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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

2,369 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,369
Reviews: 933
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 92
Gots: 274 | 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: 2,369 | Reviews: 933
Photo of CrellMoset
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Whole Foods in Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a Blue Mountain Brewery pint glass.

Appearance: Deep ruby brown, with a one-finger head that's slightly off-white, has decent retention, and leaves patchy lacing in its wake. Sparse carbonation, but very true to style.

Aroma: Very mild, perhaps too mild, but what is there is nice. Caramel and toast - a nice range of roasted malts - and some light, citrusy hops round things off.

Taste: Big Malt (TM). First up is some toasted, grainy biscuityness, followed by lighter malts - caramel, pale malt, very nice. Some slight fruity esters are present as a nice surprise. There's some mild balancing bitterness present, but this one's really all about the malt bill.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bubbled, full, and medium-bodied, but also even, smooth, and creamy. Perhaps a little too carbonated, but that's ok.

Drinkability: Great! Very complex in the flavor department with a really full and interesting malt bill. Low in alcohol. Kicks Newcastle's butt.

Photo of Jerico
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - brown! It's a deep iced-tea type of color, pours with almost no head at all.

S - Malty, hints of brown sugar, and maybe a touch of raisin.

T/M/D - low on carbonation, but a bit chewy on the tongue, but smooth and relatively light tasting. It doesn't bombard the taste buds and the taste doesn't linger too long. Not bad!

Photo of geexploitation
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a tight, fresh-looking head atop a body of light molasses brown. Wonderful aroma redolent of bread crust, rich caramel malts, and some light, earthy hops. Just a touch, not offputting, of band-aid. On the palate, surprisingly thick on the tongue, with light carbonation. The first impression is of sweet malts, followed by a crusty baked note and a parting note of herbal bitterness. Overall, this is an excellent example of an English brown ale, although I would have appreciated a bit less alcohol and a bit more sessionability. Still, very well done.

Photo of ralree
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle marked best before Oct 2008, so I've got a few months left.

A: Extremely deep red, clear beer. Head is quick to recede, very fizzy. Lacing is OK.

S: Rich malt and sweet chocolate are present, with a flowery background of hops.

T: Light fruity flavor, almost tangy, along with a rich sugary malt, and some hop notes in the background. After swallowing, alcohol comes out, along with a toasted malt and a little dark fruit flavor. Taste doesn't last long. I'm not a big fan. It's a little bit too all over the place.

M: Non-astringent, a little too carbonated, a little watery.

D: Drinks alright, but there are better browns...

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

12oz bottle best before Sept 08. Poured into my Stone pint glass

A: Walnut-brown with a light brown head. Tons of carbonation

S: Mild in aroma but lots of subtlety with nuts, toffee, caramel and nougat. Wonderful leafy,hoppy aroma.

T: Excellent with a mild toasted note to start things off followed by mild nutty, woody character with a pleasant sweetness. Finish is medium dry with a touch of bitterness. This is excellent stuff - wonderfully complex yet remarkably light.

M: Great carbonation. wonderful light-yet-full character and a nice finish

D: I regret buying only one.

Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

To me, this is a classic American craft beer. A brown ale that stands above others as an example of fine brewing. The appearance a is reddish brown with a yellowed, off-white head and lacing. The aroma is of chocolate and raisins with a hint of grain husk to remind me it's beer. The flavor follows these sweet tastes to make a pairing of dark, dried fruits with sweet candy such as toffee and cocoa. Although the body is a touch thick, and the sessionability suffers, the taste and experience is great enough to draw me back for another bottle.

Serve it with grilled food and rich sauces, or by itself for a dessert. No matter, just make sure you try this beer some time.

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

A very hearty brown ale indeed. More like an American Amber w/o the hop punch. Rich caramel maltiness that is just solid throughout every swig. A lot darker and much heavier mouthfeel than a Newcastle. Makes Newcastle seem like a light brown ale.

This is a great brown ale, very rich and full tasting. Tons of roasty, caramelly malt, but not overly sweet where you can only handle one or two. Carbonation seemed little high for the style, but worked for me. A solid dark brown ale.

Photo of steelerguy
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark amber with a good bit haze. Very thin, creamy head, not quite a finger high. The head quickly dissipated to leave a thin cream over the top. Very little lacing and the carbonation was low, which I think was spot on for the style.

S - A nice toasty grain smell with no hops detected. A simple malty smell which was quite good.

T - Big malt flavors, followed by a nice hop bitterness...slightly stronger than I expected. The malt really shines and gives this beer a great taste. There is a nice caramel malt sweetness with some good toasted malt flavors that linger.

M - I would guess there is a good bit of dextrin malt in there because this beer felt creamy and had an excellent mouth feel.

D - An extremely drinkable beer. This is one I think that could appeal to a lot of people and convert some of the yellow fizzy drinkers to a good American ale.

I liked this beer quite a bit. I would have liked it to be a bit brighter since it was a tad lighter and I could see though the glass. A tad more carapils for better head retention would have been nice also, but this beer is definitely tasty in a good way. I don't know about the English Brown Ale classification, I would more consider it an American Brown Ale because I detected a nice hop bite.

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

Acquired in trade from ATPete. Thanks Pete! First chance to try Smutty beer, and was really looking forward to this one. I enjoy English Brown Ales, and the Smuttynose is one I really wanted to taste.

Poured from 12oz bottle into standard pint glass.

A nice version of the style, though as others have said it is a bit thin body-wise. Love the flavors, caramel with slight roasted taste. Very session-able brew.

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

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - hazed, brownish red color with a small beige head that settled to a ring.

S - sweet caramel malt aroma.

T - sweet malty flavors of caramel and a little espresso coffee bitterness on the finish.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - easy drinking, good tasting brew.

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

12oz bottle

A- Pours a hazy rusty brown with some red highlights. Old Brown Dog sports a 1 inch tan head, some sticking.

S- Smells of sweet, toasted malts, wood, grilled meat, and strawberry with a hint of hop presence.

T- Dominantly malty, with notes of cherry, nuts, spice, wood, and lime soda, smoke. Semi sweet, semi bitter finish.

M/D- Medium/Thin body, very pleasing and relaxing. Extremely drinkable, this is a damn good brown ale.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at the Landing Zone on the Harwinton/Burlington town line in CT.

A: Poured a medium amber-brown with ruby highlights and a two-finger creamy head of off-white foam which left behind some sticky lacing.

S: Smells a little spicy, with distinct roasted nut aromas, like hazelnut and some grainy spices.

T: Tastes semisweet at first, with a great roasted malt flavor, before a smoothing, nutty malt flavor rolls over the tongue, and washes out with a bit of bitterness and some light hopping. All of the great roasted and bitter flavors seem to be all malt, though.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but with a degree of crispness to it. Aftertaste and mouthfeel are long lingering.

D: Smuttynose has crafted one of the most drinkable browns I've ever tried. The ABV is good, slightly higher than average. A great use of different malts as a derivative of various flavors.

This is a tasty brew and a very solid drinking brown ale, perhaps one of the best I've had. Succeeds huge in the taste department where other iconic English Browns (Newcastle) tend to be a bit lighthearted.

Photo of scottg
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Smuttynose Variey Sampler.
Best before July 08 on the bottle.
12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear reddish brown color with a 2 finger tan creamy head with good retention and solid lacing. Aromas of roasted malt, caramel, and dark fruit. The up front taste is of hops which get taken over by molasses and roasted malt then finish bitter with a sweet malty aftertaste. The alternating flavors or bitter & sweet are wonderfully balanced. Creamy mouthfeel with a medium body and light to medium carbonation make this a wonderfully drinkable beer. Great example of the style.

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

Bottle poured into two sampler glasses.

Deep copper colored with a light tan head. Nice and clear.

Aroma of roasted malts, caramel, and some hop character. Sweet, but it mixes nicely with the roastiness. Interesting balance here.

Taste is of dark roasted malt, some bitter chocolate and sweet caramel. Some bitter hops hit you in the finish. This is a nice brown ale.

Medium body, good carbonation and easily drinkable. Recommended for it's uniqueness. The sweetness of this beer surprised me a bit.

Photo of CaptainIPA
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

P: Presented in a 12 oz., brown bottle with notched freshness dating.

A: Pours a root beer-colored amber with ruby highlights. No visible head. Restrained carbonation.

S: Coffee and caramel.

T: Damn tasty. Sweet, roasted malt with notes of coffee and caramel.

M: Thin, watery mouthfeel. This bottle is completely undercarbonated and virtually flat.

D: Enjoyable and easy to drink. Carbonation withstanding, worth re-reviewing.

Photo of missginsu
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich auburn brown with a bubbly light tan head that quickly dissipates to a thin froth. Pleasantly crisp, the flavor is molasses and coffee... not too sweet, not too bitter. It seems well-balanced and crisp... a very friendly, drinkable beer. I think it might be nice with grilled meats or barbecue.

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

a: This was a light brownish amber color. It poured with a smallish light tan colored head.

s: Smells of somewhat sugary vanilla, smokey caramel, and some faint coffee.

t: Sweet malts dominate, tasting of vanila and roasty brown sugar. There is some mild bitterness on the finish.

m: The carbonation was gentle but long lasting. The bitter finish lingered nicely, making me ready for another sweet sip.

d: Thanks to DrDogbeer for this one. This is quite refreshing and nicely balanced.

Photo of maddogruss
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug.

A: Pours a brown-amber body with a small white head with pour retention and minimal lacing along the sides of the glass.

S: A slightly, malty smell with some bitter/sour undertones.

T: An old, malty taste with a roasted, malty aftertaste. Evidence of some roasted malts are evident in the aftertaste. Nice taste overall.

M: A smooth, full-bodied beer. Nice, even carbonation and pleasant on the palette.

D: A nice combination of mouthfeel and taste makes this beer pretty drinkable. Good beer overall. Definitely worth a session if you can get your hands on one.

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

pours a medium dark polished copper color with virtually no head and or lacing.
Smell of sweet malts...husky grains.
Taste is sweet, fairly malty with notes of caramel and a ever so slighty bitter end.
Mouthfeel is not too bad.
A slight coolness of alchohol noted as well.

Photo of stvco
4.66/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

deep chestnut, almost translucent.

very nice

tremendous, not too hoppy, roasted malt, very drinkable similar to new castle brown

great, went down easy

too good, this is a beer that could get me in trouble, I had 4 in 1.5 hours, had to switch it up

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

Thanks to drdogbeer for a great trade. I poured a 12 ounce capped bottle into a pint glass.

A: It poured an amber and copper bottle with a slightly hazy body. There was a slight half finger off white head that receded to a slight cover and supported spotty and leggy lacing.

S: It had a very sweet toasted malt aroma with some caramel and smoked nut odors. A whiff of alcohol came through as did hints of floral hops.

T: It had a sweet malt front with a tingly carbonated and hoppy back. It finished dry with a slight sour aftertaste. There were recessive caramel flavors as well as brown sugar. I also picked up some woody, earthy hops.

M: It had a light to medium body with a zesty carbonated middle and dry crisp finish.

D: It was an enjoyable easy to drink beer. It had a great malt base, decent mouth feel, and modest ABV making it a good candidate for a long session.

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

Pours a light mahogany with some brighter red highlights with a one-finger tan head. Moderate amount of carbonation visible. Very little, spotty lacing.

Smells of bready malts, caramel, almonds and hazelnuts; there are some sweet dark fruits in there as well.

Taste is much like the nose. A bit of roasted malt up front, followed by some sweet nutty flavors with some tart dark fruits. Finishes dry and slightly bitter.

Light to medium-bodied. Almost a little too carbonated, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Another great offering from Smutty. Always a safe bet and a staple in my fridge. A great session beer, perfect to pair with a variety of foods or to enjoy on its own.

Photo of dreadnatty08
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber, medium brown color with plentiful off-white head. Aromas are full of toffee, chocolate, dark caramel, very Tootsie-Roll like. No hop notes detected. Flavorwise, much the same, a robust bready and chocolaty mouthfilling flavor dominates. Carbonation is medium low and the finish is malt heavy, but not very sweet. Very little in the way of fruit esters, which is more indicative of an English style and abv puts it out of style as well. However, it isn't hopped to American standards so it doesn't really fit either style, though it is a delicious brown and a very easy drinker.

Photo of animal69
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

my next one was this ; pours a deep copper brown color w/ a thin off-white head which lasts a while leaving a moderate lacing in my glass ; a light smell, mostly dark caramel malts and fruits w/ a faint alcoholic note in the finish ; a dry, tart and nutty flavor w/ a mild hop bite and some faint raison/date undertones, a bit of floral hop flavor in there as well ; drinks a bit thicker than your avg. eng. brown, co2's right, just a little too full bodied to make it a 4 ; a quite drinkable brew, an excellent session beer, i'll def. have this one again...

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a leather-couch brown into my mug with decent carbonation and minimal head. A good malty smell, with something like bread and other malts (nothing specific) coming out, on top of hops with very minor citric notes. The taste is very malty, with coffee, roasted and toffee malts all seemingly coming out. Caramel and/or honey in there too to round out the medium/slightly heavy body. Goes down smooth with a semi-sweet finish as the hops appear to add a little fruitiness(apples or cherries) and on the backbite for slight dryness. This is a quality beer and if you're lucky enough to find it a bar buy a round, and if you're lucky to find a six-pack buy it and split with buddies.

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,369 ratings.