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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

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1,490 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,490
Reviews: 856
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 17
Gots: 39 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,490 | Reviews: 856 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Absumaster


3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Colour was amber, with foam that shrunk to a fine lace pretty fast.
Smell was fruity (english style) lots of ripe fruit and some sweetness in the back.
Taste was bitter but without being extremely hoppy, slight alcohol kick, probably there is some sugar in there, but it has enough body to balance the bitterness. After warming up, bitterness is getting more dominant, and caramel notes are released. It tastes stronger than the 5% ABV mentioned on the label. Very tastefull.
This wasn't the bitterness I expected from a India Pale Ale, but nevertheless it was a surprise that low(er) alcoholic beers can have such powerfull tastes.

I bought this beer in the Netherlands, and although England is not far from here, I had to pay 3,10 euro for this bottle (550ml).

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2006 11:29:22 | More by Absumaster
Photo of Byeast


3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2006 00:13:06 | More by Byeast
Photo of optikon44


3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

So this is my first time tasting Samuel Smith's India Ale. I expect it to be the real thing that I can gauge all others in this category against. I am a huge fan of the fully-hopped American-style IPA, so I am anxious to taste the English original.

First off, great color - beautiful clear amber with nice distribution of tiny bubbles. The head is creamy and full. It disipates to lace in about three minutes.

On to smell... Subtle sour malt, an exotic nutmeg-like undertone, with a mid-tone of grassy hop. It definitely does not smell like the IPAs I know and love.

And now taste... I get a mildly sweet malt, then a smattering of strange yeast, followed by a blast - and I do mean blast - of wonderful hoppy bitterness. The vegetal hop essence lingers in the finish for a while.

For mouthfeel... this brew starts out creamy, soft, and big - then flows becomes ultra tight and clean as a result of the hops. I consider this to be great structure.

Overall, this beer would go wonderfully with fish and chips, Thai, or Indian cuisine. However, the sour malt and strange yeasty flavor make me think I wouldn't want this to be my everyday beer. Nonetheless - I am glad I tried it. Plus, the label said it was, "top fermented in stone Yorkshire squares," which facinates me.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2006 19:39:28 | More by optikon44
Photo of ChiSox05


3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Tans and changing shades of orange next to a light. Poured 1/2 inch white creamed foam head, fades down to lasting cap layer. Dusty complexion, sediment hanging around.

Smell is sweet and lemony with malt

Tea tasting hops, touch of raisins, malt tartness(?), tea and tobacco flavors

Medium body, lasting tea bitterness aftertaste contributes dryness, toned down carbonation

Overall, kind of a funky flavored ale, interesting but not wanting another with 1/5 of the pint left.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2006 17:54:44 | More by ChiSox05
Photo of Ieatlambfries

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the classic "English pint" sized bottle.

Appearance is dark red/orange. Meduim tan head. Small tight bubbles that disipate, but leave subtle lacing.

Smell hits me first as honey. Spicy hops come after the initial honey and malt aroma.

Taste is interesting. Again, honey seems a bit dominent. Hops add a bitter orange rind flavor with a spicy finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp. Slightly biting bubbles.

Drinkability os good. Fairly easy drinking. More so than more modern examples of the style. This beer is not trying to curl your lips back with massive hopping. I would think it is more of the traditional style.

A classic for sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2005 00:19:27 | More by Ieatlambfries
Photo of KarlHungus


4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a clear deep reddish-orange color. The head is massive , rocky and white. Lacing is thorough. The aroma is Samuel Smith's house aroma with some fruity citric notes. The taste is a lot bigger than the aroma. Citrus and pine dominate, but do not overpower. Like other Samuel Smith beers, the mouthfeel is incredible. Smooth, creamy, medium bodied, and with perfect carbonation for this style. Overall, this is a great IPA.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2005 21:02:07 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of joeskirkie

New Jersey

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

Poured into a pint glass, a nice amber body with a robust white head.

I noticed floral scents immediately that only strengthened as the beer warmed a little.

Great taste of floral hops right away that soon gave way to a more subtle caramel. Not overwhelmingly bitter but still enough to know it's a pale ale. Quite pleasing

The beer wasn't too light, but I could definately enjoy more than one. The $8 price tag for a bottle is what would stop me.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2005 14:44:33 | More by joeskirkie
Photo of cracgor


4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice IPA when you need a change from the usual American offerings. First thing I noticed when I opened the bottle was a pungent smell, similar to whiskey. It is a fantastic smell. It is an amber colored beer witha light head and tons of sticking to the glass, lots of carbonation. It has the great flavor I come to expect from british ales. A ton of diacetyl. The hops are not the same bitter, hot hops of america. A lot smoother and more balanced than you may be used to. The beer is medium and dry. A great beer from Samuel Smith.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2005 02:11:59 | More by cracgor
Photo of NiceGuyMike

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber red with nice lingering white head with lacing.
Smell: Malts and light hops.
Taste: Bitter malts and decent hopes.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with good carbonation.
Drinability: Very drinkable

I'm liking this a lot. It reminds me of their Organice Ale but with nice hoppy bitterness. Very well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2005 23:48:01 | More by NiceGuyMike
Photo of brewQ


3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A wonderful color and clarity brew- akin to brown honey.

I enjoyed the noisy pour, as I could hear the rush and snap, crackle, pop of the highly charged head. A beige biscuit arose out of the cacophony.

The aroma was sweet and slightly of lilac; in my head an IPA wants to have a more pronounced Hop nose.

Taste of roasted malt and toffee notes.

The finish is a reprise to hops and very clean.

I love Sammy, the tradtion, Yorkshire Squares, et al- but I am a little befuddled on IPA defintion and more so on the prices I tend to see.

A quality brew, but one I'll only grab on occcasion.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 05:12:24 | More by brewQ
Photo of HugoGrim


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

Poured from a 550 ml bottle into a standard pint glass. No freshness date found unfortunately. It sported a rich golden body with quite a substantial head. The two finger head remained a lot longer than I thought it would.

The smell was not as strong as you'd expect from an IPA. An initial hoppyness with hints of floral scents, and even a rustic woody element.

The flavor, as one would expect from an IPA, was predominantly hoppy. A nice smooth carmel flavor seemed to mellow out the bitterness a tad, also just a bit of a butterscotchy, malty flavor in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2005 12:26:56 | More by HugoGrim
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming in a 550ml brown bottle, with a BB date of APR 06.

A: in a goblet it pours a deep brownish amber hued, the off-white beer head comes thick and half-fluffy+half-creamy, rescinds slowly and leaving tracks of silky lace~~ the carbonation is apparently low, with just sparse big bubbles struggling out of the control of gravity.
S: semi-sweet maltiness prevails immediately in front of my nose and matched by equally profound but underlying mixed floral and sweetish fruity hop aroma, laced with a slight hint of sweetened orange-peel and preserved peaches at the tail of aroma. Overall the mixed aroma is subtly nice, not the kind of big and thick and fat textured aroma as one might expect of American IPA, and not bold or big for an IPA even by British standards.
T: a smooth bittersweet and slightly biscuity maltiness dominates the palate, slowly and quietly bringing on board a herbal as well as tea-leafy textured bitterness, while the floral hop aroma somehow is less apparent on the palate, leaving just a hint of dried tangerine-zest and slightly marmalade-like subdued bitter-sweet fruity hop flavour mixed well with the underlying bitterness. Interestingly, the aftertaste of bitterness and restrained hop flavour reminds me more of a less malty premium bitter rather than an English PA or IPA, perhaps that's where the vague borders between these "styles" are quietly crossed~~?
M&D: the mouthfeel is delicately soft and ultra-smooth, matching the equally soft-textured flavour just ideally. Overall, this beer is quite understated than the broadly defined IPA from my limited experience of this style, not as bold and colourful as other IPAs I've tried from both sides of the Atlantic.. Its strength hides in its subtlety and that it drinks only too well, based on its balanced characters with good depth.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 20:21:49 | More by wl0307
Photo of danielharper


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

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

This one pours an orange color, somewhat hazy body, with a thin white lace of a head that dissipates after a couple of minutes. Gentle swirls do nothing to revive the head, and the color is a bit darker than I generally expect with IPAs.

Smell is quite nice, with a strong grapefruit backbone mixed with a nicy clean hoppy nose. The hops are very present in the aroma, but do not dominate the overall experience the way they do with many hop-monster American IPAs. Color me impressed.

Hops are much more generally present in the taste than in the nose, however. The relative proportions seem to have switched, with the hoppy flavors dominating and the fruitier ones moved to the background. This gives it a crisp, clean, bitter flavor with a fruit finish that helps to wash the beer down. I wish it was a bit more balanced, but it's pretty nice.

Has a nice, luxurious mouthfeel for an IPA, especially and English IPA. Heavy carbonation gives this nice body, and the watery texture of the beer itself help to make it easy to drink. Swishing it in my mouth for a moment, I realize that I could pretty much use this as mouthwash -- and I mean that as a compliment!

Overall, I think this is pretty drinkable. I enjoy it for what it is, and will certainly drink the rest of this four-pack, but I don't yearn for another right away, and at $10.00 a pack it seems a bit steep. I'd still go with Bridgeport or Sweetwater for a nice IPA, but this is nice in a pinch or as a change of pace.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2005 23:19:02 | More by danielharper
Photo of jamesdergen


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

Appearance: Pours a pale orange with a minimal head that doesn't last.

Smell: Spicy, caramely and nutty, but not very strong or aromatic.

Taste: Spicy, hoppy flavors are present but quickly overcome by some nuttiness and a slight caramel malt flavor at the end.

Mouthfeel: Slightly syrupy, but not too heavy. Leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: I could drink a whole bottle, but chose to share this one with a friend. It's different than the Masala Mama IPA that we get at Town Hall, but unique and tasty in it's own way.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2005 05:24:57 | More by jamesdergen
Photo of scooter231

New York

4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love hoppy beers. Aggressive, bold, crazy flavors tend to impress me- this was not one of those beers. Oddly enough, that was a surprising good thing.

Pours a rusty amber color with great head and a lovely amount of big bubbles that stay til the end. Awesome looking, very inviting. Smell raised my eyebrow. Sweet and malty? Floraly sweet and bready? What kind of IPA, even an EIPA, could this be? Intrigued, I took a sip... and then another...

Malty. Very bready and biscuity. Hops? Where are they? They're floral and sweet- not aggressively bitter, sour, or attacking. A mild, very drinkable brew. Extremely smooth.

I, a self-stated hopfiend, enjoyed this brew. It was different, and pleasingly so. Not too heavy, with different flavors and textures going on than your average IPA. Cheers Sam Smith, for raising my eyebrow a few times.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2005 04:30:59 | More by scooter231
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very different tasting IPA in my experience. Maltier than it is hoppy. Hopfiends look elsewhere!
Unless you are looking for something that's malty and smooth. Smells almost... belgian.
Lots of breadyness goin on.
Lots of smoothidity goin on.
A mild profile all around.
A little bit pricey considering the bounty of IPA goodness that is out there, but easily worth a try.
Sam Smith's makes good beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2005 04:19:35 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of sacfly


2.85/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

355ml brown bottle

Clear, golden color. Thin layer of white bubbles. Smell is sweet and somewhat floral.

Taste is creamy and bitter. The aftertaste is bitter and overly astringent. Woody.

Overall, very boring. The only thing that stands out is the aftertaste- which I find harsh and unpleasant. Much better British IPA’s out there and if I purchase a Sam Smith’s product it will be one of their many other fabulous offerings.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2005 01:04:57 | More by sacfly
Photo of Smittysguinness


4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite simply, this IPA blew me away.

It's 9:00 on a brisk morning, on the campus of Michigan State. It's a tailgate. Besides my morning coffee, spiked with a bit of John Jameson and Son's finest, my palate was undisturbed. I reach into my cooler full of Molson Canadian (I'll review that one later) and pull out my bottle of this IPA.

I cracked open the bottle, and was immediately hit by a wonderful floral smell. I smelled plenty of hops, as I would with any IPA, but not so strong as, say, Sierra Nevada. This woke my brain up out of its fog.

Quivering with anticipation, my tastebuds ready for the shock of a mega-hoppy IPA, I nearly fell over at what I perceived to be an amazingly well-balanced IPA. Incredible. Sure, there were loads of hops....it's an IPA. That's what they do. But these hops I thought were extremely-well balanced by a nice sweet maltiness. In fact, the malt really took the sting off of what I would normally expected. I exclaimed out lous that it was the best IPA I'd had in a long time. Sorry Sierra Nevada...I found a new one.

Mouthfeel was slightly dry, as it should be with IPA. Drinkability I think speaks for itself. I will buy this beer over and over again. Besides, it took the sting off of MSU's Godawful performance against Northwestern...

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2005 03:48:02 | More by Smittysguinness
Photo of henrysunset


4.4/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

smell is awesome, floral but not too sweet, only a little bitter. taste is really pleasing, malts are mellowed and refreshing, balanced well with only moderate hoppiness. not too thin either. overall, it is wonderfully enjoyable and a nice change from the obsenely strong ipa's of the west coast.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2005 22:13:16 | More by henrysunset
Photo of Holyterror


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

SS's India Ale poured a medium copper with a small but dense head. Nose was strongly malty, with black currant accents. Expected hop aroma was basically absent.

This is a story told by malt, with side notes and an epilogue unobtrusively added by hops. The folks in Tadcaster are apparently experts in toasted malt, which is the star in many of their offerings. Basically, this is the pale ale with extra malt and hops (which is what an IPA is supposed to be anyway, I guess). Definitely English, this stands in stark contrast to the highly-hopped American style. Enjoyable, though not what I expected.

A good ale to sit down with when you're not craving hops. At the lower end of Samuel Smith's brews, it's still worth trying. Perhaps a good transitional brew for maltheads.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2005 21:22:41 | More by Holyterror
Photo of Dithyramb


3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany with aromas of crystal malt and light floral hops.
Tasted like a weaker version of Sam Adams Boston Lager, pretty tame in comparison with both the current American and British versions. Very malty, with a strong caramel base. Just some floral hops thrown in for protection.
Finished sweet but not cloying and clean. Could drink several, just a bit weak for the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2005 21:42:25 | More by Dithyramb
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2005 18:03:10 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of xoqx


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

Appearance – Mostly clear medium amber with a two finger yellowish head. Thin lacing remained on one side of the glass.

Smell – A very orangey, citrus nose is followed by slight hoppiness.

Taste – Caramelly, medium-roasted malts immediately give way to hops that are not as bitter or strong as I would expect from an IPA, but perhaps this is the British (read: more traditional) approach to the style. Tangy citrus overtones are present from start to finish.

Mouthfeel – Medium-light and dry.

Drinkability – Nothing overly impressive, but I will drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2005 02:26:04 | More by xoqx
Photo of horndecker

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is light copper with both fine and coarse bubbles in a full, active tan head.

It smells of resiny hops and bready malt, along with limes and apples.

The taste starts with hops and a mineral buzz, full round malt, rye bread. Plenty of hops present, but it's perfectly balanced with the malt. Caramel and toffee flavors show up. Finishes dry and snappy, with an herbal aftertaste. Wonderful.

It's medium bodied, has a dense and soft mouthfilling carbonation. Not like the intense IPA's that'll curl your tie. It's balanced and smooth. It's not tame, but it is domesticated.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2005 20:02:03 | More by horndecker
Photo of ghostwalker


4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear dark amber/copper pour. Foamy off-white/tan head that sticks around a while. Leaves some very nice lacing as it subsides.

Smell is pleasant. Piney, citrusy. Gentle floral highlights. Hops are there, but not overwhelming at all.

Good IPA flavor. All the classic hoppiness and zest of the style, but still has less oomph than many American IPAs. Tends to be smoother than many US efforts, I think. A real UK classic in my book.

Tart and tangy mouthfeel. Seemed a little light on the palate at first, as it goes down it gets stronger and better.

Very drinkable, I could line this up with many, (or perhaps any), of my favorite IPAs and have a very nice session indeed.

Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2005 23:04:16 | More by ghostwalker
Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,490 ratings.