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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.
very good

584 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 584
Reviews: 370
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 12.78%
Wants: 42
Gots: 14 | 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: 584 | Reviews: 370 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mmmbeer
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slender, brown 12 oz. bottle - it pours into my Sammy Smith pint golden-orange with low carbonation and a two-finger head that doesn't leave much lace, but never fades completely. Fairly malty in the nose, with caramelly, buttery, and toasty notes, but there are floral/spicy hops and fruity byproducts in the mix as well. Quite similar on the palate, with diacetyl, caramel and toasted malts, and grassy/spicy, floral, piney? hops that impart a medium bitterness; maybe a touch of papery oxidation as well, but it's not too distracting. The body is medium with equal carbonation and finish, and drys the mouth sufficiently. Overall a nice English pale ale which is easy to drink and tastes great to boot.

mmmbeer, Mar 19, 2007
Photo of rkuhnel
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Frrom the North Coast Coop in Eureka, CA for $3.36 this poured a cloudy gold to orange with a hefty off white head that left moderate lacing. Aromas of malts and spicy hops. Mouthfeel is medium and flavors are mostly of malts and hops, with a touch of fruit. Finish slightly bitter. Overall a decent brew.

rkuhnel, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of Hampton73
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden tan with a slight off white head.

Aroma is fruity dusty malt. Different.

Taste is malty fruity, with floral overtones, also different, but in a good way. Very earthy.

It is a nice beer, but not something I want to drink all day, or all night.

Hampton73, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of neenerzig
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a mostly clear light copper color with a nice sized head that is about an inch thick before it settles to about 1/4 of an inch thick and it also leaves some nice lacing before eventually becoming a nice film layer. The head has pretty good staying power. Aromas of sweet malt and caramel are present along with a hint of some fruit. Has a sweet malty, somewhat fruity, and caramel taste upfront followed by a slight dry hop aftertaste. Has a crisp, smooth, and medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink in a good way indeed. A good, solid effort from the fine folks at Samuel Smith.


neenerzig, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of Gmann
3.1/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly hazy, copper color with a small off white head, no lacing. The smell is buttery, sweet malt, a light hint of hops. The taste is caramel malt, some buttery toffee, light dry hop aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a bit watery, nicely carbonated. Not bad, but I am not overly impressed, goes down easy, quite drinkable.

Gmann, Jan 13, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's organic ale pours a hazy orange-amber body beneath a short head of creamy off-white froth. It drops steadily to an average collar and whispy surface covering, but leaves walls of spots and splashes behind. The nose displays quite a bit of yeasty fruitiness (tangerine, apricot) and some mineralish character over a biscuity malt. It's smooth in the mouth with a medium-light body and gentle tingle from the moderate carbonation. Fruitiness appears up front in the flavor, lightly tart and citrusy over a bready and biscuity malt base that's just slightly caramelish. Some grassy and floral hop flavors perk it up a bit at the swallow as the bitterness rises. Drying finish. Soft fruit and malt linger in the mouth like orange marmalade on toast. Quite nice, and very refreshing.

NeroFiddled, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of MillRat
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured out a 22 oz brown bomber, thin white head that fades fast. Smells of nice EKG with rich bready malt. Flavor is rich caramel and biscuity with an unobtrusive hop bitterness, an exemplar of balancing malts and hops. Mouthfeel is not something exceptional, but absolutely appropriate for the style. Drinkable? Line 'em up and I'll show you drinkable!

MillRat, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of malcontent
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pale orange body topped off by a finger of head that dies down to form a nice, sticky lacing. Lots of bubbles rising shooting up from the bottom makes this an above average-looking beer.

The scents are faint and smell mostly of sweet corn/grain and frankly remind me more of a lager.

Given the smell, there is a surprising hop presence with a little bitterness on the tip of the tongue and then a nice, dry, bitter finish. In between there is mostly a soft cereal malt taste with subtle sweetness and little else.

Has the body of an Engilsh Pale in that it isn't overly bubbly and has a smooth mouthfeel. This strikes me as a versatile beer either for sessioning or pairing with food. Its neutrality is its greatest virtue.

malcontent, Dec 18, 2006
Photo of theopholis
2.9/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Poured into a tulip glass. Has a bright gold head with very little staying power. Leaves a decent amount of lace. Color is a light amber.

Smell- Gives off a light fruity smell. Some malt character. Just a whiff of bread.

Taste- This drinks like a typical pale English ale. Some hop bitterness/acid on the tip and edges of the tongue. Interesting change in hop bitterness at the back of the throat. A little malt sweetness, but nut much. Tastes vaguely grainy to. Not bad, but not great.

Mouthfeel- Medium body for the style. A tad over-carbonated IMO.

Drinakbility- It's fair. Nothing to write home about.

theopholis, Dec 10, 2006
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - 1" off-white head that falls to a cap immediately and leaves no lace. Slightly chill-hazed orange-gold pale ale.

S - Well balanced nose. Bready malt with a tangy hop presence. An herbally English sort of hop.

T - Quick sour citrus flash. All of the EPA tea-like, herbal hop qualities are present here. Buttery, bready malt. Light bitterness. Tasty.

M - Creamy, medium bodied mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

D - A very flavorful, easy session.

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

Samuel Smith's Organically Produced Ale
550 ML brown bottle
Jet ink label - SI01A1
Served in 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a golden light orange color with a decent head on top that leaves impressive trails of sticky lacings.

The nose is rather dull. Some whiffs of light malts, hops and lemongrass.

Light apple juice malt and grain profile with an appealing hop snap on the finish. A touch of sweet honey too. The hop finish is unassuming, but is there with flavors of pepper and citrus.

Drinkable to say the least. Very refreshing and like any other Samuel Smith's that I've tried, mighty enjoyable.

Hibernator, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of numenor1
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light golden color on the pour with a respectable head that laces so so. Aroma is toasted malt, toffee and very faint diacetyl. On the palate diacetyl is almost undetectable, but toffeeish, caramel malt leads the way. About halfway some nice cherry esters make an appearance (provided you aren't drinking it too cold). Through the finish herbal hops emerge and dry everything out. I get a favor faint note of cocoa in the finish, which seems odd, given the presumed malt-bill, but not out of place flavorwise at all. From start to finish there is a mineral profile to this which I very much enjoy. Body is medium light with medium carbonation (i could go for a touch less). Extremely drinkable.

numenor1, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of aluskungs
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is my glass is cloudy and the foamy head disappears quickly, a lone ring clings to existence at the edge of my glass. The color is nice, like a golden brown grain stalk, but the cloudiness reminds one of a dirt puddle.

There isn't much of a smell, some malt nose and a memory of hazelnut.

The taste is pretty good though. Nice smooth sweetness like liquid caramel, but not as sweet. This beer seems to roll over my tongue. Very drinkable, like my mouth is a magnet for this beer. I can still taste it as if it was tele communicating with my taste buds and saying, "drink me, drink me!" and so I do. Nutty flavors keep the malt sweetness in check. Almost no hops, only at the end, like it's saying "don't forget me!" This beer really talks to me.

A good nutty, malty, very drinkable beer, that doesn't look very appealing.

aluskungs, Oct 31, 2006
Photo of Osiris9588
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark peach color from a 550ml bottle. It is capped by a creamy white head with slight retention and lacing.

The aroma is very malty and orangey. It smells very earthy, accompanied by the fragrance of wet leaves. The flavor is of candied malt and orange, both creamy and syrupy, with just a whisper of subtle hops on the back end.

The mouth is light, fruity and bright on the front, syrupy and slightly drier on the finish. It lacks great complexity however.

It's a very light and drinkable brew. I could see it being very refreshing in hot weather and complementing a wide array of foods. It would not be my first pick of the Sammy Smith family though.

Osiris9588, Oct 03, 2006
Photo of dgallina
3.43/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

550ml brown bottle without intelligible freshness date.

Poured crystal copper with thin soapy head and clingy fine lace. Smells of nutty and leafy hops, caramelized malt. Tastes predominantly of caramel malts, with a cookie-dough and bread center and slightly dry leafy hop finish. Flavor is nice enough, but ultimately a little thin and bordering on phenolic. Thin body with active carbonation. A bit underwhelming overall.

dgallina, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of cypressbob
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Victorian pint bottle, 550mls

Pours with a light amber body, patchy off white head with fair retention

Smell, slightly floral aroma, some fresh fruit most notably, little bit of musky malt in the background, not much hop presence on the nose

Taste, crisp biscuity malt initially, bit of fruit, some english hop bitterness but only slight. Slightly watery mouthfeel

Another solid beer from Sam Smiths, worth a visit again

cypressbob, Sep 26, 2006
Photo of bonbright7
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this great reddish ale at Whole Foods tonight while looking for something different in their cold casing. It poured well to a slight head in my pint glass while I was taking out the ham and swiss heroes.

The ale appeared to to settle down quickly as I tasted the first round and I enjoyed the myriad of flavors. I don't think I could catalog all the interesting flavors ranging coffee to candy.

It had an interesting mouthfeel that I had experienced in a couple of Belgian Triples this past summer, yet it finished off slightly bitter.

This was a great ale that would be great with a hearty lamb stew this Fall.

bonbright7, Sep 22, 2006
Photo of wl0307
3.1/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

It's been 1.5 year since I last tried this beer, so a revisit is in order. This 550ml bottle is BB Aug. 07, served cool in an imperial-pint glass.

A: dark orangey golden in colour, coming with a loosely-formed, puffy white head with surprisingly good retention; gentle, constant streams of tiny fizz underneath.
S: upfront is an intense and cloying malty note full of fruit-candy, malt-candy, cane-sugar, a sticky edge of caramel, a touch of honey, with very faint fruity hops behind. The sweetness is simply overpowering, not as nice and balanced as I remember it...
T: biscuity and sugary malts upfront... followed by sugar-cane juice, berry-ish fruits, while a bitter-sweet edge of licorice, hays, and slightly tangy citric hops quietly join in eventually, with just a subtle touch of bitterness of hops as well as pop-corns.
M&D: spritzy and refreshing yet smooth enough, but the flavour profile is simplistic, with very faint inputs of hops submerged by overwhelmingly sweet maltiness. An unbalanced malty bitter overall, IMO. Not saying that it's a bad beer, but Samuel Smith's could do much better than this, I'm sure.

wl0307, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of yelterdow
2.78/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in an English pint glass at just over fridge temperature. $2.99 at Wyckoff Liquors, who also had the entire line of SS beers refrigerated.

Appearance- Pours a bright gold with a clean, white two finger head that laces nicely... the thin foamy mat plants itself firmly over the course of the tasting.

Smell- A metallic edge to a doughy malt character hits the nose first... there's a mild pungency about the aroma that I find undesirable. With no sign of a freshness date, it's hard to say whether or not this may be an off bottle. Some smoke notes peek through the husky, very organic qualities here.

Taste- This drinks like a very ordinary pale ale... a relatively good balance of malts and hops, some grainy aspects, and an English hop bitterness that drys the finish. Unimpressive and uneventful.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The mouthfeel only wakes up slightly when aggravated... otherwise it's thin. I won't be visiting this again.

yelterdow, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of TheLiterati
3.13/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice, copper-colored ale, with mild, malty-sweet aroma, and fruity undertones. Hints of woodiness, but not much more.

Hops present, but faintly so, detectible in the nose and in the flavor. Sweet at first, with a faintly crisp finish. Not a flavor powerhouse, but much more pleasant than the straw-colored alternatives, and even tastier than some APAs.

Mouthfeel is smooth, not overwhelming, and contributes to an overall drinkability.

TheLiterati, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.38/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a brilliantly clear, perfectly red-copper color. It is topped by a frothy, initially two-finger thick, light tan colored head that falls back into the beer and leaves a bit of lacing as it goes. Upon first whiff the aroma has dry toasted malt notes that move to toffee and then to a solid fruitiness towards the end. The fruit notes remind me of sweet plums, red grapes, raisins and the aromatics coming off a ripe, aromatic red apple variety. I am a bit surprised how fruity this is, it is not out of place, but it certainly comes to dominate the aroma profile of this beer.

Up front this beer is lightly tart, a touch sweet, but definitely is fruity. The tart character and the light sweetness serve to accentuate the fruit notes; I especially get notes of crisp red apples and sweet even lightly concentrated plums. The beer finishes with a touch of hop bitterness, just enough to cause my tongue and back of my throat to tingle. Actually the tingle of hop character starts in the middle and goes through to the near finish. There is just a hint of astringent herbal hop flavor here, it intermingles quite well with the fruit notes, adding a touch of much needed complexity.

This is quite a simplistically flavored brew. It is well made, clean and expressive of their yeast, but could certainly use a bit more flavor. why does organic have to mean bland? They haven't even gotten to the flavor threshold of most of their other products. This beer does open up a bit as it warms up. Still, nothing jumps out at me, but it seems to become a bit more integrated. Though I am not sure if it is enough to hold my interest.

Gueuzedude, Aug 16, 2006
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: nice golden brown color with about a 1/2 an inch of head retention and decent head retention.

Smell: Nice fruity smell, not strong but very pleasant

Taste: VERY VERY BALANCED AND SMOOTH. Oh man the best tasting pale ale I've had so far. I can't wait to try the regular pale ale.

Mourthfeel: Very nice crisp carbonation

Drinkability: A session beer. I could drink one after the other.

jasonjlewis, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of Budlum
2.42/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Quickly diminshing head starting at a meager 0.25 inches giving way to a thin blanket driven by the very high effervesence of this brew. Clear, amber body almost as "bubbly" as a freshly served flute of champagne.

Fresh, spicy hops immediately on the nose followed by a rush of sweetness suggesting syrup or honey. A definite roasted malt presence similar to that of a finely crafted Vienna lager.

The hops apparent on the nose are immediately absent. Definite roasted malt presence that gives way to a, dare I say, cereal malt-esque finish that lasts for an unpleasantly long time. A little too watery and not packing much flavor. What happened to all the good stuff I smelled? I can certainly believe this was organically produced beacuse it tastes like dirt. The only highlight was that it picked up a sugary mouthfeel as it warms.

Despite the absolute lack of flavor, mouthfeel is good and pleasantly creamy. However, forget about experiencing any of the effervesence present in the glass.

I'm sure the drinkability of this is high because it may take another three or four to figure out what SS was going after with this one.

My only thought is that this may have been sitting on the shelf for far too long. I can't possibly imagine SS producing this beer in the state in which I sampled it. Hopefully I can find another and review this one again. In a blind test, I would NEVER believe that this beer was from the same brewery that produces the outstanding SS Imperial Stout.

Budlum, Jul 23, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very s.tern and disciplined Pale Ale done in true and traditional English fashion. I'm not sure if I care whether it's organic or not.

A convincing and masculine copper color pours from the glass with a modest haze, forming a froathy and confident head that retains excellently and lacing every bit as well.

Fruity/malty aromas give some caramels, biscuity character and a non-descript yeasty fruitiness that is in true Brittish form. Light butter-nut quality adds to the complex mix of rich aromas.

Flavors of sweet malts give that classic biscuity, buttery flavor with that English-fruity flavor that you just can't put your finger on. Earthy, spicy, and fresh, this beer has a bitter component that balances the malts well while contributing complexity in flavor and feel.

Rich and creamy early on, the beer releases its carbonation and transitions to a spicy, grassy taste with lasing bitterness into a dry, crisp, clean, and bitter linger.

BEERchitect, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of mdagnew
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast...

Poured a nice light coppery orange colour... Slightly off white head poured foamy and meringue like then faded quite quickly to very thin layer... Very light carbonation and some sparse patchy lacing...

Aroma - Nice biscuity / toffee malts, slight spiciness, nutty sweetness, toasted bread notes, some fruitiness (oranges and apples), grassy / hay hints...

Taste – Light spicy hop bitterness, biscuity / bready maltiness, earthy notes, grassy, light fruitiness (bitter oranges), very faint toffee sweetness, light saltiness... flavours maybe lacking a little depth...

Feel - Quite sharp and dry... Medium body... Pretty refeshing and drinkable...

Overall - A pretty solid pale ale.... nothing ground breaking but very drinkable... certainly worth a try...

mdagnew, Jul 14, 2006
Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
89 out of 100 based on 584 ratings.