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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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very good
958 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: 958 | Ratings: 2,622
Photo of dbalsock
3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance: murky brown with an orange tint, thing light colored head that quickly dissipates and laces the sides, looks a little odd to me, but at least it shows some substance

smell: its hard to place the smell, but i think i get a good whiff of bakers chocolate, kinda dry but with an undertoned sweetness

taste: like the smell, i get another hint of bakers chocolate and some slight butteryness. overall somewhat sweet, and tasty with no discouraging flavors

mouthfeel: dry and nicely balanced, nothing remarkable

drinkability: easily drinkable/quaffable, getting more interesting as it warms to room temperature

"old brown dogs, they're plain" - ciderfaerie, and that's kinda what i thought of this brew, fairly plain, but nice

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Photo of Citadel82
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the beer that Newcastle wishes it was. Caramel malts, swet caramel malts and enough hops to mke it more than just plain old brown and uninteresting.

Pours a clear ligt chestnut with a shortlived off-white head that fades rather quickly. Not much lace evident but that is lkely due to a freshly rinsed glass.

Aroma is earthy and sweet with a tinge of floral hops.

taste is sweet caramel up front - dryish in the middle andpiney citrus hops and bready malts in with a sharp leafy hop finish. Great balance and complexity. the depth of this brown far surpasses the others that I have tried.

Mouthfeel is light and slightly effervescent as one would expec. This is a drinkable brown that might make a decent session brew, especially in the spring months.

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Photo of Franchise
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a medium brown and leaves a thin lace that quickly disappates. The smell of this beer is wonderful of cocoa powder, molasses, lemon, and some earth tones. As I taste this beer all the previous flavors come out I can really taste the chocolate on the fore front as well as some hop kick rounded out with some sweetness from the molasses then finished with a orange rind bitterness. This is a good beer from smuttynose one I will def come back to.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle with June drink by date. The color is a reddish, brown with nice clarity, topped off by a tan 1 inch head. The lacing is thick and nice at first as the head sticks around. I found the aroma to be hoppy with hints of caramel and malt. The taste is pretty hoppy for a brown ale, with a nice bitterness in the aftertaste. Different than other browns I have tried. The taste is pretty bold.

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Photo of thetachibro
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

into my nonic pint glass it pours a dark brown almost looking like some ice tea with a little too much mix. the one inch head quickly fades away leaving next to nothing with no lacing on the glass. when i sip it a slight bitterness is the first thing to hit me followed by some nuts and some slight malts. a very nice medium bodied mouth feel with good drinkability

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Photo of SwillBilly
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle

Appearance: True to its name, its pours a brownish/dark amber color. Head was minimal, almost no lacing.

Smell: Sweet caramel, nutty, slightly earthy and herbal.

Taste: Starts with a nice dose of sweet maltiness that transitions to a slightly tart, dry hop finish. Pretty well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, somewhat thin.

Drinkability: A very easy drinker that won't offend too many palates. Goes down nice and smooth, would make a great session beer. I could drink these all night. Another fine beer from Smuttynose. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of radshoesbro
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i've heard some great things about this so i was really excited to try it.

a - it pours a crystal like redish brown with a nice finger head that leaves ample lacing that sort of slides down the glass as i drink. no visible carbonation.

s - what the hell is that smell??? i can't put my finger on it. it's not quite molasses...it has sort of faint malt smells, but not nearly as much as other people have said it has. this is a very unique nose, that's for sure.

t - nice and sweet with very mild hops that balance quite well. hints of sugars, slight slight SLIGHT caramel, etc.

m - very smooth with a very odd aftertaste that takes a little getting used to.

d - i only bought one bottle of this and i definately need to have another to be 100% sure on how much i could drink this. if you really dig this it would be a great session beer, however, i'm not thrilled with it.

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Photo of Litterbean
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown in color with a tan head that doesn't stay for that long. Smells of roasty malts, with a mild hop sprinkle. Tastes deliciously robust with a coffee-like malt profile. A little thin in the end though. Smooth mouthfeel, some carbonation. A good beer to relax with.

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Photo of Jcdolan
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 mix pack of bottles

Poured into a frosty mug (Boston Bruins Mug!)

Smells like your average brown ale with a hint of molasses.

Pours a nice brown red color (more brown) with a nice light brown head that is this and dissipates in due time.

Tastes like a typical dark brown ale but with a little somthing extra. Nice sweet taste that is just on the edge of tasting like a darker beer, which is probably from the hint of molasses that I taste. Also a taste of slight hops.

I love the mouthfeel of this beer. Goes down nice and smooth.

I could drink these all night. Not sure if it is becuase of the excellent mouthfeel or what, but this is deffinately a beer that is brewed with high quality and care. Wouldn't know it was 5.7% if I had to guess.

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

Pours with a generous creamy light brown head that has decent retention. NIce thick bands of lace as well. The body is a translucent brown-amber. Smells of sweet roasted malts, caramel and light floral hop aroma. The taste has a slight hop crispness, but overall the toasty sweet malts carry the day. It is very well balanced. The Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly creamy.

The ABV puts it at the upper limits of a session beer, but it would do fine if you don’t mind a little extra booze. A solid brown ale.

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Photo of jmz62565
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has a dark amber color with a fine two finger head.A nice look fellowed by a nice earthy smell, not too hoppy for an ale,but with just enough spices.This has a nice flavor,but for this genre it's a little lighter than others.The mouthfeel is light,almost watery aftertaste,but still not bad.This isn't the best english brown ale I've ever had,but it's not the worst either.I would have another one.

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Photo of studentofbeer
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this brown actually pours a fine mahogany with plenty of pretty red. ivory head. a touch cloudy.

rich, malty, toasty and slightly nutty, but with a good dose of fruit -- plum/prune and even a touch of citrus from the hops.

wow, quite complex for a brown. slightly acidic, flavors of tobacco, wood/sawdust (maybe almond), nutmeg, bitter chocolate. really citrusy hops fill up the back end and provide nice bitterness. quite nice and full-flavored.

a bit too carbonated in my opinion, but overall tasty and drinkable. wish i had more of this--it could be a great food beer.

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Photo of wedge
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color, suprisingly creamy off-white head with loosly sticky lacing. Light odor: clean, toasty, lighly nutty. Taste is sweet malty upfront with a minimal hoppy finish. Heavier than expected with noticable carbonation. Certainly a solid english brown ale and another good beer from Smuttynose.

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Photo of Naes
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beers appearance is brown with hints of red and orange. The head is small and quickly disappears to just a ring around the outers of the glass.

The aroma is minimal, but sweet.

Its flavor is malty with tones of chocolate and a tiny bit of hop presence near the finish.

The mouth feel is light bodied and mildly carbonated. It goes down easy and is even a little watery for a Smuttynose brew.

This is definitely not my favorite beer from the brewery, but still a damn good brew.
Worth a try.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.85/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - A mahogany color. I can't tell if it is a bit hazy or clear and just too dark to see my hand through it. Pours a medium head that fades in a minutes leaving no lacing. Visible medium carbonation.

Smell - Not a strong odor. Smell like molasses and piney hops. As it warms the syrupy molasses smell dominates.

Taste - Slightly sweet coffee and molasses malt flavor. Very weak pine. A bitter aftertaste that accumulates. Not very strong character in taste and smell. It is an okay taste. It is just weak. As the beer warms the bitterness increases a lot.

Mouthfeel - Medium viscosity, high carbonation numbs the mouth. It leaves a sort of film in my mouth. A bit drying.

Drinkability - I find this beer pretty mediocre for Smuttynose. It was the only one from the variety pack that didn't impress me. It isn't a bad beer though. It goes down easily, weak flavor enables you to keep drinking it. Would go well with lots of foods (poultry dishes come to mind), especially since food would cleanse the film off your mouth. With this unpleasant mouthfeel, I don't really want another. I suppose it is a decent brown, a little bitter with a foul mouthfeel but decent. It just doesn't impress me in anyway.

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

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale
12 oz brown bottle. Brewed & bottled in May 2005
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a chestnut brown color with a lightly tan colored head. Trails of sticky lacings on the glass.

Smells very malty and rich.

The mouthfeel is juicy and chewey. Super rich in malts with a tad of fruit flavors and light chocolate appeal. Very smooth and enjoyable.

What a solid Brown Ale. This offering from Smuttynose usually slips under my radar. I have to make an effort to buy this beer more often. It's probably versatile in terms of pairing it up with different foods as well. Hands down, one of the smoothest 5.7 % ABV beers I have ever had.

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Photo of jakester
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this as a single from Union Jack's on the Manatawny. Born on date clearly notched on the label.

Pours a beautiful mahogany with a tan head of foam. Head drops to a ring in @ 5 minutes. Still, there's decent lacing on the glass. Light carbonation evident.

Aroma is a delicate chocolate with hints of caramel. Very faint herbal hops way in the back. Not much in the way of aroma. Improves slightly as it warms, but not alot.

Flavor is smooth chocolate, but more like the semi-sweet kind. The sweetness is muted in this beer. Surprising bitterness for an English brown. There is some kind of very faint tartness going on there also. Maybe some hop flavor? Slightly grainy, but a pleasant enough beer. Aftertaste is a little astringent.

Mouthfeel is somewhat sweet and creamy, soft carbonation, with positively a bitter bite at the back of the throat. I like it, but maybe not to style. Finish is semi-dry.

This is a good beer, and I would recommend it, but as an English style brown ale, it's might be out of style. At 5.7% ABV, this would be fun to drink for a few hours.

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Photo of LPorter33
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = Beautiful light chocolate brown. Head retention is poor but lacing is decent and the color is so nice it will hold 100% of your visual inspection.

Smell = Not much coming through and it might need to warm up a bit. Malt scent is present, mostly toasted and chocolate flavors. Tiny bit of hops but it's barely noticable.

Taste = Solid tasting brown ale. Good robust, complex flavors upfront with toasted malt and good coffee/chocolate hints. After taste is a bit sharp and the alcohol is very present here.

Overall = A well represented brown ale. Not my favorite style due to the low hops but it's still a very respectable brew and I definitely recommend it to fans of the taste.

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Photo of battlekow
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The dog on this bottle is cuter than the dog on Avery Ellie's Brown, but there's no charming description to accompany it, so I'm going to have to vote Ellie as the better beer dog. As for the beer itself, let's see...a cloudy, medium brown color with a white head and okay lacing. Smells mapley, a little too sweet. Tastes mapley and nutty with a subtle, bitter finish--really nice. Not much hop presence. Really smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Nice, solid brown ale.

Thanks to RealityDeviant for sending me a few bottles of this.

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Photo of LiquidBreadMan
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Once in a while, I venture outside of my IPA world. This is one time that I'm glad I did.

Old Brown Dog Ale pours a 'root beer' brown with an average sized tan head and definite lacing. Honestly, this is the aroma that sells houses. It's true. One whiff yielded chocolate, carmel and even some brown sugar. I felt like I was home for the holidays. The flavor is much the same -- chocolate and carmel -- delicious. (I guess I like malts better than I thought.) Carbonation is barely there, which makes way for a smooth mouthfeel and an easy drinking beer. The finish is consistent with the aroma and "home-baked" flavor.

This was a good brew indeed.

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Photo of TheDeuce
4.73/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale....

Appearance-pours a really dark brown with a tan foamy head that fizzles up and then finally simmers down into a two finger pile of lace, some lace left on the edge...

Smell-caramel malt simmers on top with a bite of hop nuances on the end of it it, a little bit of alcohol and caramel to round it out.

Taste-chocalatey malt comes through immediately with great smoothness on the toungue as it finishes some slight hop bites come into play, effortlessly smooth and chocolaty, great depth for a brown ale.

Mouthfeel-great depth and smoothness round out this brew and help it go down easy with a chocolate taste that is sure to please.

Drinkability-fantastic, tastes great, not that alcoholic, great sessioner.

Overall-the best brown ale I've had to date, wonderful malt flavors, decent alcohol content and a smoothness to it that adds greater enjoyment, pick this one up now if your at all a fan of brown ales

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap @ The Linwood Grill in Boston, MA.

Pours a light brown with a small head. Lively carbonation and a little bit light in body for a brown ale. The aroma was dull and I couldn't really pick much up from it. The taste had a slight nuttiness to it with some caramel mixed in. Very smooth beer. Nothing really excited me too much about this beer, but it is very drinkable for the style.

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Photo of Truh
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Noticed some white around the whiskers with this one on 5/10/2005. 16-oz. pint , at the [AC]PH.

Tilted table of thin, nebula head with a small amount of stick, little lace. Medium brown hue with a fair amount of clarity and little to no action. Very light caramel/butterscotch bouquet, but a crank of silty malt does end up pulling through. Caramel cut with what I would say a weird baker’s chocolate fining adds an almost smoky character to the pour; light woodiness filters through later. Medium body.

Very drinkable, and not too sweet, a good Kix breakfast kids love to eat.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ths brew pours a light hazy brown color with a small head that falls to ring the beer. I would like to see a little darker color. The nose is slight nutty and roasty tones, slight caramel, and slight brownsugar sweetness. The flavor is nice...starts as a nutty and roasty and moves more towards a burnt caramel roastyness, almost slightly coffee, but not. I think that the flavor is very good. Fairly well right where I want to see a brown ale. The feel is moderate, with a light to moderate carbonation. Very solid beer. Goes down easy. Very quenching. Easy drinking. Good show.

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Photo of beermanbrian
3.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy orange brown in color. Minimal head and no lacing. Very little carbonation, the beer seams to have no life. Slight nutty smell and taste. Very minimal bitterness. Very smooth finish and taste. I kind of conflicted on this beer, it taste much better than it looks.

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 2,622 ratings.
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