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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

2,302 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,302
Reviews: 924
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 93
Gots: 223 | 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: 2,302 | Reviews: 924 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckSpin
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11oz bottle ("Best By" ticking of 6/07) in a classic conical pint glass

This review is in memory of Olive, the "Old Brown Dog".

Poured smooth n' steady. Sweet nose, full of dried cherry, caramel, brown sugar, thick malts, even a whisper of lukewarm maple syrup. With some air the malts & caramel take over, and even some rocky aspects. The head, what there was of it, was a lively, agitated mix of loose cream hued foam that faded almost immediately, leaving a floating sheen and glass ring that laced very little. Color is striking, a crystal clear, deep mahogany, warm cherry amber. A few isolated bubbles rise up slowly from the glass bottom.

Nicely sweet on the tongue, the slightly earthy malts & caramel qualities are beautifully balanced and in sync. Traces of that last sip of silty, bottom of the mug morning black coffee come thru via the hops, providing yet another balance to the overall initial taste. Its incredibly easy to drink, and I could see this being a session beer no problem.

It grows drier on the palate, an almost (very faint) peppery quality, crisp, clean, still sweet but more like a cider, albeit just slightly thick and syrupy. Malts are still present, but not as sweet as they provide a flatter quality to the aforementioned. It finishes bittersweet, semi-dry, a little earthy and even a trace of charred wood, leaving a clean, subtly chewy aftertaste that coats the mouth & teeth.

Just a nice beer. A little on the sweet side, but just a good beer. Its very well balanced, and was damn easy to drink. I enjoyed the various complimentary relationships & weighs and measures in it. Would pair well with a simple red meat, any bar food, cheese but nothing too strong...ahh, a cheeseburger & fries would be killer! We need beers like this to just have and to drink and enjoy, and enjoy more than one. Certainly a worthy beer of anyone who enjoys a well crafted, albeit simple, brew. Check it out.

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

Very dark, chill-hazed, tea color with a smallish head of sticky tan lacing.

Aromas are caramel and burnt malts.

Flavor is sweet toasted amber malt with caramel and brown sugar and some nice drying citrus hops on the tail-end.

Mouthfeel is creamy and tingly from the carbonation.

Aftertaste is surprisingly clean and refreshing.

A very nice high quality, refreshing English brown.

Photo of Brad007
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark brown body with a light, off-color head.

Smell- Sweet, malty aroma that definitely seems drinkable just by the aroma.

Taste- Smooth and malty with a slight hint of coffee in the aftertaste. Very drinkable so far.

Drinkability- From the aroma to the taste, I would say this beer is drinkable for the style it represents.

Photo of number1bum
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darkish brown amber with some ruby hues when held to the light. Minimal head but what's there leaves a touch of beige lacing around the outside of the glass. Pleasant malt aroma is just a tad sweet smelling, with a bit of caramel but mostly roasted malts and a nutty scent. Malts take the stage on the tongue, as well...again roasted malts and some nutty flavor with a nice hop balance on the back end. This is a crisp, medium-bodied and tasty brown ale that makes a great session beer.

Photo of Hautacam
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber with a small tan head...slight lacing.
Smells mostly of caramel malt and subtle hops.
Taste is big biscuity malt up front..some hints of dried fruits..limey bitter hops ( not too bitter ) kick in halfway to balance the medium sweet malts. Finish is pretty clean with nutty aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is medium to full body with a moderate carbonation.
Drinkable brew for sure.

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

Served in a basic glass. This brown ale poured a ruddy copper brown. Half inch light tan head that disappears rather quickly.

A lot of malt in the nose with a hint of salt water.

Toasted and sweet malts and slight toffee notes. Grainy. The finish is surprisingly hoppy. Not over done though. Very well balanced.

The mouthfeel is rather smooth. Extremely drinkable. A near perfect session brew.

Photo of treehugger02010
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this on-tap at Brother Jimmy's in New York, Ny.
Appearance: Very dary brown, with a bit of head which happened to be a very light brown. The lacing was decent, and so was the retention.
Smell: The smell was not overly malty, but I certainly couldn't detect much else. Well blended aroma for being one-sided (curious).
Taste: It went down fast, so it must have been good, right? Again, well balnced, certainly no bittering hops could have been used, but interstlying not too malty.
Mouthfeel: It went down smooth. I wish I could discribe it better, but that's about it, smooth.
Drinkabilty: It was certainly abover average, but not something I will seek out.
Don't drink and review.

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

Purchased recently as a mix pack in Northport. Pours a dark clear brown with a moderate heads that sticks around. Smells a bit musty and malty, not too strong. Tastes nice, a good nutty malt caramel flavor with a hint of grass liek hops. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and fuzzy. But overall, pretty good, especially for a brown ale. Usually I find this style a bit lacking, but this one is really good.

Photo of albern
2.56/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For a smuttynose, this one is not up to par. The smell is musty, a little tinny, it did remind me a little of a wet dog ... not too good. The color is dark, rich, amber, clear, with not much head. Okay on the carbonation front. The taste ... hmmm. Decent mix between hops and malts, on the dry side, a medium balance and texture. The taste has some fruity complexity, there are difficult to discern flavors in this beer, maybe a little on the coffee/chocolate side of the taste spectrum, but I remain unimpressed. It's okay, but not worth returning to and a bit of a disappointment coming from Smuttynose, which has made some excellent beers in the past.

Photo of EarlNobdy
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is classic rock. I was listening to one of Jimmy Page's extended Heartbreaker solos from '72 this morning, and it's kind of like that. I want to wear blue jeans and drink this beer.

If it smells good and tastes good, then, by Gum, it must be good. Just the slightest hint of smoked blunt and brimstone with the faintest overtones of unicorn horn.

If I wasn't already married, I just might marry this beer--because as I get older I'm lowering my sites somewhat and wouldn't mind settling down with someone I can simply depend on who won't kick me out of bed or call me a fat, balding waste of space.

This beer could be Lucky Lady #2.

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

Smuttynose has positioned itself as my favorite New England brewery. Old Brown Dog continues to solidify that reputation in my mind. OBD is a wonderful brown ale. It pours a deep brown with a hint of red (similar to the label background behind the dog), with a nice, modest, but persistent head. The smell is malt all the way, with toasty slightly molasses notes. The taste is of sweet, slightly molasses, but not overly so, taste buds respond happily to each sip. And each sip leaves me thirsty for the next. Good, even body, with good level of carbonation allows this beer to coat my mouth and leave a hint of malty sweetness lingering in my mouth.

Photo of oelergud
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Semi transparent copper red body, low carbonation. Tan creamy head, decent retention and lace.
Nutty scent and abit sweet, simple and inviting.
Mild and slightly spiced malt and hops in good balance. Nutty and somewhat sharp. Aftertaste is an earthy root sharpness.
Good mouthfeel with a medium body.
Good drinkability, easy and simple.


Photo of Redwood21
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
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
3.88/5  rDev -1%
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
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
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
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
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
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
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
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
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 +14.8%
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 +4.6%
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
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
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
3.92/5  rDev 0%
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
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,302 ratings.