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

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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
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BA SCORE
87
very good

977 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 977
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 40
Gots: 29 | 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 (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 977 | Reviews: 661
Photo of Grundle20
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance:
The beers is copper in color with a big sticky white head that laces the glass in rings.

Smell:
Initially I pick up a bready sweetness but not so much like dark bread. There is a great floral hop profile to compliment the sweet scent. The only draw back here is a just a touch of detergent scent which is a little undesirable.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Plain and simple, this beer is cold, wet, and refreshing. It starts off again with that sweet white bread character which evolves in to a bitter floral note. The finish is a little nutty and full but has little aftertaste to speak of. Very well balanced and delicious.

Drinkability:
Absolutely one of the best drinking beers I've had in quite some time.

Bottom Line:
This beer is pretty much everything that an English pale ale should be and a few American pale ales should also take notes from this fine beer.

Photo of DrewSnyc667
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Slightly hazy brilliant copper color. Minor activity and almost no head whatsoever

S: Amazingly robust chocolate and caramel. Unique to the stye, I am chewing on the malts before I take a sip.

T: A malt fans delight. Super complex starts like chocolate chandy and ends with a nice little hop crisp

M: Nice amount of carbonation keeps that sweet malt at bay and makes this highly session able

O: I have been really into the English session ales lately and this one is another treat.

Photo of Herrbrokt
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

550 ml. bottle. Served into pint glass. no fresh by.

Pours an amberish brown. Nice beige head that sticks around for the fun.

Smells of dough and fruits.

Fantastic balance in the taste. sweet malt, buttery dough and the all important kick of hops. Real nice.

It lays a bit thicker on the tongue than I expected though. not as dry and bright as many pale ales. only criticism on this one.

overall big hit. I'll pick up a stack.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review from notes on 6/29/09

A - poured clear mahogany amber with a 1" cream colored head in the Samuel Smith's imperial pint glass. Spidery lace patches all around. 4.0

S - very clean and grainy. Pale malty sweetness with a little bit of caramel. Fruits, apples, pears. Fruity and touch of earthiness from hops. 4.0

T - Taste is very similar to smell but the hops are more pronounced in the finish. A wonderfully balanced beer. 4.5

M - Light bodied and well carbonated. Very smooth and clean. A little bit of dryness. 4.5

D - One word: DAMN! 5.0

Photo of mwrseeley
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Excellent. Every sip was a joy. Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale is a beer I will come back to with frequent regularity.

A light beige head, foamy and tightly-bubbled, capped an orange-red body. I loved the smooth creaminess and the beer was carbonated exactly to my liking.

Photo of yelterdow
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the brewery's appropriate imperial pint glass at refrigerator temperature, from a 550 ml. bottle. From a boxed "gift package", which had no exposure to light.

Appearance- Absolutely beautiful deep amber color with a tight, soapy, well formed three finger head that really holds itself together. Sticky lacing rides the glass as the minutes pass.

Smell- Spicy Fuggles and Goldings hop aromas abound... with a rich caramel maltiness that balances the scales. Nicely complex for an English Pale Ale... great bready notes, the ingredients smell clean and pure.

Taste- Wow... the maltiest Pale Ale I've ever tasted, no doubt... this is damn tasty! The bready malt character bleeds seamlessly into a nice, enjoyable hop bitterness that whets the palate for the next sip.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Solid, good carbonation. Bold, in a good way... not quite as slick and rolling as what I'd consider the "perfect" mouthfeel, but good. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this beer.

Photo of Dave1999
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a standard pint glass.

Rich red in colour with a white foamy head.

Smells of malts and grapefruit as well as malts.

A complex array of tastes including hops, malts, lemon, treacle and barley.

Goes down smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

This is just a fantastic pale ale, complex layers of flavour and just a great beer. I'd recommend this to anyone.

Photo of Shovelbum
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this from a Sam Smith sampler box, so it avoided light spoilage despite the clear bottle.

Pours a creamy off-white head over a deep copper body. Substantial aromas of sweet caramel malt and British minerals. More sweet careml malt in the flavor joined by a nice toasted biscuit character, slight frutiness adn a bit of flroal hops. Despite the aroma, the mineral character is not nearly as pronounced as in some other British ales. Mild hop bitterness in the background and makes this a well-balanced pale ale. Smooth and creamy in the mouth. Slightly drying finish.

This is one fine Pale Ale. It far more balanced than the American versions of the style, but retains great depth and complexity, particularly in the malts profile. A great session ale.

Photo of erosier
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a nice clear amber color with a medium sized and semi-medium bodied head that takes some time to settle but laces the glass very nicely all the way down.
S: Smells of very sweet malts, some caramel and toffee, and a bit of hops at the end of the nose.
T: Tastes of very nice sweet and roasted malts, some caramel and toffee flavors come through and then balanced out with a very subtle yet effective hop finish.
M: Very smooth, light, crisp, and refreshing. Perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable beer as all of the flavors blended well and it has a nice feel to it. This is a very good beer.

Photo of leansean88
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me just say that this was not at all what I expected, in a good way. I got this beer because I like Samuel Smith's, not because I'm a big pale ale person. I can easily say it was unlike any pale ale I've ever had. It was a very smooth, very enjoyable taste. It was a hint of hops and malt bathed in pure smooth creaminess. I really cannot get over how much I enjoyed it. Like all Sam Smith's I've had so far, the mouthfeel cannot be beat.

Notes: The Nut Brown was quite nice, the Imperial Stout was amazing, and this beer falls somewhere between those two. I've still got two more bottles of Sam Smith's to try before I pick my favorite. As far as pale ales go, I think I have a new champion.

Photo of meechum
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received this as part of a gift pack from my brother in law for Christmas (Thanks Breadslicer).

A - Poured a deep amber or copper into a Sam Smith's pint tumbler. Had a nice deep 2 to 3 finger head that fell slowly leaving a nice big lace down the glass.

S - Had a nice toasty smell along with a flowery hop aroma

T - Had a big malt presence up front..nice and toasty...some slight nutty flavor..and then a dry bite of hops at the back end that is just perfect couter balance to the sweetness of the malts

M - A nice crips carbonation along with a slightly thick feel..give this beer a wonderful feel

D - To me this is the epitome of what a Pale Ale should be...I could literally drink this all night long..at 5% it's the perfect session brew and it's taste is satisfying and left me wanting more...I was bummed when I finished it and didn't have any more to go...I will be making this a regular place in my weekly beer stock

Photo of woodychandler
4.49/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Photo of Tearik
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
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

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

Photo of jameaterblues
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

Photo of ThreePistols
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

Photo of mcsquint
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
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.

Photo of granger10
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

Photo of alarusse
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

Photo of myost88
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

Photo of the42ndtourist
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
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).

Photo of BBM
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

Photo of dsa7783
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
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...

Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

Photo of TheHammer
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 977 ratings.