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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)
United Kingdom (England)

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: 930 | Ratings: 1,863
Photo of infinitebruner
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

January 10, 2015

550 ml bottle, tulip

A – Medium gold to deep orange, fairly high clarity. Almost an inch of white, foamy but not craggy, head. Medium-long retention.

S – Biscuity malt, light caramel, and tropical fruit, some pineapple and mango. A touch of mild vanilla and honey.

T – Biscuits and light toffee, definitely some mango and possibly apricot. A touch of vanilla and residual sweetness. Mild bittering hops providing balance.

M – Moderate carbonation and full-bodied. Juicy throughout until a touch of dryness comes in towards the end. Bitterness is light to moderate, providing balance to the malt sweetness.

O – A very good example of the traditional style of IPA, before it was co-opted as a bitter assault on the tongue. Very flavorful and malty while providing balancing bitterness. Very good.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Clear copper orange, transparent, with a white head that fades slowly, leaving a 1/8" layer up top and producing extensive lacing throughout. Pretty beer, certainly.

S - Mostly floral and herbal notes, a touch of honey sweetness, and a slightly medicinal element.

T - Follows the nose, with big floral hops and honeyed malts. The middle is biscuit and crackers, fading to a bitter line that is slightly reminiscent of aspirin. There is also a minerality, and some earthy notes.

M - Light and easy on the tongue, but the bitter finish does fatigue the palate.

O - I really love the nose and the front of this beer, with the bright floral hops and honey flavors. The close is less satisfying. I can deal with the bitterness, but the medicinal aspects come out most strongly at the end. The rating would be north of 4 but for this aspect of the finish.

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

Enjoyed from the bottle in a pint glass, this English IPA pours a beautiful copper color with a nice white head that dies down to a nice pool of foam with light lacing. Nose of light caramel, light herbal and bittering hops, and light bread. Flavors are a medium caramel malts backbone with a light bready flavor that gives way to the bittering hops in the background. High carbonation, almost seltzer water like, gives it a crisp mouth feel that finishes bracingly bitter without being over the top. A solid example of a good British IPA.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

550ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: chill hazed brassy color. Bubbly off-white head. Whisky lacing. Head retention is very good.

S: Doughy, caramel, treacle, honey glaze. Blonde tobacco and floral notes from the hops. Strong minerality. Brothy. Light stone fruits.

T: Earthy. Herbal and tobacco flavors. Stiff and gripping bitterness. Lemony. Minerals and broth. Fat malt base. Caramel and sweet rolls. Treacle. Earthy/herbal hop bitterness and lingering minerals on the finish.

M: Medium-thick body. Hefty with some sense of weight pressing down. Gripping hop astringency. Seltzery carbonation.

O: A little mineral-heavy. A pretty decent English IPA though. Unfortunately there is almost zero demand for the style here in the states.

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Photo of lushes22
3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A. Amber and somewhat clear
S. More of a pale ale smell with hint of orange
T. Unusual taste for india. Seems almost like a mix of india and pale ales. Light on bitterness on more of caramel and orange taste. British hops and ale flavor come through.
M. Light carbonation and i would prefer a little more for this style.
O. A nice change of pace. Probably reminiscent of india ales back in the day before the larger variety of hops available now.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.17/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours dark amber with a thick creamy head.

aroma is all malt, sweet malt at that. some toffee and roastedness to it.

the taste is malt forward, i can almost taste slight bananas in it. very slight bitterness. finishes dry with a bitter tinge. goes down smooth, as a 5% IPA it's obviously very drinkable.

overall this is pretty good. nothing special but not bad. very malt forward, as most English IPAs are. maybe just a bit light to me, reminds me of a bitter.

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Photo of samtrillo
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful copper orange with a big foamy white head.

The nose isn't very intriguing. Grassy notes, bready malt, yeast. Smells like a pale ale.

First sip and all I can think is "Yep, this is British." Very crisp and twangy. Tea bitterness and grassy notes. Bread and cracker malt with a yeast characteristic like the nose. The hops here only offer bitterness; I'm not getting any complexity out of them, maybe a slight lemon-lime feel that is slightly sour.

It's a refreshing beer but not what I like in IPAs. Tastes more like a crisp pale ale to me. As far as an English Style IPAs though, it's a good one.

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Photo of bassboneman
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I agree with previous posts about the "lack" in this brew. However, there is an unmistakable pleasant aspect of this beer. While it does have a bitter quality to it - it doesnt detract from the experience.
This isnt a beer you would want to have 2 or 3 of in one sitting - but... to cleanse the palate a bit - this would do the trick well.
I really like it -
So...up yours (literally!) - as in drink up : o)

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Photo of HunterWatts
2.88/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Sour & lacking depth, but feels like you're drinking history. Thin -- especially if you've been drinking a lot of American big hops -- but still good. Somehow more than the sum of its parts.

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Photo of ExtraStout
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%

A - Beautiful clear, dark amber. Thick, creamy head that stays a reasonable amount of time and leaves a good amount of soft, thick lacing.

S - No discernible specific notes in the smell. Light, a little hoppy. Maybe a touch of fruity scent.

T - Kind of generic tasting. Good, but nothing unusual or unique. A little sour, but a fruity sour, not a spoiled sour.

M - Very clean, light feel. No oiliness, no real bitter aftertaste (just a nice hop.)

Wish I could offer a more interesting perspective or review, but all I can say it it's just a pleasant, easy drinking ale that's not spectacular, but nothing to complain about either.
I'd willingly have another, and that's good for me.

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Photo of magpieken
4/5  rDev +7.8%

550ml. Pours a slightly opaque, pale amber, orange colour with an effervescent white head which quickly dissipated leaving a trace of lace. Gentle caramel malt aroma with some citrus. Underlying light sweetness, tangy bitterness in the middle with a very long, mildly bitter finish. Quite dry, creamy texture, medium to full body. Not a beer I would rave about but decent enough in its own way.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle marked SG25N1 at 45 degrees into imperial pint glass
Aroma of hops
Head large (5 cm), off white, frothy, diminishing to 5 mm frothy layer
Lacing fair – broken reticulum of various size bubbles
Body medium orange, clear, tiny bubbles rising continuously
Flavor begins slightly bitter, ends with a light astringency with good hang time; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.5, Aroma, 4.5, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4.25, Overall 4.25

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Poured into the Samuel Smith's pint glass to reveal a clear, bright copper color and a thick, rocky off-white 3 finger head that refuses to die. Eventually dissipates to an everpresent layer of surface suds while leaving a mess of lacing all around the glass.

Smell - Biscuity malts with some fruity esters and a lightly floral presence.

Taste - Fair notes of Biscuit and a light toastiness make up the malt backbone while a light floral and slightly grassy bitterness brings the brew balance. Hints of mineral and a fruity, earthy red apple flavor creep in at the end and joins a ghostly hop finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with fair carbonation and a slick, near buttery texture. Super smooth and drinkable.

Overall - A classic that bares almost no similarities to the modern IPA being made today, even amongst those in Europe. This is a good beer, but anyone expecting a hop bomb will be severely disappointed. Drinks closer to a really tame pale by today's standards.

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Photo of Tilly
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Amber, copper colour. Off white thick, foamy head.
Huge fruit aroma. Apricot, banana.
Light taste. Floral hops. Mild fruit. Light mouth at first but a pretty nice bitterness after taste.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

550 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass. Purchased as part of a holiday pack for about $5 CDN.

Appearance - crystal clear, plenty of carbonation, 1.5 fingers of frothy white head. Nice sticky lacing and plenty of retention time.

Smell - plenty of malts, a certain earthy floral note too. Something slightly sweet, just below the surface.

Taste - big malts to start some caramel, then some mild bitterness shines through. Straightforward and to the pint put pretty well executed.

Mouthfeel - smooth mouthfeel, reasonable carbonation, and moderately light body.

Overall- a solid English pale ale, there's nothing mind blowing here, but it's just a really solid beer. Good representation of the style, but there are others available that may be better.

 760 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear, deep gold color with frothy, rich, creamy head; an abundance of rapidly rising, small bubble carbonation. Bready malt and musty grass aroma. Bread crust flavor with a bitter wrapper and a mild apricot fruitiness; caramel. Medium body; dry finish.

A solid, robust English-styled IPA. Soda cracker and bread stick maltiness over a big, smooth hop bitterness. Very pleasing, very satisfying...

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Photo of 8BaconBits
3/5  rDev -19.1%

Decent beer. Went to the Great British Beer Festival in London 2014 and was disappointed with everything there. Wished this was poured there! Not the usual IPA I'm used to on the west coast; it's a good change.

Heavy feel to it. Very malty.

Medium orangey color. Poured from 550ml bottle to glass.

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Photo of AyeMito
4.48/5  rDev +20.8%

This beer has wonderful balance and a rich flavor of hops and malts. On the nose I get fresh notes of malt and wheat with smaller hints of citrus and caramel. I also get a fresh hint of hops on the palate. If you are huge into hops and want a lot in your beer, this one may not be for you. However, I will say that this is one of the better IPAs I have had. Absolutely great!

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Photo of Yanknonion
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Really like this one, Starts with a nice foamy head, (doesn't stay long though), has a malty flavour, hops in back, medium feel, I'll have another, thanks

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Photo of ENogueira
2.75/5  rDev -25.9%

Large 550ml bottle poured in an official Samuel Smith pint glass. Huge, foamy head. Golden colored ale. Tasted rather bland, smooth at first taste. Spicy, citrus notes. Aftertaste, though, is a deal-breaker. Leaves a metallic, mineral-like, alcoholic tinge that lingers. Definitely not my favorite IPA.

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Photo of Bear1964
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Nice showing of a English IPA that had a great pour from the bottle into a Pint glass, wonderful bronze color with a off white head..fair lace and malty aroma. Malt flavor is upfront with tingly hops in the background, light to medium mouthfeel is refreshing and makes for a tasty drinking beer.

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Photo of arc3636
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

First English IPA I've tried. Not as hoppy as the American style, but very well balanced. Poured pale orange with 2 fingers of white head and great lacing. Aroma was malty with spicy hops. Flavor was solid and balanced, but i was blown away by the mouthfeel.Very good, drinkable beer. I hope i can find it again.

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Photo of Fielde
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A good looking beer that poured with a nice head.

The smell had more of a liquor smell than that of the normal aromas of beer.

The initial taste was excellent but there was a slight aftertaste of alcohol but still a quality beer.

Overall very pleasing beer.

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Photo of gunnerlincoln
4.84/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This has to be one of the smoothest IPA's I have ever consumed.

I opened the bottle to be welcomed by a wonderful aroma. It doesn't have that bold hop smell that some IPA's pack. Poured the beer into an actual Samuel Smith nonick pint glass and the result is a beautiful golden colored ale with a nice smooth, frothy head that holds.

The first sip and I was in heaven. This IPA is so much smoother than others, and at 6% ABV, it's very easy to drink. It has a good mouth feel and noticeable citrus notes throughout. The last sip is as enjoyable as the first. I would highly recommend this IPA to anyone that enjoys a smooth, refreshing beer with a lot of flavor.

Samuel Smith delivers as usual!

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Photo of Gear54
3.29/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle into a pint glass

A: dark gold or light orange hue. Thin head with minimal lace on the glass

S: weak malts and citrus

T: hops and oranges very little bitterness

M: light mouth feel. Flavored fade quickly. Very easy drinking

O: not my favorite from Sam smith however I would enjoy the hell out of this on a hot summer day!

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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.71 out of 5 based on 1,863 ratings.
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