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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: 455
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: 455
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

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

A: Pitch black pour. Large, heavy and bubbly dark brown head. Fades slowly with top notch head retention. Light streaks of spiderweb lacing on the glass.

S: Boozy dark fruits and caramel. Some creamy chocolate and char but mainly dark fruits. Raisin and fig and maybe prunes even? Some vanilla too.

T: More boozy dark fruits from the aroma up front. Sort of chalky char aspect mixes in and becomes stronger in the middle as the sweet dark fruits fade away. Bitter chocolate, char and vanilla in the finish. Long lingering baker's chocolate aftertaste with some burnt wood. There is an anise flavor that comes out once the beer fully warms up too, it slightly coats everything but is most apparent in the finish.

M: Thick, heavy and creamy.

O: Overall, not bad. A dark fruit-heavy stout for sure, kinda reminds me of Darkness. Bourbon is fairly well integrated though this beer is quite boozy regardless. Honestly not really sure why the score is so low on this one, it's a perfectly good example of the style. Especially good if you like the fruits.

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Photo of BlueShirtMember
3.04/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Dark, dark color w/creamy brown head

S: Kinda bland, a little bit of chocolate malt. No boozy bourbon smell

T: Smoky/burny taste up front. Mild bourbon flavor on the back end

M: Full bodied with a fair amount of carbonation

O: Not bad overall, however when it comes to bourbon barrel aging, I expect a bit more. I can count on 2 hands the numbers of better stouts and again on 2 different hands the numbers of better bourbon barrel aged brews. That's not to say this is bad, just that the bar is so high when it comes to the style. I'd drink it again but would not make an effort to do so

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Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of Rizalini
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber bottle into my Stone goblet glass...

A - Pours a viscous black color, with a minimal 1/2 finger head that disipates rather quickly.

S - Dark chocolate malts, and some burnt malt aromas and coffee as well. No real signs of any bourbon barrel at all.

T/M - The taste is a little hot, with some black coffee notes, carmel and chocolate. Occasionally, I ever get a little hint of cinnamon. That just might be from the sharpness and the alcohol. Chocolate finish. Thick mouthfeel, good carbonation.

O - A good stout, but no real signs of bourbon or barrel aging. I would have scored this much higher if this was their standard Imperial Stout offering. Falls a little short in the taste for me to recognize this as a barrel aged stout. Might buy again, but probably wont.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 16 oz snifter, bottle is at least a year old. Pours a very dark almost black, with a two inch mocha head, that leaves thick patches of lace all over the sides of the glass. Smell is bourbon, smoke, chocolate, dark fruits, and roasted expresso. Taste is lots of bourbon and burnt charcoal, with the other flavors in a supporting role. Body is a little thinner than I like, enough carbonation, a bit dry, and not overly drinkable. This is a little above average overall, but attractive.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a short-lived, half-inch, fine mocha foam that leaves no lacing on a Dogfish Head snifter.

The aroma presents big, chocolate whiffs with little, if any, bourbon. Fudge brownie dominates the middle with roasted aromas in the background.

The flavor is chocolate with a light smoked wood background and light sweetness.

The Dogfather is syrupy and full bodied with alcohol less than anticipated.

This is a fine drinking beer, though not up to my hopes.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

was relatively impressed with the non-BA version of this beer so popped it on my wants and mnbearsfan hooked it up. thanks buddy! since, this has hit my distro!!! enjoyed from my hunah snifter.

a - brew poured a watery black with a generous creamy tan head that slowly dissolved leaving a thinner head and a skin of lacing on the edge of the glass.

s - some booze, some wood, some vanilla, some chocolate and lots of roasted char. some dark fruit and coffee bitterness.

t - again dark fruit dancing with burnt wood and some booze. some vanilla and LOTS of heat. heavy char.

m - pretty hot and boozy. leaves a boozy burn in my mouth and down my throat. relatively rich and full.

o - overall, i think i was more impressed with the regular than the barrel aged version. the barrel seemed to even give it a bit of tartness (though doesn't seem infected at all) in the vein of a dark fruit character. didn't love it.

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Photo of socon67
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black pour with a borwn foam that has solid retention. Slight lacing in rongs on the glass.

S - Scents of vanilla bean, cocoa powder, and a touch of coffee. As it warmed the bourbon scent became more prevelant.

T - Hearty malt profile that is quite rich. Coffee flavor came to the surface quickly. Finish is distinct of a BBA stout. Warming burn at the end. Overall it does hit all the notes of what I'd expect.

M - Richness made this a sipper, and over time the bourbon flavor made this a cocktail beer. Heavy bodied and for many one is plenty.

O - Would try again. Certianly a big stout in every way.

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Photo of bump8628
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle has been sitting around for awhile, let's see how it has melded and mellowed. Yeah it looks like a big stout - black with a thick head of tan foam - what else do you want? The nose is big on the oak barrel character, but not so much Bourbon. The bottle indicates "old Bourbon barrels" so maybe most of the whiskey character has been stripped? Regardless, the lack of Bourbon isn't necessarily a bad thing. The oak barrel is nice - woody, mellow, with notes of roasted nuts. Good stout flavors too - chocolate, coffee, smoke. Nice even bitterness, good balance. Solid barrel-aged stout to be had here, without a big price tag. The only negative is the thinning finish.

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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.

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Photo of raffy313
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into my Brooklyn snifter.

Dark, dark brown to black in color with a 2 finger mocha head that has decent retension. Some excellent lacing is left behind on the glass.

Smells are mostly roasted malts and coffee, with abit of chocolate, and sweet molasses aromas. Some oakiness and a definate bourbon presence. The alcohol is hidden well in the nose for the amount this beer has.

Flavors match the aromas well, with the bourbon notes standing out abit more on the tongue. Dark roasted malts, bitter chocolate and some milky creaminess blend rather well with the sweetness. This beer has so far surprised me on how well balanced the flavors are. Nice alcohol finish, not at all overpowering.

A full, creamy body with an appropriate amount of carbonation. Very smooth going down. Abit bitter... abit dry in the mouthfeel.

Overall, this beer surprised me. First LDB beer I've had that I was impressed by. Not by any means overly complex... just a really solid Imperial Stout. One I would definately buy again... and absolutely recommend.

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Photo of smerrell
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a motor-oil black, with almost no head. The aroma is sweet and pronounced. The roasted malts are prominent, and the 11% alcohol comes through. The aftertaste has an odd sweetness that lingers a bit too long. I agree with the other reviewers in that there is no noticeable addition due to the bourbon barrels.

Overall, it's a good stout, but I wish it was in a 12 oz. (rather than a bomber) bottle.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, no date. Label states "Aged in old Bourbon Barrels".

appears jet black, khaki colored head. big initial head, it decreased but a thin covering sticks around. aroma is smokey and roasty. chocolate in there as well.

taste is heavy roast, a bit acidic. dry, not sweet. body is fairly thick. lower carbonation, good for style. smooooth.

I don't really pick up any bourbon flavors. but still a solid Imperial Stout.

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Photo of frenchblood21
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into wine glass.

Appearance- Beautiful looking beer. Black liquid is contrasted by huge tan head. Way more carbination than any stout I've ever seen. Lacing is amazing..

Smell- Oak, bourbon and cherries in that order. This beer has a "barn yard" type smell to it. But not in a bad way. It reminds me of walking through a bourbon distillery.

Taste- Sad to say this, but the first taste I detect is a sour flavor. After that, I taste wood and then a faint bourbon flavor. I would have never guessed this was bourbon-aged if I didn't know.

Mouthfeel- Way too thin for a stout...but I do understand that months or a year in a barrel will do that to a beer.

Overall- Absolutley worth the $7.99 I paid for it. This could NEVER compete with the BA Blackout Stout or KBS, but who says their trying to?

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Photo of imintune2
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: jet black. very scanty layer of head with decent lacing. it looks like an imperial stout.

s: burnt sugars/coconut. an expected scent of bourbon.

t: i'm tasting the burnt sugars (but possibly getting a lot of that from the nose) and cola syrup. there's a sweet, almost fruity flavor in the middle and then not a whole lot on the back end. i feel like the back of my tongue is paralyzed. also, there's not a strong bourbon flavor (which is alright by me, just surprising; i wonder what their non-bbl-aged tastes like).

m: i'm finding the mouthfeel a little perplexing. initially, full-bodied and thick on the tip of the tongue/lips... then carbonation dominates the middle and finishes off with almost no resistance. this is somewhat disappointing, as i like an imperial stout that leaves something behind to remember it by. UPDATE: as we approach room temperature, it's starting to open up a little bit but it's still lacking something on the back end.

o: i'm relatively pleased but far from blown away. i will say, however, that i don't taste anything remotely close to an "infected" taste as others have said. also, weighing in at 11% ABV, this stout is very drinkable (again, i wonder how the non-aged stout compares). laughing dog is new to my area and i'm glad to have another decent brewer's catalog to sip through.

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Photo of dcloeren
2.86/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a deep black with a finger of dark khaki soapy head. Reduced down to a thin film around the edges fairly quick. Pretty standard for a BBA stout.

The smell was pretty subdued for a BBA stout in my opinion. Faint notes of bourbon, roasted malt, milk chocolate and a touch of dark chocolate. Didn't really get any bourbon notes until it warmed up a considerable amount.

Got blasted with some sweetness right of the bat. Almost knocked me back a little bit like it punched me in the mouth. This definitely ruled the taste of this beer but after swishing it around in my mouth a few times I finally start getting some nice oaky notes and a touch of bourbon. Dark chocolate and roasted malt stay in the background. Nothing to really write home about...

Medium body with an ample amount of carbonation. Definitely on the thin side and too thin for my liking. Get a little bit of residual dark chocolate on the aftertaste but the sweetness really wears its welcome out.

Overall, this was not a huge disappointment (considering I didn't have high hopes to begin with) but just not a very good beer in my opinion. Too thin and overly sweet for me... I'm glad my brother bought this bottle because I would have been upset about spending the price tag for this beer.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of samie85
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of GregSVT
3.02/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of derkfromwi
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
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

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