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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale AleSamuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

658 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 658
Hads: 984
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 42
Gots: 34 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 658 | Hads: 984
Photo of ralree
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear reddish orange with a fantastic head. Big bubbles mostly - dissipates in a marbled fashion. Good retention and lacing.

S: Smells really good for a pale ale - caramel and maybe some toffee malts, with nice-smelling English hops in the background.

T: I didn't get it from the smell, but caramel and a slight amount of coffee dominate the taste! Flowering hops and sweet caramel malt come in second. Finishes with a sweet and slightly smoky bread flavor. Slight alkaline taste that is evident in the first to drinks. A fine pale ale - my favorite so far.

M: Medium-light and perfectly carbonated. No way to improve this area.

D: Goes down smoother than other pale ale's I've tried. No problem finishing this one. My girlfriend even stole some from me - and she doesn't usually like beer! (797 characters)

Photo of mcarroll10177
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A truely great beer from one of the great breweries

A- copper brown with a nice off white head.

S- some nice clean hops, not overpowering or overly bitter, just a strong clean hops smell

T excellent. Clean and crisp upfront with a nice hop bite in the back. Spot on for the style

M- balanced with just the right amout of carbination

D- an easy drinking ale that goes well with any food pairing or very quaffable all on its own (441 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is an English pale ale at its best (at least I think so tonight).

I'm a big fan of the unique "country" nuances throughout the range of Sam Smith's offerings. By "country", I suppose I mean the overall character of their beers has a "not made in an industrial brewery" thing about it. Maybe its the choice blend of generous, superbly-tuned diacetyl (butterscotch), busting juicy red berries, and nurtured funkomyces.

I've noticed in this and in their other ales a peculiar effect in its appearance where I suppose I get the illusion of it being more dense or concentrated, more rich, or heavier in body than most ales. And, mind you, it has a very clean look - this one sporting lovely a red-copper, almost sepia color to it. Excellent creamy blanket on top. Lace - random.

The scent of esters, resembling weak wine in its fruitiness in combo with a mild aroma of an arguably faint vinegar/alcohol, bursts forth in the nose, enticing next to fairly aromatic malts and butterscotch syrup. Subtle herbaceous hop in the distance. Still sniffing...

I can't help but picture an old country home, maybe Victorian-style, with gaudy, dusty furniture and sallow walls darkened and dulled with age. Tasting that, along with all the smells. Oven-browned malt/bread crust and diacetyl upfront, a touch of bitter on top of the palate, apple/cherry sweetness below, lingering behind.

A strange, wonderful feel to it. Silky. The opposite of harsh in its carbonation. You could tell me this was just pulled-off via engine and I'd bite.

When this is fresh and well-kept - sophisticated, transcendent, satisfying as hell. (1,614 characters)

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

550ml brown bottle from Lou's in Augusta. Red-copper translucent body with around an inch of initial off-white head that dissipates rather quickly. Smells caramelly and fruity, with hints if a peaty quality. A roasty maltiness dominates the flavor with hints of fruit, diacetyl (coming through as a very pleasing butterscotch flavor). No one quality of the flavor overpowers another I would say. A nice balance and a medium-bodied mouthfeel make this extremely drinkable. Definitely glad I finally tried it, and I'm sure the brown bottle helped the flavor. A new favorite! (572 characters)

Photo of stoutman
4.62/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Round and balanced mouthfeel. High acidity, medium to high bitterness shows great balance. The toffee, orangey, toasty taste make this another of the old tadcaster brewerey must do's. Very well balanced between malt and hops. Dry, hoppy finish. (245 characters)

Photo of hoplover82
4.62/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a clear dark golden color with lots of bubbles in the beer and a full, medium creamy off white head that leaves very good lacing in it's trails.

S-The aroma starts off with soft earthy hop notes, then goes to a strong caramel backbone with some light fruity esthers. As the beer warms, and I swirl my choice wine glass, the beer gives me a kind of english pine hop aroma. I know it sounds weird, but it's not the pungent pine note that american simcoe hops give, but it's like a soft earthy "english" pine hoppiness. It's nice. On the second pour, I get a toasted toffee aroma as well! Very nice and complex.

T-The flavor is much of the same but with less of a hop character to it. A VERY soft bitternes, which the beer definately needs. But the caramel, toasted toffee are the stars in this beer, which is good for the style which I really appreciate. And the fruity esthers carry over to the flavor as well, it's almost like grapes n' fruit of the likes.

M-The mouthfeel is right on. Very creamy and full. And the carbonation is just right. Just the slightest dryness at the very end.

D-This beer is very sessionable. I could drink this beer all night and be goood. I highly suggest this wonderful beer. (1,218 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
4.59/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a solid burnt orange with a thick, quickly simmering head that flattens out evenly to an off-white ring--a steady stream of effervescence accompanies... bright, fragrant aroma that boasts fresh hops, doughy yeast and sweet malts--a well-balanced scent... soft, smooth vivacious approach with a tickling presence on the teeth--medium to full-bodied, almost demands like an IPA in its heft... first and foremost, punchy hops; last yet least, hearty malts--a crisp, clean and sweet balance that does not usually occur on American soil... not surprisingly, another stud for the Samuel Smith stable...pairing this would be a joyous endeavor... in a pleasant war with Sierra Nevada to be the plae ale I sip in heaven (God willing!) (731 characters)

Photo of jcomp21
4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer reminds me of a lighter version of a belgian quadruple, same sweet flavours just a bit lighter.

A - Dark copper. The body is on the clear side with a light cream head that settles to a sturdy cap.

S - There is a nice balance of sweet malt and earthy Fuggle hops.

T - Sweet malt with a banana toffee stawberry bite and toasted bread notes. Smooth flavour. Finishes with a hop flavor as well as carmelized banana.

M - Dry and crisp with a light-to-medium thickness.

O - This is a well made English pale ale. Very enjoyable and much different than an american Pale Ale. (584 characters)

Photo of JokeInsurance
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - It pours a caramel/cherry color. The tan, which is a light brown color is exceptional.

S - It definitely has an extremely distinctive smell. As it has a caramel look to it, it also has a heavy caramel taste to it too.

T - Very smooth with a heavy caramel and hazelnut taste to it. The initial taste kinda kicks you in the mouth but after it savored in my mouth for a couple of moments, that is when the heavy flavor makes its impact. Even after it trickles down south, the heavy flavor still lingers about which makes good emphasis.

M - Like what the other reviewers described, it was very smooth, pleasant and creamy.

D - If one can handle a heavy beer by just by sipping and savoring, this beer is for you. (716 characters)

Photo of Kallessin
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear deep amber/copper color with a fluffy/creamy off-white head that settles to a substantial film over the top with some nice lacing on the glass. Very few bubbles visible.

The sweet caramel malty aroma is the most prominent. There's also a moderate amount of floral/herbal hops.

Sweet malty caramel flavors up front, then it quickly goes to some mild bitter flavors with a light fruitiness in the background. I also get a slightly dry biscuit character. Very well balanced.

Medium body with high sharp carbonation. Fairly dry with a lingering finish.

Very well balanced flavors make this a great drinkable session beer. (635 characters)

Photo of the42ndtourist
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is really great. I love the cloudiness and copper-brown colour. All I could ask for would be bit more head. The head does leave a ring and a little lacing, though.

Smell is nice - some hoppiness and a thick sweetness behind that. The taste is malty, hoppy, thick and excellent. I like it, the hop bitterness is not overwhelming - it's not weak at all, but very well proportioned. Good, good, good. Now if only I could get this regularly in Canada.

edit: second review.

It seems I can get this regularly in Ottawa, I just have to pay through the nose at Pub Italia... Still a fantastic beer. One of my favourites, now. The colour is quite distinctive, after a year in England I don't think I ever found another beer with quite the same appearance. I certainly didn't find many with the same abundance of flavour. While I dearly love the crazy hoppy pale ales we produce on this side of the Atlantic, there really is something to be said for a more subtle, complex ale like this one. It reaches Orval-like heights of elusiveness of flavour and impressions. Two beers that are hard to pinpoint because you always notice something different when drinking them. But both beers I can't do without (and can't buy in stores here). (1,242 characters)

Photo of BBM
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy burnt amber color into a pint glass with a thin, beige head atop it. Nice amount of lacing around the glass. Aroma was sweet with that distinct aroma of English hops.

Everything here is in fine and subtle balance, with a toasted bread-like malt and a spicy, tart English hop flavor. Crisp, clean, and toned. A light citrus hop buzzes through the brew as well. Delightful from beginning to end. Mouthfeel is well carbonated. I could truly drink this all day, the consummate English pale ale. If there is a finer brewery in England, I know not of it. (573 characters)

Photo of dsa7783
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The third brew from this company and I have yet to be dissapointed... top quality from all their products, and this pale ale goes above and beyond... the appearance was great... a ruby-red slightly brownish color that frothed with a nice head... smell was full of malts and caramel, and the taste was creamy, slightly bready with a nice hint of malts, caramel, butter, and a slight vanilla after-taste... the mouthfeel and drinkability were exceptional.. the beer went down so easily and had no bitter traces at all... Copped a 550 ml bottle that came in a Samuel Smith gift set that included a nice pint glass... I will definitely purchase this beer again and its quality has made me eager to sample more brews from this outstanding company... Definitely recommended... (770 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

550mL bottle, with foiled cap, part of the Samuel Smith's Selection Box, purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA

Poured into an imperial pint glass, a creamy off-white head forms on top of a deeply golden liquid. The head has staying power, and leaves thick lace all over the glass. Pleasant hops aroma, which couples with the tastes of an optimal amount bitterness and a bit more malt than most pales ales, which is a plus in my book. Not particularly a pale ale fan, but this one does it for me. (504 characters)

Photo of TheHammer
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Two fingers of head that retained like crazy and produced modest lacing. The body is the classic pale copper with steady carbonation, without a hint of cloudiness. A bit more lacing would earn the perfect score.

Smell: Well balanced caramel malt and fruity yeast with touches of piney hops. Warming didn't really help it's case and it's exceptionally good, but it's just not potent enough.

Taste: Nice sweet caramel malt that turns into a more fruity and yeasty note that is lightly dusted off with a decent but not overpowering hit of hops. There is nothing bad I can say about the taste of this beer. Nothing too complex, but nothing boring.

Mouthfeel: Exceptional transitioning as the experience seamlessly blends together. The carbonation assists the entire beer, the aftertaste is a present mild fruity malt. Once again, there is nothing I can complain about.

Drinkability: I little bit heavier then I'd expect, but still easy to drink regardless. Refreshing, keeps down nicely and smooth. I really like that the aftertaste never gets out of control.

Final Thoughts: I find myself finding the English and Scottish styles far better suited to my pallet then their American counterparts. I think this unseats St-Ambroise as my pale ale of choice. I think the best part is that they kept bitterness in check and didn't aim closer to IPA territory. Highly recommend this one. (1,394 characters)

Photo of granger10
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a copper color with a small white head that held for a few minutes. The smell is really bready, akin to biscuits with honey poured on top. The main flavor I get when tasting this beer is caramel. There seems to be a lot of caramel which is complemented by various fruit esters, green apple leading the way. Kind of like a caramel covered apple. There is a grainy base to this which helps the flavors from getting too sweet and works with a floral hop element to complement the caramel. The finish is slightly yeasty sour and quite thirst quenching. Very creamy and smooth with a medium body. This is a classic. (626 characters)

Photo of alarusse
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A+S: Beautiful and clear, deep amber hue with a light brown head which disappeared relatively quickly. No lace, which is a negative for me, personally, as I love the satisfaction of watching a brew slink down the side of a glass, leaving a trail of delightful remembrance. Sweet, syruppy aromas with a slightly alcohol tinge.

T: Delightful. Slightly sweet, biscuity and remotely whiskey-flavored.

M: Works for me. Thin, but the flavor lingers for a few seconds.

D: Not a burden to drink at all. No bitterness on my palette, nice carbonation, especially after a few swishes around the mouth.

Poured from a bottle into half-pint glasses. (639 characters)

Photo of myost88
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: Poured from a 550 ml bottle into my Samuel Smith's Imperial Pint.

Appearance: This has to be one of the most inviting looking beers I've had in a while. Pours a light copper color with a fluffy white head that fades pretty quick. Very smooth cascade effect. Kinda hazy, but I liked that.

Smell: I loved the smell here. Floral hop smell right from the start. I got some honey as well. Not a lot of malt in the smell. Again this beer smells great.

Taste: Hoppy bitterness at the start. Finishes with a sweet malt backbone. The malt didnt show up much in the smell, but it balances the hops well in this beer. Nice sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is about right for a Pale Ale. Maybe a little creamier than most.

Drinkability: At 5% ABV this is an excellent session beer. Perfect for the spring or summer. Also I think this would be an excellent dinner beer. When I was drinking it, I really really wanted a nice juicy steak and some potatoes.

Overall: I really liked this beer a lot. Would love to grab this on tap some time. Samuel Smith's has yet to disappoint me. Everything they brew is delicious. I gave it a 5 for drinkability, because I can't think on any situation this beer wouldn't be appropriate for. (1,235 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Brilliant amber under a lacy and persistent 1” lightly tan tinted cap.
S: caramel, a touch of fruit, not much hop, herbal
T: A little sweet with a hint of toffee and a little darker malt – nuttiness or biscuit, flavor combines toastiness with fruitiness. Medium hop flavors and crisp, palate cleansing bitterness with a little light astringency.
F: Medium body, medium low carbonation.
O: An excellent classic beer. (426 characters)

Photo of Tearik
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - It appears a little bit darker than what I was expecting from a pale ale.

S - Very earthy

T - Strong hints of caramel and kind of nutty. Leaves a not unenjoyable bitter after taste.

M - Thicker on the pallet than I expected. Overall good feel though.

O - Very nice ale. Will definitely buy it again. This ale has a lot to offer the drinker.

Serving type: bottle (371 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.
A very good beer. This is one of my favorites. Good balance between malt, hops and the other flavors. Nuts, caramel and slight fruits. Easy to drink either warm or cold. Leaves a bit of an aftertaste that doesn't quite match the body.
Could use a thicker head. (287 characters)

Photo of jameaterblues
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: deep amber with red and orange tones. About 1/3 inch white head that diminished with in a few minutes. There was enough cabonation to retain a very minimal white cap on top of the ale, and a white lace.

S: Smell was biscuity, and a nice fruit esters (grapefruit). A nice sweetness from the malts, and a light hopiness.

T: With hops present throughout the entire body....the buttery flavor and some citrus were present near the beginning of the body....but a long lasting bitter hop finish completed the body. In the after taste there was a little lingering butter flavor.

M/D: Moderate carbonation decreased as I drank. Medium bodied. The bitterness of a wonderful pale ale was present, and this was complemented by a great malt balance. The smell is amazing every time you take a sip. (797 characters)

Photo of ThreePistols
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale amber color with a pale copper head. Roasted malt and molasses aroma, big hop flavor with plenty or roasted malt. Great body, finely carbonated, long dry hop and roasted malt aftertaste.

Great beer. Prosit. (214 characters)

Photo of mcsquint
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 550ml bottle into dimpled mug.
A - Copper-red in color. Large, creamy, off=white head with excellent retension.
S - Amber malt with some dried fruit and caramel faint grassy hops.
T - Predominant malt taste with dried light fruit. Just the right amount of hop bitterness.
M - A bit slick at first but cleans up well on the finish.
D - This, like all the other Samuel Smith products, is spot on. Nothing big or adventurous, but true to the original style and reasonably priced. (489 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.49/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nobody panic! My avatar recently changed and I am not drinking beer from a CAN, bottle be getting back to The CANQuest (TM) real soon. For now, I want to concentrate on the Samuel Smith's oeuvre.

Mine is a heavy brown bottle, vice the clear one in the picture. My pour created a finger of tawny head with decent retention. Color was a slightly hazy orangish-amber. Nose was highly malty, underlain with grassy hops. Mouthfeel was silky smooth with tastes of honey and raspberries on the tongue. Great goshdarn! How have I overlooked this beer for so long?!? Finish was very fruity with a little butteriness, to boot. How do they do that? I gotta make a mental note of this one. (679 characters)

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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 658 ratings.