India Ale | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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India AleIndia Ale
1,923 Ratings
India AleIndia 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: 1,923 |  Reviews: 945
Photo of beerwolf77
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my pint glass the beer is a hazed orange gold color. The off white head reaches about two fingers and has great retention. After settling the rim is caked with lace rings.

The aroma is mild and sweet. More apple juice and hints of orange than hops. Malt has a strong presence. Not offensive just not usual hoppiness you would expect.

The flavor is mostly malt and sweet apples and caramel. Just a hint of hop bitterness come in at the backend but not much.

Medium to light body. Slightly thin.

Overall I wish I knew how old this bottle was. It may be a year old and that's why everything has faded. Until SS has bottle dates I will have to stand by this review.

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Photo of Jales140984
3.05/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- orange/bronze/amber
S- Soft sweetness- tinge of toffee
T- mildly bitter with sweet notes - butterscotch- caramel- not much carbonation- - bitterness is present and appreciated but not overwhelming or dominant
M- dry in the mouth- moderately syrupy- good balance
D- not a thirst quencher- not a beer to end the night on...

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Photo of bosox941827
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served cold from a 0.5L bottle into an imperial pint glass....allowed to warm as I tasted.

A - Classic "British" pale ale look, dk. orange/amber/brown, with thin head
S - Some malts and sweetness on the nose, but not much in the way of hops. Not unexpected from a British-style india pale ale, but you might expect a bit more since this IS an IPA.
T - I'm getting mostly toasted malts and "dry" caramel. Hops are there are there, but they are not prominent. This is very similar to the Pale Ale by SS, but with the IBUs kicked up just a bit.
M - Very smooth, low carbonation as is typical of the style
D - Quite drinkable, but not a "go-to" beer for me, like a bit more assertiveness in my IPAs.

Realize that, as one who is used to an American IPAs, this needs to be judged on a different scale, but this doesn't really do it for me. This is more like a standard American Pale Ale, and a less-assertive one at that! Obviously well-made and a classic and prefer this MUCH over the PA by Sam Smith, but is not a "go-to" for me. Wonder if the distance has taken something away from the beer? Will have to try it on tap as well to see if it improves in that format.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer is very cohesive. It picks a flavor, and stays with it. There is nothing adventurous about it. It is, however, quite good.

G - Lagunitas pint

A – It pours a slightly cloudy orange-amber with a nice eggshell head and clingy lace. The color matches the flavor.

S – The sweetly rich smell of toffee and butterscotch permeates the nose.

T – The tastes follows the smell; very buttery impressions of toffee and butterscotch, it is also mildly bitter. The hop contribution is very tasty.

M – A bit syrupy, but otherwise it is medium-bodied with light carbonation and a dry finish.

D – All Sam Smith brews, to my knowledge, are intrinsically drinkable; no exception here.

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

Pours a dark copper color with a frothy tan head that doesn't last. Aroma of caramel malt, grass, and sour apples. Taste is fruity and malty, with some bitterness in the finish. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Is also quite dry. Not a very hoppy IPA but this is still enjoyable.

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Photo of roddwolff
4.84/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Once poured in my bayern mug:

A: Bright orange color, thin and creamy foamy head with good lacing;

S: Herbal and earth hops;

T: Earth and spicy hops, citrus hops at the finish;

M: Very dry and woody, extra bitter, medium body and low carbonation, the mouth keep dry a lot of time;

D: mmm i like uk hops, an excellente IPA without much abv

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Photo of adamette
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live review. Poured from the 550 ml dark brown bottle with gold foil over the cap. Poured into my Samuel Smith pint glass. Mark on neck of bottle: SH28H1 but I am not sure what that means.

A Cloudy medium brown, orange body under a nice creamy head of about 3 inches that sticks around for a while and also leaves great lacing on the inside of the glass. Really nice look in what is probably one of the oldest India Ales. 4.5

S Minimal leafy hops, very earthy smell that I like (not the spike of bitter grapefruit hops that I get from overly hopped American IPA's). 4.0

T Earthy hops with a significant malt barley background. Come to think of it and after repeated sips the significance of the barley malt may actually be greater than the taste of the hops, an effect that I am comfortable with. I like the more earthy, barley malt taste of this beer. 4.0

M Rather smooth with its significant, creamy head and moderately high barley malt syrup quality. 4.0

D Pretty good. This is not my favorite style but I found it better than average from a drinkability standpoint. 3.5

Notes: I am impressed by this India Ale from Samuel Smith.

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Photo of mrcarterxxl
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Smith's India Ale

pours a light amber color with a small white head that dosent last very long.

a really light smelling ale small traces of hops in the nose and thats all.

a bitter tasting ale taste of hops and grains

the mouth feel is loose with medium carbonation.

this ale is good with spicy food which it states on the label, foods with heave seasoning. a good beer for a lazy sunday.

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Photo of Rayek
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Samuel Smith Nonic.

A: Hazy pale amber, with mild carbonation and a soapy cream cap. The head slowly retreats to a thin film, and spots of lace are left behind.

S: Quite malty, with a sweetbread aroma that's backed by a dosing of black tea and a subtle fruitiness that I've come to associate with Samuel Smith beers.

T: Toasted bread flavors start things out. Bitterness is moderate, and lends an acidic black tea and pepper bite, plus a hint of citrus. Finishes with a lingering pepper bitterness.

M: The medium body is slightly oily and dry. Carbonation feels just right.

D: Very different from the American IPAs I'm used to having. Bitterness is less pronounced, but still the dominant flavor. I'm quite glad I picked this up.

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Photo of TeddyBrew
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I haven't seen this particular Samual Smith's in NYC, but maybe I haven't looked hard enough. I got this 550ml bottle as a gift for the holidays.

As always, with Smith's, the bottle and label are classic. Wish I could say the same about the beer. I know it's not meant to be a hop-monster like plenty of American IPA's. And I'm a big fan of English Bitters, ESB's and Pale Ales, so its not the lack of huge upfront hops that puts me off here. It's the mildly unpleasant taste throughout the gulp and lingering in the aftertaste. Can't quite describe it but its something I've found in some other British imports.

And by the way, where are those big hops? Not expecting a 90 minute here, but I'm just not getting much in the way of anything that says IPA at all.

To be fair, I don't think British ales travel nearly as well as some other country's exports (notably Belgiums) so I would like to try this one on the other side of the Atlantic.

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

Pours a clear light orange-brown with a thin light tan head. Smell is of dried fruit. Taste is malty sweet up front with dried fruit flavors imprted from the yeast. The finish is earthy and woody and nicely bitter. Mouthfeel is smooth, low carbonation. Quite drinkable, a very good eipa.

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

Samuel Smith's India Ale pours a slightly hazy copper color in the glass, with a small creamy white head on top and a steady flow of bubbles in the beer. The head dissolves quickly down to a thin sheet on the beer and leaves behind a fair amount of netted lace on the glass.

The aroma is somewhat faint, but has fruity notes of apple and hints of toasted pale and caramel malt.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft on the palate with a moderate carbonated fizz on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is malty with caramel and pale malt dominating. Blended in is a bit of light fruit flavors (apple, pear?) from the yeast. It finishes dry with a floral hop bitterness that nicely balances out all the sweet malt. Once gone the sweet caramel malt flavor lingers on the palate.

This is a very easy to drink, well balanced beer. I can see drinking this with just about any meal as it would match well with steak, pasta or fish. Probably wouldn't match well with spicy or saucy foods.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.84/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this at Bert's Bierhuis.

From a bottle into a Pint Glass.

APPEARANCE: Pours a thick full looking two finger slightly off-white head with great retention. Perfectly clear with medium carbonation. Tawny or rust orange in color, but more gamboge when held to the light. Head slowly fades to a decent foam cap leaving some immediate lacing. A good film remains until the end and leaves lots of pretty lacing down the sides of the glass. Looks great.

SMELL: A mild nose of pale malt with some toffee and caramel sweetness and notes of butterscotch. A touch of lemon citrus in the back as well. Mild but pleasant.

TASTE: Much like the nose but plenty bolder than expected. Pale malt with toffee and caramel sweetness up front. Butterscotch hints combine with some lemon citrus though the middle before a decent dose of hop bitterness at the finish. Strong and long lasting aftertaste is more bitter than sweet with some faint floral elements. Very nice, and much more impressive than the nose.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium carbonation. Nice and creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate.

OVERALL: This is an English IPA, so it's not meant to be a hop bomb like its US bretheren. As it is, this one marks another fantastic offering from Samuel Smith. Great malt profile and well balanced with the hops. If the nose had been a little bolder, this would have turned into a whopper of a brew. A very enjoyable treat, especially on a warm summer's day, and it drank away far too quickly. One I'll definitely have again. Recommended.

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Photo of jadpsu
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 28.07 ounce brown bottle.
Superior appearance. Pours slightly less than clear amber, orange with an off white head with excellent retention and superior side lacing.
Smell, leads with some biscuits and has some citrus notes and a little astringent hops.
Taste has bready notes, is smooth and has some butterscotch, that really adds to the taste.
Moderate carbination, with a hoppy dry finish.

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Photo of Mavajo
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a golden-orange amber with a frothy white head that leaves behind minimal spotty lacing. Aroma is malty with caramel. Taste is likewise malty and caramel, with slight undertones of hops - very gentle bitterness. Mouthfeel is very smooth and almost creamy, with nice moderate carbonation. Immensely drinkable and extremely refreshing. One of my absolute favorite session beers - in no way offensive or challenging...just purely enjoyable.

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Photo of KyleMWood
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Overall, a well balance pale ale. Hop heads, consider yourself warned, this IPA isn't as hoppy as our American versions. However, I actually liked that there were less hops in this beer, especially on the nose. This is a great beer with a meal, because the hops and beer flavor doesn't overpower the food. Great copper color, exceptional mouthfeel. Try this beer.

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

A - classic goldish amber with a milky 1.5" the appearance of the label...I'm drinking a classic English beer.

S - not very hoppy but slightly malty...very laid-back compared to the American IPAs I've been drinking lately.

T - Well-balanced with light hops and light malty taste...finishes slightly sweet.

M - light and smooth

D - Goes down easily - too easily. Too bad it was $4.75 at my local sixer shop.

This was the second time I've had this classic brew. I know it's a great example of the style; however, it's just not my preferred style. It's an all-around good beer but there are far great brews to be had for far less cash.


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Photo of PretzelCity
3.39/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color into the glass with a one inch white head that lasts for most of the beer. This is exactly what I think of when I close my eyes and imagine a beer. A beer so attractive it makes you want to drink it. Sweet malts in the nose, something about it reminds me of apple cider. The taste is good, very subtle. Nice malt flavor, light to medium body, decent mouthfeel and drinkability. Nothing mind blowing, just a solid example of a classic style. Worth a try if not for the historic value alone and certainly for those in search of a good session.

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Photo of huricrane47
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste: This beer has a lemony zest flavor and isn't particularly bitter compared to American IPA's. The lemony zest is really the main flavor of the beer and it lingers on the back of the tongue. It is highly carbonated and is fairly easy to drink. I could drink a four pack in one sitting. The only down side to this beer is that it is expensive compared to other IPA's. It is very good though and i recommend trying it if you haven't had it yet.
Appearance: It has the same color as golden honey with a off white head.
Smell: The smell is very metallic and mild.

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Photo of erz316
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle into sam smith pint glass

fine color, big white head, slightly creamy texture. feel was medium with a good hop bitterness, a bit agressive if you ask me. if anything the brew seemed a bit too hoppy for the style. feel was a thinner medium with decent carbonation.

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Photo of mnrider
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550 ml. Brown bottle with gold foil around cap. Pint Glass

A: Pours a pale copper looking color with a one finger white bubbly head. No lacing to be found.

S: Weird aroma. Tangy and sweet malts. Kinda funky.

T/M: Medium bodied and crisp. Hops are not as strong as I expected, neither are the spices. Malts are caramel tasting. Very well balanced, with an extra hop taste at the finish. Also kind of watery.

D: Not as good as I was expecting. However this brew is still good. Not like the IPA's I'm used to, as this one is not as spicy and hopy as others. Still this brew is interesting and worth a try.


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

Appearance - A golden/amber hue when poured into my SA Perfect Pint. Leaves two fingers of white fluffy head that is dispersing at a medium pace leaving nice, chunky lacing on the side.

Smell - At the front, I smell sweet malts and caramel which is immediately followed by a light hop/citrusy smell.

Taste - As with the smell, very malty up front. You can taste the caramel/butterscotch and after the initial flavor one can taste a hint of hops, lemony citrus. It ends on a slightly bitter note.

Mouthfeel - Lighter in body with good carbonation. It is only a 5% abv so I was not really expecting it to be much thicker than how it is. Finishes somewhat dry.

Drinkability - Honestly pretty drinkable. It is very sweet however the slight hop/bitterness offsets it enough so you don't get stuck with a sweet taste throughout the experience (think DFH 90min). I was just outside in the sun and popped this open when I came inside. Definitely quaffable. Nothing "great" compared to other IPA's out there, but a good, easy to drink, sessionable beer. I doubt I will seek this out again, however it was not a bad brew for what it is.

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

Appearance: The body is bright amber and well carbonated, with a large creamy white head.

Aroma: Sweet malted barley aromas, with subtle hops, and a slight alcoholic brandy smell.

Taste: Nicely sweet at first, with a light creamy flavour, and hints of toffee. The bitterness comes through after with a floral hoppiness, and a clingy perfume taste. The finish has a sustained bitterness with a hint of warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Quite light and creamy on the palete, with a nice level of carbonation, and a smooth texture.

Drinkability: Great interpretation of a classic IPA, even if it's not bottle conditioned. There is a nice balance between the ingredients, which gives a full flavoursome character. One of the better real IPAs.

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

Poured from a bottle into a standard conical pint glass. Beer is clear and amber in color. Forms a tight white head that is thick and persists. Leaves lacing on the glass as the beer is drank. Carbonation is steady and keeps the head up.

Aroma is about as expected, hoppy, but not as hoppy as an American version would, and malt, maltier than an American. The hops are reserved more, also can smell the water, that sounds odd but that's how I feel.

Beer has a medium mouthfeel / body. Not thick, you aren't chewing your way through the hops, and its not thin. Smooth and fills the mouth but the bitterness does not overwhelm. The drinkability of this beer is high as well, easily put this one away and there is nothing stopping me from doing it again.

English IPAs are interesting for an American hop head like myself. This beer definitely had the hop character I've grown to expect from IPAs, it was just more subtle and reserved. I have enjoyed this beer and brewery for many years, Sam Smiths is probably my favorite English IPA I've ever had.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not to familiar with English IPAs. Excited to try this one, though. 550ml into my beloved Snoop Dogg pint glass.

A- Fantastic. A caramel color, very vibrant, and the best damn head formation I've seen in a long time. Lacing off the head before the first sip. I am very impressed, a swiss-cheese, creamy, voluptuous head tops a beer that begs to be consumed. Incredible lacing as the pint empties.

S- A malt sweetness, not picking too much up.

T- Hmm. I must not have my antennae tuned to English IPAs, as this is 'bland'. Well, not bland, but lacking the hop wallop I've come to know and love from American IPAs. This is a tasty beer, though. A strong biscuit/pale malt combo does wonders, and I can feel the hops, if not taste them. This beer is flavorful, just lacks the zing I've gotten used to. Still, tasty. Lagerish in the malt profile, crisp but not bitter hops.

M- Crisp, refreshing, incredibly well carbonated and the perfect body. Very impressive.

D- High. I don't know what quite to make of this beer... as a hop head it's a marked change of pace from my status quo. It is VERY well-priced and extremely tasty, as well as very drinkable. I enjoyed this beer, and feel like I've discovered a new favorite or a long-lost pal. I will buy more of this, a great session beer and a nice change of pace from the mouth-wreckers that are American IPAs.

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India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 1,923 ratings