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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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1,665 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,665
Reviews: 887
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 23
Gots: 88 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 1,665 | Reviews: 887 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Freshie
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a large Victorian size bottle.

A nice amber colour with light bubbly head.

The smell is a bit hoppy with herbal, and floral highlights.

The taste is malty, with tangy herbal flavour, that is in good balance with the hops. Hops comes out a bit in the aftertaste.

Very smooth, and not what I expected. English ales do not usually pour on the hops, so to speak, like American counter-parts, but I did not expect the malt flavour to be so present. Still good though. Had sort of a tea-like quality.

Photo of orfeu
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle (amber glass for a Samuel Smith beer -- hell yeah!). Pours clear amber with sticky light onionskin colored head. Moderate carbonation. Hoppy aroma is of course somewhat subdued as this is an English IPA. Fruity esters of orange marmelade, canned pineapple, and a sweetish, almost banana-like scent. Interesting to say the least! On the taste, hops are floral and earthy, almost but not quite pine-inflected. Strangely, lowish alcohol content (5% abv) is not very well masked. Malts come through in mid-sip as a caramelly side note before a lovely mineral/bitter hop finish. Earthy bitter hop burps finish sour. Medium body and slightly astringent, juicy/chewy mouthfeel. This IPA is a fine choice, however, more often than not I find other choices I prefer more without the high price of Samuel Smith beers (the only justafiably priced one, IMO, is their Russian Imperial Stout).

Photo of Tupperwolf
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Always so nice to pour a good beer into that brewery's own branded pint glass. Such was the case with Sam Smith's IPA, after a thorough rinsing to remove water spots left by the dishwasher (grrr). The beer pours a nice clear amber with a finger-and-a-half soapy yellow-white head that sticks around through several draughts, then fades to four millimeters and stays there, fed by lazy bubbles. Soapy lacing is left behind.

Huge Sam Smith's horseyard smelling malts are the dominant scent, with just a bit of farmland hop finish; It's a little weak in the hops, even for an English IPA, but the scent is really big and bold, and I have a hard time faulting it.

The malts are, again, dominant in the flavor; They have a weird bite that I only seem to get from Sammy's beers - not off, mind you, but probably due to the yeast that they have cultivated there, or their choice of hops - it's a characteristic taste that is unique to the brewery and shouldn't be bashed or changed. The dominant malts have a bit of butterscotch character, but are mostly horsey - and not in a brettanomyces way, but in a kind of mildew, old wet wood smell - maybe just a little of Golden Retriever wet dog flavor. Sounds weird, but it's tasty. I just can't describe it properly. You'll have to trust me.

This is one of those beers that floats on the tongue - as you take in a mouthful, it feels as though it's levitating inside your mouth, touching everything at once and then again, not quite touching everything - making its prescence known, but not overstaying its welcome. It has a thick body for an IPA, with very light carbonation, and a lightly bitter finish that fades to malts after a little while.

If you're looking for a hoppy beer, look elsewhere. Hell, look to a doppelbock for hops before you look to this. this isn't supposed to be hoppy. It's supposed to be a Sam Smith's English IPA, and that's goddamn well what it is. Those chaps can do whatever the bollocks they want with their beer. I havent' yet had a bad one.

Photo of oolite
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear amber/copper color, with a short white to offwhite head.

The more I smell this, the more scents I can distinguish: at first a sweet, lightly citrus scent with just a faint bit of spice. After a few sips the nose seems more of a buttery toast, or even marshmallow. Very pleasant.

The creamy, marshmallow notes come through in the taste, as well as a bit of acidic fruits, but the dominant note is definitely the spicy, bitter hops.

Easy to drink, feeling mostly smooth but with an IPA style kick to it.

Photo of klewis
3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a reddish-golden hue with a huge frothy head that sustains at two or three fingers and sticks all over the glass.

S: Not much smell. Slight vegetal aromas and something that reminds me of paint.

T: Unexpectedly malty with little hop presence at all. There are some watered down fruity flavors, as well as lots of diacetyl. Only slightly bitter in the finish.

M: Very light carbonation makes this a smooth drinker, but the body is somewhat watery and on the lighter side.

D: Not bad, but nothing special. Perhaps I would like this more if I weren't so used to American IPA's and APA's.

Photo of jmz62565
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a clear amber with a huge tan foamy head. The smell is lighter than your typical American IPA,but you can still detect some hops that are a bit citrusy. The taste has some hop bitterness,but it also has almost a brown ale final. There is a creamy nuttiness to this beer. The m/f is light and I don't really think the sweet malt and the hop bitterness is well balanced together. This is OK,and true to the original IPA,but there are so many better IPA's today that this is left as a old fossil and not really worth a second look.

Photo of daliandragon
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been looking for this IPA for quite a while, its one of only a few Sam Smith's not available at Ronkonkama Beverage, my usual haunt. Picked this up at Big Z in Huntington.
Nice cloudy brown body that seems to have some heft to it. Head starts nice but fizzles quickly. Nose is surpringly more malt based, with chocolate hops and a sweet not not usually found in IPA.
Hops make the show early in the taste but mellow quickly without blasting you with bitterness. Fresh, yeasty taste; very typical of English ale. Not a smack you over the head with hops India ale but will appeal to those who like the style.
Mouthfeel isn't anything special but not a liability either. Drinkability for me is helped by the low abv and carbonation levels.

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

A - this Sammy Smith offering pours with one finger of creamy white head

S - of course a hoppy aroma, with a citrus-y twang

T - Sweetier than most IPA's i've had, a refershing addition. kinda like red licorice, or maybe a light pear taste, hard to place, pear or white grape

M - smooth (very smooth) and sweet, with a rejuvenating bitter finish.

D - very much so

Photo of Rezzin
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

A - Copper brownish with lots of sediment. Was this beer bottle conditioned? Fluffy white head drops to a thin covering - almost milky in appearance.

S - Malty and fruity with some earthiness from the hops. You can smell it but it's not overly aromatic. Smells somewhat sweet.

T - First sip has a strong fruitiness in the front almost like apples or maybe even plums. Hmm.. more like apples. It's a little on the light side and you really can't detect the alcohol. Almost tastes a little spicy on the back with some bitterness. It's not bad.

M - Thin with a nice tart finish. Leaves a slightly dry aftertaste which is really not all that bad.

D - This isn't my favorite IPA but I thought it wasn't too bad. Definitely a sessionable beer. Might be a favorite for those who prefer the less hoppy and more malty ipas.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a new copper colored beer with thick, creamy, white head. There isn't much in the way of smell, especially for an IPA. I get a very faint, soft, fruity hop smell. The taste is metallic then sweet for just a second before going very dry with a big bitterness and a dry, clean finish. Mouthfeel is on the thicker side with some stinging carbination. While there isn't really anything wrong with this beer, there is nothing terribly interesting about it either. I'd sooner take some of its American counterparts, especially for the price. Not Sam Smith's best beer by a long shot. Interestingly, I've had this beer past it's prime (like almost a year old probably) and thought it was very good. It had fun butterscotch flavors then.

Photo of gbarron
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Great artwork on the label. Explains the history of IPA. Amazingly the bottle is brown. Smart move by Sam Smith's.

A - deep orange, glowing. Nice little off-white head forms about a cm or so thick, then retreats to a puddle in the middle, ring around the edge. No lacing.

S - great, great aroma. Beautiful smell of hops (Goldings?), floral, earthy. Nice fruit in there, pears, apples. Sweet, toasty malt. Biscuity.

T - tart bitterness up front, followed by minerally, chewy, earthy malt. Yeast here gives off a lot of fruity aromas and flavors. Dry, malty aftertaste. Malt flavors follow fresh hoppiness. Biscuity, yeasty, bready, caramel. Bitterness levels much lower than Americanized, modern IPA's but still quite bitter. Basically tastes like a great, traditional English pale ale with some extra hops. Some diacetyl evident.

M - medium to medium thin, a bit chewy. Carbonation seems just a tad high, a little tickly on the tongue.

D - very, very tasty brew. Definitely something I wouldn't mind having on draft and as a session beer. Great hop/malt balance.

Photo of HardTarget
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of mmmbeer
4/5  rDev +9%
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.

Photo of mclanem
3.31/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Photo of mcowgill
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Photo of akajimmyd
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Photo of poluti
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of hoffman
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Photo of MSchae1017
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of russpowell
3.59/5  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

Photo of OStrungT
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of mdagnew
3.92/5  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...

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of Shaw
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of granger10
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,665 ratings.