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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 EvilKeith


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%

Pours stunningly beautiful. There is amazing clarity to this deep rich amber ale. The glass is crowned with a solid finger and a half of meringue-like tan head. Lacing is thick and sticky.
Big malty backbone. Sweet caramel malts, fruity esters and mild hops in the nose.
Taste is classic English Pale Ale. Excellently balanced. Well done, Samuel Smith.
Medium bodied. Slick, dry mouthfeel.
If you are not fimiliar with English Pale Ales this is certaintly one to try. If you are a fan already, you are sure to enjoy this as much as I did.

07-03-2006 21:58:59 | More by EvilKeith
Photo of jkrich


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%

Brown 12 oz. bottle with no freshness date - part of a 4 pack. I can recall years ago purchasing the 6 packs....Poured a beautiful, clear copper with red and orange highlights. The creamy off-white head lingers throughout most of the quaffing.

The aroma was rather restrained, but it had the characteristic spicy, fruity and earthy aromas I have come to expect from an English ale.

The flavor is malt forward with a refreshing, dark fruity taste. The hops are surprisingly assertive, offering a balanced, round flavor. This most be a fresh bottle. There are no exotic, "off flavors" that one often encoutered with English imported ales.

The mouthfeel was soft and creamy with a nice, cleansing fruity flavor on the palate. The carbonation was restrained for the style with just enough to add to the refreshing mouthfeel.

I don't often purchase this product when I visit the local beer store. Perhaps it is the price and no freshness date. I was delighted with the freshness of this bottle. This is a complex but quaffable ale for any season.

03-20-2011 22:40:39 | More by jkrich
Photo of SickBrew


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%

Samuel Smith's brew's are growing on me and they are consistently good!

This beer pours a hefty shade of pale orange to amber with a finger's worth of solid, slightly off-white head. The head does dissipate to a scamp covering after several slugs but continuous to leave some nice lacing. Nose is more malty than hopy unlike many of its American cousins. Taste is also on the malty side and actually quite refreshing given all the crazy over the top hop beers around. Additional flavors include light caramel and some faint toasty notes - almost like an amber. Body is medium light and the carbonation level is relatively high. Overall this is a great beer that I will be having again.

03-24-2009 00:13:09 | More by SickBrew
Photo of slyke


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale pours a lovely copper color with and generous light tan head.

The smell has some caramel sweetness, a touch of citrus, and leathery note. The taste also has the sweetness and touch of citrus and finishes crisp and dry.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a pleasing aftertaste. This is a very drinkable beer - one to find if you love a good English Pale Ale.

01-19-2008 17:26:42 | More by slyke
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%

Bottle purchased from Oak & Vine on 16 Ave in Calgary, only place so far in this city I have found this classic. Pours an amazing bronze amber hue, almost marmalade orange, with a lot of white foam. I had to rush to contain the initial fizzy blast but things very quickly settled down. Aroma was heady and multifaceted, with sweet malts, stone fruits, and earthy hops predominating. This beer is a classic quintessential English ale, with ample character and complexity. Earthy woody English hops lead the way with a hint of apricot (Goldings aroma) against a rich toffee backdrop, considerable crystal malt sweetness but a lot of hop character to provide balance. Some sour crabapple and marmalade citrus flavors add complexity. Dark fruit (raisin) character and diacetyl butterscotch emerge in the finish, along with a mineral bite and old wine fermented notes. Great tapestry of English beer flavors. Body medium thick, with a lingering syrupy sweetness. Lots of residual sugars here. I am an unabashed Samuel Smith fan and this is one of the classics of the genre. Bottles may come off as a bit "old" in flavor but the overall effect is that of a timeless examplar of one of the great beer styles of the world.

10-27-2013 02:04:18 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of hardy008


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%

Copper color with a two finger off white head and nice retention. Leaves a nice lace. Smell is hops, some sweet and biscuit malt, and caramel. The taste is sweeter than expected, with the hops and biscuit malt also present. Very smooth and easy to drink. Medium bodied, smooth carbonation, and very easy to drink. I should drink this more often when I want a break from high abv beers.

12-08-2009 02:43:15 | More by hardy008
Photo of mynie


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%

RED. Deep and dark. Nice head to boot. Fantastic.

Subdued ripe fruit smell with ample grains and a kiss of hops. Lame by modern standards, but still enjoyable.

Tastes more or less like it smells. Perhaps a bit stale, but that might be due to the clear bottle. Big fruit upfront, followed by pale grain and ending with a light hop. Nothing intense, but good.

Goes down smooth.

08-08-2005 06:15:19 | More by mynie
Photo of tjd112

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Poured this into Sam Smith's nonic, included in gift pack. Poured amber colour with creamy white head which retains well and has good lacing. The smell and taste consists of earthy hops with a touch of fruitiness. Mouthfeel is smooth, light, and a little bit of dry as well. Overall, a great beer, but I prefer the nut brown.

03-24-2010 15:19:06 | More by tjd112
Photo of ChrisCage

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

A- I gave this a hard pour and was impressed with the thick creamy slightly golden head that lasts a fairly good length of time. This is a clear brew, with a dark amber/reddish coloring. Not too much carbonation upon inspection and there is also little to no lacing. I quite like the masculine looking bottle with the old school labelling....the foil neck is a nice touch!

S- Overall the aromas are fairly mild, but I could definately pick up the hopiness that is to come. It also has a deep, earthy smell to it that reminds me of damp soil. I do pick up some faint malts and grains but not much else.

T- I think this tastes wonderful! Well balanced with a good hop kick on the finish! I tasted the earthy notes that are apparent in the aroma. At the beginning of the taste is where I noticed some of the creamy malts but also some slightly raw grain flavors. A good strong tasting beer but without the edge.

M- As stated before, there is a creamy texture to this that almost feels like it's melting in your mouth. It's a decently full bodied brew, with a reasonably low carbonation level, more so if you let it sit for a few minutes. It kind of just rolls around on the palate and lets you take in it's flavors.

D- This isn't a chugging beer! I'd probably have a couple of pints before getting filled up. Lots of flavor and a great texture contribute to me recommending this to anyone who wants to drink what I consider a very good version of this style. I will definately pick up more of this when I get the chance again.

07-03-2008 01:12:37 | More by ChrisCage
Photo of edskirk3


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Bottle and glass from the Samuel Smith gift set.

The color is orange-amber with an off-white head, not very much lacing going on but finely beaded. Light carbonation. Delicate blend of hops and fruit (sort of like candy) in the aroma.

As pale ales go these days, this one is relatively light on the bitterness. There's a good balance going on between hops and grains. The grain presence is---well, grainy, husky. It's a bready combination. Something is lingering afterwards. I believe here that I taste the Yorkshire stone square fermenters used at the brewery. It's kind of chalky, right at the end.

The beverage is altogether smooth and easy to drink. I feel that I've just imbibed an authentic English brew for sure.

01-24-2007 03:00:55 | More by edskirk3
Photo of MrHassellYaHurd


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Pours a crystal-clear deep copper and is capped with a thin off white head. Very little visual carbonation.

The smell is huge on malts, deliciously sweet, and accompanied with just the slightest hint of a fuggles-like hop note. Scents of bananas and cotton candy play on the wonderful sweetness.

Toasted bread and caramel are at the fore of the taste. The hops don't seem to carry into the flavor, but a slight and gentle bitterness from the roasted grains.

The body is mild with a silky-smooth texture and a clean finish, making it very drinkable.

04-27-2010 03:53:09 | More by MrHassellYaHurd
Photo of joecast


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

great ruby red and brown color with a tanned head.
full malty sweet aroma, like pale malted grains.
some sweetness in the flavor, but real smooth. some bitterness at first but seems to change to an alcohol dryness.
very smooth mouthfeel.
chenge of pace from american pale ales. i guess thats obvious since its not american. trades in the blatant hop influence for a more restrained character.

06-08-2004 06:48:44 | More by joecast
Photo of DaveFL1976


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Oh how easy it is to forget how different Pale Ales can be. This is as far away from a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, or a Bells Two Hearted Ale as an Oktoberfest or bock is.

It pours a crystal clear, honey brown. OK, a bit darker than honey. The head is fluffy, and off-white. And tenacious. It sticks around for a good long while. The smell is fuggles, with a bit of butteryness to it. A bit of the Sam Smith's Nut Brown smell, too. Taste is smooooth. A nice sweetish malt up frony, with some English bittering hops to balance things out and again, the butteryness comes through. Excellent mouthfeel. Medium body, and quite easy going down.

Having given all those praises, I still like American Pale Ales better!

10-08-2006 22:34:13 | More by DaveFL1976
Photo of TheSarge


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Been a while since I've had an English Pale Ale. Pretty fond of the style, so Sam Smith shouldn't let me down.

Pours quite well with a light tan cranium that is about three fingers thick, and retains perfectly.

The aroma is leathery, herbal, toffee, and a hint of cooked vegetable.

Taste wise it's got the typical tea flavors with buttery toffee and a very slight tart fruitiness.

Feels smooth, crisp, and dry to the palate. Altogether a nice sessionable pale ale.

01-26-2011 01:13:00 | More by TheSarge
Photo of Danny1217


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Pours an amber color A nice off-white head. Caramel and dry hops on the nose. A nice combination. The taste is similar. A sweet caramel taste balanced with a slight bitterness. Feels thick and creamy on the mouth. I could drink this all day.

One of the best English pale ales I've tried. It makes me want to travel back over to England.

06-17-2012 05:37:49 | More by Danny1217
Photo of IrishRedRock


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Huge pillowy foamy head that takes its sweet sweet time to drop off, atop a deep copper colored brew. Thick lace is left everywhere as I drink. The only was I can describe the smell is that of an English pub.

Light carbonation on the tongue with a delicious mild hop flavor. Nothing overpowering and exceptionally smooth. Just another "common" kick-ass brew from the Old Brewery.

10-20-2002 18:41:36 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of claytri


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

It pours a nice opaque brown with a thin off-white head. It smells heavily of malt with hops and spice in the background. This a good tasty malty ale with some spicieness and a sweet cherry finish. The feel is very smooth and oily. While I don't buy it as often as the Pure Lager, it's my choice of Pale Ales

08-01-2004 02:45:46 | More by claytri
Photo of skynxnex


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Pours from the bottle into the Samuel Smith pint glass. Aggressive carbonation forms a large off white head. Lots of medium sized bubbles. Pretty brown-copper color.

Smell is biscuit and fermentation smells. Slight hop bitterness in the nose. Taste is similar. Hint of toasted biscuit and a little bit of grass. Nothing overwhelming. English hop flavor with a good amount of hop flavor, although not the piney/citrus of APAs. Finishes very clean; dry. You can feel the bubbles. Very nice drinking beer.

01-28-2006 03:53:38 | More by skynxnex
Photo of mrfrancis


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

A: Pours a clear copper with a tight, compact off-white head.

S: Very earthy on the nose, with aromas of leather, tobacco, moist earth, pepper, and lemon really standing out.

T: Notes of minerals, toffee, butterscotch, leather, tobacco, pepper, moist earth, herbs, and lemon wash across the palate. The finish is earthy and mildly spicy with an abundance of pepper, leather, tobacco, and toffee notes.

M: Medium-bodied and dry. Carbonation is crisp. This is an incredibly refreshing ale, and in terms of mouthfeel, really nails the feeling that one expects of a typical English pale ale.

O: I've always really liked this beer and my opinion has not changed in the slightest over the years. Few English pale ales, or at least few that I've tried, are as flavorful as Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale. This is an exquisite ale. If your familiarity with English pales stops at Whitbread and/or Bass, then this beer should be a must try for you.

01-07-2012 18:12:06 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of MeisterBurger

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Pours a tawny russet amber topped by an inch of foamy head. Clear. Nice cascading carbonation. Great head retention and fantastic lacing. Looks handsome.

The aroma is about right for the style. There's caramel and something mildly fruity with maybe just a touch of creamery butter and candi sugar.

The taste follows and is spot on, with a nice creamy caramel sweetness balanced against a medium resiny bitterness. There's just a hint of nuttiness in the mix and some fruity esters gamely playing along. It finishes dry.

It's medium-light bodied with a nice, crisp carbonation.

This is a solid example of an English pale ale and I could see myself drinking more than a few of these quite happily in a single session.

10-29-2009 02:34:42 | More by MeisterBurger
Photo of wahhmaster


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a light copper color with a foamy, white head that dissipates slowly and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Has an earthy hop aroma with a bit of a candy-like sweet smell.

Taste: Has a slightly fruity and malty taste up front that becomes a slightly hoppy flavor towards the back supported by biscuity and grainy notes. Very tasty and very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Reasonably full-bodied with a crisp edge to it.

Drinkability: An excellent exemplar of the English Pale Ale style. Definitely something lovers of the style should try and something I certainly wouldn't mind having again.

11-02-2010 02:16:47 | More by wahhmaster
Photo of bmills1608


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

Poured from the big clear bottle a deep clear amber with red highlights. Really nice big thick head. A pretty beer. On the nose was caramel malts, butterscotch, some soft herbal hops and brewed tea. A very nice nose, but nothing overly complex.

Taste starts out a bit malt-sweet and faintly nutty. The distinctive Samuel Smith flash of flint/metal followed the malt. Some smooth diacetyl and low ale fruitiness also were evident. As with all S.S. brews, hops balanced beautifully with the malt. A nice Goldings bitterness rounded out the flavors nicely and put the beer in supreme balance. Doughy mouth coating flavors and some mild dryness from the hops finished the beer nice and clean. Highly drinkable. Mouthfeel I thought was above average - lightly creamy and very smooth with tight and somewhat sparse carbonation.

Overall impression - A solid Sam Smiths offering. Less complex I thought then some of their other beers, but what it may not have had in the complexity department is made up in drinkability. A prototypical English pale ale.

08-04-2003 16:52:35 | More by bmills1608
Photo of BamaBeerBuff

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

A: Pours a coppery-amber with a creamy off-white head. Retention is decent and it leaves moderate amounts of lace.

S: Caramel malt is prominent and balances well with earthy hops (that same subdued English hop aroma in the IPA from SS). It's also got some citrus or fruit smells and diacetyl/butterscotch, as well.

T&M: Malty and smooth with a biscuit-like malt flavor that tapers off into a smooth tamed-hop finish. Some earthy notes in the hop flavor with slight hints of fruitiness about halfway through. It's medium bodied with moderate carbonation. This one's a real easy-drinker. The flavor definitely has distinctive aspects, but they are well balanced and make for a solid pale ale. A perfect balance between character and drinkability for me. It's got an almost tea-like character to it...

D: This is a very drinkable session ale. The hoppy finish beckons you to drink more, but it's not overpowering at all. This is a really refreshing pale ale. Yet another wonderful offering from the Tadcaster brewery. This is one hell of a refreshing and tasty pale ale.

04-27-2008 21:18:17 | More by BamaBeerBuff
Photo of bashiba


4.08/5  rDev +5.4%

This beer poured a nice clean amber color with a tons of carbonation leading to a thick and almost perfect off white head.

The smell was lightly and slightly fruity with hints of minerals.

The flavor is very classic english Pale Ale. Has a nice toasted malt bready backbone with an earthy and minerally finish with just a touch of hop bitterness along with some light fruity notes.

The mouthfeel has a nice bit of oily thickness to it with lots of zippy carbonation.

Very drinkable and solid English Ale. I would consider it a benchmark English pale.

03-14-2009 23:23:04 | More by bashiba
Photo of krberg


4.08/5  rDev +5.4%

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.

03-11-2004 03:59:14 | More by krberg
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 941 ratings.