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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: 89 | 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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Ratings: 1,667 | Reviews: 887 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of jettjon
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First off, I have to admit that I prefer the American IPA style to the English. I appreciate the bolder hops presence and bitterness, which to me makes the American IPA’s stand out more as a style rather than just a hopped-up English ale.

That said: Pours into the pint glass a clear orange color with very few bubbles. Thinnish head fades quickly leaving minor lacing behind. Nose hints at moderate hops, sort of middle-of-the-road, not piney, but not too malty-sweet, either. There’s a bit of biting coffee on the nose. Taste is bitter tart hops up front with and underpinning of sweet malt and a bitter finish. Not bad, but by no means especially remarkable. Mouth is wet, on the thin side of viscous. Drinkability is OK; this beer is flavorful and nicely bitter but overall unremarkable in my opinion.

Overall: This may well be a banner example of the English IPA style. However, to me as just a random beer from the vast sea of offerings, this one is just above average, with a solid flavor but not much else. It’s worth a try, but to me I’ll be sampling some of the dozens of other IPA’s, both American and English before I come back here.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
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!

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Foggy orange amber hue. Large and dense head of orange white foam. Medium to medium low level of carbonation.

S: Full mature hops, a noteable malty essence. Some zesty notes of citrus.

T: Medium bodied, hoppy. Lots of mild hop overtones speak well over the malty and woody backbone. Light, sweet notes of alcohol are noted on the palate. Nice.

M: Lighter than most. Like a beer feather. Goes down easy. Mild carbonation makes the beers trip down a joyful one.

D: Not bad. I'd have it again, but i'd like to see how it compares on tap.

Notes: A fair IPA. More traditional than most. A nice nod to the way IPA were made, and it stands stern in that tradition.

Photo of Mechphisto
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful clear, dark amber. Thick, creamy head that stays a reasonable amount of time and leaves a good amount of soft, thick lacing.

S - No discernible specific notes in the smell. Light, a little hoppy. Maybe a touch of fruity scent.

T - Kind of generic tasting. Good, but nothing unusual or unique. A little sour, but a fruity sour, not a spoiled sour.

M - Very clean, light feel. No oiliness, no real bitter aftertaste (just a nice hop.)

Wish I could offer a more interesting perspective or review, but all I can say it it's just a pleasant, easy drinking ale that's not spectacular, but nothing to complain about either.
I'd willingly have another, and that's good for me.

Photo of eberkman
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, clear auburn with a one-finger off-white head that rises and billows appealingly, but ultimately shrinks down to a collar within minutes.

Bouquet of sweet, fruity malts -- peaches, apricots, plums -- with some bready, biscuity notes as well and a slight buttery scent at the finish. Surprisingly unhoppy in the nose.

Taste is also biscuity and fruity -- kind of like thick, honey-sweetened whole-grain bread with some plum jam. A mildly bitter finish, but nothing like I'd expect from an IPA. Most American APAs I drink regularly actually seem to have more hop bitterness than this one. Certainly doesn't have that lingering bitter finish.

Feels a bit thin and flat in the mouth. But very drinkable -- goes down easy. A good thirst-quencher. Not a go-to beer -- many better options out there. And this is the most disappointing selection I've had from a brewery that I really admire. But I'd certainly never turn one down either. Overall, not bad but not great. Is this typical of English IPAs? I know they invented the style, but I don't see many of them around here and it's dramatically different from the good, widely available American IPAs like Smuttynose, SN Celebration, etc.

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

The beer pours a rich orangish gold with an off-white head. The aroma was a bit of hops citrus over a nice malt base. The taste is a biscuity malt with a lot of herbal hops, I also get a bit of citrus in the finish. The feel was medium and dry. Once again Sam Smith's does it right. This has a really nice complex taste that took a good portion of the bottle to sort out, but it was worth the effort.

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

In brown bottle.

Pours a golden orange color, nice carbonation, head was decent and creamy, nice lacing afterwards. Scents of malts, very slight hops, and caramel. The taste is malty, slightly hoppy, there's a nice bitter bite in the end. Medium body. Drinkable, this is nothing like an American IPA, but still pretty tasty.

Photo of Schwarzbart
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A nice finger high foamy head that receded to a bubbly foam top that resulted in some excellent cling.

Smell: A good clean malt aroma with notes of dark fruits like plums and fig.

Taste: Lightly toasted malts backed by a mild earthy hop flavor. Not as hoppy as American versions and could easily pass for a pale ale here. Somewhat earthy like a herbal tea and a definite fruity tea aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and dry.

Drinkability: I love the tea like aftertaste.

Photo of mnesporov
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 1pint bottle with no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: A copper orange color with a fluffy white head that calmed down to a frothy lace.

Smell: The hop aroma tends to stand out the most with a zest of tartness.

Taste: The hop bitterness takes over in this ale with hints of caramel and orange like tea flavor as well, with undertones of grains and butterscotch.

Mouth-Feel: A medium bodied ale with a little dryness as well. The carbonation is medium, and it finishes quite smooth.

Drink-Ability: A very drinkable brew that goes well with some meat or potatoes. But there are just so many better IPA’s that I think this beer is overshadowed.

Photo of jubnat
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I expected this to be a bit bigger, with more alcohol. But its lightness(compared to other IPAs) makes it very nice to drink. Strong flavors, malty, hoppy. But not overly hoppy. Goes down so smooth. I would drink these everyday if they were only cheaper.

Photo of yelterdow
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

550ml bottle served at just over fridge temperature in a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass. Freshness code reads SE03B1... if anyone could please tell me what that means, I'd appreciate it.

Appearance- Rich and golden, this beer glows brightly like a summer sunset... supporting a foamy, crisp snow white head that easily rises to four fingers. As it sits, the head crags nicely and leaves behind snowdrifts of lacing all inside the glass. Looks hugely appetizing, and relatively light-bodied for the style. That is all good with me.

Smell- The wonderful, unmistakable aroma from the folks at Tadcaster... perfumy, full, wildly bready notes waft alongside the distinctive hop varieties and malts, all in superb balance. Unique to this brewery.

Taste- Like a hoppy ESB, this beer really emphasizes the biscuity character of the malts and saves the hops for later. A quite mellow and very approachable English IPA that exemplifies the clean, local water used here. Floral on the tongue first, getting real bready and biscuity in the middle, then finishing with a dry, sourdough-like bitterness. Tasty!

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Definitely the weakest attribute of this beer, the mouthfeel is thin and boring... there's barely an uprising when provoked, and it's gone before it even starts. If there's anything positive about that, well it certainly doesn't get in the way of the delicious flavors that really grip and ornament the entire mouth. Drinkability is so easy and pleasurable, so sessionable at 5%... no food necessary here, just good friends, great conversation, and maybe some light snacks. I will definitely buy this again for recreational drinking rather than reviewing next time around.

Photo of treehugger02010
3.13/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I wasn't very impressed with this brew. I bought a single 12 ounze bottle from Michael's Deli in King of Prussia and the poured it into a pint glass. There wasn't any head at all, and I can count the amount of lace on one hand. The smell was sweet. The taste was kind of sweet, but there were some other notes of flavor I couldn't pin point. Don't drink and review.

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

Color was a very nice crystal clear light amber. A one inch creamy white head shrank over a few minutes. Average amount of large carbonation bubbles. Thin sheets on side of glass.

Mainly malty aroma had a light hint of honey. Smoked quality of the malt reminds me of burnt toast. Not much hops bittering acting in the back of the nose.

Taste was a sweet malt that ended with a taste of dry brown bread. A decent bitter quality helped to keep this from cloyingness. Slighlty above average taste, just a hint on the sweet side.

Nice feel was average thickenss. A carbonation feel helped move the taste around the tongue.

A decent blend is slightly above average. Would go nice with pepper jack grilled cheese sandwiches. An above average beer in the style, try one for yourself.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.24/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served a clear 12 oz bottle into a nonic glass.

Light copper,bit cloudy,off-white head dissapating into layer of foam with soapy looking bubbles,but lacing the glass.
A complex aroma very fruity,spicy,flowery,winey,apple like,soft and pleasing,the wine aromas dominated as the beer warmed.
A winey taste,yet fruity,hints of alcohol,A dry tartness thats slightly sour, like green apples.No real hop tastes a bit on the watery side.
A light mouthfeel,dry and grainey.
Very drinkable,lacks body though,remind me more of an ESB than an India.English style is a lot different than the American. Not a bad beer,a bit lacking for me.Nothing I would buy again,but I wouldn't turn it down if it was offered either. A bit disappointing.

Photo of kimcgolf
3.12/5  rDev -15%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I’m just not that impressed with most of the Samuel Smith line, and this was another disappointment. Poured to a nice orange color with thick off-white head that lasted the entire glass, and excellent lacing. Aroma was mildly hoppy, but scent in particualr. Likewise with the flavor, tasty, but nothing special. Like most SS beers I’ve rated, the body is thin and watery, and the palate metallic. Hard to give a good rating with a bad finish.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
2.23/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, deep gold with a dense two and a half finger head. Great retention and excellent spotty lacing. Spicy alcohol and cinnamon in the nose, mild enlgish hops and a hint of toasted pale malt. Initially sweet with toasty base malt and a hint of crystal. Next, vague dextrins and a soft diacetyl come through to couple with a quasi-phenolic fruitiness and a dry but not very bitter aftertaste. Some oily enlgish hops give an herbal, tea-like flavor -but the hop charcter is very limited and quite unbalanced for the style. Medium in body and light-ish carbonation-this is just crisp enough to fight off any slickness. Finishes dry and fruity; very drinkable with interesting malt and yeast attributes, but grossy lacking an identity similiar to the classic English IPA.

Photo of BeerSox
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550mL bottle into mug.

Clear deep orange amber. Slightly off-white one finger head with good retention. Almost perfect lacing, like somebody painted it on the glass.

Strong bready malt in the foreground with the higher amount of floral hops shining through. Some slighty buttery notes from the yeast. Much maltier compared to your typical American counterpart.

Grainy malt is the dominant character, with the leafy hops poking through with a citrusy zing. The medium body and low carbonation give it a smooth feel, while the hops give it a slightly dry finish. Light sweet honey notes are in the background.

Overall a solid and well balanced IPA. Not as strong as the old-school styles which were a little hoppier and had a higher %ABV, but still is a good example of the style as it stands. This one is comprable to a regular Pale Ale with a higher hop content. Recommended.

Photo of dgallina
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

550ml brown bottle without obvious freshness date.

Pours clear copper with a finger of off-white cream and very nice lace. Smells of appetizing toasted biscuits and toffee edged with floral and leafy english hops. Lively carbonated body with good balance of smooth creaminess. Flavor is dominated by leafy hops, balanced with biscuit malts, and shot through with mineral water hardness and a definite (but not overwhelming) diacetyl presence. Finishes with hoppy citrus dryness. Quite drinkable and superbly balanced.

Photo of goochpunch
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper with a thin, creamy head that leaves very raised and ornate lacing. Moderate carbonation. Malt smells are very sweet, nutty, and bready. I pick up a little date in there as well. The Tadcaster yeast is evident as well. Faint noble hop, which I would have expected to me more pronounced. Taste is rather bitter through and through, walking alongside the fruity esters, bready malt, and floral hop flavors. Bitterness continues on throughout the aftertaste along with some nuttiness and yeastiness. Mouthfeel is moderate and a little bubbly. A great drinker, and a nice change from American IPAs and all their NW hops. Another great Sam Smith.

Photo of Beerzebub
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Light golden amber color, with a small white head. Good lacing.

Dry maltiness in the smell, like biscuit, toast, honey. Hint of grassy/herbal and citrusy hops.

Clean, toasty, honeyish malt - Hint of sweetness at first, becoming totally dry. Refreshing grassy and citrusy hop flavor and bitterness. Some subtle fruitiness like apricot and peach. Very well balanced, and refreshing.

Low carbonation, works well. Mouthfeel could be fuller, though. Very, very drinkable.

This beer's profile is similiar to a good, malty pilsner, clean and balanced. Each ingredient shows its distinct, naked character, in harmony with the others.

Photo of jglazer75
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a clear light-auburn with two-finger foamy pale white head. On closer inspection it reveals a surprisingly strong malt nose, with a touch of citrus and alcohol. The citrus turns out to be a robust hoppy flavor and the alcohol flavor follows all the way through to the finish. While the initial burst is mild citrus and pleasant hops, the carbonation carries the first flavors away and the taste soon fades to sweet malty, bread-like finish. The finish doesn't stick around long, and is soon replaced by a metallic/alcohol like flavor that begs for another sip, even if only to get rid of the metallic flavor. This beer begs to be drank and the reasonably priced bottle goes quickly. A thoroughly enjoyable beer that is great for summer evenings and fall afternoons.

Photo of warchez
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ar: aroma is lacking in hop presence. Mildly there but expect more from the style. Malt aroma is limited.
Ap: near perfect presentation. Good creamy head, stand up well in the glass. Clor os a great light amber, predominantly orange hue. Crystal clear. No streaming bubbles.
Taste: Great malt balance, light caramel sweetness, not nut tones. Nice ceral grain/bisciut character in the aftertaste, mild though not over done. Great malt balance. Classic english yeast character leaves a little diacetyl. Hop flavor is slightlt spicey, not overpowering, expected a little more for style.
mouthfeel: Pretty crisp, some tannin dryness in finish but works with the overall presentation.
Overall: Highly drinkale beer. Would pair well with almost an entree that wasn't sweet in nature. Great session beer. Too bad import price is higher than local brew of similar quality

Photo of haz77
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear copper with a thick, firm off-white head which retains well. Low carbonation.

S - Citrus/floral hops, spice, caramel/toffee, light fruitiness.

T - Initial sweet fruits become citric and bisuity malts comes through. There's a deep metallic presence in the finish, which is washed away by the caramel and butteriness in the aftertaste. Fruity hops bitterness is also present in the background.

M - Medium-bodied and silky smooth. Soft, barely noticeable carbonation.

D - Very drinkable and refreshing. Expect the flavours to be more skewed towards being a bitter rather than an IPA.

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

This is not a hoppy American style IPA. It is reserved but flavorful and built for easy drinking.

Appearance: Pours a light copper gold color.

Smell: Malty and candy like sweetness with some hop and fruity sugars.

Taste: The flavor is more malty and smooth and easy and with pale malt, fruit sugars and hop candy caramel flavors; making this a tame, quaffable IPA.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy medium body.

Drinkability: The drinkability is the feature of the Samuel Smith's IPA. It is a beer built for easy drinking!

Hope this is helpful.

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