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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

2,362 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,362
Reviews: 932
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 92
Gots: 268 | 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: 2,362 | Reviews: 932
Photo of alkchrios
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this on cask at my favorite local pub. dark drown in color...almost zero lacing in my tulip. smells of cinnamon and dried fruits. tastes of dried fruits..not that hoppy or malty but rather complex. easily drinkable...I could put around 4 of these down. slighty carbonated at the perfect cask temp

Photo of droomyster
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy, almost muddy, dark bronze with warm red edges a small head that settles to a collar. Very distinct cocoa powder aroma with toasted and woodsy notes. Taste is sweeter than the nose would suggest (in a pleasant way), with strong toffee and chocolate notes blending nicely with a roasted nut element and an light earthy bitterness. Individually these flavors have depth, together they have harmony; overall this beer is a symphony in a bottle. I'm in awe of its taste.

Photo of nelnutter
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy deep amber. Very nominal head that dissipates pretty quickly and doesn't leave much lacing at all, if any.

S: Fantastic blend of caramel/chocolate and toasted almond.

T: Very tasty toasted malt; nutty and caramel and chocolate, but none of them overpowering the other; thanks in large part to a nice hop bitterness that balances everything out very well.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy. More carbonated than you'd expect from looking at it, but it's not too much.

D: Fantastic brew. As of this review, it's definitely my favorite in its style. Very sessionable, regardless of the time of year.

Photo of MikeBrandman
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a bottle into a pint glass with 2 fingers of white head. Translucent but not very. Deep robust brown hue but has a little redness in there too. Carbonation apparent in the light.

S - Very strong malty smell with a slight hop backbone. Slight caramel smell too. Very strong smell for the entire drink.

T - Again, rich caramel taste. Hops add a little bitterness to this beer, but it's mostly just malt sweetness. Well balanced, but strong flavor. Better as it warms up. Taste lingers on the tongue for a little while too.

MF - Appropriately full bodied for the flavor.

D - Drinkable for the flavor, but the heaviness might slow you down.

Part of a variety pack purchased Feb 22nd, in case you're looking for it.

Photo of afordney
3.64/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

very thin head, poured out kind of watery, a cloudy reddish brown.

Sweet malty aroma, a little caramel, very inviting as a brown ale should smell.

malty sweetness followed by roasted toffee and a little sourness

thin yet balanced, not too bitter.

Didn't overwhelm me but it was quite tasty and I've always found brown ales a great beer for any and all occasions.

Photo of Domingo
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, rich brown color that seems to absorb all of the light from nearby. Carbonation is just right for keeping things bubbly and creamy at the same time.
Really rich flavors are the hallmark of this beer! Milk chocolate, almond, hazelnut, English pudding, and figs all seem to alternate. Hops are there only to keep the sweetness in check, but not to really affect the flavor profile too much. This is almost as rich as a winter warmer, but it's far less heavy and not so strong.
Mouthfeel seems like it would be thick and chewy, but it really isn't. It's a nice medium between the carbonated brown ales that border on amber, and the overly creamy examples that are headed into porter territory.
At 6.7% ABV, you know you're drinking something stronger than normal, but it's never hot and the beer remains really drinkable.

This is rock solid and a beer I wish made it to Colorado.

Photo of Bierguy5
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, best before June 10. Pours a darker amber, with a good looking creamy off white head. Excellent head retention. Really nice patches of lace.

Toasty malt in the nose. Some caramel and toffee. A grainy, bready aroma as well some earthy and slightly floral hop notes.

Some sweet toffee flavor up front. A bit grainy and bready. Some earthy bitterness balances things out nicely. There may be a slight note of chocolate.

Medium body, with a slightly creamy feel. Alcohol is well hidden. A fairly simple and enjoyable beer.

Photo of buschbeer
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to a small off white head. It is copper in color. It has a caramel smell with a hint of cocoa. The taste mirrors the smell. It has just enough hops to balance it out. I never expect much out of brown ales, but this one actually had a nice flavor. I could see myself having a nice session with these.

Happy Presidents' Day!

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

2.0 A: Slightly hazy dark amber color. Aggressive pour yielded only a couple milimeters of head that quickly fell and left no lacing. Small floaties throughout with some sediment at the bottom. This is one ugly ass brew.

4.0 S: Tons of nuttiness to this one. Some caramel sweetness and a pleasant roastiness. Not much in terms of hops, but that's okay. The nose is a winner and a mega upgrade from the appearance, but could be more pronounced.

4.5 T: Very nice again. There's a bold nuttiness to start once again. Roastiness is there, but doesn't dominate and makes for an elegant brew. Crystal malt depth.

4.0 M: Heavier medium body, which works very well for the style. Carbonation is a little aggresive, but okay. Creamy, but could be moreso.

4.5 D: Plenty good here. I'd love to have another. If I ever get to have this again, I'll hopefully get a better looking batch.

Photo of alexgash
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Best before April 2010.

Clear, clean amber brown body with golden brown edges. Small, off-beige, tight-bubbled head. Nose of toasted malts, big-time caramel, cola, and a hint of molasses. Toasted malt flavors up front. Slightly nutty. Caramel and fruit notes take over mid-palate. Mildly sweet, with hints of caramelized pears and even a little alcohol. Toasted, roasted bitterness in the finish, with chocolate accents. Medium-bodied with a somewhat sticky feel. Not bad!

Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my third Smuttynose brew, and so far, they have been pretty unimpressive. They just lack the character and complexity so many other great craft brewers offer. In a related note, here is my review of their Brown Ale.

A: Pours a hazy, brownish amber. Head is quite minimal with no lacing.

S/T: The aroma is malty, musty, and nutty. Very light aroma. Taste is also quite light and lacking. There is a sweet, caramel malt flavor upfront. Slight nuttyness. A little earthy. Just not a whole lot there. Very weak and watery overall.

M/D: Mouthfeel is pretty light with a slight creamyness. Crisp and clean finish. Drinkablility is okay. Could be sessioned, but it just lacks any complexity and flavor to keep you coming back for more.

Pretty standard Brown Ale. Nothing remarkable, but still a drinkable beer. I am beginning to question the quality of Smuttynose, as every beer I have had from them is average or below. Worth a shot if you like Brown Ales.

Photo of endincolorado
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a pale, hazy caramel-brown with light tan head and moderately good lace.

Smell- Aroma is nice and sweet, with bready malt and some molasses. There's a slightly dry element to it, with very little hops.

Taste- Flavors are primarily of hazelnut and caramel malt. A sweet maple-like presence complements the malt. Lightly dry finish.

Mouthfeel- medium body-- faintly syrupy. Good carbonation.

Drinkability- Overall, this is very balanced and quite refreshing. Would pair well with roast or burgers or some sweet dessert.

Photo of Stigs
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass

A - poured two fingers of pillowy light tan colored foam, slowly falling to a thin layer, minimal lacing. the beer is a clear, strong brown color.

S - smells of caramel, medium to dark malts, bread, nuts, hint of coffee and dark fruit.

T - follows the nose with a ton of dough accented with some caramel and toasted nuts. very minimal stale coffee note with a small grassy hop bite.

M - plenty of carbonation but works well with a medium body and nice creamy mouthfeel. best part of the beer.

D - yummy but not extraordinary example of one of my least favorite styles. Smuttynose can do no wrong.

Photo of elgiacomo
3.22/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours dark amber/light brown with a small beige head that doesn't retain very well. Not much lacing.

Aroma is caramel malt, a little brown sugar, nutty.

Flavor is more caramel malts, a little bready, one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel is slick with medium carbonation.

Goes down easy, tasty, but not exceptional.

Photo of alkemy
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's a ruby/mahogany brown color with a slight haziness. Light tan head didn't last too long. There's a roasted nuttiness in the smell along with caramel and slight chocolate. This sounds weird, but I also got a peppered beef jerky scent as well. Nutty taste as well along with bitter chocolate. There's the slightest hint of citrus at the very end. This is pretty good for the style, but I don't go out searching for brown ales. As a side note, I drank one of these straight from the bottle and actually thought it tasted better...a little bolder. YMMV

Photo of burnstar
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium brown with a decent sized white head. Nice malty smell. Caramel. Taste is also malty. Toasty and caramelly. Significant hop presence. Herbal, earthy and somewhat citrusy. Very nice full bodied mouthfeel. The flavors work together very well in this. Slight alcohol warmth. Quite drinkable. An interesting and very good brown ale.

Photo of littlebibs
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beauty on tap at the GRILL NEXT DOOR, Haverhill, Ma
and this is one brew I seem to want to go back to, especially
if you're drinking some seasonal, spicy beers. Its got a great
drinkability(in mine opinion) and tastes great. Had an awesome
BB burger at the grill and this beer just got better as it warms, but they drink so easy, they never really last. After taking a second look at this one, I'm hooked!

Photo of dbtoe
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into a shaker pint
Truthfully I really didn't think much of this one. I really like browns and this one is average at best.
Look is a nice darker brown with a small tan head.
Smell a little roast and carmel.
Taste I get mild sweetness, some roasted nut, very mild earthy bitterness. I also get some of a watered down boozy taste.
Feel is light with a fair amount of carbonation.
Drink I'd have to say a pretty easy drinking beer if you like it. I didn't care for it much but it did go down easy.

Photo of puboflyons
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle dated May 2010. Sampled on January 14, 2010. It pours a rich brown color with thin to little head but excellent clarity. The aroma is a bit off putting. Yeah, there is a nuttiness with a dose of hops and malts but it also has this kind of sweaty aroma. Not the best aroma I have smelled. But the taste rescues it with a medium mouthfeel, nuttiness, and a fresh hoppiness in the background. Except for the aroma in this particular bottle I found it to be a nice beer and one that I often have.

Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams tulip.

This beer was a gift from a friend, and i held on to it for two weeks before I even cracked it. I love Smuttynose and knew this was a less hopped ale so I needed to let my pallet come back to Earth before tasting this one for the first time.
I am sure glad I did. The color was beautiful and brown, the head was rather white for a brown ale while it lasted. Lacing was half decent... the aroma reminded me of an English Ale and was very inviting. Nuts, light chocolate, bread and caramel that tops this old dog off. I will be picking more of this one up soon. Truly a great example of a classic Brown Ale from the US. Smooth tasting, light in the belly and on the pallet. I could really put quite a few more of these down...if I had more than one.

Photo of GrimGuzzler
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Let's start from the top...

A: A creamy and off white head leads the eyes down to the rusted cherry beer. The name of the beer speaks for its colour. Next time I see a chocolate lab, I'll think of this brew. The gorgeous head has already faded. There are a few pools of foam left which allow for a bit of lacing to cling to the glass, but nothing impressive.

S: Toasty prunes, earthy metals, and a hoppy bite waft out of the glass. I have to stick my nose in there pretty deeply to get a full whiff. Next time I vigorously sniff an old brown dog, I'm sure it won't smell as nice.

T: Rusty, roasted malts give way to a bitter aftertaste. It finally leaves the mouth with spirits and toffee.

M: The carbonation was really well done. Nicely balanced, a little more on the subtle side. It allowed for some of the more abrupt flavours to not be masked by effervescence.

Over all: The beer is very true to the style. It gets the job done and quality is not compromised. I give it high marks for doing everything it was supposed to and not pissing on my taste buds. Good dog.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown with an off-white head. The aroma is very nutty, with some English malts as well. The flavor is that of a traditional English brown ale with some biscuit and caramel malt, as well as some toasted nuts. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of bort11
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Hobgoblin tall shaker pint. Mild white head with good retention. Nice stair stepping lace down the glass. Color is a clean and clear brown. Jumping carbonation activity.

Smell is a large malty character. Lots of chocolate and bready aromas. Taste is even more chocolaty. Sort of like a truffle. Sweet and creamy, with a little nutty after taste.

Solid medium body with crisp carbonation. Very easy to drink, and I want more.

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mad thanks to Josh N. for bringing this back for me from out east!

Presentation: 12oz brown pop-top, nice label, with best-by date notched.

Appearance: Dark amber beer with burnt orange highlights; the large, creamy light-tan head shows good retention.

Smell: Initially this is very yeasty, like fresh-baked bread. That fades fairly quickly after the pour, however. As the yeast fades, this shows mild nutty aromas with just a hint of toast and some light fruitiness. Not bad by any means, but nothing spectacular either.

Taste: Intensely fruity up front, with a good deal more fruity hop presence and bitterness than I was expecting. Ends dry, a bit minerally, and fairly bitter. The slightest hint of alcohol is noted as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, just SLIGHTLY alcoholic, medium-weight

Drinkability: Medium-high

Conclusion: I'm honestly not sure how I feel about this one. It's kind of got the dry, nutty character of a Samuel Smith's Nut Brown, with the fruity esters of a Newcastle, with stronger minerally notes and a pretty stout dry hoppiness on the finish. I'm not really sure if that all comes together to make a good beer. It's interesting, and a different take on the style for sure, but it's only moderately successful IMO.

Photo of Mavajo
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown similar to tea with a decent off-white head and mild lacing. Aroma and taste are mostly malts, with some slight toasty or nutty notes. Body is surprisingly full, smooth and appropriate carbonation. Good drinkable.

A very pleasant and drinkable english brown. There's nothing too intense anywhere here, and it's not offensive in any way. ABV is high for sessioning.

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,362 ratings.