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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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1,502 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,502
Reviews: 857
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 19
Gots: 42 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,502 | Reviews: 857 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GreatPondBrewer


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

This beer utterly confused me. The entire time I was not sure what I was drinking. Was it a IPA as the label alleged? or was this something else entirely? Did I get a bad bottle? Regardless it poured a foggy, copper hue with a tiny bit of white head. The India had a very fruity nose with an abbundence of rose petal like malts and not anything in the way of hops. Same could be said for the taste. It was thin and sweet almost like a cider with lots of caramel malts. I am not entirely sure what to think of it. I liked it, but was it a IPA or some other strange beer? Give it a try and let me know differently.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2003 14:29:18 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of tar


3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very translucent amber. A nice sized white head, diminishes slowly leaving some lacing behind. The remnants of the head form a thin film of bubbles for the duration of the beers existence. Smells fairly mild, a hint of floral or citris aromas. The sweetness of this beer tingles on the tip of the tongue. A very pleasant hoppy taste is also present, but much more mild than that of many other IPAs. Finishes smooth and crisp.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2003 11:01:46 | More by tar
Photo of mickeymac


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

As others have pointed out, this India Ale has all of the characteristics (including abv) of an English Pale Ale. It has a nice flavor with hints of biscuit and a bit of caramel. It has a nice mouthfeel though, again, it's not quite what would be expected of an IPA. Like many others here, I've had my palate set by US IPAs, particularly west-coasters with tons of hops. This is a thoroughly enjoyable beer but not a "go-to" when it comes to IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2003 17:09:24 | More by mickeymac
Photo of GeoffRizzo


5/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a colorful amber with a thick and active head, incredible lacing and stickiness throughout. A malty, hoppy and spicy aroma, very nice. Complex flavors, some malts and yeasty fruitiness noted up front, the obvious hops are there, but not overly aggressive, some citrus and grassy undertones make this one standout. A pleasant dryness combined with light bitterness on the palate that leaves you yearning for more. Incredible flavors, ever so smooth and slick, incredible and enjoyable! Call it a staple.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2003 19:31:20 | More by GeoffRizzo
Photo of au1sec


4.55/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I could drink this every day and be a very happy man. I like a well-balanced brew...love some hops but want some malt with it. In other words, this could be my ideal beer. The hops are more understated than American IPA's, which is a good thing IMO. It pours an amber/copper color...dark for the style, the head isn't big but lasts. You know from the aroma alone that its well balanced, because the malt and hops both come through. Mouthfeel is smooth as silk. I can't put my fingers on all the tastes, but there is some toasted malts, a buttery toffee, and a bitterness in the dry finish. I (reluctantly) handed the glass to my wife and asked if she could think of any way to improve this brew. I don't know what she said...I dove right back in when she handed the glass back and started talking. The point is, I had to ask, because I wouldn't have changed anything about it.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2003 15:48:02 | More by au1sec
Photo of AudioGilz


3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper/amber color with a rather small head. It's instantly recognizable as an English hoppy ale. I love these British hops! This does seem more like an ESB or extra hoppy pale ale rather than and IPA. But whatever, it's a very enjoyable brew. It has a nice malty start and the spicy hops after that. I really enjoy the character of hops from this country. I still must say Fuller's is King but this stuff is great.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2003 19:21:44 | More by AudioGilz
Photo of jreitman


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

This is one of the few Sam Smith's beers I have had out here on the west coast that hasn't been oxidixized, skunky or well passed it's prime. Poured a nice copper color with a generous amount of head. Aroma were of hops, but not nearly as strong as you would find in a NW IPA. Mouthfeel is creamy with some bitterness on the back of the tongue. Grapefruit and other citrus flavors come through clearly on the tongue. A fine British IPA.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2003 14:55:35 | More by jreitman
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

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

Oh yes this is a classic, appears the majestic amber copper tone with an amazing beige cream toned head to complement the body. Aroma is decent floral hops with a nice underlying malt profile very good flavor that is tag teamed with some pine cone hops accompanying the malty molasses like sweetness. The taste is butterscotch malt profile brought on by the open fermentation that this and other Sam Smith beers under go. The nice rolling hop profile is a creamy buttery combo. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy and if you like IPAs this is a classic British IPA to get started on before getting kicked in the teeth with some Cascade hops from the American counterparts we have all come to know and love.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2003 23:06:28 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Pegasus


3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy copper color with a long-lasting off-white head and very slight carbonation and thick glass-coating lace.

Aroma: Distinctly sweet molasses aroma with hops lurking beneath.

Taste: Begins with sweet honey and molasses note, caramel malt flavors come through afterward and are soon followed by solid, mildly bitter hops. The finish is dry.

Mouth feel: Quite smooth, very good.

Drinkability/notes: Very pleasant, lacks the typical heavy-handed hop character of American IPAs, while still boasting a solid hop backbone. A very good beer that exudes quality.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2003 21:19:22 | More by Pegasus
Photo of 86MonteSS


4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As far as I'm concerned, Samuel Smith's beers are the archetypes of their respective genres. As such, I was excited to try his India Ale (whoever Sam Smith is or was, he's still alive and well in my inebriated mind). In reading about India pale ales, I had thought I would be in for one hell of a hoppy experience, but to my pleasant surprise, Sam Smith's India Ale was remarkably balanced. Light brown hue and a conservative head. I'm a proud pale ale man, and this is one medal I'm happy to wear. I can only hope they'll all be this good.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2003 00:26:41 | More by 86MonteSS
Photo of StevieW


4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Medium copper color. Darker than most IPA's, darker than I expected I guess. Smell was midly hop filled, not over the top robust hop aromas like some American IPA's. Taste is spot on for the style. Zesty hop presence, but again more subtle than most American IPA's. Lacks the tangy citrus presence, but the hops are still noticable. Malt presence is very noticable and tasty, sweetness underlying. Medium to full bodied, very very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2003 04:37:02 | More by StevieW
Photo of Tballz420


4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is a lighter-copper color drink, with a big cream head on the top of it. Impressive lace trails. Sweet malt nose, some bitter hops along with a buttery scent. The taste features sweet caramel in the front, which is punctuated by a nice blast of bittering hops. Again some light buttery characteristics. This is an excellent english IPA, one that i go to frequently.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2003 21:54:23 | More by Tballz420
Photo of Reidrover


4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OK another in the fine line of Samuel Smith products to grace the Reidrover household...comes in a BROWN bottle woo hoo!!
THis beer has to be the best looking IPA ever..luscious dark honey brown ( colour of heather honey)..with an off white frothy head that sinks but never quite dissapears..excellent!!
The aroma is a lovelly concoction of honey and hops its quite heady..i love it.
now this tastes nothing like a classic PNW IPA ( which I am used to)..but it still is delicious..it has way more sweet malt on the front of the tongue the hopiness doesnt appear until later,,nice brown sugar,,dark chocolate..its very good.
As with all Sam Smith products is excellent on the palate..
very drinkable "IPA"..if this is near the original..it looks like the new IPAs are over hopped..but i enjoyed this immensely.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2003 19:28:35 | More by Reidrover
Photo of Riggo


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

Color is copper/honey with a deliciously creamy off-white head. Good head retention and moderate lacing. Aroma is hoppy, fruity (orange), nutty, minerally, with a touch of caramel. On palate, minerally followed by lightly-toasted, earthy malt, mild buttery toffee notes, and orange. Finish is tart, bitter, and long, with the bitterness coating the tongue long after you've swallowed. The heavier hops in this one deliver a cleanness and bite throughout, though of course nowhere near the intense hops we see so often in American IPAs. This is a very balanced brew, English in its fruitiness and maltiness with bitterness mostly weighing in in the finish. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both solid.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2003 19:50:54 | More by Riggo
Photo of Scooter77


4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper color with a thick, sticky, off-white head, which has good retention. Aroma is mildly sweet, possibly caramel, with a fair amount of spicy hops. Taste is very well balanced, the hops and malt complementing each other very well finished off by a caramel-like sweetness. Mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and very smooth. This beer isn’t as hoppy as most IPA’s, but it’s still a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2003 05:06:16 | More by Scooter77
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark amber color with little to no head,mine had been onthe shelf for awhile and developed a winey smell to it but it held up well.The malt in this IPA was very evident upfront with a good hpsmack in the end.A very well made IPA even sitting on shelf for almost a year u could taste the flavors of a very good well-made ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2003 06:46:51 | More by oberon
Photo of Quaffer


3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This was a hazey, amber beer with streamers of sediment floating lazily about. The fluffy, off-white head rose up to three fingers and settled down slowly. A thin layer capped the top of the brew the entire time, leaving just a tiny amount of lace on the glass.

Smell: The aroma was a mixture of caramel malt, plums, and molasses. I couldn't detect any hops on the aroma at all.

Mouthfeel: Thin- to medium-bodied and a little rough. There was a high carbonation feel even after an aggressive pour.

Taste: There was a big, sweet caramel malt flavor upfront that was joined by a floral and piney hops bitterness on the finish. The malty sweetness never really faded. Pretty straightforward flavor.

Not a bad brew, but nothing special. The sweetness was a tad much for me. I am glad to see Sam Smith using a brown bottle for this beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2003 20:49:34 | More by Quaffer
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This sample came from Maui as it not available in B.C.

Amber gold colour with a nice head set a good stage for this I.P.A.
The nose was hoppy and pleasant with no skunkiness. The taste
was both hoppy and bitter with a good balance found in almost all
Samuel Smith beers. This beer ranks well with Pacific Nw I.P.A.s
though not as hoppy as some. It is however a good beer to
accompany spicy food. Try this brew if it shows up in your neck
of the woods.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2003 14:32:27 | More by canucklehead
Photo of Bruiser81


3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark amer color with a white head that crested at three fingers then reduced down to about a quarter inch. The lacing was minimal. There wasn't much aroma happening here, but there was a little bit of a fruity smell. I guess you could add hops to that because they were noticeable as well. It just wasn't very strong. The taste was hoppy and a bit fruity. There just wasn't anything that jumped out in the taste besides the hops. The finish was slightly bitter but not enough for this style. This brew seemed to have a lot of carbonation, maybe a little too much. I wasn't real impressed with this brew, although I would drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2003 17:07:15 | More by Bruiser81
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a gorgeous ruby red, head is fine, full, and off-white in color. Aroma is overflowing with fruit: peach is on top, but we can also detect apricot, grapefruit, orange, citrus. Very sweet and inviting. So drink it already!
DEliriously delicious! This is a terrifically well-rounded IPA: not too hoppy, with malt providing just enough support. Very little bitterness upon the palate, and surprising for an ale with an aroma so redolent with sweet,delightful fruitiness. On the tongue, more fruit flavors come through, too. I'm picking up cherries, and melons, and ggod gosh, it's gorgeous! Extreme drinkability! Some minimal bitterness comes through on the palate, but not to trouble the average beer drinker. An excellent introductory IPA. Me, I like mine much hoppier.
A terrifically well-rounded brew, and very drinkable. Finish is simple, sweet, and ever-lasting. Another excellent Smith offering.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2003 21:24:23 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of scottum


3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out copper amber with a nice white head. Good malt/hop balance. A bit of a tea thing going on here too I think, but that may just be the "English" in it. Very easy to drink. Interesting flavor, but far from being a favorite IPA. I guess I was hoping for a bigger brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2003 11:34:26 | More by scottum
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours golden with a nice pillowy white head that will linger till the very end leaving sticky lace all over the glass. Lots of hops jump out of the opened bottle, and then kick in even more as you pour it. A subtle sweetness is also present in the aroma.

It is very smooth with a low level of carbonation. The hops are not a real kick in the pants. I enjoy a good lashing of hops, but with this beer, it is just not necessary. They blend in very well with a smooth rich flavor caramel and grain. The aftertaste brings the hops back and is just a delite. I do not think I will ever go wrong with Samuel Smith. This is certainly not the best IPA I have had, but it is clearly what I had expected out of the Tadcaster Brewery, their own unique interpretation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2003 21:07:57 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of avylover


4.65/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one's better than I expected. Sammy Smith always makes good brew, but they hit right on with this IPA.Pours a cloud amber with a smallish head, leaving nice lace as I sip. The aroma is mallty, and very bitter. The hops are there for sure, but characteristcally of sammy smith they're not too floral. A refreshing change from other IPAs. Taste is malty but bitter, nice & full, stimulating every taste bud on my tongue!. I could put a few of these down.
Seems like this is what a true IPA should taste like, although I still love the american inerpretation of the style. Great brew!!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2003 18:57:49 | More by avylover
Photo of texascarl


4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance = attractive copper-bronze, with a nice .5 inch head. As that recedes, leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Medium carbonation. Beauty.

Nose = spicy, hoppy, hint of sweet

Taste = you go thru stages with this beer, malty sweet and bitter in good balance as you take a drink, as you swallow the sweet leaves and only the bitter remains. A long, long finish. Plenty o' hops. Yummy.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2003 17:30:36 | More by texascarl
Photo of Gusler


4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent deep copper or mahogany if you prefer. Head is Bunyanesque, with a frothy texture, and light tan in color, as it dematerializes, it leaves behind a thick and clinging lace upon the glass. The aroma of sweet ripe apples, a hint of the hop flowers, and a nice malt underpinning to cap off this exquisite nose. The start is malt and quite sweet, the top middling in its feel to the palate, the finish hop spicy, but not overpowering, the acidity moderate, and the aftertaste dry. A quite decent beer, just the right amount of hops and malt, with a crisp bite, that I find appealing.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2003 16:26:30 | More by Gusler
Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,502 ratings.