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

3,871 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,871 |  Reviews: 1,473
Photo of Kristing
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a brown, wonderfully inviting ale with a tall, creamy head. All in all it looks like a true liquid delight.

The aroma is full of hazelnut, walnut and malt, while I did not find that much hops. When you taste the beer, the malty goodness is ever so present. The name is also validated by a strong element of nut in the taste, with that special bitterness that nuts often have in their aftertaste. As the brew has stood for a while it becomes much more delicious with a mellow mouthfeel.

In conclusion, this is a great beer, and by far the greatest brown ale I have ever tried.

 585 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Beer is clear and has good carbonation and an off white head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Beer is reddish to brown.

Aroma is sweet and malty overall. About what's to be expected, overall its weak.

Slightly bitter in the back but overall good. Medium to full bodied, a mild roasty flavor with some caramel and sweetness in there. Some carbonation in the mouth. Overall a really good beer. Drinkability high and mouthfeel good.

 487 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-review on 6/24/09

A- poured clear garnet brown with some rising bubbles supporting a creamy, piling beige head that retained well. Some nice lacing as the drink is consumed. 4.5

S - Sweet caramel malts, hint of nutmeg, and light hops. Touch of dark and ripe fruits: plums and raisins, melded wonderfully with the malts. Very well balanced. 4.5

T - Initial sweetness of caramel and mildly toasted cereal. Hint of coffee, earthy English hops, and a bit of dark fruits. Again, wonderfully balanced, one off the best nut browns I've ever had. 5.0

M - rich and full bodied, mild carbonation, very smooth and creamy. 4.5

D - a most excellent session brown ale. Another pint please! 4.5

Reviewed on 12/28/08

A - poured a clear garnet/roasted nut brown with a long lived 3/4" head in a pint glass

S - roasted nuts, nutmeg, pale malts, and chocolate malts. Semi sweet with light hints of bitters

T - sweet and nutty in the forefront, followed by toffee and ending somewhat dry with a slight aftertaste of well blended hops and nuts

M - seemed a tad lighter than expected with moderate carbonation, very smooth though

D - excellent, could easily do a few pints

Overall - Poured from a 500mL bottle, it definitely isn't enough for one person! An excellent example of the style, I daresay the paradigm of nut browns. Samuel Smith's reputation is well deserved and this is no exception. Cheers to the oldest brewery in Yorkshire!

 1,450 characters

Photo of jbonapar
3.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt-caramel brown with a nice white head. Excellent lacing throughout the drink.

Smell of caramel and hops. Taste starts of sweet with a tart pungency in the middle. The hops slowly build into a powerful puckering bitter crescendo.

A nice nutty aftertaste developes later....

 289 characters

Photo of Hershdawg
3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bottle into an Nonic glass

A: Dark amber color. About a finger head that leaves some lacing. Lots of carbonation bubbles.

S: Hops, caramel. a little toffee

T: I wasn't impressed with this as I was with other Samuel Smith beers. Not as nutty as the title suggests and for the amount of hop aroma I was getting when smelling it did not meet. Still it did have a little sweetness to it but not the type I was expecting.

Mouthfeel: For all the carbonation I was seeing when I pour it it was a bit watery.

D: I could drink a couple of these no problem from the lower ABV but from the less interesting qualities I wouldn't

I normally love Samuel Smith but I think I'm going to stick to their darker beers that they excel at.

 724 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle. Ah, one of the few positive attributes of the LCBO - selling products of British origin at half the price as that in other parts of the country.

This beer pours a clear, dark orange-tinted amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, foamy, and somehow gritty dirty white head, which leaves a perfectly distributed array of snow rime lace around the glass in its splattered wake.

It smells of lightly toasted, sweet bready, and richly nutty malt, creamed caramel, and some mildly citric, pleasantly leafy hops. The taste is semi-sweet, robustly nutty malt, lesser caramelized toffee, subtle aged dark fruit, and a smallish drying earthy hoppiness.

The carbonation is patently reserved, and of course beholden to the menial task of structural integrity, the body a decent medium weight, well-rounded, and agreeably smooth. It finishes rather clean, with some silken caramel malt, lingering oily nuttiness, and mild noble hops.

The prototypical English Brown Ale, veritas, the real deal - the nut adjunct is suitably laid back, and the hops are just there to make sure that you aren't scared away by this little adjustment. Wow, it's hard to describe the subtly of the old-world styles sometimes, engineered as they are for drinking, and perhaps not explicit dissection.

 1,281 characters

Photo of Cubsfan1087
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith is becoming one of my favorite breweries. The Nut Brown Ale is one of the best Samuel Smith beers I've had to date. It pours a dark amber color and has a nice creamy head. The beer itself is relatively sweet. It isn't until the aftertaste that you can really taste the nut flavor. The aftertaste is only slightly bitter. This is an exceptional beer. It's probably one of my favorites now.

 401 characters

Photo of cratez
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle from the LCBO. Pours a russet reddish brown with a finger of tan head and strings of lace. Subtle grassy hops on the nose, a little bit of maple and pancake, roasted nuts in the background. Taste is sweet dark malts, caramel, a mild mix of almond and walnut, spicy English hops, and a toasted malty graininess to finish. Last time I noticed some pecan and molasses, but I'm not getting either here. The flavour is much more subdued than I remember. Creamy mouthfeel, crisp carbonation, dry bite mid-body, lightly tart aftertaste. A well-balanced brown ale.

 569 characters

Photo of taigor
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into regular glass.

A - Poured clear light brown/amber color with medium head that dissipated quickly leaving average lacing around the glass.

S - Mostly sweet, roasted malts upfront with caramel, toffee and nutty scents afterwards.

T - Sweet to start with nuttiness and caramel aftertaste. Very smooth overall.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Very good brown ale which I am looking forward to having again in the future.

 460 characters

Photo of Jesstyr
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from a foil wrapped bottle into a peroni glass at osetra in Norwalk. Paired with a warm lobster roll.

A: Thick brown with noticeable carbonation and excellent thick, foamy head. Excellent lacing as the beer lingers.

S: definitely subtle nutty nose, but not particularly powerful, perhaps would have been better served with proper glassware.

T: Really diverse mix of nuttyness and malt. Lingers on the palate and must be paired with food in my opinion. Would be great with a heavy beef stew or other comfort food. Very smooth and great for a brown ale. Slight bitterness gives this some diversity.

M/D: this is the type of beer that must be paired and really is one and done in my opinion. Cabonation is a little strong, and lingers on the palate with a thick finish. If I had a preference the finish would be a little more sugary, but this works for the style.

 871 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle served in my Samuel Smith nonic. Poured a translucent reddish brown with a 2.5 inch cream-colored, rocky head. Lots of tiny bubbles effervescing in solution. Head eventually settles into a consistent quarter inch cap with concentric bands of lacing coating the glass during the session. This beer looks great in a glass - makes you feel like you're at the pub. Nice malty nose - a little bit of caramel, a little nutty, but aromas are nicely coalesced and subdued. Taste consistent with nose; however, I also get some spent teabags in the middle before culminating in a slightly sweet and malty/nutty finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium, but falling much closer to the light side of the spectrum, with a subtle and smooth background carbonation - very well-balanced. This beer pretty much sets the benchmark for English Brown Ales. A top notch session beer; however, a bit pricey for what it is in my opinion.

 920 characters

Photo of Dster
4.95/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Best brown I have ever had, and one of my favorite styles

Pours reddish brown with lacy white head

Smells of nuts, malt, toffee

Taste of toffee, cashew, pecan, malt. Brown ale with complicated nut tones...but very easy to drink. very.

Mouthfeel is smooth and slightly chewy.


 288 characters

Photo of TheHammer
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After some hunting I found another Samuel Smith's selection pack, and then remembered I still had this bottle in the fridge. I've been looking forward to this, as the Oatmeal Stout and Pale Ale were excellent.

Appearance: Pours with a solid two fingers of head that retained exceptionally well, and modestly laced. The beer itself is a very dark brown, which reminds you of a Porter until you hold it up to the light to reveal hints of red. A bit more lacing and a light color is what is needed for a perfect.

Smell: There is no doubt that this is a nutty beer as the smell of almonds, chestnuts and hazelnuts dominate the nose. In the background a solid fruity malt character can be detected as well, but it does take a bit of warming to come out.

Taste: This beer definitely grows on you as you approach the end. Starts with a nice sweet fruity malt, it then shifts to a more nutty bitterness that at first is a bit excessive but gradually calms down as the beer reaches it's end.

Mouthfeel: In my opinion, this is the weakest part of the beer as the nutty bitterness really likes to linger at the back of your tounge. The carbonation also runs a little tame near the end of the beer. Excellent transitioning, and the fact that the fruity malt also like to stick around though lets the beer make up for it.

Drinkability: Goes down very easy, and sits down well despite the medium body. The nuttier elements leave it a little bit dry though. I wouldn't mind another but I think three would be a bit much.

Final Thoughts: I'll be honest, I prefer more of a malt and fruity presence in my brown ales, and less nutty bitterness. This beer is very good, and I can see why it is widely regarded as one of the best English Brown's out there. Still exceptional, but probably the one I liked the least from the mix pack.

 1,820 characters

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale. 12oz. bottle, 2009 vintage

Appearance -

Between chestnut and deep maroon in color. Opaque and beautiful. 2 finger head, and great caked on lacing.

Smell -

Heavenly nut aroma, hops, and caramel. It is a delight just to smell.

Taste & Mouthfeel -

Smooth and delightfully creamy for a medium-bodied beer. Complex sweet flavors leap forward, only to be surpasses by a delectable dry nuttiness. The bitterness of the hops creates a tremendous balance.

Notes: This is one of my favorite nut brown ales. I had it first at BLT Steak in NYC with a filet mignon served with bernaise sauce. The trifecta of flavors was perfect.

 658 characters

Photo of therica
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= dark amber-brown, little head, modest lacing around the rim.

S= huge caramel, toffee, dry malts, whiffs of something that must be nice English floral hops, some nuttiness.

T= very pleasureable, dry grassy malts, caramel, moderately complex, light but peppery hops. A bit more biting carbonation than I would prefer.

M= grainy with light caramel, dry malts, modest hops bitters, some astringency.

D= very drinkable if you can carry enough of these large US$2.99 single-bottles that never seem to come in 6-packs or cases.

 527 characters

Photo of jminsc76
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Into a pint glass, pours a medium-sized head atop a dark amber body. Very little carbonation and no lacing. Some decent legs as I tilt the glass.

Aromas of toasted almonds, slightly roasted malts, and bread along the lines of rye. Not a lot of strength, but a pretty good depth.

As this is an English beer, I may be drinking this too cold, so I am delaying my review until it warms a little...(10 min. goes by). Ok, onto my review. So stronger aromas are starting to come through, and the flavors exhibit a bit of the aforementioned nuttiness as well as a little toffee, with some of bitterness by way of the malts. This is both very quaffable and very session-able.

Exhibits a slightly tingly mouthfeel, which includes a slight wetness on the pallet (don't know a good SAT word to characterize that). Pairing it with some Dutch Gouda on crackers and the flavors are explosive. The mouthfeel is nice and tingly.

Overall, this is a benchmark among English browns (mainly for English-style browns brewed by American breweries, cuz, let's face it, England is not going to come out with a brown that can rival AleSmith's Nautical Nut any time soon). In short, if you can't brew something comparable to this, start over and try again. A great brown that balances out beautifully. If there were any justice in the world (and there isn't), this would be OUTSELLING Newcastle Brown with nooo problem.

 1,400 characters

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.77/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this big boy into a Samuel Smiths Victorian pint glass. Perfect for this ale.

A: Dark amber with a brownish hue. Slightly cloudy with a small, persistent tan head.

S: I get tea leaves, fresh honey, maple syrup, oily nuts (walnuts?), molasses and definite notes of dark fruit: prunes, figs, dates, etc.

T: Walnuts, macadamia nuts, coffee with cream and notes of dark fruit. Finishes ultra-clean with a smooth, light citric finish. Fantastic.

D: Buy it in the 4-pack! You will not regret it.

Value: Excellent. I think the Samuel Smith brews are some of the best I've had and they are very reasonably priced.

 617 characters

Photo of natelocc787
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice creamy off white cap atop a dark brown body that appears light brown when held towards a light source. Nutty aroma, toasted brown bread and a metallic note. Same metallic taste noted in the taste with light brown sugar, dark toasty malt and pralines. Mouthfeel is a bit thinand the body isn't as full as others in it's class. A good example of an English brown.

 366 characters

Photo of Trizzle
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

550ml bottle, poured into a British pint.

Clear brown with orange highlights. Minimal fast fading head and no lace. *A more agressive pour yielded quite a nice 1.5 finger head. Hung around a while and faded to a delicious thin rug of bubbles and got good lace.. (Bumped up from a 3.5-> 4)

Smells of some sweetish malt and a hint of cola.

Taste: Sweetish malts at first, finishes with some light dry and nutty bitterness. Balances very well. Medium body with low but sufficient carbonation.

Could drink all day.

Dots the i's and crosses the t's.

 553 characters

Photo of baseballrock
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - pours a clear dark reddish brown with a beautiful thick and hearty head. It left a fair amount of lace on my glass.

s - nutty with some fruity characters

t - sweet breed maltyness. I taste a heavier creamy flavor from the yeast as far as i can tell. as the medium bodied beer goes down it taste even more sweet before it finishes clean and nutty. The hop flavor adds a perfect amount of bitterness to round out a great beer.

m - well balanced and smooth

d - I drank my 550ml bottle and felt very happy about the beer. i wish i would have drank this with a home cooked meal, i will buy a few more bottles next time i find it.

 632 characters

Photo of Long813
3.36/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

G: Pint Glass

A: Clear brown body boasting 3 fingers of off white frothy head. Decent retention and thick lacing.

S: Sweet malts, biscuits and some hoppiness. Nothing to distinctive, but a nice blend.

T: Biscuity, some caramel, also a substaintial amount of hops to it.

M: Light bodied and medium-low carbonation. Leaves a sticky-bitter finish. Nothning to major, but not off putting.

D: It's a decent beer. I found it to be to thin/watery and the smell/flavours were good, but not great. Nothing special imo.

 518 characters

Photo of Josievan
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Not too dark in color for being called a brown ale, which is pretty common. More of a dark amber with a decent head.

Smell: Nutty, but not too strong. Quite sweet and malty, too.

Taste: This is one of the sweeter nut browns I've tasted. More sweet malt than nuts, but the nuttiness does comes through on the finish, leaving a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, and quite smooth, characteristic of Samuel Smith.

Drinkability: There'd be no problem drinking the whole 17 oz. bottle oneself.

Notes: One of the best nut browns I've had. Not as much nut character as some, but that's fine by me. Samuel Smith has never disappointed me.

 666 characters

Photo of 4000qtrap
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Source/Serving: 550mL bottle, no expiration date.

Smell: Caramel, yeast, vanilla, general nuttiness (pecans, perhaps) and a hint butterscotch. Very aromatic and delightful!

Taste: Pecans, vanilla along with complex caramel, maple, and buttery combine up front to form a wonderfully sweet brew. A good bit of pear in there too. Some brown bread. Quite smooth but the carbonation and bitterness balance out the sweetness after a few sips. The finish is slighty bitter, quite dry, and deliciously nutty (walnuts).

 512 characters

Photo of ribby
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served from 550 ml bottle, poured into a glass.

This beer is a medium-dark reddish brown. It pours with a very thick head, and it has a moderate roasted malt aroma. The taste is very malty, with good bit of roasted malt present. Very subdued hoppiness, without tasting excessively sweet. due to the roasted malt. This tastes a lot like a light porter might taste. On the whole, a very nice beer, very well crafted with nothing out of place.

 442 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Last of the three beers from the gift box I got in a Yankee swap.
Pours a deep reddish brown with a creamy beige head that sticks around forever. Smells of brown bread, a touch of dark fruits, a bit of sulfur, and a hint of honey in there as well. Taste is malty with bread and some light fruits, a little butter with a touch of bitterness or astringency in the finish. I get an almost ashy taste and texture every now and again which seems really weird in this beer. Medium to full body, medium level of carbonation, a creamy mouthfeel. Not a bad brew, but not one of my favorites. It grew on me towards the end of the glass, but given the price and my palette I'll probably pass in the future.

 695 characters

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.07 out of 5 based on 3,871 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.