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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog AleSmuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,342 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,342
Reviews: 931
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 91
Gots: 251 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-07-1998

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,342 | Reviews: 931 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tkelley
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
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.


Photo of Brunite
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Photo of JWU
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of Satchboogie
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.02/5  rDev -23.2%
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.

Photo of engagechad
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Photo of Genuine
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Photo of BranfordBound
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Photo of cpl78
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of KajII
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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.

Photo of wcintula
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dates on label not punched but year choices are '11 and '12, so I'll believe it's fresh. Pours with a copper-ish brown body and a decent head that recedes to a thin film with light lacing. Smells sweet and sightly boozy with a bit of earthy must to it. The taste is straight up malt with a bit of booze in the aftertaste. Really pleasant body with appropriate carbonation. I can see drinking more of these in the future.

Photo of jmyers89
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- A ruby red cooperish color

S- Rich strong flavors of spice, carmel, and malt

T- Nice and equal amount of bitterness, dark chocolate malt

M- Felt a little heavy an thick but still good

D- Decent, probaby could only have a few at a time but still a great beer

Photo of mdagnew
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought online from Beersofeurope.co.uk

Poured a browny amber colour. Light mocha head poured quite thick then faded quickly to thin coating... some light carbonation bubbles drift to the surface... lots of sticky lacing cling throughout...

Aroma - Lots of nuttiness up front, toasted bready malts mixed with nice dark fruits (raisins, figs, some blackcurrents), molasses sweetness, quite peppery and grassy, nutmeg spiciness...

Taste - Quite tart fruitiness initially (figs, apples, pears), some saltiness, toasted bready malts, some buttery notes, quite nutty, light brown sugar sweetness, some molasses, good peppery hop bitterness, grassy, some toffee...

Feel - Quite sharp and dry... Medium bodied... A very drinkable brew...

Overall - A pretty standard but good brown ale... worth a try...

Photo of theboozecruise
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

It's on the reddish side of brown, poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass and the hard pour takes the head to the brim. It dissipates fairly quickly but leaves some nice lacing around the edge and a creamy layer on top of the beer.

It has a really delicious smell to it, like molasses and toffee and a little roasted note. That's appetizing! Smells a little boozy too, I guess at 6.7% it's a little strong for the style and it comes through a little.

The roasted notes come through more in the taste... it's a little thin though. I like the sweet malt flavor on the tip of the tongue as a compliment to the roasted flavors at the end.

Super easy to drink... just a little thin on the mouthfeel.

Photo of JesteR14
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- I love the look of this beer. Deep amber color with a nice vanilla head. About 1 and a half finger for me in a pint glass. Laces the glass nicely.

S- I smell a good amount of grain, which set me up for what i thought the taste would be, which is mild but good. Really not much of a smell for me.

T- Taste enters your mouth very smoothly, and reminds you that this beer tastes easy going, but has a pretty decent ABV because its got a kick at the end of it. Its not watery, but not crazy overpowering, the brewers knew exactly what they wanted to craft in this ale.

M- High foamy head but low carbonation on the mouth, it bubbles nicely and complements the ale flavor. Lingers in the mouth with a nutty, roasted feel which i enjoy.

D- I couldnt kill a 6 pack, but would recommended it to a friend any day.

Photo of srandycarter
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Brown. Duh. Just kidding. Murky reddish brown with light colored thin head leaves fast. Some cling lace.

S - Light toasted/burnt malt, almost a little smoky.

T - Nice malt center, some toasted notes, bitters well.

M - Medium body, good carb, nice balance.

D - Session. Yes.

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

Pours out a dark amber with an off white frothy and full head that sticks around for a while, leaving some lacing on the glass. Smell is quite sweet, brown sugar, molasses, some grains and bit of nuttiness. Taste follows suit with the aroma, sweet and malty at first, slight nuttiness, bit of roasted character mixed in as well. Some dark ripened fruit makes its way out, while the alcohol just barely makes a presence. Very pleasant hop bitterness in the finish with a slight alcohol burn down the throat. Random cherry flavor seems to stick around on the tongue after each sip.
Mouthfeel is solid and smooth, nice moderate body in this brew with matching carbonation. Drinkability is great, a solid beer from a solid brewery.

Photo of BennyL1
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a NB globe. Best before date of June 2011 displayed on the label.

A - Beer pours a nice dark amber color. About a half inch worth of quickly dissipating white head forms from a slightly aggressive pour. Decent lacing along the glass as well.

S - Aromas of roasted malt and cocoa nibs up front. A bit of caramel note in there with a touch hops.

T - Nice rich malt flavor up front. A touch of the caramel and chocolate in there as well. Some nuttiness mixed in there too making for a very nice flavor. What you want from a brown ale and more.

M - Medium body and a smooth and creamy finish. Not a whole lot of carbonation but its just right.

D - Very drinkable take on the style. If I'm every wanting a nice brown ale, chances are I'm going to be going back this offering from Smuttynose.

Photo of callhimishmael
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wish I had been the one to order it; in fact I only tasted my friend's. That was Saturday. On Monday we went to buy supplies for a clone of it. I didn't notice the smell--neither good nor bad--so I'm going to dry-hop it just a little with Willamette.

Photo of Apellonious
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a brownish red,quickly dissappearing head. Lace hangs on the side of the glass.

S- smell of... Some alcohol, faint berry smell. Smoke.

T- some chocolate, bread. Vanilla overtones, dark fruit.

M- slightly sharp, on the watery side.

D- not a session beer, but drinkable. A solid beer all around. Definitely let it warm up some before drinking for better results.

Photo of 6470zzy
2.73/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A slightly murky reddish brown with a very thin head that quickly dissipated with no lacing

S bready yeasty aroma

T just a whisper of hops and malty biscuit on the tongue

M for me this was minimal carbonation not a lot of body showing here

D very average, I was expecting much more from this one, I think that I'll be saving it to "share" with the in-laws :)

Photo of samie85
2.95/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a slightly hazy chestnut color with two fingers of off-white head.

S-Smells of biscuity and nutty malts with some hints of pine.

T-Piny bitterness with light hints of biscuity malt.

M-A little thin bodied with moderate carbonation and very light, prickly mouthfeel.

D-This beer isn't bad, but it's pretty one note and a little too bitter for an English Brown.

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,342 ratings.