Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog AleSmuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale

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very good

2,265 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,265
Reviews: 915
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 87
Gots: 197 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,265 | Reviews: 915 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Redwood21
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a pretty dark brown, with almost no head( not sure why that happened)
smelled of roasted malts, nothing too strong
taste:its a relatively clean and smooth beer to enjoy. a little buttery, with roasted flavor.
mouthfeel: creates a dry sensation in the mouth that im not too sure i like, but if a dry beer is your thing, this is probably a winner.
drinkability: this beer confused me. I got an initial taste and smell of something nice, but the head died and the aroma went with it. The flavor seems dominated by the dry sensation. Its a good beer, one ill likely try again just to compare.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Smuttynose US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep copper color with a very thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted nuts, caramelized malt, a touch of maple syrup and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste is malty but not too sweet, with flavors of nuts, caramel & maple. There’s a decent hops presence to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and a little bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, very clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not very filling, good representation of style, it’s a very ordinary beer, but it’s a good beer to pound.

Photo of Slatetank
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle with a date of Dec 06
A - Chestnut brown body with a slowly subsiding rocky tan head. Excellent clarity accented by garnet highlights and a sufficient amount of lace.

S - Sweet woody scents a la hickory compliment a slightly nutty aroma. Hints of pine possibly hop scents linger with dark berry and light pear odors.

T - Sweet, lightly roasted malts appear alongside subtle sweet fruit flavors. The essence of candied dates appears followed by pine and citrus hop tinges. Caramel, toffee and tastes of almond are present in a clean finish.

M - Smooth and subtle sweetness. Moderate carbonation and ample body. A nice medium bodied ale with sweetness hovering on the tip of the tongue.

D - Quaffable and well balanced. Nice hop/malt contrast each adding to the others strengths. The Sweetness is not overdone. I enjoyed a couple of these with homeade chili.

Tasted again blind May 2009.
served chilled in a double walled tumbler
A-3.5, S - 4, M - 4, T - 4, D - 4
A -Slightly red hued w/ good clarity minute tan cap w/ tight bead + no lace

s - Twiggy hops, vanilla and dark toast w/ mild chocolate malt aroma

M - A malt presence and moderately high carbonation w/ smoothness and semi-sweet finish w/ mild level of hop and strong roast character

T - A bready smooth yeast + malt w/ chocolate notes as in the nose w/ slight hop herbal tast trailing and mild green apple accent w/ a mild vanilla taste in the residual

D - A very drinkable brown, nice malt easy to quaff - recommended.

Photo of cichief
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light reddish brown, with a thin light brown head. It smelled malty. It tasted malty sweet, but was dry in the finish. It was smooth on the tongue, not too carbonated. This would be a decent session beer. Not as good though as some other Smuttynose beers.

Photo of rowew
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with a nice brown dog on the label. I couldn't pass this one up with an old brown dog of my own at home. Best by dates notched on the label.

Appearance: Dark reddish brown, medium head that is just a bit tan. Average retention.

Smell: Nice and malty - bready and caramel.

Taste: Just like the smell - nice and malty, with just a bit of hops in the finish. Varied malt flavors without being sweet.

Overall impression: Very nice, very drinkable. This is a solid brown ale - great session beer.

Photo of granite
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into an English pint glass.

A---It poured a red hued amber with a medium sized white head.

S---Rich malt and mocha aroma.

T---Chocolate malt and a heavy hand of hops dominate. All that malt supports the hops with ease. It is perfectly balanced.

M---Medium bodied and silky.

D---A delicious example of what brown ale was intended to taste like.

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

12 oz into pint glass just below room temp. I should try this a bit colder.

Pours red-brown with large fluffy cream colored head which lasts a few minutes.

Very mild floral hop scent.

Slightly sweet malt flavor with a hint of caramel and some nuttiness.

Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, medium bodied.

This beer is a good example of the style. It has balance and subtlety and is eminently drinkable.

Photo of Jaynuze
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice light brown with a thin head providing a nice lace as the beer is consumed.

S: Light sugars, light hops, and malt characteristics

T: Tastes incredible ... a light hop flavor dulls the usually overbearing malt found in most London Browns ... though this is an American style, so that explains the hops. It's nice ... one of the best American styled browns I've had in a while

MF: Smooth and creamy ... nice carbonation.

D: An all day beer ... a good session beer. Mixed well with my grilled chicken salad. Also worked REALLY well with my garlic bagel chips! :) If you like browns, check this pup (no pun intended) out!

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

pours meduim brown with a light tan one finger head that fades fairly quickly to a ring on the glass but with a nice lacing to the finish.smell is roasted malt, caramel, brown sugar. taste is sweet, caramel, toast, with some nut bread flavor, all malt on hop. mouthfeel light, good carbonation. drinkability all night long.

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

Into a pint glass, pours a nice solid brown, with good head that fades a little quick and some decent lacing. Aroma is a solid layering of roasted malt, a little lame duck at first but growing with some chocolates and nuts later on. Taste is slightly better, more strength, solid malty goodness, and little hop intrusion, a standard brown done right. A solid body and even carbonation lend a good mouth to a very drinkable session beer.

Photo of WeisGuy
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to gpcollen for this fine extra in a trade received just today.

a - pours a deep mahogany brown color with a one-finger off-white head, retention around the edges, decent lacing, pretty hazy

s - lightly roasted malt and caramel, somewhat subdued

t - nicely rounded maltiness up front, some caramel, sweet malt on the finish that lingers in the mouth

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, coats mouth well, somewhat dry finish

d - very drinkable, super smooth and doesn't wear out the palate, sessionable beer indeed

Solid brown all around. Another good beer from Smutty that would be an excellent session beer.

Photo of AChamberlain
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle bought from the Park Slope Food Coop.

A - Reddish brown, a lot like Olive, the dog on the front of the bottle. 1 inch head.

S - Toasted malt aroma.

T - Malty up front then a little sour finnishing.

M - Medium body. Smoooth as butta.

D- Highly drinkable, a great beer for all night drinkin'.

Photo of Atron67
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served out of a 12 oz bottle

A - Not particularly brown, a little more reddish than anything else,

S - sharp malty smell pretty good but a little weak and nothing special noted

T - nice and smooth, heavy malty pretty sweet

M - a nice medium body, rolls pretty well.

d- a nice session beer that is easily repeatable

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

Sweet Jesus, is this awesome. Hoppy, flowery aroma, and taste, with a sweet, chocolate malt flavor that kind of snuck up on my after about 6 or 8 sips. This was almost sensory overload, as it was great to smell and drink it. I could drink this all winter, right in front of a fire (the 5.9% ABV helped). My wife seemed to like it too. Unfortunately, this is a New Hampshire-based brewery, so it's probably only available in the Northeast (I found this in an LCBO near Toronto).

Photo of Metalmonk
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An aggressive pour offers a light-tan head that is big and fluffy, lasting a couple minutes before thinning out. Color is a coppery caramel with excellent clarity and quite a few bubble trails making their way to the top. Some lace clings to the glass as it empties.

Aroma offers caramel nuttiness, but it's incredibly faint. Too timid and kinda boring.

Flavor offers a bitter nuttiness at the forefront, with some caramel and toasted grains arriving to give some depth; a nice lactic sweetness shines through. This is really well-balanced. Holds very well in the mouth, round and robust. A slightly puckering, bitter finish almost ruins the roasty creaminess of the flavors, but they pull through well enough.

Not my favorite style, but this is one brown ale I would never turn down. Pretty sure my sniffer is working fine today, so I'm kind of amazed by the lack of character in the aroma. Otherwise this is real solid.

Photo of bigone4
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.

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.

Photo of rarevos
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.

Photo of sleazo
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of barrettds
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!

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,265 ratings.