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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

658 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 658
Hads: 982
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 39
Gots: 32 | 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: 982
Photo of beertaster13
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear bottles creep me out and it seems the light got to this pale. It pours a nice dark brown with light streaks throughout, the head is off white and nice at first then settles to a line. No lacing on the glass. The smell is off the bat skunky, once you get past that you will detect caramel malts and syrup. The taste has hints of roasted grain and strong caramel sweetness, the floral hop is weak and doesn't blend the sweetness of the pale. A little over sweeted for my liking. Medium bodied, better from this brewery out there, better pale ale's as well. (560 characters)

Photo of cbl2
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance:

A clear brown with a huge white head that is slow to settle.

Smell:

Sadly the best description I can come up with is: smells like beer. There are some faint hops and malts, but nothing spectacular.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

I am disappointed in this offering from Sam Smith. It is smooth, but doesn't offer a lot of flavor, or leave you wanting more as the rest of their beverages do. A so-so beer from a spectacular brewer. (442 characters)

Photo of BrewSomerville
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aromas of vanilla, caramel, grass, floral hops, butterscotch.

Looks amber/red in colour. Average sized off-white head. Head fades down to a thin cover in about one minute. Good, fine lacing.

It tasted fairly well balanced. Lots of butterscotch, vanilla, and caramel flavours. Some herbal/grassy hop notes.

Mouthfeel was average with average carbonation, and it was medium bodied.

Overall, it's not the greatest English Pale Ale that I've ever had. It was alright though, not a bad Beer either. Probably one of the highest levels of diacetyl that I have been able to detect in a Beer, it is very obvious. (616 characters)

Photo of fitzy84
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured with a light, amber-like color. Not much retention with patchy lacing. Yeasty aromas with hints of sweet berries and malts. The taste was quite dry and clean. Every sip had hints of hops but dissipated quickly. Crisp carbonation. Overall, not too bad. (258 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep copper/amber hue with a thin lacing of head. There was decent lacing.

The smell had a stong malt sweetness, similar to molasses or corn syrup. Little to no hop profile.

The taste was a bit more balanced than the smell. A clean rich sweet malt foundation, featuring subtle hop highlights.

The mouthfeel was clean and smooth. Nothing really exciting here.

Certainly a drinkable ale, but nothing that really holds my attention. (450 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
2.96/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark copper color with a 1" off-white head that dissipated rather quickly and left no lace.
Smell was of floral hops and caramel malt with a slight skunkiness.
Taste: started with a sweet caramel flavor. Transitioned to a hefty bitter hops taste with a slight sourness. Finished strongly hoppy.
Feel: medium bodied with a rather soda-like carbonation feel.
The lingering bitter taste was not to my liking. Nor was the slight skunkiness. Not a bad beer but I've had better pale ales. (495 characters)

Photo of Sixpoint
2.96/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not too crazy about this one. Yeah, I didn't find any "technical" flaws with this beer, but I guess I just wasn't feeling the chalky flavor. The beer had an incredible alkaline tinge to it that coated every sip. Don't know if it was from the water or from the hops...

At any rate, I would much rather drink a nice citrus-hop flavored brew to complement some hard water rather than some stale, floral weak hops that cover up chalky-flavored beer.

Sorry limies. We do it better. ;-) (483 characters)

Photo of coasterfreak75
2.92/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pour was a dark copper red with a two finger head that quickly dissapated and left a thin white ring around the top of the beer.

The smell was that of Heiniken, really, it was total skunk with only a hint of hop spice and malt.

The taste followed the smell drink for drink, until it warmed slightly. Once it warmed the mouth was filled with a lingering skunk.

Sorry I wasn't totally impressed with this beer. I could have gotten Heiniken for less money, but I didn't dog it because I like Heiniken. (511 characters)

Photo of DaveGood
2.91/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have enjoyed just about every Samuel Smith's beer that I have tried previously, so I had very high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, I found the Pale Ale to be quite average.

It poured a nice copper color with a nice white head that diminished quickly, leaving a nice lace along the glass. The aroma seemed to be lacking as I could only faintly detect some sweet malts, possibly a butterscotch scent but virtually no hops. The taste was very bland as well as it had a subdued sweet malt taste, almost caramel-like flavor up-front and slightly hoppy on the back end. There was not a lot going on with the way of mouth-feel, possibly a little dryish.

Overall, I would classify this as a very average Pale Ale. As far as drinkability is concerned, it goes down extremely smooth but there doesn't appear to be much going on in the way of complexities here. (863 characters)

Photo of Hunter
2.91/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Damn SS and these clear glass bottles...pray I don't get a skunked beer here.

Appearance: Pours the color of a cream ale, with a thick off-white head that billows and sticks to the walls of the glass. No carbonation but then I don't expect any.

Aroma: Unfortunately that skunkiness is there. After that comes the maltiness you expect from an English ale, with a light touch of hops.

Taste: Why, I don't know, but I taste...Heinz 57 sauce. Is that frickin' weird or what? I even washed my mouth out and tried it again...same thing. Curious. There's malt there too, and a VERY faint smack of hops.

Finishes clean enough with a thin mouthfeel. Pretty average by the standards of the style. (698 characters)

Photo of pmcadamis
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this at Cafe Brio in Springfield IL with a medium-spicy order of chicken tacos (so to be fair, my palate may not have been totally "clean" when reviewing this beer). It was brought to the table with no pint glass, so I had to ask for one! Dude, WTF? For a nice restaurant that had a very decent beer list they sure didn't train thier waitstaff very well....the guy was very young and possibly new, and not everybody is as into beer as we BA's are, so I'll forgive and forget.

Once I did get the glass, I poured this beer somewhat aggressively and got a nice two finger head with several big bubbles in the midst of all the tiny foamy ones.

Not much scent going on here. Smells somewhat hoppy and sweet, but not as sniffable as other pale ales. I smell more earth malt tones than I'm used to in a pale ale.

Tastes good, but rather boring and bland. Again, more malt that I would have expected. Has a nice nutty or seedy aftertaste that is pretty damn smooth. This is decent, but it's just not really grabing my attention. There just isn't enough complexity to this beer.

Mouthfeel is also a bit watery, but really smooth and fairly drinkable...especially for those who are new to the craft beer scene.
or just don't like alot of complexity to thier beer.

I personally like a beer to grab me by the balls and beg for attention, and this one is really just not catching my interest. There is nothing bad about this one, but there isn't enough going on to really burn it into my memory. If you ask me what this beer is like a month from now, It will have passed from all memory and just be remembered as a decent pale ale. A really good thing about it though is that It might be a good ale to recomend to those just starting to make the cross-over from the macro world. It's not too intimidating, but for me that's not a good thing. Intimidate me...please! (1,874 characters)

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rich reddish copper with a very light tan head. Head is thick and a bit lacy. Aroma is lightly bitter and metallic.

Taste is a bit matallic and sweet pale malt. Creamy and smooth with a very mild body. Light hops finish. Very drinkable and pretty light-bodied. Nothing really special here. (300 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
2.86/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My bottle was slightly skunked (they love those clear bottles at Sam Smith's),but even that aside I was kind of disappointed at the quality, given how much I love their Oatmeal and Imperial Stouts. The aroma was malty and had a stale aspect to it. The flavor was lacking in hops but still managed some bitterness in the finish. All in all I expected better. (357 characters)

Photo of JoeAmerican77
2.83/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out into a samuel smith pint glass. Its a tonic dark red fire amber with orange licking the sides when held to light. A formidable off-white head that lasts at its inch and a half til drunk.

Smells a tad bready, some almond and soft leather, slight yeast and floral.

Tastes sweet at first touch with a hint of alcohol at the swallow. There is a little bit of bitter dough and an oh so slight metallic tinge, which is strange considering it goes from stone to glass to get here in the states. Not what you go for if you want an american pale ale. Mmm some citrus/strawberry hits further into the session.

Mouthfeel is lower to medium body with nothing sticking but a tannin feel on the back of the tongue, and again, i know this is taste oriented, but I'm getting iron flavors when focusing on the back of the feel. Light comfortable carbonation.

Semi easy to drink, it is not a beast in any way too powerful, nor is it too weak for any mention, but it really is just not that good. I'd recommend going a different direction when it comes to the purchase of this beer, but hey Sammy Smith has a great Imperial Porter as well as other brews much more lauded than this.

The price was reasonable, but I would not buy this beer again so I guess it is not worth it. (1,270 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.82/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear, dark auburn brew with a large foamy tan head. Carbonation is barely noticeable. Some lacing, but not much.

S - A light caramel malty aroma with hints of biscuits and some esters of elderberries and currants as well.

T - The flavor is initially of some light and biscuity malt, then it is joined by some sharp grassy hops that I would generally expect to find in a lager. The aftertaste is a bland, clean bitterness with only a faint lingering hop. A little unpleasant.

M - Eerily silky with a medium body and a harsh carbonation - like sand in the silk. Not very refreshing.

D - Pretty good. A classic English pale ale. I might have again, but I doubt it. It isn't really my style. (696 characters)

Photo of FLima
2.81/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Amber color, a bit darker, and with a decent head.
Faint smell of caramels, malt and vanilla.
Taste follows smell, sweet malty taste with caramels and vanilla. Flavor got a bit unpleasant after it warmed up, a bit soapy.
Light to medium body with low carbonation.
Malty beer, traditional English Pale ale, don’t look for complexity. Second time I tried and this one didn’t go well, maybe because I had it too warm, I will need to give it a new try. (452 characters)

Photo of midwestbrewers
2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark copper color with a 1 finger head that dissipates after a bit. Creamy looking head leaves some lacing.

S: Hints of sweet caramel and malts with a touch of chocolate in the background.

T: Crisp and carbonated. Malty body throughout the drink but lacking in a hops character.

A twist on what I was expecting for a pale. This being my first EPA i was sadly surprised at the lack of a hop character. The flavor profile was excellent but lacked in that citric bite. Glad I tried it but would probably not purchase again. Good brew Samuel Smith Old Brewery. (570 characters)

Photo of biglite351
2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - slightly cloudy amber color. Nice tall creamy head that leaves some lacing.

S - Malty like a stout but then a fruity offness counes out.

T - tangy... fruit and malts, some caramel flavor in the mix. mnild bitterness in the after taste.

M - mild coating, a hit on the entire front of the tongue.

D - quite drinkable, but not my overall style. (349 characters)

Photo of cheers2beers
2.78/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: This beer pours a pale looking dark amber with a white head that didn't stack up very high at all. No laceing but plenty of beads can be found.

Smell: Has woody aromas with some sour pale malts, a hint of tangerine hops. No alcohol in the nose.

Taste: The flavors are bitter sweet malts with a vague hop character. Nutty/woody palate blended well with a slight alcohol.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is mostly watery with a bitter nut finish. Light to medium body with a medium level of carbonation.

Drinkability: I have come to the conclusion,that I am a fan of American Pale Ales over English. This wasn't a bad beer but it doesn't have that hoppy character that I have come to love from beers such as Sierra Nevada and Sam Adams. It is worth a try but I think most people will agree with my previous statement.


Cheers2Beers (850 characters)

Photo of jjanega08
2.77/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A= pours a pretty good looking amber color. Nothing too great but really pretty decent looking. More of a golden amber color when you hold it up to the light. The head is a nice two and a half fingers high and is a nice white color with great retention on it and some pretty nice lacing.

S= The first thing I notice is some grainy earthy hops. I notice quite a bit of yeasty odors coming from the nose as well.... smells a lot like a brewery I think. Like fermenting beer. Interesting I've only smelled this at a brewery or in the closet that I keep my homebrew in. The malt in it smells almost like a fresh crush and grainy nothing sweet comes from the nose like a wort or caramelly sweetness. Really nothing too good here.

T= Nothing really special here either. The taste is a lot better than the smell however. Again the malt is a little grainy tasting. The hops are earthy and of the english style all the way. Mellow and smooth. The thing that stands out about the taste however is that it has a mineral sort of quality to it. Sort of irony like well water. I dunno maybe I'm crazy. A little doughy in the finish.

M= Low carbonation and great crisp finish. This is one area in this beer that I can agree with. Feels great.

D= I dunno what is wrong with this beer. Minerally and sort of unrefined tasting. I won't be buying it again but I would have no problem drinking it again. Just a weird beer. (1,407 characters)

Photo of geexploitation
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Maybe I was expecting something a lot different in a "Pale Ale", but I was surprised by how weak this is. I mean, the English like their hops (bitter, anyone?), but this Pale Ale is weak weak weak. The color and nose and nice, the color being a rich caramel brown and the nose filled with nice, bakery-type spicy smells. The taste is pretty blah -- not much going on in the malt, aside from the cookie flavors implied in the nose, and no hops to make up for the malt deficiency. This brew starts out weak flavored, weak bodied, and, for me, continued to seem weaker and weaker as my palate adjusted to it.

The bottom line: if you want to give Mr. Sam Smith your money, exchange it for some Oatmeal Stout or Imperial Stout. (725 characters)

Photo of enjambed
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%

Serving: Undated cold bottle, standard pint glass

Look: Mostly brown with orange highlights, and very hazy. It generally looks like iced tea. Moderate pour produces little head that soon disappears, lacing is moderate

Smell: This is new to my palate. It's like a combination of fruits and rich, burnt(?) caramel, also some metallic notes.

Taste: That burnt caramel flavor dominates, with some other flavors like fruits or maybe herbs. Also earthy. Finish is harsh.

Feel: Rather light, but not fully watery. Finish has a mouth-drying astringency like sucking on a tea bag, very unpleasant.

Overall: Not what I was expecting even for an English Pale Ale. The astringency is overpowering and unpleasant, and I had not had any beer, let alone a pale ale with such a strong caramel flavor. However, I suspect there was something wrong with this bottle: The color was darker than most others described it, the astringency was overpowering, even for an English Pale ale the hops were non-existent, and it really just seemed off. I'm leaving this review for future comparison to other English Pale Ales. (1,100 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ingredients: malt, hops

Clear bottle gold foil. Where is the beer here? What is up with the clear bottles? Reddish color, thin head, no lace. Barely perceptible malty aroma. Weak bitterness. I imagine a fine beer here out of respect for the brewer’s other products, but it must be the clear bottle that has sapped all the character from this beer. I can’t believe I will bother much more with these brews. Why would I spend big money on them when their character is sapped by the brewer putting them in clear bottles? This is simply a waste of craftsmanship (562 characters)

Photo of LiquidBreadMan
2.71/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The clear bottle is attractive, but I have to wonder if it affected the taste in a bad way. No doubt, Samuel Smith Pale Ale looks good -- really good. However, the taste reminded me of the canned Carling Black Label that we used to hide in the woods, as young teenagers.

The poured appearance is richly golden with a light amber hue (hey, I said it looked good), with a thick short-lived head. Aroma wasn't bad, but it was on the malty side -- not citrusy such as I expect with a Pale Ale. The taste was very Budweiser-esque, or warm canned Carling Black Label: overly sweet (corn, no doubt) with a putrid (skunky) finish. Carbonation, which may have helped this brew, was almost nonexistent. (695 characters)

Photo of mpyle
2.68/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Copper color, brilliant clarity. Pours a nice white head, tight and creamy and with good retention.

Initial aroma was somewhat mineraly (sp?), but ultimately a rich maltiness with a hint of raisin. Slight earthy hop aroma?

Starts with some malty sweetness, but becomes somewhat sour by the finish. Finishes with a stale bitterness. Tastes old and oxidized.

MF - Light to medium body, fairly light carbonation. No astringency, but some drying on the outside of the tongue, indicative of oxidation.

Overall - No freshness date on the bottle, but guessing the single bottle I picked up at Trader Joes isn't exactly brewery fresh. Put an asterisk on this review - given the reputation of the brewery I'm sure a quality sample of the beer is significantly better! (763 characters)

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