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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

2,166 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,166
Reviews: 907
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 78
Gots: 166 | 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: 2,166 | Reviews: 907 | Display Reviews Only:
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
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
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,166 ratings.