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: 574
Photo of smakawhat
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Dogfish Head snifter glass.

A real good foamy cocoa light brown head, falls slowly upon a dark walnut brown/red body. Very nice creamy lacing and spotted lacing.

Nose is an interesting sense of grape skin, grappa like. Hop sense perhaps hard to say, but a faint roast character. Very unique nose. Mix of fruit and spirit. Dry tobacco as well.

On taste a very creamy mouthfeel mixing with a good bitterness. Palate has nice roast and char, with a bitter hop. Creamy finish on the palate and almost chewy.

Overall quite solid and enjoyable. Distinct one and quite enjoyable with no sense of boozy heat either. Good job Laughing Dog.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a Hangar 24 Barrel Roll snifter...

A - Pours black with a one finger brown head that sticks around for a while. There is a good amount of lacing to be had...

S - Dark roasted malts, chocolate, molasses, and a hint of alcohol...

T - Chocolate, molasses, a little coffee, and a good dose of roasted malts/barley. Finishes roasty with some bitter chocolate, and a smooth alcohol warmth. Alcohol is very subdued...

M - Nice viscous full bodied feel with a moderate amount of carbonation...

O - Very nicely done. Definitely something I will buying again in the future...


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Photo of Minkybut
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I poured this big beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was black as night and poured a giant poofy beautiful dark tan head. The beer was a smelling like coffee right stron. The taste was the same. Very malty and very rich tasting. Lots of mocha taste Also. The beer was bit strong for me and even though I gave it a lot of high marks I will not buy again. its just too big for me. but If your a big beer person this is your beer.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a viscous dark, almost pitch black color from a 22 oz bomber, with ABV on the label.
Massive head with the upper half khakhi colored and the lower half really dark brown/mocha colored. The head dissipates slowly to a thin film that stays, good head retention.
Aroma is all chocolate, there are huge chocolate notes that overpower any other aroma trying to make it's presence felt. Wow, very rarely have I come across a brew with so much chocolate in the nose, this is massive.
Taste is all chocolate, right from the front to the finish. It just feels like melted silky milky chocolate filling from a Lindt milk chocolate truffle. There is just a slight trace of bitterness in the finish which is akin to dark cocoa. Extremely full-bodied and silky on the palate. The alcohol is also masked very well. Hard to tell this is a beer that has almost 11% ABV.
There aren't enough words to describe how much I enjoyed this brew. Definitely recommended and worth a try. One of the best imperial stouts I have had. Cheers!!!

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Photo of crossovert
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle.

It pours a dark blackish brown with a big, billowy and tightly foamed tan head.

The smell is nice it has some cocoa, and butterscotch.

The flavor is big and sweet initially. There is a very nice hit of roasted malt that dominates. This brewery has miserable QC issues but this beer is good, very similar to the Abyss.

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Photo of colts9016
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have been wanting to try this beer but the rumors about it being infected kinda scared me. I hope that this beer is not. Poured into the perfect pint glass at 50 degrees.

Appearance: A one finger head that has good retention despite the fact that it has over ten percent alcohol. The color of the head is dark tan creamy and foamy left a little lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is dark brown near burnt motor oil. The clarity of the beer is opaque and some carbonation bubbles are visible on the bottom of the glass. The appearance of the beer look great.

Nose: A medium rich roasted malt is present with burnt, caramels, toasty, and biscuit notes. Other aromas are solvent, diacetyls, yeasts, molasses, chocolate, coffee, floral esters, citrus, and wood notes. This beer is mouthwatering.

Taste: A roasty toasty malt with burnt, toast, and biscuit characters. The other flavors in the beer is floral esters, pine, solvent, yeast, molasses, and coffee. Other notes in the beer is chocolate and resin. The nose just does not match the flavor.

The mouth feel of the beer is astringent, coating, warm, and carbonated.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. This beer fails in the taste department. The flavor and characters in the beer are not well developed. The malty backbone has scoliosis and need major help. What a disappointment. It was not infected but it just does not hold up to better American Stouts.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber split with my gf. tulip glass. 10.85%

a - pours a viscous, deep dark brown with a thick, 2 finger, dark brown head. retention is excellent and leaves thick legs of lacing in my glass.

s - cocoa, tobacco, dark cherry, leather.

t - rich roasted malt with notes of espresso and tobacco. faint dark fruits with a saltiness that i can't place. nice balancing bitterness, but feels like it comes more from the espresso than hops.

m - medium in body with adequate carbonation and a fine co2 profile. very, very smooth.

o - a solid beer with a unique flavor profile that i haven't come across in any other beer. seems like it would pair well with a fine cigar. probably would have enjoyed this more if i paid less than $15 for this bottle. worth trying at least once though.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my cigar city snifter. Pours an opague black with a caramel covered heading left lacing rings all throughout the tasting.

Heavy roasted malts with a good deal of espresso. Slight berry aroma as well.

This is were it through me for a loop. Starts off with the classic roasted malt flavor, slight espresso bean taste with a touch of chocolate. On the backend a heavy berry fruity twist like black currents, a slightly sour which leads to a hot boozey alcohol. Just not what I think of when drinking a stout.

Full bodied and decent carbonation but very thin and boozey.

It seems the fruity flavors try to hide the heavier abv but it doesn't quite take.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a completely opaque dark brown, with a nice brown head. Head went from thick to a thin layer, but lasted a long time that clung to the sides extremely well. Aroma was sweet, finished like a warm brown sugar. Initially smelled a little musty, but switched over to a malt aroma. A mellow sweetness with a hint of lactose ended with a hint of bitter spice. Felt ok in the mouth. Coated well but seemed slightly over carbonated. Over all a decent stout, but the abv hit hard.

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Photo of jmfc8237
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a pitch black with a creamy brown subtle head and tiny, almost champagne like bubbles. The roasty strong burnt sugar and a boozy sweet smell envelopes the senses. Coffe burnt sugar and some sweet fruity notes all play together as it warms. The taste is of a dark semi sweet cocoa and expresso wrapped in burnt sugars and signifigant char. It makes way to a warming and interesting mouthfeel.

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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 buschbeer
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle
Served in a snifter

A - It is very dark bordering on black. It is capped with two inches of tan head.

S - Chocolate and licorice are the aromas I get.

T - Chocolate comes through here as well. The finish has some licorice, coffee, and roasted malt. Pretty interesting.

M - Smooth with little carbonation

O - It is pretty solid. I like the chocolate and licorice working in this one. Licorice isn't a favorite flavor of mine but it works here. It kind of reminds me of Brooklyn BCS. It helps a gloomy fall day pass.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Huge head in a cloak of dark brown. Body is black allowing no light to penetrate. The head has great stamina. I believe this how an imperial stout should look.

S - Long roasted malt aroma with a coffee and chocolate scent mixed in.

T - A burnt toast flavor in the finish. The middle offers a chocolate and coffee mixture that has a real dark roasty taste.

M - The feel is smooth and somewhat wet while leaving a mildly sticky finish on my lips.

~ This is a not a beer for the meek in our beer drinking community. It's a aggressive and pushes limits. As I walk my way through the bomber it offers a 'head' worth seeking. This is a beer I would certainly recommend to a friend. The friend who gifted me this bottle offered without ever having tried it... I hope he has a chance to give it a try.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a S.A. laser etched beer glass

Appearance: Very dark brown (black) with a 1/4 inch dark tan head.

Smell: a roasted bock smell, no take that back; an AROMA which hints of wine.

Taste: Coffee-ish, with a hint of dark chocolate. The after taste is what's the best somewhat bitter piney feel to it but goes down smoothly.

Mouth: I would say medium to full...medium carbonation. Flavor just hugs your cheeks even minutes after finishing the bottle.

Overall: Beer is incredibly finished, from aroma to taste to the overall feel it just hits you so perfectly. There is really nothing not to like to this beer recommended to beer lovers and most of all REAL beer lovers alike.

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Photo of MikeB20
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: 22oz bottle poured into a DFH signature glass.

A: Pours black as night and doesn't show even the slightest of brown highlights. I nice one finger dark tan head with moderate retention. Lacing is good as it sticks all the way down the glass.

S: Lots of caramel and burnt sugars, very sweet aromas. Alcohol is present with a large enough whiff. Judging by the color, I expected some roasted grain but I'm not getting any.

T: Lots of great roasted malt flavor with a great deal of sweetness. There's a touch of alcohol but not as much as I would have expected from a nearly 11% ABV beer. There is a distinct dry burnt flavor in the finish. Not terribly complex, I've had much more complex imperial stouts.

M: Syrupy as it coats and lingers on your tongue. Smooth with moderately low carbonation. The mouthfeel will lead you to drink this beer slowly and let it hang out in your mouth a bit.

O: Suprisingly drinkable given it's ABV but perhaps a bit too sweet. A 6-8oz glass of this would go nicely with a chocolate dessert. I like it but I don't love it. I would seek out another bottle if the opportunity to pair it with something on a special occasion presented itself.

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Photo of TheBeerAuthority
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first beer from Laughing dog brewing company. Whoa! Not what i expected for an imperial stout but in a GOOD way!

Appearance- Dark jet back beer, amber brown/mocha colored head that nicely stuck around.

Smell- Really dominant pine and sweet smell with some roasted malt smells as well. I'm not one for pine but it works well in this brew.

Taste- Bold taste here. Chocolate, pine and an array of flavors. A very unique imperial stout. Wow. I get a sweet blast of dark fruits also but not overdone. You can taste the alcohol in this one. The unique taste for a stout attracted me in this situation! All very well balanced and complex.

Mouth feel- Medium to full bodied. I thought the carbonation was well done.

Overall- A well done beer that had a blast of flavors you don't usually expect from an imperial stout. This one went down easy for me and was a pleasure to drink. For a twist on the usual, give this beer a try!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - black liquid with a light brown head that stayed around as a heavy ring leaving some light lacing.

S - sweet molases and charred wood.

T - sweet and smokey at the same time.

F - medium/full bodied with a smooth, creamy feel.

O - a very good example of the style.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


A - Deep dark black, three finger deep tan head (almost brown), and some lean lacing

S - Very sweet, molasses, oak, slight bourbon, lots of malt, tons of earth, vanilla, milk chocolate, slight yeast, flowers, slight hops and bitter chocolate

T - Vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, tons of malt, earth, oak, bitter chocolate, molasses and flowers

M - Full bodied, nice complexity, well balanced, low acidity and long finish

D - Drinks like a huge stout and a nice mellow stout. For the new stout fan and the veteran alike. Tons of flavor, great balance and a pretty decent beer all around

Final thought - at almost 11% and $5 a pop. If you have a chance to try this one. Give it a try

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 8/9, from notes...

picked up locally, poured into my cigar city snifter.

a - deep black with a nice creamy mocha milky tan head. pretty frothy and it hung around for a while. lacing was milky.

s - little burnt and smokey...milky roasted malts.

t - very nice flavor. milky roasted burnt malts. not nearly as burnt and smokey as the nose suggests. quite nice actually.

m - surprisingly not heavy. creamy, but light.

o - this is a great beer. i'm surprised i don't hear more about it. it is a bit burnt and smokey and also somewhat milk stoutish, but light enough to be an easy drinker. if you don't dig the burnt or milkiness i could see you not loving it, but for my tastes, this beer was very impressive and i realize that i should pick up a few more of these while i can.

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Photo of thatruth
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz from the Beer Junction in West Seattle.

pours a 1/8" hot chocolate colored head with minimal-to-moderate frothy lacing. pours a liquorice color into an opaque with a dark tobacco tint in the glass. absolutely no light penetrates this beer.

deep aroma of chocolate syrup and caramel here. a variety of cocoa plant is present. most comparable to - no lie - tootsie rolls. hints of sour apple, have a feeling this one might be just that: sour.

definitely has a tang to it. chocolatey roasted malts, "tootsie roll" hops (I swear), caramel aftertaste. lacquer hint associated with imperial stouts is minimal here.

bright, bold on-bringing to a tangy body that ends with a quick, wet finish, seemingly does a pretty good job at hiding the 10.0+% alcohol content, until you let it settle a bit.

sour mash vibe to an imperial stout. peculiar, yet refreshing.

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Photo of bogus564
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 fl oz, poured into a pint glass.

I just picked up 'Star Wars - The Complete Saga' on blu-ray; that, and the 'Band of Brothers' series. Full beer fridge, call me the Hermit. And away we go...

A: Holy Mackarel! This is one good looking beer! Dark brown color, enormous head that rolls like Guinness. Can't wait to get my nose in it.

S: This is nice - it smells of coffee, chocolate, molasses, orange. The scents are discernable, and powerful. This shows promise.

T: Oh, yeah - I like this one, for sure. It has all that you'd expect an imperial stout to have, and in a really good balance. The flavors blend quite well, and no one overpowers the other.

M: Excellent, coming close to spectacular. Medium-bodied, the carbonation's just right, plays nicely on the palate, leaving a fairly clean finish. A little hoppy at the end, but just a little. I like it.

O: Very nice beer to drink if you have no plans to do anything productive during or after. Fortunately for me, it's a couch potato weekend. I only wish I had cooked a good steak to go with this. Good thing I bought two bottles...

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Photo of bierguru
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


S - The smell is sweet and has notes of chocolate, molasses and loads of roasted malts

oh and how could i forget u do get hints of alcohol

m- kind of syrupy which i didnt really care for bit the rest of the mouth feel was really awesome nothing in the taste was annoying

0 - this beer i just randomly bought knew nothing about the company and was really impressed would for sure buy again and the alcohol content really isnt an issue really drinkable

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to someone for sharing this at the May Freetail bottle release.
The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a decent-sized tan head. The aroma is very sweet. I get a lot of cocoa and chocolate, as well as some roasted malt and some brown sugar. I don't get much alcohol or hops in the aroma.

The flavor is more of the same. I get a ton of sweet milk chocolate and a little bit of roasted malt. There is a slight bit of coffee in the flavor as well as some dark fruit notes. The alcohol is well hidden and the hops are basically non-existent, contributing to the beer's sweetness.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of jillmart
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Practically pitch black, with about an inch of head in a pint glass with some bubbles at the finish.
S: Holy roast! It's heavy on the roastiness. A hint of caramel and chocolate. It smells syrupy yet it doesn't taste that way.
T: It's roasty for sure. It's the most overpowering trait. But it works. Also a hint of chocolate, but that didn't hit me until the end.
M: Overall it's kind of sticky, thick, full-bodied. A very solid beer.
O: Not too difficult to drink at all. That being said, I haven't had much beer in a while, so it hit me kind of fast as it's 10.85% and I'm not a very big lady. :) It was quite good an,d it fits the style of beer I like (usually coffee porters or stouts, American porters, stouts). I would buy this again. I wish I could find more Laughing Dog on the East Coast.

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger high tan head that quickly dissipated, leaving some bubbles on the surface and a ring around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell is sweet and has notes of chocolate, dark fruits, molasses and roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has flavors of chocolate, dark fruits, licorice, molasses and roasted malts. There is a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some notes of dryness in the finish.
O: The beer tastes somewhat strong, but nowhere in the level of 11% abv. For this reason, it’s not too difficult to drink.

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The Dogfather from Laughing Dog Brewing
3.86 out of 5 based on 574 ratings.
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