Old Brown Dog
Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Brown Ale - American
Ranked #84
Ranked #11,942
3.94 | pDev: 10.91%
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States
Very Good
Notes: Old Brown Dog has been cited as a classic example of the “American Brown Ale” style of beer. Compared to a typical English Brown Ale, Old Brown Dog is fuller-bodied and more strongly hopped.

30 IBU
Reviews: 1,004 | Ratings: 2,787 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JohnniEMc
JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Its brown, but not a dark brown, not even as dark as a cola soft drink. It's also very bright and shiny, but not translucent. The off-white head is modest and enduring. Prerequisite to making these observations, two twelve ounce cans were emptied into a clear glass liter mug. A sweet malty aroma also emanates. Although obviously well carbonated, it drinks a bit flat because it is smoother than it looks like it would be. Oddly, it's also very light in body. The taste is malty sweet with just enough hop bite to make it work. There's only a little glass lacing and only a little taste of the 6.5% ABV. The best Browns have a little more earthiness than this, which helps with the sweetness of the malt. It may not be among the best in its style, but it is good and worth the try.

Jul 04, 2021
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JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sampled July 2, 2021 from a can in pint glass. Can had a brewed date of 5/25/21 stamped on it.

Appearance: Dark amber color. Tan head was about 2 fingers thick, and it lasted about a minute and resulted in a thin cover. There was a little lacing left on the glass.

Smell: Strong roasted malt aromas, with some smell of sweet chocolate.

Taste: Medium-bodied with a balance of malt, coffee, and chocolate flavors, with some hop bitterness for added dimension. The combination makes it more enjoyable than many other brown ales.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, but very smooth, almost creamy.

Overall: A good brown ale. Best if you enjoy a combination of malt, coffee, chocolate, and hops flavor influences. The label lists 6.5% alcohol, and it does taste like it.

Jul 03, 2021
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Rapscullion from Massachusetts

4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

June 2021. Fresh bottle poured into tulip glass. Clear dark chestnut color with an onch of white foam that slowly fades to a very thin ring.
Pleasant nose of roasted malt, brown bread, slightly earthy.
Very malty on the palate, quite nutty and much hoppier than a British brown, with a persistent maple sweetness.
Nice easy drinking beer but a little too sweet. The extra hoppiness is typical of American browns but ultimately lacks the sublety and cohesion of the best British brown ales.

Jun 21, 2021
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papposilenus from New Hampshire

3.47/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From a 12oz can, dated 03/29/21. Served in a tulip.

Pours a warm, translucent, burnt caramel colour with an honest finger of soft and sudsy beige foam. Retention is quite good, leaving a bubbly cap, a creamy collar, and a tattered curtain of foamy lacing. Looks really nice.

Aroma, however, is disappointingly faint. Malty, with butterscotch and damp hay.

Taste is somewhat thin but there’s toasted bread crust and caramelized cane sugar, nuts and corn. Earthy/dirty and only very mildly sweet, with a grassy/ashy, bitterness and a slight bile-like, vomitous aftertaste.

Feel is slick and soapy, medium-light bodied with a prickly, aggressive, almost fizzy level of carbonation.

How have I not reviewed this before now? At any rate, I think this is not the beer it once was. Although it is rather thin, in terms of aroma, taste and mouthfeel, it was still enjoyable enough until I’d identified the vomitous aftertaste. I still finished the can, because I am, after all, a trooper, but I’ll pawn the remaining two cans from the variety pack off on my friend Bob.

Jun 11, 2021
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mikeinportc from New York

4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Translucent medium chestnut-brown , with one finger of tan head.

Smell is moderate nutty aroma (crushed walnut, mostly), slight caramel, and brown bread.

Taste close to aroma, but drier, with an additional malt-ball-but-not-sweet flavor. Moderate bitterness.

Feel is medium , slightly slick, slightly watery initially, with moderate very fine carbonation tingle.

Overall, a nice, well-balanced, basic beer, well-done.

Jan 07, 2021
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Jeez from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours medium brown with an off-white head. It smells of dark bread and coffee. The taste is nutty and a bit sweet, like crackers and caramel with a mildly bitter finish. It hides its abv very well and is easy to drink. Nothing is overpowering, just well-balanced.

Oct 10, 2020
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Greenlabel from New Hampshire

4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've enjoyed this Ale over a period of years but have never formally rated it before. I agree with the Notes to this product that it is a "classic example of an American Brown Ale". It was the product that first developed a personal enthusiasm in me for Brown Ales in general and I haven't yet come across a better example. It became less available in recent years on the retail shelves in my area but now seems to have returned on a more regular basis in its usual 12 oz. can format. Thus, Smuttynose once again occupies a regular spot in my refrigerator with both Old Brown Dog and its better-known Finest Kind IPA.

Aug 14, 2020
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed November 13, 2016. Alright you know the line: brown ale pours well, light brown here, liquid caramel. 1/4" much lighter color brown head. Its thicker and darker by far compared to Newcastle.

Brown malt aroma, earthy dark caramel bread, mild cocoa like note, a similar mild hop influence.

Taste actually pushed a mixture of citrus rind and brown malt caramel. Its not ipa level hopping territory, but there are some aspects of that here. Assertions of it being strongly hopped are overblown if you don't qualify "for style" when you repeat the commercial tug job line. A little bit of nuttiness in the mouthfeel. Leans more bitter than it does sweet.

It drinks pretty easy, there are no off flavors. Surprised to see this style of beer rated so highly. I think this brown ale checks all the boxes and is an easy beer to pick up for someone who likes brown ales.

Jun 24, 2020
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KRug from Massachusetts

3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 12/31/19

I’ve seen this one around for so long, I just had to grab it. I’m a sucker for a good brown so I tend to pick up any that I can find

Pours a clear light brown/copper with just a cap of khaki colored head that fades to nothing quick and leaves no lacing at all

Aromas of big coffee, caramel malt, citrus hops, and just a touch of floral spice

This one is quite hop forward in the taste for a brown and I’m all about it! Notes of chocolate and dark fruit work well with bitter coffee and hops. A bit more malt character would work here, but this is still good

Pretty light body here with some tingly carbonation, this finishes dry and bitter

Quite an interesting example of a brown, very American for sure, and drinks a whole lot lighter than the abv

May 24, 2020
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Thomas_Wikman from Texas

3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer was included with a bucket full of beers that my daughter (student in California) sent me for Valentine's Day.

Look: dark brown with a half inch white head

Aroma: toasted bread, nuts, and caramel

Taste: The flavor is toasted bread, nuts, and caramel.

Body/Overall: light to medium body.

Mar 07, 2020
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tomtjs4 from Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer a lot, there was a good amount of flavor. This is a perfect beer for cold nights, but I can also see myself drinking it in the summer as well.

Mar 03, 2020
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brewme from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked-up as part of a mixed twelve-pack at Kappy's in Norwell for about fifteen dollars. Have had this brew many times before, not for a long time. Brown ale is not my favorite style, but this is nice.

Feb 14, 2020
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent brown with a little head. Sweet sugary aroma. Flavor is rich, sugary, sweet yet subtle. Good body and feel. Overall, very tasty lighter and crisp with a nice sweet kick.

Jan 01, 2020
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Tantonys from Maine

4.75/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Overall, a very good brown ale. Warm, maybe chocolate malt predominates. It is not "more strongly hopped," as stated. Not floral much, yet a decent clean mild bitter finish. In any case, Pugsley's Smuttynose brewery always brews great beers.

May 04, 2019
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chitoryu12 from Florida

4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look: Very attractive chocolate brown with amber highlights under light. Good finger of thick off-white head with excellent retention.

Smell: Brown malt, fruity and spicy hops without bitterness.

Taste: Nutty brown malt. Mild bitterness underneath, but not really any noticeable hop flavor. Relatively sweet and bready.

Mouthfeel: Generous full body with mild carbonation.

Overall: While not complex or super bold, very tasty and easy to drink.

Feb 08, 2019
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Mugman8 from New York

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a deep brown hue with ample head and nice lacing. Smooth, crisp nutty flavor that I prefer vs. sweeter English browns like Newcastle....I like this one a lot!

Jan 06, 2019
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MoreBeer4me from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very good brown ale. Crisp and clean taste and not overly sweet. No reason to go on and on with picking out specific tastes here.....its just an excellent American style brownie. Get some!

Nov 23, 2018
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PMakowski from New Hampshire

3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 Oz Bottle poured into glass
Look - Hazy brown color with lots of particles. Small foam head with some lacing on glass.
Smell - roasted malts, nuts, some very minor earthy aromas.
Taste - Malt-forward with a nice hoppy finish. Nothing too bitter just enough to get some balance. Medium-high carbonation. Somewhat sweet but not as much as most Brown Ales. No alcohol detected so hides the 6.5% well. It's quite filling even though it's not a heavy beer.

Overall, i would like to try this on tap, wasn't blown away by the bottle. It just seems to have less flavor than i get from most other Browns. Grade is a B+

Nov 03, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a glass mug, the appearance was a semi-dark brown color with a small cap of a little white foamy head softly dissolving to leave some adequate messy lace.
The aroma had a nice combination of roasted nuts, caramel/toffee malts, milk chocolate and a nice level dose of piney hops.
The flavor leans towards the malty sweetness initially but seemed to develop a sly balance with the piney hop bitterness as it warmed. Nice mobile aftertaste of piney hops and roasted nuts to caramel malts.
The mouthfeel was about full bodied with a fair sessionability about it. Hop bitterness is mobile enough to not be distractible. Carbonation and ABV felt on par. Nice finish with the roastiness, nuts and piney hops.
Overall, the quintessential American styled brown ale showcasing an absolutely stellar balance between hops to malts. Though brewed year round, to me, it's an absolutely wonderful beer to have with football games.

Sep 29, 2018
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Amendm from Rhode Island

3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a 16-oz. mug. A moderately strong pour was needed to get a finger-sized rocky beige head with lots of lacing. Head shrinks slowly to a cap.
Clear chestnut brown shows ruby-amber in front of light.
Smell features caramel and malt with a hint of piney hops and alcohol.
Taste has added roasted nuts, faint pitted fruits and a subtle hop bitterness.
Feel is light bodied and a little watery with moderate carbonation and a semi dry clean finish.
A happy revisit, malty yet a little light on the palate and hops are well balanced. Not too sweet or bitter.

Sep 21, 2018
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degueulasse from California

3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Old Brown Dog pours an amber, toffee-colored hue into the glass and has no particularly great smell, but its rich, buttery taste and its crisp, refreshing mouthfeel make it a truly delicious brew.

Apr 03, 2018
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PatrickCT from Connecticut

4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Matte brown and cloudy body. Thin wet lace slides down the glass after each sip as the one finger egg shell head dissipates in to a faint ring.
The aroma is nutty toffee, roasted malts a sweetness of honey and some grassy hops.
The taste is more caramel than toffee and there is a nice spiciness in this well hopped brown. Very well balance with a nip of alcohol.
Medium body, active carbonation. Medium mouth feel with a bit of slickness.

One of the best of it's kind. The Brownest Kind.

Feb 27, 2018
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APyrateAtForty from Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle with a Best By date of 3/12/18 into a pilsner glass.

L - Beautiful clear, reddish brown color. Thin head that dissipated quickly with no lacing.
S- Scent of nutty malt and hints of hops
T- Sweet malt taste, a little nutty, with a balanced taste of hops at the finish
F - Feels a bit thin, a bit strong on the carbonation, maybe

Overall a good, solid beer.

Feb 04, 2018
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tguillette from New Hampshire

4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Loved the color but had a little overpowering smell. It is a hearty brown ale with a little aftertaste that seems to go away the more your drink. Overall a good brown ale.

Jan 20, 2018
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EMH73 from New York

3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish/brown with a well retained one inch light tan head that left a lot of lacing. Smells of sweet malts, mild nutty quality and some hops. Taste is on the sweet side with caramel notes, nuts, sweet malts, toffee, toast and a good amount of hop bitterness. Light to medium bodied, moderate carbonation, crisp.

Jan 14, 2018
Old Brown Dog from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 2787 ratings