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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

955 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 955
Reviews: 656
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 33
Gots: 21 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 955 | Reviews: 656 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DefenCorps
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, $2.49 from the Village Pump.

Pouring a mostly clear amber with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and gorgeous lacing, this is a gorgeous beer. The nose is awesome. Delicate toffee, light toast, a faint hop character (not sure how fresh this is), mild caramel. Simple but beautiful balance.

The palate opens rather full, moderately mineral-rich (more cationic flavors) and with a nice balance between toffee, caramel and a mildly earthy hop flavor. Bitterness is mild, perfectly complementing the toffee flavors. A touch of butterscotch is present as well. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this is drying on the finish with a blend of toffee, hoppy bitterness, a little butterscotch and minerals. The bitterness and minerals, in particular, make this stand apart from other beers of the style that I've had. Very good stuff, highly recommended.

DefenCorps, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of mnfinnkidd
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Light brownish hue with slight tan 1/4" head. Brilliantly clear, filtered

Noise: Sweet, caramel, candy, fresh bread

Mouthfeel: Heavy in the front, light through the middle, and clean off the back

Taste: well balance with a malt forward character. Caramel with biscuit notes. Bitterness is very mild enough to clean the palate.

Overall: This being my second English pale this seemed like the hops were lacking but that could be my American pales skewing my palate. It was very drinkable and wouldn't mind have a couple more....

mnfinnkidd, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of chunkylover53
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For a pale, it's pretty dark, but it's a really nice reddish-yellow colour with a big, foamy head.

Smell: Faint, but some hops and fruit.

Taste: Very hoppy. Quite bitter. Surprisingly thick mouthfeel.

I could drink a lot of this, which is good since the bottle is big.

chunkylover53, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of greenborn
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a very nice pale ale. The color and the smell were fine but the taste was very traditional barley malt with just a touch of hops. The balance of the malt and hops are what make this ale so good. First there is the malt smell then the tasted of malt which trails off into the mild hop crispness. I liked this ale very much and recommend it to those who enjoy English traditional ales.

greenborn, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of Brian700
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear light amber color with a fluffy white head that sticks around for a few minutes. The aroma is the only part of this beer that isn't suprisingly good. It has a mild malt aroma coupled with a mild floral hopping. The taste is mostly malty with a nice little hoppiness in the middle and in the finish. Medium carbonation, overall a good mouthfeel. I think this is a very drinkable beer. I like this one and would recommend it to anyone. Try this one and then buy a Fullers London Pride. Let the competition begin.

Brian700, Jun 02, 2005
Photo of rickyleepotts
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is another big one for us… have only 899 bottles to go! I am sure when we get close to the end I will begin to get sentimental… but not yet. I just want to drink! This is also the first beer we are rating from our new home in Scottsdale, Arizona. We recently moved, which is why we haven’t been drinking many lately, but are here and starting to get settled. We are leaving for vacation next week, so we won’t be writing while we are gone. But still.

Tonight we are drinking the last of the Samuel Smith beers. I am glad, because only one of these has impressed me. I am just not a big fan of this brewery. I did learn that the water used for this beer comes from a well dating back to 1758… so that’s pretty cool. I just hope the beer doesn’t taste like it was made in 1758. Bottoms up!

In the Glass: It looks good in the glass. It has a dark copper color, and appears to be thick and creamy. The head is a slight tan that floats on the top. The glass is full, so I can’t really swirl to see if there is much lace. I picked the wrong glass… for shame!

Nose: It smells like a bitter pale ale. I am a fan of bitter… the more bitter the better. That is why I frequent a good IPA. I have been getting into imperial IPAs lately. They usually have a more noticeable hop character and a longer, more satisfying aftertaste. Let’s see what the Old Brewery Pale Ale tastes like.

Flavor: The bitter notes hit you right off the bat. The beer then drinks like a very dry, and somewhat malty IPA. They kept mentioning the malty flavors, but the words “bitter” and “malty” don’t really go together. It seems to work here, though. The bitterness that you experience toward the front of the palate is gone as fast as it gets there, leaving you for a very balanced experience from front to back.

Mouthfeel: It drinks like a well-carbonated pale. I sometimes wonder what the difference between a pale and an IPA are… but this one is an obvious pale ale. I am not a big fan of Samuel Smith beers, but this one is the best I have had from them. No wonder it is so popular. Oh, and this is the last Samuel Smith in the book. Good!

Aftertaste: The aftertaste isn’t as bitter as I wanted it to be, but it is present for quite some time. There is some dryness toward the back of the palate, but as the aftertaste fades the bitterness sticks around. From the second I stuck my nose in the glass, I knew this was going to be a balanced and drinkable beer.

I am glad this one was bearable. Like I said, I am not a big fan of Samuel Smith. Their beer is VERY easy to get, and it is cheap. I am talking $3 a bottle cheap. That’s good for people that don’t like craft beer and want to try it for the first time… but when it comes to craft beer, you really do get what you pay for.

Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale - The bottle says: “Brewed with hard well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), best barley malt, yeast, and aromatic hops to create a copper-coloured ale with a full, rounded flavor; fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’; the finish is a perfect balance of malt and hops. A good many British beers were very dark before the Industrial Revolution; new malting techniques led to pale malts allowing the evolution of this classic brewing style - a cornerstone of British pub culture.

rickyleepotts, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of BDJake
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden abber with a nice fluffy white head, leaving decent lacing. Grassy, grainy, and herbal tones hit the nose. Sweet malts, a biscuit-like grain tone and the slightest of hops in the taste. Medium bodied with a dry feel, and a toasted feeling in the aftertaste. A decent drinker, one I imagine would be even better off tap.

BDJake, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of MobBarley
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful, full golden-copper color with a small creamy head. The smell is tangy and sweet, clearly favoring the malt side of the equation, but with a spicy hoppiness as well. The taste, sorry to say, was less to my liking than expected. I suppose I'm just used to PNW Pale that are hop-heavy, but the sweet, malty nature of the taste was a little cloying. Notes of caramel are abundant, with a slight piney hopiness and a peculiar tinny aftertaste battling for the finish. Crisp nonetheless, and good in the mouth due to strong carbonation and relatively full body. Drinkability is average. A solid English Pale Ale when I want something different.

MobBarley, Jan 25, 2004
Photo of beeroclock
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug at European Street Cafe. No head, dark copper almost brown.
Smelled of sweet bread, some fruits, maybe apple.
Tasted of caramel and some fruit qualities. Sweeter than expected, very nice flavor though, not overdone.
Mouthfeel was smooth, but no carbonation left little aftertaste.
Very nice brew, easy to drink.

beeroclock, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of Jadjunk
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

"Brewed with hard well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), best barley malt, yeast and aromatic hops to create a copper-coloured ale with a full, rounded flavor; fermented in 'stone Yorkshire squares'; the finish is a perfect balance of malt and hops. A good many British beers were very dark before the Industrial Revolution; new malting techniques led to pale malts allowing the evolution of this classic brewing style - a cornerstone of British pub culture." Brewed in the style of an English Pale Ale. No bottle date. Available in 550ml single bottles.

Poured from a 550ml. bottle to a pint glass. Served above 44º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy/frothy copper-white head over a mild hazy orange amber body with plenty of vivacious carbonation. Retention is quite nice as the head thickens without settling through time. Lacing is thin but strong. A very enjoyable appearance. 4.25

(Smell) Doughy, biscuity malts, a notable hint of cider and vinegar qualities, evidently acidic. Some mild grain notes. Hard water aromatics. Faint earthy hop notes. Potency is medium. Smells right for the style, not particularly original but not underdone either. 3.75

(Taste) Doughy dry malts, some trace husky caramel & toffee sweetness, a mostly acidic bitterness, not so much hop profiles. Hard water qualities are mild with a mild acidity, good for drinkability's sake. Body depth is right for the style and the sweetness, while tame for this beer makes for a very drinkable English Pale Ale. It swings on the malt side, but it's enjoyable in its own regard. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Mildly crisp, airy carbonation doesn't mangle the palate much. Body is just shy of medium for the style, below medium overall as well. Alcohol presence is low, pretty tame in this beer. Finish is mildly acidic, a bit doughy and faintly dry. 4

(Overall) This was my long delayed introduction to Samuel Smith's beers and I'm a little ashamed that I waited this long. The beer was impressive on most factors, as the flavor was mild, malty and enjoyable, the balance was nice and the textures were just mild enough to accent the flavor profile. It's a good deal at under 4 dollars a bottle. 3.75

Samuel Smith Old Brewery's
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
3.8/5.00

Jadjunk, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of wl0307
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550ml clear-bottle presentation, BB Feb. 2007, served cool in a straight imperial-pint glass.

A: light copperish hue, very bright and clear, with an off-white reasonably foamy and superbly sustaining head that is constantly supported by a lively fizzy body throughout the drink.
S: a classic "pale-ale" like biscuity as well as lightly-caramely maltiness leads the aroma, against a moderately spicy, aromatic tea-ish hoppy and a mildly salty note (the work of malts plus hard water?) in the background. A mild flow of intriguingly stinky-sock edge of malts+yeasts AND semi-fermented apples lies low but hovers well.
T: slightly caramel-malty and metallic(?!) at the same time, pretty solid-bodied with a restrained flavour of salty-sweet, marinated berry-fruits with an unfresh, tart edge (like preserved prunes)... Chewy, roast-tea-ish hoppy at the back, more in mouthfeel than flavour esp. on the deep ends of both wings of the tongue... leaving a rather "neutral" aftertaste, and more and more leafy-hop bitterness to chew in the finish.
M&D: almost fullsome for an English pale ale, it's quite easy to quaff thanks to the lightly-carbonated body and a sort of balance achieved b/w bitterness and sweetness... There's no beer in my brain's database to compare with this ale (esp. when I'm "merry" now...), but it's definitely a good pale ale or premium bitter with some added fruitiness to its advantage. I could only imagine the taste of the cask-conditioned version, which, alas, does not exist. Samuel Smith really should cask-condition more of their brilliant beers~~

wl0307, Jul 02, 2006
Photo of FatheadBrew
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of a mix pack I got for Christmas. Three beers, a pint glass and some coasters.

A: Deep amber with decent 1/2 inch off-white frothy head.

S: Fresh grain smell, also a distinct mineral smell that I find common to all SS beers.

T: Clean, crisp, simple. Very slight sweetness upfront. A faint hop flavor and then a clean finish that ends with a mineraly taste that is very pleasant.

M: Medium, not too filling, but definitely not watery. Carbonation was right where it should be.

D: This is a true session beer if I ever had one. Could down plenty of these.

FatheadBrew, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of dstc
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper color with a full white head that sticks around. Once it falls it leaves a trace of lace behind.

It has a sweet malty smell to it. Quite nice.

Nice medium bodied beer with a sweet maltyness to it. It also has that bitter, though very slight, aftertaste to it that I normally do not enjoy but it works here (maybe I'm getting use to bitterness).

Smooth and medium bodied in the mouth with decent carbonation.

This beer has grown on me as I reach the bottom of the glass. I wouldn't mind trying this again. Nice brew.

dstc, Jun 08, 2007
Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber color. Clear. Tall head. A beautiful beer all round. Lace sticks to glass well.

S: Earthy, floral hops. Maybe some butterscotch. I love this aroma. Possibly the best part of this beer.

T: Sweet caramel malt. Woodsy - oak. Slight tartness in back. Fairly dry finish.

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Smooth.

O: Very drinkable beer. I really like the earthiness of this one. Aroma is especially pleasant. Hits the spot some days. This is one of the beers that made me fall in love with beer in general, and I still haven't gotten tired of it. Though it's not the best beer I've ever tried, it might just be the best in its category (the organic version is great too). Anyways, I'd recommend this beer to anyone - you might not love it, but I bet you'll appreciate it.

jibbyvonjibb, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of Jacobob10
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was part of the 3-beer mix pack (which includes a sweet Samuel Smith Tulip Glass!)

Amber/Copper color with a monsterous, fluffy white head. A touch of hops in the aroma, but mostly sweet malt. This beer has a great taste to it. Malty and full-bodied, it's a nice change from the usual pale ales I have tasted. Mouthfeel is a bit dry, slightly bitter, which also brings down the drinkability in my opinion.

A distinctive beer with a lot of flavor to it. Can't wait to crack open that Oatmeal Stout when I get home from work tonight and start grilling!

Jacobob10, Jun 18, 2004
Photo of DoubleJ
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found the organic version to be impressive, so I have high standards for this one. On to the beer:

As I might have expected, it looks equally impressive as the organic counterpart; a chill hazed orange with a sticky white head. Soft buttered bread and diacetyl make up the aroma. Moving on to the taste, it's a little cleaner than I was expecting, but still has some diacetyl that coats the palate. It's a simple balance of malt and hops. Smooth and quaffable.

Not nearly at the same level as the organic ale, but this is still worth a look. For the optimal experience, give it some time to warm up.

DoubleJ, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of donnebaby
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep-looking dark copper appearance, with a creamy tight 2cm off-white head. Smell is great, of fresh-baked bread and flour, with light breezy malts to promise.

Taste is malts punctuated by high carbonation in the mouth. Not sweet at all. Creamy finish fades into more fresh bread crusts and mild hops, with some lasting malt accents. Medium body, combined with the carbonation, made this beer very filling in my tummy.

donnebaby, Jul 05, 2004
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a coppery brown with a decent off-white head and outstanding rings of lace with every sip. Very very nice.

Smell is subdued. Some sweet malt scents, a little fruit, and some hop leaf.

Tastes of sweet malt, but more like sweet brown grain or whole grain bread elements. Hop bitterness is present, but nothing over the top. No citrus, or extra (unneeded) flavors here.

Medium body, fair carbonation. A drinkable pale ale for sure. I find it a little on the mild side. Very smooth, with no bold distinctive flavors. Very well crafted and balanced.

OtherShoe2, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of Pencible
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a clear, light amber with nice off-white head. It smelled like hazelnut and malt with a bit of orange hops. It tasted very much like it smelled - nutty and malty with some subtle hops. It was smooth and semi-thick with no carbonation and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a different sort of pale ale, not quite as dark as a brown ale, but pretty good.

Pencible, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of far333
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Iced tea colored with a dark beige tight head that rises up and settles quickly. Aroma is hoppy, with notes of malt and raisin. Smooth mouthfeel with light carbonation leads to a pungent flavor of sharp malt, burnt brown sugar, fig and raisin. Bits of caramel and toffee come through in the finish. Lots of depth for a pale ale.

far333, May 13, 2004
Photo of chrisdenny
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from pint bottle into pint glass:

A - A very nice copper/red colored ale with plenty of creamy white head. The head seems to hang around throughout with some nice lacing left behind.

S - Not quite the aromatic I was expecting out of this pale ale, but the malts are sweet and there are some hints of spicier hops.

T - A really clean, well-rounded taste. They spicy hops blend well with the almost buttery-like malts. I'd like a bit more hop kick to it, but overall a nice taste.

M - This beer seems to be well carbonated, but it is pretty pleasing to the palate.

D - Should suffice well for a single or a session. It's not too heavy or overwhelming to have more than one.

Overall, I was pleased with this brew, not as much as other Samuel Smiths brews, but I would definitely have another.

chrisdenny, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

SoCalBeerIdiot, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of Bierleichen
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Bierleichen, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of PirateUlf73
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an English-style pint glass.

A: Clear reddish-amber in color with a substantial off-white head. Good retention and pretty decent lacing.

S: Not a very strong nose. Some hop earthiness with perhaps a smattering of toasted caramel malt.

T: Soft hop spice mingles with semi-dry caramel and toasty sweetness. Neither one really overpowers the other. Very balanced and tasty.

M: Silky medium body with a bit lower carbonation than expected. Finish is bitter, dry and almost chalky.

D: A good 'ol fashioned drinking ale. Goes down smooth and easy.

I was a bit underwhelmed by this beer at first, perhaps because I've become somewhat jaded on the hop monsters in the U.S.A. However, it grew on me as I drank it, and as I realized what it was supposed to be: a good solid English pub ale. Makes me wish I had some fish and chips to go with it.

PirateUlf73, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

cliff1066, Dec 09, 2012
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 955 ratings.