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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Ratings: 3,890 |  Reviews: 1,477
Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Clear brownish garnet with orange highlights around the edges. This brew has a thick, but fleeting, off-white head--descending into a thin fuzzy cap of bubbles over the liquid.

There are immediate notes of maple syrup, and sweet barley malt. Deep cherry aromas, and preserved figs are also here.

The taste is decidedly maltier than the aroma. There is a grainy backbone over which I notice the sweet and just so mildly bitter hops so typical of British ales. The fruitiness isn't as pronounced as the nose, but they're all still here--lurking in the background. The finish is of a slightly bitter taste of something like pecans or hazelnuts.

This particular brew has a thick texture, but it doesn't drink like a heavy beer at all. Slick, and viscous, it's got a really nice texture.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich brown, burgundy when held up to the light, with tan, creamy head, with good retention and some lacing.

Smells of cranberry, almond, and malt - a delightful nose.

Almond smooth up front giving way to cranberry tartness, finishing dry and creamy at the same time. A wonderful brown ale unique and full of flavor.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5-9-11
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A – Poured one finger of foam, nice creamy head with a fair amount of carbonation present. Dark brown color

S – Roasted malts, caramel and brown sugar, not a lot of hops aroma

T/M – Lighter bodied with a sweet smooth taste, malty brew with no hop bitterness after taste

D – Overall a pretty tasty brew, a lighter English brown but still very enjoyable. I would get this brew again and for sure recommend it!

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Photo of dalimsta
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle hard poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

Appearance: Dark, slightly reddish brown, with very little head. Slight cream-colored lacing around the edges. Probably should have been served a bit warmer, but restaurants usually deal with customers who want their beers freezing cold.

Smell: Mostly just typical "beer" (I assume people know what I'm talking about), with hints of toffee.

Taste: Interesting, and changed as the beer warmed up. A bit of malty sweetness, which I definitely liked, but also a kind of metallic aftertaste (not quite so nice, but not offensive). Somewhat dry finish, though not nearly as extreme as other examples. Oddly, I got more of an alcohol taste and more metal as the beer warmed—unusual, considering the low ABV. Disappointingly, no hazelnut. Overall well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Just the way I like it. Nice medium body with just enough carbonation to stimulate the palate without feeling watery or overwhelmingly bubbly.

Overall: Definitely a pleasant, high-quality beer overall. Some quirks that may not be typical (other reviews don't mention them); I will definitely give this beer another tasting sometime soon.

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Photo of titosupertramp
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, redish in color. Two fingers of soapy, tan head with large bubbles. Recedes fairly slow and leaves a frothy film. Very nice lacing around the entire glass.

S: First thing I notice is tart fruit actually..cherry, maybe. Caramel, nuts, some breadiness. Nice smell, tartness is a bit of a surprise.

T: There's that tart fruit, cherry taste again. Caramel sweetness, earthiness, nutty flavors. There's just a slight hop bitterness towards the end.

M: Frothy head produces a creamy characteristic that I like a lot. Semi-dry, tart finish.

O: This is a good, everyday beer that goes down easy. I could drink a few of these in one sitting no problem and would be very happy doing it.

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Photo of imbibehour
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A five finger head that has a great fluffy consistency. Head color is off white to very light tan. Really great ruby/brown color that has a great glow. Beer seems to be stuck in suspended animation.

Smell is initially powdered malt and biscuit. Small sense of wooded dry nut as well. Kind of muted but it's there and pleasant.

Taste is a little wet bodied but very interesting. Powdery sense of yeast and malt, with a whisp of brown nut tannic shell from say almonds or walnuts. Dry finish but tolerable, I like this wet/dry sensation as you drink throughout. Small sense of carbonation but just an ever so slight hint and not much.

Great tasting brew what can I say overall, these guys never fail.

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Photo of Matt1516
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I remember being blown away by this label when I sampled it in a mix-pack years ago. It still holds up:

Amber-brown in appearance with a frothy cream head. It smells of caramel and nuts.

The mouthfeel is perfectly smooth and buttery and it tastes like roasted malts and syrup. Mild bitterness and crispness on the finish.

Still a great example of a brown ale.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Iron Horse mug.

A Pours a deep amber color with a white long lasting head that leaves a good bit of lacing.

S Has a nutty caramel malt note, with some biscuit and sweet fruit type notes as well.

T Upon tasting caramel comes out along with some nuttiness almost like walnuts and a bit of a fruity kind of sour note.

M Full creamy mouthfeel.

Overall I can see why this is considered one of the top English brown ales. It is complex but still subtle. All in all an excellent drink.

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Photo of machostacos
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from gold foil-capped bottle into my favorite tulip glass.

A: Deep ruby-hued brown with a thick soapy head that dissipates to a thin, wispy film and collar that hugs the rim of the glass. Spotty lacing.

S: Nutty, buttery aroma with hints of dark fruit, a little butterscotch, and some faint breadiness.

T: Sweet nutty, bready malts, herbal hop notes, butter, and some sweet sticky fruits. Very clean. A lingering aftertaste of buttered whole wheat toast. There's a flash of an almost La Folie-esque sourness in the middle that gives it a nice little kick.

M: Medium-full, creamy, with low carbonation. A little watery.

O: No question why this is such a world-renowned Nut Brown Ale. It's nothing flashy, but hits everything on the head. A true classic.

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Photo of matt20102
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served at refrigerator temperature into goblet. Pours with a fantastic head- thick but not too much and one which dissipates at a great pace (slowly, but allowing me to drink shortly). After a minute or two, a lacing remains. Colour and appearance is wonderful- a rich, crystal-clear brown with no haze. The initial aroma and flavor is of malt- rish British malt- and biscuit. Hop presence is minimal and somewhat earthy, subtly reminiscent of earth, but very clean. The first indication is that this should be a very malty beer but the sweetness is very well controlled and the hops, which are subtle, swim in perfect balance. The nut flavour is not immediately present until you are reminded that it is there- and then it's obvious. There is a subtle complexity to this beer which would keep me coming back. Highly recommended.

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Photo of mcallister
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful amber colored, clean and crisp. A large frothy head only slightly off white holds long retention and leaves a thin soapy layer of lace in its wake.

Ahh the aroma of Sammy Smith's is so distinct. Be it the slate or the water it's one of those smells the olfactory does not relinquish. Winey aromas, with bready malts, fruity and hints of different nuts. A hint of sweetness and earthiness help round things out.

Roasty malts, dark breads, layered nutty flavors, with some earthy musty tones, the standout Sammy flavor in the middle and finish. Very clean and flinty. Fruity in the middle and finish as well but hard for me to place what the fruit flavor is. Raisin or fig maybe? Nice dry finish with earthy hops. Great with the BBQ chicken I'm having.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I stored this bottle in the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 20 minutes before pouring into a bar clean glass. The beer appeared dark clear mahogany with 2 fingers of nice fluffy foam on top. My nose detected hints of nuts and cedar, but all in all it was a bit tame.

I immediately taste the nuttiness of the malt. The texture is very creamy, though not overly rich. In fact, as I move the beer across my palate I detect some spice.

This is the first time I've had this beer in about 10 years. It is quite complex for a brown ale. I like it a lot and should revisit it more often.

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Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
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 bayougutter
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip. Nice dark brown color with red highlights when held to light. Good size off white head that dissipated quickly and left good lacing. Smells of sweet malt mostly with some dark fruits and toffee. Taste is the sweet malts at first then blends to nutty toffee/caramel with overripe dates. Mouthfeel was good with carb just to my liking. Overall a well done brown ale and a good example of the style. Worth a try.

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Photo of Chico1985
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beer I've always been very interested to try, finally stuck one in a mix-a-six.

Pours brown, red when held to the light. Big ol off-white head retains nicely at a finger and leaves a bit of lace.

Nose is mostly malts (nutty and toffee), a really nice sugary raisin/sweet dark fruit thing going on too.

Nuts, toffee/caramel, buttery malts and English yeast up-front, a little grainy. More sweet on the back end with light fruit and earthy notes, nice uber-nutty and toasty finish that lingers.

Very smooth and full mouthfeel, does feel a bit under-carbonated to me.

I'm not the biggest brown ale fan, but you gotta give love to the classics. Exceptionally balanced, smooth, and nutty.

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Photo of Brunite
4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This is a nice dark brown color with an off-white head. Body is clear.

S: Malt. Classic brown here. Malt forward on the it should be.

T: Classic. IMHO...this is the quintessential brown ale. The malt taste here is amazing....and unique. This is all bout the malt. Sweet...but balanced.

M: Medium bodied.

O: A classic. This is my favorite brown of all time. Epic stuff here. This is worthy of all accolades it gets. Need to pick this up in four packs whenever on sale!

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Photo of Jimmys
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: definitely a reddish/brown but super bright and clear. off-white head starts very bubbly and intense and transitions to a film with some decent retention around the rim.

S: a low toast. the nuttiness is intense. pistachio, macadamia, peanut combo. sweet caramel wafts between the nuts.

T: moderate sweetness turns to a very dry finish. the nuttiness is there as well, but not as verbose as it was in the nose. maybe a little diacetyl.

M: light/medium body with medium carbonation. definitely big bubbles versus fine.

D: simple style, but nicely complex within itself. always nice to see such widely available, good examples of the style.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer manages to stay perfectly clear, colored brown, and have a thick creamy head.
The aroma is mostly bready with brown sugar, as are the flavors, which include the namesake nutty profile.
This is a great one to pair with food, as it is refreshing and would pair well with most standard pub offerings, drinking this actually makes me want some Fish n Chips.

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Photo of JohnFatAss
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With such high ratings on Beer Advocate, I had very high expectations before drinking this brown ale.

It is a beautiful clear brown color with a tan, creamy head.

A faint sweet smell.

The taste is good. Carmel malts up front and finishes with a dry and the slightest bitter after taste.

Mouthfeel is good too. Not watery like Newcastle.

Very mild, very smooth and extremely easy to drink.

It is good beer, but I do not think it is outstanding by any means.
Just a little weak on flavor.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.2/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had this beer as part of a beer appreciation program at Cloverleaf Tavern in New Jersey.

I poured the beer into a weizen glass. It had a one finger head. The color was a light brown (shocking, a brown beer with that color). The head held until the first drink. It left some pretty lacing on the glass.

The aroma was of english hops, but not much more. I was looking for some nuttiness, but I couldn't find it.

The drinkability was nice and clean. There wasn't much challenge in the taste of this beer. It wasn't a bad flavor, but it wasn't exceptional. The taste is average. The beer has a very nice history, but they had plenty of time to improve on the flavor (but didn't). They brag about the process on the label, but not the flavor as much. I tried to identify a nut flavor from the taste, and then I tried to figure which nut it was. The label didn't even say which nut. I like some nut flavor, but I wish they could have picked a nut.

Side note: what is up with the foil? I know that used to be a sign of quality. Now the flavor alone determines the quality. The foil is only good for getting in your beer. It is just a pain in the drinking process.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a Euro-size bottle into a Guinness tulip pint.

A: Pours a deep ruby, but far from brown...I feel a little jipped. Looks like a British mild.

S: Smells like a mild. There is caramel and nuts, but also a lot of metallic harshness.

T: Taste begins with the smell: caramel and metal, but quickly improves. Walnuts and cashews shine through and brown sugar and chocolate in the finish.

D: Nice smooth drinking. This is a session beer for sure and a damned good one. Goes down easy and it would be nice if I had another one.

Overall: A nice little nut brown that surprised me. It has a lot in common with a mild, but this one has a very unique character and nails its flavours. The lower Sam Smith price will assure that I will be returning to this beer soon.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear brown with a khaki color head that thinned down leaving a couple of spots of lacing.

S - sweet roasted malt aroma.

T - this is a malty beer, sweet caramel and toffee with roasty notes and a little bit of earthy flavor.

F - medium bodied with fine carbonation, smooth and easy to drink.

O - a very good English ale.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

18.7oz clear bottle. No freshness date noticed.
Served in a Nonic pint glass.
It pours a shiny nutmeg brown color with a fast-fading off-white head along with some webby lacing.
I love the nutty, earthy aroma at first pour. Sweet malty and tea-like smells mingle with a light whiff of fruit cup and bread dough. A very distant smell of cut green wood is noticed.
The flavors are incredibly uniform and tasty without any off tastes or weighted flavor profiles. Nicely balanced!
The nutty malty sweetness is tempered with tea-like, light citrus and a faint pear-like fruitiness. A mild alcohol fuminess peeks through in perfect harmony.
The mouthfeel is slick, not oily. A little buttery, not thick.
Delectable liquid brew!

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Photo of ToddT
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear medium brown with some ruby highlights. It is topped with a thick tan off white head. Head fades quickly to a cap, which is long lasted and leaves some thick lacing on the glass.

S- Strong roasted malt, caramel, molasses, slight raisin, and plum in there notes too.

T- Malt, roasted but not overly strong, some sweet caramel notes come out in the middle and then a slight herbal note of hops at the finish. The finish is dry and lingering, mostly roasted malt and a hint of herbal hops make up the aftertaste.

M- Medium in body and well carbonated, thought there would be a little more body based on the appearance and aroma, but it's not lacing here. This is a case where lighter only adds to the drinkability.

D- Easy drinker and the 5% ABV make this a session beer.

Wonderfully done, this the benchmark of the style.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.46/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nut Brown pours a garnet hued brown color and appears quite clear when held up to a light. The head is light tan in color and has very nice retention, leaving splashy lace on the glass.

The aroma is quite malty with a good amount of toffee and caramel as well as some pecan like notes and a bit of fruity character. Just a touch of herbal hops come into play as well, but the malt really rules the aroma in this beer.

Much like in the aroma, the malt is the main player in this beer. It is very sweet with an extremely rich mix of caramel, toffee, nuts, fruitcake, cocoa and brown sugar. The earthy herbal hops are present but fairly well buried, though their bitterness keeps this brew from going off the deep end with the malt sweetness.

The body is medium with a bit more carbonation than I think I would care for. The beer also seems to have a bit of a watery character to it, which is quite surprising given the maltiness. I think the hops may be most apparent on the fairly dry finish.

Overall this beer was not really my cup of tea. I think it mostly boiled down to the fact that I did not really care for the malt character it had to offer. It was still a decent beer and no doubt a pretty classic example from a brewery that has been around for a very long time.

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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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