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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

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very good

551 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 551
Reviews: 368
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)
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Ratings: 551 | Reviews: 368 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of PancakeMcWaffles


4.23/5  rDev +6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2012 11:17:14 | More by PancakeMcWaffles
Photo of Razumikhin


4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2012 02:04:12 | More by Razumikhin
Photo of SmashPants


4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2012 02:18:54 | More by SmashPants
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2012 02:27:10 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of viverlee


4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2012 04:36:11 | More by viverlee
Photo of vazy

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2012 03:21:15 | More by vazy
Photo of omokoro

New York

3.88/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2012 20:42:52 | More by omokoro
Photo of tronester


3.55/5  rDev -11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 01:10:36 | More by tronester
Photo of shleepy


3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2012 05:13:51 | More by shleepy
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2012 03:20:39 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of BarryMFBurton


4.28/5  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…

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 00:36:50 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of Sharkophile

New York

4.03/5  rDev +1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2012 06:36:59 | More by Sharkophile
Photo of jerryjeff


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 02:40:06 | More by jerryjeff
Photo of HBeezley

New York

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 05:10:24 | More by HBeezley
Photo of ummswimmin

New Jersey

3.78/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 01:16:11 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of JuicesFlowing


4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass. The bee 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.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 15:42:38 | More by JuicesFlowing
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 hmf05


3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 02:46:29 | More by hmf05
Photo of airforbes1

New York

3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a yellow-orange color with minimal haze. The head is beautiful and foamy...it started with three fingers before it receded to one. The aroma is faint, which makes me question how fresh this bottle is. I smell a bit of yeast. That's it.

The taste is fine, however. It has some earthiness up front and some mild orange notes on the finish. The flavor has mineral overtones, but it doesn't become medicinal.

This is a solid, easy-drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 05:18:13 | More by airforbes1
Photo of BeerLover99


4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: cloudy dark yellow, light white head,
dash of lacing

S: lemon, biscuit malt, earthy grain,
maybe little yeasty

T: floral lemon rind, biscuit malt light crisp bitter finish

M: med/light body, solid carbonation
little bubbly/freshing on palate
dry crisp finish

O: OH MY! I knew that I loved English
beers and breweries, but great to see a
fantastic beer on the lower end of the ABV.
Will get again to be sure and highly recommend.
Mighty fine session brew.


Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 17:08:19 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of rangerred


3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a slightly hazy medium gold with a thick white head. Good head retention but no lacing.

Smells of pineapple, orange, and caramel. There is also a breadiness detectable.

The taste is fruity with flavors much like the smell. There is also a vanilla flavor. Hop flavors are earthy but restrained with a moderate bitterness. Maltiness is present but is somewhat suppressed by the fruityness that I am assuming is from the yeast.

Overall this is a really good beer. I feel like the fruit could have been suppressed somewhat but like every other beer Samuel Smith makes, this one is a winner.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 01:39:30 | More by rangerred
Photo of fx20736

New York

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Nonic.

Clover honey yellow with a thick linen white head that leaves wisps of lacing.

Aroma of pale malt, apple fruitiness and earthy English Hops.

Mouthfeel is there.

Taste of malts with sultana fruitiness finishing with a floral and earthy hoppiness.

Notes: balanced well made Bitter with appropriate bitterness. A Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 19:33:32 | More by fx20736
Photo of atis


3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber with thin white head that very slowly fades, thin strings of lacing. Aroma is sweetish pale malt, honey and apples.

Taste is bready malt, berries, grassy and slightly spicy English hops that do not fully balance malt, bitter aftertaste with hints of citrus. Mouthfeel is medium, moderate carbonation.

Overall, certainly not bad, but nothing very special either. Taking into account that it is not cheap, I am not sure if it was worth the money.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 19:29:37 | More by atis
Photo of nickthetick


4.68/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a clear gold into a Erdinger weizen glass with almost a finger of white head that leaves a little lacing.

S: fruity, apples, pineapple, peaches, sweet malt, caramel, vanilla.

T: a lot like the nose, sweet apples and a bit of spice all over the place. A nice malt backbone, but overall fruity sweet and tart.

MF: medium body, good effervescence, refreshing.

O: a beautifully balanced, amazingly layered ale. Great flavors and complexity. I'll be purchasing this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 05:32:10 | More by nickthetick
Photo of TheMultiYeast


4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden light orange with some white head and a bit of lacing.

Smells like sweet malted grains, gala apples, apple cider, burnt sugar, floral hints.

Taste is not what I expected. Very full flavored with layers of chewy malt, sweetened pie crust, apple sweetness and just enough spruce hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and very drinkable.

Zraly put it well calling this one "no frills" just straight forward, quality organic ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 17:17:07 | More by TheMultiYeast
Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
89 out of 100 based on 551 ratings.