Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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957 Reviews
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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Reviews: 957 | Ratings: 2,618
Photo of JohnPolino
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great un-asuming beer! I'm an IPA/Porter/Stout guy, but this beer surprised me...pleasantly. Bolder than a typical English Brown. More aggessivily hopped . great mouth feel. See what Brown can do for you!

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper with small, fast-disappearing head. Smells of malt with a slight metallic tinge.This comes through in the taste which seems a little mineral-ey, but well-balanced with notes of caramel - not too sweet though. Great body makes it very smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of Gperson
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Bottle, but always happy to see it on tap. A standard bearer. Caramel isn't to my taste, but the fullness, integration of ingredients, and final smoothness render complaints silly.

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Photo of UnicornProfessor
4.25/5  rDev +9%

One of my favorite beers of late. I was a weekly drinker of this at the Alamo Drafthouse in Sterling, VA until they stopped carrying it. I really miss it, and look forward to drinking it again.

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Photo of jeranbrews
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

A - high clarity. Amber color that's slightly in the brown side but not quite molasses. Thin wispy head that falls fast. 3

S - sweet roasted caramels and fresh wheat toast. 3.5

T - mildly sugary. Faintly roasted malts. Similar to smells. Simple but pleasant. 3.5

M - vaguely effervescent. Soda like. 3.25

O - a good simple anytime beer. 3.25

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a mixed twelve pack. Borwn color, good head. Aorma was malt, flavor was a malty brown ale. Not much to say about this one except that its easy to drink but sort of average.

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Photo of PatrickKellyCT
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark, great looking amber/brown with a couple of fingers of head which quickly receded to a nice white lacing.

Aroma isn't anything special but is enjoyable...sweet malts, almost fruity, get a tad bit of hops in the aroma.

Flavor is wonderful, nutty, malty, sweet, lots of caramel and toffee. Very little hop presence. Very nutty at the back end in a very, very enjoyable way.

Mouth feel is pretty standard with a little bit of carbonation.

All in all a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of ordybill
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Aroma- A nice rush of sweet malt with some hops. Appearance- The beer pours a dark amber/brown with a fairly large white head. Taste- Has a nice malt and nut flavor, semi- sweet with some caramel notes. Palate- /a medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall- A good American Brown Ale.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.51/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: [4.50] looks brown in the glass. When held up to a light it shows some red hues. It forms a small white cap with varying bubbles. The head looks like it won't be around for long. No real lacing on the glass. I was wrong. I let the beer sit an hour to warm. The cream head stayed the entire time. There is nice lacing now too. The bottle says best by 10/21/14 and ABV 6.7%.

S: [2.75] Slight caramel and brown sugar. There is also something sort of metallic (even though this was a bottle pour)

T: [3.75] The initial taste is lackluster. This is right out of the back of the fridge. I am giving it time to warm. After an hour of warming the flavors opened up. There is sweet flavor, caramel, a nutty taste too.

M: [3.75] It is smooth with just a little bit of carbonation so you know it is there. The body is nice on this one.

O: [3.50] This beer is a lot different when it warms up. It is still not my favorite - but it is better than it was. I won't buy it again - but I wouldn't turn one down.

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Photo of illpass78
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber/brown that looks kind of reddish against the light. One-finger off-white head.

Aroma: Smells of nuttiness, caramel, hops, toast and malt. Appealing.

Taste: This is a really tasty brown ale that hits you with a roasty nutty flavor and a nice hoppy finish. There's also some sweetness and caramel, which is represented in the nose.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, as it should be. Maybe a shade less than medium, but the depth is pretty spot-on.

Overall: A terrific representation of the style, and altogether a terrific beer. Lots of flavor, and leaves you wondering where they hide the more-than-average alcohol, as it's barely noticeable. A modern classic, I'd say.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev +1%

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 wonothesane42
4/5  rDev +2.6%

The beer pours a nice light brown with a soft white head, and smells of toasted bread and caramel. Upon tasting the beer the taste is mostly in line with the smell with some earthiness and chocolate mixed in. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy with good carbonation. Overall this is a solid beer with nice flavors and drinkablility, but the star of this beer is the texture, which is outstanding.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: medium brown; 1 finger off white head that receded quickly to a thin ring; no lacing;

S: caramel malt; slightly sweet;

T: caramel, roasted grain; a little too sweet for may taste;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: my recollection of this beer from previous tastings is that it had more depth of flavor and less sweetness;

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish brown with a 1" tan head. Thin cap remains, nothing lingers on the walls of the glass.

Aroma: Caramel malts, bloody/flinty and slightly sweet. Slight hoppiness, and as it warms it gets sweeter & fruitier. Toffee.

Taste: Tart arrival, sweet across mid-palate. Roasty, dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Hefty; solid & substantial. Not heavy, though. Mid-to-heavy weight. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is a great example of an American brown ale. Love the style and love the beer; nothing pedestrian about this one. Caramelly, tart, and clean. Hides 6.7% really well. On the sweeter side of the brown ale spectrum.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a snifter.
Pours a deep dark amber, with half a finger of head.
Smells toasty, toffee and roasty malts.
Tastes very much in line with aromas. Good flavor and decent hop bitterness on finish.
Mouthfeel was solid and very drinkable.
Overall, it's a good representation of the style.

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Photo of brureview
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a Jacks Abby pint glass: ice tea color with a 2F head. Carbonation bubbles from the bottom of the glass.

The aroma: light malt.

Mouth feel- lightly carbonated.

Taste: Excellent- fruit, chocolate, malt.
The finish is tangy and hoppy,

Overall: a brown ale with lots of character. Very drinkable. Serve on the warmer side: 50F°.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This pours a semi-clear, light brown color with a foamy light brown head. The aroma is mild with a great smell of malts mixed with some yeast. The taste is smooth, sweet and delicious. Sweet malts mix with caramel and nuts to make a well-balanced brown ale. Finishes with a touch of a bitter after taste. An easy drinking, everyday kind of beer.

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Photo of fx20736
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 6 pack from Wegmans Hylan Dr for $ 8.49 on 5/3/14. Poured into a pint served chilled.

appearance: translucent root beer barrel orange brown with a one finger dirty linen head. Decent lacing.

smell sweet juicyfruit.

taste: sweet, caramel, toasted malt.

mouthfeel: solid, good.

overall: ridiculously easy to drink and tasty. A no brainer and a staple type beer.

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Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown with a light reddish amber hue and a thin finger of foam.

Nutty, caramel, toasted malts, slight chocolate note.

Molasses and caramel like sweetness, nutty roasted malts, and faint chocolate flavor.

Medium-bodied, low-medium carbonation, sweet, nutty.

Overall, a really fantastic beer.

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Photo of u2carew
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a two finger head. Tan, tight and creamy. Slowly settles leaving a sticky lacing at the edge of the glass. Clear, dark amber body.
S) Roasted grains. Toasty malts.
T) Buttery, caramel notes. Hints of coffee. Very subtle hops in the finish.
M) Crisp. Medium body. Dry finish.
O) A delicious brown ale - so surprised I've not rated this before!

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Photo of Immortale25
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. Bottleneck says Best By 08/05/14.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a 1/2 inch tan head that retains a bit before soon becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thin jagged ring behind.

S- Toasty malt brings notes of dark bread, cocoa, honey and caramel.

T- Pretty sweet with the toastiness of the malt providing good balance. Hops are mild but certainly there, giving a complementary bitterness. Some more notes of honey, vanilla and some nuttiness.

M- Slightly slick with medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A brown ale that actually has some depth to it. Easy drinking while also being interesting to the last sip.

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Photo of dar482
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours out in dark red rusty copper brown color with red coming through in the light. The head is a big 2-3 finger creamy off white head.

The aroma has some chocolate malt, tons of toasted nuttiness, breadiness, brown sugar and caramel malt. With a bit of a dark fruit like cherries or prune in the back.

The flavor has that toasty malt flavor and bit of a caramel sweetness along with . There’s definitely some fruitiness in there too like the aroma. It’s a gentle pop of cherries and apple skin.

The end has a malty sweetness that slowly goes away. Mouthfeel is medium light.

A very basic, yet well crafted brown ale. I had this up against Indian Brown, which clearly won. It also lost against Avery Ellie's Brown, but by a hair. A dog's hair, even.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear though almost opaque reddish brown in color with moderate to heavy amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and garnet red highlights. The beer has a half finger tall dense foamy tan head that reduces to a very thick film covering the entire surface of the beer evenly with a slightly more than medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly heavier than moderate aromas of toasted and caramel malts with light to moderate amounts of sweetness and some light nuttiness.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of slightly sweet toasted and caramel malts with light amounts of caramel + toffee sweetness. There is a light amount of bitterness present in the finish which does not linger for too long.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

O: Easy to drink and sessionable with a very enjoyable flavor.

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Photo of ThisLadyLovesBeer
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A = as expected for a nice brown ale, with a respectable head.
S = Malty, lightly hopped.
T = Not hoppy at all, with a touch of malty sweetness that makes it very drinkable.
M = Medium bodied, not syrupy or too light. True to style?
O = a really good brew. One of my favorite Smuttynose offerings. It would also pair nicely with a variety of hearty foods. I will revisit this ale again.

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Photo of Grugalug
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark reddish brown. Lots of bubbles rising to the surface. About a half finger of head. Head dissipates relatively quickly. Looks nice.

S- Big caramel and toffee, with just a slight nuttiness. No roasted malt that I can detect. It has a wonderful caramel sweetness in the smell, and virtually no hop presence. Really nice.

T- Caramel and toffee gets you almost immediately. Caramel sweetness gives way to nutty character in the aftertaste, but it is still present. Just a bit of hop bitterness. Satisfyingly malty and delicious.

M- Pretty medium-bodied. Not chewy but not watery. Pleasant amount of carbonation. Very smooth and easy-drinking.

O- A really impressive brown ale. Just a great beer and one that I will definitely buy with regularity.

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 2,618 ratings.
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