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Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale - Alexander Keith's

Alexander Keith's India Pale AleAlexander Keith's India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

415 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 415
Reviews: 247
rAvg: 2.65
pDev: 25.66%

Brewed by:
Alexander Keith's visit their website
Nova Scotia, Canada

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 04-16-1998)
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Ratings: 415 | Reviews: 247 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of EliNightCrew

1/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Not only was it never a good beer (Lager, Ale, anything ---Def not IPA), but it got way worse since the new owners goofed around with the recipe.

Not a 'daily driver', not a Lager, not an Ale.

Its an American adjunct lager at best so why bother drinking it?

This is crap in a bottle.

Pale pale yellow colour. It tastes and looks just like Blue. Hardly any bitter Hop taste. What a crime to call this beer an IPA. Should be a law against this type of marketing.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 07:24:01 | More by EliNightCrew
Photo of adams82


1/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Rating by style, this is an absolute zero. Looks like your standard BMC fare; pale yellow fizzy water with a white film. Zero hop flavor/aroma, cooked corn flavor.

I'm not sure what they were going for with this brew, but they completely missed the mark if they were really trying to brew an IPA. This beer should be rebranded as an adjunct/light lager, as it's on par with PBR, Molson Canadian, Bud etc...

Terrible; avoid at all costs if you're looking for an IPA.

Serving type: can

06-09-2013 18:29:28 | More by adams82
Photo of putnam


1.05/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Massive buildup of foam over the clear pale yellow liquid. Aromas of cooked asparagus, clear as a bell. Also aromas of lime corn chips. All of this is far more repelling in a beer than it would be on a plate of course. I keep going back for a smell, wondering if it will be possible to swallow this flawed concoction. As the foam settles it only gets worse; detergent, mescal and composted pine clippings. The hops chemistry is psychotic.
I suppose it would be possible to keep down a swallow, but I choose instead to spit it out. Vegetal, astringent ... why go on? If this were ice cold and I was desperate for alcohol it might be possible to drink this.

Very foul stuff.

Serving type: can

08-22-2005 23:15:20 | More by putnam
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

1.1/5  rDev -58.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Although most beer drinkers don't know it, "India Pale Ales" (named such because they were brewed to last the long, turbulent journey from Britain to the sub-continent) were only "pale" by comparison to other beers at the time. IPAs, historically, are reddish copper and this bright, brilliant, watery yellow colour is nice, but most out of place.

I really avoid at all cost using the word "urine" with reference to beers; while some beers have an equally intense, off-putting smell as urine does, very few (if any) ever actually harbor a smell resembling it. That being said, this beer, in all honesty, actually does smell a little like it (along with a dab of rotten orchard fruit and a good dose of vinegar).

Note that I've made no mention of hops. And I'm not likely to at all, unless to say that I'm not smelling/tasting/sensing any. If the beer's mismatched appearance didn't let on that this thing is an IPA in name only, there's no mistaking it from the taste. Not only is there no - not virtually no, but literally no - presence of hops, there's no maltiness either.

Instead, there is a cloying, disagreeable, synthetic taste of corn syrup and... only God knows what else. Thankfully the aftertaste is negligible, but those first few seconds after the swallow are pure hell for the palate. The beer is distasteful, nauseating, too repugnant even to be called insipid. It is abhorrently gross and, in plain English, ruthlessly bad.

I don't know what's worse: the fact that this is an offensive, objectionable, abominably awful rendition of a classic style or that it's just an utterly disgusting, unpalatable offering in its own right. No, it's the fact that they call this an "IPA" when clearly it's nothing more than an industrially-produced, adjunct-ridden macro lager (and a terrible one at that!)

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2010 21:25:15 | More by biegaman
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

1.23/5  rDev -53.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - VERY pale. This is closer in colour to a light beer than an IPA. There is some visible carbonation, about average for an IPA.

S - Very faint malt aroma. I don't detect any hops on the nose, which for an IPA is puzzling.

T - The palate is a very light, crisp malt profile. No bitterness or hops at all. Barely more flavour than a Coors Light or Bud Lite. Disappointing and not even remotely resembling the style.

M - Light body with some carbonation. This has a good/typical mouthfeel for a lager, not an IPA. The overall mouth feel is not all that bad. If this was a lager, I would give it an average rating, but if you want to call yourself an IPA, I am going to rate you as an IPA, which is not impressive at all.

Overall this is a decent beer, but is NOT AN IPA. The fact that they call it an IPA is truly disappointing. My rating above take in to account that this is supposed to be be an IPA. If they called it "Keith's Lager" I would probably give is a C or C-.


Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 16:40:41 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of relapse

Ontario (Canada)

1.3/5  rDev -50.9%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Very thin, pale colour, reminiscent of urine. Smells more like corn rather than the hops that it should be loaded with. Doesn't taste like an IPA, more like a sweet, corny macro offering. Has the mouthfeel of a light beer, and is very contrary to how it should taste.

I guess I'd put it a nose ahead of coors light as far as flavour goes. If this were a light lager I'd be far more forgiving of what it brings to the table. I'm sorry if my review isn't as vivid or inspiring as it could be, but perhaps it's fitting because neither is this beer.

"Those who hate it, hate it a lot."

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2007 08:55:20 | More by relapse
Photo of ChappyCubsFan


1.35/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This is the absolute worst IPA I have ever tried within the United States and Canada. What right do they have to call this an IPA? It was the low point of my trip to Toronto to experience their brews. There is no hint of hops. It's also lacking any interesting taste and character of the malt used to brew this annoying beverage.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2003 19:35:41 | More by ChappyCubsFan
Photo of stancpa


1.4/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I love a good IPA, this beer is not. The IPA taste is quite weak and barely drinkable. The overall flavor was unremarkable. I did not enjoy drinking this beer. I had purchased a case of it on my Canadian fishing trip, tried to trade it with my fishing buddies but after tasting it they declined.

I hope to find a decent Canadian IPA for my next Canadian fishing trip.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2009 17:21:03 | More by stancpa
Photo of djmitche


1.45/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I had this at a college bar in Toronto, hoping it would be a bit better than the Labatt's and Moosehead also available. I figure, if you're going to make an IPA, then it's probably not fizzy yellow stuff, right? Wrong. It's fizzy yellow stuff - by appearance this is dark straw with minimal head and a coarse carbonation. No perceptible hop aroma. No perceptible bitterness or flavor, and even the malt falls painfully flat. It's hard to imagine a mouthfeel below "not impressed", so it gets 2 points there. All in all, I suppose this is drinkable if you're out of Bud Light, but I can't give it much more than that.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2010 00:53:39 | More by djmitche
Photo of pelicula

British Columbia (Canada)

1.5/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Initial Impression: Let's be clear, this would only be a good beer if you were looking for a summer beer when you wanted to be hydrated and refreshed, not when you want an IPA, because this is flavoured water. Clear light golden colour, pours with no head from a bottle. Yeasty nose, light IPA smell. First taste is a very subtle IPA taste, it is quite subtle, smooth, and watery. It's like they were going for an IPA for beginners. No hop presence and too subtle for an IPA. Perhaps it's because I am partial to a distinct, strong, sharp IPA taste that this fails so terribly. It's almost like it is made with corn syrup. Really weak, I'm shocked. It would work well in a summer context, but not for those under the impression that they are having an I.P.A., it doesn't live up to what it should.

Notes about the beer: Some say that the Keith's IPA is not a traditional IPA. "The term Pale Ale originally denoted and ale which had been brewed from pale malt." It became known as India Pale Ale because of the huge demand among the East India Company in the 18th Century.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2010 07:34:39 | More by pelicula
Photo of Jaxxon61

British Columbia (Canada)

1.5/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I.P.A.? As my dad would say, "They should be arrested for False Pretenses!" It shares about as much in common with a full-bodied I.P.A. as Metallica does with the Village People. This 'beer' is weak. This 'beer' is flavourless. No wait, I can taste some corn syrup, and what's that...pickle juice? Honestly, I think I taste hints of pickle juice! No kidding! I hope I'm not having a stroke. Oh, please, dear God, make this aftertaste go away! It's almost making me crave a Bud Lite Lime! Oh, the humanity!

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2010 20:58:33 | More by Jaxxon61
Photo of ericj551

Alberta (Canada)

1.5/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Keith's IPA pours a clear light gold with a slightly foamy head that fades quickly, despite the heavy carbonation. The aroma is cooked corn and husky grain. The flavor is more cooked corn, DMS and pale grainy malt. There is maybe a hint more bitterness than the average macro ale/lager, and maybe there is a vague herbal hop flavor, but that's really stretching. The body is heavy relative to the flavor, but still pretty thin overall. Calling this beer an IPA is more of a stretch than calling Miller Lite a pilsner, it's just plain misleading.

Serving type: can

05-22-2010 02:25:24 | More by ericj551
Photo of Dukeofearl


1.5/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bought an 8 pack of this in Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia on a recent vacation. Paid about $16.99 (Canadian) plus HST (tax), which made this way overpriced, but it was the only store selling alcohol we could find on a Sunday afternoon, and it had a pretty limited selection.

Pours a pale BMC-lager like straw color, nothing like an IPA. The few bubbles quickly die away, and no carbonation remains.

Aroma? None, really. Where are the hops?

Flavor? A train wreck. This reminds me of the sweetest corn candy that I would expect of a cream ale. Some maltiness. Hops? Not to be found anywhere. OK, maybe I'm being too critical, let me try again. Nope. Still nothing close to style.

Left some of the 8 pack in the hotel when we checked out, brought 1 home to make sure I wasn't being overly critical. I'm not. Stay away.

Serving type: can

10-10-2010 23:22:28 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of bmelanco

1.5/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

THis is the worst excuse for an IPA that I have ever had. If it was labeled as what it is, a medium lager, I'd give it a 3.5, but they called it an IPA. It is not an IPA. I taste almost no hops; a little residua sweetness/carmel; and that familiar american mass produced lager aftertaste.

Serving type: can

10-22-2012 00:42:44 | More by bmelanco
Photo of lostdesperato

New Jersey

1.53/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was disgusted by this beer. It is a disgrace to its style. From its pale straw colored body, to its over-carbonated weak mouthfeel, and finally finishing on a nasty lingering after-taste. Everything about this beer says macro-american lager.

As they say:
Those who like it
Like it alot

I guess
Those who don't like it
Despise it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2008 22:41:27 | More by lostdesperato
Photo of FishMan123


1.53/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Got this at a bar in Ottawa. Asked for something with a lot of hops and bartender said that they didn't have much of that and offered me Keith's IPA. You can find this at almost any bar in Ottawa it seems.

Color is a pale (slightly neon?) watery yellow. Pours without much of a head. The smell is distinctive - dirty feet. At first I thought my glass must be contaminated, I didn't think that smell was coming from the beer. But I had a mini-pitcher and indeed, it was the beer. Seriously, dirty feet.

Taste was a bland, metalic, lager. IPA? I think not.

I left when the ball game was over, without finishing the mini-pitcher.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2010 11:40:56 | More by FishMan123
Photo of OttoBomb


1.53/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

341 ml bottle poured into Dogfish Head signature glass (January 8, 2011). No freshness dating that I can find. I picked this up on a trip to Toronto, the lady at the beer store said it was the best IPA they had.

Eyes: Pours a pale straw yellow with a soapy white head. Super clear.

Nose: Smells like corn and grain. Simple, and uninteresting, this simply cannot be an IPA. Notice I never use the term "aroma" here.

Tongue: This simply isn't an IPA. It has a simple light grain malt flavor, with a suggestion of hops. The macro corn aspect is evident.

Mouth: Spritzy and quite carbonated. This is the only activity that the beer will provide to the palate.

Libation: This is better than most macro brews, which isn't saying a whole lot, but the bottle said IPA on it so I'm rating this as such. It fails miserably. It has minimal hopps on either the nose or tongue and is simply another poor macro attempt to bite on the popularity of the popular IPA style. Even the malt profile is poor.

This is easily the poorest example of an IPA I have experienced. The lady at the beer store deserves a slap.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 09:32:27 | More by OttoBomb
Photo of CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

1.55/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is a not a good IPA. It looks like a lager, it smells like a lager and it tastes like a lager. Im not sure if they even use ale yeast. It is a pale straw color with average carbonation. Its head is crackly and dissipates immediately, leaving no lace on the glass. The smell is of sweetish malt and barely discernable hops, very weak. The taste is watery like all bland macrobrews and the corn taste is prominent. Theres also a horrible cloying sweetness in the finish. This beer definitely smelled better then it tastes. The mouthfeel is like any boring macrobrew, watery. That being said this beer chilled would be somewhat refreshing on a hot summer day, just as labbatt or molson would be. Though it too is full of defects.
overall I didnt like this 'IPA'. Save your money and pick up some Propeller Pale Ale instead if you want a decent east coast canadian Ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2004 21:50:11 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of benito


1.58/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

There's one very simple problem with this beer--so strangely lauded in Maritime Canada: it's not an IPA. It can't 'pass' as an IPA be it from Britain, the US (ha!), or South Africa. Keith's is an above average macro lager with a nice aftertaste, but market it as an IPA, and it's rating will always suffer.

It is a hay yellow with a fizzy head, no hop presence in aroma or taste. To its credit, it does have a crisp finish, and a good balance in all-around flavor. As a macro lager, it is significantly better than any of the major American offerings, on par with Canada's Alpine Lager (another beer from the Maritimes!) The day that the folks out in Nova Scotia stop marketing this is an IPA and sell it for what it is will be the day that I give this a higher rating.

If you want a decent macro lager, this will do. If you wan't an IPA, caveat emptor: that's not what you're getting in Keith's.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2006 02:18:15 | More by benito
Photo of albern


1.6/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This was one of the worst IPAs I think I've had, and I don't know how this even fits into the genre. I had this in Canada recently and it was dreadful. It was really skunky so it might have turned bad ... let's hope so.

The beer pours an amber color with a head that just disappeared, no lacing. The aroma was really skunked out, and that's about all there was in the nose. The beer tasted like a bad macro, cooked veggies, adjunct, malt syrup, and the like. There were really no hops present, maybe if you searched hard in the background there might have been something. I've never had an IPA with no hops in the body. I think that says it all. This went down the drain quickly.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2008 10:29:38 | More by albern
Photo of jmbranum


1.65/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I bought this at the LCBO, I think in Hamilton, Ontario, en route back to Oklahoma from Toronto.

I had high hopes for this beer as it was local to Canada and looked to not be a macro. Mostly disappointed.

As others have remarked, it is not an IPA. It isn't even a Pale Ale.

So to review this I'm going to review as an American macro (but knock a point off the taste rating for false advertising)

Clear yellow brew with small white head. Aroma is ok, mostly sweet.

The taste isn't bad on first taste but then declines. It is way too sweet for my taste and could certainly use some hops (ironic). I think I prefer Budweiser because at least you have less of the sticky sweetness.

For a summer quencher it is sub-par. The aftertaste is way too sticky sweet for me. I much prefer a bit of citrus zing from a wheat beer. --- I'll try my remaining bottles with a lemon or lime wedge, maybe that will improve it.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2009 04:21:55 | More by jmbranum
Photo of amstelcat


1.68/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had this beer after stumbling out of the woods from a hellish four
day backpacking trip in Ontario so any beer should have tasted

Went to an establishment that served one India Pale Ale, Alexander Keith's. It arrived in an ice cold mug that sloppily melted
into my beer. At first sip, I thought they had served me the wrong beer. It resembled nothing like an IPA in smell or taste. Even the
color seemed to be lackluster- a watery copper.

Very disappointing to someone who would have gladly gulped an
even modestly flavored beer after being so beer deprived.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2005 14:51:33 | More by amstelcat
Photo of waughbrew


1.78/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pale yellow, small bud-like head that quickly disappears leaving nothing behind. Fresh, aromatic corn, hints of sulfur (lager yeast?), grassy and vegetal. Sweet and bright and incredibly bland. Kind of like fruits-and-veggies seltzer water. Finish is rather smooth, which tricks me into thinking "hey, this is not that bad, I am going to take another sip." But then that sip reminds me that this is not very good. And the fact that they call this an IPA is a joke. Unfortunately, the joke is on whomever buys it.

Serving type: can

07-04-2005 23:11:57 | More by waughbrew
Photo of rinhaak


1.78/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I hate to sound crass, but I couldn't have been more disappointed. This is glorified piss beer. Pours extremely pale with a weak head. There is a very, very faint hop aroma buried in the background. Almost no real flavor except from a mild hoppiness.

Not worth anyone's time or calories.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2012 03:17:40 | More by rinhaak
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

1.8/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a pale golden colour with some thin head, but no retention. Smells like some hops if you try hard, but really, they basically aren't there. Flavour has almost no bitterness.

This is not an IPA. I believe this beer has set back other IPA's in Canada because of its popularity. Seriously, try to mention an IPA to someone that isn't into craft beer and they will go, "Oh, like Keith's". I don't blame the people, I blame Keith's for making a golden ale and mislabelling it. Hell, this beer probably caused me to not bother trying other IPA's for a couple years because I had no idea what I was missing. For that, I hate Keith's.... yet, it was still the best beer available when I had it this time.

Serving type: can

09-07-2010 15:33:42 | More by kwjd
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Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale from Alexander Keith's
63 out of 100 based on 415 ratings.