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Ipswich Original Pale Ale - Ipswich Ale Brewery

Ipswich Original Pale AleIpswich Original Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

325 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 325
Reviews: 199
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.79%

Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2000)
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Ratings: 325 | Reviews: 199 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JWU


4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a curved porter glass.

A- a hazy amber, with a finger of off white head that laces nicely.

S- The fruity component of the ale yeast jumps from the glass. Some toasted bread lies underneath.

T- Just plain tasty. Much more to it than most English Pales. More toasted bread than biscuity. It's a showcase of the yeast, as the fruity esters are what make it so darn tasty. A very, very light earthy hop is there, which just adds to the complexity.

M- Pretty viscous for a pale ale. Slick on the palette.

O- My introduction to Ipswich, and I'm very much looking forward to trying the other three in the variety pack! Great stuff. Reminds me a bit of Brooklyn Pennant Ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 23:37:25 | More by JWU
Photo of ryan1788a5


2.21/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dirty amber color with a pea-soup foggy haze. Head dissipates quickly. Lacing is sparse and spotty.

S: Hops hit the nostrils with scents of freshly mowed lawn, pulpy mango, and sharp citrus oils. Grainy and toasty malt base. Husky.

T: Strong floral and oily hop punch. Heavily vegetal. Mango and citrus underneath. Spicy. Muddled malt flavors of dough, caramel, and husky grain. Husky, grainy finish with vegetal flavors.

M: Light bodied. Watery and sharply carbonated. Not much else to say.

O: I hate to be so blunt, but this beer sucked. Not sure if I got a bad batch or what, but there's a lot of cleaning up to be done here.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2013 00:08:48 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of Andrew041180


3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Served in a standard pint glass with a bit of head which vanished quickly. There was little to no lacing on the glass. The beer was gorgeous on the deck of the restaurant. Deeply hazy golden orange.

S - Not much to the smell. A little bit of the malt, doesn't really tell me anything beyond what I would expect from this style.

T - Has some nice IPA elements to it - especially the bitterness. Maybe a hint of grapefruit. I didn't detect a lot of maltiness, as other posters have mentioned, and if given a blind taste I wouldn't have thought this was an English Pale Ale.

M - On the light side of medium-bodied, but with a little bit of bubbles from the carbonation. Feels nice.

O - If I had to compare this to something it would be more Finest Kind then Whales Tale Pale Ale. The appearance in particular was well out of the norm. I really enjoyed this beer and will be on the lookout for more varieties from Ipswich.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2013 00:02:18 | More by Andrew041180
Photo of scotorum


4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a stemmed tulip glass from the 12 oz. bottle.

a: Appealing amber topped by an inch plus white head which faded slowly.

s: Lightly malty, reminiscent of British beers at English pubs.

t: Mild maltiness balanced by a light hop element.

m: Light to moderate, quite smooth.

o: A good solid English style pale ale. Nicely complemented the Montesino Napoleon Grande cigar in the gazebo on a mid-70s breezeless evening watching fireworks on the telly. Glad I chose this ale to go with that top ten time of the year.

Looking forward to drinking the other three from the variety twelvepack. A great value, by the way, since I paid only $11 for the twelver when it was on sale. A helluva buy for 92 cents a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 04:11:06 | More by scotorum
Photo of angrybabboon

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 12/7/12

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, medium amber - some dark gold and copper - large, fluffy, rocky, off-white head - leaves blobs of lacing behind

Smell: Earthy, bready, toasty, and fruity - toasted light bread with some biscuits - some light and dark fruits - lots of yeasty esters, like apples, pears, and plums - earthy, rock-like, and herbal elements - some sweetness

Taste: In a word, unique - a bit off for an English Pale Ale, definitely not an American Pale Ale, but it's tasty so whatever - lightly toasted white bread, some light biscuits, and some pale grains - fruity, with a range of light fruits and dark fruits (see above) - lightly herbal, tea-like - lightly grassy hops, some bitterness - some sweetness

Mouthfeel: Medium body, smooth, nicely carbonated

Overall: Classic

I drank a lot of this when I was first getting into beer. Years later, it's actually a bit different than I remember. It's way more complex. And it's very unique. From my experience, this is actually best on tap. This is definitely worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 06:59:46 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of BigCheese


3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled on 10/4

pours a pale yellow. Thin white head, some lacing, cloudy/unfiltered. taste/aroma is a nice balance, english yeast, bread crust, biscuit, nutty, piney grassy hops. I'm guessing cascade hops. Some toffee too. Buttery/bready yeast flavors. Very rich body, full mouthfeel, high carbonation. Very solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 01:32:29 | More by BigCheese
Photo of Dools9


3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 8/24/12, poured into a tumbler.

A: Hazy orange amber, finger of white sudsy head, moderate lacing and retention.

S: Earthy, yeasty, spicy. Malty rye bread crust. Very light hints of citrus.

T: Taste is definitely malt forward.Toasty bready malt some nutty sweetness, traces of earth. Hops are kind of spicy and lightly citrusy. Moderately bitter.

M: Very smooth, medium bodied. Soft, moderate carbonation.

O: Not bad but not really my cup of tea. Very easy to drink but nothing really memorable however.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2012 16:33:41 | More by Dools9
Photo of zhanson88


3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a lot of carbonation. A HUGE fluffy white head forms which takes forever to even slightly disappate. Kind of reminds me of an infected beer actually.

Smell: Not infected at least. A bit of caramel, a little yeasty, kind of grainy. Not much here.

Taste: Grainy, a bit of caramel, yeasty with a touch of citrus, and a hint of florals. Not bad, and it actually gets a good deal more flavorful as it warms.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Light to medium bodied, plenty of carb, very nice. Overall, this is far from my favorite style, but it's a decent example. Worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2012 22:49:23 | More by zhanson88
Photo of Arithmeticus


3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in 4-oz. taster, in shifts.

A: light copper color; decent head (quite a few large bubbles), moderate carb action; lacing ok
S: benign aroma; slight whiff of bread, malt
T: malty, nutty, bready; very flavorful and interesting; ever so slight bits of anise and whorehound; tastes centered in the alto range; hops come off as very fresh; the flavor is complex and interesting

This beer doesn't match the others I've had in this category, so definitely worth a visit.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 02:30:33 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of PhillyStyle


4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Bukowski's Tavern:

The beer was served in 12oz pint glass and appeared a nice, bright, and clear amber color with a nice slightly off-white foamy head that was well retained that ultimately settled into a thin cap that lasted throughout the beer. The aroma is malty, as expected from the style, with some hop presence, but the aroma is pretty well balanced, again as expected for the style. The taste follows the nose well, a nice toasted malt flavor with a hint of yeast and some earthy hops. The combination worked very well together. The beer had a nice feel to it and was exceptionally smooth and easy to drink. Overall, a good beer and one that I would definitely drink again.

Serving type: on-tap

07-10-2012 17:05:23 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of Offa


4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale amber, it has a small off-white head steadily shrinking to foamy ring.

Aroma is nice caramelly barley, honey, wet bark, & wood, hints of dry leaves and tea.

Taste is dry, bittersweet character with nutty-caramelly toasty malt & peppery-woody hop bitterness. It has light juicy zesty yeastiness. It is very good, with nicely rounded character.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2012 20:41:44 | More by Offa
Photo of Cyberkedi


3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice clear amber with an average off-white head. Malty aroma is a little fruity and a little yeasty, promising if not outstanding. Flavor is mainly malty with some fruit and a hoppy-bitter undertone. Not too shabby. Smooth texture has about average body and fizz. Overall, fair to middlin’.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2012 03:03:56 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of Hopdaemon39

New York

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass- pours a hazy bright copper/orange color with one finger bone white head that dissipates quickly and leaves a little bit of froth and lacing.

Smell is pretty malty- definitely makes sense that this is an English style not American. Good light caramel notes with a little hop spice.

Taste is consistent with smell. Good solid malt backdrop- caramel, a little toasty, a little green apple, some earthy dry hop flavors. Not your American citrus/pine hops. Good though.

Superbly drinkable- light to medium body with very good carbonation. In general this is not my type of pale ale- I like the bolder American variety and if I want more malt I'll go for a kolsch or a munich helles. Definitely good stuff for the price though.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2012 19:11:15 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of SolipsismalCat


4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Great Divide Denver Pale Ale.

A: Hazy amber with tiny particles and a two-finger, white, creamy head that lasted several minutes. Nice lacing.

S: Fruit and caramel malt. Just a hint of hops.

T: Light sweetness and light bitterness. Toasted malt. Bread and very light hops. Pretty good.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Smooth and creamy feel.

O: Great session beer. The toasted malt flavor was excellent and this ale was very smooth. I liked it slightly more than the DPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2012 23:39:13 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of Flounder57


3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this a few nights ago while the site was down. Reviewing from notes. Beer was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Orange amber with one finger head. Some clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass. Head had reduced to a thin layer with no lacing.

Smell: fruity, caramel and bready malts.

Taste: caramel and bready malts, buttery notes, fruity, bitterness from the hops in the back of the palate, and some creaminess too.

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium bodied, light to medium carbonation, slight bitterness, and easy to drink.

Overall: This beer fits well with the EPA style. Will have more in the future.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 19:40:47 | More by Flounder57
Photo of VonRoll


4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep Amber body, poured creamy 1.5" head which fell to a maintained 1/4" full head. Light carbonation. Unfiltered.

Smell: Smells of hops, fruity almost sweet. Light malt smell

Taste: Tastes of hops, almost a fruity sweet hint, not a predominant note. Smooth malt

Mouthfeel: Feels very dry, thin creaminess and very light carbonation bite

Overall: This beer fits the English Style Pale Ale style very well. The beer had a very inviting appearance, attractive smell, and full flavor. All properties of this brew seemed to work together very well.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2012 20:49:49 | More by VonRoll
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a cask and served in a 20 oz tumbler, the beer is a hazy, unfiltered, honey-brown coloring with a dense, foamy, frothy, off-white head of about an inch. Aromas are a nice, subtle blend of citrus and hops on a sweet toffee backbone. Flavors have a good roasted quality to them, with a resiny and bitter hopping that balances the toffee and caramel sweetness from the malt profiles. Citrus influence is light, with a lemon zest flavor peeking out here and there. Good use of wet hops to clean the palate and impart some strong, peppery characters without being overly bitter. The beer leaves a decent lacing along the glass, and the body is smooth and light. The lack of carbonation from the cask permits all the flavors to truly blend together. The aftertaste is tangy and bitter hops, with a slight, drying finish. Decent brew.

Serving type: cask

01-29-2012 19:50:56 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of shangwang


3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received this one in a beer of the month club my sister signed me up for - thanks sis! I was familiar with the name Ipswich, but I don't think I had tried anything made by them until now. Poured into a traditional pint glass.

Color is a hazy reddish-amber, with an initial finger of foamy white head. That reduced to a thin centimeter layer that hung around for a while. Smell was sweet and malty, with a hint of hoppy bitterness. It also had a toffee/caramel candy quality about it. Tasted very malty with a tart fruity sweetness - maybe grapefruit? It wasn't a dominating taste, more of a subtle characteristic. Definitely agree with the other reviews that mention a tea-like quality. It finished with a piny, hoppy bitterness. Light mouthfeel with a little bit of zip but mostly flat.

Overall, this was a good ale. Fairly well-balanced with good flavor and very easy to drink. Doesn't push boundaries or blow my mind, but my guess is that's not the intent. Solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 22:22:59 | More by shangwang
Photo of chimaylvr

Rhode Island

4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First I give kudos to the previous review by ChainGangGuy for a cogent, accurate review but I'd like to add my observations:

Appearance is appealing: caramel hue, opaque, .5 finger foam retaining light lacing

Smell: subtle bitter hop aroma, light butter, hint of sage herbal, underlying malt; just nothing pronounced dropping the rating a bit but it's still pleasant

Taste is very pleasing: citrus note comes forth, well balanced hop profile, I also detect a tea flavoring, perhaps orange pekoe, herbal: fennel

Feel is simply great: buttery, somewhat frothy, not acidic, light sweetness. Carbonation is just right.

Overall: I've always enjoyed this beer very much; makes a great seesion beer. The balance of base ingredients and adjuncts is outstanding. Has never failed to satisfy. Mercury knows its #*!* Try their oatmeal stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 01:49:35 | More by chimaylvr
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle - $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazed, deep golden body with a frothy layer of off-white suds. Little blips of lace on the way down.

Smell: Gently toasted white bread and biscuit tops with a small, sweet-scented accent to the malts. A bit of stone fruit and citrus mingling together with a dash of spice and earthy dried herbs.

Taste: Bready, biscuity pale malts brushed with a layer of sweet, sugared treacle. Slight apricot fruitiness with a little fresh sweet orange peel, but it's growing increasingly towards an herbal, black tea presence. Medium bitterness. Drying, with a quality a bit like that Constant Comment tea.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Simple and easy-going, but pleasant overall. Refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 18:58:38 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of MoreThanWine


3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 1" off-white head. Body is an interesting raw sienna yellow color with a slight haze. Smells of malt and caramel. Taste doesn't quite match the smell, it's more standard BMC with a little malt, and definitely more bitter hops coming through in the finish. It's OK, I just don't think it stands out much higher than upper average.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 02:17:03 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of Chico1985


3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy rusty orange, lots of floaties and carbonation bubbles. Off-white head starts big and retains nicely leaving good lace.

In the scent there's buttery and toffee malt, earthy and grass hops.

Definitely an English-style ale all the way, sweet buttery biscuit malt comes out the most with some caramel there too, light herbal hops and some graininess.

Very malty, feels hefty for the ABV, kinda stinging on the carbonation.

Reminds me alot of Berkshire's English IPAs but with a big emphasis on the malts. Not much to it but a good, authentic English ale from the states.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 19:12:52 | More by Chico1985
Photo of mostpoetsdo

Rhode Island

4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy honey-ruby color, with thin off-white head.

S: Loads of fruit, malt, caramel, and then hops in the background.

T: Very biscuity and malty. It continues with some fruit and caramel sweetness. There is also a sharpness of hop bitterness that wraps it all up and makes it tasty. Hop notes of pine and citrus, orange rind.

M: Incredibly smooth and carbonated, damn near creamy. An easy one to put down, and really enjoyable.

D: This one is excellent, lower ABV for huge flavor, simply great.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 04:14:45 | More by mostpoetsdo
Photo of ToasterChef


3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this bottle in my cellar in my To Review box for a couple of months. I popped it into the fridge for 30 minutes and then poured it into a pint glass.

The liquid is clear and a very pretty shade of copper. An average amount of carbonation is visible. A thick off white foamy head fills the top quarter of my glass.

It has a very good British hop aroma. It's floral without being overly bitter. Some biscuity malts are noticeable as well. It's a very good aroma.

There is a mild sweetness to the flavor. Floral bitterness comes forward quickly, and lingers on after I swallow. It is a more oily bitterness than I expected to taste.

A lot of coating, with a lot of hop flavor clinging to my tongue.

This is an enjoyable beer. Of all parts of the US, it seems the New England breweries mimic British styles the best, and this one doesn't disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2011 19:19:51 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of paylay32


4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a crisp yummy beer that allows you to imagine yourself sitting on the Cape and sipping away while your thoughts float to brisk summer days. Okay, enough imagery. This ale is surprisingly refreshing, pours a little light without much head, but makes up for appearance in taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 19:53:34 | More by paylay32
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Ipswich Original Pale Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 325 ratings.