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 Huffs
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass with a nice white head developing which lasted reasonably well and has descent lacing. Appearance was an amber / gold color with a slight haziness. Aroma was of citrus and grain. Taste hat notes of caramel, fruity citrus. Mouthfeel was full and creamy with a light, hop aftertaste.

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Photo of CuteZombieDoll
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle, poured into a large beer mug.

A- Pours a hazy orange-gold. Decent head that disappears quickly, and good lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Very sweet and fruity, with hints of toffee.

T- Starts very sweet and fruity at first, then finishes slightly floral and just a teeny bit hoppy.

M- Full, but not super heavy.

O- Fruity, flavorful, with a full mouthful. A definite go-to beer for me, and I would recommend it to others, especially for people who are big on eating (And drinking) organic.

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Photo of sethcroisant
4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- beautiful golden color with a finger of head. some lacing sticks around, but not a lot.

S- slightly floral/pine-like hops are up front. samuel smiths signature scent of toasted malts is in there as well.

M- splendid texture. very thick and frothy.

T- a lot of malt hits right away. sweet caramel up right away followed by the steely, toasted malt flavor the brewery is so good at using. hops are spicy and just strong enough. they linger on the back of the tongue for a few seconds. sweet and malty in the finish.

O- an absolute home run. perfect balance of hops and malt. novices and beer snobs alike should be able to enjoy.

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Photo of bambam2517
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle to a pint glass at 48F. As an aside, I love the bottles Sam Smith's is using!! Such a satisfying glug-glug-glug during the pour...

A - Dark golden body with a flat white froth that begins very minimal and does not last. Faint carbonation.

S - Nearly nothing! If I put my nose right into my glass I get a faint flowery aroma, but I dont get any of the wide range of esters in other reviews. There's certainly nothing bad about it, but very unremarkable.

T - Just a hint of pear up front. Subtle citrus and coriander aftertastes. Mild in a nice way, not a boring one.

M - Extremely easy drinking, finishes so clean and doesn't bog me down. Even at 5%abv no hint of alcohol whatsoever, its just so fresh. Reminds me of a farmhouse ale.

O - Feels like a real standard, this could be a go-to beer for me if it were more readily available here in AZ. Its versatile enough for most occasions and meal pairings. Id like to have it on hand for when im not in the mood for trying standout/"different" beers.

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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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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - clear golden copper, respectable head retained very nicely, some random spot lacing
S - gentle apricot and orange peel, caramel and light grain, earthy on the back end
T - earthy and peppery hops of front, citrus rind hoppiness is there but more subtle than the nose, biscuity and light caramel malts, then a metallic crisp hop favour cuts through everything on the finish
M - somewhat light body with medium carbonation, just dry enough to make this very easy drinking
O - this is a very fine example of the style, it is not overbearing in any aspect but the mix of subtle flavours creates a bold tasting yet easily sessionable pale, highly recommended

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Photo of tone77
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 18.7 oz. bottle. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is malty, a bit sweet. Taste is crisp, mild, some malts, kind of on the mild side. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a decent beer but it's nothing great.

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Photo of gtermi
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a amber golden body with a thick white creamy head that quickly fades.

S: Really not too much going on here. I am getting a bit of grain, some slight hops and a slight lagery smell weirdly.

T: The taste is pretty damn faint too.. I really dont get why this beer gets so much love, there really arent any hops and the malt is pretty pale and weak.

M: Very smooth and goes down with ease. Has a nice creamy feel with a decent amount of crispness.

O: This is a decent beer, but not as great as people say. I think Samuel Smith is very overrated and just dont make anything that I care for. Maybe I am just not into English beers.

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

Appearance - Pours a clear, golden orange with a white, 2-finger head. Decent retention. Fair lacing, with little stick.

Smell - Notes of crisp apple, light buttery toffee and a near untraceable hint of hop character.

Taste - Follows the nose. Notes of toffee, butterscotch and apple. Hints at grassy hop bitterness mid-taste, finishing light, balanced and fairly clean.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body, with lively carbonation. Goes down with a buttery smoothness.

Overall - Good EPA, though it drinks close to an ESB. Great all-around balance; a beer just about anyone can appreciate.

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

Excellent medium gold body with a nice heavy, rich white head. Very malty aroma with butterscotch and rich caramel notes. Buttery flavor, caramel and toffee notes with a tinge of hop bitterness. Clean, semi-dry body.

An all-around nice, malt-dominant pale ale. Well-balanced and flavorful.

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Photo of Dave1999
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance is a cloudy golden with a fluffy white head.

The smell is sweet and malty,with some dark fruits raisins and plums which I did not expect from a golden colored ale.

The taste is much the same as the smell, dark fruits with the smallest amount of bitterness towards the end.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall a strange beer,looks like a pale ale but tastes and smells like a fruity maibock.

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

Samuel Smith Organic Best Ale has a thick, foamy, off-white head and a hazy, murky, orange-golden appearance with some streaming bubbles and splotchy lacing. The aroma is of turned fruit, stinging mustiness, toffee, and English garden. Taste is of turned fruit, toffee, garden soil, some bitter hops, and caramel candy. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and Samuel Smith finishes semi-dry, uneven, and refreshing. Overall, this is a very interesting and enjoyable beer, and I rate it excellent. Check it out!


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Photo of PancakeMcWaffles
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden to light brownish colour, once finger thick, white head, decent head retention.

S: Very fruity and sweet, hints of caramel, only a very little hops in the smell;

T: As the smell would suggest it has a strong fruit, with decent caramel and a balanced tartness combined with a slight hop flavour in the finish. Some breadiness comes through aswell;

M: Good carbonation level, mouthfeel is rather average, nothing too special here.

O: Great Pale Ale, lovely fruit combined with caramel and balanced hops, really like the smell of it!

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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.

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Photo of SmashPants
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: very solid 550mL embossed brown bottle. An old-school medicinal-style label - a quirky and, to be honest, awesome package.

Appearance: a light amber honey colour, fantastic 1.5-finger creamy head with good retention and lacing.

Aroma: sweet toffee and caramel malts and some light fruits. Not overwhelming, to be honest.

Taste: this is more like it. Bread malts join the toffee and caramels and, more importantly, a wealth of fruits and floral hops back them up. A very nice combination of flavours.

Aftertaste: all of the flavours linger fantastically well. One can simply enjoy sipping this lovely ale and enjoy over a long period. Which is for the best really, considering the price.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice and smooth. The carbonation is reasonably light too, making it a fantastic slow-sipper.

Overall: a fantastically well put together English Ale. Nice winter sipper - certainly not a sessional ale.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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Photo of viverlee
4.63/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Squeeze every drop out of the bottle. Lick the glass clean. Set up shop directly under the fucking tap.

STYLE: English Pale Ale

ABV: 5%

LOOK: Long straw, solid pale yellow, Bubble Bobble carbonation. A half-finger head settles thinly but nicely atop an enigmatic aroma bomb.

NOSE: Cherry pie, Nerds, pomegranate, Twix, crackers. There’s more, oh so much more, there there, I can’t stand it.

MOUTH: Bready bready biscuits, cherry tree bark, raspberries, rhubarb, Jesus wafers, butterscotch, Sauvignon Blanc, mystery. Someone who should probably be the next president has managed to layer a world of flavors into this pint, each pull flaunting a new, more curious profile. The finish is surprisingly fruit free, mellow but still prurient. The blokes, they did it right this time.

Beeradvocate Rating: 88

Hayward Abbey Rating: 97

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

A rich golden color pours clear, head dissipates quickly but had a good 2 1/2 fingers for a few seconds. The head is soapy and leaves a little lacing to the end. A real crisp and clean taste, honeydew aromas hit me first for some reason. Hops are not promenant but it balances out in the finish, grassy notes balance the malt to finish it off.

Grassy, the hops cut the palate immediately but gently. Slight biscuit flavors linger in the background, lemony tartness is accompanied with some slight maltiness.The mouthfeel is thin and soapy, not overly carbonated.

A brilliantly made ale. The label grabbed my attention first but the ale itself really lived up to it! It's well balanced and with some really aromatic notes. A very good session beer and I like the organic factor too, big plus in my book!

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

Pours a quite clear dark straw color with a quickly dissipating half a finger head. There are many tiny bubbles rising to the of the glass. On the nose I notice some floral and earthy hops with some malt. This is a very clean tasting beer. It is light in body. There is enough malt character balanced by the earthy hop character. Not a ton of flavor, but it has some character.

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Photo of tronester
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a super creamy, rocky white head. Smells of grape must, and a hint of freshly baked bread. Taste begins with a bit of lemon squares, followed by some licorice, and finally some medicinal, herbal hops. Finishes a bit tart. Mouthfeel is smooth. Overall an interesting beer, though the taste seems a little bit odd.

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Photo of shleepy
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter glasses.

A: Very light and clear golden color, medium head.

S: Apples, a little bit of honey and biscuity caramel.

T: Has some fruity / honey sweetness, but also a light and lingering bitterness, presumably from hops. It's good for what it is - a drinkable pale ale.

M: Light-medium body, light-medium carbonation.

O: A great session beer.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.

Appearance: A light haze gold to amber, white head rising thick I mean real thick to roughly two fingers length.

Smell: Light Hops, feels nutty.

Taste: A dry hops, but very robust. It is packing a punch feels like a hybrid of a lager meets an ale.

Mouth: Medium but slightly heavy...two words, very filling.

Overall: Don't pass this up it is quality beer and very appetizing in a awkward way. Comes off raw at the beginning but it is very hard to hate, Salud!

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

More Samuel Smith…why not? Everything I drink from this old-school brewery is just delicious. Plus, it gives me a chance to break out my nonic glass for a little bit of the pub experience. Cheers, blokes!

Brewed about 20 months before the date of this tasting (bottle code decodes to August 17, 2010). This bottle is a bit older than I’d like, but that’s alright – I still have faith in old Sammy.

A: Orange and amber, but mostly pale gold in the light. About an inch over the body, the head smoothes out to a thin white foam; soon, it settles to an inconsistently-dense fizz shield over the body. There’s some nice lacing, too; ropy and abundant. Lots of bubbles settle at the bottom of the glass, making this one look bubbly, light, and positively English.

S: And here we go: first and biggest in the nose are vanilla, butterscotch, and caramel, which come together to form a familiar, British cream aroma that I never stop loving. The sugars playing around in the body are thick, yes, but not without a dark, malty background: coming through more and more with each recurring whiff, showing whole grain bread, butter, banana, grain husk, and cornbread in a loveable background. There are some residuals hanging around the end, as well – peaches and cream, mostly.

T: First thought: balanced deliciousness. Grains, hops, yeast, water, all set in their appropriate place for a wonderful drink. What more could you ask for? Grains are, well, grainy: more husk, straw, wheat bread, and semi-burnt toast. Again, none of the flavors dominate, so it’s easy to pick out the individual flavors. European hops now, rising with light-as-a-feather lemon juice and the slow burn of fresh pine. Throw in a little metallic taste from the water and a chewy undercarriage of yeasty spice and bread. Finishes with a ton of fresh lemon flavor and a bright, buttery astringency. Sip it or quaff it, this beer rocks.

M: Pretty full-bodied, actually. Samuel Smith lays it on thick with a mouthful of cream, then keeps it drinkable with a bready dryness. The texture is amazing.

O: Dammit, I’m going to England. NOW! I want beer like this fresh and on cask everywhere I go. Nothing like ordering a pint of bitter and getting something like this. Suck it, America! Oh, wait…

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Photo of Sharkophile
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pint glass. Appears a light golden amber with a big frothy white head with excellent retention. Looks beautiful.

S: Smells a bit different than most beers I'm used to, with light cider vinegar, caramel, subtle hops and a bit of subtle fruit.

T: Follows the nose, with a light caramel/toffee and fruity maltiness supported by a bit of cider vinegar and butterscotch flavors. Hops are subtle at first and then intensify with the help of the mineral-y water. Finishes dry.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. Works well for the set of flavors at work.

O: Haven't had a great deal of English beers, but this is a very good, complex yet well-balanced ale. Samuel Smith's makes great beer.

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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.

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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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