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

BA SCORE
84
good
1,902 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good
Read the review
Samuel Smith's India AleSamuel Smith's India Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
England, United Kingdom
samuelsmithsbrewery.co.uk

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,902
Reviews:
942
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
12.63%
 
 
Wants:
42
Gots:
196
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,902 |  Reviews: 942
Photo of nickfl
3.49/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a creamy white head that holds out for a while before settling to a thin film and leaving behind nice rings of lace. The body is reddish copper colored with good clarity.

S - Grainy aroma with sweet caramel and weak hop aroma.

T - Fruity with a clean malt character. A floral hop flavor emerges in the middle with moderate chalky bitterness characterizing the finish.

M - Medium body, low carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Pleasant and drinkable with a nice malt character. Unfortunately the hop character is just too weak to make this a good english IPA.

 575 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The frothy yellowed-white head atop Samuel Smith's India Ale slowly drops to a short and creamy cap. As you progress through the pint it leaves walls of wide-spread tiny spots about the glass. The nose is floral and grassy with bright, fresh hops over a delicate malt base. In the mouth it's smooth with a medium body and restrained, fine-bubbled carbonation. The flavor delivers more of the hops found in the nose, floral, leafy and grassy amidst a gently caramelish and bready malt and softly fruity and mildly mineralish yeastiness. The bitterness is balancing and solid, and it finishes short and dry. Quite nice!

 617 characters

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

Poured a dark amber color with little to no head,mine had been onthe shelf for awhile and developed a winey smell to it but it held up well.The malt in this IPA was very evident upfront with a good hpsmack in the end.A very well made IPA even sitting on shelf for almost a year u could taste the flavors of a very good well-made ale.

 333 characters

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

Poured from an 18.7oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, citrus, honey and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of citrus, caramel and honey. Then there's a strong but not-over-powering hops bitterness that comes in next to provide a good balance. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is a nice session beer with a lot of flavor and substance that makes it worth drinking for a long time.

 828 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Aroma toasted malt, caramel, floral notes. Taste sweet toffee, caramel malt, honey, grassy, faint grapefruit, slight bitter finish. Nice ESB!

142 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.49/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Clear dark amber in the Saxo tall tulip. A very nice cap of foam with champagne bubbles. It smells so... English, that is to say, basements, flowers, old wool clothes. Light but full of flavor. What a distinctive taste of hops-- maybe even unique, but it seems so familiar. It's a perfumey flavor that lasts and lasts. An interesting quaff, and a big surprise for the richness of flavor.

Strangely spicy, but it does wear our its welcome. Quite malty but with a touch of the metallic, or else it's just a serious amount of the British mineral water taste. A little sharp but pleasantly sudsy in the mouth. Only $2.50 for this 16 oz bottle and other Samuel Smith beers at a liquor store where you can wire money to the gormless youth in your life.

 748 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of dcmchew
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange-golden pour, big fluffy head with big bubbles, like honey comb.
Smell: grainy malts, pinch of salt, apple peel, dried up flowers, English hops.
Taste is a mix of rich robust biscuity malts and very bitter dry hops . Some fruitiness throughout, with apple, pear and faint apricot, citrus, bit of wood, some pine. English hops dominate most of the taste, from dry autumn leaves, to dry tobacco and a bit of unwanted metal.
Medium carbonation and body, a tiny bit oily, goes down well.
Not sure if it's too bland or very traditional, for me it feels like one of the original IPAs, an extra-hopped British ale to survive the long trip to India, thus a bit.. "clumsy".

 676 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S. Smith IPA is a clear copper with a moderate level of carbonation. The medium-sized head is thick and light brown in color. Aroma is of fruity malt with an edge of dry hoppiness. The overall strength of the aroma is fairly weak. Taste is of a sweet caramel English malt with an edge of fruitiness. Hop flavor here isn't as strong as expected, it mainly provides a dry, herbal aspect to the dominate malt flavors. Flavors are complex and nicely layered, the only downsides here are a weak aroma and the disapointing lack of hoppiness.

 535 characters

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

Appearance: Pours a clear, copper body with a smallish, frothy, white head.

Smell: Lightly bready, candyish malts with fruity hop notes of citrus, pineapple, and apricots.

Taste: Delicate maltiness with a small pinch of sweet cracked toffee. Blend of sweetened fruit juices. Tiny hint of cotton candy. Spicy, floral hop character with a light bitterness. Lingering fruitiness on the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not a bad lil' English ale.

 489 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost orange with a 3 finger + off white head. Head retention and lacing good

Smell: Malt with faint whiff of hops and some grainyness

Taste: Fruitty and malty with restrained english hopiness. finished with a slight caramel taste and dryness

MF: Good balance (a little more hops wouldn't hurt) with slight undercarbonation

Drinakble enough, but doesn't stand out

 382 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

 663 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Brown orange nectarine body. Nice white head with great retention and excellent lace.

S - Fair amount of bready malt in the nose. Mossy hop with an edge of mineral.

T - A classic English IPA. Solid malt backbone, with round earthy hops through a mineral and biscuity center. Residual hop bitters balance a honey-like sweetness through the finish.

M - Medium/full body. Nice carbonation.

O - A great example of an English IPA with a great balance and flavor profile, and a nice change of pace from the monotony of American IPAs on the market.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last from the Sam Smith pack picked up.

A: Pours a clear orange/copper color with a very foamy, white head on top, probably a little over an inch in height. It started off very large, but dissipated rather quickly. Sea foam like lacing on the sides.

S: Light grain and pale malt, very light hops, really much heavier on the malt bill. Some caramel and bready malt too.

T: Again, very light in terms of hop presence like an American IPA would be, grain and light english hops. A good bit of bread and caramel.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: Decent beer, even though it is an English IPA, would have liked the hops to a have been a bit more forward, but then again it is an English IPA from the UK, not from the US.

D - Pretty decent actually. he flavors were not too strong and the lightish body lended itself well to having a few of these. Not a bad session beer.

Overall this was pretty decent but I have had better. For some reason I am just not that impresssed with what comes out of this brewery. Gonna have to try some of the organics to see if it changes my mind,

 1,126 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +7%
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.

 1,608 characters

Photo of Jason
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 18.7-ounce brown "Victorian Pint" bottle, no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Deep copper orange in colour with a wispy off white lace.

Smell: A touch of tartness in the nose as well as tangy hop aroma.

Taste: Medium bodied and on the dry side. Nice crisp mouth feel with a moderate carbonation, semi aggressive prickly hop bitterness that leaves a tea like twang throughout. Malt flavour is like a pulled punch ... light caramel, hint of butterscotch and a handful of grain. Hop flavour is dominant in the finish also with an orange pekoe tea flavour.

Notes: A decent ale ... though small in comparison to other modern day IPAs both British and especially American. Oddly enough this brew is not any bit stronger than the Pale Ale in alcohol ... the body and hops are only a notch higher in comparison. Not a bad ale ... at least the English characteristics make this brew an interesting ale.

 926 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle poured into a pint glass

A - This one poured a nice albeit slightly flat looking amber with a smallish, maybe one inch high head of off white followed by some small side glass presentation and a decent film across the top.

S - Aroma was full of earthy grains and English hops, a very different profile then what I was used to with the American IPAs. More malts and grains then what I was expecting.

T - The flavor was decently full with a nice rounded profile. Lots of grain again with a nice spattering of english hops. The flvor was a tad bit musky to be honest and had that bready taste to it. A dry finish let the taste linger on for a while,

M - A medium to light body, it felt a touch slick to me, mostly due I am sure to the lackluster carbonation. Again still above average, just did not pack that little bit of extra to push it over the top..

D - Pretty decent actually. he flavors were not too strong and the lightish body lended itself well to having a few of these. Not a bad session beer.

Overall this was pretty decent but I have had better. For some reason I am just not that impresssed with what comes out of this brewery. Gonna have to try some of the organics to see if it changes my mind,

 1,227 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of woodychandler
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am continuing to drink my way through the Samuel Smith's oeuvre, thanks to a recent inspiration in one of the forums. Just in case anyone wondered what I was doing ...

From the bottle: "Top femented in stone Yorkshire squares"; "In the 19th century there was a considerable trade in ale from Britain to India. The land of spice was Britain's major export market. The heavy hop levels of these pale ales shipped on the long voyage to India naturally preserved the ale and complimented the flavourful and exotic cuisine of the East. Samuel Smith's India Ale is characterised by thre colour of a golden sunset, a refined maltiness and an emphasis on the aroma and flavour from Britain's best hop gardens."; "Brewed with well water (the original well sunk in 1758 is still in use, with the hard well water being drawn from 85 feet underground), malted barley, yeast and hops. Fermented in 'stone Yorkshire squares' to create an exceptionally full-flavoured complex ale with an abundance of maltiness and fruity hop character."; "Samuel Smith's brews at a small, traditional British brewery, the oldest brewery in Yorkshire."; Captioning a picture: "The hot India Ale is cooled down over the copper vertical cooler at the Old Brewery before pitching with yeast."

Visually, this was a winner right from the pour from the bottle into a glass. I got two rocky, tawny fingers of head with moderate retention. Color was a coppery orange-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose had an unexpected metallic tang up front with a light caramel maltiness underneath. Mouthfeel was medium with more of that metallic tang initially, but then followed by a pleasant malty sweetness and finally, a piney hoppiness. Finish seemed to linger with the hops, but make no mistake, this was not the intense hoppiness that many of of have become accustomed to with the American version of the style. This was more akin to hop tea.

Neck was stamped: "SD14J1".

 1,931 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this one from SpeedwayJim in Round 4 of the 666 BIF; thanks Jim! Poured from a 550ml bottle into my Bruery tulip.

a - Pours a hazy dark orange-brown color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evidenty. Head leaves some nice lacing on the flass and two inches last throughout drinking it.

s - Smells of yeast, apples, fruity malts, bready malts, and apple juice. Smell is a bit sweet and the apples come through a lot. Not getting a ton of hops, but it's enjoyable still.

t - Tastes of apples, fruity malts, bready malts, toasted malts, biscuits, and caramel malts. Again, a little apple juice taste to it, but very heavy on the malts. Not getting much hops in it, but it's enjoyable.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy, and very easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty nice beer. Not a lot of hops, and the taste especially is more focused on malts, but enjoyable none the less. Lots of apples in the nose and taste; the nose reminded me a bit of apple juice. Very easy to drink, would have it again.

 1,065 characters

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of thatoneguymike
4/5  rDev +7.5%

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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