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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

2,025 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,025
Reviews: 898
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.94%
Wants: 66
Gots: 111 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,025 | Reviews: 898 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bigone4

Rhode Island

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

Had this one from a 12oz bottle from the Smuttynose sampler twelve pack. It came with a free issue of Yankee Magazine. Oh boy! Just kidding. But it did have a good recipe for Little Compton Mussel Chowder. Well this beer is one of my favorite brown ales. It holds true to style and has a great roasted malt flavor with the right amount of hop balance. No overpowering nut taste like some other brown ales out there.

This one poured a dark ruby brown color with a nice off-white head. Mild lace clinging down the pint. Smells of roasted malt with a hint of nuttiness and a mild hint of hops. There are also slight tones of chocolate and caramel mixed in. Big roasted malt taste up front followed by a mild hint of caramel malt in the back of the mouth. Great flavor with a nice dry hop finish mixed with the roasted malt tones. Medium bodied beer with great drinkability and very enjoyable. Smuttynose always delivers good quality brews and this one meets quality in my book. I hope to visit the brewery this summer.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2007 03:08:55 | More by bigone4
Photo of bonbright7


4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this at Superstar in Huntington, NY as I was looking at their great collections of beer and I picked up the Portsmouth Lager too. The Old Brown Dog Ale poured well in the fading sunlight as I was about to watch the UNC-NC State basketball game and devour a huge roast beef hero.

My first taste of the majestic red/brown ale revealed fruit/malt flavors, which made it a delight to consume. I couldn't really detect the alcohol in it as the glass level went down and the ale exhibited a smooth cream/oil touch as I got to the end.

I was thinking this had be super on tap before I visited the BA and the Alstrom Bros review gave me a little feedback on that thought.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2007 05:04:16 | More by bonbright7
Photo of rarevos

New York

4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

A: Pours a deep reddish-brown with lively carbonation and 1/2 finger of light tan head. Head quickly becomes light lacing.

S: Citric at first. Seems a bit odd to be picking up cascades in a brown ale so early in the game. Behind that is some caramel malt, roasted nut, roasted grain (a bit porter-like in that area), and a sweet, toffee presence. Is very mild.

T/M: Sweet up front, with a hint of rich caramel and a touch of dry, dark fruit (raisin, date). Has some nuttiness. Though cascades were in the nose, I'm not tasting them here. Finish is nicely bitter, with some bitter, roasted coffee bean flavor. Cocoa emerges only after it warms a bit, so don't be afraid of slightly-below-room-temperature on this one; it's worth it. Tail is long, mildly bitter, and lightly roasty. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, almost chewy.

D: It's been a long time since I've craved a brown ale, but I may have just introduced myself to one that I could crave. It's different. It's nicely sweet, but not overpowering. It's hopped, but more for aroma than gratuitous bitterness. It's easy to drink, but not because it's a watered-down beer to lead your beer lineup in sales. I can, and will, have another.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2007 03:09:40 | More by rarevos
Photo of sleazo

New York

3.1/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep dark red/brown. Decent head which dissipated quickly, minimal lacing. Smell is of sweet malt with noticeable alcohol. Taste is same as smell with a decently dry finish. My major problem with this beer is that the alcohol was clearly present throughoput despite a relatively low %. This is my first smutty nose and overall im not impressed. I will try their other beers though.

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2007 04:36:16 | More by sleazo
Photo of lordofthewiens


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

A solid beer, good to keep in the fridge as an everyday drink. It is a red-brown color with a medium off-white head. A sweet, caramel aroma. Taste, too, was caramel, with a malty base. Very enjoyable, and dependable. Good offering from Smutty. Try it sometime.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2007 21:42:36 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of JasonA


3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark translucent brown with little to no head. Some lacing, nothing special per se, though on style.

Smells a little nutty malt. Some alcohol. Hint carmel/toffee?

Some carmel. Not much if any hops. Dont taste the ABV. Solid malt flavor. Im sure this wert smelled excellent.

Medium to low bodied. Standard carbonation, but a full flavored finish.

Overall a tasty beer. I wouldnt call this special like SN's Porter. Overall not a bad beer, not one I would seek again.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2007 01:57:13 | More by JasonA
Photo of scorched


4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this on a business trip to Boston, fantastic idea. Brown Ales are not my favorite style, but pretty damned close.

The appearance was quite nice, an almost cloudy brown.

Smell was nice with a nutty nose with a hint of almond.

This was definitely the best tasting Brown Ale I have ever had, and I have had the larger commercial breweries offerings (Sierra Nevada). Everything was perfectly balanced. Not too hoppy, not too malty. Very nice all-around.

Mouthfeel was definitely fantastic, sat on the palate and it enjoyed itself there.

Drinkability... yeah, I could drink this stuff until I started to sweat it out.

All in all, I would say that this is most definitely the best Brown Ale on the marker. Too bad its so damned hard to get ahold of.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2007 06:02:09 | More by scorched
Photo of JimFalzone


4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The last two kegs that I purchased for my homebar was OBD Ale. It's a real crowd pleaser. Brown ale is typically a middle of the road style that satisfies both newbies and jaded-beer-geeks. Smuttynose kicks it up a notch with extra hoppiness. That little extra "bite" is a nice touch that keeps the beer from tasting bland and boring after a few pints. It's a nice looking orangish brown color with great head retention. I buy the 1/6th logs and they go fast.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2006 03:20:17 | More by JimFalzone
Photo of pvsob


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

Appearance - Pours deep amber (nearly brown), with a one inch head that gives way to a thin film and leaves some lacing.

Smell - Very sweet malt up front followed by some toasted malts and some hints of fruits. A little hop aroma is present, but not a lot.

Taste - Pretty much the same as the smell, but with a little nut/grain taste in the finish. Some hop flavor cuts through the malt in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel - Medium feel with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall - A nice little English Brown with solid style characteristics and great drinkability potential. Another great brew from a great brewery. If you haven't tried it yet, do yourself a favor and find some.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2006 02:11:21 | More by pvsob
Photo of barrettds

New York

4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a clear mug, the body looks just like rich apple cider. The head is a thin off white that hangs on at the edge of the mug all the way down to the last bit.

Smell is that of a mild brown ale. Brown malts and mild hoppiness.

Taste is the best part. I've never fancied brown ales much but this one is superb. Fresh, green hops are present, along with the brown malts. I nice toasty flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is above average for a brown ale, more than enough carbonation (in the bottle form) which might offend some.

Drinkability, for me, is good. Again, not usually a brown ale fan, so this one is held in high regard.

I had this on draft out of a keg at my girlfriends family Thanksgiving in Maine. Good stuff! Better out of the keg, but bottle is still pretty tasty. Nice going John!

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2006 02:01:07 | More by barrettds
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

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

Had this from a variety pack a friend brought over this past weekend. I am a fan of many of the smutty big bottle series brews.

I hate to start a review with a disclaimer but hey, it's my 2 cents. I don't usually buy brown ales. Maybe it's burnout, but it seems everyone tries to make one and they're either good or lousy. This one is good! Almost good enough to restore my faith in brown ales in general.

Buy it and enjoy! A nice session ale for a holiday party.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2006 17:05:21 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a reddish-brown body that is clear but dense fitting the name of the beer very nicely. There is a thin yellowish white head that is creamy with a few big bubbles pushing up through. The carbonation is strong but is mostly tiny bubbles.

S- This beer has a nice toasted malt nose with hints of dry pale malt and some fresh brown malt notes.

T- This beer has a biscuit malt and brown malt flavor with great depth and a slight sweetness along with a slight dryness aswell. There is a faint caramel malt note in the background but the first to malts are very well proportioned so it doesn't taste like a bit biscuit malt beer. There is a nice soft green hop finish that finish.

M- There is a medium mouthfeel with a slight creamy note that might be from the head that still hangs on a bit.

D- This beer has good complexity and depth with a nice supporting flavor of hops. This beer has restored my faith in brown ales, it really shows how a great drinkable mild ale should taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2006 19:07:02 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

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

Murky brownish-red body with a finger of offwhite head. Smells hoppy with some malt. Taste is equally malty sweet and hoppy. Malt may even overpower the hop somewhat, but is generally pretty well-ballanced. Tasty. Medium bodied. Tasty, solid ale. I'm impressed, and would definitely get this one again...

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2006 01:21:38 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of JayQue


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

Pours a light mahogony color with a slightly off white large head. The head fades slowly down to a covering of the glass. Light amount of lacing. This beer has a nice nose, malty and a touch of spiciness. The taste is great, primarily malty with a nice light hops finish. It kind of reminds me of a somewhat sweeter Brooklyn Monster Ale but without the alcohol blast. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy and drinkability is excellent. This is a beer I would look forward to having again. Would make a great session beer for a group that thinks beer should have a taste!!!

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 18:31:50 | More by JayQue
Photo of BeerBelcher


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

Bottle purchased at Breeze-Thru liquor in Milwaukee.

A friend of mine from Madison is a big Smuttynose fan, but this is the first one of their beers I tried, and I was impressed.

Appearance was a redbrown with white head composed of fairly large bubbles, which unfortunately didn't stick around long and left very little lacing.

Aroma was very good. It smelled like caramel malt, chocolate and caramel. And the taste matched very closely to the aroma, with notes of chocolate and caramel with a certain alcohol overtone at the finish. As it got warmer in my glass, it seemed to become more coffee-ish.

Quite good!

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2006 14:07:51 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of Doomcifer

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a semi deep brown with a decent head that stuck around and left some lacing on the glass. Smell is decent...toasty malts, nutty. The taste is also decent I suppose. Maltiness, nuttiness, slight hops are picked up. Like I said, decent. This beer cries decent. Then again, Im not a huge brown ale fan either. I prefer my ales big, which this beer is not and is not intended to be. I only happened to have this beer because it was mixed in with a sixer of Smuttynose Robust Porter that I bought. I was kind of pissed but figured what the hell, since I havent tried it before. Now, I kind of wish I had that Robust Porter. lol

IMO, Smuttynose is capable of a lot more than this, that's right, decent beer. I would expect more from one of the premiere breweries on the East Coast.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2006 18:11:15 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of loren01


3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a mahogany color, small head, no lacing
S: Smells very nutty, good bit of sweetness/suggary scent
T: Toffee sweetness, good nutty flavor. Slight hop bite at the end with a dry finish.
M: Moderate to heavy amount of carbonation in this one
D: Good nutty flavor, not my favorite style of beer but this is not bad, would try this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2006 12:20:04 | More by loren01
Photo of eballard


3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice rich brown color with almost no head and very little lacing. It has very little smell, just a hit of a sweet malt smell. It has a chocolaty malt flavor that clears away way too fast. The beer has a smooth crisp texture and clears away fast. In all this beer is way too week in flavor and a little to thin. It has a good taste but there just isn’t enough of it. It’s a great beer if you don’t like the taste of beer but who wants that?

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2006 20:21:50 | More by eballard
Photo of ChuckD

New York

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle from a variety pack, poured into a chalice. Wispy off white lacing atop a colorful brown body.

To the nose, sugary sweet and ripe figs. It will be a malty beer.

In the mouth, the smell is verified with layer and layer of sweet malts. Slight hop character in the background, but nothing major. The feel is full and chewy on the tongue with little to no carbonation. It finishes semi dry with a grassy undertone.

Musings: Not a huge fan of browns - but this one is pretty tight and right on target.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2006 12:42:41 | More by ChuckD
Photo of demcorhip

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This ale poured a golden brown. The finely carbonated ale produced a one finger light tan coloured head with incredible retention and full, thick lacings.

Hints of brown sugar, treacle, a creamy nuttiness, and earthy, leafy hops.

A very pleasant traditional brown ale. Nutty malts (hazelnut, walnut) sweetened by slight hints of brown sugar and treacle. A hint of roasted coffee and the earthy hop finish nicely rounds out this ale.

Nice, creamy mouthfeel in this nicely balanced brew. Creamy nuttiness well balanced by slight bitterness from hint of roasted coffee and the earthy hops.

Very drinkable classic styled brown ale. As such also very sessionable. Would also serve as a great introduction to brews made with the darker roasted malts. Glad to have tried this brew, and will likely drink this one again.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2006 20:57:19 | More by demcorhip
Photo of Terp96

North Carolina

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

This is a very solid brown ale IMO. It pours a dark amber/brown with a thin off-white head. Not a lot of carbonation. Looks like your typical English brown.

Smell is of roasted malt, nuts, caramel. There is the hint of a hop bouquet. I couldn't wait to dive in.

Taste is exceptional for the style. Good malt backbone. Not too sweet and not too nutty. Straightforward roasted malt. There is a fine hop finish. The hop bouquet really helps here as well.

Mouthfeel is very good as well. Not too heavy and not too thin. This beer is easy to get through and not too sweet. However, it's not thin on body either. Very well-rounded.

This beer is very drinkable. Typical English style session beer. Good for long autumn nights with friends. You know, like Newcastle used to be.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2006 11:54:13 | More by Terp96
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

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

Amber-brown with a thin, creamy sand-colored head. Warm toasty malt aromas, with slight floral hop notes. There is a just-slightly-sweet hazelnut-chocolate aroma as well. The taste is definitely the strongest aspect: a very reserved and well-crafted nuttiness melds with chocolatey malts and a modest leafy-earthy hop bitterness. The finish is both biscuity and restrainedly-hoppy -- a very "English" flavor. Smooth mouthfeel, slightly carbonated. The finish isn't long, the body is just about dead-on medium. I've had this on tap before, and it's a little more flavorful, but one could do far worse than grab a sixer of this solid, drinkable Brown.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2006 00:03:34 | More by orfeu
Photo of jcdiflorio

West Virginia

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

Poured into pint glass,slightly off-white head.Not a thick,tall head but lasting.very tiny bubbles consantly lacing the side of the glass.Has a carmaley,slight chocolate aroma,a hint of bisquit,no hop aromas present.Has a sweet, carmel, chocolate taste and a nice sharp citrusy bitter aftertaste.Medium body,mouthwatering finish,very drinkable and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2006 03:01:11 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

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

It pours a ruby brown, almost like cherry wood, reasonably clear and fairly carbonated. A finger of tight white head settles soon, and the lacing spirals the inside of the glass.

The aroma carries a nutty tanginess, with cocoa and dark cherry along for the ride. A mild spiciness glitters along the edges.

Upon tasting, the roasted malt is sweet and earthy, with a nutty edge that counters a darker fruit presence. A light chocolate note partners a doughy yeastiness as things progress. The hops present as a mild, drying bitterness as opposed to any real favlor component. The finish sees a bit of residual malt sweetness sliding into a pleasant lintering bitterness. The flavor is everything you'd expect of a solidly crafted brown ale.

Between light and medium bodied, it runs off the palate more thinly than might be expected.

Once again, Smuttynose comes through with a solid, enjoyable beer that seems to nail the style it's aiming for. It's got the earthy nuttiness you'd expect, and while the aroma is a bit sparse, the flavor makes up for that. It's very drinkable, with an aftertaste that's a joy. It seems these folks just can't manage to do very much wrong. Good dog!

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2006 17:54:35 | More by Foxman
Photo of bklynbeerbaron

New York

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Lazy Boy Saloon, White Plains, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A rich chestnut-brown color with a thinly bubbled white head that still managed to lace all the way down the glass.

Smell: A mild sweet and nutty aroma.

Taste and mouthfeel: The sweetness from the malt hits right away, with a subdued bitterness from the hops to prevent it from being too sweet. Nice roasted hazelnut flavor that lingers through to the finish. Mouthfeel is a bit oily and the carbonation is minimal - could stand to be a little crisper.

Drinkability: Just an easy drinker, good for a session or a meal partner.

Notes: Nothing fancy, just sturdy and tasty, like a good brown ale should be.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2006 04:27:35 | More by bklynbeerbaron
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,025 ratings.