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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Bitter - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery BitterSamuel Smith's Old Brewery Bitter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

54 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 54
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 14.67%
Wants: 3
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  3.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Josiah2729:
Photo of Josiah2729
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Josiah2729, Oct 19, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of deebo
4/5  rDev +8.7%

On cask in Stamford. Very smooth. Distinct fruity taste. Hints of oak. Very pleasing

deebo, Sep 11, 2014
Photo of dwren89
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: golden amber, nice clarity, foamy off white head

Aroma: not a very strong aroma, slightly earthy

Taste: mild and muted, pale malt biscuity-ness with English hop character. Not very flavorful

Mouthfeel:creamy and medium-light bodied

Overall impression: typical bitter flavor, nothing spectacular. Fairly weak bodied to be honest.

dwren89, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of rastaman
2.05/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pretty ordinary, sweet creamy mouthfeel, Ok maltiness, not much bitterness, not much hoppyness, smooth aswell and tasted very very flat, lacks bite and once again this is a bit to sweet and creamy for me.

rastaman, Aug 06, 2002
Photo of foamer
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled onboard the buffet car of the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, W. Yorks.

Pours a clear, rich orangey-amber with a nice creamy off-white head which leaves some lacing. Sweet and fruity malts in the nose, with discernable oak notes. Not too powerful, but present. Sweet malts up front with fruity notes of pear, green apple, and peach leading to a lingering earthy hop bitterness with definite oak overtones. Lovely. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Drinkable and quite refreshing.

foamer, Jul 02, 2005
Photo of CanuckRover
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at Ye Olde Cheshire.

A dark amber with cream head... not the greatest lighting in the world though.

Wood on the nose, quite earthy and nutty. Just a hint of dark fruit behind.

Some subtle English fruity malt up front followed by nice vanilla tones. Finish is quite oaky, though not overblown.

A decent enough Bitter. Certainly sessionable.

CanuckRover, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-cask at The Cock in London. Appeared a hazy golden yellow with a tall white head. Eh, nice and drinkable but a bit plain. The aroma is just a sharp, sweet mellon note and a plain bready flavor. Very drinkable and it fits well into the style Worth a try is you're into Sam Smith beers - but understand, this isn't at the same level as the Taddy Porter or Oatmeal Stout.

tempest, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of hotstuff
2.93/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer had a medium sized head that contained fine-medium sized bubbles.The hue of this beer was orange and it produced a decent lacing on the sides of my glass.To me it has a fruity, citrusy nose.This is definitely a bitter tasting beer.This is not my favorite style of beer; however, it wasn't that bad.

hotstuff, Aug 05, 2003
Photo of Trentonator
2.53/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer had a unique taste, bitter is definitely the operative term, as this beer is very bitter. I liked it OK, but could not drink more than one in a sitting. Mouthfeel is similar to sucking on a lemon, the beer's appearance is intriguing. I wonder if this is a more popular beer in the UK, where it probably compliments the blander taste of the food there.

Trentonator, Apr 13, 2004
Photo of hyuga
4/5  rDev +8.7%

hyuga, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of JohnQVD
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

JohnQVD, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of BlackHaddock
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was amazed to find I’d never reviewed this beer having drank it on numerous occasions when in London and other Sam Smith’s pub around the country over the years: anyway I’ve put that right today.

This review is of a pint, hand pulled in the ‘Citte of Yorke’ in Holborn, London; a lovely old pub listed on the BA beerfly database.

Sadly this is now the only beer Sam Smith’s brewery brings out in cask form, everything else is keg or bottle, not cask.

Clear amber body with a creamy head of bubbles which are off-white in colour and produce some good thick lacing as I down the liquid it covers.

The nose is a complex mix of wood notes, autumn leaves, caramel and a fresh loaf of bread.

The taste is equally as complex: malts just about lead the way with a good hop contingent coming up fast behind, well balanced and easy to drink. Semi-sweet from the caramel like molasses in the malts, but with an undertone of hop bitterness which asserts itself half way through each gulp (this isn’t a sipping beer, it’s a gulper).

Still under £2.00 a pint in an historic central London pub (Oct 2011), you can’t go wrong. In fact I had another half in the beautiful Princess Louise half an hour after rinsing this pint I’ve just reviewed.

BlackHaddock, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of pauljmccain
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

on tap in London, into pint

A: Beautiful deep tawny copper color. Looks great and inviting, with a half finger head that lasts. Good lacing. Great appearance.

S: Quite hoppy. A bit of roasted malt but the hops dominates the scent.

T: This is not the best tasting beer by normal standards but has a distinctive taste. It is balanced on the tongue a bit by a roasted, slightly nutty maltiness. Blends well. Faint tastes of fruits and bread. I really enjoyed it.

M: Nice carbonation, nothing special. Light feel.

D: Not a session beer for most due to the bitterness. But look at the name! I really enjoyed it. My favorite Sam Smith.

pauljmccain, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of vinicole
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

vinicole, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of Mark
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was excited to try a Sam Smith on cask, from a wood cask at that! Old Brewery Bitter was a solid copper color topped by a thin white head. lacing was smattered about and on the thin side. Sweet malt aroma is strong yet inviting. Sweet malt and hop is prevalent in a long finish. Seems well balanced and is very smooth and drinkable. Had it at the wonderful Citte Of York pub in London.

Mark, Dec 24, 2004
Photo of slimntubbs
4/5  rDev +8.7%

slimntubbs, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of rarbring
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is amber, the beer is clear, the head is thick and off-white. Some lacing.

Smells of caramel and hay.

Initially butter scotch, then sour fruits, orange, lemon and green apples. A good bitter finish.

Medium carbonation, very soft and easy to drink.

A good solid ale. On-tap at The Earl of Lonsdale at Portobello Rd.

rarbring, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of jnjander
3/5  rDev -18.5%

jnjander, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of ChaseTheAce
3/5  rDev -18.5%

ChaseTheAce, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of mtrain237
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

mtrain237, Jul 07, 2012
Photo of Tone
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/5 inch head of a white color. Good retention and poor lacing. Smells of sweet malt, hops, hint of citrus, hint of oak, hint of liquor. Fits the style of an English Bitter. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight pale malt, hint of hop, and a hint of citrus. Overall, average appearance, aroma, and feel.

Tone, Sep 27, 2012
Photo of jgasparine
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-
Poured from the cask in the Opera House at Trafalgar Square. Light amber body with no visible signs of carbonation other than a thick cream-colored moussy head. This head was well-retained and produced some tremendous lacing.

Aroma-
This beer starts with a light crackerlike malt character, and builds with a low-alpha noble hop aroma and a slight impression of yeast. The nose was somewhat mild overall, but inviting nonetheless.

Taste-
On the palate, the anticipated crackerlike malt, low-alpha hops and yeastiness comes through. Hop bitterness is moderate along with some impressions of lemongrass on the mid-palate. The finish lingers with a nice maltiness and a kiss of oak. Quite a lovely beer.

Mouthfeel-
The big creamy body is perfectly accentuated with a velvety soft carbonation... truly a "velvet blanket". Astringency is very mild, and of course, there is no EtOH heat.

Overall-
One of the best bitters I have had the pleasure of consuming. I definitely recommend this on cask!

jgasparine, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of Doiv
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mid to deep copper colour with an off-white head. Smooth but not too creamy.

Aroma is malty, hoppy and quite nutty - hazelnuts I think.

Subtle fruit flavour, citrussy lingering undertones with hoppy nut flavours and a slightly dry, citrussy aftertaste.

Smooth and drinks well. Pleasantly light body.

Doiv, Jun 22, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Bitter (OBB) divides opinions in the UK, even amongst CAMRA members and experienced beer drinkers. What needs to be understood is that it is predominantly a Malt based beer, and not really like your “run-of-the-mill” English session Bitters.
Also, it is from Yorkshire’s oldest Brewery, it is brewed from the Breweries own well water, has NO adjuncts, does not benefit from any Brewery aids whatsoever, utilises the Yorkshire Squares (made from Slate) system of fermentation, and when distributed to nearly all of its Pubs in Cask Conditioned format, it is supplied in Wooden Casks, YES Wooden!!- NOT Steel, or Aluminum, but- Wood. One of only a handful of UK Brewers left that still employ a Cooper.
Sadly, after the demise of Tadcaster Bitter and Museum Ale :-((, this is now the only Cask-Conditioned beer that Sam’s make. Such a Tragic Shame.
So with the above in mind, you will never find a Handpulled Sam’s OBB with a ‘decent’ head, whilst Wooden Casks will keep the beer in good condition, high carbonation levels are rarely experienced in this format. In the North of England where Swan-Necks, or Sparklers, are used for dispense you may get something resembling a head. As such, the head tends to dissipate quickly to a thin covering. Has a light brown, typical “English Bitter” color, that has a higher than average strength at 4% ABV. Malt is prevalent in the initial tastes, and to a certain extent dominates the beer. However, when “on form”, it has a fruitiness to die for, with a superb hoppy finish that really makes this beer. It often has a long lingering bitter, fruity finish. Mouthfeel is average, which again is perfectly acceptable for this beer – bear in mind people in the UK will often drink a Gallon of this beer in one night. It is a true Session Beer.

Ironic I know, but don’t expect it to be Bitter!. This is a very misunderstood beer, rarely appreciated – but I dearly love it, and in the North of England, in Sam’s Houses you will be hard pressed to beat it for value. Also, Sam’s Pubs themselves take some beating.
Last Tasted at the Historic Samuel Smiths Inn, the White Horse, or “Nellies”, in Beverley, North Yorkshire.
www.nellies.co.uk
Go on - have a look, and see what you are missing.

NOTE: This is the only Cask Conditioned Beer that Samuel Smiths now brew, sadly.
If only you could have tasted their Museum Ale on Cask – oh, it was Wonderous!!

TheLongBeachBum, Dec 14, 2002
Photo of bh123
4/5  rDev +8.7%

bh123, Mar 31, 2012
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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Bitter from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.