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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
88
very good
959 Reviews
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog AleSmuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States
smuttynose.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
959
Ratings:
2,630
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
132
Gots:
516
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 959 | Ratings: 2,630
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.

 453 characters

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 HorseheadsHopHead
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Clear dark amber with a thin tan head.

S: Molasses, caramel, toast, licorice, roasted peanuts, and twinges of pine.

T: Rich caramel, toast, and toffee flavors. Faints hints of dark chocolate. Some cashews. Slight cherries and raisins. Finished lightly dry with earthy and light pine bitterness.

F: Medium-bodied, average carbonation. Easy drinking.

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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.

 346 characters

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.

 2,075 characters

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.

 173 characters

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.

 296 characters

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

 550 characters

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.

 613 characters

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
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a clear brownish orange color with a one finger khaki head with barely any retention and not much lacing at all. Smell is roasted bready malts, caramel and toffee. Taste is the same. Feel is light, crisp and very drinkable. Not much carbonation. Overall a good representation of the style, but not my favorite.

 326 characters

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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Photo of Mollyellis
4.89/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Smuttynose does brown ales well. This American style brown ale does not disappoint. If you enjoy the English cousin (aka Samuel Smith) this is the same smooth finish but a deeper beer and darker in the glass. If you see this on tap and like anything close to a bock you need to give this a shot. The only points I deducted were for the label. It's super basic and definitely doesn't make you gravitate towards it. But that is so fitting for this beer. It's extremely classic and understated and will not disappoint.

 515 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a beautiful red-amber brown color. It smells malty and hoppy, with caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and things of the like. The taste is pretty similar. Slightly fruity and hoppy, with toasted malty notes of molasses, caramel and toffee goodness as it warms. Moderate carbonation with a light-medium body. Goes down smooth, and tastes sweet as anything paired up with a savory dish like steak. Overall a delicious tasting reddish, brown ale.

 456 characters

Photo of MaineBrewing
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured a almost clear brown, when held to the light the color was brilliant with hints of ruby. Head was thick and slightly off whit with a mix of small and large bubbles, head died quickly to not much froth, slight lacing.

S - Lots of malt, sweet smelling, dark, smells like brown bread in a can, slight caramel, almost a raisin fruityness. Smells hearty.

T - The hearty sweet, dark brown malt flavors carry over from the nose, but are met with ample hop bitterness and a quenching slight alcohol biting finish. The hops linger, and beg another sip. This brew finds a balance of letting the brown ale character through while having more than ample hop character, but still not trying to be overly hoppy... if that makes sense?? Would venture a guess there's a ton of early hop additions and pretty much none at the end.

M - For 6.7 or so ABV, this drinks like a much lighter ale, although admittedly the alcohol is present with a biting slight warmth, it goes down quick and dangerously so.

O - A great example of a brown ale, nice balance between that brown ale flavor with ample hops, slight warming making this a great sipper for a cold Maine evening.

 1,168 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, best by date 12/01/2015 printed on the bottleneck. Another new one to me from Smuttynose, this one their brown ale.

Poured into a Big Eddy snifter.

A - Pours a dark reddish-brown body hazed with flecks of sediment. One finger of creamy khaki tan head. Not much lacing to speak of.

S - Aromas of must, caramel, toffee, brown bread, some cola. A pretty tame aroma.

T - Flavor profile follows the nose: toffee, caramel, brown bread, brown malt, cream.

M - Smooth, creamy, fluid mouthfeel. Medium bodied, good carbonation, and easy-drinking.

Overall, a characteristic brown ale.

 598 characters

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

L- Not alot of head or lace, but beautiful clear caramel brown.
S- Roasty caramel malts with a just a hint of hops
T- Follows nose with an excellent balance between malt and hops.
F- carbonation is low, which gives it a fuller mouthfeel.
O-Very good example of the American Brown ale style and one I will revisit in the future.

 327 characters

Photo of slusk
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours a clear brown with a short lived off-white head

S: Brown bread, caramel, earthy hops. A bit of an English brown ale aroma.

T:Bready, malty with good caramel flavor. A bit of toffee. Good balanced bitterness with an earthy hop. Bright malt flavor. A bit of an English flavor. Definitely taste the malt in the aftertaste, much like chewing fresh barley malt in the homebrew store.

F: Medium light body, low carbonation. Smooth.

O: This beer is a fine example of a brown ale. A bit of English yeast with a nicely balanced malt forward profile. Bright malt flavors with subdued earthy hop. Very fresh, clean flavors. One of my favorites.

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

what I want to drink when I need a malty, slightly roast-y, medium brown ale.
look is a medium brown/mahogany with a nice foam ring that pleases the lips.
nose is roasted malts and nuts, not getting chocolate like some people, but it's still pleasant.
taste is great with caramel, earthy malted chocolate grains, some dried fruit (apple). great.
medium bodied, smooth mouthfeel. all good
great brown ale that goes down smooth, for an even greater brown try "really old dog brown ale"

 483 characters

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

Pours to a generous beige head that falls to a thin ring and bits of lace. Light brown-red. Aroma is subtle toasted, nutty grains and slight alcohol. Not much hops. Flavor, is clean, nutty, malty and crisp. Low bitterness, feels good going down. Damn good brown. The bar served it at cellar temperature (50-55F).

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 2,630 ratings.
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