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Ipswich Original Pale Ale - Ipswich Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Ipswich Original Pale AleIpswich Original Pale Ale

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

348 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 348
Reviews: 199
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.86%
Wants: 15
Gots: 13 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 348 | Reviews: 199 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bruachan
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

great sudsy head to start, leaves excellent lacing. nice amber (bordering on copper)

strong hop nose: blackcurrant and minty. much more malt roastiness comes through in the nose than on the tongue

grapefruit citrus hop flavor, particularly at the finish. sufficient sweetness to keep up with the hops, but actually a dry finish. hop flavor is robust but bitterness subdued. a very complete flavor profile with a nice easy mouthfeel.

bruachan, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of tzieser
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a hazy amberish orange color with a pretty thick head that settles fairly quickly.

malty nose with some floral hop presence. aroma is a bit bready and a tad hoppier than i expected. good balance.

a tad sweet when it first hits your tongue, then nicely bittered by the aforementioned hops. has that biscuity/bready character i mentioned. definitely some maris otter in there, but not too much. well balanced and delicious.

crispy, maybe a tad overcarbonated; good drinkability.

i'm surprised at how much i enjoyed this. not something i'd buy again, but i definitely wouldn't turn one down.

tzieser, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of JxDuff
4.9/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was raised in Ipswich so experiencing what Mercury Brewing produces is a give in.

A: Dark amber color, more of an orange tinge than brown. Very hazy and intriguing.

S: Berry and floral notes hits your nose immediately soon followed by the malt and hops. The smell is very mysterious.

T: What can I say? Perfect! The balance of malts, hops and floral tastes is beyond exceptional.

M: Average carbonation, perfect for this beer, mixed with the medium body make every sip enjoyable.

I whole heartedly agree with the Bros, this ale is world class.

JxDuff, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of OatmattStout
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

nice opaque burnt orange color and dense head. chill haze and floating yeast in suspension.

subtle nose of buttery malt and fruity hops

up front sweet malts with toasty scone and biscuit flavors. hop notes have a quenching citrus rind profile. a very even taste profile between hops and malt. nice quaffable english pale ale here

mouthfeel is medium and appropriate for style. drinkability is off the charts with this going down very easily. very satisfying

OatmattStout, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of PaulfromNoVa
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Probably less than ideal conditions - at Logan, keg may be old, server may not have rushed it from the line to my table. But:

A standard pub pint with an airy half inch of head that dissipated quickly, leaving an adorable swagging of lace around the glass, tending to stick. The brew itself was a hazy rusted amber with thin wisps of carbonation tracing up.

Taste was a nice balance of hop and malt, with a kind of feral earthiness that was almost dirty but very nice. The light carbonation transferred to the mouth. I wouldn't mind another, but I need to stay awake on my flight back to NoVa.

I want to have another go at this one under better conditions. Maybe if I had sat at the bah.

PaulfromNoVa, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of soze47
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Score! A friend of my roommate left a stray of this behind over the weekend. I'm enjoying a single 12 oz. bottle. FREEBIE!

Appearance: Dark pumpkin coloration (orange first, brown second). Nice head and good lacing. Good amount of haziness to the body that helps bring out the deeper tones. Complex and surprisingly striking.

Aroma: Surprised to get berry fruit tones at first. Next comes some toasted malt and very subtle floral hops. The smell kind of throws me off a bit.

Taste: Nice balance here. All the flavors from the aroma come into play here, but more harmoniously. Hops dominate the linger with a nice spicy flavor. Not sure how the berry fruitiness got into this one, but it adds a unique taste that goes well with the toasty malt and spicy hops. As this one warms up, a grapefruit flavor also develops.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Highly carbonated, yet medium to slightly heavy body. Those two elements create a very full feel in my mouth. It still goes down plenty easy and finishes crisp. While it is borderline session beer on paper, it is quite filling to have more than two of these in rapid succession.

Overall: A pleasant surprise, for sure. Never heard much about this brewery even though it is right up the road. I'll seek this one out again for sure, especially for any winter time get-togethers.

soze47, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of silentjay
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a slightly hazy orange/amber with a generous and dense eggshell colored head that retains and laces impeccably.

typical english pale ale aroma of biscuity and honey sweet malts balance by some floral and earthy hops.

taste is pretty damn decent. much smoother overall than many grainy english pales. caramel, butterscotch, and toffee are balanced by some earthy, herbal, and tea-like hops and some fruitiness.

almost medium bodied with light, yet ample carbonation and a crisp finish.

drinks well. nothing wows me, but its a solid beer.

silentjay, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of Seanibus
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange with a fluffy head. A waft of hops floats from the glass, and the aroma is clean and bready with a nice hop floweriness. The flavor has very light caramel and a cloverlike floweriness and some honey. The finish, however, is thin and suggests an extract brew. There is a tight bitterness at the end. The mouthfeel is clingy and aspriny dry.

Seanibus, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. Poured a hazy, dull burnt orange with a frothy, two inch off-white head that eventually settles into a solid, half inch cap. Some strands of lacing, but no legs. Nose reveals toasted malt, a slightly nutty quality and a little bit of citrus towards the back. Characteristics in the nose also present in the flavor profile; however, a bit watered down - also, the slightest suggestion of bittering hops expresses itself lightly at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a light carbonation. Simple and quaffable. A pretty solid English Pale Ale. I bet this would be excellent on cask.

Jwale73, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Ro's restauarant pint glass.

A: Poured a deep, bronzed, honey amber color with a one finger head of bubbly white carbonation which settled to a thin ring leaving behind little lace.

S: Smells of fresh milled grain, some apple and pear are standouts of the fruity esters, and there's a touch of pine resin from the ample English hopping.

T: Flavor has a nice, slightly chewy, balanced sweet and fruity malt profile. Some roasted caramel notes as well as the fruitiness of a fine English yeast strain. Hopping adds some dry spiciness to the flavor and finishes out with a slight, lingering herbal hop bitterness. A tasty, solid English pale.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied but very smooth and balanced.

D: A great English pale and easy to turn it into as session at 5.4% ABV. Amidst the sea of English pales on the American market, this one honestly stands out and would replace the Otter Creeks and Some of the Berkshire offerings we see here in CT as a regular fix.

Gambrinus1184, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of ExtraStout
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | 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

ExtraStout, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of uustal
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium bodied and above average carbonation. The flavor makes the beer. Sweet malts with hint of toastyness. Citrus Hops come through nicely and perfectly balance this Pale Ale. Finishes a little dry. Bigger flavor than most in this style, well balanced, refreshing and drinkable.

uustal, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of mnrider
4.39/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle. No freshness date.

A: Pours a cloudy, hazy deep orange. Large off white head with excellent head retention. O.k. lacing.

S: Biscuity, sugary, fruity. Malt sweetness (maybe honey).

T/M: Smooth going down. A large mix of flavors going on. Fruity, nice hop bite with just enough bitterness. A slightly dry finish. Malty with a biscuit toast taste also.

D: wow this is how an Ale should be. I could drink this one every day. Highly recommend this brew.


mnrider, May 19, 2010
Photo of jbertsch
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

For some reason I've never given this beer much attention. So here's to a closer look...

Cool color. A foggy rust. Head retains nicely and has speckes of orang yeast on top from the bottom of the bottle.

Aroma hits me with brown sugar flavored malts. There are faint fruits in there, and a little earthy hop aroma.

The taste is bready, fruity, malty, but not unbalanced with hops. Some nice layers to the flavor. There is a fairly bitter end to it.

Mouthfeel is vibrant with carbonation, and drinkabaility is fair. If the taste didn't finish bitter, I could drink more of these, but it's not always about quantity is it?

Very nice. I'm surprised I haven't noticed before that this really is a nice brew.

jbertsch, May 07, 2010
Photo of ujsplace
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a bright cloudy copper colored brew that has a nice thick, chunky head. Plenty of residual lacing and a lumpy mat of foamy head remains steady throughout.

Smells of biscut-like yeasts and some sweet toasted malt with a hint of hops.

Nice flavors that are extremely well balanced. There is the grainy yeasts that are reminiscent of a good bread with some nice toasty malt sweetness and a nice lasting, but not too bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel is medium and clean tasting.

This is another winner from Ipswich. I am so glad I picked up the variety pack. If you see this grab it. Doesn't seem to be plentiful around where I live, but really good stuff. I could get into this anytime, but with summer just around the corner, I am thinking that this will make its way with me on vacation.

ujsplace, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of Pittsburgh
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice pour, dark brown-amber, small amount of foam, tasted along the lines of an IPA but less hoppy and darker, I liked it for a change of pace, has a nice tangy bite to it, but not over the top, rich, but not anything close to a porter. Overall satisfying , probably best for a fall beer in early september I think I will get a twelver. Full body/flavored, hit it right on the head, don't need to change a thing.

Pittsburgh, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of GregPearson33
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fantastic look to this brew, a nice orange-amber with a tightly laced head of thick, small bubbles that measured about a ½ finger thick when first poured. The smell was nice bready/malty sweet with very discernible citrus hop notes. The taste backed up the smell (go figure...), particularly with a great citrus-bitter aftertaste which was especially notable.

The taste didn't linger too long, however, thanks to a good level of carbonation which also leant a moderate mouth-feel. This was a huge plus to me because even as a self-proclaimed hop head, I'm not real fond of having a orange peal/pine cone lingering in my mouth.

Overall, I'd consider this a fantastic ale - maybe a little heavy for a true session brew but definitely a good addition to the opening line-up.

GregPearson33, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of nickfl
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of off-white head on top of a hazy, copper-orange body. The foam settles at a moderate pace and leaves nice lace.

S - A malty aroma of caramel and toasted bread with some lightly fruity yeast and spicy hops.

T - Caramel and toffee malt flavors up front with a rich, bready malt sweetness. Some red apple yeast character appears in the middle with the beginnings of a spicy hop flavor that intensifies in the finish. Moderate hop bitterness in the end that more than balances the sweet malt and has a mineral water sharpness that leaves an appropriately chalky hop flavor lingering on the palate.

M - Medium body, moderately low carbonation, and a slightly dry, chalky finish.

D - Quite drinkable, this beer displays all of the hallmarks of its style, especially with its rich malt flavor and strong hoppy finish. The sharp, chalky bitterness and musty/spicy hop flavors are particularly well done. It is very sessionable and I imagine it would be particularly nice on cask.

nickfl, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of Sam21
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a 20 oz nonic pint glass. The head rises two fingers and recedes rather quickly leaving a ring of lace around the edges of the glass. The body is amber with a heavy grainy haze from the unfiltered nature of the brew. Lace clings to the beer all the way down.

Malt up front that fades into an inviting floral hop scent. There is a caramel sweetness that seems to linger throughout.

Taste is very similar to the smell in that it's a nice balance of malt to hops. The hops remain on the tongue long after the sip. This fruitiness is infectious.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium and there is lots of carbonation. This is VERY drinkable. I could easily have a few of these without seeking out a new flavor for my palate

Sam21, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a slightly murky orangish-brown with a white head. The aroma is wet grass with some citrus. The flavor is grass, citrus, iced tea and medium bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An enjoyable English IPA.

Mora2000, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of neophilus
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful golden-amber color with a thick, white head that clings to the glass. Cloudy with particles floating around. Nice lacing.

Smell is a subdued, malty aroma like sweet bread. Taste is wonderfully balanced with malt up front and a careful amount of hop bitterness. A medium body gives just the right mouthfeel, every sip making its presence known but not hanging around too long. Aftertaste is crisp, with a lingering hint of malt and hops.

This beer is incredibly drinkable. The malt and hops are in perfect balance for me. I'm not too much of a hop-head (Ipswich IPA is actually a little too hoppy for my taste) and it's really nice to have such a smooth drinking Pale Ale that doesn't overpower with sweetness or bitterness. I think Mercury Brewing Company hit the nail on the head with this brew - the perfect go-to beer for any weekend when you want a smooth drinking, flavorful full bodied craft beer that doesn't wear you out after one or two drinks.

neophilus, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of donniecuffs
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured amber/copper into a pint glass, with one finger of white head, and spotty lacing. Smelled very malty, caramel'ish, and earthy; surprisingly not much fruitiness to speak of. However, the taste was in fact more revealing; malty sweetness gives way to apple/plum, and then to a fairly balanced finish. The beer did maintain good flavor as it warmed to room temperature. the mouthfeel was fuller than expected; with the head imparting a little creaminess. Drinkability was certainly apparent, but it may have been just a tad on the thick side for me to session more than a couple of pints.

donniecuffs, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of puboflyons
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at an Applebee's restaurant on January 20, 2010. It pours a slightly cloudy looking amber-copper with about a finger of long-lasting foamy cream colored head. The aroma is a bit malty with a dash of swet caramel and toffee in the mix. The body is in the medium range with a taste that draws out the hops in a subtle but pleasing way. It ends dry. It was nice to have this available at a chain restaurant.

puboflyons, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of h00dak
4.88/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had to privilege of having this beer thanks to my girlfriend who got me a membership to a beer of the month club.

It pours a really rich, caramel/orange color with 3 fingers of toasted white head. Pours perfectly into a pint glass, oozing over the side slightly at the very end. The head stays about 5 minutes. Lacing adorns the glass til the very end.

The smell is citrusy, orange, lemon, and a woody smell as well. All delightful.

I took a swiq through a thick, marshmallow-soft head, and the taste is great. Full flavored, complex, awesome aftertaste.

This beer is great. Do not pass up an opportunity to have it!

h00dak, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of ozzyCobblepot
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice thin, bubbly head, reminds me of espresso foam. Pale golden pale color. Exactly what I expect an English PA to look like.
S: Floral and honey malts and yeast tones. Subdued hops.
T: Not much sweetness to it; bitter flavors are most present, but still inhibited. Gentle hops that don't overpower but leave an impression.
M: Good carbonation, medium bodied.

Very drinkable, refreshing but not filling. Altogether, what I consider a "polite" pale ale, using bitter hops and pretty flavorful honey malts, but subdued and unobtrusive. Figured I'd try a different local brew while I'm visiting Boston, and it was a good move in my opinion. Got to try a few other from this brewery later.

ozzyCobblepot, Dec 27, 2009
Ipswich Original Pale Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 348 ratings.