Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
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Ratings: 573 | Reviews: 370 | Display Reviews Only:
4.01/5 rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
There's a number of benefits to organic products and apparently we can add aesthetics to that list. Samuel Smith Organic Pale Ale is one of the most handsome beers I've laid eyes on. With a glowing complexion it is comprised of stratified shades of amber (deep on top, bright on the bottom) and a bustling crowd of bubbles that make the beer busy as a Shanghai market.
It's hard to appreciate the grassy hop and caramel malt flavours from the other side of a giant head that ostensibly acts as a sponge, but the aroma manages to give some (subtle) indication of what to expect on the palate. Slightly dank, slightly sweet - it's a quintessentially British ale alright when it combines notes of wet fields with confections.
Making a beer like this on the scale of a brewery like Carling would break even the bank of England. Nevermind the obvious additional costs with going organic, but anything this clean and wholesome - a beer not only free of adjuncts but actually brewed from high-quality ingredients - would cost a small fortune. Plus the significant use of hops! Imagine the price of a 2-4?
Good ingredients make for a bready, biscuity, lightly toasted maltiness and hints of marmalade, yellow plum and apricot preserves. The hops have a lightly dank, herbal component that, aided by a particularly stiff water, leaves a grassy, leafy green-type bitterness (which is balanced by nougat-like sweetness). Very quaffable but a bit heavy for a session option.
Samuel Smith is, in my mind, as much a British emblem as the Crown Jewels or Buckingham Palace. There may be no beer that better blends England's proud brewing traditions with its modern environmental and gastronomic values than Organic Pale Ale, or, as it's also (perhaps more aptly) known, Organic Best Ale. I wish more flagship offerings were this good.
Serving type: bottle
08-21-2013 18:28:05 | More by biegaman
4.23/5 rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
550 mL bottle from the LCBO; bottled on May 22 2013. Always pumped to try out a new beer from this brewery, which has not yet disappointed me with any of their offerings. It's labelled as their 'Organic Pale Ale' in this market, although the label art is virtually identical to that in the picture so I must assume this is the correct place to put this review. Served well chilled.
Pours a beautiful, clear orange-amber colour, topped with roughly 1.5 fingers of frothy, foamy off-white head that wilts away over the next five minutes or so. In its wake, it leaves a smooth, creamy cap and a few modest smudges of lacing. Mild, clean aroma that leans toward the malty side - butterscotch and toffee come through nicely, as well as toasted biscuits, sultanas, and some leafy hop notes. Plain, but otherwise spot-on for the style.
Fortunately, the flavours are much bolder than the subdued aroma might first imply. Once again, the malts are the star of the show, but there is a sturdy hop backing that balances it perfectly. Toffee sweetness and doughy, biscuity malts start us off, as well as some light toasted nuttiness and lemon zest. This leads into some hoppy bitterness, which becomes more prominent toward the end of the sip, providing a pleasant, earthy dryness that lingers. Earthy, leafy aftertaste with a strong mineral vibe from the hard well water. On the light side of medium-bodied, with a somewhat smooth, creamy mouthfeel. The carbonation was a little high for my liking at first, but it settles somewhat as the beer warms.
Final Grade: 4.23, a very respectable A-. Samuel Smith's Organic Pale Ale is an immaculately balanced ale that is guaranteed to please any fan of English pales. While the malts are probably more likely to draw the bulk of your taste buds' attention, the earthy bitterness provided by the English hops is a perfect counterweight to their biscuity, toasted sweetness. This is one of the best EPAs I have ever had the pleasure of trying, although at this price point ($3.85 per bottle) it's not exactly the cheapest tipple as far as this style goes. Well worth a try for any English ale fan.
Serving type: bottle
08-18-2013 01:10:50 | More by thehyperduck
4.46/5 rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Poured a gorgeous amber with a half finger off white head. A nice look that reminds one of an English classic. Scents of caramel, honey, sweet malt and slight apple juice. Not amazing, but it entices one to taste. Flavors of grainy malt, slight caramel and honey sweetness, particularly in the middle of the sip, though both are extremely muted and a nice moderate level of bitterness with some floral hop flavors. Finish is slightly dry. Very well done. Subdued, yet with a hoppy character. Not greatly hoppy like an APA. It balances it's bitterness with a nice grainy malt back bone and a very slight sweetness to make it quite drinkable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Perfect for a session ale. A classic English pub style, executed extremely well. The best EPA I've had, well worth drinking.
Serving type: bottle
07-27-2013 06:01:50 | More by Auraan
Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
89 out of 100 based on 573 ratings.