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

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84
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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:
1,859
Avg:
3.71
pDev:
18.06%
 
 
Wants:
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Gots:
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For Trade:
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Reviews: 928 | Ratings: 1,859
Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

British style bitter IPA. I liked it but younger mates wanted more wallop and even less bite, which was soft. Foamy pour. Amber with oil residue and clinging lace. Lemon citrus with mid-sip Apple spice and orange pekoe tea throughout and the latter as the aftertaste. Nice aroma.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-clear amber color with a puffy 2 inch light tan head that fades to a small cap. Nice tight thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel/toffee, and a delicate citrus zest aroma. Taste is of biscuit-like malt, caramel, and a subdued citrus zest hop flavor on the finish. Mild toasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lighter body with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good, very easy drinking English IPA and another good beer from Samuel Smith’s.

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

the first thing from sam smiths that hasn't wowed me. in fact, I didn't even really like this brew and think it flawed in some ways. it pours a fine shade of amber, like light maple syrup, and has a decent head about an inch and a half tall, but it doesn't last. the nose is sort of drab. stale hops and sweeter English malts that don't taste particularly fresh themselves. is smells like wort not beer honestly, sort of weird. the flavor is also sort of dull, I was hoping for a lot more hops here, but they just never come. its like a movie without a climax. there is also some dusty flavor that is out of place. it just doesn't come together for me the way the other sam smith beers do. the yeast stands out more than it probably should in this style too. its lacking carbonation, being pretty close to flat, and that makes it a bit heavy and filling to drink. maybe I got a bad bottle or something, because I expect much higher quality from sam smiths now. I also had this after a couple of pretty mean American india pale ales, so perhaps my palate didn't do justice to this beer as it otherwise might have. I will have to revisit this in the future.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.83/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The first time I had this I think the bottle may have been a little older or been sitting on a shelf passed it's expected life because I got a bottle of this for Christmas last year and it was much better than the first time I had it. The hops were actually noticeable in the new bottle unlike the old one. This beer was a really nice English IPA, and definitely worth a try.

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Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear copper in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly faded away, leaving only delicate lacing covering the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of fruity yeast (apples stand out in particular) and caramel malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is a bit fruity with notes of caramel from the malts. Only a slight amount of bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied yet a bit watery on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink, has a good balance, and is extremely sessionable. I would have no problem drinking several of these in succession.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A quintessential English IPA that's built the way that that was demanded from India colonists from the British homeland. Spicy, earthy, and backed by the caramel and biscuit rich malts that give these beers such depth, drinkability and gentlemanly spirit.

Pouring a rather clear, deep amber hue, the beer forms a creamy and lightness in head formation and withstanding retention with a spider web of lacing behind in tightly weaved and evenly coated patterns. A very handsome beer.

The poinient earthy scent of soft caramel and biscuit create the underpinning for the aromas of herbal lemon teas, woody bark, and freshly cut grasses. While the hops ultimately dictate the nose, the aromas are fairly well balanced.

Sweet breads soaked with caramel, biscotti, and sorghum start to frame the malt profile that provides the foundation for the hop flavors to come. A mid palate of trailing malt sweetness and growing hop flavor transitions to a very herbal and vegetal flavor of grasses, tea, lemon zest, stemy bark, and an overall earthy woody mix that further morphs into a smooth bitterness of earthen character. Even a mineral water flavor helps to support the hop flavor and bitterness to push them just ahead of hops. The balance resides with the hop flavor and bitterness, but not so far ahead of the frey that the malts are forgotten.

Medium bodied with the soft creamy malt upstart, the mid palate of calmer carbonation ushers in a fade toward dryness, crispness, and slightly biting hops in a mildly astringent way. Finally, the long finish delivers a linger of earthy bitterness with the alcoholic dryness of woods and grasses.

Delicous throughout, this India Ale is a classy story book of what ales are supposed to be- characterful, balanced, and gentlemanly from skin to core. A lovely beer throughout!

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear light amber color with a modest head that leaves a few shards of lacing behind

Smell: Biscuity, butterscotch malts take center stage, with a backdrop of earthy, tobacco-influenced hops

Taste: The biscuity malts open the flavor profile, with a hint of butterscotch adding a sweeter depth; by mid-palate, the earthy hops take their turn, adding some sweet tobacco bitterness; the finish is nicely balanced between the sweet malts and the English hops

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: The quintessential English IPA - this is a classic

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle. Nicely suitable and imperious label.

This beer pours a slightly glassy medium brassy amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, and loosely foamy off-white head, which leaves some bleeding suds splatter lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of bready caramel and pale malts, overripe orange and lemon rinds, herbal tea leaves, fresh cut grass, and floral, generically fruity hops. The taste is relatively strong, lively noble hops, in all their reserved citrus, floral, and grassy goodness, biscuity, bready, and lightly caramelized malt, ethereal yeast, un-steeped tea bags, and a plain stale lemon fruitiness.

The carbonation is adequately supportive, and a bit frothy at times, the body a fairly trim medium weight, and mostly smooth, the floral bitterness kind of stepping through this particular rose garden. It finishes off-dry, the biscuity, bready malt holding tough, with the politely sassy, stiff upper lip, Queen and country hops still equal to the task.

A very well balanced, and understated, in that English way, Ur-IPA. Pleasant to quaff, where the flavour dominates over the bitterness, so this would be good for at least a few raucous pub rounds, I have to imagine.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

550 ml brown glass bottle with foiled-over pressure cap served into an Oskar Blues pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the brewery.

Served after a brief period of rest following its removal from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and above average retention - though the ABV is fairly low for the style. Body colour is a pale dark yellow. No yeast particles are visible. Semitransparent. No bubble show.

Sm: Clean crystal malt, spring water, floral hops, clean barley, and straw. An average strength aroma. Not unique or special. No alcohol or yeast is detectable.

T: Underlying malty sweetness. Some biscuit malt. Hints of toffee. Limited floral hops. Little hop bitterness. A somewhat nectary finish. Fairly well balanced but underwhelming. Lacks a fresh feel.

Mf: Artifically smooth and wet. Feels refined, which distances the flavours from the palate. Strangely oily. Carbonation and thickness are off. Weak. Doesn't suit the flavours all that well. Not crisp or refreshing. A bit buttery.

Dr: A mediocre IPA. I wouldn't get it again. A disappointment from Samuel Smith's. Might even be better on-cask (and I say that as someone who thinks CAMRA is severely misguided). So pedestrian it's hardly worth trying. Drinkable but boring.

Low C

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Photo of zeff80
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a copper/orange color with a foamy two-finger head. Leaves lacing.

S - Smelled highly hoppy and of clove. Also, a hint of dried fruits.

T - The hop taste wasn't as strong as it smelled. It was balanced b malt, clove and banana flavor. Also, a bitter kick.

M - It is sharp and crisp. Medium-bodied.

D - Complex flavors and a bitter aftertaste. It is another solid brew from Samuel Smith's.

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Photo of oberon
3.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark amber color with little to no head,mine had been onthe shelf for awhile and developed a winey smell to it but it held up well.The malt in this IPA was very evident upfront with a good hpsmack in the end.A very well made IPA even sitting on shelf for almost a year u could taste the flavors of a very good well-made ale.

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Photo of nickfl
3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a creamy white head that holds out for a while before settling to a thin film and leaving behind nice rings of lace. The body is reddish copper colored with good clarity.

S - Grainy aroma with sweet caramel and weak hop aroma.

T - Fruity with a clean malt character. A floral hop flavor emerges in the middle with moderate chalky bitterness characterizing the finish.

M - Medium body, low carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Pleasant and drinkable with a nice malt character. Unfortunately the hop character is just too weak to make this a good english IPA.

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Photo of mactrail
3.49/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Clear dark amber in the Saxo tall tulip. A very nice cap of foam with champagne bubbles. It smells so... English, that is to say, basements, flowers, old wool clothes. Light but full of flavor. What a distinctive taste of hops-- maybe even unique, but it seems so familiar. It's a perfumey flavor that lasts and lasts. An interesting quaff, and a big surprise for the richness of flavor.

Strangely spicy, but it does wear our its welcome. Quite malty but with a touch of the metallic, or else it's just a serious amount of the British mineral water taste. A little sharp but pleasantly sudsy in the mouth. Only $2.50 for this 16 oz bottle and other Samuel Smith beers at a liquor store where you can wire money to the gormless youth in your life.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The frothy yellowed-white head atop Samuel Smith's India Ale slowly drops to a short and creamy cap. As you progress through the pint it leaves walls of wide-spread tiny spots about the glass. The nose is floral and grassy with bright, fresh hops over a delicate malt base. In the mouth it's smooth with a medium body and restrained, fine-bubbled carbonation. The flavor delivers more of the hops found in the nose, floral, leafy and grassy amidst a gently caramelish and bready malt and softly fruity and mildly mineralish yeastiness. The bitterness is balancing and solid, and it finishes short and dry. Quite nice!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Luminous tangerine peel orange capped with a pale orange-tinted ecru cap that is heavily creamy and that leaves a few scattered chunks of foamy lace when it departs. A classic IPA look, English or otherwise. The nose is appetizingly earthy-fruity, exactly what I would expect from a beer that uses English hops. It's weaker than I'd like, but the head is still at two fingers and is probably muffling the aroma to some extent.

India Ale isn't as hoppy as it could be, probably because my palate has become used to American IPAs. That's not quite accurate. The simple truth is that I prefer the taste of American hops. It's obvious that there's a fair amount of biscuity malt on hand, but I could do with a bit more pale malt flavor. Bittersweet orange dominates the flavor profile. The beer, in general, is sweeter than expected; a positive quality in my eyes.

I'm enjoying the finish at least as much as the beginning and the middle. It consists of an orangey-appley fruity linger with a gentle tongue tweak of bitter hop leaf. The body is closer to medium than to light and the mouthfeel is nicely buoyant. I wonder why this beer--alone among the Samuel Smith line--is sold in a brown bottle? Non sequitur minute is over, now back to our review...

Samuel Smith's India Ale is one of the handful of standard bearers for the English IPA style. The flavor grew on me considerably by the bottom of the bottle and even though we'll most likely never have a love affair (I'll think of her as Samantha Smith for the purposes of this sentiment), we do have a strong mutual attraction. At least on my end.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550 ml bottle into imperial pint glass, bottled on 7/05/2012. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a nice 2 finger fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of orange zest, pear, apple, caramel, toffee, toast, bread, floral, grass, honey, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of fruity/floral hop and yeast notes with good malt balance; and solid strength. Taste of orange zest, pear, apple, caramel, toffee, floral, light pine, toast, bread, grass, honey, and floral earthiness. Fair amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of orange, light fruits, caramel, toffee, floral, light pine, toast, bread, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of moderate hop flavors; with a very balanced malt backbone and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good English IPA style. Very nice balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, copper body with a smallish, frothy, white head.

Smell: Lightly bready, candyish malts with fruity hop notes of citrus, pineapple, and apricots.

Taste: Delicate maltiness with a small pinch of sweet cracked toffee. Blend of sweetened fruit juices. Tiny hint of cotton candy. Spicy, floral hop character with a light bitterness. Lingering fruitiness on the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not a bad lil' English ale.

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Photo of chinchill
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

550 ml bottle served in a pint glass.

A - lovely clear amber with ample tan head. Lasting head leaves plenty of lacing.

S - floral hops; a bit earthy; malt. (Falsely) leads me to expect a high ABV.

T - roasted malt nearly matches level of hops; earthy. Black tea in bitter finish and aftertaste. Importer reports IBU = 46

M - medium body; low carbonation ... too low.

D - heightened by complexity; lowered by slightly excessive earthiness.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 18.7oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, citrus, honey and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of citrus, caramel and honey. Then there's a strong but not-over-powering hops bitterness that comes in next to provide a good balance. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is a nice session beer with a lot of flavor and substance that makes it worth drinking for a long time.

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

500 ml bottle poured into a pint glass

A - This one poured a nice albeit slightly flat looking amber with a smallish, maybe one inch high head of off white followed by some small side glass presentation and a decent film across the top.

S - Aroma was full of earthy grains and English hops, a very different profile then what I was used to with the American IPAs. More malts and grains then what I was expecting.

T - The flavor was decently full with a nice rounded profile. Lots of grain again with a nice spattering of english hops. The flvor was a tad bit musky to be honest and had that bready taste to it. A dry finish let the taste linger on for a while,

M - A medium to light body, it felt a touch slick to me, mostly due I am sure to the lackluster carbonation. Again still above average, just did not pack that little bit of extra to push it over the top..

D - Pretty decent actually. he flavors were not too strong and the lightish body lended itself well to having a few of these. Not a bad session beer.

Overall this was pretty decent but I have had better. For some reason I am just not that impresssed with what comes out of this brewery. Gonna have to try some of the organics to see if it changes my mind,

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Photo of dcmchew
3.64/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange-golden pour, big fluffy head with big bubbles, like honey comb.
Smell: grainy malts, pinch of salt, apple peel, dried up flowers, English hops.
Taste is a mix of rich robust biscuity malts and very bitter dry hops . Some fruitiness throughout, with apple, pear and faint apricot, citrus, bit of wood, some pine. English hops dominate most of the taste, from dry autumn leaves, to dry tobacco and a bit of unwanted metal.
Medium carbonation and body, a tiny bit oily, goes down well.
Not sure if it's too bland or very traditional, for me it feels like one of the original IPAs, an extra-hopped British ale to survive the long trip to India, thus a bit.. "clumsy".

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Photo of russpowell
3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost orange with a 3 finger + off white head. Head retention and lacing good

Smell: Malt with faint whiff of hops and some grainyness

Taste: Fruitty and malty with restrained english hopiness. finished with a slight caramel taste and dryness

MF: Good balance (a little more hops wouldn't hurt) with slight undercarbonation

Drinakble enough, but doesn't stand out

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

Presentation: 18.7-ounce brown "Victorian Pint" bottle, no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Deep copper orange in colour with a wispy off white lace.

Smell: A touch of tartness in the nose as well as tangy hop aroma.

Taste: Medium bodied and on the dry side. Nice crisp mouth feel with a moderate carbonation, semi aggressive prickly hop bitterness that leaves a tea like twang throughout. Malt flavour is like a pulled punch ... light caramel, hint of butterscotch and a handful of grain. Hop flavour is dominant in the finish also with an orange pekoe tea flavour.

Notes: A decent ale ... though small in comparison to other modern day IPAs both British and especially American. Oddly enough this brew is not any bit stronger than the Pale Ale in alcohol ... the body and hops are only a notch higher in comparison. Not a bad ale ... at least the English characteristics make this brew an interesting ale.

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

Last from the Sam Smith pack picked up.

A: Pours a clear orange/copper color with a very foamy, white head on top, probably a little over an inch in height. It started off very large, but dissipated rather quickly. Sea foam like lacing on the sides.

S: Light grain and pale malt, very light hops, really much heavier on the malt bill. Some caramel and bready malt too.

T: Again, very light in terms of hop presence like an American IPA would be, grain and light english hops. A good bit of bread and caramel.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: Decent beer, even though it is an English IPA, would have liked the hops to a have been a bit more forward, but then again it is an English IPA from the UK, not from the US.

D - Pretty decent actually. he flavors were not too strong and the lightish body lended itself well to having a few of these. Not a bad session beer.

Overall this was pretty decent but I have had better. For some reason I am just not that impresssed with what comes out of this brewery. Gonna have to try some of the organics to see if it changes my mind,

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Photo of smcolw
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange-amber in color, clear, with a very nice head and excellent lace.

This is another largely malty IPA. There is a strong soured milk note. The hop is fresh, but very muted.

The distinctive Samuel Smith malt flavor is very noteable. This is more bitter than the ale version. The bitterness lasts nicely through the swallow. Full bodied, with the touch of alcohol oiliness that I would expect. High carbonation.

I'd love to try this in England. This bottle version is good, but I always wonder how fresh it is and if that would throw off the review. While worthwhile, many domestic (read: American) beers are better priced for the quality. Worth a try.

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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.71 out of 5 based on 1,859 ratings.
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