Friday, November 11, 2011

Samuel Smith's Organically Produced Ale

The last bottle of the free case of Samuel Smith's beers I earned at Mahar's. This is their organic ale: yet another traditional English pub-style bitter or pale ale. It is USDA certified organic, and probably the only non-American organic beer I've ever had. But does organic equal higher quality? Watch the review and find out.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chad9976 (567) - Albany, New York, USA - NOV 9, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Rusty orange/brown color with extreme haziness. Forms a small, off-white soapy head which doesn’t retain or lace much at all.

Smell: Cider-like notes of red apple, cinnamon, toffee, and an overall lightly sweet aroma.

Taste: I’ve never been a huge fan of British pub-style ales because they tend to be too mild for my preferences. Samuel Smith’s Organically Produced Ale is a little different because it does have plenty of flavor, but probably only for more refined, sensitive palates. Served at cellar temperature it’s remarkably sweet and candy-like and very drinker-friendly.

It begins with a sweet fruity taste of red apple - much like straight apple juice or cider with hints of cinnamon. There’s a noticeable maltiness at work, too, making the palate quite gentle. Then the second appears out of nowhere with a (relatively) intense burst of sticky, syrupy, confectionary sweetness. Toffee is the biggest flavor with caramel and butterscotch a close second. It finishes with a light dry bitterness and accompanying aftertaste that’s slightly pasty, but never cloying. Both stages of the palate are very enjoyable with the first half seeming to indicate the fruity, organic, earthiness of the brew and the second half taking it in another direction with candy store-like flavors.

Mouthfeel: Not quite medium-bodied, but definitely not a light beer. Very soft and almost creamy in texture with extremely fine, supple carbonation.

Drinkability: The flavor is genuine, but never cloying or overbearing. The comfortable mouthfeel and smooth finish make it easy to gulp down, and it’s even a little refreshing while in the mouth

Grade: 8/10

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