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The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) - Laughing Dog Brewing

The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged)The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

336 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 336
Reviews: 147
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 16.49%

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: 336 | Reviews: 147 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10.85% ABV per label.

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch dark tan head that becomes a film on the top of the beer. Random splotches of lacing form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark malts, dark candied fruits, chocolate caramel, and wood. Taste is woody to the max. There is an off chemical taste almost, like the wood was treated somehow. Other flavors are dark malts, licorice, and cocoa powder. There is a moderate bitterness on the palate after each sip. The beer has good carbonation which makes it crisp and smooth. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a very nice smell but the chemical wood taste take some points away from the experience.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 04:13:15 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 21:53:45 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


2.13/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

A dog-themed beer in a dog-themed glass. Done. Anyway, this stuff pours a dark black-brown topped by a more-than-healthy few fingers of sandstone foam. The nose comprises dark cocoa powder, light coffee powder, and a strong, yet vague, sense of fruit, primarily black cherry. This does not bode well... The taste confirms my anxiety as dark chocolate-covered black cherries dominate my tongue, with a small bit of wood and watered-down whiskey flowing in a tiny rivulet in the distance. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, I can't quite conclude that this stuff is infected, per se, but it certainly tastes similar to other infected stouts I've had. It may just be that this stuff ages piss-poorly, but I have no way of knowing how old this bottle is, so it's all just speculation. What isn't speculation is the strong fruit flavor and thin body, making this stout completely unenjoyable. Even as a sour stout it fails, frankly, as it's more metallic than tart. Shame, really...

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2013 23:07:21 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2011 01:43:53 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of russpowell


4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2011 03:46:14 | More by russpowell
Photo of Mora2000


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2010 02:15:57 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a huge, light brown colored head of bubbly, long-lasting foam. It left sticky patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of chocolate and some vanilla. There were some mild bourbon notes, too.

T - It tasted of chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and oak. It was very boozy.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A full bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This was okay. I would rather have it with more age on it to mellow it out. A little too boozy.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2011 01:19:57 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros


3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The regular Dogfather was not very impressive, way to much minerality, soy sauce, syrupy, etc. HOpefully the Bourbon Barrel is a lot more subtle and tasty. I figured this was a good beer to help me ride out the heavy thunderstorms and possible tornadoes on the way.

A: Pours with a ridiculous amount of carbonation, even a gentle pour yields 2/3 head and 1/3 beer to start. It's a dark fluffy pillowy head the fades slowly too over a dark black not too thick beer that has just the slightest hint of light shining through.

N: Thick dark malts, stout like of course, lots of dark roasted barley and dark roasty malts, some chocolate malt, thick syrupy molasses and other syrupy aromas, some creamy luscious chocolate milk. A very slight hint of oak and bourbon with all that.

T: Similar to the original, starts with a nice luscious chocolate flavor, dark chocolate and some milk chocolate, and lots of roasty flavors. Then gets real minerally with some soy sauce, salty, chewy dark malts, lots of earthy roasty charred malt flavors, which also brings a lot of bitterness. Somewhat thick and syrupy with a little molasses, and quite a boozy taste, and warming tingly feel. A little bourbon flavor, very light, and a hint of oak but not much. I think this is a little toned down a bit from the original but not much.

M: Semi thick and syrupy, not as thick as I expected, lots of carbonation and tons of warming tingly boozy mouth burning alcohol.

F: Very bitter, again from the roasty charred malts, and lots of earthy lingering taste with more soy sauce, long syrupy root beer syrup flavor, long tingly and warming booze taste as well, like I just rinsed my mouth with really strong mouthwash, a long bitter root earthy salty flavor too. Lots of not so pleasant stuff in the taste that seem to linger with the rest. There is some roasty malt flavors, and a little chocolate and bourbon lingering, but mostly the unpleasant parts lingering. Although, the more I drink the more by mouth becomes used to the bad flavors and it starts to becomes a little more drinkable, not too bad.

I'll see what a few years of aging does to teh rest of them.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 19:03:52 | More by jlindros
Photo of barleywinefiend


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured jet black with good carbonation leaving a nice brown cap and bubbles

S: Bourbon, light funk, cocoa and booze

T: Bitter chocolate merried with booze, hints at funk, roasted malt, light coffee, bourbon.

M: Hearty. Big body, lots of flavor.

O: Good beer worth trying. Easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2011 15:08:36 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark dark brown with 3 plus fingers of tan head that lasts for several minuted. Moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, mainly cherry. Also some roasted malts and light coffee. Not getting any bourbon or oak, and smells much sweeter than I was expecting.

t - Tastes of bourbon, oak, cherries, roasted malts, coffee, and bitter chocolate. Much more like I was expecting.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent beer but a little disappointing. Not bad by any means, but I didn't think the taste was as smooth and balanced as I had hoped for. The smell was sweet dark fruits which threw me off, though it was enjoyable. Glad I tried but would probably not seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 23:44:49 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Rifugium


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Dark brown-black pour with a small foamy head that retained well and left a few streaks of lacing on the glass. Aroma of caramel malts, cocoa, dark fruits, vanilla, some bourbon notes. Flavor is fairly deep and malty, caramel, cocoa, coffee, bready yeast, figs and prunes, vanilla and bourbony wood, distant herbal hops. Almost came off as a lighter stout reinforced with a barleywine or old ale (and aged on bourbon). Pretty smooth mouthfeel, there's some alcohol warmth, but it's fairly mellow considering the higher ABV, on the heavier side of medium-bodied, and quite nice overall.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2012 02:16:02 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Wasatch


3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to LiquidArrogance for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with lots of chocolate/toffee notes, nice little bourbon/oak note. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, nice notes of dark stuff, bourbon/oak notes. Medium Body, the ABV is hidden very well with this brew. Overall a very nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 01:24:57 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112


2.93/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I've been looking for this one for a while and was fortunate enough to find it at a Total Wine in Ft. Lauderdale.

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the faintest hint of lighter color when held to a light source and a frothy two finger mocha head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a thick lasting cap that coats the glass with large chunks of soapy lacing.

Sweet malty aroma with a prominent boozy bourbon barrel character. Lots of earthy oak with subtle hints of vanilla and a very strong bourbon presence. Underneath, the base beer is still evident in the nose. Deep roasted malt profile that is slightly acrid with hints of chocolate, toffee, espresso bean and oatmeal. There's also, surprisingly, a strong hop presence with hints of earthy pine and sweet citrus fruit. The nose, although dominated by the bourbon, still has plenty of roasted malt which is a good sign that this won't be a complete booze bomb.

Medium boded with an overly sweet bourbon barrel presence up front that lingers throughout and dominates the other flavors. Lots of dry, toasted oak with sweet bourbon and very faint vanilla notes. The combination of dry, earthy oak and deep roasted malt make this beer a bit to acrid/burnt tasting and the dryness/bitterness from the piny hops add to this sensation. The bourbon presence gives off a lot of sweetness but not a lot of heat or warmth. The ABV is well masked but it's still kind of harsh, making it tough to drink. Underneath, there is a deep roasted malt character with hints of acrid, ashy burnt toast, bittersweet dark chocolate, oatmeal and burnt espresso beans. Bitterness from the hops kick in toward the end of the palate lingering into a long dry finish.

Overall, I was really disappointed with this beer. I love the base beer and have really been looking forward to trying the BA version. The barrel aging adds very little to the beer and in fact hurts it. Not enough bourbon flavor, just sweetness along with a very dry roasted oak presence. This kills the luscious chocolate malts of the base beer without providing anything interesting or tasty in it's stead. I'm glad that I finally got to try this one but I'll stick with the regular version.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 05:43:11 | More by corby112
Photo of ppoitras


3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle purchased at Ye Olde Spirits Shoppe in Frederick, MD, while visiting for a cattle sale. Bottle survived the trip back in checked luggage.

Poured into a DFH tulip, formed a frothy dark brown 2" head above the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head slowly deflates down to a dense half inch, with thick slow-falling lace. Aroma is chocolate and anise, with a touch of alcohol.

Taste starts with rich chocolate sweetness, a pinch of dark fruit in the middle, and a close of anise and alcohol. Mouthfeel is velvety at the start, but comes apart near the end, with drinkability okay, but not all I was hoping for. Overall, flavors are too strong and even harsh, and maybe needed some more time to mellow.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2010 01:29:11 | More by ppoitras
Photo of johnmichaelsen


3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and considerable sticky lacing. The nose is likewise attractive, showing dark chocolate, coffee and considerable bourbon. This beer definitely smells as if it will be pretty boozy. On the palate, this is really quite good. The flavors replicate the nose in this rich, full bodied, boozy beer, though I also get some light leather and tobacco as well. The beer seems to have a pretty good dose of hops, resulting in enough bitterness on the finish to counter the sweetness in this beer. Mouthfeel is probably the most attribute of this beer, as it comes across as a rich, full bodied, intensely flavored IRS. Drinkability is of course not this beer's best attribute, but its not bad. While I can sense the abv. in this beer, it's not heavy, tiring or hot on the finish.

While there are certainly better imperial stouts out there, this wasn't bad at all I thought.

Serving type: on-tap

11-27-2010 21:18:37 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of glid02


4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2010 02:03:44 | More by glid02
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this brew late Friday night at Bittercreek... draft poured it into a massive wine glass.. easily 12 oz's... woah.

Foamy dark tan head lingered for a solid 5 minutes with great lacing... expected black brew.

Nose has quite a bit of oak and whiskey notes that when cold dominated the dark malts and fruits.. I let this sit for my entire meal and leisurely finished it over the course of about a half hour... this brew needs warmth to really shine. With warmth, coffee and cocoa start to come out alot more.

Flavors are pretty much the same as the aromas but they emerge a little sooner, but it still needs to really warm up to allow the malts to help balance the heady wood and bourbon.

Body seems a bit more thin compared to bottles of the regular I've had in the past. If my predictions are accurate, the bottles of these are going to need some time to meld.. but this was pretty enjoyable off tap.


Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2010 07:05:06 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of superspak


4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, no bottle date. A slow gusher upon cracking the cap. Pours thick opaque black color with a nice 2 finger dense tan head with awesome retention that reduces to a dense cap that lasts. Nice thick lacing clings to the sides of the glass as well. Aromas of big caramel, roasted malt, dark chocolate, oak, bourbon, light vanilla, light coffee, and maybe a bit of spicy hops. Some nice and well balanced aromas. Taste of big roasted malt, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, molasses, oak, bourbon, light smoke, espresso, dark fruit, and a bit of spiciness. Fair amount of bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, bourbon, smoke, and spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance of flavors; without the bourbon being overwhelming. It sits nicely behind the robust chocolate and roasted malt flavors. Medium carbonation and very full bodied; with an insanely creamy and thick mouthfeel that goes down surprisingly smoothly. Alcohol is extremely well hidden at almost 11%; with only a small warming well after the finish. Overall this is a very excellent barrel aged imperial stout! Nice flavor balance with the bourbon; with a huge lush mouthfeel and smooth drinking at almost 11%. I will definitely seek out the regular Dogfather offering in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 03:34:20 | More by superspak
Photo of thagr81us

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
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...

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2010 17:43:34 | More by thagr81us
Photo of bluejacket74


4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 23:35:22 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of drpimento


4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 04:09:07 | More by drpimento
Photo of FosterJM


2.75/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

577th review on BA
Bottle to Snifter

Last birthday beer left. Thanks for the gift AL!

App- When it comes out of the bottle its a very dark brown with some garnet edges. Has a two finger big puffy and pretty thin albeit bubbly head. Couple dots of cling

Smell- I agree with threeviews. I have sat here for about 1/2 hr and cant think of some good adjectives or comparisons. I don't get the usual stout or Imperial or Bourbon smells so I am lost. Spritzy seems to fit, a bit of wet sod? maybe.

Taste- Where is the stout? Where is the bourbon? Its missing a lot of things for me to like this and a thickness with some bold flavors are the key. Its a bit of a spritzy, bubbly stout that seems to be more akin to a foreign export stout, high on the bubbles and low on flavor but missing.

Mouth- A bit thin and really bubbly. Just leaves a thick feel on the tounge but not much flavor behind it.

Drink- I really had high hopes for this beer. I loved the premise of the name and the bourbon. I was hooked and then I saw it and got pulled in. The smelled it and felt sad, then tasted it and it was worse. Oh, well. At least it was free.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2011 03:27:37 | More by FosterJM
Photo of tpd975


2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to kiefdog for this one.

A: Pours a deep shade of black with a tall mocha colored head. Pretty nice retention and some lace.

S: Rather light aromas. Light char, chocolate malt, and a hint of coffee.

T: Not good, char, booze, chocolate, and slight band aid like notes.

M: Medium in body, zippy carbonation.

D: Not a favorite of mine. Wonder if the bottle had started to turn. Have my own bottle will revisit.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 02:34:26 | More by tpd975
Photo of Brenden


3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 17:51:16 | More by Brenden
Photo of rudzud


3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at Julio's after missing it on tap at the Armsby Abbey.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a deep brown nearly black pour with a HUGE fluffy three finger head that quickly slumped down to leave a dark mocha cloud and spotty side lacing. Impressive head for a strong brew.

S - Somewhat burnt sugar/sweet carmel roasty malts. Super light chocolate aroma and decent coffee with not nearly enough bourbon or wood for that matter.

T - Similar to the nose here, with the chocolate and coffee being slightly more pronounced. The bourbon is here too, though very subtle. Its good, yeah, but not that assertive in-your-face bourbon that is so typical with this style.

M - Nice and creamy and smooth with the alcohol being hidden nicely. Isnt quite as chewy though as one hopes.

O - Overall, this is a tasty stout. Its just, there are so many better barrel aged stouts out there, some even lower than this price, that I can't justify spending the money on this again.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 01:49:17 | More by rudzud
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The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Laughing Dog Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 336 ratings.