The Dogfather | Laughing Dog Brewing

very good
242 Reviews
The DogfatherThe Dogfather

Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing
Idaho, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Dogfather is one of the biggest brews we have made. Weighing in at a hefty 11% percent, the Dogfather has 7 malts and 4 different hops giving it a complex flavor profile.

71 IBU

Added by JohnGalt1 on 11-07-2008

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Reviews: 242 | Ratings: 572
Photo of aandresen
1.75/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A- Almost black, just a shade under. Tons of small bubbles, 3" head into a tulip with a very easy pour.

S- Not sure what infection smells like but I think I know now. After a few sniffs I got some coffee but mostly it was a wierd smell (that was not good).

T- Ugg, not good, first taste was bad, no typical stout flavoring, just badness

M- For what little I could drink the mouthfeel was okay.

O- Unfortunate find in the beer aisle. I cannot imagine this is how it is suppose to taste but for a non barrel aged beer there is no excuse for what is hopefully an infected bottle. No more Laughing dog for me.

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Photo of mcnabb0001
1.87/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

22 Oz bomber with a play on the GodFather with a Dogs head on the bottle pretty cool.

A - pours pitch black and very thick looking just like motor oil with a huge foamy tan head. Carefull when you pour this one as the head rises fast i had a glass full of foam. Pour it very slow.

S - sweet fruity and coffee smell with a touch of alcohol mix in there. I can smell raisins and some fig.

T - Pretty bitter up front with some coffee and dark chocalate sneaking in. Big alcohol kick as this one warms going down into your chest. Pretty harsh actually not a fan of bitter Imperial Stouts.

M - pretty carbonated for a Imperial Stout not as smooth as most I have tasted.

D - Glad I bought just a bomber even though that might be too much.

Cool looking bottle the appearance of this stout is impressive but it stops there. Not a fan of the taste or mouthful. This one is pretty harsh going down. This beer go worse as it warmed I couldnt get through the bomber I bought and I feel bad about that because I hate wasting beer. You live and you learn I guess.

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Photo of vfgccp
1.9/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A - Beautiful looking stout. Midniht black with a creamy cap of mocha colored head. Great retention and lace.

S - Super sweet vanilla creme brûlée and cranberry cocktail. Definitely off balance.

T - Way too sweet. Caramel sugar overwhelms the profile. Leather and a tart cranberry pull through on the backend.

M - Medium frame with an overly syrupy feel to it.

O - Cloying sweetness overruns this brew.

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Photo of andrewm190
2.07/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Judging by all of the other reviews, I might have just found a bad batch. The beer I poured smelled sour, some bit or rotten, and otherwise just not right. The taste matched. I could tell it was meant to be a stout, but the lingering taste in my mouth is regret. I could taste the alcohol, anything else was drowned out by the stench of bad milk or something. I bought the beer from Whole Foods, kept it in my own fridge for a week or so, and can't quite account for the experience I had. I'm inclined to think this was an abnormal experience; I love stouts, and I seem to be the only one with this issue, but none the less, the beer I had - tasted tragic. Poured dark black. Smelled terrible. Bad mouth-feel. Wouldn't want another. I'm being fairly generous with the scores.

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Photo of Shardik
2.07/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

After reading the other reviews on here I may have gotten a bad bottle.
The good: This poured beautifully.
The Bad: The taste was like rotten fruit. Something similar to biting into a rotten grape. The aftertaste was even worse. We poured it out. I don't think I'll risk buying another bottle. So, good luck to you if you try this.

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Photo of wrecknut
2.22/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

There is a taste I can't identify that isn't right.
After a few more sips and thinking about it, it tasted like BO. It did a good job of cleansing the drain.

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Photo of chumba526
2.42/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Appears black with a large overbearing brown head. When I poured the beer 85 percent of the glass filled up with head and I even did a gentle pour.

It smells a bit boozy. There is a slight roasted nutty flavor. there is a bit of a sour flavor as well. A bit of a grassy herbal hop smell is also present. I also smell a bit of a slight Carmel like sweetness.

It tastes much like it smells. There is a boozy taste, a mild caramel sweetness and a bit of grassy hoppy flavor. A strong dose of hoppy bitterness rounds off the flavors. It does not taste bad but it is rough around the edges. The flavors do not blend that smoothly.

The carbonation is way too high for the style. It has a watery texture as well.

Drinkability is not that good. Not only is it high on alcohol but it is harsh and is not smooth at all.

I am normally a big fan of Laughing Dog. But this beer was quite rough. I guess I had worst imperial stouts, but this beer is flawed on quite a few levels.

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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
2.46/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

2008 bought from Bottleworks. super excited then...

A- pours a nice pitch black that almost has some reddish hues. Has a nice one inch light brown head that lasts a while and some nice lacing.

S- smells of alcohol, leather, and burnt carmel. Too much Alcohol.

T- starts off with Coffee and espresso then quickly goes down from there, Chemical and metallic, oxidized big time.

M- nice carbonation, but a bit thin, especially for a Imperial

D-Overall I was super disappointed as a paid a bundle and it had all the making to be great, this beer should age well and it obviously didn't, since the beer was handled by a good beer shop I have to give this one to the brewer. Should have been much better than it was so drink it fresh as this is not one to age.

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Photo of stakem
2.51/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Note: Infection warning! I am hesitant to even add this review but people need to be aware of the potential risk with some batches of this brew. Multiple attempts at contacting the brewery have gone without a reply or acknowledgement of a potential issue.

Review from notes taken on 11/20/10.

The bomber was uncapped and immediately revealed a slow gusher that had foam rising up and out of the bottle neck. After 6 ounces were poured out, the foam continued to rise up and out of the bottle. The brew sits in my snifter with a mountain of head atop it that is a 5:1 ratio of head to beer. It appears a dark brown color with a ring of lighter brown around the edges. Lacing effect hangs all over the glass in a webbing where the head previously touched.

The smell of the brew is lactic, tart, sour and twangy. There is an evident amount of alcohol and faint dark roasty malt that hardly imparts any scent of grain and sweetness when compared to the sour notes in this nose.

The taste mirrors the aroma. Sour with a hoppy bitteness of citrus and pine that is lightly resinous. Bitter dark grains provide a secondary level of bitterness to this brew that is grainy with alcohol. Beyond that minor moment of feeling like I was drinking a stout in comes the off taste of twang and lactic sourness. A very minor note of chocolate emerges but at this point I am fighting to find more stout qualites to this brew.

Medium bodied brew that includes a grainy burnt feel and excessive amount of high carbonation. It is at times interesting with fruity lactic qualities but overall not that enjoyable, it is a mess.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.52/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pitch black color with a 2 inch chocolate milk colored head that fades to a small cap. Good rings of lace on the drink down. Wow, this smells kind of bad. Dirty feet, coffee, chocolate, and funk. Hmm, I think something is wrong with this bottle. Taste is thankfully not as bad as the smell but it's still gross. Funky feet up front that mellows into a coffee/chocolate flavor after each sip. Decent carbonation with a medium body in the mouth. Overall, I think this is a bad bottle. Stouts should not taste or smell like dirty feet. I will probably buy another bottle to see if I get the same problems.

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Photo of Gosox8787
2.55/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 22 oz. bomber bottle that is chilled before drinking. Poured into my Kate the Great tulip glass. No labelling as to when this was bottled, but I know I got it about six months ago.

Appearance: Pours a large, foamy light brown head that fills the glass pretty quickly. Pours a pretty dark brown to black in color.

Aroma: Starts off with a lot of dark chocolate and some hops in the background. Really interesting pine notes from the hops, but there's where it gets a bit weird. There's a pretty noticable cherry sourness that gives off a weird sour note that really clashes.

Taste: The really odd cherry sour notes are not as hidden here. They clash pretty badly with the strong char and ash notes. Any chocolate or molasses notes are completely overtaken by the weird interplay of the char and sour. It's not so offensively bad I cannot stand it, but its not good either. Definitely contemplating pouring about half this down the drain as it's not really improving as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Really thin for a stout, but the carbonation is ample and helps a little.

Overall, not something I want to revisit particularly. I've looked through some other reviews and it appears my experience is not too uncommon. Not the most pleasant drinking experience. Interesting to try, but definitely one and done.

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Photo of Mdog
2.63/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Black, gigantic head to the point of being annoying, foamy rockiness.

Smell: Starts with black olives (?) then a little chocolate comes through.

Taste: Lots of dark chocolate bitterness, harsh, burnt. Very little sweetness. Doesn't get better as it warms up.

Drinkability: The last third of the bomber I thought "should I keep drinking this?", not a good sign at all.

Found some Laughing Dog beers down in Iowa which we don't get in Minnesota. Decided to get the Imp. Stout instead of the DIPA since I couldn't determine how old the bottles were. Unfortunately the Dogfather was probably the most disappointing Imperial Stout I've ever had. It's hard to imagine a big stout going bad but I suppose it's possible. For me to try this again, it'll have to be on a steep discount.

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Photo of bigdonniebrasco
2.65/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Black with a tall brown colored head. Maybe could be a little blacker.

Smell is sweet with a fruity berry aroma, little vanilla and much patent malt. Smells quite sweet and slightly like Kahlúa.

Starts out sweet and strong with roasted malt, slight smoky aftertaste. Vanilla is in this one but really I pickup more of the wood flavor than vanilla. Not bad but needs more complex a flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Seems a bit out of balance sweet and Charred are fighting it out and neither really wins.

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Photo of DousedInStout
2.73/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Wow this beer was all over the charts for me. Pours a deep black color with a perfect, thick beige head. The aroma is of ambiguous roast, charred wood and some fruity, fusel alcohol - spot on for an imperial stout. But after first sip, it goes down hill. The roasted espresso flavor is overwhelmed by a sharp, green apple acetaldehyde and metallic taste that I can't get past. On second sip, more of the same - maybe some sherry flavor. Unfortunately, a drain pour for me.

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Photo of billab914
2.74/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Portsmouth tulip. Poured black in color with half of the glass filling with a dark tan foamy head. The head retention was very good and it left some thick sheets of lacing as I drank it.

The aroma shows more hoppyness then most imperial stouts. The hops come through with an earthy, slightly spicy flavor. There is a pretty bold bitter roastedness that comes through as well. The flavors just don't seem to mesh well for me in the nose, they seem more like competing flavors instead of balancing ones.

The taste shows a strong burnt, smoky, roasted characteristic. It has a strange dry almost salty like flavor that comes through that really doesn't fit at all. A moderate chocolate flavor tries to come through a bit but is overshadowed unfortunately. I'm getting a decent amount of earthy hops to it as well. It feels like it's just so extreme on the roasted and bitter flavor that it overshadows everything else.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side but carbonation feels a bit too high for the style for my preference. Drinkability isn't that good for me, it just seemed all over the place with flavors and they just didn't mesh well together. The roasted, dry, bitterness was just too extreme and needed balancing. Unfortunately I just didn't care for this one at all.

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Photo of Ego
2.82/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

wicked storms in the area tonight, well.. time to peek into the cellar and rate some brew...

super active cocoa tone head that erupts on a titled pour to 3 full fingers, becomes soapy on the top but nearer to the beer-er it subsists of micro bubble-lation, you swirl this thing and the head on top barely moves... this is damn opaque, it's gravitational force keeps pulling my hand towards it to commence a sip... (imagine that?).

semi off putting chemical smell is throwing me off, a little alcohol, some roast notes (rather weak), some cocoa... the aroma is quite average if not weak.

taste etc...
the carbonation is way too much, very distracting, the bitterness is way off/unbalanced. the roasty flavors are killed here, you only get them towards the after-sip, medium body at best, this beer is all over the place, I don't mind a new take on a style but I have had hopped up Impys before that showed way more than this.

verdict ?
this is almost like a black lager over hopped, it doesn't do either well though, is it terrible ? no. Is it good ?.... er, tougher question, I won't be going out of my way to find this again.

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Photo of timorousme
2.87/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Perhaps I got one from a bad batch. I skimmed through some reviews after trying this, from a bottle poured into a pint glass. What is mentioned isn't anything what I tasted. What I tasted isn't anything like an Imperial Stout.

It poured perfectly, and had an appearance of a beer that I might enjoy. I was expecting some heaviness and a deliciously malted flavor (it should be noted here that I ONLY drink stouts and porters at this point, and I cannot stand anything else.

When I tasted the beer, I got a sudden overwhelming amount of hops. Almost to a pale ale level. I drank it some more thinking maybe it's just a weird thing with this beer. Unfortunately, this didn't subside.

At one point, I drank it and gagged and threw it back up. This was full of sediment and was not something that I expected at all.

I'd had to give a beer that's been reviewed quite oppositely such a negative tone. Maybe there's a lack of quality control at Laughing Dog and I got a bad run, or the end of a run.

Either way, my experience with this beer is certainly enough to not have another one. Maybe if it presents itself again, I might try it, but, in my opinion, I paid over $10 for a miserable experience.

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Photo of crusian
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

bottle from JAHMUR thanks man!
pours nice and black with about a finger of head... pretty.

smells of chocolate and coffee and some bourbon, the bourbon may be from the high abv. I smell cinnamon too, weird. smells like a huge impy stout.

taste is actually a bit sour...I think this may be at the beginning of infection... thats a shame... seems very thin as well. damn... I had high hopes. The sour is not too bad on it, I am glad I drank it now... but I bet this is a great beer if it isnt sour. Lots of coffee on the finish, but sour is the predominant characteristic. :(

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Photo of justintcoons
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours opaque black with an explosive tan head. Low carbonation.

N: Sweet oak, dark chocolate, caramel, coffee and grapefruit.

T: Earthy oak, espresso, caramel, chocolate and metallic grapefruit.

M: Thick, dry and creamy.

D: Low drinkability due to thickness and some booze and metallic flavors.

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Photo of Chico1985
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I have tried to share this pup a few times to no avail. So I have decided to take care of him myself. It will be alot of responsibility, but I think I'm ready for a dog in my life. "08" notched at the bottom, so I'm assuming this is from late '08 or early '09.

Pours black with a huge 3-finger brown head. Eventually turns to a swirly cap, leaves some lacing.

The smell is heavy on roasted malt, chocolate and an odd spiciness. Almost like smoked meat or soy sauce. Some booze as well.

Taste has same odd spiciness, definitely smoky/saltiness. Roasted malt, getting more caramel than chocolate. Very boozy at first but tones itself down a little over time. A little bit of hops. Has a strong bourbon-esque aftertaste.

Has the thick body one would expect of an imperial stout, but something is stinging my tongue. High carbonation or booze, probably both.

Funny, I enjoyed this when I had it on-tap a couple months ago, I remember it tasting quite different. It's not terrible but it lost my interest after maybe 4 ounces, 22 was just a chore. It's difficult to enjoy.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.01/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a jet black with excellent carbonation leaving a beautiful brown cap

S: Immediate cocoa, like bakers powder cocoa which sordove turned me off, instantly thinking cheap, roasted malt, hints of coffee and bit of funk sourness

T: Blast of bitter cocoa, bakers pwoder cocoa, toasted malt, coffee, but the sour notes were just unappealing to me. not a fan of funk in nay beer unless it is a Wild.

M: Booze, full body but the funkiness just hung out killing much of the feel and taste

O: Average at best

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours an opaque black with a fluffy, billowing tan head. Looks very solid and very thick in the glass, displaying no highights when held up to the light.

S: Aromas of chocolate, espresso, black licorice, burnt toast, and lemony, piney hops are present on the nose. This is obviously going to be one of those heavily hopped stouts that are becoming so popular in this country.

T: Opens bitter and grainy with notes of dark chocolate, espresso, pine, cedar, burnt toast, black licorice, lemon, and bitter orange. The finish is long, astringent, and grainy with notes of burnt toast, pine, cedar, and citrus. Really lacking in terms of depth and subtlety. To me, it is obvious that the guys at Laughing Dog were trying to be extreme and forgot they were making a stout.

M: Full-bodied, dry, and thick. Very firm and weighty. Definitely lets you know you're drinking a beer.

O: I can't say that I was all that impressed with this beer. I'm not a fan of heavily hopped stouts and this one certainly didn't change my mind. Stouts are, by definition, malty beers, so it makes no sense to brew a beer that ignores virtually every classic quality associated with the style. In my opinion, The Dogfather is further proof that Laughing Dog is an IPA brewery, a one trick pony that focuses on drawing in the hopheads with hugely bitter, resinous beers.

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Photo of YouSkeete
3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pitch black with a large, frothy mocha colored head. Fades into beautiful lacing around the edges eventually. Big boozy molasses aroma with tones of smoked wood, charcoal, bittersweet chocolate, and malts that follow in order. Initial sip is an awkward mishmash of sour apples, burnt charcoal, extra-bitter coffee beans and creamy molasses. Bitterness lingers while the sweetness and malty character fades almost immediately; wine-like sourness follows throughout as well. Dry, smoky, and still bitter all the way through to the aftertaste. The heaviness of the overall fermented fruit flavor is making me think this bottle is outdated but there's no exp. If this is not outdated, i'm very surprised by my peers' reviews... Not impressed with this one whatsoever.

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Photo of theghost3
3.07/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this extra from BrewsB4Shrews.

Pours black with a 3-finger, frothy tan/caramel head. Some lacing. All downhill from there.

The smell is nice at first with toasted malt & dark fruit smells, but then there's a sort of wet dog scent to it--perfect for a Laughing Dog beer. The taste is incredibly bitter from the burnt malts. The flavor is almost like liquid smoke was added. The bitter taste sent chills through me. Mouthfeel is smooth with just a little crispness at the end.

I really expected a decent American Imperial Stout here, but I was rather disappointed. The 11 percent ABV is not well-hidden.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.07/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- Pitch black, dark tan 2 finger head with thick lacing on glass.

S- Some roasted malts and bitter chocolate.

T- Sweet roasted malts and bitter chocolate dominate this beer. Has a bitter, almost off-taste to the finish (can't point to what the off-taste is).

M- Full bodied. Thick milkiness to this beer.

O- An average representation to a RIS. Will not seek this out again.

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The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
3.86 out of 5 based on 572 ratings.
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