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

BA SCORE
86
very good
1,205 Ratings
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
Ratings:
1,205
Reviews:
691
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
12.24%
 
 
Wants:
57
Gots:
111
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,205 |  Reviews: 691
Photo of Thunderballroom
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of foamer
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a coppery brown with a cream coloured-domed frothy head which diminishes rather quickly to a layer of bubbles on the surface. Some malts with some hops in the nose, but not much. Grainy malts in the taste lead to a very nice lingering bitter hop finish. Good mouthfeel with not too aggressive carbonation. A classic English Pale Ale, and a good solid beer. Too bad Samuel Smith only cask-conditions the OBB.

 413 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

 1,190 characters

Photo of philipquarles
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

55cL bottle. Pours clear dark copper with a large, rocky tan head. Smells of sweet, honey-like malt, slightly floral, earthy notes, and a hint of brown sugar. The taste is again mostly sweet, earthy malt, along with some light hop character. Buttery flavors from diacetyl; they actually add to it though. Medium, smooth body. Nice, mild, flavorful beer.

 353 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

 1,423 characters

Photo of animal69
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a fairly clear golden-copper color w/ a thick white head which settles quickly leaving a moderate lacing in my nonic

S- a mild smell, a slightly metallic aroma blended w/ some yeasty fruityness, a bit of earthy tea-like hop in there as well, hints of baked bread w/ nuts come through as it warms

T- a nice balance between hop bitterness and sweet bready malts, some darker fruit makes itself present along w/ hints of butterscotch (diacetyl?), a bit of caramel & nuts also come through, crisp slightly tart finish

M- a light body w/ a decent co2 lvl, seems a bit thin

D- overall a spectacular drinker, i could make a night of drinking these

 653 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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

 407 characters

Photo of kkipple
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Short version: Samuel Smith Pale Ale is a tasty, easy drink.

Fills my mug with a big foamy head, 2 inches if it's anything. Fades steadily. This ale isn't pale at all, but rather a deep red-orange. I smell a light, malty, nutty beer with some very "English" hops. Earthy and mild. Very little pine aroma. Hint of metal.

The beer itself is simple but good, a mild, smooth hop bitterness goes well with the biscuity, nutty, oak flavored malt. No surprises here. Light carbonation means you can drink this in a hurry. Finish is bitter and not too dry.

This is a good example of the style, in my mind, and while not a superb beer, a very easy drink after a long day. And, in a brown bottle no less! So refreshing to see Sammy Smith finally switch, would that they had done so years sooner.

 794 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 550mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: body is a crystal-clear relatively rich amber-brown color. Head is a thin layer of tan foam, but the body looks just spectacular.

Smell: nice caramel malt aroma; I'm catching hints of fresh bananas here as well. It's an interesting overall presentation; hops do not appear much here. I do quite like it.

Taste: caramel malt with a little hop bitterness. Again, hop flavors are very mild and come up mostly toward the end. The overall flavor is quite good, though.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a medium-low level of carbonation. Mouthfeel is good but not great.

Drinkability: quite drinkable indeed. I'm going to go enjoy the rest of this out on the patio.

 715 characters

Photo of gfreed
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured with a rather loose tan head, the aroma of malty sweetness was subdued and pleasant, with hints of bread and perhaps some nicely toasted white bread. The body was rather light, and although I anticipated more robust flavor I found the taste to be rather undistinguished. Carbonation was somewhat flat; a bit more would have added some more oomph to the body. As offerings from Samuel Smith go, this one was good but not great, like so many of their other beers.

 468 characters

Photo of Jablonski
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass

A: copper colored with a decently large head

S: smells very sweet for any beer, let alone a pale ale. I initially thought it was a boozy whiskey smell, but it's just a combination of the malts used. There's no hops visible in the smell.

T: Has a caramel malt taste up front followed by a light bitter aftertaste. Very pleasant.

M: very smooth, but it seems a little too thick

D: low ABV and good tasting. It's an easy drinker

 465 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
Also listed in the "1001.'

101 characters

Photo of dpodratsky3
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle poured into pint glass

A: Kind of copper golden brown, head foams up then settles to half a finger of a thin creaminess

S: Definitely english hops with that earthy buttery smell, has some fruity smell too, good and aromatic, caramel malt provides the base

T: More powerful than I was expecting, since smell is earthy and not pungently bitter than an american pale ale I wasn't expecting the punch, its not hugely bitter but nice and strong, big earthy hops right away, but still has that fruity almost sweet side that makes it delicate and balanced, malt helps with that too and provides nice body

M: Like all traditional english beers, a little thinner than I would like, but nice because it still packs all the flavor, semi-dry

D: High, big flavor but a nice British drinking beer

Notes: I really like this style and this is a good example. Very traditionally British, but will please almost anyone.

 920 characters

Photo of beersarang
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper with hints of orange ruby in the light. A delightful frothy tan head presides over the beer and leaves behind some wispy and sticky lace down the glass.

Aroma is nutty, toffee, faint floral hops.

Nice lightly toasted malts flavor with a fairly generous but well balanced delivery of crisp hops. The hop quality of this beer is quite enjoyable even though it is not neccesarily very bitter. Leaves the palate a little dry with a some mild astringency. Overall full flavored and a solid English pale ale.

A little thin bodied with some nice carbonation. Pretty drinkable and pairs well with pork and chicken dishes.

 642 characters

Photo of Shrews629
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - A nice amber/reddish color. Clear. An off white head that was of nice size. The head stuck around for a nice little bit. The lacing was pretty good too.

Smell - A fruity aroma. Dark fruit. Wasn't expecting that. Some caramel malt. Some nuttiness. Rather sweet smelling also.

Taste - The taste revealed a more relaxed fruit tone than the smell. A malty, biscuit tone. Some light touches of caramel. Some nuttiness. Some light bitterness. Not as much as I was expecting. It is nicely balanced though.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium/light mouthfeel. Very, very smooth. Mostly dry and crisp. An easy drink. Decent amount of flavor left behind. Not as much as I was hoping.

Drinkability - This beer is very easy to drink. Solid all around. Could be enjoyed year round also. I thought it might be a bit fuller, but that's ok. It is what it is. I mean it's Sam Smith's, how bad could it be? It's still head and shoulders above any macro.

 947 characters

Photo of TerryW
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gotta say, I really enjoyed this one. Looks good, smells good, tastes good.

Handsome dark copper colour, good off-white head and very pretty lace all the way.

Flowery hops and sweet malts in the aroma.

Nice balance of malt and hops to taste, good fruity, honey sweetness that works quite well, not at all cloying and quite pleasant to drink. Wonderful nutty, earthy flavour, pleasantly bitter finish. A delighfully comfortable ale to drink.

Recommended.

Note: I got this beer in a gift box (Pale Ale, Nut Brown Ale, Oatmeal Stout) along with a glass, a couple of coasters and a printed beer guide. The beer is great, but the packaging of the gift box left a lot to be desired. The glass was filthy with greasy fingerprints and had a flawed logo. Now I could wash the glass easily enough, but I took the whole works back because I wanted a glass in good condition. Well the next glass had a clean logo but was equally filthy with greasy fingerprints. These guys could do a better job of presentation given it's a gift box. Safe to treat yourself, but don't plan on buying one of these and giving it away unless you want to be embarassed. And there is no opening the box to polish up the glass before hand as it's sealed up with a bunch of logo-printed stickers.

 1,275 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of firkinhophead
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper with a bit of chill haze that clears nicely. Rocky, two finger off-white head settles to a dense, creamy cap that is clingy but not much lacing.

Aroma is of floral, grassy Fuggles hops, a bit of toasted grains, earthy herbs. A bit of overripe apple fruitiness as it warms. Subtle but pleasant.

Taste is toasted cracker-like grains, dry malt; grassy, spicy hops; dry leaves and wood; some cidery, pear-like fruit. A pleasant bitterness and some nuttiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, dry, mineraly, with a bit of yeasty tang. Crisp, bitter finish, with a lingering bit of citrusy hops.

Very easy drinking and nicely balanced. A fine session ale that is more complex than is first apparent.

 728 characters

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.

 1,485 characters

Photo of DBSheaII
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Great looking beer! Orange,and vibrant with an inch of mocha head.

S: Very sweet; almost citrusy.

T: Sweet with a nice bitterness on the very back of the tongue.

MF: Very light. Average carbonation.

Pouted into a pint glass, the first thing that stands out with this Pale Ale is its bright orange appearance; a quick whiff reveals a wonderful sweetness. Taste is sweet at first and bitter at the back end; an exhale after swallowing reveals a nice caramel note. I enjoyed the second half of the bottle with (spicy) Indian food--paired extremely well.

 559 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer seemed to be fairly low rated in comparison to other Sam Smith offerings, but I thought I would try it anyway since I am a big fan of Pales. I have liked every Sam Smith product I've tried, and this is certainly no exception, but this was probably my least favorite of those I've had.

The appearance is a dark orangey-red color with a very delicate fizzy head. Doesn't look like a Pale Ale to me, more like a bitter or something. The smell was kind of buttery (I've never understood what people mean by that until now), and slightly hoppy and yeasty. Also coming through are caramel malts and a bit of a roasted aroma.

The taste had a slightly bitter upfront flavor and is followed by a blend of caramel sweetness on the tip of tongue and hops bitterness in the back upon the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light to medium in body and reveals a delightful blend of sweetness and hops when swished through the mouth. I could picture myself drinking more of this further along the road, but I have yet to try the Sam Smith Organic Pale (or whatever it's called). As far as this goes, I think I liked Fuller's London Pride better for a good English Pale Ale, but only slightly.

 1,188 characters

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish amber in color with little to no head. The smell is malty and sweet. Typical English-Style pale ale, but one that I like. Malty and smooth in the beginning with some hop flavor coming in towards the end. I also taste a hint of caramel some where there.

I still have to say my favorite beer from Sam Smith's is the Oatmeal Stout. I have yet to try the Imperial Stout but have heard great things.

 406 characters

Photo of brendan13
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from the bottle into a pint glass a fairly clear copper colour with a couple of centimetres of off white head that hangs around for a while.
S - A slight toffee malt aroma hits first followed by some slight floral and fruity hop notes.
T - Nice bready maltiness backed up by some floral and fruity hop notes & a touch of spice.
M - Light to medium bodied, fairly low carbonation, dryish finish.
D - Hits all the right spots for what it's supposed to be. Not a beer that will blow your mind but rather a good quality & quite tasty sessioner.

 551 characters

Photo of hooliganlife
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a dull copper with a nice creamy head. light retention as it dissipates.

lots of caramel and malt with some faint floral hops

more flavorful with a stronger hop presence. nice mix of floral and bitter hops. nice caramel malt backbone.

a bit moderate carbonation with some bite. moderate body.

very good, loads of flavor for this english pale.

 354 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pleasing copper amber color with a thick creamy foamy head. Lacing down the side.

Smell was muted - amlty hop aroma, not much else.

Taste was classic english pale - malt open with a balanced hop finish. Very mild citrus hint. Moderately carbonated in the mouthfeel.

Highly drinkable. While not the best offering from Sam Smith, this is a solid brew, and one I come back to every few months or so. Always reliably tasty.

 431 characters

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale (Organic) from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,205 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