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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

546 Ratings
THE BROS
78
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 546
Reviews: 309
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 38
Gots: 34 | FT: 1
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)
View: Beers (55) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | 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: 546 | Reviews: 309 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep chocolate brown, rich looking body.Chocolate malt in nose. And the mouthfeel is richer than avarage. A great malting experience, with secondary toasting and chocolate. On the sweeter side, not as complex as a few aged old ales I have had from the U.K. itself. Very drinkable.

Bottle from New Hampshire trip.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2009 23:58:01 | More by Sammy
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +2.6%

11-24-2011 01:55:33 | More by djrn2
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

First Edition. Bottled in 2007. Dark apricot infused with maraschino cherry juice. Several streams of bubbles slowly blip their way up to a richly creamy crown that is equal parts pastel orange, pale gold and ivory. A wide swath of thick lace tops things off in fine fashion.

The aroma is low on power and isn't as complex as it could be. Truthfully, the beer smells more like a garden-variety brown ale than an old ale. Each sniff delivers toasted nuts and a light sprinkling of cocoa powder, nothing more. Note: warming helps quite a bit.

Really Old Brown Dog makes something of a comeback on the palate... as I thought it might. It still tastes like an Imperial brown ale rather than the stated style. In the final reckoning, the only thing that matter is whether it's good beer or not. It is.

The Brewer's Notes on the Smuttynose website got it exactly right. The flavor spotlight is occupied by a baked chocolatiness, along the lines of chocolate cookies or chocolate cake. Ripe figs, well-toasted pecans, golden brown sugar, an indeterminate spiciness and a hint of estery alcohol contribute as well.

SROBDA is good beer because the brewers didn't make it a malt bomb. An impressive 40 IBUs is just what this hophead was looking for. Liberty (bittering) and Crystal (aroma and flavor) provide more bitterness than flavor. Their fruity-herbal character is a welcome addition to an ale that is becoming sneakily complex as it warms.

The mouthfeel edges into 'lush' territory, without quite getting there. That doesn't mean that it's less than immensely enjoyable. In fact, I'm tempted to go with the next highest score... but can't quite justify it in the end.

Smuttynose has done a good job with this inaugural version. According to the Brewer's Notes, they aren't 100% happy with how it turned out, but I think it turned out pretty well. If brown ales are your favorite style, then Really Old Brown Dog is worth an enthusiastic Two Paw's Up.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2008 16:06:13 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. Haze begins to appear when you get towards the bottom of the bottle. It poured with a finger high beige head that took a long time to die down, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles coating the surface and running down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of sweet caramel malts are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is a little sweet and has flavors of caramel along with notes of brown sugar, dark fruits and vanilla plus some faint hints of alcohol.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied, rather malty and a little sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol towards the finish.
O: This beer reminded me a lot of a "lite" version of a barleywine (if there is such a thing) or a hybrid between a barleywine and a brown ale. It's rather drinkable considering its strength but has enough complexity in the taste to be a beer that can be enjoyed if sipped slowly.

Note: 2012 vintage

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 03:33:54 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Appearance: Pours a cloudy mahogany with a sturdy head that dots the pint glass with lace

Smell: An enticing blend of caramel and cocoa powder from the malt and some grapefruit from the hops; the overall impact is almost raisiny, when taken together

Taste: Opens malt forward, with plum and cocoa flavors that are joined, mid-palate, by some hoppy citrus; after the swallow, there is a blast of cocoa that persists and dominates the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Now that this has had a chance to settle down (a number of posters said it was unbalanced when freshly bottled), it is drinking very nicely; quite different and a solid achievement

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 23:22:04 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This had to be one of the sweetest beers I have ever had in my life. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 04/06/2009.

The pour was very nice. Rich, dark chocolate brown with a nice head of light tan on the top of it. Smooth, easy settling left behind some nice side glass lacing. The aroma was soo sweet. Lots of caramel, smooth molasses and brown sugar like smells coming off of here. The flavor was much more of the same. Rich and very sweet, defintly a dessert beer. I found myself savoring each and every sip of this one as the delicate sweetness of this one overwhelmed me. Soo much flavor here as the sweet caramel malts just overpowered everything and made for a wonderful flavor. The medium bodued ale was well carbonated and all alcohol was hidden and totally non existent.

Overall this was a really solid beer. A really solid version of the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 01:46:05 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

03-30-2013 13:16:58 | More by nmann08
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light brown color ale with a nice size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of fruity ester is quite enjoyable with some light caramel malt. Taste is a nice mix between some fruity ester (peach, apricot) and some caramel malt. Additional notes of dry fruit and more pronounced presence of sweet malt would have made this more enjoyable. Carbonation is good with an average body and no noticeable alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2009 02:46:35 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

05-26-2013 04:07:41 | More by acurtis
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4/5  rDev +2.6%

07-05-2012 23:06:26 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy, brown body with a thin, wispy, off-white head. Let's pour out a portion for Olive Francis, the Really Old, Really Dog Brown Dog. Olive, we hardly knew ye.

Smell: Pleasant, though not exactly effusive aroma smelling of toasted caramel, pressed sugar cookies, and a light touch of fruit and spice.

Taste: Plenty of upfront malty goodness: flavors of caramel, fresh-baked cookies, toasted light brown sugar. Minor hint of fruit. A few drops of amontillado. Light earthy, spicy hop character and accompanying bitterness. Only the faintest alcohol warmth. Sweetish, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Certainly worth a try. Fairly easy drinking and enjoyable. I hear Smuttynose has since revamped the recipe and even called in some port-soaked oak chips, so I'll try to snag myself up a bottle of that.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2009 18:11:28 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

07-05-2012 23:17:20 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 22:03:52 | More by oberon
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

01-02-2012 17:55:05 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

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

The clear, deep mahogany body of Really Old Brown Dog displays gleeming orange and crimson highlights beneath a creamy head of yellowed khaki. The head retention is fairly good and it leaves some nice splashes and streaks of lace about the glass.

The nose expresses a combination of scorched brown sugar and yeasty fruitiness with a touch of spice (is that alcohol?) and leafy hops.

It's smooth across the palate with a medium-full (or is that full-medium?) body and delicate, fine-bubbled carbonation that lends a gentle caress to the tastebuds as it crosses the tongue.

The flavor is very much as the aroma suggests, with a soft berry-like fruitiness that permeates the deeply caramelized malt and helps to lend it notes of dark-skinned fruits such as raisins and plums. It's fairly bitter, and that also helps to give the impression of dark fruit-skins. But it's still mainly malty with dark brown sugar and a hint of cocoa. Some alcohol lends it a bit of spice, and the leafy, grassy, and herbal hops help to level it.

It's quite nice on a quiet night on the back porch, or sipping by the fire with a good book, but I'd imagine it's drinkability would be limited in the pub setting. But at 7%, that's to be expected. I'd imagine it would pair well with a variety of foods, but glazed yams come to mind, as does, oddly enough, maple-syrup covered pancakes with a link or two of nicely browned sausage. Enjoyable. Worth trying!

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2007 00:19:31 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 release, poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color with a short and dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, spice, nuts and a good hops background.

T: The taste is very malty with flavors of caramel, nuts & maple with a little bit of spice. There’s a pretty significant alcohol burn, which expect from an Old Ale, but not particularly from one that has only 7.00% ABV. There’s also a stronger hops presence than what I was expecting and provide a very nice balance. The biggest thing that I was expecting and received was that this beer is definitely an enhanced version of the regular Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, dry and slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, I’m not so sure this is a good representation of the Old Ale style, but it is certainly an excellent English-Brown-Ale-to-the-second-power. Like almost all of the beers that I’ve had from Smuttynose Brewing Co., this is a good beer to drink for an evening whether it’s sipping slowly or pounding down.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2007 04:36:28 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown that had ruby hues when held to light. Creme head. Nose is a bit hot. Slight fruity sweet tones. Flavor is sweet with woody tones. Comes off a bit hot as well. Muted wood tones it seems now that I ponder it. Kind of chalky a bit. Feel is smooth on liquid and a bit lower on carbonation. This is nice to drink, but I think it needs a good bit of time I develop it's complexities.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 05:27:03 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a review of "Really Old Brown Dog Ale aged on oak" if this isn't this beer please message me and I'll correct. Served in a snifter, beer is dark brown and mostly clear with a wispy off white head of small bubbles, some lacing and low carbonation.

Aroma is boozy with a tinge of solvent, some sweetness.

Beer is very vanilla-y and oaky on the finish, a mild bitterness and a lot of heat and solvent. It sort of tastes like vanilla extract at times, it also burns a bit. It is very strong, very forward, not a horrible beer but there is definitely some odd alcohols in this one. Not a repeat.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2012 03:50:57 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +2.6%

05-26-2013 19:35:48 | More by Slatetank
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

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

This beer is about a year and a half old, so really old brown dog is now really really old brown dog. Should be delicious, and believe it or not this is my first taste of ROBD.

Pours a nice decent sized 1.5 finger head but it's very bubbly and airy, with some light fluff, and fades at a medium pace, and leaves hints of lacing. The beer is a dark copper maroon brownish red color.

Nose comes with lots of brown malts, plenty of brown sugar and molasses, toasty malts, reddish malt aromas, a little fruit, a slight nutty aroma, a hint of boose, and some of that aged malt aroma that typically comes with good old ales.

Taste is very sweet! A little too sweet actually, but has a nice taste. Some nice malts, roasty, toasty, and a little red malt flavor. Plenty of brown sugar and molasses, light syrup flavors, and some nutty flavors as well. A very little fruit flavors, not dark fruits or bright fruits, something in between I can't put my finger on, what would typically come from a red ale, also a little raisin. It also has a nice hop flavor, with some light spicy and grassy hops, and a nice mild hop flavor with some bitterness. It finishes even more bitter as the hops really come out on the finish. A slight salt minerality flavor also on the finish, and a lot more of that aged malt flavor lingering.

The mouth is medium bodied with good carbonation, especially for the age.

It has a decent drinkability, drinks much lighter than 10%, but a touch of booze, some lingering malts that are nice, but it adds a hint of salty minerality as well. A nice chewy flavor too.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2010 02:39:38 | More by jlindros
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a 1/4" offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a mellow, crystal malt scent with a slight fruitiness and a touch of warmth. The taste is decent. It has an alcohol filled taste that boasts mostly of pale and crystal malts. It does have some fruit character, but it's hard to put this one down; definately a sipper. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a slow drinker that would best be served at a later date. It's tastes quite young and powerful. The alcohol needs time to mellow out.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 00:12:54 | More by WesWes
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4/5  rDev +2.6%

11-16-2011 02:25:27 | More by oline73
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle

Pours reddish brown with a thin, well-retained off=white head.

The smell is of dark malts, caramel, dark fruits with sweet biscuit in the back.

The taste is just as the aroma would have it with some chocolate added in. This is a wonderful blend of malts. Just enough hops to keep the sweetness from being cloying.

There is mild carbonation. Smooth. Farily coating.

Easy drinking, esp. for the style. Yummy! An old ale/brown ale mix. Nice.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2007 03:20:15 | More by jwc215
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +2.6%

12-01-2011 00:52:19 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.2/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Excellent head. Clear light brown liquor. Good sticky lace throughout the glass as I finish the beer.

First impressions are distracting--reminds me of beef stew. Afterwards, I smell darker malts, alcohol

Strong alcohol presence to this beer. More malt than hop but this is still well balanced. Not quite dry, but it isn't at all sweet. The bitterness (from the hop) is low but provides light balance.

In the end, this is a 90% alcohol profile, which is too much for my enjoyment. Still, I feel this beer is worth seeking out as a change from the ordinary.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2009 01:38:22 | More by smcolw
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Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale (Big Beer Series) from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 546 ratings.