1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

2,338 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,338
Reviews: 929
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 90
Gots: 248 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,338 | Reviews: 929 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of philbe311
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Bronze with a hint of redish amber... Reminded me of freshly brewed tea... Poured with an inviting lace

S - Well balanced malt flavor

T - Hops first, malt second, and hints of chocolate third... Surprising bitter aftertaste...

M - Strong carbonation, but very smooth...

D - Not bad, but not an all time favorite... A solid offering that I'm happy I tried, but not sure I would seek out again...

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

Pours brown color with some reddish hues, with a good off-white head and some lacing.

Smell is mostly malt with hints of caramel and possibly even some chocolate (but is very faint), fairly reserved aroma though.

Taste is predominately roasted malt with a decent chocolate presence, some nuttiness, fairly creamy mouthfeel for a brown ale which is something that is often lacking.

Photo of Lexluthor33
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle tasted and poured into an Ale glass. The color is an amber brown and it produces some head with light lacing. You can smell the alcohol and different notes of chocolate and sweets.
The taste is like a chocolate malt,but not heavy on the malt and an edge of hops. I wish there was a little more hop but that is fine. The feel is a smooth silky liquid that you want to gargle just to hold it in a bit longer. Sometimes I feel that it can be too sweet. None the less I love this beer for the old dependable dog that it is.

Notes: I have tried a few Brown ales and my love with beer began with a trip to the Brooklyn Brewery in which I tried their Brooklyn Brown Ale and as they say "the rest is history".

Photo of Drewcifer
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid amber brown with a small off-white head that dissipated quickly and left just the tiniest bit of lacing.

Aroma is dark, earthy malts, a slight smell of a semi-sweet, dark fruit.

Roasted malt taste is foremost, some bready malt, a slight bit of caramel sweetness, and just a small hops kick at the end to remind you there's some in there.

Medium body, slightly creamy, medium carbonation.

A pretty solid, drinkable brown ale, definately on the upper end of the American-made English Browns. Could definitely see this one making a return to the fridge rotation.

Photo of thierrynantes
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33cl), tasted in 2007.
Appearance : dark brown color, good foam head with lacing.
Smell : malt, caramel and chocolate
Taste and mouthfeel : malted and sweetness, notes of chocolate.
Drinkability : very good beer in the style American brown ale

Photo of kimcgolf
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a reddish brown color with off-white head that lingered through most of the glass and left good lacing. Nose was muted, but what was there was a malty roasted nuts. Flavor also went down the malted nut path, with just a hint of hops. Body was a bit on the thin side, and the finish a tad metallic, though long and pleasant overall.

Not bad for a brown ale.

Photo of Oxymoron
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Good Dog. Pours a dark mahogany brown with ruby red hue throughout. Decent pour leaves a ample head that does dissipate to the edge of the glass, but great lacing through the entire tasting.

The nose consisted mostly of darker roasted malts and a touch of chocolate undertones. Some notes of sweeter almost sugary caramel and light earthy hop aroma. Some lighter fruity notes, mostly plums and some light phenols/rose characteristics as well.

The taste starts with a dry roasted malt flavor but is quickly balanced with a sweet caramel and a mild hop kick of dried herbal taste. Some hints of chocolate but not as noticeable as the nose. Some nutty and lacto/milky characteristics as well.

More of a mid fee butl I would like to see a bit more body for style. Overall though I am impressed with a easy drinking beer to drink night after night.

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

A: The beer poured a dark ruby red color with a light tan head.

S: sweet caramel, roasted aroma and some brown sugar sweetness.

T: The initial flavor had a soft even roasted character with rich chocolate notes with a rich sweet malty finish. The hopping was earthy and well balanced against the malt sweetness providing a great robust nutty flavor and a malty fade and coating on the tongue.

M: light-medium with a creamy mouthful.

D: The beer had great drinkability from start to finish and enjoyable in multiples.

Photo of wheelinshirt
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown longneck bottle, nice picture of Olive on the label, purchased as part of a mixed sixpack from Abe's in Bethlehem. Poured into a pint glass.

Nice ruddy brown color, decent size head, somewhat poor retention, some lacing.

Smell and taste are both all malt. Very bold and tasty. There seems to be a lot of dark malt packed into this beer, but it stays light enough to almost verge on refreshing. I think this beer is pushing me over to darker malts...

Mouthfeel is medium with sufficient carbonation, drinkability is still hampered for me by the amount of darker malt flavor in this one--its all very good and I highly recommend, especially if you like darker malts, but I couldn't have two or more of these in a row.

Photo of dsa7783
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, 12 oz bottle copped from Total Wine and More in West Orange for $1.49...
Attractive ruby-red, mahogany brown hue with a decent-sized frothy and foamy head that soon receded, leaving a fair amount of lacing around the glass...
Very unique, different, and impressive taste with a dominant peanut-flavor along with roasted malts, grains, caramel, and slight vanilla...
Taste strongly mirrored the aroma with a noticeable suggestion of hops, peanuts, malts, caramel, vanilla, sugars, yeast, dough, and bread and butter...
Nice mouthfeel, full of crisp, clean flavor with a high level of drinkablility due to the clear taste and modest alcohol percentage...
Good stuff from Smuttynose... Worth a shot...

Photo of Vancer
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another nice, solid Smutty brew, sent by Himerman via the No BS BIF Ultra BIF. Thanks for da brew!

Classic brown, clear oak pour, plenty of ivory head. Aroma whaffs up with a bit of a chocolate malt, and progresses into the quaff nicely. A very good brown ale, drinks easily and packs a punch of flavor usually missing in a brown.

This is one good session brew, or for a tasty treat.

Photo of dacrza1
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown body with brown three-finger head befitting a rootbeer...head settles quickly...slightly opaque...light fruity esthers with a malt balance that is pleasant...slightly effervescent palate that tucks into the tongue with a medium body... a nice compliment to a meal or fine as a stand-alone...always looking for a solid brown ale, I believe Smuttynose to have crafted this nicely with a combination of mellowness and substance....

Photo of nasty15108
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

To be honest I was expecting a little more from this beer. I knew not to expect Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale (Maybe the finest example of this style), but I thought it would at least be as good as New Castle. It was drinkable enough, and although it could be a good session beer, I'd rather drink New Castle. Not too impressed, and I probably wouldn't buy this one again.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

deep brownish red amber, nearly clear. decent head that eventually fades to thin layer. somewhat sparse lacing.

hint of grassy hops, but much more of toasted, caramelized malts.

taste however is too acidic, even if it isn't strong enough to drown out the otherwise rich maltiness and mild hop bitterness.

mouthfeel is also acidic and astringent, with fizzy carbonation.

what happened? this is a pretty fresh bottle ("best by" date is listed as a whole 6 months from now), so i doubt it's a bad batch...

Photo of Proteus93
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep golden with a dark red-orange hue in there. A nice, foamy head, but it's a bit quick to dwindle to just a light sheet.

S: Nice, modest malts, with hints of butterscotch and caramel.

T: A roasted malts flavour with caramel notes. Some very light dark fruits come through towards the finish. Something of a tobacco taste lingers behind.

M + D: Smooth drink... rather slick, and finishing quite clean. Just shy of what I might session - but, then again, perhaps not. An enjoyable drink, and I'm going to follow this one up with another.

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

This beer pours a dark amber color with a an off white short head that laces the glass very nicely. It has an aroma of roasted malts and hops and a hint of nut in there as well. The taste is very good with the roasted malt base balanced out with a hoppy bitterness followed up with a sweet nutty flavoring that makes this beer very nice. It has a good crisp mouthfeel and the drinkability is good as I could have a few of these in an evening.

Photo of BeerDetective
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, I found this to be a very impressive interpretation of a style that is not copied much here in the States, not sure why because they are very nice!
A was quite dark, almost dark black in tint, near to a porter.

S was very nice I liked the emphasis on the caramel notes, almost like Sam Smith's Nu Brown.

T was good, but a little bit too smoky IMHO for the style.

M was just fine, very English ale, would like to try cask conditioned.

D very good, if a bit smoky, I will be having at least two when I go back for Bingo night.

Photo of mnstorm99
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice copper color with a small thin white head.
Weak aroma\'s of coffee and a touch of spicy hops.
Taste is good, nutty like a typical english brown ale, but a touch of spicy hops just to round out the flavors.
Mouthfeel is thin, although most EBA\'s are, well carbonated.
Decent beer that I would have again, but nothing I would search out.

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jyppy for bringing this back for me. First for me from this brewery. Into the Sam Smith pint glass...

A - Clear brown body, with average head.

S - Rich for starters. Lots of nut aroma (cashew, almond) in addition to coco, tobacco, and earthy notes. Nice depth for a style that too often becomes simple and sweet.

T - Starts out like most brown beers, with sweet note and smoke flavors and a slight tart qualities. Tartness and smoke builds in the sweet finish. Lingering tobacco after the swallow. Pretty standard flavor profile and balance for a brown ale.

M - Actually seemed a bit light for the style, but not bad.

D - Good example of the brown ale style, and very sessionable.

Photo of Slynger
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-chestnut color with an off-white head that falls quickly. The nose is sweet and toasted with fruity grapes and some grassy hops. Toasted malts dominating the taste. The sweetness is light, of caramel grape, and cocoa, with a mild earthy nuttiness. Nice light/medium body and creamy mouthfeel. A well balanced and easy drinkin' offering of the style. Well done.

Photo of auxiliary
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Cloudy brown color, left some lace on the glass. Head decended down to almost a ring.

smell - Nuts, some hops,. some brown sugar.

taste - Nice nutty taste,nice malt taste, with some bitterness rounding out the finish.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Pretty good brown ale. I had the Big Beer Series, I believe it is the same.

Photo of drseamus
3.14/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Great looking mahogany body with a nice off white head. Crisp malt aroma. Good caramel sweetness and a bit of toffee. No detectable bitterness. Leaves a nice malty taste on the tongue. Good medium body. All around a great brown ale, even if my homebrewed brown ale did beat it side by side :-)

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

12 oz. bottle with a label that has a picture of, you guessed it, an old brown dog. It's hard to tell what breed this dog is, but I think it's a mix between a lab and a Weimaraner. I guessing the dog's name is Olive because why else would they put the word Olive under the dog's picture. I should also mention that Olive is standing on a cheetah print dog blanket that happens to be on top of beer barrel. To the right of Olive is the US Government warningand on the left side is a clearly notched best beofre date of July 2007, barcode, and the address of the brewery.

Appearance: Poured into a Bell's Brewery standard American pint glass. The brown dog is a dark mahogany brown blended in with some ruby red. Not ruby red highlights, the color looked like it blended in with the mahogany brown. It started off with a 1/2 inch head of off white colored foam, but that quickly fizzled away into some islands of off white colored bubbles, foamy rings, and spots of lace.

Smell: It had a mildly potent aroma of dark roasted malts, sweet caramel, and just a soft touch of roasted hops. To me it was just your basic non offensive craft beer aroma. It was good, but just basic.

Taste: This old brown dog started of with a burst of dry roasted malts and then that burst was tamed by sweet caramel and a mild hop kick of dried herbal hops. It was just like the aroma, but in a taste form. It's just a really good basic non offensive craft beer taste.

Mouthfeel: It was a dry light to medium bodied beer. The aftertaste was that of dried dark roasted malts and a spatter of dried herbal hops. The herbal hops aftertaste did linger on for a while.

Drinkability: Not the most diverse beer out there, but did however have session written all over it. I wouldn't mind having another one these. That is one that wasn't expired for at least 5 months. That was my fault. I forgot I had it.

Photo of maurag10
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale is overall an excellent beer. The rich brown apperance and the light head make for a nice look. The appearance really shows it's full bodied flavor. The smell is rich and dark with hints of nut,chocolate, and carmel. The taste is slightly on the bitter side, but highly rich and full. The mouthful is crisp for the richness of a beer with very little carbonation. Drinkability is not even a question!

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saw this in the store the day after I tried it on tap, so I figured I would see what I thought of the bottle.

Pours a very slightly clouded dark amber brown. Nose is slightly nutty. Flavor is on the bitter side. That nut edge comes through too, but doesn't seem to do anything good for it. Feel is thin. Not a lot of carbonation. Drinkable? I guess. Without even checking, I know I appreciated this much more on-tap. Oh well. Experiment over.

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,338 ratings.