Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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BA SCORE
87
very good
661 Reviews
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale AleSamuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style: English Pale 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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
661
Ratings:
1,001
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
14.77%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
42
For Trade:
0
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 661 | Ratings: 1,001
Photo of wahhmaster
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a light copper color with a foamy, white head that dissipates slowly and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Has an earthy hop aroma with a bit of a candy-like sweet smell.

Taste: Has a slightly fruity and malty taste up front that becomes a slightly hoppy flavor towards the back supported by biscuity and grainy notes. Very tasty and very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Reasonably full-bodied with a crisp edge to it.

Drinkability: An excellent exemplar of the English Pale Ale style. Definitely something lovers of the style should try and something I certainly wouldn't mind having again.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a 2" head which dissipates to 1/8". Surprisingly dark for a pale ale, looks like Lipton tea. In fact both in bottle and in glass my sample looks surprisingly dark compared to the photo in the BA reviews. Has a nice creaminess, some malt, and a hint of coffee in the flavor. Honestly, to me this seems like an aborted stout, like they started to make multiple things out of their stout process and with more time or a little tweaking this pale ale would indeed have been a stout. Enjoyable, but not what I expect from a pale ale.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out into a samuel smith pint glass. Its a tonic dark red fire amber with orange licking the sides when held to light. A formidable off-white head that lasts at its inch and a half til drunk.

Smells a tad bready, some almond and soft leather, slight yeast and floral.

Tastes sweet at first touch with a hint of alcohol at the swallow. There is a little bit of bitter dough and an oh so slight metallic tinge, which is strange considering it goes from stone to glass to get here in the states. Not what you go for if you want an american pale ale. Mmm some citrus/strawberry hits further into the session.

Mouthfeel is lower to medium body with nothing sticking but a tannin feel on the back of the tongue, and again, i know this is taste oriented, but I'm getting iron flavors when focusing on the back of the feel. Light comfortable carbonation.

Semi easy to drink, it is not a beast in any way too powerful, nor is it too weak for any mention, but it really is just not that good. I'd recommend going a different direction when it comes to the purchase of this beer, but hey Sammy Smith has a great Imperial Porter as well as other brews much more lauded than this.

The price was reasonable, but I would not buy this beer again so I guess it is not worth it.

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Photo of jampics2
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8oz or so, enjoyed at a beer tasting with Samuel Smith, the son of the current head of the brewery @ the Winking Lizard. Consumed in a branded English half-pint glass.

The beer is copper with some amber and orange highlights. It's not cloudy; instead, it's quite clear and has just a small film of head. Great color but poor head retention.

The smell of this beer is enjoyable but not what I like in the style. I prefer just a touch more expression from the hops. I know English Pale Ales should be more malty than their American counterparts and lack the citrus and pine aromas, but this had very little from the Golding hops Samuel said they use. Some bready malt, caramel, and minor wet cardboard I can only assume was mild oxidation.

The mild malt in the taste sets the stage for what could be an epic beer. But there's little to balance it, just some earthy hops and medium bitterness. Just not as flavorful as I like, and there's no contrast of sweet and bitter flavors.

The mouthfeel is decent, with a crisp medium bodied beer having nice carbonation and a lingering mildly bitter finish.

The pale ale, unfortunately, was my least favorite of the evening. But it paired well with the roast beef, horseradish mashed potatoes, and yorkshire pudding we enjoyed with it. I just wish it was a bit more flavor-forward and expressive. While discussing this with Samuel, we talked about American Pale Ales and he mentioned he enjoyed a few in Seattle the previous evening and said they were fantastic but certainly too hoppy for a session ;)

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper with light carbo's and a rather inadequate foamy head. Nice and clear though.
Smells a bit on the bread side hops are understated.
Taste is balance between hops and malts. The hops are understated which is normal for the English version and perfectly fine here as well.
Malts have a slight biscuit taste.
Mild in flavor, smooth and balanced with a dry finish.
Good lacing.
drink up chaps

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Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle.

This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and creamy beige head, which leaves a decent array of sudsy bike-chain lace around the glass in its slow and meandering wake.

It smells of slightly toasted caramel malt, buttered biscuits, edgy orchard fruit, and some floral, earthy, and mildly piney hops. The taste is bready, almost sourdough-esque caramel malt, a bit of further toffee sweetness, a mild oily nuttiness, some reserved apple, pear, and dried apricot fruitiness, a touch of aerosol black pepper, and soft floral, herbal hops.

The carbonation is a bit strong, and forcefully frothy at first, but quickly settles to a more reasonable spritz soon enough, the body a solid medium weight, generally smooth, with a wee twinge of creaminess. It finishes still rather off-dry, the malt and fruit lingering like aimless teenagers, and cleanly bitter.

Overall, this is big on flavour, without any particular one standing out. Nicely drinkable, and what I imagine a proper EPA to be. Could see sessioning a few rounds of this in a dim pub, arguing the various inconsequential merits of Champions or Premier league play.

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Photo of velosuds
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date apparent. Paid $2.99 at Cost Plus World Market. Other stores usually sell for $3.99.

A-Pours an orange-amber hue with a two finger light tan head with good retention and ample lacing. Very nice appearance.

S-The aroma is primarily toasted caramel malt and herbal, English hops. A bit subdued, but nice.

T-Bready caramel malt that is more filling than sweet. Faint English toffee that is nice in a pale ale. The stingy hop bitterness is predominantly herbal and earthy, with a slight citrus fruit essence.

M-Exceedingly smooth with a balanced complexion. Just the right level of carbonation.

D-Another fine beer from Samuel Smith's. Not my favorite beer in their fine lineup due to style. But, they are among the best at getting so much flavor and other characteristics in a 5% ABV beer.

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Photo of JokeInsurance
4.57/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - It pours a caramel/cherry color. The tan, which is a light brown color is exceptional.

S - It definitely has an extremely distinctive smell. As it has a caramel look to it, it also has a heavy caramel taste to it too.

T - Very smooth with a heavy caramel and hazelnut taste to it. The initial taste kinda kicks you in the mouth but after it savored in my mouth for a couple of moments, that is when the heavy flavor makes its impact. Even after it trickles down south, the heavy flavor still lingers about which makes good emphasis.

M - Like what the other reviewers described, it was very smooth, pleasant and creamy.

D - If one can handle a heavy beer by just by sipping and savoring, this beer is for you.

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Photo of NEbeerbro
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - pours an amber gold, quite asthetically pleasing. Lively carbonation, head and lacing below average however.

s -Bready, grassy, malty nose. Underhopped relative to American ales, typical and delicious trait of English ales.

t - very smooth balanced flavor. Malts followed by a slight citrus hops note.

m - nice carbonation, smooth going down. Dry and refreshing.

d - very easy and enjoyable to drink

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Photo of EricHeff
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish brown color with very little head.
It goes down smooth but leave a nice little complex hoppy taste behind. I can't really pin-point any exact flavors in here but it sure is good. I could defiantly drink a few of these in a row and not get tired of it. I would say this Pale Ale is a step above most Pale Ale's.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Old Brewery Pale Ale pours an attractive amber color. A nice amount of clumpy off white head forms, and it reduces to nice lacing that clings like crazy to the sides of my glass.

Smell: Some caramel malts with lighter citrus, banana and hop notes.

Taste: Caramel malts and slight citrus up front, with light hops on the back end. A very balanced beer, with nothing sticking out too much.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin, and smooth with a slightly dry finish.

Drinkability: With its fairly mild flavor and smoothness this beer is pretty drinkable.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Source/Serving: 550ml. Bottle, no expiry date.

Smell: Caramel and apple cider that's a little musty with a pleasantly smooth and creamy earthy edge.

Taste: Smooth and creamy up front that's mostly cider with a hint of caramel. Yeasty and bready sweetness in the middle and just enough bitterness to offset the sweetness up front. Incrementally more caramel which is soft and pleasant along with a medium body. On the way to the finish hops become more apparent with an oily mouthfeel and earthy/grassy/herbal tones that are soft and pleasant and some biscuit and some sharpness from the grains. The dryness is a nice change of pace from the sweet cider up front. Ends as it begins with sweet cider and caramel, but as it lingers a pleasant and substantial dry herbal bitterness hangs around for a while and it much appreciated.

Notes: Well done. Another Sam Smith classic.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle (date code of SA27J1 - whatever that means) poured into a nonic glass.

Appearance: Clear tarnished copper color with a persistent dense light tan foam (about 1/8" thick). Lots of lacing noted (strands and walls).

Smell: Mild toffee and caramel malt flavors. Good, but nothing else.

Taste: Toffee and caramel flavors with a burnt sugar bitter finish. When the beer is all the way up to room temperature the bitterness takes on more of a classic English bitter flavor, but this is still a malt heavy/malt forward beer and the bitterness takes a back seat in this beer. However, at no point are the malt flavors cloying, they're just the only major flavors. Good, just not "Wow!" good.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation. Slick with typical body for an English ale. Nothing special.

Drinkability: Went well with a meal (pork chops and homemade ginger gold applesauce) and I suspect it would be good on it's own, but I'll admit to getting bored with this beer by the end. It's a single flavor profile beer. It showcases malts and that's about it. It is however, a good example of a British beer, and maybe I needed something less sweet in the meal to go with it and then I would have appreciated it more.

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Photo of darkmartin
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours to a murky molasses-brown with a thick tan head. Thick, single layer of lacing.

Smell: Smells of caramel malts, and subtle floral hops.

Taste: Very similar to the smell, smooth caramel malt up front, followed by subdued floral hops. Smooth, yet complex taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a fair amount of carbonation. Maybe a little too much for the style.

Drinkability: Really good beer, the taste is quite complex yet contains nothing too overbearing. Simple, smooth, and good.

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Photo of rgrholmes168
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.
The beer is a nice burnt orange color that poured a good dark head. As the foam dissipated the glass has solid lacing down the sides.
The aroma was the weakest part of this beer as I got a slight waft of malt, but little else.
The beer has a solid caramel malt taste that is of a medium body. No hops were discerned and the beer did go down smoothly.
A very solid drinkable beer.

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Photo of Loot
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a- it pours an orangy, brown almost arnold palmer or a long island in color. Intriguing...

s- caramel, and ample malt notes...subtle with a slight cracker note. A hint of hops...very subtle...

t- starts with a smooth maltiness, lots of complex caramel notes...finishes with a tingle on the tongue of hops. There is a subtle ,but interesting bready, biscuity, flavor throughout. Good.

m- very good, has a little bit of a chew to it. I think from the bread and cracker notes.

d- it was very good, drank it rather quick after the tasting. Def. A drinker!

all in all a good beer. I think it is a great execution of the style. Seems very traditional. It did not let me down...in the age of super hoppy beers a refreshing more malty change. All in balance.

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Photo of sfparadox
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a glass where it formed a thick white head. The liquid turned to a dark orangish brown color. The smell was not strong but on first sip you could taste the flavor of the beer. There was no strong after taste and it went down clean. As you continued to drink you could continue to see the remains of the head sticking to the side of the glass. Overall a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of NODAK
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is malty...a bit sweet, carmel...some toffee. Kind of buttery in a way. Nice, true to what I'd expect.

Taste is of some muted caramel, but not quite as predominant as one may expect off of the aroma. There's also a definite fruity contingent to this beer as well...apple maybe?? It's different, but pretty delicious. There's also a bit of a metallic quality to this. English hops make themselves present near the end in a small way.

A little bit of sweetness lingers on the finish. Rather clean for the most part though. Pretty drinkable and refreshing beer with character.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pristine copper color, with a half-inch, off-white head that fades gradually, leaving some thick lacing on the glass.
Smell is caramel malts and yeast, with some grassy hops. Some citrus notes in there, as well as some buttery toffee notes.
Taste is more caramel notes with some light spices and yeast. Light hops as well. Toffee and citrus notes come in towards the finish. Good malt backbone.
Mouthfeel is a good balance of crispness and smoothness. Finish is fairly clean. Light-to-medium body.
Drinkability is very good. Refreshing and tasty.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orangy brown color with minimal off white head. Scent is of fresh bread, toffee, roasted nuts and a faint touch of watery fruit. Taste brings again the taste of fresh bread, touches of sweet carmel, toffee, nuts, butter, watery fruit. Medium bodied, slightly grainy, perfect carbonation, slightly dry. An all around fresh tasting, highly drinakable and enjoyable malt forward english ale.

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Photo of busternuggz
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 18.7 oz bottle into a pint glass (and refilled).
Beautiful orange-golden color with a 1/2" thick, creamy white head that remained at about 1/4" after receding.
Smells included nice sweet malt and nuttiness. The taste followed, with a nice nuttiness and somewhat sweet malt character. A little hint of honey. Nice finish with a little more dryness.
Had a nice medium body to it, very smooth. Very drinkable too, I polished the bottle off easily and could have kept drinking more. I could see drinking a bunch of these in a pub. Went will with some grilled catfish and corn, I imagine it's a pretty good all-around food beer. Not flashy but a solid and delicious beer.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

550 mL bottle without a freshness date. Pours a clear, medium copper color with a creamy cap of light beige foam. Retention is pretty good and the lacing is definitely sticky. Surprisingly dark in color, looks good.

Nose is lightly caramelized malts with some noticeable minerality, light fruit and mild hop aroma. Smells surprisingly fresh, I might have gotten lucky and picked up a recently brewed bottle!

Taste is nicely balanced between slightly sweet malts and floral hop flavoring and bitterness. Malts are toasty and caramely. Mouthfeel is very nice on this one...very creamy feeling and perfectly carbonated. Probably the most refreshing British pale Ale I have had thus far. Minerality comes through, chalky even. Fruit is kept surprisingly mild for an EPA. I really like it and cannot believe it took 12 years of craft beer drinking to finally try it!

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours aggressively for a nice thick head, that has an off-white color. this is a pretty damn red pale ale, filtered for a transparent body.
i smell malts, caramel, and i also smell fruitiness and i want to go with cherries as my attempt to pinpoint.
taste pretty much matches the aromas.
mouthfeel is nice, a smooth finish, appropriate carbonation too.
pretty drinkable overall

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Photo of likethetaste
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium amber color.
Nice lacing
slight fruity smell
good flavor but mouth feel is not as nice.
I actually like this a lot better than Fullers but I know I am crazy to say this, but I like the much lighter colored Sam Adams Pale Ale better than both. Much better drinkablity.

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Photo of mcdevster
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a nice medium copper..
this smells great.. smells fruity slightly malty - slight hint of grain or hops.. very light citrus/dark fruit.. dry.
Samuel smith is always great for full flavored beers.. you can really taste this from the front to the back of the mouth.. nice soft feel but enough dryness to leave a lasting finish.. this is a classic pale ale. it is light enough to drink as a session..yet the flavor is powerful and lasting. this ranks very highly in my opinion.

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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
87 out of 100 based on 661 ratings.
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