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

Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,416 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1416
Reviews: 844
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.32%

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: 1,416 | Reviews: 844 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Tone


3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, orange / copper color. 3/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of pale malt, dry hops, slight grain, slight alcohol, and some citrus. Fits the category of an English IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly thick with a low carbonation level. Tastes of dry hops, sweet malt, pale malt, slight grain, slight citrus. Overall, this fits the category quite nicely, with the pale hops, good malt background, and noticeable alcohol. I'd recommend this brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 03:02:27 | More by Tone
Photo of Dogbrick


3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. Hoppy, malty, satisfying ale. Big creamy head and decent lacing, although a little on the weak side.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2002 14:26:33 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of OWSLEY069


2.93/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean orange-ish/ copper color with a light tan head. In the aroma, small hops and something like gingerbread like malt. In the taste, small hops, and a gingerbread like sweet maltiness. A small bite, yet mainly smooth, medium mouthfeel, and a semi-dry maltiness in the aftertaste. Good for an English IPA, but nothing too exciting.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2008 22:29:41 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of tavernjef


4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

550ml bottle - Color is a glowing clear light amber with a frothy off-white, two finger high head that goes nowhere. Looser big bubbles pop and crumble very slowly and leaves lots of stringy lace. Smell is a nice mellow and clean floral, piney hop aroma. Notes of light peach and banana with a sweet caramel backing. Taste is a perfect copy of the smell with a smooth easy start of flowers, the middle hits a nice piney juicyness thats quite mellow and finishes with a lovely hint of lingering hop bitterness and dryness. Perfectly balanced caramel malts playing inbetween keeping this brew superbly mellowing and clean. Feel is a good medium body and slight creamyness throughout with a nice lingering finish. Nothing overwhelming in this perfect English Style IPA.
Its not a U.S. monster but you can see where those come from, got to respect that....ehh hopheads? Its not a in your face IPA, but it is a slap with one of those fancy white gloves. Dignified, unexpected, and well done.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2003 17:57:04 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Cyberkedi


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

Pours an appetizing clear amber with a fairly thick but not persistent head. Aroma is strong and surprisingly fruity, more like a cider than an IPA though there is a hint of the evergreen aroma I associate with a good IPA. Flavor is fairly hoppy but not too bitter, somewhat fruity and a bit wan. Texture is fairly smooth and just a little fizzy, and it leaves a fairly hoppy aftertaste. Not the best I have had, but worthy of a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 00:07:26 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

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

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a fairly thick texture. There was a nice head and lacing throughout.

The smell was decently well-balanced. Malt, hops possibly some fruit.

The malts really stood out in the taste. There was a certain bitterness to the taste, but not overly so.

The carbonation was nicely done, with a smooth, dry finish. Good mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a solid beer. It didn't blow me away by any means, but was certainly a well made beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2008 16:55:37 | More by avalon07
Photo of Bitterbill


3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

A- a clear copper colour, huge head of foam with good lacing left behind.

S- delightful aroma coming from the English hops and malts..lots of sweets, some bitter, good balanced nose.

T- a bit of a lemony zing at first, settles into a nice tasty malty flavour, some "musty" notes, as others have mentioned. Balanced nearly from beginning to end is a treat to drink.

M- very creamy smooth with the med body and carbonation.

O- I haven't had this in years and I'm enjoying it; it was part of a back with 2 other brews, 2 coaster, nd the glass. A nice brew that I wish I could buy singly.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2013 23:27:17 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an ultra clear light copper color. Vigorous pour yields a surprisingly small amount of creamy off-white head, but it sticks around nicely and leaves some spotty lacing behind.

Earthy mineral nose with some of the more non-intensive citrus smells like overripe oranges, acidic grapes and pomegranate. Malts are there, in an un-sweet kind of way.

Has a grassy hop flavor with a heavy handed dose of light and amber malt flavors. Hints of biscuits, clover and honey. Mineral taste is very much in evidence and is a bit distracting in an IPA. Has a mild chalky flavor that I am assuming comes from the stone fermenters they use.

Quite different from an American IPA and not nearly as bitter. The taste does grow on you after the initial shock of what one typically expects from an IPA. I could really see myself enjoying a fresh imperial pint of this in a British pub.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 19:37:08 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of stcules


3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper color, very clean. Beautiful compact head.
Smell: grassy and earthly hop, malt, hazelnut and biscuit notes.
A good hop in the taste, too, on a full malty base, with good biscuit notes, and a very light caramel.
Earthly hop that remains for a long time, with peppery notes.
Decent body, long and hoppy aftertaste.
Definitely pleasant, with a great drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2011 14:40:15 | More by stcules
Photo of BeerFMAndy


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

550 ml bottle poured into an Imperial Pint. No date or info to be found.

A - Brilliantly clear honeyed pale amber in color. No carbonation action but a plump and dense creamy head burst fourth on the pour. The off-white beast took a long time to settle and left slight legs on the glass. Only specks of lacing though.

S - The aroma comes out subtly but is very smooth and refreshing smelling. Not to be misunderstood with cidery, it has a fresh red apple aroma that's lightly tart. Light hops present a fruity and floral aspect but hardly smell like typical hops. Low aroma but not IPA-like based on smell.

T - Impeccable balance on the flavor, the malty backbone starts out right away but quickly turns to a dry hop-present fruity - with that apple again - and floral kick. The finish is mildly hoppy though a touch more tart and astringent than bitter. Dry finish.

M - Incredibly smooth and slightly creamy to start, it finished dry and a touch astringent, not bitter. Medium-bodied and smooth as milk all the way down.

D - Pretty good, while not a typical IPA by any standards. Hop presence as we Americans know it is pretty absent. The balance is well done though.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2009 02:58:49 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of RoyalT


4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Almost clear orange in the body with a little carbonation and a big head that went down quickly and cleanly.

Smell – The floral hop aroma is laden with fruit, predominantly peach. I can also pick up some grapefruit. Behind that is a strong malt backbone. This is yet another balanced Sam Smith’s.

Taste – There it is; the classic Sam Smith. The malt base is laced with caramel and extremely smooth. The hops are fruity as they are in the nose with a bit of spicing.

Mouthfeel – Once again, this is an extremely smooth and creamy Sam Smith’s. The buttery undertones, mildness and balance of flavors, and subtle carbonation give this one a terrific mouthfeel. I feel that this is the strong point of the ale.

Drinkability – Not your heavy-hitting West Coast IPA by any means, but a terrific session ale in step with traditional English tastes.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2003 03:21:29 | More by RoyalT
Photo of DrDemento456


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

Poured from a big 550ml bottle found at giant eagle for 4 bucks. Nice!

A - Deep amber hue with a touch of lacing head that slowly depreciates.
S - English IPA's are so weird! Smells of floral hops behind a caramel malt. Hope it tastes good.
T - Nice hops as I expected less for a 5% brew! Carmel hits the tongue or is it molasses? Really earthy but not as bitter as expected.
M - One of the lightest IPA's I ever had! Really smooth yet need more hops!
D - Overall I expected a great tasting and smooth bodied IPA from Samuel Smith and I guess I got it without the bitterness I would expect for an IPA. Definitely one to try if your a hop head to see the more sweeter side of an IPA

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 01:57:24 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of flagmantho


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

Poured from 550mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: slightly hazy light orange color with two fingers of bubbly light tan head. Looks good.

Smell: aroma is quite sweet and malty with some caramel and citrus character to it. I rather like it.

Taste: nice slightly caramel malt with citrus overtones. Hops are citrusy and floral and do not present themselves particularly strongly, although the flavor is nice and quite bitter. This is a nice, refreshing, drinkable beer, though quite different than an American-style IPA.

Mouthfeel: medium body with very low carbonation. Smooth, though not creamy. Not bad.

Drinkability: quite drinkable. Somewhat sweet, but not cloyingly so, and bitter without being over the top. A restrained, tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 02:39:29 | More by flagmantho
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 7/2011 notes. Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a clear coppery orange amber. One finger off-white head and no lacing. Aroma of sweet caramel malt and a light fruit component. Reminiscent of a doppelbock. Flavor is more muted. Starts with neutral malt with a peppery hop bite, dry malt middle and hop bitterness in the finish. The malts are not distinctive. The spicy hop start is interesting, but the ale overall is rather low key. Light to medium body. Like a watered down, somewhat hoppy old ale. No need to return to this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 03:53:26 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brown (yes, brown!!) glass Bottle from “Sams”, hopefully things are slowly changing and the clear glass bottles are being phased out. 'Manly' sized at 550ml (1 Pt 2.7 fl.oz), a proper Imperial Pint gives me plenty to go at.
The label looks very confusing at first, the “India Ale” in a shadowed red Arial like font is discernable from the light blue background of white roses, but the descriptive explanation of the beer which is also in thin font dark blue type – most certainly is not. Samuel Smiths is emblazoned in gold against the Union Jack Flag with the White Rose of Yorkshire above it. Has the statement embossed on the bottom of the bottle, “Bottled at Yorkshires Oldest Brewery”. Decent marks for the presentation, but the label could be a little clearer and easier to read.
The pour is aggressive, aided mainly by the beers transition from the wide bodied bottle through the 3” long thin neck – it really “glugs” as it exits. Has a deep lovely looking and inviting very clear amber-copper color. A massively huge head slowly recedes to rejoin the beer as the initial short carbonation rush fades. Lace is somehow left clinging to the smooth sides of the Glass, but it is in rings rather than sheets. Aromas are of malt and hops, average in strength but of a certain high quality. A trademark “Sams” malt dominant start mixed with some sweetness at first. The light malt sweetness, that does not last long, starts to make way for a quite a fruity middle, and this in turn rescinds to a really spicy hoppy bitter finish. Another superb top-fermented Ale. I can’t explain this, maybe it’s the Yorkshire Square Fermenters, maybe the class of the Brewers, but “Sams” has a very distinct underlying taste and quality that is prevalent in all of their beers. This is no exception. Great balance. Never dominant in any one department, yet it is greater than the sum of its components. Somehow it has Sam’s Synergy. This is no West Coast IPA, but a very good example of an English Pale Ale, with classy hints to the bloodline of its past I.P.A. heritage. Highly quaffable.
I reckon the spicy hop finish in this beer would be paired well with that other Great British institution, the Indian Curry. A Very Accomplished brew from Sam’s - yet again!

I am actually a Yorkshireman, and that bias aside, The Tadcaster Master Craft Brewers at Yorkshires Oldest Brewery – have done it yet again in my opinion.

Bloody Marvellous!

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2003 20:45:33 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of jrallen34


3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a tulip glass...Pours a light peach color ok retention and lacing, nothing special, typical ipa...The aroma is light, not that I expected otherwise, light fruit, a little hop, not much...Taste is ok, not flavorful but makes it a super easy drinker, light hops come through so its pleasant to drink. A decent english ipa, so-so, probably wouldn't have unless I was in England.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2010 16:09:56 | More by jrallen34
Photo of cokes


4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2004 23:52:20 | More by cokes
Photo of nickfl


3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a creamy white head that holds out for a while before settling to a thin film and leaving behind nice rings of lace. The body is reddish copper colored with good clarity.

S - Grainy aroma with sweet caramel and weak hop aroma.

T - Fruity with a clean malt character. A floral hop flavor emerges in the middle with moderate chalky bitterness characterizing the finish.

M - Medium body, low carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Pleasant and drinkable with a nice malt character. Unfortunately the hop character is just too weak to make this a good english IPA.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 03:02:05 | More by nickfl
Photo of champ103


3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The color here is a deep and clear amber/red. A good white head forms and leaves sticky lace down the glass.
S: This is a very unique smell. I don't know if I really like it or not. There is plenty of floral hops and plenty of malt to balance things out. There is also this weird fruity, tarty, tangy, smell that I can't describe all that well.
T: The uniqueness carries over to the taste. It is much more sweet though, almost cloying. It is kind of like sweet hard candy. Again, plenty of hops and malt that is well balanced.
M/D: This is rich, creamy, and well carbonated in the mouth. Extremely smooth and easy to drink.

Like all good English IPA's this has a great balance of hops and malt. I am not sure if I described the taste and smell accurately, or if I even like it. Though I can't bring myself to give this a bad score. However, this is something that I will revisit, and would recommend for people to try for themselves.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2008 23:53:50 | More by champ103
Photo of blackie


3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours a one-finger off white head, slow recession to a thin but well retained layer, the beer is a light amber in color

s: grassy citrus (dried lemongrass) English hops carried on lightly sweet malts with a load of biscuit aromas, mineral well water, notes of sour green apple

m: carbonation soft and just under medium, light-medium body

t: biscuit malt body carries a semi-grassy English hop flavor turning more citrus in the finish, typical SS mineral flavors throughout, bitter apple, well balanced and a good example of the style, mild bitterness

d: quite enjoyable, and an easy drinker

550 ml bottle from Farm Fresh, Hampton, VA

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 03:16:33 | More by blackie
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 01:31:33 | More by chinchill
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

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

550ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear copper colour with an average size frothy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some very nice lacing running in stages down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for a few minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, caramel, lemon juice, raisins

Taste & Mouth - The beer is has an average amount of carbonation and feels creamy on the palette. Most of the taste is made up of caramel, malts, and some light hops. There are also notes of lemon juice, raisins/figs and some cask wood. The beer finishes with a slightly bitter malty and fruity aftertaste.

Drink - An interesting beer that is worth a try. I prefer the citrus/hoppy IPA's but I'm happy I gave this one a shot.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 01:09:39 | More by spinrsx
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

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

550ml bottle served in a nonic. Poured a translucent copper with a one inch, frothy off-white head that eventually settled into a solid, quarter inch skim; some lacing, but weak legs. Nose suggests caramel malts with a subdued hops character. Taste follows nose, but malt overtakes the hops, with a residual aftertaste (a little skunky, but not in a bad way). Mouthfeel falls between light- and medium-bodied with a consistent background carbonation - very pleasant. Liked it, but didn't love it. This style is relatively new to me, but I wasn't blown away. Still not a bad offering.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2009 00:54:47 | More by Jwale73
Photo of alexgash


3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2004 21:32:37 | More by alexgash
Photo of Brent


4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A classic. Sharp hops with just enough bite.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2001 18:37:31 | More by Brent
Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,416 ratings.