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

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Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale

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896 Reviews

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Reviews: 896
Hads: 1,743
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.06%
Wants: 29
Gots: 125 | 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: 896 | Hads: 1,743
Photo of cookin420
3.4/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pub glass.

Color is very pale and perfectly clear with an amber/yellow tint. Short head with good lace.

A very small amount of malt smell in the form of crackers makes it through the huge aroma of fresh Goldings. An up-front woody bittering hop aroma as well.

The taste of the hop lineup is identical to the smell; huge flavor and nose Goldings and a moderately bittered finish. I'd go bigger on the bitter but thats just my opinion and my opinion doesn't (and shouldn't!!) matter to an institution like the old brewery Tadcaster. Cheers to them for always doing it right.

Great mouthfeel. Do allow this to warm before you pour. As with many brews, it will feel overcarbonated and undermalted at wrong temps. Proper pour temp will result in magnificent mouthfeel.

Drinkability; If you like a slightly sweet IPA this is a great one. The sweetness here is not achieved by malt or yeast, however, it's from the golding assault they give this stuff. Yeeehaw! (986 characters)

Photo of carpezytha
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Large-bubbled head which died quickly on an ochre body.
S: Quite a distinct aroma, with malt, hops and even some esters in there. Unfortunately the taste did not live up to the high expectations that the smell promised. Some minerality as well.
T: Tangy mix of citrusy hops, sweet malt, spicey. It was hard to corral all these into a distinctive note it seems, as I was left confused rather than impressed in a positive way. It seems they got very close to having a great beer, but something about all the flavors clamoring for attention disipated whatever great experience I would have had.
M: Quite a chewy beast, this.
D: I would try again. (646 characters)

Photo of ely2000k
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This ale pours an amber, burnt orange sort of color and packs plenty of head that lingers in the glass for awhile. The smell is sort of citrus like, mixed with hops, and a bread like odor. Taste was not what I was expecting. Bitter, but not overly dry. Although there is some sweetness present in the odor, it does not come through in taste, mostly a thin, bitter taste with a mild bite. It tastes refreshing, but the bitterness makes it sort of a sipping beer. A slight bit watery. It's decent overall, but nothing I would go out of my way to find again. (555 characters)

Photo of jubnat
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I expected this to be a bit bigger, with more alcohol. But its lightness(compared to other IPAs) makes it very nice to drink. Strong flavors, malty, hoppy. But not overly hoppy. Goes down so smooth. I would drink these everyday if they were only cheaper. (254 characters)

3.07/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 550ml bottle into pint galss.

A: Pours a crystal clear medium amber with a thin head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing.

S: Bready malt, orange peel and faint hops.

T: Peanuts and citrus dominate with a pleasant metallic, oily finish. Seems as though sweetness was added post-fermentation. This India ale lacks the hoppy bitterness that I had expected and craved. Malt and citrus take center stage as the beer warmed.

M: Medium-light with perfect carbonation.

D: Lacks the punch I expected. I'm rather underwhelmed. (548 characters)

Photo of Zundo
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice copper body with off-white to tan one-finger head. Solid lacing.

Smell: Smells very much like apple cider. Earthy and caramel too.

Taste: Apple cider, pinapple, floral hops and caramel biscuit

Mouthfeel: Failry carbonated and sticky. A bit doughy and then dry finish.

Drink: Pretty drinkable, but could be too sticky overtime. (350 characters)

Photo of ghurux86
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a golden amber color, kinda cloudy with a nice creamy off-white head, somewhat tan. smell is slightly citrus of some type with some kind of spice, maybe. it also smells of hops. the smell is pretty sweet, there may be a hint of caramel in there. taste good, not sure what it is exactly though. the aftertaste is definitely the bitterness of the hops. as far as mouthfeel goes, it is lightly carbonated and medium bodied, not too thick or thin, pretty good but nothing exceptional. i'd drink it again and may buy it often due to its not very expensive price. pretty good overall. (584 characters)

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

Purchased at Total Wine as part of a 3 bottle Samuel Smith's gift pack with a brewery monogrammed Becker pint glass. Was actually priced a couple bucks lower than buying the bottles separately, and since I'm a huge nit, my decision was easy.

Poured into the Samuel Smith's glass (natch).

Pours a lovely deep copper with a thick, rustic looking 2 finger head that just stays and stays and leaves mad lacing.

Smell is slightly sour, big malts, and a hop profile worlds apart from the citric-pine-dank blast of an American IPA. I'm admittedly not yet knowledgeable enough to differentiate between hop varieties by smell, give me a year of homebrewing and get back to me. I'm at least reasonably sure there's no Centennial, Simcoe or Citra in here.

Taste is also worlds apart from an American IPA. Big, round flavor. Very malt-forward, still plenty of hops but they take on more of a supporting role here. Delicious bready finish. Well balanced.

Mouthfeel is good, the carbonation was a little soft and could have used a bit more bite, medium body.

Overall I enjoyed this traditional English IPA very much. If I had gone into it expecting a West Coast-style hop blast I would have been disappointed, but I didn't, and I wasn't. I'll drink this beer again for sure. (1,269 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 RiekerStarBrew
4.04/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When the beer was poured into a pint glass, it displayed a clear, amber color with an orange hue. Minimal lacing was present and the head dissipated quickly. The aroma had a soft hoppiness balanced by a sweet barley base. Slight fruit esters were present in the aroma as well. The flavor was a firm hoppiness, mainly earthy and piney. There was a solid malt backbone to the beer which rounded out the bitterness. The finish was sweet and hoppy. The yeast flavor was generally clean and smooth. Generally, I would consider this an "assertive" beer, but with the skill of the brewers displayed in the beers balance, it is a very easy drinking brew. (646 characters)

Photo of ENogueira
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%

Large 550ml bottle poured in an official Samuel Smith pint glass. Huge, foamy head. Golden colored ale. Tasted rather bland, smooth at first taste. Spicy, citrus notes. Aftertaste, though, is a deal-breaker. Leaves a metallic, mineral-like, alcoholic tinge that lingers. Definitely not my favorite IPA. (312 characters)

Photo of JBStith
2.2/5  rDev -41%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sam Smith's India (Pale) Ale. Not nearly as good as I was expecting. Quite disappointing actually.

A: Somewhat pale, watery, and hazy looking compared to most other IPAs. Very little head, retention, and no lacing to speak of .

S: Mostly sweet malts. Virtually no hop aroma at all.

T: Similar to smell, taste is mostly malt. Sweet, caramel, honey? No bitterness or hint of hops at all. It almost makes me question whether or not this is really an IPA or if I just got a bad bottle.

M&D: Medium body yet watery. Not drinkable at all for me.

Because Sam Smith's makes some of my favorite beers, I am hoping I just got a bad batch. I will try this again just to make sure, but this beer was just not good. Very disappointing.

UPDATE: I had to down grade the score of this beer mid way through an IPA tasting. At this point I can't even rate it as average. (870 characters)

Photo of MTMugs
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice orange color, poured with a lovely head. This was a great post-golf, picnic ale. Lighter than my usual ale choice, with enough hops to draw me in for more. It must have been the day - drinking down into this it became more citrusy, less bitter. Lower in alcohol too. A definite keeper. (291 characters)

Photo of mrcarterxxl
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Smith's India Ale

pours a light amber color with a small white head that dosent last very long.

a really light smelling ale small traces of hops in the nose and thats all.

a bitter tasting ale taste of hops and grains

the mouth feel is loose with medium carbonation.

this ale is good with spicy food which it states on the label, foods with heave seasoning. a good beer for a lazy sunday. (402 characters)

Photo of kristenspaintings
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I enjoyed this beer much less than I thought I would.

I like the glass and coaster that came with the sampler pack and was interested in the possibility of visiting the brewery as they have a pretty decent website describing their process and visitation facilities. I still think there’s a possibility that I’ll visit the brewery anyway because I enjoy these sorts of things when I travel, but I’m not into their beer as much as I want to be.

The bottle says it’s “exceptionally full-flavored and complex” which I found to be an exaggeration. It is by far not a bad beer; It’s just not very interesting. It is malty and hoppy/bitter which is true to its category but lacks some depth or “layers” of flavor you get with other IPAs. (751 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 poluti
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours an orange red with carbonation bubbles running steadily up the side of the glass. It has a very nice white tuft of head. It's a very sexy looking beer. It smells of crisp malt, not departing from traditional english ales. There are minor scents of hops but nothing too extraordinary. It's as sweet tasting as most english ales. However, the hops are present to balance it out fairly well. It doesn't have the bite I was expecting before I poured the bottle, but I was reassured that the hops were present after my initial smell. This is a little too malt heavy than my liking, but a different experience all together for the style. It coats the tongue well. Flavors are ever present throughout the mouth and the tongue. It is not too heavy but not too thin. Then again, it is nothing extraordinary, but above par. I will drink this beer again when looking for an IPA with a lower bitterness content. Overall it was an enjoyable experience. (948 characters)

Photo of rugger
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
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)

Photo of lonestar1836
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: orange amber with frothy head and nice lacing

S: toasted bread and fruit

T: starts off with good blend of sweet and bitter, not as hoppy as the IPA's i've had, ends with a blend of fruity flavors

M: medium body with light carbonation

D: not bad but not something i'd make a habit of coming back to (304 characters)

Photo of mclanem
3.31/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Looks great you could just call this caramel beer because it has a caramel color and so on.

Smell: Caramel once again real big here as well as dark roasted malt.

Taste: right off the bat I had caramel in the flavor, somewhat bitter, light malt flavor. Not to much depth to it. If you really like caramel and bitter beer go for it. I gave it 3.5 good because it was still good overall.

Mouthfeel:Great I like the way this beer feels nice carbonation, you can feel the froth in your mouthfull.

Drinkablility: Not to bad truely enjoyed one but I wouldn't drink more than that at once. (606 characters)

Photo of memory
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (305 characters)

Photo of Ardon
5/5  rDev +34%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful, exactly what I would want an IPA to look like. Light amber. Slightly hazy (maybe a bit too chilled). Wonderful pillowy 2 inch head that holds for some time.

Smell: Intense flowery hop. Slight unidentifiable sweetness.

Taste: Everything the nose promised and more. Wonderfully flowery, earthy hop flavours. Slight tea flavours present as well. Appetizing lemony acidity. Bitter but in a satisfying way. Slight biscuity aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Oh so creamy and good. Like I mentioned in the taste, bitter but in a satisfying, appetizing way.

Drinkability: Could drink these forever. An ultimate session beer. Keep these away from me cause I likely end up sick before I stop drinking them! (720 characters)

Photo of irishtjb11
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

big fan of the samuel smith stouts, so thought id give this beer a try, bought a single of it. found this ipa to be much like most english ipas ive countered much more balanced with the hops and malt, unlike some of the hop strong americans ive been used to. pours to a clear reddish amber, with a nice head but not overly thick. smells much more of malt than of hops, barley able to get any real strong fruity, herbal, hop smells. taste is a nice blend of malts and hops, but not what i really enjoy when having an ipa which is the powerful hops as well as complicated character that so often comes with them. find this ale to be pretty simple on the palate not coming up with too many suprises. with that being said, it's still a quality ale thats enjoyable. i found it to have more characteristics of the typical pub ale than that of an ipa. definite good ale for someone who enjoys more mellow and casual ales as well as people who found some ipas overpowering with hops and bitterness. this leaves the palate with a sweet caramel tastes. (1,042 characters)

Photo of sasky7777
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving: 18.7 oz bottle poured into a glass

A: copper colour with a good head when poured which quickly dissipated but left lace on the glass as I drank

S: fruity hops aroma and alcohol

T: well balanced, a hint of malt balanced out by hops, bitterness lingered on the palate, taste of alcohol on the back of my palate/back of my nose when I aerated it

M: crisp with balanced carbonation, cleansed the palate well, light and doesn't linger in the mouth

D: My first review, and first attempt at a "real" IPA. I am not a hop head so I found this to be balanced and quite drinkable. It would make a good session beer. I had this beer paired with a beef meatloaf that had rosemary and mushrooms. Not a perfect match but the bitterness in the beer played well with the sweet glaze on top of the meatloaf, and it cleansed the palate. (831 characters)

Photo of Smittysguinness
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite simply, this IPA blew me away.

It's 9:00 on a brisk morning, on the campus of Michigan State. It's a tailgate. Besides my morning coffee, spiked with a bit of John Jameson and Son's finest, my palate was undisturbed. I reach into my cooler full of Molson Canadian (I'll review that one later) and pull out my bottle of this IPA.

I cracked open the bottle, and was immediately hit by a wonderful floral smell. I smelled plenty of hops, as I would with any IPA, but not so strong as, say, Sierra Nevada. This woke my brain up out of its fog.

Quivering with anticipation, my tastebuds ready for the shock of a mega-hoppy IPA, I nearly fell over at what I perceived to be an amazingly well-balanced IPA. Incredible. Sure, there were loads of's an IPA. That's what they do. But these hops I thought were extremely-well balanced by a nice sweet maltiness. In fact, the malt really took the sting off of what I would normally expected. I exclaimed out lous that it was the best IPA I'd had in a long time. Sorry Sierra Nevada...I found a new one.

Mouthfeel was slightly dry, as it should be with IPA. Drinkability I think speaks for itself. I will buy this beer over and over again. Besides, it took the sting off of MSU's Godawful performance against Northwestern... (1,289 characters)

Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
84 out of 100 based on 896 ratings.