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

925 Reviews
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Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
United Kingdom (England) | website

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: 925 | Ratings: 1,853
Photo of Dukeofearl
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty amber gold with moderate carbonation and a good-sized off-white head that sticks arounda few minutes. Aroma is herbal, smoky 9?), not sharp and strong like US IPAs, quite mellow. Flavor: definite hop presence, flaovors are more like a US Pale Ale, rather than an IPA. Are there hops? Sure. And quite nice at that, but not strong. This is actually pretty nicely balanced and enjoyable! And best of all, this is a good beer to have when you want more than one!

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Photo of CVC
3.39/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Came in a 18.7 oz. dark bottle with no foil on top; served in a pint glass. Pours a light, tan/brown color with a thick, off-white, three-finger head. Leaves much lacing. Smell is yeasty, and almost nutty. Tastes yeasty, semi-nutty, with subtle hoppiness. A thin mouthfeel.

This stuff has an amazing head. Taller, thicker, and leaves more lace than any other Samuel Smith beer. Smell and taste are good. Less hoppy than most IPAs. I didn't really like the mouthfeel of this one though--too thin. Not too impressed with this beer, but not too shabby. I'd buy it again.

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Photo of freed
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Typical of Samuel Smith's labels, there a lot of clutter but its quaint I guess. Poured, its lovely though. Nice casting of foam on top, deep amber hue and rather nice clarity.

The aroma is apple-cask funk, but not the good kind. And even though its an India, the hop seems absent.

The taste is rather nice, though I'd be more comfortable calling this a bitter. I guess the ABV and color put it up. And they did make the IPA. So sweet and starchy malts with a hint of apple tartness and a sour finish is how this ale comes across. Not bad though.

Still, it leaves the mouth a little sugary and that gets annoying if you only want a single.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper color, white fast-fading head leaves a ring of bubbles around the glass. Smells very lightly of sweet floral hops, fairly muted for my American IPA taste. Metallic and hopcentric, but with a sweet malty twist. Not comparable to the hop profile of an American IPA, but for being an EIPA, it is pretty good. Very drinkable and non-intrusive.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.74/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a fairly opaque amber color with a fairly small white head. Head retention is minimal, but leaves a pretty lace. Smells of roasted hops and caramel, plus some other fruity aromas. Love the smell. The taste is no exception. I love this beer, and will definately buy another in the near future. Another great one from Sam Smith's.

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Photo of ghurux86
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a golden amber color, kinda cloudy with a nice creamy off-white head, somewhat tan. smell is slightly citrus of some type with some kind of spice, maybe. it also smells of hops. the smell is pretty sweet, there may be a hint of caramel in there. taste good, not sure what it is exactly though. the aftertaste is definitely the bitterness of the hops. as far as mouthfeel goes, it is lightly carbonated and medium bodied, not too thick or thin, pretty good but nothing exceptional. i'd drink it again and may buy it often due to its not very expensive price. pretty good overall.

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Photo of DPMomutant
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a nice, solid copper. White foamy head, decent in size it retains well leaving some lacing.

You can tell this is an English IPA as the malts come out in the smell as much as the hops, giving this some nice subtlety.

The taste I must first say is surprisingly fresh. Last I checked, I was in Missouri and not in England so that's cool. Those in India would have been pleased. The extra hop bitterness compared to Smith's standard pales is notable but the balance is intact.

The carbonation is fairly light for my taste, but it does allow it to go down very smoothly. Very even consistency, not too watery or heavy.

This ale is quite drinkable and sessionable. Good before, during or after a meal and certainly not so hard you can't take a number of pints.

Anyone expecting this to be a breakthrough ale may be disappointed. And I like a good, aggressive American style IPA as much as most anyone but sitting here late on a Sunday night winding down the weekend, this goes really good.

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

Pours a deep, rich golden color with a small, stark white head. Aroma is slightly malty and biscuity, with a light citrusy hoppiness. Wet, slightly foamy mouthfeel is just a little thin, but still nice. Palate is very well-balanced. Light, rich malt with a touch of sweetness is complemented by lemony hops. The aftertaste is a slightly bitter, with a nice buttery character. Not perfect for sessions, but I could drink a lot of this.

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Photo of rocketmotor
3.82/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orangish color, smallish head but good lacing of the glass. The aroma is of spicy hops, malt and I can also detect the yeast.

The beer tastes very good and is nicely balanced. There is a great interplay of the malt and hops flavor and you drink it. The finsh is of spicy hops, lasting but very good. The malt flavor is also lends a small bit of sweetness to the beer. Nice mouthfeel, pretty highly carbonated. Very drinkable in the long term.

This is a very good beer, just remember it is an English IPA and not an American IPA, so it is not a hop monster.

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Photo of hero27
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a dark Imperial Pint bottle. Very prestigous-looking label and inviting appearance. Pours a pale amber, almost orange color. Large, off-white head is very frothy and holds well.. Good carbonation and somewhat spotty lacing left on the pint glass..

Smell: Obvious hop aroma considering it's an IPA, but not as over-the-top as I feared they may be. Hints of fruit as well, and you can definitely pick up some malt in the background. Fairly complex smell..

Taste: Very nice blend of malt & hops...very well balanced...malty and smooth... It's obvious how much care goes into Sam Smith's beer..

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very pleasant mouthfeel for an IPA. Very creamy, with well-balanced flavors

Drinkability: I have to say, when I think of "Sam Smith's", I usually think of their famous Nut Brown Ale and Imperial Stout...but this one surprised me. I love IPAs so I figured I'd give this one a try, and I was not dissapointed. Very drinkable for such a full-flavored and well-rounded beer.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint bottle, in an English nonik glass.

Appearance: Light copper-amber color, with nice initial head of foam that settles down quickly, as typical in English beers.

Aroma: Pleasant, though light, hop aroma, with a little sweet touch of malt.

Flavor/Body: Malt up front, quickly giving way to nice hop flavor, slightly citrusy, slightly spicy. Bitterness isn't high by American IPA standards, but is still above average for most English ales. Like several of the Samuel Smith beers, perhaps a side-effect of their well water, there is a bit of a tannic mouthfeel around the edges of the mouth and the tongue. Carbonation a little on low side.

Another good beer from Samuel Smith's excellent line.

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Photo of Hibernator
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle and served in a British pint glass.

Copper and burnt orange in color. Fluffy white head on top with a solid presentation. Sticky lacings look creamy in appearance.

Aroma of English hops, apples and sweet malt.

Light to medium body. Bitter and dry on the palate. Beautiful English hops provide a strong hop presence. Bitter finish reminds me of biting into a ripe apple.

Excellent English style IPA. A quality beer that has a great drinkability level.

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Photo of Hunter
4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Viogorous pour yeilded a thick head of tan froth that eventualy clumps and settles down to a comfortably enduring 1/2" head. Beer is orange-red, utterly clear with only a few trace bubles betraying any carbonation.

No skunkiness in the aroma (it came in a bottle of brown glass - Sam Smith's are you paying attention here?). Hops are fresh and clear in the nose, but much more subtle than Stone's IPA.

Hops present once again in the taste, but much more refined and subtle than Stone's, which comes across like an assault. This one gives the malt a chance to breathe and develop. Sweet and bitter all at once. If Stone is Beethoven's 9th, this is a Bach concerto.

Silky smooth mouthfeel and a clean aftertaste finish out this winner. One of Smoth's best, right up there with the Oatmeal Stout.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Luminous tangerine peel orange capped with a pale orange-tinted ecru cap that is heavily creamy and that leaves a few scattered chunks of foamy lace when it departs. A classic IPA look, English or otherwise. The nose is appetizingly earthy-fruity, exactly what I would expect from a beer that uses English hops. It's weaker than I'd like, but the head is still at two fingers and is probably muffling the aroma to some extent.

India Ale isn't as hoppy as it could be, probably because my palate has become used to American IPAs. That's not quite accurate. The simple truth is that I prefer the taste of American hops. It's obvious that there's a fair amount of biscuity malt on hand, but I could do with a bit more pale malt flavor. Bittersweet orange dominates the flavor profile. The beer, in general, is sweeter than expected; a positive quality in my eyes.

I'm enjoying the finish at least as much as the beginning and the middle. It consists of an orangey-appley fruity linger with a gentle tongue tweak of bitter hop leaf. The body is closer to medium than to light and the mouthfeel is nicely buoyant. I wonder why this beer--alone among the Samuel Smith line--is sold in a brown bottle? Non sequitur minute is over, now back to our review...

Samuel Smith's India Ale is one of the handful of standard bearers for the English IPA style. The flavor grew on me considerably by the bottom of the bottle and even though we'll most likely never have a love affair (I'll think of her as Samantha Smith for the purposes of this sentiment), we do have a strong mutual attraction. At least on my end.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber with a touch of copper in it; bellowy light tan head. Nice lacing as the head subsides. Butterscotchy malt nose and a light fruity air to it. Fresh English noble hop aromas of Kent Goldings and Fuggles. Very smooth and balanced. Carbonation is refined and subtle, adding to its smoothness with a delicate mouthfeel. Nicely sweet and caramelly in regards to the malt, and a flowery hoppiness in the finish. Some tea-like tannins. Probably one of the better IPAs from England. Very enjoyable.

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

Slightly hazed copper body with a thick off white head. Aroma of classic English hops and a sweet malty note as well. One of the maltiest IPA’s Iv’e had but only due to my high consumption of hoppy California IPA’s. This is actually fairly well balanced. Flavor runs sweet and malty. The body is nice and smooth and fairly full. There is a metallic note in the finish and slight bitterness is nice. Overall a decent English IPA for a bottled beer.

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Photo of alexgash
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: medium copper body with a sticky, off-white head.

Smell: sugary malts up front, with a bitter spicy hop backing, and a touch of euro skunk.

Taste: more sugary malt to start, followed by the a little bit spicy, a little bit citrusy, and a little bit skunky hops. Finish is dry and english-modest bitter.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: medium bodied feel; nothing to get too excited over, but of course I've been raised on American IPAs.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid pale malt scent with a fruity finish and a wonderful floral hop aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a complex pale malt arrangement that lays a good foundation for the bitter hop flavor that follows in the aftertaste. It goes down easy and finishes bitter, yet fruity from the yeast. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine IPA. It has more complexity than most and has a good hop content that is sufficient, but not overpowering.

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Photo of Shiloh
3.17/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An average beer at best. It has a very deep dark amber hue with a very limited crown.
The carbonation is very light and the body is full.
The nose has a mild citrus edge to it.
The taste starts sour but does lessen in its intensity as the introduction of the malts takes place.
Nothing special here but quaffable.

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Photo of smcolw
3.66/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange-amber in color, clear, with a very nice head and excellent lace.

This is another largely malty IPA. There is a strong soured milk note. The hop is fresh, but very muted.

The distinctive Samuel Smith malt flavor is very noteable. This is more bitter than the ale version. The bitterness lasts nicely through the swallow. Full bodied, with the touch of alcohol oiliness that I would expect. High carbonation.

I'd love to try this in England. This bottle version is good, but I always wonder how fresh it is and if that would throw off the review. While worthwhile, many domestic (read: American) beers are better priced for the quality. Worth a try.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big ole 1 Pint 2.7 oz attractive SAMUEL SMITH'S embosed dark brown bottle glugged into me Troegs pint glass. Clear dark orange filler upper with a quickly dissapating cake like antique white head over a few scant bubbles rising up. Zero lace.

Scents of deeply steeped tea leaf malts are strong, followed by an afterscent of tart citrous.

Flat powdery malts and understated hop finish that has to be sought after to be found. Ripe red apple, bland orange, smooth malty balance. Thin buttery body, and extremely easy carbonation, but half way thru this Imperial sized pint, the true essence of this EIPA shined through. After a few sips to become acclimated, the aftertaste rounds to a bit dry.

Last swigs: Imagine England has a king if you dare try this trad EIPA. Like unsweetened over brewed tea. A true English IPA, not American style to be ready for a mature balanced English Ale and toss aside the India Pale appelation. Purchased via a mail order shop. It's anybody's guess how old this one is. No freshness info on the artful label. This will have to be updated one day. A bit different for my tastebudsin a traditional English style. My rating was upped after acclimation. This may be my first true English styled India Ale.

Beer is good. Happy (lucky or unlucky) beering.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured 1 1/2 finger, light tan head atop a clear, copper body. Immediately, fruity and spicy aromas were detected. As it warmed, it smelled more and more fruity and malty with notes of honey. It was surprisingly sweet smelling and lacking in the typical hop smells for an Indian Ale (but perhaps I'm too used to drinking American IPAs). It tasted like it smelled, sweet and fruity with some tangy notes and a strong bitter finish, which tended to linger heavily. It's body was medium to light, leaning more towards the light side and very smooth. This is a weird beer for me... it just seems really too sweet to be an Indian Ale but I'm no expert. The alcohol is quite low for an Indian Ale as well and is barely noticeable. It's a good beer without a doubt but I prefer something a little more powerful and spicy in this style.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper orange color with very active carbonation and a big rocky and dense head. Sam Smith beers have the best head and carbonation. Th aroma is of big pungent English hops, without citrus or grapefruityness like American hops. The taste is very hoppy but also well balanced with biscuity malts. Definitely not as hoppy as American IPAs but still very pleasant. A delicious crisp finish. I really like this.

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Photo of kegerator
3.31/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

not overly impressive.
Poured out a slightly hazed yellow with a decent white head that left nice lacing.
smell was slightly citrusy, with some nut in the background
taste was about the same.
mouthfeel was slightly dry and not too bitter.
all in all this was ok, just came off as a typical IPA with nothing special to offer.

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Photo of cokes
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dusty amber and translucent. The head is eggshell, tight and sticky.
Nose full of buttered fruits, primarily pineapple, tangerine, and orange.
Enters the mouth all full of toasted caramel and toffee. Traces of butter-drenched biscuits soon arrive. Fruitiness enters with all the tropical hues the nose promised, and then some. Lime juice and papaya, and oranges, and pineapples. Quinine minerality. Ends with a persuasively bitter herbed fruit notation. It seems to carry more back-end bitterness than many of its English peers, as it hints at the resinous qualities its US successors have trademarked.
Fluid and dynamic in its medium build. It's full of flavor, but drinkable in quantity.
This is a very appealing and bold, traditionally styled version.

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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
84 out of 100 based on 925 ratings.
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