John Smith's Extra Smooth - John Smith's Brewery

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John Smith's Extra SmoothJohn Smith's Extra Smooth

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BA SCORE
74
okay

235 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 235
Reviews: 107
rAvg: 3.22
pDev: 19.57%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
John Smith's Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  3.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

John Smith’s Extra Smooth was launched in 1993 and is now the nation’s No.1 ale. The boffins say it has a distinct cereal character, with malty, caramel notes being complemented by some fruitiness. But we just think it’s a right good pint.

Extra Smooth is available in draught or in cans to be enjoyed at home (Both 3.6% ABV). Plus – you can also get John Smith’s Extra Cold on draught: the same great taste, but colder. We don’t muck about with names see.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 235 | Reviews: 107
Photo of vfgccp
3.92/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Was handed a can and a clear plastic cup on party boat in Portsmouth. Had never heard of the brand before and had zero expectations (truthfully my expectations were probably set a little low because the rest of their selection was mediocre to terrible), but essentially a blind taste test.

A - Cracking open the can I was pleasantly surprised to hear the distinctive hiss of a nitro bobble. In retrospect I probably should have guessed it from the name. Whoa... The beer pours beautifully. Marshmallowly, light khaki head towers up from the bottom of the glass as sheets of cola cascade through the nitro foam. Nitro pours are almost always beautiful, but I'd say this is still noteworthy by those standards. Deep, crystal clear mahogany beer pools beneath the foam that slowly settles into a perfect finger and a half of cream. Outstanding retention and lace. I really can't think of anything more I'd want from the appearance.

S - Soft and malty with a light fruitiness that reminds you of some of the more restrained notes you can find in pale ales before you burry them in hops; which is pretty much what I want in an English pale ale. Bread crust, touch of caramel, and a light blend of plums, apples and figs. It could use a bit more complexity and strength, but it's pretty nice.

T - Delicious with a wonderfully sessionable balance. A soft and well balanced mix of brown bread, caramel, a hint of strawberry jam, a touch of woody hops, plum, and fig.

M - The mouthfeel lives up to the billing on the can. Most nitro beers state-side are nitro stouts that typically counterpoint the silky smooth mouthfeel with sharp bitters, astringent char notes, or hot booze, but this beer is pure cream. It's not necessarily a pro or a con in and of itself, but it worked really well for the beer.

O - Really enjoyed this. A great session beer with a distinctive English character. Would definitely order it again.

Photo of Fatehunter
2.5/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The "Extra Cold" version. Pours a finger of head of dark straw body.
The aroma is, well, nothing.
The taste is balanced, almost nothing.
The texture is smooth.
Easy to drink, like water but smoother.

Photo of captaincoffee
3.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Can poured into pint glass. Obviously a beer made to be put down in quantity by the masses at the pub. No complexity here, but nothing off-putting either. Nitro makes it go down fast and easy. This, along with the low ABV should let you know what to expect. Not a bad beer for what it is, but not one I'm likely to try again.

Photo of fx20736
3.3/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Nitro can. Dark Amber, creamy white Nitro head.Very mild, bready aroma. Taste is faint apple fruitiness on top of white bread with a touch of dry bitterness. Mouthfeel is the fake nitro smooth creaminess. Pretty forgettable.

Photo of Nine_Tails
1.25/5  rDev -61.2%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

Like a drive watch. No taste

Photo of barnzy78
3.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

440mL nitro can
4.25 L - reverse cascading creamy ivory head sits atop an amber ale
3.75 S - sweet grain, caramel, brown sugar, earth, yeast
2.25 T - mild in flavor with toasted grain, caramel, toffee, earthy hops, brown sugar
2.75 F - creamy and very smooth with the nitro, easy to drink, and finishes semi-dry
3 O - ends up being pretty pedestrian after the cascading nitro pour and the pleasant aroma. A bit of a disappointment in that regard, but I hadn't expected it to be fantastic in the long run to begin with. I'll pass on trying this again.

Photo of 12SteveS
3.95/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Major clarification: Some people, rightly, or wrongly, (I suspect rightly), do not class such beers like this modern smooth bitter as a real ale. Well, I suppose it isn't really. A modern phenomenon, a smooth and none to serious take on a brewery's original bitter to satisfy drinkers who prefer to partake of a few light, easy drinking sociable type beverages as opposed to many pints of heavier, weightier ales. But, there IS a special place in the experienced drinkers cannon for such an ale. Just as we're heading into the summer (it is early June as I write) there is precious little better on a warm sunny afternoon than quaffing a few ice cold pints of John Smiths. This is the right and proper place in the beer hierarchy, as is right and proper: the beer garden.

I am served an ice cold pint of John Smiths by a young "waitress" who knows nothing about beer. This is not a real pub by any stretch of the imagination. The pint is dutifully plonked down and as I fidget with change the beautiful cascades begin. Millions of tiny bubbles move in delicate waves down/up the glass leaving in its wake a deliciously dark ale seen through a frosted glass, perfectly indicating the temperature of this beer. I arrive at my seat, as parched as possible. Then I thrust my face deep into the half inch, creamy white head, taking with me a very generous gulp, the beer immediately placating the thirst. A real quencher. That is really what this beer is about. Glass goes down, there is ample evidence of my drinking patterns left in foamy traces rung around the glass. This cold, most of the beers flavors are stifled, but as I know from experience, there is never too much in the way of complex flavors or aroma. Three quarters of the way down and this 3.8% beer begins to surface, albeit slowly. This is an excellent summer beer garden session beer. You are not very likely to have any trouble with your coordination or balance. And at these prices (£2.40 in pub, £4 for 4 cans in shop) you are not likely to have any problems with you bank balance either.

Overall, a deliciously refreshing beer that certainly never overwhelms the palate, with just subtle hints of hops and a heavenly bitter after taste for company. Not a beer for a good night of darting.

Photo of jlindros
2.41/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

An interesting looking beer, widget tall-boy can from the good ol England.

it fills all head and quickly settles into the upsidedown waterfall, foamy lacing left behind a bit, eventually settles to a slightly clear mostly hazy tan iced tea colored beer.

Nose brings nitro at first, again as usual nitro overpowers the aroma of thebeer itself, still don't see why it's so popular, creamy nitro, and more creamy nitro, faint hint of grassy like hop I think, and very faint grainy malt.

Taste again is all nitro, what's the point of even having beer in there?! I do get a hint of bitterness and mild grassy like hop, little sweet grainy malt, herbal hop with herbal tea flavor, but that's about it other than the tons of nitro creaminess. Finish is a bit bitter with more herbal tea hops, and more creamy nitro.

Mouth is all foam and flat beer, the nitro is barely mixed with the beer, and instead is just a creamy somewhat flat mess of a beer.

Overall a big letdown, not the nice U.K. bitter I was hoping for. Seems like a light beer to begin wtih, then just gets so destroyed by the nitro. It's sad that this is even a thing!

Photo of BlackHaddock
2.85/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

30th Nov 13 sees me at a 'Leaving Party' in a local social club: I volunteered to do the food. So there I was dressed as Elvis cooking Pizza's in a hot kitchen for 100 other guests and my only avenue of coolness was to drink pint after pint of this nitro-keg brew.

Too be fair it did the trick, I stayed sober and it quenched my thirst.

Pours a good looking: deep old gold/reddy amber body with a full foaming crown.

Not a lot of smell, it comes too cold for any aromas to live. Once it begins to warm a little you can smell a mild maltiness.

The taste is a smooth semi-sweet malt like flavour with a mini hop bitterness underneath.

It's OK and I can see why it's so popular with some.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.27/5  rDev +32.6%
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.

RJT

Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear reddish amber in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with an eighth of a finger high creamy off white head that has very good retention
S: Light aromas of pale malts are present in the nose along with faint bits of toffee.
T: The taste has flavors of pale malts along with notes of fruity yeast and hints of caramel and toffee. A light amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The nitrogen helps to improve the mouthfeel of this beer, but it doesn't seem as smooth compared to other beers available in nitro-cans. It is very easy to drink.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.61/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear reddish amber in color with no visible carbonation and some apricot highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall creamy of-white head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of lightly toasted pale malts with just a hint of caramel sweetness.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of slightly toasted pale malts and biscuit with a hint of honey/caramel sweetness. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish which fades quickly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Lightly smooth and creamy.

O: Not quite as smooth as some of the other nitro-can beers that I have experienced. Easy to drink and with such a low ABV, definitely sessionable.

Photo of Vincent_bros
3.86/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is the epitome of an enlgish session ale. Light, refreshing, smooth, buttery it is down right entirely quaffable either hanging out in the pub or just around the house. ABV is low enough to keep from get thristy and has a lovely finish. When I think english beer, this is the style that pops into mind.

Golden in color, feathery in mouthfeel, it's like chewing on a pillow... in a good way.

PLEASE BRING TO THE US MARKET!

Photo of Craiger1967
3.02/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a my new Pint glass from Next Door Brewing Co., nice cream and coffee color.

Head is very creamy as well as the first drink of the brew.

Taste: Some Licorice, caramel, grassy notes and subtle burnt flavor near the end of the taste.

Although this is a watery ale, and not too flavorful, I enjoyed drinking this because it's not so overwhelming. Sometimes Subtle beats excessive flavors in which many of our craft beers go.

This will always be a better alternative to the mass produced yellow beers here in the US, so this is definitely a nice summer type quaffer.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.34/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tall 500ml nitro-can with widget poured into my straight-edged pint glass. Purchased from Dan Murphy's Alexandria.

Pours a milky white, as expected from the nitro, settling out to a deep copper colour with an exceptionally fine head. Nitrogenation is extremely fine, and leaves an icy patterning on the inside of the glass. Lacing is as excellent as can be expected. I know I'm a sucker for a nitro pour, but I really think it looks excellent.

Nose is relatively smooth and bland, but with a noticeable taint of eucalyptus to me. Some mild cardboard comes through as well, and a flatness that I often find in nitro beers. It's not overly exciting, to be honest.

Taste is relatively smooth and light as well for the most part, steady and flat with some mild English grain characters. On the back though are two separate and noticeable flavours: more of that eucalyptus note, which gives a buzzing, slightly numbing finish to the brew, and an unforgettable metallic twang on the finish that leaves a tingle on the aftertaste. It's not bad: in fact, it's akin to a true bitterness coming through, but given how smooth and creamy this was otherwise it was a bit of a surprise.

Mouthfeel is good, of course, from the can, but feels a little bit light even so.

Overall, it's a perfectly drinkable English ale, while not being a particularly exciting one. I do love the effect the nitro gives it, and if that just makes me a sucker for a gimmick, then I guess I'm a sucker.

Photo of IchLiebeBier
2/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Copper; large creamy head, long lasting

Aroma: Malty; bready; light hops; light caramel

Taste: Very thin; not much flavour to talk about; pretty unimpressive

Remarks: From nitro can

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

Photo of JamesMN
3.33/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Dark honey hue with a slight chill haze and a nice puffy off-white nitro head.

Aroma: A touch of pale malt giving a bready aroma with hints of caramel. Surprisingly aromatic for a nitro-can.

Taste: Pretty watery (and at 3.8% ABV what do you expect) but some actual flavor in there as well. A nice caramel malt presence as well as a light hoppy bitterness on the back end. Aftertaste of light bitterness and watery caramel with a touch of a metallic off-flavor.

Mouthfeel: Just below medium in body and super smooth due to the nitro. Sessionable.

Final Thoughts: John Smith's Extra Smooth proves that a low ABV beer can pack in some flavor and be enjoyable. Would like to see more brewers pushing below the 4% ABV mark and making true "session beers." Would I drink it again? Yes.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.31/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of Broman
3.4/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Everyone loves the cascade, albeit short lived but still an interesting and exciting sight. Pours a moderate half inch thick foam head that lasts the beer with ample lacing. Dark brown color once everything settles.

Smell- Little to none. Some mild sweet aromas.

Taste- Easy drinking taste. Some sweet undertones, more along the lines of a brown sugar cube mixed into a cup of water. Followed up quickly with a bland tinge of no aftertaste. Not overly exciting but enjoyable enough.

Mouthfeel- Best part of the beer. Fills the mouth. More of a comforting feeling then anything. Medium body on the palette.

Overall- Goes down easy. Comforting feel and taste. Somewhat heavy but it just adds some character.

Photo of Zorro
3.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear dark amber colored beer with a dense snowy white colored head. Very dark I could see calling this brown.

Smell is English malt and hops. Slight butter aroma with scents of leather and tobacco and London cab. Toasted grain and light caramel with a mild herbal hop flavor.

Starts out mild and malty with toasted grains with light caramel flavor. Slight fig flavor just a very light English ale. Mildly sweet with an earthy hop after taste.

Mouthfeel is decent.

Overall a mild low alcohol English ale.

I could see starting a Great Britain beer tasting with this ale, it certainly would not alter your taste perception of what ever bitter or pale ale that comes next.

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap once or twice in Scotland, summer '09. It was everywhere. When you're walking around 8+ hours a day each day, this is one of the better ultra-light malt beverages to take in while relaxing.... I got chewed out for saying so on this very site after I returned...

Basically, this is a super-mellow, nitro-pour pale ale - so minimal aromas and flavors, (almost, but not quite) extra-smooth texture, supreme drinkability!

Really, very little discernible aromas - very light fruity esters, not much malt, if at all - even less hops... clear, coppery.... sanded-down-to-the-nub malt and fruity on the palate, some briefly-lingering grassy hop bitterness... flash of mellow body roundness up front, carried away by a tight, sudsy cream wash.... a slowly increasing sense of mild diacetyl or corn sugar or something - could be imagination.

I'm afraid for even those who don't drink beer, the blatant non-offensive qualities of this may seem a tad dull. But boy does it refresh!

Photo of Offa
3.36/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.73/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nitro can pour at the BevMo Holiday Beerfest held at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear orange-brown with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and a slight caramel aroma. Taste is much the same but is very mild and lacking. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer that is not very tasty in my opinion.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.52/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bring on the nitro-can! Something to wet my whistle for the evening. Coming out of a 440 ml can, on to the beer:

Cascade, cascade, stop. That's a lovely amber red color with a crimson tint, and that creamy head sitting on top sits an inch thick and holds its posture. The nose is muted. Something wants to crawl out, but something is holding it back. A little caramel and toasted malt crawls out , and some huskiness.

Subtle as expected, yet interesting enough to drink all the way through. Little flavors consist of fruity esters, toasty malts, a slap of honey, hard minerals, slight metallic accent. The body is light with a hefty creaminess, and it is very easy to drink.

Around my expectations, and that's not bad. A true session ale to be had in the US.

Photo of rangerred
3.34/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

440ml nitro can into a pint glass.

Pours a rich clear copper with a cascading tan had that settles into a two finger cap. Really good lacing and head retention.

Aroma has a definite metallic twang but otherwise is pretty light. Some pear and caramel but nothing really sticks out too prominently.

The taste is quite nice. Caramel and bready grain along with pears and some peaches. Caramel and toffee along with toast provides a light roasted character. Bitterness is sharp but pleasant although it comes close to being acrid. Finish is crisp and clean giving this beer tons of drinkability.

Overall, an average nitro English bitter. Not on the same level as Old Speckled Hen or Tetley's but better than Boddington's. At $7.99 a 4 pack, the price is alright and I can see myself picking this up again.

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John Smith's Extra Smooth from John Smith's Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 235 ratings.