Samuel Smith's India Ale | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
England, United Kingdom

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001

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Reviews: 935 | Ratings: 1,880
Photo of GeoffRizzo
5/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a colorful amber with a thick and active head, incredible lacing and stickiness throughout. A malty, hoppy and spicy aroma, very nice. Complex flavors, some malts and yeasty fruitiness noted up front, the obvious hops are there, but not overly aggressive, some citrus and grassy undertones make this one standout. A pleasant dryness combined with light bitterness on the palate that leaves you yearning for more. Incredible flavors, ever so smooth and slick, incredible and enjoyable! Call it a staple.

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Photo of jazztoloc
5/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a plain pint from a 550 ml bottle.

A: Nice creamy, thick head. Awesome lacing. Cloudy light amber. Looks like a honey jar.

S: Very malty, light fruit and some hops. The aroma has the Samuel Smith Old Brewery signature all over.

T: I can feel a more hoppy and crisp flavor compared to other beers from Samuel Smith, very balanced. It certanly doesn't taste like the new generation of IPA. The hops don't over power the malts, and it feels good. The rich flavors grow with every sip you take.

M: Great body, medium carbonation.

D: Very high drinkability if you are not expecting an extremely hoppy and bitter beer.

Samuel Smith Old Brewery is one of my favorite Breweries. In my opinion, they are a brewery that dont follow trends, and stay on brewing beers with an awesome natural balance. God Save Samuel Smith's Brew Master!

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Photo of Ardon
5/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful, exactly what I would want an IPA to look like. Light amber. Slightly hazy (maybe a bit too chilled). Wonderful pillowy 2 inch head that holds for some time.

Smell: Intense flowery hop. Slight unidentifiable sweetness.

Taste: Everything the nose promised and more. Wonderfully flowery, earthy hop flavours. Slight tea flavours present as well. Appetizing lemony acidity. Bitter but in a satisfying way. Slight biscuity aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Oh so creamy and good. Like I mentioned in the taste, bitter but in a satisfying, appetizing way.

Drinkability: Could drink these forever. An ultimate session beer. Keep these away from me cause I likely end up sick before I stop drinking them!

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Photo of SteveoNY
5/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 18.7-ounce embossed brown "Victorian Pint" bottle with gold foil, no freshness date to be found, but code date stamped on bottle.

Appearance: Crystal clear amber orange in color, lovely off white silky head. lots of lacing. not as the expected golden color.

Smell: sweet tarts

Taste: Medium bodied lovely IPA. bitter sweet harmony. perfection - much better than expected.

Notes: at least the English characteristics make this brew an interesting ale. prefered amongst the more bitter IPA's out there (Must be the water)

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Photo of ryho
4.85/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Today I bought the Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout (94), and the India Ale (83), and I feel like the scores of those on this site should be reversed. I think this IPA is fantastic. It isn't like most IPAs that get high reviews here, but it is none the less extremely good. The taste of this IPA reminds me of honey in a very good way, and it is so drinkable.

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Photo of gunnerlincoln
4.84/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This has to be one of the smoothest IPA's I have ever consumed.

I opened the bottle to be welcomed by a wonderful aroma. It doesn't have that bold hop smell that some IPA's pack. Poured the beer into an actual Samuel Smith nonick pint glass and the result is a beautiful golden colored ale with a nice smooth, frothy head that holds.

The first sip and I was in heaven. This IPA is so much smoother than others, and at 6% ABV, it's very easy to drink. It has a good mouth feel and noticeable citrus notes throughout. The last sip is as enjoyable as the first. I would highly recommend this IPA to anyone that enjoys a smooth, refreshing beer with a lot of flavor.

Samuel Smith delivers as usual!

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Photo of roddwolff
4.84/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Once poured in my bayern mug:

A: Bright orange color, thin and creamy foamy head with good lacing;

S: Herbal and earth hops;

T: Earth and spicy hops, citrus hops at the finish;

M: Very dry and woody, extra bitter, medium body and low carbonation, the mouth keep dry a lot of time;

D: mmm i like uk hops, an excellente IPA without much abv

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.74/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a fairly opaque amber color with a fairly small white head. Head retention is minimal, but leaves a pretty lace. Smells of roasted hops and caramel, plus some other fruity aromas. Love the smell. The taste is no exception. I love this beer, and will definately buy another in the near future. Another great one from Sam Smith's.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.73/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From estucerveza. In Ikea's pint glass. Watching Los Soprano 3x13. Great example of drinkability. Probably the best english IPA ive tasted. Demonstrates that hops can be very pleasant even if they arent as explosive in mouth and nose as american hops

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4.72/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Pours a hazy burnt orange. It has a bubbly white head that dissipates leaving only a ring of foam.

S-Floral, with some lemon/orange zest, and some alcohol sweetness.

T-Citrus, orange notes up front. It has a hoppy dryness in the middle and ends with a nice bready malty finish. There is also some caramel, white grape juice, and alcohol in the flavor as well. Much more complex than I expected. Absolutely delicious.

M-Just about right, carbonated with some thickness.

D-Very drinkable beer. It is perfectly balanced and its low abv. make it a true session beer.

Overall, this is another great beer from Samuel Smith's. It was much more complex than I had expected. I absolutely loved it and hope to drink more in the future.

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Photo of Foyle
4.72/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 3" off white fluffy head that dissipates slowly and leaves significant lacing. Lovely copper color with moderate carbonation.
Aroma: pleasant floral hop aroma and a fruity aroma that I can’t quite identify
Mouthfeel: medium bodied and somewhat sticky mouthfeel. Semi-dry finish.
Flavor: lovely balance of sweet and pleasant caramel malt flavor with earthy and spicy hop bitterness. I can’t find anything to criticize about this beer. It is pure liquid enjoyment.
Overall: Outstanding, world class ale from one of the best breweries on the planet.. Great job Samuel Smith!

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Photo of WissBrauSean
4.69/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer poured a very clear light copper color with a nice three finger head at 55 degrees. Perfect temperature. The head has excellent cathedral pillar looking lacing that is sticky to the sides and the head stays as a full cap and ring throughout the drink from my imperial pint glass.

The aroma is of mellow light caramel malts biscuity yeast and apricots.

The taste is out of this world smooth caramel malts, some biscuity tastes (very light) and some light fruit flavours all combined and balanced nicely with a bit of dry hops which really don't become exceedingly apparent until the finish which is only slightly dry. Incredibly pleasant.

Mouthfeel is smooth and moderately full for a 5% abv beer thanks to the malt sweetness and it is really well balanced throughout the sip by the hops. The carbonation is mild to moderate and the lasting one finger head lends some creaminess to the drink as well. Slight dry finish makes you crave more!

Overall this is probably my favorite IPA. I'm not a hop head so this fits the bill perfectly for me! I also feel that this is a world class beer and am now a strong fan of Samuel Smith Old Brewery which is now on my bucket list of breweries to tour!

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Photo of TripelJ
4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tonight I review Samuel Smith's India Ale and my expectations are high. Poured a deep golden to light amber with an incredible head that reduces quickly to a thin, sticky layer with good lacing. Smells are faint, but sweet, malty and bready--very enticing. The first sip demands my taste buds stand at attention with some nice hoppy bitterness with moves into a creamy buttermilk biscuit flavors with hints of caramel. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and is has a nice creamy finish. I have read several reviews stating that this beer is not as intense as some IPAs, however this is my first and I can not draw the same conclusions. Ultimately, high intensity is not necessarily what makes a beer rate high in my book. S. Smith's IPA is perfectly balanced with the flavors it presents and as its not overly bitter, it is extremely drinkable. I bought a single of this to review and try for the first time and next time I will buy the whole six pack.

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Photo of Offa
4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I find this to be a wonderful, flavourful, very juicy, and highly drinkable IPA.

Deep orange gold, it has a very large off-white head that is creamy and slowly shrinks to a permanent thin, foamy top and leaves some nice lace in uneven rings.

The aroma is very juicy with a lot of citrus, yeast, apples, leaves, honey, and a little bread.

The taste is similar, very juicy with citrus (mostly orange with a little lemon), dry leaves (especially in the finish), a lot of light fruit, hint of toffee, a zesty yeatiness, and a light element of bread dough. It has a lot of hoppy and yeasty flavour, but the hop bitterness is restrained to the poitn of just dominating the light sweetness, giving a lightly bitter finish. It's highly quenching, with a juicy-yeasty tarness similar to other English IPAs (like Ridgeway) and exceedingly drinkable.

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Photo of TucsonTom
4.63/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I guess I have a soft spot for what Samuel Smith brews. Perhaps it's their old timey labels. Or maybe it's their story about using "stone Yorkshire squares fermenting vessels". I dunno.

But I think they make some mighty tasty beer with low ABVs, 5% in the case of this English IPA.

This beer looks perfect, smells great (if you know you're not going to find Northwest American hops), has wonderful mouthfeel and is tasty to the last room-temp sip.

It was also nice that it was on sale for $3.33 for their bomber.

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Photo of avylover
4.62/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one's better than I expected. Sammy Smith always makes good brew, but they hit right on with this IPA.Pours a cloud amber with a smallish head, leaving nice lace as I sip. The aroma is mallty, and very bitter. The hops are there for sure, but characteristcally of sammy smith they're not too floral. A refreshing change from other IPAs. Taste is malty but bitter, nice & full, stimulating every taste bud on my tongue!. I could put a few of these down.
Seems like this is what a true IPA should taste like, although I still love the american inerpretation of the style. Great brew!!!!

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.56/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

i'm a big fan of all samuel smith's brews and the tadcaster brewery adds a certain mystique for me. this beer was everything the decorative label suggested and more. after a brief explanation of the origins of IPA, it described the beer as having "the colour of a golden sunset, a refined maltiness, and an emphasis on the aroma and flavour of england's best hop gardens." now that, my friends, is exciting.

A- chunky yet creamy beige-ish 1 3/4in foam above a beautifully transparent burnt amber iced tea colored brew, decent retention, but the lace...get this~ and i hope you can follow me here, i'll describe it the best i can: if you're familiar with the ocean spray juice logo it'll make it alot easier to imagine. the lace formed ONLY into 3 identical curly-cues like octopus tentacles rising up out of a foamy sea, equidistant from one another on the inside of my pint glass so if the 3 points were connected by lines they would form an equilateral triangle. it freaked me out. it happened 2 bottles in a row and had nothing to do with me swirling the beer per my experiments. merit. check.

S- mild until it warms up, sweet & sour malts, earthy citrus hops, sour wheat bread, fruity white wine like pinot grigio, cherrywood, and dried exotic fruit perhaps something like dates and figs.

T- initially metallic immediately followed by a tangy floral spicy dark apple citrus followed by biscuity perfectly balanced malts, herbal tea, sticky peppery hops, and a flower nectar resin hop aftertaste that hangs out for awhile.

MF- everything an IPA should be (i hope). it's smooth and creamy and it goes down effortlessly due to its immaculate level of carbonation.

D- i may prefer english IPA's over american for the simple fact that the english versions don't overwhelm the senses with hops. with this beer's balance and only slight hop dominance yet undeniable hop presence, sammy smith ranks at the top of his class.

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Photo of Dubbledown
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Guinness pint glass. Big 2 inch foam crown. I swear it smells of the North Atlantic. The colour is a beautiful yellow orange.The first taste is of nutty-maltiness followed by a clean evaporation of the hop flavor from your palate and tongue. The hop oil lingers on the sides and back of the tongue for quite a while. The finish is supremely clean and clear. The lacing is delightfully chewy. It almost has a bitter cotton candy-like feel. On the whole a fantastic beer and probably closer to what the Victorian troop drank in India than any American version. As one continues to sip, one tastes a complex flavor of caramel, orange zest and other fruits. A truely excellent ale. Wonderful sourness in the dregs. This ale has a heavy weight in the mouth that sets it apart from the competition. A great IPA.

Grade A Purchased at Stoney's- 4pk. $11.99

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Photo of bigpatvoodoodad
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this several times in the past as I'm quite a fan of Samuel Smith brews so I figured I may as well review. I poured this from a 550ml bottle straight to pint glass. Poured a nice frothy head and settled to a wispy lace. The color is a deep amber. The smell to me was one of caramel with a hint of the underlying alcohol. For an IPA, it is significantly less bitter than some other IPA's. If you're looking for a hop bomb, look elsewhere. The taste of hops is in the undertone and what is apparent is the delicious taste of malts. Mouthfeel is silky and pleasant. The carbonation is prefect. Overall a great IPA and very drinkable. This IPA is well paired with any spicy cuisine or by itself for a session.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a hazy orange with a creamy, sticky head.

S - Very malty, with lots of fruit and apple, a whiff of skunk, and a pronounced nuttiness. Traces of caramel as well.

T - Nutty again, with a light generic fruitiness, molasses and heavy caramelized sugars. Very malty. Bitterness isn't that high, but enough for balance.

M - Substantial, but light-moderate carbonation. Body is fairly thick.

D - I've been having a lot of American IPAs lately, and this is a completely different experience. This one is hugely malty, but avoids being heavy, with balancing hops, but not pungently citric or piney. I dare say, this is much more nuanced and complex than most AIPAs.

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Photo of Auraan
4.53/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a gorgeous semi-clear golden orange with one finger of fluffy white head that grew to two fingers and receded slowly leaving lacing down the glass. A true beauty of a beer, one of the best looking IPAs I have ever seen. Scents of abundant floral and herbal hops with notes of jasmine and lavender. An earthy hop presence is also discernible alongside hints of honey and crystal malt. Very faint traces of fruit. An excellent aroma profile that is rich, floral, earthy and pleasant. Excellently done. Flavor begins with a nice hit of floral and herbal hops, with a slightly medicinal flavor to them and faint honey-like notes and toasted malt in the background. The level of bitterness is lower than in American IPAs but pleasant and true to style. These flavors continue throughout the sip and are joined in the middle by a nice earthy, hoppy character and moderate-high bitterness. Finish is dry with notes of floral, herbal and earthy hops and a faint hint of honey. Aftertaste is dry with floral, herbal and earthy notes, toasted malt and the tiniest hint of honey. An excellent, complex, hoppy, yet not overbearing flavor profile that is true to style and quite pleasant on the palette. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with moderate carbonation and a slightly dry character. Wonderfully done, pleasant to drink and very true to style. Overall this is an excellent English IPA that captures the aroma, flavor, mouthfeel and spirit of the style perfectly. Well worth having.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.53/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a very dark reddish gold that is clear and leaves a rich, excessively long lived head. I got tired of waiting for it to settle. Lacing is more like a thick curtain.

The nose is excellent and rich with nice earthy and floral ones of coriander, pine, lavender, citrus and camphor.

The taste is crisp and bold with a dominant bitter hop on top of a dry malt bed that has hints of apple, vanilla, pine and nutmeg.

The mouthfeel is very rich and perfect for delivering the complexity of this fine beer.

Overall this one is exceptionally good and very enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of PhageLab
4.53/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic pint glass.

A - Clear bronze colour. Left a 1 finger head on top that never disappeared. Beautiful lacing.

S - Strudel, with a tartness that waters the mouth. Sweet and bready.

T - Heavenly dessert-like flavors swarm the palate. Malty body, with a good balance. Fruity aftertaste. Fantastic.

M - Smooth light body, low carbonation level.

D - I'm highly upset that I had not tried this sooner. Instant staple beer, and probably the best English IPA I've had. A must try.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.53/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper orange color with very active carbonation and a big rocky and dense head. Sam Smith beers have the best head and carbonation. Th aroma is of big pungent English hops, without citrus or grapefruityness like American hops. The taste is very hoppy but also well balanced with biscuity malts. Definitely not as hoppy as American IPAs but still very pleasant. A delicious crisp finish. I really like this.

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Photo of MusaJames
4.52/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Immediately I was not ready for this beer. I came at it with a prejudice that I have with IPAs. This beer pours well develops a light head that begins to dissipate quickly. The color is amber without being completely transparent. Full-bodied flavor and with plenty of hops. A fantastic IPA that I could absolutely drink again.

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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,880 ratings.
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