I have come to really like Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale, and I've been curious to try the brewery's Really Old Brown Dog Ale. I finally had a chance, and was surprised that it isn't just a barrel aged version of Old Brown Dog. Old Brown Dog is a brown ale, where as Really Old Brown Dog is a different style, it's an "old ale," and it's closer to barley wine than it is to a traditional brown ale.
This beer pours a clear but very dark copper color with very little head. The aroma is boozy, with molasses, oak, brown sugar, walnuts. The flavor is really big and even boozier than the aroma. Figs, some maple, more oak, vanilla, and a little bit of a cough syrup like finish. The body is sticky like barley wine, but thin like liquor. Old Brown Dog, the brown ale, is complex but refreshing. Really Old Brown Dog one isn't quite the thirst quencher, but it's serious beer.