Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

903 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 903
Hads: 1,771
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 17.79%
Wants: 33
Gots: 144 | 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.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Smith's India Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 903 | Hads: 1,771
Photo of ElGordo
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, rich golden color with a small, stark white head. Aroma is slightly malty and biscuity, with a light citrusy hoppiness. Wet, slightly foamy mouthfeel is just a little thin, but still nice. Palate is very well-balanced. Light, rich malt with a touch of sweetness is complemented by lemony hops. The aftertaste is a slightly bitter, with a nice buttery character. Not perfect for sessions, but I could drink a lot of this.

 434 characters

Photo of rocketmotor
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orangish color, smallish head but good lacing of the glass. The aroma is of spicy hops, malt and I can also detect the yeast.

The beer tastes very good and is nicely balanced. There is a great interplay of the malt and hops flavor and you drink it. The finsh is of spicy hops, lasting but very good. The malt flavor is also lends a small bit of sweetness to the beer. Nice mouthfeel, pretty highly carbonated. Very drinkable in the long term.

This is a very good beer, just remember it is an English IPA and not an American IPA, so it is not a hop monster.

 575 characters

Photo of hero27
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a dark Imperial Pint bottle. Very prestigous-looking label and inviting appearance. Pours a pale amber, almost orange color. Large, off-white head is very frothy and holds well.. Good carbonation and somewhat spotty lacing left on the pint glass..

Smell: Obvious hop aroma considering it's an IPA, but not as over-the-top as I feared they may be. Hints of fruit as well, and you can definitely pick up some malt in the background. Fairly complex smell..

Taste: Very nice blend of malt & hops...very well balanced...malty and smooth... It's obvious how much care goes into Sam Smith's beer..

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very pleasant mouthfeel for an IPA. Very creamy, with well-balanced flavors

Drinkability: I have to say, when I think of "Sam Smith's", I usually think of their famous Nut Brown Ale and Imperial Stout...but this one surprised me. I love IPAs so I figured I'd give this one a try, and I was not dissapointed. Very drinkable for such a full-flavored and well-rounded beer.

 1,026 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint bottle, in an English nonik glass.

Appearance: Light copper-amber color, with nice initial head of foam that settles down quickly, as typical in English beers.

Aroma: Pleasant, though light, hop aroma, with a little sweet touch of malt.

Flavor/Body: Malt up front, quickly giving way to nice hop flavor, slightly citrusy, slightly spicy. Bitterness isn't high by American IPA standards, but is still above average for most English ales. Like several of the Samuel Smith beers, perhaps a side-effect of their well water, there is a bit of a tannic mouthfeel around the edges of the mouth and the tongue. Carbonation a little on low side.

Another good beer from Samuel Smith's excellent line.

 707 characters

Photo of Hibernator
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served in a British pint glass.

Copper and burnt orange in color. Fluffy white head on top with a solid presentation. Sticky lacings look creamy in appearance.

Aroma of English hops, apples and sweet malt.

Light to medium body. Bitter and dry on the palate. Beautiful English hops provide a strong hop presence. Bitter finish reminds me of biting into a ripe apple.

Excellent English style IPA. A quality beer that has a great drinkability level.

 503 characters

Photo of Hunter
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Viogorous pour yeilded a thick head of tan froth that eventualy clumps and settles down to a comfortably enduring 1/2" head. Beer is orange-red, utterly clear with only a few trace bubles betraying any carbonation.

No skunkiness in the aroma (it came in a bottle of brown glass - Sam Smith's are you paying attention here?). Hops are fresh and clear in the nose, but much more subtle than Stone's IPA.

Hops present once again in the taste, but much more refined and subtle than Stone's, which comes across like an assault. This one gives the malt a chance to breathe and develop. Sweet and bitter all at once. If Stone is Beethoven's 9th, this is a Bach concerto.

Silky smooth mouthfeel and a clean aftertaste finish out this winner. One of Smoth's best, right up there with the Oatmeal Stout.

 803 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Luminous tangerine peel orange capped with a pale orange-tinted ecru cap that is heavily creamy and that leaves a few scattered chunks of foamy lace when it departs. A classic IPA look, English or otherwise. The nose is appetizingly earthy-fruity, exactly what I would expect from a beer that uses English hops. It's weaker than I'd like, but the head is still at two fingers and is probably muffling the aroma to some extent.

India Ale isn't as hoppy as it could be, probably because my palate has become used to American IPAs. That's not quite accurate. The simple truth is that I prefer the taste of American hops. It's obvious that there's a fair amount of biscuity malt on hand, but I could do with a bit more pale malt flavor. Bittersweet orange dominates the flavor profile. The beer, in general, is sweeter than expected; a positive quality in my eyes.

I'm enjoying the finish at least as much as the beginning and the middle. It consists of an orangey-appley fruity linger with a gentle tongue tweak of bitter hop leaf. The body is closer to medium than to light and the mouthfeel is nicely buoyant. I wonder why this beer--alone among the Samuel Smith line--is sold in a brown bottle? Non sequitur minute is over, now back to our review...

Samuel Smith's India Ale is one of the handful of standard bearers for the English IPA style. The flavor grew on me considerably by the bottom of the bottle and even though we'll most likely never have a love affair (I'll think of her as Samantha Smith for the purposes of this sentiment), we do have a strong mutual attraction. At least on my end.

 1,608 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber with a touch of copper in it; bellowy light tan head. Nice lacing as the head subsides. Butterscotchy malt nose and a light fruity air to it. Fresh English noble hop aromas of Kent Goldings and Fuggles. Very smooth and balanced. Carbonation is refined and subtle, adding to its smoothness with a delicate mouthfeel. Nicely sweet and caramelly in regards to the malt, and a flowery hoppiness in the finish. Some tea-like tannins. Probably one of the better IPAs from England. Very enjoyable.

 509 characters

Photo of BierReise
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed copper body with a thick off white head. Aroma of classic English hops and a sweet malty note as well. One of the maltiest IPA’s Iv’e had but only due to my high consumption of hoppy California IPA’s. This is actually fairly well balanced. Flavor runs sweet and malty. The body is nice and smooth and fairly full. There is a metallic note in the finish and slight bitterness is nice. Overall a decent English IPA for a bottled beer.

 450 characters

Photo of alexgash
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: medium copper body with a sticky, off-white head.

Smell: sugary malts up front, with a bitter spicy hop backing, and a touch of euro skunk.

Taste: more sugary malt to start, followed by the a little bit spicy, a little bit citrusy, and a little bit skunky hops. Finish is dry and english-modest bitter.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: medium bodied feel; nothing to get too excited over, but of course I've been raised on American IPAs.

 454 characters

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid pale malt scent with a fruity finish and a wonderful floral hop aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a complex pale malt arrangement that lays a good foundation for the bitter hop flavor that follows in the aftertaste. It goes down easy and finishes bitter, yet fruity from the yeast. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine IPA. It has more complexity than most and has a good hop content that is sufficient, but not overpowering.

 616 characters

Photo of Shiloh
3.17/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An average beer at best. It has a very deep dark amber hue with a very limited crown.
The carbonation is very light and the body is full.
The nose has a mild citrus edge to it.
The taste starts sour but does lessen in its intensity as the introduction of the malts takes place.
Nothing special here but quaffable.

 317 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange-amber in color, clear, with a very nice head and excellent lace.

This is another largely malty IPA. There is a strong soured milk note. The hop is fresh, but very muted.

The distinctive Samuel Smith malt flavor is very noteable. This is more bitter than the ale version. The bitterness lasts nicely through the swallow. Full bodied, with the touch of alcohol oiliness that I would expect. High carbonation.

I'd love to try this in England. This bottle version is good, but I always wonder how fresh it is and if that would throw off the review. While worthwhile, many domestic (read: American) beers are better priced for the quality. Worth a try.

 663 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big ole 1 Pint 2.7 oz attractive SAMUEL SMITH'S embosed dark brown bottle glugged into me Troegs pint glass. Clear dark orange filler upper with a quickly dissapating cake like antique white head over a few scant bubbles rising up. Zero lace.

Scents of deeply steeped tea leaf malts are strong, followed by an afterscent of tart citrous.

Flat powdery malts and understated hop finish that has to be sought after to be found. Ripe red apple, bland orange, smooth malty balance. Thin buttery body, and extremely easy carbonation, but half way thru this Imperial sized pint, the true essence of this EIPA shined through. After a few sips to become acclimated, the aftertaste rounds to a bit dry.

Last swigs: Imagine England has a king if you dare try this trad EIPA. Like unsweetened over brewed tea. A true English IPA, not American style to be ready for a mature balanced English Ale and toss aside the India Pale appelation. Purchased via a mail order shop. It's anybody's guess how old this one is. No freshness info on the artful label. This will have to be updated one day. A bit different for my tastebudsin a traditional English style. My rating was upped after acclimation. This may be my first true English styled India Ale.

Beer is good. Happy (lucky or unlucky) beering.

 1,292 characters

Photo of oxmasterscream
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured 1 1/2 finger, light tan head atop a clear, copper body. Immediately, fruity and spicy aromas were detected. As it warmed, it smelled more and more fruity and malty with notes of honey. It was surprisingly sweet smelling and lacking in the typical hop smells for an Indian Ale (but perhaps I'm too used to drinking American IPAs). It tasted like it smelled, sweet and fruity with some tangy notes and a strong bitter finish, which tended to linger heavily. It's body was medium to light, leaning more towards the light side and very smooth. This is a weird beer for me... it just seems really too sweet to be an Indian Ale but I'm no expert. The alcohol is quite low for an Indian Ale as well and is barely noticeable. It's a good beer without a doubt but I prefer something a little more powerful and spicy in this style.

 828 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper orange color with very active carbonation and a big rocky and dense head. Sam Smith beers have the best head and carbonation. Th aroma is of big pungent English hops, without citrus or grapefruityness like American hops. The taste is very hoppy but also well balanced with biscuity malts. Definitely not as hoppy as American IPAs but still very pleasant. A delicious crisp finish. I really like this.

 415 characters

Photo of kegerator
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

not overly impressive.
Poured out a slightly hazed yellow with a decent white head that left nice lacing.
smell was slightly citrusy, with some nut in the background
taste was about the same.
mouthfeel was slightly dry and not too bitter.
all in all this was ok, just came off as a typical IPA with nothing special to offer.

 329 characters

Photo of cokes
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dusty amber and translucent. The head is eggshell, tight and sticky.
Nose full of buttered fruits, primarily pineapple, tangerine, and orange.
Enters the mouth all full of toasted caramel and toffee. Traces of butter-drenched biscuits soon arrive. Fruitiness enters with all the tropical hues the nose promised, and then some. Lime juice and papaya, and oranges, and pineapples. Quinine minerality. Ends with a persuasively bitter herbed fruit notation. It seems to carry more back-end bitterness than many of its English peers, as it hints at the resinous qualities its US successors have trademarked.
Fluid and dynamic in its medium build. It's full of flavor, but drinkable in quantity.
This is a very appealing and bold, traditionally styled version.

 760 characters

Photo of beertaster13
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber orange/sappy yellow with a white creamy head that is very nice, settles to about an inch but still impressive. Lacing will coat the glass slightly. The smell is of apple and slight citrus and pine. The taste is rather non-hoppy, being a west coast guy I prefer ultra hoppy. More of a sweet caramel and apple sweetness with just a slight citrus tang. A little bit of earth tones detected/also bread tones as well. Maybe peach fruit as well? Medium bodied and good, drinkable but I need the hops man!

 517 characters

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In light of the recent evolution of the BA beer styles, I decided to give the English IPA's a try. I've been busy working on the American (West Coast, in particular) IPA's but wanted to try a more "traditional" IPA.
Presented in a 550ml bottle - hey, it's brown, not clear! - and poured into an imperial pint glass, this EIPA had a clear coppery hue and built up a large foamy off-white head that lingered for a few minutes as a initial rush of carbonation worked its way to the top before fading down to a thin skim. Light rings of lace were left behind as the beer receded.
The nose had a sweet malty aroma, laced with caramel, as the predominant feature. Secondary to that were the aromas of leafy hops, herbal in nature, and a hint of tea. The taste was definitely not what most Americans would term an "IPA taste"; you know, big resiny hops bombs. No sir, this one has a much larger malt character, sweet yet also having a distinct grainy flavor. The hops nearly take a back seat to the malt profile but do their best to make themsleves noticed. Leafy, herbal and a bit citrusy, the hops build through the finish. Separate from all this is a tannic flavor reminiscent of loose tea leaves. The feel was medium-bodied, dry and with just a bit of grittiness that distracted and detracted a little.
Samuel Smith's IPA isn't close to any American IPA's I've tried. If anything, it struck me as being similar to a few American pale ales. However, that's where the new breakdown of beer styles shows its worth. This isn't an American IPA; it's English. As such, I found it to be quite drinkable and a quality representative of the style.

 1,638 characters

Photo of cypressbob
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

550ml bottle, clear, 'victorian pint'

Pours with a clear amber body, foamy tan head , good retention

Smell, floral aroma of hops, slight honey also

Taste, dry and slight bitterness from the hops (although probably not enough in my opinion)

A very nice IPA, quite a good entry into the world of IPA's as it is mild (especially when compared with hopped american versions)

 382 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a nice amber colour with a big sticky off-white head. not bad. the smell here is atypical for an ipa, malt, earth and butter dominate and hops are near impossible to detect. the taste here is also not bad, but if i didn't pour the beer from the bottle myself, i would never had suspected that i was drinking an ipa. it starts buttery goes a bit malty and then hits earth and back to buttery a bit. different for an ipa but tasty nonetheless. there's a definite english feel and flavour here (why wouldn't there be though?). also present is a touch of bitterness throughout which is quite welcome. overall, i'd say give this one a try, but i can't see myself running back to it very often, especially if given the option of this one or more traditional ipa's, i'd choose the latter. regardless, this one is still tasty and satisfying.

 839 characters

Photo of hobbes2112
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

550mL bottle

Pours the exact color you expect from and IPA, golden with a light amber center. Very large white head made of tiny bubbles. As the head goes down slowly you get large pock-marks from the larger pubbles popping. Lots of lace with this one.

Smell is good, not overly hoppy as I expected, guess that is because I typically drink American IPAs. In fact, I get just as much malt in the nose as I get hop, in addition to the herbs and spices that make chicken soup smell like it does (Thyme and Bay)

Taste is similar to the smell in that the hops are not dominating like in an American IPA. There is a much more even balance of power between the malt here, which is good. If the taste had not matched the smell (or the other way if you want to take that view) it would be really weird. There is a nice apple acidity in the semi-dry finish.

This is a beer I could just drink all day. I am sure it would go with most things also, especially warm weather.

 972 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

 324 characters

Photo of rugger
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

 457 characters

Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
84 out of 100 based on 903 ratings.