1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

1,633 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,633
Reviews: 873
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 21
Gots: 71 | 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)
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: 1,633 | Reviews: 873 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IronDjinn
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rustic copper in appearance with impressive clarity. Creamy off-white head that settles to a thick cap.

Bready toffee malt on the nose predominantly, the hops are rather subversive in the aroma, lurking below the surface and present, but not as apparent.

Mmmmm, yeah, that's an English IPA for you, it's all malt heaven until the finish when the hops pop up and take a deep bow. Deep toasted caramel malt from beginning to end, with a wall of very well-behaved grassy and leafy hops on the finish, balancing it out very nicely. This is a well balanced ale, unlike most of the hop bombs from the PNW (although I love them for them all the same). Aftertaste is also the time for the hops to shine, a pleasant leafy and herbal blend that holds your hand, but doesn't overwhelm and grope you.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, smooth, with a bit of a soapy slick finish, a pleasantly drinkable beer overall.

Nice, this is a refined and an average abv% IPA that holds its own. Not quite up to go head to head with any American hop monsters, yet a beautifully balanced IPA that doesn't have to go to extremes to show what quality is all about. Session brew heaven!

Photo of cswhitehorse
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The India Ale pours a darker amber with a foam head that dissipates quickly. It leaves some circular sea foam lacing.

The smell is a balanced hop and malt profile. In the mouth it has that distinct Sam Smith water flavor. I have found their ale to have a unique taste especially on the ale side. In the mouth it doesn't have much of an appearance. It is light and fairly carbonated. It seems a little weak and lacking in the hop profile for an IPA. It definitely has a strong malt profile in the taste than I am used to. Overall I am a fan of Samuel Smith Old Brewery and you should try this one as well.

Photo of champ103
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The color here is a deep and clear amber/red. A good white head forms and leaves sticky lace down the glass.
S: This is a very unique smell. I don't know if I really like it or not. There is plenty of floral hops and plenty of malt to balance things out. There is also this weird fruity, tarty, tangy, smell that I can't describe all that well.
T: The uniqueness carries over to the taste. It is much more sweet though, almost cloying. It is kind of like sweet hard candy. Again, plenty of hops and malt that is well balanced.
M/D: This is rich, creamy, and well carbonated in the mouth. Extremely smooth and easy to drink.

Like all good English IPA's this has a great balance of hops and malt. I am not sure if I described the taste and smell accurately, or if I even like it. Though I can't bring myself to give this a bad score. However, this is something that I will revisit, and would recommend for people to try for themselves.

Photo of throwitallaway
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16.9oz. bottle into a pint glass. Burnt orange color, with a big head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is very fruity with only a touch of floral hops underneath. Tastes exactly like it smells, fruit first with a slight hop bitterness underneath. As it warms up, the bitterness and some alcohol comes out. Mouthfeel is slightly thin, but fairly lively. This is my first English IPA and it's entirely different from American IPAs. My preference lies with the latter, although the former is dangerously easy to drink.

Photo of rgrholmes168
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Outstanding amber color, poured with a pretty good head, that left some lace on my glass.

S- Fruity smell to it, a little bit of a sweet smeel.

T- Great taste, the hops are not overpowering as they are with some IPA's. The malt comes through the beer. Leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste, but it is appropriate for this beer.

M- Light mouthfeel to the beer, very balanced.

D- I could see drinking a few of these at a sitting.

This is a great beer. I really like the taste and wish that I had bought more than 1 as a sample. I highly recommend and this has become my favorite English IPA.

Photo of avalon07
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a fairly thick texture. There was a nice head and lacing throughout.

The smell was decently well-balanced. Malt, hops possibly some fruit.

The malts really stood out in the taste. There was a certain bitterness to the taste, but not overly so.

The carbonation was nicely done, with a smooth, dry finish. Good mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a solid beer. It didn't blow me away by any means, but was certainly a well made beer.

Photo of churchillps
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a Samuel Smith's glass.

A: I really liked this. A nice rich amber color with very active carbonation and a nice head. Luckily for my preferences, the carbonation was not very evident in the taste.

S: Not much going on here. Pretty malty, bread-like, a little bit of hops, and perhaps some alcohol.

T/M/D: I amalgamate this because the texture combined with taste is something I really liked. It is very dry, almost taking all the saliva out of your mouth. It's crisp and medium bodied. A little bitter in the taste, malt lingers for a long while, and perhaps a bit of citrus in the aftertaste.

Not a beer that brings everything together incredibly, but a few components really stand out.

Photo of halfP1NT
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is light brown, orange, golden, a little cloudy with a thin, white head that dissipates into a ring that stays til the end.

Light aroma, earthy, almost like the flavor in scotch. For some reason, I think I really smell alcohol even though this is only a 5% abv.

First taste reminds me of scotch, earthy and peat-mossy?? Smooth, almost buttery. Definitely not as hoppy as the average IPA, but good, malty, balanced taste.

Thicker mouthfeel than most IPAs, not as crisp, but very drinkable. I could definitely drink these all night.

Photo of pittvkyle7
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- CLear light amber, big fast rising bubbles, big off white head with lacing.

S- After the pour there was a quick burst of grapefruit, that faded and moved to more of a malty nose, and slightly bready.

T- Well you can tell this is not american. Quite balanced. For the hop profile it is mostly bittering, you get a little bit of the grapefruit that was in the nose. The malts were strong and complex and toasty, bready and coffeeish. There is a nice fruit taste from the yeast pear or apple.

M- carbonation has a sting to it, and it's refreshing.

D- very drinkable, and very interesting to compare to the american style.

Photo of trackstar1043
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a med copper golden hue with a off-white head 2 fingers stong and a sticky lace that it left behind as it settled.

S - Sharp aroma of citrus and hops, wheat and malts we detectable also.

T - Sharp and strong hops that are well balanced with the sweet and sour citrus kick, has a malty lingering as you enjoy the flavoring.

M - Much milder and pleasant than I was expecting, but it will still jolt your taste buds.

D - Great brew very drinkable.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: light amber-orange with a slight white head that quickly faded.

S: a slight floral hop bitterness with some fresh citrus and sweet malts backing it up.

T: The flavor had dry caramel with light dry citrus hopping that drank more like a moderate pale ale then ipa. There was a light flowery bitterness and the beer finished most notably with dry citrus. The beer had a nice malt backbone and was semi-sweet.

M: moderate with a medium body and full carbonation.

D: moderate as it was a tad disappointing hop wise, but an ok session ipa that doesnt thrill.

Photo of Strix
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-tinted golden with a long-lived head.

Smell underwhelming. A bit of floral hoppiness, not much else.

Taste is nicely balanced. I guess I'm more used to American Pales and find this a bit on the bland side. Sort of a tea aftertaste, which is interesting, and I have no particular good or bad feelings about. Refreshing though.

Mouthfeel nice, smooth yet drinkable.

Overall, pretty drinkable but not amazing.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

18.7 oz bottle picked up yesterday at the Coop for $3.50 ... poured about half into my New Belgium snifter.

nice 2 finger head dropped leaving pretty lacing ... crystal clear amber orange brew.

Earthy floral hops ... light toasty malt aroma .... mild yeasty fruitiness.

Earthy flavor ... biscuity .. toasty malts and floral hoppiness .. and a restrained bitterness... sorta dry minerally finish... medium body .. again sorta yeasty fruitiness... a little tea leaf finish.

Big benchmark of the EIPA style.. Everytime I brew an English IPA, this is one that I buy to inspire me.

Photo of elricorico
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very clear copper with a generous off white head. Lots of staying power. Would make a good picture for an advertisement. Spotty lacing as it goes.

Herbal and flowery hop aroma with a strong base of earthy malts. Fairly inviting.

Balanced front to back, toffee and bready malt flavour not outdone by the herbal hop finish. Some bitterness lingers not unpleasantly in the back of the tongue, while some sweetness sticks on the lips.

On the light side in body, with plenty of carbonation. There is a slight oily slickness to it that seems to carry the flavour well.

The balance here makes this an exceptionally drinkable beer. This pint won't last.

Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light translucent amber with a medium offwhite head. Mild malt sweetness with a light touch of hops. I was thinking this tasted like a hopped ESB, and just now realize it actually is an ESB, and not an IPA. Caramelly malt flavor, with an almost butterscotchy finish, with some light hops and mild bitterness as well. This is a good all around beer that feels light, and has a good amount of flavor.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice copper. The smell is lighter than your typical American IPA,but you can still detect some hops that are a bit citrusy. The taste has some hop bitterness,but it also has almost a brown ale final. There is a creamy nuttiness to this beer.

Photo of breyton490
2.35/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Poured from a 500ml bottle. Not much of a head. Had a nice light brown, caramel color. Crystal clear

Smell: Some hop aroma, though not much. Definitely English hops.

Taste: Medium body, nice bitterness although this is no US IPA as the hops and bitterness are very restrained. Fairly dry finish. On the first sip I noticed a weird flavor which became more and more pronounced after each subsequent drink. The beer had a very strong tea like flavor and harshness to it. It almost became too much to finish the glass. Not a beer I would drink a second bottle of.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, tart, fairly dry finish

Drinkabiltiy: The strong tea twang taste in this beer make it tough for me to want to have a second. Maybe a bad or old bottle, but after reading other reviews I don't think that to be the case.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

clear near-amber copper color, decent head that shrinks to thin layer. minimal lacing.

some faint herbal hop and toasted cracker aromas. some caramel.

definitely a "british" hoppiness - bitter and mildly herbal, not piney and citrusy. malt is a tad bit dull, but it's there. moderate bitterness is pretty even throughout.

smooth with lively carbonation.

hmm... will need to try more "genuine" english IPA's, but from what i'm getting here, things are too tame across the pond...

Photo of cookin420
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pub glass.

Color is very pale and perfectly clear with an amber/yellow tint. Short head with good lace.

A very small amount of malt smell in the form of crackers makes it through the huge aroma of fresh Goldings. An up-front woody bittering hop aroma as well.

The taste of the hop lineup is identical to the smell; huge flavor and nose Goldings and a moderately bittered finish. I'd go bigger on the bitter but thats just my opinion and my opinion doesn't (and shouldn't!!) matter to an institution like the old brewery Tadcaster. Cheers to them for always doing it right.

Great mouthfeel. Do allow this to warm before you pour. As with many brews, it will feel overcarbonated and undermalted at wrong temps. Proper pour temp will result in magnificent mouthfeel.

Drinkability; If you like a slightly sweet IPA this is a great one. The sweetness here is not achieved by malt or yeast, however, it's from the golding assault they give this stuff. Yeeehaw!

Photo of Squelch
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours redish orange with a white head

Smell: Smell of malt. I didn't detect aroma hops

taste: hops dominate. mostly bitter with some flavor. a bit harsh. some caramel malt in the background too

Mouthfeel: thin and highly carbed

Drinkability: above average but not my favorite

Photo of JamesS
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice light copper with a ver nice head and good lacing. Has a nice sweet scent, not really hoppy, more malty, but very nice and floral. Very good taste, it has a nice headiness with a slight hoppy taste, but an excellent hoppy aftertaste that stays on the tongue. Excellent mouth feel, it goes down very smooth. If it wasn't one of the higher priced IPAs in my area, I'd would be happy to drink it quite often, but it's not better than easy to find American PAs that are just as easy to find and less expensive.

Photo of vdubmatt
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just poured this from a 550ml bottle.

A- Cloudy pale orange color with a 2 finger head that lasts pretty well.

S- Hoppy but with a strong malt backbone. Has a sweet aroma like candied fruit.

T- Strong malty flavor and a nice hoppyness. Hardly bitter at all. I really enjoy the taste of this one.

M- Slightly viscous with medium carbonation.

D- Seems very drinkable, but I am not sure how many of these 550ml bottles I could put down!

All in all, I find this to be a very nice example of an english IPA. Maybe not the best beer for the huge hop heads looking for a fix, but a really nicely balanced beer. I would definitely buy this again.

Photo of armock
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a copper color with an off white head

S - Hops up front with some malt

T - Some malt at first then finishes with bitter hops

M - Has medium carbonation coats the mouth

D - I had high expectations for this IPA it wasn't as strong as I was expecting but its still a good IPA worth a try

Photo of CU570M
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Apperance was nice on this one. Color goes from a harvest orange to a light orange / yellow. Head lasts about a minute and was thick. The smell was a little malty smelling. Not bad at all, just wanted more hops in the smel and taste. Taste was malty mouthfeel was a medium carbonation, but average to thin. The drinkability is ok, but i thought it might have been a little better becuase of how people talk about it. This beer was average to maybe a little less.

Photo of dsa7783
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

After sampling their Oatmeal Stout, I had taken a strong liking to Samuel Smith, unfortunately, however, their India Ale was a let-down… the best thing about this beer was its appearance – a nice golden-amber color with an impressive frothy head…Smell was about average, although somewhat bland and non-descript… taste didn’t seem like your regular India pale ale… more tweaked and somewhat medicinal… wasn’t too crazy about it… drinkable was sub-par… wouldn’t want to down too many of these in a single setting… copped a single 12oz bottle from wine and more for about $2.50… Taste was somewhat peculiar for this style… slightly citrusy and bready with no distinct hoppiness… Not recommended…

Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
84 out of 100 based on 1,633 ratings.