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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

956 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 956
Reviews: 656
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 33
Gots: 21 | 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: 956 | Reviews: 656 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Soybomb
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark/tea colored brown with a really nice head that drops to a very thin head over the beers surface. Leaves lacing in the glass.

Smell: A sweet smell and a semi-bread like aroma are there.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Starts rather sweet, but finishes dry. Medium bodied. Higher carbonation carries it off the palate well. No hops are jumping out at me. Maybe a little bit of a nutty flavor similar to their nut brown flavor.

Notes: Meh. Not fantastic, but certainly not bad, and very drinkable. The standard you expect from this brewery. Not my favorite style though so while its good I probably wont be specifically looking for this bottle again.

Soybomb, Jun 05, 2004
Photo of Cwrw
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am beginning to wonder if Samuel Smith can brew anything bad. Their consistent quality is matchless.

Thick, viscous, bubbly head tops a rich red/copper, very clear but not weak looking, beer. I see amber, light red, and light brown colouration. It leaves islands of lace of varying sizes on the glass, with good longevity. The aroma is ideally balanced with caramel malt and perfumy, fragrant, spicy hop notes. Besides the delightful caramel and butter smells, there exist touches of coffee, cream, sweet candy, pepper, dark fruits, fresh lettuce or other dark vegetables(yes, vegetables), and even meat, such as roast or peppered steak, most easily detectable immediately after pouring. The aroma is very organic; earthy. This is the way a good pale ale should smell, for my personal tastes: nicely balanced, with no overpowering, numbing hop presence, but still with a definite hop character. A grainy maltiness introduces itself to the palate upon the first sip: immediately detectable are the roasted qualities of the beer. Toasted bread tastes, with a very granular presence on the tongue, oatmeal-like. Strong cereal taste, but balanced enough with the bittering hops, which is felt nicely on the finish: oily and satisfactorily dry. Actually the hop feel becomes more and more pronounced with each subsequent sip. Adequate carbonation. For those who like a good bitter Pale Ale, this should be engagingly effortless to consume. Old Brewery Tadcaster does it again. I taste merry old England in every swallow.

Cwrw, May 19, 2004
Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber-ruby color with a thick, puffy off-white head, not much smell to speak of. Very effervescent, tickels the tongue nicely however makes for quite a belch engine. Silky-smooth in the mouth with a caramelized grain flavor, with a bit of cinnamon. Not very complex but the mellow flavor by itself makes it pretty drinkable, however the excessive carbonation will keep you from drinking very many.

PopeJonPaul, May 19, 2004
Photo of garymuchow
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty straight aroma of sweet water quality from malt with a slight caramel quality. No hops to speak of.
Color is an orangish amber and clear. 1/4 to 1/2 inch head steady biegish head.
Light in flavor in that it's not a bold beer. Interesting mix of malts and hop with both present form the start to finish. Malts are similar to aroma with less caramel but more of an almost slightly toast (maybe I'm picking up the bisquit others have noted). Hop present with a steady bitterness from start through a long lingering after the finish. Caramel increases as warms. Also a little sourness presents.
Carbonation is fairly intense, especially in the beginning. It lends an intensity that contrasts a softness that's slightly creamy. The creaminess increases as warms.
Other than the aroma this beer stands out for me for its variety of stimulating the senses and its complexity (subtle as it is) of the drinking experience. Really smooths out as warms becoming a very good drink.

garymuchow, May 16, 2004
Photo of woemad
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $2.99.

Poured a dark copper color with a big white head. Sheets of lace drip down the sides of the glass but leave no evidence they were ever there.

Smell is nutty and buttery, with a hint of caramel and toffee apples.
Definitely an English style pale ale (as if this is any surprise).

The nutty, buttery aspect is what gets noticed first. Then there's a lingering caramel sweetness. There's also a slightly burnt apple pie flavor in the background.

This is somewhere between medium and full-bodied. A little bit thick for a pale ale.

This is a quite drinkable, tasty English pale ale. It might be a little bit too thick to be considered a good lawnmower beer, but it still hits the spot nicely

woemad, May 16, 2004
Photo of kbub6f
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think I may have a bias for English Pale Ales. I just can't get enough of the rich, tangy, toffee, buttery, nutty, bitter goodness. This one gives up two fingers of noisy, uneven, foamy, cream-colored head. The color of the beer is a nice rusty-red-amber-brown and clear. Sweet, tangy, caramel, toffee, Brit-malt, awesome nose. Caramel starts the show turning full, malty, buttery toward a tangy, nutty, bitter finish. Absolutely delicious.

kbub6f, May 14, 2004
Photo of far333
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Iced tea colored with a dark beige tight head that rises up and settles quickly. Aroma is hoppy, with notes of malt and raisin. Smooth mouthfeel with light carbonation leads to a pungent flavor of sharp malt, burnt brown sugar, fig and raisin. Bits of caramel and toffee come through in the finish. Lots of depth for a pale ale.

far333, May 13, 2004
Photo of Shaw
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale pours a nice copper color with a foamy head that settles down to about a quarter inch.

There is a lot more hop aroma in this beer than I expected. Granted, it's not like a super-hoppy American brew, but there is a good floral smell. There is also a bit of malt sweetness in the aroma.

The taste is just as good as the smell. It's rich, with enough bitterness to keep the beer from being too sweet. The flavor leans toward sweet rather than bitter.

The mouthfeel is substantial. This beer has more body than many American pale ales.

This beer is another good one from the excellent Samuel Smith. This is a pale ale to seek out.

Shaw, Apr 19, 2004
Photo of Trentonator
2.13/5  rDev -45%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

When I took my first drink of this beer, I felt like I was sucking the smelt off of a copper mine. This beer has a bitter, unforgiving and relentless afterbite. More bitter than my ex girlfriend, and an aftertaste that haunts you like her memory, and will not go away. I needed crackers to remove the aftertaste. I needed therapy to remove her memory. I did not like this beer, not one bit.

Trentonator, Apr 13, 2004
Photo of granger10
4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a copper color with a small white head that held for a few minutes. The smell is really bready, akin to biscuits with honey poured on top. The main flavor I get when tasting this beer is caramel. There seems to be a lot of caramel which is complemented by various fruit esters, green apple leading the way. Kind of like a caramel covered apple. There is a grainy base to this which helps the flavors from getting too sweet and works with a floral hop element to complement the caramel. The finish is slightly yeasty sour and quite thirst quenching. Very creamy and smooth with a medium body. This is a classic.

granger10, Apr 11, 2004
Photo of DaveGood
2.93/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have enjoyed just about every Samuel Smith's beer that I have tried previously, so I had very high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, I found the Pale Ale to be quite average.

It poured a nice copper color with a nice white head that diminished quickly, leaving a nice lace along the glass. The aroma seemed to be lacking as I could only faintly detect some sweet malts, possibly a butterscotch scent but virtually no hops. The taste was very bland as well as it had a subdued sweet malt taste, almost caramel-like flavor up-front and slightly hoppy on the back end. There was not a lot going on with the way of mouth-feel, possibly a little dryish.

Overall, I would classify this as a very average Pale Ale. As far as drinkability is concerned, it goes down extremely smooth but there doesn't appear to be much going on in the way of complexities here.

DaveGood, Apr 07, 2004
Photo of soper2000
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in the Samuel Smith varity pack with the pint glass included (very good value). I had pretty high expectations from this brew as every Sammy Smith beer i've had has been excellent. This one didn't disappoint but i don't think it'll be making my regular rotation. I've have yet to gain an apreciation for subtlety. It poured a proud copper with a small white head, pretty appealing. Smell was very faint with some notes of fruit and malt. Taste... Hmmm.. I wish I could give this higher marks but it was very plain to me. Some sweet malt flavor was present and it was balanced very well, but nothing really jumped out at me Mouthfeel was fine as was drinkability. I'm hoping this will be a beer i grow to love, but as of this moment it just seemed very basic, very subtle. I plan to revisit this beer in a year, as my palate refines, to see what i think of it. It is obviously a solid brew and i wish i could appreciate it more.

soper2000, Apr 07, 2004
Photo of CBFanWish
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's flexes its muscle with the Old Brewery Pale Ale. Every bit as good as a pale ale should be.
Deep amber in colour with a thick white head that lasts for a couple minutes and leaves a thin lace.
The aroma is complex with floral, fruit and grassy notes topped off with a buttery smell.
The taste is not as complex, but is very good, none-the-less. Fruity. Subtlties of banana, grass, vanilla, with a smoothness of butter.
Very good, but not a session beer. This would be great with a bowl of jambalaya or gumbo. Pulled pork would also pair nicely with this.

CBFanWish, Apr 01, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Glass bottle with freshness label ...

Upon cracking this, a strange phenomenon occurs which happens in many Samuel Smith beers: about a dozen giant bubbles bound up and pop inside of the bottle. A strange welcome that whooshes the nose to your nose.

Slightly sour aroma, yeasty tones with biscuit and grain. Sweet malts with a bit of sulfur. Ringwood yeast?

The apperance of this ale in the pint glass is generic golden amber with a huge sticky windowpane of lace from the huge honeycomb head.

The taste is all watery lightly hopped goodness. The mouthfeel slacks because of the lack of chewy malt, but offers a deviation from the normally thick and unappealing-in-the-summer SS's. Hints of suflur are offput by the lovely well water of Tadcaster.

Its damned good, but don't accept a non-fresh sample. Look for the bottled on date that is new to SS. If it looks like its been in the sun for even a good while, forget it. Otherwise it is a spectacularly clean pale ale that is a misunderstood gem. It should be a benchmark.

Everyone has to try it.

And to Merchant duVin (and the manufacturer): Put an end to the CLEAR glass!

GreenWBush, Mar 30, 2004
Photo of krberg
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks pretty standard. Coppery with a nice white head that fades quickly. Looks a little more carbonated than the usual SS beers.

That smell is all Samuel Smith's - tangy. Unlike the others in their line there is a nice sweet fruity smell which accompanies the sourness.

Mmmm, that sweetness is all malt. There is no bitterness. The hops only make an appearance as a light floral aspect that barely pushes through the malt. This is no american pale ale, it actually has hop-to-malt balance. Exceptionally smooth.

I don't know how, but SSPA is very creamy. This sort of mouthfeel is also something I have never found in an American PA.

Yeah, I could drink a ton of these. Its just that simple.

SSPA is another great offering by this great brewery. Looking for a bridge beer for your friends, try this at your next BBQ. Solid and refreshing.

krberg, Mar 11, 2004
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
2.9/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rich reddish copper with a very light tan head. Head is thick and a bit lacy. Aroma is lightly bitter and metallic.

Taste is a bit matallic and sweet pale malt. Creamy and smooth with a very mild body. Light hops finish. Very drinkable and pretty light-bodied. Nothing really special here.

ViveLaChouffe, Mar 01, 2004
Photo of Bierguy5
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with a white creamy/foamy head. Nice lace present on the glass throughout. Faint toast or biscuit smell, and not much else. Tastes slightly buttery with a nice bitter finish. This is a drinkable beer. This seems to be an old reliable of mine that I revisit every now and again. Sometimes there is a thirst for a English Pale, and this seems to hit the spot.

Bierguy5, Feb 24, 2004
Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear fiery copper brew.

Smell is malt and light fruit, mild grain smell too.

Taste is mildly sweet malt and a small sour tang too. There is a mild caramel and nuts taste here too. Nice mellow brew.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very drinkable, a beer for all year long.

Zorro, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of palma
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Body is a dark copper hue with a long lasting off white color head. Produces a great lace as well. Very nice aroma consisting of pungent sweet malt and grains. Taste is very grainy and bready with a tasty sweet malt flavor throughout. English hops are definitely in there and cannot be missed. A good tasting bitterness in the end. Also a bit on the dry side which makes it even more enjoyable. A very easy drinking brew and a great pale in my opinion.

One note: what the hell is with the clear bottle??

palma, Feb 15, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

550mL bottle, with foiled cap, part of the Samuel Smith's Selection Box, purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA

Poured into an imperial pint glass, a creamy off-white head forms on top of a deeply golden liquid. The head has staying power, and leaves thick lace all over the glass. Pleasant hops aroma, which couples with the tastes of an optimal amount bitterness and a bit more malt than most pales ales, which is a plus in my book. Not particularly a pale ale fan, but this one does it for me.

ppoitras, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of MobBarley
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful, full golden-copper color with a small creamy head. The smell is tangy and sweet, clearly favoring the malt side of the equation, but with a spicy hoppiness as well. The taste, sorry to say, was less to my liking than expected. I suppose I'm just used to PNW Pale that are hop-heavy, but the sweet, malty nature of the taste was a little cloying. Notes of caramel are abundant, with a slight piney hopiness and a peculiar tinny aftertaste battling for the finish. Crisp nonetheless, and good in the mouth due to strong carbonation and relatively full body. Drinkability is average. A solid English Pale Ale when I want something different.

MobBarley, Jan 25, 2004
Photo of budgood1
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours out a beautiful deep amber colour, with a huge, rich,frothy off white head. pretty lacy, too. aroma of earthy maltiness, sweet and full of caramel. light english hop nose, too. tastes refreshing...medium maltiness that has a real grainy tone is balanced nicely by a fair dose of english hops...nicely bittered for a english ale. i could really pick up on the mineral aspects of the water...definitely part of the profile. mouthfeel isn't exactly smooth, but slightly rough and raw feeling. body is medium to full. overall, nice tasting and easily quaffable. a classy english ale.

budgood1, Jan 22, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It is full of pale malts and a mild hop aroma. The taste is also good. This is a fine English-style pale ale. It is light and bitter with a dry finish and a mild hop flavor. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This drinks well and is a good sessions beer.

WesWes, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Came in a clear pint bottle, in a gift set that included coasters and a Samuel Smith tulip. Hazy rust colored with an off-white head. Smells of fruit, hops, and sweetness. Has a hearty flavor that gives way to a layer of hops to finish. Pretty tasty, I could drink several of these. I would like more hops, but I say that about every beer.

TastyTaste, Jan 12, 2004
Photo of Sammy
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pleasant ambour color with nice creamy white head. Proves that pale means traditionally, an ale that is not dark but ratehr clarified. Astringent, bitter taste but modified by food. Can be appreciated a mug member. They have superior products to this.

Sammy, Jan 11, 2004
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 956 ratings.