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: 932 | Ratings: 1,875
Photo of mulder1010
1.71/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

550 ML bottle

A-- Poured a light amber color, fairly small light brown head. Not a lot to this.

S-- Faint sweet and hop aroma. A little bit of old damp rag smell and a little bit of dishwasher soap.

T-- A lot of dishwasher soap taste with old grapefruit, orange and lemon. ICK BAD BOTTLE.

M-- Prickly mouthfeel. Hops are still there but the taste and feel are more like nearly expired citrus fruits. Really oxidized. There are some semblances of what this should be and what I am getting is not it.

D-- Drain Poured the rest. Will try again and review at a later date.

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Photo of scottfrie
2.13/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

550ml into SA perfect pint glass.

A: Pours a golden-amber with a billowing white head that slowly reduced into an oily film that left decent lacing.
S: Very dough smelling, like focaccia bread dipped in olive oil. Faint notes of hops and caramel malt. Very weak.
T: Very malty and biscuity with a syrupy bittersweet orange sweetness and a hint of hops. Notes of gritty apples, tobacco, and dry grains as well. Disappointed that the hops are so hard to pick out. Tastes kinda like old green tea leaves that have been left too long to steep.
M: Slippery and thin with a funky bitter/sour hop and yeast aftertaste. Not the greatest.
D: I didn't much care for this one. Could have been a bad bottle perhaps, or it's just not for me. Either way I won't be buying this one again. Aftertaste, mouthfeel and overall flavors just weren't agreeable. Definitely not much of an IPA.

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Photo of PatronWizard
2.17/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2


Don't believe I've seen this color before. Perfectly clear amber orange. Big frothy head.

Light scent of beer. Not a lot of smell at all.

Somewhat of a unique flavor, but very light. No hops, no bitterness. Not a big beer.

Cool and refreshing (the death knell), thirst quenching. Watery.

Well, hell, totally unremarkable. Will be good and forgotten in a matter of minutes. Kinda disappointing as I hold this brewer in some what of a high regard.

Actually I have to ask, is this a joke? Gets even worse with time, tastes like dish soap.

I begin to wonder if I have a bad bottle. Looking through some other reviews I see many people wonder if they had a bad bottle.

Conclusion: one large bad batch or this is a very poor version of beer.

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Photo of giblet
2.18/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

let me be first by saying that i feel this company kicks ass. but, and a big butt, this is not good. a poor example of what i am used to for IPA. it poured fine into my glass. good carbonation and head and some nice lace as i worked down. smell was rich and caramel malt...not what i look for in a pale ale. taste was not bad but not what i look for in a pale ale. lil hops.

maybe i am an idiot but the american IPA's are far far superior in my taste than this one.

good beer, not a good IPA.

suckem up and movem out.


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Photo of Gueuzedude
2.2/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy full copper color and is topped by a two finger thick, frothy, tan colored head. The aroma is of ripe fruit, plums, apple, strawberry, earthy hops, and a component that reminds me of oxidation. The taste is thin and dead on the front of my tongue and unfortunately the rest of this beer does not get much better. There are notes of cider, wan stale malt, and cardboard. Despite putting this beer in a brown bottle, this beer is still quite stale and lame.

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Photo of JBStith
2.2/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sam Smith's India (Pale) Ale. Not nearly as good as I was expecting. Quite disappointing actually.

A: Somewhat pale, watery, and hazy looking compared to most other IPAs. Very little head, retention, and no lacing to speak of .

S: Mostly sweet malts. Virtually no hop aroma at all.

T: Similar to smell, taste is mostly malt. Sweet, caramel, honey? No bitterness or hint of hops at all. It almost makes me question whether or not this is really an IPA or if I just got a bad bottle.

M&D: Medium body yet watery. Not drinkable at all for me.

Because Sam Smith's makes some of my favorite beers, I am hoping I just got a bad batch. I will try this again just to make sure, but this beer was just not good. Very disappointing.

UPDATE: I had to down grade the score of this beer mid way through an IPA tasting. At this point I can't even rate it as average.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
2.23/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, deep gold with a dense two and a half finger head. Great retention and excellent spotty lacing. Spicy alcohol and cinnamon in the nose, mild enlgish hops and a hint of toasted pale malt. Initially sweet with toasty base malt and a hint of crystal. Next, vague dextrins and a soft diacetyl come through to couple with a quasi-phenolic fruitiness and a dry but not very bitter aftertaste. Some oily enlgish hops give an herbal, tea-like flavor -but the hop charcter is very limited and quite unbalanced for the style. Medium in body and light-ish carbonation-this is just crisp enough to fight off any slickness. Finishes dry and fruity; very drinkable with interesting malt and yeast attributes, but grossy lacking an identity similiar to the classic English IPA.

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Photo of rrob311
2.24/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I bought these at Kappy's in Fitchburg. The whole euro section was huge but most of the beer there had dust on it including this. O well I wanted to try something new so here it goes:

A: This is a dark amber color.

S: This beer almost smells faintly of apple cider vinegar

T: This tastes like it is a bad batch, kind of almost like wine with little malt flavor.

M: Kind of flat

D: I may try this again if I see a freshness date.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.27/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Extremely disappointed by this beer. Pours clear yellow with a foamy white head. Nose is weak, very weak. Mostly goldings and pale malt/bread aroma with mineral water. Watery, shify mouthfeel. Pale/golden ale flavor with mor malt than anything else. I didn't look at the ingredients, but I'll bet "hops" is nowhere on the list. Tastes more like a Pale Ale that was poured into a dirty glass that may have contained an IPA at some point. Charlatan!

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Photo of CAcreeks
2.27/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I don't think English hops are as good as American hops for making IPA. Complexity of aroma is almost totally lacking in this brew. If you want this type of beer, just get their Nut Brown Ale, which tastes better, with less of this funky flavor. It is not undrinkable, just disappointing.

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Photo of clarknova
2.27/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

poured from a 355ml bottle

a - cloudy light-brown ale with just a little head

s - slight citrus aroma, barely malty

t - light body with far too little malt, no fruits and slightly bitter aftertaste with no special hops

m - a bit fizzy champagne-like mouthfeel, very light

o - a nothing special beer I will forget quickly

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Photo of harrymel
2.28/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled: unk
Pours a crystal amber with etched surface and some ringed whites. Smells of sweet malts. Not really getting much hop presence, even for an English IPA, this nose is super tame. Flavor of sweet, amber malts with some hints of oxidation and a little bitterness on the finish. The malt profile is quite pleasant, but the hops have all but died here. Starting to feel like this bottle is old, but it's hard to tell. Medium bodied with subdued carb and a semi dry finish. Meh.

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Photo of hoplover82
2.32/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Man, this is the worst IPA I've had. Terrible interpretation. The worst by Sam Smiths.

Pours a hazy gold color with a thin white head.

Almost no hop aroma, just light pale malts in the nose.

Almost no hop flavor, just pale malts and minerals and a little bitterness. Nothing impressive.

Very thin, kinda watery, light bodied.

Not too drinkable.

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Photo of breyton490
2.42/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Poured from a 500ml bottle. Not much of a head. Had a nice light brown, caramel color. Crystal clear

Smell: Some hop aroma, though not much. Definitely English hops.

Taste: Medium body, nice bitterness although this is no US IPA as the hops and bitterness are very restrained. Fairly dry finish. On the first sip I noticed a weird flavor which became more and more pronounced after each subsequent drink. The beer had a very strong tea like flavor and harshness to it. It almost became too much to finish the glass. Not a beer I would drink a second bottle of.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, tart, fairly dry finish

Drinkabiltiy: The strong tea twang taste in this beer make it tough for me to want to have a second. Maybe a bad or old bottle, but after reading other reviews I don't think that to be the case.

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Photo of jsdunlop
2.44/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Picked this one up at the Greensboro Total Wine, no freshness date to be found on the bottle. Pours out a darker amber, almost no head seemed to form, no lacing either. Smell is malty and slightly musty. Some alcohol can be picked up as well, along with some raisins and figs. Very malt forward beer, with a dulling hop presence that makes it's way onto the palate, providing a touch of bitterness and very little flavor. Some faint dark ripened fruits appear with the first malty sip. Mouthfeel is moderate to light, but slightly watery and creamy. Very little carbonation in this bottle. Overall, something doesn't seem right about this bottle. Very, very low carbonation, flavors seemed extremely muted and meshed within the malt profile of the beer. Perhaps I could have picked up a bad bottle.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.46/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a big head, but that falls quickly and almost completely. The lacing is great and the color is copper/brown. There is a light hop presence in the smell with a little bit of cardboard, but not much. The taste is a little sweet with no hoppiness that I can taste. Just a little sweet with just a hint slight backround of cardboard. Mouthfeel was nice. Overall I thought it was ok, but not something to pay $3.50/bottle for.

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Photo of bylerteck
2.48/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'll start off saying I was really excited to try this.

A - No head. Copper colour. Very little carbonation. Bright.

S - Very mild. A little bit of hops and some breadiness.

T - Same as the aroma. Very mild. Mild is the only thing that comes to mind. Mild hop finish.

M - Light body and a little bit of carbonation.

D - Why!?!?! This was such a disappointment. For such a reputable brewery this is very weak. I hope this was a bad bottle b/c I can't imagine this being let out the brewery intentionally.

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Photo of Atlas1
2.52/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

I think the label has changed on this beer, and while I miss the old one, I actually prefer the new one with the Delhi Durbar (which, for those who are interested, was a mass gathering of people at Coronation Park in Delhi, India, to mark the succession of an Emperor or Empress). Nobody knows colonialism like the Brits. Except for maybe the Belgians. And both make damn fine beers. Go figure.

Anyhow, this beer poured very flat. Little carbonation and almost no head. The nose was a bit better, with notes of citrus and sweet malt. The taste, however, was unexpectedly dull. Mouthfeel was thin but smooth.

I had this beer before, years ago, and remembered it being better. Maybe I got an old bottle but I doubt it. At 5.0% ABV, it's just sort of a boring ale. They call it an English IPA, and I know that some English IPAs aren't that strong, but this was very underwhelming. I'm hoping my memory of the other Sammy Smiths beers I fondly recall aren't distorted anymore. Maybe I'll have to refrain from drinking them again, which would just be a shame.

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Photo of josefnewsong
2.56/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - pours a clear, pure copper color with 2 fingers of white bubbly head that dissipates slowly and leaves a good amount of lacing
S - some earthy hops, some bready malt in the back
T - earthy hop bitterness with a metallic aftertaste, some light malts...a bit underwhelming from what I've come to expect from Samuel Smith's
M - medium bodied, mostly smooth and slick with some hop dryness
D - drinkable, but overall I'm not impressed

I can't get over the metallic flavor...maybe this beer is past it's prime. Not typical Samuel Smith's quality if you ask me. I hope this beer was just light-stuck and I come back to it another time and find it palatable.

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Photo of hoppedupken
2.58/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 550 mL bottle into a Samuel Adam's etched glass.

A - Pours a light, golden blonde color with a small head that dissipated after a few moments. Left some small lacing on the glass as it emptied.

S - Smells mellow and not overly hoppy, malt is certainly present in the smell.

T - A good bitter taste, not overpowering, but refreshing. More mild in the hop department than IPA's on this side of the Atlantic.

M - Flavor lingers on the roof of the mouth and is not overly heavy.

O - A good beer to accompany a meal. A good complexity between the malt and the hops.

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Photo of jt31914
2.65/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle

A: No head, amber in color.

S: Strong alcohol aroma and very dry (duh it's Samuel Smith's); slight cloves and hop aromas.

T: Hoppy with clove/honey taste. Slightly bitter with dry alcohol taste present. Pretty pleasant.

M: Fairly smooth and drinkable.

Decent IPA, but there are many better (Centennial from Founders and Lagunitas IPAs for starters).

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Photo of ryrust5301
2.71/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a sam smiths pints glass from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance - A see through copper color with a small head of about half a finger.

Smell - Nothing great. Some tart hops, and little else. Smells more malty than anything else

Taste and Mouthfeel - Pretty bland. Nothing at all to jump out and grab your tongue. Mouthfeel is smooth with the malt, and theres a hoppy bite fluttering around in there somewhere. Sweet caramel, and some orange in the taste. Hoppy crispness in the end fades fast leaving the mouth dry.

Drinkability - More a pale ale than an ipa. A great brewery, but a sub par offering. Nothing grabbed me about this beer at all.

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Photo of ncbeermonger
2.71/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pours with a little head, the beer is short of an amber color, you can see oranges, and reds.

The smell of Hops is there, but not overly hoppy.

Taste leaves a lot to be desired, it may be because I got a bad bottle. I bought this at Earth Fare, and after reading my fellow BA reviews on the place this Earth fare is known for having older stock! This bottle may be old! There is no born on dating of any kind, so it's impossible to tell.

The mouthfeel is good, but heavy for an IPA. this bottle lacks crispness, something I was looking for in this India Ale. The ABV is only 5. I expect more from an Ipa.

This is not a beer I will try again.

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Photo of ENogueira
2.75/5  rDev -25.9%

Large 550ml bottle poured in an official Samuel Smith pint glass. Huge, foamy head. Golden colored ale. Tasted rather bland, smooth at first taste. Spicy, citrus notes. Aftertaste, though, is a deal-breaker. Leaves a metallic, mineral-like, alcoholic tinge that lingers. Definitely not my favorite IPA.

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Photo of mnesporov
2.75/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 1pint bottle with no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: A copper orange color with a fluffy white head that calmed down to a frothy lace.

Smell: The hop aroma tends to stand out the most with a zest of tartness.

Taste: The hop bitterness takes over in this ale with hints of caramel and orange like tea flavor as well, with undertones of grains and butterscotch.

Mouth-Feel: A medium bodied ale with a little dryness as well. The carbonation is medium, and it finishes quite smooth.

Drink-Ability: A very drinkable brew that goes well with some meat or potatoes. But there are just so many better IPA’s that I think this beer is overshadowed.

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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.71 out of 5 based on 1,875 ratings.
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