Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Ishmael - Rising Tide Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

53 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 53
Hads: 177
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 9.65%
Wants: 3
Gots: 29 | 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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 53 | Hads: 177
Photo of stonermouse
3.49/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Holy carbonation! Tough to pour this one. The head on this one stuck around at about a half inch for a good hour. Nice lacing. Copper color, as advertised.

Smell is generic, but a little too much like a day-old empty beer bottle to be remarkable. Has some malty sweetness, with a hint of a bottle redemption center. Meh.

Taste is decent, and a little unexpected. The flavors were much, much better the warmer this got. Fresh out of the fridge, it was metallic and a little dry. As it warms, it turns roasty, with a hint of smokey malt. There's a a bit of melon fruitiness, with some hop backing. Overall, decently complex.

Mouthfeel is OK, but there is just a ton of carbonation. It seems like the savory, roasted flavors would shine a bit more with a bit less bubbly.

Overall, this is a fairly nuanced, yet accessible brew. Decent. (868 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 Mebuzzard
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great Lost Bear, once again.

Murky dark orange, light brown. Some floaties. Looks rich and chalk full of goodness.

Strong malt aroma. Some apple and orchard fruits. Sweet. Some delicate spice comes and goes.

This is close to being a malt bomb, but dries out nicely on the end. The caramel and fruit flavors dance around. I get some wet, new leather in the back. Smoke? Nah, can't be. The feel is lighter than it looks like it would be. Prickly on the end. Actually went well with the Tuna Melt (499 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark amber, nice near white head, slow to leave. Some lace apparent.

S - Very malty, overall. Don't discern much else.

T - Deep clean malt, deftly bittered.

M - Nice mix. Good balance and carb. Medium to light body

D - At this ABV and light flavors, very drinkable. (273 characters)

Photo of silentjay
3.47/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a brown copper with a large off-white head that quickly recedes, yet laces very well.

leathery aroma with caramel, raisin, some toasted malts, some earthy and tea-like hops behind that.

a bit metallic and grainy, with some toasted malts and tea-like hops.

medium bodied with a nice, fluffy carbonation

a bit off-flavored. kinda hard to describe. its still pretty good, just my least favorite of the three Rising Tide beers I've tried. (444 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ishmael pours a clear, dark copper color with a small, frothy head on top. As the foam dissolves the sides get coated in a sheet of lace. Several streams of small bubbles rise to the surface.

The aroma is rather faint. Hints of ripe fruit, grassy hops with caramel malt and bready yeast mixed in. I think I smell chocolate, but I could be imagining that.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft, somewhat dry, with an effervescent fizz. The flavor is very malty. It begins with caramel and toasted malt plus some bready yeast. In the middle some light fruit notes appear. It finishes mildly bitter with a touch of grassy hops. Once gone the caramel malt flavor lingers on the palate.

A tasty beer that's easy to drink. A nice session beer. (746 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 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 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 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 mdaschaf
2.64/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Review from notes 11/20/10.

A: Pours brown, with no head and no lacing. Looks like it might be flat. No lacing to speak of either.

S: Toasted malts, a little bit of coffee and caramel.

T: Similar to the nose, very toasted and bready. No detectable hops.

M/D: Extremely thin with no carbonation. The taste is ok, but the body was a huge let down. When I bought the bottle the store had just gotten them in, the owner took it out of the case and sold me the first bottle, so it wasn't sitting long. Hopefully I will get to give this one another shot. (555 characters)

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pour reminds me of unfiltered apple cider with a head.
It indeed is a copper color and with the residual bottle yeast is a murky copper color. The head is a small but dense layer of froth that laced the glass.

A noticeable nose of hops at first but on second sample over all a small nose-- maybe it's me.

Flavor is quite cordial-- a balanced blend of malt and yeast surrounded by hops bitterness.

The finish tapers to a clean bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is cordial- thanks to the long finish and mild carbonation.

Drinkability is superior aided by the relatively low ABV and the relatively mild flavor stance. The beer kept me sampling and enjoying.

Maybe it's my mood but this beer seems like it has the right combination of subtile flavor and mild characteristics for times when one wants a less that robust flavor but still a satisfying beer experience. (871 characters)

Photo of dtlyons11
3.44/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a= I like the look to this one. Redish with some transparency on the bottom of the pint glass, an okay head that was thin but held surprisingly well.

s= Not much of a nose to speak of

t=pretty solid execution on this beer. A caramel malt hits you right off the bat but is quickly takes a back seat to a burst of carbonation. With closer examination you find a very nice yeast at the end. A slight bitterness lingers, as does the malt taste. There is flavor here, but not enough to excite me. Might have needed more time to grow in complexity.

m= fine feel to it, a touch more carbonation that you would expect from an Alt, but again, might have need more time.

d= decent beer that sort of reminds me of a brown. Fairly easy to drink and still has some flavor. I would drink it again. (790 characters)

Photo of boralyl
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a point glass it produces a huge 3 finger light tan head. The head lasts forever and forms a mountain as the sides fade away leaving some nice lacing. The beer is clear and copper in color with plenty of carbonation bubbles present.

S - Not a very strong aroma. I get toasted malts and spicy/earthy hops.

M - Light-medium in body with some creaminess. This caught me by surprise because of the appearance. I figured it would be over-carbonated, but it is not.

T - The nose is similar to the taste. First I encounter toasted and bready malts. I'm then greeted with some earthy hops with a sweet flavor coming in and lasting into the finish. There is a light bitterness that also appears in the finish.

The beer fits the style quite well. I enjoyed it, but wouldn't actively seek it out again. That being said I would like to see what other offering become available from this brewery. (903 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
2.87/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a khaki, four-finger head that fades slowly leaving a very good lace. Cloudy amber/red color, with some yeast left in bottle. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Indistinguishable nose. Flavor is a bready, barely sweet caramel with the hops coming in late. Lingering bitter aftertaste. $6.75 for a 22oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me. (359 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)

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 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 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 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 gtn80
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance is a nice brown with ruby highlights when held up to light. Nice off white head, about a finger of foam.

Smell isn't blowing me away. Not much of an aroma, very clean. Even as the beer warmed it isn't throwing off alot of aroma.

Taste is very solid. Slightly bitter on the finish, the hops persist after you swallow. The hops are of the grassy sort, no citrus or floral here. Tastes like alot of munich malt.

Mouthfeel is good, nice and full bodied, enough carbonation to lift the beer off the tongue.

Drinkability is great, no problems getting through the bomber, and the crisp bitterness cleans the palate. (665 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 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 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)

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ishmael from Rising Tide Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.