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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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897 Reviews

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Reviews: 897
Hads: 1,752
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 8.58%
Wants: 30
Gots: 128 | 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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 897 | Hads: 1,752
Photo of IronLover
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Lightly weathered copper orange in color with a light chill haze. Poured with a short, dense, bright white foam that settled to a thick cap and left thick sheets of sticky lacing on the glass. Caramel and toasted malt aromas with toffee and light floras and herbal hop notes. Smooth, light oily feel with slightly subdued, tangy carbonation overtop and a lightly dry finish. Caramel and toasted malt flavors with toffee notes. Floral and herbal hop flavors emerge through the middle to the end. Finishes dryly with a bready malt and herbal hop aftertaste. (555 characters)

Photo of LovenHoppiness
4.29/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type- Bottle. Love the old feel of the packaging, gold foil to the front label and the history.

Apperance- Deep orange copper color, with a nice white soapy head that broke to a lace. Wonderful!

Smell- Sweet malt-carmel with straw like grassy notes that lead into floral hoppy ending.

Crisp refreshing mouth feel lightly carbinated that moves into smooth hop bitterness that reminds of the sun tea my momma used to make. Great mild IPA brewed to sip on while watching the kids play, or getting ready to grill.
"CHEERS" (529 characters)

Photo of NDNGerald
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very nice beer has a great mouthfeel and aroma. I first notice a citrus with some grassy notes. Taste is smooth hoppy citrus with a clean finish goes great with seafood. Pour is a brownish color very little head. If cold from fridge pour in room temp glass to let beer develop taste and smell. (293 characters)

Photo of Foyle
4.72/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 3" off white fluffy head that dissipates slowly and leaves significant lacing. Lovely copper color with moderate carbonation.
Aroma: pleasant floral hop aroma and a fruity aroma that I can’t quite identify
Mouthfeel: medium bodied and somewhat sticky mouthfeel. Semi-dry finish.
Flavor: lovely balance of sweet and pleasant caramel malt flavor with earthy and spicy hop bitterness. I can’t find anything to criticize about this beer. It is pure liquid enjoyment.
Overall: Outstanding, world class ale from one of the best breweries on the planet.. Great job Samuel Smith! (591 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
2.95/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color with a reddish tinge to it. Sports a 1 finger bubbly cap that dissipates quickly.

S: More subdued that I anticipated. Some fruits like apple and apricot.

T: I am hit with a spice that I can't place on the initial sip. Same thing on the second sip. There is some bitterness and no sweetness to even it out. I am getting fruit flavors, orange and grapefruit.

M: Cool and crisp all the way through.

O: This is a mildly bitter beer with nothing to balance it out. No sweetness or hops to give any other character. I like Samuel Smith's as a brewery - but this is not their best offering. (609 characters)

Photo of TucsonTom
4.63/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I guess I have a soft spot for what Samuel Smith brews. Perhaps it's their old timey labels. Or maybe it's their story about using "stone Yorkshire squares fermenting vessels". I dunno.

But I think they make some mighty tasty beer with low ABVs, 5% in the case of this English IPA.

This beer looks perfect, smells great (if you know you're not going to find Northwest American hops), has wonderful mouthfeel and is tasty to the last room-temp sip.

It was also nice that it was on sale for $3.33 for their bomber. (515 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange-golden pour, big fluffy head with big bubbles, like honey comb.
Smell: grainy malts, pinch of salt, apple peel, dried up flowers, English hops.
Taste is a mix of rich robust biscuity malts and very bitter dry hops . Some fruitiness throughout, with apple, pear and faint apricot, citrus, bit of wood, some pine. English hops dominate most of the taste, from dry autumn leaves, to dry tobacco and a bit of unwanted metal.
Medium carbonation and body, a tiny bit oily, goes down well.
Not sure if it's too bland or very traditional, for me it feels like one of the original IPAs, an extra-hopped British ale to survive the long trip to India, thus a bit.. "clumsy". (676 characters)

Photo of theteleman
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from PW Mart in Poway. Pours orangey/light amber with a decent white head and good lacing. Smells fruity with some malty backbone. Nice taste, hoppy(not American West Coast hoppy), fruity and more malts then I'm used to in an India Ale. Very smooth, pleasent on the palate. Havent had a bad beer by Samuel Smith yet, this one is very nice, really liking the different flavors found in this brew, nothing like the typical IPA's in these parts, a nice change. (467 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16.9 oz bottle was poured in a pint glass at Doyle's in J.P.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that for the most part is still there. It is a copper color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Super frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Slight citrus, herbal, and floral aroma with toasted and caramel malts in the rear.

Taste: Same as above with balance between hops and malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, tingly bitterness, medium bodied, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty solid EIPA. I dig it. Another good installment from the Samuel Smith brewery. (629 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into an English pub glass. Notably light in color, a gold yellow with a formidable dull white head that holds its shape. Aroma is floral and fruity, reminiscent of black tea, dried apricots, perhaps some unlit tobacco, faint citrus rind. Some classic English hop aroma but overall the smell is restrained. Palate features a similarly downplayed malt backbone that manifests as caramel and popcorn with the odd toasty protuberance, a hint of treacle, a fruity floral bubble gum element (or perhaps grape popsicle?), and the black tea/dried fruit notes from the nose. Gentle on the mouth despite the aggressive head and carbonation, smooth and featuring the unusual Samuel Smith diacetyl caress that works so well in their brews. Body on the thin side. Finishes semi-dry, including a lingering sweetness as well as a mineral bite. Some forest floor type hop effects. Overall, my impression is favorable. Some unique hop and yeast-derived flavors which grew on me as I made my way through an initially mellow and murky pint in which I struggled to pinpoint the specific flavors. (1,098 characters)

Photo of LampertLand
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Samuel Smith's 'India Ale' @ 5.0% , served from a 550 ml bottle that was part of the SS gift box purchased for $15

A-pour is gold from the bottle to glass with a medium size off-white head which is leaving a spotty lace along the pint

S-floral , sweet malt

T-smooth crisp clean , lacking a punch

MF-mild carbonation , medium body

Ov-ok beer , decent English IPA , bit mellow

prost LampertLand (398 characters)

Photo of BeersIsTheName
3.43/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Served cold poured in a pilsner.

A- Golden orange hue with a full four finger head.

S- More malty than an average IPA. Somewhat of what I can only describe as a "sour" smell, but not in a bad way.

T- Complex and flavorful. Balanced with the hops, barley, and yeast. Not a strong IPA like you would expect.

M- Good carbonation. Light bite. Even though served from a bottle it has a draft feel.

O- Not what you would expect an IPA to be. This is not to say that it is not good, because it is. It just isn't what you would get with a traditional APA or IPA. (559 characters)

Photo of polloenfuego
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a 550 ml bottle to a pint glass.

The beer pours a pale and clear gold with a foamy two finger head that breaks quickly leaving wisps of foam behind. The smell is mild, much different than a typical American IPA mostly malts followed by hops afterwards. The taste is sweet and malty, more typical of an English bitter to my palate than an IPA. Mouth feel is medium body with medium carbonation.

This is a session ale if I have ever had one... It reminds me so much of the other British pub ales I have had and that is not a bad thing, but if you are expecting an American IPA look elsewhere. (599 characters)

Photo of Badger6
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from an English Pint (18.7 oz) bottle from a gift box that included a Samuel Smith English tulip pint to enjoy this beer.

A: Crystal clear bod, bronze-amber in color. The head rises fast and frothy and is colored pure white, it recedes only slightly into a dense, rocky covering on the top of the beer, holding about half of its volume for over 15 minutes.

S: Distinctly malty, with a fruity and hoppy complement.

T: Does not follow the nose, exactly. Malty with a distinct aromatic floral flavor, not fruits, on the front. Quickly gives over to a pronounced, but not harsh, hop bite. Crisp, bitter finish. No unsavory aftertaste.

M: Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of moderate, with a dry finish. Lots of carbonation buzz.

O: This is a hard beer to rate. Having consumed numerous American IPAs, this is distinctly different. I think overtime it could win me over for the sheer fact that the English invented IPA so they could ship beer to India without spoilage. The hop flavors are not as pronounced as an AIPA, yet the bitterness is much more distinct. The flavor is nice, but does not stand out. Though, I would like to try this again paired against some spicy Indian or Thai fare to see how it holds up; with the bitterness, I suspect it will perform quite well. Will definitely try this again. (1,312 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.16/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 18.7 oz. gift set bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip pint.

a; Clear dark gold with a two inch tall white head which receded to thick surface foam and dense lacing.

s; Moderate pine resin.

t: A pleasant floral up front over moderate hop bite. Later with hints of cardboard or drywall paste which turns grassy.

m: Light to moderate. Considerable carbonation tingle.

o: A different sort of English IPA, with more hop flavors and bitterness than I expected, otherwise rather light in color if not mouthfeel for an English IPA. Still in all a different and tasty brew, a credit to the venerable Samuel Smith lineup. Stands up well against the average hoppy American IPA. (692 characters)

Photo of angusdegraosta
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Solid copper color. The hops and malt are subtle but readily apparent in the smell. The taste is all English - I don't know if it is as typically strong as other English IPAs, but it is thoroughly pleasant. The mouthfeel is extraordinary - no heavy bitter aftertaste. The well-integrated hops are present as you savor, not afterward. The malt and a little balanced sweetness are what stays with you. This gets solid points for being an extremely drinkable beer - not epically brilliant, but really fantastic for a session. I will get this again without question. (562 characters)

Photo of Michaelcbyrnes
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - deep golden with creamy white head

Aroma - malty with a hint of orange rind, floral and fruity hop aroma

Taste/ mouthfeel - full round caramel but not sweet with a floral/ earthy hoppiness with an airy lightness which finishes dry and on a malty note.

Overall - really nice British IPA with a great malt quality the hops are subtle but well balanced. Just a really pleasant British IPA to drink. (411 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, no date

a bright crystal clear copper color, whispy off-white head. aroma is fairly strong and hoppy, but I don't dig the actual smell - it's a bit too earthy. taste is a bit too herbal and earthy for me as well for an IPA. I know it's an English IPA, but the flavors just don't work too well. decent malt balance. medium body and carbonation. (358 characters)

Photo of clarknova
2.27/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

poured from a 355ml bottle

a - cloudy light-brown ale with just a little head

s - slight citrus aroma, barely malty

t - light body with far too little malt, no fruits and slightly bitter aftertaste with no special hops

m - a bit fizzy champagne-like mouthfeel, very light

o - a nothing special beer I will forget quickly (325 characters)

Photo of bubseymour
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%

I revisied this one after 2-3 years since my last review and it seems even better than I remember. This beer is so well balanced it hits all the flavor profiles you expect from an ale into one. Bready and rich. Some caramel sweetness. Very full bodied, especially for a 5.0 ABV beer. Then you get the hop crispness. English style IPAs are so nice a variety they need to be visited much more often after having so many of the American hopped varieties. This is a wonderful departure and compliment. (505 characters)

Photo of admiral
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

superb beer - well balanced and an outstanding example of the style.

aroma: citrus-bready-malty-champagne yeast

taste: rich, malty, mineral, dark fruit, caramel, raisins, slight citrus, wine, slight banana liquor and slight vanilla

I associate Samuel Smith with quality and this beer is another example of a great quality beer. (330 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.44/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a thick off-white head with medium retention and leaving some laces.
Light aroma of papaya, caramel and bready malt.
Sweet malty flavor, not that hoppy, but quite fruity. Notes of toasted malts, papaya, caramel, flowers, a mild citrusy and spices. Finishing with hints of pine. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium to full body with medium carbonation.
A traditional English IPA, don't expect a hop soup. It is a malty beer if compared to nowadays IPAs. (467 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550 mL bottle from a sampler pack picked up at the LCBO; served slightly chilled. This brewery has not disappointed me yet, and as an IPA fan I am psyched to sample their interpretation of a style that is often forgotten by fans of those intensely citrusy, resiny American-style hop bombs.

Pours a bright golden-orange colour, topped with nearly two fingers of puffy, frothy white head. It takes more than a few minutes for it to die down completely, leaving a modest cap and collar behind, with copious quantities of sticky lacing. The aroma is quite floral and slightly fruity, with notes of lemony citrus, pale malts, tea leaves and freshly-cut grass. Appropriate for the style, and quite enticing.

This is an unassuming IPA - not likely to grab the attention of fans of the American style, but enjoyable nonetheless. The malt backbone is light and bready, with notes of caramel followed quickly by the drying effects of the grassy, leafy English hops. Quite dry in the aftertaste, with some mineral notes. Medium-bodied, with dense, prickly carbonation that gives this beer a lively mouthfeel. I could drink this quickly, but the bitter aftertaste is best countered with slow, deliberate sips and some sort of snack food.

Final Grade: 3.96, a B+. Samuel Smith's India Ale is a finely crafted ale, but it really isn't blowing me away as this brewery so often manages - this might be my least favourite Samuel Smith's brew so far. Reminds me strongly of Wells IPA, except with a much more appealing aroma and complex hop bill - this brew provides plenty of leafy English hop bitterness, which may or may not appeal to fans of the American style. You'll have to judge this one on your own. I still like this beer, and would recommend it as a solid example of the style, but it's not a must-try. (1,801 characters)

Photo of watermelon
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

18.7oz bottle poured into a pint glass. After looking up the date code Im pretty sure this beer was bottled 8/21/2012 :(

A: Clear amber body with a creamy beige colored head. Lots of lacing

S: Lots of malt scent up front. I can also pick up some floral scent as well as hops. Maybe some citrus.

T: Malty taste, as well as bitter hops. Bread flavor as this warmed up. I would have enjoyed it more if it had greater complexity.

M: this beer is very silky and has a creamy mouthfeel. There is a bitter after taste.

O: I drank this 14 months from when it was bottled so that could have affected my review. This is a decent beer, and probably my first British style IPA, however it is lacking in the areas of complexity, as well as ABV. This beer isn't exactly session able yet the ABV is in the range of a session beer. If i see this again and its fresh I will probably pick it up to give it another shot. (907 characters)

Photo of tmm313
3.29/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Amber brown color. 2 finger, semi-creamy head. Good lacing.

Smell: Very malt forward. Mainly caramel and dark fruit. There's some floral going on, too. Really sweet. Hops show up in the back. As it warms, there seems to be a sweet hop scent as well.

Taste: Front-end is malty and strangely dry. Middle is really bready with some pine resin mixed in. Finish is mainly dry, piney bitterness. Touch of dank.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium. Kind of watery. Oily finish with dry, lingering bitterness.

Overall: I bought this because I truly love some of the other beers by Samuel Smith's, but this one just doesn't compare. I'm not saying its bad, but to me, it is definitely pretty plain. Glad to say I tried it, but I won't be buying again. (764 characters)

Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
84 out of 100 based on 897 ratings.