Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company
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Ratings: 531 | Reviews: 306 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by TheBrewo:
3.64/5 rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
This beer was served on draft at Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY. It arrived in a generic snifter showing a rich mahogany coloring, letting up ruby hues around the edges and bottom. It held a one finger tall head of cream colored bubbles, showing okay retention. Spotty lacing was left around the glass as it dissipated. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be moderate. The nose filled with aged musk, rich and syrupy fruitiness of apple, plum, and raisins, huge butterscotch caramels, and softer maple sugars. These mixed atop a base of brown and caramel malts, light toast, bittered plastic phenols, earthen mineral, and heavily fusel booziness. Our first impression was that the flavoring was certainly full, and nicely inclusive of the fruits noted in the aroma, but it was a bit hot. As we sipped, the taste opened with baked plums, red cherry sweetness, candied walnut, toffee and caramel malts, and massive butterscotch, sugariness, warmth, and butteriness. The middle hit with the fusel punch of a double shot of vodka. This laid the palate clean with fire, but did leave enough room for black pepper, lightly roasted brown malts, brown sugar, and biscuity butter qualities to shine through here and there. The end came on the tail end of this boozy wave, washing a bit more cleanly with butters, toasty brown malts, and heavy cherry, fig, and apricot syrups, making it seem, here, much like darker, scarier Scotch ale. The aftertaste breathed of mustiness, plastic phenols, fusel ethanol, light grassy hops, straw, gravel, salt water taffy, watered caramel and toasted brown malts, and red apple sweetness. The body was surprisingly light, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip gave good pop and smack, but with lesser slurp, cream, or froth. No coating was ever appreciated as the booze came in hot and drying, with light pucker, and fusel astringency streaking across the hard palate. The abv was big and noticeable, but the beer sipped nicely.
Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its drinkability. The nose started things off on a fair note as well, giving bright butterscotch sweetness and veritable smorgasbord of fruit to behold. While the former translated well into the flavoring, coming across as big, relatively dark, and biscuity, the latter added pecks of sweetness here and there, only becoming starkly noticeable in the end of the sip, where it was left essentially on its own to fight through the harshly bitter, boozy, and musky finish. This was, at first sip, rather off-putting, but as the beer warmed the flavors melded a bit more, calming the booze, while that 10.10% itself started to warm the drinker, and calm that pucker reflex as you sat back and accepted what was in front of you. This is an interesting offering from Smuttynose, but it just wasn’t exactly to the same level we’ve come to expect from them, and especially from their “Big Beer” lineup.
Serving type: on-tap
06-19-2013 12:47:43 | More by TheBrewo
More User Reviews:
4.33/5 rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
22 ounce bottle into snifter, 2012 vintage bottling. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big biscuit, caramel, toast, molasses, brown sugar, light chocolate, raisin, plum, nuttiness, vanilla, toffee, herbal, oak, light leather, and toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, oak, and yeast ester flavors; with great strength. Taste of caramel, biscuit, toast, brown sugar, molasses, light chocolate, raisin, plum, nuttiness, herbal, vanilla, toffee, oak, light leather, and toast/oak earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, biscuit, toast, molasses, brown sugar, light chocolate, raisin, plum, nuttiness, herbal, toffee, oak, vanilla, light leather, and toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and oak flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and fairy slick/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding old ale style. All around awesome complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and oak flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.
Serving type: bottle
04-15-2014 03:49:10 | More by superspak
4.09/5 rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
22oz bomber with no freshness date. 10.4% ABV. Served in a snifter.
Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with 1 finger of a light tan head head that dissipates to a thin ring. Body is dark and hazy but not opaque.
Smell: Booze soaked dark fruits, raisins, dates, vanilla, sweet malt
Taste: Dark fruit, toffee, and vanilla, with some milk chocolate and roasted malt character that wasn't present in the aroma. Slight earthiness in the finish helps balance the malt sweetness a bit.
Mouthfeel: Medium/full bodied, somewhat sticky mouthfeel. Medium levels of fine carbonation. Booze is definitely there, but the beer isn't hot by any means. Goes down smooth.
Overall: Really impressed with this one. Super flavorful and complex and at $6-7 per bottle, a really good value, which seems to be becoming more and more rare these days. Highly recommend picking up a couple bottles to drink and throw in the cellar.
Serving type: bottle
01-25-2014 06:56:27 | More by Jonada
3.76/5 rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
This poured a nice hue of filtered mahogany that supported a uniform and cohesive bed of lightly colored foam.
I get a lot of barley on the nose with chocolate and caramel malts. There is a back of dried fruit, maybe raisin, with a strange musty air.
The flavors have a prominent raisin, earthy and natural, with some sweet chocolate malt.
The feel is moderately thick, smooth with a low carbonative bite.
Nice Old Ale like qualities in this , just needs a bit more complexity.
Serving type: bottle
01-04-2014 17:02:27 | More by KYGunner
Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 531 ratings.