Samuel Smith Strong Golden Barley Wine | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

BA SCORE
84
good
36 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Samuel Smith Strong Golden Barley WineSamuel Smith Strong Golden Barley Wine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
England, United Kingdom
samuelsmithsbrewery.co.uk

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by saltydog on 07-09-2004

BEER STATS
Ratings:
36
Reviews:
32
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
16.53%
 
 
Wants:
26
Gots:
0
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 32
Photo of swizzlenuts
3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark red with a good sized head. The head goes away pretty quickly and leaves a nice ring; there is also a nice bit of carbonation.

It has a bit of the fruitiness that usual barley wines have, but it smells kind of diluted. The beer has the usual plums flavours and the sweetness that most barley wines have but, the alcohol is very present at the end with a slight bit of bitterness. The flavour is actually kind of weak, compared to most barley wines. The mouthfeel is creamy and thick, but not as much as most barley wines, seems a bit watery than most.

It's drinkable, but I don't think it'd be worth having another.

 641 characters

Photo of seanyfo
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 30cl pilsner flute

A- Dark copper, altbier like body, with an explosive cream head due to the shape of the glass, retains head well for the abv

S- Cinnamon, vanilla, christmas cake, fresh bready malts, toffee, caramel, prunes

T- Prunes and christmas cake, raisins up front, with a nice warming alcohol but slightly quick finish, not a lot of aftertaste here.

M- Moderate carbonation, full body

D- Obviously a sipper nightcap beer. Enjoyable but expecting more in the taste after the glorious smells.

 518 characters

Photo of garcia2a
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Before I begin, this is not a barley wine for those who only like big and bold American barley wines. UK barleys are lighter in body, but pack a ton of flavor.

Tadcaster is between York and Manchester and and easy stop from the highway. The Sam Smith folks do not get many Americans stopping by. They are a great lot and warm and welcoming, I suggest if you are near, stop in. I picked up a few bottles of this tasty at the brewery, they still have my bottle deposit!

The beer has a nice deep color that pours clear, smooth and easy. The nose is mindful of raisins, prunes and even figs. The body ans the color are lighter than an american barley wine, but has all of the flavor. A ton of taste that engages the entire mouth.

A tasty that really should make a seasonal appearance in the US. Easy sippin'.

 813 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.11/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A friend brought this small bottle back from Europe which I thought was very cool as I have been a Samuel Smith fan since before becoming a beer advocate. I do have to note that the bottle lists "seaweed finings" as an ingredient. WTF? Anyway, the appearance was the best part of this beer. It was a clear golden-ruby color with about twelve bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass. It looked great. Unfortunately it smelled like hot alcohol. The taste was mostly alcohol along with a "Sam Smith" taste that I find in all their beers. This beer actually got worse as it warmed. I expected more out of Samuel Smith but I was still happy to have had this beer.

 661 characters

Photo of cypressbob
4.02/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

180ml nip bottle served in a Dobbelen tulip, opened with my newly acquired Beeradvocate opener

Pours with a rich copper body. A few reddy rusty hints, very small but tight head forms with fair retention. Some little yeasty patches forming, tiny bubbles of lacing up and down the glass only very few though

Smell, strong whiff of whiskyesque vapours, thick and syrupy esters of raisins and prunes, steamed golden syrup pudding. A touch of banana and apricot, heady alcohol aroma really kicks the aromatic spicy fruit into touch. Bourbon and molasses come into play with a thick sticky malt extract character floating around in the background, like diet JW Lees in some respects as far as the nose goes. Some spicy alcoholic nutmeg and cinnamon on the finish

Taste, almost tobacco tar like bitterness, very boozy and fairly thin mouthfeel for a beer of this size. The dried and fresh fruit comes through supported by the alcohol, spicy almost orange and grapefruit like zestiness. Bready, sticky, golden syrup malt character, lots of slightly harsh acetonic alcoholic flavours, slight weak hop bitterness on the finish and left on the palette along with a slightly greasy residue

Seems to be a bit of a hit or miss ale on here. I really wasn't sure quite what to expect but I was pleasantly suprised. The aromas are quite pungent and gratifying whilst the flavour is maybe a little lacking for a beer of this size. The overly evident alcohol is definitely a problem in many regards although its not enough to detract you from at least trying this beer once. I found it for £1.09 for a 180ml nip and at that price its definitely worth the money. A rare and slightly bizarre offering from Samuel Smith, that said worth a try.

 1,734 characters

Photo of wl0307
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

180ml brown bottle, BB July 2007, served cool in a small wine goblet.

A: reddish amber hue like rose wine; no beer head, and very low fizziness. Pretty normal for a bottled English barley wine.
S: sour-sweet prunes, salt-preserved tangerine peels, and syrupy malts... pretty flat in aroma with a touch of alc. lurking in the background.
T: surprisingly effervescent on the texture... prune-wine, creamy amber malts, orange pickles, with a faint trace of moulded cheese. Slowly the Madeira-like woodiness and hop dryness comes forth, towards a semi-dry bitter aftertaste.
M&D: the mild fizziness keeps the texture lively enough for such a heavy drink, while the alc. is well hidden. A smooth barley wine it is, albeit with nothing special to write home about.

 764 characters

Photo of stcules
1.81/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The color is probably a deep blonde, or maybe a light chestnut. Not so beautiful head, full of big bubble. No perlage.
Smell: well, pungent, but not in a good mode. Absolutely not inviting.
The taste: after a lightly alcoholic start, it vanishes quickly. Light warm, malty, and alocholic. But it fades away soon.
Some sweetish.
Just some wood hints in the aftertaste. But nothing to talk about. Not satisfatying.
It's a pity, because I had some expectation in a BW from Samuel Smith.

 488 characters

Photo of haz77
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours an clear orangey-chestnut with a creamy finger of white head. This falls to a bubbly island and ring. Small streamers rinse very slowly.

S - Toffee, cherries, berries, phenols, some syrupy sourness, rum.

T - Sweet, chewy, fruity malts up front. Tartness comes through in the middle, along with some floral flavours. Finish is syrupy, with rum notes. Alcohol appears from the middle, but doesn't really set in until the aftertaste, leaving a satisfying warmth at the back of the mouth and throat.

M - Full bodied, with soft carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

D - Reminded me somewhat of Samichlaus. Not particularly drinkable, which is expected and isn't a problem. A solid offering worth trying.

 714 characters

Photo of ybnorml
4.39/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clean dark copper beer. Has a small off white head. Solid Toffee character dominates the aroma up front with a light hint of dried fruitand the alcohol settleing in on the backside. WOW. That toffee character again dominates the taste with that lovely balance of dried fruit and a nice warm alcohol note.

I purchased 6 of these on a trip to England a year and a half ago. I have give all the others away as gifts. I wish I had bought a case.
I poured this in my Rapscallion glass to get the full aroma.

 508 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1996 Vintage
Best before date of December 1997.

"Nip" sized bottle poured barely carbonated with large white bubbles when forced.
Body is tarnished brass and hazy.
Sweet and chewy in the nose, toffee laiden malt and fruits.
English hops meld with mild oxidation and yeastiness.
Finishes with a chaulky tartness and honey steeped juniper with apple peel.
Juicy and sweet on the pallet with coppery undertones.
A syrupy body reveals a tangerine malt character with a pleasing drying bitterness.
Finishes with spiced honey, tart grapes, and a whisper of warming cinnamon spiked alcohol.
The oxidation is a detraction after 9 years, and I don't think it was bottle conditioned.
Young, this beer was balanced and tasty, but never huge.
All things condsidered, it held up well.

 785 characters

Photo of saltydog
2.64/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The idea of a barleywine from the venerable Samuel Smith brewery sounds wonderful, but the beer itself is pretty disappointing. Nice orange/tan color, quite clear, not much head retention. But once you smell and taste the beer you see where it's gone wrong. This beer is way out of balance, dominated by a fruity, phenolic, estery hot alcohol flavor. Neither the malt flavors nor the hops make much impression past the hot alcohol. It's very harsh, and not very drinkable. And this is coming from a fan of barleywines.

 518 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50  | next → last
Samuel Smith Strong Golden Barley Wine from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.75 out of 5 based on 36 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More