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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

2,116 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,116
Reviews: 904
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 75
Gots: 143 | FT: 2
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 2,116 | Reviews: 904 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice balance of malt and bitter. Nicely drinkable. Tad of roast, chocolate malts, cocoa. Some nuts, and smooth - Brown earthy colour. Really good with lighter supper. Medium mouthfeel.
Rerated
Had 4.5 years later on tap at the Smuttynose brewpub and not so much roast came through. Above average mouthfeel.Lacey and fresh.

Sammy, Mar 11, 2005
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

t0rin0, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%

Best by 11/19/14.

Pours a hazy copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and nut aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, and nut flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle.

UCLABrewN84, Sep 04, 2014
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

djrn2, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate brown color with a bit of a light tan head. Nose brings toast, caramel, light roast, hops, and a bit of earth. Taste is slightly toasted bread as well as caramel, toffee, a small amount of dark fruits, and some sweetness. Good mouthfeel and body carry the flavors. Drinks quite well and is a nice American take on the style.

Thorpe429, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

zestar, May 31, 2014
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +1.8%

nmann08, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

acurtis, May 27, 2013
Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear brown in color and poured with only a few bubbles floating on the surface. Only a very light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: The aroma is slightly sweet and has notes of caramel and nuts.
T: A slightly amount of sweetness is present in the initial taste, but does not stand out because it is nicely balanced by the hops; a very light amount of bitterness is noticeable in the finish. Like the smell, there are flavors of caramel, nuts and caramel malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied, creamy and rather smooth on the palate. There is a medium amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and quite sessionable.

metter98, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy ice tea color with a very impressive cap that leaves a few strands behind

Smell: Caramel, nuts and roasted malt

Taste: As advertised in the aroma, caramel, nuts and roasted malt; just a vague dollop of earthy hops arrive in the middle and then fade to let the malts take over the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: At one time this would have been the bee's knees but, like that saying, those times have passed; a nice brown ale but more like your father's brown if your father was a craft beer drinker

brentk56, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light tobacco brown-dark amber, a color that is both interesting and appealing. The beer is topped by an ecru head that is densely creamy enough to demonstrate a great deal of stubbornness. When it eventually begins to deflate, very little lace appears on the glass.

The nose is of moderately roasted malt with a suggestion of chocolate and a hint of hops. It isn't as dark or as aromatic as I'd like however. I hope the flavor is more bold because (going on aroma alone) OBD occupies the lighter end of the brown ale spectrum.

Thankfully, there's more flavor than expected given the color and the nose. I'm not surprised a bit that Smuttynose has come through yet again. Old Brown Dog is bold and spicy without being as roasted malty or as chocolatey as some. That isn't to say that it isn't enjoyable; far from it. Actually, it tastes like a baby dubbel or a Belgian brown (if such a style existed).

Herbal, darkly fruity and more bitter than most, this is a brown ale with attitude. A light malty sweetness appears early on and is carried throughout the mouthful, but the hop load is what distinguishes this beer and is the engine that makes it go. The body is medium in heft with a lively, mouth pleasing amount of carbonation. Thanks to far333 for the bottle.

Old Brown Dog marks its territory as a more hoppy, less roasty brown ale and guards it with a menacing growl. I haven't run across a beer of this style that presents itself in quite the same way, so points for originality must be accorded as well as points for quality. If you love hoppy browns, unleash this pooch and let him run.

BuckeyeNation, Feb 13, 2005
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a medium foamy head with OK retention and no lacing. Aroma of deep caramel malt with light notes of molasses and some grain is quite enjoyable. Taste is a nice enough mix between some deep rich caramel malt with cereal and a light subtle touch of molasses. Hops are not very apparent which might be a good thing considering the nice malt base. Body is slightly above average with good carbonation. Well done - nice session beer.

Phyl21ca, Dec 15, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Old Brown Dog reminds me of the better micro-brewery beers that came out early in the '90's. While nothing is wrong with it, it's not exactly wonderful either.

A standard brown color shows a bit more of a watery texture than malty. Great clarity with light carbonation (a plus), low retention or lacing.

Caramel aromas stand out, but with a follow of toffee, light chocolate, and nuts. Fairly malty but a low percentage of grain aroma shows.

Flavors are very sweet with caramel and not much showing from a balancing English hop character. Fairly straight forward with the caramels, toffees, and light chocolates that the nose promises. Again, light grain flavors in the finish.

Medium textured up front but with a quick drop-off to watery and thin. This allows the husk character to have more overall impact than it should.

Again, this is a fine beer but not memorable.

BEERchitect, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the last beer i was able to try for about the next month so i went with an old classic. served cold in a pint glass at barleys, this one was consumed on 11/07/2010.

really a decent pour here with a nice medium brown color and a smooth even head of tan that came up from the bottom and coated the glass rather nicely i have to say. aroma is light chocolate with hint of nice roasted malts and a touch of coffee, well rounded for sure and definetely a nice way to end an evening. a mix if light carbonation with a smooth, velvet like texture to it led me to sip it down quite nicely and left a really nice overall impression.

very solid beer for sure and one i would have no issue in going back to again.

mikesgroove, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Texasfan549, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -23.7%

ygtbsm94, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

GRG1313, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

spycow, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Half finger head with light lacing on a cloudy on a very nice amber and brown body. Caramel malts and brown sugar in the aroma. Flavor is more of the same with the addition of nutty and chocolate notes. Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Overall the hops are well represented, the taste is complex and there is no bad aftertaste making this one very drinkable.

kylehay2004, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium brown in color with a fizzy, foamy off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of rich caramel malts, toasted nuts and, to some degree, a light herbal hop scent.

Taste: This is so precious. Upfront, sweet caramel maltiness coupled with a pleased nuttiness. A little buttery. Light hints of chocolate. Bitterness is very light, but the beer still finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin. Lightly carbonated. Quite smooth, even creamy, and goes down with ease.

Drinkability: Fine, fine. Seriously, though. Very drinkable. One of the better brown ales I've tasted.

My hat's off to MuddyFeet for a trade featuring several Smuttynose offerings. Thanks!

ChainGangGuy, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

oberon, Apr 12, 2004
Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Good to see this guy back on the shelves yesterday. It pours a clear garnet-brown topped by nearly a finger of ecru foam. The nose is kinda faint, with notes of light brown sugar, dark wheat, light roasted malts, light maple syrup, and a touch of greens sliding up the nose eventually. The taste is also subdued, but the walnut, rye bread, biscuit, brown sugar, maple syrup, and greenery notes come through nicely, in a rather pleasant blend. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, a very tasty and very highly drinkable brown, one of the better ones I've found out here on the East Coast.

TMoney2591, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -23.7%

JAHMUR, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smuttynose's Old Brown Dog delivers a slightly hazy chestnut-brown body with golden highlights at the base of the glass. The short but creamy yellowed-white head holds fairly well before dropping to an average collar and whispy surface covering. It leaves a ring or two of thin lace at the outset, and then the occasional whisp and splash.

The nose suggests toasty and cocoaish malt, and that's exactly what's found within the flavor. It's sweeter than might initially be suspected; and it's very nicely malty with a nutty side that's backed by soft grassynotes of hops.

In the mouth it's smooth and lightly creamy with a medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall, it's a well-made, well-balanced, and highly drinkable ale - which, of course, is what a brown ale should be! Nicely done!

NeroFiddled, Aug 20, 2006
Photo of Jason
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Jason, May 26, 2002
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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,116 ratings.