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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: 456
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
Reviews: 166 | Hads: 456
Photo of Retsinis
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the Total Wine in Springfield, VA while on vacation here for the week.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Pilsner glass (got to work with what I can here) . The beer pours a motor oil black color, with dark mocha colored hues of head. The head rose a good two in half inches high, and took a long time to settle. Some lacing, but fairly light.

Aroma's are of licorice, bourbon, coffee, oak, tingle of yeast, hops, and the heat of the alcohol a bit. Digging the complexity in the scents, hoping the taste mirrors this.

The flavors in the taste are of vanilla, coffee, roasted chocolate malts, wood, and that licorice again. The chocolate, coffee, and vanilla I like the most in the middle, but though the taste is good... the black licorice notes, whether intended or not are a bit much for me, but it is still sipping good. Finish is clean, with some heat.

Mouth feel is medium to high, good carbonation, goes down smooth.

Drinkability, not something I would have more of in a sitting, and I split this bottle with my wife. Aging might meld the flavors more.

Overall, a tasty bourbon barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout, glad I got to try it, but I've had better.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a thick opaque black and a frothy dark brown head forms. Great head retention, some lacing. Looks very nice.

S: nose features a ton of oak with hints of vanilla behind it. The oak is pungent, almost slightly musty. Some rich notes of molasses along with a subtle chocolate character come next. The bourbon is very mellow.

T: this beer has a lot more chocolate and roast on the palate than the nose suggests, the bourbon comes towards the end and has a nice mellow finish. Very well balanced. The musty oak doesn't come through in the taste.

MF: thick body, creamy texture

D: this is a nice bourbon stout. The bourbon character is a bit less in your face than some of the other heavy hitters. This one nice balance, however the aroma detracts from the overall quality a bit.

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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.

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Photo of bashiba
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

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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

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Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a Tulip at a bar.

Dogfather pours a jet black color that is underneatrh a nice half inch of dark brown coffee colored foam that leaves no stick. Smell is vanilla under some bourbon, oak, chocolate, cocco. The bourbon is not a killer but a nice strong contender. Not the most pungent smell, alcohol is there but a afterthought. Taste is bourbon mixed with vanilla and some roasted malt giving off a slight bitter vibe. Some cocco or it could be chocolate. The base beer picked up some nice bourbon tones, not to heavy but enough to taste the spirit. I don't really pick up any alcohol. Feel is smooth and above medium with a light but useful carb keeping things in check. I could and probably will drink a shit ton of this in the upcoming weeks.

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Photo of oberon
3.66/5  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.

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Photo of gpioski
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My tulip glass arrived a bit too cold, so I decided to let it warm up a bit.

Appearance came across dark brown and thick. It just looked thick. There was no head, and even some vigorous swirling didn't create one.

The aroma wasn't too strong. I expected a bit more punch. There was a bit of chocolate, some espresso aromas, with just a bit of bourbon and oak.

Flavor was nice. Sweet and chocolatey with bourbon notes. I was hoping for a stronger bourbon flavor. For an 11% brew, there wasn't much heat from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel was thick and syrupy, nice. Carbonation was present, but minimal.

Drinkability was fine for such a big beer. I enjoyed drinking this beer, but I probably would only have one. A 9 ounce pour would have been even better.

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Photo of movingtrain
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber sampled from a small snifter. The bottle reads "The Dogfather Imperial Stout: Aged in old Bourbon Barrels." The ABV listed on the bottle is 10.85%.

Pours a jet black with a nice head and good carbonation creeping up the sides of the glass. The head is strong, sticking around a good while and clinging to the glass.

Up front in the nose is a red grapefruit aroma. Behind that are hints of chocolate, caramel, molasses, ripe cherries, red apple sweetness, and caramelized sugars. There is a bit of coffee in the nose, too.

The flavor is very chewy. The bourbon barrel aging gives the beer some of those delicious vanilla and wooded notes. There is some spice in this beer, too...cinnamon and, dare I say, a slight chipotle smokiness. Bitter chocolate is there, along with some espresso notes, molasses, dark fruits, and honey.

Overall, a good imperial stout, and the bourbon barrel aging lends some good layers to the beer. The alcohol is pretty pungent, but is a fine burn on a cold winter day. The balance of sweet and bitter plays out quite well in this beer, and culminates in a drinkable, age-worthy ale.

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Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of Lerxst
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours almost black with a one finger mocha colored head that has fair retention but leaves some nice lace.

S-Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, booze/bourbon.

A-Bourbon is noticeable all the way through from front to back with a strong bourbon flavor in the aftertaste as well. It is detracting from the other flavors. The roasted malt, chocolate and coffee from the nose are there but on my palate they are pounded into near exile by the dominance of the bourbon.

M-A bit thin for the style with prickly carbonation that is a bit distracting.

D-Almost all I could taste all the way through was the bourbon. The other nuances and flavors were just pummeled by it making this a bit tougher to drink than I had first anticipated.

I like the regular Dogfather better. I'll stick with that one.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of leedorham
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a near black with a thin, dark head.

S - A bit boozy of an aroma but to be expected. Quite bready with hop pungency in the background.

T - Did I say boozy already? The bourbon is definitely at the forefront. A bit solventy for my taste.

M - Smooth and not too syrupy. Appropriately low level of carbonation.

D - Definitely a sipper and drinks a bit too much like a spirit for my taste.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - very dark brown, almost black, with a small light brown head, and reasonable lacing.

S - I get booze, bourbon, chocolate and a certain peculiar vegetable bitterness.

T - Theres some coffee to the taste as well as that vegetable bitterness. I don't really get any bourbon on the tongue here. A bit disappointing.

M - good full and creamy mouthfeel.

D - because it tastes not so great, I don't find this beer quite drinkable.

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Photo of ncaudle
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from tap into snifter.

pours pitch black with a 1 finger head that left a little lacing.

dark chocolate, coffee and muted bourbon hits the nose. not overly boozy like many bourbon barrel aged brews. roasted malts and some spices - ?cinnamon and nutmeg? - balance out the bitterness of the dark chocolate. again the bourbon is nicely present, just. this is one of the most chocolatey brews I have come across.

mouthfeel is probably my biggest complaint. it's thin... almost too thin.

I had no idea this was 11% until I started typing out this review. I had 3 of these last night and never really felt the alcohol!

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Photo of John_M
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of billab914
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. The bottle looks just like the regular version, but the case was labeled barrel aged. It poured black in color with a huge chocolate colored foam filling half of the glass and nearly spilling over. The head settled down and left some decent lacing in the process.

The aroma shows a lot of sweetness to it, with more of a slightly burnt sugar flavor with some milk chocolate too. Behind that some very light roasted malt, and oak come through. Probably the lightest barrel aged flavors I've had in a barrel aged beer though.

The taste has more of the milk chocolate flavor to it throughout the flavor. Towards the finish just a hint of bourbon and oak comes through. Again it's very light on the barrel characteristics, almost non-existent. A bit of roasty malt and dark chocolate flavor comes through in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is a little above average for the style. Carbonation is very high for the style though, too high for me. Drinkability is decent, I liked it better then the regular version but not nearly as much as a lot of others in the style. Unfortunately if you like barrel aged beers this also isn't one that shows off what that can do very well at all. Not a bad beer, but not a great one either.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Laughing Dog Bourbon Barrel Aged The Dogfather on tap at mighty Max's in Bawlmer, MD, served in their customary goblet.

Appearance: Black like James Baldwin alone in that forlorn mountain village of Switzerland. Minimal head but great lacing.

Smell: Beautiful chocolate, blowtorched sugar, some bourbon and oak, but very subtle.

Taste: Some muddled hops. Roasty aromas. Faint bourbon around the lips.

Mouthfeel: Too thin, unfortunately. Watery. Low carbonation and body, little bourbon taste. Feels almost like a flat Kool-Aid.

Drinkability: High, but it shouldn't. This ought to be a sipper, not a chugger. Disappointing!

Keep it in the bourbon barrel for a couple more years and then release it. Right now, it is not right.

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Photo of goldbot
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle.

This beer was way overcarbonated. Poured about 80% foam and 20% beer. The head was well-retained, which was unfortunate in this case.

Aromas of chocolate and coffee up front. Roasty, a bit earthy. Definite oak aroma, but little bourbon. A bit subdued overall, the aroma does not "pop" at all.

Roasted coffee and chocolate flavors. Woody, earthy and a bit tannic. Smoky, hot bourbon notes.

Warm, full-bodied; a bit tannic as noted from the oak. Very sweet on the finish.

Very average beer for the style. A bit unbalanced, tending on the too hot and sweet side.

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Photo of roosevelt25
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Solid black pour, with two fingers of dark tan/mocha head, good retention

S-Needs to warm up to get full nose, light coffee, light chocolate, slight metallic smell. Not much whiskey, like with other bourbon barrel stouts

T-Dark chocolate, light coffee, and still getting a slight metallic taste. Not much whiskey, much like the nose, though it has some of the whiskey warmth.

M-Traditional thickness, moderate carbonation.

D-Not my favorite, but certainly drinkable.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.16/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-pours a viscous black liquid with a dark tan colored head, everything is thick and creamy.

S-the nose has notes of smoked peat, a little ashy, dark chocolate underneath, notes of toffee and burnt coffee.

T-lighter flavors, smoky and charred, notes of ash, toffee, peat, burnt coffee in the back.

M-a little thin, smooth on the palate, dry and grainy in the back.

D-pretty straight forward, charred and burnt malt base and not much else, a little thin and seems to fall off in the back and little to no barrel presence.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Laughing Dog Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 166 ratings.