Tom Paine Original Ale
Harvey & Son Ltd.

Tom Paine Original AleTom Paine Original Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
English Pale Ale
Ranked #28
Ranked #21,760
3.87 | pDev: 7.49%
Harvey & Son Ltd.
England, United Kingdom
Tom Paine Original AleTom Paine Original Ale
View: Beers | Events
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 32
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 275ml bottle with a BB of May 2019. Purchased a little while back from the Harvey's brewery shop in Lewes. The label describes it as a dry-hopped, full malty pale ale named after Thomas Paine - author of 'Rights of Man' and former resident of Lewes.

A: Poured into a tulip. A deep coppery-amber hue with some floating sediment and low carbonation. Produces a smallish head of frothy white foam that lasts for a moment or so before subsiding to a patchy surface layer.

S: Aroma of rich fruity malt with hints of caramel, barley sugar, subtle grain, ale yeast, esters and mild leafy hops. Distinctly malty, with a pleasingly traditional character.

T: Tastes of caramel malt with notes of toffee, barley sugar, grain, subtle dried fruit, ale yeast, esters, leafy hops and stewed husks. Slightly sweet, followed by an understated bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and lightly tingly, with soft carbonation and decent body. Mildly astringent. Aftertaste of caramel malt, barley sugar, mild fruitiness, ale yeast and leafiness.

O: Decidedly traditional in character - pretty decent overall. Looks OK, while the aroma and flavour are a blend of caramel malt, fruitiness, leafy hops and ale yeast. Body is alright. Possesses the distinct Harvey's yeast character. Not sure why they call it a pale ale; it isn't particularly pale. Goes down readily enough but probably better on cask. Worth sampling.

 1,415 characters

Photo of Spike
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 500ml bottle.
L: Lustrous, dark amber colour. No carbonation but one finger of creamy head leaves lots of lacing.
S: Caramel.
T: Soft caramel and toffee. Herbal backdrop.
F: Smooth, rich mouthfeel. Coats the mouth. Dry finish.
O: Excellent, intriguing malt base. Has a slightly boozy edge to it despite the moderate ABV.

 327 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.34/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

275ml bottle served in a shaker pint. Jun 16 printed on the cap. Pours a caramel hue with a translucent clarity and a thin soapy head that dissipates into a thin, loose band around the shoulders. Nose expresses caramel malt, grains and light medicinal notes. Taste follows nose with a residual sweetness at the finish that lingers betweens quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a slightly oily texture and a still carbonation. All and all, I don’t drink very English Pale Ales, so it is difficult to rate to style; however, it all comes off a bit too cloying and slightly herbal to be enjoyed on a regular basis.

 629 characters

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

Pours a light shade of caramel brown. There's a little haze, but plenty of light manages to cut through revealing orange highlights. An off-white head tops it off and reaches only a finger or so in depth. It wasted no time receding. Very little lace remains.

It's pretty light and weak on the nose. It smells mostly fruity. It's an interesting peach scent that's fairly sweet smelling. Light floral hops are noted and give it an overall earthy quality that's not bad at all. There's a lingering malty, sweet smell throughout. A little bit of a biscuit-like aroma emerges late. There's enough to keep it floating above average, but it's close. A little muscle would go a long way.

The flavor is a little better than the nose, but not enough to trigger a bump in score. There is a light fruity, sweet flavor initially. It is a decent peach flavor. Floral hops are prominent. They have a bit of a grassy flavor, in addition to some fruity qualities. It is a little malty and sweet. The hop flavor comes through a little stronger, but there's quite a bit of balance. Alcohol is pretty well lost in the mix and goes unnoticed. It finishes a little dry and sweet. It's above average. Definitely mild mannered with no big standout flavors. Not bad by any means.

The body is on the lighter side of medium and has a semi-smooth feel. Carbonation is well restrained. A little more body would probably help a little. Drinkability is above average. Tom Paine's original has a more than decent flavor and goes down easy. I'm liking it, but not quite loving it. Just not enough flavor to go around.

All in all, Tom Paine's original is a pretty good beer. It's not spectacular, nor does it really stand out in any way. Rather, it's just a straight forward English Pale, plain and simple. I think a little more of something would help add some flavor. Malt, hops, whatever. More of something would improve it. But, it's pretty good as it is. Definitely worth a try.

 1,953 characters

Photo of wl0307
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The cask version of Tom Paine was one of the first beers that really got me hooked to real ales some years back in Lewes, when I attended a local CAMRA branch's social event at the Harveys Brewery. This bottle was also purchased at the Harveys brewery shop two months ago; filtered, BB Nov.09, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: a bright, reddish amber hue with great clarity comes with a 1cm thick beige frothy head and very faint carbonation.
S: interestingly sour-sweet notes of (wet) bread or grainy/rice wine comes on top of Harveys ales' usual formula (sour yeasts, sweet malts, sweet-lemony+floral theme with a spicy kick of Sussex hops!), with an extra tinge of boiled sweet root-veggie; somewhat subdued on the overall aroma, but the overall impression is still deeply "Harveys"-like, if I may say so.
T: a mouthful of lightly-caramelised & aromatic sour-sweet pale malts and dry-ish hops quickly gives way to a marvellously bitter middle taste, surrounded by a decent level of sour-yeasty touch (endowed by open-top fermentation tanks still in use) and a well-lingering aroma exactly like Taiwanese ooh-long tea (for the slightly toasted yet also tannic and chewy undertones) plus scattered yum-ish sweetness. The level of bitterness remains considerable throughout the drink and the finish is utterly-pleasantly dry, hence a high "quaffability" overall.
M&D: the palate remains smooth, showing little intervention of fizziness apart from only necessary microscopic carbonation to keep a good fresh mouthfeel, yet it's so very clean that this one seems to be better bottled than some other Harveys products I've had. Being quiet in aroma and moderate in flavour, this bottle version is quite different from what I can vividly remember of the cask-conditioned one, which, as a summer seasonal ale, is absolutely boldly-fruity and lively-hoppy, yet just as bitter as this one in the aftertaste. Having said that, the attempt at bottling the "real" Tom Paine, as demonstrated by this bottle, is NOT BAD at all!

 2,033 characters

Photo of mdagnew
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle bought GapWines, Belfast...

Poured a deep crystal clear copper colour. Slightly off white head poured fairly loose and frothy then faded quite quickly to light patchy covering. No carbonation bubbles at all... light patchy lacing...

Aroma - (over) ripe juicy fruits (pineapples, pears, oranges, some apples), strong marzipan notes, biscuit malts, grassy, some oaky vanilla, floral honey sweetness, sweet graininess, quite bready, toasted nuts, butterscotch...

Taste - Lightly toasted caramel malts mixed with good juicy fruits (bitter oranges, pineapples, pears), decent peppery and grassy hop bitterness, bready, honey sweetness, again some light oakiness, some graininess, faint herbal notes...

M&D - Pretty smooth and creamy with a little oiliness underneath... medium bodied... an extremely quaffable brew..

Overall - A spot on example of an English pale ale... nothing mind blowing just a good drinkable ale...

 934 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a dark amber-brown color with medium thick tan head that lingered well and left okay lacing. Aroma was a very strong mix of sweet malty toffee and raisins. Mouthfeel was fairly thin, and also leaned to the sweet side, with the flavor again accenting hte sweetness of the malt and toffee flavor.

The only drawback to this beer was the watery and almost metallic finish, whicnh led to a poor finish of an otherwise very enjoyable beer.

 444 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: Pours a hazy amber color with a rocky head that retains well and splashes dots of lace

Smell: Very malty, with a burnt sugar and golden raisin/stone fruit character

Taste: Opens fruity and malty, almost like peaches and golden raisins soaked in liqueur; after the swallow, an earthy bitterness joins the fruity flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to low carbonation

Drinkability: A lot of English character to this one; very nice

Purchased from

 490 characters

Photo of BuckSpin
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - 500ml bottle in a 4oz glass. Hey, the restaurant owner insisted...says it promoted constant head development with repours.

Nose was floral, light, citrus oils of orange, hops, mild. After it warmed a little one of those "developed heads" yielding a wonderful aroma of fresh scratch biscuits.

A rich, warm, brassy orange amber hue that was slightly clouded, the heads (heads?) were regularly a pinky's worth of blonde coffee foam of mixed bubbles that lingered a while, then faded to a thin film. It did lace very tacky, with great curtains of foam.

Its creamy up front, the lite orange/citrus quality is there, its soft, lightly hopped & bitter, a little oily, mild on the pallete as it evens when it warms. The finish is creamy as well, with a whisper of bittersweetness on the throat as well as in the aftertaste that coats the mouth yet doesn't feel filmy, its nice.

I did notice that, with dinner (smoked turkey breast on salad greens with balsamic dressing and dry rub) that every quality mentioned above was amplified, especially that hop peak. This would pair well with a number of dinner items, as well as a nice lite cheddar.

I'm usually not too keen on English Ales, but I really enjoyed this. A nice change of pace, Definitely give it a shot, I will certainly enjoy it again.

 1,316 characters

Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Stubby 500 ml bottle on sale at Wilbur's in Fort Collins, CO for $1.99.

Cloudy dark amber under a small light tan head with large bubbles. Looks rather like fresh-squeezed apple juice.

Sweet malty nutty aroma with a note of apricot and some herbal hops. Interesting.

Good, pleasant malty nutty floral hoppy flavor, with a mild piney bitterness. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel is okay.

Nice beer, very easy to drink. This would make a nice session beer for an evening at darts in a good British pub.

If you can snag some, it's worth a try; and if you can get some at the great sale price I got it for, pick up several.

 631 characters

Photo of hanco005
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always been curious about this one…he seemed to always stare at me as I passed him in the store. Thought I would give in and give it a try. 1pt .9oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A—cloudy reddish brown with a thin tan sheet of foam on top, no head to speak of, but laced well as I drank it down

S—spicy, raison, plum, apricot, pear, lots of fruity smells here

T—not much like the smell, buttery toffee flavor, maybe some mild fruit tones, flavor is very mild and enjoyable if you like mild ales

M—smooth and velvetish, medium bodied, not much for carbonation

D—very different…the smell really threw me on this one; I expected the taste to be more fruity. I like it…a lot. Wish I had another right now.

 726 characters

Photo of Jredner
3.34/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big fruity bread/cake aroma. Quite intense smell really. Tea colored with a bubbly white finger thick head. Lots of honey/fruit accented malt in the fore with almost no hop profile. I’m just about over Bitters. They are one of the most boring beers on the planet. Even when well made. This one is no more or less boring then the other 20,000 Bitters out there. I’d really almost rather have a lager than a Bitter at this point.

 429 characters

Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been warned about htis beer, that the first time you drink it is the best, well this beer is really good and i hope it stays that way. got it out of a winter brews pack at world market in lansing.

pours a deep copper color with a white head the quickly fell in to a slight lace.
the aroma is wounderful i can not put my finger on it but it reminds me of spring, its fresh that must be it, malt and hopsack.
the flavor is delicious malty, spicy, citrus, mineriality, hopsack, it is just wounderful it starts strong and fades quickly in to a glow.
the mouthfeel is pretty good
i find this beer very drinkable year round.

 632 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 500ml broad bodied brown glass bottle with a thin short stubby neck. The main label has a picture of Thomas Paine set against a cream colored background. Tom Paine was an English ‘radical’ by birth who eventually went on, so the legend goes, to assist in drafting the American Declaration of Independence and was to eventually die in the USA. Labeled as ‘Harveys Tom Paine Original Ale’, and listed at 5.5% ABV. No freshness date.

Appearance: Ever so slightly turbid toffee brown torso, the hazed body shines like polished oak wood. Dirty off-white head thrills at the thought of being released and forms a creamy head that has a rough shoddy surface, yet it only takes a few mouthfuls to even out the surface into a smoother cap. Incredibly fine conditioning and some nice looking lacing.

Nose: Hoppy hints pique with a fruity background which contains some herbal. Caramel malts and toffee mix with a sweet toffee-apple finish.

Taste: Similar to the nose, the flavors generate a synergistic ESB like feel in the middle for a time. Fruity malts and herbal hops float around this tasty Pale Ale. Lusciously juicy finish that has a mild sweetness and a lingering hop dimension.

Mouthfeel: This had a very big feel, the bold character of the malts, toffee, caramel and herbal hop infusion really lends this one a thick skin and a strong heart. It can be a little overpowering if downed quickly though.

Drinkability: My only quibble is that it can feel a tad heavy in the long run if you drink it too fast. Sampled at a slow rate it has a high level appeal. A solid and dependable this one is slick and not that wanting except of the fact that I want another one.

Overall: Highly enjoyable brew that sits well in the glass and has a rewarding profile which offers many attractions on several levels.

 1,833 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue, but moderation in principle is always a vice."

--Thomas Paine

Ripe kumquat. The cap is small despite an increasingly elevated pour, starting out at a mere two fingers. It's lovely to look at, however, with a heavy, creamy texture and a roughened, bubbly surface. It falls at an anesthetized snail's pace and is leaving sticky blips and spatters of lace in its wake.

The aroma is a bit of a disappointment, both in terms of power and in terms of character. Fruity-herbal English hops are on display, but it's low-wattage all the way around. The beer smells somewhat musky as well; not a bad thing really. I hope that Original Ale is playing possum and will awaken on the palate.

This is a good, moderately hoppy English pale. Thankfully, the prominent metallic flavor fades quickly. There's a sufficient amount of malt on hand, and, as the style demands, the hops have risen free and clear to act as the centerpiece. The flavor that they impart is apricot and peach fruity with a sprinkling of earthy-herbal spice. In other words, a classic flavor profile for the style.

There's an acceptably long conclusion, during which the hoppy bitterness further asserts itself. The finish of the finish dries out just a tad, leaving the mouth clean and ready for more. The body/mouthfeel is style average with a restrained amount of CO2. Lace update: the glass opposite is buried in a thick sheet of minutely pocked, almond colored lace.

Harvey & Son have done a fine job with the three ales on which they've chosen to bestow the Tom Paine moniker. None of them are world-class, but all of them are solid, well-brewed beer. Anyone with any 'Common Sense' whatsoever should find something to like among the Brown, the Porter and the Pale.

 1,847 characters

Photo of ADR
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy dark amber color, has a Raw Sienna tone. Light yellow head climbs to 1/2 an inch to start and leaves sticky clumps of lace. Aroma of rich homemade bread with dense farm butter. Nice mouthfeel, middle-of-the-road with a mild creamy carbonation. Flavor is very pleasant but malt skewed -- as with many UK beers, look for your cartoonish hops elsewhere. Tastes of distinctly malted milk, vanilla extract tones with some breadfruit and a near to cantelope flavor. Toffee-ish finishing impression. For me, this was nicely done in most aspects.

 552 characters

Photo of maxpower
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy copper with a small off white head of large bubbles, doesn't leave much lacing. Fruity, bready aroma, buttery fruit and nut flavors. Medium bodied with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, not much in the finish. I wouldn't buy another bottle but defiantly worth a try.

 276 characters

Photo of RedBaron
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A well-made pale ale from Lewes, England.

Appearance: A pale bronze beer with an off-white head. Carbonation just right for an English beer.
Smell: Nice buttery and English hoppy (read: pleasantly understated) aroma.
Taste: A complex malty brew. Starts out with a grand mix of malty sweetness, has a nice yeasty middle, and has a slight bitter finish (good hop usage).
Mouthfeel: Balanced! Not heavy at all. Nor too light. The lingering taste is of a pleasant buttery and toffee notes.
Drinkability: A wonderful beer to come down with after a hard day. I had a nice, fresh sample and would definitely seek this out again. I believe its also bottle-conditioned. A fitting tribute to the most important native-born Englishman to fight for the cause of liberty in our country. Thank the Brits for this one!

 813 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice mahogany color, with reddish tint. Head is very thin, but that's acceptable, even expected, in many English beers.

Aroma: Highly fruity nose, with suggestions of plums, raisins, caramelised apple. Unusual for a bitter, but appetizing.

Flavor: Malty, caramel flavor. Spicy hop flavor, bitterness low for the style. Fruity esters are lower than the aroma suggests, but still present. Finish is fairly dry, ever-so-slightly buttery but mostly clean.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, medium body.

Doesn't fit the typical southern English pale ale style. Not bad, but I'd prefer better hop presence.

 618 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown 16.9 oz. bottle, with a vintage illustration of what is presumably Tom Paine on the front. No freshness date. Pours with a minimal head, just a little bit of white bubbley foam on top of the dark carmel colored beer. Smell is very sweet and honey like, fruity and malty. Only slight hops in the nose. Taste starts very smooth and indescript, and transitions into a bevy of woody, coffee, vinous carmel flavors. Taste finishes itself off slightly smokey and very smooth. Gets a little annoying toward the end of the bottle, but good nonetheless. I paid $3.50 for the bottle, and I think it is definitely worth a try.

 621 characters

Photo of deejaydan
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Good english ale. Super copper color. Nice bubbleflow thought it. Smell of sweet cherry aroma, but faint. Slight malty aroma. Taste is malt forward, slight hop aftertaste. Very drinkable beer. I like the lacing that this beer leaves behind in the glass.

 253 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, bright amber hue, with a brief, fizzy beigish head.
Aroma: awfully sweet, and just a bit bitter. Loads of fruit, apricot, peach, apple, melon, cherry, berry...
Taste is smooth, sweet, but never too much so...bit thin in the mouthfeel, with a shortish finish. Bit too bland in the flavor, cherry-ish, but, still, ...lays there.
Wish it were hoppier, but whatchagonnado...decent for drinking, but probably not, for me, worth the $4.49 a bottle I had to plunk down.

 473 characters

Photo of Crosling
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Quite a lovely nose this one has. Very hoppy and medicinal with a bit of citrus and cherries in the backround and notes of red apple skins, cider, peach and caramel.

Distinctively English in its hop variety. The hops are herbal, dry, grassy, flowery and slightly medicinal. The fruitiness is there, providing notes of red apples, peach and grapes. The malt backbone is full of butter, nuts and caramel. The back is spicy, peppers and cinnamon, then gives way to a lingering possibly dry hopped finish.

 522 characters

Photo of putnam
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Label reads: "Tom Paine Original Ale"
(hope this is the right file - ABV matches)
Orange.brown pour forces a short-lived top of beige bubbles.
Beckoning aromas of cream, caramel, nougat, vanilla, pudding, opium and Peptol Bismol.
Sweet entry on the palate brings burpy, fresh, ripe fruit flavors of plum, red grape, fig and roasted caramel woods. Gastric tartness gives shape to the creamy-textured, brothy, sophisticated finish. As it warms lots of butter - fresh, melted and burned butter - becomes apparent. A joy to drink (though buttery.)
This beer doesn't seem to belong to the recent trend of overly hopped English "craft" brews. If I were to compare it to anything I know, it would be to Fullers or Sam Smith's - especially the Nut Brown. Ultimately though, I'm not sure if this is as clean or practiced as products from either of those breweries, but for a new beer in my world it is a hit.

 905 characters

Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was very happy to find this at Cork n Ale while visiting friends back in Saginaw,MIchigan.Nice light brown color with creamy head that stays and leaves a nice lace.Smell was orange like and juicy,taste is of orange and somewhat spicey with a good hop presence,very drinkable.It's a great thing to find harder to find English ales like this.

 342 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Tom Paine Original Ale from Harvey & Son Ltd.
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 32 ratings