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

Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale
Liked This Beer
3.68 w/ 1,908 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,908 |  Reviews: 942
Photo of airforceale
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of mentaltraveller
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of MouldyCrow
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of adamant1912
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of datphoo
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of CSQ1111
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Listers
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of 1950carlen
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of beerguy36
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Antnyd82
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of brewcrew76
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Fairly clear copper, amber with an off white head leaving streaks of lace behind.

S - Bready and caramel malts with some lighter, earthy hops in the background.

T - Very similar to aroma. Sweet crystal malts, toasted bread, biscuit, with some lightly bitter earthy, herbal hops adding some balance in the finish.

M - Medium body with low to medium carbonation.

D - Pretty straightforward English IPA.

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Photo of RobertColianni
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of fizzyted
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Mario61Aler
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of TheHammer
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I got this as a Chirstmas present in a mix pack with a pint glass. I sorta wished the Taddy Porter or one of the bitters made the cut instead of an IPA. Oh well.

Appearance: A finger and a half of creamy head the stuck around and produced some lacing does it favours. As does a crystal clear body that defines the word amber. Slow steady carbonation gives it an almost regal look. More lace and more retention and it would have got the perfect score.

Smell: Caramel malt behind a nice mix of floral, pine and herbal hops, gives it almost gruit like scent. Warming helped it's case more but was no means needed.

Taste: Well, like most IPA's it's too hoppy for my tastes, but this is probably the first IPA where sweeter malt didn't completely take a back seat. It starts with a nice caramel malt with slight herbal notes that soon begin to ease you into the floral and pine additions that build a bit too much then what I like. That being said, it is an IPA so I shouldn't hold that against it too much.

Mouthfeel: The hop cling lingers for too long as the pine elements really take hold here. The carbonation tries to smooth it over, but that oily cling at that back of my tongue won't hear it. Good transitioning and buildup though.

Drinkability: Well a valiant effort to resist the drain, but sadly only IPAs that most BA's find to be duds seem to be able to hold that dubious honor. It fared better then most but that clinging bitterness simply can't be overcome. I can see it going with curry, but that's about it.

Final Thoughts: Milder and better then most IPAs I've tried, but sadly not my cup of tea. Sadly much like light lagers already have two strikes going in to most reviewers, such is my plight with IPAs as they are just too hoppy for my liking. I like to think I gave this one a fair shake, but take my review with a grain of salt. Try it, but if you can't handle high hop beers like me, you aren't going to like it.

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Photo of fox227
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of jmarsh123
3.01/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a fairly clear brown/red with a 1.5 finger sticky white head.

Aroma is of bready malt with a bit of toffee and spicy/earthy hops.

Starts out with a spicy hop presence. A bit of a bready malt in the middle and finishes spicy and dry.

Mouthfeel is a touch light with good carbonation.

Ok beer, but not great. It's a bit thin and not overly complex. A good go to for a lighter beer, but not my first choice.

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Photo of dowen44
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of weizenbob
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This 550 ml bottle was taken from a holiday gift pack and poured into the accompanying glassware (a tulip shaped pint glass). The neck and cap were wrapped in gold foil. The bottling code indicates that this was bottled on December 15, 2010. So though it is from this year's gift pack, this IPA is exactly a year old. As such I'm not expecting a hop bomb.

A horizontal pour yielded nearly three fingers of foamy, ivory-tinted head. Head retention is moderate. Sporadic lacing clings randomly to the glass. The brew is copper colored, with extreme translucence. A small amount of effervescence is seen through the glass. It's not awesome looking, but it is captivating enough to hold interest.

The aroma is initially bready and yeasty. Citric hops follow closely behind, leaving the impression of tangerine. The balance is skewed slightly malty, but it doesn't smell out of balance. It is inoffensive, yet unremarkable.

The initial bite of this IPA is pure maltiness. Bready malts combine with caramelized malts to create a sweet biscuity flavor backbone. A small amount of diacetyl manifests but compliments the caramel just fine. As the malts trail off, soft hop bitterness becomes apparent. As the malt impression disappears, a lingering bitterness hovers on the palate. The bitterness is not overwhelming, but it refuses to disappear. I always enjoy when the flavors of a beer manifest independently of each other; and though this is an unremarkably simple British IPA, I appreciate the separation between malt and hops in the flavor. It should also be noted that alcohol is pretty much invisible to the tongue.

The body of this ale is on the light end of medium. The carbonation is at a medium level and adds a nice crispness to the relative lightness of the body. There is a mild creaminess herein, but the light and refreshing impression sets the pace.

Overall, this is a good but unremarkable take on a British IPA. It does many things right and nothing wrong, though it does not excel in any facet. Even in the gift pack, which offers a significant savings over purchasing individual bottles, this is not an inexpensive import. Plus, it is likely beyond its peak freshmess. There are several domestically brewed IPAs and APAs that are comparable, easier to acquire fresh, and much less expensive than this old standard of the style. Still it is the example that other British IPAs are judged by, and by that account, it is a fine standard bearer. It is pleasant enough, but don't expect to be awed.


The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
I give a Schlitz for this classic example of its style; just as Schlitz is a classic example of its style.

 2,690 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured in to Founder's tulip glass.

A - Medium orange with a yellow glow around the edges and one finger of bubbly cream coloured head.

S - Slight hop bitterness up front with floral notes and a mild sweet caramel aroma in the background.

T - A crisp hop bitterness up front that is more reminiscent of a pilsner than an IPA. Floral notes and a slightly sweet malt backbone round out the palate. Very plain.

M - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

O - Nothing special about this one. Wouldn't have even guessed that that was an IPA if this was tasted blindly. Not a bad beer, but nothing I would ever seek out again.

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Photo of jsanford
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

550ml bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a clear copper with a dense, creamy white head that settles to a thick cap, leaving layers of lacing as it recedes.
S - Definitely what I think of from an English IPA, nice aromas of bready malt, caramel, apples, and floral English hops.
T - Bready malt, toasted grains, apples, and caramel make up the malt profile, with a more grassy, floral English hop and a pleasing bitterness. I really want a big hunk of Cheddar with this.
M - Quite smooth and drinkable, with a medium body and good carbonation.
O - Sets the standard for the English IPA, I could drink quite a few of these!

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Photo of jak
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of jtk
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 52.5% out of 100 with 1,908 ratings
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