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
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 615 |  Reviews: 374
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy honey orange with a 1/2 inch foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, slight caramel, and some light fruity aromas. Taste is of malt, light fruits, and some mild herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a slight amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some nice aromas and flavors but nothing all that exciting in my opinion.

 580 characters

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of Knapp85
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a medium shade of amber with a tan colored head on it. The head fizzles away pretty fast leaving just a few spots of foam on the top of the beer. The aroma of this beer is mostly malt to me. Not too much hop aroma or anything coming from it besides maybe a little yeast. The flavor is grainy and buiscuty with some light hop bitterness in the mix. The mouthfeel is pretty good, its not overly watered down or anything like that but it's not heavy either. Not a bad brew to try.

 501 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a two finger high dense off white head that died down rather quickly, leaving a film of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of fruity yeast in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is rather fruity and has some initial sweetness.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and quite sessionable.

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

550ml bottle. Produced. Organically.

This beer pours a clear pale golden hue, with one finger of soapy, foamy off-white head, which leaves some nice randomly webbed lace around the glass as it slowly dissipates. It smells of sweet, bready malt, almost pastry-like, with some soft floral, earthy hops. The taste is fairly prominent noble hops - floral, restrained citrus, and earthy, and bready malt. The carbonation is quite soft, the body a fully, no foolin' medium weight, smooth, and clean. It finishes fairly sweet, the malt holding it over the nice, but not overpowering floral, grassy hops.

Wow, much more hoppy than I've come to expect from this brewery, but just enough to play nice with the expected subtle, yet complex malt.

 736 characters

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

A very s.tern and disciplined Pale Ale done in true and traditional English fashion. I'm not sure if I care whether it's organic or not.

A convincing and masculine copper color pours from the glass with a modest haze, forming a froathy and confident head that retains excellently and lacing every bit as well.

Fruity/malty aromas give some caramels, biscuity character and a non-descript yeasty fruitiness that is in true Brittish form. Light butter-nut quality adds to the complex mix of rich aromas.

Flavors of sweet malts give that classic biscuity, buttery flavor with that English-fruity flavor that you just can't put your finger on. Earthy, spicy, and fresh, this beer has a bitter component that balances the malts well while contributing complexity in flavor and feel.

Rich and creamy early on, the beer releases its carbonation and transitions to a spicy, grassy taste with lasing bitterness into a dry, crisp, clean, and bitter linger.

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Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a three finger head that leaves some streaks of lace

Smell: Bready with a fruity hop character that has a mineral aspect, as well

Taste: Bready malt dominates the front end, with a fruity hop element that, like the aroma, adds a mineral character by mid-palate; after the swallow, the fruit and mineral elements dominate

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A lot of English Pale Ale flavor elements; like this better than the Old Brewery Pale Ale

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Photo of zeff80
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a small, short-lived, white one-finger head. No lace.

S - It smelled of grains and grass.

T - It hits you with malt at first sip, but then there is a hoppy quality that gives it a bittersweet kick.

M - It was crisp and dry. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - A good representation of the style. The appearance and smell were not impressive, but the flavor was excellent.

 416 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 largadeer
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pale amber with a slight haze. An inch of head appears upon first pour and retention is solid throughout.

Smell - Subtle nose of bread, pale malts, fruit and hops. Pleasant but doesn't jump out of the glass much.

Taste - Bready, caramelly malt and fruity, floral hops. Very buttery. Notes of apple and citrus fruit. Excellent balance of flavors. Finishes clean with very little lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Easy on the palate.

Notes - A great sessionable ale. Moderate complexity, expertly balanced and highly quaffable.

 582 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Smith's organic ale pours a hazy orange-amber body beneath a short head of creamy off-white froth. It drops steadily to an average collar and whispy surface covering, but leaves walls of spots and splashes behind. The nose displays quite a bit of yeasty fruitiness (tangerine, apricot) and some mineralish character over a biscuity malt. It's smooth in the mouth with a medium-light body and gentle tingle from the moderate carbonation. Fruitiness appears up front in the flavor, lightly tart and citrusy over a bready and biscuity malt base that's just slightly caramelish. Some grassy and floral hop flavors perk it up a bit at the swallow as the bitterness rises. Drying finish. Soft fruit and malt linger in the mouth like orange marmalade on toast. Quite nice, and very refreshing.

 793 characters

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

Poured from a 550ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, tea, light caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is sweet up front with flavors of honey and caramel. The malt character is pretty hearty for the style. There's a mild hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, very good representation of style, mild kick, this is definitely one of the better organic beers that I've had. It's a nice session beer to drink for a long time.

 755 characters

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?

 385 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S. Smith Organic Ale is a clear, sparkling copper color with a thick, medium-sized head. Aroma is weak and hard to discern, a mild herbal hop is noted with a bit of malt sweetness. Despite a medicre aroma, the flavor is dead-on for what I want in an EPA. The malt flavor has a mild caramel/biscuit sweetness with a nice edge of fruitiness. The hop flavor is a perfect match for the malt with a nice blend of floral and especially herbal tastes. This is want I want in an EPA, a nicely balanced beer, with high drinkability and a slightly higher than expected amount of hop flavor and bitterness.

 595 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of smcolw
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Initially, the head is decent, but it dies out completely and leaves no head. The color is gold with a slight haze.

Strong sweet caramel aroma. There's a touch of sour cherry to the smell as well.

A very clean taste. Mostly a malty offering, but the hop subtly makes an appearance in the aftertaste. This beer has a good body with appropriate carbonation. Again, a sour cherry-like flavor is present here as well.

This is a traditional British ale: malty, slightly sour, and full bodied. I wish it had more hop to it for balance.

 532 characters

Photo of ZEB89
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of XmnwildX12
2.75/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of woodychandler
3.39/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My 500th bottle review!

From the bottle: "Organic Best Ale"; "A delicately flavored amber/gold ale in which subtle fruity esters from the Samuel Smith yeast strain interact with a background of maltiness and fresh hops. Brewed with well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), organic hops and yeast. Fermented in 'stone Yorkshire squares'."; "Samuel Smith's brews at a small traditional British brewery, the oldest brewery in Yorkshire."; "This label is issued only by SamL Smith ... SamL Smith is a small British brewery".

My pour netted me two-plus fingers of eggnog-colored head with great retention. Color was a slightly hazy deep gold and Midas would have approved. Nose had a caramel/buttery sweetness up front with a grassy hoppiness behind it. Mouthfeel was medium with a mild bitterness initially on the tongue, then giving 'way to a mild sweetness. Finish was equally mild and pleasant. It was not bad, but it did not strike me as anything terribly special, either. Have I just committed sacrilege?

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

Appearance: Pours a clear, copper body with a creamy, decently-sized, white head.

Smell: Blended aroma smelling of pale malts, clearance fruit, and mixed nuts. As with the taste, there's a note of English Breakfast tea with milk that comes and goes.

Taste: Blend of pale malts with a touch of sugary caramel and sweet tea. Slight nuttiness. Tastes of fruit apple, plum, and even apricot. Spicy, lightly citrusy hops with a medium bitterness. A fleeting hint of tea with milk comes and goes. Finishes bittersweet with a lingering fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, respectable ale. Keenly drinkable and reasonably refreshing. Really puts you in the mood for black tea with a small splash of milk the following morning.

 766 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystalline apricot beneath a large, white chocolate head that is a thing of beauty. It deflated fairly quickly from four fingers to two, and has now settled in for the long haul. I'm beginning to see a thick, unbroken collar of lace that bodes well for extensive glass coating as the beer falls with drinking.

Organically Produced Ale has a classic EPA nose. I can appreciate plenty of sweet pale malt with a pleasing undercurrent of butterscotch and maybe even light caramel. English hops are present as well. They're earthily fruity and herbal rather than brightly citric like their New World cousins.

The flavor follows the nose directly. There's a decent amount of buttered biscuit-like malt (especially for a pale ale) that doesn't strike me as diacetyl-like, but rather as a slighty offbeat aspect of the overall personality. It's a tad sweeter than I remember the non-organic version being, but it's been a long time since I had the other beer.

As in the nose, the fruity hops hold up their end of the bargain. They bring the beer into a near perfect balance that is maintained throughout each mouthful and from first sip to last (although I haven't quite gotten to the last one yet). For some reason, I often taste oranges in English pale ales. This one tastes like pleasantly bitter, not overly sweet, orange-butterscotch candy.

I'm impressed with the way the crown persists and the way in which it reforms with each subsequent pour. I'm equally impressed by a thick, chunky band of lace currently residing at midglass. The mouthfeel is out of this world. It's bigger, firmer and more mouthfilling than one typically finds in a pale ale. Short and sweet: it's IPA-like.

I find it hard to believe that the organic version of Samuel Smith's Pale Ale is different from the non-organic version. Any score differences between the two must, therefore, be attributable to mood, timing, phase of the moon, etc. That's what makes beer appreciation much more of an art than a science. All I know is, this is a very good English ale that I'll drink whenever I get the chance.

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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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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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