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

BA SCORE
86
very good
1,201 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:
1,201
Reviews:
691
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
12.24%
 
 
Wants:
55
Gots:
110
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,201 |  Reviews: 691
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 biegaman
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gemstone amber with blazing orange body and lemon yellow bottom. It has a really nice glow that to the light showcases its full range of tones. Soapy white head slowly evaporates until it becomes shaved down to no more than a thick, glinty outside ring.

The aroma is quite concerning. I wasn't expecting much in the means of hops, but there seems to be none. What was initially a pleasant enough hint of butterscotch became a full blown load of buttery diacetyl after warming a little. Very concerning indeed.

The diacetyl is a little less apparent in the taste. Instead of cheap scorched caramel, the flavour better resembles its pale malt bill, lightly toasted and now sugary sweet and coated with just a dash of toffee. It's still not exactly a taste you want lingering but it's passable.

This certainly isn't the most quenching pale ale either. The texture is chalky and mineral-harsh. The bitterness lingers as well. It dries out the palate; I might actually be more thirsty after every sip. It must be the suspected diacetyl that is making this astringent with the taste of scorched butter.

Old Brewery Pale Ale is a much simpler rendition than the American reinventions, make no mistake. It could even be considered dull in comparison. But still, this was for me, as I'm sure it was for many, one of the first beers to turn me onto new styles, craft breweries, and an overall standard for better taste.

Although this particular bottle may (or may not) have been a little off, I still think really highly of Samuel Smith. They do a great job at producing a range of styles and most importantly, their beers make a great starting place for those looking to expand their palate.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer seemed a bit excited from the trip from the corner store to my glass. It foamed up a bit upon popping the cap, but I managed to rescue most of it into my glass. As I am pouring this brew, I get definite, disappointing notes of light struck beer. The beer is topped by a frothy, initially three-finger thick, large bubble, lace inducing, tan colored head. The beer itself is a brilliantly clear, ruby hued, dark amber color. The light struck skunkiness seems to fade with time, and notes of toffee, a wisp of diacetyl, toasted grain and some caramel do a fair job of masking that particularly offensive aroma. There seems to be a touch of earthy, lightly herbal hops, though one could certainly wish for a bit more.

My taste buds are greeted by a nice sharp bitterness from the get go, it combines with the carbonation to give this brew a decent bite through to and even magnifying in the finish. Soft fruity notes of apples, a touch of grape-like raisin and some notes of lightly sweet caramel balance out the hop bitterness. There is a nice level of underlying toasted malt character here; it gives the beer a sort of toasted biscuit type note. Also there is just a wisp of diacetyl again, it adds a really subtle buttery quality to this brew, but I am a touch sensitive to this particular flavor. It is not offensive though and helps to add some more complexity to this brew. While light and quaffable, this brew has a certain malty heft to it that is quite nice, again it is another thing that helps to balance the noticeable bitterness.

This is not a bad brew, but it is certainly not great either. Shipping this in brown bottles would certainly help this brew immensely. Still I am perfectly happy sipping an Imperial pint of this brew. While some flavors may be too much, or others lacking, this beer really struck a nice balance between the hoppy bitterness and the multifaceted malt character; it is something the English seem to do well, even in a beer like this.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

18.7 oz brown bottle picked up a couple weeks ago at the Coop for $3.50 ... poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger head lasts quite a bit and leaves very nice lacing... Brew is very clear copper amber... looks pretty for sure ... darker than one would think for a pale ale.

Aroma is low grassy hops with alot of traditional English fruity esters... Light caramel and pale malts are sorta eclipsed by the esters.

Flavor is a very satisfying mix of bready malts and more of the English yeast. Diacetyl is subtle but present in appropriate amounts. Floral hoppiness melds well. Slightly metallic mid palate with the caramels and very light butterscotch mixing in the finish. Middle of the road sweetness with a low bitter backbone.. Flavor is what I think of English as it warms. Palate is on the thick side for a 5% brew.. but persistent small bubble carbonation helps a bunch. Drinkability would be my only "complaint" ... I would need to be in a pub to have more than 1-2... I get bored easily.

Overall, I forget about the Samuel Smith brews because I always seem to have access to the main stable... I really should pick these up more often and I definitely will next time I am going to try and brew anything with an English profile.

 1,244 characters

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

From the 550 ml. bottle no. SH28C1. Sampled on June 25, 2009. It pours dark amber with medicore clarity but a nearly two fingers of chunky beige head that diminishes in about 30 seconds. The smell is rich of roasted malts, caramel, and sugar. The mouthfeel comes in at about medium and the first sip stays in tact for a few moments on the tongue. The taste is very sweet in roasted malts, sugars, and some light hops holding up the rear. There is a hint of bitterness in it as well. You usually get a decent brew from Samuel Smith's no matter what the style.

 558 characters

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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 Derek
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper-gold and very clear. Off-white head dissappears, but leaves some evidence of lace.

S: Mostly malt (bready & biscuity), with a hint of Nobel hop aroma.

T: Caramel & bready malt, good amount of bitterness, with only a little fruity esters (quite tame for British yeast). Only a little hop flavour (mostly earthy). Flavours are light, but well rounded. Could use a little more depth (fruity yeast & hop flavour).

M: Moderate body and carbonation, with a fairly dry finish.

D: Well rounded, easily approachable, very drinkable. Would be an excellent session beer.

 581 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours amber/red with a light finger of white head, solid retention, no lace.

S: Caramel, English malt, nothing too substantial.

T: Great Burton-style minerality/sulphur. Classic English biscuit and toffee malt. Lightly sweet. Balanced with an elegant hay/grass at the finish.

M: Very soft carbonation, vibrant and spritzy on the tongue. Medium-bodied.

D: A classic Pale Ale from Sam Smith's. A great beer that will tell you what English pale ales/bitters are about. Great complexity and nuance.

 517 characters

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.

 664 characters

Photo of Eziel
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass and received a one-finger head that stuck around due to carbonation. A mix between between copper and oragne is how I would describe the light, seethru body. A strong smell eminates, giving off a strong hop presence but also underlined by a small malt and bread presence with a hint og citrus. The beer has a ryeish, dry hop taste that contains earthy tones and is not very complex but good. Balanced out by the malts for a refreshing, smooth ale that keeps you wanting more. I wouldn't session this beer, one or two is fine and perhaps I was a overly critical since I know Samuel Smith makes better beers.

 631 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spinrsx
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of jdhilt
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cream, one-finger head that vanishes quickly leaving no lace. Slightly cloudy amber color. Medium-strong carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is faintly sweet. Starts on the sweet side with some hops hiding in the background. Clean finish, this is a good pale not loaded with hops. $3 for a 550ml bottle from Northend Superette Manchester, NH.

 350 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with a nice off-white head. Smell is malty and slightly hoppy. Taste is malty that finishes very dry as the hops set in. The taste is also slightly nutty and there is a kind of metallic taste as well. The mouthfeel is medium and lightly carbonated. Overall this is another superb brew from Samuel Smith's that I will enjoy time and time again.

 364 characters

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

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear amber, with a nice small but solid head of beige foam. No carbonation visible. Looks syrupy and still in the glass. Lacing is good. Looks pretty tasty.

Copper and malt on the nose, quite sweet, with a hint of preserved lemon citrus character. There's a good backbone of solid caramel/candy sweetness, but it's not huge. Nice characters, but not particularly powerful.

The caramel malty richness is present on the palate too, but there's a good firm English hoppy bitterness to balance it here. Green and sharp and quite robust. Nice, it just cuts through the malt the way you want it to. It leaves the sweetness as the canvas, but the hops as the striking contemporary design swished over the top.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth, perhaps not as creamy as a good real ale could be - and this would benefit from a little of that.

A very drinkable brew, well balanced and well made. If it seems a tad on the sweet side at first, it manages to balance itself out by the end.

 985 characters

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.

 426 characters

Photo of wl0307
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550ml clear-bottle presentation, BB Feb. 2007, served cool in a straight imperial-pint glass.

A: light copperish hue, very bright and clear, with an off-white reasonably foamy and superbly sustaining head that is constantly supported by a lively fizzy body throughout the drink.
S: a classic "pale-ale" like biscuity as well as lightly-caramely maltiness leads the aroma, against a moderately spicy, aromatic tea-ish hoppy and a mildly salty note (the work of malts plus hard water?) in the background. A mild flow of intriguingly stinky-sock edge of malts+yeasts AND semi-fermented apples lies low but hovers well.
T: slightly caramel-malty and metallic(?!) at the same time, pretty solid-bodied with a restrained flavour of salty-sweet, marinated berry-fruits with an unfresh, tart edge (like preserved prunes)... Chewy, roast-tea-ish hoppy at the back, more in mouthfeel than flavour esp. on the deep ends of both wings of the tongue... leaving a rather "neutral" aftertaste, and more and more leafy-hop bitterness to chew in the finish.
M&D: almost fullsome for an English pale ale, it's quite easy to quaff thanks to the lightly-carbonated body and a sort of balance achieved b/w bitterness and sweetness... There's no beer in my brain's database to compare with this ale (esp. when I'm "merry" now...), but it's definitely a good pale ale or premium bitter with some added fruitiness to its advantage. I could only imagine the taste of the cask-conditioned version, which, alas, does not exist. Samuel Smith really should cask-condition more of their brilliant beers~~

 1,580 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer pours a warm brown crystal clear body with a light tan head of thick creamy foam and a strong carbonation of big bubbles.

S- The slightly earthy aroma of pale grain has a soft green finish with a pine hint to it.

T- The green softly pine snap of hops has a light watery taste to it with a note of lightly toasted dry malt and some biscuit malt qualities to follow.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel gets a bit thinner as the head dissipates. There is a tight clean fizz in the finish.

D- This beer has a smooth clean flavor with a soft hop flavor that is very soft on the bitterness. It is not to exciting with little complexity but I think it has great potential on cask or draft as it is a well built beer.

 742 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: When poured from a bottle to a pint glass, this beer had an amber color and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was about a half inch of head and some good lacing.

S: Above anything else, the malt came through in this category. Also some hops and a nutty quality.

T: As with the the smell, malt was the most prevalent component. Kind of acidic, in a way, but pretty well done.

M: A decent amount of carbonation and a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This beer wasn't exactly like other pale ales I've had before - there was much more malt in this one. Not a bad beer, but not my favorite.

 595 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orangy brown color with minimal off white head. Scent is of fresh bread, toffee, roasted nuts and a faint touch of watery fruit. Taste brings again the taste of fresh bread, touches of sweet carmel, toffee, nuts, butter, watery fruit. Medium bodied, slightly grainy, perfect carbonation, slightly dry. An all around fresh tasting, highly drinakable and enjoyable malt forward english ale.

 397 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a mixed sixer for 10.99 not a bad price at all!

A - Pours a nice dark amber color, full of carbonation and a bit of head that clear to a nice ring of lace.

S - smells of a slight grain smell, maybe a bit of caramel but not offending.

T - Kind of grainy with slight hops. Finishes rather sweet with malts and a bit of sugar but dry which is a surprise. Repeated sip reveals the same so its pretty balanced.

M - Light to medium body. Grains are not as bitter as expected.

D - Well I like it and its hard to believe its an English pale ale since most offend me with herb notes this one is sweet yet bitter and kind of a dry finish. Not something I would hunt for but I would pick it up at the same price.

 719 characters

Photo of JamLand
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of WDJersey
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale (Organic) from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,201 ratings.
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