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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

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very good

570 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 570
Reviews: 370
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 12.78%
Wants: 35
Gots: 10 | 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)
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Ratings: 570 | Reviews: 370 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 01:19:05 | More by fitzy84
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2009 22:06:59 | More by endincolorado
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2009 00:29:57 | More by jizdepski
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 01:20:05 | More by wheatyweiss
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2009 00:40:52 | More by Draughted
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 19:00:03 | More by cbn
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 03:19:31 | More by DoctorDog
Photo of YesFest

New Jersey

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...)

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2009 20:13:12 | More by YesFest
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2009 18:00:41 | More by GClarkage
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2009 02:27:42 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of TKempe


4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The colour on this one is a beautiful clear golden orange, but the head leaves something to be desired regarding persistency.

A fruity tropical smell with some strawberry aroma's, quite sweet, with an underlying full body of bread-like malt. Hops are aromatic, but not bitter or herbal, more in a lemon-like and slightly pungent fashion.

Qua taste this is full and fruity and slightly sour upfront, followed by an elegant and saturated bitter-dry finish with many good and strong malt flavors, a delicate tea-like hoppy note and a very clean aftertaste. Lots and lots af flavor here! A refreshing and highly drinkable beer with the characteristic of the purest mineral water.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and soft, rounded and full, delicately carbonated.

Jolly good!

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2009 20:39:32 | More by TKempe
Photo of vancurly


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

BB Aug09
a) Clear honey, white frothy 1" head.

s) Cake icing, citrus, then jars of baby food (grain & fruit). Spicy note that tingles the sinus passage. Grains, cool green apple note, slight hint of sulphur.

f) Balanced malt & English hop. Slight waxy perfume. Toasty, good bitter background.

m) Slightly oily, but good consistent length & feel.

d) Good in a bottle in Australia, but would like to try it fresh & tapped from cask in England.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 10:23:45 | More by vancurly
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic English pale ale, the organic version. Somehow I'd neglected to review this in the past. Pours golden with a reasonable head that fades to a finely beaded thin ring. Smells of biscuity malt and some very light earthy hops. The taste is also quite biscuity, but there is also a juicy sweetness and some slightly more prominent hop presence. Very balanced and tasty. Extremely smooth with just the tiniest hint of chalk in the finish. Clean and juicy and a pleasure to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2009 02:03:02 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of phishgator


4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Bass pint glass. Nice light pale/golden color with a creamy head that lacies the entire session. Aroma is of ice tea brewed in the sun with nutmeg and caramel. The flavor is the fuggles and Noble hop throughout! The bitterness is in the aftertaste and it is strong. The body is full, a smooth creaminess is there and that never leaves your palate. The brew makes me want to enjoy a bunch of these!

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2009 05:45:01 | More by phishgator
Photo of Tone


3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber color. 1/2 inch head with decent retention and slight lacing. Smells of a blend of malt, hops, and butter. Fits the style quite nicely. Smooth, chewy, with low carbonation. Tastes mostly of sweet malts with a hop finish. There's a hint of a buttery background. Not too sweet overall, which is appreciated by me. There's a butter/malt aftertaste. The bitterness of the hops counterbalances any sweetness imparted by the malt/butter. Overall, a pretty good beer - worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 21:36:39 | More by Tone
Photo of magictrokini


3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear amber with an average white head. Earthy, grainy malt aroma with grass for hops. Looks good, smells good, but the taste is flat. Malt sweet and sour/bitter at the same time; except the bitter does not come from what could be described as hops or malt. More of a dirty shoe taste. Too expensive for the weak payoff.

Organic is synonymous with overpriced average beer. Its almost like it has become a warning label: "This beer is not as good as you think it would be, but the ingerdients are 'organic' and we think that is a decnt trade-off for actual flavor." Spare me.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2008 17:14:44 | More by magictrokini
Photo of BassBone


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

This beer pours a very beautiful golden color with a bit of cloudiness. The white, lacy head sticks around for a long time and leaves good rings on the side of the glass.

On the nose there is a hint of alcohol along with some nice grainy notes and a touch of hoppiness.

The taste is refreshing with more grainy notes and soft alcohol taste and a bit of hops on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is crisp with light carbonation that is again refreshing.

Overall this a flavorful, easy-to-drink brew with the added bonus of being made with organic ingredients.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2008 04:17:16 | More by BassBone
Photo of walshclimb


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

Pours clear golden brown with decent white head after an aggressive pur that dissipates into a thin bubble film. Grainy aroma with apples and a citrus, maybe lemon hops. The fruitiness was a little unexpected for me, but I get apples. Nice malty flavor with a pretty well balanced aftertaste that has a nice bitterness. I am still getting a fruity yeast flavor, similar to the aroma. Well carbonated, medium bodied and very drinkable. I hadn't had this in a long time, and it was a pleasant reminder of the British style pale. Less hopped than most American versions and pleasant to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 02:59:23 | More by walshclimb
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

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

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an almost orange-yellow color and a cloudy texture. There was about a quarter inch of creamy, long-lasting head and very good lacing.

S: This beer had a malty aroma, along with a mild hops presence.

T: Tasted of toasted malt, mild hops and a little yeasty quality. There was something about this taste that wasn't quite my cup of tea.

M: A good amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A well made beer, though I doubt I'd put into a regular rotation. As I said, there was something about the taste that was off-putting.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 13:58:11 | More by avalon07
Photo of tugdriver7


4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This bottle was enough for me to seriously consider a trip to England just to try this one fresh. There are English Pale Ales... and then there are really great English Pale Ales. This is wonderful stuff. A nice hazy gold in the glass with soft carbonation and a nice frothy head. Touch of sweet malt in the nose and the same in the taste, with a hint of hops bitterness and absolutely nothing else. Very enjoyable, drinkable and just complex enough to be interesting without trying to hard. Fresh tasting (even though the 1/2 liter bottle looked liked it had been on the shelf for awhile). And the best part about English Ales are when they begin to warm, they taste even better.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2008 01:19:00 | More by tugdriver7
Photo of rjimlad


4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a good size handle glass and got a rich head but this didn't last very long or leave much in the way of lacing. The aroma isn't very strong but is sweet and malty. Flavour is all treacle and malt sugar with just enough hoppy fruit to prevent cloying. The bitterness balances perfectly and there is quite a lot of interest in the fruit/malt mix. Carbonation is low as it should be and I found it to be thoroughly drinkable and regretting I only bought one bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2008 07:57:14 | More by rjimlad
Photo of andrewm190

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good beer, very solid ale. Pours a moderate head with sticky bubbles. Golden color. Seems like I am perhaps tasting a bit of fruit. The smell is mostly faint to my nose, but what I detect is pleasant. Ultimately this is a well done beer, and scores well, particularly if you are an ale fan. Thoroughly enjoying it as I type.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2008 18:10:18 | More by andrewm190
Photo of BierFan


3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tumbler glass.

Appearance: Despite an overzealous pour resulting in a big head, the head was all but completely gone in a minute. It had a hazy orange / amber body.

Smell: Kind of smells like a watered down tripel. Kinda sweet and fruity with little to no hops.

Taste: Sweet, smooth, and malty. Kinda bland but very delicious.

It's an extremely drinkable ale, and I'm even tempted to say that it's FUN to drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2008 03:49:40 | More by BierFan
Photo of mcsquint


4.83/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a mug.
A - Slightly cloudy, golden amber in color with a foamy, slightly off-white head.
S - Aroma of malt and fresh fruit.
T - Unbelieveable! Malt with notes of fresh apples and peaches.
M - Medium mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.
D - Probably the most drinkable British ale I've tasted. Considering you would pay the same price for a pint of domestic($3.89), this is a bargain. There are many more expensive ales of lesser quality out there.
Samuel Smith continues to produce the highest quality beers in any category.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2008 23:30:23 | More by mcsquint
Photo of abriggs1


4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A little on the pricey side, but good for a splurge once in a while. Tastes very fresh despite traveling thousands of miles to get here, incredibly so actually. Very satisfying and well balanced. Refreshing and nicely hopped. This beer is meant to drink slowely. I feel it would be horribly lame to chug this beer and miss out on the complex balance between hop and malt. The more I drink this beer the more I like it and want MORE.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2008 03:51:40 | More by abriggs1
Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
89 out of 100 based on 570 ratings.