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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
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
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

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
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

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.27/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Aroma brown sugar, malt, ABV, faint nuts, raisins, slight caramel. Taste sweet toffee, molasses, dark fruits, boozy, oak, touch leather.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Photo of Knapp85
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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 ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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!

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 668 ratings.