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Ipswich Dark Ale - Ipswich Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Ipswich Dark AleIpswich Dark Ale

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

217 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 217
Reviews: 150
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.36%
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (32) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 217 | Reviews: 150
Photo of ecoboy
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

How does anybody expect to sell anything called a "Dark Ale" in this country? The general public is so afraid of the dark, so to speak. This must be a tough sell. Someone used to Newcastle would love this flavor, and yet the word "dark" might send them spinning off down the liquor store aisle.

This is for lovers of roasty and even chocolaty malts. Light mouthfeel, light hop character. This is certainly capable of being very drinkable if you're a malt person: fairly unidirectional with the roasty nature lasting all the way through the glass and even therafter. Does not unpleasantly coat the tongue.

Good enough for what it is: the metaphor might be like a steak good enough to not need any sauce.

Photo of johnsilk
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of nixhecks
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

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

Dark, frothy, malty brew, pours dark brown, decent amount of foam, has a slight hint of coffee in the taste, overall a nice brown ale. Smooth, has enough taste to it, a slight bite/sharp finish.

Easy to drink, I would buy it again, nothing over the top or different but an above average brown ale for the price, a nice change up from the usual in its price range. I will put this in the rotation of moderately priced quality brews.

Intrigued enough to try others.

Photo of jman892
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
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

Photo of Mappies
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Liquids
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Photo of jamisonspitzer
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of Philabeerphia
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of Madfish85
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of 86MonteSS
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

Photo of emptyglassagain
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Britton
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of EtOHMD
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of schroederm
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of Wamesit
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Photo of Dansting
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Photo of BaconManic
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of scriabin
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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...

Photo of JasonCoop
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
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

Photo of adowney523
3.82/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of duffextracold
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of jdrankin
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of VTaler
4.24/5  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

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.

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Ipswich Dark Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 217 ratings.