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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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,412 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,412
Hads: 3,601
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.81%
Wants: 231
Gots: 490 | 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:
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: 1,412 | Hads: 3,601
Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

550ml brown glass bottle with foiled-over pressure cap acquired as part of a $9.99 3 bottle/1 glass gift box at a local Trader Joe's and served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given its current glowing reviews and my opinion of the brewery.

Served after a warming period following its removal from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Presentation: The label is alright. The foil is a nice touch. I'm glad it's brown glass and not green or clear. The Michael Jackson quote on the back label is a nice touch: "Samuel Smith's of Tadcaster has the richest, maltiest and nuttiest of brown ales." Though I do have to complain: no oxford comma, Michael Jackson?

A: Pours a three finger khaki colour head of great cream, good thickness, notable frothiness, and great retention - though the modest ABV diminishes the impressiveness of that achievement. Decent lacing. Body colour is NOT brown, but actually a translucent chestnut-amber. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Caramel, a nice blend of biscuit, dark, and caramel malts, cherry fruit, nuts (though far less than anticipated - especially considering the style), butterscotch, fig newton, and toffee. A delightful very British aroma (as strange and vague as that sounds). Assertive and true to character. Amber malts. Minimal floral hopping. A fairly strong aroma.

T/Mf: Cherry comes through quite a bit, actually, complemented by surprisingly overt bright fruity hop esters. Hm. Caramel and toffee, sure. Cream, buttery qualities. A butterscotch kiss on the climax. The fruitiness and bold hop presence are actually a bit off-putting, especially as it warms. Sugarcane. The foundation lacks the maltiness I'd expect of a good brown ale. And where are the nuts? Their absence is unforgivable given the style. Too sweet, especially on the finish - an attribute worsened by the smooth and wet texture. Smooth and wet - in a brown ale? And on the finish, no less? This should be coarse, dry, and malty as hell - with some cream to take the edge off. This is not that. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Good carbonation and thickness. Fruit syrup does come through, or perhaps just artificial fig extract a la fig newtons; though this is not the dark fig you'd get in a good quad, it is bright, thin, and out of place. I'm disappointed in both the build and balance, though I must admit I do enjoy it all around. It's just a failure as a Brown Ale is all. Hopping feels as English as can be.

Dr: The lack of nuts and strangely fruit-forward build make this a failure of a Brown Ale, but I still like drinking it. I wouldn't get it again, though. It seems anything but traditional. a good buy at Trader Joe's. Brown Ale fans steer clear, but this is worth a go and is quite drinkable if you simply enjoy beer. It's tough to come up with a letter grade on this one because it's not at all to style, but I do like it for what it is outside of conventions.

C+ (3,109 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a an attractive deep ruby brown and forms a massive tan creamy head in my imperial pint glass, speckled lacing forms as the head dwindles. Aroma a nutty soothing tone under slightly caramel malt sweetness very nice and mildly robust in the aroma department, where this beer shines though is the taste. Taste: Smooth slightly sharp sweetness partially dry but overall awesome nut tones in the background what an awesome beer this is by far the staple for the style. Mouthfeel: Perfect amount of body easy flowing carbonation great beer. Drinkability is effortless only wish there was another bottle sitting in the fridge, what a wonderful English nut brown to be tried by everyone this is the type of beer that turns people on to craft beers and remains part of the beer diet for eternity. (811 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mild head with little lace. Pale brown color; very clear.

More malty than anything, but there is also a slight touch of metal to the smell.

This is a malty offering in the brown ale category. I like the smooth and clean feel to the beer. Full body for the style with a modest amount of carbonation.

When this fresh (as this one was), this is a superior nut brown. I worry about the clear glass and the possibility of skunking. (429 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550 ML bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a deep brown with 2 giners of off white head. Nice lacing and little carbonation.

s - Smells of roasted malts, nuts, bready malts, and caramel.

t - Tastes of caramel, some bready malts, and nuts again. Nice mixture.

m - Smooth and easy to drink. Medium body and almost no carbonation.

d - An above average brown ale. Nice malty/caramel taste to it. Would have liked a little more carbonation. Would have again. (473 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, with light getting through around the edges of the clear bottle, and a thick, sizzling tan head. Aroma is nutty, herbal, with a notes of caramel, butterscotch, and almonds, and the lush feel of the deep woods. On the palate: sweet and buttery, with a mellow and medium body. Small hop presence here, more a malt emphasis, and a great balance between. Sweet enough to please the folks, but with a solid enough body not to disappoint the serious ale lover. Quite unlike the ever-present, flimsy and bland Newcastle. Very pleasing, and rewarding. (561 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550 ml bottle into imperial pint glass, bottled on 8/21/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big caramel, molasses, raisin, toast, toffee, brown bread, light nuttiness, floral, and toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and moderate fruity notes. Taste of big caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, raisin, brown bread, floral, nuttiness, light roast, and toasted earthiness. No bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, raisin, brown bread, floral, nuttiness, light roast, and light earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance and complexity of malt flavors with moderate fruitiness; very robust for 5% with no cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent english brown ale! Great balance and complexity of robust flavors; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,255 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served in ping glass.

When I first tried this beer about 20 years ago, I thought it was probably the best beer I had ever had. (I was probably right). Having one for the first time since joining BA, I had high hopes but some anticipation that it could be disappointing - I've tried a lot of beers over the past 2 decades. Well, it was not at all disappointing. Perhaps not the very best brown ale I've ever had, but excellent, upholding its reputation as a gold standard of English browns.

Plenty of caramel malt in the aroma. Tastes only slight nutty at first, but a more notable nuttiness in the excellent malty finish. Perfect balance of flavors. Slightly fruity.

Mouthfeel - a tad thin; otherwise excellent, with perfect carbonation.

O - outstanding example of style. Refined and superbly crafted. (807 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured medium brown with ruby highlights. The foamy head lasted for the duration.
The smell was of nutty caramel with undertones of fruit and bread. Very inviting.
The taste was of nuts, caramel. fruits (esp. applish), and bread. There was an excellent balance between sweet and bitter.
The mouthfeel was light, buttery, smooth and refreshing. Some of the tastes linger, along with a bit of stickiness (otherwise would be a "5" IMO).
A very drinkable brew and an excellent example of this style. (499 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Beer is clear and has good carbonation and an off white head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Beer is reddish to brown.

Aroma is sweet and malty overall. About what's to be expected, overall its weak.

Slightly bitter in the back but overall good. Medium to full bodied, a mild roasty flavor with some caramel and sweetness in there. Some carbonation in the mouth. Overall a really good beer. Drinkability high and mouthfeel good. (487 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear dark reddish brown (more brown) in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall light beige head that reduces to a thin layer over the entire surface of the beer with a thicker patch and ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Lots of aromas of malts (caramel and bready), nuts, and just a hint of bitterness.

T: Wonderful flavor for the style, lots of maltiness - dark and bready - along with some very nice nut flavors. This beer also has a very light hop bitterness on the finish which I really enjoyed.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Another oldie but goodie - I have been drinking this beer since the mid-1990s and it has always been solid. Probably the quintessential English brown ale. Very easy to drink, enjoyable, and sessionable. Definitely one to get another time. (900 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
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. (813 characters)

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

Picked up this bottle as part of the Samuel Smith gift pack.

A: Pours a ruby/brown color, looks very nice when held up to the light. Head is beige in color, about 1.5 fingers in height and disappeared rather quickly. A thin layer remained on the top and sheets of lacing formed on the glass.

S: Rather nutty with a bit of caramelized sugar. Slightly sweet as well. A little bit of dark fruit comes out as it warms.

T: As expected, the flavor profile is a very nice nut flavor to it. It is slightly sweet with a minimal hop presence. Little bit of caramel and a little toffee.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty smooth and easy drinking.

O: Pretty good beer, but not something I am going to actively seek out. Solid, just not overly exciting. (764 characters)

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

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a thin off-white head. The aroma is good. It is malty and full of roasted and victory malts. The taste is also good. It is malty, but a bit watery. It finishes dry, but good down smooth. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. It is an excellent nut brown ale. It is refreshing and not at all bitter like most English ales I try. (385 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark orange, effervescent, big head and great lacing. A mouth watering appearance on such a drinkable beer...

S: Bitter malts in the English style.

T: Very malty and earthy. Clean tasting and refreshing. Light, but not too. A beer fit for all seasons.

M: Great feel, carbonation. Very smooth.

D: A great beer to session, and very easily attainable. (356 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

01/18/09- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, forgot to look for freshness info. Poured into a my Samuel Smith pint glass.

Appearance- Carmelized brown in color with about a 1/2 inch head. Leaves some light spotty lace behind.

Smell- Toasted caramel malt, a bit of chocolate malt and a light nutty aroma.

Taste- Seems to have crossed over to almost an american version of a brown ale. Fairly hoppy, nice sugary caramel malt base with a hint of chocolate. Bready and lightly nutty as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium to slightly higher carbonation level. Nice earthy sweet aftertaste.

Drinkability- I guess this is the benchmark for me per style. Very good beer as always is the case with Samuel Smith. (732 characters)

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber with half an inch of dense, foamy head. Good retention. The nose has notes of caramel malt and ripe bananas. The taste is sweet apples, caramel and nutty malt, with very faint hop character. The mouthfeel is smooth, medium to full bodied, and well carbonated.

Overall, this is a solid beer. It's a little sweet for my liking, but the malt character is solid. This is one I've had several times, and when looking for something authentic it's a go to. (469 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fear not, loyal followers, I have not abandoned The CANQuest (TM), bottle be getting back to it real soon, I promise!

From the bottle: "Brewed at Samuel Smith's small, traditional British brewery with well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), best barley malt, roasted barley, yeast and aromatic hops. Nut Brown Ale is relatively dry with a rich amber-brown colour and nutty flavour derived exclusively from small amounts of dark malt. Brown ales are a specialty of northern England. Fermented in 'stone Yorkshire squares'."; "'Samuel Smith's of Tadcaster has the richest, maltiest and nuttiest of brown ales.' (Michael Jackson's Beer Companion)"; "Samuel Smith's brews at a small, traditional British brewery, the oldest brewery in Yorkshire."; Captioning a picture: "Rousing during fermentation in 'stone Yorkshire squares' to redistribute the flocculent Old Brewery yeast strain."

My pour created two thick fingers of deep-mocha head with excellent retention. I would have called the colour "garnet". but I will defer to "amber-brown", and with NE-quality clarity. Nose was both nutty and chocolaty, like a Hershey's Bar with Almonds. Actually, allow me to amend that to a Cadbury's Fruit & Nut bar since I also caught some raisiny smells in there. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste had a molasses quality on the tongue, not sweet at all, but more bittersweet. Interesting. Finish was likewise more bitter than sweet, completely unexpected and welcome by someone who does not really like sweet, malty beers. (1,532 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish brown color with a thick bubbly head. The aroma was somewhat lacking as hints of malts were present. The flavor was of a nice malt, nut, and slight hop balance. There was a sharp bite on the tongue which gave a crisp sensation. The malt lasts quite a bit on the tongue. Very drinkable and quite enjoyable. (322 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a brilliantly clear, ruby tinged, brownish amber color when held up to the light. Otherwise it shows an opaque, deep dark, amber tinged, almost black brown color. The head is a frothy, rockied surface, tan colored head that starts out at about two fingers in thickness and even leaves some lacing on the side of the glass. Aromatic notes of sweet plums, nutty toasted grain, rich toffee, and a hint of diacetyl combine together in the aroma after a first glance. After a bit more inspection ample notes of caramelized raisins and a touch of roasted grain become noticeable. At the first pour there might have been a hint of light struck hops, but my palate and nose seem to be desensitized enough from Sam's Pale ale that I don't really notice it in this brew.

Sweet fruity notes of caramelized fruit greet my tongue upon my first sip. The finish is lightly nutty with a subtle, toasted, even a touch roasted, grain type note. A touch of carbonation adds a prickly zippiness to the middle of this beer, and in the same vein a hint of hop bitterness rounds out the finish. The hop bitterness in the finish is joined by a dark grain astringency, which also helps to add a touch of balance to the other flavors in this beer. Notes of sweet plums, a touch of raisin and even a nice subtle fig note add to the fruitiness of this brew.

This beer has a really nice malt character to it, the interesting malt tapestry that this beer weaves is its selling point. It is quite easy drinking, and I am enjoying it, but it could use a bit more oomph, or even a bit more character. Not bad, and certianly a touch better than the pale ale from the same brewery. (1,663 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smaller clear bottle, without any freshness dating to be had. Pours dark honey amber and just about clear. Light almost white head and some non-descript lacing left behind. Nice nutty/malty nose. Lovely malty, subtle nutty ale, clean and refreshing. Classic British take on the style, IMHO, fine, fine sessioner. (312 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A five finger head that has a great fluffy consistency. Head color is off white to very light tan. Really great ruby/brown color that has a great glow. Beer seems to be stuck in suspended animation.

Smell is initially powdered malt and biscuit. Small sense of wooded dry nut as well. Kind of muted but it's there and pleasant.

Taste is a little wet bodied but very interesting. Powdery sense of yeast and malt, with a whisp of brown nut tannic shell from say almonds or walnuts. Dry finish but tolerable, I like this wet/dry sensation as you drink throughout. Small sense of carbonation but just an ever so slight hint and not much.

Great tasting brew what can I say overall, these guys never fail. (750 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.35/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

18.7 oz. bottle, brown thankfully,

A: Light brown, with a tan head, a pretty average looking beer, really.

S: Toffee malts, with sour green apples, and English hops.

T: A mix of caramel and toffee, with sour green apples, and hard mineral water.

M: Smooth, dry, minerally, and a bit acidic.

D: A good English Brown, I'd buy again, but wouldn't go out of my way for it. (383 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Usual 550ml Bottle: BBD Apr 14, poured into an Abbot Ale glass tankard at home on 17th Nov 13.

Looks impressive: clear body of redwood (teak/mahogany), a deep blanket of beige foam sits on top, nothing moves as you stare at the glass, apart from carbonation bubbles rising through the body. One of those moments to savour.

The nose is dry, as is the taste: malts rule the roost here, nutty (obviously by the name) and slightly over roasted in smell and flavouring.

This is a fine beer and I'm glad I found it after years of not having any since my youth. An old school Brown with nothing fancy or clever about it, just good ingredients and blended well, then left alone to sort it's self out. (695 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml brown bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Clear dark copper brown color. Nice off white, light tan color head that is thick and dense and has nice retention and thick sticky lacing.
S: Nutty, malty, a little caramel, slightly sweet. Also surprisingly, some alcohol in the background. I'm still not crazy about the smell of brown's in general I suppose, but this is better than most.
T: By far the best english brown I've had. I've been down on this style recently but this definitely overcomes that. First thing I notice is a smooth, buttery taste quickly followed by a nutty, malt taste. Slightly sweet to start and a dry, slightly hoppy finish. The butter remains underneath everything else.
M: Thick, smooth, buttery, moderate carbonation, not as dry as other brown ales I've had recently. Very pleasant
D: Beer gets a little heavy with the thick, nutty, buttery taste which curbs the drinkability a little, but this is by far the best brown ale I've had. (965 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had some tonight with deep dish pizza, on to the beer:

Well, as you'd expect, it's brown. It has a very nutty aroma, interweaved with rich, sweet malts. Imagine going to one of those buffets with the soft serve ice cream machine, and filling your bowl with the assorted sticky toppings mixed with peanuts. It also has a little alcohol kick at the end of each sip, more so as the beer gets warmer. The hops keep the sweet taste in check from being too sweet, and it makes for an overall pleasent drinking experience. (516 characters)

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
91 out of 100 based on 1,412 ratings.