Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

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

1,443 Reviews
For Trade:
Samuel Smith's Nut Brown AleSamuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,443 | Ratings: 3,763
Photo of Gauss
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I really don't see how this is a 100 for the bros. That means they drank this beer and decided that there was no other beer better than this....THE QUEST IS OVER?!?? But seriously, it is a good beer, but far from "perfect" and not worth the money in my humble opinion.

 268 characters

Photo of stevoj
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Overly sweet brown beer, with some nutty characteristics, along with the toasted malt. Dark brown with minimal beige head. Medium weight, somewhat dry finish and sweetness lingering afterwards.

 193 characters

Photo of PhillyB
3.89/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was among the first three Samuel Smith beers I tried. Like the others, I was not disappointed.

Look: Basic brown ale, like a dark walnut finish. Small but lasting head.

Smell: Light, chocolate, nuts, dried fruits.

Taste: Same as the smell. Quite light, dominated by chocolate and nuts with dried fruits bringing up the rear. Very pleasant.

Feel: Again light, but quite pleasant.

Overall: Not as oomph as say Ithaca Nut Brown, but a little more developed. I might buy it again, and would definitely enjoy it again.

 523 characters

Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks a bit thin, but feels much thicker than it appears.Smell is subtle but nutty, the taste is excellent, bready pudding and malts upfront washed down with a superb nutty taste which lingers, no nonsense stuff, one of the best brown ales ive ever tried, these guys could be the best in Britain.

 296 characters

Photo of Bonkinishwa
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith Old Brewery - Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale. 5% ABV. 12oz bottle poured into standard pint glass.

Look: Pours a dark amber/copper color. Semi aggressive pour yielded a small white head, that quickly dissipates into lacing.

Smell: Strong dark fruits, plums, black cherries, figs, and some faint chocolate, caramel, and nutty tones.

Feel: Creamy, rich, and carbonated. Very smooth and easy to drink.

Taste: Semi sweet dark fruits, some chocolate and caramel tones, with a nuttiness backing them. Also a unique taste from what I assume is the well water this beer is brewed with. Very pleasant.

Overall: This was the first Brown Ale style I tried, when I first got into craft beer. It has a very good reputation, and its well deserved. Very rich body and flavor, not overpowering. Very pleasant and easy to drink.

 827 characters

Photo of q33jeff
3.42/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

**FROM OLD NOTES, 02/23/12:
Clean Aroma…nothing sticks out….maybe too cold.Opaque Copper appearance. Small but lasting head, Feel is Leathery, but smooth.


 165 characters

Photo of davesfolly
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OK in keeping with the all 5's advice I had to go with 4.5. Add another .5 here.

The appearance of this beereminds me of Ancient Times in beer land. Dark with a generous amount of foamy goodness rising out of the top of the Pint and standing on it's own a full inch and a half above the rim.

Smells like chocolate and Pumpernickel bread. I am not a person with good sinuses though and it may smell completely different to other people.

Tastes like the Nectar of the Gods. Really. This is one of the most temperature tolerant beers on my shortlist.
You know when other things are going on you may not get back to your beer right away! So it is good warm or cold. I think you could put some in a cup and warm it in the microwave and it would still taste like fresh pumpernickel bread. Some nutty flavor almost like almonds also. But like I said, my sinuses have seen better days.

Others have noted that it is remarkably light on the palette and I agree. Sometimes you want a Guinness and sometimes you don't. This is one refreshing nut brown ale!

It really is a world class brown ale!

Thanks for making it for the last 300 years or whatever!

 1,145 characters

Photo of gmoneyproductions
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550 ml bottle poured into a pint glass
pours amber brown with a moderate off white to tan head
smell is malty and caramel initially with some fruit and chocolate notes as it warmed
taste is malty caramel and slightly fruity
feel is dry
solid overall
i am not a huge brown ale drinker but prefer tommyknocker imperial nut brown and oskar blues one nut brown

 359 characters

Photo of Pantalones
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Written from notes from last night; had no access to a computer at the time so I couldn't post it up at the time. Had a bottle of this from a mixed pack at the local beer/wine store, after rave reviews from my sister who refers to this one as the best beer she's had so far. Wasn't able to find a clear date stamp, but I know these haven't been in the store more than a couple months so I'm not worried about age.

Color is a nice dark red-brown; sort of a chestnut-brown type color, hence the name. Huuuuge head of light tan foam on top, just barely fitting into the glass (had to slow down toward the end of the pour and be really careful just to avoid any overflow; foam still ended up rising up maybe half an inch above the top of the glass.) With the aid of my phone's screen, I can see that the beer is mostly clear (with maybe just a tiny bit of haze at most), with a good number of rising bubbles. The foam on top gradually shrinks, leaving thick bubbly trails behind along the insides of the glass as it went, but never quite disappeared entirely while I was drinking. So fluffy-looking that it reminds me of a milkshake or melting ice cream almost. Have to say, this is probably the nicest-looking brown ale I've seen.

Smells really nice too -- sweet, rich, malty sorts of things, really making me think of caramel more than anything. Doesn't seem to change much (if at all) over time, but it's a really nice smell so that's not exactly a bad thing.

On the first sip, the flavor is surprisingly mild considering just how strongly caramelly the smell was -- but still very good. Really nice dark bread sort of flavor going on that seems to linger as an aftertaste for a long time after a drink. On the second sip I'm noticing that there's a quick burst of caramel-like sweetness right away, then it's like a whole slice of dark whole-grain bread, both the crust and the inner bready parts. As I'm getting further in the glass I'm noticing a bit more of the caramelly sweetness coming through after the initial burst, though the bread/bread-crust flavor is still the most noticeable. At around 1/3 of a glass left, I'm noticing a distinct nutty flavor, mostly in the aftertaste and (interestingly) when I breathe out after drinking some. Kind of reminds me of walnuts?

Feel is really nice too -- it's surprisingly light for something so dark brown in color, but soft and bubbly rather than ever feeling fizzy or watery.

Overall impression is that this is like a drastically better version of Newcastle Brown Ale -- I can tell they're both the same style of beer (dark brown, lighter body, caramel flavor/smell, very drinkable) but this is just so much MORE in pretty much every way. Very good beer! I'm thinking I'll be going back and grabbing a full pack of these at some point in the future.

 2,819 characters

Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.79/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours brown and leaves the same colored body that gives a spectacular one finger foamy off white head. Some nice spotty foamy lacing is observed. The body is too dark for any carbonation to be seen rising; the aroma has a fair amount of nuts, caramel malts up front, hops slightly in the background; the flavor is exactly the same; its fairly easy on the palate with a good creaminess all around; overall well worthy to come back to

 432 characters

Photo of Brew_42
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish Amber with a beige head that leaves lacing and lasts a while.

Smells like caramel and malts. A little bit of molasses too.

Taste follows the nose Up front and leaves a dry nutty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel medium and dry

Overall a decent brown ale. Fairly cheap given the quality.

 291 characters

Photo of sjdevel
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A decent head with a moderate pour from a 550ml bottle. The color is a crystal clear dark reddish-copper color. Not much carbonation. The head recedes quickly.

Tart fruity smell at first, then a rush of sweet caramel, wood, nuts, chocolate, and coffee.

First wave of flavors are sour and of fruit (apple, grape, peach). Only a slight bitterness from hops. There are smoked grain, wood, and roasted nut flavors next. As the beer finishes (a tad bit dry), you are left with hints of toffee, coffee, and tobacco.

Medium+ body (higher end just before truly reaching full). A tad dry and a bit oily feeling.

This was good but was too much on the sour side for me to really like it. I believe all of Samuel Smith's beers are fermented in the open where wild yeast and other things can dive in. I am not a fan of soured beers as to me, they seem like they have spoiled. Still decent as there are many other flavors to offset sourness. I have heard about this as being a benchmark Brown Ale, but I don't believe it lives up to the hype.

 1,078 characters

Photo of drmeto
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

-pours a clear ruby-brown with copper tinges and a medium to big,foamy,beige head
-medium carbonation visible
-caramel,toffee,vanilla,chocolate,raspberry,syrupy,cinnamon,toasty finish
-medium to high carbonation (overcarbonated)
-light to medium body
Godly Brown ale

 327 characters

Photo of J30wang
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice reddish brown welcomes a spicy aroma where, surprisingly, the self-acclaimed nut flavors are not quite as prominent as expected. Almost like a dry amber ale; sour. Lots of alcohol.

 187 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.67/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stem glass. Age unknown.

Cloudy reddish brown with a thin finger of off white head that leaves splotchy lacing.

Smells of butterscotch, toffee, caramel, toast, cocoa, peanuts, and earth.

Tastes of butterscotch, caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, peanuts, and toasted bread. Minor notes of cherries, figs, and raisins. Finishes with a light earthy and herbal hop note.
Mouthfeel is surprisingly filling for 5% abv. Medium, I'd say, with light carbonation. Fairly clean finish with just a hint of sweetness.

A bit too sweet for my tastes, but otherwise a very nice brown ale. I would recommend it.

 619 characters

Photo of Urk1127
2.74/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

-Deep brown, tannish head
-Peanuts, toffee, sugar cookies, toast
-very sweet, toffee, nutty
-A bit thick, low carbonation

-i enjoy Browns but this was too nutty for me, hense the name.

 186 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance : Walnut colored pour with 80% opacity, nodes of red mahogany glow through when held up to the light. The absence of head really knocks this down a notch though. I don't know why it didn't form, I even poured it from Thulsa Doom into a Sierra Nevada pint glass, along with the rest of the bottle, and no head formed. Guess it's just the nature of this beer.

Smell : Some slight antiseptic with nutty brown aromas, walnut, chocolate, and a string of yeast. Slight chocolate fades out the nose. Bouquet is weak to medium strength.

Taste : A pretty balanced body, not too malty, dare I say a bit much hop, but only compared to other brown ales. Lots of nut - walnut, pecan, acorn, peanut hull. Slight malty chocolate lays out like a fitted sheet and is able to wrap everything up as it washes down. Plant, cocoa dust, and hop sits on the tongue after the finish.

Feel : Quite a bit of buzz from the carbonation, light to medium bodied, and a bit of pucker and sour from the yeast. Finishes out slightly puckered and quarter-dry.

Overall : Not the knockout I thought it would be. The quintessential Brown Ale for me is the Big Sky Moose Drool Ale. This one of course is more English in nature, but still not an explosive ale by any means. I feel bad rating such an acclaimed ale so low, but it's possible I got a dud. Or, maybe this just isn't my kind of Brown Ale. Either way, with so many good beers out there, I'll pass on this next time.

 1,456 characters

Photo of zartla
4.88/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a placeholder review for the next time I pop a bottle.
L: Beautiful tan-brown head that is quite stagnant.
S: Nutty, caramel aroma
T: Classic nut brown bready/malty taste, with hints of toffee and caramel, maybe a little brown sugar.
F: creamy, appropriate carbonation, fun to pour in an english manner, it contributes to the mouthfeel significantly.
O:In my humble opinion Samuel Smith is the best bang for the buck when it comes to large single bottles. When I get a 5$ bottle I don't feel ripped off. I wish I could find 4 packs somewhere.

Definitely the best English Brown Ale I've experienced. Maybe it's because they've spent 200 years perfecting the art.

Samuel Smith consistently makes outstanding beers for a reasonable price. If you haven't tried them I would highly recommend you do so. I'm very excited to be getting in some stuff by them I haven't tried before .

 891 characters

Photo of Andrewharemza
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle. Amber brown pour, light tan head. Aroma is dark dried fruits, raisiny, nutty ,caramel . Flavor is dry and fruity, some nutttiness, mild bitterness.

 160 characters

Photo of Johnor3
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Nice caramel brown color. pours well and has a very nice creamy head. The smell is very inviting, fresh, malty and made me anticipate the tasting. The very first thing I thought while tasting this Nut Brown Ale was pupmperknickel rye bread, which I love. Samuel Smith's is very smooth for a Brown Ale, very drinkable and delightful. In short, I love this Ale. Cheers Mates!

 375 characters

Photo of Catracho5
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

18.7 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a light, clear brown with a two finger head, some lacing, average amount of carbonation, head is creamy, lots of tiny bubbles. Aroma is nutty, caramel, slight butterscotch coming through, smells sweet. More toasty notes on the tastes than the aroma, almost like a light toasted nutty flavor, hints of caramel and toffee, slight bitterness towards end, some grain, earth notes, dry, toasted finish, very pleasant. It has a creamy mouthfeel, dry finish, balanced carbonation, easy drinking. A very enjoyable beer, solid, outstanding, looks good, has some depth and complexity on the aroma and tastes, creamy mouthfeel, easy drinking.

 681 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish brown with a 1/2" off-white head which recedes to the rim and leaves spotty lace. Aroma of malt, and faint sweetness. Flavors of nutty grains and malt. Somewhat rustic and pleasant.

 197 characters

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours bright chestnut brown under a rapidly dissipating 3” rocky foam collar that produces thick lace.
S: Fresh baked bread crust, nuts.
T: Nutty, toasty biscuit with a dry finish and a moderate bitter hop accent.
F: Exceptionally creamy medium body and medium low carbonation.
O: this is a well balanced brown ale with nothing over stated.

 350 characters

Photo of Bunman3
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A true classic, though I prefer some of the richer American Brown Ales that are being made these days. Either way, Sam Smith wrote the book on many of the traditional English styles, and I would never turn this down.

 216 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle no date (SK17N1 mark):
Auburn brown, a bit clear in appearance despite deep color. Head off-white to light tan. Lasting foamy head thick at the edges, but really no lacing.

Nice nutty smell, a tad floral perhaps. I mean that I the sense that it's not a dark, bitter nut smell, at least. But I do think it's the buttering agents that add a light floral note to the nuttiness.

Definitely a British feel to this beer. Nutty front is subdued, mainly by a mildly grassy bitterness. Strange that this balance happens right up front. I sort of don't get to enjoy the nutty malt flavor a before the classic British hop notes take over. The balance of hops and malt interestingly meet mid-end taste as I get what I was missing up front, a balance of the "brown malt" flavor along side a lightly spicey, more earthy hop bitterness.

Seemingly classic version of the style, but I think Browns canbe a little more amped up without losing their roots. Even if you "don't like brown ales", you should be able to at least appreciate this brew.

 1,046 characters

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
91 out of 100 based on 1,443 ratings.