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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.

510 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 510
Reviews: 254
rAvg: 2.64
pDev: 27.27%
Wants: 12
Gots: 36 | 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)
View: Beers (15) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 510 | Reviews: 254 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kwakwhore
2.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap in Montreal, pale yellow with thin white head. Looked smelled and tasted like a macro lager. This is not an IPA in taste, smell, or appearance. Very little hops, in aroma or flavor, and not much malt either. If this were in the American style lager category I'd rate it a little higher, but not much. The only consolation was that I was able to order a bottle of La Fin du Monde to help me forget the experience.

Photo of JOaikido
3.13/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pale gold with some bubbles and a decent pure white head. Head settles quickly with the bubbles sticking to the glass some.

S- Floral and herbal hops. Slightly off sweetness.

T- Mild, a tad watery. Clean. OK, but unexceptional blond ale. Slightly better than average macro. Bit of a mushroom-like sweet taste.

MF- Soft. Lacks the crispness of a lager or the fullness of better ales. Nothing really wrong with it though. Leaves the mouth a little pasty.

D- Very easy to drink, but somewhat uninspiring.

Photo of dherling
2.23/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a piss yellow with a foamy white head. Light malt and rice characteristics in the nose. The taste offered nothing. Blah. If I wanted Coors light I wouldn't have left the country. Why would a brewery insult the good name of an IPA by putting liquid crap into a can and selling it to me for money? Jerks. MEdium carbonation, medium body. Very drinkable, like water.

Photo of MMansfield
2.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Came home with two cans in pocket on St. Patricks Day?

Appearance: Pours a very clear golden straw colour with a very modest bone white head that settles quickly to nothing.

Aroma: Sweet, a bit of floral hops, a bit of citrus, and a whack of corn.

Taste: A smidge from the hops, but slight hints of corn and sour fruit. Not much flavour here at all. Metallic flavour in finish is unpleasant.

Mouthfeel: Sharp and fizzy.

Final Statement: Definately NOT my first run in with the dreaded Keiths. It drinks like a cheap cheap macro ale. There's no doubt that it's better than Budweiser or Coors Light, but this is not an IPA or even good ale, and therefore gets terrible marks. Pride of Nova Scotia? I think not.

Photo of blackie
2.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: Low, fizzy white head that soon recedes to a scant ring around the glass. The beer is a clear golden-hay in color.

mouthfeel: Med-high carbonation with a light body

smell/taste: Clean pale malts, subtle hop flavor/aroma. Light bitterness on the tongue. Pretty bland, even considering that it's an English IPA.

drinkability: easy i suppose, but not a very enticing drink

single bottle brought back from Canada by a friend

Photo of Caesar1pup
2.68/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This is not an IPA and therefore is receiving a bad review from me based on the brewer marketing it as such. If it was truly marketed as it should be it would receive a much better rating. Someone needs to tell them the difference between an IPA and lager.

For a light lager it’s decent.

Photo of BeerSox
2/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pale apple juice hue. On top, a bright white fizzy head that doesn't hold well, and settles to a thin cap.

Very husky and soggy leaf smell. Small hints of citrusy hop notes are present.

For an IPA, it's very unhoppy. Mostly grainy malts and bits of hop bitterness. Tastes more like a Euro Pale Lager, even though it's an ale. Thin and watery too, with a spritzy bite from the higher carbonation. Finish is clean, with a grainy aftertaste.

Not a very good example of an IPA. The hop character isn't even close to what it should be. It's hard to tell if they even added hops. Not recommended.

Photo of tommy78
2.53/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I first experienced this beer in a bar in Halifax. I brought home a sixer to truly try it. While this is labeled "India Pale Ale," it is no where near being an IPA. The appearance is very clear, much along the lines of a lager. The smell was pretty much nonexistant. The taste is light on the palate; barely a hint of hops in it. As for the mouthfeel, it is very clean. Nothing bites at the palate either during or after tasting it. Finally, it is very easy to drink down. I could probably have the entire sixer in one sitting, but it wouldn't be worth it.

Photo of MuddyFeet
2.38/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Ordered this at some bar in Montreal over the weekend. Poured a firly pale brown in color and was perfectly clear. Honestly, it looked more like a lager than an IPA. Nose was just slightly malty and not much else. Flavor was dull and lifeless. Way too sweet in the finish and the hops were "on ice" and would not rise to the surface to give this beer any flavor much less balance. Mouthfeel was rather thin and very watery. Probably be an easier beer to drink many of in one sitting, just not for me.

Photo of stouty1
2.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very weak attempt for this style.

A: Poured a piss yellow with a small 1/2 finger head, by the time I got it.

S: Not much, very hard to get any hops from this. Slight amount of spoiled beer on your carpet smell.

T: No bite, very smooth. Smidge of hops, which had to be concentrated on. No nuances, that I could pull out. Almost bud worthy.

M: Fizzy and tingled the mouth. No flavors jumped out at me.

D: These could be consumed for hours. No real warming effect, no bitterness like should be expected.

Photo of BDTyre
2.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a few of these before hitting the heavier Rickards during a recent stay at Whistler.

Very light appearance, almost lager like, with a weak head. Skunky, malty smell. Certainly, this would be an IPA if it weren't for the lack of hops. Slightly hoppier taste than expected...but still this is a malty, slightly skunked lager flavour.

Serves well as a session ale, but this is far from an IPA.

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.

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,

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale from Alexander Keith's
63 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.