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Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog AleSmuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

668 Ratings

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Ratings: 668
Reviews: 336
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 46
Gots: 72 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cbl2 on 03-03-2007

Olive, iconic mascot & spirit guide of our brewery, first appeared on our Old Brown Dog label in 1994 & returned, thirteen years later, to pose for our Really Old Brown Dog, a luscious, malt-rich, full bodied “old ale” featuring deep notes of complex fruit. Much like our beloved Olive, this beer will mellow & age gracefully.

Formerly part of the Big Beer Series.

20 IBU

2007 - 7.0%
2008 - 9.3%
2010 - 10.9%
2014 - 11.1%
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 668 | Reviews: 336
Reviews by torr:
Photo of torr
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of scotorum
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

"Bottle Conditioned Dec. 2014"

Poured from the 12 oz., bottle into a Tree House tulip.

a: Clear dark ruby with a finger thick offwhite head which receded to even surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Ripe dark fruit, caramel malt and alcohol.

t: Light dose of caramel malt forward with lots of mild dark fruit undertones. Light hop bite, sweet to dry finish. Although it seemed to show up in the aroma, the high ABV is very well covered.

m: Medium, ok body, plenty of carbonation tingle.

o: A really pleasing version of Old Brown Dog, dangerously easy to drink given the very high ABV. Probably worth cellaring some for six months to a year.

Photo of Flounder57
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: A one finger off white head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a amber copper color with good clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, Toasted, biscuity, bready, and some dark fruits.

Taste: Definitely a malt forward brew bring that it is like a double brown ale. Caramel and toffee sweetness with toasted, biscuity, and bready malts in there too. Nice warm booze, some dark fruits, and slight bitterness too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium to full bodied, nice warm alcohol, low to medium carbonation, and slight bitterness in the rear.

Overall: Pretty nice brew. Definitely grabbing some bottles to store in the cellar.

Photo of oberon
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass a hazed chesnut russet brown with a thin toasted almond colored head that was gone quickly.Deep malty aromas,brown sugar,roasted nuts,and some whiffs of dark fruit,the alcohol sweetness isnt to strong.Not as big and chewey as I would have thought,not to thin,just a little thinner than most of the style I think.Sweet malty flavors,again the brown sugar element is big along with light bakers chocolate,there is a fig/plum jamminess as well.Its quite sweet but its pretty good,a one and done though with the alcohol level and sweetness.

Photo of ExtraStout
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had the 2012 as a guest beer at Amherst Brewing.

A - Pours a murky brown with amber highlights at the edges. Muddy looking beer. One finger head dissipates after a minute or two leaving a thin film, some bubbles & a few splotches of lace.

S - The nose is ripe with good complexity, primarily dark fruits & sugary malts. Notes of raisins, figs, candied malts,caramel, and a bit deeper molasses. Some lighter hops in the end, and spicy booze.

T - Wow, lots of flavor here. Brown sugar prevails, then plenty of fig and dark fruit. Richer molasses as well. Light airy hops mingle in as well. Finishes with a blast of warm, spicey booze.

M - Big chewy bodied beer, slick big bodied beer.

O - Time has been kind to this one. A pleasant surprise, huge flavor profile with plenty of complexity. Gets a bit sweet as it warms, world class mouthfeel IMO.

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of ricksrealm
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer review from BA Mag Sep 2007.

A bumped-up version of Smutty's Old Brown Dog Ale (sort of), this brew is part of their limited Big Beer Series and brewed to honor Olive--the mascot and spirit guide for the brewery who passed away in March 2007. RIP, girl.

Dark amber with bright garnet hues and plenty of carbonation from bottle-conditioning creates a thick, three-finger head. Bready nose, rustic, with herbal and chicory notes, earthy and nutty. Extremely smooth, silky, round and chewy in the mouth. The solid malty base is sweet, brown sugar-esque and complex. Somewhat fruity, with some plum and apple esters. Toasty malts, very bready and nutty, husky at times, with some light chocolate and coffee. Alcohol is warm and spicy. Very thin bitterness beneath it all. Raisiny. Goes dry toward the end, with a lingering peanut skin character.

An interesting American twist on an Old Ale, but it's far from any traditional examples of the style. Smutty hints that this is a good candidate for aging. We agree, as everything still seems a bit too "green" for the style. However, if you can't wait, like us, we recommend allowing this beer to warm and open up before enjoying it.

Photo of elinash
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Gouden Carolus goblet.

Appearance is a ruddy light reddish brown with minimal lacing around the edges. A haze is on the surface of the beer.
It smells alcoholic (spicy) and nutty with some diacetyl.
It isn't nearly as big as I thought it would be. The taste is nutty, with some chocolate. The finish is unexpectely spicy and hoppy, slightly acidic.
Mouthfeel is thinner than I expected, too. I would wish for it to be a little more rich and caramel in the mouthfeel.

Overall, it's good, but it's really close to Old Brown Dog. Although it's bottle conditioned, I couldn't really tell, but there was a little bit of sticky yeast left in the bottle. Maybe this one is best if the dog is laid down to rest!

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22oz bomber. Very pretty beer: red/brown in color, with a thick coffee-colored head that retains well. Malty/grainy aroma, with a background of dark fruit. Intensely malty taste up front, followed by the dark fruit. Maybe even a slight chocolate taste at the end. Alcohol is noticeable but not intrusive. Very smooth, very drinkable. Gotta get more of these.

Photo of therealJAYZ
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bishopdc0
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Doomcifer
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BeerIsland
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was NOT an appetizing looking beer when served; kind of muddy brown looking. It's possible it was the tail end of the keg. There was a nice head that went to a ring in a bit. It smelled ok, lots of malt; nothing huge. What I liked about this beer was the balanced flavor that stayed right through to the finish. There was a pretty decent malt flavor to it. I rather liked this beer although I don't have much experieince with the style.

Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$4.99 for a 22 ounce bomber, the front of label lets you know this brew was "Bottle conditioned in 2007" certaintly a good bit of info as this one most likely was designed to be put away in a cool dark place for a few. Pours medium almond amber, moderate haze, cloudyness and sits under a tightly knit light tan head, that leaves nice, fine and scattered lacing. Allowed to warm up abit the nose is of some raisins, light alcohol and warm toast. Pleasant malty brew, more raisins, whole wheat toast, vanilla and a slight bite of mellow alcohol. Pleasant sipper, nicely crafted and smooth on the tongue. Well worth a try, if I had the space and the will power I'd put some bottles of this away for a few years...its drinking quite nicely right now...

Photo of warriorsoul
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Joe at Liquor World for supplying this one...
Rust copper in color with a finger of off-white head...only a skimming remains and produces some attractive, yet thin lacing.
Faint aromas...really have to stir this one to get anything. Some mild fruits (green apple, fig) with a hint of spice.
Taste is better, but not impressing me where this one is right now.
Candied sugar, molasses, alcohol and some floral hops. Bitter dry in the finish with the alcohol also apparent in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is its best quality for me...full bodied and not cloying.
A bomber is consumed with little effort, but I feel Really Old Brown Dog is Really "Young" Old Brown Dog and this one will kick major ass six months from now.
Will definitely snag a couple more bombers to age...I know this one will impress me more down the line.
Right now, it's just ok.

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of RTEdmunds
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown with some deep reddish colors. Looks quite nice, and has a frothy head with good retention.

Smells grainy, with some caramel undertones. A bit earthy as well.

Sweet up front, with some syrupy flavors. Earthy presence from the nose is pleasant. A warming boozy aftertaste.

Medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. The alcohol is a little to in your face.

Overall this is a good beer but certainly not my favorite in Smuttynose's Big Beer series. I miss the Baltic Porter.... that was a damn fine product!

Photo of jondeelee
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really Old Brown Dog opens with a fruity, malty nose ripe with strawberries, oranges, peaches, watermelon, and kiwi (!), but also bearing brown sugars and vanilla bean, as well as rising wheat dough, toast crust, and toasted pecan. The fruit aromas are quite spectacular here, drifting out almost bubble-gum like in their potency. But "bubble-gum like" works for this beer, the aromas coming across more like fresh-cut fruit juices than manufactured flavor additives, and nicely grounded by the grains. As a whole, the nose is perhaps slightly too reminiscent of a fruity cocktail, but is still enticing and intriguing.

On the tongue, the beer opens with a lovely fruit and sugar rush, though here the fruits tend toward the darker side, still bearing hints of strawberry, peach, and watermelon, but adding fig, plum, and black cherry to the mix. Healthy touches of molasses and vanilla add to the depth and complexity of these darker sugar flavors. The beer also boasts some kola nut flavors, as well as touches of charcoal, oak, port, and bourbon; in fact, based only on flavor, I would swear this bourbon-barrel aged. The ABV is high (10%), coming across in bourbon-like vapors, but blends nicely with the dark fruits and liquor flavors, making this taste in many ways like a very fine cognac. Wheat toast crust and fresh-cut wheat stalk round out the flavors. The aftertaste is more of the bourbon/cognac/fruit mixture, lingering deliciously on the tongue for a long time. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is excellent beer, and the aging that has been done to the normal Old Brown Dog Ale has brought out an excellent range of flavors. In fact, only the slightly-too-high alcoholic kick prevents this one from being a perfect 5 in flavor. Must try.

Photo of far333
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel colored with orangey highlights and an oatmeal colored and wispy low head that recedes quickly.

Aroma of lightly toasted malt, some cereal and light brown sugar.

Favor of dry walnut, roasted marshmallow and chestnut, graham cracker, oak and some smokiness. Morphs to bourbon in the finish, bourbon lingers.

Thin mouthfeel, a bit tannic and dry.

Good sipper, but drinkability wanes as complexity decreases and bourbon dominates. Would like to cellar some of this to see how it ages.

Photo of HopsForBrains
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kpantz
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Executive Summary: Here's to you, Olive. Rest in peace. I wish I had enjoyed this more in your honor, but I'll be sure to go grab a sixer of the regular Old Brown Dog Ale and down that.

Appearance: Pours a quite clear, yet deep molasses color with a cream-colored head that starts a couple fingers thick, but drops steadily from there. Lacing isn't too shabby.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, nutty aroma with even some hops in there.

Taste: Really don't get the hefty maltiness purported to exist. Rather, the front end is a relatively thin malt layer (though it does get a little better closer to room temperature), followed by some hop flavor (no doubt revealed by the lack of a thick malt presence) and definite alcohol flavors. Slight sourness lingers afterwards, accompanying the alcohol's warmth. Flavor is not bad, mind you - just not what I expected given the description.

Mouthfeel: Kinda thin - I expected this to be chewier. Carbonation levels are low - pretty appropriate here.

Drinkability: It's not bad, but it's just not going to be able to hold my interest to the point that would make me go back for more.

Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Total Wine in Greenville, SC.

Pours a brown-copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of toasted malts with hints of nuts and herbal hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Toasted malts flavors start things off and are sooned joined by herbal hops and slight nutty flavors. There's also a syrupy sweetness throughout that carries on until the ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness and slick carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could go for another - though I can envision the sweetness becoming a bit much for any more after that.

Overall this beer is somewhere in between an Old Ale and a Brown Ale. I'm not very familiar with the English Strong Ale so this may be what Smuttynose was going for, but I would've liked a bit more emphasis on the Brown Ale side of things. Still, it's worth a shot.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Poured in a snifter)
Bottled in 2012
A- The dense glowing garnet body is slightly hazy with a thick carbonation of sticky deep beige cream that clings to the glass with each sip.

S- The cream and toasted malt flavors are pleasant but a bit soft. There is a nutty note that grows a bit and the finish has a sherry hint and some old ale esters come through.

T- The brown candy sugar blends with a raw grain flavor and the finish is slightly dry with an alcohol spice to it. There is a woody hop hint in the finish and the brown malt flavor lingers nicely at the end.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a tight little fizz and a nice alcohol heat that has just a spice heat to it.

O- The spicy and wood is well balanced with nice malt characters that compliment each other. I don’t get any dried fruit character but it has a nice flavor and I think it would age well.

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Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 668 ratings.