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Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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very good
381 Reviews
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Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog AleSmuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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%

Added by cbl2 on 03-03-2007

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 381 | Ratings: 859
Reviews by mpyle:
Photo of mpyle
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

App - Rich amber color, good clarity, moderate sized whitish head with okay retention.

Aroma - a plum/alcohol mix, some chocolate. Peppery. Complex and interesting.

Taste - Malty and slightly fruity up front, but turns spicy midmouth (alcohol flavor?). Finishes a bit bitter. Flavors a bit less inspired than indicated by some of the aroma notes.

MF - Med-full body, and moderate carbonation. A bit of alcohol warming which is pleasant and style appropriate.

D'ability - Definitely a sipper, and a beer than in some ways feels bigger than its ABV rating.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mvanaskie13
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is the 2015 version, clocking in at 11%.

Poured into a small chalice: color is amber, head is off white, not to thick, but some light lacing on the glass.

Smell is subdued at first pour but with some warming comes through as very pleasant and enticing, light fruit, mostly toffee and hints of caramel, extremely enticing.

Taste is also starts lighter than many 11% abv beers, some subdued toffee and light raisin, touches of nuttiness and some toasted malts, but the finish is so smooth, the low bitterness and clean malt fermentation lead to an incredibly tasty old ale, this is delicious

Mouthfeel is smooth from the taste, nice low carbonation leads to sweeter presence, but as you go the alcohol dryness comes through and leaves a dry presence on the tongue.

Overall, a great beer and way to easy to drink for 11%.

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Photo of scotorum
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

"Bottle Conditioned Dec. 2014"

Poured from the 12 oz., bottle into a Tree House tulip.

a: Clear dark ruby with a finger thick offwhite head which receded to even surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Ripe dark fruit, caramel malt and alcohol.

t: Light dose of caramel malt forward with lots of mild dark fruit undertones. Light hop bite, sweet to dry finish. Although it seemed to show up in the aroma, the high ABV is very well covered.

m: Medium, ok body, plenty of carbonation tingle.

o: A really pleasing version of Old Brown Dog, dangerously easy to drink given the very high ABV. Probably worth cellaring some for six months to a year.

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Photo of Jonada
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bomber with no freshness date. 10.4% ABV. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with 1 finger of a light tan head head that dissipates to a thin ring. Body is dark and hazy but not opaque.

Smell: Booze soaked dark fruits, raisins, dates, vanilla, sweet malt

Taste: Dark fruit, toffee, and vanilla, with some milk chocolate and roasted malt character that wasn't present in the aroma. Slight earthiness in the finish helps balance the malt sweetness a bit.

Mouthfeel: Medium/full bodied, somewhat sticky mouthfeel. Medium levels of fine carbonation. Booze is definitely there, but the beer isn't hot by any means. Goes down smooth.

Overall: Really impressed with this one. Super flavorful and complex and at $6-7 per bottle, a really good value, which seems to be becoming more and more rare these days. Highly recommend picking up a couple bottles to drink and throw in the cellar.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: A one finger off white head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a amber copper color with good clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, Toasted, biscuity, bready, and some dark fruits.

Taste: Definitely a malt forward brew bring that it is like a double brown ale. Caramel and toffee sweetness with toasted, biscuity, and bready malts in there too. Nice warm booze, some dark fruits, and slight bitterness too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium to full bodied, nice warm alcohol, low to medium carbonation, and slight bitterness in the rear.

Overall: Pretty nice brew. Definitely grabbing some bottles to store in the cellar.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First Edition. Bottled in 2007. Dark apricot infused with maraschino cherry juice. Several streams of bubbles slowly blip their way up to a richly creamy crown that is equal parts pastel orange, pale gold and ivory. A wide swath of thick lace tops things off in fine fashion.

The aroma is low on power and isn't as complex as it could be. Truthfully, the beer smells more like a garden-variety brown ale than an old ale. Each sniff delivers toasted nuts and a light sprinkling of cocoa powder, nothing more. Note: warming helps quite a bit.

Really Old Brown Dog makes something of a comeback on the palate... as I thought it might. It still tastes like an Imperial brown ale rather than the stated style. In the final reckoning, the only thing that matter is whether it's good beer or not. It is.

The Brewer's Notes on the Smuttynose website got it exactly right. The flavor spotlight is occupied by a baked chocolatiness, along the lines of chocolate cookies or chocolate cake. Ripe figs, well-toasted pecans, golden brown sugar, an indeterminate spiciness and a hint of estery alcohol contribute as well.

SROBDA is good beer because the brewers didn't make it a malt bomb. An impressive 40 IBUs is just what this hophead was looking for. Liberty (bittering) and Crystal (aroma and flavor) provide more bitterness than flavor. Their fruity-herbal character is a welcome addition to an ale that is becoming sneakily complex as it warms.

The mouthfeel edges into 'lush' territory, without quite getting there. That doesn't mean that it's less than immensely enjoyable. In fact, I'm tempted to go with the next highest score... but can't quite justify it in the end.

Smuttynose has done a good job with this inaugural version. According to the Brewer's Notes, they aren't 100% happy with how it turned out, but I think it turned out pretty well. If brown ales are your favorite style, then Really Old Brown Dog is worth an enthusiastic Two Paw's Up.

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Photo of oberon
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass a hazed chesnut russet brown with a thin toasted almond colored head that was gone quickly.Deep malty aromas,brown sugar,roasted nuts,and some whiffs of dark fruit,the alcohol sweetness isnt to strong.Not as big and chewey as I would have thought,not to thin,just a little thinner than most of the style I think.Sweet malty flavors,again the brown sugar element is big along with light bakers chocolate,there is a fig/plum jamminess as well.Its quite sweet but its pretty good,a one and done though with the alcohol level and sweetness.

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Photo of ExtraStout
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had the 2012 as a guest beer at Amherst Brewing.

A - Pours a murky brown with amber highlights at the edges. Muddy looking beer. One finger head dissipates after a minute or two leaving a thin film, some bubbles & a few splotches of lace.

S - The nose is ripe with good complexity, primarily dark fruits & sugary malts. Notes of raisins, figs, candied malts,caramel, and a bit deeper molasses. Some lighter hops in the end, and spicy booze.

T - Wow, lots of flavor here. Brown sugar prevails, then plenty of fig and dark fruit. Richer molasses as well. Light airy hops mingle in as well. Finishes with a blast of warm, spicey booze.

M - Big chewy bodied beer, slick big bodied beer.

O - Time has been kind to this one. A pleasant surprise, huge flavor profile with plenty of complexity. Gets a bit sweet as it warms, world class mouthfeel IMO.

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Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Marklaker
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of ricksrealm
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from BA Mag Sep 2007.

A bumped-up version of Smutty's Old Brown Dog Ale (sort of), this brew is part of their limited Big Beer Series and brewed to honor Olive--the mascot and spirit guide for the brewery who passed away in March 2007. RIP, girl.

Dark amber with bright garnet hues and plenty of carbonation from bottle-conditioning creates a thick, three-finger head. Bready nose, rustic, with herbal and chicory notes, earthy and nutty. Extremely smooth, silky, round and chewy in the mouth. The solid malty base is sweet, brown sugar-esque and complex. Somewhat fruity, with some plum and apple esters. Toasty malts, very bready and nutty, husky at times, with some light chocolate and coffee. Alcohol is warm and spicy. Very thin bitterness beneath it all. Raisiny. Goes dry toward the end, with a lingering peanut skin character.

An interesting American twist on an Old Ale, but it's far from any traditional examples of the style. Smutty hints that this is a good candidate for aging. We agree, as everything still seems a bit too "green" for the style. However, if you can't wait, like us, we recommend allowing this beer to warm and open up before enjoying it.

 1,183 characters

Photo of SuomiHobbit
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into pint glass. Really delicious. Dark, thick, fantastic. Malty, with just a hint of alcohol burn. If on tap, would be tough to leave the bar.

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Photo of dandaugherty1221
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of elinash
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Gouden Carolus goblet.

Appearance is a ruddy light reddish brown with minimal lacing around the edges. A haze is on the surface of the beer.
It smells alcoholic (spicy) and nutty with some diacetyl.
It isn't nearly as big as I thought it would be. The taste is nutty, with some chocolate. The finish is unexpectely spicy and hoppy, slightly acidic.
Mouthfeel is thinner than I expected, too. I would wish for it to be a little more rich and caramel in the mouthfeel.

Overall, it's good, but it's really close to Old Brown Dog. Although it's bottle conditioned, I couldn't really tell, but there was a little bit of sticky yeast left in the bottle. Maybe this one is best if the dog is laid down to rest!

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22oz bomber. Very pretty beer: red/brown in color, with a thick coffee-colored head that retains well. Malty/grainy aroma, with a background of dark fruit. Intensely malty taste up front, followed by the dark fruit. Maybe even a slight chocolate taste at the end. Alcohol is noticeable but not intrusive. Very smooth, very drinkable. Gotta get more of these.

 360 characters

Photo of therealJAYZ
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bishopdc0
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Doomcifer
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Jason
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Nearly clear viscous looking deep amber red hues brew, bubbles look like they are struggling to get to the top. Smells of a think malt mass of brew with some mild solvent alcohol. Big and chewy, warming from the get go. Sweet yet quite balanced. Peppery alcohol, toasted malt and a hint of yeast help to balance. Lots of fun sipping this one.

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Photo of BeerIsland
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was NOT an appetizing looking beer when served; kind of muddy brown looking. It's possible it was the tail end of the keg. There was a nice head that went to a ring in a bit. It smelled ok, lots of malt; nothing huge. What I liked about this beer was the balanced flavor that stayed right through to the finish. There was a pretty decent malt flavor to it. I rather liked this beer although I don't have much experieince with the style.

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Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$4.99 for a 22 ounce bomber, the front of label lets you know this brew was "Bottle conditioned in 2007" certaintly a good bit of info as this one most likely was designed to be put away in a cool dark place for a few. Pours medium almond amber, moderate haze, cloudyness and sits under a tightly knit light tan head, that leaves nice, fine and scattered lacing. Allowed to warm up abit the nose is of some raisins, light alcohol and warm toast. Pleasant malty brew, more raisins, whole wheat toast, vanilla and a slight bite of mellow alcohol. Pleasant sipper, nicely crafted and smooth on the tongue. Well worth a try, if I had the space and the will power I'd put some bottles of this away for a few years...its drinking quite nicely right now...

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.36/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Joe at Liquor World for supplying this one...
Rust copper in color with a finger of off-white head...only a skimming remains and produces some attractive, yet thin lacing.
Faint aromas...really have to stir this one to get anything. Some mild fruits (green apple, fig) with a hint of spice.
Taste is better, but not impressing me where this one is right now.
Candied sugar, molasses, alcohol and some floral hops. Bitter dry in the finish with the alcohol also apparent in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is its best quality for me...full bodied and not cloying.
A bomber is consumed with little effort, but I feel Really Old Brown Dog is Really "Young" Old Brown Dog and this one will kick major ass six months from now.
Will definitely snag a couple more bombers to age...I know this one will impress me more down the line.
Right now, it's just ok.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 859 ratings.
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