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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 CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

2.46/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at a Calgary pub totally bereft of other options. A light gold color with a dribble of white bubbles and scant aroma, maybe hints of white bread and a corn sweetness. How on earth does a bona-fide IPA, English or American, manage to smell like a weak adjunct lager? Tastes almost exclusively like mass-produced base malt and corn adjuncts. There is perhaps the barest hint of generic citrus and grassy hop flavor choked out by a decent dose of rank corn syrup and some other doughy sweetness ... Perhaps a subtle hint of sour gummy candy. Completely neutered and not even at a pale ale level of hop flavor or bitterness. A blonde ale at best, although truth be told tastes like a macro-lager, reminds me of Busch, with the massive carbonation and thin body to match. Zero trace of earthy or floral notes. Strange dry finish manages to almost completely lack any bitter character. I won't begrudge people who dislike hops drinking this concoction and its probably a hair better than light beers or other mass-market pap. Avoid like the plague if you actually like IPAs ... Or any craft beer really.

Serving type: on-tap

01-12-2014 05:46:53 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of Amalak

New York

2.54/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

I had at Traders Bar in Manhattan.

A. It is clear gold and there aren't really any bubbles coming up. There's some white bubbly head and a very limited lacing.

S. It has a nice fruity scent to it.

T/M. It kind of has a pomegranate taste to it. Very interesting. It is super sweet. Not heavy on the hops as you'd expect an IPA. Nor is it floral or grassy. Just sweet fruitiness. Some grape aftertaste. Light body.

O. The aftertaste is off-putting. Not much like an IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2014 22:31:21 | More by Amalak
Photo of bsp77


2.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Serving glass: Poured from tap.

Appearance: Looks like a pale lager with a thin white cap. Well, some IPAs are really pale.

Smell: Smells like a pale lager with corn and light spicy hops. Uh oh.

Taste: Tastes like a pale lager. WTF? At least it tastes like a full flavored adjunct lager. Some light hops but still taste some corn.

Feel: High carbonation, light to medium body. Finish could use some help.

Overall: WTF

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2013 20:01:52 | More by bsp77
Photo of Rinzler

4/5  rDev +50.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

People are ragging on this beer for claiming to be an IPA but it isn't hoppy enough. One person even noted it was worthy of a 3.5 rating but was insulted that it wasn't a "real" IPA, so he gave it a sub 3 rating ".Keith's was marketed as an India Pale Ale long before the IPA style gained popularity in craft brewing circles as a revived historic beer style. This has allowed Keith’s to effectively grandfather the India Pale Ale name in without meeting the current IPA standards." In the USA its marketed as a Nova Scotia Pale Ale. This is a very solid beer, it has great taste while not being too sweet or over powering. Went to the brewery also, a great experience and I recommend anyone who can to take the tour of the brewery. Drink on!

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2013 19:14:02 | More by Rinzler
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had the pleasure of visiting Halifax and getting Keith's from where it's made. Beer always tastes better fresh from the tap. Would recommend the brewery tour - gives good history of Keith's and includes samples.
Clear, golden yellow color. Bright white head, shrinks but never totally disappears. Smell is light, fresh grass. Taste is clean and refreshing, but as a pilsner/lager, not as an India Pale Ale or even a Pale Ale. Body and mouthfeel are light, and as mentioned previously clean and refreshing. No real aftertaste or lingering flavor (hops or otherwise). Easy to drink (especially from a ceramic Keith's mug in the cellar of the Stag's Head, in downtown Halifax).

Serving type: on-tap

06-26-2012 03:18:16 | More by BigBry
Photo of DrinkSlurm


3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into Alexander Keith glass from tap at a local pub in Ottawa, Ontario. Pours a crisp golden color, very little head or lacing. Malty slight hop aroma...kinda plain.
Taste is very malty for an IPA...but it is an English IPA, so malts are expected. Just an average brew accross the board. Nothing amazing, but its a Canadian staple. So have one while up north, otherwise im sure there are better brews around.

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2012 00:25:20 | More by DrinkSlurm
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 Stocean1

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very light amber in color this poured a two finger frothy head with some lacing and decent retention, I was left with a thin collar of fine suds

Smell is light biscuit, some adjunct, faint whiff of citrus

In the taste, biscuit, faint grassy hops and orange peel and banana again.

Light to medium bodied with plenty of carbonation, this brew has a little snap of bitterness in the finish. Relatively easy drinking.

Decent Macro but not much of an IPA

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2012 10:44:18 | More by Stocean1
Photo of Triples


1.93/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Very disappointed in this beer. Looked good but smelled and tasted more like some macro adjunct lager than any IPA I've ever had. As an avowed hop head, I have to say that this missed the mark by a mile. Mouthfeel was watery. I couldn't even finish my 20 oz "pint".

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2011 02:22:40 | More by Triples
Photo of ummswimmin

New Jersey

2.05/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I picked up this beer at the hotel after a poor experience with a red at dinner. I was looking forward to an IPA replacing the bland red.

On the first sip... I double checked the tap. This was the most bland IPA I've ever had. I have had pales with more flavor. There was no aroma. It looked like a pale lager.

Avoid this beer. It tastes like carbonated water.

How does Unibroue come from Canada? Their beer has too much flavor to be from Canada.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2011 16:43:29 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of gskitt

New York

2.23/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap in Montreal. This beer did little to impress. Poured a pale gold, no lacing, little stick on the glass. Scented vaguely of hops but thats about it, maybe a hint of grain, wheat. Taste lacked any hoppy punch and had to check with bartender if this was indeed an IPA. She confirmed, but the taste did not. Very much like the smell, just a hint of hops and a hint of bitterness. Crisp mouthfeel and drinkable. Nothing to get excited about.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2011 16:58:19 | More by gskitt
Photo of crashdavisinoh


2.13/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Ordered this on draft...hoping for a good Canadian IPA...riiigggghhhht.

A-Clear yellowish...small to medium head w/ little retention.

S-Hints of grain and malt...but not much else really.

T-I ordered an IPA...expecting an IPA...I did not get that. It is not that this beer tastes terrible...it is just not an IPA...it is more like a lager...not a very good lager but a lager all the same. Tastes of yeast but little to no hoppiness!

M-Good level of carbonation...but watery and thin

O-Would I drink this again? maybe...but it is not an example of an IPA...I feel like it is a mislabeled beer. I asked the server did she bring me what I ordered...to which she said they get that a lot. I would describe this as a better version of BMC...on par with Le Batt...maybe slightly better.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2011 17:45:03 | More by crashdavisinoh
Photo of

2.8/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - extremely pale and clear, topped with a bit of quickly dissipating foam.

Smell - sweet corn and subtle floral hops.

Mouthfeel - light and refreshing, actually more like a lager, or even a pilsner, than an ale.

Taste - sweet, more corn than malt, with a bit of hops presence, but very little bitterness. Tastes, as it smells, more like a mass-produced lager than an ale. That said, it is noticeably different from the ususal lineup of Canadian, Blue et al. Don't know about it being an IPA of any kind, or about it being "premium" priced at most bars, but you could do a lot worse.

Serving type: on-tap

06-18-2011 18:25:32 | More by
Photo of SauceBoss


2.42/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: It was a lot lighter than what I was expecting from a beer called an IPA. It was a pale yellow with a thin head that fizzed away by the 2nd sip.

Smell: I was not impressed. I was expecting to get a big whiff of hops and that was almost not existant. It lacked the scent of other IPAs yet there was a slight bitter smell.

Taste: Mild bitterness and almost a watery taste. It lacked the hoppy feel that one would expect.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a fizzy feel.

Drinkability: This beer had a lot of characteristics of a light beer and although the taste/smell/appearance lacked on this beer, it was easy to drink and would see how people might enjoy it on a hot day.

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2011 17:38:25 | More by SauceBoss
Photo of tzchandler


4.13/5  rDev +55.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very popular beer in Halifax. When compared to many mass marketed Ales in the region, this has to be one of the best but, here is the funny thing, I detect no hops and the malt is very lite. If your drinking this for the first time your expectations are not going to be met. Matter of fact I would expect you to rate it very low. Think of it as a tasty mass marketed Ale.

When Halifax sold only non-refrigerated (the government loves monopolies), this was an even better beer to buy when compared to the many others since it tasted good warm.

Good Ale, just don't let the IPA on the label distract you.


Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2010 03:33:55 | More by tzchandler
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 A380

Manitoba (Canada)

1.83/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer looks decent but wow i decided to try it on tap because i had tried it from can and bottle and was so disappointed. This beer tastes like salt to me... its disgusting.. it dries my mouth out, tastes bad and is just overall not a very inviting beer. The metallic taste and the bad aftertaste is just not something people should have to experience. sorry keiths.. youre just not doing it for me.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2010 07:11:00 | More by A380
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 rarbring


1.98/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Well, the color is suspiciously pale, light straw colored, faintly hazy, a white quickly settling head that leaves little lacing. Does not look like an IPA!

The smell is faintly acid - nothing what I expect from an IPA.

The taste has a bit white bread sweetness upfront, some lemon sourness, no bitterness. Still no IPA vibes!

Rather high carbonation, a bit watery, rather simple body.

No, this is not an IPA, it's really not a good beer by any expectations. Avoid it!

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2010 22:07:07 | More by rarbring
Photo of BBP

Ontario (Canada)

2.53/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pale golden. Very slight head, and extremely slight carbonation.

S- Light smell. Hints of corn.

T- More corn, and a very small amount of hops.

M- Smooth but bad carbo. A bit thin as well.

D- Easy to down, and isn't too too bad for a macro.

Sort of makes me wonder what makes it an IPA. I would probably classify this as an adjunct lager far sooner than I could imagine it being an IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2010 20:05:32 | More by BBP
Photo of zebulon


2.28/5  rDev -14%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: No lacing and about 1/4 inch of white foam that didn't last. Light yellow color (color of urine)

Smell: Very weak hard to define, like a macro.

Taste: There must not be consumer protection laws in Canada for beer, because this is definitely NOT an IPA. In taste it is like Corona, weak very little of hops, more like a very light lager than an ale. Taste of corn rather than malt. Just a little bitter/acid, but hardly enough to be noticable.

Mouthfeel: Light is the operative word

Drinkability: This is a hard one to rate. On the one hand you could drink this all day. It is light on the tongue, but so is water. This a drink for people who don't like beer but want something that has more body than plain water plus a little alcohol

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2010 02:49:58 | More by zebulon
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

2.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had this on a recent business trip to Toronto. Poured copper/amber, with very little head to speak of. No nose aside from some nuttiness and biscuit. The flavor profile was even worse; no hoppiness or fruitiness to speak of. Very thin too; watery. Some may thing that this is sessionable, but I had difficulty finishing just one.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2010 21:51:41 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of PhillyStyle


2.35/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This one was a bit confusing, although not so much after having tried the Mike Duggan #9 IPA (another Canadian brewed IPA that didn't really live up to the style, in my opinion), but this appeared to be to much more of a pale ale or even a light lager. The color and smell of the beer had strong resemblances to most BMC-type beers. The taste was perhaps slightly more hoppy, but that may be a stretch. The beer was light and honestly not really all that enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2010 16:22:36 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of mooseisloose


2.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saw this one on the tap list and said hey IPA. Ordered one up and it arrived in an imperial pint, a lager yellow color. I asked the barmaid is this the IPA? Yes. Sure? Yes. Ok. First the pale yellow color told me not to be expecting much. The smell also a typical I hate to say, adjunct lager smell ale is even pushing it. The beer tastes ok but not for an IPA, this is nowhere near an IPA. They sure saved some money on hops on this one. Where are the hops. It was a good try naming it an IPA but this is a mild ale disguised as an IPA but the disguise is not good. The mouthfeel was good and the beer is drinkable, but what a letdown.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2010 01:25:54 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of gambee


3.1/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

While Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale does not meet the expected qualifications of newer micro-brewed IPAs, this beer is a satisfying everyday beer that is available in most bars in Eastern Canada. Compared to Molson Canadian or the mass-produced American beers which are on tap at nearly every corner pub, Alexander Keith's provides better flavor and depth.

If you're looking for a strong, hoppy IPA, this one isn't for you; in most instances few beer-lovers would consider this an IPA. If you're new to Canadian beers, though, and would like to try the beer that many Canadians go to the bar or home to after a day at the office, this one is one to try.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2010 17:33:21 | More by gambee
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Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale from Alexander Keith's
63 out of 100 based on 415 ratings.