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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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1,540 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,540
Reviews: 862
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 19
Gots: 50 | 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: 1,540 | Reviews: 862 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oxmasterscream

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Poured 1 1/2 finger, light tan head atop a clear, copper body. Immediately, fruity and spicy aromas were detected. As it warmed, it smelled more and more fruity and malty with notes of honey. It was surprisingly sweet smelling and lacking in the typical hop smells for an Indian Ale (but perhaps I'm too used to drinking American IPAs). It tasted like it smelled, sweet and fruity with some tangy notes and a strong bitter finish, which tended to linger heavily. It's body was medium to light, leaning more towards the light side and very smooth. This is a weird beer for me... it just seems really too sweet to be an Indian Ale but I'm no expert. The alcohol is quite low for an Indian Ale as well and is barely noticeable. It's a good beer without a doubt but I prefer something a little more powerful and spicy in this style.

08-12-2004 22:43:24 | More by oxmasterscream
Photo of CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.53/5  rDev +23.1%

Pours a copper orange color with very active carbonation and a big rocky and dense head. Sam Smith beers have the best head and carbonation. Th aroma is of big pungent English hops, without citrus or grapefruityness like American hops. The taste is very hoppy but also well balanced with biscuity malts. Definitely not as hoppy as American IPAs but still very pleasant. A delicious crisp finish. I really like this.

07-28-2004 21:32:02 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of kegerator


3.3/5  rDev -10.3%

not overly impressive.
Poured out a slightly hazed yellow with a decent white head that left nice lacing.
smell was slightly citrusy, with some nut in the background
taste was about the same.
mouthfeel was slightly dry and not too bitter.
all in all this was ok, just came off as a typical IPA with nothing special to offer.

07-26-2004 14:17:57 | More by kegerator
Photo of cokes


4.28/5  rDev +16.3%

Dusty amber and translucent. The head is eggshell, tight and sticky.
Nose full of buttered fruits, primarily pineapple, tangerine, and orange.
Enters the mouth all full of toasted caramel and toffee. Traces of butter-drenched biscuits soon arrive. Fruitiness enters with all the tropical hues the nose promised, and then some. Lime juice and papaya, and oranges, and pineapples. Quinine minerality. Ends with a persuasively bitter herbed fruit notation. It seems to carry more back-end bitterness than many of its English peers, as it hints at the resinous qualities its US successors have trademarked.
Fluid and dynamic in its medium build. It's full of flavor, but drinkable in quantity.
This is a very appealing and bold, traditionally styled version.

07-21-2004 23:52:20 | More by cokes
Photo of beertaster13


3.68/5  rDev 0%

Pours a nice amber orange/sappy yellow with a white creamy head that is very nice, settles to about an inch but still impressive. Lacing will coat the glass slightly. The smell is of apple and slight citrus and pine. The taste is rather non-hoppy, being a west coast guy I prefer ultra hoppy. More of a sweet caramel and apple sweetness with just a slight citrus tang. A little bit of earth tones detected/also bread tones as well. Maybe peach fruit as well? Medium bodied and good, drinkable but I need the hops man!

07-21-2004 06:26:05 | More by beertaster13
Photo of Boilermaker88


3.98/5  rDev +8.2%

In light of the recent evolution of the BA beer styles, I decided to give the English IPA's a try. I've been busy working on the American (West Coast, in particular) IPA's but wanted to try a more "traditional" IPA.
Presented in a 550ml bottle - hey, it's brown, not clear! - and poured into an imperial pint glass, this EIPA had a clear coppery hue and built up a large foamy off-white head that lingered for a few minutes as a initial rush of carbonation worked its way to the top before fading down to a thin skim. Light rings of lace were left behind as the beer receded.
The nose had a sweet malty aroma, laced with caramel, as the predominant feature. Secondary to that were the aromas of leafy hops, herbal in nature, and a hint of tea. The taste was definitely not what most Americans would term an "IPA taste"; you know, big resiny hops bombs. No sir, this one has a much larger malt character, sweet yet also having a distinct grainy flavor. The hops nearly take a back seat to the malt profile but do their best to make themsleves noticed. Leafy, herbal and a bit citrusy, the hops build through the finish. Separate from all this is a tannic flavor reminiscent of loose tea leaves. The feel was medium-bodied, dry and with just a bit of grittiness that distracted and detracted a little.
Samuel Smith's IPA isn't close to any American IPA's I've tried. If anything, it struck me as being similar to a few American pale ales. However, that's where the new breakdown of beer styles shows its worth. This isn't an American IPA; it's English. As such, I found it to be quite drinkable and a quality representative of the style.

07-15-2004 18:36:44 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.05/5  rDev +10.1%

550ml bottle, clear, 'victorian pint'

Pours with a clear amber body, foamy tan head , good retention

Smell, floral aroma of hops, slight honey also

Taste, dry and slight bitterness from the hops (although probably not enough in my opinion)

A very nice IPA, quite a good entry into the world of IPA's as it is mild (especially when compared with hopped american versions)

07-14-2004 22:58:15 | More by cypressbob
Photo of SixpointJMH

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -4.1%

pours a nice amber colour with a big sticky off-white head. not bad. the smell here is atypical for an ipa, malt, earth and butter dominate and hops are near impossible to detect. the taste here is also not bad, but if i didn't pour the beer from the bottle myself, i would never had suspected that i was drinking an ipa. it starts buttery goes a bit malty and then hits earth and back to buttery a bit. different for an ipa but tasty nonetheless. there's a definite english feel and flavour here (why wouldn't there be though?). also present is a touch of bitterness throughout which is quite welcome. overall, i'd say give this one a try, but i can't see myself running back to it very often, especially if given the option of this one or more traditional ipa's, i'd choose the latter. regardless, this one is still tasty and satisfying.

07-09-2004 01:41:12 | More by SixpointJMH
Photo of hobbes2112


3.73/5  rDev +1.4%

550mL bottle

Pours the exact color you expect from and IPA, golden with a light amber center. Very large white head made of tiny bubbles. As the head goes down slowly you get large pock-marks from the larger pubbles popping. Lots of lace with this one.

Smell is good, not overly hoppy as I expected, guess that is because I typically drink American IPAs. In fact, I get just as much malt in the nose as I get hop, in addition to the herbs and spices that make chicken soup smell like it does (Thyme and Bay)

Taste is similar to the smell in that the hops are not dominating like in an American IPA. There is a much more even balance of power between the malt here, which is good. If the taste had not matched the smell (or the other way if you want to take that view) it would be really weird. There is a nice apple acidity in the semi-dry finish.

This is a beer I could just drink all day. I am sure it would go with most things also, especially warm weather.

06-29-2004 04:19:41 | More by hobbes2112
Photo of Jacobob10

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%

Pours out orange colored with an average sized head. Pleasant, fruity aroma that smelled like apples. Very smooth and fruity tasting. Very hoppy, but not spicy and one of the more mild IPA's I've ever had. Coats the inside of my mouth very well without leaving it too dry. Very drinkable for an IPA. A decent choice anytime.

06-27-2004 20:41:12 | More by Jacobob10
Photo of rugger


4.1/5  rDev +11.4%

The appearance is a little darker than some other IPA's, however I have not had many English IPA's. The smell is hoppy, however it is balanced. The taste was not what I was expecting. I was looking for more hops however beeing a hophead I tend to favor the over the top hoppiness in highly hopped beers. However this beer is very balanced in the mouthfeel and it is very drinkable and easily attainable. As with all other Samuel Smith's offerings top notch.

06-25-2004 18:13:41 | More by rugger
Photo of ken3c


3.78/5  rDev +2.7%

Big poofy head for an IPA. Also somewhat darker than others I've had. The head tapers off to a thin layer and laces nicely.

Not a strong smell but already a sense of maltyness.

The taste is quite malty for this style but very tasty in a subtle way. A weak finish is a bit of a disappointment.

Mouthfeel is light and bubbly with a sense of sweetness.

This beer is mild but still interesting. Very drinkable.

06-25-2004 03:41:06 | More by ken3c
Photo of kbub6f

New York

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%

This nice looking, clear copper-amber ale gives up a dark cream-colored, coarse head. Implosions leave pockmarks. The nose is bready with tangy sour toffee. Yum. The sour toffee in the front leads to a buttery, malty, sourish middle. Finish is really quite bitter, with some nice buttered bread. This is a good ale. I don't think it's Samuel Smith's tastiest, but it's very nice.

06-04-2004 21:39:17 | More by kbub6f
Photo of diablo14


4/5  rDev +8.7%

yet another delicious brew from the boys at sammy smiths. a prime example of a quality IPA, hoppy, but not too hoppy, malt, and lovely full feel and flavor.

classic amber/orange color, spritzy but not fizzy carbonation and a frothy white head with plenty of staying power. nose is a sensational blast of fuggles and kent goldings, with a big malty presence and hints of citrus fruits. the flavor is also big on malt, with sweet honey tones, some lemon and finished by a gentle, but dry and tasty hop bitterness. wonderfully balanced, a little different to other english IPA's in that its a little sweeter and doesnt totally flex its hop muscle, but glorious to drink nevertheless. very smooth and even more drinkable.

these fellows do not know how to brew a bad beer. every style is among the best in its category. the sort of beer i could fill my fridge with and never get sick of. its not the best IPA ive had, but geez its not too far away from the top. excellent!

05-19-2004 11:25:38 | More by diablo14
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev +4.1%

British style bitter IPA. I liked it but younger mates wanted more wallop and even less bite, which was soft. Foamy pour. Amber with oil residue and clinging lace. Lemon citrus with mid-sip Apple spice and orange pekoe tea throughout and the latter as the aftertaste. Nice aroma.

05-13-2004 03:17:40 | More by Sammy
Photo of HochFliegen


3.85/5  rDev +4.6%

What a nice looking beer. Had a great head that lasted till the last sip. A very bright copper that was really clear. The smell was malty and kinda sweet with a slight hint of hops. The taste was very smooth and malty with a hop bite in the end. Very good I really liked it. Not like other IPAs Ive had that have been really hoppy. Quite a good beer.

05-06-2004 05:11:53 | More by HochFliegen
Photo of IceAce


4.05/5  rDev +10.1%

APEARANCE: This beer poured a beautiful reddish-copper with a 1 finger collar of foam when agressively poured into a .5 ltr beer-clean pilsner glass. Lacing is well above average as a result of the increased hops. Clarity is outstanding.

AROMA: A very equal balance of malt, hop, and alcohol make up the nose of this brew. With eyes closed, one is instantly transported across the puddle to a cold, damp English pub.

TASTE: Much maltier than its American cousins, this IPA seems true to the recipe that originaly went around the horn to India in the 18th century. CO² is apparent but not dominant and the malts and hops are well-balanced.

MOUTHFEEL: The maltiness gives this IPA a big-beer feel as the hops impart a dryness on the finish. The originators of this recipe should be proud.

DRINKABILITY: Anytime and Anywhere. (My criteria for my next experience with this fine IPA)

04-25-2004 07:23:49 | More by IceAce
Photo of far333


3.88/5  rDev +5.4%

Amber-copper color with an orangey-biege and very thick half-inch of head that sinks slowly to about a quarter inch, and then hangs there for most of the glass. Aroma is light floral hops. Flavor is initially malty, understated hops. Some faint pear and apple in the finish. Understated flavors and not the same as this side of the pond, but it does change as it warms, with the hops moving closer to the front of the palette.

04-23-2004 02:14:16 | More by far333
Photo of RocketWidget


4/5  rDev +8.7%

Pours a very bold gold color, with a fairly good white head, though could use more lace. Smells somewhat of a brewery, like unfermented malt. Taste is good, somewhat unusual in that it has the typical hoppy flavoring expected, but also has an almost intangible sourness that adds body and flavor to the brew. This beer is very drinkable and quite refreshing, goes down easy with a pleasant hoppy aftertaste. Recommended.

04-21-2004 01:11:01 | More by RocketWidget
Photo of mschofield


4.13/5  rDev +12.2%

Pours a copper-gold with a three finger rocky light-tan head. Well carbonated and laces in webs.
Malty, earthy, floral and herbal hop aroma.
Toffee, butterscotch and toast back up strong floral and earthy hop flavor notes. A hint of butter
Good English IPA bitterness, medium bodied with good drinkability.
It's a good example of the British IPA style

04-16-2004 17:09:46 | More by mschofield
Photo of Southernbrew


3.88/5  rDev +5.4%

Pours copper, nice big head.

Fruit aroma with a little citrus but not nearly as hoppy as I would expect. Some sweetness as well.

Full body with low carbonation. Weak citrus flavor mixed with bread like flavors. Sweetness noticable as well. Finishes with a slight dryness and bitterness.

Not a bad beer at all, but not what I expect from an IPA. I guess this is what the British version is like.

04-07-2004 03:06:59 | More by Southernbrew
Photo of grynder33


3.33/5  rDev -9.5%

Cloudy amber orange color, like that of a sunset, faint malt hop aroma, the taste is surprisingly more malty than hoppy and somewhat on the light side, but overall its good. I like it i guess, not because of a big taste, but rather the balance and drinkablity. You could stick with this all night

04-03-2004 16:53:21 | More by grynder33
Photo of aracauna


3.58/5  rDev -2.7%

Pours a pale copper and not a lot of head, but it could be the soft pour. I tasted this blind and thought it tasted very English even though it was part of a IPA blind tasting. Very pleasant light caramel malt flavor. The hops are low but noticeable and it's fairly dry. There's a bit of apple peel in the flavor that gives it a bit of character and makes it stand out.

04-02-2004 05:51:47 | More by aracauna
Photo of GreenWBush


2.98/5  rDev -19%

I've been on a Samuel Smith's kick for quite awhile now and can honestly say this is the worst in their lineup.

I never noticed it before but nowhere on the bottle does this beer proclaim itself an india pale ale, its just 'india ale'. I have the historical curiosity: is this the beer attempting to recreate the resultant product in India? Maybe a cut-with-water brew? The hops (and low alcohol) in this wouldn't survive a trip anywhere; often times you find this clear-bottled wonder skunked and almost undrinkable.

There is no hop nose on this beer (at least to this set of hop-dulled nostrils). I sense a slight bit of wet-papery oxidation but there are also hints of grain and sweetness in there too. Not an IPA as i'm used to it.

With many Samuel Smith products this beer leaves a beautiful lace that foreshadows its presence by sticking to the glass before you've taken a first sip. The "sunset" appearance is pretty, but again my jaded perspective of what an IPA should be demands unfilteredness, or at least krausenation.

There are weird funky banana and clove notes on this beer. Seems like an out-of-whack wheatless weiss. There is also the classic ale profile, relatively clean and malty. I knew my suspicions were correct, on a side-by-side analysis this one is much less hoppy than the Pale.

Strangely thin mouthfeel with a slightly redeeming aftertaste. First hint of hops i've had the whole time. This is altogether less enjoyable than basically all Samuel Smith's beer. Maybe even the pure-brewed Lager!

The drinkability is so-so, the experience is pleasant just not as tasty as it should be.

I'd be happier with a fresh Sam Adams over this ... eek!

03-30-2004 18:44:21 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of slushthelush


3.43/5  rDev -6.8%

appearance: This beer has nice color and pours very well with a nice white head.
smell: not much aroma just a hint of citrus.
taste: I was expecting alot more. Just didn't knock my socks off. Not enough hops I think.
mouthfeel: Mouthfeel was just the right consistancy.
drinkability: I could drink a lot of these. It wasn't really filling.It's not a bad beer but it's not a great beer either. Not worth the $3.29 I paid for a 24 oz. bottle.

03-19-2004 02:08:27 | More by slushthelush
Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,540 ratings.