1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Ipswich Dark Ale - Ipswich Ale Brewery

Not Rated.
Ipswich Dark AleIpswich Dark Ale

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

215 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 215
Reviews: 149
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 (30) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Ipswich Dark Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 215 | Reviews: 149 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jslot38
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Part 1/4 of the mixed pack (although I drank all the original ales without a review).

Appearance: Almost black body (dark... I guess), covered by a bubbly off white head.

Smell: Touches of molasses in damp moss. Malty, not a strong aroma.

Taste: Mmmm... Malty. Smoked presence of moss, nuts, burnt toast. Not much of a hop presence, a few earth ridden notes at the most.

Mouthfeel: The best charecteristic of this beer lies in its mouthfeel. Its very smooth, and nice on the tongue. Coupled with a good drinkability (6.3% ABV is unnoticed) this could make a good session ale. A bit more burnt than a brown ale, almost reminded me of a black lager or a light porter.

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown body leaves no visibility, topped by a lightly tannish rocky head. Very good lacing is quickly evident.

Rich mocha nose is a real joy. The chocolate and coffee blend well even while asserting themselves individually.

Taste begins with a mild chocolate. Earthy hop builds to the swallow. Not a bite, but a nice little nip. Clean finish leaves a hint of mocha.

Nice smooth mouthfeel has a good body for a brown ale without getting too close to stout territory.

Solidly drinkable, and it's sad that here is only two in the twelve pack.

An enjoyable dark ale well worth a try.

Photo of meechum
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with Almalkin

A - Poured a nice dark brown with some ruby highlights. Had a great light tan head that fell very slowly leaving a nice sticky lace down the side of the mug

S - A nice big malty smell with hints of caramel/toffee and some biscuity smells

T - This could be the best brown ale I've ever had. The taste was a complex mix with a quick hop bite up front giving way to a nice malty middle and then finishing up with a piney hop bite at the end with a dry finish that left me wanting more

M - A nice full body to this beer with good carbonation but not overly carbonated.

D - I regret that I only got 2 out of this trade..this is by far the best brown I've had and I enjoyed every sip of both bottles I got

Photo of
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle

Hazy, dark orange/brown. Small, light tan head.

Scent was malty and caramel as first impression. Pine hops came through next. Fairly mild overall.

Taste was more bitter than sweet, pine and herbal elements. Some roast notes. Touch of caramel and wheat bread to balance out flavor profile.

Medium body. Medium carbonation. Fairly dry.

Overall, OK, but nothing special. Decent beer with slight tilt towards hops.

Photo of Gavage
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of DaggerEyes
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

had this on cask last night at the Diamond in Greenpoint Brooklyn
it poured a dark brown with subtle red hues when held up to the light. The head was made up of small clear bubbles which quickly vanished

Pine hops present on the nose with ints of coffee, smokey malts, some stewed cherries and chocolate.

A mind blowing pallette, three seperate and distinct stages to this tatse that seemlessly blend. First Floral Piney hops hit the tongue, followed by some sweet stewed berry fruit flavors, I was picking up a huge strawberry flavor. The finish was a bitter dark chocolate espresso vibe.

The body was super watery and thin, a really let down for how amazing the taste was, there was little carbonation, it was smooth though and had a crisp bitter finish.

This beer through me for a total loop, I was so unimpressed with the mouthfeel but I thought the flavor was amazing. I am kind of suprised by how low some of these taste scores are, leads me to wonder if the cask really enhanced this brew greatly, I'll have to try another serving in the future and compare my notes

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Photo of EStreet20
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a nice mixed 12 pack in Groveland, MA that I decided to bring back to the Orange City.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a pure dark mahogany with a light tan colored one finger head that takes a while to die down to a thin layer. Stickiness is decent, some good lacing here and there. Smell is a rich woody/nutty scent with a nice hint of a coffee like malt. Taste is very nutty with a nice french roast coffee flavor with a tiny hint of chocolate and caramel. A bit of a hop bite appears towards the middle and is very enjoyable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fair but reasonable amount of carbonation. Not the best brown ale, but definitely an enjoyable. one. Alcohol seems a bit high for this style but well hidden. I was quite surprised by this one, defintely glad it came in the mixed pack. Their Oatmeal Stout is above and beyond the best of their offerings, but this is not to be overlooked.

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.63/5  rDev -6%
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?

Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  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.

Photo of arizcards
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

Photo of WesWes
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Photo of scoobybrew
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of jjayjaye
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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 wcudwight
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of dherling
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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 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 lawrence76
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
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

Photo of Stimack
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of Estarrio
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Ipswich Dark Ale from Ipswich Ale Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 215 ratings.