Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale AleSamuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale

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very good

658 Reviews

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Reviews: 658
Hads: 986
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 14.51%
Wants: 43
Gots: 33 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 658 | Hads: 986
Photo of meechum
4.48/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received this as part of a gift pack from my brother in law for Christmas (Thanks Breadslicer).

A - Poured a deep amber or copper into a Sam Smith's pint tumbler. Had a nice deep 2 to 3 finger head that fell slowly leaving a nice big lace down the glass.

S - Had a nice toasty smell along with a flowery hop aroma

T - Had a big malt presence up front..nice and toasty...some slight nutty flavor..and then a dry bite of hops at the back end that is just perfect couter balance to the sweetness of the malts

M - A nice crips carbonation along with a slightly thick feel..give this beer a wonderful feel

D - To me this is the epitome of what a Pale Ale should be...I could literally drink this all night 5% it's the perfect session brew and it's taste is satisfying and left me wanting more...I was bummed when I finished it and didn't have any more to go...I will be making this a regular place in my weekly beer stock

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Photo of Shovelbum
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this from a Sam Smith sampler box, so it avoided light spoilage despite the clear bottle.

Pours a creamy off-white head over a deep copper body. Substantial aromas of sweet caramel malt and British minerals. More sweet careml malt in the flavor joined by a nice toasted biscuit character, slight frutiness adn a bit of flroal hops. Despite the aroma, the mineral character is not nearly as pronounced as in some other British ales. Mild hop bitterness in the background and makes this a well-balanced pale ale. Smooth and creamy in the mouth. Slightly drying finish.

This is one fine Pale Ale. It far more balanced than the American versions of the style, but retains great depth and complexity, particularly in the malts profile. A great session ale.

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Photo of erosier
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a nice clear amber color with a medium sized and semi-medium bodied head that takes some time to settle but laces the glass very nicely all the way down.
S: Smells of very sweet malts, some caramel and toffee, and a bit of hops at the end of the nose.
T: Tastes of very nice sweet and roasted malts, some caramel and toffee flavors come through and then balanced out with a very subtle yet effective hop finish.
M: Very smooth, light, crisp, and refreshing. Perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable beer as all of the flavors blended well and it has a nice feel to it. This is a very good beer.

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Photo of leansean88
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me just say that this was not at all what I expected, in a good way. I got this beer because I like Samuel Smith's, not because I'm a big pale ale person. I can easily say it was unlike any pale ale I've ever had. It was a very smooth, very enjoyable taste. It was a hint of hops and malt bathed in pure smooth creaminess. I really cannot get over how much I enjoyed it. Like all Sam Smith's I've had so far, the mouthfeel cannot be beat.

Notes: The Nut Brown was quite nice, the Imperial Stout was amazing, and this beer falls somewhere between those two. I've still got two more bottles of Sam Smith's to try before I pick my favorite. As far as pale ales go, I think I have a new champion.

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Photo of Dave1999
4.46/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a standard pint glass.

Rich red in colour with a white foamy head.

Smells of malts and grapefruit as well as malts.

A complex array of tastes including hops, malts, lemon, treacle and barley.

Goes down smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

This is just a fantastic pale ale, complex layers of flavour and just a great beer. I'd recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of Herrbrokt
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

550 ml. bottle. Served into pint glass. no fresh by.

Pours an amberish brown. Nice beige head that sticks around for the fun.

Smells of dough and fruits.

Fantastic balance in the taste. sweet malt, buttery dough and the all important kick of hops. Real nice.

It lays a bit thicker on the tongue than I expected though. not as dry and bright as many pale ales. only criticism on this one.

overall big hit. I'll pick up a stack.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review from notes on 6/29/09

A - poured clear mahogany amber with a 1" cream colored head in the Samuel Smith's imperial pint glass. Spidery lace patches all around. 4.0

S - very clean and grainy. Pale malty sweetness with a little bit of caramel. Fruits, apples, pears. Fruity and touch of earthiness from hops. 4.0

T - Taste is very similar to smell but the hops are more pronounced in the finish. A wonderfully balanced beer. 4.5

M - Light bodied and well carbonated. Very smooth and clean. A little bit of dryness. 4.5

D - One word: DAMN! 5.0

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Photo of mwrseeley
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Excellent. Every sip was a joy. Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale is a beer I will come back to with frequent regularity.

A light beige head, foamy and tightly-bubbled, capped an orange-red body. I loved the smooth creaminess and the beer was carbonated exactly to my liking.

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Photo of yelterdow
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the brewery's appropriate imperial pint glass at refrigerator temperature, from a 550 ml. bottle. From a boxed "gift package", which had no exposure to light.

Appearance- Absolutely beautiful deep amber color with a tight, soapy, well formed three finger head that really holds itself together. Sticky lacing rides the glass as the minutes pass.

Smell- Spicy Fuggles and Goldings hop aromas abound... with a rich caramel maltiness that balances the scales. Nicely complex for an English Pale Ale... great bready notes, the ingredients smell clean and pure.

Taste- Wow... the maltiest Pale Ale I've ever tasted, no doubt... this is damn tasty! The bready malt character bleeds seamlessly into a nice, enjoyable hop bitterness that whets the palate for the next sip.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Solid, good carbonation. Bold, in a good way... not quite as slick and rolling as what I'd consider the "perfect" mouthfeel, but good. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of DrewSnyc667
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Slightly hazy brilliant copper color. Minor activity and almost no head whatsoever

S: Amazingly robust chocolate and caramel. Unique to the stye, I am chewing on the malts before I take a sip.

T: A malt fans delight. Super complex starts like chocolate chandy and ends with a nice little hop crisp

M: Nice amount of carbonation keeps that sweet malt at bay and makes this highly session able

O: I have been really into the English session ales lately and this one is another treat.

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Photo of GreenWBush
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
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!

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Photo of Grundle20
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The beers is copper in color with a big sticky white head that laces the glass in rings.

Initially I pick up a bready sweetness but not so much like dark bread. There is a great floral hop profile to compliment the sweet scent. The only draw back here is a just a touch of detergent scent which is a little undesirable.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Plain and simple, this beer is cold, wet, and refreshing. It starts off again with that sweet white bread character which evolves in to a bitter floral note. The finish is a little nutty and full but has little aftertaste to speak of. Very well balanced and delicious.

Absolutely one of the best drinking beers I've had in quite some time.

Bottom Line:
This beer is pretty much everything that an English pale ale should be and a few American pale ales should also take notes from this fine beer.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a good clear amber orange brown with good fizzy off white head that dissipates fairly quick. Nose is appley as hell with a bit of a coppery smell. Taste is nice and complex, but simple enough to session quite easily. Maltiness is most noticeable with a good kiss of english hops on the finish. An overall smooth flavor with a bit of apple flavor, some very smooth earthy malts, but not overpowering or too sweet. A nice dry finish is graced with some slight hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is quite good, Drinkability is about as good as it gets. This is one of my all time favorite session brews for summertime at the cabin. I absolutely love this brew for session drinking, or even to enjoy just one. I think when my tax returns arrive I will stock my fridge with these. Great brew.

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Photo of baiser
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of tconboy
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful clear dark amber with a nice foamy white head that lasts, moderate lacing. This one looks nice. The first sip, and I'm very impressed. Smooth, light carbonation, a fantastic blend of malt and a hint of bitterness, with a little nut flavor and very smooth and highly drinkable. I am blown away by this. I'm not too familiar with the style, but I'm definitely going to have to seek out similar beers because this is very enjoyable.

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Photo of inebrius
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Creamy fat head rests over an English amber liquid explosion of flavor. Rich and mellow buttery caramel spine is superbly balanced against loamy hops all mineral-like and tasty. Subdued carbonation makes it a pleasure to coat your throat with this stirring pale.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with a nice off-white head. Smell is malty and slightly hoppy. Taste is malty that finishes very dry as the hops set in. The taste is also slightly nutty and there is a kind of metallic taste as well. The mouthfeel is medium and lightly carbonated. Overall this is another superb brew from Samuel Smith's that I will enjoy time and time again.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale has a very thick, soapy, cream-colored head, lots of thick lacing rings left behind, and a somewhat hazy, amber appearance, with a few bubble streams and some little brown particles floating about. The aroma is pungent, sweet, bready, roasted, and full. Taste is of the same elements, with toffee and a pleasant, and even sharp, hop bitterness in the middle-to-end of the sip. Mouthfeel is medium and slick, and Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale finishes dry, refreshing, and quite drinkable. Overall, this is a most excellent beer!


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Photo of PvtVile
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It was poured into a snifter from a brown bottle with gold foil.

Appearance: Dark amber with a good 2 finger head that stays around for awhile then dissipates after sitting for a minute.

Smell: The smell is kind of sweet. I also smell some bread and raisin.

Taste: Kind of bitter but not overwhelming, tastes sweet and of grape fruit.

Feel: Nice consistency, a little thick and fizzy, the carbon stays to give a refreshing feel.

Drink ability: A very good beer that I would love to drink all the time.

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Photo of Opethsprite
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pulled from a Samuel Smith sampler (which also includes their Oatmeal Stout and Nut Brown, as well as a Samuel Smith), and I'm pleased to say that this will have to be a regular for me! It's a lovely, medium-dark brown with a bit of red. The head is a fluffy, off-white which disappeared before long to leave some lacing. It smells much sweeter than I'd expect--lots of carmel with coffee and chocolate as well. It is a beautifully well-rounded beer with not-too-in-your-face hops and it's not-overpoweringly either. Medium bodied with carbonation, and it finishes slightly dry. I love this beer!!!

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Photo of beertastegood
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice copper color with a big light tan head that lingers for quite some time. Smells of nutty caramel, and grassy hops.

Tastes of lightly roasted coffee and nuts, followed by a medium floral hop flavor that fades nicely into a clean, dry nutty finish. Mouthfeel is very nice, medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. Drinkability is high.

Another excellent brew from the Sam Smith brewery.

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Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a big bottle into a Samuel Smith's pint glass.

A: Amazing looking ale. Amber/red with a perfect creamy tan head.

S: Nice, fragrant hops, caramel, toast and a wave of zesty tobacco at the end. This one screams complexity.

T: A hoppy, caramel character is complimented well by hints of white chocolate and a rich, coffee-like finish.

Drinkability: Excellent. Something you could see Sherlock Holmes drinking in his favorite pub with Watson by his side.

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Photo of MerkinMan
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Pours a nice copper color with a thick head that does not stay around too long, which is to be expected of English pale ales. The smell is clean.

This beer is balanced perfectly. This is what Bass wished it was. Complex grain tastes with gentle hop tickle to follow.

Carbonated nicely, but not too much.

If this beer was a little cheaper, it would be my everyday beer.

Anyone know of any clone recipes?

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Photo of burnstar
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear red/copper with a nice persistant off white head. Smell is carmel and toasted malt. Taste is light toasted malt with a carmel note. Some herbal hops. Just a touch of bitterness. Nice bready carmel aftertaste. Very british tasting pale ale (obviously). Mouthfeel is medium, maybe a bit on the light side. Really nice for this beer. Very drinkable and a very nice pale ale overall. I'd like to find this on tap.

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Photo of naterock
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes
Poured from a bottle into a dokel
C: Very nive Yellowish orange, good head retention and lacing
S: Not too overwhelming, not what i'd expect from a palt but good.
T: very smooth not as hoppy as some pale ales have been lately. I like that it doesn't try to be a IPA like some APAs. a very satisfying APA
M: nice medium carbonation, it allows the bitterness to come to the front of the pallate
D: this is a very enjoyable PAle ale, I could drink this one a while.

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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 658 ratings.