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

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

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

553 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 553
Reviews: 369
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 12.78%

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 (28) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 553 | Reviews: 369 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Suds


3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale and crystal clear with a small light-cream colored head. The head doesn't last long. Mild flavor, with english hop aroma and character. I though that diacetyl presence was pronounced. This is a soundly enjoyable brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2002 09:59:22 | More by Suds
Photo of tgbljb


3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a crystal clear deep golden color with moderate white puffy head. Smell is if roasted malt and caramel. Taste is fruity sweet and pleasant. Some caramel also found. Finisges suprisingly dry and very refreshing. A good beer, but nothing stectactular.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2006 23:58:46 | More by tgbljb
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This sample came over from Hawaii as it is not available in
B.C. liquor stores. I liked the pale blonde colour and the
slightly sour smell on the nose. This beer is not as dominant
in flavours as the Tadcaster or I.P.A. from Samuel smith. Hoppiness was not huge but balanced well with the rest of the
taste. I would sum this up as nice clean session beer that
works well with cooked meats and poultry.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2003 10:40:28 | More by canucklehead
Photo of ehammond1

3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Texas Liquor
Carlsbad, CA

Clear copper and auburn with a thick, pillowy, persistent light brown head that leaves small lines of lace down the glass.

Sweet caramel and toffee lead the way in the aroma, with biscuity and bready malts combining for a pleasantly sweet aroma. There isn't much hop presence, but as an English pale ale, that is to be expected. Very nice.

The flavor too is lacking in distinct hop character, which I don't mind in this style. The caramel, toffee, and bready flavors combine well for an incredibly easy drinking pale.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

A definitive version of the style, but not quite as good as the classic Sam Smith pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 19:01:13 | More by ehammond1
Photo of Reidrover


3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite a nice looking pale, dark honeyish with a great bubbly/rocky white head. That goes to leave good lacing.
The aroma is mostly of honey sweet malts, though the tang of the hops is always there..this smells pretty fresh.
Good tasteng ale, honeyish maltiness, always with some slightly citric hoppiness, near the end the hoppiness takes over and it ends with a good bitter aftertaste.
Quie good on the palate, quite tthick for an English brewed pale.
I found this beer very easy to drink, it appeals to me as a summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2005 04:52:33 | More by Reidrover
Photo of KarlHungus


4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy pale orange color. The head is small, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is a near equal balance of malt and hops. Toffee, biscuit, herbs, and flowers. This aroma has nice complexity which keeps me thinking. It isn't the strongest aroma out there, but I would trade strength for complexity any day. The taste is has the same equilibrium as the aroma. There is nice malt up front, and a slightly hoppy finish. It lacks a little of the pizazz that the aroma has, but it is solid nonetheless. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this is a wonderful beer. If it were available in six/four pack form it would quickly become a regular session beer for me. I single bottles I can see myself having it every now and then.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2009 23:04:50 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a lightly hazed light orange amber color with a two finger white head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to give a nice level of lacing.

Smell- Wow. I was not expecting the huge fruit aroma that was in this one. An apple aroma mixed with some peach and pear are big and bold. Mixed with these are hints of caramel as well as a light bready smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a bready and fruity sweet flavor. The fruit flavor is initially of a peach and apricot flavor, but transitions to a more apple flavor as the taste advances further. Upfront there is also a caramel sweetness that soon gets overwhelmed by the apple. Toward the end the flavor has a malty and cider like taste. A light bitter citrus and herbal flavor come to the taste at the very end with it slightly leveling out some of the sweetness.

Mouthfeel - The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the average side. While the carbonation level is average, it consists of tiny little bubbles that seem to tingle the tongue. This when combined with the slightly creamier body, is wonderful for the fruit flavors of the brew.

Overall – This beer has a fabulous nose and feel. The taste is not quite up to the former two but is still rather good. One to try if you have the chance.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 01:22:12 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Organically Produced?!

I hope the's no cow manure in this beer!

Appearance- light orange with a big thick billowy white head.
Smell- yeasty mostly with a little malt.
Taste- very good! creamy, buttery malt. A hint of caramel I detect. very tasty!
Mouthfeel- crisp, slighty watery, no bitterness, no carbonation. Goes down TOO smooth.

Overall- A very good Ale. Damn, this was tasty. I shall purchase more!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2004 20:49:14 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of kmpitz2


3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a golden color with a finger of head that fell to coat the beer. The nose was very grainey with a touch of honey sweetness. Not overly appealing to me. The flavor followed the nose pretty spot on. Lots of raw grainey flavors along with a bit of honey sweetness. Just not my favorite beer. The feel was moderate and drinkability suffered from the flavor and nose I didn't like so much. Its not bad beer, but just not good.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2004 01:01:38 | More by kmpitz2
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 IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out an intense bright copper, tall frothy buttery-hued head that slowly falls. Leaves a chunky cap in its wake, along with errant strands of sticky lacing.

Sweet grains and toffee malt on the nose, along with red currants and pears, some light citrus, as well as grassy hops.

Flavour is very clean, if not a bit on the subdued side. This is session ale material from the first sip. Buttery malt, citrus skirts around the mouth through the middle, with wet grassy hops on the finish. I realized part of the craftsmanship is in what is not present--not what is lacking, but by how clean the flavour profile is with no off flavours, and by how rounded and balanced it all is.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-bodied dipping towards the light side, it compliments the flavour profile nicely.

Well then, this was a pleasant surprise and experience, one of the most quaffable ales I've yet to sample. Not boisterous, yet not a wallflower either, an ale you'd want to slow dance with all night because of how comfortable and accomodating it is. Try and sneak in a smooch here and there also when you get the chance.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2008 01:36:19 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another world-class brew from Samuel Smith, their organic samples are really above-and-beyond and certainly noticeable for their superior quality that strangles the competition... their Organic Lager was superb, and this is as good if not better... an amazing English Pale Ale... wonderful bronze-colored, copper appearance with minimal head... strong butter aroma with bread-and-butter flavor with a strong caramel and honey taste that stands out for its pure, rich, crisp, and clean taste... wonderful flavor that is truly satisfying... another definite winner from Samuel Smith... amazing sample that scores tremendous points for its crisp, lucid taste that hits home and is really pleasing with its authentic and pure taste... Definitely recommended...

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2008 01:07:05 | More by dsa7783
Photo of ADR


3.35/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear golden appearance with a whitish medium-bubbled head of about 1/4 of an inch and decent duration. Nice slightly thick and complex laces. Fairly un-aromatic and surprisingly grassy for a Pale, almost like a Grolsch in aroma. Malt is straightforward, minimal brown sugar and a bit of freshly-baked white bread. Hops are minimal, slight sense of paprika and re-inforced by the aroma close to the swallow. This brew has a tight balance, but unfortunately, the body was pretty lacking to me -- a teeter-totter balanced by little weight on either side. Too expensive to be a session brew of choice for me, but it is certainly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2003 10:29:25 | More by ADR
Photo of rarbring


3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is clear light golden, a slightly off-white head with some lacing. Little curtains.

Sweet honey and fruit notes, some nuts, but also earthy charcters, cheese and dust.

Staring with honey and ripe apple notes, some lemon juice, then a nice herbal bitterness.

Little carbonation, soft but refreshing feeling, a medium body and a dry finish.

A nice light and well balanced ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 18:38:48 | More by rarbring
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 bditty187


4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coppery hue; decent white head, excellent retention, nice lacing pattern. The nose leans on the malty-side, faint floral… kind of clean. Decent palate, malty, caramely with a nice complement of hops, very balanced. Slightly malty finish with a kiss of hops at the very end. Medium body. This is a quality (English-style) Pale Ale, organic or not, this is those beers you can drink anytime, for any occasion. Try one… recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2002 14:43:07 | More by bditty187
Photo of thekevlarkid


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enticing orange/amber color like clover honey shows a lot of gumption already for a lager. Pleasant off-white head about a third of an inch thick. Dissipated quickly to a very thin ring. Great smell. Floral hops, bready malts, dried fruit. Great blend of flavors, fantastically balanced. Semi-fruity, biscuity malt and crisp hops, subtle yeast and hints of butter. Great mouthfeel too; mid to high carbonation is lively on the tongue but still quite smooth going down. Full body without being weighty. A great example of an English Ale and an even better example of an Organic brew. Drinkable, sessionable, obtainable. Find it.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2008 15:48:05 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear gold with a small bubbling white head. Very pleasant earthy grain and fresh floral and lemon hop aroma over sweet butterscotch. Fresh malty taste is lightly sweet in the middle - more butterscotch flavors and bready grain. No hops really stand out, they just blend right in. Extremely smooth, medium bodied, and made for easy drinking...if you're going to buy one you might as well just buy the 4-pack, its worth it.

Very balanced and enjoyable...perfect for sessioning anytime. Its too bad my glass is gone already.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2006 00:52:01 | More by wedge
Photo of ktrillionaire


4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at Bohemia in St. Petersburg (FL), which, incidentally, may be the best spot in this town for quality food AND beer. This beer pours a rustic clay-amber hue and is capped with a soapy off-white head which is not as hearty as I was expecting, given the style. The nose is lightly floral with hints of honey and something like rosewater, and it shows very little caramel or butter for an EPA. The flavor shows a bit more of the sweet caramelized barley and offers a slightly citric hop note, in addition to the aforementioned floral nuance. This brew scores points with me for the overall skew of the profile away from buttery malt and earthy tea-like hop, towards a more clean, lively and zesty direction. The feel is quite nice, very refreshing and retains a great deal of tooth. Overall, this is a very nice brew, as are most Sam Smith's.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2011 00:06:41 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of Offa


4.88/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful, very drinkable and quenching, yet subtley complex and very well-integrated ale.

Light, bright amber, it has a medium off-white head steadily shrinking to a thin, permanent foamy top with weak foamy lace.

The aroma is lightly fruity, citrusy, leafy, with strong yeasty bread and a very fresh character that screams "ale."

The taste is pleasant, fresh, crisp, extremely even, consistent, balanced, and well-integrated throughout from start to finish. It is lightly sweet with light balancing bitterness plus a hint of fruity-yeasty sweet-sour and light zesty tartness, all integrated extremely well, playing together simultaneously and complementing each other rather than clashing. It tastes of faintly tart fruit, leaves, citrus (esp. lemon), with hints of yeasty toast and butter. The finish is lightly bitter with a lingering leafy-citrusy bitterness balanced by faintly buttered toast sweetness. The feel is firm, not quite oily, and zesty and lively.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 18:03:57 | More by Offa
Photo of allengarvin


3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly hazy orange color, white film across the top.

Aroma: Very slight malt with a touch of hops. Low aroma, hard to detect anything.

Flavor: Touch of caramel, fairly sweet malt, with a citrusy, lemony hop presence. Bitterness is moderate, but hop flavor is pleasant. Moderately fruity, with a clean finish. Lacks the astringency and diacetyl of other Sam Smith beers.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation, medium-light body.

An easy drinking, uncomplex beer. Lacks any of the bold characters of the rest of the Sam Smith line.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2005 03:29:23 | More by allengarvin
Photo of DogFood11


3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd be hard pressed to see how they could improve the appearance of this brew. Big frothy off white head, rolling carbonation, gold color. sticky lacing.

lots of yeast in the nose similar to alot of samuel smith brews its truely a treat. light fruity pierce through the malts and stand out in the smell. Gingerbread comes to mind as there is some slightly spiced up bread to this.

This is a smooth drinking beer which shouldn't surprise any fan of this brewery. Hops get a bit astringent and leaf laden about 3/4 of the way through but it pulls through nicely and finishes with cleansing lemon and grain.

Another winner

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2005 22:11:59 | More by DogFood11
Photo of HardTarget


3.33/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Floral hops, a note of honey and lemongrass.
Appearance: Hazy golden straw color with the sheerest head of off white smaller bubbles.
Flavor: Honey flavor really pops at first, but a nicely balanced hop bitter quickly jumps in before it gets too sweet. Strong toffee and caramel tastes. There is a slightly off aftertaste, an orange rind sulfur taste. It has that “rain water” flavor that I get from organic brews.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice carbonation level, slight chew, very oily.
Overall Impression: Forgive the fragmented sentences, but this one just isn’t inspiring me. In general it has a good flavor with an odd twist. As for style, it seems bang on. Drinkability, I can see others making a session of it, and Brits needing a fix now and then, but for me, it just isn’t my cup of tea.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2004 00:03:14 | More by HardTarget
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 KTCamm

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love everything about these beer, from the bottle to the label to the taste.

Pours a beautiful copper orange with one finger foam. Good retention. Minimal lacing.

Smell is slightly fruity, malty.

Taste is clean, crisp, hint of map, full of malt, swirling fruit - all coming together in a perfect combination. Goes down smooth with virtually no aftertaste. You could drink this ale after finishing a 10K road race - its that smooth.

Balanced in the mothfeel between taste and cleanliness. There's an elemnt of water to it - its not watery - but maybe thats what makes it so GD refreshing.

I could drink buckets of this stuff.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2009 01:52:14 | More by KTCamm
Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
89 out of 100 based on 553 ratings.