India Ale | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

India AleIndia Ale
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Reviews: 958 | Ratings: 1,954

#48 ranked English India Pale Ale (IPA) | 5.00% ABV

Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
England, United Kingdom
samuelsmithsbrewery.co.uk

Notes: Year-round availibility. 
BA SCORE
83
Very Good
India AleIndia Ale
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Reviews: 958 | Ratings: 1,954
Photo of Mister_Faucher
4.31/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

4 18oz bottles purchased at this tiny little shop called Bottleworks in Wallingford, Seattle, Washington.
I asked the guy working when they came in because I don't understand SS freshness dating, He said just before 4th of July, fresh.
I haven't had it before, let alone seen it around here in about 15 years, so here we go.
A review from somebody raised on NW IPAs the last 20-25 years.

Look- One of the most unique tints (slightly more orange/red) of new penny copper I have ever seen in a beer.
Google Oregon sunstone (semi-precious stone) simply beautiful and shines as such held up to the sunlight.
A really solid, off white 1.5" head forms that recedes shortly in to a thin layer of bubbles.
Very modest lacing, but moderate carbonation action.

Smell- Bananas Foster (Banana, caramalized brown sugar, slight booze, vanilla and spices)
a bit of ripe orange and black tea, finishes with a little herbal/hoppy scent.

Taste- Pretty much the same as the smell, but the taste is a bit more herby/hoppy.
But it's not bitter, you just get that flavor in the back of your mouth.

Feel- I'm feeling like you could sip a bottle of this for an hour or use it as a session beer. Without being flat feeling,
the carbonation doesn't play much of a factor.

O- WARNING! If you are looking for either a NW style IPA reliant on the big C hops popular for decades
or a NE style tropical fruit bowl with exotic hop combos popular the last few years, keep walking. You're barking up the wrong tree.
This is a beast unto itself. Samuel Smith has this one IPA, they have had it for centuries,
since the colonial UK, and it's delicious.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
1.83/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Clear piss color.

Huge white head (careful pouring); nice, if spotty, lace.

Malty banana nose; no hops to speak of.

Medium mouthfeel.

Tastes like urine smells. Neither the malt nor hops shine, leaving a piss-poor flavor, pun intended. Couldn't finish this.

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Photo of KooVee
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

55cl bottle, bb in 7m.

Copper coloured, very clear, thick sturdy head.

Nose is actually quite understated even for the style. Caramel with a toffee note and spicy/herbal dry hops.

Taste adds a dryness that veers on tea leaves. The flavour is very herbal. Again, we are not talking about strong tastes even within the style. Absolutely no fruitiness.

I feel I should like this better knowing the history and appreciating British beer far beyond the fads. This would probably be much better fresh on draft or newly bottled. But the bottle is not that old. I think in the end it is the absence of any presence from the yeast that I find boring. As the malts are dull as well, all that this bottle has left is those herbal tea dregs that feel like the skeleton of the real thing. Like a Fuggles hop tea mixed with a nameless thinnish bitter ale.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Market of Choice.

A clear copper with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and lacing, this looks great. The nose is solid, thanks to this being a relatively fresh bottle. A mildly caramelized Maris Otter malt character, rather bready, and doughy in its own way is present along with a nice herbal, mildly pine like pungent hop character. Delicately fruity with golden raisins and a light yeast note. The palate opens moderately bitter with a blend of earth, pine and mint, before a mild caramel and more complex malt note take over. Mild raisin bread notes along with burnt sugar and toffee are present. Surprisingly light and nimble on the body, this beer has a lingering bitterness on the finish. Carbonation is soft and complements the malt flavors nicely. A mild mineral note is perceived as well, complementing the hops. Quite excellent.

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Photo of jlindros
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewed as part of BJCP training, while this is not necessarily a classic example, it should be pretty close. 12C. English IPA
Crystal clear deep golden amber color with large pillowy head that retains well and nice lacing,

Nose big fresh hops, English style hops with earthy spicy pepper notes, touch fruity as well and some grassy, a little sweet crystal/caramel malt notes, some fruitiness

Taste quite hoppy, big fresh English hop character, spicy and a bit herbal/floral at first, turning a little fruity, some sulfury notes make the hop bitterness a bit crisper, moderate bitterness, also a bit grassy as well, malts bring some toasted grainy notes and hint of caramel, fair sweetness to balance but balance def favors the bitterness, and some mild fruity flavors as well. Very dry finish, with more sulfury and mineral notes, lingering moderately high bitterness,

Mouth is med bodied, nice moderate carbonation making it feel a bit more dry too, almost hints at astringency,

Overall not bad, this is much fresher and more enjoyable than I remember it being, and fits the style nicely

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Photo of Bruno74200
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pale amber, little head

Sulfur and peppery, resinous hops alongside a big malt bill
The taste follows.
The result is semi dry with a sustained carbonation

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Photo of nhdjinn
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An English IPA
Don't compare to over hopped and high ABV APA's
The original style
golden copper with nice head that fades to lace
malt and earthy hops
malt taste with balanced sweetness with a hop finish - not much dry hops
slight stronger than Fuller London Pride or a English ESB
a pleasant balance ale that would rate as a pale ale in american terms

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Photo of ThemThangs
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Finally I got to try this one. I bought a bottle years back and it fell out of the bag and broke on the way home. Then a couple of years later I bought one and an evil shrew I knew at the time raided my refrigerator and drank all of my beer.

Smells sweet. Taste reminds me of whole grain bread/toast and hay mostly, with hints of carmel and honey. This tastes to me like a mix between an ESB and a Pilsner. Bitterness is a little higher than other typical English beers I've tried.

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Photo of puck1225
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An unusual beer and a good one. Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

Brownish yellow color with a nice beige head and good lacing. Pleasant herbal smell and taste. Earthy with a good malty backbone. Would get again.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 355ml bottle into glass. Date code stamping on bottle is 'SJ20P1', which I take to be September of 2016.
Slightly cloudy, pale amber colored body. Bubbly, off white head sticks around. Some sheets of lacing stick to glass.
Quite pungent aroma, like old stale flowers and ripe fruits. Some caramel malts there too.
Kind of a metallic taste, abetted by overly ripe fruit and a sour caramel flavor.
Medium mouth feel, decent carbonation.
If I can find a fresher example of this beer, I will try this again. Lots of aroma and flavor in this one but it presents as past its prime.

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Photo of spectru
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy, dark bronzy, frothy 2-finger head, lacy. I like the foil on the bottle cap. Aroma is mild and pleasant; The first taste is a surprise - Wow! Luscious flavor. Caramel, well balanced. The surprise fades. Mouthfeel is smooth, frothy. I like it very much.

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Photo of Nass
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Im not enjoying this one much at all. It's not unpleasant tasting but its pushing the envelope near that area. I know how to decipher the Samuel Smith julian code, so I know the beer is too old to drink. I am probably not a big fan of the english IPA & english pale ale style. I don't plan on giving up on the style. Who knows maybe I will like the Timothy Taylor Landlord better. Cheers! C

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An unexpected gift from Stacy. Many thanks!

Golden body with a half inch of white head. Aromas of toast, biscuit, pine, malt, earthy hop resins. Balance and flavor. Nicely done. Though I normally don’t favor beers of this ilk, this one stands apart. Bready character with high drinkability. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Solid.

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Photo of nick_perry
2.44/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy amber color. Very thick, foamy head with a lot of retention. Interesting to try an IPA from England. It’s not as in-your-face with the hops as its American counterparts. There is more of a maltiness to it. That being said, it’s not weak in flavor, like when you get an American IPA that sucks. Smooth finish with some lingering bitterness.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated SA03Q1. My recollection is that is January 3, 2017. That would be extremely old for an IPA. Michigan stout style craft pint.

A: pours a slightly hazy dark copper, with little visible carbonation, initially a three finger beige head that retains extremely well as a 1/4 inch cap. Lacing is ridiculous! Thick walls on the top where the head was, rings with each sip. This glass wasn't even super clean.

S: blue cheese? Roquefort? Weird. Funky and dank. Glue? There is a smell there, and it is strong, distinct, and not unpleasant, but it doesn't make me want to stick my nose in the glass except for the sake of curiosity. Yes, I think this beer is 10 months old.

T: arrives late got in flavor, crisp. Across mid palate does not express much in the way of malt, then begins to show some of that funkiness, though it seems more herbal. Toward the finish, the light crackers malt expresses itself, with some mild lingering herbal bitterness. Extremely mild for an IPA, and less traditionally English-tasting than I would have expected.

M: highly attenuated, slightly slick, low carbonation. English texture to the max.

O: I bought this with the expectation that it would be a one-off, and nothing has changed that. It was interesting in that it was an extremely low ABV and IBU for an IPA. I have a really hard time believing this is 46 IBUs, more like 20. London Pride is better, IMHO, but this is a single, and because it seems widely available, is good for when you just want something English and light.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber color,medium carbonation. Aroma has hops but also yeast,fruit, and a bit floral. I really liked that it was slightly bitter and not overdone as it made it more complex and enjoyable

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Photo of acmurphy696
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This may be the first English IPA that I can remember tasting. SS India Ale possesses a beautiful amber color with a sturdy head of foam. It smells alright, but it's taste is quite impressive: bitter but not overwhelming in the way that the American hop bombs that we all know and love (and I do love them) have come to define the style.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a pint glass. The appearance was a nice hazy looking orange to brown color with a decent one finger white foamy head that settles down at a nice pace leaving a nice somewhat sticky lacing along the sides of the glass. The smell had a nice blend of sweet malts over top of some light bitter hops. The taste was mainly sweet malts. The palate sat about a light to medium on the body with a decent sessionability about it. Overall, I say this was a pretty good beer worthy of having again.

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Photo of teromous
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I don't see a date listed on the bottle or label.

Appearance: The beer is mostly clear with only a slight haze. The body of the beer is mostly orange with an amber hue. The short white head has good retention.

Aroma: I get a sweet caramel and toffee aroma.

Taste: Up front there is a sweet caramel flavor which leads into a light bit of bitter herbal flavor in the middle. That middle bit is slightly minty with an a touch of tea leaf. The finish is toffee with a toasted flavor.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium-light body with crisp carbonation and a clean off-dry finish. It works nicely for this beer. There is a light lingering bitterness on the palate at the end.

Overall: It is an enjoyable English IPA with a nice balance of sweetness and bitterness. I found it enjoyable and I would drink it again.

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.14/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Decanted into a tulip pint.
A: Copper colored with an orange tinge. 3/4 inch khaki head with significant and lasting lacing.
S: Medium roasted malt, biscuit, hay, rum.
T: Medium roasted malt, citrus note, light bitterness with little aftertaste. Nicely balanced.
M: Medium bodied with solid effervescence. Refreshing.
O: Quite different from American style IPAs. Subtly balanced with emphasis on offsetting flavor components. On second try, I have a greater appreciation for the crafting.

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Photo of Kinger22
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't drink a lot of English IPAs, but I decided I's give this a try. The pour is a nice, dark amber with a very carbonated body and head. Theree isn't a whole lot to observ in the scent, frankly. The taste has some good spices and hops, and for some reasons has a wine-like earthiness to me. Overall a pretty good beer.

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Photo of q33jeff
2.57/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

**
01/28/12
Poured from a bottle in to a pint glass

AROMA: Fruity Aroma
LOOK: Translucent Brown, No head.
TASTE: Sharp Hop bitterness hits you quickly and is not pleasant.

**

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an iced tea color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of oranges, malts. Taste is a bit malt forward, oranges, mild bitterness, some toffee notes as it warms. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer, somewhat on the mild side.

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Photo of drmeto
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L:
-pours a clear amber-red with a medium,foamy,offwhite head
-medium carbonation visible
S:
-orange,spicy,strawberries,plums,caramel,toffee
T:
-spicy,strawberries,toffee,grassy ,plums,chocolate
-medium bitterniss for the style
F:
-low to medium carbonation
-light to medium body
O:
Really good English IPA.
A perfect after-work Beer

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Photo of ThePold
4.31/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a fresh bottle into a glass. Not much head. But a good and proper around the horn smell and taste. A good example of its kind. Worth buying again.

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India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 1954 ratings