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 SpecialK088
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Tulip

Deep amber near a copper tone with a nice lingering 1 finger head.

Little boozy in the nose with a hint of grape not alot going on other than that

Flavor is suprising with the nose very english flavor, alot of earthy flavors include the grape flavors from the nose and some very earthy hops. Fruity middle with a bitter finish make for a very english IPA

Smooth on the palate very easy to drink and good level of complexity very easy to drink.

The slight over-boozyness makes it a little less apealling to drink alot of or on a regualar basis but still a very solid beer.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up when I went to get comics and stopped by Cork and Bottle right next door.

Appearance- amber color, transparent, good lacing, good head retention

Smell- fruity hops, malt

Taste- fruity hops

Mouthfeel- smooth, medium bodied

Drinkability- It was very good. I loved it as I sally do with Samuel Smith's.

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Photo of Tone
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy, copper color. 2/3 inch head of a off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of caramel malt, English hops, tea, hint of sweet malt, and a hint of alcohol. Fits the category of an English IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a noticeable dryness. Tastes of caramel malt, tea, English hops, hint of sweet malt, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, this fits the category quite nicely; sharp, dry, tea and caramel malt dominate.

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Photo of ADZA
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a golden orange hue with really nice carbonation which leaves a frothy two finger head with decent lacing,it has really big aromas of pure hops and lots of them a real fruity hop smell,it has an above average mouthfeel with a real citrus hop taste about it that is perfectly balanced out by the malty finish which makes this beer not as bitter as i would expect for a IPA but once again ive got nothing but good things to say about Samuel Smiths.

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

Ap. Golden amber and coppery color with a nice thick head and good retention.
Sm. Slight citris and caramel mix. Not a strong smell.
Ta. Nice combination of caramel/butterscotch? with slight bitterness to off-set. Finish is a mild burnt coffee.
Mf. Well carbonated and smoothly coats the mouth.
Dr. Pretty good. I could do more than one.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pour from a 550ml brown bottle is a hazy amber with a white head with little retention. Can't find any freshness info on the bottle. The smell is sweet and malty with notes of grain and grass. The hop nose is pretty understated. The flavors are very malty with notes of the aforementioned grass and grain. The hop flavors are weak and the finish is bland to average with regard to the hoppiness. The body is okay tending towards syrupy and leaving an unpleasant film on the pallet. If I were to select a Euro Bitter or India style ale this would not be one of my top choices.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep orange with a big pillowy head that settles quickly to a ring of film. Thick lacings all the way down.

Woody malt notes on the nose, almost whiskey-like. Caramel figures prominently.

Big malt hit up front. All butterscotch with a touch of toasty grains that carries through to the finish. Hops provide a mouth-coating bitterness, but little in the way of aroma and flavour. Water gives a metallic twang to the finish accentuated by the carbonation.

A very nice medium mouthfeel. Perfectly sessionable ale, but perhaps leans a little too much to the Best Bitter category than IPA.

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Photo of MaxBrews
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Revisiting this beer. My last rating was in 2009. I gave it a 3.26 then.

Depending on the lighting this beer pours a nice, clear golden color ranging from ruby to a sunset orange. Nice and great lacing on this beer. A fantastic presentation.

The aromatics of this beer are mild. Very herbal and tea like.

As this beer warms there are notes of raisins and pitted fruit, mostly the beer has a very tea like taste with a bit of toasty flavors from the malt. Somer herbal characteristics come through the from the hops but mostly beer reminds me of black tea, partially due to the astringency of the hops.

Despite being low in alcohol, especially when compared to modern American Craft beers, this beer has an enormous body. Syrupy and sweet. At front there is a huge hop bitterness, I know the beer is technically low in IBUs but the bitterness comes through even more than bigger beers, and then it's followed by a sugary sweetness. The body is my favorite part of this beer it's big, it's bitter, and it's very sweet in the finish.

This beer is certainly a classic. It's hard to compare beers that were brewed with a strict traditionalism to modern craft brews that are pushing the boundaries. I think comparatively, to some modern session IPAs this is missing the complex fruit flavors of some of the hops being sourced today. It does more than make up for that in the body of this beer and the great lingering after taste. Would I ask for another? Certainly. Definitely a classic session, though it's not as interesting as modern beers.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550ml bottle served in a nonic. Poured a translucent copper with a one inch, frothy off-white head that eventually settled into a solid, quarter inch skim; some lacing, but weak legs. Nose suggests caramel malts with a subdued hops character. Taste follows nose, but malt overtakes the hops, with a residual aftertaste (a little skunky, but not in a bad way). Mouthfeel falls between light- and medium-bodied with a consistent background carbonation - very pleasant. Liked it, but didn't love it. This style is relatively new to me, but I wasn't blown away. Still not a bad offering.

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Photo of maleman
4.35/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - a nice dark orange, one finger head, little to no carbonation, laced well.

S - a hoppy, floral scent.

T - good overall taste, resides in the back of the throat. a tad bitter.

M - much better than average mouthfeel, fills the mouth well.

D - i like this beer as i do many SS offerings. will purchase when available again!

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice reddish orange color greats me as I pour into a mug. Clear brew with a slight chilled haze that doesn't stop me from seeing through it. The head is cream white with some lasting bubbles but nothing too thick. More of a thin film that laces the glass.

Smell is what I would expect for an English India Pale Ale. Muffled hops and a stronger malt nose. Other then that kind of bland.

Sweet starting, with flavors of spiced apples and unripe citrus. The malts give way to some deep honey and the whole package is shrouded by a strong bitterness. I can honestly say that I like bigger bolder IPA's and by that I mean punch you in the face hops. The English versions have more malt flavors and the hop presence is more distinct in the bittering then anything else.

I don't hate the mouthfeel but I do think it is slightly unbalanced. I feel like this beer is appropriately bittered for the style but lacks in the other flavors to offset it. I'm left with a slightly metallic aftertaste that slowly fades to a grain sweetness. The carbonation is right on par and has some nice bite with out being over powering.

This is a solid brew. Smooth with an interesting bite in the middle and then back to smooth. A fine beer and a good example of English IPA's.

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Photo of Norfawkers
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting flavors and smoothness make a unique sippable beer

Appearance: Cloudy; deep gold with little head

Smell: Vinegar, sour apple

Taste: Full robust flavor of malt and apple with a lingering smokiness

Mouthfeel: Rich, smooth

Drinkability: An overall decent sipping beer; unique

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark copper color with some rising prickle that is very small. There is almost no head, just a touch of wispy lacing. I love the smell! The nose is sweet almost in a hard candy type of way. The smell reminds of ribbon candy that my grandmother used to buy me when I was a kid. The attack is smooth and easy with the hops casually presentint itself in the flavor. The beer dries in the mouth as it finishes. There is a somewhat bitter aftertaste. My wife says that it reminds her/tastes like school lunch. She also says that it is like beef stew. Not exactly ringing endorsements, but at least she didn't say it was bad. Its worth drinking for sure, but man, that nose steals the show.

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

Pours hazy burnt orange with a slight soapy head.

Aroma is malty, with pleasant understated citrus notes.

Taste is bready caramel malt, surprisingly grainy. Light citrus character - orange and peach. Hops are present, but have a floral and herbal quality. Orange peel bitterness in the spicy finish along with a mild yeasty funk.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp.

Overall a very drinkable English style IPA. As expected, flavor is balanced and dry, with subtle character.

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Photo of GarrisWH
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours an orangish-golden color with two fingers of frothy, white head. Head recedes to a thin layer that retains pretty well throughout the drink. Leaves very slight, spotty lacing.

S - Earthy, citrus hops scents with a fairly strong sweet, bready malt presence.

T - Pretty mild hoppiness with the earthy and citrus hop tones from the aroma; very little hop bitterness detectable. Balanced with quite strong sweet, bready malts that also carry over from the smell. I generally prefer more hop-centered IPAs, but this seems to be par for the English style, and is pretty nice and well balanced overall.

M - Low level of carbonation and medium mouthfeel. Definitely a smooth drinking beer

D - A pretty drinkable offering overall, not quite my style, but solid overall. One I might return to if I'm feeling the more mellow hopped english IPA in the future.

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Photo of hdofu
4.45/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another winner from the brew-masters at Samuel Smiths. This one poured a orange amber color a bit cloudy. Smell was strongly of fresh oranges. Taste was equally orangeish. The beer was smooth with crisp finish. Very easy to drink, an exceptional pale ale.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A nice copper color body with a full fluffy off white head, medium carbonation, some slight lacing.Aroma of apple,yeast and bread dough . Flavor is fruity, yeasty, some apple,lemon,light caramel,biscut and floral hops , This IPA has a flavor all it's own,a little different but good, a long crisp spicy hop finish,smooth mouthfeel, very sessionable and a fun try.

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Photo of jsh420
3.29/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours golden copper witha 2 finger white head that leaves lacing down the glass

smell was a bit off - skunky euro lager like???

taste was not anything like the smell(which was a good thing) - sweet grains and plenty of grassy earthy hops - a tad thin though

mouthfeel was very light a bit watery but with a decent amount of carbonation

drinkability was good and very refreshing

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Photo of morimech
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with one inch of white head. The head does not hang around very long as it settles to just a thin layer of fine bubbles. Very little lacing is left on the glass. A surprising aroma from the hops. Has a sweet citrus aroma more at home in American IPAs than English ones. Has some subtle floral aroma along with some malt notes. Less citrus and more floral and earthy in the flavor from the hops. Solid biscuit malt flavor gives a solid fondation. Finishes with a subtle sweet citrus flavor. Bitterness is on the low side. The body is nothing special. In fact it feels thin but the carbonation is gentle and lends a good texture. Easy to drink this one. I was a bit surprised by the hop profile, especially in the aroma. Nicely balanced.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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 grayburn
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a a pretty amber color with an off white head that starts nice and foamy, but doesn't last long. Slight lacing on the glass, crystal clear beer.

There is some slight hopping in the nose, mostly a clean malty scent though, this leads into a surprisingly bitter and floral mouth. This beer packs quite a bit of flavor into a 5 percent beer, pretty impressive.

Medium body, medium carbonation, perhaps a bit too much. Nice and slick mouthfeel from the hoppage, very nice. I could drink quite a few of these, not bad at all.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an appetizing clear amber with a fairly thick but not persistent head. Aroma is strong and surprisingly fruity, more like a cider than an IPA though there is a hint of the evergreen aroma I associate with a good IPA. Flavor is fairly hoppy but not too bitter, somewhat fruity and a bit wan. Texture is fairly smooth and just a little fizzy, and it leaves a fairly hoppy aftertaste. Not the best I have had, but worthy of a try.

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Photo of bonsreeb85
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - a burnt orange color, not quite clear, not quite cloudy. quarter-inch head with only slight retention/lacing

S - lots of bready malts, perhaps a bit of honey/fruit(apple)

T - more of the same as above, w/ a slight bitterness from earthy tasting hops.(bitterness is on par for the style, though my tastes prefer more of a hop presence)
finishes w/ a rolling sweetness and makes this beer very easy to drink and a well balanced Brit. IPA.

MF - smooth, low carbonation, medium body -par for style

D - love this beer's balance, a nice malty backbone w/ enough english hops to add a bit of muscle. Finishes smooth and not overly bitter at all, no strange aftertastes either. *hop heads beware, this is NOT an american IPA, English styles to me seem to be milder in every sense, and this is no exception.

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

Poured a bottle into my SAS glass. Amber colored with a 3/4 inch head; little retention but decent lacing during the drinking period.

Very sweet malty/syrupy aroma with a slight hop undertone and a hint of bubblegum.

Mild balanced flavor; a caramel malt with a little hop kick to it.

A slightly bitter aftertaste to it, medium bodied, but no real clinging flavor on the palate.

Easily drinkable due to the relatively decent flavor and abv. Not too rich or bitter so it won't destroy your palate. A nice beer I'll probably have again sometime soon.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours nice amber/golden color with a off-white foam that leaves lacing.

S- Pine caramel scents with a little bit of floral hops and some sweet malt. A tad tangy.

T- Fruit and malt? Grain and malt flavors with a slight funk. Sort of a sweet tea and biscuit malt butterscotch taste.

M- Medium/light and dry. Well carbonated.

D- Not the flavor that I expected from an IPA. Wasn't a bad flavor. I love big hop flavor but I can appreciate a nicely balanced IPA. However, this brew had me straining to taste those traditional hop flavors. I've heard that the English IPAs are a bit meeker, but that is an understatement.
Drinkable, just not as hoppy of a beer as expected.

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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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