Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale review

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown AleIt's time to pull out an import that I've had for a while and open it up for a tasting. I'll save my normal reviews of Colorado beer for the moment to expand on my beer geography. Today's beer is a Brown Ale from jolly ol' England - Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale from the Samuel Smith Old Brewery in N. Yorks. One nice thing I like about my local beer store is that they love to stock beers that tend to get higher than average ratings from the popular beer rating sites. I love a good brown every so often and when I saw this 550ml brown bottle I decided it was time I tried out an English brew for a change.

Upon opening the gold foil topped bottle, I noticed a small amount of head bubbling up over the top of the bottle. There must have been a bit of carbonation going on to get the foam frothing from the start. I poured the medium brown ale into my favorite glass and watched as the light tan head grew to over 3 fingers tall. Good head action at least! The beer poured clear with no haze and had a slight ruby color when held up to the light. The tall head quickly settled down to a small bead which remained for the first pouring from this bottle. The 550ml size is roughly 1 and a half 12 oz beers.

I swirled the beer slightly to get the aroma going. I could detect some slight nutty scents to this beer (no surprise) but not a lot of hop smell. The first taste was not very malty. My tongue was aroused in the middle section as well as a tingle in the upper roof of my mouth. There was a clean dry finish to this brown with a slight alcohol hit at the end. This beer has a 5% ABV value so it's not going to be a very noticeable. I'm use to beers with a strong malty taste but this one was rather moderate in comparison. Samuel Smith put in some quality crystal malts in this brew. The IBU rating must be somewhat low on this beer as I didn't detect much bitterness at all.

The beer is a fine 1st example of an English Brown Ale for me. It's a bit drier than American Nut Browns. I felt quite comfortable finishing the entire 18.7oz bottle in a single setting. I'd recommend this beer to go along with your regular meal, with meats or cheese but not with dessert. Sweets don't mix well, but rather with saltier or spicier fare.

The brew rating sites seemed to like this beer. Ratebeer gave this beer an 84th percentile with a 3.5 out of 5 rating. Beer Advocate rated this beer a nice "B+". As for me, it certainly worthy of a repeat buy later on. While I'll most likely stick to local craft beers in the future, I'll certainly recommend this to any beer drinker. I'll give this a 3.4 out of 5 rating. If I ever get to visit a British brewpub in the future, I'll look to try this beer on tap if possible. Cheers!

Related articles:
- Avery Ellie's Brown Ale review
- Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale review
- Left Hand Deep Cover Brown Ale review

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