Samuel Smith’s India Ale (5%)

This is such a good IPA, easily on a par with Bengal Lancer, and doing all the thing I want a good IPA to do, including hoodwinking me into joining the Merchant Navy.
In the glass the beer glows a warm amber and manages to retain just a ring of bubbles.
As you take a sip you get a face-full of toffee, spice and warm bread attacking your nostrils, lighting up your eyes and generally readying you for what’s about to happen in your mouth.
This beer feels oily and resinous, you can taste pine resin along with a surprising handful of roast pine nuts.
There’s a deeply rich and rewarding caramel and a dry bran biscuity shortcake thing going on too.
And then the lemon infused brandysnaps come at you on a trolly made from unseasoned willow, back garden English flowers, all spice and hedge clippings.
Before you know it you’ve taken the King’s shilling from the bottom of your glass and you’re on a ship in the South Seas working twenty three hours a day for maggoty bread in the knowledge that you won’t see home again.
You don’t mind though, because the beer is ace.

About Simon Williams

Founder of CAMRGB. Member of The British Guild Of Beer Writers. Leftist bigmouth. Old and grumpy.
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