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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

2,121 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,121
Reviews: 904
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 75
Gots: 146 | 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
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Ratings: 2,121 | Reviews: 904 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of queenboadicea
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lots of roast and chocolate in this fairly hearty brown ale. I always head for this one as soon as the weather starts to turn cool. The flavor is nice and smooth, and a wonderful compliment to stews and cassaroles (hey, I review wine as well, so I'm trained to food-pair!). The malt is noticable, but not overdone.

queenboadicea, Sep 13, 2003
Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice brown color with minimal tan head.
Aroma of roasty malt, chocolate nougat, and earthy hops.

Taste shows a medium roasty malt flavor. Flavor is hard to place, but it's something like a 3 Musketeers candy bar. Hops are there to balance only. Flavor is a little odd and this one is a tad too sweet overall.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin.
Mellow and drinkable, but not one I'd be looking for a 2nd of.

Overall, a decent brown ale, but it's flavor just didn't do it for me.

PhantomVodoo, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of chaduvel
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown cola color, an effervescent tan head that fades quickly. Hoppy aroma with some caramel malts coming through as well. The caramel malt flavors dominate, but without the caramel flavor. Some hops wave hello. Pretty decent offering from Smuttynose. Cool seal logo and a nice brown dog named olive on the bottle.

chaduvel, Sep 09, 2003
Photo of ElGuapo
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice chocolatey brown brew sitting under a thick layer of foam. Very big sweet malty aroma. A touch of roastiness and chocolate join in to make up a nice whiffer.

Smooth with a pretty rich medium body. There is a lot of sweetness to this beer, but definitely not to the point of cloying. It is balanced well with some darker malts and flavors of chocolate and caramel. It is very drinkable, and it was great with some wings and pulled pork.

ElGuapo, Sep 08, 2003
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This dog is a malt lover's delight. It's body is almost brown, more ruby/amber than brown. I could get nothing resembling a head atop this glass despite an aggressive pour. The smell is very malty and sweet, and the same flavor follows. Has a huge malt profile. Hazlenuts, caramel, and toffee are all thrown in the mix, making this a sweet and complex brew. Maybe a bit more balance in the hops to balance out the maltiness. All in all, one of the nicer browns I have had. Very drinkable. Would do well after dinner, as it is rather a sweet beer. I am enjoying it thoroughly on its own, however.

IrishRedRock, Sep 05, 2003
Photo of far333
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Dark honey color with a small off-white head that disappears quickly. Looks bubbly like soda. Smell is malty and inviting, and has hints of hop and molasses. Taste is sweet malt, with bits of brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. Mouthfeel is slick and watery. Decent beer, but not outstanding. Wouldn't be my first choice, but I wouldn't turn one down if offered.

far333, Aug 23, 2003
Photo of PSUDREW
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More malt then anything else. Some hoppy lavor at the end, but nothing to write home about. Has hints of buttery caramel, sweetness, you get the gist. Can be spring summer or fall bevreage. Quenches the summer thirst, gives the fall warmth. A good beer, not bells best brown, or Hazelnut Nectar, but a dan good beer reardless

PSUDREW, Aug 07, 2003
Photo of marc77
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ruby chestnut hue, with a light haze. Initially thick head readily recedes into a thin, meager beige ring. The aroma is a stately melange of singed biscuit and carob, accompanied by mild earthy hops and mellow toffee. Understated figgish esters and butterscotch surface as it breathes. Agreeably well rounded aromawise. Judicious dark brown sugar - like sweetness bathes the palate incipientally in flavor; it is promptly complemented by a partially drying combination of grainy, crumbly, lightly salted biscuit and well integrated, calm hop bitterness. Earthy, tracely woody hop tones emerge mid palate concomitantly with subtle notes of buttery chocolate to lend a subtle, but relishable impression of fresh pipe tobacco. Lightly bodied, but appropriate and well matched to malt character in its softly dextrinous mouthfeel. Finishes trim and mostly dry, with a transient snap of dried date sweetness yielding to quickly fleeting notes of faintly buttery oak. Although ashen in hop presence and simple in its malt profile, Old Brown Dog exhibits sufficient depth of overall character to both satiate and tease the palate for more. Superlatively drinkable.

marc77, Aug 05, 2003
Photo of Running4beer
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany/brown with a a slight reddish color, started out with a medium tan head that dissappeared quickliy to a thin lace. Aroma wasn't to strong but there was a presence of malts and raisons. Mouthfeel was smooth and little to no carbonation. Taste of caramel, malts a slight raison flavor mild bitterness to this beer. Almost no hop flavor present here. Overall a tasty beer....

Running4beer, Jul 31, 2003
Photo of fattychubs
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reddish brown pour, with a small white head. Aroma is sweet malt, with hints of caramel. Body is closer to medium then thin, with light carbonation. Taste starts malty and moves to a very sweet caramel with very subtle hops, finishes sweet and slightly buttery. Not a bad brown ale, not to complex, pretty drinkable.

fattychubs, Jul 17, 2003
Photo of WesWes
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thin white head that provides good lacing. The smell is of rich chocolate, crystal, and roasted malts.; a true brown ale. The taste is smooth and balanced. The complexity of this brew is what I like the most about it. It signifies what a brown ale should be; amber/brown in color, good malty aroma, a complex balance of specialty malts, and a smooth finish. The mouthfeel is low to medium which makes this a nice sessions beer.

WesWes, Jul 11, 2003
Photo of jeffboo
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice,cloudy orange/brown color with a slight tan head. A little toasted malt and earthy hop on the nose followed by a nicely balanced caramel malt and earthy hop flavor. Some toasty malt flavor comes out in the finish along with a bit of nuttiness, a decent brown ale.

jeffboo, Jul 08, 2003
Photo of Stopper
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yep, this old dog is brown. I had to pour it pretty vigorously to get any head at all, and that disappeared quickly. Medium sweet malt aroma. A very sweet, smooth, round mouthfeel up front. This is quickly joined by a distinct roasted grain dryness. I don't get much hops in any aspect of this beer, mostly just a very sweet maltiness, but this is actually nicely balanced by the dry roasted grains and doesn't come across as overly sweet.
A nice medium-bodied beer that celebrates malt. I'll definitely enjoy the rest of these.

Stopper, Jul 03, 2003
Photo of stegmakk
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark amber color with thin off white head

Smell: Hard to detect...Hints of sweet malt and a touch of caramel

Taste: Sweet malt mild bitterness at end...not too complex but still pleasing...

Mouthfeel: A little thin

Drinkability: I could drink a lot of these

Overall good but not spectacular...taste is a bit muted but I could drink plenty of them

stegmakk, Apr 24, 2003
Photo of kfoss99
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The picture of Olive should be hung in a museum.

The ale is brown with a hint of mahogany.

The mouth feel was hindered a bit, as the bottle hadn't been sitting in my refrigerator long enough, the ale could have been a little more carbonated.

The ale smells like butter pecan ice cream, this shows in its taste, along with a hint of slightly roasted peanuts.

This is an ale that looks good and tastes good.


kfoss99, Apr 06, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Notes: brewed in may of 2002(quite old, unfortunately). This sample poured a nice dark reddish brown colour into my pint glass. It had some good head retention and a nice fluffy head. It had some nutty, malty, earthy aromas that melded well. The taste was more of the same, nutty and malty, very similar to Sam Smiths nut brown ale, but not quite as good. I have to agree with the previous reviewer of this beer, this is like a less complex version of Sammy Smiths nut brown ale. the mouthfeel was a bit thin for this style, but it was still good. The drinkability was very good as well.

francisweizen, Apr 01, 2003
Photo of WaltTrombone
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bier came in a dark brown bottle, and the label featured, what else, a brown dog by the name of Olive. Brewed in the month of March, I'll assume they mean 2003...

It poured a dark reddish maroon, with a small beige head that beat it out the doggy door immediately.

The aroma had a citrusy kind of tang to it, and I thought I detected a hint of beef gravy. (Hmmm, makes it's own sauce, just add water...)

I found the taste to have a lot of hops bitterness, and while passing the local hydrant, detected, not the poodle down the block, but fleeting notes of lemon and caramel.

The finish was more hops, and lemon peel, and the mouthfeel was thin, with light carbonation.

I found it to be similar to Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, but not as complex. Other reviewers have noted more malty sweetness, but I didn't notice any. Assuming the beer didn't get skunked, perhaps it will mellow out in the cellar. If the brewing date was indeed March 2003, it may need to sit awhile. Good dog!

WaltTrombone, Mar 24, 2003
Photo of kelticblood
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not much in the form of a head when poured.Poured an anverage head that reduced to nothing.Had a fair amount of lace however.Color presented a very dark reddish-brown.A slight crisp mouthfeel.A touch watery but creamy in the finish.Very sweet and malty as far as the taste.A medium to almost full bodied ale that is very simple but overall good.I would like to try this on tap.A slight bitterness in the back on the throat on the finish but nothing too much.

note:slight hop nose with hints of toasted grain and nuts.ABV is easily hidden and kind of high.

kelticblood, Mar 18, 2003
Photo of Darkale
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The head of this beer is tight and short and does not last long. There is little immediate aroma, though when the beer warms up a bit a thin malty sweetness can be noted.

This is a very subtle, slightly malty, slightly chocolate brown ale. Very clean taste, with a mouthfeel that starts with a bit of grit but ends up creamy -- thin, but creamy.

Low carbonation. As I noted earlier, the head does not last. I am not usually a fan of low carbonated beers, but the lack of carbonation is not a problem for this beer.

This is a refreshing beer that one could underestimate. One of the nicer brown ales out there. I was pleased to note the lack of a sour aftertaste, which I sometimes notice with other brown ales.

Darkale, Mar 10, 2003
Photo of UncleJimbo
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz amber bottle with freshness month notch on the label.

This ale poured a reddish amber brown with very, very thin white foam, and almost no carbonation evident. There smell was modest (sweet malt). The taste was sweet and malty with a bit of bisuit and nutty flavors. There was low but noticeable hop character. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with very low carbonation, but with a fairly thin body. The drinkability was good, but the body was on the thin side for this brown ale.

UncleJimbo, Feb 28, 2003
Photo of WanderingFool
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite brown ales due to its drinkability. It's a cloudy reddish brown color with a foamy tan head. I was a little disappointed to see the head disappear so quickly after I poured the beer into a glass. Even the lace slides back down into the beer in short order. The malty and nutty aroma is pleasant and not overpowering. The mouth feel seems a bit thin, however this allows each sip to go down easy. The taste begins malty and is followed by flavors of caramel and nuts. I find a very slight bitter flavor in the finish and aftertaste.

WanderingFool, Jan 25, 2003
Photo of Gusler
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer spills from the bottle a somewhat hazy mahogany color with the head mountainous and the consistency that of whipped cream, the color a nice light tan and the lace a smothering sheet. Nutty sweet, a touch of yeast and the hop flowers present, clean, fresh, and quite sniffable. Sweet malt at the start, top middling in its mouth feel, the carbonation mild, the hops apropos to the style, the aftertaste droughty and long lasting, and a nice quaffable beer.

Gusler, Jan 17, 2003
Photo of kunzbrew
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a light creamy tan head that does not stick around. A fine bubble lace is left behind after the first sip. A copper nose and taste hits the palate on the first to the last sip. Chocolate and carmel malt hints are present along with earthy flavors. This is a nice brew but the best brown ale that I have had.

kunzbrew, Jan 13, 2003
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this as part of the mass-purchase with fellow BA's PhantomVoDoo and AKSmokedPorter.

Pours a truly beautiful deep mahogany color with a transient head that just coats the top of the glass. Malty sweet, caramel aromas filter into the nasal passages. Flavor continues the malty procession, with a "toasted malt" flavor dominating. Mouthfeel is defninitely creamy that floats over the palate. Finishes with just a trace of hoppiness to balance nicely.

OldFrothingSlosh, Jan 13, 2003
Photo of the42ndtourist
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Interesting. Although a brown ale, this definitely pushes towards the range of winter warmers/strong ales. Dark brown with reds blending in, a slight head. Malty, with a strong caramel malt flavour that is lightly balanced by a few hops. A little alcohol kick and warmth is inherent. I liked it.

the42ndtourist, Jan 05, 2003
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,121 ratings.