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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
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Ratings: 945 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sachsenfreude
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance; pale, slightly hazy, chestnut color. Light lacing after the tan head dissipates. A collar of foam remains thoughout the drink.

smell; toasty and sweet malts with an overall nutty backbone, quite characteristic of this brewery. Slightest bit of alcohol and hop herbals.

taste; upfront nuttyness that changes to a hint of sour, for only a moment, before ending in a nutty malt finish. Some bitterness hangs around in the aftertaste and dances with warm nutty malts.

mouthfeel; rich and creamy, finishes a little dry but smooth.

drinkability; the aftertaste hangs around for a bit too long but besides that a pretty drinkable beer.

Sachsenfreude, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of gabe23
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Crystal clear amber color with slowly fading white head. Lacing is scattered.

S - Mild aroma with a toasty malt mixed with a bit of sweet fruit. A slight earthy hop aroma is in there somewhere, but malt dominates.

T - The start is mildly bitter and hoppy, with a metallic tinge to the taste. A sweet malt fruitiness then takes over and leads to a slightly dry finish. Very nice, and not as sweet as the aroma would indicate.

M - Medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Slightly thick on the tongue, but not heavy.

D - This is a very drinkable beer with a balanced flavor and low ABV. Perfect for downing a few pints or enjoying with a meal.

gabe23, Feb 20, 2009
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 EvilKeith
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

EvilKeith, Jul 03, 2006
Photo of jkrich
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

jkrich, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of SickBrew
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

SickBrew, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of slyke
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

slyke, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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.

CalgaryFMC, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of hardy008
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

hardy008, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of mynie
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

mynie, Aug 08, 2005
Photo of tjd112
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

tjd112, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of ChrisCage
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

ChrisCage, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of edskirk3
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

edskirk3, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

MrHassellYaHurd, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of joecast
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

joecast, Jun 08, 2004
Photo of DaveFL1976
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

DaveFL1976, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of TheSarge
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

TheSarge, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of Danny1217
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Danny1217, Jun 17, 2012
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

IrishRedRock, Oct 20, 2002
Photo of claytri
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

claytri, Aug 01, 2004
Photo of skynxnex
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

skynxnex, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of mrfrancis
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

mrfrancis, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of MeisterBurger
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

MeisterBurger, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of wahhmaster
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

wahhmaster, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of bmills1608
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

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.

bmills1608, Aug 04, 2003
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 945 ratings.