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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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1,633 Ratings

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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)
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Ratings: 1,633 | Reviews: 873 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mandrake
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly bright medium copper with a thick and creamy head that lasts pretty well and leaves a bit of lacing. Smell is fruity and light, with citrusy floral hops present but not overwhelming the strong malt backbone. Taste is toffee and butter maltiness, nicely balanced by the classic English hop character that comes through in the finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing, and drinkability is very good. In this age of over-the-top hops in IPAs, this perfectly crafted and balanced ale might seem a bit underwhelming, but I won't complain about it. Quality brewing from this group of traditionalists is always appreciated.

Photo of JBStith
2.17/5  rDev -41%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sam Smith's India (Pale) Ale. Not nearly as good as I was expecting. Quite disappointing actually.

A: Somewhat pale, watery, and hazy looking compared to most other IPAs. Very little head, retention, and no lacing to speak of .

S: Mostly sweet malts. Virtually no hop aroma at all.

T: Similar to smell, taste is mostly malt. Sweet, caramel, honey? No bitterness or hint of hops at all. It almost makes me question whether or not this is really an IPA or if I just got a bad bottle.

M&D: Medium body yet watery. Not drinkable at all for me.

Because Sam Smith's makes some of my favorite beers, I am hoping I just got a bad batch. I will try this again just to make sure, but this beer was just not good. Very disappointing.

UPDATE: I had to down grade the score of this beer mid way through an IPA tasting. At this point I can't even rate it as average.

Photo of soulgrowl
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very creamy, ivory head, tall with very good retention. Hazy, ruddy orange sunset body.

Smell: Honey, brandy, vanilla, and mild butterscotch. Such a sweet aroma; where are the hops? I thought this was an IPA!

Taste: What the hell? It's so sweet! Malts completely dominate, with a pear-juicy sweetness, and just a tiny leafy zip to suggest hops were used. Very weird. It's not bad but if I'm judging this as an IPA, I'm afraid it doesn't fare very well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, creamy and grainy, with a clean finish.

Drinkability: I just want more hops! This isn't a bad beer, but for an IPA, I really want something with a little more kick. Possibly a good pair for fruit-based desserts?

Photo of BDTyre
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...a Samuel Smith beer in a brown bottle...amazing. Nice clear amber colour with a tight, dense white head.

Stale malt, raw yeast and fresh bread smell. Slight sourness, maybe from the hops. There is no hop bitterness or grassiness in the smell, something I find odd considering this is an India Pale Ale.

Taste is a bit better than the smell lets on. Pale malt with a bready finish. Slight bitter citrus from the hops. Almost a creamy taste to it. Bitter, metallic hop finish as I swallow it.

Nice carbonation to this. Lower ABV makes this a great session beer, especially in this heat.

Photo of Franchise
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish brown with a clear clean body that leaves a thin tan head. The nose is fruit esters, citrusy hops, and a bready candy backdrop. The taste is sweet upfront mirroring the nose with a little bitter hop balance that finishes smooth. Dark fruit, figs, and raisins are all in this India Ale. I paired this beer with a bbq cheeseburger and sweet potatoe fries. I love an earthy IPA with potatoes and grilled meat it pairs so nicely.

Photo of EvilKeith
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a somewhat hazy motor oil golden amber color with a thin biege head. Lace was fine, but sticky.

Smell was sweet malt, a bit of rich toffee, piney and spicy hops.

Taste was on the bitter side, but enjoyable. A hint of sweet dark fruits and the hops. Spicy bittering finish.

Medium bodied. Crisp. Fairly active carbonation.

Nicely done! One fine IPA!

Photo of flaminghomer
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking bottle and nice looking beer. Good copper color and creamy head. A bit too watery. But goes down smooth. Taste is with the style but not overly hoppy. Just a bit more hops than a good english pale ale. Very drinkable and not overfilling. I wish that I could drink it more often.

Photo of kdmorse
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper. Small white head. Crystal clear.

S: Nutty. Subtle tea flavor. I don't like tea. Hops start to appear as it warms.

T/M: Big malt body. Same (unpleasant to me) tea as in the nose. Hops are slightly piney and crisp in the end. They bring the beer together nicely. Carbonation and mouthfeel are great. Refreshing and light without being thin.

D: Low alcohol makes it a true session beer. Would prefer the 8-9% abv that the officers and the elite enjoyed.

Photo of amstelcat
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Color is a nice, dark copper color with a dirty white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Nose is definately malty with hints of caramel. Taste is...okay. Just that. Not much discernable hoppiness but not cloyingly sweet.

This beer went down in a hurry and was very drinkable. However, if you are expecting a typical American IPA with a good whack of bitterness, you're going to be disappointed.

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S. Smith IPA is a clear copper with a moderate level of carbonation. The medium-sized head is thick and light brown in color. Aroma is of fruity malt with an edge of dry hoppiness. The overall strength of the aroma is fairly weak. Taste is of a sweet caramel English malt with an edge of fruitiness. Hop flavor here isn't as strong as expected, it mainly provides a dry, herbal aspect to the dominate malt flavors. Flavors are complex and nicely layered, the only downsides here are a weak aroma and the disapointing lack of hoppiness.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.
A solid beer. Good amber body, rather thin head, but durable. Smell of hops, coriander, and light biscuit.
Tasted like an IPA and little light in the bite, but full in the flavor. Hops flavor dominates, but not dry. I tasted mint in one sip, but couldn't find it again.
Well balanced, easy driking. I like my IPAs cold, but this was good a little warmer

Photo of Cresant
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

550 ml bottle with no date. Poured heartily into an IPA flute/pilsner. Created a rocky three fingers of beige foamy head, which released the aromatics nicely. Body was a clear golden brown.

The smell was fresh, hoppy and clean but disapated as the foam receded to a ring.

The taste was sweeter and less hoppy than the APA's and DIPA's I frequently drink but this is an "old school" India Ale. I found it to be solidly balanced. A crisp hoppy presence that sits on the tongue while coldest. Malts come forward as the beer warmed. This is a multidimensional beverage.

Mouthfeel was pleasant with a mild but prickly alcohol sizzle.

I found it to be very drinkable and a great accompaniment to food. Not as much a sipper as a refreshing drinker.

Photo of jockstrappy
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper color with an off-white 2 finger head that provides a sticky lace. Aroma is more sweet malts then anything, slightly floral hop, and a hint of fruit....pear maybe. Taste is very surprising.... smooth, buttery malt up front, with a pleasant hop bitterness that hits the palate before a smooth finish. Mild carbonation and medium body make for a pleasant mouthfeel, and make this ale very sessionable.

Truthfully, not what I was expecting, but not bad by any means. I was just expecting something a little more hopped up. This one is very close in comparison to their pale ale, but still, a solid and well balanced offering.

Photo of jameaterblues
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden orange hue, and gives a 1/2 inch white head that stuck around for a while, and left a thick bubbly white lace.

S: The first thing that I noticed was the sweet caramel malts....and then some citrusy and spicy hops. As the beer warmed up I began to notice a more of red fruit in the scent, as well as a grapefruit.

T: Strong citrusy hops at the tip and throughout the body. Sweet caramel malts come out during the the finish and create a really nice balance. There is a very mild bitter sweet after taste that follows.

M/D: This beer was medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. I bought it knowing I was going to eat spicy Indian food with part of it. It was the perfect accompaniment. Once again Sam Smith does not disappoint.

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

This IPA poured an amber/copper color with a medium/small head. It had a rich malty aroma as well as plenty of hop aroma to it as well. The taste had plenty of body which I found to be enjoyable as well as a medium/heavy hop bitterness to top off the taste. I felt that this IPA had a good malt:bitterness balance to it and I found it to be a crisp and clean ale well worth what I paid for it. Give it a try if you enjoy IPA's.

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

Pours a clear copper/orange color with a one finger white cap. Cap dissipated quickly. Aroma is toffee & caramel malt, toasted marshmellow, spice, floral, and citrus hops. malty but clean smell. As aroma suggested, flavor is caramel & toffee at first. Has the Tadcaster wheat twang I am familiar with. Spiciness leading into a biting hops and burnt toast. Aftertaste is hangs lightly for a few seconds only. Carbonation is low, body is med-low, and finishes dry.

Photo of sinistermadman
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt orange while yielding a fine head which quickly settles to a lace. Smell is of toffee, caramel and grain. Somewhat sweet in aroma.

Taste is of toffee, grain and hops. The hops are most predominant with the sugary malts as a supporting cast. Not an overly dominant hop presence as you would expect in an IPA, even for an UK. Mouthfeel is only achieved through hop twang, otherwise the body is slippery and rather thin. Not too bad. The end result is a pretty drinkable ale that holds it's own, but won't make you contemplate the meaning of life after drinking it.

Photo of Derek
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Seems to be more of a Pale Ale than an India Ale.

A: Clear copper, off-white head, very little retention, but it does leave some lace.

S: Sweet toffee and caramel malt with a touch of fresh, floral hops.

T: Solid malty backbone (bread, caramel, toffee & nut), surprising for its strength/weight. Fairly neutral bittersweet balance (is this bitter enough for the India designation?), with only a little hop flavour (floral & earthy, with a little orange/citrus).

M: Moderate body is slightly creamy, carbonation is a little on the light side. I think it'd be livelier with a little more carbonation.

D: Something you could drink all night.

Photo of Freshie
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a large Victorian size bottle.

A nice amber colour with light bubbly head.

The smell is a bit hoppy with herbal, and floral highlights.

The taste is malty, with tangy herbal flavour, that is in good balance with the hops. Hops comes out a bit in the aftertaste.

Very smooth, and not what I expected. English ales do not usually pour on the hops, so to speak, like American counter-parts, but I did not expect the malt flavour to be so present. Still good though. Had sort of a tea-like quality.

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

12 ounce bottle (amber glass for a Samuel Smith beer -- hell yeah!). Pours clear amber with sticky light onionskin colored head. Moderate carbonation. Hoppy aroma is of course somewhat subdued as this is an English IPA. Fruity esters of orange marmelade, canned pineapple, and a sweetish, almost banana-like scent. Interesting to say the least! On the taste, hops are floral and earthy, almost but not quite pine-inflected. Strangely, lowish alcohol content (5% abv) is not very well masked. Malts come through in mid-sip as a caramelly side note before a lovely mineral/bitter hop finish. Earthy bitter hop burps finish sour. Medium body and slightly astringent, juicy/chewy mouthfeel. This IPA is a fine choice, however, more often than not I find other choices I prefer more without the high price of Samuel Smith beers (the only justafiably priced one, IMO, is their Russian Imperial Stout).

Photo of Tupperwolf
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Always so nice to pour a good beer into that brewery's own branded pint glass. Such was the case with Sam Smith's IPA, after a thorough rinsing to remove water spots left by the dishwasher (grrr). The beer pours a nice clear amber with a finger-and-a-half soapy yellow-white head that sticks around through several draughts, then fades to four millimeters and stays there, fed by lazy bubbles. Soapy lacing is left behind.

Huge Sam Smith's horseyard smelling malts are the dominant scent, with just a bit of farmland hop finish; It's a little weak in the hops, even for an English IPA, but the scent is really big and bold, and I have a hard time faulting it.

The malts are, again, dominant in the flavor; They have a weird bite that I only seem to get from Sammy's beers - not off, mind you, but probably due to the yeast that they have cultivated there, or their choice of hops - it's a characteristic taste that is unique to the brewery and shouldn't be bashed or changed. The dominant malts have a bit of butterscotch character, but are mostly horsey - and not in a brettanomyces way, but in a kind of mildew, old wet wood smell - maybe just a little of Golden Retriever wet dog flavor. Sounds weird, but it's tasty. I just can't describe it properly. You'll have to trust me.

This is one of those beers that floats on the tongue - as you take in a mouthful, it feels as though it's levitating inside your mouth, touching everything at once and then again, not quite touching everything - making its prescence known, but not overstaying its welcome. It has a thick body for an IPA, with very light carbonation, and a lightly bitter finish that fades to malts after a little while.

If you're looking for a hoppy beer, look elsewhere. Hell, look to a doppelbock for hops before you look to this. this isn't supposed to be hoppy. It's supposed to be a Sam Smith's English IPA, and that's goddamn well what it is. Those chaps can do whatever the bollocks they want with their beer. I havent' yet had a bad one.

Photo of oolite
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear amber/copper color, with a short white to offwhite head.

The more I smell this, the more scents I can distinguish: at first a sweet, lightly citrus scent with just a faint bit of spice. After a few sips the nose seems more of a buttery toast, or even marshmallow. Very pleasant.

The creamy, marshmallow notes come through in the taste, as well as a bit of acidic fruits, but the dominant note is definitely the spicy, bitter hops.

Easy to drink, feeling mostly smooth but with an IPA style kick to it.

Photo of klewis
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a reddish-golden hue with a huge frothy head that sustains at two or three fingers and sticks all over the glass.

S: Not much smell. Slight vegetal aromas and something that reminds me of paint.

T: Unexpectedly malty with little hop presence at all. There are some watered down fruity flavors, as well as lots of diacetyl. Only slightly bitter in the finish.

M: Very light carbonation makes this a smooth drinker, but the body is somewhat watery and on the lighter side.

D: Not bad, but nothing special. Perhaps I would like this more if I weren't so used to American IPA's and APA's.

Photo of jmz62565
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a clear amber with a huge tan foamy head. 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. The m/f is light and I don't really think the sweet malt and the hop bitterness is well balanced together. This is OK,and true to the original IPA,but there are so many better IPA's today that this is left as a old fossil and not really worth a second look.

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

Been looking for this IPA for quite a while, its one of only a few Sam Smith's not available at Ronkonkama Beverage, my usual haunt. Picked this up at Big Z in Huntington.
Nice cloudy brown body that seems to have some heft to it. Head starts nice but fizzles quickly. Nose is surpringly more malt based, with chocolate hops and a sweet not not usually found in IPA.
Hops make the show early in the taste but mellow quickly without blasting you with bitterness. Fresh, yeasty taste; very typical of English ale. Not a smack you over the head with hops India ale but will appeal to those who like the style.
Mouthfeel isn't anything special but not a liability either. Drinkability for me is helped by the low abv and carbonation levels.

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