Really Old Brown Dog Ale
Smuttynose Brewing Company

Really Old Brown Dog AleReally Old Brown Dog Ale
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Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States
Old Ale
3.91 | pDev: 10.49%
Mar 20, 2021
Mar 03, 2007
Very Good
Really Old Brown Dog AleReally Old Brown Dog Ale
Notes: Olive, iconic mascot & spirit guide of our brewery, first appeared on our Old Brown Dog label in 1994 & returned, thirteen years later, to pose for our Really Old Brown Dog, a luscious, malt-rich, full bodied “old ale” featuring deep notes of complex fruit. Much like our beloved Olive, this beer will mellow & age gracefully.

Formerly part of the Big Beer Series.

20 IBU

2007 - 7.0%
2008 - 9.3%
2010 - 10.9%
2012 - 10.1$
2014 - 11.1%
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of Sigmund
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Sigmund from Norway

355 ml bottle, Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 9.6%. Reddish brown colour, small off-white head. Aroma of malts, oak, dark dried fruits, caramel, vinous notes. The medium sweet flavour has the same elements as the aroma. Slightly warming mouthfeel. Good stuff.

Mar 20, 2021
Photo of Peach63
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Peach63 from New York

Pours dark amber with a 1/4 inch tan head, which dissipates. A bit hazy. Moderate lacing.

Aroma is spicy, malty, sweet.

Taste is malty, nutty, sweet, caramel, a bit of roast malt.

Medium bodied, lively carbonation. Semi-sweet finish.

A rich, flavorful brown ale. Not too sweet, not too bitter.

Jan 27, 2020
Photo of LarryV
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by LarryV from Massachusetts

Bottled in June 2019. Pours a dark amber color with a minimal, short lived head. Aroma of brown sugar, dark fruits, a hint of black pepper. Label on the bottle reflects the new direction that Smuttynose has taken in eliminating all the classic SN labels, however Olive the dog is still there. Taste is big malt flavor, raisins, figs, a hint of coffee. A bit sweet and a bit hot- ABV is not listed on the bottle. I can see where this would really benefit from some additional aging, but it is delicious regardless.

Oct 05, 2019
4.46 by Dougwillhike from New Jersey on Jun 02, 2019
4.01 by liquorpig from Massachusetts on Mar 17, 2019
3.82 by Jsalz21 from New Jersey on Dec 05, 2018
3.5 by prisdefer from New York on Nov 22, 2018
Photo of DanO1066
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25
by DanO1066 from Maryland

Draught 8oz snifter at the Brass Tap here in Baltimore. NOT sure where the line is between Belgian dubbel/dark, Scotch/wee heavy, and English Old Ale, but willing to keep drinking until I can figure out.

Nov 21, 2018
Photo of Boto
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Boto from Connecticut

Draught @ Hayseed: This one pours a dark brown color with a thin tan head. Minimal lacing. Good nose. Caramel malts, dark fruits, a hint of vanilla. The taste is very good also. Malty, plums, vanilla, other dark fruits.

Nov 04, 2018
Photo of Smakawhat
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
by Smakawhat from Maryland

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass.

Khaki colored, and creamy rich filling head. Two fingers tall with a yellow vanilla ice cream like top, sitting on a opaque copper brown body. Lathery top with a hint of reddish bottom.

Real nice notes of toffee and cream on the nose. Sticky caramel and lots of vanilla touches, for a real state fair candy vendor like smell. Slight touches of clove and herbal spice round out for a good additional character. Very nice.

Palate is a but unexpected. Very wet bodied, and touches with a large amount of hop quality. Herbal to dried out pine needle like flavor, with a particularly dry tannic tea bitterness on the finish. More of the taffy and caramel action is quite muted but the flavor does manage to perk up once in awhile. Lots of tea leaf leftover flavors.

For an old ale, this comes out more of an large hopped tea brew. Good, but misses a lot of the caramel and sweet richness of the style.

Aug 31, 2018
Photo of brureview
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by brureview from Massachusetts

Look: cloudy chocolate color with a 4F head in a Mikasa tulip with a 4F head.
Good head retention.

Excellent aroma:Chocolate, dates, vanilla.

MF: very malty for the style. Smooth drinking and deceiving, especially at 11%. Most old ales are lighter bodied.

Taste- good but not as complex and pronounced as the aroma.: chocolate, date, prune.

Finish: not bitter, and smooth for the style.

Overall: excellent approach to an Old Ale. Smooth, far less bitterness than most Old Ales. Lots of flavor.

Jul 04, 2018
3.88 by Wheels2532 from Pennsylvania on Jun 26, 2018
Photo of VAFolks14
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by VAFolks14 from Virginia

This is one of my personal favorites. Pours a very beautiful dark brown, true to the style of beer. Sweet malts are evident, especially late in the flavor profile. This beer isn't overly sweet but the ABV is hidden very well within the malty profile. The beer has a nice smooth and clean feel and feels very refreshing through the end. I highly recommend this beer to all dark ale drinking fans.

Jun 15, 2018
4 by irate_alien from Virginia on Mar 04, 2018
Photo of ChickenHeadCandy
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by ChickenHeadCandy from Arizona

Poured a 12oz bottle at fridge temp into a chilled pint glass. Bottle date 4/27/17.

Appearance: Dark hazy honey brown, no floaties, with a small creamy head leaving a little light lacing.

Smell: Bananas, raisins, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, rum. Very pleasant and sweet.

Taste: Banana bread, prunes, fruitcake (in a good way...), caramel and molasses. Light bitterness. Became sweeter as it warmed, nuttier, slightly floral, and a little more bitterness came through at the finish. Taste was enjoyable straight from the fridge to the last hour-warmed sip. The taste seems just right, so I don't know if cellaring would really improve it much.

Mouthfeel: Medium soft silky body, a little sweet but not cloying at all, medium finish towards the dry. Carbonation is just right. Expected some heat due to the 9.8% ABV but experienced none.

Overall: A very enjoyable old brown brew. Not as complex a taste profile or malt-sweet-fruity-bold as other Old Ales I've tried. But that's not to say it lacks any character by any means. And sometimes it's better to not be beat over the head with what a brew is supposed to be. Smuttynose reliably delivers delicious brews, and Really Old Brown Dog doesn't disappoint. The ABV is hidden very well, which is a good thing... or could be a bad thing... because this really old dog wants you to keep coming back and give it some more attention, but she'll bite ya if you don't respect,

Mar 01, 2018
4.2 by abalipadi from Connecticut on Feb 03, 2018
3.84 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts on Jan 30, 2018
3.98 by Devonking from Massachusetts on Jan 30, 2018
4.03 by Tcsox from Massachusetts on Jan 28, 2018
4.15 by whitey27 from Connecticut on Jan 07, 2018
Photo of jkblr
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by jkblr from Indiana

12oz bottled March 2015 poured into a Duvel glass at fridge temp 11.1% ABV (per bottle). The beer pours a soft medium brown with tiny bits of snow globe floaties and quickly settling khaki head. The head recedes to a ring and thin cap with little lacing. The aroma is brown sugar, dark dried fruit, burnt sugar and caramel rolls. Taste is semisweet caramel and a bit of cardboard. Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied, lowly carbonated, a little chalky and mostly dry in the finish. There is no real bitterness but it's not overly sweet either. Overall, very good, but is better fresh (I stored this last bottle of the 4 pack at 60-70 degrees for over 2 years). It would probably be fine aged at cellar temp or below. Giving some extra points as I know this was better fresher.

Dec 20, 2017
4.44 by neliam24 from New York on Nov 30, 2017
3.77 by MMOSNN from North Carolina on Nov 18, 2017
4 by MTKATL from Georgia on Oct 31, 2017
3.97 by PJCarnell from Massachusetts on Sep 29, 2017
Photo of NeckBootHeadAss
2/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2
by NeckBootHeadAss from Virginia

Really strong. The first one was fine but I struggled through the second one. It is also much more expensive than your average beer.

Sep 28, 2017
3.75 by Skellbop from New York on Sep 13, 2017
Photo of takurmudgeon
2.04/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5
by takurmudgeon from Florida

After imbibing this ale ,I believe smuttynose has a decomposing dog being aged along with the ale. I hate to talk poorly about a great brewer , but something is wrong with this ale or there is an actual decomposing dog in the brew. This is bad, this is gross. It tastes the way I imagine an old brown dog in the south would taste if it were put in an alcohol extract. I love smuttynose but this is not lovely at all.

Aug 22, 2017
4.6 by perkineh from Massachusetts on Aug 18, 2017
Photo of Czequershuus
4.76/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by Czequershuus from Minnesota

This beer pours a deep ruby brown with smallish head. The aroma is wonderfully rich, with notes of coke, raisin, molasses, caramel, burnt sugar, walnuts, figs, cinnamon, it has many of those Christmas spice and cookie smells, wrapped up in a lovely sweet package. The flavor is equally as lavish - cinnamon, molasses, caramel, nutmeg, banana bread, date, raisin, fig, golden raisin, prune, nutmeg, burnt sugar, praline - the list goes on. The mouthfeel is rich, but not heavy, almost medium bodied but with a stickier finish, and soft carbonation. Overall this is an absolutely sensational beer. It is rich without being cloying, complex, and juts a joy to drink. Why don't more breweries make old ales?

Aug 02, 2017
3.95 by PaulSlazinger from Pennsylvania on Jul 19, 2017
4.36 by Chipotle from New York on Jul 15, 2017
3.44 by gopens44 from Virginia on Jul 08, 2017
3.71 by DruC4 from Michigan on Jul 05, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Lone_Freighter from Vermont

This was poured into a pint glass and a snifter. The head lasted longer in the snifter than the pint glass but that was the only difference. The rest of the appearance had a nice looking hazy amber to brown to even some light black edges. There was about a finger’s worth of white foaminess coating the top of the beer. The lacing was somewhat speckled and had a glossy foaminess encircling both glasses. The smell took some light milk chocolate and roasted to a nice aromatic vanilla nuttiness. I believe the bottle I had was only two weeks old as I could definitely smell the alcohol on it. The taste took all of those previously mentioned smells along with the alcohol and added a nice light oakiness invading my taste buds. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with more of a sipping sort of quality to it. This one is exactly sessionable as one might think. Overall, though I had this super fresh when I had it, I wouldn’t mind getting another one some day to age.

Jun 18, 2017
Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by chinchill from South Carolina

12 oz bottle served in a Samuel Adams glass enjoyed 26 May 2017. March 2015 bottling date.
Pours slightly hazy, dark mahogany color and a well sized bone-colored head that has good retention. A full coat of foam is left on the glass with each tip even long after the pour.
Full, very smooth body with some alcohol warming and surprisingly lively carbonation.
Lightly sweet with alcohol esters, toffee and hints of barrel aging, brown sugar, dried fruits, brown bread, white pepper, mild coffee and faint smoke. The aroma has more pronounced dried fruit and fruitcake notes.

May 26, 2017
3.75 by Mikexw from New York on Apr 23, 2017
Photo of VoxRationis
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by VoxRationis from New York

No production date evident.
Decanted into a tulip pint glass.
A: Hazy copper with 1/4 in eggshell white head which dissipates quickly.
S: Whisky evident immediately, slowly evolving to medium malts, milk chocolate, toffee.
T: Again, whiskey very strong early, but dry medium malts, kiwi, sugar cane, evident later.
M: Full bodied, with persistent effervescence and a tingling sensation on the tongue throughout.
O: Enjoyable. Not an afficiado of liquor cask aging, but definitely worth a try. Definitely reminiscent of similar Scottish cask aged brews, but milder and thus more enjoyable

Apr 15, 2017
Photo of woodychandler
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

I really dig the label, with an aging Olive abiding on what may be her favorite chair. It makes me wistful in some indescribable way. I am getting old also & yet I am as careless as ever. Oh well, time for a beer.

From the bottle: "Make mine a Smutty!"; "Brewing fine beers in NH since 1994"; "Come visit our brewery and restaurant at Towle Farm in Hampton, NH. And check us out online at for events, releases and great Smerchandise in our e-store. As always, thanks for saying: Make mine a Smutty!"

I have gotten into what I consider a more appropriate habit of Pop!ping the cap, conducting a slow, gentle pour & then doing a vigorous in-glass swirl. The results seem a little less harrowing & the clarity is usually very good. This time, I got just under two fingers of foamy, light-tan head that quickly fell away to wisps, but left sticky lacing in its wake. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled like dark bread, either B&M Brown Bread or a loaf of Rye bread, with a bit of maple syrup thrown in for good measure. Mmmm. Mouthfeel was a bit thin, not watery, but especially for the style. The taste was mostly of dried, dark fruits such as raisins, prunes & dates with a light leatheriness, but it lacked Ooomph. I almost want to say that it needed be aged longer, but I am unable to read the smeared bottling date. I will promise you this - should I see another bottle, I will put the year of purchase on it myself & place it in my cellar. Finish was in that Twilight Zone of semi-sweet to semi-dry. On the one hand, the leatheriness gave it a dryness, but the lack of full aging allowed the malt to retain a perceptibly sweet presence. Hmmm. I am kind of disappointed. Again, I think that this is a beer that will really benefit from proper aging.

Apr 08, 2017
3.76 by RichieRich5000 from Connecticut on Apr 05, 2017
Really Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 912 ratings