1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

575 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 575
Reviews: 370
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 12.78%
Wants: 36
Gots: 13 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-27-2001)
View: Beers (27) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 575 | Reviews: 370 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JDV


1.2/5  rDev -69.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Goldish amber with white fluffy medium lasting head. Smells musky, sweaty and simply not good at all. I've had skunky beers that smelled possibly better. Taste is somewhat smooth creamy and just grossly sweaty, and yeasty. Kind of like moist dirty laundry. Not good. One of my least favorite beers ever, and undrinkable for me, although it didn't taste like a beer that had gone bad. I simply didn't like this one, and Samuel Smith's Lager and Nut Brown ale were quite good.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2008 21:45:26 | More by JDV
Photo of sharpski


1.5/5  rDev -62.4%

02-15-2012 20:44:59 | More by sharpski
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

2/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pretty bad, bland and boring, quite bitter, but edgy in its taste, theres better stuff from Sam smith thats for sure.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2002 17:43:24 | More by rastaman
Photo of RoyalT


2.17/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance – The body is a light orangish yellow and clear. The head is nice and thick but went down quickly.

Smell – There wasn’t much of a nose to this one. I could pick up some grain and cheap sugar along with a big, musty smell.

Taste – The nasty grain and sour tartness that I’ve come to expect from lesser breweries is here in spades. This stuff is horrible.

Mouthfeel – Light, fizzy carbonation and extremely thin, even for a Pale Ale.

Drinkability – Thank God my wife agreed to put away the rest of this one. She wasn’t too happy with it though and said that she definitely won’t “buy again” (this from a Sam Smith fan).

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2003 01:23:06 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Shiloh

Ontario (Canada)

2.42/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pretty enough with limited crown, but at the expense of the taste buds.
Geez this is sweet, they must have run out of hops at the Tadcaster Brewery the day this brew was introduced.
Body is a medium, carbonation is all but missing but the colour is nice.
I'm sure this organic style is appreciated by some, and this may be a special product...but I don't see it!

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2003 02:14:50 | More by Shiloh
Photo of Budlum


2.42/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Quickly diminshing head starting at a meager 0.25 inches giving way to a thin blanket driven by the very high effervesence of this brew. Clear, amber body almost as "bubbly" as a freshly served flute of champagne.

Fresh, spicy hops immediately on the nose followed by a rush of sweetness suggesting syrup or honey. A definite roasted malt presence similar to that of a finely crafted Vienna lager.

The hops apparent on the nose are immediately absent. Definite roasted malt presence that gives way to a, dare I say, cereal malt-esque finish that lasts for an unpleasantly long time. A little too watery and not packing much flavor. What happened to all the good stuff I smelled? I can certainly believe this was organically produced beacuse it tastes like dirt. The only highlight was that it picked up a sugary mouthfeel as it warms.

Despite the absolute lack of flavor, mouthfeel is good and pleasantly creamy. However, forget about experiencing any of the effervesence present in the glass.

I'm sure the drinkability of this is high because it may take another three or four to figure out what SS was going after with this one.

My only thought is that this may have been sitting on the shelf for far too long. I can't possibly imagine SS producing this beer in the state in which I sampled it. Hopefully I can find another and review this one again. In a blind test, I would NEVER believe that this beer was from the same brewery that produces the outstanding SS Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2006 00:49:03 | More by Budlum
Photo of Noelito76

New York

2.5/5  rDev -37.3%

10-13-2012 12:42:50 | More by Noelito76
Photo of scruffwhor


2.55/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours the traditional medium amber, and clear rust hues. With very little visible carbonation. The aroma is very bland and a tart malt with some very bland hop bitterness at the finish of the sniff. The taste is even more tart and almost a sur weet malt. Hints of stiny hops in the midde of each taste. This was not what I expected from this renowned brewery.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2007 02:01:12 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of Dogbrick


2.68/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

For once a lighter Sam Smith beer that was not lightstruck! Still a thorughly average beer though. Pours a golden color with a thin white head and a little carbonation and thin lacing. Earthy, fruity and yeasty aroma. On this thin side and lacking in any obvious flavor. Unbalanced but drinkable, still I'll go back to the Imperial Stout next time.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2003 08:39:51 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of XmnwildX12


2.75/5  rDev -31.1%

05-09-2014 03:35:00 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

2.78/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in an English pint glass at just over fridge temperature. $2.99 at Wyckoff Liquors, who also had the entire line of SS beers refrigerated.

Appearance- Pours a bright gold with a clean, white two finger head that laces nicely... the thin foamy mat plants itself firmly over the course of the tasting.

Smell- A metallic edge to a doughy malt character hits the nose first... there's a mild pungency about the aroma that I find undesirable. With no sign of a freshness date, it's hard to say whether or not this may be an off bottle. Some smoke notes peek through the husky, very organic qualities here.

Taste- This drinks like a very ordinary pale ale... a relatively good balance of malts and hops, some grainy aspects, and an English hop bitterness that drys the finish. Unimpressive and uneventful.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The mouthfeel only wakes up slightly when aggravated... otherwise it's thin. I won't be visiting this again.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2006 23:25:56 | More by yelterdow
Photo of theopholis


2.9/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Poured into a tulip glass. Has a bright gold head with very little staying power. Leaves a decent amount of lace. Color is a light amber.

Smell- Gives off a light fruity smell. Some malt character. Just a whiff of bread.

Taste- This drinks like a typical pale English ale. Some hop bitterness/acid on the tip and edges of the tongue. Interesting change in hop bitterness at the back of the throat. A little malt sweetness, but nut much. Tastes vaguely grainy to. Not bad, but not great.

Mouthfeel- Medium body for the style. A tad over-carbonated IMO.

Drinakbility- It's fair. Nothing to write home about.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2006 07:46:52 | More by theopholis
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

2.9/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in an English Pint]

The pour was a clear light orange with a small (less than 1 finger) white fizzy head which diminished almost immediately after being poured with very poor lacing.

The aroma was of a light bread malt, a slight floral hop and a very mild cobweb yeast with a light fruity ester and a mild hint of caramel.

The taste was a bit malty with a light sweet caramel presence and a slight fruitiness throughout, with the finish becoming mildly bitter towards the end. The flavor faded very quickly from the taste buds with a faint bitterness left behind.

Mouthfeel was light in body and creamy in texture with an average carbonation.

Overall this was a brew that had a decent enough flavor, although it was definitely nothing special. It would however be a decent brew for a hot summer’s day...


Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 17:20:43 | More by KajII
Photo of illidurit


2.93/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Copper in color with a fluffy white head. Some bubble columns help the retention, and a little lace adorns the glass. Aroma is pretty average. Overly sweet malt with some fruitiness. Flavor is sour fruit and grainy malt. Don't really enjoy this one at all. High on carbonation and low on body and flavor. Not something I'm going to buy again.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2008 08:14:57 | More by illidurit
Photo of Halcyondays


2.93/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours golden with a long lasting white head, some lace.

S: Lemony hops, sulfur, grass clippings, sourdough bread.

T: Mineral sulfur character. Definitely has a bit of vegetal flavour in there which I wasn't crazy about. Fairly good malt flavour though.

M: Soft carbonation, fine feel, nothing wrong here.

D: This was OK, but I was pretty bored with it by the end. There is much better from Sam Smith's.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2010 04:26:33 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of marcobrau


2.95/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color and foams up. The head disappears a few seconds later like with many English ales - that's okay, I like the lighter carbonation. The aroma is fruity and a bit musty. The first sip is full of fairly sweet, caramel malt flavor, and gets fruitier and juicier towards the finish. A light bitterness exerts itself about two thirds of the way to the finish, which is flowery, slightly dry and lightly bitter. The taste of minerals that the Tadcaster brewing water and unique fermentation is famous for shows up towards the finish; especially as this pint comes up to room temperature. Overall, a very easy drinkin' English ale, with some delicate flavors that are probably eclipsed by other more assertive British brews. It's certainly worth trying and makes for a good session beer; athough a bit strong for such classification.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2004 02:31:18 | More by marcobrau
Photo of prosper

Alberta (Canada)

2.95/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very light colour, mid-yellow, similar to pils urquell.

Smells of lemony hops, with some light toasty malts.

Taste is decent... nothing special. Bitter, slightly hoppy, a bit floral perhaps with a faint trace of earthyness, and it has a fruity tartness, sort of berry-like. This is really a cream ale, a 'summer bitter.' Not lots of flavour going on here. This was obviously intended to appeal to the lager crowd.

Mouthfeel is very light and dry. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a hefty percentage of plan sugar in the recipe.

Drinkability is decent, but there's really nothing charming about it to compel you to have another.

Overall, a well-made beer, but ultimately a little disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2010 04:25:38 | More by prosper
Photo of TheMrFarnham


3/5  rDev -24.8%

07-15-2013 18:16:54 | More by TheMrFarnham
Photo of JedediahK

New York

3/5  rDev -24.8%

03-23-2012 05:29:14 | More by JedediahK
Photo of LJWalker


3/5  rDev -24.8%

02-01-2012 04:04:43 | More by LJWalker
Photo of BogAl


3/5  rDev -24.8%

07-21-2014 03:20:20 | More by BogAl
Photo of Gusler


3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A limpid gold color on the pour, the head impressive, the lace fine sheets to coat the glass. Malt nose, very clean and fresh. Slightly sweet at the start, the top is flimsy, finish is scarcely acidic, sparsely hopped, quite dry aftertaste, very refreshing beer, a bit light for me, but quite good nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2002 07:33:27 | More by Gusler
Photo of KillaB


3/5  rDev -24.8%

01-29-2013 06:36:24 | More by KillaB
Photo of smi

New York

3/5  rDev -24.8%

04-06-2012 04:19:02 | More by smi
Photo of Brad007


3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Came in a 12oz brown bottle.

Pours a nice pale color with amber hues. Has a thin head that recedes shortly. Aroma is nice and malty with some hints of caramel in the nose. Subtle and mild. Taste is fruity upfront with some nice toasted malt in the aftertaste. Not too bad of a taste but not impressive either.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2007 01:36:09 | More by Brad007
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
89 out of 100 based on 575 ratings.