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

2,435 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,435
Reviews: 947
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.94%
Wants: 101
Gots: 322 | FT: 5
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: 2,435 | Reviews: 947
Photo of Hibernator
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale
12 oz brown bottle. Brewed & bottled in May 2005
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a chestnut brown color with a lightly tan colored head. Trails of sticky lacings on the glass.

Smells very malty and rich.

The mouthfeel is juicy and chewey. Super rich in malts with a tad of fruit flavors and light chocolate appeal. Very smooth and enjoyable.

What a solid Brown Ale. This offering from Smuttynose usually slips under my radar. I have to make an effort to buy this beer more often. It's probably versatile in terms of pairing it up with different foods as well. Hands down, one of the smoothest 5.7 % ABV beers I have ever had.

Photo of jakester
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this as a single from Union Jack's on the Manatawny. Born on date clearly notched on the label.

Pours a beautiful mahogany with a tan head of foam. Head drops to a ring in @ 5 minutes. Still, there's decent lacing on the glass. Light carbonation evident.

Aroma is a delicate chocolate with hints of caramel. Very faint herbal hops way in the back. Not much in the way of aroma. Improves slightly as it warms, but not alot.

Flavor is smooth chocolate, but more like the semi-sweet kind. The sweetness is muted in this beer. Surprising bitterness for an English brown. There is some kind of very faint tartness going on there also. Maybe some hop flavor? Slightly grainy, but a pleasant enough beer. Aftertaste is a little astringent.

Mouthfeel is somewhat sweet and creamy, soft carbonation, with positively a bitter bite at the back of the throat. I like it, but maybe not to style. Finish is semi-dry.

This is a good beer, and I would recommend it, but as an English style brown ale, it's might be out of style. At 5.7% ABV, this would be fun to drink for a few hours.

Photo of LPorter33
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = Beautiful light chocolate brown. Head retention is poor but lacing is decent and the color is so nice it will hold 100% of your visual inspection.

Smell = Not much coming through and it might need to warm up a bit. Malt scent is present, mostly toasted and chocolate flavors. Tiny bit of hops but it's barely noticable.

Taste = Solid tasting brown ale. Good robust, complex flavors upfront with toasted malt and good coffee/chocolate hints. After taste is a bit sharp and the alcohol is very present here.

Overall = A well represented brown ale. Not my favorite style due to the low hops but it's still a very respectable brew and I definitely recommend it to fans of the taste.

Photo of battlekow
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The dog on this bottle is cuter than the dog on Avery Ellie's Brown, but there's no charming description to accompany it, so I'm going to have to vote Ellie as the better beer dog. As for the beer itself, let's see...a cloudy, medium brown color with a white head and okay lacing. Smells mapley, a little too sweet. Tastes mapley and nutty with a subtle, bitter finish--really nice. Not much hop presence. Really smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Nice, solid brown ale.

Thanks to RealityDeviant for sending me a few bottles of this.

Photo of LiquidBreadMan
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Once in a while, I venture outside of my IPA world. This is one time that I'm glad I did.

Old Brown Dog Ale pours a 'root beer' brown with an average sized tan head and definite lacing. Honestly, this is the aroma that sells houses. It's true. One whiff yielded chocolate, carmel and even some brown sugar. I felt like I was home for the holidays. The flavor is much the same -- chocolate and carmel -- delicious. (I guess I like malts better than I thought.) Carbonation is barely there, which makes way for a smooth mouthfeel and an easy drinking beer. The finish is consistent with the aroma and "home-baked" flavor.

This was a good brew indeed.

Photo of TheDeuce
4.73/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale....

Appearance-pours a really dark brown with a tan foamy head that fizzles up and then finally simmers down into a two finger pile of lace, some lace left on the edge...

Smell-caramel malt simmers on top with a bite of hop nuances on the end of it it, a little bit of alcohol and caramel to round it out.

Taste-chocalatey malt comes through immediately with great smoothness on the toungue as it finishes some slight hop bites come into play, effortlessly smooth and chocolaty, great depth for a brown ale.

Mouthfeel-great depth and smoothness round out this brew and help it go down easy with a chocolate taste that is sure to please.

Drinkability-fantastic, tastes great, not that alcoholic, great sessioner.

Overall-the best brown ale I've had to date, wonderful malt flavors, decent alcohol content and a smoothness to it that adds greater enjoyment, pick this one up now if your at all a fan of brown ales

Photo of Jacobob10
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap @ The Linwood Grill in Boston, MA.

Pours a light brown with a small head. Lively carbonation and a little bit light in body for a brown ale. The aroma was dull and I couldn't really pick much up from it. The taste had a slight nuttiness to it with some caramel mixed in. Very smooth beer. Nothing really excited me too much about this beer, but it is very drinkable for the style.

Photo of Truh
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Noticed some white around the whiskers with this one on 5/10/2005. 16-oz. pint , at the [AC]PH.

Tilted table of thin, nebula head with a small amount of stick, little lace. Medium brown hue with a fair amount of clarity and little to no action. Very light caramel/butterscotch bouquet, but a crank of silty malt does end up pulling through. Caramel cut with what I would say a weird baker’s chocolate fining adds an almost smoky character to the pour; light woodiness filters through later. Medium body.

Very drinkable, and not too sweet, a good Kix breakfast kids love to eat.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ths brew pours a light hazy brown color with a small head that falls to ring the beer. I would like to see a little darker color. The nose is slight nutty and roasty tones, slight caramel, and slight brownsugar sweetness. The flavor is nice...starts as a nutty and roasty and moves more towards a burnt caramel roastyness, almost slightly coffee, but not. I think that the flavor is very good. Fairly well right where I want to see a brown ale. The feel is moderate, with a light to moderate carbonation. Very solid beer. Goes down easy. Very quenching. Easy drinking. Good show.

Photo of beermanbrian
3.31/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy orange brown in color. Minimal head and no lacing. Very little carbonation, the beer seams to have no life. Slight nutty smell and taste. Very minimal bitterness. Very smooth finish and taste. I kind of conflicted on this beer, it taste much better than it looks.

Photo of rousee
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Smuttynose really seems to have improved over the last couple years. This is brewed in November of 04 and it is April 05. Plenty fresh tasting still.

Pours brown as described-hint of ruby at the bottom part of glass. No head to speak of and a moderate amount of thin lace. Just a nice hearty malt and hops balance on the nose. Cedar elements too. Some slight sourness but nothing to detract from the enjoyment. Tastes a little similar to the robust porter in the background but I love the robust porter so thats a good thing. All the nose elements are equally apparent on the palate as they are scent-wise. Mouthfeel is nice and clean--a touch dry but very pleasant. Drinkable--oh yes these are too drinkable at 5.7% -actually thats not too bad for a very nice brown ale.

Photo of ZAP
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A highly enjoyable borwn ale...not one of my favorite styles but this is very tasty...orangish/brown color...hazy....little head....great sweet aroma...chocolate...toffee....almonds...pretty full bodied for the style...sweet flavor...big maltiness...nice chocolate notes but also the toffee and nutty components...finishes with a little yeastiness...

Very of my favorite brown ales...

Photo of willytime
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured with a nice head that faded fairly quickly but left a nice lace in the glass. Can't get too much smell, but it may be a little cold so I'll need to wait for it to warm a little. Hint of roasted malts in the nose. Really nice example of a brown ale - dark amber in color. The roasted malts come in the beginning of the sip and the hops carry the beer through nicely to the finish. Not overwhelming in the hops department, just enough to balance the beer. This balance, coupled with the creamy mouthfeel make for excellent drinkability. An English Brown I would recommend and will remember the next time I am in the mood for one.

Photo of Southernbrew
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely brownish-amber with a healthy, sudsy head.

Aroma shows off hints of nuts blended with a bit of chocolate and some toffee/butterscotch.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Lovely flavors here. Plenty of toasted malts and a pleasant sweetness show up first. Some light fruit notes come in as well as does the faintest bit of hops. It would seem the hops are mostly there to keep the malt in check. A pleasant sweetness remains in the aftertaste.

A fine example of the style. I could drink these all night. Nice job Smuttynose!

Photo of Reidrover
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Comes ina 12 oz brown long neck.
Very nice ale to look at chesnut brown with a gorgeous tan head..that recedes to leave large splotches of lace.
Very nice milk chocolate malty aroma to this one
Very very tasty and well balanced beer..hints of clotted cream,cocoa,milk chocolate, residual sweetness of raspberrys,small hop kick at the end,long lingering chocolatyness.
Wonderfully creamy and smooth on the palate..great stuff.
Exceptionally drinkable , a remarkable brown ale.
Another excellent choice from Jah Noth

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice balance of malt and bitter. Nicely drinkable. Tad of roast, chocolate malts, cocoa. Some nuts, and smooth - Brown earthy colour. Really good with lighter supper. Medium mouthfeel.
Had 4.5 years later on tap at the Smuttynose brewpub and not so much roast came through. Above average mouthfeel.Lacey and fresh.

Photo of Schwarzbart
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer looked like the color of an acorn with very little to no head. Decent lacing and good carbonation. Smelled like roasted grain and a slight hops aroma. The taste was sweet and bitter at the same time. A nice hoppy flavor at end and hoppy aftertaste. It got better the more I drank. Great mouthfeel with good carbonation. I believe this beer would continue to go down smooth.

Photo of Sixpoint
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love this beer. I bought a bottle-version of it from Halt-Time Beverages in Poughkeepsie, NY. Great place for beer.

I tasted this beer in succession with a series of other New England microbrewed Brown Ales. The result? This beer emerged as one of the most lively and complex versions.

I particularly like the nuttiness and chocolate character, and the beer finished dry enough to not be overwhelmingly sweet. Sometimes, Brown Ales are too caramely and sweet and are not balanced enough by the hops our darker flavors from the malts.

I think this is a fantastic session ale and I recommend it to anyone who appreciates a good Brown.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light tobacco brown-dark amber, a color that is both interesting and appealing. The beer is topped by an ecru head that is densely creamy enough to demonstrate a great deal of stubbornness. When it eventually begins to deflate, very little lace appears on the glass.

The nose is of moderately roasted malt with a suggestion of chocolate and a hint of hops. It isn't as dark or as aromatic as I'd like however. I hope the flavor is more bold because (going on aroma alone) OBD occupies the lighter end of the brown ale spectrum.

Thankfully, there's more flavor than expected given the color and the nose. I'm not surprised a bit that Smuttynose has come through yet again. Old Brown Dog is bold and spicy without being as roasted malty or as chocolatey as some. That isn't to say that it isn't enjoyable; far from it. Actually, it tastes like a baby dubbel or a Belgian brown (if such a style existed).

Herbal, darkly fruity and more bitter than most, this is a brown ale with attitude. A light malty sweetness appears early on and is carried throughout the mouthful, but the hop load is what distinguishes this beer and is the engine that makes it go. The body is medium in heft with a lively, mouth pleasing amount of carbonation. Thanks to far333 for the bottle.

Old Brown Dog marks its territory as a more hoppy, less roasty brown ale and guards it with a menacing growl. I haven't run across a beer of this style that presents itself in quite the same way, so points for originality must be accorded as well as points for quality. If you love hoppy browns, unleash this pooch and let him run.

Photo of palma
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pleasantly surprised by this one! Found this on tap at Austin's Ale House in Queens. Dark brown body with a thick smooth tan head. Smell is toasted malt with very light coffee notes. Taste is sweet malt. Grainy flavor. very very light coffee flavor. I dont like too much coffee taste in my brown ales. This ale was perfect in that respect. Some fruit flavor in the end maybe. Light carbonation and so smooth. Drinkability is almost an amazing 5. This brew went down so easy and I wanted another, bad. I think this is an excellent brown ale. Not sure why it hasn't gotten higher marks here on BA.

Photo of Bighuge
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice russet brown appearance with amber streaking. Good sized tan head, airy creamy. Nice whiffs of toffee, chocolate and butter brickle. There's nice mild toffee like malt presence and some dry cocoa to accent it. Just the slightest bit of a sourness. And some earthy hop accents. Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and light-medium bodied. Decent little session brew here.

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Recently had on tap from Sunset Grill and Tap in Allston, Mass. Was told they had just changed the keg and that this was the first serving from the new keg.

A nice ruby/amber brown color with slight translusence and no head by the time it was brought to me; very little lacing as a result.

Very nice, but typical brown ale smell. Slight hint of mollassas and malt.

A little thin on the palate hence the slightly lower mouthfeel rating. It didn't quite have the consistancy I'm use to from brown ale but this did not detract from the taste.

A bit a a sweet but not overpoweringly sweet taste. Slightly flowery with maltiness coming thru at the end. A bit like caramel candy.

Very easy to drink and one I will look for again.

Photo of donnebaby
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tan, soft head is thick but fades...away. A nicer brown color than most, clean yet with apparent shining amber accents. Small collar remains, no lacing. Nose is potent, but not overpowering, of roasted grains and caramel of malt character and even a hint of smoke.

Taste continues with the roasted malt overall flavor but also has a mild coffee buzz to it. Soft, sharp carbonation doesn't have too much power (perfect for a brown ale), but retains a sharp feel. Taste, too, has a light feel but also has a lightly bitter charcoal grain, like burnt grains in the mouth and after.

I thought this reminded of Leffe's brown a bit although it's been a long time since I've had one.

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish brown. There is little head, despite my beset pouring efforts. The aroma is caramel and toffee. Tastes slightly nutty with a caramel flavor and a hint of coffee. Sweeter than I expected, in a good way. Finishes with a little hop bitterness. Medium body. Highly drinkable. An all-around good brown ale.

Photo of AlexJ
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany color with excellent clarity, light head, and light lacing. Malty aroma, figs, caramel, and roasted grains dominate. Similar flavor profile, slightly sour/astringent. Nutty malts with a crisp, lightly hoppy finish. Big bubbles of carbonation lend a "weird" mouthfeel. I think this bottle is old cuz this beer has definately tasted better. Overall drinkable yet laeves something to be desired.

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 2,435 ratings.