Old Brown Dog | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Old Brown DogOld Brown Dog
Very Good
2,737 Ratings
Old Brown DogOld Brown Dog

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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,737 |  Reviews: 987
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice balance of malt and bitter. Nicely drinkable. Tad of roast, chocolate malts, cocoa. Some nuts, and smooth - Brown earthy colour. Really good with lighter supper. Medium mouthfeel.
Had 4.5 years later on tap at the Smuttynose brewpub and not so much roast came through. Above average mouthfeel.Lacey and fresh.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

similar in both namesake and flavor to averys brown ale out of boulder, this is a delicious brew from smuttynose. it pours light for a brown, almost more of an amber color, with less than an inch of tan lace head. strong aromas of drip coffee above sweeter amber malts make this an enticing pour. before any flavors come in I notice body, lots of heft for a beer on the lighter side color wise. sweet malts, spent coffee grounds, and a pronounced nutty finish, this is as complex yet mellow and drinkable as they come. a beer lovers brown ale id say. carbonation is just enough, alcohol content is warming but not tasted, and there is a certain smoothness not only to the beer itself, but to the buzz it generates after a few pints. I strongly recommend this to the lover of fine browns, real good.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Half finger head with light lacing on a cloudy on a very nice amber and brown body. Caramel malts and brown sugar in the aroma. Flavor is more of the same with the addition of nutty and chocolate notes. Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Overall the hops are well represented, the taste is complex and there is no bad aftertaste making this one very drinkable.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%

Best by 11/19/14.

Pours a hazy copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and nut aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, and nut flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Knapp85
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -36.4%
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 metter98
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear brown in color and poured with only a few bubbles floating on the surface. Only a very light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: The aroma is slightly sweet and has notes of caramel and nuts.
T: A slightly amount of sweetness is present in the initial taste, but does not stand out because it is nicely balanced by the hops; a very light amount of bitterness is noticeable in the finish. Like the smell, there are flavors of caramel, nuts and caramel malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied, creamy and rather smooth on the palate. There is a medium amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and quite sessionable.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of biboergosum
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, a very recent arrival to we beer freaks and geeks up here in Alberta.

This beer pours a clear, medium red-brick amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and slightly creamy ecru head, which leaves some layered approaching storm front lace around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells of semi-sweet, and lightly roasted caramel malt, a thin bar-top nuttiness, faint cold coffee, smoke-tinged cocoa, muted black fruit, and soft earthy, leafy, and herbal hops. The taste is bready, grainy caramel malt, a bit of wet breakfast biscuit, bittersweet chocolate, still ethereal cafe-au-lait, fading dark orchard fruit, and a consistent earthy, weedy, and herbal bitter hoppiness.

The carbonation is pleasantly engaging with its come-hither frothiness, the body a sturdy middleweight, and a bit too edgy from either hop or heretofore undetected alcohol to be deemed particularly smooth. It finishes well off-dry, the complex malt steering it as such, while any hops continue to fail to provide much in the way of flavour.

Much more English in orientation, than American, as far as Brown Ales go, methinks. The hops generally provide support and balance, without coming to the forefront, and the well-rounded malt seals the deal. At any rate, a decent brown ale overall, and worth seeking out.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Part of the Smuttynose mixed 12 pack. Pours a nice redwood color, good to head it.. not much for lacing on the glass though. Nice nutty smell to it. Taste has a nice initial mouthfeel to it, a bit on the light bodied side but very smooth and drinkable. Nice balance in this one, not too much hops by any means. Nice and drinkable.. a bit of a warming alcohol kick to it, surprising for the low ABV of this beer. An above average brown ale.. pretty good beer to quaff down in the mixed pack but still loving their IPA.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 6/1/2015. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, nuttiness, chocolate, herbal, floral, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, nuttiness, herbal, floral, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, brown bread, nuttiness, chocolate, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent brown ale style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -26.7%
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 BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Old Brown Dog reminds me of the better micro-brewery beers that came out early in the '90's. While nothing is wrong with it, it's not exactly wonderful either.

A standard brown color shows a bit more of a watery texture than malty. Great clarity with light carbonation (a plus), low retention or lacing.

Caramel aromas stand out, but with a follow of toffee, light chocolate, and nuts. Fairly malty but a low percentage of grain aroma shows.

Flavors are very sweet with caramel and not much showing from a balancing English hop character. Fairly straight forward with the caramels, toffees, and light chocolates that the nose promises. Again, light grain flavors in the finish.

Medium textured up front but with a quick drop-off to watery and thin. This allows the husk character to have more overall impact than it should.

Again, this is a fine beer but not memorable.

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Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an almost clear brown color with a little red hue. There is a one finger white head that goes away and leaves just a little bot of lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt with hints of caramel and some dark fruit.

Taste: Sweet mildly nutty malt dominates. There are also hints of brown sugar, caramel, and some dark fruit as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, perhaps a hint of syrup. The carbonation is on the high side and the finish is very mildly dry.

Drinkability: While I think this is a good beer, I could have used a little bit less of the dark fruit sweetness. I wish there was a little more nutty flavor along with the malt.

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Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy ice tea color with a very impressive cap that leaves a few strands behind

Smell: Caramel, nuts and roasted malt

Taste: As advertised in the aroma, caramel, nuts and roasted malt; just a vague dollop of earthy hops arrive in the middle and then fade to let the malts take over the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: At one time this would have been the bee's knees but, like that saying, those times have passed; a nice brown ale but more like your father's brown if your father was a craft beer drinker

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Old Brown Dog from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 2,737 ratings