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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

348 Reviews
THE BROS
78
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 348
Hads: 725
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 9.49%
Wants: 46
Gots: 87 | FT: 1
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 348 | Hads: 725
Photo of greenengineer
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 Oz Bottle from Colonial Liquors "Bottle Conditioned Jan 2015". In my Spencer Goblet, warmed up a bit from the fridge.

Look - minimal head, deep reddish orange. OK it's brown. Not cloudy. What head there is sticks to the sides of the glass.
Smell - slightly sweet and malty. Not much there, even after I let it warm up.
Taste - the most important factor. Malty, a little chocolate - malted milk balls. Not boozy despite the high ABV. Hints of pepper, bourbon.
Feel - Smooth sipper, with some body.
Overall - I like. Nice glass for slow sipping on a cold evening. (572 characters)

Photo of dar482
3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

The beer comes in a clear dark ruby red.

The aroma hits of sharp spiciness of nutmeg and cardamom, rose water, then some caramel sweetness.

The flavor hits upfront and throughout of nutmeg, cardamom, rose water, floral. Alcohol spikes throughout along with vanilla, toffee, and caramel. The mouthfeel is a bit thin for the ABV.

The beer with that sharp flavor is quite offensive, and the sweetness is not sufficient to balance out the beer. (443 characters)

Photo of thebeers
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark garnet color with a thin tan head. Fig, toffee and oak on the nose, with some breadiness in there, too. Bran even. Slightly creamy, syrupy mouthfeel with the same flavors as the aroma and plenty of hop bitterness for balance. (233 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Totowa recently, having had the Brown Dog Ale a while back and thinking that this would be a stronger version of it. Sure enough, it was and it was good too! Loved that this was an Old Ale and that it still had the hue that one would expect from a beer of this name, without being too heavy or smelling like old dogs! All kidding aside, this was what an Old Ale should be with complex flavors, plenty of malt, and lots of booze - all in great harmony with each other.

Of course, the pour to this was brown. Nice and deep with mahogany and ruby tinges to it and clear, with a small head that quickly settled and a nearly-clear hue to it. Lots of fruit, sugar, and booze in the nose and even more in the taste. This packed quite a punch but it settled down quickly on the tongue when the first sips were taken. Brown sugar sweetened everything nicely while the apple, pear, currant, and fig could be found after swishing this around. A walnut tone was underneath these flavors and the carbonation was present and strong, keeping this light and giving a proverbial lift to the taste buds.

This was strong but it never felt heavy and there was a good caramel malt tone to this that reminded me of the Brown Dog Ale that I was more familiar with. The nuttiness and underlying sweetness of the brown sugar and caramel made this a slow sipper but combined with the fruit flavors, made this one of the most complex Old Ales that I've ever had. Worth a go if you can find it as this is a worthy, "Imperial" take on the Brown Dog Ale! (1,546 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale a few weeks ago for $2.79 at Holiday Market. I thought Old Brown Dog was solid and I'm interested to see how this one turns out, so lets see how it goes. Bottled December 2014. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks good, it goes well with the name and it's eye catching. It poured a nice fairly clear amber color that took on more of a red hue when held to the light with a little over two fingers worth of creamy tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some spotty lacing behind. This a very good looking Old Ale, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness that has just a slight molasses aroma to it and it's followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart some nice sweet malt, caramel malt, caramel, toffee and buttery malt aromas that all work very well together. Up next comes a light alcohol aroma that's followed by some fruity yeast with some dark fruit aromas coming through. This beer had a very nice aroma, I really enjoyed it.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with some honey and light molasses flavors showing up and it's followed by the malts which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma with no single malty aspect seeming to stick out the most and they all work well with each other. Up next comes the alcohol which shows up more than it did in the aroma and it's a little warming, it's followed by the same fruity yeast that I got in the aroma, but this time it's lighter. On the finish there's no bitterness with some sweetness and booze taking it's place with a nice malty aftertaste. This is a good tasting beer, it is a little boozy, but it's got some nice flavors.

M- Fairly smooth, a little crisp, a little creamy, not sticky, the alcohol could have been hidden better, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer had a pretty nice mouthfeel, but I wish the alcohol was hidden a little better.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and good example of the style. it had pretty much all the key aspects that I look for in an Old Ale and in the end I did think it was a little on the boozy side, but the flavors and aromas kept me coming back for more. This beer has ok drinkability, it's fairly smooth, a little crisp, a little creamy, nor sticky, not too filling and the alcohol could have been hidden better so I think one bottle would be my limit, I might regret it if I drink more than one in a row. What I like the most about this beer was the aroma and appearance, they are both really nice and some of the highlights of this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the booze, I think it could have been a hidden a little better. I would buy this beer again and I would love to age some in the cellar. I would recommend this beer, especially if you like strong Old Ales. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, some aspects were little impressive and some weren't but in the end it made for a tasty beer and I enjoyed it. So far it's one of my favorite Smuttynose beers and it's one of the better Old Ales I've had. Good job guys, this is a tasty Old Ale, keep it up. (3,352 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle gifted to me by ...Cam I believe? Really Old Brown Dog is actually a nickname of mine to a few sick individuals, yet I don't believe I've ever actually drank this. Bottled in November 2014.

A - Pour is surprisingly light colored brownish red with a thin beige head.

S - Dusty caramel, honey, brown sugar, bread crust, perhaps just a touch of wet dog.

T - Lots of sweet caramel, molasses and brown sugar with some cocoa and cola. Some dark fruit, light earthy leathery tones, and quite a bit of alcohol.

M - Big but not super heavy for the ABV, ample carbonation leads to a nice lightish feel. Malty, sweet and boozy, decadent sipper.

O - A big warming old ale that you know means business upon first sip. It's brash and sweet and maybe lacking complexities but the deep caramel/brown sugar flavors are pretty substantial. Definitely hits the spot as a sipper on yet another cold and snowy night. Will probably buy this to age and save for future winters. (972 characters)

Photo of badgustav
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

While the aroma is a bit off, the fact that is smells a bit of wet dog kind of adds to the allure of this beer, based on its name. The color is lovely, and the taste is malty and mellow. I'm curious to see what age does to it. (226 characters)

Photo of Ian_B
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very dark amber. Translucent, but such a dark brown it's hard to peer through. Good head and retention.

Deep, bready notes on the nose, with loads of buttery, nutty, earthy, and fruity undertones (in order of potency). Very slight notes of fig, raisins, and apple.

Taste closely follows the aroma, beginning with sweet, brown sugar and creamy, roasted nuts. A little bit of chocolate is present, along with lots of the same fruity notes on the finish.

Warming alcohol is present and provides a very well-balanced, drying finish to an otherwise thick and very sweet malt base.

Overall kind of buttery which makes me question aging it, though a small amount of time may do it some justice. (691 characters)

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.85/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Golden amber in color with not much in the way of head retention or lacing. Smells of some bread and fruits. Taste is of sweet malts, dark fruits, and biscuits. Coats the palate nicely and is quite enjoyable to drink. I thoroughly enjoyed indulging on this Smuttynose take on an old ale! (291 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at World of Beer in Jacksonville, FL.

Pours a somewhat dark brown color, with a quarter inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells pretty malty and sweet, with some dark fruit and chocolate.

This is nicely malty and tasty, but seems a bit simple for an old ale. I only really get vaguely sweet malt, and a little bit of chocolate. Tasty, but not all that interesting, really.

This is medium bodied, with a crisp and bready mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonaton.

Not super impressed with this one, Smuttynose can do better. (542 characters)

Photo of bushbeer75
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bottle label notched 2012

Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale changed the color of my snifter to a dark cloudy amber producing a 3/4-finger tan head that was reduced to spotty lacing and a collar of foam. The nose was dominated by caramel malt and dark fruit (raisins). The taste is similar to the smell. It is malt-rich of deep notes of complex dark fruit and dark toffee with just a faint underlying hop bitterness that helps balance the ale. Mouth feel is full bodied, creamy, with fizzy carbonation that tickles the tongue and has a pleasant alcohol warming.

Really Old Brown Dog is a good Old "stock" Ale that is a sipper even after [approximately] 2-years of age. The ale paired well with Mexican style salsa and chips. (744 characters)

Photo of ZebraCakez
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A great beer. Pours a deep red/brown with little head. Aroma of roasted malt and fresh bread. Taste is that of deep malt and dried fruit. It's sweet on a molasses like level on the finish, and the alcohol is present at the end with a pleasant warming sensation. Medium body and just enough carbonation add to an overall well balanced and enjoyable experience. Definitely worth trying. (384 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A deep rich brown with a short-lasting creamy white head. The head leaves bigger volumes of small sticky lacing. The aroma is nutty but also sweet (think hazelnut). The body tastes barrel-aged and it dominates the flavor profile. The body is nice weight and there is a nice mouthfeel to it. (290 characters)

Photo of gr0g
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 Release in 12 oz. bottle format. Reddish brown in color. Not quite two fingers of foam leaving some mottled lacing behind. Aroma of overripe fruit, even candied fruit. Some brown sugar. It would be great if this were more aromatic. Alcohol scent is well restrained for 11% ABV.

Sweet, but not cloying, some alcohol heat and flavor on the finish. A little bit of oak on the finish, too, though I don't know if this is aged on wood at all. Rich, malty, fruity. A bit of port wine character. Nicely balanced carbonation - not too aggressive but not overcarbed.

This is drinking nicely right now, but with at least a year of aging it would be even better. A good, strong sipper for the cold months. (701 characters)

Photo of dbl_delta
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage bottle into glass mug.

Drop dead gorgeous reddish amber color with a 2-finger, creamy tan head. Perfect amount of carbonation. Sweet and malty. Alcohol is well hidden - perhaps TOO well hidden. Could be a real adventure for the unwary.

Mouthfeel is, IMHO, perfect. Just enough body to let you know it demands respect, but so slick and smooth that you're immediately anticipating the next sip.

I wish I'd have had the willpower to cellar this one, but I didn't. Might go back and grab a couple more bottles so I can see what it's like with some age on it. Bet it'll be even better.

Overall, I really like this beer. Olive would approve. (667 characters)

Photo of Thirstygoat
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is thin and cloudy with a hint of wood smell. BUT it drinks dangerously easily for 10% abv . Think Newcastle with a hint of sweetness and triple the malt flavor. (166 characters)

Photo of Morey
4/5  rDev +2.6%

2014 Bottle (11.1%)

Aroma was good, but on the mild side. Tasting notes: Darks Fruits, Burnt Toffee, Oak, Faint Cinnamon with a medium body. Looking forward to aging my other bottles. (186 characters)

Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass, red-orange brown colored with a large tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: heavy malt, nutty

T: slight dark fruit, malt forward, very earthy

M: heavy with lower carbonation

O: earthy and malt forward brown ale (277 characters)

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

2012 vintage

Appearance - murky brown liquid with khaki head

Smell - brown sugar, molasses, caramel, tobacco, prune, oak

Taste - similar to the aroma, brown sugar, molasses, caramel, tobacco, leather, prune,
Oak
Mouthfeel - full bodied, medium plus carbonation, sweetness upfront and the leather/tobacco on the finish

Overall - decent beer that is a sipper on a chilly night

Price point - $7.99/22 oz bottle (412 characters)

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. (865 characters)

Photo of ExtraStout
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (851 characters)

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

Don't think this beer is getting a fair shake in the ratings. Maybe because it is a brown ale and there are not too many fans of brown ales. I happen to be one. Maybe because Smuttynose is more or less a local New Hampshire brewery. But in fairness to the beer. This is a real great beer in its style. Would rate this as a great everyday beer, like Shed's Mountain Ale or most Sam Adam's beers.
Brown is not a very appealing color for a beer, it pours out with very little head or lacing. It kinda just sits there, but the taste is special, and I feel it deserves a better appreciation for what it is. (601 characters)

Photo of argock
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter. Bottle conditioned in 2012 notched on label. Purchased at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Semi-opaque dark amber with 1-finger of foamy beige head with decent retention but no lacing.

S: Very sweet, buttery caramel-toffee malt aromas dominate with minimal herbal hopping. Yeast esters are bready and a little fruity but subdued. Alcohol singes the nostrils a touch.

T: Very sweet sipper here, drinks like a big beer with toffee, burnt caramel, date, and a bit of rum raisin. Nuty as well -- nice malt complexity overall. Hopping is only bitterness to counter the intense maltiness. Alcohol presence is mild with a bit of warming on the palate and throat. Yeast character is again bready-doughy but not overwhelming. Light bitterness.

M: Very smooth, full-bodied, light carbonation overall.

O: I enjoyed this beer but about 12 oz is enough -- big body and intensely malty with a nice use of alcohol presence in the background to remind you this is a big beer. (1,040 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
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. (1,558 characters)

Photo of Jonada
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (912 characters)

Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 348 ratings.