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

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Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale
1,921 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 1,921 |  Reviews: 944
Photo of NODAK
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is somewhat hoppy from the English hops...a little bready and toasty. Overall, pretty weak though for style. Not much jumps out.

Poured into my Samuel Smith pint glass, it's dark blonde in hue with a thin head.

Starts off decently malty and a bit bready....but this gives way to a pretty sharp herbal bitterness for an English IPA. In fact, this one could almost pass for an American IPA. A bit sharper than others I've had. Bitterness lingers for a little while after the swallow.

It's decent, though perhaps not my favorite of the style. Pretty drinkable and hopheads probably won't be disappointed.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass

A: pours a slight amber golden color that is slightly hazy with a finger of foamy white head that dissipates quickly, leaves slight lacing

S: nice sweet hop notes and a fruit like sweetness that is similar to raspberries

T: hmm, sweet hop character with almost none of the citrusy notes seen in most ipas, nice underlying slight maltiness which is complimented nicely by the sweetness

D/M: strong carbonation tingle, nice flavor makes it nice to drink, sweetness helps drinkability

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Photo of scootny
4.17/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A prodigious head and lovely lace. Clear with some bubbling going on at first, it eventually settles. Smell of caramel, honey and earthy hops. A hint of pine and vanilla. Some yeasty bread and light sweet malt. Taste is really something. Subtle and lovely. Caramel and multi grain bread. Firm leafy hops with an orange tea bitterness. Biscuity malt and grains linger in the clean dry finish as well as a leafy bitterness in the back of my throat. Feel is lighter than is typical and gently carbonated, with a nice crispness. Drinkable in the extreme as the lower abv and delightful taste and feel makes it a great session ale.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Poured into a Samuel Smith pint. Has a clear copper tint with a fluffy off-white head. Nice rings of lace form as the beer level drops.
Smell: Pretty balanced. You can certainly pick out the English yeast ànd hops. Very nice.
Taste/Mouth: Flowers, citrus, bread, earth. Very light, hoppy and smooth. Moderate carbonation.
Drink: Another good beer from Samuel Smith.

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Photo of soju6
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper color with a decent head that fades to some lacing.

S: Has a mild floral aroma with some malt and citrus mixed in.

T: Nice malt flavor with a touch of fruity sweetness. Has a light bitterness and has a nice dry finish.

F: medium body, smooth and creamy. Very well balanced.

D: Very drinkable. Not an overpowering IPA, more of a traditional brew.

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Photo of brown2cu
4.46/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: poured a clear copper color with a small white head that dissipated into a thin ring around the glass. Minimal lacing.

S: Floral and citrusy, with a nice malt backbone. Perfect!

T: Pretty acceptable for the style. Nice and sweet a lot of citrusy sweetness. Hop bitterness is present, but it is not on steroids like the american varieties. Overall good but light

M: moderately carbonated which I like. It allows for the full flavor to shine forth.

D: very good! I wish I had another.

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Photo of Kromes
2.76/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: hazy amber color with a two finger width off white head. There is no noticable carbonation in the beer.

S: A strong herbal and citrus aroma with some toasted malt. Unfortunately there is a slight astringent aroma , like vinegar, in there also.

T: I can taste the toasted malts up front, more malty than I expected. Then there is a very strong citric acid flavor that I did not like. Finishes acidic and bitter.

M: Medium mouthfeel and hardly any carbonation. The acidity and bitterness in the beer dries out the mouth.

D: It's decent, but I'm starting to think that I might have bought a bad batch. There was dust on the bottle and no date. I think the vinegar flavors mean that it is pretty old....Unfortunately I can't be sure of that and I have 3 more to drink...maybe those will be better.

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Photo of haazer
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The "English Pint" bottle poured into the Samuel Smiths Pint glass.

A- Copper penny colored beer with orange and brown undertones. Looks almost like a lager. Thick, bubbly tan head that takes its sweet time settling. Third Samuel Smith beer that leaves spider web lacing on my glasses.

S- Piney hops with lemon rinds. Bready malt aroma in the background. No standout smells though.

T- Bready and caramel malts hit the palatte first. Hops are piney, slightly lemon and citrusy(if thats a word). Good balance, slightly more of a malt force to this then a hoppy one for the IPA's I'm used to.

M- Nice smooth feel, light to medium in body. Refreshing and crisp. Swirling the beer around brings out bitterness on the tongue, but its never evident upfront.

D- A decent IPA, err English IPA I should say. Easy to drink, and could probably session this. Definitely prefer Samuel Smith's other offerings, and deffinitely prefer hoppier IPA's though.

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Photo of u2carew
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A) Pours with a finger thick head then settles. Fairly clear body. Copper in color. Lacing is thin and semi-sticky.
S) Oddly a profound apple aroma - quite surprising. Subtle malt aroma underneath - caramel.
T) The combination between malt and hops is interesting. The are bold up front but short lived as the hops move in quickly with a dry and bitter bite. Finishes with all hops. This tastes like an apple cider with a hop element ... not sure what to think.
M) Dry. Medium body. Bitter.
D) A decent brew. I think i'd have another.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden red/orange with a lot of carbonation but not much head to show for it. Leaves a nice bubbly lace across the top however with a solid white rim. When I cracked the bottle I got a little foam out the top and it was sitting in the fridge for a while.

the nose has a sweet floral fruitiness. A lot of caramel and toffee notes. Very sweet/candy smell. All of this is kind of faint.

It starts with a nice bitter carbonation tingle switches right to a bubbly caramel/toffee malt flavor that sticks around for a second after you swallow. It then transitions to a slightly piney, more mild fruit, hop texture. The aftertaste is a lot of sweet malt and dry citrus hops. It seems like this beer is all about balancing subtle characters.

It has a smooth almost creamy texture and goes down with juicy feel.

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Photo of RunForYourBeer
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Smith glass.

A: Pours a dark orange color with a thin white head.

S: Smells of light citrus hops. Not getting much here.

T: A bit of caramel malt with a bit of fruit and pine hops. Very light citrus hops and bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium, good carbonation.

D: High.

This is the first English IPA I've had. As I'd expected it was much less hoppy than the American versions. Very good beer that I could see myself drinking again. Well-balanced and very drinkable.

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Photo of thecarster1
2.83/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a- 550ml bottle poured into signature sam smith tulip, one finger fades to crater, warm chesnut color.

s- very aromatic, sweet malts, very very floral hops, interesting.

t- sweet, a touch tangy almost, slightly bitter, a bitterness thats almost earthy, a touch metallic, not the best bipa i've had.

m- medium, slick.

d- not the best, i've had much better, it's certainly drinkable, but i feel like i need a celebration to cleanse my palate.

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Photo of vkv822
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

550ml bottle into tulip pint.

Pours a clear, deep golden with a one inch thick off-white head made up of many small bubbles. There is a light stream of carbonation rising up.

The aroma is of grassy and citric hops. There are pale biscuit and light caramel malts in the backing. Though it is not hop forward as is an American IPA, the hops and malts are much more well balanced.

The taste follows the nose very well. And while all the tastes are present as in the nose, they are much more blended than in the aroma.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with fairly active carbonation.

Overall I found this to be a very well balanced and drinkable beer. I am glad it took me this long to try as I feel that I wouldn't have been able to detect the more subtle and well blended flavors had I tried this earlier in my craft drinking experience. Really just reminds me of what a classic beer should taste like.

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Photo of PrivateEquity
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Good deep golden color

Smell - Nose is earthy

Taste - Limited hoppiness, especially later in taste. Drier and slight citrus. Taste was where I was disappointed. I wanted hops, but was disappointed.

Mouthfeel - Light-Medium Body. A little dry.

Drinkability - Drinkable beer that is better than most.

Summary - Not what I was expecting. Limited hoppiness. I enjoy alot of different Samuel Smith beers, but was disspointed by this one. Okay beer

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Photo of goalie33
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 550mL bottle into 16oz pint glass.
A: Very clear beer. Honey in color with lots of carbonation. Thin layer of white head coating the top.
A: Citrus hops, but not nearly as potent as what one would find in an American IPA. Strong malt presence as well.
T: Slightly bitter beginning gives way to a malty middle. The finish is dry and citrusy.
M/D: Light body, highly drinkable beer

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a copper orange color with a one-finger head. Leaves nice lacing

S: Smells pretty malty for an IPA, but hops are still detectable

T: Definitely a nice balance between malt and hops, but the hops are underwhelming. Bready flavors also present

M: Perfect amount of carbonation, pretty smooth

D: Definitely good, but if I were looking for a nice, hoppy IPA, I'd probably look for something else. Good beer, just not your standard American IPA. Note that this is my first English IPA, so I have nothing to compare it with in terms of hop character in other English IPAs.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear copper colour with an average size frothy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some very nice lacing running in stages down the sides of the glass. The head lasted for a few minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - malts, caramel, lemon juice, raisins

Taste & Mouth - The beer is has an average amount of carbonation and feels creamy on the palette. Most of the taste is made up of caramel, malts, and some light hops. There are also notes of lemon juice, raisins/figs and some cask wood. The beer finishes with a slightly bitter malty and fruity aftertaste.

Drink - An interesting beer that is worth a try. I prefer the citrus/hoppy IPA's but I'm happy I gave this one a shot.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle. Pours amber with a small fluffy white head that did not last long, medium carbonation. Sweet fruity malt aroma with notes of plum and pear. Good balance of earthy hops and juicy, fruity malt on the palate with a long dry finish. Good brew.

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Photo of GregBlatz
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Warm orange in color. Head starts at 1/2" then immediately fades to a 1/8" covering. The glass laces were the 1/2" once was. The beer is very bright and clear.

S - Diacetel and estery. Floral aroma is present, but not aggressive. Alcohol is noticeable in the aroma.

T - Chalky and bitter are my first impressions. The hops flavor is present, but the bitterness of the hops is more noticeable. The hop flavor is earthy, caramel like and a bit medicinal. A slight malt backbone to attempt to balance the bitterness.

M - Mild carbonation. The beer is a bit thinner than I remembered. I don't know what the OG was on this, but I doubt it is higher than 1.055. I don't think it is as big as expected.

D - Very drinkable. If you don't mind the bitterness(I kind of like it), you could power through these babies.

Most IPA's I have access to are American and it has been a while since I had a British IPA. It isn't a big beer, but very bitter. I like it. The hops play a different role than the American counterpart. Of course the hop flavor is a lot different too. No citrus or pine in this style. I miss a good English ale and this hit the spot tonight.

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Photo of Sachsenfreude
3.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance; pale copper, tan head, that dissipates at a moderate speed, leaving nice lacing.

smell; slightly toasty malts and earthy hops, pretty muted aromas.

taste; mostly lemony hops that turn bitter in the finish. Some dry malts but mostly a bitter beer. Balance is acceptable.

mouthfeel; smooth and medium bodied, with a light finish.

drinkability; pretty smooth and light but the bitterness throws it off a bit. A refreshing beer if one is in the mood for bitter flavors.

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Photo of SteveoNY
5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 18.7-ounce embossed brown "Victorian Pint" bottle with gold foil, no freshness date to be found, but code date stamped on bottle.

Appearance: Crystal clear amber orange in color, lovely off white silky head. lots of lacing. not as the expected golden color.

Smell: sweet tarts

Taste: Medium bodied lovely IPA. bitter sweet harmony. perfection - much better than expected.

Notes: at least the English characteristics make this brew an interesting ale. prefered amongst the more bitter IPA's out there (Must be the water)

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Photo of CAcreeks
2.27/5  rDev -38.3%
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 scoobybrew
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - clear golden color with a thick head that dissipates into a chunky ice-cream-like collar/lace that is well retained

S - strong herbal, grassy, earthy English hop aroma, moderate yeast esters with a touch of malt

T - balanced malt/hops/yeast flavor, hops stand out a bit more than a bitter

M - medium-light body with moderate carbonation

D - This beer borderlines into ESB territory, but I really think it crosses into the IPA as the hops are a bit more than typical of an ESB. This would probably not satisfy a palate looking for more aggressive flavors - but if you look for the subtly of a well made beer - this will satisfy.

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Photo of dahlen22
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color: Copper and orange with a small head.

Aroma: Hops and caramel and some fruit.

Taste: Hops, pines, caramel, a soft breadiness and a spicy zing full of warm alcohol.

Overall: Samuel Smiths has much better beers than this. This is a good ale for this style especially since it is British and they (Brits) started the IPA's. Are there better American versions of this style? Yes. But this is a good beer for a cold winter night. Cheers!

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(a Big bottle poured into a Sam Smith's imperial pint)

Nice, wonderfully drinkable (India) Pale Ale here. Pours a blushing tawny color with a soft, foamy, white, cask-like head that slowly settles out, taking the initial earthy hop aroma with it. What's left is a rich estery scent - cherries and apples - and a mellow malt sweetness. Much of the same in the taste - very fruity - it's the most dominant element here. The least dominant element is the bitterness - there, but a whimper. The malt impact and body is moderately light and the drinking is sweet and softly smooth. Would match up nicely with some West Coast takes on an English pale ale. Not (as) boldly hoppy in any sense, but quite enjoyable.

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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 1,921 ratings
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