Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,435 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,435
Hads: 3,709
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 19.66%
Wants: 255
Gots: 579 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style | ABV
English Brown 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,435 | Hads: 3,709
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
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Smells like caramel and malts with hints of chocolate and cherry

Taste follows the nose with cherry playing a more prominent role that I expected.

Mouthfeel medium and dry

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

 310 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

Photo of JoLight
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Khaki, frothy head that retains well; brown, clear body.

Aroma: sweet upfront, with an almost gum aroma. Some kind of nut is detected. Toasted malt in the background.

Taste: slight hop bite at the beginning, and then the majority is toasty bread crust. Slightly sweet. Slight bread crust and bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: semi light-fluffy, carbonated.

Finish is mostly dry.

 391 characters

Photo of Moose90
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Updating from previous tasting

A — Pours a deep and clear honey colored brown, very nice and crystal clear. There is a puffy toffee colored head that is quickly forming and leaves behind great lacing.

S — Smells of richly roasted sweet malts and a nice hazelnut sweetness as well.

T — Tastes very nutty and rich, without being too sweet or assertive, nice balance.

M — Light-Medium bodied, there is a lingering sweet finish to this.

O — The benchmark for "Nut Brown" ales for a reason, very nicely done.

 519 characters

Photo of Karma_is_flawed
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - Nut brown, almost a dark honey color, can see the carbonation
Smell - mild and crisp, like a pear or an apple
Taste - Fairly bitter with a nice almond or cashew after taste
Feel - Very light, good amount of bite from the carbonation, but nice

 249 characters

Photo of Leo-Dean
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Nice maple syrup brown color, pour with a small amount of carbonation. Tastes of hazlenut, sweet, a little bit of malt taste. Almost a bit of a milk chocolate taste. Good dinner beer.

 183 characters

Photo of Jericho7x
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

New to drinking beer, so take this with a grain of salt. Smell was wonderful. Taste was very nutty at the start, then kinda of light and sweet on the finish. Other than 4pk for $12, it is a great beer. Not hoppy at all.

 219 characters

Photo of tekstr1der
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Clear brown pour with thin tan foam. Aroma of caramel and biscuit with a slight, not-unpleasant astringency. Flavor is remarkably balanced - sweet caramel malt offset by a semi-dry nutty finish. This is smooth and delicious. A favorite of the style.

 249 characters

Photo of Bone53
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Brown pour with an amber tent when put up to the light; A two finger soapy egg shell colored head

Smell: Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit esters from that classic SS yeast

Taste: The taste doesnt add up to the smell. That funky SS yeast gets in the way of what little caramel, toffee notes there are from the malt. The aftertaste is a little better than the initial taste

Mouthfeel: This is a SS beer so im not surprised at how smooth this is; A little watery but thats expected. Slight bitter finish

Overall: This is the first Samuel Smith's beer that i felt underwhelmed with and found completely overrated. Its like a SS base beer with their classic yeast character and not much else. I had some hope with the smell but it didnt follow through in the taste. Samuel Smiths is probaby my favorite English brewery right now, but i cant really say id recommend this offering. Id stick with American offerings such as DF Indian brown Ale or Smuttynose Old Brown Dog. Will most likely not buy this again

 1,026 characters

Photo of pugbutter
2.85/5  rDev -30%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Compared to other brown ales, this one tastes far too much like a stout for my liking; very rich, very sweet, with a chalky mouthfeel. If I had been blindfolded while drinking this, I would actually have thought it was a darker offering from Rogue or Brooklyn.

This is probably the most overrated beer I have had yet. I recommend Smuttynose's Old Brown Dog instead, if you want a nice malty brown.

 398 characters

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
91 out of 100 based on 1,435 ratings.