The Dogfather | Laughing Dog Brewing

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The DogfatherThe Dogfather
Very Good
586 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 586 |  Reviews: 252
Photo of BEERchitect
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A strongly roasted and cocoa flavored Imperial Stout. But a mild house flavor astringency hurts the flavor and feel a bit.

The beer pours a lavish black beer with lightly browned foam that forms, lasts, and laces extremely well. An onyx-like sheen makes me think that the beer is clear but the mere color keeps any light from impeeding.

Intense cocoa, espresso, and roasted breads/toast dominate the aroma. With a background note of tartness (berries and under-rippened fruit) can be esters or signal mild astringency or contamination.

Flavors of deeply roated malt, malted milk, heavy toast, espresso coffee, and bittersweet chocolated dominate just as much in flavor as they do in aroma- maybe moreso. Bitterness arrives from hop sources as well as roast, but there's another bitter sensation that weaves into and out of astringent sensations. Lighly boozy alcohols add sweetness, complexity, and maybe some bitterness to the stout beer.

Thick, robust, and lucious to start, this beer is creamy, heavy, and has the halmark feel of a true delicacy. the beer keeps its weight and fullness very well. But when the beer turns to dryness, the astringent feel digs into the mouth a bit too much and nearly kills the finish.

The Dogfather is a tremendous Stout and is surely a joy to drink by any dark beer fan. But there's that house astringency that finds its way into this beer and offers the only critical error.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Black, oily and visibly viscous. Not much head or lace, but it does have some legs.

S - Aroma is sweet, roast-y, fruity and tart-bitter. The nose reveals impressions of milk chocolate and bitter cocoa, just as much (or more) vinous and dark fruity notes, and some sweetly spicy notes like cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

T - My first impression is that this is a surprisingly complex RIS. The vinous and fruity notes are very prominent and add a Belgian sensibility to the brew. There is a coffee-chicory acridity that builds until the finish, but the roastiness is not overwhelming. Speaking of the finish, it is quite mouthwatering. There is bitter hop apparent, it doesn't add a tremendous amount of flavor (but that is probably a good thing - definitely a good thing -) though it adds an earthy balance. Booze is deftly hidden, and the whole thing comes together very nicely.

M - Viscous and oily, softly carbonated, well-suited.

D - Very easy drinking; would pair well with a good range of foods; has BSDA characteristics as well as the obvious RIS.

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Photo of CASK1
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured to a pint glass. Creamy, viscous pour, black and opaque. An aggressive pour still yielded a rather thin, tan head, but a thin layer stayed to the bottom of the glass and left a ring on every sip.

Lots of dark chocolate in the aroma, along with alcohol. Burnt roast malt aroma. The flavor is similar to the aroma, but more complex. Malt sweetness up front gives way to a long, bitter finish. Some astringency, not unexpected in an imperial. Has some oxidation flavors, even though this is a new arrival (no bottling date).

Full-bodied mouthfeel. This beer hides the alcohol well. I'd like to say I could drink a lot of this, but I'd probably regret it!

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$8.99 bomber from Oak Tree.

Total black body, no highlights, topped by a thick head of dark tan foam.

Big roasty coffee aroma, with just a hint of chocolate.

Taste follows nose, a big coffee foundation with a chocolate topping. Hoppy accents around the edge.

Nice chewy mouthfeel, though not as thick/syrupy as many imperial stouts.

Nicely drinkable, with the alcohol safely tucked away.

Not a huge wower of an imperial stout, but deinitely worth sampling and occassional revisiting.

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Photo of Bierlerner
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smells absolutely delicious. Dark head. Very rich chocolatey smokey smell. Tastes of charcoal and chocolate and roasted. A little rough on the tongue, kind of earthy taste, but gets better with every sip. Also, being 10.85 percent, it's masked really well. Not an overly abundant strong alcohol taste. So that's nice. Great stout on a cold night. Would definitely drink again

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Photo of keeganfrank
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a thick, brown head that sticks around for quite some time. Reminds me of the head you get on a root beer float. Very nice lacing as well. Smells of spices, caramel and sweet fruit. Tastes is reminiscent of black coffee and bittersweet chocolate with a hint of raisin. Feels a bit watery for an imperial stout, but still provides a pleasant drinking experience. The thinner body certainly makes consuming a whole 22oz bottle of IS not so laborious and prevents the drinker from feeling overly full.

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Photo of biglite351
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark as might with a tall tight brown head.

S - some malts, raisin and dark chocolate.

T - very different. Dark chocolate, more cocoa, throughout. Raisin and malts in the end.

M - solid coating, you feel it on your teeth. Tingles on the sides of tongue and back of throat.

D - I could have a few of these.

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Photo of Lerxst
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours black with a one finger mocha colored head that has average retention but leaves a surprising amount of lacing.

S-Dark roasted malt, coffee, toffee, dark fruit, bakers chocolate, molasses. There is a lot going on here. I like it.

T-Charred malt, coffee, slightly bitter hop bite, a bit boozy-but not in a bad way, a bit smoky, bakers chocolate and a hint of bourbon.

M-Not quite full bodied with a carb bite that is a bit harsh for the style. Still, it coats the palate decently.

D-Goes down easily. There is no way I'd guess this is 11%.

A nice offering from Laughing Dog. I'd pick this up again.

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Photo of chumba526
2.42/5  rDev -37.1%
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 Brent
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Worth buying this beer for the label alone. A bit rough around the edges, but this is a big beer with a ton of roasted malt and a hefty alcohol level, so some bumps along the road are to be expected. Deeply roasted malt flavor predominates, with a nicely balanced level of sweetness. ETOH is most evident with an assertive bite. Enough hopping to move into the American Double category, but the overall character speaks of Russian Imperial Stout.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 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. I drinking this really fresh. Very Hoppy!

mouthfeel: thick, creamy, high carbonation for stout

drinkability: This beer is under rated because I beleive people are drinking this fresh. This beer is a great candidate for aging. I still loved it fresh. high alcohol that will mellow out and one of the hoppiest imp stouts I have had. Love it!

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Photo of mcnabb0001
1.87/5  rDev -51.4%
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 beerwolf77
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I recieved this beer from a few BA's. Thanks to all of you. Poured into my tulip froma bottle.

A: Pitch black, two fingers of mocha hued head, tiny flecks of soapy lace, small cap forms

S: Chocolate, molasses, non bitter coffee, roasted malt, just a hint of wet cardboard

T: Huge bitter black coffee up front. Dark chocolate, molasses and a touch of roastiness.

M: Seems a touch thin for a RIS. Light carbonation.

D: Overall nothing real special going on here. I had high hopes with the cool name. Sadly this beer was more dog than anything.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip. No date or info.

I'm starting to sound like a broken record; thanks to Beerwolf77 for another beer!

A - Pitch black beer with slivers of amber around the edges. A dense tan head deflates fairly quickly and leaves only pinches of tan lace on the glass.

S - Rich roasted malts with light milk chocolate and molasses hints. A pinch of ground coffee in there with a solid hoppiness balance. Not stand-out, but it's good so far.

T - Very acrid bitterness right off the bat, it lingers through the whole experience. Heavily roasted malts and very bitter chocolate with some molasses and coffee, this one is farrrr to bitter.

M - Dry, dry, dry, and über bitter acrid malts that almost finish with a cardboard-shaving, super cocoa dry texture.

D - This is a beer with a bite much worse than the bark, the more I sip it, the more it becomes way to cloying. The dry bitterness is a little outrageous in this brew to the point of being way unbalanced. Hard to finish.

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Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy brown head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a warm, boozy black malt scent. It's bitter as hell with a stiff back malt feel. The taste is decent as well. It has a very bitter black malt flavor. It goes down slow and warm with a ton of heat in the finish. There is some chocolate character as well, but it's not too pronounced. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty solid double stout, but it's too boozy for my taste.

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Photo of bigdonniebrasco
2.65/5  rDev -31.2%
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 malthegal
3.24/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a deep, deep, deep brown. Very thick caramel head, large bubbles. Beautiful lacing left on the glass.

S: There is a definite alcohol aroma, lots of dark roasted malt and dark chocolate. A definitive bourbon aroma.

T: Similar to the aroma. A dark roasted malt and dark choclate make a longstanding presence, supported with a bourbon dominance.

M: Very carbonated and thick. Very dry and bitter for this style, with an extreme alcohol heavy taste.

D: Definitely a slow drinking beer, I'd probably only have one in a sitting due to it's strong alcohol character.

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Photo of aasher
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a midnight, slightly viscous black with a light, light khaki head. There are basically only two aromas present, oak and malt. The taste is pretty solid. It tasted roasted, malty and has almost like a milk stout sweetness to it. It's definitely different (I'm pretty sure the bottle is from 2009) and the alcohol isn't present in the taste at all. It looks heavier than it drinks. It's not as chewy as you'd expect. It's very drinkable considering the alcohol content. I must say I enjoyed the Dogfather, I can't wait to try my Bourbon Barrel Aged version.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black with on of the most energetic heads I've ever seen on an RIS. Brown and carbonated like champagne, you need to be careful pouring this black brew. But sadly, none of that foams stays after the first few sips.

The aroma is of burnt black chocolate and Italian roast coffee with some medium vanilla and a little tobacco.

The taste is a the lovely dark chocoalte and coffee I've come to love about Russian Imperial Stouts. Add some coffee cream , but a hint of Bailey's liquer. The finish is a bitter burnt coffee that lingers.

A nice sipping beer indeed. Worth lots of praise.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep dark chocolate color with a large creamy, smooth, frothy, thick, cafe colored head. Really good retention with a good creamy layer of lace left.

S - Lots of dark roasted malt with dark chocolate and a dark roasted coffee. Pretty good amount of bourbon aroma and some earthy hop presence. A touch of dark fruit.

T - Rich, roasted malt is dominant. Bitter dark chocolate and coffee. Lots of alcohol heat and bourbon presence in this one. Also has a pretty good amount of hop presence (some citrus, good amount of earthy and grassy bitter hops too). Some dark fruit as well. Touches of burnt brown sugar and a bit of vanilla. Pretty complex and big flavors.

M - Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. A little light for the style. Pretty smooth and velvety and a bit slick.

D - Definitely a sipper. Lots of alcohol heat and roasted bitterness makes this not the most drinkable beer, but it does make a nice sipper/nightcap akin to a bourbon.

Notes: Strong bold flavors with a lot of alcohol presence. A good amount of hop bitterness for a stout, but this is very malt forward. Nice nightcap/sipper, but I wouldn't want to drink a lot of this. Split a bottle with a couple guys, and that appears to be a good idea. Interesting, big, bold flavors.

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Photo of crusian
3/5  rDev -22.1%
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 Khazadum
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So my amazing BB4 came to visit me downtown and brought me a gift. It seemed that he visited a shop on the south side and brought me a bottle of something I haven't tried before. Thanks for the bomber Keith! Poured into my increasingly well-used brandy snifter.

A normal pour with no special swirls or heavy handedness generated the most head I have ever seen in a beer. I literally had 3 fingers of mocha head last for minutes... not two, three... but at least five minutes of bubbly inches. Inky darkness with a less than oily body from visual cues. The lacing is decent, but nothing spectacular. I find the never-ending head distracting.

Roasted and burnt notes overpower a faint coffee like tone. No chocolates or superb flavors hinted at or discovered. Usually, I'm so annoyed with an Imperial Stout's nose because of the overwhelming burnt molecules.

However, this one is interesting. The nose is subtle. I can tell that it is an imperial stout, but it is like a possible mate hiding its lovely bits behind an alluring fan dance. There is what I know to be there, but something sweet just behind it all that I can't fully know. Literally.

Flavor Profile
As to be expected from this Stout, I am hit with a right hook of burnt grains. I am dissappointed... instantly shocked! Surprise, says my beer, you thought it was going to be a subtle flavor? Wrong! This bad boy is all about the burnt flavors up front, but just like a right hook... after the impact there is a clearing of all thoughts and something new enters the consciousness.

The malts come out of no where with a caramel sweetness that ebbs away into what I most definitely remember in other beers, dark chocolate. The final evolution of this beer is the bitter chocolate note layering itself all over the middle of my tongue. It is a great finish to have. I'm pleasantly surprised after my initial assumptions.

Things seem to blend magnificently well here, that is until further sips reveal a bitter alcohol that distracts. Sure, it worms and tingles... but it also bites. I wish it was more up front rather than poking its ugly nose half-way into my flavor progression almost all the time. It ruins the chocolate all too often. Still, it has on the whole a good taste to it, but it could have been great.

Oral Sensations
There is a creamy nature to this beer. It is at first creamy, but it does not give its heart completely to this property. A darker, less desirable, property starts to become more apparent after the first sips. It is at once creamy, and watery all at once.

The carbonation lends it that creamy nature, but it is still thin enough to notice beyond these initial moments that it could be better. There is only a lingering element of flavor on my tongue and no where else. It lacks the body to really stick to anywhere else. The carbonation doesn't really tingle as I'm used to ( that tingle is all alcohol unfortunately, and it is not pleasant tingling ).

The mantra of this beer seems to be good, but not great. It falls short on something easy in each category and just throws itself out there to accept it as is. For a gift, awesome. To buy this, ehhh.... I'd really rather not. I'm glad I don't know the cost because I don't think I'd pay more than five dollars for this bomber. Probably never again because it just really isn't worth drinking again over an unknown beer, even.

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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
2.46/5  rDev -36.1%
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 billab914
2.74/5  rDev -28.8%
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 bluejacket74
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half frothy brown head. Head retention is good, with a decent amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is mostly roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee, and there's also a bit of dark fruit and smoke. It tastes like roasted and burnt/charred malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, dark fruit and caramel. If you're a fan of bitter, roasty tasting stouts, this is a beer for you! The sweet flavors come out a bit more as the beer warms (and I let this bottle sit for half an hour before opening it), but the roasty bitter flavors are definitely stronger. Mouthfeel/body is medium and it's creamy, but I think it has way too much carbonation, especially for this style of beer. Because of the high carbonation, the drinkability of this beer is just average. It would be more enjoyable to drink if the carbonation levels were cut down a good bit. I thought it was a decent brew overall, I'll have to revisit this one in the future.

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The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 586 ratings