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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

2,131 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,131
Reviews: 904
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 75
Gots: 151 | 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
Ratings: 2,131 | Reviews: 904 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best before June 2011, opened July 2011.

12 Oz bottle poured into a 'Good People' pint glass from Birmingham ALA (drank in the UK).

The thin off-white head soon becomes a collar and wispy covering above the mid-amber body of beer. Looks like a UK Bitter to this Englishman.

The smell however tells me it isn't a UK Bitter, there are hints of chocolate and brown sugar in the aroma. Molasses take over the smells as the beer warms, sending the beer into an even sweeter area.

The taste follows the smells, slight chocolate flavours appear, then dart away to leave a mini-bitterness that excites the tongue, along with the carbonisation, which is just a little too much for my palate.

Very easy to drink, the alcohol only becoming evident as the mouth dries between sips/gulps.

BlackHaddock, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of UDbeernut
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at a local pub, poured into a pint glass.

A: tan amber color, nice small off white head with good retention that reduces to a lacing cap.

S: mild nuttiness. Slight caramel

T: sweet on the tounge, slight not of floral hop and nut. A nice example of what a brown should be.

M: medium bodied, slightly chalky.

O: a nice brown ale from smutty.

UDbeernut, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of bpw28
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: One finger bone white head, very deep copper, very nice lacing, lots of carb.

Smell: Massive milk chocolate, light brown sugar, floral, roasted malt

Taste: Chocolate, smooth roasted malt, floral hoppiness, very light orange peel, mouthfeel is spot on.

Final Thoughts: It's a very good beer and pretty good textbook style.

bpw28, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of DirtyPenny
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a new clear pint glass.

A: A bit of foam at the start, though this quickly disappears as old brown dog sniffs your hand and realizes you're friendly. Leaves a bit of its fur along the surface even after it's gone. This dog is hazy and chocolatey brown.

S: Sweet caramel malt and brown sugar mixed with an earthy and slightly nutty scent.

T: Caramel and brown sugar flavors give way to a delicious toasty brown bread finish. Alcohol gets noticeable as it warms.

M: Medium-bodied but almost a little heavy. Creamy and sticks to your mouth.

O: A good brown ale. Go fetch one and take it for a walk.

DirtyPenny, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of Kromes
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy light brown color with a thin line of bubbles on top.

S: A nutty toasted malt aroma. A little bit metallic also.

T: There is a nice nutty toasted malt flavor that has a hint of caramel and chocolate.

M: Medium body and good carbonation.

O: This is a pretty good brown ale. Nice caramel and toasted malt flavors. One of the better brown ales that I've tasted.

Kromes, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of Mypintishalffull
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good beer. No other way to put it. It was not a great beer but a good beer. Lots of roasted nuts in the nose. Subdued hop flavor on my sample. Deep brown and clear color. Nice lift in the carbonation. A solid treat for the evening. One of the better brown ales I have tried.


Mypintishalffull, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of Blueribbon666
1.3/5  rDev -66.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

My 1st try from Smuttynose and I haven't been back to anything by the company. From notes; Bottle poured into pint glass very little smell wise save for a mild soury malt smell. No ABV printed on bottle that poured a rich caramel color w/no head but lil bubbles. Hoppy, malty and a lil typical but NOT smooth goin' down...kinda had to choke her down, before I split the rest w/the sink drain. I'll have to try a different style from this brewery but this was a turn off that will keep other breweries ahead of the Smut on my "to try/get" list

Blueribbon666, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of thebrood1987
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I get smells of coca chocolate malts with a touch of herbal earthy hops in the background. The taste is very smooth with a kiss of spicy hops on the tip of the tongue and then being smoothed out by delicious chocolate caramel malts and ending a bit dry and yeasty with that touch of earthy hop bitterness on the back of the taste. This is a pretty straight forward beer but an excellent example of the style

Brown ales have never been my favorite style of beer but this one really nails it. I've never had a tastier brown ale besides Dogfish Head's IBA but thats not really a brown ale because of it being a hybrid beer. So on its own this is my favorite brown ale to date. The kiss of hops on the beginning and after taste balances this beer out so well. The doesn't takes away from the malts at all and the dry finish really compliments the cocoa like chocolate malts. The earthy herbal aftertaste also really gives this beer an excellent score in the taste department. I got this in the Smuttynose variety sampler 12 pack and its definitely worth buying.

thebrood1987, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of JLeege
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by Oct 2011

Appearance- Pours a deep amber color, sort of light for a brown, about two fingers of white head, pretty good retention, thou no lace is left behind.

Smell- Malty, with lightly toasted malts, some caramel and sweet toffee. Slightly grainy as well, sweet overall.

Taste- Somewhat floral hops up front, leading into sweet malty notes. Quite nutty with notes of caramel and toffee again. Slightly doughy and lots of raison on the finish. Thankfully any graininess doesn’t show up in the flavor. Soft, pleasant flavors.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation, very smooth.

Overall- A solid, straightforward brown ale. It is good for what it is, but nothing to geek out about. A soothing beer, if that makes sense, and screams for Fall weather. I could see myself drinking a lot of this during football season, assuming they will figure their shit out. Feels very sessionable, though the ABVs will eventually catch up to you.

JLeege, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of Thads324
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A : pours a clear light brown, deep amber. Fresh looking white head that bubbles vigorously but refuses to dissipate quickly. little lacing.

S : malty with a bit of chocolate. a tiny bit of hop

T : starts a bit tight with sweet and bittersweet malts. A hint of chocolate, a little earthy hop towards the end. A little taste of wheat bread.

M : seems a little over carbonated, but nicely finishing.

A pretty nice beer, but seems a bit light on flavor for a brown ale. Certainly enjoyable and for the ABV drinkable as all hell.

Thads324, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of jman892
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brownish/amber color with a foamy 1 finger tan head. Decent lacing

S - Malty and a light chocolate sweetness smell

T - Taste is nutty, roasted malts, and a little bit of hops leaving a mildly bitter finish

M - Medium body, light carbonation and smooth. Alcohol is hard to find

O - Solid beer from Smuttynose, not too complex, but very strightforward and enjoyable

jman892, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of weller1js
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: pours a bold amber-brown, well carbonated with faint traces of sediment suspended throughout; offwhite foam dissipates quickly into slight ring of lacing.

smell: malts are predominant, lightly toasted with buttery and slightly earthy notes.

taste: begins malty, mellow yet medium-bodied, the buttery nature noted in the smell is similarly present in the taste; hops are light and embedded in the character of the malts, leaves a very light bitter finish.

overall: a brown ale with character, mellow and consistent, very drinkable.

weller1js, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of ummswimmin
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on a warm afternoon to celebrate Father's Day with a steak. Poured from a bottle into a fluted glass.

This is a brown with a very light texture. You could almost call this a "summer brown." The carbonation is light on top of the aforementioned texture.

I like the flavor of this beer. It has the standard characteristics of a brown, but none of the flavors come over the top. I pick up the malts of the brown, but it isn't pervasive.

This is a very good sessionable brown and it paired well with my steak.

ummswimmin, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of homebrew311
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: appears a thin brown, no head, no lacing, decent clarity.

S: faint chocolate notes, roasted grains, mellow hop bitterness

T: mellow roasted barley, dark chocolate, very slight bitterness. Everything is very well balanced and the alcohol is very well integrated.

Mf: High carbonation, light body

O: nice easy drinking brown that tastes a bit like a stout but looks like a brown.

homebrew311, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of Marcrates
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours dark golden brown, nice cream head

S - chocolate and caramel..like a candy bar

T - Great malt taste and balance. WOW! Best beer I've had in a while.

M - This is the perfect weight IMHO. Not a milk shake, but still coats the palate.

O - I am really enjoying this beer. I love a malty beer, but I don't like it when it's over done. This is classy malt. The kinda malt you can take home to mom and dad.

Outstanding beer overall.

Marcrates, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of MacQ32
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice dark amber color with about a finger of cream head or less. Decent lacing

S - Sweet chocolaty/caramel smell, toffee too

T - Pretty nutty, raisin/prune taste, no hops noticeable, mild alcohol taste (very moderate), a bit of chocolate taste too

M - Pretty light for the taste/smell, maybe a bit too carbonated and light? Pretty good though, makes it very drinkable

O - Pretty good, not awesome, not bad, drinkable for sure. decent

MacQ32, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of Tone
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of slight nut, hops, sweet malt, slight earthy malt, hint of roasted malt, and hint of floral hops. Fits the style of an American Brown Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hops, slight grain, slight nut, hint of roasted malt, hint of earthy malt, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good aroma, blend, body, and complexity.

Tone, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of MadCat
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Taphouse on Queensway in Hampton, VA.

Appearance: Very brown, a darker brown, with a one finger light brown head that dissipates fast, leaving some lacing

Smell: Very malty, very sweet nose. Some caramel malts, some darker fruity malts to it.

Taste: Very sweet and malty, caramel and darker fruity malts. Not bad to start, but drinking a whole pint becomes a chore.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, good carbonation, smooth

Overall: Not bad, but it got to me after a while, and I wouldn't get it again.

MadCat, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle was part of a Smuttynose Variety Pack.

Enjoyed in a DFH Pint Glass

A - Pours a rather deep amber, reddish brown color. Slightly opaque. A nice one finger. cream colored head on the initial pour. Good lacing left on the glass.

S - A sweet, almost chocolate-like smell. Very inviting.

T - A very nice tasting brew. A burnt malt, bready taste with hints of chocolate. The alcohol is slightly noticeable but does not detract from the overall taste. A slightly bitter aftertaste.

M - A rather thin mouthfeel. A decently carbonated beer with a nice bit at the end of each sip.

O - I enjoyed this beer. Not a s good as DFH Indian Brown Ale but a decent example of the style. Smuttynose has really impressed me with all their beers and I'll enjoy the rest of these from the variety pack.


BuxMontBeerLover, May 29, 2011
Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance-Dark copper brown with a creamy light brown head. 2 inches of head that leaves some nice lacing. Very nice

Smell-Roasted Malts, pine, and a little caramel. Very inviting.

Taste-The type of flavor I want in my brown ale. It wasn't very complex, but it was strong and flavorful. Roasted malts and caramel with enough earthiness and hops to not be to overpowered. Slight nuttiness. Nicely balanced, smooth. A little boozy.

Mouthfeel-Medium to full bodied. Smooth, little hot going down, but the flavors are great.

Overall-Very impressed. My first smuttynose in a while. Only thing I wish was a little lower ABV to make more sessionable. Flavor was great, awesome Brown Ale.

SWMeyer4141, May 26, 2011
Photo of DrDemento456
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks of a deep brown with just a slight bit of head that turns into an impressive lacing ring. Sticky lacing too.

S - Sweet tones of caramel, toffee, and quite a bit of nutty goodness.

T - Well no hops and the alcohol is kind of noticeable. No real nutty flavors do get a nice touch of caramel and toffee. Kind of disappointed.

M - Drinks with a medium body but the ABV is definitely noticeable.

Overall I don't really like this beer. Would look elsewhere for better tasting brown ales.

Edit: Best before date is September 2011 so I guess its fresh

DrDemento456, May 25, 2011
Photo of mattjv
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany brown, head dissipates quickly but it looks inviting in the glass.

Earthy yeast in the aroma, delicate alcohol fumes become noticeable as it warms. Pleasant nutty, lightly roasted aroma with hints of coffee. Well-rounded grassy and lemony hop presence.

A touch of sweetness in the malt profile, complemented by robust flavor of well-browned toast. Lemony citric snap from the hops, followed by grassy presence and an assertive yet balanced bitterness. Lingering earthy presence in the aftertaste with light bitterness. Medium bodied, carbonation is strong enough to match the malt without overwhelming.

Overall: A style I haven't had many of, but this is one of the better examples thus far. High on flavor while balanced enough to enjoy during the summer months.

mattjv, May 24, 2011
Photo of JohnFatAss
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown color with a small tan head.
Left some lacing on the glass.

It has a sweet malty smell. Hints of chocolate come through. Just wished it had a stronger smell.

Mouthfeel is creamy and and smooth.

The flavor is fantastic. Malty and sweet with tastes of carmel and chocolate. The hops bitternes is mild. The beer is very well balanced.

Just a great beer. One of the best brown ales out there.

JohnFatAss, May 24, 2011
Photo of bslider
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Hazel with burnt orange hues. A one finger off-white head that fades fairly quickly. Virtually no lacing on the pint glass.

S: The weakest aspect of this beer for me. General maltiness is all I get.

T: The key here is balance; a supremely well-crafted beer. The nutty, slightly sweet malt (vanilla and toffee) draws you in and works in tandem with a subtle hop finish (more hop character than most comparable beers of the style) to round out each sip. This has a higher ABV than I would have guessed.

M: Thin to medium, but very smooth.

O: A delightful and versatile beer. Paired well with a sharp, but sweet Wisconsin cow's milk cheddar (Summer Breeze). I would like to have this around all year-round.

bslider, May 20, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber brown with a creamy white head that leaves sticky webs of lace and great retention. The smell is malty with chocolate, hints of coffee and tons of caramel. Sweet caramel, brown sugar and chocolate taste great with hints of vanilla and touches of roasted notes. Some nutty qualities balance this brown ale to a well rounded, and easy to drink beverage. Light/medium body is smooth and tasty.

JayS2629, May 20, 2011
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,131 ratings.