900: Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale

Name: Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale
Brewery: Samuel Smith
Country of Origin: United Kingdom (England)
City & State: Tadcaster, United Kingdom (England)
Style: English Pale Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5%
First Brewed: ca. 1980s

Price: $4.49 (I am going to start putting the price for each beer we drink. I will list the price per bottle (or can for the beers that are only available in cans) and will calculate our total dollar amount spent at the end. Should be a big number as some of these beers are already costing us an arm and a leg. But hey, it will be worth it come bottle 1001!)

Tasting Notes
Old Brewery Pale Ale is a traditional Yorkshire-style butter – dark tan in color with the effervescence in the beer helping to form a brimming white head on top. It is malty to taste with a hint of butterscotch, nuts, fruit, and a ash of spicy hops.

Ricky’s Thoughts
This is another big one for us… have only 899 bottles to go! I am sure when we get close to the end I will begin to get sentimental… but not yet. I just want to drink! This is also the first beer we are rating from our new home in Scottsdale, Arizona. We recently moved, which is why we haven’t been drinking many lately, but are here and starting to get settled. We are leaving for vacation next week, so we won’t be writing while we are gone. But still.

Tonight we are drinking the last of the Samuel Smith beers. I am glad, because only one of these has impressed me. I am just not a big fan of this brewery. I did learn that the water used for this beer comes from a well dating back to 1758… so that’s pretty cool. I just hope the beer doesn’t taste like it was made in 1758. Bottoms up!

In the Glass: It looks good in the glass. It has a dark copper color, and appears to be thick and creamy. The head is a slight tan that floats on the top. The glass is full, so I can’t really swirl to see if there is much lace. I picked the wrong glass… for shame!

Nose: It smells like a bitter pale ale. I am a fan of bitter… the more bitter the better. That is why I frequent a good IPA. I have been getting into imperial IPAs lately. They usually have a more noticeable hop character and a longer, more satisfying aftertaste. Let’s see what the Old Brewery Pale Ale tastes like.

Flavor: The bitter notes hit you right off the bat. The beer then drinks like a very dry, and somewhat malty IPA. They kept mentioning the malty flavors, but the words “bitter” and “malty” don’t really go together. It seems to work here, though. The bitterness that you experience toward the front of the palate is gone as fast as it gets there, leaving you for a very balanced experience from front to back.

Mouthfeel: It drinks like a well-carbonated pale. I sometimes wonder what the difference between a pale and an IPA are… but this one is an obvious pale ale. I am not a big fan of Samuel Smith beers, but this one is the best I have had from them. No wonder it is so popular. Oh, and this is the last Samuel Smith in the book. Good!

Aftertaste: The aftertaste isn’t as bitter as I wanted it to be, but it is present for quite some time. There is some dryness toward the back of the palate, but as the aftertaste fades the bitterness sticks around. From the second I stuck my nose in the glass, I knew this was going to be a balanced and drinkable beer.

I am glad this one was bearable. Like I said, I am not a big fan of Samuel Smith. Their beer is VERY easy to get, and it is cheap. I am talking $3 a bottle cheap. That’s good for people that don’t like craft beer and want to try it for the first time… but when it comes to craft beer, you really do get what you pay for.

Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale – The bottle says: “Brewed with hard well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), best barley malt, yeast, and aromatic hops to create a copper-coloured ale with a full, rounded flavor; fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’; the finish is a perfect balance of malt and hops. A good many British beers were very dark before the Industrial Revolution; new malting techniques led to pale malts allowing the evolution of this classic brewing style – a cornerstone of British pub culture.

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts
I have no idea what tonight’s beer is or even what kind.  Ricky just brought it to me in a glass.  It looks to be about medium in color, kind of a reddish brown.  There’s not much head, but I didn’t see it when it was first poured.  The beer looks somewhat thick, and it’s not very transparent, but you can see through it somewhat.  It honestly doesn’t have much smell to it at all.  I can’t even get enough scent out of it to tell you how I think it smells or what it smells like.  There’s just not enough there.  Let’s hope it tastes better than the non-existent smell.

The taste is not bad.  It almost has that richness of a barleywine, but it has a funny taste and aftertaste to it that makes it not nearly as good.  It has a little bit of spice to it, but not a lot.  I think I actually taste a little bit of sour, even, but not much of that, either.  Overall, I think it’s just okay.  I mean, it’s not a bad beer by any means, but for the flavors I’m getting out of it, I’ve had similar beers that tasted better.  Probably not one I’d pick up again unless I was really looking for a craft beer and this was one of few available.

Rating: 3/5

899 bottles of beer on the wall…

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