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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

210 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 210
Reviews: 149
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 16
Gots: 7 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Ipswich Dark Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 210 | Reviews: 149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark ruby with thick lacy tan head. Very light fruity and spicy aromas. Smells fruity and spicy but very light aromas.

Taste is much better than the aroma. Smoky and burnt malt. Very bitter but creamy too. Chocolatey with a surprisingly strong taste of bitter hops in there too. Very unusual and very tasty.

Dark and smooth. Creamy mouthfell witha smoky bitter aftertaste. Yet another very good offering from Ipswich. I love them all thus far.

ViveLaChouffe, Dec 12, 2003
Photo of wedge
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep hazy brown with an awesome thick, creamy off-white head and lacing all the way up the glass. Light malty aroma with some earthy, floral hops. Tasty roasted malt flavor - a little sweet and a somewhat bready. Chocolate and caramel backed up by a solid, almost resinous hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel - very balanced, smooth, and well rounded.

This turned out to be quite the hoppy brown ale. Not so much in bitterness, but in flavor...and its so well balanced between the rich malts and hops. This is delicious stuff.

wedge, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ipswich Dark Ale has a medium, off-white head, a caramel color, lots of streaming bubbles, and thin lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of caramel, sweetness, and light cocoa. Taste is of caramel, sweetness, cocoa powder, and mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and a little bit slick. Ipswich Dark Ale finishes dry, sweet, and very drinkable. I think it's really delicious!

RJT

RonaldTheriot, Sep 06, 2013
Photo of WanderingFool
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a deep amber color with a foamy head that remains in some form throughout the entire glass. Some lace clings to the side and remains on the surface of the beer. It has a very flowery/hoppy aroma. I find this medium bodied beer begins a little malty and sweet then quickly changes to a more hoppy flavor and finishes with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

When I bought this beer to try I was expecting a more malty flavor. I was pleasantly surprised at how hoppy it was. However, I did not think the hop flavor was overly bitter.

WanderingFool, Jan 11, 2003
Photo of Hooliskin
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Hooliskin, May 06, 2014
Photo of Jim_DemonDeacon
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Jim_DemonDeacon, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of jwps214
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

jwps214, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of neil2me
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

neil2me, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of VTaler
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark Orange Color with very little head
S - Kinda fruity, Mango or pineapple. Citrus
T - Tastes like mango and orange with a malty bite. A little sour. Bitter but not very floral hop presence. Has a roasted barley taste. Overall a sweet fruity beer but not a chick beer. The fruitiness is subtle enough to make it socially acceptable to drink.
M - Good carbonation
D - Somewhat drinkable. I think I could have a few of these

VTaler, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of tastybeer
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

tastybeer, May 10, 2006
Photo of gfreed
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At first I wasn't so sure about this beer. After drinking the first bottle of the six-pack, I found it to be too hoppy, somewhat oily, too fizzy and just overly bitter for what I wanted in this style. However, after working my way through the remaining five bottles over the course of a couple of weeks, I've come around.

Clear amber in the glass with an unending stream of small bubbles rising merrily from the foot of the glass. There a citrus pungency in the aroma that is sharp at first but is dulled by caramel from the malt. The body is quite sharp-- sharp and pointy, enough to poke through the spiciest of food, with enough bubbles to inflate a small balloon. Watch out for the belch factor. Tasty, citrusy and while somewhat bitter for a brown ale, it has enough roundness at the end to prevent it from falling over the hoppy cliff that so many other American ales do these days. I drank one bottle while suffering from a mild cold, and it definitely helped clear my congestion.

gfreed, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of UncleFrank
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

UncleFrank, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of 86MonteSS
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've got high standards for Ipswich, but their beers consistently take my standards and force them into very uncomfortable places. The Dark Ale proves to me what a rock-solid brewery this really is. Their beers are characteristically robust yet very drinkable, and this is no exception. A baker's chocolate quality seems to be at the forefront of this beer, but at the same time it's refreshing enough to be had by the dozen. Rich, savory... a real base hit.

86MonteSS, Oct 18, 2004
Photo of far333
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

far333, Jan 02, 2004
Photo of bditty187
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
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!

bditty187, Jun 10, 2004
Photo of MJR
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown with a bit of chill haze. A light tan head starts at a nice size, and only shrinks a bit. Decent lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is a balance between the bready, grainy smell of the malt, and the aromatic smell of the hops. There's a touch of nuttiness in there as well. Great aroma!

Taste: The balance that was present in the aroma is now tilted a bit towards the hoppy end of the spectrum. There is the bready, toasted flavor from the grains, but the green, fresh hop flavor takes center stage here. The hops have a bit of a grapefruit bite to them. I detect a slight alcohol flavor towards the end, but it's faint enough to not take the attention away from the other flavors. Very nice!

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with a mouthfeel that stradles the line between dry and crisp, and round and creamy.

Drinkability: Damn good...if this was available here, I could easily down pint after pint! This is quite the kick-ass American Brown Ale!

A 'thank you' goes out to pbrian for including this great brew in our trade.

MJR, Apr 03, 2003
Photo of jwc215
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with a foamy tan head that leaves lacing.

The smell is nutty, toffeeish, earthy with a slight hint of butterscotch.

The taste is of toffee and dark chocolate. It has a roasty character reminiscent of coffee. It has a nutty, earthy character as well. Citric bitterness balances the malty sweetness, especially in the dryish finish.

It has a rich medium body with medium carbonation.

This is one well-made, well-balanced, dark Brown Ale. Not quite "sessionable" (though was probably not meant to be), it's very drinkable nevertheless. It leaves a roasted aftertaste, which if you enjoy as much as I do. A robust brown!

jwc215, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of twelvsies
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer appears a dark brown which looks a bit reddish when held up to the light. Small off-white bubbly swirly head. Smell is very complex. Piney hops come to mind first, followed up by some chocolate wafts and some cherry or grape kicks. Smells like one of those chocolates in the box with the raspberry filling or whatever. Taste is roasty chocolaty malts with a very substantial hoppy backbone. Some dried fruit notes in there as well, a key part of this complex little beer we have here. For a beer this thick and chocolaty and tasty like a porter, this beer is not full bodied, more of a medium feel, but crisp and smooth. A very interesting, drinkable ale. Cheers.

twelvsies, Nov 10, 2004
Photo of Jacobob10
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The last variety out of my mixed 12-pack to be sampled. Poured a murky, brownish-orange color. The appearance reminded me of apple cider with a nice head. Great nutty aroma. There are definitely some floral hops in there that give the taste a nice bite to counteract the roasted malts. The taste reminded me of coffee and dark chocolate. Normally you would find the same taste in a much more hefty brew, but the drinkability on this is excellent. Very enjoyable beer and I was very pleased overall with the Ipswich sampler pack.

Jacobob10, Apr 26, 2005
Photo of EStreet20
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, shaker pint glass.

A - Nice, nearly opaque dark brown that glows tan when held to the light. Has a nice finger of tan/off white head up top. Looks inviting.

S - Give me a nice roasty aroma with some chocolate. A bit of hops kick through, surprisingly to me.

T - A very nice roasty taste that has a tiny sweet hint come through, but is beat back by some hop bitterness before finishing dry.

M - Fairly light for such a dark beer. Moderate carbonation.

D - A very nice brown ale that makes you want more. Good for when you're in the mood for a roasted tasting brown.

EStreet20, Oct 01, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
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.

rhoadsrage, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of NJpadreFan
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

NJpadreFan, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of pbrian
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours muddy brown with an everlasting tan head. Smell is a fresh mix of sweet malts, spicy yeast, and citrusy hops. Taste borders on a porter: roasted grains, chocolately, nice yeast profile. Bitterness towards the end balances it just so. Smooth and full bodied. A treat I should buy more often.

pbrian, Sep 25, 2002
Photo of tugdriver7
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
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). Amazing quality.

The Dark Ale pours rich and 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 toasted 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... 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 fantastic. Easily as good as any brown I've ever tried.

tugdriver7, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of JayNH
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a slightly hazy deep brown with a respectable two finger head.

S- Sweet, a bready/biscuity maltiness with notes of a brown ale nuttiness. Plenty of pleasant scent for a brown.

T- A slightly sweet dark roasted maltiness. Very mildly nutty. Well hopped for a brown, a nice citric grassy hoppiness.

M- Smooth, medium bodied. Carbonation could be a bit more creamy.

D- Excellent! This brew defines an "American" brown ale. Almost a brown/IPA hybrid.

JayNH, Apr 02, 2009
Ipswich Dark Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 210 ratings.