Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

very good
968 Reviews
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog AleSmuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

18 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-07-1998

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Reviews: 968 | Ratings: 2,673
Photo of keithmurray
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - chestnut/auburn body with tan head

Smell - caramel, peanut shell, toasted nuts

Taste - caramel, toffee, toasted nuts, green tea

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, caramel sweetness upfront, toasted nuttiness in the back

Overall - great example of the style, recommended

Price point - $1.79/12 oz single

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Photo of Kriztofuhr
4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - Poured a clear brown with ruby highlights and two fingers of light tan head. Good retention and lacing.

Smell - Oatmeal, brown bread, faint caramel. Smells pleasant, just on the milder side.

Taste - Toasted dark bread, yeasty, almond-like bitterness, sweet hazelnut. Long aftertaste. Not hopped to hell like so many other brown ales, hops are subdued.

Feel - Medium bodied, prickly carbonation. If it were a tad thicker it'd be perfect.

Overall - Delicious beer, near perfect in my opinion.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Hazy, translucent dark reddish brown. Small beige head. Medium-poor retention. Spotty lacing.

S: Earthy, woody hops. Cashews and toffee. Toasted rye bread. Baking cocoa. Dried cherries and vanilla.

T: Heavy on cashews, caramel, toffee, and peanuts. Hints of dried fig, cherry, and raisin. Stinky-sweet leather and tobacco. Molasses. Faint milk chocolate. Woody and earthy hop balance. Slightly sweet with figgy and toffee notes.

F: Medium-light. A bit light on the finish, but dangerously sluggable. Moderate carbonation. Finishes slightly sweet, but then dried out to relative cleanness.

O: A very solid American brown ale. Almost definitive of its style.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Haven't had a brown ale in awhile...brief initial impressions from a bottle below:

6.50% ABV.

Auburn body (definitely not brown). Mediocre off-white head of

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Photo of BJB13
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

best by 4/6/17 stamped on bottle
poured into pint glass

A- Syrup brown in color, slightly hazy with visible suspended sediment. only half a finger of head which lasted @ 60 seconds. In fairness it wasn't a great pour on my part.
S- Only a slight aroma of malts.
T- Nutty, slightly bitter with a trace of hops.
M- At first it was a little heavy on the carbonation for me but it smoothed out as I went. Light to medium body.
O- I was surprised that it wasn't more clear (not an issue for me) and would say it could be a little more bitter but otherwise within the guidelines for the style.
A good brown ale that seems to finish better than it starts.

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Photo of 0panther0
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L - nice medium brown color, real nice head
S - light nut, a little hoppy but no really strong aroma
T - subtle sweetness, little nut, light hops and some bitterness
F - a little heavy carbonation
O - generally balanced, light bitterness was the lasting impression. Not bad but not really interesting either

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Photo of matcris
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Looks like a glass of strong iced tea with almost no head on an aggressive pour , and no real lacing. A little nutty, a little fruity, and a little toasty in the nose. The flavor is a nice light roasted nutty flavor, malty, toasted bread, and a bit of caramel.
Nice level of carbonation, full, but not overboard, medium thin body, and dry. No off flavors, nutty, and good carbonation. Easy drinking, here.

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Photo of a-BeerDrinker
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

L - caramel, hazy, almost dirty with a reddish tint
S - malty, hints of oats,bread,nuts, and very subtle spice. Maybe allspice or cinnamon
T - absolutely delicious. Smooth, creamy, and clean, yet bold and full-bodied. Bready, with a little smoke. You get a little hops in the middle, but as it dissipates, the hops do too.
F - Full at first, but fades out a bit at the end. Almost watery finish, but flavor is so good it's disguised.
O - a great selection at the right price. Would definitely buy it again - the quality is very evident.

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Photo of Egglands_Beast
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I won't just repeat the other reviews, because they're pretty spot on about the taste, look, feel, etc. It's a really tasty beer that's enjoyable to drink - I'll definitely be getting it more in the future. My only problem is that the Big Daddy flavors really only come in at the end - the first thing you get is the somewhat muted bright hoppiness. It just doesn't put its best foot forward on the palette. But this is a very slight problem ultimately.

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Photo of frykid
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

enjoyed in a pint glass poured from the tap

L : a reddish brown color, nice head on the pour (abt width of 1 finger)
S: it had the aromas of nuts and malts. It was very pleasing
T: malts flavors and some bitterness.
F: very smooth drink,

overall: this is a very good beer. enjoyed it very much

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Photo of Nimbus_
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours a dark brown, but holding to light reveals a hazy reddish amber color. Not much of a head formed, and any that did form dissipated quickly.

Smell: Loaded with malt aroma. Lots of caramel, nuts, and bread. I also may have detected some ever so subtle pine, but it really sat in the background compared to the malts.

Taste: Very delicious! The taste reflects the smell. Tons of malt with absolutely no hop bitterness. Starts sweet with caramel flavors and ends with a nutty aftertaste.

Feel: Surprisingly creamy. Mild carbonation. I would not guess this as a 6.7% ABV, because it drinks so smoothly.

Overall: I was very impressed with the flavor and drink-ability of this beer (despite that being somewhat dangerous at 6.7%). If you're looking for a flavorful, classic tasting brown ale, then you can't go wrong here!

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Photo of UConnBeerBoy
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stella Artois 50cl goblet

A: Deep reddish brown, like a late fall leaf. Creamy head dissipates quickly, moderate lacing
S: Hearty notes - my nose isn't well trained, but definitely a malt/caramel theme
T: Surprisingly mild for an ABV over 6.5, pleasant malts, a bit of vague nuttiness
F: Gentle and smooth, pleasantly lingering

Was not expecting to like this beer, I usually prefer lagers but I figured I'd give it a try. Definitely a great intro to darker ales!

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft, it pours reddish brown (mostly brown) in the glass with a moderate head. Nose is tickled by the raisiny malty hoppy scent. The mouth is struck by the light hop bite, followed by the malt. A repeater!

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Photo of edward_boumil
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: Red/brown colored beer, not much head nor lace.
S: Tons of raisin up front. Other notes such as plum, fig, toffee as well.
T: Repeat of the nose, touches of caramel, dark fruit and toffee. Less molasses like than a doppelbock, and easier drinking, more subdued. Perfect balance between easy drinking and great flavor
F: Pretty light and refreshing. Medium-high carbonation, little dryness, actually more sweet
O: Great example of a brown ale. Been many years since I last drank this.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque amber/bronze with a tan half finger head that fades fast. Soapy lacing.

S: Caramel, bready malts, nutty, a bit of cinnamon.

T: Toasty malts, caramel, spices, a bit of molasses. A hazelnut finish.

M: Low to medium with low to medium carbonation.

O: For my taste, one of the best browns going. Easy drinking. A great go-to beer. Wish we had it here.

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Photo of Guppy314
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a tap at a Burgers, Tap & Shake in DC, it poured an almost clear gold with a thin tan head. Aroma was decent (not bold) with both malt a hops. Taste is malt-forward with some interesting caramel and even chocolate flavors. Mouth feel was decent but average for a craft brew with definite carbonation. Hops wasn't so evident in the taste.

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

Dark reddish copper, with a medium beige head.

Smell is caramel and raisin.

Taste is bready malt, caramel, and nut.

A little sweet, semi-dry, yet frothy.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Grabbed a Smuttynose mixed 12-pack at the Trig's Cellar 70 in Rhinelander. The bottling code states this one is good for another four months. Poured right from the fridge into my Founders pint glass.

L: Pours a fairly clear golden brown color with about a quarter-inch of off-white head that dissipates quite quickly down to an almost nonexistent film and slight ring that leaves very little lacing on the glass. Lots of fine particulate in the beer, and very little visible carbonation present.

S: Sweet caramel malts register first, and they're followed by some rich bready malts and more roasty malt notes. Some nice earthiness to balance out the sweet. Just a touch of cracked pepper and nondescript herbal notes. Very pleasant nose on this one.

T: Caramel, bready, and roasty malt flavors come on strong right out of the gates, with the sweeter caramel leading the way. The middle brings on a bit of hop astringency--earthy and slightly herbal. Some cracked pepper in there, as well. There's a bit of a root beer thing happening in the middle and toward the back--some birch and sarsaparilla notes in the mix. The back end continues the dominance of the malts, though there's a hint of clear alcohol and a touch of hop bitter to end things cleanly. Sweet, rich, and earthy brew.

F: Medium-bodied and quite smooth overall. There is some of that bright hop astringency happening, but it's overall a smooth and creamy feel. Very low carbonation on this one--thankfully, the body keeps it from feeling outright watery (though I would've appreciated a bit more carbonation).

O: I've had this beer on a few occasions before, but I'm just now getting around to reviewing it. I think I appreciate the flavors in this one a lot more now than I used to. It's got a very nice balance between the sweet flavors and the more savory and earthy notes--one thing I dislike about a lot of brown ales is that they overdo the sweet. This one also has enough complexity to keep me interested. Though I wish the look and feel was better, this is a brown ale that I definitely recommend.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Definitely one of the best brown ales out there....semi sweet with a strong dark biscuit and malt flavour.mouthfeel is definitely thicker than it appears.a superb brown ale.

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Photo of brblanch
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Reddish brown appearance with thin off white head that dissipates quickly. No real lacing. Bready malt aroma. Notes of caramel with some lingering sweetness. Medium carbonation. Overall, a very drinkable enjoyable ale I'll revisit though not a favorite style.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into glass. 6.5% abv

Appearance- Pours a light reddish-brown. Appears a dark charcoal brown once in glass. Thin white head that dissipates fast. Opaque.

Smell- Faint grainy malt, caramel, molasses

Taste- Rich caramel. Quite sweet with a nuttiness. Hints of chocolate that are very light. Sweetness lasts into the finish turning into some dark fruit notes such as prune. Minimal hop herbal notes.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with low to medium carbonation.

Overall- A rich flavorful brown ale. High quality and a good bit complex

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

Clear brown color with a thin cream colored head. Not much head retention or lacing here. Smell is very pleasant, I got: bready sweetness, some faint hops, toasted nuts, caramel. Taste is similar to Fat Tire, but with more hops and overall a "bigger" and more complex flavor. Tastes like bread, caramel, hops, and some faint spices (nutmeg? cloves?) in the aftertaste. Good balance between malts and hops, the malt taste is still the star but the hops keep it fresh and clean. Carbonation was good, feels medium. Overall a really solid beer that I would recommend to fans of Fat Tire and other similar amber ales.

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Photo of dd43
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I guess I had built this beer up in my mind over the past few years, being a fan of brown ales and having heard so much about this one's place in the pantheon of the style. It was malty, had some nice toasted (but not roasted) qualities, and I'd certainly not turn down another pint in the future. That said, I've had some more recently introduced brown ales which captured more of my attention. I felt like the flavor profile of this beer was a little thin, meaning something a little more assertive in terms of breadiness or richness would have been appreciated. I should really do a side by side with this beer and a few of my favorites in the genre. By no means a beer to pass over, my only advice is to temper your expectations and not go into this expecting transcendence.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear amber brown color with a one finger khaki head with barely any retention and not much lacing at all. Smell is roasted bready malts, caramel, nuts and toffee. Taste is the same with just a touch of bitterness from the hops that is almost immediately swept aside by the rich depth of malt flavors. Feel is light, smooth and very drinkable. Not much carbonation. Overall a very good brown ale. Excellent representation of the style, but not my favorite.

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Photo of bristol2120
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 12 oz. bottle freshness dated 2-20-16. Pours a medium deep ruby red with a light tan head that quickly subsides leaving only minimal lacing. Aroma has the expected roasted malt character, with faint notes of butterscotch in the background. Maltiness really comes through in the taste, though just a bit of wateriness detectable in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very smooth with a subdued amount of carbonation that does not overpower the beer. Overall, a nice, drinkable representation of the style, though it might have benefited from just a slight bit more assertiveness on the palate.

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 2,673 ratings.
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