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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

2,119 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,119
Reviews: 904
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 75
Gots: 145 | 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
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Ratings: 2,119 | Reviews: 904 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

TMoney2591, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of fbone
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love American brown ale.I found this one,and it made me smile.

A-brown with medium carbonation.head pours medium and settles quick.

S-malty perhaps chocolaty.Ale yeast smell,nice.

T-high quality malt flavor,maybe chocolate.The fruity yeast comes up next with a light hop finish.The malt and yeast are the stars in this premium hand crafted brew.

M-In your mouth is were you tast the hops and its medium body.

D-most ABA's are east to drink,and this one is no exception!It's great flavor medium body and balanced hops ,makes this beer vanish fast.

Alot of times I like beers,but they are expensive and I don't like paying for them.I don't mind paying for this beer because I feel It's worth the money.

fbone, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of thespaceman
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a beautiful deep copper/medium brown, nice size head builds yet quickly dissapates. Lacing looks pretty solid all around with wisp swirls clinging to the glass.

Smell: A nice dose of some toasty malt is first detected, nicely aligned and reserved. I get a bit of some light esters in here as well, pairing with a touch of honey. Some residual hop aroma hangs around as well. A pretty balanced nose.

Taste: Up front I get alot of toasted grain, the malt is really sweet up front, giving way to some lighter fruit profiles towards the middle. I get a bit raw honey and some caramel from the malt as we edge towards the finish. Very balanced all around, it's tough to find a brown ale with this much character from the hop profile but it is fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, this one sits a bit thin on the tongue for a brown ale but not enough to deter me away. A slight bitterness from the hops edges it's way in for good measure.

Drinkability: This is an overall terrific brown ale that features just the right amount of malt character and a beautiful floral hop profile to satisfy everybodys needs. At 6.7%, it's not overwhelming at all and goes down with little hassle. The only gripe I can find is that the mouthfeel is a tad watered down (which isn't a big deal considering the fruity finish of this beer really compliments the malt making it very refreshing). Overall, I will definetley have this one again on a cool autumn night!

thespaceman, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of jkrich
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with freshness date on label. The ale poured bright, clear reddish brown with faint orange highlights. The minimal, white-head quickly dissipated leaving very little lacing.

There was a sweet, perfumy aroma of malts after I poured the ale.

This is a nice, crisp and refreshing ale with a lot of complex flavors. The initial flavor is rather sweet with a faint molasses flavor coming through. There are enough hops to balance the malt. One of best brown ales I have enjoyed.

The body is medium with an almost lip-smacking, sweet mouthfeel while never becoming cloying. Perhaps a little too carbonated.

For a brown ale at 6.7 % ABV, this is very drinkable, if not quaffable. The zesty carbonation and balanced flavor keep this one interesting; another winner from this brewery.

jkrich, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clean and clear dulled brown color, minimal cap of off white head, slight lacing. Scent is light and mixes hints of roasted nuts, carmel malts and earthy hops. Taste brings more of what the scent dictates, none of the flavors are particularly bold, but they work together nicely. Lighter side of medium bodied, slightly overly carbonated for the style. A decent offering but lacks the umph of other beers in the style.

rfgetz, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap@ Texas BBQ in Northborough, MA.

A: Nice fluffy 1finger head fades at a medium pace over toasty maple brown colored mostly clear.

N: Sweet malts, some brown sugar, toasty malts, little nutty, some spicy and mild hop aromas.

T: Starts with some sweet brown sugar, sweet malts, lots of malts, pretty sweet beer overall, lots of crystal caramel malts, caramel flavors, toasty and a little creamy, slight porter like roast too. Then some light bitter earthy mild hops.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation.

F: Finishes still pretty sweet with lingering malts, lots of brown sugar and molases, little stickiness, some nutty flavors and little creamy porter like. Nice long finish.

jlindros, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

metter98, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of drinkiusmaximus
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a nice Reddish-Brown color with a fingers width bone white head that..whoa just dissapeared rather quickly to what sounded like applause.. It's funny when you put your ear to this one it sounds like rice krispies.

S-decent smell slight caramel notes with a breadiness.

T-slight caramel/toffee up front with a nutty mid to after taste which dissapears quickly.

M-In my opinion this is light for a brown ale from the high carbonation.

D-crisp and smooth nice taste which does not linger could see myself with more than one of these..unfortunately i only bought one ;)

drinkiusmaximus, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of kwm13
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A tasty one I picked up at work in a growler to take home--this review is based on the first glass, poured about 2 hours after I filled up my glassware.

A: Darker than an amber, certainly not see through, but a nice brownish-red hue. Not much in the way of a head and minimal lacing.

S: My nose is a bit stuffy--I rated it good because I can't tell better.

T: Caramel, with a pronounced alcohol taste on the back of the tongue. A little sweet but enjoyable.

M: Rather carbonated...feels like bubbles exploding upon tasting. A little more crisp than an ale would normally taste like.

D: I have no problem enjoying this pint and well, I'll have another.

kwm13, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of aahynick
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

50F in a pint glass on tap

A- clear dark red-brown, a nice head that dissapated fairly quickly

S- a mild caramel aroma

T- rich caramel flavor

M - a nice medium body

D- very nice overall. I'd not hesitate to have more.

a on tap selection at Portsmouth Brewery

aahynick, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of salvo
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chestnut brown under a half inch foam cap that slowly disappeared leaving light foam coat and lace on the glass.

Smell is dominated by malts at first with a very mild herby finish, supporting the bartender's contention that it was a hopped brown. Nowhere near DFH's Indian Brown in intensity or complexity, but no wimp either.

The first taste reveals a balanced and full-bodied beer dominated by two malt notes: biscuit sweetness and earthy richness, which is followed in a long fading finish to an herbal hops tang that is by no means pronounced but ratehr soft and rounded, less than expected but still easily detected.

Novare Res in Portland, Maine.

salvo, Jul 19, 2010
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

dayswonder, Jul 19, 2010
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.

lou50rp, Jul 18, 2010
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.

Mosstrooper, Jul 17, 2010
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.

ExtraStout, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of Augustiner719
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

Augustiner719, Jul 16, 2010
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.

magine, Jul 14, 2010
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.

IPAescotch, Jul 11, 2010
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.

horshack7, Jul 06, 2010
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.

firkinhophead, Jul 01, 2010
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!

mgbickel, Jun 30, 2010
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.

rlshep, Jun 30, 2010
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.

abrand, Jun 26, 2010
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.

Natural510, Jun 22, 2010
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.

Bouleboubier, Jun 21, 2010
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,119 ratings.