India Ale
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

India AleIndia Ale
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IPA - English
Ranked #59
Ranked #38,607
3.7 | pDev: 12.7%
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
England, United Kingdom
India AleIndia Ale
Reviews: 969 | Ratings: 1,980 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
JonnoWillsteed from England

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

L- Beyond golden, a bright mid-amber, clear, pours with 1Cm off-white head with some lively rising CO2. (ps 10mins later: holds very well)
S- Quite a bright malty smell too.
T- Hoppy front, some dry zing on the palate, notably to the dry side (as you'd expect).
F- It is hoppy-dry, a bit hoppier than I'd usually aim for but it's very trad and would be super-refreshing on a hot day.
O- Understated elegance. Nothing out of place or balance. The recipe allowed it to accompany spicy Sub-continental food + withstand the long voyage there. Fascinating to try and be reminded what a high quality classic/trad English IPA should be like.
Bought from TrwmblingMadness/York for home delivery. Trad almost-pint 550ml bottle (2-fingers to the Euro-metric system when it comes to measures of beer hehe...)
BB: Jan-22. Like the beer the packaging/labelling is also trad, understated and hugely elegant.

Nov 25, 2020
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Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Nonic.

Pours slightly hazed medium amber. Excellent creamy head and lacing. Nailed the look for this old-school delivery.

Aromas of caramel malt, crusty biscuit, grassy hop, and the faintest of ester/bark.

Caramel malt and honey/lemon on the front end. Very biscuity in mid-stream, along with grassy hop and more of that mild estery/rosin/bark flavor that seems sort of fruity (green apple/white grape), sort of earthy. More earthy and wood arrives late in the middle and carries over to the end of the drink, where the grass and lemon returns. delivering a smooth, bittering, balancing finish. As the brew warms, the fruit manifests more and more, yet the bitterness keeps countering.

Speaking of finish and balance, this brew is medium bodied and superbly drinkable. It delivers a long, drying, bittering finish.

Old school IPA in all of the best ways. It looks great. I could spent plenty of time just smelling it. Well-balanced in very drinkable. I could sit at the bar and sip these for quite awhile over good conversation with friends or strangers alike.

Nov 01, 2020
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Mugman8 from New York

3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I bought four bottles of Samuel Smith's offerings and this was the last one I have sampled. I haven't had any real English IPAs so I'm not familiar with this style. Like the others, this looks great on the pour -- a cloudy amber orange and has a nice head that dissipates fairly quickly -- though there's lot of nice lacing. Aroma is of biscuits and taste is a pleasant mix of malt, cloves and bananas. There is some bitterness on the finish. This is a good one, but I enjoyed two stouts and the nut brown ale more.

Sep 25, 2020
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RDWHAHB_Tom from Maryland

4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Info: 500ml glass bottle, 45*F sea level
Glassware: Pint glass

L: Dull, rust-gold. Finger of beautiful cream-beige head, uneven. Very persistent with excellent lacing.
S: Nail polish. Cherry/raspberry. Jasmine. Clove. Cedar. Ink.
T: Raisin. Scone/biscuit. Red vinegar. Walnut. Pepper.
F: Astringent, light. Biting/tingling.

Overall: Wow! Beautiful to behold, my first foray into English IPA's. Gone are the redundant citrus notes present in American IPA's, replaced by round berry (raspberry, cherry, raisin) aromas and flavors. Though it was fermented in square vats this beer is anything but! I see a direct descendant of BA's English IPA description, and thereby consider it worthy of high marks!

Sep 13, 2020
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emerge077 from Illinois

3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Saturated dark amber orange, ample head of ecru foam. Smells faintly of tea, biscuits, and citrus marmalade. Taste follows, citrus and tea, malty bread crusts, orange peel, toffee. Medium bodied, creamy feel, light malt sweetness, moderate hop bitterness.

Overall this is a pretty classic English IPA, mild and simple by design. Closer to what an IPA has been historically, than the fruit juice milkshakes of today. It’s important to avoid comparisons with these distant modern cousins, and appreciate it for it’s historical significance. Thanks to Lee for sharing this one!

Aug 15, 2020
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Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bought a 18.7 oz bottle Tamuras $5.69
Brownish-amber color
Medium mouthfeel
Light-medium carbonation
Taste of dried lemon peel, li-hing powder (crack seed in Hawaii)
Overall disappointing. Nothing special, Would not buy again, but would drink if offered.

Aug 07, 2020
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maxarvo from England

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Incredibly sessionable- all the Sam Smith’s tap beers are like that. Very very drinkable, beautifully refined- not trying to show off at all, just designed to be drunk while chatting in a pub. Every tap sam smith’s beer does it just right.

Feb 27, 2020
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thesherrybomber from California

3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance is medium amber, with off white head that sticks around. Nose marmalade, toffee, some spicy hops. Medium bodied, dry, and quite herbaceous.

Worth noting this was bottled in September of 2018, which could be why some "skunked" traits were present.

Feb 12, 2020
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 500ml bottle into a Trillium pub glass.

Look is an amber orange with a thick off white head.

Aroma is strong herbal hips with a tinge of bubblegum.

Classic English IPA. Very biscuity and smooth with a slight herbal bitterness.

Jan 31, 2020
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mothmanscott from Georgia

3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From notes 5/21/12: Pours an almost clear golden orange with 1 finger of thin but creamy, short-lived, beige head that leaves a thin lacing. Aroma is thin caramel malt, resinous and grassy hops with a spicy hint. Taste is caramel malt balanced with light resinous pine and grass hops. Semi-sweet start gravitating to a peppery, bitter/dry mid-sip that intensifies into the finish and then diminishes in the aftertaste. Aftertaste is slightly oily with a faintly lingering bitterness.

Oct 15, 2019
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Mister_Faucher from Washington

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.

Jul 17, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

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.

Apr 22, 2019
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KooVee from Finland

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.

Apr 20, 2019
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DefenCorps from Oregon

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.

Feb 09, 2019
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jlindros from Massachusetts

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

Jan 31, 2019
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Bruno74200 from France

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

Jan 14, 2019
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nhdjinn from New Hampshire

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

Dec 13, 2018
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ThemThangs from California

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.

Aug 26, 2018
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puck1225 from Texas

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.

Jun 07, 2018
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

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.

Apr 14, 2018
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spectru from Florida

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.

Apr 07, 2018
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Nass from Florida

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

Feb 22, 2018
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

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.

Feb 04, 2018
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nick_perry from North Carolina

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.

Dec 15, 2017
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SaltofOH from Ohio

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.

Oct 22, 2017
India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 1980 ratings