Ipswich Winter Ale - Ipswich Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Ipswich Winter AleIpswich Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

108 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 3
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-15-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (33) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 69
Reviews by DrinkingDrake:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent Winter Ale. Tastes much like their Original Ale though. That's not a bad thing mind you, but I expected something much more different. Hops are a bit more spicy/slighty richer malt ...

Photo of Jason
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck , no freshness date to be found.

Appearance: Deep cloudy orange amber with a creamy bubbly lace, decent retention

Smell: A touch of ripe fruit with hints of toffee and a good amount of toasted malt though the yesty aroma is a bit too much.

Taste: Nice chewy mouth feel from this medium to full bodied brew. Well structured malt back bone ... toasty with biscuit flavours, some fruit and a nice amount of sweetness with a slick buttery diacetyl. Alcohol is evident with a slight warming feeling to the throat. The hops are well balanced and leave a pleasing hop oil flavour, bitterness is a bit spicy up front which is barely enough to tame the malt and slowly fades into the end. Great warm toasty flavour all the way through until the finish, that yeast character puts a halt on the palate in an odd nutty kind of way.

Notes: This beer is great right up unitl the yeast flavour kicks in, all I can taste is yeast. No matter how careful I pour it and make sure the sediment stays on the bottom the yeast character is there.

Photo of Homebrew35
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a one finger head tan in color. Where is the smell, not much but a touch of sweet carmel, maybe bready yeast, acrid coffee. Tastes carmel, roasted malts, dark chocolate, some weird sharp acrid bitterness. Some lingering weird bitterness as well with some acidity, i know this sounds redundant but this is the only way I can describe it. Medium bodied, medium carbonation. I may not finish this, what went wrong for this beer I may never know. $1.80 a single.

Photo of far333
3.1/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy amber color with a low beige head that disappears quickly. Aroma is a bit lemony, with some grassy hops, but it is very faint with no malt presence coming through. Mouthfeel is a bit watery, and the initial flavor is yeasty, followed by some cocoa and spice, and then a hop presence rises up through the finish. Strong sitrus and peppery spice lingers in the aftertaste. Not what I expected for a winter brew.

Photo of yankeeheel
3.33/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very hazy amber orange with lots of little yeasties floating about. I choose to leave them in, and you can definitely pick it up in the smell.

This is the second winter ale I've had recently that more resembles a PA/IPA than a traditional winter brew. The taste on this is very malty with a bit of caramel and bread. Body is medium with some noticeable carbonation. A bit of orange citrus in the middle. Nice little hop twang at the end.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy red/brown with some orange highlights. A thin, tan colored head forms and fades quickly leaving behind spotty lacing.

S: Heavy malt aroma with some caramel, bread, and some light spices including cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: Again, very malty, light roast, caramel and a little bit of maple. The spices return, but subtlety, and there is a sweet finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with light carbonation, which lends to a smooth drinking beer.

O: Another solid beer from Ipswich. A little heavy, but besides that, a well rounded Old Ale.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep ruddy brown with a frothy messy lacing head.
S- heavy roasted malt with a touch of dried fruits.
T- Sweet raisin, prune, and date flavors lightly coat the toasted thick malt. Slight touch of molasses in the end.
M- Sweet and fruity initially but the thick malt takes over.

Overall- Let this warm up a bit. Impressive after a few sips!

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark amber color with some reddish hues in direct light; 2" fluffy white head, some darker colors within, decent dissipation.

The aroma has a malty sweetness, mildly buttery and some really nice fruity aroma's, dark and red berries with some mild hoppy citric notes.

The flavor has a really good balance with some flavor's really popping out, like a slightly smokey and honey-sweet malt, red currents ride in with more fruity hop notes that are gentle, not citric with a nice hop complexity in the finish. Earthy and fruity hops, nice bitterness with major flavor. A medium feel keeps it drinkable and the abv is not crazy like some other's from this style. Pretty good stuff for the holidaze.

Photo of jmz62565
3.37/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark mahogony wine-like color with a small dirty white head. An OK looking beer,but nothing great. The smell is pretty pungent with a yeast "bisquity" aroma that's like walking into a bakery. There are some spice scents,but not as much as other Winter's. The taste has a hop bitterness to it with a slightly creamy yeast and Christmas spice flavor. The bitterness is too overpowering for the other flavors to come out making this an OK Winter beer,but there are others that are much better. I really thought this would be better.

Photo of alovesupreme
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy light brown with a nice head. Murky body with sediment. Excellent retention lasted the entire beer,very impressive.
Cocoa is the first thing that comes to mind, with honeyed biscuits coming in next.
Baking chocolate due to the combination of cocoa and bitterness. Very low perceived alcohol for the style.
Creamy mouthfeel, more lively than a typical Old.
This is a session-able old ale, if that makes sense. A good beer and I may revisit this in the future.

Photo of bditty187
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy tawny-gold, it is a lovely color and much lighter then I was expecting. A white head of a finger in height formed nicely, the head retention was very good. Subsequent lacing was spotty but organized. Nice. The nose is surprisingly citrusy, acidic, orangey, toasty grain, wheat bread, earthy, and yeasty. The arrangement is solid, I found it inviting but by smelling it I don’t think I would have blindly called this an Old Ale. Then again, maybe it is not one; I’ll stop thinking and start drinking. The aromas are inviting, above average potency. The palate is flavorful; this is both a curse and a blessing. The hops are a little wacky for me, very earthy, grassy, fruity, and a little dirty. I wonder if they use Fuggles or Willamette or something similar. The fruitiness becomes zippy and it is surprisingly acidic. Interesting. The maltiness is very small, especially for a Winter Warmer/Old Ale and it gets drowned out by the fruity and earthy flavors. The bitterness is solid, very firm actually; I like how it bites. It is very easy too drink, refreshing too, I wonder what the abv is? Medium/medium-full in body, modest and natural carbonation, the mouthfeel is pleasant. This is an interesting beer, regardless of classification; I found it unique and tasty. Thank you drweizen for the bottle in the BIF 5 package!

Photo of tkelley
4.13/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a goblet glass. Small but lingering white head above a really nice brown to dark amberbody with caramel colored highlights. Great looking beer on a cold day.

Smells of malt, caramel, and light winter spices. Very biscuity nose - good biscuits. Its not overly spicy like a warmer, but rather a more beery beer.

Smell notes apply to taste as well. Nicely crafted. Biscuity and caramelly with nonspicy hops in the finish. You really get the raisin or fruit notes as it warms up and these bring out the best in this beer.

Not too much carbonation and it drinks really easily. Awesome cold weather beer for virtually any occassion.


Photo of Lnedrive14
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well, its below freezing out, so a nice winter ale should do the trick. Low alcohol presence, but quite a warming brew nevertheless. Hop bittnerness is minimal, but certainly there up front.

Quite a relaxing brew. Not something I would want to drink everyday, but nothing wrong with it.

Photo of edchicma
2.88/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

It was inevitable. Ipswich is one of my favorite brands, but this offering was extremely disappointing. It poured a murky brown, with a little head and a bit of lacing. Smell was musty, like wet socks..some light malt presence. Tatse was initially malty but morphed to harsh hops at mid palate..not overly pleasant. Mouthfeel was dry to a fault. This offering had a distinct "catch" on the back palate. Is this really an Ipswich?

Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This comes from a 12 fl. oz. bottle during the 2008-2009 cycle. Sampled on March 30, 2009.

A - It is mainly a brown tone but a bit on the cloudy side. Great finger and a half foamy beige head that sticks around for most of the session.

S - A delicate balance of malts, hops, figs, and earthtones. It is just enough to make you appreciate the brew but it does not overwhelm you.

T - Medium body. I like the balance of hops and chocolate malts. At first I wanted to describe it as a lighter Porter but I think that would be inaccurate although it does have some of those elements. But in the end I felt it was a nice and easily drinkable beer.

Photo of CRJMellor
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, chunky ambercolor with a relatively large off-white head that leaves large carbonation bubbles and lace on the glass.
Aroma is caramel and pale malt with some hints of mulling spices.
Flavor is pale malt,huge biscuit and bread hit and a mineral water
aftertaste with some hay and wheat thrown in.
Mouthfeel has a short front that leads into a somewhat spicy middle and a bitter, slightly metallic finish.
Drainkability is good and I'm sure it's really a Strong Ale.

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to jstilwell for this one.

pours a nice rich caramel with garnet highlights. A fairly thick and sticky one-finger head of a golden raisin color slowly dissipates leaving behind a thin film of creamy bubbles across the top. A bit of sporadic sticky lacing follows down the glass.

aroma is earthy and nutty. caramel sweetness mixes with dried straw and buckwheat. A touch of dried fruits - raisins and apricots. Mild on the whole but a pleasant earthy sweetness.

Taste is similarly earthy with a bit of sweetness. Bready, earthy, caramelized sugar, spices and a touch of fruit. A bit toasty, a bit roasted grain, and a nicely well-balanced malt character with a light bit of relatively neutral citrus-zesty bittering on the finish.

mouthfeel is fairly decent. Smooth and easy to sip with decent carbonation. A touch under carbonated for the style making it a bit thin, but it certainly doesn't detract too much.

All in all, a nice old ale and a great winter offering. a bit more subtle in flavor and body than some old ales, but delicious none the less and I'm certainly glad i have a few more bottles of this one.

Photo of carln26
3.47/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this from a bottle poured into a chalice. It was a dep brown color with a very light cream colored head. There is a very distinct sheet of lace left on the side of the glass as I drink the beer. The aroma has some spice up front along with just a slight citrus aroma lent by the yeast. The spice seems to be cinnamon and some ginger, the hops I’m afraid I can’t distinguish. The flavor has a very spice forward profile that doesn’t forget the malt. There is a sweetness from the malt that carries through the entire drink. Hops come during the middle and he finish of the drink, Just a light bit of bitterness, and a pleasant tang. There are a huge amount of winter warmers to try to compare this to. In this list, I prefer those based on a hoppy beer rather than a brown ale. This is definitely based on a brown ale with just some spice included. None the less, this is a good beer that shows promise.

Photo of mountdew1
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass. A dark red color with a foamy head. The head disappeared quickly, but had lacing that lasted until after the beer was gone. Aroma was minimal, some spicyness, with hints of hops. I was unable to place the spices in the aroma, and the same carried over to the flavor. I couldn't place the spices, and it had a touch of bitterness. However, the full flavor that I tend to find in a winter just wasn't there. Seemed watery in my mouth. It was very easy to drink.

Photo of auxiliary
4.01/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance - Poured a real nicelarge head, and left some nice lace on the glass. Color is a dark amber-brown.

smell - Has like a toasted biscuit smell with some hops.

taste - nice malts taste upfront, and a bitter finish.

mouthfeel - Medium body, little bitter.

drinkability - Nice beer to relax and drink. Easy drinking beer, very tastey.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've seen ipswich occasionally at stores in MA while on various non beer type trips. I've wondered how they might taste but the price per 6 pack has been higher than I wanted to spend during those instances. So, it was a pleasant surprise that while in Boston for a work function, the after hours drinks establishment selected this time had this beer in the lineup. Count me in.

I only had bottles and being a fish restaurant I can't say how it looked or smelled. Thus the default score of 3 - can't fault them for the environment. That said, I can say it tasted good. Meshed well with the appetizers being served nicely. Definitely a malty presence with a spice that seemed part hops and part faint allspice. Had three while munching on various cheese and sea foods.

I would drink this again given an opportunity.

Photo of jneiswender
2.95/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a small pint glass. Served cool. Pours a brownish red body and a beige head. Smells of sugar candy and light rose. Tastes of jolly rancher candy, bready and fruit stone. Floral hop aftertaste. Medium body and carbonation. Might want the carb to be somewhat more subdued. Not a bad beer. Certainly far from a hop bomb but not well layered in the grain area. However, not a bad beer at all. Just nothing outstanding.

Photo of cbutova
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque semi-murky brown with a one finger head that has fairly low retention. Medium lacing is left as I drink this one down. Smell and taste have a roasty element, some sweets, nice ripe fruits, a scotch ale like malty taste and an alcohol pinch. The nose is a bit weak. The taste is pretty well balanced and enjoyable. Smells and tastes like cranberries. Mouthfeel is appropriate in body and carbonation, it goes down nice and smooth. A tiny amount of warming is present and is nice in a Winter ale. Piney hops go well with the berries. Drinkability is fine, good taste, very good price, no off or overpowering flavors, nice holiday ale.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy light brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of chocolate, maple, caramel, some spice and a little bit of hops, however it's a faint smell overall.

T: The taste is very malty, and starts out with sweet flavors of milk chocolate, maple syrup & caramel. There's a nice hops burst that follows and provides a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is somewhat clean considering the amount of sweetness in the beer that typically leads to stickiness, but does not in this case.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, this is a good winter seasonal, but seems a lot like a Brown Ale to me. Nonetheless, it's a good beer that I could stick with for an evening.

Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazed brown with a rich light brown head that descends to a thin cap. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of toffee - towards chocolate - chocolate character grows as it progresses. Smoked chickory is there, as well as a detectable yeast presence. Earthy hop presence there as well - almost too bitter for the style, interfering with maltiness a bit.

Medium-bodied, the carbonation is just a bit too much for it, but stops short of too aggressive.

It's pretty sharp - in hop bite and carbonation, and a bit too yeasty. However, it still has a nice dark malt presence that makes up for the minor "detractors". A good beer overall.

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Ipswich Winter Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.