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Ipswich Original Pale Ale - Ipswich Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Ipswich Original Pale AleIpswich Original Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

358 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 358
Reviews: 200
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 15
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2000

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 358 | Reviews: 200 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OneDropSoup
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, golden orange with a finger's worth of head. Good lacing, a little "action" from carbonation.

Getting a faint (tea) biscuity malt aroma, not a whole lotta scent coming off this one. The smell transfers into the taste, where it gains strength & is met with a firm hop sharpness that prominent but not overwhelming. Decent, balanced.

The mouthfeel is my favorite part: that hop sharpness dances on the tongue in the aftertaste, with the help of the carbonation. With a few swirls of the glass, the creamy head is renewed, which I really like.

Could easily drink a few of these. I guess the ABV puts it out of session range, but this is a decent, no frills ale that I can see spending an evening with.

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours translucent copper with a medium white head. Drippy lace and good retention. Smells like mulled cider and apricots.

Hearty cider-like bready malt has a carbonated segue into hop bitterness with fruit notes in back. Dried apricot, grapes, and watermelon specifically. This is the second beer in a row I've had by Ipswich and they both had a cider-eque smell and taste;I'm assuming it has something to do with the yeast they use. I like it.

Although I've had this on tap and it was much fruitier, Ipswich Ale is one of the most enjoyable and unique pales around.

Photo of micahgoldfus
4.28/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The pour looked nice: clody, a light orange-amber color, a good-looking fluffy head with lace around the edges. The smell was crisp and clean: a combination of bready malts and some hop bitterness, plus honey, some fruit, and some yeast thrown into the mix. The beer had a big, malty, powerful taste that hit me with the first sip. It was bready up front, but the aftertaste had a mixture of bitter hops and sweet fruit. The beer was smooth and well-bodied, more so than a lot of other ales, with just the right amount of carbonation. This beer packs a big flavor, but doesn't feel too heavy. Delicious!

Photo of kevman527
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer as part of a Domestic Micro-Brewed beer of the month club. Poured into a pint glass.

A: A very light brownish-reddish color almost golden. About two fingers of head with decent lacing.

S: Very floral and very fruitful aromas with faint malty-bready scent. Love the smell.

T: First tasting does not taste like it smells, instead I get strong notes of coffee and earth like tastes with a strong hoppy aftertaste, very good.

M: Very smooth, finishes a little dry, low carbonation.

D: Easily drinkable would drink again and again.

Photo of jiggahertz
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Foamy tan head on top of a light amber orange beer.

S: Nose is biscuity and sweet.

T: Creamy malts up front with a slight toastyness, hops finish well.

M: Medium to full body with high carbonation

D: Hops balance out the malts up front well. Good easy drinking beer. Cleanses the palette well, the hop finish is long for such a sweet beer.

Photo of horshack7
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Out of a twelve ounce bottle pours a orange copper color. With a rocky head about and inch thick that is a little on the frothy side that thins out slowly.

Aromas: The hops in this one come right out of the gate with subtle dried fruit notes behind it. Very minor hints of grapefruit.

Taste: With a lightly crisp mouthfeel but more on the smooth side. This one has a nice balance to it. It is a little sweet as if there are the slightest drops of honey.

Notes: This is a nicely balanced beer to be enjoyed anytime of year. One of the more underated beers. Cheers

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Emerges slightly hazy due to sediment residing on the bottom of the bottle. Orange tea color with a nice white head. Quite frothy and a great deal of lacing down the side of the glass as well.

Aroma is biscuity malty with a perfect balance of earthy hops. Some caramel with a touch of old grass and stale hay.

Very smooth anad balanced. The earhty hops add a slight bite but the malt complements everything so well. Slightly more malty with some hop flavor as well.

A really nice beer. I usually am not very fond of this style; I prefer the APA. This one, however, was really well done. Perfect balance all the way around with a touch of fruitiness in the hops as well as a hunger stopping breadiness.

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade with Norica - thanks!

Pours an orange-ish copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer of bubbleson top that leaves nice lacing.

Smells of buttery toasted malts with hints of nondescript light fruits.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The toasted malts don't taste as buttery as the smell would lead me to believe, but the fruit flavors are there just as anticipated.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a surprisingly nice body and good carbonation that make this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. This is an easy-drinking beer, not too heavy on any one flavor and very tasty.

Overall I was not very impressed with this beer after my first sip, but it definitely grew on me. This had a lot more flavor than Boddington's and a little more flavor than Fuller's. Give this one a shot.

Photo of climax
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - poured a very cloudy burnt pumpkin orange. to the light you could faintly see the different strata of the beer medling around and settling in. a finger of bubbly head faded pretty quicly but left nice lace, the last remaining drops left spots of color of the foam like drips of blood in the snow....

S - bready malts, caramel and honey, apricots and other tangier hops, very appetizing

t - very smooooth, nice sharpness at first. biscuity and somewhat sweet, citrus hops and grainy malt, balanced like two fat kids on a teter totter

m - light hearted, nice spike from the carbonation and a dry finish

d - a pleasure to drink, won't get old, buy it and try it

Photo of LeftyBWS
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a pint glass.
A: Bright orange colored brew with nice amber tones and kinda hazy nearer the head. Huge foamy white head, fingery lacing.
S: Citrus and floral hops, graininess, and sugars. Kinda grassy, maybe a pine hop nip? Subtle, nice.
T: Little bit of floral hops, backed by some mild sugars. The hops linger nicely in the finish. Tasty, if somewhat plainish.
M: Dry finish, but a good hop bite. No alcohol feel.
D: Nice, good session ale.

Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. The beer pours a hazy orange with a moderate white head. The beer does leave nice lacing. The aroma is of bread and faint hops. The flavor is slightly bitter up front and then the malt kicks in. The finish lingers and is pleasantly bitter. The beer is medium bodied and has moderate carbonation. The beer is highly drinkable and would accompany most food well.

Photo of leif86
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Cloudy from the yeast with what I would describe as a dull orangey-copper glow. Not much head, though it could be the glass I used, and even less lacing.

S: Malty sweetness right up front. Reminds me of apricots and honey.

T: Tastes sweet like honey at the beginning with some fruity esters hidden the background from the yeast. Some cereal-like grain hidden the background, yet noticeable just before some subtle hop bitterness comes in. Bitterness is very mild yet lingers pleasantly.

M: Excellent balance here although could use a little bit more bubbly. I'm going to again blame the under carbonation on the Wastmalle Trappist glass I'm using.

D: Gonna go pour another right now. I'll probably be drinking this all night.

Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy light amber color with a rocky head that splashes a fair amount of lacing around

Smell: About the earthiest aroma that I have encountered and very nice for the style; primarily toasty with hints of toffee and a subtle earthy hop bitterness

Taste: Opens with a toasty flavor that adds some subtle fruit and earthy hop character by mid-palate; after the swallow, the malt becomes a little more prominent, adding depth and complexity with a touch of toffee

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Most pale ales in the US are brewed in an APA style, regardless of what they call themselves; here is a nice EPA that sticks to its knitting

Thanks, donkeyrunner, for the opportunity to try this

Photo of tugdriver7
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked-up the Ipswich variety pack (Trad Ale, Dark Ale, IPA, and Oatmeal Stout) at "Thrifty Dutch" in Hanover PA. The bad news is that, when you find something "on the road" that you like, it's frustrating when you can't get it locally. The good news is that this is probably the best "mix" pack I've ever selected "blindly" (e.g., without reading BA first). This one is fantastic.

The Original Ale pours rich and light brown and cloudy in the glass, with a nice head of foam that dissipates quickly and leaves lather-like lacing all the way down. The smell is instantly malt in the nose with a very pleasant fruity hops that subtley balances the whole. Taste is far more complex than I thought--a mix of the aforementioned malt and hops (fruity and piney and a bit of bitterness... more than expected but extremely welcome in the flavor matrix) with a touch of malty sweetness that, along with the subtle carbonation and rich body, renders this one a beer you can't easily put down (on the table that is). It's wonderful. I savored every sip. Easily as good as any Ale (English or APA) I've ever tried.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.54/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained as part of a mix pack at Market Basket. Pours a hazy amber red with a thin film of off-white head. Smells fruity with toffee and caramel with some grassy tea-like English hops playing a strong role. Grassy tea-like hops hit first, with a fair bit of caramel hitting shortly thereafter. Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, perhaps one of the easiest to finish English Pale Ales I've had. Balanced, full flavored, not overpowering. Near perfect in every way. A solid choice.

Photo of sethmeister
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from the variety 12 pack.

Pours a slightly hazed golden amber with bubbly tan head, leaving spotty lace which tends to slowly slide back down the glass.

Scent is warm fresh bread with honey spread on it; light floral and herbal hops.

Taste is bready malt, lightly sweet honey, and subtly bitter herbal and citrus hops following. Slightly fruity flavor and an earthy note. Bitterness grows as I continue to sip and leaves a nice aftertaste. Strikes a good balance between malt sweetness and hop bitterness.

Mouth is a nice creamy full medium.

Drinkability very good.

A very solid English style Pale.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a bright golden orange color with a nicely lasting white head.

S: malty with dry caramel and oranges.

T: sweet upfront followed a huge malty palate that is dry and hearty. There was some burnt caramel and oranges for flavor along with some raisins. bready.

M: moderatly full and creamy. nice coating on the tongue. for an ale was good i thought. good dose of carbonation.

D: A nice big dry English style ale that was malty, dry and enjoyable.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours bright orange with a beige foamy head. Not much lacing here.

Great aromas all around. Toasty bread, fruity malt, hop leaf.

Where to begin. Malt sweetness with some bread/biscuit, substantial hop bitterness. Sweet, bitter, bread. Delicious.

Decent carbonation in this one. Medium body but still very very drinkable. Easy to put good portion of a six pack down -- great for all seasons. A real winner.

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To me, this is the definition of an easy drinking pale ale. Nothing too crazy going on here, just done right.


A- Light nut brown color. Somewhat amber. Cream colored head. Looks really nice in my glass.

S- Smell was malt and biscuit. The nose was underwhelming.

T- Ahh. Nice. I got a metallic taste with a tea and malt punch. Hops at the back end. Do I detect some fruit mixed in there? Ehh not much.

M- Medium bodied with a slick mouthfeel. No problem putting this one down.

D- This is a session brew for sure. Enjoyable. Always great stuff from Ipswich.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Charlie's Kitchen and their beer garden in Harvard Square...

Pour from the tap is a very nice deep dark mahogany/chestnut hue. Even from an industrial-strength tap there's a little bit of head, but it goes quickly.

Mildly roasted malt dominates here with a little braised tone to it. There's a fair amount of grass and earth in the mild hop profile. Alcohol does not really make an appearance here.

Straightforward taste - malt dominant, with enough grass on the hops to balance this just right. A little toastiness for a colder rainy day.

This is decent on the palate - maybe a little bit on the clammy side (doesn't the average bar serve its beer a bit too cold? This one does). A tinge of grassy hop bitter aftertaste, but not much.

The Ipswich ales have been some of my favorite locals for a while now. Good to see an old friend in this one. Easy-drinking, sessionable offering. Good job.

Photo of morebeergood
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a pint while at lunch at the Sports Depot in Allston. Color was dark ruby red. Not much head though and no noticeable smell. Not as hoppy as most pale ales on the market. Hint of citrus to the taste. I mainly drink Ipswich Ale due to it's excellent drinkability. It's not the best PA out there, but it's a decent offering by a local brewer and it goes well with food. I could easily have a few of these in one sitting.

Photo of MMAJYK
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Nearly copper, but gold and hazy. Head is 1/2" and has good retention.

S- Pleasantly hoppy with a nice malt backing. A little bit of honey and some biscuit is all I pick up other than that.

T- Some caramel up front followed closely by a good bitter bite. Some honey and light citrusy notes make things whole.

M- Thin and high carbonation. Very fitting for the style.

D- Good and drinkable. A *little* bit heavier than I would like on a hot day but it would be OK to have 3 or 4 in a session.

Special thanks to Aaronjr123 (who doesn't post and is not very active on BA) for bringing this one back to me from his recent vacation to Boston.

Photo of JDV
3.26/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle in trade from joepais. Thanks man!
Pours cloudy amber with a short lived offwhite head. Smell is slightly tart, and lighty musty, earthy hops. Taste is fairly bitter with grassy hops coming in at first and it finishes a little sweeter with some caramel maltiness. Moderately full mouthfeel with nice carbonation. Much more bitter and hoppy than expected of an EPA. Pretty solid and drinkable. Thanks Joe!

Photo of fitzy84
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Moan and Dove. The beverage had a murky orange look to it with some good lacing and a thin head. Aromas were slightly honey-ish with malts and grains wrapping around the sweet smells. The drink was really sweet even with its earthy tones. Mouthfeel helped the drink from not being too overpowering. Overall, an enjoyable pale ale.

Photo of fostwal
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A rich auburn color. Slighly cloudy with a good size head.
Smell - The smell is very light. Not very promonant.
Taste - The taste is pretty strong for an english ale. There is a defiite bite of hops in the after taste, but not overwelmingly so.
Mouthfeel - Low carbonation and suttle flavors make for a pleasant mouthfeel.
Drinkability - The mix of smell, taste, and feel are a very nice combination. The beer is very drinkable. I would definitely order one when I was at the bar.

Ipswich Original Pale Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 358 ratings.