Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

very good
948 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 948 | Ratings: 2,586
Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Ginger man NYC, Pours light brown and clear. Minimal off white head, heavy lacing. Malty nose. Malt carries the day, as it should in this style. Crisp carbonation in the nose. Mellow brown ale, delicate flavors. Smooth and satisfying. Decent stuff. Quaffer to be enjoyed with a summer BBQ

 302 characters

Photo of tar
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a sampler 12 pack brought to me as a gift by my roommates. Pours a semi-opaque, medium brown with red highlights when held in light. The half inch thick, white head, slowly diminishes and lingers as a thin layer of bubbles which is slowly fed by rising carbonation. Smells sweet and malty--primarily of caramel. Very smooth, medium bodied with a very good taste. Malt flavors, and again especially that of caramel dominate. Some bitterness is present in a very nice finish. A very nice beer overall.

 507 characters

Photo of david23
4.77/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a case where a brew looks as good as it tastes. Pours a deep brown with a creamy tannish head that lingers.Aroma of rich malt and grains. Almost reminds me of walking through the grainery in my old home town. This is all about the best use of grain to produce a great tasting, smooth drinking Brown that leaves you wanting more.Unfortunately, I just drank the last bottle and the stores are close. There's always tommorrow. Surpassed some of my old favorites in choice.

 477 characters

Photo of bewley
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Olive" appears to be sitting on a leopard skin shawl draped across a wooden barrel. Curious that.

I like this beer.

It pours a thick creamy/white head that dissipates quickly. Medium carbonation. Nice hoppy-burnt-caramel flavor.

This is an easy brew to drink at any time: with a spicy curry, with cookies, with cornflakes.

We tried this on tap and in the bottle and enjoyed both.

Worth a try by all means.

 424 characters

Photo of TerryW
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy medium brown, no real head to speak of, only spotty lace early on. Points for good colour.

Sweet mild malt and caramel aroma. Quite pleasant.

Great use of malt in this beer. Gentley sweet, full of grain and nuts. Real nice on the palate.

An interesting beer to drink. Very enjoyable. Reminds me of Dead Guy Ale by Rogue. Worth a try.

 349 characters

Photo of oberon
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium brown with amber highlights thru out not much head but that wasnt expected or hoped for.Aroma was chocolat and more chocolate with an underlying nuttiness to it,very appetizing.Taste is to me of malted chocolate balls with a fruitiness in the finish.A true to form brown ale appetizing and very easy to drink,well done.

 334 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was tough to pour without creating a lot of head. The color is that of stained wood and there is a little lace around the glass. The beer tastes like the smell of woodstain unfortunately. It's not bad, but comes off as tasting a bit acidic. The beer was bottled recently, but I think it may be better to either drink off the tap or let it age a while. It still tastes kind of green to me.

 398 characters

Photo of jtfest
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love the label ...

A thin tan head graces this cola colored ale -- perhaps a bit more amber tinted than a true cola. A malty bread & biscuit aroma reminded me of buttered toast. The mouthfeel was almost chewy -- thick but not heavy, it felt good on the palate with just a tingle of carbonation. The taste was slightly sweet and very clean, somewhat meaty, with a toasted flavor and peppery aftertaste. This was a very enjoyable and easy drinking ale. I really enjoyed this Smutty offering.

 492 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown color with an 1 inch head. The head did not last to long and no lacing developed. The aroma was mild as some malt and caramel tones were evident. The flavor was nice as malt, caramel, and a tiny hint of chocolate were touched with some light roastiness. Very little bitterness. Carbonation level was somewhat weak. The mouthfeel was smooth and this was on the lighter side of a medium bodied brew. Nicely drinkable as the flavors keep this interesting.

 472 characters

Photo of Stimack
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured to a very nice brown amber color with a very small light brown head that broke down to hardly no lacing at all. Looks to have a nice amount of carbonation as I can see a good deal of bubbles coming up the side of the glass.

The aromas from this brew are of malt, brown sugar, caramel and a fruity hop essence. The malt aroma is much more over powering than the rest of the scents, over all a excellent smelling brew!

The taste is almost like candy, as it is very sweet and smooth. Can definitely notice a Fruit taste from the hops with a ending of the caramel that I was able to pick up earlier.

Overall I must say that I like the brew, very sweet and that is what would be its downfall for a brew that I could have a lot of in one setting. It is a very nice offering from Smuttynose and one to look for!

 830 characters

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

Appearance: Ruby chestnut brown with a decent sized quickling dwindling off white cream head, leaves scattered lacing. Aroma: Very nice mix of roasted malts giving of toasted nuts and caramel and chocolate tones nice creamy edge, very mild hops. Taste: Full on cohesion between a sharp malt sweetness caramel and mild alcohol note finishes with hazelnuts wrapped in milk chocolate nice. Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied ale, great feeling smooth on the palate. Drinkability: One of the better brown ales in my opinion beats Brooklyn brown.

 540 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber or light burnt brown, with a nice tight head that dissipates reasonably. Malty chocolate aroma with a touch of hop and yeast.

The taste is unsweetened cocoa followed by a balancing hop bite. This bite lasts through the swallow. Moderate to high carbonation, the body is fuller than most brown ales. Quenching and flavorful.

 337 characters

Photo of RBorsato
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown with tons of suspended sediment, a low light brown head, low carbonation, and no lace. Light hoppy aroma at first changes to a non-descript dark malt aroma. Decent malt-hop balanced American Brown Ale but definitely more malty. Medium bodied with a dry bitter (?) finish.

Although this one should not have gone downhill this fast, I would like to taste a fresher version because this one just had nothing outstanding.

Per Smuttynose website:
OG: 1060
Grain Bill: Pale Brewers, Munich, Crystal 60°L, Chocolate
Hops: Cascade, Willamette
IBU's: 15

1989 GABF - Silver - American Brown Ale

Bottled In: 09/03
Tasted: 01/29/04

 645 characters

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear brown color with a small head. The smell is malty and very sweet. The taste is actually more complex than I expected. Hints of malt, chocolate, raisins and also a touch of coffee. The ending seems to add a bit of hops but not much. I love this beer on tap. The bottle seems to have something a bit more tart to it, not sure where that is coming from. A solid offering from Smuttynose.

 402 characters

Photo of yankeeheel
3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Here's the deal, I want to love Smuttynose. Everything in my being desires to support them and to drink them constantly. However, they always seem to taste like they're just they're one step short of making a really great beer. Brown Dog is no exception.

Pours a clear brown with a two finger eggshell colored head. Smells nice and caramely with a hint of toasted nut.

Tastes quite nutty and buttery with some hints of a slighlty darker malt in the middle. The problem is it finishes very soapy. I can't explain but is has a bit of detergent mouthfeel to it. Body is good and it's drinkable, but the ending is rather unfinished and bizzare.

 647 characters

Photo of silks636
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle. Freshness date notched.

Pours a beautiful crystal clear ruby brown with a moderate cream colored head. Good retention. Minimal lacing. Very sweet malty aroma with notes of caramel and a tinge of fruity hops. Flavor starts off with a butterscotch and nut with a underlying taste of biscuit and sweet bready malts. A nice hop sting finishes it all off with a pleasant bitter contrast to the sweetness.

The more I drink, the more I like. A great little ale which my wife absolutely adores. Recommended.

 542 characters

Photo of TPoling
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nutty brown without much head and a lace that didn't stick. The deep chocolate and nutty roasted aromas carried through in the sweet malt, which managed to not be cloying. The roasted flavors stuck through in the finish. This seems like a nice fireplace session beer.

 276 characters

Photo of Gasp100
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark mahogany brown with a tan head which dissipated quickly. This left little lacing on the glass.
Smell: Sweetness and malts, with a hint of alcohol
Taste: The taste was very malty with a sweet chocolate overtone. The carbonation was very nice adding some crispness to the drink. There was a little hops in the tail end adding a bitter, sharp bite but this mellowed out in the end. The mouthfeel was mellow but not flat or boring. This was a little heavy for my taste and the alcohol seemed a little too prevalent for knocking back more than a few.

 565 characters

Photo of CBFanWish
2.79/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I have always been a fan of what smuttynose has to offer, but this one was way below par. The appearance was very good. A very brown color with a good head and very pretty lace. The smell was of a cold medicine, to me. I also had the same feeling when I tasted it. I didn't have a cold, but when I do, this is what I'll drink. I'm sorry, but this was bellow par for te great Smuttynose brewery.

 394 characters

Photo of AbePhroman
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a six pack for $6.99. Wanted to try out more Smuttynose. I enjoyed their porter so I gave it a shot. Poured a dark cloudy brown with a tan head. Nothing too unusal from other brown ales. Smelled a little nutty. First sip I was pleased. Much what I expected. Hoppier than I thought it would be, but no complaints there. I love hops. All in all, money well spent. But I wouldn't buy it too often. Not something I would want to drink all the time.

 451 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.71/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Smutty Nose Old Brown Dog ale, I love saying Smutty Nose! The sound of it Smutty Nose... Smutty Nose... Smutty Nose.

Anyway, Old Brown Dog Ale is a favorite of my friend- Otter! It is a popular beer at Isaac Newtons- Newtown, Pennsylvania. I've wanted this beer for a year now, so now it's time.

Old Brown Dog Ale pours a beautiful hickory reddish brown. A simple but nice tan head, not to thick but thick enough.

The smell is of chocolate and some spices. Not too crazy over the smell.
The taste is of a stale chocolate and spice, very sweet and not that good!

I bought a 6-pack of Old Brown Dog Ale and I'll drink them all, but the taste isn't very pleasant so it'll take me a week or 2 to finish. Man, what a bummer I wanted to like this beer and I'm really trying but the stale chocolate taste isn't enjoyable. Hopefully WeizenHeimer is better.

 862 characters

Photo of waughbrew
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%

Nice auburn color with yeast haze, good carbonation and acceptable retention. Smells of nutty toasted malt, toffee, and a good dose of American hops. As it warms, the esters and fruitiness of the hops emerge. Taste leans towards the sweet side, but is pretty balanced. Good caramel, toffee, and slight chocolate flavors. Estery yeast. Medium body, medium carbonation. A good beer for drinking a few.

 399 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely brown color, with a slight, tannish head.
Aroma; mild, with some nuttiness, though it develops as we go on, becomes more chocolately and sweet.
Taste: rich, delicious, malty. Medium body, but large maltiness, minimum hops. Niely balanced, easy-drinking, aflush with flavor, this is another in the Elite Corps of Brown Ales, Done Right! Yum, yum, I keep saying, and may I repeat....mmmm...
Much thanks to the 9th Bierman for this!

 439 characters

Photo of goz
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours is a deep mahogany, with a large tan head that diminishes to a small ring, light lacing. Aroma is dark maltiness (nutty, earthy, woody), backed up with a solid amount of hops. Flavor has coffee, caramel, and a great hoppy finish. Medium body, very enjoyabl and easy drinking.

 281 characters

Photo of beerguy101
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown color. Medium head. Aroma is nutty, fruity and sweet. Medium bodied brown ale. Malts are nutty and sweet. Hops are spicy and slightly bitter. A very nutty brown ale. The nuttiness and sweetness of the malts is almost overpowering. Smooth taste. Very nice, but a bit too sweet. Still very drinkable. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter and nutty.

 399 characters

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