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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 661 | Ratings: 1,001
Photo of donnebaby
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep-looking dark copper appearance, with a creamy tight 2cm off-white head. Smell is great, of fresh-baked bread and flour, with light breezy malts to promise.

Taste is malts punctuated by high carbonation in the mouth. Not sweet at all. Creamy finish fades into more fresh bread crusts and mild hops, with some lasting malt accents. Medium body, combined with the carbonation, made this beer very filling in my tummy.

 422 characters

Photo of diablo14
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very nice pale ale from sammy's, but as others have expressed here, not their best offering.i certainly dont mind grabbing one every so often, and like all their other brews, tasty and easy to knock down.

if it wasnt for the fact they also have a nut brown ale, id suggest this often resembles a brown in nature. lovely garnet hue, solid head that has some go with minimal carbonation. smell is reminiscent of newky brown. sweet, nutty, with some hoppy tinges there. taste is also very similar to newky, but firmer, more robust with a touch more complexity. hazelnuts and caramel come through, with a tasty hop bitterness that is subdued, but lingering. it also creeps up on you as you get further into the pint. feels fuller and more developed than newk.

again, not the pick of sammy smiths beers, but still a well constructed, well balanced beer that is satisfactory in every department. wont blow your mind but cant be classified as a disappointment either.

 967 characters

Photo of cbl2
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance:

A clear brown with a huge white head that is slow to settle.

Smell:

Sadly the best description I can come up with is: smells like beer. There are some faint hops and malts, but nothing spectacular.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

I am disappointed in this offering from Sam Smith. It is smooth, but doesn't offer a lot of flavor, or leave you wanting more as the rest of their beverages do. A so-so beer from a spectacular brewer.

 442 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was part of the 3-beer mix pack (which includes a sweet Samuel Smith Tulip Glass!)

Amber/Copper color with a monsterous, fluffy white head. A touch of hops in the aroma, but mostly sweet malt. This beer has a great taste to it. Malty and full-bodied, it's a nice change from the usual pale ales I have tasted. Mouthfeel is a bit dry, slightly bitter, which also brings down the drinkability in my opinion.

A distinctive beer with a lot of flavor to it. Can't wait to crack open that Oatmeal Stout when I get home from work tonight and start grilling!

 566 characters

Photo of halfpgl
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark amber colour with a nice malted nose. This beer is something I would pair with a BBQ rack of ribs, since that is what I think of as I drink. Nice and filling and yet has a delicate finish that letÂ’s you ponder the subtle spice. This is a very nice brew.

 264 characters

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

great ruby red and brown color with a tanned head.
full malty sweet aroma, like pale malted grains.
some sweetness in the flavor, but real smooth. some bitterness at first but seems to change to an alcohol dryness.
very smooth mouthfeel.
chenge of pace from american pale ales. i guess thats obvious since its not american. trades in the blatant hop influence for a more restrained character.

 396 characters

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

Appearance: Pours a dark/tea colored brown with a really nice head that drops to a very thin head over the beers surface. Leaves lacing in the glass.

Smell: A sweet smell and a semi-bread like aroma are there.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Starts rather sweet, but finishes dry. Medium bodied. Higher carbonation carries it off the palate well. No hops are jumping out at me. Maybe a little bit of a nutty flavor similar to their nut brown flavor.

Notes: Meh. Not fantastic, but certainly not bad, and very drinkable. The standard you expect from this brewery. Not my favorite style though so while its good I probably wont be specifically looking for this bottle again.

 669 characters

Photo of Cwrw
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am beginning to wonder if Samuel Smith can brew anything bad. Their consistent quality is matchless.

Thick, viscous, bubbly head tops a rich red/copper, very clear but not weak looking, beer. I see amber, light red, and light brown colouration. It leaves islands of lace of varying sizes on the glass, with good longevity. The aroma is ideally balanced with caramel malt and perfumy, fragrant, spicy hop notes. Besides the delightful caramel and butter smells, there exist touches of coffee, cream, sweet candy, pepper, dark fruits, fresh lettuce or other dark vegetables(yes, vegetables), and even meat, such as roast or peppered steak, most easily detectable immediately after pouring. The aroma is very organic; earthy. This is the way a good pale ale should smell, for my personal tastes: nicely balanced, with no overpowering, numbing hop presence, but still with a definite hop character. A grainy maltiness introduces itself to the palate upon the first sip: immediately detectable are the roasted qualities of the beer. Toasted bread tastes, with a very granular presence on the tongue, oatmeal-like. Strong cereal taste, but balanced enough with the bittering hops, which is felt nicely on the finish: oily and satisfactorily dry. Actually the hop feel becomes more and more pronounced with each subsequent sip. Adequate carbonation. For those who like a good bitter Pale Ale, this should be engagingly effortless to consume. Old Brewery Tadcaster does it again. I taste merry old England in every swallow.

 1,521 characters

Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber-ruby color with a thick, puffy off-white head, not much smell to speak of. Very effervescent, tickels the tongue nicely however makes for quite a belch engine. Silky-smooth in the mouth with a caramelized grain flavor, with a bit of cinnamon. Not very complex but the mellow flavor by itself makes it pretty drinkable, however the excessive carbonation will keep you from drinking very many.

 406 characters

Photo of garymuchow
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty straight aroma of sweet water quality from malt with a slight caramel quality. No hops to speak of.
Color is an orangish amber and clear. 1/4 to 1/2 inch head steady biegish head.
Light in flavor in that it's not a bold beer. Interesting mix of malts and hop with both present form the start to finish. Malts are similar to aroma with less caramel but more of an almost slightly toast (maybe I'm picking up the bisquit others have noted). Hop present with a steady bitterness from start through a long lingering after the finish. Caramel increases as warms. Also a little sourness presents.
Carbonation is fairly intense, especially in the beginning. It lends an intensity that contrasts a softness that's slightly creamy. The creaminess increases as warms.
Other than the aroma this beer stands out for me for its variety of stimulating the senses and its complexity (subtle as it is) of the drinking experience. Really smooths out as warms becoming a very good drink.

 980 characters

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

550ml bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $2.99.

Poured a dark copper color with a big white head. Sheets of lace drip down the sides of the glass but leave no evidence they were ever there.

Smell is nutty and buttery, with a hint of caramel and toffee apples.
Definitely an English style pale ale (as if this is any surprise).

The nutty, buttery aspect is what gets noticed first. Then there's a lingering caramel sweetness. There's also a slightly burnt apple pie flavor in the background.

This is somewhere between medium and full-bodied. A little bit thick for a pale ale.

This is a quite drinkable, tasty English pale ale. It might be a little bit too thick to be considered a good lawnmower beer, but it still hits the spot nicely

 765 characters

Photo of kbub6f
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think I may have a bias for English Pale Ales. I just can't get enough of the rich, tangy, toffee, buttery, nutty, bitter goodness. This one gives up two fingers of noisy, uneven, foamy, cream-colored head. The color of the beer is a nice rusty-red-amber-brown and clear. Sweet, tangy, caramel, toffee, Brit-malt, awesome nose. Caramel starts the show turning full, malty, buttery toward a tangy, nutty, bitter finish. Absolutely delicious.

 442 characters

Photo of far333
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Iced tea colored with a dark beige tight head that rises up and settles quickly. Aroma is hoppy, with notes of malt and raisin. Smooth mouthfeel with light carbonation leads to a pungent flavor of sharp malt, burnt brown sugar, fig and raisin. Bits of caramel and toffee come through in the finish. Lots of depth for a pale ale.

 328 characters

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

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale pours a nice copper color with a foamy head that settles down to about a quarter inch.

There is a lot more hop aroma in this beer than I expected. Granted, it's not like a super-hoppy American brew, but there is a good floral smell. There is also a bit of malt sweetness in the aroma.

The taste is just as good as the smell. It's rich, with enough bitterness to keep the beer from being too sweet. The flavor leans toward sweet rather than bitter.

The mouthfeel is substantial. This beer has more body than many American pale ales.

This beer is another good one from the excellent Samuel Smith. This is a pale ale to seek out.

 674 characters

Photo of Trentonator
2.15/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

When I took my first drink of this beer, I felt like I was sucking the smelt off of a copper mine. This beer has a bitter, unforgiving and relentless afterbite. More bitter than my ex girlfriend, and an aftertaste that haunts you like her memory, and will not go away. I needed crackers to remove the aftertaste. I needed therapy to remove her memory. I did not like this beer, not one bit.

 390 characters

Photo of granger10
4.52/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a copper color with a small white head that held for a few minutes. The smell is really bready, akin to biscuits with honey poured on top. The main flavor I get when tasting this beer is caramel. There seems to be a lot of caramel which is complemented by various fruit esters, green apple leading the way. Kind of like a caramel covered apple. There is a grainy base to this which helps the flavors from getting too sweet and works with a floral hop element to complement the caramel. The finish is slightly yeasty sour and quite thirst quenching. Very creamy and smooth with a medium body. This is a classic.

 626 characters

Photo of DaveGood
2.91/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have enjoyed just about every Samuel Smith's beer that I have tried previously, so I had very high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, I found the Pale Ale to be quite average.

It poured a nice copper color with a nice white head that diminished quickly, leaving a nice lace along the glass. The aroma seemed to be lacking as I could only faintly detect some sweet malts, possibly a butterscotch scent but virtually no hops. The taste was very bland as well as it had a subdued sweet malt taste, almost caramel-like flavor up-front and slightly hoppy on the back end. There was not a lot going on with the way of mouth-feel, possibly a little dryish.

Overall, I would classify this as a very average Pale Ale. As far as drinkability is concerned, it goes down extremely smooth but there doesn't appear to be much going on in the way of complexities here.

 863 characters

Photo of soper2000
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in the Samuel Smith varity pack with the pint glass included (very good value). I had pretty high expectations from this brew as every Sammy Smith beer i've had has been excellent. This one didn't disappoint but i don't think it'll be making my regular rotation. I've have yet to gain an apreciation for subtlety. It poured a proud copper with a small white head, pretty appealing. Smell was very faint with some notes of fruit and malt. Taste... Hmmm.. I wish I could give this higher marks but it was very plain to me. Some sweet malt flavor was present and it was balanced very well, but nothing really jumped out at me Mouthfeel was fine as was drinkability. I'm hoping this will be a beer i grow to love, but as of this moment it just seemed very basic, very subtle. I plan to revisit this beer in a year, as my palate refines, to see what i think of it. It is obviously a solid brew and i wish i could appreciate it more.

 940 characters

Photo of CBFanWish
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's flexes its muscle with the Old Brewery Pale Ale. Every bit as good as a pale ale should be.
Deep amber in colour with a thick white head that lasts for a couple minutes and leaves a thin lace.
The aroma is complex with floral, fruit and grassy notes topped off with a buttery smell.
The taste is not as complex, but is very good, none-the-less. Fruity. Subtlties of banana, grass, vanilla, with a smoothness of butter.
Very good, but not a session beer. This would be great with a bowl of jambalaya or gumbo. Pulled pork would also pair nicely with this.

 573 characters

Photo of GreenWBush
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Glass bottle with freshness label ...

Upon cracking this, a strange phenomenon occurs which happens in many Samuel Smith beers: about a dozen giant bubbles bound up and pop inside of the bottle. A strange welcome that whooshes the nose to your nose.

Slightly sour aroma, yeasty tones with biscuit and grain. Sweet malts with a bit of sulfur. Ringwood yeast?

The apperance of this ale in the pint glass is generic golden amber with a huge sticky windowpane of lace from the huge honeycomb head.

The taste is all watery lightly hopped goodness. The mouthfeel slacks because of the lack of chewy malt, but offers a deviation from the normally thick and unappealing-in-the-summer SS's. Hints of suflur are offput by the lovely well water of Tadcaster.

Its damned good, but don't accept a non-fresh sample. Look for the bottled on date that is new to SS. If it looks like its been in the sun for even a good while, forget it. Otherwise it is a spectacularly clean pale ale that is a misunderstood gem. It should be a benchmark.

Everyone has to try it.

And to Merchant duVin (and the manufacturer): Put an end to the CLEAR glass!

 1,145 characters

Photo of krberg
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks pretty standard. Coppery with a nice white head that fades quickly. Looks a little more carbonated than the usual SS beers.

That smell is all Samuel Smith's - tangy. Unlike the others in their line there is a nice sweet fruity smell which accompanies the sourness.

Mmmm, that sweetness is all malt. There is no bitterness. The hops only make an appearance as a light floral aspect that barely pushes through the malt. This is no american pale ale, it actually has hop-to-malt balance. Exceptionally smooth.

I don't know how, but SSPA is very creamy. This sort of mouthfeel is also something I have never found in an American PA.

Yeah, I could drink a ton of these. Its just that simple.

SSPA is another great offering by this great brewery. Looking for a bridge beer for your friends, try this at your next BBQ. Solid and refreshing.

 854 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
2.88/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a rich reddish copper with a very light tan head. Head is thick and a bit lacy. Aroma is lightly bitter and metallic.

Taste is a bit matallic and sweet pale malt. Creamy and smooth with a very mild body. Light hops finish. Very drinkable and pretty light-bodied. Nothing really special here.

 300 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with a white creamy/foamy head. Nice lace present on the glass throughout. Faint toast or biscuit smell, and not much else. Tastes slightly buttery with a nice bitter finish. This is a drinkable beer. This seems to be an old reliable of mine that I revisit every now and again. Sometimes there is a thirst for a English Pale, and this seems to hit the spot.

 378 characters

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

Pours a clear fiery copper brew.

Smell is malt and light fruit, mild grain smell too.

Taste is mildly sweet malt and a small sour tang too. There is a mild caramel and nuts taste here too. Nice mellow brew.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very drinkable, a beer for all year long.

 279 characters

Photo of palma
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Body is a dark copper hue with a long lasting off white color head. Produces a great lace as well. Very nice aroma consisting of pungent sweet malt and grains. Taste is very grainy and bready with a tasty sweet malt flavor throughout. English hops are definitely in there and cannot be missed. A good tasting bitterness in the end. Also a bit on the dry side which makes it even more enjoyable. A very easy drinking brew and a great pale in my opinion.

One note: what the hell is with the clear bottle??

 506 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe