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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog AleSmuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,855 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1855
Reviews: 893
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.94%

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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-07-1998)
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Ratings: 1,855 | Reviews: 893 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mscudder


4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown with a nice thick head. Leaves quality lacing.

S - Spice infested sharp cherries. Perhaps some caramel and chocolates. Overall very impressive for a brown.

T - Nice cherry taste coats the palate with some spices to back it up. Behind these flavors I find some chocolate and nut flavors. This is fairly malty for a brown, but I personally prefer a little backbone to the beer. One of the best browns I have had to date.

M - Smooth with a medium body. The spices are complimented well by the carbonation.

O - Overall this is a fantastic brown. I feel the style is the only thing limiting this beer from near perfection. Cheers to my favorite Smuttynose brew!

Serving type: growler

03-27-2012 06:04:56 | More by mscudder
Photo of kwm13

New York

4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A tasty one I picked up at work in a growler to take home--this review is based on the first glass, poured about 2 hours after I filled up my glassware.

A: Darker than an amber, certainly not see through, but a nice brownish-red hue. Not much in the way of a head and minimal lacing.

S: My nose is a bit stuffy--I rated it good because I can't tell better.

T: Caramel, with a pronounced alcohol taste on the back of the tongue. A little sweet but enjoyable.

M: Rather carbonated...feels like bubbles exploding upon tasting. A little more crisp than an ale would normally taste like.

D: I have no problem enjoying this pint and well, I'll have another.

Serving type: growler

07-21-2010 08:19:20 | More by kwm13
Photo of Jerico

New York

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

A - brown! It's a deep iced-tea type of color, pours with almost no head at all.

S - Malty, hints of brown sugar, and maybe a touch of raisin.

T/M/D - low on carbonation, but a bit chewy on the tongue, but smooth and relatively light tasting. It doesn't bombard the taste buds and the taste doesn't linger too long. Not bad!

Serving type: growler

07-16-2008 01:24:51 | More by Jerico
Photo of DIM


3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This was a light brownish amber color. It poured with a smallish light tan colored head.

s: Smells of somewhat sugary vanilla, smokey caramel, and some faint coffee.

t: Sweet malts dominate, tasting of vanila and roasty brown sugar. There is some mild bitterness on the finish.

m: The carbonation was gentle but long lasting. The bitter finish lingered nicely, making me ready for another sweet sip.

d: Thanks to DrDogbeer for this one. This is quite refreshing and nicely balanced.

Serving type: growler

04-21-2008 15:41:38 | More by DIM
Photo of u2carew


4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a two finger head. Tan, tight and creamy. Slowly settles leaving a sticky lacing at the edge of the glass. Clear, dark amber body.
S) Roasted grains. Toasty malts.
T) Buttery, caramel notes. Hints of coffee. Very subtle hops in the finish.
M) Crisp. Medium body. Dry finish.
O) A delicious brown ale - so surprised I've not rated this before!

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 00:48:54 | More by u2carew
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

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

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. Bottleneck says Best By 08/05/14.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains a bit before soon becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thin jagged ring behind.

S- Toasty malt brings notes of dark bread, cocoa, honey and caramel.

T- Pretty sweet with the toastiness of the malt providing good balance. Hops are mild but certainly there, giving a complementary bitterness. Some more notes of honey, vanilla and some nuttiness.

M- Slightly slick with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A brown ale that actually has some depth to it. Easy drinking while also being interesting to the last sip.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 23:51:53 | More by Immortale25
Photo of dar482

New York

4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours out in dark red rusty copper brown color with red coming through in the light. The head is a big 2-3 finger creamy off white head.

The aroma has some chocolate malt, tons of toasted nuttiness, breadiness, brown sugar and caramel malt. With a bit of a dark fruit like cherries or prune in the back.

The flavor has that toasty malt flavor and bit of a caramel sweetness along with . There’s definitely some fruitiness in there too like the aroma. It’s a gentle pop of cherries and apple skin.

The end has a malty sweetness that slowly goes away. Mouthfeel is medium light.

A very basic, yet well crafted brown ale. I had this up against Indian Brown, which clearly won. It also lost against Avery Ellie's Brown, but by a hair. A dog's hair, even.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 02:50:21 | More by dar482
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear though almost opaque reddish brown in color with moderate to heavy amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and garnet red highlights. The beer has a half finger tall dense foamy tan head that reduces to a very thick film covering the entire surface of the beer evenly with a slightly more than medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly heavier than moderate aromas of toasted and caramel malts with light to moderate amounts of sweetness and some light nuttiness.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of slightly sweet toasted and caramel malts with light amounts of caramel + toffee sweetness. There is a light amount of bitterness present in the finish which does not linger for too long.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

O: Easy to drink and sessionable with a very enjoyable flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 21:27:21 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of ThisLadyLovesBeer

New Hampshire

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 22:23:01 | More by ThisLadyLovesBeer
Photo of Grugalug

New York

4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark reddish brown. Lots of bubbles rising to the surface. About a half finger of head. Head dissipates relatively quickly. Looks nice.

S- Big caramel and toffee, with just a slight nuttiness. No roasted malt that I can detect. It has a wonderful caramel sweetness in the smell, and virtually no hop presence. Really nice.

T- Caramel and toffee gets you almost immediately. Caramel sweetness gives way to nutty character in the aftertaste, but it is still present. Just a bit of hop bitterness. Satisfyingly malty and delicious.

M- Pretty medium-bodied. Not chewy but not watery. Pleasant amount of carbonation. Very smooth and easy-drinking.

O- A really impressive brown ale. Just a great beer and one that I will definitely buy with regularity.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2014 04:51:00 | More by Grugalug
Photo of bsimeone


4.79/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great tasting beer. Caramel taste - very hoppy. If you like heavy american, this is great stuff.

The pour itself was a reddish brown - very deep. The taste was bready with hints of fruit and whisky - very pleasant and smooth. I highly recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2014 21:23:38 | More by bsimeone
Photo of wac9


2.99/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

i was in the mood for a brown ale but this wasnt the brown ale could save the night it just boring lackluster its browm thats about it nothing outstanding to keep you coming back go look for a brown ale that packs a punch was hoping this bee was good but sadly its diapponts i know it me but i dont like it

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 02:13:48 | More by wac9
Photo of dreed3333

New York

4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served from a bottle from local beer store
Deep copper and carmel color with a slight haze and a very small head. Smell has lots of sweet toasted malt upfront. A slight scent and taste of corn but not like some cheap adjunct, more like fresh sweet corn on the cob. The end of the taste had a good balance of hops to counteract the malty sweetness. Mouthfeel is smooth but not too thin and has a moderately low level of carbonation

Overall a good beer that is enjoyable on cold nights with nothing out of balance, but also nothing that stands out as exceptional

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 00:05:34 | More by dreed3333
Photo of arizcards


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Received a single from Lets Pour back in early October for $5.75. Best by 10/23/13...whoops.

Beer poured brown with a off white head that did not last long.

Nose is light grapefruit, toasted and roasted malts.

Taste is light chocolate, light grapefruit, toasted grains.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is one of those beers that are just tasty and it is really kind of hard to define why. I like the grapefruit hopping in a brown ale as it just works well. Would love to try a fresher version so i will have to pick some up the next time Da Boss and i are back east.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 23:24:55 | More by arizcards
Photo of WheelsPSU

New York

3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this on a cold winter night watching the NFL playoffs. The 12 ounce bottle poured more amber than brown with a with a small head that did not last and almost no lacing.

The nose was pleasant with a rich, almost smoked, chocolate scent which was followed up with a hint of something sweet, perhaps vanilla.

Right off the start, the taste was dark chocolate. It then turned a bit sweeter and creamier. I got a smoke flavor (maybe the earthy malts?) to balance the chocolate which made for a delicious taste.

Overall the beer was sweeter than expected (which is not a bad thing). I'm a fan of brown ales and this is a very good one.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 16:19:19 | More by WheelsPSU
Photo of Cavanaghty


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

Served on tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: Brown with a beige head. No lacing on the glass.

Smell: Nutty with roasted malts.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste nutty with hints of roasted malts, some mild citrus in the background.

Overall: Definatly one of the better Brown Ales I have had, but still not a huge fan of browns personally.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2014 18:52:54 | More by Cavanaghty
Photo of Theheroguy


4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Definitely one of the superior brown ales I've had. This is much more complex than your average beer of this style, the hops are pretty well pronounced. The beer starts off pretty mild gradually bringing in sweetness from the darker specialty grains. Then the herbal, smooth bitterness of the hops rounds everything out.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 00:30:56 | More by Theheroguy
Photo of FLima


3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light brown color with a small head with low retention.
Aroma of dark chocolate and toffee.
Flavor follows nose, predominant notes of chocolate and toasted malts, nuts and cinnamon. Hints of apple juice and earthy hops. Dry aftertaste.
Light to medium body with low carbonation.
I did not found it that hoppy, maybe a notch more than a traditional English Brown Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2013 15:52:40 | More by FLima
Photo of Captain_Komamura


4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - a nice brown color, with no head.

Smell - a toffee/caramel smell to it.

Taste - nice sweet malts, with a great burnt bitterness at the end. Mostly caramel, with some chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Great amount of carbonation, good full-bodied beer.

Overall - This is a great brown ale, with great sweetness without being to bitter.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 21:45:42 | More by Captain_Komamura
Photo of scotorum


4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Harpoon IPA glass

a: Deep clear dark amber, half finger thick offwhite head receded to even surface foam and tiered lacing.

s: Caramel malt

t: Caramel malt with noticable bitter hop balance. Sweet to dry finish with tinges of hop bitterness..

m; Moderate with savory body just right for an autumn brown.

o: Very fine brown ale, good for sipping or as a dinner accompaniment. Despite being cited for having "American" hops levels, probably still not hopped up enough for many, but certainly a tasty and satisfying brew for traditionalists who don't mind a little extra hop bite

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 23:50:23 | More by scotorum
Photo of Chiefy770


4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass.

This is a pretty phenomenal brown ale. Great grainy flavor. The malts are toasted to near-perfection. Sweet notes of caramel and toffee come out in the aftertaste. I would try to explain what the hops taste like but I had a rather difficult time identifying any at all! That said, it is indeed a balanced brew and is one of the best brown ales I have had!

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 23:38:14 | More by Chiefy770
Photo of delta490


3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a slightly hazy brown with a light tan creamy head. Nice head retention. Some visible carbonation.

S- Not much noticeable. Slight malt.

T- rich and malty with a nice balance of caramel and nutty flavor. Slight bitterness on the finish. Everything missing from the aroma is packed into the taste.

M-Pleasantly smooth.

O- other than the lackluster aroma, this is a really good brown ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 20:22:25 | More by delta490
Photo of jifigz


3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

bottle into a mug

This beer pours a nice chocolate brown with a head that dissipates quickly. This may be because it is too cold since I pulled it straight from the trunk of my car in late October. This brew looks a little too carbed in my opinion. The aroma is rich of good toasted and typical brown ale type malts. It smells a little chocolatey and delicious. The flavor is a nice mixture of the rich and toasted brown ale malts with a slight acrid taste and a sting from the carbonation. The MF is a rather thin body with too much carbonation in the beer.

This is a decent brown ale. I've had better, but this is still pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2013 14:32:42 | More by jifigz
Photo of Ryan_Graham


3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark with a one finger head that fades quickly. Faint smell. Very nutty taste. It's light on the palate with a smooth after taste. Overall, I wasn't overly impressed by anything about this beer. But then again, there wasn't anything I could pick wrong with this beer either. It's solid all around.

I would certainly recommend this to a friend.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 04:38:34 | More by Ryan_Graham
Photo of ChrisL24481

New Hampshire

3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pored caramel brown color and had a thin tan head that quickly disappears. Some lacing remained but not much. The taste and the smell were very similar. Both were of toasted malts, nuts, and caramel sweetness. Modest carbonation and a medium body feel. A decent brown ale from another local brewery.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 23:12:17 | More by ChrisL24481
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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,855 ratings.