Old Brown Dog | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Old Brown DogOld Brown Dog
Very Good
2,725 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,725 |  Reviews: 984
Photo of JesteR14
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- I love the look of this beer. Deep amber color with a nice vanilla head. About 1 and a half finger for me in a pint glass. Laces the glass nicely.

S- I smell a good amount of grain, which set me up for what i thought the taste would be, which is mild but good. Really not much of a smell for me.

T- Taste enters your mouth very smoothly, and reminds you that this beer tastes easy going, but has a pretty decent ABV because its got a kick at the end of it. Its not watery, but not crazy overpowering, the brewers knew exactly what they wanted to craft in this ale.

M- High foamy head but low carbonation on the mouth, it bubbles nicely and complements the ale flavor. Lingers in the mouth with a nutty, roasted feel which i enjoy.

D- I couldnt kill a 6 pack, but would recommended it to a friend any day.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Brown. Duh. Just kidding. Murky reddish brown with light colored thin head leaves fast. Some cling lace.

S - Light toasted/burnt malt, almost a little smoky.

T - Nice malt center, some toasted notes, bitters well.

M - Medium body, good carb, nice balance.

D - Session. Yes.

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Photo of jsdunlop
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark amber with an off white frothy and full head that sticks around for a while, leaving some lacing on the glass. Smell is quite sweet, brown sugar, molasses, some grains and bit of nuttiness. Taste follows suit with the aroma, sweet and malty at first, slight nuttiness, bit of roasted character mixed in as well. Some dark ripened fruit makes its way out, while the alcohol just barely makes a presence. Very pleasant hop bitterness in the finish with a slight alcohol burn down the throat. Random cherry flavor seems to stick around on the tongue after each sip.
Mouthfeel is solid and smooth, nice moderate body in this brew with matching carbonation. Drinkability is great, a solid beer from a solid brewery.

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Photo of BennyL1
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a NB globe. Best before date of June 2011 displayed on the label.

A - Beer pours a nice dark amber color. About a half inch worth of quickly dissipating white head forms from a slightly aggressive pour. Decent lacing along the glass as well.

S - Aromas of roasted malt and cocoa nibs up front. A bit of caramel note in there with a touch hops.

T - Nice rich malt flavor up front. A touch of the caramel and chocolate in there as well. Some nuttiness mixed in there too making for a very nice flavor. What you want from a brown ale and more.

M - Medium body and a smooth and creamy finish. Not a whole lot of carbonation but its just right.

D - Very drinkable take on the style. If I'm every wanting a nice brown ale, chances are I'm going to be going back this offering from Smuttynose.

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Photo of callhimishmael
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wish I had been the one to order it; in fact I only tasted my friend's. That was Saturday. On Monday we went to buy supplies for a clone of it. I didn't notice the smell--neither good nor bad--so I'm going to dry-hop it just a little with Willamette.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a brownish red,quickly dissappearing head. Lace hangs on the side of the glass.

S- smell of... Some alcohol, faint berry smell. Smoke.

T- some chocolate, bread. Vanilla overtones, dark fruit.

M- slightly sharp, on the watery side.

D- not a session beer, but drinkable. A solid beer all around. Definitely let it warm up some before drinking for better results.

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Photo of 6470zzy
2.73/5  rDev -30.5%
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 samie85
2.95/5  rDev -24.9%
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 uustal
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty light reddish brown for the style. Not much head, quickly goes away. Nice nutty aroma. Also some chocolate, toffee and alcohol notes. Really smooth light flavor. Good nuttiness, hints of baking chocolate, toffee and some crisp hops to finish. Solid smooth brew.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle - marked best by 12/10, but I'm not terribly worried about it...poured into my DFH Snifter

A - Pours an opaque chestnut brown with ruby streaks; half an inch or so of beige head that settles to a thin layer and laces lightly but attractively.

S - Nice malty nose with light hints of sweet fruit. A good level of subtle nuttiness...faintest hint of alcohol

T&M - Medium bodied with a nutty yeast and caramel laced malt hit. Good level of carbonation keeps the beer flowing nicely across the palate. Semi-dry feeling but also carries a light fruitiness. Finishes dry with just a hint of bitterness that makes me look forward to the next malty hit.

D - An all around easy to drink and simple, yet complex, brown ale. I found myself thoroughly enjoying this one and would gladly have another.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown color with a thick off-white head that leaves impressive lacing. The aroma has strong coffee and toasted whole grain bread notes upfront, along with some caramel and dark chocolate, dark fruits and some floral hops and alcohol. The flavor is more fruity upfrong with notes of figs and plums, along with some toasted bread and caramel, cafe au lait, floral hops and a touch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is moderate and drinkability is very good. This is a solid brown ale, admirably restrained in the hops department, dry and more roasty than fruity.

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Photo of vazy
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- warm clover colors blend into a murky brown. Almost like a rich apple cider.

S- its hoppy at first, very floral notes come through.

T- smooth malty flavors pop right away and finish with some hoppy flavors. Its balanced with some clover and honey accents. Thats all I can pick up.

M- not too heavy, slightly thick but overall balanced.

D- Not bad, its def drinkable by itself or with a meal.

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Photo of albertjr21
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle that's good until Feb 11' into a pint glass on 2.9.11. Color is a somewhat hazy and dark amber-reddish color under a big pillowy light tan head. Aroma is a moderate malt nose with notes of toasted biscuit, toffee, and a light but sharp pungent earthy fruit spice. Mouthfeel is a pretty gentle malt sweetness with hints of roasted pistachio, light caramel, and a light but outstanding hop note. There's a dry finish that somewhat resembles that of an earthy root and butterscotch. I'm gathering this is more along the lines of a Northern English Brown Ale. Very nice...

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Photo of chinchill
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated "best by" 3/2011 served in pint glass.

Pours a dark amber with a very slight haze and a small amount of tan head. Head quickly dies to a bubbly partial coat with excellent duration.

This is a rich and flavorful brown ale with a strong toasted malt base and a bit more hoppy bitterness (IBU = 15) than usual.
A little earthy. Flavor is much stronger and more complex than the aroma. Some noticeable esters despite moderate ABV of 6.5%.

Rather full body. Moderate carbonation.
Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 02-07-2011 03:06:21

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another great smuttynose label and fits the beer very well

The beer is a dark amber with a nice head formation. The head forms very well in my chalice overflowing the side. It slowly dissipates to a wisp over the top with a line around the edge.

The aroma is faint but is good for a brown slight sweet malt with a mid level crystal roasted barley finish.

The taste is brown, but unlike far to many browns this is worth drinking. The mouth fills with a decent carbonation and leaves a slight numb on the tongue. The flavor is sweet malt to start. The sweetness is quickly cut but a roasted malt that leaves a dry slight roast on the tongue.

The drink is good for a brown, being that it is actually tasty and worth drinking.

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Photo of devinoconnor
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smuttynose is one of my favorite brewerys and their Brown Dog Ale is a major reason why.

Pours a nice brown color.

Smells crips, classic English ale scents.

Taste is smooth, yet sometimes gives me a metallic flavor. Earthy, an alive ale.

Very easy to drink.

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Photo of chefelf
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this one to be a very good brown ale. It was perhaps a little bolder in flavor than most brown ales. There's a picture of a dog on the label (presumably named Olive) who stares at you sheepishly as you drink it. I received this same effect from after consuming a few too many barleywines one night but it turns out that this time the dog on the label was real.

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Photo of ramseye4
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A=Pours a fairly light brown color, minimal head, subpar lacing
S=Roasted malt, some faint fruit and tobacco, smoky
T= Predominantly sweet malt, some roasted malt and sweet fruit, a bit of tobacco.
M= Excellent carbonation and body, really brings out the flavor
D= Outstanding for a beer of this body and ABV.

Definitely worth a look, not Smuttynose's finest, but definitely an above average brew

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Photo of sixerofelixir
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle notched with the freshness. A supposedly old brown dog named "Olive" on the label.

Pours a perfect tea-brown, faintly orange and murky. A tannish head rings quickly, but stays on the glass. I'm picking up a bit of detritus as well as a hot alcoholic aroma. A touch of sweetness. The taste starts off with some decent hopped bitterness, then blends into some sweet and very slightly sour roasted/toasted malts. Decently cocoa-like. Nicely complex, in all. The finish is smooth and bitter, actively carbonated. More leaf litter for the aftertaste, but that seems to be a constant among the Smutty's that I've tried, and it's not a bad thing. (Also, the alcohol being about at its max for the styles - their beers can sneak up on you!) A good drinking English Brown that tastes a lot better than its first impression.

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Photo of Gushue3
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- medium colored, cloudy brown with moderate off white head that goes away.

S- malty and roasty.

T- malty up front that leaves a slight sweetness after the sip is gone. a light nutty taste is in there too. well balanced

M- very smooth with some carbonation. somewhat light.

D- very drinkable. good taste, not too heavy and no unwanted aftertastes. quality beverage. im not a big brown ale guy but this ones pretty good

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Photo of Neecee513
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into pint glass.

A: Reddish brown, slight haze, mild head.

S: Nutty, but with a slight sweetness.

T: Nutty, biscuit malt backbone with a slightly bitter bite on the finish.

M: Medium carbonation, medium body, somewhat dry finish, moderately creamy as well.

D: All around a nice beverage, especially if you favor malts.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a ruddy amber and copper with great bubbling. The head is a nice two fingers and the foam is nice and thick, just dying to stick to the inside of my glass.

Rich toasted mlat aroma making me think of caramel, bread crust, and toasted egg bagels.

The taste combines the medium roasted flavors and hardshell nuts. Hopping adds a little leathery, earthen bitterness to off-set the malts. This is a pretty staright forward, sweet, somewhat syrupy palated beer. There's balance, but it stays well within style. A nice NH session Brown Ale for your consideration.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours a lightly hazed chestnut hue with a slim sudsy beige head.

Smell -- Quite malty, evoking smells of biscuit, whole grain toast, as well as some fruity esters. Faint hop presence, but overall the smell is of a well-malted brew.

Taste -- Biscuits and golden toast, fruity esters, and perhaps a bit of cocoa-like roast character. Yeast character is noticeable, but not profound. Same can be said for the hops: balancing bitterness, but little else as far as flavor. Well-malted, well-balanced.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied, well carbonated. Feels good and makes for a satisfying drink.

Drinkability -- This one really hit the spot. Great malting, easy drinking. If I wasn't such a beer whore, I'd put this one in regular rotation in the fridge. Really quite satisfying.

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Photo of ElliotNess
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Different and Drinkable.

A very good nose of deep roasty sweetness. The taste was not as indepth as expected, although drinkability was very good the taste was not complex: a slight peanut and butterscotch. The aftertaste lingered well though with a nice malt roast.

Not down and out, just brown.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a really dark brown color from a 12 oz bottle, with 'best-by' date on the label.
One finger head that dissipates fairly quickly.
Aroma is predominantly malty with hints of biscuit and fruity esters.
Rich and silky mouthfeel, coats the palate nicely.
The taste is a very nice blend of malts with hints of sweetness. There is faint, a really faint twang of bitterness in the finish. This is a very well-balanced and full bodied ale.
Drinkability of this ale is very high, considering the delicious taste and well-balanced nature. Decent lacing along the insides of the glass. A solid offering from Smuttynose, definitely worth a try.

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Old Brown Dog from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 2,725 ratings