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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.
very good

941 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 941
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 31
Gots: 17 | 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: 941 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

01-30-2005 22:06:02 | More by sinistermadman
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.

01-25-2005 03:03:51 | More by allengarvin
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.

01-22-2005 23:13:40 | More by stangbat
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

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.

01-16-2005 07:59:18 | More by BDTyre
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.

01-09-2005 01:01:17 | More by Mark
Photo of BadBadger

New York

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.

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

Ontario (Canada)

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.

12-30-2004 01:35:52 | More by SaunaKing
Photo of chunkylover53

Ontario (Canada)

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.

12-10-2004 03:16:15 | More by chunkylover53
Photo of tatterdash

Ontario (Canada)

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.

12-07-2004 01:42:11 | More by tatterdash
Photo of Stimack

New York

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.

12-03-2004 01:23:22 | More by Stimack
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.

11-30-2004 03:23:14 | More by aquaderek
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.

11-16-2004 20:48:55 | More by Higravity
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.

11-10-2004 14:21:33 | More by clvand0
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

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.

11-09-2004 22:16:07 | More by ybnorml
Photo of CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

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.

11-06-2004 03:33:57 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of pootz

Ontario (Canada)

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.

11-06-2004 02:03:09 | More by pootz
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.

10-31-2004 22:32:58 | More by zacharius
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.

10-29-2004 02:51:47 | More by kmpitz2
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.

10-09-2004 03:46:02 | More by Hibernator
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.

09-25-2004 22:48:20 | More by beertaster13
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.

09-12-2004 02:47:33 | More by marcobrau
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.

09-04-2004 01:56:08 | More by HardTarget
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +12.4%

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
$3.50 for a 550 ml bottle.

Appearance- dark chestnut brown with a thick creamy tan head that holds together well.
Smell- roasted hops and malt with a hint of woodsiness.
Taste- roasted hops, ash, slight caramel and malt.
Mouthfeel- slighty watery but crisp. Slight to no aftertaste.

Overall- a delicious beer that went well after my jog. A beer you can treat yourself with from time to time.

09-01-2004 20:38:16 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of baiser


4.43/5  rDev +14.5%

Poured a dark copper colour, slightly cloudy. Light tan coloured head, and sticky strings of lace.

Smelled of sweet sweet caramel and fruitiness. Slight hop aromas.

Had a good biscuity, caramel flavour. Sweetness from slightly roasted malts. Ends kind of dry, and bitter. Medium bodied.

One of the great english pale ales.

08-23-2004 02:12:06 | More by baiser
Photo of SheepNutz


4/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a deep amber color with one finger of head. A bit of lacing left on the glass. The smell is light, with some sweetness from malt mixed in with a hoppy aroma. The taste has caramel maltiness and is sweet at first. The finish has a good bit of hops. The body is pretty thick and smooth, and the drinkability is nice. A solid pale ale.

08-14-2004 21:21:22 | More by SheepNutz
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 941 ratings.