Nut Brown Ale | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Nut Brown AleNut Brown Ale
3,949 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: 3,949 |  Reviews: 1,488
Photo of weizenbob
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 550 mL bottle was purchased at Pere Marquette Expeditions in Ludington, MI. I could not locate a bottling date. I poured it into a pint tumbler. Upon pouring, a nice three-finger ivory head forms. Retention is very good. Sticky lacing lines the glass. The brew is walnut-brown with a healthy amount of active carbonation visible through the pint. The look is textbook to style.

In the nose this ale is giving off scents of caramel, and fresh baked bread. There is a nutty aroma and the alcohol is also detectable on the nose.

Despite the depth of flavor, this is a pretty mild-tempered ale on the tongue. There is indeed an implied nutty character to this beer. It is malt-forward, giving impressions of caramel and chocolate. There is a subtle smokiness and a mild alcohol warmth. It finishes with a mildly bitter hop presence and an earthy aftertaste. To my Americanized palate it comes off being a little watered down. There is nothing inherently wrong with the flavor of this beer, but this is one of the rare instances that I prefer an American take on a style as opposed to a more traditional interpretation.

The body of this brown ale is on the heavier end of light. The presence of carbonation is fairly high, thereby increasing the effect of lightness in the mouthfeel. It feels a little watery, but pleasant on the whole.

The biggest testament to this beer may be its drinkability. It is complex in flavor without overwhelming the palate. It is inoffensive in the mouth. The moderately low 5% ABV makes finishing this bottle (equivalent to almost 19 ounces) a breeze. As an import it is a little bit pricey for a beer this close to sessionable. I would suggest that everyone give this a try (if nothing else but to have an anchor for reviewing the style), but even as a lover of brown ale, Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale is not something that I would go to often.


The Two-Schlitz ScaleĀ™: (see my profile for an explanation)
I give a Schlitz for Samuel Smith's Nut Brown. Despite the cost, its durability strikes a chord with the romantic in me.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: brown with orangish hue with 1 finger off white head.

smell: roasted malts, toffee

taste: caramel, malty,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, smooth, little thin

drinkability: easy drinker. very smooth brown ale.



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Photo of SacredBeverage
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this and it was a good beer. I'm not going to go super in depth but just give an overview.

A: Good appearance, dark brown with a brown head and nice lacing.

S: I get some malt and chesnut, with some caramel and other flavors. Not quite as rich as I thought it was going to be but then again I'm new to Brown Ales.

T: I liked the taste, rich and flavorful, refreshing.

M: It wasn't as full-bodied as I expected it to be, just a little more watery than it looks; not that it is watery, it's fairly creamy, it just has a lighter body to it than it looks.

D: I could have a couple of these with a nice roast, or by itself, very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Appearance - Clear, dark amber body. Thick off white head with plenty of texture, lacing, and retention.

Smell - Nut, wood, tea. Something like taking a walk in an ancient forest. Mossy with just a touch of flora.

Taste - Extreme metallic taste. Might be a tainted bottle. I'm almost certain. But I'll let the review stand just in case, and come back and re-review this another time to be positive. The metallic taste goes away a little after each drink. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be the style, or of this is a result of their using well water in the brew, or if it's a bad batch. Not going to sink pour this though. Not bitter. Tastes like copper.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied, but not syrupy.

Drinkability & Notes - Almost undrinkable. Has some underlying character and notes that make this an interesting beer, but the metallic taste ruined this beer completely. I couldn't find any identifying markings on the bottle other than "SI17J1" printed on the glass on the neck of the bottle, just below the foil.


Appearance - same

Smell - same

Taste - No metallic taste this time, but my wife says it tastes the same as last time. I have no idea how this is possible. Re-rating it from 2 to 4.

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Photo of trevorjn06
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown/copper color with amber highlights and a thick, frothy, tan head that slowly recedes.

Aroma is nutty and minerally up front with sweet malt, toffee and slight caramel. Very inviting.

Taste is malty, it begins with sweet, toffee malts and a very light toastiness. Hints of butterscotch and a subtle yet balancing hop bitterness emerge midway. The finish is fairly dry and leaves some mineral and caramelly malt.

Mouthfeel is medium with medium/low carbonation.

Overall I very much enjoy this beer, I have had it many times. It is malty, slightly sweet yet crisp on the finish. It offers depth and drinkability.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

really a decent pour here with a nice medium brown color and a smooth even head of tan that came up from the bottom and coated the glass rather nicely i have to say. aroma is light chocolate with hint of nice roasted malts and a touch of coffee, well rounded for sure and definetely a nice way to end an evening. a mix if light carbonation with a smooth, velvet like texture to it led me to sip it down quite nicely and left a really nice overall impression.

very solid beer for sure and one i would have no issue in going back to again.

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

a pours with a nice head...decent lacing on the glass...deep reddish amber colour.

s-malty notes...sweet for the most part. I'm finding that there is a very slight citrus smell at the end but it's faint.

t-def sweet and nutty in flavour, nice tartness from hops that is much more prevalent in the taste than in the smell.

m-solid mouth feel for the abv.

d-really drinkable. Lots of breweries make a brown ale but I think this is one that stands near the top.

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Photo of Homebrew35
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice creamy kaki 1 finger head. Clear dark brown to maroon body. Smells of toffee, Carmel, sweet malts, some woody notes as well. Tastes sweet and Carmel at first then some earthy carmelized to burn sugar tastes. Medium full bodied, very coating on the way down. I could only have one of these at a time. $4 a bottle.

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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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Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 3,949 ratings