A prominent hop aroma of floral, grassy, or fruity characteristic typical. A caramel-like or toasty malt presence may also be noted, but may be at a low level. Fruitiness, either from esters or hops, may also be detected.


    Color ranges from medium gold to deep copper, with English versions often darker than American ones. Should be clear, although some haze at cold temperatures is acceptable.


    Hop flavor is medium to high, with an assertive hop bitterness. Malt flavor should be low to medium, but should be sufficient to support the hop aspect. Despite the substantial hop character typical of these beers, sufficient malt flavor, body and complexity to support the hops will provide the best balance. Very low levels of diacetyl are acceptable, and fruitiness from the fermentation or hops should add to the overall complexity. Some alcohol warming may be sensed in stronger versions.


    Smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel without astringency, although it has moderate carbonation combine to render an overall dry sensation in the presence of malt sweetness.

    Overall Impression:

    A decidedly hoppy, moderately strong pale ale.


    Brewed to survive the voyage from England to India. The temperature extremes and rolling of the seas resulted in a highly attenuated beer upon arrival.


    A pale ale that was brewed to an increased gravity and hop rate.


    Pale ale malt (well-modified and suitable for single-temperature infusion mashing); English hops were used in the original versions, but American hop varieties have found a place in many modern interpretations. Refined sugar may have been used in some versions also. High sulfate and low carbonate water is essential to achieving a pleasant hop bitterness.

    Vital Statistics:

    OG: 1.050-1.075

    IBUs: 40-60+ FG: 1.012- 1.016

    SRM: 8-14 ABV: 5-7.8%

    Commercial Examples:

    Anchor Liberty Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, Brooklyn East India Pale Ale, Tupper's Hop Pocket, Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA, Samuel Smith's India Ale, Fuller's IPA, Highfalls IPA, Victory Hopdevil, Three Floyds Alpha King.