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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

2,186 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,186
Reviews: 908
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 78
Gots: 169 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,186 | Reviews: 908 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a 2 finger head that was off white. Sometimes the pour fits perfectly into the pint glass and this was one of those times. The head did vanish rather quickly. The beer is a clear brown/amber color with a touch of reddish highlights. No real visible carbonation and not a touch of lacing.

Aroma was of roasted malt, cinnamon and some sweetness.

Flavor is very nice and spot on for a Brown ale. Initial sweetness with caramel, dark toast flavor, dark bread flavor... A bit of earthiness.

Mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth. Not much carbonation. Very drinkable, but a touch sweet.

Reagan1984, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Once again, a big thanks to DrDogbeer for this one! Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint.

Pours a beautiful caramel amber color with a fair one-finger creamy head of minuscule bubbles of a light brown color. The head fades fairly quickly leaving a collar with lacing across the top and down the glass. Impressive.

Aroma if caramel, vanilla and some rich pastry-like malt aroma. Nothing overly complex, but wow, it smells beautiful.

Taste has some impressive caramel malt character up front with a strong dose of spicy hopping. There's a greenness and a bitterness that's complex to the point of seeming to emerge from both malt and hop characters. Toasty, bready and earthy, with some solid hopping.

Mouthful is solid, with a full body and near-perfect carbonation for the brew. There's a hint of impressive malt earthiness on the tongue, with a full and drying effect, while just a smidgen of hop bitterness hits the tongue on the finish. Pleasant through and through.

I continue to be impressed with Smutty. This one was a touch on the earthy and hoppy side of things for what i was in the mood for, but it was an impressive brew. Beautiful with an outstanding aroma and perfect mouthfeel. A hint more of the caramel sweetness and vanilla aroma on the palette and this one would be near perfect. Still an outstanding brew and definitely worth trying.

djeucalyptus, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of Pauly2X
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark coppery brown, half finger head.

S- Caramel and toffee

T- Mostly rich and sweet caramel offset by a nice taosty middle which adds some depth and complexity. The toasty middle offers a touch of dryness to help transition into the earthy hop finish.

M- A little tangy for an Enlish style, but good.

D- I could easily session this.

A very good brown from this side of the pond. If you like browns, this beer will not dissapoint.

Pauly2X, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of BeerSox
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Slightly hazy chocolate-amber hue with red highlights. A thin head slowly settles to a ring along the glass.

Soft roasty malt aromas with plenty of cocoa in the aroma.

Light nutty flavors along with some sweet brown sugar and chocolate. The hops are on the lower end, providing a little bit of balancing bitterness. Full bodied with good carbonation. The light chocolate flavors linger for a bit.

A good, well rounded English Brown Ale. Recommended.

BeerSox, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of mjaskula
3.1/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle from a Smuttynose mixed pack, served in a pint glass.

Apperance: Deep red brown color, thin head fades quickly.

Smell: Light, malty.

Taste: Toasty carmel flavor, Malty sweetness. Little hop flavor.

Drinkability: very smooth.

Would drink again.

mjaskula, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. BBD 3/2009 into Smutty pint glass...

Deep, dark bourbon/mahogany body with tight, wispy root beer-style head that's a short-timer. Carbonation isn't quite evident.

Solid coffee-toned oily roasted malt with mellow caramel sweetness and slight element of pine and grass hop essence as well as more espresso beans.

Admittedly I don't seek out brown ales but since it's Smutty it's got to be good, right? Right. This is quite enjoyable. Well-rounded malt-forward...gently roasted coffee texture with a slight grass hop profile. Finish is hefty but calm.

The dryness of the coffee textures mixes with gentle sweetness and huskiness of malt to make a strong, silent type that speaks softly and carries a big stick. Nothing unpleasant about this effort on the palate at all. Consistent from top to bottom of the pint glass - finish is solid.

Extremely drinkable and sessionable. One of the most pleasant offerings I've come across recently. I should try more of these. And to think the only reason I picked it up is 'cause my 4-year old riding in the shopping cart thought the picture of the dog was cool!

IBUnit63, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of caddybuyer
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A deep brown red burnt amber with a fast dissipating light tan head and medium lacing. A very attractive brew.

S- Heady toasted malts with caramel nuttiness and a hint of whiskey. A very very nice nose.

T- Nose carries over with Robust malt and caramel presiding over a smooth full flavor, featuring cocoa and coffee with a hint of pine and a whif of alcohol hitting in with a mild hop tang in the aftertaste. Hops continue on the tongue in the finish. Excellent taste.

M- Well balanced in all respects

D- This is hugely drinkable and spanks most other English Browns. My guess is that it would be superbly sessionable. Never tried one before this single. I am going out to buy a few sixes of this to keep on hand.

caddybuyer, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of CWiggins
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smuttynose beers have just recently arrived in the Triangle region of North Carolina. I picked up a bomber of their brown ale on a whim. This one pours a dark, nutty brown with a short-lived, tan head. Aromas of dark roasted malts, caramel, and a distinct nuttiness waft up from the brew with each intense sniff. The flavor is superb: it contains elements of roasted malts, intense nutty flavors, a mild, sugary sweetness, just a trace of hoppy bitterness at the finish, and a lingering malty aftertaste. Honestly, this is one of the best brown ales I've ever come across. Period. So many tend to focus on the darker, dry style; this one is sweeter and has a stronger "brown" essence. Simply delicious.

CWiggins, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of jraycee
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into my pint glass. Pours a very dark amber with small head that quickly dissipates.
Smell is nutty with caramel malts notes and a bit of pine. Not too strong since it had such little head.
Okay, so as soon as I tasted it I had to check the freshness date. It says best by march '09, so I guess that's not it. Tastes like alot of doughy malts, sweet toasted hazelnuts. A little bit of hops on the end as it warms. Character seems lacking, but is an english style brown, admittedly not my favorite brown.
Mouthfeel is actually the best thing this bottle has going for it. Light and low on the carbonation. Not slick or sticky.
Nothing wrong with this brew, but I'd much rather have a sam smith before this. This is just a little bit better than newcastle.

jraycee, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of JeffV
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up the Smuttynose Sampler pack and was pleasantly surprised by this beer. To me this is the standard by which brown ales should be measured.

This beer looks great in the glass and has a silky texture in the mouth. It is sweet but non sugary and it is a very balanced beer with tasty vanilla and chocolate malts all over the tongue. A great beer that can serve as a single sipper or session beer very easily.

A true pleasure to drink

JeffV, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of bigdeuce
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a soapy head that disappated quickly. Smells of tarty plums and fruity esthers. Smell is nice. Taste a bit overdone. Really tart flavours come through with nice bitterness at the end to round out. Don't know if the bottle was too young or what, but I was not overly impressed with this one. I will try it again, without hesitation, but not a bad beer, but not great, either.

bigdeuce, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of bonkers
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into my SA pint glass. The beer pours a very pleasant color of brown. It has a medium sized white head, and the beer itself is some what transparent to light. The smell is of sweet barley. The beer has a "bready goodness" to it, not overly sweet. A light bodied beer, that is well balanced and easily drinkable.

bonkers, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dispensed from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear, dark amber color with a white head. PRetty fluffy and somewhat dense. Some sporadic lacing. Golden bronze highlights.

Aroma was a bit lacking. I find most brown ales are lacking in the aroma department; atleast the ones I have had. Cereal, slight carame malts, bready, earthy hops.

More bready and slightly fruity flavors. The maltiness sticks out of this one and is slightly harsh yet, somehow, tastes pretty good. Slightly chalky.

Fairly clean in the finish. A bit dry as well. Browns are one of my least favorite styles but this one was okay. Its a good session beer but I would prefer something else. Good for a brown.

SaCkErZ9, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of prototypic
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerRay for the bottle.

Appearance: It pours a dark, nut brown color. It's clear and there's quite a bit of light getting through that gives it an orange tint. The head is off-white and is about two fingers deep. It help up well, but left a light coat of lace on the glass.

Smell: It's a little weak in terms of strengh, but does have a decent smell. It's primarily malty. Smells mostly like roasted malts. There's a little bit of a chocolate aroma in there. It's yeasty and a little biscuit-like. Hops are notable. They're not exactly strong, but you can tell they're in there. It could use a little beef, but it's not bad.

Taste: Roasted malts easily come through first in flavor. They have a very nice flavor. There is a little bit of chocolate in there. It's yeasty and definitely biscuity. There's also a surprising dark fruit flavor to it. Tastes mostly like raisin, but it is faint. Hops really add a lot of spice to this beer. They're not really strong, but add just enough bitterness to liven it up a lot. I love that aspect of this beer. It finishes sweet and a little dry.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It features a light body with a nice, smooth feel. Carbonation is active and provides a good, crisp bite. Drinkability is very high. This is a good beer that lends itself to sessioning. I'd like a few more, please.

Smuttynose never fails me. They continually release flavorful, drinkable beers. It's a very consistent, excellent brewery. This is a solid, all-around brown ale. Definitely one to pick up if you run across it.

prototypic, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of gory4d
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A vigorous pour into a pint glass yields a pale tan head about three fingers high, that disappears quickly and leaves only hints of lacing down the glass. The beer is a deep copper color, quite clear.

I detect notes of pears and grain in the smell, with some autumnal, malty character.

The taste is robust but not overpowering, and moves from malt to malt: first a sharp tang of it with some persimmon notes, then opening up into a whole-mouth savoriness accentuated by a thin hop character. It's delicious, sweeter than you'd think without being at all cloying.

The beer is moderately carbonated, and fills the mouth without attacking it. A very pleasant quaff. A tad strong to drink more than a few, but those few will go down oh so easily.

gory4d, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of avalon07
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a rich brown color and a slightly cloudy texture. Not a whole lot of head, but some good lacing.

S: Had a nice, malty aroma, along with a little bit of hoppiness.

T: A very well-balanced flavor. Roasted malt, some hops and a nutty quality. Never overpowering, very tasty.

M: A solid amount of carbonation and a nice and dry finish. Full-bodied.

D: This is one of the better example of an brown ale - especially by an American brewery. A well made, drinkable beer.

avalon07, Sep 26, 2008
Photo of jadpsu
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first venture into Smuttynose. I was introduced to Smuttynose when they were part of a piece done on the History Channel on beer called "Beer Works."

Pours an amber brown with decent head that has only average head retention.

Smell is heavy in roasted malts. Hops show up with an aroma of licorice.

Medium body with the sweet tastes of malts first.
Smooth, creamy and a little sweet bu dry at the finis.

jadpsu, Sep 24, 2008
Photo of N8TheGreat
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep amber with a creamy three finger head. Smells of thick, rich malts with hints of darker roasted malts. Wow...delicious in the mouth, layers of malt with crisp roasted flavors of particular intrigue. Malts are balanced nicely with a snap of hop bitterness. Overall a really nice and distinctly American brown ale. I fear some of the poorer reviews are due to less than fresh samples.

N8TheGreat, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of aforbes10
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Out of a smuttynose sampler pack that my dad bought. Pours dark brown with a little whitish head and intermittent lacing. Smells malty, nondescript. Taste is a sweet maltiness, slightly interrupted by a rush of carbonation. Some vague chocolate, hint of a grassy hop in the background. Medium bodied, not bad, but not particularly memorable.

aforbes10, Sep 17, 2008
Photo of barefootbrewer
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cool dog on the bottle. (Guess that was the theme for the evening - other bottle was Bam Biere with a Jack Russel on the front of the bottle).

This beer poured a clear brown color with a thin tan head that didn't bother to stick around. The aroma was malty and somewhat sour. The taste was malty and very typical brown ale like with a touch of spice and sour notes. The mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied and carbonated. Overall, this is an average brown ale. For some reason, it doesn't seem that this beer came together - flavors just didn't meld.

barefootbrewer, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received as an extra in a trade from RReagan. Thanks Man!

Appearance: Brown with a ruby tinge and a beige head that quickly dissolves.

Smell: A very nice display of balanced malts, roasted grains, honey/caramel, with some hops.

Taste: A touch of sweetness and hops are the glue that hold together this roasted gem. I like how the bitterness of the hops and the caramel type sweetness meld. Very nice!

Mouthfeel: standard medium body that the style usually produces.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable brown that I will return to.

koopa, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of Strix
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Malty smell, with a bit of a woody tinge to it.

Taste is predominately malty, some caramel in there too. Again, a woody/nutty taste, that settles into being somewhat metallic as it warms. Interesting, but not great.

Medium carbonation and viscosity.

This was just so-so. I've heard good things about Smuttynose, but this was not all that memorable. Worth a shot, and I'd have another. Just ended up being a bit murky-tasting for my taste; nothing really stood out.

Strix, Sep 15, 2008
Photo of Boto
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle: This one pours a fairly clear, brown color. There was a bit of a tan head on it that dropped away rather quickly. There is a nice nose to it. Caramel, roastiness, perhaps a bit grassy, nutty and a hint of chocolate. A well rounded flavor. Caramel and chocolate notes, but very subdued sweetness. A hint of bitterness in the finish. A very nice beer.

Boto, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of kevinglin
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a wide-mouthed glass. Reddish-brown body with Virtually no head. Some caramel notes in the aroma, sweetness and no hops. Flavor was malt-driven with bready and caramel notes; no hops. Mouthfeel was light to medium. Overall, a decent beer, but to me, not a lot going on. Nothing overpowers, but nothing really seemed to shine either.

kevinglin, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of nrpellegrini
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was really into this beer.

Every drink made me want one more. A great combination of malt flavors, gave off a caramel and slight nutty taste. Very smooth texture, and very easy to drink. No stand out hops or spice which was a big plus. Just a very solid beer that had it right. A 6-pack would be perfect. Try it.

nrpellegrini, Sep 03, 2008
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 2,186 ratings.