Ishmael - Rising Tide Brewing Company

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IshmaelIshmael

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BA SCORE
84
good

53 Reviews
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Reviews: 53
Hads: 176
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 9.65%
Wants: 2
Gots: 28 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Rising Tide Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Altbier |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: sogrady on 09-15-2010

Ishmael is our richly-flavored American copper ale. This American interpretation of the altbiers of Düsseldorf is brewed with continental Munich malt, American-grown hops, and a clean-fermenting ale yeast to produce a slightly sweet and malty beer balanced by a firm bitterness.
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Reviews: 53 | Hads: 176
Photo of KTCamm
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber purchased at Carl's Meat Market in Portsmouth NH. Pint glass pour.

Dark copper brown - 1/2 inch foam settles out to a light surface cap. Laces.

Powerfully malty smell.

Rich malty taste, light hop mixed in. Some toffee taste. Perfectly balacned carbonation.

Extremely drinkable, rich wonderful taste. Fantastic. (327 characters)

Photo of sogrady
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Technically the Ishmael is an American Copper brewed in the Altbier style rather than a traditional alt, but try it and you'll see why it just does not belong in BA's Amber / Red category.

The server at the Great Lost Bear - which got into the limited pre-release distribution - called it a "Copper with a Porter sentiment" and that's not too far off, I think. Poured out of a bomber into a standard pint glass, the body of the ale was a hazy copper, and topped with a perfect two finger head. It's got a strong malt component to it with a hint of honey and chocolate, offset by an assortment of hops that collectively balance it with bitterness and clean the back with a bit of pine. Sweetness is present, but never cloying.

It's a nice balance of hops and malt, as an alt should be, and just as smooth. If all you're looking for is a clean drinking, sessionable copper for the Fall season, this is your beer. But for those that look for more out of what they're drinking, this hybrid ale will provide you with enough complexity to keep you interested.

I'm a fan.

As for availability, the bartender informed us that regular distribution of Ishmael begins October 1, so keep an eye out. (1,202 characters)

Photo of girltuesday
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was also one of the lucky few that got a early release of Rising Tide's first beer, Ishmael, at the GLB. Although Ishmael is classified here as an Altbier (and I think that's the correct designation), it's also a copper. Coppers usually don't do much for me. I generally prefer hoppy pales, IPAs, doubles, and triples. But I wanted to try the early release from this much-buzzed about brewery. I mean, come on: who wouldn't be excited to try a brew from a company whose motto is "beer first?"

My curiosity happily got the better of me. Ishmael is a fantastic, complexly smooth blend of malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. It's got a great, clean aftertaste, which can be difficult to achieve with some sweet/bitter brews. My only regret was stopping into the Bear quickly to try the beer. I think Ishmael's complexities will be all the more apparent when paired with food. I wish I'd had time to linger with Ishmael over dinner.

According to RTB's website (and other reviewers here), the official launch is not until October 1st. The Bear is likely now sold out of the pre-release but we stumbled across a few bottles at Bootleggers in Topsham, ME. Not sure if there are any left but if your curiosity gets the better of you (and it should!) call Bootleggers (or RSVP in Portland) for availability. You won't be disappointed. (1,333 characters)

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber purchased at Trader Joe's in Portland, ME. Pours a hazy amber-red body with a good sturdy inch of khaki-colored head. Smells malty, with caramel, chocolate, fruity, nut. Malt dominates the flavor too. Nut, dark chocolate, caramel, and bread all contend to be in front. Medium to full in body with ample carbonation. Awesome. A really solid alt. Tasty and quaffable. (377 characters)

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.26/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of the newest microbrewery's in Maine, currently only a 90 gallon systems. Can't get much fresher than this, bottles hit the shelves a few days ago at Bootlegger's as part of a pre-release.

22oz bottle with live yeast.

Pours a dark amber color with a large fluffy off-white head, fades at a very slow rate and leaves a cap on top, and good amount of lacing along the glass as it empties.

Smell is primarily caramel malt with a light fruitiness hidden in the aroma.

Taste has an incredibly creamy mouthfeel thanks to the soft carbonation and the fluffy head, the flavor is pretty much all caramel malt with a slight bitterness in the aftertaste, there isn't much of a hop presence but there's enough to balance things out.

Overall, a great beer from a new brewery. I'll keep my eyes open for more of their stuff, could have another MBC on our hands. (857 characters)

Photo of Florida9
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark copper/light brown in color. Forms a fluffy tannish colored head that reduces down to a stable surface coating. Good lacing.

S: Strong aroma of citrus hops followed by bold caramel malts and a bit of yeast.

T: A good dose of caramel malt that is nicely balanced by the strong flavor of citrusy hops and a slight fruity twang. Moderate bitterness. Surprisingly clean tasting considering how malty this beer is.

M: Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Rather crisp and clean.

D: A surprisingly good beer, with a lighter body than expected, making for easier drinking. (586 characters)

Photo of Jayli
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at RSVP in Maine
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a rich, clear copper color with a two finger of khaki colored head. Head recedes at a moderate pace and leaves minor wisps of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is extremely muted - barely even present.. what is there is mild, mild earthy hops and a bit of grain and malt.

T: Taste far supercedes the nose. Rich, but mild caramel and toffee fill the forefront of the flavoring here. Middle is filled with a nice pale malt flavoring. Finish is grassy, earthy hops and an aftertaste that reminds me of sunflower kernals.

M: Lighter side of medium body, low to moderate carbonation, clean body with a touch of an oily finish.

D: Goes down very easily, mild kick, not too filling, very good representation of style. This is a really solid beer. It's the first altbier that I enjoyed as opposed to simply appreciate that it met the style. (912 characters)

Photo of BeerKangaroo
4.06/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a pint glass (later tested in a stange, nothing changed):

A: copper brown colored body with a small tan lumpy head, speckled lacing

S: mild malts and hops, light cooked apples, bread/biscuit

T: sweet through the previously mentioned flavors

M: medium, sessionable, light harshness on the tongue, no aftertaste or finish

O: this is good for the style and good for me (373 characters)

Photo of illpass78
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

4 oz. tasting glass at the brewery.

Appearance: Pours a sturdy-looking clear amber with a frothy, creamy white head. Nice lacing left behind.

Aroma: Some caramel and biscuit along with a faint nuttiness.

Taste: Follows the nose. Very appealing - caramel and biscuit notes add flavor, and it has a nice "all seasons" kind of character to it. Hops are present enough to satisfy the hop crowd.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium depth. Very drinkable.

Overall: Really solid "flagship"-type beer. Well executed, and should have broad appeal. (531 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this last week at Tully's; I got the last bottle on the shelf. This was a pretty nice debut beer.
It was a dark amber color with a small tan head. Plenty of lace.
Mostly a caramel aroma, some floral elements, and a whiff of tobacco.
The taste followed the aroma: caramel, late hops, and a hint of tobacco.
This was a smooth, easy-drinking beer. (350 characters)

Photo of twelvsies
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Caught this out of the corner of my eye while getting groceries today at Whole Foods. What's this? A new Maine brewery? Sold!

Pours a somewhat cloudy copper, hazy and a creamy head. Not a lot going on in the way of aroma - some toasty malt character and some dusty hops. Luckily the flavor is more hearty than hinted at by the nose. Nice maltiness to this beer - soft and bready, touch of caramel, fresh grain flavor. The hops are subtly playing their part, adding a nice fresh herbal finish. Well rounded and balanced, not particularly "showy", but very tasty. I like the mild sweetness. And it's got a great texture - really soft and smooth down the gullet and a supreme session beer.

Interesting choice for a debut beer - not particularly a lot of personality, but a really nice mellow flavor and really a pretty tasty beer. Reminds me of a mild or something. Will definitely keep an eye out for other beers from these guys. Goodluck to them, and cheers! (959 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid, but modest head. Retreats slowly leaving some spots on the glass. Near brown color with a mild chill haze.

Dry caramel aroma with a mild floral hop. Light earthiness with a touch of deeply roasted malt.

A well-balanced beer with a dry malt start that is accentuated by the white pepper hop flavor. Reasonable body with an equally neutral carbonation. The swallow has elements of a brown ale with an elevated level of hop. (430 characters)

Photo of gford217
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber from Ben.

Pours a hazy orange amber with a small beige head that leaves really good lacing.

Aroma has light caramel malts with some toasted biscuit and floral noble-like hop aroma. Little bit of spicy yeast in the background.

The taste is most of the same with a very crisp earthy and floral hop kick up front with the toasted caramel malts supporting everything. Finish is dry and clean.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and highly carbonated.

Overall, a crisp and refreshing take on an alt. Fairly hoppy for the style but still really drinkable. (558 characters)

Photo of BobZ
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Copper brown, with a 2” head that recedes to a nice cap, good lacing.

Smell: Mild hoppiness with a slight bit of malt. Subdued aroma.

Taste: Balance is the first thing that comes to mind, a bit of piney/floral hops and a bready malt sweetness. Well executed, a pleasant beer. Not going to ”blow you away” but very enjoyable none the less. As an Altbier, I’d say they hit the mark very well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, pleasant, very drinkable.

Overall: A solid offering from a very good “up and coming” brewery. I’d peg this one as a great lunch time beer. (623 characters)

Photo of dciBA
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice solid copper color. Thin off white head fades quickly to nothing. Small amount of lacing as the level drops in my Stoudts Brewing Company stange.

Smell is very light, with some toasted malt and a hint of mild coffee. Taste is similar to smell with smooth toasted malt the predominate flavor. The coffee is gone replaced by a nice caramel flavor.

Medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. This one finishes clean with the flavor lingering on the palate just long enough. A nice solid offering from maine's other nano brewery. I'll finish this bomber with ease, making it one of the more drinkable beers I've had. (638 characters)

Photo of bishopdc0
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on draft at a local irish pub in the Old Port.

Dark dark amber colot cant see thru at all thick white head remains on the glass and laces well

The smell is of roasted and caremel malts, like a traditional english ale slightly different then my expectation of an alt but I like the smells

Tastes like a homebrew very fresh and smooth with crystal and roasted malts through out. To finish not a lot of body or carbonation leaves a dry roasted flavor (454 characters)

Photo of Casey10
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I liked this it is a nice easy beer and it is exciting to have yet another brewery here in Maine.

A - Copper red with a thin head some lacing.

S - Smell of sort of grapes and some kind of grains/nuttyness.

T - The taste is like the smell sort of coppery tasting not bad.

M - Creamy sorta kind of a dry feel here.

D - Not bad but perhaps not my cup of tea either. Not sure if I would have another but it is worth a try and may try again if offered. (457 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nabbed this at RSVP in Portland on my Maine excursion.

Light creamy 1 finger head fades at a medium pace with a touch of lacing over semi clear copper reddish brown color.

Nose has some light toasty brown malts, little caramel malts, nice copper malty aroma, with some light earthy hops, light floral and earthy hop addition.

Taste starts with a crisp ale flavor, some toasty brown malts and a nice copper malt sweetness, light caramel, light sweet syrupy flavor, toasty malts, combined with more of a light earthy and slight grassy hop, semi bitter, not heavy, pretty much sessionable. Finishes a little more bitter, just starting to get astringent and a salty minerality taste, dry finish, with a bit of sweet malts on the finish.

Mouth is med bodied with decent carbonation.

Drink is decent, the slight salty minerality on the finish as well as slight astringent flavors take away a bit from the drinkability, but with a nice dry finish and smooth taste, it's almost sessionable. (987 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic pint glass, with much thanks to ToasterChef!

An off white three finger head With a real nice copper body, hues throughout going from chestnut red to orange and all. Looks typical unfiltered style not ridiculously cloudy, I really like this color and head combination, very nice.

Very light dark doughy malts, nice for an Alt, but kind of hidden. Simple sense of chewy-ness, liking this nicely.

A very hop forward altbier for sure. Hop bitter noticeable taking away from much of the malt backbone. Nice dough action a bit mixing in to give just a bread like dark taste. Mouthfeel is a little wet though. Aftertaste lingers with some light chocolate, it seems t get better though as you consume it towards the end.

Still quite drinkable overall, interesting take, not exactly falling in love here, but enjoyable. (834 characters)

Photo of ToasterChef
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured form a cellar temperature bottle into a pint glass. This bottle is from the first general release batch, not part of the pre-release.

The beer pours a hazy brown color, with a big head of tan foam. There is some carbonation rising within the glass.

The beer has a nice light hop aroma. I'd say it falls somewhere between grassy and piney. It isn't a very strong scent.

Ishmael has a solid copper ale flavor. The malts are pale and provide a good base. Grassy hops aren't overpowering, nor too bitter, but their flavor is long lasting. An overall crispness to the flavor reminds me of munching on grains.

A medium body holds a good amount of carbonation. I can feel tiny bubbles throughout each swallow. A thin coat retains a lot of malt flavors.

This is a very drinkable beer. I will have problems drinking the entire 22oz bottle. I could even have a second one. This is a good initial offering from this new brewery. (930 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just picked this up on the way back from Maine today and the beer is not too bad for a startup brewery.

Hard to believe this beer got released within the past few months. Now I know why this is a Portland beer I haven't seen yet at Oak Hill in Scarborough.

A - Copper red with a thin head some lacing.

S - smells like a copper ale. Only basing it on the copper ale from Otter Creek that I have had.

T - Taste like a copper ale in the sense that it is a little malty, slight hop character, and crisp

M - Creamy

D - The beer is very drinkable

Serving type: 22 oz. bomber (577 characters)

Photo of dasenebler
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber, no date to be found.

Pours a hazy copper with a massive head due to overcarbonation. Kind of tough to pour. Great clumpy lacing, and, of course, retention.

The aroma is clean and bready-malty, with some spicy hops.

Really big malt flavor, though a bit too much for a classic Altbier, not that this beer is trying to be that. Lots of toasted bread crusts, with a very restrained sweetness. Hop flavor and bitterness are spot-on for the style: firmly bitter and earthy. Mouthfeel is somewhat overcarbonated, and persists almost to the end of the bottle.

Second bottle from RT that has been overcarbonated and a bitch to pour. Oh well. Flavor's great though. Lots of potential for this new Portland brewer. (715 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper with a bubbly beige head. Few lacey dabs left by a gibbous moon shaped drift of retention.

Earthy aroma. Smells like sticks and dirt and trail running minus the lemon lime Gatorade and coconut sunscreen. Earthy overtone mixes in with golden gummi bears and caramel drizzle on toast.

Very clean up front with a strong rustic leather and mineral fade.

Not my favorite style but I've been so impressed with Rising Tide I'll try anything they put out. Good but still not my thing. (493 characters)

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured only a 1/2" head, opaque Naples yellow in color, but it had decent lifespan. The body in masstone lookes like iced tea, held to the light is more of a Raw Sienna yellow, and in either case I wouldn't really describe it as copper. It smells nicely of malt and caramel. Taste mirrors the smell and the munich malt really comes through along with a bitter hops reminding me a little of British though they're American. Medium finish. Nice enough beer. (455 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Muddy copper in color, with a light white finger of head. Laces a little bit.

Smell is a little muddled, but theres some slight fruity sweetness, and hints of citrus hops. Theres some breadiness too.

Taste is nice, with a fair yeasty characteristic, citrus sweet hops, and a bit of nutty, malt sweetness.

Feel is light in body, light carbonation and lingering creaminess.

Solid drinkability. (397 characters)

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Ishmael from Rising Tide Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.