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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

579 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 579
Reviews: 370
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 12.78%
Wants: 41
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: 579 | Reviews: 370 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of claytri


4.47/5  rDev +12%

The Ale poured a nice golden, on the dark side, with a thin white head that quickly went to lace. It had a wonderful aroma of malt and hops, quite inviting. The taste was rich and bitter with plenty of complexity. Hints of Citrus and banana with a strong hoppy finish. The feel is smooth and oily having a bit of bubble to it, and finishes with a dry hoppy twist that leaves a fine aftertaste. I believe this to be a very good beer and a fine example of a British Bitter. I would put it at the top of my list of bitters, but it still won't top out Sam Smith's Pure Lager on my pecking order. All in all another fine beer from Samuel Smith's.

04-25-2004 00:11:41 | More by claytri
Photo of granger10


3.88/5  rDev -2.8%

This beer poured a slightly dark golden color with a moderate off white head. Some lacing but not much. Smell is of fruity esters and bready yeast. Taste is very easy and enjoyable. I notice a definite caramel sweetness up front combined with a buttery diactecyl. Butterscotch becomes prevalent the more this warms. Apple undertones and a biscuity base. Hops don't work with the malts too well and seem a bit off. But this is definitely a nice easy beer to drink and relax to. Drinking good beer AND helping the environment, can't get better than that!

04-24-2004 20:40:22 | More by granger10
Photo of GreenWBush


3.7/5  rDev -7.3%

Finally time to be objective about a classic i've been enjoying for years.

Found a dated and closed case, so no questions about lightstruck skunk concerns.

Samuel Smith's Organically Produced Ale comes packaged in a classically minimalist way. No hop vines or biergirls, just classic lettering. Dark bottle, $2.50.

Comes out of the bottle in a flap of unexpected carbonation. Seems like they've kicked it up a notch, or maybe the older examples weren't good indicators. Immaculate and sheen presence, cleaner than its US grandsons. Light Bronze. Spotty but indignant lacing.

Hints of apple-sweet malt, olde school British yeast, no traces of alcohol. Slight Brit0hop intonation, but nothing at all overpowering.

A delightfully smooth ale that is mysteriously simple. Hops and malts are equally graceful in their footsteps, and your mouth leaves the ordeal as it began. Slightly obvious colloquial-water profile that is part of the love affair. Thin mouthfeel but enough profile to be good in winter or summer. I couldn't be happy with one bottle on a night, its so consistently good.

03-29-2004 02:53:13 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of ngandhi


3.43/5  rDev -14%

Virtually uncarbonated and perhaps for the better. Besides being classically British, the lack of head prevents too much of the noxious smell of this brew from wafting up into my nose. Gigantic butterscotch and grain come out as the beer warms, but the smell is primarily of lime and apple.

Once it warms, this beer is a whole other beast and we begin to understand why the Brits want their beer at such precise temperatures. For those short moments this brew hovers around 57 degrees, it reminds me of old ale and is actually tolerable. Ready to give it a 2 in smell, after noticing the true colors of this beer I actually come to respect it. And the warmer it gets the more the diacetyl hides the otherwise unpleasant hop profile and finally makes me realize that there might actually be something to British beer.

Warm or cold, however, the palette never really develops. Though dominated by disgusting lime straight out of the fridge, there's a consistent flavor of bruised apples that never goes away. The finish is very dry, trying maybe to highlight the graininess and yeast and counteract the ill-fated hopping.

There's no unifying element in this brew. It's a mess of British this and British that and, as entirely unAmerican as this tastes, it comes off as a hack job of British beer. Shipyard can do better. Blasphemey, I'm sure, to knock one of Britain's oldest and most prized breweries. Perhaps it's the importing of ingredients from other places to ensure organic certification, but this tastes amateur at best.

Relax, relax.

03-26-2004 03:39:30 | More by ngandhi
Photo of Quaffer


4.43/5  rDev +11%

18.7 oz. Bottle

Appearance: Slightly hazey and amber-orange in color, this beer produced a think, two-finger head on the pour. It settled down very slowly and never disappeared completely. There remained a cap of foam on top of the brew for the entire time that I was drinking it. A light amount of lace was left behind as the beer was consumed.

Smell: There was a lot going on with the aroma. It had a good, classic ale smell to it, but there was something else to it that set it apart from other beers. It was hard to put my finger on, but it was there. Tons of fruity esters, especially right after the pour. These mellowed out as the beer sat and became more defined. Apple and a hint of banana became very eveident at that point. There was a lot of sweet malt and a little bit of roasted as well. Also on the nose was a candy-like sweetness and an earthy aroma that really set his beer apart.

Mouthfeel: Thin- to medium-bodied and fairly smooth, becoming velvety on the back of the tongue and in the throat.

Taste: The flavor was mellow and very enjoyable. There was a nice toasted biscuit flavor that was provided by the roasted malt. Quite a bit of sweetness was present as well, but this was balanced almost perfectly by a nice hops bitterness. The finish had a surprising kick of lemon that complimented the other flavors well. Light notes of other fruit flavors were present at times, but these were background flavors.

A very nice beer that I wish I could get here in Wichita. It goes down quickly and easily, making it a great session beer, especially at only 5.0% abv. Not a powerhouse or a show stopper by any means. Just a great, solid, drinkable ale.

03-23-2004 00:06:00 | More by Quaffer
Photo of TinusTime


4/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours a nice golden with the slightest hint of orange. Nice white head that lasts and lasts. Smell is of a little sweet malt and floral scents. Taste is very well balanced between the malt and hops. Very English in that the hops are not dominent and balance but dont dominate this ale. The mouthfeel is extremely smooth with just the right amount of scrubbing carbonation on the palate. Drinkability is high. This would make for a great session beer. So well balanced and smooth one could easily make a night of these. Recommended as a very well balanced if not overly flavourful ale

03-04-2004 15:23:56 | More by TinusTime
Photo of Tballz420


4.28/5  rDev +7.3%

This brew is a near-pale golden color, with a well formed white head on top. The scent has candy, some english hops and a malt influence. The taste of this brew is a nice combo of the english hop taste you'd expect from this brewery, with a sweet malt balance to it. Buttery touch to it. This brew has a very smooth feel to it. Finish is bitter hops. This is a good beer from a good brewery. A good installment in the english pale ale line. Recommended.

03-04-2004 05:33:02 | More by Tballz420
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.38/5  rDev +9.8%

This one classy, well put together brew. Light in color, with a white head. Very smooth, and pleasant on the old tongue. Subtle bittering combined with a lovely malt palate add up to a delicious ale. English in every way. Too polite to knock you taste buds out of the park, (like some crass American brews are known to do, Iove those beers to, dont get me wrong!) The final pour included some nice yeasty sediment, which sealed the deal, great stuff from Sammy S.

02-27-2004 03:20:06 | More by Billolick
Photo of krberg


3.85/5  rDev -3.5%

Sometimes its hard to separate myself from mass American culture. It is with that statement I qualify my next. This beer looks like a beer should - golden, with a large white head and a steady flow of bubbles from the bottom to the top. It does smell kind of sour and citrusy, which go me worried that perhaps I bought a bad bottle. It did come from the bodega down the street and while I've never had a bad SS from there I always fear it happening. The immediate taste is almost too smooth and lager-like, but the back of the mouth and after tastes both round this beer out nicely. There is a soft maltiness (which, for some reason, I always find comforting) with a hint of bitterness. This is a nice session beer. Nothing hits you over the head, but it is a quality crafted, well balanced beer. I can see a lot of this being put away on the stoop this summer.
The initial rush of CO2 creates a very thin and gassy mouthfeel. As the beer warms and the gas escapes it becomes a bit smoother. It is still thin though. I suppose that contributes some to an easy drinkability, but I'm not necessarily looking for a beer I can pound. Still, this is a great beer for BBQs and scorching hot days. I would also suggest it to anyone looking to ease themselves or friends into craft beers. Another great beer by Samuel Smiths.

02-18-2004 04:08:30 | More by krberg
Photo of EagleTalon


3.65/5  rDev -8.5%

A very good looking beer. Deep golden color with orange hue, nice white permanent head with lace. Aroma is sweet malt and noble hops. Flavor is balanced, but toward they dry and crisp side--rather lagerlike. Finishes pleasantly bitter. A very decent selection.

02-10-2004 01:16:40 | More by EagleTalon
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +3.5%

This pours a light orange color with a thick creamy head that produces some small spotty lacing. The aroma is of light malt and decent floral tones. The flavor was nicely balanced between the malt and hops, and the hops produced a stronger than expected bitterness. Very straight forward pale ale as only some distant citrus was detectable.

The mouthfeel was smooth and thin. Slightly lighter in body than other pales. A mild malt and light bitterness rode the tongue during the aftertaste. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Could be a session beer.

02-07-2004 21:21:34 | More by Gavage
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +3.5%

Organically Produced?!

I hope the's no cow manure in this beer!

Appearance- light orange with a big thick billowy white head.
Smell- yeasty mostly with a little malt.
Taste- very good! creamy, buttery malt. A hint of caramel I detect. very tasty!
Mouthfeel- crisp, slighty watery, no bitterness, no carbonation. Goes down TOO smooth.

Overall- A very good Ale. Damn, this was tasty. I shall purchase more!!!

02-03-2004 20:49:14 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.38/5  rDev +9.8%

The beer pours a dark gold color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It is quite malty with a yeast fruitiness to it. The taste is excellent. It is full of sweet malts. It has a great balance of malts and hops with a smooth creamy finish. The mouthfeel is great as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an awesome beer. It drinks outstanding; a real treasure.

01-21-2004 01:23:04 | More by WesWes
Photo of kbub6f

New York

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

Small, white, noisy head. Clear, orange/gold beer. Lots of carbonation. Malty, tangy, buttery, sweet nose. Maltorama! Darkish, buttery caramel. Tangy, bitter finish. A touch watery, a touch metallic when cold. For some reason I'm really into malty British ales these days. This one's a beaut.

01-18-2004 01:25:56 | More by kbub6f
Photo of kunzbrew


3.83/5  rDev -4%

This brew pours a golden straw color with a fluffy head that does not last long leaving a collar with a nice lace behind.

The strong smell of hops hits the nose hard with a biscuit malt aroma as well.

The sweet malt flavor along with a moderate hop aroma fill the mouth. Strong carbonation stings the tongue as well.

The overall mouthfeel is good but not great, same for the flavor.

01-11-2004 00:24:43 | More by kunzbrew
Photo of moulefrite


3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours a very clean looking bright golden. An attractive buttery looking head that leaves ample creamy, sticky lace follows. More depth here than was expected from the fairly simple color. The beer brings to the table a deep maltiness as well as a fine balance of hop that suggests.... "I'm British!" A lush, almost buttery mouthfeel-brown butter at that-and a fresh squeeze of lemon is present throughout, and a lengthly finish features sweet malt and pleasant bitter. This is a solid ale.

01-05-2004 02:54:45 | More by moulefrite
Photo of RoyalT


2.17/5  rDev -45.6%

Appearance – The body is a light orangish yellow and clear. The head is nice and thick but went down quickly.

Smell – There wasn’t much of a nose to this one. I could pick up some grain and cheap sugar along with a big, musty smell.

Taste – The nasty grain and sour tartness that I’ve come to expect from lesser breweries is here in spades. This stuff is horrible.

Mouthfeel – Light, fizzy carbonation and extremely thin, even for a Pale Ale.

Drinkability – Thank God my wife agreed to put away the rest of this one. She wasn’t too happy with it though and said that she definitely won’t “buy again” (this from a Sam Smith fan).

12-31-2003 01:23:06 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Beastdog75

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -9%

Another organic beer from the Samuel Smith's Old Brewery. According to my Merchant du Vin pamphlet that I picked up in a beer store, this beer uses malted barley, cane sugar, and hops grown by certified organic farmers and that the hops come from New Zealand because the pests that effect hops in Europe aren't as troublesome. Seems like a pretty interesting and well made brew to say the least.

This organic ale pours a nice amber color with some orange hue to it. It also has a slight haziness to it. A decent foamy head forms, lasts about 1 1/2 minutes and leaves sporadic lacing. The smell was dominated by malt. Very sweet, almost caramel like in the nose. This beer feels smooth and moderately carbonated on the palette. As with the aroma, the flavor seems mostly dominated by malt as well. Caramel like notes are present. The hop presence is decent, but pales in comparison to the regular Sam Smith's Pale Ale. The aftertaste has a light-moderate dryness, and has a bit of a nutty flavor to it too. This beer finishes out with a light alcoholic warmth.

Another good beer from Samuel Smith. Those turned off by the more malty brews might want to try something else, as I thought this was one of the more maltier beers that I have sampled. The sweetness lowered the drinkability by just a bit, but this is still a smooth, easy drinking pale ale that has the added bonus of not having any nasty "extras" possibly floating around.

12-24-2003 03:57:45 | More by Beastdog75
Photo of BitteBier


3.85/5  rDev -3.5%

Semi-clear, honey-colored brew topped with a finger of fine head fed by active carbonation. Lace clings in large sheets. Intensely sweet--even syrupy--floral scents dominate the smell, but in a surprisingly delicate way. Smooth grains at the start fade to a bittersweet taste and a nondescript finish. Mouthfeel is quite creamy but doesn't cling too much. Well balanced, quite drinkable and sort of interesting.

12-04-2003 02:25:38 | More by BitteBier
Photo of mickeymac


4.05/5  rDev +1.5%

Poured from a 550 ml brown bottle, the head is white and foamy. The beer is a pleasant golden-orange. A honey-like sweetness comes through in the smell, with just a trace of hops. The taste is a bit on the light side but thoroughly enjoyable. A bready flavor is backed by the nice honey flavor and it's just bitter enough to keep things interesting. It's nothing earth-shattering, but it is a very nice English Pale Ale.

10-29-2003 04:09:51 | More by mickeymac
Photo of Rumrunner


4.33/5  rDev +8.5%

550ml bottle. Bottle looks old fashioned. Great presentation.

A clear deep golden color. Great head upon pour which leaves nice lacing throughout. The scents are grassy, floral and hoppy. A slight malty sweet scent hangs around as well.

The flavors are very refined. It starts a bit sweet with some spice and herbs. There is a malty bready flavor and some yeast with a wet grass taste as well. Some sugar and a bit of a crisp hop bite near the end. Very nice. This ale tastes as if it should garner respect. It has an attitude of simple yet character driven flavors.

The mouthfeel is smooth and crisp. Not heavy but bold. It is a very easy drinking ale. It feels like a lager in some respects. Enjoy.

10-17-2003 07:28:10 | More by Rumrunner
Photo of Shiloh

Ontario (Canada)

2.42/5  rDev -39.3%

Pretty enough with limited crown, but at the expense of the taste buds.
Geez this is sweet, they must have run out of hops at the Tadcaster Brewery the day this brew was introduced.
Body is a medium, carbonation is all but missing but the colour is nice.
I'm sure this organic style is appreciated by some, and this may be a special product...but I don't see it!

10-11-2003 02:14:50 | More by Shiloh
Photo of UnionMade

New York

3.35/5  rDev -16%

The beer pours a golden amber color, excellent clarity, with a thin ring of whitish head.
Aroma is very light. Malty, with quite a bit of diacetyl butteriness. Some caramel, with a mild british hopping. Very little esteriness, with a touch of pear.
Flavor is initially lightly malty, with some toastiness, overwhemled quickly by a moderate diacetyl buttery taste. A bit of caramel pokes through in the middle, with just a hint of pear. Mild hops appear in the finish, lingering into the aftertaste with some diacetyl. Smooth british carbonation, very mild and smooth. Light to medium bodied.
For an organic ale, this isn't bad at all. I've had some really gross organic beer, and this one was pretty much normal. Aside from the buttery flavor, it's a tasty brew. Worth a try at least once.

09-30-2003 04:56:38 | More by UnionMade
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -4.8%

Appears a copper orange with a fluffy textured creamy head nice sized sticks around for a bit and leaves full ring of lacing with each sip very nice appearance here. Aromatics include a delicate floral hop aroma with a choir of biscuit malt singing in the background. As for the taste nice complex yet subtle flavors including a fruit presence in the malt deriven sweetness not bad at all more of the biscuity flavor profile, and hop burps are apparent just mildly hopped delicate "Organically Produced" ale. Mouthfeel well can't complain slightly syrup in the texture medium body smooth wish I found it on cask. Drinkability could very well be a session except I bought this for 3.50 for one bottle so, nope not going to make it a go to but decent and palatable.

09-12-2003 19:53:56 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of beerinator


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

Appearance: Clear tannish gold beer with a white head. Excellent Head Retention.

Aroma: Very good aroma. Nice earthy hoppyness. Smells slightly grainy, toasted wet grain the in the nose. Aroma seems natural/earthy.

Taste: Toasty malt flavor up front, sharp bitterness with a slight hint of citrus. Very earthy malt flavor. Aftertaste is quick leaving a nice smooth finish. Mouthfeel is nice and pleasant.

Notes: Easy to drink. Very smooth beer, exceeding expectations.

08-25-2003 10:19:59 | More by beerinator
Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
89 out of 100 based on 579 ratings.