Organic Pale Ale | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Organic Pale AleOrganic Pale Ale
Very Good
1,577 Ratings
Organic Pale AleOrganic Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Known as Organic Best Ale in the UK.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-27-2001

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Ratings: 1,577 |  Reviews: 891
Photo of jsh420
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours copper with a 1+ finger head that left some spotted lacing

smells like grapes?? and caramel

taste is just like the nose - its a caramel grape apple

mouthfeel is medium body with low carbonation that is close to being flat

drinkability is ok - good price good taste - its just the mouthfeel that kills it a little

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Photo of trevorjn06
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber/gold color with a thick, pillowy white head that recedes after a minute. Leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet malts, light caramel, nuttiness, hints of honey and some light fruitiness.

Flavor is smooth malts, light caramel sweetness, hints of butter and a mild yet balancing hop bitterness. Very smooth, mild yet flavorful.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium/low carbonation and a creamy feeling to it.

Overall a very drinkable, refreshing ale with some nice malt depth to it though overall fairly straight-forward. I would buy this again.

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Photo of biglite351
2.8/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - slightly cloudy amber color. Nice tall creamy head that leaves some lacing.

S - Malty like a stout but then a fruity offness counes out.

T - tangy... fruit and malts, some caramel flavor in the mix. mnild bitterness in the after taste.

M - mild coating, a hit on the entire front of the tongue.

D - quite drinkable, but not my overall style.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gotta move quick on this one...

Beautiful, clear amber with light carbonation. A finger of soapy head forms and quickly dissipates into a faint rim. Very light to no lacing. Strong fruit aromas, some overripe peach, maybe a little pineapple, along with some sweet malt characteristics. Very nice and very British thus far. Beautiful, upfront notes in the flavor. A sharp tanginess, akin to sweet cherries that aren't quite ripe, but close, pervades the middle and finish of this light bodied ale. Very malty at the start, and fades into a malty finish that has hints of hop bitterness. Painfully drinkable, and well-priced at $3.69/550ml bottle. The finish is a weird mish-mash of flavors and that ultimately kills this from being 1st or 2nd tier, but a fine effort from one of the World's finest producers.

What I like most: The wonderful, fruity aromas.

What I like least: The weird, slightly thin finish.

Verdict: Well-priced and very decent effort worth trying.

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Photo of wahhmaster
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a light copper color with a foamy, white head that dissipates slowly and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Has an earthy hop aroma with a bit of a candy-like sweet smell.

Taste: Has a slightly fruity and malty taste up front that becomes a slightly hoppy flavor towards the back supported by biscuity and grainy notes. Very tasty and very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Reasonably full-bodied with a crisp edge to it.

Drinkability: An excellent exemplar of the English Pale Ale style. Definitely something lovers of the style should try and something I certainly wouldn't mind having again.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a 2" head which dissipates to 1/8". Surprisingly dark for a pale ale, looks like Lipton tea. In fact both in bottle and in glass my sample looks surprisingly dark compared to the photo in the BA reviews. Has a nice creaminess, some malt, and a hint of coffee in the flavor. Honestly, to me this seems like an aborted stout, like they started to make multiple things out of their stout process and with more time or a little tweaking this pale ale would indeed have been a stout. Enjoyable, but not what I expect from a pale ale.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
2.83/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out into a samuel smith pint glass. Its a tonic dark red fire amber with orange licking the sides when held to light. A formidable off-white head that lasts at its inch and a half til drunk.

Smells a tad bready, some almond and soft leather, slight yeast and floral.

Tastes sweet at first touch with a hint of alcohol at the swallow. There is a little bit of bitter dough and an oh so slight metallic tinge, which is strange considering it goes from stone to glass to get here in the states. Not what you go for if you want an american pale ale. Mmm some citrus/strawberry hits further into the session.

Mouthfeel is lower to medium body with nothing sticking but a tannin feel on the back of the tongue, and again, i know this is taste oriented, but I'm getting iron flavors when focusing on the back of the feel. Light comfortable carbonation.

Semi easy to drink, it is not a beast in any way too powerful, nor is it too weak for any mention, but it really is just not that good. I'd recommend going a different direction when it comes to the purchase of this beer, but hey Sammy Smith has a great Imperial Porter as well as other brews much more lauded than this.

The price was reasonable, but I would not buy this beer again so I guess it is not worth it.

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Photo of Morey
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a very hazy copper-orange color with a nice one finger head following my medium pour. Head has settled to a thin lace after only a few minutes. Little in the way of head retention.

The aroma is malt dominated with a faint sweet/fruity smell. Kind of reminds me a bit of apple cider. Mild, but it's there.

Taste. This is definitely an English Pale all the way. Heavy on the malts, and not so much on the hops. There is a slight bitterness from the hops up front, but the malts rush in to take over and finish things off.

Medium to somewhat heavy mouthfeel with a good carbonation level.

Due to the thick maltiness of English Pales, I have a hard time drinking several of them. I could do a couple, but then I'd be ready to switch it up.

Morey's Bottom Line: I bought a single bottle at Wegmans, and I'm not sure how old this bottle is. That being said, it's pretty malty, but it still taste pretty good. No sediment, and it still had ample carbonation. If you are a fan of malty ales, this won't disappoint.

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Photo of jampics2
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8oz or so, enjoyed at a beer tasting with Samuel Smith, the son of the current head of the brewery @ the Winking Lizard. Consumed in a branded English half-pint glass.

The beer is copper with some amber and orange highlights. It's not cloudy; instead, it's quite clear and has just a small film of head. Great color but poor head retention.

The smell of this beer is enjoyable but not what I like in the style. I prefer just a touch more expression from the hops. I know English Pale Ales should be more malty than their American counterparts and lack the citrus and pine aromas, but this had very little from the Golding hops Samuel said they use. Some bready malt, caramel, and minor wet cardboard I can only assume was mild oxidation.

The mild malt in the taste sets the stage for what could be an epic beer. But there's little to balance it, just some earthy hops and medium bitterness. Just not as flavorful as I like, and there's no contrast of sweet and bitter flavors.

The mouthfeel is decent, with a crisp medium bodied beer having nice carbonation and a lingering mildly bitter finish.

The pale ale, unfortunately, was my least favorite of the evening. But it paired well with the roast beef, horseradish mashed potatoes, and yorkshire pudding we enjoyed with it. I just wish it was a bit more flavor-forward and expressive. While discussing this with Samuel, we talked about American Pale Ales and he mentioned he enjoyed a few in Seattle the previous evening and said they were fantastic but certainly too hoppy for a session ;)

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper with light carbo's and a rather inadequate foamy head. Nice and clear though.
Smells a bit on the bread side hops are understated.
Taste is balance between hops and malts. The hops are understated which is normal for the English version and perfectly fine here as well.
Malts have a slight biscuit taste.
Mild in flavor, smooth and balanced with a dry finish.
Good lacing.
drink up chaps

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Photo of biboergosum
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle.

This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and creamy beige head, which leaves a decent array of sudsy bike-chain lace around the glass in its slow and meandering wake.

It smells of slightly toasted caramel malt, buttered biscuits, edgy orchard fruit, and some floral, earthy, and mildly piney hops. The taste is bready, almost sourdough-esque caramel malt, a bit of further toffee sweetness, a mild oily nuttiness, some reserved apple, pear, and dried apricot fruitiness, a touch of aerosol black pepper, and soft floral, herbal hops.

The carbonation is a bit strong, and forcefully frothy at first, but quickly settles to a more reasonable spritz soon enough, the body a solid medium weight, generally smooth, with a wee twinge of creaminess. It finishes still rather off-dry, the malt and fruit lingering like aimless teenagers, and cleanly bitter.

Overall, this is big on flavour, without any particular one standing out. Nicely drinkable, and what I imagine a proper EPA to be. Could see sessioning a few rounds of this in a dim pub, arguing the various inconsequential merits of Champions or Premier league play.

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Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly chill-hazed golden with a two finger white head that has decent retention and lacing.

Nose has citrus hoppiness, light fruits and a slight copper/minerally background.

Taste has mild sweetness, floral and citrus hops, bready malts and the copper/mineral flavor. All flavors are mild and subtle.

Mouthfeel is medium, creamy and smooth with low-average carbonation.

Overall a mellow beer, mild but has some complexities. Nice session beer.

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Photo of velosuds
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date apparent. Paid $2.99 at Cost Plus World Market. Other stores usually sell for $3.99.

A-Pours an orange-amber hue with a two finger light tan head with good retention and ample lacing. Very nice appearance.

S-The aroma is primarily toasted caramel malt and herbal, English hops. A bit subdued, but nice.

T-Bready caramel malt that is more filling than sweet. Faint English toffee that is nice in a pale ale. The stingy hop bitterness is predominantly herbal and earthy, with a slight citrus fruit essence.

M-Exceedingly smooth with a balanced complexion. Just the right level of carbonation.

D-Another fine beer from Samuel Smith's. Not my favorite beer in their fine lineup due to style. But, they are among the best at getting so much flavor and other characteristics in a 5% ABV beer.

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Photo of farrago
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finger plus of white foam with just a light eggshell tint, slightly below average retention, does settle into a decent blanket across the surface, slippery lacing. Fully clear, yet with a haze, light catching a glance of the sun on a summery day, pumpkin orange with some yellowing near the rims, hardly any visible carbonation. There's a thickness to the nose which belies its fresh lift, the sour orange to grapefruit citrus creates a full zest in your nostrils, more yeast than bread, plain yogurt, uncooked oatmeal, maltiness appears more textural than presence of specific scents, dollop of dried honey, green apple and pear, sneaky and hard to describe complexity. Medium-bodied, much more firm than heavy, sets itself authoritatively in your mouth. Lots of mandarin orange, grapefruit, lemon citrus, pulp richness and neither sweet nor sour. More yeast and yogurt with more multi-grain bread with some honey mixed in. Same late harvest apple, pear, peach character, ripe without too much juiciness. Momentary shadow of flowers and hops stiffens the finish and brings punctuation. While pleasing to just throw back not a simple sipper either.

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Photo of JokeInsurance
4.57/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - It pours a caramel/cherry color. The tan, which is a light brown color is exceptional.

S - It definitely has an extremely distinctive smell. As it has a caramel look to it, it also has a heavy caramel taste to it too.

T - Very smooth with a heavy caramel and hazelnut taste to it. The initial taste kinda kicks you in the mouth but after it savored in my mouth for a couple of moments, that is when the heavy flavor makes its impact. Even after it trickles down south, the heavy flavor still lingers about which makes good emphasis.

M - Like what the other reviewers described, it was very smooth, pleasant and creamy.

D - If one can handle a heavy beer by just by sipping and savoring, this beer is for you.

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Photo of NEbeerbro
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - pours an amber gold, quite asthetically pleasing. Lively carbonation, head and lacing below average however.

s -Bready, grassy, malty nose. Underhopped relative to American ales, typical and delicious trait of English ales.

t - very smooth balanced flavor. Malts followed by a slight citrus hops note.

m - nice carbonation, smooth going down. Dry and refreshing.

d - very easy and enjoyable to drink

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Photo of EricHeff
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish brown color with very little head.
It goes down smooth but leave a nice little complex hoppy taste behind. I can't really pin-point any exact flavors in here but it sure is good. I could defiantly drink a few of these in a row and not get tired of it. I would say this Pale Ale is a step above most Pale Ale's.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Old Brewery Pale Ale pours an attractive amber color. A nice amount of clumpy off white head forms, and it reduces to nice lacing that clings like crazy to the sides of my glass.

Smell: Some caramel malts with lighter citrus, banana and hop notes.

Taste: Caramel malts and slight citrus up front, with light hops on the back end. A very balanced beer, with nothing sticking out too much.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin, and smooth with a slightly dry finish.

Drinkability: With its fairly mild flavor and smoothness this beer is pretty drinkable.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Source/Serving: 550ml. Bottle, no expiry date.

Smell: Caramel and apple cider that's a little musty with a pleasantly smooth and creamy earthy edge.

Taste: Smooth and creamy up front that's mostly cider with a hint of caramel. Yeasty and bready sweetness in the middle and just enough bitterness to offset the sweetness up front. Incrementally more caramel which is soft and pleasant along with a medium body. On the way to the finish hops become more apparent with an oily mouthfeel and earthy/grassy/herbal tones that are soft and pleasant and some biscuit and some sharpness from the grains. The dryness is a nice change of pace from the sweet cider up front. Ends as it begins with sweet cider and caramel, but as it lingers a pleasant and substantial dry herbal bitterness hangs around for a while and it much appreciated.

Notes: Well done. Another Sam Smith classic.

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Photo of sleazo
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a honey hue, slightly verging on straw but a shade or two darker. There is a steady stream of tight bubbles keeping a nice fluffy head a float the beer. Excellent staying power. Really as nice looking a beer as you can get.

S_Light grain sweetness followed up by a pleasing vegetative hop character.

T_A mildly sweet malt essence hits first followed by a complete noble hop bitterness that sweeps the palate. The bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

M_Creamy body with a pleasing low level of carbonation. The thick head adds to the experience.

D_A well made beer that is easy to drink without dumbing anything down.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle (date code of SA27J1 - whatever that means) poured into a nonic glass.

Appearance: Clear tarnished copper color with a persistent dense light tan foam (about 1/8" thick). Lots of lacing noted (strands and walls).

Smell: Mild toffee and caramel malt flavors. Good, but nothing else.

Taste: Toffee and caramel flavors with a burnt sugar bitter finish. When the beer is all the way up to room temperature the bitterness takes on more of a classic English bitter flavor, but this is still a malt heavy/malt forward beer and the bitterness takes a back seat in this beer. However, at no point are the malt flavors cloying, they're just the only major flavors. Good, just not "Wow!" good.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation. Slick with typical body for an English ale. Nothing special.

Drinkability: Went well with a meal (pork chops and homemade ginger gold applesauce) and I suspect it would be good on it's own, but I'll admit to getting bored with this beer by the end. It's a single flavor profile beer. It showcases malts and that's about it. It is however, a good example of a British beer, and maybe I needed something less sweet in the meal to go with it and then I would have appreciated it more.

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Photo of darkmartin
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours to a murky molasses-brown with a thick tan head. Thick, single layer of lacing.

Smell: Smells of caramel malts, and subtle floral hops.

Taste: Very similar to the smell, smooth caramel malt up front, followed by subdued floral hops. Smooth, yet complex taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a fair amount of carbonation. Maybe a little too much for the style.

Drinkability: Really good beer, the taste is quite complex yet contains nothing too overbearing. Simple, smooth, and good.

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Photo of rgrholmes168
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.
The beer is a nice burnt orange color that poured a good dark head. As the foam dissipated the glass has solid lacing down the sides.
The aroma was the weakest part of this beer as I got a slight waft of malt, but little else.
The beer has a solid caramel malt taste that is of a medium body. No hops were discerned and the beer did go down smoothly.
A very solid drinkable beer.

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Photo of NStLincoln
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gold with a tint of orange. Small head goes away quickly and leaves a thin film of white bubbles.

Smells like heavy, sweet bread. Maybe like a bread pudding that has a touch of peach in it.

More tartness on the front end than I was expecting. The taste is exceptionally smooth with very laid back floral hops. More malty bread on the palate.

Light and drinkable, with medium carbonation

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Photo of Loot
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a- it pours an orangy, brown almost arnold palmer or a long island in color. Intriguing...

s- caramel, and ample malt notes...subtle with a slight cracker note. A hint of hops...very subtle...

t- starts with a smooth maltiness, lots of complex caramel notes...finishes with a tingle on the tongue of hops. There is a subtle ,but interesting bready, biscuity, flavor throughout. Good.

m- very good, has a little bit of a chew to it. I think from the bread and cracker notes.

d- it was very good, drank it rather quick after the tasting. Def. A drinker!

all in all a good beer. I think it is a great execution of the style. Seems very traditional. It did not let me the age of super hoppy beers a refreshing more malty change. All in balance.

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Organic Pale Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 1,577 ratings