Samuel Smith
United Kingdom

Style: Brown Ale
ABV: 5.0%
Samuel Smith’s is one of the legendary English import breweries. Fiercly independent, this Yorkshire based brewery avoids many of the trappings of modern “commercial” commerce in their operations and maintain a strict adherence to their traditional brewing methods, including the exclusive use of water from their original 18th Century wellspring and their open “box” fermenters. They have long been available in the U.S.

It was one of the first “great” beers I’d fallen for back in the late 80’s and early 90’s as some of these “strange beers” would make their appearance at the beverage store where I worked through college. I hadn’t had a sample of the Nut Brown Ale or the Taddy Porter in at least a decade…and it’s always interesting to me how a new tasting holds up to my memory. Sometimes, what was “HUGE” back them seems pretty tame nowadays.

This one holds up exceptionally well. The aroma from the bottle hints of molasses and it pours rich and creamy, with a golden off-white head that maintains a presence throughout the pint. The body is medium full, with a mild sweetness of brown sugar, nuttiness and malty caramel rounding off to a lingering and balanced dryness. This is really outstanding and it almost takes me by surprise to find that my memory of this being “really good” still holds true even in comparison to local efforts over the past decade.