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 Knapp85
3.35/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a medium shade of amber with a tan colored head on it. The head fizzles away pretty fast leaving just a few spots of foam on the top of the beer. The aroma of this beer is mostly malt to me. Not too much hop aroma or anything coming from it besides maybe a little yeast. The flavor is grainy and buiscuty with some light hop bitterness in the mix. The mouthfeel is pretty good, its not overly watered down or anything like that but it's not heavy either. Not a bad brew to try.

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Photo of chiccabeer
3.54/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this beer into a bottle. Poured with a decent amount of head. The beer looked very good with a murky light amber look to it. It smelled sweet with a fruit smell and a light hint of bananas. I was very disappointed when it came time to taste the beer. It has a lot weaker of a taste then I was expecting and wanting. I did not rate the beer down too much for this, because I would have been rating the beer on my expectations and not the quality of the beer. The after taste is pretty smooth with a interesting after taste that I cannot place. Final thoughts, I think the beer would be good during the summer while relaxing in a chair outside. Maybe too descriptive on that one. Cheers.

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Photo of yeoldeale
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

The only reason why I didn't give this all 5's is because I haven't reviewed enough English pale ales to have a baseline. That said, this was an unbelievably delicious, drinkable ale.

A: Golden, the smallest touch of cloudiness, a dense white head that sticks to the glass.

S: Malts, caramel, a hint of citrus/hops, and honey

T: Like it smells. Delicious. Clean finish.

M: Surprisingly full mouthfeel.

D: Wonderful. A top-notch session beer.

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Photo of eric5bellies
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice amber colour witha tight white head that retains well.

S - Buts of malt, grain and sweet caramel

T - Nice sweet malts up front with some buttrey notes. finishes in a bitter way.

M - Light to medium body and carbonation

O - Very sessionable beer that would go down well at any time

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

Appearance is a light amber tone with a thin white head. Smell is light, some floral as well as citrus there. Taste is a bit sweet, some caramel, orange, low-key hops, malt in the finish. MF is leaning towards light, some carbonation there. This is a nice beer and goes well with almost any meal.

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Photo of KajII
2.88/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in an English Pint]

The pour was a clear light orange with a small (less than 1 finger) white fizzy head which diminished almost immediately after being poured with very poor lacing.

The aroma was of a light bread malt, a slight floral hop and a very mild cobweb yeast with a light fruity ester and a mild hint of caramel.

The taste was a bit malty with a light sweet caramel presence and a slight fruitiness throughout, with the finish becoming mildly bitter towards the end. The flavor faded very quickly from the taste buds with a faint bitterness left behind.

Mouthfeel was light in body and creamy in texture with an average carbonation.

Overall this was a brew that had a decent enough flavor, although it was definitely nothing special. It would however be a decent brew for a hot summer’s day...

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Photo of dansmcd
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - great label. a pale orange colour without much sediment, some head, good lacing

S - citrus peel

T - a bit lacking in bite, but pleasant flavours nonetheless.

M - low carbonation, little bit watery

D - certainly a beer that you could put away a few of in quick time. Being a new fan of the brewery I had high expectations so this was somewhat disappointing overall.

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

This week for the Samuel Smith Salute, we will be featuring their Organic Best Ale. This beer is a close example of the early 20th century English Ales, and it is still brewed with well water from their original well, sunk in 1758. Also, it is of course, still fermented in the famous Samuel Smith stone Yorkshire squares. British Ales such as this one derive a distinctive flavor from the use of Fuggle and Golding hops. This hop combination balances well in a beer because Fuggles are strong and earthy, while Goldings are a bit milder, and slightly sweet. Not only is this a really interesting beer because of it's history, but the label is in line with that of an Old English Ale, and it is made with organic malted barley, organic hops, and organic yeast.

Organic Best Ale pours a bright amber body beneath a thin, snow white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is just lightly fragrant of sweet malt, and floral English hops. The flavors in this beer are complex, yet very delicate. Subtle fruit characteristics such as tangerine, apricot and lemon have developed from the Samuel Smith yeast strain. I am also tasting a nice light, grassy, sort of vegetal flavor. In the background, and on the finish, there is a respectable amount of maltiness and a mild kick of fresh hops, classic for an English Pale Ale. This is an awesome beer, it is really refreshing, and should not be overlooked as one of Samuel Smith's best brews.

Because it is medium bodied, yet simple and easy-drinking, Organic Best Ale can pair well with a variety of foods. Last night I enjoyed it with a warm Israeli Couscous dish that was flavored with lemon and loaded with veggies. The pairing was perfect! This beer would also go well with roasted chicken, a variety of seafood dishes, or Indian food. Sometimes, the best beer and cheese pairings are easy to find if you stay local to the region. Try this beer with a mild, English cheese such as Caerphilly. The earthy, creaminess of this cow's milk cheese will pair beautifully with the citric qualities in the beer.

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

Poured a nice deep hazelnut brown. Great color on this, looked like hickory wood or something. Ample carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass throughout the session, with a small amount of side glass lace around the edge. The head was not too impressive, maybe an inch or so on the pour and fading quickly down to only a thin layer across the top. Looked pretty much like an English ale. Aroma was very grainy, almost musty in smell. Lots of malter bread, and a lot of caramel as well. Had a definite roasted nuts kind of back to it. Very full aroma and very pleasing as well. Not something to be taken lightly, but at the same time also not very heavy. Nice for a good pub ale and quite a bit stronger then most I have smelled in this category..Very nice here, lots of caramel and malt tones that were littered in the back with a tiny bit of English bittering hops. Nice sweetness balancing It all out very very well. I was quite impressed with this one. It was a very full bodied flavor with lots of earthen grain and malt tones. Super smooth and clean would be the best way to describe it. Not too heavy and not very carbonated but still very very good. It was really a nice combination of factors that led to a decent mouthfeel.Great I could have had ano ther with ease when I was done. A rich full feel was just about perfect for drinking. Not a sipper this was a good sit down with the game ale.

Overall I was very impressed with this little brew that I really did not even know that I had. It was quite good and defiantly something worth taking a shot at. I would defiantly recommend trying this one If you can, it might surprise you a bit as it comes through with a lot more quality then I thought it would.

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Photo of adam42381
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Pours a hazy light golden amber with orange highlights and a 1 finger sudsy white head. Very nice lacing.

Smell: Pale malt, sweet grains and caramel with sweet herbal hops and a touch of candied fruit.

Taste: Sweet malt and candied fruit followed by caramel and buttery biscuits in the middle and ending with mildly bitter English hops at the finish. Aftertaste is somewhat dry with a taste of cereal grains.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Goes down very smooth.

Drinkability: High drinkability. You could a few of these without much difficulty.

Overall: Very good beer overall. This is a style that I'd like to see more of. Another fine offering from Samuel Smith's.

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Photo of scootny
4.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge off white head with scads of lace and great retention. Small amount of haze in a golden amber fluid. A toasty nuttiness greets my nose sitting atop a bed of light sweet malt and somewhat lemony hops. Simple but so well done and pleasing to the nose.
Taste is full grains and and toasted biscuits. Hops are perfectly balanced in this one and feature light lemon and herbal leafy notes. Finish is very clean and dry with bread crust and a hint of earth. Feel is soft and supple with a gentle, fine carbonation. Another super session ale from this brewery.

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

550mL single bottle (no date I could find) poured into a Tulip stout glass. Had again on July 1, 2012.

Appearance: Hazy orange-gold colored beer with a dense white head. Hard pour gave a 1/2" big bubbled head, which died down to a ring around the edge of the glass and a thin film across the top. Islands and small strands of lace here and there. Lacing mostly gone by the end of the glass.

Smell: A mild honey-like malt smell combined with some mild fruity ester smells. Hint of butter in there as well.

Taste: Honey-like malt with fruity notes (definite hint of apple, some other fruits I can't quite pull out) taste up front moving into a mild tea-like bitter finish mixed in with some toffee and butter notes. Classic English ale. Well on the malty side of things, but not so sweet as to be cloying. Quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation. Slick with a thickness just a bit thicker than water. Some lingering sensation on the teeth.

Drinkability: Good smell and taste and very much a classic English ale taste....but I think one is enough for me. Went well with a meal (curry chicken) but satisfying in its own right. Right tasty and unlike the last one, I feel like another pint. I think the last one I had truly was older - this one is quite good.

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

Amber in color with a nice 2 finger white head that fizzes down to a tight rim of lace on top of the beer. Very floral in the aroma. Not as sweet smelling as the non-organic version. Good biscuity malt base with some lemon zest. Tangerine, butterscotch with an orange marmalade finish. Interesting. The organic version seems more complex but you can't beat the balance of the origional pale ale. Feels a bit full in the mouth for a Pale Ale but that is a minor complaint. Samuel Smiths are easy drinking beer that is great to share with some good conversation.

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

A: Golden color.
S: Biscuity. Slight tart.
T: Like the smell - caramel, lemony hops. Slight astringency from hops in aftertaste.
M: Medium body and carbonation. Smooth.
O: Less earthy than the non-organic version, and more sour. Also ends up tasting a bit sweeter (or is that astringency?). I think I prefer the other one more, but this one is also very well balanced.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a golden orange color with very little head that clears to a ring of lace.

S - Smells mostly of mild hops and malt maybe a little bit of honey and citrus. Smells clean for an ale.

T - Wow it has a very sold base of sweet malt. It doesn't really have much bitterness which is appreciated but it all seems too light. I guess I can't appreciate a really good organic ale.

M - Light. I could drink a six pack easy.

D - Man I think I could get a sixer for 10.99 which is great for an English beer but is a number one beer? Not really. The smoothest pale ale ever but this hop head needs more.

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

One finger head of white, course bubbles and good clinging lace from the pour. Color is a 6 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell of malt, oats, barley, and a flower honey. Great taste, full of flavor, but not heavy. Flavors of roasted wheat, barley, malt and hops. Nothing fancy in this beer, just a great well rounded flavorful ale. A bit pricey, but a pretty good brew for the money.

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Photo of fank2788
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice buttery yellow with a bright white head that quickly settles to a thin film. The smell is a bit unusual for a pale ale as there is a significant amount of yeasty esters giving off clean fruit aromas. This is over the top of a bit of mineral tang which seems standard for lighter beers from sam smith and a base of pale malt. The fruit is upfront in the taste but followed by classic pale ale bready malt flavor. This is balanced by just enough hop bitterness yet the other hop characteristics are relatively low key. The mouthfeel is quite lively as the carbonation is moderate to high and the finish is pretty dry and clean leaving a bit of bitterness and light fruit. Overall a surprising beer that is quite different from Samuel Smith's standard pale ale.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer has a yellow colour and a decent head that fades into full-surface lacing in about a minute. The smell is of piney hops and maybe a hint of alcohol. The first flavour I tasted was maltiness and a slight amount of yeast. It has a hoppy apple cider aftertaste. My bottle was flat in the mouth. I think maybe I got an old bottle, given that it lacked of carbonation and wasn't especially hoppy.

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Photo of trevorjn06
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber/gold color with a thick, pillowy white head that recedes after a minute. Leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet malts, light caramel, nuttiness, hints of honey and some light fruitiness.

Flavor is smooth malts, light caramel sweetness, hints of butter and a mild yet balancing hop bitterness. Very smooth, mild yet flavorful.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium/low carbonation and a creamy feeling to it.

Overall a very drinkable, refreshing ale with some nice malt depth to it though overall fairly straight-forward. I would buy this again.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gotta move quick on this one...

Beautiful, clear amber with light carbonation. A finger of soapy head forms and quickly dissipates into a faint rim. Very light to no lacing. Strong fruit aromas, some overripe peach, maybe a little pineapple, along with some sweet malt characteristics. Very nice and very British thus far. Beautiful, upfront notes in the flavor. A sharp tanginess, akin to sweet cherries that aren't quite ripe, but close, pervades the middle and finish of this light bodied ale. Very malty at the start, and fades into a malty finish that has hints of hop bitterness. Painfully drinkable, and well-priced at $3.69/550ml bottle. The finish is a weird mish-mash of flavors and that ultimately kills this from being 1st or 2nd tier, but a fine effort from one of the World's finest producers.

What I like most: The wonderful, fruity aromas.

What I like least: The weird, slightly thin finish.

Verdict: Well-priced and very decent effort worth trying.

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

550ml bottle. Produced. Organically.

This beer pours a clear pale golden hue, with one finger of soapy, foamy off-white head, which leaves some nice randomly webbed lace around the glass as it slowly dissipates. It smells of sweet, bready malt, almost pastry-like, with some soft floral, earthy hops. The taste is fairly prominent noble hops - floral, restrained citrus, and earthy, and bready malt. The carbonation is quite soft, the body a fully, no foolin' medium weight, smooth, and clean. It finishes fairly sweet, the malt holding it over the nice, but not overpowering floral, grassy hops.

Wow, much more hoppy than I've come to expect from this brewery, but just enough to play nice with the expected subtle, yet complex malt.

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Photo of Morey
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a very hazy copper-orange color with a nice one finger head following my medium pour. Head has settled to a thin lace after only a few minutes. Little in the way of head retention.

The aroma is malt dominated with a faint sweet/fruity smell. Kind of reminds me a bit of apple cider. Mild, but it's there.

Taste. This is definitely an English Pale all the way. Heavy on the malts, and not so much on the hops. There is a slight bitterness from the hops up front, but the malts rush in to take over and finish things off.

Medium to somewhat heavy mouthfeel with a good carbonation level.

Due to the thick maltiness of English Pales, I have a hard time drinking several of them. I could do a couple, but then I'd be ready to switch it up.

Morey's Bottom Line: I bought a single bottle at Wegmans, and I'm not sure how old this bottle is. That being said, it's pretty malty, but it still taste pretty good. No sediment, and it still had ample carbonation. If you are a fan of malty ales, this won't disappoint.

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Photo of Brent
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a moderately hazy amber/gold. Lots of apple notes in both aroma and flavor, with an unfiltered apple juice note dominating the flavor profile. Some distinctively caramel malt also plays a central role. Hopping was modest, and the beer a bit on the sweet side.

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

Slightly chill-hazed golden with a two finger white head that has decent retention and lacing.

Nose has citrus hoppiness, light fruits and a slight copper/minerally background.

Taste has mild sweetness, floral and citrus hops, bready malts and the copper/mineral flavor. All flavors are mild and subtle.

Mouthfeel is medium, creamy and smooth with low-average carbonation.

Overall a mellow beer, mild but has some complexities. Nice session beer.

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Photo of prosper
2.98/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very light colour, mid-yellow, similar to pils urquell.

Smells of lemony hops, with some light toasty malts.

Taste is decent... nothing special. Bitter, slightly hoppy, a bit floral perhaps with a faint trace of earthyness, and it has a fruity tartness, sort of berry-like. This is really a cream ale, a 'summer bitter.' Not lots of flavour going on here. This was obviously intended to appeal to the lager crowd.

Mouthfeel is very light and dry. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a hefty percentage of plan sugar in the recipe.

Drinkability is decent, but there's really nothing charming about it to compel you to have another.

Overall, a well-made beer, but ultimately a little disappointing.

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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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