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Ipswich Dark Ale - Ipswich Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Ipswich Dark AleIpswich Dark Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

208 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 208
Reviews: 149
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 16
Gots: 6 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 208 | Reviews: 149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CmBanaszak
2/5  rDev -48.3%

CmBanaszak, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of TheDarkestYouveGot
2/5  rDev -48.3%

TheDarkestYouveGot, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of scootercrabb
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

scootercrabb, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of TMoney2591
2.85/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Working my way through the Ipswich line that we get 'round here. This offering pours a murky black-brown topped by a finger of beige foam. The nose comprises light roasted malts, light coffee, light toasted white bread, and dark greens. The taste brings in more of the same, with the toast and coffee coming in a bit more powerfully, some orange rind and pine sap coming in, and a harsh vinyl flavor coming in at the end. This same tobacco-like vinyl character was present near the finish of the Oatmeal Stout as well... The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly dry and sticky finish. Overall, it's hard to enjoy this beer, what with that vinyl taste. Maybe they just roast their malts in a strange way (thus explaining the similarities with the Oatmeal Stout)? Regardless, I could not drink this very easily...

TMoney2591, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
2.98/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Eeek old bottle! 3/11/2013.

Nice deep chestnut brown color, with creamy light white and tan coffee like head. Head is three fingers tall lots of retention, and soapy whipped up lacing. Pretty nice looking brown.

Great nose on this. Good herbal sweetness, with hints of milk chocolate and toffee. Great brown like spices and cinnamon and nutmeg aromas, very solid and impressive.

First taste. What the heck? Palate feel. Watery and very weak. Malt, non existent, no hinting taste at all from the nose of classic brown ale flavors. No nutty, chocolate, or even minor roasty quality. Slightly acrid, somewhat sour grain and astringent and oil zest bitterness and not of a good hop like quality..

This is really a disappointing brown.

smakawhat, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of Britton
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Britton, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of iemailjack
3/5  rDev -22.5%

iemailjack, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of jamisonspitzer
3/5  rDev -22.5%

jamisonspitzer, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Stockfan42
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Stockfan42, May 22, 2012
Photo of jfcaa193
3/5  rDev -22.5%

jfcaa193, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of jman892
3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours dark brown with some copper highlights. Sudsy head and decent lacing

S- Grassy hops are pretty noticeable. Has a very earhty aroma overall

T - Good amount of hops considering the style. A little bit of toffee sweetnes trying to come into the picture, but largely covered up by the hops. There is a bit of a soapiness character also

M - Stongly carbonated, medium bodied

O - A little bit more bitterness than I would normally expect from a Brown ale. A perfectly average beer for me

jman892, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of Zorro
3.13/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy brown colored ale with a small tan colored head.

Smells sweet and malty with a chocolate cake batter malt aroma. Smells of chocolate and vanilla with wheat toast. No patent malt aroma at all and no coffee aroma either.

Starts out dry with a fair amount of bitterness and mostly a wheat toast flavor. Taste bitter with some small amount of sweet malt to offset the hops. Mild patent malt flavor, and that is about it. Pretty much a run of the mill brown ale.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall a pretty standard Brown Ale. Nothing here to make it stand out. Not sure I would ever try this again. I am near certain I would try anything new over this beer.

Zorro, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

Appearance: Pours out a dark russet-toned body with a rather tall, beige head.

Smell: Roasty, toasty malts, chiefly, with hoppy edges of pine and pith.

Taste: Hardly toasted bread, a fair amount of chary roast, and some bitterish chocolate, though very little sweetness ever coming forward to the drinker. Bark-strewn pine chips and a bit of chopped citrus pith ahead of a medium level of bitterness. Drying on the back half with some lingering pine and roast.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Actually, I was surprised at how fairly hop-forward this was, and was a bit disappointed, as I'd hoped for something more on the malty end of the brown ale spectrum.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of scruffwhor
3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ruby, copper, and cola all mixed together for this beer's color. Great head and residual foam and bubbling. This beer looks great!

Very hard to pick up the toasted and almost roasted malt aromas. As well as a few bitter hop aromas as well.

Taste starts bitter toasted, almost roasted orange peel. Then maybe some toasty and roasty malts mix in the middle through to the finish. But still pretty bitter from start to finish. More like and AIPA that wishes it was an ABA.

Not bad, but doesn't fit the style at all in my opinion.

scruffwhor, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of robwestcott
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

thanks to ahelm for this extra.

poured cold from the bottle a murky dark amber / brown to a dogfish head '08 shaped pint with a wisp of a short lasting off white / tan head.

aroma of toasted brown sugars and sweet dark molasses and hot maple syrup.

hmmm... not a very agreeable first few sips, however, it may be from a tired palate following a pretty things black ale / that said, this one's not tasting anything close to the fairly agreeable nose. a bit bitter, a bit sour even, with an acidic dirty hoppy bite.

medium carbonation, thin-ish, light bodied, strangely bitter for a brown ale.

drinkability - yeah, but I'd not have another.

robwestcott, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle

Hazy, dark orange/brown. Small, light tan head.

Scent was malty and caramel as first impression. Pine hops came through next. Fairly mild overall.

Taste was more bitter than sweet, pine and herbal elements. Some roast notes. Touch of caramel and wheat bread to balance out flavor profile.

Medium body. Medium carbonation. Fairly dry.

Overall, OK, but nothing special. Decent beer with slight tilt towards hops.

, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of liquorpig
3.25/5  rDev -16%

liquorpig, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of billybob
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

medium to dark brown in color with a short light tan head that fades to just cover the beer and a fair amount of lace that holds well. smokey roasted malt aroma. smokey bitter coffee, has a burnt taste to it leaving a fingering after taste, bitter chocolate. don't like anything with a smokey taste so i will pass on this one.

billybob, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of nixhecks
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brown ale poured a cidery brown color with tons of sediment particles floating about - really looked like apple cider. It also had a small head that formed and retained for a few minutes, also leaving a decent amount of lacing down the glass. It could have been the ice cold glass that hindered the aroma, but there was not much smell to this, I was barely able to smell a malty spiciness, not much else. Medium bodied mouthfeel, and a raison-ish malt foretaste with a crisp hop bite on the finish. The aftertaste was a bit unpleasant. Overall I can't see this as a dark/brown ale, it tasted much more similar to a handcrafted, unfiltered amber ale.

nixhecks, Mar 26, 2003
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, maple, roasted nuts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty with sweet flavors of caramel, maple and nuts. There's a strong bite of hops bitterness, but it doesn't seem to blend with the sweetness. The malt character is hearty. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this wouldn't be one of the first brown ales that I would pick.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 19, 2008
Photo of fedt
3.39/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, thick tan head

S: Mild aromas of roasted malts and spices. Smells a little sweet.

T: The ale tastes watery, hoppy without body. It's definitely very thin and I was hoping for more.

M: Thin body. This has more carbonation than needed for a beer without a good malt backbone.

O: This is the first beer I tried from Ipswitch and I was not impressed. I don't think I would try this again.

fedt, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of WesWes
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, roasted malt scent that boasts of caramel and special roast malts. There is a slight nutty feel as well. The taste is decent. It's got a brown ale feel with quite a bitter finish. There is a considerable hop element here. I'm not sure that I really like the concept here. It's dry and roasted with some caramel notes, but hoppier than hell. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a forgettable beer. The concept is neat, but delivery suffers.

WesWes, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of scottum
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy deep brown with a big tanish head. Bready/roasty malt flavors rule this brew. The hops balance the finish quite well, but where were they at the start of the race? The finish is quite nice and makes you want to take another sip. Not the best brown ale on the market, but certainly a drinkable brew by all means.

scottum, Apr 17, 2003
Photo of Kinsman
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

Kinsman, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of Liquids
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark it is-not exactly a brown. Cloudy and unfiltered deep brown color with a one finger cappucinno head, and lots of carbonation; looks good to me. Aroma is all american brown, hoppy, resinous--I dare say cascade. Taste is dark, dark brown, with earthy caramel notes and charred malts detected. Lacking the nutty flavors of the browns I prefer. Heavy on unfermentables, offset but the hops that follow. The flavor of this beer is really fading into the not-that-different flavor of the Mcneils and Berkshire Porters I've has more recently. A bit tea like in flavor, I notice after a few sips. Certainly hoppy as per the "american brown" style. Ragged char flavors linger making it a brown porter...well, let's just call it dark. Mouthfeel is thick and full bodied as expected from the sweetness of the unfermentables. This is not a bad beer, but disapointing considering I have been eyeing change for a single of this for over a year, thinking it would be a solid microbrew answer to newcastle and possibly even one to stock regularly. But some how that clear bottled UK brew that I hate to like has kept it's head about the pack as best of style for (nutty) browns...and despite that brew having major flaws, many browns I try go in very different, though not necessarily better directions, this being another. A fine beer on it's own, considering the complex layers of hops, caramel, and roast malt flavors, but somehow beers like this manage towind up striking me as booring. Sad.

Liquids, Feb 03, 2007
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Ipswich Dark Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.