Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog AleSmuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,435 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,435
Reviews: 947
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.94%
Wants: 101
Gots: 322 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-07-1998

Old Brown Dog has been cited as a classic example of the “American Brown Ale” style of beer. Compared to a typical English Brown Ale, Old Brown Dog is fuller-bodied and more strongly hopped.

18 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,435 | Reviews: 947
Reviews by OldFrothingSlosh:
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this as part of the mass-purchase with fellow BA's PhantomVoDoo and AKSmokedPorter.

Pours a truly beautiful deep mahogany color with a transient head that just coats the top of the glass. Malty sweet, caramel aromas filter into the nasal passages. Flavor continues the malty procession, with a "toasted malt" flavor dominating. Mouthfeel is defninitely creamy that floats over the palate. Finishes with just a trace of hoppiness to balance nicely.

More User Reviews:
Photo of SaltofOH
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish brown with a 1" tan head. Thin cap remains, nothing lingers on the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Caramel malts, bloody/flinty and slightly sweet. Slight hoppiness, and as it warms it gets sweeter & fruitier. Toffee.

Taste: Tart arrival, sweet across mid-palate. Roasty, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Hefty; solid & substantial. Not heavy, though. Mid-to-heavy weight. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is a great example of an American brown ale. Love the style and love the beer; nothing pedestrian about this one. Caramelly, tart, and clean. Hides 6.7% really well. On the sweeter side of the brown ale spectrum.

Photo of oberon
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium brown with amber highlights thru out not much head but that wasnt expected or hoped for.Aroma was chocolat and more chocolate with an underlying nuttiness to it,very appetizing.Taste is to me of malted chocolate balls with a fruitiness in the finish.A true to form brown ale appetizing and very easy to drink,well done.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber-brown, misty, and with a small tan head that dissipates quickly leaving only residual lacing. Carbonation is kept at a minimum but the little amount left behind is surprisingly biting. Aroma is big malts (toffee and chocolate). Taste is slightly nutty, sweet, and loaded with big medium-dark malts. An ever so slight amount of floral hops enters into the finish carrying a lovely, long lasting aftertaste with it. This is the most enjoyable part of the beer for me. The seemingly endless aftershock of these light and balanced hops is wonderful. This adds to the drinkability as does an overall light body.

Photo of ExtraStout
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is my third Smuttynose brew, and so far, they have been pretty unimpressive. They just lack the character and complexity so many other great craft brewers offer. In a related note, here is my review of their Brown Ale.

A: Pours a hazy, brownish amber. Head is quite minimal with no lacing.

S/T: The aroma is malty, musty, and nutty. Very light aroma. Taste is also quite light and lacking. There is a sweet, caramel malt flavor upfront. Slight nuttyness. A little earthy. Just not a whole lot there. Very weak and watery overall.

M/D: Mouthfeel is pretty light with a slight creamyness. Crisp and clean finish. Drinkablility is okay. Could be sessioned, but it just lacks any complexity and flavor to keep you coming back for more.

Pretty standard Brown Ale. Nothing remarkable, but still a drinkable beer. I am beginning to question the quality of Smuttynose, as every beer I have had from them is average or below. Worth a shot if you like Brown Ales.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Beatiful brown pour into a pint glass with
a sturdy head that holds some retention but
nothing fancy.

S: Robust malt character both roasted and
slightly caramelized notes. The sugar is
apparent with a hoppiness not usually
not so clear to my nose in this style.

T: Great malt character, sweet with roasted
flavors. The heartiness of the beer is hard
to describe. The hop ending is great and
really stands in stark contrast to the
brews malty beginnings.

M/D: Great balance in body and character. The
consistency is firm not too dense and not
too thin. I love this summer offering and
will drink it in any season in which I can
get my hands on it.

Photo of JMD71
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nice rich, deep brown. A thin head when poured which dissipated quickly. Slightly cloudy & some light penetrates the glass.

Smell: Strong malty, caramel aroma with just a hint of a roasty smell in the background.

Taste: Wonderful malty, caramel flavor with a slight bitter hop finish to balance. Just a touch of a smoky/roasted malt flavor. I found this to be a very well balanced brown ale.

Mouthfeel: This felt thin, crisp & clean in the mouth. I felt it had a very refreshing feeling.

Drinkability: I think this is a very drinkabile beer. Every sip was smooth & enjoyable.

Comments: I thoroughly enjoyed this brown ale. A wonderful aroma meets the nose as you take your first sip. The taste is a perfect balance of malt & hops which provides for a very drinkable beer. I recommend this to others...

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Simple label of an old brown dog ("Olive") on a 12 oz brown bottle. Freshness date clearly marked on the side.

Appearance: Ruby brown with a thin cream lace.

Smell: Malt, malt and more malt with fruit notes.

Taste: Sweet malt grain flavour, with a bitty grain mouth-feel. Very smooth with a quick sharp hop bitterness that dissipates into a slight caramel dextrin sweetness.

Notes: This is an excellent example of the use of malt. All the flavours have been pulled from the grain, creating a very full, complete and complex brew. By far one of the best brown ales produced in the US.

Photo of steelerguy
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark amber with a good bit haze. Very thin, creamy head, not quite a finger high. The head quickly dissipated to leave a thin cream over the top. Very little lacing and the carbonation was low, which I think was spot on for the style.

S - A nice toasty grain smell with no hops detected. A simple malty smell which was quite good.

T - Big malt flavors, followed by a nice hop bitterness...slightly stronger than I expected. The malt really shines and gives this beer a great taste. There is a nice caramel malt sweetness with some good toasted malt flavors that linger.

M - I would guess there is a good bit of dextrin malt in there because this beer felt creamy and had an excellent mouth feel.

D - An extremely drinkable beer. This is one I think that could appeal to a lot of people and convert some of the yellow fizzy drinkers to a good American ale.

I liked this beer quite a bit. I would have liked it to be a bit brighter since it was a tad lighter and I could see though the glass. A tad more carapils for better head retention would have been nice also, but this beer is definitely tasty in a good way. I don't know about the English Brown Ale classification, I would more consider it an American Brown Ale because I detected a nice hop bite.

Photo of hijinx
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Today I was tempted to try something new. I took my usual Saturday afternoon trip to pick up some liquid food and walked back and forth along the fridge about 5 times until I stumbled upon a dog named Olive.
Olive (the dog) has a subtle scent, but that took me a few trys to even notice. At first taste it's almost creamy with a smoky aftertaste with a smooth hop finish. Although I usually go for the bitters this is a fine drink and I will certainly be trying their other brews. Definately good with dinner, not too overbearing on the ole tongue. Definately a good starter for convert's!

Photo of JasonA
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark translucent brown with little to no head. Some lacing, nothing special per se, though on style.

Smells a little nutty malt. Some alcohol. Hint carmel/toffee?

Some carmel. Not much if any hops. Dont taste the ABV. Solid malt flavor. Im sure this wert smelled excellent.

Medium to low bodied. Standard carbonation, but a full flavored finish.

Overall a tasty beer. I wouldnt call this special like SN's Porter. Overall not a bad beer, not one I would seek again.

Photo of Joebraggot
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark cloudy smooth taste

Photo of sellmeagod
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heck yes a brown ale with all the hallmarks, great label, and taste to boot!

It wasn't too brown in the look, which perhaps was disappointing given the Brown Dog name, but also intriguing.

Nutty smells and a real taste for your buck. This is an inexpensive but honest brown ale that does not succumb to too much chocolatey taste or weakness, and it pretty much tops out at 6.7 abv making it a go to winner.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A solid beer, good to keep in the fridge as an everyday drink. It is a red-brown color with a medium off-white head. A sweet, caramel aroma. Taste, too, was caramel, with a malty base. Very enjoyable, and dependable. Good offering from Smutty. Try it sometime.

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.
Pours an appropriate brown with ruby highlights and a tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.
The aroma is spice and dark fruit with a hint of booze as well as hints of caramel and rich, dark bread.
Very tasty brew. Early sweet caramel with some spiciness and a hint of dried fruit. it finishes with a pleasing and mild bitterness.
Nice moutfeel, medium and almost creamy. Very nice.
A really enjoyable and finely-crafted beer.

Photo of shapudding
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice mahogany ruby/amber color, clear with not too much of the frothy, khaki head... it cleared pretty quick and left only a thin ring. Great scents of warm butterscotch, toffee, and caramel malts. Alot of carb going on, a bit much for me, it foams up in the mouth a bit too much for my liking. Tastes of black licorish- more like the black good-n-plenty candies... Roasted malty flavors. Good flavor with a nice and dry finish and dry mouthfeel, it leaves just enough flavor on your tongue and just a bit of the anise flavor. Easy drinker, smooth and medium bodied, just goes down very nice!

Photo of generallee
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Presentation: It was pored from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has a freshness date but no ABV%.

Appearance: The body has a dark brown look with a beautiful garnet hue. The pour produces a only a small on inch tall beige head which fades fast and leaves only a ring of foam on top of the beer. Lacing is minimal.

Smell: In the nose I pick up nice bready and roasted barley notes. This has a mildly sweet character overall with no hops.

Taste/Palate: On the tongue there is a pleasant sweetness and toasted character from the roasted malt and bready ale yeast. There are nice chocolaty and caramelized notes with suggestions of maple sugar dark brown sugar and just a light kiss of hop spice in the background. The finish is still on the sweet side but with hops coming out more in the late in the finish. Its palate has a full body with a smooth texture.

Notes: This is a very tasty and well crafted brown ale with nice complexity.

Photo of bishopdc0
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another great smuttynose label and fits the beer very well

The beer is a dark amber with a nice head formation. The head forms very well in my chalice overflowing the side. It slowly dissipates to a wisp over the top with a line around the edge.

The aroma is faint but is good for a brown slight sweet malt with a mid level crystal roasted barley finish.

The taste is brown, but unlike far to many browns this is worth drinking. The mouth fills with a decent carbonation and leaves a slight numb on the tongue. The flavor is sweet malt to start. The sweetness is quickly cut but a roasted malt that leaves a dry slight roast on the tongue.

The drink is good for a brown, being that it is actually tasty and worth drinking.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a semi deep brown with a decent head that stuck around and left some lacing on the glass. Smell is decent...toasty malts, nutty. The taste is also decent I suppose. Maltiness, nuttiness, slight hops are picked up. Like I said, decent. This beer cries decent. Then again, Im not a huge brown ale fan either. I prefer my ales big, which this beer is not and is not intended to be. I only happened to have this beer because it was mixed in with a sixer of Smuttynose Robust Porter that I bought. I was kind of pissed but figured what the hell, since I havent tried it before. Now, I kind of wish I had that Robust Porter. lol

IMO, Smuttynose is capable of a lot more than this, that's right, decent beer. I would expect more from one of the premiere breweries on the East Coast.

Photo of Guden
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Decent colored brown with an off white small head.

S- Light sweet malt and some mild chocolate. Pretty mild overall.

T- Mmm. Light sweet caramel is followed up with earthy and roasty flavors followed by a bit of fruit and bitterness. A really good beer all the way through.

M- A moderate body and moderate carbonation balance well. Really on target with the flavor.

D- This is a really good, moderately roasty brown that I would love to have a few more of.

Photo of ThisLadyLovesBeer
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A = as expected for a nice brown ale, with a respectable head.
S = Malty, lightly hopped.
T = Not hoppy at all, with a touch of malty sweetness that makes it very drinkable.
M = Medium bodied, not syrupy or too light. True to style?
O = a really good brew. One of my favorite Smuttynose offerings. It would also pair nicely with a variety of hearty foods. I will revisit this ale again.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A - One-finger head of very light brown, rather loose foam with big bubbles that disappears rather quickly to leave an island on the surface and a ring around the edge. Color is a maduro brown with a deep copper tint. Held to a light, it's sunset orange/red and moderately opaque, although you can see bubbles rising to the surface from the center.

S - Lightly toasted malts with caramel and molasses. A touch of cinnamon pops into the nose. Hints of piney hops in the background.

T - Toasted malts almost suggest freshly ground coffee. Subtle taste of hot chocolate with a touch of spice mixed in. Also seems to have a bit of dark dried fruit. Alcohol pushes thru on the finish to give it a rather boozy feel. Hops are well-hidden behind the malt and alcohol, but there to balance. Finish is like the last bit of 50% chocolate melting away.

M - A tad fizzy initially, it's quite creamy and smooth on the swallow. Well-carbonated. Decent body. Good structure. Dryer than expected. Not much of a lingering finish.

O - Interesting take on a brown ale. Relatively high ABV makes this more of a sipping beer. Chocolate/spice/dried fruit profile makes me think this could be passed off as a Belgium-style Dubbel, and I'd pair it with food with this in mind. Worth future purchases.

Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Semi clear amberish brown with a bubbly lace that fades slowly. Rich malty aroma with hints of butterscotch and ripe dates. Big toasted maltiness with an underlying fruitiness and buttery flavours. Tad estery with a noticeable alcohol, hops are vague a only aim to balance with virtually no flavour. Finishes with a touch of sweetness and toasted grain all over. A great brown ale to have around all the time.

Photo of merlin48
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, brown, "iced tea" body with a skimpy beige head that disappears in seconds. Minimal patch lace is left behind.

Aroma is subdued, with notes of toffee malt and floral hops.

Mouthfeel has spritzy carbonation and a mild hops zing on the tongue.

Taste begins with chocolate malt and chicory nuttiness. Hops are adequate to bitter this out, but difficult to pinpoint any particular hops flavor(or aroma). Finish is slightly bitter, and seems a bit thin.

I'm just not a fan of American brown ales. I find them boring, and without many redeeming qualities. This one, like most others, is very similar to the modern Pete's Wicked Ale, and there's just not much going on here.

Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Ginger man NYC, Pours light brown and clear. Minimal off white head, heavy lacing. Malty nose. Malt carries the day, as it should in this style. Crisp carbonation in the nose. Mellow brown ale, delicate flavors. Smooth and satisfying. Decent stuff. Quaffer to be enjoyed with a summer BBQ

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,435 ratings.