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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

945 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 945
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 32
Gots: 20 | 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
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Ratings: 945 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale pours a light copper color with a tan head from a brown half liter bottle. The aroma is malty. The flavor is dominated by malt, caramel being the lead taste, and a bit fruity and buttery too. Hops are minimal, but this is a very good English pale ale nonetheless.

Drew966, Oct 27, 2008
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 tronester
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber with a big tan head. Smells of raisins and an English Yeast strain. Taste is malty, a bit woody, with a fruity layer as well. There is a toasty biscuit flavor, with a hint of earthy hops in the finish. Bitterness levels help balance the brew. Mouthfeel is good, carbonation levels somewhat high. Quite drinkable, this is a good British Ale that I plan to have again.

tronester, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a coppery brown with a decent off-white head and outstanding rings of lace with every sip. Very very nice.

Smell is subdued. Some sweet malt scents, a little fruit, and some hop leaf.

Tastes of sweet malt, but more like sweet brown grain or whole grain bread elements. Hop bitterness is present, but nothing over the top. No citrus, or extra (unneeded) flavors here.

Medium body, fair carbonation. A drinkable pale ale for sure. I find it a little on the mild side. Very smooth, with no bold distinctive flavors. Very well crafted and balanced.

OtherShoe2, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of drpimento
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a nice head and a bit of lace. Clear dark amber color. Malty hoppy aroma. Great flavor with very interesting English hops going on. Plenty of malt to balance. Excellent beer. Decent finish. Easy session beer. Pale ale in name but similar to a special bitter.

drpimento, Sep 19, 2008
Photo of RodBurg
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark copper/amber color, different for a pale ale. Small off-white head, minimal lacing.

Burnt, caramel malt and floral hops mix well in the nose.

Caramel malt hits first on the palate and is balanced very well by the hops. Finishes with a bready malt. Very drinkable with a great flavor and balance. Great session beer.

RodBurg, Sep 18, 2008
Photo of avalon07
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: When poured from a bottle to a pint glass, this beer had an amber color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was about a half inch of head and some good lacing.

S: Above anything else, the malt came through in this category. Also some hops and a nutty quality.

T: As with the the smell, malt was the most prevalent component. Kind of acidic, in a way, but pretty well done.

M: A decent amount of carbonation and a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This beer wasn't exactly like other pale ales I've had before - there was much more malt in this one. Not a bad beer, but not my favorite.

avalon07, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of mtstatebeer
2.65/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

355 ml. bottle. Pours an amber with small off-white head. Initial smell was not very good (maybe got a bad bottle). Taste was a little better, bitter, malty, a little hoppy. Medium body and a slight metallic finish.

I wanted to rate this now, even though it maybe be skewed by a bad beer. Will re-rate.

mtstatebeer, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of changeup45
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good beer but not as good as some of their others. The color is a little darker than most Pale Ales I've tried. It does have a nice foamy tan head and a lot of lace on the glass. The aroma is mild, I just didn't get a whole lot. Malty and spicy flavors with a hoppy, fruity finish. Decent EPA.

changeup45, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of thekevlarkid
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An English style pale as opposed to an IPA thus showing less hops and a deeper character. Pours beautifully, frothy cream-colored head comprised of small bubbles that form a nice cap. Good retention and lacing, quality already. Malty nose reflects the forward malt flavors followed by a quick, dry hop finish. Clean. Medium body, nice mouthfeel, true amber color. Delightful. A great example of what a beer can be and what an English Pale should be.

thekevlarkid, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of Herrbrokt
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

550 ml. bottle. Served into pint glass. no fresh by.

Pours an amberish brown. Nice beige head that sticks around for the fun.

Smells of dough and fruits.

Fantastic balance in the taste. sweet malt, buttery dough and the all important kick of hops. Real nice.

It lays a bit thicker on the tongue than I expected though. not as dry and bright as many pale ales. only criticism on this one.

overall big hit. I'll pick up a stack.

Herrbrokt, Aug 18, 2008
Photo of philbe311
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Bronzish Copper color... Thick fluffy head fades to a finger of foam... Great head retention through out... Mild carbonation...

S - Very faint scents... Malt... Butter... Flour...

T - Biscuit... Faint hops and grape fruit... Excellent blend of flavors... Subtle but intriguing...

M - Smooth... Creamy... Rich but not heavy... Luscious...

D - Love the mouthfeel... Slick and enjoyable... Nothing is overboard, but still a very well crafted brew... Slightly more hops would make this brew a homerun...

philbe311, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of spointon
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this ale from a 16.9oz brown bottle into a pint glass as part of my pale English beer flight.

A= This ale poured a perfectly clear copper color with a 2.5 inch light tan head. The head was like creamy foam and left serious lacing down the glass.

S= This ale gave subdued aromas of sweet malt, with even fainter aromas of earthy hops and green orchard fruits also present.

T= Typical of the style, this ale sported malty sweetness up front with biscuit and caramel notes. The hops appeared just enough to take the edge off the malt sweetness and lead to a slightly dry finish.

MF= This was medium bodied with appropriate carbonation levels.

D= This was a very good English pale ale. I drank this an hour or so after drinking (and reviewing) the Fuller's London Pride, and I have to say it takes second seat to the Fullers. That said though, this is a great beer in its own right and proves again that Samuel Smith's knows what they are doing.

spointon, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of PatronWizard
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Grabbed a 4-Pack from a local liquor store. It's possible they were sitting there for a while, but I always like to get something I've never had before.

A: Dark amber, completely clear, absolutely gorgeous. Nice head that hangs out for a minute and really nice legs. I just kept picking up the glass and gazing at it. I guess I really enjoyed the color.

S: Forgive me, I'm still learning to pick out individual scents and flavors, but this one definitely had a smell and it was nice. My daughter said "it smells like beer." Uh, yeah.

T: My wife frowned, but I smiled and drank some more. Good stuff man.

M: Don't exactly know how to judge mouthfeel yet either but I promise to work on it. Every day.

D: Loved the first bottle so I had another, and another. Turns out my four pack had an odd bottle of some other Sam Smith variety in it, so I only got to drink three of these pale ales. The first was on an empty stomach and I have to say it sure felt nice when I was done. Hope I didn't overrate it since this is my first actual review. Maybe I'll get some known crap beer to review for reference as well as some highly rated IPA.

Overall, Daddy likes it.

PatronWizard, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of Shadman
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

NIce looking ale with A brilliant, bright copper red color and clarity like no tomorrow. Nice rich head and lacing that clings very nicely.

Rich malt aroma. Reminded me of honey and raisins @ the same time. Some floral hop in the back.

Malt was pre-imminent over the hop in the initial swig. Earthy. Dry, dry finish.

Smooth, maybe a touch high on the carbonation side of things.

Nice and if I was in a pub 'over there' I certainly could have more than one, but I found something about it that was slightly off compared to other EPA's i've tried.

Shadman, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of brendan13
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from the bottle into a pint glass a fairly clear copper colour with a couple of centimetres of off white head that hangs around for a while.
S - A slight toffee malt aroma hits first followed by some slight floral and fruity hop notes.
T - Nice bready maltiness backed up by some floral and fruity hop notes & a touch of spice.
M - Light to medium bodied, fairly low carbonation, dryish finish.
D - Hits all the right spots for what it's supposed to be. Not a beer that will blow your mind but rather a good quality & quite tasty sessioner.

brendan13, Jul 21, 2008
Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear, dark auburn brew with a large foamy tan head. Carbonation is barely noticeable. Some lacing, but not much.

S - A light caramel malty aroma with hints of biscuits and some esters of elderberries and currants as well.

T - The flavor is initially of some light and biscuity malt, then it is joined by some sharp grassy hops that I would generally expect to find in a lager. The aftertaste is a bland, clean bitterness with only a faint lingering hop. A little unpleasant.

M - Eerily silky with a medium body and a harsh carbonation - like sand in the silk. Not very refreshing.

D - Pretty good. A classic English pale ale. I might have again, but I doubt it. It isn't really my style.

mrasskicktastic, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of babaracas
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with creamy head. Smell: candied fruit, buttery, hint of earthy hops. Taste: sweet malts upfront, fruit, biscuity, followed by earthy slightly spicy hops. Grain and bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel: smooth with soft carbonation, sticky finish. Well-balanced tasty pale ale, sessionable too.

babaracas, Jul 11, 2008
Photo of ChrisCage
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- I gave this a hard pour and was impressed with the thick creamy slightly golden head that lasts a fairly good length of time. This is a clear brew, with a dark amber/reddish coloring. Not too much carbonation upon inspection and there is also little to no lacing. I quite like the masculine looking bottle with the old school labelling....the foil neck is a nice touch!

S- Overall the aromas are fairly mild, but I could definately pick up the hopiness that is to come. It also has a deep, earthy smell to it that reminds me of damp soil. I do pick up some faint malts and grains but not much else.

T- I think this tastes wonderful! Well balanced with a good hop kick on the finish! I tasted the earthy notes that are apparent in the aroma. At the beginning of the taste is where I noticed some of the creamy malts but also some slightly raw grain flavors. A good strong tasting beer but without the edge.

M- As stated before, there is a creamy texture to this that almost feels like it's melting in your mouth. It's a decently full bodied brew, with a reasonably low carbonation level, more so if you let it sit for a few minutes. It kind of just rolls around on the palate and lets you take in it's flavors.

D- This isn't a chugging beer! I'd probably have a couple of pints before getting filled up. Lots of flavor and a great texture contribute to me recommending this to anyone who wants to drink what I consider a very good version of this style. I will definately pick up more of this when I get the chance again.

ChrisCage, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of alarusse
4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A+S: Beautiful and clear, deep amber hue with a light brown head which disappeared relatively quickly. No lace, which is a negative for me, personally, as I love the satisfaction of watching a brew slink down the side of a glass, leaving a trail of delightful remembrance. Sweet, syruppy aromas with a slightly alcohol tinge.

T: Delightful. Slightly sweet, biscuity and remotely whiskey-flavored.

M: Works for me. Thin, but the flavor lingers for a few seconds.

D: Not a burden to drink at all. No bitterness on my palette, nice carbonation, especially after a few swishes around the mouth.

Poured from a bottle into half-pint glasses.

alarusse, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of AmishT
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint

A - Amber in color with a nice cream colored head that retains well.

S - Fruity esters, bready malt, and floral hops. Aromas are a bit weak, but a pleasant nose to say the least.

T&M - A delicious, balanced flavor. A nice biscuity malt backbone blends with some floral hops brilliantly. Unfortunately, the mouthfeel is a little thin for me; I'd like the flavors to endure better. Low carbonation level doesn't aid with the kinda weak feel.

D - Low abv and great flavor make this an easy beer to drink

AmishT, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of dbONE
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is light brown in color, with a flapjack thin head that keeps a ring around the top.

With the smell of caramel, toffee, nuts and spices with touch of lite hops, it's hard to keep from snorting it.

Very sweet at the front of the tounge with strong caramel flavor and the dryness of honey. A sweet bready balance balances well with a nice hop flavor that has a nice spice to it. With a
very clean finish.

This is a true English Ale, a session beer for anyone.

dbONE, Jun 19, 2008
Photo of Natural510
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from bottle with an amber-tan color and thick head which slowly dissipates into a creamy layer which coats the glass well.
Smells of mellow malts & subtle hops.
Malted barley is backed up by a creeping hop presence in flavor. There is graininess, tartness & sweetness which blend well together. Everything is subdued & well-balanced.
Goes down creamy & very smooth.
All in all a wonderfully drinkable English pale; does everything right & nothing wrong. I'll have another, please...

Natural510, Jun 15, 2008
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.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 15, 2008
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.

phishgator, Jun 05, 2008
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 945 ratings.