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

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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
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BA SCORE
87
very good

978 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 978
Reviews: 662
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 40
Gots: 29 | 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.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 978 | Reviews: 662
Photo of mrfrancis
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of RoyalT
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Orange in color and clear with some good carbonation and a big, fluffy head that went down quickly.

Smell – The musty citrus and floral hops are balanced with a noticeable malt aroma that seems kind of sweet.

Taste – Yes, the malt base is there, almost drowning out the lovely hops. There’s also a sweetness here that I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe very light cane sugar?

Anyway, the hops are fairly complex at the taste. I can even pick up a bit of pine at the finish. This is a nice, well-balanced pale ale.

Mouthfeel – Surprisingly carbonated for the style, this one is medium in the body and very refreshing.

Drinkability – What can I say? It went great with my sandwich and chips and would make a nice session ale.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden brown colour with an ecru head, lightly dispersed and hanging around reasonably well. Some very nice lacing effects, but slightly thin. No carbs, clear body. Looks tasty.

Nose has some nicely balanced malt and hop characters. A strong, almost syrupy pale malt character blends with a slight grassy hint of hops. Actually, on second thoughts I think the malt dominates and it's slightly sweet, kind of mediciney but not bad.

First taste is a bitter one, especially compared with the smell. A quite strong malty mid-palate is fenced in by a spicy front and a slightly herbal and also sour, earthy finish. Quite an interesting palate although there is still that slight medicinal flavour lingering at the back which gives it a bit of a downer. Mouthfeel is quite stimulating - the beer looks smooth but comes alive with a bit of a tingling, sparkling effect over the tongue.

This is a good ale, well-balanced and interesting. Too polite and British to offend or excite me.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.11/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle purchased at Jembetat in Rochester, NY.

Pours a clear light amber, with a big 1.5 inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like fruity English yeast, some slight skunkiness, and biscuity malts. No hop flavors in the aroma.

There's a bit more hop flavor in the taste, but it seems faded. When combined with the slight touch of skunkiness, it's easy to see that this might be an old bottle. It was sitting in a glass display case, after all. Still tastes alright, but has sort of an unpleasant astringent skunky aftertaste. The fruity English yeast flavors are on full display here, with some tea-like hop flavors. The malt flavor is light, but biscuity.

This one is medium bodied, and starts out with a crisp mouthfeel that unfortunately devolves later in the sip into sort a sweet honeyish and skunky mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

I've had much better from Sam Smith's- I'd like to try this in England, possibly- this was likely an old bottle.

Photo of illidurit
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear amber color with a big thick head. Retention is insane, with a half-inch cap lasting the duration. Leaves lots of sticky lacing. Aroma is a bit typical, with sweet maltiness and mild fruitiness. Flavor is mostly toffee and caramel, maybe some diacetyl. Hops are all but undetectable. A little tannic bitterness comes out in the finish. Dry, and smooth with a medium-light body. Really easy to drink, but not really as robust as I like my pales.

Photo of mynie
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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 francisweizen
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As always this was a great product from Sam Smiths! A classic Engligh Pale Ale packed with flavour! This beer poured a beautiful copper colour and smelled of hops and malts. It tasted wonderfully sharp and had a nice level of carbonation as well. This had a very big creamy mouthfeel and an awesome drinkability to boot. One of the best Pale Ales!

Photo of Pencible
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a clear, light amber with nice off-white head. It smelled like hazelnut and malt with a bit of orange hops. It tasted very much like it smelled - nutty and malty with some subtle hops. It was smooth and semi-thick with no carbonation and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a different sort of pale ale, not quite as dark as a brown ale, but pretty good.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
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 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

Photo of Gmann
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear copper color with an average off-white head that dissipated into a slight cap. The aroma is extraordinarily faint, I cannot pick up anything. The taste is of a slightly sweet caramel malt, not too buttery, and a subtle tea like hop and some white grape sweetness. Not very flavorful but I appreciate that it is not very buttery or metallic. The feel is clean and crisp, not odd flavors or bitterness getting in the way here. Samuel Smith delivers another highly sessionable brew. I could easily knock back several of these.

Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper-colored and clear with a big, frothy white head that held pretty well, left a generous lace, and receded slowly.

Smell is lightly bready malt, slight European hoppiness, and a little bit of yeast and nuttiness.

Flavor is clean with a slightly doughy stereotypical English malty flavor, with just a touch of butter and nuttiness in there. Finish is somewhat dry and just a little bit yeasty. Mouthfeel is medium and firm.

Overall: A very nice offering, better than most English pales I've had.

Photo of Suds
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is a deep copper color with a thin, but steady head. It’s quite clear, and has medium carbonation. Aroma is a mix of floral hops and a sweet mustiness. The taste is exactly what I’d expect from a good pale. Fine balance of hops and malt. It’s a bit on the sweeter side, with a woody-nutty tone, and has a medium mouthfeel. Finish is a mildly hoppy, and could certainly stand additional bitterness. This is a pleasant, drinkable pale ale….no off-flavors, and it’s certainly better than average.

Photo of morimech
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a large white head that hangs around for awhile. The head eventually settles to a thin cap but plenty of lacing is left in its wake. The aroma is full of floral and earthy hops. Wonderful English hops. The flavor likewise is full of English hops balanced by biscuit and caramel malt flavors. Bitterness is fairly low for having this much hop flavor. The body is a little thin and the carbonation is fizzy. About the only thing I can complain about in this beer. I was hesitant about this beer because bottled English Ales do not hold their flavor for long. After being assured about the freshness of the bottle, I pulled the trigger and brought it home. Glad I did. Find a fresh bottle and bring one home with you.

Photo of ADZA
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I must admit the Samuel Smiths brewery is a consistent brewer of good beers in my mind that has been for ages and once again im proud to review one of their beers,it pours a copper hue with nice carbonation that leaves a one finger head with really nice sticky lacing all down the glass,it has a subtle aroma for a EPA not much hop aroma to it more of a caramel,toffee,malty smell to it,the mouthfeel starts off nice with a silky medium feel to it and finishes very smooth with a subtle hop caramel finish quite a nice beer thats easy enough to drink.

Photo of Brent
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Somewhat on the tart side. Seemed to be a little more flavorful as it warmed.

Photo of FLima
2.81/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Amber color, a bit darker, and with a decent head.
Faint smell of caramels, malt and vanilla.
Taste follows smell, sweet malty taste with caramels and vanilla. Flavor got a bit unpleasant after it warmed up, a bit soapy.
Light to medium body with low carbonation.
Malty beer, traditional English Pale ale, don’t look for complexity. Second time I tried and this one didn’t go well, maybe because I had it too warm, I will need to give it a new try.

Photo of Reidrover
3.24/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

One of the excellent Sam Smith beers I had yet to taste.
Comes in the Sam Smith 550 cl CLEAR bottle of course..with the White rose of Yorkshire prominent on the label.
After pouring into my British Imperial pint mug the beer looks nice crystal clear darkish brown with a rather large frothy off white head..good lacing.
Oh man..this does not smell to good..I detetct a little skunk! I had heard this was a problem with Smiths beers but this is the first time I have had it happen.
The taste is not too badly affected by the skunkiness though..so maybe it was just slightly skunked?Its a well balanced pale ale to be sure malts preedominate..but the hops are ever present underneath.Not a great falvour though.
rather average mouthfeel.
Its drinkable..but I would rather have an American Pale..this is below my expectations for Sam Smith.

Photo of notchucknorris
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark copper color with a nice and thick cream colored head. Lots of lacing down the glass.

S: Toasted grain, pale malt, a hint of golden raisins and some freshly baked bread.

T: This isn't the hop bomb I've come to look for in pale ales, but it's sneaky good. Some toasted caramel malt, honey malt, and grain with just a touch of hop bitterness. Some fruity esters linger in the background. Finish is squeaky clean. Super drinkable.

Photo of jsh420
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours copper with a 1+ finger head that left some spotted lacing

smells like grapes?? and caramel

taste is just like the nose - its a caramel grape apple

mouthfeel is medium body with low carbonation that is close to being flat

drinkability is ok - good price good taste - its just the mouthfeel that kills it a little

Photo of merlin48
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a surprise to find a four pak of these at one of my local beer stores across the state line in Virginia.
Appearance: Pours a clear copper body with a small wisp of offwhite hued head that soon falls to film and collar. Sparse patches of lace are left on the glass.
Aroma: Very aromatic nose, with a floral/herbal hops profile atop a solid malt backbone of caramel and toffee notes.
Mouthfeel: Light medium to medium body with lively carbonation and a lovely metallic accent.
Taste: Herbal and floral hops bitterness is assertive and lingering in a very English style hops profile. A pleasant metallic note seems to burst through the carbonation and blend with the sweet toffee malt tastes. Mildly bitter herbal hops finish.
Drinkability: An excellent rendering of the English Pale Ale style and, perhaps, a benchmark for the style. Very enjoyable, with superb drinkability, essentially a session ale.

Photo of Vancer
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hey now, this was quite a twist, compared to an American pale ale. Yeah, it has the real nice clear oak/mahogany color, with a frothy ivory head. And you can defiantly pick up on the sharp floral tones in the aroma.

But the taste, superb! Malts and coffee, with just a hint of floral hops in the finish- the balance between the two sides was excellent. Lightly carbonated, very smooth to drink and enjoy. I hope to have this one in the market basket again!

Photo of Fatehunter
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass. Amber to orange color with a finger and half of head. Great lacing and hold.
Lots of aroma: pear and apple mostly.
Quite malty, minimum bitterness at first, builds towards the end. Lemon.
Soft texture. Medium body, low carbonation.
Nice pale ale to enjoy the malt side of the ale without having to fight through the bitterness of American Pale Ales.

Photo of tgbljb
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a beautifeul copper-reddish color with abundant tannish head. Head was long lasting and presented attractive lacing to the sides of the glass. Smell is fruity (cherries), molasses-like, with a toasty presence. Some hoppiness also noted. Very enjoyable to the nose. Taste is very understated initally, with caramel, fruits, toasted malt dominating, but slowly a stong hoppiness presents itself. The hoppiness becomes bolder with each sip, but still blends very well with the maltiness. Finishes both dry and malty in just the right proportions to be tasty, but not overpowering. The is an extremely drinkable berr that I thoroughly enjoyed. I had expected something rather bland and unassuming, but I was pleasingly suprised.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - orange amber, small tight creamy head almost like whipped cream sitting on top of some hot cocoa.

Aroma - slight caramel malt preceded by a brief hint of skunk which was subdued but detectable. That completely evaporates, leaving the caramel behind in a much weakened state and kind of hard to pick up.

Taste is of lightly roasted caramel malt and some metallic notes. Light bitterness at the finish, fairly good stuff. Edit - fresher sample tried 1/10/05, no metal, very clean taste, adjusting taste from 3.0 to 3.5.

Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, below average carbonation. Not all that memorable but certainly not bad.

Drinkability - if it wasn't for the metallic taste this would easily score much higher. Edit - a different beer when fresh, adjusting score from 2.5 to 4.0.

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 978 ratings.