Ipswich Dark Ale - Ipswich Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Ipswich Dark AleIpswich Dark Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

219 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 219
Reviews: 152
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.36%
Wants: 15
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ipswich Ale Brewery visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (33) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 219 | Reviews: 152
Reviews by JWU:
Photo of JWU
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle poured into a porter glass.

A- a very dark brown, with amber hues when held to light. A nice khaki head laces very nicely.

S- Some pumpernickel bread with a cocoa and chicory sweetness there as well. Some leafy hops are detectable. Fruity esters lie well underneath. Pretty straight forward brown ale here.

T- Not as dark on the flavor (as the smell) and really nice and complex for a brown. A dark bread base is backed up by cocoa, chicory, coffee, a slight nuttiness, and some fruity yeast notes. Sweetness reminds me of a molasses, but is appropriately restrained. Finishes with a mild leafy/citric hop note.

M- Really nice and slick, slightly creamy. Dries nice on the back end, but not crushingly so.

O- New England Breweries seem to really have brown ales down. (thinking Smuttynose here) Really nice offering from Ipswich.

More User Reviews:
Photo of ExtraStout
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy 1/2" off white head that slowly recedes to a rather thick sheet. Ringed and patterned lace with good strength. Deep brown in color with flashes of burgundy and auburn.

Semi-sweet caramel and roasted malt aromas. Tones of roasted nuts: almond, hazlenut, etc. Light coffee and espresso.

Mild coffee flavors; lightly sweetened, met by a surprising dose of lemon from the hop profile. Almost an unsweetened, but not completely bitter, milk chocolate and caramel flavor. Hints of toasted hazlenut toffee in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; a nice mellow feel on the palate. The carbonation is just a tad too much for the style.

Nice flavors; light and drinkable. The cascade hop addition is a unique choice for the style. I'm not sure it works really well, but it doesn't ruin the beer in the least.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Dark brown in color, medium-sized head. A sweet malt aroma, along with a little caramel. It tasted sweeter than it smelled, also some nice piney hops. Maybe a little on the thin side, but still a very enjoyable beer.

Photo of Todd
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy, murky brown with amber hues and a sticky, frothy, creamy off-white head. Retains very well. Nice bouquet of floral and citrus hop aromas. Fresh grain and malted notes.

Extremely smooth mouth feel. Malt flavour is just right. In the malt profile are caramel, some toasted grain flavours and hints of burnt raisin. Hops are rind-like, a tad grapefruity, and lend a nice balanced twang. Finishes a bit dry with some residual hop and earth-like flavours.

An excellent American Ale! Extremely balanced, complex and interesting on the palate. Buy some now.

Photo of Doomcifer
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with great head and lacing. Smells of citrus hops, brown sugar, roasted malts. Maybe a touch of lemon zest. Tastes up front of roasted malts, toasted grains, brown sugar, and finishes with a very big citrus hop kick. Very aggressively hopped brown ale. Delicious....dry, astringent finish. Good carbonation. This is one of the very few brown ales that I really enjoy.

Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: ½ gallon brown glass growler with no freshness date or info about the beer.

Appearance: Slightly hazed brownish amber with a slow rush of carbonation fighting to get to the top to form a wonderful and sticky head.

Smell: Aromas of bread crust with a faint floral hop and vague fruitiness.

Taste: Very smooth with a slight viscous mouth feel as the carbonation pushes through the medium to full body. Mild roasted, chocolaty and biscuity flavour with hints of coco, chicory and whole grain bread. Malt sweetness runs with a fruitiness as well as a touch of nutty yeast. Alcohol is present but light with a flash of esters. Hops become more prevalent as the finish grows near, bitterness is level but not pushy and leaves a trace oily and citric hop flavour that lingers far into the after taste.

Notes: Big, rich and fat in flavour. This is one ale that does not get enough respect. Pairs well with just about everything, corned beef on rye did very well.

Photo of far333
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper color with a foamy beige head that leaves oily lace around the glass as I drain it. Aroma is of cocoa, with hints of cinnamon and sweet candy. Smooth and full mouthfeel leads to a full and chewy flavor of roasted malt with hints of chocolate, coffee, and fig. Hop presence is felt, but it doesn't compete with the other flavors. They all work well together. A lingering cocoa flavor envelopes the mouth. This is a great beer.

Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle served in a Unibroue snifter.

Appearance: Pours a near-clear, dark mahogany with a beige head that has moderate size and durability.

Smell: Roasted malts with spicy hop overtones and hints of raisins. 3.75

Taste: More hops here than expected, but the maltiness of the brown ale base is clearly present (albeit less pronounced) as well. Mildly bitter. Dark roast in the finish with some lingering pine/hop notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium+ carbonation. Slight crispness and astringency.

Overall: More hop-forward than a typical brown ale, this is better classified as a brown pale ale, and a good one at that.
Both aroma and flavor improve with warming.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer pours a dense brown body that glows a dark oak hue at the base of the glass. There is some microbubbles gliding up the sides of the glass. The thick sticky yellowish tan head last and last with creamy rings sticking to the glass with each sip.

S- The soft aroma of clay and lightly toasted malt has some soft green hop hints with a musky pungency to them. A bit soft in aroma but very pleasant.

T- Green hops have a nice full pungency with some wintergreen qualities to it. There is a nice dark biscuit malt flavor that comes through. There is a touch of tartness and grainy quality in the finish with a very soft bitterness that lingers as a green herbal quality.

M- Medium mouthfeel with a slippery texture that finish a bit creamy.

O- This beer has a nice rich flavor of hops with some soft bitterness and a nice character, albeit a bit soft, in the depth of brown malts.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ipswich Dark Ale

Inside the variety 12 pack. $17.50 at Joe Canals- Lawrenceville, NJ

A- Hazy cloudy brown with a moderate size lacing head.
S- slighty roasted oily pine hops.
T- Nice bitter oily green hops with a roasted and mildly burnt touch.
M- Sweet pine hops with a mild burnt coffee/ cocoa finish.

Overall- I don't think this is a nut brown?! Tastes like an IPA/ porter blend ( Tröeg's Dead Reconing Porter?!?!)

Very Tasty, actually quite delicious. Too bad you only get 2 in the 12 pack.

Photo of tastybeer
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark is right. Very dark glowing brownish red color. Tan-cream colored head is 1.5 finger and leaves a nice little layer over the beer. Smells lightly sweet with chocolate, certainly malty, and pretty hoppy. Taste has similar qualities. Resinous pine, floral and citric hops blend with the sweet malts balancing the beer quite nicely. A nice conglomeration of all sorts of flavors here. Mouth is gritty and smooth. Easy drinkability too.

Another good Ipswich beer. Yummy + good to get whenever your little heart desires.

Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle from Western Mass. trip. Dark brown inviting with some white yeast lace,with malty and mollasses aroma. Above average carbonation and tongue tingling otherwise tasty, with spice, a tad of licorice, and very drinkable. Good balance.
A superior brown, recommended.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ipswich Dark Ale:
Beautiful appearance. The body is a very deep, ruby-accented dark mahogany brown. The creamy tan head has excellent retention, and it leaves almost solid walls of lace about the glass.

Surprisingly hoppy nose! I was expecting a much more basic ale, perhaps something like a dunkel lager but done with ale yeast - this is nothing like that. It's quite American with juicy, fruity hops bursting forth. Very nice! Beyond that it's pretty basic with a just lightly chocolatey malt base.

The flavor delivers the same hops found in the aroma, but they're more rounded with a grassy side as well. From there the malt steps in, and it's much more chocolatey than the nose suggests, and also very darkly caramelish. It offers a flicker of sweetness, and then settles down as the solid bitterness and leafy hop flavors rise. Well-rounded and very nicely balanced considering the citrusy hops present.

An impressive, hoppy brown ale!

Photo of UncleFrank
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow.
As far as a style, where Dark Ale fits Im not sure. Is it Munich Dark? Porter but lighter? Brown Ale? etc? But to this I say who cares!
The aroma is of chocolate and biscuts. Almost like a dark grain bagel with hints of maple. No hop aroma. The color is cloudy brown with a lasting beige head.
The taste gets better as it warms. Typical of a strong beer, which this isnt. This adds to its complexity. Chocolate, wood, roasted malts, a touch of dark fruit followed by citrus and pine hop flavors like orange skins. The finish is slightly hoppy and dry. A tartness or "twang" stays and makes me want more.
This is an excellent beer. I really want to find the "Base" idea for it and brew something like it myself.

Photo of rangerman21
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Dark dark brown with a white head
S- Dark malts dominate
T- Roasted malts with a coffee finish
F- Bright
O- A tasty dark ale.

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in a growler. Removed the cap and was surprised by the carbonation. Dark brown amber color, with a strong smell of hops. Pours great into a glass, and goes down very easy. A rich good tasting beer.

Photo of bditty187
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unfiltered, brown in hue with a tawny-amber highlight, especially when held to a light. A modest sized beige head of a ¼” in height topped off the beer. The head retention was reasonable; it faded to a loose cap, which lasted the entire consumption. The subsequent lacing was basically none. Still the appearance is pleasant. The first couple of whiffs of the nose didn’t do much for me. But, in time, aromas of chocolate, oranges, caramel, and a Brown Ale-like maltiness emerged. The smells from the hops were slight but I got a suggestion of grass. The dark malty aromas are the focal point, yet they really aren’t that loud. Still the potency is strong enough to tell me to drink. So I did. I won’t lie, I didn’t realize there was a style of beer on BA called Dark Ale; I just thought it was a ubiquitous term. I really didn’t know what to expect, especially on the palate. The nose was good but the taste was, frankly, awesome! The balance was impressive; the maltiness is very much like a Brown Ale but with chocolate and caramel influences. The chocolate flavors are significant. In the middle a yeasty, ale fruitiness is found, oranges mainly but hints of citrus. These citrus notes are also found in the finish but this time it is a byproduct of the hops. I am impressed at the bitterness; I get a sold dose of citrus bitterness on the back of my throat. What is this beer exactly, an IDA? That would be an India Dark Ale! This is damn tasty! The aftertaste really seals the deal for me; it is a mix of dark malty flavors and bold hoppy bitterness. I could pair this beer with many different foods and cheeses. It is surprisingly complex! Medium/medium-full in body, it works for me, the carbonation is modest but natural, this is an easy drinking beer. Lovely stuff. Yet again I am impressed with these Ipswich beers. This might be the best tasting one yet. I’d kill for more. Thank you drweizen for the bottle in the BIF 5 package!

Photo of HalfFull
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich brown/black into from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. A half inch of light tan head sits atop the pour, settling to a surface cap in a few minutes and offering good lacing.

Quite malty on the nose, with roasted cocoa and molasses. Taste follows with toasted malts and a bit of dry chocolate. Finish seems slightly astringent from the almost burnt sense yielding a dryer and more lingering finish than anticipated given the nose. Rather firm in carbonation allowing for an easy finish given the style.

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap served into a pint glass...

A- Dark brown "is that black?" liquid...thin head, not much lace. Not your typical looking brown ale.

S- Smell was roasty and malty with hints of nut and dark coffee beans.

T- Taste was full of character. Lots of roasted flavors, some dark chocolate and molasses, some hop punch, but tended to stray on the malty side.

M- Interesting- somewhat thin for a full flavored brown ale- easy going down, not heavy.

D- A sessionable brown ale. Good stuff, but wasn't BLOWN away.

Photo of jamesclark
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very dark, muddy brown beer, this pours a reasonable head with mild retention. Within I can see suspended particulate matter of some kind.

There is a significant floral hop aroma - with some roasted malt backing it up. Is this dry-hopped?

The flavor is a nice balance of floral hop bitterness with a thick malty body. It has a somewhat smoky character. The long finish is dry and bitter.

This is a flavorful beer - hoppy, malty, easy to drink.

Photo of Kinsman
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Dark brown, almost no light shining through. Thin but creamy head.

S: Slightly sweet maltiness with a flowery hop presence.

T: Sweet upfront quickly followed by a moderately hoppy finish.

M: Medium-body, good carbonation. Dry finish.

D: Overall pretty easy to drink but a little more hopier than what I expected for a brown ale.

Photo of bum732
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, nice creamy head leaving great lacing. Smells of caramel, some toffee, some earthy hops, . Tastes of bitter roasted malt up front followed by a slight caramel sweetness. Nice pronounced bitterness finishing very dry. Good creamy mouthfeel and decent carbonation.

A pretty good American brown. Very bitter and dry with a decent caramel flavor and earthiness in the background. Nice session beer.

Photo of edchicma
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark appearance. It filled my tumbler with a nice foam that dissipated somewhat quickly. I started drinking this offering quite cold and was not initially impressed. As the brew warmed, what a difference. The flavor was much fuller and richer as it warmed. It felt smooth with a nice mouthfeel after it warmed. Overall drinkability was good, especially after it warmed. This brew reminded me that the nuances of a brew change as the temperatures do....Recommend for those desiring a nice, rounded brew.

Photo of KYGunner
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark hearty color with a billowing head. Lots of malts on the nose with tea leaves, light chocolate malt, roasted nut, light grain and some dark fruit.

A touch more assertive flavor than the nose but for the most part very reflective. Tea leaves, chocolate malt, barley grain and even roast coffee.

Huge kudos for a great value.

Photo of tone77
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a pretty, cloudy auburn color with a 1/2 inch head. Smells both malty and hoppy, yum. Taste is also well balanced malt and hop, some nuttiness, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a quality and enjoyable beer.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ipswich Dark Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 219 ratings.