Light brown with a playfully bubbly off-white head, Old Brown Dog Ale smells nothing like its name suggests; sweet caramel and bread notes are punctuated by fruity grape esters and citrusy hops that brighten the air. On the front of the tongue, the beer’s caramel sweetness dominates, and like the aroma, a secondary bready character adds depth. However, toasted malts quickly take the driver’s seat, and though they’re perhaps too robust for the style, they deliver a bitterness that dips into the sides of the tongue, eventually blending with the overt hop bitterness throughout the swallow. While hop flavors appear to be absent, hop sharpness proves this is an American brown ale. It wraps up pleasantly dry, with a faint, lingering balance of toast and bitterness.