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

58 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 76
Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Super foamy pour...clear dark copper color, very foamy head. Faint grainy aroma, kind of flat-ish grain like malty taste. Thin mouthfeel. Uninspiring.

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Photo of horshack7
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Copper to dark amber with a white frothy head and inch thick.

Aroma: Wisps of grape, honey, light citrus hop, grainy malt.

Taste: Grapefruit notes in the begining and some piney bits as well. Hop bite on the palate. Caramel malts with good bready texture with some sweetness in the end.

Notes: Good drinking beer start to finish. Cheers.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
1.15/5  rDev -67%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours a brilliant copper color with a huge head. It's aroma starts malty with a hint of citrus. The taste is semi-malty but other wise just plain bad. Maybe a bit medicinal but very stale tasting. The mouthfeel is light. Paper City Holyoke Dam Ale is a bad beer, not recommended!

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Photo of PDXHops
2.7/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap in a shaker pint. See-thru copperish amber with a modest head and a bit of scattered lacing. Mild citric and pine among sweet and nutty malt aromas. Decent little punch of bitterness, but the hop flavors are modest at best, and are no match for the toasty and somewhat nutty malt profile. Blind tasting, I'd have guessed ESB or maybe brown ale. A hint of cardboard suggests possible oxidation, but it's not really enough to affect my overall opinion, which is that this a slightly below average pale ale.

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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 TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 6/17/2011 at Yard House in Dedham, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, citrus and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty malt character followed by a decent earthy hops bitterness. There is some mild caramel and citrus sweetness but not much balance. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it isn’t too bad but it’s not the first beer I would pick in the style.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.68/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured out as a rich amber color with a yellowish colored head on it. The head last for a minute or so till it melted down to just a little ring around the glass. The aroma was a little sweet with some hops in the background. The taste was pretty typical of the style is had a subtle sweetness that finished up with a hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste.

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Photo of Brad007
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First example from this brewery that I've had.

Pours a mild amber color with a two-finger head into my glass. It fades quickly.

Aroma is a mix of sweet, "gummy" malt with only an inkling of hop presence.

Taste echoes the aroma with a decent emphasis on the malt (where it should be). Sweet, chewy and buttery.

Ditto on the mouthfeel. All of these flavors mingle/linger at the back of the throat.

Basic and delicious. You can't really go wrong. I would have preferred slightly more hops but otherwise, a solid offering.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.62/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Daddy's in Hull.
It pours a deep ruby-hued amber (too dark for the style) with a fast-fading off-white head. Some sticky and trailing lacing.
The smell is for the most part, malt driven. Whiffs of dry grain and damp basement stand out. A light smell of prunes and citrus are in the background.
Flavors of sweet caramel malt and dextrose are upfront. Citrusy and tea-like hop bitterness are hidden under the layers of malt.
The style of this brew more closely resembles a mild Scottish Ale. In fact, with a little boost in abv, it would be a very nice Scottish ale.
This is a very drinkable brew. Just a bit off the mark if this is to be classified as an APA.

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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 NJpadreFan
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Paper City- Holyoke Dam Ale

A- Light amber reddish copper with a small filmy head.
S- Sweet grains, brown sugar, and caramel. Light cooked vege and a slight earthy twang.
T- Sweet caramel and brown sugar malt with a wet earthy hop flavor.
M- Sweet malt with a tangy hop feel and finish.

Overall- Not impressed with this 1 from the bottle. I recall this was better on tap when I was in Holyoke for the Ct. River Beerfest.
Just doesn't seem like a Pale Ale.

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Photo of badenglishihave
2.65/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Murky red-brown. Not very appealing but it does have a slight amber look and I'm a fan of that. Head is slightly off white, moderate retention and minimal lacing.
S: Meh. Citrus, fruit. Didn't make me want to taste it.
T: Not a very flavorful beer, slightly fruity with a strange aftertaste (as was noted in another review)
M: Good feel but not anything spectacular. Normal for an amber beer of this type.
D: I feel like I could put back a few of these fairly easily.

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Photo of zeff80
2.95/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a cloudy, dark copper color with a tan, one-finger head of foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of citrus, biscuity malt and grasses.

T - It tasted very malty sweet and grassy. There was an odd hop bitterness that was not appealing.

M - It was relatively crisp and somewhat soft. A light to medium-bodied ale.

D - An okay ale, but it didn't taste like a pale ale. It just tasted like a malty ale.

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Photo of Ranbot
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into glass. Nice amber color with a slight haze. A small ring of sediment was left at the bottom of the bottle. Approximately 3/4 inch of foam that settled into a thin layer after a couple minutes. Some slight lacing. Taste is very malty - biscuit, slightly nutty. Malt flavors are quickly followed by a mild to average crisp hop bitterness. I think the hops have a slight piney flavor, but nothing in the hops really stand out against the malts. Good carbonation.

I would describe the Holyoke Dam Ale as a mild pale ale or hoppier amber ale. It's tasty and drinkable, but it's not going to be turning any heads either. It's probably the best offering in the mix case that I picked up on my recent trip to Boston. I don't see Paper City near me regularly, but if this was brewed in my local area, I would probably buy it again.

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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 oriolesfan4
3.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I agree with a previous who says that this is definitely more of an amber than a pale ale.. not hoppy enough for a pale ale. Pours a reddish orange color, nice consistent head all the way down with some moderate lacing. Light body to to it and decent mouthfeel, taste is of light malts and I get a nice cherry taste to it. Didn't really expect it but it really adds some nice flavor to the beer. Nothing great, much better than the Radler Brau Ive had from this brewery.. nice, drinkable brewski.

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Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle from the Party Source in Syracuse. This beer seems more like an amber to me. First, it's a red-amber color. Second, the beer is very malt-centered with a sweet, cherry flavor. It's fairly drinkable, but the hops only seem to provide a mild spice in the aftertaste.

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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 PEBKAC
2.46/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Recovered notes from my ABF afterbirth.

BB: 09.something something.08

Pours out deeper then I would of expected. A confusing rusty amber brown, with slight chill-haze. A sturdy froth the color of yellowed lace. Eager carbonation.

Watery toffee notes are apparent, as well as some vanillin, murky chocolate, molasses, & soggy bread crusts.

Taste is upfront with a rigid bitter coffee & metallic twang, a little extra bitter shrubbery for presentation, followed with a basic caramel sweetness & a little hay.

Body is compact & dry, leaving only remnants of steel.

Mixed results, but I could probably have two if you were paying for it.

 639 characters

Photo of williamherbert
3.11/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A thick and murky dark cherry red. Bubbles can be seen in the thin spots. Puffy finger of white head.

Rather sweet caramel aroma. Rich and slightly roasted. Slight brown sugar, oak. Some pungent raisin. Nice roasted English ale.

The taste is a heavy initial brown sugar. Some roasted malt, but a very astringent alcoholic aftertaste. Aspires to a strong ale taste, but it comes off wrong. Had potential, but its nature comes off a tad musty.

Ashy and gritty feel on the tongue, but that's not a bad thing. Overall, the flavor improves as it warms, so let it warm up nice and good.

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Photo of tpd975
3.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Adam, AKA, BeerTruth

A: Pours a lovely copper hue with a nice tall head. The retention is nice and the lacing is wonderful, sheet after sheet of thick lace.

S: Nice sweet malt aromas with hints of toffee and caramel. Light citrus hops play in the background, but this is a rather malty APA.

T: The malt really comes thru in flavor as well. Nice sweet caramel malt with hints of biscuity malt. There is a tinge of citrus and a drop of pine. More malt than hops here.

M: Medium in body with nice carbonation.

D: Easy drinker, could use some more hops for me. Those who do not like IPA/APA's that are big on the hops would love this one.

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Photo of getalife2k5
2.88/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

head dissapeared right away leaving just a ring around the edge of the glass. rich brown in color. definitely some nutty, earthy maltiness with a hint of honey smoothness. perhaps also caramel or toffee. i tried hard to detect any hops but only came up with a little bit of bitterness. i really expected more hop character. not bad, but really nothing special.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.72/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a six pack of the this fine drink. The appearance lacked any head, almost immediate lacing. Very clear dark amber brown appearance, almost as a rusty-looking as the great mills that once powered Holyoke. The smell has some good hints of malts, nuts, and citrus. The taste was pretty enjoyable of the above flavors: nice and clean, pretty light thanks to its balanced mouthfeel. Overall, suffers some aesthetic issues, but a generally good APA.

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Photo of currysage1
3.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Stoney's pub in South Hadley, Ma.

With the first whiff I get a malty hay/dried grass smell. The taste is very floral up front from the hops, followed up by a malty finish. Mouthfeel is nice, not to thick for the style. This is a very sessionable beer, not to thin and the abv is great.

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