Really Old Brown Dog Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

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Really Old Brown Dog AleReally Old Brown Dog Ale
Very Good
902 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: 902 |  Reviews: 398
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.

 577 characters

Photo of Mikexw
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of VoxRationis
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

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Photo of woodychandler
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of RichieRich5000
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of porters4life
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tfsimpkins
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of BRiddoch
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams glass. Pours a dark red with minimal head. Malty and smoky smell with a taste that is smooth and earthy. Not a bad beer but I think I expected more.

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Photo of MrDell
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Bottled: May 2015

A - Dark chestnut burgundy color riddled with suspended floaties, and a moderately thin caramel cream colored lacing ring.

S - Nutty toasted caramel malt, figs, prunes, raisins. For such a big beer, very little alcohol is showing up.

T - Some earthiness, toasted caramel malt, figs, prunes, dates, raisins, some alcohol presence, and mild pine bitterness showing up on the back end.

M - Rich and full bodied, velvety, very little carbonation, lip smacking sticky, and alcohol warming on the way down.

O - Big and malt forward.

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Photo of bobv
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly vigorous pour yields a big head that diminishes to a little ring quickly with very little lacing. Nose is a little booze with even less brown sugar and dark fruit with fruit cake as it warms. Taste is where it's at, with a nice sweet blend of all the aromas on the palate. Feel is just about right for an Old Ale. Overall, this is probably the sweetest Old Ale I've had. I have no idea why it took me so long to try this!?!?! Oh, this is not boozy at all. Bottled 2016 and the bottle I have is smudged so I can't make out the ABV.

 537 characters

Photo of CTHomer
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: cloudy; deep amber in color; 1+ finger khaki head that receded to a thin cap; OK lacing;

S: cinnamon, nutmeg, dark fruit;

T: earthy for a moment, then follows the nose; mild bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish; very smooth for 11.1% ABV;

O: as smooth as this is, I'm not sure it's going to change much as it ages, but I've got a couple bottles set aside to test that - see you in a year;

Update on 1/12/18 - not much is different. The cinnamon character is faded.

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Photo of proctah
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BigSmooth12
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Quite murky brown color with beige head. Aroma has toasted malt, brown sugar and some booze soaked dried fruits. Taste starts sweet and sugary with some raisins and other dried fruits. Towards the finish it gets bitter with toasted notes and burnt sugar. Medium body and carbonation. Overall it's quite tasty but a bit boozy and unbalanced.

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Photo of tone77
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark chestnut/amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of dark fruits, some spices. Taste is dark fruits, alcohol, malts, some oak, hints of spice, more alcohol. Feels medium/full bodied in the mouth and overall is a somewhat boozy but solid beer.

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Photo of Mwt
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of papposilenus
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12oz bottle, 'best by' date rubbed off. Served in a cervoise.

Pours a clouded maple colour with a scant finger of rocky head which dies back to a decent cap of foam and some gobby lacing.

Smells of brown sugar, sweet, flowery herbs, currants. Sweet, nutty and boozy.

Taste is brown sugar and rum, roasted malts, porridge, apples and prunes. Ends with the merest hint of bittering hops and then some syrupy booze in the sinuses.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little sticky-syrupy, partially offset by abundant, fine, fizzy carbonation.

Overall, a decent enough beer which, at better than 11% abv, certainly gets the job done.

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Photo of bongobeer
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MJSFS
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of edward_boumil
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Amber/brown in color, little to no head
S: Somewhat weak aroma. Can smell alcohol and a little dark fruit but that's about extent of it.
T: Phenomenal. Tons of raisin and fig, sweet molasses, slightly nutty. Kind of reminds me of quad or doppelbock. Finishes with a slight dryness from a floral hop note. Really tasty. Alcohol is definately noticable but its not hot or solventy in any way.
F: Beer has a bit of an alcohol burn but it works in this one. Surprisingly body is pretty light, definately not bogged down by any heaviness. Carbonation is on the higher end which makes the beer more drinkable.
O: Haven't had this in awhile, its better than I remember. Really nice flavors and has a light body. Perfect IMO

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Photo of N8dogg44
4.26/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Karibourgeois
3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Really Old Brown Dog Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 902 ratings