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

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Samuel Smith's Organic Best AleSamuel Smith's Organic Best Ale

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BA SCORE
89
very good

599 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 599
Reviews: 372
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 12.56%
Wants: 66
Gots: 20 | 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: BeerAdvocate on 02-27-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 599 | Reviews: 372
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy honey orange with a 1/2 inch foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, slight caramel, and some light fruity aromas. Taste is of malt, light fruits, and some mild herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a slight amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some nice aromas and flavors but nothing all that exciting in my opinion.

Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a two finger high dense off white head that died down rather quickly, leaving a film of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of fruity yeast in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is rather fruity and has some initial sweetness.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and quite sessionable.

Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a three finger head that leaves some streaks of lace

Smell: Bready with a fruity hop character that has a mineral aspect, as well

Taste: Bready malt dominates the front end, with a fruity hop element that, like the aroma, adds a mineral character by mid-palate; after the swallow, the fruit and mineral elements dominate

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A lot of English Pale Ale flavor elements; like this better than the Old Brewery Pale Ale

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very s.tern and disciplined Pale Ale done in true and traditional English fashion. I'm not sure if I care whether it's organic or not.

A convincing and masculine copper color pours from the glass with a modest haze, forming a froathy and confident head that retains excellently and lacing every bit as well.

Fruity/malty aromas give some caramels, biscuity character and a non-descript yeasty fruitiness that is in true Brittish form. Light butter-nut quality adds to the complex mix of rich aromas.

Flavors of sweet malts give that classic biscuity, buttery flavor with that English-fruity flavor that you just can't put your finger on. Earthy, spicy, and fresh, this beer has a bitter component that balances the malts well while contributing complexity in flavor and feel.

Rich and creamy early on, the beer releases its carbonation and transitions to a spicy, grassy taste with lasing bitterness into a dry, crisp, clean, and bitter linger.

Photo of Knapp85
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a medium shade of amber with a tan colored head on it. The head fizzles away pretty fast leaving just a few spots of foam on the top of the beer. The aroma of this beer is mostly malt to me. Not too much hop aroma or anything coming from it besides maybe a little yeast. The flavor is grainy and buiscuty with some light hop bitterness in the mix. The mouthfeel is pretty good, its not overly watered down or anything like that but it's not heavy either. Not a bad brew to try.

Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pale amber with a slight haze. An inch of head appears upon first pour and retention is solid throughout.

Smell - Subtle nose of bread, pale malts, fruit and hops. Pleasant but doesn't jump out of the glass much.

Taste - Bready, caramelly malt and fruity, floral hops. Very buttery. Notes of apple and citrus fruit. Excellent balance of flavors. Finishes clean with very little lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Easy on the palate.

Notes - A great sessionable ale. Moderate complexity, expertly balanced and highly quaffable.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystalline apricot beneath a large, white chocolate head that is a thing of beauty. It deflated fairly quickly from four fingers to two, and has now settled in for the long haul. I'm beginning to see a thick, unbroken collar of lace that bodes well for extensive glass coating as the beer falls with drinking.

Organically Produced Ale has a classic EPA nose. I can appreciate plenty of sweet pale malt with a pleasing undercurrent of butterscotch and maybe even light caramel. English hops are present as well. They're earthily fruity and herbal rather than brightly citric like their New World cousins.

The flavor follows the nose directly. There's a decent amount of buttered biscuit-like malt (especially for a pale ale) that doesn't strike me as diacetyl-like, but rather as a slighty offbeat aspect of the overall personality. It's a tad sweeter than I remember the non-organic version being, but it's been a long time since I had the other beer.

As in the nose, the fruity hops hold up their end of the bargain. They bring the beer into a near perfect balance that is maintained throughout each mouthful and from first sip to last (although I haven't quite gotten to the last one yet). For some reason, I often taste oranges in English pale ales. This one tastes like pleasantly bitter, not overly sweet, orange-butterscotch candy.

I'm impressed with the way the crown persists and the way in which it reforms with each subsequent pour. I'm equally impressed by a thick, chunky band of lace currently residing at midglass. The mouthfeel is out of this world. It's bigger, firmer and more mouthfilling than one typically finds in a pale ale. Short and sweet: it's IPA-like.

I find it hard to believe that the organic version of Samuel Smith's Pale Ale is different from the non-organic version. Any score differences between the two must, therefore, be attributable to mood, timing, phase of the moon, etc. That's what makes beer appreciation much more of an art than a science. All I know is, this is a very good English ale that I'll drink whenever I get the chance.

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice deep hazelnut brown. Great color on this, looked like hickory wood or something. Ample carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass throughout the session, with a small amount of side glass lace around the edge. The head was not too impressive, maybe an inch or so on the pour and fading quickly down to only a thin layer across the top. Looked pretty much like an English ale. Aroma was very grainy, almost musty in smell. Lots of malter bread, and a lot of caramel as well. Had a definite roasted nuts kind of back to it. Very full aroma and very pleasing as well. Not something to be taken lightly, but at the same time also not very heavy. Nice for a good pub ale and quite a bit stronger then most I have smelled in this category..Very nice here, lots of caramel and malt tones that were littered in the back with a tiny bit of English bittering hops. Nice sweetness balancing It all out very very well. I was quite impressed with this one. It was a very full bodied flavor with lots of earthen grain and malt tones. Super smooth and clean would be the best way to describe it. Not too heavy and not very carbonated but still very very good. It was really a nice combination of factors that led to a decent mouthfeel.Great I could have had ano ther with ease when I was done. A rich full feel was just about perfect for drinking. Not a sipper this was a good sit down with the game ale.



Overall I was very impressed with this little brew that I really did not even know that I had. It was quite good and defiantly something worth taking a shot at. I would defiantly recommend trying this one If you can, it might surprise you a bit as it comes through with a lot more quality then I thought it would.

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle. Produced. Organically.

This beer pours a clear pale golden hue, with one finger of soapy, foamy off-white head, which leaves some nice randomly webbed lace around the glass as it slowly dissipates. It smells of sweet, bready malt, almost pastry-like, with some soft floral, earthy hops. The taste is fairly prominent noble hops - floral, restrained citrus, and earthy, and bready malt. The carbonation is quite soft, the body a fully, no foolin' medium weight, smooth, and clean. It finishes fairly sweet, the malt holding it over the nice, but not overpowering floral, grassy hops.

Wow, much more hoppy than I've come to expect from this brewery, but just enough to play nice with the expected subtle, yet complex malt.

Photo of oberon
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a great pour,rich golden with a nice fluffy head that sticks to the glass like glue.Aroma is lightly minty and and soapy pretty subtle but appetizing.Taste has a tea quality to it as well as some green leafiness with a lean malt backbone that holds it together.Not a big flavored beer just very appetizing and drinkable like it should be,what else is expected from Samual Smith's?

Photo of zeff80
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a small, short-lived, white one-finger head. No lace.

S - It smelled of grains and grass.

T - It hits you with malt at first sip, but then there is a hoppy quality that gives it a bittersweet kick.

M - It was crisp and dry. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - A good representation of the style. The appearance and smell were not impressive, but the flavor was excellent.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, copper body with a creamy, decently-sized, white head.

Smell: Blended aroma smelling of pale malts, clearance fruit, and mixed nuts. As with the taste, there's a note of English Breakfast tea with milk that comes and goes.

Taste: Blend of pale malts with a touch of sugary caramel and sweet tea. Slight nuttiness. Tastes of fruit apple, plum, and even apricot. Spicy, lightly citrusy hops with a medium bitterness. A fleeting hint of tea with milk comes and goes. Finishes bittersweet with a lingering fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, respectable ale. Keenly drinkable and reasonably refreshing. Really puts you in the mood for black tea with a small splash of milk the following morning.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's organic ale pours a hazy orange-amber body beneath a short head of creamy off-white froth. It drops steadily to an average collar and whispy surface covering, but leaves walls of spots and splashes behind. The nose displays quite a bit of yeasty fruitiness (tangerine, apricot) and some mineralish character over a biscuity malt. It's smooth in the mouth with a medium-light body and gentle tingle from the moderate carbonation. Fruitiness appears up front in the flavor, lightly tart and citrusy over a bready and biscuity malt base that's just slightly caramelish. Some grassy and floral hop flavors perk it up a bit at the swallow as the bitterness rises. Drying finish. Soft fruit and malt linger in the mouth like orange marmalade on toast. Quite nice, and very refreshing.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A: The beer is a light golden brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, tea, light caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is sweet up front with flavors of honey and caramel. The malt character is pretty hearty for the style. There's a mild hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, very good representation of style, mild kick, this is definitely one of the better organic beers that I've had. It's a nice session beer to drink for a long time.

Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Impressive head retention which is unprecedented for this brewery and is almost a given. Mild chill hazed slowly goes away after the brew warms up. Bight dusty golden hue.

Lemony hop, earthy yeast, mild fruity esters and biscuity grain … it is all you would expect from an ale.

Rounded malty mouth feel with a deeply textured smoothness from the level carbonation. In rolls the toasted and biscuity grain with a lemony hop on top. Bitterness is perfectly balanced with the malt. Some earthy nutty yeast, slight fruity ester and a shade of buttery diacetyl bring a complex mix to the palate. Finishes with a touch of sweetness and residual yeast by-products.

Organic or not I’d drink this brew, not bad for $3 for a 550ml bottle.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears a copper orange with a fluffy textured creamy head nice sized sticks around for a bit and leaves full ring of lacing with each sip very nice appearance here. Aromatics include a delicate floral hop aroma with a choir of biscuit malt singing in the background. As for the taste nice complex yet subtle flavors including a fruit presence in the malt deriven sweetness not bad at all more of the biscuity flavor profile, and hop burps are apparent just mildly hopped delicate "Organically Produced" ale. Mouthfeel well can't complain slightly syrup in the texture medium body smooth wish I found it on cask. Drinkability could very well be a session except I bought this for 3.50 for one bottle so, nope not going to make it a go to but decent and palatable.

Photo of LXIXME
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big white head settles to a decent lacing above a clear caramel golden colored beer.

A light nutty caramel malts aroma.

The taste is similar to the aroma but seems more full and brings a hint of hops along for the ride.

Light dryish aftertaste on a medium bodied beer that has a bit of tastes remaining for a bit after drinking a glass of this.

A pretty decent beer, seems sort of like a slightly watered down version of their porter, or something like that.

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, pale nectarine, likable snow-white froth atop.
Aroma is light citrus, straw, herbal.
Taste: light on the palate, easily supped, a well-rounded, lightly hopped, tasty thing. Neat, coppery malt, biscuity bright, crisp and delicious. Medium bodied, with a tapering, malty finish.
Nice, grainy mouthfeel, tangy texture... very well-played in the mouth, an an immaculately conceived ale, well worth the drinking.

Photo of smcolw
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Initially, the head is decent, but it dies out completely and leaves no head. The color is gold with a slight haze.

Strong sweet caramel aroma. There's a touch of sour cherry to the smell as well.

A very clean taste. Mostly a malty offering, but the hop subtly makes an appearance in the aftertaste. This beer has a good body with appropriate carbonation. Again, a sour cherry-like flavor is present here as well.

This is a traditional British ale: malty, slightly sour, and full bodied. I wish it had more hop to it for balance.

Photo of drabmuh
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No date on bottle, served in an imperial pint glass. Beer is slightly hazy, carbonation moderate to low, orange / amber in color. Beer forms a thin white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves little lacing on the glass. Looks fine.

Watery malt in the aroma with a trailing end of bitterness. It doesn't have much of a smell but it is OK.

Medium body and really smooth. Some carbonation in the mouth, minimal sweetness up front and some lingering bitterness in the back. Finishes nicely. This is an average ale. Its pretty drinkable and good I don't have much to say.

Photo of WesWes
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark gold color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It is quite malty with a yeast fruitiness to it. The taste is excellent. It is full of sweet malts. It has a great balance of malts and hops with a smooth creamy finish. The mouthfeel is great as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an awesome beer. It drinks outstanding; a real treasure.

Photo of GClarkage
4.51/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

02/02/09- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 500ml bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my 20oz Pizza Port glass.

Appearance- Medium golden in color, pretty clear. 1/2 inch head upon pour which quickly fades. Leaves no lace behind. Rather dull looking.

Smell- Very nice nose of floral hops, sweet caramel malt and fresh grains.

Taste- Very malty with a touch of freshly harvested grains. A light caramel flavor lingers. Floral and lightly fruited hops mingle around as well. Tastes very fresh.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and crisp with a medium carbonation level. Bready and lightly grain aftertaste.

Drinkability- Quite possibly the best or one of the top few best organic beers I have tried. I will try the other organic lager tonight. Very impressed.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a brilliantly clear, perfectly red-copper color. It is topped by a frothy, initially two-finger thick, light tan colored head that falls back into the beer and leaves a bit of lacing as it goes. Upon first whiff the aroma has dry toasted malt notes that move to toffee and then to a solid fruitiness towards the end. The fruit notes remind me of sweet plums, red grapes, raisins and the aromatics coming off a ripe, aromatic red apple variety. I am a bit surprised how fruity this is, it is not out of place, but it certainly comes to dominate the aroma profile of this beer.

Up front this beer is lightly tart, a touch sweet, but definitely is fruity. The tart character and the light sweetness serve to accentuate the fruit notes; I especially get notes of crisp red apples and sweet even lightly concentrated plums. The beer finishes with a touch of hop bitterness, just enough to cause my tongue and back of my throat to tingle. Actually the tingle of hop character starts in the middle and goes through to the near finish. There is just a hint of astringent herbal hop flavor here, it intermingles quite well with the fruit notes, adding a touch of much needed complexity.

This is quite a simplistically flavored brew. It is well made, clean and expressive of their yeast, but could certainly use a bit more flavor. why does organic have to mean bland? They haven't even gotten to the flavor threshold of most of their other products. This beer does open up a bit as it warms up. Still, nothing jumps out at me, but it seems to become a bit more integrated. Though I am not sure if it is enough to hold my interest.

Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a light orange color with a thick creamy head that produces some small spotty lacing. The aroma is of light malt and decent floral tones. The flavor was nicely balanced between the malt and hops, and the hops produced a stronger than expected bitterness. Very straight forward pale ale as only some distant citrus was detectable.

The mouthfeel was smooth and thin. Slightly lighter in body than other pales. A mild malt and light bitterness rode the tongue during the aftertaste. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Could be a session beer.

Photo of woodychandler
3.39/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My 500th bottle review!

From the bottle: "Organic Best Ale"; "A delicately flavored amber/gold ale in which subtle fruity esters from the Samuel Smith yeast strain interact with a background of maltiness and fresh hops. Brewed with well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), organic hops and yeast. Fermented in 'stone Yorkshire squares'."; "Samuel Smith's brews at a small traditional British brewery, the oldest brewery in Yorkshire."; "This label is issued only by SamL Smith ... SamL Smith is a small British brewery".

My pour netted me two-plus fingers of eggnog-colored head with great retention. Color was a slightly hazy deep gold and Midas would have approved. Nose had a caramel/buttery sweetness up front with a grassy hoppiness behind it. Mouthfeel was medium with a mild bitterness initially on the tongue, then giving 'way to a mild sweetness. Finish was equally mild and pleasant. It was not bad, but it did not strike me as anything terribly special, either. Have I just committed sacrilege?

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Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
89 out of 100 based on 599 ratings.