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

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BA SCORE
86
very good
688 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:
688
Ratings:
1,185
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
16.15%
 
 
Wants:
53
Gots:
101
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 688 | Ratings: 1,185
Photo of Boo-urns
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drain pour! I couldn't even finish it....it must just be stale and old.....no date on it though, but it must be , considering the high reviews. It has a sour gross aftertaste! Hopefully I'll get to taste it again , but this particular bottle is a bit nasty.

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Photo of TigerSoul
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I'm not sure why this beer didn't score in the 90's here on BA. Not to call into question the impeccable palates and discriminating taste of these 'experts' but I sometimes wonder what they actually expect from a beer. Sam Smith's Organic Pale Ale is a world classic, in my view, a definitive example of the variety. It's a traditional, regional English country ale, not intended to hit you over the head with any one of the characteristics of beer (look, smell, etc.) although I do find the rich copper hue quite pleasing to the eye... Smell? Nothing to write home about, but the taste? It's got a solid malty backbone with a slight hint of mustiness that I suspect might come from the stone troughs used in fermentation. Hops are not forward, but they're not supposed to be. There is hardly any hop character, but it still packs enough tang to satisfy the hop-seeker. ... The "Organic" variety, in fact, has permanently replaced the original "Old Brewery Pale Ale"; folks just found this one to taste better so Sam Smith's ceased production of the other one... Is this one for the growing numbers of hop-crazy beer enthusiasts? No. Is it for the Yuengling-Bud crowd? No. Is it for the drinker who appreciates tradition, quality and craft? Yes.

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Photo of vladdswrath
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours hazy and copper, with a perpetual bubble show climbing up the glass and feeding the dense but short lived head. Nose is sweet, sort of raisiny, buttery biscuits. Taste is not quite as sweet as it smells and what is there fades quickly into a very dry, slightly carmel finish. Mouthfeel is thin and dry with lots of carbonation and a prominent mineral tang. All in all it's a pretty tame, low ABV drink, which of course being an English Pale Ale was probably exactly what they were going for...

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Photo of erk0607
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Medium light-brown with an offwhite, short lived foam head
Smell: Not very strong, floral hoppy notes
Taste: Sweet, hoppy is the first thing you notice, light zest followed by some additional bitterness
Feel: Super light, fluffy, soft carbonation, soapy
Overall: Pretty good, definitely flavorful and better than your mass market beers, but not a superstar

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Photo of ThemThangs
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Short but dense head. Smells kind of earthy and sweet like I expect in a British beer, but there is also some kind of fruity smell in there. Taste is subtly sweet, with notes that remind me of bread, caramel, nuts, leather, malt, earthiness, and hay. Not bad. This is getting even better as it warms up a little in the glass. Very easy drinking.

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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!"
As a note, the wrong photo is here. The Organic is used... and I believe the Old Brewery is green.

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Photo of sjccmd
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma of raisins, toffee, and almonds. Green and herbal hops. Berry-like yeast esters. Some minty and spicy. Just a hint of bubblegum. Sweet and bready. Caramel and treacle. Somewhat steely.

Pours clear amber. Ruby highlights. Small off-white head with some lacing. Good retention.

A rush of fruits and bread. Berries and apricots with toast. Firm bitterness but leans towards malt. Herbal fruity hops. Washes away quickly leaving residual hop bitterness and caramel malts. Finish is quite dry.

Medium light body with low carbonation. Rich and juicy upfront finishing dry and steely.

Ridiculously balanced but complex. Juicy malts and fruity hops blend into each other nicely.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Peach-toned amber, mostly clear, but a little dull. Second pour from large bottle much more cloudy. Head is tan and uniform, retains well. Smells like tea, water, with faint caramel and raisin notes. Similar palate, caramel much more pronounced to the point of being candy-like. Biscuity backbone. Distinct suggestions of juicy apple and stone fruit, but not approaching the intensity of caramel or the earthen, leafy, even almost spicy hops. Sweet for the most part but long-lasting bitter finish. Fuller medium-bodied ale, medium carbonation, semi-astringent.

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Photo of mjurney
4.91/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance:
Copper color, a bit hazy. Highly carbonated. Thick frothy head.

Aroma:
Toffee, caramel, bready, bright fruit, very crisp.

Taste/Finish/Body:
Very rich bready malt, toffee, caramel, nutty. Fruity, apple and pear. Hop bitterness is mild-medium, leafy, tea-like, earthy. Finish is crisp, yet pretty dry. Body is full, refreshing, crisp, high drinkable.

Overall:
It's a world class beer!!

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Photo of Benny_Efkola
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Honestly, I can say that Samuel smith brewery is my fave ! I mean, like everything I've tried from this majestic brewery is just aces! I f'n live their brews!

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Photo of tzieser
4.24/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 550ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

L: hazy bronze in color with a thick white head that settles into almost a thin lacing after several minutes. Not the best looking beer in the world but "it'll do", as they say over in the UK.

S: pleasantly sweet malty aroma. notes of caramel, freshly baked biscuits and earthy, herbal hops.

T: layers of sweet malt expertly balanced by herbal hop bitterness. caramel, toasted bread notes with a bit of orange marmalade in the back thanks to the hops. Excellent from start to finish

M: somewhat dry finish.

O: a terrific English pale ale. Expertly balanced and worth the $3.75. Would go well with some fish & chips.

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

A: crystal clear; deep copper - maybe reddish amber in color; 1 finger khaki head that receded to a wispy cap; no lacing;

S: caramel, toffee, tobacco;

T: caramel, toffee, and tobacco up front; licorice gets added in at mid-palate and becomes dominant by the mildly bitter finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: easy drinking;

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a reddish copper colour with a thin white head. Fruity aroma with a little malt. Medium carbonation. Flavours of apple, melon, a little caramel, sweet and light bodied.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Brilliant amber under a lacy and persistent 1” lightly tan tinted cap.
S: caramel, a touch of fruit, not much hop, herbal
T: A little sweet with a hint of toffee and a little darker malt – nuttiness or biscuit, flavor combines toastiness with fruitiness. Medium hop flavors and crisp, palate cleansing bitterness with a little light astringency.
F: Medium body, medium low carbonation.
O: An excellent classic beer.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden orange Color. Almost like a burnt sienna. Nit a whole lot of head due to the tulip glass.

On the nose I'm getting floral notes along with some caramel or cracker.

Taste is caramel, toffee, musk, floral hops, grass, toast and butter, peanut brittle, and spice. This is not to say that hops are not present! They are, and they're glorious.

This beer goes down smoothly. It's medium bodied and very creamy. The flavor adds to the smoothness.

I think this beer is underrated. This is one of the best English pale ales on the market. Flavor is complex as hell and keeps me wanting more.

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Photo of KajII
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

It pours a hazy orange/brown with a white frothy head and had hints of bread malts, herbal hops and a big note of caramel. This is a bold malty brew with a pronounced caramel sweetness and a mild hop backbone. A tasty easy to drink brew with a low ABV, which allows for the consumption of multiple beers...
www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews

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Photo of Beejay
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish amber in color, nice tall off white head on top.

S: Caramel and bread aromas, with a nice flower and herb hop smell.

T: Good caramel flavor, with bread notes. Some light toffee, and a touch of erbal hops in the finish.. there is a touch of a tannic finish.

M: Medium in body, with a fairly creamy feel. Carbonation is fairly high.

O: Overall pretty tasty. Although I wish there was a little more character from the English Hops. Although perhaps that's just because I was really craving a Fullers ESB, and settled on this. Still a fine beer.

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Photo of peensteen
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale copper-amber colour, just over one finger of white head, little lace. Smell is malty with a bit of a toffee and caramel, fruity as well, earthy and lightly metallic hops. Taste is fruity with a light bitterness up front, malty-toffee like sweetness, light fruity earthy points as well, overall flavours were fairly muted but well balanced. Lightly carbonated, medium-full body. Solid stuff and very easily drinkable, would have liked more pronounced flavours though.

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Photo of enjambed
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Serving: Undated cold bottle, standard pint glass

Look: Mostly brown with orange highlights, and very hazy. It generally looks like iced tea. Moderate pour produces little head that soon disappears, lacing is moderate

Smell: This is new to my palate. It's like a combination of fruits and rich, burnt(?) caramel, also some metallic notes.

Taste: That burnt caramel flavor dominates, with some other flavors like fruits or maybe herbs. Also earthy. Finish is harsh.

Feel: Rather light, but not fully watery. Finish has a mouth-drying astringency like sucking on a tea bag, very unpleasant.

Overall: Not what I was expecting even for an English Pale Ale. The astringency is overpowering and unpleasant, and I had not had any beer, let alone a pale ale with such a strong caramel flavor. However, I suspect there was something wrong with this bottle: The color was darker than most others described it, the astringency was overpowering, even for an English Pale ale the hops were non-existent, and it really just seemed off. I'm leaving this review for future comparison to other English Pale Ales.

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Photo of archyquaffer
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Poured from the 550 ml bottle into a shaker pint glass. In addition to the typically cool old timey label with Yorkshire rose is a "USDA Organic" sticker. I got a mild gusher upon opening. An easy pour produces about a one inch head that proves fairly sticky. The beer is a slightly hazy ruddy pale brown with rather high carbonation.

Subtle floral and tea-like hop aroma-flavors with a rich caramelly malt base. A nice fruity pungency evocative of apricot underlies everything and contributes to an illusion of sweetness belied by the dry mineral finish.

Another excellent and accessible beer from Sam Smith (more and more available in my area). I continue to be intrigued by the whole Yorkshire square method of brewing, and how this obviously contributes to the unique qualities manifested in the beer. This beer was very reasonably priced at 4-something for the bomber. Purchased at Front Street Market in Butte, Montana.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

550 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. Purchased for under $5 CDN from the LCBO.

Appearance - clear amber color, limited bubbles, two fingers of so of frothy off white head. Smooth lacing remains behind slathered all over the the inside of the glass.

Smell - bait fruity,a bit like apricot or peach, then some floral notes shine through. An underlying caramel sweetness throughout. Definitely malt heavy based off the nose.

Taste - malty, with a bit of hops to cut through the decadence. Some fruit like apricot and peach in small doses and a green tea element in there too. Pretty tasty and reasonably complex. A little bit of raisin as the beer warms too.

Mouthfeel - smooth, reasonably carbonated, yet fairly light body. Eminently quaffable.

Overall - a pretty damn solid English pale ale, from the guys you'd expect to do a good job on it. While I won't be purchasing this all the time, partially due to price and partially due to availability, but this is definitely a well executed pale ale.

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Photo of magpieken
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

550ml bottle. Mar15. Pours a bright, deep copper colour with a foamy, light tan head which lasted well and left some lacing. Earthy aroma of caramel and raisins. A mild sweetness is followed by a slightly astringent bitter finish and a hint of nuttiness (so to speak). Soft mouthfeel, light to medium body and very gentle carbonation. I appreciate that this beer is true to style and very well made, it just didn't leave me craving more.

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 11/13/2013. Light gusher upon opening. Pours slightly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a small amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, pear, apple, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, pear, apple, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, pear, apple, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice robustness and balance of bready malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast ester flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 5%. Overall this is a damn nice English pale ale! All around great balance and robustness of bready malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of doktorhops
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Organic Pale Ale! Samuel Smith! Yes! These guys are old school, point of fact: They still use wooden barrels instead of metal kegs, they even have a full-time Cooper (dude that makes barrels) and they make local deliveries with a horse and cart. Also this brew happens to be both organic and Vegan certified (i.e. no animal products). I was already impressed by the Nut Brown Ale, will the Organic Pale Ale live up to its promise? [well will it?]

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: As a typical English Pale Ale it presents spot on with a clear copper body and a beige half centimetre head.

S: Aromas of fruity hops, sweet caramel malts with a nice earthy background. There are hints of nuttiness thrown in, along with diacetyl giving it a lingering butter tone.

T: A prime example of a classic EPA here; sweet caramel on the fore with chestnut, pecan and buttery diacetyl mid before finishing with fruity hops. Ensure you drink this at 11-13 degrees Celsius otherwise you will miss these excellent flavours in harmony.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light carbonation (again Mr. Smith is a bit fuller with his carbonation than most English brewers).

D: Yep I'm officially a fan of this brewer now. This is a time-honoured tribute to an EPA here, exactly how you would get it if you were in any old pub in the UK. My only problem - I had the beer sitting in my fridge and my room is currently 8 degrees Celsius (I'm in our lovely nation’s capital Canberra right now) so I'm not able to get this beer up to the prescribed temperate... that and I can't feel my fingers, Canberra = so cold.

Food match: Roast lamb with gravy, mash potato, peas and carrots (don't forget the Yorkshire pudding!).

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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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Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale (Organic) from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,185 ratings.
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