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Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale (Big Beer Series) - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale (Big Beer Series)Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale (Big Beer Series)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

556 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 556
Reviews: 311
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 40
Gots: 38 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  10.10% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

20 IBU

2007 - 7.0%
2008 - 9.3%
2010 - 10.9%

(Beer added by: cbl2 on 03-03-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale (Big Beer Series) Alström Bros
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Ratings: 556 | Reviews: 311 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of benz08
5/5  rDev +28.2%

benz08, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of nathanjohnson
5/5  rDev +28.2%

nathanjohnson, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of GuidedByBill
5/5  rDev +28.2%

GuidedByBill, May 13, 2012
Photo of waiting4lunch
5/5  rDev +28.2%

waiting4lunch, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Rempo
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Rempo, Jul 23, 2012
Photo of joefuzz
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

08 vintage poured into snifter

Dark brown pour with a tan head. Smells of sweet caramel and and tropical fruits. Tastes of beautiful ripe berries and a nice malty backbone. Carbonation and mouthfee are amazing not crazy carbonated but not flat. Overall 3 years has turned this maybe B beer into a hands down A+ absolutly amazing.

joefuzz, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of tjeppaint
5/5  rDev +28.2%

tjeppaint, Feb 24, 2012
Photo of BelgianDip
5/5  rDev +28.2%

BelgianDip, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Turbodog666
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Turbodog666, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of BeerKangaroo
4.98/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

There is no date on this bottle other than bottle conditioned in 2012.

Out of a bomber and into a pint glass and a nonic:

A: pure brown colored body fed a three finger head in the regular pint glass and about a two finger head in the nonic, light carbonation took its good old sweet time surfacing. The lacing was a perfect coat around the sides of both glasses.

S: raisins and bourbon, some oak and some light nuts in the background. If I remember correctly, I must have smelled this at least twenty times before I actually took a sip because I was so enthalled by the smells and how they combined. Everything is balanced super! There is nothing off, everything is pure and making itself well known. Nothing is overbearing.

T: centered around the raisins and bourbon, some strong notes of caramel come out. Near the end of the beer, some chocolate comes out. The malts also come out close to the end of the beer. As the beer warms, the chocolate comes out a lot more.

M: medium, borderline heavy with a great creaminess that surrounds the entire brew. The finish leaves a bit of chocolate. The carbonation is well balanced. For everything that is going on, this is still a very drinkable beer. I could have at least three of these with a steak, yet I know I could have this alone as dessert and be satisfied.

O: Though the ABV is high, this beer still has what it takes to show the varieties of complex notes to each review category. I'm thoroughly impressed. I think this ranks up among the stars of the greatest beers I've ever had at least for me. I can't wait to have this again.

BeerKangaroo, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of Johncnh
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Johncnh, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of ScottP
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

ScottP, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of Jamison85
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Jamison85, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of PopnLoads
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

PopnLoads, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of Stagga_Lee
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Stagga_Lee, Jul 22, 2014
Photo of sbangs
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

sbangs, Nov 07, 2013
Photo of swierczt
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

swierczt, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of diehl07
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

diehl07, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of Sneers
4.63/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's been a while since I've reviewed anything, but I felt like this deserved one.

2008 vintage, poured into my Portsmouth tulip.

Pours a tawny reddish brown capped with a thin but tight head that hangs around for a good while.

The aroma is caramel, sweet dried figs, and vanilla. There's a quasi-bourbon quality that I've had in a couple other old ales, and it's a real treat.

Right up front, ROBD tastes broodingly fruity, with the likes of figs and raisins. This is soon joined by a malty, bready sweetness. Just enough bitterness is present to add a little bit of balance to the sweetness, although the scales are certainly tipped towards the latter. On the finish, some roasted malt makes its appearance, and is accented by just a touch of smoke. The beer's 9.3% ABV is noticeable throughout, but becomes more prominent in the finish, where it takes on a spicy, prickly character that seems to almost help clean the palate; this effect gets somewhat more intense with warming.

The mouthfeel is quite full, and its creaminess is supported by a modest level of carbonation. Things get slightly thinner with warming. After the swallow, there's a bit of astringency.

This is one damn fine beer, and I think takes the spot as my favorite from the folks at Smuttynose.

Sneers, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of TK5150
4.61/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Bottle.

The 9.3% alc. Port Soaked Oak Chip Conditioned English Barleywine/Old Ale version, not the 7% alc. Brown Porter edition they made in 2007.

A- Pours a beautiful amber/ruby/brown with a nice beige head.

S- At first it appears vinous with various assorted fruits but then a large maltiness kicks in along with honey and general sweetness, a little alcohol peeks out from within.

T- This stuff has aged tremendously, and is massively complex. Malty sweetness with honey, caramel, apple, creamy vanilla and biscuits. A big strawberry component is there as well. Hints of smoke and maple. Some alcohol and spiciness appear. While sweet, this finishes fairly dry. Hints of herbaceousness (which in this case is not a bad thing). The biscuity flavor lingers in the mouth for a while. Almost a little bubble-gum lingering with the biscuits, weird, but good. Totally rounded out and cohesive. All the flavors mesh so well.

M- Full bodied and like damn silk.

D- I am going to polish this bomber off with complete pleasure.

I am kicking myself for not aging more of these. Smuttynose continues to blow me away. This beer has significantly improved with age. I bought three when this beer came out. I drank one fresh and was not entirely impressed, but I saw the aging potential in it, having both high alcohol and having been conditioned on port soaked oak chips. I had my first cellared bottle about 6-7 months after the release and was excited to see it get better, even though it still wasn't at full potential. Now after close to a year and a half, this has really come into its own. I don't know if this is at its peak but for my money I'm saying its close. I hope they make this version of the beer again.

Review of 2012 in early 2013.

T- Big fruity strawberry peach, pear and watermelon, yes, watermelon.. Caramel drizzled on top. Estery. What a unique old ale.

TK5150, May 01, 2010
Photo of marcpal
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From tasting notes on 1/29. Poured a couple times in Delirium Tremens snifter.
Bottle Graphics: 9/10. Hit or miss with Smutty.

A: Dark auburn red, borderline brown colored body. Very light bubbles with a thin 1/4 head that held on tough. The second pour into the glass produced a mammoth head. The chunks in this pour were also pronounced. Yum, protein.

S: Dried fruits: figs, dates, figs and raisins. All of them with a sugary malt aroma. Molasses decadence. The booze is more present in the nose than the first sniff would lead you to believe.

T: Poundingly sweet and a little hot when chilled. The flavors and alcohol would make you think it was more than the 7% listed. The dates are pungent, tastily warming with huge brown sugar flavors. There is some huge flavor in this big beer packed into a relatively low and drinkable abv. Hops do not claim to nor do they take any residence in the taste or feel.
Buttered and toasted raisin nut artisinal bread.

M: Sweetness tings on my cheeks some and the body has adequate medium thickness. No bitterness but rich and luxurious.

D: Another, yet another beer from Smutty that is top notch. This brewery is beginning to get a seat at the head of the class in my book. The 22oz makes for a super sipper and it was a nice touch to sit back with a moderate abv brew that left a slight burn in the chest.

As the bottle says, age would probably do good things but the sweet fruits are what it is about. For the price tag, great.

marcpal, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of SportsandJorts
4.58/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2013

Appearance: a reddish brown, fresh leather color. a small tannish head that leaves behind a small lacing. hazy and opaque.

Smell: rum soaked raisins, brown sugar, plums, leather and earthiness, booze.

Taste: opens up with some brown sugar, hints of raisins and plums, almost reminiscent of rum soaked raisins like the smell, strong leather and oxidized earthy quality to it, hints towards some chocolate tastes. small amount of booze other that the taste of rum.

Mouthfeel: creamy and silky, but still is chewy. leaves a strong oxidized leather taste behind.

Overall: At a year or so old this beer is fitting in quite nicely to the old ale style. great notes of leather and oxidation along with dark fruits and slightly boozy qualities. some sweetness from possible adjunct usage and a wonderfully chewy-silky mouthfeel. this beer is a must try.

SportsandJorts, Jul 30, 2014
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Smutty Really Old Brown Dog Ale, bomber bought at New Beer Distributors in Manhattan, NYC, for $4.25.

2008 Vintage, Bitches!!!

Appearance: Pours rather mighty, with a great amount of carbonation/fizziness. Two fingers of head, more on my second pour. I first got no retention or lacing but then the head held up as I poured the rest of the bottle and the lacing that developed was thick and gorgeous. Beyond that, what we've got here is a beautiful old ale, with that noble presence and dark color.

Smell: In the nose, the Old Dog is all raisins, brown sugar and nasty-good boozed-up sweetness. Caramel, flan. Dessert and joy!

Taste: More sweetness (always controlled, never overwhelming), a significant hop presence despite the age and a nourishing feel to it all. A reviewer before said roasted chesnuts- I think that applies rather perfectly. Very autumn-y, so very appropriate for this rainy, wet October day. Malts, a bit of bubblegum and a slight metallic feel, like licking a spring mattress.

Mouthfeel: A little low on the carbonation, but otherwise rather good, with full body and flavor and adequate carbonation. Never boozy or crazy, well balanced and mellowed with age.

Overall: Very drinkable! Hardly a hint of booze in this '08 brew. This is like having a fine port/sherry wine for dessert. The older the dog, the better the dog! And at this price (see above), I will go back for more.

DoubleSimcoe, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of Jmamay22
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really Old Brown Dog pours a somewhat cloudy ruby brown with a thick ring of foam that clings to the walls of my glass, but leaves no lacing.

Wow, what a scent! The wood comes through nicely with hints of vanilla. Deep complex malt is evident with hints of raisin, plum and rum. The many layers leave me constantly sniffing at this beer trying to understand everything that is going on. The mix of various scents creates a deceptive fruit presence that is difficult to place seeming to change and shift with every sniff.

Soft mouthfeel and more of that alluring fruity taste that I can't get enough of. Caramel, maple, plums, and fig come together to create an amazing beer. There's only a hint of the alcohol that adds another layer to the malty sweetness, but keeps everything in check from becoming cloying. Not your prototypical old ale, but a great ale nonetheless.

Jmamay22, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of Blakaeris
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy red-brown with a thick soapy head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma is grainy malt with mild chocolate. Musty yeasty character. Subtle dark fruit and alcohol warmth.

Taste is more of the grainy malt and chocolate from the nose. Musty yeasty quality has a definite presence as well along with an intensely aromatic leather quality. Strong oak dryness and vanilla shines through. Finishes with lingering mineral and tobacco.

Mouthfeel is a chewy medium body.

A very flavorful and intersting brew. Many subtle layers to enjoy. The intense musty, leathery, oaky, tobacco quality is something I have not encountered before.

Blakaeris, Apr 12, 2012
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Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 556 ratings.