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: 936 | Ratings: 1,884
Photo of dahlen22
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color: Copper and orange with a small head.

Aroma: Hops and caramel and some fruit.

Taste: Hops, pines, caramel, a soft breadiness and a spicy zing full of warm alcohol.

Overall: Samuel Smiths has much better beers than this. This is a good ale for this style especially since it is British and they (Brits) started the IPA's. Are there better American versions of this style? Yes. But this is a good beer for a cold winter night. Cheers!

 441 characters

Photo of wardough
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BLUF-A very smooth, nice beer to drink on a nice cold Kansas night. It poured a apple-cider color into a pint glass. 2 fingers of head pop up. Beautiful. You can smell sweet malts and a hint of lemony hops. It's not a knock you over your head hops. I like this taste. Extremely well balanced. Smooth piney hops start out the journey followed by some sweet caramel malts. Throughout the experience, hops tickle the tongue. It has a medium mouthfeel that is well carbonated for the experience. This is a highly drinkable ale for any occasion. I would gladly buy this ale again.

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

Appearance: Pours a pale orange with a minimal head that doesn't last.

Smell: Spicy, caramely and nutty, but not very strong or aromatic.

Taste: Spicy, hoppy flavors are present but quickly overcome by some nuttiness and a slight caramel malt flavor at the end.

Mouthfeel: Slightly syrupy, but not too heavy. Leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: I could drink a whole bottle, but chose to share this one with a friend. It's different than the Masala Mama IPA that we get at Town Hall, but unique and tasty in it's own way.

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Photo of bosox941827
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served cold from a 0.5L bottle into an imperial pint glass....allowed to warm as I tasted.

A - Classic "British" pale ale look, dk. orange/amber/brown, with thin head
S - Some malts and sweetness on the nose, but not much in the way of hops. Not unexpected from a British-style india pale ale, but you might expect a bit more since this IS an IPA.
T - I'm getting mostly toasted malts and "dry" caramel. Hops are there are there, but they are not prominent. This is very similar to the Pale Ale by SS, but with the IBUs kicked up just a bit.
M - Very smooth, low carbonation as is typical of the style
D - Quite drinkable, but not a "go-to" beer for me, like a bit more assertiveness in my IPAs.

Realize that, as one who is used to an American IPAs, this needs to be judged on a different scale, but this doesn't really do it for me. This is more like a standard American Pale Ale, and a less-assertive one at that! Obviously well-made and a classic and prefer this MUCH over the PA by Sam Smith, but is not a "go-to" for me. Wonder if the distance has taken something away from the beer? Will have to try it on tap as well to see if it improves in that format.

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Photo of trackstar1043
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a med copper golden hue with a off-white head 2 fingers stong and a sticky lace that it left behind as it settled.

S - Sharp aroma of citrus and hops, wheat and malts we detectable also.

T - Sharp and strong hops that are well balanced with the sweet and sour citrus kick, has a malty lingering as you enjoy the flavoring.

M - Much milder and pleasant than I was expecting, but it will still jolt your taste buds.

D - Great brew very drinkable.

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Photo of ncbeermonger
2.71/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pours with a little head, the beer is short of an amber color, you can see oranges, and reds.

The smell of Hops is there, but not overly hoppy.

Taste leaves a lot to be desired, it may be because I got a bad bottle. I bought this at Earth Fare, and after reading my fellow BA reviews on the place this Earth fare is known for having older stock! This bottle may be old! There is no born on dating of any kind, so it's impossible to tell.

The mouthfeel is good, but heavy for an IPA. this bottle lacks crispness, something I was looking for in this India Ale. The ABV is only 5. I expect more from an Ipa.

This is not a beer I will try again.

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Photo of WissBrauSean
4.69/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer poured a very clear light copper color with a nice three finger head at 55 degrees. Perfect temperature. The head has excellent cathedral pillar looking lacing that is sticky to the sides and the head stays as a full cap and ring throughout the drink from my imperial pint glass.

The aroma is of mellow light caramel malts biscuity yeast and apricots.

The taste is out of this world smooth caramel malts, some biscuity tastes (very light) and some light fruit flavours all combined and balanced nicely with a bit of dry hops which really don't become exceedingly apparent until the finish which is only slightly dry. Incredibly pleasant.

Mouthfeel is smooth and moderately full for a 5% abv beer thanks to the malt sweetness and it is really well balanced throughout the sip by the hops. The carbonation is mild to moderate and the lasting one finger head lends some creaminess to the drink as well. Slight dry finish makes you crave more!

Overall this is probably my favorite IPA. I'm not a hop head so this fits the bill perfectly for me! I also feel that this is a world class beer and am now a strong fan of Samuel Smith Old Brewery which is now on my bucket list of breweries to tour!

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Photo of brown2cu
4.46/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: poured a clear copper color with a small white head that dissipated into a thin ring around the glass. Minimal lacing.

S: Floral and citrusy, with a nice malt backbone. Perfect!

T: Pretty acceptable for the style. Nice and sweet a lot of citrusy sweetness. Hop bitterness is present, but it is not on steroids like the american varieties. Overall good but light

M: moderately carbonated which I like. It allows for the full flavor to shine forth.

D: very good! I wish I had another.

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Photo of JohnnyI
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As an encore to their Oatmeal Stout in the variety pack, I went with this English style IPA next. Poured in to their signature Samuel Smith pint glass, the beer puts forth a rising head of spongy off white foam. 3 fingers of froth rests atop a tangerine-orange brew of notable clarity. Tons of lacing hangs around as the foam dissipates. Beautiful appearance. The aroma gives off biscuit malts and only traces of hops. Certainly not nearly as aromatic as its American brethren. Despite the lack of a pronounced hop bouquet, it is still hop-forward in the flavor department. But of the tame citrus variety, with minimal bitterness. They definitely put a leash on it. A touch of toffee and some metallic accents that zing your tongue.There's some orange sweetness, light pine, and fruity esters to round out the flavors. The pleasant and slightly dry aftertaste conjures thoughts of herbal tea, and there's a good mix of malt and hops. The beer is effervescent with a juicy feel. A pretty solid body given its relative lack of weight. Overall, I think we Americans have been spoiled with mega-IPA's that obliterate your senses. This is a refreshing and easy alternative with a historic pedigree and distinguished character. Hopheads may find this leaving them a little wanting, but if you can appreciate it for what it is, it's great. Balanced, refined. A true classic.

 1,367 characters

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

Poured for a bottle to a snifter and it poured a amber almost copper color with a small off white head that didn't last long but left great lacing. The smell was a little muted but I could pick up malts, caramel, toffee, a little sweetness, faint hops. Taste was the above malt taste up front that slowy gave way to the hop taste at the finish, a little pine resin and citrus. Mouthfeel was medium and the carb level was perfect. Overall it was a pleasent and different IPA. Another good brew for Samuel Smith and worthy of a try.

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Photo of mcowgill
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer poured a nice coppery color with minimal head and nice off white lacing.

S - The nose was sort of apple/tangy hops certainly not overpowering. The malt aroma comes through as well.

T - The taste seemed really dry to me with an initial malt flavor and decent tangy hop finish.

M - This beer has a crisp mouthfeel with good carbonation.

D - This is a fairly drinkable beer, certainly not one of my favorites but above average.

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Photo of pittvkyle7
3.86/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- CLear light amber, big fast rising bubbles, big off white head with lacing.

S- After the pour there was a quick burst of grapefruit, that faded and moved to more of a malty nose, and slightly bready.

T- Well you can tell this is not american. Quite balanced. For the hop profile it is mostly bittering, you get a little bit of the grapefruit that was in the nose. The malts were strong and complex and toasty, bready and coffeeish. There is a nice fruit taste from the yeast pear or apple.

M- carbonation has a sting to it, and it's refreshing.

D- very drinkable, and very interesting to compare to the american style.

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Photo of bobbyc881
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice copper color, slightly off-white head which holds up for a bit, then forms a nice lace around the glass.

Smell is a bit malty, slightly citric. You can smell the hops before you taste it.

Medium carbonation, rather clear in appearance. Taste is a nice balance of sweet malts and hop bitterness. Aftertaste is a bit dry, then sticky in the mouth.

Feels nice overall -- a very drinkable, very unoffensive beer.

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

Pours a dark copper color with an off-white 2 finger head that provides a sticky lace. Aroma is more sweet malts then anything, slightly floral hop, and a hint of fruit....pear maybe. Taste is very surprising.... smooth, buttery malt up front, with a pleasant hop bitterness that hits the palate before a smooth finish. Mild carbonation and medium body make for a pleasant mouthfeel, and make this ale very sessionable.

Truthfully, not what I was expecting, but not bad by any means. I was just expecting something a little more hopped up. This one is very close in comparison to their pale ale, but still, a solid and well balanced offering.

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Photo of Rezzin
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

A - Copper brownish with lots of sediment. Was this beer bottle conditioned? Fluffy white head drops to a thin covering - almost milky in appearance.

S - Malty and fruity with some earthiness from the hops. You can smell it but it's not overly aromatic. Smells somewhat sweet.

T - First sip has a strong fruitiness in the front almost like apples or maybe even plums. Hmm.. more like apples. It's a little on the light side and you really can't detect the alcohol. Almost tastes a little spicy on the back with some bitterness. It's not bad.

M - Thin with a nice tart finish. Leaves a slightly dry aftertaste which is really not all that bad.

D - This isn't my favorite IPA but I thought it wasn't too bad. Definitely a sessionable beer. Might be a favorite for those who prefer the less hoppy and more malty ipas.

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Photo of twbrewer
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured a crystal clear golden caramel color.1\4" of head that fades quickly,very little to no lacing.

S-It has a sweet malt,caramel smell with a nice light and floral hop nose.

T-The taste is just like the smell,the hops leave a very light bitter aftertaste.Well balaned.

M-It has a crisp but very smooth mouthfeel with good carbonation.

D-It is a easy drinking beer that could easily become a session.It is a great examle of a English IPA.

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Photo of PhantasIPA
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The color of this beer is a mixture of copper and light gold. The head was big at first but quickly dissipated and the beers leaves a little lacing as you drink but if the glass is left undisturbed, it disappears completely.

The smell is very subtle and the strongest characteristic is the sweet malt and dry, barley. The malt smells like caramel and a little bit of brown sugar.

The taste is really nice. No flavor or characteristic is dominating but it is extremely well balanced and delivers a hint of lots of flavors. First the caramel sweetness, then the dry, wheat-like barley, then the even dryer hops.

The mouthfeel is really nice as well. Very smooth, almost no carbonation and all of the flavors linger nicely. Very refreshing and super easy to drink.

Overall this is a good beer. It is unique in its lightness and flavor, even thought it is not very strong (5% ABV). Refreshing and very easy to drink with good a good balance of flavors.

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Photo of Stavage
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring it into my schooner I get a nice frothy off white head with excellent retention. The liquid has a nice reddish golden amber. Very clear.

Smell was full of toasty biscuity malts and aromatic hops. The hops scent varied from citrus fruits to cloves to possibly a hint of pepperiness.

Nice tasting IPA. The hops doesn't blast your mouth with extreme bitterness but its definitely there and definitely noticeable. A nice varied hops bitterness is the first thing to hit my palate and lingered well afterwards. A very strong malt backbone gives good balance. The malt flavours mimic the smell, toasty and bread like to biscuity.

Mouthfeel is probably the weak point in this beer. It's a little bit lightbodied for an IPA. Otherwise it's nice and dry and refreshing.

Only 5% abv so you can enjoy a pint and keep your wits reasonably well. It doesn't lack in flavour and it's quite refreshing. If only it had a little more body.

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

Light to medium brown with amber accents... very light lacing.

Light malty smell, not very overpowering.

Light hops with slight sweet accents. Light florals with a malty aftertaste. Overall very good. A little smoother than other IPAs.

Carbonation is light and the beer doesn't feel watery at all... a smooth drink.

Very smooth beer, tastes great going down! Finish has the normal IPA strength.

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Photo of iuhophead87
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 18.7oz bottle into a pint glass.

A-pours a light transparent copper color with a white creamy head that stays the entire life of the beer.
S-An overpowering malt and caramel aroma with traces of floral hops.
T-Although the hop taste is there it is overpowered by the malts and toffee. A true English IPA with a little extra back-end bitterness.
MF-A very creamy almost butter texture. The malty beginning leads to spicy hop feel lingering in the mouth.
D- A very easy beer to drink. Not as hoppy as an American IPA abut just enough hops to give a bitter flavor that leaves me wanting a little more. I could put back a few of these in a PUB!

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Photo of evanlarkin
2.91/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A dark honey-orange color, very clear. A few fingers of head at first, but it disappears quickly. No room in the glass to allow for lacing.

Sweet and somewhat bitter. Not extremely strong. Some slight caramel notes. Surprisingly, not much hops on the nose.

Sweet and caramelly with minimal bitterness. Slightly boozy about midway through, not overly so, and with some slightly resinous hops flavor. For an IPA you would probably expect more hops, but this resembles an amber ale to me.

light/medium body, kind of coats your mouth. Filmy and lower than average carbonation for this style.

It tastes good, I could have another, but if I were looking for an IPA this would disappoint. The hops flavor simply isn't prominent enough. It's still delicious in it's own right, however.

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

Appearance = attractive copper-bronze, with a nice .5 inch head. As that recedes, leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Medium carbonation. Beauty.

Nose = spicy, hoppy, hint of sweet

Taste = you go thru stages with this beer, malty sweet and bitter in good balance as you take a drink, as you swallow the sweet leaves and only the bitter remains. A long, long finish. Plenty o' hops. Yummy.

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Photo of throwitallaway
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16.9oz. bottle into a pint glass. Burnt orange color, with a big head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is very fruity with only a touch of floral hops underneath. Tastes exactly like it smells, fruit first with a slight hop bitterness underneath. As it warms up, the bitterness and some alcohol comes out. Mouthfeel is slightly thin, but fairly lively. This is my first English IPA and it's entirely different from American IPAs. My preference lies with the latter, although the former is dangerously easy to drink.

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Photo of adamwn
2.85/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from bottle into a pint glass. very small amount head disappeared quickly and left no lacing. much darker than expected with a dark amber color. doesn't look like most ipas. not very bitter or fruity like the label suggests. the heavy malt flavor/aroma jumps out immediately and remains. i prefer the american version, but this is still a solid offering.

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Samuel Smith's India Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
3.71 out of 5 based on 1,884 ratings.
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