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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

970 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 970
Reviews: 659
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 38
Gots: 27 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 970 | Reviews: 659 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beastdog75
3.49/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly everything Samuel Smith produces can be considered a classic, and their Pale Ale is certainly no exception. This is a good pale ale for almost any occasion. Of course, it is also customary to gripe about the clear bottle that this is served in, but I found that the exposure to light didn't effect the flavor as much as I thought it would have.

Sam Smith' s Pale Ale pours a golden amber color with hints of red and brown. A slightly off-white head forms and lasts for about 3 to 4 minutes, leaving some whispy lace behind. The aroma unfortunately did suffer from being lightstruck, lending a skunky aroma, but it managed to subside enough to give some hints of caramel. There is a smooth, moderately carbonated mouthfeel to this beer. As mentioned, the skunk did not hinder the beer all that much. There is a good malt presence with notes of caramel and buttery toffee. A light-moderate harshness/roughness was present in this beer, and it might be due to the light exposure, but I have nothing to back that up. I found the hop presence leaned towards the stronger side of things, with the beer being bitter and drying in the finish. The aftertaste had more notes of caramel, and the bitterness lingered long after the beer was done. This one finishes out with a light alcoholic warmth.

I do see this beer as being a good pairing for pub grub: perhaps some bangers and mash, fish and chips, or maybe even a prime rib. This is a good drinkable pale ale, and other strong offering from Sam Smith's.

Photo of Tim460
3.49/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a clear amber color with a nice off white head that lasted quite a bit before turning to lace. Looks great. Hops as well as a nut smell is present. Taste is just average. Slight malt taste, hops become apparent halfway through but nowhere near as apparent very subdued. Medium bodied with a dry finish. High drinkability due to low alc % and sublte taste.

Photo of rangerred
3.49/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

550ml bottle into an English pint.

Pours a crystal clear deep copper with a one finger fluffy off-white head. Ok head retention with a few streaks of lacing.

The aroma I feel is a little on the weak side and is full of dark fruit, caramel, and toast. I would have liked it all to be just a little more forward, however.

This same lack of excitement carries over into the taste. Nice dark fruit and some grassy hops up front quickly followed by toast and burnt caramel. A nice moderate bitterness lasts throughout adding to the burnt character. Full, slick mouthfeel ending with a bit of stickyness.

Overall, a decent offering from Samuel Smith but I find it a bit lacking. There are better examples out there.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer seemed a bit excited from the trip from the corner store to my glass. It foamed up a bit upon popping the cap, but I managed to rescue most of it into my glass. As I am pouring this brew, I get definite, disappointing notes of light struck beer. The beer is topped by a frothy, initially three-finger thick, large bubble, lace inducing, tan colored head. The beer itself is a brilliantly clear, ruby hued, dark amber color. The light struck skunkiness seems to fade with time, and notes of toffee, a wisp of diacetyl, toasted grain and some caramel do a fair job of masking that particularly offensive aroma. There seems to be a touch of earthy, lightly herbal hops, though one could certainly wish for a bit more.

My taste buds are greeted by a nice sharp bitterness from the get go, it combines with the carbonation to give this brew a decent bite through to and even magnifying in the finish. Soft fruity notes of apples, a touch of grape-like raisin and some notes of lightly sweet caramel balance out the hop bitterness. There is a nice level of underlying toasted malt character here; it gives the beer a sort of toasted biscuit type note. Also there is just a wisp of diacetyl again, it adds a really subtle buttery quality to this brew, but I am a touch sensitive to this particular flavor. It is not offensive though and helps to add some more complexity to this brew. While light and quaffable, this brew has a certain malty heft to it that is quite nice, again it is another thing that helps to balance the noticeable bitterness.

This is not a bad brew, but it is certainly not great either. Shipping this in brown bottles would certainly help this brew immensely. Still I am perfectly happy sipping an Imperial pint of this brew. While some flavors may be too much, or others lacking, this beer really struck a nice balance between the hoppy bitterness and the multifaceted malt character; it is something the English seem to do well, even in a beer like this.

Photo of stangbat
3.47/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I generally really like Samuel Smith's beers, however this one will not be on my regular rotation. It smells great, a little like their Nut Brown Ale, which along with the Oatmeal Stout are two of my favorite beers. It looks nice, and the mouthfeel is good.

But it just seems like it is lacking flavor. It seems like the beer finished a little dry and bland. I can't really put my finger on it though. Maybe my palate is accustomed to American Pale Ales that are higher hopped. Overall, not bad. But I don't think it is worth over $2 a bottle, which I will gladly pay for their Nut Brown or Oatmeal Stout.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poors a rich brwon with a small creamy head which quickly disappears. Color is wonderful. Some lace present. Smell is a classic english ale smell. More malt then hops. Not much hops on the taste, all malt on this one. Very smooth going down, no real after taste to seak of, but again very smooth and drinkable. Would drink this again, not a goto kinda of drink, but would turn it down if served.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with a white creamy/foamy head. Nice lace present on the glass throughout. Faint toast or biscuit smell, and not much else. Tastes slightly buttery with a nice bitter finish. This is a drinkable beer. This seems to be an old reliable of mine that I revisit every now and again. Sometimes there is a thirst for a English Pale, and this seems to hit the spot.

Photo of womencantsail
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a burnt orange color with a nice finger or so of slightly off-white head.

S: Light floral aromas up front but other than that, sort of blah. Toffee and stale bread with a small amount of butter in there, too. Slight butterscotch as well.

T: Luckily the flavor picks things up a bit. Still on the sweet side, as to be expected from an English pale. Malty all the way with caramel and toffee, but there is a nice little bite of floral hops and bitterness.

M: Medium in body with a lively carbonation and a dry finish, despite the sweetness.

O: Wish I could give this one a higher score, but the nose was just off-putting. Too bad.

Photo of Buebie
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I do not know the age of the bottle, no freshness date. A brown bottle though with a gold tin wrap.
Poured into the glass, producing a fairly frothy 1+ inch head. Receding slowly and leaving a thin cap of retention. Decent lace here, although thin, leaving nice coverage.
Color is mostly amber with some golden glow.

Aroma is sweet and inviting with bready aroma and grains. Hops are not much present in aroma.
Although no hops are detected, this still smells very good.

Taste is also fairly sweet with plenty of cereal grain flavors, become a little husky into the swallow. I'm betting this bottle is not fresh, because hops are not really present in taste either. Although there is a slight grassy flavor and some mild bittering pairing with the husky flavors on the finish and linger.
Honey malt and cara 60 or something similar is keeping things sweet and delicious. Drying into the finish and follwoing the pale ale style well in that respect.

Mouthfeel is light in body and also in carbonation. Although present, does not bite.

Decent beer, not somthing I'd seek out. Although I'd really like to taste this fresh, I think it would be a completely different beer.

Photo of sacfly
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

550mL, holiday gift pack 2005
Pours a clear, amber color with a huge frothy head of medium bubbles. Smell is grassy and musty. A hint of malt.

Taste is slightly sweet with an astringent character. Most defiantly an English pale ale. Dry in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel a bit lacking, but not too watery.

Don’t expect even a hint of American pale ale here. I must say I didn’t really like it at first. But about half way through I found myself getting used to the astringency and enjoying it.

Photo of erz316
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle into sam smith pint glass

body isn't quite as pale as it is a slightly copper tinged brown. the body is completely transparent, and the head is a slightly off white orange colour. the nose is dull, a slight aroma of hops at the most. the taste is also quite dull, a touch of hops that leave a long biter aftertaste and a bit of a grainy taste. just kind of a 'meh'. the body has some heft to it and the carbonation is fine.

Photo of jimmah120
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no date

Pours a slightly dark amber with a small creamy head. Smell is oak, caramel, toasted malt, earthy hops. First impression is oak, rosin, followed by grassy herbal hops with the malt in the background. Aftertaste is tart and almost sweet. Mouthfeel is a little watery.

Interesting pale, but not earth-shattering.

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a 2" head which dissipates to 1/8". Surprisingly dark for a pale ale, looks like Lipton tea. In fact both in bottle and in glass my sample looks surprisingly dark compared to the photo in the BA reviews. Has a nice creaminess, some malt, and a hint of coffee in the flavor. Honestly, to me this seems like an aborted stout, like they started to make multiple things out of their stout process and with more time or a little tweaking this pale ale would indeed have been a stout. Enjoyable, but not what I expect from a pale ale.

Photo of JayQue
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was the first English Pale Ale I have tried. I noticed a lot of carbonation as I opened the bottle. The bubbles rushed to the top of the bottle and bubbles formed at the top of the bottle. I was expecting an impressive head after this but there was almost no head and it dissipated very quickly. The color was dark, clear amber. The taste reminded me of a Marzen and also a bit like Smithwick's. The mouthfeel was a bit thin (I'm comparing it to Smithwick's). Drinkability was ok, but this is not a beer I would necessarily seek out. Pretty average.

Photo of froghop
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours is a clear amber-orange with a tint of red, a small off-white head that dissipates quickly, and a little lacing.

smell of malt, grain, a touch of caramel, some citrus, and some roasted nuts.

taste is creamy up front, well balanced hops and malts, grain, some caramel, and hops in the back, end is dry and a tad bitter.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish/ yellow color with a small light tan head. In the aroma, sweet and somewhat buttery. In the taste, a small hop and fruity, like pears. A bitter mouthfeel and a semi dry fruity pear aftertaste. Smooth and easy, and interesting fruity pear taste.

Photo of jwswigs
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of zeff80
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a burgandy/orange color with a tan, bubbly, three-finger head. It left a small amount of lace.

S - It smelled of malt and clove. There was also a fruity aroma.

T - It tasted of mild malt. It had an earthy grassiness that added a slight bitter flavor.

M - It was smooth,soft and creamy. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is an okay beer. It just isn't something I'd run out a buy every week.

Photo of climax
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sam's Old Pale poured a dark amber with a reddish tone. The bottle erupted when i tore the top off and the fizzyness of the head reflected that. Very bubbly beer.

The smell had cidery green apple tones that I didn't particularely appreciate. Euro lager and skunkiness eventually faded as it warmed to more pleasant sweet caramel, toffee, and honey oat bread.

The taste was better than the nose, the cidery nuisance was more subdued. Astringent caramel, and bread were accompanied by a citrusy hop note. It was mostly sweet with a nice bitter balance.

The feel and bodyy was a little on the light side. The carbonation was very sharp initially and kept my cheeks puckered through the finish. This one's not bad, but not the brewery"s best.

Photo of OldYoda
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a color a little darker than amber into a standard pint glass, with a very modest white head and minimal lacing.

Smell is subdued with an almost apple cider aroma.


Taste follows smell - very subdued with minimal hops an apple like lingering taste.

Mouthfeel was a little thin and watery.

Drinkability was excellent - a number of these would be no problem.

Overall a very decent beer but a little disappointing as I was hoping for more.

Photo of July2Nov
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Ruby-tinted golden brown. Not much of a head at all on this one.
S: Mild with a slight bannana hint to it.
T&M: Generally mild and a bit watery w/ a slight carbonated tail to it. It's good without being spectacular.
D: It is so mild that I could pound 3 to 4 in any given time. I'm just a tad dissapointed with this one because overall, the companies brews are pretty good.

Photo of ybnorml
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clean honey/amber ale with a small beige head. Beer has a lightly sweet kind of grassy aroma. The flavor has a light spicey hop bitterness that is followed by a nice malty sweetness that settles on the middle of your tongue. A nice session ale but not outstanding.

Photo of RJLarse
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bomber of Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a brown brew about the color of tea. Creamy thick off-white head has an orange tinge to it.

Smell is earthy sweet, hints of peat and toffee with a litle rum presence.

Taste is like the smell. Peaty, with a rum candy flavor. Mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium body, mildly carbonated with a dry bitter aftertaste.

Average drinkability I guess. I'm not much on the style and the English brews always seem to have a rum candy or brandy flavor to them that I find a bit off

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a huge, and well-retained creamy head, with a pale amber color. Aroma is soft, slightly floral, faint fruitiness, some citrus, but very mellow in the hop department. Overall, a sweetish palate, practically nil on the bitterness scale.
Light texture, very easy mouthfeel, lacks some substance. Doesn't need any really, for the purposes of this style. It's a pub ale, with not so much flavor to take your attention from the football or the darts. Slightly coppery, tangy taste, a little buttery.
My least favorite Samuel Smith's beer, just too mild and pale for my taste, although perfect for what it tries to be. I compare all "pale ales", sometimes unfavorably, against hoppier American craftbrew versions.

Photo of Greggy
3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A soapy white head. Minimal lacing but thin cap.

S Pine resin, marmalade, earthy

T earthy pine and some distant marmalade finish is quick

M on par per style. Would like to see more carbonation.

D ok but nothing special. Overall a textbook English pale

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 970 ratings.