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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

2,226 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,226
Reviews: 909
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 83
Gots: 181 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,226 | Reviews: 909 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber-brown, misty, and with a small tan head that dissipates quickly leaving only residual lacing. Carbonation is kept at a minimum but the little amount left behind is surprisingly biting. Aroma is big malts (toffee and chocolate). Taste is slightly nutty, sweet, and loaded with big medium-dark malts. An ever so slight amount of floral hops enters into the finish carrying a lovely, long lasting aftertaste with it. This is the most enjoyable part of the beer for me. The seemingly endless aftershock of these light and balanced hops is wonderful. This adds to the drinkability as does an overall light body.

DaPeculierDane, Mar 22, 2006
Photo of KFaulkner
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Simple pleasures; simple beers. That's why I like this one...

The Old Brown Dog Ale features "Olive," the old brown dog, if you will. Olive looks happy enough, gracing the label of a beer that brings the drinker back to a simpler time. When beer was about beer and not image. Well, this one sold me. I'm a fan of "judging a beer by its cover." Maybe not specifically judging, I do that here based on the merits of the beer. A clever label though will entice me to pick it up before I decide to drop an extra couple bucks on that expensive, imported six-pack.

The brown dog pours a nice color, medium head which gives way quickly. It's smooth and easy to drink. It's a summer-afternoon type of beer. Not too light, not too dark and not too weird. It makes you feel the way beer should. It only had the slightest aftertaste that, while not unpleasant, I found somewhat unique and not particularly to my liking.

In any case, I doubt this will be the last Smuttynose beer I try, since this is only the first.

KFaulkner, Mar 18, 2006
Photo of JMD71
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nice rich, deep brown. A thin head when poured which dissipated quickly. Slightly cloudy & some light penetrates the glass.

Smell: Strong malty, caramel aroma with just a hint of a roasty smell in the background.

Taste: Wonderful malty, caramel flavor with a slight bitter hop finish to balance. Just a touch of a smoky/roasted malt flavor. I found this to be a very well balanced brown ale.

Mouthfeel: This felt thin, crisp & clean in the mouth. I felt it had a very refreshing feeling.

Drinkability: I think this is a very drinkabile beer. Every sip was smooth & enjoyable.

Comments: I thoroughly enjoyed this brown ale. A wonderful aroma meets the nose as you take your first sip. The taste is a perfect balance of malt & hops which provides for a very drinkable beer. I recommend this to others...

JMD71, Mar 17, 2006
Photo of mynie
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear brown, like showroom furniture. Oh my and what a presentation. Such a nice, fine head.

Wonderful brown ale aroma. Very nutty sweet with lots of caramel and goodnes I am just waiting for a flavor explosion...

...And that explosion does not come! Jesus I don't this style isn't known for being great but does that mean that brewers have to intentionally strive for mediocrity? The nutty malty goodness of the nose is completely eclipsed by a rather bland, soapy flower and weed flavor. There's still some good parts in ther--rich and sweet caramel and nuts--but they're all eclipsed by a wateryness.

Decent, but it should have been so much better.

mynie, Mar 14, 2006
Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Rileys...glad to be back in the smutty market

appearance: another sweet label from smuttynose...pours a rich clear mahogany, heavily tinted ruby...strong tan-beige foam with some pretty decent lacing. smutty makes some solid looking brews

smell: nutty, buttered biscuit, well roasted malt, light chocolate tone, slightly woody...pretty par for the english brown course, nothing fantastic but solid

taste: smooth caramel malt, nice and toasty, slightly buttery and biscuit-like, slight alcohol (touch of bourbon perhaps), touch of smooth chocolate, earthy and woody...quite nice

mouthfeel: thin end of the medium range, very smooth

drinkability: quite

dirtylou, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

Pours a fiery dark mahogany with a finger of khaki head. Nose is caramel malt with some toasty/nutty notes. Taste is dominated by the sweet yet roasted caramel malts, a hint of bitter nuttiness, and a mild chocolatey finish. Surprised to detect a bit of alcohol in the finish as well in a brown ale. Mouthfeel as thinnish, per style. I used to love brown ales, and I still feel nostalgic for them (Newcastle brought me over from Michelob Golden Light and other swill), but I can tell my palate has moved on. Still a tasty, easy drinker though.

Golden2wenty1, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium brown in color with a fizzy, foamy off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of rich caramel malts, toasted nuts and, to some degree, a light herbal hop scent.

Taste: This is so precious. Upfront, sweet caramel maltiness coupled with a pleased nuttiness. A little buttery. Light hints of chocolate. Bitterness is very light, but the beer still finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin. Lightly carbonated. Quite smooth, even creamy, and goes down with ease.

Drinkability: Fine, fine. Seriously, though. Very drinkable. One of the better brown ales I've tasted.

My hat's off to MuddyFeet for a trade featuring several Smuttynose offerings. Thanks!

ChainGangGuy, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of RedHaze
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish brown with a half inch head that quickly fades to a spotty cap and ring with decent lacing.

Smell; lots of caramel malts and nuts, with hints of some bitter chocolate. There's a bit of some floral hops, not much but they're there.

Taste; sweet at first, with caramel malts and touches of chocolate. The slightly bitter roasted nuts follow, along with a mild hop bite. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and very drinkable, as a brown ale should be.

RedHaze, Mar 06, 2006
Photo of lpayette
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown that is fairly clear. Smallish tan head with biggish soda-like bubbles.

Smells- nothing too noteworthy. Maybe some chocolate notes...

Tastes- just a bit more malty than hoppy. Good balance. There is a malt taste that approaches chocolate, but not full-on chocolate. Pretty smooth and finishes sweet. Some tingling sensations.

Not sure what all the hype is about as I found this to be pretty average.

lpayette, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of beerphilosopher
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint as a mahogany brown color with a sizeable tannish head and decent lacing. Nose is quite nutty and the malt foundation is predominant, leaving a rather sweet disposition that carries over into the taste profile. Nutty and malty sweetness. This beer is light/ medium bodied and a good brown ale over all. Brown ale isn't among my favorite styles, but this one is really very drinkable and I'd not require a twisted arm to drink it again!

beerphilosopher, Feb 16, 2006
Photo of HurricaneMo
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured a dark amber with a decent-sized head that quickly dissipated. Smell and taste both contained a decent amount of malt. It tasted a little sweet in the beginningt with some caramel in there as well. Also, the hops showed through and really rounded out the taste out nicely.

The mouthfeel was fairly light as one might expect. Not too much carbonation in the glass, but quite a bit once it hits your mouth. Drinkability is a definite plus - I'm going back for another right now.

Overall, a good beer with some character.

HurricaneMo, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of EStreet20
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce brown bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - A nice deep brown color with a two finger off white head. In the spots where light comes through the beer has a reddish tint to the brown.

S - Smells like roasted malts with a nutty character coming through.

T - Dark roasted malts come full circle from the first sip till the beer goes down. Some hop presence in the middle of the drink but the beer is mainly charactierized by the roasted malt. The beer finishes with some sweetness kicking up then a roasty nuttiness in the aftertaste. Very nice.

M - Medium body with a nice smooth character in the mouth.

D - Very nice for a darker session beer. That nutty aftertaste is inviting me for another sip every time.

EStreet20, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a crystal clear mahogany-brown color with moderate white head that quickly fell to a thin ring. Smell is extraordinary with strong notes of roasted malt combined with a hint of coffee. Taste is somewhat on the sweet side, and a nice maltiness balanced with a good bit of hoppy bitterness. Great combination. Finished slightly dry, but with a taste that rapidly dissapates. A nice enjoyable beer.

tgbljb, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of MattBrooks
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rich, dark amber brown color starts this classic brew off, and notes of caramel, coffee and toasted nuts showcase its aromatics. This beer has some toffee characteristics to it as well along with a slightly smoky and very, very long finish. Tried it on tap for the first time recently, always purchased it in bottles before. Much better/different on tap.

MattBrooks, Feb 01, 2006
Photo of dbalsock
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance: murky brown with an orange tint, thing light colored head that quickly dissipates and laces the sides, looks a little odd to me, but at least it shows some substance

smell: its hard to place the smell, but i think i get a good whiff of bakers chocolate, kinda dry but with an undertoned sweetness

taste: like the smell, i get another hint of bakers chocolate and some slight butteryness. overall somewhat sweet, and tasty with no discouraging flavors

mouthfeel: dry and nicely balanced, nothing remarkable

drinkability: easily drinkable/quaffable, getting more interesting as it warms to room temperature

"old brown dogs, they're plain" - ciderfaerie, and that's kinda what i thought of this brew, fairly plain, but nice

dbalsock, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of Citadel82
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the beer that Newcastle wishes it was. Caramel malts, swet caramel malts and enough hops to mke it more than just plain old brown and uninteresting.

Pours a clear ligt chestnut with a shortlived off-white head that fades rather quickly. Not much lace evident but that is lkely due to a freshly rinsed glass.

Aroma is earthy and sweet with a tinge of floral hops.


taste is sweet caramel up front - dryish in the middle andpiney citrus hops and bready malts in with a sharp leafy hop finish. Great balance and complexity. the depth of this brown far surpasses the others that I have tried.

Mouthfeel is light and slightly effervescent as one would expec. This is a drinkable brown that might make a decent session brew, especially in the spring months.

Citadel82, Jan 17, 2006
Photo of Franchise
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a medium brown and leaves a thin lace that quickly disappates. The smell of this beer is wonderful of cocoa powder, molasses, lemon, and some earth tones. As I taste this beer all the previous flavors come out I can really taste the chocolate on the fore front as well as some hop kick rounded out with some sweetness from the molasses then finished with a orange rind bitterness. This is a good beer from smuttynose one I will def come back to.

Franchise, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of abcsofbeer
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle with June drink by date. The color is a reddish, brown with nice clarity, topped off by a tan 1 inch head. The lacing is thick and nice at first as the head sticks around. I found the aroma to be hoppy with hints of caramel and malt. The taste is pretty hoppy for a brown ale, with a nice bitterness in the aftertaste. Different than other browns I have tried. The taste is pretty bold.

abcsofbeer, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of thetachibro
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

into my nonic pint glass it pours a dark brown almost looking like some ice tea with a little too much mix. the one inch head quickly fades away leaving next to nothing with no lacing on the glass. when i sip it a slight bitterness is the first thing to hit me followed by some nuts and some slight malts. a very nice medium bodied mouth feel with good drinkability

thetachibro, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of SwillBilly
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle

Appearance: True to its name, its pours a brownish/dark amber color. Head was minimal, almost no lacing.

Smell: Sweet caramel, nutty, slightly earthy and herbal.

Taste: Starts with a nice dose of sweet maltiness that transitions to a slightly tart, dry hop finish. Pretty well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, somewhat thin.

Drinkability: A very easy drinker that won't offend too many palates. Goes down nice and smooth, would make a great session beer. I could drink these all night. Another fine beer from Smuttynose. Worth seeking out.

SwillBilly, Oct 29, 2005
Photo of radshoesbro
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i've heard some great things about this so i was really excited to try it.

a - it pours a crystal like redish brown with a nice finger head that leaves ample lacing that sort of slides down the glass as i drink. no visible carbonation.

s - what the hell is that smell??? i can't put my finger on it. it's not quite molasses...it has sort of faint malt smells, but not nearly as much as other people have said it has. this is a very unique nose, that's for sure.

t - nice and sweet with very mild hops that balance quite well. hints of sugars, slight slight SLIGHT caramel, etc.

m - very smooth with a very odd aftertaste that takes a little getting used to.

d - i only bought one bottle of this and i definately need to have another to be 100% sure on how much i could drink this. if you really dig this it would be a great session beer, however, i'm not thrilled with it.

radshoesbro, Oct 24, 2005
Photo of Litterbean
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown in color with a tan head that doesn't stay for that long. Smells of roasty malts, with a mild hop sprinkle. Tastes deliciously robust with a coffee-like malt profile. A little thin in the end though. Smooth mouthfeel, some carbonation. A good beer to relax with.

Litterbean, Oct 21, 2005
Photo of Jcdolan
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 mix pack of bottles

Poured into a frosty mug (Boston Bruins Mug!)

Smells like your average brown ale with a hint of molasses.

Pours a nice brown red color (more brown) with a nice light brown head that is this and dissipates in due time.

Tastes like a typical dark brown ale but with a little somthing extra. Nice sweet taste that is just on the edge of tasting like a darker beer, which is probably from the hint of molasses that I taste. Also a taste of slight hops.

I love the mouthfeel of this beer. Goes down nice and smooth.

I could drink these all night. Not sure if it is becuase of the excellent mouthfeel or what, but this is deffinately a beer that is brewed with high quality and care. Wouldn't know it was 5.7% if I had to guess.

Jcdolan, Oct 20, 2005
Photo of Shovelbum
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a generous creamy light brown head that has decent retention. NIce thick bands of lace as well. The body is a translucent brown-amber. Smells of sweet roasted malts, caramel and light floral hop aroma. The taste has a slight hop crispness, but overall the toasty sweet malts carry the day. It is very well balanced. The Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly creamy.

The ABV puts it at the upper limits of a session beer, but it would do fine if you don’t mind a little extra booze. A solid brown ale.

Shovelbum, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of jmz62565
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has a dark amber color with a fine two finger head.A nice look fellowed by a nice earthy smell, not too hoppy for an ale,but with just enough spices.This has a nice flavor,but for this genre it's a little lighter than others.The mouthfeel is light,almost watery aftertaste,but still not bad.This isn't the best english brown ale I've ever had,but it's not the worst either.I would have another one.

jmz62565, Sep 29, 2005
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 2,226 ratings.