Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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very good
958 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: 958 | Ratings: 2,621
Photo of Blueribbon666
1.36/5  rDev -65.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

My 1st try from Smuttynose and I haven't been back to anything by the company. From notes; Bottle poured into pint glass very little smell wise save for a mild soury malt smell. No ABV printed on bottle that poured a rich caramel color w/no head but lil bubbles. Hoppy, malty and a lil typical but NOT smooth goin' down...kinda had to choke her down, before I split the rest w/the sink drain. I'll have to try a different style from this brewery but this was a turn off that will keep other breweries ahead of the Smut on my "to try/get" list

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Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A muddy brown hazy color with almost no head. A little aroma of weak malt, the taste is a little wort like. It has some basic sweet mealtimes with a watery mouthfeel and practically no finish.

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Photo of albern
2.56/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For a smuttynose, this one is not up to par. The smell is musty, a little tinny, it did remind me a little of a wet dog ... not too good. The color is dark, rich, amber, clear, with not much head. Okay on the carbonation front. The taste ... hmmm. Decent mix between hops and malts, on the dry side, a medium balance and texture. The taste has some fruity complexity, there are difficult to discern flavors in this beer, maybe a little on the coffee/chocolate side of the taste spectrum, but I remain unimpressed. It's okay, but not worth returning to and a bit of a disappointment coming from Smuttynose, which has made some excellent beers in the past.

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Photo of MisterTiat
2.65/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Brown with great clarity. The White head fluffs up nicely but dissipates quickly to almost nothing.

S: Roasty, toffee and carmel. Not much grain or hop aroma, plenty of roast and malt.

T: Maltiness and roast flavors come to the front, not much hop flavor, restrained in the finish. Bitter dark chocolate flavor lingers on the palate that turns almost sour.

M: Not very much carbonation, and a bit too watery for a brown. Not enough body to the beer.

D: I could drink several of these, though I am not sure I would like to, as I think you could find a better brown to substitute.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.71/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Smutty Nose Old Brown Dog ale, I love saying Smutty Nose! The sound of it Smutty Nose... Smutty Nose... Smutty Nose.

Anyway, Old Brown Dog Ale is a favorite of my friend- Otter! It is a popular beer at Isaac Newtons- Newtown, Pennsylvania. I've wanted this beer for a year now, so now it's time.

Old Brown Dog Ale pours a beautiful hickory reddish brown. A simple but nice tan head, not to thick but thick enough.

The smell is of chocolate and some spices. Not too crazy over the smell.
The taste is of a stale chocolate and spice, very sweet and not that good!

I bought a 6-pack of Old Brown Dog Ale and I'll drink them all, but the taste isn't very pleasant so it'll take me a week or 2 to finish. Man, what a bummer I wanted to like this beer and I'm really trying but the stale chocolate taste isn't enjoyable. Hopefully WeizenHeimer is better.

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Photo of 6470zzy
2.73/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A slightly murky reddish brown with a very thin head that quickly dissipated with no lacing

S bready yeasty aroma

T just a whisper of hops and malty biscuit on the tongue

M for me this was minimal carbonation not a lot of body showing here

D very average, I was expecting much more from this one, I think that I'll be saving it to "share" with the in-laws :)

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Photo of CBFanWish
2.79/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I have always been a fan of what smuttynose has to offer, but this one was way below par. The appearance was very good. A very brown color with a good head and very pretty lace. The smell was of a cold medicine, to me. I also had the same feeling when I tasted it. I didn't have a cold, but when I do, this is what I'll drink. I'm sorry, but this was bellow par for te great Smuttynose brewery.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.85/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - A mahogany color. I can't tell if it is a bit hazy or clear and just too dark to see my hand through it. Pours a medium head that fades in a minutes leaving no lacing. Visible medium carbonation.

Smell - Not a strong odor. Smell like molasses and piney hops. As it warms the syrupy molasses smell dominates.

Taste - Slightly sweet coffee and molasses malt flavor. Very weak pine. A bitter aftertaste that accumulates. Not very strong character in taste and smell. It is an okay taste. It is just weak. As the beer warms the bitterness increases a lot.

Mouthfeel - Medium viscosity, high carbonation numbs the mouth. It leaves a sort of film in my mouth. A bit drying.

Drinkability - I find this beer pretty mediocre for Smuttynose. It was the only one from the variety pack that didn't impress me. It isn't a bad beer though. It goes down easily, weak flavor enables you to keep drinking it. Would go well with lots of foods (poultry dishes come to mind), especially since food would cleanse the film off your mouth. With this unpleasant mouthfeel, I don't really want another. I suppose it is a decent brown, a little bitter with a foul mouthfeel but decent. It just doesn't impress me in anyway.

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Photo of nrbw23
2.88/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a clear copper color with a tan head. Head fades pretty quick to a thin ring of bubbles. A bit of spotty lacing are here and there.

S- Smell is roasted malts, nuts everywhere, toffee and light chocolate. A bit of a herbal hop here too.

T- More nutty than the nose leads on. Roasted malts, light chocolate, toffee and a touch of coffee. A bit of hops for bitterness. Fairly blah and boring. Not really digging this one.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

O- Not one of my favorite styles and this one is about average in every way.

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

12oz bottle. Pours a light brown - almost a cloudy dark gold when held up to light. No carbonation evident. Medium malty aroma. The flavour profile feels pretty typical for the style, with the focus on middle-of-the-road malts and not really that much else. I think I should give up on sampling brown ales, because I seem to feel the same way every time, and rarely has anything stepped up to be distinctive.

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Photo of jhammel01
2.9/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not much to look at, but its tasty!

Pours a redish brown, Pretty clear but with no head to speak of at all. No laciing...What gives? Has a good date on it...

No scent at all in this beer. A tiny bit of malty esters and thats about it.

But oh so good! Heavy roasted malt backbone, caramel, nuttiness, almost peanut like, very well rounded.

A good english brown ale! Just disappointed in the appearance.

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Photo of samie85
2.95/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a slightly hazy chestnut color with two fingers of off-white head.

S-Smells of biscuity and nutty malts with some hints of pine.

T-Piny bitterness with light hints of biscuity malt.

M-A little thin bodied with moderate carbonation and very light, prickly mouthfeel.

D-This beer isn't bad, but it's pretty one note and a little too bitter for an English Brown.

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Photo of eclipse54
2.95/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle from FluffyMcTingle; thank you very much! A best before date of February 2012. Poured into a tulip glass...

Pours a deep translucent brown that, in the glass, appears nearly black. About two-finger’s breadth of bubbly, cream-colored head develops and lingers for some time. Even after settling, a frothy ring and generous swirls of bubbles remain on the surface. Scattered patches of wet bubbles comprise the lacing.

It smells of vanilla, toffee, oak, brown sugar, toasted malt, and dark fruits. Vague hints of impending hops are also present.

The flavor is astonishingly different from the aroma. Heavy on dark fruits and cranberries, the majority of the aromas are completely absent on the tongue. Muddled fruit, faint grasses, and scattered piney hops are all that really come out. It is reminiscent of a juice box in perhaps the most disappointing way.

Mouthfeel is thinner than anticipated, and finishes a touch sticky and tart; not the most enjoyable.

Overall, a great looking and smelling brew, but it falls short of fulfilling ones initial expectations. Given the high reviews, it is entirely plausible this was a randomly bad bottle and an isolated occurrence. I would be happy to give this one another try.

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Photo of greybeardloon
2.96/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Best before July 17, 2012

A: Clear, dark red with a dense and substantial head and some lace.

S: Faint sweet malt and, oddly, dust. Very subdued nose.

T: An initial aggressive assault of white sugar, then some sweet maltiness with minimal character--not really a caramel flavor, but maybe some faint nuttiness. More floury dust. A surprisingly dry finish with some faint hops. Except for the sweetness, the flavor is subdued.

M: Thin and a bit bubbly.

O: This might be an interesting beer at 3.5% abv. At 6.5, I don't get it.

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Photo of rlshep
2.96/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

An English Brown Ale. Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass. Served about 50F. BBF Date: July 2010. Really looking forward to this beer, heard good things about it.

Aroma: Somewhat yeasty. Malt in the background. Slight chocolate notes. Possible oxidation?

Appearance: Beer is brownish with slight amber hues. High clarity, could read the other side of my glass through it. Small white head, fades quickly.

Flavor: Subdued chocolate and caramel flavors. Getting some type of sugary taste. Higher bitterness than expected. Alcoholic in finish. Very clean beer.

Mouthfeel: A little watery. Low carbonation. Warming alcohol.

Overall: A solid beer, would drink again but not go out of my way to get. Needs more mouthfeel and richer dark malt flavor. Style says it is an English Brown, but it seems more like an American Brown. Fairly bitter and little to no fruit characteristics.

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Photo of BB1313
2.98/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a transparent brown w/ little head and not much lacing. Smells typical for a brown, I'm picking up slight amounts of chocolate, malts, grains. There's a breadiness to it and a slight hint of nuttiness. The taste is average, nothing special, but nothing out of the ordinary. There's no body to this one, it's very thin. I personally like more body to my browns. Drinkability isn't bad.. 6.7% is relatively high for the style, but is ultimately unnoticeable.

I had higher expectations the first time I tried Old Brown Dog. Second time around wasn't too impressive. I love the brown ale style, and I can't put this at the top, although it's not horrible.. there's just too many better examples of the style.

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Photo of wac9
2.99/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

i was in the mood for a brown ale but this wasnt the brown ale could save the night it just boring lackluster its browm thats about it nothing outstanding to keep you coming back go look for a brown ale that packs a punch was hoping this bee was good but sadly its diapponts i know it me but i dont like it

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Photo of Kraken
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Consumed 3/9/09

Picked up a 6'er of the Ole Brown dog at Elite Vineyards last weekend and I am just getting around to reviewing now. Best by date on bottle indicates June 09. So this may be getting a little old. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Stella Artois glass. Firm pour fails to conjure much of a head, spotty lace. Color is a deep brown.

Nose- Caramels, nuts, lightly roasted coffee.

Palate- Fleeting caramel, roasted pecans, brown sugar. Reminds me of a Newcastle.

Mouthfeel- A bit thin, active.

Drinkability- Very drinkable. A nice beer but I was expecting something a little more complex. I found it to be a bit of a let down.

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Photo of nasty15108
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

To be honest I was expecting a little more from this beer. I knew not to expect Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale (Maybe the finest example of this style), but I thought it would at least be as good as New Castle. It was drinkable enough, and although it could be a good session beer, I'd rather drink New Castle. Not too impressed, and I probably wouldn't buy this one again.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hmmm... this is really not that interesting...

The beer is clear, copper colored with a one finger highe, white head.
The nose isn't there! Only light nose of caramel malt.
Taste: Caramel malt, dried fruit and butter.
Body: Waterish and light. Light carbonation.

No this is something I only will have one more time (because I've got two bottles).

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.02/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So I am in New Hampshire for the Great Bay Half Marathon...its the night before a race and ....why not drink some....ok....alot of the local beer!!! The Old Brown Dog from Smuttynose is good. This beer has was a heavy copper/light brown in color with thin white head and great lace. The smell was nothing to write home about. This beer had some sweetness and roast flavors that were goos in taste! The smell funnels into the taste of this beer. The light ABV leads to this beer being a Session...certainly worth a taste.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was tough to pour without creating a lot of head. The color is that of stained wood and there is a little lace around the glass. The beer tastes like the smell of woodstain unfortunately. It's not bad, but comes off as tasting a bit acidic. The beer was bottled recently, but I think it may be better to either drink off the tap or let it age a while. It still tastes kind of green to me.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 10/24/2009. 12 oz. bottle. The beer pours a clear dark brown with a small off-white head. The aroma is of sweet caramel malt, rather sugary. The flavor is very similar with lots of sweet malt and nothing much else. Yep, that is all I have to say.

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Photo of slk22
3.05/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is a cloudy amber-red with a short-lived head having minimal lacing. Aroma is rather mild, but mostly grainy with a slight malt sweetness present. Taste begins with the sweetness from the malts and is followed by bitterness of the hops. Finish is dry and grainy. Too much so for my taste. Mouthfeel is pleasant and smooth. Medium body with moderate carbonation. One could easily have several of these, but overall is a bit too simple for me to desire more than one.

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Photo of BadBadger
3.06/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This "Brown Ale" pours a rather nice dark amber color. There is a moderate foamy head which lasts for a bit. The smell is rather nondescript. The taste starts out pleasant enough, a fine balance of sweet malts and hops. But there is a disgusting metallic residue on the tongue. I can not recommend this ale, with so many others out there to be enjoyed.

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 2,621 ratings.
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