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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

586 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 586
Reviews: 370
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 12.78%
Wants: 46
Gots: 16 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 586 | Reviews: 370 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of techtatu
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice amber color with a cream colored head about a half fingers worth. It had a fruity aroma to it with a hint of citrus. It is a full bodied beer with an apple cider tasted to it, and very low carbonation. It laced the glass pretty well and an extremely smooth drink.

It is a beer well fit for summer and as an every day drinker. Something everybody could enjoy and grow accustomed to. Definitely a beer I would suggest everybody to try at least once.

techtatu, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle into a pint glass:

A - Cloudy orange hue, pours with a medium to small head and leaves a fine lacing.

S - Fruity scents derived from the hops. Clean citrusy smell.

T - Very balanced. Malty overtones balance very well with floral hop tastes.

M - Medium carbonation, goes down easy.

D - Flavorful and well balanced combination make this very drinkable.

BeerisfoodLLC, Aug 25, 2009
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.

KarlHungus, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of Finn
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served up this beer in s standard pint glass. Very clear golden caramel coloring, with hardly any head on top. The aroma is quite nice and simple, with that nice fruity british ale yeast ester character, mixed with the smell of sweet caramel malts. A very clean aroma. This is a tasty beer: first flavors are the mild fruity english ale esters, which mix in very well with the crystal malts to form a beautifully balanced, dry, refreshing ale. The finish is slightly crisp, and dries the mouth, kind of like tea does, in a very refreshing sort of way. The carbonation is plenty strong, but not excessive, and easily bites through the body of this beer. I could drink several of these. This is such a well balanced beer. I could easily see this beer being passed by as "nothing substantial" but for those who value balance, subtlety, drinkability, and above all, great flavor, then do give this one a try.

Finn, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of ProfessorHomer
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another wonderful little jewel from Samuel Smith's fine family of beers. The high quality is evident throughout. Highly recommended if you like high-quality smooth malty session ales.

A: Pours a light amber gold color with a nice whitish head that fades rather slowly. Leaves a nice thin lacing on the glass.

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

T: The taste is very balanced with nice malts and flavors of caramel and dare I say apples? The mellow maltyness makes it stand out - a wonderful hearty beer you'd find in the Lake District taverns. Hops are mild and subdued quite nicely in the background. A nice sweet lingertaste is left on your palette.

M: Full & smooth, nice body with just-right carbonation. Very clean finish that I'll attribute to the fine water used.

D: Very full and tasty. A nice session beer that quaffs easily whilst not too filling. I could drink several of these along with a nice pipe.

Does this fine brewery make a "bad" beer? Methinks not! Man, I just gotta get to this brewery the next time I'm in Great Britain! Another recommended high-quality long drink from Samuel Smith's brewery. Bravo! Huzzah!

ProfessorHomer, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of TAREUA
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sometimes revisiting a beer you found to be great even a few days later can be like seeing that old girl friend again. "Did she always bark like that when she laughed?" This beer is so good it keeps getting better with each revisit. I have found myself daydreaming about having another pint of this on a beach somewhere.

English style pale ales are the epicenter of beer: stouts off to port, and lagers to starboard. I always found this brewery to be good not great, but this beer is great. The head is thick and white. The aroma is the wonderful scent of rich ale, not daisies or tar pits or tequila. The mouthfeel is full not fizzy, not syrupy; but liquid that can taste flavorful, while doing what beer is meant to do, quench your thirst. Their is a fine balance in this beer that allows hints of sweetness and grain to come and go on your tongue without as much dry bitter flavor as an English style ESB. Smith's regular Old Brewery pale ale I find a bit murkier and more malt dominated. This beer is a wonderful drinker, and a great reminder to me that beer is about the beautiful flavor, not just an excuse for intellectual excercise.

TAREUA, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of BDTyre
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice pale ale from Sam Smith, but somewhat unexciting and pedestrian.

Amber-gold in appearance with a thin, quick-settling white head. Sweet malt smell, fairly like corn syrup and a mellow hop presence. Taste is a little bit better balanced, but still a bit syrupy. Nice carbonation, easy to drink but not as nice as the organic lager.

BDTyre, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of Psilo707
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Organic!
S: Organic!
T: Organic!
M: Organic!
D: Organic!

Nah... well, kinda. I liked the appeal of this bottle. It trademarks itself as an original brew. Like drinking it will place you in the elite, upper echelon of beer drinkers and it's fluids will make you more healthy and natural.

Not too much head, not too much lacing, but a nice beige appearance in the mug. Smell is laced with a bit of fruit, a bit of corn, a bit of wheat, and a bit of awesomeness all in one. Taste is alright; tastes exactly like it smells so I need not repeat. Mouthfeel is light and not on par with the previous. Drinkability is on par with the previous.

Overall, I love Sam Smith's and this isnt a bad entry into their line, but not my favorite of the bunch.

Psilo707, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of magine
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

Brew has a cloudy dark copper - almost like an iced tea color. Small off white head that fades to a small thin head that is broken up in parts. A little lacing.

The brew has a fruity sweet smell. Somewhat bready, honey maybe even.

The brew has a crisp refreshing taste with a bubbly mouthfeel initially, then has the smoothness. Had a bit of a kick to it. Nice clean, sweet taste with some nice malts. Has some lemon flavors. Nice dry finish with little aftertaste. Very good balanced taste. Very refreshing and smooth.

This brew is very drinkable, a crisp refreshing ale, and yet another well crafted gem from Samuel Smith. An anytime brew and an all timer.

magine, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of dudecandle
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

18.7 oz bottle poured into pint glass:

A: Slightly hazy golden-orange with a small head. Modest retention, minimal lacing.

S: Vanilla, nuts, lemon, though the yeast takes over as the strongest component.

T: The lemon from the smell balances out to include some orange as well. A subtle hop finish, but most importantly, the toasted malts and bread notes remain most significant, with a deep finish.

M: Disappointingly thin.

D: This is a great beer to have with a meal or on its own. It's relatively complex, but not too heavy.

dudecandle, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of hdofu
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not quite what I had expected being as it was slightly a darker gold then I had expected, had a white head which disappeared swiftly. The taste was sweet like molasses. The smell was something like honey bread with other spices not too much bitter hop in there. The beer had a crisp mouthfeel. Overall it was rather drinkable as it was sweet and went down easy.

hdofu, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of steelerguy
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Liquid gold, very bright, light carbonation, 1 finger head that dissipated to a coating within minutes.

S - Light bready aroma, good solid malt smells with some sweet honey in there. Nice floral hop aroma in the background.

T - Some light English hop bitterness up front then lots of malt. I pick up the bready character in the taste, along with some light caramel malt sweetness. Extremely balanced flavor, nothing standout outs other than an overall good flavor.

M - Smooth feel, slight tingle, clean and refreshing.

D - When you are looking for a good beer, that does everything well, but doesn't really stand in any particular way...this is it. This beer would please about any appreciator of good beer.

steelerguy, Jun 19, 2009
Photo of KTCamm
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.

KTCamm, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of berkey
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice snow white head formed when poured into a flute. Clean and lucid light amber body with good lacing.

Smell: Very subtle fruit notes brings to mind slightly over ripe red apples. Mild honey aroma, some yeast. No one thing comes through strongly, all things soft and balanced.

Taste: Pretty faithful follow through on the nose. Some hops cut through a little more but still very mild and well blended in with the soft malty character. This beer is so refreshingly mild and simple I actually forgot for a moment I was drinking an English Ale and was reminded of a malty German Pilsner. Like on the nose, no one flavor dominates. The one distinguishing quality here is the overall balance.

Drinkability: Easy drinking and refreshing beer but one that is meant to be enjoyed slowly. I don't think it would make a good session beer. I was ready for something else when I finished the bottle.

berkey, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of rebel1771
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a golden copper color with a nice head that quickly dissipates.

S: Fruity aroma with a touch of honey and malts.

T: Sweet but slightly toasted malts, just a touch of honey.

D: Quite a good brew. Unfortunately I am stuck drinking this from a bottle, would love to try this on tap.

rebel1771, Apr 23, 2009
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.

Offa, Apr 15, 2009
Photo of fitzy84
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured with a clear yellow-gold appearance, large head that slowly dissipated into patchy lacing. Aromas are quite rich in cloves, florals, grains, citrus (orange) and a slight woody hint. The taste is a little bit simpler but wonderfully sweet and juicy. Slight biscuit tones mixed wonderfully with the citrus flavor. Just not as complex as the aromas might make it seem. Mouthfeel is a little watery but does allow the drink to be enjoyed as a light, sweet ale. Overall, a great organic ale.

fitzy84, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of endincolorado
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Orange-amber with decend off-white head, moderate retention. faint lace.

Smell- Toasty, slightly buttery malt, follwed by earthy hops.

Taste- Moderately sweet, bready malt, dry earthy hops to balance, fair amount of buttery flavor, which I'm not overly fond of.

Mouthfeel- medium mouthfeel, low on carbonation, very clean- leaves little aftertaste.

Drinkability- Refreshing, moderate ABV

Overall- Maybe I let this one warm a little too much, but something about that buttery, earthy hop-character (which reminds me of Bass) makes me want to steer clear of English Pale Ales for a while.

endincolorado, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of jizdepski
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

not a bad beer. it poured and looked exactly like i thought it would. looked like a fuller's pale ale, which is the only other true "english" pale ale i can compare it to. it had a nice golden hue, with a whispy white head that vanished quickly and with little a trace. not much going on with the smell; it was slightly bitter, light on the hops and somewhat yeasty. it tasted okay. to me this is a very good english pale ale, however i have never had one that has had a "wow factor" or anything close to it. did not change my perception of this style as a classic, yet average ale. i do prefer more hops, and a bit more complexity, but for the style it was nice. did not notice much of an aftertaste except for slight bitterness. had thinnish to medium mouthfeel. like most pale ales, this one scores fairly well on the drinkability.

jizdepski, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of wheatyweiss
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 550 mL bottle into an Imperial pint.

Pours a honey color, with a smallish cloud. Head is ample, pillowy and sticks around for awhile. Lace is left all round the glass.

Aroma is of malt, medium roasted with a light hop backing. Once again, as with all the Sam Smith's there is a tannic acid aroma to the beer, like iced tea. It HAS to be the water, which is what makes this brewery famous.

Flavor is sweet malt, honey and mead with a nutty front. Middle is more malt but it comes a little bitter here, crisps out with a nice smack of the lips which is the hops. Finishes, dry and clean, this is an excellent session ale, I could go through a LARGE number of these in a pub. The flavor is nutty and perfect for the style.

Mouthfeel is thin and crisp, with a great carbonation that begs you to drink more.

Very impressive session ale, I think that this lends VERY well to it's popularity.

wheatyweiss, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of Draughted
3.23/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have noticed that Sam L. Smith's brews are some of the highest rated beers in the English Ale category, however, I do not get it. I feel their beers are flavorful and distinct, but they also have a strong alcohol presence and can taste bitter. Maybe because I am all the way in California, but every Sam Smith beer I have had had has not lived up to what I have been told about them.

Organic Ale Highlights:

Distinct, floral taste. The hops are present and the typical ale elements such as sweetness and smoothness are there. I get a strong scent and flavor of honey and molasses. The aftertaste and finish is bitter, typical of all Sam Smith beers.

Draughted, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of cbn
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy golden body, small fluffy white head, some specs of foam cling to the glass.

Fairly timid pale aroma, slightly dry, hint of lemon.

Honey and lemon, lightly toasted bread.

Smooth, medium body, creamy carbonation, very good.

Tasty, easy to drink.

cbn, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of DoctorDog
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 550 ml. bottle into a nonic. No freshness/best by date indicated.

A- Slightly hazy golden/copper. Pours with ~2 fingers of tan head, which fades slowly to a thin, incomplete cap. Minimal lacing.

S- Moderate biscuty/yeasty odor. Touch of fruity/hop odor. Malty sweetness emerges more strongly as drink warms a bit.

T- Fairly pronounced malt / bread, with moderate caramel sweetness. Bitterness minimal. Slight fruity notes to be found.

M- Crisp with moderate carbonation.

D- Very easy drinking, flavorful, moderately low ABV%; highly sessionable beer.

Future outlook: Not a favorite style, but as with most Sam Smith, a dependable beer that I would happily go to for a change of pace or in a pinch.

DoctorDog, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of YesFest
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a copper/amber/dark orange, thin head even with a modestly forceful pour. Head dissipates quickly.

Not a whole lot of aroma. Whatever's detectable is standard English ale esters, a bit of plum and grassy malts. No noticeable hop aroma.

Decent bite up front, and in the throat, not too much in between. Malts, a bit of bread-crust and plum. That's about it. Medium/thin body, pretty mild, but pleasant aftertaste. Hops are pretty scarce. It drinks real fast, perhaps because I'm chasing flavor that maybe isn't there. That said, very drinkable, refreshing. I'd like to pair this with a burger on the Foreman grill. Probably wouldn't drink down too many of these, I'd lose interest after about one and a half.

(Upon Edit: Wow, I must have gotten a really old bottle, cuz my grades deviate pretty far south...)

YesFest, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of GClarkage
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

GClarkage, Feb 03, 2009
Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
89 out of 100 based on 586 ratings.