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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

933 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 933
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 30
Gots: 16 | 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)
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Ratings: 933 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2004 01:33:30 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2004 02:02:13 | More by Sammy
Photo of GuinnessSmurf


4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first of three beers given to me by my greatest friend, Stephen (aka Fatty Chubs). Tension mounted as I removed the beer from the fridge, carefully removing its cap and placing it in my hand for close inspection. The bottle breathed - and whispered a sweet smelling vapor. I raised her up in the air to inspect how the room's atmosphere effected her. She poured gently into my glass, being careful not to make a scene that would embarass either of us. And oh, she did not disappoint. She gracefully climbed my glass and seeked my attention with a full, provocative head. She called to me; I answered. I went in for my first sip, but stopped...stopped by her gentle perfume. It filled my nose with the kindness of mother's love and the seduction of a lover's eyes. I could wait no longer. I brought the Samuel Smith to my lips to satiate my burning desire...and ....

Down it went - with nothing but pleasure on the horizon. It left a sweet and sour mixture on my pallette, that faded into a gentle bitter that left me begging for more. Each sip was more enjoyable. I promised myself that this would not be my last affair with the Samuel Smith Old Brewery Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2004 05:23:44 | More by GuinnessSmurf
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

550ml bottle - Pourred a light brown brew with a nice head with short retention span. Powerful floral aroma coming out of my glass is wonderful. Taste is bit sour with great hops balance. Body is medium. Overall, this is an above average english pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2003 14:55:53 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Beastdog75

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly everything Samuel Smith produces can be considered a classic, and their Pale Ale is certainly no exception. This is a good pale ale for almost any occasion. Of course, it is also customary to gripe about the clear bottle that this is served in, but I found that the exposure to light didn't effect the flavor as much as I thought it would have.

Sam Smith' s Pale Ale pours a golden amber color with hints of red and brown. A slightly off-white head forms and lasts for about 3 to 4 minutes, leaving some whispy lace behind. The aroma unfortunately did suffer from being lightstruck, lending a skunky aroma, but it managed to subside enough to give some hints of caramel. There is a smooth, moderately carbonated mouthfeel to this beer. As mentioned, the skunk did not hinder the beer all that much. There is a good malt presence with notes of caramel and buttery toffee. A light-moderate harshness/roughness was present in this beer, and it might be due to the light exposure, but I have nothing to back that up. I found the hop presence leaned towards the stronger side of things, with the beer being bitter and drying in the finish. The aftertaste had more notes of caramel, and the bitterness lingered long after the beer was done. This one finishes out with a light alcoholic warmth.

I do see this beer as being a good pairing for pub grub: perhaps some bangers and mash, fish and chips, or maybe even a prime rib. This is a good drinkable pale ale, and other strong offering from Sam Smith's.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2003 03:44:39 | More by Beastdog75
Photo of HochFliegen


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this beer. I thought it was very mellow and full of flowery hop aroma. Poured a nice rich head. A very clear and crisp amberish color. Taste was very light. Not much of a hoppy flavor at all. Most seemed to come from the aroma. Very light and refereshing mouthfeel as well.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2003 23:52:09 | More by HochFliegen
Photo of HappyHourHero


3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear glowing dark amber colored beer. A light tan head formed when poured, and sank down to a thin coating after a while. The smell is of butterscotch and sweet malt, not much in the hop department. Smooth, clean body. The flavor is a splash of floral hops, and ringwood yeast? Most of what I thought was flavor was the aroma carried over into the light flavor. I like this one, and I'm assuming the characteristics of an English pale ale are different than an American style Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2003 02:56:26 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of Quaffer


3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer poured a slightly hazy, amber color with an off-white head. The fizzy bubbles rose up easily to two fingers and then faded away quickly. A thin, wavery patch of foam was all that remained after just a minute or two. There was no lacing.

Smell: The aroma was not heavy, but it did have some strength to it. It consisted of banana, buttery toffee, and a candy-like sweetness. There was also a solid backbone of malt with cracker- and biscuit-like qualities. This gave the beer a wonderful roasty, toasty quality. At first, there was only an occasion faint whiff of hops that rose up out of the glass. However, as the beer warmed up, it became more noticeable, though it was still not the dominant component of the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Thin- to medium-bodied with a bit of a coating quality to it. Smooth except for a slight tingle on the tongue.

Taste: Very sweet upfront with qualities of caramel and candy sugar. In the middle came a mild, English hops bitterness that gave way to a nice, grainy malt flavor on the finish.

A nice beer that reminded me what an English pale ale is all about. Almost too sweet for me, though.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2003 00:40:49 | More by Quaffer
Photo of RoyalT


3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Orange in color and clear with some good carbonation and a big, fluffy head that went down quickly.

Smell – The musty citrus and floral hops are balanced with a noticeable malt aroma that seems kind of sweet.

Taste – Yes, the malt base is there, almost drowning out the lovely hops. There’s also a sweetness here that I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe very light cane sugar?

Anyway, the hops are fairly complex at the taste. I can even pick up a bit of pine at the finish. This is a nice, well-balanced pale ale.

Mouthfeel – Surprisingly carbonated for the style, this one is medium in the body and very refreshing.

Drinkability – What can I say? It went great with my sandwich and chips and would make a nice session ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2003 02:17:01 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Stingray5

New York

3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured brown with reddish hues, thin white head. Served to me much too cold, so the initial aromas were lost in the frozen tundra. Once things warmed up a bit, the fruity, nutty flavors became evident. Mouthful was good with a nice amount of carbonation. Finished bitter with nice hop flavor.

Served at around 5 degrees Kelvin, a lot of this brew was lost on me until it warmed up enough to taste. Tasty and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2003 04:39:51 | More by Stingray5
Photo of mschofield


4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper with tall frothy khaki head, laces in droopy rings.
Very sweet malt nose - with toffee, butterscotch and lemongrass
Mild bitterness in the taste, somewhat lemon/lime. Doughy and earthy with caramel and toffee tastes as well. It's quite hoppy, moreso than other Pales.
Very smooth, an easy sipper, medium body. Samuel Smith has yet to let me down.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2003 17:14:59 | More by mschofield
Photo of Mustard

District of Columbia

3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 18.7oz translucent bottle; no discernible "bottled on" or "best before" date; purchased from Trader Joe's as part of a three beer+pint glass Samuel Smith gift pack for $7.99.

Appearance: Pours a good looking toffee color with good but not great clarity; good-sized, off-white head; a healthy c-cup's worth of lace; good head retention.

Aroma: Nicely of toffee, butter and floral hops.

Taste: Lightly sweet upfront; fruity, buttery flavors throughout; malt profile is largely toasty; a nice, floral bitterness rounds things out beautifully in the end; light to medium bodied with a smooth and gently carbonated mouthfeel.

Notes: Very well balanced; enjoyed this quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2003 08:15:22 | More by Mustard
Photo of crookedhalo


3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paler copper colored with a thin beige head. Notes of diacetyl, butterscotch and a healthy dose of floral English nobles present. Hoppy and smooth; quite enjoyable. Malty and rich with a silky mouthfeel. Slightly effervescent. Hoppier than one might expect, not in an American pale ale way, though. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2003 21:51:42 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of Popsinc

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice looking amber pour with a generous off-white head. A sweet and lightly hoppy nose with floral notes. The taste is modeartely hoppy with a fruity sweetness and hints of carmel. nice maltiness as well. very smooth mouthfeel and a very easy drinker. while it's not my favorite pale ale, i think it is very good and has excellent drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2003 19:12:11 | More by Popsinc
Photo of moulefrite


3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid Pale Ale. The color is very nice indeed-burnt orange in hue with a solid cap of buttery head initially, then a "hey I'm still here" cap for the duration. Sticky, spider web lace adds to the visuals. In the mouth hops lead the charge and exhibit a rather citric profile, almost like a summer Saison from Belgium. Tangy hop flavors are balanced by butter toffee and toasty malt. What a treat! I bet this would be delicious on tap at an English pub-accompanied by some pub grub of course. I can almost taste the malt vinegar on my chips!

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2003 00:50:54 | More by moulefrite
Photo of ALEBOY


3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice little pale ale. Lovely copper to burnt orange colour and nice small but creamy head.
Slight candy/sugar aroma with traces of caramel.
Slightly burnt flavour, maybe a bit toffee-ish.
A bit lighter in impact than I expected. Quite drinkable, I would be happy to have it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2003 07:37:02 | More by ALEBOY
Photo of Ellbert


3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A pretty average brew. I was a little dissapointed coming from Samuel Smith. The beer is a nice deep amber color with a beautiful head. The smell is lacking... not much there but malt.

The taste was very mellow. A good flavor for a crossover beer. Could have definitely used more hops.

The beer was very drinkable with a nice consitency and good carbonation. I would not buy anymore of these for myself but may get them to crossover some of my buddies.


Serving type: bottle

11-14-2003 17:43:00 | More by Ellbert
Photo of Loki

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 18.7 oz or 500 mL bottle.

Appearance: Light brown in color with a big off-white head. Webs of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Simple english malt and very delicate floral Fuggals and Kent Golding hops. This is not the hop bomb that many American Pale ales are. This is a archetype English Pale Ale.

Taste: Sweet malt that leads into a slight hop bitterness and mild dryness. Slight fruit sweentess with a grassy, floral taste that is just perceptible, but not dominant or even leading.

Mouthfeel: Solid medium body with a slight dryness and mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Wonderfully balanced and consistant. Easily a session beer that could be enjoyed everyday without tire. While not boring it is not challenging either. A beer that could be enjoyed by nearly anyone.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2003 18:06:37 | More by Loki
Photo of TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gotta say, I really enjoyed this one. Looks good, smells good, tastes good.

Handsome dark copper colour, good off-white head and very pretty lace all the way.

Flowery hops and sweet malts in the aroma.

Nice balance of malt and hops to taste, good fruity, honey sweetness that works quite well, not at all cloying and quite pleasant to drink. Wonderful nutty, earthy flavour, pleasantly bitter finish. A delighfully comfortable ale to drink.


Note: I got this beer in a gift box (Pale Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Oatmeal Stout) along with a glass, a couple of coasters and a printed beer guide. The beer is great, but the packaging of the gift box left a lot to be desired. The glass was filthy with greasy fingerprints and had a flawed logo. Now I could wash the glass easily enough, but I took the whole works back because I wanted a glass in good condition. Well the next glass had a clean logo but was equally filthy with greasy fingerprints. These guys could do a better job of presentation given it's a gift box. Safe to treat yourself, but don't plan on buying one of these and giving it away unless you want to be embarassed. And there is no opening the box to polish up the glass before hand as it's sealed up with a bunch of logo-printed stickers.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2003 19:47:44 | More by TerryW
Photo of AtLagerHeads


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another nice product from Samuel Smith. The Old Brewery Pale Ale pours a good looking copper color, slightly hazed, and with mounds of nice lacing and cream colored foamy head.

The aroma is light without much other than a hint of hops with a full boat of malt overlaying the bittering. The taste is mostly of the malts with enough hops to balance the sweetness and finish with good dryness. The feel is medium with only light carbonation. Nice biscuit sense in the taste as well. Exceedingly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2003 02:50:39 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of Shiloh

Ontario (Canada)

3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is of a dull murky brown product with a full fingered head which is very typical for these British ales IMHO.
Body is medium/full with very light carbonation.
Aroma initially is lightly skunked with no linger.
The taste starts to the hops but finishes to the malts and continues to linger in a mild syrupy sort of way thanks to the mouthfeel.
Not a big fan of Samuel Smith's Brewery...but, me thinks this may be there best product.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2003 05:16:29 | More by Shiloh
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an amber copper tone with a vibrant and quite fuffy vanilla colored head that leaves lacing sporatically as it leaves speckled lacing. Aroma: European hops take much of the aromatic qualities this beer has to offer with a bit of an offness from the light exposure that it has been under from the cooler I bought it at. Still some noticeable malt caramel sweetness not too shabby. Taste: Flavor has a bready quality from the Sam Smith's yeast used good mix of hops and malts here not over the tops a quality session pale ale very nice. Mouthfeel: Quite uninteresting mouthfeel medium body but nothing special here. Drinkability: Easily would like to have and would be to finish a four pack of these puppies, just at nine bucks a pop I'm not willing to do that.

Haven't had this one in quite awhile, this time around it pours a pale copper hue with a billowing off white light khaki head. Clouded texture which rises above the rim of my glass adds to the eye candy. Served slightly chilled, lacing is sporadic and spotty but this beer is nice. Served into an official Samuel Smith imperial pint glass. Aroma is quite fruiy with some green apple and and bready qualities coming togther. An interesting layer of earthy hops and a touch of mineral water colliding together. I bought a nice gift sampler with big 550 ml bottles of this, the Nut Brown Ale, and Oatmeal Stout with the glass included for around 11 bucks. Flavor is semi sweet with a mix of caramel malt, bready yeast tones, and balanced with fruity ale notes and herbal earthy English hops. The well water used does impart a nice mineral water character that doesn't impart any off flavors, it just really works well here. Mouthfeel is well rounded carbonation is subdued and very smooth on the palate, medium bodied session ale for sure. Drinkability is pretty effortless the only thing better would be a couple pints pulled from a hand pump while hanging in a London pub.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2003 22:46:45 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - orange amber, small tight creamy head almost like whipped cream sitting on top of some hot cocoa.

Aroma - slight caramel malt preceded by a brief hint of skunk which was subdued but detectable. That completely evaporates, leaving the caramel behind in a much weakened state and kind of hard to pick up.

Taste is of lightly roasted caramel malt and some metallic notes. Light bitterness at the finish, fairly good stuff. Edit - fresher sample tried 1/10/05, no metal, very clean taste, adjusting taste from 3.0 to 3.5.

Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, below average carbonation. Not all that memorable but certainly not bad.

Drinkability - if it wasn't for the metallic taste this would easily score much higher. Edit - a different beer when fresh, adjusting score from 2.5 to 4.0.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2003 20:00:43 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of beerguy101


3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium brown color, medium head. Aroma is malty with some hops. Medium bodied pale ale. Mild flavor, kind of typical for English Pale Ale. Malts and hops are evident, but not overpowering. Kind of buttery tasting. Well-balanced beer. Nice taste. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is crisp and a touch dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2003 02:24:57 | More by beerguy101
Photo of dpend


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I must have gotten a better bottle of this than some of the other reviewers.Although it comes in a clear bottle, (something that I frown upon) there was no skunky smell or taste whatsoever.It poured very well and maintained a healthy head with good color and aroma.It's light in the mouthfeel compared to other ales of this style, but it is highly drinkable and I will continue to enjoy it.Would love to try it on tap.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2003 17:15:54 | More by dpend
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 933 ratings.