1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,668 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,668
Reviews: 887
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 23
Gots: 91 | 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 (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's India Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,668 | Reviews: 887 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tbeckett
2.48/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'll start off saying I was really excited to try this.

A - No head. Copper colour. Very little carbonation. Bright.

S - Very mild. A little bit of hops and some breadiness.

T - Same as the aroma. Very mild. Mild is the only thing that comes to mind. Mild hop finish.

M - Light body and a little bit of carbonation.

D - Why!?!?! This was such a disappointment. For such a reputable brewery this is very weak. I hope this was a bad bottle b/c I can't imagine this being let out the brewery intentionally.

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 MattyV
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper colour with a dense, frothy white head that leaves a bit of lacing.

Aroma is slightly sour, bready malt, caramel, a bit fruity, but hops are very faint.

Taste is of sweet toffee and bready malt, witth a decent dose of bitter hops that fade out a more grassy character, leading to a mildly bitter and slightly sour finish.

Medium-bodied, kind of slick and creamy mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

A bit more malt forward than I expected, but is well-balanced. Would be a good quaffer if not for the rich mouthfeel which begs to be sipped and savoured slowly.

Photo of OnThenIn
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A finger of slightly tan head on top of a copper body.

S: Fruity with a bitt of a caramel. Very floral. You can smell the earth.

T: Has a nice grassy hop flavor with bitterness and sweetness on top. Nice complexity. Somewhat clean finish with a tiny bit of a lingering sweetness.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation.

D: It's a nice easy drinker that is balanced but interesting.

Photo of Samp01
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with nice tan head. Aroma of floral hops, caramel. Taste is bitter hops, some caramel. Palate is nice medium body, nice carbonation. Finish is bitter hops balance by light malt, with some caramel. Overall not to remarkable but a good drinkable brew.

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.72/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Pours a hazy burnt orange. It has a bubbly white head that dissipates leaving only a ring of foam.

S-Floral, with some lemon/orange zest, and some alcohol sweetness.

T-Citrus, orange notes up front. It has a hoppy dryness in the middle and ends with a nice bready malty finish. There is also some caramel, white grape juice, and alcohol in the flavor as well. Much more complex than I expected. Absolutely delicious.

M-Just about right, carbonated with some thickness.

D-Very drinkable beer. It is perfectly balanced and its low abv. make it a true session beer.

Overall, this is another great beer from Samuel Smith's. It was much more complex than I had expected. I absolutely loved it and hope to drink more in the future.

Photo of CaptDavyJones
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice copper/amber color from a 550 mL bottle into an authentic Samuel Smith pint glass. Aroma is mostly malty with a hint of hops. The head is nice and frothy, with very good lacing and solid carbonation. A much milder IPA compared to those available in the US and those the taste buds have become accustomed to. Crisp, dry and leaves a slightly sour after-taste as opposed to a bitter/hoppy finish I was looking forward to. Indeed a different kind of IPA. Drinkability is good, but it wouldn't be an IPA that I would go looking for. I guess it is worth a try, but Samuel Smith's definitely has better brews.

Photo of wahhmaster
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550 ml bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, light brown color. Has a medium-sized, foamy head that dissipates slowly and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Smells tangy and tart, a smell I've never encountered in a beer before this.

Taste: Has kind of a citrusy hops flavor up front. Develops into a sweet, malty flavor with grain and caramel notes.

Mouthfeel: Dry and crisp feel.

Drinkability: A decent English IPA. Has a unique tart flavor that I haven't encountered in other IPAs. Definitely worth a try...

Photo of SirSketch
4.29/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Beautiful, clumpy, eggshell white head that sticks so well. Completely translucent, light amber colored beer. No problems with the appearance on this one.

S - I haven't had many traditional English IPAs, but I imagine them smelling a lot like this. More malty than hoppy. Caramel malts and earthy hops. It has a signature Samuel Smith house character.

T - Surprisingly bitter. Great fruity, apple cider flavor along wig grassy hops. Very interesting and in no way boring, as many English style beers are made out to be.

M/D - Very drinkable beer, as each sip begs another. Medium body and frothy, creamy carbonation. I wish they sold this in a six pack!

Photo of vandemonian
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer had an Amber colour and a decent head of about 3 or 4 mm high. It was lightly carbonated. The smell was of hops and yeast with a hint of nuttiness. The first thing I tasted was maltiness followed by a bitter nuttiness. There was a little foamy carbonation, but not enough.

Photo of tehawful
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a orange tint and small but foamy head.

Smell: A mixture of citrus and sweet fruits, mostly. Apricot, pineapple and perhaps even pear take turns showing up in the aroma. Maybe some gentle spices, but the fruit smell is what really stands out.

Taste: A dry taste upfront, with hints of grain, bitter orange peel and mild spices. A subtle-sweet caramel malt taste comes in mid-sip. The sweetness of the malt transitions to a light bitter hops finish that comes late and stays for the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Though a little more bitter and less hoppy than the American IPA's that I am used to, I enjoyed the traditional English style that Sam Smith's has implemented. The transition of flavors was a welcome change, and I appreciated being able to enjoy an IPA without getting punched in the mouth by hops.

Photo of ccbrewer138
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

American IPA is still my favorite style, but I have never really had too many English versions, so naturally Samuel Smiths is a good place to start. First of all this beer was served out of a 550 ml bottle into a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass. Golden amber in color with a fluffy thick head of about an inch and a half, extending well out of the boundries of the glass. Heavy malt and hop aroma, can definatly pick out British hops. Malty and fruity in flavor, some lingering bitterness from hops, but not at all as hoppy as the American versions. Actually pretty balanced between the carmally malt flavor and hop bitterness. Carbonation and body appropriate for the style.

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

In likening the beer to a "golden sunset", its brewer must be speaking of its attraction and not its physical appearance - it sure is lovely but this orange pekoe colour looks like it belongs in a teacup, not the sky. Its head has a tender figure and stunted height; it is not quite decrepit but does look marred. Unexpectedly, however, it drapes some lace.

Typical of many British offerings, this bouquet smells more of carbonates (from the water) than it does malt or hops. This hard, mineral-y profile lends the beer the air of a rocky sea shore and a stiff, cold wind that floats in alongside the waves. A dab of toffee sweetness and a dash of gingery spice is all the malts and hops conjure up.

They are more adamant in the taste however; a flavour both peculiar and pleasant, one reminiscent of the skin off the top of a butterscotch pudding, affirms itself. With it are compliments of dried fruits, licorice, gingerbread and earthy hops. A very light nuttiness, an almond-like flavour, is also worked into that (almost) buttery taste.

A considerable toastiness lingers along with that harsh, mineral-y character of the well water. I wouldn't have minded a little more of either sweetness or bitterness but that's simply not the way Yorkshire brewers (or at least Samuel Smith) do things; the dullness of these beers doesn't make them overtly flavourful but man can you put them back!

And that's likely the reason they stay the way they are. Samuel Smith uses a heavy glass bottle and, indeed, their beers are heavy too, not so much in flavour but in satisfaction. The Brits know their ale and they like to drink, this is a product of that culture. It's designed so that just one pint is enough to satiate... but several would be all the better.

Photo of tjsdomer2
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden ale with good carbonation and lacing and decent foam as well.

Smell: Somewhat sweet biscuit malt, almost like it has honey or something. Nice hops as well. A good subtle smell that I enjoy.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Not a wonderful taste, but this is a well-balanced hopped beer. No fruitiness, but definitely some sweet malt. Pretty creamy and smooth beer as well.

Drinkability: I like this as a pub beer.

Overall: A solid foreign beer that's not impossible to find. Not as good as other Sam Smith's beers.

Photo of WeedKing4
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark red with a decent amount of foam in the Samuel Smith pint glass. Very malt heavy and laid back as its the english style of ipa, so the flavours are mild and subtle with a slight hint of dark fruits/floral finish. Goes down pretty smooth. Just doesn't pack a lot of flavour. But i like this new pint glass! Holds 500mls worth of beer. Beauty.

Photo of kwjd
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a Samuel Smith gift pack that just arrived to the Control Board in Ontario. Pours a golden-orange colour with thick white head. Mild lacing around the glass. Floral hop aroma and some caramel. Flavour has more bitterness than the smell would suggest. Good carbonation. A nice English ale, but not my favourite among the other Samuel Smith beers.

Photo of micromaniac129
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

By no means is this an IPA by Americian standards. It is in fact a weak interpetation of the style in general.
Pours with a nice copper color with a desent white head that fades. Good carbo's.
Slight malt and hop aroma is present.
Buttery or butterscotch malt taste, earthy hops and maybe a hint of lemongrass.
A dry finish with a smooth body.
Drink well my friends

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 2" head which fades to 1". Copper color. Some hoppy bitterness but in all seriousness it's nowhere near the hops I'd expect for an India ale. On an IPA strength scale of 1 to 10 with 10 the hoppiest this scores about a 3 for an IPA.

A thoroughly drinkable beer, just not a standout in this category.

Photo of carpezytha
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Large-bubbled head which died quickly on an ochre body.
S: Quite a distinct aroma, with malt, hops and even some esters in there. Unfortunately the taste did not live up to the high expectations that the smell promised. Some minerality as well.
T: Tangy mix of citrusy hops, sweet malt, spicey. It was hard to corral all these into a distinctive note it seems, as I was left confused rather than impressed in a positive way. It seems they got very close to having a great beer, but something about all the flavors clamoring for attention disipated whatever great experience I would have had.
M: Quite a chewy beast, this.
D: I would try again.

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

In the vein of revisiting old favorites -- a beer from my early days of good beer discovery.

A -- Hazy, amber orange color with a dense, slow-settling, light tan head.

S -- Citrus notes, fruit esters of peach and pear, biscuit malt in the background.

T -- Similar citric and fruit notes from the aroma with a mellow caramel and bready backbone. Finishes with the peach-like fruit character and a slightly spicy, earthy and dry aftertaste. There's a yeast bite (ester?) to the character that I often find in English pale ales -- it's not at all distracting, more defining, giving a mineral quality to the flavor.

M -- Smooth mouthfeel with a light-medium body. Dry in the finish.

D -- Very good drinkability -- can imagine whiling away the afternoon in a pub with pints of these. This isn't an American IPA with the big hop hammer over the head, but a well-balanced, easy drinking and very refreshing beer.

Photo of mulder1010
1.71/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

550 ML bottle

A-- Poured a light amber color, fairly small light brown head. Not a lot to this.

S-- Faint sweet and hop aroma. A little bit of old damp rag smell and a little bit of dishwasher soap.

T-- A lot of dishwasher soap taste with old grapefruit, orange and lemon. ICK BAD BOTTLE.

M-- Prickly mouthfeel. Hops are still there but the taste and feel are more like nearly expired citrus fruits. Really oxidized. There are some semblances of what this should be and what I am getting is not it.

D-- Drain Poured the rest. Will try again and review at a later date.

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

550mL bottle. Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a small head. Great lacing throughout. Smell is somewhat sweet with some citrus. Faint aroma of hops. The taste is slightly bitter. Flavors of citrus with an almost sour taste. Some malt flavors near the end. I'm probably missing some other flavors. There is a lot going on here. This 550mL bottle is the perfect amount for this beer. Not overall drinkable but not a sipper either. Overall I'm happy with this purchase.

Photo of JMad
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle to a pint glass...
Pours a dark amber color with a frothy white head that left good lacing.
Smells of earthy hops and has hints of caramel and fig.
Tastes slightly sweet followed by a sour bitterness, earthy hops, nutty character.
Feels light bodied, dry, has good carbonation.
Very sessionable (as most English beers are) gets smoother as it warms.

Photo of keithmurray
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a crisp copper colour with frothy white head

smell - i'm picking up bready, biscuity malts, apples, cinnamon?

taste - malty, bready goodness in the front, slightly bitter hops in the finish

Mouthfeel - medium bodied beverage, ample carbonation, well balanced, neither too sweet or too bitter

drinkability - suitable for watching NFL games.

Photo of jrallen34
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a tulip glass...Pours a light peach color ok retention and lacing, nothing special, typical ipa...The aroma is light, not that I expected otherwise, light fruit, a little hop, not much...Taste is ok, not flavorful but makes it a super easy drinker, light hops come through so its pleasant to drink. A decent english ipa, so-so, probably wouldn't have unless I was in England.

Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,668 ratings.