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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 TCMike
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a dark amber color, and produced a 1 finger beige head.

The aroma seemed to be of malts, bread, coffee, and chocolate.

The taste was about the same as smell. This brown has a little more hop bite than some others, but not too much. Medium bodied, and a low/medium carbonation.

Nice beer, not one of my faves, but very good.

TCMike, May 18, 2011
Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice, caramel brown with red tint with a fluffy white head.

S - Hints of caramel and vanilla. A bit of brown sugar and chocolate malt.

T - Invades the mouth with a ton of flavor. Caramel, vanilla, brown sugar are prominent. A bit of bitterness from the hops, ever so slight. Mostly very sweet and malty. Delicious.

M - A great mouthfeel, very smooth. Very little carbonation, holds the ABV very well.

Overall - A great brown ale. Very highly drinkable and a great mixture of flavors. Smell was a bit weak, but standard for a brown ale. Good beer. Cheers

BeerBuckeye, May 18, 2011
Photo of sjverla
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose: Creamy chocolate and toffee. Slight hints of coffee and vanilla. It smells like dessert.

Appearance: Deep caramel amber with a fluffy, creamy head.

Taste: Caramel and cream with burnt sugar bitterness. The hops add a very subtle earthiness. It's vanilla-smooth. This beer seems to think it's related to some kind of ice cream that's awesome.

Overall: Seriously great. Rich and sweet, but far from cloying. This beer was one of my introductions to craft beer years ago. I revisited it recently and could not stop thinking about it. So damn good.

sjverla, May 15, 2011
Photo of PorterLambic
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an ever-so-slightly hazy orange brown with a well-formed tan head full of tight little bubbles. Great lacing.
Smell is a bit hoppier than expected but with malt and caramel notes as well. Balance is good but could be better.
Taste is better balanced berween malt and hops with caramel and slight smokiness.
Fairly full in body, the effervescence is crisp upfront but drops quickly. A touch of warming late, this brew is really quite good. Hoppy enough for hopheads without being overkill for the malties like me. May I have another please?

PorterLambic, May 13, 2011
Photo of ranger60
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Barcade in Jersey City, NJ.

Appearance: Very light brown in color; actually a nice looking beer in the glass.
Aroma: Sweet malty aroma.
Flavor: Was expecting a little more flavor; mild, sweet, malty.
Mouthfeel: Good mouthfeel with substantial carbonation.
Drinkability: overall not bad, but not a favorite

ranger60, May 02, 2011
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy brown to amber color, with a light tan head. In the aroma, caramel and a coffee roast. In the taste, faint caramel and a nice dry coffee presence. A small hop bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry, sticky coffee in the aftertaste. Nice mix of caramle and coffee, a nice body and easy to drink.

OWSLEY069, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of ngeunit1
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear amber-brown color with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades slowly down to a think ring around the glass leaving behind some spots of lacing.

S - Aroma is full of sweet roasted caramel malts. There is also some bready aromas and just a hint of fruit.

T - Starts off with a rich sweet roasted caramel malt flavor and little bit of fruit and nuttiness balances the flavor out. Through the middle a touch of hops and some nuttiness also come out to balance. The finish is heavy on the caramel malt with just enough other flavors to balance it out. A bit of caramel malt sweetness lingers.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. There is some sweetness, but it never gets too powerful. Really smooth and crisp.

D - Very drinkable. The malt flavor is very rich and sweet, but never gets too sweet. The other flavors do a great job of balancing out the flavors.

ngeunit1, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish brown - a dark amber with creamy tan head.

Smells of caramel and malt.

Butterscotch with a hint of piney hops to balance out finishes with caramel and malt. A solid beer and one of the best brown ales out there. This is the beer that first drew me into craft beer.

Chickenhawk9932, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of jgreenearrow
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours an opaque, rich brown color with a frothy 1/2' head. Minor lacing on the side of the glass.

S: Chestnuts and malts dominate the nose of this beer. Some slight astringent smell is also present.

T: Bready malts hit the tongue at the start followed by some nuttiness towards the middle of the sip. Some slight bitterness in the finish.

M: A medium body and some slight creaminess on the tongue. Carbonation seems a little lacking.

Overall, this is a decent beer for the style. I would prefer there to be a little more nuttiness in the flavor to balance out the malts and the bitter presence of the hops. Some additional carbonation would benefit this beer as well.

jgreenearrow, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color of the beer is clear a medium brown with a white head, about a 1/4 inch in hight. It dissipates fast and leaves little lacing.
The smell announces malt, brown sugar , caramel and grain.
The taste up front are earthy malt and caramel, changing to more grain flavors in the middle and little hops at the end.
Overall a medium to light bodied beer which is decent and drinkable.

Hopfenpeter, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of WankelEngine
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a moderately dark brown with a reddish tint. There is a light tan head which diminishes quickly with little lacing.

S: Sweet chocolate malt is the dominant smell. Behind that there is a slight bitterness.

T: The malt flavor is roasted and sweet. There is a very light touch of some grassy hops but malts are in charge here. This beer is very mellow; not too sweet and not very bitter. The flavor of the alcohol increases as the beer warms up.

M: Smooth and lightly carbonated. It’s fairly thin and easy to drink. The alcohol is hardly noticeable.

O: A mellow, drinkable brown ale with a focus on sweet malt flavor.

WankelEngine, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of Onenote81
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer falls into the long list of beers that I see at the store all the time, but usually pass over. I decided to finally grab this one.

Best by July '11, notched on the label.

Pours a dark copper color with no head at all. Zilch. Just a thin ring around the edge. This looks like a tap-pour. I give it a swirl to get some of the aromas started. Sweet syrup, pie crust, chocolate malt in the nose. Good firm body. Decent carbonation backing it up. Smooth on the edges. Sweet malts!! Wow. This is all malt, and I like it. Bitterness is absent. Caramel corn, graham cracker, bread, and just the slightest of alcohol noted. I dig it. Brown Ales aren't usually my go-to beer, but this is a good one that I will surely have again.

Onenote81, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of tkelley
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass.

A - Brownish red with a good head to the top of the glass. A rim of foam remains as the beer gets lower in the glass.

S - Malts and malts. Kind of bready. The smells really start to come through more as the beer warms up.

T - The malts are nicely roasted, a light hop balance. Not overly sweet at all. A nice aftertaste on the back end.

M - Smooth, not too fizzy. Not heavy either.

D - Very good. Brown Dog is a really solid choice. It doesn't do anything poorly and brings a lot to the table. I won't shy away from it in the future. Started good and got better as I went. Could really feel the 6.7% by the end, which is a nice way to warm up after walking home in the rain.


tkelley, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of Brunite
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice amber/brown with ecru head.

S: MALT!!! Sweet malt prevails here. Some faint dark fruits. Almost no hops.

T: The malt rules here. The hops are just enough to balance from being overly sweet. Good.

M: Medium with decent carbonation.

O: Really like this one. A perfect job of crafting what a Brown should be. This moves into my top 2 list for American Browns. Will buy this often.

Brunite, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of JWU
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

A - A dark amber with some nice ruby tones. Some initial chill haze. Initial head dissipates quick and leaves a rather fizzy head that doesn't leave a whole lot of lacing.

S - Sweet malt, caramel, a hint of chocolate.

T - Taste follows the smell. Sweet malt, with caramel and chocolate hints. A small hint of balancing hops. They try to fight through but are crushed by the malts.

M - Medium-high carbonation, very smooth. Medium density.

D - The brown ale to which all others should be judged. I can have this any time, anywhere. Delicious.

JWU, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of BeerDawgs
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A dark amber, or light brown. Seems lighter than most brown ales. Nice fizz lacing.

S - Sweet malts and caramel.

T - Lots of malt character. Caramel and other fruits. Sweet, but not too sweet. Wow, tastes great!

M - Well carbonated, and very very smooth.

D - This is an excellent brown ale for when I am in the mood for brown ales. Smuttynose hit this style on the head. I can and will drink many more of these.

BeerDawgs, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of Satchboogie
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (bottled mid March) poured into a SA perfect pint glass

A: Pours clear dark brown/red (amber) with about a finger and a half of off-white bubbly head that quickly dissipates. Little lacing.

S: Toasted malts, caramel, earthy and slightly fruity hops

T: The first thing that hits the palate is the caramel, toffee, and slight floral hops riding the carbonation to the top of the palate. Behind that comes layer upon layer of toasted malts. The middle slowly becomes sweeter towards the finish, mostly with toffee. Finish becomes a bit bitter with the hop presence coming back a bit.

M: Medium carbonation that seems to work in perfect harmony with the taste profile. Fairly heavy body thanks to a ridiculous amount of malt. Very creamy and smooth.

O: This is one of my favorite brown ales and I feel lucky to have it as a fantastically priced local. Big, bold toasted malt toffee flavor, balanced with a small amount of hops, with a full, luscious creamy mouthfeel. You don't always need to be extreme to make a great tasting beer.

Satchboogie, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So I am in New Hampshire for the Great Bay Half Marathon...its the night before a race and ....why not drink some....ok....alot of the local beer!!! The Old Brown Dog from Smuttynose is good. This beer has was a heavy copper/light brown in color with thin white head and great lace. The smell was nothing to write home about. This beer had some sweetness and roast flavors that were goos in taste! The smell funnels into the taste of this beer. The light ABV leads to this beer being a Session...certainly worth a taste.

WoodBrew, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of engagechad
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was purchased as a 12er from Corks and Kegs in Richmond, VA - fresh - live review - poured into tulip

Pours a rusty old blood color which is pretty ugly to be honest, yet the lacing and head are great.

Smells malty, sweet and roasty almost like a sweet stout really.
Tastes P-E-R-F-E-C-T. Absolute masterpiece with hop balance. Sweet malt while maintaining that american brown bite
feels great and over all this is probably my favorite Am Brown. no joke.

engagechad, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of Genuine
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a clean pint glass.

The body was dark amber in color with a off white head that stayed for a lil bit but then dissipated, not much carbonation is noticed.

Smell - Some roasted malts, at the end I got a whiff of a scent that reminded me of Heineken. The best by date on the bottle was Mar 11, so it still should be good. Somewhat sweet smellin.

Taste - Not much in terms of flavor, as i'm used to drinking IPA's and DIPA's. Light sweetness, with some faint toffee lingering in the background. It's better to let this one warm up a bit to get the most flavor out of it. If it's cold, it'll mask everything right away. Didn't really notice the alcohol either.

Mouthfeel - Medium light. Carbonation was there, but not overpowering, but not too little either. I would say that it's appropriate for the style.

Overall - This is a good representation of the style. Not something that I'll be going back to anytime soon, but it's a decent offering from smuttynose that's an easy drinker for sure.

Genuine, Mar 29, 2011
Photo of BranfordBound
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz with a freshness date of best before August '11, served in a DFH pint.

Pours a clear dark amber with an off-white head of two fingers from an aggressive pour. Leaves minimal lacing and has only a little carbonation.

Smells malty with sweet fruits and hints of toffee.

Starts off very sweet from the malts, caramel and fruits. This segues into the toffee flavor and finally finishes clean with a bit of hop bitterness to fight the sweetness.

Medium bodied neutral mouthfeel.

Wow, very nice brown ale here, like an authentic Newcastle. Nothing that will blow your socks off like DFH Palo Santo or vastly different like DFH Indian Brown, but a benchmark for the style, nonetheless.

BranfordBound, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A - One-finger head of very light brown, rather loose foam with big bubbles that disappears rather quickly to leave an island on the surface and a ring around the edge. Color is a maduro brown with a deep copper tint. Held to a light, it's sunset orange/red and moderately opaque, although you can see bubbles rising to the surface from the center.

S - Lightly toasted malts with caramel and molasses. A touch of cinnamon pops into the nose. Hints of piney hops in the background.

T - Toasted malts almost suggest freshly ground coffee. Subtle taste of hot chocolate with a touch of spice mixed in. Also seems to have a bit of dark dried fruit. Alcohol pushes thru on the finish to give it a rather boozy feel. Hops are well-hidden behind the malt and alcohol, but there to balance. Finish is like the last bit of 50% chocolate melting away.

M - A tad fizzy initially, it's quite creamy and smooth on the swallow. Well-carbonated. Decent body. Good structure. Dryer than expected. Not much of a lingering finish.

O - Interesting take on a brown ale. Relatively high ABV makes this more of a sipping beer. Chocolate/spice/dried fruit profile makes me think this could be passed off as a Belgium-style Dubbel, and I'd pair it with food with this in mind. Worth future purchases.

BuckeyeSlim, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of cpl78
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It had been 10 years sense I have had this beer. Last had it in a bottle and enjoyed it very much then. ON TAP, in my opinion, is always better.
A: nice clean aurburn color
S: smell of roasted goodness with a hint of molasses
T: drank very smooth as a brown should, with no hop taste which i was very pleased about.
One of the better brown's out there.

cpl78, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of KajII
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Dimpled Mug]

The pour was a cloudy medium brown with an average sized (1-2 finger) light brown frothy head that dissipated quickly but left behind some fair streaky lacing.

The aroma was that of moderate a toasted grain malt, a mild pine hop and a meaty yeast with notes of roasted coffee, caramel, bitter sweet chocolate with a hint of nuts and molasses.

The taste was sweet and malty with a mild hint of chocolate and molasses in the beginning and then became moderately bitter sweet and nice and roasty with notes of coffee, caramel and a mild hoppy finish. The flavor only lasted a short while, but was very enjoyable during that short duration.

Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy in texture with a medium body and a mild carbonation.

Overall a very tasty Brown Ale that had a nice bold bitter sweet coffee flavor with a nice hoppiness at the end.

KajII, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an almost clear brown color with a little red hue. There is a one finger white head that goes away and leaves just a little bot of lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt with hints of caramel and some dark fruit.

Taste: Sweet mildly nutty malt dominates. There are also hints of brown sugar, caramel, and some dark fruit as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, perhaps a hint of syrup. The carbonation is on the high side and the finish is very mildly dry.

Drinkability: While I think this is a good beer, I could have used a little bit less of the dark fruit sweetness. I wish there was a little more nutty flavor along with the malt.

oline73, Mar 10, 2011
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,131 ratings.