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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,941 |  Reviews: 1,485
Photo of Sudsy89
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle, chilled

Pours a transluscent medium-brown, has a nice thick, foamy white head. Has a definite sweet, nutty aroma. Taste is great too, mostly a sweetish malt and nut flavor, not very bitter. It has low carbonation and although it's more medium-bodied I think it's highly drinkable since it's smooth and not too overpowering.
Would make a great session beer, perhaps a good intro to craft beers as brown ales tend to be on the mild side. Highly recommended.

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

I picked this beer up at a local liquor store today as I've been doing a run on Samuel Smith's selection. So far, this is an exceptional beer from an exceptional brewery.

Appearance- Deep umber coloration with red edges in direct light. One finger light beige head forms directly after the pour and tapers to a thin lace. Beautiful to look at.

Smell- Heavy caramel aroma tinged with roasted malt and nuts. Very distinct and heavy smell.

Taste- Light carbonation and refreshing body are the first sensations. Not much taste at the initial intake but as the beer moves across the mid-mouth, a rush of heavy caramel flavor explodes and slowly tapers to a nutty after taste. The nut flavor leaves as the alcohol disperses and the caramel returns around 10-15 seconds after the swallow. This then lingers for another 30 seconds before tapering of. Fantastic sipping beer.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a creamy feel. Very smooth and pleasant.

Drinkability- There is nothing about this beer that gets tiring. One could sip one after another all night. The tastes are great and nothing about it gets tiring. Slightly heavy feel in the stomach may limit the quantity, but who pounds a beer like this?

Overall, a great sipping beer with a variety of flavors. Highly recommended and reasonably priced.

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

A- Pours a dark cherry brown color. Medium carbo. Acceptable head but great lacing.

S- Dark malts, nuts, and caramel. Very much a roasted aroma.

T- Slightly more sweet of the get-go. You can taste a bit of what almost seems like coffee and cocoa. Good nut backbone. My first nut brown ale, and I would have to say it has more of a hazelnut flavor. The initial taste of it too me is unimpressive however. What I appreciate more is the 30 seconds after a sip where all the malts and flavors drop by. You get all the cocoa on your tongue at that point and the roasted flavor tastes incredible. Sadly you need to sip it ever 30 seconds to experience it as the flavor leaves far too soon.

M- Fuller body. Extremely smooth and feels perfect. Feels incredibly clean as well.

D- Couldn't be much easier to down. The biggest flaw of this drink is that the best part of it is in the aftertaste.

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Photo of zhanson88
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer pours a really nice light brown/caramel color. There is about 3 fingers of head, that never reduces all the down and clings all over the glass.

Smell: I get a light smell of darker malts, and more caramel, nuttiness and some sweet bread.

Taste: Smooth and caramelly. I can taste some darker malts and nuttiness as well. Hops at the end are faintly metallic.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Fine carbonation that makes it very pleasant to drink. Overall, probably the best known beer of this style out there. I like it quite a bit and would have it again.

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Photo of TheSarge
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours exceptionally well. There is about three fingers of clumpy light tan foam, along with a clear dark copper colored body.

The aroma is chocolaty cocoa up front, but gives way to metallic hops character, along with sweet bread, and dark over ripe fruit traits.

The taste is more herbal than I anticipated, at least in the beginning. The hops kick in secondly, and then the slight cocoa finishes up with a mild semi sweetness.

Mouth feel wise, it is medium bodied, plenty of carbonation, and leaves the palate somewhat powdery dry.

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Photo of rcwhiteky
4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-When you think Brown Ale and close you eyes this is What you should see.

S-Toffee and malts with some carmel apple mixed in for good measure.

Taste- Simple and complex at the same time toffee and malt mix with some bittering hops but it is just so balenced and the yeast gives it some odd fruity falvors that mesh right in.
M- smooth very smooth
D-I love this brew and so should you

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Photo of obrendano
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite brewery continues to never let me down

A - absolutely gorgeous red-brown with swirling bubbles coming off every part of the glass. thick light tan head stays around for multiple sips

S - buttered wheat toast, like breakfast in the morning. hints of sweet candy flavors like toffee and caramel

T - more rich and complex than I thought it would be, smooth nutty toasted flavor dominates with a whisper of hop bitter underneath, fabulous balance of flavors

M - smooth, medium bodied, just the right amount of bubbles on the tongue

D - a great one to spend some time with. and maybe repeat once or twice afterwards

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Photo of keith712
3.51/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours nicely into a pint glass, decent if somewhat thin head that dissipates fast, leaving a small lace. Very deep brown tea color. Smells of typical malted ales. Flavor is decent but somewhat "soft", a very smooth english style ale. Mouthfeel is thin, with flavors of mild, barely roasted malt. Not real interesting or complex, but an easily drinkable session beer. I can't say much more about it, it's just average. I give it a solid 6 of 10, FAR better than any crap American stuff (bud light, coors, etc.) but nothing I would hunt for.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.54/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium brown colour with a head that sticks around for about 30 seconds. The smell is mainly yeast with a bit of sweetness, I didn't like it much. The taste starts of a little weak, but it builds into a dark sweetness and has a bitter aftertaste. Overall, I kinda like it.

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Photo of PaulfromNoVa
2.8/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I fear this review brands me as a philistine. Or perhaps the bottle I had was gassed. Batch stamp, but no date. Poured at 45 degrees into a standard glass pub pint.

This ale sits pretty in the glass: thick, foamy head of not-fine bubbles, dark, aged copper body, carbonation roiling and welling up thickly as form a Deepwater-Horizon type blowout.

Delightful nose. All suggestion, nothing overpowering. Nutty, not very hoppy, some toasty malt. Created keen sense of expection.

Poof! Gone. Thin mouthfeel, swirling around in my piehole, waiting for a flavor epiphany, studying the reaction of my tastebuds, wondering when everything is going to kick in. Very dry, slightly hoppy, very little other sensation, and very fleeting at that. I don't have a cold or any taste malfunction: it's just that very little registered, with no finish to speak of. When it was down the hatch all traces of flavor went with it. Does that mean "clean"? That's why I think it might have been the bottle, sitting as a single in a shop fridge, for perhaps a long time.

It's very easy drinking. And I'll certainly give it another go on another day.

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Photo of milkbaby9
4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass. Beautiful foil wrapped bottle top and cap. Produces a creamy straw colored 4 finger head that stays together 1 cm over the top of the glass. Reduces eventually to a nice cap leaving some nice lacing on the glass.

Super clear reddish brown color, like ice tea. Color and clarity is stunning.

Aroma is light fruity sweetness plus malt, almost a tinge of roastyness. Initial taste yields peppy carbonation hitting the tongue, then slightly tangy sour fruityness, then nutty and then sweet malt and coffee bitterness. Aftertaste is nice malt and very lightest bit of bitterness, finishing semidry.

Very drinkable, tastes great. The malty finish is very memorable.

On the back label they quote famed connoisseur Michael Jackson calling their nut brown ale, "...the richest, maltiest and nuttiest of brown ales," and that's a pretty good description!

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Photo of Jhandy
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is a very drinkable Ale it is perfect for a night of drinking cause of the light easy taste. It's very well rounded in flavor with nothing to overpowering and the fact that it is not over carbonated means you can drink more with out the bloated feeling.

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Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.
A: Golden brown to amber color with a nice inch or so of off white head.

S: Some tart apple with a nutty, coffee malt aroma.

T: Starts with the same tart apple flavors and gives to a nutty malt flavor with some coffee bitterness with a hint of chocolate.

M: Medium with a nice amount of carbonation.

D: Very good. Low abv and not too heavy.

This is a good brown ale. I was a bit surprised by the tartness and apple notes but it comes together well.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Brown ales aren't typically my 'go to', but this one brings back memories. One of the first truly good beers I ever had, back in the late 80s.

A - Reddish, ruddy brown, perfectly clear, thick creamy light tan head that has staying power, lots of sudsy lace.

S - Malty, nutty, a soft twang of bitterness.

T - Nice clean malt, delicately balanced. Bready, but not heavy.

M - Medium to light body, great carb, flavors meld together almost perfectly.

D - Light enough in flavor and ABV to have a few. Great to try again!

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Photo of Evocatus
3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, somewhat like a coke. Head was tan and healthy. Aroma was a little on weak side, but I could get some malty molasses aromas from it. Taste was more bitter than sweet. A mix of nuttiness, roasted hops, with a dash of sweetness. Good body, not too thin but could be a little thicker. With the exception of the bottle size, a great anytime beer.

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Photo of beyah
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tried an 18.7oz. 550ml bottle.
Just the right balance between sweet and hops.
Very little head, slight lacing.
Mouth feel is perfect , small tingly bubbles.
Compared to my favorite domestic nut brown, its lighter, dryer and not as sweet.
It has a nutty buttery finish, YUM!!! Highly recomended

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Photo of bogus564
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at a favorite drinking establishment...

When a beer is by definition a brown ale, I'm guessing that you'd expect it to be brown in color. Surprise, surprise, surprise - it is. Brown like a can of Coke, with a wheat-colored head that hold for less than two minutes. Good first impression, though.

The smell is also what one might expect from a nut brown ale - it smells malty. Just because you expect something out of a beer doesn't mean that it won't be good when it meets your expectations. There's also a caramel scent, some nuttiness and coffee way in the back.

The taste is nutty for sure, which is why naming it a nut brown ale was a wise choice. After that, there's a hops-induced pine and lemon flavor, followed by a caramel note. I wish the caramel had overtaken the hoppiness, but that's just me.

The mouthfeel for this beer is good - it's light-bodied, lightly carbonated with a clean finish and a hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability gets my lowest rating for this beer - as my fellow people of color say, it's a'ight. It would have been better with something other than my turkey club sandwich.

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Photo of Soonami
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale is the basis for the originator of the Nut Brown style ale, and as such is a very fine example for others to follow. Of the other copies, I would say only Rogue's Hazelnut Brown can compare. This ale has a very nice dark brown color that calls for you to drink in deeply. The smell is very bready and caramelly. To me it smells like sweet dough my grandfather used to make with notes of vanilla, butter, and molasses. The beer tastes very malty and thick layers of flavors form the highly kilned malts, but finishes dry with an astringent, toasted walnut bitterness. Hops are subdued and the mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Very drinkable and delicious

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Photo of bagpiper2005
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: Beautiful medium red-amber color with two fingers of tan head that retains well and leaves a fair amount of lacing behind.

Smell: Tart fruity aroma hits hard up front with underlying notes of caramel malt, a little bit of molasses, and a very faint coffee and hop note.

Taste: Starts off with a tart green apple taste which quickly gives way to notes of caramel and brown sugar and hint of yeast. The middle picks up some more tart fruitiness and the back finishes up with a light coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium with active carbonation. Smooth, and rather dry.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, slightly quaffable, and refreshing.

Final Notes: A rather interesting flavor for a brown ale. The taste is rather complex but the initial sourness is a bit too much. A very sessionable beer and one that I would drink with a nice tart dessert.

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Photo of GuldenBoy
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden brown. A nice shade of copper and rust when held to a light

S: Strong smell of nuts with a slight sweet and coffee aroma

T: The rich taste of roasted malt dominates. Underlying flavor of hops and a faint sweetness. Clean finish with subtle aftertaste of bitter nuts

M: Light carbonation but with a pleasing fine bubbly texture. very smooth

D: The finest nut brown I have ever had. A pleasure from start to finish

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Photo of stcules
3.03/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown color, red edges. A beautiful white foam, a bit scarce.
Light smell, malty notes, something of a toasted nut, and a bit of hop in the back.
Malty in the mouth, with a more definite hazelnut taste. Crystal, caramel.
Not totally convincing, it seems a bit sweet and heavy.

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Photo of Anthony1
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mild head with little lace. Pale brown color; very clear. More malty than anything, but there is also a slight touch of metal to the smell. This is a malty offering in the brown ale category. I like the smooth and clean feel to the beer. Full body for the style with a modest amount of carbonation. When this fresh, this is a superior nut brown. I worry about the clear glass and the possibility of skunking.

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Photo of newcastleme
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Solid brown. Average for a deep brown ale.

Smell: Incredibly unique mixture of nuts with hints of sweetness.

Taste/Mouthfeel: It is unique among all brown ales for it's strong nutty flavor.

Drinkability: This is an awesome pub brew but I would limit it to 1 or 2 pints.

This is a great beer.

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Photo of mrkc
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One can't help but admire Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale's bottle, with enough moulding on the glass to lend it elegance, without being guady. It's sturdy glass, with simple labels that seem a touch olde-timey. The beer has a course pour, and after an initial flush of head, it dies down to the tan ring. The beer is a opaque red-brow, almost like oak. It smells fruity like freshly ground nutmeat. It's the malts that stand out when you drink it though, thick on your tongue as syrup. I'm disappointed about the lack of nutty hints - it isn't much of a brown ale without some nuttiness to it. There's barely detectable undercurrent of apple that I missed in the first few sips. It has a fine mouthfeel, and the carbonated bite is minimal. Rather, this beer has a watery, clean finish. Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale would excel as in many other beer styles, but is a weak entry in the field of brown ales.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Solid brown with outstanding, thick, tan foam. Fantastic lacing as well. I only with the foam stayed a bit longer. A pretty red tint in this beer that I really like. Very little active carbonation.

Smell: Wonderful mixture of spiced apple and caramel malts with a bit of coffee. Mellow hops. Even some berries?

Taste/Mouthfeel: Great mellow hops in the start and the finish. Great caramel malts with a bit of coffee throughout. And I definitely taste the apple as well. Feels maybe a bit thinner than I'd like, but that's a tiny complaint.

Drinkability: An excellent pub brew.

Overall: See drinkability. Truly a great beer.

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