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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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1,690 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,690
Reviews: 891
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 24
Gots: 100 | 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: 1,690 | Reviews: 891 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jar2574
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Orangish color, with cream colored lacing. Half an inch of frothy head, and lacing sticks to the sides all the way to the last drop.

Lovely smell of hops and a mild earthy sweetness. The taste is very well balanced, (my wife even likes it and she hates most IPAs.) Nice hops, you get the bitterness without it being overpowering at all. Very, very smooth.

Nice carbonation. Very drinkable. It doesn't have one characteristic that stands out or is very memorable, this beer is just a very satisfying experience. It would compliment most any meal, or would make a great session beer.

Photo of cichief
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a deep gold, with a thin off-white head.

S- Subtle hop scent, not overdone, citrusy.

T- Slight malty beginning, sour, with dryish hop finish.

M- Tiny bubbles, not overly carbonated.

D- A good example of an English IPA, nt as hoppy as an American IPA, better in the UK.

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

A - A rose tinted clear amber brew with a decent sized frothy head that leaves a delicate ring of lacing on the glass.

S - A touch of heather and other floral aromas. A bit of very faint red fruitiness, likely that classic sam smith yeast aroma.

T - A mild floral hop flavor with a bit of faint malt on the finish. Aftertaste is a faint floral heather.

M - Smooth, thick, a bit frothy and refreshing.

D - Quite good, mild and sessionable with a pleasant flavor, certainly worth a try. There is a good chance I will have this one again.

Photo of Fugazme
4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light orange/copper in color... thick, white head.

Aroma is slightly furity with a touch of cola/caramel... hey, it works.
Only a bit of hop character...

Sweet upfront and bitter through the middle upon drinking... very tea-like with a tiny-bit of citrus... subtley floral... very easy on the palate and smooth on the swallow.

Excellent balance... great session beer.

Photo of shadow1961
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was kind of excited to see an real India Pale Ale
on the store shelf made by a brewer that has been
around since the age of sail. What better way to try
the real thing? Samuel Smith's India Ale pours out
a finger of foam over a slightly cloudy reddish brew.
Carbonation is moderate, and the nose is malt and
English yeast. The flavor is sweet-ish malt up front,
with a slightly citrus herbal hop finish. There's also
traces of oak. Aftertaste is a grassy hop flavor. It is
in the aftertaste that the hops really come into their
own. This isn't the big hop monster like a lot of American
IPA's, but it still is quite flavorful and well worth a try.

Photo of riversider76
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden. Good size white head,with excellent retention,and lacing. Smell is bread,and butter,with a malt sweetness, and some earthy hops to boot. Body is medium,and carbonated. Taste is the same,with a bitter edge to the finish. better than average, but not outstanding.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

4/5/07 550 ML Bottle>MUG

AP: Orange hued copper color, big carbonation creating a 1/4" deep hefty and sicky off-white head with long strands of lacing.

Nose: Bready, buttery rolls and mildly sweet smelling malt, sweaty feat, herbal and earthy hop with a mild yeast and cinnemon to top of the overall smell.

Flavor: Big earthy and herbalized hop flavor; hearty and yeastie effects underneath. There's a pleasant chai-tea malt flavor that later displays flavors of nutmeg and cinnemon then finishing with a spicey and mildly bitter hop current.

Feel: Medium bodied with a crisp but very hefty feel for the style.

DA: When stacked up to some of the finest of it's style this one falls somwhere in the middle, although easy to drink, not exactly a thrill either.

Photo of Erdinger2003
2.46/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a big head, but that falls quickly and almost completely. The lacing is great and the color is copper/brown. There is a light hop presence in the smell with a little bit of cardboard, but not much. The taste is a little sweet with no hoppiness that I can taste. Just a little sweet with just a hint slight backround of cardboard. Mouthfeel was nice. Overall I thought it was ok, but not something to pay $3.50/bottle for.

Photo of Gaben
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Always dig any samuel smith product.

Appearance is kinda dark copper/redish seemed a bit more carbonated then most other sam smith products.

The smell was pretty nice , kinda had a pepper kick to it with bit of a fruity aroma.

The taste wasnt bad at all , it was very spicy and had an after taste of some like candy..? cotten candy yes.

Drinking this bottle was goot enough , Id perfer other IPA's out there.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On an English ale kick and realized I'd never even had SS' India Ale. For always steady quality and truth in advertising I've found Sam Smith's very consistent. Multi-colored Victorian style 355 mL, gold foiled. Bottle blurb tells story of the IPA style and boasts of refined malt and the produce of "England's best hop gardens".

As the bottle euphemistically puts it, the shade is "of golden sunset". One finger head, could be more active if not poured into SS short nonic. Looks like an IPA.

The nose wafts up spicy hops. Allergies prevent more in depth smelling, but it doesn't blow me away.

The maltiness is refined to the extent that the flavor is almost all from the hops. Slight bitterness at the end, springy in the middle, peppery hop first on the tongue. The mouthfeel is a bit oily, medium full. Not perfect, but characteristic of the English style. For an IPA, very easy to drink due to low alcohol level and mild hop bite. Very tasty.

Overall, it's not the best English IPA, nor is it the best ale produced by Sam. The only thing separating this from their Pale Ale is more aroma hops, which don't do a thing to alcohol by volume. This would certainly go better with tandoori cooking than the pale, but for most sessions I'd have to skip the India Ale unless you need to get a Fuggles fix (not sure if Fuggles are used, very slight anise flavor indicates they may be in the mix..)

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

16oz. bottle

Dark gold in color. Slightly hazy. Medium sized, off-white head.

Peaches - 1st impression. Mild hops, very well balanced with malt. Bread/doughy smell. Melon.

Nicely bitter, but not as aggressive as any of the U.S. versions I have tried. Hops are grassy/herbal in character. Not to do this beer an injustice, the hops certainly take center stage over the malt. Crackery flavor in the middle. Grassy at the finish, and lingering into the aftertaste. Based on my primarily U.S. experience, I would think of this as an ESB. I need to get out more...

Medium in body and carbonation. Rather dry.

Good, very sessionable. A nice, relatively mild IPA which I will enjoy again, I will just put it first in the lineup if I have any U.S. IPA to drink.

Photo of dedrinker
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Marmalade color. Smells of biscuits and caramel. Fruity taste with big hints of tea and scones. Moderate hops are uncovered on the finish. This is a breakfast beer for mildly overcast mornings in the mid-fifty degree range. As I progress into the glass I'm picking up apples. OK. I'll drink this for breakfast with peanut butter cookies and a few slices of apple.

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

Picked up an imperial pint at AJ's back at the end of October for $1.99.

Beer poured a golden color with a decent white head that is leaving lacing behind. Nose is of sweet fruit and English hops. Taste is well balanced, somewhat malty balanced nicely by English hops, and leaves a bit of a sour apple taste behind. Mouthfeel is smooth and full for the style. Overall drinkability is good. This is a fine English IPA that is a good representation of the style!

Photo of gmfessen
3.19/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a clear bronze-copper color with a very thick, frothy head. Nice bits of lacing that stick to the glass. Smell is quite sweet, reminds me of apple juice sort of. No real hop presence. The taste is sweet like the smell with the malty presence dominating and again, no real hop presence. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with not much in the way of carbonation. This is a drinkable beer, but not what I thought it would be. When I pick up a beer that says "India Ale" I usually expect at least some amount of hops.

Photo of xymyl
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thin whitish head on a copper/gold brew.

Aroma is caramel, compared to other IPA's no hops to speak of.

Caramel and soft herbal notes are followed by a surprizing backbone of bitterness that sticks to the palate and won't let go. Long dry finish, very balanced IPA.

Body is medium.

Drinkability is very good.

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

Poured from 12oz tall brown bottle at home.

A: Clean clear deep amber color. Solid head, about a finger – holds it well.
S: Some floral hops in the nose. Hint of graininess.
T: Tart bitterness of the hops comes through, but not as much as you would expect. Some grapefruit. It’s balanced with a malt-grain and tea-like flavor. Have to remember this is an English as opposed to an American IPA. Clean dry aftertaste.
M: Mouth-coating earthiness with relatively low carbonation.
D: Very drinkable. Taste is very refreshing – I never got tired of it.

Excellent beer for the style. I prefer a little more hop punch, but earthy tones make a great balance in this ale.

Photo of TechMyst
2.86/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazy amber.
good sweet vs. bitter balance.
Lots of lacing, tons of honey/yellwo head.
Rich malty aroma with a little funk. Better than I expected, but still no real "WOW" factor. Good quality brew. Medium mouthfeel, slightly slick palate. Nice lasting, but not overbearing bitterness. Smooth like honey. Very little conditioning sting / bite.

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

Poured into a tumbler. This beer pours a cloudy amber golden color with a decent white head about half an inch thick that settles to a decent sized film layer about 5 minutes after being poured. Has decent lacing, but it could be better. Floral, hoppy aromas are certainly present along with some spice and cirtus. The taste is certainly dominated by some hop bitterness up front followed by sweeter flavors that I can't quite put my finger on along with some citrus and lemon as well. Very nice balance tastewise. Has a nice fullbodied, crisp and frothy mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Veyr easy to drink. I'd have thsi again for sure. Anotehr very tasty offering from Samuel Smith!


3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Huge 2 1/2" off white head. Very good retention. Thick rings of lace. Beer is a clear strong bronze color.

S - Very fruity with a very herbal, tea-like aroma. Goldings?

T - Herbal and floral in front. Tangy. Light toffee throughout. Mild bitter finish.

M - Thin to medium bodied with low carbonation.

D - Very drinkable. A little expensive for a 4pk but a very good English Ale.

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

Pours a cloudy amber with a good size off white head. The head shrinks down but hangs in there throughout. Some lacing on the glass. Aroma is surprising, I was expecting a mild malty aroma, but this one had some type of spiciness I couldn't place. The answer was in the taste. In addition to the malt backbone, this beer has a strong hint of astringency, kind of like a hefe. An unusual combination of malt, fruit and astringency makes this one a bit more complex than I was expecting. Very smooth, rich enough mouthfeel and highly drinkable. This is an excellent session beer.

Photo of alexskovan
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550 ml (1 pt 2.7 oz) brown glass bottle.

Poured a hazy deep coppery orange with an off-white head that collapsed slowly, lacing the glass as it went. Smell was very similar to the Pure Brewed Lager, and not at all like most IPA. Sweet caramel and toffee, hops not at all assertive. Taste was like the Pure Brewed Lager, with a slightly more astringent, tea-like finish. This is a mellow, easygoing beer that is what it is, and probably doesn't care what anybody thinks. I'm inclined to like it.

Photo of BBM
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first experience with an English IPA, but I was aware that they're significantly different from American ones. This beer pours a golden amber color with a nice, creamy off-white head. The aroma was of some dark fruits, spices, a hint of citrus, and sugar.

The taste is more along the lines of a souped up pale ale, which I suppose was the IPA's intention in the first place. English hops are noticeable here, but there's also a strong malt backbone for a nice balance. Some spices are present, as well as a slightly metallic flavor. Overall the taste is very well-rounded and somewhat complex. Certainly enjoyable. Mouthfeel is medium and smooth, with a dry finish. This is quite a sessionable ale that I wouldn't mind having again.

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

A tasty beer that ive enjoyed before. Glad raider got me another one so i could finally review it. Have yet to find a brew from Samuel Smith that wasnt very enjoyable.

A clear, coppery/amber hued ale poured with a 1/2 finger off white head. A low level of carbonation producing medium sized bubbles was present in this brew. Only the scantest collar of lacings were evident as i enjoyed this E-IPA.

Earthy, grassy, floral and zesty citrus scents greeted my nose. Yeasty, fruity esters were also somewhat abundant, and could best be described as pear-like. Barley grain and a mild nutty and toasted biscuity breadiness also quite evident.

Nice malt backbone of toasted bread an biscuit with a hint of nuts as well. The earthy, grassy and floral hops with a hint of citrus zest, mostly lemon but also some orange give a pleasantly contrasting bitterness to the malts as well as the sweeter, fruity peary esters. Finishes in a mild tannin like astringency.

Very nice malts, which i have come to expect from this brewer, as well as pleasant esters from their ale yeast. Light to medium bodied, and the low level of carbonation allowed for full enjoyment and appreciation of this brew. Nicely balanced IPA according to the english style, and a mild enjoyable astringency also present, perhaps from some tannins extracted from the malts during the mash.

A very drinkable, tasty, easily sessionable ale. A great segue for hop novices looking to get into hoppier brews, yet easily has enough flavour and depth to appeal to more seasoned beer drinkers. Will gladly drink this one again, another winner from Samuel Smith!

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.

Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,690 ratings.