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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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1,604 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,604
Reviews: 870
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 19
Gots: 60 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,604 | Reviews: 870 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HardTarget
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: No useful information on the 12 oz. BROWN bottle. Pretty though

Aroma: Smells like an English ale… if that makes any sense. Slight butter note, light fruit esters, and just hints of hops

Appearance: Orange brass colored mug with a speckled bubble tan quarter finger head that laced heartily.

Flavor: The slight fruit notes are a little deeper here, bitter orange rind, the buttery note is stronger, but pleasant, and only the mildest of hop notes. Hops seem in the flavor range (between bittering and aroma) and are pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Slightly creamy, firm carbonation with a prickle just after the swallow.

Overall Impression: A fine ale. Easy drinking, just strange that a classic IPA has so little hops. Enjoyable none the less.

HardTarget, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of mmmbeer
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big 500 mL bottle served above fridge temperature. It pours a clear amber/chestnut color with medium carbonation and a half-inch off-white head that doesn't quite lace the glass. The predominant smells are buttery malts and maybe some piney hops. It tastes pretty English - like a beefed up Bass or something. There's buttery malts, piney/perfumy hops, some hops oils, and a medium bitterness. There might be a touch of cardboard but I don't think it's an old beer. It has a body that is medium and smooth, coating the mouth well and leaving you wanting another sip. Overall it's a pretty good beer, though not as hopped-up as modern day IPAs are, but I would imagine that this is a close replica of the beers of yore that the monarchy sent to their troops in the land of spice.

mmmbeer, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of mclanem
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Looks great you could just call this caramel beer because it has a caramel color and so on.

Smell: Caramel once again real big here as well as dark roasted malt.

Taste: right off the bat I had caramel in the flavor, somewhat bitter, light malt flavor. Not to much depth to it. If you really like caramel and bitter beer go for it. I gave it 3.5 good because it was still good overall.

Mouthfeel:Great I like the way this beer feels nice carbonation, you can feel the froth in your mouthfull.

Drinkablility: Not to bad truely enjoyed one but I wouldn't drink more than that at once.

mclanem, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of mcowgill
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer poured a nice coppery color with minimal head and nice off white lacing.

S - The nose was sort of apple/tangy hops certainly not overpowering. The malt aroma comes through as well.

T - The taste seemed really dry to me with an initial malt flavor and decent tangy hop finish.

M - This beer has a crisp mouthfeel with good carbonation.

D - This is a fairly drinkable beer, certainly not one of my favorites but above average.

mcowgill, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of akajimmyd
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – 1Pt 2.7oz. Orange color. Solid fluffy head. A little dull.

Smell – Smells great, bursting with floral hops, hints of citrus.

Taste – Starts a little malty and sweet but quickly fills with hops. They range from piney to citrusy and floral. Unusally for the style I taste a bit of the alcohol as it lingers on my palate.

Mouthfeel – Nice tingle from the carbonation. Fresh feeling. Mid to Full body. Dry and hop spicy finish.

Drinkability – Delicious. Quaffable, drinkable and tasty.

akajimmyd, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of poluti
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours an orange red with carbonation bubbles running steadily up the side of the glass. It has a very nice white tuft of head. It's a very sexy looking beer. It smells of crisp malt, not departing from traditional english ales. There are minor scents of hops but nothing too extraordinary. It's as sweet tasting as most english ales. However, the hops are present to balance it out fairly well. It doesn't have the bite I was expecting before I poured the bottle, but I was reassured that the hops were present after my initial smell. This is a little too malt heavy than my liking, but a different experience all together for the style. It coats the tongue well. Flavors are ever present throughout the mouth and the tongue. It is not too heavy but not too thin. Then again, it is nothing extraordinary, but above par. I will drink this beer again when looking for an IPA with a lower bitterness content. Overall it was an enjoyable experience.

poluti, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of hoffman
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a pint glass from the bottle with a solid two and a half finger head of tan frothy bubbles . Head fades to a nice ring and cap on the beer with lacing from the top down. The smell is malty with little hop presence to show through. Tartness is a preslude to a mild sweetness in the middle with a nice hop kick in the finish. Some organic oily tastes on the bitter portions of the tongue. A nice almost herbal kick. The mouthfeel is a bit watery but has a nice carbonation tickle. Overall and extremely drinkable beer. Nice malts upfront and a great hop kick in the finish. Kind of an interesting packaging too. Only Sam Smiths bottle that I have encountered yet which is brown and not clear. Interesting but suits the beer.

hoffman, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of MSchae1017
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the bottle.

This beer pours a dark amber golden with a frothy head that leaves a thin film the whole way down the glass but does not lace all that much. The smell is actually primarily malty and seems to be some sort of roasted malt. The taste is hoppy up front but has a strong malty backbone. The malts again here seem slightly roasted. These malts are strongly complemented by the hops. The mouthfeel is nicely thick and carbonated. Overall I could use a more hop forward IPA but its not bad at all.

MSchae1017, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of russpowell
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost orange with a 3 finger + off white head. Head retention and lacing good

Smell: Malt with faint whiff of hops and some grainyness

Taste: Fruitty and malty with restrained english hopiness. finished with a slight caramel taste and dryness

MF: Good balance (a little more hops wouldn't hurt) with slight undercarbonation

Drinakble enough, but doesn't stand out

russpowell, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of OStrungT
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a golden brown, with a very light brown, thick head that fades slowly, leaving lots of thick laces.

This beer has a mildly hoppy aroma. It is slightly floral. A little malt aroma is present.

This beer has a very mild hoppy flavor. It tastes slighty spicy. I can taste just a touch of honey.

This beer is very mild. It is smooth. It leaves a faint bitter aftertaste. It is carbonated well.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. It is low in alcohol. Also, the flavor is definately not aggressive. In fact, this beer is sort of boring. I might just be used to the West Coast hop bombs, but this beer is just boring to me. It is definately not bad, but it just dosent stand out.

OStrungT, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of mdagnew
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast..

Poured a deep golden / rusty amber colour... Slightly off white head poured big and foamy and faded to thin layer...

Aroma - Fruity hop notes, floral, orange hints, slight spiciness, light caramel/brown sugar notes, nice light maltiness...

Taste – Nice hop bitterness, fruity (lemon), slight roasted maltiness, earthy, spicy, peppery, some nutty hints...

Feel - Quite sharp and dry. Medium body.... Very drinkable...

Overall - An excellent beer.... recommended...

mdagnew, Feb 06, 2006
Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber golden with a small dense bubbly head.

Obvious hops in the nose, but not a blast in the face like a lot of other IPAs. You can pick up on the malt also.

Kind of mild tasting from what I'm used to in an IPA, but I guess that's the difference between English & American IPAs. Extremely well-rounded and balanced, just like all other S.S. beers. I feel like the malt stands out just as well as the hops, in this beer.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and easygoing. Refreshing.

Highly drinkable. If you were up to it, drinking a 4 pack in a sitting would be very possible. This beer is unlike most IPAs. Doesnt leave my mouth all that dry, either. Recommended, but dont expect a hop-monster.

chOAKbarrell, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of Shaw
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber with a lovely off-white head that lingers. This looks really nice.

It smells of biscuits and lightly of hops with some vegetable aromas thrown in to boot.

The taste says "hard water" to me, which shouldn't be a surprise as this beer hails from England, land of hard water. Being a homebrewer in hard-water Florida, I know this taste well. But enough about that aspect. There's some nice hope flavor and bitterness in this beer that become apparent after a few swallows. This beer tastes a little more "raw" than I was expecting.

The body is good. Neither too light nor too heavy, it sits well in my mouth.

Overall this is an above-average English IPA. I prefer the American style with its more extreme use of hops. But this is a fine session beer at 5 percent.

Shaw, Jan 19, 2006
Photo of granger10
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep golden pour with copper around the sides. Smaller head reduces quickly but leaves a ton of sticky lacing around the glass. Aroma is yeasty and sour as well as being quite floral. It's also quite strong. Taste begins with a bit of caramel but transitions quickly to more of a citric sweetness. A strong yeasty precense dries out the sweetness and adds that unique Sam Smith flavor. The finish is strong on the hops with a tea like quality to them. The body is moderate and had good weight to it. I couldn't drink it fast but it wasn't heavy either. With regards to drinkability, the 500 ml went down easily but I'm satisfied. A solid all around British IPA.

granger10, Jan 16, 2006
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).

Absumaster, Jan 11, 2006
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.

Byeast, Jan 11, 2006
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.

optikon44, Jan 07, 2006
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.

ChiSox05, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of Ieatlambfries
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.

Ieatlambfries, Dec 21, 2005
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.

KarlHungus, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of joeskirkie
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.

joeskirkie, Dec 16, 2005
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.

cracgor, Dec 06, 2005
Photo of NiceGuyMike
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.

NiceGuyMike, Dec 04, 2005
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.

brewQ, Nov 24, 2005
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.

HugoGrim, Nov 20, 2005
Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
84 out of 100 based on 1,604 ratings.