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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

944 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 944
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 31
Gots: 18 | 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: 944 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of neonbrown82
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%

This beer seemed to be fairly low rated in comparison to other Sam Smith offerings, but I thought I would try it anyway since I am a big fan of Pales. I have liked every Sam Smith product I've tried, and this is certainly no exception, but this was probably my least favorite of those I've had.

The appearance is a dark orangey-red color with a very delicate fizzy head. Doesn't look like a Pale Ale to me, more like a bitter or something. The smell was kind of buttery (I've never understood what people mean by that until now), and slightly hoppy and yeasty. Also coming through are caramel malts and a bit of a roasted aroma.

The taste had a slightly bitter upfront flavor and is followed by a blend of caramel sweetness on the tip of tongue and hops bitterness in the back upon the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light to medium in body and reveals a delightful blend of sweetness and hops when swished through the mouth. I could picture myself drinking more of this further along the road, but I have yet to try the Sam Smith Organic Pale (or whatever it's called). As far as this goes, I think I liked Fuller's London Pride better for a good English Pale Ale, but only slightly.

neonbrown82, Feb 16, 2005
Photo of Hunter
2.93/5  rDev -24.3%

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.

Hunter, Feb 10, 2005
Photo of DrJay
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%

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 sinistermadman
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%

I am a big fan of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, but this is the first time I've tried this pale.

This brew pours a nice amber-brown with a white froathy head. Foam lingers throughout the whole pint...leaves a nice lacing on the side of the glass after a good swig.

Ahhh. Smells pretty good. Malty hops are at the forefront. Without even tasting it I know that the malt will dominate the flavor. My mouth froths in anticipation as my olfactory sensors take it in.

The taste is not what I expected from the smell. It's kind of whispy, lacking depth I usually associate with Sam Smith brews. It is a well balanced ale, though not overly complex. This would probably be good with spicy Thai food.

As I already pointed out the mouthfeel leaves something to be desired. It is pleasant, but I like a bit more tinge and bitterness. Still pretty good though. Very balanced.

This is a very drinkable pale ale. Next time I'm going to try with some kind of food, as I think it would lend itself pretty well as a dinner beer. I think I'll stick with the oatmeal stout or nut brown ale.

sinistermadman, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of allengarvin
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%

Appearance: Clear walnut color, moderate head.

Aroma: Toasty, rather nutty malt aroma. Slight hop nose, but restrained.

Flavor: Great malt flavor up front, not sweet at all but toasted. Light fruitiness and a lot of buttery diacetyl. Some musty hop flavor, moderate bitterness, and a very dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Oddly, both creamy and slightly astringent. Medium carbonation.

One of my favorite beers since I learned to drink good beer. I first tasted Sam Smith Pale Bitter (a slightly different, less strong version) in Yorkshire in 1992, and I've drunk many bottles over the years. It's my favorite of the line, and though occasionally I've gotten a skunked bottle, most times I've been completely satisfied.

allengarvin, Jan 25, 2005
Photo of stangbat
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%

I generally really like Samuel Smith's beers, however this one will not be on my regular rotation. It smells great, a little like their Nut Brown Ale, which along with the Oatmeal Stout are two of my favorite beers. It looks nice, and the mouthfeel is good.

But it just seems like it is lacking flavor. It seems like the beer finished a little dry and bland. I can't really put my finger on it though. Maybe my palate is accustomed to American Pale Ales that are higher hopped. Overall, not bad. But I don't think it is worth over $2 a bottle, which I will gladly pay for their Nut Brown or Oatmeal Stout.

stangbat, Jan 22, 2005
Photo of BDTyre
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%

A nice copper colour with a good off-white head.

Smells vaguely like Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale but a bit more burnt and hoppy. Taste is similar; again, a bit more hoppy and burnt, slight tinge of copper. Not terrible, but not the best.

A bit fizzy on the tongue, but still smooth drinking.

BDTyre, Jan 16, 2005
Photo of Mark
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Surprisingly and thankfully, I experienced no skunkiness from the clear bottle offering. This ale poured a deep amber that bordered on a copper color. Head retention was good and wispy lace patterns stuck to my British pint glass. Heavily tilted toward the malt in both aroma and taste. Slight hop with some buttery tones. Very smooth and drinkable. Good ale when you can find them unskunked. I don't get the clear bottles, but this one was fine.

Mark, Jan 09, 2005
Photo of BadBadger
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

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.

BadBadger, Dec 31, 2004
Photo of SaunaKing
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%

Picked up a holiday pack of Samuel Smiths and got a nice pint glass too. The pale ale is a nice rich amber color with an offwhite head that is quite thick and creamy and leaves nice lacing.
I am able to pick up only a faint aroma, slightly sweet and candy like. Maybe its the cold i am fighting but its really difficlut to pick up the aromas.

The taste is nice and malty with a nice hop balance. I detect a little vanilla in the smooth finish. The mouthfeel and drinkablity of this beer are good. A good overall beer.

SaunaKing, Dec 30, 2004
Photo of chunkylover53
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%

For a pale, it's pretty dark, but it's a really nice reddish-yellow colour with a big, foamy head.

Smell: Faint, but some hops and fruit.

Taste: Very hoppy. Quite bitter. Surprisingly thick mouthfeel.

I could drink a lot of this, which is good since the bottle is big.

chunkylover53, Dec 10, 2004
Photo of tatterdash
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%

My 50th beer review!

Pours amber with a white head that laces very well. Smell was subdued, perhaps served a little too cold. Smells like a good bitter, some floral qualities as well. Taste was a very drinkable toffee malt with a great roasted finish, some hops as well. Light mouthfeel that definitely helps its drinkability. I have tried Sam's Russian Stout and Oatmeal Stout, and while those are amazing, I find this one more drinkable. I hope to try this on draft in England some day.

tatterdash, Dec 07, 2004
Photo of Stimack
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%

This is actually one of the first times I have had this offering from SS. Over all it is a nice beer, poured to a copper color with a nice foamy off white head that left a fair amount of lacing on the sides of the glass. The aromas are of Malt, a sweet slight nutty scent along with a pinch of hop. Nothing extreme with this brew, very subtle aromas. The taste is very similar to the aroma’s, nothing extreme. A well-balanced brew with flavors of buttery malt, hints of caramel and a slight hop taste. This seems to be a classic English version of a pale ale. Over all it is a good beer but not one of my favorites from Samuel Smith’s.

Stimack, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of aquaderek
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%

Bought this beer at TJ's for about 2.49. Presented in a 1 pt2.7 oz bottle. I poured this beer into a regular pint pub glass. A nice amber color with a nice head which diminishes to a nice lace on the glass. The nose, I get some nice fruity hops. The taste is hoppy with a nice sutle malty finish. The mouthfeel is nice, creamy and effervescent. Pretty good beer, I could drink a few.

aquaderek, Nov 30, 2004
Photo of Higravity
2.15/5  rDev -44.4%

Well as with the other SS this is metallic and this is probably the worst. I must have been chewing my bronze gum while drinking this, note to self no more light SS. Anyway from this years gift set this beer was a nice copper taste, I mean color and a unforgiving metal taste that was only tolerable being chugged. It had a decent body and it smelled like a beer in a rusty can.

Higravity, Nov 16, 2004
Photo of clvand0
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%

This beer pours an amber color with a medium head that stays around a while and leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma has a fruity character and floral hops. The flavor is surprisingly malty, but finishes with a nice bitterness. This seemed a bit malty and dark for a Pale Ale. This is an ok beer, but I like the other Samuel Smith stuff better.

clvand0, Nov 10, 2004
Photo of ybnorml
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%

A clean honey/amber ale with a small beige head. Beer has a lightly sweet kind of grassy aroma. The flavor has a light spicey hop bitterness that is followed by a nice malty sweetness that settles on the middle of your tongue. A nice session ale but not outstanding.

ybnorml, Nov 09, 2004
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%

pours a brilliant deep copper with a rocky fine-beaded Ice cream-like head. The lacing consists of a sheath of thick bubbles draping the glass. The aroma is of sweet toasty and raisiny with a big hit of herbal hops. The taste is of caramel and nutty malts with a fresh hoppiness and loads of fruity yeast character. Theres a dry almost astrigent finish from the house yeast. The mouthfeel is full bodied and smooth. this beer has a complex malt flavor and great yeast profile and lots of Fuggles hop taste, a great Enlish pale ale.

One down side of Sam Smiths is the terrible clear glass bottles, Ive had many skunked samples. Luckily this one was packaged it a box as well.

CAMRAhardliner, Nov 06, 2004
Photo of pootz
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%

1/2 liter clear export bottle...no date codes ..I assume this is parsturized or sterile. Poured a lovely deep amber-orange with a fluffy rocky cap that laces well to the glass. Moderate carbonation. Aroma of floral hopping and apricot tones over the honey malts. Malty body is balanced with some semi bitter hopping some mild complexity and a rather short finish...for all I had heard about this beer , I’m underwhelmed..perhaps this beer suffered from being an export and had it’s normal character killed by pastrurization or serile filtering but this is an average pale....and there are better domestics IMHO.

pootz, Nov 06, 2004
Photo of zacharius
2.6/5  rDev -32.8%

Pours an orange color with a thick off white head, little carbonatoin noted. As I opened the beer I was taken back by the skunky odor, damn clear bottles. Skunkyness dissapated as the beer settled in the glass but then was replaced by fruitty esters with a sulfury winey characteristic. I don't care too much for the yeast strain Samuel Smith uses. Taste is earthy and aftertaste of grain builds up, some fruitty esters in there, again with a vinous characteristic. Body is thin and watery and beer is lightly carbonated. Once you get past the taste the drinkablity isn't bad. Definatly not worth the price.

zacharius, Oct 31, 2004
Photo of kmpitz2
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%

Another clear bottle. I'm not sure of this. The beer pours a ruby amber color, with a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The initial scent is a skunked beer, but after letting it sit, the nose is a lot of caramel sweetness, and not much hop. The flavor is mosthy caramel malt, very sweet without much hop to bring balance. Its not bd, but not great. The feel is just moderate at bes, with a decent carbonation that works well with the beer. The drinkability is okay on this as well. I'd drink this again.

kmpitz2, Oct 29, 2004
Photo of Hibernator
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%

I had this beer out of a 12 oz clear bottle and served in a pint glass. As with most Samuel Smith's, gold foil decorates the top of the bottle. I paid $8.99 for a 4 pack and I always have a tough time rationalizing the cost/quanity issue. However, this is a great product and one that I appreciate.

Appearance is a copperish brown color. Solid head rests on top.

Aroma of malt sweetness and old-fashioned candy sticks.

Malty sweetness with a nice, yet minimal hop presence on the finish. Liquid sugar and malt profile blend perfectly.

This is a clean and tasty session beer. The last time I had this beer was with a bunch of good friends at a restaurant in C.T.

When dinner was over and many bottles of red wine were finished, I asked the waiter " What do you have for good beers ?" I inquired, "Do you have any Belgians or local craft beers ?".

The waiter was eager to tell me that they had Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale as a selection. Before I knew it, my friends and I had quaffed through several rounds of this beer.

This beer worked perfectly with dessert that included tiramisu and key lime pie. The sweetness of the tiramisu and this brew work very well together.

Hibernator, Oct 09, 2004
Photo of beertaster13
3.03/5  rDev -21.7%

Clear bottles creep me out and it seems the light got to this pale. It pours a nice dark brown with light streaks throughout, the head is off white and nice at first then settles to a line. No lacing on the glass. The smell is off the bat skunky, once you get past that you will detect caramel malts and syrup. The taste has hints of roasted grain and strong caramel sweetness, the floral hop is weak and doesn't blend the sweetness of the pale. A little over sweeted for my liking. Medium bodied, better from this brewery out there, better pale ale's as well.

beertaster13, Sep 25, 2004
Photo of marcobrau
4.18/5  rDev +8%

I've recently been revisiting some English ales that I haven't had in a long time and this time my selection was Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale. If I can recall, many years ago when I first started drinking ales, I started with Bass and American microbrews like Pete's Wicked Ale (back when it was micro.) Liking Bass, I was told that I should try Samuel Smith's and the (the Old Brewery) was the first I tried.

Revisiting this beer today, it seems a bit different than I remember, but it's still a fine English ale with a unique character. The aroma is earthy and accented by toasted grains. These same grains add to the flavor of this ale and mingle carefully with the hops and other grains, along with the minerally-tasting yeast flavors.Though the malt component of this beer is put forward, the hops help achieve a balance and add a bitterness that is distinct in a British manner, but not by any means assertive or overwhelming in an American way. The English ales are about subtlety and grace when compared to brighter and more assertive American ale. I can still appreciate this beer, despite being hooked on American hops.

marcobrau, Sep 12, 2004
Photo of HardTarget
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%

Aroma: Toasted light malt with a generous spike of floral hops. A slightly skunky smell as well, the clear bottles always scare me.
Appearance: A clear brown amber body with a respectable quarter fingered tan head of tightly packed bubbles.
Flavor: A cask taste, strong wood flavor, nuttiness, toasted bread crust, slight sulfur note with a nice balanced bitter end. Hops are definitely bittering, not aroma.
Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy body, low carbonation, slight chew, dry finish.
Overall Impression: A nice English Pale Ale. It’s drinkable, refreshing, interesting and has some complexity which lends itself toward a decent session beer. A good representative of its style, but I prefer its American cousins when thinking Pale Ale.

HardTarget, Sep 04, 2004
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 944 ratings.