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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 scottfrie


3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Purchased at Total Wine.

A: Pours near black with a huge, thick, and airy deep brown head that took forever to slowly fade into a very thick film that left chunky streaks of lace down the glass. Infection?
S: I’m getting a lot of fruit on the nose; much more fruit than I would expect from a bbl-aged stout. Infection? I get some notes of sweet milk chocolate, brown sugar, and woody oak as well.
T: Still a bit of a candy-like sweetness but if this is infected then it is really mild at this point. The sweet milk chocolate comes through as the fruity sweetness fades, and the finish is full of lightly bitter and dry dark chocolate, vanilla, roasted wood, and lightly spicy bourbon. The more I drink this the more I’m going to have to say it does have a mild infection.
M: Carbonation is very soft but pretty ample and frothy. Definitely a bit infected. Swirling the glass a few times helped even it out though. The body isn’t the fullest but I’d still call it full, and the mouthfeel is frothy and smooth. Double digit alcohol is hidden very well.
O: I haven’t had the regular version (even though it was sitting right next to this one on the shelf) but I liked this version despite the imminent infection. The infected sweet fruit flavor isn’t really sour yet, and it actually works well with the chocolate, bourbon, and wood barrel flavors. However, if you have a bottle of this I would say drink it now (before it gets worse) and if you’re looking to try it hope the next batch is better.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 22:41:23 | More by scottfrie
Photo of samie85


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

This one is a bit of a gusher out of the gate and is a jet black color with two fingers of mocha brown, rocky, dense foam.

Big vanilla bourbon notes and a bit of roasted barley comes through with a bit of vinegar.

This definitely tastes infected but in a good way, it's reminiscent of Petrus Oud Bruin in some respects with bountiful bourbon and roasted notes.

Creamy yet light side of medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

This one is pretty drinkable but I think it owes much of its drinkability to the fact that its infected; the bacteria cut through some of the richness I would expect from this beer... very interesting beer although I do not think it was what was intended.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 04:11:25 | More by samie85
Photo of GregSVT


3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours nearly black with a big light brown head that fades to a ring with some nice lacing. Good looking stuff.

S: The nose is a bit odd...smells like a smoked beer. All I can detect is smoked malt at first and then after a while I pick up some slight barrel flavors.

T: The taste is the same...all smoke and barely anything else. I get a hint of hops on the finish and a slight sweetness. Seriously where are these barrel flavors everyone is talking about?

M: The feel is the best part of this beer. It's very creamy which makes it feel a bit thicker than medium bodied.

O: I expected a bit more out of this one after reading some reviews and was disappointed. The look and feel are great but there are very little Imperial Stout or barrel aged flavors. It's mostly smoked malt. I don't mind smoked beers but at least label it as such.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 07:01:51 | More by GregSVT
Photo of HardTarget


3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Weapon grade black, completely opaque with only a microscopic edge. Holds a thin collar in my small tasting glass but not much of a head really. Some legs show when sips occur.

Smell: Sweet malt with a bit of bubblegum. Classic stout burnt barley and a little barrel wood. Pretty inviting all told.

Taste: Barrel flavor is pretty intense, but it lets some of the beer flavor come through. The beer element is Stoutish, sweet base tempered with an almost harsh roasted grain. Little bit of citric hop pokes though as well, but everything is coated in the barrel flavor which is a lot more wood than Bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Slick texture, low carbonation, heavy body with a firm chew and long lasting fade.

Overall: Not a huge barrel aged fan, really don't like Bourbon much, but those flavors don't ruin the fun here. Makes me want to try a straight Dogfather. Like the hop citric element. A nice sipper for a cool late winter night.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 03:49:12 | More by HardTarget
Photo of derkfromwi


3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark mocha two-finger head, jet black color, some decent lacing

S: Different blend of malts, sweetness, chocolate, woodiness

T: Sweetness, some bourbon, toasted malts, wood, some vanilla in there, touch of hops

M: Smooth and creamy, medium carbonation, warming alcohol

O: A bit boozy, maybe could have used some more cellaring, good, but I can think of 10 imperial stouts I would have before this

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2012 07:31:07 | More by derkfromwi
Photo of Kornoms


3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark black pour from the bottle into a sniffer, minimal wispy head, pretty good lacing. Almost completely opaque.

S: Lots of toasted malt, chocolate and sweetness; maybe a hint of coffee?

T: Starts of pretty sweet, with notes of alcohol from the bourbon. Hops come in later but don't completely balance out the initial sweetness

M: Smooth, good feel.

O: Decent stout, but not much there to set it apart. A bit too sweet for my liking.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 02:10:16 | More by Kornoms
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured unto a snifter.

Appearance: Looks just as good as the original Dogfather, pitch black pretty much with a dark tan head coming roughly 3/4" off the body.

Smell: Maybe it's the winter but the beer is no wear near as potent as it's counterpart.

Taste: Pretty good but I do give "warning", it is complex...espresso meets vanilla bean.

Mouth: Just right, medium carbonation and for a beer this strong incredibly full of flavor like ti said before it just hugs your cheeks.

Overall: I really and truly enjoyed this beer, but my question to everyone is why mess with an incredible product. It is kinda like when Hollywood likes to make a remake and it never is as good as the original. Overall you really want to know, great beer but yourself one and you be the judge. Salud.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 04:55:32 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of jsh420


4.18/5  rDev +13%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 06:06:57 | More by jsh420
Photo of oline73


3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an opaque black color with a two finger of thick, tan head that leaves a bunch of lacing and a solid layer head through the whole glass.

Smell: Sweet and roasty. Definitely picking up the roasted malt along with some smoke and dark fruit. There is a mild amount of bourbon as well.

Taste: Not particularly sweet, but there is a bit of roasted malt. Very mild smoke flavors and hardly any bourbon. The finish is quite bitter from roast and some hops.

Mouthfeel: The body is thick with very smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The appearance and mouthfeel on this beer are wonderful. The taste is a bit abrasive and could use more sweetness and bourbon to back up the roast and hops.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 03:39:41 | More by oline73
Photo of kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Pours black with a 2 finger dark cola head. Very little traces of lacing remain on the glass.

S- Chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and a faint hint of bourbon.

T- Sweet roasted malts, bitter chocolate, oak, very little bourbon like the nose. I get a slight taste of licorice as well.

M- Medium body and carbonation. Very drinkable at 11%. Nice creamy feel as well.

O- Well, I liked it better than the regular version, but that's not saying much. Bourbon seems lost and the chocolate and roasted malt flavors and aromas. Nice oak characteristics though. At $10 it's worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 02:17:41 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of DevilsCups

New York

3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bomber. First brew from Laughing Dog. jera1350's review is SPOT on.

A - Pretty nice. Very similar pour to any Southern Tier Blackwater Series Stout (Choklat, Javah, etc...) Head doesn't last too too long, but a quick swirl regenerates it nicely. Spotty consistent lacing the lasts in a clean glass. Very opaque blackwith only a hint of browning towards the edge of the coffee-and-cream head.

S - Very similar to OA Yeti. A bit more toned down, but more oak comes through than bourbon. Literally smells faintly like oak wood barrels with a hint of smoke. Pretty nice.

T - Follows the nose. Very dark-oak. A good bit of smokiness to it as well. Very nice, but I'm not getting much bourbon at all save for the slight alcohol tingle.

M - Could use a taaad more thickness. Not far off at all by any means. Carbonation is mildly tickling with a noticeable bubble.

O - Pretty solid stout, but it could've used a bit more bourbon tones. If you're looking for a toned down BBA stout, then this is your brew. Great intro to BBA brews in general, and I would definitely drink again. Strikingly similar notes to Great Divides Oak Aged Yeti.

::edit:: Coming up on room temperature, I get very very slight notes of oxidation. Not enough to take away from the brew, and it might be confusion with the oak notes.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 04:44:40 | More by DevilsCups
Photo of TheCorkStopsHere


4.78/5  rDev +29.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 04:59:18 | More by TheCorkStopsHere
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 TheWhiskerReview


3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A black pour with a big, frothy tan head stays at a pretty consistent creamy ring throughout most of the brew. Pretty impressive for a bourbon barrel aged beer.

The nose sees a tiny bit of black malt buried in a swamp of bourbon tones- buttered toffee, powdered sugar and a woody nuttiness- with a hefty amount of booze.

The palate is heavy and creamy with a moderate bitterness bringing out a ton of booze and a big coffee-and-cream-like sweetness. That American oak nuttiness makes a return, while the finish is boozy and warming. It's nice that the alcohol is more sweet than acrid, saving this from being undrinkable. A lingering roasty sweetness ends the finish with waves of spice, malt and dark dried fruit.

Still way too boozy, needing a good deal of cellaring, but as I've stated, at least the booziness is more sweet than acrid. Not a bad effort. I'd drink again.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 21:52:55 | More by TheWhiskerReview
Photo of mattcrill


4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Mild chocolate and vanilla notes up front. Moderate fruity esters and slight alcohol on the nose. No hop aromas. Very inviting.

Appearance: Jet black with a tan thin head. Head retention is fairly good given the ABV. Appears still in the glass.

Flavor: Mild vanilla and slight woody character up front. Roasted grains, chocolate, and coffee are in the background. Balance is towards the roasted malt character. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is lingering with the barrel aged notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body with moderate-high carbonation. Slight grain astringency and warming alcohol on the palate.

Overall impression: A nicely done barrel aged beer. Good enough to pick up the barrel character but not so much as to overwhelm the base beer. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 21:30:28 | More by mattcrill
Photo of Vierenner


1.88/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Yuch. I have to believe the beer went bad during shipment because it's god awful. Smells good but taste turns my stomach. I can't drink it. Will pour it out after I finish this sentence. Need to get to 250 characters so perhaps this sentence. Nope, a few more.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 04:23:30 | More by Vierenner
Photo of BeerDocT


4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Appearance 4.0: Poured out a jet black in color like all great stouts should. Half-inch head amber head shrunk down to a cloying amber swirl on the top and sides. Good stuff.

-Smell 4.0: Fascinating hint of licorice in the bouquet of this beer, along with toasted grains and lovely wood resins. Very, very nice.

-Taste 4.5: Slightly sweet first taste is quickly followed by a BIG sweet taste with lots of bourbon hints. Then the deeply toasted grains and coffee flavors follow along with a very noticeable bourbon middle. A long, delicious finish filled with hops and wood resins follows. Delightful.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: Perfect level of carbonation. Very, very smooth mouthfeel, but the carbonation is still present and noticeable. Excellent work by the brewers at Laughing Dog.

-Overall 4.0: Very memorable Imperial Stout. I would rate this beer higher, but I found the overall taste to be a little too sweet for my tastes, but I'm sure that was partly due to the bourbon aging. Regardless, this is a fabulous Imperial Stout and I heartily recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 05:34:40 | More by BeerDocT
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 homebrewer88


3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 02:24:47 | More by homebrewer88
Photo of russwbeck


2.73/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Very dark black pour with a nicely sized brown head. Retention is great.

S: The smell is roasty and full, a bit of bourbon. The smell seems a bit disjointed at times.

T: This beer starts falling apart with the taste. Weak, only a very small amount of bourbon. Roasted malts and perhaps some coffee are coming through. The overall taste is just not put together well. The aftertaste is weird.

MF: Full bodied and carbonated well. The beer is dry at the finish, but leaves a bad taste.

O: Not all that drinkable, glad I had people to share this one with. Pretty disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 02:19:50 | More by russwbeck
Photo of cwguy5

North Carolina

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

i cannot remember the trader, but this was a nice extra. thank you! poured into "the panty dropper," a snifter from de molen. sampled on 2/26/11. reviewed from notes.

A - black with think medium brown head; low retention; some lacing present
S - some solvent alcohol, smoke, bourbon in back, roast
T - a little sweeter than i expected from nose but dries quickly with balanced bourbon on the tongue
M - light carbonation goes well with the style; a tad chalky in middle
D - nice layered flavors of dark fruit, grape, plum, bourbon and roast; definitely a sipper but quite nice overall

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 22:12:23 | More by cwguy5
Photo of abuliarose

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage. Poured into a snifter, revealing three fingers of thick, tanned head over a murky dark chocolate body. Smells ok, a little hot and malty but not sweet. Some roasted notes.

Tastes nice and bitter with a strong roasted presence. Some far-flung woodiness with an almost fresh, pine-like twang. Mouthfeel is decently thick and a little drying. Soft, pillowy carbonation with a numbness up front adds a bit to the body. More roasted malts as the beer warms and a slight heat from the bourbon.

Overall it's pretty decent. The barrel may have died down a little, but the roastiness is still right up there.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 23:38:02 | More by abuliarose
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 kirok1999


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

Pours a dark ruby/garnet, looks thick and leaves a nice wispy brown head.
Smells a lot like mild dark chocolate, a hint of bourbon and caramel and some crisp citrus hops.
Taste is like the smell but a bit amped up. Nice chocolate is well balanced by the malt sweetness. This is thick, rich and creamy and goes down very smooth. Lingering notes of milk chocolate and slight alcohol make it a memorable sipper.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 00:51:14 | More by kirok1999
Photo of peabody


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

Pours out really dark black with one finger of brown suds. Lacing around the glass.
Smell is bourbon and charred malts along with a very bitter chocolate aroma. Some fruit such as raisin/dates/fermented apricot.
Taste is a little too strong as the alcohol is way over the top. This beer needs some time to calm down. Right now it's not enjoyable at all.
Mouthfeel is sticky and sweet with lots of alcohol coming into the back of the throat.
Overall is has to be a 3.5 because of the overwheling alcohol here.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 23:07:08 | More by peabody
The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Laughing Dog Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 336 ratings.