Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

1,471 Reviews
Samuel Smith's Nut Brown AleSamuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Brown 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

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Reviews: 1,471 | Ratings: 3,855
Photo of BierReise
1.48/5  rDev -63.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Why they insist on bottling this one in a clear bottle is beyond my imagination. Looks nice poured, brown/amber color with a decent frothy head. Aroma is overpowering skunk with a hint of more skunk. Flavor is malty and skunky. Thin on the palate with a watery feeling. I'm sure this was good before they ruined it putting it in a clear bottle but I have to give it an honest review. A dissapointment for me and hopefully one day I'll have the opportunity to re-rate a better sample.

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Photo of rickyleepotts
2/5  rDev -50.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I have had this beer before, but now I have a reason to drink it. I haven’t been impressed with Samuel Smith’s in the past, having only drank a few of their beers because of the overall quality that I experience. But tonight, I am drinking with a purpose. (Thanks to Kyle Lacy for helping me decide that our new tagline is, “It’s fun to drink with a purpose.”)

The beer smells good. Not really getting the nut nose that everyone talks about. Sorry, that sounded funny. But it does smell good, almost sweet. But the beer smells better than it tastes.

I have a feeling that this beer would get better the warmer it gets. But again, I am not that impressed with Samuel Smith’s. Even their porter is weak. I will give this beer some credit, though, for being traditional. Plus, it’s a staple in nearly every liquor store. And cheap. The big bottle and the gold wrapper gives it away.

There’s just something about the “nut brown” that turns me off from the start. But that nose… man. Anyway, the beer is just mediocre at best. Oh well, hopefully we will only have a couple more of these Samuel Smith’s on the list.

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Photo of DoctorDog
2.22/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: Victorian pint bottle into a large mug.

A- Medium auburn color. Tan head ~2 inches high off harsh pour; fades slowly with some lacing. Virtually no head retained after it has receded.

S- A bitter, "skunky", coppery/metallic smell. Perhaps a product of my nasal sufferings, but this is fairly unpleasant, and borderline awful.

T- Just like the smell; "skunky," bitter, and coppery/metallic. I have had this beer in the past and enjoyed it, so I give it a few more minutes to warm, then return. Same fetid results. I'm starting to think that I was sold an extremely out-dated bottle, or one taken from a highly unfortunate batch.

M- Somewhat thin and slick.

D- In this incarnation, very low. At this point, I'm fairly well convinced that I was sold a very outdated and/or tainted bottle. This one will have to be revisited and re-reviewed at a later date to ensure that I've given it a fair shake.

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Photo of Raime
2.24/5  rDev -45%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Deep brown with a two finger mocha head. Slight lacing.

S - Tequila and a variety of nuts. Not very good.

T - Very sweet and nutty. Caramel malt, light toasted malt as well.

M - Light carbonation with a light body.

O - Overall, this beer was wayyy too damn sweet. I doubt i'd have it again.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.32/5  rDev -43%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 9/5/2006 (550mL bottle):

Pours a dark brown, color, tan head, good-sized, diminishing. Malty, nutty aroma. Just malty but a good amount of aroma. Malty, bitter taste. Acidic & watery. A good session beer, but weak on flavor. Alcohol stands out w/bread & pasta.

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Photo of jtierney89
2.5/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2nd sam smith of the night. This one goes out to my professor who taught an entire class on Milton and Paradise Lost. He loves saying "English Nut Brown Ale" at any chance he could.

Pours a very semi-hazy deep amber color with a nice two finger off white head.

Very Nutty nose with hazelnuts and chocolate being very prominent. Again the alcohol is noticeable on the nose which is odd for the abv. Definitely some mocha in there as well.

I expected some bigger body from this. Oddly very thin up front. Very watery mouth feel up front which is kind of a big turn off. It gets bolder near the middle of the tongue as well as chewy but still, not a good start. Carbonation is high. Mouth feel gets very big and chewy after a while. Flavor profile is very malty with a bit of a nutty presence but getting more chocolate.

Nutty after taste. Some detectable alcohol oddly enough on the swallow with a slight warming sensation.

I dont see the appeal to this beer to be honest :(

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Photo of BeerdedEric
2.54/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

As I opened the bottle it was like a geyser of beer shooting all over my floor. Not fun! Hopefully the beer makes up for this mishap.

The head is a light tan head that is extremely frothy. Light in bubblage and amber in color. Quite cool to look at.

Smells sweet and yeasty, nothing too noticeable, just malty and light hoppiness.

Light and smooth in the mouth. Leaves the mouth try.

The sweet taste is present but as soon as it came it leaves with an abrupt bitterness. A metallic taste at first but disappears a few sips later. A noticeable caramel and toffee malt-iness. A definite dry hop bitterness at the end and in the aftertaste as well.

Overall, I'm not impressed with this Nut Brown Ale. I wouldn't want another one.

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Photo of TLove
2.56/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance is a clearish brown with a creamy head. Typical of the style but a bit watery.

Smell contains a touch of sourness to the beer lent from light cranberry and hazelnut flavors.

Way too watered down and misleading nuttiness turns into light alcohol tint and more water. Brown color does not lend much to consistency or hop balance.

Yorkshire yeast too harsh and does not leave a memorable taste in the mouth. Creamy head dissipates into inconsistent carbonation.

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Photo of Dogbrick
2.62/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Again with the clear bottle and slight skunking! I am really disappointed that their stouts can be so good but their Pale, Nut Brown, and Winter Welcome can suffer so much from the clear bottles. Granted, this one was not skunked as badly but it still detracted from my enjoyment of this beer. There were some nice nutty tones in the aroma as well, but they were masked by the skunk smell, same with the flavor. Decent hazelnut flavor imparted with malt, but again, change the bottles!

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Photo of Tilley4
2.66/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I guess I just don't understand this style. After reading some of the reviews here, I was really expecting something big.

It looks great when you pour it. Beautiful brown with a nice fluffy head.

Smells great with a nice faint aroma of hazelnuts. Really looking forward to this.

Downhill now. This tastes just like a Bud Light or something. I may taste a little of the hazelnut here, but no chocolate or anything like that. Watery and unpleasant. This wound up drain pour very quickly..

I usually love the Sam Smith stuff but I just didn't like this one at all.

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Photo of matty
2.68/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown colored ale with a quickly fading head that stays at a quarter of an inch.Aroma reminded me of sour milk or baby vomit.Taste has nuts and butter but again that sour milk taste.I was looking forward to this from what my buddies told me but I am highly dissapointed.I will be staying away from this.

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Photo of StoutHunter
2.7/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got a bottle of the Nut Brown Ale in Samuel Smith's Holiday Gift Pack for $11.99 at Meijers. I have never had a beer from Samuel Smith before so I thought I would start out with their most popular beer and see what this old English brewery is all about. No visible bottling date. Poured from a foiled brown 550ml bottle into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

A- The label looks ok, it's a little plain but they probably had the same label for a while to keep that classic look to go with the brewery. It poured a nice light brown color that looked mostly dark amber when held to the light and it had two and a half fingers worth of fluffy off white head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left some nice sheets of lacing. This is a pretty good looking beer to say the least.

S- The aroma is very different from most Brown Ale's I have had, this might be the difference between an American version of an English Brown Ale, and the traditional English version. At the start I pick up a good amount of caramel malts that have a toffee and hazelnut like aroma. After that I get some sweet dark fruits, mainly raisins that make for an aroma that is pretty sweet and very similar to a sweet sherry. A very weird and different aroma that is strangely close to sherry.

T- The taste is somewhat similar to the aroma. It starts off with with a good amount of very lightly toasted caramel malts that impart a bready and biscuit like flavor that has a high amount of sweetness to it. In the middle there is a slight bit of earthy hops and a light amount of nuttiness that has a chestnut like flavor. The finish had a low amount of bitterness and the after taste was pretty sweet and slightly nutty. Too sweet for my taste.

M- Sweet, medium dryness, on the light side of being medium bodied and it had a good amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is ok but I wish it was a little less watery.

Overall I thought this was an OK beer that really didn't impress me too much, I had pretty high hopes for this highly acclaimed English Brown Ale, but there were a couple things about this beer that really weren't for me and left me disappointed. It went down somewhat smooth but for me the high amount of sweetness made this beer not too drinkable, I am glad I am splitting this with my brother, it might be a chore for me to finish the bottle by myself. What I liked most about this beer was the look, it looked pretty damn good especially in the brewery's signature pint glass. What I liked least about this beer was the taste and aroma, it smelled very similar to sherry with a little bit of apple juice, and the taste was way too sweet with not enough nutty flavor to it and a sweet aftertaste. I don't think I would buy this beer again, I enjoy American versions of English Brown Ales much more then this beer, I think they have a better malt profile, better body, and a better nut flavor in most. This beer is worth a try to see where you stand on the traditional take on a Brown Ale, but if you are use to the American versions this might be a bit too sweet, like it was for me. I had very high hopes for this beer and it just didn't live up to them, it was too sweet and not nutty enough for a beer labeled as a nut brown. After reading some other reviews I think this beer might be a little old, but with no bottling date I can't be sure and I don't think an old beer would would be the cause of the high level of sweetness that made this beer a little hard to drink. It's safe to say I am not a fan of this beer, I hope the other two from the holiday pack are much better then this one was.

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Photo of Urk1127
2.74/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

-Deep brown, tannish head
-Peanuts, toffee, sugar cookies, toast
-very sweet, toffee, nutty
-A bit thick, low carbonation

-i enjoy Browns but this was too nutty for me, hense the name.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
2.75/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of the bottle a rich brown and mahogany. A single finger of medium dense mix bubble head graces the top. No lacing.

Smells of malt and for some reason belgian yeast, maybe my nose is off a bit, a little bit of hazelnut.

Flavor is toffee, caramel and malts honestly the flavors are there but of really weak presence. Sweet and ever so slightly bitter. The hops and malt are balanced perfectly and if you are looking for a non offensive (big flavor) beer with good balance this is it.

Mouthfeel is creamy with smaller carbonation making a tingle on the tongue when pushed quickly passed the tip. I almost have to force the carbonation out of it though.

Ya it is very drinkable. If the point is to drink beer while not paying too much attention to it this could be a good choice and at 5% alc it aint gonna do you wrong.

The price is pretty solid, 3 bucks for a pint. I dunno not my thing and I hat to really disagree with the rest of you but this beer was below average, and SS's is making me a really disappointed drinker lately.

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Photo of PaulfromNoVa
2.8/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I fear this review brands me as a philistine. Or perhaps the bottle I had was gassed. Batch stamp, but no date. Poured at 45 degrees into a standard glass pub pint.

This ale sits pretty in the glass: thick, foamy head of not-fine bubbles, dark, aged copper body, carbonation roiling and welling up thickly as form a Deepwater-Horizon type blowout.

Delightful nose. All suggestion, nothing overpowering. Nutty, not very hoppy, some toasty malt. Created keen sense of expection.

Poof! Gone. Thin mouthfeel, swirling around in my piehole, waiting for a flavor epiphany, studying the reaction of my tastebuds, wondering when everything is going to kick in. Very dry, slightly hoppy, very little other sensation, and very fleeting at that. I don't have a cold or any taste malfunction: it's just that very little registered, with no finish to speak of. When it was down the hatch all traces of flavor went with it. Does that mean "clean"? That's why I think it might have been the bottle, sitting as a single in a shop fridge, for perhaps a long time.

It's very easy drinking. And I'll certainly give it another go on another day.

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Photo of phisig137
2.81/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light mahogany brown/amber color, with a one finger head. Decent retention falls with a layer of foam on top, and no lacing.

Aroma is filled with toffee, caramel, and malt sweetness. Slight hint of alcohol present, and no hops. Massive diacetyl quality.

Flavor is again, malty sweet, with caramel and toffee flavors. Sizeable amount of diacetyl is also noticable, bot doesn't seem that out of place with the rest of the sweetness. Again, no hops. Mouthfeel is full and smooth. Drinkability is decent.

Decent beer from a good brewery. Perhaps it is the "old style" of brewing, but this just has WAY too much diacetyl/butterscotch for me. I don't think I'd buy it agian.

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Photo of marcpal
2.83/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz into a mug at restaurant.

A: Shockingly, nutty brown color with a very thin tan head that made a brief appearance. The lacing held on throghout and added character to the mug and look.

S: Sweetness and nuttiness were present but very subdued and mild.

T: Extremely mild, not what I anticipated from the company. The nuttiness and chocolatey taste were there. Not quite a typical nut brown but it was refreshing because it wasnt overpowering or overly biscuity in the slightest.

M: Thinned out mouthfeel that was smooth.

D: A little too mild and underdeveloped for a good nut brown but the drinkability is there. Would have like more structure and maltiness in the background overall.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.83/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Transparent brown. Close in color to a maple syrup. A 1/2 finger head of foam dissipates quickly.

S: I get the odor of a dense bread with molasses.

T: Nothing jumps to the front on taste. Slight metallic taste with malts and hops.

M: Clean and crisp.

O: Very underwhelmed. This one misses the mark for me. It doesn't taste bad - but it doesn't taste good either. It is just bland.

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Photo of pugbutter
2.85/5  rDev -30%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Compared to other brown ales, this one tastes far too much like a stout for my liking; very rich, very sweet, with a chalky mouthfeel. If I had been blindfolded while drinking this, I would actually have thought it was a darker offering from Rogue or Brooklyn.

This is probably the most overrated beer I have had yet. I recommend Smuttynose's Old Brown Dog instead, if you want a nice malty brown.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color with a tan head. In the nose, I got a sweet aroma with fruity hints. It the taste was somewhat white grape-ish sweetness with a dry nutty end. The aftertaste was a bit fruity and small stickiness. A smooth and easy to drink ale, quite sessionish.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The color of this beer is a light scarlet red. A thin and whispy beige head caps the beer off. The nose is herbal, earthy, sticky sweet and a little skunky. The flavor is pretty heavy on the English Toasted Malt tones. Bitterness is a little too sharp. And there's the slightest hint of an acrid off flavor. There's also some carmelized sugar and light nut tones. All in all, this is pretty bland, especially when compared to the beauty I just had (the New Glarus Fat Squirrel Nut Brown). The mouthfeel of this beer is too carbonated and thus it hinders drinkability some.

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Photo of brewbattles
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

We conducted a blind taste test with this beer and 5 other brown ales to objectively determine which one was best. The 5 beers were: Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, Lost Coast Downtown Brown, Big Sky Moose Drool, Newcastle Brown, and Wychwood Hobgoblin. You can view the video here:

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Photo of AMoceri7
2.93/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Maybe Im more angry I spent $11 on a 4 pack.

A: Wonderful, typical nut brown character. Brown and brown. A bit on the hazy side possibly due to the color. Great head, took an almost horizontal tilt to experience this brew.

S: Smells of an UPGRADED Newcastle Nut Brown. Maybe a bit more hop then expected but typical over the top sweet. CANDY CORN

T: Exactly what you smell. Bottom line. Sweet sweet sweet nutty, almost stringent stale hop bitterness with an exceedingly overwhelming sweet malt backbone. Maybe a bit too high on the unfermentable. There is something to it I just cant put my finger on. It is though, that exact something I dont like about this brew.

M: Smooth, yet bouncy. Carbonation is high. Head was thick. Conquers the palate in a very subtle way. Too much for me.

D: Couldnt finish one.

Overall: Unimpressed with the 5% ABV. This brew has confirmed my thoughts on Nut Browns considering it is rated in the A category as an ambassador for Nut Brown Ales. That would be my first let down in buying based upon ratings.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
2.98/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Glad to see this at the SAQ. Grabbed it right away.

A- Crystal clear bronze with a sticky and chewy dirty-white looking foam on top. Chunky lacing.

S- Smells like a fruitier cheap caramel candy they give out at Halloween. A little onion as it warmed.

T- The caramel is nice. A bit of a maple syrup finish. Hops save this in my opinion not quite enough though. If I hadn't tasted that small presence I don't think I'd like this very much. I noticed a bit of a meaty, soy sauce and gravy character (also ramen noodle spices)while aerating. Still think it's a bit thin in the taste department.

M- Medium to thin body. Low carbonation. Moderately dry.

O- Way less interesting than I thought it would be. Also I've rarely tasted that soy sauce character so many seem to find in certain stouts but it's definitely here and kind of annoying.
Don't think I'll buy it again soon.

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Photo of SaltyLime
2.98/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Medium amber color, nice brown around the edges. Beige head about 1 finger high.

Smell - Not much, I stuck my nose way in the glass and was hoping for a nutty smell, got nothing.

Taste - Hoppy start, not much after that. Ordinary.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, medium body.

Drinkability - OK.

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Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,855 ratings.
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