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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

950 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 950
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 32
Gots: 19 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 950 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

rhoadsrage, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

DoubleJ, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Zorro, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

jdhilt, Aug 02, 2005
Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +3.4%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

Stinkypuss, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.55/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

Mebuzzard, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Wasatch, May 03, 2009
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +3.4%

BillRoth, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

LXIXME, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

ppoitras, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

brandoman63, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of biegaman
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

biegaman, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +3.4%

rab53, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of plaid75
3/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

plaid75, Jul 03, 2006
Photo of tdm168
3.85/5  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.

tdm168, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of sendbeer
4/5  rDev +3.4%

sendbeer, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of Viggo
3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

550 ml bottle from the Christmas pack.

Pours a clear light coppery orange, thin big bubbled off white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin collar, not really any lacing, looks okay. Smell is malty, quite sweet and bready, some caramel, biscuits, brown sugar, light raisin, some fruit, not too bad. Taste is similar, light flavour, bit of caramel and raisin, quite toasty, a bit of fruit, light floral hopping, nutty in the finish, weak and watery. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low to medium carbonation, goes down like water. I really remember this one being quite a bit better, weak watery pale ale.

Viggo, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Weird appearance, a red and copper color, not seen too often, if ever in a pale ale. Aroma is not apparent.

Taste, a little earthy grassy minimal hop presence. Tastes mild and balanced. Easygoing. Smooth mouthfeel. Approaches the nut brown ale in that characteristic. Tea flavor. Toffee too.

Beerandraiderfan, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

JohnGalt1, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of DrJay
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear amber/red colour topped by a thin, off-white head. Both retention and stickage were pretty good.

Smell: Nice maltiness with plenty of caramel and a hint of toastiness. Some light fruitiness and a soft floral/perfumy hop character.

Taste: Moderate bitterness with a pleasant malty sweetness. A bit buttery, perhaps a touch of diacetyl. There's also a bit of fruit character present. The finish is on the dry side, with a harsher bitterness. Still, quite enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation was higher than expected. Medium/light body and some slickness. Very creamy texture aided by fine CO2 bubbles that appear on the palate.

Drinkability: Basically a mellow and inoffensive beer that's great for a session. Great aroma profile and mouthfeel, along with decent flavour, keep it interesting.

550 mL clear bottle with no freshness date.

DrJay, Feb 01, 2005
Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev +3.4%

rolltide8425, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper-gold and very clear. Off-white head dissappears, but leaves some evidence of lace.

S: Mostly malt (bready & biscuity), with a hint of Nobel hop aroma.

T: Caramel & bready malt, good amount of bitterness, with only a little fruity esters (quite tame for British yeast). Only a little hop flavour (mostly earthy). Flavours are light, but well rounded. Could use a little more depth (fruity yeast & hop flavour).

M: Moderate body and carbonation, with a fairly dry finish.

D: Well rounded, easily approachable, very drinkable. Would be an excellent session beer.

Derek, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of Tone
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Tone, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of johnnnniee
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

johnnnniee, Dec 20, 2009
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 950 ratings.