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

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1,458 Reviews
Samuel Smith's Nut Brown AleSamuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale

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

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: 1,458 | Ratings: 3,805
Photo of Sammy
3.07/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A good beer with food, its astringency or is it bitterness works to add to roast beef and patatoes meal. Haven't done a sample but I bet UK reviewers rank this higher. Canadians can try a couple of more balanced lighter versions of this type such as Wellington's. Brown colour looks like matter is there and suds on top look like dish soap. Also strong carbonation begs for food relief.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown with a 1 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel/toffee, and some nutty aromas. Taste is of toasted malt, burnt caramel/toffee, slight nuts, and some slight fruity flavors. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate that lingers after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice aromas and flavors that makes it quite easy to drink.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

as good as advertised, and super cheap for the quality, I cant believe how long I waited to try this. what was I thinking?! the pour is a remarkably clear dark maple syrup color with a bubble bath head of tan foam that wont quit. the nose is the weakest like, smells like malty ale yeast, rather bland really. the flavor through really opens up. this is a caramel almondy malt bomb, but it isn't sweet if you can imagine that. its got a bitter dry finish more akin to cashews or something, unsalted of course, with some mild chocolate essence, and this only gets more dramatic as it warms up. not incredibly complex, but more of a simple elegance vibe here. did I mention this beer looks sexy? im down to my last swig and the head is as big as it was when I poured it some 45 minutes ago, just astonishing. lovely mouthfeel as well, cleanish in the finish with a flatly medium body and that casky English ale carbonation nice and mellow. this is a really drinkable brown too, glorious without all those residual sugars. I always knew sam smith wash high quality stuff, but I think its wide availability made me overlook it in favor of some of the rarer American craft stuff. with two delicious offerings from these guys in the last week, I will no longer walk past their shelf. I will be grabbing up the other varieties as quick as I can now, this stuff is the nectar!

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Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours out as a really nice brown color. The head is pretty good size for the style with a light tan color. The lacing doesn't leave much behind on the glass. The smell of the beer has sweet nutty and roasted aroma. The taste has a good bitterness to it with a subtle brown sugar sweetness and a good roasted nut flavor also. The mouthfeel is thin but has a carbonation that keeps it interesting. Overall it's a damn good Brown Ale.

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Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured dark amber with a moderate level of carbonation. The head died down rather quickly and just left a few bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There's a distinct nutty smell with a bit of malty sweetness.
T: The flavor is nutty, sweet and buttery and also has some hints of caramel malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and is very much sessionable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After drinking a lot of high gravity beers lately, it's nice to have a lower bodied beer with the roasted complexity, well brewed, matured, and handled beer that's more easily drinkable and less alcoholic. The look is of solid brown with deep amber highlights. Aromas and flavors of good old barley malt, nicely roasted or toasted. Good caramel, toffee, and butterscotch flavors. Cashews and hazlenut flavors deep into the body. The body is smooth without being thick or cloying. Sweet, but balanced with light hop bittering and slight yeasty sour notes. Finishes mildly sweet and bitter from hops and grain. A good beer to get back to basics.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle into a nonic. The beer is aptly nut-colored, a dark woody brown, with a finger of off-white foam topping the body. Clarity is excellent, and while the head dies down faster than I'd like, it's still a beautiful beer.

Toffee is strong on the nose, nuttiness surprisingly not, though there's a very pleasant toasted malt backbone that, combined with the toffee-like sweetness, vaguely resembles peanut brittle. The English yeast profile is distinct and characterful, lending a buttery cream-caramel note that's thoroughly enjoyable.

Very flavorful, with toffee again prominent but matched by an equally strong toasty bitterness. Earthy hops are faintly detected, along with some husky grain, buttered toast, biscuit and the slightest mineral twang. Near the finish a bit of over-steeped-tea-like astringency pops up, melding with the hops to create a drying, mildly bitter finish.

Quite enjoyable overall, an easy-drinking almost-session beer with plenty of character, though slightly rough around the edges.

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Caramel brown with a touch of garnet. Decent head with nice lacing.

Smell: Caramel and nuts from the malt with a distinct bit of alcohol on the nose

Taste: A bunch of flavor jumps out at you and gets better as the beer breathes a bit. Caramel sweetness with a dry nutty bitterness that blend quite nicely and linger for a while.

Mouthfeel: Just a bit too much carbonation but otherwise full bodied.

Drinkability: The carbonation limits my appetite to drink more than one of these, but overall it is a very nice brew.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle. Ah, one of the few positive attributes of the LCBO - selling products of British origin at half the price as that in other parts of the country.

This beer pours a clear, dark orange-tinted amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, foamy, and somehow gritty dirty white head, which leaves a perfectly distributed array of snow rime lace around the glass in its splattered wake.

It smells of lightly toasted, sweet bready, and richly nutty malt, creamed caramel, and some mildly citric, pleasantly leafy hops. The taste is semi-sweet, robustly nutty malt, lesser caramelized toffee, subtle aged dark fruit, and a smallish drying earthy hoppiness.

The carbonation is patently reserved, and of course beholden to the menial task of structural integrity, the body a decent medium weight, well-rounded, and agreeably smooth. It finishes rather clean, with some silken caramel malt, lingering oily nuttiness, and mild noble hops.

The prototypical English Brown Ale, veritas, the real deal - the nut adjunct is suitably laid back, and the hops are just there to make sure that you aren't scared away by this little adjustment. Wow, it's hard to describe the subtly of the old-world styles sometimes, engineered as they are for drinking, and perhaps not explicit dissection.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle - Poured a clear brown colored beer with a medium head that has very little retention. Smells of hops is clearly present with a very subtle touch of nut sweetness. Taste is very ''creamy'' with again a sweet touch of hazelnut. Medium body with standard carbonation. Overall, this is a good beer but I would have enjoyed it more if the hazelnut taste had been more accentuated.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Medium sized light tan head dies out quite quickly above a clear caramelly brown colored beer.

Chocolaty nutty strong aroma.

Nice full chocolaty malt taste with some roasted nuts flavors added.

Slightly dryish aftertaste that brings along some of the flavors of this beer with it on a full bodied beer.

A very good beer with some slightly different tastes adding to the nutty chocolate taste, well worth a try.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

550ml brown glass bottle with foiled-over pressure cap acquired as part of a $9.99 3 bottle/1 glass gift box at a local Trader Joe's and served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given its current glowing reviews and my opinion of the brewery.

Served after a warming period following its removal from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Presentation: The label is alright. The foil is a nice touch. I'm glad it's brown glass and not green or clear. The Michael Jackson quote on the back label is a nice touch: "Samuel Smith's of Tadcaster has the richest, maltiest and nuttiest of brown ales." Though I do have to complain: no oxford comma, Michael Jackson?

A: Pours a three finger khaki colour head of great cream, good thickness, notable frothiness, and great retention - though the modest ABV diminishes the impressiveness of that achievement. Decent lacing. Body colour is NOT brown, but actually a translucent chestnut-amber. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Caramel, a nice blend of biscuit, dark, and caramel malts, cherry fruit, nuts (though far less than anticipated - especially considering the style), butterscotch, fig newton, and toffee. A delightful very British aroma (as strange and vague as that sounds). Assertive and true to character. Amber malts. Minimal floral hopping. A fairly strong aroma.

T/Mf: Cherry comes through quite a bit, actually, complemented by surprisingly overt bright fruity hop esters. Hm. Caramel and toffee, sure. Cream, buttery qualities. A butterscotch kiss on the climax. The fruitiness and bold hop presence are actually a bit off-putting, especially as it warms. Sugarcane. The foundation lacks the maltiness I'd expect of a good brown ale. And where are the nuts? Their absence is unforgivable given the style. Too sweet, especially on the finish - an attribute worsened by the smooth and wet texture. Smooth and wet - in a brown ale? And on the finish, no less? This should be coarse, dry, and malty as hell - with some cream to take the edge off. This is not that. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Good carbonation and thickness. Fruit syrup does come through, or perhaps just artificial fig extract a la fig newtons; though this is not the dark fig you'd get in a good quad, it is bright, thin, and out of place. I'm disappointed in both the build and balance, though I must admit I do enjoy it all around. It's just a failure as a Brown Ale is all. Hopping feels as English as can be.

Dr: The lack of nuts and strangely fruit-forward build make this a failure of a Brown Ale, but I still like drinking it. I wouldn't get it again, though. It seems anything but traditional. a good buy at Trader Joe's. Brown Ale fans steer clear, but this is worth a go and is quite drinkable if you simply enjoy beer. It's tough to come up with a letter grade on this one because it's not at all to style, but I do like it for what it is outside of conventions.


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Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark burgandy color with a pillowy, three-finger head. Leaves great lace.

S - It smelled of grains, malt and nut.

T - It tasted of malt, hazelnut and some spice.

M - It was a little thin and soft. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - A good brown ale, but not the best offering from Samuel Smith's.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a moderate brown with a nice off white head.

S: Plenty of malty sweetness alongside caramel, toffee, and a nice nut scent.

T: The nuts make quite the appearance and match well with the sweetened malt.

M: Light-to-medium body with good carbonation and a nice creaminess.

D: Very drinkable. Great Fall season session beer.

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Photo of oline73
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy amber with a creamy off white head. Decent retention. The smell is sweet and grainy with some toffee and a fruity note. The taste follows from the smell. It's sweet but not overly so. I'm getting a slight fruity note along with some caramel. The finish is full of slightly sweet grain. The beer is dry, seems slightly chalky. Smooth carbonation.

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Photo of oberon
3.72/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown with a medium sticky head,the aroma is of course nutty and malty sweet.The taste is pretty rich for the appearance pretty nutty and earthy with a sweet malt backbone.Somewhat with a lighter looking brown ale with such a rich taste to it.Not a bad brew but maybe a little overated.

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Photo of nickfl
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Medium sized light brown head that settles to a film of large bubbles. Dark brown body with good clarity.

S - Nutty with a slight caramel note and brown, toasty malt. Clean fermentation profile with little to no hop aroma.

T - Malty toffee flavor with sweet, nutty flavors in the middle. Caramel and light hop flavor in the finish with mild bitterness.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation and a dry finish.

D - Excellent nutty, malt character. A little lacking in aroma and could use a bit more hop character. Overall, a good example of the style and reasonably drinkable.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a reddish brown with a 1/2" off-white head which recedes to the rim and leaves spotty lace. Aroma of malt, and faint sweetness. Flavors of nutty grains and malt. Somewhat rustic and pleasant.

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Photo of mothman
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours 1 and ½ fingers of light tan head. Ok retention leaving some splattered lace. Color is a clear copper brown.

Aroma: Hmm.. I seem to really enjoy the aroma. Carmel, light chocolate notes, nuts, and grassy hops. Very elegant in a way.

Taste: Roasty malts, caramel, light chocolate again. Grassy hops with some nut flavor, sugar. I am fairly impressed here.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, a little crisp, kind of has a skunky flavor to it. Light to medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a roasted malt flavor aftertaste.

Overall, this beer exceeded my expectations. It is a good brown ale. Worth buying. The only part I didn't like was the English part of it and it bringing some skunkiness with it. Still, I like. My big bottle won't be hard to finish.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550 ml bottle into imperial pint glass, bottled on 8/21/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear reddish copper color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big caramel, molasses, raisin, toast, toffee, brown bread, light nuttiness, floral, and toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and moderate fruity notes. Taste of big caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, raisin, brown bread, floral, nuttiness, light roast, and toasted earthiness. No bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, raisin, brown bread, floral, nuttiness, light roast, and light earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic flavor balance and complexity of malt flavors with moderate fruitiness; very robust for 5% with no cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent english brown ale! Great balance and complexity of robust flavors; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice appearance. Russet brown in color with excellent clarity and a full, but not very dense, tan colored head. The head holds well and leaves some very good lace. Light bodied but somewhat creamy. The aroma is of sweet caramel malt with a lightly mineral character and just a touch of diacetyl. The flavor is as the aroma suggests, with a fairly dry, softly biscuity malt with some light caramel undertones and only a very slight touch of hops. There's no chocolate or toasted malt character present. A firm bitterness balances and it finishes quickly, dry with some residual earthy hops. A very memorable beer that keeps you coming back for more.

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Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served in pint glass.

When I first tried this beer about 20 years ago, I thought it was probably the best beer I had ever had. (I was probably right). Having one for the first time since joining BA, I had high hopes but some anticipation that it could be disappointing - I've tried a lot of beers over the past 2 decades. Well, it was not at all disappointing. Perhaps not the very best brown ale I've ever had, but excellent, upholding its reputation as a gold standard of English browns.

Plenty of caramel malt in the aroma. Tastes only slight nutty at first, but a more notable nuttiness in the excellent malty finish. Perfect balance of flavors. Slightly fruity.

Mouthfeel - a tad thin; otherwise excellent, with perfect carbonation.

O - outstanding example of style. Refined and superbly crafted.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Variegated dark tawny (like tanned leather) with distinct ruby highlights when backlit. The head is indeed nut brown in color, although it's more raw almond than roasted pecan. It's also substantive enough to resist immediate aerosolization and is preventing me from assessing the aroma for the time being. The colors of head and beer contrast nicely. Modest lace.

Even though the nose is dark malty, it eschews any sense of roastedness that would cause it to bump up against the style guidelines. I smell a toasted brown bread bottom, a lightly oven toasted nutty middle and a lightly brown sugary top. Not outstanding, but more than solid.

Still solid, more than solid actually, on the palate. I get the sense that if I looked up 'nut brown ale' in the BA dictionary, I'd see a picture of this beer. It's predominantly malty with a brown bready, nutty, somewhat cocoa-like flavor profile. I can also appreciate a certain amount of spiciness (cinnamon? nutmeg?) and a somewhat stingy degree of English hoppiness.

There's a good mix of malt and hops as evidenced by a near perfect balance among sweet, sour, and bitter. The finish tends toward dry and is increasingly hoppy, with wonderful flavors of English Breakfast tea-soaked brown bread. The body has just the right amount of heft for the style and the beer has a soft, well-mannered mouthfeel. Drinkability is sky high.

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale is classic beer. I can imagine a better version, but I don't know that I've had a better version. There is very little wrong with this one and I'm sorry it took me so long to find that out. I'm grateful to be able to add another beer to the depressingly too short list of locally available worthies.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep, garnet-hued body with a full, foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Decently aromatic toasted malt aroma that certainly is nutty with light traces of hops.

Taste: Smooth toasted maltiness with some roasted nuts and a light caramelly sweetness. Spicy hops with a light bitterness. The sweet tries to rebound, but ultimately the mild bitterness wins out on the relatively crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent, easily drinkable English Brown.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, nuts, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste is malty and a little smoky with flavors of caramel, honey and nuts. There's a decent hops presence for the style and provides a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, if I were in the mood for this style, I could certainly drink quite a few of this beer.

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Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,805 ratings.
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