Sovereign Best Bitter
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
England, United Kingdom
English Bitter
3.31 | pDev: 16.01%
May 22, 2018
Apr 27, 2004
Notes: None
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Photo of Premo88
Reviewed by Premo88 from Texas

4.34/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
pint on cask at the Earl of Lonsdale, London, Tuesday, April 17, 2017

L: gorgeous brown-copper, some red in it, with a 1/2-inch head of thick foam that's sticky; belongs in the National Portrait Gallery

S: stale corn husks, bread malt, yeast, cauliflower, stale wheat bread

T: masa, corn mixed in with a load of bread malt and earthy bitterness

F: crispy around the edges, mushy and soft inside

O: very similar to Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Bitter but with the most unique grain/??? flavor I've run across in the English pale ale family -- corn husks, corn, masa is part of it, but it's also like wheat bread; bottom line is it's fantastic; grain notes like corn rarely show up in bitter, but somehow it works magically here
May 22, 2018
Rated: 3.12 by jsbirnba from California

Jul 23, 2017
Photo of raysat
Reviewed by raysat from Connecticut

3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Had plenty of them on draught at The Swan and The Colpitts in Durham. The venue was probably better than the beer itself but either way, those were some fun nights and this beer helped with that.
Nov 12, 2016
Rated: 3.03 by CharlesStenner from England

Jan 08, 2016
Rated: 3.25 by njbusa from New Jersey

May 09, 2015
Rated: 3.5 by DirkNachbar from England

Nov 13, 2013
Rated: 3.25 by Pelicanrocks from England

Mar 03, 2013
Rated: 4 by kelvarnsen from Canada (ON)

Nov 30, 2011
Photo of DerBayer
Reviewed by DerBayer from Germany

2.53/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Had this in a Sam Smith pub and I really like some of their beers but this one was either slightly off or it s just not such a gresat beer

Appearance is copper with no head and smell is lots of fruity esters not very clean a bit too earthy for me

I wont have this again too many good beers!!
May 29, 2010
Photo of tempest
Reviewed by tempest from New York

3.31/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
On-tap at The Cock in London. A surprisingly simple beer from Samuel Smith. It's beginning to seem like they also have a flair for boring beers. There's a bit of earthy hops and pale malt, but no big flavors whatsoever. I'd avoid this one and stick to their Extra Stout and regular lineup of beers.
Apr 15, 2009
Photo of Soozy
Reviewed by Soozy from Tennessee

3.9/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5
On tap at the White Horse in Soho. Has an absolute great pour on tap. A balanced session beer. Very enjoyable, biscuit flavor, nice hop nose. It's not cask, but the carbonation is fine.

I wouldn't go seek this one out, but if you're in the UK, give it a shot. If you're a fan of bitters, this is a solid one.
Jan 28, 2009
Photo of wl0307
Reviewed by wl0307 from England

2.82/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
Tasted this beer on tap by a half-pint at a SS's pub, the Captain Kidd, in Wapping, London. On tap it's just 4.1%abv., and served way cooler than the ideal temp...

A: as it's poured on tap, the light amber colour comes with a very creamy and frothy white beer head and extremely fine bubbles attached to the glass... leaving very tight lace too~~
S: slightly sour nose, with a faint trace of malts and mild aroma of green-apple like hops... too timid overall.
T: overly chilled... yet besides that, a smooth texture of lightly spicy and hay-like hops and bitter-sweet light malty body gradually prevail, with very clean finish with a dash of bitterness left on the sides of my tongue.
M: it is refreshing but quite soft when chewed in the mouth, without too much gas, yet it's also fair to say that the texture is quite standard, even like a nitro-canned beer rather than fresh on tap, as towards the end it becomes a bit watery and thin...
D: it's a light-bodied and easy-to-drink bitter, overall not too bad, but the flavour and aroma are apparently killed off by the overly low temp. For that reason alone I wouldn't revisit this beer again.
Aug 26, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
Reviewed by TheLongBeachBum from California

2.46/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2
Sampled on Tap at the Albion Inn, Wakefield, England on 4-6-04.

Served from a Blue Samuel Smith box shaped Keg Font –
i.e. Brewery Conditioned (*NOT* Cask)
Served via CO2 Top Pressure Dispense.

Imperial Pint, served in a Straight Sided Glass – Cost £1.28


Appearance: Served in a straight-sided Imperial Pint Glass. Middling brown with a golden amber body that has a copper hue when backlit. Cream to off-white colored head that has white spots at times. The ¼” smooth collar head is solid in performance and longevity. Has a slightly over–carbonated fizzy body, thanks in no part to the fact that it is a Keg Beer (therefore Brewery Conditioned) and served with Carbon Dioxide on Top Pressure. Lots of streamers continually rise in the perfectly clear body and support the collar head throughout.

Nose: Has a very mild metallic hint that can be very off-putting I found. Clean lined malts in the middle, some of which had a lightly roasted hint, delicate but discernable hop pellet smell in the back end. Not won over by this one – the aromas smell like something you keep under the sink, a tad “chemical” at times.

Taste: Average tastes. A nice malt body, with some clean bitterness in the finish, but the stainless steel mouthwash tastes reappear and cannot be ignored no matter how hard I try. This suffers from a chemical “fizzy beer” feel that imparts a metallic tasting ‘after-burp’ characteristic that really cannot be ignored. The lingering finish became sweeter as I drank through this. Weird.

Mouthfeel: Simply metallic (did I mention this??), tastes like it came straight out of a Can, and an old one at that. For a premium bitter, it has a very thin feel and is lacking in any real texture - other than “fizzy beer”.

Drinkability: I really struggled with this. I ordered a Pint and actually left about an inch (erm.... I mean 25.4mm) of it in the bottom of my glass whilst I ordered a pint of the SS Old Brewery Extra Stout - I knew that would wash the “sucking on a broken silver plated spoon” aftertaste away for sure.

Overall: Sold as a premium strength Bitter, for the UK at least, and it is good value for the strength. But that’s the end of the good news. As much as I love Samuel Smith’s products – I have to be brutally honest and say that this sucks big style. Sadly (for me at least) this really suffers from all of the usual traits and side effects that Brewery Conditioned, or “Keg Beer” has to offer, or is that offend?. It is thin, lacks body, and is very fizzy, clinically metallic and quite difficult to drink in decent quantities. I struggled with this one. Probably the worst Samuel Smith’s offering that I have ever had. Sorry, but I was not impressed with this!!
Apr 27, 2004
Sovereign Best Bitter from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 13 ratings