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 airforbes1
3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a yellow-orange color with minimal haze. The head is beautiful and started with three fingers before it receded to one. The aroma is faint, which makes me question how fresh this bottle is. I smell a bit of yeast. That's it.

The taste is fine, however. It has some earthiness up front and some mild orange notes on the finish. The flavor has mineral overtones, but it doesn't become medicinal.

This is a solid, easy-drinking beer.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: cloudy dark yellow, light white head,
dash of lacing

S: lemon, biscuit malt, earthy grain,
maybe little yeasty

T: floral lemon rind, biscuit malt light crisp bitter finish

M: med/light body, solid carbonation
little bubbly/freshing on palate
dry crisp finish

O: OH MY! I knew that I loved English
beers and breweries, but great to see a
fantastic beer on the lower end of the ABV.
Will get again to be sure and highly recommend.
Mighty fine session brew.


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Photo of rangerred
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a slightly hazy medium gold with a thick white head. Good head retention but no lacing.

Smells of pineapple, orange, and caramel. There is also a breadiness detectable.

The taste is fruity with flavors much like the smell. There is also a vanilla flavor. Hop flavors are earthy but restrained with a moderate bitterness. Maltiness is present but is somewhat suppressed by the fruityness that I am assuming is from the yeast.

Overall this is a really good beer. I feel like the fruit could have been suppressed somewhat but like every other beer Samuel Smith makes, this one is a winner.

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Photo of fx20736
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Nonic.

Clover honey yellow with a thick linen white head that leaves wisps of lacing.

Aroma of pale malt, apple fruitiness and earthy English Hops.

Mouthfeel is there.

Taste of malts with sultana fruitiness finishing with a floral and earthy hoppiness.

Notes: balanced well made Bitter with appropriate bitterness. A Good beer.

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Photo of atis
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber with thin white head that very slowly fades, thin strings of lacing. Aroma is sweetish pale malt, honey and apples.

Taste is bready malt, berries, grassy and slightly spicy English hops that do not fully balance malt, bitter aftertaste with hints of citrus. Mouthfeel is medium, moderate carbonation.

Overall, certainly not bad, but nothing very special either. Taking into account that it is not cheap, I am not sure if it was worth the money.

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Photo of nickthetick
4.64/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a clear gold into a Erdinger weizen glass with almost a finger of white head that leaves a little lacing.

S: fruity, apples, pineapple, peaches, sweet malt, caramel, vanilla.

T: a lot like the nose, sweet apples and a bit of spice all over the place. A nice malt backbone, but overall fruity sweet and tart.

MF: medium body, good effervescence, refreshing.

O: a beautifully balanced, amazingly layered ale. Great flavors and complexity. I'll be purchasing this beer again.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden light orange with some white head and a bit of lacing.

Smells like sweet malted grains, gala apples, apple cider, burnt sugar, floral hints.

Taste is not what I expected. Very full flavored with layers of chewy malt, sweetened pie crust, apple sweetness and just enough spruce hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and very drinkable.

Zraly put it well calling this one "no frills" just straight forward, quality organic ale.

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

Pretty gold orange with an ample two-finger head. Nice notes of bread and malt linger upfront.

Very clean, easy fruity esters dominate the flavor profile, topped of with a mineral finish that has a beautiful saline quality to it. Soft butterscotch and bread notes in the middle. Subtle hops off a perfect dry down leaving you with the most balanced tasting ale...perhaps ever. Body is on the higher end of light. Carbonation is perfect for style. So smooth it makes me mad.

The ultimate session ale. Not only that, but an ale to "check your head" on and remember what it tastes like to drink a well-made, no-frills, honest-to-goodness ale. Excellent.

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Photo of railman
3.06/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from a 550ml bottle.

Pours an appealing golden orange hue with a fluffy white head that fades quickly. Abundant carbonation of tiny bubbles. Sticky lacing that lingers on the glass.

First smell reminds me of malty bread but not overwhelming. Overall decent but boring.

Tastes kind of malty without being sweet and slight bitterness in the end.

Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side. Would have preferred more body to this brew.

Overall I found this brew to be a middle of the road brew with not much going on in the glass. Expected more from Samuel Smith.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark gold with 1/2" of light, bubbly, but dense head. Good retention. The nose has notes of light malt and cooked apples. The taste is light, bready malt with an apple-like sweetness and a straw-like, grassy earthy hop finish. The mouthfeel is light, clean, and very smooth; well carbonated.

Overall, this is a solid beer. It's drinkable, clean, smooth, well balanced, and all around enjoyable. It's not very complex, but for the style it has just enough.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very nice uniform white head is presented but seems to slowly subside. Body is a gorgeous crystal clear orange amber but with no rising carbonation. Minimal lacing but also a clawing circular puck that grabs the edges with a big collar.

Clotted cream is a distinct scent with a mix of strawberries. Crazy combination but definitely strawberry. Real interesting love this fruity angleat taking a wild guess it must be from the yeast.

Great tasting malt and berry fruit. Sweet but light sugar finish in the aftertaste. Front palate brings big solid malt without a syrupy backbone. Slight grass hop also in the mid palate in places. Strawberry everywhere on this! Mixing some rosehip english herbal tea in there for the presence.

Overall I am just loving this lingering strawberry finish everywhere. Great great friggin beer!

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

Poured from SS large bottle into glass.

A: Pours a light honeycomb yellow/orange with a half finger sticky white head.

S: Real earthy esters. Citrus/hops/spice/wheat/and clove.

T: Well balanced. Tamed hops blend nicely with fruity esters and ends with nice wheat/grain finish.

M: Carbonation gives it some sting while it is lighter in body. Crisp and refreshing.

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

Enjoyed at Bohemia in St. Petersburg (FL), which, incidentally, may be the best spot in this town for quality food AND beer. This beer pours a rustic clay-amber hue and is capped with a soapy off-white head which is not as hearty as I was expecting, given the style. The nose is lightly floral with hints of honey and something like rosewater, and it shows very little caramel or butter for an EPA. The flavor shows a bit more of the sweet caramelized barley and offers a slightly citric hop note, in addition to the aforementioned floral nuance. This brew scores points with me for the overall skew of the profile away from buttery malt and earthy tea-like hop, towards a more clean, lively and zesty direction. The feel is quite nice, very refreshing and retains a great deal of tooth. Overall, this is a very nice brew, as are most Sam Smith's.

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

The beer is clear light golden, a slightly off-white head with some lacing. Little curtains.

Sweet honey and fruit notes, some nuts, but also earthy charcters, cheese and dust.

Staring with honey and ripe apple notes, some lemon juice, then a nice herbal bitterness.

Little carbonation, soft but refreshing feeling, a medium body and a dry finish.

A nice light and well balanced ale.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.52/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It’s golden amber on the pour that has plenty of fizz as it fills the glass. It is very strange that there is almost no
head and definitely no threat of lacing.

Smell: It’s a really delicate scent, also very light. There is a sweetness that has to be from the esters. I can’t quite name one fruit though. It’s just sweet. Maybe there is some honey in here too. No threat of hops making an appearance and contributing to the experience.

Taste: As with the nose, not really any hop flavor to speak of. There is a grain taste, very close to wheat that tastes like it’s coming more from the malt. The after taste fades quickly; it’s just as delicate as the nose.

The esters are kind of here, but again, I can’t really place the fruitiness. Not much of the sweetness from the nose showing up on the palate either. It’s pretty bland ale to be honest.

Mouth feel: There is yet to be a Samuel Smith’s product I’ve tried that doesn’t have at least a good mouth feel. This one is not an exception. It’s medium bodied, a bit of a surprise for the lightness of the ale. It’s also extremely smooth to drink. It just slides right on through.

Overall: This is really boring ale all around. Usually, I enjoy the SS products immensely, but this one just isn’t doing anything that makes it stand out, from the delicate nose, to the boring flavors. You could definitely do worse as the quality of the beer is still great, but the experience is not.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A Pours a light clear yellowish orange color topped off with a white head that dissipates quickly.

S The nose has a nice lemon note and some a hint of malty biscuit.

T The pallate has an earthy note to it, along with a sweet fruity almost apple like taste.

M Very crisp mouthfeel, lots of carbonation and quite pleasent to drink.

Overall this is a great pale ale. Its quite sweet yet easy to drink. This would be a great session beer, as its easy to drink and only $3.00 for a pint

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Photo of bnes09
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A blend between lemon yellow and orange in color. Single finger white head bubbles up from the brew. Retreats to a creamy froth that lasts forever. Tons of creamy lacing as well.

Aroma of fresh baked English muffins. Mostly clean with a hint of herbal hop scent.

Great taste as well. Solid bready malt gives it substance with a toasty quality. English hop flavors, spicy but not pungent, mostly of fresh herbs and spinach leaves. Overall flavor is fresh and perfectly balanced.

Medium bodied with plenty of bready texture without being to thick. The flavor is so rich it would seem like you had to chew this but you don't.

This stuff is excellent. Great look, outstanding and well rounded flavors, even a great feel. A masterpiece.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 2" white head with took awhile to dissipate to lace. Clear pale straw yellow color with tiny bubbles. Smell has corn and is also yeasty. Taste is a fairly simply BMC flavor profile with corn and grass however the body is smoother and richer and the finish has both some sweet and sour to it. Definitely a step up from the typical pale beer.

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Photo of Schmidts
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark yellow with a small white head, smells of sweet Malts and Malasses. The taste is very pleasant and malty with a small hit of Hops. And Then sweet malts and an earthy taste. It is very Refreshing and easy to drink and goes down very smooth. This is an expensive beer but it was worth every Penny of the $5.00 I paid for a bottle. I will consider saving up and getting a case of this.

This truely is a Classic English Beer in every way and was well woth trying!

If you have never had it give it a try it is a well crafted Ale

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

Served in an English style pint glass from a typical Samuel Smith 550cc bottle.

a: Bright gold to copper color with 1/2 inch of bright, fluffy head. Head retention isn't great, but about on par for style.

s: Bready malt and light caramel dominate the nose. Although the label promises plenty of fresh hop character, very little is present in my bottle. There may be some floral notes, but I think the transatlantic voyage is really showing in this regard. The English yeast character is delightful, however, with plenty of apple/pear notes.

t: Again dominated by caramel and bready malt flavors. Hop bitterness is present, though the balance is tipped towards the malt. Very little hop flavor.

m: although the head retention is less than robust, and it is not heavily carbonated, this beer is full body, and a nice bubbly sensation in the mouth.

Overall, the beer is good, but I suspect that the bottles I have access to are not treated will during shipment and storage at my local shops. I can't give points for what I expect the beer tastes like when the hop character is fresher, but I wish that I could. The malt character is brilliant, as is the mouthfeel, with some hops on the nose and a bit of hop character I could see falling in love with this beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.39/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My 500th bottle review!

From the bottle: "Organic Best Ale"; "A delicately flavored amber/gold ale in which subtle fruity esters from the Samuel Smith yeast strain interact with a background of maltiness and fresh hops. Brewed with well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use), organic hops and yeast. Fermented in 'stone Yorkshire squares'."; "Samuel Smith's brews at a small traditional British brewery, the oldest brewery in Yorkshire."; "This label is issued only by SamL Smith ... SamL Smith is a small British brewery".

My pour netted me two-plus fingers of eggnog-colored head with great retention. Color was a slightly hazy deep gold and Midas would have approved. Nose had a caramel/buttery sweetness up front with a grassy hoppiness behind it. Mouthfeel was medium with a mild bitterness initially on the tongue, then giving 'way to a mild sweetness. Finish was equally mild and pleasant. It was not bad, but it did not strike me as anything terribly special, either. Have I just committed sacrilege?

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Photo of tubacharlie
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma of molasses hits the nose first, with a smattering of earthy notes. The head lays out smooth and white, only a finger or two in height, but leaving a nice ring of lacing as it recedes to a light carpet.

The brew is a dirty yellow-brown color, mostly clear but with a slight haze and active carbonation rising slowly to replenish the ring of foam left from the head.

A large gulp reveals more earthy flavors, with treacle in the background and a solid grain bill supporting the richly hued taste. Biscuit and dried flower accents round out the palate. Enough hops to give it a bit of zest, but overall a very mellow and tasteful offering.

This brew would go well with anything from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to a stuffed grouse.

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Photo of bslider
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden straw. Pure white head with substantial lacing.

S: Mellow yeast and baked apples. The label makes note of fruity esters; I agree.

T: Grainy, golden malt with apples and pears. Mild English hops wash throughout and carry on to a crisp finish.

M: Light to medium. Good carbonation level.

O: A very nice go-to beer that's readily available in lots of American cities. I've always liked their stouts and their nut brown, but I never picked this one up until now. (I think because I interpreted the "organic" marketing as some kind of gimmick.) Like other reviews have noted, this is a great candidate for a evening session.

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Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a two finger high dense off white head that died down rather quickly, leaving a film of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of fruity yeast in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is rather fruity and has some initial sweetness.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and quite sessionable.

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

I poured a bomber into a glass mug...

The beer pours a pale golden color with a thick, fluffy white head. The smell is strong with yeast, sweet, nutty malt, with earthy and herbal hop tones. The taste is a little metallic, but it's not bad at all, there are flavors of raisin bread, nuts, and lemon. It's medium bodied with perfect carbonation and a dry finish. This is a good beer, easy drinking and refreshing.

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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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