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

1,901 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 1,901 |  Reviews: 942
Photo of Andreji
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Fairway on 86th and 3rd, upper east side.

Classic SS bottle, poured a very translucent yellowish fluid with surprisingly little head (I even drew the bottle back from the glass a bit to get it going). scarce to no lacing, very fluent an soft looking.

smell is very subtle. at times, sort of metallic sweetness coming from certain plzens; at others, tending to a pungent (although still waned) hoppy feel inclining to its namesake.

Taste I found to be very pleasant, albeit (yes, again) very moderate. soft sweet feel at the beginning only to be almost immediately overcome by a bitter sensation. however, this is a far cry from the american IPAs where the hops totally numb the tongue and palate; this one allows for a continuous flow between a maltier sensation, and a bitter companion (rather than dominatrix). Soft mouthfeel too, not to gassy or oily, it can even be drawn to be refreshing.

overall a nice beer, seemingly at times a watered down attempt on comparison to AmIPAs but definitely not a bad one to savour and session. liked it.

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Photo of Kartoffeln
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright coppery orange with a decent-sized, cream-coloured head of rocky foam and coarse bubbles. Retention is alright, gradually dissipating to a rather pillowy cap of foam and leaving frothy lacing.

S: Caramel and crystal malts with a fresh grain character mingles with loads of aromatic hops. Floral, fruity, herbal, zesty citrus, resiny, faintly woody and rather piney hop scents dominate, and some notes of honey and butteriness round out the nose.

T: Bready caramel malts with a buttery character and undertone of ale yeast are immediately joined by lightly fruity floral and herbal hops that give way to fuller, more bitter hop flavours of citrus (orange zest and a bit of grapefruit) and resiny pine with a generally earthy undertone. Tastes of fresh and toasted grain towards the finish.

M: Light-bodied with very light, smooth carbonation and a slightly astringent, tannic mouthfeel. The flavour profile is perfectly balance and stays refreshing with a dry, bitter hop finish.

D: A spot-on English IPA that makes up for a lack of complexity with drinkability; I really wish I could find it outside of Samuel Smith's seasonal gift pack, because it'd be a great summer beer. A benchmark IPA worth trying for any fan of English ales.

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Photo of CHickman
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear copper color with a huge 2 finger foamy beige head that faded very slowly and left very good lacing sticking to the sides.

Smells of biscuit, sweet malt, caramel, grains, citrus hops, tea leaf and orange peel; the biscuit or cracker aroma up front gives way to subtle hops for a nice sweet, soft nose.

Tastes grainy up front, with biscuit, sweet malt, caramel, cracker, citrus hops, tea leaf, herbs, grass, orange peel, flowers and/or floral hops, and earthy tones like sticks or bark. The flavor is pretty straight forward and balanced, typical malty flavor profile for an English IPA.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp, and creamy and smooth, with very low carbonation, a medium body and a watery feel is it slides down clean. This is a very easy drinking beer that feels lighter than it is.

While I am a hophead and prefer the aggressive hoppy American IPA style best, I must say that this would be a great session beer because this went down so smooth and easy, it was really enjoyable and I thought it was very good overall. A solid beer that is worthy of trying and drinking all night.

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Photo of jera1350
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a clean white head of fluffy foam that retains very well. Plenty of sticky lacing.

The nose is very light, but I can pick up some fruity and earthy hop notes along with a bit of caramel malt.

The taste is very clean and approachable from an IPA standpoint. Even though the hop bitterness is subtle for the style, I can still taste the IPA in this. The hops are lightly fruity and bitter. There is a slight citrus peel bite towards the end with a bit of earthiness. The malt is lightly sweet and adds balance.

Very nice carbonation feel. Soft and smooth with a dry finish. I would call this close to a medium body.

This isn't what most people would typically think of an IPA. It's English and I think it is right on par for that style. This is extremely clean and drinkable. Great consistency and approachable in its flavor profile. Very well made, but maybe it's more of a pale ale. Still a solid beer in my book.

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Photo of Rschis16
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden sunset like it says on the bottle? I don't know. But it is a nice looking beer, with a little bit of a haze, but overall very clear and bright with a soft looking carbonation. Big cream-white head on top that leaves lots of lacing as it slowly dissapates. Lays heavily on top in a sea foam form. The smell is very citrusy, very grapefruity. Actually very reminiscent of grapefruit juice with a nice malty backbone. Very appetizing.

Actually reminiscent of grapefruit juice in taste as well. A good bready malt stands up nicely to the slight tang found from the grapefruit hops, but doesn't get in the way of a nice little bitter hop bite in the end. A slightly bitter finish lingers for a little bit, also leaving that tanginess. Its slightly undercarbonated, leading to a watery mouthfeel that doesn't complement the flavors as well as it could. It feels slightly vinous, which doesn't seem to work in this one. All around though its not a bad beer. Sam Smith can always be counted on to come up with a good one, this just isn't my favorite by them. Solid beer though.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 355 ml. bottle. Sampled on October 20, 2011. It pours copper-amber with great clarity and a long lasting, clinging soapy head. Malts start up the aroma along with a candied butterscotch element. Hops are slight. The medium body maintains its texture. The taste is up front malty and slightly bitter on the end thanks to the laid back hops. Much more subtle than the modern day IPA and I have to wonder if this was the way IPA's were meant to be brewed way back when. The hops were more of a preservative and I expect brewers did not want to lose the character of their beer when it took the long trip to India. This is an IPA I could drink often because of its mellow subtlety.

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

copper color. moussy off white head. clear.

big hop aroma. very thin, barely there malt aroma. i want to say it smells like kent goldings. hop aromas of grassy, piney, and floral.

hoppy and bitter right up front. tastes like hops. finishes bitter. very thin flavor of malts. very brief subtle sweetness. hops flavors of citrus and pine.

smooth. medium body. medium carbonation.

nothing exceptional here. just a benchmark english ipa.

p.s. the website does not list the hops used here so i may be right, your guess is as good as mine,

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Photo of Treyliff
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with minimal reducing head. Smells of tart and bitter hops with a slight caramel malt smell as well.

Taste is well balanced, good carbination, the hops stand out, but not too much. Clean and slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is good, I find the drinkability of this one much better than most India Ales. Overall a good beer, not my faorite Sam Smith but definitely solid!

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Photo of fx20736
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a British Pint Glass.

Pellucid Sunset Copper with a two finger sweet-cream head that wantonly abandons large swaths of frothy lacing.

Aroma of pale malt, with just a whisper of caramel and diacetyl and a deep, earthy hoppiness tinged with a whiff of alcohol on the tail.

Mouthfeel is soft but well constructed like most Ales made in England.

Taste: British malt sown over a bed of funky, spicy English soil.

Notes: A huge fan of Samuel Smith beers I come to this after trying many English Pale Ales. Seeing that this IPA is an extension of those not in kind but in degree is a revelation. The hoppiness here is not citrus or pine but a deep, robust earthiness that is comfort to the soul.

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Photo of Mako82
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep copper in color, hint of orange to the color, short lived off white head
S - Malts, kind of tarty smell, barley in the background,
T - Not as many hops as I would've thought, taste a lot more malts then expected, fairly bitter and tarty, hint of caramel
M - Medium carbonation & body

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish copper color. Clear body with a nice glow with a foamy off-white head that leaves some lacing.

Medium floral, earthy, grassy hops. Very mellow bitterness is backed by sugary caramel malts. Toffee Hints of apple peel and strong cider. Mineral water and hints of sulfur.

Bready biscuity malts. Some roasted flavors. Cocoa. Lots of caramel malts. The hops are grassy and floral. Tea like taste. Hints of fruit burst on my tongue. Very interesting composition. The finish isn't very bitter but rather nice malt flavors linger

The mouthfeel is fine. The water is mineral derived. The body has slight mineral texture. The body is light-medium. The balance leans to the malt side.

This is my first review of an English IPA. I've had a few others and this is definitely the on the lighter, less hoppy, maltier side. This is a good IPA to drink if you want to have a mellow IPA to wash down your food. I am interested in trying more beers in this style. I would like to try this on tap.

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Photo of Philousa
3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper/tawny color with generous white head that laces the glass. Smells of sweet biscuit. It's creamy, which is something that's totally new to my nose. Finishes with floral hops. The beer tastes caramely at first, a bit of earthy malt with grassy, bitter hops to finish. It feels thick and malty, but the carbonation offsets the heaviness of the malt. Flavor is a bit more fleeting than I expected.

I picked this up to see what a true English IPA tasted like. I was hoping this would take me to the high seas in the 1800s. I imagined myself a privateer sneaking a glassfull from a cask in the back of the hull with the salty air whipping around me. I believe this enhanced my rating of this beer a little, so keep this in mind.

I can tell from the lacing that a considerable amount of hops were used, but other than that, the hops are much more subtle than I'm used to. Then again, I'm a CA hop head. Although this is more sweet and malty than I expected, I was surprised at how much I liked it. That said, I think this beer could use some more bittering agents and it felt a bit unbalanced. As a result, I don't think I would reach for it most days, but it's an interesting excursion from the normal California hoppiness I'm used to.

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Photo of bump8628
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Honeyed amber with a loose froth. Drying with a hint of caramel and biscuit. Hops balance evenly and add a fruity flare that works with the Sam Smith mineral signature. Currently it's drinking much more like an ESB but a tasty English ale nonetheless. Fresher bottles have a firm herbal bitterness that drives the beer more so than the yeast.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours up to a three finger head, even with moderate pour. Lively.

Aromas of butterscotch, toffee, malt. Nice change from hops hops hops.

Taste is some caramel, butterscotch in there, but balanced. Sweetness builds, some toffee apples.

Nice change from hop central.

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Photo of zdk9
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a very cloudy orange color. The head is yellowish cream with a grey tint. Actually, one of the least appetizing looking foams on a beer I've seen- somewhat puke colored unfortunately.

S- The aroma is sweet, almost caramel/toffee, but not that dark or intense. There's sort of a deep floralness to it, like concentrated old rose flowers.

T- Tastes strongly of malt syrup, like a malt soda. It's kind of one dimensional with that flavor really overpowering everything else. Some floral notes, and some sweet citrus, like orange juice. But I'm finding it hard to fight against all the malt syrup.

M- More carbonated than expected, otherwise unassuming in the mouthfeel.

O- This isn't a bad beer, but rather one that I would session as opposed to philosophizing over- the malt syrup flavor is a little annoying after a while, but if you just enjoy the sweet and bitter general beer flavors without worrying I think it's a beer that can be enjoyed.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, gold foil top poured into a pint glass.

Pours an Amber that's very light and clear with a small light yellow head. Nose is fairly mild, a bit grassy and happy but not over the top.

Taste is a bit sweet, not too bitter but still well balanced, there's a light grassy bite on the end that's refreshing and fairly smooth.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.11/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of floral and perfume from the hops as well as some bread and a little bit of earthiness. The flavor is the same. I get a low to medium amount of bitterness with some grass and earth notes. There is also a slight amount of floral notes in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550ml bottle poured into a pint glass.
A: Orange color; one-finger lingering head.
S: Pretty one-noted with candied citrus.
T: This has a big dose of butterscotch, with a bit of hops towards the end.
M: Creamy yet crisp, medium-bodied.
O: A nice beer to sit and sip. I did a US-England side-by-side for IPA day w/ this & Left Hand's 400 Pound Monkey, and this came out on top.

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Photo of evlu1441
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Pint bottle poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass (I got a gift pack :D ).

It pours a deep reddish amber colour with a thin, but slightly creamy head. Looks like a pint right from the tap.

The aroma is creamy/biscuity malt. I have a slight cold right now, so my judgment might be a bit off in the aroma department.

Very much an English-style IPA. The malt character is quite subdued. It is slightly creamy, and finishes on a tart note as some hoppy aroma builds.

Overall, this is a decent beer. I'm not the hugest fan of the English IPA style, but this one is enjoyable. At the same time, there isn't a whole lot too exciting going on.

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Photo of pBRale
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful amber colored beer, crystal clear, with a two-inch slightly blonde head that quickly settles to leave a thin lacing down the entire glass as you drink it. Finely carbonated appearance.

Smell: I smell several fruity aromas, some citrus and a hint of apples that is balanced with malt aromas.

Taste: A fairly mild IPA as far as hop bitterness is concerned. I tasted some caramel malt and citrus followed by a mildly bitter finish. The hops are certainly well balanced and makes for a very drinkable beer.

Mouthfeel: Perfect amount of carbonation (as always with Samuel Smith's), a smooth feel to the beer that is pleasant.

Overall: A very tasty, well-balanced beer that is certainly worth your time to try.

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Photo of mjurney
3.96/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber color, slight haziness. Fairly nice amount of carbonation. Head looks nice, off-white color.

Fruity. Caramel malts. Some hint of hops.

Fruitiness up front along with nice malt background. Fruity character from the yeast, I’m getting apricots/peaches and green apples. Malt is very nice, caramel-toffee, butter scotch, a little touch of nuttiness. Hop character comes right in the finish, but it’s pretty mild for most IPA I had. Body is dry and crisp. Very nice carbonation.

Dry crisp finish. Hop character come right in the aftertaste.

Milder than most English IPA, but a little stronger than most English Pale Ale. It’s a very good beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
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 Brianjames16
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a glowing amber color with a decent two fingers worth of off white head. There is a good amount of bubbles rising and the lacing sticks around fairly well.

S- Right away I'm getting some bread like malt aromas. I get a trace of hop bitterness but mostly bread and caramel hints.

T- Well balanced malt and hop flavors. This is not supposed to be a overpowering hop bomb like some American versions. This IPA is more subtle and balanced. Very nice brew indeed.

M- Medium body with just the right amount of carbonation making it very refreshing.

O- This is a great English IPA. I do love a hoppy beer but this gives a different presentation. I have a feeling this is the way IPA's tasted in the old time. Cheers!

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3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle served in a PINT glass (London Pride). Enjoyed on Mar´11 Pours medium copper in color. Thick layer of white foam, close & lasting.Lacing is dense & lasting. Slightly malty aroma & yeast too. Nice hoppiness with an spicy touch. Medium body & medium/low carbonation. Refreshing. Woody & spicy aftertaste rounded by a gentle bitterness. Very well balanced beer. Suggested for a long drink, enjoying its IPA character shown ´til the end.

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Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
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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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,901 ratings.
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