Thursday, May 27, 2010

331a. Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale

More from Smuttynose, and another dog-themed beer for Elli. We’ve run through Baltic Porter, Imperial Stout, Shoals Pale Ale, Finestkind IPA and Farmhouse Ale, making this el numero seis.

Old Brown Dog pours a reddish brown color—just about the color of a chocolate lab—and has a thin khaki head; the beer is slightly hazy, but mainly translucent. With a sweet, toasted, and nutty melanoidin malt nose, Old Brown Dog has none of the normal hoppy aroma of an American brown, which of course would then make this a British brown. Flavors start pretty clean and neutral, with a sweet brown and bready flavor. There is a nutty, fruity flavor in the middle and a touch of spiciness in the finish, although there is no hop bitterness of character anywhere else in the beer. As well, there are dunkel and bock-like characteristics to the beer flavor profile. Old Brown Dog has a medium body with minimal carbonation—it is adequate to keep the beer clean and not sticky, but there is not much more than that. A well crafted beer overall—clean, smooth, and well balanced with good darker malt characteristics that are subtle and well-developed—but it is not really one of the styles we love, so we’ll just call it good and leave it at that.

From the Smuttynose website: “Old Brown Dog has been cited as a classic example of the ‘American Brown Ale’ style of beer. Compared to a typical English Brown Ale, Old Brown Dog is fuller-bodied and more strongly hopped. Old Brown Dog has been around for many years. It was first brewed in 1988 at the Northampton Brewery. In 1989 it won a silver medal in its category (American Brown Ale) at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.”

ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 15
OG: 1.060
FG: 1.016
Hops: Cascade & Willamette
Malts: Pale Brewers, Munich, Crystal 60°L, & Chocolate


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