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

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown AleSamuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale
3,901 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,901 |  Reviews: 1,478
Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
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 +6.6%
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 -6.4%
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%
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 -2.2%
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 +8.1%
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 +13.4%
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 -27.1%
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 -6.6%
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 +8.8%
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 -13.7%
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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Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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%
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 -2.2%
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 +0.2%
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 -0.2%
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 +5.9%
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 -4.6%
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%
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 -3.4%
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 +3.4%
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 -11.2%
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 +4.9%
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 +0.2%
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 -5.1%
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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Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 3,901 ratings
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