Review of Samuel Smith’s India Ale

06 Dec
For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be drinking a Samuel Smith’s India Ale produced by the Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery located in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

It’s been quite sometime since I last had this brew, so I’m really looking forward to trying it again.

Here’s the description from the website,, regarding the India Ale.

Brewed with well water (the original well at the Old Brewery, sunk in 1758, is still in use, with the hard well water being drawn from 85 feet underground); best malted barley and a generous amount of choicest aroma hops; fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’ to create an exceptionally full-flavoured complex ale with an abundance of maltiness and fruity hop character.

Let’s get it in a glass shall we?

This brew poured from an 18.7 oz. bottle and has an ABV of 5.0%. 

The Samuel Smith’s India Ale was a very clear, pristine, amber to copper color with a barely off white head.  It’s texture was soft, creamy, fluffy, smooth and slightly rocky.  The size was very satisfactory, the retention time was more than competent and the lacing was very solid.  A thin, smooth film stuck with the beer for the entire drink.  I must say, it looked pretty good in the glass.

The aroma brought forth a light, herbal, hop presence with a minute amount of toasted grain and a slight buttery note.  A soft, clean, caramel malt merged with a light biscuit and subtle sweet fruit to create a very well balanced and harmonized bouquet.

The taste provided a very clean and somewhat crisp hop characteristic.  A tamed bitterness teamed with a proper malt punch of sweet caramel and earthy, “leafy” hints.  A gentle fruitiness and sturdy toasted biscuits provided, yet again, a very unified and congenial flavor.  The taste wasn’t overly complicated, but rather well suited and very tasty.

The mouthfeel was medium, clean, crisp, refreshing, dry and somewhat chewy.  It was slick and smooth going back and, all the while, left plenty of flavor behind on the palate for me to enjoy between sips.

Overall, I think this is a very solid, sturdy and worthwhile beer.  I feel as if I should be sitting in an English Pub when I drink this.  It has a very “English” aroma and taste.  Don’t be confused and think that this brew has the same profile as an American India Ale.  The hops are much more subtle and reserved, however not less enjoyable.  The drinkability is excellent and it’s a brew that could be enjoyed year round.  I could set a few of these back after work with relative ease.  The Samuel Smith’s India Ale is just a very good, easy going, enjoyable drink that should be tried by all who have not done so.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I hope all is well.  Until next time.


Score:  4.0 out of 5
Grade:  B+ 


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