Old Brown Dog | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Old Brown DogOld Brown Dog
Very Good
2,708 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: 2,708 |  Reviews: 981
Photo of stingrayvr6
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Local 44. Always loved this one, finally got to have it on tap. Showed a reddish brown with frothy white head and decent lacing. Smell sweet malty, some caramel sweetness, balanced by some bitterness. Taste bready malts up front, some dry nuttyness and sweet caramel or raisin like notes, balanced by some dry hops. Loved it.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - brownish red body, tannish white head

S - roasted nuts, toffee, bread, hint of sweetness, almost dessert quality. Has me drooling already.

T - roasted carmel, toffee, nuts, bread.

M - medium body with med. carbonation. solid balance for the big flavor.

D - goes down with ease, nice brown ale. this is my first Smuttynose and I'm loving their beer. Give this Brown Ale a try, it's worth it and very sessionable, but still with big flavor.


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Photo of Snamnoum
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown with garnet hues and very small had which dissipated quickly. Smells surprisingly hoppy for an English Brown. Also plenty of alcohol and toasted malt in the nose. Begins with some initial hop bitterness, and is quickly follow by some malty sweetness and is rounded off by astringent and smoke toasted grains which also impart some bitterness. Overall tastes a lot darker than it looks. Medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel that is interrupted by the occasional prickly jolt of carbonation. The hop presence was certainly a surprises. An easy drinking complex brown ale in what is otherwise a somewhat, IMO, dull style. Well worth a try.

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Photo of jsh420
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

best by may 2011

pours amber orange? brown? with a big 2 finger head that left some spotted lacing

smells of sweet toffee caramel malts with herbal floral hops

taste - a good mix of sweet malts and bitter citrus floral hops
reminds me SNPA but with thos toffee caramel nutty malts

mouthfeel - little sticky but light with great carbonation

drinkability - after just drinking a boffo brown - this beer is a much sweeter lighter brown while the boffo is almost a porter - this beer i could even drink in hot weather

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark amber color with two fingers of foamy/bubbly white head, pretty good retention.

The scent is of strong caramel malt, some toasted grains, notes of bread.

The taste is of caramel at first, some nuttiness, roasted malt, good moderate earthy hop presence, toasted grains and some bread.

Light bodied, smooth and a bit creamy, dry finish, high carbonation.

This was very easy to drink, the flavor was strong and well balanced. I wouldn't mind having this again.

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

A - This beer pours a nice reddish brown color, and has a small tan head on it. The head left just a little bit of lacing on the glass. This beer is slightly hazy, but it has some clarity to it.

S - The smell is that of roasted malts and some breadiness. I also get some notes of chocolate and caramel.

T - Roasted malts and caramel up front. There is a nice sweetness to this beer. I am also getting some breadiness, and a touch of alcohol. The finish is a little bit boozy with a some bitterness as well.

M - This has a medium body with med/low carbonation. It is smooth and goes down easy. It also has a bit of a boozy feel to it.

D - The drinkability is good. It goes down very easy. I think this is a great brown ale. I could drink these all day. Perfect beer for the current weather.

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Photo of Duff27
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Brown! with a one fingered slightly off-white ("light tan") head. Lacing is visible. Just looks great in my glass...bumped a tad.

S- Toasted/roasted malts. Bready. Maybe some chocolate.

T- Sweet caramel malts. A certain nuttiness. Black licorice?...peppermint? Wow, delicious.

M- Very smooth, like silk.

D/O- For having previously not cared a whole lot for browns, I found myself enjoying this one immensely. Could and would drink a few of these if I was able to get them on a regular basis. My first Smuttynose.

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Photo of bc2208
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Lots of carbonation, dark amber color

Smell - Caramel and coffee aroma

Taste - Delicious brown ale taste, caramel and brown sugar taste, slight coffee.

Mouthfeel - Full of carbonation but not biting, medium body

Drinkability - Could drink 3-4 easily

This was a $9.99 6pack at stop and shop. I passed over it several times but I will be going back to it. It is very close to Sam Smith's brown ale.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to glass

A - Dark amber color body; lacing formed but droopy; not much carbonation; 1/2 finger foam formed with copper color; dissipated pretty quickly

S - Caramel aroma; slight flowery aroma; scent of biscuits and other malt scents;

T - Caramel & biscuit flavors; slight grapefruit sourness; dry aftertaste with lingering hop bitterness; light nutty taste thats's not overwhelming; taste disappears pretty quickly

M - Creamy & oil consistency; not much of a balance between ingredients; kind of too nutty; smooth going down though

D - Smooth feel and very easy to drink; I could definitely have plenty of these in one sitting

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Photo of Samp01
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark cloudy amber / burnt brown with a nice tan head. Nose is caramel malt, earthy hops. Taste is sweet toasted caramel malt, with earhty hops. Palate is med body, good carbonation, smooth creamy texture. Finish is sweet malty caramel with good eathy hops for balance, followed by some nice toasted nutty aftertaste. Overall a very nicely balanced and drinkable brew

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

A: Copper hue with ruby-tinged highlights. There is a half inch of head that leaves a fair amount of lacing.

S: Malt, fruits

T: The beer is considerably sweeter than I was expecting / hoping. In accordance with the style, there is no hop bitterness. Instead, there is a sweet malty flavor, with fruity undertones that grow more prominent as the beer warms.

M: Medium-thin in body. I do wish the beer was more robust.

D: It's not bad, per se, but ultimately, this isn't my cup of tea, or beer. The sweetness becomes cloying by halfway through the glass. One and done.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle that expires in march of 2011. purchased and drank shortly after this brand showed up in chicagoland out of my samual adams perfect pint glass.

A- this one pours out of the bottle a lightly hazy light brown/amber colored body with a small khaki colored head of tightly knit bubbles. the head lasts for a while and leaves behind small and random spots of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice are toasted bread like malts along with a good amount of nuttiness. theres also something that smells vaguely like chocolate.

T- the nuttiness i could smell comes back and comes through stronger than the toasted bread i could also smell. after that i get a little bit of milk chocolate and the tinest bit of hops at the end.

M- the body is pretty thin, almost bordering on medium. the carbonation level is pretty high. this beer has a dryish finish to it.

D- easy to drink and pretty true to style. its a little strong to session, but having a couple definitely wouldnt be a bad time. if youre a fan of the english brown ale, check this one out.

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Photo of billab914
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. It poured a very nice, clear, caramel color with a modest head covering the top. It had some nice head retention and left modest lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a nutty and caramel flavor to it. Pretty flavorful for the style overall. The taste fits the style pretty well with caramel, toasty malts and a moderate nuttiness to it. It finishes with some alcohol showing through a bit though.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty decent, it had some nice flavors to it overall and went down pretty easy. The alcohol showing through hurts it a little but not too bad. Pretty solid beer overall.

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

A: This poured a hazy mahogany with a little light brown head.
S: It smelled like citrus and copper hops, with roasted barley and light caramel.
T: It tasted like copper and citrus hops, with roasted barley and some sweet caramel and bready yeast. It had a mellow bitter aftertaste.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation. Nice solid body.
D: This was a good brown ale, but nothing too special. Smell and taste were ok, and it had nice body, so it was easy to drink. I enjoyed it, but it doesn't rank in the top tier of brown ales for me.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from a variety pack. Pours hazy amber (?) with a large, long lasting, off-white head. Aroma of bready malt and some fruit. Medium body, medium carbonation. Bready malt, spicy, earthy hops and some dark fruit fill the mouth. Long, dry, bitter finish. Not bad, but this beer reminds me more of an Amber than Brown.

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

the last beer i was able to try for about the next month so i went with an old classic. served cold in a pint glass at barleys, this one was consumed on 11/07/2010.

really a decent pour here with a nice medium brown color and a smooth even head of tan that came up from the bottom and coated the glass rather nicely i have to say. aroma is light chocolate with hint of nice roasted malts and a touch of coffee, well rounded for sure and definetely a nice way to end an evening. a mix if light carbonation with a smooth, velvet like texture to it led me to sip it down quite nicely and left a really nice overall impression.

very solid beer for sure and one i would have no issue in going back to again.

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Photo of tone77
3.31/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a deep caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some hops. Taste is also hops a front, a bit of malts and grains. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of whisperjet
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Pours a creamy amber. 1 finger of off white head that is frothy and leaves a thick, sticky lace.

s: Very earthy and malty. Sugary sweetness of caramel malts. Nice hoppy undertones that are very smooth.

t: Crisp and light. The hops are much more prevalent than in the nose. Creamy and full but not overly rich. Well balanced flavors.

m: Medium bodied and smooth on both ends.

d: A perfectly good ale all around. Nicely textured and flavored it certainly doesn't disappoint. I would have liked just a bit more complexity in the taste though

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Photo of beersensei305
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish-brown in color, the head fades quickly. Smells sweet with some caramel malts, chocolate and some roasted characters. The flavor is big with roasted note, malts, touch of chocolate, and dark fruits. Good beer, if you like malts you'll love this.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a Best Before date notched at January 2011. Pours a dark hazel color with a thin head that dissipates quickly. Some lacing. Aroma of roasted malts, bread, and a sweet caramel maybe. Flavors of roasted malts and a hard to pinpoint sweetness. Slightly bready. This is an easy drinking beer that was part of a Smuttynose mix 12 pack. Pretty smooth and tasty.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate brown color with a bit of a light tan head. Nose brings toast, caramel, light roast, hops, and a bit of earth. Taste is slightly toasted bread as well as caramel, toffee, a small amount of dark fruits, and some sweetness. Good mouthfeel and body carry the flavors. Drinks quite well and is a nice American take on the style.

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Photo of Sudsy89
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, chilled.

Pours a reddish-brown, slightly cloudy, has a fizzy one-finger head, high level of carbonation. Seemed odd for a brown ale, but the aroma is very malty as expected, like a porter almost. Slight hop taste, a bit of alchohol taste, but slight. Roasted, caramel malts, but not too sweet. Medium-bodied mouthfeel, highly drinkable and refreshing. This would probably be even better on-tap at a bar, seems like a decent choice with food or just by itself. An impressive Brown Ale, I personally prefer Turbodog but this is much better than a blander choice like Newcastle.

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Photo of Buggabeer
3.44/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

For a Smuttynose beer this is pretty good. I usually have not been impressed with that brewery before. It has a nice reddish color that appears to be a bit cloudy. The taste is better than I would have thought, this is deffinetly not a cheaply made beer. I can pick up the hop flavor which is not over done for this style of beer. I wish there was a little less malt flavor to the beer. It almost has a Malt Liquor flavor. While I would not run out and buy a case of this, if offered another I would drink it gladly. Everything about this beer I found to be average with exception to the smell. I find the smell of this beer to be very nice. After tasting this I thinK I will give a few other Smuttynose beers a second chance.

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Photo of musicforairports
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mahogany, dark amber or light-brown, whatever you want to call to call it. Not too dark. Some bubbling. Okay head, practically no lacing.

Smells like nutty roasted malt. Smell is surprisingly rich and deep for a brown ale; kind of smells like a porter to me.

Tastes like a very good example of a brown ale. The roasted nutty-ness in the aroma carries through in the taste. Tastes very much like what it smells like, but remains solidly in brown ale territory. Just enough sweetness to accentuate the flavor. I haven't had an awful lot of brown ales, but this seems like what one ought to taste like.

Mouthfeel is clean and smooth, not too thick. Pretty drinkable, even though I usually go for beers that showcase hops over nutty malt. Smuttynose makes quality beers.

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Photo of cbutova
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours out brown with a small, creamy light tan head. Very low retention and a thin cloud and ring stay behind. Some fine lace.

S- Slightly roasty nutty malt. Some smoky hints. Some dark fruit and raisin notes. Definitely some hops in the background. Fades pretty quickly. Cinnamon comes to mind.

T- Roasty malt with cocoa and nutty hints in the foreground. Some spice presence, cinnamon and nutmeg. Raisins and yeast bread notes round out the flavor. Even some alcohol notes. Some earthy hops.

MF- A nicely creamy moderate body. Bitterness is higher than I am used to in Brown Ales. Carbonation is at a moderate level and goes down smoothly.

DB- A pretty good mix of Brown Ale flavors but the spice and bitter cocoa presence sort take away from it. It throws off the balance a bit and masks some of the nicer malt flavors. A pretty solid beer nonetheless.

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Old Brown Dog from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 2,708 ratings
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