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

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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale AleSamuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
87
very good

961 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 961
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 36
Gots: 21 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 961 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear russet body (with orange highlights when held to the light) is topped by a rocky light tan head that holds quite well and leaves excellent lace. The nose displays an earthy malt and lightly grassy hops as well as an affirmative diacetyl / butterscotch note. The body is medium light, and combines with a very fine & gentle carbonation to create a nicely creamy mouthfeel. The flavor is mainly of a lightly caramel & biscuity malt that's enhanced by a touch of buttery diacetyl, a distinct earthiness, some mild fruitiness, a light hop flavor and a firm balancing bitterness. In the finish, the hoppiness combines with the sweet buttery malt to give a light spiciness on the tongue and throat similar to that of black licorice candy. A really enjoyable English pale that probably deserves more attention than it gets.

Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz clear bottle that has gold foil on top, no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Bright and copper colored with sea foam like off white lace.

Smell: Hint of hops with a light jolly rancher candy like fruitiness.

Taste: Medium bodied and a dryish mouth feel show on the palate, subdued fruitiness and a malty sweetness holds the front with a mellow biscuity malt taste. Hop bitterness and a slight husk flavour help to balance. A little grainy in the finish with a true pale ale dryness in the end.

Notes: Clean to the tongue with lots of complexity, perfect quaffing material ... A Pale Ale to reckon with.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an amber copper tone with a vibrant and quite fuffy vanilla colored head that leaves lacing sporatically as it leaves speckled lacing. Aroma: European hops take much of the aromatic qualities this beer has to offer with a bit of an offness from the light exposure that it has been under from the cooler I bought it at. Still some noticeable malt caramel sweetness not too shabby. Taste: Flavor has a bready quality from the Sam Smith's yeast used good mix of hops and malts here not over the tops a quality session pale ale very nice. Mouthfeel: Quite uninteresting mouthfeel medium body but nothing special here. Drinkability: Easily would like to have and would be to finish a four pack of these puppies, just at nine bucks a pop I'm not willing to do that.

Haven't had this one in quite awhile, this time around it pours a pale copper hue with a billowing off white light khaki head. Clouded texture which rises above the rim of my glass adds to the eye candy. Served slightly chilled, lacing is sporadic and spotty but this beer is nice. Served into an official Samuel Smith imperial pint glass. Aroma is quite fruiy with some green apple and and bready qualities coming togther. An interesting layer of earthy hops and a touch of mineral water colliding together. I bought a nice gift sampler with big 550 ml bottles of this, the Nut Brown Ale, and Oatmeal Stout with the glass included for around 11 bucks. Flavor is semi sweet with a mix of caramel malt, bready yeast tones, and balanced with fruity ale notes and herbal earthy English hops. The well water used does impart a nice mineral water character that doesn't impart any off flavors, it just really works well here. Mouthfeel is well rounded carbonation is subdued and very smooth on the palate, medium bodied session ale for sure. Drinkability is pretty effortless the only thing better would be a couple pints pulled from a hand pump while hanging in a London pub.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of strong elements of caramel, toffee, honey, nuts and spices with slight touch of hops.

T: The taste is sweet up front with flavors of caramel, honey and some spice. There's a mild hops presence that provides some balance. The malt character is hearty and brings good substance to the beer. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, it's a little sweeter than I've seen in most EPA's but it's a nice beer to drink for a long time.

Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this into the complimentary flared out Samuel Smith pint glass.

A: A nice 1.5 finger frothy head develops on the pour that slowly dissipates. Brilliantly clear amber toasty maple brown color that shows all the little bubbles rising up in the middle. The rich head faded to a semi thick head covering over a minute or so, but stays around there with all the little bubbles rising up.

N: An interesting creamy malt like aroma really starts, with some fruity aromas, almost fruit punch, very light. A rich juicy hop aroma billows out. A slight earthy hop aroma also tangos with the juicy and is accompanied by a light toasty amber malt like aroma.

T: Starts very juicy with a nice hop flavor. That is followed by lots of varying malts, some toasty crystal and amber like malts. A slight earthy juicy hop flavor really hits. Its pretty pale, but not really bitter. A slight fruit flavor also comes out, very light. A slight roasted malt quality comes out, that gives a slight hint of a porter or brown ale.

M: Pretty good body, very lightly creamy, good carbonation.

F: A little bitter, but slightly fruity and sweet actually. Pretty pale and a little tangy. A slight juicy hop flavor sticks around with that fruit punch taste. A little bit more of the earthy hop qualities as well.

Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of drabmuh
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No date on bottle, beer served in an imperial pint glass. Beer is brown / amber and clear. Carbonation is low and the beer forms a tight white head of small bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Beer looks good.

Mostly malt in the aroma. Not too surprising.

Beer is oddly bitter, highly drinkable, medium to full body. Overall its really smooth and there is almost a red like flavor / sweetness in the front of the mouth. Overall its pretty good.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
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 MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of jwc215
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours copper with a slightly off-white head that slowly descends to a thin covering.

The smell is of mild barley and citrusy fruits. Hints of bread come through.

The taste is of earthy hops balanced by a sweet, grainy malt. As the drink progresses, some mild graininess emerges. It has a fairly even balance of sweet malt and soft bitter hops, leaning towards the malt, that remains steady. Basic, not complex, but flavorful and well-balanced in a medium body. The flavors hold up pretty well.

It's smooth. The sweet and bitter intermingle.

This is a fine example of a classic English Pale Ale. Mild, yet tasty, smooth and drinkable.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Large rocky head that leaves plentiful lace. The color is orange, copper. There is the slightest of haze.

Sweet caramel aroma; no noticable hop.

Full bodied with a low amount of carbonation. There is a smoothness to this beer. Lots of berry-like flavors. Nice hop finish. The aftertaste is a combination of light hop and sour milk.

This is what I would call a mellow pale ale. There is none of the in-your-face hop that is common in the American versions of pale ales.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
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 GClarkage
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of woodychandler
4.55/5  rDev +17.6%
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 lacqueredmouse
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of mothman
2.6/5  rDev -32.8%
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.

Photo of tempest
4.22/5  rDev +9%
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.

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 961 ratings.