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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.

450 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 450
Reviews: 249
rAvg: 2.64
pDev: 26.14%
Wants: 8
Gots: 17 | 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)
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Ratings: 450 | Reviews: 249 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev +28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Better and fresher on-tap but also had it at Granite brewery, who are in a partnership. More color and action through fizz to normal pale color. Good with food. An unoffensive beer and a major step up to your mates from national brands. More malt than hops.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2004 01:44:43 | More by Sammy
Photo of feloniousmonk


2.5/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: crystal clear, pale golden color, rather un-IPA-like, topped with a large, lush bone-white head...the latter, however, does not redeem the former, though...
aroma: soft, spare, and slightly soapy, a little floral, and once more, exhibiting no India Pale Ale characteristics...not bad, but not what I'd like when the label clearly says IPA.
Taste: neat, tiny hop introduction, but very minor, showing no fruit, no particular hoppy bit,( can't imagine what hops were used, maybe a touch of Centennial and a whisper of Columbus?)..very small tastes of citrus and honey mark the flavor best, but it barely has any business on the palate, says hello and leaves...very light in body, flavor, in the memory, etc. Pleasant enough, but extraordinary shy of showing us any real taste, you can drink this pretty well, but it doesn't tickle me in any fashion, and I can't get past the mistake of the mislabeling. That's where the axe will have to fall in my ranking, for it clearly ain't what it says it is!
I'm having this bottle in between pints of Minneapolis Town Hall Masala Mama IPA, and one of these can be an IPA, but not both, 'cause this one don't cut it...not even an EPA...a blonde, maybe...

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2004 03:50:21 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of francisweizen


3.35/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a very pale golden colour with almost no head to be found. The aromas are of light malts, and super light fruity hops. This smells nothing like an IPA, in fact, it is more reminiscent of a light lager/kolsch hybrid than anything else. The taste is very light, with not much going on in the way of complexity, but than again what do you expect? There are some slight hops in the flavor, and a very, very subtle malt backbone as well. The mouthfeel is watery, and almost below average, and the drinkability is not the best. However, the look, smell, and taste of this beer are all slightly better in the draft version of this brew, than they are in the bottled one.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2003 18:31:01 | More by francisweizen
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


2.9/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Well after the Molson Canadian lager that I had whilst waiting at Calgary Airport Terminal C for my plane home to LAX last night, I spied a Cooler with Bottles and this one stood out from the crowd of usual suspects. And it said India Pale Ale – great me thinks!

It arrived in a well chilled green glass 341ml bottle. Red, Dark Green and White label with the picture of a Stags Head that also professes to a heritage stretching back to 1820, as well as the fact that the Brewery is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Some bearded dude adorns the neck label, hey maybe that is Alex himself.

Appearance: A very pale straw golden color, clarity is excellent. Highly carbonated and a very compact smooth white head with good staying power.

Nose: Huh?? Where are the Hops??
So – no hops, but some light grain malts and a bready odor. Not much in the nose really.

Taste: Huh?? Where are the Hops??
Déjà vu – well this is really a pale lager in taste. Dry, pale malts, light bitterness and some astringent yeasty aftertaste. Above average tastes, but definitely no where near as much hops as I was expecting.

Mouthfeel: Very average – a light lager that leaves a clean pleasant enough feel in the mouth – I know I drunk something, just not sure what it was.

Drinkability: Easily imbibed – it does just enough to tell you that this is a beer, an average beer, neither bad, nor good and far from poor – but just VERY Average.

Overall: This is really a pale lager which is middle of the road, but considering the IPA moniker on the label, it’s a let down.

For a pale lager it's OK, for an IPA - this SUCKS BIG STYLE!

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2003 05:27:43 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of PiratePete

New Brunswick (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

OK. This pours out a very clear yellow colour with a big head that hangs around for a while - very foamy. Lacing rings after every mouthful. Smell of . . . something. Taste of . . . something - maybe a light ale. Nothing offensive. Just beer. Light, fluffy, no real aftertaste. The current ads say: "The pride of Nova Scotia." (That must drive some Nova Scotians crazy.)

This is an odd brew, but not a bad one from the Interbrew family. I'm not convinced its an IPA but the label says so, so we'll go with that and that's the only reason. It is, however, a drinkable "Pale Ale" if you're not shopping around. Its kinda like airplane food (back when they had food). You know: no spices, no onions, no anything that might offend too many folks. Done right just enough so that everybody could actually eat it. Well, we didn't really mind did we. If you wanted real tasty food you could eat before the flight or after touch down. If your schedule was such that you didn't have time to eat you knew that at least you would get something on the flight that was palatable. Well, have a Keith's IPA. Made for the masses I guess. No hops, no onions, no anything that might . . .

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2003 20:00:19 | More by PiratePete
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

2.9/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this years and years ago when my friend brought a case back after graduating from the Nova Scotia College or Art and Design. Back when it was "Maritimer Beer", never to be seen on the Prairies. Wasn't very impressed with it, but was told that out East it was cheaper than borscht, and good for making beef stew. Now that more than half the Maritimes has moved to lovely 'ol Cowtown since then, there are stacks and stacks of this stuff in any and every beer store you walk into (you practically walk into them). Hard core tv commercial campaigns, you can't avoid the stuff any more. So that prologue aside, I thought that years later I'd give it another shot:

Poured from a brown 341 ml bottle, from a 6 pack. Is a very light, clear pale ale, decent head on the pour, but it fizzles quickly. A whole lot of corn on the nose, like a roasted corn aroma. Corn on the flavour as well, roasted corn. Uhh, guys, where are the hops (and where's the malt for that matter)? This is boldly advertised and passed off as a "traditional" IPA, but comes across more like a Molson Pilsner brewed on the Prairies. I mean, Big Rock's IPA comes way closer to an IPA (although still out of the ball park) than this stuff ever will. Perhaps they altered the recipe to suit the region. It's drinkable enough though, comparable to any high quality macro on the market, although nothing very noteworthy. Fantastic if you love the taste of roasted corn and can't get enough of it.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2003 23:20:50 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of scottum


3.63/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap in Old Montreal served in the Alexander Keith 207th anniversity mug. Presentation is great. Tastes nice and interesting of flavor. Chunks of hoppy and dry with a touch of smooth. An IPA or a PA? I think more to the PA, but a good one of them. Worth a pint to try the brew's feel.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2003 08:09:02 | More by scottum
Photo of TerryW

Ontario (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not your typical IPA but sure enough easy to drink.

Pours yellow with a moderate white head that settles quickly to a partial film. Minimal spotty lace.

Mild aroma of hops and malt, some sweetness. Certainly not hoppy the way you might expect. Similarly mild taste of hops and malt. I've had this a few times and I keep noting early on in the glass something that tastes like green wood or pine, but that leaves off before long. If you let it warm up some you can pick up corn at the end of your swallow.

Carbonated about right, easy on the palate, comfortable to drink. Not real special, but okay.

Serving type: can

09-12-2003 04:07:31 | More by TerryW
Photo of Seumas

Ontario (Canada)

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

I'm old enough to remember Keith's before it was reduced to its current liquid air status. It was never my favorite beer, but quite drinkable when I had it in Halifax in the late '70s. More bitter than Labatts IPA, less biscuity than 50, but not quite as acceptable as the good body and nice bite of Molson Ex before it too saw its bitterness and body cut.

Now, it's overly pale, *smooooth* and inoffensive.

How the mighty have fallen.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2003 21:59:02 | More by Seumas
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pourred a yellowish brew with a nice head. Taste of cereal is very present without any distinctive spice coming out of this. I wonder if this is really a IPA or just another macro pale ale... I would be curious to taste to the original brew before it was bought by Labatt...

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2003 13:41:08 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of ChappyCubsFan


1.35/5  rDev -48.9%
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 pootz

Ontario (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Since Labatt bought Oland's out they gained the Keith's brewery's line of beers in Nova Scotia, Keith's IPA among them. For years it languished in local obscurity on the east coast, where it was that regions "chug" beer like Blue or 50 are in Ontario. I used to look forward to making trips to the east coast to quaff a Keith's with a lobster meal in a Barrington street tavern...no more. Since Labatt was bought by Interbrew, they are into the franchise brewing of local brands for wide distruibution. They now make Keith's primarily as a popular draft beer and are focused on taking a laege chunk of that market. Now Keith's is on tap at bars from Vancouver to Saskatoon to Montreal to St. Johns. It has suffered a little for the wide distribution and multi source brewing. It is now toned down on the hops and distinctly sweet, Still not bad for a widely popular mega brew but not as good as it was in the 70s when it was more full bodied and tart.

Tapped a pale straw color, very clear with a small white head that left almost immediately.

Aroma is of slight hops and sweet smells (there may be corn syrup added to the recipie now). Starts crisp with the hops adding a tart taste then builds to a sweetish malty body and a fairly clean finish with little after taste. A good draft beer for the local tavern and quite drinkable for the average palate....nothing to over offend the taste buds here. As IPAs go this is a toned down version for mass consumption. It will do in a pinch on a hot day but it won't pacify beer snobs looking for london brewed IPA.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2003 21:15:48 | More by pootz
Photo of sardonic

Manitoba (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm back to rave more about this stuff. Somehow, even though I've drank many bottles of this, I finally got to try it on tap just today. It's very light in color, smells pleasant, and tastes great enough that I could drink it long enough to forget what I was doing, as I almost have before.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2003 06:11:34 | More by sardonic
Photo of PhantomVodoo


3.28/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, pale yellow in color with a huge white head that left some lace.
Aroma is faint, but a slightly fruity hop aroma prevails.

Taste is light, somewhat crisp and refreshing. Grainy malt balanced by the hops. Taste more like a golden ale or basic lager than any IPA I'm accustomed to.

Mouthfeel is light, but good.
Easy-going and drinkable. This wouldn't be a bad lawnmower beer.

Overall a decent beer; just not what I was expecting from a beer labeled India Pale Ale. If you're looking for a hoppy, full-flavored beer you're going to be let down.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2003 02:09:53 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of slitherySOB

Ontario (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer. A standard for when choices are limited. Keith's poured a very clear yellow colour. This India pale ale is quite the pale ale. The head was rather pathetic. That is too say, their was no head at all. Smelled alright. Pretty much, malt and hops. Little corn smell, but the hops were the most dominant. Tasted good too. Not as hoppy as an IPA should be, though. Hops were tasted, but it was weak. Pretty much a malty brew, with a citrus hop aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel. Little overcarbonated, but smooth. Very drinkable. A decent beer. Not a great beer, but decent.

Serving type: can

07-29-2003 21:57:26 | More by slitherySOB
Photo of mikeys01


3.55/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend of mine brought back a case of Alexander Keith's from Nova Scotia recently and was kind enough to pass along a 6 pack. This is labeled as an India Pale Ale, which might be a bit of a misnomer as far as IPA's go, but not to say it's a bad beer. Keith's pours out very pale indeed, almost a golden yellow, with a generous amount of light white head. Smells more malty than hoppy, almost smells like a lager in my opinion. Taste is fairly light, no noticeable hop bite, but decent malty flavor with maybe a little bit of acidic hop flavor somewhere in the background. I'd call this a good summer day beer, it went down very easy, no major aftertaste or bitterness. It's a little on the weak/light side to be classed as an IPA, but not a bad beer for a change.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2003 01:12:54 | More by mikeys01
Photo of tavernjef


3.68/5  rDev +39.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Color is a pale hazy yellow with a good white head that was about two fingers high and eventually faded to a skim of bubbles and tight lace within the first minute. Smells faintly of citrus hop and malt, very soft and airy. Taste is slightly tangy of citrus hop with malt balanced in and is on the lighter side of being bold and full, and definitely is missing that spunk of hop bite. It has a airy almost Pilsner taste to it that just doesn't seem to be in the true IPA spirit. As with the taste goes the feel on this, its light to medium bodied with a pilsner feel of hop and finish. This is very drinkable though, its actually outstanding in another catagory or style perhaps, but not as an IPA. As an IPA this needs more hop and a bit more layered complexitiy to compete with Two Hearted or 90 minute. But while in Canada this can be found quite readily and is a top pick for quenching thirst right behind Unibroue brews.
Got give Nova Scotia some credit for at least trying. Good job, eh. Keep at it, this is on the right track.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2003 14:32:28 | More by tavernjef
Photo of allboutbierge


3.18/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very clear and light. If you want a hoppy beer do not try this. If you do you will be sadly dissapointed. I love IPA's and tried this figuring it would taste similiar to other AIPA's I've had. Wrong. Very little hopiness for its claim of being an IPA. Aroma is light and floral. Head is very light and white. Carbonation is moderate and body is light. I did not like it much, but all in all it is an average beer. Not one to like and not one to hate. Its better than anything AB or the other big two put out. I should also add that it is pretty drinkable as its taste is mild and mouthfeel is smooth and balanced.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2003 12:24:51 | More by allboutbierge
Photo of brakspear


3.23/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not really sure if this should be classified as a "true" American IPA as that style is more typified by the hoppy ales from the Pacific Northwest. Sure, this beer pre-dates the rise of the hophead beers from Washington and Oregon, but now seems pale in comparison. Perhaps this should be a new sub category: Canadian Blonde Ales.

The beer pours exceptionally pale, establishing the fact that some sort of adjunct was used in the brewing process, the head is present but more as an afterthought.

The aroma confirms the adjunct: some sort of corn product. Whether it is corn itself or a corn-derived syrup I am not certain.
A sweet corn-like character dominates followed by a non-descript hop nose.

The taste is refreshing and sweet followed by a dry crispness typical of Canadian beers. The body is also light and refreshing, making this a good warm weather "session" beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2003 01:15:23 | More by brakspear
Photo of Shiloh

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +59.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one ale that must be consumed cold, it adds a new dimension to the beer tasting process. Lighter in body than most Canadian ales. The colour as well. This India Pale Ale has a very balanced taste, leaving the consumer very satisfied. These people at Keith's really know how to brew up a good product. I would recomend this product, I call it friend.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2002 18:23:19 | More by Shiloh
Photo of bmacaskill

Ontario (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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

I'd like to like Keith's IPA more than I do. It's from Halifax. It hearkens back to 1820.

But it's also too pale, too watery, and a touch too sweet. It's better on tap that in a bottle, and better from a bottle than in a can. And I'm drinking it from a can ;-(

Serving type: can

08-12-2002 16:04:18 | More by bmacaskill
Photo of Reverand


3.2/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was a fairly decent beer. I agree with some of the other reviews that the beer hits the spot on a hot day. It has a nice crisp clean taste, not much in the line of hop taste but overall not a bad beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2002 02:26:59 | More by Reverand
Photo of sponberg

New York

3.85/5  rDev +45.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Let me preface my review: I had just driven 500 miles from Albany NY to Petrolia ON to pick up a pinball machine, then drove another 100 or so miles back to Brantford ON (where being the birthplace of Wayne Gretzky is a booming cottage industry) in the space of 13 hours. In 90 degree heat. And no A/C.

I tried Keith's IPA in a ice cold 1 liter mug at a local pub. And, under those conditions at that time, it was the perfect beer. I've never had a beer cut through a thirst like that before or since. Nothing fancy, lightly flavored and inoffensive, but it knows its job and does it spectacularly well.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2002 00:22:45 | More by sponberg
Photo of John

New York

2.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

One of the weakest IPAs I've ever had. I think of this beer more in terms of a light ale or lager. Don't know how the get away with labeling this an IPA. Not bad as a golden ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2001 11:12:30 | More by John
Photo of Todd


2.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown twisty, with a red stag head on the label. "Union Made", do they have a brewer's union in Nova Scotia? Manni says that a while back, the beer was called "Stag Ale" (or something similar).

Appearance: This is as clear and pale as a beer can get, without being called Zima. I've never seen a beer this clear.

Smell: Clean with a very faint hop aroma. Hints of steamed corn, a sign of (DMS; dimethyl sulfide).

Taste: A refreshing mouth-feel, similar to a lager yet different enough not to be. Corn flavours are dominant, with thin hop bitterness. Leaves your mouth sharp, and a bit dry, afterwards.

Notes: Not sure how true to the IPA style this is, but it is a nice light ale with an 5% abv. Good hot day beer, as it is extremely refreshing and one could easily toss back many of these without getting bloated.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-1998 00:00:01 | More by Todd
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Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale from Alexander Keith's
63 out of 100 based on 450 ratings.