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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

53 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 53
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: 53 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
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 slimntubbs
4/5  rDev +8.7%

slimntubbs, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of msromberg
4/5  rDev +8.7%

msromberg, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of hyuga
4/5  rDev +8.7%

hyuga, Nov 15, 2011
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 Trizzle
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Lovely looking clear amber body with a good dense nitro-esque head and nice lace.

Nose of caramel and butterscotch malt. Some
Vinegar.

Good solid mouthful of butterscotch and cherries, thick feel, too sweet , no hops. Meh.

So so. Sam smith do great pubs. I love their porter and barley wine, but this is the definition of mediocrity. At best.

Trizzle, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of woosterbill
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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 tbeckett
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask at Cittie of Yorke in London. From notes.

A - Poured a slightly hazy dark gold colour with a creamy one finger eggshell head. Soapy bubbles on the sides of the glass. Nice rings of creamy lacing and a half finger of retention.

S - Bready with some butter. Apple comes out. Earthy and some High School locker sort of aroma.

T - Nice gentle malt and hop balance. Bready with some buttery/butterscotch notes with a little crisp hop note. Crackers might be in there too.

M - Nice touch of carbonation. Slightly sweet finish with a light and creamy body.

O/D - High dinkability as this is tasty and low abv. A good beer with depth and interesting parts coming together as you go. A good one but nothing crazy.

tbeckett, May 24, 2011
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 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 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 samyoung
4.53/5  rDev +23.1%
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 mrandolph
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely amber with a dense white head with firm bubbles from tap (Nitro, I believe, at a company pub in Oxford). The aroma has very low levels of earthy UK hops. This is a very estery beer, pears and apples. Raisiny caramel notes lead the flavor, with low levels of bittering hops complemented by low flavor hops and noticeable esters. The beer goes down smooth with a medium body.

mrandolph, Jul 05, 2009
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 bark
4.55/5  rDev +23.6%
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 wl0307
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Having had this beer on cask for many many times at Samuel Smith's houses throughout London (it surprises me just how many very old pubs have been taken over~~), this is the first time I truly feel that I should record what I've tasted. For the pint consumed at the Angel (nr. St. Giles Church and Tottenham Court tube station) recently, was the best I've had in addition to the perfect pouring by the cool but skilful barman there.

A: dispensed with a sparkler (presumably), it comes in a bright and clear, reddish-amber hue; a tight and creamy beige beer head sits on top and refuses to budge throughout the drink.
S: a sour-sweet woody hint buttresses a slightly resinous and dried grassy hops, but very smooth; a fruity overtone of plums asserts itself in the back, rather understated, but dovetails the fore-note just fine.
T: a natural woody, sour-sweet edge and refreshing but softly plummy+apple-ish fruity flavour accompany a very creamy-textured malty entry, complementing each other just beautifully; very faint bitterness struggles to pierce through the impressive silky maltiness, rendering a clean aftertaste and slightly drish hint from both wooden casks (used to age this beer) and hops.
M&D: the mouthfeel is great, silky smooth, perfectly controlled carbonation and medium-bodied, this really is a quaffable traditional ale--maybe a cross b/w bitter and pale ale? For one, I'd recommend drinking this classic ale at this quality little gem, the Angel, for full enjoyment (if one's in central London rather than Doncaster, that is).
Warning: the same beer could be very bland when served on tap, over-chilled, or dispensed carelessly, in another Samuel Smith's pub with poor bar-training and cellarmanship, though.

wl0307, Jun 01, 2006
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 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 ybnorml
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is "beer from the wood" drawn from an oak cask! An orange/ amber color with a light beige head. The aroma was lighty sweet with a hint of apple. A malty sweetness starts out on the tip of the tongue. Followed by an even smooth bitterness througout the rest ot the tongue. This is one the very few beers that are still served from oak casks. I know because I saw the Cooper making the casks a the brewery.

ybnorml, Jun 27, 2004
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 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 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 Boto
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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 TheDM
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium white head of fine and medium sized bubbles that leaves behind a good lacing. It's body is atransparent light semicloudy yellow orange color. It has a mild honey aroma. It tastes smooth with someafter bite and a lingering hoppy flavor. This brew has some character and is drinkable. A decent beer to
sit and have a plesant conversation with.

TheDM, Apr 17, 2003
Photo of cbl2
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
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
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Bitter from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.