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John Smith's Extra Smooth - The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited

Not Rated.
John Smith's Extra SmoothJohn Smith's Extra Smooth

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

104 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.12
pDev: 18.91%
Wants: 1
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited visit their website
United Kingdom (Scotland)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  3.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 55 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jaydoc
2.75/5  rDev -11.9%

jaydoc, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of jwc215
3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap (nitro) at The Archers (Whitechapel, London)

Pours hazed golden amber with a typical creamy nitro head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is mild - buttery, a bit cedary.

The taste is of light malt with buttery notes and a touch of aspirin-ish bitterness in the pretty short-llved finish.

Very smooth - "Extra Smooth" is right. Creamy, though a bit watery, too.

I was going to give it higher scores, but it is rather dull. It's just a creamy, easy drinking pub ale.

jwc215, Apr 19, 2009
Photo of kojevergas
2.35/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes in Glasgow, Scotland, at the Eurohostel. There seems to be a bit of confusion and misinformation about this beer and its relation to John Smith's Extra Cold, which can be remedied by reading http://www.johnsmiths.co.uk/brands/extra-smooth.html . The beer I've reviewed here is John Smith's Extra Cold, which is not "just a name for the Yanks". It's a different but related beer.

A: A brief upward bubble show. Dark amber colour with a thick white head (insert obligatory penis joke here). Appealing.

Sm: Light: caramel, maybe coffee. Hard to detect individual flavours with me broken nose.

T: Clean open to body of slight roast and a bit of coffee. Bland. Cleans up in the finish but doesn't add flavour.

Mf: Far too slick and smooth. Slides down your throat without giving a chance to taste - of course, there's not much taste to speak of besides.

Dr: Cheap in Glasgow, but still shite compared to other offerings.

kojevergas, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of beerthulhu
2.63/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured from a can with a nitro-widget. A chalky white head is milky and settles to a 1 finger plus size. Ice tea color, clean clarity with no visible effervesce. Head retention is remarkable in terms of stay. Thick milky lacing sticks strongly and long to the vessel walls.

S: An aroma of dried corn and green corn ears come with a light but noticeable level of awareness.

T: Smooth creamy flavor, corn ears greenery, smooth silty malt lacing on the tongue. Low but noticeable bitterness.

M: smooth and creamy, light and medium body, silty malty leave.

O: Overall the nitro-widget enchances the smooth creamy body, has some sility maltiness, and low bitterness levels. Nice beginning though the flavor tends to lean and thin out deeper into the drink. Don't know if i could tackle two in one sitting. Great visual but dives downhill from there.

beerthulhu, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of flagmantho
3.53/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 440mL widget can into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice orange hue with the classic nitro cascading-bubbles look. Head is a thick finger of creamy deep-ivory foam. I think it looks good.

Smell: light, sweet malt aroma with a hint of graininess. Simple but appetizing.

Taste: sweetish malt flavor with a tiny touch of grain and a little bit of earthy hop character. Bitterness is pretty low. The nitro takes a little oomph out of the flavor, but overall it's not bad.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a relatively low carbonation. The texture is not particularly creamy, unlike the appearance, but there is a silky smoothness here that I think is decent.

Overall: not a bad beer at all. I feel like this is a session ale I could quaff all day.

flagmantho, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of bark
3.08/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ohhh. This is a smooth, silky, soft smooth. Not the most exciting ale, but at least it is smooth. One could easily quaff lots of this ale, and at 4% abv, you won’t get really drunk either. A nice drink when you want to discuss the state of the world all night with your friends.

When I pour the beer from the nitro-can to a glass, at first it looks like a glass of yellowish foam that slowly transforms into a clear, brass coloured liquid with a head that looks and feels like smoothly whipped cream. Those nitro cans are an impressive packaging for the right beer

The smell is really quite weak. But when I sniffed hard enough, I found flavours of caramel and crisp bread.

Carbon dioxide is very light and… Creamy.

The taste is also on the delicate side. On the other hand: It’s a smooth, it should be mild! However, there is a burned tone with hints of caramel, thick cream and a passing bitterness. The aftertaste is very gentle with some hints of rye bread and (somewhere in the background) mild hops.

bark, Feb 05, 2004
Photo of avalon07
2.65/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Poured from a can to a pint glass. Had a copper color and a clear consistency. There was a half inch of fairly long-lasting, creamy head. Excellent lacing.

S: Not a whole lot of smell, mostly malt, as you would expect.

T: Tasted of malt, light hops, a little grain, and little else. Very thin, watery, and featureless. Definitely one of the blander-tasting beers I've had recently.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a somewhat bitter finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A completely forgettable, mass-produced beer. Not very drinkable.

avalon07, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of thagr81us
3.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from nitro-can into a Duck-Rabbit nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to half a finger very slowly. The pour really reminded me of a Guinness with the head consuming the entire beer and working its way up slowly to form the final head. Nice. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cream, grain, and wheat. The flavor was of sweet malt, cream, grain, earth, and subtle spice. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation (almost velvety). Overall this was a pretty average brew. I have to say the pour on this one was pretty cool as it looked like a Guinness only it was a Pale Ale! However, that is where the fun stopped on this one. There was really not a whole lot going on in this one which really made it a bit of a buzzkill for me. Very light on all aspects so good for the non-robust beer drinkers out there, but if you like loads of flavor and complexity. Avoid this one. Trust me, you will thank me if you have the option.

thagr81us, Sep 21, 2012
Photo of Dogbrick
3.28/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draught at the original Hard Rock Cafe in London of all places. Pours a dark amber color with a thin light beige head. Thin lacing. Mellow malt aroma. Very smooth drinking, with flavors of malt, brown sugar, sweet fruit and hops. The finish is lightly bitter but does not last very long. Decent overall, but could be better.

Dogbrick, Apr 15, 2004
Photo of stcules
2.98/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber red, quite dark, cherry edges. White foam, beautiful, compact, soft. Average duration.
Very light smell, with malty notes, creamy.
At the taste too, the first impression is the smoothness, as in the name of the beer.
Maybe a bit too easy, but inviting. Again malt, and vanilla notes.
Average to long aftertaste, again malty, with smoothness.
Definitely well drinkable.

stcules, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of champ103
3.28/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear golden/orange color. A two finger, creamy white head forms with good retention. Nice lace as well. Looks like a nitro beer should.
S: Toasted malt, grain, and cereal. A light sweetness. Though an odd sulfur/mineral aroma.
T: Toasted malt with some caramel sweetness. Gain and cereal.
M/D: A light to medium body. Not as watery and thin as other nitro beers are. Not hard to drink. Though not enough going on to keep my interest.

A decent nitro beer. Much better than most the other similar nitro beers. Not something I would recommend over anything else, but you could do worse.

champ103, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of laituegonflable
3.6/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a nice nitro pour with cream-coloured foam that rolls around and around in a reverse cascade effect. Settles out with dense, thick head, colour is golden-brown with very slow, small bead. I like the look, but it's a very standard nitro English pour.

Nose is quite herbal, with a lot of English hops on there. Hints of grass and pine resin, biscuity malt with a slight meaty or tomato character as well. Reasonably mild, quite pleasant though.

Taste is fairly bitter through the palate, with herbal and phenolic hops making an early appearance and sticking around pretty consistently until the end. Hints of tobacco and mint on the middle, but not much malt flavour, just hints of it underlying everything. Finish is enjoyably brusque in its bitterness, not as dank as some English ales, this has a freshness about it, and a creamy texture to back it up, quite a lively flavour overall.

It IS very smooth, maybe a bit too smooth, to the point of being watery. Just doesn't have much body to it. Definitely an enjoyable flavour though, and this is definitely a beer of which you could throw a few back with the lads. And that's what it comes down to in the end.

laituegonflable, Aug 18, 2009
Photo of mrfrancis
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%

mrfrancis, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of Bierman9
3.78/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this at The Globe, on Bow St, in London. The barkeep said it was their most popular pull. It was a deep, clear copper bier with a healthy, creamy smooth head. It bubbles-up a la Guinness upon being poured...looks way cool! Head lasts at about 1/2" and sticks all over. Verry mild aroma which gives off a smidge of toastiness. It was a tad less than medium for body, but silky smooth on the tongue. Toasty malt is present along with some light caramel followed by a mild, floral hop flavor. Leaves just a hint of bitterness on the palate. An easy-quaffing bier.

overall: 3.85
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4


Bierman9, Sep 02, 2004
Photo of crobinso
3/5  rDev -3.8%

crobinso, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of david18
3.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I spent the better part of the week in London last week and wanted to try as many of the local beers as I could. John Smith's is somewhat of a staple and, in many bars is listed as "extra cold", perhaps for the yanks.

This was one of the more refreshing beers among the british usuals, perhaps the nitro had something to do with it. LIght in color with a good nitro head. Very smooth in taste, perhaps too smooth and less aroma than I'd like. I would recommend it but not whole-heartedly.

However, when in London....

david18, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of rastaman
1.78/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This is the type of beer i hate, creamy cat piss, gotta say i hate the nitro tap thingy. Way too creamy and no flavour to boot. Very sweet aswell, pretty crappy if you ask me.

rastaman, Aug 09, 2002
Photo of arizcards
3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a 500ml can at the Tesco in Aviemore the last week of April.

This is a copper colored brew that poured a creamy white head leaving a nice lacing. Nose was kind of malty and wheaty and really not much more than that. Taste had a hint of apple with a bitter hop finish. This was a thin bodied beer, flat, with the saving grace being the smooth finish. This is sessionable at 4.0 abv, but not a very good beer by no stretch.

arizcards, May 15, 2006
Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.85/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A 440ml can with a BB of May 2012. Contains a nitrogen widget that activates upon opening.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass (the ultimate sacrilege). A clear amber-brown colour with low carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam with excellent retention; it reduces somewhat but remains as a thick, stable layer. Aroma of sweetish caramel malt and little else - one dimensional.

Tastes of mild, sweet malt with a dry finish. Faint bitterness. Hints of caramel and a slight yeasty note. Mouthfeel is great, thick and smooth. Rolls around the mouth. Dries the palate a little, leaving a weak malty aftertaste.

A bland, mass-produced bitter. The mouthfeel is lovely, but it lacks aroma, flavour - and character. Could almost pass for lightly sweetened water. Why drink this when there are so many great beers out there?

jazzyjeff13, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.28/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours medium amber with a nice thick creamy head from the widget. Nice thick cream clinging to the glass.

Some malt and herbal notes in the nose. The head does block alot of aroma.

Mild and easy to drink, Lightly bitter malt, some medicinal or tea-like qualities, some malty grain, and a long mild bitter finish. A little lean, but not watery.

Mild tingle and slight astringent notes.

Overall, this is one that you can drink gallons of in the pub. The nitro helps a ton. Ok brew.

OtherShoe2, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of Offa
3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is not great or complex, but it's a good solid beer, esp for the low abv. It's similar to a number of other British nitro-can bitters/pale ales, better than some and not as good as others.

Bronze/dark gold, it has a creamy white head typical of nitro and long lasting.

Aroma is nice slightly buttered toast, wet leaves.

Taste is nice bread, slight toffee element, hint of metal, a woody-tea bitterness quite noticeable, strong in the finish and lingering. It's simple and straightforward, but is very drinkable and pleasant while being interesting enough - it's got more character than, say Boddington's Pub Ale.

I note that I ignore the can's instructions to "serve cold" and serve at proper British ale temp.

Offa, Dec 19, 2012
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.26/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

John Smith’s Extra Smooth has a cascading head, which eventually builds to a creamy, beige bar at the top, with a clear, copper appearance and heavy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sweet, creamy, tea, with bread, hops, and barley notes. Taste is of barley malt, bread, bread crust, sugar, caramel, nougat, iced tea, good hop bitterness, and even buttery flavor. Mouthfeel is full, but not heavy, and John Smith’s Extra Smooth finishes dry, refreshing, extra smooth, and delicious. Overall, this is really wonderful.


RonaldTheriot, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of FreshHawk
3.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Light amber color with a decent sized creamy, white head. Decent retention with little lacing.

S - Light grain and malt smell. Not that strong.

T - Lightly toasted grain and malt. Some bready flavors and caramel. Also a bit of bitterness with earthy hops. Pretty mild tasting.

M - Medium body that is very creamy and smooth. Good carbonation.

D - Easy to drink and goes down smooth. Mild inoffensive flavor that is meant for drinkability.

Notes: Decent beer for something smooth and easy to drink, especially at places with limited selection (in the UK at least).

FreshHawk, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of soju6
3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Served an amber color with a fairly creamy head and some lacing.

S: Mild aroma of malt and a bit of sweetness.

T: Mild malty flavor with a touch of bitterness in the background. Has a clean finish.

F: Light body, smooth and creamy. Quite refreshing.

O: Easy Drinker, good session beer. very common in most pubs I have been to in England. Nothing fancy just a good everyday beer.

soju6, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of Hellpop65
1.5/5  rDev -51.9%

Hellpop65, Sep 25, 2013
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John Smith's Extra Smooth from The Caledonian Brewery Company Limited
71 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.