Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale | Alexander Keith's

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Alexander Keith's India Pale AleAlexander Keith's India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Alexander Keith's
Nova Scotia, Canada

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 04-16-1998

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Reviews: 276 | Ratings: 633
Photo of EliNightCrew
1/5  rDev -61.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Not only was it never a good beer (Lager, Ale, anything ---Def not IPA), but it got way worse since the new owners goofed around with the recipe.

Not a 'daily driver', not a Lager, not an Ale.

Its an American adjunct lager at best so why bother drinking it?

This is crap in a bottle.

Pale pale yellow colour. It tastes and looks just like Blue. Hardly any bitter Hop taste. What a crime to call this beer an IPA. Should be a law against this type of marketing.

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Photo of adams82
1/5  rDev -61.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Rating by style, this is an absolute zero. Looks like your standard BMC fare; pale yellow fizzy water with a white film. Zero hop flavor/aroma, cooked corn flavor.

I'm not sure what they were going for with this brew, but they completely missed the mark if they were really trying to brew an IPA. This beer should be rebranded as an adjunct/light lager, as it's on par with PBR, Molson Canadian, Bud etc...

Terrible; avoid at all costs if you're looking for an IPA.

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Photo of Brad007
1/5  rDev -61.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

One of the few offerings on the shelves that wasn't a variant of Molson, Carling or LaBatt.

Pours a too-bright gold with a huge head into my glass. Something's not right here. Hmm. More fitting for a pils.

Buttery malt in the nose? Check. Low hop presence? Check. Is it an English IPA? ("Price is Right" losing horn)

Tastes like I just drank a pint of dishwater. Hardly any hops, malt or anything.

Watery, metallic finish completes this abomination of an IPA. No, scratch this. This is a drain pour.

Being that this is the "Pride of Nova Scotia", I'd be shocked if empty cans didn't litter the grounds of Sunnyvale Trailer Park.

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Photo of putnam
1.06/5  rDev -59.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Massive buildup of foam over the clear pale yellow liquid. Aromas of cooked asparagus, clear as a bell. Also aromas of lime corn chips. All of this is far more repelling in a beer than it would be on a plate of course. I keep going back for a smell, wondering if it will be possible to swallow this flawed concoction. As the foam settles it only gets worse; detergent, mescal and composted pine clippings. The hops chemistry is psychotic.
I suppose it would be possible to keep down a swallow, but I choose instead to spit it out. Vegetal, astringent ... why go on? If this were ice cold and I was desperate for alcohol it might be possible to drink this.

Very foul stuff.

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Photo of Yeasty_Boy
1.11/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I recently inquired at the bar in a restaurant in Banff whether they had any IPAs. The bartender said “not really,” but mentioned the Alexander Keith's IPA, so (against his advice) I ordered one. I initially assumed that I had been served some other type of beer, given the very low hop rate and prominent sweetness. I also thought I detected a slight banana - clove essence like you get from the type of yeast normally used for wheat beers; if so, that is definitely not a characteristic of IPA. So, as it turned out, I WAS served some other type of beer. In any event, since I have a low tolerance for sweetness and dislike wheat beer yeasts, I left the remainder of the bottle. Have they checked any style guidelines? This “IPA” lacks the three distinguishing characteristics of an IPA: (1) a high hopping rate, (2) the proper grain bill, and (3) an ale yeast.

I was about to warn my companions not to order this beer, but then it occurred to me that it might be amusing to watch the expressions on their faces when they tried it. But, I couldn’t go through with it, so I had them taste mine instead.

Everyone was incredulous (that it is sold as an IPA). It was kind of funny (but the joke was on me). “IPA” - ha!

I can't in good conscience rate this anything other than very low. Not only is it not an IPA (English- or American-style), it just tasted bad (to me). Of course, I was expecting something hoppy with a rich mouthfeel.

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Photo of biegaman
1.11/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Although most beer drinkers don't know it, "India Pale Ales" (named such because they were brewed to last the long, turbulent journey from Britain to the sub-continent) were only "pale" by comparison to other beers at the time. IPAs, historically, are reddish copper and this bright, brilliant, watery yellow colour is nice, but most out of place.

I really avoid at all cost using the word "urine" with reference to beers; while some beers have an equally intense, off-putting smell as urine does, very few (if any) ever actually harbor a smell resembling it. That being said, this beer, in all honesty, actually does smell a little like it (along with a dab of rotten orchard fruit and a good dose of vinegar).

Note that I've made no mention of hops. And I'm not likely to at all, unless to say that I'm not smelling/tasting/sensing any. If the beer's mismatched appearance didn't let on that this thing is an IPA in name only, there's no mistaking it from the taste. Not only is there no - not virtually no, but literally no - presence of hops, there's no maltiness either.

Instead, there is a cloying, disagreeable, synthetic taste of corn syrup and... only God knows what else. Thankfully the aftertaste is negligible, but those first few seconds after the swallow are pure hell for the palate. The beer is distasteful, nauseating, too repugnant even to be called insipid. It is abhorrently gross and, in plain English, ruthlessly bad.

I don't know what's worse: the fact that this is an offensive, objectionable, abominably awful rendition of a classic style or that it's just an utterly disgusting, unpalatable offering in its own right. No, it's the fact that they call this an "IPA" when clearly it's nothing more than an industrially-produced, adjunct-ridden macro lager (and a terrible one at that!)

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
1.23/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A - VERY pale. This is closer in colour to a light beer than an IPA. There is some visible carbonation, about average for an IPA.

S - Very faint malt aroma. I don't detect any hops on the nose, which for an IPA is puzzling.

T - The palate is a very light, crisp malt profile. No bitterness or hops at all. Barely more flavour than a Coors Light or Bud Lite. Disappointing and not even remotely resembling the style.

M - Light body with some carbonation. This has a good/typical mouthfeel for a lager, not an IPA. The overall mouth feel is not all that bad. If this was a lager, I would give it an average rating, but if you want to call yourself an IPA, I am going to rate you as an IPA, which is not impressive at all.

Overall this is a decent beer, but is NOT AN IPA. The fact that they call it an IPA is truly disappointing. My rating above take in to account that this is supposed to be be an IPA. If they called it "Keith's Lager" I would probably give is a C or C-.


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Photo of gberg67
1.24/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

There is a sign by the road in Ingonish, Nova Scotia, that says, "If its nae Scottish, it's crrrrap." This stuff is nae Scottish. I'm pretty sure it's nae beer, either. I laughed out loud when I read a reviewer's note below that he assumed they'd hooked the wrong keg up to the tap, which is exactly what I asked the waitress. She apologized, said it might have happened, and brought me a bottle of it instead. One sip and I realized the error had happened at the brewery, when they created this swill, rather than at the bar. New rule: always, always, always consult Beer Advocate before trying something new. Sad, but better safe than sorry.

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Photo of Pascal1967
1.32/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Expecting an IPA, I was very disappointed. My first thought was "they hooked the tap up to the wrong keg of beer, certainly". This is definitely NOT an IPA. It is a light pilsner or lager. There were no hops, no aroma, just a light beer with a bad aftertaste. I tried it from the tap and from the bottle in St. John, NB, Canada. I bought two beers and had about 2-3 sips from each one, discarded the rest. This should not be classified as an IPA and as a "light beer" I'd only improve my rating a small amount.

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Photo of relapse
1.32/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Very thin, pale colour, reminiscent of urine. Smells more like corn rather than the hops that it should be loaded with. Doesn't taste like an IPA, more like a sweet, corny macro offering. Has the mouthfeel of a light beer, and is very contrary to how it should taste.

I guess I'd put it a nose ahead of coors light as far as flavour goes. If this were a light lager I'd be far more forgiving of what it brings to the table. I'm sorry if my review isn't as vivid or inspiring as it could be, but perhaps it's fitting because neither is this beer.

"Those who hate it, hate it a lot."

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Photo of Cwrw
1.37/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

What is this, exactly? It's near ubiquitous in Canada, and some people think misguidedly that because it's from the Maritimes and all the good ole boys back home drink it, that it must be good.

Piss poor. I'd rather drink a malt liquor or even a non-alcoholic beer. I put this where it belongs, with all the other big dominant mediocre beers on the Canadian market (ie all the Coors, Molsons, and Labatts.) It's a macro style lager taste, and I honestly wouldn't know this was an IPA if you put it beside any of the anemic tasteless swill that comes from the Big Brewers.

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Photo of papat444
1.41/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

This could not be further from an IPA. Pours a very pale yellow body, taste is rife of adjuncts and corn with offsetting bitterness not related to hops. Small head and minimal lacing, the fact it carries the word IPA on the label is a joke.

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Photo of ChappyCubsFan
1.41/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This is the absolute worst IPA I have ever tried within the United States and Canada. What right do they have to call this an IPA? It was the low point of my trip to Toronto to experience their brews. There is no hint of hops. It's also lacking any interesting taste and character of the malt used to brew this annoying beverage.

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Photo of djmitche
1.45/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I had this at a college bar in Toronto, hoping it would be a bit better than the Labatt's and Moosehead also available. I figure, if you're going to make an IPA, then it's probably not fizzy yellow stuff, right? Wrong. It's fizzy yellow stuff - by appearance this is dark straw with minimal head and a coarse carbonation. No perceptible hop aroma. No perceptible bitterness or flavor, and even the malt falls painfully flat. It's hard to imagine a mouthfeel below "not impressed", so it gets 2 points there. All in all, I suppose this is drinkable if you're out of Bud Light, but I can't give it much more than that.

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Photo of Soots
1.45/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.25

Bought in a small grocery store with minimal selection on the way home as I had nothing at home, very much regretted it. Obviously not even remotely an IPA and more like a beer flavoured pop than anything. Very liberally carbonated. Couldn't finish it.

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Photo of stancpa
1.46/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

I love a good IPA, this beer is not. The IPA taste is quite weak and barely drinkable. The overall flavor was unremarkable. I did not enjoy drinking this beer. I had purchased a case of it on my Canadian fishing trip, tried to trade it with my fishing buddies but after tasting it they declined.

I hope to find a decent Canadian IPA for my next Canadian fishing trip.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
1.5/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bought an 8 pack of this in Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia on a recent vacation. Paid about $16.99 (Canadian) plus HST (tax), which made this way overpriced, but it was the only store selling alcohol we could find on a Sunday afternoon, and it had a pretty limited selection.

Pours a pale BMC-lager like straw color, nothing like an IPA. The few bubbles quickly die away, and no carbonation remains.

Aroma? None, really. Where are the hops?

Flavor? A train wreck. This reminds me of the sweetest corn candy that I would expect of a cream ale. Some maltiness. Hops? Not to be found anywhere. OK, maybe I'm being too critical, let me try again. Nope. Still nothing close to style.

Left some of the 8 pack in the hotel when we checked out, brought 1 home to make sure I wasn't being overly critical. I'm not. Stay away.

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Photo of FishMan123
1.5/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Got this at a bar in Ottawa. Asked for something with a lot of hops and bartender said that they didn't have much of that and offered me Keith's IPA. You can find this at almost any bar in Ottawa it seems.

Color is a pale (slightly neon?) watery yellow. Pours without much of a head. The smell is distinctive - dirty feet. At first I thought my glass must be contaminated, I didn't think that smell was coming from the beer. But I had a mini-pitcher and indeed, it was the beer. Seriously, dirty feet.

Taste was a bland, metalic, lager. IPA? I think not.

I left when the ball game was over, without finishing the mini-pitcher.

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Photo of ericj551
1.51/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Keith's IPA pours a clear light gold with a slightly foamy head that fades quickly, despite the heavy carbonation. The aroma is cooked corn and husky grain. The flavor is more cooked corn, DMS and pale grainy malt. There is maybe a hint more bitterness than the average macro ale/lager, and maybe there is a vague herbal hop flavor, but that's really stretching. The body is heavy relative to the flavor, but still pretty thin overall. Calling this beer an IPA is more of a stretch than calling Miller Lite a pilsner, it's just plain misleading.

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Photo of Jaxxon61
1.52/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I.P.A.? As my dad would say, "They should be arrested for False Pretenses!" It shares about as much in common with a full-bodied I.P.A. as Metallica does with the Village People. This 'beer' is weak. This 'beer' is flavourless. No wait, I can taste some corn syrup, and what's that...pickle juice? Honestly, I think I taste hints of pickle juice! No kidding! I hope I'm not having a stroke. Oh, please, dear God, make this aftertaste go away! It's almost making me crave a Bud Lite Lime! Oh, the humanity!

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Photo of OttoBomb
1.53/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

341 ml bottle poured into Dogfish Head signature glass (January 8, 2011). No freshness dating that I can find. I picked this up on a trip to Toronto, the lady at the beer store said it was the best IPA they had.

Eyes: Pours a pale straw yellow with a soapy white head. Super clear.

Nose: Smells like corn and grain. Simple, and uninteresting, this simply cannot be an IPA. Notice I never use the term "aroma" here.

Tongue: This simply isn't an IPA. It has a simple light grain malt flavor, with a suggestion of hops. The macro corn aspect is evident.

Mouth: Spritzy and quite carbonated. This is the only activity that the beer will provide to the palate.

Libation: This is better than most macro brews, which isn't saying a whole lot, but the bottle said IPA on it so I'm rating this as such. It fails miserably. It has minimal hopps on either the nose or tongue and is simply another poor macro attempt to bite on the popularity of the popular IPA style. Even the malt profile is poor.

This is easily the poorest example of an IPA I have experienced. The lady at the beer store deserves a slap.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
1.53/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is a not a good IPA. It looks like a lager, it smells like a lager and it tastes like a lager. Im not sure if they even use ale yeast. It is a pale straw color with average carbonation. Its head is crackly and dissipates immediately, leaving no lace on the glass. The smell is of sweetish malt and barely discernable hops, very weak. The taste is watery like all bland macrobrews and the corn taste is prominent. Theres also a horrible cloying sweetness in the finish. This beer definitely smelled better then it tastes. The mouthfeel is like any boring macrobrew, watery. That being said this beer chilled would be somewhat refreshing on a hot summer day, just as labbatt or molson would be. Though it too is full of defects.
overall I didnt like this 'IPA'. Save your money and pick up some Propeller Pale Ale instead if you want a decent east coast canadian Ale.

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Photo of benito
1.53/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

There's one very simple problem with this beer--so strangely lauded in Maritime Canada: it's not an IPA. It can't 'pass' as an IPA be it from Britain, the US (ha!), or South Africa. Keith's is an above average macro lager with a nice aftertaste, but market it as an IPA, and it's rating will always suffer.

It is a hay yellow with a fizzy head, no hop presence in aroma or taste. To its credit, it does have a crisp finish, and a good balance in all-around flavor. As a macro lager, it is significantly better than any of the major American offerings, on par with Canada's Alpine Lager (another beer from the Maritimes!) The day that the folks out in Nova Scotia stop marketing this is an IPA and sell it for what it is will be the day that I give this a higher rating.

If you want a decent macro lager, this will do. If you wan't an IPA, caveat emptor: that's not what you're getting in Keith's.

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Photo of lostdesperato
1.53/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was disgusted by this beer. It is a disgrace to its style. From its pale straw colored body, to its over-carbonated weak mouthfeel, and finally finishing on a nasty lingering after-taste. Everything about this beer says macro-american lager.

As they say:
Those who like it
Like it alot

I guess
Those who don't like it
Despise it.

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Photo of pelicula
1.56/5  rDev -40%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Initial Impression: Let's be clear, this would only be a good beer if you were looking for a summer beer when you wanted to be hydrated and refreshed, not when you want an IPA, because this is flavoured water. Clear light golden colour, pours with no head from a bottle. Yeasty nose, light IPA smell. First taste is a very subtle IPA taste, it is quite subtle, smooth, and watery. It's like they were going for an IPA for beginners. No hop presence and too subtle for an IPA. Perhaps it's because I am partial to a distinct, strong, sharp IPA taste that this fails so terribly. It's almost like it is made with corn syrup. Really weak, I'm shocked. It would work well in a summer context, but not for those under the impression that they are having an I.P.A., it doesn't live up to what it should.

Notes about the beer: Some say that the Keith's IPA is not a traditional IPA. "The term Pale Ale originally denoted and ale which had been brewed from pale malt." It became known as India Pale Ale because of the huge demand among the East India Company in the 18th Century.

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Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale from Alexander Keith's
2.6 out of 5 based on 633 ratings.
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