Samuel Smith's India Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale

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1,735 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,735
Reviews: 904
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 28
Gots: 122 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,735 | Reviews: 904
Reviews by BeerDocT:
Photo of BeerDocT
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance 3.75: Poured out with a decent (1/4") head. Deep golden color with OK lacing. Completely translucent.

Smell 3.25: Muted bouquet. I smell a deep maltiness, but strangely, very little hops. There is a certain floral nose to this beer that is pleasant.

Taste 4.0: Front is deep, malty and somewhat dry. Middle features a distinct biscuity taste (probably from the yeast, I'm thinking, rather than the malt) and a hard to identify -somewhat bitter-- maltiness. Finish is dry, and features a big punch of chlorophyll-flavored British hops. These hops are focused more on flavor than alkalinity. This fades slowly into a pleasant aftertaste where a distinct alkaline bite creeps in sticks around for a bit before fading into a pleasant malt taste.

Mouthfeel 3.75: Right on the nose for this style and the tastes they are trying to accentuate.

Overall 3.75: Great beer and a fantastic introduction to the ancestor of America's current brewing obsession, the IPA. This beer is not hop-focused and in fact it seems that certain special malts (and perhaps a yeast strain) have been chosen for their ability to mask -or, perhaps, better match-- the large number of hops used in this brew. This is a malty, biscuity, somewhat dry brew, but it is very refreshing and would be excellent with food. Certainly worth a try for any of my fellow "Continental" hop-heads, but taste it with an education about what you are drinking. This is not an American IPA and that is not a bad thing.

More User Reviews:
Photo of titty_mcbitty
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Like a normal pale but darker and possibly a tad bit murkier. Not much of a head the way I poured into the glass.

S: Not much here; although I'm not the best judge of aroma of beers. If anything, I get woody notes and some bitterness.

T: Awesome! After tasting Coopers Sparkling Ale I was looking for a beer in similar style and this exceeded my expectations. I love the English-style pale ale more than the American and this is the prime example of why. Earthy tones, bitterness from the hops, nice caramel malt backbone, breadiness, and yeast.

M: Thicker than expected. Medium I'd say with a good creaminess. Kind of yeasty. Very tasty.

O: This is what makes a good English style pale ale. Nice and crispy, yet full of flavors. The English touch (the breadiness and toffee-like character) makes this beer a winner not only in style but in craft.

Photo of oberon
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark amber color with little to no head,mine had been onthe shelf for awhile and developed a winey smell to it but it held up well.The malt in this IPA was very evident upfront with a good hpsmack in the end.A very well made IPA even sitting on shelf for almost a year u could taste the flavors of a very good well-made ale.

Photo of RoyalT
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Almost clear orange in the body with a little carbonation and a big head that went down quickly and cleanly.

Smell – The floral hop aroma is laden with fruit, predominantly peach. I can also pick up some grapefruit. Behind that is a strong malt backbone. This is yet another balanced Sam Smith’s.

Taste – There it is; the classic Sam Smith. The malt base is laced with caramel and extremely smooth. The hops are fruity as they are in the nose with a bit of spicing.

Mouthfeel – Once again, this is an extremely smooth and creamy Sam Smith’s. The buttery undertones, mildness and balance of flavors, and subtle carbonation give this one a terrific mouthfeel. I feel that this is the strong point of the ale.

Drinkability – Not your heavy-hitting West Coast IPA by any means, but a terrific session ale in step with traditional English tastes.

Photo of ExtraStout
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%

A - Beautiful clear, dark amber. Thick, creamy head that stays a reasonable amount of time and leaves a good amount of soft, thick lacing.

S - No discernible specific notes in the smell. Light, a little hoppy. Maybe a touch of fruity scent.

T - Kind of generic tasting. Good, but nothing unusual or unique. A little sour, but a fruity sour, not a spoiled sour.

M - Very clean, light feel. No oiliness, no real bitter aftertaste (just a nice hop.)

Wish I could offer a more interesting perspective or review, but all I can say it it's just a pleasant, easy drinking ale that's not spectacular, but nothing to complain about either.
I'd willingly have another, and that's good for me.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a new copper colored beer with thick, creamy, white head. There isn't much in the way of smell, especially for an IPA. I get a very faint, soft, fruity hop smell. The taste is metallic then sweet for just a second before going very dry with a big bitterness and a dry, clean finish. Mouthfeel is on the thicker side with some stinging carbination. While there isn't really anything wrong with this beer, there is nothing terribly interesting about it either. I'd sooner take some of its American counterparts, especially for the price. Not Sam Smith's best beer by a long shot. Interestingly, I've had this beer past it's prime (like almost a year old probably) and thought it was very good. It had fun butterscotch flavors then.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pour from a 550ml brown bottle is a hazy amber with a white head with little retention. Can't find any freshness info on the bottle. The smell is sweet and malty with notes of grain and grass. The hop nose is pretty understated. The flavors are very malty with notes of the aforementioned grass and grain. The hop flavors are weak and the finish is bland to average with regard to the hoppiness. The body is okay tending towards syrupy and leaving an unpleasant film on the pallet. If I were to select a Euro Bitter or India style ale this would not be one of my top choices.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber golden with a small dense bubbly head.

Obvious hops in the nose, but not a blast in the face like a lot of other IPAs. You can pick up on the malt also.

Kind of mild tasting from what I'm used to in an IPA, but I guess that's the difference between English & American IPAs. Extremely well-rounded and balanced, just like all other S.S. beers. I feel like the malt stands out just as well as the hops, in this beer.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and easygoing. Refreshing.

Highly drinkable. If you were up to it, drinking a 4 pack in a sitting would be very possible. This beer is unlike most IPAs. Doesnt leave my mouth all that dry, either. Recommended, but dont expect a hop-monster.

Photo of NWer
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Popped the bottle cold from the beer fridge into a pint glass.
Initial reaction was underwhelming.
Fortunately, I left it for a couple of hours and when I came back to it, it was sublime.
The wonderful balance of fruitiness and hops blended to a taste to behold.
Definitely not to be consumed cold in my opinion.

Photo of grynder33
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy amber orange color, like that of a sunset, faint malt hop aroma, the taste is surprisingly more malty than hoppy and somewhat on the light side, but overall its good. I like it i guess, not because of a big taste, but rather the balance and drinkablity. You could stick with this all night

Photo of Jason
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 18.7-ounce brown "Victorian Pint" bottle, no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Deep copper orange in colour with a wispy off white lace.

Smell: A touch of tartness in the nose as well as tangy hop aroma.

Taste: Medium bodied and on the dry side. Nice crisp mouth feel with a moderate carbonation, semi aggressive prickly hop bitterness that leaves a tea like twang throughout. Malt flavour is like a pulled punch ... light caramel, hint of butterscotch and a handful of grain. Hop flavour is dominant in the finish also with an orange pekoe tea flavour.

Notes: A decent ale ... though small in comparison to other modern day IPAs both British and especially American. Oddly enough this brew is not any bit stronger than the Pale Ale in alcohol ... the body and hops are only a notch higher in comparison. Not a bad ale ... at least the English characteristics make this brew an interesting ale.

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

550 ml bottle sampled, no freshness dating. Pours a nice dark honey almond shade, fairly clear and supporting a creamy light tan head with some retentive powers. lacing is quite well developed and long lasting. Nose is malty, yeasty, bready. This is classicaly British brew, maltyness balanced nicely by understated but present hopping for an IPA.Mineraly water quite evident. Real nice ale , give me some english chedder and bread, and I'll be in beer heaven.

Photo of Homebrew35
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a big creamy off white head. Hazy pale body. Smells mostly of bready malts, yeasty esters and some sweet crystal malts. Tastes of pale malts, bready yeast, some citrus hops. Fairly crisp finish. Some lingering bitterness to balance it out. Full bodied, medium carbonation. I could have a few of these at a time. This tastes like an english ale through and through. I won't seek this again for some time but will give it another go when I'm in the mood for an easy drinking english style beer.

Photo of Mora2000
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of floral and perfume from the hops as well as some bread and a little bit of earthiness. The flavor is the same. I get a low to medium amount of bitterness with some grass and earth notes. There is also a slight amount of floral notes in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650mL bottle in the Sam Smith's gift pack, which came with a snappy little Sam Smith's glass as well.

Poured into said glass. Light amber-caramel in colour, some visible carbonation, decent head of foam that survives as a thick ring with some clouds of lacing.

Nose is quite faint - some malt sweetness, biscuit, caramel. Little of the hops I was expecting here. I need to temper this review with my expectations of what an EIPA should be, and what people have been brewing recently, but I have to say I'm not getting much hop character here.

Decent brew that would sit in the bitter category were it not for some hop bitterness to the finish. Malt heavy, lingering bitterness. Drinks well enough, but not really the brew I was expecting.

Carbonation is somewhat assertive, and the brew has moderate body with a slightly oil feel.

For Sam Smiths, this brew was a disappointment. I was hoping for (what I feel to be) a classic EIPA, and got really...nothing special. Fairly standard pale ale with a bit of extra hops to the finish. Again, expectations play their part in this, but judging from others' perspectives, I'm not alone in thinking that this brew could have been a lot better.

Photo of mattster
2.99/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opened 550ml bottle and poured into pint glass.

Appearance is amber to golden brown with minimal head, some lacing on glass. Beer is slightly hazy with little to no bubbles present.

Aromas are somewhat muted, but I get taste of malts and faint citrus. I like the presence of hops and this beer is nicely bitter. The finish is a tad bitter, but it is gone rather quickly.

Beer drinks really smooth, but this isn't anything super impressive, but not a bad beer either.

Photo of Byeast
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This ale from Sam Smiths is quite good. It pours a deep amber , " golden sunset". Very pleasant hoppy aroma ; as well as a scent that seemingly all Samuel Smith beers posess. Nice malty flavour and bitter hop finish. Light mouthfeel . A very drinkable IPA . Seems like its not as heavily hopped as many IPAs.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 550ml amber bottle with a blurb about the "IPA". No freshness dating.

Appearance: Poured a rich-looking "burned orange" color with a rocky white head that thickly laced my glass.

Smell: Quite different than expected from an IPA. Not nearly as hoppy (citrus/spice/floral) as I would have thought. Slightly sweet/tart aroma noted.

Taste: It is amazing how different beers can be from one another, yet still be classified as an IPA. I'm much more used to American IPA's, but this one is very good, too. Very well-balanced, with a malty sweetness that complements the bittering effect. Nothing too "over-the-top" as is often seen with some of the Yankee IPA's. If this is the spot-on English IPA, I am definitely impressed. Very different, yet very good with regards to what I've had in the past.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy. Full-bodied with the near-perfect carbonation level.

Drinkability: Slightly sour aftertaste is actually well-paired with the oily bitterness that resides on the palate. Finishes dry with a bit of an aftertaste. Again, nothing too "in your face", and one that leaves you ready for another.

Photo of bsp77
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Mostly clear golden-amber with nice off-white head and slight lacing.

Smell: Light English hops that are floral and metallic. Undercurrent of some mild tea-like malts.

Taste: Some fruity and tea-like malts that are quickly overtaken by floral, metallic and bitter English hops.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, dry finish.

Drinkability: Pleasant enough English IPA that showcases English hops well, but does not have as much depth as I expect from a good Samuel Smith beer.

Photo of magictrokini
2.27/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Extremely disappointed by this beer. Pours clear yellow with a foamy white head. Nose is weak, very weak. Mostly goldings and pale malt/bread aroma with mineral water. Watery, shify mouthfeel. Pale/golden ale flavor with mor malt than anything else. I didn't look at the ingredients, but I'll bet "hops" is nowhere on the list. Tastes more like a Pale Ale that was poured into a dirty glass that may have contained an IPA at some point. Charlatan!

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served a clear 12 oz bottle into a nonic glass.

Light copper,bit cloudy,off-white head dissapating into layer of foam with soapy looking bubbles,but lacing the glass.
A complex aroma very fruity,spicy,flowery,winey,apple like,soft and pleasing,the wine aromas dominated as the beer warmed.
A winey taste,yet fruity,hints of alcohol,A dry tartness thats slightly sour, like green apples.No real hop tastes a bit on the watery side.
A light mouthfeel,dry and grainey.
Very drinkable,lacks body though,remind me more of an ESB than an India.English style is a lot different than the American. Not a bad beer,a bit lacking for me.Nothing I would buy again,but I wouldn't turn it down if it was offered either. A bit disappointing.

Photo of Swedes21
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

550 ml served in a chilled glass

Appearance - Beer pours a gorgeous auburn colour with about 3 fingers of head. The head is a slight off white with some good air bubbles. Almost no carbonation in the beer. Some good lacing is occurring.

Smell - This is a earth tone based beer. There are some floral and fruits scents, citrus comes to mind. As well, a slight hint of caramel tied into the hops.

Taste - Not a bad tasting beer, some decent amount of citrus taste that is covered with a bitter end. The caramel comes to the front early on.

Mouthfeel - Minimal amount of carbonation added here, however, the citrus comes fwd along with the earthy nodes. There is a slightly more lingering after taste as well.

Drinkability - I am sure this would be a decent session beer, not something I would drive across the world to find.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, gold foil top poured into a pint glass.

Pours an Amber that's very light and clear with a small light yellow head. Nose is fairly mild, a bit grassy and happy but not over the top.

Taste is a bit sweet, not too bitter but still well balanced, there's a light grassy bite on the end that's refreshing and fairly smooth.

Photo of mjtiernan
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

550ml bottle poured into a straight sided pint glass. Bottled 11/2/10...damn you complicated dating codes! This is old as hell.

A: Golden straw body sits beneath generous tight bubbles. Tons of lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Slight caramel from pale malt. A touch of diacetyl AND green apple. Grain, some grassiness...probably not as much as when it was fresh.

T: May not represent what it can be but it’s definitely drinkable. Kind of sweet. Hardness of the water is evident. Grain flavor but not harsh. Not much on the hop front. Slight signs of oxidation.

M: Although there is a lot of carb, the overall mouthfeel is fairly flat. Body is medium, texture is watery.

O: It’s probably been 10+ years since I’ve had one of these and I’m disappointed that I purchased such an old bottle. I’ll be sure to pay better attention to the cryptic date code next time.

Photo of Kraken
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. Consumed 3/30/09

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. Firm pour conjures a scant snowy white head. Head vanishes very quickly leaving a very spotty lace. Color is a deep brown amber.

Nose- Muted, almost dull, orange citrus. Lots of caramel notes.

Palate- Active on the tongue. Plenty of caramel notes, citrus notes are dull, kind of a preserved/or candied orange. Not bright or floral, however not brooding or resinous either. Some very mute lemon. Lots of biscuit. Overly balanced almost malt forward IPA, as if the hops were an after thought.

Mouthfeel- Active on the tongue, syrupy quality to it.

Drinkability- Good but not my first choice in IPAs

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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,735 ratings.