Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

very good
2,682 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

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Ratings: 2,682 |  Reviews: 969
Photo of jonB
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
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 +5.9%
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 -6.9%
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 +13.3%
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 -1.8%
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 -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 generallee
4.44/5  rDev +13.8%
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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Photo of dogfishandi
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a nonik glass. best before november 2010, from a variety 12 pack that was packaged in may of 2010.

pours a perfect chestnut brown color with 2 fingers of lightly tanned head. average retention, left a thin layer. hardly a lace.

a nice roasty, malty aroma. roasty chocolate/ coffee metallic malts, burnt caramel, ripe dark fruits. smells like a really good brown ale.

the aroma tricked me a little with its complexities. that being said it is still a good tasteing brown. its all about the malts. ripe dark fruits, metallic, bakers chocolate, roasty, burnt caramel/ butter scotch.

feels really nice on the palate. medium bodied, perfect carbonation. leaves a residual, slightly bitter chocolate maltiness. alcohol just barely noticeable, i wouldve guessed a lower abv.

drinks good anytime of year, but i enjoy this most right when the summer comes to end, begining of fall. a simple, yet exceptional brown ale, gotta love that dog on the label too!

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Deep brown in color with a tan head.

S-Sweet caramel malt, chocolate, and some roasted notes.

T-Quite like the nose. Sweet caramel and chocolate. A bit bready with some dark spices. Booze becomes more and more present.

M-Pretty thick. A good slick mouthfeel.

D-Very drinkable. This beer is solid in all areas.

Gotta love the label of this brew.

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Photo of sellmeagod
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heck yes a brown ale with all the hallmarks, great label, and taste to boot!

It wasn't too brown in the look, which perhaps was disappointing given the Brown Dog name, but also intriguing.

Nutty smells and a real taste for your buck. This is an inexpensive but honest brown ale that does not succumb to too much chocolatey taste or weakness, and it pretty much tops out at 6.7 abv making it a go to winner.

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Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a brown that is not too deep, and rather clear. A darker-than-tan head on top, leaving faint lacing.

S: Roasted malts are very prevalent, a bit of yeasty sweetness and a touch of hops.

T: A wave of malt hits the taste buds, but also packs a bit of earthy hops to it in order to balance the beer out. Not too much of a hop taste, but enough to take note of. Faint coffee notes come through now and then, met by even slighter bits of chocolate. The star in this is the delicious and not overly-sweet malts.

M: Pretty smooth, good carbonation. A very solid medium body.

D: Very good, it's a solid brown ale, with an ABV coming in 6.7%, hard to beat.

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Photo of Lolli1315
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A nice medium brown color that can be seen through. A nice almost creamy white head that leaves decent lacing around the glass.

S- A lot of sweet malt comes through the nose with touches of caramel and some dark fruit notes.

T- The malt dominates the taste profile in the same manner it did the smell. A roasted grain taste also comes through towards the middle of the beer. Notes of caramel and even touches of chocolate compliment the malt as a small hop bitterness makes a brief appearance towards the end of the beer adding complexity to the slight chocolate notes.

M- A medium body with nice carbonation and a crisp feeling in the mouth.

D- A great and complex brown ale, you'll enjoy a couple of these.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear brown with 1/8 inch head that disappeared quickly. The aroma is caramel with hints of earth & plums. The flavor begins with toffee followed by vanilla & bourbon barrel notes, balanced. It has a medium mouthfeel and an increasing warming feeling as it warms, very pleasant. Old Brown Dog Ale is a good beer but not a session beer. It matched well with extra sharp cheddar chunks. Recommended.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Good to see this guy back on the shelves yesterday. It pours a clear garnet-brown topped by nearly a finger of ecru foam. The nose is kinda faint, with notes of light brown sugar, dark wheat, light roasted malts, light maple syrup, and a touch of greens sliding up the nose eventually. The taste is also subdued, but the walnut, rye bread, biscuit, brown sugar, maple syrup, and greenery notes come through nicely, in a rather pleasant blend. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, a very tasty and very highly drinkable brown, one of the better ones I've found out here on the East Coast.

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Photo of fbone
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love American brown ale.I found this one,and it made me smile.

A-brown with medium carbonation.head pours medium and settles quick.

S-malty perhaps chocolaty.Ale yeast smell,nice.

T-high quality malt flavor,maybe chocolate.The fruity yeast comes up next with a light hop finish.The malt and yeast are the stars in this premium hand crafted brew.

M-In your mouth is were you tast the hops and its medium body.

D-most ABA's are east to drink,and this one is no exception!It's great flavor medium body and balanced hops ,makes this beer vanish fast.

Alot of times I like beers,but they are expensive and I don't like paying for them.I don't mind paying for this beer because I feel It's worth the money.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a beautiful deep copper/medium brown, nice size head builds yet quickly dissapates. Lacing looks pretty solid all around with wisp swirls clinging to the glass.

Smell: A nice dose of some toasty malt is first detected, nicely aligned and reserved. I get a bit of some light esters in here as well, pairing with a touch of honey. Some residual hop aroma hangs around as well. A pretty balanced nose.

Taste: Up front I get alot of toasted grain, the malt is really sweet up front, giving way to some lighter fruit profiles towards the middle. I get a bit raw honey and some caramel from the malt as we edge towards the finish. Very balanced all around, it's tough to find a brown ale with this much character from the hop profile but it is fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, this one sits a bit thin on the tongue for a brown ale but not enough to deter me away. A slight bitterness from the hops edges it's way in for good measure.

Drinkability: This is an overall terrific brown ale that features just the right amount of malt character and a beautiful floral hop profile to satisfy everybodys needs. At 6.7%, it's not overwhelming at all and goes down with little hassle. The only gripe I can find is that the mouthfeel is a tad watered down (which isn't a big deal considering the fruity finish of this beer really compliments the malt making it very refreshing). Overall, I will definetley have this one again on a cool autumn night!

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Photo of jkrich
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with freshness date on label. The ale poured bright, clear reddish brown with faint orange highlights. The minimal, white-head quickly dissipated leaving very little lacing.

There was a sweet, perfumy aroma of malts after I poured the ale.

This is a nice, crisp and refreshing ale with a lot of complex flavors. The initial flavor is rather sweet with a faint molasses flavor coming through. There are enough hops to balance the malt. One of best brown ales I have enjoyed.

The body is medium with an almost lip-smacking, sweet mouthfeel while never becoming cloying. Perhaps a little too carbonated.

For a brown ale at 6.7 % ABV, this is very drinkable, if not quaffable. The zesty carbonation and balanced flavor keep this one interesting; another winner from this brewery.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clean and clear dulled brown color, minimal cap of off white head, slight lacing. Scent is light and mixes hints of roasted nuts, carmel malts and earthy hops. Taste brings more of what the scent dictates, none of the flavors are particularly bold, but they work together nicely. Lighter side of medium bodied, slightly overly carbonated for the style. A decent offering but lacks the umph of other beers in the style.

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Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap@ Texas BBQ in Northborough, MA.

A: Nice fluffy 1finger head fades at a medium pace over toasty maple brown colored mostly clear.

N: Sweet malts, some brown sugar, toasty malts, little nutty, some spicy and mild hop aromas.

T: Starts with some sweet brown sugar, sweet malts, lots of malts, pretty sweet beer overall, lots of crystal caramel malts, caramel flavors, toasty and a little creamy, slight porter like roast too. Then some light bitter earthy mild hops.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation.

F: Finishes still pretty sweet with lingering malts, lots of brown sugar and molases, little stickiness, some nutty flavors and little creamy porter like. Nice long finish.

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Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
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 drinkiusmaximus
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a nice Reddish-Brown color with a fingers width bone white head that..whoa just dissapeared rather quickly to what sounded like applause.. It's funny when you put your ear to this one it sounds like rice krispies.

S-decent smell slight caramel notes with a breadiness.

T-slight caramel/toffee up front with a nutty mid to after taste which dissapears quickly.

M-In my opinion this is light for a brown ale from the high carbonation.

D-crisp and smooth nice taste which does not linger could see myself with more than one of these..unfortunately i only bought one ;)

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Photo of kwm13
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A tasty one I picked up at work in a growler to take home--this review is based on the first glass, poured about 2 hours after I filled up my glassware.

A: Darker than an amber, certainly not see through, but a nice brownish-red hue. Not much in the way of a head and minimal lacing.

S: My nose is a bit stuffy--I rated it good because I can't tell better.

T: Caramel, with a pronounced alcohol taste on the back of the tongue. A little sweet but enjoyable.

M: Rather carbonated...feels like bubbles exploding upon tasting. A little more crisp than an ale would normally taste like.

D: I have no problem enjoying this pint and well, I'll have another.

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Photo of aahynick
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

50F in a pint glass on tap

A- clear dark red-brown, a nice head that dissapated fairly quickly

S- a mild caramel aroma

T- rich caramel flavor

M - a nice medium body

D- very nice overall. I'd not hesitate to have more.

a on tap selection at Portsmouth Brewery

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Photo of salvo
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chestnut brown under a half inch foam cap that slowly disappeared leaving light foam coat and lace on the glass.

Smell is dominated by malts at first with a very mild herby finish, supporting the bartender's contention that it was a hopped brown. Nowhere near DFH's Indian Brown in intensity or complexity, but no wimp either.

The first taste reveals a balanced and full-bodied beer dominated by two malt notes: biscuit sweetness and earthy richness, which is followed in a long fading finish to an herbal hops tang that is by no means pronounced but ratehr soft and rounded, less than expected but still easily detected.

Novare Res in Portland, Maine.

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Photo of dayswonder
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very nice brown ale of a dark amber color

the smell is some what sweet with roasted notes

the taste is great, not as sweet as some brown ales, a perfect balance between a sweet and roasted taste

it has a smooth and silky mouthfeel

very high drinkability

for those just discovering the style, seek out the Sumuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale and be pleasantly surprised

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 2,682 ratings.
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