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Samuel Smith's Organic Pale Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's Organic Pale AleSamuel Smith's Organic Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

28 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 28
Hads: 188
Avg: 3.75
pDev: 35.2%
Wants: 5
Gots: 53 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: clarknova on 10-25-2013

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 28 | Hads: 188
Photo of tzieser
4.24/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 550ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

L: hazy bronze in color with a thick white head that settles into almost a thin lacing after several minutes. Not the best looking beer in the world but "it'll do", as they say over in the UK.

S: pleasantly sweet malty aroma. notes of caramel, freshly baked biscuits and earthy, herbal hops.

T: layers of sweet malt expertly balanced by herbal hop bitterness. caramel, toasted bread notes with a bit of orange marmalade in the back thanks to the hops. Excellent from start to finish

M: somewhat dry finish.

O: a terrific English pale ale. Expertly balanced and worth the $3.75. Would go well with some fish & chips.

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Photo of TigerSoul
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm not sure why this beer didn't score in the 90's here on BA. Not to call into question the impeccable palates and discriminating taste of these 'experts' but I sometimes wonder what they actually expect from a beer. Sam Smith's Organic Pale Ale is a world classic, in my view, a definitive example of the variety. It's a traditional, regional English country ale, not intended to hit you over the head with any one of the characteristics of beer (look, smell, etc.) although I do find the rich copper hue quite pleasing to the eye... Smell? Nothing to write home about, but the taste? It's got a solid malty backbone with a slight hint of mustiness that I suspect might come from the stone troughs used in fermentation. Hops are not forward, but they're not supposed to be. There is hardly any hop character, but it still packs enough tang to satisfy the hop-seeker. ... The "Organic" variety, in fact, has permanently replaced the original "Old Brewery Pale Ale"; folks just found this one to taste better so Sam Smith's ceased production of the other one... Is this one for the growing numbers of hop-crazy beer enthusiasts? No. Is it for the Yuengling-Bud crowd? No. Is it for the drinker who appreciates tradition, quality and craft? Yes.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; deep copper - maybe reddish amber in color; 1 finger khaki head that receded to a wispy cap; no lacing;

S: caramel, toffee, tobacco;

T: caramel, toffee, and tobacco up front; licorice gets added in at mid-palate and becomes dominant by the mildly bitter finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: easy drinking;

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a reddish copper colour with a thin white head. Fruity aroma with a little malt. Medium carbonation. Flavours of apple, melon, a little caramel, sweet and light bodied.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: A brilliant garnet tinted amber pour crowned by a 1” cream colored foam collar that leaves light lace.
S: malt, faint spice, earthy hop.
T: Malty biscuit with a dose of nuts, light fruit, medium bitter finish.
F: Medium to medium light body, medium low carbonation.
O: A very good English Pale Ale.

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Photo of ludachris
2.95/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Its honey amber hue is rich and attractive with a brilliant clarity. A thick puck of creamy white head leaves spots of lace across the sides of the glass as it gradually recedes.

Diacetyl is the first thing I pick up on. Perhaps not uncommon to the style but it's quite pronounced, presenting itself as a film of butterscotch draping itself over the nose. A worty, grainy sweetness is underneath. Floral and earthy with a bit of minerality.

Again, the diacetyl comes through first and almost in the same manner as the nose, with the butterscotch taking on a buttery character as well. A touch floral and a touch grassy with a more refined grainy sweetness. It finishes quick with a stern, mineral-driven dryness and slightly metallic lingering bitterness.

The feel is clean and sharp, dry and concise. Its low level of carbonation goes almost unnoticed with its quick kick of dryness. Its lingering bitterness is subtle and somewhat refreshing.

I don't know what, if anything, the LCBO's shipping and storage conditions of this beer have to do with how I tasted it today, but I found it very underwhelming and one dimensional with too much diacetyl to ignore. I've got a lot of respect for Samuel Smith's and their traditional English brewing techniques and offerings. With that being said, this is my least favorite beer I've had from them to date.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

4/6...pours orange to brown color with 1/4 inch white foam. Bready nose, light malt. Toffee bread malt taste, full bodied. Pokey bitter. A touch earthy. Classic english pale - very natural feeling.

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Photo of KajII
3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

It pours a hazy orange/brown with a white frothy head and had hints of bread malts, herbal hops and a big note of caramel. This is a bold malty brew with a pronounced caramel sweetness and a mild hop backbone. A tasty easy to drink brew with a low ABV, which allows for the consumption of multiple beers...

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Photo of Beejay
3.41/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish amber in color, nice tall off white head on top.

S: Caramel and bread aromas, with a nice flower and herb hop smell.

T: Good caramel flavor, with bread notes. Some light toffee, and a touch of erbal hops in the finish.. there is a touch of a tannic finish.

M: Medium in body, with a fairly creamy feel. Carbonation is fairly high.

O: Overall pretty tasty. Although I wish there was a little more character from the English Hops. Although perhaps that's just because I was really craving a Fullers ESB, and settled on this. Still a fine beer.

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Photo of peensteen
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale copper-amber colour, just over one finger of white head, little lace. Smell is malty with a bit of a toffee and caramel, fruity as well, earthy and lightly metallic hops. Taste is fruity with a light bitterness up front, malty-toffee like sweetness, light fruity earthy points as well, overall flavours were fairly muted but well balanced. Lightly carbonated, medium-full body. Solid stuff and very easily drinkable, would have liked more pronounced flavours though.

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Photo of archyquaffer
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Poured from the 550 ml bottle into a shaker pint glass. In addition to the typically cool old timey label with Yorkshire rose is a "USDA Organic" sticker. I got a mild gusher upon opening. An easy pour produces about a one inch head that proves fairly sticky. The beer is a slightly hazy ruddy pale brown with rather high carbonation.

Subtle floral and tea-like hop aroma-flavors with a rich caramelly malt base. A nice fruity pungency evocative of apricot underlies everything and contributes to an illusion of sweetness belied by the dry mineral finish.

Another excellent and accessible beer from Sam Smith (more and more available in my area). I continue to be intrigued by the whole Yorkshire square method of brewing, and how this obviously contributes to the unique qualities manifested in the beer. This beer was very reasonably priced at 4-something for the bomber. Purchased at Front Street Market in Butte, Montana.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

550 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. Purchased for under $5 CDN from the LCBO.

Appearance - clear amber color, limited bubbles, two fingers of so of frothy off white head. Smooth lacing remains behind slathered all over the the inside of the glass.

Smell - bait fruity,a bit like apricot or peach, then some floral notes shine through. An underlying caramel sweetness throughout. Definitely malt heavy based off the nose.

Taste - malty, with a bit of hops to cut through the decadence. Some fruit like apricot and peach in small doses and a green tea element in there too. Pretty tasty and reasonably complex. A little bit of raisin as the beer warms too.

Mouthfeel - smooth, reasonably carbonated, yet fairly light body. Eminently quaffable.

Overall - a pretty damn solid English pale ale, from the guys you'd expect to do a good job on it. While I won't be purchasing this all the time, partially due to price and partially due to availability, but this is definitely a well executed pale ale.

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Photo of magpieken
3.75/5  rDev 0%

550ml bottle. Mar15. Pours a bright, deep copper colour with a foamy, light tan head which lasted well and left some lacing. Earthy aroma of caramel and raisins. A mild sweetness is followed by a slightly astringent bitter finish and a hint of nuttiness (so to speak). Soft mouthfeel, light to medium body and very gentle carbonation. I appreciate that this beer is true to style and very well made, it just didn't leave me craving more.

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Photo of TerryW
2.66/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

This one is a bit of a shocker for me. It's a great looking beer, but after that I can't think of too many brews that I've come across that are so utterly devoid of character. Has a whiff of sweet malt to it and a similar hint of malt to taste. A slightly bitter finish, maybe a touch of raisin. But any of that only comes across if you squint while you drink.

Looks awesome, but then nada. Disappointing.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 11/13/2013. Light gusher upon opening. Pours slightly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a small amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, pear, apple, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, pear, apple, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, pear, apple, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice robustness and balance of bready malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast ester flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 5%. Overall this is a damn nice English pale ale! All around great balance and robustness of bready malt, earthy hops, and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Wobbly
4.5/5  rDev +20%

A: Very minimal bloom, which dissipates very quickly. Minimal lacing. Lovely amber/deep orange appearance, typical of the style.

S: Slightly nutty, very malty, but with floral undertones from the organic hops.

T: Strong flavors of nutty malt are balanced by some slightly fruit flavors from the choice of hops.

M: Full bodied and substantial, but still fairly refreshing. Two or three pints could be consumed in a typical session.

O: A lovely, well balanced beer of the highest order. I am consistently surprised and dismayed how so many reviewers tend to marginalize certain British styles (especially bitters and pale ales) and breweries. If this were an American beer, I think it would be more highly rated by people.

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Photo of doktorhops
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Organic Pale Ale! Samuel Smith! Yes! These guys are old school, point of fact: They still use wooden barrels instead of metal kegs, they even have a full-time Cooper (dude that makes barrels) and they make local deliveries with a horse and cart. Also this brew happens to be both organic and Vegan certified (i.e. no animal products). I was already impressed by the Nut Brown Ale, will the Organic Pale Ale live up to its promise? [well will it?]

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: As a typical English Pale Ale it presents spot on with a clear copper body and a beige half centimetre head.

S: Aromas of fruity hops, sweet caramel malts with a nice earthy background. There are hints of nuttiness thrown in, along with diacetyl giving it a lingering butter tone.

T: A prime example of a classic EPA here; sweet caramel on the fore with chestnut, pecan and buttery diacetyl mid before finishing with fruity hops. Ensure you drink this at 11-13 degrees Celsius otherwise you will miss these excellent flavours in harmony.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light carbonation (again Mr. Smith is a bit fuller with his carbonation than most English brewers).

D: Yep I'm officially a fan of this brewer now. This is a time-honoured tribute to an EPA here, exactly how you would get it if you were in any old pub in the UK. My only problem - I had the beer sitting in my fridge and my room is currently 8 degrees Celsius (I'm in our lovely nation’s capital Canberra right now) so I'm not able to get this beer up to the prescribed temperate... that and I can't feel my fingers, Canberra = so cold.

Food match: Roast lamb with gravy, mash potato, peas and carrots (don't forget the Yorkshire pudding!).

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A gift from Uncle Roy

Amber with a persistent head for an English Pale. Multiple foam rings like a rugby shirt. Smell is very malt forward with biscuit mix and dough being the primary aroma. Some earthy hops in the background. Wheat bread malt flavor with the more earthy hop balance in back. Mild orange marmalade. Surprisingly, and appreciated, prickly mouthfeel for this usually flat English style.

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Photo of Louisville-Beer-Reviews
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear amber/caramel color with spongy head and clumps of lace.

Aroma: Fruity aroma of champagne, soured grapes, green tea, and a soft mineral/cellar smell.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Flavor on the tongue is that of rich butterscotch/caramel, with a strong grainy, caramel malt presence in the finish. Some spicy hop through the nose, with sweet honey throughout, and earthy mineral/cellar flavors in the finish. Smooth texture.

Final Word: Very balanced, very complex, very drinkable! Highly recommended! My favorite part of this beer was its complexity, as each sip stayed interesting and presented new flavors! The sweetness of honey and caramel; the spicy hop; the grainy malt; and the earthy mineral flavors of the well water and “stone Yorkshire squares” (fermenting vessels made of slate) all mesh perfectly and create a profile that’s constantly surprising you. However, even with all of the complexity in the flavor, the beer remains light and drinkable, which makes it a versatile choice good for any situation! Snag a fresh bottle (very important for this one!), chill it to fifty degrees, and share at your earliest opportunity!

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Photo of woodychandler
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was at Country Garden Six-Pack today, scouting for new and different things, when I came across this one, tucked away in a corner cooler, crying out for me to bring it home.

From the bottle: "Organic Pale Ale"; "Samuel Smith's Pale Ale captures the true soul of beer. It is brewed with hard well water, best organic malted barley, yeast and organic aroma hops. Fermentation in 'stone Yorkshire squares' creates a full-bodied rounded palate. It has a fresh maltiness that reminds you that good beer is a product of the soil -organically nurtured."; "'Stone Yorkshire squares' at the Old Brewery are used to ferment all Samuel Smith's bottled ales."

I let it warm slightly as I got engrossed in watch World Cup action, but I still created two dense fingers of tawny head that fell fairly quickly once I began the pour. The lacing in its wake was decent, but not stellar. Color was a deep-amber, bordering on copper (SRM = >13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was very sweet, almost honey-like, which I associate more with a lager, but with a slightly buttery, somewhat nutty accent also. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium and the taste was like buttered nut bread. Wow! It was highly quaffable, and I drank over half of it down as I was typing. I would characterize the finish more as semi-sweet than semi-dry, although an argument could be made for both. It really had more of a nutty, malty aspect though and I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

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Photo of utfiero
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Color- nutty light brown. Medium but thick head.

Aroma-sweet and nutty.

Taste- Very malt forward, a gentle giant. Starts malty, rich and buttered toast. Then, it mellows and finishes with a lingering grainy perfection. An excellent brew which reminds me of a holiday in the UK. This malt forward pale ale is not an IPA but may be a good transitional brew for those wishing to acquaint themselves with ESBs and IPAs, a stepping-stone to hoppier cousins.

The 5.00% ABV makes this a great session beer.

Poured from 550 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted on 2/14/14.

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Photo of delta490
3.66/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly cloudy amber with a foamy white head. No retention but just a hint of lacing. The aroma has light notes of darker fruits but a pretty strong note of diacetyl. The taste is pretty mild as well. I was hoping for more of the "Best Bitter" styles I got familiar with in England, and while this one seems like it should, it just falls short. It does improve as it reaches it proper temp (closer to 55F). It's got a nice weight to the body but even when it gets to a better temperature, it's just lacking in the full, rich deep flavors normally associated with the style.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one didn't impress me much, but it's drinkable. i have liked other Sam Smith's beers better. To be perfectly honest, I was steered to try this because "it was a perfect example of diacetyl." Now I can finally be certain of what they meant, and what that flavor is. I suppose it's not a bad taste, but it's not my favorite either. I certainly wouldn't turn down a glass of this, but I'll seek out other brews from this brewery in the future..

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Photo of stuarthyde
4.69/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer was recommended to me by one of my customers.

I ordered it and when the bottle arrived I was surprised by the label (old school).

The color and taste were very good! I have since recommended this beer to all of my beer drinking friends.

I have taken the next step and also purchased this beer to have in my refrigerator at home.

I have also tried several of their other Organic beers as was not disappointed!

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Photo of Leviathan5
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A - Dark orange/ambar color with a decent off-white head. Not that much retention and/or lacing

S - Toasted malts with caramel touches. There's a scents from citrusy hops, and an earthy presence, but not so prominent as the malts

T - Mostly toasted sweet malts. The hops are there to balance the malts, but they're mostlu present at the dry, bitter finish.

M - Medium body and medium carbonatation. Creamy but not that smooth texture

O - Not an spectacular beer, in the sense that none of its ingredients really stand out, but it's an nice balanced ale. Maybe I wouldn't choose it if others are available, but i wouldn't mind drinking it again

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Samuel Smith's Organic Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
84 out of 100 based on 28 ratings.