1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Samuel Smith's India Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,556 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,556
Reviews: 864
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 20
Gots: 55 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's India Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,556 | Reviews: 864 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jacobob10
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Jacobob10, Jun 27, 2004
Photo of rugger
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

rugger, Jun 25, 2004
Photo of ken3c
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

ken3c, Jun 25, 2004
Photo of kbub6f
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

kbub6f, Jun 04, 2004
Photo of diablo14
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

diablo14, May 19, 2004
Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Sammy, May 13, 2004
Photo of HochFliegen
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

HochFliegen, May 06, 2004
Photo of IceAce
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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)

IceAce, Apr 25, 2004
Photo of far333
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

far333, Apr 23, 2004
Photo of RocketWidget
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

RocketWidget, Apr 21, 2004
Photo of mschofield
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

mschofield, Apr 16, 2004
Photo of Southernbrew
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Southernbrew, Apr 07, 2004
Photo of grynder33
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

grynder33, Apr 03, 2004
Photo of aracauna
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

aracauna, Apr 02, 2004
Photo of GreenWBush
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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!

GreenWBush, Mar 30, 2004
Photo of slushthelush
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

slushthelush, Mar 19, 2004
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish yellow into the glass with a pillowy thick head of vanilla colored foam. Smell is what you'd expect - hops.

This IPA is quite smooth and refreshing. The hops comes in medium at first and kicks in big at the finish. The overall sense of the beer is smooth and even milky sweet.

Good beer for repeat tasting...

GuinnessSmurf, Mar 11, 2004
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sam Smith India Ale- my 5th of Sam Smith's offerings.

Appearance- Caramel orange with a thick white head that lasted!

Smell- Sweet malt and a light floral hop.

Taste- smooth hops, a ever so slight sweet malt.

Mouthfeel- crisp with very little to no bitterness and a hint of dryness in the backend.

Overall- A very drinkable beer that will definitely appear in my fridge again. Highly recommended!

NJpadreFan, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of jsolack
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light to medium brown with amber accents... very light lacing.

Light malty smell, not very overpowering.

Light hops with slight sweet accents. Light florals with a malty aftertaste. Overall very good. A little smoother than other IPAs.

Carbonation is light and the beer doesn't feel watery at all... a smooth drink.

Very smooth beer, tastes great going down! Finish has the normal IPA strength.

jsolack, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of Zorro
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep golden ale bordering on a brown color.

Smell is malty and fruity with a mild amount of hops in it.

Tastes drier than I would have expected. This has a strong tea like hops taste. Floral and malt tastes show up too. Very slightly bitter. Ok, but I expected more.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is good, this dry ale would go well with very spicy foods.

Zorro, Feb 13, 2004
Photo of SilentSabre
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a wonderful colour about it. A ruddy-reddish amber. The smell was a bit sweet, but not sickeningly so, and had to me, a faint, faint smell of bananas in the background. The taste was a bit sweet as well with some malt. Faintly bitter, but in a pleasing way. Would likely compliment something salty, be it a meal or just nibbles such as cashews or pretzels. The head was a very slight off-white and quite thick. It also remained for some time and laced thickly the sides of the glass.
I enjoied this one fairly well, and would probably buy it again.

SilentSabre, Jan 25, 2004
Photo of Ardon
5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful, exactly what I would want an IPA to look like. Light amber. Slightly hazy (maybe a bit too chilled). Wonderful pillowy 2 inch head that holds for some time.

Smell: Intense flowery hop. Slight unidentifiable sweetness.

Taste: Everything the nose promised and more. Wonderfully flowery, earthy hop flavours. Slight tea flavours present as well. Appetizing lemony acidity. Bitter but in a satisfying way. Slight biscuity aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Oh so creamy and good. Like I mentioned in the taste, bitter but in a satisfying, appetizing way.

Drinkability: Could drink these forever. An ultimate session beer. Keep these away from me cause I likely end up sick before I stop drinking them!

Ardon, Jan 08, 2004
Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red-amber color
Enduring foamy white head.

Flavor is light. Hops subdued.

A “Little” fruity mild nose...

Definite signature bitterness of hops but it seems like the hops flavor wagon has stuck brakes as the wagon lumbered along the flavor trail with great effort.

The hops bitter edge dissipated quckly leaving behind a very mild malt flavor.

The finish is clean.

The engimatic part is that while in my opinion this beer is a rather “wimpy” IPA it still produces a certain satisfaction drinking it. Maybe it’s something in the beer’s specific gravity.

On the whole – Ho-Hum but I could quaff a few pints.

gueuzeonhigh, Jan 01, 2004
Photo of daledeee
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Impressive pour. Nice creamy head wih a beautiful dark brown or chestnut color. Not near as much hops in the nose as I am accustomed to. Rather sweet smelling. The taste is not all that hoppy either. It must be the Americans who have gone over the top with hops. Nice creamy mouthfeel. Medium hop taste with a nice malt balance. This beer was chilled moderately and I think that might be right.

daledeee, Dec 27, 2003
Photo of Beastdog75
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'll admit that I'm not the most experienced IPA drinker out there, so I won't be able to make the comparisons to this and some of infamous West Coast IPAs. But comparing this to Sam Smith's other pale ales, this one holds up just as well as the rest. This is a bit hoppier than your average pale ale, but it is a well balanced brew that is highly quaffable.

Sam Smith's India Ale pours a orange/red amber color with a nice off-white foam head that retains well and leaves some lace. A nice, crisp, perfumey and aromatic hoppy smell arises out of this beer. It strikes me as being somewhat citric and woodsy. There are some malt undertones as well. The mouthfeel is smooth, but not quite as smooth as Smith's other pale ales. Moderate fizziness present. The focal point is indeed the hoppiness, but the light malt sweetness with some caramel notes balances this one out. The hops do have a sense of perfuminess about them, but also give off notes of citrus, light pine, and possibly a bit of earthiness too. A sense of spiciness hits the back of the tastebuds as well. These hop flavors give the brew a sense of crispness and pleasurable drinkability. A long, drying bitterness ensues when the beer is swallowed and lingers for many minutes. The beer concludes with little alcoholic warmth.

I have yet to be disappointed with a Samuel Smith's beer. Each one is unique in its own way (even the organic versions). I could drink this beer for quite some time. As for food accompaniments, I would recommend some spicy Chinese food, or maybe a nice T-Bone steak. A beer for all seasons.

Beastdog75, Dec 25, 2003
Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,556 ratings.