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

1,883 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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Reviews: 936 | Ratings: 1,883
Photo of Whey2Hoppy
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Light amber color, about what you'd expect from this style of IPA

S- Some bready malts, but not much going on in the aroma honestly.

T- Very malty, with some citrus flavor coming in without much hop bitterness at all.

F- Very watery, little carbonation.

O- Coming from someone who actually really likes English IPAs, this is not one of the better ones I've had. Pretty disappointing.

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Photo of sjccmd
4.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Orangey herbal hops. Tart apples, hay, grass. Earthy tea. Caramel bready malts follow. Biscuits, sweet honey, apricots. Berries and some wild-fruit aroma. Sweet smelling, but very herbal. Warming and spicy alcohols.

Hazy light orange with a large fluffy off-white head. Good retention and decent lacing.

Rich juicy oranges and berries. Crisp bready malts. Honey and lightly toasted bread. Caramelized sugars. Firm but not over-the-top bitterness. Very balanced. Tangerine and kumquats linger on the palate with a touch of honey while still seeming quite dry.

Medium-full bodied with medium low carbonation. Flavors coat the mouth and linger but still avoids being cloying.

A little sad to see these beers never rated as high as their American counterparts, but oh well. Impressively complex for the average strength. Loads of hop flavor even though I doubt the beer is particularly fresh.

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Photo of Stevem68
3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice Amber color. Aroma is more malt forward and a little sweet. Flavor is lightly hoppy up front filled by a smooth malty finish. Leaves a pleasant aftertaste. Overall a solid beer but nothing special.

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Photo of Extol
3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - gold in color, decent retention and lacing. Smell - I honestly don't get too much from the smell. Just slight hops. Taste - it's smooth. Not too bitter, not too anything. It is pretty well balanced, but nothing stands out. Overall - this is a good "pub" IPA I guess if I had to describe it. Something you can knock back and enjoy with some friends. Solid.

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Photo of stevoj
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Hard to believe this was the style that launched the IPA. Very malty, and with a hops bite unfamiliar to English ales. Dark golden with adequate small head. mostly malt, but some bitterness on the finish.

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Photo of hopley
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

• Look – 4.25 – Quite a handsome ale – rich amber color, darker than an IPA, good 2 inch head that fades to a nice layer and leaves nice layering
• Smell – 3.75 – Smelled mildly malty and bready
• Taste – 4.25 – Bready and malty, not very hoppy, not very bitter. As it warmed from an American cold to a British not as cold – the taste improved dramatically. Very tasty.
• Feel – 4.0 – Average and appropriate.
• Overall – 4.0 – A decent ale – not an IPA and didn’t feel it fit squarely in the pale ale realm either – felt like it was more of a bitter when it warmed, but without as much bitterness. Guess I can’t make up my mind but I really enjoyed this beer and will definitely drink again.

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Photo of Tele
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: Bottle (Dated 6.4.15)
Consumed: 1.4.15

A: 4.25 Pours a rather cloudy, reddish-gold. The creamy head looks great –aggressive and lasts a very long time, leaving lots of lace in the glass.

S: 3.5 Aromas are really muted. Hops are there, giving off some mild tropical fruit but also a bit of soapiness. Some malt and yeast come through as well, not really adding anything interesting.

T: 3.75 Pretty similar to the nose. Some citrus and peach from the hops before the soapy quality shows up. Then there’s some malt sweetness and a bit of bitterness to balance it out.

M: 4.5 Really nice body and carbonation, making the beer extremely drinkable.

O: 3.75 Pretty nice, easy-drinking beer without too many interesting things going on but also nothing really wrong with it either.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Christmas gift from 2015. Pours a relatively clear orange with nice fluffy white head that gives excellent lacing. Smells of characterful English ale yeast: a little fruity, some diacetyl, then some toffee, caramel, earthy yet grassy hopes. Has a mineral aroma character likely from the hard water. Tastes light with biscuity malts, herbal/grassy/earthy hops, finished a tad sweet with caramel touch. Quite even in terms of overall sweetness to bitterness. Alcohol well on check, so much so that I would to have a pint of this on cask. With that said, I wish I knew what I was drinking was absolutely fresh. I have no idea how this bottle was packaged, handled or stored. I feel as if the hops in this bottle are faded and likely not a true representative of this beer at the source. For now, I rate this slightly above average but would like to try this one fresh someday at the source.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy dark amber color. Very thick, sticky white head.
Subtle aroma of bread and caramel.
More caramel in the taste, and a hint of citrus.
Smooth and easy to drink.

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Photo of Act25
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I think this is better than its average score. Try 6.

A: Pours a clear darker amber color with a modest head that leaves massive shards of lacing behind

S: Too Light. Biscuity, minerally, butterscotch malts at center, with addition of earthy, blonde tobacco hops. Very english.

T: As drinkable an EIPA as you will find. Sessionable and easy. The biscuity malts start with a treacle sweeter depth; then by mid-taste, earthy hops arise, very subtle, adding some blonde tobacco bitterness along with the mineral water base. Nice drinking.

F: Medium body with moderate carbonation, clean finish slightly peppery.

Try 6

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Extraordinarily clear and bubbly, ever so slightly tarnished copper, very impressive in my Samuel Smith pint glass. Head retention is excellent, as is the lacing. It's quite fluffy, pillowy and is colored a pleasant, basic shade of tan. Looks almost like a lightly toasted marshmallow. Incredibly clean smell, if anything, hops are somewhat earthy or herbal or metallic, but for the most part it smells like bread. Not very strong aromas in any case. Palate is also fairly bready, with moderate amount of caramel which is strongest toward the finish. This English classic is well balanced with herbal, nearly spicy hops. They are subtle, yes, but not at all hard to detect. A more robust flavor but lower bitterness than what you'd find in the continental lager equivalent, the Pilsener, and yet, not all that dissimilar. Unfortunately, it does seem a little watered down. Good for drinkability, but that's never been a huge factor for me. Medium-bodied but somewhat watery, and yet packed and thickened with spritz and suds. Not very comparable to American IPAs. More akin to some of the more rudimentary American Pale Ales.

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Photo of beardfullofbeer
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

The bottle is banging hot; great design. The packaging though leaves a lot to be desired. Excellent beer with very beautiful golden color. A deceptive little IPA that could use more than 5% alcohol content.

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Photo of Antc2382
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a pint bottle

A: deep orange, nice foamy head but it quickly dissipates. S: vaguely hoppy, nothing explosive but pleasant. T: bitter fruit, malt forward, lacks the hoppiness of American IPAs. This is a classic English version of the India ale. Much more malt balanced. F: fairly crisp, could have used a slight tick in carbonation. O: good beer, not what I'm used to in modern IPAs but it's good. My least favorite Samuel Smith I've had so far though.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a pint glass. The appearance was a nice hazy looking orange to brown color with a decent one finger white foamy head that settles down at a nice pace leaving a nice somewhat sticky lacing along the sides of the glass. The smell had a nice blend of sweet malts over top of some light bitter hops. The taste was mainly sweet malts. The palate sat about a light to medium on the body with a decent sessionability about it. Overall, I say this was a pretty good beer worthy of having again.

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Photo of Spikester
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear gold with three fingers of ten minute head. Rings of lace appear on the sides of the nonic pint glass.
Smell is mostly bready malts with some herbal hop notes.
The taste is similar to the nose with the hops coming on stronger than the smell.
Mouthfeel is light to medium with ample carbonation. The finish is more bitter than sweet with a fairly dry finish.
Overall a nice English IPA. Has plenty of flavor for such a low abv of 5.0%.

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Photo of Myotus
4.26/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle (dated 06Feb15) into a Spiegelau IPA glass.
LOOK: Pours with a half finger's worth of white foam that halves itself after 25 seconds. Honey orange in color. There is a large quantity of both medium and small bubbles ascending to the foam head. There are a few small pieces of yeast floating around. Lacing is thin and high.
SMELL: Has strong sweet bready malt aromas that meet with mild aromas of plums, figs, and caramel along with hints of floral and earthy hops.
TASTE: Initial taste is of strong sweet bready malts and caramel flavors. Mild flavors of plums and figs enter right after. The taste symphony continues with the immediate following of mild floral and earthy hop flavors. As all flavors persist, subtle bitter hop flavors end this incredible brew.
FEEL: Full-bodied and subtly carbonated. Goes down incredibly smooth and creamy. Finishes with a subtle dryness.
NOTE: My first of its style. I have to say that I think I prefer the English IPAs over the American ones. I love malts and this was very malt heavy. It wasn't overpowered with hops like its American counterparts.

 1,116 characters

Photo of Raime
3.02/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Samuel Smith's India Ale.

Samuel Smith's is not a brewery that has ever impressed me. I understand that these are supposed tl be old timey pre craft explosion beers, but it usually doesn't work out for me. Got this for $1 a bottle at my local craft store. Not sure of age, but here we go.

Look - From a bottle into a pint glass. Pours a crystal clear amber with a finger of white head that pops down into nothingness giving off a soda like sound. Carbonation appears to be pretty low. No lacing remajns at the end of the drink.

Smell - Starts off highly malty to my surprise and the hops come in midway through the nostrils mostly grapefruit juice like in nature. Not getting much else here.

Taste - Virtually all low sweetness grapefruit juice. Bit of malt on the back end, but overqll not much going on here either.

Feel - Body is moderately full with no carbonation feel and no creamyness due to the fact the head didn't hold up at all.

Overall - A swing and another miss for me. Don't care for this brewery. Oh well, sue me.

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Photo of zinklesmesh
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Never had an "original" IPA like this - I assume this is how IPAs were styled before they took over the craft brewing scene in the US. It's a very tasty, well-rounded beer. Some dark, toasty, biscuity malts, with some standard English hop flavor and just a little extra body and hop compared to a similar English pale ale. It has a peculiar sort of moldy toilety smell, but it tastes good. Nice mouthfeel, too. Creamy. If I were to compare it to something else I've had, it's like a more robust, stronger version of Bass.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: amber body; effervescent; nice size frothy off-white head, long lasting, excellent lacing

Smell: pretty subdued overall, but can pick up biscuit malts and UK hops; pick up some orange

Taste: at first taste, I swear it was caramel apples, but not for very long; picked up biscuit malts and some light citrus; hops linger at the end; nice smooth, mellow flavor, not in your face like American IPAs.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied and well carbonated

Remarks: nice balanced beer; I'd have it again

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: crystal clear; bronze in color; 1 finger off white head that receded slowly to a thin cap; very little lacing;

S: caramel, floral;

T: caramel is predominant; a floral hop character is present as well; finish is mildly bitter;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: flavor wasn't very complex and very little bitterness;

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant amber crowned by a clingy 2” off-white foam collar that slowly recedes.
S: bread and biscuit aromas
T: Biscuit malt flavors, a light caramel touch, a bitter hop accent on the finish.
F: Creamy, medium body and medium low carbonation.
O: A flavorful, easy to drink IPA

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Photo of 303beer
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful looking beer poured. Clear amber copper color. Nice inch of head that is white and semi rocky. Umm nice rich malty flavor. Leaves some lacing. Has a lack of hops in it. Pretty much hood malty beer. Never fails, Sammy Smith makes good beer.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.24/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

In my imperial pint glass at cellar temperature.

It has a clear sunset-orange color and a big three-centimeter or so, poofy white head.

There's not all that much to the aroma. Just a sweet, rich breadiness and a sweet, flowery scent of orange. More mellow and floral than the sharp, zesty citrus smell of American IPAs.

The flavor echoes what's going on in the aroma. First comes a sweet orange flavor with almost non-existent tartness or astringency. Then it's honey and white bread into the finish. Longer after a sip, I get some slight herbal, hops bitterness. Nothing wild or out-of-control here. Just a balanced harmony.

It's pretty full-bodied. Sort of a medium-fullness.

As far as milder ales go, I really like this. It's a mellow yet nuanced, well-integrated, kuaffable ale. And the sweet orange and honey combo is classically British.

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Photo of ajchocholousek
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A relatively tame pour yields a thin soapy white head that dissipated quite quickly, leaving behind a few bigger bubbles and a touch of white. Beer is slick on the glass, showing no legs, and the head doesn't seem to want to cling either. Pours a medium golden color with just a bit of light orange tint. Good clarity.

Smell is very bready with notes of sweet graininess (reminescent of Stiegl) and a bit of fruity yeastiness. A faint faint faint touch of earthy hops in here, but really not much else coming out of this other than the malt.

Taste follows the nose, albeit with a somewhat firm hop bitterness up front as well. An earthy, spicy hop note carries through for a bit, but then falls off, finishing up quite dry with a slight residual bitterness on the tongue as well as some light fruity estery notes. Also, and I'm not quite certain if this is the sweetness/fruitiness of the yeast and malt speaking here, but I think I detect a faint hint of diacetyl butter

Overall this beer is fine. Nothing to write home about, but it drinks nicely, with no noticeable flaws other than perhaps the faintest bit of diacetly - but I could misreading it, as it is indeed faint. A nice, moderate English IPA.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice pour and slightly hazy color Light head fades quickly. Nice aroma with malts and bread. If your taste buds have evolved to handle a west coast double IPA or you enjoy slaming back a couple of Hopslams this beer is not for you. Well balanced and at 5% ABV it's worth it..

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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.71 out of 5 based on 1,883 ratings.
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