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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

2,301 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,301
Reviews: 923
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 93
Gots: 223 | 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: 2,301 | Reviews: 923 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of craftaholic
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a beautiful cloudy mahogany brown with subtle touches of red and a finger and a half of head that leaves behind a mere ring of lacing.

Smell: The scents are all over the place in this one. There is a bit of roasted almonds of chestnuts aroma that intertwines with a nice deep woody scent. There is then a hint of sugar and very subtle chocolate which accompanies dried coffee beans and rounds out with a spicy cinnamon and caramelized malt and hazelnut.

Taste: Has a syrupy malty taste with a touch of butterscotch sweetness. The coffee notes that were in the aroma rear their head here and are accompanied by a earthy and woody deepness. There is quite a bit of burnt grain here as well with pinch of lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Quite a robust medium bodied brew. While not slick it is surely creamy and almost fluffy as it passes by the palate leaving a oily aftertaste.

Drinkability: Easily drinkable and quite enjoyable. Could easily session and would go great with a burger.

Overall: A well crafted brown ale or any ale for that matter. Has a nice complexity and would definitely buy again.

Photo of mikel52588
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A deep beautiful mahogany; 1.5 finger length head; nice lacing; this beer is inviting.

Smell: Malty caramel, roasted nuts with some honey sweet, there are some woody qualities too

Taste: sweet, malty, cinnamon, its caramelly as the scent foreshadowed, there's also some roasted nut flavors in there, the bitterness is very slight; this beer is more on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel: it seems thin as it hits your tongue, but it is really quite robust, aftertaste is slight.

Drinkability: I would say its quite drinkable; its thick and it may compliment something semi-salty, like honey roasted nuts or like caramel popcorn. Its very sweet, not overwhelmingly but sweet and malty nonetheless. An occasional beer.

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

I had again on March 23, 2012 on tap at one stop beer shop in Brooklyn. It was smooth, flavorful. One of the better brown ales I've had.

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle.
A- Brownish/red in color with limited head a just a slight bit of lacing.
S- Fairly strong malty scent to it.
T- Has a strong flavor to it. Quite malty. Can't drink a lot of it because it is pretty heavy. But definitely a solid brew.

Photo of vrazionale
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter.

A - Thin layer of off-white head over a dark, robust, ruddy brown body.

S - Toasted nuts, caramel, chocolate, dark-roasted coffee beans, cinnamon, a touch of woodsy earth. I totally love it.

T - Sweet, caramelized goodness. Not a ton of bitterness on the palate - the only really prominent bitter notes come from a slight roasty character, but it's still subtle and rich, like brown butter. The finish is long, round, and sweet.

M - Great texture - just enough carbonation to lift the heavier flavors off of the palate, but still full-bodied and rich. No real sense of lingering cloying sweetness - surprising considering the abundance of sweeter flavors.

D - A spectacular brown ale, and an incredible value. This is a great food beer - nothing like a well-made brown ale like this to pair with a juicy burger at the pub. Also, this is an awesome beer to pair with a spicy beef brisket sandwich. A remarkably well-made beer in its own right - you'll be happy you paid so little for a beer like this.

Photo of Kinsman
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A: Light brown to deep read with a thin head. Leaves a nice white lace all the way down

S: Sweet toasted malt, with a minimal flowery hop scent

T: A whole variety of sweet flavors, from caramel to nutty. Minimal hop bitterness appears to simply balance out the malty flavors.

M: Medium body with good carbonation

D: One of the most drinkable brown ales I have tried. Very enjoyable overall.

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

Gorgeous ruby tinted chestnut brown with a small creamy colored head of firm froth. Good lacing in a few thick strings and blobs stick across the glass and keeps a consistant collar ring and whispy skim.

Aroma is mild but clean and present of a sweet nutty maltyness with a ghostly chocolatey note and buttery coffee cake.

Taste is a subtle treat and what a very good Brown ale should taste like, which this is! Damn solid and quite yummy with an ease of simplicity that captures lots of subtle complexities of sweet nutty malts, soft bready cereal grainyness, dryish husks, and a light chocolate fluffy touch mixed in late with a tiny smurfing of hoppy leafyness. As already stated - a subtle treat!

Body is smooth and medium-esk with a light fluffy touch of dryness and softly tendered sweet maltyness and carbonation.

A delightful Brown and one of the best I've had in a long, long time. Completely sessionable by many and really helps you refine your respect and admiration for brews that have subtlty like this.

Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

poured into a pint,beer is a deep brown with a slight head.nose is sweet caramel and some slight roasted coffee.taste is sweet caramel,roasted coffee,mollasses,overall pretty nice.not much bitterness.

the mouthfeel in this beer isnt what i expected,somewhat watery.however,this really adds to the drinkability.this beer goes down like nothing,not like it's a bad thing though.just easy to drink,and enjoyable.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

from Smuttynose sampler. 12oz into snifter.

A- Brown (duh), nice tan head with a bit of lacing from an aggressive pour.

S- Malt-forward, caramel goodness. Smells like toffee, a bit like plums or pears (candied, of course).

T- Follows the nose, a rich malty brown ale. Not as hoppy as some other reviews lead me to believe, and I think this is a pretty fresh bottle. Still, I like it. A solid, tasty brown. You know what, now that I get past the malt I feel the hops. Incredible contrast with the heavy body. Pretty tasty.

M- Good hop bite, almost overpowered by the huge malt profile. Took me a couple sips to process this. Very good.

D- Moderate. A solid brown ale, flavorful and drinkable. Would buy again.

Photo of Crimefish22
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- This is a beautiful beer. Thin head quickly vanishes, which is common for the style. Light brown to coppery red, depending on the light.

S- Malty with a mellow almond resonance. Hops are almost indistinguishable in the nose.

T- Nutty with a welcome bite of hops throughout. Malt, then alcohol, then hops. Very well-balanced.

M- Thin to medium body with ample carbonation.

This is a great example of an American brown ale. Personally I think Ellie's from Avery is just a scoche better, but this will do just fine. The bottle I had was notched August '09, so I didn't get the freshest example of this offering, but it was still stellar. Smuttynose does good work and I look forward to tasting more of their styles.

Photo of corby112
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazelnut brown color with slight mahogany edges when held to a light source and a huge frothy tan head that has excellent retention only slightly fading as the glass goes down leaving chunks of lacing in it's path.

Sweet hazelnut aroma with a nice chocolate malt presence, caramel and subtle hops.

Slightly watered down mouthfeel with a nice amount of bitter hops up front that are quickly balanced by a chocolate/caramel malt presence. The body is way too thin in this beer and I found the flavor kind of boring. I think I'll stick with the bigger version, Really Old Brown Dog

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

Pour is from the bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a caramel-brown color and comes with a short 1/2 finger light tan head that fades quickly to a very thin and uneven skim, as well as a fairly thick ring around the surface; a fairly loose and oily lacing holds for a brief second and then slides back into the drink; body is slightly cloudy.

Smell: Smell is of burnt toasty malts; a slightly burnt sugary aspect as well and there are even some slightly bitter hops in the nose.

Taste: Much like the nose, there is definitely the burnt bready/toasty aspect from the malts and that burnt sucrose flavor as well; there is also a slightly grassy hoppy presence as well that gives it a unique balance -- nothing is especially dominant and the flavors blend well.

Mouthfeel: Starts a little loose and just "wet," but after it gets down there's a bit more to it as it leaves a slight stickiness on the roof of the mouth; a moderately light and smooth carbonation makes it just lively enough as it's not harsh at all; the belly is actually left a bit warm once it gets down and that's a tad suprising as the ABV is pretty low (5.7).

Drinkability: Relatively high - a nice tasting beer with solid flavors that isn't too big. The price was nice too, about a buck sixty for a bottle.

Photo of mdale13
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown, some red/amber highlights. Thin tan head that doesn't linger long.

S- Malt, cocoa, carmel. Very rich. Maybe some coffee as the beer warms up?

T- Very delicious. Malty and sweet. Much more rich than many other brown ales. Slight hop kick at the end. The taste really ramps up as it warms.

M- Smooth and creamy. Coats the mouth. Leaves a pleasant after taste for food pairings.

D- Very drinkable. Goes down smooth.

Other- This may be my favorite brown ale. Paired it with some locally smoked cheddar yesterday, it was an amazing combo.

Photo of jiggahertz
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber brown ale with a thin head dissipating quickly.

S: Doughy malts up front, nice and strong

T: Nice roasted malts come through, some yeast. I'm not detecting any hops. The sweetness is nice and subtle, not overpowering.

M: Med-full bodied, light carbonation

D: Good finish, wouldn't want to drink more than a few of these but 1 or 2 could be a nice start.

O: Would buy again for food pairing mainly.

Photo of Kraken
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Consumed 3/9/09

Picked up a 6'er of the Ole Brown dog at Elite Vineyards last weekend and I am just getting around to reviewing now. Best by date on bottle indicates June 09. So this may be getting a little old. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Stella Artois glass. Firm pour fails to conjure much of a head, spotty lace. Color is a deep brown.

Nose- Caramels, nuts, lightly roasted coffee.

Palate- Fleeting caramel, roasted pecans, brown sugar. Reminds me of a Newcastle.

Mouthfeel- A bit thin, active.

Drinkability- Very drinkable. A nice beer but I was expecting something a little more complex. I found it to be a bit of a let down.

Photo of parkeak0
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to brown ales, but I figured I'd pick this one up, as I'm trying to learn a bit more about the style. IMHO, this beer is just as good, if not a bit better and more complex, than the famous Samuel Smith brown ale. Sweet and malty, nutty, and pleasantly bitter in the finish. A bit of noticeable warming alcohol, particularly as it comes to room temperature, despite of its relatively pedestrian ABV. An excellent, no-compromise everyday beer, particularly when you feel like taking a break from the hop-bombs that we all seem to enjoy so often.

Photo of Brewnami
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great offering from Smuttynose. This brown ale pours a cloudy, dark mahogany color with thin cream colored head. Roasted malts, caramel, and some coffee notes dominate the scent of the beer. The taste is very nutty and sweet with just enough hop flavor and bitterness. This has a very smooth, almost a creamy mouthfeel with slight to moderate carbonation making this a very drinkable brown ale. Definitely one of my favorite brown ales right now. Highly recommended with red meat or as a desert beer.

Photo of BeTheBall
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle in to a pint glass. Lively head but minimal lacing. Smelled of roasted malt. Taste was mild and good with earthy and roasty flavors with just enough hops that it balances beautifully. Mouthfeel is average, nothing remarkable. Drinkability is excellent, mild but great flavor, not too potent int he ABV, went great with grilled ribs slathered with BBQ sauce.

Photo of confer
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- From a bottle with a really good looking brown dog on the label. This beer is as brown as the bottle with a hint of red. A small brown head fades to a small circle around the edge

S- Slightly bready very faint.

T- Maltiness comes out as the beer warms, right out of the fridge the is not as much flavor.

M- Feels light.

D- Goes down very easy. The malt flavor hangs around.

Photo of BDLbrewster
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly dark brown color with fiery amber highlights. Minimal tan colored head and streaks of lacing.

The smell is rich with notes of coffee and sweet caramel, there is sort of a root beer odor in there too. No alcohol in the nose and it smells like it may be lighter tasting than it looks.

Tastes somewhat rich. Semi sweet like cocoa powder, there is no instance of burnt malt at all. Nice, and somewhat sweet I also pick up light notes of coffee toasty malts. The aftertaste is faint and delicious. Must.... drink.... more....

Medium bodied and very slick across the tongue, light carbonation and somewhat rich.

Great brew. I have nothing to complain about. I could easily kick these back all night. Wish we had distribution.

Photo of doomXsaloon
3.29/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A-beautiful reddish-brown color; not much of a head: thin, carbonated, and disappointing.

S-deep, flavorful....

T-Good! Somewhat of a carbonated taste; nothing very exciting here??? somewhat disappointing; definitely taste the alcohol here..

M-Rich, but again, there's that bubbly....

D-yes, drinkable, but (once more, there's a slight carbonated, bubbly thing goin on here.

So, I was very surprised by the high score of this beer! I must say, my taste buds may be off....it's summer, I've been drinking a keg of Brooklyn Summer Ale....I'll have to come back to this beer and try again in a week or two ;-}

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Part of the Smuttynose mixed 12 pack. Pours a nice redwood color, good to head it.. not much for lacing on the glass though. Nice nutty smell to it. Taste has a nice initial mouthfeel to it, a bit on the light bodied side but very smooth and drinkable. Nice balance in this one, not too much hops by any means. Nice and drinkable.. a bit of a warming alcohol kick to it, surprising for the low ABV of this beer. An above average brown ale.. pretty good beer to quaff down in the mixed pack but still loving their IPA.

Photo of beerwolf77
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is almost blood red with a touch of brown. There's a tiny bit of light brown head that disipated quickly. The aroma is sweet with chocolate malt. The flavor is very smooth and rich. Chocolate and coffee tones with a slight hop tartness. There seems to be a bit of alcohol in the finish. The mouthfeel is velvety smooth. It simply glides down the throat. This was a very good brown ale. I would put in my top 3 favorite brown ales I've ever tried.

Photo of Casey10
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up via a mixes pack of smuttynose "brewer's choice"

A - Coppper Brown matching the style

S - Fresh hops smell though nothing overwhelming

T - smoooth copper taste some wood notes.

M - dry, maltlike

D - Good as a smooth drinker this would be something that could be had more than once.

Photo of JMD
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich deep brown with ruby tones. Almost no head at all and zero lacing.

S: Sweet malty aroma. Hints of carmel, toffee, and toasted malt. Nothing really in the way of hops.

T: Flavor is the same as the aroma, sweet and malty. Nutty with hints of chocolate and brown sugar. Very smooth.

M: Medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

D: This is a great example of an English brown, but the style doesn't lend itself to the bold flavors that Smuttynose is famous for. But it's smooth flavor and high drinkability will appeal to both BA's and beer newbies.

Photo of TheTrevor
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown with red highlights and two finger beige head. The smell is candy-sweet lightly toasted malt. The taste starts off with some caramel sweet malt that gives way to a slight burst of hops that compliments it very well and a bit of smokiness in the finish. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with a moderate amount of carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer that marries taste with good drinkability. A great example of the style.

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,301 ratings.