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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:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 615 |  Reviews: 374
Photo of DoubleJ
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I knew I had bought an organic beer from Samuel Smith, but I wasn't sure exactly what kind it was until now. Now I know. At this point, I could care less if it were organic but care more about it being good tasting. Given the monkier that brews this, I look forward towards opening the bottle. On to the beer:

It pours a pale gold color into my Guinness pint glass, creating a show of carbonation bubbles racing to the top and a sturdy head. Not much in the smell, some butterscotch and little else. The first sip brings joy to my palate. I love how the diacteyl melds into the overall flavor of this brew. The balance is pleasant with a yo-yoing of cream...
Sorry about the pause, but I got interrupted for a half-hour. Anyways, back to the beer. My sample has warmed up a bit, making the aroma stronger. The taste is a little bigger too. It's a well-balanced pale ale that yo-yo's between the malt and hops. Cream and diacteyl on one side, a splash of hops on the other. A slight undertone of fruity esters lays in between it all. Very pleasant.

I don't know if the ingredients simply being organic makes the beer taste better, but this is an excellent example of an English pale ale.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic English pale ale, the organic version. Somehow I'd neglected to review this in the past. Pours golden with a reasonable head that fades to a finely beaded thin ring. Smells of biscuity malt and some very light earthy hops. The taste is also quite biscuity, but there is also a juicy sweetness and some slightly more prominent hop presence. Very balanced and tasty. Extremely smooth with just the tiniest hint of chalk in the finish. Clean and juicy and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 ounce bottle into a pint glass. Pours a burnt orange with a pillowy off white head, decent lacing.

Aroma of noble hops and underlying sweetness from the malt body.

A definate fruity twang from the ale yeast in this english ale. Hop presence makes itself known of the back end, with a lingering lemony bitterness that lasts long after the sip. Slight roasted edge to the malts which does make the beer more palatable.

Medium to full bodied with a pronounced malty finish followed by the flash of hop. Also noted is the crisp feel of this beer on the palate which makes it very enjoyable.

Drinks pretty well and as I drink it, I like it a bit more. Certainly worth the try and definately a good example of the style.

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Photo of Latarnik
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of biegaman
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

There's a number of benefits to organic products and apparently we can add aesthetics to that list. Samuel Smith Organic Pale Ale is one of the most handsome beers I've laid eyes on. With a glowing complexion it is comprised of stratified shades of amber (deep on top, bright on the bottom) and a bustling crowd of bubbles that make the beer busy as a Shanghai market.

It's hard to appreciate the grassy hop and caramel malt flavours from the other side of a giant head that ostensibly acts as a sponge, but the aroma manages to give some (subtle) indication of what to expect on the palate. Slightly dank, slightly sweet - it's a quintessentially British ale alright when it combines notes of wet fields with confections.

Making a beer like this on the scale of a brewery like Carling would break even the bank of England. Nevermind the obvious additional costs with going organic, but anything this clean and wholesome - a beer not only free of adjuncts but actually brewed from high-quality ingredients - would cost a small fortune. Plus the significant use of hops! Imagine the price of a 2-4?

Good ingredients make for a bready, biscuity, lightly toasted maltiness and hints of marmalade, yellow plum and apricot preserves. The hops have a lightly dank, herbal component that, aided by a particularly stiff water, leaves a grassy, leafy green-type bitterness (which is balanced by nougat-like sweetness). Very quaffable but a bit heavy for a session option.

Samuel Smith is, in my mind, as much a British emblem as the Crown Jewels or Buckingham Palace. There may be no beer that better blends England's proud brewing traditions with its modern environmental and gastronomic values than Organic Pale Ale, or, as it's also (perhaps more aptly) known, Organic Best Ale. I wish more flagship offerings were this good.

 1,826 characters

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

Pours with a brilliantly clear, perfectly red-copper color. It is topped by a frothy, initially two-finger thick, light tan colored head that falls back into the beer and leaves a bit of lacing as it goes. Upon first whiff the aroma has dry toasted malt notes that move to toffee and then to a solid fruitiness towards the end. The fruit notes remind me of sweet plums, red grapes, raisins and the aromatics coming off a ripe, aromatic red apple variety. I am a bit surprised how fruity this is, it is not out of place, but it certainly comes to dominate the aroma profile of this beer.

Up front this beer is lightly tart, a touch sweet, but definitely is fruity. The tart character and the light sweetness serve to accentuate the fruit notes; I especially get notes of crisp red apples and sweet even lightly concentrated plums. The beer finishes with a touch of hop bitterness, just enough to cause my tongue and back of my throat to tingle. Actually the tingle of hop character starts in the middle and goes through to the near finish. There is just a hint of astringent herbal hop flavor here, it intermingles quite well with the fruit notes, adding a touch of much needed complexity.

This is quite a simplistically flavored brew. It is well made, clean and expressive of their yeast, but could certainly use a bit more flavor. why does organic have to mean bland? They haven't even gotten to the flavor threshold of most of their other products. This beer does open up a bit as it warms up. Still, nothing jumps out at me, but it seems to become a bit more integrated. Though I am not sure if it is enough to hold my interest.

 1,637 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Bi-Rite in Casper for US$3.29

It pours from 550ml bottle a clear gold with a nice thick head of foam that shrinks *very* slowly and ends up as a fine solid layer with good lacing.
The second pour gives me a hazy brew and that's fine by me.

The smell is a mix of malt sweetness and hop citrus that is light on the nose.

The taste has a very good malt flavour up front with some caramel, some bread, a touch of fruit, and some roasted malt.The hops throw in some good citrus notes that help balance the malt and the end result is a very nice, flavourful and very drinkable Pale Ale.

The finish is bitter but nice, the mouthfeel is spot on for the style and the carbo is light. Very good stuff!

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Photo of wrightst
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of Halcyondays
2.98/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours golden with a long lasting white head, some lace.

S: Lemony hops, sulfur, grass clippings, sourdough bread.

T: Mineral sulfur character. Definitely has a bit of vegetal flavour in there which I wasn't crazy about. Fairly good malt flavour though.

M: Soft carbonation, fine feel, nothing wrong here.

D: This was OK, but I was pretty bored with it by the end. There is much better from Sam Smith's.

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Photo of avalon07
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an almost orange-yellow color and a cloudy texture. There was about a quarter inch of creamy, long-lasting head and very good lacing.

S: This beer had a malty aroma, along with a mild hops presence.

T: Tasted of toasted malt, mild hops and a little yeasty quality. There was something about this taste that wasn't quite my cup of tea.

M: A good amount of carbonation and a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A well made beer, though I doubt I'd put into a regular rotation. As I said, there was something about the taste that was off-putting.

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

Appearance is a light amber tone with a thin white head. Smell is light, some floral as well as citrus there. Taste is a bit sweet, some caramel, orange, low-key hops, malt in the finish. MF is leaning towards light, some carbonation there. This is a nice beer and goes well with almost any meal.

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Photo of petermethot
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of mattmarka1
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clean, clear, light gold color with about an inch of foamy white head that had good retention and light lacing.

The aroma is nicely balanced, grainy malt blended with even hopping. The flavors are a little bolder than the aroma leads you to expect, crisp grains and gently sharp hops.

The body is fuller than average, tongue-coating without being sticky. Drinkability was very good, if this were on tap I'd be very happy with a nice long session of brew.

Overall, a very nice beer that's worthy of your time.

 544 characters

Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


7 characters

Photo of wl0307
3.06/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

It's been 1.5 year since I last tried this beer, so a revisit is in order. This 550ml bottle is BB Aug. 07, served cool in an imperial-pint glass.

A: dark orangey golden in colour, coming with a loosely-formed, puffy white head with surprisingly good retention; gentle, constant streams of tiny fizz underneath.
S: upfront is an intense and cloying malty note full of fruit-candy, malt-candy, cane-sugar, a sticky edge of caramel, a touch of honey, with very faint fruity hops behind. The sweetness is simply overpowering, not as nice and balanced as I remember it...
T: biscuity and sugary malts upfront... followed by sugar-cane juice, berry-ish fruits, while a bitter-sweet edge of licorice, hays, and slightly tangy citric hops quietly join in eventually, with just a subtle touch of bitterness of hops as well as pop-corns.
M&D: spritzy and refreshing yet smooth enough, but the flavour profile is simplistic, with very faint inputs of hops submerged by overwhelmingly sweet maltiness. An unbalanced malty bitter overall, IMO. Not saying that it's a bad beer, but Samuel Smith's could do much better than this, I'm sure.

 1,131 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a golden orange color with very little head that clears to a ring of lace.

S - Smells mostly of mild hops and malt maybe a little bit of honey and citrus. Smells clean for an ale.

T - Wow it has a very sold base of sweet malt. It doesn't really have much bitterness which is appreciated but it all seems too light. I guess I can't appreciate a really good organic ale.

M - Light. I could drink a six pack easy.

D - Man I think I could get a sixer for 10.99 which is great for an English beer but is a number one beer? Not really. The smoothest pale ale ever but this hop head needs more.

 601 characters

Photo of JamLand
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of jzlyo
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

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

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.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.54/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours the traditional medium amber, and clear rust hues. With very little visible carbonation. The aroma is very bland and a tart malt with some very bland hop bitterness at the finish of the sniff. The taste is even more tart and almost a sur weet malt. Hints of stiny hops in the midde of each taste. This was not what I expected from this renowned brewery.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of Brad007
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Came in a 12oz brown bottle.

Pours a nice pale color with amber hues. Has a thin head that recedes shortly. Aroma is nice and malty with some hints of caramel in the nose. Subtle and mild. Taste is fruity upfront with some nice toasted malt in the aftertaste. Not too bad of a taste but not impressive either.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a lightly hazed light orange amber color with a two finger white head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to give a nice level of lacing.

Smell- Wow. I was not expecting the huge fruit aroma that was in this one. An apple aroma mixed with some peach and pear are big and bold. Mixed with these are hints of caramel as well as a light bready smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a bready and fruity sweet flavor. The fruit flavor is initially of a peach and apricot flavor, but transitions to a more apple flavor as the taste advances further. Upfront there is also a caramel sweetness that soon gets overwhelmed by the apple. Toward the end the flavor has a malty and cider like taste. A light bitter citrus and herbal flavor come to the taste at the very end with it slightly leveling out some of the sweetness.

Mouthfeel - The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the average side. While the carbonation level is average, it consists of tiny little bubbles that seem to tingle the tongue. This when combined with the slightly creamier body, is wonderful for the fruit flavors of the brew.

Overall – This beer has a fabulous nose and feel. The taste is not quite up to the former two but is still rather good. One to try if you have the chance.

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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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