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

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

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Ratings: 615 |  Reviews: 374
Photo of IronDjinn
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out an intense bright copper, tall frothy buttery-hued head that slowly falls. Leaves a chunky cap in its wake, along with errant strands of sticky lacing.

Sweet grains and toffee malt on the nose, along with red currants and pears, some light citrus, as well as grassy hops.

Flavour is very clean, if not a bit on the subdued side. This is session ale material from the first sip. Buttery malt, citrus skirts around the mouth through the middle, with wet grassy hops on the finish. I realized part of the craftsmanship is in what is not present--not what is lacking, but by how clean the flavour profile is with no off flavours, and by how rounded and balanced it all is.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-bodied dipping towards the light side, it compliments the flavour profile nicely.

Well then, this was a pleasant surprise and experience, one of the most quaffable ales I've yet to sample. Not boisterous, yet not a wallflower either, an ale you'd want to slow dance with all night because of how comfortable and accomodating it is. Try and sneak in a smooch here and there also when you get the chance.

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Photo of trackstar1043
4.67/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pour a golden hazy hue with a pure white head 2 fingers in height with great retension.

S - Clean crisp and bright, with the aroma of wheat, citrus, sweet carmel and a slight bitter bite of hops.

T - Just as great as it smells, extremely crisp, refreshing and sweet, by far the cleanest tasting brew I have ever had the pleasure of having.

M - Med-Light bodied with sharp carbonation that awakend the taste buds, fantastic.

D - Simply fantasitic one of the most pleasant surprises in a drink, great any day.

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

Amber colored ale with only a slight foam film and plenty of carbonation sprigs.

The scent is bright, sweet but not cloying, citrus-like...lively.

A tasty ale that is well balanced. Light (but not too light) with a bit of hop bitterness and a bit of effervescence on the way down.

This would go well with some cheese slices.

Overall, a very nice, light, bright, well-balanced, refreshing ale. I'll definitely have this on hand for the spring/summer. Easy drinker.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid copper color with a good looking white head and a nice bit of lacing as the beer drained. Nose is nice. Lots of caramel malt, some light fruitiness, maybe citrus hops in there as well. Definitely sweet and quite nice. Unfortunately the flavor drops the ball. Basically, some mild malt, which is seriously overpowered by the fizziness of the beer. Mouthfeel's a little biting for me liking. Too fizzy, and not really full enough. I dunno, nothing really against this one, it just sort of bored me. I've actually been disappointed by Sam Smith before, and this one is unfortunately no exception. I know English pale ales aren't usually flavor explosions, but this one just couldn't hold my interest.

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Photo of ZacHart
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This moderately hazy, copper colored ale offered a decent head that dissipated quickly when poured into a pilsner glass. The brew was pungent, dominated by citrus and floral odors. Light and refreshing, with pronounced hops and a straightforward yet layered taste, the beer was smooth and lingered on the tongue for just long enough. Overall, this is a solid beer that would go over well any time of year and would probably be enjoyed by sophisticated and novice beer palates alike.

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Photo of 1whiskey
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

550 ML bottle poured into a goblet. A nice very light copper color with a thin white head.

Smells grassy and slightly "herbal". Overall very clean.

Nice malty backbone is the dominant flavor, with some citrus and herbal spice in the finish. Very mellow, enjoyable beer that went great with my PB & J. Originally I had wanted to purchase the organic lager and realized I had bought this by mistake, but now I'm glad I did. I got my malt fix anyways. In other words, pretty much any Samuel Smith's beer is good.

Body is medium to medium-light. Nice creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonate. Very drinkable.

I;m not really a big fan of EPAs usually, but this is quite tasty. Recommended...and organic to boot.

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Photo of smcolw
3.64/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of Ryan805Beer
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Samuel Smith's Organically Produced Ale -Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England,
Pint 5% Alc. Vol.

An English pale ale, great pour and nice velvety head. Light amber in color. Pleasant mouth feel followed by a slight sweet and bitter aftertaste. I really don't like sweet when it comes to beer. Not what I expected from such a great brewery, I was a little disappointed. Oh well, I won't buy it again.

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Photo of JDV
1.22/5  rDev -69.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Goldish amber with white fluffy medium lasting head. Smells musky, sweaty and simply not good at all. I've had skunky beers that smelled possibly better. Taste is somewhat smooth creamy and just grossly sweaty, and yeasty. Kind of like moist dirty laundry. Not good. One of my least favorite beers ever, and undrinkable for me, although it didn't taste like a beer that had gone bad. I simply didn't like this one, and Samuel Smith's Lager and Nut Brown ale were quite good.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another world-class brew from Samuel Smith, their organic samples are really above-and-beyond and certainly noticeable for their superior quality that strangles the competition... their Organic Lager was superb, and this is as good if not better... an amazing English Pale Ale... wonderful bronze-colored, copper appearance with minimal head... strong butter aroma with bread-and-butter flavor with a strong caramel and honey taste that stands out for its pure, rich, crisp, and clean taste... wonderful flavor that is truly satisfying... another definite winner from Samuel Smith... amazing sample that scores tremendous points for its crisp, lucid taste that hits home and is really pleasing with its authentic and pure taste... Definitely recommended...

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Photo of Lukie
3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Golden marmalade underneath a small head, which dissipitated into a small lacing that barely covered the top of the brew.

Lot's of lemon citrus, with slight burnt caramel and hoppy bark. There is not a substantial smell at all.

Sour mandarin, with some sweet marmalade to the aftertaste. Again, not overpowering.

Quote easy drinking, but there are better offerings from the famed brewery.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
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 jneiswender
4.29/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured 550ml bottle into a pint glass.

A--Nice light brown color. Haze clears up after awhile. Decent head that goes away fairly quick.

S--Pastry shop smell with some floral backdrop.

T--Sweet malt in the front. Bready, some hop bitterness in the end.


D--I didn't think at the first sip that I would like this beer. Two minutes later it was gone. This may beer the ultimate session beer. Not something that is distinctive because of some head turning flavor but distinctive because is it really good.

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Photo of n0315
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

nice amber/ gold color with nice soft head that ends with a nice lace. almost looks like apple cider. smell of hops and wheat and what smells like a nice balance, not too much of anything one way or the other.

Taste and drinkability were OK, something I would drink every so often but nothing I would go searching for again.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.54/5  rDev -35.9%
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 largadeer
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of botham
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pint bottle poured into a nonic. pours a brilliantly clear amber with a couple fingers of off-white head. head retention is good, with no lacings on the glass.

aroma is sweet and malty, with munich malts presiding, and a hint of caramel malts as well. a lightly hoppy base provides balance, rounding out the aroma. fruity yeast esters are also present in the background, moving foreward as the brew warms a bit. overall the aroma has a grainy character, providing contrast to the base of hops.

taste is malty up front, with the same munich and caramel malts present. the fruity yeast is also in and around the malts. finishes on a dry note of hops, though remains smooth. the same grainy chraracter shows through the different tastes, finishing off the flavor profile. excellent balance.

mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a smooth and creamy character. finish is dry, but remains smooth on the palate. well crafted!

drinkability is great. this is a moderately complex brew, yet it remains smooth and clear in its profile. the subtle performance of the ingredients come together into a nicely balanced liquid, not only in flavor, but in mouthfeel as well. the organic selling point plastered on the bottle does not make a difference to this drinker, this is simply a well-crafted brew. cheers!

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.2/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cross between a golden color and light brown, fairly cloudy, with a good sized head.

Has a mild floral scent that is also evident in the taste. I really like the carbonation of this beer, really accentuates the taste.

Overall, a decent beer that uses the catch of being an organic beer which have yet to impress. One of the better organics out there though and an improvement over their own organic lager.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light brown/toffee color, creamy head of 1-1.5” which quickly subsides leaving a light lacing around the glass.

Aroma: Most notable was the caramel scent followed by some light citrus hints.

Taste: Again I noticed some caramel taste with a hop presence on the back of the tongue. This beer has something to offer for all tastes.

Mouthfeel: This beer is very crisp and easy on the palate. Very well balanced and not over bearing.

Drinkability: Very satisfying. Not necessarily something I would choose for a session, but definitely worth sampling.

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Photo of Brad007
3/5  rDev -24.2%
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 Bitterbill
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
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 MrHungryMonkey
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Toasty malt with a splash of herbal hops and apple sweetness.

Medium gold with good clarity and a mild head.

Smooth mellow but decently strong malt flavor with warm toast and biscuit is nicely complimented by a crisp hop bitterness. Digging deeper finds apple, fresh hop oils, and a satisifying dryness that lingers long after each taste.

Nice medium body with medium-light carbonation.

A good solid maltyness and a good stiff English bitterness make this crisp pale ale easy to like.

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Photo of travolta
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, straw and gold. The head had mild retention, but at first was bright and billowy. Lacing is sticky and ever present.

Lemon, mild citrus, floral, sweet caramel.

Watery mouth feel like all Sam Smith's. Very floral and zesty. Hops comes in at the ends and stays just long enough to be pleasant.

Great organic spin on a classic ale.

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

550mL bottle poured into pint glass, no freshness date.

A: Pours a deep cloudy amber with a sizeable frothy white head that fades into a thin cap around the glass, carbonation flows up alongside the glass, not much lacing.

S: The scent of apples here is unmistakable, very sweet with carmel undertones with a nice bready malt backbone.

T/MF: Once again the taste of apples is unmistakeable, with a nice bit of skunk with a suprisingly stong alcohol finish along with a nice hop bite on the back of the tongue. Not too much hop presence, this brew focuses mainly on the malt and I am not one to complain about this. This brew is also quite sweet which I suppose makes sense with the focus on the malts, but does not finish very smooth, quite oily as a matter of fact, once again a nice complex brew from the Sam Smith Brewery.

Picked this up at the Hyvee in Galesburg, not sure how long it had been on display but it came in a deep brown bottle so at least it was a little protected from light. Would probably try this again but not as my first choice.

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Photo of loren01
3.47/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden color, small white head, slight lacing down the glass
S: Smell is slighly sweet, fruity, English hops
T: Slight fruity taste, spicy bitter hoppiness.
M: Very carbonated and crisp. Finishes dry and bitter
D: Drinkable but really nothing to write home about I wouldn't say

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Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.96 out of 5 based on 615 ratings.
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