Brewed by Samuel Smith
Style: English Strong Ale
Tadcaster, England


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1569   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.25   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
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Bottle: Pasteurised.
Each year the label has a different picture.
Ingredients: Water, malted barley, yeast, hops, seaweed finings, carbon dioxide.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
argo0 (11181) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 5, 2003
UPDATED: JAN 28, 2006 (05-06 vintage, 550ml bottle, rated 1/28/06) Clear amber body topped by a pillowy beige head. Aroma is medium sweet, earthy, some caramel, light nut, wood. Taste is medium sweet, peach, some earthy, caramel, light leaves. Smooth, watery light-medium body that is not especially inviting, but is very drinkable. (6/4/7/3/13)

(02-03, rated 1/5/03) Beautiful clear amber body topped by a long-lasting rocky tan head. Aroma is quite inviting: caramel malty, slightly fruity (peach?), sweet, and floral hoppy. Taste is very malty -- caramel, toasty, and moderately sweet. Bitterness is limited to the aftertaste, and there it’s earthy and quite mild. (8/5/7/4/15)

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jbak (111) - Torrington, Connecticut, USA - JAN 4, 2003
Nice floral malty arome, beautiful reddish amber crystal coloring. Very smooth drinkable malty taste with a hop bite at the end. Very good but I wish Sam Smith would stop using clear bottles.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
PBOYNY (316) - Westchester, New York, USA - JAN 2, 2003
a lovely ale when the bottle isnt skunked, nice crisp taste, very creamy and just plain good!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
heykevin (1273) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - JAN 1, 2003
Whohoo! an uskunky bottle! Finally I get to taste what they intended. Lightly sweet toffee like aroma, without a trace of skunk. I am immediately taken by the interplay between chalky water flavors, the caramelly malt, and the british hops. Quite nice.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Racegoer (351) - Indiana, Indiana, USA - JAN 1, 2003
Bright orange amber in appearence,carmel malts, good hops, well balanced slightly bitter and a fair Ale at best

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
khayman70 (154) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - DEC 31, 2002
I am rating the best of the five pints that I drank. A couple of them were quite spoiled by the clear bottle. They had a skuny German smell, but the one bottle that wasn’t bad, did taste okay. It is a decent seasonal ale but it is too expensive in most cases. The price doesn’t warrent the flavor. The body is lighter than I have come to expect from a seasonal, and the flavors were mingled, but mildly crisp. The finish of the one good beer had a slight dry-pine hint. Not a great beer from Sam Smith, but drinkable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Kodos (200) - USA - DEC 30, 2002
SS needs to use better glass. Their stuff just doesnt make the trip across the pond very well. 3 bottles of this = 2 skunks and 1 good version. Good version rating: Interesting orange color, well formed lasting head. Sweet with a good drying/bitter finish. Nothing special about this beer at all. Rating given for the good version.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - DEC 30, 2002
Light aroma, skosh of hops. Pour was unimpressive. Sweet initially but finishes very dry and bitter, pine finishes off the flavor. Really spendy where I got it, so I’ll stick to Celebration Ale for this season.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
TheRimmer (483) - Florida, USA - DEC 29, 2002
UPDATED: NOV 25, 2004 I wasn’t too impressed. Awesome packaging though. It reminded me of, dare i say, Miller cold filtered. It had that ery clean, unasseritve taste. There was some hops in the finish and it reminded em slightly of almonds. However much better than the ghastly miller, this still wasn’t TOOOOO impressive. Nice big bottle, nice abv., and a decent effort. Could have used some more xmas spice. And everyone below me is right, there IS a bit of a skunk to the nose. What the previous years’ efforts yeilded I can’t say, but the 2002-2003 was below par for this brewery.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
JMerritt (1745) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - DEC 26, 2002
Hey, glad to see that I wasn’t the only one who thought the aroma was skunky. Flavor is roasted malt, slight hops, and finishes rather malty and dry. I was quite disappointed with this beer.

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