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

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Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale

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1,667 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,667
Reviews: 887
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 23
Gots: 88 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,667 | Reviews: 887 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice half-inch of head on this honey colored brew but it fades quickly with little lacing. Lots of hops on the nose. Dry and hoppy with a long malt-toned finish. A little nutty and toasty with a semi-sweet character. Medium bodied with a nice mouthfeel. Smooth going down. Pretty good in general.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from Pacific Ranch Market, on to the beer:

Orange amber color, the head sticks together well, even as the beer started to slightly overflow my glass.The aroma was musty with faded grapefruit notes. Something sweet comes out as it warms. You could taste the bitterness, but bitterness was the only thing I could taste out of the hops. There was some metallic flavor detected. The finish sweetens up, with bits of caramel.

The hops were there, but they didn't provide any exciting flavors, just a dull bitterness. In fact, the bitterness nearly took over the entire beer.

Photo of mwa423
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange with an easy finger or two of head, smell of spice, a little bit of alcohol and some malt and hops.

Not going to win any hophead praise but a solid amount of hops for the casual beer lover. Very little alcohol taste and a reasonably complex flavor.

As with most Sam Smith's I've tried it is pretty good but not great. I would get bored with the flavor profile after a couple but worth picking up and trying once.

Photo of spointon
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this one from an 18.7oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A= Bright orange-copper color with a 3/4" white head. Carbonation release was moderately low. Lots of lace down tha glass.

S= Mild hop aromas, earthy and grassy. Malts barely present. Bit of alcohol when swirled.

T= This ale was very subtle. There was some earthy hop bitterness and subdued caramel malts. Hop flavor gave a dry finish.

MF= This was a medium bodied ale. Despite lower carbonation, had a crisp mouth feel.

D= Not a bad ale, but still this was a disappointing brew. By American standards, not terribly different from the Sam Smith pale ale.

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

A: A bubbly brown with an off-white head. 2-fingers was simple as this bubbled up immediately. Lacing is great.

S: Rich caramel malt, alcohol very present. Some spices. Not very appealing and not what I was expecting from an IPA.

T: Rich roasted malt, coffee, slightly bitter. Hops are present, but this is not your typical IPA. Just a slight hint of fruit is present - the main flavors are the malt and a bit of hops. It's good, just not what I was expecting. There's a definite campfire taste that lingers after swallowing.

M: Very clean, a little oily. Carbonation perfect. Non-astringent. The body is a nice medium-heavy that is very filling and coats the mouth a bit - it's very creamy.

D: This drinks well, just don't expect the grapefruit or apricot flavors you usually get with IPAs. The replacement of those with a rich roasted malt isn't bad at all. This is a good beer. It goes down easy, and keeps you coming back for more.

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

Pours a light orange color with nice dark white head, decent lacing. Nicely balanced and a touch bitter, very nice IPA, not as hoppy as you'd expect. The bitterness gives it some solid character and the hop taste is complex and not definable to a single hop variety to me. Very drinkable. All around an excellent beer.

Photo of brendan13
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass a pretty clear orange colour with a couple of centimetres of off white head that falls away fairly quickly leaving lacing down the glass.
S - Floral, slightly earthy & fruit hop notes with some biscuit malt touches.
T - A marmalade like fruit taste as well as a floral & earthy touch like the smell again backed up by biscuity malt.
M - A medium body with a lowish carbonation.
D - Enough flavour to make it interesting yet not too full on. I'd drink it again.

On a side note I'd love to try this fresh. It still has a fair bit of hop flavour but undoubtedly some of it is lost during the long transport.

Photo of bobsy
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber pour with an off-white head which laces well. Sweet caramel aroma with some grassiness. Good balance between the earthy mineral qualities of the water, bready malts, and fragrant bitterness of the hops. I found the mineral qualities to be very pronounced in the aftertaste. The smooth mouthfeel is definitely a highlight, and the carbonation punches the flavour up a notch. Highly quaffable.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This English IPA poured from the bottle with very little head, even after some help from an aggressive pour. Color was deep clear amber with some orange tones. The beer has no visible carbonation what so ever. The was no lacing at all. (glass was very clean and no soap residue)

Aroma was of mineral, earthy and malt like. Some hop bitterness, but certainly not a floral or fruity aroma. You could have guessed it was English from the aroma vs. the more aggressive and fresher American IPA's.

Flavor really also reminds me of minerals and has an earthy quality. This definitely has more malt character and backbone, yet there absolutely is a hop finish to this that is for the style.

Mouth feel is medium in body and yet I don't find it overly drinkable due to the strong mineral sensation I get.

Photo of AmishT
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy gold in color with a nice white head. Only a little lacing.

S - Biscuity malts blend excellently with some fruity esters and floral hops. I could totally sit sniffin this one for a long while.

T&M - Balanced hop and malt flavors. Slick and light bodied. Crisp flavors. I'd like the flavors to be a little more bold - they aren't bad, they just seem a bit feeble. Nice carbonation enhances the crisp character.

D - I feel that this is a pretty sessionable beer: low abv and crisp flavors. Really did love the nose too.

Photo of iuhophead87
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 18.7oz bottle into a pint glass.

A-pours a light transparent copper color with a white creamy head that stays the entire life of the beer.
S-An overpowering malt and caramel aroma with traces of floral hops.
T-Although the hop taste is there it is overpowered by the malts and toffee. A true English IPA with a little extra back-end bitterness.
MF-A very creamy almost butter texture. The malty beginning leads to spicy hop feel lingering in the mouth.
D- A very easy beer to drink. Not as hoppy as an American IPA abut just enough hops to give a bitter flavor that leaves me wanting a little more. I could put back a few of these in a PUB!

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.93/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean orange-ish/ copper color with a light tan head. In the aroma, small hops and something like gingerbread like malt. In the taste, small hops, and a gingerbread like sweet maltiness. A small bite, yet mainly smooth, medium mouthfeel, and a semi-dry maltiness in the aftertaste. Good for an English IPA, but nothing too exciting.

Photo of dhd1491
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours crystal clear medium gold with off-white head of froth that dies down quickly. Aroma is yeasty, curious for an IPA, though I have learned that American and English IPAs are entirely different animals. Taste is smooth and mild. Bitterness from hops, but no fruitiness. Medium-bodied and malty. Bitter aftertaste lingers. The Samuel Smiths I have tried have a distinctive water flavor that seems heavy on minerals. Not sure if this is a generally English trait, but I'm willing to experiment more.

Altogether, not bad. But, not a brew that I would rank with my favorite IPAs either.

Photo of nasty15108
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Poured an orangeish/amber color. The pour produced a thick head of slightly off-white foam. Decent lacing throughout.

S - A rich sweet malty aroma. Hints of caramel and biscuit with a slight perfume like hoppiness.

T - Malty and slightly sweet up front. Hints of caramel and butterscotch. Finishes with a slightly soapy hop bitterness.

MF&D - Extremely creamy taste for a meduim bodied IPA. Tasted more like a English Ale or even a Bitter than an IPA, but still very tasty. I would definitely recommend this. IMO it would make quite a good session ale.

Photo of cdkrenz
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Two inches of nice pale...pale tan head. The body is a medium brownish-red. There's a layer of bubbles between the body and the head. This is an interesting feature.

S - Subtle sweet caramel aroma. When I say subtle I mean the scent is very faint.

T - Sweet to start and hoppy in the middle. Nice hop finish too.

M - The coarseness helps to bring out the unique flavor.

~ This is an interesting brew, no doubt about it. If I were ever lucky enough to travel to Europe I'd like to try a pint from draught.

Photo of masikon
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I've liked all of the Samuel Smith brews that I've tried in the past, so I was excited to give this one a shot. Pour was a somewhat thin, burnt orange with a white head that disappeared quickly. Nose was far different than an American IPA with a very mild scent of flower aromas and soft malt. Taste was pretty soft on the palate with little in the way of bitterness, again not what I look for in an IPA. Easy to drink fast however, so I guess it would make a nice session brew. Overall I guess i'll just chalk this one up to being a "classic" IPA, I think the style has basically moved on to bigger and better things.

Photo of fitzy84
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought the 550 ml bottle. Great appearance: bright amber look, creamy lacing and thick, long lasting head. Floral-like aromas of spices, hops and malts. The taste has a good sweetness to it; not very bitter or overpowering. Good mouthfeel gives it a great carbonation and body. Overall, pretty darn good IPA.

Photo of elniko
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden amber hue, half finger of head that left some lacing. Not as much carbonation as I would have expected.

S: Typical English IPA nose, mostly flowery and grassy tones with just a hint of the hops underlying.

T & M: Taste is quite dry, very little bitterness from the hops. I found this beer to quite interesting. Prior to drinking this I had the Belhaven Twisted Thistle which was much more bitter. Mouthfeel is pleasant, this beer lingers on the tongue after drinking.

D: Highly drinkable, I become more and more of a fan of the English IPA as I have them. They are definitely less complex than the American IPA but I feel that for the most part they are more drinkable. Will be having this beer again.

Photo of leif86
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

550 ml bottle poured into a glass.

A: A clear, coppery body topped relatively thin white head that does not linger too long.

S: A little flowery and a little hoppy but not a strong smell on this one.

T: This where the beer excels. It strikes a balance that most IPAs fail to do. Good spice, a little tart, and deliciously bitter without losing the flavors of the malts.

M: Smooth, but not syrupy. The perfect amount of carbonation for this style IMO.

D: The more I drink, the more I want. This passes the ultimate test. I have to say that the beer isn't overly impressive but I'd love to add it a session beer.

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

The beer pours a nice crisp burnt orange with a nice frothy lasting head that leaves spotty lacing. Aroma is sweet malt and floral hops. The taste is earthy hops just slightly overpowering the sweet malt for a nice IPA balance. The beer is light and crisp with a slight bitter finish. This is a great truebred original IPA, quite enjoyable.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of allergictomacros
4.55/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a hazy orange with a creamy, sticky head.

S - Very malty, with lots of fruit and apple, a whiff of skunk, and a pronounced nuttiness. Traces of caramel as well.

T - Nutty again, with a light generic fruitiness, molasses and heavy caramelized sugars. Very malty. Bitterness isn't that high, but enough for balance.

M - Substantial, but light-moderate carbonation. Body is fairly thick.

D - I've been having a lot of American IPAs lately, and this is a completely different experience. This one is hugely malty, but avoids being heavy, with balancing hops, but not pungently citric or piney. I dare say, this is much more nuanced and complex than most AIPAs.

Photo of ryrust5301
2.71/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a sam smiths pints glass from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance - A see through copper color with a small head of about half a finger.

Smell - Nothing great. Some tart hops, and little else. Smells more malty than anything else

Taste and Mouthfeel - Pretty bland. Nothing at all to jump out and grab your tongue. Mouthfeel is smooth with the malt, and theres a hoppy bite fluttering around in there somewhere. Sweet caramel, and some orange in the taste. Hoppy crispness in the end fades fast leaving the mouth dry.

Drinkability - More a pale ale than an ipa. A great brewery, but a sub par offering. Nothing grabbed me about this beer at all.

Photo of Spidey13
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Smith's India Ale pours a slightly hazy light gold/orange color. A nice, fluffy off-white head sits on the top. A lot of caramel notes and grassiness show up on the nose. A bit of sweet malt flavor quickly leads to a very mild bitterness. The mouthfeel seems a bit watery. Not a bad beer, but nothing great.

Photo of LeftyBWS
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 16.9 oz. brown bottle into a pint glass.
A: Brightish orange color, 1 inch of frothy off-white head. Fingery, clingy lacing. Head settles nicely, leaves a thin layer on top.
S: Citrus and fruit, full scents, not bitter. Sweet smell underneath. Hops are subtle, layered nicely.
T: Smooth hops, malty backbone. Not much bitterness, kinda smooth and almost butery? Finish is grainy and flavorless. Not what I expected given the smell.
M: Fine, calm and smooth, watery almost.
D: Okay, drinkable, but one is fine for me.

Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,667 ratings.