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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.
very good

2,089 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,089
Reviews: 900
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 73
Gots: 135 | 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: 2,089 | Reviews: 900 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%

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.
Had 4.5 years later on tap at the Smuttynose brewpub and not so much roast came through. Above average mouthfeel.Lacey and fresh.

03-11-2005 00:55:04 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0


3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

01-28-2013 02:33:49 | More by t0rin0
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

11-24-2011 01:55:02 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429


3.93/5  rDev 0%

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.

10-26-2010 00:19:06 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +1.8%

11-25-2011 18:08:54 | More by nmann08
Photo of metter98

New York

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

08-03-2010 23:52:15 | More by metter98
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4/5  rDev +1.8%

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.

02-13-2005 22:03:51 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -6.4%

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

11-20-2012 22:26:36 | More by brentk56
Photo of acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

05-27-2013 19:34:53 | More by acurtis
Photo of zestar


3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

05-31-2014 08:03:23 | More by zestar
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

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.

12-15-2009 03:38:31 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


3.23/5  rDev -17.8%

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.

04-14-2010 19:20:38 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.8%

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.

11-14-2010 05:53:52 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Texasfan549


4/5  rDev +1.8%

01-29-2012 10:00:04 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of ygtbsm94


3/5  rDev -23.7%

08-04-2014 15:55:23 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of spycow


3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

03-09-2013 22:49:07 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313


3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

03-06-2014 15:02:57 | More by GRG1313
Photo of kylehay2004


4.38/5  rDev +11.5%

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.

02-14-2012 00:41:45 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.58/5  rDev -8.9%

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!

03-09-2006 03:32:49 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

04-12-2004 02:22:59 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


3.68/5  rDev -6.4%

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.

08-23-2010 01:00:17 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of JAHMUR


3/5  rDev -23.7%

01-02-2012 17:54:45 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.95/5  rDev +0.5%

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!

08-20-2006 12:51:00 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.85/5  rDev -2%

Saw this in the store the day after I tried it on tap, so I figured I would see what I thought of the bottle.

Pours a very slightly clouded dark amber brown. Nose is slightly nutty. Flavor is on the bitter side. That nut edge comes through too, but doesn't seem to do anything good for it. Feel is thin. Not a lot of carbonation. Drinkable? I guess. Without even checking, I know I appreciated this much more on-tap. Oh well. Experiment over.

12-30-2007 21:07:04 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Smuttynose US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep copper color with a very thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted nuts, caramelized malt, a touch of maple syrup and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste is malty but not too sweet, with flavors of nuts, caramel & maple. There’s a decent hops presence to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and a little bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, very clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not very filling, good representation of style, it’s a very ordinary beer, but it’s a good beer to pound.

03-29-2007 03:58:23 | More by TheManiacalOne
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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,089 ratings.