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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

945 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 945
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 31
Gots: 20 | 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
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Ratings: 945 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kbub6f
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think I may have a bias for English Pale Ales. I just can't get enough of the rich, tangy, toffee, buttery, nutty, bitter goodness. This one gives up two fingers of noisy, uneven, foamy, cream-colored head. The color of the beer is a nice rusty-red-amber-brown and clear. Sweet, tangy, caramel, toffee, Brit-malt, awesome nose. Caramel starts the show turning full, malty, buttery toward a tangy, nutty, bitter finish. Absolutely delicious.

kbub6f, May 14, 2004
Photo of Parrotbeak
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pristine copper color, with a half-inch, off-white head that fades gradually, leaving some thick lacing on the glass.
Smell is caramel malts and yeast, with some grassy hops. Some citrus notes in there, as well as some buttery toffee notes.
Taste is more caramel notes with some light spices and yeast. Light hops as well. Toffee and citrus notes come in towards the finish. Good malt backbone.
Mouthfeel is a good balance of crispness and smoothness. Finish is fairly clean. Light-to-medium body.
Drinkability is very good. Refreshing and tasty.

Parrotbeak, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of bigrzman
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of 12oz bottle into my Sam Smith pint glass. Pours out with a 1/2 inch head and a nice red-copper color. Carbonation is moderate and appropriate for this style.

Smells of sweet malts, bready overtones, earthy fuggle, hops and stone. Very pleasant.

Tastes like earthy hops up front intertwined with a sweet bread and caramel malts and mild citrus in the back. there is a lot of mineral content in this one.

Mouthfeel is light-medium with a nice drying effect at the back end. Carbonation tingles the tongue.

Drinkability is high. I could drink pint after pint of this excellent Pale Ale from Tadcaster!

bigrzman, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of botham
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pint bottle poured into a nonic. pours a crystal clear golden amber with a few fingers of light orangish, frothy head. moderate lacings here.

aroma is of munich and caramel malts, with a light yeasty character. overall a sweet aroma; no real hop character to speak of. a grainy character is present, acting as an undertone to the malts.

taste is of munich and caramel malts, with floral yeast as well. generally smooth and sweet on the palate, with a dry finish of hops. bold in flavor and well matched in aroma. good concentration, and good breadth of flavor here.

mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a smooth feel until swallowing, when the character goes dry and hoppy. overall a well balanced pale ale.

this is a very drinkable brew. well balanced and bold in flavor, this one is another great from Samuel Smith. cheers!

botham, Dec 12, 2007
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
$3.50 for a 550 ml bottle.

Appearance- dark chestnut brown with a thick creamy tan head that holds together well.
Smell- roasted hops and malt with a hint of woodsiness.
Taste- roasted hops, ash, slight caramel and malt.
Mouthfeel- slighty watery but crisp. Slight to no aftertaste.

Overall- a delicious beer that went well after my jog. A beer you can treat yourself with from time to time.

NJpadreFan, Sep 01, 2004
Photo of BierFan
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 550ml bottle into my Samuel Smith pint glass.

Appearance: Reddish orange with a big light tan head. Nice head retention and lacing.

Smell: Mouth-watering sweet aroma. Faint hops.

Taste: Sweet caramel malts up front followed by a lightly hopped finish.

Another well constructed and subtle beverage from Samuel Smith's. Don't pass this one by.

BierFan, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of Traquairlover
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Nice light caramel, copper color. Had an impressive head but dissipated quickly with no lacing.

S = Nice malty smell, traces of caramel, hay, nuts. Strong malt.

T = Taste closely tracks the smell. Slight hops bitterness, rich, roasted malt flavors, nice caramel taste in the background.

M = Nice mouthfeel but pretty average. Not too thin, good light frothy carbonation feeling.

D = I give this high drinkability. It has a very distinctive taste, while still being firmly a representative English Pale Ale. If it weren't somewhat expensive, I could easily make this my standard beer to always have on hand for guests and myself.

Traquairlover, Nov 24, 2007
Photo of jlervine
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally, proof that my Samuel Smith run tonight was not in vain. This ale poured a copper color with a thick head that took forever to go away. The remnants followed the beer all the way down. Fragrant hops reach my nose from the glass. The taste is fantastic. Sharp, crisp, lightly bitter, and then gone, with a lingering maltiness and bitterness duking it out on the back of my tongue. This is what I like from a pale ale. Simply fantastic.

jlervine, Apr 17, 2003
Photo of Riggo
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A classic, to my mind, but subtle compared to so many of the "big" ales brewed in America. This mellow and tasty ale has a certain un-nameable charm that causes me to love it despite its lack of "bells and whistles". There is something of the old country in this brew that just never quite seems duplicated here in the states.

Fills my glass with a brilliant golden copper color, like dark scotch. A sturdy beige head is tightly-beaded and the texture of sea foam. Head retention is good, with moderate lacing. An understated yet alluring nose is musty and malty with notes of buttersotch, mineral-chalkiness, fruit (apples), caramel, and tobacco. In the mouth, an exceptionally well-balanced ale, nutty and malty, with a clean hop background. Fruity (orange and lemon) and earthy (oak, malt, buttery toffee, caramel) with a long malty yet dry finish. Aftertaste is dry and lemony. Mouthfeel is good, especially the lower carbonation. Drinkability on this one is high, especially in the sense of looking forward to another glass.

A subtle yet charming brew that gives me what I think may just be a hint of what real cask beer in England might be like. I suspect that this ale loses a good deal on the trip overseas and even in being bottled rather than on tap or handpump in the motherland. (Incidentally, I have had a few bottles of this beer that were most likely lightstruck. I had reason to believe that this particular bottle was kept relatively protected from light and that seemed to be borne out in tasting.)

Riggo, Apr 10, 2003
Photo of flyingpig
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (550ml from Fenwick, Newcastle):
A bright red to orange coloured amber with a thumb sized, bubbly white head that settles to a thin lacing around the top.

Mix of malts and fruity hops that make the beer seem quite lively and refreshing. There is some roasted malts, brown sugar and some good fruit smells in the mix as well as some good toffee notes from the middle towards the end.

Fruity with some apples initially followed by a great toffee, a lot of fruity hops and earthy malts flavour mixed with some sugary sweetness to it as well. A great balance and a touch of bitterness right at the end round things off rather nicely.

Medium and quite smooth tasting as well as being very sweet and well-balanced. There is a touch of spice and a nice good amount of carbonation.

Very enjoyable beer with a great fruity flavour and plenty of hops on top of a strong malt base. Everything was well-balanced and worked well together giving a lingering, sweet hoppy taste.

flyingpig, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of acevenom
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours copperr with a biege head. The head dissipates slowly, leaving some lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma is of sweet bready malt and some mild floral hops. The taste is sweet and bready. There are some mild hops on the back end. The flavors are very well balanced. The body is medium with adequate carbonation. The beer is smooth. The drinkability is very high. This is an excellent pale ale and certainly the best English pale ale I've tried.

acevenom, Jun 29, 2012
Photo of pkalix
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

definitely a copper colored pour with a decent opaque one finger head. the head settles nicely and rests on top, becoming a filmy attribute with minimal lacing.
definitely an 'england' style smell (i HAVE to learn my malts and hops more!) and the taste matches the slightly malty smell. typical english smells and flavors. never have been able to explain the differences between english and german brews, but i've always just preferred the german stuff.
i guess the stuff is good to drink; it's a little difficult to session on, but it's not bad overall. i remember having to cross this beer off my list at the famous DER BARON's in las vegas back in the late 80's and it was one of the special ones i looked forward to. it's a good one to try, now and then, but i dont think i want a full six pack of the stuff. maybe a whiskey chaser with it??
one more note- i noticed the pictureon the site has the words on the label with a BLACK background and the bottle i have has a BLUE background. i remember it always being black. wonder if i have something different? or did they change the color?

pkalix, Sep 21, 2012
Photo of ROMER79
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour was straight out of the bottle into a Samuel Smith Pint Glass. It was a copper orange with a thick three finger white/tan head. Honey, citrus, and hops were all present in the smell. It had a good blend of malts, spices, honey, citrus, and hops in the taste. The mouthfeel was smooth and it was a very easy beer to drink.

ROMER79, Apr 01, 2008
Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a pint glass. I'm still wishing for an imperial pint glass to appear into my cupboard...

Pours a great copper color with an almost tan head - solid inch and a half. Really pretty to look at. Lacing is there.

Nice clean hoppiness. A touch of pine, but mostly real hop scent - probably the goldings. A touch of sweet caramel, but mostly hop. Not much spice, but a touch of basil.

Great flavor - lemony zest with a little orange, some rhubarb and a bit of caramel. Nice balance with the clean finish. Worth savoring.

Nice light carbonation, typical of the British style. Well rounded, light mouthfeel, but a nice bit of "zap" at the end to get a touch of the astringent qualities. Easy to drink - glad it comes in the imperial pint.

Try it. You'll probably like it.

BillyBoysPie, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of Offa
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is flavourful, well-balanced, and ultimately very satisfying.

Dark amber, it has a big, dense, light tan head that shrinks only slowly and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is robust malty grain, dust, dry leaves, bread, piney hops, and a tad musty.

The taste is fairly rich and full-bodied with earthy and very leafy malt, light toasted quality, excellent sweet-bitter balance, a hint of sourness, with a nice long, slightly bitter finish of nutty grain and leafy hops.

Offa, May 09, 2008
Photo of wcudwight
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Russet in color with a 1/2" pillowy cream colored head. Head quickly fades to a tight lace on top. Lot's of sweet malt in the nose with some herbal and grassy hop aromas. It's the simple complexity that makes this beer so delicious. Caramal malts, sweet breads, just enough grassy and herbal hops. Incredibly balanced. Incredibly simple. Incredibly delicious. This is the standard to which I hold all English Pale Ales. Very dry mouthfeel with a toasty aftertaste. Easy to drink and very enjoyable.

wcudwight, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of fx20736
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a British Pint glass.

Cloudy translucent, apricot with a 1 finger tan head that leaves a palimpset of nice lacing.

Aroma of bready malt, apricots and clover-honey. As the beer warms Caramel and Diacetyl announce themselves.

Mouthfeel: That Tadcaster water wins every time.

Taste: A bed of malt spread with honey, sprinkled with white pepper that leaves a thick patina of musty, earthy, English Hops, coated in sweet caramel.

Notes: Killer. This beer instantly joins the Pantheon. I allow the sweetness of this beer to pass through the gates unmolested as the overall composition of this masterpiece works in every way.

fx20736, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of JeremiahLyle
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured into goblet with a little over an inch of head. Nice coloring with little solid lacing. Head goes away at a slow jogs pace.

Smell - Very light fruitiness and an almost light candy smell I'm having a hard time describing.

Taste - Consistent as expected with the smell with a nice light bready taste finishing with an almost syrupy bland candy taste that is quite nice and different.

Mouthfeel - mouthfeel is perfect in the sense that it rolls through your mouth not overpowering it like a pale ale should and almost enhances the syrupy taste.

Drinkability - Very nice in the sense that it dries nicely towards the end and leaves your mouth wanting more. Keeps my tastebuds very inquisitive wanting to know what else is in this very well put together beer.

JeremiahLyle, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of daliandragon
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I realize that quality prejudice might come into effect here but how come people slam beers like Corona for a clear bottle and are quiet when the same is practiced by Samuel Smith's?
This is a good looking beer. A rich light amber color with foamy head and thicker than usual lacing. While sniffing I manage to dunk my nose in the foam but still detect fruit and a nice roasted malt.
The taste is long lasting and very satisfying. My first instinct is malt but then I get a blast of hoppy bitterness that continues long into the aftertaste. The finish is a bit dry but overall mouthfeel is quite good. Not a thirst quencher but still very tasty.
This generally seems to be among the higher rated breweries in England if not the whole of the British Isles and this isn't even one of their signature products. Most impressive. I like hoppy pale ales and this one is pretty special, even for the "specter'd isle".

daliandragon, Oct 24, 2005
Photo of TastyTaste
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Came in a clear pint bottle, in a gift set that included coasters and a Samuel Smith tulip. Hazy rust colored with an off-white head. Smells of fruit, hops, and sweetness. Has a hearty flavor that gives way to a layer of hops to finish. Pretty tasty, I could drink several of these. I would like more hops, but I say that about every beer.

TastyTaste, Jan 12, 2004
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a big bottle into a Samuel Smith's pint glass.

A: Amazing looking ale. Amber/red with a perfect creamy tan head.

S: Nice, fragrant hops, caramel, toast and a wave of zesty tobacco at the end. This one screams complexity.

T: A hoppy, caramel character is complimented well by hints of white chocolate and a rich, coffee-like finish.

Drinkability: Excellent. Something you could see Sherlock Holmes drinking in his favorite pub with Watson by his side.

WeezyBoPeep, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of tony223366
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Wow, this beer couldn't look anymore attractive right now. Easily 3+ fingers of off-white, dense foam that has real lasting power. The color is gorgeous too. A deep ruby amber color with perfect clarity. Surprisingly enough... this gets a 5 from me.

S: Tons of crisp aromas. The hops are what get me first are the piney hop aromas. Then it's all about the fruitiness of this beer. I get lots of dark fruits as well as some brown sugar. There's a lot of sweetness in the nose. It smells really nice though.

T: Hops are more subdued than your normal American Pale (duh!) but they are certainly there. This beer is really quite nice. The first thing that I get is some of that piney hop flavors. Somewhat floral. Then it moves to the rich, fruity malt base. I get lots of brown sugar, some nice rich caramel-like flavors. It's incredibly crisp and has a clean finish!

M: I let this beer sit out for a while before I tasted it and it's spot on. It's got a nice light carbonation with a smooth almost creamy body.

O: Wow, such a clean...tasty, complex beer. A true session beer in my opinion. I could drink this straight through dinner and into dessert. The Samuel Smith's India Pale Ale is next for tonight and I couldn't be more excited!

tony223366, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of mithrascruor
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

550 mL. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a coppery-amber color with a nice thick off-white head that lasts for a while and laces the glass.

Smell: Has an aroma of hops, tempered with some fruity smells.

Taste: Plenty of hops, plus a good bit of malty and fruity flavors. Not too bitter, but everything seems well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Relatively light-bodied, with a good tingly carbonation and a mild grainy feel.

Drinkability: Good taste, so you can have a few of these. Alcohol is just fine too.

Overall, quite a tasty beer, and a bit different from other English pale ales that I've had. Nothing spectacular, but definitely a solid and enjoyable beer that I'd be more than happy to have again.

mithrascruor, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of dmamiano
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep copper with a reddish tint to it...one finger off white head..fading fast.
Smells of caramel malts...sweet with a kiss of hops.
Tatse is very malty. Once again I taste caramel , with some bready characteristics.
Not as "hoppy" as I would expect, but very well balanced. I guess it is dead on for style...not the Americanized versions.
Very good beer.

dmamiano, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of Scooter77
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith’s is well known for it’s great beers and this one’s no exception. Pours a hazy golden color with a thin, bubbly head that dissipates quickly, leaving a very thin lace on the glass. Nose is full of floral hops with small hints of sweet malts and caramel. Taste is sweet with mild hops. Very well balanced. This is a very smooth and refreshing brew.

Scooter77, Mar 22, 2003
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 945 ratings.