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

1,896 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: 1,896 |  Reviews: 941
Photo of Ragingbull
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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 +7.5%
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 -1.9%
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 +19.6%
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 -1.6%
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 -11.6%
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 +10.8%
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 +7.5%
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 +3.5%
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 -4%
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 0%
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 +4.8%
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 -14.5%
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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Photo of PerzentRizen
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is so drinkable it's not even funny. You could easily drink this for hours if you wanted to pay the 12 bucks/4 pack for a session beer.

Poured into a Duvel Tulip this beer is a dark copper to light brown in color. There is almost no head despite a rigorous pour and there is no lacing.

The smell is malty and even biscuity at times. There is little in the way of hop aromas.

The taste is sweet and malty. There is a hint of spices, very light hops that are faded almost to nothing, and a finish that is sweet and smooth.

The mouthfeel is a touch heavy for me but perfect for the style. I think as this beer warms to just under room temperature it reaches it's pinnacle as far as mouthfeel.

This beer is very drinkable and light on the palate. You could drink this in any tasting with about any style and not be far from the mark in flavor. This is a cross between pale ale and india pale ale. It truly is an English IPA. Enjoy!

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Photo of aristeros
4.37/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark amber, fiery oranges in the glass when held to the light. Half a finger of white head that vanishes quickly with no lacing. Smells of citrus, maybe tangerines or oranges, sweet malts and some hops. Incredible aroma.

Tastes sweet, big citrus and malts, hops on the back end, but not much. Somewhere in the middle there's actually a light white wine taste--chablis?--in there.

While I personally prefer the bitter, hop heavy, gut-punch APAs, this is a good example of the style and has a lot of character to it. I came to Sam Smith brews by way of their Imperial Stout, but I have never seen a mediocre brew come from them and I've learned to rely upon them, namely, as the "reliable" beer I get when I'm grabbing one or two new brews that are unknown quantities.

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Photo of stockingcpl
3.39/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This brew pours with a thick foamy head. Color is a medium amber. Clarity is fairly high with a very slight cloudiness. Chill haze? Lacings are very plentiful. Head has an amazing sustain. This is certainly an exceptional appearance.

Smell: The first thing that strikes the nose is an aroma of apples. Sweet malt also detected. While the smell is pleasant, I had expected a stronger hop presence. Aroma strength is high but not overpowering.

Taste: Strong citrus and sweet malt hit the tongue. Little hops. Flavor is a little too sweet for the American palate. Flavor curve is fairly extended. Initial taste is strong with a quick taper. A minimal aftertaste is present. The hops in this brew are apparently aroma hops rather than bittering hops.

Mouthfeel: The sweetness is high as apparently a low attenuation yeast was used during firmentation. The malt rolls off the tongue well and is very fruity in character. The overall "presence" of this brew is light and airy...more of a "chick beer" than a hop heavy American India Pale Ale. Drinkers desiring a "hop-head" selection will be disappointed. There is almost no sharp hop bite. Those looking for a light sweet summer/spring selection will find this as appropriate.

Drinkability: This selection is a little to sweet to drink in volme, however as a refreshing brew this is a good selection.


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

Poured with a 1.5 finger off white head that dissipated within about a minute. Golden amber colored beer with medium carbonation. No lacing.

Smells of malts and hops, nothing pops out at me though.

Tastes like them smell, of malts, and hops in the background.

Medium to low bodied feel with a bit of a bitterness towards the end. Low carbonation.

Easy to drink, sot sure if i would consider it a session beer, but something i needed to try nonetheless.

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

Pours a golden amber, finger of pure white head. Smells semi-sweet with a bit of citrus in there. Not amazing, but a solid nose that is nice. The taste is well balanced, nice malt with bread and caramel completes the hop citrus. Works very very well. I enjoyed this as a beer, but is underpowered in the hop arena compared to american IPA's.

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Photo of BellsFan
3.12/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance = It poured from a 550 mil bottle with a thin frothy head about one inch thick. It has light amber color and is somewhat cloudy

Smell = The nose is weak an not what I would call floral as I would normally expect from an IPA.

Taste = The taste matched the nose. The malt and hops are well balanced neither one is over abundant. I expected a hoppy bitterness

Mouth Feel = Quite smooth but almost chalky

Drinkability = Good's almost gone

I enjoyed the beer and I'm glad I tried it but I don't think I'll spend money on another one.

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Photo of RiekerStarBrew
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When the beer was poured into a pint glass, it displayed a clear, amber color with an orange hue. Minimal lacing was present and the head dissipated quickly. The aroma had a soft hoppiness balanced by a sweet barley base. Slight fruit esters were present in the aroma as well. The flavor was a firm hoppiness, mainly earthy and piney. There was a solid malt backbone to the beer which rounded out the bitterness. The finish was sweet and hoppy. The yeast flavor was generally clean and smooth. Generally, I would consider this an "assertive" beer, but with the skill of the brewers displayed in the beers balance, it is a very easy drinking brew.

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Photo of lonestar1836
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: orange amber with frothy head and nice lacing

S: toasted bread and fruit

T: starts off with good blend of sweet and bitter, not as hoppy as the IPA's i've had, ends with a blend of fruity flavors

M: medium body with light carbonation

D: not bad but not something i'd make a habit of coming back to

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Photo of midnite2sixman
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden-orange, amber...frothy head, fiery orange glow emanates from the glass.

S - Biscuity malts, touch of pine tree, hint of lemon citrus and anise, bananas (and pineapple) in pajamas.

T - Bitter, smooth, English ale, toasted caramel, slight peppery finish.

M - Fairly light-bodied, smooth.

D - The classic English India Ale.

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Photo of mempath
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

pours a nice, clear, deep pale (classic) color...head looks like pancake batter bubbling on the griddle. splotchy, decent lacing. simply looks like great quality. head settles pretty fast as lacing, too, minimizes (not sure it is the just washed glass or not).

no hop sense in the nose...mainly caramel/malt with a subtle sweetly-sour aspect. i know this is no APA or DIPA...but again, i sense elegance here. nice to get away from the hop mosh pit...

a quite elegant, authentic IPA from the UK...malts are certainly sharing the stage (and more) with the british hops i assume are involved. very balanced, solid (though not extreme in the least!)...very refreshing. mouthfeel doesn't stand out as anything specific...smooth, low carbonation...simply easily drinkable...i can catch the hops finally doing a delayed, bitter dance from the edge of the stage. quite fine on it's own, but this would go quite well with rich indian fare, thai food, a philly grinder...!

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Photo of mcsquint
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 550ml bottle into dimpled mug:
A - Golden amber in color with thin white head which disspates almost instantly.
S - Gold malt, grassy hops, some notes of lemon.
T - Very malty at first followed by piney and grassy hops.
M - Medium mouthfeel. A bit slick. Some hop bite.
D - I'm a big fan of this brewery. Everything that I have tried so far has been spot-on and true to the style. I can only assume that this is true to the original style of British India Ales; however, flavorwise, I prefer some other American versions. It is obviously well crafted and worth a try; you might like it.

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Photo of SPman
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After several massive american style IIPA's, this was a pleasant change
At first, a little underwhelmed, but, as I progressed through the bottle, I started to quite like this beer.
Clean light malt flavour, pleasantly weighted, with a mild bitter hoppy aftertaste towards the end of the glass, leaving you looking for more.

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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,896 ratings.
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