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

1,902 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: 1,902 |  Reviews: 942
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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Photo of cnally
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

the head retention - not even worth mentioning. very clear looking toffee brown red color in the beer.

sweet, malty scent. fruity and powerful, like apples and cranberries. has an underlying scent of smokiness like a red wine. impressive.

one note flavor. malt. barely a hop flavor to be had. all of the fruity noses on the scent don't come through on the taste. balanced and mellow, but decidedly minimal.

creamy mouthfeel, thick and full, feels like there should be more head. filling and it just does a great job of covering your whole mouth.

I enjoy the side notes of this beer, but the flavor is underwhelming. its lack of punch makes it a decent swig, but slightly deflated.

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Photo of endincolorado
3.87/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Clear, red-amber color, one finger of off-white head

Smell- Sweet and inviting earthy malt, and some fruity hops make for a nose that's closer to Sam Smith's Pale Ale than I expected.

Taste- Definite hop overtones with delicious fruity esters, some orange rind and bitter hops to balance

Mouthfeel- light-medium mouthfeel, with good carbonation

Drinkability- moderate- high abv, and pretty powerful hops make for a beer i could only have one or two of in a night.

Overall- Can't get truer to style with Sam Smith's.

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Photo of SchlaflyFan
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a mug. Good dark copper color with a head that started out high and dissipated leaving a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Taste was not what I was expected after having American style IPA's. First the hops doesn't kick you in the teeth, the is more balance to this beer. You get a lot of malty flavor to this, the hops don't overpower everything. Smooth going down, this is a good beer and easily drinkable as its hopped closer to many pale ales I've had.

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Photo of bigdeuce
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great tasting session beer here. Pours a craggy white head, with some retention. Nice crisp malty nose with a backdrop of hops. Crystal like smoothness on the palate. Buscuity malts with some nice english hops. Overly expensive for what it is. There are better american ipas out there, but this is a classic that should be tried. Very smooth and clean mouthfeel. It is enjoyable and if the price were reasonable, I would buy this routinely.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550 ml bottle into a 0.5 liter dimpled glass-handled mug.

A: Poured a slightly cloudy, golden orange color with decent carbonation building to a two-finger head of tannish, bubbly foam.

S: Smells faintly sweet and floral, like toasted biscuits made with a bit of caramel, followed with an herbal hop twang in the nose.

T: Some zesty and grainy malts backed with a bit of toasted caramel sweetness and an herbal lemongrass flavor as well. Gently hopped for low bitterness, but enough to lend a bit of zesty citrus peel flavor to the smooth and balanced finish.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite smooth. Not resinous as most IPA's tend to be, yet far more balanced, like an English ale.

D: At a lower ABV than expected and a balanced flavor free of discernable or lingering hops, it serves best as a good and decent session English ale.

It may be a bit of a letdown for some hop fans, but the very English characteristics of this Sam Smith's brew are what make it appealing. Not as pungent or hoppy as I would have liked, but I did wind up with a fairly satisfying ale. Would be a good choice on draft, if applicable ever.

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Photo of JayNH
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a clear golden color with a decent foamy head.

S- A sweet biscuity malt jumps out at you. Not much in the way of hoppiness in the nose.

T- an earthy and very tea-like bitterness with a biscuity malt. Fairly well balanced.

M- Smooth and creamy. Carbonation level is appropriate. Medium bodied.

D- Pleasant tasting and highly drinkable, just underwhelming for an IPA. I would expect the hops to be more pronounced. This seems more of a solid pale ale.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice big orange-tinted head on top of a typically colored pale ale orange/amber, hazy, transparent body. No lacing

S- Smells like a sweet, orange candy. English hops and pale malt

T- Taste is very gentle. Mostly sweet, pale malts with the English orange/candy hops (Kent Golding?)

M&D- Hard water and a smooth body makes for gentle, easy drinking

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550 mL bottle,

A: Pours amber with a solid off-white head, good lacing into an imperial pint glass.

S: Good smell. Hard water with a hint of sulfur. Toffee and light English hops, very inviting.

T: Burton style mineral character mixes with earthy, bitter English hops to create a good mix with the malt. The malt tends to dominate at times, typical English pale ale flavour. Nowhere near the bitterness of a CA IPA, but good for the English style.

M: Medium-bodied, a good pint for quaffing. Smooth, mineral character, light hop oil notes.

D: This is a good beer from Sam Smith's. The problem is finding a fresh bottle, it is really hit or miss with me. When it's on, it's a great English pint.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice clear yellowy orange light amber color with a nice fluffy stark white head that retains quite well and leaves good lacing.

Nose is full of the typical notorious sammy smiths malt profile. Some good english/european hop notes, but they are somewhat subdued. Somewhat perfumey.

A tasty brew with a good pale malt profile. Very typical of the unique sammy smiths flavor. The hoppiness in the brew is subtle, but defenitely there. A nice spicy and perfumey hop profile, but still somewhat subdued. The hop bitterness does come out on the dry finish, but is of course not as palate rippingly bitter as your american versions.

Mouthfeel is right where it should be here, they have got that down at SS. Carbonation is right where it should be, good dryness for the style.

Drinkability is very nice, this is defenitely a pub pint, and one I would love to session on, especially if it was on cask.

Overall an enjoyable brew, and a fair representation of the style. English IPAs really get shit on over here because many people review them as though they are american IPAs and should be full of citrus and pine. This is defenitely a great session brew for those looking for more than a bitter, but less than an american hop bomb. Would be very interested to try this one on cask.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

01/24/09- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 550ml bottle with no freshness info found. Poured into my 20oz Pizza Port glass.

Appearance- Perfect example of a deep amber or copper colored pour. About a one fingered head with xome decent spotted and light lace patchwork left behind.

Smell- No much of a nose. Some caramel roasted hops and some minor hoppy aspects.

Taste- Not really hoppy for an IPA..actually considerably malty. Lots of caramel malt...medium roasted flavor...not to burnt, not to light. Some lightly bitter english hops, but mostly a nice caramel malted flavor.

Mouthfeel- Medium to a slightly higher carbonation level. More hoppy flavor in the aftertaste than the regular drinking phase.

Drinkability- Great tasting beer, not sure wether it's an IPA or not, but very drinkable and recommended...just don't think you are getting an English hopfest.

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Photo of BWH3
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden amber, small single fingers breadth light tan head. Fades quick under the heavy fire of the above average carbonation for style. 3.5
S: Floral, grassy hops profile atop a caramel/toffee malt bed. A sulfate note is present. 4.0
T: Same as aroma except the finish is dry, slightly fruity without lingering. Malts are dough like. 4.5
M: Light bodied. slightly below average head retention. 3.5
D: well balanced supremely enjoyable. 4.0

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Photo of hosehead83
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass --gold/amber with a thick two inch head

Light hop aroma with slight malts

Taste--Bitter hops up front with subtle malts backing up, slight mineral taste with a bittering finish--A lingering bitterness throughout that hangs out for awhile

Overall, typical English ale; reserved and understated, very drinkable
-a fine ale with a spicy dish

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Photo of cvfish
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a light orange color that produced a white head that retained well and left some lacing around the glass

S - Robust hops, malts, and citrus

T - Lots of hoppy bitterness, some malts, lemongrass

M - Full bodied, moderate carbonation

D - A good English IPA, not my absolute favorite, but something I would drink again

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Photo of farrago
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good vibrancy in the red-amber color, while clear still captures the eye, the large, frothy head a good two plus fingers deep and takes its damn time dissolving. Sweet malts and roasted caramel, there's a kind of basement dampness to it, like undisturbed natural growth blossoming, well water minerality and hardness, hops and a grassiness emerge only after it warms appreciably, doesn't lack persistence per se, more so can't get its ducks in a row. Medium-bodied, buoyed by broad carbonation, floats in the mouth as much as hugs the tongue. Less of the caramel, malt sweetness here and more of the hoppy bitter, herbal bite, let's the bread, nut, yeast flavors fall in the middle and then have to pick a side. Not hard to drink at all but needs a bandleader to decisively set the direction.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A gorgeous sunset golden-orange color carries a uniform haze, presumably from the hops. Head is snow white and leaves dots and dashes of lace.

Aroma has something very typically English about it...a kind of boozy/fruity swirl. Not boozy as in crazy alcohol, just something that reminds of cheap liquor. Also a fresh bread dough kind of maltiness. Hops are there but certainly equal amongst the other characteristics.

Having blasted my tongue lately with double-hopped, wet-hopped and hoppily hopped hoppy beers, this is like getting smacked back down to reality. But there is certainly bitterness here, and it comes on in a quick wave. The front of the sip seems equally malty, fruity and hoppy, and then the bitterness rises like a specter and takes over by the finish. I'm reminded of the character of Sierra Nevada's many hop-centric ales, in terms of the spicy bitterness of the finish, but it's also fruitier and carries a mild sourness. Bready, biscuit-like malt barely hangs on but it's there and it helps keep things from getting too far off balance.

Sharp bite to the carbonation, which accents and underscore the hop bitterness. A thin line of smoothness runs through the center, but it's coated in an almost numbing prickliness and considerable dryness.

A potent and powerful reminder of where it all came from. A rather tasty IPA for sure, although I can think of many better (all that come to mind come from the U.S....or Denmark!).

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Photo of khiasmus
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had a tangerine a few minutes ago. The color of this beer is the same as the flesh of the tangerine, and the head is the same as the inside of the rind. A fine pillow forms and then drops to what looks like a slice of swiss cheese atop a wood floor, or perhaps brown stars in a white background. A few sheet-gashes are left on the walls.
There's that swiss cheese again in the aroma, and it's accompanied by resin and some citrus, but the main element is a brach's caramel or perhaps a werther's original. My granddad used to throw them and hit me in the back of the head while I was watching TV... I'd be annoyed for just an instant, then excited.
Dry finish after the medium body brings this thing to a nice close.
Wrap a caramel in several slices of swiss cheese, then add a bit of grapefruit juice, and voila! perhaps not perfect, but'd be much like this beer... (and sounds damn tasty.) :-)

A good representation of the english style, and while underwhelming, easy drinking.

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

This is a good example to drink to illustrate the differences between American IPA and English IPA.

The appearnace was lacking a tad to me. The head was a little thin (even with a relatively aggressive pour) and the lacing was on the weak side. This has a good nutty quality to it, both in the nose and on the palate. The hops are the dominant flavor characteristic, with a real nice bitter bite on the finish.

Good beer. Not spectacular, but good.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an ultra clear light copper color. Vigorous pour yields a surprisingly small amount of creamy off-white head, but it sticks around nicely and leaves some spotty lacing behind.

Earthy mineral nose with some of the more non-intensive citrus smells like overripe oranges, acidic grapes and pomegranate. Malts are there, in an un-sweet kind of way.

Has a grassy hop flavor with a heavy handed dose of light and amber malt flavors. Hints of biscuits, clover and honey. Mineral taste is very much in evidence and is a bit distracting in an IPA. Has a mild chalky flavor that I am assuming comes from the stone fermenters they use.

Quite different from an American IPA and not nearly as bitter. The taste does grow on you after the initial shock of what one typically expects from an IPA. I could really see myself enjoying a fresh imperial pint of this in a British pub.

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Photo of jayfarley3
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 550ml bottle into a pint glass. Poured a clear amber color with a big off white head that disappeared fairly quickly. Smells of faint malt and hops. Taste is not what i expected, hop flavor is very faint compared to the American IPA's, but this is a very smooth easy to drink beer nonetheless. This was my first time drinking an English IPA, it's not quite what I had expected but it was still a good beer, but I definitely prefer the American style more.

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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,902 ratings.
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