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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

very good
948 Reviews
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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog AleSmuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-07-1998

User Reviews
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Reviews: 948 | Ratings: 2,585
Photo of rob111270
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Excellent brown ale. One of my favorites. Smells good, tastes even better. Just the right mix of hops to malt. And the 6.7% ABV isn't too bad either!

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into Pilsner glass

Clear copper brown, some carbonation, bubbly one finger taupe cap, good lacings

Aroma of sweet malt

Malt sweetness, back of the tongue, slight hoppy finish

Little to no sudsing, quaffable,

Very good, enjoyable brew

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Photo of malt-ofthe-earth
4.41/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Old Brown Dog is still what it used to be although Olive herself has passed on to amber fields of grain. I started drinking this on tap at the Portsmouth Brewery back in the days of the early twenty-first century while watching Tom Brady lead the Patriots (they hate us cuz they ain’t us) to their first Super Bowl champion season before TV was HD and the bartender knew the point spread. Ah, those were the days my friend when games were won by some sleight of hand and bar seats were scouted out by watching wallets being pulled out of if not exactly a hat then an old jean pocket. Is that all there is? Then let’s keep sipping. Oh yeah, the beer? I like it. It’s one of my old stand-bys, much better than most normal-priced twelve-packs around these parts. There’s a nice muted malt flavor that actually gets better as the beer gets warmer, and a sufficient dose of hops for the American palate, although, truth be told, I’d increase the malt and lessen the hops and then I’d be giving it a perfect 5, which considering my preference for a four-pack bang for the buck roasted toasted or malted is saying quite a lot. The color is a nice brown, of course, rich Ghirardelli-like about (did you know there’s 2 r’s in Ghirardelli?) 60% cacao-like. I’m not a beer connoisseur but I know what I like and I like the Old Brown Dog. Oh you’re such a good girl, Olive.

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Photo of jamiejohnson
4.87/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I can't believe I haven't reviewed a Smutty beer - one of my absolute fave breweries. In the mad world of the IPA craze (and I love them too -Smutty's Finestkind included) a malt based probrew like Old brown Dog is refreshing. Smuttynose is incredible value - all of their beers are solid and priced for the working man. Thanks to you all you hard-working Smuttiers for producing this classic.

I drink every day
But it's not my fault
It's those evil brewers
Of hops and malt

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Photo of lazy8
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz bottle in point glass. Medium brown with a thin team head. Mild malt aroma. Tastes a little sweet and caramel malty, but we'll balanced. Not as burnt as some brown ales. Neeson bodied. A good, easy drinking brown.

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Photo of Nolo
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look -> The look was obviously the best. Nice amberish brown.1 finger of head with a slight tan that quickly turned into a ring and later disappeared. Not sure if it had really small amount of sediment, almost nothing. The name and the image go great with the look and style.

Smell -> The smell kinda turned me off as I expected a sweet yet bitter caramel. But is morelike a grainy malty smell. Its not bad, you just expect a whole different aroma and i think we can all agree.

Taste -> You get this caramel sweet bitter roasty hot flavor. Really pleasant good to the palate taste. I really didnt perceived more flavors, id say hops but really nothing much. I also perceived kinda off a nutty flavor almost like cashews. Really complex.

Feel -> Felt it a like dry, but thats just me. Also felt a nice kinda creamy smooth soft really low on crisp. Not the best but not bad at all.

Overall -> I can totally pick this up again, great for dessert or just to chill out on a stressful day. Love what Smuttynose does, they just know how to do it and from a scale from 1 to 10 id give it a solid 7.5

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.69/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Smuttynose's Old Brown Dog Ale a couple weeks ago for $1.79 at Holiday Market. It's been a little while since I've tried a new Brown Ale and I'm interested to see how it turns out, so lets see how it goes. Best by 6-1-15. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A_ The label looks good and it goes well with the name. It poured a nice darker amber color that took on more of a mahogany color when held to the light with almost two fingers worth of fizzy tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some just a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer and it's mainly what I expect from the style.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with some yeasty aromas being the first to show up and they are followed by the malts which impart a caramel malt, toasted, grainy, and doughy aromas. This beer had a nice aroma, but it wasn't as balanced as I would like.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but more balanced and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the yeast still being the first to show up, but it's not as dominating as it was in the aroma. Up next comes the malts which show up more than they did in the aroma and they impart the same nice aspects along with a noticeable toffee flavor. On the finish there's hardly any bitterness with a little of sweetness taking it's place and it has a nice toasted, toffee and caramel like aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting Brown Ale, I have no complaints.

M- Smooth, pretty crisp, slightly prickly, medium bodied with a higher amount of medium carbonation. This beer had a pretty nice mouthfeel that worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and I thought it was a good example of a Brown Ale, the aroma threw me off a little, but once I got to the taste I enjoyed it more and those aspects that I look for in the style started to show up. This beer had nice drinkability, It was smooth, pretty crisp, slightly prickly, not too filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I could drink a couple of these, especially in the fall time. What I like the most about this beer was the taste, it was pretty nice and true to style. What I liked the least about this beer was the aroma, it was just a little unbalanced with the yeast being too dominant. I would buy this beer again when in the mood for the style and I would recommend trying it if you like Brown Ales. All in all I was happy with this beer, it wasn't the most impressive Brown Ale I've had, but it was still nice and in the end I enjoyed it. It's not a favorite of the style and I would say it's right on the same level as their Finest Kind IPA. Nice job guys, this was a nice Brown Ale, keep it up.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a fine brown with a fair amount of off white head. Smells of malts, bready a bit floral. Taste is caramel, light non specific malts throughout, minimal floral/bitter hops at finish. Light to medium bodied, fairly clean finish.

Overall, not bad for the style but lacks body, complexity and flavor. I wouldn't seek this beer out, but wouldn't turn it down if offered to me.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look- dark brown with a thin creamy lace that retains well.
Smell- malty, syrupy, caramel and grains. Also slightly medicinal.
Taste- sweet, fruity, malty and grainy.
Feel- my favorite attribute of this brew. Creamy, smooth and a nice wet finish.
Overall a great beer that I see myself getting again. This is my second time trying it and I like it even better than before.

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Photo of BradMacMullin
3.29/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Argh, why do I keep getting this. Got the variety pack and this one again. I've had it 50 times and always forget how unforgettable it is. Thank god for beer advocate - this well thought out review is now locked in stone. Here goes. Odd copper color in my mind. I liked the bready smell, but the taste is disappointing. ABV not distinctive and just bland to me. I like the name and art - bottle looks good. I'll probably have another one in 2 weeks and be annoyed

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.46/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, cloudy, dark mahogany color with an eighth of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very malty and bready, like freshly baked pretzels, followed by some sweetness, floral notes of clover and some nuttiness.

Taste: Very much like the aroma. Very, very malty and bready up front, imparting flavors of pretzels and rye bread, followed by some toffee-like sweetness, some nuttiness and some subtle, hoppy bitterness. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 6.7%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is an absolutely delicious brown ale! Great balance between malt, nuttiness, sweet and bitter. This can easily become my go to East Coast brown ale. Delicious!

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Photo of Gusmanthecat
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

It's an OK beer. Not world class but just OK. I did expect a better feel but it just felt thin. Lacked a head. The high ABV doesn't justify a stellar review. However, love the name!

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.
Pours an appropriate brown with ruby highlights and a tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.
The aroma is spice and dark fruit with a hint of booze as well as hints of caramel and rich, dark bread.
Very tasty brew. Early sweet caramel with some spiciness and a hint of dried fruit. it finishes with a pleasing and mild bitterness.
Nice moutfeel, medium and almost creamy. Very nice.
A really enjoyable and finely-crafted beer.

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A muddy brown hazy color with almost no head. A little aroma of weak malt, the taste is a little wort like. It has some basic sweet mealtimes with a watery mouthfeel and practically no finish.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 6/1/2015. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, nuttiness, chocolate, herbal, floral, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, nuttiness, herbal, floral, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, nuttiness, chocolate, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent brown ale style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Boo_Bill
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an excellent beer. I do not agree that it's a "hoppy" beer. It's less bitter and has a better mouth feel than New Castle. Medium bodied and delicious. I'll be buying more.

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Photo of JohnPolino
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great un-asuming beer! I'm an IPA/Porter/Stout guy, but this beer surprised me...pleasantly. Bolder than a typical English Brown. More aggessivily hopped . great mouth feel. See what Brown can do for you!

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper with small, fast-disappearing head. Smells of malt with a slight metallic tinge.This comes through in the taste which seems a little mineral-ey, but well-balanced with notes of caramel - not too sweet though. Great body makes it very smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of Gperson
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Bottle, but always happy to see it on tap. A standard bearer. Caramel isn't to my taste, but the fullness, integration of ingredients, and final smoothness render complaints silly.

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Photo of UnicornProfessor
4.25/5  rDev +9%

One of my favorite beers of late. I was a weekly drinker of this at the Alamo Drafthouse in Sterling, VA until they stopped carrying it. I really miss it, and look forward to drinking it again.

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Photo of jeranbrews
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

A - high clarity. Amber color that's slightly in the brown side but not quite molasses. Thin wispy head that falls fast. 3

S - sweet roasted caramels and fresh wheat toast. 3.5

T - mildly sugary. Faintly roasted malts. Similar to smells. Simple but pleasant. 3.5

M - vaguely effervescent. Soda like. 3.25

O - a good simple anytime beer. 3.25

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a mixed twelve pack. Borwn color, good head. Aorma was malt, flavor was a malty brown ale. Not much to say about this one except that its easy to drink but sort of average.

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Photo of PatrickKellyCT
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark, great looking amber/brown with a couple of fingers of head which quickly receded to a nice white lacing.

Aroma isn't anything special but is enjoyable...sweet malts, almost fruity, get a tad bit of hops in the aroma.

Flavor is wonderful, nutty, malty, sweet, lots of caramel and toffee. Very little hop presence. Very nutty at the back end in a very, very enjoyable way.

Mouth feel is pretty standard with a little bit of carbonation.

All in all a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of ordybill
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- A nice rush of sweet malt with some hops. Appearance- The beer pours a dark amber/brown with a fairly large white head. Taste- Has a nice malt and nut flavor, semi- sweet with some caramel notes. Palate- /a medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall- A good American Brown Ale.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.51/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: [4.50] looks brown in the glass. When held up to a light it shows some red hues. It forms a small white cap with varying bubbles. The head looks like it won't be around for long. No real lacing on the glass. I was wrong. I let the beer sit an hour to warm. The cream head stayed the entire time. There is nice lacing now too. The bottle says best by 10/21/14 and ABV 6.7%.

S: [2.75] Slight caramel and brown sugar. There is also something sort of metallic (even though this was a bottle pour)

T: [3.75] The initial taste is lackluster. This is right out of the back of the fridge. I am giving it time to warm. After an hour of warming the flavors opened up. There is sweet flavor, caramel, a nutty taste too.

M: [3.75] It is smooth with just a little bit of carbonation so you know it is there. The body is nice on this one.

O: [3.50] This beer is a lot different when it warms up. It is still not my favorite - but it is better than it was. I won't buy it again - but I wouldn't turn one down.

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 948 ratings.