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

1,441 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 1,441 | Ratings: 3,760
Photo of vfgccp
3.51/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Beautiful, crystal clear cranberry brown body. Bone-white head with ok retention and nice lace.

S - Toffee and fresh bread with accents of nutmeg, bubble gum, red grapes, and toasted walnut.

T - Bready malt, earthy noble hops, and copper minerals. Dry, lingering finish of walnut, orange, and caramel malt.

M - Low carbonation, and a medium body that coats your palate.

O - A nice nut brown, but the strong mineral character throws things off for me a bit.

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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.

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Photo of liamt07
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the LCBO, into a pint glass.

Pours a dark chesnut brown (surprised?), lighter orange around the edges when held to the light. Creamy and slightly offwhite head, with some dense retention. Nose is nutty , with some maple and light chocolate. Dominated by the nuts, but has some darker bread and cereal here too. Light metallic finish, creamy with medium carbonation. High drinkability, a definite winner and something that should be kept year round in the fridge.

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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.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with nice carbonation, small head, a little bit of lacing afterwards from a clear bottle. Scents of malt, sweet caramel. Nice taste sweet, malty, and nutty. Medium body with a dry finish. At 5% ABV would make a good session brew. The clear bottle throws me off.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

19oz bottle picked up at the Coop sometime in the last couple weeks for about $3.50.. enjoyed from my New Belgium snifter.

Lite tan 2 finger head drops leaving good lace.. color is crystal clear chesnut brown with deep ruby highlites.

Aroma is sweet and nutty.. toffee with obvious English esters. Light floral hops but restrained and adds to me really wanting a sip.

Biscuity malts and nutty .. very restrained hints of chocolate but my palate could be playing tricks on me. Fruity esters are present but far less than the SS Pale I just finished. Low diacetyl .. but it definitely works in this brew... and I traditionally don't appreciate diacetyl contributions. Finish reminds me of a slightly sweetened black tea. Mild carbonation though I assume it is too much for the style. Nice body with just enough hop bitterness to make me want another sip.

This is the 2nd SS brew tonight that I have consistently overlooked. I always have access, but almost always go toward the American 22... I will bring this back into the stable.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Samuel Smith tulip pint glass. Pours a medium red brown with a thick, persistent light tan head. Nice presentation. Aroma subdued, very light roasted malt and mild nutty scent. Taste follows with light roasted and sweet malt, nuts, a hint of caramel. Flavor is mild, but pleasant, perhaps from the moderate ABV. Very mild bitterness. A slight sour taste to the finish is the only overt flaw. A pleasant understated brown ale.

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

Pours a clear dark brown ale.

Smell is fruity and perfumey with a mild malt aroma.

Nice flavor, malt and burnt sugar, a bit of perfume. Mildly sweet with a brown sugar after taste. Prune and Raisin flavors come out later.

Good Mouthfeel.

Very drinkable, mild yet not bland.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

SS Nut Brown is dark reddish-brown with an average-sized brown head. Head is creamy and has above average retention. The aroma has a light malty sweetness with touches of nuttiness and spice. The taste has the malt profile of a good brown ale with a subtle nutty flavor. Hops provide just a tiny hint of drying and spice. Drinkability is great, however I was expecting more from Samuel Smith with this beer and I was hoping that Nut Brown would be more robust.

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

Potter's clay with a blend of cioccolato and redwood. The beer certainly isn't entirely brown, there are lots of warming red highlights. Not that it is all that dark, although there is considerable clarity for a beer with shades of this depth. A thin sheet of off-white is netted across the top and splashed against the sides.

I can't claim to be sniffing out any particular kind of nut but the aroma is indeed 'nutty' in a very unspecific sort of way. Most of this smell, I think, can be attributed to the malts which have been toasted just right to bring out notes nutty and caramelized without introducing any element of roast.

The taste is less ambiguous and the distinction between 'nuts' and 'nutty' becomes clear thanks to a big, hefty malt bill. The flavour is a straightforward shot of toffee-rich, borderline sweet malts that again have been toasted just to the point of caramelization.

The beer itself is lightly bitter but a harsh, mineral rich water will amplify that. Despite this chalkiness, however, the beer maintains a very mild profile and lacks any chewiness that its colour and flavour might have implied. A little more texture might actually help push along the notes of hazelnut, pecan, and butterscotch that seem to linger in the finish.

Samuel Smith beers are classic, conventional examples of the great styles in England's rich brewing tradition. To some of today's beer drinkers they may seem a tad bland or unexciting, especially in comparison to 'new world' renditions. It is true that America's, and now other nation's, craft breweries have reinvented traditional styles, like the nut brown, with more attitude and extravagance. But much can still be said for traditional offerings...

I, for one, will always have a place in the fridge for beers like these - solid, simple beers whose strength lie in its very function: to be enjoyably drinkable. They may not have all the frills but they are nevertheless quality, reliable beers that can evoke epiphany on the palates of many new beer drinkers. They certainly did for me.

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

An old friend which I've never reviewed. Pours a nice slightly reddish brown with a medium height creamy head. Nice typical dry British malt and yeast with a touch of nuttiness and perhaps copper in the nose. Smooth and earthy in the taste department with a creamy finish and a light dry roastiness that indeed tastes a bit nutty. Delicious and straightforward. A touch of residual sweetness in the finish, but moderately dry overall. Spot on for the style, and much less hoppy and than American versions, but there are some gentle earthy hops there. Smooth and creamy, slightly nutty in the mouth. Overall a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of plaid75
3.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a soft brown hue with amber streaking with a two and a half finger pillowy off white head. There was very good lacing and excellent retention.

The smell featured a soft nutty aroma with hints of coffee and caramel. Some diacytl as well.

The taste was a but subdued, but a nice mixture of nuttiness, earthy malts, coffee and cocoa.

The mouthfeel was of medium fullness with a very dry finish.

Overall a nice and very drinkable brown ale. Not a flavor explosion, but very nicely done.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 550 mL bottle at my local grocery store. I had this years ago and am reapproaching it as a classic example of the nut brown style.

Appearance: a beautiful medium amber. When I poured this, I got a couple fingers' worth of foamy white head. Looks awesome.

Smell: in addition to the malt and subtle nuttiness, I get a pretty strong yeast/bread smell. Not bad, but not wholly beneficial to the experience.

Taste: a well-balanced bitterness pervades the palate. There is also a very strong nut flavor. This is really what I think of when I think of nut brown ales. The word that really comes to mind here is "sophisticated".

Mouthfeel: medium body, though not creamy. It is very slightly astringent; I think this adds to the complexity and enjoyment.

Drinkability: while it is eminently tasty and not too dense, I don't think I'd consider this a session beer. It's more of one to really savor, and then move on.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one I used to drink a lot of in the early days of craft brews. Upon returning to it I have to say that while I still enjoyed it it didn't really wow me any more. More of a solid, easy drinker than something to get really excited about.

Pours coppery brown, reddish highlights, dark tan head with good retention and lacing. Faintly nutty aroma, lots of toasty malty bread, hints of caramel and brown sugar. Flavor is quite close, although it's pretty dry and the caramel aroma appears as a mere flicker in the taste. Good toastiness, tasty but mild nut flavor, a hint of floral, earthy hops in the finish. The nut flavor actually is most noticeable in the aftertaste, which lingers a bit in the mouth as it fades away.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation, smooth and easy to drink. Again, enjoyable, but not tremendously exciting, at least not anymore for this long-time Samuel Smith's fan.

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Photo of tone77
3.12/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 18.7 oz. bottle. Has a pretty dark brown color with ruby hues and a 1 inch head. Smell is very mild, I am not able to detect much of anything. Taste is also rather mild, some nuttiness, a bit of hops, a touch of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a decent brew.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish mahogany brown hue with brilliant clarity. Looks burnished, shiny and good. Head is a fine film of yellow-white bubbles, that dissipate a little, but leave extraordinarily good lacing. Looks very nice indeed.

A nice dusty grain character on the nose, a lightly roasted sweetness, with an underlying taint of greenness, possibly some crushed leaves. Molasses, roasted almonds. Even something a bit darker, like roasted capsicum. Quite nice. Pleasant, with some interesting characters.

Amazingly smooth on the palate, with a truly delicious, long lingering dryness. Initial nutty sweetness smooths on to a long dark sugar character, which then dries to a grain biscuity flavour - thoroughly delicious. Mouthfeel is creamy and slick - one of the best bottled mouthfeel's I've ever seen. The flavour is just rich, smooth and delicious.

A very pleasant, extremely drinkable brew, full of character, and quite delicious.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light tan, three finger head, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Deep, clear amber color. Nose is not distinguishable. Starts with a light mellow sweetness and finishes with a good balance of malts and hops. $2.32 for a 12oz bottle from Northend Superette Manchester, NH.

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

One of the best Nut Browns next to Rogue Hazlenut Brown..
Poured a deep brown with a nice dirty white head on it. Nose wasroasted malt, caramel, nutty and more complex than I imagined. Taste was sweet dry, slight roastiness that was smooth and mellow. Caramel, chocolate and english matls stole the show. Darn good English Porter

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Photo of wl0307
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now packaged in a brown bottle - Good! BB 11/2008, served (only a month past the expiry date) cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: pours a deep and dark mahogany colour with great clarity, very elegant; topped with a well-lasting dark beige froth that, in turn, is supported by very fine carbonation.
S: the aroma (expanding since the pouring) comes predominantly caramely, jammy fruity, and nutty, almost like a dark Bock for the intense sweet edge... as it settles in the glass, an assertively sour edge of dark dates and even ripe red grapes combines with more caramel malts to render a solid nutty and malty platform on the nose, ringing a bell of a Porter w/o the more roasty hint. Very pleasant overall.
T: the foretaste is dominated by lots and lots of syrupy dates and carmalised walnuts, followed by sweet black-tea, fat raisins, brown sugar, toasted malts, and more sour-sweetness of dark stone-fruit jam, all of which, in a sense, are integrated well in a swallow. The aftertaste, with a semi-salty kick, prolongs the sour-sweet fruity-malty taste, while quietly the bitterness from earthy and tea-leafy English hops as well as from roasted malts also manifests itself, providing a soothing balance from the back of the palate.
M&D: pretty soothing on the carbonation, with random spritzy bites from the microscopic fizziness; this ale is a delicious, richly fruity malty brew, more in line with a richly fruity Premium Bitter enjoyed in winter time (or Winter Warmer?) than a generally milder Brown Ale tasted elsewhere. Comparing with the notes of the last bottle tasted two years ago, however, it seems this bottle gives out a much richer fruity presence of dark malts than the nuttiness overall. Well, I have to say I quite like both.

* Tasting Date: 11/07/06
BB May 2007, served cool in a straight imperial-pint glass.
4.5 A: bright and dark-reddish chest-brown in colour, coming with an effervescent creamy frothy head, building up to a 3cm thick and sustaining very well; very gently carbonated. Elegant.
4.5 S: hop resins combine with a deep-running aroma of slightly sweet-roasty tinge of nuts, creamy toffee, melted brown sugar, raisins and date-preserve, plus a mild but soothing flow of citric as well as tea-leafy hops at the back. Harmonious, semi-rich, delicious.
4 T: a floral+tea-leafy flavour of hops approaches surprisingly early on the palate, mixed well with a creamy-smooth roasted-nuttiness with both the sweet edge of chestnuts and the sour edge of raw nuts or grains; hops' bitterness gradually develops, which, along with bitterness from roast walnuts, creeps down to the ends of the sides of the tongue, providing a soothing bitter kick towards a satisfying and superbly lingering nutty finish... A restrained diacetyl undertone stays deep down in the aftertaste as well.
4 M&4.5 D: rounded, creamy-smooth on the mouthfeel, plus a softly-carbonated texture, this medium-bodied, delicious beer drinks only too well. Reasonably flavoursome, with a subtle balance arrived at b/w bitter-sweetness of roast-malts and a sour tinge of dark fruits, this simply has to be one of my all-time favourite English brown ales alongside "Rigglewelter" (Black Sheep).

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Photo of Derek
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Ruby brown, off-white head, leaves a nice lace.

S: Bready, caramel, slightly fruity.

T: Bready, caramel malt with a little raisin/prune, and a hint of chocolate flavour. Nice bittersweet balance, maybe a little sweet up front, with a slightly bitter aftertaste from the roasty malts & hop bitterness. No hop flavour. Roasty, but not overly nutty. A little walnut flavour in the aftertaste (more as it warms to room temperature). Smooth, very well-rounded, no burnt flavours.

M: Body is a little heavier than moderate (certainly heavy for its strength). A little syrupy. Carbonation is moderate, perhaps a little higher than average.

D: Very drinkable. Moderately full body & carbonation would prohibit the consumption of multiple gallons.

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

(Served in a low-ball glass)

A- This beer has a warm brown hazel body that is clear with lots of tiny little carbonation bubbles. The head is a light yellowish-tan that fades after a bit.

S- The smell is of pot caramel with a slight dry nutty note in the finish.

T- The sweet soft caramel malt flavor had a slight nugget off flavor that tasted like it was caramelized in the pot and not really caramel malt. After that was a pronounced nutty flavor and a smooth finish with a faint bitterness.

M- This beer had a medium mouthfeel with a good creamy texture to it.

D- This beer had a good strong nutty flavor which many nut brown ales lack. That was a very nice part of the beer but there were some slight off flavors in the toasted malt and I don't think the clear glass bottles helped.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured dark amber with a dirty tan head with dark reddish hue swirls leaving a good lacing.

S: a dark roasted character, some sweet chocolate and nuttiness.

T: The flavor was a dry roasted character with some dark chocolate and nuttiness (hazelnut), though was not balanced well leaving a.coarse flavor with bitter finish.

M: extremely smooth with a creamy, milky texture and was lightly carbonated.

D: Drinkability was light, not as robust as I hoped for but an easy enjoyable drink to down.

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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.

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Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
91 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.