Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) - Laughing Dog Brewing

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

166 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 166
Hads: 457
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 25.4%
Wants: 19
Gots: 104 | FT: 7
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 166 | Hads: 457
Photo of MorningBeer
5/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked this up at dirty john's three weeks ago. Waited for the right time. Threw on some vinyl records and poured into my sam adams sensory experience glass tonight...finally.

Pours like used motor oil. Absolutely stunning viscosity. A nice mocha one finger head that settles to a milky lacing.

Smells of roasted coffee, caramel, oak, and hint of bourbon all buried in chocolate.

Taste follows. A lot of complexity, in the nose and the mouth as the brew hits the palate. Perfectly balanced...the coffee, the chocolate, the bourbon and oak...nothing dominates. The alcohol is present but well masked. A half a bomber down, and a nice buzz ensues.

Mouthfeel is a full medium body. Light carbonation. Extremely pleasant.

The worst part about drinking this beer is that it's going away. I'll definitely need to pick up another. Best imperial stout I've had. God in a bottle.

Perfect alone or shared with another. A morning or late evening drink.

 951 characters

Photo of ken2cart1
4.88/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

black appearance, smell of rich chocolate and bourbon.had this beer on tap unbelievable flavor and mouth feel. soo creamy and has a great combination of bourbon and chocolate. probably one of the best beers i have had in a while. every sip invited me back for more. alcohol is very masked

 288 characters

Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.75/5  rDev +27%

Label date of 12.30.13.
Poured from a bomber into a tulip on 06.04.14.

A: 2 finger tan head that retains well. Midnight black body with some red at the bottom.

S: Vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate.

T: Vanilla, bourbon, and chocolate dominate. Fig, very slight roastiness, and cherry are subtle.

M: Creamy silk. Perfect carbonation. Not too chewy, just perfection.

O: This is a well rounded BB stout. It has complexity and is perfectly balanced. There is some alcohol burn on the back end. This is regularly $5.99 to $6.99 in the Seattle area, which is an incredible value. This is one that I regularly buy.

Rating: A

 621 characters

Photo of bgold86
4.75/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Has a great nose, lots of dark dried fruit prunes raisins dates etc, almost mimics bourbon county stout. Taste is rich, lots of aforementioned dark fruits, vanilla sweetness, lots of bourbon, great mouth-feel and finish!

 220 characters

Photo of TheCorkStopsHere
4.75/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

With all the hype surrounding some other stouts on the market, I've been itching to try this one. From Laughing Dog Brewing, in Idaho, this is The Dogfather. Described as an imperial stout aged in old bourbon barrels, and 10.85% abv, this should be fun!

The Dogfather pours out as black as molasses (if not darker) and almost syrupy. The foam is a dark coffee color, which fades fairly quickly, but doesn't disappear. The foam sticks to the glass a fair bit, but without the typical "lacing" look.

The nose is full of rich butterscotch, toffee, caramel, molasses, and even some dark chocolate. The nose isn't sweet though, it lingers somewhere between the malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness.

On the palate, the Dogfather definitely has a little backbone of chocolate. The boozy nature from the bourbon barrels comes through on the palette nicely, without being over-powering. Just like the aromas, this fits beautifully between hoppy and malty. There are some nice notes of sweetness, as well as just the right amount of hops.

This is really the first stout I've ever really been a big fan of. I mean, I've like other stouts in the past, like Southern Tier Choklat, but never had one that I really, really liked. This Dogfather is quite enjoyable. It is sweet enough that I don't mind taking another sip, dark enough that I feel like I'm drinking a real beer, and bold enough to keep the beer-sissies away from my glass.

 1,430 characters

Photo of BeerHewitt
4.75/5  rDev +27%

Mine is from 2013 stock, sat on it for almost a year. Not sure what it tasted like green, but right now it is one of the smoothest bourbon barrel aged stouts I have had. You get a light burn from the bourbon and alcohol throughout. A good heavy mouth-feel coats heavy on the tongue. Molasses, dark chocolate, and pecan dominate the tastes. Finishes sweet with a dryness from the 11%. Loving it.

 394 characters

Photo of jmbranum
4.65/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very special beer.

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Scotch tasting glass so as to savor each moment.

Inky black with a slight brown hue. Big fluffy tan head.

Glorious roasted aroma. Tingle of maple, lots of roasted toasted goodness. Some espresso.

Flavor is rich, if anything too rich. So much going on here. Definitely high alcohol (10.85 abv according to the label). Roasted notes. Some hops. Fairly dry at first but then very sweet. Long lingering mouthfeel.

Mouthfeel is decent.

Not as good as BCBS from Goose Island but still good. I really like this style. Also should mention that I'm very schnockered from just one bottle. This will be my only beer to review tonight. Yeah.

 698 characters

Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.59/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The appearance is super fine for an imperial stout that pours a midnight black that adsorbs all light around it. The head is thick and tan and very, very long lived that settles to a pile of foam that looks like it will never go away. The lacing is thick and long lived as well.

The nose is bready with definite bourbon notes and a definite, classic imperial spicy stout scent to it. The sweet smokey malts are balanced by the fruity malts with a tiny bit of tartness that is nicely balanced.

The taste is surprisingly dry for an imperial stout. The bourbon is strong in presence, but not dominating. The smokey malts are nicely balanced with the sweet malts that have a nice hoppy finish that is well balanced.

The mouthfeel is also a great balance for the imperial stout. It is just right, not thick and not watery.

Overall this is one impressive example of a imperial stout. The bourbon additive is a nice touch and works better than expected. I really like this one and will definitely drink it again.

 1,009 characters

Photo of silverking
4.55/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first experience with bourbon barrel beer, and I have to say, it is quite enjoyable. Nearly pitch black with a tan head that dissipates rather quickly. the lacing coated the sides of my glass and sank slowly back into the black lagoon that is The Dogfather. Aromas of Vanilla, bourbon, espresso, oak and smoke are definately present. Maybe a little black licorice too. It is heavy on the palate with low carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. vanilla, oak, and dark chocolate on the palate with a warming espresso finish. The alcohol is reletivley undetectable considering the 11% ABV. It is definately something I will pick up again. Highly recommended.

 662 characters

Photo of CampusCrew
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, loaded head

smell: loaded coffee, and heavy chocolate aromas

taste: rich and slight chocolate roasted flavors but had a smooth rich taste, Dry, not sweet at all. loads of coffee flavor. has vanilla from bourbon but sublte, not overdone. hops have faded or atleast hidden compared to regular.

mouthfeel: thick, creamy, high carbonation for stout

drinkability: nice beer and good use of bourbon aging. not bourbon dominant at all.

 476 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours velvety dark brown-black with a creamy tan head that quickly becomes a thin ring.

Aroma is surprisingly smokey, with dark fruit and chocolate sweetness along with a bit of anise. Oaky vanilla notes match well with the intense alcohol, offering a bourbon-like character.

Taste is very similar to the nose, except even more intense. Rich smokey, charred dark grain and burnt molasses bitterness balanced with more of the dark fruit and chocolate sweetness. Woody oak and vanilla comes through nicely. Alcohol is hot and strong with definite bourbon character. Finishes with a spicy, peppery quality, lingering alcohol heat and anise.

Mouthfeel is thick and resinous, coating the tongue.

A very intense and flavorful Imperial Stout. There is so much going on, but it still balanced and interesting. The bourbon alcohol heat comes on strong intensifying the experience.

 876 characters

Photo of KomodoDragon
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Being fond of the other Laughing Dog offerings, splurged and bought this seasonal. Nothing better than a imperial stout on a winter day.

A - poured purply black with a rusty head. Always like some great lacing for a dark brew.

S - smells like the morning coffee, with some burnt overtones.

T - Roasted malts with cherry. Reminiscent of a california cab. An alcohol burn in the back of my mouth. This will warm you up on a cold day. finishes crisp with licorice and pepper - not spicy. Complex, there is a lot going on and I enjoy that. Smooths out as it warms. I don't pick up any oak/bourbon flavors. Boozy - yes

M- weighty. creamy. Modest carbonation

Wonderful, what a winter seasonal should be. Not exactly to style, but wonderful nevertheless

 755 characters

Photo of robhunta
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - black with thick brown head. dispipates to leave anice thin lace across the top of the beer.

S - sweet coffee, malty

T - chocolate, coffee, sweet malt, caramel, bourban.

M - medium body

D - very drinkable

I like this beer a lot, overall a very sweet beer for the style, which is nice and adds to its drinkability

 321 characters

Photo of Arkofsax
4.41/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- almost pitch black with a reddish outline, great dark tan head with excellent lacing.

S- By no means bad, but the smell didn't quite seem to match up with the stellar quality of everything else about this brew. Very much a mirror of the taste; hoppy coffee with a hint of chocolate and raisin?

T- Excellent, the barrel-aging certainly adds a forward taste to the beer, chocolate completes the "middle-section" and the coffee and fruity tastes provide an incredibly complex aftertaste.

M- Carbonated perfectly to provide just the right amount of bite and heaviness. I definitely wouldn't want to drink more than 1 of these... or maybe i do!

O- Definitely a top notch brew. Everything comes together so perfectly to create a memorable drink that I would certainly purchase again.

 784 characters

Photo of illeagle05
4.39/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 22 oz bomber poured into a snifter

A: Black with a foamy light brown head. Nice lacing from the point where poured and head is retained throughout consumption.

S: Chocolate, oak, light bourbon

T: Chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts, milky sweetness, bourbon

M: Full bodied, syrupy, nice warming alcohol, slight bitterness. Very nicely balanced.

O: Absolutely solid barrel aged stout (especially for the price). I can't say necessarily that anything was lacking for me...just that compared to some others BBA stouts it came up a bit short in aroma and forwardness of the bourbon's impact in flavor. That may be a blessing in disguise for this concoction because it comes out extremely balanced for me and is extremely drinkable.

 739 characters

Photo of SlothB77
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the 2012 and it was not good. Too thick, too bourbony, too bitter, too heavy.

So I was naturally hesitant to have the 2013. But I got a free sample and I was blown away. Much more sessionable/ drinkable this year. It is much much improved. The nose pops with bourbon, malts, chocolate and vanilla. The taste has a creamy dark chocolate, malt and surprisingly strong notes of coffee.

The feel is lighter and smoother than last years, but as a bourbon barrel stout it is naturally heavy-bodied.

When given the option to have this or the goose island BCBS, I would think twice.

 583 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.34/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am assuming I am reviewing the correct beer. The label indicates nothing of its barrel aging, the bottle on the Laughing Dog website indicates nothing of barrel aging, but the beer has all of the qualities of barrel aging. No idea how old the bottle is because there is no date anywhere.

Great looking beer. Pitch black with a frothy, silky smooth, dark tan head of about two fingers in size. Generous lacing and the retention is awesome.

Aroma is filled with coffee, chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla, bourbon. Really nice.

Flavor is spot on as well. Bitter chocolate and the hops provide some bitterness with a touch of astringency. Fully flavored bourbon and oak, smoky, alcohol, tobacco.

A very solid beer. I think i paid like $4.99 for a bomber, which makes this an awesome value. Loved this beer.

 811 characters

Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

At least a year old. I'm not sure exactly when I bought it.

Pours black with a deep, chestnut brown, fluffy head that leaves nice thick coating down the glass. Full on bitter chocolate on the nose with molasses and hints of vanilla. Hit the back of my throat as I breathed it in. On the palate: bittersweet chocolate and toasted brown bread, touch of coffee, slightly boozy with a bitter finish, a hint of pine. Smooth with a bit of carbonation across the top of my mouth and quickly on the sides. Overall it's a little too sweet at times even after a bit of aging, but it's complex and well layered.

 601 characters

Photo of WesM63
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a large snifter. No bottling date, assuming latest release.

A: Poours pitch black with a 1finger mocha head. Minimal retention but plenty of lacing.

S: Smells of vanilla, chocolate, bourbon and some roasted malts.

T: Spot on the nose. Vanilla on the tounge that evolves to a bourbon-oaky-ness finishes with some bittersweet chocolate.

M: Full body, moderate carbonation. Rich and creamy. Carbonation might be a little on the high side.

O: Color me impressed. This BA Stout walks a fine line, just the right amount of bourboun that melds extremely well with the base stout. Price isn't a factor in this review, but at less than $10 a bottle, buy it, buy all of it.

 699 characters

Photo of drpimento
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark shit going happenin on the Dark Island. Poured at a good temperature with a medium sized, foamy, tan head that settles after a while and some lace. Color is an almost opaque, but clear black ruby. Aroma is roast, coffee, cherry, cocoa, molasse, vanilla, smoke, pomegranite. Flavor's like nose, mildly sweet, balanced with pleasing carbonic tang and yeast/hop bitter and just friggin good. Body and carbonation are bang on. Finish is like flavor, average length, and easy drinking. Superb beer.

 498 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.29/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

 1,722 characters

Photo of BierGartenok
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep Dark pour, slight dark chocolate colored head

S- Smell is great! Hints of bourbon coming through, and chocolate. Some coffee on the nose as you take a sip.

T- Exactly what I was expecting. The Bourbon Barrel has mellowed out the characteristics greatly. Bourbon notes, caramel and coffee coming through, milder than some BBS but still awesome.

M- Not as heavy as some BBS I have had, but nice on the tongue. Not too chewy covers the palate nicely.

D- Wonderful!! I would definitely drink this regularly. Its a great BB IMP Stout and the price is right. I have spent a lot more on beers of equal quality. Laughing Dog got this one right!! Cheers!

 658 characters

Photo of Brabander
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I drank this bottle when I was in Austria last week in the lovely village of Neustift in the Strubai valley together with an American Facebook friend who was there @ the same time.

Poured out of the bottle into a wine glass, did not have the appropiate glassware with me. Nice and creamy head which gives this beer a very nice look. Little lacing. The smell is normal; stoutlike with nice coffee notes. Taste is good but not overwhealming strong. A good stout when you want to try out the stout. I did my very best but could not find any hints of the barrel aging of this beer

Glad i got to try this one!

 606 characters

Photo of Dave1999
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pure black with no real head to speak of.

The smell is sweet bourbon,roasted malts and a hint of coffee.

The taste is much like the smell sweet, pretty strong on the bourbon with a little bit of alcohol. The aftertaste is bitter coffee.

The mouthfeel is full bodied, syrupy with low carbonation.

This is very tasty, the bourbon is strong, you can tell there's alcohol in it. I would definitely buy this again.

 419 characters

Photo of BeerSocrates12
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed at home in a Lakewood Temptress snifter. This is the Bourbon Barrel aged version poured from a 22oz. Bomber.

Bottle was set out of the fridge to warm to a cellar serving temp.(about 20 min.)

A: Pours dark yet slight redness. A lighter tan head for an imperial stout. Lesser carbonation as expected from a barrel aged beer.

S: smells of a slight "roastiness" and a surprisingly smooth bourbon and cheery nose. Not as much of a roasted nor cocoa aroma I'd prefer in an imperial stout but still pleasant.

T: Subtle roast....a lot of Bourbon and almost no oak...I often find barrel aged beers to have more of an oak flavor...nice sweet complexity from the bourbon. This stout is very well balanced.

M: very smooth mouthfeel for 11%. Little to no alcohol burn. I like the way this beer finishes sweet...

O: Laughing Dog really surprises me. This is a really great Barrel aged Imperial Stout. Very smooth and well balanced. Caution: at 11% don't let this beer get ahead of you....its very easy.

 1,004 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Laughing Dog Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.