1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's Nut Brown AleSamuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,236 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,236
Reviews: 1,389
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 164
Gots: 240 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Brown 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,236 | Reviews: 1,389 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CFHMagnet
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A finger of sand colored head sits atop a rich brown with ruby noted body. A slow but steady stream of bubbles rises to the top. The head dissipates to a light frothed ring around the top in a little over a minute. There is the light attempt to lacing noted.

Smells of light caramel with rich toasted malt and a little nuttiness. Also getting a whiff of medicinal alcohol that (I know this is likely contrary to popular opinion) smells delicious.

Malt and nuts up front. Light caramel swings in more for the sweetness than anything else. Earthy and gardeny hop flavor shows up here.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, and I almost want it to cling a little more.

CFHMagnet, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of hossua34
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Chestnut brown, clear. Medium head with somewhat weak retention. Pretty good lacing, though not outstanding.

S - Smells strongly of sweet, burned sugar and maple syrup. A very pleasant nutty caramel smell overall.

T - Taste is of burned sugar, toasted malts and caramel. There is also a slight bitterness to its finish. On the whole the taste is not that bold or rich. I expected more.

M - Average mouthfeel. Not particularly thin or heavy.

D - Very drinkable, but it suffers slightly from a subdued flavor and a strange bitter aftertaste.

After reading so many good things, I found this brown ale to be slightly overhyped, but still very tasty. Good but not great.

hossua34, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of TheSarge
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours exceptionally well. There is about three fingers of clumpy light tan foam, along with a clear dark copper colored body.

The aroma is chocolaty cocoa up front, but gives way to metallic hops character, along with sweet bread, and dark over ripe fruit traits.

The taste is more herbal than I anticipated, at least in the beginning. The hops kick in secondly, and then the slight cocoa finishes up with a mild semi sweetness.

Mouth feel wise, it is medium bodied, plenty of carbonation, and leaves the palate somewhat powdery dry.

TheSarge, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of Coorskid33
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried under recommendation of my wife to be... :o)

A~ Nice thick head. 1.5''. Brownish and Amber in color & clean looking.

Smell~ Like a good beer meal. Hops with mocha/caramel. Similar to a porter in this regard.

T~ Smooth. Taste kinda skipped my tongue and hit my throat. Nice carb level with ability to bring flavorful aftertaste. Complex, the more I sip, the more my pallet wanders.

MF~ Great, best part of the brew really. Let this one sit in your mouth and flavor release all over the place.

Drink~ Very drinkable & very good. A heavy but clean and crisp ale. Could and probably will have a few of these. Good beer.

Coorskid33, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of gdrydenc
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This is a perfect looking brown ale. Dark brown, if not slightly amber. 2 fingers of light brown head that disappears quickly but maintains a bit on the top.

S - Not what I expected, but doesn't surprise me. Less in-your-face smell, subtle hints of sweet malts. I like my beer to have a powerful smell though.

T - Taste is similar to smell; slightly underwhelming. Honestly, I was expecting to be blown away by this beer, as I've loved the past couple beers of this style I've tried. It is certainly a good brown ale, but not the top one I've tried.

M - Mouthfeel is good, the carbonation seems pretty on point for the style. The flavor is less syrupy, so it doesn't remain on my tongue very long, which I would have liked to see.

D - Because it's less powerful, I could see drinking several of these and have no problem finishing a bottle.

gdrydenc, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark brown color with a nice 1 finger foam head that leaves very little lacing.

S: Sweet caramel and nutty (gee, what a surprise)

T: Complex and complete for any nut brown I have tried. This has always been the standard for the style.

M: Smooth and thin with dash of bitterness at the finish.

D: Makes the respectable Newcastle taste like water and I love Newcastele mind you!

Brianmerrilyn, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of tapman
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very small, tan head that makes a very small lacing. Body is dark orange in the light and red-brown in the shade. Appears filtered.

Dark bread, dull sherry, caramel, toffee and a hint of minerals.

Pretty light tasting actually. At 5 % I guess that is all right. Closer to an English session ale and even a little strong for that. Taste is some raisiny roast characters, though subtle, and a somewhat flat toastiness from the medium kilned malts.

Pretty thin by American standards of craft beer, but is this closer to what a traditional English session ale should feel like? I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and give them the curve.

A fine beer, I need to go to England, grab some local brews and then re-review for style.

tapman, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of changeup45
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is dark brown with a nice thick tan head and lots of foamy lacing on the glass. Aroma is sweet and malty although rather faint. Very well balanced flavors: malty, slightly sweet, spicy, and a kick of bitter hops. Not overly sweet either. One of the best Brown Ale's I've had. Way better than Newcastle...

changeup45, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of baos
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

550 ml into Dog-faced mug.

A: Nice deep dark caramel color with an ecru head about 3 fingers high that laces up and down the glass.

S: Spicy maltiness caramel and a bit of alcohol, Earthy with a hint of mushroom.

T: Piney walnuts and orange-zest-beeswax. Ends with dry hint of canned mushroom. Very nice, but the finish seems to get stronger and more bitter as the glass empties. Maybe a bit metallic as well.

M: Nice medium to full.

D: Very good blokes.

baos, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of Jablonski
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright clear copper color with a decent sized head and average lacing. The smell is very rich. I immediately thought of soy sauce (probably too strong) when I was pouring it into the glass. I can also smell some honey, caramel, and butter. The nut taste comes out in the aftertaste of this beer, and before then its a good sweetness. Carbonation and thickness is solid on this beer. This is a very refreshing beer to drink.

Jablonski, May 08, 2009
Photo of mothman
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours 1 and ½ fingers of light tan head. Ok retention leaving some splattered lace. Color is a clear copper brown.

Aroma: Hmm.. I seem to really enjoy the aroma. Carmel, light chocolate notes, nuts, and grassy hops. Very elegant in a way.

Taste: Roasty malts, caramel, light chocolate again. Grassy hops with some nut flavor, sugar. I am fairly impressed here.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, a little crisp, kind of has a skunky flavor to it. Light to medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a roasted malt flavor aftertaste.

Overall, this beer exceeded my expectations. It is a good brown ale. Worth buying. The only part I didn't like was the English part of it and it bringing some skunkiness with it. Still, I like. My big bottle won't be hard to finish.

mothman, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of TheHammer
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After some hunting I found another Samuel Smith's selection pack, and then remembered I still had this bottle in the fridge. I've been looking forward to this, as the Oatmeal Stout and Pale Ale were excellent.

Appearance: Pours with a solid two fingers of head that retained exceptionally well, and modestly laced. The beer itself is a very dark brown, which reminds you of a Porter until you hold it up to the light to reveal hints of red. A bit more lacing and a light color is what is needed for a perfect.

Smell: There is no doubt that this is a nutty beer as the smell of almonds, chestnuts and hazelnuts dominate the nose. In the background a solid fruity malt character can be detected as well, but it does take a bit of warming to come out.

Taste: This beer definitely grows on you as you approach the end. Starts with a nice sweet fruity malt, it then shifts to a more nutty bitterness that at first is a bit excessive but gradually calms down as the beer reaches it's end.

Mouthfeel: In my opinion, this is the weakest part of the beer as the nutty bitterness really likes to linger at the back of your tounge. The carbonation also runs a little tame near the end of the beer. Excellent transitioning, and the fact that the fruity malt also like to stick around though lets the beer make up for it.

Drinkability: Goes down very easy, and sits down well despite the medium body. The nuttier elements leave it a little bit dry though. I wouldn't mind another but I think three would be a bit much.

Final Thoughts: I'll be honest, I prefer more of a malt and fruity presence in my brown ales, and less nutty bitterness. This beer is very good, and I can see why it is widely regarded as one of the best English Brown's out there. Still exceptional, but probably the one I liked the least from the mix pack.

TheHammer, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of joe1510
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml. Bottle

The nut brown poured a dark mahogany with ruby highlights when held to the light. A one finger tan creamy head that faded but left a coating. Thick chunky lacing throughout.

There is a ton of different fragrances in here. Let me try and give a couple. I smell chocolate, nut, sweet malts, floral hops, and dough. This beer smells very good. Theres so many different scents.

The taste is a little diffeerent from what I thought i'd be. It starts out with a quick bitterness followed by semi-sweet malt and toasted grain. Followed in the end by a lingering mild bitterness. Tastes good.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Medium light feel. I'd like it to feel a little heavier and slick. Feels a little watery.

Drinkability is good. Its definately a beer you could sit down and enjoy a few. I don't think I could drink it all night but for me it's more because of the style.

Overall Samuel Smith's Nut Brown is pretty tasty. I will be buying more of these in the near future.


joe1510, Sep 30, 2006
Photo of Hoagie1973
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly murky mahogany color with a buttery tan head. Nice retention with some sheet lacing.

Toasted malts, sweet caramel, butterscotch, dark bread, and a fragrant hop undercurrent in the nose.

Molasses, hazlenuts, dried fruits, and rich buttery toffee in the flavor. Definitely sweet with a touch of dry hops at the end that help to balance it out a bit.

Mouthfeel is rediculously smooth and creamy. Fuller bodied for only 5.00% ABV. Quite filling for a Brown Ale.

Drinkability takes a little bit of a hit due to the intense sweetness.

Hoagie1973, Jun 21, 2008
Photo of erz316
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle into sam smith pint glass

slightly red brown colour for the body and the same colour foam that all of sam's beers seem to have, off white/cream. the foam is rich and thick retaining for a hefty portion of time. the nose is less than satisfactory: i think i may smell malts, but I'm unsure, I think i do. the taste is astringent, malty, and sometimes sweet; I think this, like most sam smith's should be had over food or at least had in such quantities that the lack of flavour doesnt matter. the feel and drinability are not worth mentioning, just average.

erz316, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of washburnkid
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: One finger of beige head over a beautiful mahogany and amber body. Sticky lace adorns the glass and a head retains magnificently throughout the session.
S: Sweet malts and a small hint of metallic.
T: Great balance of roasted malts and hops. Caramel at the front of the tongue, with a hint of citrus. Toasted nuts (hazelnut), and an unfortunate metallic taste that might be masking some other flavors I was looking forward to.
M: Light body and balanced carbonation. This beer goes down so smoothly!
D: The metallic was off-putting, and in case it was the bottle I would definitely try it again. I love the roasted/toasted notes in this beer and the balance is great.

washburnkid, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a brown to dark copper color with not much head. The scent is a wonderful molasses. Tasted a little malt sweetness up front - maybe like molasses or caramel - then an earthy or floral hops bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. The more I drank (and as it warmed a bit), the more I enjoyed it. Not as good as some other Samuel Smith's offerings, but quite good.

DeltaGolfSierra, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of biggmike
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium brown pour with light tan head that didnt hang around for too long. Thin mouthfeel and not overly carbonated. Very flavorful-nut flavor is evident. Nut is also evident in the aroma with the slightest bit of hops. A very well-balanced and satisfying beer. Drinkability is good.

biggmike, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of bluejacket74
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a brown/reddish color with a thick off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like nuts, toasted malt, and caramel. It tastes the same way to me, except that there's some butterscotch I can taste, along with a little bit of hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a small amount of carbonation. The drinkability is good, it's not hard to drink at all. Overall it's a good brown ale, one I'd definitely drink again.

bluejacket74, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of gdogalishus
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint style glass. Poured an amber almost ruby color, definate reddish tone surrounded by deep brown. Healthy carbonation and an average pour resulted in a respectable head that disipated quickly. A little too carbonated for an English Brown Ale, maybe... but the carbonation dissapeared quickly, maybe even after the second sip.
Aroma was a difficult one to judge as I am a little congested from allergies right now, but it seemed to be a quite mild aroma on the malty side. Flavor was good with that usual Samuel Smiths aftertaste in the swallow. A good English Brown Ale with a dryness in the finish that enhances the drinkability.

gdogalishus, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of WaltTrombone
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer came in the notorious clear bottle, 550ml size. It poured a dark reddish mahogany brown, with a pale head that started out tall and proud, but soon dissolved to lacy watermarks. The aroma was of bitter hops. Flavor was mostly the same hops bitterness, plus walnuts and fleeting malt sweetness. Mouthfeel is thicker and more syrupy than most ales. The finish was sweet caramel, fading to dry hoppiness.

I liked it, just not as much as the stouts I usually drink.

WaltTrombone, Mar 06, 2003
Photo of ppoitras
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550mL bottle, with foiled cap, part of the Samuel Smith's Selection Box, purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA

Poured into an imperial pint glass, a creamy light beige head forms on top of a clear mahogany liquid. The head was short-lived, and there was little lacing during the drinking experience. Minimal aroma, maybe the slightest of hops essence, but the taste is a good match of malt and bitterness. The flavors kind of swirl around the tongue duelling for superiority, and the bout ending a pleasing draw. Not surprisingly, another worthy ale from Sam Smith...

ppoitras, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of BrSpiritus
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at the local liquor store and poured into a British pint glass. Amazing head that lingered for quite some time. The aroma is slightly sweet with a balaced hop smell. The taste is exceptional with a bit more bitterness than I expected but that did not detract from the overall taste. It has a distinct spicy finish that lingers on the palette.

Overall I would rate this beer as a great session beer, one that I would definately drink again but again one that I could not drink all the time lest I get spoiled on the taste.

BrSpiritus, May 16, 2006
Photo of mabirch
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A reddish brown color with a nice head that diminished, but a good portion of it stuck around the whole time. A good amount of lacing also. An excellent flavor, nutty,malty, ever so slightly fruity, not too heavy and very drinkable. Mouthfeel was nothing special, but overall this is a great brew that I could drink year round. Very pleased and will definately buy again.

mabirch, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of Psilo707
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bright mahogany color when poured into a mug, with clear and present thick head and really intricate lacing going down the sides as dissipation happens. The smell is both strong, yet lenient on the nose, and gives off a toffee scent to the nostrils.

The taste of this ale has a distinct color to it, without being colorful. The name "brown nut" is very suitable, and the organic, piney nature of the taste rings through the mouth all the way down the throat. Mouthfeel is spot on - half creamy on the tongue, half in fluid motion. Drinkability is moderately high, although I'm not sure just how many of these heavy drinks I could take in a night.

Overall, I have liked everything from the Sam Smith brewery so far, and this is no exception. I might prefer the porter over it, but only slightly. I would recommend this beer to all.

Psilo707, Mar 27, 2009
Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
91 out of 100 based on 3,236 ratings.