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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

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 SixpointJMH

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -11%

i'd heard very good things about this brew and, while i certainly can't say it's a bad brew (far from it), it didn't live up to expectiations. pours a pale amber with an average head that quickly dissolves to a thin lace. floral, fruity smells are apparent with a bit of earthiness as well. picked thiese up in the taste as well along with some a hint of butter flavour perhaps (or caramel?). nice carbonation balance here...less carb than i expected, which to me is a good thing. again, overall a very drinkable beer. i'd happily go back to it, but i have a bunch of other sam smith's ranked ahead of this one.

07-25-2003 03:58:32 | More by SixpointJMH
Photo of Darkale


4/5  rDev +0.3%

Clear, light-orange body. The head is thick and tawny, pocked and popping, and looks very much like the inside of fresh, home-baked bread.

Aroma is slightly sour, full and yeasty. Yet, there is a slight fruitiness to it. Very interesting and balanced aroma.

Taste is round and slick, almost but not quite chewy, a bit sour on the edges, bright and clear in the mouth as you swallow. For at least half of the time it took me to drink this beer I struggled with the sharp taste of this beer -- what does it taste like? Finally, it came to me. It's like sharp cheddar cheese. Good sharp cheddar cheese.

The slight sourness of the beer diminishes its drinkability for me, though I licked every last drop from the glass. Can't imagine having more than one of these at a time, though I will enjoy drinking one of these in the future.

07-23-2003 13:25:28 | More by Darkale
Photo of charlesw

New York

3.3/5  rDev -17.3%

22 oz bottle.
Pours light orange-brown. I had to coax the head of it but it was nice and dense and long lasting after coaxing.
Flavor is light and lightly fruity. Nice (light) malt flavor to it. The fruitiness and malt both seem a bit off style (more so for the malt) but, you know, it goes down really well! Some bitterness, but it really is, well, light!
This is a very fine thirst-quenching summer ale and I'd buy and drink it again with that in mind!

07-10-2003 15:08:28 | More by charlesw
Photo of assurbanipaul


3.45/5  rDev -13.5%

Pours light and cloudy with a strong floral bouquet. Taste is fresh and light and easy to drink. Bitter flavors with light malt, almost refreshing, slightly grassy with a mild spice to it.

Smells better than it tastes, not great but a good session beer.

06-29-2003 18:48:53 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of AtLagerHeads


3.68/5  rDev -7.8%

This is a nice ale by Samuel Smith. Pours a cloudy amber with a very nice white head. The beer is a great lace creator putting lots of sticky lace all over the glass. The nose is of both malt and hops with a decent balance of the two. The same is true of the taste which has a very substantial malt backing and good bitterness from the hops. Decent body although a little watery as it warms. Very drinkable brew.

05-24-2003 21:00:52 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of ADR


3.35/5  rDev -16%

Clear golden appearance with a whitish medium-bubbled head of about 1/4 of an inch and decent duration. Nice slightly thick and complex laces. Fairly un-aromatic and surprisingly grassy for a Pale, almost like a Grolsch in aroma. Malt is straightforward, minimal brown sugar and a bit of freshly-baked white bread. Hops are minimal, slight sense of paprika and re-inforced by the aroma close to the swallow. This brew has a tight balance, but unfortunately, the body was pretty lacking to me -- a teeter-totter balanced by little weight on either side. Too expensive to be a session brew of choice for me, but it is certainly drinkable.

04-15-2003 10:29:25 | More by ADR
Photo of MJR


3.63/5  rDev -9%

Appearance: Pours a light copper color with perfect clarity. An off-white head starts out big and foamy, then shrinks down to a small and steady cap.

Smell: Faint aroma of malt and hops. A touch of freshly mown hay.

Taste: There's a nice balance between the bready malt and hops, along with a fresh, organic quality (duh!) I pick up on a slight mineral element, from the liquor it was made with. A touch of toffee sweetness hangs in the background and lends a bit of depth to an otherwise ordinary beer.

Mouthfeel: Has a light body with a soft, rounded mouthfeel. Very mellow.

Drinkability: Pretty good. This would make a good session brew, but I wouldn't make a special trip to get it. There are much better beers in the Sam Smith line.

Has anyone else noticed that organic brews seem to be a bit bland and watery?

04-13-2003 16:13:25 | More by MJR
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -4%

This sample came over from Hawaii as it is not available in
B.C. liquor stores. I liked the pale blonde colour and the
slightly sour smell on the nose. This beer is not as dominant
in flavours as the Tadcaster or I.P.A. from Samuel smith. Hoppiness was not huge but balanced well with the rest of the
taste. I would sum this up as nice clean session beer that
works well with cooked meats and poultry.

03-18-2003 10:40:28 | More by canucklehead
Photo of Riggo


4.03/5  rDev +1%

For an ale, this beer pours a surprisingly light, clear, golden copper, looking a little too similar to a pilsener. A sturdy, creamy white head with good head retention. In the nose, the pilsener-like qualities continue. Grassy, malty, leafy hop notes give way, as the beer warms, to fruity/citrus elements like orange and pineapple. The taste is initially minerally, with a clean hop presence and well-balanced. As it warms, woody, earthy, toffeeish elements develop, as well as the fruitier, maltier side of things. It begins, then, to seem a litter more like an ale and less like a lager, approaching more the English bitter genre. The drinkability is high and this would seem to be a good session beer.

A fine if boring offering from a great brewery. Despite coming away from this one feeling like its a well-balanced, solid beer, the lightweight, lager-like quality was disconcerting.

03-07-2003 08:37:59 | More by Riggo
Photo of Dogbrick


2.68/5  rDev -32.8%

For once a lighter Sam Smith beer that was not lightstruck! Still a thorughly average beer though. Pours a golden color with a thin white head and a little carbonation and thin lacing. Earthy, fruity and yeasty aroma. On this thin side and lacking in any obvious flavor. Unbalanced but drinkable, still I'll go back to the Imperial Stout next time.

01-14-2003 08:39:51 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of Morris729


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Pours a thin and pale amber color with a big frothy white head that billows out of the glass and coats the sides while drinking. Nose is quite floral with notes of fresh lemon and citrus. Smooth and crisp in the mouth. Taste is a combination of a sweet fruitiness and a bready maltiness blended nicely with just the right amount of hop bitterness. Finish is crisp and refreshing. This is a very enjoyable ale and a great session brew.

01-12-2003 12:18:33 | More by Morris729
Photo of Realale


4.6/5  rDev +15.3%

Brown bottle!!

Pours a beautiful brassy color. Very dense creamy head rises 3/4" before slowly settling to a solid quarter inch.

Nose is crisp hop, wet stone, and crackery malt. Very British, and very appealing.

In the mouth its light and long, with a solid base of malt, and good bitterness on the finish. The mineral notes are there at the end too.

The mouthfeel is very good, but could move up to exceptional with bottle-conditioning. Very drinkable. Excellent session ale. Probably my favorite of the Sam Smith line-up right now.

01-11-2003 12:10:06 | More by Realale
Photo of bewareOFpenguin


4/5  rDev +0.3%

Update: I have since purchased this beer in a brown bottle. The difference in unbelievable. Nice balance of hops and malt, no "skunk" or stale taste. I hope their whole line goes into a brown bottle soon.

Why do I keep buying from Tadcaster? It poured a nice yellow color with somewhat of a head. But the taste, typical. It tasted like Bass. This is the third Tadcaster that I have been disappointed with. I surrender. It is just a medeocra beer, light with no body. Just a step above the Macros.

12-16-2002 06:28:02 | More by bewareOFpenguin
Photo of Gusler


3/5  rDev -24.8%

A limpid gold color on the pour, the head impressive, the lace fine sheets to coat the glass. Malt nose, very clean and fresh. Slightly sweet at the start, the top is flimsy, finish is scarcely acidic, sparsely hopped, quite dry aftertaste, very refreshing beer, a bit light for me, but quite good nonetheless.

11-28-2002 07:33:27 | More by Gusler
Photo of jackndan


4.53/5  rDev +13.5%

Sam Smith’s Organically Produced Ale: In an Imperial Pint bottle (18.7 ounces). Brown bottle. A deep golden yellow beer, with a thick, creamy head that lasts and lasts. Mild aroma, very faint malt aromas. The initial taste is not impressive, but then the fullness and richness of the beer hits. Very, very smooth mouthfeel. The taste is not at all sweet, but rather is a very biscuit/rye bread malt taste, which is very pleasant. There is a crisp bite of hops that helps this beer finish clean. Well-balanced, and it is very easy to drink. I can imagine sipping this one throughout the night.

11-11-2002 20:10:34 | More by jackndan
Photo of Lupe

New York

4.4/5  rDev +10.3%

Pours a clear, golden color, with a huge head that slowly settles down and leave some lace clinging to the glass. Grain aroma with some floral hop scent. Medium body and smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Starts with big malt flavors, but not sweet, more of a grain or bread-like taste. Follows with some light sweetness and finishes with a touch of citrus and hop flavor, with a slightly bitter end. Very easy and pleasing to drink. Would make a good session brew. And it's quite tasty.

11-02-2002 20:05:30 | More by Lupe
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


4.72/5  rDev +18.3%

A brown (yes, brown!!) glass Bottle from “Sams”. Manly sized at 550ml, a proper Imperial Pint, none of that ‘girlie’ 16 fl.oz. rubbish here! ;-). The dark cream, red and black label gives this beer a very antique feel, a replicate of the old style of English Oval Beer Labels from the late 1800’s that always proudly advertised its contents, indeed – this extends to the statement embossed on the bottom of the bottle itself, “Bottled at Yorkshires Oldest Brewery”. Full marks for the Excellent Presentation.
Pours a lovely inviting very clear Golden color, with a huge head that slowly recedes to rejoin the beer as the initial short carbonation rush fades, leaving some lace clinging to the sides of my Glass, but not much. Aromas are of fresh damp grain, with a feint, floral hoppy strata. Malt dominant start - but not in the usual sense, it is understated, its there - but just doesn’t shout about it. A very light sweetness, that does not last long, starts to makes way for a quite a fruity middle, that in turn yet again makes way for a grainy malty slightly bitter end. A Superb British Pale Ale!. This is the first time I have had this and I am extremely impressed by its 100% Perfect Balance for this Style, I can tell you honestly, that it tastes as good as, if not better than, many beers I have had from the Cask served by Handpump in England. It’s that Good.
This is one of the very best British Pale Ales that I ever had from the Bottle. If Americans want to know how good this style can be, they should get a Bottle of this. Forget that!!, Get a Crate, because the other attribute of a good English Pale Ale – is that it is around 5%, and should therefore be the perfect Session Beer for any occasion and highly Quaffable. This most certainly IS. A Very Accomplished brew from Sam’s - yet again!.
Shit!, I only got One Bottle!!!

10-12-2002 17:48:37 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of beernut7


4.33/5  rDev +8.5%

This is one of the most interesting beers I have had the pleasure of tasting. Pours with a pale golden color and quick foamy white head. Nice malty aroma with just a hint of spice. The flavor is very clean with a small lingering hop bite and a drier malt character. Very drinkable and quite a bit tastier than many of its extra pale peers.

10-10-2002 18:06:11 | More by beernut7
Photo of BeerAngel


3.8/5  rDev -4.8%

Pours a slightly hazy but brilliant copper color. Smells of of sweet must with a little bread and yeast. The taste is a mild smooth bitter/caramel that transcends into bread-like flavor with a small hint of fruit. Very smooth light-bodied beer. Very well balanced. Nice brew! Cheers!

10-04-2002 19:32:55 | More by BeerAngel
Photo of John

New York

4.4/5  rDev +10.3%

550mL bottle, bottle conditioned. Hazy amber. Head is generously proportioned. Aroma consists of esters up front, giving way to light-medium toasted malt and moderate hop. Taste is spot on classic English ale. Precisely balanced flavors; malted biscuits, semi-tart yeast, relatively assertive hops. Smooth, slick mouthfeel. Well done.

08-15-2002 12:43:55 | More by John
Photo of Jason


4.28/5  rDev +7.3%

Impressive head retention which is unprecedented for this brewery and is almost a given. Mild chill hazed slowly goes away after the brew warms up. Bight dusty golden hue.

Lemony hop, earthy yeast, mild fruity esters and biscuity grain … it is all you would expect from an ale.

Rounded malty mouth feel with a deeply textured smoothness from the level carbonation. In rolls the toasted and biscuity grain with a lemony hop on top. Bitterness is perfectly balanced with the malt. Some earthy nutty yeast, slight fruity ester and a shade of buttery diacetyl bring a complex mix to the palate. Finishes with a touch of sweetness and residual yeast by-products.

Organic or not I’d drink this brew, not bad for $3 for a 550ml bottle.

08-10-2002 11:35:19 | More by Jason
Photo of bditty187


4.03/5  rDev +1%

Coppery hue; decent white head, excellent retention, nice lacing pattern. The nose leans on the malty-side, faint floral… kind of clean. Decent palate, malty, caramely with a nice complement of hops, very balanced. Slightly malty finish with a kiss of hops at the very end. Medium body. This is a quality (English-style) Pale Ale, organic or not, this is those beers you can drink anytime, for any occasion. Try one… recommended.

08-09-2002 14:43:07 | More by bditty187
Photo of Suds


3.8/5  rDev -4.8%

Pale and crystal clear with a small light-cream colored head. The head doesn't last long. Mild flavor, with english hop aroma and character. I though that diacetyl presence was pronounced. This is a soundly enjoyable brew.

07-20-2002 09:59:22 | More by Suds
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -0.3%

pale smooth and pretty mild in flavor. the organic lager is much better, but if you are an ale fan, you will probablly enjoy this brew. it doesn't seem like sam smith can do any wrong

07-05-2002 07:56:54 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

2/5  rDev -49.9%

Pretty bad, bland and boring, quite bitter, but edgy in its taste, theres better stuff from Sam smith thats for sure.

05-14-2002 17:43:24 | More by rastaman
Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
89 out of 100 based on 579 ratings.