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

3,870 Ratings
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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Ratings: 3,870 |  Reviews: 1,473
Photo of airforbes1
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours true to the type, a brown or perhaps a dark copper color. Modest head retention. The smell is modest, with hints of nuts and wood.

The tastes are subtle. They start with the typical English ale fruitiness (maybe some plum or grape?) followed by a touch of almond. Nothing overbearing. A straightforward example of the style and another solid offering from Samuel Smith's.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nut Brown Ale smells malty and full of chocolate, as well as boasting aromas of freshly-baked bread. The nose does have a bit of a sour edge, but sugars and dark fruit esters dominate, the latter including banana and pear.

On the tongue, the first impression is almost cider-like, with slightly sour apple and pear flavors. These quickly dissipate to reveal a full body of chocolate malts, vanillas, caramelized brown sugars, and pecans. The flavors here are distinct, but light; this is a nuanced and subtle brew, rather than a hit-you-over-the-head tongue-throbber. Sugars last for a fairly long time, joined by light citrus and rosewater notes from the hops. The aftertaste is mainly toasted grains, and comes across as biscuit-like, or un-buttered toast. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good fare, and far more accessible than many of its peers; drinkers unfamiliar with the style will find this nut brown ale easy to quaff.

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Photo of DrewSnyc667
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

550 mL bottle poured into a shaker pint glass...

A - Beautiful leathery tan colored, copper and auburn. Pours a lovely 2 in head that recedes to an inch and is constantly prevalent. Thick creamy lacing. Decent activity. Absolutely Superb

S - Lot's going on. Rich caramel and honey malts. Low hop bite. Buttered Toffee and hazelnuts

T - Big malty front, Nutty finish. A bit plain though, was expecting more of a wow, especially after the smell.

M - Very smooth, A bit thin but it allows the beer to be surprisingly refreshing for the style.

O - An excellent brown ale. May be a bit on the boring side for some, but a classic example of an important style and it should not be missed or taken lightly.

Also, let it warm up a bit, this is amazingly better at room temp

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Photo of flipper2gv
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A beer I've been wanting to review for a long time.

A: Nice dark amber/brown color, perfectly translucent. Head is beige, looks creamy, 3 fingers worth. Retention is really good and lacing is pretty good too.

S: The smell is wonderful. There is a really nice amount of brown sugar and molasses (which are the dominant smells). Some good maple and cinnamon. Light pepper, nutmeg and vanilla. Straightforward but wonderful.

T: Well, it carries its name very well as it has a really nice nut flavor to it. Not as sweet as the smell too. Nice earthy and lightly grassy hop profile. Definitely bready and has good amount of nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon, vanilla and molasses.

M: Not as smooth as expected. Medium body with high carbonation.

O: This is a really good beer that is deep in the roots of what is a british beer. Really well made, but nothing spectacular.

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Photo of evlu1441
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a deep ruby colour with a nice thin layer of head settling out on top.

The nose is rich and slightly chocolaty, with some fresh floral notes coming through alongside some slightly fruity yeasty aroma.

The flavour is and slightly sweet to start, but quite clean. Notes of molasses come through alongside toasty malt. It finishes quite try, but then a very lovely aftertaste of walnut and hops comes through. It's very aromatic, and keeps me craving another drink.

Overall, this is a very good example of the style. It is easy drinking and not too overpowering, while having subtle complexity.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Newcastle Brown Ale.

Appearance: Clear brown with moderate carbonation. Huge, off-white and creamy head that was mostly lasting. Good lacing.

Smell: Bread, roasted, and nutty aromas. The aroma improved as the beer warmed.

Taste: Matched the aroma. Moderate sweetness and bitterness. Roasted and nutty with hints of coffee and chocolate. Slight earthiness and spice. The finish had an average duration.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body that was creamy. Lively carbonation. The alcohol was not at all apparent.

Overall: This was and still is one of my favorites. This beer definitely improves as it warms. It might be a 5 for me if it had a more vibrant and nutty aroma.

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Photo of pBRale
4.61/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance--Beautiful deep amber color, exceptionally clear, well carbonated, with a creamy off-white head formation leaving behind moderate lacing.

Smell--mostly nutty aroma with a hint of toffee and a very slight earthiness.

Taste--Toffee-like sweetness blended with a toasted nut maltiness that leaves the palate with a hint of bitterness. Nutty aftertaste lingers long after each drink. Finely carbonated from the first sip to the last.

Mouthfeel--fairly heavy presence in the mouth, more so than I expected; smooth and creamy.

Overall--Excellent beer that is well worth every penny.

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Photo of Jemonster
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Looks like root beer but a little bit of a lighter shade of brown. High carbonation and big bubbles with a cloudy white head that goes away after a couple of minutes and drinks.

S: Milk caramels and pecans up front, roasted sweetness all the way. A little bit of smoke and rye.

T: More pecans, and some walnut with a lot of caramel sweetness. Malted milk and some coffee biterness.

M: Not as carbonated as it looks and a little more viscosity than expected. Smooth and rich on the tongue.

O: Blows Newcastle out of the water. Its got depth of flavor and a full body. I like it.

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Photo of kflorence
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Imported from my profile - APR 7, 2008

550ml bottle, pours a deep almond brown with off-white head that lasts awhile. Smells sweet, almost like toffee. Light on the tongue, not overly complex but very smooth and tasty. Notes of burnt nuts, light hops, malts and toffee. It is not overly carbonated, which I enjoyed, and it’s very easy to drink. A very enjoyable brown ale, even if it is slightly less complex than some of the others.

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Photo of StoutishDan
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked this up at Trader Joe's for $3.49. I can only hope it lives up to the hype.

A - Smooth dark brown color with a reddish shade. Nice creamy finger thick head. Super sticky lacing.

S - Sweet aroma with some carmelly roasted nuts.

T - Sweet up front. A smidgen of carmel sweetness. Slight bready finish, but very expensive tasting bread, ha.

O - My excitement has paid off. This beer has all the right stuff going for it. It is sweet, satisfying and perfect in almost ever possible area.

I've looked at other reviews on Ba and I feel as if they drank an entirely different beer from me. Clear bottles? Skunk? Watery? I'm really sad that their experience was ruined because of skunk.

If a beer is skunked DON't REVIEW IT!

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Photo of SamN
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Lively and active beer starts the head flowing immediately after popping the cap. Billowy, soapy tan foam everywhere! The beer itself is a very dark amber/mahogany hue, slightly chill hazed and with lots of visible carbonation coming up from the bottom. THe excellent head retains for a good while, maintaining it's body and activity far into the tasting. Classic English ale looks, deep, dark but not opaque. Quite the beauty. Smell is of sweet hazelnuts, an almost woody malt aroma, some slight fruit notes, like apples and figs with a yeasty, doughy background. Pretty good, but not exactly what I was expecting. SMell doesn't seem firm like a borwn ale should, the malt aromas seem flimsy and has a distinct doughy, raw edge to it. Too much fruit in the nose for my tastes, but overall not a bad aroma; just not quite up my alley. Taste, also, seems a tad flimsy and loose. Definitely has a malt foundation, but it seems undermined by a distinctly crisp apple taste; the antithesis of what I exepct in a brown ale. Maybe because it's English my expectation are misplaced, but too me, this isn't what I want in a brown ale. Not enough rich nutty, bready and creamy flavors. Tastes seem to fall flat, not fleshed out. Finish is a little dry. Mouthfeel, however, is excellent. Smooth and fuller bodied, quite nice on the palette; wish the flavors were better along side the excellent mouthfeel.

Underwhelmed by this highly-praised beer. Not nutty enough for me, or just not in the right vein. A bit of a dud for me. At least the price is right.

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Photo of leansean88
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Slick, amber brown ale pours smooth with a thin lacy head. A few bubbles float about.

S - Fantastic sweet, brown sugar, syrup and malt. An absolute treat to smell.

T - Not quite as good as it smells, but similar. Creamy malt, brown sugar and sweetness. Can't complain.

M - Creamy feeling I've come to expect from Samuel Smith's. Carbonation does not impede a nice crisp feeling on the tongue.

O - After trying this and the Imperial Stout, I need to try more from this brewing company. This was a lovely ale with a good deal of drinkablity. Maybe not as good as the Imperial Stout, but that's more for personal preference. It's still worth it just to smell the nice flavors it has to offer.

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

Poured into a pint glass creating a thick foamy beige head that hung around a bit leaving a blanket of foam and lace.

Smelled of malt, sweet notes, and nuts, bread.

The nutty flavors presented with a bit of the astringent black walnut and maybe some brazil nut. Some grains and a hop kick thrown in as well

Easy drinking and very approachable and full of flavor. Lingering finish. Well done.

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Photo of NWer
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass. Clear brown appearance with incredibly abundant head retention. Nice looking beer. Head laces well.
Smooth taste up front. Almonds with some bitterness at the end.
Another great offering from Samuel Smith's Brewery.
My only problem is it went down too easily. Not a sipping beer unless you have more discipline than I have.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a nice brown color with a reddish tinge. the head is tan in color fluffy and lasts pretty long. the smell is sweet caramel malty and inviting. the flavor follows the smell with sweet caramel malts up front and just a hint of bitterness in the finish. mouthfeel is medium bodied . overall the best nut brown i have had

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

550ml bottle moderate agressively poured into my "Who Dat" New Orleans Saints mug.

Dark brown pour with reddish copper hue. Semi transparent. Four finger head frothy light khaki head that takes a minute to simmer down. Awesome looking Brown Ale!

Nose is kind of muted on this one. I am picking up mild sweet nutty bready toffee notes. It isnt overpowering by any means, everything just pokes its' head through to say a timid "hello".

Nutty toffee all over the palate! Hints of molasses on the back of the tongue, but mostly it is a nutty flavor that dominates here. On the end of this is a bitterness, but not the same taste as an IPA bitter, its more of a dry nutty bitter. Very different from anything I've tasted before.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side, I would prefer this to be a little bit thicker.

Picked this up for $3.99. Priced well, but not really my favorite style by any means. I dont think I will be re-visiting this.

Overall, I am really not a Brown Ale advocate. I will most certainly drink it & reflect on it happily, but its not among my top 10 styles. I reviewed this beer as competently as I could in terms of style. Its a solid Brown Ale, especially if you like nutty/toffee flavors.

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Photo of draheim
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550mL bottle (no bottled-on or best-by date) poured into an imperial pint glass.

Crystal clear, rich amber beer w/ a monstrous puffy off-white/light tan head that develops nicely and hangs around.

Aroma: Not much going on here. Very mild malt, caramel aroma but I'm not picking up much.

Unlike most beers that feature a balance between malt and hops or maybe yeast in the case of a Belgian, this one seems to showcase the water. This is a nice, thirst-quenching beer. Decent mouthfeel, goes down easy. Crisp and light, but also a slight roasted bitterness. The flavor might be a little weak, but this is pretty drinkable. Would be easy to gulp this down quickly.

That said, I don't know that I'll be going out of my way for it again. It's fine, but not really memorable in any way.

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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 woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fear not, loyal followers, I have not abandoned The CANQuest (TM), bottle be getting back to it real soon, I promise!

From the bottle: "Brewed at Samuel Smith's small, traditional British brewery with well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), best barley malt, roasted barley, yeast and aromatic hops. Nut Brown Ale is relatively dry with a rich amber-brown colour and nutty flavour derived exclusively from small amounts of dark malt. Brown ales are a specialty of northern England. Fermented in 'stone Yorkshire squares'."; "'Samuel Smith's of Tadcaster has the richest, maltiest and nuttiest of brown ales.' (Michael Jackson's Beer Companion)"; "Samuel Smith's brews at a small, traditional British brewery, the oldest brewery in Yorkshire."; Captioning a picture: "Rousing during fermentation in 'stone Yorkshire squares' to redistribute the flocculent Old Brewery yeast strain."

My pour created two thick fingers of deep-mocha head with excellent retention. I would have called the colour "garnet". but I will defer to "amber-brown", and with NE-quality clarity. Nose was both nutty and chocolaty, like a Hershey's Bar with Almonds. Actually, allow me to amend that to a Cadbury's Fruit & Nut bar since I also caught some raisiny smells in there. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste had a molasses quality on the tongue, not sweet at all, but more bittersweet. Interesting. Finish was likewise more bitter than sweet, completely unexpected and welcome by someone who does not really like sweet, malty beers.

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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 minterro
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pint bottle pour into a glass

A: Super thick head with a light tan color, that fades a bit but stays with the beer the whole way down. Doesn’t leave much lacing. Small but vigorous bubbles rising from the bottom. The beer is a sweet/black ice tea color.

S: Roasted nuts, crushed grains, and sweet hard candies.

T: Toffee, apple cedar, toasty malts. In mid taste I defiantly taste of butter layers. It seems to get more hoppy as you get closer to the finish. Finishes soft with hints of butterscotch and then bread. It’s complex all right!

M: Smooth, creamy, and a tad bit rich even with a medium bodied. it clings to the teeth. Crisp even when smooth. Carbonation is perfect. Very drinkable

O: I can understand why this is a world-class beer, but you also paying a world class price for it. Normally, this beer is 9.29 a pint before tax at Meijer’s however, because of a HUGE price drop down to a mere 4 dollars. I actually didn’t feel bad about trying it and now I’m thinking of stocking up while the prices are still low. If you are not a poor college student I would recommend trying this beer asap, however if your not wealthy then no worries, I don’t think this beer is a must try, but it is the best brown ale I have ever tried.

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

Aromas begin with some light caramel maltiness and a little background roastedness. The main aromas are fresh baked bread and sublte nuttiness that becomes more apparent as this warms. Would prefer more but I can't complain.

The taste is an improvement from the nose. It begins with brown maltiness mixed with lesser notes of graham cracker, nuts, and a little cocoa as it warms. A little earth and spice from some hops I presume (first time I noticed any). somewhat cocoa-like flavor profile. I can

Mouthfeel is a little weak and watered down for my liking but it is only 5%ABV so... Carbonation is also a little light but the finish is on the dry side thanks to the hops I presume, which is nice.

Overall, Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale is classic beer. I have had numerous brown ales that are better but it's a classic from a brewery that helped me to get into craft beer in the first place. You dont NEED to try it but you should. Probably one of the top 5 English Style Brown ales, just not tops for all Brown ales.

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Photo of moosemoose
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to pint glass

A: dark, perfect brown with dirty tan head. Good lacing.

S: Smells like a malty chocolate candy bar with nuts. Maybe a hint of cherry.

T: Malt, pecan, hazelnut, caramel, toffee, and a splash of coffee.

M: Smooth and light. Almost perfect. No bitter aftertaste.

O: One of my favorites for sure. A little creamier and thicker and this would be the best beer.

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

Grabbed this bottle from Binny's.

Appearance is dark brown and clear. Almost similar to a lighter stout. Head is offwhite (almost dirty white), but small.

Smell is full of roasted maltiness, caramel in particular. Tastes much like it smells, burnt caramel. I didn't pick up any fruity smells or tastes on this one, but they might be there somewhere. Not too bitter. Slight carbonation. Goes down easy, a bit watery, but not in a bad way.

Overall a decent beer. I could definitely drink this again (and will, 4-pack!), but I was expecting more from one of the highest ranking beers of this style. Maybe it's the style, maybe it's the beer...not as good as I thought, but still a stellar beer!

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Photo of shand
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

This brew pours a nice brown color with a finger of head that lingers for quite some time. Lacing is nice. The aroma here is very nice. Consists of some nice nutty malts over that signature Sam Smith's scent that I can't help but think comes from their famous well water. The taste comes on smooth with the signature mineral character, paired with a smooth maltiness that reveals a nice, subtle nuttiness. Very good tasting.

The mouthfeel is good, it's medium-bodied and has a decent level of carbonation. The drinkability is very good. Really, what else could you want from an English Brown Ale? This is just a superb brew that tastes delicious and goes down very easily.

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Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,870 ratings.
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