Guys named Sam
seem to love their beer. Almost everybody in America knows about the Samuel
Adams line of beers, named for a great American patriot who is also reputed
to have been a brewer. That may or may not have been true, but we do know
Sam loved his beer. In England, Samuel Smith started a brewery on a bit
smaller scale than the enterprise launched by Jim Koch here in the states,
but of great renown for the quality of its brew.
It might be interesting if Sam Adams and Sam Smith could sit down and have a
beer together. Perhaps Sam the bartender from Cheers could pour for
them, making our little flight of fantasy complete. If we could arrange
this, I’m sure they would both enjoy a tall glass of Samuel Smith’s
Organic Ale. Not because it’s organic, but because it’s a tasty brew.
Samuel Smith’s Brewery has been around for a long time, since 1758 to be
exact. His Organic Ale, however, is a more recent invention. Feeding
upon concerns the public has over the use of pesticides upon crops, Samuel
Smith’s certifies that none are used in the production of the barley and
hops that go into this ale.
I’ve gone on record as saying that I don’t think this makes much difference
from a purely aesthetic point of view. Your beer won’t taste any different
because it’s organic. So, only those who are fanatical about consuming only
organic products need take heed of the certification.
The rest of us might want to drink Organic Ale for a far simpler reason: it
tastes good. It is not more expensive than the rest of the Sam Smith’s line,
and it’s a pale ale a bit different than Sam’s Old Brewery Pale Ale
with perhaps a touch more hops in the finish.
The Samuel Smith line is brought into the United States by Merchant du
Vin, a Seattle-based importer of fine beers. Founded by wine and beer
savant Charles Finkel, Merchant du Vin has a reputation for seeking out
world-class breweries to represent in the domestic market. They also have a
reputation for selling their beer at premium prices.
This can be bad, because it sometimes slows down the sales of the beer and
can lead to the consumer receiving stale beer. I buy my Samuel Smith’s beer
at Sherlock’s in Marietta, Georgia for $2.99 a bottle. The turnover is good.
Recently Sherlock’s ran a sale and reduced the price to $2.49 a bottle and
the beer literally flew off the shelves, with several varieties being sold
out in a short period of time. Perhaps because of this, my bottle of Organic
Ale was exceedingly fresh.
Samuel Smith’s Organic Ale pours to a golden-orange color with a
thick creamy head and a fruity apple nose. The palate is smooth with a
creamy mouthfeel and a hint of biscuity malt. There is a touch of fruit that
gradually yields to a gentle, grassy hop bitterness. All this makes for a
very drinkable and tasty beer, somewhat similar to the Old Brewery Pale
Ale as previously mentioned. The use of brown bottles as opposed to
clear glass used for the latter has prevented the annoying skunkiness I
often find in the Old Brewery Pale, at least in my sample tonight.
Try this with poultry, fish, or red meat. I enjoyed a bottle with baked
chicken breasts marinated in fresh lemon juice and seasoned with fresh
ground pepper accompanied by oven roasted potatoes and fresh green beans.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.