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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,511 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,511
Reviews: 858
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 19
Gots: 43 | 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: 1,511 | Reviews: 858 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerdown77

North Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours dark orange with nice chunky head. I hate to sound non-specific, but it has that European nuttiness in the smell, possibly yeast. The taste is fairly hollow on the first impression. It isn't sweet or particularly malty. I don't pick up on an abundance of hops. I think it smells like a Guinness, and it has the same cereal maltiness in the taste. I will say that this has decent drinkability and a good, medium mouthfeel. It is nice and bitter and has a pleasant bite. "Old world beer" is what I keep thinking in my mind. There is a metallic flavor that I don't care for. This just does not have to fruitiness or hoppiness that I crave in an IPA. For me, this is more like a brown ale or an ESB...or an English Bitter for that matter. This beer makes me want to eat cheese.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 06:06:30 | More by beerdown77
Photo of ToddT


3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear copper amber color topped with an thin off white head. Head falls quickly to a ring but it is sticky and leaves lots of spotty lacing on the glass.

S- Sweet grapefruit, pineapple, malt, and caramel. Subtle in comparison to most American IPAs.

T- Smooth flavor of hops at first. Not a hop bomb nor an onslaught of grapefruit/citrus/pine, just a steady flow of subtle hops. There is a little hint of pineapple and grapefruit for the dominate hop profile. Caramel malts round out the middle and there is a nice bitter twang of hops at the end to close things off.

M- Medium in body and carbonation, very clean finish for an IPA no residue of hop oil on the palate with this one.

D- Very drinkable and at 5.0% ABV this is a session IPA.

Interesting IPA, hard to compare it to all of the modern ones that I have had. If this is in the original style of an IPA it is quite subtle by modern standards, a solid beer none the less.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2011 03:09:36 | More by ToddT
Photo of NordeastBrewer77


3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have to start by saying that I love everything from Samuel Smith, with the India Ale and Yorkshire Stingo being my faves.

This one pours a light, coppery gold with a nice dense head that retreats rather quickly to a nice ring of lace around the edge.

The aroma's great! Sweet and malty, a bit of buttery diacetyl, followed by wonderful appley hop aroma.

The flavor is crisp and refreshing, the sweet buttery malt flavors stand up to the green apple hop bite without coming to the front. Almost like a caramel apple.The finish is clean, tart, and leaves you wanting more.

The mouthfeel is light, a bit bubbly and pleasing until you begin to swallow. Moderate diacetyl gives it a bit of a slick feeling as it goes down.

Overall, this is a great English IPA, a regular in my fridge and an inspiration for my next batch of homebrew.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 02:33:09 | More by NordeastBrewer77
Photo of eric5bellies


3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a classic copper co;lour with adecent white head that dies quick.

S - Not much other than some small hops

T - Nice citrus up front followed by some nice piney notes, quite dry on the finish.

M - Medium body and medium carbonation.

D - A good solid IPA but have tried much better.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 16:25:58 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of Knapp85


2.85/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The first time I had this I think the bottle may have been a little older or been sitting on a shelf passed it's expected life because I got a bottle of this for Christmas last year and it was much better than the first time I had it. The hops were actually noticeable in the new bottle unlike the old one. This beer was a really nice English IPA, and definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 02:26:04 | More by Knapp85
Photo of salvo


4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light amber with a full inch of head that just stains the glass as it collapses. Retains a ring of foam for quite some time.

Smell is dominated by rich biscuit and toffee malts with some yeasty breadiness in the background. Earthy and sweet.

Taste starts English bitter and then blooms with biscuit malt and roasted nuts and barley. Finishes tea-like and bitter, hints of straw. Honey shows up late after everything else fades.

Mouthfeel is rich for 5%. So happy there's freedom to have another.

This beer defines the style: if it weren't for Sam Smith's I have trouble imagining the American craft beer movement. The beer has a lot in common with New England style IPAs: Harpoon, Long Trail, Shipyard--milder, herb-like fuggles and goldings hops. With the biscuit and toffee malts dominating the smell and taste, it shares much of the profile of barlewine, except for the much lighter alcohol content. The magic is in brewing a 5% beer with this much flavor! So happy to track down a 4pack of 12-oz bottles.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 01:14:23 | More by salvo
Photo of parris


3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not a very exciting beer, but good and very drinkable.

Great clarity, gold to bronze in color, dense white head

Mild aroma, slightly apple-y, maybe a little coppery, but very mild overall.

Super smooth taste, almost like an amber ale, noticeable bitter finish.

Creamy mouthfeel, light carbonation. Too bad this doesn't come in six packs (at least at my local liquor store).

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 22:50:54 | More by parris
Photo of allforbetterbeer


3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with an amber-tinged orange body under a finger of off-white head. Looks official, with streams of tiny bubbles rising though the liquid.

Smells of sweet lightly floral and grassy hops over toasty caramel and crystal malts. The hops are certainly English and they present themselves in a subtle manner.

Hoppier than an English pale, this falls neatly into its style; as I would expect from Samuel Smith's. Bitterness is evident, and the lengthy hop flavors bring to mind floral and lightly sweet Goldings and Fuggles. Warm malty notes are present as well, and are present from start to finish, but only set the stage for the hop flavors, and never occupy it. Overall this flavor experience is quite nice, with sweet and bitter melding in a flavorful and tasty dance of nuanced flair.

Mouthfeel is slightly sticky, and could even be more so. Carbonation is good, however as usual I would prefer less. Drinkability is very good, and beats Meantime's incarnation of this style.

Conclusion: My favorite example of this style that I have tasted so far, and all around a tasty beer. I get a craving for some English hops once in a while, and this satisfies excellently.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 02:18:16 | More by allforbetterbeer
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a lasting creamy head.
Nose shows soft fruity and earthy hops alongside caramel and a fair whack of toffee.
Similar malt profile in the way of flavours but there's also a big hit of herbal, earthy hops and a bold sharp bitterness. Not enough malt, although what's there does have an intriguing biscuity character.
Carbonation is a little too high.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 01:14:05 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of TheQuietMan22


4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a becker glass. The color is a hazy, pale amber. Three fingers of thick, eggshell-colored head develop and dissipate slowly to leave trails along the glass, a billowy lacing, and a ring around the edge.

Smell: Honey, sweet caramel malts, lemon citrus, and some floral hop action reminiscent of a helles.

Taste: The flavor is not as sweet as the smell led me to believe, but it exhibits a rounded bitterness that compliments the malts. The floral and citrus hops are the heavyweights, but there is also a considerable malt presence just beneath: the honey and sweet caramel malts are lurking just below the hops, taming them. Each sip leaves a nice bitterness lingering on the tongue.

Drinkability: Good stuff. Far from your typical hop bomb from the west coast, India Ale is a solid English IPA that delivers malts and hops, and does not go over the top.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 00:29:09 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of Fatehunter


3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a glass stein. Copper to amber color with a white-barely-there head.

S - Wow. I cannot pick up anything... okay, a slight malty/musty smell.

T - Malty sweetness at first, then bitter, slightly citrus flavor. The malt and hops are fairly balanced.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation. Very bubbly in the mouth.

D - Quite different from most American IPAs. Or maybe American IPAs are different from English IPAs. Either way, it is more malty than most IPAs I've had. The only hangup was the smell, or lack of. It was tasty and different.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 03:38:27 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of henryd30


3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice looking IPA - light in color, white single finger head.

S: Refreshing slight citrus, but maybe not as much as I expected.

T: Very solid India Ale. I was hoping for more hops and pop, but still thought it was a flavorful solid representation.

M: Light, bubbly, typical of this style.

D: Even though I had hoped for a little more upfront hops, the lackthereof made it quite sessionable. Went down nicely, and would order again.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 02:55:37 | More by henryd30
Photo of memory


4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper color from a bottle. Perfect carbonation and lacing. Has a slight bready smell and taste on the dry side but works well together. Lingering bitterness. A nice pizza beer. Seems to be hopped just right, slightly floral and tangy. I could drink a pitcher of this. Must be the hard water.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 00:51:46 | More by memory
Photo of macpapi


3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

18.7 oz bottle.

Samuel Smith's India Ale pours a copper-orange color with a full and fluffy white head. There is decent lace.

Smells of malt, hops, and a bit of honey. There is also some buttery presence on the back of nose.

Tastes of base and caramel malts. There is also a bit of butter and hint of biscuit. A bit of hop bitterness completes a somewhat dry finish.

Mouthfeel is defined by moderate carbonation, nice body, and a shart tang of hop bitterness.

Overall this is a drinkable and enjoyable beer. Although there is no huge taste or hop surge here, it is pleasant nonetheless. Very different from IPAs of the American variety, but for what it is--a nice English IPA--this is a well-balanced, moderate ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 00:16:42 | More by macpapi
Photo of bigrzman


3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of 12oz bottle into my Sam Smith's pint glass. Pours out a lighter copper color than the Pale Ale, but with a thicker white head and excellent lacing.

Smells incredibly clean with some earthy hops. Not much to say, its clean!

Tastes of sweet bread, grassy grains, and earthy hops up front with a nice floral finish in the back with grassy notes. This is not the most hoppy English IPA I have ever had and it has a German noble hop beer quality about it.

Mouthfeel is incredibly crisp like a German lager. It is light and bright carbonation is very minimal which is correct to style.

Overall I do like this beer but it is seemingly un-IPA like. I have made and tasted many English IPAs and I have to say that this one is marching to the beat of its own drum.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 20:20:45 | More by bigrzman
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with brown tinges and patchy white film and chunky trailers. Nose is mostly spicy hops with some floury sweetness. Yellow apple and husky malts with earthy, cinnamon-y English hops. Floral finish with a bit of tingle to last. Medium, round, and fizzy enough to lighten things up.

How is this an IPA and not just a nice hoppy bitter? Hop character is spicier than average and it's good quality as you'd expect from SS, but not so much to style. Other beers I'd rather have for an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2011 21:27:01 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of Bfarr


3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brown orange color with big foamy/frothy tan head and great retention. Lager-like musty aroma with pepper and sweetness. Peppery hop balanced with significant malts. Somewhat distasteful aftertaste at first. Warming up hints of chocolate and fruity hop sweetness. Fairly smooth moderate body with a slick finish.

A lot of subtle flavor is a bit ruined by the aftertaste at first. It disappeared and became much more enjoyable closer to room temperature. Of course it's not a big hoppy brew as IPA's have come to be but it has good flavor and is a proper English beer served "warm".

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 01:31:27 | More by Bfarr
Photo of Homebrew35


3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a big creamy off white head. Hazy pale body. Smells mostly of bready malts, yeasty esters and some sweet crystal malts. Tastes of pale malts, bready yeast, some citrus hops. Fairly crisp finish. Some lingering bitterness to balance it out. Full bodied, medium carbonation. I could have a few of these at a time. This tastes like an english ale through and through. I won't seek this again for some time but will give it another go when I'm in the mood for an easy drinking english style beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 03:45:19 | More by Homebrew35
Photo of TangTKE402

New York

3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured tan with a 2 finger head and a very slight haze. Impressive lacing held on to the pint glass it was in.

S: Sweeter than expected. Smells of pilsner, dates and figs with a tree nut hint. Not much in the way of hops on the nose.

T: Tastes like a good English ale: musky, dank, sediment and leather, sweet on the finish with a little wet hop bite (but not much.) Overall this is fairly typical of the English India Ales, and it takes me back to my days in pubs on the British Isles. Those expecting a big American IPA should steer clear.

M: Robust with some chewiness to it; gritty.

D: Good for those looking for an English style IPA. Personally the sediment flavor gets to me after 1.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2011 21:53:36 | More by TangTKE402
Photo of engagechad


3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer was purchased as a gift pack with two other SS beers - Poured into my DFH snifter.

Pretty beer, looks like an IPA. Great amber yellow with off white head and incredible, sticky lacing as the brew mellowed. Smelled of faint hops, malt and some medicinal herbal notes. Taste was just okay for me. I took into account that English IPAs aren't supposed to really be in your face like American IPAs but it was still kind of underwhelming. Mouthfeel was a bit bitter (which was good) but the ethanol burn was too present to make it enjoyable which affected the drinkability as well.

It was decent, but I wouldn't buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 13:28:39 | More by engagechad
Photo of evanlarkin

District of Columbia

2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A dark honey-orange color, very clear. A few fingers of head at first, but it disappears quickly. No room in the glass to allow for lacing.

Sweet and somewhat bitter. Not extremely strong. Some slight caramel notes. Surprisingly, not much hops on the nose.

Sweet and caramelly with minimal bitterness. Slightly boozy about midway through, not overly so, and with some slightly resinous hops flavor. For an IPA you would probably expect more hops, but this resembles an amber ale to me.

light/medium body, kind of coats your mouth. Filmy and lower than average carbonation for this style.

It tastes good, I could have another, but if I were looking for an IPA this would disappoint. The hops flavor simply isn't prominent enough. It's still delicious in it's own right, however.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 02:07:41 | More by evanlarkin
Photo of Sigmund


3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

355 ml bottle, from Voldby Kødmandsgård, Denmark. ABV is not mentioned on the label. Deep golden colour, big to moderate white head. Moderate aroma - malts, a little caramel, hints of orange marmalade. The flavour is moderately malty with hints of toffee and oranges, and is smooth and pleasant to drink - but the hoppiness is nowhere near an American IPA. Still, there are some hops in the finish, and the overall impression is a fairly well balanced premium bitter / ESB.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 17:35:17 | More by Sigmund
Photo of jdb8507


3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The smell, oddly enough, is reminiscent of citrus and wet dog, haha. It is a decent IPA, not hoppy, has a pretty clean finish, but nothing special.

It's a pretty creamy ale. Although the nose isnt the most appetizing description, this is a good ale. Complex taste, but I've had better.... today.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2011 21:16:16 | More by jdb8507
Photo of adam42381


3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color with orange/ruby highlights and a 2-3 finger frothy off-white head. Excellent lacing. Looks just about as good as any IPA, English or American.

Smell: Sweet English hops and caramel malt with candied fruits.

Taste: Candied fruit and caramel malt up front followed by bitter citrus in the middle and finishing with bready malt. Aftertaste is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation. A little watery for my taste.

Drinkability: High drinkability. You could put back a few without much difficulty.

Overall: Good beer overall and a nice example of an English IPA. Nothing spectacular here, but it's worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 21:23:08 | More by adam42381
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper pour, good lacing and head here. Aroma was lacking, had a little woody thing going for it, smelled old.

Taste, one of the better English ipa styles out there, in fact, a classic, tastes classic at times (aged). If you're looking for balance, check this stuff out. Gets more watery as it goes on, hops seem to fade more and the balance gives way to earthy malt tones.

One of the better beers available at Raley's for around $5.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 05:31:27 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,511 ratings.