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The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) - Laughing Dog Brewing

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

400 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 400
Reviews: 155
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 16.09%
Wants: 15
Gots: 85 | FT: 3
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:
Over 11 months in the making some of the Dogfather is bourbon barrel aged.

71 IBU

(Beer added by: brownbeer on 12-21-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 400 | Reviews: 155 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Roman5150:
Photo of Roman5150
3.86/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

bottle into tulip

appearance: black, 1 finger mocha head

smell: roasted malt, smokiness, some oak, espresso, dark chocolate, vanilla, alcohol

taste: earthy bitter hops, dark chocolate dominates the palate along with roasted espresso notes and oak, alcohol warmth is present, lots of smokiness, but like other have said, not getting much "bourbon". Pretty smooth, finish is hoppy for a stout.

mouthfeel: medium carbonation, thick and syrupy

Overall: A great imperial stout, but not exactly a bourbon stout. Don't taste it, it resembles a cross between a chocolately imperial stout and a rauchbier, lots of smokiness. Still, a very good beer for what it is, would buy again.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
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
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
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 tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of jose_alehouseSD
5/5  rDev +34%

Photo of Beerswag
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

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 Mugenlude
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of frenchblood21
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
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 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 Seattle_Suds
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of HoppySeb
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Bristol5
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

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 OBIrish24
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of sgttibbs
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of homebrewer88
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
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 acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Brenden
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
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 weonfire
1.25/5  rDev -66.5%

Photo of biboergosum
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz chalice, during the 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 whatname
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

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.

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The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Laughing Dog Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 400 ratings.