I recently enjoyed a rather expensive bottle of Sam Smith’s India Ale at my favorite local Indian restaurant with dinner. Call me a cheapo if you want, but knowing how much beer costs makes it hard for me to spend $7 on a bottle of beer, and so I usually don’t order beer when eating out. I mean, for another buck I can get a four-pack of this stuff at the store.
But that’s beside the point! My Wife and I were celebrating our daughter, who was finally coming home from spending some time in the hospital after being born, so, I decided to splurge on a great beer (or two) to accompany what is always a great meal!
Sam Smith’s India Pale Ale is simply another great beer from these English guys. Of all the Sam Smith beers I’ve tried so far, only the Old Brewery Pale Ale was a little underwhelming for me. The rest are simply incredible. (My new love is their Imperial Stout, but that’s another story.)
Unlike the American style IPAs, which have much hop bite, these ‘traditional’ English-style IPAs are still hoppy and bitter, but in a much more mellow and well-rounded way.
They don’t tend to smack you in the face with their hop profile which allows you to better enjoy the other qualities of the beer. In the case of the Sam Smith India Ale, I found that malt flavors were not only detectable both in aroma and taste, but they played a big role in the overall flavor profile of the beer. A welcome change from some of the hop-heavy American IPAs I’ve been having of late.
Readers of The Brew Club agree, IPAs, English or American, are great beers to pair with Indian food, or Tex-Mex for that matter. Their larger hop profiles enable them to actually be a flavorful addition to the spicy meal, rather than just a beery-flavored refreshment that I think Lagers tend to be in this case.
Don’t get me wrong, a nice, crisp lager would be great with Indian and Tex-Mex too, its what most people prefer I think, but for me a good IPA is a much better choice. Especially this one from Sam Smith.
Give an IPA a try with your next spicy meal!
Oh. The beer? Four stars!