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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

very good
949 Reviews
For Trade:
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: 949 | Ratings: 2,587
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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Photo of illpass78
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber/brown that looks kind of reddish against the light. One-finger off-white head.

Aroma: Smells of nuttiness, caramel, hops, toast and malt. Appealing.

Taste: This is a really tasty brown ale that hits you with a roasty nutty flavor and a nice hoppy finish. There's also some sweetness and caramel, which is represented in the nose.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, as it should be. Maybe a shade less than medium, but the depth is pretty spot-on.

Overall: A terrific representation of the style, and altogether a terrific beer. Lots of flavor, and leaves you wondering where they hide the more-than-average alcohol, as it's barely noticeable. A modern classic, I'd say.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev +1%

Best by 11/19/14.

Pours a hazy copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and nut aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, and nut flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of wonothesane42
4/5  rDev +2.6%

The beer pours a nice light brown with a soft white head, and smells of toasted bread and caramel. Upon tasting the beer the taste is mostly in line with the smell with some earthiness and chocolate mixed in. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy with good carbonation. Overall this is a solid beer with nice flavors and drinkablility, but the star of this beer is the texture, which is outstanding.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: medium brown; 1 finger off white head that receded quickly to a thin ring; no lacing;

S: caramel malt; slightly sweet;

T: caramel, roasted grain; a little too sweet for may taste;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: my recollection of this beer from previous tastings is that it had more depth of flavor and less sweetness;

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish brown with a 1" tan head. Thin cap remains, nothing lingers on the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Caramel malts, bloody/flinty and slightly sweet. Slight hoppiness, and as it warms it gets sweeter & fruitier. Toffee.

Taste: Tart arrival, sweet across mid-palate. Roasty, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Hefty; solid & substantial. Not heavy, though. Mid-to-heavy weight. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is a great example of an American brown ale. Love the style and love the beer; nothing pedestrian about this one. Caramelly, tart, and clean. Hides 6.7% really well. On the sweeter side of the brown ale spectrum.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a snifter.
Pours a deep dark amber, with half a finger of head.
Smells toasty, toffee and roasty malts.
Tastes very much in line with aromas. Good flavor and decent hop bitterness on finish.
Mouthfeel was solid and very drinkable.
Overall, it's a good representation of the style.

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Photo of brureview
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a Jacks Abby pint glass: ice tea color with a 2F head. Carbonation bubbles from the bottom of the glass.

The aroma: light malt.

Mouth feel- lightly carbonated.

Taste: Excellent- fruit, chocolate, malt.
The finish is tangy and hoppy,

Overall: a brown ale with lots of character. Very drinkable. Serve on the warmer side: 50F°.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This pours a semi-clear, light brown color with a foamy light brown head. The aroma is mild with a great smell of malts mixed with some yeast. The taste is smooth, sweet and delicious. Sweet malts mix with caramel and nuts to make a well-balanced brown ale. Finishes with a touch of a bitter after taste. An easy drinking, everyday kind of beer.

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Photo of fx20736
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 6 pack from Wegmans Hylan Dr for $ 8.49 on 5/3/14. Poured into a pint served chilled.

appearance: translucent root beer barrel orange brown with a one finger dirty linen head. Decent lacing.

smell sweet juicyfruit.

taste: sweet, caramel, toasted malt.

mouthfeel: solid, good.

overall: ridiculously easy to drink and tasty. A no brainer and a staple type beer.

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Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown with a light reddish amber hue and a thin finger of foam.

Nutty, caramel, toasted malts, slight chocolate note.

Molasses and caramel like sweetness, nutty roasted malts, and faint chocolate flavor.

Medium-bodied, low-medium carbonation, sweet, nutty.

Overall, a really fantastic beer.

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Photo of u2carew
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a two finger head. Tan, tight and creamy. Slowly settles leaving a sticky lacing at the edge of the glass. Clear, dark amber body.
S) Roasted grains. Toasty malts.
T) Buttery, caramel notes. Hints of coffee. Very subtle hops in the finish.
M) Crisp. Medium body. Dry finish.
O) A delicious brown ale - so surprised I've not rated this before!

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Photo of Immortale25
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. Bottleneck says Best By 08/05/14.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains a bit before soon becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thin jagged ring behind.

S- Toasty malt brings notes of dark bread, cocoa, honey and caramel.

T- Pretty sweet with the toastiness of the malt providing good balance. Hops are mild but certainly there, giving a complementary bitterness. Some more notes of honey, vanilla and some nuttiness.

M- Slightly slick with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A brown ale that actually has some depth to it. Easy drinking while also being interesting to the last sip.

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Photo of dar482
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours out in dark red rusty copper brown color with red coming through in the light. The head is a big 2-3 finger creamy off white head.

The aroma has some chocolate malt, tons of toasted nuttiness, breadiness, brown sugar and caramel malt. With a bit of a dark fruit like cherries or prune in the back.

The flavor has that toasty malt flavor and bit of a caramel sweetness along with . There’s definitely some fruitiness in there too like the aroma. It’s a gentle pop of cherries and apple skin.

The end has a malty sweetness that slowly goes away. Mouthfeel is medium light.

A very basic, yet well crafted brown ale. I had this up against Indian Brown, which clearly won. It also lost against Avery Ellie's Brown, but by a hair. A dog's hair, even.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear though almost opaque reddish brown in color with moderate to heavy amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and garnet red highlights. The beer has a half finger tall dense foamy tan head that reduces to a very thick film covering the entire surface of the beer evenly with a slightly more than medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly heavier than moderate aromas of toasted and caramel malts with light to moderate amounts of sweetness and some light nuttiness.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of slightly sweet toasted and caramel malts with light amounts of caramel + toffee sweetness. There is a light amount of bitterness present in the finish which does not linger for too long.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

O: Easy to drink and sessionable with a very enjoyable flavor.

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Photo of ThisLadyLovesBeer
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A = as expected for a nice brown ale, with a respectable head.
S = Malty, lightly hopped.
T = Not hoppy at all, with a touch of malty sweetness that makes it very drinkable.
M = Medium bodied, not syrupy or too light. True to style?
O = a really good brew. One of my favorite Smuttynose offerings. It would also pair nicely with a variety of hearty foods. I will revisit this ale again.

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Photo of Grugalug
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark reddish brown. Lots of bubbles rising to the surface. About a half finger of head. Head dissipates relatively quickly. Looks nice.

S- Big caramel and toffee, with just a slight nuttiness. No roasted malt that I can detect. It has a wonderful caramel sweetness in the smell, and virtually no hop presence. Really nice.

T- Caramel and toffee gets you almost immediately. Caramel sweetness gives way to nutty character in the aftertaste, but it is still present. Just a bit of hop bitterness. Satisfyingly malty and delicious.

M- Pretty medium-bodied. Not chewy but not watery. Pleasant amount of carbonation. Very smooth and easy-drinking.

O- A really impressive brown ale. Just a great beer and one that I will definitely buy with regularity.

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Photo of bsimeone
4.79/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great tasting beer. Caramel taste - very hoppy. If you like heavy american, this is great stuff.

The pour itself was a reddish brown - very deep. The taste was bready with hints of fruit and whisky - very pleasant and smooth. I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of wac9
2.99/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

i was in the mood for a brown ale but this wasnt the brown ale could save the night it just boring lackluster its browm thats about it nothing outstanding to keep you coming back go look for a brown ale that packs a punch was hoping this bee was good but sadly its diapponts i know it me but i dont like it

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Photo of dreed3333
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served from a bottle from local beer store
Deep copper and carmel color with a slight haze and a very small head. Smell has lots of sweet toasted malt upfront. A slight scent and taste of corn but not like some cheap adjunct, more like fresh sweet corn on the cob. The end of the taste had a good balance of hops to counteract the malty sweetness. Mouthfeel is smooth but not too thin and has a moderately low level of carbonation

Overall a good beer that is enjoyable on cold nights with nothing out of balance, but also nothing that stands out as exceptional

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Photo of arizcards
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Received a single from Lets Pour back in early October for $5.75. Best by 10/23/13...whoops.

Beer poured brown with a off white head that did not last long.

Nose is light grapefruit, toasted and roasted malts.

Taste is light chocolate, light grapefruit, toasted grains.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is one of those beers that are just tasty and it is really kind of hard to define why. I like the grapefruit hopping in a brown ale as it just works well. Would love to try a fresher version so i will have to pick some up the next time Da Boss and i are back east.

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Photo of WheelsPSU
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this on a cold winter night watching the NFL playoffs. The 12 ounce bottle poured more amber than brown with a with a small head that did not last and almost no lacing.

The nose was pleasant with a rich, almost smoked, chocolate scent which was followed up with a hint of something sweet, perhaps vanilla.

Right off the start, the taste was dark chocolate. It then turned a bit sweeter and creamier. I got a smoke flavor (maybe the earthy malts?) to balance the chocolate which made for a delicious taste.

Overall the beer was sweeter than expected (which is not a bad thing). I'm a fan of brown ales and this is a very good one.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: Brown with a beige head. No lacing on the glass.

Smell: Nutty with roasted malts.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste nutty with hints of roasted malts, some mild citrus in the background.

Overall: Definatly one of the better Brown Ales I have had, but still not a huge fan of browns personally.

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Photo of Theheroguy
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Definitely one of the superior brown ales I've had. This is much more complex than your average beer of this style, the hops are pretty well pronounced. The beer starts off pretty mild gradually bringing in sweetness from the darker specialty grains. Then the herbal, smooth bitterness of the hops rounds everything out.

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Photo of FLima
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light brown color with a small head with low retention.
Aroma of dark chocolate and toffee.
Flavor follows nose, predominant notes of chocolate and toasted malts, nuts and cinnamon. Hints of apple juice and earthy hops. Dry aftertaste.
Light to medium body with low carbonation.
I did not found it that hoppy, maybe a notch more than a traditional English Brown Ale.

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 949 ratings.