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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very good

658 Reviews

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Reviews: 658
Hads: 982
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 39
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 658 | Hads: 982
Photo of stephens101
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a clear and brassy brew which sports a prolific and stubborn bubbly tan head. Lace is thin and spotty where it exists. Smells of caramel malts, some light fruits, grain, some faint hops and tannins. Really complex for the style. Tastes of sweet malts, more light fruits, faint cinnamon and tea leaves. A slight nuttiness comes out later on. Goes down smooth and almost creamy. Highly drinkable yet interesting makes for a great combo. (442 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 18.7 oz. bottle. Has a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is nutty, hops, maybe a touch of honey. Taste is also nutty, balanced hops and malts, some honey. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has average drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer. (285 characters)

Photo of Thiestru
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Deep amber with a bit of cloudiness. Off-white head, about one finger at first, but fades over time but never vanishes. Not much lacing. The color really makes this appearance as good as it is.

Smell: More malts than hops, with a strong nutty character. Grassy hops are there, though.

Taste: While I like the dominance of malt in the nose, I was really hoping the hops would come out more in the taste. Sadly, this is not the case. They aren't absent, of course, but I notice much more maltiness than anything else. It's not sweet, but a bit nutty and biscuity. Hops provide some balance, but not much more. It's very pleasant, don't get me wrong, but a little more bite would have been nice.

Mouthfeel: Not too carbonated, which is fine; it doesn't feel stale. Body is middling.

Drinkability: I can really enjoy one of these, but alas, I find myself wanting something else after that. I seem to recall enjoying this much more a couple of years ago, to the point of its being one of my favorite pale ales, but now I think it's just pretty good. Definitely worth a try if you haven't had it; I don't think most people would regret getting a four-pack. Also interesting for being a maltier kind of pale ale than many I've had. (1,288 characters)

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into the branded glass a clear amber liquid presents itself. Atop this is a thick mocha coloured head, thick and porous like volcanic rock, it lasts well to the halfway point.

Caramel apple and floral hop aromas greet the nose held up by gram cracker malt aromas. Fruity resin of the hops quickly follows this, reminiscent of melon rind at times.

Bitter hop flavours mix well with the balancing malt; with its slight toasted nutty notes. The overall taste is very subdued. As one drinks on sweet malt becomes more prevalent masking some of the hops.

A medium light body with relatively low carbonation this one is very quaffable. (639 characters)

Photo of prosper
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a deep copper. very clear. Big, dense head.

Smells of dark malts - toasty, slight acridness.

Tastes strongly of dark caramel - molasses, dried fruits. Sweet. Not much hop flavour, and only just enough bitterness to balance out the sticky-sweet malt.

Mouthfeel is medium. (279 characters)

Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal-clear deep copper and is capped with a thin off white head. Very little visual carbonation.

The smell is huge on malts, deliciously sweet, and accompanied with just the slightest hint of a fuggles-like hop note. Scents of bananas and cotton candy play on the wonderful sweetness.

Toasted bread and caramel are at the fore of the taste. The hops don't seem to carry into the flavor, but a slight and gentle bitterness from the roasted grains.

The body is mild with a silky-smooth texture and a clean finish, making it very drinkable. (551 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear amber/brown color with a 1 inch head that fades to a 1/2 inch cap. Lacing is not that great.

S - Smells of biscuit and sweet fruits.

T - Tastes like a biscuit with fruit preserves. There is VERY little bitterness or hop taste to this beer.

M - Very creamy and smooth.

D - Very tasty. Another great offering from Samuel Smith. (348 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber, almost russet, color with a thick head that leaves webs of lace behind

Smell: Toffee and earthy tones, with mild butterscotch diacetyl present

Taste: Opens with a herbacious, diacetyl-influenced caramel character that moves in a bitter and earthy metallic direction by mid-palate; after the swallow, these English pale ale flavors blend together

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: It has been a while since I have consumed a true English Pale Ale, the style pretty much having been abandoned by American craft brewers; an enjoyable change of pace, even though the style is not one I would reach for every day (673 characters)

Photo of billshmeinke
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into my pint glass.

Pours a one finger off white head that takes a few moments to die down to a nice layer of foam on top. Beer is clear few bubbles rising to the top. Amber with golden hues around the edge. Not much lacing.

Smell brings a light ale fruitiness, a slight caramel aroma. Mostly sweet.

Taste has a light ale fruitiness (reminds me a ted of strawberries). Some biscuit and golden brown toast notes in the middle. An herbal, leafy and slightly bitter hop characteristic is there as well. Unfortunately, there is a slightly metallic taste to it somewhere towards the end. (Is this from the use of hard water?)

Light bodied, medium carbonation. Pretty smooth.

Good session beer. (707 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 550mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: body is a crystal-clear relatively rich amber-brown color. Head is a thin layer of tan foam, but the body looks just spectacular.

Smell: nice caramel malt aroma; I'm catching hints of fresh bananas here as well. It's an interesting overall presentation; hops do not appear much here. I do quite like it.

Taste: caramel malt with a little hop bitterness. Again, hop flavors are very mild and come up mostly toward the end. The overall flavor is quite good, though.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a medium-low level of carbonation. Mouthfeel is good but not great.

Drinkability: quite drinkable indeed. I'm going to go enjoy the rest of this out on the patio. (715 characters)

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle poured into pint glass

A: Kind of copper golden brown, head foams up then settles to half a finger of a thin creaminess

S: Definitely english hops with that earthy buttery smell, has some fruity smell too, good and aromatic, caramel malt provides the base

T: More powerful than I was expecting, since smell is earthy and not pungently bitter than an american pale ale I wasn't expecting the punch, its not hugely bitter but nice and strong, big earthy hops right away, but still has that fruity almost sweet side that makes it delicate and balanced, malt helps with that too and provides nice body

M: Like all traditional english beers, a little thinner than I would like, but nice because it still packs all the flavor, semi-dry

D: High, big flavor but a nice British drinking beer

Notes: I really like this style and this is a good example. Very traditionally British, but will please almost anyone. (920 characters)

Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Small bottle served in a chalice.

A: Beautiful clear amber color with a small yellow head. Small retention and not much lacings left

S: Delicious smell of toffee, roasted caramel malts, herbs and earthy yeasts

T: Also delicious taste of roasted caramel malts and hops. Citrus bite and "hoppy" end

M: Light body. Low carbonation. Balanced bitterness. A bit molasses. Quite refreshing

O: Good drinkability. Quite light and refreshing beer but at the same time with strong British personality. An authentic British Ale. Light in alcohol, balanced bitterness, dry taste, good perfume of earthy yeasts and fresh hops. Recommended (629 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.88/5  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. (460 characters)

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale. 12 oz.

Pours a deep and lively copper -- similar to but darker than the Samuel Smith's IPA. Wild off white head and sea spray lace.

A rich maltiness coupled with some fresh and inviting fruits -- almost candy-like.

There's a wonderfully tempered malt sweetness backed by juicy fruity hops. The malts are biscuity and the hops definitely have a nice bitter punch to them.

Medium-bodied and dry -- just as an English pale ale should be. It's also a bit grainy, which adds some interesting texture.

This just has such a nice combination of complex but mild flavors that it's hard to stop quaffing. (689 characters)

Photo of berley31
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured with a small-to-moderate sized, off-white head that quickly diminished to 1/2-finger, but stayed there and provided some light lacing. Body is light copper, and clear with a touch of haze.

S: Some slight breadiness to it, along with a good amount of fruitiness.

T: Some bready, biscuity flavors, followed by fruity esters which dominate. Some bitterness becomes apparent and lingers into the finish.

M: Moderate body, soft-medium carbonation, slightly creamy.

D: A very solid English Pale Ale that is slightly light on bitterness and high on fruitiness, as is common in the style. (594 characters)

Photo of bishopdc0
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my favorite beer glass toasted English malt fills the aroma. It has a full white head and a almost cloudy amber color. The flavor starts sweet with a slight amount of carbonation but finished dry but a slightly nutty aftertaste. A very good English and I like its complexity despite the lack of hops that I've come to like in an American style (355 characters)

Photo of Smixam
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500mL bottle into a pint glass.

A - Very nice deep, clear copper color with a small off-white head, with little to no lacing.

S - Deep malt flavor with a bright fruit (raisin? plum?) note. Nothing spectacular here but inviting and interesting.

T - Strong malt flavor at the front, moving towards a really bright nuttiness in the middle and back to malt/wheat flavors with a hint of dark fruit at the end. Difficult to describe, but the flavors truly pop and change as you enjoy this beer, difficult for something with as little hop as this brew, and a fantastic experience.

M - Fresh and bright, a touch mineral-y but certainly not off-putting. The flavors linger but are not unwelcome.

D - HIGHLY drinkable. Added to my short list of session standby's, I'll pick this up whenever it's available. (801 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
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. (292 characters)

Photo of tjd112
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
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. (325 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review from notes on 6/29/09

A - poured clear mahogany amber with a 1" cream colored head in the Samuel Smith's imperial pint glass. Spidery lace patches all around. 4.0

S - very clean and grainy. Pale malty sweetness with a little bit of caramel. Fruits, apples, pears. Fruity and touch of earthiness from hops. 4.0

T - Taste is very similar to smell but the hops are more pronounced in the finish. A wonderfully balanced beer. 4.5

M - Light bodied and well carbonated. Very smooth and clean. A little bit of dryness. 4.5

D - One word: DAMN! 5.0 (551 characters)

Photo of Kallessin
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear deep amber/copper color with a fluffy/creamy off-white head that settles to a substantial film over the top with some nice lacing on the glass. Very few bubbles visible.

The sweet caramel malty aroma is the most prominent. There's also a moderate amount of floral/herbal hops.

Sweet malty caramel flavors up front, then it quickly goes to some mild bitter flavors with a light fruitiness in the background. I also get a slightly dry biscuit character. Very well balanced.

Medium body with high sharp carbonation. Fairly dry with a lingering finish.

Very well balanced flavors make this a great drinkable session beer. (635 characters)

Photo of MaxBrews
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

18.7 ounce or 550ml Bottle poured into a 16oz glass.

Appearance: This beer pours with a nice soft 1 and a half finger white head, that dissipates leaving no lacing behind. The color is a medium amber.

Smell: A very malty aroma with sour fruit esters. Aromas of pear & apple with a touch of dark fruit prunes & raisins. It also has touches of bourbon wood and honey, Very slight hop aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Big flavor from this ale. Like the aroma it has an abundance of malt, sour fruit and dark fruit. You can't taste the hops per-say in this beer however they provide a pleasant and assertive bitter bite in the finish. Well carbonated and bitter without being overbearing.

Drinkablity: An English pale ale done properly. This beer amazes me, it has all the strong & complex malt and fruity esters of an English Barley wine yet remains with a modest Alcohol content. Its not as warming alcohol wise of course but all the flavor is there. If you really want a sessionable ale that is complex and extremely flavorful this your beer. I've always been a fan of American Pale Ales with a strong malt taste and a touch of bitter hops. This beer however is changing my mind a bit, instead of floral flavors this is packed full of malt and fruit. A total English Classic and world class Pale ale. (1,298 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (517 characters)

Photo of meeekyh
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (667 characters)

Photo of droomyster
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber with a big tan head that laces the glass. Aroma is almost entirely of toasted malt, with some wet earth also detectable. The taste is simple, not very catchy. The toasted malts are supported by a mineral and black tea bitterness that is good but not eyebrow raising. Given how expensive it is I expected more. Probably my least favorite of the major Samuel Smith beers. (388 characters)

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