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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

1,983 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,983
Reviews: 896
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.94%
Wants: 61
Gots: 94 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,983 | Reviews: 896 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dayswonder


4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very nice brown ale of a dark amber color

the smell is some what sweet with roasted notes

the taste is great, not as sweet as some brown ales, a perfect balance between a sweet and roasted taste

it has a smooth and silky mouthfeel

very high drinkability

for those just discovering the style, seek out the Sumuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale and be pleasantly surprised

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2010 02:05:17 | More by dayswonder
Photo of lou50rp


3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep coppery color. Small head, which disappears quickly and no lacing. little carbonation.
Nice sweet malty smell. Promises much but doesn't quite deliver.
Taste is like the smell sweet and malty with a bit of nuttiness and a bit of hops at the end.
Mouthfeel is smooth.
Very drinkable. A good fall session ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 16:27:50 | More by lou50rp
Photo of Mosstrooper


4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into 400ml New Belgium branded snifter.

Appearance: Deep copper color with a small slightly tan head that dissipates quick;y, and leaves behind lots of floating foam and a bit of lace.

Smell: Sweet caramel and toasty malt aromas with some nutty hints and slight hops.

Taste: Begins with buttery biscuit sweetness, rounding out to caramel notes and finishing nutty and still sweet. Mild hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with sharp carbonation up front. Finish is sticky in the throat.

Drinkability: One of the better brown ales I've had, definitely worth a try. I would like to have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 21:34:07 | More by Mosstrooper
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 22:57:58 | More by ExtraStout
Photo of Augustiner719

New York

4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a sam adams perfect pint.

Pours a beautiful deep ruby brown color with a just off white head that leaves nice lacing. slightly hazy appearance on this one. Smell is very very nice. has that deep roasy nutty aroma followed with a nice ginger snap and graham cracker aroma. taste is very nice too. has a big malty backbone with tons and tons of caramel and toasted graham crackers. Nice balance. Mouthfeel is spot on too with a touch of acidity to leave it dry on the palate and balance out the malts. Drinkability is perfect for me. one of the most delicious beers i have every had. goes down way way too easy.

* This is also Jefe's favorite beer

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 02:36:48 | More by Augustiner719
Photo of magine


4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew poured into a nonic glass.

Brew pours a cloudy caramel amber color. Has a tan head that sits a fingers width thick. Minimal lace. Decent looking brew, average for the style.

Brew smells of toasted caramel malts, slight nutty scent. A slight bready malt scent. Has a touch of floral hops in the nose as well. Good smelling brew.

Brew is smooth; malty, nutty, caramel. Medium bodied mouthfeel but has a surprisingly thicker mouthfeel then expected. Aftertaste is slightly dry. Slightly sweet as well, slight alcohol in the aftertaste. Close to a chocolate taste as well as it warms. Very good tasting brew.

This is a very sessionable, great tasting brew. I could easily go through a ton of this stuff. This is one of the better brown ale's I have had. Very good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2010 00:29:55 | More by magine
Photo of IPAescotch


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

A: A thick cloudy burnt siena brown.

S: Chocolatey and wholesome, very inviting.

T: Some floral hints, strongly reminds me of dark chocolate.

M: Rich and compelling.

D: Ohmigod this is what brown ale should be, a slightly thin finish, superbly drinkable, and flavor of the most complex variety.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2010 21:50:39 | More by IPAescotch
Photo of horshack7


4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearnace: A amber brown with a twinge of haze to it. On top is a white frothy head about an inch thick.

Aroma: Sweetness from the malts emit a caramel aroma wtih the hops in the tail end letting out a floral hopiness.

Taste: Full bodied mouthfeel nicely malty. A little bit of bready texture. The hops add a nice touch to round it all out. It is sweet but still nicely balanced.

Notes: Quite a solid beer and a great session beer as well. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2010 01:00:34 | More by horshack7
Photo of firkinhophead


4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

beautiful color and clarity. thin head leaves some sheets of mocha foam on the glass.

fantastic malty aroma of brown bread crust, roasted nuts and wet earth. bit of spice as well, cinnamon and clove.

taste is rich and malty with more of that brown bread, toffee and a bit of nuttiness. flash of sweetness followed by a solid hit of grassy, hay-like hops and some herbal bite. roasted flavors linger long into the dry finish.

smooth, solid mouthfeel with modest carbonation. about as easy to drink as falling off a log. minerally, dry finish might be too much for more than a few, but at over 6%, its not really a session beer anyway.

one of my favorite fall back beers. when all the fancy overwrought beers start to wear you out, get a pint of this and see how great a simple malty beer can be.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2010 01:20:31 | More by firkinhophead
Photo of mgbickel


3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. A small, single finger of pearl foam sits on top of the chocolate amber body. The head receded quickly, leaving no lace behind.

The nose has burnt caramel malts, roasted nuts and maybe a little toffee.

The taste is a little weaker than the nose would indicate, but the flavors are similar. Starts off a little sweet and finishes with roasted malts. There is a hop character present that I could not detect in the nose...makes things a bit odd...

The mouth feel is on the lighter side of medium, a bit astringent with moderate carbonation.

This is an easy drinking beer...light and tasty without overpowering the palate. A good way to start off the night!

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2010 14:00:20 | More by mgbickel
Photo of rlshep


2.95/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

An English Brown Ale. Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass. Served about 50F. BBF Date: July 2010. Really looking forward to this beer, heard good things about it.

Aroma: Somewhat yeasty. Malt in the background. Slight chocolate notes. Possible oxidation?

Appearance: Beer is brownish with slight amber hues. High clarity, could read the other side of my glass through it. Small white head, fades quickly.

Flavor: Subdued chocolate and caramel flavors. Getting some type of sugary taste. Higher bitterness than expected. Alcoholic in finish. Very clean beer.

Mouthfeel: A little watery. Low carbonation. Warming alcohol.

Overall: A solid beer, would drink again but not go out of my way to get. Needs more mouthfeel and richer dark malt flavor. Style says it is an English Brown, but it seems more like an American Brown. Fairly bitter and little to no fruit characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2010 02:07:49 | More by rlshep
Photo of abrand


4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber poured into a pint glass.

The Old Brown Dog Ale pours a copper/brown color with a small off-white head up top and not much lacing. Smell is somewhat sweet with sugar with a nice malt backbone. Some raisins are also present. Taste is some caramel, some malts, some sweetness, and a slightly alcoholic finish. Pretty good tasting beer. Mouthfeel is creamy and drinkability is solid. Would love to keep this in my fridge if it were available to me.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 03:50:56 | More by abrand
Photo of Natural510


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

12oz bottle BBD Sept '10

Pours a cloudy, murky medium-brown with blood-orange highlights. Ivory-white foam is small but nice with the lacing.
If nothing else, these Smuttynose beers look great.

Roasted malt with alot of molasses and dark sugar to the nose.

Sweet brown-sugar/caramel malt, heavily roasted, giving off notes of charcoal & tobacco. Tart yeast and fairly significant hop note balance it out.

Excellent mouthfeel for the style. A bit higher in ABV than you'll find in a typical English brown, but this is jam-packed with flavor while maintaining a traditional bent. I could enjoy these all night long.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 17:36:51 | More by Natural510
Photo of Bouleboubier


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

A temporal snappy head and devoid of lacing. Shows a reddish-brown similar to an ESB. Specks of yeast floating about.

Sniffed und sniffed, straining for aroma. I may have been dreaming, but there were flashes of coffee, caramel, and dry champagne. Barely perceptible though.

The taste isn't all that bad actually - caramel and a love tap of bitter, with some fruity (strawberry) tart/sour sprinkled in. Moderate malt factor.

At times, the carbonation will scrub the tongue, finishing medium-dry. Dead center on the spectrum of body.

Good initiation to a brown ale for those developing their palate. A few points above what most chain brewpubs might offer. Tastes a little different each time - sometimes it's wonderful, sometimes it's an effort to finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2010 03:07:19 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of chickenflea


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

12-oz bottle. Pours golden brown with some haziness. Full head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is doughy with some wet leather notes. Medium sweetness, with some sour edges. Medium body, mouth feel on the thin side, soft. An easy drinking beer that goes better with bready foods that offset the sour finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2010 21:43:32 | More by chickenflea
Photo of TheJollyHop


3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Stoddard's in Boston.

While the light at Stoddard's isn't very conducive to reviewing the appearance, from what I gathered, the beer was somewhere between dark amber and light brown, clear, and had decent head retention that left behind frothy lacing.

The aroma of this beer was really the standout. Caramel undertones, lightly buttered white toast, figs, and sweet barley.

The taste is surprisingly different from the nose. Herbal and faintly earth hop flavor, slightly mineral, and a near moderate level of bitterness. The taste ends with a medium in length, and dry finish, underscored with lingering herbal hop flavor and bitterness. Bitterness builds early and pops. This brown is more of an American style to me. The hops actually overpower the malt character, leaving only faint cocoa/bready/cereal malt sweetness. A little less bittering hops would have made this beer a more balanced knockout.

The medium level of carbonation and low to medium body worked well, but the tongue drying and salty quality of this brew was a little off putting. Overall a little less hop character would have made this beer more drinkable and enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2010 14:18:45 | More by TheJollyHop
Photo of DrewKid4

New Hampshire

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

Appearance: Poured a dark cloudy red-brown with a small creamier head. Seems moderately carbonated.

Smell: Good, smooth roasted, even chocolaty aroma. Easier on the nose than a typical brown ale.

Taste: Again, rather smooth roasted or chocolaty taste. A bit more carbonation than preferred. Feeling most of the taste on the back of the tongue. Doesn't taste as malty as it smells, can sense a little more hoppiness than typical browns.

Mouthfeel: The only harshness comes from the carbonation. Besides that it has a good woodier, earthier taste that sticks around for a while.

Drinkability: Great easy beer to have after a long day at work. One of my favorite browns due to how easy it is to drink. Most browns I've encountered are harsh like macrobrews and I don't usually enjoy them. Smuttynose is usually pretty good about the drinkability of all their beers so I trusted them with this brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2010 04:20:05 | More by DrewKid4
Photo of jsprain1


4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a reddish brown with a nice small head that sticks around quite a while.
s- nice and malty. a bit of sweetness in there.
t- it starts nice and malty. it floats into a bit of a soft hop flavor. mostly malty, rather sweet. kind of fruity. very good.
M- it was reasonable enough for a brown ale. i found it a bit overcarbonated and something just wasn't quite right here.
d- very drinkable for a near 7% brown ale. i liked it quite a bit. this is one of the better brown ales i've had in a while

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2010 06:46:07 | More by jsprain1
Photo of babaracas


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

Pours a clear red-brown with thin cream colored head, spotty lace. Smell: toasty, nutty, fruity, toffee. Taste: vaguely fruity, toasty, hazelnut. Earthy hopping and some oat. Mouthfeel: light to medium and fairly dry and a bit minerally as befits the style. Pretty good though not something that I'll likely pick to make mine a Smutty with again.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2010 03:27:51 | More by babaracas
Photo of mstyne

New York

4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased from Hannaford on NY 43.

Best before July 2010.

Pours a dark maroon/brown with a thin head that raced away. Minimal lacing and very little carbonation. Almost no smell to speak of -- pretty sure all I could smell was the water I used to rinse out my glass. Needless to say, I was concerned.

POW! This brew has bite, if that's possible. The initial sip lulls you into a false sense of security, and then it hits you with a big malty, spicy bite. Mouthfeel is chewy -- I've always had trouble gauging mouthfeel but this beer is freakin' chewy. And delicious.

Well done Smuttynose. You've largely been ignored by my wallet in the past, but I think I'm going to make up for that moving forward.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2010 00:15:42 | More by mstyne
Photo of hreb


3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated best before July '10. Served cold and poured into pint glass. Beer pours brown with a reddish hue and a moderately dark tan head of medium thickness, with very fine bubbles. Chalky, almost lagery aroma.

Flavor is almost alarmingly well rounded compared to the nose: the carbonation brings out a crispness, chalky hops, roasty barley, but a pleasantly tangy aftertaste.

Alcohol is a little high for the style but the beer compensates well. A solid B-. Nothing fancy here, but happily drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 00:48:28 | More by hreb
Photo of MbpBugeye


3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

So Smutty has been in OH for a few months now. I am doing my best to knock out most of the beers they offer here, but there are just so many other beers that catch my eye much more. This 6 pack was sold in my local Giant Eagle so I picked it up on my way to a little cookout.

A- I drink nearly everything out of a perfect pint. This glass makes this beer appear to be a clear copper color. There is minimal foam with very little effervescence. No lacing.

S- I must say the smell is surprising after seeing how this beer looks. Its a lot more rich that it looks. Lots of malts, mostly milk chocolate and french vanilla. Hops are nicely present and lend a light spicey/peppery and grassy smell.

T- About the same balance between malts and hops that is picked up in the nose. It starts malty, sweet and chocolatey with hints of oatmeal. The hops come soon after. They bring on lots more peppery spice and grassy yellow citrus.

M- Very dry. The hops seem to over run the mouthfeel. They take over just before the finish and make this beer very very dry. The plus side to this is that it is a very clean finishing beer.

D- It is easy to drink if you like moderate hops but to me this is just an average beer. Its not easy nor hard to drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 04:19:18 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of kbanks13


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a hazy amber/honey brown color with some red shining through. Moderate pour yields a one-and-a-half finger cream colored head that dissipates very quickly to leave a wispy ring of foam around the top of the beer and a good lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Sweet bready malt aroma with hints of caramel and nuts. Only the faintest trace of piny hop presence.

T: Sugary and sweet malt is the first thing I taste, but its not too sweet. Toasted nuts and caramel flavors in the background. Hop profile is only slightly stronger than the nose lets on, not too much hop in this beer. Clean and delicious malts balanced with adequate but not overpowering hops.

M: A bit thin, I was kind of expecting it to be a bit more viscous. Not as thick as a stout or even a porter, but I was expecting it to be a bit thicker than it is. Moderate carbonation coupled with a smooth and overall pleasing consistency.

D: Such a clean and refreshing beer. Simple and tasty, but with enough complexity to make me want more than one. With the reasonable ABV, this would be a great beer to have one or two with dinner or while hanging out watching the game. Another beer from Smuttynose that I really enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 02:18:55 | More by kbanks13
Photo of Sam21


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance - Hazy reddish brown. The head recedes quickly to a thin cap. Minimal lacing.

Smell - Toasted malt, molasses sweetness, and a general nuttiness. Not picking up any hop aroma. Somewhat subdued, yet still nice.

Taste - Toasted malt, slight roasted flavors in the middle, and a subtle bitter finish. Not an in-your-face flavor profile, but easy to drink because of it. Very nice balance.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied (leaning towards full) with a creamy smoothness to it. Coats the mouth in soft carbonation and goes down just as smooth.

Drinkability - A combination of the balance and the mouth feel make this a very easy drinking beer. This is the sort of beer I would love to drink a few of in an evening, although the ABV is a bit high for a session beer. Definitely fits nicely in the English brown ale category, although I would like a more pronounced aroma. Otherwise, another great beer from Smuttynose.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 01:21:02 | More by Sam21
Photo of jampics2


3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

About 8oz from a bottle @ Heinen's Smuttynose VS Sierra Nevada smackdown.

Poured an amber brown with a nice head.

Smell is a nice mix of roasted malt and some hop presence as well. Hints of chocolate and a touch of nuttiness. Slightly subdued but good.

Taste is really nice! Caramel and roasted malts. Slight nuttiness. Cocoa powder. And a nice touch of hops that don't ruin the power of the roast. I liked the way this held back and let the malt sweetness be the finisher.

Touch too carbed but not distracting. Nice medium-light body. A touch watery in the finish but it's a brown ale not a stout or porter.

Drinkability was excellent. I would session this even though it's a touch over session strength. A nice brown ale and one of my favorites of the evening.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 23:00:15 | More by jampics2
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,983 ratings.