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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

944 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 944
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.89%
Wants: 31
Gots: 19 | 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: 944 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%

I can't believe I've never had a Samuel Smith Pale Ale before! Certainly the Stouts (Oatmeal and Imperial) the Nut Brown Ale and the Taddy Porter gather more attention but it would only make sense that Samuel Smith would make a classic style English Pale Ale.

The pour is highly inviting - the beer is a clear, deep red in color with a large, sticky tan head. The head sticks around like whipped cream on hot cocoa but oddly leaves very little lacing.

The smell is textbook English Pale Ale - plenty of fruit and malt notes to savor. Major notes are apricot and warm bread with a wee bit of floral hops to round out the experience.

Taste is right on the mark - lots of sweet malt up front, plenty of fruity notes and then a touch of English hops to round out the sip. The beer is a bit on the sweet side which draws attention to the fruitiness but the hopping keeps it all from being cloying.

Mouthfeel isn't what I'd normally look for in a beer; it's a bit on the under carbonated side (after that nice head!) and rather oily on the tongue but then that's (again) exactly to style for an English Pale Ale. If I could find anything to quibble about at all I'd have asked for a little bit more hopping to bring out some astringency but it truly would be a quibble...

All in all very drinkable. The clear glass bottle didn't seem to have harmed the brew in the least (good handling or just good luck?) If you're looking for a good English Pale Ale there are a few major brands you can choose without going wrong (Youngs, Fullers) It's safe to say you can add Samuel Smith to that list.

RedwoodGeorge, Sep 01, 2005
Photo of leagr
5/5  rDev +29.2%

leagr, Aug 09, 2012
Photo of nimrod979
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours copper with a beautifully frothy off white head... Lacing stays glued to the glass as you drink it down. Aroma is unique. Kind of a toasty banana scent, caramel and bready malts with hint of floral hops. Flavor has a sweet caramel malt flavor with a light bitter finish. Exceptionally creamy mouthfeel, medium body. Very pleasant beer. Thanks Sam.

nimrod979, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of BrownNut
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%

Appearance - Copper/amber. True to form, this Samuel Smith's yields a thick biscuit of textured foam that lingers. You could eat it with a spoon.

Smell - very yeasty, like rising bread dough

Mouthfeel - kind of soft

Taste - what at first seemed fruity became more like honey. It's malt but leans towards a honey taste. It's pretty light and easy drinking, bordering on watery but not quite getting there. The fruit peeks back in just a bit now and then. A little banana? Apple? Not sure.

Aftertaste - Just the barest hint of bitterness. I love the smell as I exhale out of my nose for a while after a sip. The taste fades away fairly quickly. After five minutes it's at a very low level and the mouth feels clean and barely astringent.

Overall - Despite loving Samuel Smith's, I have steered clear of this one for years because the Nut Brown and the Oatmeal and the Imperial were always sitting right next to it and because I'm not a pale ale or IPA guy in general. But this is great. What a nice and drinkable pairing of honey malty sweet and mild hop bitter in a light and refreshing package. If I could ask for anything it might be a bit more robustness on the back end to increase the richness and to slow me down a bit. But on the whole it's a very pleasant, sessionable, well-made, and pleasingly flavored beer.

BrownNut, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of Ellbert
3.15/5  rDev -18.6%

A pretty average brew. I was a little dissapointed coming from Samuel Smith. The beer is a nice deep amber color with a beautiful head. The smell is lacking... not much there but malt.

The taste was very mellow. A good flavor for a crossover beer. Could have definitely used more hops.

The beer was very drinkable with a nice consitency and good carbonation. I would not buy anymore of these for myself but may get them to crossover some of my buddies.

Justin

Ellbert, Nov 14, 2003
Photo of natelocc787
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%

Remember before you review this beer: this is an English Pale Ale, not an American Pale Ale. Nice Pale Ale appearance with an orange-straw colored body and an ivory cap. Lots of biscuity notes in the nose from what I'm guessing is a monstrous malt profile, sweet, ripe fruits and mild toffee. Not a complete lack of hops in the taste but almost. Toasted sweet malts and a buttery, nutty, almost honey-like character. Mouthfeel is smooth, not to dry and creamy like a good EPA should be. Nice classic-won't knock your socks of but quality example and a nice friend to turn to when there is isn't a great selection surrounding it.

natelocc787, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of chOAKbarrell
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Lucky me, my bottle was un-skunked.

A not-so-pale-colored pale ale with a pretty head that dies down after a few minutes, leaving a small amount of lacing.

Malty sweetness in the nose.

To me, the taste (and color) is much closer to what I know to be an amber ale. I really dont think its all that hoppy. Not bad attributes, just different. I enjoyed the toasty finish. There's a subtle bitterness in there too, which is interesting. Definitely more bitter than it is hoppy.

I'm sure I'll be having this again sooner or later (the gift pack with the logo glass always sucks me in). High marks all around.

chOAKbarrell, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of Cubsfan1087
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale was a good beer, although I prefer the Oatmeal Stout. It actually isn't that pale. It poured a golden brown color with a very foamy head. It smells fairly sweet and tastes sweet as well. It has a slight bitter after taste, but not too over powering. I also thought it was a little more carbonated than other beers I've had. The Pale Ale was a good beer, give it a try if you get the chance.

Cubsfan1087, Jan 23, 2010
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.

slyke, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of rickyleepotts
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%

This is another big one for us… have only 899 bottles to go! I am sure when we get close to the end I will begin to get sentimental… but not yet. I just want to drink! This is also the first beer we are rating from our new home in Scottsdale, Arizona. We recently moved, which is why we haven’t been drinking many lately, but are here and starting to get settled. We are leaving for vacation next week, so we won’t be writing while we are gone. But still.

Tonight we are drinking the last of the Samuel Smith beers. I am glad, because only one of these has impressed me. I am just not a big fan of this brewery. I did learn that the water used for this beer comes from a well dating back to 1758… so that’s pretty cool. I just hope the beer doesn’t taste like it was made in 1758. Bottoms up!

In the Glass: It looks good in the glass. It has a dark copper color, and appears to be thick and creamy. The head is a slight tan that floats on the top. The glass is full, so I can’t really swirl to see if there is much lace. I picked the wrong glass… for shame!

Nose: It smells like a bitter pale ale. I am a fan of bitter… the more bitter the better. That is why I frequent a good IPA. I have been getting into imperial IPAs lately. They usually have a more noticeable hop character and a longer, more satisfying aftertaste. Let’s see what the Old Brewery Pale Ale tastes like.

Flavor: The bitter notes hit you right off the bat. The beer then drinks like a very dry, and somewhat malty IPA. They kept mentioning the malty flavors, but the words “bitter” and “malty” don’t really go together. It seems to work here, though. The bitterness that you experience toward the front of the palate is gone as fast as it gets there, leaving you for a very balanced experience from front to back.

Mouthfeel: It drinks like a well-carbonated pale. I sometimes wonder what the difference between a pale and an IPA are… but this one is an obvious pale ale. I am not a big fan of Samuel Smith beers, but this one is the best I have had from them. No wonder it is so popular. Oh, and this is the last Samuel Smith in the book. Good!

Aftertaste: The aftertaste isn’t as bitter as I wanted it to be, but it is present for quite some time. There is some dryness toward the back of the palate, but as the aftertaste fades the bitterness sticks around. From the second I stuck my nose in the glass, I knew this was going to be a balanced and drinkable beer.

I am glad this one was bearable. Like I said, I am not a big fan of Samuel Smith. Their beer is VERY easy to get, and it is cheap. I am talking $3 a bottle cheap. That’s good for people that don’t like craft beer and want to try it for the first time… but when it comes to craft beer, you really do get what you pay for.

Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale - The bottle says: “Brewed with hard well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), best barley malt, yeast, and aromatic hops to create a copper-coloured ale with a full, rounded flavor; fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’; the finish is a perfect balance of malt and hops. A good many British beers were very dark before the Industrial Revolution; new malting techniques led to pale malts allowing the evolution of this classic brewing style - a cornerstone of British pub culture.

rickyleepotts, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of pipinmalikonj
3/5  rDev -22.5%

pipinmalikonj, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of tony223366
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%

A: Wow, this beer couldn't look anymore attractive right now. Easily 3+ fingers of off-white, dense foam that has real lasting power. The color is gorgeous too. A deep ruby amber color with perfect clarity. Surprisingly enough... this gets a 5 from me.

S: Tons of crisp aromas. The hops are what get me first are the piney hop aromas. Then it's all about the fruitiness of this beer. I get lots of dark fruits as well as some brown sugar. There's a lot of sweetness in the nose. It smells really nice though.

T: Hops are more subdued than your normal American Pale (duh!) but they are certainly there. This beer is really quite nice. The first thing that I get is some of that piney hop flavors. Somewhat floral. Then it moves to the rich, fruity malt base. I get lots of brown sugar, some nice rich caramel-like flavors. It's incredibly crisp and has a clean finish!

M: I let this beer sit out for a while before I tasted it and it's spot on. It's got a nice light carbonation with a smooth almost creamy body.

O: Wow, such a clean...tasty, complex beer. A true session beer in my opinion. I could drink this straight through dinner and into dessert. The Samuel Smith's India Pale Ale is next for tonight and I couldn't be more excited!

tony223366, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of FriedGold2112
4/5  rDev +3.4%

FriedGold2112, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%

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.

WeezyBoPeep, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%

The first of three beers given to me by my greatest friend, Stephen (aka Fatty Chubs). Tension mounted as I removed the beer from the fridge, carefully removing its cap and placing it in my hand for close inspection. The bottle breathed - and whispered a sweet smelling vapor. I raised her up in the air to inspect how the room's atmosphere effected her. She poured gently into my glass, being careful not to make a scene that would embarass either of us. And oh, she did not disappoint. She gracefully climbed my glass and seeked my attention with a full, provocative head. She called to me; I answered. I went in for my first sip, but stopped...stopped by her gentle perfume. It filled my nose with the kindness of mother's love and the seduction of a lover's eyes. I could wait no longer. I brought the Samuel Smith to my lips to satiate my burning desire...and ....

Down it went - with nothing but pleasure on the horizon. It left a sweet and sour mixture on my pallette, that faded into a gentle bitter that left me begging for more. Each sip was more enjoyable. I promised myself that this would not be my last affair with the Samuel Smith Old Brewery Pale Ale.

GuinnessSmurf, Jan 06, 2004
Photo of Premo88
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%

18.7 oz. bottle (550 ml) poured into pub glass

L: clear reddish brown with tan head ... classic and beautiful. definite red in it; amber incarnate. my gosh is she pretty. not a huge head unless i pour it hard. small, tight bubbles of carbonation really pepper the surface.

S: as good as it gets. seriously, I don't see how a beer can smell anymore BEERY! no doubt, there's lots of malt here, but about halfway down, I'm smelling the hops.

T: uh-oh.

This is disappointing because it's off the charts in appearance and smell, but it simply lacks that special oommph finish of what I think of as a great pale ale. Very balanced, starts off with good bitter bite up front but quickly smooths out into some malty goodness. Where I think it goes wrong is it's not finishing up sweet enough for my tastes ... not how I remember from the the first time I tried it in the mid-1990s. It's much better than Old Speckled Hen, for what that's worth.

F: just fine ... good carbonation, good weight, not overly thick.

O: for such a perfect presentation, it lacks in the most important category: taste. It's not bad. Far from it. It's good, and at 5% abv, you could session the hell out of this taste and be happy. If you want a break from the hop-crazy American pale ales/IPAs/DIPAs, good ol' Sam Smith's will give you that at a decent price. (about 18 cents per oz. in my neck of the woods)

BUT my bet is I am going to find better at a cheaper price. Still, when in doubt, this brew is fine.

Premo88, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of Soterios
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Soterios, Jun 05, 2014
Photo of BadBadger
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

A nice ale. Pours a moderate amber color. A nice off-white head forms and lasts. Smell is slightly hoppy. The taste is somewhat better than average, with a pleasant balance of hops and malt. A nice pale ale to enjoy, although not so special that it should be searched out.

BadBadger, Dec 31, 2004
Photo of MMansfield
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%

Bottle from Samuel Smith's gift set.

Appearance: Pours a lovely golden/copper colour with a nice white head, retaining to a beautiful lace.

Aroma: Solid malt backbone with some hops. Hops hidden behind the malt, but still there. Grass, honey, florals, some bread and alcohol.

Taste: Lots of malt. A tad sweet, with medium bitterness in the finish. Yeasty and somewhat astringent, but still good.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation, drinkable, a nice EPA.

Final Statement: A bit of a dissapointment for me. As a pale ale fiend, I was excited about this one. Hop presence was minimal, tasted somewhat astringent. I should note that I am a hophead, and the lack of hop character in this beer made me pretty dissapointed. I was a bit harder on this Ale because they have a big reputation, however, It was not bad. It was worth a try.

MMansfield, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of Shrews629
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%

Appearance - A nice amber/reddish color. Clear. An off white head that was of nice size. The head stuck around for a nice little bit. The lacing was pretty good too.

Smell - A fruity aroma. Dark fruit. Wasn't expecting that. Some caramel malt. Some nuttiness. Rather sweet smelling also.

Taste - The taste revealed a more relaxed fruit tone than the smell. A malty, biscuit tone. Some light touches of caramel. Some nuttiness. Some light bitterness. Not as much as I was expecting. It is nicely balanced though.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium/light mouthfeel. Very, very smooth. Mostly dry and crisp. An easy drink. Decent amount of flavor left behind. Not as much as I was hoping.

Drinkability - This beer is very easy to drink. Solid all around. Could be enjoyed year round also. I thought it might be a bit fuller, but that's ok. It is what it is. I mean it's Sam Smith's, how bad could it be? It's still head and shoulders above any macro.

Shrews629, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of JayTheFinn
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%

This is one of the best session beers in a bottle ever! It's not the greatest ale ever brewed, but it's just really drinkable and tasty. From brown body, solid head with decent lacing, great mix of hops and malts with a touch a yeasty goodness, which spreads across the tongue and touches nearly every tastebud, this one from Sam Smith's goes down smooth and easy...again and again!

JayTheFinn, Jul 31, 2007
Photo of kvnstfrd
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

kvnstfrd, May 23, 2013
Photo of quakeroatmealstout
3.25/5  rDev -16%

quakeroatmealstout, Sep 21, 2013
Photo of rabsten
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%

550 ml bottle poured into a pint glass. This one came in the 3-pack gift set with the Oatmeal Stout and Nut Brown Ale.

1/2 head that disappears rahter quickly, but leaves some lacing. Coloour is the red side of amber.

Smells malty and a bit "stale," but has a nice, middle of the road English Ale taste that balances hops and malt. Almost identical to the Old Speckled Hen I had last week, or the Boddingtons I had before that.

The alcohol content is strong enough to make it iffy as a session beer, but this is very drinkable and would make a good one, nevertheless. The fact that I can get this at area grocery stores (while the OSH and Bod's requires a trip out of state) gives it an extra point or two as well.

rabsten, Feb 07, 2006
Photo of dbaker61
4/5  rDev +3.4%

dbaker61, Nov 23, 2013
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 944 ratings.