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

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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: 934 | Ratings: 1,878
Photo of jwhancher
3.24/5  rDev -12.9%
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 +2.2%
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 +4.6%
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 -3.2%
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 -6.5%
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 +0.5%
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 +0.8%
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 +1.3%
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 +14.5%
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.

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Photo of Raime
3.02/5  rDev -18.8%
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 +1.6%
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 -0.3%
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 +3.5%
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 +14.2%
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 +12.9%
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%
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 -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 +7.3%
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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Photo of Beejay
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Light amber orange in color, with a medium amount of light tan head.

S: Flowery, grassy, and herbal. There is a lovely touch of caramel and bread in the finish

T: The herbal aroma continues into the flavor, with perhaps a touch of bitter lemon peel. Finish is caramel with a long lingering bitterness.

M: Medium in body, with fairly high carbonation.

O: Overall pretty decent, but there is something odd about the bitterness in this.

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Photo of loubar
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

550 ml bottle from Cost Plus. Aroma of biscuit malt with a bit of hops. Hop-forward in flavor, but of the tame citrus variety, with minimal bitterness on a malty, biscuity base. Moderate carbonation and full-bodied. Flavorful throughout with a touch of dryness at the finish. So drinkable. A good example that a solid IPA doesn’t have to be over the top.

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Photo of Greasy
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an orange/copper color with a two finger head that fizzled away to a ring sitting atop the beer.

S: Sweet malts up front. Hops are earthy.

T: Taste is a nice biscuit/cracker malt flavor with floral hops following in suit. Some lingering bitterness.

M: Nice body. Good carbonation.

O: A nice change of pace. The English IPA is an under appreciated style that gets picked last in a gym class full of American counterparts. This is a lovely beer that needs more respect.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.53/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a very dark reddish gold that is clear and leaves a rich, excessively long lived head. I got tired of waiting for it to settle. Lacing is more like a thick curtain.

The nose is excellent and rich with nice earthy and floral ones of coriander, pine, lavender, citrus and camphor.

The taste is crisp and bold with a dominant bitter hop on top of a dry malt bed that has hints of apple, vanilla, pine and nutmeg.

The mouthfeel is very rich and perfect for delivering the complexity of this fine beer.

Overall this one is exceptionally good and very enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of CIBoy10
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So yeah, it isn't that hop-forward compared to most American IPAs. It also has the same distinct wang as the Chocolate and Oatmeal stouts (which is not a bad thing - I find Unibroue to have the same theme). However, this is a solid beer. Not a great one, but certainly not a bad one. Would I buy again? Probably not - I like my IPAs like I like my sports - AMERICAN

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Photo of thetravelguy01
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This was a very enjoyable beer to drink! Citrus flavor with just small amount of hops. I believe a person who doesn't like hops would enjoy this beer. This would be great for a nice summer day, nice crisp and clean easy to drink beer.

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Photo of rjplumer
3.01/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Fruity hop aroma. Mild brown body.An off white head. Smooth clear taste. Mild sweetness. Hint of of a citrus-like tang in the background. A little plain but very drinkable.Faint sour after taste.

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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.72 out of 5 based on 1,878 ratings.
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