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

very good
373 Reviews
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Samuel Smith's Organic Best AleSamuel Smith's Organic Best Ale

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-27-2001

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Reviews: 373 | Ratings: 607
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - clear golden copper, respectable head retained very nicely, some random spot lacing
S - gentle apricot and orange peel, caramel and light grain, earthy on the back end
T - earthy and peppery hops of front, citrus rind hoppiness is there but more subtle than the nose, biscuity and light caramel malts, then a metallic crisp hop favour cuts through everything on the finish
M - somewhat light body with medium carbonation, just dry enough to make this very easy drinking
O - this is a very fine example of the style, it is not overbearing in any aspect but the mix of subtle flavours creates a bold tasting yet easily sessionable pale, highly recommended

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Photo of tone77
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 18.7 oz. bottle. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is malty, a bit sweet. Taste is crisp, mild, some malts, kind of on the mild side. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a decent beer but it's nothing great.

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Photo of gtermi
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a amber golden body with a thick white creamy head that quickly fades.

S: Really not too much going on here. I am getting a bit of grain, some slight hops and a slight lagery smell weirdly.

T: The taste is pretty damn faint too.. I really dont get why this beer gets so much love, there really arent any hops and the malt is pretty pale and weak.

M: Very smooth and goes down with ease. Has a nice creamy feel with a decent amount of crispness.

O: This is a decent beer, but not as great as people say. I think Samuel Smith is very overrated and just dont make anything that I care for. Maybe I am just not into English beers.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a clear, golden orange with a white, 2-finger head. Decent retention. Fair lacing, with little stick.

Smell - Notes of crisp apple, light buttery toffee and a near untraceable hint of hop character.

Taste - Follows the nose. Notes of toffee, butterscotch and apple. Hints at grassy hop bitterness mid-taste, finishing light, balanced and fairly clean.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body, with lively carbonation. Goes down with a buttery smoothness.

Overall - Good EPA, though it drinks close to an ESB. Great all-around balance; a beer just about anyone can appreciate.

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Photo of beergoot
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excellent medium gold body with a nice heavy, rich white head. Very malty aroma with butterscotch and rich caramel notes. Buttery flavor, caramel and toffee notes with a tinge of hop bitterness. Clean, semi-dry body.

An all-around nice, malt-dominant pale ale. Well-balanced and flavorful.

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Photo of Dave1999
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is a cloudy golden with a fluffy white head.

The smell is sweet and malty,with some dark fruits raisins and plums which I did not expect from a golden colored ale.

The taste is much the same as the smell, dark fruits with the smallest amount of bitterness towards the end.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall a strange beer,looks like a pale ale but tastes and smells like a fruity maibock.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith Organic Best Ale has a thick, foamy, off-white head and a hazy, murky, orange-golden appearance with some streaming bubbles and splotchy lacing. The aroma is of turned fruit, stinging mustiness, toffee, and English garden. Taste is of turned fruit, toffee, garden soil, some bitter hops, and caramel candy. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Samuel Smith finishes semi-dry, uneven, and refreshing. Overall, this is a very interesting and enjoyable beer, and I rate it excellent. Check it out!


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Photo of PancakeMcWaffles
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden to light brownish colour, once finger thick, white head, decent head retention.

S: Very fruity and sweet, hints of caramel, only a very little hops in the smell;

T: As the smell would suggest it has a strong fruit, with decent caramel and a balanced tartness combined with a slight hop flavour in the finish. Some breadiness comes through aswell;

M: Good carbonation level, mouthfeel is rather average, nothing too special here.

O: Great Pale Ale, lovely fruit combined with caramel and balanced hops, really like the smell of it!

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Photo of Razumikhin
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

AROMA: Quite fruity/estery, and slightly grassy to balance.

APPEARANCE: Golden straw, topped with a creamy head (with excellent retention).

MOUTHFEEL: Rich and creamy.

TASTE: The overwhelming flavor is banana/ester, with some lemon. The hops provide enough bitterness to balance, but not enough to notice.

An exemplar of the English pale ale style. This is a beer where the hops play second fiddle to the yeast, with excellent results. Ester and fruit dominate both aroma and flavor. The real highlight of this beer, though, is its rich, velvety mouthfeel. This is definitely one I will buy again.

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Photo of SmashPants
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: very solid 550mL embossed brown bottle. An old-school medicinal-style label - a quirky and, to be honest, awesome package.

Appearance: a light amber honey colour, fantastic 1.5-finger creamy head with good retention and lacing.

Aroma: sweet toffee and caramel malts and some light fruits. Not overwhelming, to be honest.

Taste: this is more like it. Bread malts join the toffee and caramels and, more importantly, a wealth of fruits and floral hops back them up. A very nice combination of flavours.

Aftertaste: all of the flavours linger fantastically well. One can simply enjoy sipping this lovely ale and enjoy over a long period. Which is for the best really, considering the price.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice and smooth. The carbonation is reasonably light too, making it a fantastic slow-sipper.

Overall: a fantastically well put together English Ale. Nice winter sipper - certainly not a sessional ale.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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Photo of viverlee
4.63/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Squeeze every drop out of the bottle. Lick the glass clean. Set up shop directly under the fucking tap.

STYLE: English Pale Ale

ABV: 5%

LOOK: Long straw, solid pale yellow, Bubble Bobble carbonation. A half-finger head settles thinly but nicely atop an enigmatic aroma bomb.

NOSE: Cherry pie, Nerds, pomegranate, Twix, crackers. There’s more, oh so much more, there there, I can’t stand it.

MOUTH: Bready bready biscuits, cherry tree bark, raspberries, rhubarb, Jesus wafers, butterscotch, Sauvignon Blanc, mystery. Someone who should probably be the next president has managed to layer a world of flavors into this pint, each pull flaunting a new, more curious profile. The finish is surprisingly fruit free, mellow but still prurient. The blokes, they did it right this time.

Beeradvocate Rating: 88

Hayward Abbey Rating: 97

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Photo of vazy
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A rich golden color pours clear, head dissipates quickly but had a good 2 1/2 fingers for a few seconds. The head is soapy and leaves a little lacing to the end. A real crisp and clean taste, honeydew aromas hit me first for some reason. Hops are not promenant but it balances out in the finish, grassy notes balance the malt to finish it off.

Grassy, the hops cut the palate immediately but gently. Slight biscuit flavors linger in the background, lemony tartness is accompanied with some slight maltiness.The mouthfeel is thin and soapy, not overly carbonated.

A brilliantly made ale. The label grabbed my attention first but the ale itself really lived up to it! It's well balanced and with some really aromatic notes. A very good session beer and I like the organic factor too, big plus in my book!

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Photo of omokoro
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a quite clear dark straw color with a quickly dissipating half a finger head. There are many tiny bubbles rising to the of the glass. On the nose I notice some floral and earthy hops with some malt. This is a very clean tasting beer. It is light in body. There is enough malt character balanced by the earthy hop character. Not a ton of flavor, but it has some character.

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Photo of tronester
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a super creamy, rocky white head. Smells of grape must, and a hint of freshly baked bread. Taste begins with a bit of lemon squares, followed by some licorice, and finally some medicinal, herbal hops. Finishes a bit tart. Mouthfeel is smooth. Overall an interesting beer, though the taste seems a little bit odd.

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Photo of shleepy
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter glasses.

A: Very light and clear golden color, medium head.

S: Apples, a little bit of honey and biscuity caramel.

T: Has some fruity / honey sweetness, but also a light and lingering bitterness, presumably from hops. It's good for what it is - a drinkable pale ale.

M: Light-medium body, light-medium carbonation.

O: A great session beer.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.

Appearance: A light haze gold to amber, white head rising thick I mean real thick to roughly two fingers length.

Smell: Light Hops, feels nutty.

Taste: A dry hops, but very robust. It is packing a punch feels like a hybrid of a lager meets an ale.

Mouth: Medium but slightly heavy...two words, very filling.

Overall: Don't pass this up it is quality beer and very appetizing in a awkward way. Comes off raw at the beginning but it is very hard to hate, Salud!

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

More Samuel Smith…why not? Everything I drink from this old-school brewery is just delicious. Plus, it gives me a chance to break out my nonic glass for a little bit of the pub experience. Cheers, blokes!

Brewed about 20 months before the date of this tasting (bottle code decodes to August 17, 2010). This bottle is a bit older than I’d like, but that’s alright – I still have faith in old Sammy.

A: Orange and amber, but mostly pale gold in the light. About an inch over the body, the head smoothes out to a thin white foam; soon, it settles to an inconsistently-dense fizz shield over the body. There’s some nice lacing, too; ropy and abundant. Lots of bubbles settle at the bottom of the glass, making this one look bubbly, light, and positively English.

S: And here we go: first and biggest in the nose are vanilla, butterscotch, and caramel, which come together to form a familiar, British cream aroma that I never stop loving. The sugars playing around in the body are thick, yes, but not without a dark, malty background: coming through more and more with each recurring whiff, showing whole grain bread, butter, banana, grain husk, and cornbread in a loveable background. There are some residuals hanging around the end, as well – peaches and cream, mostly.

T: First thought: balanced deliciousness. Grains, hops, yeast, water, all set in their appropriate place for a wonderful drink. What more could you ask for? Grains are, well, grainy: more husk, straw, wheat bread, and semi-burnt toast. Again, none of the flavors dominate, so it’s easy to pick out the individual flavors. European hops now, rising with light-as-a-feather lemon juice and the slow burn of fresh pine. Throw in a little metallic taste from the water and a chewy undercarriage of yeasty spice and bread. Finishes with a ton of fresh lemon flavor and a bright, buttery astringency. Sip it or quaff it, this beer rocks.

M: Pretty full-bodied, actually. Samuel Smith lays it on thick with a mouthful of cream, then keeps it drinkable with a bready dryness. The texture is amazing.

O: Dammit, I’m going to England. NOW! I want beer like this fresh and on cask everywhere I go. Nothing like ordering a pint of bitter and getting something like this. Suck it, America! Oh, wait…

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Photo of Sharkophile
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pint glass. Appears a light golden amber with a big frothy white head with excellent retention. Looks beautiful.

S: Smells a bit different than most beers I'm used to, with light cider vinegar, caramel, subtle hops and a bit of subtle fruit.

T: Follows the nose, with a light caramel/toffee and fruity maltiness supported by a bit of cider vinegar and butterscotch flavors. Hops are subtle at first and then intensify with the help of the mineral-y water. Finishes dry.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. Works well for the set of flavors at work.

O: Haven't had a great deal of English beers, but this is a very good, complex yet well-balanced ale. Samuel Smith's makes great beer.

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Photo of jerryjeff
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Malty overtones with a hint of caramel, light fruitiness that's a bit hidden behind the malt but present. Nice, good foreshadowing of taste

Medium to medium low carbonation, nice bitterness along the sides of the mouth with some creaminess on the palette.

Golden with some hints of amber, poured to nice white head which is lingering in a plastic hotel cup that is translucent. Appealing in appearance, I'm starting to talk myself into this being a really good beer…

Solid caramel hints with a firm but not overbearing bitterness, this is a really good beer.

Very, not sure what ABV is but this is an all evening beer for me. Just enough to keep it interesting in flavor and on the palette but easy to drink.

Solid appearance, aroma, and flavor which goes down easily, really great beer.

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Photo of HBeezley
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At first, I didnt think too much of this beer. It seemed a little plain Jane. But then, I started noting the flavors....

A- what you would expect from an ale. Light golden hue, nice bright white head that actually retains!

S - not too Much going in the olfactory department. But it's an ale! Just a simple average ale.

T - here's where things start happening. The taste is pretty Bready and earthy. Few grass notes, some tastiness, little bite; it seems like this beer has a very well rounded flavor combination. Everything is so well blended that it just easy to drink and still very enjoyable to pick it apart, taste by taste.

M- carbonation is very good. Not too much, not too toned down. The beer is easy to drink but no where near watery. It's a light ale with heavieness to it, if that's possible.

O- if you want to know what the standard is for an English ale, this is it. Simple, flavorful, and just damn well done!

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I used an english pint glass to properly enjoy this english ale.

It poured yellow/golden. The label said amber, but I don't see it in the glass.

This tastes like a very good example of a British ale. It was clean, a little bitter, and a lot of wheat flavor.

This is a very drinkable ale. You could almost call this a lawnmower beer.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass. The beer is a hazy light-orangish copper color. An off-white head settles to random mass of bubbles in the center. Some light sticky lacing is present. The beer smells of sweet fruits and faint malts. The taste is complex with banana peels, oranges, and malts coming through. The mouthfeel is light and finishes clean.

Overall, this is a pretty tasty pale ale that's very easy to drink. I enjoy it more than their other Pale Ale.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of hmf05
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy but clear light orange with a one finger head. Aroma is yeast, cereal graininess, caramel, and lemon. Smells good but nothing special. The taste is fresh baked bread and caramel. I get some lemon coming through as well. Mouthfeel is light with good carbonation. Overall, a very sessionable EPA. It has a lot of good flavors going on, but the yeast character is a little too strong for my preference. Definitely glad I picked this up.

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Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
89 out of 100 based on 373 ratings.