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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
84
good

55 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 14.63%
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: 55 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of benjibear
5/5  rDev +35.5%

benjibear, Oct 01, 2014
Photo of bark
4.55/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The colour is medium-dark amber; the finger thick head is beige. Massive lacing occurs.

The smell is bitter with spicy notes. It is very fresh.

The taste is mellow and fresh in a balanced way. Notes of fresh fruits and cream; medium body. The aftertaste is a bit bitter with more of those fruits (apples?).

The carbonation is very mild, but at the same time quite refreshing. The liquid is a bit thick.

A splendid bitter!

bark, Sep 17, 2007
Photo of samyoung
4.53/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Have had this several times hand pulled from a cask at The Cock near Oxford Circus in London, and in my mind it is the definition of a great English bitter.

A - Looks like a dream in a 20 ounce imperial pint. The ale is coppery and bronzed.

S - Mild smells of sweetness and bitterness.

T - Sweet and bitter all at the same time. Very earthy and robust.

M - Coats your palette with a great, thick feeling.

D - Usually have three in one sitting attesting to the exceptional drink-ability of this awesome ale.

samyoung, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of Wobbly
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Wobbly, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of MaSaiani
4.5/5  rDev +22%

MaSaiani, Oct 30, 2014
Photo of jgasparine
4.45/5  rDev +20.6%
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 Mark
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
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 BlackHaddock
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
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 TheLongBeachBum
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
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 pauljmccain
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
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 cbl2
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this one at Cittie of York, a pub in London, which has to be one of the coolest bars in the world. The atmosphere in which this beer was consumed may have skewed my review, but here goes:

Appearance: Clear brown and almost still. This bitter is a hand pumped cask ale, and thus there was very little carbonation present. Very mellow and pleasing to the eye.

Smell: Hoppy aroma, and I do mean bursting with. I've never been good at identifying the different varieties of hops, but one whiff of this beer, and you know they're there (this after all a bitter).

Taste:Hoppy, warm and slightly carbonated; this beer is only slightly bitter due to the hops but it is balanced nicely with a little bit of sweetness owing to a malty character.

Drinkability: I was in heaven getting Samuel Smith on tap. A truly amazing experience. This beer goes down smooth, and with the relatively low alcohol content of 4.% abv, you could drink these all night (speaking from experience). I think I paid 2 pounds 50 pence per pint (roughly $3.75), and it was worth every cent. If you find yourself in London anytime soon, check out Cittie of Yorke.

cbl2, Jan 30, 2003
Photo of deebo
4/5  rDev +8.4%

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

deebo, Sep 11, 2014
Photo of hyuga
4/5  rDev +8.4%

hyuga, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of slimntubbs
4/5  rDev +8.4%

slimntubbs, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of bh123
4/5  rDev +8.4%

bh123, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of Scarta
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Scarta, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this in what was supposed to be the oldest pub in London: the "Old Cheshire Cheese". The beer was a rich copper color. A bit of a lingering head. There was a slightly sweet maltiness to the aroma. There was as full, malty taste to this one, with a hine of bitterness coming through at the end. Very Good!

Boto, Jun 07, 2003
Photo of msromberg
4/5  rDev +8.4%

msromberg, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of woosterbill
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Halfpint on-tap at the Angel in the Fields.

A: Clear pale copper body under an extremely creamy, persistent off-white head that leaves some light lace. Attractive.

S: Leafy and earthy hops, lightly sweet caramel malt. Simple and enjoyable.

T: Very smooth, well-integrated flavors: nutty + toffee malts, earthy + herbal hops, and some mildly sweet citrus notes. Understated and enjoyable.

M: Light-bodied and soft, with low carbonation. Very nice for an on-tap bitter.

O: I can see how someone could penalize this beer for being a bit on the boring side, but I found its simplicity to be a redeeming quality. Subtle, drinkable, enjoyable.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +8.4%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of flyingpig
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pint in Ad Lib, Glasgow (£3.60):
Toffee brown with a cream, thumb sized head on top that is white and holds pretty well.

Bitter with an earthy malt aroma and some lighter fruit notes along with some caramel and a touch of burnt sugar. There is some apples and a few sweet malts too.

Sweet malts and a very bitter taste kick things off along with a nutty taste and a touch of caramel from the nose. There is a fruity undertone with some bitterness towards the end.

Medium bodied and very cream with a nice, rounded bitter finish and a very smooth body. The balance in this one is quite nice too.

Bitter and a great example of the style with a great appearance and a nice balance throughout. There was some nice caramel malts and the hints of fruit were nice too.

flyingpig, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of foamer
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
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 rarbring
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
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 Doiv
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
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 John
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had the pleasure of drinking this brew in one of the oldest pubs in London, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. OBB as it's referred to in the UK, is not available in the US. Golden peach color with a thin layered head. Light, multi-grain bread aroma. Toasted malt, trace fruit and faint hop aroma. Lightly toasted malt is again present in flavor along with a skillfully reserved hop finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied. A fine, flavorful, easy drinking bitter.

John, Jun 10, 2002
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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Bitter from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
84 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.