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

3,890 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,890 |  Reviews: 1,477
Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
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%
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 -3.7%
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 -0.7%
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 +22.5%
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 -18.4%
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 +7.6%
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 -1.2%
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 -0.5%
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 +18.1%
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 -6.1%
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 -7.8%
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 -51%
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 +1.7%
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 -6.1%
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 +6.9%
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 -6.1%
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 +12.3%
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 -2%
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 +8.3%
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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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.64/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a darker brown color, with a decent size, but long lasting tan head. The smell was rich, very malty, and some nut like flavors can be dedected. The taste is full, nicfe and heavy, a bit sweet, strong malt flavors, and just a hint of some kind of nut. Very full non watery flavor, very strong for a brown ale. Overall the creme of the crop for brown ales, I dont think I have had a better one.

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Photo of Yoonisaykul
2.98/5  rDev -27%
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 jifigz
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: The appearance of this beer is just perfect for a nut brown. It is a deep, rich mahogany brown/ copper with a decent half inch head that lingers for quite a while.

S: I can't detect much aroma from this beer at the moment. I am only getting faint burnt and caramel type of smells.

T: A pretty good taste, but overall light and not overpowering. This tastes like a great beer for people who are only used to huge American macro lagers. The taste features light burnt notes and deep rich caramel. A very slight bitterness is present as well.

M: A bit thin and watery to my palate, but the carbonation is light and very enjoyable. Very smooth and easy to drink.

O: A great session beer. This is a pretty well crafted Nut Brown. I don't think it is anything spectacular, but it is good. This isn't one of my favorite styles but this one is well crafted.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My 100th review.

Poured from 22 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark brownish amber red with a moderate amount of rising bubbles. Big off white head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: Sweet roasted malts with caramel, toffee, sugar, nuts, cherry, and a hint of dark fruits.

Taste: A sweet kick from the roasted malts, cherry, and cranberry is followed by nuts and a light hop bitterness. Slightly tart. Very tasty and interesting.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body with a lighter carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

Overall: A very good and interesting version of a brown ale. It's flavor is unique and tasty.

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Photo of harrymel
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle date: unk

A: pours brown, single finger of peanut head. Brilliant clarity. Spotty on cobweb lacing.

S: Hazelnut, caramel, praline, brown sugar. Good nose. Malts are sweet and easy. Slightest hints of metals.

T: Whoa, the metal is forefrontal. Sweet, subtle molasses and hazelnut falls in here. The beer is relatively simple, and surprisingly, there is a hint of alcohol, weird.

M: Medium to light with low carb. Mouth watering. Pretty good for the style. Used to a little more dry, and prefer this take.

O: Good beer. For brown ales, pretty much in the top rankings I've had. But I am not particularly impressed with the beer as a whole personally.

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Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.08 out of 5 based on 3,890 ratings.
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