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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BA SCORE
87
very good

961 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 961
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 36
Gots: 21 | 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: 961 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Soybomb
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark/tea colored brown with a really nice head that drops to a very thin head over the beers surface. Leaves lacing in the glass.

Smell: A sweet smell and a semi-bread like aroma are there.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Starts rather sweet, but finishes dry. Medium bodied. Higher carbonation carries it off the palate well. No hops are jumping out at me. Maybe a little bit of a nutty flavor similar to their nut brown flavor.

Notes: Meh. Not fantastic, but certainly not bad, and very drinkable. The standard you expect from this brewery. Not my favorite style though so while its good I probably wont be specifically looking for this bottle again.

Photo of mpayne5
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of ehammond1
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle

Texas Liquor
Carlsbad, CA

Copper and auburn with a thick, pillowy, persistent light brown head that leaves small lines of lace down the glass.

Sweet caramel and toffee lead the way in the aroma, with biscuity and bready malts combining for a pleasantly sweet aroma. There isn't much hop presence, but as an English pale ale, that is to be expected. Very nice.

The flavor too is lacking in distinct hop character, which I don't mind in this style. The caramel, toffee, and bready flavors combine well for an incredibly easy drinking pale.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

A definitive version of the style. Malty and delicious.

Photo of MattyG85
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 550 ml bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Bright amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big four finger off white head with good retention and lots of lacing sticking around the glass.

Smell: Sweet toasted caramel malts with apples, bread, dark berries, figs, nuts, and hints of citrus hops. Very malt driven. Smells a lot like apple cider.

Taste: Like the smell. A big taste of bready sweet caramel malts with apples, toffee, nuts, berries, and figs. There is a light but noticeable presence of citrus hops in the finish. Tastes a lot like apple cider but the small kick of hops in the finish reminds you that its a beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy in the mouth and smooth.

Overall: A very fine English pale ale. Very malty but the sweetness is nice and not too much. Pretty well balanced.

Photo of skillerified
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fairly dark copper-orange brew with a small white head. The head faded quickly. Lacing looks alright, but a little slick maybe.

Pine and citrus dominate the scent. It's lemony citrus. There's a hint of a metalic scent. A touch of spice too.

Sweet malt up front with a little caramel mixed in. Some of the citrus flavor comes in around the middle. Fades to a hoppy, bitter flavor at the end. Grapefruit-like on the bitterness, but not nearly as intense.

Fairly smooth and mellow mouthfeel. Medium bodied. A slight carbonation prick on the tongue. Like I said, it starts with a smooth sweetness and fades to a slightly harsher hoppy bitterness. Fairly well-balanced.

Not bad. There something about these English Pale Ales that's appealing to me. This wouldn't make a bad session beer, but I think I'd prefer it on-tap if it were available.

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.

Photo of hyuga
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber-orange color with an off white head that stays thick. Why use clear bottles? Preserving the freshness of the beer is much more important than being able to see the color through the bottle before buying or pouring it. A bit of skunky aroma escaped when the bottle was opened, but it went away quickly. My aroma rating would definitely be higher if it wasn't for that. Sweet and fruity malt and subtle spicy hops in the nose, similar to other Samuel Smith brews. Extremely well balanced flavor profile packed into a medium body. Malty grain sweetness is almost one with the slight spicy hop character. Very traditional feel. Nice and refreshing, just an all-around pleasure to drink. Good session brew, too. A craft beer classic!

Photo of DrDoitchbig
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured much darker than I was expecting, a crystal clear deep copper red. It's practically as dark as an Irish Red. The head was a creamy two fingers that stuck and left some very nice thick rings of lace at least half way through the pint until it ran out of steam.

Smell: Nothing really sticks out in the smell, there isn't anything that's clearly in command. It's a pleasant amalgamation of earthen, grassy hops, buttered biscuit malts and some fruity esters that almost mimic strawberry candy.

Taste: More of the same balanced affair. Though I will say the hops have a slight command here. As in the smell they're very earthy, grassy and slightly spicy. The biscuit like malt shows up again, but doesn't have the same buttery quality as is in the smell. There is a little bit of almost caramel like sweetness to it also. The fruity esters get pushed to the background and have the same strawberry quality as the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Solid medium body on this one. It's got a great creaminess to it, especially when the head was still sticking around. The head almost reminded me of Guinness with it's creamy properties. Carbonation is middle of the road.

Drinkability: This is definitely something I could revisit again when I'm in the mood for a nice, balanced, but still moderately well hopped brew. Definitely tame, but enjoyable.

Overall this reaffirms my conclusion that I prefer the American hop strains versus those out of the UK. But this is certainly a nice change of pace and the first beer that's impressed me out of Samuel Smith's stable.

Photo of rtratzlaff
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 55ml Bottle of Samuel Smith's Pale Ale pours into my 20 Ox Bass Glass,revealing a clear golden bodied beer with a cream colored head that leaves some lacing and sticks around well into the pint.

The aromas are bready malt, faint fruitiness and some earthy hops.

The flavor is caramel malt bready with a hop bitterness and metallic finish. There is a bit of diacytle buttteriness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium full with smooth body and moderate carbonation.

Photo of ritzkiss
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

550ml bottle, pours an attractive clear caramel color with a finger of bubbly head that quickly dies down and leaves a placid top. No retention, no lacing.

Nice caramel malt in the nose, light rasiny hint, bread and fruit.

Pleasant malt base, caramel plus a slightly toasty pale malt, hint of fruit and grass and summer meadows, slightly metallic, pleasant herbal, grassy hop profile that provides a nice dry 'twang' to the finish, not over the top but certainly there. Nothing too flashy but that's the English style in my mind. Low/medium carbonation adds to the drinkability as well, could easily see myself drinking a couple of these at a pub or with a meal into the evening. Nothing wrong going on here.

Photo of jlindros
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this into the complimentary flared out Samuel Smith pint glass.

A: A nice 1.5 finger frothy head develops on the pour that slowly dissipates. Brilliantly clear amber toasty maple brown color that shows all the little bubbles rising up in the middle. The rich head faded to a semi thick head covering over a minute or so, but stays around there with all the little bubbles rising up.

N: An interesting creamy malt like aroma really starts, with some fruity aromas, almost fruit punch, very light. A rich juicy hop aroma billows out. A slight earthy hop aroma also tangos with the juicy and is accompanied by a light toasty amber malt like aroma.

T: Starts very juicy with a nice hop flavor. That is followed by lots of varying malts, some toasty crystal and amber like malts. A slight earthy juicy hop flavor really hits. Its pretty pale, but not really bitter. A slight fruit flavor also comes out, very light. A slight roasted malt quality comes out, that gives a slight hint of a porter or brown ale.

M: Pretty good body, very lightly creamy, good carbonation.

F: A little bitter, but slightly fruity and sweet actually. Pretty pale and a little tangy. A slight juicy hop flavor sticks around with that fruit punch taste. A little bit more of the earthy hop qualities as well.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of GinghamAlva
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

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.

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.

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 961 ratings.