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 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 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 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 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 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 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 smcolw
3.72/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light brown slightly cloudy; Not much of a head and no lace to speak of.

Strong homebrew smells (yeasty). Nice floral hop that is well balanced with the malt. Typical American Pale Ale aroma--true to style.

Tastes like a highly hopped brown ale. The bitterness is present from initial sip to long after the swallow. Malt is present but really only to provide a richer mouthfeel. If I were blindfolded, I think I'd envision a mild version of an IPA. This is a very drinkable brew, albeit not a tremendously fascinating one.

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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 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 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 plaid75
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a nice biscuity grane with a mild peppery hop.

The taste was balanced toward the malty side with a featured a nice sweet grainy malt and a light citrus hop presence.

The mouthfeel was full with a dry finish.

Overall a good drinkable APA. Very sessionable.

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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 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 Dogbrick
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Located at a liquor store in Brookline, MA. The beer is a clear reddish amber color with a thin off-white head that did not last long. Minimal lacing. The aroma is malty with touches of fruit. Medium body with a toasted malt flavor that has notes of caramel and fruit. There are a fair amount of hops present as well. Mildly bitter finish that tastes of hops and sweet spices, along with tart fruit. The finish that was reminiscent of a Barley Wine, just a lot less pronounced. Overall a good straightforward E(A)PA.

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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 Todd
2.56/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer has changed a bit. It's a pretty bitter brew now, but without much balance. The hoppy citrus flavour dominate, and malt flavour is more or less nonexistent, except for some grain. Still worth a try, some may like it. I thought it was okay, overall.

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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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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 ADR
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clearish mid amber appearance with a pale head of 1/8 of an inch and it sticks around awhile. Laces in small strings. Aroma is lighlty hoppy, some tart grape skin impression. Medium carbonation, light and somewhat gravelly mouthfeel. Malt is straightforward, lightly biscuity, some honey sweetness. Hops are apparent early but come on to dominate the crisp ending. In many ways, this has similarities to the IPA but the body is weaker and there's a slightly off sour sense. Nothing really wrong, a little unmemorable. Thanks to Alex P. for bringing this from Rhode Island on his way to interview for a Twin Cities TV internship.

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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 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 NEhophead
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tumbler.
"Best if served before" date has faded away.

Pours a light chestnut in color; noticeable carbonation. Half-inch, foamy off-white head with decent retention. A bit of condensed lacing with good strength.

Moderately sweet toffee with hints of plum and fig. Rounded whaffs of floral hops that succumb to the malted sweetness and darker, ripened fruit.

Subdued, mild malt sweetness: caramel, vinous fruit: grape, plum, fig, red apple. As the sweetness recedes, a growing rustic, floral hop presence comes to the forefront. Nutty, earthe flavors are followed by a scant bitterness, finishing dry.

Medium in body; earthen and dry mouthfeel with the proper amount of slick, sweetness.

Not a great ale, but pretty characteristic of an English Pale: nutty, semi-sweet malt character with a moderate floral hop balance.

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