The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) | Laughing Dog Brewing

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The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged)The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged)

Brewed by:
Laughing Dog Brewing
Idaho, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.85%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Over 11 months in the making some of the Dogfather is bourbon barrel aged.

71 IBU

Added by brownbeer on 12-21-2009

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Reviews: 181 | Ratings: 504
Photo of GRG1313
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

These scores were taken from notes found from tasting this at the Extreme Beer Festival and which scores were never previously entered. Notes show that the overwhelming characteristic was a nice vanilla barrel characteristic stout that was a bit boozy but drinkable, thick and rich and very nice.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

10.85% ABV per label.

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch dark tan head that becomes a film on the top of the beer. Random splotches of lacing form on the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark malts, dark candied fruits, chocolate caramel, and wood. Taste is woody to the max. There is an off chemical taste almost, like the wood was treated somehow. Other flavors are dark malts, licorice, and cocoa powder. There is a moderate bitterness on the palate after each sip. The beer has good carbonation which makes it crisp and smooth. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a very nice smell but the chemical wood taste take some points away from the experience.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz chalice, during their tap takeover at Beer Revolution in downtown Edmonton.

This beer appears a solid, light-absorbing black hole, with pretty much nil in terms of any sort of highlights, and a thin cap of wispy, yet still rather foamy tan head, which leaves a near solid wash of thinly painted lace around the glass as it slowly abates.

It smells of semi-sweet Kentucky whiskey barrel - caramel, spicy rye grain, and boozy vanilla - further toffee malt sugary notes, bittersweet chocolate, a bit of root beer syrup, and a bristling alcohol astringency. The taste is strong, almost too strong grainy wood barrel notes - rye whiskey, of course, with the attendant toasted vanilla and caramel - a still heady toffee malt backbone, chocofied coffee, and a low-key, underwhelming leafy, weedy hoppy bitterness.

The carbonation is generally unassuming in its plain Jane, um, blandness, the body a stoic medium-heavy weight, and actually smooth, all other pertinent things considered. It finishes on the sweet side, the barrel still bullying its way about, to no one's real benefit.

I like these guys, I really do, but sometimes their headier offerings seem to come up short, as does this. There's certainly no question that this stout spent a considerable amount of time in Bourbon wood. The actual question is, should it have?

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Photo of oline73
3.24/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of zeff80
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a huge, light brown colored head of bubbly, long-lasting foam. It left sticky patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of chocolate and some vanilla. There were some mild bourbon notes, too.

T - It tasted of chocolate, vanilla, bourbon and oak. It was very boozy.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A full bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This was okay. I would rather have it with more age on it to mellow it out. A little too boozy.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/24/2012. Pours dense pitch black color with a 2 finger dense dark tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, toast, toffee, vanilla, oak, cherry, fig, prune, light char, light smoke, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and oak barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, toast, char, molasses, toffee, vanilla, oak, light bourbon, light smoke, and roasted earthiness. Moderate roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, char, toast, molasses, vanilla, oak, light bourbon, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and balance of robust dark/roasted malt and moderate oak barrel flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a smooth, creamy, and fairly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice barrel aged imperial stout. All around nice balance and complexity of very robust dark/roasted malt and moderate oak barrel character; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of oberon
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial nonic a near jet black except for just a tinge of ruby in the bottom of my glass when held to the light,a creamy,fluffy two finger mocha colored head atop that left broken lace as it settled into a frothy mass.Light oak,slight char,and bitter chocolate stood out the most aroma wise,faint molasses sweetness came thru as it warmed.Seemed a bit off in the mouthfeel department,a little sharp and rough,with the creamy head I expected a little more creamy texture to the beer.Flavors of toasty oak and vanilla at the onset even a little char/smoke.French roast coffee flavors are what I thought of.Not to sweet with just a bit of molasses,the barrel aging really doesnt play a huge role in my mind.Its close to being really really good,it just seems to lack a little body and sweetness,the alcohol is well hidden though.

10.85%ABV per bottle label.

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Photo of jlindros
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The regular Dogfather was not very impressive, way to much minerality, soy sauce, syrupy, etc. HOpefully the Bourbon Barrel is a lot more subtle and tasty. I figured this was a good beer to help me ride out the heavy thunderstorms and possible tornadoes on the way.

A: Pours with a ridiculous amount of carbonation, even a gentle pour yields 2/3 head and 1/3 beer to start. It's a dark fluffy pillowy head the fades slowly too over a dark black not too thick beer that has just the slightest hint of light shining through.

N: Thick dark malts, stout like of course, lots of dark roasted barley and dark roasty malts, some chocolate malt, thick syrupy molasses and other syrupy aromas, some creamy luscious chocolate milk. A very slight hint of oak and bourbon with all that.

T: Similar to the original, starts with a nice luscious chocolate flavor, dark chocolate and some milk chocolate, and lots of roasty flavors. Then gets real minerally with some soy sauce, salty, chewy dark malts, lots of earthy roasty charred malt flavors, which also brings a lot of bitterness. Somewhat thick and syrupy with a little molasses, and quite a boozy taste, and warming tingly feel. A little bourbon flavor, very light, and a hint of oak but not much. I think this is a little toned down a bit from the original but not much.

M: Semi thick and syrupy, not as thick as I expected, lots of carbonation and tons of warming tingly boozy mouth burning alcohol.

F: Very bitter, again from the roasty charred malts, and lots of earthy lingering taste with more soy sauce, long syrupy root beer syrup flavor, long tingly and warming booze taste as well, like I just rinsed my mouth with really strong mouthwash, a long bitter root earthy salty flavor too. Lots of not so pleasant stuff in the taste that seem to linger with the rest. There is some roasty malt flavors, and a little chocolate and bourbon lingering, but mostly the unpleasant parts lingering. Although, the more I drink the more by mouth becomes used to the bad flavors and it starts to becomes a little more drinkable, not too bad.

I'll see what a few years of aging does to teh rest of them.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Having never tasted the standard Dogfather I can't compare the Bourbon barrel aging. What I can say is that it's distinct, but not overdone. You find it in the nose but with so much chocolate and roastiness going on it's just a minor component. In the flavor, however, it's quite clear, expressing both Bourbon and wood. That said....

This is one black beer, with a dark brown head (orange cast) that lasts and leaves remarkable sheets of solid lacing behind as it goes.

The nose is completely chocolatey, caramelish, fudge-like, and roasty with notes of fresh coffee grounds.

The flavor is rich and malty, displaying yeasty fruitiness wrapped in caramel, sprinkled with grassy/spicy hops, and then covered in sugared-espresso-like roastiness. It's almost like some kind of Italian dessert. Every sip is full and complete and totally satiating; and in that sense, this is not an "easy to drink" beer. It should be sipped and savored like a tiny cup of espresso (I was initially going to say barleywine, but espresso is more concise). It has some of the dark fruit normally associated with the style, and it hints at the burnt currant that Michael Jackson was so fond of, but it's not quite there. And the hops are leafy, woody (or is that just the wood?), grassy, and spicy. There's also a slight mineral-ish edge to it. Most of it, however, is that velvet robe of roasty malt I mentioned upfront. And I use the word robe because it's covering and comforting and soft, but not heavy or cloaking. It's airy and smooth... but dense and full at the same time. Black velvet... ? Cliche, but succinct. Regardless, the whole of it is that it's superbly well rounded and balanced: there's no harsh edge of dark malt acidity, no bite of alcohol, and no overt bitterness.

Overall, the Bourbon barrel aged Dogfather rises to the challenge. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.09/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass. I know that I’ve had this bottled stored for at least 6 years.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a very large foamy light brown head that fades very slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, roasted malts, chocolate and some coffee.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of milk chocolate, bourbon and coffee. Then a significant alcohol burn comes in along with the barrel-aging essence and some dark fruit flavor. The roasted malt character is very hearty and there’s a faint but complementary hops presence creating a good balance.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid big stout to sip on for a long time.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev +4%
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 billab914
3.31/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. The bottle looks just like the regular version, but the case was labeled barrel aged. It poured black in color with a huge chocolate colored foam filling half of the glass and nearly spilling over. The head settled down and left some decent lacing in the process.

The aroma shows a lot of sweetness to it, with more of a slightly burnt sugar flavor with some milk chocolate too. Behind that some very light roasted malt, and oak come through. Probably the lightest barrel aged flavors I've had in a barrel aged beer though.

The taste has more of the milk chocolate flavor to it throughout the flavor. Towards the finish just a hint of bourbon and oak comes through. Again it's very light on the barrel characteristics, almost non-existent. A bit of roasty malt and dark chocolate flavor comes through in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is a little above average for the style. Carbonation is very high for the style though, too high for me. Drinkability is decent, I liked it better then the regular version but not nearly as much as a lot of others in the style. Unfortunately if you like barrel aged beers this also isn't one that shows off what that can do very well at all. Not a bad beer, but not a great one either.

 1,278 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review based on notes, tasted in February...

Pours mahogany with a pinky of fast falling tan head. Above average head retention, average lacing & a nice viscious look to this

S:Dark fruit, figs & woody hops. Bourbon notes shine once warm

T: Figs, dark chocolate, vanilla, woody hops & oaky boozeyness up front. Bourbon notes, black cherry, oakyness & plums, plus figgyness as this warms. Finishes with strong oaky notes, some warming booze notes & figs & vanilla

MF: Fairly chewy, firm carbonation, doesn't smooth out as much as I hoped

The booze bite detracts a bit, but I do like this a little better than the regular version

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Photo of mdfb79
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark dark brown with 3 plus fingers of tan head that lasts for several minuted. Moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dark fruits, mainly cherry. Also some roasted malts and light coffee. Not getting any bourbon or oak, and smells much sweeter than I was expecting.

t - Tastes of bourbon, oak, cherries, roasted malts, coffee, and bitter chocolate. Much more like I was expecting.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent beer but a little disappointing. Not bad by any means, but I didn't think the taste was as smooth and balanced as I had hoped for. The smell was sweet dark fruits which threw me off, though it was enjoyable. Glad I tried but would probably not seek out again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.14/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

A dog-themed beer in a dog-themed glass. Done. Anyway, this stuff pours a dark black-brown topped by a more-than-healthy few fingers of sandstone foam. The nose comprises dark cocoa powder, light coffee powder, and a strong, yet vague, sense of fruit, primarily black cherry. This does not bode well... The taste confirms my anxiety as dark chocolate-covered black cherries dominate my tongue, with a small bit of wood and watered-down whiskey flowing in a tiny rivulet in the distance. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, I can't quite conclude that this stuff is infected, per se, but it certainly tastes similar to other infected stouts I've had. It may just be that this stuff ages piss-poorly, but I have no way of knowing how old this bottle is, so it's all just speculation. What isn't speculation is the strong fruit flavor and thin body, making this stout completely unenjoyable. Even as a sour stout it fails, frankly, as it's more metallic than tart. Shame, really...

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown near black bother you with a viscous beige head. Burnt toffee, ripe plum, oak, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malt. Flavor is a bit lacking. Sweet, finishing with a slightly harsh tannic note. Middle of the road.

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Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5 year old bottle poured into a snifter. The brew is black with a rich mocha head 3 fingers strong that fades leaving spotty lace.

Aroma is heavily charred and roasted with slight citrus coffee grain essence, milk chocolate and earth.

Taste has almost notes of cedar blended with espresso and char. Leathery tobacco and faint raisony alcohol warmth.

Medium in body with effervescent carbonation and overall not bad compared to the bottles of non barrel aged ive had that were infected messes.

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Photo of stevoj
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Boise Co-op. Dark black pour, minimal head. Body is a bit thin, but all other characteristics are right on. Gentle aroma leads into richer and fuller taste, tons of roast grains. BBA elements a bit muted, but still a pretty solid RIS. One of the better ones from Idaho.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to LiquidArrogance for this brew.

22oz. Bomber

Poured into a chalice a nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with lots of chocolate/toffee notes, nice little bourbon/oak note. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, nice notes of dark stuff, bourbon/oak notes. Medium Body, the ABV is hidden very well with this brew. Overall a very nice brew.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.8/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Poured in to snifter.

A - Poured deep black with a thin layer of medium brown head that immediately receded to a thin ring around the edges of the glass.

S - A massive charred oak aroma dominates the nose with some sweet bourbon and vanilla notes also present along with some chocolate and roast.

T - Lots of charred oak and not much else. The oak tastes almost burnt and is somewhat astringent. Some roast, cherry and chocolate notes are also present but no bourbon or vanilla notes translated from the nose to the palate. The finish is very oaky and astringent.

M - Medium body with medium to high carbonation. Too heavily carbonated for me.

O - This was barely drinkable due to the astringent oak profile that completely dominated the palate.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours dark brown to black with a tan head. The aroma is oak, alcohol, roasted malt and bourbon. The flavor is roasted malt, chocolate, oak, whiskey with some piney hops and earthiness that was somewhat unexpected. Medium bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and a high, prickly carbonation which took away from the beer.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a Tulip at a bar.

Dogfather pours a jet black color that is underneatrh a nice half inch of dark brown coffee colored foam that leaves no stick. Smell is vanilla under some bourbon, oak, chocolate, cocco. The bourbon is not a killer but a nice strong contender. Not the most pungent smell, alcohol is there but a afterthought. Taste is bourbon mixed with vanilla and some roasted malt giving off a slight bitter vibe. Some cocco or it could be chocolate. The base beer picked up some nice bourbon tones, not to heavy but enough to taste the spirit. I don't really pick up any alcohol. Feel is smooth and above medium with a light but useful carb keeping things in check. I could and probably will drink a shit ton of this in the upcoming weeks.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this brew late Friday night at Bittercreek... draft poured it into a massive wine glass.. easily 12 oz's... woah.

Foamy dark tan head lingered for a solid 5 minutes with great lacing... expected black brew.

Nose has quite a bit of oak and whiskey notes that when cold dominated the dark malts and fruits.. I let this sit for my entire meal and leisurely finished it over the course of about a half hour... this brew needs warmth to really shine. With warmth, coffee and cocoa start to come out alot more.

Flavors are pretty much the same as the aromas but they emerge a little sooner, but it still needs to really warm up to allow the malts to help balance the heady wood and bourbon.

Body seems a bit more thin compared to bottles of the regular I've had in the past. If my predictions are accurate, the bottles of these are going to need some time to meld.. but this was pretty enjoyable off tap.


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Photo of John_M
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and considerable sticky lacing. The nose is likewise attractive, showing dark chocolate, coffee and considerable bourbon. This beer definitely smells as if it will be pretty boozy. On the palate, this is really quite good. The flavors replicate the nose in this rich, full bodied, boozy beer, though I also get some light leather and tobacco as well. The beer seems to have a pretty good dose of hops, resulting in enough bitterness on the finish to counter the sweetness in this beer. Mouthfeel is probably the most attribute of this beer, as it comes across as a rich, full bodied, intensely flavored IRS. Drinkability is of course not this beer's best attribute, but its not bad. While I can sense the abv. in this beer, it's not heavy, tiring or hot on the finish.

While there are certainly better imperial stouts out there, this wasn't bad at all I thought.

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Photo of rudzud
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at Julio's after missing it on tap at the Armsby Abbey.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a deep brown nearly black pour with a HUGE fluffy three finger head that quickly slumped down to leave a dark mocha cloud and spotty side lacing. Impressive head for a strong brew.

S - Somewhat burnt sugar/sweet carmel roasty malts. Super light chocolate aroma and decent coffee with not nearly enough bourbon or wood for that matter.

T - Similar to the nose here, with the chocolate and coffee being slightly more pronounced. The bourbon is here too, though very subtle. Its good, yeah, but not that assertive in-your-face bourbon that is so typical with this style.

M - Nice and creamy and smooth with the alcohol being hidden nicely. Isnt quite as chewy though as one hopes.

O - Overall, this is a tasty stout. Its just, there are so many better barrel aged stouts out there, some even lower than this price, that I can't justify spending the money on this again.

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The Dogfather (Bourbon Barrel Aged) from Laughing Dog Brewing
3.73 out of 5 based on 504 ratings.
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