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

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Samuel Smith's Organic Best AleSamuel Smith's Organic Best Ale
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 615 |  Reviews: 374
Photo of JasonCoop
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a slightly cloudy light amber color, foamy white head.

smells like sweet ripe fruit and malts

taste is very malty and slightly fruity. decent body to it, it's pretty smooth.

mouthfeel is nice, not too light. very smooth and drinkable but a bit pricey.

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Photo of masikon
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an classic pale orange to yellow with a fizzy head which recedes leaving no lacing. smell is dry and malty without much on the way of hoppy notes, true to style more on the English earthy side nosewise. Taste is dry and somewhat sweet with some cracker or biscuity suggestions as well as just the hints of sweet butterscotch or honey. A very non-offensive and easy to drink brew, classic in every way...above average but nothing about it really makes it anything to search out.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured too cold to go with a meatloaf dinner. Pours a pretty golden with a nice full white head.

Aroma is malty with a slight bitterness, grassy and nice. Generally weak and unexciting (but not bad).

Flavor is fresh and clean and with a medium hop bitterness. Generally a nice version of an English Pale Ale, but it doesn't grab me.

2006 UPDATE: Now that my palate has evolved, I have to give this high marks as one of the better (best?) British ales to be available here in the colonies. Good thing I kept giving this more chances!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystalline apricot beneath a large, white chocolate head that is a thing of beauty. It deflated fairly quickly from four fingers to two, and has now settled in for the long haul. I'm beginning to see a thick, unbroken collar of lace that bodes well for extensive glass coating as the beer falls with drinking.

Organically Produced Ale has a classic EPA nose. I can appreciate plenty of sweet pale malt with a pleasing undercurrent of butterscotch and maybe even light caramel. English hops are present as well. They're earthily fruity and herbal rather than brightly citric like their New World cousins.

The flavor follows the nose directly. There's a decent amount of buttered biscuit-like malt (especially for a pale ale) that doesn't strike me as diacetyl-like, but rather as a slighty offbeat aspect of the overall personality. It's a tad sweeter than I remember the non-organic version being, but it's been a long time since I had the other beer.

As in the nose, the fruity hops hold up their end of the bargain. They bring the beer into a near perfect balance that is maintained throughout each mouthful and from first sip to last (although I haven't quite gotten to the last one yet). For some reason, I often taste oranges in English pale ales. This one tastes like pleasantly bitter, not overly sweet, orange-butterscotch candy.

I'm impressed with the way the crown persists and the way in which it reforms with each subsequent pour. I'm equally impressed by a thick, chunky band of lace currently residing at midglass. The mouthfeel is out of this world. It's bigger, firmer and more mouthfilling than one typically finds in a pale ale. Short and sweet: it's IPA-like.

I find it hard to believe that the organic version of Samuel Smith's Pale Ale is different from the non-organic version. Any score differences between the two must, therefore, be attributable to mood, timing, phase of the moon, etc. That's what makes beer appreciation much more of an art than a science. All I know is, this is a very good English ale that I'll drink whenever I get the chance.

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.06/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: golden orange with decent white head.
Smell: malts
Taste: tastes bitterness and malts. Some cherry flavor in the back.
Mouthfeel: Smooth medium body with some carbonation.
Drinkability: this does not excite me, but since it is organic, it's probably saving a tree somewhere (not sure how though).

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

Poured a clear copper color with a good foaming head. As time passed so did the head. Smell was very malty. Sweet, fruity and carmel apple like. Very little hops in the scent maybe even a bit yeasty. Taste was biscuit like and a bit yeasty. Sweet fruit flavors as well. Little bit of bitter in the aftertaste but not much. Finish is very dry. Another good Samuel Smith's brew.

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Photo of dciskey
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from a 550ml bottle into my nonic with about 3/4 finger head, which dissapates somewhat quickly to a ring at the edge. No real lacing. The color is golden and amber.

Smell is malt with a touch of apple, and a tiny bit of hops. Taste is biscuity malt, yeast and apples, and a tiny bit of what I think is the hard water, as I've noticed it in other Sam Smith beers. It's not overpowering, though. As the beer warms it becomes a little more malty and yeasty and a little less fruity. I like the fruitiness myself so that's kiind of a bummer but the taste stays balanced the whole time.

Mouthfeel seems about right on for the style, carbonation is present but not excessive. This is a good beer, gobs better than the Bass pints I've had in various bars, though I prefer it on the colder edge of the temperature range.

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Photo of pweis909
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Seemed more like a nut-brown than a pale ale. But enjoyable.

This sweet ale (poured from a 550 mL bottle) was brown-amber in color and lost it's head rapidly. Carbonation was slight, which may have contributed to smooth, buttery mouthfeel.

The ale smelled strongly of sweet malt but also of yeast, and, as I brought it to my mouth, faintly of toast and apples. After I started drinking it, I detected a metallic odor amidst the malt.

The ale had little hop bitterness. The sweet malt carried the taste, but was not cloying.

I had the second half of the bottle with food. Paired ok with toast and cheese, not so good with plum.

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Photo of kgotcher
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

550 ml bottle

Found this in my local Wild Oats store. I like the idea of Organic beer. I wish more beer companies would produce organic brews.

Pours a nice orange/amber, very clear, a good amount of carbonation that continues to bubble very lightly. Fairly light head that doesn't really go away and has nice light lacings.

Smell has a noticable amount on malt, just a hint of hops, did I smell apple?

Taste is fairly balanced but just a bit on the sweet side. Malt flavor hangs around afterwards. Leaves a nice rich malty, yeasty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a bit weak at first but then makes up for it as it becomes bready toward the end.

Overall drinkability is great. Nothing overly challenging to the pallete but the nice bready malty and yeasty aftertaste is interesting. A great beer to drink anytime.

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Photo of cubedbee
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright copper color with tons of carbonation bubbles but a scant head that dissappears right away. Aroma is a muted honey and floral scent. Taste is a rich honeylike malt giving way to a slightly citric finish and just a delicate touch of bitterness on the end. Medium bodied with a rounded creamy feel. This is one unique tasting English Pale Ale and it's a pretty good one at that.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It’s odd seeing such disparity in the reviews of this beer. Either the quality varies widely – a definite possibility given the transoceanic distribution of a non-bottle conditioned session ale – or the taste is such a low-and-outside curveball that many just can’t connect. Personally, I enjoyed the heck out of this beer though the taste is distinctive almost to the point of distraction.

First comes the heavy, cidery aroma rolling off the pale, lightly clouded saffron body. Freaky Brit malts and specialty yeasts come to dominate the nose and taste creating a profile unknown to American pales. Bittering is only introduced for balance with no great reliance on hops for flavor or aroma. The warm honey-toast flavor comes across as dignified and appealing.

This is a classy and distinctive ale. And it’s organic. When the Brits say, “It’s organic, mate,” it doesn’t quite have the same ring as when we Americans say, “It’s organic, dude.” Still, I’ve never had an American pale that tasted remotely like this.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite a nice looking pale, dark honeyish with a great bubbly/rocky white head. That goes to leave good lacing.
The aroma is mostly of honey sweet malts, though the tang of the hops is always there..this smells pretty fresh.
Good tasteng ale, honeyish maltiness, always with some slightly citric hoppiness, near the end the hoppiness takes over and it ends with a good bitter aftertaste.
Quie good on the palate, quite tthick for an English brewed pale.
I found this beer very easy to drink, it appeals to me as a summer beer.

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Photo of Dmann
4.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this beer is fucking great! A perfect example of a Engish Pale Ale and a super drinkable session beer as well. As with all Sam Smith beers I've had, the beer looked great. It poured a light amber color with a small white head that stuck around to the glass till the end. The smell was kind of subtle but nice with a very earthy hop scent and mild citrus notes in there too. The taste was great and was close to the smell; it had a good dose of light malt sweetness and citrus in the start which faded into some earthy hop flavors and ended on a mild sweetness. This is a wonderfully crafted brew and I definantly recommend it!

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Photo of sinistermadman
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a bright copper while jetting a nice head which soon settles to almost nothing.
Smell is almost like a fruit punch. Am I crazy? Smells pretty good, but quite subdued. Smell is very natural, or should I say organic.
Taste is raw and unrefined. A sort of citrus tinge bites first, but then morphs into a grainy almost vegetable character. Very unique. Mouthfeel is full, but not sticky or onerous. Well balanced and quite drinkable. A finely crafted which makes the most of its ingredients.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, pale nectarine, likable snow-white froth atop.
Aroma is light citrus, straw, herbal.
Taste: light on the palate, easily supped, a well-rounded, lightly hopped, tasty thing. Neat, coppery malt, biscuity bright, crisp and delicious. Medium bodied, with a tapering, malty finish.
Nice, grainy mouthfeel, tangy texture... very well-played in the mouth, an an immaculately conceived ale, well worth the drinking.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an inviting golden brown body with a solid inch of blonde head comprised of a variety of bubble sizes.

Smell: Smells like like hops, faint notes of apple cider and some dry woody notes.

Taste: The taste is really great. Its such a fresh burst of pretzel yeasty flavor and an overall flavor of Marzen style beers. There is a nice apple color in the back of the taste as well. It mellows into a yeasty hop after taste but the fruit flavor remains.

Mouthfeel: The body is very round and filling. Ooh baby.

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Photo of beertastegood
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden/copper color with a rocky white head that went down after a few minutes. Smells of nutty toffee and grassy hops. Tastes similar, but with a slight metallic taste that was kind of off-putting. Didn't last too long, but it was kind of strange. Finish is crisp and clean, slightly dry. Medium bodied with average carbonation. Not too bad, but Sam Smith makes many many better beers.

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Photo of mynie
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark orange, like a good pale ale, a very large, foamy head.

Smells of big bread malts and citrusy hops. Unique, to say the least. Unlike any other beer I've ever smelt. Almost perfectly complex and strong. Very nice.

Tastes like bread upfront, moving into biscuit, moving into caramel. The back brings in some light hints of a citrus fruit and it ends on a hop note. Very clean, crisp, and quite refreshing.

This is God's own picnic beer--what the big man himself drinks after doing something especially holy, like creating kittens. For us mortals it's perfect for when you've just got done doing something manly like mowing a lawn. I need to get on the horn and see about scaring myself up a case of it for Memorial Day.

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Photo of foamer
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden yellow with a froth head with very good retention. Some malt and faint citrusy hops in the nose. Taste begins with earthy malts and then developed to a lingering dry hoppy finish with a touch of citrus in the end. Mouthfeel is nice. Not too heavy or too light - just right. This would make a tasty session ale. I could have a number of these in a row and not get bored. Nicely complex for the style. A shame Sam Smiths does do more cask ales - this would make a lovely cask ale.

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Photo of theozag
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

About 40% opaque once it settles ino your pint glass; crystaline orange color with a frothy, thick, white head that fades to a lasting film after a few minutes. Smell is a tart, floral aroma with crisp, clean edge; simply put, it's delightful. This ale's taste is a crafty hop blen dover a clean, crisp start. It settles on the tongue with a medium body and flavors including wheat, apple, and creme. The finish is malty-smooth with an oily, heavy aftertaste that lasts a while after the beer is gone.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, golden-orange hue with a smallish white, bubbly head that subsides quickly. Pleasant aroma of sweet malt, a touch of hops, and some biscuity notes. Crisp, clean taste, but not in the American macro way. Medium body holds a palate of light malt up front. The hops come out towards the back of the mouth, resulting in a balanced, mellow finish with a touch of biscuit and citrus on the aftertaste. A great beer for a session, this one goes down smooth and easy while maintaining its character.

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Photo of kosmoraios
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

How incredibly refreshing. This ale pours a slightly murky orange color into my glass, with a small head that is gone quickly, but leaves some lace clinging to the glass. The aroma is of somewhat toasty malt with a bit of rising bread dough. Taste is crisp and clean with some extraordinarily balanced flavors of malt and hops, a soupçon of citrus and a tinge of very light toffee sweetness. The mouthfeel holds it's own with ample carbonation and pepperiness. Very drinkable ale.

For some reason, this "Organically Produced" version is crisper, cleaner, and just "feels better" if you can dig that. I'm not sure what the cause of that is. Pale Ale is not my favorite style, but I very much enjoyed this ale. I think it is a prime example of it's style.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a slightly cloudy golden color with a thing head that recedes to a fine ring. A little unimpressive, but looks provide the least bit of physical stimulation of the beer experience. Presentation is important, but not so important that I was worried this beer might suck due to its unimpressive appearance.

I found the balance between hops and malts to be impeccable in both the smell and taste. Each time I would take a drink or a whiff, I would simultaneously experience the sweetness of the malts and the bitterness and bouqet of the hops. Also detected some esters from the yeast and a slight doughy flavor. Very tasty. I enjoyed this much better than the Sam Smith's Pale Ale.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly hazy orange color, white film across the top.

Aroma: Very slight malt with a touch of hops. Low aroma, hard to detect anything.

Flavor: Touch of caramel, fairly sweet malt, with a citrusy, lemony hop presence. Bitterness is moderate, but hop flavor is pleasant. Moderately fruity, with a clean finish. Lacks the astringency and diacetyl of other Sam Smith beers.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation, medium-light body.

An easy drinking, uncomplex beer. Lacks any of the bold characters of the rest of the Sam Smith line.

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Photo of CVC
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Came in a dark 18.7 oz. bottle; served in a pint glass.

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a pure white, two-finger, bubbly head. Stays around for a while and leaves a good amount of lace. Smells earthy, and yeast and wheat. Tastes sweet and pale, yeast, wheat, and maybe hints of honey. Organic. Has a solid mouthfeel which fits the beer.

This stuff's all right. It has a very organic taste to it, and it's almost like Fat Tire, but paler and a little better. A little too weak and pale for my tastes, but I'd get it again.

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Samuel Smith's Organic Best Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 615 ratings
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