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

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84
good
928 Reviews
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Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
928
Ratings:
1,858
Avg:
3.71
pDev:
18.06%
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
175
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 928 | Ratings: 1,858
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 Gajo74
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a nice amber color with an orange hue. Decent head, however, I did not get great retention.
Big citric aroma, particularly orange.
In the taste I get some of that citrus feel, however, the flavor soon becomes more malt forward. Doughy and biscuity. The hops presence is rather mild. The body is medium but a bit on the full side. The maltiness made this more of a sipper for me.
I suppose I'm more accustomed to Erican IPAs. This one is mild hops wise but pleasant enough.

 479 characters

Photo of captaincoffee
3.36/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pint at Ye Ole Cheshire Cheese in London. Pours a beautiful orange amber with a dense creamy head the coats the glass and lasts. Nose is mostly absent. Not really getting much beyond a very light English hops scent and a touch of malt. Taste is disappointing. Flavor is almost more like a euro lager, including an unpleasant finish. Little malt, yeast, or hop characteristics. Maybe I was expecting too much from Sam Smiths, but was a poor excuse for an English IPA.

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Photo of ordybill
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a clear orange color with a large white head. The aroma is fruit and hops with some malt. The taste is more malt than hops and has a nice fruit mix.

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Photo of AleMan66
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a bottle into a clear teardrop glass. It pours an amber with a thick white head. I'm not a huge IPA fan, but I love this one. It still retains the maltiness, which is what I like about this brewer. I love it!

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Photo of thegodfather1076
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Presentation: Really awesome looking classy label in the traditional Samuel Smith style with awesome font and attractive graphics/colors. Front label gives a great description of the beer, backstory on the beer, as well as a bit of brewery information. It states “Product of England” and “Top fermented in Stone Yorkshire Squares”. Back label gives web information. Gold foil wrapped long neck. Bottle has “Samuel Smith” and “Bottled at Yorkshires Oldest Brewery 1758” embossed in the glass.

Appearance: An aggressive pour from its 550ml brown bottle in a 16oz English Pint led to a 3 finger off white fluffy head of medium density atop a slightly hazy deep copper/orange beer. Head retention was a solid 3min 27sec before fading to a thick coating and ring which lead to a very nice lacing left behind on the glass.

Smell/Aroma: Smell is of biscuit like malts and very earthy hoppiness with a bit of grain also detectable. Very different than the current American IPAs that are all the rage.

Flavor/Taste: This is very grainy with that same biscuit like maltiness shining through on the front end. Midpoint gives way to a nice earthy hoppiness. Back end is dominated by a nice toasted biscuit like maltiness wit a slight buttery nuttiness coming through on the finish! After taste was slightly toasty.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: Medium bodied with a slick, smooth mouthfeel and a below average amount of carbonation. Very drinkable.

Overall/Comments: A complete 180 from the American IPAs that are popular right now and that is ment as a compliment. Very well balanced in flavor and on the nose leading to an easy drinking all around good beer that is out to be just that! I really enjoyed this one! Consumed 1/16/14. Classified as and English IPA @ 5% ABV.

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Photo of kitschiguy
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle poured into a 350ml beer glass. Bottle given to me by a supplier.

Poured a nice slightly cloudy deep orange with a lovely fluffy head which died gradually and left a film of fine bubbles. Some lacing also.

Nose is good, malty with some peach, some tropical fruit. Slightly floral. Good,

palate is nice - malty, biscuity, bready - fairly typical of an IPA. Lots of flavour but not too bitter so I enjoyed it immensely.Not overly complex.

Mouth feel is really nice - perfect for the syle - creamy.

Overall a perfect example of an IPA - flavourful with lots of malt and balanced by good hop aroma and flavour. Superb. Never had a b ad beer fro Samuel Smith!

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Photo of MusaJames
4.52/5  rDev +21.8%
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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Photo of lwillitz
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

18.7-oz bottle into Belgian ale glass

A - 3-finger khaki head over a cloudy body of orange amber; low to moderate visible carbonation; thin trail of lace

S - tropical fruitiness and bready malts, floral notes

T - bready malts with tropical fruit, earthy bitterness; dry, peppery finish

M - medium body, medium carbonation

O - This one is somewhat tame for an IPA. The hops are strong enough to keep things interesting, but the malts stand their ground. Alcohol content seems low for the style also. Definitely a decent brew, but many other IPAs are more interesting.

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Photo of BFCarr
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of bottle into snifter glass. Dark amber with half inch white head that fades quickly. English IPA so not as hop forward as US IPA. Feel is a bit sharp, not as smooth as I would expect. Easy to drink at 5%.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comes out amber looking, nice color, the 1" head and retention are excellent. Aroma has no dry hopping, I know, not that style of ipa, but still. If a minor amount of woody from the malt thing is what you dig, this is your jam.

Taste I guess is balanced and if you enjoy pale toasted malts and noble hopped ipas, this is gonna float your boat. Format is a little expensive dealing with 500ml bottles. Its good, but more in that throwback vibe.

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Photo of Whey2Hoppy
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Light amber color, about what you'd expect from this style of IPA

S- Some bready malts, but not much going on in the aroma honestly.

T- Very malty, with some citrus flavor coming in without much hop bitterness at all.

F- Very watery, little carbonation.

O- Coming from someone who actually really likes English IPAs, this is not one of the better ones I've had. Pretty disappointing.

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Photo of sjccmd
4.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Orangey herbal hops. Tart apples, hay, grass. Earthy tea. Caramel bready malts follow. Biscuits, sweet honey, apricots. Berries and some wild-fruit aroma. Sweet smelling, but very herbal. Warming and spicy alcohols.

Hazy light orange with a large fluffy off-white head. Good retention and decent lacing.

Rich juicy oranges and berries. Crisp bready malts. Honey and lightly toasted bread. Caramelized sugars. Firm but not over-the-top bitterness. Very balanced. Tangerine and kumquats linger on the palate with a touch of honey while still seeming quite dry.

Medium-full bodied with medium low carbonation. Flavors coat the mouth and linger but still avoids being cloying.

A little sad to see these beers never rated as high as their American counterparts, but oh well. Impressively complex for the average strength. Loads of hop flavor even though I doubt the beer is particularly fresh.

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Photo of Stevem68
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice Amber color. Aroma is more malt forward and a little sweet. Flavor is lightly hoppy up front filled by a smooth malty finish. Leaves a pleasant aftertaste. Overall a solid beer but nothing special.

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Photo of Extol
3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - gold in color, decent retention and lacing. Smell - I honestly don't get too much from the smell. Just slight hops. Taste - it's smooth. Not too bitter, not too anything. It is pretty well balanced, but nothing stands out. Overall - this is a good "pub" IPA I guess if I had to describe it. Something you can knock back and enjoy with some friends. Solid.

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Photo of stevoj
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Hard to believe this was the style that launched the IPA. Very malty, and with a hops bite unfamiliar to English ales. Dark golden with adequate small head. mostly malt, but some bitterness on the finish.

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Photo of hopley
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

• Look – 4.25 – Quite a handsome ale – rich amber color, darker than an IPA, good 2 inch head that fades to a nice layer and leaves nice layering
• Smell – 3.75 – Smelled mildly malty and bready
• Taste – 4.25 – Bready and malty, not very hoppy, not very bitter. As it warmed from an American cold to a British not as cold – the taste improved dramatically. Very tasty.
• Feel – 4.0 – Average and appropriate.
• Overall – 4.0 – A decent ale – not an IPA and didn’t feel it fit squarely in the pale ale realm either – felt like it was more of a bitter when it warmed, but without as much bitterness. Guess I can’t make up my mind but I really enjoyed this beer and will definitely drink again.

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Photo of Tele
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: Bottle (Dated 6.4.15)
Consumed: 1.4.15

A: 4.25 Pours a rather cloudy, reddish-gold. The creamy head looks great –aggressive and lasts a very long time, leaving lots of lace in the glass.

S: 3.5 Aromas are really muted. Hops are there, giving off some mild tropical fruit but also a bit of soapiness. Some malt and yeast come through as well, not really adding anything interesting.

T: 3.75 Pretty similar to the nose. Some citrus and peach from the hops before the soapy quality shows up. Then there’s some malt sweetness and a bit of bitterness to balance it out.

M: 4.5 Really nice body and carbonation, making the beer extremely drinkable.

O: 3.75 Pretty nice, easy-drinking beer without too many interesting things going on but also nothing really wrong with it either.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Christmas gift from 2015. Pours a relatively clear orange with nice fluffy white head that gives excellent lacing. Smells of characterful English ale yeast: a little fruity, some diacetyl, then some toffee, caramel, earthy yet grassy hopes. Has a mineral aroma character likely from the hard water. Tastes light with biscuity malts, herbal/grassy/earthy hops, finished a tad sweet with caramel touch. Quite even in terms of overall sweetness to bitterness. Alcohol well on check, so much so that I would to have a pint of this on cask. With that said, I wish I knew what I was drinking was absolutely fresh. I have no idea how this bottle was packaged, handled or stored. I feel as if the hops in this bottle are faded and likely not a true representative of this beer at the source. For now, I rate this slightly above average but would like to try this one fresh someday at the source.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy dark amber color. Very thick, sticky white head.
Subtle aroma of bread and caramel.
More caramel in the taste, and a hint of citrus.
Smooth and easy to drink.

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Photo of Act25
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I think this is better than its average score. Try 6.

A: Pours a clear darker amber color with a modest head that leaves massive shards of lacing behind

S: Too Light. Biscuity, minerally, butterscotch malts at center, with addition of earthy, blonde tobacco hops. Very english.

T: As drinkable an EIPA as you will find. Sessionable and easy. The biscuity malts start with a treacle sweeter depth; then by mid-taste, earthy hops arise, very subtle, adding some blonde tobacco bitterness along with the mineral water base. Nice drinking.

F: Medium body with moderate carbonation, clean finish slightly peppery.

Try 6

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Extraordinarily clear and bubbly, ever so slightly tarnished copper, very impressive in my Samuel Smith pint glass. Head retention is excellent, as is the lacing. It's quite fluffy, pillowy and is colored a pleasant, basic shade of tan. Looks almost like a lightly toasted marshmallow. Incredibly clean smell, if anything, hops are somewhat earthy or herbal or metallic, but for the most part it smells like bread. Not very strong aromas in any case. Palate is also fairly bready, with moderate amount of caramel which is strongest toward the finish. This English classic is well balanced with herbal, nearly spicy hops. They are subtle, yes, but not at all hard to detect. A more robust flavor but lower bitterness than what you'd find in the continental lager equivalent, the Pilsener, and yet, not all that dissimilar. Unfortunately, it does seem a little watered down. Good for drinkability, but that's never been a huge factor for me. Medium-bodied but somewhat watery, and yet packed and thickened with spritz and suds. Not very comparable to American IPAs. More akin to some of the more rudimentary American Pale Ales.

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Photo of beardfullofbeer
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

The bottle is banging hot; great design. The packaging though leaves a lot to be desired. Excellent beer with very beautiful golden color. A deceptive little IPA that could use more than 5% alcohol content.

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Photo of Antc2382
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a pint bottle

A: deep orange, nice foamy head but it quickly dissipates. S: vaguely hoppy, nothing explosive but pleasant. T: bitter fruit, malt forward, lacks the hoppiness of American IPAs. This is a classic English version of the India ale. Much more malt balanced. F: fairly crisp, could have used a slight tick in carbonation. O: good beer, not what I'm used to in modern IPAs but it's good. My least favorite Samuel Smith I've had so far though.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
84 out of 100 based on 928 ratings.
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