Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

very good
388 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: 388 | Ratings: 869
Photo of GreatStoutman
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle conditioned. Feb 2015

Pours thin and clear, deep, dark copper. Light tan head that disappears quickly. After almost a year on the shelf, its got no hop smell and all caramel, toffee. Expecting this to be pretty sweet and malty.

Medium carbonation and body. Definitely a nice warming old ale, taste is much stronger than the aroma. Some bitterness showing up, but this is all malts.

Finishes slowly, with a very milky, chewy feel. Its 11.1% abv, and it shows a little bit at the finish, but I think thats somewhat desirable for this style. I'm really liking this.

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Photo of 57md
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle conditioned May 2015; consumed January 2016; 11.1% abv.

Poured a brownish copper with a finger of head. The nose is deeply malty and bready. The flavor follows the nose with a rich malt presence but nary a sign of the high alcohol.

This is a plain old, straight up solid big beer. No gimmicks - just complex quality.

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Photo of Lobina
4.16/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got a few to share. At 11% this was really smooth. Enjoyed the overall combination of aroma and taste. I wish I had grabbed a few more. Still amazed at how easy this went down for such a high abv.

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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 drmeto
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

-pours a copper-brown with a medium,foamy,offwhite head
-low carbonation visible
-nutty,caramel,cinnamon,toffee,vanilla,raisins,black tea
-caramel,toffee,cinnamon,vanilla,syrupy,raisins,toasty finish
-low to medium carbonation
-light to medium body
-alcohol very well hidden
Mouthfeel is a little light.Otherwise a great Beer

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Photo of Fdough1
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

So my favorite old ale is Hibernation Ale...and I love old ales. I tried this back to back with Hibernation and was pleasantly surprised, Pour nice dark color. The smell was somewhat muted but similiar to Hibernation. Taste was very good with good mouth feel. Overall this is not a bad old ale and could substitute in a pinch if I every run out of Hibernation.

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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 L0ne
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle.

Pours chestnut brown with a small, fizzy head. Fairly underwhelming taste and aroma, unfortunately. Some caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Fruity and warming alcohol. Not bad, just simple.

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Photo of Bonsall_Phil
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled Jan 2015; 12 oz bottle

Clear but dark amber beer with inviting off white head that's stays awhile.
Caramel, candy like nose. Not overbearing. Bready - fruitcake notes.
Surprisingly, flavor is very faint. It's not a bad flavor, breads, slight fruit. My brain is sticking with the fruitcake idea, it's there. But is fruitcake good?
Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with decent carbonation, this old ale finishes pretty warm.

This beer is worth a try for you old ale fans, but it will it be your favorite. It lacks complexity and the robustness of others in its style. Even with that being said, it's a good beer worthy of trying out on a cool autumn evening.

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Photo of muchos
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Printed in white on the side of the bottle...
"Bottle Conditioned
Feb 2015 ABV 11.1%"
Thanks for that, Smuttynose Brewing Company.
L - red side of brown, little head which fades fast. Hazy.
S - subdued sweet malty goodness. Minimal anything else. Smells like a dusty road sundae tastes. Toasted marshmallow, dates, a bit breadier and fruitier as it warms.
T - caramel, toffee, woody, toasty bread. Not tons of flavor, but good. Bitter aftertaste. 11.1% abv is not there except maybe a little mediciny in the after taste.
F - medium body, smooth, not much carbonation.
O - I like it a lot. Really solid. I'm glad I have some to age.

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Photo of CHickman
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled Feb. 2015 (Bottle Conditioned listed on the glass.) Pours very cloudy copper color with 2-3 finger big foamy tan head that was full of bubbles of all sizes and faded very slowly, leaving decent spotty lacing. It settled into a foamy layer on top of the brew that stuck around for a long time.

Smells of malt, caramel, peat moss, earthy notes like twigs, grass and dry leaves, cocoa and some dark fruit. It's malty with strong fruit notes that don't distinguish any particular fruit, ending with toasted grains and mild toffee. The nose completely hides the 11.1% ABV.

Tastes of toasted grains, wheat bread, toffee, peat moss, caramel, earthy notes like in the nose with twigs, grass, tree bark and dry leaves, cocoa powder, chalky yeast, light booze, tart to almost sour grapefruit and some dark fruit. It almost tasted like a home brew that someone had stuck in the fridge a few days, the type that needs a tweak here or there but is overall pretty tasty. Like the nose, the alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is slick and almost too thin, but just thick enough to be hardy; medium body and overall feel, it has very light carbonation and a sweet finish that is full of toffee, crackers and grains.

Good for an old ale or brown ale, overall it was enjoyable if you're a fan of malty beers.

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

For a high abv nicely priced brown ale this stuff is good for what it is. I'm not sure what world class brown ale would be honestly but when u are looking for something to change up the palate a bit . This stuff does the trick ! Almost barley wine like but without the sweet

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Certainly a whole different animal from the younger dog. This stuff has some great malt notes, but a slight off flavor. Pours brown with tan head. Aromas of cooked sugar and alcohol. Flavor is semisweet with a little funk (could be those oak chips) and more alcohol. Not very balanced, but fairly tasty. Borderline choice if I'll try again.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light brown color with deep ivory colored head. Sweetness, grass, caramel, and roast on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied, alcohol well hidden. Finishes with caramel and hay.

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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 craftbeersweden
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bought this at the release in Sweden in August.
I was a little dissapointed with Smuttynose Old Brown Dog so I only got one bottle. We'll se if I have to get back and have som more :)

Poured into a sniffer. Dark red-brown, clear, beer with a tiny, beige, head that leaves a lot of lacing.

Nose: Red berries, dried fruit, caramel malt, biscuit, nuts and butter.
Taste: Brown sugar, toffee, biscuit, vanilla, molasses and a little bit of oak.
Body: Medium to full body. Light carbonation. ABV 11% ?? It can't be true? It's very well hidden. Smooth taste. A little bit to "simple" body - I would like more compexity.

Great beer but not up to Founders Curmudgeon.

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

toasty brown with an off white head of creamy foam that dwindles like you've got all day. Nose is sumptuous malts. Nose is sweet toasty malts with a fruity backnote . outrageous! taste is rich and layered. Malty, sweet, caramel and that fruit to oighten it beautifully. Finishes dry and with a mouthfeel that is silken. Just enough hops to finish it.

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Photo of emyers
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Great Lakes snifter. Bottled on date: 2/2015

Appearance: Pours a cloudy medium brown color, not much head. Slight off-white lacing.

Smell: Predominately yeast and caramel malt with some tasted biscuit and a mild nuttiness.

Taste: Similar to the smell but a bit more robust. Nice roasted nut flavor with caramel malt - good depth to the malt profile. A little bit of oxidation. No alcohol heat. Finish is dominated by caramel malt and yeast.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied, low carbonation.

Overall: Very solid, but I would like a bit more roasted malt presence personally.

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Photo of DoctorD
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice smell of rich caramel to match the deep red-brown color. Very smooth and balanced taste with just enough body to linger for a couple of moments but not coat your mouth completely. I prefer to drink old ales to have a little more "edge" to them (like Curmudgeon) and this is just a smooth sipper. The alcohol can be detected but it is not hot at all, it sneaks up on you. A solid beer but not something I would rush back to try again.

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Photo of 2ellas
2.94/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Look is a lighter brown and completely see through.
Smell is slightly malty but not much there at all.
Taste is almost muted, not much there either. The 11% abv is very well hidden.
Thin on the mouthfeel.
The best thing this beer does is hide the high abv. Everything else is just kind of there. I wonder if a year in the cellar would do anything to help?

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Photo of kemoarps
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light muddy brown. Murky like swamp water, word to Swollen Members. Minimal head that sticks to the corners like a wallflower.

Nose is sour dried cherries and prunes. Faint tobacco and leather. Beautiful old ale aromas.

Same as the old boss. Sour cherries with some prune and fig. Bit of leather and tobacco towards the end. Chocolate toffee across the middle like Riesens. Bitter finish from the cherry and the tobacco flavours. Sweet side of the fruits comes through gently coated across that bitter finish.
Old ales are a style that can be really underwhelming and boring if not pulled off right, but can be really nice and uniquely enjoyable if done right. I dig this one.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.69/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle served in a tulip glass. Bottle date 02/2015

Appearance: reddish brown with a nice thick head that sank to some nice lace and thin rim in the glass

Nose: chocolate, malty biscuity, toffee, caramel, cherries

Taste: fruity and fresh, cherries and strawberries, malty and biscuity, absolutely no alcohol presence, where is the 11% ABV?!? No hops reserve in the beginning or the middle. Ultra smooth with nice carbonation for the high alcohol content, malty sweet finish that lends to a very very very slight bitterness from the hops.

Overall: I was extremely surprised at there they were hiding the alcohol. At over 1/10 drops of this wonderful brew being booz I really have no clue where it ran off to. I'm really not sure if further aging would improve this beer seeing that it is already a few months old in my cellar.

Cellar Review:

I recently opened up a 2013 bomber of this beer. Truly magnificent. Rich and delicious with just the right amount of sherry, toffee and port flavors. This beer is truly a cellar staple.

12oz bottle from 2015 reviewed 12/2016

Dark fruit goes crazy here with age. The beer is still beautiful and copper with little to no sediment. It is very rich and mild. I think I prefer it more fresh. Still had ample carbonation.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled February '15

Appearance - Pours clear and auburn brown with a khaki colored, finger width head. Fair retention before dissipating to a thin, broken layer of suds across the top.

Smell - Slightly sour, fruity aroma reminiscent of fermenting grapes. Malt sweetness and a bit of nuttiness sits beneath.

Taste - Follows the nose. Strongly boozy, fruity flavor upfront and throughout. Light molasses undertone. Mild oak and a touch of nuttiness and pumpkin(?!) hits mid-taste and rolls into the finish. Faint vanilla. Finish hits with a note of astringency from the booze.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body with low to moderate carbonation. Sticky texture before a drying finish.

Overall - Hmm. For the style, I think the Old Brown Dog is the superior beer. While it displays a nice complexity, this one is just a touch too boozy for me to completely love it.

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Photo of JMS1512
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Though not traditional for BJCF style guidelines, it's still really enjoyable. I had a 2013 in 2015. Mellow, complex, dark fruits, malty, boozy. Great bottle.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours kind of murky brown with a heavy ruby red hue and a solid finger of off-white foam.

Some light brown sugar but very faint, raisins or dried plum, and some light caramel sweetness.

This packs a punch! Very boozy, the dark fruits stand out more in flavor, but the alcohol overpowers everything else aside from a general sweetness.

Heavy-bodied, light-medium carbonation, thick, chewy, boozy.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with this. Will not be purchasing again.

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Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 869 ratings.
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