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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Reviews: 661 | Ratings: 1,001
Photo of Premo88
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

18.7 oz. bottle (550 ml) poured into pub glass

L: clear reddish brown with tan head ... classic and beautiful. definite red in it; amber incarnate. my gosh is she pretty. not a huge head unless i pour it hard. small, tight bubbles of carbonation really pepper the surface.

S: as good as it gets. seriously, I don't see how a beer can smell anymore BEERY! no doubt, there's lots of malt here, but about halfway down, I'm smelling the hops.

T: uh-oh.

This is disappointing because it's off the charts in appearance and smell, but it simply lacks that special oommph finish of what I think of as a great pale ale. Very balanced, starts off with good bitter bite up front but quickly smooths out into some malty goodness. Where I think it goes wrong is it's not finishing up sweet enough for my tastes ... not how I remember from the the first time I tried it in the mid-1990s. It's much better than Old Speckled Hen, for what that's worth.

F: just fine ... good carbonation, good weight, not overly thick.

O: for such a perfect presentation, it lacks in the most important category: taste. It's not bad. Far from it. It's good, and at 5% abv, you could session the hell out of this taste and be happy. If you want a break from the hop-crazy American pale ales/IPAs/DIPAs, good ol' Sam Smith's will give you that at a decent price. (about 18 cents per oz. in my neck of the woods)

BUT my bet is I am going to find better at a cheaper price. Still, when in doubt, this brew is fine.

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Photo of sfprint
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gushed out the top upon opening, but poured not much of a head. Mild carbonation, fairly transparent, dark strawberry in color. The scent, while not so strong, also reminds me of a not so sweet strawberry. Lovely but weak. Chocolate as well.

The taste has an unsweet juice like quality. Like an unsweet fruit tea, ale. A hair sour.

Mild carbonation, not dry, no sting.

Overall decent, but not nearly as special as everyone else seems to think.

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Photo of HabiMendes
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The reddish-brown of this excellent beer looked very nice, but the soon-to-follow aroma... oh, it was impressive! The caramelized malty character shows itself so well, but yet so unobtrusively. We also have a background tofee-like smell. The controlled bitterness at the beginning, which precedes an unexpected, but real, carbonation impression at the palate, is very soothing actually. In the end, the hops appear more clearly, which is pleasant and refreshing. Fantastic beer!

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

550 ml (1 pint) bottle, uncapped and poured into a Boulevard tulip glass. No bottled on date present.

A - Pours a rich robust copper color with a nice thick fizzing two and a half finger cream colored head.

S - Figs and dark fruit sweetness hits me at first. Alcohol smell, but a pleasing alcohol smell. Some roasted bready malts and nut scent in the backbone, to be sure. Roasted malts seem to become more dominant as the beer warms a bit.

T - Roasted malts and dark fruits. Very malty, well-watery finish with a hint of green apple sugars lingering for a bit. Slight hint of cream maybe as the beer begins to warm. Almost reminds me of this nice 18 year old bottle of Hermes Glogg (mulled wine) that I drank last summer. Not extraordinarily hoppy, like many of the pale ales that I have come to favor, but this beer has a well-crafted sweetness to it, and is definitely worth having.

M - Smooth, clean body. Dry finish, but not too dry. Again, the lingering taste of green apple sweetness and some dark cherry and fig sweetness complimenting one another well.

In all, a flavorful beer to be sure. Reminds me almost of the Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout, only smoother and lighter in body. A nicely balanced beer, and easy sippin with a moderate 5.0% abv. I would probably opt for the Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout over this beer, but it was definitely worth checking out.

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale ---4/5.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark copper color with a nice and thick cream colored head. Lots of lacing down the glass.

S: Toasted grain, pale malt, a hint of golden raisins and some freshly baked bread.

T: This isn't the hop bomb I've come to look for in pale ales, but it's sneaky good. Some toasted caramel malt, honey malt, and grain with just a touch of hop bitterness. Some fruity esters linger in the background. Finish is squeaky clean. Super drinkable.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden orange color with 2 fingers worth of rocky head

S: Slightly fruity yeast, pale malts, and some light earthy hops. Simple, but good

T: Follows the nose. Starts out with plenty of fruity goodness rounded out with pale malts and light earthy hops that provide a nice light bitterness. Again, fairly simple, but good

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A good little English pale with a nice profile and great drinkability. Worthy of the name and a purchase

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Photo of FLima
2.81/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Amber color, a bit darker, and with a decent head.
Faint smell of caramels, malt and vanilla.
Taste follows smell, sweet malty taste with caramels and vanilla. Flavor got a bit unpleasant after it warmed up, a bit soapy.
Light to medium body with low carbonation.
Malty beer, traditional English Pale ale, don’t look for complexity. Second time I tried and this one didn’t go well, maybe because I had it too warm, I will need to give it a new try.

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Photo of mscudder
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Into a pint.

A - Deep amber hue, much darker than a traditional pale ale. Two-finger off-white head sits atop. Good retention with some nice lacing.

S - Some sweet caramel malts and biscuit notes. Nothing big going on here.

T - Lots of pale buttery malts with some mild dryness on the finish. This pale ale is on the sweet side but by no means is the sweetness robust.

M - Slightly watery medium body with average carbonation.

O - There seems to be a decent reason why I looked past this brew for such a long time. The other brews out of Sammy Smith's dwarf what this beer presents.

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Photo of GotWad629
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber/copper color with a thick creamy white head

Smells of malted barley, pine, earthy hops, caramel, and vanilla

Tastes is extremely smooth, slight hint of caramel, pine, and vanilla

A nice medium mouthfeel

Overall a well balanced and easy drinking brew. A good break from the super hopped up American pale ales. Just what I would expect from the Brits, balance and modesty.

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Photo of beergoot
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful, exceptionally clear copper color crowned with a rich, creamy, dense, sticky and faintly tan head. Richly sweet caramel malt prevails with a faint apricot presence (not very sweet or anything, but still a very light and subtle fruit scent) underneath; sweet sticky bun. Nice light, sweet, grainy malt flavor overall; soft caramel at first; bread-like; nice fade-in of hop bitterness gently complements the malt sweetness. Medium-body, clean, semi-dry finish.

A most enjoyable beer; nicely balanced with a low-key complexity.

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Photo of 401J
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into a wine glass on a snowy new england night in the colonial seaport town of Bristol, R.I. while watching The Voice with my auburn haired mistress.

This beer pours a beautiful sharp orange color with a nice head of some unorganized larger bubbles.

The nose is mild of vanilla and hints to me that this brew will have a creamy fell to it.

Upon tasting, I am treated to a mouthful of balance. I get all of the vanilla and cream mouthfeel I had hoped for then a late introduction to hops that do not overstay their welcome and fade at the most appropriate of times.. Lovely

This, to me, is the benchmark for pale ales in my young beer tasting career..

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Photo of flyingpig
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (550ml from Fenwick, Newcastle):
A bright red to orange coloured amber with a thumb sized, bubbly white head that settles to a thin lacing around the top.

Mix of malts and fruity hops that make the beer seem quite lively and refreshing. There is some roasted malts, brown sugar and some good fruit smells in the mix as well as some good toffee notes from the middle towards the end.

Fruity with some apples initially followed by a great toffee, a lot of fruity hops and earthy malts flavour mixed with some sugary sweetness to it as well. A great balance and a touch of bitterness right at the end round things off rather nicely.

Medium and quite smooth tasting as well as being very sweet and well-balanced. There is a touch of spice and a nice good amount of carbonation.

Very enjoyable beer with a great fruity flavour and plenty of hops on top of a strong malt base. Everything was well-balanced and worked well together giving a lingering, sweet hoppy taste.

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Photo of thierrynantes
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (35.5 cl.) purchased from Le Souffleur de bières, and tasted in 2012.

Appearance : amber color, with white foam head.
Smell : light hoppy to malty aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : caramel and malty flavors, with a slightly bitter finish.
Drinkability : a good beer ine English style Pale Ale.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass. Amber to orange color with a finger and half of head. Great lacing and hold.
Lots of aroma: pear and apple mostly.
Quite malty, minimum bitterness at first, builds towards the end. Lemon.
Soft texture. Medium body, low carbonation.
Nice pale ale to enjoy the malt side of the ale without having to fight through the bitterness of American Pale Ales.

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Photo of pkalix
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

definitely a copper colored pour with a decent opaque one finger head. the head settles nicely and rests on top, becoming a filmy attribute with minimal lacing.
definitely an 'england' style smell (i HAVE to learn my malts and hops more!) and the taste matches the slightly malty smell. typical english smells and flavors. never have been able to explain the differences between english and german brews, but i've always just preferred the german stuff.
i guess the stuff is good to drink; it's a little difficult to session on, but it's not bad overall. i remember having to cross this beer off my list at the famous DER BARON's in las vegas back in the late 80's and it was one of the special ones i looked forward to. it's a good one to try, now and then, but i dont think i want a full six pack of the stuff. maybe a whiskey chaser with it??
one more note- i noticed the pictureon the site has the words on the label with a BLACK background and the bottle i have has a BLUE background. i remember it always being black. wonder if i have something different? or did they change the color?

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Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my 4th type of Samuel Smiths, got it on sale or I wouldnt have tried it otherwise.

A: Beer pours a dark, golden copper color with a solid 1 inch creamy, mocha tinted head.

S: Aroma is pretty faint, but I get some apple and some slightly roasted malts with a hint of toffee and brown sugar on the back end.

T: The flavor starts out with a crumbed apple pie, with whipped cream on top. Also get some brown sugar, caramel or toffee and a little bit of yeast flavor.

M: A little bit more of a malty flavor that is in most pale ales, some creamyness and a hint of subtle spice make this a slow sipper for me.

O: Not too familiar with a lot of English style ales except for Brown ales and Stouts. But as far as a Pale ale goes, it has a nice twist to what im used to drinking. Not quite 6 pack worthy, but good for an English style bomber.

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

Poured a coppery medium gold slightly hazy color. The head is creamy tan and builds about two fingers high. Good retention and good lacing.
The smell is malt and some caramel mostly.
Tasting the beer, up front there are caramel and honey flavors. The middle is dominated by bread and malt flavors. In the end some flowery hops finish and balance the beer nicely.
Great beer.

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

BB Nov 12

Pours a deep gold/copper. Coarse two finger head. Clear. Clingy lace.

Malts and earthy/bready hops in equal balance on nose. Add in some toffee.

Taste is mainly earth hop driven with caramels to the fore. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel good - no nasty zingy aftertaste.

Good example of style.

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Photo of acevenom
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours copperr with a biege head. The head dissipates slowly, leaving some lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma is of sweet bready malt and some mild floral hops. The taste is sweet and bready. There are some mild hops on the back end. The flavors are very well balanced. The body is medium with adequate carbonation. The beer is smooth. The drinkability is very high. This is an excellent pale ale and certainly the best English pale ale I've tried.

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Photo of Tresha
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is known as the brewery's flagship beer! When you pour it in a glass, its a copper coloured beer. The head and big and fluffy. When you gulp it, the beer will tease your palate and you will get the aroma of malt, hops and even a hint of apple. It has great flavours and aromatics. A nice drink for the holiday season!

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quick review tonight; busy, busy, busy.

A: A lively brew, with lots of bubbles forming in its burnt orange body. The resulting head is creamy and beige, standing a good two inches high. It thickens to a rocky retention, leaving great chunks of lacing here and there.

S: Big, smooth toffee malts, jumping out with residual sugars of rich caramel cream and maple. A lovely British “hello” from the glass, but with only a touch of flowery hops; notes of lilac and candy-like cherry.

T: Rich and filling, this pale comes off as sweet as the nose implied: toffee, date, and caramel, touched by a little brazen coffee, provide a stable foundation of sweets on which to build. A touch of toasted graininess keeps it dry and interesting, as well as some interesting lemony hits that just barely tease the palate. Finishes wet and caramel-laden, but with bready Maris Otter staying power keeping it earthy all the way down.

M: Fizzes and foams more than you would expect, though it remains smoothly drinkable. Give me a pint of this every hour on the hour, and I’d never turn it down for being “too much.”

O: Samuel Smith does not make a bad beer, period; I’m convinced. Chalk this one up as another English great, and add one more brew to my must-find-on-cask list.

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Photo of Danny1217
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color A nice off-white head. Caramel and dry hops on the nose. A nice combination. The taste is similar. A sweet caramel taste balanced with a slight bitterness. Feels thick and creamy on the mouth. I could drink this all day.

One of the best English pale ales I've tried. It makes me want to travel back over to England.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is another big one for us… have only 899 bottles to go! I am sure when we get close to the end I will begin to get sentimental… but not yet. I just want to drink! This is also the first beer we are rating from our new home in Scottsdale, Arizona. We recently moved, which is why we haven’t been drinking many lately, but are here and starting to get settled. We are leaving for vacation next week, so we won’t be writing while we are gone. But still.

Tonight we are drinking the last of the Samuel Smith beers. I am glad, because only one of these has impressed me. I am just not a big fan of this brewery. I did learn that the water used for this beer comes from a well dating back to 1758… so that’s pretty cool. I just hope the beer doesn’t taste like it was made in 1758. Bottoms up!

In the Glass: It looks good in the glass. It has a dark copper color, and appears to be thick and creamy. The head is a slight tan that floats on the top. The glass is full, so I can’t really swirl to see if there is much lace. I picked the wrong glass… for shame!

Nose: It smells like a bitter pale ale. I am a fan of bitter… the more bitter the better. That is why I frequent a good IPA. I have been getting into imperial IPAs lately. They usually have a more noticeable hop character and a longer, more satisfying aftertaste. Let’s see what the Old Brewery Pale Ale tastes like.

Flavor: The bitter notes hit you right off the bat. The beer then drinks like a very dry, and somewhat malty IPA. They kept mentioning the malty flavors, but the words “bitter” and “malty” don’t really go together. It seems to work here, though. The bitterness that you experience toward the front of the palate is gone as fast as it gets there, leaving you for a very balanced experience from front to back.

Mouthfeel: It drinks like a well-carbonated pale. I sometimes wonder what the difference between a pale and an IPA are… but this one is an obvious pale ale. I am not a big fan of Samuel Smith beers, but this one is the best I have had from them. No wonder it is so popular. Oh, and this is the last Samuel Smith in the book. Good!

Aftertaste: The aftertaste isn’t as bitter as I wanted it to be, but it is present for quite some time. There is some dryness toward the back of the palate, but as the aftertaste fades the bitterness sticks around. From the second I stuck my nose in the glass, I knew this was going to be a balanced and drinkable beer.

I am glad this one was bearable. Like I said, I am not a big fan of Samuel Smith. Their beer is VERY easy to get, and it is cheap. I am talking $3 a bottle cheap. That’s good for people that don’t like craft beer and want to try it for the first time… but when it comes to craft beer, you really do get what you pay for.

Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale - The bottle says: “Brewed with hard well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), best barley malt, yeast, and aromatic hops to create a copper-coloured ale with a full, rounded flavor; fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’; the finish is a perfect balance of malt and hops. A good many British beers were very dark before the Industrial Revolution; new malting techniques led to pale malts allowing the evolution of this classic brewing style - a cornerstone of British pub culture.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, $2.49 from the Village Pump.

Pouring a mostly clear amber with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and gorgeous lacing, this is a gorgeous beer. The nose is awesome. Delicate toffee, light toast, a faint hop character (not sure how fresh this is), mild caramel. Simple but beautiful balance.

The palate opens rather full, moderately mineral-rich (more cationic flavors) and with a nice balance between toffee, caramel and a mildly earthy hop flavor. Bitterness is mild, perfectly complementing the toffee flavors. A touch of butterscotch is present as well. Light in body with moderate carbonation, this is drying on the finish with a blend of toffee, hoppy bitterness, a little butterscotch and minerals. The bitterness and minerals, in particular, make this stand apart from other beers of the style that I've had. Very good stuff, highly recommended.

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

Poured into a pint glass from a 550ml bottle.

Darkish amber color abounds, with loads of carbonation rising towards the glass. A small head fights to remain at the top for the most part. Looks festive yet retains a wholly traditional look of beers of this style.

Aroma is a balanced exchange of caramel, near candied malts, with dry, lemony hops. Has a full yeasty smell that that deliciously dances with the malts, and the modest alcohol adds a sweet underside that compliments the aromas. Also, is it me or is it surprising how fruity this is?

Starts with a malty, biscuit flavor that quickly ends up slightly smoky and sweet and zesty towards the end. Truly a fascinating venture on this pale ale's part! The hops are far less present in the flavor, but linger on the tongue after each gulp. Also, the yeasty, fruity taste keeps itself alive and well and more interestingly, a barrel-aged woody flavor comes out of nowhere in the end. The mouthfeel of this beer is perfect, by the way. Thick and creamy, and ridiculously easy to drink.

What a great beer! Simple, refreshing, and surprisingly full of complex flavors. Another victory for Samuel Smith.

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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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