Laughing Dog Brewing

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American Imperial Porter
Ranked #336
Ranked #20,099
3.84 | pDev: 13.28%
Laughing Dog Brewing
Idaho, United States
Very Good
Notes: A complex Imperial coffee porter made with award-winning Evans Brothers cold-brew coffee. Subtle chocolate and coffee notes are balanced by black malt bitterness and malt sweetness.
Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 278 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

hands down the best beer i have had from these guys so far, really exceptional porter here, done with the quality local evans brothers coffee, which impressed me in its own right when i was up there. didnt want to save this one too long, in case the coffee would fade, and that now seems like a great decision. the coffee is fresh and super robust in here, a rather deep and intense roast to it, but the base porter is sturdy and smooth enough for it to seem balanced, bold as it is. abyssal black in color, moderate shine, tall tan head on it, creamy and lasting, really pretty beer in the stemless wine glass i pour the bomber into. the coffee aroma is strong, really pretty bitter, with some baking chocolate and heady espresso character, earthy and ashy and chocolatey. the roasted malt is big here too, smooth but deep, without much sweetness anywhere in here, its palate coating but not sugary, and i taste it for a long time. the coffee is real fresh in here which i am thankful for, no green pepper or oxidation or anything, its just really nice. the coffee is really powerful, ahead of the malt, and there is a light english type ale yeast note and a short lived raisin and cocoa layer that washes through, giving this some uniqueness too. its so well refined, so smooth, dry, and subtle on the alcohol. an awesome nightcap last night, and a new highlight in the laughing dog portfolio for me, awesome coffee beer here, the quality of the coffee used is on display too. killer!

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Photo of tone77
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of dark fruits, coffee. Taste is dark fruits up front, coffee in the background, some chocolate and alcohol are present. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.34/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I have been cellaring this for a few years. The label says 05/29/12, which means it is almost six and a half years old today.

Suitably black color with dark cream colored head. The head retreats but leaves a thick wall of stickiness to line my pint glass. Nose is chocolate and roasted coffee morphing into dark fruits.

The flavor is big and bold and complex, without being overwhelming. There is a base of dark fruit, dark chocolate, coffee, and oatmeal. Some hop bitterness is present at times, particularly in the finish. The prune and date notes are first dry and then sweet. Texture is rich and smooth. This is exquisite.

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Photo of billstyler
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love porters. This one is on the heavier end of what I have experienced. I like the coffee additive, as in some others brewed in my region. Generally, I like that it is so dark, and has a thick-feeling smoothness on the tongue. It doesn't seem to hang on and will finish relatively cleanly, compared to some heavy porters. It won't be a real frequent item,since I have to avoid barley and wheat for the most part, but for those who aren't restricted in the grain department, this should be a good dessert brew. In a way, it is reminiscent of Sheaf Stout, and it's on the cusp, being just on this side of the stout fence. It would probably make a great half-and-half partner.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle, it pours a deep dark brown with a light brown head. The head diminishes slowly to a hefty ring and continent. LOTS of coffee in the nose, along with alcohol. The mouth gets a coffee taste to go with the roasted malt flavor.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a dark brown almost black color with a thin sustaining finger’s worth of white to off white head. Damn, that head must last for a good 3 minutes. Finally, the lacing seems good, slight messiness. The aroma, well, I think this is a bit aged, though I don’t see any dates anywhere, but this is how I currently feel about this: coffee bean - slightly acidic, dry roasty, subtle vanilla, sly milk chocolate, then some sweet dark fruits (leaning to plums/raisins, mainly). The flavor takes all of the previously mentioned flavors to combine nicely into a subtle sweet to roasty coffee bean to dark fruitiness. Definitely moves nice and sweet in the aftertaste and slyly touching the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a decent sessionable to sipping quality about it. Carbonation seems to have fallen off a bit, but that’s okay, as I believe this is slightly aged a bit. Overall, its aged, so, I don’t want to be too harsh on this beer, yes, maybe not as boozy as when it was initially put out on the market. Still, this one has a ton of potential.

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Photo of hman43
3.27/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Look: It pours black with a dark brown head.

Smell: There are aromas of coffee and chocolate.

Taste: The flavors are highlighted by the coffee, roast, and chocolate. There is an ever so subtle hint of dark fruits. As it warms, the dark fruits take a more prominent role in the taste after the initial malt flavoring.

Feel: It has a full creamy body with a rather smooth texture. It has a moderate bitterness in the finish as well.

Overall, this porter is dominate with the initial malt flavors and then the dark fruits become more prominent as part of the aftertaste, especially as the beer warms.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bomber of Anubis Imperial Coffee Porter in a bottle shop. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a black walnut color, opaque, with a thin beige head.

Smell is a heavy sweet aroma, chocolate and roasted dark fruits like dates and figs.

Taste is a little coffee presence, but a lot of dark chocolate and bit of a booze flavor.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, cloying, with a little alcohol heat, and a wet sweet aftertaste.

Overall not the most drinkable brew. Warn on a winter afternoon. I'd probably serve it in an 10 ounce pour.

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Photo of uberabr
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark black, just a tiny hint of red hue. Thin coffee-colored head. Smells of citrus and chocolate, roasted malts.

Taste is mellow. The alcohol doesn't come through at all...could be dangerous, very drinkable. Dark chocolate predominates. There's some acidity from the coffee but the coffee flavor itself is pretty subdued. Roasted malt, raisins, oranges, and some tropical fruit. Not getting much hops or bitterness. There's just a touch of something artificial tasting that I can't quite put my finger on....reminds me a lot of Belching Beaver's PB Stout.

Overall a very drinkable and well-rounded porter. This one doesn't stand out a whole lot in my opinion, but there's nothing wrong with it and I'de definitely drink it again.

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Photo of stevoj
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Boise Co-op. Inky black pour with small beige head. Light, mellow coffee aroma. Taste brings more of the coffee bitterness, faint chocolate notes, burnt toast and roast malts. Imperial-ness not too evident, fairly smooth Porter. More coffee bitterness at the finish.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at ChurchKey. Poured into a small snifter. 4.5

A – Pours a dark brown a half-finger head. 3.75

S - Great roasty chocolate nose. 4.75

T - Roasty but no chocolate a bit of alcohol balances the roasted malt. 4.25

MF – Medium heavy body a neutral finish. Warming. 4

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Photo of BeerBobber
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This one poured black as night with no light showing through. Seemed almost like a stout and not a porter. The head was a very thin brown head and not much lacing seen down the glass.

The smell was a ton of coffee with a lot of roasted and toasted barley and sweet malts.

Taste is like a dark roasted coffee with that great roasted and toasted sweet barley and malt notes.

Mouthfeel was thin with a somewhat wet finish.

Overall this one really hits it on all points as it calls itself a coffee porter and that is what I found when I tried this great brew.

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Photo of prock180
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great imp porter imo. Good, deep coffee and chocolate flavors. Mouthfeel feel is a great bonus, medium-heavy, so smooth and creamy. Will pick up again!

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Photo of WesMantooth
2.82/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Not sure if this was a bad bottle, but my brother and I couldnt even make it through half of the bomber. Very little coffee. Average initially, but then a very off putting smell surfaces that once you noticed, it couldnt be overlooked. Best I can describe it is fish bait.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brow/black pour leading to a big cloud-deck of tan foam.
Aroma-Toasted dark malt, subtle coffee not
Taste-Coffee with cream,dark chocolate, roast,creamy, great coffee flavor. Excellent.

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Photo of BigBry
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Calgary's Beer Revolution. We have visited the brewery in Idaho, but this one was not available at the time. Happy to have found it here.
The beer is pure black color, tan head. Foam lasted nicely leaving thin rings of lacing.
Smell has lots of dark chocolate and coffee of course.
The taste is a nice balance of chocolate and coffee, sweet and bitter. Aroma and flavor gets stronger as it warms.
Medium body, smooth and creamy, medium level of carbonation.
The beer is well balanced and full of flavor. High alcohol is well hidden, no burn.

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Photo of delta490
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a dee brown that almost looks inky black with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is a little astringent but none of that comes across in the taste, which has some nice robust coffee and dark roasted malt notes. There isn't much depth but what is there tastes really good. The body has a nice thickness to it.

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Photo of AnonymousNick
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Nice roasted aromas with a slightly dried fruit flavor along with the more obvious strong coffee presence. No grassy hop bitterness. The coffee is so strong, I think it brings some acidity to what is a fairly sweet and thick beer, but doesn't destroy the other flavors. Very intense, but it's well balanced and will keep you sipping. Hopefully there's not enough caffeine to mess with my weak constitution for regular coffee because this has a lot of flavor and I dig it.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$ 10.99/bomber at Lager Mill
Bomber bottles 10/13/13 at 40 degrees into small tankard
Aroma of coffee
Head large (5.5 cm), light brown, creamy, sloooowly diminishing
Lacing OK – some large reefs and islands of small bubbles
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor of strongly brewed coffee; no hops, no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation

A very good coffee porter – high marks in all areas.

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Photo of Mojo
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 ounce bottle -> Dogfish Head Glass

A - dark black pour with a towering foamy caramel colored head, world class retention, and world class lacing.

S - coffee, chocolate, roasted notes, and dark fruit.

T - sweet vanilla and molasses, chocolate and a burnt wood and coffee finish. Alcohol is hidden very well.

M - good carbonation, very thick, bit of an aftertaste

O - good but not spectacular.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is near black with a small beige collar. The aroma offers a robust coffee nose with dark chocolates. Decent flavor, with bitter chocolates, finishing dry. Medium in body with light carbonation. Overall, this is decent, but not a repeat for me.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

20oz pint (wow) at the Underground - Big Rock glass represent!

This beer appears a clear, very dark brown, verging on black, with rather pervasive red cola highlights, and a thin cap of bubbly, fizzy beige head, which leaves some decent loosely webbed lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of edgy black coffee grounds, bittersweet chocolate, roasted caramel malt, subtle anise notes, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is semi-sweet toasted bready caramel malt, fairly sugared mocha, slightly acrid black licorice, a hint of wet stone, and earthy, weedy hops.

The bubbles are pretty sedate, just a wee twinge here and there, the body a sturdy medium weight, and as smooth as a percolating morass of coffee will get you. It finishes on the sweet side, the caramel malt going all clammy, while the coffee submits to its milky side, and the earthiness of the hops toys with the burgeoning booze.

A decent enough coffee porter, the cafe essences, chocolate, and somewhat sour lactic character duly coming through. What doesn't, however, is the apparently big ABV, one not listed here, as the Laughing Dog tap takeover has failed to make it to this bar's tap lists or bartenders' current canon. That, and at $10+ for the glass, it's hardly worth it around here.

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Photo of Badger6
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bomber into an English pint (probably should have put it in a snifter). Bottled 21 May 13...8 months old...based on other reviews this might not be good.

A: Body is a dark brown, close to black, no light coming through. Pour yielded about one inch of dark tan head, receded in about a minute to a film on the surface of the beer. Some lacing, not uniform or substantial.

S: Coffee. Detect some roasted malts, caramel, vanilla, and maybe dark fruits. The coffee overwhelms everything else.

T: Sweetness dominates all the way through, giving the impression of a white wine idea why this flavor is in this beer. There is a creamy caramel note and vanilla that comes in right after the beginning, and remains throughout, with a coffee flavor that eventually shows up...nowhere near as pronounced as the smell would indicate. There is a hint of smokiness present as well.

M: Body is not heavy, in fact it seems the light side of medium. Carbonation is pretty well pronounced, and keeps this lively. Easy to drink, slightly dryness in the finish. This does not feel imperial.

O: This is a drinkable beer. The problem is that for a beer labeled as an Imperial Porter, I was expecting something else. The white wine flavor in the taste threw me off, and the mouthfeel was just too off for the style. Not disappointed I tried it, but I'll never drink this again.

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Photo of chinchill
3.36/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

22 oz bottle served in a Porter Bar goblet. No date found.

A: Pours very dark brown, coffee colored, with a small tan head that quickly reduces to a thin partial coat. Decent lacing.

S: Aromas of sweet and dark roasted grains and coffee dominate. Some fruit and alcohol esters.

Flavor: Sweet and chocolate malts with a solid dark roasted grain taste yet minimal burnt elements. A mildly bitter finish with both roasted malts and coffee. Hints of smoke and fruit.

M: Full bodied with moderate carbonation and very smooth.

O: A good coffee porter but neither the porter base nor the coffee are exceptional.
(needs review)

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Photo of barczar
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black, with a frothy tawny mocha head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Roast fruitiness, charred pepper, espresso, and nutty malt form the initial aroma. Hints of tar and soy add complexity.

Flavor reveals an underlying vinous note, with roast malt hitting mid palate and carrying into a slightly charred, espresso finish. Malted milk balls and dark chocolate are subtle.

Body is moderate to full, with minimal carbonation and light alcohol warmth. There's a hint of astringency.

I don't know where the vinous character is coming from, but it's not the first beer I've had with that character. Could indicate infection. Can't get past it. Good roast character, and would be great for coffee lovers, otherwise. Hides the alcohol fairly well.

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Anubis from Laughing Dog Brewing
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 278 ratings