1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

933 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 933
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 30
Gots: 16 | 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)
View: Beers (27) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 933 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rickyleepotts
rickyleepotts

Arizona

3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is another big one for us… have only 899 bottles to go! I am sure when we get close to the end I will begin to get sentimental… but not yet. I just want to drink! This is also the first beer we are rating from our new home in Scottsdale, Arizona. We recently moved, which is why we haven’t been drinking many lately, but are here and starting to get settled. We are leaving for vacation next week, so we won’t be writing while we are gone. But still.

Tonight we are drinking the last of the Samuel Smith beers. I am glad, because only one of these has impressed me. I am just not a big fan of this brewery. I did learn that the water used for this beer comes from a well dating back to 1758… so that’s pretty cool. I just hope the beer doesn’t taste like it was made in 1758. Bottoms up!

In the Glass: It looks good in the glass. It has a dark copper color, and appears to be thick and creamy. The head is a slight tan that floats on the top. The glass is full, so I can’t really swirl to see if there is much lace. I picked the wrong glass… for shame!

Nose: It smells like a bitter pale ale. I am a fan of bitter… the more bitter the better. That is why I frequent a good IPA. I have been getting into imperial IPAs lately. They usually have a more noticeable hop character and a longer, more satisfying aftertaste. Let’s see what the Old Brewery Pale Ale tastes like.

Flavor: The bitter notes hit you right off the bat. The beer then drinks like a very dry, and somewhat malty IPA. They kept mentioning the malty flavors, but the words “bitter” and “malty” don’t really go together. It seems to work here, though. The bitterness that you experience toward the front of the palate is gone as fast as it gets there, leaving you for a very balanced experience from front to back.

Mouthfeel: It drinks like a well-carbonated pale. I sometimes wonder what the difference between a pale and an IPA are… but this one is an obvious pale ale. I am not a big fan of Samuel Smith beers, but this one is the best I have had from them. No wonder it is so popular. Oh, and this is the last Samuel Smith in the book. Good!

Aftertaste: The aftertaste isn’t as bitter as I wanted it to be, but it is present for quite some time. There is some dryness toward the back of the palate, but as the aftertaste fades the bitterness sticks around. From the second I stuck my nose in the glass, I knew this was going to be a balanced and drinkable beer.

I am glad this one was bearable. Like I said, I am not a big fan of Samuel Smith. Their beer is VERY easy to get, and it is cheap. I am talking $3 a bottle cheap. That’s good for people that don’t like craft beer and want to try it for the first time… but when it comes to craft beer, you really do get what you pay for.

Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale - The bottle says: “Brewed with hard well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), best barley malt, yeast, and aromatic hops to create a copper-coloured ale with a full, rounded flavor; fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’; the finish is a perfect balance of malt and hops. A good many British beers were very dark before the Industrial Revolution; new malting techniques led to pale malts allowing the evolution of this classic brewing style - a cornerstone of British pub culture.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2012 06:17:27 | More by rickyleepotts
Photo of pipinmalikonj
pipinmalikonj

Croatia (Hrvatska)

3/5  rDev -22.5%

11-21-2013 11:21:25 | More by pipinmalikonj
Photo of Cubsfan1087
Cubsfan1087

Iowa

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

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale was a good beer, although I prefer the Oatmeal Stout. It actually isn't that pale. It poured a golden brown color with a very foamy head. It smells fairly sweet and tastes sweet as well. It has a slight bitter after taste, but not too over powering. I also thought it was a little more carbonated than other beers I've had. The Pale Ale was a good beer, give it a try if you get the chance.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 03:29:45 | More by Cubsfan1087
Photo of tony223366
tony223366

California

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!

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2012 18:09:05 | More by tony223366
Photo of FriedGold2112
FriedGold2112


4/5  rDev +3.4%

04-23-2012 22:35:28 | More by FriedGold2112
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
WeezyBoPeep

Florida

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2009 16:07:35 | More by WeezyBoPeep
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
GuinnessSmurf

Missouri

4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first of three beers given to me by my greatest friend, Stephen (aka Fatty Chubs). Tension mounted as I removed the beer from the fridge, carefully removing its cap and placing it in my hand for close inspection. The bottle breathed - and whispered a sweet smelling vapor. I raised her up in the air to inspect how the room's atmosphere effected her. She poured gently into my glass, being careful not to make a scene that would embarass either of us. And oh, she did not disappoint. She gracefully climbed my glass and seeked my attention with a full, provocative head. She called to me; I answered. I went in for my first sip, but stopped...stopped by her gentle perfume. It filled my nose with the kindness of mother's love and the seduction of a lover's eyes. I could wait no longer. I brought the Samuel Smith to my lips to satiate my burning desire...and ....

Down it went - with nothing but pleasure on the horizon. It left a sweet and sour mixture on my pallette, that faded into a gentle bitter that left me begging for more. Each sip was more enjoyable. I promised myself that this would not be my last affair with the Samuel Smith Old Brewery Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2004 05:23:44 | More by GuinnessSmurf
Photo of ChrisinRI
ChrisinRI

Rhode Island

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

07-03-2014 01:57:41 | More by ChrisinRI
Photo of BadBadger
BadBadger

New York

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice ale. Pours a moderate amber color. A nice off-white head forms and lasts. Smell is slightly hoppy. The taste is somewhat better than average, with a pleasant balance of hops and malt. A nice pale ale to enjoy, although not so special that it should be searched out.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2004 02:20:55 | More by BadBadger
Photo of MMansfield
MMansfield

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Samuel Smith's gift set.

Appearance: Pours a lovely golden/copper colour with a nice white head, retaining to a beautiful lace.

Aroma: Solid malt backbone with some hops. Hops hidden behind the malt, but still there. Grass, honey, florals, some bread and alcohol.

Taste: Lots of malt. A tad sweet, with medium bitterness in the finish. Yeasty and somewhat astringent, but still good.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation, drinkable, a nice EPA.

Final Statement: A bit of a dissapointment for me. As a pale ale fiend, I was excited about this one. Hop presence was minimal, tasted somewhat astringent. I should note that I am a hophead, and the lack of hop character in this beer made me pretty dissapointed. I was a bit harder on this Ale because they have a big reputation, however, It was not bad. It was worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2007 02:08:44 | More by MMansfield
Photo of Shrews629
Shrews629

Kentucky

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

Appearance - A nice amber/reddish color. Clear. An off white head that was of nice size. The head stuck around for a nice little bit. The lacing was pretty good too.

Smell - A fruity aroma. Dark fruit. Wasn't expecting that. Some caramel malt. Some nuttiness. Rather sweet smelling also.

Taste - The taste revealed a more relaxed fruit tone than the smell. A malty, biscuit tone. Some light touches of caramel. Some nuttiness. Some light bitterness. Not as much as I was expecting. It is nicely balanced though.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium/light mouthfeel. Very, very smooth. Mostly dry and crisp. An easy drink. Decent amount of flavor left behind. Not as much as I was hoping.

Drinkability - This beer is very easy to drink. Solid all around. Could be enjoyed year round also. I thought it might be a bit fuller, but that's ok. It is what it is. I mean it's Sam Smith's, how bad could it be? It's still head and shoulders above any macro.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 13:43:12 | More by Shrews629
Photo of JayTheFinn
JayTheFinn

California

4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the best session beers in a bottle ever! It's not the greatest ale ever brewed, but it's just really drinkable and tasty. From brown body, solid head with decent lacing, great mix of hops and malts with a touch a yeasty goodness, which spreads across the tongue and touches nearly every tastebud, this one from Sam Smith's goes down smooth and easy...again and again!

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2007 02:12:01 | More by JayTheFinn
Photo of kvnstfrd
kvnstfrd

Missouri

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

05-23-2013 04:27:48 | More by kvnstfrd
Photo of rabsten
rabsten

West Virginia

3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

550 ml bottle poured into a pint glass. This one came in the 3-pack gift set with the Oatmeal Stout and Nut Brown Ale.

1/2 head that disappears rahter quickly, but leaves some lacing. Coloour is the red side of amber.

Smells malty and a bit "stale," but has a nice, middle of the road English Ale taste that balances hops and malt. Almost identical to the Old Speckled Hen I had last week, or the Boddingtons I had before that.

The alcohol content is strong enough to make it iffy as a session beer, but this is very drinkable and would make a good one, nevertheless. The fact that I can get this at area grocery stores (while the OSH and Bod's requires a trip out of state) gives it an extra point or two as well.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2006 01:38:33 | More by rabsten
Photo of dbaker61
dbaker61

Ohio

4/5  rDev +3.4%

11-23-2013 14:56:53 | More by dbaker61
Photo of quakeroatmealstout
quakeroatmealstout

New York

3.25/5  rDev -16%

09-21-2013 03:44:46 | More by quakeroatmealstout
Photo of longpondbeerman
longpondbeerman

Maine

3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a very light, floral brew that pours a clear light amber that is typical of the English Pale Ales. There's little head, and less lace, and by the smell, you'd almost think you were about to consume water laced with a hop or two and some lemon. The taste is fortunately more full-bodied, even complicated. It's not too bitter, but what bitterness there is sticks with you throughout. It does not fade. The sweetness, that floral taste, is of rose hips offset by a twist of lemon--a fun and tantalizing feature. The mouthfeel is light and more bubbly than I expected. A good brew, really--though costly over on this side of the Atlantic.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2003 22:40:53 | More by longpondbeerman
Photo of Shovelbum
Shovelbum

Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this from a Sam Smith sampler box, so it avoided light spoilage despite the clear bottle.

Pours a creamy off-white head over a deep copper body. Substantial aromas of sweet caramel malt and British minerals. More sweet careml malt in the flavor joined by a nice toasted biscuit character, slight frutiness adn a bit of flroal hops. Despite the aroma, the mineral character is not nearly as pronounced as in some other British ales. Mild hop bitterness in the background and makes this a well-balanced pale ale. Smooth and creamy in the mouth. Slightly drying finish.

This is one fine Pale Ale. It far more balanced than the American versions of the style, but retains great depth and complexity, particularly in the malts profile. A great session ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2006 22:49:10 | More by Shovelbum
Photo of Tupperwolf
Tupperwolf

Washington

3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich, clear mahogany amber into my 16oz nonic. One of the things that drew my attention upon cracking off the cap on this beer was that immediately, large, very energetic bubbles began to rise through the bottle. I suppose this happens in all beers, but the clear bottle really emphasized the action of the carbonation being released.

The head is fantastic, thick, fluffy, rocky and mountainous with great retention, leaving behind long curls of eggshell lacing.

I was in the mood for 'English' with my lunch today, and think I made the right pick. The scent is slightly grassy caramel with that distinct Fuggles hop bitterness in very mild amounts. Mostly malt in the nose.

The flavor is mild, gentle caramel and grass clippings, with a very slight acidic twinge and a warm, mild bittering of English hops.

Mouthfeel is light, smooth, just a little tart, with a very small stickiness in the finish.

Overall thoughts: Aa good example of an English pale ale. Easy to drink, definitely sessionable as good as any in Sam Smith's lineup.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2006 22:16:59 | More by Tupperwolf
Photo of jbsteiny
jbsteiny

Hawaii

3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice bronze color -- kind of dark for the style, but attractive -- with a thin head that left thin lacing all the way down. Very subtle aromas, but I love it -- rich malts (toasty caramel), grassy hops, peat? The malt dominates the flavor, as I understand an English pale ale should, but it's fairly mild regardless. I think some spiciness might liven it up a bit. An earthy, simple pale ale, but well crafted, as I'd expect from Sammy Smith.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2007 09:40:57 | More by jbsteiny
Photo of tjd112
tjd112

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this into Sam Smith's nonic, included in gift pack. Poured amber colour with creamy white head which retains well and has good lacing. The smell and taste consists of earthy hops with a touch of fruitiness. Mouthfeel is smooth, light, and a little bit of dry as well. Overall, a great beer, but I prefer the nut brown.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2010 15:19:06 | More by tjd112
Photo of meeekyh
meeekyh

Colorado

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one came from a 550ml bottle and was poured into a mug.

The beer is a solid amber with a light tan, fluffy head. There is not but a bit of lacing.

Nose is mild so I poured it into a snifter to see what I can learn from that. Estery with a bit of pear and piny hop. Still like a mild brown ale.

Malts and bitter hops along with a slight metallic flavor. There is a bit of caramel there but overall a mild and balanced beer. Pear, I taste pear.

Mouthfeel is light to medium and carbonation a moderate while the finish is dry.

I find this a drinkable beer and expect the style is typically so.

I am not blown away by this one but it is a solid beer.

Slainte.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 03:01:54 | More by meeekyh
Photo of Mandrake
Mandrake

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliantly clear deep copper with a tight and creamy pale tan head (rather dark for an EPA though) that lasts very well, leaving plenty of lacing. Smell is mildly hoppy, bang on for the style, with the Goldings hops and subtle earthy tones coming alongside the rich malt profile. A tad medicinal, but the light maltiness comes through as well. Taste is led by the malts. Caramel and mild diacetyl with a bit of breadiness and grass as well. The hops are very understated, but noticible, especially in the dry finish. Mouthfeel is full and well carbonated, and drinkability is excellent.

A classic English-style ale, the subtleties and craftsmanship apparent in this ale are welcome at any time. Expecting it to be a hop bomb will lead to disappointment, and is a great disservice to a stellar ale. Take it for what it is trying to be, and one can't fail to appreciate what the brewers at Sam Smith's achieve with virtually every single one of their brews.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2006 02:38:05 | More by Mandrake
Photo of Premo88
Premo88

Texas

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 08:11:13 | More by Premo88
Photo of 12owls
12owls

California

4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

02-09-2013 21:45:03 | More by 12owls
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 933 ratings.