1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

963 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 963
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 37
Gots: 24 | 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.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 963 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of NODAK
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is malty...a bit sweet, carmel...some toffee. Kind of buttery in a way. Nice, true to what I'd expect.

Taste is of some muted caramel, but not quite as predominant as one may expect off of the aroma. There's also a definite fruity contingent to this beer as well...apple maybe?? It's different, but pretty delicious. There's also a bit of a metallic quality to this. English hops make themselves present near the end in a small way.

A little bit of sweetness lingers on the finish. Rather clean for the most part though. Pretty drinkable and refreshing beer with character.

Photo of dbONE
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is light brown in color, with a flapjack thin head that keeps a ring around the top.

With the smell of caramel, toffee, nuts and spices with touch of lite hops, it's hard to keep from snorting it.

Very sweet at the front of the tounge with strong caramel flavor and the dryness of honey. A sweet bready balance balances well with a nice hop flavor that has a nice spice to it. With a
very clean finish.

This is a true English Ale, a session beer for anyone.

Photo of ElGuapo
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep reddish amber pour with a large off-white covering of foam on top. Sweet malts and floral hops make a great balance in the nose.

A rich bodied pale ale done just the way it should be. Big sweet malts come in first and are then met with hops. This is an english pale that defines the style. A little bit sweet, but definitely not cloying. It does have a somewhat nutty flavor. It seems like a bit of the nut brown was presenet in this one. This is one great ale.

Photo of Pencible
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of FatheadBrew
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of Samp01
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber with a small white lasting beige with good retention. Aroma and Taste is sweet caramel malt, some citrus and fruity notes, some yeast and bread, with some light piney hops. A medium body brew with moderate carbonation on the palate with a smooth mouthfeel. Finishes with a good sweet caramel malt character, some yeast, followed by some fruity citrus notes ending with some good bitter hops to balance the sweetness. Overall a good, balanced session brew.

Photo of Garin
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On the pour, this is a slightly cloudy coppery orange. The head is billowy and creamy, and fades within a couple of minutes leaving a nice clingy lacing.

The aroma is mild, sweet, and yeasty, with malt and a touch of hops. Flavours of herbs, orange, spice, and hops are detectable. The malt vs. hops is very nicely balanced, with assertive kicks of each alternately taking centre stage. Some butteriness is obvious, but not overwhelming. A nice toasted grainy/grassy flavour complements the dry and bitter in the finish.

The mouthfeel is nice and creamy, with medium carbonation. The carbonation is just a touch more than I'd like it to be, but I'm not really complaining.

Photo of aracauna
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There's not much head to this beer at all, although I've come to not expect much in the head department from Samuel Smith. What it lacks in head, it makes up (partly) in coloration with it's nice medium brown transparent color. It feels really smooth on the tongue, which is nice. The taste starts out sweet and malty and then you notice a bit of roastiness. The bitterness is very mild. I'm not overly big on Pale Ales, but this is a good pale ale.

Photo of mnfinnkidd
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
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....

Photo of nasty15108
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown with gold foil into a pint glass.

A - A deep amber color, with a slightly off-white head. Lots of lacing on the glass.

S - Slightly fruity with a hint of honey and hops.

T - Smooth and creamy with a definate dry finish and slightly bitter after taste.

MF&D - smooth and dry to the palate with a very slight feel of carbonation.

Pairs well with spicy food. This would definatly qualify as a top notch session beer.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of rickyleepotts
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of BDJake
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of wl0307
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
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~~

Photo of phishgator
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. The tight lacey white foam head is creamy in texture. The color is light copper/amber. Carbonation is pronounced. The aroma is of garden variety english hops. The taste is a splash of clean bitterness and a carmel, buttery costing of the mouth. The body is ideal for a pale ale and it is a session brew that could go on for the entire night.

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured and orange – brown cloudy color with a thick head (darkest pale ale I’ve seen). The smell is slightly sweet and nutty. The taste is bitter and nutty…..very well balanced for a Pale Ale. The mouthfeel is full. This beer is smooth and drinkable.

Photo of ludachris
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second one of the 3-pack gift set.

Pours a deep honey brown with a 1 finger of quickly dissipating off-white head that leaves some nice lace.

Big, buttery biscuit character upfront, gooey butterscotch , light toasted malt and subtle, dry grassy hops.

Earthy malt character with buttery undertones, a touch of butterscotch and a dry, grassy hop finish, with a hint of caramel left on the tip of my tongue.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slighty creamy and well balanced. Without the prickly carbonation this would be a ridiculous quaffer, but that's not what this beer is intended for.

Another solid beer from Samuel Smiths, but the least preferable of the other two I've had from them (RIS, and Nut Brown). As I've found in their other offerings, as well as several other English styled beers I've had, the smell is much more pronounced than the taste. But with that being said, that's most likely due to the style and not the beer itself, so I still give it a thumbs up.

Photo of crookedhalo
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paler copper colored with a thin beige head. Notes of diacetyl, butterscotch and a healthy dose of floral English nobles present. Hoppy and smooth; quite enjoyable. Malty and rich with a silky mouthfeel. Slightly effervescent. Hoppier than one might expect, not in an American pale ale way, though. Very drinkable.

Photo of NEhophead
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy, slightly frothy off white head that recedes to a thin film. Some spotted lace, but not much strength. A glowing light maple in color.

A well rounded sweetness; caramel and molasses with a warming toasted malt aroma. Slight almond and hazlenut tones.

Semi-sweet caramel and toasted malt character. This initial sweetness really thins out almost immediately. Some very subdued hop flavors joined by a bit of skunkiness. A minor bitterness that leads to an aftertaste that is filled again with the initial sweet caramel and toastiness.

Medium bodied; a very pleasant maltiness that fills out on the palate quite well. Smooth and balanced.

A good version of the style; a standard of Sammy Smith's. The aromais sweet and inviting, but the flavor somewhat drops off (or is that due to that damn clear bottle?). Nevertheless, a good version of the style I'd be happy to drink anytime.

Photo of beeroclock
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of beerluvr
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a nice off white head, slowly settling on top of beautifully clear golden-amber liquid tinged with red. Nose is the "patented" Sam Smith buttery/diacetyl, with grassy notes & little hop. Taste is marvelously smooth and fruity, nice gentle carbonation makes this go down quickly. Restrained but adequate hoppiness mixes nicely with a medium-bodied maltiness. Finishes slightly sweet, with a bit of dryness coming back after the swallow. All in all, a fine English-style Pale Ale, unique in character and taste.

Photo of Mosley1212
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color is rusty brown with a white cream head that dissolved quickly and didn't stick to the glass.

The smell is very sweet, possibly cream or butter? I also got a whiff of some caramel and fruit.

It tastes good, but not great. I enjoy the taste, but it has a bit of bitter aftertaste that isn't as enjoyable as the drink itself.

Overall, it's a pretty good beer. One that I would recommend to anyone who likes a light beer now and then.

Photo of Antilochus
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550mL bottle (no freshness statement) into a pint glass. Appearance is copper red, nice off white head that quickly turns filmy.

Sharpish hop aroma when poured. Sugared grapefruit. Some malty caramel, candied apple, brown sugar, butterscotch (diacetyl), sour milk, sponge toffee, a bit musty. Something herbal here! Could use some more aromatic hops to keep it fresh.

Fairly sweet on the palate, very very subtly bitter on the back of the tongue. This is a malt bomb. Caramel, bread, apples, brown sugar, metal, salt. Buttery. Subdued alcohol. A little bit of spice. Medium to light bodied, low carbonation.

As an APA - mediocre to bad. EPA - pretty darn good.

Photo of chunkylover53
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 963 ratings.