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

1,472 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 1,472 | Ratings: 3,859
Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish brown color with a thick bubbly head. The aroma was somewhat lacking as hints of malts were present. The flavor was of a nice malt, nut, and slight hop balance. There was a sharp bite on the tongue which gave a crisp sensation. The malt lasts quite a bit on the tongue. Very drinkable and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with nice carbonation, small head, a little bit of lacing afterwards from a clear bottle. Scents of malt, sweet caramel. Nice taste sweet, malty, and nutty. Medium body with a dry finish. At 5% ABV would make a good session brew. The clear bottle throws me off.

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Photo of liamt07
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the LCBO, into a pint glass.

Pours a dark chesnut brown (surprised?), lighter orange around the edges when held to the light. Creamy and slightly offwhite head, with some dense retention. Nose is nutty , with some maple and light chocolate. Dominated by the nuts, but has some darker bread and cereal here too. Light metallic finish, creamy with medium carbonation. High drinkability, a definite winner and something that should be kept year round in the fridge.

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Photo of tempest
3.29/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hmm, the appearance rocks, but I'm not getting much else from this bottles. Perhaps it needs to warm up? Not so much. This ale just doesn't come alive for me. There's a nutty, caramel malt flavor, but its too subtle. It's also a bit on the sweet side in aroma and flavor, almost like sugar was added. I can imagine this might be better by cask, but I was sold a bottle, alas.

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Photo of tone77
3.12/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 18.7 oz. bottle. Has a pretty dark brown color with ruby hues and a 1 inch head. Smell is very mild, I am not able to detect much of anything. Taste is also rather mild, some nuttiness, a bit of hops, a touch of caramel. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a decent brew.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.
A quality beer for the price.
Nice creamy head. Smelled of nut, flower and citrus. Caramel color.
Taste was smooth nutty, caramel, perhaps a bit chocolate. Seemed to become smoother as it warmed although it lost its 'refreshingness'.
Feel was balanced, not too bitey, not too smooth.
I had two in about 15 minutes, it was good.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a thin off-white head. The aroma is good. It is malty and full of roasted and victory malts. The taste is also good. It is malty, but a bit watery. It finishes dry, but good down smooth. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. It is an excellent nut brown ale. It is refreshing and not at all bitter like most English ales I try.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had some tonight with deep dish pizza, on to the beer:

Well, as you'd expect, it's brown. It has a very nutty aroma, interweaved with rich, sweet malts. Imagine going to one of those buffets with the soft serve ice cream machine, and filling your bowl with the assorted sticky toppings mixed with peanuts. It also has a little alcohol kick at the end of each sip, more so as the beer gets warmer. The hops keep the sweet taste in check from being too sweet, and it makes for an overall pleasent drinking experience.

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Photo of dar482
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a dark amber color with a medium head.

The aroma is of light nuts and a little bit of malt.

The taste is clean and nutty, but there’s a pop of fruitiness in there as well. It doesn’t have the roasted malt heaviness. A decent amount of carbonation in there to give it a fizzy mouthfeel.

The body is medium. There is a watery mouthfeel and it is extremely drinkable, especially at 5% ABV.

In the end, it reminds me of a really good version of Newcastle.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An old friend which I've never reviewed. Pours a nice slightly reddish brown with a medium height creamy head. Nice typical dry British malt and yeast with a touch of nuttiness and perhaps copper in the nose. Smooth and earthy in the taste department with a creamy finish and a light dry roastiness that indeed tastes a bit nutty. Delicious and straightforward. A touch of residual sweetness in the finish, but moderately dry overall. Spot on for the style, and much less hoppy and than American versions, but there are some gentle earthy hops there. Smooth and creamy, slightly nutty in the mouth. Overall a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of plaid75
3.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a soft brown hue with amber streaking with a two and a half finger pillowy off white head. There was very good lacing and excellent retention.

The smell featured a soft nutty aroma with hints of coffee and caramel. Some diacytl as well.

The taste was a but subdued, but a nice mixture of nuttiness, earthy malts, coffee and cocoa.

The mouthfeel was of medium fullness with a very dry finish.

Overall a nice and very drinkable brown ale. Not a flavor explosion, but very nicely done.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a 550 mL bottle at my local grocery store. I had this years ago and am reapproaching it as a classic example of the nut brown style.

Appearance: a beautiful medium amber. When I poured this, I got a couple fingers' worth of foamy white head. Looks awesome.

Smell: in addition to the malt and subtle nuttiness, I get a pretty strong yeast/bread smell. Not bad, but not wholly beneficial to the experience.

Taste: a well-balanced bitterness pervades the palate. There is also a very strong nut flavor. This is really what I think of when I think of nut brown ales. The word that really comes to mind here is "sophisticated".

Mouthfeel: medium body, though not creamy. It is very slightly astringent; I think this adds to the complexity and enjoyment.

Drinkability: while it is eminently tasty and not too dense, I don't think I'd consider this a session beer. It's more of one to really savor, and then move on.

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Photo of biegaman
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Potter's clay with a blend of cioccolato and redwood. The beer certainly isn't entirely brown, there are lots of warming red highlights. Not that it is all that dark, although there is considerable clarity for a beer with shades of this depth. A thin sheet of off-white is netted across the top and splashed against the sides.

I can't claim to be sniffing out any particular kind of nut but the aroma is indeed 'nutty' in a very unspecific sort of way. Most of this smell, I think, can be attributed to the malts which have been toasted just right to bring out notes nutty and caramelized without introducing any element of roast.

The taste is less ambiguous and the distinction between 'nuts' and 'nutty' becomes clear thanks to a big, hefty malt bill. The flavour is a straightforward shot of toffee-rich, borderline sweet malts that again have been toasted just to the point of caramelization.

The beer itself is lightly bitter but a harsh, mineral rich water will amplify that. Despite this chalkiness, however, the beer maintains a very mild profile and lacks any chewiness that its colour and flavour might have implied. A little more texture might actually help push along the notes of hazelnut, pecan, and butterscotch that seem to linger in the finish.

Samuel Smith beers are classic, conventional examples of the great styles in England's rich brewing tradition. To some of today's beer drinkers they may seem a tad bland or unexciting, especially in comparison to 'new world' renditions. It is true that America's, and now other nation's, craft breweries have reinvented traditional styles, like the nut brown, with more attitude and extravagance. But much can still be said for traditional offerings...

I, for one, will always have a place in the fridge for beers like these - solid, simple beers whose strength lie in its very function: to be enjoyably drinkable. They may not have all the frills but they are nevertheless quality, reliable beers that can evoke epiphany on the palates of many new beer drinkers. They certainly did for me.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one I used to drink a lot of in the early days of craft brews. Upon returning to it I have to say that while I still enjoyed it it didn't really wow me any more. More of a solid, easy drinker than something to get really excited about.

Pours coppery brown, reddish highlights, dark tan head with good retention and lacing. Faintly nutty aroma, lots of toasty malty bread, hints of caramel and brown sugar. Flavor is quite close, although it's pretty dry and the caramel aroma appears as a mere flicker in the taste. Good toastiness, tasty but mild nut flavor, a hint of floral, earthy hops in the finish. The nut flavor actually is most noticeable in the aftertaste, which lingers a bit in the mouth as it fades away.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation, smooth and easy to drink. Again, enjoyable, but not tremendously exciting, at least not anymore for this long-time Samuel Smith's fan.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a brilliantly clear, ruby tinged, brownish amber color when held up to the light. Otherwise it shows an opaque, deep dark, amber tinged, almost black brown color. The head is a frothy, rockied surface, tan colored head that starts out at about two fingers in thickness and even leaves some lacing on the side of the glass. Aromatic notes of sweet plums, nutty toasted grain, rich toffee, and a hint of diacetyl combine together in the aroma after a first glance. After a bit more inspection ample notes of caramelized raisins and a touch of roasted grain become noticeable. At the first pour there might have been a hint of light struck hops, but my palate and nose seem to be desensitized enough from Sam's Pale ale that I don't really notice it in this brew.

Sweet fruity notes of caramelized fruit greet my tongue upon my first sip. The finish is lightly nutty with a subtle, toasted, even a touch roasted, grain type note. A touch of carbonation adds a prickly zippiness to the middle of this beer, and in the same vein a hint of hop bitterness rounds out the finish. The hop bitterness in the finish is joined by a dark grain astringency, which also helps to add a touch of balance to the other flavors in this beer. Notes of sweet plums, a touch of raisin and even a nice subtle fig note add to the fruitiness of this brew.

This beer has a really nice malt character to it, the interesting malt tapestry that this beer weaves is its selling point. It is quite easy drinking, and I am enjoying it, but it could use a bit more oomph, or even a bit more character. Not bad, and certianly a touch better than the pale ale from the same brewery.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

19oz bottle picked up at the Coop sometime in the last couple weeks for about $3.50.. enjoyed from my New Belgium snifter.

Lite tan 2 finger head drops leaving good lace.. color is crystal clear chesnut brown with deep ruby highlites.

Aroma is sweet and nutty.. toffee with obvious English esters. Light floral hops but restrained and adds to me really wanting a sip.

Biscuity malts and nutty .. very restrained hints of chocolate but my palate could be playing tricks on me. Fruity esters are present but far less than the SS Pale I just finished. Low diacetyl .. but it definitely works in this brew... and I traditionally don't appreciate diacetyl contributions. Finish reminds me of a slightly sweetened black tea. Mild carbonation though I assume it is too much for the style. Nice body with just enough hop bitterness to make me want another sip.

This is the 2nd SS brew tonight that I have consistently overlooked. I always have access, but almost always go toward the American 22... I will bring this back into the stable.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the 12 flo. oz. bottle. This is the brown ale that brewers emulate when they brew a brown ale. The pour is a clean mahogany-brown with a delicate, thin head. The aroma is full of nuttiness, sweet caramel malts, with a crisp, clean mellow hop background. The body is smooth and soft. The taste sweet with a slight bitterness and just a little yeast thrown in. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of Zorro
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown ale.

Smell is fruity and perfumey with a mild malt aroma.

Nice flavor, malt and burnt sugar, a bit of perfume. Mildly sweet with a brown sugar after taste. Prune and Raisin flavors come out later.

Good Mouthfeel.

Very drinkable, mild yet not bland.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml brown bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Clear dark copper brown color. Nice off white, light tan color head that is thick and dense and has nice retention and thick sticky lacing.
S: Nutty, malty, a little caramel, slightly sweet. Also surprisingly, some alcohol in the background. I'm still not crazy about the smell of brown's in general I suppose, but this is better than most.
T: By far the best english brown I've had. I've been down on this style recently but this definitely overcomes that. First thing I notice is a smooth, buttery taste quickly followed by a nutty, malt taste. Slightly sweet to start and a dry, slightly hoppy finish. The butter remains underneath everything else.
M: Thick, smooth, buttery, moderate carbonation, not as dry as other brown ales I've had recently. Very pleasant
D: Beer gets a little heavy with the thick, nutty, buttery taste which curbs the drinkability a little, but this is by far the best brown ale I've had.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

18.7 oz. bottle, brown thankfully,

A: Light brown, with a tan head, a pretty average looking beer, really.

S: Toffee malts, with sour green apples, and English hops.

T: A mix of caramel and toffee, with sour green apples, and hard mineral water.

M: Smooth, dry, minerally, and a bit acidic.

D: A good English Brown, I'd buy again, but wouldn't go out of my way for it.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Usual 550ml Bottle: BBD Apr 14, poured into an Abbot Ale glass tankard at home on 17th Nov 13.

Looks impressive: clear body of redwood (teak/mahogany), a deep blanket of beige foam sits on top, nothing moves as you stare at the glass, apart from carbonation bubbles rising through the body. One of those moments to savour.

The nose is dry, as is the taste: malts rule the roost here, nutty (obviously by the name) and slightly over roasted in smell and flavouring.

This is a fine beer and I'm glad I found it after years of not having any since my youth. An old school Brown with nothing fancy or clever about it, just good ingredients and blended well, then left alone to sort it's self out.

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Photo of Derek
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Ruby brown, off-white head, leaves a nice lace.

S: Bready, caramel, slightly fruity.

T: Bready, caramel malt with a little raisin/prune, and a hint of chocolate flavour. Nice bittersweet balance, maybe a little sweet up front, with a slightly bitter aftertaste from the roasty malts & hop bitterness. No hop flavour. Roasty, but not overly nutty. A little walnut flavour in the aftertaste (more as it warms to room temperature). Smooth, very well-rounded, no burnt flavours.

M: Body is a little heavier than moderate (certainly heavy for its strength). A little syrupy. Carbonation is moderate, perhaps a little higher than average.

D: Very drinkable. Moderately full body & carbonation would prohibit the consumption of multiple gallons.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass and was left a small head that was constant w/ the whole drink and left some lacing. The color is a transparent brown, if you will.
The smell is very strong, as I actually picked up some malt smell as I was pouring the beer. There is clearly hazelnut picked up on the first whiffs, and maybe some honey or syrup one might smell.
It is rather a simplistic smell, to be honest, nothing in great detail to go on about.
The nuts in this beer are the main driving force of the taste and there is a little sweetness on the tongue from the yeast and you could sense either honey or caramel in there also. It might be chocolate, but I doubt it.
While the finish is a tad dry (I wouldn't call it bitter at all) from the nuts (maybe roasted malts were used?), overall this is a thin body ale that is very smooth and somewhat creamy.
W/ the almost dessert beer taste and low ABV, I would gladly have a few of these w/ friends or at the pub.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours a clear brown colour with nice size beige head. There appears to be an average amount of carbonation. There is some fairly decent lacing, and the head lasted for several minutes before it dissipated.

Smell - Slightly metallic, nutty, hops, caramel and malts

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a perfectly carbonated mouth feel. It suits the beer very well. It is creamy and light. I can taste caramel and toffee, and then there is a nutty hop finish and aftertaste. The beer has the perfect blend of flavour that leaves it full bodied but now overpowering at all.

Drink - I could drink this every day for the rest of my life. A terrific beer that I will continue to drink as long as I can track it down

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Photo of jdhilt
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light tan, three finger head, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Light-medium carbonation and light-medium bodied. Deep, clear amber color. Nose is not distinguishable. Starts with a light mellow sweetness and finishes with a good balance of malts and hops. $2.32 for a 12oz bottle from Northend Superette Manchester, NH.

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Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
4.08 out of 5 based on 3,859 ratings.
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