Nut Brown Ale | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Nut Brown AleNut Brown Ale
3,941 Ratings
Nut Brown AleNut 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:
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Ratings: 3,941 |  Reviews: 1,485
Photo of evanlarkin
3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber, almost brown. Red through the light. 2 fingers of foamy head which disappears quickly leaving just a bit of lacing.

Sweet and malty. It could be described as nutty. Not much detectable hops other than a light lemony note.

Sweet and malty, with some apple notes. Nothing resembling bitterness at all. Not boozy either. Very "fresh" tasting.

Full and thick, kind of chewy and creamy. It has all the smoothest feelings in spades.

Okay. I wouldn't have one every day, but available on tap I could see it being a good session beer when I'm not in a hops mood.

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Photo of jakeaustin
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the brown bottle into a nonic. Light brown with a crimson tinge and about 2 fingers of tan head. Smell is nutty with a decent amount of raisin coming through as well. Taste is similar. Plenty of maltiness on the palate. Not overly complex just a nice solid brown ale. Nutty, malty, tasty. No hop flavor at all. Just enough bitterness to stand up to the malt. Finish is fairly dry with flavor lingering for a short time after each sip. Carbonation is on the low side but doesn't bring the beer down at all. Glad to finally taste this, the benchmark of the style.

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Photo of dmfrench
3.69/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light, dry, nutty, wine-like... perfect with foul

A: Deep clear amber body with a quite persistent two finger off white head.

S: Not particularly aromatic... just hints of toasted nuts, spices, neutral hops, and, believe it or not, alcohol.

T: Quite wine in its malt profile... there is buttered rye toast, but at the same time I can almost taste white grapes. Nuts are certainly represented, as almond I believe. Hopping is light but present, lending a nice balance, though somehow reminiscent of BMC.

M: High carbonation almost gives this brew a champagne-like quality... perfect with food, especially fowl.

D: A bit drying and metallic on the finish, so not perfect, but good.

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Photo of MichialTanner1
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A moderate pour into my Optimator mug produced about 2 fingers of cola head, lifting above the rim without spilling over. No lacing would be present by the finish of this beer. The color reminds me of old photo negatives--deep brown, yet completely translucent.

The smell isn't too complex, sort of earthy with sweet, fruity notes. Besides the expected nuttiness, the taste is malty with something of a buttery sweetness. As it warms to maybe 50-55F, really no bitterness/hoppiness can be detected at the finish and I'm immediately ready for another sip.

I think the "fleeting" nature of this beer (disappearing lace, no lingering bitterness) contributes to the lack of feel--but I suspect that isn't so much a goal for brewers of this style, so I don't want to ding it in this category.

This ale is at least on the level of Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout and could have another or two. This one will probably show up in my regular rotation.

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Photo of engagechad
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was purchased in a 3 pack along with the Oatmeal stout and the IPA - Poured into the Samuel Smith imperial pint glass

This beer poured fantastic! Great carb and the foam looked like whipped topping.. Looked like I have a root beer float the way the proteins were affecting the foam formation. Very ruby colored brown, You could see right through it, but it was beautiful.
Smell great too, it smelled.. wel.. nutty! And there was a big apply aroma in there that was so interesting. Taste was wonderful as it was incredibly drinkable and was full of complexities. Nutty, malty and apply but light as well. At times the mouthfeel was a bit stingy but other than that it was a solid brew. I would buy it again.

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Photo of webbcreative
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber to ruby color. Had a nice thick, tan head.

Smell is sweet malts, bready, nutty, smells like i would expect a Nut Brown Ale to smell.

Taste is more of the same, sweet malts, nutty, lightly toasted bread, really really good.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side of medium, I would prefer just a bit more body.

Overall, really solid NBA, almost perfect. Not one thing grabs me as being outstanding - but indeed is a nicely crafted nut brown ale.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes at Old Chicago (2001). Poured from bottle (no date) into english pint glass. Appearance: dark reddish, amber. head settles to a 1/4" thick foam sitting on the beer Aroma: maltiness dominates, bready aroma is subtle Taste: there is a light sweetness, an almost creaminess that dissipates quickly Palate: smooth and slick, this beer feels great. medium body. Overall: this brew is smooth and tasty.

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Photo of Hellabeerguzzler
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the best brown ale I've ever tasted. I love brown ales and this classic is a beautiful brew that will be enjoyed by novice beer drinkers to experienced beer heads. The color is beautiful and with a nice head that lingers a bit and leaves some lacing behind. A nutty, roasty, malty ale with a touch of hops - doesn't disappoint on any level. It's complex and there is a lot going on in there with some fruitiness and some select spiciness (not like someone threw in the whole spice rack either). I can't wait to make some beer bread with this served slightly toasted with some real creamy butter.

Don't need to go on with anything lengthy - these reviews say everything that needs to be said and then some.


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Photo of midwestbrewers
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle

A: Beautiful dark copperish color with quite a bit of carbonation. The head is nice 2 finger and not pure white, but has sort of a tan hue. Decent lacing

S: The only thing that's just OK to me. Relatively malty with some spice in the background.

T: Very good. Nice malty, nutty flavor which is to be expected. Sort of an off-center bitterness comes in towards the end and through the finish. Later the bitterness subsides and becomes very smooth.

This is a perfect example of a beer that tastes very different @ 38-40 degrees than at 45-55 degrees. Serve at 55 according to the website. I think in this beer the nutty flavors come through more once the brew has warmed up a bit. Also the bitterness isn't as sharp and uninviting. Served at the right temp this beer is great! Great Beer Samuel Smith Old Brewery!!

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Photo of scootny
4.77/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Super clear brown liquid with a light cocoa head. Decent retention and nice lacing. Smell is wonderfully sweet and malty with molasses and the namesake nuttiness. Some dark fruitiness, soupcon of butterscotch, and a bit of floral hops. Taste is rich with roasted and toasty flavors. Sweet brown bread starts and flows into nuts and roasted grains with a slight metallic edge. Yeasty fruit esters and a touch of vanilla. Clean slightly dry finish leaves some tea leaves and graham. Feel is medium weight with a semi crisp and smooth persona. Restorative and quenching at the same time.. Goes down so well but the complexity begs for savoring. a superb session ale.

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Photo of KDeLibero
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The classic by which all other Brown Ales are judged, Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale is a specialty of the North of England. English Brown Ale is one of the oldest brewing styles, it got it's start in the late 1600's, and was then known as a "Mild Ale." This just meant that it was much less hoppy and bitter than the more popular Pale Ale of the time, and was also a bit younger. Since then, the style has evolved into an incredibly friendly beer for the masses, and while they may have called it "mild" back then, there is definitely no lack of flavor or complexity today.

Nut Brown pours a rich walnut-like color with a thick head that quickly dissipates, releasing aromas of roasted malt, nuts, and wet wood. The flavor follows close to the smell, becoming a bit fruitier, spicier, and caramely-sweet as it warms up. There is a nice underlying creaminess that balances well with the brown bread and aromatic hop characteristics that develop on the palate. The finish is dry, lasting, and nutty, leaving a pleasant hazelnut aftertaste. This beer goes down incredibly smooth, and the robust body represents the style well. There is enough heft here to please even the most serious ale lover, but sweet and drinkable enough to appeal to anybody. Simply delicious and begging for food.

My first food suggestion is to try Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale with a true Camembert from Normandy, France. Make sure that it is nice and ripe too, or the flavor will be too mild, and missing the great earthy quality that will compliment the beer so well. Between the breadiness in the beer and the creaminess of the cheese, the combination of Nut Brown and Camembert is a liquid grilled cheese experience! Various meats will balance harmoniously with Nut Brown, especially if they have some caramelization or sear on the outside. Roasted duck, Steak au Poivre, or even seared salmon are all great pairings.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a New Belgium snifter

A - Burnt sienna, tan/white decent head and a bit of lacing

S - Malt, Toffee, yeast, oak, earthy, roasted sweet nuts and a touch of hop

T - Honey, malt, roasted barley, yeasty and a nice hop bitterness

M - Tiny bubbles and leaves the mouth dry

D - Sweet, salty and bitter. Nice combo for a kick back nut brown ale

Final thought - Good beer, but I wouldn't buy another unless they had no other good beer

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Photo of YuenglingMan1987
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just picked up a pint from my local grocery store, this is the second Samuel Smith Beer I've had, the first being their Oatmeal Stout which was delicious.

A- Brown body with a good head on it that last, and leaves a decent amount of lacing.

S- Smells great, smells of nuts and caramel, the smell is very inviting, makes you really wanna jump in and drink it.

T- More bitter than I expected but then again this is only my second Nut Brown before, and the first one I had I was intoxicated to say the least, so my expectations mean nothing. Bitter with a nutty caramel taste. Lightly carbonated and very drinkable.

M-Feels good on the palate, and is very complex in flavor.

D- A very drinkable brew, I could definetely have another, wishing I did now.

Overall- Good brew, once again Samuel Smith has not let me down.

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Photo of shambeano
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A- pours pretty much brown, or a very very dark amber, about a half inch of head that subsides relatively slowly. looks pretty appetizing.

S- very malty, a touch of caramel, buttery and a touch nutty, although i cant really put my finger on any particular nut.

T- straight up theres the malt, nuttiness and butteriness which meld in together, kind of like the rich nutty taste butter gets when fried. a slight touch of bitterness at the end, which rounds everything out nicely. tastes pretty damn great.

M- rich and quite luscious, only slightly carbonated but it works very well. mid-length but really fills the whole mouth well.

D- on a cold evening i would have no problem sitting back and sipping a few of these. very well done!

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Photo of garuda
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Ruby with great clarity, a one finger off-white head that recedes to a thin layer, but remains for the rest of the drink. Good deal of lacing down the glass.

S - A little subdued, but a nice balance of sweet caramel malts with a touch of roast and nuttiness.

T - Light roasted malt turns to a little caramel sweetness, with nutty flavors in the finish.

M - Light side of a medium body, medium/high on the carbonation, but nice and smooth with a clean finish.

D - Great complexity and balance, with a lower abv. I could definitely drink a few of these.

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Photo of vkv822
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle into tulip pint.

Pours a tawny amber-brown with rising carbonation and a billowy tan head with nice retention.

The aroma is of malts upfront, giving notes of bread, toffee and caramel. There is also a very enjoyable nutty presence.

The taste is of caramel malt upfront, followed quickly by light roasted malt and an really interesting nutty finish. There is very little hop presence, though they do give a bit of an earthy bitterness. Very light alcohol notes.

The mouthfeel is pretty average, light to medium body with nice active carbonation.

This is a very well done and easy drinking brown ale. The nuttiness is really quite pronounced and well done.

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Photo of BB1313
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a transparent dark copper w/ decent head and lacing. Lots of caramel, brown sugar, malts and grains. There's a great nuttiness to this beer, which I love. Great aromas! The taste is subtle, but tasty. There's a slight alcohol taste, but it's subtle as well, giving the beer character. The mouthfeel is slightly thin and sticky. Drinkability is good due low abv and tasty flavors. Great beer to relax with!

This is a great brown ale! If you're looking for a legit example of the style, this is definitely it. Recommended.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby mahogany color a thin head that dissipates to large off white puddles.

Toffee and caramel dark fruits and a hint of apple cider.

Toffee very sweet malts, slightly fruity and toasted. Subtle dry finish mild earthy hop background.

Crisp and clean the beginning drinks better than the finish.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great, tasty brown from Sam Smith's.

A dark cola brown ale that pours with a gorgeous plateau of creamy, off-white head, a look straight out of a Michael Jackson beer guide. Quiet, lazy smears of spongy lacing. Firm, lightly toasted nutty essence up front in the smell - delicately fruity as well with a light-mid range malty base scent-wise comparable to a chocolate chip cookie. Mmm!

Hops do not seem to factor much into the nose, nor do they boldly assert themselves in the flavors, despite some apparent bitterness. The perceived light-toasted quality found in the nutty profile of the scent doesn't carry over into the taste. Soft esters hit up front, giving way to a "dark" biscuity, nutty malt all the way through, while finishing just excellent and clean - that's all I can come up with. Wrapping this up: just short of medium-bodied malty, with kind of a mellow scrub to the carb and vanishing finish...

It's a pretty darn tasty brown. Not explosive in any facet, but well-balanced - simple yet distinct.

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Photo of rivalrome
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a nonic pintglass.

Pours a clear copper caramel color with a two finger pale frothy head. Lacing is very prominent along the edges of the glass.

Smells strongly of caramel and fruits, bits of roasted nuts and malts.

Hints of buttered pecans and toffees with very subtle hoppy notes. With a mouthful you get the tastes of brown sugars, the viscosity very thick for how thin it appears within the glass.

I could drink these all night long with no qualms, the phenomenal taste makes it feel like you're drinking a glass of cinammon shortbread. This is one of the best brown beers I have had, and others should strive to achieve the notoriety that this one has!

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Photo of Jshaouni
3.13/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Appearance - The color is very pretty although I have discounted points due to the look of the head. The carbonation is thin and doesn't sit on the beer very long.

Taste - The taste to me is neither exciting or bad. It's hard to explain but I would say that it tastes like a good beer that has been watered down.

Mouthfeel - To second my opinion on taste it kind of feels thin.

Drinkability - The best part about this beer is that it's easy to drink. Smooth and light.

I don't really love anything about the beer in particular. However, the fact that it doesn't taste bad in anyway and it's easy to drink I'd put this beer right in the middle of the pack. On a side note I feel that the bottle implies a heavy, thick, high alcohol % beer. The fact that it's not also negativity affects my overall opinion.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pleasant surprise of a find on my visit to Ontario.

A - Pours a crystal clear caramel colour, finger of off-white head with little retention and some mild lacing.

S - Nutty malts with caramel and toffee on the finish.

T - Full of flavour! Caramel malts, butter toffee, nutty almonds with a touch of grassy and leafy green hops on the finish.

M - No complaints here, a medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and finishes with a little bit of dryness.

D - Very drinkable, full of flavour (but not overwhelming) and an excellent example of the style. Highly recommended to any fan of Brown Ales and I most certainly will be trying more of the Samuel Smith offerings.

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Photo of brown2cu
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark copperish ruby color. Small amount of head formation, I believe this to be my fault I should hme have poured more aggresively. Top notch though, has the appearance one comes to expect from a brown ale not a very light porter or stout that as seems to be the tradition with some other brews of this style.

Smell: rich and malty with some fruity berry and nut undertones. The berry reminds me of something like strawberry. Back, really far back, I detect some hop bitterness.

Taste: incredible and complex. Very clean at first with a definite nut character coming into play I think I detect hazlenut, however I could be wrong. I taste something akin to grape somewhere as well. Some caramel notes as well as roasted malt is apparent as well. It is balanced with a definite lean towards malt only a small amount of bitterness is present.

Mouthfeel: Clean and refreshing, a tad heavy and perhaps overbearing at times though. I feel that if it had a bit more hop character I would give it a 5. Overall though it leaves you quenched and reflective.

Drinkability: I love this beer! I could go for another couple. The only thing that I can possibly criticize would be the formidible sweetness within.

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Photo of rjochman
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A; Pours a dark brown color with a thick brownish-white head with a fair amount of lacing.

S: Good nutty smell with a sweet brown sugar scent as well.

T: Great flavor that followed with the nutty and brown sugar smell.

M: medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D: Extremely drinkable. One of the best beers I have ever had. Definitely will be buying more of this soon.

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Photo of HalfFull
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic glass from a 550 ml. brown bottle. This bottle pours a clear light brown with red cherry highlights. An inch of off white foam settles slowly as a light carbonation rises throughout the beer. Lots of lacing left behind.

Clean caramel malts on the nose along with some cherry and muddled strawberry notes. Bit of roasted malts and nuts for balance. Rather intriguing and quite welcoming albeit not quite what was expected as nuttiness is never too obvious.

Mild malts hit the tongue with a light sweetness amidst an effervescent carbonation. Fruit notes return on the swallow and linger for a relatively long finish. Feel is decent for the style, perhaps a bit thinner than average as for body, yet with enough texture to balance the malts adequately. Offers a hint of woody hops as the beer warms and finishes clean without any bitterness or alcohol in sight. Drinks swiftly as a result.

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Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 3,941 ratings