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Ipswich Dark Ale - Ipswich Ale Brewery

Ipswich Dark AleIpswich Dark Ale

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

202 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 202
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 10.57%


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)
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Ratings: 202 | Reviews: 148 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2007 03:13:53 | More by Sammy
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this one thanks to a generous trader who sent me more then I could handle worth of New England brews this week. I grabbed this one out of the fridge on a whim as I had really wanted to try it. Served cold, right out of the fridge and poured into a fluted pilsner glass. This one was consumed on 10/07/2008.

The pour was very nice. A very rich, dark brown color coming forward on this right away. Some nice clarity could be seen in here as the carbonation trickled up towards the top of the glass. A nice head of maybe an inch and a half then came up over the top and settled down gently to a thin foamy layer that hung out for the rest of the session.

The aroma was big. There were lots of roasted malts, hints at caramel, and a nice mixture of dark fruits. Touches of figs, plums almost with a nice balance to it provided by some light earthy hops. This carried over very well into the flavor. Started out with a very nice rush of rich roasted malts. Almost smoky at times there was that really nice, dark feel to it. As it rolled across the tongue it started to get a touch sweeter and then rolled into a very nice dark, fig like fruit flavor. A slight bite of tart on the tongue as it went down and this carried over very well into the finish, which was made slightly dry by the hop undertones. Very nice medium bodied ale with a great carbonation that never let it even get a touch of dull. A smooth, easy drinking session ale I had no issues what so ever in putting this one down.

Overall I thought this was a very solid offering, and a very nice way to introduce me to this brewer. I would have no issue at all with getting this one again any day. Really a very solid offering here and something I would look forward to trying again.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2008 22:51:24 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a chocolate brown with tawny highlights and a thick tan head that leaves a reasonable amount of lacing

Smell: Brown bread, with hints of molasses and char

Taste: Brown bread, up front, with a roasty and nutty flavor progression; by mid-palate, the char takes over, adding a burnt, bitter element that lingers after the swallow and into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: A solid ale all around, with a big flavor profile for the style; I would like it better if the char flavor wasn't quite so prominent

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2010 19:54:15 | More by brentk56
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 19:24:54 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

2.85/5  rDev -26.5%
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...

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 20:29:27 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2009 21:14:38 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2008 03:20:51 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2007 21:43:07 | More by WesWes
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2008 21:16:44 | More by jwc215
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: brown in color with a huge 3" fluffy tan colored head. The head lingers around awhile, and produces some nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: roasted malts, caramel, and a hint of brown sugar sweetness.

Taste: nice roasted malt flavor with some caramel, hints of chocolate, ripe red fruit sweetness, and a lingering dryness and soft burnt tone that is very pleasant.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp and dry at the start, smoother and dry at the finish. Aftertaste is long with the the roasted and burnt tones. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: great session ale here. Picked this up as part of the Ipswich mixed twelve pack and was glas they added this one to the mix.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2007 18:30:02 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep brown. Opaque, but only when placed against a bright light. Good tan head that leaves some spotty lace.

Rich dark malt aromas, but not sweet--dark chocolate comes to mind. Roasted, but not burnt, grains are tempered by the subtle touch of hop. Very inviting!

Like an excellent homebrew, I mean this as a high compliment. There are stong stout-like flavors, but this brew is missing the richness of a stout. I enjoy the large amount of hops present as well. This may be one of the most flavorful brews I've had in some time.

Typically, I'm not a "dark" beer fan. I love stouts, porters and brown ales, but when a brewer is inclined to use the moniker of dark ale, I typically expect a watered down version of an American ale with a small amount of black patent malt to make it darker. I am pleased to report that this beer breaks that rule; it is complex, flavorful and extraordinarily drinkable. This was a shocking surprise!

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2005 19:21:08 | More by smcolw
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 21:15:32 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: growler

06-13-2002 19:48:35 | More by Jason
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.13/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 00:53:19 | More by Zorro
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12ozer bottle bought as part of a mix 6-pack (that the proprietor was nice enough to allow me to make) from Holiday Spirits, Storrs, CT.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" tan head above the cloudy dark reddish brown brew. Head fades slowly, and lacing is average. Aroma is grain husks and dark fruits. Interesting, almost reminiscent of a doppledock in the nose. Taste is earthy bitter grains, fruity tartness as it goes over the tongue. Mouthfeel and drinkability are okay this time around. Was a bit sloppy with the decanting, this could be the source of what I perceive as somewhat off-flavoring. An interesting brew that I will revisit.

<edit> Was growing on me by the end, and I upped a few attributes a notch.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2005 23:01:46 | More by ppoitras
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit of a murky looking ruby-orange brew. The thin light brown head recedes to a thin coating in a minute. Lacing is adequate. Some roasted malt and chocolate tones on the nose. Solid brown ale here. It's a got a bitter bite to it. But it's rounded on the edges with some dark malts and possibly Belgian malts. Real toasty. A bread like character is present as well. Body is medium-full. Pretty tasty for a brown ale.

Thanks to pbrian for the sample.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2002 19:51:50 | More by Bighuge
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark cola-red color with a cherry tan head.

S: Sweet raisiny aroma with some caramel is present on the nose.

T: Flavor is dry, with a very earthy hop bitterness. There some dry burnt woodiness as well roasted malt character providing a smoky finish. There's slight cola nut notes and finishes dry with a lingering smokiness like a smothered camp fire. There is some nuttiness, burnt sherry and woody flavor that leaves a smoky residue coating on the tongue and a lingering dryness for the finish. Some dry chocolate, light bread and roasted malt. Overall a moderately good beer that is rich, robust, smoky and earthy but doesn't make for a session beer.

M: medium-full body, nice texture and residual qualities

D: a hearty dark ale that may be limiting in quantity but very big on individual quality.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 18:06:37 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chestnut brown with some translucency and a bit of haze from loose sediment. It had a thin beige cap that showed good head retention and left sticky, spotty lace on the glass. Balanced aroma, caramel and toffee with light tangerine and grapefruit. Medium to low bitterness with light caramel sweetness. Chocolate and cocoa filled out the malt character while grapefruit bitterness lingered in the finish. Medium to light bodied with fine carbonation, light dryness. This was pretty good. It had a pleasant flavour, with hops and malt balanced nicely.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2009 00:22:01 | More by DrJay
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour a deep hazy brown color, the head impressive and frothy in its consistency and as it erodes leaves a fine sheet of lace to cover the glass. Quite earthy and somewhat nut sweet nose, fresh and clean. The front is malt sweet; the top middling with a portly hop presence to spice it up also favorably carbonated with a droughty long lasting aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2002 11:59:50 | More by Gusler
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

2.98/5  rDev -23.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 16:23:59 | More by smakawhat
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark amber in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation and some amber + golden orange highlights. The beer has a two finger tall foamy tan head that reduces to a large cap of thick film and a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted and toasted malts with a light hint of char. Light to moderate aromas of pine/resin hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of roasted and toasted malts with light flavors of char. There are moderate flavors of pine/resin hops in the finish which impart a moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. LIght to moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Pretty hoppy for an American Brown Ale with a pretty big flavor profile - enjoyable and pretty easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 00:26:39 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma has a malty core with subtle chocolate and citrus notes and just a hint of cloves. It pours a dark, hazy, warm brown with a fairly thick and persistent light tan head that leaves some good lacing. Malty flavor has woody, unsweet chocolate and caramel notes plus a fruity hint. Smooth, firm-bodied texture is fizzy and lively, leaving a woody, malty finish.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 20:19:19 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark, dark brown with a small, short-lived head that left a ring and very little lacing. Roasted chocolate malts dominate the aroma with a hint of hops and molasses. Taste is sweet malts as well but less chocolate than the aroma indicated. The hops also make their presence felt in the finish with a slight dry bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lot of carbonation that tingles the tongue nicely. This is a very good brown ale and highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2008 02:44:28 | More by gford217
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.18/5  rDev -18%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 22:54:13 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2012 00:51:45 | More by tone77
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Ipswich Dark Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 202 ratings.