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

very good
611 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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 611 |  Reviews: 373
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.

 472 characters

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

 829 characters

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.

 265 characters

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.

 575 characters

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.

 425 characters

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.

 334 characters

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.

 615 characters

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.

 1,382 characters

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.

 359 characters

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.

 738 characters

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.

 440 characters

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.

 424 characters

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

16oz. English Pub Glass

Pours a true, hazy copper. Thin white head with very solid lacing for me. Has butterscotch and maple syrup notes that really lead to pleasant aftertaste. I love the majority of the Tadcaster beers, and this one is another that lines up quite nicely. Really a beautiful beer in the glass, so long as you aren't a clarity nazi. Has a real small brewery feel to it. Bravo!

 394 characters

Photo of far333
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear orangey amber with a low white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of bready malt with minty notes.

Subtle flavors of toasted malt and toffee, some butterscotch and a slight metallic note that I find consistently in this brewer's selections, perhaps something with the local water or yeast strain. Even mouthfeel, a bit dry and tannic. Subtle and delicately flavored traditional English style ale.

 404 characters

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

poured 550 ml in sam smiths glass.
A: copper, thin head.
S: Bready malts, floral hops and citrus
T: malts, hops, this is a simple tasting beer.
M: mild carbonation the malt is allowed to stick around to be finished perfectly by the hops. carrying to a dry finish that has a bit of sweetness.
D: this is a extremely well crafted beer the balance is perfect. highly drinkable. sweet malts rounded out by hops that don't over power the beer, this is an outstanding ale and seems to be a prime example of what a english pale ale should be. this is my bench mark for the style so far.

 580 characters

Photo of ujsplace
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured with vigor into an over-sized pub glass. The brew is a clear, bright golden color with a white head that is very impressive - chunky with nice lacing.

Citrus-like hops, maybe lemon or lime hit right away, followed by earthy grains and bready yeasts.

The taste is malty with a nice complex flavor. Grains, wheat-like yeast and a very nice citrus hop bitter with a nice, dry finish.

I wish I had a case of this. This beer is perfectly balanced and has a lot of complex flavor. The mouthfeel is medium.

 510 characters

Photo of mempath
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

heck, only this Stella Artois glass to drink from! here goes...nice violent pub pour reveals a nice head...little lacing...settles fairly fast. a small continent of foam remains, winking

very cerealy but fruity (sweet) nose. interesting.

even more interesting taste. similar to the organic lager, but this seems sweeter in an un-sugary way if that makes sense. some bitterness in the finish, but very slight. nothing simple here. something well rounded, expanding though not quite complex either. simply refreshing and not a run of the mill ale at all. perfect balance of viscosity and carbonation. very drinkable and a session candidate for sure.

 654 characters

Photo of dmamiano
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured in to a wine glass...all my regular glasses were dirty..
Pretty polished copper, with a small whiteish head and lacing at the swirl.
Butterscotch, candy and some small floral notes.
taste is smooth, a bit cidery perhaps.
malts are leading the way in this one with really not much hop presence found.
Not what I expected for the style, but ok none the less.

 363 characters

Photo of erz316
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle into oldspeck pint glass

a good crisp and well carbonated beer, golden in colour with a thin white head. grainy and fruity nose, with an even sweeter taste. there is a good pinch of hops, but not too much. primary flavours are grain, a bit of metallic, and sweet malts. nose lacks, but this may be because of the temperature; but considering this is a session beer, it should be able to perform at colder temps.

 419 characters

Photo of Celt44
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a clear straw - Nice head with minimal lacing..

Aroma - Fruits and malts. Plums and raisons. Spicy sweetness towards the end.

Taste - Fruity flavor, plums and raisons again. Malty finish with a lemon zestiness also...

Mouthfeel - Smooth. Nothing of note here...

Overall an average Ale - Very pleasant and not as bitter as most EPAs....

 353 characters

Photo of Kromes
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A slightly hazy gold color with a fluffy white head.

S: There is a bready/grainy aroma coming off of the beer with some noble hops thrown in.

T: The grain/bread flavors really mix well with the floral hop flavors. There is an almost citrus-like bitterness throughout and the bitterness is what keeps the beer from being really good. I like some bitter beers, but I guess on this day it was just a little too much bitterness without the actual hop flavor pay-off.

M: Mouthfeel is nice and light but sort of flat at first. The finish is dry.

D: Drinkability is very good. It has a very good flavor and the lack of carbonation in the beer makes it very session-able.

 670 characters

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 t3hcho53non3
4.95/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I want to preface this by saying this is my favorite favorite favorite brew of all time.

A: Pours a clear yellow amber color with a finger head that quickly dissipates but leaves decent lacing.

S: Very complex fruity sweetness with organic undertones and earthy undertones

T: Heaven on earth. Earthy tasting with organic overtones.

M: Medium body with little to no carbonation

D: Very drinkable and very complex. You must drink more than one of these in a session before you can accurately review it.

 505 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

 737 characters

Photo of seand
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a clear yellow amber with a generous foamy white head. Just a small layer retains longer than a few minutes, which leaves so-so lacing.

S: Sweet, full, with floral/fruity notes and a caramel background.

T: Complex fruity sweetness leads to a hoppy finish. Very tasty.

M: Medium to high carbonation, relatively smooth, medium to full bodied.

D: Drinks quite easily, an excellent session beer.

This is a great English pale ale. It doesn't really add anything to the style, but the execution is excellent.

 516 characters

Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.96 out of 5 based on 611 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.