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

very good
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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 615 |  Reviews: 374
Photo of Realale
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

 545 characters

Photo of JasonCoop
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a slightly cloudy light amber color, foamy white head.

smells like sweet ripe fruit and malts

taste is very malty and slightly fruity. decent body to it, it's pretty smooth.

mouthfeel is nice, not too light. very smooth and drinkable but a bit pricey.

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Photo of magine
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

Brew has a cloudy dark copper - almost like an iced tea color. Small off white head that fades to a small thin head that is broken up in parts. A little lacing.

The brew has a fruity sweet smell. Somewhat bready, honey maybe even.

The brew has a crisp refreshing taste with a bubbly mouthfeel initially, then has the smoothness. Had a bit of a kick to it. Nice clean, sweet taste with some nice malts. Has some lemon flavors. Nice dry finish with little aftertaste. Very good balanced taste. Very refreshing and smooth.

This brew is very drinkable, a crisp refreshing ale, and yet another well crafted gem from Samuel Smith. An anytime brew and an all timer.

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Photo of misternebbie
4.6/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of hustlesworth
4.59/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- against a combination of moonlight and incandescent bulb, this ale is a stunning dried apricot color with golden amber highlights. i chose my sam adams 'new' boston lager glass instead of my sam smith's imperial pint glass because the large bulb and skinny bottom nicely seperate the hues of hazy beers like this one. some mini bubbles can be seen rising in slow motion through the thin fog. off white/buff colored head looks rich and dense as it settles to a 1/2in thick disk. delicate webs of lace stick to the glass from the initial pour as other slide down like trails of lava from a volcano.

S- intensely fruity, much more so than the old brewery pale ale. a smooth somewhat tart caramel sweetness back up all the fruity yeast aromas conjuring up images of a sticky holiday dessert. sweet egg bread, red ripe berries, mango, melon, dried strawberries, dulce de leche, red raspberry, raisin, prune, and milk chocolate with a slight nutty toasted malt edge, fresh leather, sherry cask, and aromatic wood. a very clean complex aroma.

T- taste is insanely fruity as well with a little bit of milk chocolate. woodsy and toasted up front with some of the glorious stone water tadcaster taste, fruity in the middle with a light english bitterness and tea like hops in the finish. to break it down further, i'm gonna guess fuggles, goldings and some unknown barley. did a bunch of research but still couldn't find an ingredient list, only the affirmation that the beer is totally organic grown in immaculate soil. i like that. nice caramel and toasted malt, red berries and tropical fruit, same as the aroma with a hint of pineapple, hidden grapefruit, and a mild very english bitterness. finish is very clean and fruity (pineapple, red grape, red apple, aromatic wood, tobacco) and only slightly dry with lightly tart and somewhat floral vapors as i breath out my nose.

MF- much fuller than expected, VERY juicy and about as full bodied as i could imagine a pale ale of any variety to be. medium low delicate carbonation lends a certain sophisticated feel to all sam's brews and i often get the feeling of drinking something much more expensive than i really am.

D- i would love to have an old brewery pale ale and another organic ale to compare side by side, and realistically, that endeavor is not out of my reach. maybe there will be a thread about it some day. anyone who appreciates the fruity not so dry angles of an english pale ale will fall in love with this instantly. completely session worthy. if i found a pub with this on tap i could easily make it my home away from home. its organic production makes it even more appealing to me especially in today's world of chemicals and processing. for now though, this is a rare gem that i must travel across 30 minutes of rugged american highway to acquire.

 2,818 characters

Photo of Razumikhin
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

AROMA: Quite fruity/estery, and slightly grassy to balance.

APPEARANCE: Golden straw, topped with a creamy head (with excellent retention).

MOUTHFEEL: Rich and creamy.

TASTE: The overwhelming flavor is banana/ester, with some lemon. The hops provide enough bitterness to balance, but not enough to notice.

An exemplar of the English pale ale style. This is a beer where the hops play second fiddle to the yeast, with excellent results. Ester and fruit dominate both aroma and flavor. The real highlight of this beer, though, is its rich, velvety mouthfeel. This is definitely one I will buy again.

 623 characters

Photo of Schmidts
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark yellow with a small white head, smells of sweet Malts and Malasses. The taste is very pleasant and malty with a small hit of Hops. And Then sweet malts and an earthy taste. It is very Refreshing and easy to drink and goes down very smooth. This is an expensive beer but it was worth every Penny of the $5.00 I paid for a bottle. I will consider saving up and getting a case of this.

This truely is a Classic English Beer in every way and was well woth trying!

If you have never had it give it a try it is a well crafted Ale

 538 characters

Photo of mynie
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This bottle was enough for me to seriously consider a trip to England just to try this one fresh. There are English Pale Ales... and then there are really great English Pale Ales. This is wonderful stuff. A nice hazy gold in the glass with soft carbonation and a nice frothy head. Touch of sweet malt in the nose and the same in the taste, with a hint of hops bitterness and absolutely nothing else. Very enjoyable, drinkable and just complex enough to be interesting without trying to hard. Fresh tasting (even though the 1/2 liter bottle looked liked it had been on the shelf for awhile). And the best part about English Ales are when they begin to warm, they taste even better.

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Photo of jackndan
4.51/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.51/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

02/02/09- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 500ml bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my 20oz Pizza Port glass.

Appearance- Medium golden in color, pretty clear. 1/2 inch head upon pour which quickly fades. Leaves no lace behind. Rather dull looking.

Smell- Very nice nose of floral hops, sweet caramel malt and fresh grains.

Taste- Very malty with a touch of freshly harvested grains. A light caramel flavor lingers. Floral and lightly fruited hops mingle around as well. Tastes very fresh.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and crisp with a medium carbonation level. Bready and lightly grain aftertaste.

Drinkability- Quite possibly the best or one of the top few best organic beers I have tried. I will try the other organic lager tonight. Very impressed.

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Photo of henryclay_
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Fuzzycuffs
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of HinghamRick
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of pbrian
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is what American brewers of English style ales should aspire to be. Quintessential balance of Marris Otter malts and herbal english hop varieties. Finishes with that distictive Sam Smith yeast twang. Yummy.

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Brilliant topaz with very light haze, incredibly soft carbonation bubbling, forms a small one finger head of bone white foam and small bubbles that subside into a thin foam covering on about 80% of the surface which very, very slowly reduces coverage of surface area until little remains by the end of the pint, also a strong concentration around the edge.

S = Strong smell of caramel, just a little butterscotch and butter, maple syrup, almond paste, a really good blend of smells.

T = Wow, this is really, really tasty. The maple syrup qualities are almost as strong as you find in a stronger, more concentrated beer like Thomas Hardy's Ale, JW Lees Harvest or Harvey's Elizabethan Ale. At the same time it has the distinctive Samuel Smith's caramel/butterscotch flavor. There is a really good amount of balancing bitterness in this, too. The front of the tongue gets a full dose and the finish has a nice dry, bitterness.

M = At the start I found the bite of the carbonation too forceful as it stung my tongue, after a bit though it mellowed out nicely and had a much softer feel. Mouthcoating is good and body is medium.

D = This is really a fine drinking beer. Easy to drink quite a bit of it and also good enough to want to come back to again.

 1,297 characters

Photo of lordberon
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Xzfgiimtsath
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of gushov
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Tumble
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


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Photo of jerryjeff
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Malty overtones with a hint of caramel, light fruitiness that's a bit hidden behind the malt but present. Nice, good foreshadowing of taste

Medium to medium low carbonation, nice bitterness along the sides of the mouth with some creaminess on the palette.

Golden with some hints of amber, poured to nice white head which is lingering in a plastic hotel cup that is translucent. Appealing in appearance, I'm starting to talk myself into this being a really good beer…

Solid caramel hints with a firm but not overbearing bitterness, this is a really good beer.

Very, not sure what ABV is but this is an all evening beer for me. Just enough to keep it interesting in flavor and on the palette but easy to drink.

Solid appearance, aroma, and flavor which goes down easily, really great beer.

 854 characters

Photo of Antnyd82
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of animal69
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of macsyrinx
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.96 out of 5 based on 615 ratings.
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