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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.
very good

206 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 206
Reviews: 148
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 17
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)
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Ratings: 206 | Reviews: 148 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tai4ji2x


3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

murky dark brown; even murkier if you swirl in the yeast. the head retention will be influenced by that as well. the less swirling in the bottle, the less creamy and sticky the head and lace will be.

scent is quite floral and hoppy. bit more than i expected from a "brown ale". the caramel malt can still be detected in the background.

mouthfeel was a bit thinner than expected, given the bottle conditioning. otherwise smooth, with gentle carbonation.

flavorwise, again, the bitter hops are stronger than i expected from a "brown ale". not that it isn't nice, but then maybe the style is mis-categorized?

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 23:02:38 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
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 arizcards


4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in late June with the MicroBeerClub's June shipment.

Beer poured brown with a nice tan head that disapated quickly. Nose is of chocolate roasted malts and floral hops. TAste is....well unique for the style. I don't think we can call this an ABA but I can call it a mighty fine tasting brew. I have been stuggling to classify this brew...is it a porter, a brown pale ale, a brown ESB. This has been one of the most intrguing beers I have had from the Club. Given the well balanced nature of the chocolate roasted malts and the floral hops it best resembles an ESB. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth. Overall drinkabilty is very good. This is one fun beer that is a must try!

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2007 01:22:44 | More by arizcards
Photo of WesWes

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Dark brown in color, medium-sized head. A sweet malt aroma, along with a little caramel. It tasted sweeter than it smelled, also some nice piney hops. Maybe a little on the thin side, but still a very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2007 13:33:06 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of scoobybrew


3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It has a deep amber color with a thick foamy head that is retained well. Rich roasted malt dominates the aroma. There is faint smell of hops in the background. As it warms, the hops are more noticeable in the aroma. Upon tasting, the roasted malts are right out front along with hoppy flavors with a nice moderate hop finish. It has a medium body with moderate carbonation.

This is a good example of an American brown.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 22:39:35 | More by scoobybrew
Photo of tgbljb


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very deep brown color with massive tannish creamy head. Some nice lacing noted as the head very slowly fell.
Smell is a nice combination of of piney, citrusy hops and some sweet caramel malt.
Taste also combines the malt and hops in a pleasant tasty mixture.
Leaves a nice dry sensation in the mouth.
Easy drinking, perfect session beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2007 23:53:36 | More by tgbljb
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You've gotta watch the pour on this one! It really built up a stiff two finger light tan head in a hurry and it wasn't going anywhere. Lots of lacing, some 3D.

The smell is malt squared. Not a sweet smell, but a little smoky.

I'm pleasantly surprised by the mouth feel. Judging by the amount of visible carbonation i was thinking that this was going to tingle, but the texture is quite creamy. Medium bodied.

The flavor is primarily from the solid malt base with a slightly roasted character and some chocolate. A decent drinker.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2007 21:09:29 | More by jjayjaye
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2007 03:40:11 | More by Dansting
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to swedejay53 for the bottle.
Looks like a hazy Coke. Not much head and little lacing.
Nice brown ale aroma. Charcoal, nuts and chocolate.
This is a quite refreshing and tasty beverage. Nice hop profile for a brown ale. Hops jump out at the middle and last well into the finish. The hops are supported by a roasted malt backbone with hints of caramel. I don't taste the bit of nuttyness that was in the nose and is in other beers for the style. But, the hops are such that I don't miss it either.
Mouthfeel is medium with some active carbonation.
Good beer, easy to session, wish I had more.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2007 03:49:00 | More by wcudwight
Photo of dherling

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark reddish-brown with a light tan head. Decent lacing. The nose 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. The taste offers a 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. Medium in body with a mouthfeel that stradles the line between dry and crisp, and round and creamy.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2007 23:41:31 | More by dherling
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2007 22:34:02 | More by adowney523
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 15:24:04 | More by Liquids
Photo of lawrence76


4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the good fortune to come to Bukowski's last week when this was on Cask.

This beer seems almost DESTINED to be served from a cask. The mellow carbonation and warmer serving temp worked so well with what I consider to be a beautiful brown ale

The beer itself is smooth & subtle. Delicious, and highly drinkable.

Another winner from what I consider to be one of the most uner-rated breweries in the east

Serving type: cask

12-18-2006 15:38:48 | More by lawrence76
Photo of Stimack

New York

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brew pours to a dark brown color with a nice sized tan head that broke down quite quickly but did leave a fair amount of lacing. The aroma is really nice, sweet caramel malt aroma with a slight roasted scent. Also an alcohol scent in notable if you take a big whiff. The taste is very nice with a unexpectedly large hop taste, I did not pick it up in the nose so was not expecting it. Also at the start it has a somewhat creamy malt like taste that snaps to the hop flavor described above. Over all this is a nice brew, probably not my favorite from Ipswich but even in the mixed 12 pack it will not stick around for long.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 01:44:46 | More by Stimack
Photo of Estarrio


3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark, ruby red with a small white head.

Not much retention but silky lacings persisted throughout.

Nice hoppy/malt aroma with a medium fizzy palate that ends slightly dry.

Flavor of malt (slight hints of roasted malt) and bitter hops that linger in the aftertaste.

A respectable interpretation of the style, while I felt the flavor could have been more complex.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2006 02:20:50 | More by Estarrio
Photo of taez555


3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brownish/black body with a thick white head that took it's time to fade.

Nose was rather mellow with faint hints of bread, dark malts and even some rye.

Taste is light to medium bodied. There's a quick attack of a dark burnt malt. Almost has a burnt plastic sort of burnt taste. A mixture of cocoa powder, dark espresso beans, hints of dry rye like bread and grain. There's a dark burnt coffee bitterness with hints of stale nuts. An earthy hop taste comes forward toward the back-end giving just faint touches of hops.

Really a beer that doesn't exactly fit a specific style. Part brown ale, part red ale, part porter with even hints of stout. I guess that's why it's call a "dark" ale. Very nice ale, could drink ipswich all day long.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2006 20:34:05 | More by taez555
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2006 23:12:21 | More by tastybeer
Photo of akahn


3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark chestnut color with a creamy brown head. Head recedes to a skim, leaves good lacing. Roasted malt aroma, chocolatey. Roasty, sweet malt flavor. Mocha. Ends slightly dry. Smooth medium body, only slight tingly carbonation. A solid, flavorful brown ale. Drinkable but a bit thick and sweet.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2006 05:05:04 | More by akahn
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

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2006 06:40:54 | More by JasonCoop
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2006 04:07:29 | More by wedge
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...

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2006 22:41:35 | More by scriabin
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2006 01:35:30 | More by jamesclark
Photo of NEhophead


3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Creamy 1/2" off white head that slowly recedes to a rather thick sheet. Ringed and patterned lace with good strength. Deep brown in color with flashes of burgundy and auburn.

Semi-sweet caramel and roasted malt aromas. Tones of roasted nuts: almond, hazlenut, etc. Light coffee and espresso.

Mild coffee flavors; lightly sweetened, met by a surprising dose of lemon from the hop profile. Almost an unsweetened, but not completely bitter, milk chocolate and caramel flavor. Hints of toasted hazlenut toffee in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; a nice mellow feel on the palate. The carbonation is just a tad too much for the style.

Nice flavors; light and drinkable. The cascade hop addition is a unique choice for the style. I'm not sure it works really well, but it doesn't ruin the beer in the least.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2005 14:19:55 | More by NEhophead
Photo of bjohnson


4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ipswich never ceases to amaze me! This one pours a dark cranberry/maroonish color with a good head. Not much head retention on this one though. Leaves a nice trail of lace. Smells nutty and has a roasted malt taste. Also is a tad bitter. Drinkabillity is great, just like the rest of Ipswich's beers!

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2005 01:41:42 | More by bjohnson
Ipswich Dark Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.