1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

2,069 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,069
Reviews: 899
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.94%
Wants: 70
Gots: 124 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,069 | Reviews: 899 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of westweasel


3.68/5  rDev -6.4%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams tasting glass. This beer poured out a clear, dark amber/light maple syrup color, with a big, beige head. The aroma was bready and sweet, with some light roastiness and a hint of chocolate.

The taste contained roastiness, wheat bread, chocolate, and a touch of coffee. The mouthfeel was somewhere between light and medium.

The drinkability was very good. This beer is surprisingly smooth and very easy to drink.

08-14-2007 00:31:18 | More by westweasel
Photo of WJVII


3.6/5  rDev -8.4%

My fiance wanted me to buy this beer because of the "brown dog" on the bottle (looks like our chocolate lab) so I did. I enjoy brown ale's so I figured it was worth a try.

It had a nice amber color when pouring into a pint glass, but little head. It had a nice nutty and faint chocolate smell. It had decent mouth feel, but the after taste was not great. Was it worth the $8.50 for the six pack, not really, but it was worth a try.

08-09-2007 03:06:07 | More by WJVII
Photo of BBM

New York

4.35/5  rDev +10.7%

Poured a rusty brown color with minimal head. Aroma was nutty, with traces of chocolate and an earthiness.

This is an extremely flavorful and well-balanced brown ale. The sweet nutty flavor is complimented by a subdued hop profile and a nice dry, dark chocolate flavor. Mouthfeel is medium and creamy, not too carbonated. A very drinkable brown ale, at that. Perfect beer to kick back and relax with.

08-03-2007 21:21:13 | More by BBM
Photo of mshallah

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +10.2%

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog is an easy to drink mellow brown ale with a lime citrus hop that's in the flavor and aroma. Many have found a fondness for it after the very first bottle they try. A mellow chocolate malt and a fig fruitiness round out the flavor and aroma profile. The carbonation has a smooth medium mouthfeel and is great right out of the bottle. Pairs excellently with anything roasted as the caramelized flavors match while the carbonation and lime citrus clear the palate for the next bite. A dessert match would be chocolate pecan pie. Also a great beer to session with and stick to for the length of any party, bbq, boat trip, camping trip etc. etc. etc.... Very consistent whether sampled on-tap, bottled or growler. A NH classic.

07-20-2007 02:15:30 | More by mshallah
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.6/5  rDev -8.4%

Pours a chestnut brown with an okay head that fades to a ring. The smellis malty, dry, and maybe just a little nutty. The same dry malt is present in the taste, as is the nuttiness. There is also a touch of caramel and raisins. A hint of sweetness in the taste, but nicely restrained. Smooth mouthfeel, dry rather than creamy. Nice mellow brown, very pleasant and drinkable.

07-17-2007 02:17:25 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Atlas1


4.08/5  rDev +3.8%

Haven't had too many bad brews from the folks at Smuttynose, and it's been quite a while since I had an Old Brown Dog. So I decided to pick up a single the other day at the beer store for the sole purpose of reviewing it over the weekend. Gotta love sundays.

Pours a nice looking amber/brown color, with a fat two-finger faintly off-white head that forms at the top of the glass and lingers for a while. Gives some good lace as well as it recedes. The aroma is a classic brown ale smell: nutty, with some smooth malt character and distant hints of chocolate and coffee. This aroma is subtle, but really nice. The taste follows suit, serving up some subtle nut and coffee flavors, with a slightly fruity (cherries and raspberries) background. Mouthfeel is layered, but smooth, with a nice bitter finish. An exceedingly drinkable beer. I am so glad that there are some fine American craft breweries out there doing styles like this very well. This is a great brown ale, and both fans and skeptics of the style should give this one a try. This would go great in a rich Autumnal beef stew, and would make an excellent beer-burger as well.

07-15-2007 22:45:12 | More by Atlas1
Photo of Jmamay22

New York

3.93/5  rDev 0%

Appearance: Produces a thin off white head that settles to nearly no head. Looks like a standard brown ale should, that is it is brown.

Smell: Certainly smells sweet and malty. I can sense a hint of butterscotch, which is absolutely delightful.

Taste: Tastes of toast grain and sweet malts. The hops serve to balance the brew and cut the malts, but does not add flavor. I absolutely love this beer’s malty finish.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability / Notes: Smooth and medium to light mouthfeel. Moderately carbonated. It’s an easy drinker and a solid offering by Smuttynose. If I was a bigger fan of brown ales I’d likely have this on hand regularly.

07-10-2007 00:48:51 | More by Jmamay22
Photo of fank2788


4.05/5  rDev +3.1%

12oz bottle best before 11/07, served in a pint glass
This one pours a very nice ruby tinged brown with a fairly thick off white head which dissipates slowly and leaves some lace. The smell is rich and malty with a touch of caramel, butterscotch, nuts and dates. The taste is a full malt profile ranging from some buttery light malts to caramels to a touch of roasted dark malt things stay sweet but are balanced by a sharp bitter finish provided by the hops whose flavor is very subdued. A fair bit of alcohol comes through as well. The mouthfeel in nice great full body with a pleasant finish that is not too dry or too sweet. Drinkability is good, maybe not my favorite English brown ale but still a top notch American made example of the style.

07-08-2007 00:38:17 | More by fank2788
Photo of jbsteiny


3.95/5  rDev +0.5%

Yes, this beer pours very nicely -- a ruby brown with almost an inch of tan head. Large bubbles leave an explosive lace, which is retained fairly well as the beer disappears down my gullet...

Smells of all those delicious brown malt flavors -- candy sugar, chestnut, cocoa. Yum. The taste is very malty, with a tiny bit of fruity ester and bitter hop keeping it from being a dubbel. A little too boozy for the ABV -- I feel that with all of that malt, it should be better hidden. I guess that's what's keeping me from saying that this is my favorite brown ale ever. Oh well -- it ranks up there -- if only it were a little more drinkable...

07-07-2007 02:53:52 | More by jbsteiny
Photo of Wasatch


3.88/5  rDev -1.3%

Thanks goes out to TheManiacalOne for this brew.

Pours a nice slightly cloudy dark golden brown color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy off-white head, some sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, toasty, and some caramel. The taste is a nice toasted malty flavor, with a good dose of caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice little Brown Ale. Glad to have had a chance to try it out.

07-07-2007 01:51:52 | More by Wasatch
Photo of cdoublev


3.88/5  rDev -1.3%

I bought a six-pack of this one because it sells very well in my store (I work at a local grocer). It pours a tad darker than I would expect from a brown ale, though my only real basis is from New Castle. LIke other brown ales, it has a slight nuttiness to it that is welcomed by the taste buds. Of the multiple beers I've tried, I would have to say this is one of the most drinkable I've had except for maybe Boddington's Pub Ale which if I'm not mistaken is supposed to be quaffable. For anyone looking for a nice ale, this Smuttynose is a great choice. (I've even recommended it to a few customers)

06-30-2007 03:57:09 | More by cdoublev
Photo of msubulldog25


3.88/5  rDev -1.3%

12 oz. bottle poured to standard pint, "best before" notched - July 2007. 'Olive', the old brown dog, posed for the label.

A: Fizzy, crackling ivory head. Starts at a finger or so then rapidly descends to a half-cover of film and a pencil-thin ring. Strong rising carbonation. Color is lighter than most brown ales I've tried, more a garnet or auburn hue. Seems pale, but still a good color and generally a pretty attractive beer.

S: Decent nuttiness and a fair amount of toasted sweet grain. A dash of holiday spice, a little cream and sugar. Malts dominate, a sweeter aroma.

T: Subtle roasted nuts back a malty, husky grain flavor of lightly toasted cereal (oats & barley). An oddly leather flavor comes out with some fruit/citric acidity in the finish.

M: Starts a bit thin with the first sip, then develops to fuller, medium-ish mouthfeel. Crisp carbonation with a dry, bittered finish.

D: Nice to drink - a likable, sipping brown ale. I enjoyed how the mouthfeel developed and definitely liked the lasting toasty bitterness. A good one that I'd like to have again. Thanks, John.

06-30-2007 00:31:02 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of mcarroll10177


4/5  rDev +1.8%

This is a great beer to session. Dark chesnut brown with off white head. This beer did not have much of a nose, but what was there was a nice smell of malt. The taste followed up the nose lots of malts with a crisp clean dry finish. Spot on for the style. The mouthfeel was a bit on the thin side and the drinkablity as with all good ales in this style is exceptional. An easy drinker that I will have again.

05-16-2007 00:21:28 | More by mcarroll10177
Photo of scarletfire79

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +1.8%

nice nice nice. really nice example of a good brown. pours a sweet amber brown with an off white head. good lacing. smells sweet and slightly like someone previously mentioned, dried fruit. very smooth taste, slight citrus notes. really well balanced. everything i look for in a brown and from new hampshire ! great beer, i could drink a billion of these...possibly in one sitting....

05-12-2007 00:41:18 | More by scarletfire79
Photo of MmmIPA


3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Poured into a Warsteiner glass.

Nice reddish/brown body with a one finger head that is white as bone.

Some nice malt with some roasted notes.Some cocoa

Roasted malt with some fruity notes.The fruity notes taste like Fruity Pebbles.

Mouthful is easy going and carbonation is very easy.

I like this offering from Smut! Its refreshing and not overly sweet.The hops are floraly and inviting in the taste.One good brown

05-09-2007 14:56:10 | More by MmmIPA
Photo of adowney523


3.95/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. Brown with ruby notes in the light, off-white head.

Smells of dark fruit with sweet notes. Citrusy hops balance out the smell.

Tastes much like it smells. Bready malt with hints of raisins and plums. Citrusy hops in the finish.

Medium-bodied and sweet. Very well balanced- a solid brown.

05-03-2007 14:53:39 | More by adowney523
Photo of sstackho

Ontario (Canada)

2.9/5  rDev -26.2%

12oz bottle. Pours a light brown - almost a cloudy dark gold when held up to light. No carbonation evident. Medium malty aroma. The flavour profile feels pretty typical for the style, with the focus on middle-of-the-road malts and not really that much else. I think I should give up on sampling brown ales, because I seem to feel the same way every time, and rarely has anything stepped up to be distinctive.

05-02-2007 02:24:54 | More by sstackho
Photo of BuckSpin


3.98/5  rDev +1.3%

Presentation: 11oz bottle ("Best By" ticking of 6/07) in a classic conical pint glass

This review is in memory of Olive, the "Old Brown Dog".

Poured smooth n' steady. Sweet nose, full of dried cherry, caramel, brown sugar, thick malts, even a whisper of lukewarm maple syrup. With some air the malts & caramel take over, and even some rocky aspects. The head, what there was of it, was a lively, agitated mix of loose cream hued foam that faded almost immediately, leaving a floating sheen and glass ring that laced very little. Color is striking, a crystal clear, deep mahogany, warm cherry amber. A few isolated bubbles rise up slowly from the glass bottom.

Nicely sweet on the tongue, the slightly earthy malts & caramel qualities are beautifully balanced and in sync. Traces of that last sip of silty, bottom of the mug morning black coffee come thru via the hops, providing yet another balance to the overall initial taste. Its incredibly easy to drink, and I could see this being a session beer no problem.

It grows drier on the palate, an almost (very faint) peppery quality, crisp, clean, still sweet but more like a cider, albeit just slightly thick and syrupy. Malts are still present, but not as sweet as they provide a flatter quality to the aforementioned. It finishes bittersweet, semi-dry, a little earthy and even a trace of charred wood, leaving a clean, subtly chewy aftertaste that coats the mouth & teeth.

Just a nice beer. A little on the sweet side, but just a good beer. Its very well balanced, and was damn easy to drink. I enjoyed the various complimentary relationships & weighs and measures in it. Would pair well with a simple red meat, any bar food, cheese but nothing too strong...ahh, a cheeseburger & fries would be killer! We need beers like this to just have and to drink and enjoy, and enjoy more than one. Certainly a worthy beer of anyone who enjoys a well crafted, albeit simple, brew. Check it out.

04-30-2007 02:34:44 | More by BuckSpin
Photo of IntriqKen


4.18/5  rDev +6.4%

Very dark, chill-hazed, tea color with a smallish head of sticky tan lacing.

Aromas are caramel and burnt malts.

Flavor is sweet toasted amber malt with caramel and brown sugar and some nice drying citrus hops on the tail-end.

Mouthfeel is creamy and tingly from the carbonation.

Aftertaste is surprisingly clean and refreshing.

A very nice high quality, refreshing English brown.

04-24-2007 00:42:48 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of Brad007


3.68/5  rDev -6.4%

Appearance- Dark brown body with a light, off-color head.

Smell- Sweet, malty aroma that definitely seems drinkable just by the aroma.

Taste- Smooth and malty with a slight hint of coffee in the aftertaste. Very drinkable so far.

Drinkability- From the aroma to the taste, I would say this beer is drinkable for the style it represents.

04-21-2007 02:51:04 | More by Brad007
Photo of number1bum


4.08/5  rDev +3.8%

Pours a darkish brown amber with some ruby hues when held to the light. Minimal head but what's there leaves a touch of beige lacing around the outside of the glass. Pleasant malt aroma is just a tad sweet smelling, with a bit of caramel but mostly roasted malts and a nutty scent. Malts take the stage on the tongue, as well...again roasted malts and some nutty flavor with a nice hop balance on the back end. This is a crisp, medium-bodied and tasty brown ale that makes a great session beer.

04-12-2007 22:04:30 | More by number1bum
Photo of Hautacam


3.55/5  rDev -9.7%

Deep amber with a small tan head...slight lacing.
Smells mostly of caramel malt and subtle hops.
Taste is big biscuity malt up front..some hints of dried fruits..limey bitter hops ( not too bitter ) kick in halfway to balance the medium sweet malts. Finish is pretty clean with nutty aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is medium to full body with a moderate carbonation.
Drinkable brew for sure.

04-11-2007 23:43:27 | More by Hautacam
Photo of Ieatlambfries

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +4.3%

Served in a basic glass. This brown ale poured a ruddy copper brown. Half inch light tan head that disappears rather quickly.

A lot of malt in the nose with a hint of salt water.

Toasted and sweet malts and slight toffee notes. Grainy. The finish is surprisingly hoppy. Not over done though. Very well balanced.

The mouthfeel is rather smooth. Extremely drinkable. A near perfect session brew.

04-11-2007 02:49:17 | More by Ieatlambfries
Photo of treehugger02010


3.83/5  rDev -2.5%

I bought this on-tap at Brother Jimmy's in New York, Ny.
Appearance: Very dary brown, with a bit of head which happened to be a very light brown. The lacing was decent, and so was the retention.
Smell: The smell was not overly malty, but I certainly couldn't detect much else. Well blended aroma for being one-sided (curious).
Taste: It went down fast, so it must have been good, right? Again, well balnced, certainly no bittering hops could have been used, but interstlying not too malty.
Mouthfeel: It went down smooth. I wish I could discribe it better, but that's about it, smooth.
Drinkabilty: It was certainly abover average, but not something I will seek out.
Don't drink and review.

04-09-2007 14:57:20 | More by treehugger02010
Photo of Manosbeeroffate


3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Purchased recently as a mix pack in Northport. Pours a dark clear brown with a moderate heads that sticks around. Smells a bit musty and malty, not too strong. Tastes nice, a good nutty malt caramel flavor with a hint of grass liek hops. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and fuzzy. But overall, pretty good, especially for a brown ale. Usually I find this style a bit lacking, but this one is really good.

04-08-2007 22:06:49 | More by Manosbeeroffate
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,069 ratings.