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

BA SCORE
86
very good
689 Reviews
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale (Organic)Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale (Organic)
BEER INFO

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

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:
689
Ratings:
1,194
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
12.24%
 
 
Wants:
56
Gots:
105
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 689 | Ratings: 1,194
Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.11/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle purchased at Jembetat in Rochester, NY.

Pours a clear light amber, with a big 1.5 inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like fruity English yeast, some slight skunkiness, and biscuity malts. No hop flavors in the aroma.

There's a bit more hop flavor in the taste, but it seems faded. When combined with the slight touch of skunkiness, it's easy to see that this might be an old bottle. It was sitting in a glass display case, after all. Still tastes alright, but has sort of an unpleasant astringent skunky aftertaste. The fruity English yeast flavors are on full display here, with some tea-like hop flavors. The malt flavor is light, but biscuity.

This one is medium bodied, and starts out with a crisp mouthfeel that unfortunately devolves later in the sip into sort a sweet honeyish and skunky mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

I've had much better from Sam Smith's- I'd like to try this in England, possibly- this was likely an old bottle.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A gift from Uncle Roy

Amber with a persistent head for an English Pale. Multiple foam rings like a rugby shirt. Smell is very malt forward with biscuit mix and dough being the primary aroma. Some earthy hops in the background. Wheat bread malt flavor with the more earthy hop balance in back. Mild orange marmalade. Surprisingly, and appreciated, prickly mouthfeel for this usually flat English style.

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Photo of Louisville-Beer-Reviews
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear amber/caramel color with spongy head and clumps of lace.

Aroma: Fruity aroma of champagne, soured grapes, green tea, and a soft mineral/cellar smell.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Flavor on the tongue is that of rich butterscotch/caramel, with a strong grainy, caramel malt presence in the finish. Some spicy hop through the nose, with sweet honey throughout, and earthy mineral/cellar flavors in the finish. Smooth texture.

Final Word: Very balanced, very complex, very drinkable! Highly recommended! My favorite part of this beer was its complexity, as each sip stayed interesting and presented new flavors! The sweetness of honey and caramel; the spicy hop; the grainy malt; and the earthy mineral flavors of the well water and “stone Yorkshire squares” (fermenting vessels made of slate) all mesh perfectly and create a profile that’s constantly surprising you. However, even with all of the complexity in the flavor, the beer remains light and drinkable, which makes it a versatile choice good for any situation! Snag a fresh bottle (very important for this one!), chill it to fifty degrees, and share at your earliest opportunity!

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Photo of utfiero
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Color- nutty light brown. Medium but thick head.

Aroma-sweet and nutty.

Taste- Very malt forward, a gentle giant. Starts malty, rich and buttered toast. Then, it mellows and finishes with a lingering grainy perfection. An excellent brew which reminds me of a holiday in the UK. This malt forward pale ale is not an IPA but may be a good transitional brew for those wishing to acquaint themselves with ESBs and IPAs, a stepping-stone to hoppier cousins.

The 5.00% ABV makes this a great session beer.

Poured from 550 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted on 2/14/14.

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Photo of delta490
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly cloudy amber with a foamy white head. No retention but just a hint of lacing. The aroma has light notes of darker fruits but a pretty strong note of diacetyl. The taste is pretty mild as well. I was hoping for more of the "Best Bitter" styles I got familiar with in England, and while this one seems like it should, it just falls short. It does improve as it reaches it proper temp (closer to 55F). It's got a nice weight to the body but even when it gets to a better temperature, it's just lacking in the full, rich deep flavors normally associated with the style.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one didn't impress me much, but it's drinkable. i have liked other Sam Smith's beers better. To be perfectly honest, I was steered to try this because "it was a perfect example of diacetyl." Now I can finally be certain of what they meant, and what that flavor is. I suppose it's not a bad taste, but it's not my favorite either. I certainly wouldn't turn down a glass of this, but I'll seek out other brews from this brewery in the future..

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Photo of stuarthyde
4.69/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer was recommended to me by one of my customers.

I ordered it and when the bottle arrived I was surprised by the label (old school).

The color and taste were very good! I have since recommended this beer to all of my beer drinking friends.

I have taken the next step and also purchased this beer to have in my refrigerator at home.

I have also tried several of their other Organic beers as was not disappointed!

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Photo of Leviathan5
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A - Dark orange/ambar color with a decent off-white head. Not that much retention and/or lacing

S - Toasted malts with caramel touches. There's a scents from citrusy hops, and an earthy presence, but not so prominent as the malts

T - Mostly toasted sweet malts. The hops are there to balance the malts, but they're mostlu present at the dry, bitter finish.

M - Medium body and medium carbonatation. Creamy but not that smooth texture

O - Not an spectacular beer, in the sense that none of its ingredients really stand out, but it's an nice balanced ale. Maybe I wouldn't choose it if others are available, but i wouldn't mind drinking it again

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.44/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

550ml Bottle: BBD Jul 14, poured into an over sized UK pint sleeve on 17th Nov 13.

Nice orange amber body, clear and clean, on top a full off-white foaming head.

Malty nose, bread dough and dry biscuits though, not sweet or molasses style. Some fruit esters in the aroma too.

The taste was also malt led, the malts however were semi-sweet compared to the smell and there is a caramel feel to the biscuit flavour. Those fruit esters are in the taste, giving the beer an extra dimension within the taste. The hops were very under-stated although there is a mild hop finish.

The body hides the alcohol nicely and this is an easy going beer which I really enjoyed.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Guinness pint. Boasts a lovely hue of orange-red with a soft glow due to slightly compromised clarity. The head lays thick and goopy with an antique yellow-white color.

Buttery malts, toast, and an English flair of nutty yeasts. Biscuity and lightly roasted with an attenuation of hops.

Nice and dry with a fruity ester, not unlike artificial strawberry, that smooths out in front of a toasty malt backbone. Plenty of English nuttiness with a stocky bitterness that evokes some good early-boil hopping. A bit floral with carryover notes of canteloupe and peppermint leaf. Has a slight tannic acidity, like red apple skin or over-steeped black tea. Quite nice.

Superbly smooth-bodied with a medium to medium-light level of carbonation. Rather mellow. Has the drinkability of a good mild or semi-hoppy pale.

Another solid Sammy that I'll remember to look for again. This is a standard that I waited all too long to review. Makes me want to buy their India Pale Ale and do the same. I'll see if I can find a fresh one. In the interim, I have a bottle of year-plus old Stingo in the closet worth drinking. Until then, cheers!

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Oak & Vine on 16 Ave in Calgary, only place so far in this city I have found this classic. Pours an amazing bronze amber hue, almost marmalade orange, with a lot of white foam. I had to rush to contain the initial fizzy blast but things very quickly settled down. Aroma was heady and multifaceted, with sweet malts, stone fruits, and earthy hops predominating. This beer is a classic quintessential English ale, with ample character and complexity. Earthy woody English hops lead the way with a hint of apricot (Goldings aroma) against a rich toffee backdrop, considerable crystal malt sweetness but a lot of hop character to provide balance. Some sour crabapple and marmalade citrus flavors add complexity. Dark fruit (raisin) character and diacetyl butterscotch emerge in the finish, along with a mineral bite and old wine fermented notes. Great tapestry of English beer flavors. Body medium thick, with a lingering syrupy sweetness. Lots of residual sugars here. I am an unabashed Samuel Smith fan and this is one of the classics of the genre. Bottles may come off as a bit "old" in flavor but the overall effect is that of a timeless examplar of one of the great beer styles of the world.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Clean copper with a 1.5 finger off white head with strong staying power. Sick lacing that clings for dear life.

S- Maltier than most pales I have had as the English style comes through. Most US pales pound the nose with hops, but that is not the case here. Toasted bread and burnt caramel. Some sweet notes come through. Light floral and pine

T- Earthy to say the least. Toasted breads, rich charred wood, herbal like hop presence. Smooth but bitterness not completely hidden. A true English style ale.

M- Fantastic feel. Light bordering on mid body. Perfect carbonation for the style. A bit more wet than the style dictates, but I don't mind.

O- An outstanding pale. Highly recommended for those that don't care to be bombarded with IBUs. A delicious herbal flavor.

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Photo of dreamchaser
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A well executed, authentic pale ale. Sweet, malty aroma with notes of burnt sugar or molasses. Appearance is bright, clear copper, with a light, relatively fast-dissipating head. Flavour is quite sweet with a strong hop-layered finish, that lingers and hints at toffee. The balance is slightly toward bitter, but a well-balanced beer overall. The mouthfeel is generally light and effervescent, and contrasts sharply with the complexities within the malt and hop flavours.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Brewery pale ale pours a darker cooper color with a small lacing head. There is a floral aroma with a creamy note that Is full of nut and toffee notes, but its enjoyable. The taste has some floral notes, but it has a very unique okay undertone, and the flavor has some warmth from the alcohol, strong nut and toffee flavors. Easy to drink, just a tad watery. Overall its a pale, with some very unique flavors.

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Photo of lsummers
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fantastic color of amber, copper. Somewhat cloudy with a nice one finger fluffy cream colored head. I love when lighter styles look flavorful.

Smells of some toffee biscuits. Very sweet with just a hint of some floral hop notes. Overall, bready, malty, sweet, and a little funky.

Taste is very nutty and creamy. Notes of toffee, brown sugar, and biscuit along with some slight dried fruit. Not much hop notes at all poking through the bready malt sweet notes. I wouldn't mind having some more hop notes, although I wonder if fresher the bottle the more hop notes you get. Having this fresh might have a lot to do with it.

Mouthfeel has some medium carbonation which helps the every so slight touch of hops on the flavor. There's not that much so it's nice to have a mouthfeel that accentuates that bitterness bite you get from hops. It's slighty creamy and feels somewhat fat. Mouthfeel is very nice and instantly reminds me I'm drinking an english pale.

Overall, a very enjoyable english pale. Samuel Smiths brewery seems to do nothing bad, they just have more offerings that are better. A solid English Pale Ale, but not my most favorite pale and definitely not my most favorite from this brewery. You should try this at least once.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Amber/copper; huge foam on bottle opening, but didn't last in glass

Aroma: Malty; dried fruit; hints of butterscotch

Taste: Sligthly dry, bitter start moving quickly into malty, juicy, vinous fruit mid; finishes with a dry, nutty flavor

Remarks: Pretty well balanced; pretty good flavor overall

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

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Photo of rangerred
3.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

550ml bottle into an English pint.

Pours a crystal clear deep copper with a one finger fluffy off-white head. Ok head retention with a few streaks of lacing.

The aroma I feel is a little on the weak side and is full of dark fruit, caramel, and toast. I would have liked it all to be just a little more forward, however.

This same lack of excitement carries over into the taste. Nice dark fruit and some grassy hops up front quickly followed by toast and burnt caramel. A nice moderate bitterness lasts throughout adding to the burnt character. Full, slick mouthfeel ending with a bit of stickyness.

Overall, a decent offering from Samuel Smith but I find it a bit lacking. There are better examples out there.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

the glory of these beers is their price, less than 4 bucks per go? are you kidding me?! the quality to price point is unrivaled in the beer world. while some are outstanding, standard setters, others are just okay. this pale ale is somewhere in between. its clear in the pours, more red than copper, with a finger of off white bubbles that pop down to a thin skin before long. the nose is quintessentially English, with all the caramel malt dusty attic you could ever want, but with a welcomed touch of vanilla extract. the yeast doesn't really manifest itself until the flavor, neither do the hops. the yeast combines with the caramel malt to give a doughy cereal profile, while the hops finish the beer nice and bitter, balancing the vanilla expertly. tastes just a tad old at the end, but ill bet this is nearly perfect at the source on tap. thinner body, which im back and forth between liking and not, and airy carbonation that keeps this beer drinking easily. overall this isn't my favorite beer from sam smiths, but now that I have worked my well into their lineup, I can safely say that the quality of this brew is up to the high bar of the others. again, the economics cannot be beat.

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Photo of DrewSnyc667
4.44/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Slightly hazy brilliant copper color. Minor activity and almost no head whatsoever

S: Amazingly robust chocolate and caramel. Unique to the stye, I am chewing on the malts before I take a sip.

T: A malt fans delight. Super complex starts like chocolate chandy and ends with a nice little hop crisp

M: Nice amount of carbonation keeps that sweet malt at bay and makes this highly session able

O: I have been really into the English session ales lately and this one is another treat.

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Photo of Damian
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Drank from a 1pt. 2.7fl.oz./550 ml bottle
Served in a Samuel Smith's imperial pint glass
Thanks to my dad for this bottle

The beer poured a slightly hazed, deep crimson-amber. A two-finger crown of tight, frothy, beige colored foam topped the liquid and slowly faded to a lasting cap. Patches of lacing trickled down the glass.

The nose was very British. A bit steely and quite mellow overall. Good dose of biscuity malts. Somewhat toasty. Mild toffee notes. Slightly fruity and moderately sweet.

The flavor profile was decent. Biscuity malts dominated. Some toffee. Touch of noble hops. Fruity in the center. Earthy, bittering hops came through in the finish. Crisp and drying.

The mouthfeel was slick, smooth and somewhat creamy on the palate. Medium bodied with a fine and mild effervescence.

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale might be spot-on for the style, but I found it rather boring. If you have an affinity for British session ales, this might be your cup of tea.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale has a very thick, soapy, cream-colored head, lots of thick lacing rings left behind, and a somewhat hazy, amber appearance, with a few bubble streams and some little brown particles floating about. The aroma is pungent, sweet, bready, roasted, and full. Taste is of the same elements, with toffee and a pleasant, and even sharp, hop bitterness in the middle-to-end of the sip. Mouthfeel is medium and slick, and Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale finishes dry, refreshing, and quite drinkable. Overall, this is a most excellent beer!

RJT

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Photo of WissBrauSean
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep red amber, very clear and with a nice tan head consisting of tiny bubbles that fade to a ring around the glass and a center cap for the rest of the drink. Lacing is a wide and uniform polka dot pattern, but very little of it.

The aroma is of dark fruits like figs and raisins with a caramel malt base and some nice bread to make you feel at home. As it warms, it becomes even more like you wanna put your feet up on the coffee table and drink in the atmosphere.

With the taste you can sort of make out the effect of the hard water as it seems to carry the light hop bitterness on top of a caramel malty, bready, figgy base. The bitterness is mild but apparent with the whole sip as the mild sweetness moves across the tongue and ends up finishing lightly dry with a little bitter at the back of the tongue. It's nicely mild and balanced well leaning a little more to the bitter side.

Mouthfeel is fairly moderate and maybe a little on the thin side allowing the bitter to slightly overtake the sweetness at first. I poured it too cold. As it warms up it becomes even better balanced. Carbonation is perfectly moderate leading to a lasting dry mild bitter finish. English hops for sure. My favourite.

Overall, I would say that this is close to being a world class beer if it were only a little more full bodied, but then it would not be a session-able pub beer would it? It gets a 4+ out of 5 from me!

You have to try this beer as it is pretty affordable and a classic! Get out there, drink good beer. Life is too short for the mundane!

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

"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." Brewed in the style of an English Pale Ale. No bottle date. Available in 550ml single bottles.

Poured from a 550ml. bottle to a pint glass. Served above 44º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy/frothy copper-white head over a mild hazy orange amber body with plenty of vivacious carbonation. Retention is quite nice as the head thickens without settling through time. Lacing is thin but strong. A very enjoyable appearance. 4.25

(Smell) Doughy, biscuity malts, a notable hint of cider and vinegar qualities, evidently acidic. Some mild grain notes. Hard water aromatics. Faint earthy hop notes. Potency is medium. Smells right for the style, not particularly original but not underdone either. 3.75

(Taste) Doughy dry malts, some trace husky caramel & toffee sweetness, a mostly acidic bitterness, not so much hop profiles. Hard water qualities are mild with a mild acidity, good for drinkability's sake. Body depth is right for the style and the sweetness, while tame for this beer makes for a very drinkable English Pale Ale. It swings on the malt side, but it's enjoyable in its own regard. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Mildly crisp, airy carbonation doesn't mangle the palate much. Body is just shy of medium for the style, below medium overall as well. Alcohol presence is low, pretty tame in this beer. Finish is mildly acidic, a bit doughy and faintly dry. 4

(Overall) This was my long delayed introduction to Samuel Smith's beers and I'm a little ashamed that I waited this long. The beer was impressive on most factors, as the flavor was mild, malty and enjoyable, the balance was nice and the textures were just mild enough to accent the flavor profile. It's a good deal at under 4 dollars a bottle. 3.75

Samuel Smith Old Brewery's
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
3.8/5.00

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Photo of Premo88
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
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 -7.3%
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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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale (Organic) from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,194 ratings.
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