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

Not Rated.
Alexander Keith's India Pale AleAlexander Keith's India Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

499 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 499
Reviews: 253
rAvg: 2.64
pDev: 27.27%
Wants: 11
Gots: 33 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 499 | Reviews: 253 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdoolin
2.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pale gold, very clear. Small, quickly diminishing head.

Aroma: Very clean, a little bit of hops. Kinda like a euro lager, actually.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Clean and crisp, much like a lager. Light hop flavor. Grainy flavor that lingers in the finish.

Notes: Clearly, this is not an India Pale Ale. Not by a long shot. Tastes very much like a euro lager, as clean and crisp as it is. You could drink these all day, and they would probably be very good on a hot day, but I had to give it bad scores for falling so far away from the style it's supposed to represent.

jdoolin, Oct 06, 2006
Photo of bodybyadam
3.08/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this one in BC served in a pint glass. AUG06

A: Alight golden yellow filtered liquid, bright and clear with a little 1/8" head. Relatively appealing for a golden ale but this is an IPA.

S: I did like the fact this carried some mild malt notes.

T: The confirmation to me that this was in the style of IPA is the initial taste of a citrus hop, even though as mild as it was. It did continue to stand well.

M: This IPA was a surprise yet still well balanced.

D: Give it a try and choose for yourself, because the appearance is clear filtered bright ale but a subtle citrus hop flavor that made this drinkable.

Elbows Up,

bodybyadam, Sep 10, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
2.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer at the brewery or museum itself and was stunned by the difference between the bottled and draft version. The bottle version is a clean lager kind of beer, with some fruity notes. The draft version was more caramellic with more hop aroma. I will review the draft version.

Color was amber and the head retention was pretty poor, leaving small rings of foam.
Smell was fruity with some "English" yeast notes. I don't know how to describe this, but it was not the smell I expect from an IPA. Where is the hop?

Taste is not very IPA-ish either, it was caramellic with some fruity notes and tasted more like a top fermented lager beer. Hops are in there, but only for bittering.
I agree with my former reviewer, that if they would market it as a pilsner, it cover the load more.

Absumaster, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of benito
1.58/5  rDev -40.2%
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.

benito, Aug 12, 2006
Photo of elricorico
3/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a pale gold that is very clear. An aggressive pour gave more than a finger of very white head. The head fades down to a ring in a little more than a minute.

Smells faintly of an English Pale Ale, but there is a light crispness to the smell that makes it smell more like a lager. Somewhat grassy and somewhat sweet, but mostly non-descript.

The taste is a light corn/vegetable sweetness with a crisp finish and veggie aftertaste. All flavours are faint, almost watered down. Not much here to work with.

Mouthfeel is like a good lager, it does have a touch of body to it and plenty of carbonation. I find it hard to give it a good score, and hard to give it a bad score. I guess it comes down to average.

This isn't a bad beer, I guess it depends on what you want. If you want an IPA, look elsewhere, because hops are basically not notable in this brew. If you want a lawnmower beer, or hot weather quaffer, this one could do the trick, as it is so easy drinking and lightly flavoured.

elricorico, Jul 23, 2006
Photo of dirtylou
3.58/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz draft, served at "The Sandbar" on Granville Island in Vancouver, BC

appearance: served to me a very pale straw-golden with an active frothy white head, clear and very light body

smell: canned light fruit, light pleasantly hopped aroma, fresh and fruity

taste: canned pears, white grapes, green apple, lightly hopped...Not a typical english (or american) ipa, but pleasant

mouthfeel: light and sparkling

drinkability: high...not to style, but easy drinking

dirtylou, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of allergictomacros
2.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Ah... Keith's. The macro IPA.

A - Clear straw with a huge brittle head.

S - Candy-like sweetness with metal and crispness.

T - Apple-y. I'm a little surprised by this. A touch of fruitiness to too. I think I taste some maltiness in this.

M - A little bit light with a slickness.

D - As with macros, easy-drinking is the name of the game here. Still, it's not quite a macro - there's some interesting flavours here, but certainly not the hoppiness you'd expect from an IPA. Ale or not, it should be in the macro category, IMO, and would compare quite favorably in that.

allergictomacros, Jun 20, 2006
Photo of funkengruven
2.05/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is something I used to drink religiously, but after having a couple recently I am beginning to wonder why.

This poured to a pretty standard medium amber with a thin head. Smell had some very obvious vegetable-esque notes to it, these also being reflected in the flavor, not very nice. I found this to be bitter and sour all at the same time. It took me about an hour to finish it.

Maybe it was because I used to smoke, or maybe I just didn't know any better. But now after trying it again I can't believe I used to like this stuff. I think I'll just stick to what I know is better.

funkengruven, May 26, 2006
Photo of jaluria
2.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

One of the worst beers I've had in quite awhile. Seems to be quite popular with the locals, but I think that has to do with limited availability of other beers and the price doesn't hurt.

Appeared a golden-yellow color with a high level of carbonation and a soft, white head. No lacing was left behind in my glass. Very unusual for this style...so pale and so thin in appearance. Aromas of hops, detergent, and soap seemed to come out. The taste was just bland without any kind of flavor. Very mild and watered down with a thin texture that barely touched any taste buds. Little hops or malt were detectable in the taste. A few sips of this and I was ready to pour it down the drain.

jaluria, May 01, 2006
Photo of plaid75
2.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this beer on tap in Toronto. I have to say that I don't know what the excitement is all about. In fact, when I was in Ireland I was talking to a guy who spent some time in Toronto and he raved about it. My father had it in Nova Scotia and he loved it. I must be missing something.

The appearance is not the copper hue I would expect from an IPA. The smell lacked the hop element I look for in an IPA. The flavor was simple - more like a lager than an IPA. The mouthfeel was fine, but it really didn't matter at that point.

Their slogan is "people who like it really really like it." No truer words have been spoken. However, I am not one of those people.

plaid75, Apr 15, 2006
Photo of NolateM
2.7/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well, I'd say this beer would probably be pretty decent for a summer beer at a party, but like previously stated in most reviews, it's definitely not an IPA in any way, shape, or form. The color is extremely light, that of a pilsner or light lager, although it's definitely a bit more flavorful than the color leads you to think. The head disappeared literally within a few seconds after I poured it, which is kinda strange. It doesn't have that bitter hoppiness of an IPA, or the slightly elevated ABV - I know it's English-style, but it just simply doesn't meet the requirements of any kind of IPA.

So, if you're looking for something that'll please non-craft drinkers for a summer party, like a barbecue or something (and you DON'T want to resort to Budweiser or any of that garbage), this beer is alright. But if you're looking for a real IPA, look elsewhere.

NolateM, Apr 12, 2006
Photo of trevorwideman
3.1/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was the first beer that I ever had. I think that's pretty good seeing as most of my friends started with Club or OV. Anyways, it has a special place in my heart for that reason. However, that meant that I was under the impression that this is what an "India Pale Ale" is. Lord knows that the common consensus is that this beer is anything but.

330ml Bottle poured into a pint glass. Pale is the operative word here, as this looks like a lager. Small amount of head that subsides quickly to look quite flat in no time. From the nose it could be a lager as well, it's all very much of caramel-sweet malts and there's an odor of some cheaper corn adjuncts in there as well. Very sweet-smelling. Grassy, earthy hops in the background, but never very strong.

When one takes a sip of an IPA they are usually greeted by a strong hop presence, this is not the case with Keith's. This is a very malty beer, and I know if blindfolded I couldn't tell the difference between this and a lager, although it's slightly better than your average macro-lager, it's a bit more European in character. Taste is crisp though, and there is a hop presence in the background that comes more to the fore as the beer warms and the real flavours come to the front. Keep in mind though, this beer is much more sweet than bitter, soft in the mouth and a bit thick on the tongue. Drinkable to be sure, and a decent refresher beer. Not bad on tap. As far as I'm concerned though, I wish that Labatt's would have never branded this an "IPA", I feel that I was decieved for a long time, and I wonder what the original Keith's was like in the early 19th century. Maybe old Alex was a little crazy himself...

trevorwideman, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of aforbes10
2.25/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Smells like vinegar and overripe apples. tastes kind of like some of those really thin, sweet malt liquors. corn-like and weirdly dry. not a great beer, although some Canuck-o-philes disagree. Finish is skunky. i think this was better the last time i tried it, maybe there's some variation between batches.

aforbes10, Apr 03, 2006
Photo of gpackin
2.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was on a work related trip to Vancouver when I first tried this Beer. When the waitress brought it to me I didn't think it looked right and after tasting it I called her back over. I told her that I wanted an IPA and I didn't think that this was one. She told me that it was an IPA. I didn't want to argue about it so I let it go and one of my friends from Canada told me that it was in fact Alexander Keith's version of an IPA. This was not a bad beer it just wasn't what it claimed to be. I would drink this beer again if I didn't want a traditional IPA, it was a good thirst quencher.

gpackin, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of Derek
2.98/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Certainly a leaner brew, without much hop presence. The bottle seems to maintain the hops (what little there is) much better than the keg/draft version, which is practically indistinguishable from a macro lager.

A: VERY clear, slightly yellow. Pours with a fizzy, white head, which quickly dissipates.

S: Not much nose, but it smells like beer (a little sweet malt & earthy /floral hop aroma).

T: Flavours are very light. It's certainly balanced to the bitter side, leaving a clean, crisp finish. There's not much malty sweetness here, as it's diluted with a little corn flavour.

M: Light to moderate body is well carbonated.

D: Quite good. Very approachable, and a good summer session beer as well.

"Those who like it, like it a lot!"

Derek, Feb 05, 2006
Photo of Mandrake
2.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very pale yellow with a very thin head that dissipates very quickly. Smells grainy and a little green, with hoppiness and a little honey as well. Tastes much more like a lager than an IPA, with some hoppiness added to the grains and light maltiness. Mouthfeel is crisp and nicely carbonated, would be very refreshing on a hot day, and the drinkability is good, as the body is light. Better than your average macro lager, but the bar for IPAs has been set quite high in North America, and since that's what it's labelled as I can't see rating it too highly.

Mandrake, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of MsRogueRed
3.45/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

We took the tour and then got to sample the beer. I would've much preferred just heading straight for the sampling, because the tour is a bit odd, although a good way to spend an hour if you have nothing better to do.

I wouldn't even have thought it was an IPA because some IPA's are sort of bitter, but this one was very drinkable although it's not my preferred style of beer.

MsRogueRed, Jan 11, 2006
Photo of CrazyMike
4.08/5  rDev +54.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think this beer is one of the best popular beers from Canada.

The taste is sweet and smooth, almost creamy. The malty taste is excellent. It even smells great. The lack of hops, however, is present.

Although on this occasion I reviewed it from a can (so a bit over-carbonated, thus a bit lower score for taste.) I highly recommend it on tap.

CrazyMike, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of LPorter33
2.35/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled a bottle of this at a house party. I would hardly call it an IPA, just a macro like beer with a tiny bit of added hops. Very bland and uninspiring and just lacking flavor. Average drinkability. It's better than an American macro lager but this is certainly not an IPA and cannot even be compared to great examples of the style. I've heard many Canadians brag about how this beer is amazing. They have no idea what they're talking about.

LPorter33, Nov 20, 2005
Photo of NoDeity
2.28/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was on vacation in a town where I was not familiar with the local liquor stores so I went to a store that looked like a big one, hoping they'd have a large selection. I was in a hurry and I wanted an IPA. They had one: Alexander Keith's. So, I bought a 12-pack. Oops. The colour is all wrong for an IPA (it's way too yellow). It's also too foamy and too carbonated for an IPA. An IPA should leave a lacey tracing on the glass: Keith's doesn't. An IPA should be quite hoppy and it should have a higher than average alcohol content: Keith's fails on those counts, too.

If I was given an ice-cold Alexander Keith's on a hot day, I'd take it gladly. However, I wouldn't seek it out. It's an IPA in name only. So, if that's what you're after, look elsewhere.

NoDeity, Oct 30, 2005
Photo of jayc333
2.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale yellow, with a one finger head that fades quickly, leaving a sub-par lace.

Smells really hoppy. Somewhat citrusy characteristics in the aroma.

Hardly any taste to speak of, just hoppy hints. Pretty crisp though.

Very smooth mouthfeel. Thin on the palate, and goes down with easy.

To sum this beer in one word: meh. Nothing special, though easy to drink for a session.

jayc333, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of BigRedN
3.25/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes. Consumed during trip to Calgary 9/27 - 10/1. I had Keith's both on tap and in the bottle, this review is for on tap.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass with a small head (about 1/4 inch). The beer is dark golden clear, with some small carbonation bubbles evident. The head fell to a ring and left minimal lacing.

Smell: Minimal scent, I detected a faint hop scent, somewhat floral and grassy.

Taste: IMO it is weak for an IPA. This is probably intentional in order for this beer to appeal to as large a number of people as possible. The beer was low hopped for the style IMO but did have a decent malt backing to it.

Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied, moderate carbonation. A little buttery and slick.

Drinkability: Very consumable beer, very sessionable. One of the few beers that I had more than one of during my trip. However, I don't know if this is a great representation of the style, a little weak, but I think it is intended to be.

BigRedN, Oct 05, 2005
Photo of Beastdog75
3.15/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Or so says the tag-line for Alexander Keith's IPA. I got some of this stuff when I was in Canada because I heard that it was one of the better macros available up there. If graded as a standard fizzy lager, this would be one of the better ones. However, the "India Pale Ale" on the label happens to be the death knell for this brew, as the educated beer drinker knows that this is nowhere near being an IPA.

This beer pours a bright yellow color with some goldish hints to it. A finger and a half of foam forms and retains for about 45 seconds before dissipating. The aroma had a decent fruity smell to it mixed in with a lager-like grainy aroma. The mouthfeel was crisp and moderately carbonated, and the beer actually ended up being quite drinkable. Good hot weather beer. Flavorwise, in most aspects it "tastes like it smells." Fruitiness and graininess make up most of the flavor. A pleasing bready maltiness is present as well. A citric hoppiness is present and makes this beer a tad more hoppy than your standard fizzy yellow beer. The brew is slightly drying in the finish. It all winds up with a grainy, corn-like aftertaste mixed in with the very light citric hop flavors, and there is very little alcoholic warmth to speak of.

Did I like this beer? Yes, but did I like it a lot? No, but I wouldn't turn one of these down. This needs a disclaimer on the label: WARNING - NOT A REAL IPA. I drank it for what it was worth, and that was a good thirst quenching beer and nothing more.

Beastdog75, Sep 04, 2005
Photo of putnam
1.05/5  rDev -60.2%
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.

putnam, Aug 23, 2005
Photo of amstelcat
1.68/5  rDev -36.4%
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.

amstelcat, Aug 21, 2005
Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale from Alexander Keith's
63 out of 100 based on 499 ratings.