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 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.

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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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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 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 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 sstackho
3.26/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, with illegible freshness date. What's the point in having a date if no-one can read it? Pours a slightly cloudy orange-brown with medium carbonation. Malty aroma with a bit of molasses. First taste has a nice maltiness, although the taste does fade a bit quicker than is preferred. A bit too much carbonation on the tongue.

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