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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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 945 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber hue, a struggling head with spotted lacing. Faint, dull aroma, some hops and raisins tough to detect. English malts and hops, some fruit noted off the top, somewhat bitter, yearning for the hops. Some spices and a dry and rich body. Hoppy and bitter balanced makes it a good drink, anytime, anyplace. Another SS top quality brew, mark as a staple.

GeoffRizzo, Jun 07, 2003
Photo of IronDjinn
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very fine specimen. A nice rich amber colour with a fair white foamy head that lasts a minute or so, leaving a fine lace on it's way down the glass. Strong malty aroma with a bit of spicy hops.
Rich malty flavour balanced out nicely by the hops, goes down very easy and is quite refreshing. The malt definitelty dominates over the hop content in this pale ale. A formidable session brew.

IronDjinn, May 25, 2003
Photo of Tballz420
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber color with a pillowy creamy white head on top. Nice malty aroma. The taste is pretty similar to some other english style PAs that ive had. A pretty malty taste with a nice blast of hops. I can definately picture myself having another one of these soon. Damn fine beer.

Tballz420, May 07, 2003
Photo of Garin
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On the pour, this is a slightly cloudy coppery orange. The head is billowy and creamy, and fades within a couple of minutes leaving a nice clingy lacing.

The aroma is mild, sweet, and yeasty, with malt and a touch of hops. Flavours of herbs, orange, spice, and hops are detectable. The malt vs. hops is very nicely balanced, with assertive kicks of each alternately taking centre stage. Some butteriness is obvious, but not overwhelming. A nice toasted grainy/grassy flavour complements the dry and bitter in the finish.

The mouthfeel is nice and creamy, with medium carbonation. The carbonation is just a touch more than I'd like it to be, but I'm not really complaining.

Garin, Apr 24, 2003
Photo of jlervine
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally, proof that my Samuel Smith run tonight was not in vain. This ale poured a copper color with a thick head that took forever to go away. The remnants followed the beer all the way down. Fragrant hops reach my nose from the glass. The taste is fantastic. Sharp, crisp, lightly bitter, and then gone, with a lingering maltiness and bitterness duking it out on the back of my tongue. This is what I like from a pale ale. Simply fantastic.

jlervine, Apr 17, 2003
Photo of Riggo
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A classic, to my mind, but subtle compared to so many of the "big" ales brewed in America. This mellow and tasty ale has a certain un-nameable charm that causes me to love it despite its lack of "bells and whistles". There is something of the old country in this brew that just never quite seems duplicated here in the states.

Fills my glass with a brilliant golden copper color, like dark scotch. A sturdy beige head is tightly-beaded and the texture of sea foam. Head retention is good, with moderate lacing. An understated yet alluring nose is musty and malty with notes of buttersotch, mineral-chalkiness, fruit (apples), caramel, and tobacco. In the mouth, an exceptionally well-balanced ale, nutty and malty, with a clean hop background. Fruity (orange and lemon) and earthy (oak, malt, buttery toffee, caramel) with a long malty yet dry finish. Aftertaste is dry and lemony. Mouthfeel is good, especially the lower carbonation. Drinkability on this one is high, especially in the sense of looking forward to another glass.

A subtle yet charming brew that gives me what I think may just be a hint of what real cask beer in England might be like. I suspect that this ale loses a good deal on the trip overseas and even in being bottled rather than on tap or handpump in the motherland. (Incidentally, I have had a few bottles of this beer that were most likely lightstruck. I had reason to believe that this particular bottle was kept relatively protected from light and that seemed to be borne out in tasting.)

Riggo, Apr 10, 2003
Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy amber colored with a large off-white head, good carbonation, and lots of sticky lace. Substantial aroma of floral hops, lesser notes of malt. Tasting begins with toasted malts and slight fruit notes, soon the taste flows into mildly bitter hops. Finishes dry with dark malt notes. The mouth feel is quite pleasant. A rather fine pale ale.

Pegasus, Apr 08, 2003
Photo of beerluvr
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a nice off white head, slowly settling on top of beautifully clear golden-amber liquid tinged with red. Nose is the "patented" Sam Smith buttery/diacetyl, with grassy notes & little hop. Taste is marvelously smooth and fruity, nice gentle carbonation makes this go down quickly. Restrained but adequate hoppiness mixes nicely with a medium-bodied maltiness. Finishes slightly sweet, with a bit of dryness coming back after the swallow. All in all, a fine English-style Pale Ale, unique in character and taste.

beerluvr, Apr 03, 2003
Photo of Running4beer
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an deep amber/rust color with an off white head that was thick but settles to a thin lace quickly. The aroma of malts jump at your nose and some caramel does too. Sweet malt and caramel taste is followed by a slight bitterness a good one, two punch to this tasteful beer. Light carbonation and smooth mouthfeel. The balance of flavors and mouthfeel make this an easily drinkable brew.

Cheers!!!

Running4beer, Apr 03, 2003
Photo of Bruiser81
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured a deep amber color with an impressive head. However it dwindled quickly leaving just a ring around the glass. The aroma was malt and maybe a little bit of maple or molasses. The smell was also a bit skunky, but it wasn't bad. The taste was a bit calm with nothing really jumping out at first. There is a little bit of sweet malt up front. The finish balances out well with just a little bit of a bitter hop taste. This beer goes down smooth with just the right amount of carbonation. I will probably drink this brew again. I'm not a big fan of Pales but this one was decent.

Bruiser81, Mar 31, 2003
Photo of Scooter77
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith?s is well known for it?s great beers and this one?s no exception. Pours a hazy golden color with a thin, bubbly head that dissipates quickly, leaving a very thin lace on the glass. Nose is full of floral hops with small hints of sweet malts and caramel. Taste is sweet with mild hops. Very well balanced. This is a very smooth and refreshing brew.

Scooter77, Mar 22, 2003
Photo of WaltTrombone
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer came in a 550ml clear glass bottle, as part of a Samuel Smith's Beer Nut package. It poured a medium amber, with a huge off-white head. The aroma was a sweet malty one. Taste was also sweet malt, balanced by a touch of bitter hops, and some grapefruit notes. The mouthfeel was posh and luxurious, and a smooth, light hoppy finish.

An excellent beer! I liked this better than the Nut Brown Ale, very smooth and drinkable. A good session ale.

WaltTrombone, Mar 08, 2003
Photo of RonfromJersey
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper body, topped by foamy, frothy four-finger off-white head. Outstanding lacing. Aroma has biscuits, floral and herbal hops, and a proper dash of British sulfur. Taste is malty but dry, with enough hops to dry out the initial malt surge, and have some left over for a little tingle in the aftertaste. Nothing too big here, this is basically a slightly stronger session beer, or what passes for a session beer from Sam Smith. I don't think I could afford to actually use their beers for that purpose. This is a fine English ale though.

Regarding the clear bottles and skunkiness, I offer three possibilites. 1. I 've been incredibly lucky in never having a skunked Sam Smith. 2. Some reviewers imagine skunkiness at the sight of a clear bottle. 3. What some call skunkiness is the sulfur quality characteristic of many English ales.

RonfromJersey, Mar 01, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a huge, and well-retained creamy head, with a pale amber color. Aroma is soft, slightly floral, faint fruitiness, some citrus, but very mellow in the hop department. Overall, a sweetish palate, practically nil on the bitterness scale.
Light texture, very easy mouthfeel, lacks some substance. Doesn't need any really, for the purposes of this style. It's a pub ale, with not so much flavor to take your attention from the football or the darts. Slightly coppery, tangy taste, a little buttery.
My least favorite Samuel Smith's beer, just too mild and pale for my taste, although perfect for what it tries to be. I compare all "pale ales", sometimes unfavorably, against hoppier American craftbrew versions.

feloniousmonk, Feb 27, 2003
Photo of LiquidBreadMan
2.68/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The clear bottle is attractive, but I have to wonder if it affected the taste in a bad way. No doubt, Samuel Smith Pale Ale looks good -- really good. However, the taste reminded me of the canned Carling Black Label that we used to hide in the woods, as young teenagers.

The poured appearance is richly golden with a light amber hue (hey, I said it looked good), with a thick short-lived head. Aroma wasn't bad, but it was on the malty side -- not citrusy such as I expect with a Pale Ale. The taste was very Budweiser-esque, or warm canned Carling Black Label: overly sweet (corn, no doubt) with a putrid (skunky) finish. Carbonation, which may have helped this brew, was almost nonexistent.

LiquidBreadMan, Feb 16, 2003
Photo of canoehornpoint
3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Why do they use clear bottles? Clear bottle that is pretty stylish. Pours with no head and is a clear amber. Has a more prounounced maltiness in the aroma. This has a somewhat spicy floral hop taste and is a bit on the skunky side. This reminds me of a maltier Heinekin.

Personal notes: I didn't finish this. I'm not sure if the skunyness was due to the clear bottle or if this is on purpose.

canoehornpoint, Feb 13, 2003
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz. clear bottle (how do they get away with that?!) with the gold foil around the top.

Appearance: An opaque copper-colored appearance with a frothy, bubbly head that rings the glass distinctly after each quaff.

Smell: Just a little bit of citrus hoppy aroma....but there was also a whiff of "skunkiness" to this one as well.

Taste: Nothing in this beer really jumped out at me. The hops didn't outpower the balancing sweetness from the malts. Just a decent-tasting pale ale.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation and crispness of the hops make for a good mouthfeel.

Drinkabilty: Definitely one of the more "puckering" type PA's I've had. This one really finishes dry. That was kind of a turn off for me.

OldFrothingSlosh, Feb 13, 2003
Photo of Naerhu
2.73/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ingredients: malt, hops

Clear bottle gold foil. Where is the beer here? What is up with the clear bottles? Reddish color, thin head, no lace. Barely perceptible malty aroma. Weak bitterness. I imagine a fine beer here out of respect for the brewer?s other products, but it must be the clear bottle that has sapped all the character from this beer. I can?t believe I will bother much more with these brews. Why would I spend big money on them when their character is sapped by the brewer putting them in clear bottles? This is simply a waste of craftsmanship

Naerhu, Feb 03, 2003
Photo of CharlesRiver
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish amber in color with little to no head. The smell is malty and sweet. Typical English-Style pale ale, but one that I like. Malty and smooth in the beginning with some hop flavor coming in towards the end. I also taste a hint of caramel some where there.

I still have to say my favorite beer from Sam Smith's is the Oatmeal Stout. I have yet to try the Imperial Stout but have heard great things.

CharlesRiver, Jan 08, 2003
Photo of Morris729
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly orange copper color with a thin white head that dissipates into a nice lace. Nose is sweet and fruity, almost candy like. Smells a lot like a Fruit Rollup. Taste is a sweet fruitiness up front with a touch of spice, a malty and bready middle, and a dry finish with a mild hop bitterness. Nice full mouth feel. A very nice pale ale!

Morris729, Jan 07, 2003
Photo of oelergud
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light ruby, plenty of carbonation and an off white head that stays fairly long
Smells fresh and crisp and taste the same with a hint of hard candy, a very well balanced brew that lets bitterness, acidity and sweetness come forth without either being too dominant.
Feels very good on the tongue, creamy and full for a pale ale, smooth and goes down easy. This is a pretty good brew as most things coming from the Tadcaster brewery.

-Oelergud

oelergud, Jan 01, 2003
Photo of bditty187
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruddy-copper hue with influences of brownish-bronze, the slightly off-white head reached almost two fingers in height. Slowly the bubbles fracture and the head subsided leisurely to a tight cap. Eye candy. Laces rather well. The nose is not hoppy, this is to be expected, lightly malty with kisses of caramel, distant candy-like sweetness, butter. The bouquet has mild potency but the invitation to quaff is there nevertheless. I find English-style Pale Ales to be divine tasting. More malty than hoppy, as brewed, the maltiness is strongly influenced with caramel flavors. Samuel Smith adds a layer of candied-sugar sweetness in this old boy, which mingles well with a buttery-yeast taste (now hearken back to the caramel? and wow what a flavor profile!). The hoppiness is distant and dry, leafy. The bitterness is mild and only appears at the finish. It is very pleasing to drink; the low abv begs you to session with it. How can you not? The carbonation is very relaxed, soothing like a massage, medium in body. Lovely. Recommended. Now give me some fish-n-chips and leave me alone.

I?d kill every one of you to try this on cask, seriously.

bditty187, Dec 23, 2002
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear russet body (with orange highlights when held to the light) is topped by a rocky light tan head that holds quite well and leaves excellent lace. The nose displays an earthy malt and lightly grassy hops as well as an affirmative diacetyl / butterscotch note. The body is medium light, and combines with a very fine & gentle carbonation to create a nicely creamy mouthfeel. The flavor is mainly of a lightly caramel & biscuity malt that's enhanced by a touch of buttery diacetyl, a distinct earthiness, some mild fruitiness, a light hop flavor and a firm balancing bitterness. In the finish, the hoppiness combines with the sweet buttery malt to give a light spiciness on the tongue and throat similar to that of black licorice candy. A really enjoyable English pale that probably deserves more attention than it gets.

NeroFiddled, Dec 18, 2002
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes in a 550ml Bottle, with a label format that Samuel Smiths must have been using for years, a rectangular shaped label with a gold trim, the one where only the background color and name changes for different beers (this has a black background with the words Old Brewery Pale Ale) but always topped proudly by the White Rose of Yorkshire.
I carefully ?dunked? the beer, because I like a head on my beer. A big release of dissolved CO2 gives a rather deep, some 4?, light brown head in my over size Glass. The voluminous head is a light tan brown color that pairs extremely well with the super clear brown, copper-chestnut colored ale. It really does look the part, and very appetizing. Tops marks for head retention as well ? it settled (eventually!) to about 1? but more importantly for me it lasted the distance. It also leaves a super looking lace on the glass walls. Nose is rather average in strength, but this is not detrimental for me as it contains a good dose of malt, which a Pale Ale should. Hops are somewhat feint but evident as well. Initial tastes are of sweet malt, an ever so slight almost delicate slightly roast taste, some hops come in towards the end, but the finish is perfectly balanced between the sweet malt and the hops. I swear I get some oak wood, or is it Walnuts? in the finish as well, how can that be? Taste lingers for some time, a sweet very satisfying mouthfeel.
A great drinking beer, albeit 5%. Hell, do I wish they would sell this in Cask in England, what a great lunchtime session beer it would make. I could easily demolish a (UK) Gallon of this at lunchtime: screw work in the afternoon.
Yet again, Sam?s do themselves proud, they do not disappoint, do they ever?! As a Yorkshireman myself, they also make me feel proud to be able to drink this high quality beer in the USA. Thanks to Merchant du Vin, a totally inappropriate name for the Importer.

I have to tell you - this is THE beer to drink with Fish and Chips !!
A truly great English Pale Ale, a taste of home and simply just, well -Bloody Marvellous.

TheLongBeachBum, Dec 13, 2002
Photo of BeerBuilder
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, amber/orangish in color, with an off-white head. The aroma is full of grain and fruity, floral hops. The taste is of caramel malt, as well as grain. The hop flavor is floral. Hop bitterness is medium, subdued by the malt flavors. It is a medium-bodied brew with light carbonation. Overall, it is an easy drinking, well balanced English Pale Ale.

BeerBuilder, Dec 12, 2002
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 945 ratings.