak and chocolate - but where is the bourbon??? i got none - i will be interested in see how this differs from the non barrel aged

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The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Laughing Dog Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 439 ratings.