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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

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 dciskey
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%

Pours from a 550ml bottle into my nonic with about 3/4 finger head, which dissapates somewhat quickly to a ring at the edge. No real lacing. The color is golden and amber.

Smell is malt with a touch of apple, and a tiny bit of hops. Taste is biscuity malt, yeast and apples, and a tiny bit of what I think is the hard water, as I've noticed it in other Sam Smith beers. It's not overpowering, though. As the beer warms it becomes a little more malty and yeasty and a little less fruity. I like the fruitiness myself so that's kiind of a bummer but the taste stays balanced the whole time.

Mouthfeel seems about right on for the style, carbonation is present but not excessive. This is a good beer, gobs better than the Bass pints I've had in various bars, though I prefer it on the colder edge of the temperature range.

dciskey, Sep 26, 2005
Photo of pweis909
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Seemed more like a nut-brown than a pale ale. But enjoyable.

This sweet ale (poured from a 550 mL bottle) was brown-amber in color and lost it's head rapidly. Carbonation was slight, which may have contributed to smooth, buttery mouthfeel.

The ale smelled strongly of sweet malt but also of yeast, and, as I brought it to my mouth, faintly of toast and apples. After I started drinking it, I detected a metallic odor amidst the malt.

The ale had little hop bitterness. The sweet malt carried the taste, but was not cloying.

I had the second half of the bottle with food. Paired ok with toast and cheese, not so good with plum.

pweis909, Sep 08, 2005
Photo of kgotcher
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%

550 ml bottle

Found this in my local Wild Oats store. I like the idea of Organic beer. I wish more beer companies would produce organic brews.

Pours a nice orange/amber, very clear, a good amount of carbonation that continues to bubble very lightly. Fairly light head that doesn't really go away and has nice light lacings.

Smell has a noticable amount on malt, just a hint of hops, did I smell apple?

Taste is fairly balanced but just a bit on the sweet side. Malt flavor hangs around afterwards. Leaves a nice rich malty, yeasty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a bit weak at first but then makes up for it as it becomes bready toward the end.

Overall drinkability is great. Nothing overly challenging to the pallete but the nice bready malty and yeasty aftertaste is interesting. A great beer to drink anytime.

kgotcher, Aug 26, 2005
Photo of cubedbee
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%

Pours a bright copper color with tons of carbonation bubbles but a scant head that dissappears right away. Aroma is a muted honey and floral scent. Taste is a rich honeylike malt giving way to a slightly citric finish and just a delicate touch of bitterness on the end. Medium bodied with a rounded creamy feel. This is one unique tasting English Pale Ale and it's a pretty good one at that.

cubedbee, Jul 21, 2005
Photo of RedDiamond
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%

It’s odd seeing such disparity in the reviews of this beer. Either the quality varies widely – a definite possibility given the transoceanic distribution of a non-bottle conditioned session ale – or the taste is such a low-and-outside curveball that many just can’t connect. Personally, I enjoyed the heck out of this beer though the taste is distinctive almost to the point of distraction.

First comes the heavy, cidery aroma rolling off the pale, lightly clouded saffron body. Freaky Brit malts and specialty yeasts come to dominate the nose and taste creating a profile unknown to American pales. Bittering is only introduced for balance with no great reliance on hops for flavor or aroma. The warm honey-toast flavor comes across as dignified and appealing.

This is a classy and distinctive ale. And it’s organic. When the Brits say, “It’s organic, mate,” it doesn’t quite have the same ring as when we Americans say, “It’s organic, dude.” Still, I’ve never had an American pale that tasted remotely like this.

RedDiamond, Jul 02, 2005
Photo of Reidrover
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%

Quite a nice looking pale, dark honeyish with a great bubbly/rocky white head. That goes to leave good lacing.
The aroma is mostly of honey sweet malts, though the tang of the hops is always there..this smells pretty fresh.
Good tasteng ale, honeyish maltiness, always with some slightly citric hoppiness, near the end the hoppiness takes over and it ends with a good bitter aftertaste.
Quie good on the palate, quite tthick for an English brewed pale.
I found this beer very easy to drink, it appeals to me as a summer beer.

Reidrover, Jun 23, 2005
Photo of Dmann
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Wow, this beer is fucking great! A perfect example of a Engish Pale Ale and a super drinkable session beer as well. As with all Sam Smith beers I've had, the beer looked great. It poured a light amber color with a small white head that stuck around to the glass till the end. The smell was kind of subtle but nice with a very earthy hop scent and mild citrus notes in there too. The taste was great and was close to the smell; it had a good dose of light malt sweetness and citrus in the start which faded into some earthy hop flavors and ended on a mild sweetness. This is a wonderfully crafted brew and I definantly recommend it!

Dmann, Jun 22, 2005
Photo of sinistermadman
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%

This brew pours a bright copper while jetting a nice head which soon settles to almost nothing.
Smell is almost like a fruit punch. Am I crazy? Smells pretty good, but quite subdued. Smell is very natural, or should I say organic.
Taste is raw and unrefined. A sort of citrus tinge bites first, but then morphs into a grainy almost vegetable character. Very unique. Mouthfeel is full, but not sticky or onerous. Well balanced and quite drinkable. A finely crafted which makes the most of its ingredients.

sinistermadman, May 22, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%

Clear, pale nectarine, likable snow-white froth atop.
Aroma is light citrus, straw, herbal.
Taste: light on the palate, easily supped, a well-rounded, lightly hopped, tasty thing. Neat, coppery malt, biscuity bright, crisp and delicious. Medium bodied, with a tapering, malty finish.
Nice, grainy mouthfeel, tangy texture... very well-played in the mouth, an an immaculately conceived ale, well worth the drinking.

feloniousmonk, May 02, 2005
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

Appearance: Pours an inviting golden brown body with a solid inch of blonde head comprised of a variety of bubble sizes.

Smell: Smells like like hops, faint notes of apple cider and some dry woody notes.

Taste: The taste is really great. Its such a fresh burst of pretzel yeasty flavor and an overall flavor of Marzen style beers. There is a nice apple color in the back of the taste as well. It mellows into a yeasty hop after taste but the fruit flavor remains.

Mouthfeel: The body is very round and filling. Ooh baby.

GuinnessSmurf, May 02, 2005
Photo of beertastegood
3.28/5  rDev -17.8%

Pours a clear golden/copper color with a rocky white head that went down after a few minutes. Smells of nutty toffee and grassy hops. Tastes similar, but with a slight metallic taste that was kind of off-putting. Didn't last too long, but it was kind of strange. Finish is crisp and clean, slightly dry. Medium bodied with average carbonation. Not too bad, but Sam Smith makes many many better beers.

beertastegood, Apr 01, 2005
Photo of mynie
4.55/5  rDev +14%

Dark orange, like a good pale ale, a very large, foamy head.

Smells of big bread malts and citrusy hops. Unique, to say the least. Unlike any other beer I've ever smelt. Almost perfectly complex and strong. Very nice.

Tastes like bread upfront, moving into biscuit, moving into caramel. The back brings in some light hints of a citrus fruit and it ends on a hop note. Very clean, crisp, and quite refreshing.

This is God's own picnic beer--what the big man himself drinks after doing something especially holy, like creating kittens. For us mortals it's perfect for when you've just got done doing something manly like mowing a lawn. I need to get on the horn and see about scaring myself up a case of it for Memorial Day.

mynie, Mar 17, 2005
Photo of foamer
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%

Pours a golden yellow with a froth head with very good retention. Some malt and faint citrusy hops in the nose. Taste begins with earthy malts and then developed to a lingering dry hoppy finish with a touch of citrus in the end. Mouthfeel is nice. Not too heavy or too light - just right. This would make a tasty session ale. I could have a number of these in a row and not get bored. Nicely complex for the style. A shame Sam Smiths does do more cask ales - this would make a lovely cask ale.

foamer, Mar 15, 2005
Photo of theozag
3.45/5  rDev -13.5%

About 40% opaque once it settles ino your pint glass; crystaline orange color with a frothy, thick, white head that fades to a lasting film after a few minutes. Smell is a tart, floral aroma with crisp, clean edge; simply put, it's delightful. This ale's taste is a crafty hop blen dover a clean, crisp start. It settles on the tongue with a medium body and flavors including wheat, apple, and creme. The finish is malty-smooth with an oily, heavy aftertaste that lasts a while after the beer is gone.

theozag, Mar 10, 2005
Photo of ElGordo
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Pours a clear, golden-orange hue with a smallish white, bubbly head that subsides quickly. Pleasant aroma of sweet malt, a touch of hops, and some biscuity notes. Crisp, clean taste, but not in the American macro way. Medium body holds a palate of light malt up front. The hops come out towards the back of the mouth, resulting in a balanced, mellow finish with a touch of biscuit and citrus on the aftertaste. A great beer for a session, this one goes down smooth and easy while maintaining its character.

ElGordo, Mar 09, 2005
Photo of kosmoraios
3.95/5  rDev -1%

How incredibly refreshing. This ale pours a slightly murky orange color into my glass, with a small head that is gone quickly, but leaves some lace clinging to the glass. The aroma is of somewhat toasty malt with a bit of rising bread dough. Taste is crisp and clean with some extraordinarily balanced flavors of malt and hops, a soupçon of citrus and a tinge of very light toffee sweetness. The mouthfeel holds it's own with ample carbonation and pepperiness. Very drinkable ale.

For some reason, this "Organically Produced" version is crisper, cleaner, and just "feels better" if you can dig that. I'm not sure what the cause of that is. Pale Ale is not my favorite style, but I very much enjoyed this ale. I think it is a prime example of it's style.

kosmoraios, Mar 02, 2005
Photo of neonbrown82
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%

The beer poured a slightly cloudy golden color with a thing head that recedes to a fine ring. A little unimpressive, but looks provide the least bit of physical stimulation of the beer experience. Presentation is important, but not so important that I was worried this beer might suck due to its unimpressive appearance.

I found the balance between hops and malts to be impeccable in both the smell and taste. Each time I would take a drink or a whiff, I would simultaneously experience the sweetness of the malts and the bitterness and bouqet of the hops. Also detected some esters from the yeast and a slight doughy flavor. Very tasty. I enjoyed this much better than the Sam Smith's Pale Ale.

neonbrown82, Feb 22, 2005
Photo of allengarvin
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%

Appearance: Slightly hazy orange color, white film across the top.

Aroma: Very slight malt with a touch of hops. Low aroma, hard to detect anything.

Flavor: Touch of caramel, fairly sweet malt, with a citrusy, lemony hop presence. Bitterness is moderate, but hop flavor is pleasant. Moderately fruity, with a clean finish. Lacks the astringency and diacetyl of other Sam Smith beers.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation, medium-light body.

An easy drinking, uncomplex beer. Lacks any of the bold characters of the rest of the Sam Smith line.

allengarvin, Feb 04, 2005
Photo of CVC
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%

Came in a dark 18.7 oz. bottle; served in a pint glass.

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a pure white, two-finger, bubbly head. Stays around for a while and leaves a good amount of lace. Smells earthy, and yeast and wheat. Tastes sweet and pale, yeast, wheat, and maybe hints of honey. Organic. Has a solid mouthfeel which fits the beer.

This stuff's all right. It has a very organic taste to it, and it's almost like Fat Tire, but paler and a little better. A little too weak and pale for my tastes, but I'd get it again.

CVC, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of necoadam
3.08/5  rDev -22.8%

Poured out a light golden/orange color, hazy, with a nice head to go along with it.

Smell was fairly light, but consisted of some sweet malts along with a touch of earth tones. Some light yeast also hangs around in the background.

Taste was pretty average. Malts start out with a touch of sweetness to it, but nothing overboard. A touch of hops start to blend in along with some citrus notes. Some yeast also finishes at the end. Finished with a honey/herbal tone which seem alright, but was a little too much I thought, need to get toned down.

Mouthfeel was light to medium. Carbonation was in check.

Not bad. I wouldn't refuse this beer but I don't know if I would want to buy another one.

necoadam, Jan 05, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%

This beer poured a golden color with a finger of head that fell to coat the beer. The nose was very grainey with a touch of honey sweetness. Not overly appealing to me. The flavor followed the nose pretty spot on. Lots of raw grainey flavors along with a bit of honey sweetness. Just not my favorite beer. The feel was moderate and drinkability suffered from the flavor and nose I didn't like so much. Its not bad beer, but just not good.

kmpitz2, Dec 15, 2004
Photo of SheepNutz
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%

Half a liter bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a deep gold color with one finger of head. A touch of lacing on the glass. The smell is light and malty, somewhat sweet. Only slightly hoppy. The taste is also sweet, with some honey under a good malt background. A pinch of hops on the finish. The body is fairly thick and smooth. The drinkability is very nice. Thanks to my brother Jack for bringing this (now sign up for BA you wuss!!!).

SheepNutz, Dec 13, 2004
Photo of waughbrew
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%

Light gold, small cap of white foam. Light aroma of bicuit, butter, and cider. Flavor lets that biscuit shine rather nicely with an earthy herbal hop note. Finishes a little sweet, but welcomes another sip. A nice beer that does the English proud. I won't go out of my way to import it again, but I will enjoy it when I have it.

waughbrew, Nov 18, 2004
Photo of HardTarget
3.33/5  rDev -16.5%

Aroma: Floral hops, a note of honey and lemongrass.
Appearance: Hazy golden straw color with the sheerest head of off white smaller bubbles.
Flavor: Honey flavor really pops at first, but a nicely balanced hop bitter quickly jumps in before it gets too sweet. Strong toffee and caramel tastes. There is a slightly off aftertaste, an orange rind sulfur taste. It has that “rain water” flavor that I get from organic brews.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice carbonation level, slight chew, very oily.
Overall Impression: Forgive the fragmented sentences, but this one just isn’t inspiring me. In general it has a good flavor with an odd twist. As for style, it seems bang on. Drinkability, I can see others making a session of it, and Brits needing a fix now and then, but for me, it just isn’t my cup of tea.

HardTarget, Sep 05, 2004
Photo of marcobrau
2.95/5  rDev -26.1%

Pours an amber color and foams up. The head disappears a few seconds later like with many English ales - that's okay, I like the lighter carbonation. The aroma is fruity and a bit musty. The first sip is full of fairly sweet, caramel malt flavor, and gets fruitier and juicier towards the finish. A light bitterness exerts itself about two thirds of the way to the finish, which is flowery, slightly dry and lightly bitter. The taste of minerals that the Tadcaster brewing water and unique fermentation is famous for shows up towards the finish; especially as this pint comes up to room temperature. Overall, a very easy drinkin' English ale, with some delicate flavors that are probably eclipsed by other more assertive British brews. It's certainly worth trying and makes for a good session beer; athough a bit strong for such classification.

marcobrau, Sep 01, 2004
Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
89 out of 100 based on 584 ratings.