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

very good
373 Reviews
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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Reviews: 373 | Ratings: 608
Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev -2%
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 farrago
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
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 sleazo
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
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 jkrich
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The 550 ml bottle was heavy and dark brown, yet it did not have a freshness date. The ale poured a beautiful clear, honey-golden color with a sustained, foamy white head.

The aroma was refreshingly fruity and malty. In this instance, the fruity odors are soft and restrained unlike the more agressive American counterpart.

For a import, the flavor is very refreshing with hints of marmalade with a nice subtle hop bitterness. This one is easy drinking, yet complex with nuanced flavors. There is actually a faint hint of smoky flavor coming through.

This has a clean, well-rounded mouthfeel that leaves a pleasant, mild fruity and malty taste on the palate. The gentlecarbonation complemented the light body.

It has been a few years since I enjoyed a Samuel Smith brew. I was always frustrated with their use of clear bottles and no freshness dates. It appears they have finally switched to brown bottles. Such world class ales deserve at least that. This is a very quaffable, yet somewhat complex ale that has interesting flavors to keep the experience interesting.

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Photo of darkmartin
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours to a murky yellow with a large, fluffy white head. Some sticky lacing.

Smell: Smells fairly yeasty, with some sweet malt. Some faint hops.

Taste: Taste is all yeast and some sweet, buttery notes followed by spicy tones. Ends with some faint hops, really quite good.

Mouthfeel: Thin and smooth, just the right amount of carbonation to suit the style.

Drinkability: Good smell, excellent flavor, excellent mouthfeel. Quality brew.

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Photo of NStLincoln
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
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 KickInTheChalice
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured form a 550 mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a mild golden, hazy apricot color with a bubbly, foamy head that has only decent retention.

Smell: Quite syrupy pale malt, light citrus notes, and herbal yeast notes.

Taste: Starts off with a very nice light biscuity malt taste, with tons of carbonation complementing the flavor. Earthy spice and hops come in next. Finishes clean and smooth.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp, clean carbonation gives this a light feel, even though it is medium bodied. The carbonation lingers on the tongue, helping to leave a nice soft earthy and herbal aftertaste.

Drinkability: With a pleasant, nuanced taste, Sam Smith's has come up with another winner.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden-amber, with an eighth-inch white head that fades slowly, becoming patchy. Good lacing.
Smell is light caramel malts, with some slightly piney hops. Notes of light toffee, yeast, and some faint dark fruits.
Taste is light, caramel malts with some light, grassy hops. Very light notes of apple, as well as toffee and brown sugar. Malts become bready towards the finish.
Mouthfeel is smooth, with a little bit of bite at the finish. Finish is crisp. Light body, fairly low level of carbonation.
Drinkability is very good. Another refreshing and tasty beer from Tadcaster.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beer I havent tried from one of my favorite breweries.

A- Very pale. I was expecting a more of copper colored beer. Its very clear and golden yellow. A nice, perfectly white head caps it and throws nice lacing. It hold on for quite a while.

S- Fruity like any good English Pale should be. Its matched by a delicate floral hop aroma.

T- Nice, light malts with a good fruitiness. Its mostly lightly toasted but a hint of caramel comes around once in a while. The hops are only strong enough to just about balance it with a flowery taste. Its still pretty malty though.

D- Way drinkable. It finishes so clean and is pretty light but not too light. A true classic.

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Photo of beertunes
3.88/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of glid02
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of MuddyMo
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am a fan of Samuel Smith products, but experienced some hesitation as I included two 12 oz bottles of this offering in my mixed sixer. Hesitation because the label did not indicate the style of beer. Just "Organically Produced" and "Ale." No date on the bottle.

Pours a hazy amber with a distinct head that fades quickly with little or no lacing. Swirling brings back a smattering of foam to the surface. The aroma of fresh apples and a bit of alcohol is soon joined by wafts of grain and caramel.

A thin bodied beer with bright tart fruit flavors up front and a light touch of carbonation that lasts throughout. The finish is not exactly dry, but set the glass down for more than 60 seconds and a drying sensation will slowly spread over the tongue and begin creeping into the throat. There is a perfect remedy for this sensation: another pull from the pint glass. Amazing how that works.

A quintessential English Pale Ale. The epitome of a good session beer.

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Photo of ralree
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Gold, slightly cloudy, white head - 2 fingers, good lacing, OK retention.

S: Nice fruity tinge to a classic ale style. Sweet hops and grainy malt dominate the smell.

T: Hops are very good and sweet, and malt backs it up nicely. Honey and light fruit as well. No alcohol detectable, which is nice. Really good for this style.

M: Nice light mouthfeel, rather dry, a bit thick, medium body, good carbonation, very slight astringency.

D: Exactly the type of beer you'd want to slog down after a long hot day. Perfect.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden color. No effervescence. Finger and a half white head that resides to a thin layer of film composed of tiny bubbles on top. Decent lacing left behind.

Smells of a vaguely of fruit, some light sweet malts. There's also a slight metallic scent.

Taste has a light caramel malt flavor and an ale fruitiness. A light herbal, citrus and dank hops character.

Light to medium bodied. Fairly medium carbonation.

Pretty quaffable.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle served in a tulip glass.

A: Pours a beautiful and clear amber/copper color forming a medium, solid and thin bubbled beige head. Medium to low retention and lots of spotty soapy lacings left in the glass

S: Strong toffee and caramel malts in the upfront. Notes of brown sugar and brown bread. Great flowery hops. English character

T: Strong caramel malts and sweet grains upfront. Notes of toffee, brown sugar, citrus hops. A bit fruity too, with some notes of grapes and plums. Mild hops bitterness: herby and a bit citrus (Again, strong British hops character). In overall, a dry but smooth beer in the mouth

M: Light body. Medium carbonation. A bit sticky and molasses with a malty and mold bitter aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Very refreshing beer. Strong British personality. World class British Pale Ale

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.67/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beer poured into a Zatec glass with two fingers of head. Notes of oak, honey and citrus. Tastes like heaven if heaven were made of a beer that consisted of a slight hoppy, delicate honeysuckle flower aged in a vanilla oak barrel. Mouth feel like a softer Champagne.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No date on bottle, served in an imperial pint glass. Beer is slightly hazy, carbonation moderate to low, orange / amber in color. Beer forms a thin white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves little lacing on the glass. Looks fine.

Watery malt in the aroma with a trailing end of bitterness. It doesn't have much of a smell but it is OK.

Medium body and really smooth. Some carbonation in the mouth, minimal sweetness up front and some lingering bitterness in the back. Finishes nicely. This is an average ale. Its pretty drinkable and good I don't have much to say.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.98/5  rDev -24.7%
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 phillipzayas
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice beer. Nice amber color with a nice caramel/hoppy aroma. Taste predominates on the caramel citrus notes. At least that was what I was picking up on. Mouthfeel was excellent and the flavor didn't dissipate. I actually enjoyed this beer considering I am not a Samuel Smith's fan really at all. Very nice English Style Pale Ale.

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Photo of Bajasith
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had my doubts obout any organic brewed beer but heard rave reviews about this Samuel Smith's brew. So with nothing to lose but four bucks I purchased a bottle.
A: Poured faded amber yellow with a milky haze into a tall pilsner glass
S: I could smell the light malt with a fruity citric essence and hops are hardly etectable.
T: Surprise... Very well balanced. Malty overtones with floral hop taste with a hint of sweetness.
M: Balanced all the way thru with a kick of carbonation at the end.
D: Took some getting use to but I saw myself enjoying this one to the end. Would drink this organic brew during a hot day.

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Photo of Josievan
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Organic Ale pours a natural-looking golden orange. There's no slouching in the head department and there's lacing aplenty.

Smell: The aroma has herbal hop notes on top of generous pale malt.

Taste: Organic Ale has a very earthy flavor, which makes perfect sense since it's organic. Cereal-like grain flavor is prominent. Much in the way hefeweizens taste like liquid wheat, this tastes like liquified bread or cereal. It seems like a little corn might have been added (although I don't believe this actually has corn), which imparts a touch of sweetness. The hops don't so much add bitterness as they create a deeper flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: The body is light but substantial, with low carbonation.

Drinkability: The nature of this mellow, pleasant ale would allow it to be consumed throughout the day without a second thought.

Notes: Up until this beer, Samuel Smith's Organic line have mainly been bigtime hits, with one beer that I would label a miss. Organic Ale falls somewhere in between, but it's closer to a hit than a miss. Maybe not a homerun, but a solid single. It is also one of the better organic ales I've had (not including Samuel Smith's own fruit flavored beers). It may be in the lower tier of Samuel Smith beers, but the upper tier contains world class beers. This is still a clearly well-crafted, unique beer that I will gladly consume again.

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Photo of Cubsfan1087
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Smith's Organic Ale is a good beer, maybe not as good as other Samuel Smith beers. It's a very pale color, almost a little orange. The taste is interesting, a little bitter in the aftertaste. It is nicely carbonated. I'm not sure how many organically produced beers I've had, but I'm guessing not very many. This was a decent beer, something different.

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Photo of OttoBomb
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pint, 2.7 oz bottle (550 ml), poured into Dogfish Head signature glass (March 8, 2010). No freshness date that I can find.

Eyes: Poured a light golden amber. A full off-white head creeps up to the rim and recedes in a couple minutes. Moderate lacing.

Nose: Classic aromas of pale malts, some hints caramel. Hop profile is light and quite a bit like tea.

Tongue: Similar to the nose, sweetish dried fruit, while the hops only subtly bitter the palate. I get a soft flavor of tea again.

Mouth: Probably the strongest area overall. Creamy, smooth and rich, with just enough carbonation to carry the flavor.

Libation: A very tasty, drinkable and balanced EPA. You'd be hard pressed to find a better example of the style here in the US.

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Photo of NODAK
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is quite nice, with notes of caramel, toffee and malts galore. Very representative for the EPA style.

Taste is somewhat as expected, with caramel and toffee maltiness up front, but with a kick of moderate hoppiness at the back. The hops seem somewhat tart, perhaps citric.

Aftertaste is fairly clean, with some toasty malts hanging around but not for long.

All in all, a good beer from Samuel Smith, which seems to be the standard.

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Photo of rockyfire
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a golden color with a bit of cloudiness. The white lacy head sticks around for a while and leaves a good ring on the side of the glass.

This beer is refreshing with grainy notes and soft alcohol taste and a bit of hops on the back of the tongue, crisp with light carbonation that is again refreshing.

Overall this a flavorful, easy-to-drink beer with the added bonus of being made with organic ingredients.

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Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.96 out of 5 based on 608 ratings.
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