India Ale | Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

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India AleIndia Ale
1,931 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: 1,931 |  Reviews: 950
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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Photo of TheNapkin
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a completely different style of IPA than the American style, so if you're looking for a cascade (no pun intended) of citrusy hops, this is not the beer for you. While the taste and the smell are good, this just doesn't drink like an IPA to me. Maybe I've been tainted by Stone and Dogfish Head, but this beer actually has more cidery qualities than I want in an IPA. This is not necessarily a bad thing in general, as the ale doesn't slip into saccharine sweetness. That being said, the dominant aroma here is honey and malts, not hops, and while it has a dry finish, I wouldn't say that I particularly notice an abundance of hops bitterness. Drinkable, but if it's hot out and you're hoping for a powder keg of hops to cool you off, I recommend you stick with an American IPA you know and trust.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful golden bronze body with a large off-white head. Malty, buttery, estery, fruity aroma. Butterscotch, caramel malt and a light, floral, grassy hop finish. Creamy, smooth, pretty tasty. Nothing like the popular modern American IPA. Not all that bitter, but the hop flavor that is present is quite good. Love the butterscotchy malt.

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Photo of Stavage
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring it into my schooner I get a nice frothy off white head with excellent retention. The liquid has a nice reddish golden amber. Very clear.

Smell was full of toasty biscuity malts and aromatic hops. The hops scent varied from citrus fruits to cloves to possibly a hint of pepperiness.

Nice tasting IPA. The hops doesn't blast your mouth with extreme bitterness but its definitely there and definitely noticeable. A nice varied hops bitterness is the first thing to hit my palate and lingered well afterwards. A very strong malt backbone gives good balance. The malt flavours mimic the smell, toasty and bread like to biscuity.

Mouthfeel is probably the weak point in this beer. It's a little bit lightbodied for an IPA. Otherwise it's nice and dry and refreshing.

Only 5% abv so you can enjoy a pint and keep your wits reasonably well. It doesn't lack in flavour and it's quite refreshing. If only it had a little more body.

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Photo of jt31914
2.65/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle

A: No head, amber in color.

S: Strong alcohol aroma and very dry (duh it's Samuel Smith's); slight cloves and hop aromas.

T: Hoppy with clove/honey taste. Slightly bitter with dry alcohol taste present. Pretty pleasant.

M: Fairly smooth and drinkable.

Decent IPA, but there are many better (Centennial from Founders and Lagunitas IPAs for starters).

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Photo of KTCamm
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 550 ml bottle into a pint glass. The pour is a beautiful copper brown with a solid finger white creamy foam. Long retention.

Smell is malty, fruity, touch of tartness. Peppery. Floral aroma.

Very mild spicy hop flavor buried below a fruity malt. Mild spiciness. Very clean finish for an IPA. Some lingering hop. Very flavorful in the mouthful.

Much less bitter than the typical IPA you'd find on the shelves (and I liked that).

Very drinkable and tasty. Another well made Sam Smith brew. What else is new?

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Photo of sasky7777
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving: 18.7 oz bottle poured into a glass

A: copper colour with a good head when poured which quickly dissipated but left lace on the glass as I drank

S: fruity hops aroma and alcohol

T: well balanced, a hint of malt balanced out by hops, bitterness lingered on the palate, taste of alcohol on the back of my palate/back of my nose when I aerated it

M: crisp with balanced carbonation, cleansed the palate well, light and doesn't linger in the mouth

D: My first review, and first attempt at a "real" IPA. I am not a hop head so I found this to be balanced and quite drinkable. It would make a good session beer. I had this beer paired with a beef meatloaf that had rosemary and mushrooms. Not a perfect match but the bitterness in the beer played well with the sweet glaze on top of the meatloaf, and it cleansed the palate.

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

Poured from an 18.7oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, citrus, honey and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of citrus, caramel and honey. Then there's a strong but not-over-powering hops bitterness that comes in next to provide a good balance. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is a nice session beer with a lot of flavor and substance that makes it worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into my pint glass. Pours a dark, slightly hazy orange, with a small amount of bubbles rising through. Nice beige cap on the top. Great retention, but leaves little lace. Smells of sweet maple and earth. Nothing sharp or hoppy about this at all.

The mouth is crisp, but coats the mouth still, which is different for an IPA. Decent flavor on this one. Caramel malts mix with some sour grassy hops. This is pretty basic and bland IMO. Not a lot of complexity. Just a simple good beer. Try it.

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

550ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Very good clarity, light orange color with a finger of bone white head, decent retention, light carbonation bubbling of fine bubbles.

S = Very fruity with tangerines, peaches, also some light spiciness hinting at cinnamon and maybe even a little cardamon, but there is also a strong sweet backbone like a buttered danish, lots of grassy hops in there, too.

T = This has the typical Samuel Smith's buttery, caramel tastes but it also has a strong spicy hops presence. The hops bring a fair amount of bitterness but there is so much sweetness present that the effect is not of a particularly bitter beer at all. Mostly the hops just bring a spicy, lemon grass flavor. Though really a little different for the style, this is one of my all time favorite IPAs.

M = Medium to medium-light body, frothy carbonation level, good mouthcoating.

D = As I said above, this is one of my favorite IPAs and I find it goes down so easily while having enough of a dry effect to make you want another sip, that this just screams drinkable to me.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into an imperial pint glass. Amberish color, a little cloudy, decent white head that lasted a good while through the drink.

A very mild aroma... the hops are there, and a little citrus it seems like, but it's not strong at all.

The taste is pretty mild as well, the hops are there and it tastes like a little malt in the middle of the sip and on the aftertaste. I like that... a milder take on the IPA, but quite refreshing.

All in all a solid beer, but a little bit of a letdown for Samuel Smith. These guys probably don't know how to make a bad beer, but I guess not every one will be world class.

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

This is perhaps a quintessential example of a British IPA, at least in the older sense. Pours a nice amber with a good fluffy head, with typical light carbonation. It improves in flavor as it warms; I'd love to try this on cask. The hop profile is tame by American standards although it is not an overpoweringly malty beer. The flavor is somewhat fruity with a definite cereal note which is not at all unpleasant.

This beer retains a certain balance which I like to think was typical of the original India Ale style. It is smooth and extremely drinkable; a true session beer. This being said, it is considerably less interesting than many of its American (and increasingly, British) cousins.

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

550 ml bottle poured into an Imperial Pint. No date or info to be found.

A - Brilliantly clear honeyed pale amber in color. No carbonation action but a plump and dense creamy head burst fourth on the pour. The off-white beast took a long time to settle and left slight legs on the glass. Only specks of lacing though.

S - The aroma comes out subtly but is very smooth and refreshing smelling. Not to be misunderstood with cidery, it has a fresh red apple aroma that's lightly tart. Light hops present a fruity and floral aspect but hardly smell like typical hops. Low aroma but not IPA-like based on smell.

T - Impeccable balance on the flavor, the malty backbone starts out right away but quickly turns to a dry hop-present fruity - with that apple again - and floral kick. The finish is mildly hoppy though a touch more tart and astringent than bitter. Dry finish.

M - Incredibly smooth and slightly creamy to start, it finished dry and a touch astringent, not bitter. Medium-bodied and smooth as milk all the way down.

D - Pretty good, while not a typical IPA by any standards. Hop presence as we Americans know it is pretty absent. The balance is well done though.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from the bomber into my samuel smith tumbler. Two and a half fingers of foamy head, settled to a thin film on the surface and sticky wispy lacing. Crisp, clear amber color.

S: a light touch of hops to the nose- but not too much at all. Clean.

T: Malt is almost missing here. Hops is there but certainly not overstated. Starts off smooth and clean, very nice on the back of the throat, and a delayed dry punch of hops. NICE!

M: light body, nice touch of hops. a bit more of the hops bitterness as the brew warms. satisfyingly smooth. nice medium carbonation

D: Drinkability - This is a nice easy drinker - would definitly move on to another. love the dry hoppy follow up!

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

Pours a dark amber, clear, with thin, off white head which breezes down quickly. A swirl leaves some lace.

Nose is full of caramel, luscious yeast, bordered by a beautiful bitter bouquet, with light hints of citrus. Very erotic (not a typo) aroma.

Taste is a clean blast of malty goodness quickly teaming with bitter, then florals come into the sip, ghosts of citrus, some other flavors I can't identify which really zip the balance. Fine flavor, it finishes with all the flavors melting into deliciously bitter.

In the mouth it is on the lighter side of medium bodied, with tastefully low carbonation and good clear out. Fine for the style for sure.

Drinkability is nice, it's refreshing, interesting, and delicious.

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

Reviewed from notes. Consumed 3/30/09

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. Firm pour conjures a scant snowy white head. Head vanishes very quickly leaving a very spotty lace. Color is a deep brown amber.

Nose- Muted, almost dull, orange citrus. Lots of caramel notes.

Palate- Active on the tongue. Plenty of caramel notes, citrus notes are dull, kind of a preserved/or candied orange. Not bright or floral, however not brooding or resinous either. Some very mute lemon. Lots of biscuit. Overly balanced almost malt forward IPA, as if the hops were an after thought.

Mouthfeel- Active on the tongue, syrupy quality to it.

Drinkability- Good but not my first choice in IPAs

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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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India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 1,931 ratings