Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog AleSmuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale

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very good

2,265 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,265
Reviews: 915
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 87
Gots: 202 | FT: 3
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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Ratings: 2,265 | Reviews: 915 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of patreely12
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap at woodberry kitchen in baltimore, md.

A - nice cloudy amber. light soapy foam, minimal lacing. still very appetizing though.

S - malts, some hops. maybe a bit of citrus that adds some sweetness.

T/M - creamy malts and hops, hint of refreshing citrus and sweetness. very clean. light-medium bodied with some mild carbonation. not as dry as smooth english brown ales.

D - very drinkable. goes down easy with a good dinner. I'd like to have this again.

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

poured from bottle into tulip. Fairly light brown, more like dark tea.

I get a little malt and some caramel aftertaste but the alcohol is more present in this beer than I would have expected, and seems to be masking the flavor.

This is from a sampler pack and both bottles had similar flavor, just a bit underwhelming frankly.

Photo of Ezone024
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours out a dark amber color with a thin white head.
Has a slight chocolate aroma on the nose, finishes with a slight nutty scent.

drinks easy, relatively light body with caramel and chocolate flavors .

Puts a warm feeling on your tongue. Nice beer to have during the winter time if you don't like really heavy porters or stouts.

Photo of bashiba
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a very clean and clear light amber color, not very brown, but still looks good. Just a light soap ring of a head.

The smell was a bit strange, some basement funk and an almost pork chop meaty smell.

The flavor is very mild and subtle with a light bit of smokey and bready malts with a bit of fruity yeasty funk and a touch of sourness, very light earthy english hops.

The mouthfeel is long dry leaving a long lasting earthy and smokey aftertaste.

Its not bad, but the flavors are a bit strange and on the unusual side. Really having a hard time with this one, not completely sure what to make of it.

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

Pours dark copper with a dense creamy head that quickly becomes a thin soapy sheen.

Aroma is unusually musty and minerally. Some biscuit malt shines through.

Taste is initially more of the biscuit malt from the nose. The musty and mineral qualities have a strong presence as well. Then an orange peel bitterness from the hops balances things out nicely. Finishes with a woody cedar dryness, dark fruit, and a lingering musty yeast quality.

Mouthfeel is medium-full. Very round and smooth.

An interesting take on the English brown ale style. Flavorful, but this is certainly an American version, as the earthy hops come on a little too aggressive eclipsing some of the subtle fruit qualities normally present in an English brown ale.

Photo of Wamesit
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a bright and deep red/amber with a thick, slightly off-white head.

S- Caramel malts.

T- Sweet malts dominate the flavor with just a hint of the nutty malt one of expects from an English Brown. As the ale warms slightly there is an increasing presence of roasted malts (coffee, chocolate).There is a quick touch of hops/bitterness in the finish but the overall caramel malt smoothness flushes it away.

M- Medium.

D- Highly drinkable. Being less dry and nutty than many English Browns this ale is smooth from start to finish, with loads of flavor, and could be enjoyed casually.

Photo of stingrayvr6
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Local 44. Always loved this one, finally got to have it on tap. Showed a reddish brown with frothy white head and decent lacing. Smell sweet malty, some caramel sweetness, balanced by some bitterness. Taste bready malts up front, some dry nuttyness and sweet caramel or raisin like notes, balanced by some dry hops. Loved it.

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Pours hazy brown color with a 1 finger dense light tan head with very good retention that reduces to a lacing cap. Aromas of chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, cola, and some caramel. Taste of chocolate, roasted malts, nuts, and molasses. There is a nice smooth bitterness on the finish, with a roasted chocolate flavor that lingers. Medium carbonation and body. Overall, this is a damn tasty session beer, would have it again in the future.

Photo of BeerLover99
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - brownish red body, tannish white head

S - roasted nuts, toffee, bread, hint of sweetness, almost dessert quality. Has me drooling already.

T - roasted carmel, toffee, nuts, bread.

M - medium body with med. carbonation. solid balance for the big flavor.

D - goes down with ease, nice brown ale. this is my first Smuttynose and I'm loving their beer. Give this Brown Ale a try, it's worth it and very sessionable, but still with big flavor.


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

Reddish brown with garnet hues and very small had which dissipated quickly. Smells surprisingly hoppy for an English Brown. Also plenty of alcohol and toasted malt in the nose. Begins with some initial hop bitterness, and is quickly follow by some malty sweetness and is rounded off by astringent and smoke toasted grains which also impart some bitterness. Overall tastes a lot darker than it looks. Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel that is interrupted by the occasional prickly jolt of carbonation. The hop presence was certainly a surprises. An easy drinking complex brown ale in what is otherwise a somewhat, IMO, dull style. Well worth a try.

Photo of jsh420
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

best by may 2011

pours amber orange? brown? with a big 2 finger head that left some spotted lacing

smells of sweet toffee caramel malts with herbal floral hops

taste - a good mix of sweet malts and bitter citrus floral hops
reminds me SNPA but with thos toffee caramel nutty malts

mouthfeel - little sticky but light with great carbonation

drinkability - after just drinking a boffo brown - this beer is a much sweeter lighter brown while the boffo is almost a porter - this beer i could even drink in hot weather

Photo of BeerCon5
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber color with two fingers of foamy/bubbly white head, pretty good retention.

The scent is of strong caramel malt, some toasted grains, notes of bread.

The taste is of caramel at first, some nuttiness, roasted malt, good moderate earthy hop presence, toasted grains and some bread.

Light bodied, smooth and a bit creamy, dry finish, high carbonation.

This was very easy to drink, the flavor was strong and well balanced. I wouldn't mind having this again.

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

A - This beer pours a nice reddish brown color, and has a small tan head on it. The head left just a little bit of lacing on the glass. This beer is slightly hazy, but it has some clarity to it.

S - The smell is that of roasted malts and some breadiness. I also get some notes of chocolate and caramel.

T - Roasted malts and caramel up front. There is a nice sweetness to this beer. I am also getting some breadiness, and a touch of alcohol. The finish is a little bit boozy with a some bitterness as well.

M - This has a medium body with med/low carbonation. It is smooth and goes down easy. It also has a bit of a boozy feel to it.

D - The drinkability is good. It goes down very easy. I think this is a great brown ale. I could drink these all day. Perfect beer for the current weather.

Photo of Duff27
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Brown! with a one fingered slightly off-white ("light tan") head. Lacing is visible. Just looks great in my glass...bumped a tad.

S- Toasted/roasted malts. Bready. Maybe some chocolate.

T- Sweet caramel malts. A certain nuttiness. Black licorice?...peppermint? Wow, delicious.

M- Very smooth, like silk.

D/O- For having previously not cared a whole lot for browns, I found myself enjoying this one immensely. Could and would drink a few of these if I was able to get them on a regular basis. My first Smuttynose.

Photo of bc2208
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Lots of carbonation, dark amber color

Smell - Caramel and coffee aroma

Taste - Delicious brown ale taste, caramel and brown sugar taste, slight coffee.

Mouthfeel - Full of carbonation but not biting, medium body

Drinkability - Could drink 3-4 easily

This was a $9.99 6pack at stop and shop. I passed over it several times but I will be going back to it. It is very close to Sam Smith's brown ale.

Photo of ferrari29
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to glass

A - Dark amber color body; lacing formed but droopy; not much carbonation; 1/2 finger foam formed with copper color; dissipated pretty quickly

S - Caramel aroma; slight flowery aroma; scent of biscuits and other malt scents;

T - Caramel & biscuit flavors; slight grapefruit sourness; dry aftertaste with lingering hop bitterness; light nutty taste thats's not overwhelming; taste disappears pretty quickly

M - Creamy & oil consistency; not much of a balance between ingredients; kind of too nutty; smooth going down though

D - Smooth feel and very easy to drink; I could definitely have plenty of these in one sitting

Photo of Samp01
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark cloudy amber / burnt brown with a nice tan head. Nose is caramel malt, earthy hops. Taste is sweet toasted caramel malt, with earhty hops. Palate is med body, good carbonation, smooth creamy texture. Finish is sweet malty caramel with good eathy hops for balance, followed by some nice toasted nutty aftertaste. Overall a very nicely balanced and drinkable brew

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper hue with ruby-tinged highlights. There is a half inch of head that leaves a fair amount of lacing.

S: Malt, fruits

T: The beer is considerably sweeter than I was expecting / hoping. In accordance with the style, there is no hop bitterness. Instead, there is a sweet malty flavor, with fruity undertones that grow more prominent as the beer warms.

M: Medium-thin in body. I do wish the beer was more robust.

D: It's not bad, per se, but ultimately, this isn't my cup of tea, or beer. The sweetness becomes cloying by halfway through the glass. One and done.

Photo of jwinship83
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle that expires in march of 2011. purchased and drank shortly after this brand showed up in chicagoland out of my samual adams perfect pint glass.

A- this one pours out of the bottle a lightly hazy light brown/amber colored body with a small khaki colored head of tightly knit bubbles. the head lasts for a while and leaves behind small and random spots of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice are toasted bread like malts along with a good amount of nuttiness. theres also something that smells vaguely like chocolate.

T- the nuttiness i could smell comes back and comes through stronger than the toasted bread i could also smell. after that i get a little bit of milk chocolate and the tinest bit of hops at the end.

M- the body is pretty thin, almost bordering on medium. the carbonation level is pretty high. this beer has a dryish finish to it.

D- easy to drink and pretty true to style. its a little strong to session, but having a couple definitely wouldnt be a bad time. if youre a fan of the english brown ale, check this one out.

Photo of billab914
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. It poured a very nice, clear, caramel color with a modest head covering the top. It had some nice head retention and left modest lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a nutty and caramel flavor to it. Pretty flavorful for the style overall. The taste fits the style pretty well with caramel, toasty malts and a moderate nuttiness to it. It finishes with some alcohol showing through a bit though.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty decent, it had some nice flavors to it overall and went down pretty easy. The alcohol showing through hurts it a little but not too bad. Pretty solid beer overall.

Photo of Pencible
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy mahogany with a little light brown head.
S: It smelled like citrus and copper hops, with roasted barley and light caramel.
T: It tasted like copper and citrus hops, with roasted barley and some sweet caramel and bready yeast. It had a mellow bitter aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation. Nice solid body.
D: This was a good brown ale, but nothing too special. Smell and taste were ok, and it had nice body, so it was easy to drink. I enjoyed it, but it doesn't rank in the top tier of brown ales for me.

Photo of mikeg67
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from a variety pack. Pours hazy amber (?) with a large, long lasting, off-white head. Aroma of bready malt and some fruit. Medium body, medium carbonation. Bready malt, spicy, earthy hops and some dark fruit fill the mouth. Long, dry, bitter finish. Not bad, but this beer reminds me more of an Amber than Brown.

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

the last beer i was able to try for about the next month so i went with an old classic. served cold in a pint glass at barleys, this one was consumed on 11/07/2010.

really a decent pour here with a nice medium brown color and a smooth even head of tan that came up from the bottom and coated the glass rather nicely i have to say. aroma is light chocolate with hint of nice roasted malts and a touch of coffee, well rounded for sure and definetely a nice way to end an evening. a mix if light carbonation with a smooth, velvet like texture to it led me to sip it down quite nicely and left a really nice overall impression.

very solid beer for sure and one i would have no issue in going back to again.

Photo of tone77
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a deep caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some hops. Taste is also hops a front, a bit of malts and grains. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a pretty good beer.

Photo of whisperjet
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Pours a creamy amber. 1 finger of off white head that is frothy and leaves a thick, sticky lace.

s: Very earthy and malty. Sugary sweetness of caramel malts. Nice hoppy undertones that are very smooth.

t: Crisp and light. The hops are much more prevalent than in the nose. Creamy and full but not overly rich. Well balanced flavors.

m: Medium bodied and smooth on both ends.

d: A perfectly good ale all around. Nicely textured and flavored it certainly doesn't disappoint. I would have liked just a bit more complexity in the taste though

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,265 ratings.