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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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1,701 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,701
Reviews: 892
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 27
Gots: 105 | FT: 1
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: 1,701 | Reviews: 892
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.

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.

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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,701 ratings.