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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

209 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 209
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Ipswich Dark Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 209 | Reviews: 149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mappies
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Mappies, Jan 24, 2012
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
Photo of Madfish85
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Madfish85, Aug 31, 2013
Photo of Philabeerphia
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a style, Brown Ale is quickly emerging as one of my favorites. I am excited to see how Ipswich's version stacks up.
12oz bottle that has been 'aging' in my fridge for 1+ month, pulled and poured into the cuvee 'bell' tulip.

Velvety and deeply crimson in color. Nearly opaque, topped with a fine crown of khaki head. A tight and appealing looking package, but some of my favorites have more retainage in the head and some richer chocolate colors.
In the nose I am not getting much of anything. A faint whiff of tobacco, citris and cider. Where I am disappointed in the nose, the flavor and mouthfeel are more than splitting the difference. A few notes of bright cherry around the front of the mouth rolls into heavy, sweet tobacco. Sweetness spreads into some cream corn, but quickly deepens and grows a bit bitter with some espresso notes. This is all wrapped up with a dry, smoky finish provided by some hoppiness that intermingles well with the roasted, chocolate grains. Nicely attenuated, and nicely carbonated. Overall a clean, fine beer to drink. If its not hitting on all cylinders, it sure is a good kick.

Philabeerphia, Aug 18, 2009
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 jamisonspitzer
3/5  rDev -22.5%

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

Britton, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of schroederm
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a bubble pint glass:

I have not seen this much head on a beer in a long time. A full
hand of off-white goodness that didn't fade for 10 minutes. Looks like a rootbeer float; creamy, sticky, gorgeous. Dark dark brown with ruby notes. Smells fruity and sweet with hints of grape and banana and just a touch of roasted coffee. Finishes dry and somewhat bitter with coffee and medicinal notes. The maltiness is unfortunately weak, which is a little disappointing considering the smell I got. Still, good and clean on the palate. Good body, not viscous but not weak either. Carbonation could be a bit higher. Goes easy on the palate, but there just isn't a ton of flavor.

schroederm, May 09, 2009
Photo of EtOHMD
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle without freshness date into a pint glass. Rich thick tan head, several fingers. Lots of sticky lacing. Mahogany color. Very nice appearance. Slightly sweet smell but overall not much aroma. Slightly burnt, bready, caramel taste up front followed by mild hops and dry finish, with ? rye afertaste. Clean crisp feel. Nicely complex without being overwhelming. Happily had 2-3 at a time.

EtOHMD, Mar 27, 2010
Photo of Wamesit
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark hazy orange/amber. Thick head that retains fairly well. Lacing is strong.

S- Some citrus hops in there. Mainly a dark, sweet (but bready) malt.

T- Gorgeous. Hints of coffee underlie the rich caramel malts. Citrus hops find there way into the flavor by way of a bitter and dry finish.

M- Big. Smooth yet with solid carbonation.

D- All day. The mouthfeel is big but so smooth; the flavors so balanced that one could easily continue on with a few of these and enjoy every sip.

Wamesit, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of Dansting
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured a cloudy brown color with a medium light-brown head. Strong lacing. Aroma of chocolate, malt, and coffee. Nice mouthfeel. Flavor is malty with a strong coffee overtone. Almost more of a porter than a brown. Not one of my favorite brown ales.

Dansting, Jun 28, 2007
Photo of scriabin
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark, smokey, chocolate tasting bottle of tasty goodness. Has a dark appearance, pours with a decent, dark colored head. The smell hints at the complex flavors yet to come. The flavor is a mix of chocolate, some hops, bitterness, and some other flavors that I'll have to study further. I think I'll have another...

scriabin, Jan 27, 2006
Photo of JasonCoop
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a very dark ruby/brown color with sticky beige foam.

smells great, nice hoppy citrusy sweet kind of smell.

taste: very full bodied and malty taste. hops balance it out nicely with a good kick. a nice full, sweet brown ale with an unexpected hoppiness. nice dry earthy finish. pretty good.

mouthfeel is very thick. pretty full beer, but with a good balance from the nice hops in the finish.

i don't consider this brew too drinkable because of it's fullness and its robust flavor. seems like the abv is probably around 8. a little strong to drink all night. but a nice change of pace and a pretty good brew overall.
will try again asap

JasonCoop, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of adowney523
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Dark brown in color, with a big tan head.

Scents of roasted malts. Nutty and molasses sweetness also.

Flavors of chocolate, burnt notes, and a subtle caramel sweetness. The bitterness in the finish is earthy and citrusy.

A good brown. Nicely balanced malt and hops.

adowney523, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of duffextracold
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dark brown color. 1/2" head, fades down to just a ring of bubbles around the edge. leaves lots of lacing on the glass. smells slightly grainy, with a hint of bitter hops, some sweet malt in the background. Tastes great. some chocolate malt, a hint of roasted malt. sweet up front, with plenty of bitter hops to balance it out. body is on the thin side, with medium carbonation. overall drinkability is excellent. i got 2 of these in a variety 12 pack, and wish there were more.

duffextracold, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of BaconManic
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

BaconManic, Jul 15, 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 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 DavidHamilton
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

DavidHamilton, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of TheDarkestYouveGot
2/5  rDev -48.3%

TheDarkestYouveGot, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of chimaylvr
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

chimaylvr, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of NarcoSolo
4/5  rDev +3.4%

NarcoSolo, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of Danjal
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Danjal, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of jamesclark
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

jamesclark, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of yoyo
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly suprised by this brand of beer on a recent vacation to Cape Cod, MA. I drank 2 mixed 12 packs while there and should've brought some home. The dark ale jumped out at me cause it WAS dark, and and had a great balanced taste and some kick. Caramel and malt with nice hoppy bite.

yoyo, Sep 01, 2005
Ipswich Dark Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 209 ratings.