Holyoke Dam Ale | Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.

76 Ratings
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Holyoke Dam AleHolyoke Dam Ale

Brewed by:
Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-02-2001

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Ratings: 76 |  Reviews: 58
Photo of mschofield
4.3/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a caramel-amber, topped with a one finger tan head, leaves webs of lacing.
Fruity, caramel aroma, smells like a British ale.
Caramel, fruit, tastes more like a mild than a pale to me, mainly malt notes toast and caramel, with some floral and tea hop.
It goes very well with cheddar cheese.
Medium bodied, with session beer drinkability.

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Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown with a "best if served by date" on the back label with a blurb about the beer also.

Appearance: Bright amber with orange sunset hues, sticky off white lace dresses the top of the brew.

Smell: A mix of grain, malt sweetness, candy apple, caramel and citric hop.

Taste: Crisp and smooth with a medium body, quite malty with some grainy and toasted undertones. Moderate carbontaion on in the mouth. Hop bitterness is laid back though leaves a quick well placed sharpness to break up the malt substantially. Hints of fruitiness of citrus and apple meld with hints of caramel and toasted grain. The finish is quite clean with some residual grainy sweetness and leftover hop twang.

Notes: American Amber Ale is what they were going for and did a damn good job at brewing one ... no surprises, merely a more than decent beer to drink.

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Photo of edchicma
4.17/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent amber colr, but very little head in my bottle. Smell was nice, fruity, floral, sweet. Taste was likewise fruity and malty, but left with a taste of hops for a nice clean finish. Mouthfeel was well-rounded and this brew was very easy to drink. Excellent offering from a local brewer.

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Photo of WesWes
4.17/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a very malty scent that boasts of crystal and bisquit malts. There is a moderate hop aroma that sneaks out in there as well. The taste is good. It has a complex malt bill that really makes this beer. It has some excellent bisquit notes that meld together nicely with the crystal malts and American hops. It goes down easy and finishes dry with a light to medium bitterness. The mouthfeel is awesome. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good beer. It has a very nice malt bill and balanced hop character. Recommended!

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Photo of jondeelee
4.15/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Holyoke Dam Ale smells, on the one hand, quite hoppy, with lovely grapefruit and citrus aromas drifting from the bottle, and on the other hand, like a good, nutty brown ale, replete with caramelized brown sugars, apricots, oranges, and figs.

On the tongue, the brew begins with a hard and fast shot of hoppy bitterness, which is quickly matched in intensity by the sugars present in the malts, which add the orange, apricot, and caramelized brown sugar flavors noted in the aroma. The sugars combat the hops for some time, but when they eventually peel back, they reveal not the expected layer of bitter hops, but a huge, malty nuttiness, akin to toasted pecans, that dominates the last third of the mouthful, and continues to peck at the tastebuds long into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium to medium-heavy.

Overall, this is an excellent brew, and well worth trying; Paper City is quickly becoming one of my top-rated Massachusetts-area microbreweries.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.15/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - wow this looks enticing, it pours a dark pumpkin orange-brown, with a tan/off-white head, very light carbonation

S - ooh, just as enticing, a nice hoppy typical quality ale aroma, with a molasses type hint in the background

T - wow, what a balance, a quick vanilla type sweetness up front, and a great hop bitter finish, very well crafted

M - smooth, with a palatable dry finish

D - great flavor + great balance = high drinkability

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
4.15/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rather tasty ale.
Nice foamy head, just right amber color. Typical ale character,
with enough robust flavor to mark this ale in my taster’s
memory. Pleasant mouthfeel, fine lingering finish. While this beer
was not as robust as some ales I’ve enjoyed, it’s lighter character
provides an enjoyable respite from heavier bodied “ales”.

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Photo of sinistrsam
4.14/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear ruby-brown, with minimal carbonation and head to speak of. Semi-watery appearance.
The aroma was very good, and got better as it warmed. Honey and brown sugar; sweet malts and mild sweet fruits. Very pleasant.
Dark fruits, sweet fruits, briwn sugar, caramel, malt and possible chocolate? Reminded me of an English Ale if that makes any sense.
Semi-sweet mouthfeel at first, turned dry and unfortunately left litle to no aftertaste.
It was a very good sipping beer, very casual having-a-few with friends kind of beer.

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Photo of jbertsch
4.12/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this one. I'm a fan of a solid amber and like using it as an all-around beer - and this one delivers.

Poured into a normal pint glass, it's solid dark amber in color with a red hue. The head is slightly off white and fairly frothy. Lacing was average.

Sweet malts and a little spicy hopiness come through on the nose. I get the sense of autumn (which I half expect with this style).

The sweet malt definitely comes through in the taste with brown sugar notes. I also get a bit of banana and leafy tea-spice which was unexpected. I think noticed some cherry esters as well.

Mouthfeel was smooth with a body between medium and bold/medium, as it should have. And drinkability was just great given that I was drinking this on a hot day and, even though this has some body to it, it was still thirst quenching. Bravo.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A copper variant, mostly orange with contributions from red and amber. The cap is orange-influenced ecru in color with a firm, tight-bubbled look. Thanks to a great deal of stick-to-it-iveness, an abundance of thick lace finds its way to the glass.

Holyoke Dam Ale smells good, but it doesn't smell much like an APA to me. Malt and hops are present in roughly equal proportions. The malt is toasted and sweet while the hops are herbal and apple fruity. The beer is also slightly funky. Not in the 'Belgian yeast funky' sense, more in the 'lambic funky' sense... if that makes any sense. In any case, that aspect of the nose is minor at best.

This is pretty good stuff, but again, I'm having a hard time thinking of it as an APA. Except for the fact that it's brewed in America, by Americans, it's pale and it's an ale. Other than that... It's much more malty than others of the style, even English pales. I think it tastes like a bolder, more malty, yet still somewhat hoppy, English pale or ESB. Firm and commanding on the palate, tea-like, toasted whole grain bready... there's a lot here to enjoy.

Each mouthful starts out with a nod toward sweetness, then becomes austerely bitter and ultimately dry on the back end. The medium body/mouthfeel manages to provide some degree of mouthcoating despite the all-encompassing aridity. The near perfect, under the radar amount of carbonation is just how I would have draw it up.

This is a good, toasty, malty pale ale, the likes of which I'm not sure that I've tasted before. I can easily put my hop love aside for the moment and enjoy this for what it is, a well-crafted ale with loads of flavor. I love beers that carve out their own little niches and just wait to be discovered. Holyoke Dam Ale is just such a beer and I'm grateful to far333 for making the introductions.

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Photo of far333
4.07/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sounds like everyone has a slightly different experience with this beer. Could it be the open fermentation process? Mine was a dark amber color with a very slight head that was gone almost immediately. Smell is sweet roast malt, with a little caramel and vanilla. The flavor matched the aroma almost exactly (reread previous sentence). Nice round flavor that feels good on the tongue. Not overly carbonated. Good session beer.

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Photo of jward
4.02/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Holyoke Dam Ale is orange to amber color with a small white head. The nose is initially floral, with additional aromas of caramel and toffee as the beer warms. The flavor is that of a classic pale ale -- solid and malty, but nothing especially surprising. A nice malt backbone is complimented by notes of caramel, and is quite buttery at times. The mouthfeel on this one is a bit thin.

The night before buying and drinking the bottle that I'm reviewing, I bought a growler of the same beer. The growler sample of Holyoke Dam seemed to present a slightly sturdier mouthfeel and some more well-rounded flavors.

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Photo of BadBadger
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a rather pleasant well rounded beer. It is a deep amber-copper color. A nice foamy head is created. The smell is nice, with hints of malt and hops to be found within; a nice mixture of malt and hops. The taste is enjoyable, a real treat. This is a nice and smooth pale ale. Enjoy!.

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Photo of pbrian
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From reading Todd's reviews, and based on my sample, it seems this beer changes a lot. Mine was, if anything, unbalanced on the malty/sweet side but not to a fault. I found the grainy flavors very reminscent of a local favorite, Hammer & Nail Brown, but with more bittering hops. Overall a nice change of pace.

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Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of tgbljb
3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a medium copper color with moderate off-white puffy head. Good retention and prolific lacing.
Smell is light with some faint caramel notes
Taste is full of caramel. A light hop bitterness slowly makes its presence known, but then slowly fades.
Way too easy to drink.

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Photo of Thrasher
3.93/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber. Roasty amber hue, good head that dissipates but laces the side of the glass. Tasty with buttery malts, hints of caramel and bread crusts. Hops are subdued but the beer remains balanced. Hops come into their element in the long, terrific finish. Quite a British flavor despite the New England salts and a watery mouth. I'd call this a mild although it might be a little too raw. Splits the difference between a Bass-type pale ale and a mild. In a nutshell, this beer does taste very good, is refreshing and refurbishing, makes you want more with each sip.... BUT -- as I was reviewing it and trying to dissect the flavors, I didn't think it had much to offer. My recommendation: drink and enjoy. Don't think so much. Maybe accompany with white breads and salty cheeses.

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Photo of MarineHokie
3.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle "Best if served by 5-27-06"

A - Deep copper, thick off-white head with good staying power and moderate lacing.

S - Mellow hop aroma allows a hint of the maltiness through to the senses.

T - Soft, oily hop bitterness gives way to a refreshing, slightly sweet light maltiness. Finishes with notes of sweet tea balanced by hop bitterness.

M - Medium to light bodied, slightly oily.

D - Light hop bitterness and malt balance make this a thirst quenching, satisfying "session" beer.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22oz bomber with a best purchased by May, 2007 on the label. A pretty nice beer. Amber color with red highlights, a small head. It had a nice fruity aroma, with some caramel in the background. Taste was similar, with a good fruit presence, some sweetness, and hops in the aftertaste. Fairly substantial, a nice beer to drink.

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Photo of masterbruewer
3.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium amber color with a thick tan head with good lacing and moderate carbonation.

The smell was malty-sweet with a flowery hop scent.

The taste was a nice balance of sweet malt and hops, mostly piney hops with a floral background.

The mouthfeel was smooth with a little hop kick. The brew is solid but not thick.

Highly drinkable APA, very tasty.

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Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, Best Before dating on the rear label, but on this one the info is washed away, oh well they tried...pours medium almond amber, tan head, bubbles rising, spotty lacing, pretty typical, decent ale. Nothing special, but drinkable and fairly well balanced. Maple maltyness a bit prominent, hops present but not aggressive. Respectable every day quaffer and worth a try.

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Photo of albern
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the better offerings from Paper City brewery, since most of my other reviews of their selections were in the C range. The beer pours a nice coppery brown color with not much head, lacing, or retention. The nose on the beer isn't particularly pronounced, but there are you typical caramel and crystal malts, some vague florals emerge when things settle, and there is just faint hop or two that are difficult to pin down. There is a slightly musty smell to the beer as well.

The taste isn't overly complex, but it is a nice beer. There are some biscuity malts, lots of caramel and crystal malts flavors, there are some bittering leafy type hops to balance things out a bit. The beer isn't particularly carbonated, and it does have that vague cola syrup taste, albeit with some hops in the finish. This is a nice malty beer, probably more of an amber than an APA with its touch of roasted and smoky qualities, but it is a decent beer nevertheless.

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Photo of Hibernator
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paper City Holyoke Dam Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a deep amber with a bronze tint. Nice head on top. Decent appearance.

Whiffs of mixed fruit and malts.

Juicy malt backbone with hints of brown sugar, cashews and chewy malts. Nutty and malty. Solid hop presence with a fruity twang on the finish.

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Photo of steinlifter
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a medium Amber, slight sudsy head that held a thin collar all the way through
smell: toasted malts
taste:toasted malts, hints of raisin, bit of hop bitterness.
mouthfeel: light, medium carbonation,slightly dry
drinkability: all in all, a pretty damn good beer, kinda reminded me of an Arrogant Bastard, but much lighter, so I guess I would call this Arrogant Bastard Light!!! good stuff

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Photo of Ecxeeder616
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

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Holyoke Dam Ale from Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
3.48 out of 5 based on 76 ratings.
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