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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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1,605 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,605
Reviews: 870
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 19
Gots: 60 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,605 | Reviews: 870 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tempest
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You can't deny the beauty of this one. It's a lovely, crystal clear, orange-amber with a long-lasting white head and thick lacing. The aroma, well, the aroma is the only sign that this beer has done some traveling. It's a bit grainy and dusty, but that's left behind in the flavor. The main taste is from the hops with orange juice and hot spice similar to mild salsa (that's a lot of spice for a non-chili beer). There's a very mellow caramel and toffee malt background that may just have a touch of biscuit, but the spicy hops do it for me.

The big comparison here in my mind is to Brooklyn Brewery's EIPA and I don't think I could call either a better beer. The Brooklyn is simply better. Either way, these two beers make up the best EIPAs I've ever had. You should try them too.

tempest, Sep 13, 2007
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.68/5  rDev 0%
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.

Georgiabeer, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550 ml bottle into imperial pint glass, bottled on 7/05/2012. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a nice 2 finger fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of orange zest, pear, apple, caramel, toffee, toast, bread, floral, grass, honey, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of fruity/floral hop and yeast notes with good malt balance; and solid strength. Taste of orange zest, pear, apple, caramel, toffee, floral, light pine, toast, bread, grass, honey, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of orange, light fruits, caramel, toffee, floral, light pine, toast, bread, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of moderate hop flavors; with a very balanced malt backbone and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good English IPA style. Very nice balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

superspak, May 30, 2013
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice copper. 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.

barleywinefiend, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

LXIXME, Mar 31, 2014
Photo of wl0307
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming in a 550ml brown bottle, with a BB date of APR 06.

A: in a goblet it pours a deep brownish amber hued, the off-white beer head comes thick and half-fluffy+half-creamy, rescinds slowly and leaving tracks of silky lace~~ the carbonation is apparently low, with just sparse big bubbles struggling out of the control of gravity.
S: semi-sweet maltiness prevails immediately in front of my nose and matched by equally profound but underlying mixed floral and sweetish fruity hop aroma, laced with a slight hint of sweetened orange-peel and preserved peaches at the tail of aroma. Overall the mixed aroma is subtly nice, not the kind of big and thick and fat textured aroma as one might expect of American IPA, and not bold or big for an IPA even by British standards.
T: a smooth bittersweet and slightly biscuity maltiness dominates the palate, slowly and quietly bringing on board a herbal as well as tea-leafy textured bitterness, while the floral hop aroma somehow is less apparent on the palate, leaving just a hint of dried tangerine-zest and slightly marmalade-like subdued bitter-sweet fruity hop flavour mixed well with the underlying bitterness. Interestingly, the aftertaste of bitterness and restrained hop flavour reminds me more of a less malty premium bitter rather than an English PA or IPA, perhaps that's where the vague borders between these "styles" are quietly crossed~~?
M&D: the mouthfeel is delicately soft and ultra-smooth, matching the equally soft-textured flavour just ideally. Overall, this beer is quite understated than the broadly defined IPA from my limited experience of this style, not as bold and colourful as other IPAs I've tried from both sides of the Atlantic.. Its strength hides in its subtlety and that it drinks only too well, based on its balanced characters with good depth.

wl0307, Nov 07, 2005
Photo of ejimhof
5/5  rDev +35.9%

ejimhof, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last from the Sam Smith pack picked up.

A: Pours a clear orange/copper color with a very foamy, white head on top, probably a little over an inch in height. It started off very large, but dissipated rather quickly. Sea foam like lacing on the sides.

S: Light grain and pale malt, very light hops, really much heavier on the malt bill. Some caramel and bready malt too.

T: Again, very light in terms of hop presence like an American IPA would be, grain and light english hops. A good bit of bread and caramel.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: Decent beer, even though it is an English IPA, would have liked the hops to a have been a bit more forward, but then again it is an English IPA from the UK, not from the US.

D - Pretty decent actually. he flavors were not too strong and the lightish body lended itself well to having a few of these. Not a bad session beer.

Overall this was pretty decent but I have had better. For some reason I am just not that impresssed with what comes out of this brewery. Gonna have to try some of the organics to see if it changes my mind,

mdaschaf, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of DoubleJ
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from Pacific Ranch Market, on to the beer:

Orange amber color, the head sticks together well, even as the beer started to slightly overflow my glass.The aroma was musty with faded grapefruit notes. Something sweet comes out as it warms. You could taste the bitterness, but bitterness was the only thing I could taste out of the hops. There was some metallic flavor detected. The finish sweetens up, with bits of caramel.

The hops were there, but they didn't provide any exciting flavors, just a dull bitterness. In fact, the bitterness nearly took over the entire beer.

DoubleJ, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of Zorro
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep golden ale bordering on a brown color.

Smell is malty and fruity with a mild amount of hops in it.

Tastes drier than I would have expected. This has a strong tea like hops taste. Floral and malt tastes show up too. Very slightly bitter. Ok, but I expected more.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is good, this dry ale would go well with very spicy foods.

Zorro, Feb 13, 2004
Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +8.7%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
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

Mebuzzard, May 20, 2006
Photo of smakawhat
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

One of the few Samuel Smith brews I have put off for a long time. From the 550ml bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Out of the bottle a faint copper red body, crystal clear with lots of large cola bubbles sticking to the sides of the glass. Head forms real big but soapy white, with large bubbles. Some fairly good staying power also.

Nose is very biscuity sensations. Moderate toasty grains with hints of fruit yeast esters. Slightly powdery. Hop angle is non existent mostly, smells mostly like a good solid bitter.

Palate seems to bring no surprises. Hop angle comes out a little bit forward with mild bitternes, but bowled over with a good classic large malt biscuit character. Hints of light buttery toast sensations, and mild caramel, with a light hop bitterness pull through on the finish. Not particularly hop noticeable but subtle.

Overall, a simple easy drinking brew, and truly English in flavor. It will do.

smakawhat, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

BillRoth, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +8.7%

DrBier, Aug 20, 2014
Photo of Wasatch
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In brown bottle.

Pours a golden orange color, nice carbonation, head was decent and creamy, nice lacing afterwards. Scents of malts, hops, slight citrus, and caramel. The taste is malty, slightly hoppy, there's a nice bitter bite in the end. Medium body. Drinkable, this is nothing like an American IPA, but still tasty.

Wasatch, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev +8.7%

brandoman63, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of biegaman
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In likening the beer to a "golden sunset", its brewer must be speaking of its attraction and not its physical appearance - it sure is lovely but this orange pekoe colour looks like it belongs in a teacup, not the sky. Its head has a tender figure and stunted height; it is not quite decrepit but does look marred. Unexpectedly, however, it drapes some lace.

Typical of many British offerings, this bouquet smells more of carbonates (from the water) than it does malt or hops. This hard, mineral-y profile lends the beer the air of a rocky sea shore and a stiff, cold wind that floats in alongside the waves. A dab of toffee sweetness and a dash of gingery spice is all the malts and hops conjure up.

They are more adamant in the taste however; a flavour both peculiar and pleasant, one reminiscent of the skin off the top of a butterscotch pudding, affirms itself. With it are compliments of dried fruits, licorice, gingerbread and earthy hops. A very light nuttiness, an almond-like flavour, is also worked into that (almost) buttery taste.

A considerable toastiness lingers along with that harsh, mineral-y character of the well water. I wouldn't have minded a little more of either sweetness or bitterness but that's simply not the way Yorkshire brewers (or at least Samuel Smith) do things; the dullness of these beers doesn't make them overtly flavourful but man can you put them back!

And that's likely the reason they stay the way they are. Samuel Smith uses a heavy glass bottle and, indeed, their beers are heavy too, not so much in flavour but in satisfaction. The Brits know their ale and they like to drink, this is a product of that culture. It's designed so that just one pint is enough to satiate... but several would be all the better.

biegaman, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of rab53
2/5  rDev -45.7%

rab53, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with a slight orangish hue with a quarter of an inch of loose, soft, white head that has decent retention and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The nose is big, malty and bready with a slight apple-like fruitiness. The flavor is bready with a caramel-like sweetness up front followed by a fruity, apple note. The mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied, and lightly carbonated.

This is a very malty IPA with little hop character. It's more fruity than hoppy. It's a little sweet for my liking with the caramel malt really coming through.

tdm168, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of chinchill
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

550 ml bottle served in a pint glass.

A - lovely clear amber with ample tan head. Lasting head leaves plenty of lacing.

S - floral hops; a bit earthy; malt. (Falsely) leads me to expect a high ABV.

T - roasted malt nearly matches level of hops; earthy. Black tea in bitter finish and aftertaste. Importer reports IBU = 46

M - medium body; low carbonation ... too low.

D - heightened by complexity; lowered by slightly excessive earthiness.

chinchill, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of iL0VEbeer
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

iL0VEbeer, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of sendbeer
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%

sendbeer, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of beerthulhu
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: light amber-orange with a slight white head that quickly faded.

S: a slight floral hop bitterness with some fresh citrus and sweet malts backing it up.

T: The flavor had dry caramel with light dry citrus hopping that drank more like a moderate pale ale then ipa. There was a light flowery bitterness and the beer finished most notably with dry citrus. The beer had a nice malt backbone and was semi-sweet.

M: moderate with a medium body and full carbonation.

D: moderate as it was a tad disappointing hop wise, but an ok session ipa that doesnt thrill.

beerthulhu, Mar 01, 2008
Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +8.7%

PEIhop, Nov 24, 2011
Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
84 out of 100 based on 1,605 ratings.