Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Samuel Smith's Organic Best AleSamuel Smith's Organic Best Ale
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615 Ratings
Samuel Smith's Organic Best AleSamuel Smith's Organic Best 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-27-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 615 |  Reviews: 374
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Todd
4.76/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Great big 550ml custom brown Victorian pint bottle (a real pint), with old-style labeling. No freshness stamp. Organically Certified brew.

Appearance: Pours a mean head with a wild carbonation rush that creates a magnificent foamy white head. Beer is a bright, clear gold.

Smell: Nose of dried fruit, grain and perfumy fresh floral aromas. Like smelling a delicate flower.

Taste: Body is full, but not heavy. Mouthfeel is even and smooth. It's a rather malty brew, but not in the sense of powerful sweetness, but rather presence. The sweetness is there (a touch fruity, like unsweetened mixed dried fruit with an underlying dextrin), however it is well-rounded and balanced to perfection. Hops come in with a slight, building tingle on the palate then slide away leaving a raw hop leaf and semi-herbal/floral taste. The end dries up, just a bit, with fresh grain flavours and a faint coarse hop astringency. Light metallic finish.

Notes: Hmm ... how pleasing, and similar to their organic lager in many ways(?) ... but who cares. Just think of an ale, one for any occassion, never too strong, never too weak and never overpowering in any of its characteristics. A perfect balance of organic ingredients. If you have that picture in your head, it's this ale.

Thanks to Merchant Du Vin for the fresh sample.

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Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a great pour,rich golden with a nice fluffy head that sticks to the glass like glue.Aroma is lightly minty and and soapy pretty subtle but appetizing.Taste has a tea quality to it as well as some green leafiness with a lean malt backbone that holds it together.Not a big flavored beer just very appetizing and drinkable like it should be,what else is expected from Samual Smith's?

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Photo of RoyalT
2.21/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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).

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Photo of steelerguy
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Liquid gold, very bright, light carbonation, 1 finger head that dissipated to a coating within minutes.

S - Light bready aroma, good solid malt smells with some sweet honey in there. Nice floral hop aroma in the background.

T - Some light English hop bitterness up front then lots of malt. I pick up the bready character in the taste, along with some light caramel malt sweetness. Extremely balanced flavor, nothing standout outs other than an overall good flavor.

M - Smooth feel, slight tingle, clean and refreshing.

D - When you are looking for a good beer, that does everything well, but doesn't really stand in any particular way...this is it. This beer would please about any appreciator of good beer.

 715 characters

Photo of Dmann
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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!

 631 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 463 characters

Photo of henryclay_
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of magictrokini
3.06/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear amber with an average white head. Earthy, grainy malt aroma with grass for hops. Looks good, smells good, but the taste is flat. Malt sweet and sour/bitter at the same time; except the bitter does not come from what could be described as hops or malt. More of a dirty shoe taste. Too expensive for the weak payoff.

Organic is synonymous with overpriced average beer. Its almost like it has become a warning label: "This beer is not as good as you think it would be, but the ingerdients are 'organic' and we think that is a decnt trade-off for actual flavor." Spare me.

 582 characters

Photo of Osiris9588
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark peach color from a 550ml bottle. It is capped by a creamy white head with slight retention and lacing.

The aroma is very malty and orangey. It smells very earthy, accompanied by the fragrance of wet leaves. The flavor is of candied malt and orange, both creamy and syrupy, with just a whisper of subtle hops on the back end.

The mouth is light, fruity and bright on the front, syrupy and slightly drier on the finish. It lacks great complexity however.

It's a very light and drinkable brew. I could see it being very refreshing in hot weather and complementing a wide array of foods. It would not be my first pick of the Sammy Smith family though.

 674 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Texas Liquor
Carlsbad, CA

Clear copper and auburn with a thick, pillowy, persistent light brown head that leaves small lines of lace down the glass.

Sweet caramel and toffee lead the way in the aroma, with biscuity and bready malts combining for a pleasantly sweet aroma. There isn't much hop presence, but as an English pale ale, that is to be expected. Very nice.

The flavor too is lacking in distinct hop character, which I don't mind in this style. The caramel, toffee, and bready flavors combine well for an incredibly easy drinking pale.

Medium bodied with ample carbonation.

A definitive version of the style, but not quite as good as the classic Sam Smith pale ale.

 686 characters

Photo of RyanPS
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of masikon
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an classic pale orange to yellow with a fizzy head which recedes leaving no lacing. smell is dry and malty without much on the way of hoppy notes, true to style more on the English earthy side nosewise. Taste is dry and somewhat sweet with some cracker or biscuity suggestions as well as just the hints of sweet butterscotch or honey. A very non-offensive and easy to drink brew, classic in every way...above average but nothing about it really makes it anything to search out.

 483 characters

Photo of far333
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear orangey amber with a low white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of bready malt with minty notes.

Subtle flavors of toasted malt and toffee, some butterscotch and a slight metallic note that I find consistently in this brewer's selections, perhaps something with the local water or yeast strain. Even mouthfeel, a bit dry and tannic. Subtle and delicately flavored traditional English style ale.

 404 characters

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

 450 characters

Photo of gunnerlincoln
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of ADR
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

 636 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

 763 characters

Photo of glid02
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Pours a clear copper color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of pale malts with good amounts of indistinct fruits and hints of leafy and earthy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though a bit more muddled. Pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by mild amounts of nuttiness and indistinct medium fruit flavors. Midway through the sip hints of leafy hops enter into things, carrying through a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall this is a very good example of an EPA. Nothing extraordinary but it's got some niceties that are worth searching for. Worth a shot.

 820 characters

Photo of rastaman
2/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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

117 characters

Photo of foamer
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Auraan
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

 814 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big white head settles to a decent lacing above a clear caramel golden colored beer.

A light nutty caramel malts aroma.

The taste is similar to the aroma but seems more full and brings a hint of hops along for the ride.

Light dryish aftertaste on a medium bodied beer that has a bit of tastes remaining for a bit after drinking a glass of this.

A pretty decent beer, seems sort of like a slightly watered down version of their porter, or something like that.

 462 characters

Photo of Fuzzycuffs
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of ltdantheman
4/5  rDev +0.5%

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Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 615 ratings
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