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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

961 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 961
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 35
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 haz77
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A – Pours a deep orange-hued copper, with a frothy off-white head. This falls to a thin cap. Small bubbles of low carbonation.

S – Grassiness, background citrus, boiled sweets.

T – Breadiness up front, with a little sweet fruit coming through. Slight caramel before the restrained hops come through and lead to a dry, crisp finish.

M – Crisp, refreshing, medium body, with soft carbonation.

D – Easy drinker, with subtle flavours. Well worth a try.

Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice one inch thick white head with a little lace to be left behind and it dosen't dissipate that quickly either. There is an aroma of a carmelly sweet malt and a floral hop accent. The taste is salty due to the water with a definte sweetness due to tha carmel malt and a hop flavor that follows up to finish with a hop bitterness. Body is horrible as this beer has so much carbonic bite that it is a task in itself to find the flavors while the carbonation attacks your tongue. This beer is probably excellent if it is on cask but with artificial carbonation it is not very good, though maybe i served it too cold and too much of the carbonation was in solution instead of dissipating on opening the bottle.

Photo of phishgator
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. The tight lacey white foam head is creamy in texture. The color is light copper/amber. Carbonation is pronounced. The aroma is of garden variety english hops. The taste is a splash of clean bitterness and a carmel, buttery costing of the mouth. The body is ideal for a pale ale and it is a session brew that could go on for the entire night.

Photo of BeerRunner
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Premo88
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

18.7 oz. bottle (550 ml) poured into pub glass

L: clear reddish brown with tan head ... classic and beautiful. definite red in it; amber incarnate. my gosh is she pretty. not a huge head unless i pour it hard. small, tight bubbles of carbonation really pepper the surface.

S: as good as it gets. seriously, I don't see how a beer can smell anymore BEERY! no doubt, there's lots of malt here, but about halfway down, I'm smelling the hops.

T: uh-oh.

This is disappointing because it's off the charts in appearance and smell, but it simply lacks that special oommph finish of what I think of as a great pale ale. Very balanced, starts off with good bitter bite up front but quickly smooths out into some malty goodness. Where I think it goes wrong is it's not finishing up sweet enough for my tastes ... not how I remember from the the first time I tried it in the mid-1990s. It's much better than Old Speckled Hen, for what that's worth.

F: just fine ... good carbonation, good weight, not overly thick.

O: for such a perfect presentation, it lacks in the most important category: taste. It's not bad. Far from it. It's good, and at 5% abv, you could session the hell out of this taste and be happy. If you want a break from the hop-crazy American pale ales/IPAs/DIPAs, good ol' Sam Smith's will give you that at a decent price. (about 18 cents per oz. in my neck of the woods)

BUT my bet is I am going to find better at a cheaper price. Still, when in doubt, this brew is fine.

Photo of HugoGrim
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 550 ML bottle into a standard pint.

Semi-transparent brown body, thin white head. Very little visible carbonation. Aggressive second pour produced a much nicer head with decent lacing.

Toasted nutty aroma with light hops.

Flavor is of roasted nuts, biscuits, acidic hops.

Photo of Hunter
2.93/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Damn SS and these clear glass bottles...pray I don't get a skunked beer here.

Appearance: Pours the color of a cream ale, with a thick off-white head that billows and sticks to the walls of the glass. No carbonation but then I don't expect any.

Aroma: Unfortunately that skunkiness is there. After that comes the maltiness you expect from an English ale, with a light touch of hops.

Taste: Why, I don't know, but I taste...Heinz 57 sauce. Is that frickin' weird or what? I even washed my mouth out and tried it again...same thing. Curious. There's malt there too, and a VERY faint smack of hops.

Finishes clean enough with a thin mouthfeel. Pretty average by the standards of the style.

Photo of RyanPS
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of 4000qtrap
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Source/Serving: 550ml. Bottle, no expiry date.

Smell: Caramel and apple cider that's a little musty with a pleasantly smooth and creamy earthy edge.

Taste: Smooth and creamy up front that's mostly cider with a hint of caramel. Yeasty and bready sweetness in the middle and just enough bitterness to offset the sweetness up front. Incrementally more caramel which is soft and pleasant along with a medium body. On the way to the finish hops become more apparent with an oily mouthfeel and earthy/grassy/herbal tones that are soft and pleasant and some biscuit and some sharpness from the grains. The dryness is a nice change of pace from the sweet cider up front. Ends as it begins with sweet cider and caramel, but as it lingers a pleasant and substantial dry herbal bitterness hangs around for a while and it much appreciated.

Notes: Well done. Another Sam Smith classic.

Photo of Cozzatoad
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, best before april 2012

A- Deep and slightly hazy copper colour. Huge and healty off-white that shows very good retention throughout the whole tasting, while also leaving some nice amounts of lacing on the sides of the glass

S- Soft and slightly earthy combination of bready and caramel malts, with some light background fruity notes. Has some kind of a buttery feel to it

T- Biscuity malts with sweet notes of caramel and maybe honey. A slight leafy/earthy feel from the hops (Fuggles?) may be noticed. Some delicate fruity undernotes show up as the smell suggested. Finishes surprisingly quite dry, with a nice hint of clean hop bitterness that makes you longing for another sip. Perfect balance between sweet and bitter notes. Not extra flavourful or complex but somehow still highly satisfying

M- Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Soft, butterish mouthfeel on both tongue and palate. Dry on the finish and in the aftertaste as already mentioned

O- A very fine, perfectly balanced ale that manages to feel highly satisfying despite not having loads of flavours or high compexity. Highly drinkable and even decently refreshing

Photo of electtodefer
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Sixpoint
2.95/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not too crazy about this one. Yeah, I didn't find any "technical" flaws with this beer, but I guess I just wasn't feeling the chalky flavor. The beer had an incredible alkaline tinge to it that coated every sip. Don't know if it was from the water or from the hops...

At any rate, I would much rather drink a nice citrus-hop flavored brew to complement some hard water rather than some stale, floral weak hops that cover up chalky-flavored beer.

Sorry limies. We do it better. ;-)

Photo of EatsTacos
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Its pretty hard to knock a Samuel Smith and this one is no exception. Nothing really to blow you away, but I can't really find anything I'd change in this beer.

Aroma is mainly malt sweetness with hops faintly in the background.
The taste is sweet sugary malt upfront that fades into a buttery toasted flavour. There are some herbal hops but they are minimal and in the background. The finish is very dry and slightly bitter. Not as balanced as I would expect, but the taste is great.
Mouthfeel is pretty moderate and a medium carbonation as well.

Nothing wrong with this beer, its a little toned down compared to some American pale ales around but honestly this is textbook right here. Nothing but good things to say.

Photo of BrownNut
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Copper/amber. True to form, this Samuel Smith's yields a thick biscuit of textured foam that lingers. You could eat it with a spoon.

Smell - very yeasty, like rising bread dough

Mouthfeel - kind of soft

Taste - what at first seemed fruity became more like honey. It's malt but leans towards a honey taste. It's pretty light and easy drinking, bordering on watery but not quite getting there. The fruit peeks back in just a bit now and then. A little banana? Apple? Not sure.

Aftertaste - Just the barest hint of bitterness. I love the smell as I exhale out of my nose for a while after a sip. The taste fades away fairly quickly. After five minutes it's at a very low level and the mouth feels clean and barely astringent.

Overall - Despite loving Samuel Smith's, I have steered clear of this one for years because the Nut Brown and the Oatmeal and the Imperial were always sitting right next to it and because I'm not a pale ale or IPA guy in general. But this is great. What a nice and drinkable pairing of honey malty sweet and mild hop bitter in a light and refreshing package. If I could ask for anything it might be a bit more robustness on the back end to increase the richness and to slow me down a bit. But on the whole it's a very pleasant, sessionable, well-made, and pleasingly flavored beer.

Photo of Thirstygoat
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of smi
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Daredevil
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

clear amber color ... pours nicely with a firm, small head ...
a fresh smell of tropical rainforest paired with earthy charcoal ....
the roasted notes are dominant in the taste as well, paired with exotic fruits (bananas, starfruit) .... quite dry and a nice bitter note ...
another classic from Samuel Smith ....

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

Pours stunningly beautiful. There is amazing clarity to this deep rich amber ale. The glass is crowned with a solid finger and a half of meringue-like tan head. Lacing is thick and sticky.
Big malty backbone. Sweet caramel malts, fruity esters and mild hops in the nose.
Taste is classic English Pale Ale. Excellently balanced. Well done, Samuel Smith.
Medium bodied. Slick, dry mouthfeel.
If you are not fimiliar with English Pale Ales this is certaintly one to try. If you are a fan already, you are sure to enjoy this as much as I did.

Photo of nimrod979
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a beautifully frothy off white head... Lacing stays glued to the glass as you drink it down. Aroma is unique. Kind of a toasty banana scent, caramel and bready malts with hint of floral hops. Flavor has a sweet caramel malt flavor with a light bitter finish. Exceptionally creamy mouthfeel, medium body. Very pleasant beer. Thanks Sam.

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

I can't believe I've never had a Samuel Smith Pale Ale before! Certainly the Stouts (Oatmeal and Imperial) the Nut Brown Ale and the Taddy Porter gather more attention but it would only make sense that Samuel Smith would make a classic style English Pale Ale.

The pour is highly inviting - the beer is a clear, deep red in color with a large, sticky tan head. The head sticks around like whipped cream on hot cocoa but oddly leaves very little lacing.

The smell is textbook English Pale Ale - plenty of fruit and malt notes to savor. Major notes are apricot and warm bread with a wee bit of floral hops to round out the experience.

Taste is right on the mark - lots of sweet malt up front, plenty of fruity notes and then a touch of English hops to round out the sip. The beer is a bit on the sweet side which draws attention to the fruitiness but the hopping keeps it all from being cloying.

Mouthfeel isn't what I'd normally look for in a beer; it's a bit on the under carbonated side (after that nice head!) and rather oily on the tongue but then that's (again) exactly to style for an English Pale Ale. If I could find anything to quibble about at all I'd have asked for a little bit more hopping to bring out some astringency but it truly would be a quibble...

All in all very drinkable. The clear glass bottle didn't seem to have harmed the brew in the least (good handling or just good luck?) If you're looking for a good English Pale Ale there are a few major brands you can choose without going wrong (Youngs, Fullers) It's safe to say you can add Samuel Smith to that list.

Photo of leagr
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Photo of Ellbert
3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A pretty average brew. I was a little dissapointed coming from Samuel Smith. The beer is a nice deep amber color with a beautiful head. The smell is lacking... not much there but malt.

The taste was very mellow. A good flavor for a crossover beer. Could have definitely used more hops.

The beer was very drinkable with a nice consitency and good carbonation. I would not buy anymore of these for myself but may get them to crossover some of my buddies.

Justin

Photo of natelocc787
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Remember before you review this beer: this is an English Pale Ale, not an American Pale Ale. Nice Pale Ale appearance with an orange-straw colored body and an ivory cap. Lots of biscuity notes in the nose from what I'm guessing is a monstrous malt profile, sweet, ripe fruits and mild toffee. Not a complete lack of hops in the taste but almost. Toasted sweet malts and a buttery, nutty, almost honey-like character. Mouthfeel is smooth, not to dry and creamy like a good EPA should be. Nice classic-won't knock your socks of but quality example and a nice friend to turn to when there is isn't a great selection surrounding it.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lucky me, my bottle was un-skunked.

A not-so-pale-colored pale ale with a pretty head that dies down after a few minutes, leaving a small amount of lacing.

Malty sweetness in the nose.

To me, the taste (and color) is much closer to what I know to be an amber ale. I really dont think its all that hoppy. Not bad attributes, just different. I enjoyed the toasty finish. There's a subtle bitterness in there too, which is interesting. Definitely more bitter than it is hoppy.

I'm sure I'll be having this again sooner or later (the gift pack with the logo glass always sucks me in). High marks all around.

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

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale pours a lovely copper color with and generous light tan head.

The smell has some caramel sweetness, a touch of citrus, and leathery note. The taste also has the sweetness and touch of citrus and finishes crisp and dry.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a pleasing aftertaste. This is a very drinkable beer - one to find if you love a good English Pale Ale.

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