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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,580 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,580
Reviews: 865
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 19
Gots: 57 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's India Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,580 | Reviews: 865 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

British style bitter IPA. I liked it but younger mates wanted more wallop and even less bite, which was soft. Foamy pour. Amber with oil residue and clinging lace. Lemon citrus with mid-sip Apple spice and orange pekoe tea throughout and the latter as the aftertaste. Nice aroma.

Sammy, May 13, 2004
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

t0rin0, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-clear amber color with a puffy 2 inch light tan head that fades to a small cap. Nice tight thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel/toffee, and a delicate citrus zest aroma. Taste is of biscuit-like malt, caramel, and a subdued citrus zest hop flavor on the finish. Mild toasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lighter body with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good, very easy drinking English IPA and another good beer from Samuel Smith’s.

UCLABrewN84, Jul 28, 2011
Photo of djrn2
2.5/5  rDev -32.1%

djrn2, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

spycow, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

zestar, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

acurtis, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +8.7%

nmann08, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear copper in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly faded away, leaving only delicate lacing covering the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of fruity yeast (apples stand out in particular) and caramel malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is a bit fruity with notes of caramel from the malts. Only a slight amount of bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied yet a bit watery on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink, has a good balance, and is extremely sessionable. I would have no problem drinking several of these in succession.

metter98, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear light amber color with a modest head that leaves a few shards of lacing behind

Smell: Biscuity, butterscotch malts take center stage, with a backdrop of earthy, tobacco-influenced hops

Taste: The biscuity malts open the flavor profile, with a hint of butterscotch adding a sweeter depth; by mid-palate, the earthy hops take their turn, adding some sweet tobacco bitterness; the finish is nicely balanced between the sweet malts and the English hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The quintessential English IPA - this is a classic

brentk56, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Luminous tangerine peel orange capped with a pale orange-tinted ecru cap that is heavily creamy and that leaves a few scattered chunks of foamy lace when it departs. A classic IPA look, English or otherwise. The nose is appetizingly earthy-fruity, exactly what I would expect from a beer that uses English hops. It's weaker than I'd like, but the head is still at two fingers and is probably muffling the aroma to some extent.

India Ale isn't as hoppy as it could be, probably because my palate has become used to American IPAs. That's not quite accurate. The simple truth is that I prefer the taste of American hops. It's obvious that there's a fair amount of biscuity malt on hand, but I could do with a bit more pale malt flavor. Bittersweet orange dominates the flavor profile. The beer, in general, is sweeter than expected; a positive quality in my eyes.

I'm enjoying the finish at least as much as the beginning and the middle. It consists of an orangey-appley fruity linger with a gentle tongue tweak of bitter hop leaf. The body is closer to medium than to light and the mouthfeel is nicely buoyant. I wonder why this beer--alone among the Samuel Smith line--is sold in a brown bottle? Non sequitur minute is over, now back to our review...

Samuel Smith's India Ale is one of the handful of standard bearers for the English IPA style. The flavor grew on me considerably by the bottom of the bottle and even though we'll most likely never have a love affair (I'll think of her as Samantha Smith for the purposes of this sentiment), we do have a strong mutual attraction. At least on my end.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 28, 2004
Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A quintessential English IPA that's built the way that that was demanded from India colonists from the British homeland. Spicy, earthy, and backed by the caramel and biscuit rich malts that give these beers such depth, drinkability and gentlemanly spirit.

Pouring a rather clear, deep amber hue, the beer forms a creamy and lightness in head formation and withstanding retention with a spider web of lacing behind in tightly weaved and evenly coated patterns. A very handsome beer.

The poinient earthy scent of soft caramel and biscuit create the underpinning for the aromas of herbal lemon teas, woody bark, and freshly cut grasses. While the hops ultimately dictate the nose, the aromas are fairly well balanced.

Sweet breads soaked with caramel, biscotti, and sorghum start to frame the malt profile that provides the foundation for the hop flavors to come. A mid palate of trailing malt sweetness and growing hop flavor transitions to a very herbal and vegetal flavor of grasses, tea, lemon zest, stemy bark, and an overall earthy woody mix that further morphs into a smooth bitterness of earthen character. Even a mineral water flavor helps to support the hop flavor and bitterness to push them just ahead of hops. The balance resides with the hop flavor and bitterness, but not so far ahead of the frey that the malts are forgotten.

Medium bodied with the soft creamy malt upstart, the mid palate of calmer carbonation ushers in a fade toward dryness, crispness, and slightly biting hops in a mildly astringent way. Finally, the long finish delivers a linger of earthy bitterness with the alcoholic dryness of woods and grasses.

Delicous throughout, this India Ale is a classy story book of what ales are supposed to be- characterful, balanced, and gentlemanly from skin to core. A lovely beer throughout!

BEERchitect, Oct 07, 2005
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

GRG1313, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle poured into a pint glass

A - This one poured a nice albeit slightly flat looking amber with a smallish, maybe one inch high head of off white followed by some small side glass presentation and a decent film across the top.

S - Aroma was full of earthy grains and English hops, a very different profile then what I was used to with the American IPAs. More malts and grains then what I was expecting.

T - The flavor was decently full with a nice rounded profile. Lots of grain again with a nice spattering of english hops. The flvor was a tad bit musky to be honest and had that bready taste to it. A dry finish let the taste linger on for a while,

M - A medium to light body, it felt a touch slick to me, mostly due I am sure to the lackluster carbonation. Again still above average, just did not pack that little bit of extra to push it over the top..

D - Pretty decent actually. he flavors were not too strong and the lightish body lended itself well to having a few of these. Not a bad session beer.

Overall this was pretty decent but I have had better. For some reason I am just not that impresssed with what comes out of this brewery. Gonna have to try some of the organics to see if it changes my mind,

mikesgroove, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

jaydoc, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of Knapp85
2.85/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The first time I had this I think the bottle may have been a little older or been sitting on a shelf passed it's expected life because I got a bottle of this for Christmas last year and it was much better than the first time I had it. The hops were actually noticeable in the new bottle unlike the old one. This beer was a really nice English IPA, and definitely worth a try.

Knapp85, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, copper body with a smallish, frothy, white head.

Smell: Lightly bready, candyish malts with fruity hop notes of citrus, pineapple, and apricots.

Taste: Delicate maltiness with a small pinch of sweet cracked toffee. Blend of sweetened fruit juices. Tiny hint of cotton candy. Spicy, floral hop character with a light bitterness. Lingering fruitiness on the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not a bad lil' English ale.

ChainGangGuy, Jun 06, 2008
Photo of oberon
3.88/5  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.

oberon, Mar 24, 2003
Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -18.5%

JAHMUR, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle. Nicely suitable and imperious label.

This beer pours a slightly glassy medium brassy amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, and loosely foamy off-white head, which leaves some bleeding suds splatter lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of bready caramel and pale malts, overripe orange and lemon rinds, herbal tea leaves, fresh cut grass, and floral, generically fruity hops. The taste is relatively strong, lively noble hops, in all their reserved citrus, floral, and grassy goodness, biscuity, bready, and lightly caramelized malt, ethereal yeast, un-steeped tea bags, and a plain stale lemon fruitiness.

The carbonation is adequately supportive, and a bit frothy at times, the body a fairly trim medium weight, and mostly smooth, the floral bitterness kind of stepping through this particular rose garden. It finishes off-dry, the biscuity, bready malt holding tough, with the politely sassy, stiff upper lip, Queen and country hops still equal to the task.

A very well balanced, and understated, in that English way, Ur-IPA. Pleasant to quaff, where the flavour dominates over the bitterness, so this would be good for at least a few raucous pub rounds, I have to imagine.

biboergosum, May 22, 2009
Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a copper/orange color with a foamy two-finger head. Leaves lacing.

S - Smelled highly hoppy and of clove. Also, a hint of dried fruits.

T - The hop taste wasn't as strong as it smelled. It was balanced b malt, clove and banana flavor. Also, a bitter kick.

M - It is sharp and crisp. Medium-bodied.

D - Complex flavors and a bitter aftertaste. It is another solid brew from Samuel Smith's.

zeff80, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The frothy yellowed-white head atop Samuel Smith's India Ale slowly drops to a short and creamy cap. As you progress through the pint it leaves walls of wide-spread tiny spots about the glass. The nose is floral and grassy with bright, fresh hops over a delicate malt base. In the mouth it's smooth with a medium body and restrained, fine-bubbled carbonation. The flavor delivers more of the hops found in the nose, floral, leafy and grassy amidst a gently caramelish and bready malt and softly fruity and mildly mineralish yeastiness. The bitterness is balancing and solid, and it finishes short and dry. Quite nice!

NeroFiddled, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

the first thing from sam smiths that hasn't wowed me. in fact, I didn't even really like this brew and think it flawed in some ways. it pours a fine shade of amber, like light maple syrup, and has a decent head about an inch and a half tall, but it doesn't last. the nose is sort of drab. stale hops and sweeter English malts that don't taste particularly fresh themselves. is smells like wort not beer honestly, sort of weird. the flavor is also sort of dull, I was hoping for a lot more hops here, but they just never come. its like a movie without a climax. there is also some dusty flavor that is out of place. it just doesn't come together for me the way the other sam smith beers do. the yeast stands out more than it probably should in this style too. its lacking carbonation, being pretty close to flat, and that makes it a bit heavy and filling to drink. maybe I got a bad bottle or something, because I expect much higher quality from sam smiths now. I also had this after a couple of pretty mean American india pale ales, so perhaps my palate didn't do justice to this beer as it otherwise might have. I will have to revisit this in the future.

StonedTrippin, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a creamy white head that holds out for a while before settling to a thin film and leaving behind nice rings of lace. The body is reddish copper colored with good clarity.

S - Grainy aroma with sweet caramel and weak hop aroma.

T - Fruity with a clean malt character. A floral hop flavor emerges in the middle with moderate chalky bitterness characterizing the finish.

M - Medium body, low carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Pleasant and drinkable with a nice malt character. Unfortunately the hop character is just too weak to make this a good english IPA.

nickfl, Apr 11, 2008
Photo of Jason
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Jason, Mar 14, 2002
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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,580 ratings.