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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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1,690 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,690
Reviews: 891
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 24
Gots: 100 | 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: 1,690 | Reviews: 891 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scottoale
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the tall, skinny embossed brown bottle of 355ml., an orange-amber ale with a glow and 1/2" of just off-white bubbley head...a fine looking brew.

Mildly sweet malty nose with an earthy yeast tang and a spicy hop bitterness, to bring up the rear of this ale.

Earthy and semi-sweet malt intro with notes of tobacco and orange/black pekoe tea that fade to the spicy hops to even the score with a bitter and rather dry, clean finish. This medium bodied IPA is without a doubt of the English style, both in taste and the somewhat standard 5% ABV.

This is an easy drinker that's quite enjoyable and well worth trying for it's style...a good sessionable ale for sure.

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

12oz brown bottle

Samual Smith's India Ale was an orange-copper color with a nearly white head. The head had decent retention and left some spotty lace behind. The aroma was crystal malts and english hops. The taste was more hops than malt, a little sweet upfront followed by a nice dry bitter finish. It was medium bodied with just enough carbonation. A nice brew, I will definitely have again.

Photo of nesta
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark golden color with about three fingers of off-white head. Light carbonation was noticible, but not very vigorous. The aroma was very rich and herbal with some noticible malt.

I dont normally care for very hoppy beers, and so I have been hesitant to try IPAs, but I figured if anyone would make an IPA I'd like, Samuel Smith would be a good bet. Boy am I glad I tried it! It was very well balanced, and yes, it had a lot of hop flavor, but it was evened out by the malts. I found it had a distinctively herbal flavor, even with hints of fruit that I couldn't quite place.

One of the more drinkable fine beers I've tried in recent memory!

Photo of JayTheFinn
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second time I've tried this one. And I like it about the same. All this time it definitely tasted more malty to me.

A - Nice rich looking copper body, but a disappointing flat head.
S - Smelled a bit yeasty and very little else.
T - Good hops/malt balance. Roasty caramel like flavor with only a slight sweetness noticeable. Sour bitterness is at a minimum.
M - Medium. The malty flavors roll about the tongue for a bit.
D - Solid drinkability. I'd have another any time!

Photo of jdoolin
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 550mL bottle, poured into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a dark copper with a large, frothy head that retained very well and laced all the way down the glass. A gorgeous beer.

Aroma: Malt, caramel and earthy and floral hops.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Malt sweetness, caramel, fruity esters, which are immediately put into place by the hop bitterness. Earthy hop flavor comes through nicely and provides a dry, bitter finish.

Notes: This is my first English IPA, so I have nothing to compare it to, but given what I've read about them, this is a good representation and a fine beer. But if you're looking for a big, bitter hop bomb, look in the American craft section, not Samuel Smith's. Will look for this beer again.

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

Pours a nice amber with a good off white head that reduces but doesn't vanish. Nice lacing.

The smell is of gentle earthy hops. Delicate and clean.

The taste is relatively gentle. It starts with some slightly spicy hops that quickly become a subtle dry bitterness. Long finish with a little fruit at the very end.

Mouthfeel is good. Balanced, creamy, but with a dry finish.

Quite drinkable. Not my favorite English IPA, but a very solid one.

Photo of hunteraw
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presented in a brown (!) Samuel Smith's bottle with a lovely blue cap.

Appearance: Pours with a satisfying "glug glug glug..." an attractive dark amber color. Big, frothy head. Good lace. Very nice looking beer.

Smell: Smells a bit like I expect a DIPA to, I think because the malt/hops balance is tilted more to the malt in this one than your AIPA's, but with more fruit and not as much sweetness.

Taste: malt up front, followed by some spicy hops and a caramel/fruit middle with apples and oranges (which is stronger? don't ask me, I can't compare the two!). Great dry, bitter finish. Definitely the hoppiest English ale I've had to date (take that as you will). Bitterness is on the high end of APAs. Some diacetyl butteriness shows up as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel: well-carbonated, light-moderate mouthfeel. Diacetyl tongue-coating butteriness detracts a bit, though.

Drinkability: with the fruit and conservative hopping, this could be a great introductory beer for IPA's. Potentially sessionable.

Photo of Mandrake
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly bright medium copper with a thick and creamy head that lasts pretty well and leaves a bit of lacing. Smell is fruity and light, with citrusy floral hops present but not overwhelming the strong malt backbone. Taste is toffee and butter maltiness, nicely balanced by the classic English hop character that comes through in the finish. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing, and drinkability is very good. In this age of over-the-top hops in IPAs, this perfectly crafted and balanced ale might seem a bit underwhelming, but I won't complain about it. Quality brewing from this group of traditionalists is always appreciated.

Photo of JBStith
2.2/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sam Smith's India (Pale) Ale. Not nearly as good as I was expecting. Quite disappointing actually.

A: Somewhat pale, watery, and hazy looking compared to most other IPAs. Very little head, retention, and no lacing to speak of .

S: Mostly sweet malts. Virtually no hop aroma at all.

T: Similar to smell, taste is mostly malt. Sweet, caramel, honey? No bitterness or hint of hops at all. It almost makes me question whether or not this is really an IPA or if I just got a bad bottle.

M&D: Medium body yet watery. Not drinkable at all for me.

Because Sam Smith's makes some of my favorite beers, I am hoping I just got a bad batch. I will try this again just to make sure, but this beer was just not good. Very disappointing.

UPDATE: I had to down grade the score of this beer mid way through an IPA tasting. At this point I can't even rate it as average.

Photo of soulgrowl
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very creamy, ivory head, tall with very good retention. Hazy, ruddy orange sunset body.

Smell: Honey, brandy, vanilla, and mild butterscotch. Such a sweet aroma; where are the hops? I thought this was an IPA!

Taste: What the hell? It's so sweet! Malts completely dominate, with a pear-juicy sweetness, and just a tiny leafy zip to suggest hops were used. Very weird. It's not bad but if I'm judging this as an IPA, I'm afraid it doesn't fare very well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, creamy and grainy, with a clean finish.

Drinkability: I just want more hops! This isn't a bad beer, but for an IPA, I really want something with a little more kick. Possibly a good pair for fruit-based desserts?

Photo of BDTyre
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...a Samuel Smith beer in a brown bottle...amazing. Nice clear amber colour with a tight, dense white head.

Stale malt, raw yeast and fresh bread smell. Slight sourness, maybe from the hops. There is no hop bitterness or grassiness in the smell, something I find odd considering this is an India Pale Ale.

Taste is a bit better than the smell lets on. Pale malt with a bready finish. Slight bitter citrus from the hops. Almost a creamy taste to it. Bitter, metallic hop finish as I swallow it.

Nice carbonation to this. Lower ABV makes this a great session beer, especially in this heat.

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

Pours a dark reddish brown with a clear clean body that leaves a thin tan head. The nose is fruit esters, citrusy hops, and a bready candy backdrop. The taste is sweet upfront mirroring the nose with a little bitter hop balance that finishes smooth. Dark fruit, figs, and raisins are all in this India Ale. I paired this beer with a bbq cheeseburger and sweet potatoe fries. I love an earthy IPA with potatoes and grilled meat it pairs so nicely.

Photo of EvilKeith
4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a somewhat hazy motor oil golden amber color with a thin biege head. Lace was fine, but sticky.

Smell was sweet malt, a bit of rich toffee, piney and spicy hops.

Taste was on the bitter side, but enjoyable. A hint of sweet dark fruits and the hops. Spicy bittering finish.

Medium bodied. Crisp. Fairly active carbonation.

Nicely done! One fine IPA!

Photo of flaminghomer
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking bottle and nice looking beer. Good copper color and creamy head. A bit too watery. But goes down smooth. Taste is with the style but not overly hoppy. Just a bit more hops than a good english pale ale. Very drinkable and not overfilling. I wish that I could drink it more often.

Photo of kdmorse
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper. Small white head. Crystal clear.

S: Nutty. Subtle tea flavor. I don't like tea. Hops start to appear as it warms.

T/M: Big malt body. Same (unpleasant to me) tea as in the nose. Hops are slightly piney and crisp in the end. They bring the beer together nicely. Carbonation and mouthfeel are great. Refreshing and light without being thin.

D: Low alcohol makes it a true session beer. Would prefer the 8-9% abv that the officers and the elite enjoyed.

Photo of amstelcat
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Color is a nice, dark copper color with a dirty white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Nose is definately malty with hints of caramel. Taste is...okay. Just that. Not much discernable hoppiness but not cloyingly sweet.

This beer went down in a hurry and was very drinkable. However, if you are expecting a typical American IPA with a good whack of bitterness, you're going to be disappointed.

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S. Smith IPA is a clear copper with a moderate level of carbonation. The medium-sized head is thick and light brown in color. Aroma is of fruity malt with an edge of dry hoppiness. The overall strength of the aroma is fairly weak. Taste is of a sweet caramel English malt with an edge of fruitiness. Hop flavor here isn't as strong as expected, it mainly provides a dry, herbal aspect to the dominate malt flavors. Flavors are complex and nicely layered, the only downsides here are a weak aroma and the disapointing lack of hoppiness.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.
A solid beer. Good amber body, rather thin head, but durable. Smell of hops, coriander, and light biscuit.
Tasted like an IPA and little light in the bite, but full in the flavor. Hops flavor dominates, but not dry. I tasted mint in one sip, but couldn't find it again.
Well balanced, easy driking. I like my IPAs cold, but this was good a little warmer

Photo of Cresant
4.28/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

550 ml bottle with no date. Poured heartily into an IPA flute/pilsner. Created a rocky three fingers of beige foamy head, which released the aromatics nicely. Body was a clear golden brown.

The smell was fresh, hoppy and clean but disapated as the foam receded to a ring.

The taste was sweeter and less hoppy than the APA's and DIPA's I frequently drink but this is an "old school" India Ale. I found it to be solidly balanced. A crisp hoppy presence that sits on the tongue while coldest. Malts come forward as the beer warmed. This is a multidimensional beverage.

Mouthfeel was pleasant with a mild but prickly alcohol sizzle.

I found it to be very drinkable and a great accompaniment to food. Not as much a sipper as a refreshing drinker.

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

Pours a dark copper color with an off-white 2 finger head that provides a sticky lace. Aroma is more sweet malts then anything, slightly floral hop, and a hint of fruit....pear maybe. Taste is very surprising.... smooth, buttery malt up front, with a pleasant hop bitterness that hits the palate before a smooth finish. Mild carbonation and medium body make for a pleasant mouthfeel, and make this ale very sessionable.

Truthfully, not what I was expecting, but not bad by any means. I was just expecting something a little more hopped up. This one is very close in comparison to their pale ale, but still, a solid and well balanced offering.

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

A: Pours a golden orange hue, and gives a 1/2 inch white head that stuck around for a while, and left a thick bubbly white lace.

S: The first thing that I noticed was the sweet caramel malts....and then some citrusy and spicy hops. As the beer warmed up I began to notice a more of red fruit in the scent, as well as a grapefruit.

T: Strong citrusy hops at the tip and throughout the body. Sweet caramel malts come out during the the finish and create a really nice balance. There is a very mild bitter sweet after taste that follows.

M/D: This beer was medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. I bought it knowing I was going to eat spicy Indian food with part of it. It was the perfect accompaniment. Once again Sam Smith does not disappoint.

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

This IPA poured an amber/copper color with a medium/small head. It had a rich malty aroma as well as plenty of hop aroma to it as well. The taste had plenty of body which I found to be enjoyable as well as a medium/heavy hop bitterness to top off the taste. I felt that this IPA had a good malt:bitterness balance to it and I found it to be a crisp and clean ale well worth what I paid for it. Give it a try if you enjoy IPA's.

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

Pours a clear copper/orange color with a one finger white cap. Cap dissipated quickly. Aroma is toffee & caramel malt, toasted marshmellow, spice, floral, and citrus hops. malty but clean smell. As aroma suggested, flavor is caramel & toffee at first. Has the Tadcaster wheat twang I am familiar with. Spiciness leading into a biting hops and burnt toast. Aftertaste is hangs lightly for a few seconds only. Carbonation is low, body is med-low, and finishes dry.

Photo of sinistermadman
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt orange while yielding a fine head which quickly settles to a lace. Smell is of toffee, caramel and grain. Somewhat sweet in aroma.

Taste is of toffee, grain and hops. The hops are most predominant with the sugary malts as a supporting cast. Not an overly dominant hop presence as you would expect in an IPA, even for an UK. Mouthfeel is only achieved through hop twang, otherwise the body is slippery and rather thin. Not too bad. The end result is a pretty drinkable ale that holds it's own, but won't make you contemplate the meaning of life after drinking it.

Photo of Derek
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Seems to be more of a Pale Ale than an India Ale.

A: Clear copper, off-white head, very little retention, but it does leave some lace.

S: Sweet toffee and caramel malt with a touch of fresh, floral hops.

T: Solid malty backbone (bread, caramel, toffee & nut), surprising for its strength/weight. Fairly neutral bittersweet balance (is this bitter enough for the India designation?), with only a little hop flavour (floral & earthy, with a little orange/citrus).

M: Moderate body is slightly creamy, carbonation is a little on the light side. I think it'd be livelier with a little more carbonation.

D: Something you could drink all night.

Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,690 ratings.