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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.
very good

658 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 658
Hads: 986
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 14.51%
Wants: 43
Gots: 33 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 658 | Hads: 986
Photo of mothman
2.63/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into my Sam Smith Pint Glass

Pours a 1/2 finger slightly off white head. Fades down quickly. Carbonation bubbles stick to the bottom and a few float to the top. Color is a clear bright golden orange. Not the best retention. No lace observed.

Aroma: The main thing I smell is caramel. Not very hoppy. I haven't had a pale ale in a while, but I am definitely not liking this one.

Taste: Caramel and a lot of malts here. Some grassy hops. There just isn't a lot going on here and I am really not liking any of it. Has a nut taste to it as it warms.

Mouthfeel: A little bitter, nothing compared to an IPA though. Medium bodied. Lower-level of carbonation. Leaves a musky hoppy aftertaste. I am not liking this either.

Overall, I refuse to drain pour any beer, but if I were to do so, this would be the beer to do it. There was really nothing I enjoyed about this beer and I probably won't have it again. Maybe I got a bad bottle.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It is full of pale malts and a mild hop aroma. The taste is also good. This is a fine English-style pale ale. It is light and bitter with a dry finish and a mild hop flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This drinks well and is a good sessions beer.

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Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brownish amber with 1/2" of dense, foamy head with good retention. The smell is cooked apples, faint caramel, and light, bready malts. The taste is bready, caramelly malt with some sweet apple-like fruitiness and faint alcohol phenols. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and well carbonated.

This is a well balanced, malty, delicious example of the style. I've had it on several occasions, and I've enjoyed it every time.

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Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

01/31/09- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 500ml bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my 20oz Pizza Port glass.

Appearance- Copper in color. Rich white rocky 3/4 inch head with some streaks and spots of lace left behind.

Smell- Really didn't have a skunky smell, which I was expecting from the clear bottle. Pretty bready with a rich caramel sweet nose. Maybe a touch fruity...not smelling much in the hops dept.

Taste- Exactly as it smells, except not quite a sweet. Caramel and bready flavor from the malt, seems a tad fruity in a muted sort of way. English hops barely come through, but add a nice touch.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation, thicker for a lower abv beer.

Drinkability- A very nice English Pale Ale. Would have liked a little more of a hoppy aspect though.

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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.

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Photo of Gavage
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange / copper color with a thick 2"+ off white head. Some minor lacing develops. The aroma is great as a bready, nutty caramel tone is easy to detect. The flavor is nice as the mild nuttiness and caramel tones are all over this with a nice mellow bitterness. Some quiet fruity tones lurk in the background.

The mouthfeel is smooth with a slightly dry finish. The malt lingers a bit after swallowing. Nicely drinkable and it is always a pleasure to drink this simple and pleasurable english style pale ale.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours amber/red with a light finger of white head, solid retention, no lace.

S: Caramel, English malt, nothing too substantial.

T: Great Burton-style minerality/sulphur. Classic English biscuit and toffee malt. Lightly sweet. Balanced with an elegant hay/grass at the finish.

M: Very soft carbonation, vibrant and spritzy on the tongue. Medium-bodied.

D: A classic Pale Ale from Sam Smith's. A great beer that will tell you what English pale ales/bitters are about. Great complexity and nuance.

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Photo of tempest
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4-pack from Byerly's in Maple Grove, MN. Appears clear orange-amber with a short white head and bit of lacing.

Great aroma right after pouring. Oh man, I'm getting fresh apple with frosting, oak, French bread and hops spice. The flavor has almost a mild barleywine/old ale malt profile with a dry hit of sugar cookie and soupy caramel. It finishes with a long, moderate strength, slightly grassy, peppercone hops note. Delicious and drinkable. Get this beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Copper color, head dissipates quickly.

S. Slightly hoppy.

T. Sweet like honey with a bit of bitter hops. Well balanced.

M. Light and smooth.

D. Could put a few down. I will say Samual Smith offers better.

Overall: A weaker IPA, left me wanting alittle more.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep copper color with a frothy/creamy white head that persists forever. Smells of light caramel with an earthy/mineral edge in there as well. A light fruitiness and a hint of prunes and dark sugar round out the aroma for me. Taste is heavy on the malt. Caramel and sugar on top of light fruit and butterscotch. I almost pick up some cherries in there, but they seem to disappear as soon as I look for them. Slight earthy element from the almost non existent hops. Slightly sweet mouthfeel, medium carbonation and body. I think this one is decent, definitely not hoppy enough for my American palette. I would love to one day revisit this one at the source, because I'm not so sure this bottle is anywhere near fresh and with no bottle dating I have no way of knowing.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish amber with a slight head that settles to a thin cap. Some sweet malt comes through first in the nose, followed by some copper notes that are typical for the style, and some bready notes on the finish. Tastes of classic biscuity malts, copper, crisp with a soft bitterness, bready on the finish. Crisp with late earthy hoppy bitterbess in the mouth. Very pleasant and a classic of the style.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear fiery copper brew.

Smell is malt and light fruit, mild grain smell too.

Taste is mildly sweet malt and a small sour tang too. There is a mild caramel and nuts taste here too. Nice mellow brew.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very drinkable, a beer for all year long.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear amber, with a nice small but solid head of beige foam. No carbonation visible. Looks syrupy and still in the glass. Lacing is good. Looks pretty tasty.

Copper and malt on the nose, quite sweet, with a hint of preserved lemon citrus character. There's a good backbone of solid caramel/candy sweetness, but it's not huge. Nice characters, but not particularly powerful.

The caramel malty richness is present on the palate too, but there's a good firm English hoppy bitterness to balance it here. Green and sharp and quite robust. Nice, it just cuts through the malt the way you want it to. It leaves the sweetness as the canvas, but the hops as the striking contemporary design swished over the top.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth, perhaps not as creamy as a good real ale could be - and this would benefit from a little of that.

A very drinkable brew, well balanced and well made. If it seems a tad on the sweet side at first, it manages to balance itself out by the end.

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Photo of biegaman
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gemstone amber with blazing orange body and lemon yellow bottom. It has a really nice glow that to the light showcases its full range of tones. Soapy white head slowly evaporates until it becomes shaved down to no more than a thick, glinty outside ring.

The aroma is quite concerning. I wasn't expecting much in the means of hops, but there seems to be none. What was initially a pleasant enough hint of butterscotch became a full blown load of buttery diacetyl after warming a little. Very concerning indeed.

The diacetyl is a little less apparent in the taste. Instead of cheap scorched caramel, the flavour better resembles its pale malt bill, lightly toasted and now sugary sweet and coated with just a dash of toffee. It's still not exactly a taste you want lingering but it's passable.

This certainly isn't the most quenching pale ale either. The texture is chalky and mineral-harsh. The bitterness lingers as well. It dries out the palate; I might actually be more thirsty after every sip. It must be the suspected diacetyl that is making this astringent with the taste of scorched butter.

Old Brewery Pale Ale is a much simpler rendition than the American reinventions, make no mistake. It could even be considered dull in comparison. But still, this was for me, as I'm sure it was for many, one of the first beers to turn me onto new styles, craft breweries, and an overall standard for better taste.

Although this particular bottle may (or may not) have been a little off, I still think really highly of Samuel Smith. They do a great job at producing a range of styles and most importantly, their beers make a great starting place for those looking to expand their palate.

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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~~

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Photo of plaid75
3/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice brown color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger foamy off-white head, nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is sweet, malty, with some caramel. The taste follows the nose pretty much. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice brew, but I still like the American version better.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cream, one-finger head that vanishes quickly leaving no lace. Slightly cloudy amber color. Medium-strong carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is faintly sweet. Starts on the sweet side with some hops hiding in the background. Clean finish, this is a good pale not loaded with hops. $3 for a 550ml bottle from Northend Superette Manchester, NH.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer pours a warm brown crystal clear body with a light tan head of thick creamy foam and a strong carbonation of big bubbles.

S- The slightly earthy aroma of pale grain has a soft green finish with a pine hint to it.

T- The green softly pine snap of hops has a light watery taste to it with a note of lightly toasted dry malt and some biscuit malt qualities to follow.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel gets a bit thinner as the head dissipates. There is a tight clean fizz in the finish.

D- This beer has a smooth clean flavor with a soft hop flavor that is very soft on the bitterness. It is not to exciting with little complexity but I think it has great potential on cask or draft as it is a well built beer.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

18.7 oz brown bottle picked up a couple weeks ago at the Coop for $3.50 ... poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger head lasts quite a bit and leaves very nice lacing... Brew is very clear copper amber... looks pretty for sure ... darker than one would think for a pale ale.

Aroma is low grassy hops with alot of traditional English fruity esters... Light caramel and pale malts are sorta eclipsed by the esters.

Flavor is a very satisfying mix of bready malts and more of the English yeast. Diacetyl is subtle but present in appropriate amounts. Floral hoppiness melds well. Slightly metallic mid palate with the caramels and very light butterscotch mixing in the finish. Middle of the road sweetness with a low bitter backbone.. Flavor is what I think of English as it warms. Palate is on the thick side for a 5% brew.. but persistent small bubble carbonation helps a bunch. Drinkability would be my only "complaint" ... I would need to be in a pub to have more than 1-2... I get bored easily.

Overall, I forget about the Samuel Smith brews because I always seem to have access to the main stable... I really should pick these up more often and I definitely will next time I am going to try and brew anything with an English profile.

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Photo of Tone
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy amber color. Good 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of malt and hops. Fits the style quite nicely. The bitterness is the first sense; chewy, smooth, average carbonation. Tastes of hops first, with a strong malt background. Overall, one of the better English Pale Ale's I've ever had - worth a try.

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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.

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