Really Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Really Old Brown Dog AleReally Old Brown Dog Ale
Very Good
899 Ratings
Really Old Brown Dog AleReally 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 899 |  Reviews: 396
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep chocolate brown, rich looking body.Chocolate malt in nose. And the mouthfeel is richer than avarage. A great malting experience, with secondary toasting and chocolate. On the sweeter side, not as complex as a few aged old ales I have had from the U.K. itself. Very drinkable.

Bottle from New Hampshire trip.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 1/2015.

Pours a hazy reddish-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment are seen suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, toffee, earth, and dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel, earth, dark fruit, and fruit juice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice mix of sugary and fruity qualities all around and a higher ABV that is very well hidden.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. Haze begins to appear when you get towards the bottom of the bottle. It poured with a finger high beige head that took a long time to die down, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles coating the surface and running down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of sweet caramel malts are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is a little sweet and has flavors of caramel along with notes of brown sugar, dark fruits and vanilla plus some faint hints of alcohol.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied, rather malty and a little sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol towards the finish.
O: This beer reminded me a lot of a "lite" version of a barleywine (if there is such a thing) or a hybrid between a barleywine and a brown ale. It's rather drinkable considering its strength but has enough complexity in the taste to be a beer that can be enjoyed if sipped slowly.

Note: 2012 vintage

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Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy mahogany with a sturdy head that dots the pint glass with lace

Smell: An enticing blend of caramel and cocoa powder from the malt and some grapefruit from the hops; the overall impact is almost raisiny, when taken together

Taste: Opens malt forward, with plum and cocoa flavors that are joined, mid-palate, by some hoppy citrus; after the swallow, there is a blast of cocoa that persists and dominates the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Now that this has had a chance to settle down (a number of posters said it was unbalanced when freshly bottled), it is drinking very nicely; quite different and a solid achievement

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, 2012 vintage bottling. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big biscuit, caramel, toast, molasses, brown sugar, light chocolate, raisin, plum, nuttiness, vanilla, toffee, herbal, oak, light leather, and toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, oak, and yeast ester flavors; with great strength. Taste of caramel, biscuit, toast, brown sugar, molasses, light chocolate, raisin, plum, nuttiness, herbal, vanilla, toffee, oak, light leather, and toast/oak earthiness. Minimal earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, biscuit, toast, molasses, brown sugar, light chocolate, raisin, plum, nuttiness, herbal, toffee, oak, vanilla, light leather, and toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and oak flavors; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and fairy slick/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding old ale style. All around awesome complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast ester, and oak flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light brown color ale with a nice size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of fruity ester is quite enjoyable with some light caramel malt. Taste is a nice mix between some fruity ester (peach, apricot) and some caramel malt. Additional notes of dry fruit and more pronounced presence of sweet malt would have made this more enjoyable. Carbonation is good with an average body and no noticeable alcohol.

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Photo of Boone757
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

2012 Vintage

A: Pours a crystal clear medium reddish amber in color with some moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the surface of the beer and some copper + crimson red highlights. The beer has a little more than a finger tall creamy foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel and toffee malts that have some sweetness to them along with some lighter notes of alcohol, vanilla, and just a hint of dark fruit (raisin).

T: Similar to the smell, the beer has a moderate to strong flavor of caramel and toffee malts with a light to moderate amount of sweetness that is followed by some light notes of vanilla, dark fruit (raisin), and just a hint of alcohol. There is also a faint underlying pine hop bitterness that lingers.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky with just a hint of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: There is a nice complexity to the flavors and aromas of this beer but I just wish that the alcohol was a little more well hidden in it. I enjoyed the beer and it feels like it is somewhere between a brown ale (maybe an imperial brown ale) and a barleywine.

 1,318 characters

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

The clear, deep mahogany body of Really Old Brown Dog displays gleeming orange and crimson highlights beneath a creamy head of yellowed khaki. The head retention is fairly good and it leaves some nice splashes and streaks of lace about the glass.

The nose expresses a combination of scorched brown sugar and yeasty fruitiness with a touch of spice (is that alcohol?) and leafy hops.

It's smooth across the palate with a medium-full (or is that full-medium?) body and delicate, fine-bubbled carbonation that lends a gentle caress to the tastebuds as it crosses the tongue.

The flavor is very much as the aroma suggests, with a soft berry-like fruitiness that permeates the deeply caramelized malt and helps to lend it notes of dark-skinned fruits such as raisins and plums. It's fairly bitter, and that also helps to give the impression of dark fruit-skins. But it's still mainly malty with dark brown sugar and a hint of cocoa. Some alcohol lends it a bit of spice, and the leafy, grassy, and herbal hops help to level it.

It's quite nice on a quiet night on the back porch, or sipping by the fire with a good book, but I'd imagine it's drinkability would be limited in the pub setting. But at 7%, that's to be expected. I'd imagine it would pair well with a variety of foods, but glazed yams come to mind, as does, oddly enough, maple-syrup covered pancakes with a link or two of nicely browned sausage. Enjoyable. Worth trying!

 1,444 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

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

This beer is about a year and a half old, so really old brown dog is now really really old brown dog. Should be delicious, and believe it or not this is my first taste of ROBD.

Pours a nice decent sized 1.5 finger head but it's very bubbly and airy, with some light fluff, and fades at a medium pace, and leaves hints of lacing. The beer is a dark copper maroon brownish red color.

Nose comes with lots of brown malts, plenty of brown sugar and molasses, toasty malts, reddish malt aromas, a little fruit, a slight nutty aroma, a hint of boose, and some of that aged malt aroma that typically comes with good old ales.

Taste is very sweet! A little too sweet actually, but has a nice taste. Some nice malts, roasty, toasty, and a little red malt flavor. Plenty of brown sugar and molasses, light syrup flavors, and some nutty flavors as well. A very little fruit flavors, not dark fruits or bright fruits, something in between I can't put my finger on, what would typically come from a red ale, also a little raisin. It also has a nice hop flavor, with some light spicy and grassy hops, and a nice mild hop flavor with some bitterness. It finishes even more bitter as the hops really come out on the finish. A slight salt minerality flavor also on the finish, and a lot more of that aged malt flavor lingering.

The mouth is medium bodied with good carbonation, especially for the age.

It has a decent drinkability, drinks much lighter than 10%, but a touch of booze, some lingering malts that are nice, but it adds a hint of salty minerality as well. A nice chewy flavor too.

 1,581 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of paulish
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Really Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 899 ratings