Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog AleSmuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale
2,700 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,700 |  Reviews: 974
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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Photo of SkunkWorks
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint glass.

Look: deep, dark amber color. Thin, off white head that retains for awhile and leaves a little lacing.

Smell: roasted malty smell with a bit of chocolate and hops.

Taste: I get some malty sweetness followed by some dark fruit and hops.

Feel: medium tending towards full. Good amount of carbonation.

Drink: high. I could session this if I wanted to.

Overall, very solid effort by Smuttynose. Definitely give it a go if you get a chance.

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Photo of jonB
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical of a brown ale, the beer pours with little foam. However unlike many other brown ales it does have good carbonation. The taste is dominated by a malt with a caramel taste and a subtle finish of hops. Despite not having a taste for browns, this one takes a different approach and produces successful results .

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Photo of JRed
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A murky dark brown body with fleeting, bubbly white head. Aroma of chocolate notes, earth, hops, slight roast and some vague gingerbread. Flavors of chocolate, cocoa krispies, slight roast, earth, mild spice, a bite of a sugar cookie. Medium bodied and finishes clean with only a slight sugary aftertaste.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was given this bottle from a friend and I'd never gotten around to trying this out. I've probably had enough Brown Ales lately but supposedly, this was one of the better ones out there. Without a doubt, it was stronger than I imagined but there wasn't a lot that stood out to me in this beer besides that.

A good pour to this - the hue was a radiant brown with some head and virtually no lacing once that settled down. The aroma had just a hint of smoke while the taste was that of caramel, sugar, and molasses. Of course, this was quite malty and the mouthfeel was just a tad too thin for me. Maybe the alcohol stood out a bit too much but it didn't detract from the drinkabilty of this beer.

This would be a good choice for the fall but like I said before, there's not enough here to make it stand out from the other Brown Ales out there. It's a bit bolder and given how many Brown Ales side right down like Newcastle, that's probably a good thing. Certainly worth a shot as the fall approaches.

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Photo of jbertsch
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium-to-dark brown in color. Fairly foggy. Offwhite head is substantial. It diminishes, but a nice coating stays throughout.

Cinnamon graham cracker aroma hits me first. But hops are there in the back making you you notice their presence. A nice balance.

Sweet caramel malts prevail on the palate. A little toastiness and fall spices are in there. Hops still make their presence known by balancing this brew nicely. There's even a faint bitterness in the finish thanks to them.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated to give the brew some texture and weight on the tongue, but it's still smooth.

Drinkability is great. Alcohol isn't noticeable at 6.7%.

This brew drinks like an old friend. Solid and flavorful without overwhelming you on any front. One of the better brown ales I've had.

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Photo of Canibacea
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The First whiff of the smoke at the top of the bottle reminded me somewhat of feet, strong pungent yeastyness, i took another whiff and noticed a fairly strong grape like aroma, which was also present in the first sip.

Taste is sollid. nice and robust, yet somehow light. a well balanced beer that could be a single enjoyed with a meal, or a workable session brew for a couple buds.

Slight mettalic alcoholy taste that ive noticed in other smuttynose namely the ipa. I enjoy thier beers alot though and have grown used to this taste

Never would have guessed its 6.7 thats my kind of sesh

all around well crafted beverage!!!

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Photo of jhammel01
2.9/5  rDev -26.2%
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 generallee
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Presentation: It was pored from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has a freshness date but no ABV%.

Appearance: The body has a dark brown look with a beautiful garnet hue. The pour produces a only a small on inch tall beige head which fades fast and leaves only a ring of foam on top of the beer. Lacing is minimal.

Smell: In the nose I pick up nice bready and roasted barley notes. This has a mildly sweet character overall with no hops.

Taste/Palate: On the tongue there is a pleasant sweetness and toasted character from the roasted malt and bready ale yeast. There are nice chocolaty and caramelized notes with suggestions of maple sugar dark brown sugar and just a light kiss of hop spice in the background. The finish is still on the sweet side but with hops coming out more in the late in the finish. Its palate has a full body with a smooth texture.

Notes: This is a very tasty and well crafted brown ale with nice complexity.

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 2,700 ratings
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