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: 628
Photo of guywhodrinksbeer
2/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Alexander Keith’s is a decent mass-produced lager, especially when it’s served really cold on a very hot day…basically, what I would call a good lawn-mowing beer. Like Molson Canadian, it's low in alcohol (5% ABV compared to 6% or more of a true IPA), pale-yellow, sweet, and very highly carbonated.

But make no mistake, this is by no means an IPA. It doesn’t even remotely taste like an IPA . It isn't even an ale; it's a lager.

It’s true that it has been called Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale since 1820 or something like that. However, there is no reason to continue to call it this at a time when so many folks can recognize the distinct taste of an IPA (that is, beer with a hop count somewhere between 60 and 80 which is what an IPA is). I would be surprised if this beer was above 20 as it just doesn't taste anything like an IPA at all.

I’m not sure why the original branding was “India Pale Ale”. Maybe, the recipe was different at one time or maybe the definition of IPA has just changed; whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter.

In my opinion, these guys need to rebrand this stuff and move away from calling it an IPA; which it is most certainly not.

 1,195 characters

Photo of gberg67
1.24/5  rDev -52.5%
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.

 643 characters

Photo of Cwrw
1.37/5  rDev -47.5%
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.

 572 characters

Photo of Wer34truh
3.69/5  rDev +41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Fairly typical EIPA, with a crisp and apple-laden aftertaste. I could see myself downing quite a few of these on a Premier League Saturday at the local townside bar.

 165 characters

Photo of uangel
2.06/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

S - shiny colour in an IKEA glass. 3 mark is for this,
H - hopes i had for this beer
I - IPA ? really?
T - time i have wasted to get carry a six of these home (and to pour the rest 5 out).
Almost no difference away the European low-quality lager. Have just registered to tell you this.

 285 characters

Photo of thebeers
2.66/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Clear pale golden color with a finger of airy white head that dissipates quickly and leaves little-to-no lacing. Smells and tastes like a poorly-crafted AAL, despite the IPA label in this airport bar. Buttery, corny malt dominates the taste with a dull, stale bitterness behind. Light bodied with strong carbonation. Just awful.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
1.66/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Tried this twice on a recent trip to Canada. It seemed to be everywhere up there. I found this to be one of the worst IPA's I've ever had.

The color and appearance were decent, however the beer had no aroma, nothing from the hops. It's tastes like a blonde ale, or possibly even a macro lager with the tiniest pinch of hops in it. Salty. Watery, yet still somehow thick with a terrible mouthfeel. Flat. Tasteless. Actually, it tastes like they made this using a blonde ale and a diaper. It's bad, and I'm not sure I'd drink it again if it was free.

The fact they call this and "India Pale Ale" and are able to print it as such on the label is an absolute disgrace.

 678 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.21/5  rDev +23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pretty bland IPA. Had 2 with an excellent fish dinner at All Aboard restaurant in Cheticamp Nova Scotia. Pours a fairly dark gold color, mostly clear with a small white head. Head retention is less than average with minimal lacing. Very faint malty aroma. Taste is light, mildly malty with just a bit more grassy hops than a Bud. Mouthfeel is light and a bit flat. This is a pretty average beer.

 395 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.61/5  rDev +38.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery in Halifax.
Golden body with excellent clarity.
Very mild, even for a pale ale. So weak and mild, my companion who doesn't even like beer found it drinkable and "like water". Ridiculous calling this an IPA. Ignoring that, it is clean, refreshing and well balanced. Should work well with food.

 317 characters

Photo of VbolieuV
3.43/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

See through yellow/golden color with a quickly disappearing head and some carbonation. Looks like any macro beer. Also smells like a macro beer, you smell the malts and some bread notes but without a good aroma really. A little more hops than most macro brews, but not enough to be called an IPA. Tastes like a generic lager but with more hops, which I guess it's what it's supposed to taste like. Easy enough to drink that it becomes a not-so-bad choice when there's only macro lager available, but not bitter enough to be called an IPA.

 538 characters

Photo of NoobofBeer
2.59/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

It tastes like someone added a small amount of hops to an AAL, The carbonation isn't all that bad in my opinion and nor is the mouth feel but it's not a very good beer.

Even for the meager price of $2.15 per 500ML can at the beer store I'd rather drink a PBR for the exact same price.

 285 characters

Photo of Pascal1967
1.32/5  rDev -49.4%
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.

 520 characters

Photo of SchoonDoggie
1.69/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

It tastes warm even when it's cold. Super salty and you're pretty guaranteed a hang over after drinking half of one. Harsh and barely tolerable when offered to you when free. Gives Nova Scotia beers a bad reputation.

 216 characters

Photo of TDotScott
1.63/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Poured from a pounder into a wine glass. It's well known that Keith's IPA isn't much of an IPA, so I decided to judge it as a cream/blonde ale. If I judged it based on requirements for an English IPA, its score would be even lower.

A- Completely clear and straw colored. Light, even for a cream/blonde. A white, fizzy head builds, then dissipates quickly.

S- DMS like whoa. Creamed corn, with not much else going on. Definitely nothing for yeasty notes, and maybe a touch of floral hops.

T- More DMS, with a little bitty snap of hops on the finish.

F- Dry finish. Less fizzy than an adjunct lager, but fizzier than most other ales of this type.

O- I had said before that the beer succeeds as a blonde ale, but it really doesn't. That said, I'll still take it over a Bud/Molson/Coors any day.

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Photo of Soots
1.45/5  rDev -44.4%
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 Bunman3
2.24/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Shame on you, Alexander Keith's/Labatt's. There was a time when this beer stood out from the rest of the mass produced lagers in Canada. IPA? Not a chance! Enough said. Give this a wide pass, unless it's free.

 209 characters

Photo of Svingjo
2.61/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not what I'd consider an IPA. Yeah, an IPA doesn't have to be a hop bomb, but there was nothing in the look, smell or taste to differentiate it from your average adjunct lager.

 177 characters

Photo of SJ-Roger
4/5  rDev +53.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When enjoyed on tap in Halifax on the Harbour at the Lower Deck with some great Canadian band, nothing else seems quite as good, though I never like it as much otherwise.

 170 characters

Photo of TheBierdimpfe
1.88/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Bright straw color, almost golden, with strong activity. White 0.5 finger head lasting around 5 minutes with below average legs.

Faint aromas and flavors of grains, citrus, corn, herbal spices. Slightly grainy and lemony sweetness with some hoppy bitterness. Feels grassy, a little wet cardboard, and metallic.

Light body with high carbonation. Faint finish of moderate length ending with minimal herbal spiciness.

Overall a weak IPA; while the freshness is good, the flavors are too bland without personality, almost tasting like adjunct lagers.

 549 characters

Photo of Yeasty_Boy
1.11/5  rDev -57.5%
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.

 1,461 characters

Photo of Treyliff
2.43/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

A- pours a crystal clear straw color almost like water, with a small fizzy white head that retains nicely long after the pour

S- very sweet aroma with some grainy malt, it actually smells like apple juice, not really picking up any hops

T- slightly sweet up front with notes of pear and apple juice, grains, having trouble picking up even a trace of hop flavor, watery finish

M- light water body with medium carbonation leads to a thin but foamy mouthfeel and a watery crisp finish

O- this certainly isn't an IPA, it drinks more like a watered down hard cider

 603 characters

Photo of LeesinkyZaika
2.09/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

I'm a Canadian who has been drinking this brew for the past 15 years, and have witnessed its decline in the same period. Definitely not what it used to be, and I don't believe it qualifies as a true IPA. The initial mouthfeel is flat, watery, and basically insipid. Definitely no hoppiness or hops character here. The overall sensation is of an intense disappointment over it's very bland character that belies its name and label.
I serve this to unwanted guests who feel special when I serve it to them :)

 508 characters

Photo of papat444
1.41/5  rDev -46%
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.

 240 characters

Photo of BxSTEW
4.39/5  rDev +68.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To let everyone know this is not a true ipa in the sense that everyone on this site is thinking this beer is more akin to coors light or beer of that sort. That being said it is still a decent beer for going out and partying (for those who still do so that is). This beer has a sense of nostalgia to me it was the first beer i ever had and being quebecois and living in the states i miss it from time to time. Give it a shot just keep my words in mind if you ever do. Happy drinking all!!

 488 characters

Photo of Mlkluther
2.25/5  rDev -13.8%

Can. Pours clear golden with a light short lasting head. Despite the fact that this beer is my namesake it is a very flavourless beer. It is more like a watered down mass produced lager rather than an IPA.

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Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale from Alexander Keith's
2.61 out of 5 based on 628 ratings.
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