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

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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery BitterSamuel Smith's Old Brewery Bitter

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BA SCORE
83
good

31 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

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Reviews: 31
Hads: 61
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 10.96%
Wants: 4
Gots: 6 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 31 | Hads: 61
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
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!! (2,448 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
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. (1,257 characters)

Photo of Mark
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
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. (385 characters)

Photo of jgasparine
4.43/5  rDev +21.4%
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! (1,007 characters)

Photo of samyoung
4.51/5  rDev +23.6%
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. (514 characters)

Photo of bark
4.53/5  rDev +24.1%
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! (428 characters)

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